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Author Topic: Sekai no Densetsu: A Beautiful Day  (Read 7138 times)

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Offline renko9thao

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Sekai no Densetsu: A Beautiful Day
« on: July 09, 2023, 11:33:49 AM »
It's been a long time since I was on here. Been trying to edit my story, and polishing it into the direction that I wanted. Here's the first two chapters, including a prologue. Feel free to share your thoughts. Feedback is always welcome. To those who stumbled my story, I hope my stories intrigues you into reading more!

Brief Summary: In the shadows of our reality, a hidden world thrives, concealed by a mystical barrier. Within this utopia named Densetsu, humans coexist harmoniously with fairies, yokai, and even divine deities. Atop a lofty mountain, a shrine maiden stands guard, protecting the enigmatic border that shields Densetsu's existence from our awareness. Densetsu, the realm of Legends, is a testament to the extraordinary powers and tales that shaped its being, a world both created and inhabited by the very Legends that dwell within its mystical embrace.

In the depths of darkness, he ventured through foreboding hallways, drawn towards a glimmer on the distant horizon. Magma cast an eerie glow, illuminating the treacherous path that stood between him and his objective—a bridge hanging precariously over a gaping chasm.

One misstep on the bridge would mean certain incineration within seconds. He had to endure it. The mere act of entering the room caused sweat to bead on his forehead, but now was not the time for complaints. Time was of the essence.

His mission was clear: to destroy whatever was causing the sickness amongst the people in this other world.

The scorching wind from the pool of lava blew through his soul as he pressed forward. His hands swelled and turned red as he ventured deeper. Each breath became a struggle, his vision threatening to blur.

Almost there, he thought, his determination unwavering. With each step, exhaustion threatened to consume him. How he endured such intense heat remained a mystery.

Reaching the next room seemed like an achievable feat until a young girl stumbled before him. Unlike the guards he had disposed of earlier, she wouldn't be an easy opponent.

He had been forewarned about her after bypassing the Barrier of Makai. They had relied on the barrier for security, failing to anticipate an outsider breaching it.

It was only a matter of time before she appeared. He knew what he had to do. Searching through his pockets, he retrieved a stick.

"So you must be Project Device Type-0013 NEW?" he questioned.

"Analyzing... Target... Complete... Returning into Memory Mode..." she responded, her eyes meeting his. Her azure gaze locked with his chestnut eyes. "Kotaro! Have you come here to kill me... again?"

He had no recollection of any memories with her. Nevertheless, he remained resolute. "I'm not here to kill you. I'm here to destroy whatever is causing the smoke."

Unexpectedly, NEW burst into laughter. "Oh, Kotaro! You're so funny!"

Her tone suddenly shifted, becoming more sinister and evil. "You know that can't happen... You and I are meant to be..."

Kotaro remembered the most crucial warning for this battle: he must not falter. Despite the searing heat that threatened to consume him, his determination to fight propelled him forward.

"Power Sword!" Kotaro commanded, and the stick in his hand transformed into a steel blade.

NEW smirked. "Yay! Let's have fun and kill each other again!" Her sweet and innocent voice took on a more menacing tone.

Kotaro charged towards her, readying his attack.

"Project Device Gear Activate," the girl commanded, her voice echoing through the chamber. In response, a surge of energy pulsed from her body, materializing into a sword-shaped object between them. Kotaro was knocked away, causing him to lose his grip on his own sword.

As he staggered, his hand inadvertently connected with the scorching metal floor, searing pain shooting through his palm. Yet, he refused to succumb to the agony. With unwavering determination, he quickly recovered and retrieved his sword, his gaze fixed on the astonishing transformation unfolding before him.

In an instant, the massive sword that stopped his attack underwent a breathtaking metamorphosis. Its form shifted and rearranged, reshaping itself into a suit of armor that enveloped NEW's slender frame. The cloak she once wore dissipated into shimmering particles, replaced by a thick azure suit adorned with elegant gray metal shoulder plates.

His eyes widened in awe as he beheld the sight. Two sharp steel blades materialized in NEW's hands, their gleaming edges reflecting the pulsating light of the chamber. The air crackled with anticipation as their battle recommenced, each clash of their weapons igniting sparks that danced in the darkness.

Seizing the opportunity, Kotaro kicked her, throwing her off balance.

Now's my chance! he thought, lunging forward with a swift slash.

And then it happened, as it always did: the Infinite Loop...

No matter what changed or how many attempts he made, the outcome remained the same. Fresh crimson stained the floor.

Days repeated themselves, leading to another encounter in battle. He would fall once more, and the cycle would repeat.

This was not his first attempt. The world spun endlessly, trapped in an unending loop. The kaleidoscope never ceased.

"How did you... get me?" Kotaro gasped, his chest drenched in scarlet. Unbeknownst to him, a cold steel blade impaled him from behind.

"Summoning Technique: Undefined Saber. I thought you knew I would use Skills in our fight," NEW explained, smoke-like particles of energy swirling around her fingertips. "But I was wrong..."

His eyes widened. "How? You're breaking the Skill Rules... how did you—"

It didn't take long for him to realize that she may display signs of sentience, but she was still an artificial being.

Casually, she approached the impaled Kotaro, the sharp steel piercing through her own chest. She hardly flinched.

"Let's become one, Kotaro! Let me accept you!" she exclaimed, her smile unnerving. "Engaging Project Device Type-0000 THE END... unleashing the ultimate power."

Wrapping her arms around Kotaro, NEW leaped into the pit, dragging his lifeless body with her. They burned, turning to ash, as the pool of lava gradually changed to an emerald hue.

Behind a magical barrier, two figures observed their battle. "And he failed once more..."

The man with golden hair rested his parasol on his shoulder. Darkness crept across the azure sky, giving birth to an eclipse.

"I'll see you again, Yuuki Nohara," the woman in red robes spoke, standing beside him.

"Kamiyama Shrine Maiden, how many loops have we endured? Even our efforts to hone his skills were insufficient. If not for the Barrier of Makai, we could aid him more easily. That machine keeps adapting."

"This is our twentieth loop," the shrine maiden replied, her tears and worries long dried up. "Kotaro... we'll meet again."

Chapter One: Kotaro Nishiki
The bouncing, orange ball echoed across the grand, bustling indoor stadium, filling the air with anticipation. The rhythmic dribbling reverberated off the polished court, each bounce bringing Kotaro one step closer to victory. The opposing team's relentless defenders swarmed around him, their menacing presence a constant challenge. But Kotaro was undeterred, his eyes locked on the prize.

The towering figures of the opposing high school players cast long shadows on the basketball court, their height seemingly reaching the heavens. Towering above the court like giants, they loomed over Kotaro, who stood at a modest stature. A mere mortal in the presence of basketball behemoths.

As Kotaro darted through the sea of lanky defenders, their elongated limbs seemed to stretch endlessly, forming a formidable wall that threatened to engulf him. Their towering presence could have easily intimidated someone of lesser stature, but not Kotaro. Despite being the smallest player on the court, he possessed a heart filled with unwavering determination and an unyielding belief in his abilities.

Every time he squared off against his opponents, the stark difference in height was a constant reminder of the uphill battle he faced. Like an ant against an elephant, he knew he had to rely on his agility, speed, and skill to outmaneuver and outwit his towering adversaries. It was a challenge he embraced with open arms, determined to prove that size was not the sole measure of a player's worth.

In the face of towering obstacles, Kotaro became a testament to the power of perseverance and the indomitable spirit of an underdog. Despite being outsized, he compensated with sheer willpower, finding creative ways to navigate through the forest of towering defenders. With each dribble, cut, and shot, he defied the odds, reminding everyone that the size of a player's heart and determination could often outweigh any physical disadvantage.

The sight of Kotaro, a diminutive figure darting amidst the towering giants, became a symbol of resilience and inspiration. His relentless pursuit of victory, despite the overwhelming odds stacked against him, garnered the admiration and respect of both teammates and opponents alike. In this battle of giants, it was not the height that determined success, but the unyielding spirit and unwavering resolve that resided within the heart of Kotaro.

With lightning-fast footwork, he weaved through the sea of bodies, dodging defenders and searching for an opening. The stakes couldn't be higher—the final seconds of the game, one chance to land a shot that would determine their fate. His heart pounded in his chest, fueling his determination.

As the court seemed to shrink before his eyes, Kotaro's mind raced with calculations. He measured the distance to the goal, mentally visualizing the trajectory and power needed for the perfect shot. Despite being dwarfed by his towering teammates, his spirit burned brightly, filling the stadium with his unwavering resolve.

The world around him melted away, the deafening roar of the crowd fading into a distant hum. In this suspended moment, it was just him and the hoop. With a lightning-quick release, the ball left his fingertips, soaring towards the sky like a guided missile.

The opposing team leaped in a desperate attempt to steal the ball, their outstretched arms grasping at thin air. But Kotaro's shot was true, the ball grazing the rim with a tantalizing spin before surrendering to gravity's pull. A collective gasp swept through the crowd, followed by a collective eruption of exhilaration.

The ball swished through the net, the sweet sound of success echoing throughout the stadium. The crowd erupted into a frenzy of cheers and applause, the air electric with jubilation. Kotaro's teammates swarmed around him, their faces lit up with pure elation. High-fives and fist bumps were exchanged, their laughter and shouts of victory filling the air.

Amidst the celebration, Kotaro basked in the glory of his triumphant shot. The weight of the game lifted from his shoulders, replaced by a surge of accomplishment. The locker room awaited, promising a jubilant celebration of their hard-fought victory. But in this moment, surrounded by teammates turned brothers, Kotaro relished the joy and camaraderie that basketball had brought into his life.

"Koty, you joining?" asked Greg, his voice filled with excitement and anticipation. Plans were being made, particularly a party, amongst the boys in the locker room—alcohol included.

Kotaro glanced up from his books, his eyes fixed on the pages before him. "No, I think I'll pass," he replied, his tone calm yet resolute.

Greg's face fell slightly, a mix of confusion and disappointment. "Oh, come on, Koty! What are you even studying for?" he persisted, eager to sway Kotaro's decision.

A small smile tugged at the corners of Kotaro's lips as he looked at his teammates. There were many reasons to study, reasons that went beyond their understanding. While his impressive athletic skills often took center stage, his commitment to academics was equally important to him.

Studying was not just about getting good grades or excelling in the classroom. It was about unlocking the secrets of the past, about delving into the depths of knowledge to uncover the truth about his own existence.

As he focused on his books, memories of a bygone era flickered in his mind. Images of a world he could no longer touch, filled with sights, sounds, and emotions that felt so familiar yet distant. The whispers of forgotten voices echoed in his ears, urging him to seek answers and unravel the mysteries of his own identity.

He had always grown curious about his past. Remembering it felt like yesterday. Seashore waves crashed into the warm sand. The sun shone with conflagration. Lovers chased each other, imprinting their footprint into the sand only to be washed away from the wave. And then, they found Kotaro.

His new family, the Wilsons, had made a startling discovery. Hidden within the depths of the past, they had found his birth certificate, revealing that Kotaro hailed from a time long gone. A century had passed since his birth, yet he remained oblivious to his own history. Now, with this newfound knowledge, the flames of curiosity burned brighter than ever, fueling his determination to uncover the truth.

Waving goodbye to his teammates, Kotaro chose to venture out into the wintry night alone. The snowflakes danced around him, blanketing the world in a serene white. The Wilsons, always concerned for his well-being, had offered him a ride home, but he preferred to embrace the cold. It reminded him of the passage of time, the ever-changing nature of the world, and the countless mysteries waiting to be unraveled.

As he walked through the snowy streets, his steps leaving footprints in the freshly fallen snow, Kotaro couldn't help but feel a sense of purpose. The journey to uncover his past had only just begun, and he knew it would be a path filled with challenges, revelations, and self-discovery.

Amidst the towering skyscrapers and bustling streets of the city, Kotaro found himself standing at a crossroads. To his right, the city's familiar energy pulsed through the crowded streets, while to his left, a foreboding darkness loomed—a narrow, desolate alley that seemed to repel any signs of life. It was a place that held an eerie reputation, a spot avoided by the masses, shrouded in unsettling mystery.

Whispers of cautionary tales circulated among his classmates, fueling the intrigue and fear surrounding the alley. Legends of a spectral woman in flowing violet Hanfu robes drifted through the corridors of their imaginations, while tales of disembodied voices echoed in hushed whispers. The tales were enough to deter even the most curious souls from venturing into its sinister depths.

As nightfall cast an ominous veil over the city, the alley took on an even more haunting presence. Shadows danced with malevolent glee, stretching and contorting as if possessed by unseen forces. Kotaro's rational mind assured him that it was mere trickery of the mind, yet an unsettling chill crept up his spine, casting doubt on his certainty.

Summoning his courage, he muttered to himself, "There's nothing to be scared of..."

A sudden vibration jolted him from his thoughts, prompting him to retrieve his phone from his pocket. It was a message from his gaming comrades, his trusted allies in virtual realms.

Ging: Are you home yet?

Faint voices seemed to drift from the empty expanse of the alley, teasing his senses. He glanced around, searching for the source, but the streets remained devoid of life.

Kotaro: No, I'm at the "alley."

Rocky: Hurry up, bro! The raid is coming up.

The allure of the upcoming raid, a chance to obtain a rare and coveted weapon, beckoned to him. It was an opportunity that couldn't be missed—a limited-time offer, elusive and fleeting.

"Come here. Come over here," a seductive voice seemed to whisper on the edge of hearing.

A shiver coursed through Kotaro's body, his heart pounding in his chest. The voice felt like tendrils of darkness wrapping around his consciousness, rendering him momentarily paralyzed, caught in its enchanting grip.

Kotaro: I think I'm going crazy!! I'm hearing voices.

Ging: Dude, stop playing. Hurry up and get home.

Rocky: No balls! I dare you to go into the "alley."

Rocky sent a GIF, depicting an ominous door creaking open. The image taunted him, daring him to succumb to curiosity.

Maybe just a peek won't hurt, he thought, a mixture of trepidation and thrill coursing through his veins.

With a gulp, Kotaro steeled himself and took a hesitant step forward. It felt like a scene out of a horror movie, a moment where ill-fated characters met their demise.

He ventured deeper into the heart of darkness, his surroundings consumed by an inky black void. Light faded into nothingness, leaving him in a realm where only shadows danced. There was no turning back now.

Silence engulfed him, a suffocating stillness that drowned out even the sound of his own footsteps in the snow. Every sensation seemed muffled, as if the very air held its breath, awaiting what lay ahead in the depths of the mysterious alley.

Cold. Dark.

His heart raced at a rapid tempo.

Warm. Bright.

"Hm?" A dim light shone ahead. Whether it was an illusion or not, the snow had vanished.

Colorful avians soared through the strange environment. Vibrant trees with branches speckled in pink or entirely colored like the sun painted the landscape.

"What the?" He attempted to text the group chat, but realized he had lost his phone. He sighed in frustration, muttering, "I can't believe I dropped it."

"Let's go back—" he began, but his face collided with a tree trunk. Stepping back, he groaned at the unexpected encounter. "Guess there's no turning back..."

He continued to explore the unknown forest, scanning his surroundings. Butterfly-winged snakes slithered through the air. Along the path, Kotaro spotted a crimson squirrel with sharp-tipped ears picking up a nut. As soon as it noticed him, it scurried back into the trees.

The bush where the squirrel had disappeared began shaking violently, followed by high-pitched screeches. A loud snap startled Kotaro. Emerging from the bush was a large silver cat with curved horns, clutching its prey between its jaws before disappearing into the forest.

"The circle of life..." Kotaro resumed his journey, only to be halted by a sudden headache. He groaned as his vision blurred and distorted voices filled his ears.

Peaceful chirping transformed into the harsh scraping of metal forks on plates. The anxiety got the best of him. It was a feeling he had never experienced before. Panicked, he ran as fast as he could.

He covered his ears, but when his vision cleared, he saw that the trees' bark had twisted into a sinister grin. Ghostly waves of laughter echoed through the forest.

The headache intensified, and the branches of the trees seemed to reach out like grasping hands, as if trying to capture Kotaro. The voices grew louder and clearer.

"Let's go to the shrine!"

As he sprinted frantically, he lost his footing and stumbled, his face meeting the dirt. Everything faded to black.

"Let's go to the shrine! Come on!"

Joyful giggles filled the forest, and the voice sounded strangely familiar. Kotaro picked himself up, the headache still lingering. For a brief moment, he saw a young boy smiling at him.

"I'm gonna race you to the—"

Kotaro closed his eyes, taking deep breaths to calm himself. He knew it was all an illusion, a trick of the mind.

Uncertain of what had just happened, one thing became clear to Kotaro. This world contained his memories. He could feel it.

With renewed determination, Kotaro continued along the trail, guided by a gut feeling that the shrine must be nearby. The woodland led him to a towering mountain ahead, where a large building structure and a torii gate stood.

He knew he had to head there. Making his way through the forest, he came across a frail stranger huddled in a ball, rocking back and forth.

Kotaro approached him cautiously, reaching out to pat the man on the shoulder. "Are you alright?"

The frail man suddenly lashed out, drooling white substances from his chin as he growled, "Meat! Meat!"

Without warning, the shirtless stranger tackled Kotaro to the ground. Struggling to free himself, Kotaro fought against the man's surprising strength. Saliva rained down on his cheeks, and the stench of the man's breath made it difficult to breathe.

Disgusted, Kotaro mustered all his strength to push the man off. Rising to his feet, he wasted no time in delivering a punch to his opponent. The impact sent the man flying several meters away, leaving Kotaro astonished by his own unknown strength.

"Human strong! Why so strong!" the man exclaimed.

Reality shifted again, transforming the ground beneath them into a different dimension—a field of bladed grass.

Confused, Kotaro muttered, "What the hell is going on?"

The shirtless man conjured fire in his hands, declaring, "Attack Skill: Damsel Flame!"

Kotaro endured a barrage of scorching fireballs, each one hotter than the last. The pain was unbearable, and a burning ember grazed his cheek, leaving a searing sting.

But Kotaro refused to give up. His heart pounded rapidly in his chest. Taking a tremendous risk, he walked steadily towards his assailant, braving the fiery projectiles.

When he finally closed the distance, Kotaro unleashed another punch. Reality returned to its normal state, and both Kotaro and the man were transported back to the forest. The onslaught had taken its toll, and Kotaro collapsed to his knees, breathing heavily.

"I think... this is... the end..." he whispered, his strength dwindling.

The frail man seized the opportunity to attack the exhausted Kotaro, but before he could reach his target, a young maiden in vibrant red-and-white robes intervened, kicking the aggressor away from the weakened man.

The old man rose, emitting an inhuman screech. "Shrine maiden! Me want to eat!"

"Then eat this!" With a swift motion, she hurled a paper at her target, who narrowly evaded it. As it approached him, she snapped her fingers. The paper exploded in a dazzling display, leaving the threat badly injured. His decaying skin peeled away, revealing his true monstrous form—a beastly face adorned with razor-sharp fangs.

Realizing he was at a disadvantage, the creature fled into the underbrush. The maiden turned her gaze towards Kotaro. Her pearl eyes held a mesmerizing power as they locked with his. Twin crimson ribbons adorned her sidelock, matching her enigmatic presence. Before he could utter a word to her, he felt his life force draining away.

Darkness descended, engulfing his vision. His body succumbed to the overwhelming fire coursing through his veins. He teetered on the brink of death, his surroundings distorting, his heart racing in a desperate rhythm.


Chapter Two: Kamiyama Shrine Maiden
She had witnessed the twisted reality far too many times, the kaleidoscope of distortions. Villages plagued by illness, young girls vanishing without a trace. The culprit, elusive and uncatchable.

Rikku Kamiyama.

The shrine maiden was the last of her kind, tasked with protecting Densetsu. Her long, chestnut hair cascaded down to her chest, framing her clear eyes that gleamed like precious pearls.

Her daily routine was etched into her mind. The wild charpies migrated earlier than usual, driven by the deadly gas that permeated the land. When the cicada song ceased, it signaled the outsider's arrival in Densetsu.

Despite the day repeating itself, it was difficult to precisely locate the outsider. The Gap Yokai’s boundaries shifted locations unpredictably. He held the key to ending this ordeal. Rikku knew, deep down, that fate would lead him to his doom.

Determined to set things right, she took to the sky, scouring the land for her target. She prayed he would not encounter a yokai or hungry predators before she found him.

During her flight, she witnessed the initiation of a Six-Sided Dimension, a prerequisite for performing Skills within the Skill Rules. Within the dimensions, she sensed the presence of the outsider, his reiki energy. Dread filled her heart.

Without wasting a moment, she soared towards his location. However, being outside the dimensions, she had no choice but to wait until the user finished activating their Skill. To her surprise, the Six-Sided Dimension shattered, and she witnessed Kotaro delivering a powerful punch to the yokai.

This was a side of Kotaro she had never seen before. When she first met him, he was a shy and timid individual. But now, he was different.

Collapsing to his knees, Kotaro succumbed to his fiery injuries. The yokai, undeterred, pursued him, only to be intercepted by Rikku's timely kick.

"Shrine maiden! Me want to eat!" the yokai snarled.

"Then eat this!" Rikku hurled her sealing tags at the yokai, who evaded them. Unbeknownst to him, she had a trick up her sleeve. Snapping her fingers triggered the explosion of the tags.

Overwhelmed by the sealing powers, the yokai retreated into the nearby brush.

Locking eyes with Kotaro amidst the inferno, Rikku felt a surge of concern.

"Kotaro!" she cried out as his heartbeat raced dangerously. Placing her hands on his chest, she took deep breaths, channeling her energy into him.

Reiki, the life force that thrived within all beings. It held the potential for miracles when harnessed, but some sought to wield it as a weapon, leading to the creation of the Skill Rules. Healing others remained one of the exceptions to these rules.

Rikku's ultimate desire was to create a peaceful world, but some exploited the loopholes in the Skill Rules, making it challenging to define their true purpose.

Gradually, Kotaro's heart rate steadied, and his body cooled. He was a fighter.

"That was very foolish of you," she sighed with relief. The shrine maiden carried him as she soared toward the mountain. Cobblestone stairs led to the mountain's peak, where a torii gate stood sentinel.

The climb up the stairs would normally take thirty minutes, but with her flight, she arrived in five. At the top, two lion-dog statues awaited her, guarding the square-shaped floor tiles that led to the shrine and the adjacent storage building.

Entering the shrine, Rikku gently placed Kotaro in the guest room. His reiki energy surged, a phenomenon unheard of in an outsider. Most outsiders lived their lives unaware of the existence of reiki.

Preparing some crackers and boiling water for tea, Rikku picked up her broom and began sweeping the floor, her mind preoccupied with thoughts of Kotaro. Something felt amiss.

"What's troubling you?" came a voice, the visitor she had been expecting. Visitors always seemed to find their way to her shrine unannounced, much to her annoyance. It was the Gap Yokai, Yuuki Nohara, who had opened a boundary within her shrine. Meeting the tall, slender man left her unfazed.

"Every time we've encountered Kotaro before, he was shy and cowardly. Why is he suddenly more active?" Rikku glared into Yuuki's violet eyes. "I thought the Infinite Loop had no effect on him."

Amusement flickered in Yuuki's eyes as he dared to meet her challenging gaze. He took pride in his status, his seductive features accentuated by a strong jawline and form-fitting attire that showcased his toned arms and legs. Resting his violet parasol on his shoulder, he smirked. "He's adapting. He is beginning to comprehend the situation, allowing Kotaro to adapt to his surroundings."

A foreboding aura emanated from the unconscious Kotaro. He was the primary reason the Project Device sought him in the first place.

"You know what to do when the Scarlium awakens," Yuuki stated matter-of-factly.

Rikku pondered the situation carefully. Everything seemed to be mere coincidence, or so she believed.

"You're starting to realize it, aren't you?"

The deadly gas, the young girls used to construct the Project Devices, Kotaro, and the awakening of the Scarlium. The mastermind behind it all had plans that extended far beyond their comprehension. It all came down to their true intentions.

Rising to his feet, Yuuki brushed the dust off his rear and respectfully removed his shoes before entering the guest room. Rikku followed suit, finding the yokai fixated on the unconscious Kotaro. Silence hung in the air until Yuuki placed one of his boundaries beneath the futon.

Kotaro fell into the pitfall. The shrine maiden rushed forward, desperate to save him, but it was too late.

"Don't worry, I took him home. He should be safe," the yokai assured her.

"At least tell me!" she pleaded.

Mischievous and unpredictable, Yuuki was a force to be reckoned with. Were it not for his title and role, Rikku would not hesitate to exterminate him.

The yokai reclaimed his shoes and, with one last glance, was swallowed by his portals, just like Kotaro before him.

Clenching her fists tightly, brows furrowed, Rikku struggled to regain her composure as she took deep breaths. Some of the tension eased from her soul. Time was of the essence. Doing nothing would not heal the sick. The shrine maiden soared through the skies, ready to aid the defenseless villagers.

Returning to the unoccupied shrine, Yuuki reappeared silently. Extending his hand, a violet butterfly alighted gently on his finger. More butterflies swarmed around him. "You can reveal yourself now."

The swarm dispersed, revealing a pale-skinned woman dressed in a pink, floral-patterned kimono. Hiding behind her paper fan maintained an air of mystery, her features shielded from prying eyes. "You seem to be more active than ever, my friend. That's very unlike you. Could it be... that outsider?"

"The culprit lurks under the skirt of the Sylvan Supreme."

Her brows hinted at an amused smirk. "All those adjustments you did with Victoria had put you into a corner..."

Yuuki remained silent, but Okiku read through his stoic expression. There was anger, frustration, and confusion. The mastermind had snared him into a corner, seemingly moving one step ahead of him.

She challenged his stoicism with her mesmerizing jade eyes. "Tell me. What do you think will happen next when you send that girl to him?"

His silence lingered. His thoughts raced through the possibilities. The weight of his decision pressed on him, like a chessboard putting him into checkmate.

"It seems we cannot escape the birth of the Serpentine Void," Okiku continued, floating around him. "You can't hide it for long. The day will come when he—"

Yuuki's patience was finally tested. The woman's head was cut clean. "Everything is going exactly as planned.”

Despite her decapitated head, life still flickered in her, and she chased after her head, putting it back in its place with a sense of nonchalance. "Hey! Yuuki, you big-meanie! That was uncalled for!"

Death was nothing new to the phantom princess, but her indignation was apparent. She growled and flailed her arms like a child, upset that the yokai bore no remorse for his actions. Yuuki simply shrugged, unbothered by her theatrics.

"You were annoying me," he replied matter-of-factly.

"That doesn't mean you cut me off! You could've killed me!" Okiku argued, her voice a mixture of annoyance and genuine concern.

"But you're already dead," Yuuki stated bluntly, his tone devoid of sympathy.

She huffed in exasperation, her paper fan fluttering with frustration. "You have no appreciation for the afterlife, do you? No respect for a lady's decapitated state!"

Yuuki couldn't help but smirk at her theatrical outrage. "Respect for a lady, you say? Okiku, you know as well as I do that you enjoy playing tricks and scaring people. You've scared more than your fair share of mortals with your ghostly apparitions."

Okiku pouted, her demeanor shifting from outrage to mischief. "Well, what can I say? It's entertaining to see their faces turn pale with fear. But you, my dear friend, have always been a stoic one. Sometimes, I can't help but wonder if you even possess a sense of humor."

Yuuki's smirk deepened. "Oh, I have a sense of humor, Okiku. It's just that most of your antics don't tickle my funny bone."

She let out a playful giggle, her fan covering her mouth coquettishly. "Well, perhaps I'll have to try harder to make you laugh. Life is much more enjoyable when we find amusement in the little things."

As the two stood in the shrine, their banter lightened the weight of their burdens, if only for a moment. Their contrasting personalities provided a balance, a yin and yang in the world of the supernatural. Just as they settled into their playful dynamic, the tranquility of the shrine was interrupted by the sound of footsteps approaching the entrance.

Yuuki's gaze shifted, meeting the visitor's azure eyes, and a knowing smirk formed on his lips. "Ah, you've finally arrived, at last..."

Again, I like to thank those who stop by and read my story. I don't know how consistent I'm going to be posting my chapters, but I'm going to try my best to update it. Thank you for your time reading my story!

Offline renko9thao

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Re: Sekai no Densetsu: A Beautiful Day
« Reply #1 on: July 24, 2023, 08:32:20 PM »
Here's Chapter Three. I changed a lot of things in Chapter Three, and I do apologize in advanced if it's a bit longer than the other chapters.

Chapter Three: Dreams Disappearing
Tiny flakes fell upon his scarlet cheeks. Their ice-cold touch awakened him. The bustling sounds of cars and the ordinary sight of the city streets greeted his senses, grounding him in the present moment. As Kotaro examined his surroundings, the once foreboding alley now seemed mundane, devoid of any traces of the fantastical realm he had traversed.

The memory of the shrine and its unoccupied presence lingered in his mind, a puzzle waiting to be solved. His heart yearned for answers, for a glimpse into the truth that lay hidden beyond his grasp.

But before he could embark on his quest for answers, he noticed something amidst the piles of snow. It was his phone, cold and damaged from the ordeal. With a sigh of disappointment, he realized that he had lost his means of communication with his friends. The mystery of his experiences would remain his own for now.

The thought of the Wilsons waiting for him at home weighed heavily on his mind. They were always worried about his well being. Bearing those thoughts while away would do him nothing. The night was still young, but he needed to return safely.

With a determined stride, Kotaro began making his way back home, his mind filled with questions and his heart set on finding the truth. Though the path ahead was uncertain, Kotaro held onto hope. He knew that with each step he took, he was one step closer to uncovering the secrets that lay hidden in the depths of his extraordinary experiences.

As he walked through the wintry night, his thoughts swirled with anticipation. The enigmatic figure of a child danced in his mind. Kotaro couldn't shake the feeling that his life had been forever changed, that he had glimpsed a world beyond imagination, and that his destiny was intertwined with forces far greater than he could comprehend.

With each step homeward, Kotaro resolved to embrace the unknown, to seek the truth. Returning home safely lifted the weight of all tension. The door opened to the front porch, and Kotaro was greeted by a worrisome Amanda.

He expected a wrathful woman, but his mother embraced him with open arms. Tears ran down her face, transforming her worry into relief and overwhelming joy. “We were worried!”

A mixture of emotions washed over him, grateful for his mother's love and concern. He held onto her tightly, finding solace in the warmth of her embrace. The night passed onwards until the golden sun arose like a baby, painting the darkness into light; the layers of white remained motionless upon the green.

Kotaro's eyes fluttered open, but the soft morning light filtering through his window told him that he had overslept. Panic surged through him as he shot up in bed, realizing he was already late for school. The usually orderly room became a battlefield, with clothes strewn across the floor and books scattered on his desk.

Without wasting another moment, Kotaro jumped out of bed and hurriedly threw on the first set of clothes he found, not bothering to check if they matched. He stumbled while trying to put on his socks, almost toppling over. "Why do mornings have to be so chaotic?" he groaned.

His hair was a mess, but he had no time to fix it properly. Kotaro grabbed a brush and quickly ran it through his unruly locks, hoping it would suffice. It didn't.

As he rushed downstairs, the smell of breakfast wafted through the air. Amanda was already in the kitchen, preparing a plate of toast and scrambled eggs. She turned to him with a mixture of concern and exasperation. "Kotaro, you really need to start setting an alarm. You can't keep waking up late like this."

"I know, I know," he mumbled, grabbing a piece of toast and taking a hasty bite. "Sorry, Mom, I'll try to be more responsible."

Amanda shook her head but couldn't hide a small smile. "Just eat quickly, and I'll make you a cup of coffee to go."

“I’ll pass on the coffee! Thanks, mom!” He rushed out the door. Before his mother offered him a ride, he had already left. He sprinted briskly towards school, his heart pounding in his chest. Winter's breath invigorated him, and the bustling sounds of the city became mere background noise. The cars and the people seemed like a blur as he focused solely on reaching his school on time.

As he remained fixated on reaching his destination, a shadowy figure from his left disrupted his tunnel vision. Curiosity got the better of him, and he turned to look. It was already too late to react. To his astonishment, a young girl was hovering in the air. Her shoes connected to the top of his head, using him as a momentary support for her aerial feat.

His body froze in shock and confusion, not knowing how to respond to this extraordinary situation. The unexpected impact of her shoes on his head sent a jolt through his body, causing him to stumble and almost lose his balance. The girl quickly apologized, her voice laced with a mix of playfulness and sincerity, as she reached the ground.

Before he could muster a response, she sprinted into the distance, leaving him in a state of awe and confusion. The initial shock wore off, and a mix of anger and bewilderment began to surface within him. School reminded him of his tardiness. He couldn’t afford to get sidetracked by this enigmatic girl, not when he was already running late for school.

The school gates emerged as he continued his run. Several students were in the same boat as him, most of them entering the building nonchalant. Luckily, the final bell hadn’t rung. Relief washed over him, and he slowed down his pace, catching his breath.

"Explain yourself, Koty! Where were you?" It was Rocky, his dark-skinned friend, known for his jolly nature and his tendency to tease Kotaro whenever he got the chance. Amongst their classmates, Rocky was never afraid to poke fun at Kotaro. “You just missed the raid last night! Now you can’t get the Sword of Justice.”

Last night’s adventure and today’s unique encounter remained fresh in his memories that he forgot about the raid. There was absolutely no way he could tell Rocky about last night. What proof could he provide? He wasn’t even sure if he had been dreaming. “Sorry, Rocky! It’s complicated…”

Rocky patted Kotaro's shoulders continuously. "You're a terrible liar, you know that?"

Kotaro couldn't help but smile at his friend's mischievousness. "Okay, you got me! Would you believe me if I said I ventured into that alleyway?"

"No video, no proof!" Rocky declared with a playful grin. Kotaro was left speechless, realizing that his phone had died during their encounter. "So, as punishment, you better write my English essay!"

"Write it yourself..." Kotaro replied, feigning a stern tone.

Rocky let out a dramatic whimper, causing Kotaro to chuckle. He appreciated his friend's lightheartedness and teasing. Despite the teasing, Rocky and their mutual friend, Ging, were the only two individuals with whom Kotaro felt truly comfortable. They had shattered the barriers of social hierarchy, accepting Kotaro for who he was.

With a wry smile, Kotaro turned to face Rocky. "Alright, how about I make it up to you on the next raid?"

"Oh, you better!" Rocky replied, his wimpy demeanor instantly transforming into excitement. The school bell rang loudly, signaling the start of classes. "Well, I'll see you in Mr. Praum's class!"

As they bid each other farewell, an uncomfortable feeling surged in Kotaro’s guts. He turned around, sensing someone lurking within the shadows.

No one.

Wary, he kept a cautious eye and analyzed anything out of the ordinary. “Why do I have a bad feeling about this?”

Heading to his first class, a grouchy old man towered him like the Eiffel Tower. Thin as a stick in appearance, he compensated for his intimidation with his thunderous voice.

Chad Wilcox.

Kotaro waved at his history teacher, but Mr. Wilcox remained silent, his gaze fixed on the students entering the classroom. Inside, the arrangement of desks resembled a set of stairs, reminiscent of a college lecture hall. Walking to his desk, his eyes slowly drew on Mimi.

The sweet fragrance she carried filled the air, her long ebony hair braided to a pony-tail, and her radiant presence brought a sense of calm and peace to the otherwise serious atmosphere.

As the classroom filled to its maximum capacity, Mr. Wilcox launched into a passionate lecture about the intricacies of history. His voice boomed through the room, filling every nook and cranny with his wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm. Kotaro tried his best to focus on the lesson, but his mind kept drifting back to Mimi, her presence casting a gentle spell over him.

Suddenly, a piece of chalk smacked Kotaro's forehead, drawing the attention of his classmates, including Mimi. Scarlet flushed his cheeks. "Wakie-wakie, dreamer boy!"

Whispers spread among his peers, their curiosity piqued by the interruption. The teacher's voice became a mere background noise as their attention shifted to Kotaro. Feeling the weight of their gazes, he wished for the ground to swallow him whole.

"Mr. Wilcox, can you please continue the session rather than focus your time on Kotaro?" Mimi spoke up, her voice calm and assertive.

Her intervention brought Kotaro a sense of relief, like a lifeline thrown his way. He couldn't help stealing a glance at her, her light-brown eyes meeting his briefly. Kotaro quickly averted his gaze, feeling a mix of gratitude and embarrassment.

With Mimi's words, the attention gradually shifted away from him, allowing Kotaro to refocus on the lesson. However, throughout the class, he found himself stealing occasional glances at Mimi, her presence becoming a source of comfort and inspiration amidst the academic rigidity.

During the class, just as Kotaro was getting engrossed in Mr. Wilcox's lecture, the class was interrupted by the health teacher. “Good morning, Mr. Wilcox. I hope I’m not interrupting you.”

“I hope it’s nothing serious, Mrs. Jones,” replied Mr. Wilcox.

“Oh no, but you will be having a new student in your class,” Mrs. Jones announced, gesturing towards the door. “There’s no need to be shy. This will be your first class!”

With that, she entered the classroom. Her face was round, with a tiny nose, and her long golden hair cascaded down to her shoulders. But it was her striking, bright azure eyes that captivated Kotaro’s attention. They shone like the sun, radiating a pure blue that was alluring.

“This is your first hour. Go on and introduce yourself!” Mrs. Jones encouraged the new student.

“Um, my name is Noel Natsuki. As you can see—or I mean, hear, I learned my English from my dad, and my mom is Japanese. I hope to be friends with every one of you!" Noel introduced herself with a mixture of confidence and innocence.

Whispered conversations circulated among the boys and girls. The presence of this new student unsettled him. There was a sense of familiarity around this girl’s aura. Their eyes met briefly, and in an instant, they had both come to a realization.

Kotaro couldn't contain his astonishment and impulsively stood up, rudely pointing at Noel.

"You’re that—" the two blurted at the same time.

"Crazy barbarian!" Kotaro exclaimed, his emotions getting the better of him.

Noel's expression turned indignant at his comment. "Hey!" she protested, her voice carrying a mix of offense and amusement. "What do you mean, crazy barbarian!"

“Just now, when we were heading to school, you stepped on my head, remember?” his voice rose, recalling the humiliating encounter.

Tension arose within the class as an awkward silence emerged. “Well, I apologized! Didn’t I? All I did was jostle you a bit, so spare me your accusations, will you?” Noel retorted.

Anger and embarrassment resurfaced for Kotaro. “A little? What kind of weirdo comes out of nowhere and steps on people?”

“If you’re not satisfied, then I’m sorry if you didn’t notice. Why don’t you just forgive me? You’re so effeminate!”

“That’s how you apologize? Why you…” Kotaro’s brows narrowed. Emotions swirled in an overwhelming eruption. “You gorilla!”

Noel’s wrath mirrored Kotaro. “Who are you calling a gorilla?”

The tension between Kotaro and Noel escalated, their verbal exchange drawing curious gazes from their classmates. Their blind rage for each other had forgotten about Mr. Wilcox.

“Enough! That’s enough, both of you!” he roared. Noel jolted by the unexpected scream. “We are here to learn, not argue! Now, let’s get back to learning!”

Kotaro settled back into his seat, while Noel was assigned to a seat far from him. The lingering tension between them gradually dissipated as Mr. Wilcox's lecture concluded peacefully with the passing of time.

As the class ended, Kotaro packed his belongings and prepared himself for his favorite class. Wandering through a crowd of students in the hallway, he couldn't shake the feeling of being followed. His instincts proved right when he turned around to see Noel behind him.

"Can’t get enough of me, huh?" Kotaro teased playfully.

"As if I would follow someone like you," Noel retorted with a hint of annoyance. "This is my first time, so I don’t know where I’m going!"

"Uh-huh? And who’s your next teacher?"

"Mr. Praum," Noel replied.

Kotaro was taken aback. It felt like more than just a coincidence; it was as if their paths were destined to cross again. But before his mouth could utter a word, a fleeting image of a younger, rounder girl momentarily emerged in his sight. The background seemed to shift briefly to an unknown meadow before snapping back to the school hallways. He paused, unsure of what he had just witnessed.

“What’s the matter? You look like you’ve seen a ghost or something," Noel said, breaking the momentary silence.

"N-Nothing. I’m heading there as well…" Kotaro replied, trying to shake off the strange vision.

A mix of surprise and curiosity painted their expressions as they walked side by side, heading towards their next class.

Let me know what you guys think of Chapter Three. Feedback is always welcome.