The escape didn't even last a chapter =3=...
Rina Part 3
Due to the location of the warehouse Kazufusa was hiding at being near the outskirts of the city, the escape from Akamaki City was really easy.
They didn’t have a clear destination.
And to avoid attention, Rina and Kazufusa purposely selected alleyways to travel along. Inside Rina’s backpack were the rations and emergency aids that Mikajima had left behind at the warehouse. The two of them took turns carrying the backpack. After walking for a few hours, they reached a river.
The long shadows of two elementary students extended along the shore of the river bank, and would occasionally pass by the strolling elderly or students walking home from school.
“Thank god I brought enough money with me. It looks like we don’t have to worry about food for a while.”
Even though they have already walked for more than half a day, Rina was as lively as ever. She energetically swung her hands and feet back and forth, making light steps on the overgrown road.
On the other hand, Kazufusa was filled with uneasiness. He would very often look around him to survey the situation out of fear. And every time when he walked by a person, he would lower his head trembling.
“Where should we sleep tonight? If we go to a small restaurant, they might notify the police for counseling.”
“Hey Kazufusa, before you came to Akamaki City, what kind of places do you sleep in?”
“I didn’t… sleep much.”
Although Kazufusa didn’t talk much, he had already revealed to Rina everything about his background on the way.
It seemed like his parents were doctors of a dispatch-cooperation. During the period of following his parents overseas to help those in poverty and sickness, he began to harbor wishes of helping them.
--- Wanting to save those poor people and kids from overseas --
Every time he returned to his fertile country, he would have such thoughts, and eventually it became his dream.
He said he became a Mushitsuki just like that.
“Then you need a good night's sleep tonight! As long as we take turns watching, we should be able to get a good night's sleep!”
Kazufusa had also said, because the centipede infesting in him suddenly caused a commotion and attracted people’s attention, he was being chased by strange people.
--- “I’m from the Special Environmental Preservation Bureau. Due to your (Mushi) being unstable, it must be exterminated.”
The person, who appeared before Kazufusa, had only said that line.
Although he managed to escape that time, he was found out again and again. And every time that person would repeat the same line before attacking him. During the constant repeat of the same process, both his heart and body had already reached its limits.
“It would be troublesome if it were to rain, we should find a place with a roof… Mmm, where would be nice…?”
On the other end of the river, the burning red sun began to set.
Until yesterday, during this period Rina would always look out from her little window to gaze at this scene before drawing it into her notebook.
She never learned to draw or paint from anyone. Even if she were to say she wanted to, her father would not allow her to learn any arts that were unnecessary to her education.
It had been quite a long time since the last time she looked at this scene somewhere aside from her home.
The sunset that dyed the endless sky into a deep red, deeply imprinted onto her retina.
“Say, where do you think we should go?”
Right now, an Akamaki City without Rina, what would become of it?
In the school where she was inexcusably absent, would her home room teacher fall into a panic because of it? Without Rina as their center, what kind of topic would her classmates come up with?
Most importantly, what would happen to her father? Maybe even someone like him would be shaken for the first time ever, and start worrying for his only daughter who had gone missing. As for the Mikajima who indulged herself in Rina’s shadow, perhaps despair with her life?
I think it’s best to let them worry for a bit.
To make them realize that, it was wrong to keep Rina in that birdcage.
“Before that, we should buy our dinner for tonight first. What do you wanna eat? Going to the convenience store?”
“Hey “who”? I have a name you know! It’s Rina.”
“You should go back…”
The only thing she was worrying about was her mother.
Even though she thought that her father might be worried --- after thinking it over again, there was no way that would happen at all. That damn old man would definitely be pissed off from Rina’s selfish actions.
And the arrow of anger would no doubt be pointed at her mother.
But deep in her heart --- she really hoped that her mother would reconsider.
Staying by that awful man for the sake of the family, it was definitely a wrong decision.
Using this chance, it would be best for her to make up her mind and be separated from him.
Her mother was too kind.
The reason why she was feeling inexplicable restlessness towards that kindness, was it because of the lineage of her father?
When that thought came across her mind, she suddenly had the impulse of draining all of her blood from her body.
But even if she did that it would be meaningless --- Rina overlapped the red setting sun with her blood, and suppressed that impulse within.
“What’s up with you all of sudden, saying things like I should go back?”
Rina turned around and forked her arms onto her waist.
“It’s impossible to escape from them… Beside, you’re not even a Mushitsuki…”
Kazufusa raised his eyes that had heavy eye bags and gazed at the horizon at the end of the river.
--- Impossible to escape.
That line reined Rina’s chest tightly.
Perhaps, it might be that way. But it was only limited to Rina’s situation. For Kazufusa, it is not something that will absolutely happen.
“Saying it again? --- Let me ask you, why are you so sure that you can’t escape from them?”
“Because I’ve already been found out many times by them… I’ll definitely be found out soon again…”
“But didn’t you manage to escape every time when you were found? If so, there might be one day where you can really escape from them?”
“I might get killed the next time they find me… and if you were together with me, you might even get …”
Rina walked closer to the Kazufusa who was mumbling, and poked his dirty forehead with her index finger.
“Till now, have you been doing it seriously?”
“I’m serious about this, I'm even fully prepared to die if I have to. I’m definitely!~ Absolutely!~ going to do it!!!”
Looking at the Rina who suddenly burst out shouting at the sky, Kazufusa fell into a panic.
“Y-You Idiot! I-If you were to shout like that ---!”
“Have you really tried your best to escape?! To an extent where you can puff out your chest and shout it out, just like me?”
Rina suddenly moved her face closer as she asked that. Kazufusa was surprised for a moment before looking away with blushing cheeks.
“See, you never really tried it seriously! That’s why this time, you have to do it with everything you got! Don’t be afraid, because I’ll be with you! We’re going to seriously and definitely run away for sure!”
“Doing it seriously…”
“Yup! We’re going to keep on running, till the guys chasing after us can do nothing but give up!”
Facing the Rina who made a fist as she shouted her declaration, Kazufusa could not help but show a helpless expression.
“You… must be an idiot.”
“I’m not an idiot, I’m serious!”
Rina smiled, before taking steps again along the shore of the river.
The presence of the Mushitsuki boy remained motionless, not moving the slightest. But very soon, the sound of his footsteps trotting behind came, trying to catch up.
It was the first time she had heard him laughing.
“You are really an idiot after all.”
“Didn’t I say I’m not?! In school, I have the best grades you know?!”
On the shore that was gradually dimming, both Rina and Kazufusa moved forward.
No matter where they go.
No matter where it leads them.
On the path where one doesn’t know where it would end up, as long as they don’t stop and continued moving forward.
Every time she made a step forward, Rina could feel her heart skip a beat from excitement.
Maybe --- Just maybe …
If they were to keep on running, maybe one day, she might be able to escape from that narrow birdcage.
Maybe, she might able to find, aside from that house that was filled with noises that she didn’t want to hear, another place where she belongs---
“Ahh, I have an idea! If we were to ride on your (Mushi), wouldn’t it be easier for us?!”
“But if we were to do that, we would be found out immediately. There’s no meaning in us escaping anymore then right? Stupid.”
A run-away that was filled with childish thoughts.
But both the run-away girl and Mushitsuki boy, who were walking along the shore, showed bright smiles.
They clearly harbored such hopes deep within their tiny chests.
The first night after they escaped from Akamaki City was spent inside a small hut which was filled with dust and smell of rusty iron.
It was a small hut built above the embankment for the purpose of storing water-pumping supplies. Within the hut that was covered by cracked concrete walls, there was space the size of Rina's room left.
It seemed like there were a lot of farmlands nearby; small huts like this could be seen every now and then.
The second night the two of them found a similar hut again and secretly slipped inside to sleep.
“Good morning, Kazufusa.”
When it was morning, Rina would wake up the Mushitsuki boy.
On the face of Kazufusa who was barely replying with an “…Mm…”, an expression of fatigue could be clearly seen.
Due to them having to fall asleep next to the pumps that made squealing noises all night long, they couldn’t fully erase their fatigue.
“Come, let’s hurry. We’re going to give our all today as well!”
Although she tried to squeeze a bright smile onto her face, Rina’s body was just as heavy.
Despite her being one of the few that had the most stamina among her classmates, the lifestyle of a run-away’s constant walking was just too much for her as well.
Although it seemed like they had been following the river all day, it was not all they’d done. They would go to a convenience store to buy rations from time to time. They even took baths at a run-down bathhouse in a town recently, and went to a store to buy a change of clothes.
“Oh yeah Rina, where did you go this morning?”
“Because when I woke up, I noticed that you were not in the hut…”
“O-Oh, it was nothing. I just went and took care of my restroom business.”
“Ahh --- Sorry for asking!”
While changing to irrelevant topics as they left the small hut, they began to set off along the shore once again.
Kazufusa’s mental condition had pretty much calmed down compared to before. As a result of that, he had told Rina a lot more about himself since yesterday, he even mentioned about the school he was attending.
But today, he was not as talkative as yesterday.
It was also the same for Rina. Even though she pretended to be energetic, deep down she knew that she was doing nothing but talking loudly.
It has only been three days ---
A journey that didn’t even last that long, had already deprived most of the energy and stamina within the two children.
In particular, Kazufusa’s fatigue was very serious. Perhaps it was due to the reason that he consumed pretty much all of his stamina before coming to Akamaki City. Even though he could sleep at night, in Rina’s eyes, she could tell that he was already near his limits.
But even so, Rina and Kazufusa continued to rush forwards.
Scary enemies were after them. If they didn’t hurry, there was no way that they could be saved.
Rina turned around to take a look, only to see that Kazufusa was panting, and could barely even raise his head.
But, I can’t say any discouraging words.
“You okay? Wanna take a break?”
Kazufusa immediately raised his head, and forced a smile onto his face.
“We have to run further away… This time, I’ll give it my all.”
Rina could not help but widen her eyes as an inexplicable burst of joy filled her heart, and smiled.
Thank god, I’m not alone.
Not just to Kazufusa, but also to herself as well. If she were alone, she would definitely never be able to make the first step to run away from home.
She intended to tell him about her and her family issue after a while. After all, till yesterday he had it hard just from worrying about himself. Perhaps right now, he might have some spare mind to take in the reason why she decided to run away from home.
“Well said! Kazufusa, you’re so cool!”
“I-I’m not cool at all… It’s all because of Rina that I was able to …“
“Huh? Did you say something?”
“Is that so? How about --- over there? Why don’t we go over there and take a break?”
At the direction where Rina was pointing at, there was a small sluice.
It was probably one of the facilities used to supply water to the farmlands during farming seasons. On the embankment that was exposed to soil, only the area near the sluice had been maintained, and further paved with concrete. The sluice itself was about ten meters high; one could see the metal ladders on its side and the big turntable switch located at its top.
Rina and Kazufusa both walked down the uneven hills, and arrived before the slice.
“Kazufusa, wanna take a drink?”
Rina put down the luggage before turning around to ask Kazufusa.
However the Mushitsuki boy was standing stiff still with a pale face.
“…? What’s wrong?”
Kazufusa was fixing his gaze in a different direction, while moving back slowly with his feet.
“It’s that guy…”
Rina frowned before following his gaze.
On the path where they had just walked, a figure was approaching towards them.
Due to the figure walking in a relaxed pace as if he was strolling, the two of them unknowingly let down their guard.
It was a teenage boy who wore a tiny hat on his head as decoration. Aside from his pacing, his clean shirt and tie was completely out-of-place with the river-side scenery.
“Special Environmental Preservation ---“
Kazufusa’s moan was overlapped by a sudden explosion. A strong gust resulting from the impact blew Rina’ hair into the air.
Rina was speechless for a moment.
A big hole was blasted into the ground right front of them. Concrete was crushed and smashed into powder before scattering around.
What in the world had happened?
Did the teenage boy who suddenly appeared do all of this?
Facing the Rina who was dumbfounded by the sudden turn of events, and the Kazufusa who had distorted his expression from fear ---
“I’m from the Special Environmental Preservation Bureau. Due to your (Mushi) being unstable, it must be exterminated.”
The teenage boy who was showing a calm smile, Mr. Hat House, deeply bowed.
Thank you for reading~
Feel free to leave comments for any questions or feedback~