Chapter 1:

Distance Between the Sun and the Moon ~ Handkerchief World

Sahaja—At 【The End】of Rebirth.

The night was a special kind of blackness, the kind that wants only to hold the stars and help them to shine all the brighter. It was a warm black that hugged you no matter what, and within its safety, everyone could feel their own soul all the more clearly, that innocent inborn spark.

As the colours of the day rest, perhaps dreaming of the morrow, the hillside becomes its monochrome beauty, shapes that make an ever-changing, ever-present puzzle, question and answer united.

The stars twinkle, like a playful child, one that generally, people love. Some of them flew far away as if they were playing hide-and-seek games so that people could only see the shadow of something sly. As if it were a shy little girl, hiding behind the clouds, not wanting everyone to see her true face; they could be seen as naughty little children, squinting and secretly making a funny face to show.

The silvery pearl-white wings of moonlight were chipped into tiny feathers of gleam.

The moon is also very interesting. Sometimes like a sickle, sometimes like a boat, sometimes like a half-big watermelon.

“We’ll infiltrate at dawn.”


This was no time to be in awe at the scenery they’d been accustomed to for eighteen years.

The words of their companion were a wake-up call to reality, inspecting him from head to toe. He was unwilling to take off the cloak to protect their identity, which was another mystery. Yet, the fact this being was willing to do such a preposterous act had caught their attention.

Recalling their first and only meeting, everything happened suddenly, and there was no time to protest, say something against it or flat-out reject the deal that was offered.

10,000 gold if you help me get in and overthrow the demon lord. If you manage to defeat the creature, all the riches found there will be yours, mark my words. Although, I doubt the Legendary Mage of Tonelico would need such frivolities.

The fact that the mysterious individual knew about their identity froze time inside the Adventurer’s Guild’s Bar.

Tsk. This man… how does he know even that? I threw away that title that was placed upon me by the Kingdom without my consent.

“Did ya hear me?”

Snapping back into reality, all they did was nod.

“Fantastic. Now go get some sleep, kid. I’m gonna need you wide awake for this to work.”

The vast, contorted tree he leaned against leaked its sticky sap like the poisoned back of a frog, burning. He was at the outermost edge of the fire's glow, concealed in the murky shadow of the tree’s massive vines. They twisted up insanely, like the despairing limbs of the damned begging for forgiveness. Above him, ghostly horsetails of moss were hanging from barrel-thick boughs like a poltergeist’s entrails.

“Why do you even want to overthrow the demon lord? As far as I am concerned, the people of this city are happy with their rulership. During my two months' stay here, I’ve never heard any sort of negative feedback in regard to his political views or stance. All I see are happy citizens being ruled by a kind lord chosen by democratic means. No foul play happened as far as I know.”

The morning stars peeped down at them both like silver asters, glinting and shimmering. The simpering wind carried a fragrance with it. It was spirit-refreshing to smell the mulchy mix of the forest’s perfume.

“I’m paying you for a job, not to ask questions.”

Guessed as much.

“At least I deserve to know some information, I was brought here against my own will.”

“Delude yourself with that. You and I, both know the reason you’re here. Stop pretending to care and knock yourself out, I cannot afford to have you dozing off while sticking to the plan.”

He’s correct. Undoubtedly so. I have no right to pretend that I care about others when in reality I’m—.

The wind dies, creating a terrible silence. There is no insect-hum, no leaf-rustle, no wind music. The winged symphony no longer rings out. In the rivers, the spawning salmon starve and die. The last dragonfly chirrups and flutters, its wings fluttering in that magical space between river and mist.

Suddenly, their limbs went numb, and their mind wouldn’t stop racing, too many thoughts were going through them. Everything was silent except for the steady beating of their heart.

«There’s no need for you to overthink, I’ll decide what’s right for you. You trust me, right?»

Blood pounded in their ears; their heart thudded in their chest and their hands shook. Their vision was disfigured as if they were looking through a fish-eye lens. They felt stranded.

Not… again…

With trembling lips, a single answer was able to come out.

“Good night.”

The only response they got was a cold back, that if it wasn’t for the light of the bonfire, would’ve seemed lonelier than it already was, reflected in their wisteria coloured-eyes that were drowning inside a self-inflicted state of misery and desolation.

The sun began to rise higher and higher very slowly and the colours became more vibrant. The sky and water connect with each other and the light strikes across the water. And in a moment, both individuals are dyed in crimson, bathed in a rosy glow. The nameless child moved their fingers through the air that grows brighter with each passing moment. Beside them, was the cloaked mystery man, silently guiding the way through the forest.

During a long silence that could have been broken with an ordinary butter knife, both kept on steady.

Meanwhile, all they could think about was how this person knew the exact way to infiltrate the castle without being spotted or detected. Given the current King of this city was a Demon Lord, surely the security would be tight. Even if those wars had ended a long time ago, those who lead the land needed protection, and even more so if it was a demon due to a still lingering hatred for their race.

Another important question was the fact that contrary to other places this child had visited, the Lord of these lands remained a mystery, never making speeches nor showing his face in public. Nonetheless, his kindness and love for the people was remarkable and the general opinion gave the city one of the biggest index of happiness when it came to the Kingdom’s population census.

So why is this man so keen on doing this sort of thing?

Suddenly, he came to an abrupt stop, the so-called Legendary Mage of Tonelico bumping into his back. Before they could say something, the unknown contractor gestured with his mouth and lips to not utter a single word nor make a noise.

Specks of dust were following the song of the wind, swirling endlessly and even rhythmically through the trees. Beyond the greenery, a beautiful patio could be seen, with colourful flowers and properly trimmed leaves. In awe, the kid gasped, amazed at what they were seeing.


Quite indeed. Fairies were an element of nature itself and were creatures that could get excited quite quickly with anything that caught their attention, so seeing them acting as diligent maids was bewildering.

“Stop daydreaming, c’mon.” The hooded man moved some debris that was conveniently covering what seemed to be an unrepaired hole that lead right into the castle. “Hurry up or they’ll explode.”

“Explode?” The nameless child asked.

“Don’t you know basic biology? If those fairies get extremely excited from seeing intruders, they’ll explode right in our faces.”

“Isn’t that a bit suicidal…?”

“They don’t even notice it. After all, fairies are nature itself, they regenerate as if nothing had happened… Anyway, no time to teach you this elementary class, go inside, quick.”

Pushed inside, they made their way through the darkness. It seemed that the man knew his way through this dark labyrinth, which only made the curious child overthink.

For a long time, the nameless mage thought they knew their place within this land.

Those born on this earthly plane are bound by their imperfections, but those born of chalk are free of impurities. They, made by the most perfect pair of hands in all the universe under a starry sky of fantasy, of pure white chalk from the void, have not a single flaw. This was the only singular truth in the world and all they needed to know about themselves. If any impurity came to tinge their essence, the pure white chalk pieces were somehow to blame.

Leaving a bad taste in their mouth, they followed the path indicated by the back of their contractor. They had been left with no choice but to follow those orders if they wanted to protect even the tiniest hope that wanted to bloom inside their heart.

Both were now walking aimlessly and the light was dimming the further in they went, their breaths dropping as due to cramped space.

An intrusive thought wished to make its way through their mind, preventing the unnamed child from walking. Their paces slowed down, trying not to let their benefactor notice. The last thing they wanted was to draw attention to themselves and expose their break-in. The legendary mage let out a sigh as they felt the rocky surface of the passageway, catching their breath. Narrowing those wisteria irises, doing their best to focus their eyesight, which was blurring by the minute, those thoughts were permeating their brain. The child wanted to blame it on lack of sleep, but a little voice in their head said that was impossible.

After all, the discomfort had started before sleeping last night.

«There’s no need for you to overthink, I’ll decide what’s right for you. You trust me, right?»

A figure appeared in their head. Someone tall and slender. Someone who always looked at them with eyes devoid of warm feelings. Someone who changed without warning from sunrise to sunset.

In a matter of seconds, the innocent child could feel a glare. Fearfully, swallowing their fears down their throat, they decide to turn around. The cloaked man took them by surprise, knowing that he had been watching them all this time. The kid bit their lower lip, subtly averting his gaze. The mage tried to turn a blind eye, not fully understanding his intentions. They crossed paths for a brief moment, the grown-up advancing his steps. Their heart pounded with great intensity once the man stopped beside them for a few seconds, analysing their predicament. However, he made the same expression again and walked on.

The Legendary Mage of Tonelico did not know how to express what they had just felt.

I don't know whether to classify it as disinterest, pity or spite.

The words got stuck in their mouth, struggling to understand and to put their mind at ease thanks to the torrent of emotions rushing through their eighteen-year-old body.

“‘Aight, here are we.”

The rising sun glares down upon the thick cobblestone walls, leaving stark, vivid shadows contrasting with the blinding bright reflections. The air suddenly acquires a musty, damp smell, the smell of sweat and heat. Through the heavy oak doors of the imposing keep, there is a large chamber filled with rows of empty guard armours and colours so flamboyant they almost distract your attention from the piles upon piles of glittering, golden treasure clustered around. The room smells of gold, the hard odour plating your tongue. The light from the teardrop-shaped windows reflects off the treasure at all angles, filling the room with a warm, golden, glowing, glimmering light. Coins fall in waterfalls of gold, frozen in time. Necklaces swirl through the piles like gold-plated snakes, and gems like flowers add colour among golden hills. Finally at the end of the hall, upon a squared, padded, high-backed throne, robes glistening, rings glittering, crown-gleaming…

Was no one.

This Demon Lord sure loves to flaunt his wealth.


The mage saw how the man slightly trembled.

Not because of fear, or disappointment.


“Start looking!” He yelled, with a voice they had never heard until now. It had lost all hints of regular common folk. It felt almost authoritarian, and the sudden change to formal language just felt extremely jarring. “Start looking!”

“But… where? The objective is to defeat the Demon Lord, right? You said to know this place, and that infiltrating at dawn was the best time to catch him unaware.”

But he was long gone to another world inside his mind, so much that the mage could feel the displeasure and hatred spewing from his body just from watching him gaze at all the riches that were being flaunted.

“Oh my, how uncouthly of me. Of course, this is not the right place. How dimwitted on my part.” Gesturing towards the mage, he signalized with his index finger towards a hidden backdoor behind the throne. “If anything goes wrong, I am counting on your abilities, saviour of the land.”

The child froze yet again.

How does he know… so much… about me…?

Opening the door disregarding the whole secret operation, the tall man obscured the nameless mage’s view. Regardless, they could hear a peculiar noise. Something they hadn’t heard in a very, very long time.

Pew! Pew! Pew! Bonk! Bonk! Pew! Pew! Game over!

“For the love of” a clear, high-pitched voice was about to scream their lungs out. “I went to sleep early to beat this fucking level and that’s how you reward me, you piece of shitty garbage!? Huh!?”


Something broke.


A blunt object destroyed something else.

Is the Demon Lord a girl…? That definitely is a girly voice…

“My, my. Not ashamed of such brutish behaviour?” The man asked, his voice spewing venom. “It is quite amusing to hear you say such vulgar words. Who would have thought an angel would have such a charming vocabulary.”

An… angel…? Then…

“Why the fuck are you here?”

“To claim back what is legitimately mine.”

The cloak flew through the air, revealing the mysterious man’s identity.

“Now, let’s set this fair and square, shall we?” He shoved the nameless child who was still processing the sudden turn of events, eyes closed. “Go, and finish the job!”

“Are you serious? Do you call this fair and square? Bringing a random adventurer to fight for you just because I kicked your ass and claimed your place as Lord? This is why I was sent to assassinate you, you cannot even fulfil the role of a demon by being such a coward!”

“I find it unusual for your kin to send an assassin in this day and age, which is why I had to be prepared. With all of this, I am firmly believing you were exiled and had nowhere else to go and decided to be a bully.”

“Then let’s settle this outside, I don’t wanna ruin the game room.”

Finally, the child opened their irises.

After meeting both of their gazes, they finally understood.

They understood that the world, regardless of their life, always had ways to mess with them.

Regardless of this being a new chance at life… after eighteen years…

“The universe... is truly... a small place...”

The sun and the moon rushed, the gap between them diminishing to aid them, who had just fainted as the first snowflake of winter.

«Before it comes to an end altogether, let’s finish it once and for all. This decomposed game of make-believe. Even though I loved you… I'll treat you like this, like the traitor you are.»

Dhamas Tri (dmz)
Alyssa Aurinia
Ana Fowl