Written by: Kanemaki Tomoco
Original Plan: Nomura Tetsuya and Nojima Kazushige
Illustration: Amano Shiro
Copyrighted by Disney, Square Enix and Touchstone Pictures. No profits are gained from these unofficial fan translations.
These holidays, why don’t we all go to the beach?
While everyone ate sea-salt ice cream together in the usual spot, Roxas was thinking vaguely about his memories of the summer holidays. Memories… that’s right, it was terrible how those memories were lost yesterday.
Memories—all the memories to do with me were completely lost somehow.
“I wonder if we’ll always be able to be together,” said Pence, suddenly.
“That’d be nice, wouldn’t it,” Olette said, sighing as she did so.
The atmosphere is different than usual, Roxas sensed, looking at both their faces in turn. It seemed Hayner was also thinking the same thing.
“What’s up with this all of a sudden,” Hayner asked the two.
“No, it’s nothing—I was just thinking so,” replied Pence, gnawing on his ice cream. His expression was a little gloomy.
“Well, I think in reality it’d be impossible,” announced Hayner, sharply.
Roxas, and then Pence and Olette, looked up at him.
But you’d think we were all thinking how it’d be nice if we could always be together like this. Why would Hayner say something like that? Roxas had just decided to say something back, which was rare for him, when Hayner continued speaking.
“But, if we grow up, that’s natural, right? The important thing is not how many times we all meet together, but how many times we think of each other—that.”
At Hayner’s words, Roxas felt as though his heart had thudded with a start, and his head dropped just a little.
The important thing isn’t how many times we meet; it’s how many times we remember…
My chest is in some kind of turmoil.
Then, Pence snickered. “That line doesn’t suit you, you know.”
At Pence’s words, Olette also laughed. As if it was unbearably funny, in fact.
“What is this?! You guys, give back those ice creams!” Hayner angrily looked around at everyone’s faces, but when his eyes rested on the unsmiling Roxas, he let out a small sigh.
“Far out… what is with this heavy air!” scowled Hayner.
Certainly, the usual spot had a heavy atmosphere.
“It’s because of that thief yesterday, isn’t it…” said Olette, her head dropping downheartedly.
That thief yesterday—the memory thief. That weird silver-coloured creature that had stolen all the memories to do with Roxas.
What the hell was it, wondered Roxas.
“You’re wrong, you know!”
Roxas snapped out of it at Hayner’s words, and looked up. Hayner, who had made the clear declaration, had an expression that was filled with some kind of confidence.
“We’re just feeling miserable because the summer holidays finish soon is how I see it!” said Hayner, angrily this time.
That’s right, it is pretty miserable that the summer holidays will finish. It’s a short holiday anyway, and ending in five days, it’s just so… miserable.
“And so, I have an idea! Let’s all go to the beach!” said Hayner, as if announcing a serious matter.
“The beach?” Roxas echoed, without thinking.
Speaking of the beach, I remember that dream I see every night.
The sound of waves. Light sparkling on the water. We ran on the pure white sand… we? It’s not me appearing in those dreams. A boy called Sora is the one who appears. And then—others. I don’t remember their names. Spent fun times there every day. No, ‘spent’ as in ‘dreamed’.
Because I’ve been seeing these dreams nonstop lately, they’ve come to feel like things that actually happened.
But, because of that, I want to go to the beach with everyone.
I really want to go.
To the beach I really wanted to go to, but couldn’t.
“We haven’t even been to the beach once these holidays! The blue sea! The blue sky! Let’s take the train to the beach!” Hayner said with force, hopping down from the place he was always decidedly seated—the top of a crate. Drawn along without realising, Roxas and the others also stood up.
But, Olette was the one who realised something right away. She dropped her head, downcast. Pence followed suit.
“No good?” asked Hayner, timidly, at their countenances.
“Well, I don’t have much money…” Olette said, in a small voice.
It was almost the end of the holidays, and so she’d already spent nearly all of her pocket money. She expected Hayner, Pence and Roxas were the same. There was nothing left in their wallets, other than enough for the sea salt ice cream they bought every day.
“Leave it to me! Let’s go to the shopping district!” announced Hayner, and he flew out of the usual spot. The remaining three people exchanged glances.
“He says to leave it to him, but…” Pence said worriedly, looking at Roxas.
“Let’s follow Hayner.”
Pence and Olette nodded at Roxas’ words, and ran outside.
Following Hayner up the slope to the shopping district, Roxas found Hayner in front of the notice board.
“It’s gonna be the day after tomorrow, so soon,” Hayner said, looking at a poster stuck on the notice board. The poster was about a struggle battle to be held in town the day after next. The struggle battle was like a Twilight Town festival, held every year in the summer holidays, where the winner was chosen by battling with excusive swords. The preliminaries were already over, and Roxas and Hayner had been chosen to advance.
“Let’s battle in the finals! So, whoever wins, we’ll share the prize between the four of us, okay?”
“That’s good,” Roxas replied to Hayner, and they shook hands.
“It’s a promise!”
At Roxas’ reply, Hayner, beaming and laughing, shook his hand free, gave a small jump and stood in front of the three.
“Are we all together?” The three nodded. “So then! About today,” said Hayner, walking into the centre of the group. “The train fare to the sea is 900 munny. For four people that would be…?”
“3600 munny,” replied Olette straight away. Hayner sounded kind of like a school teacher, asking questions like that.
“And one person’d need about 300 munny for spending on fun stuff, right? Four people would need…?”
“1200 munny. Add that to the train fares and that’s… 4800 munny, right?” answered Pence, this time.
“Fun stuff?” asked Roxas, tilting his head.
“Fried noodles are what you think of when you hear ‘the beach’. There’s nothing more important than that.”
“Don’t you mean watermelon?” Roxas asked back, at Hayner’s words.
“Too expensive. One watermelon is 2000 munny.”
Hayner’s right. We should probably just make do with fried noodles.
“To go to the beach, we need 4800 munny. But what do we have on us now?” asked Hayner, in the same important tone.
“I’ve got 800 munny,” said Pence.
“…650 munny,” followed Olette, apologetically.
“Sorry, 150 munny,” added Roxas, even more apologetically.
“So then, all up we have 1600 munny! We need 3200 more munny in all to cover it!” declared Hayner, quickly. “Meaning, we’ll do odd jobs and earn munny! We’ll aim for 800 munny each! The time limit is until the train leaves!” Finishing speaking, Hayner ran for the plaza as if escaping.
“Um…” Watching his retreating back, Olette tilted her head. “Hayner said to leave it to him, didn’t he…?”
Pence shrugged and chucked. On that topic, Hayner had spent all his holiday pocket money. He didn’t have even one munny left.
“It’s fine. So we can go to the beach, let’s do odd jobs!”
Pence and Olette nodded at Roxas’ words. The three immediately looked at the crowded notice board in front of them.
“I’ll deliver letters, shall I…” muttered Olette, looking at the flyer.
“I think I can carry luggage,” Pence decided of his work.
“I’ll… go look at the tram plaza, shall I.” Pence and Olette nodded at Roxas’ words.
“Well, see you later!”
Seeing the two off, Roxas started running.
There were, in total, three job notices on the tram plaza notice board.
“…Clearing up junk… putting up posters…”
Roxas decided to try putting up posters, and ran to the man who had placed the wanted notice. There was already someone there to see the man.
“What, you’re doing this job too, Roxas?”
“You too, Hayner?”
It was Hayner who was there. It seemed Hayner, who had run off before the others, had picked his odd job from the tram plaza notice board.
“If you did it together for me, you’d probably finish faster”, said the man, sounding a little happy.
“Because losing ain’t possible!”
“For me, that is!”
“It’s not a competition, okay? Well, I don’t mind of you intend on entering the preliminary semi-finals the day after next, but there are only so many places to stick posters…”
“How many should we do?”
“Twenty posters,” the man replied to Hayner.
“So then, it’s okay to do ten each?”
The man brooded a little over Roxas’ words, and then opened his mouth.
“Truth is, there are forty-five notice boards.”
“So twenty isn’t even half’, said Hayner, shocked.
“Yes. And so, if you two are going to put them up for me, I’d be happy if you did them all.” If so, I’ll pay you two 100 munny.”
Roxas and Hayner looked at each other.
“Okay then! So then, can you give us, um… twenty three posters each?”
“I don’t mind. You’ll put them up even inside rooms?” The man optimistically answered Hayner, and started counting posters from a load on the side.
Hayner grinned. “It’s fine to put them up, but… this is a battle!”
“What do you mean?” Roxas asked.
“Whoever sticks twenty three posters up first wins! Loser buys the winner ice cream!” said Hayner, taking posters from the man.
“Maybe it’ll become the struggle tournament preliminaries…”
“You reckon, right?” Hayner said, happily.
“But no ice cream! We’re running out of odd jobs, and you wanna go to the beach, right?” said Roxas, taking posters from the man.
Hayner looked grumbly. “She’ll be right; it’s only about twenty munny.”
“Guess it can’t be helped…” Roxas said, as he started stretching his legs. It’s a very important warm up.
If it’s a contest, I cannot lose to Hayner.
“There are many notice boards in various places, so do your best! I’ll give you the shout to go,” said the man.
“Leave it to me,” said Hayner, in a stance set to take off at any moment now.
“Ok, let’s go. Let’s struggle!” Shouted the man, and the pair started running.
There definitely should be a notice board on the side of the lolly shop.
“You’re going this way too, Roxas?!” Hayner shouted, running.
“Naturally,” answered Roxas, pushing for speed, trying to arrive before Hayner.
“That notice board’s mine!” Hayner was also frantic.
There were six spaces for posters on the notice board coming up before them. Roxas also found a board that could fit three posters further down.
“First!” Hayner started putting up posters on the side closest to him, and Roxas hurried to the further wall. “Hey, you’re aiming for over there!”
Roxas stuck three posters in one go as he ran along the wall of the building.
“Why the hell is it in a place like that!” Hayner’s yell could be heard from behind. Glancing around, there was a two storey building with notice boards on the walls.
Looks like we’re gonna have to climb up to ridiculous places to make forty five posters. But, I can’t lose.
Roxas slapped posters up on the notice boards, and hurried onto the next ones.
At the same time—
“I’m to deliver them to five people, aren’t I?”
Olette had received five letters. She could finish if she put them into some mail boxes from the top of the slope to the bottom.
“It’d be easier if I could ride a board…”
Hayner and Roxas often rode skateboards around town. But, Olette didn’t have the confidence to stop when she was going a little fast.
“It’s nice weather.”
Olette posted a letter in the first mail box.
I haven’t written a letter for ages.
When was the last time I wrote a letter…?
A pigeon stopped halfway down the slope, as if looking at Olette.
“Hello there. Did you by any chance want a letter?” Olette spoke to the pigeon, watching her so steadily, though she wasn’t really thinking that was the reason. Olette posted a second letter.
“I wonder if we really can make it to the beach.”
I hadn’t thought Hayner, who had said he wanted to go to the beach in the first place, would have absolutely no money.
Well, since it’s Hayner, it’s imaginable, though—.
I wonder if Hayner is properly doing odd jobs…?
Surely he hasn’t done any of his holiday homework, either.
Apart from the independent research assignment, Olette had done all hers.
If he says he’ll copy mine on the last day, I’m going to refuse.
With that resolution in her heart, Olette posted the third letter.
The hill going up to the station is fairly steep; I get tired climbing it normally. So why on earth did I choose to carry these huge pieces of luggage up the hill for my odd job…
Pence was fairly regretful.
Although it was loaded on a cart, it was fairly heavy. Even desperately pushing, upon taking even a little rest, the cart would go to fall down the slope.
It’d be easier to unload the luggage off the cart, right?
With that little plan, Pence tried unloading the big bags.
It seemed to have been a huge mistake.
Pence was pinned under bags falling off the cart.
Pushing at the bags, Pence went to stand. But as the bags slipped sideways, the cart, with nothing to weigh it down, went back down the hill, hitting Pence square on the shin.
Pence crouched where he was.
It seemed it would still take some time before the job would be complete.
Next target is the notice board on the roof of the house built by the wall.
Roxas ran up the hill, about to jump for that roof.
Just then, someone grabbed him by the scruff of his neck.
I can’t turn to face the one who grabbed me, but I know who it is.
Hayner jumped up onto the targeted roof before him. In front of him, as far as he could tell, there was no fewer than five on the notice board.
I cannot lose to Hayner now.
Roxas chased after Hayner in a flurry, and grabbed Hayner as he finished sticking up one poster.
“What are you doing!”
“Returning the favour!” yelled Roxas, and he jumped first onto the roof of a shed.
Clinging to the posters, Roxas leapt onto the next roof.
Now Hayner was chasing behind, clinging to Roxas’ legs.
“That’s dangerous, Hayner!”
“Shut up! I’m not about to let you beat me!”
Like that, the two pushed and struggled on the roof, but, they rolled off the slope.
“Waaaah!” the pair shrieked in unison.
“Hurry up and get off me!”
Hayner had ridden Roxas as he fell. Roxas rubbed his bumped head.
“That happened because you’re so violent, Roxas!”
“That’s my line!”
The two began rolling around struggling for a second time. There was a person’s shadow next to them.
“Shut up! Who was it! Being violent on people’s rooves!” a townsman scowled down at the two.
“…Sorry…” the pair said in a small voice, after scrambling to their feet and bowing.
“Roxas and Hayner, is it! It’s okay to be energetic, but have some moderation!” The angry man went back inside his house.
“You made him mad, didn’t you!”
“It was your fault, Hayner!”
“That’s my line!”
The two argued again, then looked at each other, and laughed.
“Because losing ain’t possible!”
And then the two ran off in separate directions.
Three posters left.
Roxas jumped down from a roof, and looked around for any more spaces to stick.
That reminds me, I haven’t seen Hayner. Wonder where he’s stuck posters?
Then, just as Roxas stuck a poster on a notice board behind a building, he saw Hayner running in the building’s shadow. He yelled out without thinking.
Hayner stopped and spun to face that spot.
“How many left?”
“One!” Hayner yelled, and went running off.
I’ve got two posters left, so… if I were losing I’d lose by one poster… um… am I going to lose?!
Roxas ran, panicking, and climbed to the second floor from a back alley’s rubbish dump.
Posters have been stuck everywhere already.
He saw a notice board right in front of him, with no posters on it at all.
One left. Where’s the last notice board?!
Roxas jumped off the house and ran.
I don’t see any. Far off, I can see Hayner running the same as me. Seems like Hayner’s looking for the last notice board too.
He ran around in the plaza, but didn’t find any notice boards.
Roxas stopped and thought.
He ran for the notice board which had had the job information, bang smack in the middle of the wide space.
That notice board had some space on it, I’m sure.
Roxas ran in first, and stuck up the last poster.
Hayner had run there just a little too late.
“…I lost…” Hayner dropped to his knees, dejected.
“I win!” said Roxas, looking down at Hayner.
“I know… I’d better treat you to ice cream, right…”
“I don’t want ice cream,” Roxas said, taking Hayner’s hand and helping him up. “Instead of that, what about fried noodles at the beach?” Roxas laughed, and Hayner also smiled.
If we don’t do at least one more job, we won’t make the target sum.
It doesn’t really look like we’ll get enough for the yearned-after watermelon, but, I think I can keep working if it’s to get to the beach.
“Okay, will we do our best one more time!”
Roxas and Hayner called out to each other, and ran off for the next job.
In Twilight Town, the sun glowed red as it set. From the top of a clock tower, Roxas watched the sunset vaguely, a sea-salt ice cream in his hand. From far off, the sound of the train could be heard; bells rang out. The fond sight of the sunset was the same as always.
“Your ice cream is melting,” said Olette, peering worriedly at Roxas’ face. The sea-salt ice cream in Roxas’ hand was melting just a little bit.
“I’m sorry…” murmured Roxas, staring at his melting ice cream.
In the end, they hadn’t been able to go to the beach.
The money they had all worked so hard to gather had gone somewhere.
On the way to the station, Roxas had bumped into a man wearing a black coat, and fallen. And then, when he had gotten back up—the money had disappeared somewhere.
I think that man probably stole it.
But, despite that, everyone else said they hadn’t seen the man.
Just like that memory thief yesterday, things I don’t really understand keep happening, and it makes me feel kind of sick.
Roxas was lost in thought, his head bowed.
“I said not to worry about it!” said Hayner, angrily.
“But, I don’t really understand what it all means,” sighed Pence.
“…It’s weird,” said Olette.
“Yeah,” Hayner replied.
“—Can you feel Sora…”
“Huh?” Hayner gave Roxas a weird look.
The words Roxas had said unconsciously had been whispered by that black coated man, when he’d bumped into him.
Who is Sora?
“We can go tomorrow, right?” Hayner, who had finished his ice cream, stood up.
“Yeah. We still have some summer holidays!”said Pence, encouragingly.
“Will we call it a day?” Olette stood up.
“Yeah…” Roxas’ expression was gloomy.
“Well, see you tomorrow!” Hayner and Pence started off down the clock tower.
“Don’t worry about it too much, okay?” Olette said over her shoulder, as she went to leave the clock tower. Roxas gave a small nod at her words, and polished off his ice-cream in a hurry, scrambling to his feet.
The sun was sinking.
It should be the same sunset as always. Why does it look different, somehow?
Something is about to change—?
Am I remembering this view…?
He heard Pence’s voice, calling out to him from below the clock tower.
“I’m coming!” Roxas replied, and turned his back on the sunset, dashing down the clock tower.
In the end, we couldn’t go to the sea.
But, I’d be happy if we could go tomorrow.
I want to go to the sea with everyone.
Because, we promised we’d all go to the beach when we got a holiday.
That’s–that’s decided. Hayner and Pence, and Olette, and me all promised we’d go to the sea together.
See, if I close my eyes, I can hear the good old sound of the waves.
Blue sea, blue sky.
We’ll watch the sinking sun together on the beach.
Different to the sunset we always see, a special sunset.
Twilight Town’s setting sun–was shining on Roxas’ back.
Continue to Episode 2: The Nightmare Before Christmas