Chapter 35:

True ending

Sekaunmei: The Fate of My World is at You

He was acting tough, but his arms were pretty tired actually. So when he put the bags on the ground, he felt a huge relief.

—Were they too heavy? —asked Eli.

—No… Well to be honest, yes. One and a half year going to the gym only for this.

—Sorry, I think I bought too much. But you know, I don’t always have so much money so I had to do it!

—Yeah, yeah, I understand.

A taxi passed by and Eli called it with an arm sign. The car stopped and they both put all the bags full of things Eli bought at the shopping mall.

—Thanks for the help, I don’t know what I would have done without you.

—Probably trick another guy to do my job.

—Hehe, you’re right.

The last bag went into the back seat of the taxi, and then Eli sat next to them.

—See you later! —she said.

—Bye bye. Oh, and good luck trying to get down all the bags.

—Oh shit. Hey don’t you want to…?

But before she could say anything, Ken was already inside his apartment.

The elevator went down and up again, silently and slowly.

When he was about to put the key on the lock, he saw a brown package in front of his door. It was rectangular, and it didn’t have any indications on it. From where it came, from who it was, what was it. Nothing.

He took it. It seemed to be a book. And since it was right in front of his door, there was no doubt it was for him.

Confused, he entered to his studio apartment, turned on the light, and after taking out his jacket, he put the book on the small round table.

Indeed, it was a book. A green one, empty, full of blank pages. He passed the pages one after the other, trying to understand why that thing was there.

And the last thing he saw, before being completely surrounded by a shining light, was the Witch of Barriers.

Eventually, the radiance disappeared. He immediately remembered Mirena’s incarnations, but she wasn’t there. But also his room wasn’t there. Instead, he was in some kind of old castle, with walls made of moldy stone. The vaulted ceiling was absurdly high. At his back, there was a big, round and white portal.

—Do you like it? It’s the new model, a bit more aesthetic now that those machines are not in sight —said a strange voice. He turned the look, and he saw the Witch.

Technically, she was real. Three-dimensional, made of skin, bones, muscles, nerves, veins and arteries. However, all her body, clothes and hair were so absurdly perfect that it barely seemed real. It was rather like cosplayers with a lot of filters and editions in their photos. Technically humans, but technically not.

Indeed, she was beautiful, but also unnerving and ominous. Her confident smile seemed to say: “I could kill you whenever I want, but for the time being, let’s have fun.”

—Wha, who, how… —Ken started to babble.

—I think you already should know who I am, where you are, and how could this happen. But as for what are you doing here? That’s a more complex question.

—Y-you dragged me here?

—Yes, I did. But only because he wanted to —she said, pointing to the ceiling.


—Not God, idiot? Yoriyuki Yamahito. He’s at the top of this castle. There, behind you. Those stairs would take you to the top.

Distrustful, Ken turned his back to the Witch and walked to the wall. Behind a wooden door the stairs started to go up and up, followed by some holes in the wall that worked as window through which Ken continued to look at the Witch.

However, she was just standing there. And just standing there, she began to say:

—It’s commonly said that an author is some kind of God in his world. However, this is a huge myth, a lie that the same writers made in order to fulfill their egos. They are not Gods, or ultimately, they are only space gods. They create the world, indeed, but the one who has the absolute power is the reader.

»It doesn’t matter how much the author writes, in the end, is the reader the one who decides the story. If a reader stops reading a novel at the half, then it ends there. There’s nothing else further. If the reader thinks new outcomes for a story, why would them be less valid that the ones the author thought? They are all just ideas after all, why would some be more “real” than others?

»Now the author (not Yoriyuki, the real author), decided to give this story an alternative ending. This small light of hope, even when it wasn’t necessary, was a gift from him. A gift to whom? To the readers? To the characters? I think it’s for himself, but I’m just one of his characters after all.

»But not even he knows how this story is going to end, because that is the reader’s decision. Did it end in the last chapter? Or is it going to end in this one? Anyways, there are no guarantees that this chapter is going to have a happy ending, but… I think I already talked too much. If you reached so far, it’s not me the one you want to know about, right? The one you want to know about already finished walking up the long stairs, and now is at the top of the castle. He’s seeing the green and beautiful hills, and the dark blue sky of the afternoon. He’s seeing the battlements of this old castle. He’s seeing the back of Yoriyuki Yamahito.

Sekaunmei’s author was wearing a simply white shirt and some black pants. A very weird outfit for a magic and medieval fantasy world. He turned around when the footsteps from behind stopped.

—Well, here I am.

—Glad to see you again, Ken.

—I’m not angry anymore, but as you could guess anyways, I’m not glad to see you. So let’s go straight to the point.

Yoriyuki Yamahito threw another book with nothing in the cover. Ken caught the blue book on the air, but didn’t open it.

—Trust me, that book is not a trap.

—If you say it like that, it sounds very suspicious.

—If I wanted to do something to you, I would have already done it before you reached the top of the castle, don’t you think?

Cautiously, he opened the book. This one wasn’t empty; it had words written on it.

The book was the never released 15th volume of Sekaunmei. It told the story of a new hero, a simple man with a white shirt and some black pants, who came to that world in order to stop the Witch. After some long negotiations, they both reached an agreement. This man, who had the power to control the reality, would fulfill any of the Witch’s desires. In exchange, she would no longer do more evil deeds and all her desires would be harmless. She agreed, and they both went to live together to a faraway castle.

Then there was some kind of epilogue, an open ending showing the characters’ lives and insinuating the continuation of Mask’s adventures. However, when it came to Mirena…

After wandering for so long, she ended up in an unknown town. With the feet tired, she fell on the ground grabbing her knees, in fetal position.

—This world… Everything is fake. I thought I could be tough enough, get used to this world again, but I was wrong. The people is so fake. The flavors, the colors, the smells, the textures, the sounds, everything is so fake. I promised to you that I would do my best, but I can’t. Not without you.

—It’s happening again —explained Yoriyuki Yamahito—. When I try to write a scene about her, the words just deform until something completely different appears. That’s why I came here, but I couldn’t change anything. She hates me.

—No wonder. —Ken closed the book. He was too disgusted to keep reading.

—Ken, I want you to stay here.

—What? —He was very shocked due to those words that Yamahito threw out a nowhere.

—I’m pretty sure that you dreamed about this at least once in your life. Isn’t this perfect? You could live here, in a fantasy world, and be with Mirena and meet all her friends. Isn’t that every otaku’s dream? No, that’s probably the dream of any single human being. A world where nothing can go wrong. A world where you meet amazing people that is never going to judge you, they are never going to reject you. Isn’t this a perfect world?

Ken was petrified. Indeed, living in Sekaunmei’s world was one of those stupid dreams that appeared in his mind sometimes. Delusional illusions, nothing more. But there he was, at just one word away of achieving that impossible dream. Just one “yes”.

—No —he responded though—. This is not a perfect world.


—In this world, my mom is not here. Neither dad, Eli, Zack, Arthur, Bobby, and so on. None of them is here, just a bunch of puppets created by you pretending to be humans. I’m sorry, but that doesn’t sound perfect at all.

The author looked at the sky, finally comprehending everything.

—So that’s the reason.


—I created Sekaunmei to be my perfect fantasy, and I created Mirena to be my ideal partner. The girl I waited my whole life but never came. However, that girl is now real, but she chose you and hates me. So that’s the reason. You’re like me, but a version more mature than me.

—I matured just because of her.

—Yes, you’re lucky. Insanely lucky, never forget that. The only reason why you’re not as pathetic as me, is because you had luck and nothing more.

—Indeed. And because of that, I need to grow and be a better person. Because if I, with my insane luck, can’t, how will the other people like us be better? For them, I need to grow up. For them, I need to have a better life, accepting and loving the real world. And that’s why I must reject your proposal. And if you try something I’ll…

Yoriyuki threw another book, a yellow one this time.

—Read it. That book will send you back to your world.

—What about you?

—I gave up. Don’t worry about me. Also, the Witch won’t let me out anyways.

Ken started to read, scared. He didn’t trust in Yoriyuki Yamahito completely. However, his words seemed honest.

The new interdimensional portal, now working thanks to a new mineral created by the man with a shirt and some black pants, was turned on one more time. The Witch shouted an order: let the humans be out of this world, except for Yoriyuki Yamahito. He must stay here and fulfil his promises.

The next page was a drawing. It showed a studio apartment. And then, the light.

—Are you sure about this? —asked the Witch, who appeared at the top of the castle after Ken disappeared.

—You know the reason why I started to write?

—To escape from real world, right?

—No, that’s the reason why I started to imagine fantasy worlds. But why did I started to write?

—I don’t know.

—For a long time, I didn’t know either. No, I knew, but I had forgotten it. But now I remember. I started writing because I gave up. I was done with my life, I didn’t have hopes or dreams. So at least, I thought, it would be nice if my books made other people happy and, why not, helps people like me. I forgot about that, and I hurt both of them. I don’t want to do that never again.

When he opened his eyes, the ceiling was very near. He was expulsed from the book at a very fast speed, but in his perception, the time seemed to slow down.

While falling, he turned the head to one side. That was the same position in which Mirena appeared that day. He could see himself there, standing with the back leaning against the wall, with a scared face, not understanding anything.

He fell, and the time returned to its regular speed. He closed his eyes before impacting on the ground, but the hit wasn’t as strong as he expected. It was actually kind of soft.

—Eh? This small fall doesn’t hurt at all, why did she passed away back then?

The floor was very soft. Only when he stood up, he understood that he hadn’t fell on the floor, but on top of someone. He stared at that unconscious figure like if it were a ghost. The ghost of a very beloved someone though.

—Aww, my head hurts. Eh? What ha…?

They both stared to each other, as if the neurons of both had lost all connections. It took some time, maybe some seconds that felt eternal, to realize what was going on. Mirena was the first one to barely understand the situation, and she stood up screaming and jumped to hug Ken, crying of happiness.

Ken hugged her back slowly, like if he were scared of waking up from that dream. But it wasn’t a dream. Everything was the true.

—I’m back home.

—Welcome back.

Grab a product! Pass it below the laser! Check the price! Calculate the total! Get the cash! Give the change if necessary!

—Hey, this is actually pretty fun! —said Mirena doing her job in the 6th box. One box behind her, Ken thought:

“That enthusiasm is not going to last too much.”

Mirena’s adventurer heart wasn’t going to endure such a repetitive job. Anyways, it was just temporal until she could find another thing she likes most. But for the meanwhile, it was very fun having her in the mall, and she was having fun too.

—If you work so hard, you’ll get a raise right away! —said Zack who was sweeping the floor nearby.

—I never got a raise —complained Ken.

—Liars don’t deserve raises.

After Mirena came back to real world, they discussed about what to tell to the others. If they wanted to start a relationship, the tale of the cousin would be weird as heck naturally, so they had to change it.

—I don’t like having to lie to them —she had said.

—Yeah, me neither. —At that answer, she responded with a glance that said: “don’t play fool”—. What? It’s true! I’ve been very honest since that day at the anime-con. It’s fine if you don’t believe now, I’ll demonstrate it with actions. But as for now, we need a lie. Maybe, someday, we can tell them the true.

The new lie was that she was a girl from another country that came suddenly over there due to personal reasons. Her mom was Ken’s mom friend, so when she arrived, she went to her house. However, Ken’s mom was unable to maintain her only with the retirement pension of Ken’s dad, so she was sent to live with Ken. However, he was too shy to admit that an unknown girl was living with him, so he just invented the tale of the cousin. She had to come back to her country some months right after the event, but now she was finally free and came back. It was the most transparent and close-to-the-true lie that Ken was able to come with.

That way, a new chapter in their lives started. None of both knew what was going to happen next, what problems would come with the time. But nobody cared about it. The only certain thing was the present and the real world, and that was more than enough.