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Story 03 – Building More Happiness (Part 6)

The first one to jump into the basket is Hana, as the smallest member. Then, Ryu and Ken both jump in at the same time. Once inside, Ryu offers Hana to sit on top of her head, and Hana gleefully agrees.

“This way, you can also see the scenery with us.” Ryu said when Hana lands on her head, full of joy.

Next is Jun. Because he is a bit tall, he needs to crouch a little so he does not hit the burner used to keep the balloon afloat. But overall, there is no problem with him getting inside of the basket. Then, Toyu is the last person to enter the balloon. He is still a bit ecstatic with the work they have completed, as he is bouncing around while clapping his hand.

“Now that we are all aboard, can you give us a speech, Jun?” Toyu smiles at Jun, remembering how Jun suddenly gave a speech before they did the work. However, Jun shakes his head as an answer.

“I think I have said my parts. Maybe Ryu would like to say something instead?”

“E-eh? Me?” Ryu was astonished. However, it was clear to Jun that Ryu is the one that is most excited for this project. That is why Jun wanted Ryu to be the one that sends them off. “O-okay then, if you say so…”

Ryu clears her throat. As she did so, a small ember can be seen between her mouths. This is also another sign of how excited she is.

“First of all, thank you to Jun for giving me this opportunity.” As Ryu said, she looks at Jun with a very big grin. “I was very stubborn when Jun told us that this project might not be a good idea. Deep down, even now, I still think that Jun is right.”

Ryu closes her eyes as she finishes talking.

“However,” She opens her eyes again. “I have seen many things from many books, that the world outside of our beloved Toyu Land is filled with wondrous things!”

“It is as Jun has feared! There might be danger out there. Our journey might not be smooth sailing. However, it is said that we cannot have happiness without a little bit of other feelings!”

“That is why I want to go with this project that Toyu put forward. I cannot promise you guys anything, even safety. However, there is a possibility that we will get even more happiness and experiences than what we already have in Toyu Land.”

Then, Ryu pauses for a while.

“If any of you would like to bail out right now… I would understand…”

It was clear that it takes all of Ryu’s courage to say that. Despite not being the leader, Ryu was the one that actively pushed everyone to work. She would feel bad if some–or even all of them would not want to join their adventure. So she has to say it, even if it hurts her when someone would not follow her.

“Huh? What are you talking about, Ryu? This is my project, you know. Why would I bail?” Toyu was the first one to answer Ryu’s doubt.

“Hmm.. I believe I have agreed with you about this project, Ryu. We will be fine.” Jun chimes in and pats her shoulder.

“Haha, I will feel bad if any of you need a hug and I am not there to give you one. So obviously, I will go.” Ken, with a big smile on his face, reassures Ryu.

“Protecting all of you has always been my job in Toyu Land. I am sure it also extends to places we will go from now on!” Cheerfully, Hana adds in to the conversation.

“E-everyone… Thank you!” With everyone’s answers to Ryu’s statement, the clouds of doubt inside her head disappear and excitement starts to rekindle in her eyes.

“IT IS TIME TO CUT THE ROPES!!!” Toyu suddenly breaks the heartwarming atmosphere and hands over a pair of scissors to everyone. “Let’s use those scissors to fly away!”

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With his cues and countdown, everyone cuts the rope that anchors the balloon to the ground. After they throw the scissors to the ground, they all yell happily.

“LET’S BEGIN OUR ADVENTURE!” Toyu shouts full of vigor.

“YEAH!!!”

The balloon finally lifts off, and the adventure of Toyu and friends begin. What will be waiting for them on their first adventure?!