Chapter 33:


Sekaunmei: The Fate of My World is at You

All the cosplayers were preparing themselves in the backstage. So many talented people, trying their best to impersonate their favorites characters. It was a very motivational scene, if it weren’t because they all were about to lose against someone who, technically, was cheater.

Eli was helping Mirena to rearrange her makeup. With her trained hand, Mirena recovered her perfect pale skin that, inevitably, gained some imperfections during her time in real world.

—Are you nervous? —she asked, noticing her sad and worried face—. You’ll be fine! The only thing you should be nervous about is what are you gonna ask to Yamahito-sensei once you get to meet him. Oh, maybe that’s why you’re so nervous…

It was something very unusual for her, but Mirena didn’t respond. She stayed quiet, thinking.

A few meters from the stage there was a large table with 5 people seated in front of it. The 3 judges, Yoriyuki Yamahito, and his manager. A red rope and a bunch of guards separated them from the exited crowd.

Ken was looking at a safe distant. He was 99% sure that Mirena was going to win, but that tiny 1% was worrying him. What if Yamahito didn’t realize that she was the real Mirena?

The producer went up the stage with a microphone and, as excited as the people gathered there, he inaugurated the cosplay contest.

One after the other, a lot of cosplayers went to the stage and had a brief talk with the producer. Some of them just talked, others made jokes. Others showed some talent related to the character they were cosplaying: dance, sing, voice acting, acrobatics. Very talented people went in and out, receiving tons of claps and cheers from the crowd and the judges. The contest seemed balanced but…

Mirena’s turn came. She was still very anxious due to the amount of new feelings she had suffered the last hours.

—It’s your time! —whispered Eli and pushed Mirena softly. Even with her mind being such a chaos, Eli’s presence was really good to calm her.

She narrowed the eyes when her face was hit with the radiance of the spotlights. She could only hear a beep and her footsteps. Everything was so confusing, she was even feeling dizzy. She walked to the producer because he was the only thing she could clearly distinguish.

And then, she saw at the crowd. Far, at the distance, she noticed Ken. And at that moment, all her senses were recovered.

The crowd exploded when they saw her. She didn’t have to say anything to already receive the biggest ovation of the entire contest.

Yoriyuki Yamahito’s heart seemed to stop for a second.

“I found you” he thought, astonished. In the outside he looked undisturbed, but in the inside, he was absurdly happy.

—Whoa, you really have the crowd down bad with you —said the producer—. And no wonder, since the cosplay is very good! Congratulations lady.

—Thanks —she replied when he handed her the microphone—. I’m really happy to see so many people excited because of this. Actually this is my first time in an anime event, and seeing so many people being happy and enjoying the things they like it’s so precious! Thank you all for your support, especially to my dear friends. I have not known them for that long, but we created a beautiful bond. And I want to say thanks to a special someone —both Yoriyuki and Ken were listening those words very closely—. Thank you! I was really surprised so I couldn’t give you a proper answer, but me too! I feel the same way!

Again, the crowd went wild. Even the producer seemed to be one more fan.

—Is this a romantic propose or something?! —However, Mirena only replied winking and raising a finger in front of her mouth. She bowed to the crowd and went back to the backstage, followed by the claps of the multitude.

There were 4 judges, but as the special one, Yamahito’s decision was the only one important. He chose Mirena, and all the other judges agreed. After the decision was made, the writer went to a VIP room where the meet & greet was going to be held.

Meanwhile, Ken was walking nervous, repeating Mirena’s words over and over in his head. The promise of not overthinking anymore had already been broken (well, actually he never did that promise to begin with, so it’s fine).

He didn’t want to get his hopes up, but the words were pretty clear: “me too”. How could that be misinterpreted? The only way was that Mirena, still new in real world, wasn’t fully aware of the meaning of Ken’s confession. Maybe she was saying: “I love you as a friend too!”. However, the only way to solve that ambiguity was to talk with her.

His paranoia was stopped when all the contest participants, including Mirena, went up the stage again. They were all lined-up, waiting for the verdict of the judges.

—In this golden envelope I’m holding right here —announced the producer—, it’s written the name of the winner. We had a lot of talented people wearing amazing costumes, but only one can obtain the first place. By unanimity, the winner is… —he made a long silence in order to add some suspense, even when almost all the people knew, implicitly, who the winner was—. Cosplaying as Mirena, María!!

While all the crowd, judges and the other participants were clapping to her, Ken was walking nervously again, thinking about how to proceed. Was he going to be brave enough to see Mirena once again? He tried to encourage himself, but it was tough. Even after how much he had grown those two weeks, it was very tough. However, after getting so far, he could never forgive himself if he decided to leave like a coward at that point. So, shaking, he went to the left from the scenario.

The VIP room was at the other side of a door guarded by two guys. He was wandering over there, waiting. His body became tense when he heard footsteps nearby, but he raised the glance nevertheless. There she was.

—You didn’t leave, thank god —she said, truly relieved.

—I mean, I guess we need to talk about some things… —They both were blushed and unable to see each other to the eyes—. B-but firstly you should go to see Yoriyuki Yamahito, he still has a tight schedule after all.

—You’re coming with me, aren’t you?

—Only the winner can meet Mr. Yamahito —replied one of the bodyguards. However, a voice from inside the room contradicted him:

—It’s fine, let the both of them come in.

The guards looked at each other and then shrugged. One of them opened the door and let the couple went in.

It was a small but fancy room. The shining floor of mosaics simulating wood had a soft and rectangular-shaped red carpet on the middle. Above it there was a black couch and, in front of it, a long desk with Yoriyuki’s briefcase on it. They both sat down together, while Yamahito remained standing, leaning against the desk.

—So, you are Mirena —said the writer after an uncomfortable silence.

—Yes —she responded. It was very frustrating. So many time wanting to meet him, and now that she was in front of him, she couldn’t find any words rather than “yes”. Seeing her like this, Ken took the initiative.

—I don’t even know how to begin with the explanations. I was reading Sekaunme’s 14th volume and…

—You don’t need to explain anything —cut in the author—. I’m aware of everything.


Quietly, Yoriyuki Yamahito took out a paper and a pen from his briefcase. He wrote something on the paper, and immediately handed it to Ken and Mirena.

Suddenly, out a nowhere, Mirena came back and gave a painful slash to the Witch

That’s what the paper said at the begging. But slowly, the black characters began to deform, until the text turned into something completely different:

As expected, nobody came. The Witch had no enemies, everyone was defeated or vanished.

—It’s been like this since I wrote the 14th volume —he explained.

—The Witch is even more powerful than you… —said Mirena with sorrow in his words. Ken felt a bit selfish, but he was partially happy about it. That meant that she was going to stay there, with him, no matter what.

—No, I think we’re rivals but she’s not that powerful. We’re equals at least. I managed to took out from her a lot of information, and that’s why I’m here today.

—So you already expected to find her over here? —asked a very surprised Ken.

—I was expecting to find her in one of the events, I had no idea if she was going to be exactly here, or if the plan was going to be a success to begin with.

—Then… there is a way to go back? —she asked.

—Yes, there is. —Those words hit like a truck to both of them—. Now the question is, do you want to go back?

Mirena was visibly nervous. She was shaking, squeezing her knees, and with the eyes lost in the ground. Ken offered his hand as a consolation, and she gladly held it.

—From what I’ve heard in the contest —continued Yoriyuki Yamahito, now looking at Ken—, you’ve found a special one here. When you mentioned a “special someone”, I thought you were referring to me but I see that’s not the case. What is this guy for you?

She looked at Ken with doubt on her wet eyes. He just smiled. Mirena returned the glance to the ground, but held Ken’s hand even harder.

—He’s the one who helped me when I lost everything. We’ve shared a lot of memories together: good ones and bad ones, because the last ones are not less important. Bad experiences are the ones that make the good ones be even more great.

»He said that maybe is inevitable for someone like him to fall in love with the first cute girl who is nice with him, and maybe is the same for me. Maybe it’s inevitable for me to fall in love with the first guy I met in real world.

»But even if these feelings are fake, or forced due to the circumstances, I don’t want to throw them apart! —She raised the face and looked at Ken—. I want to try it. I want to try the real love, even if it doesn’t last forever like the fictional one. I want to try it, only with you.

Ken was absolutely blushed, and now it was him the one who was unable to get the eyes out of the floor.

Yoriyuki Yamahito walked back to the desk, with the back towards them.

—So these are your real feelings, aren’t they?


The writer smiled.

—And you Ken? Do you accept those feelings? Don’t you have anything to complain about?

—No, nothing. I feel the exact same way.

—I see.

Sekaunmei’s author opened the briefcase once again and took out something. It was a red book, with no title on the cover. He opened it in the middle and threw it on the floor, in front of Ken and Mirena.

—It’s a shame —he said, coldly.

The pages showed a drawing. It was some kind of medieval castle with a complex magic-based machinery all over the walls. And in the middle, there was a circular portal.

And then, the book shined.

The white radiance was so intense that everyone’s eyes narrowed. A strong wind was coming out from it, doing a very irritable noise. They both stood up instinctively, confused by the situation. None of them understood what was going on. None of them, until Mirena began to be dragged by the book.

—What’s going on?! —she asked while panicking, and immediately extended one arm that Ken caught. He was pulling her with all his strength, but it was futile. Slowly, she was being sucked. Her legs were already thin, ghostly. The skin that made up her body just some seconds ago, now it was becoming an illusion made of colors and words.

—What are you doing?! —Ken yelled to Yoriyuki Yamahito.

—I’m not going to allow two of my creations to rebel against me! I had enough with that stupid Witch! I need you, Mirena! Go back to the world you belong to! Return to MY world!!

All his strength wasn’t enough. Now not only the legs, but also the waist, the hips and the belly had turned into a phantasmagoria.

—I won’t let you go! —he said. She was crying, but also smiling.

—I love you.

—No! Don’t even dare to say goodbye or something! I swear…!

—I’m very happy that you were honest with me, at least at the end. Whatever happens to me when I go back to Sekaunmei, I’ll try my best. Please, have a happy life.

—I can’t have a happy life, not without you!

Mirena’s finger were slipping due to the sweat in Ken’s hand. His arms were burning in pain, but he didn’t want to give up. However, it’s very hard to push while you’re crying.

—You have wonderful friends, and you’ll eventually find another girl. Was I a positive influence in your life?

He stayed silent, with the words stuck in his throat. Then, he said:

—Yes. You were the best.

—Then I’m happy with that.

Ken was unable to keep going, so he let her go. The scarlet adventuress disappeared inside the wind and the white radiance. Then, it all disappeared, and the book closed itself.