Chapter 22:

Volume 2.9: Fever Dream (1/2)

Sleeping Princess

A quick note~

All chapters from Volume 3 onward will be split up to help the story gain more exposure.

Thank you all for your support!

Koda Mari’s Perspective

“I…just really don’t want to leave, M-Mari.”

“Are you saying that I won’t protect you?”

“…Of course not!”

Her soft brown hair hit my chest. It was days like this I remembered how small chested I am. I mean…even Madoka won out on me. This sweet flower, too afraid to leave her room, confided in me.

“I…feel so safe around you, Mari.”

Madoka has a hard time expressing her feelings to others. For the time I’ve known her that’s been certain. But after what happened she latched onto me. There’s no way I’ll take that for granted. Her honesty…made me strive to be honest myself at times.

“…But you wanted to go for so long. This was your idea first, Madoka. Don’t you want to…go with me?”

I teased, tapping her cute nose. She flailed about like a bunny. I couldn’t help but giggle. Madoka didn’t take my taunting lightly and knocked me over the head. I had to get her out of this room. Madoka needed to be free from…this curse she was over. Rescue her from this encapsulated tomb she made for herself. Refusing to talk with others outside her mom and me…even rejecting to see her best friend Watanabe Mae.

“…I’m…just scared you know.”

So, I wrapped my hand around her shoulder and held her shaking hand. She was traumatized and that was apparent. But if she feels safe and enjoys the time we’d have together outside…maybe the Madoka I knew would come back…

“You’re a smart, strong girl. And don’t worry…if you don’t want to go today, I’ll wait for you.”

“…You’ll wait for me?”

“As long as it takes. I’m not leaving anytime soon.”

Her cheeks reddened. Hiding behind her glasses, those sapphire gems met my gaze.

“…You won’t leave me…will you? You promise, Mari?”

Madoka begged. To appease her fears, I smiled brightly…nothing like the fake side I grew accustomed to. She always brought out a sense of ease to me. I couldn’t get past her with my stage-tailored feelings. She could read me…like my…deceased husband.

“Never. You’re stuck with me for a long time.”

I could feel her labored breathing die down as she nuzzled her nose on my jacket.

“…Could we go on Sunday? Just the two of us?”

“Sure. Just the two of us, Madoka.”

In the forest of dazzling games, joyful cheers and, amusement park thrills...dread crept over me… On the hottest day of the year, cold sweat mirroring ice prickles clawing down my hardened back made my veins run cool. This contrasted the summer day, luring me deeper into this abstract situation.


Abandoning the frozen treats in my hand, I rushed over to the seat she was waiting at…now void of her…

“Madoka, where are you?!”

She was right here. Where did she go? I only left for a second and she…disappeared? Did she vanish into thin air? No, don’t be ridiculous, Mari…she has to be somewhere nearby…

All these ludicrous thoughts piled in my head as I searched around for the girl I promised to protect. That’s when a flock of birds scattered from the trees. Frightened by a bloodcurdling scream echoing nearby, I rushed off towards the nearby bridge connecting parts of the theme park. A wonderful waterfall flowed behind me cooling off passersby. But because my blood was already ice-cold my heart felt as though it became frozen. The chatter of park-goers faded into the background as I glanced over the overpass…

There she was…

Nearly 1000cm below…

Lying face up…arms sprawled out like a mangled corpse…

Looking up towards the sky…

“Oh my god, Madoka!”

A few men were already down the bridge crossing. They seemed to be aiding her. Without a second to waste, I hopped over the wooden bridge, landing on a solid bolder. My heart raged stronger than the waterfall behind me as I climbed down a few rocks.


I groaned. What were seconds felt like hours as I made it to the bottom. My feet finally hit a flat surface as I hustled over and leaned down, catching eyes with her… She lied flat on the cobblestone ground as two tanned men aided her.


One man stood up and held me back as the other seemingly checked her for injuries.

“Hold on, don’t move her! She hit her head and moving her around too much could make it worse.”

With rage equating my frustration, I gripped his thin shirt, tugging at him in a fit.

“What happened to her?! What did you do to my Madoka?!”

I shook the black-haired young man. Instead of fighting me off, he calmly took my shoulders and gently nudged my shaking body.

“Calm down…we didn’t do anything. That girl backed up off the bridge and fell herself. We tried to stop her. My friend and I witnessed it so we raced down to help her.”

Staring at her motionless body that lied on the hot ground…my heart felt as though it was climbing up my throat. I cried out to her now tossing the man aside.

“M-Madoka…Madoka can you hear me?!”

Knees buckling, I fell beside her. Steadily, I reached my fingers out and touched the side of her warm cheeks. She didn’t respond but it was clear she was still conscious. The second man was too busy aiding her to be bothered by my hysteria worry.

Her eyes were wide open, gazing at the sun. She reminded me of a doll that’s been dropped to the floor. And now she lied there with a mono expression. Unable to move…

Despite the situation, I couldn’t help but think…how lovely her ocean-colored eyes were. Like flickering gems, they shined off the sun-drenched day. But the deep red blemishes coming from her lovely brown hair brought back the sense of urgency immediately.

“Medics are coming!”

I could hear the horde above us calling out below. This…shouldn’t have happened. I reached out my hand and touched her soft hair…

“I shouldn’t have left you alone… This is my fault…I’m…I’m…”

“Ma’am, please step aside.”

Another masculine voice woke me up. With force, the medical personal took my hand and tore me away to the side. They lifted her up revealing the back of her bloodied head…

“Ma’am, what’s her name?”


He spoke again but in a more authoritative way.

“Ma’am. What is her name?”

“Oh…Ahh…Nakagawa Madoka. She’s Nakagawa Madoka…my…ah…she’s my friends’ daughter.”

I needed to keep it together…for Madoka’s sake right now.

“And your name, ma’am?”

“…Koda Mari…”

They picked her up on a stretcher methodically and lifted her out of the enclosed space. The pool of blood lied dirtied on the cobblestone pathway below….

“We’re taking her to the nearby hospital. Would you like to ride along with us, Koda Mari, ma’am?”

“Y-yes! I-I’m on my way.”

I hurriedly picked up her glasses likely broken from the impact. Blood circinate the outside of them, filtering through the cracks. Holding them close to my chest, I prayed she’d be okay…Even though I told myself to keep it together…I couldn’t. Not when it came to, Madoka. Nothing was ever the same about me when it came to…Madoka.

“I’m so sorry…Madoka.”