There was nothing but darkness. It felt like a pitch dark room somewhere to Mai.
A faint voice said from somewhere in that darkness.
She'd heard that voice before. --No, it was a voice she heard all too often. A sarcastic voice, an insulting voice, and while she'd heard it so often in the past couple of days to make her sick, in truth, this wasn't Naru's voice. Mai knew that.
--It's his voice.
Mai blinked. She couldn't entirely tell if she was happy or sad.
"......Where are you?"
She was in pure darkness and couldn't see anything. Naturally, she couldn't see anyone, and she had no idea where the darkness began or how far it went.
Mai looked around. There was no answer.
"......Why? Why are you still in a place like this?"
He helped her countless times in her dreams. She thought she'd never be able to see him again. And in fact, she hasn't seen him, even once, ever since his body was recovered from the lake by the dam.
A voice answered her.
"I can't get out."
Eh? Mai looked in the darkness in the direction she thought the voice came from.
"--I can see the exit, but for some reason I can't get near it."
"I don't know. I don't know why, but it's been like that from the very beginning."
"......From the very beginning?"
Mai's eyes widened. But only darkness was reflected in her eyes.
"Didn't you want them to find your body? Didn't you want... to go home?"
There was a pause before he answered.
"I've known from the very beginning that I can no longer go back......"
Mai almost said, "but..." but swallowed her words.
--While it was sad, it was the truth."
He'd come to Japan and ended up dying here. At least that's what Naru 'saw'. The car that approached. The car that approached after his body had been struck and could no longer move. The scene that Naru once described at some point became a part of Mai. She could even imagine the sound of the engine and the dull light reflecting from the car body. And then, his body was recovered from the place Naru indicated. After almost two years.
"I'm sorry, ......I shouldn't have done that. You must've been very scared."
His voice was the same pitch as Naru's, the same tone, but even so, it was slightly gentler.
"Even though he saw that, Naru wouldn't have said anything. That's what I thought, but I shouldn't have done it."
Mai hung her head and shook it.
"I'm really awful. ......Right now, I'm really happy."
Mai covered her face.
"It's terrible, but I'm really happy to see you again......"
She felt a person's presence draw near. Looking up, she saw his neat white face looking a little uncomfortable.
He looked just like Naru as he said that. Even though they looked so alike, the person before her wasn't Naru.
--I wonder if twins that look so alike mightn't be really rare.
It was Madoka that said that. She was taking care of the office while Naru went home to take care of his brother's funeral.
--They really are alike. It was like they were the same person.
That's why she always thought that the one appearing in her dreams was Naru. She never once suspected. While he often annoyed her, she figured that she must really like him if he was showing up in her dreams.
--Talk about ridiculous.
Because she really, really loved his smile.
"If you feel bad enough to apologise, smile?"
A bit of an awkward smile.
It was the first time she ever said his name.
A soft smile rose on his white face. It looked like Naru smiled; the two brothers looked so alike that you couldn't help thinking that.
Yay! Now to figure out which scenes to translate for Saiunkoku for the unclear scenes. ^^;