I opened my eyes, no longer present in the room. I heard the ticking of a clock, but couldn’t locate the source. A strange, foggy mist surrounded me in all directions.
“Did you enjoy your vacation?” Mirei’s voice echoed.
“That’s some b******* you pulled. You’ve made your point! The perfect life, right? All the heroes are your normal, everyday people! Yeah, I fuckin’ understand,” I shouted.
“Yuki, so correct! I just showed you what a good time you could have, free from the burdens of a hero. Isn’t that great and refreshing? Everyone’s so much calmer and nicer,” she responded.
“None of its real! Even if it’s another dimension, it’s not my reality. Don’t even try selling me any of that crap!” I yelled.
“It’s a glimpse into the possible. Everyone gives up their powers and it just might work out like that. Thats all I want,” Mirei continued, her voice remaining calm and steady.
“And if I don’t?” I countered.
“You’ll find out the hard way. I’ll give you two days! The exact same terms from before. Decide by then, Yuki,” Mirei’s voice faded.
“Like I care about what you say,” I muttered, glaring into the haze.
The strange mist dissipated. A large grandfather clock chimed behind me. Ace leaned her hands on a table in front of the couch she sat in.
“Welcome to the….,” she began.
“Cut the crap, Ace. What’s going on?” I interrupted her, not in the mood for her jokes.
“Michi Ichizen’s sister, Mirei, is quite dangerous. Much more than I even anticipated,” Ace replied, her face turning serious.
“And that’s enough of a reason for you to approach me?” I asked.
“Things aren’t always so black and white, Tomo Yuki. But, let’s assume I play the role of a villain. If I’m the big bad, then I’m a target as well. I have just as much of a reason to not want her around,” Ace explained.
“We’re going to be temporary allies just so you can hurt us later? Yeah, that sounds like a great plan,” I pointed out.
“Mirei’s a big threat, one that won’t vanish without any action. I won’t interfere any further unless you allow me permission. The decisions is yours, Tomo Yuki,” Ace stated, laughing at the end of her sentence.
“What can you do? Mirei has a counter for everyone’s powers,” I asked out of curiosity.
“So many questions. You’re becoming like your friend, Konoe, such a nosy little girl. That’s beside the point. My powers are more than enough to fend her off. She’ll most likely take everyone out, unless of course, you stall for me. Talk it over with Tess and everyone else. Show them your grimoire and it’ll do the rest. They’ll know. Give me your answer in two days. Just like Mirei’s deadline,” Ace replied, standing up as the clock ceased its chiming.
The scene around me once again warped. I saw a pool of water in front of me. This scene was…. very nostalgic. I agreed to give up peace and quiet to resolve the situation, ultimately resulting in Ichizen’s death.
“Tomo Yuki, it’s been five months since we last spoke. As I stated before, your commitment was registered and your path set. Whether you continue or give up, you must decide. I merely only provided a spark to set everything in motion. Let’s see how much you really desire that peace! Was it all just a misguided illusion you sought for self-satisfaction?” a voice inquired, soft in tone.
I stared downward. It seemed much longer than five months. You really have forgotten, Yuki. What was it all for? Originally, it was to regain my everyday life. Now, my goal shifted to mastering my powers and beating the s*** out of Mirei, Ace, and whoever else appeared. My priorities changed. Time to become the fuckin’ hero on my terms!