Ryu woke first. The sound of the kids turning up the music drove him from a drunken sleep to awareness in the evening cool. Half past nine and the sun had yet to set. Above him the sky darkened the further east he looked, and the few clouds there each had a golden edge facing west.

Amazing place. Would have visited Sweden long ago if I only knew about the summer light. He stretched and woke his sister. “Sis, seems dinner's over.”

She protested, but in the end she only wrapped her blanket tighter around herself, rose and joined him in search for the others.

Down the slope, on the eastern side of the islet the kids, ranging from thirteen to over twenty had set up both music and link to Japan. Ryu idly wondered what friends they had over there awake at this time in the morning, but maybe those linked just hadn't gone to sleep yet.

He saw how quite a few of the local youth had joined the event. For them it was probably just another opportunity for a party. Teenagers in Sweden had their long summer break now. For them the presence of a large group of foreigners wasn’t as strange as it actually was. It had taken a lot of pulling strings, cajoling and outright bullying to force the permissions needed for middle and high schoolers to take over a week’s worth of leave during their spring trimester. He and Urufu had done most of the cajoling, Kuri all of the bullying and Yukio and Kyoko lay behind the pulling of strings. They were scarily good at that. Noriko, with that insane intellect of hers, produced all documents needed; half of them outright forgeries. Ryu didn’t even want to guess how she did it.

He turned to his sister and pushed his prior thoughts aside. “Noriko, I doubt we're joining the link-up. If I recall correctly Kuri said something about a barbecue on the backside.” He looked at his sister watching how another triplet of locals joined the dancing. “Let's see if we can find them.”

It only took them a couple of minutes. They climbed a few wooden stairs and ended up on a terrace where Urufu poured tin foil wrapped somethings onto a grill.

What's burning?” Ryu joked.

Urufu turned and laughed. “Making baked potatoes. Potatoes first. The meat comes later.”

Noriko burst out laughing as well. “Potatoes. That's how you viewed them, isn't it?”

Our club members?” Urufu stopped laughing and looked serious for a moment. “I'm not that arrogant any longer.” He smirked. “But I guess I was. Yeah, back then the meat came later.”


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