Once in a while when I wake up, I find myself crying. The dream I must have had that I can never recall
The sensation that I’ve lost something lingers for a long time after I wake up.
I’m always searching
This feeling has possessed me, I think from that day
That day when the stars came falling
It was almost as if it were a scene from a dream
Nothing more, nothing less
Than a beautiful dream
“Slaine…” someone that he barely recognized whispered.
“Don’t you….remember me?” the person asked, surprised as though he was expecting him to know them. They were on a crowded train, the person glanced around, looking hurt almost as if his heart had been shattered. Forcing a smile, the stranger who knew his name turned to move towards the exit. Slaine, not knowing what else to say, suddenly shouted, earning stares from the crowd but all he could see was him….. The strange person that he had just met,
“W-wait! W-what’s your name!”
“Inaho….Kaizuka Inaho”he smiled a genuine smile that stunned Slaine completely.
He reached out as the person called Kaizuka Inaho hands him a bracelet with an orange fruit charm and disappears.
Somewhere in the distance, Slaine heard sounds of something vibrating and woke up with a start, breathing fast, his eyes wide.
It was just….a dream.
I should make breakfast …wait where am I?
Slaine looked around at his surroundings that appeared extremely….unfamiliar. A hamster was running around on its wheel in a tank, Tatami mats and traditional paper sliding doors commonly found in old Japanese homes. There was a calendar nearby and his room was….very neat. Something was off. He looked down, only to see….egg-patterned pajamas. Since when did he wear egg-patterned pajamas?
The door slid open loudly all of a sudden. Slaine jolted up in surprise, shivers running down his back.
“Nao-kun~ for ONCE I caught you falling asleep later than usual~ Hurry up and get out of bed! I made breakfast.”
Standing at the door was a tall lady with straight black hair all geared up in what looked like office attire? And smugly looking at him with a proud smile on her face.
“Eh? Nao? Me?” Slaine said pointing at himself. Her eyes narrowed slightly before widening in surprise.
“UWOO Nao kun! ARE YOU BLUSHING? You sure are acting strange this morning! Of course not that I’m complaining~ my little brother must finally be growing up! What a happy day! Maybe he’ll finally get a girlfriend. Well get ready! You’re already late Nao hahaa~” Slamming the door closed this time, she skipped off humming to herself happily while Slaine stared, still utterly confused and shocked.
Who was he?
Where was he?
What was he doing here?
How was this possible?
Was he still dreaming?
So many questions flooded his mind as he slowly stood up, staggered a little and moved towards the mirror. Looking at the mirror, he screamed with terror, or rather a young man with red eyes and chestnut brown hair screamed for the very first time, completely scaring his sister out of her wits and making her dash into his room once again, her eyes showing a great amount of concern. And so, Slaine’s day began in the craziest of ways, in a way he had definitely not expected, being stuck in a body not his own.
“Good morning Nao kuuunn,” Yuki yawned and rubbed her eyes as she stumbled into the kitchen of their small traditional house barely awake and seated herself in front of the low table with a breakfast of rice and vegetables.
“Morning Yuki nee, would you prefer scrambled or rolled omelet?”
“Scrambled, I suppose.”
“Well that’s too bad, today it’s rolled omelette” Inaho deadpanned as he transferred them onto the empty plate set before her from the pan, piping hot and looking absolutely delicious. In the background, a reporter on the news channel was explaining about the rare phenomenon of the Tiamat Comet passing by the Earth atmosphere very soon.
“Mmm looks delicious as usual Nao kun!” She exclaimed happily, unlocking her phone only to catch her first glimpse of the time this morning.
“Eeeeehhh nao-kun! Why didn’t you wake me uupp??!! I’m late for work…again. At this rate I will get fired once more and we’ll NEVER move to Tokyo!” Yuki complained, her hands piling her bowl with rice so that she could stuff her mouth, rushing to finish her breakfast.
“Careful Yuki nee, if you don’t chew slowly you might choke. “ He calmly advised as he moved to the sink to wash his dishes.
Looking very much like a hamster with its cheeks full of nuts, Yuki turned to look at Inaho and spoke, or at least tried to, “Ywou sheem nwormal tfoday Nao.” swallowing her rice as she finished her sentence.
“Normal?” Inaho raised his eyebrows slightly
“Yeah! You were nuts yesterday! Seemed like you were possessed by a spirit or something.” She answered as she stuffed down another mouthful of food, quickly finishing her meal.
“That is illogical.” He said as he picked up his bag, and slipped on his shoes, sliding the door closed before opening it once again as a thought occurred to him.
“You’d be able to make it to work on time if you left in about five minutes Yuki-Nee. See you later.” he stated as he shut the door once more and left the house, tapping away at his phone.
Back home, Yuki mumbled about how her brother was back to his jerk self and continued complaining about being late as she ran around the house getting ready. She was definitely going to be late. Maybe she should start looking for new jobs…
Inaho walked down the road towards the high school, which was on the other side of the little lake town that he lived in, looking through sales advertisements and coupon offers.
Ah egg sale tomorrow…
He locked his tablet after saving the time of the sale on his schedule.
I’ll have to wake earlier than usual tomorrow then…I will need to get food for pancake soon too..
His thoughts were interrupted by the ringing of a bicycle followed by a high pitched voice calling him from behind
“Inaho!” Inko called, waving from the back of the bicycle while Calm pedaled forward.
“Oh…Morning Inko, Calm.”
“Good Morning~” Inko chirped, leaning over Calm who didn’t look very pleased about that as he shrugged and looked at her.
“Will you get off already?” he complained while Inko pouted, folding her arms before saying, “Why? Meanie hmph.”
“You’re heavy!!” he bit back, sulking to which Inko said,
“That’s really rude!” annoyed.
Meanwhile, Inaho had tuned out of the conversation and had walked quite a distance ahead of them.
Noticing this, Calm and Inko shouted, “OI INAHO WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU ARE GOING!” both still in quite a bit of a bad mood after their little bicker.
Inaho merely continued walking as Inko got off the bicycle and ran forward to catch up with him.
“Your hair seems alright today Nao” she remarked trying to catch her breath.
“It is combed neatly as usual, why?” Inaho asked.
Calm having caught up with them added in, “Yeah! Did your sister properly exorcise you?”
“My sister is too lazy to do such things.” He replied quietly.
“Haaah? You were totally possessed yesterday you know?!” Calm continued as he cycled slowly beside them as they crossed a bridge above a stream.
“Oh Calm just cut it out already. Nao was probably just stressed right?” She turned to Inaho expecting an answer.
“What-“is all she got from him.
Calm bent over looking at him surprised, “You really don’t remember do you?”
The sound of pens scratching paper echoed through the room as the teacher wrote on the chalkboard and circled important characters before turning around. Inaho took out his notebook and flipped open the pages as she turned around to explain the characters written on the board.
“Tasokare means ‘Who is that?’ and is the origin of the word Tasokare Doki. Twilight, the time when it is neither night nor day. When the world blurs and one might encounter something not human. Older expressions include ‘Karetaso Doki’ or ‘Kawatare doki’ “
Half listening, he looked at the page with ‘Who are you?’ written in large lettering that covered the whole page. He looked at it slightly annoyed. This was an anomaly in his very neatly written notes. Tearing the page off, he crumpled it, and started to write on a new page.
“Excuse me? Is it not ‘Kataware Doki’?” one of his classmates asked.
“Kataware Doki? Kataware Doki is local dialect don’t you think? I heard Itomori’s elderly still use the classic language.” She replied pointedly.
“Alright next, Kaizuka-san” She called.
Placing his pen down, he stood up answering,
“So you remember your name today Kaizuka-san.” She said, slightly amused.
The class broke into laughter to which Inaho tilted his head, slightly confused. He thought this was indeed strange.
“You don’t remember? Inko asked baffled as she sat down on the wooden chair, opening her lunchbox. Their little spot in the field overlooked the lake before them, the water calm and glistening under the sunlight.
“Yesterday you forgot where your own locker and table were!” she explained as she took a bite of her sausage.
“Your hair was sticking up in all directions and you had forgotten your phone!” Inko stated seriously.
“That is highly unlikely. Maybe you were imagining things.” Inaho replied still refusing to believe Inko.
My memory is uncharacteristically hazy however. Maybe she has a point …for once.
“It was like you had amnesia you know?” Inko continued as Calm quietly listened as he read a magazine on the table his legs dangling freely.
“Strange..it was just a dream though. My memory is unclear.” He mumbled to himself.
“Aha! I got it! That was…,” Calm paused as he flipped open the pages to his magazine excitedly and practically shoved it in Inaho’s face.
” Your previous life! Or maybe your subconscious was linked to the Everett multiverse!” he said loudly, almost falling off of the table he was sitting on. Inaho merely blinked and took another bite from his milk bread.
“Stay out of this! Nothing you say makes sense anyway Calm.” Inko said, pushing the magazine, away from Inaho.
“Did you write that in my notebook? I can only think of one person who does such….unnecessary things.” Inaho stared at Calm.
Looking confused, he said, “Eh??? What notebook?”
“Hmm nevermind. Must’ve been some other brainless person.” Inaho mumbled to himself.
“Are you calling me BRAINLESS?” Calm exclaimed mortified.
“But Nao-kun you were really weird yesterday. Are you feeling alright?” Inko asked, concerned, ignoring Calm completely.
“I am quite sure that I am alright Inko.” Inaho said pointedly.
“Could be stress you know? Finals are coming up.” She pointed out.
“Ugh don’t remind me.” Calm complained grimacing.
Sighing, in unison they complained, “I can’t stand this town anymore.”
“It’s too small and close-knit. I want to graduate and go to Tokyo already” Inko grumbled.
“I don’t really blame you. There’s really nothing in this town huh...” Calm sighed.
“Trains come only every two hours.” She said, waving her hands, as they passed by the rail tracks of their town.
“The convenience store closes at 9pm!” Calm complained as they passed by the convenience store.
“No bookstore. No dentist.” Inko shook her head disapprovingly.
“But 2 pubs for some reason.” She added exasperatedly.
“No Jobs. No brides. Not to mention short daylight hours.” Calm sighed face palming as he rolled his bicycle, walking beside Inaho and Inko.
Inaho looked at them and said, “If you two are going to complain excessively, I’ll be heading home first. Bye.”
He left them with their mouths gaping wide.
“He really needs to work on his social skills.” Calm said half-jokingly knowing that that would probably never happen.
As night time fell, Inaho took out his constellation book and stepped of the house, and into their back garden that was surrounded by unkempt rose bushes that were slowly dying. They had never managed to actually maintain them for a long time. Inaho had tried, but gardening was the one thing he wasn’t good at despite the amount of books that he had read about it. Meanwhile,. Yuki was still out working for the mayor of the town, Miss Magbaredge.
Their father had abandoned their family the moment their mother had died, only a day after having given birth to him. Which meant that theyThey had had to live with only Inko and Calm’s family dropping bycoming to help them until Yuki was old enough to work. There were multiple times he had had to comfort his sister whenever he had found her crying as she looked at an old photo album.. Rarely, he thought of how it would have been if their parents had stayed, but he shook the thought away immediately as it wasn’t going to help him in the present. And so, he moved forward only thinking of the future, even though it could still get tiring for him.
He knew that Yuki nee would go out and about looking for signs of where their father could be, but always came home disappointed every night. Laying their picnic mat on the grass, he threw on his jacket and sat himself down, picking out the constellations one by one and drawing the charts, sometimes referring to his phone for additional information. It had become a ritual for him ever since he found it hard to sleep whenever Yuki nee wasn’t home yet. This was the only reason that made him wish he could move to the city with his sister. They needed a change in their lives, a change that would let her move on from their parents leaving. But for now they’d have to make do in this small town.
Unable to stay awake any longer, he yawned and fell asleep, wrapped in a picnic blanket in the backyard.
Inaho awoke to the sun shining its rays mercilessly on his face. Squinting, he sat up yawning as his eyes got used to being awake once more. That’s strange, he remembered falling asleep under the stars, so why was he in….an apartment? Simple things like a fan, desk and cupboard were situated within the small space. Taking in his surroundings, he took note of how messy the room was with clothes strewn all over the place and its complete disarray of furniture.
“Meow~” he heard as a black cat walked to the bed and lay down on his lap. He froze, afraid, his eyes widening, expecting to begin sneezing uncontrollably, except that it never came. Hesitantly, he reached down and began petting the cat.
This is admittedly nice…What a strange dream…..
Gently, he coaxed the cat into moving off of his lap and shifted to the edge of the bed. He continued taking note of his surroundings as the cat walked towards its food bowl and began meowing incessantly.
It seemed that only the desk and ironing table were free of items. There was a uniform hanging on the cupboard handle all nicely ironed and ready to be worn.
Having taken in his surroundings, he looked at his hands, wait…those were not his hands. They were definitely paler and somewhat bigger. Planting his feet down on the floor and getting off of the bed, he walked over to the mirror and looked into the most beautiful teal eyes that he had ever seen; something about them reminded him of shattered glass marbles.
He moved his hand up to touch the unfamiliar blonde hair, when a blue phone vibrated from the tidy desk and alerted him of its presence. Something black caught his eye.
Oh a bat keychain
Meanwhile, the cat began pawing at him, breaking him out of his trance. He went to pick up the phone and saw five messages from a ‘Harklight’. He checked the date, it was exactly the day after he fell asleep under the stars. This was definitely not any regular dream. His dreams usually consisted of eggs, not beautiful foreign men and cats that he miraculously weren’t allergic to..
Reading through the messages, he realized this person must be late for their class, whoever they were. A quick inspection of the uniform revealed an emblem that read ‘Vers International High School’ in tiny lettering below the acronym ‘V.I.H.S’. Above the right pocket, a badge with the name ‘Slaine Troyard’ on it had been engraved with a student council title situated below it.
“Quite a miracle for someone so messy to be student council.” he muttered to himself, noticing that Troyard’s voice was much more melodic and softer compared to his own.
Picking up a towel from one of the messy piles, he went to the bathroom to get ready for Troyard’s day. The cat followed behind only to be shut out. It hissed in annoyance and went back to its comfy bed.
Having stripped down, Inaho couldn’t help but notice a few things.
Troyard sure is….well-endowed.
Feeling his back he felt a few deep running scars.
It seems that he wasn’t treated well.
Stepping out of the shower all fresh and clean, he wrapped himself in the towel and dried himself before dressing in the very elaborate uniform. It even had a beret for some reason.
Inaho thought. After 10 minutes of fiddling with the beret he put it away in Troyard’s bag and decided to forgo it. It was an extremely hot day anyway. He didn’t want to boil like an egg.
Ah…I need breakfast…
Inaho peeked into the fridge only to be majorly disappointed with the complete lack of eggs. It seemed that Troyard didn’t even have a frying pan, but for some reason, had frozen meat in the fridge that probably was past its expiry date. He found a bag of cat food hidden at the top of the cabinet and refilled the cat’s bowl before he continued to forage the kitchenette for food. Finally, he came across a cabinet stashed with can after can of red bull and millions of cup noodles. Inaho felt himself die inside and decided that he wouldl have to eat out somewhere, and at the same time, throw out all this trash.
“Right, I haven’t figured out where this is….”
With a last ditch attempt to tame Troyard’s hair, Inaho stepped out of the apartment and was met with the sight of a huge city with tall buildings, the Tokyo tower not far from sight. His eyes widened; this was the place that he had wanted to move to for a long time along with his sister, if only for Yuki-nee to have a fresh start. Inaho took the lift down to the first floor and began looking for a route to the high school that Troyard went to via the phone. Having memorized it, he put the phone away and began his journey, the beret sticking out of the bag.
He reached the school thirty minutes later than he had expected and took out his phone once more, walking past classrooms as he looked through the camera roll trying to find a picture of a timetable and came up with none. Many of the other students were strolling out of class. Looking at the time, he realized that it must be the lunch break now. Perhaps he should text that ‘Harklight’ person. Just as the thought crossed his mind, someone swung their hand over his shoulder.
“Why didn’t you answer any of my messages Slaine?” A raven haired guy asked concerned, the beret on his head a little lopsided. Inaho blankly stared back and asked, “Harklight?”
“Are you sure you’re alright Slaine? Catching a fever perhaps? Where is your beret?” Harklight continued bombarding Troyard with questions as another friend of his came wheeling over by the looks of it, while he conveniently blanked out, looking far into space. Troyard’s friend in a wheelchair looked at him with a raised eyebrow,kicked him lightly on the leg and caught his attention.
“Oh! Slaine, you’re very late you know. The teacher was quite upset to not see you there. Are you feeling alright?”
The blue-eyed girl looked at him expectantly.
Troyard must talk a lot….
Looking at the both of them blankly, he replied curtly, “I overslept.”
Sighing, Harklight glanced at Slaine disapprovingly and said,
“Did those all-nighters finally get to you? Didn’t we tell you that we would help you if you needed it?”
“I suppose that I have forgotten.”
The blue-eyed girl with pink hair began poking at him.
“You seem a little off today still. How about we go to the café later? That always cheers you up!” She said happily.
“No thanks. There is a grocery sale later today. You are welcome to join me.”
Harklight and the girl looked at him, confused, their faces showing utter bafflement.
“Groceries? Slaine? But you never buy groceries….all you do is stock up on cup noodles and cat food.” She asked, her eyes squinting slightly in suspicion.
“We’ll follow you anyway, Slaine! Right Lemrina?” Harklight looked over at her with a smile.
Sighing she waved her hands and said,s, “Alright, alright , I’ll follow you two as long as one of you drops me off at home later.”
Folding her arms she waited, probably expecting Harklight to push her.
“You know that you can move around yourself for now right? You don’t look tired Lemrina~” Harklight teased.
Pouting, she followed them back to class on her own.
Tokyo was as busy in the evening as it was in the day, Inaho realized as he walked through the bustling streets with Lemrina and Harklight. This time, Harklight was pushing Lemrina’s wheelchair as she dozed off every few minutes and awoke again.
It sure was easier to get past crowds and see further as Slaine, he noticed. Slaine was indeed much taller than he was, and Inaho found the view from above quite refreshing. However, it would be harder for him to get to the front with the egg sales going on.
“You’re very silent today Slaine. Did something happen?” Harklight asked, looking at him as he wheeled Lemrina along.
“Nothing of interest…Ah we are here.” Inaho replied, Slaine’s voice coming out instead. He had to admit it was still quite strange to hear someone else’s voice come out instead of his own.
Picking up a basket, he strolled into the already crowded supermarket and went straight to the meat and poultry section where he picked up a few eggs and some fresh meat. After grabbing a few more items, he went to the cashier to pay and waited on the other side for Harklight, who had gotten some things for himself,to finish as well. Lemrina was boredly examining her nails.
“Are we finally done? This has got to be the most normal thing you have done Slaine, I have to admit.” Lemrina remarked with an air of disinterest.
“I will be leaving first. There is much to do.” Inaho said, somewhat quietly.
“Slaine did someone bully you into acting like a robot? You’ve been sounding like one all day.” Harklight asked, very concerned.
“Maybe it’s a fever,” he mumbled, hoping that they got the message that he wanted to be left alone. Harklight sighed and stepped back.
“I have to drop Lemrina and go to work now Slaine, but if you have anything you need, please call us okay?” Harklight said as he placed a hand on Slaine’s shoulder, squeezing it reassuringly. He left pushing a somewhat cranky Lemrina out of the supermarket. Inaho decided to go home immediately; he had a cat to feed after all.
Having trudged through the dark, lamp-lit streets to Slaine’s apartment, Inaho shook off his shoes and went straight to the kitchenette, placing the newly bought kitchen utensils and cooking items in their respective drawers and refrigerator compartments. He threw away whatever was unhealthy, like the red bull and the cup noodles, leaving behind only a few of the cup noodles stashed away for emergencies. The cat came and walked past him curiously before going back to sleep in its bed.
I still need to figure out its name….
Clearing his thoughts, he set to preparing bentos for the week ahead. He didn’t care who this person was, or if they were a stranger, as long as he was within this body he was not going to settle with junk food or a breakfast without eggs.
After preparing the food for the week, he wrote down the expenses used on a notepad on the desk and a few other points with an orange ink pen.
I’ve thrown away most of the cup noodles and all of the red bull,
There are Bentos in the fridge that should last a whole week.
Please eat a nutritious breakfast every day.
Signed, Kaizuka Inaho
Tired from all the cooking, Inaho fell asleep on the desk, which was going to give Slaine a very bad neck in the morning.
Slaine slowly opened his eyes to the sound of vibrating coming from somewhere. He stretched and looked out the window. It was still somewhat dark outside, yet, he felt well rested for the first time in his one year of living in Japan. His cat, Tharsis, jumped up onto his lap and purred nudging him with her nose lovingly. He looked down at her and smiled, petting her gently. “Morning Tharsis, you won’t believe the dream I had while I was asleep.” He murmured to her softly.
Tharsis meowed back, happy to finally receive proper attention.
What a strange dream that was… Slaine thought as he picked up his vibrating phone and switched off the alarm. He checked the time: ‘6:30a.m’. Looking carefully, he could have sworn that it was only the 15th of April when he had went to sleep the previous day.
Then why is it showing the date to be 17th April? Did I really sleep for 2 days? That’s not possible. Perhaps I should close my eyes for a little.
Tharsis meowed at him again, nudging him to continue petting her. Absentmindedly he did so as he closed his eyes and placed the phone down, trying to recall a day that seemed to have already passed, yet one that he couldn’t quite remember.
Frowning, he opened his eyes once more and looked at the table, moving his head closer to it to stare at a piece of paper with handwriting that was more serious looking than his own. Picking it up, he skimmed through the sentences of the little note, his face scrunching up in disbelief as he let out a shout, startling his cat off of his lap.
He took off out of his chair and ran to the cabinets of his kitchenette and almost shrieked as he saw all his cup noodles and red bull bottles gone.
“No no no no this can’t be happening.” He muttered to himself crazily as he realized what was going on. The realization hit him like a bomb.
That Orange and I are exchanging bodies without a doubt! But how? And why?
Lying down on bed, he began wailing over his loss of convenient cheap food and also realized that he had missed his work shift the previous day and rolled over. Looking through his phone once again, he noticed a missed call from Asseylum senpai and his boss Cruhteo. He shivered at the thought of meeting his boss today.
Oh my boss is going to kill me…. At least I have food I guess.
He got out of bed and sadly cooked himself eggs for the first time in ages and ended up burning them. He ate them anyway and stuffed down some bread and milk.
Refilling Tharsis’ bowl, he went to shower, noticing another difference. There was an orange scented shower gel sitting right beside his strawberry scented shower gel.
How much money did that Orange spend seriously…? I was saving up for a gift for Asseylum senpai!
Annoyed he took the orange soap and placed it elsewhere, away from his sight and began cleaning himself, feeling much better after a comfortable and warm strawberry scented shower.
Humming to himself, he put on his uniform and beret, and stepped out of the house with his bag slung over his shoulder. For once he felt better that he left his apartment early enough to journey to school slowly. He tried not to think of what would happen later at work. Hopefully, Kaizuka that idiot hadn’t been too strange with Harklight and Lemrina.
He reached the school earlier than expected and ended up wandering around before setting foot in his classroom. That was when he realized, that he had no time to finish his homework considering that he was busy living Kaizuka’s life in the beautiful, small town the other day.
He couldn’t possibly tell the class teacher, ‘Sorry my assignments aren’t done because I was busy living someone else’s life!’ Even the ‘my dog ate my homework’ excuse seemed more reasonable compared to that. He frantically searched his bag and pulled out his assignment file to see if he could finish rushing his work in what little time he had before class. Opening his physics assignment, he looked at it in disbelief, his mouth gaping wide open. There were little post-it notes with tips written here and there that were extremely useful. Slaine had always struggled with physics but that guy had managed to make it understandable for him. To sum it up, he was impressed by Kaizuka’s knowledge in the subject. He managed to finish the assignment for his first class in less than thirty minutes thanks to the help that the post-it notes provided. He sighed with relief as Harklight and Lemrina entered the classroom and waved at him.
“Slaine! Good morning~ I hope that you are feeling better today? And my oh my are you early today.” Lemrina asked, poking him again and eliciting quite the reaction from him. He squirmed sideways on his seat as she poked him once more.
“Harklight! Look he’s back to normal!”
“Seriously asking though, why were you acting like a robot yesterday? It was amazing how you could go without blushing for a whole day.” Lemrina asked excitedly, as she practically jumped up and down her wheelchair, clasping her hands together.
“U-uhm I don’t know? Ah! Stop poking me Lemrinaaaaa.”
Slaine protested as he wiggled away from her while blushing and backed away straight into Harklight’s arms.
“Did you have breakfast Slaine?” Harklight asked, smiling cheerfully.
“Yeah I did. I had some eggs…even though I burnt them.” He mumbled out the last few words but Harklight caught them anyway and shook his head at Slaine.
“Slaine you shouldn’t eat burnt food . You know it is not good for you.” Harklight said as he pulled out a sandwich for Slaine.
“Here, Lemrina prepared that for you because she knew that despite having gone grocery shopping to get healthier food, you were probably too lazy to actually have a proper breakfast.” He chided as Lemrina snickered beside him.
Slaine merely scratched the back of his head and smiled, taking the offered sandwich from Harklight.
“Haha sorry Harklight, I’ll try to eat properly tomorrow. Thank you for the breakfast Lemrina!” he said as he opened the Ziploc bag and began eating it.
“Don’t expect sandwiches from me every day Slaine. Today is special.” Lemrina replied as she folded her arms and looked at him smugly, her blue eyes shining.
“You better eat fast Slaine, we have ten more minutes before our first class.” Harklight reminded him.
Slaine looked at Harklight and laughed, “Are you my mom, Harklight~?” he asked playfully while tilting his head to the side.
“N-no, but I care for you very much!” He half-shouted,his cheeks flushing.
Lemrina pulled at Harklight’s sleeve to make him lower his head. She whispered in his ear, ‘you like him, don’t you~’ and smirked, watching him turn absolutely beet red.
“W-what? What did you tell him Lemrina?” Slaine asked, very confused.
“Nothing,” she replied innocently and hummed, wheeling away to her seat in the classroom.
Harklight who was a stuttering mess by that point stumbled over to his own seat as well, taking out his things as well.
Slaine doodled mindlessly on his notebook until class began. They somehow turned out looking like that town from his dream. He wondered what that person must be doing now.
Probably getting more eggs….
He snickered to himself at the thought. However, he realized that they couldn’t go on as themselves forever like this whenever they switched. Their friends would become suspicious and their lives would be in danger of being changed in ways they did not wish for it to change. He chewed at his pencil thoughtfully and wrote down a few rules and boundaries that he should probably set for that Kaizuka fellow if ever they switched again.
Maybe I could ask him to help me with physics….
As class began, Slaine found himself lost in his thoughts.
Slaine waved goodbye to Harklight and Lemrina as he slung his bag over his shoulder, he ran to the bus stop to catch the bus to his workplace. The fancy Italian restaurant which he worked for was quite a while away.
This time he was right on time for his daily shift. Wearing his uniform, he stepped into the kitchen announcing his arrival and quickly got to work taking dishes away, serving them and taking orders. He was silently praying not to come across his boss, but with his luck, his prayers would not be answered. And so, he threw himself into working extra hard that day to make up for not having helped out like he should have had twenty four hours ago. Worst comes to worse, his salary would be docked.
Finally, when the restaurant closed at ten, he began to clean up the place with the other waiters. He wiped the sweat off of his forehead as he set to cleaning the tables, when he felt a tap on the shoulder. He turned around, coming face to face with Asseylum Senpai. His face turned a bright shade of red as his crush began talking to him.
“Are you quite alright, Slaine? We helped cover for you by telling Mr.Cruhteo that you were sick, but we wanted to make sure with you.”
She explained, her beautiful eyes looking at him with worry. Slaine merely nodded, his tongue which was suddenly unco-operative and gulped.
Patting Slaine on the shoulder, she gave a whispered get well soon and left the restaurant staff area. The rest of the waiters glared at him making him want to shrink away into a corner, never to be seen again. Instead, he calmly went to the staff changing room and changed into his home clothes, consisting of a Batman shirt and comfortable shorts before leaving. He left the building and finally went home. The moment that he stepped into the house, Tharsis walked up to him and walked past his legs rubbing them. He knelt down and picked her up smiling.
“Tharsis at least let me take off my shoes! You sweet little cat.” He laughed. He placed Tharsis on the floor and collapsed on the sofa, taking out his phone. Tharsis decided to settle on his lap once more as he scrolled through his schedule, setting reminders and important things that he would have to do tomorrow, so that in case Kaizuka took over, he would be able to handle it and keep his life going as normal as it could possibly go.
He still wanted his cup noodles back. Exhausted, he fell asleep on the couch with Tharsis still on his lap asleep as well.
Three days ago
“Nao-kun are you alright? Did something happen? Are you injured?” She began fussing over him, her arms flailing around.
“A-ah y-yes I’m fine. I apologize for startling you.” He replied coming down from his panic.
Sighing with relief, Yuki hugged him and pat him gently before pulling away and staring intently at him,
“Nao-kun, I need to leave for work now. Will you be alright today?”
She asked, looking him straight in the eye.
“I-I think so?” Slaine replied quite hesitantly, still very much confused and somewhat scared, his face giving it away. Whoever this lady was, she was probably a relative of the person whose body he was in at that very moment.
“If you’re feeling unwell at all tell me, alright Nao-kun? You’re normally not like this.”
“A-alright. I’ll be fine….sister?”
“Hmmmm?? That doesn’t sound quite right.” She moved in closer to look at him, but gave up knowing that she would almost run late for work.
“Call me and I’ll come home early alright? I have to go now, take care! Oh, and breakfast is on the table.” She stood, looking at him one last time and walked out the door, waving her hand.
Still quite stunned from what happened, Slaine stared into blank space.
What was he doing here again?
Once again, the phone with the extremely hideous orange cover beeped, snapping him out of his daze. He picked it up, unlocking it to see an alert that said,
Egg sale ~ be there at 6:30AM
What a strange person, he actually takes note of sales….
Slaine mused as he continued looking through the phone as a text appeared, from a person named Calm which read,
Inaho, aren’t we meeting before heading to school as usual? Where are you? We’ll be late at this rate. 7:30AM
Coupled with a few choice emoji.
He looked at the time, 7:40AM and began panicking once more as he frantically began searching for clothes that looked like a uniform, somewhere within the room. After having thrown clothes around the room everywhere, he found a perfectly ironed uniform that was ready to be worn.
Quickly throwing it on, he grabbed some of the toast and eggs that were on the table and practically ran out of the house with the bag, his hair in disarray.
Wait, where was the school? If I asked around, I’ll seem like an idiot. I am running out of time.
He heard a bicycle bell ring behind him followed by a voice calling him.
“Oh! Found you Inaho! You just left the house didn’t you? Your sister just passed by saying that you overslept. And so,” He placed one foot down on the floor dramatically and grinned, pointing to himself before continuing, and spoke again. “I, Calm Craftman, your lovely hero for today shall get us both to school right on time! Hop on Inaho!” He exclaimed as Slaine thought,
Oh well, what could possibly go wrong….
And hopped onto the back of the cycle, bringing his arms around Calm.
This Inaho person is quite small.
“Alright off we gooooo,” Calm said excitedly and literally sped through the streets on the bicycle, making Slaine cling to Calm tightly.
“Uhm CALM!, watch out!” Slaine shrieked out as a car came in front of them. With no other direction to go, Calm hastily turned to the left, straight down the hill towards the cold lake, both of them screaming, as they plunged into the water. When Slaine resurfaced gasping for breath, taking in his surroundings frantically looking for Calm. Thankfully, he heard a splash close to him. Calm had resurfaced as well. By the look on Calm’s face, he guessed that the bicycle was history.
“Would it have hurt you to at least see where you were going while speed cycling?” Slaine asked Calm, looking quite iIndignant. It was certainly a new expression that Calm had never seen from Inaho before. Shaking his head, Calm forgot what Inaho had said and began swimming to the lake’s shore. Slaine followed, his anger showing on Inaho’s face very clearly as he stepped onto the lakeshore sopping wet, his clothes clinging to him uncomfortably and water in his ears.
Calm shrugged and said gloomily, “ I guess we’re running?”
“Well, after you, oh great Bicycle rider”
Slaine stated, his words dripping with sarcasm, to which, Calm looked at him flabbergasted until he realised they were running out of time and began sprinting in the direction of the school,wi
I am never getting on a bicycle with this guy again.
Slaine thought as he began running after Calm.
“Hmm we’re just on time with five minutes to spare. Let’s go. I think it would be better if we went to the nurse’s office first”
Calm said hesitantly, scratching his head.
The second accident he faced that day was in art class; he wasn’t tall enough to reach the supplies situated above and was very frustrated. Everytime he reached out forto the box, it would move further back into the cabinet, which made him huff with annoyance once more.
Calm and Inko observed from the sidelines, never having seen Inaho this bothered before, especially to even draw anything different from constellations or blue prints. Slaine tip-toed once more on the stool and lost his balance, toppling onto the floor, bringing his classmate Rayet who was beside him down as wellwith him. He was now face to face with his very irritated classmate who looked like she was about to punch him.
Blushing intensely, he rolled off of her as fast as he could and stood up, bowing and apologizing repeatedly. She merely raised an eyebrow and looked over at Calm and Inko as she folded her arms.
This day is going horribly, someone save me.
As though reading his mind, his friends dragged him away from the place and off to lunch the moment the bell rang, signaling the end of the class.
Later that day, Slaine offered to treat Rayet to coffee the next day, as an apology., Sshe raised her eyebrows and looked at him with judging eyes once more and, curtly replyingied with an, “I’ll consider it.” And left, leaving Slaine to give out a long sigh of relief and collapsed on the floor, very tired from the ordeal.
Inko found him like this and ended up taking pictures and giggled to herself as Calm, also tired and weirded out over Inaho’s very abnormal behavior that day, carried him back to his own home.
He was hoping this was all just a very strange dream. For the very first time he had witnessed Inaho properly apologizing. It had truly been an eventful day in Calm’s opinion. It seemed Inko had enjoyed seeing Inaho like this as well. He couldn’t help but think how strange today was however…maybe he should sleep as well.
When Slaine awoke next, he heard the sounds of something turning continuously coming from the tank which held the hamster. It was running on the wheel. He peered into the tank where the food was held and saw that there was enough for the hamster to eat.
I wonder what its name is….and wow this guy is a genius, that is an in built hamster feeder by the looks of it. It seems to release the appropriate amount of food into the tank at the appropriate times.
Slaine began examining the contraption curious as to how it worked but came up with nothing. A journal sat beside the tank, labelled, pancake’s growth.
Pancake’s growth? That sounds odd.
He picked it up and began flipping through it. It had so many photos of the orange speckled white hamster with different captions below them. He smiled at some of them.
Day 1: Hamster is situated
Day 2: Have named the hamster Pancake
Day 25: Pancake is Overweight. Adjusting food portions
Day 35: Pancake is running all over the room, back up needed.
Day 50: Pancake is on my head. I do not know how to bring him down.
Slaine burst out laughing at the last pic, Kaizuka looked like a deer with headlights. He guessed that perhaps his sister had taken that picture. Slaine decided to snap a picture of his own and printed it, pasting it in the journal.
He wrote down,
‘Troyard’s adventure with Pancake’
Satisfied, he closed the book and lay down in bed, flipping through the phone’s gallery. He came across more pictures of the hamster and a whole album of ‘Yuki’s favourite recipes’
That’s sweet of him. He seems to be the serious type but is an actual sweetheart. How cute.
He pondered as he flipped through, finding random pictures of stars and constellation maps as well as diagrams from library books.
The next day, he awoke in his own body, and the day that had gone by simply became a hazy memory
Looking back, Slaine thought it would be best for him to keep a proper schedule to make sure this person he had not quite met, wouldn’t mess up his life more than it already was a mess. And so, Slaine wrote down his first rule in his phone’s diary.
1. Please stop wasting my money on groceries Kaizuka
Placing the phone away on his desk, he fell into a deep sleep as the city continued buzzing with life down below.
And so their crazy days continued, their lives turning upside down as the world around them continued changing, the day of the comet coming ever closer.
Two days later, Slaine found more groceries and bentos in his kitchenette with another note that said, ‘Please do eat more healthily. Eggs are nutritious and are rich in protein.’
The very next day a complaint came up on Inaho’s phone from Slaine.
‘Why do I have to always wake up so early to cook for your sister! She always just teases by saying that your damn eggs aren’t as TASTY as usual!’
He simply replied with a, ‘Just follow the recipe.’ To which Slaine huffed and muttered angrily to himself sarcastically,
“Very helpful Orange, Very helpful indeed.”
Once again, on the next day, Inaho received yet another complaint from Slaine, this time a voice recording that probably would have made him deaf if he had been wearing his ear piece. “KAIZUKA YOUR ADVANCED PHYSICS CLASS CONFUSES ME” followed by sounds of a paper being crushed were heard.
To this, Inaho countered by stating, “I do not understand the point of this….literature elective you have taken either.”
Listening to this, Slaine muttered to himself about how this emotionless orange will never understand the true beauty of words.
This time, Slaine received a note from Inaho about how he had a coffee date with ‘Seylum-san’. Having read this, Slaine nearly combusted on the spot and tapped furiously onto his phone about how he shouldn’t address his senpai so casually, complete with a million angry emoji.
Once again, he was met with a calm reply,
‘What, she asked me to or at least asked you to.’
He typed back a confused, ‘WHAT’ prompting Inaho to explain further about how he helped sew Asseylum’s ripped skirt like he sewed many of Yuki’s clothes before and at the bottom, added a
‘By the way, you have another coffee date with her.’
Now he was sure Slaine had a crush on her, but this was going too far,
“STOP MESSING WITH MY LOVE LIFE AND STOP WASTING MY MONEY ON GROCERIES. I’m single because I want to be!”
He shouted as he wrote on Inaho’s cheeks the word, “Idiot” with a permanent marker.
That’ll teach him!
Inaho wasn’t fazed at all, he replied within the notes,
‘It is good to have a healthy lifestyle I left a few more bentos for you in the fridge. I shall leave a few recipes next time. Cup noodles are not good for you.’
“Kaizuka don’t touch my cup noodles again, I’ve hidden it somewhere else hah!”
“Nope I found it. It is in the trash now. Your health comes first.”
“You’re ONE TO TALK EGG MAN”
“Why are you throwing around names? Bat boy”
“Sh-shut up don’t bring my batman t-shirts into this”
“How do you say I love you in Scandinavian? Your friends asked the other day. Why are they shocked with my Japanese?”
“DON’T SPEAK IN DIALECT YOU IDIOT. Oh god they asked that again please tell me you didn’t use google translate.”
“I in fact did use Google translate”
Letting out a frustrated sigh, Slaine typed out,
“Don’t you KNOW that google translate is UNRELIABLE Orange?!!!”
“I am aware but it was the only way out of my…..situation.”
“What did they ask?”
“That doesn’t answer my question. Orange, why is Harklight returning a cookbook to me?”
“He likes cooking did u not know? Oh and I heard, you’ll be able to see the comet tonight”
“ORANGE WHY IS HARKLIGHT CONFESSING TO ME? WHAT THE HELL DID YOU DO.? Eh? What comet..?”
Slaine had expected to spend time as Kaizuka again the next day, but after that day, they never switched again. Dialing the by now familiar number, he called Kaizuka but it never did reach him.
Odd, that he never did see the comet, that Kaizuka spoke of.
He stared at the bracelet he wore, as though it had all the answers to his questions.
I want to get to the bottom of this.
And so, Slaine began writing down plans for travelling to this town he only knew from having seen it through Inaho’s eyes. He took a few days off of work and planned endlessly, finally taking all of his research and throwing them within a file. He had decided to leave Tharsis at Lemrina’s house for now. She had been more than happy to take care of her.
He took a deep breath in and let it out. Determined to find Kaizuka Inaho somehow, somewhere, he left the apartment, ready to go--
--Only to bump into someone tall, a certain friend of his, said person’s name being Harklight.
“Where do you think you are going, Slaine?” Harklight questioned with a stern look.
“A-ah uhm? Going to meet a friend?” he replied, stuttering.
“Without someone too, what if that internet friend was some creep.”
Picking up some of Slaine’s belongings, he walked in front of him and stopped as though remembering something,
“Uhm? Which way is it?”
To that, Slaine visibly face palmed and sighed.
“Fine just follow me alright? Don’t get lost Harklight. I know you’re as hopeless as I can be when it comes to directions.”
“Alright alright, Slaine sama~” he chimed as he walked beside Slaine, who was now intently looking at the train map. They bought lunch and got into the train that travelled to an area near the Itomori town that Slaine was very familiar with at this point.
“So..Slaine where is this friend of yours living at?”
“I don’t know. I just know from the scenery of the town.” Slaine responded as he opened up his travel notebook looking through the directions he had written down.
“But that isn’t very useful is it?” Harklight declared thoughtfully, placing his hands on his chin.
“I’ve selected a few locations to search while doing my research on the area. Hopefully, we’ll find the town.”
Harklight peered over Slaine’s shoulder, looking at the directions he had written down.
“Oh it’s by the mountains? Interesting. “He hummed as he opened his lunchbox to eat his Katsudon.
“Mmm this smells good.” He commented before digging in eagerly.
Slaine opened his own lunch box somewhat absentmindedly, thinking about how a phone number possibly couldn’t exist or be unreachable, especially after having used it multiple times himself. It made no sense.
They searched and searched and searched for two days straight, and despite Slaine’s extensive research they hadn’t been able to find it. Slaine was about ready to give up by then, his shoulders slumping as he gloomily walked into a ramen restaurant for lunch. Having ordered, he began discussing with Harklight about plans on returning to the city. That was when he turned his head to the right. His eyes came across a few sketches and drawings of scenery that looked to him as if it were a second home. It was the beautiful town of Itomori. He had finally found a first lead! Excited, he called the shop owner and began asking as to who had drawn those pictures. He pointed to his friend who had been keeping low all this time at the front of the restaurant.
“Oh you mean Marito’s art? He’s from that town in his drawings.” The owner remarked casually.
“Really? Could you tell me where it is? I was trying to find my way there to meet a friend of mine.” Slaine asked excitedly while Harklight observed the drawings and,
“Wait you mean Itomori Town? But it can’t be!” Harklight looked at Slaine as though he had popped out two heads.
The man named Marito turned around and began speaking with a grim look on his face, “Kids these days never read the news, Itomori town was destroyed by meteorite shower three years ago boy. I was one of the few who weren’t in town that night and I lost my whole family. Been living here ever since.”
“N-no way..It can’t be..but!” Slaine breathed out, disbelief etching his face. He thought he was going crazy. Maybe he had finally lost it.
Harklight snapped his fingers before Slaine’s face and caught his attention, looking quite concerned. Slaine snapped out of his anxious thoughts and focussed his mind back to the situation at hand. This time Harklight took over, helping him ask what he could not ask. “Would you mind if you could show us the way there Marito-san?” he requested while Slaine stood by the side quietly, the gears in his mind turning.
It was a silent drive to the town, the moment they reached, Slaine unlocked the door and ran out almost stumbling over a rock and falling. An area that was covered by tape that was now flying in the breeze stood before him. He jumped over the tape and stopped. What was once Itomori town, was now a gigantic lake. Only the school remained somewhat intact. However, it still showed signs of ruin. Broken lamppost pieces lay here and there, with cars smashed. It looked like the apocalypse had occurred.
“But…we spoke with each other. It’s all right here in my phone!” Slaine said giving himself hope that just maybe Kaizuka Inaho was alive. Just as he said that, the entries and exchanges they had had with each other began disappearing one by one until they were all gone, leaving nothing but an empty space. He brought down his phone, looking defeated.
It makes no sense at all.
Harklight placed a hand on Slaine’s shoulder and squeezed it, trying to reassure him, but Slaine was no longer with them. He was far gone within his own thoughts.
Marito strode over and gestured for Harklight to get back into the car with Slaine. Slaine was in a daze for most of the ride, still trying to figure out how he had missed this and how they had been communicating this whole time.
They checked in at an Inn near the restaurant and tried to rest. Harklight who was tired from the day was out like a light in five seconds flat. However, Slaine couldn’t sleep at all. Cautiously stepping around Harklight, he padded his way out of their room and went up to the library up above. He scanned the shelves looking for Historical records on Itomori and found the disaster’s death toll. Taking the book off of its shelf, he placed it on the table and flipped through the pages, looking for the kaizukas. And there it was, as clear as day, everyone he had known in that small town, were listed as dead, including Inaho. His shoulders trembled as he choked down a crying sound, tears falling from his eyes and onto the names. The fact that they were dead, finally sinking in.
Harklight peered through the library door and closed it, giving Slaine privacy and some time. He had awoken when he found that it was suspiciously cold on the side he had snuggled up to. He was extremely worried for his best friend. He hadn’t seen him like this ever since that day he witnessed Slaine’s own father give him scars on his back. He wondered about who could have possibly been as important to Slaine to make him cry those tears of pain.
Morning came, and Slaine was still a mess, he was starting to forget important things that happened during his switch with Inaho. Little things, however, he did remember one small important point of time. It was time to visit that place at least once before forgetting all about Inaho.
He prepared to leave after telling Harklight to go back to Tokyo early. After having sent his best friend off, he set for his journey up into the mountains near Itomori with some onigiris and other items. He ran into shelter as it began raining heavily. Wishing, he had brought his raincoat, he sat at the small cave to eat while he waited for the downpour to stop. Looking around, he hoped there were no other bugs in there. He quickly left the cave, his backpack slung over his shoulder, the rain having slowed to a drizzle. At this time, the forests looked breath-taking, with water dripping off of leaves slowly catching the evening light and flowers smelling sweeter than ever. The earthy smell of rain hung in the air as the sun began to go down.
It was too bad Slaine couldn’t stop for too long, he had to constantly keep reminding himself of Inaho’s name which was starting to get really hard to remember. He picked up his pace, and finally, reached the ancient wisteria tree that sat at the very top of the mountain.
It was in bloom at this time of the year. It looked as pretty as it did the last time he came as Inaho with its purple flowers swaying gently in the wind, some of them floating down onto the ground. He went to touch a few of the flowers between his hands gently. Below that tree, was a grave covered in many flowers. He had remembered that Inaho and Yuki’s mother was buried here after her unfortunate passing. After paying his respects to her, he sat down below the tree, hoping that somehow he would be able to turn back time, that somehow he could meet that boy he had bickered with so much over the months. He fell asleep below that tree, tired from all the hiking.
He dreamt of Inaho’s past, beginning with his birth. Inaho was a strange baby, he hadn’t cried at all. He saw Inaho’s father leave when he was barely two years old, leaving him with a crying Yuki. He saw how their friends had helped them survive alone together. He witnessed Inaho’s and Yuki’s first picnic under the blooming Wisteria tree. The times Yuki left the house and didn’t come back home early, worrying Inaho out and finally to the time, they began switching, their lives fading together. The very last memory he saw was, Inaho looking straight to the sky as blazing meteorites fell from the sky. The heavens were falling and Inaho hadn’t moved, he had stared somewhat mesmerized as the town blew up before him.
Slaine shouted to no one in particular, to make Inaho run, do something anything.
He awoke with a start, except he wasn’t in his own body anymore. He looked at his hands and they were the familiar smaller ones that belonged to Inaho. He almost cried from happiness as he looked at the calendar. He still had time before that comet would fall. He still had time to change everything. It was truly a miracle. Running out of the room, he found Yuki and hugged her, tears streaming down his face. Yuki was to say the least stunned. She looked at him closely and asked,
“Who are you? You’re not Inaho are you?”
This time it was Slaine who was blabbering, as he explained to Yuki what would happen if they didn’t evacuate the town. She hummed to herself and said,
“I’ll try my best to help you. Inaho mentioned that the comet was acting strangely when he was stargazing but you have to come back some day to see us okay? I want to meet his new friend in person! He was in Tokyo yesterday you know.”
Taking in the words carefully, he jogged his memory and found that Inaho had come to see him except they hadn’t known each other yet. It was the most unfortunate meeting they had had. The only thing that had come out from it was the bracelet he wore to this day. He borrowed Calm’s new bicycle from him and cycled off to the mountains, Calm’s bike meeting another unlucky accident as it fell into a ravine. Slaine ran back to the Wisteria tree, hoping and praying Inaho was there and he was.
Inaho awoke to the sound of the swaying branches of the wisteria tree. He looked around, blonde hair falling into his eyes. That was odd, only one person he knew had blonde hair like this. He brought his fingers through it and stood up taking in his surroundings. He was familiar with this place, but why was Slaine here?
He stood up and walked to the side of the mountain, his breath hitching as he took in what was a disaster zone. Itomori was gone, completely destroyed.
So the comet’s nucleus had split after all
The sun was setting slowly as the birds of the forest began returning to their homes, the sky was getting darker until he felt someone’s presence behind him.
In a second, they were back in their own bodies and for the first time, they looked into each other’s eyes. Inaho whispered out, ‘Kataware Doki’ to himself .It was indeed twilight, the time where you might meet someone or something not human. Looking at Slaine for the first time had stunned him, he looked absolutely ethereal like a being out of a fantasy.
Slaine smiled at him and said, “You were three years too early you idiot, orange.”
Inaho replied with a smile as well, “Well, it’s not like I knew this would happen Bat.”
They shuffled closer to each other and hugged as Slaine cried tears of happiness.
“I thought I had lost you forever you know.” Slaine sniffled out as Inaho pat him soothingly.
He pulled away and took out a permanent marker telling Inaho that they should write their names on each other’s hands before they forgot. Except when Slaine brought his marker to Inaho’s hand, he disappeared. Twilight had ended. Neither of them were able to write their names down.
Slaine’s life flashed before his eyes as he saw the marker fall. Were they never meant to meet? Who was that guy? Why was he here? He shouted to the sky, “What is your name?” as tears fell from his eyes. He kneeled down onto the ground.
He was found by someone who had been hiking that day, looking lost, he never did remember why he was there but sometimes he knew he was looking for someone. It always felt like he was looking for them. His bracelet was still with him, a constant reminder as to the fact that he had lost someone important to him but didn’t know who it was.
Years later, he began looking for jobs and was turned down interview after interview. His friends remarked that maybe it was his suit and tie. They told him he should remove that kiddy bracelet he wore. He didn’t. There were instances where he felt like he had passed by someone he knew but was too afraid to call out to the stranger. And so, their lives went on until one day, he heard familiar voices at a café while having coffee with Asseylum.
“Calm, why are you so gloomy today, here have some cake.” A lady with short black hair spoke as the man named Calm opened his mouth grumpily as she fed him.
Slaine watched as they acted like a couple and shook the feeling of knowing them off and continued talking with Asseylum reassuring her that it was nothing.
Three years had gone by and it was spring once more, when Slaine spotted a brunette on another train who had looked at him with wide eyes. It was a fleeting moment but he knew that that person had to be the one. The one he had been searching for all these years. He dashed out of the train, running out of the station and walked around the neighbourhood.
Inaho had seen that ethereal face before, but he couldn’t quite figure out why he knew that person, he got off at the next stop and ran towards the neighbourhood beside it and there was the person, standing by the stairs, who looked at him and passed by shaking his head before yelling at him, “Hey! Have we met before?”
Inaho smiled, “I thought so too” he said gently.
Both of them asked each other in unison,
“What is your name?”
I admit this fic was actually really hard to finish writing since I am not used to writing more than a thousand words for every chapter update I normally do. However, thanks to the support of the other authors and the Aldnoah family I was able to make it on time.
I would like to specially thank, Hakumei_Hogosha , Ayuki , Plum and Chloe for helping me edit and beta this and supporting me throughout the writing process.
The addition of Pancake is a special dedication to Ayuki’s pet hamster. I believe this project has truly brought the az family closer.
I would like to thank Ayu for supporting everyone including myself when we were stressing over this fanbook project. I hope that you have enjoyed reading this fic and will join us for the games soon!