A bright, cheerful boy in a red baseball cap and a bat across his back, a cute, gaze-attracting girl with a ribbon in her curly blonde hair, and a skinny, genius with thin-framed glasses.
Our three chums walked along together, smiling. While they left their trail of little footprints along the yellow sand of the desert nothing seemed to bother them one bit—not even the intense midsummer sun glaring overhead, sending boiling sunlight burning down on them, or the tiresome, dreary scene that stretched out endlessly, continuing on forever and ever without an end in sight.
This may come as a shock, and it’s certainly out of character, because I was not fond of the Lord of The Rings films, but one thing I love in RPGs: the characters just walking around, wallowing in their heroism a little, exploring. (Editor’s note to self—this is why you don’t hate EarthBound Zero.)
The boy in glasses would look at his watch, then at the sun, and decide which direction they would go next.
Rock, paper, scissors! The boy in the cap’s face turned beet red. Having lost, hepulled all the luggage over his shoulder and began running ahead.
The ribbon girl sang a funny song that she had learned from somewhere in her pretty voice, and made everyone laugh.
If sand got into someone’s shoes, someone would lend a shoulder to lean on; if someone opened up a can of juice, they passed it around and drank it in turns.
After a while, the boy in the red cap stopped walking and blurted something out. Everyone put down their luggage. The boy in glasses took out a short pen-like object. It flipped apart and opened into a parasol. They all sat down under the makeshift shade, and the ribbon girl spread out a picnic mat and handed out wet towels. The boy in the cap pulled something out of his backpack with the proverbial drumroll, and—ta-da! Wrapped hamburgers for all. The boy in glasses connected some kind of cord to the parasol and set out a boxy object that seemed to be covered in foil. It looked like the parasol had become a solar battery, and the foil box was a microwave.
Ding! The hamburgers were piping hot, and everyone dug in.
Can anything ruin our heroes’ makeshift domestic tranquility? How about… a fat kid with friendship issues!
What the hell… it’s like they’re having a damn picnic…!
On the other side of the sky, far, far away, a solitary stare glared on over clenched teeth.
The three kids, of course, went on chatting, laughing, and smacking their lips at their food without a single inkling that someone was watching them from afar.
Dammit… Just you wait… wait and see—I’m gonna take you down…!
“You’ll regret this!”
His furious scream sounded throughout the room, surprising him.
Pokey instinctively blinked his tiny, cold blue eyes for a moment.
I excerpt this not only because Pokey is stalking them, but because this is probably the only descriptive passage in the book in which Saori Kumi does not take advantage of an opportunity to call Pokey lardbucket, or fatso, or fattie fat fat.
Later—a descriptive passage where she does! And a look at the kind of music Pokey loves, and a Japanese lady’s idea of said genre’s lyrics.