When I was small, really small.
It was far before I met the lady in the strange suit at Gentle Breeze Park.
I think I was three or four.
I went on an adventure.
And ten minutes after my adventure began, I was lost…
Through the influence of some anime or something I’d seen at the time, the desire for adventure welling up in my couldn’t be quelled; I stole from my parents’ eyes and snuck out of the house. But my heart full of dreams and hope, in a mere ten minutes, had turned all to regret
The young me lost his way, he burst into tears…
“… Uuuu… mom, dad, where are…”
Where? … Well, I went and left on my own, so I mean, my parents were probably at home, but back then I was only able to wail, waiting for someone to come save me.
The gradually darkening sky further stimulated my anxiety. Teeter, totter, I walked aimlessly, and by the time I noticed it, I was standing before the tori gate of a run-down shrine.
It was at the moment.
“Two years, two hundred eighty-seven days, twenty-two hours, fourteen minutes until Kagoshima Akira meets the Cage of Death Remnant. I guess this is around the right place. If I come into contact with him when he’s any younger, there’s a high probability his meeting with me won’t remain in memory. But it’s not good for this meeting to become more impactful than his meeting with the Cage of Death Remnant. To protect that unstable line, and become a ‘friend who presence is only natural’… yeah. Now really is best.”
A quiet, clear and gentle voice.
When I looked again, there was a kid around my age before me.
Gray hair close to white, a gray kinagashi close to black.
“Pleasure to meet you.”
He said to me with a bittersweet smile on his face.
“… Who are… you…? What are you?”
“Who and what am I, huh… fufu. That’s what I’d like to know.”
He gave a smile to evade the question.
“My name is… right. World of death… how does Shinose Kai sound?”
“No need for honorifics. I’m just going to call you Akira.”
“… Why do you know my name?”
Distrust was born in my chest.
Could it be this boy approached me with some objective in mind? Had he investigated me in advance? The young me was cautious for his age, he began suspecting the boy.
“I mean, it’s written on your clothes.”
He said with a sarcastic smile.
… At the time, I was wearing the T-shirt mom worked through the night to make, a T-shirt embroidered with ‘Akira’ in large letters.
“That’s a cool shirt.”
“I know, right!? Mom made it for me!”
… At the time, I seriously thought it was cool, and gladly wore it.
Ah, how embarrassing.
After that, Kai led the lost me all the way to my house.
Kai said as he got ready to leave.
“Do you want to become friends with me?”
He had helped me out when I was lost, and praised my Akira shirt, so I already liked this Kai fellow a whole bunch.
I replied, full of energy.
“Thank you, Akira. Then we’re friends from today.”
“Yeah. Best friends! We’re best friends!”
I remembered it, Kai.
That’s how we became friends, isn’t it?
The first friend I ever made in my life… was Kai.