Summer's here again, and unlike last year it's peaceful.
No AI hackers, no giant computers, no falling satellites.
Mother got me a new laptop, faster than my old one since it was broken last summer.
This summer, I'm going to teach my little sister how to be the best fighter in OZ.
"For goodness sake, Kazuma! She's only a year old!" my mother said when I told her.
It doesn't matter, I'll teach her anyway.
"Come on, press this button right here." I said as I pointed to one of the keys on my laptop.
She stares at it.
"Come on!" I said, gripping her arm and making her press the key.
The OZ screen pops up, the one that asks to make your avatar.
"What would you li-"
She's gone. She's in her corner playing with her toys.
Damn! I guess I really do have to wait for her to grow older.
I shut down my laptop and go outside. "I'm going out for a walk, ma!" I yell into the kitchen window.
I hear a faint 'okay', and dash down the road.
"Don't forget, we need to leave later on!" I hear my mother yell.
It feels good to run, the warm wind in my face and the excellerating feeling in my legs.
Sure it hot today, hotter that last year.
I slow down and catch my breath when I reach the bustling market area and buy two popsicles.
One for me, and one for the rabbit that's always hiding under the bushes.
The rabbit that appeared one day last week, its ears popping up all the time.
Dash to the back of the market main store, down the hill...
"Hey there fella, you're still here." I bend down and unwrap the popsicles.
The rabbit jumps out and nuzzles up to me. It looks like it's taking a liking to me.
I give it the other popsicle in my hand and eat my own.
"I guess I should've got you a carrot or something, but it's hot today so I thought you'd like something cool instead." I said to it.
It ignores me and licks the popsicle.
I stroke its back and examine it closely.
It was way too clean to be wild, and its ears were exceptionally long.
I notice a small, tiny collar on its neck, and reach for it.
There are words on the collar. Its home address, I assume.
"Come on, rabbit, you need to get home." I scoop it up, finish my popsicle and run home.
"Ma, I found a rabbit behind the market, and I think its address is right here." I lift up the animal for her to see.
"Oh my, now let's see here..." she takes a look at the collar and sighs. "This rabbit is abandonned, Kazuma. The residents of this address left a long time ago."
"Then... can we keep it?" I ask.
My mother nods her head slowly. "Well, as long as it doesn't cause trouble..."
She picks up her bag and slings it across her shoulder.
"Now let's go to Grandma's house. We have to pay our respects, it's the anniversary today."
I grab a couple of carrots from the kitchen for the rabbit.
I load my stuff in the car and climb in, my little sister clamouring after me.
"What should I name you?" I say to the rabbit as my father loads the rest of the things.
An idea flashes through my mind, and I smile.
"King Kazuma, I'll name you King Kazuma." I laugh at my idea. "King for short."
"Hey now, naming an animal after yourself?" my father laughs, getting in the driver's seat.
We drive off, and I stare out the window as we go by cities, fields, cows...
"Summer sure is hot, isn't it?" Kenji says as he fans himself.
"Mmmhm." I tap away on my laptop, keeping my record as best in OZ. "Why are you here again?"
"I'm N-Natsuki's b-boyfriend, of course." he babbles.
"Right." I stroke King, who was nibbling on carrots again.
"Nice rabbit, what's his name?" asks Kenji as he scratches the animal.
"The same as my avatar on OZ." I reply quickly, focusing on the screen. "King Kazuma."
He laughs. "Fits nicely, I think."
I sign off OZ and get up. "Going for a run." I say as I pick up King.
"Hold on, Kaz." Kenji says as he gets up too.
I glare at him. "I don't like that nickname. Say that again, with my proper name."
"Ugh, geez." He sighs. "Alright, uh, can you hold on for a minute Kazuma?"
I turn around. "What?"
He holds up a small pair of goggles. Really small, like it was made for dogs or babies or something.
"King Kazuma can have these, I've been meaning to give this to your little sister but I heard she doesn't like swimming."
"Er... thanks?" I place the goggles on King. It fits just right.
"Later." I say and I turn around and run into the open sky. It really is a nice day today.
I laze around for a while and close my eyes. The sun warms me up and I almost drift asleep...
I reach for King...
And I suddenly get up and look around just in time to see King run into a couple of bushes.
"KING!" I yell and run after him.
I barely see his white tail as I dash forward, trying to catch him.
I run into the bushes, paying no attention where I was or which way I was going, just focusing on getting King.
"I've... got you!" I cry out as I snatch him up and tumble down.
As I shake myself off, I stare at what I see.
King, standing up on his feet. "Let's fight." he says.
"Eh- what????" I scramble up and look at King. He's huge, and the goggles are on his neck like I placed it before.
He looks just like my avatar on OZ.
"What's going on?" I ask him.
"Fight." he replies in my voice. Strange.
He goes in a martial arts pose, and lungs at me. I dodge to one side and trip him.
"What the hell?!" I half-yell as he gets up again and throws a punch.
Block, block, kick, block, punch, throw, block.
He's not answering my questions, and he's not stopping either. I am so confused.
I throw a flying kick to knock him out, but he blocks it and attempts a similiar kick which hits me square in the stomach.
I choke and clutch my stomach, coughing and unable to breath. Goddamn the pain...
I look up, beads of sweat dripping down my forehead. I barely dodge another kick, and attempt a weak punch and fail.
He barely misses me as he karate chops near my nose.
"King!" I scream with all my power as he winds up another punch. Crap, I'm not fast enough to block this one.
I shut my eyes and brace myself for the impact.
A sharp, warm wind flys by my face, a familiar smell, and then I hear chatter.
I open my eyes. I'm just outside the house, next to the hot springs that emeraged after last summer.
The chatter I hear is my mother and my aunts talking.
The warm summer breeze is still around, even though it's getting dark already.
King is next to me, snoozing.
It was like it was all a dream. Like I fell asleep to the warm weather.
There are pillows on me which feels kind of heavy on my body, in a way that looked like someone just dropped it on me.
It was all a dream...
That's probably it. And the smell was from the hot springs.
I pet King, who nuzzles up to me. How could I ever think of him become me in OZ?
A small, harmless animal.
I smile and stare at the night sky that is now filled with twinkling stars.
Some distinctly resemble a rabbit if I connect them. Funny.
"Kazuma, time to take a bath!" I hear my mother call.
I take one last look at the sky. "Okay." I call back, turning away and picking up King.
Well this summer shouldn't be too bad, now that I have something to do.
Figuring out whether it was really OZ I was in, in my dream. If it was really a dream.
There's going to be one more Summer War, but these time it's just me.
And I can't wait.
a/n; I'm a pedophile for Kazuma, i swear.
..I mean, what. No, i'm not obsessed with him at all. nope.
blahblahblah, the usual i do not own this and that lalal all chars go to rightful owners etc.