It was a lovely day outside. Many young people were taking advantage of the sunshine and cloud free sky. The park was full of picnic blankets and the buzz of conversation. Here and there Frisbees were being thrown, dogs barked happily, and laugher bubbled up from countless throats.
One couple I particular sat silently on their deep blue blanket, simply enjoying each other’s company. The last four months had been quite hectic for them and they hadn’t had much time to be alone together. Their lunch had been eaten long ago. Neither one was in a particular rush to get back to their routines. They sat in each other’s arms, at peace with life for the time being.
Ginme looked at the small blue haired woman he held against him. If he hadn’t insisted on the picnic, he felt quite certain that Akimi would be working, continuing the search for her lost teammates. He agreed that they must be found, but he was o the opinion that she should take it a little more slowly. At the rate she was going, she’d burn herself out.
The depth of feeling e had for her still surprised him. It was as if he’d been deaf his entire life. He could see other people but knew he was missing something without knowing what it was. When he found Akimi, found his feelings for her, it was like gaining that missing sense all at once. Or so he described it to himself.
Well, why not? Most people compare what I feel to being blind. It doesn’t work. Seeing Akimi was what started this whole thing in the first place. Gaining a sense of hearing explains the pounding I hear in my chest every time I see her.
“What are you thinking about, Ginme?” Akimi asked suddenly.
She turned to face him with the snake-like eyes that only made sense when one considered her true identity, that of Sailorophiuchus. “Things like what?”
She blushed. “Still?”
“Don’t you ever think of other things?”
“Is that a complaint?” he teased. “I can think of you and other things at the same time.”
“I doubt that.” She poked him in the ribs. “Since you’re always on my mind, since you color everything else I think about, it’s true.”
Akimi tilted her head to one side. “You’ve gotten strange these days.”
“It’s all this traveling. I’m not used to it. Even as Kornephoros I hated to travel.”
“You don’t want to do this?” she asked, dismayed.
“I can learn to tolerate it since this helps you reach your goal, but sometimes I just want to go home to Tokyo and see Ryuu and Hakkinki. I miss the others.”
“I do, too sometimes. This is important though. The last time I spoke with Taci she implied that this search is extremely important. Its full importance won’t be apparent for a while, but I need to do this. Besides, we’ve already woken five of them. You have to admit, that’s good progress.”
Ginme nodded. “Is Riley still surprised about that one we found in her home town?”
Akimi giggled. “Yes, she is. I talked to her last night. She’s in England right now with Mizuumi.”
“I enjoyed that trip, actually, even if Tamashii, Insei, and Kinrei were in Germany at the time.”
“The downside of befriending a race car driver.”
“Where are they now?”
“Back in Canada, I think. After that, they’ll be in Japan for a few days. Kinrei wasn’t clear on whether it was a vacation or not.”
Akimi thought about that. “It’s a short flight from here to Tokyo. We could go back for a bit if you like.”
“Is that a good idea?”
“I get the feeling that there are no more senshi here in Korea. I spoke to Jung Hee this morning; he feels confident that he can manage things on his own.”
“Then we’ll head back.”
“You look relieved.”
“I just remember Hakkiki’s stories of life as a senshi before he met up with Ryuusenshi. It sounded like it was pretty hard for him, especially since his powers are limited in their applications.”
“You were worried that Jung Hee would have the same trouble.”
Ginme shrugged. “Well, a little. I don’t know why; it’s not like there are any enemies to fight these days.”
“Just instinct perhaps, then.”
Akimi smiled as someone nearby started to scream hysterically. Both senshi turned towards the sound to see a bizarre creature that looked like it was comprised of the parts of several different animals. Standing beside it was an equally bizarre creature that looked like a humanized bird. She—for it looked female—had bird feet, tail, and wings attached to her arms as well as a small beak for a mouth.
“So what was that you were saying about there being no enemies to fight?” Akimi asked Ginme.
“It appears I was wrong.”
“Let’s do this.”
“Perseus Spirit Power!”
“Ophiuchus Spirit Power!”