Episode Zero -Encounter- Chapter 7

This is the seventh chapter of Part One: Encounter of Episode Zero -Promise- written by Jun Eishima.
The translation below is by Lissar. Because official romanizations of the names have not yet been released, they might be off.

Where would Serah like to go? Lightning wondered.
Just thinking about it made her smile. Walking around the shopping mall Lightning’s footsteps felt lighter than usual. It had been her first time in a travel agency, but the staff there were kind to her. There were plenty of places they could go even on a short vacation, they had told her. They even had sent the information data to her home address. Now on her birthday they could look through them, and make plans. It would be their first vacation together. She was sure it would make Serah happy.
Thinking about Serah's smile made her heart feel bright and warm. My treasure, Lightning thought. For that I would do anything, Lighting vowed deep in her heart. I’m sorry Serah, she thought, for not having been there for you. But I won’t make you feel lonely anymore. I won’t use my job as an excuse. I promise.
She felt like she had been running forward ever since their mother’s death. I shouldn’t have to hurry anymore, I should take time to stop and relax. For Serah, and for myself.
In the crowd she saw two oddly dressed people. One was a black haired woman whose clothes combined the flamboyant man and the bare-skinned woman that she had seen yesterday. I seem to be fated to meet black haired women lately, Lightning said to herself. But unlike the woman yesterday, this woman seemed to have a wild fearlessness about her. Maybe it was just the design of her blue clothes that made it seem that way. It was probably “the cutting edge of fashion” or something like that. The woman with her was wearing the same kind of clothing. They were probably wearing the same clothing brand. Perhaps they were visiting from Eden.
“I don’t understand anything about fashion.”
She said, sighing.
“You don’t understand what?”
A familiar voice said behind her. It was Sergeant Major Amoda. Lightning made a slight bow, and pointed to the two women she was watching earlier.
“The clothes those two are wearing…”
They weren’t there anymore. Perhaps they went into some store.
“Two women?”
“No, nevermind. I was just saying how I don’t know much about the latest fashion.”
Included those two I saw yesterday, she added silently. I don’t get it at all.
“Well maybe not you. But what about your little sister? Isn’t she interested in the… ah, latest fashion?”
“If she said that she wanted to wear those kinds of clothes…”
I wouldn’t allow it, she was about to say. But stopped. Amoda was just leading her on again. Lightning laughed humorlessly, that’s the Sergeant Major for you.
“It’s unusual to find you at the shopping mall before work, Sergeant, doing some shopping perhaps? For the latest thing?”
“Let’s stop talking about that, please.”
She said it so curtly, that Amoda gestured with his hands that he was giving in.
“I’m looking the area over, since this will be my patrol area during the festival. There will be quite a lot of changes to make around the shopping mall.”
“I’m happy that you work so hard, but don’t you think you should wait until the day of the festival to do that?”
“Well why are you here, Sergeant Major?”
She decided to tease him right back. She already knew the reason. They had known each other for a long time.
“Well, the same as you.”
“There will be nothing for you to do then, will there.”
“An old guy like me can get pretty forgetful. I’ll forget by the day of the festival.”
They looked at each other and laughed.
“I hope everything goes smoothly at the festival this year.”
In eight days the sky above Bowdam will burst with fireworks. It will be the night people who want their dreams to come true will gather. The next day would be Lightning’s twenty-first birthday. It would be the first time in a long while she would really be able to talk with Serah. Thinking about it made her heart thrum with excitement.
“Uh-oh, we can’t just stand around here all day. It’s time. Let’s go.”
Lightning straightened her clothes and looked ahead. It’s time for work. It was time for her to become a soldier.
“Understood, Sergeant Major.”
The afternoon sunlight was bright. Weaving between the happy shoppers, the two of them walked quickly. She heard people talking of silly things, and laughing brightly. The Coastal City of Bowdam was full of sights like these. Lightning watched them, still believing that Serah was watching them too.

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