The 'Rise of the Fire Dragon' Festival, this one event was what brought the No-Names to the northern side of the Little Garden lower levels. While there was another reason besides participating in the Gift Games, such as stopping the Prophecy of Laplace that predicted the rise of a Mao, the Problem Children decided to just spend the time as they would.
Sakamaki Izayoi was walking around town, the little vampire maid Leticia next to him. Due to his prank with Asuka and You, he wasn't allowed freedom like usual. And since Black Rabbit was with Shiroyasha to set up the events for the finals, he was left with the loli vampire to accompany him through town.
"It's not like I'm going to run away…"
"I understand master, but I am under strict orders to not leave you." The vampire commented. Izayoi grunted. He wanted to take the chance to go around town by himself. He didn't mind Leticia being with him, but it was the fact that she was there to watch him that made him slightly annoyed.
His eyes looked through the many shop windows until his attention was brought onto a bookstore. Izayoi halted his walk, looking at a particular book in the shop window. It wasn't anything special, a brown, leather back book that looked to be heavy enough that a single swing to someone's head would cause a rather immense migraine. It was boring looking, old even given the rather rough look of the cover.
What stopped him wasn't the book's appearance, but the name.
His face was no longer scrunched up in anger, rather it relaxed.
"Is there something wrong, master?"
"...No. There's nothing wrong." Leticia followed his gaze, looking at the book.
-Did this book remind Izayoi of something?
That one through ran through her head.
Izayoi began walking once more, eyes focused forward, but his mind traveled back into a forgotten past.
A school bell rang through the halls. The once bored looking student's faces lit up in excitement. School was done for the day. Chairs screeched against the tile floorboard underneath. School uniforms flooded the doors, but several were still left in the room.
One such student had his head resting on the desk; unkempt blond hair covered his eyes. A black gakuen with white and blue sneakers were easily seen as the boy rustled awake.
This was Sakamaki Izayoi of thirteen years, only in school for a full year after finishing his travels with Canaria.
His eyes drooped as he stretched his tired arms, a yawn escaping from his mouth. The sound of several books being slammed on his desk caused the boy to open his eyes fully. A young girl stood there, her hands laid flat on the books as she gave a dark look to the male.
"Stop falling asleep in class," she ordered as use placed part of her black hair behind her left ear. Eyes of pure emerald darkened as the male rolled his own orbs back at her. "I mean it, stop messing around."
"What gives you the right to order me around?" Izayoi questioned as he rose from his desk, their eyes meeting as they glared at one another.
"Canaria-san did. She said its fine; otherwise you'll just become lazy."
Izayoi felt his right eyebrow twitch. Damn that smelly hag for giving such an annoying girl that right.
This girl that had the ability to order Izayoi around when no one else but Canaria could was Makie Kobayashi. In truth she was typical for this kind of school, typical black hair, typical school uniform, typical sardonic smile, typical person with an annoying personality that was set to be the perfect student.
The only thing though, she wasn't typical. In a sense, her eyes were proof of that and her attitude with how she bossed around Izayoi. The one thing that didn't prevent Izayoi from lashing out at her was her non-typical ability.
"Hey if you got time to boss me around-"
"-Then go do your job at the library I am still waiting for that book."
The boy narrowed his eyes. She had matched him word for word. Some would see this as them knowing one another for a long time. Problem was, he only knew her for a grand total of fourteen days. And while she was smart, it was that blasted ability of hers that made her annoying.
This was why Izayoi couldn't stay away from her. Or rather couldn't escape from her or get his way.
"And since you have free time today why not help me with stacking books?"
Another hit to him.
"Isn't there a limit to your power?"
"Is there a limit to YOUR power?"
"You are annoying."
"Good to know now let's go!" She turned her head, expecting him to follow her. Izayoi sighed. He came to regret meeting this girl. But in the end it was his own fault. If he had not kept forgetting to take back the books, she wouldn't be here.
-Flashback: Fourteen days Ago-
"Oi, you." The blonde boy turned around as a girl who he had not seen before approached him; several books were seen in hands most of which were rather thick. "Hurry up and return them."
"Return what?" His eyebrow rose at the question, he had no idea what exactly the girl had meant. Shaking his head, he began to turn around having gotten bored with the question.
"The books from the library. Return them already." A thick tome struck the young Izayoi on the back of his head. A growl escaped him as he faced the girl who had growled back at him. Grabbing the book off the floor, Izayoi turned it around in his hands looking for the title.
-Grimm's fairy tales volume 2.
Rotating the book again, the young boy began to hand it over before he flung it directly at her head. The girl simply moved allowing the book to fly past her as it slammed into the wall becoming stuck halfway.
"Well that was interesting," the girl spoke as she approached the book and began to struggle to remove it from its new prison. "But what exactly did the book do to you? Do you just not like written works?" A smirk emerged on her face as she taunted her adversary while watching in amusement as the boy shook in distaste for her.
Violet eyes widen in wonder. Who was this girl? She easily dodged an attack without batting an eye, even when it was thrown so hard it was lodged into the wall. Normally people would be frightened and run off, but she didn't.
The girl freed the book from its prison, holding it as that smirk returned to a frown.
"You have volume one of this series along with a mythological recording about the existence of vampires and dragons. Honestly you don't look like the type to read this stuff but you have been renting books and returning them way past the due date. And since you keep forgetting I came to you." The girl held out her hand, expecting the boy to return what she claimed he borrowed.
"And after this you are on a one week ban from renting said books!" The frown turned upside down, becoming a smile with evil intent. "And you have to pay a fee for the damage to this one, Izayoi-kun!"
Izayoi had no clue on how to counter her. Normally he would ignore her and give back the books to be rid of her, but she stalled him in his tracks.
"Ah yet another dent in the building I see…" A melodic voice echoed through the foyer of the building. The girl perked up as she looked behind the blond haired boy. She saw a woman of extreme beauty walking her way. Upon further investigation, the woman was dressed in a long white coat that was over an amethyst colored vest with spaghetti straps, with black long boots to match. Mismatched shell earrings hung on her left and right ear. The shell that was hanging on the left ear had swirls that would only be found under the condition of genetic abnormalities and could be said to be very rare.
The girl blushed at the appearance of the woman as Izayoi only sighed.
"So then...you're Canaria."
"Hey how do you know that!?" Now he was beginning to see her as an anomaly. Teeth clenched as he glared into the emerald eyes of the girl.
"Let's see….thirteen years of age," The woman known as Canaria spoke in a soft tone; eyes sparkled with interest in the black haired child. "A librarian, green eyes, black hair, you must be Kobayashi Makie, the girl who can see multiple timelines..."
"Oh, so you know of me." No sense of surprise emerged on her face as she smiled. "I wasn't expecting to meet you so soon... How interesting."
"Just who are you?" Makie's smile grew larger as she took in the look of anger on the male.
"I am, as Miss Canaria said, Kobayashi Makie. I hope we will become good friends Izayoi-kun."
"Hopefully not." Izayoi responded as he his violet eyes turned violent at the user of foresight.
"I think you two would get along well." The two turned to see Canaria with a small grin on her face. "Makie, you have my permission to annoy Izayoi. His ego is getting a bit too big as of late." Said boy shook with anger, it didn't take one with foresight to know what the annoying girl would do with that permission.
"Of course, I'll be happy to help." She smiled sweetly before moving to avoid another tome thrown at her. "That will be two weeks ban and you have to pay for that book as well."
Ever since then, no matter how hard he tried, this brat would find him and force him to work off his debt by working as a temporary Librarian under her services. And if he were to trash the place, well she would know before hand and prevent it.
He knew, he tried it once; she never let him do it, countering in her own special way since she couldn't match the boy physically...traps.
"Hey Izayoi-kun?" He's come to tolerate the girl's existence, but he was far from good terms with her.
"The sound of rain...what do you think of it?"
"Where is this coming from?"
"I hate the rain…." A simple muttered phrase was her response. Normally he wouldn't care about what she asked or had to say, but right now was different. Izayoi didn't understand what was on the girl's mind; then again he couldn't understand her at all.
"Is that so? Then I love it because you hate it!"
"Let's play a game when we get to the library!" She didn't even bother to take his opinion into account. The girl who said she hated the rain vanished, replaced by the usual upbeat girl who demanded everything.
"And I would do that why?"
"To keep things interesting. You like games right?"
"Only with competent players."
"Then let's play one. The mythology sections needs to be re-organized, along with fairy tales, auto-biographies, science fiction, manga and Japanese history. I replaced the books and placed them in alphabetical order. You can only go by the title of the book and we have to place them back in their respective place on the shelves. Oh and to make it interesting I placed a little...present on the books."
"You did this before class began? No wonder you looked tired when you came in…"
"As soon as we enter you can begin," as the two approached the large library, Makie placed a hand on the door and looked behind her. Seeing Izayoi giving her a nod, she opened the door with a call of "begin!"
Izayoi immediately ran in and grabbed one of the library carts. He began to race towards the mythology section before stopping suddenly.
Every book in that section had been replaced with the ones Makie had said also had to be re-organized yet it was not that simple. Izayoi noticed that several of the tomes had pieces of paper on the spines preventing the full title to be seen and covered the codes of the books as well. Others had been placed upside down with small notes reading 'this way up' preventing the boy from cheating and turning them to the normal positions.
-She just might be a good player after all
That thought continued as Izayoi began to organize the books, being careful not to read the codes the books had near the bottom of their spines.
Two hours past and the books were placed back into position. Makie was sitting on a chair, worn out while Izayoi smiled above her. Despite her pride in her so called far seer abilities, she was ultimately no match for Izayoi in physical activities. He managed to correct four out of the six sections that were messed up. She managed to keep him on his toes with the intelligence part that prevented him from seeing the spine covers, but in the end he won.
"So, what's the prize?"
"...a lift off of your ban…"
"Oho? Didn't you say you can see all timelines?"
"Then why did you even try? Wait…" Canaria said she could see all timelines. That would be the equivalent of watching over 100 different movies at once and trying to find similarities in plot. Going by that reference….
"You can't see all of them at once. You can only pinpoint the closest event and follow up to that." A sardonic grin appeared on the blond's face, once that caused the girl to shiver at the sight.
"...How did you-"
"So did you see a future where you won?"
"...I saw a future where it was a draw…."
"I guess that means your ability isn't as powerful as you thought." He commented as he admired his work. He nodded to himself as the girl frowned in her seat.
"I may not win at this game however at others, I am more than a match for you." A grin became plaster on her face as she noticed her adversaries frown. "How about it? Another game, you win and you no longer have to pay for the damaged books. But if I win, the ban come back on, what do you say?"
"Fine, let's do this. What are we playing?" He asked as the girl drew a deck of cards from her pocket. As she began to shuffle the deck, Izayoi noticed several of the cards were completely blank. Putting the cards on the scanning table, five by five in rows and columns, she drew a single card and placed it face up showing it was blank.
"All you have to do is draw as many blank cards as you can. If you draw any other card, I give you a question. If you get it right we continue, get it wrong and you lose. To win, just get to the end. Simple enough?"
A smug grin appeared on the boy's face. Izayoi was impressed, but only slightly.
"Alright, let's start." The girl grinned, until she placed a hand on her head. Her teeth gritted together. "Hey-"
"I'm fine." She didn't need to see the future to know what he was about to ask. The green eyes of the girl opened a sign of reassurance in them as she smiled. "Just one of my headaches."
The days went by as normal. The game was won by her that day, but she decided to let him off so long as he promised not to damage the books anymore. The weeks went by; three months had passed since they met. He wouldn't admit it, but the violet-eyed teen was actually beginning to like the girl. Despite her arrogant and annoying nature, she grew on him.
Both had a love of games and books, they both had a special power; they both knew what it was like to lead a boring life. Hell he would even admit Maki probably had it worse, what with her periodic headaches and ability to foresee events before it occurs.
He was sitting in the Library once more, reading a tale about the Pied Piper of Hamlin. She recommended the book to him since she found him looking at fairy tales and even challenged him to try and read the several different adaptations. He didn't understand the challenge but did so anyway. It wasn't until he read then that he understood. Some of the adaptations were a bit farfetched and tone down compared to the original. Turning a page he found a piece of paper stuck inside it.
Izayoi tugged the folded paper out of the book and opened it.
'Let's see...I don't know what I find to be more ironic. You finding this before the girl with the red hair or the fact you were even able to read this. Honestly kids these days can't handle the gory stuff…Everything has to be toned down and the effect of the meaning of the story lost...'
A smile found its way to his face. He looked over at the black haired woman working diligently stamping books. He decided to wait for her till she was done, knowing that if he didn't she would only bother him till the end of days and possibly get back at him.
-I just can't bring myself to hate her.-
No matter how hard he tried, she would do something to earn his interest, whether through her power or her desire to entertain him and take that bored look off of his face.
The boy nearly shook his head in amusement as he continued to read in peace. A large bang a couple of minutes later broke him out of his thoughts. Turning around he saw Makie collapsed on the floor, her head leaving a small ding.
"Oi! Maki!" Moving over to where she had collapsed, Izayoi felt her forehead before removing it immediately. She was boiling hot allowing sweat to drip down her forehead. Seeing that her eyes were closed shut and she was breathing heavily, he picked her up, placing her gently on his back and walked swiftly to the nurse's room, slight worry filing his mind as his rival's body began to become hotter still.
Immediately after bringing her to the nurse's office, she was moved to a hospital due to the nurse being unable to care for her in the small room. Izayoi waited outside her room as the doctors took notes and began to try and figure out what had happened to the young girl.
One appeared from the room as Izayoi waited. The doctor simply ignored him and began walking down the hall. Like he wasn't used to that already.
Izayoi stood up from his seat and walked inside the room. Everything was white, sans for a flower vase next to her. The girl had a rag on her forehead, her chest rising with every breath she took and deflating.
"Oi, stupid monkey…." The girl's face scrunched up.
"How dare you call me a monkey…?"
"Your name sounds close enough in English."
"Maki, Monkey." He repeated in English.
"That's stupid...You're stupid you know that." She spoke tiredly as her eyelids began to drop. Clicking his fingers in front of her face prevented her from going back into dream world. "I hate it when you do that."
Rolling his eyes, Izayoi hid a smirk as she frowned at him. "So, what happened?"
"Nothing much, just got tired and collapsed. The doctors are making a big deal out of nothing." She smiled as she noticed in his eyes a small hint of worry. "I'll be out of here soon, just watch me and when I am, I have an idea for another game."
"Fine," he rolled his eyes again as he sat down into a chair next to her. "Don't mind me; just don't want you falling asleep again. I would be bored otherwise."
A small smile laced her face. Her face was flushed, but she still had that glint in her eyes. The girl shot out of bed.
Izayoi raised an eyebrow. Her father? Now that he was focused, he could hear someone coming down the hallway. Someone ran into the room, stopping dead in his tracks. To Izayoi he looked like in his late thirties. A dark gray shirt, brown trousers, black suit and shoes was his attire. His face was rather rugged, dark gray hair compared to the girl's ebony, but his eyes, they were the same color as the girl's.
"Papa….I'm alright!" The girl spoke with a smile.
"Why do I have a feeling that you're not." He shook his head with a small smile as he placed her back to bed, ignoring her frown as he did so.
"Just... Stay put alright, I want to check with the doctors about what happened."
"Fine... Stupid overprotective Papa." The man simply shook his head with a smile before he left the room. Izayoi gave her a look before he followed the older man out. Makie's father sighed as he leaned against the wall, a deep frown on his face as he thought about his daughter.
"You're... Izayoi right, Makie's friend?" Seeing the boy raise an eyebrow caused the man to chuckle sadly. "Yeah I figured you two wouldn't consider each other friends, given by what she told me." His eyes turned serious, something that Izayoi didn't feel comfortable with. "You can go home kid, I'll watch her."
"Do you at least know what's going on?" The boy asked as the man nodded slowly.
"I've known since the beginning kid... Maki... Makie has a form of brain cancer... We both knew this day would be coming... Just didn't want to believe it, and I get the feeling she doesn't either." Izayoi's eyes widened.
Maki...brain cancer...Maki...dying? He could not believe his rival would fall like this. It didn't sit right with him... But there was nothing he could do about it. His brain couldn't even comprehend it.
"...It's too risky. The tumor is located on her right side. They can't do it or else they risk stopping her heart."
This was probably it. The one time in Sakamaki Izayoi's life where he didn't know what to do. If he was pissed he would lash out, if he was upset he would hide it, if he was bored he would look around for stuff to do, anything. But now, he had no clue how to react. He wanted to scream, he wanted to lash out at the heavens.
-You can't take her away…
Makie's father narrowed his eyes. The boy was stunned, and he left him like that as he went back inside, intending on making his daughter smile no matter what.
"Yes...I did know…." Izayoi decided to confront Canaria about it. He told her everything up the point. Her answer was one that nearly made his blood boil. She KNEW?! She knew Makie had that?!
"Alright you smell old hag-"
"Last I recall I was your mother," Canaria replied with a deadpan tone. "And it is not just a brain tumor."
Violet orbs widen. Not just a tumor? What else could have caused this?! If it was just a tumor she would live?
"It's her power also that's killing her. The ability to see into the future is a strong power, but one that would lead a person to a boring life. Most people would have an incomplete version, because the human brain cannot handle the true gift. Makie...sadly inherited the true vision of the future. It allows her to see all the timelines, each event is significant in determining what the future will be five minutes, five days, five years later. But she has to process the information, scan the necessary events, and then determine which event will occur." She began explaining to Izayoi as he expressed interest. He may have been a slacker in class, but that was because he was already clever, gifted. He knew the human mind couldn't take that kind of stress.
The stress piled up, and now she was in the hospital.
"Makie-chan is unable to turn off her power. It's eating away at her life. Given the amount of times she uses it willingly or unwillingly-"
"You're gonna sit there and tell me she has a time limit now!?" Distress. Anger. Hatred. Grief. Uncertainty. Emotions he felt at certain times were piling up all at once inside, threatening to spill over. He LIKED that girl, he wanted to continue having her as a playmate, as a person to continue to test him. She showed her worth, and now she was going to die!?
"At best...up till April…"
That...was two months from now…
"So….I got two months….." Izayoi was smiling. It wasn't a smile of happiness, like being able to get a Christmas present, or a smile out of desperation, like one would have when they are cornered in a financial situation. He was smiling at the irony of the situation. The one person who could challenge him other than Canaria, the one person who actually wanted to keep him entertained, was now scheduled to meet with death.
"Oi, baka monkey you awake!?" His answer was a glare from the now hospitalized Makie. Her jet black hair was lost, her head covered up by a green and white striped bandana. Besides her yellow pajamas she wore a white coat over her shoulders. A book regarding fairy tales written by Charles Perrault was in her hands, something Izayoi borrowed from the library to keep the girl entertained.
"Keep it down will you?"
"Now that I see it I can't call you monkey anymore. Maybe I should call you Baldie."
"Die in a fire."
It had already been two weeks since that day he learned about her time limit. During that time she was given kemo as a way to try and kill the spot on her brain, but sadly it had no effect as that wasn't the cause of her headaches nor did it increase her living time. All it did was make her bald.
Hence, the reason why Izayoi is now planning to affectionately call her Baldie instead of Monkey.
Even so, she didn't lose that spirit. The next thing Izayoi knew, he was dealing with a close up image of the book that was in her hand. A soft growl escaped the male as he ripped the book from his face.
"I come to see you out of the goodness of my heart-"
"'Good' and 'my' do NOT belong in the same sentence when concerning you!" The girl was physically shivering at the sentence.
It was like this for the past two weeks, he would do something to rile her up, and she would do something to piss him off.
"Whatever. I brought the deck."
"Perfect! Game time!" The girl's anger easily dispelled the moment the boy told her about the cards.
"Ah, ah! What's the game?"
"We are going to use the cards to play Memory."
"Its supposed to be stupid. Sit down and let me explain."
"Canaria is out shopping, my papa is on a case, Homura is busy doing homework, Suzuka is with Canaria, the assistant at the welfare office is-"
"Okay fine let's play the damn game!" He knew this was a losing battle and sat down on the nearby chair. As he did, the green eyed young woman pulled out the moveable table from the side of her bed. Izayoi pulled out the cards and shuffled them. He placed the cards face up on the table each in five rows of ten.
"Done yet?" He knew he didn't give her enough time to even scan the cards and just began flipping them over at lightning speed. Then again it wouldn't matter. Arms crossed the boy waited. But Makie didn't move. Rather she was content with staring at him.
"What cards am I looking for? It's boring since I know where every card is." Izayoi raised an eyebrow to her words. Was she using her power again? No, was it just that she was that good at memorizing things?
"Ace of Spade and Clubs." The girl just gave him a deadpan, bored look. Not even looking at the cards, she flipped open the middle card of the fourth row, and the bottom right card. Sure enough, it was the cards he asked for.
"...Okay….King of Hearts and Two of Diamonds."
The girl averted her green eyes into the table. Her hand traveled to the third row far right, she flipped it over, revealing the diamonds, and then traveled beneath it to flip the card over, and it was the king.
He had to admit it, he was impressed.
"Only a three second glance too…"
"All I need is that three second glance and I know where all the cards are. From the top across, there is the Jack of spades, then the three of clubs, then the king of clubs, the queen of hearts, the two of hearts, the three of spades, do I continue?"
"Nope. But that's one hell of a memory."
"Nothing special since you also have it."
"Mine is better though."
"I memorized Hamlet."
"...That's it?" A smirk replaced the glare on her face. She fell for Izayoi's bait. "I memorized Macbeth."
"Romeo and Juliet."
"A Midsummer Night's Dream, in Elizabethan Shakespeare!"
And thus another visit turns into a competition of Memory, but this time not with cards, but with the famous plays of the grand English writer.
"Alright, name the original sleeping beauty," Izayoi challenged Makie to a game they played a while back, the same game that would have them choose blank cards instead of face cards, and if they did they would need to answer a question. He wanted a rematch and this was the perfect time. A smug look was on the boy's face. Even though he was kind og expecting her to get it.
Makie raised an eyebrow to this. The original sleeping beauty?
"Let's see...the original was written by Charles Perrault…but I don't think she had a name. I know she was called Briar rose in the Disney version and the Grimm version. But then…." Makie crossed her arms, her eyes closed as she thought back to the time she read the story.
"You're asking for the original….so…." Izayoi raised an eyebrow. Normally she would get it. What was taking her so long? She got this right a few weeks back after playing that memory game.
"Sun, Moon and Talia!" She answered with a chipper voice, but her face portrayed something else. Despite her attempt at being happy and confident, she was unsure and insecure.
"What? No that should be it! The version was released in 1697-"
"La Belle au bois dormant was released in 1697…" Izayoi answered, leaning forward slightly to stare at her. "Sole, Luna, e Talia was released in 1634...Also, they are not the original sleeping beauty."
Izayoi narrowed his eyes. He tried not to show concern, but it was difficult to do so.
"We read it last week, the story of Sigurd the Volsung."
The girl blinked a few times, her eyes widening with every flap of her eyelids.
"Brynhildr the shield maiden, or the Valkyrie," Izayoi sighed heavily as he leaned back. "Sigurd had to pass through a ring of fire to get to her. By taking off her armor and helmet, he awoke her from her sleep, though some versions decided to have him kiss her."
"Right…." Emerald eyes dare not to look at those violet orbs. Makie was ashamed of herself. How could she forget something from last week? Wait...what did happen last week?
"Well since you lost, I can't give you your gift," Makie snapped out of her fading memories as she looked at the book now in Izayoi's hands. It was black with white spots in certain areas. A bronze colored title read 'Astrology, the true art of the stars' on the front cover.
"Don't I get a prize for second place? Gimme!" She snatched the book immediately out of her rival's hands before he stole it back. "Hey!"
"You can only have this back when you get better." He shrugged, not really caring about taking it back from her. "And since I have it now, you must get better to get it back. Deal?"
"Of course! No way am I letting you keep something of mine!" She grinned widely, but inside she knew the truth. What she wanted the most would be lost from her. Part of her was beginning to realize this as much as she refused to admit it.
"Then get better and you can have it back." Izayoi smirked before it fell slightly.
-This is the third time we made this promise. How bad is she getting?
The rain collided on the ground, matching the dreary and boring day. Izayoi was walking through it, suitcase over his shoulders, letting the rain soak him. It helped him focus on how cold it was. If he focused on that, then he could cope.
He tried to enter the girl's room today, but she wasn't there. He found her though, but a thin glass and ten feet stood in front of him and the girl. He saw it, the girl panting on the other side, obviously in pain, her father at her side, clutching her hand, praying to god to not take her. Only family members were allowed to see her.
He couldn't see her, even though today was her birthday. He arrived at the welfare office, his home. Izayoi stopped in his tracks.
Canaria was at the door, arms crossed, the hands cradling the elbows.
He didn't even need to ask. Today...was that girl's last day….
He wouldn't cry, he would stay strong.
"Aren't you going back?"
"Can't. They won't let me after I shattered the glass."
"You need to...it's her last wish."
Izayoi's head shot up, the motion so fast the force of it actually sent the rain away from him for a few seconds. The beautiful blonde haired woman walked up to him with neither a face of pity or sympathy, but of camaraderie.
She held out her hand, revealing a white envelope with his name on it.
Sakamaki Izayoi took the fragile, thin item into his hand. He blinked twice as he turned it over.
His bag fell to the ground. The young man wasted no time in sprinting off.
The sender was Kobayashi Makie. The date sent...was April the 5th, 2009, an entire year before she even met him.
Or should I call you Sakamaki? I don't know anymore. But if you got this then, it guess it means my time's up. Yeah, I knew I was going to die next year, or is it this year? Well, at least you need to know why, someone who was going to die in less than a year, wanted to interact with you.
How do I put this? We actually met before. Homura was in the hospital for a broken arm. That day, I was getting tests and told about a treatment that could cure my 'brain tumor.' I was bored that day, so I decided to see when my papa would come see me. It was at 4:03 p.m. I knew when the nurses would come, when the guy in the car accident died and a family member came rushing in, I knew everything. I hated my boring life, this dumb power that would let me see everything and anything. And I decided to make a gamble. If I was right and my papa was going to walk through the door, I would just surrender to fate and use my power right then, trying to over tax my brain and die.
He didn't come in through that door at 4:03 p.m. You did. I was surprised. I looked over the results over and over again, and it always said my papa. You came in looking for Homura-chan, but you had the wrong room, so left without a word. I decided to use my power bit by bit to try and see what events would need to be triggered to meet you again.
Ah I guess this is where I explain my power. I can see multiple timelines, but since there are so many ones, it means that so many things are happening all at once. In essence, it's like playing a video game and trying to get the correct path to get the girl or whatever. I have to trigger events to occur to get the results I want. So it's not like I am seeing a positive future that is to come, I still have to manipulate events to make the future I want to occur. Also, sometimes, my powers would act strange. Like for once, I touched a broken cup, but the moment I did, it was back to the way it was before I dropped it. I think I...rewound its time in a sense. And it wasn't just a cup, but other things; a window panel, a computer, I even made a flower grow before it was scheduled to bloom.
I guess you can call this the power to control time or fate or whatever, I haven't done it since i met you. And trust me trying to meet you, it was difficult I will give you that, so difficult it was a pain. But I didn't give up. Being around you, made the future uncertain. I liked that. And eventually, you triggered the event to meet me. I guess I should thank you for forgetting that book that day. If you haven't, I wouldn't have been able to meet you or do the things we did.
Those games were some of the greatest challenges I ever had to face. True my powers would still kick in and I would still get a positive result, but there were times when I was wrong, and I liked that. For once, the future was uncertain.
But...this came with a drawback. My powers realized this, and my brain began pushing itself to the limits, trying to get the result that was best. And now well, I am dying. I am speaking like this because I know it's for certain. But you see, I don't care. I had so much fun with you. I don't care if I was selfish or stupid; I just wanted to be with the person who made the future uncertain and fun.
And that's why, I need to ask for a favor. I know you bought me a book. The reason I hate the rain, and the snow, even cloudy and foggy days, was because I couldn't see the sky. That's why, tonight, I want you to be the villain and take me away. Kidnap me, do whatever but please, take me to an area where we can see the starry sky. And teach me about the stars.
I don't want to die in a room with four walls and no window; I don't want to die in that hospital. I want to die in a place under the sky, just so I can fly off into it. I don't care if that sounded cheesy it's how I feel!
This is my birthday wish...and my last wish. Please help me Izayoi….
Oh there is another attachment...but don't read it...until...you know.
Makie was panting, sweat beating down her forehead. Her short, black hair was slightly greasy, her thin body rustling in the sheets of her bed. She begged to be placed in her room, and she got it. She was in her hospital room with the nearby windows. Her hands squeezed into the sheets as she watched the sky outside. Next to her pillow was a letter addressed to her, written by her.
How pathetic of her. Her mind was becoming more obsessed with the future; she was beginning to lose her memories of the past. The green eyes couldn't even pierce through to the past to find out when she wrote the letter that reminded her of today.
He got her letter today right? Yes. The mailman delivered it to CANARIA Welfare Office at 3:45 p.m.
He did come to see her right? Yes. The glass shattered, she heard him calling for her.
Then...did he make it back in time? Her powers didn't say.
Tears trickled down her face, not from pain but from grief. Izayoi wasn't coming.
Her eyes began to close as she began to feel tired. Tears still fell from her closed eyes as she rested on the pillow.
Shadows began to blur her vision before her eyes closed completely, a few more tears falling out of her sockets.
"... Ie... akie... Makie?"
Slowly, Makie's eyes reopened. Her eyes adjusting to her friend's face as he looked at her, a worried look in his eyes and a smirk on his face. "Izayoi?" She whispered. The male nearly moved his head out of the way allowing the girl to see what he was hiding. Her eyes widened as she saw the beauty of it all.
Stars. Constellations of all sorts showing the beauty of the night sky. A wide grin formed on her face as she realized what had happened.
-He kept his promise.
They were sitting at the riverbank in the city, the bridge literally a few seconds away in walking distance. There was no more rain, but Izayoi looked like he was soaked. A smile formed on her pale face. The girl tried to sit up, but her strength was failing her. Izayoi's hands wrapped around her shoulders, lifting her up to where she was leaning on him, despite both sitting on a hill.
"It was raining dumbass." Izayoi retorted to the girl's failure of an insult.
"Right. So the rain did pass…" The girl sounded a bit surprised. Makie didn't expect it to pass. Yet another failure of her power that made her genuinely smile.
"When I first learned I had this power….I wanted to use it for my parents...I would predict lottery numbers, tickets, even cheat on tests. I knew what was coming and could avoid situations I disliked. But...I grew bored of it over time. I knew what was going to come; I thought I could not waste energy…" The girl stopped her words, shaking her head. "All it did was tear my mother and father apart."
Izayoi didn't say a word, just merely listened, not even looking at her, but at the river that reflected the sky. Everything was so serene, like it wasn't their world.
"What?" He gazed at the girl beneath him. Makie was paler than usual, the light that was once in her eyes dimming. Even so, she managed to raise her hand and point.
"The stars...that constellation...talk about them...and don't stop. Please, it's my birthday?"
A chuckle erupted from the blonde. The black haired girl sounded like a kid begging for sweets because she did something right.
"Screw that. I won't get what I want why should I give what you want?" It was a sad truth. He would never be given what he wanted in that moment, but it was mostly a joke to her, to him, it was a cruel truth.
"Jerk…" She pouted.
Izayoi laughed. Even now, she was still like this.
"Alright. The one you pointed to? It was Ursa Major, or the Big Dipper." He began as she girl leaned in closer.
It was cold, so very cold. Even though his jacket was soaked, she could feel the warmth his body had to offer. She clung to it as she listened to Izayoi's words. "Ursa Major stands for Big Bear, so you can guess its symbol. It was one of the 48 constellations listed by Ptolemy, a second century astronomer. The constellation is used to find the north star, or Polaris. See there?" Izayoi pointed to another constellation as his right hand grasped the girl's, Makie's fingers wrapped around his tightly.
"Not exactly. That's the Little Dipper. Ursa Major's child, Ursa Minor. In the constellation is the North Star, which navigator's used to tell which way was north at the time because it was aligned with the north pole of our world."
"What about the one next to it?"
"Yep. That constellation is made of fourteen stars, and the head is those four right there. In Greek mythology, Ledon was killed during one of Hercules's twelve labors. Ledon was tasked with guarding the golden apples Heracles needed to complete the task. In fact, there is Hercules's constellation."
Little by little, Makie's eyes closed as the darkness began to grow all around her. Izayoi's words began to vanish in her ears as he continued to talk about the constellations. "Izayoi... Can you say happy birthday for me? Please?"
The boy next to her simply nodded before saying the words she wanted to hear. Makie smiled back before her vision vanished.
-Izayoi. Thank you so much. I'll never forget you, you idiot. So don't forget about me either or I'll make sure to haunt you. I hope one day...We can play again.
Makie smiled. She would never tell him what she saw in that one instant.
"You...will be fine...trust me...You will be happy. Izayoi...Always have fun...So…keep talking…"
Izayoi nodded, his grip on the girl's hand tightening.
"Alright. The group of stars in the middle of the sky is Cygnus, the swan. It's called the northern cross…."
The sun rose on the tenth day of April. A police car drove up to the river bank. Stepping out was Makie's father. His eyes were red and puffy, like he had cried.
Izayoi was in his vision, sitting at the riverbank, Makie leaning on his shoulder. To a passerby, it would seem like they were lovers. But Makie's father knew better. He had found a letter addressed to him in the mail, a letter where his daughter predicted everything. In it was her request, and now he was coming to finish it.
The man walked up to the boy, hair hiding his face. Even so, his eyes were focused on the letter in front of him.
Makie's second attachment.
P.S. It's gonna be rough this year for you, but I know you will be fine. I asked Papa to give you something to pass the time. A simple game that you and Canaria can play. She might get a kick out of it.
Izayoi looked up. He never once shed a tear, but his eyes had lost whatever light was in them.
"...Tell me...did she suffer?"
"...Only a bit…It was quick…" Those words were enough to bring forth another wave inside the father. Even so, he remained strong. Reaching into his coat, he brought out a small deck of cards. The same ones that Izayoi and her would play memory with.
The blond couldn't help but smile.
"How is this boring game going to make me pass the time?" In the end, her final act was a way of insulting him, something he should have known the girl would have done.
Violet orbs looked down, a gentle smile on Sakamaki Izayoi of fourteen years as he gazed at Kobayashi Makie, who managed to make it past fourteen years.
The memories played in Izayoi's head as he walked through the town, neither a solemn look on his face nor that of a bored one. He was making his way to the Colosseum where the Gift Game finals were to be played at.
"What is it?" The blond looked back at the vampire maid behind him.
"For a moment...you had a gentle expression..."
"Oh? I did? Meh, just thinking about the past!" Izayoi stretched his arms. A sardonic grin appeared on the problem child's face. "Game starts in thirty minutes and I need to talk to the runt! So no offense Leticia I am leaving!" The boy jumped into the air, landing on a nearby building roof as he ran on top of it.
Leticia sighed heavily. She would have to press for answers later.
Izayoi jumped once more form the roof of the building, as he did the smile grew wider.
"That stupid monkey knew this would happen!"
A vision of Makie appeared in his mind smiling.
"Sorry Makie, I left that deck behind me. My promise...I haven't forgotten that though! I swear...this world…" The boy jumped once more, practically flying through the air.
"IS DEFINITELY FUUUUUUUUN!"
Sakamaki Izayoi's voice cried out into the twilight sky. He wished that the girl in the sky would hear him, hear his declaration.
Even though, at that moment...he wished he could have brought her here.
A world where those who received gifts from the gods, demons, spirits and stars were accepted and appreciated.
A world where nothing was ordinary and typical.
This world where the problem children could flourish.
So…yeah I saw Mondaiji-Tachi and I looked at the fanfiction, there was not that much. Honestly this is a wonderful little series that deserves so much more than that little stack. So I am offering my two cents, along with my partners who helped me write this, Shadow Ninja Koopa.
This came as a plot bunny. I know Izayoi learned the beauty of the world through Canaria and her mechanisms (Omnipresent I SWEAR!). But I thought about how Izayoi would come to learn about morality?
And thus this little brat, Makie Kobayashi, was born! Born through a plot bunny (Thanks Black Rabbit) and a dream.
Here is a little synopsis of the OC.
Hair: Black, Shoulder blade length, a tad wavy, bangs parted to reveal forehead.
Gift: Pathway to the Future (A Time Mastery ability that can let her see the multiple timelines and control it on a small scale. She only used this part of her power a few times.) A powerful ability with a powerful drawback that it provides periodic headaches and slight memory loss due to her brain trying to process the information.
Personality: A young woman who has been bored once her parents divorced. Arrogant, bouncy and loving her duty as a librarian, a full bookworm. While she could never match Izayoi on a physical scale, she can be more than a match mentally. Her skill in the beginning was a simple game of Memory. She truly wants people to enjoy their lives and will often use her powers to assist in financial troubles. Intelligent, and bossy to Izayoi, all she wanted was to entertain him in her short life as a thank you for breaking fate. In the end she was using him as a way to escape her sad fate, and was set to apologize but Izayoi never gave her the chance.
In a sense she did love Izayoi like that, but I think you could call her instead the archetype of 'First Love.'
In the end I hope she was good and I portrayed her nicely with my partner's help. I feel like I haven't done it quite right. If she is popular enough you might see more of her.
Ah and to be frank since i was asked about my science and stuff as to how she could have countered her powers, she did have a growing tumor located in her brain and her power prevented her from recalling past events as she began focusing on the future to try and prolong her life shortly after meeting Izayoi in the hospital that one point in her letter.
Alright now my co-writer has something to say!
Shadow Ninja Koopa: Just a thanks to those who are reading this. Thanks for taking time out to look at our work and please enjoy.
Now for those who read my Dissidia fic Dissidia Viginti Unus 021 Final Fantasy, the final chapter for Arc 1 will be posted this week so keep an eye out for it. For those that are new well, just take a look I swear it is good…at least that's what I keep hearing XD
Now I have recently made a sequel to the series and a sister story following Makie's point of view! If you are interested then go check it out!