Chapter 6:


Last Wish

It had been 24 hours and once again, I stood at that platform waiting for the train to arrive at the very same time as yesterday. But in my head, there was not a single plan of action to take in case the girl was on the train, let alone finding my bag. But no matter how much I wished for time to stop, the train arrived on time.

I took a deep breath and with slow steps, stepped in the train amongst the river of people flowing in and out. I had taken only two steps inside when at the end of the train, a Nordic blonde girl in a school uniform fell into my line of sight causing me to stop. But when I saw that she was holding not only her bag, but also the bag that I had ‘forgotten’ there, it induced me to take two more steps in reverse.

The doors closed, and the train went on its way. Only I stood at the platform, utterly failed.

“(You chickened out!)” Dee took no time in reprimanding me.

“Oh yeah? And whose fault do you think it is?!” Instead of answering in a low voice like I usually did, I could not help but raise my voice. It was only when I noticed all the unwanted attention I was getting, I placed my phone against my ear to imply that I was talking over the phone.

“Whose fault do you think it is that I have to go over everything I know about the wish game because someone was not competent enough to fill his role?” I kept in mind not to raise my voice too much.

“(And when did I ever say that I was your personal guide to the wish game? My role was to make you a wisher, tell you the rules and be a medium to your wishes. And if you don’t trust me, that’s your choice.) Dee presented his argument.

“Considering that you already have provided me with false information, I say I am better at figuring the rules on my own.”

“(Dubious, not false. I would never provide you false information if I know it is false.)”

“See, that is the problem. The rules are so vague with no capacity for experimentation. And that is where I think you should help me fine-line the rules, but you can’t.”

“(That is not exactly true. Surely I don’t know everything but that does not mean I know nothing. Ask away and I will answer whatever I can.)” his tone made his invitation to test him very clear.

“I see,” I also calmed down, took a seat at a nearby bench and asked him seriously, “I wanted to ask about the wishes that I make, what happens after a wisher dies. Do they vanish with his life, or does the Jinn still keep them?”

“(You see, the wishes are on the Jinn so-)”

“So, you can’t tell because to know such a thing, I have to die so you can have your first experience!” I cut off his words in the most sarcastic way imaginable. Enough to piss him off instantly.

“(Cut that out! I know it is my first time, but it is not the same for the other Jinns. And I may not know the game, but I know the other Jinns. I know how they play, what they do.)”

“So, now we’re gonna rely on second hand information because in no way that can screw us over at any point.”

“(Is it better than having no information at all? Or are you so smart that you can figure everything on your own.)” Dee had reached his boiling point but still making sense. If I had said that I would be fine figuring everything on my own, that would’ve been a lie.

I could not trust Dee’s information about the game because he had no experience. But being completely devoid of any information at all was equivalent to losing. So, what I needed to do was ask him about something that I knew he would know.

I took a deep breath, calmed myself down, and talked like I normally did in a low voice, “(FIne, tell me about the other Jinns. I remember the Jinn that was with Weinstein looked nothing like you. I assume it is because every Jinn is different.)

“(Of course each of us is going to be different.)”


“(What do you mean ‘why?’. You cannot have seven identical Jinns.)”

“(And I still ask: why? I mean if you play baseball, no one really gets a custom bat or ball for each player. I don’t see any reason for you Jinns to be different either. Unless there is some other role that you are not fulfilling,)” I was extra cautious of Dee’s answers now and double checked everything that I possibly could in my mind.

“(We aren’t some machines or tools made for this game. We are participants ourselves and how can be there a winner if all the participants are carbon copy of each other.”)
“(So, you’re all seven different Jinns.)”

“(Actually there are 13 different Jinns in total. Only seven are participating now.)”

“(Why can’t you come up straight with all the facts instead of beating around the bush.)”

“(You ask in such roundabout ways.)” The conversation was drifting into a pointless argument. So, I took it back before it took off somewhere else.

“(Whatever, just tell me about everything in detail, without missing anything)”

“(There are 13 of us Jinns, each assigned their own number. I am the eleventh Jinn, Dee and our title is the ‘Jack of All Trades.’)”

“(Wait a minute, you are 11 and so your title is Jack. Like playing cards?)”

“(As a matter of fact, yes. It was actually the thirteenth Jinn, the King that came up with this, that ‘since we are exactly 13, why not represent a deck of cards’. I personally think he just wanted to get some grand title like the king. But aside from face cards, everyone just made up a title that they liked.)”

Now there was a whole roster of Jinns opened before me to get to know. Obviously I had to know about the current competition.

“(Is the King participating in this game?”)

“(Which ones are?)”
“(Let’s see. It is number 4, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11 and 12.)”

“(The one with Weinstein?)”

“(The sixth Jinn, ‘The Devil’)”

“(Well he certainly matched the description.)” And then an earlier comment by Dee rang my mind.

“(You said when you launched from the star, you positioned yourself next to the strongest participant. So, when you said the strongest participant in the game, you meant…)”

“(The twelfth Jinn, ‘The Holy Queen.’ It may have been a spontaneous and rather pointless rule to represent a deck of cards, but still, all of the face cards are considered to be stronger.)”

“(Wow, I never would’ve guessed it seeing you. Are you sure you didn’t get the wrong number?”)

“(Very funny. Anyways, I did position myself with the Queen when the game started. So, there is a high chance that if that girl is a wisher, then she is ‘The Holy Queen,’)”

This new set of information had opened new doors of possibilities. If there were different Jinns, then there would obviously be different personalities. And if you know someone’s personality, you can study it. If you study it, you can predict their actions.

As new thoughts raced my mind, the next train arrived at the platform to take me home.


“You forgot your bag again?” Taisho asked as he got ready to leave school.

“Like I already said I did not forget, I lost it.”

“Yeah. Like I am going to believe a high schooler lost his school bag.”

“And yet it has happened”

“Either way, I am not helping you with notes after school for the third day in a row.” I had been making Taisho help me recover my missing notes due to my absence and now lack of stationary. But not today.

“Don’t worry. You can help me with looking for my bag,” I said standing up and heading out of the class along with Taisho.

“I can only provide you with”

“Fine, I didn’t expect any help from you anyway. Just tell me which school in the city has a navy blue blazer and skirt.” I decided to eliminate all the variables and this time aim straight for the target. The only description I had of her was her uniform. Unfortunately, I could not see the emblem of her school. Otherwise, it would’ve been much faster.

“What kind of weird question is that?”

“I don’t think that it is that weird. Considering the cultured gentleman that you are, I was assuming that you would’ve known every school’s girls uniform by now.”

“What I meant was what does it have to do with your bag. And what kind of sleazy person do you think I am.”

“Well you aren’t in any clubs, go straight home, straight as a stick and wear glasses. Of course I would see you as a nerd with a perverted side.”

“Well good for you I am not. I just focus on studying that is all,” my jokes had caused his face to redden up a bit and his every reaction was spot on for a by-the-book person like him.

“Jokes aside, do you know about any school?”

“Nope, unlike our Royal white uniform, navy blue is a pretty common one. Not to mention summer uniforms won’t have blazers so it is going to be hard to find the uniform that you are ….looking ….for,” his words suddenly became unsteady, “or maybe not.”

As I was walking out of the school, I saw an unusual figure standing by the school gates. A Nordic blonde girl in a navy blue school uniform with a bag I was very familiar with, Her posture suggested that she had been waiting for some time now.

“(Wait a minute, isn’t that?”) Dee recognized her as well, which meant that I was not seeing an illusion at least. There was no running now.

I walked towards her, separating from Taisho, and stopped right before her.

Seeing me stop, she raised her head to look at me. Her turquoise eyes scanned my profile and most probably recognized me from the train. But still she asked for confirmation, “Are you Mr. Negai Hoshino?”


“Please take this. You forgot it the day before,” she handed me my bag and received it.

“Ah so you picked it up. Thank you so very much!” Seeing that I had received my bag, she bowed and turned to leave.

“Wait a minute,” of course I could not let that happen, so I called her out, “you went through all this trouble to give it to me personally. Please allow me to properly thank you.”

“There is no need for such distractions. I did what I wanted to. You owe me nothing.” humble yet cold words left her mouth, as she spared no more than a glance back at me before continuing her steps. At this point I had to physically stop her by grabbing the sleeve of her blazer.

“Then this is what I want to do as well. Please, I insist.” I have to admit, I had not sounded so desperate my entire life. But no matter what image it gave of me, the forceful agenda got her to accept my proposal.

We headed into a commercial area of the city as I followed her into a café or restaurant of her choice.

I had made it clear that she could choose any place she fancied. And she chose to go to a normal café. It was a pretty famous café with good services with economical prices. Not to mention well air conditioned to battle the scorching heat of summer.

That made me wonder why that girl was still wearing her full winter uniform. Long sleeved blouse aside, she even had her blazer on.

We were seated and placed our orders well before any actual conversation initiated between us.

“So, I believe you already know my name but we haven’t really introduced ourselves. So, let me do this properly this time. My name is Negai Hoshino, 2nd year student at Meimon Private High School.”

“Myra Sirota, 2nd Year student at Chushin Girls High School. I transferred this year.”

“So,... you are an immigrant?”

“I don’t believe it comes as much of a surprise.”

“Yes, one could easily tell you are not from here. You are Russian I presume.”

“Yes, that is what I have been told. But I have never really lived in Russia.”

“And you’ve never met your parents.” Her reaction to my words told me that I had guessed correctly, but she wasn’t really surprised by it and neither was I.

“Yes. We used to move all the time. So, I have lived in many places around the world. And the only family that I had was Japanese, that is why I decided to live in Japan as my permanent residence,” all the time she had no change in expression, but her tone shifted subtly from time to time, “What about you?” My own gray hair and red eyes weren’t exactly commonplace either, so her question wasn’t that out of sorts.

“Despite my looks, I am a local. Born and raised here.”

“I see” and after that she felt silent once again. Means it was up to me to keep the conversation going.

“I saw you going beyond Hoshi no machi the other day. As far as I remember, there is nothing but factories there,” she gave me a good hard stare at that before replying.

“Yes there are but that doesn’t mean people don’t live there. In fact, I live there with some other people as well,” her words were straight as an arrow accompanied with a stare that alone dropped the temperature by a few degrees. Surely, I had touched a nerve, but I couldn’t exactly figure what it was.

“Yes, it has been a long time since I have been there. Things might’ve changed now.”

And again there was silence. Good thing our order arrived on time. Since we both just ordered drinks, it was rather quick.

“You took the trouble of looking for me to bring my bag and all you get in return is an espresso?” I reinitiated the conversation.

“Like I said, it was not a favor and you owe me nothing.”

“So, you just did it for no reason?”

“Well, Mr. Hoshino-”

“No need to be that formal, just call me Negai, Myra.”

“I see, Mr. Hoshino,” there it was again, that sense of disdain, “I live my life by certain standards. Helping people as much as I can is one of them. No matter how irresponsible or ignorant they are to remember a random girl they saw on a train but not caring about the whereabouts of their personal belongings that might be of importance.”

 So this is what it was all about. Because I left a bag full of important stationary required to attend the most expensive school in the whole city and not even caring enough to come look for it once. I started imagining the scenario of what she did when she picked up my bag. Did she wait at the next station? Or she waited at the station that I left on the next day. Either way, it was something that inclined her to track me down. And I only just realized that I looked like a spoiled arrogant rich boy.

But there still remained one key factor, “But you don’t normally go to such lengths for strangers. And you can object to their ways openly because they are strangers.”

“Let me ask you then. Would you say the same if you were instead going to commit a crime? If you go rob someone, you won’t see if they are a stranger or someone you might have any remote connection with. Maybe the latter but never the prior. So, why the same with courtesy. Why aid be biased when sin is fair for everyone.”

“That is just it you can’t. Put two swords in the same scabbard. If you put a goldfish in a tank full of piranhas, they’ll eat it alive.”

“And yet here I am being treated.”

“I was a sleazy playboy in your mind just now. What if I actually was one. Maybe not today, but being too reckless will get you hurt one day,” if I said I didn’t know those words would be a direct attack on her code of life, I would be lying.

“Well, if that is the case, then I’ll have you know. I am immortal,” with those nonsensical words, she took one last sip before putting down the empty cup and taking her leave.

“Thank you for your concern but I’ll take my leave,” and without even waiting for a reply, she was gone. She had left saying some nonsensical words, but considering her eccentric behavior, something inclined me to believe her.

“(Mind if I add that the Queen that I know will never choose a thinker. So, we should look for someone with an exact opposite personality as yours,)” since she was gone now, Dee felt it was alright to give his remarks.

(Well in that scenario, I think she’s a match. I mean no normal thinking person will track down the owner of a bag they just found on the train. Submitting it to the police would’ve been courteous enough.)

“(So, what do you think? Is she the one?)”

“(I can’t say. After all, there is only one surefire way to know.)”

“(She has to make a wish before us,)” bingo, “(but do you really think that she’ll do it? Even Weinstein wasn’t that stupid.)”

“(Of course she will. All I have to do is force her into it.)”

“(Is that so. Also, how the hell did you know she was an orphan?)”

“(I didn’t know, she told me herself.)”

With one large sip, I emptied the cup before taking my leave.


Since that day, I started going home a bit later than usual. Taking the same train Myra took. Though there were days that she would not be on it. But most of the time, we ended up going back on the same train. Naturally, this gave way to opening conversations (mostly me talking and her ignoring). She may not have had any real interest in me, but I was surely becoming a part of Myra Sirota's everyday life. All the while waiting for the right moment to make my move. It only took 2 weeks to come by.

It was a rare day. The railway services were temporarily suspended due to unexpected maintenance. Me and Myra found ourselves at the station with 2 choices before us.

We could either wait for the services to resume or we could choose an alternative mode of transport. It may take some time but surely a route through the buses existed. Or we could just choose to spend some money and take a cab home.

"Guess the train won't be running for sometime."

"Yes it seems like it.”

“What should we do now?”

“You can do whatever you like. But I’ll be taking the train,” unsurprisingly, she chose to wait. But contrary to her words, she did not go to the bench or even a waiting room.

She went out into the city. Naturally I went along with her.

“You do not have to follow me,” of course she objected to my behavior.

“I am not following you, I am just heading the same way as you.”

“Same thing.”

“Does it really matter? I am going to be bored sitting there anyway.”

I heard a very feeble sigh escape her mouth but she did not say anything else.

Downtown, where every other building is a skyscraper, I was led to a small candy shop out of the 80s at the corner of the street. Myra casually entered the shop and it was no surprise that the elderly woman in the shop recognized her.

“Ah, Myra. What brings you here at this time?” The old woman asked in a cheerful, wavery voice.

“The trains are delayed, so I thought I would come here.”

“You are most welcome. And is this young man your friend or-”

“He is just an acquaintance. He rides the same train,” before the granny could teleport back into her gossiping youth, Myra completely shut her down.

“Hello, my name is Negai Hoshino. Nice to meet you,” I felt that I should introduce myself now.

“Ah, how well mannered. Have some candy,” I felt like being treated like a kid. But then again, practically, everyone must be a kid in her eyes and this was a candy store. Both of us selected our candy. Myra took a lollipop while I went for sweet and sour candy strips.

Despite granny’s insistence to have it on the house, we both paid for it.

“Is there anything I can help you with, Granny?”

“Don’t worry about it, just enjoy your candy. It is a nice day considering there is no construction going on in the opposing building today.”

I had already taken a seat at the table and Myra joined me after confirming that there was nothing else for her to do.

“You really do like helping others, don’t you?” I posed a complimentary question.

Myra just gave a look, but granny was the one who answered, “Isn’t she a nice girl. When we first met, she helped me carry some stuff for the shop. Now she comes here almost everyday. Hahaha.” I could see Myra’s cheeks flushing a bit as she hastily opened her candy and stuffed it in her mouth.

I decided to not make any other comment and opened my candy as well. But as soon as I did, something came jumping at my hand. My adrenaline level shot for an instance, but soon I came to know of the identity of this offender.

“A cat?” A fat black cat was now in my lap, trying to eat the candy that I had.

“Oh, this is Fluffy.” Myra enlightened me with the cat’s name but did nothing to help me. Was she pissed?

“Ahaha, it looks like you and fluffy share the same taste in candies. That is actually his favorite candy too.” Granny gave me a more detailed explanation but still, no help whatsoever in removing it from me.

“I don’t think normal cats eat candy at all?” I raised a futile objection.

“Well fluffy isn’t a normal cat,” added Myra and I took a close look at Fluffy. I did felt that something was off. And then it hit me.

“His ears don’t move.”

“My my, you have a keen observation. Indeed Fluffy is a deaf cat. That is why we don’t normally call out to him because it is pointless,” granny explained while she took Fluffy from my lap. Unfortunately I had to let go of my candy to do so. “He just loves to get himself into trouble. What am I going to do about him?”

“I first found him stuck inside a vending machine’s pick up box. I had quite the trouble in getting him out. Hehe”

I had a pretty good idea of how stupid this cat was by now,

“Let me get you another one, dear,” Granny offered me a replacement. Just that the box was stacked quite high up the shelf.

“Let me get that for you, granny,” naturally Myra offered to help before she even asked. She got the tin box down and then in a swift motion, opened the lid. But her hand slipped slightly, causing the thin aluminum lid to slide along her thumb like a blade.

Tiny droplets soon turned to large streaks of red going down her thumb.

“Oh my my, we have to treat it,” granny instantly got concerned.

“It is nothing serious, granny.” Myra reassured her while pressing a handkerchief against her cut. All the while I just looked at her. And suddenly a wild thought crossed my mind. I took my candy from the box and put it in my pocket.

“Granny, is there a restroom here?” I asked.

“Well there isn’t one in the shop, but you can use the one at my house upstairs,” preoccupied with Myra, granny frantically answered.

“No need to bother. I’ll just find a public restroom. I am leaving my bag here.” I announced before leaving.

I crossed the street towards the building under construction. Granny had said that there was no construction taking place today, and she was correct. The place looked abandoned. It was a skyscraper, and naturally, such a large building would use cranes to lift steel beams. I went to a crane located at one of the higher floors, holding some beams almost above the road. Since it was a day off, the systems were shut down and locked. Luckily, a construction site offered a lot of debris and hence, potential weapons.

I took a nearby brick and smashed it against the window of the cab. It was my luck that whoever was in-charge of this crane, had left the keys inside. Maybe he felt safe enough by just locking the doors. I switched it on and placed my smartphone on the dashboard, just above a large red button.

“(I don’t know what you are doing but I am getting a good feeling.)”

“Well, Dee. It is time we test her.”

I was done so I made my way back to the shop. As I was crossing the road, I opened the candy that I had taken and dropped it in the middle of the road. Now everything was ready.

As I returned, I saw Myra sitting there on her phone. Her thumb was wrapped in a cloth that had turned completely red by now. Guess it was a deep cut.

“You sure took a lot of time,” she said on seeing me arrive.

“Well I can describe exactly what I was doing.”

“Please don’t. It’s gross,” she said, making a disgusted face, “Anyways, the trains are running again.”

“I guess we should leave then.” I grabbed my bag as Myra stood up to leave.

“Granny, we’re leaving,” before exiting, Myra announced it to granny, who stopped whatever she was doing to see us out.

“Have a safe trip home. Especially you, Myra dear. No detours. Get your thumb properly dressed as well.”

Myra made an awkward laugh at granny’s words.

“Don’t worry, granny. You may not know but apparently, she is immortal,” I earned myself an elbow to the ribs. As I exited the shop, I said my farewell to Fluffy by petting him at the door.

“Ah crap! I dropped my phone,” we had just left the shop and I announced my predicament, “Can I use your phone to call it?”

“And what makes you think I will just hand you my phone?” Myra looked at me with suspicious eyes.

“Because you are just so nice,” I did not expect this to work, but apparently it was enough to convince Myra to hand me her phone.

“But I swear, if this is some sort of cheap trick to give me your number, I will personally see you to the police station.”

“Relax, what kind of person do you think I am? I thought we had known each other long enough to trust me,” my words did nothing to break down the suspicion she had on me.

I dialed my number but did not tap the call button. I was waiting for the right moment.

“Fluffy!” and there it was, Granny’s shout from the shop, us being close enough to hear it and instantly turn our heads towards it. There was Fluffy, the deaf cat chewing candy in the middle of the road. He had no sense of danger as he could hear no honking, no cars coming or granny shouting out his name. Seeing the cat in such a predicament would obviously spur Myra to rescue him.

“(You think she will make a wish here?)” Dee was getting excited but that was not enough stimulus to cause her to make a wish. Instead, she did what I expected her to do. She made a straight run for Fluffy in the middle of the road. That is when I hit the call button. It soon showed the ringing sign. Hopefully, my phone would vibrate and fall over the red button.

And I soon got the confirmation that it was exactly what had happened, because all of a sudden, steel beams came raining down. The traffic panicked, Some cars got hit. Others hit the gas to get out as soon as possible. And there stood Myra, with Fluffy in her hands, with traffic coming from all sides and beams from above.

When faced with a fatal situation, the brain looks for every possible way out. If the person in question is a wisher, then the brain would not have to look hard. Because they already had a solution. And it was already available as she was already in contact with her blood. All she had to do was say the words. She could make one out of a number of wishes. Make the cars disappear, the beams go back, the cars to stop where they were or any other. Yet what she did was something that I did not expect.

She took fluffy, closed her eyes and hugged her knees as if bracing for an impact. This caused a rebound in my head.

What is she doing?

Why isn’t she making a wish?

What if she is still bluffing?

Or what if she can’t make one.

What if she is not a wisher?

What if….. I was…… Wrong.

Before I knew it, I was in the middle of the street pushing Myra towards the sidewalk with all the force I could muster. She may have reached safety in time, but unfortunately, I was still not out of the woods. I had lost my balance, and fell down. I heard something large crashing, horns honking and brakes screeching before something knocked me unconscious.