When I opened my eyes, the room was already dark.
Everything earlier seemed like a dream. Everyone was together. Father. Mother. Satoru. Shun. Maria. Mamoru. I can’t remember exactly, but there may have been others as well.
In a familiar dinner scene, the dining table was replaced by the ball tournament field. Satoru and I were on the side, trying to use our cantus to move the pushers. The opposing team was steeped in shadow, so I couldn’t tell who they were. Innumerable enemy pieces rose up from the earth and bore down on us. We ran blindly without knowing where the goal was.
The enemy chased us persistently, gaining territory while pressing us farther and farther back. We were slowly being driven into a corner. Soon, we were completely surrounded.
Just as I thought we had no way out, the nearest enemy piece was blown away with a solid bang. Then another. Then even more as if in a chain reaction.
It was unmistakably Satoru’s doing. Blatantly breaking the rules. No, even more than that…
I suddenly realized that the enemy’s pieces looked like queerats. Panicked, I tried to escape, but couldn’t without killing them all.
I stared dumbly at Satoru.
Part of his face was in shadow, and I couldn’t see his eyes. But there seemed to be a slight smile on his lips.