Author's Note: Fitting that the fourth Blu & Mikoto drabble produced would involve death in some form, huh?
"An Overdue Visit"
"Night [ REDACTED ] of 36", [ "a.2012" ] - 10:39:09
"[ REDACTED ]"
"Okinawa City", "Okinawa Prefecture", "Okinawa", "Japan", "Earth"
As a Zero, this would probably be the closest I'd ever get to visiting my human self'[ DATA CORRUPTED ]
Part of me wished I didn't have to bring Her Majesty along for this.
Well. Couldn't be helped, anyway.
Once we arrived, I asked the taxi driver to wait for us. He nodded before opening the trunk, with the shopping bag inside. As I was taking that (and shutting the trunk), Mikoto looked around.
"So…this is a modern Japanese graveyard?" she asked.
"Yeah." I pointed. "That there's the temple, but…that's not what we're here to visit."
"It's not? Then where are we going?"
"To visit a family grave. Follow me."
Turning away from the temple, I headed for the rows of graves, with Mikoto right behind me.
After a few minutes of walking between the lots and rows of family graves, I came to a halt. "Well…here he is."
Rows upon rows of polished stone, family crests adorning each one. Some were black with white, some were grey with white, some were pinkish with white.
Mikoto caught up, followed my gaze. "…ah."
This particular family grave was the lattermost, color-wise. It was also the only grave with obvious English engraving—at least on the front of the headstone.
The [ REDACTED ]s
I set down the small bucket of water onto the step of the grave, then pulled out the brushes I'd bought from the convenience store. Mikoto immediately understood, taking the other brush; it seemed this was another cultural constant between Hoshido and Japan.
After clearing off the stains from the grave proper, I pulled out the incense sticks.
"You're not going to…breath fire for this?" Mikoto asked as I pulled out a bright-red lighter.
I shook my head. "If this was a dragon's grave, maybe. But there's no point wasting it here." Chk. "Besides, I'm trying to be as human as I can right now, not an utter freak of nature."
Seconds later, I set the smoking incense into the holder in front of the marble(?) chamber. My human self's memory of Mom scattering Uncle [ REDACTED ]'s ashes at a beach briefly surfaced. I straightened up and, as per tradition, put my hands together.
Note: the following is a transcript of 017 "Bluefield" talking to a virtual-reality reproduction of his human self's family grave. For the sake of protecting the "real counterparts" of the people mentioned, Earth-native and otherwise, names will be either redacted or replaced.
Hey, Uncle [ REDACTED ]. It's been a while.
Your wife and son are doing well. There was a bit of trouble a few years ago, but uh… [ REDACTED REDACTED ]. They don't remember any of what happened, but…that's the usual for [ REDACTED ]. It's for the best.
Mom and Dad are doing okay. So's Kyler and…and my human self. Your nephews. Kyler's looking to enter [ REDACTED ] State. He might actually get in. I'm really glad for him.
Me, I'm… I'm getting by. Somehow. I've got a new team to look out for now. And right now, we've got an important mission of sorts to take care of. A selfish mission, at that, but…yeah.
Watch over the family, will you? I'll watch over mine.
With that done, I gathered up everything into the plastic bag just as thunder rolled in the distance. It's be too many kilometers before the rain would snuff out the incense.
Mikoto shouldered her own umbrella. I flicked over my own hood.
I looked over at her. "For what?"
"Don't get me wrong, I believed you, but… I'd had this lingering doubt in the back of my mind that you were truthful about your…about your human self's family." She looked down. "But…your conversation with [ REDACTED ] has cleared all that doubt about you from my mind."
I thought about that, not saying anything. And I got the slight feeling that Queen Mikoto wasn't just talking about King Sumeragi.
I sighed. "I see."
RUMBLE RUMBLE RUMBLE…
We both looked to the source of the thunder. "It's getting closer," Mikoto noted. "We should return to the taxi. I think that this can wait a moment."
As our cab carried us away from the graveyard, Queen Mikoto and I checked the hotel note that had today's (hastily-scribbled-down) itinerary. Since we were nearing lunchtime, our next stop is [ REDACTED REDACTED]. Their Okinawa soba's pretty good. (Maybe you should give it a try if you ever head for Okinawa Prefecture.)
"But…your conversation with [ REDACTED ] cleared all doubt about you from my mind." - Whereas showing up at Fort Jinya with the "traitorous prince and princess" intensified Yukimura's doubts in you… F**k. —Burna
"… And I got the slight feeling that Queen Mikoto wasn't just talking about King Sumeragi." - Or just about losing Prince Kamui, for that matter. —?
"…today's (hastily-scribbled-down) itinerary." - Blu's…still not very organized… Not that I can talk. —Dreyza