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  1. #1

    [MSC] A Double Edged World

    Before starting the actual story/light novel, I would introduce our Group which we call MSC. MSC stands for "Majestically Sane Circle" and are originally members of the Visual Novel Club/Thread in Anime Crazy and migrated here in Anime Flame. And here are our members.

    1. Sonic - Chief Editor and founder of the story~! He's pretty demanding~! ^_^ Also beware of his tsukkomis.
    2. Halibonga - Scenario Writer and giver of weird ideas~! Beware of him! You'll never expect what he'll do next!
    3. Xenodriven - Scenario writer. The only sane person in the group! (lol, hope someone doesn't get mad? ^^)
    4. GunnerKevin - Scenario Writer and a follower of the tsukkomi path. Ever since the closing of AC, we've lost contact with him. Though he hasn't appeared, we believe he'll show up in the future. ^^ (Or else I'll hunt him myself in Singapore )

    Now let's start the actual thing ^^.


    Story Preview:
    This is a story about Kiyoshi Takanashi who one day had a strange dream about seeing a lifeless world. In the same dream, he saw disturbing things coupled with the appearance of his cute childhood friend, Kurogi Asuka, in a merciless combat. He woke up a few minutes later in his room.

    'Was it a dream' While that thought continue struggling in his mind, he'll discover the different sides of the world and meet companions that will share his pain.
    PROLOGUE
    Spoiler:
    Life. That is a very wonderful word to say.

    Live. That is a very wonderful thing to do.

    Somehow, past down in my life with a tiny speck of worry in my soul, I recollect and reminisce my life.

    It was a wonderful life.

    But was it really meaningful? But what does meaningful even mean?

    How does one live meaningfully?

    Those doubts created a scar in me. As if the way I live was wrong all along.

    What was my life before by the way?

    A normal life. A normal life with a friend.

    Friend?

    Who’s my friend?

    I can live and think through anything alone. I can talk to anyone.

    But as I look at myself and reflected on my said achievements. I noticed how lonely I was.

    Was I really lonely?

    I had a single friend. A childhood friend.

    But were we really close? Did I really become her friend, a friend to Kurogi Asuka?

    I could never know. I don’t want to know.

    Would I make more friends? Not a chance at all it seems.

    I was a coward but I couldn’t help but hide it.

    I was carefree and happy but never did I think that I always have been empty.

    What have I been lacking? I asked two of the person I know.

    “That is of course happiness and concrete satisfaction in life!” Jinsuke Shimuro answered with a smile.

    “Isn’t it that you haven’t fulfilled something? But that doesn’t mean you haven’t done anything you know! I just…” Asuka tried to explain and reassured me nervously.

    Both words played a rhythm in my head. None of them sounded wrong but I still wasn’t satisfied. I needed something more.

    Accomplishment.

    The single word resonated something deep in my soul.

    What was it? What could it be?

    No answer can be found. Only silence.

    A desolate thing. A Melancholy of taciturnity.

    But something, in the deepest side of my memory, a voice of someone I know shouted.

    “I live because you’re here.”

    Who was it? Who could it be?

    I couldn’t answer.

    I forgot it.

    Nothing would be made without effort. That’s why I searched for it.

    I searched for the tiny doubt and traced it for years.

    Nothing came out. But I never gave up.

    Was I able to accomplish something?

    Not yet. I shouldn’t think of that yet.

    But the flow of time was cruel. It flew mercilessly.

    With a sudden blink of an eye, summer came, and with another welcomed the dry leaves of autumn.

    Without even realizing and knowing anything, I became a sophomore already.

    This time… This time for sure. I want to see it and resolve myself to do it.

    Do the thing I should have always done.


    I prayed with earnest feelings.

    I don’t need to be impatient.

    I just need to move forward.

    Moving forward without faltering.

    It just might be my last chance...



    Chapter List:
    Last edited by Xenodriven; 08-31-2014 at 03:56 PM.
    MAL

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  2. #2
    Character Description:

    (Under Construction)
    MAL

    Do You Like Or Are At Least Interested In Visual Novels?
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  3. #3
    CHAPTER 1
    Spoiler: Was it a dream?
    Dark.

    My vision was filled with darkness. Like a person who swims through a train of thoughts, I was looking at nothing but an empty room in my mind.

    'I’m awake.' With that simple thought, I tried to slowly open my eyes as if it was preparing to adapt to the bright morning ray I usually wake up from. Sadly, there wasn’t any. It was slightly disappointing, I thought I slept long enough to wake up with the usual bright morning, but I guess I woke up a little too early.

    I fully opened my eyes and what welcomed my first clear vision was an unfamiliar, cemented ceiling. I utterly looked at it and thought of it for a while.

    'Where am I again?' I thought as I didn’t remember going out of the room at all. It could be that I am just dreaming from an RPG I’ve played this night.

    “Doing nothing will be boring so I might as well do things before I wake up.” I whispered to myself and lifted my stiffed body up.

    So you can feel stiff from dreaming something up huh?

    Before doing anything else, I quickly scanned the room. It was empty and the wall and floors had cracks almost everywhere and the cemented concrete in the room are almost worn out. But the place seems surprisingly sturdy and hard and as to verify my idea, I kicked the floor hard and it didn’t even put a crack on it.

    I walked around and noticed that i’m in a rather leveled place, so I quickly went nearby a rectangular hole on a wall. Looks like there was supposed to be a window here but mysteriously it’s completely torn off leaving only this empty space on it. I effortlessly peered through it and see something unbelievable.

    A torn landscape reaches my eyes. Tons of buildings were in ruins with the glasses of the window completely left its former owner. Domestic houses were all in tatters, but the ruined part was still at is, as if time had stopped for it. The skies were sullen.

    No, it’s not sullen. It’s just completely empty. A sad scenery engulfed my vision like things you can see in movies when a character stumbles upon a dead civilization. This is exactly what it is.

    Lifeless… It’s the only word I can find right to describe it.

    I climbed down to the lowest floor and wandered around the lifeless place. After a few moments of walking, I stumbled upon a familiar area. Kagami City’s biggest mall, the Kagami Central Mall lies completely wasted like others I have passed by. This was supposed to be a lively place, but looking at it right now just makes it look like a haunted house. I suddenly feel shivers down my spine

    Well it does have horror attractions inside it. I passed by it and continued to wander around. At one point I saw a familiar house but I don’t want to look at it and carry it through when I wake up so I ignored it. After searching for an hour, I realized something. This place was almost exactly the same as Kagami City.

    As I thought, this is just a dream. The world couldn’t just end up with me alive and not knowing it. I tried to wash away my negative thoughts and as I was trying to move on to another area, a faint sound of clashing metals suddenly alarmed through my ears.

    A battle in this kind of place?! Well knowing that this is a dream made me feel like it’s true, so I stealthily dash to where I hear the noises while making sure I don’t make a sound myself. This is a very exciting situation but my throat felt so parched and made me think this was reality for a while.

    The sounds gets louder and louder, as if warning me not to get near it, but I didn’t heed any of its call. I entered through a dark alley and hid myself for a while. Suddenly my heart throbs terribly fast and my body felt tense for a while but that feeling only made know that I’m at the right place.

    Several clashes can be heard. 1, 2 no maybe at least 3 metallic collisions rang to my ears every second. That was how intense the battle seemed. With that thought, it made me think if it was even a fight or just some random hitting of something similar?

    As to clear my doubt, I move a little to my right and sneakily looked at the area where the sound was roaring like a lion. There an indescribable scene took place.

    A person I was so familiar with entered my sight, holding a long katana on both hands and slashing through the sword of an unknown person who wears a suspicious mask and an occult-like robe. The occult-like person was holding a huge crimson hammer-like thing. It's too scary to start even describing it.

    My heart violently throbs once again, as if it’s seeking to be saved from being powerless. I gulped and sat on the floor, thinking deeply again.

    “This is a dream right?” I asked myself cursing the scene I just saw. There’s no way this could be real. The scene flashed through my mind again and clearly remembers the familiar person. It was without a doubt, Kurogi Asuka, my childhood friend with brown hair that reaches her shoulders. I closed my eyes and the loud sounds continued to enter my ears. I wanted to wake up already but the sounds mercilessly continued to haunt me down.

    'I just want to wake up.' I thought to myself over and over again and suddenly the noises cleared off. Finally it’s peaceful huh?

    A gentle feeling came fleeting to my heart. It felt happy. Drowsiness overcame my whole body and finally my consciousness was about to fade away.

    “Finally I’m going to wake up.” I blurted with a smile and a soft feeling reached my face. I wanted to know what it is but my body is already rejecting it and as I was about to swirl again to an endless pit of darkness, I once felt warmth again.

    I see. So I was cold all this time.


    ***



    Riiing!!!

    A loud ringing sound woke me up. It was the sound of my alarm clock. I reached out my hand to it and clicked a button. The sound stopped and it was finally peace.

    “Ah… It’s morning huh?” I sighed both in pain and relief as I woke up from my slumber.

    "I wish there was never school... School is such a pain.." I threw off my blanket as I complained.

    My name is Takanashi Kiyoshi, a normal High school student attending Kagami Academy.

    I rubbed my bed hair and gave out a huge yawn. As I managed to shake off my sleepiness, I walked slowly towards the bathroom when suddenly, My bedroom door burst open.

    "Kiyo-Kun!!!" A brown hair girl suddenly burst into my room as if she was the wind.

    Being a normal occurrence, I moved slightly towards my right and dodged her by reflex within a split second. Not knowing that I moved, the girl dived towards the area where I was standing and fell head first on to the floor. I looked at her fallen state.

    After what seem to be an hour, she finally got up on her knees. She looked at me with those teary eyes while pouting.

    "Kiyo-kun! Why do you avoid me every time! You could at least catch me, instead of letting me hit the floor!" She whimpered.

    "It's your fault for always barging in my room every single day while trying to hug me.” I retorted back as I looked at her with a smirk.

    She looked at me with a unsatisfied face and started to stand up. Having brown hair that reached her shoulder, with two big red eyes that could suck you in if you stared too long, a small nose and pink lips that is the same color as ripe peaches. Wearing a green blazer, covering a white blouse while wearing a brown skirt. She is Kurogi Asuka, my childhood friend and neighbor.

    As Asuka walked towards the kitchen, I suddenly tried to stop her “Hey Asuka! About last night.”

    I wanted to verify something. The dream that I had, I wanted to verify it if it was really a dream or not. Even though I tried to reject the details I saw in the dream, I can't help but be bothered by it.

    Asuka looked at me with a puzzled face with her head hanging on the side. Seeing that expression made me sigh in relief.

    I guess it can’t be real after all! I washed away my doubts and tilted my imaginary glasses “Asuka-san did you not forget to touch your boobs at night?”

    “Yes~!” She answered out with a swift response and suddenly her face went red and hits my chest repeatedly while saying “Forget what I said!”

    Her punches were soft and weak and her face which is about to cry is definitely cute. This is reality, the one I had seen last time was just a dream. I guess playing too many games really crumbles one person’s sense of reality.

    I sighed, relieved of the scene and smiled at Asuka while saying “Want to take a bath together Asuka?”

    She turned red again but I just brushed it off and proceeded to the bathroom with unusual vigor to prepare to school. While getting dressed in my school uniform, I made sure that my bed hair was fixed.

    Ever since we were little, Asuka is the one handling almost all of the household chores of the Takanashi household. My parents died on an accident before and I don't really have any relatives so Asuka's existence is really great to me but... no let's not overthink it.

    Look~! She even awkwardly steal glances on the stairs to see if I'm going down already. Coupled with the sweet aroma wafting around the house, you can say that this is the perfect picture of a married couple. Well let's not go there for now, right now is SCHOOL. Education! Like adults in society says "EDUCATION FIRST!"

    After eating breakfast, we went directly to school. Of course we did it while locking the whole house. Would be a problem if thieves will see "that thing" there.

    Several minutes after, we were in front of our classroom already and heard the voice of the teacher announcing something. Seems like class went by without us, what an ungrateful child this class is. I blame the second cowardly cat we saw on the way. Yeah, I always find myself late thanks to misfortunes I pass along the way.

    “We didn’t make it Kiyo-kun.” Asuka whispered to me with a somehow sad tone. Yeah, we didn’t make it but there’s always millions of ways to make Asuka go without being marked absent by our homeroom teacher.

    “Asuka, when I do something, be sure to sneakily go to your desk okay?” She nods without any sign of worry as if it had always been a natural thing to do. Well it was natural.

    If you have a record of 100 lates out of 100 school days and you have a lovely childhood friend at your side who you don't want to be marked late then this kind of thing is natural.

    I opened the sliding door with great force and shout “JINSUKE HIMURO! I AM POLICE INSPECTOR KIYOSHI TAKANASHI! I AM ARRESTING YOU FOR THE CASE OF PEEPING ON THE GIRL’S DRESSING ROOM! RESISTANCE IS FUTILE!”

    All eyes were directed on me and while they were at it Asuka is sneakily walking to her desk, but the said criminal never reacted or more likely he wasn’t even here. I scanned through the whole classroom and never found the said criminal.

    I found myself getting flustered as it was really embarrassing.

    “Haha~! I think I went to the wrong room~!” I laughed and tried to close the door discreetly, but the teacher stopped me and ultimately delivers the hundred years of pain in to my pitiful brain through a grotesque lecture of misfortune not being an excuse to tardiness.

    Well, Asuka was not regarded absent or late so I was happy and endured the torture.
    *****

    'Ding dong' The school bell rang for the fifth time which reminded the students of Kagami Academy it is lunch time.

    "Ahhhh! Lunch time...I almost fell asleep." I stretched as I stood up.

    "Feeling... So... hungry...." But my thoughts were answered by an angelic voice.

    "Kiyo-Kun, let’s have lunch together." Asuka asked energetically. My eyes lit up as I looked at the two lunch boxes that Asuka was holding.

    "Did you make two portions again, Asuka?" I smiled wearily.

    "Of course! You can't always have junk food or bread for lunch! It's bad for your health!" Asuka pouted with an unsatisfied look.

    I'm so glad I have Asuka as my childhood friend. I began to imagine life without Asuka. I started to groan in despair then I was released once again by the angelic voice that is Asuka's.

    "Let's eat in class for a change, Kiyo-kun." Her smile was truly like one of a goddess. Everyone in the class would always be jealous of me being able to eat Asuka's food.

    The food she cooks rivals to those of a master chef. I am not kidding. She once cooked for the school festival and the entire class fell in love with her food. Even after the festival, they still try to get her to share some of her food. But to no avail, all the food goes to my stomach. I smirked slightly at the rest of my classmates as they started staring with jealousy.

    But it is not like I want her to cook for me. It is her own will to cook food for me. I never asked her to cook it. Not that I am complaining or anything.

    "Here is yours, Kiyo-kun." She passed me a medium sized lunch box.

    "Thanks, Asuka!" I gave her a big grin.

    When I opened the lunch box, it had stir-fried vegetables, potato and beef and sweet eggs as side dishes. The rice had been decorated so much that I did not have the heart to eat it. All of my male classmates all looked at my lunch box and started gritting their teeth and cursing themselves.

    Ahh~! This is life.

    "Wow! It looks amazing as usual, Asuka!" I praised the brown haired girl who was about to eat her own lunch. She started blushing like a tomato. I found that really cute.

    "I did my best to cook it so I hope it is fits your taste." She tried hiding her shyness as she mumbled.

    "Alright! Time to eat!" When I was about to pick up my chopsticks, the classroom door suddenly opened.

    Everyone looked towards the door, wondering who actually managed to knock the sliding door down. That person exclaimed, "My Fellow Ero comrade,Kiyoshi! Let's Go somewhere to discuss further about what we, THE PHOTOGRAPHY CLUB are planning for the upcoming festival!"

    Everyone gave out a sigh and went back to what they were doing.

    I gave him a sign and retorted, "No thanks... As you can see, I'm having a nice lunch with Asuka in class now."

    He went into despair. "Asuka-chan's homemade bento.....Y-O-U... L-U-C-K-Y..B-A-S-T-A-R-D!"

    I could feel the air starting to rumble as he approached me and grab me by the collar.

    "Give me some of your side dishes!" He demanded.

    I gave him a smirk.

    "Hell no. These are mine and it is Asuka's hardwork. I'm not gonna let someone like you waste it."

    He fell to the ground like a tower of cards.

    "Why....Why do you always get to eat Asuka's homemade food!?" He exclaimed in despair.

    "Isn't it obvious? I'm her childhood friend... Duh..." I laughed as I looked at him going into despair once again.

    He is Shimuro Jinsuke, the current president of the photography club. He is a huge pervert + weirdo... and of course a person who is fun to mess around with. Though when I first met him, he was still a normal member and he somehow managed to drag me into the club as well.

    I could not blame him... I could only blame myself for my Ero-ness. He showed me a few sample pictures of what the photography club takes and I was immediately interested..I mean... Which healthy guy would not like to take pictures of girls?!

    Panty shots. The thought of that thing makes me want to bleed so much but for now I passed that kind of idea as I’ll be regarded as an eternal pervert by my one and only childhood friend.

    Anyways, this idiot managed to scare Asuka by harassing her so much to an extent she is so afraid that she would shiver and hide behind me.

    "So, What did you want, Jin? Can't you see I'm busy...?" I looked down at the idiot crawling on the floor.

    Suddenly, He stood up and said, "I thought we could have lunch together. But as usual, you get to eat Asuka-chan's food."

    "So be it!" He then walked out of the class quietly.

    Everyone in the class started whispering things like 'Finally that idiot is gone.', 'How is Kiyoshi even friends with him'

    I laughed. He was always a fun person to mess with... That is why I liked hanging out with him.

    "Hey,Kiyo-kun..." Asuka called as I started to remember the good times of messing around with Jin.

    "The food is getting cold." She was right.. Better eat it while it is hot.

    "Itadakimasu" Both of us said before digging in to Asuka's delicious food.

    ********

    Classes are already done and most of my classmates are going to their respective clubs and homes now but as I am not a part of any club I decided to go home alone.

    Or not. As I was about to pass the school gate a familiar figure showed up. His messy green hair brimming with brilliance by the golden ray of the sun’s setting and his brown eyes which could see through any girl’s clothing. The man who called himself the personification of Eros, Jinsuke Shimuro, stopped me on my way out of the school.

    “Now stop right there.” He said with his hands wide open in front of my face signing to stop me.

    “You’ll be going with me now right?” He said with his usual grin. The grin that looks for trouble by using not a radar but his own perverted ability so-called ‘Eros Sensor.’

    “Eh? Where to?” I asked and played along with him.

    “To Reyla-chan’s house!” He said without flinching.Oh right. Reyla wasn’t in class today. I wonder where she is.

    “I know! My sensors never failed me!” He shouted and unfortunately, what he was saying is true. His Eros Sensor is far more terrifying than any spy cameras you’ll ever see in movies and TV shows. Luckily, it doesn't pick up anything other than girls.

    Seeing that he was having fun sniffing for clues of Reyla, I sneakily left him and went directly to my house. I don’t want to incur that glutton’s wrath that’s why.

    While passing through the dining room of my house, I saw some food wrapped neatly with a cellophane and note along it. It was from Asuka saying that she can’t go to my house tonight and tomorrow morning and left this and extra food in the fridge for me to heat it up when I arrive.

    I sighed and smiled at the thing she left for me. What a really caring girl she really is.

    Suddenly I remembered the dream I had today. In that dream, Asuka was holding a very dangerous thing and while remembering her furious actions at that time, she was seriously trying to kill someone.

    I shook my head and brushed away those thoughts for now and went to heat the food Asuka had left me for dinner.

    After it finished heating the food up, I ate it whole as it was as delicious as always and proceeded to wash the dishes.

    I climbed up to my room and went in front of my computer and immediately turned it on.

    ‘Ding!’ The computer welcomed me and I proceeded to open a web browsing application. I typed a certain search engine’s site and entered.

    “Lifeless world” I tried typing it and let the thing do the searching for me. After a few seconds, lots of links welcomed me and most of them were references about certain games. I tried to search many of its pages but nothing suspicious reached my eyes.

    “Lifeless alternate world” I tried adding a new word and there at the very first time something suspicious came up.

    It was a blog by a user called “Realist” with title “Alternate world: Delaes”

    I tried to open the link and found out it had been block by another users. Seeing that I can’t enter without hacking it or undoing the blocking of that certain user, I opened a link of a famous hacker Jin introduced to me.

    As I thought, I’m really curious about this thing. I might have been denying about it all day but something in my soul tells me that it’s not just a dream.

    It was because I myself am… Not normal.

    I looked at the image of the hacker and deeply thought of his achievements. My lack of knowledge in hacking and his supremeness of it. Dissimilar. Like tying a formless ribbon, I tried to connect them and turn my ignorance of knowledge into something similar to his skills in hacking.

    The ribbon in my mind glowed and seems to have connected and I slowly opened my eyes and thought of hacking through the site without being known. Suddenly my fingers slammed countless of keys with less than a second.

    Yes, seems like I’ve successfully used my ability. My ability is what I call the Similarity and Dissimilarity rule. Just as the words implied, it has the ability to change similar things to dissimilar. What I did now is an application of my Similarity rule where I simply changed two different things from the same field into something alike which now makes me into a super hacker like him.

    This ability of mine does have a time-limit though but it doesn’t seem to have any harm to me. After a while, my fingers stopped and looked at the screen.

    “Welcome to the world where truth and lies are revealed.”

    Looks like I successfully hacked it and entered the blog. I sighed in relief and read some of the articles.

    “Delaes, it’s a lifeless world where nothing is born and nothing will be born. A dead and desolate place where a mysterious force is running through amidst it.”

    “Several mysterious creatures are in there. They are not normal, if you ever encounter one, run away.”

    I peered through everything and it exactly describes things like the way I saw it in my dream. A broken world featuring the end result when the planet dies. The creepiest detail about it is that it exactly looks like Kagami City.

    'So it could have been real?' I wondered for a while but the possibility of him just having the same dream as I have is high so I shouldn’t let my hopes high in this but something caught my eyes as I was trying to close the page.

    “How to enter Delaes.” The phrase itself was enough to make me stop and continue browsing through it.

    After an hour, I completely shut down the computer and turned off the lights. I went to my bed and laid down tired of what I had just read.

    “Good night.” I whispered to myself as my consciousness rapidly fades away and swirls into the endless darkness.
    Last edited by Xenodriven; 08-28-2014 at 04:51 AM.
    MAL

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  4. #4
    CHAPTER 2
    Spoiler: Delaes, The Lifeless World: Part 1
    "Urgh... What is that noise?..." I was woken up by a noise that sounded like stones hitting the glass of the window.

    I walked towards my room window and looked out of it. Outside, looking up at me with blue eyes that glowed, making her look like a cat in the dark, with long light green hair reaching her waist. She made a pout with her red lips and shouted," Ki-chan! It took you long enough... I was freezing out here.."

    She is Shizuka Reyla, a classmate of Asuka and I. She had been our classmate since middle school. So, she is pretty much like a childhood friend as well.

    Well what can I say about this. A natural calamity just came in front of my house.

    I quickly opened the window and told her to come around to the front of the house and not to make such a big fuss. The neighbors might complain again. The last time she came over, I had at least 3 of my neighbors coming over to my house and complaining about the noise.

    "Heh heh... Ki-chan..." She smiled mischievously.

    I gave out a yawn and asked," What is it, Reyla? Did you realize what time it is?"

    I showed her the clock and it was 2AM in the morning.

    But Reyla gave me a little pout and complained, "But I am hungry... Since I was in the neighborhood, I decided to pay you a visit."

    She gave me a smirk.

    "Ki-chan, you should be grateful that such a cute girl is here so late at night to visit you."

    Though your only motive was to freeload food from me. But I decided to keep that thought to myself.

    "Alright alright. Come on in.“ I sighed as I walked towards the kitchen. Reyla followed in after saying 'Coming in!'.

    Suddenly, I felt two soft sensation on my back. I turned around and saw Reyla glomping me.

    "Heh heh… Ki-chan you perv. I can see your ero-ness coming out." She gave me a smirk before letting go.

    She really enjoys teasing me about these kinds of things but I cannot deny that I was happy about it...

    I told Reyla to wait in the living room while I warm up some leftover food... Thank god there were still about 2 bowls of rice. I prayed to all the gods and goddesses I know and hoped that these food will not cause her bringing a disaster.

    Luckily, I had some leftover dishes from dinner which I was planning to save for breakfast. But with Reyla here, I could not save any of them.

    Goodbye my breakfast! I sobbed silently as I brought out the food to the hungry Reyla who was literally drooling over the table. Gotta remind myself to put a towel below where Reyla's mouth is next time...

    "Thanks, Ki-chan! You are the best!" She smiled brightly. With this smile, there is no way to feel angry.

    With an 'itadakimasu', she started eating my breakfast. Her face brightened up and she asked curiously, "Is this food made by Asuka-chan?"

    I gave her a nod before she could do anything else. She is always a troublesome person, but she helped me a lot during my middle school days. And I cannot really say no to such a cute girl, can I?

    "No wonder it tastes so good... I'm jealous of you, Ki-chan.. You always get to eat Asuka-chan's food..." She complained.

    "Though I have always wondered when does she find the time to practice… or maybe it's her love for me?" I gave a pose of triumph as I said that.

    "No no. That's not possible..." She waved her hand back and forth. You do not have to destroy a guy's dream so easily right?!

    After just a minute, she finished every single dish and bowl of rice. There was not even a grain of rice left!

    "No matter how many times I see it... You are still as amazing as ever..." I rolled my eyes. She is just another glutton, though a very cute one. I laughed softly to myself.

    "If only you could be just like your family name. Right, Shizuka?" I smiled wryly at her.

    (Shizuka means quiet or calm)

    "I told you to stop calling me that. Call me Leila instead!" Reyla pouted.

    "Oy, your name is Reyla. Don't tell me you forgot about it?" I asked her slightly amazed.

    "I'm an American." She said proudly.

    LIAR!!!

    "Isn't it time for you to go home? It's already 3 in the morning." I tried to convince her to leave. But she refused and started to take out my PlayTerminal 3.

    "Hey! What are you doing?" I hope she is not what I am think she is doing.

    She gave me a 'isn't it obvious?' look and said, "We are gonna be playing games... Isn't it obvious?"

    I sighed. I know that she is simply whimsical but this is too much. I don't want to go to school with a sleepyhead.

    During the games, Reyla started to mention something about a rumor she heard from her upperclassmen. Apparently there is a mysterious room in the school where all the latest gaming consoles are found. Inside that room, there is a hardcore video gamer who seldom attends classes.

    I wondered how did he get that room in the first place or why is he even allowed to skip classes.

    'Damn! That’s just paradise!' As I kept on thinking about things like that, it eventually turns into morning and I looked at the clock with its small arm pointing at seven. Seven o’ clock. Noticing the time, Reyla stood up completely satisfied and said “I’ll go now Ki-chan! See you at school!” giving me a wave and leaving me alone with a very tired expression.

    I sighed and turned off the console and bring it back to where it originally was. Given the time, I surely can’t go back to sleep right now so I just took a bath and prepared going to school. Asuka said that she can’t go today, so there won’t be any food for me since Reyla ate all of the food Asuka has prepared for me. I just left my home without eating and passed by to a nearby convenience store and bought a cup ramen.

    After finishing my business, I directly went to the school. When I entered the room, there were not much students yet so I sat in my seat and ate my breakfast there.

    Somehow I felt some smiling gazes from time to time, but I ignored it and continued eating. After finishing my breakfast, I threw it on a nearby garbage can and used my hands as a pillow and proceeded with my sleep.

    *****

    Dark.

    Despite it being dark, I can still hear soft chirping of the birds and I slowly opened my eyes and see a familiar room. It was my classroom. I stretched my body as hard as I can as to shake off my drowsiness from just waking up. Looks like it's already after school, I wonder how my teachers reacted to my sleeping mode. In anime the sleepy person would usually get in the head with a book. I checked my head for any injuries. Safe.

    I stood up from my desk and left the room. Someone I know suddenly stopped me.

    “Takanashi-san, can I talk with you?” A girl with a long and beautiful blue ponytailed hair which reaches to her waist and beautiful golden-like eyes, asked me with a very gentle face. It's our class representative, Iwahara Yuki.

    “What's the matter Yuki-chan?” I asked casually to let her know I'm fine with talking with her.

    “Well, it's about your tardiness and your recent sleeping habit today. Can you kindly do something about it?” She said while having a beautiful smile on her face. She might be the class representative, but she is known for her frequent dozing off, and her kindness is known to almost all of the students here in the school.

    Come to think of it... All I did at school today was sleep. Jin didn't bother me too. That might be thanks to Reyla's presence at school. Wherever Reyla is, he is there. Well that is only at school though. Outside of school, Jin always lose track of her.

    “Oh~! I see. I'm sorry about that. I was just tired from doing some homework last night.” I apologized to her with my usual carefree smile.

    “Is that so? Then I'll believe in you!” She smiles at me and continued “And..”

    She remained speechless. No rather she is dozing off again! This is bad, she might not wake up anymore. That's why I resorted on giving her a chop to her head but surprisingly she blocked it masterfully with the same technique I can always see in animes where a certain character stops a sword using their two bare hands, a sword catch!

    “You are a strong adversary.” I said while I struggle to land the attack to her head.

    “You are strong too but!” She suddenly opens her eyes and brushed away my attack in an instant and without even realizing it, she landed a chop on my forehead. Guess I spoke too soon about my head.

    “Violence is off-limits~!” She said while showing of a very bright smile.

    “I'll be going now. See you tomorrow Takanashi-san and remember don't get late again ok?” She said with a wry smile and walked away.

    I guess I'll get going too. I climbed down several stairs and completely left the school. On my way home, a sudden thought surged through me.

    “Let's check out if what's written in the blog is true or not.”

    I carefully took something out from a pocket on my blazer and there a paper is folded multiple times. I opened it and carefully read it. This is the thing I wrote from the blog regarding on how to enter Delaes, the said lifeless alternate world.

    I walked for a few minutes and now I'm near a shopping district in Kagami City. I looked at the paper which contains a map and certain procedures on how to enter the fictional world in my mind. I checked if I'm at the right location and seems like I am at the right place.

    Just like the map I drew, a little alley can be seen on the right and I entered it. I continued to walk until a wall completely blocks off my path.

    “Looks like this is the place.” I sighed and touched the wall. I then remembered the methods I need to do.

    First, I need to reach a certain place called ‘holes’. ‘Holes’ are gateways which we can use to enter Delaes and in my map, there are at least 30 of them. Second, I need to touch it and imagine a concrete image of a lifeless world. This thing is easy as I have seen it in my "dream." But this place makes me feel quite nervous. It's like a gateway to hell or something.

    And third is, to walk through it which I think is completely impossible but still I did it.

    Suddenly my hand slowly passes through the wall and my vision was engulfed by a blinding light. I instinctively closed my eyes and after a few seconds I feel like the light is gone and opened my eyes again.

    A familiar cracked cemented ceiling welcomed me. It was completely the same from my dream.

    "This is... impossible... right?" I blurted out with disbelief. Unlike my previous reactions from when I first stumbled here, I completely lie in shock.

    So it was true. Then could it really be that Asuka is here as well?

    The thought made me feel a chill down my spine and made me nervous. My heart beats violently from seeing this unreal reality and it somehow made me reluctant to move.

    No. Now is not the time to panic. Didn't I enter this to verify the information? That's right, I already knew something like this could happen. So I should calm myself down and observe things properly.

    I stood up immediately and scanned the area. It's exactly the same as last time. An empty cemented room with cracks everywhere. Seems like I ended up at the same place as my dream. Without delay, I climbed down and left the building.

    As soon as I stepped out, a clear sense of nostalgia enveloped me. I looked at the surroundings and I finally noticed things I haven't when I was on a dream. The atmosphere here was thick and heavy. It's not like it gives me a hard time to breathe but just standing here gives me an unknown tension.

    The sky is empty. No it might be wrong to put it that way. The sky is all white. No clouds, no sunlight, just a bright white light. It's as if this world has a light bulb lighten up above. Though I can't feel it much, I know that this place is quite chilly. Well that might have been a given already.

    Finally, the place I'm standing now is something I've seen before. Kagami City's West District. Somewhere in this place should be where my old house is in. And the surroundings is completely in ruins. Just seeing it is painful. This place is completely abandoned. A lifeless place...

    "Should I try and take a look?" I asked myself silently.

    Conclusion I reached is no. First thing is that I only checked this place to verify if it's true or not. There's the Asuka issue too but it's just something I've seen in my dream. There's a high possibility that it wasn't true. Even if it's true, it will be pointless if I die here.

    I looked at myself. Right now I'm wearing my green blazer, inside is a white shirt. Below is my usual brown slacks with my wallet on the right side. Battle Preparedness Rating = 0! No way am I gonna survive here.

    "Ah..." I tried to go inside the building where I woke up but a soft voice stopped me from completely coming in. I looked back at where the voice came from and quickly saw a figure of a girl a few meters away from me.

    Long amber hair gently carried a little by the wind, clear blue eyes that looked so soothing, a beautiful face that looked like it was about to cry, a beautiful existence. A complete opposite existence from this lifeless world. What is she doing in here?

    "Umm... Why are you here?" I asked her.

    Just as I asked her that, she seemed surprised at something.

    Was it a strange question? Oh maybe it was something like 'That should be my line' kind of expression? How embarassing... Acting like a veteran when it's still my first time.

    As I was thinking of it, a loud sound can be heard from the girl's current position. As I looked at her, her cheeks seems to be swelling a bit. Did she just slapped her cheeks?

    "I'm Takanashi Vento. I'm here because I'm looking for someone. How about you?" She approached me and introduced herself with a gentle smile.

    "Ah! I'm Takanashi Kiyoshi! Pleased to meet you Takanashi-san!" I replied nervously.

    Why am I so nervous anyway? Is it because a beautiful girl suddenly just talked to me? Is it because she smiled at me? Is it because I found all of it beautiful? I don't know. But still to call her with my family name is really strange huh? Well I can't do anything about that.

    "Ve... Vento is fine! Please call me Vento instead Kiyoshi." She answered in panic with her face beaming red.

    "Vento-san then. So Vento-san's looking for someone in this world. Could it be the one you're looking for is the thing called the mysterious force?" I asked her and tried to remember one part of the blog.

    She shook her head gently and answered with a smile on her face "Someone important."

    "It's dangerous here. How about we shelter first in that building?" She added while pointing to the building I was close in.

    "Okay." I nodded and she happily walked to my direction. Just at that moment, I felt something. I don't understand what it was but I knew I did something.

    "What's wrong Kiyoshi? You're not going inside?" she asked me.

    "Ah! Right!" I answered her nervously and entered the building.

    Now that I noticed it, she is wearing a Kagami Academy's uniform for females. How was I even able to ignore that fact anyway? Amazing, my subconscious is amazing.

    If... if what I saw before wasn't really a dream then Asuka is someone who enters this world regularly. I wonder if she's also looking for someone. Somehow that makes me feel quite lonely. But if that time really comes, I wonder....

    What will I... no... What can I do?
    Last edited by Xenodriven; 08-31-2014 at 03:53 PM.
    MAL

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  5. #5
    CHAPTER 3
    Spoiler: Delaes, The Lifeless World: Part 2
    In front of me is Vento, sitting on a wooden chair with a small round table in between us. It looks like the building I woke up on was somewhat like a hideout of her.

    Seems like majority of the superhumans are lurking in this world. Since Delaes is a dangerous place, most of them formed groups and started going in for personal reasons. It seems like that those people have various reason for entering here and majority enters Delaes because of money. Lurking on some parts of Delaes are treasures that worth quite an amount.

    That's quite surprising... I thought the mysterious force is the main attraction here. Now that I think of it, 4 years ago Kagami City suddenly got flooded with foreigners. It's highly possible that they were here for Delaes.

    Vento also mentioned about the mysterious force. It seems like 'it' being the main attraction isn't necessarily wrong. Most groups who go for 'it' can only have one out of the two reasons; kill it or control it.

    Having a good company in a foreign place sure is reassuring. Well this one seems quite unreliable but her honesty is something I can trust with. The knowledge she just told me is also a very valuable one. I'm not sure I can gather that much even if I had stayed long here in Delaes. Heck, I might have died already.

    I have no proof for it but I know that this girl will never bring me any harm. But is a girl roaming around this world really a good idea?

    "Is there something more you want to ask Kiyoshi?" Vento asked with sparkling eyes.

    Sparkling eyes? That's bad ain't it? Well I'm happy that she wants to help me but maybe I should help her instead? Like a "let's go back to the real world first!" kind of talk? Err... well I'll bring that when I have to go back. Right now is information gathering!

    "Yes. To get here in Delaes, you should go through a thing called a 'hole' right? Once you enter Delaes, is it normal for people to come out from a different location? I'm supposed to have entered in the Shopping District but the next time I noticed it, I was in this building. It was also the same in my dream." I tried to relay my doubts on her.

    "Umm... I don't think it's normal but some people have encountered such incidents. And dream?! You had a dream about Delaes?!"
    "Yes... a dream or so I hope it to be. It is also the reason for me to come here. If my dream wasn't really a dream then I have someone I want to protect."
    "I see." Vento answered with a somehow sad expression. She must have sympathized my current situation.

    "But I don't know how to fight. So I don't know if I can really protect her. I might not even able to protect myself." I smiled wryly.

    "Don't worry, I'll protect you." She said with a strange, powerful determination in her eyes.

    But to be protected by a girl huh? Somehow I don't want to think of it that much.

    I looked back at Vento. She looks very fragile. Her fair white hand might even break if I put strength just little strength into it. No matter how you look at her, she just looks like a normal bishoujo. Nevertheless this girl said that she'll protect me.

    (AN: Bishoujo means "Beautiful Girl" in Japanese.)

    "Haha..." Somehow a laugh came out of my mouth. It was not because I don't believe her words. It was because of my weak willed self. This bishoujo was able to say it without a doubt in her eyes yet I'm here doubting myself.

    So what if I'm weak? I just have to get stronger. No matter how hopeless something could be, the most important thing is to look and focus at your goal.

    I noticed that Vento had a confused look so I approached her and apologized "Sorry about that. Thank you for saying that. I'll also be protecting you, Vento."

    "No way. Kiyoshi should just sit and let yourself be protected!" Vento pouted.

    Eh? Ahh... This is Vento right? It feels like her attitude just turned 180 degrees though. Is it just me?

    "No no no... I'm going to protect you too Vento. Look, it's just like those in those movies 'Leave your back to me!' See?"
    "No!"
    "Then let's have a match and if I win you'll have to agree with what I just said."
    "Su...sure!" Vento answered hesitantly but her voice was loud.

    To think this girl was speaking calmly and quietly just now... I wonder why she's so obsessed with protecting me?

    'Could it be she likes me?' Eros' voice whispered.

    COURSE NOT! Could ya shut up for a while Jin?!

    I sighed and noticed that Vento was already in the middle of the room waiting for me. I went near her and our battle begins.

    *****

    I lost. And in just a flash. I didn't understand anything. At first we were just looking at each other, just when I was about to attack her I noticed that she wasn't in front of me anymore and suddenly a heavy strike hit me at the back.

    When I fell on the floor, I noticed and understood what happened. Vento just moved and covered the distance between us in a blink of an eye and delivered a powerful kick at my back. Vento's movements were smooth and silent, if I wasn't relying on my eyes, I wouldn't be able to comprehend what she just did. She's... totally strong. In a totally whole new level.

    I may not be training for the Olympics but I'm pretty confident that if I were to get serious, I can match or even beat those world's famous fighters. But I didn't even able to react to Vento's movements.

    "Ah! Sorry I thought it was weak enough but so... I mean! Hmph! Now you get it right?! Will you let me protect you with no complaints now?!" Vento said inconsistently and sat in front of me who was still lying on the floor.

    "What's up with that inconsistent tone. Haha, you're weird!" I laughed while trying to lift back my body and sit.

    "EH?! But my friend said that strong and reliable girls act like that." She answered shyly with her face bright red from embarrassment.

    So the act just now was her following her friend's advice huh? That's somehow a relief. Anyway, where's your friend?! I'll beat him up with praises!

    "I get it but you see Vento. I'm weak but I don't want to lose sight of those in front of me. Because I feel like they'll disappear if I do. That's why I know it's quite rude to ask you this but will you help me get stronger?" I honestly told her what I feel.

    Vento looked like she's having a hard time deciding. But her attitude in protecting me is quite abnormal if you think of it. Quite a strong sense of responsibility especially to someone she just met today.

    "I... I understand... but I won't allow you to get into fights! If you're going to wander in Delaes, please bring me with you." She said.

    Well that's pretty reassuring. But again, she's a girl, can't afford to let her get into danger almost all the time.

    "Sure! Thanks Vento." I said while standing up and continued, "but it looks like I can't do much today so how about we go back to the real world now?" I said to her.

    "Eh?! Ah... I think I'll be staying here for a while. Ahaha!" She laughed dryly.

    This girl has no talent in acting at all. Wait, but she successfully did a 180 degrees turn before. Maybe if she hone her skills in the ways of tsundere then she might just be successful! Wait, that's not the point here right?! How many times have I retorted my own thoughts now I wonder?

    "Geez..." I sighed and took her hand and left the room. I reached out to the pockets of my slacks took out my map. I looked at it and saw that there are 'holes' nearby. No it's in this building! I totally didn't notice it before.

    "Kiyoshi, I'm going to stay here for a while. Please let go of me." Vento pleaded.

    "No, and you could easily force me to let go you know." I said nonchalantly at her while looking for the 'hole' inside this building.

    "Could this be the hole?" I said as I touched a wall in the first floor of the building. I just noticed it now but the 'holes' gives off a familiar yet out of place feeling. Like it's giving off a feeling of life in this lifeless world. Now that I think of it, the hole I entered before gave me a nervous feeling too.

    "Yes, that's a hole. You can get out of this place using that." She said with a beaming smile.

    This girl... trying to deceive me with that smile.

    "It's not 'you' but 'us' right? If I'm correct the method of exiting is just the opposite of entering which means we should reach a hole and visualize the image of a living world." I said while placing mine and Vento's hand to the wall.

    "But... Kiyoshi... this is!..." She nervously tried to say something but it was incomprehensible. I then noticed that I have been holding her hands all this time. I quickly let go of her hand and embarrassingly said "I-I know that I'm still weak. But like I said... I'll protect you. I want to protect you so come with me!"

    Vento looked surprised and with a nod, she smiled. Looks like I persuaded her. I turned to where the wall is and shouted, "Let's go!"

    Light immediately engulfed my vision.

    I just hope Vento will come with me. She seems quite stubborn so I'm worried but...Huh? Since when did I start calling her so casually?

    *****

    Dark. It was totally different from just a while ago. Dark and cold but it was surprisingly comfortable. This feeling...

    I opened my eyes and see a familiar ceiling. As I lifted up my body I finally understood where I was. Right now I'm on my bed in my own room.

    'Heck it's just the feeling of my room having its aircon on!' I felt like retorting to myself again.

    "Huh? Why am I here?" I asked in confusion. As I searched for answers, a voice called out to me.

    "Ji... Ki-chan?! You're awake now?!" Reyla immediately ran to my side and started asking questions with tears on her eyes.

    "Are you alright? Are you feeling unwell? Are you hurt somewhere?"

    This is the childhood friend check. Yep, a guy like me being barraged with worries from a girl can only feel happiness with this.

    "Yep, I'm fine Reyla. Moreover why---" As I tried to ask Reyla, she cut me in with another question.

    "Why were you in that alley?"Reyla looked at me with serious eyes.

    "Alley?"
    "That alley! Earlier, we saw you collapsed in the alley near the shopping district! Why were you there?!" She answered me with a loud worrying voice.

    "We?"
    "Yes. We, Jinsukebe and I."

    (Jinsukebe is a tease of Reyla of Jin's name by adding "be" to his name. Sukebe means pervert/lewd person in Japanese)

    Jin's here too? Well that's good and all but hmm, it seems like I had collapsed. And in the same alley from which I entered. Could there be a connection to that 'hole' and the one in Vento's hideout?

    Vento...

    "AH!!! Vento! Reyla, did you see a girl in that alley?"
    "WHAT?! We were worried sick with you and all this time you were worried about a single girl! It's not even Asuka-chan! Kiyoshi... you..." Reyla said filled with bloodlust.

    "No no no! It's just someone who..." I tried to explain to Reyla but was immediately cut off by the house door bell suddenly ringing. Hearing this, I reflexively stood up and left the room. Reyla followed me from behind.

    "Ah Kiyoshi! Are you fine now? By the way, you have visitors. VISITORS YOU GET IT?!" Jin told me whose tone gradually became angrier and left running to my room.

    'Oi! Just whose room are you going to you bastard?!' I silently thought to myself. Of course I wasn't really angry.

    "Ah!" I turned at the door and let out a surprised voice as I noticed who my visitors were.

    There were two visitors. One was a small girl with blonde hair and beautiful gradually varying brown hair tips. She wears the blazer uniform of Kagami Academy. She's Kaburagi Rion, my cute underclassman who's also part of the Public Morals Committee.

    The other one is a taller girl with beautiful long amber hair. Being shone under the entryway's fluorescent lamp's brilliant light. A familiar girl smiled excitedly at me.

    "Kiyoshi, I have come!" She happily announced her arrival.

    I unconsciously smiled wryly. "Yeah, welcome to my house Vento."

    She came. Thank God, she really came here with me. But Rion and Vento huh? Did these two know each other? Well I can find that out later.

    "It's... night now huh? Come in first Rion, Vento. I bet it's freezing out there." I said to them. They both nodded and shyly entered my humble house.

    For now, let's just be happy for our little reunion. I, for some reasons, deeply meant it.
    MAL

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