Chapter 37:

I Dream, You Dream, We all Dream of…

Grace Dances Upon the Clouds

Beads of cold sweat poured down Haru’s back as he walked with Kasumi that morning. It started off with a relaying of a dream fairy visiting her, claiming to be ‘Grace’. But what really made Haru freak out was that said fairy looked like Haru with wings.

That last detail made it all seem like a coincidence but invoked so much cringe that he couldn’t help but get flustered. He started to relax until Kasumi spoke again.

“It’s strange. I don’t usually lucid dream, but this felt so real. I was chatting, exploring, and doing all sorts of things like I was actually there. It was so disorienting to walk on clouds that it caused me to stumble when stepping on the solid ground of my bedroom.”

Haru laughed but the coincidences continued to pile up. Enough so to wonder if he was still dreaming.

“Here, pinch me. I need to know that you’re real,” Haru offered his arm.

Kasumi bit instead.

“Ow! What was that for?”

“To mark my imaginary Haru if it is a dream.”

“Now, I’m afraid to know what kind of situations you imagine between us.”

“Maybe you’ll find out eventually.”

Their dream banter continued as they arrived at their classroom, perking up two sets of ears.

“Are you two talking about Grace?” Koichi interrupted with a laugh. “I was just about to comment that I had a ‘Grace’ in my dream as well, a few nights ago. But I forgot about it because she looked like this chick I met from a concert afterparty.”

“No way, you too?!” Daichi sprang before them. “Some traveling soccer fan with wings visited me two days ago claiming to be ‘Grace’. Had a Portuguese accent. We had fun kicking around meteors, causing destruction across the field. It was a blast, I tell ya!”

“I was in an orchestra with my ‘Grace’. A relaxing change from rock and roll.”

They all looked at each other, a growing sense of confusion on their faces. Whatever this ‘Grace’ was, it had somehow invaded all of their dreams. But why? One other person was a coincidence, but now, ‘Grace’ lived in each of their heads.

The bell chimed for classes to start.

“Let’s find somewhere to talk after school,” Haru said.


“… So… why are you all here? You know that maid cafes don’t typically offer a group rate.”

Megu stared at them oddly. Working there after school was the norm for him, due to being a family business. For once, Kasumi was there as a ‘customer’ instead.

They explained the whole situation about ‘Grace’ to him, being the only one out of the loop. How his glasses seemed to slide right down as the information sank in would have been funny any other time.

“You’re telling me that Haru-kun had an imaginary girlfriend in his dreams, and she helped him turn over a new leaf… and now, all of you have one too?!”

The look of disgust that Megu gave them was enough to rival a certain isekai oni maid. But then, he sighed and sat down in a chair.

“Something tells me that you aren’t trying to prank me.”

“Join the circle and obtain your very own ‘Grace’ as well!” Haru joked, earning an elbow jab from him.

“Still… this presents an interesting situation.” Koichi placed his hands under his chin. “I’m thankful that Haru’s savior has decided to grace us as well, but I feel like there’s something more to this.”

“But who can we ask? It’s not like anyone we know can actually do something about it,” Daichi said, leaning back to strain his two brain cells.

Everyone looked around the table, except for Megu, whose gaze was fixed solely on the strangely quiet Haru. He was given the stare of ‘Guilty!’, which clued the others in as well.

“One of us here is actually connected to dream research, isn’t he?”

“That would entail talking to my parents,” Haru finally said, meekly.

“Just do it!” they all sounded together at him.


Haru had never been up so late before. He fought the urge to sleep, dosing up heavily on caffeine at the maid café, all so he could. By midnight, the front door opened and two sets of footsteps trotted up the stairs, a door opening and closing right after.

Haru got up and steeled himself, knowing full well how stupid he was going to sound. Scientists had practical beliefs. Something as strange as dream fairies living in people’s heads was right out of a fantasy book. But regardless, his parents were all he could turn to. After all, their research involved recording dreams. Maybe, they could capture what was going on in their minds.

A knock at the door was met with silence, but then, it slowly opened, revealing a surprised Joutarou Higashi.

“Why are you still up?”

A funny question when spoken by people who never seemed to sleep.

“I wanted to pick your brain.”

An equally amusing reply that worked on those pursuing the truths of science.

His father beckoned for him to come in. His mother waited inside as well. Haru had never bothered to simply drop by. There seemed to be an unspoken boundary here that should never be crossed. At least, not until he was invited. But Haru had made every excuse to avoid his parents and the expectations that they imposed on him.

Now, he needed them for exactly the thing he ran away from. But before he could ask about that, Haru pointed to one corner of the room.

“What the hell is that?”

A conglomeration of machinery was parked there, too fancy and articulate to be any household appliance. It immediately stood out. Conspiracies theories had a field day in his mind.

“A device to record brainwaves.” The way his father said it so nonchalantly annoyed him.


“Yours while sleeping.”

“And you were going to tell me this when?” Haru barked, suddenly feeling like his privacy was invaded.

“Didn’t need to. It was meant to be anonymous data sampling.”

Haru fell silent for a moment. His mind whirred as the pieces came together.

“You! You’re the reason I dreamt of Grace!”

He pointed his finger dramatically at his father, like he had just found the culprit. After a moment of silence, his parents both asked at once.

“Who is Grace?”
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