Scent of plum blossom (8)

Going passed the school gates, Keito cycled to Utaha’s place. The sun is staring into his face but the air is moist. After a while, he starts to sweat and his uniform stuck to his body.

While gently fanning his chest with one hand, he will reach the bottom of the bridge in about twenty minutes.

When he opened the 『Tsukuyusa』’s door, the bell rang notifying Keito’s visit. However, there is no answer from Utaha. Unlike yesterday, there is a visitor facing her, talking about something. The slender lady who wore a suit looks like she is a friend of Utaha rather than a customer. The lady was talking unilaterally whereas Utaha was the listener role. Seemed surprising that Utaha has a friend.

As Keito approaches, the both of them lifted their head.

The woman who was talking Utaha said,

“Well then, I will come again Utaha-chan. Next time, lets take our time.”, shook her hand and left the area.

When they pass each other,

She continued “Because this is a lovely place.” and laugh as she leaves.

“Should I have come later?”

Utaha noticed and shook her head when Keito ask if he is interrupting earlier.

“Misora-san also has a job.”

Seemed the woman named Misora have dropped in during her work.

“She seemed to be busy editing for the magazine.”

“She is doing a coverage here?”

“I don’t think that is the case. Both of my parents are completely unknown painters.”

Utaha and Misora’s age are probably about the same. Keito thinks that this person is always talking so formally even though he is the one who is younger.

“Utaha-san, what should I do?”

If they are taking their time, the time will fly past. He wants to hear the things he could only ask.

“Very well. I will counting on you, Aikawa-san. The old lady is also waiting.”

The old lady that started all this had an aimlessly unsteady stride inside of the building. That is an improper way of saying that but it is more like she is roaming.

“The lost words that I had seen would disappeared much earlier though.”

Up till now, most of them have materialized and disappeared at the margin of vision to a certain degree but it looks like the one that appeared the longest before Keito was ten minutes.

“Perhaps Aikawa-san is just not used to seeing lost words. Even though it seems unlikely that you saw them, it should be right next to you.

The things you are seeing up till now are unclear. However, by bestowing 《Lost Words》with names and meaning, I think that Aikawa-san is relieved so to speak. So your anxiety regarding lost words will be better once you gotten used to looking at it.”

If that is the case, are all the boys and girls I have encountered since I am able to see lost words are still somewhere out there? That is probably why I have gotten used to it and not getting worried about seeing lost words.

Can I be accustomed while not understanding those who have once lost their powers?

As Keito said so,

“I felt the same as well. But unfortunately, I am sure that some of the lost words are completely lost. This person is also only stable temporarily.”

“Hold on. Lost? Can the lost words vanish? Then could it be that Shizuka is no longer here?”

If so, this wasn’t part of the deal that they had yesterday. If he had waited here, someday he could meet Shizuka supposedly.

“Like us, the existence of lost words are not eternal. One day, they will disappear.

There are very few numbers of lost words that have disappeared after it have reached the intended recipients either by their own strength or the recipients’. Most of them who are unable to reach on their own or can’t meet their recipients will lost their consciousness, memory, feelings and the words they are supposed to deliver and disappear without anyone ever noticing it. I  want to help as many lost words as I can so that it will not happen. That is what I prayed for.”

“Then, Shizuka have also……….”

“It is not unusual for lost words to live a few years, no, longer than that. That is why I think Shizuka’s lost words are still okay.

She said that the lost words that were born two months ago have also came here as well. If so, is there room for complacency?

“But it is very difficult to find it yourself.”

No matter how hard you find, if you are being told that it would immediately disappear, you would be left with feelings of anxiety.

“If you want to act on your own accord, I can’t stop you, Aikawa-san. But as I said yesterday, I wouldn’t recommend it.”

Utaha warned him as she slightly cast a downward look.

He thought that she might have went to search for lost words on her own and have failed to do so.

“Do you mind if I first prioritize on escorting the granny?”

There are no objections with her words. If you don’t know anything about lost words, there is no point looking for it.

“First of all, I must find out who she is and where is she from and I would like your help in this, Aikawa-san.”

“Can’t you just listen directly?”

“There are no reaction shown so far. Although I can also say the same for most of the lost words that arrived here.”

“……Does that apply to Shizuka as well? Is it really possible to meet her like this?”

If the old lady also didn’t have the help from Keito, who knows what will happen.

“So Shizuka-san grew up around here. When she returned to the neighborhood, I am sure she would definitely be attracted to this place with a painting of her. My mother ‘s picture will be a landmark for sure.”

“Then what about the old lady?”

“She is neither a victim of an accident nor the lost words that my mother have encountered in the past. However,  I think that she probably have some kind of affinity with this place or the vicinity. Perhaps that is why she came here because she was drawn to Tsuyukusa’s paintings.

The flower language of the Asiatic dayflower means 《Nostalgic Relationship》 . The picture has been used as the axis to connect the edges and emotions to deliver those words. That is the power of my mother. Even though she had passed, the paintings that she drawn still holds that power in it.”

She said it without any hesitation.

From the way she spoke earlier, it seems like Utaha’s mother is no longer in this world as expected.

“By the way Aikawa-san, are you good at drawing?”

He was unable to identify the aim of her question. Judging from the previous conversation, it sounds like being able to draw sounds very important.

“I am in the art club, more or less.”

“Well that is fortunate indeed. This must be some kind of fate. Well then, please draw a picture of the old lady.”

“Nonono, impossible. I can draw but there is no way I can draw with such a mysterious power like your mother. Should you do it yourself instead of asking me?”

“I am not good at drawing. I can’t forge one.”

She slightly lowered her line of sight.

“I want Aikawa-san to draw a picture so that I can use it to find out her identity.”

Basically, it is a substitute for a photograph. Lost words are unable to be capture on a camera. Therefore, by leaving a picture that is drawn by someone who is able to see will help to find the source of her background. If that is the case, even Keito can be of some use.

“Okay, I will try.”

Portrait drawing is his specialty.

Utaha took the materials needed and facing towards the old lady and observed intently. Her presence is thin but there is certainty one. Speaking of what is a indication is refers to breathing, glance, blinking of the eyes, slight movement of the arms, shoulders and cheeks. No matter how motionless a person is, they can’t hide their appearance.

Her permed short grizzled hair is disheveled. Her clothes have a sense of cleanliness but they are disorganized and wearing suck thick clothes is Incontrovertible proof that they are out of season.

“I am sure she is a fashionable person.”

Since she doesn’t have makeup on, it couldn’t conceal the wrinkles on her face so he drew the original look of the old lady in his sketchbook.

“Impressive. It is like a photo.”

“You are exaggerating………”

For example, he realized that he can’t compared his drawings to Utaha’s mother. Even in the art club, his drawings are not highly evaluated. It is true it takes a talented person to draw descriptions as precise as a photo with a pencil. However that being the case, taking a photo would be so much faster. What you draw should be something that only you can draw. However, following the previous example, there is no hidden <<presence>> coming from Keito’s drawing. Enen if it is a photo, the general people that is being taken, the relationship of the target, the subject and the emotions will revealed itself. However Keito is limited in that area.

But that doesn’t matter as he just need to reproduce a copy of the appearance.

“Am I allowed to touch this person?”

After getting a nod as a confirmation from Utaha, Keito lightly touched the old lady’s left hand.

Her hands feels hard and bony, and her skin is dry and rough. That is the same feeling when he hold his own grandmother’s hand and he doesn’t really like the feeling, to be honest.

The portrait will be done in approximately​ twenty minutes. Meanwhile, the old lady was staring intently at him. Does she even understand what are they trying to do?

“Thank you very much. It is impressive, as expected.

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