Chapter 10:


A Reverie for Another Eternity

"Yeah, she's an idiot. A faithful one too."

- Michiru


He just laid there. Bruised and battered. A boy no bigger or lesser in height than she was. Someone whom she had only met a few weeks ago, and yet, he tried his best to keep away whatever it was.

Something hazy, something undefined but dangerous lurked ahead. Her legs gave out under fear, hopelessly watching new wounds form on his arms, legs, and face.

His tattered clothes flapped around frantically, as Takumi looked back at her, blood streaming down from his face. His lips curled in angry desperation as he could only see her gawk at the situation.


Stumbling back towards them, he weakly threw his fist, only to be met by three heavy strikes from the cackling figures in the pitch blackness.

To Miyori, her disoriented self couldn’t see through her watery eyes as he fell back down, sending small waves throughout the large puddles in the heavy downpour. The darkness shrouding around them closed in once more, engulfing the only figure she could wholeheartedly trust with her life. Fear had taken hold of her, shackling her in place, for she did not know what to do at the moment.


Not knowing if they had left or not, she forced herself into a crawl and made her way to where his unconscious body might've been. A sigh of relief left her lips as she saw the familiar black-haired boy no longer surrounded. In no time, stumbling to her feet, she took a few shaky steps, and collapsed onto her knees, propping him up onto her dirtied lap. The darkness had then receded as she approached him, the dull overcast covering the sun who hid away in cowardice.

“Why… Just why did you save me!?”

The rain mingled with her tears, flowing together nonstop from her heartbroken visage and onto the boy below, splashing onto his restful face. His expression, peaceful and without worry, was so seemingly pleasant despite the grime and wounds.

Blood welled up from the corner of his cut lip, flowing down the soft lines of his cheek. Her face scrunched up in anguish of this savior, her guilt sweeping throughout her body, causing her to tremble in hatred for her inactions.

If only he had saved himself from herself - a disposable and utterly disgusting existence named Miyori.

Her name left a terrible aftertaste on her tongue and in her mind, quickly shaking her head as if to forget about herself for a moment.

“You… You idiot.”

Closing in on his face, even more, she could feel his shallow breathing on her cheek, much to her relief. Then, with her eyes shut, a soft and warm sensation spread through each others’ lips. A hint of blood was also in order, but she accepted it; she accepted him for who he was.

Sometimes a narcissist, sometimes an enemy, it didn’t change the fact that he was the hero who had saved her many times from her own misery and faults. This time too. But the one thing she couldn’t accept... was herself.

Her drenched hair draped over his ears as she leaned in once more - this time not just to inspect his face. His lips were chapped and coarse; nothing like the lusciousness of her well-maintained self. But that was that. She was one who took care of herself, and he was not.

Confused, an indescribable swirl of emotions spun inside her. Her grief, her happiness, her gratitude, her hate, and her affection had intertwined together messily to define the Takumi in her heart.

This was the instance the bud began to blossom, its green petals yet to be in perfect bloom amongst the pinkened winds of romantic interest.

Yet, no matter how much the rain continued to pitter-patter in the distance, no matter how much the sun was to be hidden away, the clouds would eventually part and reform anew. 

“Miyooooriiii. Earth to Miyoooooriiii.”

A voice rang out from the right of her ear, causing her to jolt upright. The pencils and stacks of paper on her desk had come crashing down onto the floor.

“Ahhh, this is gonna be a pain to pick up.” A brunette-haired girl bent down, her messy hair falling across her face.

Miyori gingerly touches her lips at the thought of him only to be met with Kaoru’s annoyed stare. In a surprise, she swung her arm away, hitting the edge of the desk next to hers painfully. As she began to rub the sore spot, a vein angrily pulsed on Kaoru’s forehead.

“Are you gonna help me or what?”


“I swear…” She muttered under her breath, dark circles lined underneath her eyes. Though she didn’t look the best, neither did Miyori with her frazzled hair and reddened eyes. Akari’s gaze was glued to the floor with purpose, speaking to her without eye contact.

Not wanting to bother her any more than she had to, Miyori also got down onto her hands and knees, wincing in pain while picking up the differently sized pencils and pens that had scattered everywhere.

“Who said this was a good idea to begin with again?” A voice rang out from the other side of the classroom, the mean green streaks bouncing up and down as she leaned back on her chair. Seeing everything that had happened and more, she truly didn’t understand whether this project of theirs was worth the trouble. Not being able to go back home to their beds, confined to the school grounds with its tasteless foods and short showers - the situation really wasn’t ideal. Even her fingers were exhausted from typing all day in her free time - that free time being the entire summer break. She let out a soft groan at the realization of the hell that lay ahead.

But rescuing that guy friend of Miyori’s, in fact, was pretty dire. And if she needed her help, then she would gladly give it. This was a sentiment that was shared by everyone in the room.

“It’s something we all agreed on, Kaoru.” Turning around, Miyori saw a girl with auburn curls furiously scribbling away on her tablet.

“Yes yes, I know Michiru. I wouldn’t put it past anything to get her precious boyfriend back.” Kaoru’s chair squeaked as it fell back on all four legs, a pen held by the top of her lip. “This is the grand, a-ok plan to get Takumi back by somehow winning the boring showcasing, right?”

Yes, that was right. For her submission to the annual contest, she had planned to do something out of the ordinary, something that no one had done for a long long time: making a visual novel. After all, what better idea was there to use to gain the notice of an entertainment company without the use of a convincing medium to match their motto? Especially a medium that her friend group was familiar with. Thank god for anime and romance manga.

“Not somehow, we’re gonna win through what we’ve learned so far. It’s a good thing we’ve all taken those advanced placement classes in art, creative writing, and computer science, isn’t it?”

“Yeah, it really is - though I didn’t expect our lead artist to be such an analog person in this world of information technology.” Akari stood back up with a smirk, shuffling the papers on the desk and creating a nice, orderly pile. Miyori was very thankful for this.

“Trust me, I really wish it wasn’t Takumi who was sent to who-knows-where so we didn’t have to work as hard. I feel this as much as any of you.” Miyori got back to her desk, scooting her seat forward. “But we’re in this a little too deep now - specifically a few months.”

“Did you rather it be one of us?” Michiru spoke impassively from behind Miyori, the two not looking up from their respective works.

“Even if I did, I’d still rescue you all the same.”

“Aww. How sweet.“

The room was once again filled with the clattering of keys, the small thuds of pens against laminated screens, and the scratching of pencils on paper.

The day after his disappearance, Miyori had confided in her group of friends during their usual breaks. At first, they were hesitant, worrying if she had gone crazy in the make-believe of hers. But after seeing Miyori’s reddened eyes and the frequent absences of Takumi from the day she had told them, they were now tirelessly grinding out their project after a passionate discussion on what they should do on the topic of what they could do. In short, they had begun the project to save Takumi from the clutches of Takeshi, supposably.

The clacking of keys stopped once more. “Actually, wouldn’t it be easier to just kick his ass and rescue Takumi? I would love to do in that smug kid.”

Miyori’s pen dug deep into the paper with the comment. Yes, even she would like to do the same. And yet, life wasn’t as forgiving as she would’ve wanted it to be. “It isn’t that easy, Kaoru. This method is the only surefire way to get him - to get us - out of this mess together, sorry to say.” She sighed, biting her lip once more at not being able to confess to him properly. Maybe he didn’t even hear her confession in the first place.

“Too bad you couldn’t go see the fireworks together this year, eh?” The atmosphere suddenly became silent again, this time depressingly so. Yet, despite how heavy the topic was for Miyori, whilst ignoring the other two's silent pleas to not continue this conversation, Kaoru kept up with this topic. “Who knows if we’d even make it, y’know?”

As soon as those words were uttered, Michiru dropped her pen and stood up abruptly. “Shut up-”

Miyori slammed her hand down on the desk, causing everyone to jump back in surprise, their attention on her. Slowly and softly, she spoke with conviction. “We’ll definitely make it to the podium at least. We’ll get somewhere in this godforsaken world, even if it isn’t just for Takumi.”

Miyori was at least sure of that - no, she had to be sure of that. Otherwise, there was just no future for her and her group's efforts. And that certainly wouldn’t do. Plus, by the off chance that she certainly didn’t want to consider but did, even if they weren’t able to save him, their project would definitely help in landing her friends jobs that would secure their livelihoods after their graduation.

“Nice optimism you got there, chief. You couldn't like, yknow, say first place instead?” Akari quickly walked over and cupped her hand over Kaoru’s mouth, the two engaged in a lighthearted tussle of silencing and being silenced. Though it was mainly Kaoru dodging her grabs.

With a smug grin, Miyori teased back. “I dunno… getting first seems kind of hard with this sort of help.”

“Oh, you.” Kaoru paused, attempting to wittily think of a counterargument while fighting off Akari’s hands, which kept finding their way back to her mouth. Finally, slipping underneath her legs, Kaoru flashed a smile. “Be happy that you get any at all.”

“Right, right. Don’t worry, I really do appreciate the help you guys give, because, without it, I wouldn’t… know… what... To do.” A tear rolled down her face as she delicately touched it and looked back on the wet spot in the palm of her hand. “Huh, let me just… get a tissue or something.”

Knocking her chair and her papers over, she quickly ran out of the classroom, innumerable droplets spattering onto the hallway outside.

The three stayed behind with somber expressions, continuing with their vital operation. Though they wanted to comfort her, the reason they hadn’t - despite how much they wanted to - was because of the deadline. In a year, they would have to flesh out one of the best games that would rival or at least garner the eyes of Margeddon, and a year certainly wasn’t enough for that, coupled with their third-year courses. And so, if they were to have the smallest numerical advantage, a chance in getting that precious person of hers back, then they couldn’t afford to stop and coddle her.

Akari walked over and began picking up the papers again, barely able to hold back her own tears.

Ultimately, the project wasn't just for show. It was a commitment that Miyori and her friends made, no matter how painful it may be down the road. And in this mundane and dreamless world, they continued without stopping.

In front of a bathroom mirror, Miyori desperately washed her face, scrubbing away at the salty streaks lined on her face. Her sleeve wet and her eyes puffy, she eventually leaned on the top of the sink with both hands holding the edges shakily.

Just like her unsteady hands, so too was her heart and purpose in life. In a world devoid of such important qualities, even the strongest of people would find themselves kneeling in front of their own helplessness. Miyori clutched the front of her chest tightly at the possibility of Takumi not coming back.

“Why did you have to leave me…”

Before she knew it, her reflection was no longer staring at herself. Her knees fell to the ground and her vision blurred; all she could see was the faint outlines of shadowy figures in the corners of her vision, shrouding the stalls, sinks, and even the mirror.

And, eventually, she herself was engulfed by the thick fog of pitch-black darkness.

“No… NO NO NO NO!”

Curling up in a fetal position under the sink, she bit into the nail of her thumb and repeated the same words over and over again.

“Save you save you save you save you… I will be the one to save you, Takumi.”