After that, I don’t really remember how I calmed Maria down. In any case, I had to say something to make her feel that Shun wasn’t in grave danger. I’m not as good at lying as Satoru is, but I can do a good enough job if I have to, so I promised Maria that we would go look for Shun the next morning and somehow convinced her to go home.
I knew I would feel much braver if the two of us were together, but I couldn’t put my friend’s life in danger.
After she left, I dressed hurriedly. I put a windbreaker on over my sweater, and clipped my hair up with a barrette. Since I did a lot of outdoor activities, I already had a pack prepared with things like medicine, a compass, and other emergency supplies. I stuffed it into by backpack, and at the last minute remembered to bring the charm Shun had given me.
I snuck quietly out of the window and onto the roof. Unlike Maria, I didn’t know how to levitate yet, so I muttered my mantra and jumped as hard as I could. The instant my cantus kicked in, the rush of air that hit me was as heavy as water. It was like falling in a dream. I lost my balance and landed badly on my foot, but luckily didn’t hurt myself.
There was no time to waste. I got up and made my way swiftly to the back of the house, untied the canoe from the dock and set off down the dark canal as quietly as possible. When I was a good distance away, I set the canoe going at full speed.
I wasn’t sure if I would make it in time. It was dark, and I was going so fast that if I made the slightest mistake, I would crash and sink.
Still, I didn’t hesitate. I would save Shun no matter what. I have to make it in time. The whole of my being was concentrated on it.
As I sped along the dark waterway, I was enveloped in a strange sense of deja vu.
It was the first day of summer camp, when Shun and I were night canoeing. Shun had stilled the surface of the river and turned it into a mirror reflecting the starry sky above.