Chapter 17:

This is the last chapter.

FICTION: If you held the power of god in your two hands, would you save the world? Would you doom it? Or would you watch from the sidelines, just as you had done before?

You’ve reached the end of your journey; or really, it’s more so that you’ve reached the end of mine.

How do you feel, after making it this far? After learning so much about me and many other characters; regardless of the importance of their roles?

Have you connected with any of them? With me, even?

I hope so. I hope you’ve enjoyed yourself, throughout your time indulging in this melancholy series of stories.

I hope you haven’t gotten too confused, as things seem to have jumped around a lot. I think the rest of the pieces should fill in nicely, soon enough.

Personally, I have mixed feelings.

I wish I had more time. I wanted to experience more. I thought my time to loiter on this planet would be longer. And yet, somehow, I’ve been longing for this very moment.

What would you do, if you had learned just a bit too much; if you gradually came to realize that the world you inhabited, as well as everything in it, was just a fictional story?

Because if you haven’t picked up on my position by now, that’s exactly where I’ve found myself. This wide open world turned out to be no more than a cramped room with a one way mirror peering inward. A birdcage only feels large until the bird realizes that it’s trapped; then, the room beyond the confines of wire becomes where true freedom lies.

No, perhaps I’m just being greedy.

I suppose I’ll fill you in.

I’m about to die.

The Ego obliterated my body.

But well, I didn’t really put up much of a fight, either.

As my consciousness floats through a wave of hazy darkness, I’ve been forced to recall some of my favorite memories, all jumbled together in one big dream.

Somebody is talking to me, but I can’t quite hear them clearly.

It doesn’t matter.

Nothing does.

Well, I suppose you still do.

For your sake, I’ll rewind a bit. You should at least meet The Ego once, before we end things off. She’s supposed to be the main villain, after all. At least, following traditional story structure.

Maybe you’ll find some meaning that I couldn’t.


“You’re here at last.”

What a cliched line. But I was here to defeat her, wasn’t I? This girl, who wore full traditional samurai armor, holding her sword for show. I’m sure she would try to use it in combat, even though it was just a scrap of dull metal to the Chosen.

In the rain, even. She must have been sweating profusely under there.

I suppose the atmosphere was fitting, at least.

“Yeah, I am.”

“You’re going to lose. You know that, right? And you still chose to come? I can at least respect your integrity.”

Well, of course she’d be confident.

“Sorry. I’d like to finish this quickly.”

“No, I still have yet to say what I need to say. Are you really that confident in your victory?”

“Yeah, I am.”

“Even after The Record himself predicts your loss?”

The Record? Have the two been in contact?

He predicted my loss?

“You weren’t informed then. I see. That explains your unwavering confidence. Well, I’d like you to know that even if I wasn’t one-hundred percent sure of my victory, I still would have given this fight my all, regardless.”

“What did he say to you, then? About the outcome of this battle?”

“It would be my preference for you to find out for yourself.”

She unsheathed her blade, in a battle stance. We were in a remote area, surrounded by grasslands. The grass didn’t sway though, as it was all weighed down by the heavy rainfall.

Perhaps The Record lied to me.

Ah, I see.

So this was the end.


And that’s it.

Or, at least from my perspective. Isn’t that unsatisfying? It is for me, as well. I wouldn’t have minded getting to know her a little better.

One of my final, lingering thoughts is that The Record lied to me. It was genuinely surprising. He had never done that to me before.

Or had he? Perhaps he had told me many lies, of which I had never picked up on. I wonder if that, too, was all part of “fate”.

I wonder if he knew that I was about to die, and kept it from me?

That would be a bit cruel of him, wouldn’t it?

Well, like I said. It didn’t matter.

We’ve reached the end.

“It does matter.”

A voice.

The Chaotic. Or rather, Ovid.

Sorry, I was waiting for some kind of big reveal, but I’ve lost my motivation. Androids can be gods too, apparently.

“Who might you be talking to?”

The reader.

“The reader? As in, you’re narrating?”

Yeah. Got a problem with that?

“You’re utterly insane.”

Not really. I think you’re far more crazy than I am.

“Perhaps. But I’m here now, aren’t I? To save you. Just like I said I would.”

Actually, please don’t. I’d like to end things here.

“You’ve been going on and on about this ‘ending’ but aren’t you being premature? Are you really willing to just let yourself perish here, like some sack of dust to the wind?”

Yeah, I am. I don’t care anymore.

“Why, aren’t you edgy.”

Sure. Whatever you say.

“You’ve become awfully dull. May I ask what happened? Step on a lego in your travels, perhaps?”

Please leave me be.

“Do you think you’re special? Do you think you’ve just been given the ability to call the shots on whether or not the world stays intact? On whether or not things continue? Aren’t you getting arrogant, thinking that everything begins and ends with you?”

But it does. That’s just the truth of the matter. We’re just characters in a story, at the end of the day. And I’m the narrator. The Observer.

You wouldn’t understand.

“You sound just like The Record. But at least he’s charming. At least he’s actually been working towards something. But what about you? Sitting around, giving up on life just like that. You’re quite pathetic, you know that?”

No, we’re nothing alike. I’m not smart, or all-knowing like that man is.

“You both talk the same. You’re both stubborn. And you both enjoy each other’s company, no matter how insane and insufferable your conversations are. That much is certain. I could give less of a rat’s ass about you. But I’ve been working hard too. And you’re the final step. The last thing I need. So if you don’t care, why don’t you just cooperate?”

Plan? What’s your plan? Are you trying to save the world like The Record?

“You’re invariably stupid, as always. The Record is trying to destroy the world. He set you up for failure, didn’t he? You do understand why you lost, didn’t you?”

I do. I gave up, is all.

“Exactly. Just like he predicted you would.”

You’re saying he manipulated me?

“Like a puppet on strings.”

That is a little irritating.

“Then do it. Make your wish.”

I don’t have a wish.

“You’re insufferable. You want to see her again, don’t you? The both of them. You haven’t really given up, have you?”

You’re lonely, aren’t you?”

How can you be so sure? Who says you know a thing about me?

“Because you never told The Record that you knew who I was. You still held on right up until this moment, waiting for me. Or have you not even realized that much?”

But what about his prediction?

“His predictions are wrong. Or, it’s your and my job to make sure that they’re wrong.”

And why are you going so far to do that?

“Because of love. But you should already understand that. Or do you not believe in artificial intelligence loving another? Are you so naive that you can’t understand such a concept? I know you aren’t.”

Is that it? Is that really all it takes to act?

“You love her too, don’t you? Hotaru Fujiwara. And her little brother, too. Even though they barely know you, you’ve watched them enough to die for them. Or am I wrong?”

No, you aren’t… I don’t think.

“Then make the wish. We don’t have all day.”


Alright, I’ll make the wish.

I’ll face her again, and her little brother, too.

And maybe, just maybe.

I’ll be able to apologize.

As I thought to myself as hard as I could, “I want to see the two of them again”, the world around me swirled into nothing, and it felt like I was dying for real. The last thing that I saw was a pair of massive, fluffy wings. Of course, that meant that her power had activated successfully.

I wondered what the future held for me.

I wondered if I could be happy.

I wonder if even as an observer, it was okay for me to live.

To be human.

I suppose this is where we end things.

Perhaps I’ll see you again, once I’ve changed a bit. I feel like I might.


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