Leaning on the ship’s railings, Four gazed into the sea. It’s been a while since she was traveling by a boat. Of course, there were some bad memories related to traveling using a boat but she’s trying to get over it, no use crying over a spilled milk.
She felt good. Her body felt really light. Her recovery was a success. Four’s injury after pushing herself, diving with lungs full of water of course was pretty damaging both to her physical and mental—Four recalled she was hardly able to talk and breathe normally after she woke up. But because of the Protector’s blessing, she could recover fully. Like a miracle, she’s already breathing and talking like a normal human several days after.
“Aaargh! I lost again!”
“Shame on you, leader.”
Four turned around, and looked at Riaa who played cards with Ilisono. The smile on the red headed girl was almost gone back then, as her condition was almost the same, if not worse than Four. The first few days after she woke up, she cannot communicate properly as inside her everything was pretty much messed up. Four who recovered earlier, was scared when looking at her friend who looked like she’s a lost cause. But Noku ensured her that Riaa’s gonna be alright.
“She’s not that weak to lose to something like this,” Four recalled Noku’s words back then.
The Protector’s blessing was a real thing—that’s what Four thought as several days later Riaa’s already smiling and saying several comprehensible words—even though her eyes were still empty and her face was as pale as a corpse. After that, she gradually recovered. Color was coming back to her cheeks. Not long after that, she’s already running around like usual.
“Four, why are you looking at me like that?! You’re glad I’m losing?”
“Haha, no. I’m just thinking that you sucks at playing cards.”
As Riaa was throwing a tantrum, Four giggled. Then she realized Noku was already several meters beside her. Soon after, Ilisono came close on his side. Both of them glanced towards Four with smile on their lips.
“We haven’t thank you properly,” Ilisono said, “We are really grateful as what you did to Riaa back then. Once again, we couldn’t thank you enough.”
“W-what. I was just doing what I should do… I mean, Riaa’s my partner right? My team mate. It’s obvious that I have to support her whatever happens.”
“Yeah, you’re right. You’re one of us now, so that’s an obvious thing. Still we want to thank you properly,” Noku said as he winked.
“Also… I’m sorry if I was too harsh on you…” Ilisono looked to the side with her cheeks reddened. Four was rather surprised, but then she smiled and nodded.
“Hoo? What’s this? Our princess is admitting she’s wrong? What’s gonna happen to this world?”
“You shut your trap!”
Ilisono angrily pulled Noku’s hair as the guy laughing rather loud. Four also laughed. She was really glad at last everybody was able to accept her into the team. Now, she felt like she could do anything with them.
“So, um, Kave’s hometown… Is it still far?” Four changed the topic.
“It’s my first time too. In fact, it’s everybody’s first time. We’re not sure about the distance… But looking at how we’re already traveling for a long time, it’s probably close.”
Confirming Ilisono’s guess was Noku, “Yep, it’s already pretty close. But I fear you guys couldn’t enjoy riding this boat anymore…” For whatever reason, Ilisono agreed with him. Four was confused.
“Look behind you.”
Four turned and was surprised at the sight of, now already wearing her swimsuit, Riaa standing atop of the railing. She seemed like she’s ready to jump. Kave had to restrain her. Four was even more confused and turned back into Ilisono.
“That Kave… I think you went home already, but last night after that she mentioned about a ‘shortcut’ to the mine near her place using an underwater tunnel. She realized she said too much when Riaa’s eyes were gleamed. Now that blockhead want to explore that tunnel. And you know what? It seems like she want all of us to go with her.”
“Ah… Ahahaha…” A bitter smile appeared on Four’s lips.
“Riaa! Yes it’s close, but please hold it!”
“No! I want to see it now! Let’s go! You two also!” Riaa glanced at Ilisono and Four.
After a brief silence, Ilisono sighed and started stripping, “Well, whatever. Noku, handle our baggage and clothes, won’t you? Four, go change too.”
While Noku shrugged and was taking Ilisono’s clothes, Four hastily took off her clothes. Then she nodded to Noku as the guy waved at them. She chased Ilisono to the other side where Kave and Riaa were. Kave herself already gave in and took off her clothes too. All of them were ready to go.
“Well, this dive will be dedicated to my and Four’s recovery! Let’ go guys! Wooo!” Riaa jumped and fell into the water with a loud sound. Kave followed suit while shaking her head.
Four just stood there, astonished. She still couldn’t match the pace of her new friends, as she was still confused sometimes with how they acted. But this was her new life, and she had to accept it.
“What’s the matter?” Ilisono asked.
Four shook her head, “Nothing, just feeling a bit happy.”
Then Four ran, jumped over the railing and fell into the ocean, once again feeling the coldness of the water she rather missed.