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Request 02: Air in G is the third scenario in Flower, Sun, and Rain. It depicts the initial meeting between Sumio Mondo and Stephan Charbonie.

SummaryEdit

The Request begins with Sumio waking up in his room again, much like he did in the previous Request, to his phone ringing. Edo tells him over the phone to come down to the lobby to get his breakfast and hurry to the airport, just like last time. Sumio gets up and considers what happened previously over his coffee. He concludes that he must have fallen asleep after Sister Phantom left, and that the plane's explosion was merely a dream, inspired by Edo telling him about the bomb put onto a plane. Before he can leave his room, however, Edo calls him again, and tells him that Stephan Charbonie of Room 404 wishes to speak with him.

Edo puts Stephan through, who speaks vaguely about inspiration before introducing himself: a systems engineering specialist who is writing a paper while staying in the hotel. He asks Sumio to retrieve his suitcase from the hotel's pool for him before hanging up. Elsewhere, Mati Sding pushes a cart out of the floor's hallway and into the stairwell, where it gets caught up on a ball bouncing down from a higher floor and tumbles down the stairs, blocking the route to the third and lower floors. Back with Sumio, he decides to ignore Stephan's request and head to the lobby regardless.

When he exits the stairwell, though, he sees Mati and the toppled cart. Sumio offers to help her with it, but his help is refused due to its reversal of the roles and relationship between a hotel's staff and its guests. Sumio then notices the ball Mati tripped on, which is actually a bag shaped like a soccer ball, and realizes that it is the bag Stephan asked Sumio to recover. Mati says that she will take care of it and bring it to his room. She also tells Sumio that Edo is in the mini-bar on the roof of the building, as Sumio is unable to get to the lobby.

Sumio reaches the roof of the hotel, on which are the aforementioned pool and mini-bar. It also has a small public phone, which begins to ring when Sumio gets near it. He picks it up to find Stephan on the other end again, who is upset that Mati brought him the bag instead of Sumio. Stephan then begins to talk about soccer/football while berating Sumio for expressing confusion. He asks Sumio who the "trequartista whom [he] adores" is, and then tells him to go talk to a woman on the roof named Yayoi.

Sumio approaches Yayoi Hanayama, who is relaxing by the pool, and asks her if she knows anything about the things Stephan was talking about, but she doesn't know. She does, however, know Stephan, and she describes him derisively as a creep who has been here for the last three months, staying in his room the entire time. Sumio continues asking her questions and she is able translate some of the italian words and phrases that Stephan had been saying, including "La vita continua" - "life goes on". Yayoi's cell phone suddenly rings, and it's Stephan again, wanting to talk to Sumio.

Stephan speaks about Sumio's attempts to solve his riddles with metaphors that mix both soccer and video games themselves ("That's right, this is a game! I'm glad you are aware of that too!"). He also alludes to Edo being the next step in the puzzle. Before talking to Edo, though, Sumio continues to speak with Yayoi, who mentions that she's been hearing about Sumio. They muse over Stephan's riddles, narrowing it down to more soccer terminology. Yayoi changes the subject to that of Catherine, saying that she doesn't suit Sumio at all. He agrees with her, as he finds Catherine too good for him. Sumio and Yayoi part on amiable terms.

Sumio goes over to the mini-bar where Edo is. They talk about the phrase "la vita continua", which reminds Edo of a certain famous "Fantasista" soccer player who once said those words, Alberto Ferrente. Edo recounts a match Ferrente played in 1994, between Italy and Brazil in the final of the World Cup, where neither team had scored a single point for the full ninety minutes. The match came down to a penalty shoot-out, and Ferrente was chosen to kick the ball. Tragically, he messed up the kick and lost the game for Italy - as he turned away, he muttered those words, "la vita continua", life goes on.

Sumio goes on to ask Edo about Stephan; Edo explains that Stephan is French, and a VIP who visits the hotel several times a year. This reminds Sumio of a soccer game as well, that of the 1998 International Cup in France, where France won the final against Brazil. Edo hints to Sumio that there might be something about soccer in the guidebook. Sumio wanders back over to Yayoi, and they get on the subject of one of Yayoi's ex-boyfriends, a Dutch man who was into the Spanish League of soccer. She mentions the formations of soccer, also known as systems, something Stephan had mentioned.

With nothing else to do, Sumio questions Edo some more, about the word "trequartista". It turns out to be an attacking soccer position, and Edo clarifies more about the way the systems work. After gathering enough information, he goes down to Stephan's room, 404. Stephan isn't there, but his ball-shaped case is. Sumio jacks into it with Catherine and inputs the formation for Italy's team, Viemonte, from the guidebook. The case opens, revealing a cell phone. It rings, and Sumio answers - it's Stephan yet again. He tests Sumio one last time on the question of Stephan's favorite Fantasista - the answer is Alberto Ferrente, of course.

Stephan describes his puzzle as an "intellectual football game", and indicates that Sumio has won, all according to plan. He asks Sumio about the feeling of inspiration that comes up when solving a puzzle, but Sumio responds derisively and hangs up. He closes up the bag and kicks it out towards the balcony; it goes flying high into the air, colliding with a passing plane which explodes on the impact.

Elsewhere, Toriko Kusabi is still chasing Christina through the hall, who is now crawling towards the stairs. On the way, Toriko runs into Mati, who reminds her not to run in the hallways. Toriko apologizes and promises not to.


☆Welcome back☆Another explosion...!☆Quite an impressive shot!☆Not a Fantasista, but a bomber kick!☆Even the Lion of Argentina would pale!☆To tell the truth, I also love football, especially Rangers!☆Mr. Charbonie still has much to learn about the game☆He doesn't know what the real spectacle is...☆I shall be waiting with a smile at the Front Desk☆

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