Chapter 0:

Prologue – Grace Born from Desire

Grace Dances Upon the Clouds


A cold wind blew across her face. It howled into her ears and stung her cheeks. All at once, her senses roared back to life. Her eyes opened, unsure at first. After finding nothing but blue all around her, they widened in surprise.

She was falling, falling, falling…

Her heart thumped as she realized that nothing was below her. It was as if she had been dumped from the heavens mercilessly.

Am I going to die?

That question flashed in her mind as she looked left and right, panic evident on her face. There was no time to even wonder how she had ended up here or anything that happened before. She was a rock cast aside. With nowhere else to turn, she clasped her hands together and looked upward, as if praying for someone to intervene.

But then, her jaw fell as her eyes grew even wider than before.

“W-What?”

Orange and pink and green and purple speckled across the sky. An amalgamation of colors mixed into the normal blue in the most unnatural of ways. It was a sight that she couldn’t have thought possible. She had fallen into a new, unfamiliar world – that was all she could tell.

Curiosity overtook fear, and with that, she looked straight down.

Dragons and unicorns on her left. Cupcake forests and fountains of chocolate on the right. A futuristic tower with flying cars in the distance.

None of these made sense. None of these should exist. Unless it was all-

“A dream! Of course!”

The girl had not fallen into a new world but been born into a dream. A new existence meant for her to experience – that was what she found herself in.

Her face lit up all at once, like hope had sprung from within her. Tucking herself into a ball, she focused for a moment.

Why was she here? What was waiting for her? Who was she even?

An answer popped into her mind in the next moment, along with a pair of wings from her back. Majestic and luminescent, they burst forth like the first moments emerging from a cocoon. With a vigorous flap, her descent slowed to a crawl. She hovered like gravity didn’t exist.

“Let’s see… next, I should do something about my state of undress.”

With a wave of her arm, sparkles formed around her, sizzling away to form a purple and white jacket and a pair of pink shorts. Her black hair dissolved into a pastel pink, along with any fear she had before. The sparkles swirled around her hand, forming a long object that fanned out to form a purple umbrella. She fit the image of a normal girl floating magically in the sky.

The nearest clouds below welcomed her as she drifted towards them. Finding her approach too slow, she had a sudden thought. She closed the umbrella and let herself fall once again.

Down, down, down – right on top of the clouds below.

Everything told her that she would fall right through, but she wanted to believe anyways. She clasped her hands together just before the first cloud. As if answering that prayer, her foot found resistance, enough to push off.

The cloud lit up purple with a chime, like it cheered her on.

And she jumped to the next cloud, and the next, each forming the keys of a xylophone as she strolled across them.

Dreams are better than reality.

This world was surely trying to tell her that.

A swirl of petals blew up to her, wrapping around her body before brushing lightly against her cheeks. She looked down at a beautiful forest of cherry blossoms and wisterias – pink and purple were her favorite colors.

Of course, she had never seen flowers such as these before. They existed only as pictures in her mind, flat and lifeless. Seeing their colors swirl around her gave form to her imagination, shape that was tangible.

Neither could she recognize the strange creatures that had suddenly joined her in the sky. The sight of cat pastries emitting rainbows and rotating stalks of green onions was an all-new experience.

She had no time to wonder as a scarecrow floated by her on balloons, and a dish flew away with a spoon.

Unsure of what else she would miss if her gaze lingered on anything for too long, she spun around to catch a glimpse of everything. The more she saw, the more her heart fluttered with possibilities.

This was a world made for her. To fill in for all the gaps that she was missing. To give her a life that she could never have.

But there was still one thing that she couldn’t find.

The benefactor of such an existence.

This was not a world of her making. The foreign nature of everything had made her realize that. But then, who out there was responsible for it all? Who summoned her and gave her a chance to live?

As she continued to float across the skies, a break in the landscape caught her notice. It was gray, unlike the surroundings around it. There was a gravity that sucked her towards it. An unnatural bleakness amid the bright dreams, a single blemish upon perfection – she couldn’t unsee it when it called out to her so much.

Landing onto another cloud, she dashed across a set of them, closer and closer to the one thing that did not seem like a passing whim.

Even as she rushed, her steps were graceful, her movements ethereal. Whatever it was down there had to be the source of this world, a humanly contrast to keep the fantasy around it grounded.

She dashed forward and hummed a tune to invoke bravery. It was likely the role that she had been given, her purpose for being here.

The grayness came more into focus. The image of a brooding boy sat in the center of it. An aura of boredom and sloth pervaded into the surroundings. It was no doubt that such negativity came from him.

Eventually, he looked up, and after several moments, he shot her a confused stare. That was all the confirmation that she needed to dive straight down. She was born for his sake. And with a tap of her umbrella, she opened it to slow her descent. Moments later, she landed softly on her tiptoes before taking a few more steps toward him.

She thought it was an entrance worthy of turning heads, a meeting that would surely be chalked up as fate.

But the boy sneered, somewhat unimpressed.

“Who the heck are you supposed to be?”

Paying his bluntness no mind, she took a deep breath before saying, “I’m a Dream Fairy. A wanderer of beautiful dreams. What more do you need to know?”

The boy looked like he was about to say something rude but shrugged it off. Someone like her was not particularly special compared to everything else.

“Got a name attached to that title, Miss Dream Invader?”

The girl moved to answer right away, but her voice creaked in hesitation, causing the boy to stare dumbly back. She turned her head up to the clouds for a moment, pondering. With another nod of self-assurance, she flashed a smile to fight by the grayness.

A new name for a new existence. That was what she settled with.

Grace. My name is Grace.”
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