Chapter 1:


The Existential Life of a Mage

My name is Mikado Haikaido. I have the boring life that one may expect out of a Middle-aged man. I work a dead end job at a horrible company, I'm single, and have no true purpose nor knowledge of who I want to truly become. Is there truly time for that anymore though? I'm 39, and have little time to change before I retire. What happened with me, I wonder.Bookmark here

You had an alright childhood, you went to school like any other kid and was decently average. You got into a good enough school, and found that you enjoyed Digital Artistry. You were more of a nerdy guy and tended to keep to yourself in university.Bookmark here

After college you made a few independent mangas without much luck, and you cut your losses to work for an Anime Studio based in Tokyo about 15 years ago. Sometimes you feel like that was the worst choice you could made back then.Bookmark here

You head to work at the early hour of 7:00 in the morning. The chilly winter air blows at you at you pull up your mask to keep your face from icing over, and walk through the front door of the Studio Building, arriving at your desk.Bookmark here

You tend to have extremely long shifts due to being a digital artist. Your day passes by as it usually does, constant work, your boss consistently making you work on frame over frame over frame until you're totally out of energy, and even then you're still working on more.Bookmark here

"Do I even like this job?"  You think, while horribly exhausted, nearing the end of your work day.Bookmark here

You boss sticks a note on your desk as he walks by you which reads: "Need you to work overtime tomorrow. Deadline Soon!!!"Bookmark here

You read the note and sigh and you realize you'll have to suffer through this for quite a while longer.Bookmark here

You end your shift, and reach an intersection as you walk home. Cars are flying past you as you wait for the light to turn green.Bookmark here

"It feels like rush's 7PM however...odd." You mutter.Bookmark here

You see the light turn green and start walking. You're looking at your phone, when you hear a truck's horn blaring to your left side. You have no time to react, it's too close. Bookmark here

"So this is the end....." You think in that split-second. Bookmark here

Everything feels like it's in slow motion for that one moment.Bookmark here

The truck hits you. You can still somewhat see, but your vision is blurry as you fade in and out of consciousness. You see at least 8 people around you, 2 of which being Police Officers.Bookmark here

"Sir! Can you hear me? I need you to stay awake!" Says one of the officers to your side.Bookmark here

"I don't want to keep my eyes open though, I like it this way." You think to yourself.Bookmark here

You knew it could've ended this way, just not by a truck like you've seen in half of the Manga you've read at home. It's both unfortunate, yet amazing, that you know you can finally end the pain and stress you've accumulated as you've worked day in and day out creating Anime. You don't know if you've ever enjoyed it, however.Bookmark here

You close your eyes, and everything goes black. Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.