Chapter 38:

We’ll Hold On to our Star-Crossed Love

With a Love Sorceress I'll Make My Romance Last!

Shatters of the glass pendant flew outwards, as the dark liquid pulled me in. I held my breath and plunged into the unknown.

For a chilling moment, everything was unbearably cold, and then — I heard voices.

They spoke in different languages. Some didn’t even sound like languages, more like screeches or beeping tones.

Tentatively, I opened my eyes, and I immediately knew I wasn’t on Earth.

In every direction, I saw creatures milling about tables. Their appearances were almost like a cosplay convention — except, a convention with an infinite budget, because some of these costumes were way too real. Was that a dragon? Typing on a typewriter?

I lifted my feet and saw the floor below me shift like dark ooze, despite being solid. And when I looked up, all that met me was an infinite abyss. Staring too long was like a shot of vertigo to the stomach.

I felt fear creep into my spine.

I was in way over my head this time.

Before the panic could paralyze me, I desperately looked for someone human in nature. I spied a man in the distance, and started walking towards him. But, no matter how much I moved, the man kept getting...further away?

Even though I was headed his direction, it was like the room itself was making me walk the other direction. I broke out into a run, but all it did was make me move faster in reverse.

Until I crashed right into a desk.

A woman cried out in surprise and a dog landed on my head.

“I just sorted those papers too,” the woman groaned. She fixed her glasses and dripped water over the antiquated desk, letting out a long breath. “Welcome, my name is Galinnade. You are a World Breaker and I will explain—”

I took the puppy off my head and gently handed it to her. The aquatic woman finally got a look at my face.

“Jun Hiroyuki?!” she shouted, causing us both to jump in surprise. “You’re not supposed to be here. You’ve got normal stars, maybe Faint Stars now that you’ve crossed worlds, but you’re not a Breaker. Unless,” Galinnade’s smile grew, “you’re here to chase after Claire?”

Honestly I didn’t know what was happening, but this mermaid spoke my language and seemed to know Claire. So I nodded in agreement.

Galinnade’s smile faltered. “But...I sent Claire to the Void hours ago. You already missed her.”

My heart sank.

Then, the lady frantically started pulling apart the drawers of her desk. “But time is relative here! I might be able to send you to her! Just, give, me, a, second!” She shouted out each word as she tossed scrolls aside. Finally she held up one with pride. “Ah-hah! I knew I still had one of these!”

The mermaid-woman filled out the paper with a quill, the ink barely drying before she tapped it quickly with her fingertip, and the parchment vanished into black dust.

“Emergency summons,” Galinnade proclaimed with a smirk. “The wall might not like it, but it’ll send you to the right place. When you get there, be sure to shout something dramatic. You’re basically crashing into Claire’s courtroom.”

I was still completely lost, but ‘crashing into Claire’s courtroom’ sounded promising, if not terrifying.

“How do I get there?” I asked, because this room seemed to stretch forever, and I didn’t see any way out.

“Just start walking,” Galinnade encouraged, “the space here knows your destination.”

Another terrifying concept.

The puppy in Galinnade’s arms let out a bark, and a box suddenly appeared. Galinnade grabbed this box and tossed it towards me.

“Take this,” she said, “Poochy wants you to give it to Claire when the time is right. Good luck!”

I barely caught the box with my trembling hands and stuffed it in my pocket. This was so much more than my mind could comprehend. I felt sick.

But all I needed to do was walk, right?

So I started walking. The room brought me to a dark, dark wall. I didn’t see a door, but I kept getting closer. I tried to move away, but with every step, I was shoved into the wall itself. The surface pushed back, as though it didn’t want me to be there.

If this was the last thing standing between me and Claire, I wasn’t about to let some wall beat me.

So I grit my teeth and shoved through with a shout of force. Finally, the barrier gave way.

I stumbled into a sea of stars. I glanced up and saw Claire, near tears, standing on a cage-like podium.

Be sure to shout something dramatic. You’re crashing into Claire’s courtroom.’

“I object!”


The ‘courtroom’ went silent.

The cosmos stretched all around us, as two imposing figures stared down overhead. I saw a wolf with flames around its eyes, and some floating water creature. I gulped, realizing maybe, just maybe, I wasn’t supposed to be here.

Then, I saw a girl standing next to Claire; a girl with red ribbons in her hair.

“Ah!” I shouted, as memories came flooding back. “Tanabata-Paper Ghost girl!”

Again, the courtroom went silent.

The ribbon-haired girl broke the silence with an amused laugh. “And a pleasure to see you again as well, Jun Hiroyuki.”

Claire snapped her head towards the girl. “You’ve met Jun before?!” Claire cried, distraught. Her voice fell to panic. “You aren’t planning to erase him too, are you? You can’t!” Claire reached over the bars of the podium, and grabbed the girl’s shoulders, begging. “Please, just take me. I know he was fated to die but please…please...”

Seeing Claire’s desperation, the gravity of the moment finally hit me.

I’d just stupidly barged in on a matter of life and death: no plan, no idea what was happening. Just your average office worker, standing beyond time, helplessly watching the stars expand.

All I could do was step forward and take Claire’s hand. She glanced down, feeling the weight of my palm in hers.

Her arm was shaking just as much as mine.

“Jun what are you doing here?” Claire asked in a broken whisper. “You’re supposed to be safe at home. Y-You’re supposed to forget about me!”

I held her hand tighter. “I thought I told you,” I grinned, “I never want to forget you.”

Claire’s eyes went wide. “You stupid little—!” She smacked her fist onto my chest, upset.

But with her other arm, she still held onto my hand tightly; as if she didn’t want to let go.

The ribbon-haired girl cleared her throat. “In light of our new guest, I wish to introduce ourselves.” The girl floated upwards, taking her place with the other two creatures. “We are the Champions of the Void — nameless beings, whose purpose is to oversee the fabric of reality, and maintain its composure with Time,” the girl gestured to the water-being, “Space,” she then gestured to the wolf-creature, “and Fate,” she finally gestured to herself.

I nudged closer to Claire, whispering in her ear. “Doesn’t that make them...kind of like gods?” I asked.

“If you want to see them that way,” Claire answered weakly. “Even they cannot control fate perfectly, nor do they always know what will happen in this world or the next.”

“Indeed,” the ribbon-haired girl answered, “we are not perfect beings, nor are we omnipotent. Our existence is fraught with oversight. Imperfect though we are, we seek to lessen the number of World Breakers, and keep reality closer to its intended order — be that for better or worse. We are merely followers of the stars.”

The girl’s eyes narrowed. “...And Clarisina is now far out of alignment with those stars.”

I winced, as I felt Claire’s hand dig into mine. I pulled her closer.

What could I do? What could I say?

“T-then…” I opened my mouth, like the idiot that I was. “...can you give Claire my stars?”

“Jun!” Claire immediately shouted. “What are you—? It doesn’t even work that way!”

“Then, half my stars?” I tried again. “Anything? If we have the same stars, then you can’t defy fate, right? You won’t be a World Breaker anymore. And our chances of romance will be 100%! Because we’re the exact same constellation!”

I was panic-talking at this point.

“What are you saying?” Claire cried, tears rising to her eyes. “Jun, I was brought here to be erased from existence. You can still go home and—”

“And I’m supposed to be dead!” I cried, growing desperate. I pulled both her hands into mine. “You saved me, Claire. You saved Mia, you saved Toren, you saved so many countless lives on Earth over five hundred years. You even saved Janus Akaventus! Sure, he lived in exile, but he had a happy life!” I shook my head. “So why is it that you’re the only one getting punished? Just for falling in love with the wrong guy? If I could meet Janus, I’d punch my old parallel self in the face for not noticing your feelings sooner! I don’t care that he already had a girlfriend, you’re adorable Claire! How could he not see that?”

My voice fell.

“...How could I not see that?” I muttered sadly, as burning tears finally came to my eyes.

If only I’d noticed Claire sooner. Maybe things wouldn’t have come to this.

I knew it was too late.

Claire was a girl who wasn’t supposed to exist.

And I was a boy who was supposed to be dead.

I stared into Claire’s hazel eyes. “Madam Claire,” I murmured, “does the Tanabata story of Orihime and Hikoboshi always have to end...with their stars forever separated on opposite sides of the universe?”

Quietly, barely over a whisper, I added, “Because I don’t want to be separated from you, Claire. I’m in love with you.”

Despite everything, despite the universe swirling around us, despite the beings of Space, Time, and Fate watching in silence — Claire finally smiled. She smiled through her tears and shook her head, weakly laughing at the craziness of it all. Then she looked at me, and smiled even wider.

“Jun?” she asked.


“Can I kiss you?”

“Well, s-sure. But we’re sort of in the middle of an otherworldly courtroom. It might not be appropri—”