Rose woke up from her sleep as a voice managed to make its way into her room. Rose didn’t even open her eyes as she focused on the words that could reach her.

“Oh Hitomi. Good morning. Are you looking for Rose?” Rose put together what she was hearing. Her mother must have picked up the phone while she was asleep, and Hitomi had called her for some reason. With that put together, she could focus without having to think much more. “She’s been sleeping all this morning. Didn’t even hear when I called to get her for breakfast.” Rose’s stomach reacted to the prospects of food. Rose quickly shushed it as she focused as hard as she could. “-you sure? I’m sure she’ll be happy to see you. Thanks for taking care of my daughter.” There was a brief silence. “Alright, I’ll prepare something for you when you get here. No, it’s no trouble at all. I’ll just have Rose make up for the work~” Rose groaned in frustration as her workload for the day just increased despite how tired she was.

“Guess I have to get up.” Her body immediately refused. “Yeah, maybe not.”

“Rose, you have to wake up at some point.” Her mother had opened the door to her room, turning on the light to force her body to wake up. “How long were you up till finishing homework?”

“Three.”

“Three am?! Rose, you have to get your sleep. I know it’s the weekend, but you have your chores to take care of today.”

“I know. I just wanted to make sure I didn’t have to do anything today so I could not be a bother to you.”

“Rose... “ Her mother sighed, turning around in the doorway. “I’ll make you some black tea. Let’s get that energy back into you, ok?”

“Thank you~” As her mother left the room, Rose forced herself out of bed, no longer listening to the enchanting alure that the bed sung. She quickly took care of her morning routine and headed downstairs. “Alright, Rose Edith, reporting for duty!”

“At ease.” Her mother played along with her. “You awake now?”

“Not really, but I’m not gonna let that stop me. If I fall asleep I’m going to need you to wake me up.”

“Must have been some really hard homework.” Rose sat down at the small table in the kitchen, where a cup of tea was already waiting for her.

“I don’t think it was supposed to be, but I had a hard time getting the right answer. I got the hang of it after a few dozen tries, so I should be good for the test.”

“It’s good that you worked through it, but please feel free to ask either one of us for help if you need it.”

“Hehehe… I still have a bit of pride. If I know I can do it, I’m gonna do my best by myself.”

“Just make sure you ask for help if you need it. I’m sure Hitomi can help you with anything you have trouble with.”

“Yeah… ummm, you talked with her earlier right?”

“Oh you overheard that? Yes, Hitomi was worried about you overworking yourself and decided to come. She can help you with your chores.”

“Guh.” Rose slumped over the table, the dread of how much work was piled up waving over her once again. “It would be rude to have Hitomi help me. I’ll do it myself.”

“Then you’ll need a big meal. It’s a shame that you didn’t wake up when I was cooking everything.”

“Wait what time is it?” Rose had been so busy getting ready that she never once looked at any of the clocks around her. In their kitchen was a simple wall clock, which informed her of just how late she had woken up. “I’m so sorry!”

“Just think of this as both breakfast and lunch. I believe they call it brunch.” Despite the passive complaints from her mother, she still prepared a rather large meal for her to eat. It included what she probably guessed was the breakfast she missed and some more hearty sides like rice. “I’ll be eating something small myself, so that we can both work hard this afternoon.”

“Rwigt!” Rose spoke with her mouth full, causing her mother to stare at her. “Sorry.” Rose apologized before continuing to wolf down her food. Her lack of actual energy became apparent once her eyes laid sight on the food, and her body reacted explosively to make sure that she had the energy to function. As the caffeine from the tea began to enter her blood, her usual energy began to pop back into existence. “Thanks for the food!” Rose stood up, running back up to her room to get her working clothes on. By the time that she was back downstairs, her mother had finished her meal and was moving to get her outfit back in order. “Ugh.” As her body came to a stop, the fact that she had eaten too quickly had hit her like a stone. “I’m so stupid.”

“Not stupid, just a little brazen. Do you remember your chores for the day?”

“Ummm… sweep the walkway, take out the trash, dust the relic, train?” Rose looked at her mother, hoping that she had managed to remember everything correctly.

“Good. We’ll begin training at night today, since Hitomi is coming over.” With that out of the way, her mother walked out of the room and towards the front door. Rose followed suit, readying herself for a day of work. It was reasonable nice outside. The spring air was now dry as the moisture fell only a few days ago and the sun was directly overhead. The wind was light, but would pick up every so often. Her mother picked up on the sudden bursts almost immediately. “When you are sweeping make sure to pick up anything that is brought over by the winds. If you can’t seem to get something, try waiting for the wind to slow down.”

“Got it. Pick up things brought by the wind. If I can’t, wait for the wind to calm down.”

“Good girl. Let’s get to work!”

“Ok!” The two split up as they each went to accomplish what they set out for. Rose fetched the broom from the storage closet and by the time she got back Hitomi was already there. “Hitomi!” Rose ran over to her, greeting her with a bow. “How are you- ah sorry, How are you today?” Rose switched the flip in her head that told her that she needed to be speaking Japanese rather than English.

“You can speak english if you want. I can’t speak it well myself, but I understand it to a basic level.”

“If you say so. Mom! Hitomi is here!”

“Give me second.”

“Are you sure you want to be here Hitomi? There isn’t much to do here.”

“Well, I heard you were sleeping in today, so I decided to help motivate you to do your best. Here.” Hitomi held out a small plate neatly wrapped with a patterned cloth. “Some sweets. We had some left over from a few days ago and I didn’t have a chance to eat them yet. You’ll probably make better use than me. And yes, I’m sure.”

“If you say so. Umm.. Umm… I’ll go bring these inside. Please wait here.” Rose took the small plate and ran into the shrine, playing it on the first thing she could before running back. “Haa… haaa… there. Alright, I have a great idea!”

“Do you?”

“Yes. It’s, let  me think, oh! Let’s write about the shrine today! That’ll give you something to do!”

“I thought something like this might happen, but I didn’t bring my journal with me.”

“You have a good memory, it’ll work out. Look, we can ask mom about it!” Rose pointed at her mother, who had just entered their line of sight.

“Ask me about what? Also stop screaming, you’ll scare away visitors.”

“Sorry.” Rose took a hit on the head with the hilt of the sword, but it just bounced back at her mother.

“Good afternoon Mrs. Edith. I hope I’m not intruding on your day of work.”

“Not at all. It’s always nice to see you. I wish Gratia was around to welcome you as well, but she’s off doing her duties as well.”

“Please give her my greetings as well.” Their exchange happened in a mixture of Japanese and English much like how Rose and Hitomi talked to each other. “Do you know what we are doing for our social studies project?”

“Yes.” She answered simply, allowing Hitomi to get whatever information she needed on her own.

“We want to write about the shrine, what can you tell us about it?”

“To be honest, I can only tell you about the last twenty years or so, is that ok?”

“Yes!” Rose answered, and was quickly hit on the end again for shouting. “I forgot, sorry.”

“Before we arrived here, this shrine was to a local god. I don’t know it’s name, but given how weak it was I’m guessing that it’s name was only know here. Much like Gratia, they were a god of luck, and the people came here to pray many times for good fortune. After Rose was born, we moved in, and Gratia quickly took ownership of the position. I suppose you can’t really write about that. Anyway, I came along with her, and took the position of head Shrine Maiden. Rose is the shrine maiden in training. There are no other workers here.”

“How about the relic?” As Mrs.Edith began to slow down, Hitomi asked a follow up question.

“Ah yes. Thank you, that would be important. The relic here is a sword from about nine hundred years ago. It’s kept at the back of the shrine, and is only taken out for festivals. It doesn’t have a name as far as we know, so we just call it the sword of luck.”

“Oh, I didn’t know that.” Hitomi said in surprise. “Ah, forgive me, I didn’t mean to sound rude.”

“It’s fine. I’m glad I could find something you didn’t know already. There are many cool things about the shrine since it’s so old, so I suggest walking around and checking them out when you have the time. Rose will also see things she has been ignoring her whole life. Was that good for your assignment?”

“Yes, thank you.”

“Thank you Mom!”

“You are welcome. You might see me around. Please feel free to bother me if you need anything.”

“Okay!” Rose waved as her mother went back into the shrine. “Hitomi, you remember all of that?”

“Yeah, I think I’ll remember it. Luckily it wasn’t too long. Where are going to start sweeping?”

“Hmm… good question… if the wind picks up every so often then… let’s see… we should start near the shrine and head down. The end of the path is most likely to pick up extra things. Right?”
“I’m impressed, that’s a really good plan.”

“Hehehe, all my hard work has given me all this knowledge! Now I’ll show you my cleaning technique, passed down for a generation.” Rose did her best to act energetic even if her brain was still a bit hazy from staying up so late. Hitomi followed her to the front of the shrine as she began to sweep carefully around the area. “Hmm, do you see anything interesting here?”

“This shrine really is old. I’m surprised it’s still standing.” Hitomi was looking around the shrine as closely as she could. It was still a wooden structure that for the most part must have been the original due to how the structure was built. To call it lucky to survive the weather and war still in tact like this was a miracle. However it wasn’t completely lacking in signs of age, as small scratches and chipped pieces of wood were found everywhere. “Nothing is particularly interesting, but the-” Both girls looked towards the entrance to the shrine, where a few people were walking from. “Oh, it’s just visitors.”

“I got a little scared too. Let’s wave to them.” Rose welcomed them energetically before turning around and yawning. “Geez, I got plenty of sleep stupid body.”

“You still have the rest of your chores to do.”

“Don’t remind me. Come on, let’s move on up. The sooner I finish this the sooner I can work on the other stuff.”

“I’ll keep looking for things to write about. Why don’t you tell me what you know?”

“Oh I don’t know anything my mom doesn’t know. It takes fifty minutes to sweep the path to the shrine, does that count?” Hitomi couldn’t help but laugh. “It’s not like I can say anything else, no one would believe you!”

“I know, I know, but it is still funny how that is the thing you choose to say. Also at your current pace, you won’t be done in fifty minutes.”

“It’s this wind. There is more here than usual for the spring season. We don't have any cherry blossom trees here for that reason.”

“I don’t think you have much of a choice in that matter.”

“We could have always got some. They are quite popular with the kids these days.”

“I’m sure Mrs. Edith would be mad if she heard that impression of her.”

“Really? I thought I did a good job.” Rose laughed as she moved onto the next stage of the path. “I think it would seem like we are trying too hard to fit in. We already look and sound different than the locals.”

“That’s rather observant of you.”

“It’s something my parents bring up a lot. We don’t want to seem like we are forcing people to accept us. Ok, that’s also something my parents say. To be honest this kinda stuff is a bit too tough for me. Everyone is so nice here, so I never thought it was a problem.”

“I can only guess about how much trouble your parents actually had when they came here. Maybe we should ask about that?”

“You think mom will take about that? It sounds like a bad memory. What do you think?”

“I don’t snoop where I don’t need, so I don’t know. Just remember that if you ask her, regardless of what she says, I’ll probably know no matter what.”

“I don’t want that.” Rose was immediate in her refusal to bring it up to her mom. “I won’t make you see something sad on purpose.”

“You don’t have to be so serious.”

“How dare you, I’m always serious.”

“That’s my thing. Don’t steal my personality from me now.”

“I feel like I’d have to try so hard to do that. I’m sure it’s easier to act like me.”

“You are sorely mistaken. I might pass out trying to mimic you for only a few minutes.”

“That’s why I can’t run very fast. Or far. Or at all.” Rose laughed as she moved further down the path. “I think I’m just really bad at spending my energy quickly. But things like this are really easy.”

“Even half asleep you can manage it. You’ve been trained well.”
“Don’t remind me how tired I am~ I’m doing my best to stay awake. It’s weird how sleeping the same amount doesn’t mean much if you go to sleep later than usual.”

“I actually don’t know why that is. Do you want me to see if I can find something about it?”

“No, I don’t plan on doing that again.” Although she wasn’t sure that she could uphold that plan she made this promise not only to Hitomi but also herself. “See anything interesting?”

“Rose we are in the middle of the pathway.” Rose looked up from sweeping to see that Hitomi was correct in their placement.

“I really am going slow. I expected we’d be near the statues out front.”

“Well why don’t you tell me about them here, so we can look for other things when we get there?”

“Ok! Those statues are dogs that warn us if some kind of spirit approaches. Have you ever seen my mom take care of a spirit?”

“I haven’t. I doubt I can write about that sadly.” Rose knew Hitomi was right, as no one would believe them, but it was still sad to hear it.

“Hahaha, yeah, you are right. It’s really cool though, so I hope you see it sometime. I forget what the dogs are called, it’s some Japanese term that I never hear outside of when other people are talking about it.”

“They seem like good dogs. Did they go off earlier by chance?”

“Yeah, they did! I’m surprised you could hear it! Sometimes they get bored and tell us if someone is approaching at all. Sorry about that!”

“Pay no mind, I’m… use to being able to hear weird things after all. Does it go off when you sleep?”

“I’m a pretty heavy sleeper so I’ve never woken up from it, but I’m sure it happens. It’s not like they care what time of day it is.”

“That makes sense. I can write about how your shrine is haunted at night.”

“Hmmm…” Rose was conflicted about how to feel about that. Sure, the thought of people thinking where she lived has ghosts around it might be bad, but at the same time it might also get more people to come due to curiosity.

“I was joking. If you want to use that to get people here, please don’t mention me.”

“Don’t want any of the blame if it goes wrong?”

“How very perceptive.”

“Even I can understand not wanting to be blamed for things. However this wind can take all the blame for this taking so long! Stop picking up!” The few visitors around them gave them a glance. “Right, tired, forgot about where I am.”

“The wind really is making this take longer than it should. Even with me looking around I have time to mess with you.”

“Wait what do you mean by mess with me?”

“Don’t worry about it. You should be more worried about all of the people that are coming soon.”

“Hitomi, can I ask a favor of you?”

“Sure, and yes.”

‘Ummm, it might be because I’m tired, but that sentence didn’t make much sense.”

“I’ll let you ask a favor of me, and I’ll be glad to help you out sweeping. You need to take care of the trash before everyone gets here right?”

“Yeah! Thanks!” Rose handed Hitomi the broom and ran over to the side of the shrine. There was a few bags of trash waiting for her; some from the cleaning today and less from the house. Taking one at a time, Rose slowly cleared out the bags. While it was unlikely for someone to come around to the side in the first place, the smell would be obvious due to the winds and the small yard they worked with. “Haa...so heavy!” The last bag was the largest of the bunch. Even with both hands and putting all her strength into carrying it, she was barely able to lift it off the ground. The combined time of every other bag matched how long it took for her to move her way over to the dumpster they could use.  “Heave! Ho!” With a shout, she threw the bag in. She took a second to regain her strength, only to get light headed as soon as she tried to move again. “Come on eyes, I’m not done just yet.”Her vision returned to her within moments, but to her it felt like minutes. “Alright. I can’t let Hitomi see me like this.” Rose walked back to the main path of the shrine, looking down it to see where Hitomi was along it. At the very end with the statues she stood with the broom in hand. “Hitomi, you finished?”

“Do you have any idea how long you’ve been gone?”

“Ummm, ten minutes?”

“Good guess. Twelve minutes is more accurate. It didn’t take long to finish what little you had left, so I tried to find something interesting here. The statues are nice, but they don’t talk or have any markings on them.”

“Well that’s ok. Now that I’m done with those two chores, we can go look around in the shrine. I’m sure there are plenty of cool things we will see!” While Hitomi didn’t find anything on the outside that was interesting, the inside of the shrine could hold a number of untold secrets. “I’m in charge of dusting the relic, but that also means the rest of the area as well.”

“Don’t let me keep you here. Or us here? Let’s just get going.”

“You don’t have to try saying things in english if you aren’t comfortable. The expressions are really weird.”

“I feel bad having to speak a different language when you have to speak Japanese outside of here.” While she complained, she had to say it in Japanese due to her inability to get her message across in english without stumbling. “I will do my best.”

“I’ll do my best too!” Rose was caught up in Hitomi’s enthusiasm and multiplied it as she ran towards the shrine to begin her work. However her enthusiasm died pretty quickly as her body failed to meet her expectations and she ran out of breath before getting inside. “Hitomi, lend me your athletic ability!”

“That’s not how it works. You shouldn’t push yourself. You have bad stamina on a good day.”

“You are… right… give me a second.” Rose took a moment to recover. Even that took longer than usual, making her pout. “Why do we tire out so easily?!”

“We actually have one of the best staminas when compared to other animals when it comes to long distance running. You are an exception.”

“That is the nicest way to say that, so I appreciate it.” Rose ignored the negative connotation and jogged the rest of the way into the shrine. The relic was housed in a separate building to the main shrine, although given its placement one wouldn’t think so. The small building only had two rooms; an entrance hall that had a variety of boxes to store cleaning materials to be used in the relic room and keep personal belongings safe.

“I’ve never been in here before. I have to take off my shoes right?”

“Yeah. We try to keep the dust in here as low as possible, but you know, dust always finds a way to cover itself over everything that stands still.”

“Isn’t dust just skin that sheds off of us?”

“What?! Really?! Wait if we are trying to stop dust from showing up, but still go into the room, we are just adding dust every time we enter the room, so should we just never-”

“You are thinking too hard about it. It’s not just dead skin I should have been more clear. Sorry.” Hitomi quickly backtracked to correct herself. Rose quickly calmed down, smacking herself in the head after she realized what she just did. “No, I overreacted. Thanks for telling me that, I was wondering how dust still showed up even with all these things we do to keep it out.”

“They don’t do many of these things in Europe, right?”

“Yeah, but I was told that things like this are common here. It’s actually really nice, so I caught on pretty quickly.” Rose took off her shoes and tossed them in a shoe box, motioning for Hitomi to do the same. While she took off her shoes, Rose grabbed the cleaning materials she need to clean the room. “Oh, and don’t touch the glass. It’s really hard to remove handprints.”

“I’m more worried about you touching it somehow.” Hitomi laughed to herself as Rose went back to the box and put on some gloves.

“I take back my appreciation from before. Can I do that?”

“Sure. I deserve it.”

“Well I’m glad we agree. Thanks for reminding me about the gloves though. I swear I normally remember. I’m just really tired!” Rose powered forward into the relic room to avoid focusing too much on how much she was messing up today. The relic room was lit by the natural light of the left side of the room, and a small lamp on the right. Compared to even the front of the shine, there was an air of sacredness that drifted in the air.

“Rose, you are too use to this. This room has the feeling of something special.” Hitomi took some time to take in the area while Rose began dusting off the glass. Rose looked around, but couldn’t pick up on what Hitomi felt.

“Why don’t you tell me about it? Maybe I can learn something.”

“Oh.. umm… I’ll do my best. Don’t make fun of me if I sound weird.” Hitomi allowed some time to pass before she felt ok with how she would explain things. “The room feel like it’s cut off from the world. No sound seems to break into here despite how old it looks. Ah, like it’s frozen in time. Does that make sense?”

“Frozen in time. Frozen in time?” Rose repeated what she said, then translated it into english to see if it made sense to her. “Yeah, I think I get it.”

“I read that in a book a few times, but I’ve never really had to use it myself. Ah, sorry, I got off track.”

“Don’t worry about it. I know you are always looking for ways to say cool things like that.”

“Then let me say some more cool stuff.” Hitomi tried to make it sound like she wasn’t embarrassed, but her voice was hushed. “Umm… the way the light enters this room is interesting. Despite having only one wall with windows, there will always be sunlight entering the room as long as the sun is up. Whoever built this place did it on purpose. I think so. It’s umm terribly hard to come up with something without someone helping me. Did what I say make sense?”

“I understood it, so I think it makes sense. I’m sure that they aren’t looking for professional level writing from us. Hopefully or else I’m going to need to rewrite what I wrote for the school. I’m still learning how to write the basic kanji so mostly everything is in hiragana.”

“I think they only expect writing like in books or such in high school. Just so you know, I do use a dictionary to figure out the kanji I don’t know. Which is a lot of them.”

“You are so smart Hitomi! Do you think they’ll let me use a dictionary during reading in class?”

“Uh, no, I don’t think so. Just pay attention in Japanese and you’ll do fine.”

“But it’s so boring! I mean learning why characters are the way they are is cool, and I learn how to write things, but… you know?”

“Barely. I actually don’t pay much attention in that class. Yes I know that’s a bit silly telling you to do what I’m not doing.”

“No you are right. Your writing is so pretty and full of strange characters, I’m sure you could be the teacher. I need to make up for the lost time.”

“You know I couldn’t be a teacher. On the other hand, you could probably teach English.”

“Maybe. I know I sound fluent, but I don’t know a lot of the rules. Kinda like my Japanese now that I think about it. I’m just better at speaking English. I mean, you can understand me right? It’s still clear?”

“Yes, you don’t have to worry about having an accent. Well, minus the one you had when you got here.” Rose laughed, nodding her head.

“Good good! Ah! All this talking made me so slow! I’m surprised you have stayed for so long.

“Well, it’s not like I had anything to do today, and things like this go faster if you are talking, right?”

“It’s actually been way longer.”

“I meant feel like it goes faster. I was also here to keep you awake.”

“Well I’m still awake. I think. This isn’t a dream right?” Rose pinched her cheeks, looking to Hitomi after she realized that such an action was unhelpful.

“I can confirm this isn’t a dream. Although if it was I could also say this. Either way, if it is a dream, you’ll be forced out by increased brain activity from conscious awareness.”

“Ummm.. could you dumb that down a bit?”

“Forgive me. When someone realizes they are in a dream, your brain starts to wake up and kicks you from the dream.”

“I see I see.” Rose nodded her head as if she had made a revelation. “Look, I’m almost done. Are you going to stay for lunch?”

“Rose, it’s almost dusk. Did you not notice the decrease in light?”

“I don’t have to answer that question out loud do I? It’s embarrassing.” Rose laughed to herself to try to downsell her own lack of awareness. “Let’s see, it’s dusk and it’s spring so it’s like, five?”  

“Five seems right. A clock would be nice here, but I understand why you wouldn’t want to break the atmosphere.”

“Are you staying for dinner then? I’m sure mom wouldn’t mind.”

“Not today. I promised I would be back for dinner. Mom is going to be here tonight.”

“Tell her I said hi! I never get to see her so make sure you do it with as much energy as you can. I want to hear it from here.”

“I’ll give it a little more than usual.” Hitomi gave a more realistic promise. “Are you done here?”

“If I knew, you’d know. I feel like I’m missing something, but I’m sure I got everything at the same time.”

“Do you need to clean the windows?”

“Ah! That’s right! Thanks Hitomi! How did you figure it out?!” Rose ran back to the first room and grabbed some cleaning supplies to get the windows cleaned.

“You ran out of the room before I answered.”

“Well I’m here now right? No better time than the present!”

“I figured it out because you didn’t notice the change in time.” Rose had to stop herself from following to the ground dramatically. She took a deep breath before continuing to clean at a normal pace.

“I fell for that line and sinker. Give me a second to regain some self-worth.”

“That’s dramatic, but I understand that feeling.”

“Did someone drop you off here or did you walk?” Rose changed the subject to remove the atmosphere of the previous one.

“I ran here. I need to train on the weekends too if I want to do well in the meets.”

“Can other kids even match you? You are so fast!”

“Of course. I only seem fast to you because I’m the only one in the track club you know. Did you end up joining any clubs?”

“No, I don’t really have the time for a club with the shrine work and homework. The only thing I’m interested in is kendo.”

“I never thought about that. You would be quite the opponent. I doubt many have been training with the sword as long as you have.”

“Right?! Plus it uses a lighter sword thing. Real swords aren’t that heavy, but my arms still get really tired. Imagine the fury I could bring with something light! I’d be like whoosh, whoosh!” Rose swung around the cleaning tool in her hand as if it was a sword. “Men!” Rose tapped Hitomi on the head. “Point!”

“You good?” Hitomi stood there with the cleaning tool resting on her head. Rose pulled it away, returning to her work.

“Maybe next year. I think I should get a bike before that so I can get to school faster. I can’t get a job either, so I’ll just have to work here until I earned it with my allowance.”

“You didn’t answer the question... “ Hitomi muttered under her breath. “Having goals is good. I wish you the best of luck.”

“I don’t need luck, I’ll do it with pure willpower alone! And maybe a little luck.” Rose finished her cleaning, and with nothing left nagging the back of her mind she felt no problem leaving the room as it was. “Looks good right? Nice and clean.”

“Yep, it’s really clean. You did a great job.”

“I was worried that I’d do a bad job, but habit beats out tiredness. Take that world!” Rose raised her hand in the air in triumph. “Don’t take that too seriously though. I still have training to go and I’d really not like to be lectured.” Hitomi caught her laugh before it could escape.

“Ahem. Let’s leave this room. I think I have plenty to write about.”

“Okay! Go get your shoes on while I put this stuff away. I’ll meet you outside.”

“Alright. Take your time.” Hitomi quickly put on her shoes, something she must have done so many times that it was as fluid as it could be. “Running shoes are suppose to be easy to be put on. It’s still not as quick as sandals.” Hitomi said before leaving the room. As soon as she left Rose sighed and dropped her shoulders.

“At this rate I’m going to fall asleep while I eat. Did Hitomi say that thing about the sandals because right now it’ll probably take me longer? Geez, come one body, I’m sure I have some source of energy to pull from. Just a little bit longer.” Using the down time of putting things away to recover her strength, she appeared outside with Hitomi against the wall. “Ah.”

“You don’t need to hide your tiredness from me. Stupid.” Hitomi tapped Rose on the head. “Rest up. I’m going to go home now. I don’t want to be a bother.”

“Hitomi…”

“I know, I know, I’m not a bother right? It was an expression. I’ll see you tomorrow. Don’t forget to sleep today.”

“I don’t think I’ll have to worry about that. I feel like if I went to bed I’d sleep for a day.”

“Don’t do that either. You of all people need to show up every day.”

“I’ll do my best! Oh, and before I forget, are you ready for our field trip?”

“No, but I’ll prepare for the day. I’ll be ready. Probably.” Hitomi began walking away, waving behind her. “See you later.”

“Bye bye!” Rose waved as Hitomi walked down the path of the shrine. The amount of people had decreased once more but it would soon increase as people came home from work. The prospect was tiring by itself, but she wasn’t alone.

“Rose! It’s time to eat! Hurry up!”

“Right! Good timing!” Rose ran into her house to eat, preparing for the rest of the day with one last refuel of energy.