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SERAFU Chronicle

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October is closing to an end, Guren leaving his office late as usual. Wearing a light grey shirt, black suit, a white tie from Armani collection, with a Burberry long brown coat, a black leather bag & a black leather shoes from Louis Vuitton, and a watch from Rolex.

He head off to parking lot and ready to drive his Black Ferrari 488GTB.

 

Guren works for one of a most prestigious Oil Company at Japan. He's not even the CEO of the company he's working for yet, but his achievement for company are something that no one else can reach, therefore the company praise him with a notorious amount of money and every facilities Guren needs.

 

Guren drives his car to the restaurant he often visit to have a dinner, The Sky Restaurant 634 at Tokyo Sky Tree. He turned on the music player on his car, he turned the volume up, he prefer to drives with a loud music,he said it help him to fix his ruined mood, but the other people said it because he was lonely since he has no one to drive with.

 

Guren might not look like one, but instead of classic or jazz music he listen to a rock band Like B'z, L'Arc~en~Ciel, X-Japan, etc. He always said that he doesn't like an idol group like Perfume, AKB48, or Morning Musume, but the others believe he must be listening or watching AKB48's PVs when he was alone.

 

Guren has everything that every human wants, Money, smart brain, high position, luxurious life style, bright future, handsome face, and all. But for Guren, his life has been a boring life, he wishes he could escape from his monotonous life, even just for one day.

 

After 25 minutes of drive, Guren has arrived at Sky Tree. It's almost 1am, the closing hours supposed to pass since 1 hour and 30 minutes ago. But it's a different case for Guren, he could reserve in whichever hour he wants as if he was the owner of Tokyo Skytree.

 

"Oh, are you alone agian tonight?" greeted the main chef which also Guren's friend, Ferid.

"Is that how you greet your customer?" replies the irritated Guren.

"Haha, that's my special way to treat you, my customer," 

"Fuck you, Ferid," Guren knew Ferid when he went on a week holiday at Paris, around 5 years ago.

"So what's your order?" asked the Chef.

"Give me the usual," said Guren.

"Okei, Give me a minute and let me, pour this for you," Ferid shows Guren a bottle of red wine,

it's what Guren always drink on his dinner time here.

"Ho.. That's the stuff, purple head," Guren handed over his empty crystall glass to Ferid,Ferid, with his beautiful skill pouring the wine beautifully to Guren's glass, filling only 1/4 part of it.

"Yosh, please have this," Ferid handed over the glass back to Guren.

"Thanks," Guren take his first sip right away.

"Now,now, it's time for the show," Ferid left Guren alone as he left to the kitchen, to cook the customer's order.

 

The clock ticking as Guren has no one to talk with and fell silence. He's looking at his phone, checking the currency, exchange rate, he reads everything from economic news to politics, from medical to lifesyle, literally everything. He's at the Restaurant with the most amazing scenery, yet he even ignores the night scenery that lies right before him.

 

"Seems like you're so into those stuffs, Mister," a girl voice suddenly talked to Guren,

 

He almost choked on his wine because he wasn't sure how long he has been lost reading the news until he didn't notice that someone sat on the opposite side of him.

"Ah, sorry I didn't notice you at all," said the surprised Guren. He switch his view from his smart phone, to the girl beside him, He was actually surprised by what he see. There's a pink haired little girl, with her eccentric clothes sitting there, she even has a glass of wine with her.

 

"Why? Surprised to see me?" She asked with a bold tone.

"Well, yeah...." Guren wasn’t sure how to answer.

"What are those amusing stuffs you have been looking at?" She started a conversation with Guren.

"Nothing, just news," he answered, "most importantly, what's a kid like you doing here, at this hour?" Guren looking to his watch, he checks the time and it's already 1.05am.

"Ck, I might look like one, but I'm not a kid, I'm already 32 years old," she answered.

 

In less than 5 minutes, the girl already surprised Guren, twice.

"Holy crap, she's even older than me," he thought.

"Are you thinking that you're younger  than me?" said the girl suddenly, as if she could read Guren's mind.

"Well, I have nothing against that," he said.

"Ehem!" Guren made a fake cough, "so, I reserved this place how did you get in here? Ferid's friend?"

Both Ferid and the pink girl has a rather eccentric style. If Ferid wasn't in his chef clothes, Guren wouldn't want walking side-to-side with him, because it'd be very embarrassing.

 

"Are those amusing stuffs very important to you?" the girl asked another question, ignoring what Guren siad earlier.

"Is she ignoring me?!" complained Guren in his mind.

"Are you thinking that you're being ignored?" said the girl again.

"If you could read my mind that well, then you should've just answered my question, old hag," Guren isn't a person with low temper, he gets irritated easily, by anyone.

"Your question isn't so important to begin with," she replied.

She pours more wine to both of her glass and Guren's empty glass.

"Oi,oi, just what the hell are you doing?!"

"Can't you see? I'm pouring the wine," Unlike how Ferid pour it, she poured it poorly rather harsh and even filled 3/4 part of the Glass.

"Say, don't you get bored with that monotonous life of yours?" she asked again.

"Hahaha, What the hell do you know about my life?"

"You're quite a foul moth for that handsome face of yours."

"Are you trying to seduce me?"

"Sorry, younger boy isn't my type."

"Same goes to you old hag and you don't look good with that attitude of yours."

"Whatever," she decided to stop, "so, wanna try something interesting?"

"Sorry, but I refuse to do an 'interesting' stuff with an old hag," answered Guren rudely.

"It's not THAT thing I was talking about, pervert."

"but, it's clear that you were trying to sedu--," the girl threw a black square thing to Guren. With the good reflexes of his, Guren somewhat able to catch it perfectly before it hits his face.

 

"What is this?" Guren staring to the square thingy that the girl threw a second ago which Guren soon noticed as a game console.

"The interesting stuff," she answered shortly.

"PS Vita? The hell with you. This is just a trash for me," said Guren irritatedly, "I don't need this."

"Just keep it for now, It'll get much more interesting soon as you started it," said the girl confidently.

 

"Guren~ Guren~ Gureeen~~," Ferid called out from the Kitchen.

"Here's your usual order," Ferid bring out a plate of a swan heart steak and another plate of caviar.

"Oh thank you, Ferid," Guren soon forget about the girl that talked to him a minute ago.

"It look edible as always," praised Guren.

"Why don't you just said delicious instead of edible? it's not that I made a poisonous food or anything," complained Ferid with the way of Guren praising his food,

"Anyway, did you talk to someone just now? I heard you were talking from the kitchen."

"Now that you mentioned it, there was a girl her---," Guren pointed to the chair across him, but no one was there.

"Ahahahaha," Ferid laughed at him, "Guren~ Guren~ Guren~~ I think you really should get a girl, I don't know that your loneliness level was this acute."

Guren jumped out from his chair “The hell! You think I lied?!” but the girl wasn't there already, there's no way Ferid would believe him.

"Well, well, now you just sit and eat your food, I'll back to kitchen and prepare a desert for you," Ferid calming down his customer, he pats Guren's back and initialized him to back sitting.

The pink haired girl sure ruining Guren's mood. Guren appetite has almost gone, but he decided to eat Ferid's food just to appreciate his friend's effort and leave soon after he finishes his food.

 

10 minutes later Ferid come back to Guren's table, just to find the empty table along with the empy glass & plates.

"Ara, he left even without waiting for his desert, he must be in a foul mood," Ferid then take a seat on Guren's chair, he put the green tea parfait on the table.

"Did you accidentally ruin his mood with your attitude?" asked Ferid to the empty hall.

"I don't think so, he just have a really short temper," answered the pink haired girl which appear out of nowhere, back to her seat and now talking to Ferid.

"So, you're the cause," said Ferid again.

"Ck, whatever Ferid," the girl took a spoon and starts carving for the Parfait.

"Then, what did you talk about, Krul?" asked Ferid agian.

"Nothing much, I just give him that," answered Krul, she keep puting the ice cream into her mouth.

"That?"

"Yes, That...," she repeated. Krul finally let go the spoon and stop eating, well in fact she already finished the parfait til nothing's left.

"Wait, does it mean that man, already...."

"Yeah, he has started his journey," Krul stand up from her chair, she placed both of her palms on the wide glass of Sky Restaurant, gazing down to the wide scenery of night Tokyo.

"I'm curious, what will the outcome be."

 

***

 

It's already 2am when Guren finished his bath and ready to go sleep. He sat on his bed and move away his bag which he randomly threw away when he enter his bedroom earlier. When he about to move his bag, something fall out inside, it was the game console that Krul gave.

Guren let out a sigh and he laughed, "What the hell I was thinking," just now Guren thought to try what kind of game that Krul gave to him. Guren then throw away the console to trash can, he turn off the light, and went to bed.

 

Guren is a light sleeper, he only need 3-4 hours of sleep everyday. Time passes, usually Guren has no dream in his sleep, but last night he saw someone in his dream, he wasn't sure it was a girl or a man, that person has a silver hair and a blue eyes and he look somewhat sad, but Guren didn't think much about it and he woke up before his alarm clock rings.

 

He doesn't even need an alarm, but he always set it on out of his habit. The first thing he does after waking up is checking up hsi phone, he reads his mail thoroughly, next he check the news from online portal, after he finishes it all, he will go to bath, then covering his body with all branded clothes. Today he's wearing a white shirt & a grey suit from Hugo Boss.

 

He left out his bedroom, exactly at 6.05am. He has no one to prepare him a breakfast, so he had to prepare it by himself. Guren always eat a kind of bread for breakfast, either it just a toast or a sandwich with bagel, or just a plain croissant. Today Guren is in mood to eat a bagel so he make a smoked beef bagel sandwich with a glass of mix fruits juice, he sat on his dinning chair and turn on the channel news on TV.  During the commercial break, Guren will go to his front door of his apartment to get the morning newspaper.

 

"WHAT THE HELL?!!" It has been a long time since Guren yelled out loud at such an early morning, "WTF Are you doing here, Goshi?!"

Goshi is a friend of Guren since his High School days, He wasn’t sure how he could hang out with Goshi, but they have been really close since then. And now the blonde man, lying dead on Guren's apartment door.

 

"What a pain," whinnied Guren, after he dragged Goshi's body to the living room, and lifted him to the sofa. From his appearance, Guren could tell that either he involved in a weird business like he always do or he had just attend a funeral. "All black and drunk, what a man," said Guren.

After 15 minutes Goshi finally open his eyes, "Ah, Guren? Why are you here?"

"It is me who should ask, WHY are you here, lying dead by my door," replied Guren.

"Ah.... I was drunk and..... somehow I woke up at your sofa," explained Goshi.

"Ck, another weird business huh?" Guren expecting to heard a better excuse, but that's Goshi. Guren regretted for expecting something reasonable come from this friend's mouth.

"Goshi! Leave my house place after you get your mind back," said Guren as he took his burgundy Tommy Hilfiger coat.

"Eh?! Are you levaing already?" said Goshi when he finaly awake.

"I can't afford to be late at work just because of you," with no words left Guren smash the door and leave a hard sounded 'Blam'.

"Heeeh, still prideful as ever," laugh Goshi, there's a plate of bagel sandwich with a glass of hot water on the table,

Guren prepared it all, he was worried but act like he wasn't.

 

*

 

In the morning Guren didn't listen to his favorites rock songs when driving, he always listen to a certain radio channel which do an economic talkshow.nGuren said he doesn’t like listening to the music at early morning, because this talkshow is more interesting. But the other people said he doesn’t listen to loud music at early morning because he has a low blood pressure.

 

During the traffic light, Guren will check his schedule which sent by Sayuri, his secretary and also his friend from as long as he could remember. Sayuri make his schedule down to the detail and very neat. Every of Sayuri's report also always well drafted and written.

 

Everyone always gossiping that Guren and Sayuri were dating, but that gossip end when they knew that Guren had a girlfriend, at least until 2 years ago. But well, Guren never pay much attention to those gossip, he think it's stupid, and he's too busy to deal with some cheap gossip.

 

"8.30, a meeting with those old men,

10.00, go out to meet with a client,

11.00, dealing with some bastards for the next project,

13.00, visiting our branch office,

blablablabla, and lastly is...

19.00, ........" Guren stopped reviewing his schedule, "I wish I could pass this one."

[  19.00, a meeting with Kureto Hiiragi ]

 

*

 

After eating up the sandwich Guren made for him, Goshi filled his stomach with some more food that he could found in Guren;s refigerator. He borrow Guren's bathroom to wash himself, there were a time when he came to Guren's apartment after he get drunks and because he often come to Guren's house in every kind of situation, Guren somehow keep a clothes for Goshi in his apartment.

 

"Nooow, time to repay back my little friend!" said Goshi. Goshi take out the vacuum cleaner and a mop, he’s ready to clean Guren's apartment. It took him almost a two hours to thoroughly cleaning Guren's apartment, Goshi finished the kitchen, dining room, living room, and the 2 toilets at Guren's apartment.

 

Only Guren's bedroom left, but Goshi know Guren will kill him if he dare to touch anythig in his bedroom. So, after cleaning the toilet inside the bedroom, he only pick up the trash can, and put the inside together with the other garbage.

 

"Oke! Now is the time to take out the Gar.....bage......," Goshi saw something shining from the garbage plastic.

He put his hand inside and what he found was a game console. "PS Vita??" Guren hates game, Goshi knew it since a long time ago and now he found a game console among Guren's trash.

"Well, that's a man! When you have no girlfriend around, make a game as your girlfriend!" said Goshi proudly.

 

*

 

One by One, Guren finishes off his agenda, only the last agenda left, a meeting with Kureto Hiiragi.

Kureto Hiiragi is a man with a fabulous reputation as a Deputy at Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry. It's not a position that easy to get for such a young man like he is. Other than that, Kureto also took a command at Hiiragi Corporation. Hiiragi corp is a very big local company owned by Hiiragi family, their business range started from a small business like fashion, culinary, and game, to a large scale business like mining & trading.

 

Guren sees Kureto often on News programs, He admit that Kureto is a man with an amazing visions & missions, but Guren never agree with any of his ideas. Also, despite his amazing reputation & achievements, Kureto is a man that Guren despise the most.

 

Guren drove his car to the meeting location, wishing this meeting would end even before it started. 15 minutes later Guren finally arrived at the meeting place. It was a luxurious bar & resto and owned by Hiiragi corp. Guren walks in, the waiters greeted him and even lead him to the private room where Kureto has been waiting even without being asked to.

 

"19.20," the man started to talk, he hasn't even show his face to Guren yet.

"At least I showed up," said Guren, he then take the seat at the other side of the table, "so what's teh deal? let;s get this over soon, Mr.Hiiragi."

"Hmph, what a way-too-straightforward man," Kureto let out a small smile on his face,

"Fine then, let's get down to the business," he continued. Ignoring the waitress which is serving foods & drinks for both of the male, they talked seriously and keep their flat face of theirs.

"I want you to join with Hiiragi Corp," said Kureto Shortly.

"Pft," Guren tried to hold his laugh, but at the end he failed to hold it "Hahahahaha, you want me to WHAT?!"

"Kureto Hiiragi, do you know what are you doing here?"

"Of course, I know it better than anyone else."

"I came here after my busy schedule and all I heard from your mouth is a crap?!"

"There's nothing left for you at your current company, you couldn't go up any hingher than you're right now, you already know how useless and stupid those old men are, but in Hiiragi Corp it'd be different, a man as capable as you're could bring Hiiragi corp to another level. You also could expand your career even more, and once I get the ministry in my hand Hiiragi Corp will grab this country on its hand," explain the ambitious Kureto.

 

"Mr.Hiiragi, I seriously have no time for those shits you're talking about," Guren stand up from his seat, "I take my leave now."

Guren is walking away from the room, but he stops his step when he heard a word that he'd never thought would come out from Kureto's mouth.

 

"Mahiru," said Kureto.

Guren froze.

"I'll give her to you if you accept my offer."

"What.... the... HELL?!!" The last words made Guren really angry, unknowingly he already grabbed Kureto's collar with both of his hands.

"What kind of human are you? You even dare to sell your own blood?!"

"If it need to meet my goal, why not?"

"You rotten bastard!" trying to control his emotion and stopping himself for punching Kureto's face, slowly, Guren started to let go Kureto's collar which was in his hands.

"Me & Mahiru, we have finished 2 years ago."

"Wish you find a better game to play, bastard," Guren finally left the room.

 

Kureto did nothing to stop the man,

somehow he know, Guren...

he's attached to Hiiragi, Kureto know it for sure.

there's still a little part in his heart that still belong to Mahiru, especially after seeing the man’s anger just now.

 

*

 

It was the shortest yet the most annoying meeting ever. Guren drives out the place with the full speed and set his music to the loudest. If law didn't exist, he might have killed Kureto already. But he didn’t want to ruin his life with one stupid mistake.

 

To fix his mood, Guren plan to stop by at few places. First he stopped at a watch shop to get the latest watch of Vacheron Constantin which he ordered before. Guren somehow like to get a watch, he has more than 7 watches. He said he like watches because other than his phone, he often look at his watch to check the time and making sure that he won't get late for his agenda. But the other people said, when a girl meet a man, the first thing the girls will notice is the watch.

 

Second, he moved from the watch shop to the wine shop. He get his favorite brand of wine. Third, it's time for some sports. Guren drives off his car to his usual Gym. Guren is a busy man and often eat a fancy food, therefore he never forget to keep himself in shape.

 

He walked out from his car, not with his Louis Vitton bag, but with a gym bag. He changed his clothes into a training clothes and started doing a warm up. After warming up, he moves to weight lifting.Next round is the treadmill.

 

"What a fancy Gym you visited," out of nowhere, Krul appear right before Guren. She even starts running on the treadmill machine next to Guren.

"WTF?!!" Guren soon smack the stop button on his treadmill. "WTH are YOU doing here?!!"

"Can't you see? I'm running on a treadmill," answered Krul.

"Running on a treadmill, with that damn ugly clothes of yours?!"

"So what's with it? Got a problem?" Krul get off from her treadmill, she spin one around, that black dress is her favorite dress, no one could call it ugly, "I look most pretty in this dress."

"Whatever...." Guren is so done with this girl. He tried to fix his mood after his meeting with Kureto, but look who he encountered with, the old hag.

"I heard a star like Matsumoto Jun or Kamenashi kazuya or Yamashita Tomohisa come to this Gym," Krul started her random chat again.

 

"So what? It's not that I know anyone from entertainment business," different than last time Guren replies back to Krul's random chat.

"Why don't you enter an agency like Jhonny & The Associates or maybe Avex? and then the entire Tokyo Dome will chanting for your name at your concert."

"I don't have dancing and singing talent."

"Then, you should go to Amuse Entertainment~ and take all the main roles at the dramas & Movies like Miura Haruma does."

"Sigh, Not interested."

"Hee, in a fould mood agian I see?"

"You just make it worse," with no more words Guren left the Gym to wash himself and change his clothes.

 

"Ichinose Guren," called Krul.

"Now you know how to spell my name properly, are you my stalker?"

"Do you believe in magic?" ignoring Guren like how she did yesterday, she asked something that don't even exist in Guren's dictionary.

"As if, those irrational stuffs is just for those people who has nothing to do with their life," Guren weaving as he leave Krul back at the Gym.

Somehow, with weird power that she posse, she make all the treadmill machine running by themselves,

"Then, too bad," she mumbles with a scary big grin on her face.

 

*

 

"What a day," Guren already sat in his car now but he don't even try to turn on the engine yet.

It's friday night, a day that every single workers has been anticipating for every week.

But today is like the worst day that could happen to Guren, well.... somehow.

 

Looking at his watch, the time already showing 23.30 and again, he hasn't had any food for dinner.

Too lazy to go anywhere else, Guren finally decided that he'll just stopped by a near conveinent store and get a frozen food or instant ramen for dinner.

 

Guren finally get a bento box at a Lawson right before his apartment.

He take the window chair as he eating his heated bento box. It's already late, but the street of Tokyo is still filled with a lot of people, from a teenagers, a couple, to a work colleagues. Guren noticed it has been a very long time since the last time he observes the people around him.

Even when he ate at Ferid's Sky Resto, He didn't even pay much attention to the view under Tokyo Sky Tree.

"Ck," he cliché his tongue and think how annoying it is.

He thinks that maybe at a time like this, doing this kind of things, is what you do when you feel lonely.

 

*

 

Back to his apartment, Guren find his apartment looks way more cleaner than usual, even cleaner than when a house maid clean it.

"It must be Goshi," he thought.

He walks around to see how clean Goshi's job is, he even wondered why his friend doesn't do a cleaning Business instead of running here & there doing weird stuffs. After changing to his relaxing t-shirt, Guren sat on the living room to start on the TV, it's time for night news & wine.

Later, Guren notices the note that Guren put on the table, along with the PS Vita that he supposed to trash last night.

 

'Yo! Thank you for the help, I clean your house to repay you, but It doesn't seem will do enough. Also, I found a game console on your trashcan, Monster Hunter 2 is a cool game! You should try it!

PS: XXX game also a cool game~ you could do XXX with XXX girl or XXX girl or the other 4 girls!'

 

Guren almost burned in flame when he read the 'PS' thing from Goshi, he about to throw the PS Vita out of window,

"It'll get much more interesting soon as you started it"

The words from Krul last night randomly appear on Guren's head.

 

"This isn't make a sense," he said to himself.

Changing his position from sitting to lying on his comfy sofa, Guren turned on the Game Console.

There's only 1 game on that game console, "SERAFU Chronicle?"

Guren might be not a gamer but he read news from every industry, so he kinda know some names of a famous games, "is it still on beta?"

 

[  LOGGING IN ]

 

[  ENTER YOUR NAME ]

 

"G...U....R....E....N...," Guren decided to use his real name on this game,

well afterall what he use is only his nick name, and this game seems like still on BETA stage and not even an online game, so no worries about using a real name.

 

[ CHOOSE YOUR CLASS ]

 

There's a Mage, Knight, Hunter, and Assassin. Guren chooses for Knight, because it has the strongest attack, and it suit Guren’s fighting style. After entering the name & choosing the class, there's a button said 'continue'

Guren click it.

 

[ GAME START ]

 

The 'Game Start' forever flashing on the monitor screen, but after 1 minute it's still flashing around and nothing happened.

"Is the loading took up this long?" he wondered.

But right after he think that way, the screen turned black, and nothing's left.

"Oi? Oi! Oi! OOI?!" Guren tried to push whatever button he could, but nothing happen, seems like the console has broken.

 

"Hah, great, I was stupid for expecting something from this stupid thing," Guren really feel stupid.

He lifts both of his hand like he's going to make a three pointers on a basket ball match, he's aiming for the trashcan on the other side of room, he's going to throw this stupid console for real.

 

"1...2...," Guren starts counting, "thr..."

On the count three the screen turned back on.

 

[  WELCOME TO SERAFU CHRONICLE ]

 

The screen flashes a white shine, a really bright shine,

"WHAT THE ---??!!!"

Before Guren able to react, everything feels like absorbed into a certain whole, like a black whole in the space, the game console absorbs Guren, in a blink, Guren’s living room left empty.

 

"And the next news will be readed by Sakurai-san......," There's only a sound from the TV which is showing a news show, called NewsZERO.

 

The game console left on the sofa,

the screen is blank white,

with a note in the middle of it,

 

[ YOUR JOURNEY STARTS NOW ]

Chapter Text

The sun sets high, but the humid and cloudy weather covered it rays.

 

".....ir" a voice called

"Si......" it keep calling, but the sound sounded so small.

 

Guren's starting to regain his conscious. 

 "Sir...." now it gets clearer. 

 

Guren slowly open his eyes. 

 

"Sir! Sir!" now he can the voice loud and clear. 

"Where?" he thought.

 

"Sir! Can you hear me? are you awake yet?!" the voice keep talking to him,

the voice is panicking.

"A woman?" with his blurry sight he can see someone sitting in front of him,

and keep calling 'Sir! Sir!' to him.

"No, a man....? Silver.....," Guren keep thinking in his mind while trying to regain his conscious, "where.... have.. I seen him...."

"Sir!! SIR!!" the man keeps calling even louder.

"How noisy....." Guren thought, but he still can't feel his body or even open his eyes more than he does now.

"No choice I guess," the man left Guren side. 

"Has he gone? Where?" Guren keep tying his mind to works, half conscious. 

Guren wasn't sure how long the man has gone, right now he could hear a foot stems come to his way, a heavy foot step, it might be coming from a different person though. 

"I'm sorry sir!" so it was that man again.

From Guren's blurry view he sees the man bringing something brown-ish on his hand and stand firmly in front of Guren.

"What are you doi....?" thought Guren and 'SPLASH!!'

That stranger man woke him up in the most convenient way he could find, splash the other party with a damn cold water.

"YOU BASTARD! WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?!!" in an instance Guren woke up and already ready to kill the stranger. 

"Yatta~~!! It works~!" cheers the man.

"THE HELL, IS THAT HOW YOU WOKE UP AN UNCONSIUS MAN?!!" yelled out Guren.

"Sorry sir, but at least it works~" He's pretty carefree to talk with someone he never meet before.

 

"Damn yo----!!" Guren's eyes widen as he noticed his surroundings. 

He get up slowly from where he had been lying down. He's not in his living room, watching NewsZERO, or drinking wine. It's not a UNIQLO T-shirt he's wearing, but a chain mail and a metal plate instead. He even have a sword with him. He's in a middle of a forest, an autumn forest, with a humid and cloudy weather, the cloud covering the sun, but he's sure it's still around midday, but it was supposed to be a midnight.

 

"Fuck it, what the hell is going on here?!!" Guren turned to face the other man,

without a thought he grabbed the man's collar, almost choked him hard. 

"Tell me where the fuck I am!! What the hell is going on here?!!"

Guren continuously bombard the man with a yell.

"What are you talk---?"

"TELL ME WHAT THE HECK YOU DID TO ME?!!"

"Hmh, fine, fine," the man put his hands on Guren's hand, he want Guren to let go of his hands first.

Guren understand it, even he kinda pushed back roughly the strange man away from him.

 

"Welcome!" the silver haired man spreads out both of his arms widely, "To Shangri-La!" 

"Shang.....ri......La?"

 

The wind blows, it's cold. The dry leafs flying following the wind, it hit Guren's face everytime, it hurts. This isn't his living room, his comfortable sofa has now gone. Guren doesn't know what to do, whatever happens here can't be process by every single cells on his brain, it defy any logic that Guren has always trust.

The other man watching Guren silently, "Ne," he called.

Guren looked at him.

"My name is Shinya, and your name is?" 

"Guren...."

"Then, nice to meet you Guren," Shinya shakes Guren's hand, "I guess we're a partner from no on~"

"Part.....ner....?" Guren is still at a loss, there's no way with his realistic way of thinking his brain could process this.

In his little heart Guren hope if this was just a dream,

in fact he still doesn't know whether this is a reality or a dream.

 

*

 

"Ferid!!" called Krul.

"What's wrong? You don't have to yell that loud just to call me," Ferid come from his kitchen, taking off his cooking gloves.

"I'm hungry," Krul lift both of her tiny legs to the table and started playing a game on her game console. 

"Oke, so what do you want to eat?" asked Ferid.

"Guren's usual," answered Krul shortly.

"Guren's usual? Are you serious?"

"Got a problem with that?!" glared Krul.

"No,no, no..." Ferid swinging his hands, "Has it started?"

"You sure have a sharp eyes, Ferid," Krul concentrate even more to her game console, "Things has gotten to be pretty interesting."

 

*

 

"It seems you had a hard battle with the Narakas," Shinya started, "follow me, I'll treat you some delicious food!"

 

Guren follows the stranger quietly,

this isn't really his style, but at this kind of situation he had no choice,

beside this man doesn't look like a bad person.

 

Walking at the man's back,

made Guren realized how weird the cloths that this man wearing.

He wear a long-white leather hoodie, it has an accessories like a small chain and a brooch made from gold and silver. Inside the hoodie, that man wear another 2 layered clothes, first was a thin brown jacket, and a white shirt.

He had a dark brown sling bag with him, there's a 'cling-cling' sound from insides, Guren bet he bring a kind of crystal glasses. On his right hand, he bring a long white staff, it has a crown like craft at the top and a glowing blue sapphire. What's amazing is that the blue sapphire was floating around without anything holding to it.

 

"What's wrong?" asked Shinya.

"Mm, no... nothing," Guren then fell back into silence.

"I thought you'd be more talkative, since you were so great with the choices of your words~" 

"Hah? Do you wanna fight?!" 

"Ahahaha, no, no, no, I wouldn't stand a chance if I were to fight against you," said the man cheerfully. 

"Why is that? You don't even try it yet," challenged Guren.

"Hah? Can't you see?? I'm a magician and you're a knight, there's no need for us to try." 

Guren unknowingly lifted one of his eyebrows as he keep staring to Shinya.

"Oi,oi, stop giving me that look," Shinya didn't feel comfortable with the look that Guren gives to him, but for now he'll accept it since he thought that Guren just had a shock after a hard fight with the Narakas.

 

"Come, we better walk faster before the night falls," said Shinya. 

"What's the problem if the night come?" asked Guren. 

"Hah?! Of course the Narakas will come!"

"You keep saying 'Narakas' from earlier, what exactly are they??" 

"Are you kidding me?!" said Shinya in disbelieve, how come this person knows nothing. 

"Narakas are the monsters that we human faced. You were on that state because of your fighting with Narakas right?!"

 

"I.....," Guren didn't know how to answer, so this is really not his living room.

And why would human face monsters," Monster..... terrorist?" he thought.

It's true that humanity needs to fight with the terrorist, but it's the police and the militaries' jobs to kill them off.

 

"Seems like the fight got you really bad," Shinya walks closer and move his face even closer to observe Guren.

"That's my personal space, damnit!" Guren smack Shinya's on the head.

"Owah! That hurts!" Shinya stepped back few steps, "What's your problem, seriously..."

"Hurry up," said Guren coldly.

"Is this how you treat your life savior?" complain Shinya.

 

Guren took out his sword and point it to Shinya, as if he already used to this illogical world, "Lead the way."

"Isn’t that what I've been doing?" Shinya pouted, doesn't seem to get affected by Guren's thread. 

 

They keep walking inside the forest. Guren doesn't know how long they have been walking, he guessed it supposed to be around a hour, but with the cloud and all he couldn't really tell.

"Oi, What time is it now?" Guren asked.

"First of all, Guren can't you stop calling me by 'Oi, Oi'?? It's Shinya, SHI-NYA," Shinya really wishes he could give his new friend a short manner lessons. 

"Fine, SHI-NYA what time is it?" repeated Guren.

"Oh, man you're really troublesome," complained Shinya again.

"Seriously! Just answer it!" yelled Guren, he has lost is composure.

"It's 15.00 O'clock! How come you even forget how to see the time?"

"Shut up! You talked too much."

"And you ask too much!"

 

The last statement kind of strike Guren down, Shinya was right,

if Guren didn't ask this and that Shinya might not talk at all.

"Huff, whatever, let's just move our legs okay," It's not Shinya style to dragging an argument, he rather doesn't has any,

but Guren seems like opposite of him.

 

They walk again,

this time in a perfect silence.

The scenery hasn't changed at all, Guren started to get worried.

He has to figure out how to get out from this mess.

 

"Just wait, and you'll see something interesting," that was what Krul said to him.

"Is this the interesting thing she talked about?" thought Guren.

 

"Do you believe in magic?" 

"Magic? is this kind of magic? but magic isn't real," Guren keep thingking, trying to collect the puzzles pieces he had up til now.

"A dream? this is probably a dream," Guren almost reached a conclusion, "but wait, when that guy splash a water on me, I did get wet, and do you get tired in dream? Because I starting to get tired."

 

Guren rubbing his head, he has never once failed solved a problem with his brain, but this time, he has meet a problem without a solution, "Arrgh! Shit, this is annoying!!"

Shinya observing the other guy, wondering if he's okay,

because Guren keep making a weird gestures.

 

'srak' a voice coming from the busks 'srak, srak'

Shinya soon stay on alert, he's sure there's a monster around them.

Different act showed by Guren, he didn't notice the monsters inside busks.

 

"GRROWOWWWLLL!!" a green monster jumped out from busks, it jumped towards Guren's direction.

"Eh?!!" late reaction, Guren has been lost in his mind, the monster's growl woke him up, but it was too late. 

"WATCH OUT!!" Shinya reacts fast, he pushes Guren to the ground with his body. 

Shinya is a Magician, he should be able to create a barrier to protect Guren, instead of protecting him with his body, but Shinya react according to instinct and forget his magic. Thanks to that Guren was safe, but in other hand, the monster's claw make a deep wound on Shinya's shoulder.

 

"Oi!! You okay?!!" Guren panicking, "What the hell is that?!"

"'What the hell is that'??? It's the Narakas! Green boar!" yelled out Shinya.

 

"GRRROOOAAAARRRRRR!!" The monster is about to launch another attack.

 

"Shit, Let's run!!" said Shinya. He stood up, grabbed Guren's hand and drag Guren with him.

"O, Oi, wait!" once again, Guren trying to process whatever happen right now with the very-logical-brain of his.

"NO TIME TO WAIT STUPID!!" shouted Shinya as he keep running, "YOU KEEP SAYING THIS AND THAT! NOW CHOOSE! YOU WANNA DIE IN THAT MONSTER'S STOMACH OR IN MY HAND?!"

"I prefer to stay alive," said the hopeless Guren, who knows that Shinya the happy-go-lucky man will mad at him. 

"Then Shut up and do as I say!!"

"Fine," answered Guren in his mind. He has no choice but to reliy his life on the magician and what's being Guren’s concern right now is, Shinya's hand that keep running out of blood.

 

After a while of running, they finally lost sight of the green boar, "Has it gone?" asked Guren. 

"Not sure, it probably will catch on us soon," answered Shinya.

"Oi, is that hands of yours fine?" Guren pointing to Shinya’s wounded hand.

"Fuh," Shinya smiled, "how weak do you think I am?"

 

Shinya chanting words that Guren couldn't understand, 

then the blue sapphire on Shinya's rod shines even brighter,

Just like a computer effects a blue magic circle appear beneath them,

and start to heals Shinya's wound.

 

"Look, now it's fine already," said Shinya happily.

"What a handy man," said Guren. It seems his worry means nothing.

"It's Shinya," said the magician, "SHI-NYA, you better learn to spell it properly."

"Fine, fine, SHI-NYA," slowly but sure, Guren starts to feel comfortable around this man, even though everything still doesn't make any sense to him.

 

*

 

It's 2.35am, when a flight from London landed on Haneda Airport.

Kureto and his youngest sister, Shinoa, has been waiting for her arrival.

 

"Mahiru nee-san!" called Shinoa soon as she her older sister.

"Shinoa!" the other girl weaved back to Shinoa. 

Shinoa who can’t wait to meet her sister runs to her and hugged Mahiru tightly, "Welcome back!"

"Thank you Shinoa," Mahiru looked at her little sister with a tender look, as she patting Shinoa's head.

"But didn't I told you to wait at home? A girl should be sleeping early to keep her beauty," said Mahiru as she pinches Shioa's cheek.

"She was excited to see you, so I had no choice but to bring her along," Kureto answered Mahiru's question for Shinoa.

"Yep right!" responded Shinoa energetically.

 

"Onii-san," said Mahiru, her face suddenly turned sad, "I'm sorry for not being there."

"That's okay, everything went smooth, so your absent wasn't affect a lot," said Kureto. 

"Yaaawn," Shinoa let out a big yawn, she usually sleeps around 22.00,

but to be able to meet her sister she stayed up late, even bother Kureto to bring her along.

 

"Aaaw Shinoa," Mahiru forever treats her little sister like a baby, "Let's go home, I miss my bed too."

 

*

 

"So what are we gonna do now?" asked Guren.

"Leave it to me!" answered Shinya, "things will go easy from now on."

Guren doesn't quite get what Shinya meant, but he'll play along with Shinya's plot.

 

"From now on, you should hide." 

"Me? Hide?"

"Yup, the current you couldn't win against anything right now, even me~" said Shinya proudly.

"Hah?! Do you mean I'm that weak??!"

"Yes, you're that weak, partner~" Shinya winked, “you’re still a novice afterall.”

"Damn you!" Guren was about to take out his sword, even so he stopped. 

Shinya could be right, in this strange world that Guren knows nothing about,

he probably the weakest human right now. 

 

"Now hide! Over there," Shinya lift his point finger to the sky. 

"There.....?" Guren look to the direction given by Shinya, "...a tree?"

"Mhm~ Green boar can't climb up you'll be save over there." 

"Are you sure?" 

"Well, the worst case is that it might hit the tree and broke it down~~" explained Shinya with a big smile on his face.

"Fuck you!!"

"Ahahahaha~~" the two men running in circling the tree while Guren swinging his sword randomly and Shinya skipping happily.

 

'Srak!' a voice coming from the busks.

"Shit! it’s here!" said Shinya, "Go! Go!"

Guren clibed the tree as Shinya told.

"Oi, where are you going?" Guren thought Shinya will climb the tree with him.

"I'll head that way, and we'll have a little party~" he said, "you just wait and see." 

Shinya's back is getting smaller as he walks away,

Guren climbed even higher so he could keep a track on Shinya and the Green boar.

 

"There he is," Guren saw Shinya standing on an empty field,

Shinya wasn’t alone, he had a company with him, the green boar.

"Is it just me or....," Guren thought, "the size of the boar is bigger?"

 

*

 

Shinya closing his eyes,

calming him self,

letting the cold fall breeze swarming over his body.

"Saa... let's start," Shinya starts chanting a magic words.

 

A 7 magic circle appear on his back,

it glows brighter and brighter,

"GRROAAAWR!" the green horn changes it self to Shinya.

Shinya still not making any moves from the current place he's standing or even launching his attack.

 

From the top of tree Guren starts to feel anxious, "what the fuck are you doing?!"

The monster keeps getting closer to Shinya in a full speed. 

"Now! cast your magic now!"

Even so, Shinya waits for the right timing to launch his attack,

the green boar keep getting closer and closer.

 

"GROOOAAARR!!" it jumped, ready to eat Shinya alive.

 

The magician smiles, "GO!!"

With his command, a lightning force off from the 7 magic circles he had created and blow the green boar, drives it few meters away from Shinya. 

"Yosha!!" Guren get himself excited, as if he was watching a baseball match.

 

Even after the great blow, the green boar hasn't dead yet.

"Shit!" panicked Guren. He can't hide any longer, he get down from the tree and dashes off to the open field.

 

"Nooow~~~ is the time for final blow, piggy~" Shinya cast another magic spell,

this time he created one bigger magic circle, "Go~ My thunder!"

A giant lighting ball comes out from the blue circle, it hits the boar directly on its head and killed it.

"One done, now.....,"

 

"SHINYA!!" called out Guren.

 

"GOOOAAARRR!!" suddenly another green boar appear,

it was the green boar before, the one that attack them earlier and has a smaller body.

With his sword Guren slashed the boar and stabbed it on the heart.

 

"Oi! You okay?!" asked Guren to Shinya. 

Shinya look lost at first, but then he laughed, "Ahahaha, Guren seriously."

"The hell! Why the fuck do you laugh?!"

"Weeeelll, I know there's that little boar and actually I was about to smack it away, but you just appear, even though I told you to hide," with a sigh Shinya put both of his hands on his hips. 

"Da-Damn you!" Guren's face turned red, "You think I can just hide and doing nothing?!"

"‘When I see a friend of mine in danger', is that what you want to say?" added Shinya.

"Don't add unnecessary words of yours into my words!" yelled out Guren.

The both party stay silent, only the wind and the dry grass sound could be heard.

 

"That makes we're even now," said Guren shyly.

"Yep, I guess so," said Shinya, "Anyway..." 

"What else?!"

"Did you yelled out 'SHINYA!' back there? and running on a full speed to save me??" Shinya copying Guren's gestures and even Guren's voice from earlier. 

"So what if I did?! Got a problem?!" 

"No~no~ I found it adorable," tease Shinya, "'SHINYA!' and you come to save me~ so heroic~~~!"

"SHUT THE FUCK UP! YOU SLY MAGICIAN!!" Guren's face turned bright red, he swinging his sword randomly again and chasing for Shinya. 

It was the first time someone dare to tease Guren.

 

*

 

Time passes, night has come. After a long walk, Guren & Shinya finally arrived at a town. It's rather a big town, many people are there. It looks like the busy Tokyo at night. Most of the buildings build in a brick exposed style, quite like a modern minimalist an a little bit of European house nowadays. The main streets were made by asphalt and the smaller one, or the street that people used to walk was made by concretes.

The street light has a Victorian style, Guren always see this kind of lamp when he visit a park at London. Another thing that catch Guren's eyes are the town decoration, it beautifully decorated with a square lantern. What’s importantly the lantern are all floating in the sky.

Guren saw many people wearing the clothes that he never seen before, or more to a clothes that he only see on anime or game. The people bring many kind of weapons with them, from a sword, a rod, a bow, and many more.

"Oi, where are we?" asked Guren.

"It's Shinya!"

"Shinya, where are we?" Guren repeated his question while being irritated. 

"Guren, seriously did the fight got you that bad? How come you don't know this town," even Shinya not sure how to start his explanation. "It's Shambhala, the biggest and the most beautiful town at Shangri-La."

 

Shinya take a left turn at a cross road, and entered an inn. Guren follows along. There he saw many strong looking people, still in their weird clothes and armor having their meal and drinks. The waitress are walking from table to table. Brings a big wooden glass filled by beer for the costumer.

 

"Chess-chaaan~~ you're gonna bring it for me right??" called out a costumer. 

"Yes, I'm on my way~~" answered the dark purple haired waitress.

"May I take your orders now?" asked a blonde waitress to another table at second floor.

"Sure, sure! Thank you Horn-chan," said the Costumer. 

"Sigh, what a busy place," complain Guren silently. He never really like a place with a jammed people like this, that's why he prefer to eat at Ferid's restaurant after the closing hour. 

 

"Crowley~~~!!" called out Shinya.

"Yoo Shinya! It has been a while!" answered the man behind the bar,

Crowley is the bartender at this inn, plus the manager of this inn. 

"Yes, it is," Shinya sit on the bar chair, Guren automatically sit on a chair next to Shinya.

"And who is this new fella?" Crowley soon take an interest on Guren, "I've never seen him around here before."

"Yup, He is Guren. I meet him today at the forest, he was almost dead when I found him," explained Shinya to Crowley.

"Hoo~ Interesting, so Shinya is your life savior?" asked Crowley to Guren.

"Shut up and he's not!" answered Guren rudely.

"Whoa, you pick up a high tempered dude I see," said Crowley to Shinya.

Crowley left the men for a second and come back with a glass of milk and a glass of beer.

 

"It's my treat tonight," he said as he gave the milk to Shinya and beer for Guren,

"More importantly, I'm glad that you finally found a partner Shinya, I've been worried because you've always travel alone." 

"I know right~ He might be a foul mouth but he's perfect as my partner!" said Shinya happily. 

"Anyway, what the heck with the 'partner' thing you keep talking about?"

There's still a lot of thing that Guren doesn't understand in this world and there's no way he would form a partnership with anyone except for a business reason.

"Hahaha, what are you talking about?" started Crowley, 

"It's a dangerous world out there, that's why people need a partner to stay alive out there. They even formed a Guild. But this fella," Crowley pointing to Shinya and Shinya weaving to Guren, "Did not join any Guild or anything."

"Well, I don't like being tied to Guild's rules," said Shinya lightly.

"He, why is that?" asked Guren.

"Because I'm Young~ Wild~ and Free~~~!"

"Forget my question," regretted Guren.

 

Guren take a sip of the beer. He almost spitted it out, it tasted somewhat different than the beer he always had. He doesn't think he can drink the beer.

"Bartender, don't you have anything like Wine?"

"O-Oi Guren!!" Shinya yelled out and look pretty surprised. 

"Hah?" 

"It's not 'Hah?', don't you know how expensive a wine is?! It might cost you a lifetime savings!" explained Shinya.

"Eh, for real?!" who thought Wine would be such a precious drink in this world.

"Ahahaha," Crowley laughed, "what a unique fella you got here Shinya."

"So anyway, what do you wanna eat?" added Crowley, "don't forget it's my treat." 

"Well then, the usual," said Shinya.

"The usual?? Are you serious? You don't want something fancier?"

"No, the usual is fine," said Shinya again.

"Okay then," Corwley called on of the waitress, "Chess! The usual! For these men!" Crowly pointed his fingers to Shinya and Shinya weaving to Chess. 

"Oke!!" responded the girl.

 

After making the order, Crowley back to business, he's shaking some bottles to make a drink ordered by costumer.

Shinya drinking his milk entushiastly, while Guren still trying to drink the beer.

 

"Oi Shinya," called Guren, "do they get a newspaper or anything?" 

"Hmmm, not really a news paper, but there's bulletin board over there and everywhere around the city," Shinya pointing to the wall behind them, across the bar. There's a big board pasted with many kind of flyers.

 

Leaving his seat, Guren rushes to read the flyers at bulletin boards. There're sure many kind of flyers pasted there. From a job seeking, wanted person, to the latest rumor at town. Guren looking at the date and year, he was surprised that this world use the same day and moth with his world,

"Friday, 23 October 2015," reads Guren, "It's the same date with real world."

A bit late for Guren to noticed, but everything's here written in alphabet. He doesn't quite sure which language is that but he can understand it perfectly and he has no problem interacting with Shinya or even Crowley. 

After he done with the flyers Guren back to his seat, "Seems like your world doesn't has any conflict at all." 

"Haha what are you talking about Guren?" once again Shinya laugh off at Guren.  "Isn't that given? This is Shangri-La, everyone live happily here our only problems are the Narakas, the monster that keep trying to invade our land."

"Hee, I see," Guren sipping his beer again and it still not taste good.

 

After serving some costumers Crowley come back to the Guren & Shinya.

"Bartender," Guren started.

"It's Crowley," said the bartender. 

"Crowley, do you have water?" asked Guren.

"Ho, so you like water over our beer?" a small talk from Crowly, He still brings out a glass of water for Guren.

 

Chess finally come with bringing Guren & Shinya food with her.

"Yosh~ douzo," she placed his costumer's orders on the table.

"Uwaaah! It look delicious as usual!" praised Shinya, "thank you Chess-san."

"No worries, enjoy the food," said the waitress.

Guren looking at the food, he's kinda surprised by how normal the food look. To Guren it just a normal katsu curry and miso soup, there's nothing special about it. And the bad news is, Guren never really like curry.

 

"What's wrong Guren? you don't like the food?" Shinya asked.

He already ate his katsu curry, it's his favorite food. 

"Mm no," avoiding more of Shinya's question, Guren starts eating his curry and trying hard to gulp it down.

 

Both men eat quietly,

Shinya chewing his food well and looking totally happy.

Guren having a hard time as if he was about die.

 

"Oi Shinya," Guren breaks the silence.

"Hm? Fwhat's Whrong?" Shinya is answering while foods still in his mouth.

"Does this town has a library?"

"Yweah, thwere's a fublic librawry here."

"Seriously, chew than damn food in your mouth! I can't understand what you were trying to say damnit."

 

Shinya hurriedly chewing his food and almost choked when he gulped it.

"So! There's a public library here, want me to take you there?" 

"Yeah, let's go," not waiting any longer, Guren left the inn right away. 

"Guren! Wa-Wait!!" Shinya ate the left over foods on Guren's plate, "Crowley! Thank you for the food!" 

"O! No problem! Leaving already?" 

"Yes! See you later Crowley!" Shinya weaves his hand.

After saying thank you to the bartender, Shinya hurriedly chases for Guren.

 

"Fuh, what an interesting man you got there Shinya," mumbles Crowley.

"So!" he added, "what do you think Krul?" 

Still with her eccentric clothes, Krul walks out from behind of the bar.

"Not bad," she praises, "He's doing well here, at least for now." 

"But why him?" asked Crowley.

"Hmmm, why I wonder."

 

Crowley put a beer and served Krul with Shinya's katsu curry, "Hahaha, even though it was you who choose him?" 

"It wasn't me to choose him," answered Krul.

“I’ve eaten my dinner already,” she said.

“Oh come on~ you have only eaten at Ferid’s restaurant lately, it make me jealous,” complained Crowley.

 

With a little thought Krul put a slice of katsu to her little mouth, 

"but if it's him.... no, I guess because it's him, things will get even more fun."

"Guren, eh? He's sure an interesting fella," said Crowley as he wiping the bar table with a wet cloth.

"I know right, anyway....," Krul continues, "the beer sure tasted weird."

It wasn't only Guren, but Krul almost spitted it out.

 

*

 

"GUREEEENNN!!!" Called Shinya as loud as he could, "wait for me!" 

"You were slow," said Guren coldly. 

"Sigh, you don't even know where the public library is," whinnied Shinya. 

"I could ask around, it's not like you're the only person here," he said. 

"Haaaaahhh, whatever," Shinya pouted, "I'll show you the way, now follow me!"

"Ah," Guren nodded.

 

He quietly follows behind the magician, '...ren!'

He stopped. Guren hurriedly turned his back searching from where the voice comes from. "Was there someone who called my name?" he thought.

 

"Oi Gureeenn!!!! What's wrong??" called Shinya again,

Shinya walks a quite further than Guren now, even though they were walking side-by-side a moment ago.

 

"Mm Yeah, I'm coming," he responded to Shinya. 

"Only my feeling eh?" he thought and dashes of to catch up with Shinya.

Chapter Text

Guren & Shinya has arrived at the library. It's a four floors building, it has a lot of books from a thin one to a very thick one. They have many kind of maps and even a chinese rolls preachment. The interiors are similar to the library on Harry Potter Movies. The books are separated in many sections. History, Economy, Social, Politics, Medical, Novels, Art & Literature, Monsters, Hunting, Weapon, Armor, etc. 'If you want to conquer something, starts from its root' is the thought that Guren's father had always told him a long time ago. So, Guren started off from History Section on the second floor. Guren chooses the book that he's going to read closely, "History of Owari no Serafu Vol.2?" Guren stopped his eyes on that book. That book able to gain Guren's attention, sadly it started from volume 2, no matter how hard Guren search or even after Guren asked to the librarian the Volume 1 is nowhere can be found.

 

Watching at Guren, Shinya was a little amazed by the man. Guren who had been questioning him over anything and always grumbling about this and that actually looked serious this time. Shinya follows to second floor quietly. Guren reads the books on the first block of History section. Because Shinya doesn't want to disturb Guren he went to the last block of Philosophy section which was a block before Guren's block.

 

The ticking clock accompanies both of the male. Hours pass, by the time they realized it's only the two of them left. The first quarter moon sets high in the night sky. It somehow looks bigger than real world’s moon. Its light comes through the window, lighting every end side of the corridors. 

 

Shinya finally get bored and decided to talk with Guren, "Ne, Guren."

"What?" Guren responded as he keeps switching the books page back and forth.

"What do you do for living? You asked for wine, you don't like curry, so I kinda wondering," said Shinya, "Only if you could remember though."

"I work for a certain Oil & Trading company," answered Guren. He doesn't care whether it exists in this world or no.

"Eh for real? You mean you work for a merchant?!" reacted Shinya.

"Mm," Guren doesn't show much interest in Shinya's talks.

 

"500 years ago Naraka Realm tried to invade Shangri-La, the land where Human Realm lived. A war broke out between Naraka Realm and Human Realm. Lead by a Sakyong[1], Human Realm sent their 15.000 soldiers formed by Knight, Magician, Assassin, and Hunter to the war. While Naraka Realm sent their 20.000 soldiers under the command of a Yama[2]. Even losing in number with the help of a Seraph, Human Realm was able to gain a victory, The Sakyong and The Seraph combined their power and put The Yama into a deep slumber.  After a week of an exhausting war, even though Human Realm won the war, they suffered a great loss. More than 10.000 soldiers died including the Seraph that helped the Sakyong. After the war, Sakyong build Shambhala City as a symbol of the Glory that Human Realm achieve at war and later the castle that located at Shambala and functioned as the central government named as Serafu Castle, while the war later known as Owari no Serafu,"  reads Guren. "Hee, so that's why it was SERAFU Chronicle," He referrers to the game's name. Guren had an assumption about the current situation of the game world, "so, they came back in order to take revenge from the past war."

 

Guren has finished with one book. He put the book back to the shelf and gets another book.

 

"That's awesome! Did they pay you well? Well, sorry to ask but I heard a big merchant group is very rich," asked Shinya again. Guren had almost forgotten that Shinya was still there since he was so absorbed into the book.

"You could said so," said Guren, "I drive a Ferrari, I could go to Europe or America everyday if I want, I ate at a private restaurant, I could drink wine as much as I could."

"Ferarri? Europe? America?? I've never heard those words but your life sounded so cool," Shinya leaning his back to the bookshelf, "So why did you choose to become a Knight? Isn't working for a merchant better than being a Knight?"

 

'....REN!!'  Guren twitched his head, he look at the window to find nothing "That voice again!"

"Guren?" Shinya was waiting for Guren's answer, "did I disturb you with my questions?"

"Ah, no, it's fine," he finally responded to Shinya, "Not sure, things just happened and somehow I ended up here."

"Ahahaha, you're sure a weird person," laughed Shinya.

"What about you?" Guren gives back the question to Shinya.

"Me? I was an orphan and a magic academy took me in, so I grew as a magician," started Shinya, "but one day, the academy was attacked by Narakas, everybody died only me and my teacher managed to escape. But around 2 years ago, my teacher disappeared, so I've been searching for my teacher and.....," Shinya keep going with his story.

 

'GUREN!' now it has become clear. Guren twitch his head here and there, searching for the voice source. "This isn't my feeling! Someone has been calling for me," thought Guren.

 

"Guren? You listen to me?" asked Shinya, making sure if Guren listen to him. 

"Yeah, I'm listening," Guren lied, he only listen to half of Shinya's story. His attention is fully distracted by the voice that keeps calling his name.

"And then, for entire 2 years I've been searching for my teacher alone," Shinya continues, "I've been wandering here and there but still not find any clue about my teacher...."

 

'OI GUREN!' again that voice calling for Guren comes, even louder.

"Where? Who?!" he keep talking in his mind "WHO?!"

 

"Eh? Guren?!" Shinya surprised because suddenly Guren shouted like that, "Guren wha--"

"I'm fine, don't come here," told Guren to Shinya.

"Are you sure?" Shinya starts to get worry.

"Yeah," said Guren while trying to calm himself, "so what's next? your teacher story."

Guren trying to diverse Shinya's attention by asking about Shinya's teacher.

"Well....em, my teacher.....," Shinya hesitant to continue, in fact he really want to check on Guren, but Guren told him to stay away, so he doesn't know what to do.

 

'GUREN!! BLAM!' this time it follows with a 'Blam' sound, exactly like someone hitting a door very hard. 'BLAM!' again, it gets louder. And as it gets louder Guren's head become really in pain. 

"Ugh...." Guren drops the book on the floor, he hold his head with both of his hands,

it feels like his head is going to explode.

 

Shinya who heard the sound of a book being dropped to the ground gets even more worry, "Guren?! Are you really okay??"

"Yeah!"

"Really?!"

"I said I'm fucking fine!" 

"....Guren......"

 

'BLAM! BLAM!' Guren's head get even painful, he fell to the ground standing with both of his knees, "...argh..." His visions get blurry, his head is in so much pain, "what now? am I going to die?!"

 

"Guren?! You okay??!" Ignoring Guren's word, Shinya ran to the next block to check on Guren.

 

'GUREN! OI GUREN!!'

"Shu......t..... u.....," Guren's voice trembelling, his can't hold the pain in his head anymore.

'BLAM! BLAM! GUREN! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM!'

"AaaaARGH!!!" Guren shouted in pain, he thought his head has exploded, his vision has turned completely white.

 

*

 

"Blam! Blam! Blam! Oi Guren!" called a man.

 

"HAH?!!" Guren open his eyes. His blurry & white vision starting to come back normal. And what he see is a ceiling, the ceiling of his apartment.

"What the hell....," he thought. Guren was lying on his sofa by the time he realized it. Guren jumped out to make sure his surroundings with his own eyes.

The TV is still on, currently airing a Saturday program. Nothing changes from his living room, he even wear the same t-shit he was wearing last night. The book, the forest, the chain mail, his sword, and everything has gone. Guren has came back to his own world. "Fuaaah, so it's only a dream eh?" Guren feel so much relieved. He might feel that way but actually he can't really remember the. He look at the clock, it shows 11.30am, "so that's the effect of being overslept." Guren never woke up this late. Woke up at 8am has already very late for him.

 

"Hng?" he saw the game console on his sofa. It's still on. The screen shows the game options with only 1 game to choose, "Haha SERAFU Online, of course it's impossible."

 

"Guren! Open the door already!" Goshi shouting from the outside of Guren's apartment.

"Ah?! That noisy dude," so it was Goshi's voice that woke Guren up, "I'm coming!"

'Clack' Guren unlock the door to find Goshi by his doorstep.

"Gureeennnn!!!" whinnied Goshi, "How come you ignored me?! I've been waiting here for almost 30 minutes!"

"You could just leave instead of knocking my door non-stop," said Guren coldly.

 

He let Goshi come in to his apartment.

Guren walk to the kitchen to get a glass of water, for himself of course. 

"So~ tell me tell me~~," Goshi get excited by himself, "what did you do last night? you've never woke up this late~ did you get a 'little' companion??"

"Wanna die already?" Guren threw a fork to Goshi's face.

"Yahahahaha, sorry sorry," laughed Goshi.

 

"Ara!" Goshi's eyes caught something interesting on Guren's sofa, "Uwah, so you have been playing a game last night?!"

Guren almost choked on his water, "Well yeah, like that."

"Splendid job Guren! You've finally a step closer to become a real man!"

"I'm a man! And a way better man than you!"

"Ahahaha come on my friend, don't be so serious," Goshi take the game console, "Anyway, have you try the game I recommend?"

"Monster Hunter 2?" Guren walks to the living room with his glass of water.

"No~ no~ the other one," Goshi lowering his tone, "the XXX game."

"Get the fuck out!" Guren kicks his friend on the back.

"UWOOOOHH!!! Calm down maaaan," Goshi thought his back was about to break after Guren kicked it. Especially since Guren is a master in Jujitsu and Taekwondo.

 

"So Goshi," Guren crossing his legs as he sat on the sofa, "have you heard about a game named SERAFU Chronicle?"

"SERAFU Chronicle?? what is that? Never knew that Game before," Goshi looking to the game list that Guren had on his console. "Ha? You only have this game? Where did you get this though?"

"A client of mine gave me that, he said he opened a Game company and that was their first production," Guren making up an excuse.

"Heee, so is it still on BETA stage? or they've released it to the public?" asked Goshi again as he clicking to SERAFU Chronicle and making an account without Guren knowing.

"Dunno, he just gave me that," said Guren.

 

"Hmmm.....," Goshi suddenly becomes quiet. He's already focused on the game. Just like Guren he use his real name and choose a Knight as his class. 

"Oi, what are you doing?" suspected Guren.

"Playing the game."

"O,Oi are you serious?!" Guren afraid that Goshi might have a 'dream' like he had before.

"Why? Doesn't want me to beat you~~~?" Grinned Goshi.

"Haaa??" Guren moves from his sofa and standing behind Goshi so he could see how goshi play the game.

 

"Look~!" by pressing some buttons, Goshi managed to get Guren's character status, "You're level 17 now, you have all the basic item and for your sword," Goshi click on the sword to get more detailed information, "Black Demon Sword Rank SS," Read Goshi out loud. "Uwah, how the hell you get this sword,"from the rank it self it's clear that the sword is a super hard to get item, "man even in a game world you're lucky."

"Level 17?? But I don't even play that game," Guren thought.

"What else is it there? Can I see my status build?" Guren took an interest on his own character. More like, he wanna make sure on something.

"Hmmm," Goshi click some more options, "Whoa, you have a pretty high INT despite you're a Knight."

"INT?" Guren think for a moment, suddenly he remembered he went to the Library last night, "Library?! Is that because I spend a long time at a library?!"

"And, there's a skill that you have yet not acquired, 'Fudo Myu-O' - a spell that could causes an explosion, you need to be at level 25 to acquire the skill" explained Goshi.

"Keep going," command Guren.

"Oooi I wanna start my game why don't you do this by yourself," complained Goshi.

"Shut up and just do it!"

"Haaaaaah, fine,fine...." Goshi has no choice but to read every single option & status available for Guren.

"The last time you save was at Shambhala Public Library on 11.27pm," read Goshi, "Oi! You were playing game when I knocking at your door!"

"Keep going!" told Guren.

"Sigh, you're really not listening sometimes," complained Goshi.

 

"Shambhala, Public Library, it was all in my dream," Guren lost in thought, the missing pieces from his dream starts to come back.

"Oh, it said that you're not in any guild right now," explained Goshi.

"Guild........, Part..........ner?!" Guren finally remembered the most important part of his dream, "Goshi, does it say anything about partner or anything?"

"Partner? Lemme see," Guren checking every options left, but there was none that says about 'Partner', "Nothing, it only said you're not joined any Guild yet."

"Very well," Guren left Goshi back to his game, while he's still there watching for Goshi plays. 

"Yoshaaaa~~~!! Now Let's starrrttt~~~~" cheers Goshi.

Goshi chooses his own character and started the game.

"Nothing happened yet," thought Guren.

 

Just like the other game, SERAFU Chronicle started with an intro or the background of the world. The Earth was split into two parts. First is Shangri-La the blissful land where the Human Realm lives and Second is Naraka the cursed land where the Narakas Realm lives. The monsters who lived in Naraka feels jealous over the Land that human owns and starts to Invade the Humans realm.

"Oh~ not a bad background story," praised Goshi.

The game continue to the next stage. The view on the screen changes, now it's showing Goshi's character who is lying under a tree, taking a nap.And then a girl come to Goshi's character, [ Oh! Are you Mr.Goshi? ]

"Whoa~ even the NPC is cute," said Goshi happily.

[ Can you help me to deliver these potions to Dr. Mika at Shambhala? ] After that a choices appear on the screen, but whichever choices that chosen the outcome will be the same. The 'Hero' will deliver the potions to Dr. Mika at Shambhala. 

 

"Potions?" Guren suddenly remembered the 'Cling! Cling!' sound Shinya's bag making.

 

After taking the potions from the girl NPC, Goshi heads to the Shambhala at north. He need to pass a forest in order to get to Shambhala. In the middle of the way, Goshi encountered a little green boar. "Oho~! That's the monster! I'm gonna finish you!!" Goshi having a lot of fun playing this RPG game.

 

"Green boar...," Guren remembered killing the little green boar on his way to Shambahala. But in Goshi's case, he didn't meet with the giant green boar, and by defeating one green boar his level only up by 1 level. Goshi keep going, he met a lot of green boar and reaches level 6 by the time he arrived at Shambhala.

When Goshi arrived at the town, the screen changes again. The days has changed into the night. The screen slowly moving down showing the scenery of Shambhala City the brick exposed buildings, the floating lanterns, and everything.

"Hyuu~~" Goshi whistling, "This game got a beautiful art, right Guren?"

By that time Guren already left Goshi and head for shower.

 

*

 

The shower raining entire Guren's body with a warm water. Guren start off by washing is hair and go down to his body. During his shower, Guren's mind can't switch its focus from last night dream. "Hmph," he smiles, "everything was the same, exactly the same"

"I was dreaming, it was just a dream," Guren lifting his wet hair which keep covering his face with his fingers.

"Shinya," he said a sort flash back appear in Guren's mind, from how Shinya eating his katsu to how Shinya woke him up by splashing a bowl of cold water.

"Whoever that guy is, he probably didn't exist."

Guren turning off his shower, he took his towel, and left the bathroom.

 

*

 

"AAAARRRGGHHH!!" yelled Goshi, "Damnit I can't beat this monster at all!"

"What's wrong?" asked Guren.

"Ah! Guren, look!" Goshi show the game screen to Guren, "This giant boar, I'm trying to beat this monster, but he's way too strong."

Guren gripped his hand, it was the Giant Boar that he and Shinya fought.

 

"This dude is level 26 and mine is level 8, I thought I could beat him by luck," said Goshi.

Guren somehow gets irritated; he took the game away from Goshi and threw it to the other sofa.

"OOOHHHHH!!! Guren what are you doing???!!" complained Goshi.

"Let's go out, I've gotten sick here," Guren mood drastically changed.

"Guren?" said Goshi and looking lost.

 

*

 

Guren took Goshi with him and have a drive with his Ferrari. Goshi keep begging to Guren for letting him handling the steer, but Guren won't let it. Goshi is such a bad driver. He'll drive in full speed and talking his nonsense out loud and be like 'What is safety?'

Guren drives to Shibuya. He often spend his time on Shibuya on weekend. He might hate a crowded place, but Shibuya has something that Guren likes, Fashion. He drives around from one department store to another, from Seibu to Takashimaya Towns Square, etc. After buying stuffs from Department stores, Guren and Goshi left for the street shop around Shibuya. They wandered around from one shop to another. Everytime they hang put together Goshi always envy Guren, because Guren never fail to catch a women's attention with his looks. Goshi has always wished that he was once as popular as Guren is.

 

"This reminds me of the old times~" Goshi reminiscing their high school days.

During that time they'll wandered around at Shibuya street after school. Guren and Goshi used to be a baseball club member. Guren was the captain and the cleanup hitter, while Goshi was the power hitter. 

"Do you remember? When we came to the back alley after club activity and almost got beaten up by collage students," asked Goshi.

"Yeah, and Mito somehow showed up and kick all the boys," added Guren.

"She was so strong back then," said Goshi, "even now she's still very strong, even stronger."

"AAaaaah maaaan," Goshi stretched out his arms, "We should hang out with the girls, it has been a long time."

"Mm, yeah kinda," said Guren, "I meet Sayuri everyday though."

"AND I HATE YOU FOR THAAATT!!" cries Goshi.

"Well, don't blame me if Sayuri doesn't return your love," tease Guren.

"Ooooh how annoyiiiinngg!!" Goshi rubbing his hair til it messed up, "Then what about you?! Even Mahiru dumped you."

"Oi Goshi," Guren's aura turned dark.

"Wha-what??" Goshi walks few steps back, he was sure that he pisses off Guren and might received another kick from Guren.

"Let's get some drinks."

 

*

 

Shibuya 109 is a department store which mostly sells on woman clothing. Many girls come here to dress up themselves, from a high scholar to a young adult.

"A,are you sure? Isn't this too girly for me?" a girl was being shy, even though she's a fine woman herself.

"Oh come on Mito, it's not even in pink," the other girl keeps choosing ’girly’ clothes for her friend.

"No,no,no, this isn't my style, I can't even wear this, Mahiru," Mito changing the lavender colored dress that Mahiru choose for here.

"Aww, no fun," pouted Mahiru, but she isn’t giving in, she choose another clothes for Mito.

"What about this one?" Mahiru took out a clothes from the racks, "this isn't a dress, this is just a long length T-shirt."

"But," Mito tried to reject Mahiru's choice.

"No 'buts'," Mahiru forcefully her choice to Mito.

 

It was a rather cute t-shirt. It's black and the shoulder was made by a black transparent textile. It also has slight V cut on the back.

 

"Mito! That suit you so much," Mahiru praises her own choice.

"Mmm, really??" Mito blush in red. This clothes suit her in deed and she kinda like besides it's black.

"Then!" Mahiru clapped her hands. She called for the shop clerk. "I'm buying this," she said. The clerk takes the clothes and bring it to cashier.

"Mahiru, are you sure? That one is quite expensi---" Mahiru stopped Mito.

"Don't talk about price! This is my birthday present for you."

"It's not even my birthday......" said Mito helplessly. 

 

Mahiru paid for Mito's clothes while getting herself some new winter clothes. Mahiru never care with how much money she spend on clothes, she just buy whatever she wants. Other than her love of Fashion, Mahiru also the head of Hiiragi clothing brand, H & Co. So, searching and looking for a new clothes and style is basically Mahiru’s job. The girls left the department store and wander around at Shibuya's street stores.

 

"Do you still want to shop?" Mito has been glancing to the amount of shopping bags that her and Mahiru carries. Mahiru has 3 on her left and 2 on her right. While Mito had 1 each on her hands.

"There's a shop I wanna check," said Mahiru cheerfully.

"The one at back alley?"

"Yup that one!!"

"Anyway Mito," she added, "Do you remember? There was a time when the boys almost beaten up by the college students and you just appear kicking those guys who was bigger than you so cool!"

 

Mito comes from a family who is mastered in material arts. Ever since she was a child Mito had been mastered in material arts like jujitsu, taekwondo, karate, boxing, even kendo. Jujo family owns a dojo, which has been supported by Hiiragi family for generations therefore the loyalty of Mito & Joujo to Hiiragi is undoubted.  

 

"Well," the tsundere girl's face turned red, Mito is easily flustered when she got praised by somebody else, "the boys were too weak, the college students, even Goshi and Guren."

"Guren, eh?" Mumbles Mahiru.

"Ah! Sorry, did I upset you?!" Mito hurriedly apologized after seeing the sad reaction reflected from Mahiru's eyes.

"No,no it's okay," Mahiru put back on her smile. She headed up and looking to the orange sky above Shibuya, "I guess there're some memories that are too painful to be remembered."

 

*

 

Guren and Goshi went to Starbucks Cafe at Shibuya crossing. Iced Americano for Guren and iced Espresso for Goshi. The men choose a round table with 4 seats at the back side, facing out the window. "Yaaah, this spot is the best~" said Goshi. Whenever they hang out at Shibuya they always go to this Starbucks cafe and always choose the same seat. No special reason, instead of liking it, it was more to they've gotten used to this spot and started to like it.

 

Goshi watching to the cross side of windows. Everyday Shibuya cross line always being very busy, many people come to the crossroads, heading for their own destination.

"Ck, I wish I have a girlfriend," Goshi envying the couples on street.

He was talking to Guren, but when he glance to Guren, his friend already busy with his phone, checking the latest news, "Oi, Guren are you listening to me?"

"You wished Sayuri was your girlfriend right?" hit Guren.

"Uwah, so straight forward!! It was a homerun!! You’re cool!" Goshi being overreacted.

"You're so noisy," complained Guren.

 

When the boys having a nice talk, someone approaches them.

"Gu, Guren??!" Greeted a girl, she looks surprised that she met Guren at this place.

 

Guren and Goshi tilted their head to look at the girl.

It was someone they are very familiar with and it's not only one girl, another girl following from behind.

 

"Oh, Sayuri and Shigure," said Guren.

"Omg, Sa, Sayuri! What are you doing here?" Startled Goshi, "And uwah Shigure, you have a day off?!"

"Yes, I'm," responded the black haired girl, "Long time no see Guren."

 

Shigure is one of Guren's old friend along with Goshi & Sayuri. She has a small body, but never underestimates her. Because even with her small body she has a great power. She used to be a student at Mito's dojo and right now she's working as a police inspector at the First Division of Public Security Bureau at Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department. Working as a police makes her really busy so she barely has a time to hang out with her friends. But around 2 weeks ago she met Goshi when he involved in an argument with a Yakuza member.

Both of the girls sat on the empty chairs beside the boys, they started to talk about many things, starting from their school days to their current life. Goshi being a joker like usual, while Sayuri keep throwing stuffs to Goshi and once to a time Shigure will help her, and Guren he just watch his friends in silence. He tried to hide the smile on his face, but everyone knows he's enjoying this moment.

 

*

 

"....and then because of me! The power hitter Goshi, we won the match!" They were talking about the prelims to Koshien, during their 2nd year of High School. They were in pinch and because of Goshi lucky hit, he managed to send Guren back home and get 1 additional score to conclude the match in victory.

"We lost at the final though," said Guren.

"AAAARRGGHH!!! Guren you shouldn't kill the mood!!" complained Goshi.

"We manage to go Koshien during our 3rd year though," added Guren, "but you told the story just now because that's the only moment you were being cool."

"Whaaaat did you say??!!"

"But that was true though," added Shigure.

"Oh... come on people," whinnied Goshi.

They laughed together as they keep teasing Goshi.

 

"Ara, what a fun party over here," she walks after seeing the companion from the cashier, "can we join?"

It was Mahiru and Mito. It's either by coincidence or by fate but right now the old party has finally gathered. 

"Oh my! Mito-chan & Mahiru-chan!" surprised Sayuri.

"Mahiruuuu?!! When did you come back?!" yelled out Goshi, he even stood up from his seat.

Shigure keep her calm as usual and nodding to both of Mahiru & Mito.

 

"Hi~ it has been a very long time everyone," greeted Mahiru, "How's everyone?"

 

"Ma.....hiru," murmured Guren.

He's the most surprised than the others, because for 2 years Guren has never heard anything about Mahiru, and now she appeared before his eyes without notice.

Chapter Text

 Guren is at lost. How could he not, the girl that he once loved appear. Even he always said that he and Mahiru has done 2 years ago, but in the deepest of his heart there's still a feeling left for her.  The mixed feelings are coming to him happy, anxiety, and pain. 2 years ago, Guren was proposing Mahiru to get married with him, but Mahiru turned him down and eventually dump him. She left for London and no news of her reached Guren, she even ignores Guren's mail and call. Just like that she destroyed Guren's heart into pieces. And finally when Guren managed to gather his broken pieces of his hear and build it into shape, Mahiru came back.

"When did you come back to Japan, Mahiru-chan?" asked Sayuri happily.

"Mmm, just last night," she answered.

"You should've told us beforehand, how come you didn't say a word to us?" said Goshi.

"Well, it was a sudden matter," answered Mahiru, "Kureto nii-san called me, so I came back."

"Kureto?" noticed Guren.

"Mito-chan, you should've told us! You must be already know it way before, right?" said Sayuri.

"Well, kind of," answered Mito.

"Then why??" questioned Sayuri.

"That's because....."

"That's because I told her not too," said Mahiru, "I wanna surprises you all, but looks like I've failed."

"Not really, you did surprise us," Shigure speaks up, "right, Guren?"

"Ah, mm.... yeah," Guren doesn't have much to say. Or more to he has so much to say and doesn't know where to start.

Mahiru and Mito take a seat joining the others in their conversation.

"It's the same," started Shigure.

"What's 'the same'?" asked Sayuri, so does the others who also wondering what was Shigure trying to say.

"Our drinks, it has been always like this. Americano for Guren, Cappucino for Goshi, Caramel Machiatto for Mahiru, Vanilla Blend for Sayuri, Drark Moca Chip for Mito, and Chocolate for me," she continued.

"Uwah, you're right!" said Mahiru excited, "Shigure always pay attention to things like that." 

"Ne, ne Mahiru-chan," called Sayuri, "How was England? What did you do at London?"

"Hmm, it was sooooo awesome!" Mahiru starting her story, "I worked and study under Sarah Burton, Alexander McQueen is sure an amazing brand."

Everyone was so absorbed into Mahiru's story. From how she flied to London, get to work under Sarah Burton, making designs for some of Alexander McQueen collections, and more. Except for Guren, he has been busy with his news reading whatever he could read to distract his attention. 

"Guren, are you listening?" asked Mahiru.

"Mm....," he responded without taking his eyes off from his phone.

"Hmph, so you're not," whinnied Mahiru.

"What? You've done with your story?" Guren stood up from his chair, "then, there's somewhere I wanna visit."

"Eh?! Already?!" Goshi was surprised because Guren wanna left suddenly.

"Yeah, I'm leaving," Guren left his Americano which he had brink by 3/4 of it.

"See you later guys," he weaves without looking back to the tables.

"O,Oi wait, wait for me Guren!" Goshi himself rushes to chases for Guren, "Ah! See you next time girls!"

The boys have finally left. The girls fell silent, none of them could find a words to break the silence. Since they knew what happened between Guren and Mahiru in the past. And it was sure that the cause of Guren's bad mood was Mahiru. 

"Aaaah~" Mahiru breaks their silence. She's leaning to the couch with her caramel machiatto on her lap. She twisted the inside with the straw, "Thing's couldn't go back to the way it was eh?"

She drink a little of her drink, "either for him, or for me, or for us."

She put back her drink to the table, "Shigure, you left out the Iced Matcha Latte."

Mahiru talking about the drinks, "It used to be Americano, Capuccino, Caramel Machiatto, Vanilla, Dark Moca, Chocolate, and Matcha Latte."

"I'll catch him for sure," said Shigure in a dark tone. She grabbed her cup with all of her might, still trying not to break it or spilled out the inside, "I'll catch that criminal, for sure."

Sayuri and Mito didn't add anything to Mahiru and Shigure's conversation. They just exchanged look, completely understands what the others talking about.

 

*

 

"Oi Guren!! Wait for me!" called out Goshi. He tried to catch up to Guren and have a hard time breathing now, "what's with you back there?!"

Goshi tried to put some senses into Guren's head but Guren doesn't even bother to listen.

"Kureto...," he thought, "he has already moved his pioneer, eh?"

Guren is walking ahead of Goshi. Goshi following from Guren’s behind. Goshi watching to Guren's back. He sighed, He and Guren has been a friend for a long time there's no way he couldn't understand what Guren feels.

"YOSHAA!!" Goshi shouted in the middle of Shibuya busy street. His shout make Guren and the other people stopped their steps and staring to the man. "Gureeeeen!!!!"

"What the fuck are you doing, you're embarrassing me!" Guren trying to stayed out from Goshi.

"Come with me bro!" Goshi linked his arm around Guren's shoulder and somehow managed to drag away Guren wih him, "This is what you should do when you get dumped!"

"Hah?! Who the fuck get dumped?!"

"Saaaa~~ just come with me!"

Guren is sure that he's going to regretted it later but he has no other choice but following Goshi for now. Goshi walked to the back alley. There was a game center which is quite big and packed with people. "WTF, I hate this place!!"

"Hahaha, you'll like it soon my friend!" said Goshi confident, "I know you've been playing that BETA Game, now is the time to play the real game!"

Guren face palmed himself. He doesn't know what kind of disaster he's facing right now. Guren let Goshi played all the game while he is just watching and get bored. The night has getting darker, Guren wanted to go home so badlh. He was so happy when he Goshi said he has done with the game center. But then Goshi headed for a karaoke and some drinks. At the end Guren able to go home at 23.40. He's dead tired by now. 

"Haaah, so tired," Guren embarks his body to his sofa. Turning on his TV and watch NewsZERO again, just like how he does everyday. It just, this time his mind is not even with him, there's a matter that being his concern since this afternoon, The Hiiragis. Guren keep thinking about what has been Kureto plotting, was Mahiru came back because of Kureto told her to or was it because her own will. He keep thinking but cant figured out anything. That made Guren angry to himself so he left for the bathroom to take a warm bath and sleep.

 

*

 

The day that everyone hates the most has come, the first day of the week, Monday. With unexceptional Guren, he hates Monday among the 7 days. He has a busy schedule everyday but Monday is Guren's busiest day, there's a meeting that he has to attend every monday and all. 

"Ichinose-san?" Sayuri knocking Guren's office. She address Guren with his family name when they're working, because Sayuri think it'd be rude to call his boss by his nick name. Even though Guren told her not t keep the formality, she decide otherwise.

"Come in," answered Guren.

Sayuri enter Guren's office with some documents with her. She gave the documents to Guren. While Guren lazily review it and signed some of the papers, doesn't look interested at all. "Here you go," Guren returned the doscuments to Sayuri.

"There's one more thing Ichinose-san," said Sayuri.

"What is that?"

"I received a phone call from GQ Japan, they wanted to interview you for their November Issue," she explained, "I'll reject the offer like usual."

Guren never interested in magazine interview, he received countless offers from many magazine, from Vogue Japan, Harpes Bazar, Men's Health, TIMES, People, etc. They wanted to Interviewed Guren about his career or his high lifestyle and more, but Guren always rejected all of them.

"No," Guren said, "I'll do it this time."

"Eh?! For real?" Sayuri startled, "Fi,fine then, I'll accept the offer and add it to your schedule."

"Yea, thanks." 

The rest of the days went just like how it scheduled by Sayuri. Long and busy days as always, but Guren never complain even once. Guren always said that that's the way of life he has chosen so there's no need to complain over what happened and going to happen. But people said that just a way of Guren to put up his poker face, in fact he's already exhausted and might die early because of stress.

 

*

 

It almost a week since Guren entered the game world, now he has even forgotten about the game and everything. Guren has done his work for today, he open his LINE and click on Ferid's name. Guren asked whether he could come over after closing hour or not and as usual, Ferid replied Guren's chat super fast. He said that he has an appointment today so he had to leave the restaurant earlier. Ferid even include a 'crying James' sticker on his reply. "What an annoying sticker," Guren isn't a type who will use a sticker or even emoticons on his chat or text, but Ferid always use the weirdest stickers he has.

Since he can't come to Ferid's restaurant he had to choose another place to visit. Actually, at a time like this Guren just want a friend to talk with, but he doesn't has many friends to begin with. He's looking on his contact list. Mito is impossible, she's probably busy with Hiiragi, since she works for them. Shigure also impossible, she probably busy with her cases. Goshi, he somehow didn't reply his chat. Now there's only Sayuri left. Guren leave his office and come to Sayuri's desk which is located right in front of his office door. "Sayuri," Guren called her right when she about to headed back. 

"Yes?"

"Have you eaten dinner?""

"Why do ask??"

"No, there's this restaurant that recommended by the news I read,"

"Mm, Sorry Ichinose-san, but I have an appointment with my friends tonight," Sayuri refused the offer.

"Well then, I take my leave, see you tomorrow," Sayuri bowing politely, she gets her bag and left the office.

That leaves Guren with no one left. He sat on Sayuri's desk and screening his contact once again. He only has the number of his bosses which he named by 'Old man 1', 'Old man 2', etc. Then, his other contacts are his client and subordinates and co-workers. The only people which he listed on his Friends list are only Goshi, Sayuri, Shigure, Mito, and one other person, Mahiru. But there's no way he call her. "Sigh," Guren put his phone to his pocket, "I guess it's ramen for tonight."

 

*

 

Guren got to his home, just to find an empty refrigerator of his. He even ran out of eggs and milks and literally has nothing left to eat. He only has a bottle of Nutella without bread. He even out of stock for ramen and cereal. "Ck," Guren cliche his tongue, he really has nothing to eat. Guren finally decided that he won't eat ramen tonight, he'll go outside to get a junk food. He stopped by at Burger King and got 2 burgers one for dinner and one for breakfast. 

"Why don't you get a maid to help you with the house work?" the girl approaches Guren, it was Krul.

"Oh shit, I thought you died already."

"The hell with that attitude."

"Then see you in afterlife," Guren tried to ignore Krul, he wished he could just left but his burgers aren't done yet.

"Whatever," Krul leaning to the cashier table, "have you tried it? The game I gave to you."

"Yeah, my friend seems to get addicted to that game, but it just a trash to me."

"You should see what will happen tonight, it'll get even more interesting," suggest Krul.

Guren doesn't quite understand what Krul was trying to say.

"Yeah yeah," Guren's burger finally here, he gets his burger and his cola. 

"Old hag," call Guren.

"What?"

"If you have so much free time on you, why don't you get a fashion magazine and fix that ugly style or yours?"

"The, the hell?!! D, Do you think you're that stylish??!!"

"Weeel~ Good luck on that, byeee," Guen weaving to Krul with cola on his hands.

Krul face turned somewhat red, "This dress is very pretty you know!" She's stomping her feet to the ground while imagining Guren's face on the ground.

"Ano," a waiter approaches Krul, "do you lost your parents? You look pretty upset." 

"Oh! Shut up you little kid!" the waiter was mistaken Krul as a kid and that makes Krul even more pisses off and hurriedly left the shop. The automatic door closes behind her, so many people wandering around on the street, that reminds Krul of something, "Holy crap!! I forgot to mention the new option!!"

 

*

 

Guren has back to his apartment. He put one of the burger in the refrigerator and eat the other one, "I should've brought pizza," he regretted. Even so, whatever the food is it always tastes delicious when he's hungry. He turns on his TV and watch whatever show is on while waiting for the news program. When he sat on his sofa, Guren felt he sat on something which makes him feel uncomfortable. "Aaah, it's this trash again," since last week Guren hasn't touch the console, he can't even remember where he put it. "This thing always appear in front of me whenever I met that weird girl," Guren stuffed the burger in his mouth as he turning on the game. 

"Why I haven't thrown this game again?" Guren complaining but his fingers can't stop pressing the console button, "Has PS Vita always like this? The options are the same but it somewhat different, it doesn't even has any application installed."

Guren's finger stopped when he see SERAFU Chronicle, "Hmph, am I an idiot?" he shrug off the game console and back with his burger.

After he finished his burger and his news program he washed his mouth and checks his phone one more time before he goes to bed. 

 

***

 

Guren was standing in the middle of a prairie. The blue sky spread vast, it was so clear even the clouds were barely there.  There was absolutely nothing there. Guren walked ahead, he kept walking but he still can't find anything. He kept walking, trying to reach the end of the prairie. But it's not an end he met, he saw a tree, an old tree, a kind of tree that he have never seen before. It's like a sakura tree in spring, except it's all white. Guren try to get close to the tree when he realized that the grass has turned white. There were many of wild flowers under the tree, but somehow it also colored in white. Under the tree there was a man, he was wearing a long white robe with a hood. "Who....?" Guren wondered. He called out to the man, but the man didn't respond to him. He keeps calling until the man noticed him. After many calls, the man in white robe turned his back, it was a man with a silver hair and a blue eyes, the man that Guren knew, "Shinya??"

The wind blows hard. It swapped the hood that Shinya was wearing. The man looks really sad, the blue eyes of his reflecting sadness. Guren didn't understand what the cause was. "Shinya! What are you doing??" once again the wind blew hard. Guren saw Shinya's lips moving, but due to the wind and the distance he couldn't hear what was Shinya trying to say. The wind blew even harder, it blew the tree petals, even the wild flowers that surrounded the tree. 

"Shinya!" Guren called, but everytime he called, the wind blew even harder, this time it even managed to pushed Guren few steps back. Guren tried to withstand the wind, but he keeps being dragged away.

"SHINYA!! SHINYA!!"

 

*

 

'Riiiiiinngggg!!! Riiiiiingggg!!!' 

Guren woke up. It was just a dream, "a dream, eh?" he covered his eyes with his hand, thinking how weird his dream was.

'Riiiing!! Riiiing!!'

Guren's alarm keep ringing. With his other hand Guren get his alarm and looking at the clock, it's already 8.15AM. "Holy crap I'm late!" Guren jumped off from his bed and dashes off to the bathroom. He has no time to choose his clothes, so he just wear whatever shirt placed on the top. He check his phone while changing his clothes. He received so many mail from Sayuri. From the mail of today's schedule to another mail like 'Guren where are you? Don't be late for the morning meeting!'

"Oh come on Sayuri, it's not even 9," Guren fasten his pace. It's already 8.30AM. Guren need to drive for 30 minutes to his office, but the traffic jam never fail to delay him. He's sure that he'll be late for the morning meeting and He's sure that later Sayuri will give him a long lecture.

His day has just starting, but Guren wish it'll end soon as it started.

 

***

 

Guren set his microwave on the right temperature. He only need 1 minute to heat his burger. He pour an oolong tea to his glass, and going to eat his dinner while watching TV. It's not a news that he's going to watch today. There's a music show that will air a special episode of L'Arc-en-Ciel to promote the band's upcoming concert L'ArCasino, which will be held by the end of 2015. Even the tickets are not even on sale yet, but Guren managed to booked 1 ticket for himself. 

"Ck! this thing always in the way," Guren cleans eveything on his sofa so he could sat comfortably, and that dirt was the game console. He trashed it again. He swapped his hands to clean the sofa, the game console fly through and hit the corner of a table. Even sharper than Guren's figers, the table's corner started the game itself without Guren knowing and dropped to the floor.

Guren stuffed his burger to his mouth, "Ara, I forgot my tea."

Guren was about to get his Oolong tea that he left at the dining table, but he wasn't being careful. He accidentally stepped on the game console. His toe finger hit the 'start game' option. The console's Sreen changed.

[Welcome to SERAFU Chronicle]

"What the....?" before Guren knowing the screen shines into a very bright white. 

And once again everything disappears into space. 

 

*

 

The white cloud was making a solid force, but Guren's body cleaves them apart. Before Guren realized he already flying down in a rocket speed from a really high place. "UUUWAAAHHHH FFFFFUUUUUKKKKKKK!!!!" he crashes to a tree and landed not beautifully. His body was stuck by the branches, but the branches weren't strong enough to hold his body so he fell down from the tree.

"Och!" he scrape his head, the leaves are all over his head.

"What the fuck is happ----," It happened again, the forest, the chain mail, and his sword. His living room has turned weird once again. 

"Shi-shit-shit! Where the fuck am I? How the hell I ended up here?!" Guren pinched his cheek really hard, it was hurt. He slapped his face, it was hurt. Guren hates it, really hates it, that this is really not a dream.

"Guren??!" he came in a rush from another direction because he heard a hard blow and mistaken it is as a monster.

"Shi.....nya....?"

"Guren....? Is that you? Guren?!"

"Who else could it be?"

Shinya rushes to Guren and hugged him, "Thanks God!"

"Wha-? What the fuck are you doing?!" Guren is not used being hugged by someone, he tried to let go but Shinya won't let him.

"I'm glad, Guren! I'm happy that you come back, I thought you'll leave me forever!"

"Th, The hell! What the hell are you talking about?!"

"I was worry!! I've been searching for you but you were nowhere could be found," Shinya tighten his hugs.

Guren finally give up, he didn't try get off from Shinya, "Well....," he can't really understand what Shinya feeling is, but he gave a little sympathy to the other guy. He lifts his hand, Guren wanted to put his hand on Shinya's head and apologize, but his pride won't let him do so.

"No one told you to search for me!" 

"EH?! I was dead worry and that's all you’ve got to say?!" Shinya finally releases Guren from his arms. 

"But that's the truth," said Guren coldly.

Shinya sighed, he stares down to the ground. Guren was sure that he has made Shinya upset.

"Ano... Shinya," Guren wanted to apologize, but the other man smiled.

"No, you're right, no one ask me to search for you," he said, "but I'm really glad, really really glad that you're come back."

"Shinya.....," Guren spelled the man's name in a low voice. How come he said such a thing while smiling, "you're really weird."

"You bet~"

It was a clear and fine day, the sky is blue, the sun shines warmly, the wind blows softly, hitting every branch of the trees. Something fell from the tree that Guren crashed before. It wasn't a branch, or a bird's nest, or even its egg that fell to Guren's head. It was Guren's burger, his one-day-ago hamburger.

 

*

 

He opened wide his mouth and take a big bite of hamburger. There's a hamburger on his world, but to Shinya Guren's hamburger tasted way better. He can't stop himself from eating the hamburger, "Where did you get this burger it's so delicious!"

"It's from Burger King,"

"Burger King? Is that a monster?" 

"....Mm.... no, it's not."

"I wanna meet that Burger King, he should've keep a lot of hamburger in his barn."

"You have to buy it though,"

"What?! Is he actually a merchant?! He isn't a monster?!"

"Emm... Shinya...."

"He must be casting a special magic or a special potion to make this verrryyyy delicious."

"Shinya........."

"What?"

"No, nevermind, I'll just get you one next time."

"For real?! Thank you Guren!!"

Getting Shinya a hamburger isn't a hard task for Guren. What's hard is to accept the reality that he isn't dreaming. Guren silently looking to Shinya while the magician is still busy with his burger. He remembered the dream he had last night, the vast prairie, the white tree, and most importantly, Shinya. The words that Shinya tried to convince, he wondered what it was and why Shinya was looking so sad. Guren lost in thought, he doesn't even bother where's Shinya taking him right now.

"Guren?"

"What?"

"You're so quiet,"

"I'm always like this."

"No no, you'd be like.. Get mad easily, get irritated easily as if you have a lot of life problems."

"Shut the fuck up, Shinya. You've only met me once."

"Hahaha," the magician just laughed, "even so it's like I've known you for a long time."

Guren's face blushed red, "What’s the fuck with you?! You creep me out!" 

"Are you actually.... being..... shy?" tease Shinya.

"Fuck you Shinya!!" 

"Wa,wait! Guren be carefull!"

Shinya's warning was a bit too late. When Guren wanted to chase him, Guren's feet accidentally stepped on a trap which had been planted by a hunter. It dragged out Guren's body from the ground and hung him with his head on the bottom, "Fuck! What is this shit??!!"

"I told you to be careful Guren."

"It was fucking late when you told me that!!"

"Fine, fine, I'll try to get you off."

It wasn't a robe that tie Guren's feet it was a chain, "Aaaah, why it had to be a chain," Shinya trying to break the chain with his hands.

"Do you think you can tear it off?! Use your magic damnit!"

"Oh, come on I was trying why can't you shut up?"

"And you said I was being too quiet."

"Sorry, I regretted that."

It has been 5 minutes since Guren chained to a trap. Everytime the wind blow he'll be blown away, his body will swing like a pendulum, and even whirling around. He's sure that he must be looking very stupid right now, if Goshi were here he might be laughing out loud looking at Guren, he might even take a picture out of Guren. 

"How many longer?" he asked to Shinya with his grumpy face.

"Hmm, dunno...."

"Just use your magic!"

"Fine," Shinya stopped his work. He gets his staff and pose as if he was ready to cast a spell, "anyway Guren, mine is lighting magic, shall we try?"

"Are you trying to kill me??!!!"

"EEEEhhh~~~ But you wanted me to use my magic~"

"You, sly magician!" Guren moves wildly tying to scratch Shinya's face like a dog.

"Hahaha, you're so cute Guren~~~" Shinya tease Guren again.

Guren has this one thought, that Shinya's joke is actually worse than Goshi.

Shinya back at it, trying to break the chain with whatever methods, including hitting the chain with rock even Guren's sword. But the chain won't break at all. It was a pretty strong chain, made by a special material. Just by looking to the trap and what the person used to made it, Shinya's sure that the man was a pro. Beside the fact that he can't break the chain, there's another thing that bugged Shinya's mind. 'Why was the chain place here' and 'Where did the hunter go', if his trapped managed to catch something, the hunter should be coming his way immediately. 8 minutes has passed and yet, there's still no sign from the hunter.

"Why are you stopping? The chain hasn't even broken yet," complained Guren.

"Ah sorry," 

"Shinya, destroy the tree," told Guren.

"Won't do, can't you see the big ring on the tree?"

"Then destroy the bran---," Guren saw Shinya's face has turned worry.

"What's wrong?" he asked.

"Guren, actually the reason why I came to this forest was...." Shinya tried to explain himself, until a sound from the bushes disturbs him.

"What is tha---," Shinya stopped Guren from talking by putting his finger on Guren's mouth.

"Ssst..," he said, "Guren stay here."

"How the hell you think I could move?!"

"And keep your voice low, Guren," the magician leave Guren alone and hide himself in the bushess. 

The rucks that were make on another side is getting louder. Someone, or something is getting closer. Guren silently listens to the sound while Shinya's presence has completely disappeared. A feet coming out from the bushes, slowly it reveal himself but It wasn't a human feet, it's a wolf feet and a really big feet. The wolf has a dark brown fur & a white fur just like a normal wolves. What makes it different is the size that its 3 meters tall and 4 meters long. A pretty big size for a wolf. It has a big red eyes and a strong looking claw. But what's scarier is the thing that he brings on his mouth, it's a dead human body.

Guren is 5 meters away when he see the big wolf enter the forest area. The blood keeps dripping from the dead body. It was a man, he was wearing a leather jacket and a leather boots. He has an arrow on his back, without a bow. So he as the hunter that set up the trapped, but he get killed instead. Guren soon understand why Shinya was looking worried, or why he wants Guren to keep his voice low. But where Shinya went, he wondered and right when Guren think of Shinya, more companions joining the big wolf. It was 3 more wolves with a normal size, they had a light brown and white fur.

The big wolf put the dead body on the ground. The other wolves surround the body and started digging it in. With their sharp claw and their sharp fangs, they pinch the body into small parts and send them away to their stomach. Guren watching nervously, one body for 3 wolves sure isn't enough. Guren waits nervously. He can't do anything in his current position, and he doesn't know where Shinya is. Talked about the worse, one of the wolf looking at Guren's direction. Guren isn't sure if the wolf has noticed him or not, but the bad news is the wolf making his way to Guren.

"Shit!" Guren thought, "the dude is coming my way!"

"I won't let you!" 5 lighting bold strikes out from the opposite direction from where Guren is. 

All the lightning bolt hit the wolves perfectly and able to distract their attention from Guren. The lightning bolts gave an excessive damage to both of the wolves and the nature. From the thick dust that created by the combat, Guren cold barely see that one of the wolf is dead while the other two looks busy searching for the attackers. While the big wolf is barely effected. 

"Damn that Shinya! Is he trying to settle this battle alone?!" Guren shakes his body, hoping he could free himself from the chain or at least break the branch.

More lighting bold coming from many directions, it was a rather powerful lighting bold. But unlike before, Shinya's attack is barely work on the wolves. 

 

*

 

Earth wolf is the name. It's a monster that posses earth as their element. They're known as a brute monster and always move in a group. Shinya's element is lightning and it's weak over earth, that's why his attacks are barely work over the wolves. He has been hiding and creates many lighting bold all over the place. But he isn't sure how long he could hold the wolves. Especially with its strong sense of smell, they might find Shinya anytime soon. Shinya has a lot of experience in fighting with Narakas so he managed to keep his cool, but this time is different. He has someone to protect and starting to get panic.

And the worst nightmare is here. The big wolves gets irritated, he roar calling up the magic power within his body. He smashed the ground with his feet cracking the grounds into many parts. Shinya had to move place if he doesn't want himself to get hurt. But then, one of the wolf noticed and attack him. "Shit!" Shinya cast a magic to send the wolf away, but he has no time to cast a strong magic, "stop chasing me!"

"GGGRRROOOOOORR!!" the wolf pounced Shinya. Shinya tried to defend himself with his staff, "Tsk!"

With still in contact  with the wolf Shinya recklessly cast a magic even it might hurt both of them. A blue magic circle appear before him, "Go.... My lighting!" a medium size lightning bold comes out from the magic circle and explode. "Hah....that was close," Shinya killed the wolf but that also caused him a really bad wound on his chest. "Uhuk!" he still trying to catch his breath when he choked blood, "2 more....... left......"

When he thought only 2 wolves left, a loud and long roar could be heard around the sky. The big wolf is calling for more company.

 

*

 

Guren isn't sure of what actually happening. He could see a blue light and an explosion sounds which he's sure it's coming from Shinya's magic, "Where the heck is that dude?!" his eyes keep searching for Shinya, but he can't find him. He's not even sure where are the wolves, only the big wolf visible to him. The big wolf make a noisy roar that hurt Guren's ear, he wasn't sure what is it doing, but Guren sure it isn't a good sign. 

A person comes out from the bushes, it's Shinya.

"SHINYA!!" called Guren.

"SHI--?!!" Guren noticed the red mark on Shinya's chest, it was the wound that caused by his own magic. A lot of blood dripping out from the wound and Shinya is looking paler than before. 

Guren see more wolves coming after Shinya, there're 2 more wolves now. Shinya keep pushing them away with his lighting, but somehow his lightning is getting weaker. Since Shinya is out from his hideout, he could be spotted more easier, especially with the blood on his body. The wolf's attention is directed to Shinya, including the big wolf. One more wolf joining, there're 4 wolves in total that heading towards Shinya. 

"What to do now?! My magic wouldn't work on them," thought Shinya, "Shit!"

"GGGGRRRRRR!!" the wolf company has surrounded Shinya and ready to tear their target alive.

"SHITTY DOGS!!" This is the first time he ever shouted with all of his might, Guren had to distract the wolves away from Shinya no matter what it takes.

"I'M YOUR PREY!! COME HERE IF YOU DARE FUCKERS!!"

"Gu... Guren?! What are you thinking?!"

"THIS WAY IDIOT DOGS!!" The wolves are switching their attention to Guren. Leaving Shinya alone, the wolves are changing their direction. Guren keep provoking them, that doesn't matter if the wolves could understand him or not. 

"Guren... what.. are you do...ing?!" Shinya try to move from his current position, but he is barely could move his legs.

 

*

 

The wolves are running towards Guren. The big wolves jumped and about to eat Guren with his sharp fangs. As if the Goddess of Fortune never leaves him, instead of Guren's body, the big wolf torn off the chain and freed Guren.

Guren rolled on the ground. He get the grip of his sword and aiming for the wolf's eyes, "That's my thanks!"

He slash the big wolf's right eye. The big wolf groans in pain, Guren uses this chance to attack the wolf's leg. Guren can't play with the big wolf for too long, because soon after he attacked the big wolf the other wolf come to attack him all together. Guren's body responded to the attack very quickly. His body feels light, he could read his enemy movement, he know how to handle the sword well, as if he was born this way. "Good dogs! Keep coming, I'll teach you a lesson!"

Shinya watches Guren's fight. He has gotten stronger than the first time they met. He wishes he could help, but at this state he'll be just in the way. Shinya keep his eyes to the fight as he heals himself. The healing process goes a little bit slower because of the wound was bad and Shinya himself isn't an expert in healing.  

 

*

 

The wolves are coming to Guren in a brute force. He defended himself pretty well, he old one of the wolf with his sword as a shied, he kicked its stomach and when another wolf jumped to his way, Guren swung his sword and make a deep cut on the wolf's chest. He had anticipated that attack, "one down."

The fight is not over yet. The previous wolf is now attacking Guren again. Instead of dodging the wolf's attack Guren run to the wolf instead, he makes a high jump and stand on the wolf's spine. The wolves moves recklessly in order to get Guren off from him. Guren tried to keep his balance by holding on to the wolf's fur. "Stay still won't ya?!" Guren toughen the grip on his Sword. He stabbed the wolf's head. And another one has fall.

"GOOOOORRR!!" the big wolves smashed Guren with his paw, Guren barely dodge the attack, it left a wound on Guren's left hand. 

"Tsk, they keep coming one and another," Guren make a stance to anticipate the big wolf's attack.

The big wolf run to Guren's direction, but he passes Guren through. His eyes aren’t looking at Guren, but the other man. 

"SHINYA!! RUN!!" shouted Guren.

"Damn," Shinya's wound has almost healed, but he's run out of magic power. He only has 2 options, dodge or attack the big wolf. But Shinya know that he won't be able to dodge the big wolf attack. The other option won't do too since he has only a little of magic power left in him, but he has no choice than taking a bet on the last option. Shinya cast his spell, he doesn't know if this magic will do or not, but it's worth trying than do nothing.

 

*

 

"SHINYA!!" Guren has no idea what spell is Shinya going to use, but it feel somewhat weak. Guren try to chases the wolf, but his small steps is no match.

"There's a skill that you have yet not acquired," Goshi's word ringing on Guren's head.

"That's right!" Guren stop chasing the wolf, "I have that!"

" 'Fudo Myu-O' "

"FUDO!" Guren cast his own spell. A red lines starts to appear on his black sword. 

"- a spell that could causes an explosion."

"MYU-O!!" 

It wasn't a round circle with a lot of lines and characters like Shinya's, but chinese characters appear and circling the big wolf's body. The spell is colored in orange and glowing red, "KILL THAT DOG!!" 

"My lighting, GO!" Shinya launches a medium size lighting ball. It goes to the big wolf with a full speed. 

Both of the spells explode and hit the target at the same time, causes a really big amount of explosion. The entire area is covered in a thick dust, nothing could be seen. "SHINYA!!" Guren searches for Shinya despite the thick dust, he even forgetting about the big wolf. 

"SHINYA! Where are you?!" Guren called out for Shinya, but no answer.

 

*

 

The dust has covered everything. Shinya could see nothing but the colored of gray, "Uhuk! Uhuk!" thanks to the dust Shinya couldn't stop coughing, "How annoyiingggg."

"GUREN! Where are you?!" Shinya keeps calling for Guren but no answer. 

The dust won't disappear even after for few minutes. In the midst of the dust, Shinya heard a footsteps coming for him, "Guren? Is that you?!"

No answer.

"Guren?" he called again.

Still no answer.

The foot step is getting even closer, but Shinya still can't see anything to tell if it's Guren.

"Guren? Guren is that yo---?"

"Grrrr.... Grrrrrrr," so it's not Guren, it's one of the wolves.

"Not him eh," Shinya get his staff, getting ready for a close range combat.

When he expects the wolf to attack him, he heard a weak groan voice made by the wolf as if the wolf get stabbed by a sword. A red splatter dirt the grass, it was coming from the wolf's blood. The wolf is really dead and another footstep walking in, "If he didn't answer you, then it's not me."

"Guren?!!"

"Yeah it's me, how dare you mistaken me with that stupid dog."

"Sorry, sorry~"

The wind swapping away the dust. It gets thinner, the view is getting clear. They saw the body of big wolf, lying dead on the ground.

"We did it, didn't we?" said Guren.

"Yeah, and you saved me again."

"It just happened that way, don't sweat it," Guren tried to keep his cool in front of Shinya.

"Anyway, let's get out from here," said Shinya, "more wolves will come later, I'll heal you on the way, let's go!"

 

*

 

Shinya and Guren runs through the forest, heading out Shambhala. Guren's wound gets better with Shinya's healing spell, but somehow the process is even slower. Guren is looking worry at Shinya. Shinya's face looks paler and seems exhausted. But everytime Guren asked about his condition, Shinya awalys said he's okay. 

Shinya suddenly stopped his step, "This is bad."

"What's wrong?" asked Guren.

"They're here..."

Seems like a big companion has arrived, the birds flies leaving the forest, the growls that made by the wolves sounds louder. Some of their face could be seen from behind the shadow, every single of them looks furiously mad. 

"Damnit, they're crazily angry," said Guren.

"Well, we killed their boss after all, it can't be helped."

"'It can't be helped'? Why do you always take a matter lightly?!"

"I don't, I just sounded like that."

"Now, what to do?"

"Hmmm, of course," Shinya grabbed Guren's hand, "RUN!!"

Guren won't act recklessly, with Shinya's condition in mind, he fastened his speed, "Shinya, lead the way, I'll try to hold them."

Guren is now able to use his skill freely. He even able to control the timing of the explosion. But no matter how many times he tried, the wolves won't bug down. One dead, replies a thousand.

"Shinya, there's no end to them! How many long until we get to town?"

"A bit..... a bit longer....," answered Shinya weakly. Shinya drenched in cold sweat, he breathe heavily. He couldn't keep his balance anymore and eventually fall stumble because of a tree root. 

"Shinya!"

"Don't worry, I'm ok,"

"You're NOT okay!" Guren lowered his body, "get up, I'll piggy ride you to town."

"Ahahahaha," Shinya laughed, "What do you think am I? A baby?"

"Why you?!" Guren is mad because Shinya isn’t listening to him.

"I'm fine, let's go," using his staff as a foothold.

They start running again, but their pace is slower now. Shinya cannot run in full speed anymore and Guren is trying to keep his pace with Shinya. Luckily the wolves are gone since the last diversion Guren made. 

"They're not chasing us anymore?"

"Not sure, they're probably planning on something."

"Like what?"

"Like have use surrounded…,” the wolves has had them surrounded from everyway possible. Now they have no way to escape.

"Shinya! Stay on my back!" Guren draw his sword and move ahead on Shinya.

"Guren It's dangerous!" Shinya's trying to stop Guren by holding Guren's elbow.

"Then what?! The current you can't win against them!"

"Gu....ren....?"

"He's right Shinya!" a man voice appears out of nowhere. Someone is coming out from the forest, it's Crowley. He came together with one of his employee, Horn. He has a sword on his right hand and today he's not wearing his bartender suit. 

"Crowley!" called Shinya.

"That bartender?" said Guren.

"It's Crowley! When will you learn calling my name right?" complained Crowley to Guren, "But whatever."

Crowley draw out his sword, "He's right Shinya, the current you can't win against anything, but that goes the same way for you Guren."

"What do you mean?" asked Guren.

"What I meant is that," Crowly lift his hand. He made an 'X' with his sword. Hard wind blowing from Crowley slashes. Guren closes his eyes due the hard blow. When the wind stopped blowing, Guren slowly open his eyes just to find everything around him has cut into 2 parts, the wolves and even the trees. 

".....you're too weak, Guren," continue Crowley as he drew back his sword to the sword case.

Crowley left Guren speechless. He had a hard time dealing with the wolves yet Crowley able to kill all of them without putting much effort to it.

"Thank...you, Crowley,' said Shinya weakly, "we're..... saf....." He loosen his grip on Guren's elbow. His vision is blurry, he barely can feel his feet anymore. He dropped the staff that he has been using as a foothold. Shinya's body fell to the ground.

"Shinya?" Guren turning around to look at Shinya. He was so shocked to see Shinya falling to the ground. He hurriedly holds his body and let Shinya fell on his arms.

"SHINYA! SHINYA!" Guren keep calling the magician's name, but Shinya has lost his consciousness.

 

Chapter Text

"SHINYA!!" the magician is lying unconscious in Guren's arms. 
His body temperature is going low, his breathing is unstable, and he keeps getting a cold sweat.
"Crowley! What should I do?! Did he infect by a poison?!" Guren who had never seen this symptom before is getting panic. 
"Poison?! Are you a stupid?! He ran out of magic power!!" scold Horn.
"Magic Power? How the fuck I supposed to understand that?!"

"Enough!" Crowley meddle the debate, "We don't have time for this!"
"We have to hurry Guren," said Crowley, "if you don’t want to see your partner die."

Guren lift Shinya on his back. There's no way he will let Shinya die just like that. 
"Show me the way," he said.

They headed straight for Crowley's inn. Crowley was leading the way, while Horn was busy killing the wolves who were still trying to attack them.

 

*

 

The sunlight emerge in from the only window at the room, it's 30 minutes to sunset. The dust particles are shimmering under the sunlight. It was a 4mx4m room. The floor made by willow wood, the wall painted in beige color, the ceiling painted in white. It has 1 single bed with a square table next to it, a 2 doors cupboard, 1 desk with a vase on it, a chair, and a mini fireplace. The room has no electric lamp like bulb or florescent lamp, it only has 4 lanterns pasted on the every side of the wall. There's no fancy decoration, it only has a clock and a painting of Shambala's scenery. 

Guren has been sitting inside the room for 2 hours and Shinya hasn't opened his eyes since they left the forest. The doctor had already come to check on Shinya's condition. He left a blue colored potion for Shinya to drink. Dr.Mika said the magician will get better in 15 minutes after he drank the medicine. It's true that Shinya's breathing has become stable and he isn't clod sweating anymore, but it has been one and a half hour since Dr.Mika left and Shinya still hasn't open his eyes. 

The door opened. A blonde girl is coming in brings a stray with hot herbal tea and a slice of baked potato cheese, "Sorry for the interruption."
"Ah, thank you Horn," said Guren.
"A little break might be good for you," she said.
"yeah, I'll do it later."
"....fine then," Horn leave shortly after she put the tea and the potato on the desk. 

 

*

 

Horn back to the down stairs with her empty tray.

"How's he?" asked Crowley.
"Which one?" said Horn.
"Well, both of them."
"Shinya still hasn't regained his consciousness while Guren...."

Crowley gazing up to the upstairs. Looking to where Shinya & Guren room is.

 

*

 

Guren doesn't seem to bother with the food that Horn brought to him. He has so much going on in his head. Too much things he doesn't understand, about this world and about Shinya. He doesn't even know where to start, because things just way to different with his world. The last battle told him clearly, that his way of life won't do here. This world works with the law of nature where the strongest will survive and the weaklings will be devoured. 

One more thing that he cannot forget, the dream he had. He once forget it because his busy life, but with Shinya lying unconscious in front of him, the memory of the dream come back to haunt him.

The doorknob makes a clicked sound, Crowley entering the room, "Yo~!"
Guren responded by nodding to Crowley.
"How's he?" 
"Not much changed, he has been sleeping like that."

Crowley put his palm on Shinya's forehead and compared Shinya's temperature with his, "He's not like a dead person anymore, isn't that great?"

"Crowley," called Guren, "Tell me, what is magic power?"
"Hmmm? You don't know?"
"If I know I wouldn't ask you."
"Hahaha, your attitude is reaaaalllly annoying."

Crowley walked away from the bed. He open the curtain, let the sunset light coloring the room. He gazed out to the window. He could see the busy street of Shambhala and the mountain that lies after the town.

"Magic power, is the essential power that build a magician," Crowley started his explanation, "each of us has a magic power within us, but we don't depend much on it, unlike the magician. Every single of the spell they casted take a certain amount of magic power and once they ran out of magic power...."

"They died," finished Guren.

"Yep, you're right," Crowley closed the curtain, "but never underestimate him, Shinya isn't as weak as what you think."

"What do you mean?"

"Do you know? When you suddenly disappeared from library?"

So Crowley actually knows about the library, "how did you know?"

"That night, Shinya come to me...."

 

*

 

"CROWWWLEEEEYYY!!!" Shinya yelled out.
"Ou Shinya, you forget something?" Crowley was wiping a beer glass.
"Guren! Did you see him?!"
"Hah? Didn't you leave with him a moment ago??"
"He's gone! He's gone! Gone!!" 
"Shi, Shinya," Crowley put down the glass and stop what he was doing, "calm down okay, tell me the details, slow-ly."

**

Shinya were on the block next to Guren's block when he was talking about his teacher. He has a feeling that Guren doesn't pay attention to him, but he doesn't really care either. 

"WHO?!" Guren shouted in the midst of silence.
"Eh? Guren?! Guren what happen?!" Shinya ran for few steps but Guren told him not to come,” I’m fine, don't come here."

Shinya felt something wrong is going on, but Guren wanted him to continue his story instead. So Shinya did as what he told to. Few moments later, Guren dropped his book.

"Guren?! Are you really okay??"
"Yeah!"
"Really?!"
"I said I'm fucking fine!"
"....Guren......"

They went silent again. Until suddenly, Guren make a weird voice, and it was clear that he was in a grieve pain. Shinya rushes to check on Guren. 
"Guren?! You okay??!"

The book that Guren was reading has dropped to the floor with the middle part spread open. 

"Gu.....ren........," Shinya's eyes wide open. 

Under the moonlight he saw, Guren's body disappearing into small particles. When Shinya tried to reach him, Guren just completely disappear, leaving no trace behind.

**

"Maybe he used a teleportation magic?" that was the only assumption Crowley had right now.
"No teleportation magic work that way!" since Shinya is a magician he knew every magic better than anyone.
"Maybe it was a new kind of magic?" Crowley keep taking a guess.
"He can't even swing his sword right how could he created a new magic?!"
"Then......what could it be?" Crowley has ran out of ideas.
"If I know it I won't be panicking like now!!"
"......well, sorry......"

"I'll go search for him!!" Shinya stomping his hand on the table and leave.
"Wa, wait! Shinya! Don't do anything weird! Shinya!!" Crowley trying to stop Shinya but the magician wasn't even bother to look back.

 

*

 

"Aaaaannndddd, He went to search you for the entire week," finished Crowley, "so he probably already exhausted by now."

Guren gazing out to the magician who is sleeping on the bed. He never thought that Shinya would search for him desperately, while he thought Shinya as nothing but a nonexistent human being. He even said cruel words to Shinya back there. The fact that Shinya almost died also because of him, Guren never expect that he could be such a bad person.

Crowley pats Guren on his shoulder before he left the room, "I don't know what he see in you, but you better treat him well or I'll crush you down."

The men exchanging their gazes. Guren has not yet understand what's behind Crowley words, but it was clearly an intentional threat. While Crowley himself doesn't show a carefree sight like he always do.

“I also curious,” he whispered, “with what kind of world you’re coming from.” Crowley smirked at Guren. So he knows that Guren is coming from another world, a completely different world than theirs. Have nothing left to say Crowley walked off the room.

 

*

 

"Seriously, you make my head sick...." mumbles Guren.
"Did I?"
"Shinya?! You awake?!" Guren jumped out from his chair when he sees Shinya has opened his eyes.
"Do I look like talking in my sleep?" Shinya is joking around.
"I should've not worried about you," Guren back to his chair, feeling relieved.
"Hahaha, sorry…" Shinya laugh off, "but I really appreciate it though."

Shinya trying to get up from his bed, but Guren not allowed it.

"Guren, do I look like a baby?"
"Why won't you listen?!" 

Shinya said nothing but smile. When he smile Guren give up, "Whatever...." Guren crossed his arms.

"Then what is it? Has something bugging you?" asked Shinya.
"Yeah, but it's nothing important."
"You won't tell me?"
"You won't understand if I tell you."

Guren left his chair to get his tea. The sky orange sky has changed color into purple. The weather is getting colder. It's even colder because the winter is ahead. Guren walks to the fireplace, he put some firewood and lit on the fire.

"Guren,"
"What?"
"Is my world and your world that different?"

Guren almost dropped his cup when he heard Shinya's question.

"How did you.....,"
"When we were at the library," Shinya started, "You just disappear from my eyes."
No words were said from Guren's mouth. It shouldn't be a surprised since he already heard the story from Crowley, but he wasn’t ready to hear that directly from Shinya.

"I'm a magician, so there's no way I didn't find out," he continue, "You must be at a loss when you arrived."

"Yes I am, even now..." Guren finally speaks up, "but things just happened that way." 

"Guren...,"

He put back his cup to the table, "I'm gonna get my dinner, you just stay here if you still feeling unwell."

"Nope, I'm perfectly fine already~!" Shinya get out from his bed and following Guren to downstairs.

 

*

 

The Inn hasn't filled with many people since the night has just started. It'll get crowded around 20.00, because that's almost the closing time for Shambala's entrance gates. The gates are always closed at 21.30PM, it's to prevent the Narakas that most likely breaking through the gates. Guren and Shinya are walking downstairs. They see Crowley cleaning his bar, Horn has already started taking orders, while Chess is nowhere can be found. 

"Look who is here," said Crowley as he mopping his bar table.

"Crowley, sorry for the trouble," said Shinya.

"No worries, Crowley-sama is always here to help."

Guren and Shinya get their seat. Crowley served then with a plate of katsu curry, Shinya's favorite. In a normal condition Guren wouldn't want to eat katsu curry, but the last battle tire him so much. The first chew tasted like a shit, he wanted to vomit it all. The second chew tasted like a dump, he trying hard to gulp it down. The third chew it taste just fine, he started to chew more. Soon after his emptied his plate with no single rice left. 

"Guren, do you actually like curry??" asked Shinya.
"This tasted like a shit."
"But you ate it all."

“I was fucking hungry.”

 

*

 

Shambala's street is still crowded by people no matter what time it is. They are busy buying new armors, some others are currently upgrading their weapons at a blacksmith, while some are just joking around with their Guild mates. Earlier, Shinya said that he wants to breathe a fresh air, so Guren accompany him to explore the city of Shambhala. The night was quite cold and dry cause by the winter that lies a centi ahead. The sky is so clear and dark just like a navy colored fabric. The stars are clearly visible, the moon looks big and bright, unlike the night sky at Tokyo or any metropolitan city where the air is already polluted by vehicle fumes and industrial smokes.

"Guren,"
"What?"
"Are you actually....," Shinya dragging his words, "a romantist?"
"What the fuck Shinya?!"
"Today you said 'If he didn't answer you, then it's not me', does it mean you'll answer my call?"
"I never say anything like that!"
"You were so cool back there! 'Shinya I'll answer to any of your call!' " Shinya mimicking Guren's voice and face.
"You fucking made up that one!"
"So you admit the latter?" Shinya has won the war.
"You little fucker," if by any chance they met at the real world and facing each other as a business rival, Guren sure he won't win the deal.

They kept walking. They walked across the small streets, visiting the various shops in the city of Shambhala. Shinya bring Guren to a high tower in the north side of Shambhala. The tower was use as a control tower in the past, but now it abandoned because it has become too old and the government has built a new tower to replace the old ones.

Shinya is climbing the stairs to the top floor, Guren following behind. The top floor of the tower is an open space, with a conical roof and a large bell hanging in the middle. They could see the entire view of Shambala including the outskirt. The Street lamps are looking so small and glittering like little stars and the paper lanterns that is floating on Shambhala's sky make the view on that night even more incredibly beautiful.

"Guren..."
"What is it this time?"
"How is it at your world? How does it look like?" Shinya's blue eyes shine out of curiosity. 
Shinya's blue eyes fascinated Guren. He has this thought when he met Shinya for the first time that his blue eyes are beautiful.

"Tokyo," Guren started, "It's the town where I lived."
"It's bigger and busier than Shambhala."
"What?! I thought Shambhala is the busiest town, but it's not?!"

Ignoring Shinya's comment Guren continues his story, "There're many tall buildings, so tall that it touches the sky."

"How is that even possible, Guren?!"
"We don't ride horse, we drive cars or motorbike and some take train or bus."
"Car?! Motorbike?! Train?! Bus??? What are they???"

Guren giggled with Shinya's reaction, he look like an excited little boy. 

"Every morning we woke up, eat our breakfast, wearing our clothes, go to work, do the things that has been assigned to us."
"Work? What kind of work? Was that the thing you mentioned before? Oil and Trade?" 
"Yeah, that one...."
"And then? And then?! What else is it there?!"
"Not much, we just busy with our smart phones, can't get ourselves out from internet, live like a robot, and hating our life," Guren ended his story.

Shinya didn't say a word. He just stares to the scenery that lies ahead, feeling the cold breeze that blowing his silver hair. 

"Guren...."
Guren replied with a 'Hm?'
"Do you hate your life?" Shinya asked seriously.
Guren laughed off, "I do get bored sometimes, but I don't hate my life, it's the path that I've choose to walked on, I've no reason on hating it."

Shinya smiles softly.

"What's with that smile? It creep me out."
"Because I'm glad," he said.

Guren doesn't get what Shinya is trying to get.

"My life too, it had been a boring life but now that I meet you, My life has become more exciting."

He lean his back to the wall, he cross his arms as he replied back to Shinya, "We've only meet twice."

"It's true, but like I said before, It's like I've known you for a long time even though we've only met twice," Shinya turned his body. He looks closely to Guren's purple eyes.

As if his eyes got pierced by Shinya's blue eyes. Guren can't swift his look to any other direction.

"Guren, don't disappear again," he paused.
"Because by the next time you disappear, I wouldn't know what to do."

The wind blows harder, gently shake the bell. A word that should have been easily spoken, now can't be made by Guren as if he lose thousands words. Guren stood stiffly facing the man who now stood before him. 'I won't' is the word he want to say, but it locked tightly in his mouth. "Don't talk about nonsense," buttered Guren.

Shinya's blue eyes widened, the light in his eyes slowly disappear.

"This isn't even my world," Guren continue, "I could go back to my world, without returning here."

He saw it, the light that leaving Shinya's eyes. Guren wishes that Shinya would mad at him, that he would yell at him, to snap him back to his mind. But the magician didn't.

Once again he smiled, "You're right Guren, I'm sorry for talking bullshit."

The bell rings weakly. That moment, Guren hates himself for making another wound on Shinya's heart.

 

*

 

The long haired man walking in Tokyo Skytree corridor. Ferid leaves his kitchen for some fresh air. As the main chef he needs to keep making a new menu for the restaurant, especially when the year end is coming close. The demands for new menus are getting higher. At the corridor, Ferid saw a person which he knows better than anyone else, "What are you doing Krul?"

The little girl is standing on a step box and peeking from the telescope, "sightseeing," she answered. 

Ferid let out a sigh as he smiled, "peeking to another person apartment you mean?"

He then switches the telescope’s direction to another, "that's where Guren's apartment is, number third on the left of the highest tower."

"Ck, you bastard," glared Krul.

"You're welcome~" Ferid received it as a thanks.

"What are you searching though? He's not even there," Ferid leaning his body to the guardrail and gazing to the wide view of Tokyo.

"Hmmm," Krul not taking her eyes out from the telescope, "I'm curious."

"Curious about what?"

"The Multiplayer option," said Krul, still busy with her telescope, "I wonder if it works well or no."

Ferid opens a magazine that he has been holding to "Hmmm, has it ever malfunction?" he asked.

"Not even once."

"Then don't worry, you'll see the result soon," Ferid threw the magazine to Krul. She received it without looking. Once she get the magazine she took her eyes off from the telescope and started screening the magazine that Ferid gave to her.

"Why are you giving me this?"

"Well~~~ I gotta agree with Guren," Ferid smiles, "If you have a time to stalk people, why don't you learn a little about fashion?"

Krul's face turned red, as red as a plum. She shouldn't have told the 'Burger King Tragedy' to Ferid. She hated it very much if someone make a fun of her, Guren was embarrassed her, and now Ferid humiliated her. Krul threw away the magazine to Ferid's face with all of her might, "Ferid you bastard! You're a Fashion Terrorist! How dare you!!" 

Ferid just laughed at Krul, he enjoys making a fun of his little friend.

 

*

 

Guren and Shinya left the tower and heading to another way. They walked in silence, none of them speak a word. They walk across the back passageway of Shambhala. Unlike the bustling and bright main street, the back passageway is rather dark and only received a dim light of the floating lanterns. An unknown being hid himself under the building's shadow and moves very quickly. His whole body was covered in a cloak, not showing a skin of his body.

The path they walk on is getting even darker and quiet. Guren doesn't sure what it is but there's something bugging him. He heard a voice from behind the buildings, but the voice was weak and disappeared very soon. Guren thought that the noises he heard are coming from his excessive worry, because Shinya who always quick witted in suspecting stuffs wasn't reacting at all. But somehow the uncomfortable feeling is not disappear and gets even stronger.

A sharp weapon cut through the darkness, flying away towards Shinya. Guren exclaimed, "Shinya!" he pushed Shinya so that they both fell. The sharp objects embedded in the floor, it is a shuriken. Guren sees a suspicious figure escaping, he immediately stood up and pursuit of this unknown figures. Unfortunately, he lost track of him and decided to came back to Shinya, "Shinya, are you okay?"

"Yeah I'm okay," Shinya hasn't fully understood of what's going on, but he's sure that Guren has saved him again. 

Guren feels angry, he wanted to pursue the perpetrator but recalling of what has happened today, he believes Shinya definitely feel tired and Guren did not want to give a further burden for Shinya. So he decided to let the perpetrator go. "Shinya, let's go back to Crowley's place," Guren lend out his hand and helped Shinya stand.

*

Once they return to the Inn Crowley, Horn, and Chess are looking serious discussing something behind the bar. Boisterous atmosphere also fill the bar that night. There's this one thing that everyone were talking about. There're thieves at Shambhala.

"What's going on?" asked Guren.
"Oh! You guys just came back?" said Crowley, "Well you see, people are talking about thieves at town and Chess....."
"And I saw him!!" Chess joined the conversation.
"I went shopping to get some ingredients and on my way back I saw a man covered in coat! I chased him, but I lost him! He was so fast." 
"Some people said that they were attacked too," addd Horn, “and most likely there’re several incidents happened at the same time.”

After they listened to Chess's story, Guren and Shinya told their friends of what just happened to them.

"WHAT??!!" yelled Crowley, "You were attack?!"
Shinya nodded, "Guren saved me though," they told Crowley and the others about how they were attacked and how the suspect fled.

"This is bad," Horn feeling worry, "we never had a violent thieves before."
Unlike Horn who is more serious and get worry easily, Chess is a positive and often take things lightly, "Don't worry~ don't worry~ If thing goes bad we have Crowley with us!"

Guren squinted his eyes to Crowley.

"Shinya, I guess you should stay here for tonight," offered Crowley.
But Shinya refuses the offer, "But that'd give you more trouble."
"What's the point of saying it now? You already gave me much trouble for today," the bartender smiles friendly.
"Crowley is right~ our inn is better than your ugly house," Chess make a fun out of Shinya's tiny house.
"It's not ugly!!" Shinya is a little bit shy to admit it, "it just a little bit crumbly."
"Then, I'll get the room ready for both of you," Horn going upstairs to clean and set up the room.

The four of them looks so close to each other. Guren felt a little left out and on the same time he also see them as his companion when they were young. Now they barely able to hang out like they used to and the last time they gathered, it wasn't the same anymore and he was the cause.

Shinya approaches the other male, he poked the male's cheeks with both of his hands, "What's wrong Guren? You gonna get wrinkles if you keep your face like that."
"Shut up you little jerk," Guren slammed Shinya's head.



*



Horn prepared a slightly bigger room than the room Shinya used earlier. This room has 2 single beds, each stick to the wall. The other interiors are pretty much the same. Guren lit up the fire in fireplace. Shinya took off his robe and change to a long sleeves white tee. Guren also changes his clothes later on. After they done their business, they turned off the lanterns, leaving one lantern stay on because Shinya doesn't like to sleep in a complete darkness. 

"Shinya," Guren started off a conversation naturally.
"Why?"
"So, you're actually not a homeless."
Shinya burst out into laughter, "do I look like one?"
"Pretty much like that,"
"Hahahaha, I'll take you to my house next time, but it's pretty small though."
"Doesn't sound too bad."

They stopped talking again, it's still a little bit awkward after all.

"Shinya, about today... I'm sorry," this was Guren main intention when he started off the small talks, "My words, I didn't mean it that way, so yeah.... sorry." 
It was hard for Guren to apologize directly like this, especially when he's a man of pride. When he apologized, it just for a special occasion or to a special person. Shinya is either of them. 

The latter didn't answer, by Guren noticed Shinya fell asleep already, "Tsk, sleeping already eh." So that was a wasteful effort, Guren thought. He took his blanket, burry his entire body under the blanket, and close his eyes.

On the other side, Shinya is already sleeping. His body is facing the window. In his sleep he smiles, so he wasn't sleeping at all.

 

*



Guren has never been a heavy sleeper. He woke up at 6am, even when Shinya was still asleep. He washed himself and put back on his knight armor and sword. He goes downstairs and already found Crowley at his bar, as if he lives nowhere but his bar.

"G'morning~" Greeted Crowley.
"Morning."
"You're an early bird, aren't you~?"
"Indeed I am."

Crowley made Guren a coffee, a black coffee and a toast with jam. So, this world actually had a coffee and the smell is quite nice, so does the taste. Guren thought it'll make him want to vomit like this world's beer, but it didn't.

When Guren was enjoying his breakfast, someone shouted with quite a deafening voice and ruined his mood in this early morning. "CROWLEY!!" Chess exclaimed. Horn walked next to her. They both look dragging something or someone to be more precise. They tied the man with a rope and his mouth with a fabric. The man kept kicking his legs hopelessly. 

"Why are you so loud at this early morning Chess?" Crowley muttered.

Guren is not concerned with the commotion, he keep himself busy with his breakfast.

"This man had been wandering suspiciously around our inn," said Horn.

"He is probably one of the thieves that caused the fuss in our town!" Chess added.

Now Guren became interested in the conversation of the three. If that is true, it means that this person was the one who attacked him and Shinya last night.

Crowley came out from the bar table, he's going to check the catches of his two employees.

"Hm~Hm~ Lemme see," Crowley untied the fabric on the man's mouth, "Then, are you the thief?"

"NO! Of course I'm not!!" the man yelled.

Guren blinked.

"There's no way in million years I ever live by stealing!" he yelled again.

Guren switch his head. 

"You people have misunderstood me!!"

Guren choked on his coffee, "Go..." he mumbles.

"Are you GOSHI?!!!"



*

 

Guren was enjoying his breakfast when all of this mess happened. But now he has left his breakfast unfinished. His eyes widened, cannot believe what he is actually seeing. Shocking events always occur during Guren stay in this world. If he stays in this world any longer, he might actually die due a heart attack.

"WHAT THE FUCK?! What are you doing?! How the fuck did you get here?!!" Guren can't even lower his voice.

The man who is now in front of Guren is no less shocked than the knight, "Guren?! GUREN IS THAT YOU??!!"

Crowley, Horn, and Chess exchanged glances. "You know him?" asked Horn.

"Well, yea.... you know, he's like.... my friend....," Guren said haltingly.

"Look! Look! Didn't you hear what he say?! I AM his friend and not a thief!!"

Once again Crowley, Horn, and Chess exchanged glances, they squint to Guren.

"Yeah... He is a friend of mine," repeated Guren.

"Cut off my handcuff!!" Goshi whined.

With a knife she was carrying Horn cut the ropes that bind Goshi tightly. When the rope broke Goshi stood up instantly and ran towards Guren. Goshi embraced Guren while shaking him like a doll, "Gurreeeeennn!!!! You're the best person ever in planet!! I'm safeeedd!!"

"How....," feeling annoyed, Guren threw Goshi to the space, "....annoying."

 

*

 

Goshi finally managed to calm himself and the situation has under controlled. Guren, Crowley, Chess, Horn, and of course Goshi, they're all gathered at the bar to listen to Goshi's story. "So you now, I was doing a work at Nagoya," Goshi began, "at the Friday night, me and my coworkers were having a party. I had a sudden stomachache so I went to toilet, and when I was doing my thing, the building was shaking, I thought it was an earthquake, but suddenly the floor beneath my feet shines a bright white and by the time I open my eyes I was already in the middle of forest wearing this metal armor "

The beginning of Goshi's story is exactly the same with Guren's.

"So, basically you're coming from the same world as Guren, right?" assumed Crowley.

"I AM coming from Japan!" said Goshi.

"How did you get to Shambhala?" asked Horn.

"And wandering around our inn!" added Chess.

Goshi continues, "After I woke up, I wander aimlessly at the forest, I even get chased by monster, but I'm not that weak, I drew out my sword and kill them off," he put his 'handsome' face trying to attract Horn and Chess but failed miserably. 

"Then?!" Guren demanded Goshi to continue his story instead of playing around.

"Theeen, I met a group or merchant and by ridding their carriage I managed to arrive at Shambhala. Because I had nowhere to sleep last night I sneaked in to the fire wood barn and planning to leave at early morning. I heard a sound of people coming and it woke me up, so I tried to leave but you caught me and calling me a thief."

"I saw you coming out from our barn how I could not suspect you!" scold Chess.

"Well enough Chess, things are cleared already," meddle Crowley, "so that means, you've one more company in your team, right Guren?"

"Mm, yeah you could said so."

"Anyway Guren," Goshi started off, "how did you get here?"

Guren just sighed, "I'll tell you later."

A man's footsteps are walking down the stairs. He looks sleepy but neat in his long white coat. Shinya is not a heavy sleeper but the amount of energy he spent yesterday was extraordinary, so it kinda tire him off. "Good morning everyone," said Shinya, yawning, he is still a little sleepy.

"Yow! Morning," Crowley responded by giving Shinya a flick.

"Morning," Guren said while drinking coffee which is not too warm anymore.

Shinya rushed to the bar when he saw Crowley has already prepared a toast with jam and a glass of hot milk. "Crowey you're the best!" Shinya rushed immediately took this bread and eat it voraciously. He did not even realize that there is an additional person there.

Goshi stood up from his chair, he even makes his chair crashed to the floor, "A-ARE YO-YOU?!!". His hands pointing towards the male with blue eyes. Goshi displayed an expression as if he was seeing a ghost. Everyone's eyes are focused on Goshi immediately.

"Hm?" Shinya glanced at the person who shouted to him as he was busy chewing his bread.

"A-ARE YO-YOU," repeated Goshi, "SHINYA?!!"

Everyone present are very surprised, especially Guren, not including Shinya. How come Goshi knew Shinya when they've never met before.

Shinya swallowed a piece of bread that he had been chewing, "And you are?"

Chapter Text

"SHI,SHINYA... IS THAT YOU?!!" Goshi was not able to give his words well,  as if he was seeing a ghost . All eyes turned to Goshi. They still do not understand how could Goshi knew Shinya. Because there's almost no possibility for Goshi to know Shinya.

Shinya gulped down his bread, "And you're?" he didn't surprised at all, "Is he your friend Guren?"

"How do you know him?" Guren pointing his finger to Goshi, then he pointed again to Shinya, his face looked confused, he doesn't know how to react.

"Guren?! Are you fucking kidding me?!" exclaimed Goshi, "It's Shinya! SHI-NYA!!"

Goshi keeps pointing out the male's name but that didn't answer Guren's question, "I know that bastard name is Shinya so, HOW did you know him?"

"How??? Me???!!" Goshi somehow look in disbelief, "Guren you see... you, me, and him we were..." Goshi remembered something. Suddenly he makes a turn and change his speech direction, "He's an NPC! NPC! How come you didn't know it?"

NPC; Non Player Character is a video game character that is controlled by the game's artificial intelligence (AI) rather than by a gamer. Their action was set by the Game Master so they could fill their purposes as a guide for the gamers. Guren never guesses that possibility. He has forgotten that he's actually inside a game. SERAFU Chronicle isn't an online game where players from around the world gathered and playing together. Guren remembered, Dr.Mika he met yesterday was also an NPC on Goshi's quest. A thought rings on Guren's head, does that also make Crowley, Horn, and Chess an NPC? But Shinya as an NPC, it just too sad to be true.

"NPC?" Shinya wakes Guren who is dissolved in his thoughts, "What is that?"

Goshi stuttered as he try to explain the definition of NPC. 

"NPC is the phenomenon of having the strong sensation that an event or experience currently being experienced has already been experienced in the past. So basically Goshi was hallucinating of meeting you before," Guren ended up explaining on Goshi's behalf. It was a lie though, but it was real enough so Shinya wouldn't found out. Guren gave a signal to Goshi through his gaze. Goshi doesn't quite understand it at first, but now he gets it. Guren wants him to play a long in his stupid play.

"Ri, Right, it's something like that!" said Goshi with an awkward laugh.

"Hmmm," Shinya bites his toast again, "so that's the cause."

"Why you didn't shock at all?" asked Guren.

"Why should I?" now he drink his milk, "I've been wandering around here and there, so it just normal when people mistook me as someone else."

Shinya finishes one of his toasts, now he gets the other one and put a lot of jam on it, "isn't it more surprising?"

"What?"

"That you actually have a friend? You're such a grumpy dude, I thought no one ever want to be friend with you~~"

"You dumbass!!" 

"Ahahaha~," Shinya laughed, "Oh Guren! I think I saw wrinkles on your face~"

"Oh my gosh, Shinya I'm gonna ki--," Shinya stuffed his toast into Guren's mouth.

"'Gonna kiss you?'" Shinya's back with his imitations of Guren.

"You fucker!!" Gurne grabs Shinya's collar and shakes him nonstop.

"I don't know what happened last night, but It's good to see them in a hyper energy this morning~" Crowley is happy to see his Inn filled with a lively atmosphere. He told Horn and Chess to go back to work. So does himself. The three of them got so many things to do at the morning, such as cleaning the rooms, shopping, getting the breakfast ready, etc.

Goshi just stares at Guren who is currently getting crazy because of Shinya.

"Then," said Shinya after Guren stop chasing him, "Just like what you said before, I'm Shinya, and you're?"

Goshi is still in his blank state, "ah, oh," Goshi smiles brightly, "I'm Goshi! A knight!! Nice to meet you!!"

He isn't as bright as Guren, he was actually happy to get trapped in this game world. But with Shinya here... nothing makes a sense. While Guren himself noticed that Goshi is hiding something from him.

*

It wasn't a bright morning. The sky is cloudy and the weather is cold. It's the first day of winter. Guren and Goshi don't have a robe or a jacket or anything that could warm off their body. So Crowley lent them a pretty thick coat. Crowley has been too nice for them, even though Guren thought that man is quite a shady man, he's still in debt to the Inn manager. This isn't a good a sign, because that means they're too depended on Crowley and the group. They need to get some money and start to live independently. Shinya suggest on getting a job. There's a lot of job vacancy pasted on the bulletin board, from a full time job to a part time job. The reward that given from each jobs are varied based on the difficulty of the task. Goshi was super excited to get a job, he kept yelling "Quest! A Quest!! Let's go on a Quest!!" Guren had to shut him up. After thy settle down on a job, the three males went out to get a work done. Shinya choose a job that is possible for the three of them. It's a job where they had to gather a certain material. No details information included on the pamphlet so now they're on their way to the client.

"What kind of person do you think Mr.Kaeddong is?" Goshi is holding the pamphlet and reviewed it carefully. 

"Not sure, it's the first time I heard such a silly name," said Shinya. As usual he's leading the way.

"Silly name?"

"Well, Kaeddong literally means dog poop so....."

Goshi laughed out loud. It was a silly name. Really silly, "What kind of parents named their son like that?!"

"I know right, imagine if the whole family named after poop, like cat's poop, horse's poop, bird's poop."

The two making fun out of their client's name. Goshi's compatibility with Shinya is surprisingly good. Their stupid jokes are easily connected and Shinya is always fast to reply on Goshi's jokes. If they were in real life they probably formed a standup comedy duo. Performing from one TV Channel to another and Guren will switch the channel everytime he see the duo. A bunch of jerkass, thought Guren. 

"Dog poop! Help me to throw the dog poop!" jokes Goshi.

"What? You want me to throw myself?" respond Shinya.

The two burst out into laughter. Guren following a bit further at the back. "How lame," he thought.

 

*

 

They arrived on a certain building at the town. It's a 4 floors building. It also has a same style like most other building and houses at Shambhala. The building is flanked by two stores. A grocery store on the left and a snack shop on the right. The front side of the building has a 12 rectangular window with a box filled with dry flowers on each window. The entrance and windows are made of mahogany and the windows are painted in peach color. The three of them went into the building. Their clients were on the top floor, room number 12.

They knocked. A reply heard from within the room, telling them to go in. Guren open the door. The room is pretty dark. The curtains are covering the windows tightly. Almost no lighting in the room. There is a large sofa, a small round table, and a Persian carpet. The books were scattered at the entire room. Ranging from the thickest to the thinnest. A strong floral scent smelled in the room, it comes from the aromatherapy candles that are lit at the time. The smells are strong enough to give Guren a headache.

Half of the room is separated by a thin black curtain. Faintly visible from behind of the curtain, there's someone sitting on the couch. Judging from the shadow, he's wearing a coat and holding a book in his right hand. "Are You Mr. Kaeddong?" asked Shinya.

Their client asked them with his husky voice, "and I believe you're here for the job I posted?"

"Yes, right," answered Shinya, "we want to hear the details before we decide to take your job offer or no."

"Hmph, a difficult man I see?" he moves his left hand, his gesture is telling Shinya to sit on the sofa.

Shinya does as he told. Guren and Goshi standing besides Shinya. It makes them look like the actors on Godfather movie. Where all the man wearing a black suit and a tie, and their boss wear a leopard scarf or anything like that and holding a cigarette. One of the bodyguard will lit it on as the boss inhale the cigarette and filled the room with smoke.  

"So," Mr.Kaeddong started, "I want you to get me an orb, fire orb."

Shiny slides a small laugh from his mouth, "a fire orb on the first day of winter?"

"Why? You can't do it?" the person behind curtain is smirking.

"Well, it depends on how much you'll pay us," Shinya crosses his legs. He used to be a carefree man, but just now he turns into a completely different man. He somewhat more composed, calm, and cold like a winter. 

One of many elements that play an important role in business is a good negotiation skill. Guren always said that a businessman cannot be successful if they can't develop their business to a higher level. And of course, one cannot develop their business alone, he needs a partner or investor. Investors will provide a lot of financial support depending on how the businessman negotiates with them. If they did well they will get the money but once they screwed up they might went bankrupt. People often ask how Guren can always win every negotiation he did against foreign investors who came to the company, he always replied with the same answer. Businessman instinct. And this time the people agreed with his opinion.

Once again, in a different world Guren faced with a situation that he often met in daily life. He does not act as a player this time, but as a spectator. And what amazed him is that Shinya act like a professional businessman. A businessman who might take everything from Guren if he did a wrong step.

"I'll give you 20.000 Ren," said the client.
"I want 60.000 Ren," Shinya rise up the price by thrice.
"Are you Fu----," Mr.Kaeddong made a cough to correct his words, "are you kidding me? 60.000 Ren? Isn't it too much?"

"Really? Isn't your request also 'too much'? Do you know how much trouble I should overcome to get the thing?" Shinya's tone sounded very intimidating, "I've to climb over Kunlun. Not only that," he continue, "Fire orb isn't a rock that I can found anywhere at Kunlun, please don't forget, it's winter."

The other man didn't answer, Shinya's words start to reach his mind.

"I see you're thinking hard over there," Shinya added, "so how? If you don't have that much money, We have no reason to stay here any longer."

Shinya stood up from his chair and about to walk out from the room, until Mr.Kaeddong stopped him, "Wait, I'll pay you 60.000 Ren."

Shinya smirked, "Fine then," now he does not sit on the couch, but on a table with a lot of books on it, "I want the down payment, half of it."

He stunned, "What the fu---," Mr.Kaeddong coughed again, "You sure ask for a lot."

"Well, you can always ask another people to do it, only if you can find one," Shinya emphasis on the last words. He was right, not anyone would take this job because this job is almost impossible to do in the winter.

"Tsk," Mr.Kaeddong gropes something from his pocket. It makes a jingle-jangled-sound, it's a bag of money that Shinya demanded, "I only have 35.000 Ren right now, I'll give you the rest once you bring the orb to me." 

"I like you~," Shinya smiles genuinely. He has won the war. Shinya stood up and walked toward the curtain. Mr.Kaeddong reached out his hand and handed over the bag containing money to Shinya's hand. Shinya is a scrupulous businessman, after receiving the money he counted it carefully, "Yup, it's 35.000 Ren."

Their client seemed to be in a foul mood after the deal with Shinya, "Now go, you better don't fail."

"Don't worry, we won't." Shinya put the money bag into his pocket. Before he left, he has something to be said to their client, "Anyway, isn't it a good day? To let some sunshine in, missy?"

Mr.Kaedong jolted from his chair, "You!" He sounded angry. But Shinya just make a small laughed and walked off the room, followed by Goshi, and Guren.

"You over there," called the man.

Guren looks around, Shinya and Goshi already left the room, he's the only one left, "me?"

"Yes you," said the husky voice, "You started it with your own will, so does the end."

Guren doesn't understand what was the person trying to say, "Sorry, but if you have a grunge over the man out there," Guren pointed to the door with his thumbs, "you should say it directly."

"Hmph, you'll soon understand what I mean, the oh-so-brave knight," Guren saw a glimpse of a red eye of the man, he wasn't sure where he saw it before but it looks familiar.

 

*

 

They left their client's house soon after they got the money. Shinya skipping his steps, he twirling the pocket he got with his finger. "Hmm~ Hmm~~ Hmm~~," he hums. It's a good way to start a day, though he knows it'll get harder later. 

"You were scary back there," said Goshi.

"Hahaha, was I?"

"Yeah... you were like... a villain on the movie," explained Goshi, "You know, that very villain who will use whatever way to get what they want."

"Heeeeeh~ but I'm not that kind of person~"

"But you were playing dirty back there," Guren joins the conversation.

"Why is that?" Shinya smiled as if he was innocent, "I just play the card like I should have."

Guren sighed, "You’re unbelievable."

"Oi,oi I didn't do anything wrong Gureen~ It was her fault for being too shady~ So, I teased her a little" Shinya shows the pocket to Guren. That was how he teased their client.

"You...." Guren still think it was a dirty play.

"Don't worry Guren!" exclaimed Shinya, "you'll know soon that the price was worth and what I was doing wasn't a fraud!"

Guren sighed. He will trust Shinya for now, but if he thinks the price wasn't worth it, he'll give the money back to the owner.

"So, since when you know that he was a she?" asked Guren.

"Since my first step on the room," explained Shinya, "the aromatherapy that filled up the room, was to covered her real identity. 'Mr.Kaeddong' was written on the pamphlet and so we believed that she was a he and the smoke created a camouflage depending on what we believed. That's how she turned as a male."  

"Whoaa, that's cool!" Goshi is amazed by the trick, "so that means you were the only one who didn't fall for the trick?"

"I'm a magician, there's no way I fall for a cheap trick~" said Shinya proudly.

 

*

 

The room is quiet after the three men left. "AAARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!!" Mr.Kaeddong kicks the table in front of him and threw the book he was holding. He gets out from the other side. He opens his robe. A long pinked hair falling down from the robe she wears. She opens the curtains and the window. But she regrets it very soon, the wind was too cold, she can't take it, so she slammed closed the window. Someone opens the door. It was a man that everyone familiar with. "Whoa~ your plan did well but why are you looking so mad Krul?"

"Shut the fuck up Crowley!" she yelled, "That Shinya is not even better than Guren, He is annoying!"

Crowley sighed, "You won't ask the extra money from me right?"

"Like the hell I will!! I'm not that poor!!"

Krul get her own pamphlet that Shinya left behind. She read it as she cursing by herself, "WTF?! CROWLEY!!"

"Whaaaat?"

"What's the fuck with this pamphlet?!" she shows the pamphlet to Crowley.

"Why?? I made it according to your request," he was about took the pamphlet from Krul but she snatched it away.

"Can't you fucking find a better name?!! WTH is Mr.Kaeddong?!! Am I a Dog poop?!!"

"....I already told you that I suck at making names."

"You Bastaaarddd!!"

Crowley listens to Krul's complain as he helps lifting up the table and put it back on the original position. "So, I'm gonna back to my Inn now," Crowley feels that he had to escape this situation soon or...

"No! You aren't going anywhere!"

Shit. He was late.

"Do you know?!" Krul started her long rant.

"Mm.. I guess..... no....."

"Yesterday! YES-TER-DAY! Ferid, he dared to do an unpleasant thing to me!!"

".......like......what?"

"He threw me a fashion magazine!! And guess what, he said my fashion was ugly!!"

"......oh....."

"He didn't even realize that he's a fashion terrorist himself!! Also, Do you know that....?!!"

Krul's rant is keep going. There's no end to this. And Crowley had to deal with it, probably an hour. Or longer. Normally it last for an hour. But thanks to Shinya, Krul is super pissed today. Not only Shinya, Crowley also takes part in this matter. So it probably last longer. Crowley hopes it won't last forever.

*

Shinya stopped by a weapon shop before they go 'hiking' on Kunlun Mountain. He said that they'll need extra equipment or else they'll be on a trouble later. So with the money they have right now. The weapon shop clerk is quite young, she has a blonde hair and tied it on each side. 'Sanguu Weapon Shop' is the best weapon shop at Shambhala. They have many weapons that the others don't. Shinya said they could get what they need here, and only this shop has the thing they need. They look around inside the shop. This shop sure has tons of weapons, no wonder why they're the best.

"Mitsuba-chan," called Shinya.

"Can I help you Shinya-san?" asked the little girl.

"Do you still have that?" he asked.

"That?"

"Yup, the blowing pipe~"

The little girl goes to the shop storage. The weapons inside storage are only a weapon made by request or a special class weapon which no one can get it easily. Shinya has been wanting the pipe for himself but he wasn't sure if he can use its maximum potential or not. Today, he finally found someone who he thinks fits as the pipe owner. Mitsuba finally came out from the storage. She brings a wooden box with her. She places it on a table and opens the box cover. "Here you go."

She shows the pipe to Shinya and friends. It was a pipe made by gold. It looks like a cigarettes long pipe but with a round thing on the other side. The round thing looks like a mini charcoal burners. A purple-ish smoke coming out from it, "Goshi, try it out."

"M,Me?! You get this for me??!"

"Hmm, that depends on how you good you're~" Shinya winked.

He teaches Goshi on how to use the pipe, "First, imagine the situation you wanted to create."

"Anything will do?"

"Yup."

"Like a beach filled with girls in bikini?"

Gruen smack Goshi on the head, "do this seriously you fucking pervert!" 

"Ugh, I was kidding," Goshi closes his eyes. He tries to get an image, not a pervy one, on his head. So he imagined a beach. Just a beach, with no girls in bikini. 

"Now," instructed Shinya, "you inhale the smoke, blow it, with the image you have in your head." 

Goshi do as he told. He blows the pipe as he imagine the beach. The purple-ish smokes fill the entire room. The amount was unexpectedly a lot. Alas, the floor has turned into sands, the wall has disappeared, the cold winter has gone, and they are now at an open beach which Guren recognize as Osaka beach. Everything was so real, the palm trees, the sand, the weaves, even the hot weather. Guren touches the sand and let it slips through his fingers. The illusion was no joke. 

"Whoooaaahh~~~ Goshi you're awesome!" Shinya praises.

"Oh my, I really created this??" Goshi can't believe with what he has done.

Guren headed up to the sky, the sun shines so bright, it hurt his eyes. So this is how it feels to live in computer graphic. 

"Mitsuba-chan~ I'll get the pipe," said Shinya, "How much does it cost?"

"35.000 Ren," she answered shortly.

"What?! That's too expensive, 27.000 Ren!" Shinya starts his bidding.

"34.500 Ren."

"Oh come on... 29.000 Ren," he keep trying.

Mitsuba shakes her head.

"Then, 31.000 Ren?" Shinya keep adding up the price.

But Mitsuba keep refusing, "34.000 Ren."

Shinya sigh, "fine then, deal."

Shinya took out some money and handed it over to Mitsuba. Shinya couldn't expect the price to go lower. But it was worth it. Shinya destroy the illusion by cutting the air with his staff. It was pretty contrast, they were at a warm beach but now they're back to the cold shop. Now they have the preparation ready, they could go on hiking anytime right away. But Guren insist that they have to buy some potions before they left for Kunlun Mountain.

"Potions? But I could heal you," said Shinya.

"But we can't heal you," insist Guren. 

Because of his inability Shinya was close to his death’s door, Guren won't let this horrible thing happened to Shinya twice. Never again. So they get 2 bottles of Blue Potion, and 1 bottle of Red Potion. Blue potion is meant to restore the Magic Power while Red potion is for healing the physical wound. 

*

Kunlun Mountains is a volcano located in the west of Shambhala. Kunlun is the only and highest mountains in Shangri-La. It is located at an altitude of 5000 meters above sea level with the highest peak of 7800 meters above sea level. There's a path that used by the adventurers or a merchants named Kunlun Pass. Goshi wanted to use that path because it's more sloping and not a winding road. But Shiya said they will get nowhere by crossing that path, "Kunlun Pass won't bring us to our destination."

They are going through a precipitous and rocky path. It is a very dangerous road to pass. Guren do not know if this is the only way or Shinya likes to challenge the death. As they get higher, the wind blows even harder and colder. The temperature gets lower. The rock surface began to freeze and become slippery. If they slip they probably will not return alive. After approximately two and a half hours of climbs, they have finally arrived at the place they were going.

"Usually we can find Fire Orbs anywhere along this mountain," said Shinya, "but Fire Orbs’ numbers are dwindling in autumn and almost none in winter."

"So this cave is the only place where we could obtain Fire Orbs?" asked Guren.

The Cave that they have entered has a very wide entrance. Unlike other caves that are normally hidden, this cave is very easy to find. The Entrance of the cave is 5 meters high, and the ceiling inside is 9 meters high. This cave filled with stalactites and stalagmites, sometime water will drop from the stalactites and wet Goshi's head which makes his skin crawls.

"Yup, this is the only place and it's surprisingly dangerous," warned Shinya.

Guren dan Goshi wondered.

"Because we'll have to wake up a sleeping prince."

 

*

 

The three of them entered the cave with an extreme caution. Lies inside the cave a flock of Narakas who possess fire element. According to Shinya this monster is different from other monsters. "He has a unique personality," he said. According to legend, after the war of Owari no Serafu, there is a herd of Narakas who took a different path than other Narakas. Asuramaru, the Fire God and his flock chose to be passive and not take a side to anyone. But Asuramaru himself is not a benign monster. If anyone bother him even just for a bit, he will be very angry and very likely kill the intruder.

Based on the Shinya's explanation, Asuramaru is a boy. A pretty boy who will be very upset if he had awakened from his deep slumber. Asuramaru has a very long sleep cycle. He will sleep through the autumn until spring. Asuramaru will only wake up during summer. Therefore, Shinya told Goshi to create an illusion of a blizzard when Asuramaru wake up. Asuramaru is very weak with cold temperatures, but today's weather today is not cold enough to immobilize The Fire God.

They crept inside the cave, to the point where Shinya tells them to stop, "look at there."

There is a boy who sleeps inside the cave with only repose fabrics. He has a long navy hair and seen to wears a golden colored tiara. He has red eyes. He wears a sleeveless black-white dress. Unlike a child who hugs their dolls or robot toys in their sleep, Asuramaru sleeps while embracing a spear. The spearhead is undulating like a flame.

Shinya pointed his finger to the wall behind Asuramaru. There're a large boulders which look like a crystal colored in bright red like fire, it is Fire Orbs. "We're gonna get one of them."

They only require a fraction of the boulders Fire Orbs. What they need to do is to cut the stone with Guren's sword and then fled.

Shinya and Guren sneaked along the walls of the cave. Once they get there, Shinya signaled to Guren and Goshi. Afterwards Guren slashed his sword and cut one of the big stone. Guren splitting the tip of the stone and take a palm sized Fire Orb.

"Yosh, good job Guren, now we should go," said Shinya.

Guren nodded.

But bad news, Asuramaru has noticed their arrival.

"My lightning go!" Shinya sends 5 fire bolts to Asuramaru. Guren use his Fudo Myo-o and blew off the stalactite above Asuramaru's head. Goshi blew his pipe and create an illusion of tundra. Shinya, Guren, dan Goshi escaped easily. Way too easy. 

"Do we manage it?" Goshi runs as fast as he could.

"Not sure," answered Guren.

Shinya looking back, "SHIT!!" A gigantic fire blow heading their way. The fire blow burn the entire cave, some parts even melted into lava.

Gosi was squatting and put both of his hands above his head. Guren thought he could slash off the fire with his sword, but he saw a white silhouette covering for him and Goshi. The sapphire on Shinya's staff is glowing. With all of his power Shinya creates a barrier to protect the three of them. "Ugh," but the fire was too strong. His hand starts to tremble. When it happens Guren put both of his palm on Shinya's hand, helping the magician holding his staff. "Hang in there, Shinya!" 

"Guren?!"

"I won't let you take this all alone!"

The magician smiles, "Thank you, Guren."

"And I won't be a coward!!" Goshi also helps shinya by holding on to magician's staff.

"Thanks Goshi!"

The fire blow goes on for 45 seconds. Thanks to Guren and Goshi, Shinya managed to keep the barrier on and keep them safe. Once the fire off, Shinya fell on his knee. 

"Shinya! You okay?!" 

"You're so overprotective Guren," the magician stood up with the help of his own staff, "I have this remember?"

Shinya took out one of the blue potion and drink it. He throw the empty bottle to the ground and make a 'cling' sound. "Now I'm fine."

Guren sigh out of relief.

"Oi, shouldn't we hurry? While the entrance still wide open," siad Goshi.

"Too late," answered Shinya, "the entire gang is here."

One by one, a weird creature appear. They're round and have a long red fur with 2 yellow antennas on their head. They have a big eye. They look as cute as a doll at toy store.

"Ooooh, what are they? They're so cute," amazed Goshi, "can I take one? Sayuri must be like it!"

"They're Firefurry. Too bad, you can't take them home, because they're not as cute as you think," Shinya gets ready on his stance. Guren does the same. 

In an instance the Firefurries launches their attack on the three men. Guren slash them with his swords. Goshi repel them with his sword. While Shinya launches his lightning bolt to the companions. They keep attacking but things aren’t getting better. 

"Fuck, there's no end to them!" complained Goshi.

"What should we do Shinya?" asked Guren.

"Tsk," Shinya himself doesn't know what to do, "they won't back down, unless their God command them to."

Talk about God. Asuramaru has finally woken up and coming their way. He twirling his spear and created two fire slash which cut sharper than a sword. Shinya brush them off by sending another lightning bolt. 

"What to do now?!" Goshi starts to panic.

Shinya remains silent. Guren looking at the magician, he starts to feel uneasy.

"I guess, there's no other way," Shinya mumbles.

Asuramaru increases his speed. He flies in a speed of light with his spear piercing up as he keeps launching his fire attack brutally to the intruders. 

"Guren, Goshi, hold the furries for me," requested Shinya.

"That's what we've been doing!" yelled Guren, he cast his spell and make some excessive explosion.

Shinya fix his stance. He take a deep breath. Close his eyes. Emptied his mind. His staff shines weirdly, Guren never see it reacting this way before. Wind starts gathering around him. A blue magic circle appears beneath his feet. It was a giant magic circle with a very complicated design. Glimpses of lighting keep appearing from the magic circle. Mixing themselves well with the wind that keep gathering around Shinya. On another hand, Asuramaru is getting closer. He gets ready for the troublesome fire blow attack. And damn right, he mumbles a spell, and a gigantic fire ball appears before him and rushed to Shinya's way.

"SHINYA!!" yelled out Guren.

Shinya slowly open his eyes, "I summon you," he said, "BYAKKOMARU!"

From the magic circle, a big white tiger comes out. Its body is swarmed by lighting. It roaring loudly before it dashes to Asuramaru. Byakkomaru cut through the fire ball and hit Asuramaru with his claw. Asuramaru was inadvertent, he hits the cave wall really hard. 

"You did it Shinya!" cheers Goshi.

The fight hasn't over. Just now Byakkomaru thrown to another side of the wall by Asuramaru. 

"Guren! Goshi! Get out from here!" said Shinya.

"You kidding?!" Guren felt irritated everytime Shinya want to solve things by himself, "I won't leave you behind!"

Shinya take another dose from his last blue potion. Summoning Byakkomaru took a lot of his magic power, that's why he barely summoned the white tiger. "Don't worry, I won't die," Shinya trying to convince Guren. Shinya dashes off to Byakkomaru and support the tiger with his lighting magic. 

"Shinya come back here!!" called out Guren.

"Guren! Let's go!" Goshi trying to drag Guren with him, but Guren isn’t listening.

He remembered pretty well how the last battle ended. Shinya's lighting cannot win against fire and Asuramaru is the God of Fire in Shangri-La. Guren drives his mind. He has to find something to save Shinya. Something. Anything. Guren observes things around him. Rocks, monsters, stalactite, stalagmite, fire, lava, and wind, a cold wind. That's it, cold wind, Asuramaru is weak over cold, so all they need is to create something colder than the tundra. 

"Goshi!"

"Wha-what?"

"Make an illusion! Something cold!"

"Cold, em, according to what I watched on TV--"

"Stop the bullshit and hurry up!"

"Fi,Fine!" Goshi blew his pipe. The smoke fills in the cave once again. From a cave, they move to Antartica in a really bad snow storm. The cold was so real. It starts to affect the Firefurries. They're looking panic and start to move in an undirected way. Guren and Goshi use this chance to rush over Shinya.

Asuramaru launches his fire attack on Byakkomaru violently. While Byakkomaru countered the attack with his lighting breath. Everything looks equal for now, but at this point Byakkomaru won't last long. Because his existence and every of his attack are absorbing a certain amounts of Shinya's magic power. "Byakkomaru! Hang in there!"

But Asuramaru doesn't stop her attack, "Die intruder."

"Tck," Shinya starting to ran out of powers, which affect Byakkomaru. They gradually become weaker.

So does Asuramaru. The Fire God who is weak against ice starts to shiver. His attack is less brutal and weaker.  

A slash cut through the air followed by an explosion. Guren came to rescue.

"You, die!" Guren make another explosion. 

"Guren?!" Shinya was sure that he told Guren to leave him behind, "What the fuck are you doing here?!"

"I'm taking you home with me."

*

Guren encloses a close range battle with Asuramaru. He has weakened but still powerful. His spear moves in a speed of light. Guren is having a hard time following the move. Asuramaru do a maneuver, he rolled three times in the sky and attack Guren with a thousand stabs. As expected from a veteran, Shinya quickly reacts and create a barrier for Guren. The barrier isn't strong enough to hold Asuramaru's pierce attack, but it was enough to buy a time. From behind Goshi attack the Fire God. He managed to make a wound on Asuramaru's left arm. Sadly it doesn't affect him by much. Instead, he did a spin kick and kick Goshi, crashing him to an ice wall. Asuramaru has now back to his unfinished business. Now he's back at Guren. Asuramaru starts to twirl his spear again. He jumps and makes another fire slash to Guren. But Guren isn't on his position yet. He can't counter or evade the attack. 

"Shit!" mumbles Guren.

"GUREN!!" Byakkomaru jumps in order to protect Guren. He covers Guren from the fire attack with his body. That attack got Byakkomaru pretty bad. Byakkomaru groaning, the giant cat trying to stand up and make another attack but he's unable to do it. Guren saved. Another problem comes, Asuramaru headed straight off to Shinya since he saw Shinya gave a command to Byakkomaru to protecting Guren. This means Shinya has interference his battle with the Knight.

Asuramaru switched his direction towards Shinya. Shinya tried to stop or at least to slow down Asuramaru's moves with his lighting. But Asuramaru easily dodge them all. Asuramaru hold his spear, he gets at Shinya before the magician even realized it.

Shinya's blue eyes widen.

Bloods start dripping out.

Shinya jaw dropped.

Asuramaru's spear stabbed directly to his abdomen. Not Shinya's abdomen but Guren's.

His spear was strong enough to pierce through Guren's metal armor.

"Gu.....ren.....?"

Asuramaru took out his spear from Guren's stomach.

Guren groans. It was fucking painful. "So this is how it feels to get stabbed," he thought.

"The Knight eventually falls on Shinya's hand, "Guren, why....?"

The Knight smiles, "I said it didn't I? I will take you home with me, so I can't let you die."

Shinya feels like he's about to cry, there's this heavy thing on his heart, "and what's the point if you die?" 

"I won't."

The magician cast a heal magic on Guren. But even before he starts it Asuramaru get back his eyes on Shinya. He grabbed Shinya on his neck and threw him to where Goshi is. 

"Shi, Shinya?! You okay?!" asked Goshi.

"Don't mind me," answered Shinya, "Guren, we have to save him."

Meanwhile, Asuramaru is making his way to Guren. He choked Guren and lifts him with only one of her hands. "Intruder... die."

Guren gave a mocking smile to the Fire God. He grabbed the hand of Asuramaru with his trembling hand. Once again the Knight smiled. A white smoke coming from his mouth as he talks, "I'll extinguish that stupid fire of yours."

Guren's raven eyes stares deep down to Asuramaru's red eyes so does Asuramaru. They exchange gazes for few seconds and as if they understand each other, Asuramaru threw Guren away. With his fire he abolished Goshi's illusion. "You reminded me," he said, "to someone that I don't even want to remember."

Asuramaru walks off back the deep cave.  He destroyed the cave ceilings and completely closed the way with the rocks so no one will disturb him ever again.

*

The fight has over. Asuramaru has back to his cave, and no single firefurries can be seen. Shinya rushes to Guren. He put the red potion to Guren’s mouth in the worst way available. Guren almost choked everything out, thanks to Shinya's violent way. "Cough!" Guren finally drank the entire potion.

"Holy crap Shinya!" said Guren angrily, "are you trying to get the bottle into my throat?!"

"But you make me worry!!"

"Well.....," Guren couldn't reply it with another high tone, "....sorry for that."

Both of the magician and the Knight fell into silence, they don't know what to say to each other. Luckily Goshi is there.

"Oi,oi! What's with you people?! We complete the Quest~" he show the Fire orb they get, "should we ask her for some more money so we could get girls later~?"

A big grin drew on Goshi's face. Guren shut him up by throwing the empty bottle to Goshi's face.

 

*


They have to give the Fire Orb to Mr.Kaeddong and get their full payment. Shinya suggest to ride on Byakkomaru to save times. Unlike when they went hiking, traveling down the mountain is so much easier, especially with the help of Byakkomaru. In just 45 minutes they had reached Shambhala. The three men returned to their client house. It was still as dark and messy with the first time they came, or even more messy. There is an empty cup on round the table next to the sofa. Shinya’s sure someone just paid a visit.

"Here's the Fire Orb you requested," Shinya shows the orb to Mr.Kaeddong.

"Good job," praised Mr.Kaeddong, "you did better than I expected."

"And our rewards?"

"Here." 

Mr.Kaeddong gave them another pocket, contained the remaining 25.000 Ren.

"Glad to do a business with you~" said Shinya.

Shinya and Goshi were the first who left the room while Guren not move from the room.

"What's wrong?" asked Mr.Kaeddong.

"No, nothing it just..." Guren paused, "I think I understand what you were trying to say."

The other party smiles, "So? What are you gonna do?"

Guren replied not with words but with a curve line on his lips. 

*

Along the way back home from the Kunlun toward Shambhala, Guren's mind focused on one thing. "You started it with your own will, so does the end." The words kept ringing in his head. Guren constantly guessing. Until he came to a conclusion.

"So~ Shinya, where are we heading next?" asked Goshi excited for more adventure.

"Hmmm, we could go to Crowley's Inn and get another job, so we could make more money~"

"Whoa! That's a great idea!" Goshi gets even more pumped up, "What do you think Guren?!"

Guren exhaled, "Sorry Goshi, but we're going home."

Shinya widened. He doesn't want Guren going home.

"Wha?! Wait what? but you know how do we get home?" asked Goshi.

"Yeah, I figured it out."

"But Guren, look at the sky, it's still midday, we still have some more time til night, at least dawn."

"Goshi, the time in this world and ours are different, we should go back now."

"But Guren,"

"No Buts!" shouted Guren, "we're going home, Goshi."

There's nothing Goshi can do against Guren's determination. Once he settled his mind on something he will never change it no matter what happened. 

As Guren requested, Shinya bring them to a silent place with no one there but trees.

Over there Guren tells his theory of how they get back to the real world. And it turns out to be very easy, even Guren himself can't believe of how easy it is. As Mr.kaeddong said will started and ended everything. The desire to go home, that's all they need.

"Shinya," called Guren.

When he sees a solemn expression Guren made for Shinya, Goshi stand a back. Leaving the two men talking in private.

"I'm sorry."

"I thought you don't like to apologize?"

"Mmm, yea, but, okay listen Shinya."

"I am listening."

"I can't stay in your world," confess Guren. 

The silver haired man looking a bit dejected, "I know."

"That's why..... why don't you come to my world?"

Shinya smiles, "That's impossible Guren."

"Why?"

"Because I don't belong to your world."

"And I don't belong to your world either."

In addition to millions of their differences. There is an inherent similarity between them. Guren and Shinya are equally stubborn.

"Guren," the magician called Guren’s name with his tender voice, "miracle doesn't belong to everyone, even in the world where magic resides."

Guren touches the tip of his nose, "Fine then."

There's no way for Guren to convince Shinya, to go with him. And there's no way for Shinya to convince Guren to stay with him.

"Out of 7 days," Guren put out his right hand, lifting 2 of his fingers, "I can spend my 2 days off here."

Shinya staring to Guren, as if he misheard something, "so you will come back?"

"Wasn't it clear enough?"

"Nope, I heard it. Clearly." The magician smiles genuinely. To hear that Guren will come back, even only for a short while, made him feel happy.

“I never said that I won’t come back here,” added Guren.

Goshi who has been listening to the two conversations also felt the same happiness. He can't help but smile unknowingly for both of his friends.

*

After Guren and Shinya finished their chat. Guren called Goshi. Goshi deliberately whine just like a small child asking his mother buy him toys. He whines saying that he does not want to go home. His attitude just makes Guren irritated. Guren had to headlock the blonde man with his arm. Guren then closed his eyes, concentrating on one image, home. Sure enough, the body of both men suddenly shines and slowly the parts of their bodies turned into tiny particles and begin to disappear.

Before his body disappear completely there is something Guren wants to convey to Shinya. But somehow he cannot look at Shinya's blue eyes, "Shinya."

"Yes?"

"I'll be back." Guren hide his slightly flushed face by switching his sight. But he's lucky, because his head begins to turn into the sparkling particles.

"Yup, I'll wait for you." Before everything change into the particles, Guren sees a glimpse of Shinya's happy face who said that he would wait for the next arrival of Guren.

Unwittingly Guren's heart is pounding.

Chapter Text

It has been a three days since Guren and Goshi left the game world. Guren had been trying to interrogate Goshi, but the male always said the same answer. That Shinya is an NPC. Even so Guren still can't make himself to believe it. Or more likely he refused to believe it. Guren never actually play the game, because everytime he touched the console it always drag him into the game world. So, there's a possibility that Goshi might be true, since he played the game, at least once and Guren never know how far did he get. One reason why Guren refused to buy the idea Shinya as an NPC is because it just sad, too sad for him. NPC is a character controlled by a game master, where everything was set from the game creation and they constantly do the same thing over and over. They're just like a marionette that’s live by controlled by another person. But for Guren, Shinya isn't a mere doll. Shinya is a living human. The blue eyes of his, reflected the world that Guren never seen before, the world filled with emotions, swarming by thousand miracles ever created. There's no way Shinya is an NPC.

 

Today Guren has an interview with GQ Magazine Japan. He headed to GQ's office along with Sayuri. They talked nothing but work along the way. Their company wanted to buy an Oil Well on Pacific Ocean which is going to be sold by an American company. The problem is Guren's company doesn't have enough money to buy it. They need more money from the investors but they're not yet meet an agreement. And Guren has been working his ass off to get the investor's approval.

 

"Ichinose-san?" Sayuri is calling her boss' name.

"Ichinose-san?" she called again.

But Guren deosn't seems to pay attention to her.

"Guren!!" Sayuri raises her voice.

 

"Oh, yes, what?" Guren startled.

"Seriously, did you even listen to what I've been saying?"

"Yeah I did."

"So you're not."

 

Guren sigh. He put his palm under his chin as he stares out of window. 

 

"Guren, you got a new girlfriend?" blurted Sayuri.

"What the fuck Sayuri?" that question was out of blue. They were talking about their company and now, she asked whether Guren got a new girlfriend or no.

"You looks somewhat different lately," she smiles, "sometime your eyes would focused on one thing while your mind not, you often lost in thought."

"So what? You got a problem with that? I still get my work done though," Guren tried to defense himself. 

"I actually like it."

"Hah?"

"Because when you do so, you smiled, you look happier."

"Was I that gloomy?"

"Yup~ A grumpy black cat."

 

*

 

They have arrived at GQ's office. Now they're heading to the 17th floor where the interview and the photo session will be held. The greenroom looks quite simple and rather plain, just like another greenroom. They served Guren with a hot Americano. Not long after then, another staff enters the room. She is taking Guren to the makeup room. They applied a light make up on Guren's face and gave them the clothes for the interview. It was a black long jacket with a grey vest and suit with a white shirt and a red tie, sponsored by Hugo Boss. After he changed his clothes, the staffs take Guren and Sayuri to the photo studio. The studio is quite spacious. There are around 12 people there. One photographer, one the reporter, and the rest are the staffs who will measure and adjust the lighting and all. The set is quite simple. All they have is a white screen and a tall chair. GQ Japan wants to use a simple and minimalist concept because they want to capture Guren in his natural yet masculine charm.

 

A young boy approached Guren. He resembles a foreigner. "My name is Lacus Welt, I'm the reporter who will interview you for today photo session, Ichinose-san," the reporter handed his name card to both of Guren and Sayuri while Sayuri give her name card to the young reporter.

 

Lacus lead Guren to his tall chair on the set. Both of them sit on their assigned chair and when the photographer gave them a cue, they started.

 

 

 

L: Ichinose-san, It was really hard to get you interviewed. I was really happy when I heard you accepted our offer. As if the goddess of fortune is looking my way. So, Ichinose-san, has anything changed your mind? I'm asking this out of curiosity, I won’t include this on the article, don’t worry~  

G: Nothing has changed, I feel bad for you because you keep calling my office and got refused.

L: Awww, that was harsh, I should've not asked it. It pierced my heart.

G: Hahaha, I was kidding. I thought a little change in my routines would be nice, that's why I accepted your offer.

L: Ara,ara. We sure will give you a good time~!

 

L: Then~ Ichinose-san. As an aspiring businessman, you have a super good fashion sense. Is there any style you preferred?

G: Because of my profession which require me to wear formal attire, so I often wear a business attire to work and on my days off I like to wear simple looking clothes. So I could say that I like casual style the most. It's comfortable and neat.

L: Ooh I see. Casual style, I often called it elegant and professional style. That really suits your image!

G: You flatter me too much.

L: Ahahaha I was saying the truth though~ Ichinose-san, actually you doesn't look like a person who will care a lot for appearance.

G: Haha, is that so?

L: Well, you do give me that kind of Image. You'll just wear whatever you want and still look handsome in whatever you wear. When did exactly you start to care about fashion? Or has it been always that way?

G: You have sharp eyes Lacus-kun.

L: Thank you very much~!

 

A thought rings on Guren's thought, "since when was it?"

 

 

 

G: It just like what you said. I had been always ignorant over fashion. It was troublesome and I had to give it so much thought and then I'll just waste my time on it. That was why I didn't pay much attention to fashion. I guess it was when I first entered collage I started to pay attention on my style and sometime I will read fashion magazine to get some reference.

L: Who got you into fashion? Was it your friend or your girlfriend~?

 

It was a one fine day on spring. The usual gang was hang out at Shibuya and having their chat at Starbucks Cafe like usual. It was a week after they entered collage. They were separated once they graduated from High School, each of them went for the University they aimed for. Mahiru went for Bunka Fashion Collage, Sayuri managed to get herself into Meiji Gakuin University, Goshi miraculously got his place on Waseda University, Mito attended Keio University, Shigure entered the Police Academy, while Guren set his place brilliantly at Todai (Tokyo Daigakkou/University of Tokyo). 

"University life is sure different isn't it?" said Sayuri.

"Yeah it is, but isn't it interesting?" added Mahiru.

"Way to interesting! There're more cute girls!" Goshi was looking excited when he talked about girls.

Guren sighed, "You're hopeless Goshi."

"But isn't it amazing? For Goshi to get accepted at Waseda?" Mito talked in a mocking tone.

"Oioioioi, Mito! I might not look like it but I'm actually a verrryyy smart person!"

"Which is unknown to the world?" tease Mito again.

"I proof it by getting accepted at Waseda~!" said Goshi proudly.

"It's pure of luck," Shigure joining in. 

"Oh no, Shigure even you....."

Everyone agreed by nodding their heads.

 

"Anyway! Mahiru, can you introduce me to your classmate?" Goshi changed the topic, "Bunka has many pretty girls right~?"

"Hmmmm, there're a lot of pretty and cute girls at Bunka, buuut," Mahiru flicks her finger on Goshi's forehead, "I don't think any of them willing to go out with you~"

"Oh come on…."

"Your looks isn't so bad, but your style is lame, no one want to go out with you," Mahiru cross her arms.

Mito adding another point to Mahiru's statement, "He is lame, but who would want to date an idiot like he is?"

"Mito?! Could it be?! You're attracted to me?!"

"You wanna die?!"

 

Goshi's act makes everyone laughed. He always livens up the mood by his silly plays while the others will just tease him.

 

"So! So! Mahiru," Sayuri clapped he hands once, "what if you help us with our clothes? I mean, you know a good fashion and maybe, you could help us arranging our clothes?"

"Good idea Sayuri!" a thumbs up from Goshi.

"No problem, it sounds fun to do," agreed Mahiru, "what do you think Guren?"

"Sounds like a pain," Guren didn't show any interest, he refer to wear whatever he has on his cupboard.

"So, you won't wear the clothes I choose?" asked Mahiru.

Guren didn't answer, more likely he didn't know what to say.

"I accept your silence as a 'yes'."

 

*

 

 

G: Hmmmm, My noisy friends dragged me into fashion, I wasn't interested at first but they keep pushing me and I ended up liking it more than I should.

L: In your attire which attribute do you think as the 'point'? Like 'I look the coolest if I wear this,' or 'There's something lacking if I forget to wear this.'

G: Point...eh? 

 

*

 

It was during their second semester in collage. The day was super hot. According to the news this week was the peak of summer, so the weather will be crazily hot. The gang was having their summer holiday and they were about heading out to Osaka by car. It started from a random chats they had on LINE. Their summer holidays was about to end in 2 weeks and they want to enjoy the last sprout together. It was Goshi who suggest this random idea and everyone agreed to it. So here was Guren, waiting at the front gate of Yoyogi Park. He had been staring to his watch from second to second. They supposed to meet at 10.00 but it's already 10.30 and no one has shown up. "Tsk, where the fuck are they?!"

 

God heard Guren's prayer, no, God heard Guren’s cursed. Right at that moment a bus stopped. Sayuri and Shigure were walking out from the bus and weaving to Guren's way. Sayuri is looking cute with her lime tanktop & an ivory see-through t-shirt. She also wears a mini skirt and sandals with a brown small-backpack. While Shigure appears in an oversized white t-shirt with a turquoise short and flat shoes. Sayuri and Shigure were carrying a watermelon together. Not to mention, the size of the watermelon they carried was big.

 

"Guren, sorry!" apologized Sayuri, "we had to buy the watermelon first so...."

"It's okay, the others hasn't arrived," said Guren.

 

Guren staring at his watch again, 5 minutes has passed. Sayuri trying o contact Mito and Mahiru but they didn't pick up the call. Their sweats keep dripping out, even worse. Guren can't understand why they chose the hottest day of summer to picnic and why he even agreed to this plan. The heat was killing him.

 

A taxi came and stopped by Yoyogi Park’s entrance. Mito came out from the taxi. Mito was looking cool in her sunglasses. She wore an orange sleeveless t-shirt, short jeans, and sneakers. Mito also bring a lot of plastic bags contains soda, juice, beer, and snacks. "Sorry, we had to stop by at supermarket first."

 

"Whoaaah~~ You brought a lot of drinks and snacks Mito!" exclaimed Sayuri happily.

 

After Mito, another girl came out from the Taxi. Guren blushed a bit when he saw her. She looks stunning in her white sundress. Mahiru wears a straw head a long with a purple ribbon as its decoration and a pretty purple sandals. 

 

"Sorry for making you wait," smiles Mahiru.

"Mm, it's okay," answered Guren.

 

"So, has everyone here?" asked Mito.

"Yeah, except for one idiot," said Guren.

 

The mastermind of today's plan hasn't arrived yet. Guren stared at his watch again, a minute has passed, another minute has also passed, now it's already 11.00 and Goshi was still nowhere can be seen. They take turn calling for Goshi's phone but he didn't picking up. "Where the fuck is this bastard?!" yelled Guren.

 

"Don't tell me that he forget?" said Shigure.

"I'm gonna kill him if he did forget," Mito sent a fist to her own palm.

 

Sayuri staring to the distance road and pointed her fingers afar, "Guys, what is that?"

 

The other switched their vision to the direction that Sayuri pointed out. They saw a metal thing, moving in a fast speed, followed by a cloud of dust. 

 

"A car?" mumbles Guren.

 

He was right. It was a car. The driver hits the horn many times, he let out half of his body from the window and weaves, "YOOOOOOO!!!!!" appear a man in blonde hair. He wear a sunglasses with a gold thin frame, it was Goshi. Goshi hit the brakes ruthlessly, "Yo~yo~yo! What's up guys?!" 

Not a reply he get, but Mito gave her best punch on the face to Goshi.

 

Goshi came off from the car. The others gave him a weird look.

 

"What the fuck with your t-shirt," complained Guren.

"Why? It's cool right??"

".........yeah, It's fucking suit your image."

 

Goshi was seen wearing a yellow t-shirt with 'oppai' being printed on the chest along with jeans and black sandals. 

 

"I had a problem in getting a car rent," said Goshi.

"And this is all you could get?" Guren observing to the old car Goshi brought.

"Well, with our money this is the best car I could effort," They gather the money from their part time job and to rent a car. They were still students so their money is pretty limited.

 

It was a silver Toyota LitAce Van which was produced at 1981. The condition was still good and the engine seems to be working well except for the air conditioner. Goshi rent it from an old couple he was working for and the old couple was nice enough to rent it to them. Guren looked at his watch again. So he had to ride a van without air conditioner for the next 6-7 hours.

 

*

 

 

 

G: If I have to choose one then its watch. I have a lot of appointments, I also hate being late, and I don't really like to wait, so I often check my watch. Because I had to stare it a lot of times, I often get bored with my watch, I was like 'Ah.. It still the same watch' and unknowingly I will walk to a watch shop and brought a new one.

L : Hahaha, interesting. Ichinose-san do you know? That the first thing Japanese girl noticed on their first date/meeting from a man is their watch.

G: Oh really? This is the first time I hear it.

L: It's true! I believe your watch will attract many girls to you.

G: So it's my watch? Not me?

L: Hahahaha, Ichinose-san, there's no way for a girl to not attract by you! Your face and your posture are pretty fine, just like a model.

G: Thank you very much.

L: Talking about looks, Ichinose-san, why do you choose your current profession? With your looks you could get accepted in every entertainment agency, you could be as popular as Oguri Shun. 

G: Hmmm, I wonder why... I'm not sure myself. Things just happened and before I noticed I'm a businessman already. But I don't think I'll fit as an entertainer. I can't act or sing or dance. I don't think I can do well in entertainment industry.

 

The interview is keep going on. The young reporter asking few more questions to Guren. While the photographer is being busy attacking Guren with his flash lights, capturing every single gestures Guren made from many different kind of angle. After one hour they finally finished. The staff told Guren that the article will be published for December Issue and they'll send him the magazine once it published.

 

 

***

 

 

It was another long day for Guren. After the interview Guren had a meeting with all the members from Board of Directors. They had a long nice chat about the investor and the Oil Well. Even though the meeting was meant nothing for Guren since it only gives him a headache. At a time like this it's perfect for eating an exclusive food at a fancy place. So, Guren headed off to Tokyo Sky Tree.

 

There's no one at Sky Restaurant, well it’s already past the closing hour afterall, but the main chef who always greeted Guren is nowhere can be seen. Guren walks in, he called out for Ferid but he didn't answer. Guren knows Ferid well, there's only one place where he could be right now, kitchen. Guren's right. The purple haired man looks troubled with a pencil on his right hand. Unlike the kitchen table which always messed by food ingredients and cooking tool, a bunch of papers scattering around on the table. Each of them has a beautiful drawing of food. Ferid drew it all for the new menu. But he's stuck. 

 

"Oh, look who’s in chaos," Guren standing by the kitchen's door.

"Howah!" Ferid startled, his pen jumps from his hand like a grasshopper and Ferid trying to get it back but it eventually fall on the floor, "since when you're there? I thought you'll be here at 24.00 or something."

"It's already 24.07," Guren shows the time on his watch to Ferid.

Guren closing in to Kitchen table. He get one of the papers and pay a close attention to it, "I never expected for such a drawing skill coming from you."

"Hmph, thank you, I accept it as a praise," Ferid stand up from his chair and stretch for a bit. He had been sitting on that chair for hours and now his back is hurt.

"Are these for the new recipe?"

"Yeah, but I still can't find a great and satisfying recipe," Ferid put his hands on washable and wear his apron. 

 

"I'm going to cook your usual dinner, so you better leave my kitchen now."

"Are you disposing me?"   

"Yep, I am~"

 

Guren did nothing but smiles. Ferid never let any outsider messing up at his kitchen especially when he's about to cook.

 

"Fine then," answered Guren, "But I don't want Guren's usual for tonight."

"Eh? You finally get bored?"

"Not really."

"Okay, what do you want to eat then?"

"Katsu Curry."

 

Ferid thought he misheard things. But he didn't. Guren really said Curry, the food he had been hate for the entire of his life. 

 

"Did you? By any chance?" Ferid pointing his own head with his point finger, "got a hit on the head?"

"No, I just think Curry doesn't taste so bad."

 

 

***

 

 

Goshi has been standing on Guren's apartment door for almost a hour. He waits for Guren to reply his chat. Earlier of the day Goshi message Guren saying that he has something he left on Guren's apartment. He said he has to get it back today because he'll use it tomorrow. So, Guren told him to get it by himself because he probably going home late tonight. It has been 10 minutes and he hasn't received any reply. Guren has never fast in replying his texts or chats, unless when he was free and he'll reply as soon as possible. But it's midnight already and he still has some works left?

 

Just now the screen on Goshi’s phone turn bright, a notification appears on his screen. Guren finally replied to his chat with his apartment key number. "What's with this number? It's pretty easy to dispatch."

 

Goshi entered the pass code to the electronic key and unlock the door. The apartment was dark, but once Goshi stepping in the lights turns on automatically. The apartment is quiet and seems empty despite it filled with many furnitures. Sometime Goshi will wondered how could Guren live in such a quiet place with no one accompany him. As for Goshi he still lives in his parent's house and he has a younger brother which gets along pretty well with him. The atmosphere at Goshi's house is the complete opposite than Guren's apartment. 

 

"Theeen, where is it? Where is it?" Goshi walking around the living room, searching for the thing he left and it's surprisingly easy to find.

 

Unlike before. Guren place it neatly, next to the TV. He used to trash it away but ever since his last visit he has began to treasure it and treat it with care. He even brought a leather case so the screen won't scratch easily. "Oh~ so here you're," Goshi get the game console. It's the thing he has been searching for. 

 

 

***

 

 

Tokyo Sky Tree provides the best view of Tokyo. And Guren always fail to enjoy it whilst he often visits the tower. Tonight is different. He can't stop staring out of window to enjoy the night view. The shimmering lights under the tower are the only stars he could see clearly at Tokyo. The moving lights from the cars that running through the streets masquerade themselves as shooting stars. At a glimpse of moments he can't help but to compare the Tokyo's View to Shambhala's View and he can't decide which one he like better. 

 

"Guren! This is very amazing!" The silver haired man is now sitting across the table from where Guren sit. He isn't wearing the white robe he always wears, but instead he wears a white shirt and a blue knitted sweater which match his eye's color. He unbuttons the first two buttons of his shirt and rolled the sweater sleeves up to his elbow. Showing the pale white skin of his. He wears a brown leather watch of Patek Philippe and some thin wrap bracelet on his other hand. 

 

"Yeah it is," answered Guren while a curves line is drawn on his lips. 

"You should bring me here tomorrow and the day after tomorrow and the next day too!"

"The fuck I will, it's too troublesome."

"But Gureeeen, I like it here," Shinya pouted. 

Guren gives in, he sighed and said "If I have a time to spare on you then, maybe I will."

Shinya's mouth is wide open, his eyes glittering like a kid's eyes, "YESH! Thank you Guren!"

 

Guren like it when Shinya made that kind of expression and probably, that's the better view than Tokyo or Shambala's night view. Shinya's blue eyes are the most beautiful. 

 

*

 

"Oi," Ferid poked Guren on his cheek, "Are you okay? You've been smiling by yourself."

Guren startled. Ferid woke him up from his imagination. "Do I look like a sick person?"

"Nope, you resembles a person who is falling in love."

"Fuck off, Ferid."

 

The other man laugh. He never seen Guren making that kind of face. The chef served the food he bring to his costumer. Even though it just a curry but if its cooked by a pro it looks even more delicious. The Chicken Katsu is well cooked. It deep fried in a right amount of oil and perfect heat and make the color turned out beautifully golden-ish. The curry it self is nicely done. The potato and the carrot were cut in a right size and didn't get over cooked. The color of the curry blends well with Katsu. And the tasty aroma filling in the air. Guren take the first bite. He ate the katsu first. When he put the katsu to his mouth, it make a nice crunchy sound as he chew it. After the katsu Guren eat the curry.

 

"Your curry doesn't taste like a shit, Ferid."

"Why can't you say it in a nicer way? 'Your curry taste very delicious'." Ferid sat across the table. He opens the wine and pour it for himself.

"As long as it doesn't change the meaning it's okay, right?"

"Whatever," Ferid takes a sip of his wine, "Then? Who is this new girlfriend of yours?"

"There's none."

"Lie."

"It's the truth."

"Then who?"

 

Guren put down his spoon and fork. He drink his hot ocha before he start to talk. "I met him around 2 weeks ago," he started. 

"Heeee~~" Ferid soon take interest in Guren's story, "what kind of man was he?"

"He's a weird one. He smiles everytime, his jokes are lame, he's annoying, he irritated me a lot, and he never fail to get me on my nerves."  

Ferid is listening closely as he observed the tender expression Guren made.

"We were strangers but he was so nice to me, he even takes a good care of me."

"Good care?"

"Well, it's kinda hard to explain but he was nice to me."

 

"Then, where did you meet him?" Ferid refill his empty glass with more wine, he also pour another one for Guren.

"I meet him at Shangri-La," Guren said it carelessly, he forgot that he met Shinya at the other world.

"Shangri-La Hotel Tokyo?"

"Ye, yeah, Shangri-La Hotel, the one at Chiyoda," said Guren. He's saved by a 5 stars hotel name.

"Oho~ What were you doing at Shangri-La?" Ferid smirking.

"I was there for a meeting! Don't you try thinking anything weird!" Guren slammed the table with his hand.

Ferid giggled, every single expression Guren made right now is precious. He would never think that Guren would feel so flustered over a little thing.

 

"Then, what were you doing next?" Ferid gets even more curious.

"We....," a preview appear on Guren's head, He and Shinya were being chased by the pig and the dog, "We were running around at Shibuya."

Ferid brust out into laughter, "Running? At Shibuya? Guren just what the fuck did you?"

"Don't laugh! We were chased! Ah--" Guren used wrong words again. Two men running around at Shibuya because they were chased? It only happened if they steal something and ran from the police.

"Chased?!" Ferid burst out into laughter again, "Guren you're funny! Is he even real?"

 

Many kind of faces Shinya made appear on Guren's head. Guren remembers every single detailed of Shinya. His glowing silver hair. His sparkling blue eyes. His smile. His cheerful voice. The face he made when he first encountered with Guren. The curious face Shinya made when Guren told him about Tokyo. Shinya's sleeping face. Even the face Shinya made when he was running out of magic power. Or the one on his dream. 

 

"He's an NPC! NPC! How come you didn't know it?" Goshi's words rings inside his head once again.

 

Guren sip his wine. He smiles tenderly, "He's real. Shinya is real."

 

*

 

It has been over than one hour since Guren left the restaurant. Guren ate well, not a single rice left on his plate. Ferid left unmoved from the chair. He pours another glass of wine, enjoying it alone. His red eyes staring far at the dark sky of Tokyo. He lean his back to the chair and crossed his legs. "Ones could never escape their wheel of fate," he mumbles. He stirs the wine glass of his. He stares to the red liquid deeply, he felt a weigh on his heart and it gets heavier. "Ichinose Guren and Hiiragi Shinya," he pauses, "If I could, I would put you into a deep and long sleep, so you won't wake up from the beautiful dreams you had."

Chapter Text

The car wheels stop spinning. A black Ferrari parked basement at a skyscrapers basement. The car's engine has turned off. But the owner still hasn't left the car. Guren has been staring to his phone screen. His fingers moved swiftly, scrolling down through the page he is reading. His eyes fixed on the screen but his mind is leaded to another things. This afternoon he had a meeting at the Park Hyatt Hotel Tokyo with the most hated man, Kureto Hiiragi. He was keen to not attend this meeting, but running away isn’t his style.

 

After approximately 15 minutes in the car, Guren finally came out and went straight to the 40th floor of The Park Hyatt Hotel. Guren stepped into Kozue Restaurant. There he saw a man wearing a long black coat, complete with its attributes. The man was seen reading a little novel in his hand. “Tsk,” Guren make his way to Kureto. Without showing any courtesy, Guren sits on the chair across Kureto, "I don’t think I have any business left with you, Mr.Hiiragi.”

 

Kureto closed the novel and tilted his head to stare at his interlocutor it more clearly, “You don’t know where to put your manners do you?”

Guren smirks, “My time is running out, let’s hurry up.”

Kureto stares firmly, “have you reconsidered my offer?”

Guren laughs, “Mr.Hiiragi, I believe I already give my answer according to your offer? I refused. I have no interest on working for Hiiragi.”

“Are you sure? This is your last chance.”

“Don’t make me repeat myself.”

Anger takes a form in Kureto’s eyes, “I’m going to make you regret your choice, Guren Ichinose.”

“Oh~ I’m looking forward to your dirty play, Kureto Hiiragi,” Guren stood up, "I take my leave now, hope we'll never meet again."

 

Kureto clench his fits. He doesn't like being rejected. Anyone never rejects him and he always able to get whatever he wants except on this matter. But it's not over yet, it's only the beginning. Kureto hasn't even used the cards he holds, "Just wait and see Guren."

 

 

***

 

 

Guren finished his assignments as fast as he could. Because today is special for him. He's going to meet Shinya. Even Sayuri doesn't blink an eye when Guren asked her to cancel all the appointment he had after 17.00. Guren who had always got off from work at 23.00 or sometime he even work until 01.00 and always arrived at home pretty late, now actually already checked all of his notes and clean his desk neatly from the piles of documents. 

 

He shut down his computer. Put back on his jacket. Grabbed his car key and rushes off, leaving his office. "Sayuri, I leave the rest to you! See ya!" He sounded more cheerful than usual. He keep looking to his watch excitedly, he can't wait to get at home.

 

"Ah! Y,Yea-Yes! See you on Monday Ichinose-san," Sayuri watching to Guren's back who is running o the hallway. When was the last time she saw Guren acting that way she wondered. "He's in love~" mumbles Sayuri happily.

 

 

 ***

 

 

Guren drove his car smoothly. He wishes he could drive over the speed limit but he couldn't afford to get arrested by police. Guren had to visit on a certain place before. He remembers his promise that he'll get more burger for Shinya, so he stopped at Burger King.  He ordered 3 burgers. Today Guren will bring another companion with him, so it won't be fair if he didn't get a burger for this friend. After a safe drive he finally arrived at his apartment. Goshi had been waiting for him at his doorbell. 

 

"Yo!" greet Goshi.

"Why don't you get in by yourself? You know the pass already," Guren hurriedly enter his pass code and unlock the door.

"Heeeh, but that'd be rude~" Goshi followed Guren to his living room.

 

Guren put the burgers he brought on the kitchen's table. 

 

"Whoa! Burger King!" Goshi peeking to the bag and saw 3 burgers, "Oi Guren, whose burger are these?" Goshi counts. One burger for him, one for Guren, and the other one?

"You, Me, and Shinya," answered Guren.

"Eh? For Shinya?"

"Yeah, I noticed that I could bring stuffs from this world into the game, so I get him one," Guren took off his jacket and hang it on the hanger. 

"Can I get mine now? I'm pretty hungry you see~~~" Goshi get one of the burgers, but Guren slammed his hand fucking hard and almost break it.

"Not now."

 

 

 ***

 

 

Sayuri checks herself on the mirror. Making sure her hair neatly tied, applying makeup on her face, and fixing her clothes. Of course she didn't forget to spray a perfume. She has an appointment today with an old friend of hers, Shigure. Shigure is having her day off so they use this occasion to hang out. She was about to invite the others along but as expected they were all busy. Mahiru is out of reach, Mito said she has piles of reports she had to work on, Goshi unexpectedly refuse her offer because he has an urgent matter, and Guren seems to have an even urgent matter to do. 

 

'drrrrrrrr' a melody heard playing from Guren's office. "Ara?" Sayuri come to check.

 

It was almost impossible but it is what currently happening. Guren left his phone on his desk. Guren is a person who looks impossible to live without his phone. He check his schedule from his phone, make a note on his phone, read the mails from his phone, and keep himself updated with the news that he reads on online portal from his phone. And yet he left it here, on his office.

 

"Seriously? How can he be so sloppy?" Sayuri get the phone and check who called, "what if it was his girlfriend who called him." But the call turned out coming from one of the old men, Guren's boss.

 

"I guess I'll have to stop by at his apartment."

 

*

 

Shigure has been waiting for Sayuri by her front office gate. There was no traffic jam when she on her way so she arrived earlier than the meeting hour. When she was waiting for Sayuri, she saw a black Ferarri car that she knows pretty well, "Guren?" The window glass was dark so she couldn't clearly see who was on steer, but that car was definitely Guren's. At that time Shigure thought Guren headed out for an appointment, everyone knows that he's a busy person.

 

After waiting Sayuri for 30 minutes, a rather cute shy looking girl called out to her. It was Sayuri. "Sorry Shigure, for making you wait."

 

"It's okay, so shall we go now?"

"Ah, about that...."
"Hm??"

Sayuri took out a smartphone from her bag, "Actually, Guren forgot his phone so can we drop by to give this back to him? I'm pretty sure he'll need this later."

"Guren left his phone? That's rare."
"I know right!" Sayuri linked her arms to Shigure amd whispered something to her, "I think he got a girlfriend."

"....eh? For real?"
"Well, you see, today he asked me to cancel all appointments he have and go home."
"Wait? What?! I saw his car earlier so he was......"
"Yeah! He probably is going to meet his girlfriend!"
"Then, Sayuri....."
"What?"
"He might be not at home."
"It could be a home date!"
".....Sayuri?"
"Yes?"
"You just curious of how his girlfriend looks like, right?"
"......ah..." Sayuri twirling her fingers and her face get slightly red.
Shigure sighed, "Sayuri, you're under arrest."

 

*

 

She has to work on few more reports before she could go home. Mito trying hard to focus on her reports but it's clear that she can't. She got nothing done and had to work overtime again. Time keep passing by, her coworkers starting to leave one by one, and still no progress on her reports. She need to handed the reports by Monday, Her chair made a 'crick' when she leans her back on the chair. It was Goshi who caused this. Last week Mito received a call from Goshi, saying a total bullshit that Mito won't buy. But it's proven that she was wrong, because that one bullshit gets all of her attention for the whole week.

 

She sighed, "Maybe a little fresh air would be nice...."

 

Mito decided to get a fresh air by going to a seven eleven nearby or maybe getting a takoyaki. There's a takoyaki stand and a seven eleven on the three blocks after Mito's office building, next to the bus station. The dark arrives early on winter according to weather forecast the first snow will come in five more days. She put her hands in the jacket's pocket and walks faster to keep herself warm. 

 

Lucky, there was no queue at takoyaki stand. Mito placed her order and brought more than she should. She was only planning to get a portion of takoyaki but she ended up brought two portions. 

 

While she was waiting for her takoyaki to get done, a bus arrived at the bus stop. The bus drops its passengers and picked up some more. Two girls walking off from the bus, they seem to have a nice chat together. "Ah! Isn't that?!" called out the brown haired girl, "Mito!" So it was Sayuri and Shigure. They had to get down on this bus stop and walk a little to the next bus stop that headed to Guren's apartment.  

 

The red haired girl heard the call. It was unexpected to met Sayuri and Shigure here, but that made her happy. "Oh! The two of you!" Mito hugged both of the girls, "what are you doing here?"

 

"We're going to Guren's apartment," answered Sayuri.

"Eh? I thought you were heading out somewhere? So it was Guren's pace eh?" 

"Well, not really, Guren left his phone so we're going to give it back."

"Heee? Is that so?" The takoyaki has done Mito paid the food and headed back to her office together with Sayuri and Shigure, because her office and the bus stop were located at the same direction.

 

"Actually, Guren is getting a new girlfriend and Sayuri seem to get curious so we're going to bust them at their home date," Shigure continuing the conversation they had before.

"What?!" Mito almost forgets to chew her takoyaki, "He got a new girlfriend?! I thought he hasn't moved on from Mahiru."

"I know right, that's why we need to check who it this girl!" said Sayuri excitedly. 

 

They walked on a pedestrian bridge stairs. The bus stop located next to the pedestrian bridge while Mito's office was still 2 blocks away. 

 

"Well... You see, Guren doesn't seem to pay attention on the meeting lately. Sometimes he'll smiles by himself while scrolling down randomly on his phone," said Sayuri, "Love must be the cause."

 

"Yeah, it could be so," respond Shigure.

Mito listening closely while eating her takoyaki, she has lost in her thoughts.

"Mito what's wrong?" asked Sayuri.

"Ah, nothing."

 

A boy with skateboard slide ruthlessly, he did some maneuvers and jumping down to the banister on his skate. But he didn't see the girls who was walking on the stairs and almost hit one of them. "Sayuri watch out!" called out Shigure. She tried to grab Sayuri's hand but it happened in a blink of eyes.

 

"Kyah!" Sayuri slipped on her heels and falling down from the stairs.

 

 

 ***

 

 

He never used any perfume at home. There was no use after all, why someone would use a perfume at home when he has no guest around. But today was different, even Guren laughed to the reflection of himself on the mirror. Has he become a dumb or what. Once they get to the game world, they'll somehow end up in their knight costume, so what's the use of getting tidy before heading off to the unknown world.

 

He walked out from his room, "Goshi, we're going now."

 

"YES SIR!!" Goshi get excited, he has been waiting for this. He hurriedly gets the burger that Guren brought for Shinya.

"Anyway Guren, why are you applying perfume?" asked Goshi.

"Shut the fuck up," he wondered himself. He was being stupid. Though maybe, being a fool once in a while wasn't that bad either.

 

Guren turned on the console and choose the usual option, "Yosh! Now we star--!!" His eyes caught a 'next' arrow on the multiplayer option, "was it always there?" a glimpse of thought appear on Guren's mind.

 

"STAAART!!" before Guren able to see what's on the next arrow, Goshi slammed his fingers on 'start game' button.

 

The familiar white shines flooding out. Guren never pay attention before, because everything happened in a flash and without him expecting. He feels the warmth coming from the white light, a warmth that he never felt before. He saw his living room turned into white particles, or maybe it was him who changed. In a moment everything turned as white as paper. The white shine starting to hurt his eyes. Guren unknowingly closed his eyes and by the time he opened it, he was there again, at the unknown land called Shangri-La.

 

Guren landed on a ground, back with his broken chain mail and metal plate from the last battle. He was standing in front of a house. It was another brick exposed house, except it painted in all white. The door and the window made from a willow wood and the handle were made from a rusted metal. The roof made from brown asbestos with some wooden patch on some parts and a strange looking chimney. Instead of a straight chimney, the house has a J shaped chimney. There's a white smoke coming out, Guren assuming the house lord is present. 

 

There were many plant blocks made from bricks at the house's garden a strange turquoise flowers filled the blocks, it seems like a flower that will only grow during winter. The flower resembles capanula pendula or bellflowers but not, it was bigger, the stalk and the leaves were white, and the leaves were twice bigger than the actual bellflowers, and each stalk only has one flower. Other than that, there was a small fire wood barn and an ax embedded on a cut down tree and a well with its empty wooden bucket. Overall the house was nice looking, except it looks crumbled on some parts. 

 

"Guren, whose house is this?" asked Goshi.

 

"My house isn't ugly, it just a little bit crumbled."

 

Guren giggled, "I wonder who, maybe we should go inside and greet the house lord?"

 

Before Guren greet the house lord, someone walks out from the backdoor. The man wore a coat that Guren familiar with. The man's hair was messy, he yawned widely, he had just woke up few minutes ago. Guren is right, this house owner is Shinya.

 

"This house is so crumbled, right Goshi?" Guren intentionally talked in a super loud voice.

"Wha? Hah? What?" Goshi get clueless.

"So crumbled just like its owner!" Guren grinned widely, he gave a glance at Shinya.

 

Shinya choked as if a big fly entered his mouth. He hurriedly covered his wide yawn with his palm, "What the fuck?!" That's the first time Guren heard Shinya cursed.

 

"Gu,Guren?! And Goshi?! How the fuck?!" The magician has cursed twice.

"How the fuck you found my house?!" Now he said it thrice. 

Guren laughed, "Look how messy you're!" It was the first time Guren saw Shinya with his bed hair and he found it adorable. He couldn't say it directly of course.

 

"Look who’s talking! Your appearance even messier than I am!" Shinya rushes to greet his guests.

Shinya running still in his snowman pajama and his white robe looks like a snow fairy in Guren's eyes. But seriously, how childish Guren thought. An adult man like Shinya wearing a snowman pattern pajama? Even so that was what most likely Shinya will do. 

 

"Welcome back Guren!" said Shinya cheerfully.

 

"Oh..Uh, yeah...." that one line from Shinya made Guren stuttered as If the silver haired's smile has turn the winter into spring. Guren hates winter because it made him freezing but Shinya gave him weird warmth he never felt before. He hasn't quite understood why it was and probably would never care if he ended up not understand a thing.

 

"Anoooo," said Goshi, "sorry for disturbing your touching reunion but I'm freezing here."

"AH! Sorry! Let's go in, I'll make you something warm," Shinya invited the guests to his house.

 

*

 

Just like the outside the inside wall of Shinya's house was also in white. It wasn't a big house, even Guren's apartment bigger than this house. But everything was set beautifully. Shinya doesn't has a dining room at his house because the living room also share the function as the dining room and has some weird paintings which Guren doesn't even care being hanged on every side of the wall. Shinya has one obsolete long sofa and two wooden chairs with just a tiny table on each end of the sofa. There's a fireplace at the living room, which Shinya used to boils water in a teakettle. And then there's a kitchen. People in this world don’t use a refrigerator to keep their food safe but they use a more traditional refrigerator, a wooden cupboard filled with ice blocks. Shinya has a nice kitchen set, a wooden kitchen table stick to the wall and the cooking tools being hanged neatly. One thing that caught Guren's attention is the brick oven. He has never seen an actual brick oven, well he did, but it was when he visited a museum. Lastly there're two other doors that shut tightly. Guren believes one lead to the bathroom and one is to Shinya's bedroom.  

 

"Please feel free to sit anywhere you like," he said politely.

"What? You suddenly talk in keigo[1]," Guren sat on the rusty sofa. It might be old and doesn't feel so comfortable but it's actually not bad either, "You were cursing at me three times."

"Oh for heaven's sake, please shut up Guren," Shinya get three cups from his kitchen, he put some dried Roselle on each cups and fill them with the boiled waters. The dried Roselle swelling, painting the water into red, change the taste of plain water to sweet, spreading its fragrant to those who drink them. One for Goshi, one for Guren, and one for himself.

 

"This makes me warm~~ Thanks bro!" said Goshi.

"Haha don't sweat it," Shinya gave the other cup for Guren.

"Shinya," called Guren.

"What?"

"Have you eaten your breakfast?"

Shinya shakes his head, "not yet, why?"

"Well, I haven't eaten my dinner so," what Guren was trying to say was that he brings a food for them to eat. But it was hard for him to say that. There was nothing curcial from his lines it just his pride won't let him say that.

 

That sounded ticklish on Goshi's ear, "Shinya! Guren brought this burger for YOU! Just for you~~"

"I didn't!!" shouted Guren.

"Omg, so you brought this for me?!" Goshi gave the hamburger to Shinya. The burger made Shinya so happy because Guren really bring it for him just like he promised.

"I said I didn't!"

"This is very delicious!" Shinya carved for the burger. Burger King for breakfast is quite a heavy breakfast but they'll have to use a lot of energy later, "thank you very much Guren"

"Y,yeah you're welcome," only a magician named Shinya that came from an unknown land could make Guren Ichinose talked shyly.

 

They have finished their food and Shinya has got himself ready. After discussing about the left over money they had from the last mission, they decide to use it to reforging Guren's broken metal plate and chain mail.

 

"Shinya, isn't it dangerous to live at town's outskirt?" asked Guren as he observed the house carefully once again.

"Don't worry, I've set my monsters repellent already," Shinya locks his door house.

He had set a monster repellent he said. Yet his house looks so crumbled on every side. "So it didn't work well," tease Guren.

"Guren, can you please stop commenting about my house?"

 

*

 

There's a blacksmith Shinya befriended with. It's an infamous black smith with a top-notch skill. Shinya said this blacksmith might give them a discount since reforging a metal plate isn't a hard task.

 

The blacksmith shop located at the most west side of Shambala. 'Narumi Forging' is how the shop named. The owner is a brown hair dude with four people working under him. "Narumi-kun, it has been a while!"

 

"Shinya-san! How are you? Is there anything I could help with?!" Narumi sound polite and respectful on Shinya.

 

"I need you to fix my friend's armor, can you do it?" Shinya introduce Guren to Narumi and pointing out where the metal plate has broken.

 

"Ara? The materials of your metal plate and your chain mail aren’t that bad, how you got it torn?" asked Narumi as he inspects the armors.

"We fought a kid names Asuramaru and he broke it" explained Guren.

"WHAT?! YOU FOUGHT WHO?!!" 

"Well, well, It was a long story," Shinya need to stop this before it gets longer. Narumi likes this kind of story and he might make them telling their battle with Asuramaru for an entire week, "So, can you fix it?"

"Yeah, it's easy, I could finish it in 3 hours," answered Narumi, "So! Asuramaru! How did you me--"

"Ehem! How much does it cost?"
"Umm… since it's you, I'll charge it 5.000 Ren."

"Okay, here is the fiv---" Shinya took out 5.000 Ren from his bag. But there Narumi, he keeps pushing Guren with his curiosity. 

"Tell me! Tell me! What business did you have with Asuramaru?"

 

Guren send a glance to Shinya. He needs a little help over here. 

 

"Narumi! Here's 6.000, now hurry~hurry, get the armor done!" Shinya pushes Narumi back to his workshop. 

"But Shinya-san this is 1.000 Ren too much?" Narumi counting the money he received as Shinya keep pushing his back.

"It's okay it's a bonus~"

"You sure?"

"Yes, yes, now hurry finishes it."

"Anyway Shinya-san,"

"What?"

"Don't wander around at night okay, it's getting even more dangerous lately," warned Narumi.

"Yup, I got it~"

Shinya left the shop. For some reason Goshi didn’t enter the shop and waited outside instead. Ever since they left the house Goshi has been acting weird. He keeps moving his eyes here and there as if he was searching for something.

 

“Goshi is there anything wrong?” asked Shinya.

“Ah, no~no~,” Goshi tyring to pull his usual tone, “so have you done?”

“Yep, Narumi said he’ll finish it in 4 hours.”

“Good! Now where’s Guren?”

“He’s still inside, taking off his armor.”



*

 

Narumi helps Guren removing his armors. He doesn’t have a spare armor that fit for Guren, that’s why he lends Guren a coat and a shirt. It’s a fur coat made from firefurries’ fur, that’s the best coat to wear on winter because the coat works like a kotatsu it just the coat doesn’t need an electricity.

 

“So, you’re Shinya-san’s partner?” asked Narumi.

“There’s another one other than me.”

“I see, that’s good to be heard.”
“You seem to care a lot about him.”

“Yeah, he helped me a lot back days, so I hope you will take a good care of him,” Narumi finally done removing Guren’s armors. 

“The Inn guy also said the same thing to me,” said Guren as he wears his shirt.

“Crowley?”

“Yeah, him.”

“Guren-san, you better be careful on him,” Naumi sounded conscientious.

“Why is that?”

“He’s different.”

That gave Guren chills, “and why is he different?”

“Crowley, he’s half-narakas, no one ever know which side he is on, that’s why he is dangerous.

 

Crowley is a very strong man. Guren never give him much thought because he treats both of him and Shinya, especially Shinya, really well. But since the last time they talked in private, Guren felt something fishy coming from him. 

“I’ve told Shinya-san to stay away from him many times but he ain’t listening,” Narumi continue his rambles.

“Did anything happen between Shinya and Crowley?”

“I don’t know, but Crowley seems to put a kind of interest in Shinya-san.”

“What kind?”
“That too, I can’t give you any answer.”

 

“Guren?! Have you done?!” Shinya called.

“Narumi, thank you for the help.”

“Yeah,” said Narumi, “Guren-san, please take care of him.”

Guren smiles. What a joke he thought. “There’s no way I don’t.” He will protect Shinya from any danger that comes to him even without anyone telling him to.

 

*



“What did you talk with Narumi?” asked Shinya curious.

“Nothing important.” The thought about Crowley keep bugging him. The fact that Crowley is a half has already worrisome. Even so he doesn’t know what to do at this kind of situation. It’s true he doesn’t really like Crowley, but he’s the only man they can depend on right now. His aid has always helpful. So probably, all he can do right now is to stay cautious.

 

“Guren since you don’t have your armors with you it’d be better if you stay at town, even the town itself isn’t really a safe place right now.”

“Now that you mentioned it, what actually happen?” Guren remembered the other warning Narumi gave to Shinya.

“You know, the thieves, no one managed to catch them, even the number of incident increasing drastically.”

 

The thieves’ incident from last time hasn’t been solved. That increases the dangerous level at Shambhala. Guren hate the fact that he didn’t manage to catch the one that attack them.

 

“For now, let’s wait at Crowley’s place.” Guren soon hates the suggestion Shinya made, but that’s the only option they has right now.

 

“Goshi, you listen?” asked Shinya.

Goshi hasn’t pay attention to his mates, “Hah? What?”

“Goshi, are you really ok?” checks Shinya.

“Of course I am! Do I look like someone who just get hit?”

“Yes, on the head,” jokes Shinya.
“You probably right about that one,” agreed Guren.

 

When they are talking a little girl bumped on Goshi’s leg. The girl brought a bouquet of Orange Rose but the flower bouquet seen to be in a bad condition. Some of the flowers are torn apart and the paper warp looks dirty. The little girl walks while crying and eventually bumped on Goshi’s legs.

 

“Oh? What’s wrong little girl?” asked Goshi.

The little girl keeps crying and apparently Shinya recognize the girl, “Are you Mirai-chan?” 
The little girl quits sobbing. She look at the man that called her name, “Shi,Shinya-san?”

Shinya pats the little girl’s head, “What’s wrong? Why do you cry?”


“Shi…Shinya-san, my flowers…. I ruined it,” she shows the flower to Shinya. She gathered the flowers and arranged it by herself as a present for his big brother who finally accepted as the kingdom soldier. When she was about to deliver it, she tripped, and the flowers bouquet fell on the ground. Not only that, the street was busy and a cart accidentally ran over the bouquet.

 

“Fine then! Your Prince, Shinya-sama will help you~! So don’t cry again my little princess~”

“For real?!”

“Yup~ I’ll get the flowers for you!”

 

Guren face palmed. Not again. Shinya has signed himself on another trouble and he just signed himself for more of Shinya’s shit. “I’m coming with you.”

 

“No, no, you’re not going anywhere Guren, not with out your armor.”

“I don’t care, I’m going with you.”

Shinya touches the bridge of his nose, “Okay then~ Goshi!”

“Aye sir?” replied Goshi.

“You come with me, Guren and Mirai-chan will have to wait at the Inn for us~”

“What the fuck?! No I come with you!” said Guren angrily.

“Guren! Watch your mouth in front of kid!” warned Shinya.

“But Shinya I’m coming with you!”

“Not without your armor!” Shinya said it already. That he shouldn’t go out of town without his armor. But imagining to stay at Crowley’s place after what Narumi said, that doesn’t feel right at all.

 

“Guren, only this time, please?” Shinya plead.

Guren gives up, “Fine….but seriously, be careful out there.”

 

“Yaas!! I will!!” Shinya jumps happily, “Mirai-chan~ Now, I’ll go to get the flowers for you. Uncle Guren will take you to the inn, you wait for us over there, okay?”

 

“Yes, Shinya-san,” answered Mirai.

 

Guren glared to Shinya. The magician knows that the other man did it unwillingly. He just does it because he was forced to. “Now,now~ put that face aside uncle Guren, you’ll scare Mirai-chan.”

 

“Shinya, you fuc—“ Shinya shut Guren’s mouth by placing his finger on the knight’s lips.

 

“No cursing in front of kids~”

 

 

 ***

 

 

The girls were walking on pedestrian bridge’s stairs when a boy with skateboard played his tricks and make Sayuri fell from the stairs. Shigure trying to safe Sayuri by holding on her friend’s hand but she was late, by the time she managed to get Sayuri’s hand she already fell and drag Shigure with her. Mito didn’t even get a chance to react because it happened in a blink.

 

“Kyah!!” shouted Sayuri. It’d be dangerous to fell from stairs and hit the hard asphalt but none other a piles of dried branch. Shigure followed along, she was trying to help Sayuri but being dragged instead, she fell at the top of Sayuri.

 

“Argh!” groans Shigure. “Sayuri, you okay?”

“Yeah, somehow…,” she answered, “but Shigure…. Where are we?”

 

The unfamiliar view greets them. They’re at a strange forest that they’ve never seen before. The unknown pace which cannot be found anywhere at Tokyo, “Is this even Tokyo?”

 

Where at Tokyo?”

“Then, afterlife?”

“Do we I look like a dead person to you?”

“Hmm, no, it just… you similar to a cosplayer girl,” answered Sayuri honestly.

 

She’s true. They’re not wearing their normal outfit, instead a weird clothes they could see on anime. Sayuri looks stunning in her white satin dress and a lime green waist-length robe and a brown belt on her waist. There’s many paper with a weird writings inside her pocket robe. While Shigure wears a broken white shirt with brown leather vest, short pants, with stockings and leather boots. Shigure has a bow complete with its arrows and a dagger.

 

“What’s actually happening here?” Sayuri wavering, she’s scared. Who’s not, for being randomly dumped at an unknown forest with a cosplay costumes without understanding or knowing what’s actually going on.

 

‘Srak’ a sound coming from the thicket. Sayuri moves a step aside, “Shi, Shigure what’s that?” Shigure stay on alert. She removes her dagger from its cover and wait nervously until the wild animal or anything behind the bushes shows itself.

 

It wasn’t a boar nor a wild bear or even a Yetti. A white round thing with a very pointed orange nose and a black hat. It appears in a cute appearance, a snowman.

 

“What is that? It just a snowman?” said Sayuri underestimating the snowman.

“Just a snowman? Which snowman could walk like that?” Shigure can’t help but being suspicious everytime the snowman move.

“Maybe it has a machine planted inside its body?” assume Sayuri.

“But Sayuri, look at his hand, it doesn’t like you can play with that snowman,” the hands of the snowman was made from a branch, a very big branch shaped like a claw which make it look really scary and dangerous.

 

Shigure instinct won’t bug down, she has an extremely bad feeling about this snowman and her instinct has proven to be right. The snowman extends his hands, reaching out for Sayuri, “Sayuri watch out!!”

 

“KYAAAH!!”

 

*

 

Shinya and Goshi have leaving the town. According to Shinya the flowers are easy to get because it wasn’t in a deep forest even a kid like Mirai could get them easily. Shinya was right, not far from the forest entrance they could see a heap of orange roses. “There we go Goshi~” They start to pick the flowers. They don’t want to make Mirai waited for too long and Shinya already could imagine the grumpy face Guren made. They were picking the flowers carefully until they heard a scream coming from the forest.

 

"What the fuck was that?!" jolted Goshi.

"Let's go Goshi!" Shinya rushes to where the scream coming. He always reacts fast when there's someone need for help.

 

 

***

 

 

His mood had been worsening since Shinya told him to wait at the inn together with Mirai. They had been waiting at the bar. Crowley made some sweet desert for Mirai and a hot coffee for Guren. Mirai seems to enjoy the sweets, she even looks more cheerful than before. Unknowingly Guren can't move his eyes from Crowley, he watched whatever the man does, the words he heard from Narumi is bugging him.

 

"What's wrong? You heard some bad rumors about me?" address Crowley. Like the hell he won't notice if someone has been watching over him.

"The rumors about you being a half, is it true?" Guren isn't a fan of hide and seek, so he just said what's on his mind directly to Crowley. He had been found out anyway.

Judging from Guren's appearance Crowley soon found out who he heard the rumor from, "Hmph, Narumi eh?" 

"So, If I am a half, what are you gonna do?" said the bartender with his playful voice.

 

Crowley is right. There's nothing that Guren can do despite knowing that the latter is a half human and half Narakas. Guren has watched it by his own eyes, how big difference is his power and Crowley's. If the were about to fight, Guren probably dead by Crowley's first attack. 

 

"Don't worry, I won't harm you~ I'm on your side," comfort Crowley.

From Guren's gaze it's clear that he don't buy Crowley's shit.

"Are you worried that I will harm Shinya?"

"Of course," Guren grinned, "If you harm Shinya, I'll slay you with my sword."

Crowley smiles, "I accept your challenge, Guren."

 

"Talking about Shinya," added Crowley, "Isn't he and Goshi a bit late?"

 

He got a point here. It was an easy task, even a kids could do. But it has been a hour and they haven't come back. That just ruin Guren's mood even more. He sighed and walks off from his chair.

 

"You'll die going armor less like that," warn Crowley.

"Dont worry, I won't die before I slay you down," replied Guren confidently.

 

 

***

 

 

Shigure and Sayuri run as fast as they could to save their life. The snowman keep attacking them with its claw but luckily it missed. It moving its claw abruptly, slaughter whatever it touches. The girls ran panicky, Shigure tried to counter with her arrows. As if she is a pro in archery, she could handle the bow well and aim perfectly. Too bad, the snowman easily demolishes her arrow. "Shit."

 

The ground is slippery and they arrived at a part where the tree roots covered the ground perfectly, make them even harder to run. Sayuri who hasn't accustomed with her new outfit accidentally tripped. "Kyah!" Her feet trapped between tree roots. She tried hard to pull it out but it won't do. The snowman gets even closer, Shigure shooting her arrow but fail everytime. The snowman extending its hand and ready to crush the girls into its palm. Tears falling off from Sayuri's eyes. She was so desperate to live, she doesn't wanna die yet. She wished to be saved.

 

When the snowman claw coming for them, a lighting barrier appear. Repealing the snowman's attack and protecting the girls. A slash cutting through the air and torn the wooden claw into firewoods. 

 

"W....ho?" a white silhouette of a man created a barrier and protecting both of Sayuri and Shigure with all of his might.

 

They can't see clearly due the bright light that the barrier created. All they could hear is only a fighting sound. A sound of sword clashing and the scary groans that probably comes from the snowman. The fight ended in an instant, it wasn't a difficult battle at all. But for a stranger like Sayuri and Shigure it was a scary experience. The bright light slowly disappearing absorbed by the man silhouette. "Who... are you?" asked Shigure still staring to the man's back.

 

"Are you okay? Anyone get hurt?" asked the magician to the girls whom he just met. The girls suffocating as if the air was taken away once they saw the magician's face. Sayuri covered her mouth with her hands. Her hands can't stop trembling. Shigure drops the bow she had been holding to.

 

"Sh.....Shi....nya....?" mumbles Sayuri.

"How...How could you??" said Shiguri while trying to get her sense back.

The magician looks in confusion, "Hm? Do you know me??" 

 

Before the girls could bomber their savior with more questions another man approaches them.

"Isn't it? Sayuri and Shigure?!" cheers Goshi, his expression suddenly turns bright.

"Goshi? Are they your friend?" asked Shinya confusedly.

"Yes! You're right Shinya! This is Sayuri and Shigure, they are my friend and also Guren's friends!" explain Goshi happily.

"Guren's friends?! That means they're Tokyo people?!" A sparks flashed on Shinya's blue eyes, he gets excited. He gets excited when it comes to Guren's world.

"Yosh! They're Tokyo people just like me and Guren!"

 

The girls watched confusedly. They still don't understand a thing. Well, how could they. First they were at a pedestrian bridge, they fell from the stairs, they landed on a strange forest, wearing some random anime outfits, being attacked by a cute snowman that can move, and now they meet Goshi and another man they never expected to meet here. 

 

"Goshi! What's all of these? Explain it to us," said Shigure.

"And you said Guren? He's here?" added Sayuri.

"Hm~hm, I'll explain it later, but anyway, are there only the two of you? Mito, Where's she?" asked Goshi.

"What do you mean?" Sayuri couldn't quite process Goshi's words well, "we were with Mito before we got here."

Shigure catch on fast, so does Sayuri.

"Wait, Does it mean....," started Shigure.

"Mito also here?!" finished Sayuri.

 

Now they're in trouble. Mito wasn't with Sayuri and Shigure when they first arrive. She probably landed on another part of the forest. They have to find her soon before anything bad happen, like being attack by the snowman or for worse, killed.

 

"I'll go and search for her, Goshi you bring back them to Crowley's place and wait for me," said Shinya.

 

He felt uneasy because snowman is a narakas that won't around on this area. They supposed to live at deeper part and not an aggressive narakas. He wondered what a snowman doing here and why it attacks the girls so abruptly. 

 

"Wha--?! No way Shinya, I'm coming with you!" insist Goshi.

"Goshi, it's dangerous,"

"But Guren will kill me if I dare to leave you alone!"

"Don't worry he won't~" answered Shinya playfully.

"Oh Shinya why can't you understand," Goshi felt frustrated, he doesn't want to leave Shinya alone and he felt a responsibility to safe Mito.

 

"Goshi is right! Shinya-san, we're coming with you!" Sayuri supports Goshi's decision.

"Mito is our friend, we have to save her," added Shigure.

"We might me couldn't be a big of help but Shinya please!" Sayuri bows 90 degrees.

Goshi pleaded to Shinya, "Shinya! Please count us in!"

 

There's a big determination in their eyes, which make Shinya's heart goes weak. He can't just ignore their determination and Shinya could understand it very well the desire to save a friend so bad. 

 

He sighed, "Fine then, but stay behind me and don't act on your own!"

 

Smiles rise on the three's face. They're thankful that Shinya finally allow them to go with him. Now they're going to find to Mito and bring her back with them.

 

 

Chapter Text

The trees get bigger as they go to the deeper part of the forest. It also gets darker and colder. They keep calling out for Mito's name but they get no answer or even an echo. No animals around or even an insect. Once they let out their voice it just disappears swallowed by the trees as if they ware at a soundproof room. It's hard to move at the forest due the tree roots that cover the whole ground surface and the path gets narrower.

"Where's Mito? Why she isn't answering us?" Sayuri is worrying over Mito's condition.
"Mito is strong! She'll do just fine," comfort Goshi.
"How you could be so sure?" replied Sayuri.
"Because... That's Mito~"

They continue walking but still can't find anything. Suddenly the land shakes. "An earthquake?" mumbles Shigure. 
A different reaction showed by Shinya. He stays on alert and seems ready to attack whatever may come. Because he knows it isn’t a normal earthquake. "Goshi, get your pipe ready."

"Eh why?"
"Something's bad is going to happen," he said cautiously. "Anyway, Sayuri and Shigure right?"
The girls nod.
"I will need a little help from you."

 

***

 

Guren enter the forest. He sees a heap of orange flowers and soon he finds the trace of Shinya. The flowers have been repealed from the ground but it has abandoned, as if the one who picked the flowers in a hurry. Guren peeking to the deeper part of the forest. He received this uneasy feeling, "Shinya...."

Many kind of thoughts appearing on Guren's mind. He can't help it, Shinya has been always reckless in every fight they've been encountered so far. The knight runs as fast as he could. He has to find Shinya soon before anything happens to the magician.

 

***

 

Everyone has ready on their posts. Shinya's the one who make the ambush plan. The monster they're going to fight is a monster on a different class than the snowmen. This one is way stringer and more dangerous. For your information, Yeti does exist in Shangri-La. 

The four of them climbs a very high tree. A melee battle won't do good so they're gonna fight him in a long ranged battle. Shigure has ready with her bow and because she has the sharpest eyes among the others, Shinya tells her to inform the squad if she sees a suspicious object coming close. Goshi has ready with his pipe, Yettii is weak over a bright light so Goshi thinks nothing but white and lamps and sun. As for Sayuri, she thought she has no weapon with her but it's proven to be wrong. The papers with strange writings are her weapons. Shinya teach her three spells that she could memorize well despite not knowing what spells it were. The first spell is an attack buff, the second spell is a speed buff, while the last spell is for healing. Sayuri turns out as a white magician some calls it as cleric or priest which is better in healing than Shinya. 

They wait in silence. It's dark and cold and quiet, make the forest even scarier. Soon, Shigure sees a sight of big and furry form. It's the Yettii. He shakes the land every on his steps. It's 6 meters tall and looks formidable strong.

Shinya set his sign, ready to give out his command. The others nod, they’re all prepared for the attack. In counts of 1…… 2…… 3…… Shinya set out his sign. Shigure commerce her bow attacks. She showered Yettii with her arrows. Shinya cast his lighting, hit the monster perfectly. Yettii roars in pain. He starts to get brutal. Goshi blows his pipe, creating a bright light illusion causing a temporary blind to Yettii. At the same time Sayuri cast her speed buff. They use this opportunity to changes place before Yettii found them.

The first attack goes smooth. They have done the Yettii pretty well. But the uneasiness that has been bugging Shinya hasn’t gone, it gets even worse. It’s not the time to hesitate, Shinya thinks. He has to focus on the attack or they’ll be saline by Yettii. Whatever it is he has to carry out the plan perfectly until he could find the others’ missing friend, Mito.

The second pattern involves a close range battle. Goshi has to get close to Yettii and slash the legs to slowdown Yettii’s moves. Shinya averts Yettii’s attention with his lighting blots. It’s the time for Sayuri to cast her second spell, attack buffs. Goshi has extra tasks on the second attack. First he has to make the Yettii blind with his illusions. Second he has to get close to the Yettii while Shigure covers him with her arrows rain. Third, once he close enough to Yettii he has to cut through the monster’s legs with his sword. But he fails the third.

“GOSHI!” shouted Shigure.

Yettii smack Goshi with his giant hand. He throws Goshi hard till he crash to a tree, lucky he doesn’t break a bone. Yettii doesn’t stop there, after he throw Goshi now he gonna blow him with his giant punch. Lucky, his magician friend reacts fast. Shinya protects Goshi with his lightning barrier while Shigure distract Yettii’s attention with her arrows.

“Goshi! Pipe!” shouted Shinya.

He hurriedly blows his pipe, creating another bright illusion and escape the monster.

 

*

 

They run from the monster. Plan A has failed, they should proceed to Plan B. In order to start the Plan B they have to move to the next position.

“Shinya,” called Shigure, “What is that thing doing?”

Shinya look at Yettii. The monster is standing calm, he stares at the sky, and he inhales a big amount of air.

“SHIT!” shouted Shinya, “JUMP! EVERYONE CLIMBED THE TREE!”

They do exactly like what Shinya told.

The Yettii spots his cold breath. Turns everything it swaps into ice blocks. Shinya and friends manage to climb the tree before they turn into ice blocks, but it was close.They stare to the frozen sea in amazement. It’s not the time to get amazed but there’s nothing they can do.

“Holy shit,” mumbles Goshi.

Shinya know that Yettii has the ability to freeze everything with his cold breath, but since when it gets this powerful, he never knows.

There’s this feeling that appear on his chest. Even on the countless fight he have encountered he never once feels this kind of feel. His hands are trembling not because the cold, but fear.

“Shinya, are you okay?” asked Sayuri.

“Ah, yeah, I’m okay,” Shinya pull off a fake smile to convince the girl.

“What’s the Plan B, Shinya?” asked Shigure.

Shinya take a deep breath, “Plan B is… I will hold him, you guys escape, this fight is futile, we can’t go forward.”

“WTF Shinya?!” yelled Goshi, “there’s no way you could! Even with the tree of us we still can’t beat him!”

“And Mito, what about Mito?! You’re not planning on abandoning her right?!” said Sayuri panicking.

“But, you’re Guren’s friends I can’t let you die here!” Shinya unknowingly yelled at Sayuri. He’s scared, he’s desperate, his mind is in chaos now. He has to find the best way to keep everyone safe, and that’s the best option he could find.

“Mito is also Guren’s friend!” Sayuri shouted back at Shinya, “And you! You!” Sayuri grabs Shinnya on his collar. She’s very mad right now, she has never been this mad for the entire of her life.

“You have always been… the most important person for Guren!” tears flowing down from her eyes.

“Sayuri…..” Sahinya could feel the anger that addressed for him.

“I can’t imagine…. What kind of sad face Guren will make if he lost you….” Sayuri hands become weak. She finally let go off her hands from Shinya’s collar.

She can’t control her tears. It keep flowing out. Shigure holds Sayuri on her embrace.

“She’s right Shinya. We can’t let you abandoning Mito and I won’t forgive you if you dare to make Guren cry,” said Shigure.

“Eh? But Guren won’t cry right?” said Goshi, running the moment. But that’s what he’s for. Cracking every touching moment to a shitty one.

Shinya smiles, “You’re right, sorry.”

His words magically calm everyone. But the peaceful moment doesn’t last long. The Yettii strikes again. He jumped high and causes a heavy earthquake when he lands. He cracks the frozen land, literally everything he froze into small pieces, including the lower part of the tree that Shinya and co climb. Yettii easily find his target. He dashes to crush his target into shaved ice. Shigure shoots her arrows again but he blocks it all. Goshi blow his pipe, but before he able to create his illusion Yettii slashes the smokes with his claws.

“Run!” shouted Shinya.

When they about to run, Yettii smash the ground again. Another earthquake hits them. They stumble on the ground, not able to run. A tree above Sayuri falls down.

“SAYURI!” shouted Shigure.

Sayuri closes her eyes thinking it was the end for her, but not. The lighting barrier once again protecting his comrades. Shinya saves Sayuri life by setting on his barrier.

“Shi..nya….,” mumbles Sayuri.

“SHINYA WATCH OUT!!” Goshi shouted as loud as he could.

The monster smacks Shinya with his scary punch. It destroys the barrier and swaps Shinya flying few meters away, separating the magician from his staff, and breaking some of Shinya’s ribs.

“NO! STOP!” shouted Sayuri.

But Yettii doesn’t give a damn to her. He headed directly to Shinya to give the magician a final blow. Shigure trying to get Yettii’s attention by shooting her arrows, but after the fifth shots she runs out of arrows. Goshi try to stop the monster with his sword but easily pushed away.

Shinya chokes blood. His entire body is damn hurt. The destructive power of Yettii is incredibly strong. How could this happen he wonders, it’s not like he has never fought one before.

Yettii launches his attack again to Shinya. He sends his sharp claw to Shinya’s chest. Even without his staff, Shinya still able to use his magic. He draws line with his fingers, making another barrier because that’s the best thing he can do right now. Yettii’s claw easily destroy Shinya’s barrier easily. Bloods spreading out from Shinya’s body. It cuts deep, but not too deep enough to turns Shinya into a human sashimi.

“GROOAARR!!” The monster is mad because he fails to kill his prey.

Tears flowing out again from Sayuri’s eyes, “No, No! Don’t!! Anyone!! Guren!! Save him… Please….”

The other two still trying to avert Yettii’s attention from Shinya but fail miserably.

Yeti lift his giant foot, he’s going to tread Shinya like an insect.

“No! NO! GUREEN!!” Sayuri desperately called out for Guren, hoping a miracle will happen and he’ll come to save the magician.

A red ring appears on Yettii’s giant foot, “FUDO MYU-O!!” a big fire explosion hit Yettii’s foot followed by a sword slashes that cut through the air. Two more rings appear on Yettii’s neck and around his chest. Another explosion happens.

“RETREAT!!” the man shouted. He put Shinya’s arm around his shoulder and hold the magician’s waist firmly on his arms.

“Shinya, don’t die on me,” said Guren.

“Hahaha, do I look like a dead body to you?” jokes Shinya.

“No, but close.”

 

*

 

Once again they run to wherever their foot brings them. They’ve arrived at a part of the forest which is still dark and cold but not so messed up. They’ve lost the sight of Yettii, at least they’re safe for now. Guren put down Shinya from his arms and let the magician’s body leaning against a tree. Sayuri rushes to heal Shinya with the spell she has been thought of. Looking at current conditions there’re so many things that Guren wanted to ask, he doesn’t even know where to start. He rubs his nose bridge thinking where he should start.

“Guren,” called Shinya, “shouldn’t you be at Crowley’s inn with Mirai-chan?”

“Oh fuck Shinya, stop being an annoying mama,” he complains.

“Then you should be an obedient papa,” replied Shinya.

“I shouldn’t have save you back there,” it just a minute since he starts talking to Shinya and the silver haired man already gives him a headache.

Sayuri chuckles.

“What Sayuri?” said Guren.

“No, I thought you’ve got a new girlfriend, but it’s actually better than a girlfriend,” said Sayuri cheerfully, “good for you, Guren.”

Guren lost in confusion. What does Sayuri means by that. But whatever, he decides not to give it so much thought.

Sayuri’s healing magic works twice more effective than Shinya’s. It works faster and unlike Shinya’s healing magic which only heals physical wounds, Sayuri’s heal also restoring the magic power that has been wasted back to normal.

“Thank you Sayuri,” said Shinya, “And sorry about earlier.”

“No problem, it’s okay already.”

“Okay! Now we have to get out of here,” Guren thinks everything has over. Shinya has healed and there’s no point on continuing the battle they couldn’t win.

“Wait Guren,” stopped Shigure, “Mito is still somewhere at this forest.”

“WTF?!!” Guren automatically send a scary glare to Goshi, make the blonde goes panic.

“Wa, wait Guren, I could explain!”

“Keep your explanation for later Goshi! I’m going to get her back, you guys go to the inn!” Guren is about to headed back to the forest when Shinya stopped him.

“Not without your armor Guren!”

“Oh Shinya!”

“I’m not letting you go!” Shinya said angrily, “I told you to stay still while your armor being fixed!”

“Shinya! You almost died even with your barrier!” Guren is so done with Shinya being protective and trying to finish everything by himself.

“What did you say?! Did you mean my barrier weak?!” Shinya find it insulting.

“If yes, so what?!” Guren never really mean it. But he’s angry so he just blurted whatever he can without thinking about his words.

“What?! Guren, you….!!” Shinya also burn in anger. He hates it everytime someone insulting his magic and Guren just does that.

Someone has to stop their quarrels. They’re in the middle of something right now and have no time for stupid quarrels but both of Sayuri and Goshi don’t want to get close to either Shinya or Guren because they look scary.

“Stop it the two of you!” Shigure steps in, she smack both of the male’s head with her punch. The males groan in pain, Shigure hit them a little bit too hard.

“Sayuri, Goshi, let’s go,” she said. The other two are following along while guessing whether she hit them hard on purpose or not.

 

*

 

The ground has covered with a thick layer of ice, make it look like an ice skate ring. It seems their new friend is mad because they leave him in the middle of the play. If there's a better way they will choose another path, sad whichever path they choose they still have to fight Yettii. Their steps making a way in high cautions. They know the monster is hiding somewhere and might attack them anytime he want.

"Man, this place is damn scary," comment Goshi, he starts shivering.

Shigure who is taking the lead suddenly stopped. Sayuri and Goshi bumped into her because of that. "What's wrong Shigure?" asked Sayuri.

"He's coming!" Shigure take Sayuri with her climbing to the top of a tree. Shinya and Guren do the same. While Goshi still running here and there in confusion.

Yettii has back. He smashed the ice layer with his punch, cracking them into a thousand pieces. Shakes the ground up and down. Guren make his move towards the monster. He ties the monster with his Fudo Myu-O spell. Attacking every single parts of Yettii's body until he fall to the ground and not being able to move.

"I did it!" or so he thought. The monster soon back on his knees. It's not like Guren's attack doesn't work at all. He did leave him some burnt marks, but the giant monster seems to grow immune to pains.

"BYAKKOMARU!" Shinya summons his white tiger. Byakkomaru is clashing with Yettii. The white tiger attacking his opponent with his lighting, ripping the skin with his claw, and tearing the skin apart with his fangs. Yettii has pretty munch done by now. The earlier attack he received from Shigure's arrows, Shinya also strikes him with his lighting, the explosions causes by Guren, and the recent attack he just receive from Byakkomaru. And yet, the monster still roaring loud, moving around like a zombie.

"What the hell," curses Shinya.

"What's with this monster?!" Guren can't believe that Yettii still able withstand those attacks. He charge in to make another cut on Yettii's body.

"GUREN DON'T!" warned Shinya.

Guren ignores Shinya's warning despite he hears it clearly. He's in the perfect position to blow an attack with his swords. Guren use a tree as his stepping and jumps higher than he could do. He flies right to the Yettii's face. He thinks he could win if the cut the head into two. Alas, Guren doesn't manage to attack the monster, but Yettii soar him with his ice breath. "Shit!" The ice breath strikes directly to Guren, or not. Shinya jumps in on the right time and protect the knight with his lighting barrier. He doesn't care whether Guren has insulted his barrier, he can't let Guren die as an ice block.

"Shinya?!"

"You idiot!" Shinya's barrier has saved Guren from the ice breath. Even so that doesn't save them from their bad terms, "what if I didn't make it in time?!"

"I don't remember asking for your help!"

"Guren!"

The two males keep fighting over each other. Forgetting that they're currently in the middle of battle.

"Guren! Shinya! Watch out!" Goshi snaps them out. The monster is heading their way. Gripping his hand into a big club, ready to smash them into pieces. The two males doesn't have times to evades the attack. Goddess of Fortune seems to favor them, this time Yettii's giant arm cut into two parts. The bloods spreads everywhere like a fountain. Yettii roaring in pain. His dying screams spreads across the forest. His screams make his enemy feel a pitty towards the giant monster.

"Vajrayaksa," she said, "curse."

She cut through the air, beheading the poor Yettii. Ends the fight with Yettii after her second blow.

 

*

 

She looks stunning in her red hair and her navy assassin suit. She's wearing a sleeveless suit with almost the entire of her arms warp tightly with a bandage. She has a katar equipped well on each of her arms. Another weapon she has is a short sword that he put on the back of her waist. The wind blowing her black scarves beautifully. But what's more eye catching is the fact that he's holding an empty takoyaki box on her left hand and a toothpick she bites.

The assassin took off her mask that cover half part of her face, "What to do, my takoyaki has turned cold," she sighed.

Sayuri, Shigure, and Goshi scream in joy. The person they've been worried for has finally here. The battle has over they found her, without any scratch, in fact surprisingly strong.

"MITOOOO!!" the three cheers.

Guren feels relieved that they finally find Mito or more exactly it was Mito who find them. He peeks at Shinya who is standing next to him. The magician is smiling at the four, he also feels relieved that the three could reunite with Mito. That smile on Shinya's face reminds Guren on his words. He have been cruel to Shinya for saying that his barrier is weak. He should remember Crowley's words that saying not to underestimate Shinya. He feels like he has hurt Shinya again.

"Shinya," he calls the magician's name.

"What?"

"....sorry," Guren apologized in a really low tone, almost whispering.

"Huh?"

"Well, you know.... That... You saved me again back there," Guren is being shy,"but... I was so... you know, I was such an asshole. I was being a jerk by calling your magic weak... So....." he paused.

"So??"

"So.. Shinya," Guren can feel his face burned red, "I'm sorry for being an asshole."

Shinya laughs, "If you bring me some sweets from your world then I will~"

"Hah? Sweets??"

"Why, you won't? Then I won't forgive you~" tease Shinya jokingly.

"No, no, I will get you sweets...."

While the two lost in their own world the other four have been watching over them.

"Somethings are never change right?" Sayuri giggling at her two male friends.

"Yeah, sure it is...." hummed Mito. She's looking at the two with her sharp gaze, can't take her eyes off from the blue-eyed magician.

 

*

 

Crowley is surprised when he sees Shinya back with a large companion. First it was only Guren, and the Goshi joined the group, now he got three beautiful ladies with him. But what important is the fact that they come back safety. Mirai also looks very happy when they come back bringing her the orange flowers. After saying thank you she rushes to deliver the flowers to her brother. Later they tell the details to Crowley. Even the bartender is being speechless when he hears of how weirdly powerful the Yettii was.

"Abnormality seems to happen often lately," said Crowley, "we still have the thieves issue and now this."

"I wonder what's actually happening in Shangri-la," added Chess.

"Anyway," Crowley changes the topic, "since you have enough numbers, why don't you start a guild, Shinya?"

"Eh? Guild?" questioned Shinya. He has been always wandering around, Guren is his first partner, but now it grows into something he never expect. A Guild, not even once Shinya think that he would be in a guild. He has been rejecting the invites he has received from many Guilds.

"Yep a guild~ Why? Having companion at such a dangerous time like this is the best right?"

"Mmmm, but I'm not good in involving myself with a composed organization like guild~" Shinya tries to pull his casual smiling face, but Crowley can read through to it, so does another one.

"Shinya, let's start a Guild," blurted Guren.

"What? Why?!" Shinya startled.

"Because I want to."

"That's not an answer Guren. Also, starting a guild isn't depend on your opinion alone."

"Well yeah... right.... I know but," Guren has forgotten that a Guild has to started by a group of people, and take a lead by himself instead.

"Won't it be fun if we actually start a guild? We could have a lot of fun together!" sometimes Guren glad he has Goshi as his friend, even though sometime he's not. Goshi could be an idiot but his idiot way of thinking sometime could make the day.

"Guild doesn't so bad," Shigure never talks too much like what Goshi does. But when she talks, she always says the best words.

"I still don't know how's the law of this world works but if everyone agree then I'm in," Sayuri is like the yes girl. She always considers everyone's feeling, make her as the kindest.

"What about you Mito?" asked Sayuri.

"Since I'm dragged to this unknown land already, so... whatever," Mito has always being a tsundere. She might look like she doesn't care but actually she's the one who cares the most.

Shinya blinking his eyes, everyone just bluntly stating their opinion, and it's 5 vs 1 already.

"Shinya," called Guren, "you're scared aren't you?"

He gulped down, "What do you mean Guren?"

"You've always wanted to fight the battle alone, you've always tried the best to protect everyone, because you scared of losing them, right?" Guren strikes down Shinya. Everything he said is right. He has always tried his best to protect everyone because he doesn't want to lose them. He's afraid to lose those he dears. This feeling that he keep in his heart eventually becomes a burden. That's why he prefers to travel alone.

The magician can't seem to find right words to respond on Guren's statement. His tongue twists, the words crumbles into an unknown lines. Sadness reflected on Shinya's blue eyes.

"It's okay," Guren continues, "you don't have to say anything."

"....Guren....."

"Then, that settles it~" Sayuri clapped her hands. They've finally conclude in one conclusion.

"Crowley, how do we make this guild?!" asked Goshi burn in energy.

"You should go to the Guild Association, get the application, and fill in the form. There'll be an officer that will guide and explain the stuffs to you," said Crowley. 

"THEN~! Let's go to the damn place~~!!" cheers Goshi.

"Goshi, you're too loud!" complained Mito.

 

*

 

They're heading to the Guild Association office to register their Guild. There're many people fills in the huge lobby. Each of them has an emblem that symbolizes their guild, but there are also some people that don't carry their own emblem yet. Seems like they're a new group that about to register their guild today. There's a desk with 'Registry' plate on it. It's where they should sign up for their guild.

"Good afternoon, I'm Youichi Saotome from Guilds Association, how may I help you ladies and gentlemen?" the young clerk greet them politely.

"We're here to make a Guild but we're not sure about the procedure yet , can you explain it to us?" said Guren.

"Sure thing sir, I'll tell you the procedures," Youichi takes out a thick book. It contains every single information they need to start a guild. "Guilds are organizations made up of many adventurers. Every guild is controlled by a single guild-master, who determines how spoils are shared amongst the guild-members. Adventurers will transfer to many guilds over the course of their journey. Guild-master has the right to add or expel the guild-members. One person only allowed to join in one guild, if he wishes to joined with another guild then he has to resigned from the current guild he joined. Right now there's more than 1000 guilds registered on Guilds Association. Guilds Association has the right to removed the registry accounts of a guild if it proven to violate our rules. Other than the guilds that are listed on our lists there're also guilds that aren't. They're what we called as dark guilds. Dark guilds are the guilds that work in underworld and often created for evil deeds. If you meet one of them please report it to us soon. Okay, any question?"

The six adults shake their head. The explanation is long but so far they understand it. The guild systems that run in Sangri-la seem similar with the guilds system on any other anime and games.

"Now, I'll explain the basic requirements of making a guild," Youichi continues his explanation. It actually makes him look like a bank clerk explaining how to open a bank account to his customer. "You need at least 5 peoples to start a guild and you have to bail for 20.500.000 Ren."

"What?! 20.500.000 Ren?!" Goshi is dead surprised when he heard the money they have to pay. Money has always taken a vital part in whichever world he lives in, and it has never been easy to get.

"Yes sir, that's the amount of money you have to pay if you want to start a guild," said Youichi.

"Eeeh, but isn't it a little but too much?" whined Goshi.

"We're sorry sir, but that's our regulations." 

Goshi sighed, "What to do Guren? We don't have the money."

"Wait, did you say Guren?" the clerk looks a little surprised when he heard the name.

"Yes, Guren is my name, why?" asked Guren.

Youichi took out another book, he's checking on something, "Are you Guren Ichinose?"

"Yeah, Ichinose is my last name, what's with that?" Guren is at a loss. How come the boy has his name on his book.

"It seems the admission fee for your guild had been paid."

"What?! How? Who?" Guren knows no one in this world, and none in this world knows him. Well, except for Shinya, Crowley, Chess, and Horn. His reputation isn't well known here, not like how well he's being recognize in Tokyo.

"Hmm, it's not written in here, but someone had paid the money in your name." Youichi shows the note to Guren. The young officer is right, it's written that Guren has paid for the admission fee dated by today.

Youichi takes out a piece of paper, "Please fill in this form. This is a registry form, please fill all the requirements. You could take this home, but please turn it back before 48 hours.

 

*

 

They have been staring to the empty form for hours back at Crowley's inn. The only blank parts they have filled is the guild members name and they're clueless on the other part. Like the guild's basecamp, the guild's name, and even the guild's leader. They've been discussing the name on their way from Guilds Association, to Narumi's smith shop (because they have to retrieve Guren's armor), till they arrive to Crowle's inn. Goshi has suggest many names like Prince and Princess, Strongest Hero, Tokyo Ghouls, Cha-Cha-Champion, King and Queens, Rainbow Rangers, and many more. But the others reject all of his idea because those names are lame. 

"Hmmm, what should we name our guild?" thinks Sayuri.

"Something... remarkable and sounds strong," said Shigure.

"What about Love's Heroes?" suggest Goshi.

"Shut the fuck up idiot!" scolded Mito, they don't need more of his stupid suggestions.

"Hmmm, Demons......zone?" suggest Sayuri.

"Demon, it has a scary yet strong image, doesn't sound too bad but dropped the 'zone' though," Shigure kinda agree on Sayuri's idea and not.

"Demon Company? How does it sound, not bad right?" Mito makes a little modification with Sayuri's suggestion and it doesn't sound so bad actually, the others also like it.

"I like it!" Sayuri agrees, "but it's still..... lacking..... something?"

"You got a pint, it doesn't have the cliché feeling," Mito thinks for some more.

"Oi Guren, Shinya, you guys haven't make any suggestion at all," Goshi complaining because he has made so many suggestions, the two reject it all, yet they haven't make any names by their own.

"I suck at making names," said Guren.

"Me too," follows by Shinya.

"Well, at least try," nags Mito.

Guren starts to think for something. An artist that Guren can't remember the name said that an idea might comes from your surroundings, from anything that closets to you. So that's what Guren doing. He looks from his surroundings but nothings come up to his mind. Until he sees a glimpse of blue of Shinya's eyes. The magician name means deep night. It reminds him with the first night when he came to Shangri-la. There was a big full moon seen from the library's window.

"....that's it," he muttered.

The others look at him with a big question mark on their face.

"Moon, Moon Demon Company!" 

Dark cloud disappears from the three's face. They like the name. It rings right on their ears. Shinya is fine with whatever name they came out with, he doesn't even understand the names that Goshi suggest because it contains words he never heard of, though he likes 'Moon Demon Company' name better.

"That's a great name Guren!" yells Goshi.

"You're damn loud," Mito scolds Goshi everytime he gets too excited.

Sayuri hurriedly writes it on the registry form with her neat handwriting.

"We got a name now we need a leader," Shigure pointing out to the next problem.

"Shinya, you know a lot about this world, so what about you be the guild-leader?" Guren's ideal leader is the one who is more experienced and have a fine leadership skill. Among him and the rest who came from a far land, Shinya make the best choice for a guild-ldear.

"No, I won't be a good leader," Shinya refuses.

"Eh? I think it'd be cool if you be our leader Shinya," said Goshi.

"Mhm, you did excellent job back at the forest!" praised Sayuri.

"No I didn't," Shinya keep rejecting, "Since it was you who want to start a Guild, why don't you be the leader Guren?"

"What? Me?!"

"Yes, I think you'd be a better leader than I am,"

"Oho~ That's a nice suggestion Shinya," Corwley cuts in, supporting Shinya's idea.

"Then," Mito has another suggestion, "What about Guren as 1st in command and Shinya as 2nd in command? It's like leader and his vice?"

Everyone nods, agreeing on Mito's idea. Guren doesn't mind with the idea, he's fine like that. Shinya on the other hand, still feel a little bit resistant. But the others keep pushing him. It's not like he has any other choice other than agreeing and be the 2nd in command. Sayuri writes it down, Guren as the guild-leader and Shinya as the vice guild-leader. Now they only have one more blank space, the base camp. They don't have any place that could be use as the base camp. Shinya's house is too small for their guild business and they don't have money to rent a flat. 

"You can use my place if you want," offers Crowley, "there's an unused barn that you guys can use for your base camp."

"Eh? But we might disturb your business," said Shinya.

"Don't worry, it's only a barn besides, I don't lend it for free, you can pay me after your guild starts to make money~"

Guren glares at Crowley. It's not about the rent money, but because he's being 'too nice' again and that's probably because Shinya.

"Why? You don't like my offer Mr.Guild-leader?" asked Crowley.

"No, I'm perfectly fine with it Mr.Kind-hearted," answered Guren.

The fives notice the tense between Guren and Crowley though they can't figure out what happens between the two.

After they fill in the registry form, they back to Guilds Association office to turn in the form. Youichi review their form carefully. After he finished he stamp it with a legal stamp of Guild Association, means he has approved the document. He keeps the registry form and handing over another document to Guren. Those are the legal documents and certificate stating Moon Demon Company as an official guild signed under Guild Association and have the rights to do any guild activity starting from today.

"Congratulations on your guild establishment," congrates Youichi, "Guilds Association will notice you if there's a special task we wanted you to participate in."

"Yeah, thank you very much, Saotome-kun," Guren shakes the boy's hand.

 

*

 

Back at Crowley's inn, they have a little feast. Crowley served them beers except for Guren and Shinya. The four almost die when they drink the beer, luckily they didn't. They make plans on how to clean and arrange the barn into a nice office, they also need to collect money in order to buy the equipments for their new office. Last but not least and actually one item that a guild should and must have a crest. Moon Demon Company doesn't have a crest as their identity yet.

"What should we make for our crest?" asked Goshi to his friends.

"A moon of course," replied Mito.

"Shinya," called Guren, "why don't you make our crest?"

"What? Me?"

"Oh come on, stop refusing this and that, you're also a part of our guild," Guren trying to convince Shinya.

"Shinya please!" exclaim the other four, supporting their leader.

He might turn down the offer again, but he can't let down the expectation his friends have on him, "Mm, fine then I'll try to figure out something."

The magician's friend’s face turns radiant. They know Shinya would do it and they can't wait for the result. In the middle of their talk, someone who wears a solider uniform enters the inn. The young soldier's face resembles with someone they know. He has a pink-ish short hair and wears a megane. He's Kimizuki Shihou, the older brother of Mirai. He's seen to bring one of his comrades who bring a flag of Guilds Association.

"Good afternoon everyone," he started.

"Ara? Shihou-kun?" Shinya recognize the soldier immediately.

"Shinya-san," the boy bows politely over Shinya, "thank you for taking care of Mirai earlier of the day. You've been always be a big help for us."

"Haha don't sweat it~ Congratulation on your enlisment as a soldier," Shinya congratulate the boy.

"Thank you very much, Shinya-san."

"Then, what brings you here?"

"Ah, I'm here as the representative from Guilds Association. We have an announcement for the entire guild on our registry, including a new guild like Moon Demon Company," he opens the preachment he has been holding to. He opens the preachment and read the announcement out loud, "Greetings for all the brave warriors across the sacred land of Shangri-la. As everyone aware the thieves issue in Shambhala hasn't been solved. Government had conducted several numbers of investigations and we found out that the identities of the thieves are goblins. Goblins have sneaked in to our beloved city, Shambhala. Therefore, to seize the goblin companions we're going to conduct a large scale raid with Shambhala as the battle field. We wanted for every guild to take a part in the raid battle which will be held tomorrow at 12.00AM. The guilds who managed to seize the goblins will be rewarded handsomely by the Government. We hope for your participation in order to obtain the peace of our town, Shambhala. Regards, The King." he ended the announcement.

"The King," Shinya mumbles.

The five exchange glances, suddenly they get even more excited than before. Guren pats Shinya on his shoulder, "seems like our first mission as a guild has come."

Moon Demon Company has accepted the mission and ready for their first raid battle.

 

 

Chapter Text

The six members of Moon Demon Company gathers at a round table on Crowley's inn. They spreads out the map of Shambhala, arranging strategies for tomorrow's midnight. They easily gather the informations they needed regarding the thieves from the bulletin board. There're many news regarding the thieves' actions on the past week. They review it carefully to be used as materials on their plan. Shinya marks some areas where the thieves had done their actions in red marker. He even writes down the date. So they could analyze it better. The thieves' action has took part at every single corner of the square town. More than 25 incidents happen in a week. Rises the crime level at Shambhala from 2% to 16%. The things they stole are varied from money, armor, weapon, even food. The purpose is unknown. 

"Man, their numbers are unknown but it seems they have a very big numbers, just look at those red marks," Goshi scratching his head. That's what he always do when he start to use his damn brain.

"And the King want us to catch them all??" said Guren.
"Is it pokemon catch phrase?" jokes Goshi.
"Goshi, shut the fuck up please," scolds Mito.

"They might won us in numbers, but there're many guilds participate in that means we only need to focus on one point, right?" As an inspector at Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department, Shigure taking part in creating a strategy and pursuing the suspect on the field is her daily activity. Catching a group of thief isn't a new job for her even though the one she has to catch this time isn't a human but Goblins.

"Exactly, we will leave these areas to the other guilds," Shinya pointing to the marked areas with his red marker, "and we're going to wait at one area."
"Where?" asked Sayuri.
"Here," Shinya moves his marker to another area.
"The center of the city? But why?" Goshi doesn't understand why Shinya pointing to the center of the town where no accidents ever happen.
"Because that's the only clean area," said Shigure.
"Yeah I know, so WHY there?" Goshi gets even more clueless.

"Okay, Okay," Shinya cuts in, "Why we are going to wait here instead the red areas is because...." everyone waiting for his explanation.
"Because that's where the big catch is," added Shigure.

"That's right," a serious grin appear on Shinya's face, "we're going for the little goblins' leader."

Shinya always has a fiercest plan on his head. This plan too, it might be dangerous but it sounds challenging.

"I like how it sounds Shinya!" praised Guren. He draw a big cross on the center of the map with his blue marker, "We're gonna kick his ass."

 

*

 

Instead of using their break time to rest, the fives use their spare time to practice. Guren and Goshi trained their swordsman skill under Crowley. Chess teaches Mito some of assassin technique. Shigure learns how to set up a traps and use many small weapons with Horn as her mentor. While Shinya teaches Sayuri on how to use her magic papers. 

Guren and Crowley's swords are clashing to each others. Many times Crowley sends Guren's sword flying, or trip the Knight until he fall from his knees. Guren does many attempts some are close, but he hasn't managed to get a hit on Crowley. The opponent is way stronger to him.

"Is that all you've got??"
"Damn you!" Guren gives another try, yet Crowley sends his sword flying again.

"Ckck, that's not how you should attack your opponent," Crowley stab his sword on the land, "a knight should be calm in whatever situation they're in, don't let your emotion control you."

Guren hates the fact that he should be lecture by Crowley.

"You seem to have a knowledge about material arts but still not good enough in handling your sword."

"Then, would you teach me how to use my sword Mr.Kindhearted?"

"I will gladly to teach you, Mr. Grumpy," Guren launches another attack to Crowley. They start clashing their swords again after a short break.

 

*

 

Sayuri reviewing the notes she has been taking. She reads and remembering every single spells on her notebook. It feels a little weird because these words she never hear before are very easy to remember. She even able to apply the spells correctly as if she has been using the spells many times before.

"Bind, blind, buffs, debuffs....." she reads the spells again and again.

There's only one spell that she hasn't managed to apply. It's the attack spell. Shinya tell her that Sayuri's papers aren't just for a passive magics, there's also one offensive magic she could use. She's told that she could make a sword from her papers but everytime she make one it torn right away.

"Sa~yu~ri~!" calls Goshi, "how're things?"

"Not too bad, but not too good either," she answered, "you?"

"Maaan, that Crowley dude is super strong," the joker started, "Guren look pissed because his attack always ended up in failure."

"Heeeh, he looks so energized don't you think?"

"Yeah right, he's kinda different when he's in this world."

Sayuri changes expression. She shows a face that Goshi can't really understand. There's a happiness yet a sadness in her eyes right now, she looks puzzled. 

"What's wrong?" asked Goshi.

"Mm no, it just.... nothing make a sense to me yet," the girl answered.

"Well, yeah right."

They both fell in silence.

"Anyway, where's Shinya?" asked Goshi again.

"He just left."

"Left? Where?"

"I don't know, he didn't say anything."

Soon after the magician finished his lesson with Sayuri, he left the inn and head out somewhere else without saying a word.

 

***

 

The sky has turned dark and the practice pretty much exhaust them. It drained much more energy than they predicted. The gather back at the inn main hall. Not many people could be seen today, it seems they're busy to preparing themselves for the raid. 

"I'm tired," whinnied Goshi.

"Hah? You're ditching out for the whole day," scold Mito.

"Oh come on, training with that Crowley dude is like hell, why is he so damn strong," his complains are never end.

"But Guren, he's still at it," Sayuri looking out from the window to the inn's back yard.

Guren still clashing his black word into Crowley's giant sword. It's clearly seen that Guren tries so hard in every of his attack while Crowley defend him self from Guren's attack with no trouble.

"The two of you," called Horn, "why don't you keep your energy for the raid?" 

"Hmmm~ you got a point there Horn, even though I won't be participate on the raid~" Crowley put down his sword, ending today's practice. Guren doesn't seem to agree, but his body has ran out of energy. 

The two swordsman back to the inn, to find out that Shinya isn't there. 

"Where's Shinya?" asked Guren immediately.

"He has been gone since this evening," answered Sayuri.

"Where?"

"He didn't mention where though....." Sayuri twirling her fingers. She does this everytime she feel shy or when she thinks that someone will mad at her.

Wherever Shinya goes he always encountered a trouble and this time he doesn't even mention where's he going. Guren can't help but to get worry. 

"Shall we look for him?" asked Sayuri. She could tell from Guren's mimic that how worry he is over Shinya.

"Nah, leave him be," Guren's answered is different that what Sayuri expected.

"Eh? Are you sure?"

"Yeah, he'll do fine, he isn't a kid anymore," Guren is worried about Shinya of course, but he remembered the last time they fight. This time he think that it's best to leave Shinya alone doing his business. Even so he can't help but show how worried he is over Shinya. It's a hard task to make a poker face when it comes to Shinya.

"Goshi," Shigure advert the focus, "I believe you owe us something?"

The male get clueless, "Huh? Owe you what?"

"Ah right!" Sayuri catch up with Shigure pretty fast, "Goshi! You know how we entered this world right?!"

The trick works. Guren took the bite. He switch his glare from Crowley to Goshi. The girls feel relieve because their trick works, but Goshi don't. He's dead by now.

"Now that you mentioned it," Guren's mood has changed. It's not as dark as before, but still not good. "Goshi! Explain it to me."

"Eh? Eh? We, ya well..." Goshi startled.

Everyone take a seat and get their whole attention directed to Goshi. Ready to listen the joker's story.

 

***

 

Guren had been waiting for Ferid to bring his dinner when he noticed that he received a message from Goshi. The man said he had been waiting for his arrival for a hour only for something he left in Guren's apartment. Guren sighed, there was no way he headed back right now. So he gave his password instead. His friend won't steal anything anyway.

 

*

 

The screen on Goshi’s phone turned bright, a notification appeared on his screen. Guren finally replied to his chat with his apartment key number. "What's with this number? It's pretty easy to dispatch."

 

 

 

 

Goshi entered the pass code to the electronic key and unlock the door. The apartment was dark, but once Goshi stepping in the lights turns on automatically. "Theeen, where is it? Where is it?" Goshi walking around the living room, searching for the thing he left and it's surprisingly easy to find.

Unlike before. Guren place it neatly, next to the TV. Guren used to trash it away but ever since his last visit he had began to treasure it and treat it with care. "Oh~ so here you're," Goshi got the game console. It was the thing he had been searching for. 

He turned on the game. He chose the new game option and create a new characters. He added 3 new characters. All were female. He named them Sayuri, Shigure, and Mito. He chose the class according to his preference. After he created the character, Goshi added them to the multiplayer play, but he didn't start the game.

"Yosh! I'm done~" Now he had done his business. He put back the console back to its original position and left Guren's apartment.

 

***

 

Guren touches the bridge of his nose. It's unbelievable he thought. He shouldn't have give his password to anyone, including his friend, he might as well change it once he got back to the real world.

"Since when you become so sly?" tease Shigure.

"Eh?! No, no, no, well.... I did that because I think it'd be fun if we could get together since we barely have a time to do so," said Goshi panicking.

Sayuri laughs, "that's okay, I'm grateful for this. Thank you Goshi."

Goshi got a teary eyes, "SAYURIIIIII!! Can I have a kiss??? A kiss on the cheek?? Even a hug will do!" A boom sound heard from the main hall. A knight has fallen. Goshi had his head slammed to the floor by Sayuri.

 

*

 

The night has gotten darker. Crowley once again being nice to them by lending them a room. 1 room for the girls and another one for the boys. Sayuri and Shigure has fallen asleep on their bed. Mito still can't sleep, she's wandering around at the backyard while practicing her kunai throws. Her instinct has gotten pretty strong since she came to Shangri-La, she can even see clearly in the dark.

"I can hear you Goshi," buterd Mito. She could hear the silent steps Goshi making. 

"Ah, I've been busted eh~" Goshi rubbing the back of his head, "then, what is it? calling me out this late?"

"That's...." when Mito about to talk Goshi cut her off.

"By any chance... could it be that you miss me?!" A kunai flies directly to Goshi's head, lucky he didn't die.

The knight lean his back to a tree and crossing his arms. "Then, what do you think after seeing it by your own eyes?"

"This doesn't make a sense at all...." Mito gazing to the night sky above her. The sky at Shangri-La feels closer yet so far. 

 

***

 

Once he returned from the game world, Goshi hurriedly called a friend of his. Ignoring the calls and message from Guren that kept asking him about Shinya and NPC. His finger moved to where the contact icon was, he slides his fingers and stop after he found his friend's name, Mito Jujo. He could heard the song that Mito used as a ring back tone. Normally he would sing along, but today he wished Mito will pick up his call faster.

The dial tone ended, a girl voice spoke [ "What the fuck Goshi?" ]

"Mito! Mito! You've listen to this!" Goshi told the girl about how he entered the game world. He told her every single detail from A to Z, he even almost told Mito about his business he had at toilet. He describe the feeling when he first set his feet on Shangri-La forest, how found a barn to stay the night, and finally the time when he met Guren.

But the girl didn't reply, she didn't even laughed. She only said flatly, [ "Goshi are you drunk?"]

Of course, who would believe such a crazy story. 

"It's true Mito! I'm not drunk!" Goshi had to make Mito believe to his story. 

["Goshi, you're drunk *sigh* Ride anything and go back from Nagoya to Tokyo, make sure you don't drive when you're drunk"]

"Mito! Believe me!" Goshi insisted.

["Goshi, I'm ending the call okay..."]

"I met Shinya!" He yelled. He won't let Mito cut the call.

["What the fuck...."] From her voice Goshi could tell how shocked Mito was.

"It's not a illusion Mito, not a dream either! I met him! We talked and do stuffs together! It's really him, there's no way I mistaken him with another people!"

[".....Goshi you're drunk...."] her voice trembling. 

"Mito, please believe me!"

["..........."]

"Mito? Mito?! You hear me?"

["....Goshi, I've to go... talk to you later"]

She cut off the call. Goshi left with a beep sound that rings repeatedly. 

 

*

 

Goshi had been trying to contact Mito, but not even once she picked up the call. Until suddenly, Mito sent him a message telling him that they should met up. On the very day, Goshi came to a ramen restaurant where they supposed to met. It was after work, Mito was still in her work outfit. She had ordered food for herself and seen to be eating. She wasn't even bother to wait for her guest.

"Yooo~ Mito~~" greeted Goshi cheerfully. He slide out the chair and sat next to the red haired girl. He open the menu book and ordered a bowl of ramen along with a plate of gyoza. He pretty much know what was the reason for Mito to calling him out. 

"Mito, Mito~ Have you changed your mind? Do you trust me now??"

"I still don't belive you," she answered.

"Oh Mito, come on,"

"But I do change my mind a little..."

"OOOOHHH!!! SO YOU DO BELIEVE ME!!" Goshi shouted happily. But Mito shut his mouth by stuffing the entire gyoza serving to his mouth.

Mito sighed, "You're really troublesome." She continue carved for her ramen and side dishes. Goshi kept talking to her but Mito didn't reply him with a word, not until she finished her food.

"Goshi," Mito put down her empty ramen bowl.

"Yes?"

"I will believe to your bullshit if you can bring me the prove."

"Eh? But how?!"

"How should I know! It's your business to find out!"

A big grin appear on Goshi's face, "Okay! Leave it to me!"

Mito leave some money on the table, she even paid for Goshi's meal, "I've to go, see you later."

Actually Goshi didn't know how to bring a prove to Mito so she would believe him. There was only one thing that he could think of, to bring Mito see the prove herself. That day, Goshi decided to register Mito's name to the game. In order to do so he had to go to Guren's apartment. So he messaged Guren, saying that he had something left on his apartment.

 

***


"But I've never thought that you'll drag Sayuri and Shigure into this mess," said Mito.

"This is a fun mess~ so why not," answered Goshi lightly. 

Mito smiles. She's agree with Goshi. It wasn't that fun when she first arrived at the cold forest and having her hot takoyaki turned cold. But as the time passing by things has gotten more fun. 

"Anyway Goshi,"

"Yep?"

"Th.... Thank you," said Mito shyly.

The knight smiles widely, "Don't mind it! At least you believed me now~ but," he added, "I don't mind receiving a hug from you Mito~ well, as a gratitude?"

A really strong punch smack Goshi on the face. He has forgotten how strong Mito's punch is. 

 

*

 

Everyone has fallen asleep. They have to reserve enough energy for tomorrow's raid. But Guren can't sleep even he's on his bed already. He keep looking at the clock, watching the watch needle moves minute by minute. Goshi snores loudly, but it isn't the reason why he cannot sleep. It's already past midnight and Shinya sill hasn't come back. If only he had his phone, or if this world has a phone he probably called the magician already. 

Time passes by, night gets even later. Guren feel the weight on his eyes gets heavier. He still want to wait for Shinya, but he eventually fall asleep.

 

*

 

Morning has come. The inn gets more crowded today, there're many old men, women, and children gathering at Inn's main hall. It seems the public place like library, government's office, including Crowley's inn and many other public places has become a shelter for the citizens. But among those people, Guren can't find Shinya.

"Just where the fuck is he?!" grumbled Guren.

"Instead of being grumpy at early morning why don't you help us? We're sort of man here," said Crowley.

He has no reason to help, he could actually refuse it but some kids approaches him and touching his armor and his sword. Despite Guren's grumpy face, the kids seems to like him. Guren tried to avoid the kids but their parents are here, there's no way he make kids cry in front of their parents. Well, he won't make a kid cry on the first place. He has no choice but to play along with the kids. This isn't his favorite thing to do, but it's still better than doing nothing while waiting for the annoying magician.

 

*

 

The sky has turned orange. The raid time is coming close. The inn is even more packed than this morning. Everyone could feel the tense in the air. The citizens are looking worried and scared. As the day gets later the tense rises, the hall filled with chatters about the goblins and raid.

"Ne,ne uncle!" called a little girl.

"What?" answered Guren coldly.

"Are you going to slay down the goblins?" asked the kid.

"Well, yeah," 

"But uncle," a little boy join in, "you doesn't look that strong, will you be okay?"

"Hah? What did you say?" the little boy's words hit Guren's nerves.

A bigger girl come, she pats the head of the smaller kids. She's like the sister figure for the two children. It's a girl that Guren familiar with.

"Don't worry the two of you~ Guren-san is actually pretty strong," Mirai conveying the two younger children.

"Ah, you're the girl from last time," said Guren.

Mirai bowing politely, "Yes, you were a big help last time, thank you very much Guren-san."

"Don't sweat it, it was nothing big,"

"Anyaway, where's Shinya-san?" asked Mirai.

"Well, about that...." 

Talk about evil, a man break in the inn's entrance. He looks so messy. Dust is all over his clothes, a part of his hair is burnt, there's also a charcoal mark on the man's face as if he were trying to paint his face just like a soccer supporter. 

Guren has been worrying about him since yesterday, but suddenly he appear in his messy appearance which make Guren laughed out loud, "Hahaha What the fuck Shinya, you look so messed up!"

"You're so mean Guren!" 

"Shinya!" Mito rushed to greet Shinya, "Where have you been?!"

"Hmmm, About that..." Shinya rubs his cheek with his point finger, "can everyone gather for a while? There's something I wanted to say."

So, everyone do what the magician asked to. The members of Moon Demon Company has now gathered in their tiny office.

"What is it Shinya?" Guren's face and another's has become serious.

"Truthfully....," the magician take out a tiny pocket, he handed it over to Guren so the man could open it. Guren untied the line that tie the pocket. 6 golden crests peeking out from the pocket. Shinya take one of the crest, "This is our crest now, the crest of Moon Demon Company."

Each of the members take one each as they listening to Shinya's explanation, "I used Gold, Epidote, and Fire Amante. We can communicate through this crest, and this crest, will protect us through our battle."

"This crest," Sayuri looking at the crest dearly, "it'll connect us together..."

"Our guild's crest," mumbles Mito proudly.

"It's so cool my bro!" yell Goshi.

The guild members looking at the crest, taking their time to appreciate the beauty of Shinya's works.

"Anyway, there's something popped out in my head," said Shigure, "why is it a 'Sun' while we're a 'Moon'?"

"Because," the magician answered, "a moon won't shine if there's no sun, right, Guren?"

The knight doesn't really get the magician's logic, he just put on a confused face. If only he understand that Shinya used the same logic as he was when he give the guild a name, Guren might put on a different expression right now.

 

*

 

Time passes, the sun is no longer here, the moon is doing his part. The time everyone waiting for has come, few minutes left until midnight. The guilds has gathered and place the post they have chosen. Same goes with Moon Demon Company. They're hiding on an empty house at the center of Shambala. Members pinned the crest on their clothes, getting ready with their weapon. Everyone is nervous. Sayuri can't help but trembling, Shigure holds her hand tightly, "It'll be fine," she said, "we're connected."

Sayuri smiles, she take a deep breath & exhale, "thank you Shigure."

"Everyone, get ready," noticed Shinya.

When the clock needle hit 12, the clock tower rings, its sound resounded at the whole side of Shambhala. The wind breeze cold, it's a tense night. After the clock tower started to quiets down, the town once again hits back with silence. In the next minutes they could hear, an explosion, and fire. It starts from north side, then the west side, and keep going on. The war has begun.

The guilds has launch their attack on the goblin companies that invaded the town. Expolisions could be heard here & there. But the war for Moon Demon Company hasn't started yet. They get even more anxious as the time passes.

"Don't panic, we're going to be okay," convinced Guren.

Everyone nods. Shinya keep his head high, looking straight at the center point. Weirdly, even the goblin has invaded all around the city, but no single goblin could be seen on this point. But Shinya knows it fore sure, his hunch is almost always right, and probably this time too. The ground starts shaking, it isn't an eathquake nor cause by the explosions, it cause by something else.

"He's here," said Shinya.

A giant figure appearing from afar, coming close to their hiding place. He's 3 meters tall, he's dark green, and has a long red bread. He has a giant club with him, the Goblin king has arrived.

"Fuck, it's nota goblin," whispered Goshi, "it's Hulk!"

"Too bad, It's not Mr. Bruce Banner or Hulk we're facing right now," said Mito.

Their war has begun.

 

Chapter Text

The goblin king enters the area, they started their first round attack using the strategy Shinya made. Daggers flies crossing the air. With the help of Goshi's illusion the goblin king failed to notice the attack and the daggers hit perfectly on the target. Mito and Goshi attack combi is the starter of their strategy, functioning Mito's cleverness and mobility to its max and Goshi's illusion spells to hide Mito's attack. Goblins are known for their high mobility, they expect to slowdown the goblin king's movement. Mito throws her daggers without a break, moving from one place to another so she won't get caught by the monster. 

 

 

 

The next attack starts by Shigure and Sayuri combi. Shigure shoots her arrow to the monster. With the help of Sayuri's buff magic her attack becomes 2x stronger than it should be. Her arrows pierce the goblin's hard skin. They keep their attack going continuously for several minutes, until the monster damaged enough to start on the next attack pattern. When the goblin finally getting weaker because of the continues attack, Guren dashes to the monster and slaying his sword. With one blow he managed to make the goblin fall on his knees. 

 

"You did it Guren!" cheers Goshi. 

Shinya standing still on his post, watching the fight carefully, "No, there's something wrong."

[ "What? Why? Isn't he dead already?" ] they converse with their guild's crest. Now they can converse just fine during the battle even they're apart. As if they're using a walkie-talkie. 

"Everyone pull back!" warns Shinya. He noticed the weird aura which suddenly surrounded the goblin, "leave your post now!"

 

They runs following Shinya's command. The goblin roaring loud, loud enough to crack the walls around him. He smash his giant club to a house nearby, crushing it into tiny pieces. He stand up, a smoke coming out from his body as if it was boiling.

"What the hell is that?!" everyone comes to their surprise. Despite their continuous & well pattern attack the goblin hasn't gotten weaker. The daggers and the arrows that stuck on his body popping out and flying to every directions. Lucky they got covered by walls so the daggers and the arrows didn't pierce through their bodies.

"Mito, lead him to the place," command Shinya, "everyone, we're starting the plan B."

 

*

 

Mito leads the goblin too a narrower road with a higher building around the street. "Stupid greeny!" she throw a small bombs so the monster will notice her, "follow me!"

The others are getting ready on their new post, hiding quietly waiting until the goblin appear on their sight. The goblin king keep chasing on Mito, it runs wildly towards Mito's direction. He swings his club, thought it will hit the little fly but not. His club hits nothing but thin air, he growls out of anger.

Another ball being thrown, but it isn't a bomb this time, Mito throws a ball contains a golden liquid. 'Shoosh!' an arrow cutting through the air, Shigure shoots her fire arrow, targeting the liquid ball. The golden liquid turns out to be an oil. Once Shigure's arrow hit the ball, the oil collide with the fire arrow, splashing over the goblin's body and burns it. The goblin groans in pain, Guren & Goshi use this chance to launch their attack from both front and back side. 

"Another one!" command Guren. This time it's not only Guren & Goshi, but all together. Shigure's shoots, Mito's Katar attack, including Shinya's lightning. Their attack causing a big explosions, it destroys the building, and literally everything around them. Thick smokes covered the area, giving them a hard time to see

 

"Everyone are you okay?" asked Sayuri through their communication device, the crest.

"Yes, I'm fine," answered Shigure.

"Me too," said Mito.

"Me & Guren also do just great!" responded Goshi.

"Shinya, what about you? Are you okay? Where are you?" asked Guren, it's only Shinya who hasn't responding. Even so, the magician still not answering, "Shinya? Answer me!"

 

Still no answer, instead they could hear a buzz sound coming from their crest.

 

"What the heck? What sound is this?" asked Goshi.

"A noise? This isn't even a telephone," said Sayuri.

"A bug?" guessed Shigure.

"Isn't a bug only appear on computer system?" said Goshi. 

"Could it be... this noise is coming from our world?" Mito make another guess.

"Eh, but there's no way right??" Sayuri getting scared, 

 

"Shinya! Hoi dumbass! Answer me!" Guren keep calling for Shinya, he's getting a bad feeling. Shinya has been always there with them since the battle start, giving a commando through the crest, but suddenly he went MIA. "Something is happening, this isn't right," Guren thought.

Distracted with the communication error, they eventually forget what their main task is. The thick smokes hasn't disappeared yet, they still unable to see clearly. In the midst of confusion Mito could hear a weird sound coming from the grey smoke. 

 

"Guys can you hear that?"

"Hear what?" asked Goshi.

They go mute, trying to catch the sound Mito said. The sound is weak, but there's surely something behind the grey smoke. 

 

Goshi sighed, "dang, I can't see a thing."

 

"Everyone watch out! The goblin is still alive!" shouted Shigure. She figured out faster than anyone on the group, but too late.

 

The goblin king is still alive, they're never confirmed its death from beginning, they're being careless. The goblin swings his club on a crazy speed and power. Guren, Goshi, and Mito who were doing a close range attack are close enough with the monster. They're fast enough to defend them self from the attack but not fast enough to dodge it. 

 

"Guys!" screamed Sayuri. 

 

The attack is no joke, but the three of them somehow managed to survived. "What the.....," mumbles Goshi.

A light coming out from their crest. Creating a barrier for them.

 

"Damn girl! This is awesome!" cheers Goshi.

"That shitty magician, He really put a big effort making our crest," Guren praised Shinya on his work.

 

"Everyone move out!" shouted Mito.

 

Guren and Goshi moves as soon as they heard Mito's warning. They noticed that the goblin starts to swing his club to them. This time they have enough time to dodge the attack. The goblin misses his target and launch another attack. Mito jumps high to avoid the attack. Surprisingly, the goblin change his attack pattern, he grabbed Mito's feet with his other hand, and smack the girl to the ground.

 

"Damn it," Mito grinned. If she was in real world she probably dead already.

 

She's unable to move her body, she could see the goblin lifted his punch high in the air, ready to give her a last smack and turn her into mince meat. The goblin starts to swings down his punch. Mito couldn't do anything, she has been always a strong and brave girl, but this time she feels so scared and wished to be saved. She closes her eyes, she thought she'd die here, she has only visited this world once and already dying. "I'm done for," she thought. 

 

"BYAKKOMARU!!" a white tiger pounce the goblin. It prick the goblin on the face with his claw and strike it with his lightning breathe. 

 

A foot steps approaching Mito, "I suppose this isn't time for taking a nap, right Mito?"

Mito looking up, she sees Shinya reaching out his hand to help her, "....Shinya?"

"Good job, Mito," He praises his comrades with a tender smile on his face.

Tears flowing out from Mito's eyes as she reach out to Shinya's hand, "Thank you, Shinya...."

"Mito!" the others rushes to see their comrades. Sayuri hurriedly cast a healing spell on Mito. 

 

"You okay?" asked Goshi.

"Yeah,"

"Dang it was dangerous!"

 

"Shinya!" yelled out a scary man.

"Chill Guren, chill~"

"Fuck with chill?! Where have you been?!"

"Weelll, something was up, but now it's fine~"

"That's not explaining anything!"

"Hmmm, it does for me."

 

Guren sighed, he wants for more and detailed explanation, but the magician isn't willing to tell him anything. Shinya looks messy, yet he doesn't remember of Shinya being on the fight except than giving out commands. But this isn't the time to argue about it, one of their comrades almost killed, and their enemy is still standing strong somewhere behind the smoke. 

 

"Let's hide somewhere safe and arrange our next moves," suggest Shinya.

 

*

 

Everyone nods in agreement. Thus, they moved to another building. It has so many wooden figures, seems like it supposed to be a toys store. Guren remembered he often visit a toys store during his childhood days. it has been long since the last time he visit one, this building kinda make him feels nostalgic.

 

"Guren?" called Shinya.

"Ah, yeah, let's go..." They go to the second floor and starts discussing bout the attack plan. 

 

"We're going to use this place to trap him," Shinya started.

"Trap him?" asked Shigure.

"Yeah, we're going to lock him here."

"but.... Shinya... HOW are we going lock that hulk?? Is that even possible?"

"Hulk? Who is hulk??" asked Shinya confusedly.

 

Mito steps on Goshi's feet purposely, he need to stop joking around, "...keep going, Shinya."

 

"Mm, Okay, so Mito, can I ask you a favor?"

"What is it?"

"Lure him out, just like the way you did back there."

"Now worries, leave it to me."

"Eh, but are you fine already Mito?" asked Sayuri worriedly.

"Yeah, thanks to your healing, I'm fine already."

Sayuri smiles out of relief.

 

"Good, now, after Mito lured the goblin inside, Me, Shigure, and Goshi will lock him here. Shigure you still have the rope you received from Horn right?"

Shigure nods.

"Ara, when did you receive the robe?" asked Goshi.

"When she trained me," answered Shigure shortly.

"It's not a normal robe, it's strong enough to tie our friend~" added Shinya.

"Then," he continued, "Goshi as usual, use your pipe okay, and I'mm tie him with my lightning chain, lastly."

Shinya looked away, his eyes met the purple eyes of Guren, "You give him the final blow, strike him on his heart, and he'll die."

 

Guren smiles confidently, "So you're leaving the final blow to me? No worries, I accept the job."

 

They've finalized their discussion. Mito is getting ready, so does the others. But then, they noticed a cupboard on the second floor starts to shake. A black shadow comes out from the cupboard, it surprised them. The shadow directly attacking Guren, but the attack was rather easy to dodge, Guren caught the black shadow, and it turns out to be a kid.

 

"NOOOO!!!" He yells.

"What....the.....?!!"

The black haired kid kicking randomly, until Guren let him off. 

"You're not going to do your plan here!!" shouted the boy.

"Kid," call Shinya.

"I'm not a kid!"

"Mm, okay, so what's your name?" asked Shinya.

"I'm Kota,"

"Okay Kota, so everyone has evacuated, I believe your friends too, what are you doing here, it's dangerous."

"I'm not leaving my house! Never!" yelled the boy.

"But it's dangerous, your parents must be worried," said Sayuri.

"They're dead!"

 

The adults go silent. Both of Kota's parents have passed away, the boy only wanted to protect what his parents left behind. His house, Their house.

 

"I'm not letting you doing your plan here!"shouted Kota, "I'm not letting you destroying my house!"

"But Kota....."

"And I'm not letting you kill the goblin! I will kill him by myself!!"

"Why is that?"

"He killed my parents! I'm gonna take revenge! I'm gonna kill him & protect the house!!"

 

Shinya sighed, now this is a real trouble, a strong monster and a troublesome kid who ain't listening. 

 

"Kid, you better get out from here," Guren grabbed the boy by his collar, and drag him to the door.

"Let mee offff!! Get lost you old man!"

"YOU get lost, not me!"

"I'm not leaving this house!" 

"Yeah,yeah,yeah, and then what? Die?"

The boy go silent, suddenly he got nothing to say.

"Guren!" yells Sayuri, "he's only a kid!"

Guren throws the boy to Sayuri, "Sayuri, you and the boy, leave this place."

"EH? No, no, no," refused Sayuri.

"Yes, you are, go somewhere safe."

"But......"

"No buts."

 

When everyone else arguing about the child, Shigure looking at outside checking the situation. The smoke has completely disappear, she could see just fine. There're a black figure at the end of the road, it's far ahead so it's kinda blurry. But Shigure knows, heir enemies are coming, it isn't only the goblin king, but he's here with his comrades.

 

"They're here! The king and his companion," informed Shigure.

 

"Damn, Sayuri, hurry up, and go," told Shinya, "everyone, stand by on your post!"

 

Sayuri unwillingly leaving her friends behind, but there's a boy life she has to protect. She runs as fast as she could dragging the boy with her. Kota hasn't saying anything since then, he follows Sayuri obediently. 

 

*

 

Mito jumps from one roof to another, she could see Sayuri & the boy running to another direction. She wishes safety for her friend. Now, back to her task. "There're 10 little goblins with him," informed Mito, "what are we going to do?"

 

Shinya thinks, "we're going to continue our plan, but first we have to kill the little goblins.

"Roger that," replied Mito.

 

*

 

Shinya draws a pattern, 5 fire balls with the shape of tiger heads comes out from the pattern and attacks the goblin companion. Mito throwing smoke bombs to the goblins before she jumps in for a melee battle. Shigure shooting her arrows, while Guren and Goshi rushes to attack the goblins with their swords. As expected, little goblins aren't easy to defeat. Little goblins have a high mobility, they could easily dodge the attack and counter it back. They had to use both of their hands and feet, swinging their weapons while kicking the enemies. One of the goblin make a surprise attack on Goshi. Lucky, Mito reacts fast by throwing her daggers.

 

"Whoop! Thank you!" Goshi swing his sword and chopped off the little goblin's head.

 

Meanwhile Guren has to deal with 3 goblins at once. One goblin flies with his dagger, Guren managed to dodge it, but the goblin does leave a minor scar on Guren's face. While Guren still trying to balance him self, the other 2 goblins trying to attack him from the back. But this isn't a fight for Guren alone, Shigure shots her arrows, and Shinya cast his magic spells, both attack managed to kill 2 goblins in one hit. The little goblin that attacking Guren earlier, make another attempt, but Guren manages to read the attack, he swings his sword and cut the goblin into 2 parts. Mito pulls out her katar from a gobliln's chest. She managed to kill one. 5 goblins down, they've still got 5 more and 1 big catch. 

 

*

 

Sayuri leave the battle area together with the boy. She keep running, passing a narrow roads to avoid the battle of another guilds. She isn't sure where her feet lead her, she vaguely remember the way to evacuation camp since she only see the route from the map, but she remembers quite well the path to Crowley's inn. On her way, she unexpectedly get obstructed with few little goblins. "Oh no," mumbles Sayuri. 

 

She hurriedly throws the spell papers to the Goblin, "Freeze!" 

 

The goblin can't move for an inch due to Sayuri's spell. She uses this chance to escape. She runs to another direction. The path she take is even narrower and long. She runs as fast as she could, she could see the end, but not for too long because another goblin appear. She throws some spell papers, but this goblin is stronger, he easily torn Sayuri's papers.

 

"Oh my God," Sayuri tries to calm down herself.

 

She tries to take a turn and back to the previous road, but too late, the goblins she met earlier are here.


"What to do....?" She shouldn't be panic, she thought. Because if she did then Kota might get scared too.

There's this one spell she hasn't tried yet because she fails constantly during her practice. Shnya told her a spell that could turn her spell papers into sword. But everytime she tried the sword falling apart very soon.


"Should I try it?" It's going to be risky, but it's not like she got any other options.

 

Sayuri takes out her spell papers from her coats, concentrating hard on her spells. The wind starts resonates around her, The wind slowly turners into a lime green color. The papers Sayuri hold are flying to the air and moving into a certain pattern. Then it gets sticky together and finally,

it turns into a sword.

"I did it!" cheers Sayuri, "bring it on, ugly monster!"

 

*

 

Another goblin has fallen, but more are joining in. This is a hard and long battle which drained a lot of their energy. What's worse is the goblin king has started going on rampage. Goshi currently holding the enemy with his illusion with the help of Shigure's robe. But they're not sure how long they could hold the goblin king.

"Damn, there's no end of them," it started from 10, but no matter how many has Guren killed, the goblin's number still not decreasing.

 

Shinya shoots more or his lightning bolt, while thinking for another way to deal with the little goblins, "Everyone!" he called.

"We're doing it now!" he told the rest to start their original plan right now, "We're going back to the house, bring both the little and the giant."

 

"Let's go!" Shinya running towards the toys store, so does Guren and Mito, while Shigure and Goshi still hold the goblin king and will catch up very soon.

The three of them heading towards the store and keep launching their attack to little goblins.

"NOOOO!!!" someone jumps to them and collides with Guren.

"WTF?! What the hell is this kid doing?!"

"I won't let you destroy the store!" Kota screamed while crying.

"Guren!" Sayuri running out from the bock next to them.

"Sayuri, what are you doing here?! I told you to leave the place!" said Guren.

"Well I did but...."

 

*



"Bring it on, ugly monster!"

Sayuri confidently swinging her sword. Her paper sword is as sharp as a steel swords. She got quite a trouble because of the goblins, and using this chance Kota fleeing from Sayuri and heads back to his house, the toys store.

"Kota-kun!" Sayuri yelled, but the boy ignored her.

"Come back here! It's dangerous there!" But the boy didn't even bother to look back. He keep running towards his house.

*

 

"What a troublesome kid," Guren rubbing his head.

"Guren, we have no time for this," said Mito.

"Let's go, we need to hurry," added Shinya.

"No! I said No! I'll be the one who kill the goblin and I'll protect the house!"

Shinya looked at the Kota tenderly, "don't worry, your house, your parents last heritage, it'd be fine."

Shinya pushed away the boy gently and giving him a peace sign. 

 

"You've signed yourself for another shit," said Guren.

"Yep, and I'm dragging you in~"


"So, what's now?" asked Mito.

"Hmmm, a little change, We'll do just fine~ don't worry."

 

*

 

Shigure & Goshi has received a signal from Shinya. They soon release the goblin king, well in fact they can't hold it any longer, holding the king only for few minutes drains their energy by a lot.

"Just a little bit longer," mumbles Shigure. She gather all the energy left in her to catch up with the other members.

 

*

 

Shinya draws a magic circle, using the toys store as the canvas. His magic circle starts glowing bright a sparks of lightning slowly appearing from the circle. The little goblins are on the way, the goblin king is following behind. His magic is ready, all he has to do is to wait for the right timing. 

 

*

 

Sayuri brings Kota hiding on an empty building. They still could watch the fight from the window, which they shouldn't do. Kota can't stand still, when he watches the goblin king aproaching, he once again runs from Sayuri's care. 

 

"Kota!" shouted Sayuri when she, once again, lost the boy.

 

*

 

The monster gang is coming closer, a few steps away from Shinya's attack range.

 

"1.....2....," the magician starts counting, "....3!"

 

A big tiger coming out from his magic circle, it's a different kind from byakkomaru, this one is build pure by lightning, it shines in blue color. It moves forcefully towards the enemies direction. The lightning tiger swaps away the first row of little goblins successfully.

 

*

 

Kota runs to the second floor, he grab whatever his hand could reach and eventually he grabbed on to a wooden stick. Kota jump out from the second floor window, he hits the goblin king's head with his wooden stick. 

 

"Hyaaaaahh!!" Kota smacked the goblin king's head. But his wooden stick isn't strong enough to break the monster's head, not even able to left a single bruise. 

 

The goblin king reacts super fast, in a blink he catch Kota as if he catches a fly. He squeeze Kota's little body on his big palm.

 

"AARRGGHH!!" the boy screamed in pain.

 

"Holy shit!!" yells the magician. He can't stop his lightning tiger once it leaves the magic circle. 

 

Sayuri hurriedly throws her spell papers, weak  and bind. The goblin king's legs are getting shaky, he does get a little weaker, just a little, because he has been too powerful to begin with. Guren leaves his post, he put all the strength on his sword and cut the goblin hand which has been holding on Kota. Mito catch the fallen boy and bring him to a safer place.

 

"Sayuri, he's unconscious," said Mito.

"Yeah, don't worry, I'll treat him."

 

*

 

"GRROAAR!!" The monster roaring hard. He gets berserk and goes rampage.

 

The unstoppable lightning tiger of Shinya is heading on his way. Despite the high speed of its movement, because Shinya's concentration get distracted the tiger becomes weaker. Using the other hand, the goblin swings his club hard and smash the tiger. Shigure shoots her arrows to the goblin's hand. Her arrows hit on spot and gives the goblin quite a pain. The tiger is easily breaks by the goblin's hit. Just like a basketball, the tiger flies back through Shinya's direction.

 

"Shinya watch out!!" yells Guren. 

 

Thanks to Shigure's earlier attack the goblin misses his direction. The tiger flies just close by Shinya and destroys the 3rd floor of the toys store.

Goshi found an opening, he directly targets the heart of goblin king. He stabs his swords to goblin king's chest. But the skin is much harder than he expected, his cut isn't deep enough to reach the heart. 

 

"Fuck!!" Goshi tries to pull out his sword. Even pulling his swords requires an extra power.

Mito throws her daggers to distract the goblin and buys Goshi more time too flee. 

 

The goblin king goes even madder. He attacks randomly, he destroys whatever he sees. Unfortunately the buildings' ruins falling here and there, and a big chunk of it is dropping right above Sayuri & Kota. A lightning strikes the fallen ruins while the crest reacts and protect the owner with its barrier.

 

"Sayuriii!! Are you okay?!" Goshi rushes to Sayuri's side.

"Yes I am," she answered.

 

Shinya once again strike the goblin with his lightning, together with Mito and Shigure. Guren tries to jump in and stab his sword on the monster's chest, but failed. He meets the same difficulties with Goshi, his sword can't get trough. The monster has a hard and thick muscles on his chest, it is almost impossible to get through the heart.  


"It's harder than I expected it'd be," thought Shinya.

 

"Damn you, bastard!!" Guren gets frustrated. He carelessly dashes towards the goblin king. There's something different from Guren's attack this time. When he about to swing his sword a sparks pf fire comes out from his sword. Shinya can't took his eyes off the sword. 

 

"I know it, he'll make it," Shinya smiles.

 

Guren clash his sword with the goblin's club. The fire on his sword gets bigger, even though it disappears after few seconds. "Fuck you ugly," Guren grinned his teeth, tryng hard to hold the goblin's blow. At the end he lost and being blown by the goblin, crashes to the wall next to him. He's lying weak on the ruins, he has lost almost all of his energy.

"Guren," Shinya called him.

"What is it?"

"Listen to me, I've got a plan."

 

*

 

The explosions ain't stopping. Each guilds brings out their best to kill the goblins. Many goblins has fallen, the adventurers has ran out of fire power, but this fight isn't going to stop before someone kill the goblin king. And this task belongs to Guren's team, Moon Demon Company.

 

"This doesn't make sense at all," mumbles Guren. 

 

None of his members around or the goblin king. He's just standing at the end of an empty road, alone.

 

*

 

"Kill him," said Shinya.

"I can't," answered Guren.

"Yes you can,"

"My sword can't get through."

"But your fire can."

 

*

 

He's worrying so much. Guren hold his sword firmly. He closes his eyes, recalling the moment when he first using his 'Fudo Myu-O'. He can't remember anything on how he learned the skill, how he acquired it and finally used the skill. All he could remember is Shinya, the skill come to him because Shinya was in danger and he tried to save him. No matter how hard he concentrate, he's unable to lit a little spark of fire. 

 

"I'm ruined...." he whined.

 

A building blast off. The goblin king do a good job by crushing the wall and create a big hole on it. The goblin is under attack with the attacks that Guren familiar with. A big blast of lighting hit the goblin. Before the monster tried to counter the attack, he's already greeted by another bomb attack.

 

[ "Guren," ] Shinya contacted Guren from his crest.

"....Shinya....,"

[ "Don't worry, you'll do just fine," ]

"What if I failed?"

[ "You won't," ]

"But I've never tried this skill before, I don't even know if I could do that, and what's worse is I only have one chance!"

[ "Dude, stop being a scaredy cat," ]

"Hell Shinya! I'm being serious here!"

[ "So I am," ]

"No you're not,"

[ "Guren..." ]

"What?"

[ "Don't worry, I'm with you, you're not alone." ]

 

Guren's heart is throbbing. There's a magic lies on every of Shinya's words, "I have no other choice I guess."

 

["Guren, It's heading your way, get ready."]

 

*

 

Everyone is stand by on their post as the monster heads towards Guren. Waiting for Shinya to give out his signal.

"GROAAAARRR!!" the gblin king charge off.

"NOW!!" signaled Shinya.

Mito throws her smoke bombs. Shigure caught the goblin with her robes. Goshi creates an illusion where the goblin's feet are trapped and unable to move. Shinya creates a magic circle on the sky. 10 light pillars coming out from the circle, the lightning is joining Shigure's robe, electrocuting the monster.

"GRRROOOAAR!!" The goblin tries to break out from the trap.

 

"GUREN NOW!!" shouted Shinya.

The knight closes his eyes, trying to concentrate once again. He wasn't sure how to do the trick but if Shinya said he can then he can. Shinya's words gives back his confidence. A senses start coming to him. He is standing in the dark, carrying his sword on the right, alone. Guren sees a bird, a flame bird. They exchanging sight, from eye to an eye. The bird flies to him, and becoming one with him. His sword burns red.

He takes on his position.

"Suzaku," he cast a spell, "no-YO!"

He swings his sword grandly, a fire bird comes out from his swing. The appearance is exactly the same as what he see before. The bird flying on a crazy speed, she changes her form to another shape. Suzaku flying hard and pierce through the goblin king's heart.

"ROOOOOOAAAAAAAANNNGGG!!!" the monster screamed his life, which has come to an end.

"We did it?" mumbles Shigure in disbelieve.

"Oh my god, it dead! IT'S DEAD!!" cheers Goshi, "WE DID IT!!"

They come running to Guren. Goshi smacks Guren's butt while the rest can't stop praising him. Sayuri come out from her hideout, piggy back the unconscious boy to join the celebration. Everyone watches in a joy. The tiring fight has finally end.

"You did great Guren," praised Shinya.

"Yeah, It's all thanks to you."

 

*

 

"Ara?" Sayuri realize Kota starts to regaining his conscious. She put him down on the ground.

"Kota, are you okay?" She asked.

"....the house...." answered the boy weakly.

Sayuri smiles kindly, "It's fine..."

"...the mosnter....?"

"He's dead, Guren killed it."

Tears flowing out from Kota's eyes, the boy starts to cry.

Sayuri has the boy tightly, "it's fine, it's over."

"Then! Shall we head back?" asked Shinya, "our fight has over."

"Is it okay? The other guilds are still fighting, the little goblins still in the city," said Guren.

"Don't worry, the king is dead, they're going to retreat soon."

It has been a tiring fight, time passes without them realizing. The sun is slowly rising up. When the dawn reach Shambhala, they could hear the cheers of adventurers from around the city. They has won the fight, the peace on their town has finally back.

 


***

 

As the raid ended Guren & co's normal life has started. They go back to real world not too long after the raid ended. It has been 2 week since then and Guren hasn't visited Shinya due to his business. He has been going back and forth from Japan to China. Today he supposed to leave Beijing International Airport on 19.40, but his plane is delay due to a technical problems.

 

*

 

Sayuri leaning her back to the chair, a quick rest after working on reports for the entire day. It has been 2 weeks since her first visit to Shangri-La and she still can't believe that it isn't a dream. She wishes to go back, but due to Guren business they hasn't been able to play again and thank's to Guren business her job is doubled.

 

"Drrr," her phone rings.

"Ara?" she check her phone screen before answering the call, it's a call from Shigure.

 

"What's up Shigure~?"

[ "Sayuri," ]

"Hm?"

[ "I'm not a fan of matcha latte but tbh this isn't bad," ]

"I know right~ it's not bad at all~ but, is something up?"

[ "No, really.... I'm just bored..." ]

"How come? Isn't a police got a lot of things to do?"

[ "Well yeah, but I'm stuck..." ]

"Shigure,"

[ "Hm?" ]

"The game was so much fun, don't you agree?"

[ "Yeah... it was," ]

"It still feels like a dream,"

[ "Same goes for me," ]

"And Shinya was there,"

[ "Yeah, he was there... Our Shinya," ]

"Our Shinya, Shinya Hiiragi."

 

"Knock! Knock!" an office boy knock Sayuri's door.

"Ah! Shigure, I got something to do, I will call you later okay~" She cut off the call.

The OB brings the office supplies that Sayuri asked, along with a cup of hot tea she requested.

 

"You're not going home, miss?" asked the OB.

"Mm, no, maybe later, I will go home after Ichinose-san back to office," she answered as she drink her hot tea.

"Ichinose-san? But I just met him at the hall way, seems like he was in a hurry,"

"What? You said who?"

"Ichinose-san,"

Sayuri almost dropped her tea cup, "Oh my god."

 

*

 

The JAL plane he supposed to take is delayed due to technical problem. The departure might be delayed for a hour or maybe longer, even JAL's official can't give the exact answer. Rather than wasting his time for waiting the plane, Guren brought another tickets from a different airlines. He was able to get a flight on 19.15. It was 19.00, he got 15 minutes left until the plane departure, so he hurriedly run to the assigned terminal.

 

Once he arrived at Narita Airport, he took a taxi and headed back to his office.

 

 

***

 

 

Guren smacks his accelerator. He drives on a high speed. Back when he was at the office he accidentally overheard Sayuri's conversation and now he's overwhelmed by emotion. The traffic light turns yellow, will change to red a a split second. Instead of slowing down his car, he hit the accelerator even deeper and drive even faster.  

 

Guren park his car in front of someone's house. It's a super big house, styled in Japanese traditional architecture. The plate name says "Hiiragi". 

 

*

 

It's almost 22.00, but Mahiru isn't letting her friend going home, "Hve you wear the clothes we brought last time?"

"Not yet," answered Mito.

"Eeeh, Why? It looks really cute on you,"

"I can't wear it to work,"

"Of course you can,"

"You're so forceful,"

"Not really~"

 

A maid enter Mahiru's room without knocking, she looks so panic.

 

"Oh my god, you should knocks before entering my room!"

"I'm sorry miss but, something is happening!!"

 

*

 

Guren has break through into Hiiragi's resident. Causing a panic of the housemaids.

 

"SHINYA!!" he yelled, "SHINYA COME OUT!!"

 

Hiiragi's house assistant trying to stop him. He tries to keep his attitude and not being rude because he know who Guren is, "Ichinose-san, youshouldn't shouting like that at someone's house."

 

"SHINYA WHERE ARE YOU?!" he ignores the assistant.

 

"What's with the rusks?!" said one of the house lord, Seishiro Hiiragi.

He comes running from his room after a maid called for him

behind him Mahiru and Mito follows along.

 

"What the fuck?! Ichinose?!" the male surprised after he see the man who cause the mess in his house.

"Guren?" Mito is also surprised to see Guren here.

 

But the troublemaker doesn't seem to notice them.

 

"SHINYA! COME OU--!!" Mahiru slapped him hard on the cheek and shuts his mouth.

 

"Get out," she firmly said it.

"Where's he?" asked Guren, holding in his anger.

"Get out I said,"

"I'm not leaving, not until I see him."

"Fine then,"

 

Mahiru told the maids to leave. She then lead Guren to another part of her house. Guren is familiar to Hiiragi's residence, he often visit the place in his younger days and when he still date Mahiru. There's a part of the house that is restricted to strangers, Guren remembers he once asked about it to Mahiru, but back then she said it's no use for him to go there, even herself doesn't really like that part of her house. But now she's leading him there, he wondered what's inside the place.

 

Mahiru stopped in front of a room, no one seems to use the room, but the light is bright on. She slides the door open, "Shinya is inside." 

 

A strong smell of incense is coming from inside. Guren see a lot of photo, he doesn't recognize all of their faces, except for one. He can't breathe, seems like his heart has stopped beating. This room turns out to be Hiiragi' altar and Shinya's picture is lined up along with Hiiragi's ancetors. The male has a silver hair and a blue eyes, a very different looks than any other Hiiragi who inherited a black, red, or purple hair and of course the blood colored eyes. 

 

"Why," said Guren, "Why is he here?"

"Shinya, he passed away," answered Mahiru.

"When?"

"He passed away last month,"

"How?"

"Unknown reason."

 

Guren fell silent, he lost all of his words, his mind goes blank, the overwhelming emotions he had is now gone. 

 

"Shinya's death was one of the reason why I come back," added Mahiru.

"Now that you've met him," She continue, "Guren, please leave."

 

 

***

 

 

The snow falls early on Shangri-La. Their winter is colder than real world's winter. Sun won't bee seen until 12.00PM, there're days when the sun not appearing at all. It's currently 4.00AM on Shangri-La. Shinya is sleeping peacefully under his super thick blanket. He suddenly wake up, he feels there's something coming close to his house. He get a mini wand from cupboard. It's only 15cm long, it's coated in gold and crafted beautifully. Just like Shinya's wand, this one also has a blue crystal planted on it.

 

Shinya sneakily goes to his front door, he could see a shadow of a man from his window. When he thinks he's ready, he open the door and about to cast a spell, until he notice who is the person standing by this door. 

 

"What?! Guren?!" Shinya hurriedly put away his mini wand, "what are you doing here?!"

The knight isn't responding, he's only standing still like a statue, as if the snow freeze him.

 

"Come in, it's super cold outside," Shinya told Guren to enter his house, but the other male doesn't move.

"Guren, it's cold out side! Hurry up!"

 

Guren grabbed Shinya's hand and hugs him tightly.

 

"Guren?! What's wrong with you?!"

"It's warm," mumbles Guren.

"Hah?"

"It's warm, you're warm Shinya," Guren's voice is shaking.

Shinya notices there's something weird with Guren, "Guren, what happen?" but when he asked the male, he remains silent.

 

 

***

 

 

His phone rang, Guren got a called from his girlfriend, Mahiru. It was a night before their summer trip.

 

"What's wrong?"

[ "Ne Guren, what do you think of this world?" ]

"Hah? What's with you being random at this hour,"

[ "Oh shut up, just answer me," ]

"Hmmm, no thoughts, It's fine maybe?"

[ "How boring," ]

"Why though?"

[ "My little Shinoa just bring a book for me to read, she like it so much, but that book told so many lies" ]

"What do you expect, it's a children book,"

[ "Then let me change my question, which one do you prefer?  beautiful lie or a hurtful truth?" ]

"Seriously..... the second one,"

[ "Wow, you're cool," ]

"The you, which one did you choose?"

[ "I choose..... Hmmm, I prefer beautiful truth, but there's no such a thing right? Those who said this world is beautiful, it's only because they've only seen the lies, those who says this world is ugly, they've seen the truth and so done with the lies. Truth is always painful, that's why beautiful truth doesn't exist," ]

"Mahiru, just go to bed already,"

[ "Hahah, Okay I will, see you tomorrow Guren," ]

 

 

***

 

 

He learned two things,

One, Shinya is a Hiiragi.

Two, Shinya Hiiragi is dead.

 

The world is only beautiful for those who have never witness the truth. 

 

Today he witness it. 

 

 

Chapter Text

Shinya put fire woods into the stove and lit on the fire. He pours water into the cattle and put in a purple flowers. While he wait the water to boiled Shinya took a wool blanket and bring it to Guren.

 

"Guren," Shinya called but Guren hasn't talk a word ever since, "did something happen?"

 

Guren sits on Shinya's old sofa, he lowering his head, facing the ground and being silent.

 

"Seriously, if something happened just tell me, even if I can't understand your world but I could lended you an ear," Shinya wrapped the blanket around Guren's shoulder to keep the knight warm.

 

"Ah!!" suddenly Guren grabbed Shinya's arm, it hurt a little because he put quite a force, "it hurts, Guren..."

 

The male then pushes Shinya to the sofa, laying down beneath him.

”Guren, it gets even more hurts..." Guren clench to Shinya's arm harder. Shinya's white skin starting to turns pink-ish.

 

"....me too...."
"....??"
"That part of me....."
"Which part?"
"My heart is...."
"Who did it??"

 

Guren can't say it. It was because of the silver haired dude he know, Shinya, yet at the same time it's not. He loosen up his grip. Shinya slides his arm off from Guren and starts patting the male's head.

 

"It's okay, " he said, "if you do not want to tell me the story it's fine"

He slid down his palm to Guren's cheek, "It's okay, time will heal it."

 

"Will it??" Guren doubts. Even the time won't be able to heal his wounds. The wounds has gotten too deep, more than he could imagine nor that he ever imagine it.

Shinya smiles, he could hear the kettle has making a sound, "Get off, I need to take the water."

 

He pushes back Guren lightly and walked off from the sofa. He's only a step away from the sofa, but suddenly Guren reach out to his arms, even harder than before.

 

"Guren, it hurts...."

"...."

"I'll be back soon, don't worry," he shrug off Guren's palm and heading to the kitchen.

 

Shinya turn of the stove. He take 2 crystal cups and pour in the brewed herb tea. The water has turned brown just like a normal tea, but the smells are different, this one is rather sweet and has a soft fragrance from the flower. Shinya heading back to the living room, bringing two cups of tea with him. 

 

"Here's your Guren," he give one for Guren and take a sip from his own cup as he sit next to Guren.

 

Guren take a sip, Shinya watches him, "How's it? It's good right?"

Guren nods.

 

"It's said that drinking Purple dandelion tea could heal a psychology illness, like when you feeling sad or overwhelmed by insecurities or anxiety, anger, and of course sadness," Shinya put his cup on the table.

 

"Shinya..."

"Hm?" he could feel the other male leaning his head on his shoulder.

"Don't disappear..."

 

Shinya startled by Guren's action, and when he look at his side, Guren has fallen into sleep with the cup of tea still on his hand.

 

He smiles, "Of course I won't."

 

 

***

 


Guren looks down to his feet. He found himself standing on a green grass. He’s back, to that hill.

“Why am I here?” he said.

 

He lifts his heads up. The sky is clear as ever. The wind blows weakly. He noticed that there are no flowers this time or even the tree. It’s all green.

 

“The tree… it’s not there….” Guren stares to the place where the tree should be. The hill felt different without the tree and the flowers.

 

“I have to hurry!”

 

He hears a voice of a boy. He couldn’t see the boy but he definitely could hear his voice, “a boy?”

 

“Almost there~!” cheers the boy.

 

From the back of the hill appears a tiny figure, running to the place where the tree was supposed to be. The little boy running with all of his might, bringing a tiny bottle filled with water on his right hand, while his left hand trying to protect his tiny bag.

 

“What is he doing?” thought Guren. He couldn’t move his feet even for an inch. He could only watch the boy from afar.

 

“Yes! Finally!” boy has reached the part of prairie he wished for. He put the bottle to the ground and starts digging the ground with his tiny hands. He doesn’t dig it deep, but still deep enough to plan something to it.

 

“Wa-Wait, that boy is….”

 

The boy takes out something from his bag. He took out something white, a tiny wallet, like those wallets for coins except he doesn’t fill his wallet with coins. He opens the wallet and pours whatever inside the wallet into the hole he has dig.

“Wait! You’re….”

 

“There ya go~!” a seed falls out from the wallet. He then buried the seed and waters the newly planted seed, “You better grow up into a fine tree.”

 

“Now I have to go, bye bye!” He dashes off back to the other side of the hill.

 

“SHINYA!!”

 

 

***

 

Guren jolted out from his dream to find himself lying on a bed, with a cloth made of wool, and covered in blanket. It’s not his room, he hasn’t back to his world, he knows it Shinya’s.

 

He walks out from the bed, “Shinya?”

 

He searches the entire house just to find it to be empty. Shinya is nowhere can be found, but the door remains unlock. Guren guessed Shinya might be out for a while. But while Shinya gone, he noced that this house is very quiet, a little bit cold. Guren’s apartment is also quiet, not very quiet because he got his TV on and of course, it’s warm.

 

“How could he live in a place like this?”

 

Guren walks back to living room. He doesn’t notice it before, but there’re many flyers under the table. Those are a job vacancy flyers, but instead of job vacancy Guren prefer to call is as ‘quest’. Seems like Shinya collected so many flyers with various task. From collecting ingredients, delivering items, finding a lost cat, and many more.

 

“Oh, games….” He mumbles.

 

“BLAM!” the door is slammed open.

 

It makes Guren startled. He drops all the pamphlets to the floor, “Goddamnit…” he thought his heart is almost stop beating.

 

“Did I surprised you?” asked a familiar voice.

“Daamn it, Shinya!”

“Sorry,” replied Shinya, “But he keep kicking here and there.”

 

He, who?” Guren turn around to look at what kind of mess Shinya bring this time and he’s right, it’s a total mess, “W.H.A.T T.H.E H.E.L.L I.S T.H.A.T?!!”

 

Shinya’s clothes covered in dirt, his hair looks so messy, and more than that he brings an animal with him. It’s like a turkey, well it is a turkey but bigger, the feathers are colored in light brown and green. Shinya has tied its leg with a rope, but it keep trying to flee by moving here and there. Gives Shinya quite a trouble.

 

“Well, it’s about a lunch time, I thought you’d be hungry, so…”

So, what?”

“So, I brought you a turkey~!

“Oh, damn.”

 

*

 

“Shinya,” called Guren.

“Hm?”

 

They just finished their lunch. Shinya is currently washing the dishes while Guren helps him by mopping the table.

 

“Well, you know…” there’re so many things Guren wanted to ask. So many things happened in a day or maybe less than a day and Guren having a hard time catching up with everything. Too many stuffs comes at him in a pieces, too many missing parts and all of the pieces he has right now doesn’t seem to match each other. Even the tons of paperwork he had left on his office never confuse him more than this, but then again Shinya is not his paperwork.

 

“There’re things I wanted to ask.”

“And those things are?” Shinya stopped his work.

 

Their eyes meet each other. When Shinya’s blue eyes stares into Guren’s eyes, it somehow make Guren feels weak. He pounders whether he should ask all of the questions on his mind or not. He’s scared that the light on Shinya’s eyes will disappear.

 

“Em, well…,” Guren blushed red, “how did I end up sleeping on your bed?”

“Ooooh, well you fell asleep on the couch, so I moved you to my bed,” Shinya answered cheerfully as he continues washing the dishes.

 

“And you were heavy,” he added.

“Was I?”

“Emhm, with all of your armor you become very heavy and since I thought it won’t be comfortable for you to sleep in your armor so I took it off and put you in my warmest clothe~”

“Ah, is that so….”

 

This isn’t what Guren wanted to ask.

 

“Also, your house is kind of cold, don’t you have a heater or anything?”

 

This isn’t the right question either, but the words he supposed to say can’t find a way out from his mouth. The words travel from his mind, it supposed to make the exit from his mouth, but instead it lingers on his heart and makes a way back to his head.

 

“Heater?” asked Shinya.

“Em, it’s a tool that radiates hot waves to make your room warmer in winter,” Guren explained.

“Ah! I do have a Hearth, I supposed to put more woods but then you came, so I haven’t done the work.”

“Well, sorry about that.”

“It’s oke,” Shinya switch off the tap water, “so, shall we get some work done?”

 

*

 

A snow storm hit Shangri-La a night before. Snows are piling up at Shinya’s rooftop.  He needs to clean it up before it gets too thick and burry his house in snow. He also needs to get more firewoods.

So he split up the job. Guren will clean the rooftop meanwhile he will go out to search for firewoods.

 

“Be careful,” said Guren.

“Haha don’t worry,”

“Well, you always cause a trouble so….”

“Oh, come on….”

“I know, I know, you’re not a baby I know.”

“Then you too, don’t slip off~”

“Hell yea, I won’t for sure….”

 

Guren watches Shinya’s back disappearing into the woods. It’s time for him to start his work. He get the ladder and a shovel from the barn.

 

“Hop la,” Guren climbs the ladder.

 

There’s like 12cm of snows covering the entire rooftop like a white blanket, except it’s a cold blanket, “Well damn, no wonder why it’s cold.”

 

He never complains with any kind of homework, or quizzes, or exams, or projects, or whatever task that given to him. Well sometime he did complain but he always manages to finish his work perfectly. Cleaning the entire rooftop might be a pain, but Shinya’s house is not that big and on another note, he could use this as a chance to cleanse his mind from the recent mess.

 

Guren shove the snow diligently but on every move he do he thinks of Shinya.  What’s worse is more questions appear on his mind. He hasn’t solved the previous riddle but more riddles come.

 

Shinya is dead. Everyone knows it except him. Everyone seems to be acquaintance with Shinya except for him. He knows Sayuri & Shigeru longer than everyone, it was only a phone call, but seems like the two girls are close with Shinya.  Because no one would address someone as ‘our’ if they’re not close. But Guren gotta admit that Shinya got quite the looks, he’s good looking. Maybe they got to meet him through a blind date? Or maybe they meet him when they visit Mahiru’s house to play.

But then again, Guren used to visit Mahiru’s house as often as the girls and never met the guy. He never know there used to be a guy named Shinya under Hiiragi family registration.

 

“Maybe he was studying overseas?” Guren tries to make a speculation. It’s pretty much possible remembering each of Hiiragi’s children ever taste studying overseas, some of them even  decided to stay there, so Shinya could be one of them.

 

“Argh damnit!” He yells out of frustration.

 

"Why is he here?"

"Shinya, he passed away," answered Mahiru.

"When?"

"He passed away last month,"

"How?"

"Unknown reason."

"Shinya's death was one of the reason why I come back," added Mahiru.

"Now that you've met him, Guren, please leave."

 

“How,” he stuck his shovel into the snow piles.

“The hell,” he lifts his shovel.

“He died?!” and shove the snow away.

 

“Who died?” asked Shinya. Apparently he has come back from collecting firewoods.

“Wha-?!” Guren was too focused on his mind. He doesn’t get to notice that Shinya has come back.

 

Guren losing his balance, the roof top is slippery and especially slippery because of the snow, “Wha, wah!!”

 

“BRUK!” He falls off to the ground. It’s not as hurt as it would be because he landed on something.

 

“Aaww,” Shinya gorans.

“Fuck! Shinya sorry.”

“I told you to be careful because it’s slippery!”

“Well yeah, should’ve pay…” Guren ‘landed’ on the top of Shinya that’s why it isn’t hurt when he fall, “…more attention to it.”

 

"Shinya, he passed away,"

“No, Mahiru… Shinya is here.”

 

“Guren what’s wrong?” asked Shinya.

 

"Shinya's death was one of the reason why I come back . "

“Then, You shouldn’t have.”

 

“Guren? Are you okay?” asked Shinya again, “Does it hurt somewhere?”

 

Guren moves his face closer to Shinya. Closer, and even closer. In the winter, where the weather gets all cold it could make lips get dry and choppy. But Shinya’s lip remains moist and its color is a little bit pinkish. Their lips are only 5mm away, it might touches anytime if Guren make another move.

 

“SRAK!” a bird flying off from a tree branch. Swaying the branch up & down, dropping the snow from a branch to another until it touches the ground.

 

Guren hurriedly pull himself off from Shinya. He stands up steadily on the ground and gets the shovel he drops, “I’m fine! Nothing hurt!”

 

He couldn’t face Shinya directly, his face is extremely red right now.

 

“Guren?”

“What?!”

“Did you just….”

“Just what?!”

“Did you just try to ki-“

“I DIDN’T!! JUST GO BACK TO WORK!”

“I’m finished with my work though,” said Shinya, “but really, did you just try to ki-“

“I SAID I DIDN’T! JUST GO INSIDE THE HOUSE!!”

 

Guren run to put the ladder back to its place and rushes climbing back to the rooftop.

 

Shinya clumsily watch Guren from below. “Fuh,” he lets out a small laugh after watching the flustered Guren. He found this side of Guren is the cutest.

 

 

***

 

Sayuri can’t remain calm on her chair. On earlier morning Guren supposed to attend a meeting with investors, yet he doesn’t show up. Sayuri try to reach him with any means but failed. She had to make a reason like Guren suddenly feel sick and had to go to hospital. It was an unavoidable situation she said. Lucky the higher ups and the investors seem to trust her lie.

 

She dial a number from her phone, Mito’s number.

 

“Mito!” Lucky for her, Mito answer her call right away.

[ “Sayuri? What’s wrong?” ]

“I cannot reach him!”

[ “Him? Guren?” ]

“Yes, I called his phone, mailed him, chat him, but no answer, he doesn’t seem to have his phone with him!”

[ “Calm down Sayuri.” ]

“I’m trying to.”

[ “He’s probably inside the game.” ]

“I’m 100% sure he’s there.”

[ “So, wha-“ ]

“Mito, I’m worried,” Sayuri cutting off Mito.

“I souldn’t have talking about Shinya carelessly. If I didn’t then Guren might not know.”

[ “Sayuri….” ]

“I really feel sorry for Guren.”

[ “It’s okay Sayuri, it’s okay.” ]

“Mito, do you think we should get inside the game to?”

[ “What?! Hmm….” ]

“I don’t have a password to Guren’s apartment but Goshi does, maybe I should call him and-“

[ “No don’t! I think it’s better to leave him alone for now. Besides…” ]

“Besides?”

[ “Goshi is out of town for a week.” ]

“Ah, I see…. Well, I guess you’re right.”

[ “Sayuri, don’t worry. He’ll be fine.” ]

“Mm, yeah… I hope so. Thanks Mito.”

[ “You’re welcome.” ]

 

Sayuri cut off the call. She’s leaning to her chair. Staring at the celling, thinking for another kind of lie she should make if Guren doesn’t show up tomorrow.

 

*

 

Mito is about to get off from work until she received a call from Sayuri. She has nothing to say to swap away Sayuri’s worry. She knows it’s hard and almost impossible to believe, the fact that another world exist, and the fact that Shinya lives on that world.

 

“I guess there’re things that can’t remind to be hidden, right?” said Mito.

“Well yep, gotta agree with that one,” answered Goshi.

“But why did you said I was out of town where I’m clearly sitting in front of you?” he asked.

“Because, there’re stuffs I want you to look up,” she answered.

 

Mito grabs her bag and put her jacket on, “Let’s go somewhere else.”

“Your treat~?”

“Yes, because I can’t even remember when did the last time you pay for our meal.”

 

 

***

 

 

After an hour of work, the rooftop is finally cleansed from snow piles. Guren put back the ladder and shovel back to barn. He could hear the kettle make a sound and smokes coming out from the kitchen. Apparently Shinya is preparing a warm drink for both of them.

 

“Thanks for the hard work~” thanked Shinya when Guren enter the house. He handed a cup of tea for Guren to drink. It’s the same tea as before

 

“This tea,” Guren receives the cup from Shinya, “will it put me into sleep again?”

“Nah, it depends on your condition,” Shinya explain, “you seem to be fine already, so I think you won’t be sleepy at all.”

 

“Hmm,” Guren take a sip. It taste good and warm.

 

Shinya walks to another side of his house. He takes some job vacancy flyers from living room and looking at it over and over, switching the flyers back and forth. There’re few jobs he considers to take, but he might not have an enough time to finish it all.

 

“Why?” asked Guren.

“Mmm, I can’t decide which job I should take.”

“What kind of jobs are they?”

“A delivery job, a reparation job, and finding a lost kitten.”

“Finding a lost kitten, damn… It’s like a play that middle schoolers kid likes to do.”

“Weeeeell, the owner must be loves their kitten so much don’t you think?”

“Yeah, whatever, Guren sighed, “let’s split them up, since there’s 2 of us.”

Shinya smiles widely, “Wah! Thank you Guren!”

“I guess I could do the reparation job,” said Guren.

“Then, I will take the delivery job,” added Shinya, “and later after we finish both of it, we could look for the kitty together.”

“Oke, sounds good,” Guren agreed to the plan.

“Yosh~ Now let’s go~!” cheers Shinya happily.

 

*

 

Shinya heading off to his delivery job. It’s not a difficult job. All he has to do is go to Dr.Mika’s clinic to get the potions and deliver it to the patients. He has done this job quite often, first because it’s an easy one. Second, the pay is not bad considering the difficulty of the task is pretty low. Third, Dr.Mika is a nice young boy and willing to help those in need, Shinya like the young doctor’s spirit.

 

On his way to Dr.Mika’s clinic Shinya felt something bothering him. He doesn’t even sure what it is. He stop his feet for every 10 steps. He keep looking back just to find nothing, “this is bothersome,” he mumbles.

 

*

 

Guren reading the job description on the flyer again and again. He gotta fix a broken window. The owner wrote on the flyer that she got all the materials ready, but she doesn’t know how to work with it. That’s why she needs someone to fix her window.

 

It doesn’t take Guren long enough to get into his client house. “This must be the house,” he knocks the door.

 

“Coming!” said a voice from inside the house.

“I’m here to fix your window,” said Guren.

“Oh my! Thank you for coming,” she said happily, “this way please.”

 

The door is opened by the house owner. She’s a lady on early 40 and she carries a baby on her back. Her image is exactly like what Guren imagined, except she has more kids than he thought. The moment he steps into the house, Guren could see 3 kids running her and there playing tag. While another two picking at him from the stairs.

 

“There you go,” the lady shows the broken window, “yesterday my kids were playing a dodge ball, and the ball eventually hit the window and this is the result.”

“Yep, playing a dodge ball inside the house is never a good idea,” replied Guren.

“Yeah that’s why…. My husband is away so I had to call for someone else to do the job.”

“Okay, I’ll finish it quickly.”

“Thank you very much sir,” said the lady, “if you need anything please tell me.”

“Sure thing.”

 

Guren get to his work right away. He has never fix a window, but everymen know how to repair stuffs like a leaking celling, replacing a broken lightbulb, or repairing a broken window.

 

*

 

Shinya has arrived at Dr.Mika’s clinic. Dr.Mika greets him with his usual bright smile. He handed over a basket filled with packages of medicines. Dr.Mika has labeled each package with the patient’s name. 

 

“There’re 3 packages you need to deliver,” he said, “and this is the list of their address.”

Shinya receive a sheet of paper and reviewing the patient’s address, “hmm, okay!”

“I’ll make sure this medicine received by the right person~” he said cheerfully.

“Thank you very much, Shinya-san,” thanked Dr.Mika, “you’re helpful as always.”

“Haha, glad I could help you Mika-chan~”

“Well then, take care Shinya-san.”

“I’ll be back soon~”

 

Shinya heading off to his delivery. He starts from the closest address to the furthest. The first patient is only few blocks away from Dr.Mika’s clinic. The second patient is living close to Crowley’s inn, while the last patient’s house is on another side of the town.

 

The weather hasn’t changed much since this morning. Even the sun has set high, the clouds still covering it perfectly. The skies only get a little bit lighter but not warmer. Some citizens don’t even bother to turn off their garden lamp.

 

“Oookay,” Shinya stop at a house with door made by oak.

There’s an iron knocker nailed to the door, “a delivery!” he yells as he knock the door.

“Wait a minute!” answer the house owner.

 

The door is opened. Shinya see a grandpa on his 70 at the doorstep, opening the door for him.

 

“Are you Dr.Mika’s pupil?” asked the grandpa.

“Haha, not really a pupil but I’m here to give you your medicine,” Shinya took out a package from his basket and handed it over to grandpa, “hope you get better soon.”

“Yes son, thank you very much.”

 

Shinya heading to the second house right away. He keeps reading the address over and over. It seems like he has visit the house before, but he can’t remember when did he visit the house.

 

“Oh? Shinya?” called a girl.

“Hi Horn~!” Shinya send her a wave.

“Where are you going?” she asked. Horn is out to get stuffs from stores and eventually met Shinya on her way back.

“A delivery.”

“Aaah oke, are you going to visit us?”

“Yep, maybe later I’ll drop by.”

“Okay then, see you later.”

“Yep, byebye~”

 

After  15 minutes of walk, Shinya finally found the second house. “Aah, I know this house,” he knocks the door but no answer. He knocks again. Still no answer, but he could hear a sound of foot step running to the door.

 

“Yeees!” the door is opened by a teen girl, “How can I-“

Shinya smiles brightly, “a delivery.”

The girl’s face turn red, she slammed the door close, “MOOOOM! A DELIVERY!!”

Seeing the girl reaction Shinya could only laugh, “yep, I did visit this house.”

 

*

 

 Guren double check his work, just in case he miss out anything, “Yep, it’s prefect.”

 

He finally finishes repairing the window. The broken window is now looking like a new. The lady seem pleased with his work, she even pay an extra for Guren’s marvelous work.

 

“Thank you miss, have a nice day,” Guren leave the house as he bid a farewell.

Guren reading the second flyer. The headline is written in all capital ‘HELP! MY KITTY HAS GONE MISSING’. The flyer is clearly made by a kid, because even the description is funny:

 

[[ Dear all, let me introduce myself. My name is Akane and yesterday… I lost my cat. My cat is so small and fluffy. She’s so cute and scared of water. When she hungry she make a really cute sound, it goes like ‘nyaaaawww~~’. She’s only 5 months, she is white and her tail is all yellow. I gave her a pink necklace, so anyone please find her!

 

PS: Oh! I almost forget, her name is kiki.]]

 

Laslty, Akane draw her cat on the flyer. But like mostly children’s drawing it’s impossible to find the cat just by looking at her drawing.

 

“How the hell I suppose to find-“ Guren is absorbed by the flyer. He doesn’t even look where he’s walking and eventually stepped on something.

 

“NYAAAAAWWW!!”

 

“…a kitten…,” he’s checking to what his foot stepped on, “…with a white fur…” he’s exchanging glances with the little thing he meet, “…and a yellow tail.”

 

“NYAAAWW!!”

 

“Damn wait!!” Guren tried to catch the kitty soon as he noticed it’s the kitty on the flyer.

 

*

 

After taking a small detour Shinya finally arrived at the last house. Unlike the 2 previous houses which located at a dense neighborhoods. The third house is separated from another house. The entire wall is covered with vines. It might be looking fresh & green in summer, but since it’s on winter so no single leaf attach to it.

 

“Emmm,” Shinya is a little bit hesitating when he about to knock the door, “anybody home?!”

 

He accidentally buttered out a wrong sentence. He should say ‘a delivery’ or something along the line, instead of asking if anyone present or not, “oopsa….”

 

No one answering. He knocks for the second time, “a delivery!”

Still quiet.

“Sir, you’ve got a package!”

No answer.

 

“Maybe nobody at home….” Shinya looking up, staring to the house. The entire looks of the house give him chill. It’s far from another house, not even a rat could be seen, the dried vines, and the cold breeze adding more horror feels.

“Can I help you?” ask a voice from behind.

“Uwah!” Shinya jolted from surprise. It was quiet for a while and suddenly he could hear a voice. He hurriedly turn his back to see the person who talks to him.

“Sorry, do I scare you?”

“Well, em yeah kind of, Ah! II mean no, no I’m fine,” said Shinya trying to calm himself.

“So, you do.”

 

A little boy is standing in fornt of him. He thought the patient would be someone older, much older. Yet he meets a young boy who hasn’t got his puberty yet. From the way he looks, this boy should be around 12 years old or maybe younger. He got a red eyes and a unique colored hair, half white and half red.

 

“What bring you here sir?” ask the boy politely. 

“I’m here to deliver the medicine’s from Dr.Mika,” answered Shinya.

“Ah, thank you very much.”

Shinya handed over the medicine to the boy.

“This medicine is very helpful,” the boy look pleased when he received the medicine.

“I’m sorry, but can I ask you something?”

“Yes sure.”

“What… kind of… illness do you have?”

 

“Well,” the boy is making a step in. He took out a key from his pocket and put it inside the doorknob, “It’s not really an illness, but lately…” he open the door and make a way in into his house, “…I get thirsty easily.”

 

Shinya is gulping. For a split second he see the boy’s eyes glowing.

 

“Then, thank you for your effort,” added the boy, “please send my thanks to Dr.Mika.”

“Yep, sure thing,” replied Shinya.

 

The door is closed. Shinya walks away from the house. Yet he still feels uneasy. Not only the house, but the mysterious boy gives him an uneasy feeling. “I can’t feel his presence at all,” he mumbles.

 

*

 

Guren running as fast as he could. He almost caught the kitty many times but not even once he actually caught it. The cat run into a small alley, and then move to an even smaller alley. It climbs the pipe and get into a house rooftop, jump to another rooftop, and keeps on moving.

 

“Fuck,” Guren is running out of breath. Catching a cat is harder than killing a single monster.

 

He remembered he once dragged into this kind of mess. It was when he still a middle schooler. He remembers the mystery club on his school received a missing cat request. The club member trying to get his help but he keep refusing, though at the end it was him who finally caught the cat.

 

Many years have passed and he can’t believe he’s doing the same old shit.

 

The cat has finally stopped moving. She’s sitting on a barrel, washing her fur with her tiny tongue. Guren sneaking to get closer with her. The cat doesn’t seem to notice Guren either. In a count of 3, Guren jumps out from his hideout, “GOTCHA!!”

 

He crash into the stack of barrels, causing some of them rolling over from its place. He hit his head hard to the barrel. It’s quite painful, but the managed to catch the cat. Or so he thought. The cat slips away from Guren’s hand.

 

“Oh, shit!” he cursed in frustration.

“I told you to not curse,” said a familiar voice.

Guren lift his head, “Shinya?”

“I thought we supposed to do this job together?”

 

The cat is naturally climbs up to Shinya’s shoulder. Shinya lift the cat with both of his hand, and hug it lovingly, “there~there~”

 

“Damn yeah,” grumbled Guren, “should’ve wait for you.”

“Hahahaha,” Shinya laughed, “shall we take the cat back to her home?”

 

 

***

 

 

The night has fall. Sun has failed to shine today. Snow starts falling from the skies. The night gets even colder, not many people seen on the street of Shambala during this kind of night. People are preferred to stay warm inside their house. While the merchants or the adventurers choose to stay warm in a tavern or inn.

 

*

 

His house is remain dark. Boy rarely turn on the light on his house. Not he hate the light or what, but he prefer when his house get swarmed in darkness. It has been hours since Shinya left his house, yet he can’t stop himself staring to the window.

 

“That delivery nii-chan,” he speaks in a low voice.

 

Boy smiles widely when he thinks about the deliveryman he meet earlier of the day. Thinking about Shinya just makes him happy and excited.

 

“He smells really good, extremely good, delicious,” his red eyes glows.

 

He take the medicine he receive earlier. He rip off the warper. He could find a bottle of capsules and a letter from Dr.Mika. It contains the instruction of the medicine dosages and it seems he put a stronger dosage to each capsules. So he warns the boy to be careful when consuming the medicine. On the note, Dr.Mika wrote that he’ll try to find an alternative medicine.

 

“Aw, how kind of him,” said the boy, “but I don’t think I need it anymore.”

He put the wrapper along with the medicine and the letter into a trashcan, “I think I’ve found what could cure me.”

He walking to the window again, staring to the outside, “I wonder how his blood would taste.”