Chapter 9:

Blissful Memories and Dreams

Densetsu: A Beautiful Day


The night was still young.

“And that’s how I met the shrine maiden!” exclaimed the oni.

Despite his tragic loss, he maintained a smile. Hatred once ran in his veins, but the shrine maiden restored him to bliss.

“How did you meet Riku, Lucia?” Kotaro asked.

“Oh, you’re in for a story,” she sipped her scarlet wine.

Raising the tempered glass to match the moon as if she seized it, the one-eyed vampire smirked from the reminiscent past.

Kotaro couldn’t wait to hear it. Perhaps it was the influence of alcohol, or his curiosity of this world, he felt more comfortable around them.

“It was six months ago…I was under the teachings of the Moirai before I returned to Densetsu. I would restore the glory of my vampiric heritage.”

Melissa sipped her cup of alcohol. “Except the problem was that she attacked a number of towns.”

“I’m sorry I believe I’m telling the story, aren’t I?”

“And then what happened?” Kotaro blurted, enthusiastically.

“My plan was to draw the shrine maiden’s attention towards me. I was hoping to change her fate.”

“And you failed miserably,” Melissa added.

Lucia clicked her tongue, glaring at the noisy magician.

“Indeed. It turns out I overestimated the powers of fate. Not even the Moirai can touch the Kamiyama Shrine Maiden,”

Kotaro drew closer to the vampire, overzealous of her powers.

“You can read people’s fate? How about reading mine?”

“I think you’ve had enough, Ko—”

“No, I’ll gladly read his fate,” Lucia interrupted Riku.

Everyone’s attention was on Kotaro and Lucia. Silence filled the shrine while the drunk Kotaro waited to hear his future.

His potential attracted the curiosity of others. Lucia sensed it.

A flicker of flames, undeveloped, awed the vampire.

“You’ll be walking on an interesting path…the answers you are looking for will come to you. How you deal with them opens up doors of infinite possibilities…”

The vampire arose from her seat, the full moon shining behind her.

“Victoria, we’ll be leaving now.”

“Yes, mistress,” her maid servant stood up.

“Leaving so soon? The party was just starting!” said Fuuko.

Her only good eye projected towards Kotaro, then she nodded to her maid. A single finger snap. And they disappeared without a trace.

“I should get going then,” the black-and-white magician sat on her broom.

A dense fog emerged around the oni’s surroundings. Before he left, he patted Kotaro’s back.

“It was nice meeting you, outsider! I hope we can drink some more again!”

The shrine was dead with Kotaro and Noel remaining.

“You should probably get going, Kotaro.”

“Goodbye, Riiiiku!”

His movement was poor. The shrine maiden kindly guided him through her shrine to the portal.

As for Noel, she climbed down the stairs and wandered into the dark forest. She needn’t worry about ambushing monsters as she hardly drank any alcohol.

It was late. The shrine maiden could grab another beer, but drinking alone was boring for her.

“What sort of future did Lucia see in him?”

“You want to know?”

“I thought you already left,” commented Riku.

The vampire sat down with the shrine maiden, staring at the moon together.

“How can I tell a drunk boy about his upcoming doom? I wasn’t sure how he would react.”

“Stop lying. What’d you see?”

“But I’m not. That girl…the one that impersonates Noel…she still lives. And she will reunite with him. If not her, then there is someone else…”

Riku grew some interest. “Tell me more…who will kill him?”

“Isn’t it obvious? She’s the one wielding the Azzurum while he wields the Umbrian. I’m surprised you didn’t give him that detail about the Serpentine Void.”

“I wasn’t sure how he’d react if I told him he had the Umbrian. How he has the Umbrian is concerning to me,” replied Riku.

“It only means one thing. This isn’t his first rodeo.”

She put the pieces together. It became clear what’s to come in the future. “Our culprit is still out there, planning their next move. To think they planned it this far. It’s as if they knew the Infinite Loop Incident was going to be solved from the very beginning.”

“We’re dealing with someone different from your usual incidents. The question is, what is the motive for our culprit?”

The shrine maiden stared deeply at the moon. Lost in thoughts. Her concerns lingered through the night.

“If the Umbrian and Azzurum become one again, then you know what you must do,” said Lucia.

“I know…I will kill Kotaro…”

He awoke with a hangover. Last thing he remembered when returning to his world was a scolding from his mother.

His mother left him a note. “You’re grounded” was all that was written.

Was it just a dream? That world. He wasn’t sure.

Kotaro packed up for school, wandering in the cold. He stopped his tracks at the dark alley.

Maybe it was a dream. One that felt like reality.

“I must’ve been on drugs,” and he continued to school.

Same old routine occurred in his daily life. Rocky teased him like usual; however, things felt more different.

“Where’s your girlfriend, Noel?”

“Huh?” Kotaro reacted stupidly.

“Y’know, the cute blondie?”

He zoned out from the conversation, his eyes wandered elsewhere as if he was searching for Noel. He searched his pockets, trying to gather the pieces together. Noel was nowhere to be found. Empty pockets included.

“Hey, are you listening?” Rocky snapped him out of his trance.

“Who’s Noel?”

He bumped Kotaro with his elbow. Grinning, Rocky winked at him. “Oh, don’t play dumb, Koty! Everyone’s been talking about it!”

He raised a brow. “Everyone?”

The school bell rang before Rocky finished his sentence. The unanswered questions forged a lingering feeling in him. Curiosity swirled into his mind.

He took a seat. Mr. Willcox, with a boisterous roar, began calling on attendance. The history teacher seemed to be more in a good mood than usual.

Was yesterday a dream or not?

He needed answers.

“Noel Natsuki!”

That name again! Kotaro zoned out the other noises around his surroundings. He stared intensely at the door. His heart raced at a slow pace.

He needed answers.

Was it a dream or not? Did he spirited away into another world yesterday?

“Looks like the new student is not her—”

“I’m here! Sorry, I’m late!”

He recognized that voice, the blonde hair, and those azure eyes.

She rushed into the classroom, and bent her body forward in a respectable manner. “I’m sorry, Mr. Wilcox! I got lost.”

Yesterday’s discovery was no dream. From encountering the shrine maiden, to fighting that machine, and meeting several Densetsu residents.

“Hm, you’re a minute late, but I won’t count this as being tardy. Go take your seat.”

Of all students, no one expected Mr. Wilcox to tolerate her tardiness. The blonde haired student happily took a seat next to Kotaro.

He kept his eyes on Noel until she noticed.

“What?” She gave him a mean look.

“Nothing…”

It was just her second day, and she was already accepted by this world. As the flow of time coursed through school, he noticed many of his peers began approaching him. Their curiosities and interests were the same. Their end goal was a competition, like survival of the fittest. All for one person.

Her athletic performance drew the jockeys’ interest. The nerds admit expressed their feelings about her kindness.

It was unfortunate Kotaro was the center of their goal, being the only male who had the same class as her.

Kotaro tried his best to clarify their misunderstanding. “We’re not close at all. We just happen to have the same classes together!”

“Stop lying to us!” One of the jockeys pushed him to the nearest locker. He blocked any entrance for Kotaro to escape.

“Do you boys want me to report this to a teacher?”

The small crowd turned their attention to the lonesome girl. All of them dispersed, leaving Kotaro alone.

His heart skipped a beat, remembering the time she came to his rescue. She was alone like before, unafraid to put herself in danger to help the weak.

“Are you alright, Kotaro?” asked Mimi, slowly approaching him.

He pretended to act tough, wiping off a make-believe dust from his shoulder.

“I-I’m fine!” He averted his gaze.

“There’s no need to hide it! There’s nothing wrong with that. I’m not going to tell other people about it.”

He sighed, “T-Thank you, Mimi…you saved me…”

She smiled, “You’re welcome! Nobody should deal with that.”

“Can I ask you something?”

“Go for it! I’ll try my best to answer it,”

He stared at her for a few minutes, conjuring whatever question he was planning to ask. The bravery in her presence intrigued him. He wished he could have the same audacity she carried.

“Why aren’t you a—”

“Afraid?”

He nodded.

Mimi smirked a little, “I don’t know. I guess I got tired of being afraid. I can’t stand watching people picking on others. Watching you get surrounded by those boys reminded me of myself.”

“You were bullied before?”

“I was.”

“Who would ever bully you? You’re the coolest person I’ve ever met!”

He admired Mimi. The two strolled through the hallways together.

“There was this grown up I looked up to when I was bullied as a kid. It sucks I never got to ask for her name, but she is the most amazing person!”

“What was she like?” Kotaro asked, intrigued.

“Well…” she averted her gaze. Her peripheral vision caught a wandering Noel, who was slowly approaching them.

“Now that I’m thinking about it. Noel really reminds me of that woman…”

“Noel?”

Mimi nodded. “She was very serious, yet she was very passionate. And caring.”

Kotaro completely absorbed all the information. His heart continued to beat faster.

As Noel was approaching them, Mimi slowly diverged from Kotaro. She kept her compassionate smile. “It was nice talking to you, Kotaro! If you ever need me, don’t be afraid to talk to me. But it’s best if you just stay out of trouble, okay?”

He waved her goodbye. His affection for her made it difficult to say anything.

“Thank god you’re fine. I was looking for you, but there were so many boys that approached me. It was hard to catch up to you.”

Noel drew near his comfort zone. “You look fine so far, but just in case, are you alright?”

“I-I am…”

“Good! Let’s go to our next class then.” The two headed to their next class. “By the way, do you have any idea why there are so many boys coming up to me?”

He shook his head, unsure whether to tell her or not. Though, he feared what would come next.