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Thread: DDD

  1. #861
    kill me chipathy's Avatar
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    i never thought id see the day, ty for your hard work

  2. #862
    Say "Grail" one more time. Leftovers's Avatar
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    I am filled with conflicting emotions.

    Awe, for how action-packed and blockbuster-like the volume's finale was.
    Gratitude, for the translators that have made this work accessible for most.
    Sadness, because Nasu will never get off his Fate-writing ass to finish this.

    Still the best thing he's ever written.

    Quote Originally Posted by Desuclocker View Post
    Actually, I forget, was Kanata's notebook ever properly translated? The guy who did the Russian translation made a really neat image of it.
    Yes, by DDD Patriarch Crown.

    And with this, the story of DDD2 concludes. It's been a fun run, and I'm eagerly waiting for the next volume to come out.
    Thank you once again for your translation. Do you plan on also doing Sora no Soto?

    And y-yeah, surely that will happen, uhh...



    "soon"

  3. #863
    Quote Originally Posted by Leftovers View Post
    Thank you once again for your translation. Do you plan on also doing Sora no Soto?
    Yeah, I think I do.

    EDIT: Well, so long as someone's willing to assist with actually replacing the text on the pages, because I definitely don't trust myself with that.

    EDIT2: nvm
    Last edited by Desuclocker; March 25th, 2017 at 07:28 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by ほうれん草 View Post
    STOP SHOOTING EACH OTHER YOU FUCKERS

    I'm trying to watch anime FFS

  4. #864
    吸血鬼 Vampire Rygah's Avatar
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    And it's all over. Goddammit Nasu, why would you leave us on such a cliffhanger! Great finale though, I've enjoyed volume 2 very much. And yay, I finally understand the Meruka Kuramitsu reference in Mirai Fukuin.

    Once again, I'd like to thank Desuclocker, Enhance, Crown, arai, and everyone else involved in the translation of DDD. It's a real shame it's so underappreciated in comparison to Nasu's other works, imo it's very reminiscent and could be just as successful as KnK if it were complete (especially if it were to have a similarly styled movie adaptation). Wishful thinking aside though, it's been a blast to read through it all.

    Okay then, excuse me while I crawl into a corner and lament over Decoration Disorder Discontinuation.
    Spoiler:
    (All credit on Aron Headbutt on Youtube)

  5. #865
    Say "Grail" one more time. Leftovers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Desuclocker View Post
    Yeah, I think I do.

    EDIT: Well, so long as someone's willing to assist with actually replacing the text on the pages, because I definitely don't trust myself with that.

    EDIT2: nvm
    I meant the short story. I'm assuming it's the second-to-last zip on the first post of the Russian thread linked in the OP.

  6. #866
    受け止めよう Crown's Avatar
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    I wish arai did that one.

    is he even alive

  7. #867
    Quote Originally Posted by Leftovers View Post
    I meant the short story. I'm assuming it's the second-to-last zip on the first post of the Russian thread linked in the OP.
    I see. Must have missed it when getting the Russian versions.

    By the way, holy shit that's good. I definitely want to try my hand at translating it.
    Quote Originally Posted by ほうれん草 View Post
    STOP SHOOTING EACH OTHER YOU FUCKERS

    I'm trying to watch anime FFS

  8. #868
    Magus Failure SteelBeowulf's Avatar
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    Somebody! Find a way to contact Nasu! Tell him to finish what he started!
      "A battle has been fought, and is now over.
      Place your sword upon the ground, and rest in the temporal peace.
      After dozing in the warmth of a dream, a new day will begin.
      The days keep passing by...
      And we still chase the same star we once saw."

  9. #869
    jesus christ wtf

    I was doing the editing already, and then the stupid fucking editor wiped out the entire text file, making me lose about a week of progress after recovery. I guess Sora no Soto will be delayed even further now.
    Quote Originally Posted by ほうれん草 View Post
    STOP SHOOTING EACH OTHER YOU FUCKERS

    I'm trying to watch anime FFS

  10. #870
    Anyway, I've decided to upload what I have completed and do the rest later. Sadly, my favorite part didn't survive, but I hope you enjoy.

    Sora no Soto, parts 1 and 2
    Outside of the Skies

    3.5/

    Trrrrr! With a machinegun-like noise, needles as big as an index finger each pierce the ground.
    Trr! Drr!
    Streams of needles perforate the dirt, resembling a madly spinning lamp's rays of light more than actual bullets.
    Sustained fire.
    A storm of bullets flying at over 1000 m/s.
    And amid this I'm still alive. Dancing between projectiles, not pausing for an instant.
    Right now I'm running through New Eurasia at a speed of 1500 km/h. The atmosphere density and pressure are not like those of Earth, so breaking the sound barrier is easy peasy. In a few minutes I'll leave the plains and will be able to attack their base in a chain of hills.
    Trr! Trrrr! Trrrrrrr!
    They're hovering a kilometer above me, and their sniper-like precision showcases their persistence.
    "Phew!"
    Kicking out my leg in midair, I barely avoid a particularly lucky burst.
    An upper kick with my right blocks the hail of needles.
    The bullets bouncing with high-pitched squeals are wedge-shaped bee stingers. Oversized, very much so. Forget poison or anaphylactic shock; a simple hit with this would spell instant death.
    "Haaa!.."
    I accelerate again and finally make it to the hills.
    The bullet storm keeps pursuing me. Thorny mountains grow in the brown soil - trr, trrrr!
    Yeah, that's a familiar sound. Reminds me of Mom's sewing machine.

    Trr. Trr. Pew pew pew. Meow meow meow. Trr.
    An alien sound mixed in with the whistle of falling bullets.
    Puzzled, I lift my stare and am speechless for the second time on this planet.
    "Cats?!"
    No matter how you look at it, these were cats.
    Surrounding me, meter-long flying chimeras circled through the air.
    The only cat part was the head, though.
    The body below was definitely that of a bee.
    "C-can't be, this is too much!" - I shout as I charge into the hills.
    I never even liked Hello Kitty.
    Eager to shoot the prey that'd stumbled into their territory, the beecats rrrrrattle their wings and pursue me with battle purrs.
    "Oh, whoa, not bad!"
    As soon as I reached the top of the mountain, a panoramic view opened before my eyes.
    Before me is a huge building as large as a rocket-launching complex, looking like something human-made, namely a huge cat food factory.
    I don't even know where to start in this nonsense.
    These are cats, or maybe bees, right?
    They have no brains, but they'd managed to build a factory, yeah.
    Diligently picking up carts full of tin cans, moving strictly in lines, a conveyor belt if I've ever seen one.
    How do they do it? They can't even speak…
    No, that's not it. What the hell is going on here?

    The year is two thousand and five.
    The place is an unremarkable planet in the Milky Way.
    And I am on my third planetary murder spree. I lightly sigh at the sight of a group of beecats.



    This is how it began, but I'm no superweapon nor a cosmic monster, I'm just a simple girl.
    An innocent homo sapiens from the third planet of the Solar System, fifteen years old, resident of the C prefecture in Japan; an adorable creature that used to invite only praise from the neighbors: 'Just like a French doll!'
    And this is me now - performing destructive activities that put Laputa* to shame on an unknown planet; anyway, this foreword is not essential.
    Let's go back to ten minutes ago…
    Let's go back so far that my inner clock gave up on counting.
    Let's go back to a certain clinic.

































    1/

    Two years ago I'd been dragged into a clinic named after someone or such.
    The disease has a name so stupid I won't even mention it. Anyway, it's an infection that makes your mental issues affect your bodily abilities.
    I was fifteen when I'd caught a nasty case of the disease and had been admitted to the clinic.
    The clinic is located in an inaccessible place in the mountains and is so disconnected from the outer world it might be compared to, say, a lunar base…
    Speaking softly, it's a research center.
    Speaking frankly, it's just a prison.
    This patient's Eden, provided you got used to being treated as a lab rat, of ours was instantly and completely lost that day.
    Of course, when there's a prison, there're going to be prison breaks. Prison breaks mean riots. It really wasn't a good idea, gathering only the possessed. Just forget to lock a door, and you've got a biological catastrophe on your hands.
    The change that occurred before sunrise spread through the clinic in less than an hour, and the eight hundred people locked up together - the personnel and the sick from buildings A (the beginning stage) to D (the terminal one) descended straight into a classical Hell.
    The pleasant sound of flesh being torn, the screams of those melted alive, the victims' pleas for help all mixed together. I'd just finished sending a letter to my family, but I couldn't enjoy the pleasant sensations.
    Listening closer, I could distinguish the screams of doctors on duty, which I found surprisingly enjoyable. Nonono, helphelphelp, whywhywhy, nowaynowaynoway. I'm no judge, of course, but they could use some imagination. Japanese is known for its rich vocabulary, is it not?

    "Hello. Me? What about me? Well, I'm in my cell. 'Why'? Well, I haven't even had breakfast yet."

    Among the roaring blaring and echoing of the alarm sirens I pick up the squealing, flashing cell phone.
    My building is D. A spooky place where the hopeless are assigned, so the security is tighter and the construction is like a labyrinth. The main wave of riots isn't here yet. I can only hear the victims' screams through the window. That said, even I alone can probably break through the D building's thirty-layer steel walls.

    "Yeah, I know. I can hear it. You want at least me to behave? Well, that's hard. Everyone was kind to me, and I'm thankful that I'm considered a princess… But you do understand that saving doctors is not my style, right? All who encounter me end up being victims."

    Thus, once the benefits are gone, the deal's off.
    Rising from my bed, I crack my shoulders. The deputy head doctor I'm talking to, quite the article himself, laughs: 'Yeah, that's why I like you', even though nobody asked, and hangs up. I guess he'll leave his colleagues to their fates and escape via helicopter.

    "Well, that's how they are. The further up, the more rotten."

    Not that I hold a grudge against the doctors. They always put others' lives above their own, so who can judge them for prioritizing their own hides for once?
    But the phrase dropped by him at the end made my chest tighten sweetly.

    'Well, bye. Let's have you demons solve the problem of your existence yourselves."

    "Of course, dammit."
    This is way more fun to me than revenge on the clinic. I quickly pace across my gym-sized room.
    "All right… Why don't I do some spring cleaning?.."
    I put my hand on the steel door - just my size: four meters tall, three wide.
    "Reeeady, seeet…"
    Oh, licking my lips is improper. If a surveillance camera was recording this, I'd blush, but my family isn't likely to watch this movie.
    "Go!"
    The steel door opens with a screech, and I jump out into the corridor.
    Well, once you get started, don't slack off.
    Important problems get solved without the main actors all the time, after all.



    Anyway, the bloody operation began.
    Upon leaving the special security area built just for me I enter corridors of a hell no lesser.
    There's not a single window in the passages, and they're separated, like the dots on dice. Once you pass through, you lose all landmarks; this is, of course, intentional, to make escape harder for the inhabitants of the cells.
    I ran through the labyrinth while pondering on what to apply myself to first and bumped into someone.
    "Oh, good afternoon!"
    "Ugh."
    After some questions I whack someone to teach them a lesson about rudeness.
    Seeing such a cute girl and going 'ugh' instead of 'hello'! He can go 'ugh' himself.
    Suppressing my irritation, I learn the path to the next cell and snap their neck. My visits continue in this spirit and at a good pace.
    Am I a doctor? Yeah, something like a doctor.
    From an outside perspective, that's the only role that fits me.
    And I move on to the next patient.
    Sadly, in the end it wasn't an easy victory.
    I took out the stragglers from the C building with one hand, but against those assigned to D my tempo was, of course, slowed.
    All of 'us' have their own, unique manifestations of the disease.
    There's a man who'd tried to get the organ he sold back and ended up buried at the bottom of a pool among his own over-duplicated organs;
    there's a guy who'd been so afraid of conflicts with the neighbor he loved he stopped time, not just hers but his own and that of everyone around him;
    there's a boy who'd been incapable of eating solid food since birth and so began liquefying and eating lives.
    Long story short, a bunch of weirdos.
    This is our disease - to get over mental trauma we remake, or sometimes warp, our bodies.
    Say, there's a patient whose disease was triggered by bulimia.
    The patient cured his mental disorder that forced him to eat large amounts of food by enlarging their stomach.
    Basically, the disorder tries to bodily bypass mental trauma while leaving it intact. It's weird like that. The D building's patients took it too far and strayed from the basics of humanity a little.
    Me?
    Of course, I'm also sick. The same terminal stage, no better or worse.
    After all, even now I'm changing non-stop.
    With every minute my body moves further away from the former me.
    "Still, that's odd. The doctor said only three were capable of moving."
    To be more precise, only three patients of the D building should've kept their human self: me, that Helmia girl and that Kuramitsu guy.
    The other forty, I'm told, were not in a state to leave their cells of their own will, yet, including the rude woman, including the boy playing with guards in the observation room, they're all out, freely and indiscriminately letting off steam.
    "Well, what now?.. I got suuuch a rare symptom, and they just go and die of their own accord."
    And thus I efficiently make my rounds with light footsteps.
    It's a shame to let such good food go to waste, after all.
    Perhaps this is my last, decisive battle.
    Perhaps it's a battle for survival where honor is at stake.
    We were thrown out of society, but that's just why I'd like to assign places to everyone.
    "That said, the result is pretty predictable."
    It's a proof of boredom and nothing more.
    The competition is not too important for me, who was fine lazing around in her cell before.
    Truth be told, I have a different goal, and all this is unrelated to it.
    Thus I should hurry up. Genocide is a hobby. I was told right at the beginning that I couldn't leave this clinic without disposing of all the other patients.
    "Hmm, where haven't I been yet…"
    I consult the map I memorized in the observation room.
    Red lights blink off in my mind.
    The last unchecked cell in №404, the furthest from the exit in the D building.



    I check the number and knock on the steel door. Bang bang bang.
    "Excuuuse meee, just a formality - do you have a will to live?"
    Bang bang bang. No reply.
    I looked through the peephole, but it was completely dark inside. 404 is a unique suite. The case is long expired, no documents are left.
    Nothing can be seen inside.
    The corridor is well lit; maybe just this particular room doesn't have electricity.
    Thus I'll have to force the electronic lock open. Bang bang bang bang BANG!
    "Helloooo! You don't have to answer, though, I don't mind. I'll just smash you along with the room, okay?"
    I switch from light knocking to the position of slamming through with my body.
    And then the intercom crackled and came to life.

    "It won't work. Disappear. No one can defeat me."

    A machine-like voice!..
    And would you look at that, this uncaring, cool guy, authoritative tone! Only Dark Lords can get away with that!
    "No one? What about me? I wasn't expecting much, but you sound strong!"
    Slam slam slam slam. I happily pound on the steel door. The usual deal, ten centimeters of steel, easy peasy…
    "Uh huh, so you don't want to get out on your own? Bullshit, isn't it? They lie that you're sitting in there like a good boy, right? You would never submit to the authorities, right?"
    With no answer, like hell he's gonna get mercy from me. "Ours" have to have a rebel's will, no way around it.
    "So, can I? What about now? I can come in, right?"
    "Drop it. Don't enter. My power is too much for you. If you come in, you'll regret it for sure."
    Hey, I'm already hella interested!..
    Bang bang bang slam slam slam!
    My limbs kept striking non-stop. As though in a fever, I punch and kick the tiny door.
    Just like most steel doors, the one numbered 404 was quickly, losing, fo… rm?..
    "Oh."
    A room suspicious in every way.
    Not just unwarped, simply untouched. Just a darkness that defies light. By the way, my eyes can freely see infrared in any darkness, and anyway, how does the intercom work with no power?

    "I say this not for myself, but for you. If you value your life, don't enter my world."

    "Ha."
    I put my hand on the sliding door's handle.
    The corner of my mouth rises evilly.
    This condescending challenge dispelled the last of my doubts.
    Can't win? I? And value my life, too? Very funny. I'm about to cry from all the laughter. No one had seriously said something like that to me in these two years.
    "What good timing! All right, do your worst!"
    Abandoning the door-breaking, I forcefully push it aside.
    Before me opens a wall of darkness. I excitedly peer at it and fearlessly take a step.
    "Ah?…"
    My brain, eager to kill the owner of the machine-like voice, instantly froze.
    The very heat that made my heart dance in anticipation of murder, turned into ash under the rain. In the space of a single second I…

    "I told you: don't enter my world."

    …had been literally thrown into outer space.



    The various kinds of science offer different definitions of vacuum, and I'm bad at playing with meanings and connotations. As a human, I can only rely on the information relayed by my sensory organs. In space there's vacuum, no gravity, it's incredibly cold, and the entire sky is littered with stars, an endless sea of lights.
    Stars shining with different colors.
    Stars that make our Sun look tiny.
    The Milky Way is far away, but compared to the sight from Earth, it's thousands of times closer. So close it feels like it's within an arm's reach.

    The shine, the bottomlessness makes me forget to breathe.
    This is a world of gods.
    Not a place for the existence of a single living human.
    The solitude of stars - that's probably me right now. The spirit of a human person floating alone in this sparkling blackness couldn't bear the emptiness.

    Anyway, this is spacious, but also kinda tight… harder to breathe than in a locked five and a half tatami apartment…
    "Oxygen!"
    The true terror of space brought me back to reality.
    I mean, I've been in both a furnace and a freezer, but complete vacuum is a new experience!
    My eyes are tingling. The humid areas of my body are cold.
    "Ah, oh, heeeey!"
    Breath! I think I have to hold by breath?!
    "Ugh!.."
    No, the opposite, seems like holding it makes the oxygen in the lungs go stale! The pressure differential doesn't tear me apart, the cold doesn't numb my limbs, but if the blood gets stuck, that'll suck - for me personally! Seems like I have to exhale, or else it's game over, but then I only have enough oxygen for about ten seconds, and after that comes oxygen starvation and death.
    "Aah, hey, what the!.."
    Anyway, there's no escape.
    In twenty seconds I died among this impossible, unreachable beauty, and then…

    "Damn. Made it again."

    …in thirty seconds I opened my eyes and came back to life.
    Looks like my disease of non-death has now defeated vacuum.
    My first space adventure felt slightly cool. I practically flew beyond the clouds, and for some reason I could hear my own voice.
    I really didn't want to try, it looked silly, but I made a few arm movements, pretending to front crawl. Oh, I'm moving, I'm moving. Like a fish in the water, only better than water, and not a fish… All right, let's leave the question of who's the insane one - me or space - aside.

    "Wh… wh-wh-wh-wh, wh… Aaah?!"
    A strangely effeminate male voice rolled over me in the fake vacuum.
    "What's happening?.."
    Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh!
    A weird something flies at me from six o'clock.
    It looks just like a normal tatami…
    "Whooooah! It's a giiiiirl!!!"
    And, no other way to put it, a fatass, a fleshy snowman.

    Space within a hospital ward.
    A tatami UFO, a flying carpet parody.
    And someone over thirty, and so fat the word doesn't do him justice to boot.
    "Holy shiiit! The younger sister type has to have some limits! Hey, why are you alive anyway? Oh, maybe you don't breathe? Do you happen to be polygonal? Well, it doesn't matter! The main thing is the chest, and arms, and legs, and face, and voice, and hair, and ass, and the chest - that means strike! You could even be a star, I ain't complaining!"
    The snowman's going mad, like a schoolgirl from the past, and I scowl unconsciously.

    Thus I met the strongest NEET in the Milky Way, also known as Panda-Eyes, also known as Ookumaneko Mokumoku.
    By the way, I have the rights to the nicknames.



    "Still, you have some pretty hair! Black, below waist length! Oh, I'm almost in love already!"
    "Dhah-hah-ha", - the Two Snowballs guy laughs and jumps around me.
    …That's him, Panda-Eyes. The oldest patient of the D building. Even the doctors haven't ever seen him, or something like that.
    Only his nonsensical name, age and the sad reason for his detention are documented.
    "Are you the famous hikkikomori? The one that's been here since he was sixteen, the scum scared of real life?"
    Damn, let me kill him, maybe?
    "Exactly! But it's not good to instantly give up on hikkikomori! Lairs and lethargic sleep are essential life knowledge, I'm sick of repeating that. Yes-yes, I'll no longer bear the refusal of human rights to cave bears!"
    What human rights would a bear have?..
    "Okay, stop… Apologies, I've calmed down. I was just excited about having my first guest. But that's a lie too. I'm actually still excited. You're incredibly erotically dressed, after all!"
    The snowman leaps around the expanse of space.
    "Phew, your top - bang, your bottom - bang! Is this a sports bra? Are those gaiters? The girl's quite ripe-nya? Or are you heading back from a fitness club? Aah, damn, why is it so dark, can't see jack!"
    I keep quiet and approximate the UFO's further trajectory.
    This guy's end will come as soon it appears to my upper left again.
    A fist doesn't feel right. I'll put my heart and soul into a right kick that'll rip this huge carcass in half.
    "All right, the Eromanga island constellation, gimme some light! Oh, this is a good angle. But I want a better view of the armpits-nya! All right, the Libra star goes here, down and to the left! Lights!"
    An attack on my sight?! A satellite previously hidden in a big planet's shadow appeared before us and reflected the Sun's light. In an accurately-aimed cone of light I unconsciously shut my eyelids.

    "Oh, aaaaaaah?!"
    Well yeah, I still gave him a solid kick.
    The meat snowman drowns in the silvery confetti of the universe.
    The hikkikomori who'd suddenly appeared, said whatever he felt like and did whatever he wanted is now space dust.
    "Nope, just kiiidding! Diiidn't work!"
    Wh-wh-what the hell?
    I definitely hit him, so why is this meatball laughing and jumping?! This is not super-speed or super-regeneration, nothing this simple!
    "Oh yoooooou!"
    I swing a deadly strike with my foot.
    "Ohoho, what long legs! Cool!"
    The panda parody goes nuts in delight and bounces around me. I'm honestly fed up with him for many reasons, I just want to kill him, and he!..
    "Take this, and this, and thiiis!"
    Like, hell, this, overfed, pelican, will, tire, me, out!..
    "Hey, what the hell?!"
    "Hahaha, what the hell-nya-nya?"
    The panda grins sarcastically with a few constellations in the background.
    I hit him in the hanging belly, but Ookumaneko is unharmed. Nonsense. I'm hitting home, so why isn't he taking damage?!
    "Ooh, lucky dodge there. And yours truly moves on to the behind. Oh wow, that's one hell of a wasp waist! I'm dying!"
    Yeah, can't compare to yours!
    "And the legs are delish! You're a special hybrid made to send men to Hell!"
    Your rottenness!.. Is!.. The peak!
    "Buuut alas! You're a high schooler, my dear? I don't want any old haaags!"
    All right.
    "Die this instant!"
    "Hahaha, I caaan't!"
    Taking the perfect moment, I vertically smash through his face, skull and entire body.
    But once again I'm faced with failure.
    …I hate to do it, but I must admit.
    I don't understand the logic, but this man is physically undefeatable.
    But he's also wrong about something.
    "Keep in mind, I turn seventeen this year."
    I must correct the factual error.
    "Oh? Really? Nah, still overdeveloped… But that's the disease you have, I see, sorry, sorry. As an apology, I'll also share a secret. What do you want to know?"
    "Tell me how to kill you."
    "Haha, ever so simple! But that won't work; I don't know how to kill me myself. You see, while I'm in this space, the universal rules don't allow for my destruction, no matter what you do."
    "Huh? What? You want to say you're unbeatable?"
    "Well, yeah, technically. Elusive Joe, you know?.. How do I put it, this universe doesn't care whether I exist. I'm not related to it, there's no interaction. So it doesn't care. It doesn't spend a single quantum of energy on me… So, once you're in here, the rule naturally extends to you. The attacking influence of various phenomena on me is not permitted. Basically, I'm the Elusive Joe who's not so much hard to catch, nobody just cares enough to."
    "I don't get it."
    Is he also bonkers on top of being a worthless leech on society?
    "I don't need your sophistry. What, is collision detection off for you?"
    "It'd be more correct to say I fell out of samsara. So I can't be killed. And I also can't kill you. A perfect stalemate."
    Basically, looks like someone lost the lottery. Badly.
    I don't know whether Ookumaneko speaks the truth, but I understand that I can't destroy him.
    "Hmm, where are you going? Don't fly that way, there's three black holes in a row. There might be some sense in going to watch, but they aren't really that rare."
    "Doing whatever you like. I don't know how you manage it, but our paths split here. No time to waste on people who just sit and…"
    Huh? I think I came in from this way… Hm, hmmm?
    "Hey. Where's the exit?"
    An unpleasant truth.
    The sickening foreboding scares me a bit, and I ask the meat mountain behind me about the door.
    And the panda on his tatami says:
    "Sorry, I can't answer that either. There's no exit. You can even die, and you still won't leave. And even I can't do anything about that. Sigh. I told you not to come in…"
    "Wh-what are you talking about, cut the crap! Is this your disease or not?!"
    "Well, yeah, there's your answer. I'm stuck here precisely because I'm incurably ill. I'm my own worst enemy, so to speak. Sigh. I told you not to come in, just sayin' a second time."
    "Ugh, you! Let me go right now, you fucking panda!"
    "Hahaha, nope!"
    Whoosh! The UFO that looks like a white comet runs away.
    "Hey, stop right there! Tell me something more useful and go away after that!"
    I nervously kick at the vacuum below me to not allow him to escape.
    Hmm. This lets me move faster than swimming.
    "What?! A birth of an interstellar travel method faster than my tatami! Cool, the concept of a cute girl is cool! Wow, you're one dangerous female! Mostly in the sense of your build! By the way, I don't care about anything else, but I can't give you the title of fastest in the universe! I'll have to disappear you."
    And so Ookumaneko takes an insolent pose on his tatami.
    "What, we can interact after all?!"
    I chase the fleeing NEET with all my might. In this case it's better to rhythmically jump than to run.
    Kicking at the sky, I seem to myself to be a water cannon ship.
    "Ha, you fool! I'll turn the macrophysics to my advantage! Take this: Meteor! Just kidding, I can't do that!"
    "Heh, thought…"
    Whoop.
    The bridge of my nose was struck by a comet.
    "Khh, so you can!"
    "I just know the trajectories of celestial bodiiies! But I'm seriously scared. You're aware that you just demonstrated that in this universe, you're tougher than Earth?"
    Strongly excited, Ookumaneko skillfully weaves between asteroid belts - the reefs of Milky Way.
    Suddenly everything seemed unnecessary. In this situation, surreal if you stop to think about it, getting invested is a bit stupid.
    "Hm? What, are we done playing tag? There's wonderful places later on, with stars scattered like foam. I call them the Honey Way, you know."
    "What originality!" - I sigh and turn on my heel.
    I don't have the time to chase a fat lump of meat.
    My goal is not here. Maybe I'll come back to where I entered, knock everything I find with my fists and find a way back?
    "It won't work. I told you, whoever enters this place doesn't come out."
    "Shut up. Anything is better than being stuck in this place."
    "So irritable. Do you have some urgent business or something?"
    I go back the same way, Panda-Eyes floating around me.
    "Yes. So die already. Then the normal room will come back, right?" - I drop, confidently passing over a small solar system.
    I don't know what symptoms Ookumaneko has, but the idea should be the same as the other patients. The dozens of phantoms summoned by the illness fade away when the carrier dies.
    "Uh huh, probably. I suppose my disappearance is the answer."
    "So go die. You have nothing better to do anyway. The other side is a perfect place to hide from reality."
    "That's harsh. But wait. There's a double star there, look. There's two intelligent species, rare in this universe, there, but they've been unhappy with each other for almost a century now. And now they strained their limited brains and thought up a war. So sad, the problem needs to be solved…"
    "Leave your patronizing speeches to yourself. I have my own family issues to sort out."
    The idiotic situation made me say more than necessary.

    Ookumaneko hummed in surprise and stared at me.
    "Sorry that it's such a trifle."
    I apologized, feeling my cheeks heat up from the embarrassment, and moved faster.
    He made a barrel roll with the tatami, then stopped moving around and said:
    "Uh huh. This is a big problem."
    He compressed, straightened the flight trajectory.
    "Don't you want to rest? Being constantly angry is tiring; let me treat you to an air cruise! Or airless. Well, I can't show you the exit, but I can show you the sights."
    "Mmm…"
    I stop abruptly.
    I wanted to tell him to shut up and die, but it really is hard to break the status quo by indiscriminate destruction.
    So, as a rare exception, I listened to another.
    Well, to be honest… it's also because he's behaving a bit like my family right now.


















    2/

    Well, since I've decided, let's do some empty talking.
    I don't really want to, but it's a good idea to secure a resting place.
    "Can I sit on the side? I'm a bit tired of standing."
    "Mmnya?"
    I point at the tatami ship.
    Ookumaneko, completely unused to having females near him, tensely points at himself with a questioning face.
    "Not you, turn this sideways. The tatami has room for two."
    "Ah… oh, of course, yes! You sure? Really? In a tandem? You like my ride?"
    "What can I do? I don't see another bench here."
    "Holy SHIT! Whooooa, what a twist, why of course I don't mind sit wherever you like! Here, left half is yours! There mustn't be any diplomatic conflicts with such a cute girl!"
    "Thanks. Well, I'm not grateful in the slightest, but I understand your feelings."
    I say "excuse me" and sit down next to Ookumaneko.
    The tatami's owner jerks an inch to the right.
    "Woah, unbelievable distance of possibly touching shoulders during sudden braking! Are physical events on the level of the cause of the ice age to be expected?!"
    "I can do rains of blood, if you'll settle for that. By the way, does the tatami just ignore inertia and such?"
    "Oh, so cold! This is a bad H-scene! But you can only afford such an attitude for… now!"
    Predictably excited, Ookumaneko increases the tatami's speed. Looks like he's really going to give me a tour of this universe.
    "To start us off, let's visit a few of the more successful systems. Say, the classic spots like the glass planet, that seems pretty romantic. Curious, though; the surface is so flat that any life there has grown wheels."
    Apparently the tatami's steering wheel is on Ookumaneko's side, to the right.
    Looking disinterested, he started up the spaceship and sent it to distant worlds.



    All three hundred and sixty degrees of view are flooded by a sea of stars.
    The situation itself is pretty romantic, yes.
    Because I'm not normal, of course. An ordinary person couldn't bear this solitude.
    After all, we are floating on a small raft in a sea of night. However good the view, a human needs a guarantee of their personal safety to begin appreciating it.
    "Mhm, having two people here really puts the scale into perspective. I think your presence is quite helpful. While we're in transit, is there anything you'd like to know? Say, my hobbies, my favorite authors, my preferred type of girl."
    "Listen, what is this?"
    "Well, looks like the universe. Ever heard of those?"
    "I know it's the universe. I'm asking where it came from. I've seen a lot of us, but nobody had this kind of scale."
    "Really? I think Yashikido-kun's problem is worse. Then again, when I wound up in the clinic, he was the only other one there, so I can't say."
    "I killed Yashikido recently. Was he an old acquaintance?"
    "When I was assigned to B, we talked on the phone once; does this mean 'acquaintance'?.. At that time both mine and his disorders had been normal. We made a bet on who'd die first."
    "Sorry. Yashikido's won that bet."
    'Who knows?' - Ookumaneko smiled happily.
    From behind and to the side his gaze looked incredibly soft… And in general, the outer corners of his eyes made his eyes look super kind.
    "So where did it spring from?"
    "Well, quite simple. I just locked myself away from everything, and the room became a universe. I tried to avoid seeing anybody, and the room became dark. And then I once realized I was floating in vacuum."
    'Quite the sad fact', - he folded his arms on his chest.
    To suddenly notice you're stranded alone in space. Sad fact indeed.
    "Hmm. So you looked for an escape not in yourself, but in your surroundings. Thus, its creator is you after all?"
    "If we're talking about the very beginning, then yes, that's how it is. But that doesn't mean it's that simple. Let's put the issue of reality and fiction aside - this is a universe. I'm sorry, but once you've been thrown in here, that's that, curtains. This place is beyond your planet. Never mind leaving, you're already outside."

    I entered room 404.
    It was a closed world.
    To return to reality, I just had to leave room 404, but its inner space is beyond and around Earth. According to the definition of "leaving to the outside", an exit from this space simply doesn't exist.
    "That's why you told me not to come in, right? Great. Now explain it properly."
    "Sorry, I can't do any better than that. My universe is too vast to be contained in words."
    Ookumaneko theatrically raised his double chin and made a dismissive noise.
    "Did you hear that phrase from your granddad?.. Anyway, how many have become the victims of this room?"
    "I don't know. A dozen?.. Everyone who came for a checkup instantly died! The way you entered and live here is humor of the highest class! If I knew such a day would come, I'd have built a galaxy-themed home cafe!"
    "On the other hand, I'm not having fun at all. So. You're saying this is the 'outside'; does this mean this space is endless? There won't be an exit to the room on the other side of this universe?"
    "Hmm, I wonder. I think there were some walls at the beginning. But the universe expands since the moment of its birth… I think a velocity higher than the speed of the universe's expansion can't be achieved."
    "So I can't go outside of it?"
    "The limits of a four-dimensional continuum. We have no choice but to become the new Adam and Eve! Oh, my back feels a threat on the scale of a black hole!"
    "You're digging your own grave. Why did you need an expanding universe? You're a hikkikomori, so just limit yourself to the four walls of a five and a half tatami room and suffer all you want."
    "Well, that's, alas… The universe is alive too. It's born, it grows, and one day it'll fold in on itself and die. Expansion is a necessary quality of a universe. I can only observe, like right now."
    "Then again, you seem to be the one sustaining this space?"
    "Anyone can watch. It's like watching bacteria in a microscope, only macro rather than micro."
    "So something very small watches something very large?"
    "Yes. Or we're watching a small universe, being just a little bit bigger ourselves. Perhaps this universe is very small, but it's still a universe and thus enormous to us."
    Pfft. However you look at it, it's still a small useless toy. Boring.
    "So it's all sophistry! Everything like the other patients. How many years of time have you already killed in here?"
    "So mean! When you take away a hikkikomori's free time, all that's left is bones! You telling me to lose weight?!"
    "Do."
    "Mhm, anyway, according to the time of your former reality it's probably been about ten years. By the way, how are the world creation theories doing there? Still not many supporters of the Big Crunch? No dark energy discovered?"
    Thus my words went by, ignored. Perhaps he doesn't understand what "losing weight" means.
    "Come on, nothing to do, fat, what a freaking tragedy! There's only you and I here, what's the point of watching my looks! You could do with being cuter for your years, but what's done is done. Why are you so old?"
    "Die!"
    A strike with grouped fingertips, known as a 'spear hand', strikes the back of Panda's head at the speed of light.
    The "speed of light" is no hyperbole in this universe, by the way.
    If the mass of my palm achieves light speed, something like Earth would be smashed easily, but the fat carcass before me pays it no attention.
    "Grrr… Is this man made of fresh pudding?!"
    Unbeatable. Truly unbeatable. Regrettably, I'll have to abandon the plan of killing this drone and returning that way.
    "Hahaha, your compliments humble me, 'softie' and such… Oh, we're here. Watch, young one. And rejoice. The mass of the sun in this solar system is about three times that of the one you used to live under. This is the system that resembles yours the most."
    "Hey! What's with the self-importance, are… you…"

    I forget to breathe.
    Open my eyes wide, to make sure they keep the memory of this world forever.
    It was a glass case with an overly detailed model.
    Planets orbiting a sun.
    Resembling my universe, representing our dreams come true, home, sweet home.

    "Not bad, eh? This rainbowy glow is the largest ring in the universe."
    "Uh huh", - I drop a tear despite myself.
    Yes, this universe is beautiful.
    It may be man-made, it may have a fatally nonsensical aspect, this universe itself is a miracle beyond human comprehension.
    "But your presence is so irritating that the score is surprisingly even."
    "W・H・Y!" - the spectator on the tatami turns upside down.
    Well, I don't know myself, but for some reason I can't keep my cool when talking to this man.
    Not that he ticks me off, rather, I can't accept it, and I have a itch under my armpit, and my nose becomes sharper.
    Perhaps I'm mad at myself for tolerantly thinking even such people have a right to exist?
    What's disgusting is disgusting, I don't like what I don't like.
    And to think that when I realized my illness, I decided to change so that I'd never let anyone get away with an offense.
    "Hey. Does this Earth-like planet have life?"
    "Of course. They're like us in that they walk straight on two legs, have a pair of arms, rely on speech. But they're about five thousand times as introverted."
    "Too elaborate for a joke. Are you sure this isn't a copy of our universe?"
    "Riiidiculous! Who could possibly create a copy of an entire axiom space in a mere ten years? The basis is the same, but generally it's all random. Most importantly, this universe has neither envy nor sorrow. It's a quiet universe without conflict."
    The fat panda shines with happiness and love. He looks stupidly convincing.
    "Well, that's…"
    'Probably true', I nearly ended up saying, but caught myself.
    What was that? Suspicious, doctrinal, smells of rot! Why did I get sentimental and nearly agree?!
    "No, but…"
    I could say it's dumb, but angrily denying everything every time is the dumbest of all.
    I'll just ignore everything. Neither this man's illness nor his dossier nor escaping this universe nor my goal are worth a single penny, after all, I can just up and forget the whole story, hahaha! I'm near satori, my chakras are opening!
    "Kiddingkiddingkidding! Bullshit, I'm not having fun at all!"
    It's scary just thinking of the speed with which my spirits lift!
    "Worry not, o maiden. You may be unhappy. You may not go to your job. You may shy away from the world, and it is good."
    Ookumaneko shines even brighter, smiling like Gioconda.
    Hold on, that's just the sun shining behind his back, it's all a big scam!
    "Whoooa, holy shit, everything in this universe seems so small that you become indulgent!"
    "Hahahahaha, I am God!"
    A shining meatball-man sitting like Buddha.
    "Shut up, fatty, there's no gods like that!"
    Knowing it's futile, I still automatically get up and raise my foot for a kick.
    The wide spinning kick to the torso passes through Ookumaneko again… wait, what?
    "Whaaaaaat!"
    Thrown off the tatami, the five-centner hikkikomori flies into the sun.
    "Is he still alive?.."
    For the first time in my life I feel pangs of conscience.
    I executed a pointless joking reply.




    "Heeere I aaam!"
    Ookumaneko, thrown toward the sun, bounced off it and came back.
    Zero damage. With a sleepy mug he scratches his three-level belly.
    "Thought it would end like that."
    "Hahaha, don't fret, o maiden! Outside it would be the world's strongest spinning kick, it's just that those things don't work here! But you could touch me, and that's a big step forward… in the inter-gender meaning, of course."
    Ookumaneko puffs up his cheeks like a blowfish. He thinks that's a cynical smile.
    "Blech."
    The new kick whooshed and spun empty. Last time I either got the angle or the mood right, or maybe it was just a miracle of probability.
    "Well, these things happen sometimes. Maybe our perceptions of each other matched."
    "Meaning it's important to catch the right moment?"
    "Yep. Meaning you couldn't contain your outburst of sadistic love toward me, and I couldn't resist the perverted masochistic allure, and the universal laws shifted in a bad direction! Behold the wonders of love!"
    "Oh… So, it was a one-time miracle."
    "Coool! It took a single kick for you to become as before! And you were so precious when behaving according to your age, too…"
    The meatball takes his spot on the tatami, looking sorrowful.
    The seats on the miniature spaceship have been assigned to the crew, and at the present the count of territorial infractions is at 0.
    As Ookumaneko said, the tatami-sized world floating among stars really was free of conflict… ouch.
    Ouch ouch ouch.
    Ouuuuuuch!
    "Hey, something's hit my shoulder! Like a hammer! Can you really only touch yourself?!"
    "What?! Well, you're so extremely strong that anything's possible, but I really have no reason to…"
    At this point he, sitting with a theatrically horrified look at his face, was also hit in the foot with an unknown something.
    A small shockwave and a quake.
    Turning toward the source of the light and the attacks, I saw what was probably a spaceship, although it really resembled a pine cone.
    "What?!"
    Correction. Three huge pine cone-shaped satellites three thousand kilometers in diameter were attacking the tatami. To give you a comparison, Moon's diameter is three thousand four hundred and seventy six kilometers.
    The distance toward them is about half a hundred million kilometers. Even I'm amazed at the thought of accurate fire at these distances.
    "Beams! They must be shooting beams!"
    "Heh, how very rare! We were discovered! Of course, someone must have noticed me falling into the sun!"
    "What?! That was a minute ago! Did they react this fast?!"
    "A century's passed for this system! Let's get out of here! I'm fine, but you're within their laws!"
    The unknown beam strikes again and again. Yeah, that hurts when it hits.
    "I agree, but how 'very rare' is this all, exactly?"
    "Well, not as rare as your sudden appearance. I'd say about as common as the characters of the book you wrote coming to kill you."
    "That isn't rare, it's just impossible!"
    Bang bang bang.
    The coneships swim through the blue space stream and aim at me.
    Ouch, it caught me! A huge, Jupiter-sized, space mine has just caught my side!
    "Whee! It's like a space railroad!"
    "You're not like Tetsuro at all!"**
    The tatami escapes, slightly faster than the pursuing fighters.
    For some reason Ookumaneko is happily smiling.
    "And anyway, this universe has no wars! Why are they attacking?!"
    "To survive, of course. They don't have an idea of good and evil, no personal emotions. They're defense satellites, so to speak, for reflective reacting with a capability for automatic program corrections. They don't fight so they themselves can live…
    "Anyway", - he went on, - "Of course, conflict, wars, survival are an important element of life. Your "conflict" seems to mean a fight for survival based on personal feelings. It's not good to be so egoistic!"
    "Well, so sorry! I'm the most important thing to myself! And anyway, you gave life to this universe! God being pushed around by his creations is nonsense! If half-baked characters begin rioting, the world will simply become devoid of writers!"
    "Now, now. The creator is not invincible. Just being in a different dimension hardly gives you a right to pretend you're God. This didn't happen in my time, but by yours most of society probably uses software. If your society is supported by things made of math and abstract symbols, it's you who are unnecessary."
    "More drivel. Well, yeah, stuff like Excel is handy, but you need the hardware for it. It wouldn't exist without the metal box, and the artificial intelligences need human maintenance at times, and there's plain wear."
    "Outdated thinking. A box isn't needed to pass information along. It's a waste of resources. Considering the total amount of cosmic energy, there's no need to keep yourself restricted to a form tightly bound by the laws of physics. When it comes to efficient use of energy, they who are made of pure information are on a plane above us."
    "They? Don't tell me those were one-dimensional?"
    "Maybe if we think in your terms. There's micro and macro here, too. When a program becomes more multi-threaded, multitasking, less contradictory, a living creature is born. And once it's alive, sooner or later it'll aim its bow toward its creators, standing on a higher evolutionary step. After all, God is a waste of resources, too."
    "Brrr, they joined together! They're glowing so much the space is growing bright over there! Isn't that bad? You hear? Aren't we in trouble?!"
    "Uh huh, the Creator must be overthrown. Even if the universe is my creation. Even if your universe was created by someone. The creature has the power to exceed the creator."
    "Why are you so calm?! We're going to get splatted, you're about to be overthrown yourself! Right about now!"
    "It's an analogy. I'm not even the Creator. All right… okay, we're locked on to a weighty planet! Gravitational catapult - cancel retro!"
    Instantly cutting his chatter short, captain Panda joyfully spun the wheel toward a planet right in front of us.
    "Juuumping! Tighten your seatbelts!"
    The tatami accelerates as though a curved spring was released under it.
    "Hey, we're gonna crash? What's the big idea?!"
    "It's obvious!"

    "Warp!"

    Huh?



    Naturally, the attempt miserably failed.
    "Well yeeeah, of cooourse! Now I think about it, this thing doesn't have such a feeeature!"
    I'm seriously fed up with Ookumaneko's laugh.
    We smoothly move into a quiet region of space unlit by a sun.
    The mysterious pine cone force has completely lost us.
    The tatami, accelerated to warp speed, didn't perform any subspace jumps, it just picked a moment and rushed at the giant planet's satellite. And crashed right through it.
    As a result, the satellite shielded us, the cones' beams flew off to the other side of the universe, and we used that moment to scram.
    By the way, the pine warriors burned down as they released the beams. This is a harsh universe, creating weapons intended to self-destruct on use.
    "Now, worry not, o kind-hearted maiden. They just translated ship-shaped energy into a beam shape. Probably right about this moment the beams are gathering back into pine cones. Although there'll be fewer of them, of course!"
    "I'm not worried. You're way stranger than them. Why were you so calm when you could die?"
    "I won't diiie! The only one who could disappear is yooou!"
    "Then why'd you run? You could've just left me to them."
    "Now, I'd be sorry to lose you. My previous travels can't substitute for the real thing, of course, but now I'm very entertained. Why? Because world's finest beauty is next to me! How is it, do I look like a prince on a white steed yet?!"
    Are there albino hippos on Earth?
    Well, whatever. I put a hand on the tatami's edge and lightly push him with my shoulder.
    "Whoa, p-personal space invader?! Might I finally get a grateful kiss?!"
    The carcass jerks back.
    Thought so. Ookumaneko says he's happy, but doesn't even try to touch.
    No masculine actions, and he's ridiculously shy.
    Therefore…
    "Here, are you a virgin because you're a NEET? Or are you a NEET because you're a virgin?"
    He's hopelessly unused to girls.
    "Shocking, my heart is rent asunder! And have you already decided that I'm a virgin? Isn't the purpose of conversation feeling your way along, so to speak?"
    "No idea. So?"
    "Nothing. When you become a NEET, you become a virgin."
    'The flag resets, so to speak', - Ookumaneko nods, looking like a sage giving some grand truth.
    "Don't you want to just stop trying to live?"
    "Hahahahaha. This is my first time feeling the emotion of 'leave me alone, please' toward another human!.. I see, so this is the desire to kill…"
    Shaking heavily, Ookumaneko says something like "calm yourself, o three-stage belly of mine", as though he has a demon in there. I see… Looks like this has been going on since childhood.
    "Oh, an asteroid. A bit too close, we can't avoid it by now."
    As though he has sensors in all of the surrounding space, he bends his huge body, smoothly banking the tatami.
    A two-hundred-kilometer mass flies right by us.
    Releasing gas in a dotted line, the comet passes us by.

    As though there was no difficult navigation.
    Like a child, I open my mouth and look at the miracle that's happened right in front of my eyes.
    "Sorry to scare you. This universe looks small at a glance, but the scale comes back when you participate in phenomena. Then again, seeing as were detected by those ships, the error is still there. Just now I lost control a bit due to your black nature."
    "Whatever. It's fine."
    "Yeah?" - Ookumaneko watches the stars with a sleepy gaze.
    I'm in a pickle…
    I was taking it lightly, like, this is still an illness-caused universe, with cause and effect. But it's not that simple. Time to come clean.
    Ookumaneko Mokumoku. Of all the patients I came to crush he is the greatest, strongest and most irritating unbeatable panda.

    He said his creation is real too.
    That is true.
    Everything here looks empty, but there's no bottom in sight.
    The problem has developed a scale at which nobody might be able to solve it…

    "I can't believe this… There must be limits to solitude. You've been in such a cool place and done nothing… Did you want to hide away from everything so much? This is not too different from death."
    "What? Is life so precious?"
    "Well, what do you mean by "precious"… The longer you live, the more treasures there are."
    "That is, assuming there's a reason to live."
    "So you have nothing to live for, Ookumaneko-san… You should die. Come on, die right now."
    "The third roast already! The princess commands: kill yourself! Heh, this is becoming a habit!"
    "Wow!" - the ballman happily shifts around.
    I really want to kick him, but no, won't work anyway. And icky, his belly is kinda slimy. At least I'm lucky about something. He doesn't know enmity.
    "Well, you see, it's not that simple. Death is a decision too, after all. It's normal for humans to not die when there's no reason to live."
    I'm taken by the vague irritation again, and I tsk. This time I run him over with a stare filled with the deepest contempt.
    Ookumaneko made his super kind eyes even kinder and smiled:
    "Uh huh, yeah, it's like that. Come on, look down on me! I've been that way for ten years now, after all!"
    He spent the entire ten years since the manifestation of his illness in this universe.
    Even more time has probably passed since he was brought to the clinic along with the room.
    "Oh, we're nearly past the natural asteroid belt. After that are stars, take a good look if you like them."
    A disappearing comet.
    The lump of crag and ice that'd obscured my view became a dot smaller than my fingernail.
    In such a universe you're always alone.
    Ever since the beginning of his illness Ookumaneko Mokumoku had never made a step outside.

    "Listen, do you know a picture book called "Zatura"?"

    For some reason I decided to retell a story I'd read long ago.
    In a normal family there were two brothers, just as normal, and a disaster happened to them. A story about cosmic drift in a setting similar to my current situation.
    Once the brothers found a forgotten tabletop game in the cellar and started playing it, and then they were thrown into the galaxy drawn on the cover. They had to finish the game in order to return to Earth. But there can't be a game without difficulty. A world of squares crammed full of deadly events. Rolls of the dice. The entire horror of reality in a children's game rules.
    The brothers thought they'd make it, but had to open their eyes to the cruelty of the events. Getting into extreme situations, they fight. The events come closer to death, minute by minute.
    The treatment of characters was especially striking. The older brother got a 'Chance!' card and just for a second thought how good it'd be without his brother. And it happened. Remaining alone, he later meets himself, plagued with regret.
    I forget the ending, but I recall it was good, as befits a children's book.
    "Ah, so it has a looped world too…"
    Too?
    "Human life is looped in general. Especially mine."
    Ookumaneko watches space detachedly and speaks.
    We wake up in the morning, go to sleep at night.
    On/off, on/off.
    The simple routing work of the main heroes - pawns who believe themselves individuals.
    Birth and death, success and failure, meeting and parting are sides of the same coin. On a cosmic scale the human life is a cycle. This is also a difference between macro and micro. Aging, degradation are not variables important enough to concern yourself over. We live the same life every day.

    "I know a movie like that. 'Jumanji'."
    "Oh, they have the same author."
    "Wow, really? He clearly thought of adults. Marketing such a brutal movie to kids was crazy of the author. There's no need to tell everyone so plainly that their life is a tabletop game."
    I know 'Jumanji'. Back in ninety-five, when I was seven, it was very popular.
    …Apparently, he thought of it as not a thriller, horror or family comedy movie, but a documentary.
    'Well shit', - Ookumaneko swore. It looked a bit adorable, fitting his name.

    *A Miyazaki reference.
    **A Galaxy Express 999 reference.
    Quote Originally Posted by ほうれん草 View Post
    STOP SHOOTING EACH OTHER YOU FUCKERS

    I'm trying to watch anime FFS

  11. #871
    And here comes my favorite part of Sora no Soto. I hope I was able to do a good job and let you enjoy it as much as I did.
    3/

    Like Ookumaneko said, the universe was quite (making one instantly forget the pine cone beams) majestic, bottomless and a poor substitute.



    "What's this beast that looks like Morra? This planet's strongest predator?"
    "Uh huh. Look at that planet's surface. Wavy, eh? Can't really walk much in such an environment. So evolution took place. It's like Earth's horse. Did you know they used to have fingers, like us? But the forests retreated, they had to move to steppes, and as a result, the fingers turned out unsuitable for moving over plains. At first they didn't have hooves, but changed to make kicking at ground easier."
    "Heh. That planet's atmosphere is over-saturated with gas, and no birds ever thought of showing up, right? Brr. Oh, look over there! That's one huge ass penguin!"
    "Ohoh, larger than a megalodon! The penguin thing probably grew up in the sea! Well, you know how penguins entered land because they can't nest in the sea, right? And here they solved that issue and ended up becoming the sea overlords. Cuter than sharks, at least! Especially the roundness of the belly, simply divine!"
    And this giant penguin managed to vanish as a species while we were talking.
    Not that they degraded, it was just a huge meteorite smashing half the planet. Sadly, the unintelligent penguins, like humans, didn't try to escape the destruction of their society.
    Thus, Ookumaneko's universe has incredibly few intelligent lifeforms.
    "Aah, and that's the end of another culture. Is a penguin culture doomed in any environment?!"
    Ookumaneko mourns theatrically. Can you call a bunch of unintelligent animals a culture, however?
    "Well, nobody tries to toy with the planet on purely unintelligent worlds, unlike us. Everything stays in its natural form, and isn't that beneath culture?"
    "Now, now. It's a society, too. The most important attribute of evolution is survivability. If a life form has matured enough to become the strongest, why not call it a culture? Perhaps those mega-penguins toyed with the planet somehow for their own benefit."
    "Played games without possessing intelligence?"
    "Well, yeah. To give an example closer to you, the ant society is a culture in its own right. Humans have developed intelligence as a simple tool. You don't need it to build a culture dedicated to 'survival'. The definition of life forbids anyone to run away from that."
    Before everything, a human lives. Goals are secondary. It was a saying in my family as well.
    Then if cause and effect switch places, does that mean such a life is mistaken?
    "Hah. Such a survivalist culture has just died out."
    "But not through their own fault. Their death was sudden and caused by either external factors or degradation as a result of evolution. Dying out and self-destructing are different things."
    "That's some talk. Then what are the conditions for a self-destructing civilization?"
    "I haven't thought about that… Let's see. An important condition is that the creatures decide that there's something greater than themselves; what do you think? Creatures with imagination will estimate themselves, or the world's structure, either too high or too low. As a result they'll develop unnaturally and might encounter a sudden pitfall."
    In other words, God.
    From out sick viewpoint that's so funny, it's a bit vulgar.



    I don't know how long our discussion went on for.
    A few hours, a few cycles, a few deaths of a species later I came to seriously like this universe.
    "You're serious again. Still unused to this world?"
    "Nonsense. There's no getting used to this, it's sickened me since the beginning. I probably can't bear any more."
    I'm angry, at being locked in here, of course, but first of all, at myself. Why do I fall for this guy's words every time?
    "Listen. Why, for how long and generally how much do you consider yourself an oddity?"
    "Oh, only fifty years passed in cosmic time, and finally the sick woman speaks to the sick man!"
    I've run out of new causes for surprise, so the talk naturally grew boring.
    To hide my irritation, I turned to the A disorder carrier theory - to the dossier questions. Sad.
    "I've described my life since the beginning of the symptoms up until the hospitalization, so only the last question is left?.. Mhm, why must people always compare their burden to that of others? Why do calories amass? Why does a slightly plump girl stop being popular?"
    "I can tell you the percent of fatalities among people who asked me that question. Also, I don't eat meat."
    "Why?! You're a predator! It's clear right away, you don't just eat it, you eat it raw and alive!"
    "A feast is tasty because it only happens once. And I don't want to ever put other meat into my mouth."
    "Huh. So your feast is already over?"
    "Well, yeah. And that's why I'm here, in the clinic. And I don't regret it a bit. And I still feel the taste. And anyway, it's so disgusting you can't forget it easily."
    "Hmm."
    Ookumaneko, neutrality itself, looks at the skies.
    He doesn't seem to have understood that that was the history of my illness.
    Perhaps he's being tactful and doesn't pester me about my trauma.
    "Ah. So death fills you up?! Sorry, I didn't notice at all! Phew, joyous tasteless humor!"
    "Shush! If you want to let something go, let go of this, you ecopanda!"
    My personal mistake. This fatass physically can't carefully pass a subject by.
    "What about symptoms? I've already seen your impossible development, but that can hardly be the main oddity. Why are you alive in hard vacuum anyway?"
    The question was as sudden as a random jellyfish in the sea asking me why I don't multiply by division.
    "I don't die in general. Well, I kinda do, but then I come back immediately and develop immunity to the method of death experienced, or something like that. The strength is a side effect. For example, if I'm killed with a machine gun, later my body will become unkillable by machine gun bullets. Basically…"
    "Oh, so you become stronger than bullets! This is awesome, my polar opposite! You don't avert your eyes from reality, you face it head on. What a simple and strong effect. And that's why you're developed beyond your years, right? Well, that said, you could do without such large changes… There'll be less output, but the fuel consumption will also drop. A fifteen years old body would just barely make the cut, why did you have to undergo such… regrettable development?"
    Ookumaneko looks over my body with a truly sorrowful gaze.
    Knowing it won't help, I hit his face with my heel. Whoosh, boom.
    "Hahaha, it won't wooork! You have to do it while wearing a skirt, else it's just not the same! But don't do that again, you're gonna make the tatami into cheeeese!"
    Oh. Oh yeah, I've been sitting on it all that time and seem able to interact with the tatami.
    "So? Why'd you become an adult? Aging leads to death, after all. Growing up goes counter to your nature."
    "Speaking your language, I wasn't enough for survival. I needed a body that won't lose to anything, right?"
    "Hmm. You seem to have tasted the bitterness of loss…"

    Painful, but he's correct.
    Outside I'd been enjoying freedom, but lost to a human and ended up in the clinic.
    Because of she who killed me, I accepted adulthood.

    "So it's an illusory immortality. The undying sickness is a terminal stage too, right?"
    "We can discuss it in simple terms. However, right now you're trapped by comparison. After all, immortality is a solution in and of itself, I don't have a problem in the world."
    Ookumaneko sighed for a bit, shoulders drooping, and shot me a sad look, but this time it was insincere.
    Oh. By now the fog in my mind is almost gone.
    I'm angry, simply because…
    "Still, you must have a lot of potential to become this strong with your condition. Immortality blunts feelings. Fear is an engine of progress. Once you lose it, all other basic emotions also disappear. You're bored every day. A mind without its nemesis, the unknown, will end up buried under erudition. Someday it will lose the right to be called life."
    "Why? Actually, I have fun every day."
    "Wow, really? You always look bored, though."
    "Just between us: I actually like living. The world is a complete mystery even now. This is how I differ from you, who hides from the world and plays God."
    "That so? Now I think we're the same", - Ookumaneko snaps, but I'm not affected.
    Same, different, it doesn't matter.
    "How, exactly?"
    "A creature that can't simply die after losing its reason to live; a creature forced to live because it can't die. If you ignore the cause, the result is not that different."
    And anyway…

    "To me, both living and dying is a bother."
    Thus, after many decades by my personal clock spent on this weird space-time flying craft, he finally stated his frank opinion.



    "It's odd to only mention this now", - I, too, broached the main topic for the first time since arriving here, - "but aren't you trying too hard to pretend you're jolly and rowdy?"
    "Uh huh, there was a time when I'd liked to hint on deep truths and act oddly. But yeah, when you have an ordinary nature, it just seems empty."
    "You're one to talk."
    "Yes, yes. But you know, constructing a persona is the quickest way, since there are no personal qualities you can describe in a word or two. Also, you were so impossibly cute that I guess I wanted to entertain you a bit."
    Light, warm words with no emotion.
    Like a workaholic faced with the futility of his routine.

    The fog in my head is completely gone.
    "Heh. For all your speeches you're normal inside, not that different from ordinary people, and so you separated yourself from them with a fancy facade?"
    "You're a cynical one. Think more positive. It's the other way round. Everyone is different inside. It's tiring, so they reach understanding through easy-to-digest fronts. Actually, thinking about it, that's pretty sad."
    Sad? Who? About what?
    About the narrow-mindedness that tries to reach understanding through falsehood?
    Or the cold reality that only allows fake understanding?
    Well, anyway:
    "Woah. You're a worse pessimist than I am."
    The universe's owner doesn't respond.
    Perhaps he was never interested in human sentiments to begin with.
    "I see. I needn't have complained and asked to be let out of here."
    I sigh heavily.
    Yes, that's how he is.
    Indeed. I really didn't understand the meaning of this universe.
    Exactly how Ookumaneko Mokumoku removed himself into space.
    What sort of wish would result in getting yourself locked in a vacuum.
    If you don't understand that, you can't fix this situation, this illness.
    "Let me guess, you can't leave yourself?"
    "Naturally. You're no NEET if you can leave through your own will."
    "What a frank admission, drone. You sure you didn't want to, like, pretend you're embarrassed?"
    "Not in this case. It would simply prolong your misunderstanding."
    Misunderstanding? Of what? What, is my idea that this universe will disappear once Ookumaneko's worries are resolved wrong?
    "You don't understand what a NEET is at all… Don't assume a human hides from the world due to problems. We don't have those to begin with."
    "No… problems?"
    I tilt my head quizzically, and Ookumaneko sighs - nothing for it, guess I'll have to explain - and begins unwillingly.

    …Later it'll become clear that…

    Considering his character, that was a theoretically impossible whim, a miracle among miracles.



    Ookumaneko explains.
    Tired of working. Tired of conversing. Tired of despair… People who hide in their holes due to such, outside, causes are not NEETs, but just a completely ordinary product of failures.

    "You don't know that there are creatures that lose before they've lost. They're burdened by events even before they resolve. Whatever they do, whatever is done to them, they can't feel involved in it; creatures like that also exist."

    It's not a life without feelings, but life with them and also an inability to take part in anything.
    In his words, a NEET is a human that cares about nothing.

    "My parents seemed to somewhat understand my illness. My father was a geologist… He often talked about our planet instead of those in the sky.
    "That said, indeed, I didn't care."

    Interested in nothing.
    Concerned about nothing.
    Alive and dead.
    Whatever the person aspires to, whatever knowledge they acquire, they just can't love us.
    So he didn't lock himself in his room because he was fed up with everything…

    "But I wanted to love my father. My mother, too. It was plain to see what a difficult child I was and how much they loved me.
    "I devoted myself to the same science as my father, not because I liked it. I, unable to love my parents, simply thought that I would finally be able to take an interest in them after learning about their work."

    But years went by, and no results showed.
    He didn't hide in his room, he simply couldn't become interested in the outside world.

    "It was quite sudden, but my father's spirit was broken harder than my own. My mother, an emotional person, cared for me until the end. Although you couldn't see such strong humanity in her from an observer's standpoint… Motherly love must be a crucial aspect in a living creature's upbringing. She washed her hands of her son and called the clinic only two years later."

    But even that didn't matter to him.
    Thus, he cut himself off from his surroundings.
    He couldn't connect to the society, to the outside world.
    Complete ostracism, or perhaps endless indifference.
    Soon he, still living, began residing in a one-man universe.

    "But you didn't despair at that, right?"
    "Right. This is what indifference is. If I regret anything, well, it would be the past events. Not one of my relatives understood me. Just like I couldn't understand them. And that's sad."

    Unemotionally, as though reading a script.
    His surroundings didn't really understand his personality, either. His severe self-distancing, or maybe a terminal stage of dissociation disorder affecting the emotions of love and attachments were never diagnosed.

    Understood by no one,
    understanding no one,
    Ookumaneko Mokumoku locked himself in this room.

    'It's a quiet universe without conflict…'
    Indifference to mutual competition, mutual love, mutual hatred, everything. He may have believed that he'd belong in such a universe, or at least find his own peace.

    "But now I don't have problems. Sorry, but a lack of mental trauma became my mental trauma.
    "This universe doesn't have an exit. Whatever you do, you can neither cure nor kill me."

    Now I have a question for you.
    Doesn't this guy just piss you off?



    I silently stand up and concentrate on my attack target.
    Looking down on the tatami, I guess the border to be somewhere over here.
    "So you want to leave, yourself?"
    "I don't, but I guess I do want the opportunity. I won't use it, though."

    Ookumaneko boredly watches the sky.
    Having had his fill of starry wonders, he still keeps looking.
    His gaze is distant - sad, or maybe just dimmed.
    Here is a true source of irritation.
    This man just can't react. In the end, even locked in this universe, he's still attached to nothing.
    "Hmm? What's wrong with you? You're cracking your knuckles. Going to start anew and fight again?"
    "No way. I don't care about you, I have something to do, and now that I think about it, I was actually in a hurry! So I'm done playing around with you!"
    I hit the tatami with a spin kick.
    A downward strike with my right foot, fatal, breaking the tatami a foot away.
    "Aah, my faithful companion ever since the world's birth, my "Fair Lady"! Are you crazy, what are you doing?!"
    "I'm done being patient! Your pessimism, my status quo, this empty, though pretty, universe, and everything in general, I'm sick of it all!"
    And so I, without mercy, trying not to worry about futility, recklessness and the rest, declare:

    "I'll smash this universe!"

    Ookumaneko giggles.
    Oh, seems like he was seriously stunned for a moment there.
    "What now?! The things you say, I don't know how to respond!"
    "Naturally. There are no more than four thousand visible stars. Just you wait, I'll smash your vision of a universe, planet by planet."
    Ookumaneko is dazed, and in the meantime I take half of the split tatami.
    This is my first time freestyling through space, but I'll just pretend it's a snowboard!
    "What nonsense… Wait, no, with your condition it might just work… oh, nonono, do you even realize how many millenia that'd take?! Phenomena are not something to tangle with lightly! Why would you go through the trouble! You won't die, so just drift along!"
    This outburst shows his concern for either my well-being or his lifestyle.
    Ookumaneko asks his question with complete seriousness.

    The future is death. Why try to go forward?

    It's clear why. We humans are dead precisely when we don't move. And anyway:
    "Both reality and comics need a strong finish. I don't know how many volumes there are, of course…"
    Good thing I have time, I'll drag him around with me. My creed is to finish my books and comics!..



























    3.5/

    Thus my planetary destruction derby began.
    And presently I'm attacking the main city of the beecat civilization. Since I'm already used to the local conditions, it should take about three transformations to clean it all up!

    'Ugh… Why did I say that?!'

    The voice echoing in my mind belongs to Ookumaneko.
    He's in orbit, watching my invasion.
    This is my third planet. Thinking back on it, the idea that I could crush planets if I wanted to belongs to Ookumaneko.
    "The kind of A disorder that gets you sent to D is a personal perception gone haywire. The desire changes the body. If your illness means "I'm stronger than anyone on this planet", the rule will also apply on other ones."
    'Whoa, what a condescending explanation! Is it me? Are you parodying me or something?!'
    "Hahahaha, suffer! And the maiden asketh: "What? What are you on about?", and God answereth: "That no matter the conditions on a planet, you get the highest parameters simply because you appear on it"."
    'Why did I say that out loud?!'
    Ookumaneko annoyedly taps the tatami beneath him. The situation is unchanged, but his feelings clearly became diametrically opposite.

    I'll come back to a prior topic for a moment: experiencing anything for the first time excites me. When I declared that I'd break stuff as well as I can and crashed into the first planet, I regretted my animalistic recklessness, of course.
    A flat horizon and angry swarms of flying beasts assaulting me.
    In the beginning I died a few times while getting used to the ecosystem,
    then died to the aboriginals a few times,
    and in the end became their equal.
    On the other hand, after that I could do whatever I wanted. Soon I dethroned the first planet's strongest life form.
    Ookumaneko sent in a tired voice: 'Have you calmed down?'
    Yes, you can't break a planet just because you're its strongest life form. Even humans will take centuries to ruin Earth. This is the limit of the king of beasts. But…
    "My illness is 'comparison', remember? The biggest beast is still around."
    I sent a kiss upward and punched the planet's surface.
    In ten punches the planet fell apart. Seiyaa!
    Ookumaneko cried: 'Impossible!' - and did a flip.
    "The conceptual universe became the enemy! What a primitive comparison of power, whoa!"
    Primitive, but realistic in a way.
    What did I do, after all? I just took a shortcut on a road humans will take centuries to complete.

    "And now comes the third!"
    While I was remembering the past, I'd dealt with all the beecat hives and am now punching the ground. Hmm, tough. No helping it, I had to accelerate for half the planet's circumference, jump and use gravity to cause a big geological shift down to the bottom of the mantle (the third layer) with a flying kick.
    "Oh, lucky, broke it. Honestly, I was a bit worried at first: this is all fine, but how do I get back? Achieving escape velocity is no mean feat, and I'm not multi-stage…"
    'Yes, that is the first difficulty when exploring space! The majority of a rocket's fuel is spent on defeating Earth's gravity, so congratulations and your original and cardinal discovery! Screw you!'
    Ookumaneko can swear, but he's powerless to stop me.
    We can't touch each other, after all.
    What he can do is pray I tire myself out on the next planet.
    "Phew, I'm tired. But there's no time to rest! This system has seven planets. And since they revolve around a sun, once I break them all, there'll only be a star to compete with, right? According to your logic, you said the universe is alive, I think?"
    I float in space and take aim at my next target.
    'Impossible. To begin with, you'll have to start from a blank slate on the next planet. You took ten years to beat the last one. How many times, how many years do you plan to keep breaking yourself like that for? I'm sure: your mind will tire out even if your body doesn't.'
    Honestly, these words with the length of the task ahead of me are discouraging.
    But I belong to a gamer generation. I often had to pointlessly level up again and again. While I live, no thinking, just jumping!
    "Well, the macro and the micro are vastly different, but whatever! Now, I feel like swimming, let's find a watery planet!"
    Grabbing the orbital tatami, I begin something like surfing.
    Ookumaneko hangs in space and sighs heavily.



    I watch this miracle with cold eyes.



    I'd smashed the seventh planet, and the sun naturally disappeared. Maybe it's because the local culture made the sun the Sun… Too bad I couldn't become a sun diver, but it's fine, maybe I'll meet a sun-like civilization down the line.
    "All is going well, we go on, and there's no trouble! Let's explore another solar system!"
    The basic sequence, busy as it is, remains the same everywhere.
    Land on the planet, adapt, move to the top.
    It just takes daily, monotonous labor is all.
    Ninth.
    So much pressure I nearly broke out crying, but the end crowns the work.
    "Well, it was hard, but I win. Now, onward, onward…"
    Fourteenth.
    Nothing too problematic, but when I headed toward the next planet, an idea of resting snuck into my head.
    "Uh huh. Who wouldn't get tired after doing so much…"
    Twenty fifth.
    Right before descending on the new planet, I unconsciously hit the brakes.
    Fortieth.
    "I still can, I can, I'm used to it, it's okay."
    My words weren't just me muttering to myself, they sounded false, like an excuse.
    Sixtieth.
    "Mhm, it's okay, it's okay."
    Looking at the sky, I count the remaining stars.
    Seventieth, seventy-fifth.
    "Damn, well…"
    The universe is enormous. Everything is incredibly new, and I die often like never before - no time to be bored.
    So there's no point in taking a break every time.
    At this pace who knows how many years I'd have to spend at this, need to hurry up…
    One hundred and first.
    "Hhh…"
    But it's hard to breathe. Just breathing deeply doesn't deliver oxygen to my limbs. And there's no oxygen in space anyway.
    One hundred and second.
    "Haha…"
    My first time getting cut into small cubes.
    Oddly, I like pain, but this planet is no fun at all.
    One hundred and third.
    "Hhh."
    Suddenly…
    "Looks like this is a futile task", - I muttered.



    The universe-killing goes on.
    Her failure has begun.
    This universe is no more than the fruit of a single human's imagination.
    Faster than the girl destroys a planet, I observe new ones.
    It's the difference in imaginative power.
    To light an undiscovered planet with the fire of civilization, a hundred years is enough.
    Her way of destroying a planet takes more than a hundred years.
    The challenge was meaningless from the start.
    Her death count is already over a thousand. Soon the number will become astronomical. I watch her pathetic figure with cold eyes.

    "Hh, hhh, hh…"

    Her legs are motionless. Her arms shake. Her breath rasps unpleasantly.
    It'd be an understatement to say she looksd like a boxer suffering a crushing defeat. Her body is going awry.
    'Are you okay? You said you'd take action yourself, so I won't stop you for no reason. But if you're tired, you need rest. An anthropomorph being scattered into mincemeat is a horrifying sight.'
    "Thanks for the advice… I've been meaning to ask, don't you think the number of stars isn't decreasing?"
    Lowering her eyes, she finally accepted reality.
    The endless nature of her work, her idea.
    Even she will reconsider her struggle, knowing that creation is faster than destruction.
    'Uh huh, it isn't. Stars are born faster than you break them. Sorry, but I'm powerless here…'

    "…it.'

    Her body shook violently.
    This is the time of her failure.
    She angrily stomps on her half of the tatami:

    "Goddamnit, I knew iiiiit!"

    She shouts, head thrown back, and slaps her cheeks.
    She's full of life.
    There's no trace of her recent vulnerable self.
    "Okay, I'm fed up, time to change tactics! Starting fresh every time is dumb anyway, I'll just smash the shit out of two, three at once!"

    I'm speechless.
    The reason for her gloom was not exhaustion from her pointless labor, but burning rage at her own oversight.



    "Three at once!"
    'Huh?'
    Ignoring Ookumaneko's snarky reaction, I rely on the various bio-characteristics acquired on the last three planets.
    Uh huh, looks like it'll only work once, but now it looks like I can smash through two at once.
    'Wait, calm down! You won't last long if you don't revert your abilities to a blank slate on each planet! Being the strongest on a planet doesn't mean you can evolve infinitely!'
    "Don't worry, I'll stop if it hurts. And I'm sick of landing on the surface and crushing stuff. Also, I don't need to know the story of everyone I kill, so I'll just smash them along with the planet!.."
    There's a mysterious, hot fire in my legs.
    Looking straight ahead, I drill two conveniently overlapping planets with my stare.
    'Hey, stooop!'
    Ookumaneko shouts. I turn into a meteorite.
    The burning shards of two planets fly. Oh, I've accidentally shattered another one.
    'This is too much! You could've at least taken a look at the content before crushing it! Are you a demon? You are, right? What do you hate so much?!'
    "Neither me nor you can get out otherwise!" - I answer into the void.
    'Neither you nor… who?..'
    Hmm. Probably the fault of the gravitational anomaly, hard to hear. Whatever, it's pretty clear he's asking me to give up.
    "None of your business. I won't give up, no matter what. You better begin packing your stuff and getting ready to leave."
    Soon I find the next planet.
    Now I'll aim at destruction and recharging instead of just destruction. Accumulating useful abilities and cutting corners, like just now.
    "………… ……, ……?"
    His voice doesn't register as such.
    Due to some change in perception he'd started becoming less and less clear a being for me, as well.



    The universe-killing continues.
    Her failure continues.
    Looks like she's resolved again, but that's a short cycle as well. Upon meeting each new problem she breaks many times.
    Two hundredth.
    "I'm so sorry", - the girl says, having temporarily lost her mind upon realizing the sinfulness of destroying stars.
    Three hundredth.
    Tears in her eyes, she caresses her limbs that have lost all traces of humanity.
    Four hundredth.
    Stuck in a gas giant, her constantly incinerated body falling apart, reviving every moment. In an inescapable situation, endlessly dying, endlessly going on living, her mind finally dies.

    I watch it: 'Is that all?' - with cold eyes.

    Forty years later. A lone clump fell out of the star. It's her. Her body is so warped it's impossible to watch calmly, but she shines brighter than the star.
    Nothing different from the previous times.
    Her mind, seemingly fading away under the pressure of inevitable circumstances, rises from the ashes every time, declaring it hasn't lost yet.
    Five hundredth.
    The speed of the disappearance of stars started to exceed the speed of their birth.

    I watch this miracle with a chilled mind.



    "Oh wow, that was a pickle! Who knew the "b" clause of the second law of thermodynamics would one day come in handy on the amoeba planet! Thanks, panda, good thing I listened to you about there being nothing useless."
    Just in case I show a "V" sign toward the center of the universe, where Santa Panda probably sits.
    There is more and more static on the line, and by now there are few reactions by Ookumaneko. Sometimes I hear a voice, and it goes something like:
    'The next will be the thousandth, right? I'll ask, since it's a big number: any impressions?'
    Like this the voice in my head mixes with my thoughts.
    "Hmm, I don't even know. Every day is interesting, and also hard. The thousandth is no better than the others. How are you? You've stopped complaining, have you been inspired by my efforts?"
    I really do deserve praise. My planetary death competition can truly be called epic and a first for humanity.
    "Well… So you won't even applaud such a trifle? Well, guess I'll have to up the showmanship!"
    I do a cutback on the surfing tatami and head on to the next solar system.
    The universe loses more and more light.
    My destructive actions slowly erode this sky.
    Well… There's nothing more to write about, so my war chronicle ends here.
    The next part will come after the conclusion of this adventure.
    It'll be a great moment when I smack Ookumaneko, sitting in an icy void, upside the head, but not to death, and proudly puff out my chest - not bad, eh?!



    The universe's death is…
    Her failure is…

    But no, it doesn't matter now. I close my cold eyes.
    She asks me for my impressions.
    Too bad, but there's nothing special.
    Whatever was before, whatever would be after, whatever aspect of existence my eyes meet, my own being is unchanged.
    Not that her actions aren't impressive, no; I simply don't have the capacity.
    But not too long ago…
    A record of something similar to what's happening now remained.

    It was back when I belonged to reality.
    My room was becoming darker every day.
    The last day when I didn't interact with people, fell out of society, lost my family.
    A closed space that no one visits, where there's no spirit of life.
    It's sunset, but nothing can be seen.
    A light shined in a room that had finally become unlit.
    Like an explosion, like a tsunami, the all-encompassing light swept over the world for an instant.
    That was the day of a star's birth.
    I only remember how my heart that'd stopped feeling anything, how I, sitting in the middle of the room, my head down, raised my eyes to that shine.
    How I felt something at last.
    A compelling void.
    Only at that instant did I feel such sorrow, such a pulse, driving me to tears.
    Yes, in his long memory only the shine of that supernova had any meaning, any essence.

    The universe's death continues.
    About a millennium has passed in this universe's time.
    For this entire time she's been moving forward, not stopping for a moment.
    The marvelous thing isn't her ability, it's her way of thinking. The weight of an entire millennium isn't worth a single year for her.
    She dives headfirst into what is before her, the present.
    This is her zeal. This is her fervor. Such vitality - did he have them?..
    In that tiny universe.
    He said others couldn't understand him.
    He said he couldn't get attached to anyone.
    Was he just throwing a tantrum?
    Or was there a time when he was as selfless as she?
    Was there a time when he darted around trying to understand, get attached?
    But, however it had been, that was a tale about an Earth he abandoned.
    I no longer recall, no longer understand the phenomena that happened to me all those years and zones ago.

    I can no longer even feel this girl's supernova fervor.

    So it was all rather sad.



















    It looks like I've started wanting to help you escape.
    I send this, tonelessly and quietly. However, she'll probably have moved on to the next planet by the time my voice reaches her.
    'Aren't you sad that your carefully crafted civilizations are being destroyed just like that?'
    Well, I'm not attached to them. I just thought that it's too sad watching this much effort produce no results.
    'Huh, are you talking about me or all the victims?'
    Neither, but I won't reply in the negative. Human perception doesn't change the world's laws.
    'Anyway, you want to support me now? Are you a tsundere?'
    What an old term. But yes, I guess wanting to avoid empty effort does mean that.























    4/

    Thus, it ended.
    The last light in the universe disappeared into the darkness.
    Like a volcanic eruption, it was short-lived - literally a falling star - and pathetically disappeared into the gloom.
    This universe is over. Four thousand civilizations, dead. Actually, there weren't quite four thousand, but close.
    Not one more flame; darkness.
    I swing myself into the end of the universe.
    "Is it over?"

    Uh huh. I even got a bit tired of watching.

    The voice emanates from the center of the room.
    Since there are no light sources, all around is complete darkness. I can't even see my own fingers. I can only say that my perception of the environment has changed. The vast universe has become a tiny five-and-a-half tatami room.
    It was a little, just a tiny bit of a shame.
    Fake, artificial skies that still possessed a true beauty.
    The endless universe has changed, and my fingers touch boring concrete.

    This is the edge. You can go.

    The voice emanates from the center of the room. The source is about two meters behind me.
    "And you?"

    Well, the door is there, it'd be odd to not use it.

    An uncertain, hesitant reply. I clench my left hand into a fist and prepare to smash the wall.

    By the way, I recall you came to kill me…

    Yeah, actually.
    "What have you got into your head? Like I said, I don't give a damn about you. And anyway, you're not my target until you leave your room. Our acquaintance ends here. Well, if you want to die, come on out, of course."
    Without turning around I feel my way to the concrete wall.
    Tap tap, tap tap. The hollow echo tells me the corridor is behind this wall.
    However, I was very interested in one thing.
    "Hey. Once, after hearing about my problem, you said it was big. Why?"
    When was that… I don't remember any longer, as though millenia have passed. If I'm that way, he couldn't possibly recall it.
    So I didn't expect a reply. But…
    Ah, I remember. I think it was at those words that I fell in love with you… Without boasting, I'll say I've solved many problems in here.
    I extended the lives of suns, invented methods of travel, even ended interplanetary wars. At the same time the very same I could do nothing about the issues of my own family. And, well. This is a big question, right?

    'And so, now I'm here', - he concludes.
    In the most emotional voice I've heard him use yet.
    "That so. What about me, then? I did at least as much as you, after all. And if I can leave this room, don't you think all the rest is not such a big deal?"

    Come on. You just broke the problem. Solving it is much harder.

    A de facto opinion without any compassion.
    This is our unknown flying fatass - the same even in this situation… Well yeah, he got on my nerves. But I admire such displays of personality.
    "Then I'll be going. Oh, am I still human? It's dark here so I can't tell, but I hope I look human?"
    It's a bit scary thinking about the payback for what I've been doing up to now.
    The thing I want the least is to die of shock at seeing myself once outside.

    Don't worry. Once my universe is gone, everything that took place in it will disappear, too. Your two thousand years long adventure will also disappear.

    "Really? Great, time to break this wall!"
    That's awesome! If this worthless waste of time is nullified, I have nothing to complain about. Behind my back there's a stupefied silence, then condescending giggling.
    "What? Never seen a wall-smashing girl?"
    Ookumaneko keeps laughing, replying that he didn't expect anything else of me.
    I hit the wall, feeling like our conversation was unfinished.
    Bang. I've broken so much stuff already that this is like paper. The cement wall has gained an exit wide enough for a person to freely pass through.
    Light streams in from the corridor.
    The room is too dark, and the lamplight seems bright as the sun.
    My eyes open with difficulty.
    I take a step.
    Then I decide to speak to the presence behind my back:
    "Well, I'll be going."
    Odd. I can't see his face, but I felt as though he was smiling when the reply came: 'Bye'.



    I will also say something. I watched you, breaking stars, and I had fun. You were like a protagonist of a certain old anime.
    "Really? I think I'm closer to the big bad, myself."
    Think on it. Being a hero of justice is much more profitable.
    "In what units?"
    Were I a schoolboy, I'd buy all the LP records with you. Now I see. So this is what they call human happiness.
    "LP records?"
    Uh huh, that's old culture, too. But the analog feeling when you lower the needle with your own hand is quite pleasant.



    I squint at the bright light.
    Here is completely ordinary reality.
    The evacuation alerts, patients' screams, guards' shots all mix together; the clinic corridors, in short.
    Incomparable to the universe of not long ago, boring and simple, my routine.
    "Really, think about it…"
    Silence.
    "Didn't you overestimate your cosmic pain?"
    Relieved, I turn around; a bit out of my style.
    The corridor lamps barely light the room.
    In the room, reminiscent of the forties with its wooden furnishing
    is a dead body, decayed to the bone over the many years it's clearly spent here.

    Aah…
    'Ever since the beginning of my illness I've lived in this universe',
    'For the ten years since I've been dragged here along with the room, no one could enter and no one could leave', - so that's how it is.
    Until the very end, he couldn't leave the "outside" of this world.



    "Oh."
    With a light sigh I leave cat box №404 behind.
    This was a story about a chance acquaintance of mine, a hikkikomori.
    Like the man inside said, many events were forgotten once I stepped outside.
    On the one hand, whatever, they're useless memories, but something in my soul screams - save them!
    The ability to forget is a human merit.
    To be more precise, the merit is the ability to choose what to forget. However terrible and depraved, however evil your personality, it's this freedom that defines humanity.
    If, say, there was a human capable of easily, regretlessly forget their own memories every day, it wouldn't be a human. A true demon or something like that.
    My problem is just such a demon. The bastard, gave traumas to his sister, then finished her off with a baseball bat to the head and sent her to a hospital, I'll have to slowly and thoroughly remind him of that.
    "Ah… I think I'd been acting as a doctor before this."
    Until I leave the clinic, I'm nominally a doctor, and there are still patients lined up.
    For example, this woman, conveniently stamping down a straight corridor with a grin on her face.
    She's dressed as a D building patient and hasn't noticed me yet.
    As soon as I thought of hailing her, a guard with a pistol ready appeared before her.
    "Stop, Helmia!" - he ordered and shot without pausing, but for some reason he just loosed a burst into the ceiling, rolled his eyes and went limp.
    The woman quickly grabbed the pistol and shot the guard - bang bang bang! And, happily smiling, hurried on.
    "That's the stuff. More like one of us."
    I cheered up as well, and I follow right after her.
    There are less than two hours until the clinic's end.
    The simple and clear reality troubling my mind was still in its rights.
    I'll conclude my story about a magnificent universe here, as I have my own problem to solve.
    He'd said it's a big problem, but, odd and jarring as it is, I'm within a universe even now.
    And I have attachments - say, to my hopes.

    The continuation will come later, when there's an opportunity.
    Quote Originally Posted by ほうれん草 View Post
    STOP SHOOTING EACH OTHER YOU FUCKERS

    I'm trying to watch anime FFS

  12. #872
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six castor212's Avatar
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    If i may ask,

    What is sora no soto to DDd, exactly?
    Quote Originally Posted by mewarmo990 View Post
    you don't need to think about it that hard
    Quote Originally Posted by castor212 View Post
    I dont get it

  13. #873
    In terms of story, it's what actually happened in Origa on the fourteenth of February, told from Kanata's perspective.

    As for how it came to be, here.
    Quote Originally Posted by ほうれん草 View Post
    STOP SHOOTING EACH OTHER YOU FUCKERS

    I'm trying to watch anime FFS

  14. #874
    吸血鬼 Vampire Rygah's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the hard work Desu!

    For a side story, this was surprisingly good!
    Last edited by Rygah; April 30th, 2017 at 11:56 AM.
    Spoiler:
    (All credit on Aron Headbutt on Youtube)

  15. #875
    HSTP 500 Internal S ervant  Error aldeayeah's Avatar
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    That would make one sick OVA.
    I wish I was like you, easily amused.

  16. #876
    Schizoid Personality Disorder SH1234's Avatar
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    Anyone has the pdf file? Cause the files on page 1 doesn't exist anymore.
    Made by Tusia


    My very first attempt on writting, I don't have courage to post it anywhere but my blog.

    My little project (no longer delayed, but release date is like constipation)


    Spoiler:
    Finally I'm a shirekan

  17. #877
    ぷよ使い Puyo Mage fallacies's Avatar
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    Does anyone happen to have the raws to this?

  18. #878
    分かろうとするな、感じれ Mcjon01's Avatar
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    I do but they're printed on paper inside a box on my bookshelf.

  19. #879
    ぷよ使い Puyo Mage fallacies's Avatar
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