The place was surrounded by numerous adult people outside her home. Kino looked at his father with indifference, not knowing of the danger that lurks.
His father pulled out a machete and charged slowly, then gradually increasing his speed. She wanted to move, but something was keeping her from doing so.
Just as he was about to hit her, a man with a long brown hair and glasses slid in front of her and took the hit. Blood was scattered around him and it filled the ground in seconds.
She turned around, expecting something to save her from him, but there was no one around who could do so. A person held her shoulders as she tried to run away. As he faced his father, he was already in front of her, ready to stab her right at her heart. His arms moved with full force…
"Miss! Wake up!" The boy said as he grabbed her shoulders and tried to awaken her from her troubling nightmare.
Kino opened her eyes and when she realized where she was, he pushed the boy off her and tried to grab her revolver from her belt but she realized it was missing. The next thing she knew is that the boy was grabbing his shoulder while sitting down on the floor.
"Who are you?" Kino asked the boy while looking for her belt and also looking for Hermes.
"Does it really matter?"
"Where's my motorrad?" Kino skipped to her next question when she realized what he meant about his reply.
"Beside the bed." He replied as he walked up to the table with the lamp and turned the gas up to make it brighter.
As soon as the lantern grew brighter, Kino took a quick glance at the boy before checking Hermes. She was surprised to see that he looked like her in her younger days as a traveler but older and his hair was a little bit longer. His eyes glowed chrome silver and his hair shined light brown. The only thing that she focused on is the bandage wrapped around his shoulder.
"Who shot you?" Kino asked as she moved closer and took a look at the boy's injury.
"Didn't you hear me? I said you. By the way, I cleaned your revolver and you could take the ammo beside it. They're at the other side of the room."
Seeing that the boy was no threat to her, she calmed down and wore her belt and took her revolver. She checked the bullets to see if they would fit in the barrel and they did, although there was one that looked liked it was already fired. She took a closer look at it and realized that it was her own and it was covered in blood. Then, she remembered everything that happened on that day.
"I'm sorry about that."
"It's alright, I've had much more painful experiences than this one." The boy replied, as if the accident didn't happen at all.
"Kino!" Hermes shouted as he heard Kino after waking up.
"Hermes!" Kino quickly walked towards her motorrad and checked if he was in good shape.
"Don't worry about me, worry about you, you fainted and I heard ou having a nightmare while I was sleeping. What's happening to you?" Hermes made his statement with a worried voice.
"The question is not what happened to her, it's what happened to her before."
Kino realizing that the boy was serious about the situation, had no choice but to tell her story before she became a traveler.
"In our place, every child who turned ten on their birthday require to have an operation for them to enjoy being an adult, I didn't want to take the operation and my parents thought of eliminating me. The traveler who built Hermes, was blamed for my decision and was forced to leave the country. He prepared for his departure when he saw my father charging towards me with a sword. He used his body as a shield and took the blow for me and-" Kino stopped and covered her head with her hands trying not to visualize the event. Then, she heard the door slamming and the footsteps of the boy getting softer and softer until she could not hear them anymore.
"Kino?" Hermes called her name to check if she was alright.
"I'll go outside for a while." Kino said after she stood up and went out of the room.
"Well that's nice, I'm alone." The motorrad complained as the eerie silence filled his thoughts with terrible things.
Kino went up to the roof as always when she wants to think deeply or just gaze at the moon and lie down. She was surprised when the boy she met was sitting just in front of the edge of the roof with his arms wrapped around his legs and his head lying on his knees. She decided to join him and sat down beside him, closer than she would with anyone.
"He's too nice to everybody." The boy spoke softly with his gaze at the forest just beyond the borders of the inn.
"By the way, is he your-"
"Yes." The boy replied quickly just to stop the conversation.
"Oh, I'm sorry."
"You know what I'm talking about."
"It's nothing, really."
"No, I'm the reason why your father's gone. I should be responsible for that."
"No, his decision, his responsibility. He's been like that for forever."
Kino looked at his face. He looked so down and tears were already forming on his eyes. She has never seen someone so depressed. He was pouring out all the pain he had been keeping for a long time when his father left their family and started traveling. His actions had made Kino want to also pour everything out and clear out her chest once and for all.
The boy had wiped his tears and was ready to go back inside. He looked at Kino for a second to invite her to go inside and sleep. However, he paused for a moment when her gaze was locked on the ground. He became suspicious with her when she became strangely silent. He can't even hear her breathe in and out. After a few seconds, he figured out what she planned on doing.
"Don't do it. It's not worth it." He quickly held Kino's hand before she could attempt what he thought she would do.
"Why not? It's my right to take away what I already have."
"Will that make you feel better?"
"No, but it will make the pain go away."
"What about your motorrad? He's nothing without you."
"Why do you want to stop me?"
"You have the right to live, I just don't want an another person overlook that right. Get some rest for tomorrow."
"Don't have to."
Kino pointed at the mountain ranges and from there, the sun slowly rose up to the sky, and after a few moments, morning bells tolled around the country. The boy, meanwhile, looked at Kino while she was enjoying the sun rise. The light shined on her face, making it more vibrant and made the boy surprised at her beauty that is still untouched as a traveler.
"Let's go inside, by the way, my name is Michio."