I played the next video. The bearded man could be seen at the back of a smaller cabin cruiser with the blue ocean behind him and a smart phone in one hand.
“I got it, I got it already,” the bearded man said. “We’ll be there soon.”
The bearded man spoke on the phone for awhile, then after ending the call, looked into the direction of the camera.
“What are you doing with someone else’s camera?”
“Didn’t you want to make memories? I’m helping out,” the tattoo girl said. Her tattooed hand could be seen at the edge of the screen pointing at the bearded man. “It would be too sad if you didn’t appear on your own video, right? …Who was that just now?”
“It was Kaoru. She told me to hurry up and arrive already. Wouldn’t stop yapping about us being late.”
The tattoo woman laughed. “Kaoru has always been fussy about time. It can’t be helped.”
The bearded man sighed. “I’m sick of it, though.”
“Come to think of it, have you heard why we’re gathering today?”
“Wasn’t it about Mother Teacher’s last will and testament? I don’t know the details, though,” the bearded man pointed at the camera. “Don’t you know something?”
“Not much different from what you know. Us gathering seems to be a part of Mother Teacher’s last will. They said they’d mention the details later.”
“Mother Teacher’s last will, huh. What do you think about that?”
“Haven’t got a clue, honestly.”
“Don’t you think it’s strange? It’s been thirteen years since Mother Teacher passed away, and yet it’s only now that we’re being gathered for her last will.”
“I’m sure there’s a reason for that.”
“What kind of reason?”
“I don’t know. I’m sure it’ll be explained later. There’s no point even if we speculate here.”
“You might be right,” the bearded man nodded. “It’s just a waste of time thinking about it.”
“Excuse me,” an unknown man called out. “We will be arriving at the island soon.”
The camera moved to the side, revealing an older man at the helm in the cockpit. He turned to the camera with just his head, and said, “please get ready to disembark,” before turning back to face forward.
“Okay,” the bearded man curtly replied.
The screen started shaking as the camera moved, and when it peered out to the side, an island could be seen just up ahead. It had a steep cliff facing them. It was about as tall as a five-story apartment building and was fairly wide. Because of that it felt like the island was rejecting human intrusion.
Then the camera focused on the cape protruding out of the water beneath the cliff and zoomed in, revealing a pier. A zigzag u-shaped staircase led up the cliff.
“Careful, don’t drop that now,” the bearded man warned. “I’ll hate you if you do.”
“I know, sheesh. You don’t have to worry that much.”
As they approached the island, the camera zoomed out. The tattoo girl seemed to be trying to fit the entire island into the frame. But before long, she couldn’t zoom out any further. Then the cruiser slowed down, and they approached the pier. The video continued playing until eventually, the voice of the older man could be heard, and the camera turned back to the helmsman.
“We’ve arrived,” he said before turning to the direction of the camera. “I’ll come back three days later to pick you up. Please be sure to be on time. Especially since you two seem to be late.”
“Ah,” that took the tattoo girl by surprise, but she responded nonetheless. “I understand. We’ll be sure to handle the matter carefully.”
The bearded man could be heard laughing off screen, so the camera turned to him.
“Handle what carefully?” The bearded man grinned. “You a politician or something?”
“Shut up. It just came out, I can’t help it. Anyway, let’s get off already and meet up with the others.”
“Okay. But before that, give me back my camera.”
The video ended after that.
I played the next video. The western-style mansion I found was shown on the screen. The video seemed to be recording from a somewhat distant location and gradually closed in.
“What a huge place,” the bearded man said. “Makes recording all the more worth it.”
“It’s reserved just for us,” the tattoo girl said, then the camera turned to the side to show her.
“So we’re the only ones in this island?”
“Yeah, that’s right,” the tattoo girl nodded. “The whole gang is going to be together, and Yui figured it would be good if it was just us with no one else, so she rented out the entire villa.”
“As expected of the Nishimura family,” the bearded man said in admiration. “The power of money is great.”
The camera turned to the mansion again and zoomed in as they approached. A person could be seen on the veranda in the second floor. He was waving at the camera, but I couldn’t make out his face. The camera zoomed in and out, trying to get the focus right, but the boy went back inside.
“Akira’s gotten bigger,” the bearded man said. “He should be in his sixth year of elementary now, right?”
“No, he’s a middle school student,” the tattoo girl corrected.
“Huh? Middle school already?”
“That’s right, a first-year.”
“Wow, time really does fly once you become an adult. It seemed to flow so slow during our childhood too.”
“…Yeah,” the tattoo girl said in a softer voice.
“Hmm? What’s the matter?”
The camera turned to the tattoo girl again. The expression on her was somewhat ephemeral.
“Talk of childhood always makes me remember the past. It makes me said when I think of how we can’t go back to those times.”
“Don’t make a face like that. It’s true that Mother Teacher isn’t around anymore, and the house we lived in was torn down, but we can all get together like this. Isn’t that good enough? I’m sure Mother Teacher wouldn’t want us getting stuck to the past and being sad. You’ll get scolded.”
“…That’s true,” the tattoo girl smiled. “So you can say something decent for once.”
“The heck?” The bearded man laughed. “Does everyone think so badly of me?”
Then the camera turned again. They were already at the mansion and two people could be seen standing by the entrance. Zooming in, we could see that it was a woman, in her latter thirties, and a young boy. I remember that boy. That’s the kid that was really wary of me when I woke up at the beach.
“Long time no see, Yui.”
The bearded man turned the camera to the woman standing by the entrance. She had a gentle face and a calm atmosphere as she smiled toward the camera.
“Long time no see indeed,” Yui said. “You must be tired from the trip.”
“A little, actually.”
“In that case, you should get some rest. There are a lot of free rooms, so just pick whichever you like.”
“All the good rooms must have already been taken, though, I reckon.”
“That’s true,” Yui said with a troubled smile. “But the remaining rooms are plenty good too, don’t worry.”
“I’ll show you around,” the boy said.
The camera turned to the boy. He had a manly face, but he still reeked of youth. It was a face common among men in the middle of their growth, and coupled with his short hair, it gave him a lively impression.
“Hi, Akira. Long time no see. You been doing well?”
The camera turned to the tattoo girl. She patted the head of the boy named Akira, but he just found it annoying and brushed her hand away.
“Please don’t pat me on the head. I’m not a kid anymore.”
“What are you saying? From an adult’s perspective, you’re still plenty a kid. As an adult, I ought to properly look over you.”
“Yeah, yeah, that’s how adults always treat children. I don’t think that’s a good thing, though.”
The tattoo girl laughed. “So you’re mature enough to start saying adult-like things, huh.”
“Obviously. I’m not a kid anymore. Anyway, I’ll show you to your rooms, so follow me.”
Akira led the way, and the video came to an end.