On that day, I remembered everything. My past life, myself… I was reincarnated as one of the characters in my own creation, a fortune teller.
If that’s the case, it could be problematic. This world might be the timeline where my girls meet a bad ending… But upon closer thought, I remembered that there was someone named Kuroda Izayoi. He was the one who saved everyone. With him around, everything was salvaged. So, I felt relieved… However…
Kuroda Izayoi… the protagonist I created as the savior, even though I barely put any thought into his character. He was, in a sense, an empty vessel. Yet, why did he act so decisively?
I remembered meeting him in Unabara Cho Town, recalling the phone call I made. He didn’t feel like an empty vessel. If that’s the case, who exactly is he…? I needed to find out. That’s why I summoned him.
I was summoned by the fortune teller. It was a surprise to be called out of the blue, and I felt a mix of emotions, including surprise. Initially, there was some suspicion of infidelity from those around, but the misunderstanding was quickly cleared up.
So, here we were, in a familiar cafe. I couldn’t help but reminisce about the various things that had happened here with Karen. However, things were different now that she was my girlfriend.
“Welcome! Oh, it’s been a while.”
“Yeah, I have a meeting here.”
“Is it with the person over there?”
I headed toward the girl who was already drinking her coffee. There was something different about her atmosphere, though it could have just been my imagination.
“Yaa, nice of you to come. Please, have a seat.”
“What happened with ‘jaa’ at the end of your sentences?”
“Fufu, I’ve decided not to use it anymore.”
“Is this a change in character?”
I couldn’t help but feel that something was off about her. She seemed unusually composed. Where had her previous confident demeanor gone?
“Do you need something from me? I’d rather not be alone with another woman since I have my girlfriend here.”
“Your girlfriend…Gindou Kohaku, right?”
Had I ever mentioned Kohaku’s name to her? Well, she was a fortune teller, so maybe it’s normal.
She cleared her throat and composed herself before asking me a serious question.
“Do you believe in the concept of past lives? If I told you that I have memories of a past life, would you believe me?”
“Is this some kind of mysterious character setting?”
“Uh, I’m sorry.”
She seemed to have taken my question rather seriously. Her tone was devoid of the usual chuunibyou-like behavior.
“Well, I believe in it to some extent. This world is filled with strange things, after all.”
“I see… Well, I actually have memories of my past life.”
“And this world we’re in, it’s the world from the book I wrote.”
“That reaction… You know me?”
Eh? She’s the author of “Mashou Shoujo – Secret Five”? I was genuinely surprised.
“Well, I was a fan.”
“That aside, why did you write a bad ending? I can’t understand that.”
“…Well, you see, there was someone at the publishing company who had helped me a lot, and I couldn’t refuse their request…”
I could never forgive a bad ending. That was my stance as a fan. However, I could sense that she regretted it as well. I had even confessed to Kohaku, so I knew how she felt.
“I’m grateful to you for saving them.”
“It’s for the one I love.”
“I see… Maybe you became Kuroda Izayoi because it’s what I wanted… Even though he was just an empty character in the setting. I wanted him to be someone who loved the girls, and maybe you fit that role the best.”
“Was there a character named Kuroda Izayoi?”
She seemed to have sensed the presence of a character named Kuroda Izayoi from my words.
“I had only set him up as an empty vessel. But I hoped that whoever played his role would truly love the girls. Maybe you were the one who fit that role the best.”
“Is that so?”
“Isn’t that surprising?”
“But usually, in situations like this, people would have doubts and think things through.”
“I’m just taking it in stride, like opening a jar of pickles.”
Was I just running along preordained tracks? Was the bond between me and her fake? These were questions that normal people might agonize over, but I could confidently say that none of that mattered. My existence in this world and the feelings I held were genuine.
“I see. Well, go ahead and embrace your feelings for them wholeheartedly. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I can’t thank you enough.”
“I’m grateful too, for being able to read your work.”
“Fufu, maybe there’s more to me than meets the eye… I’m truly glad that they were saved. They were my ideal.”
“While not everything that happened to them, my own experiences are embedded in their story, like divorce and bullying. So, I poured my wishes and various other things into it. Therefore, if they are happy now, it’s my happiness. You’ve been amazing… truly, thank you.”
“…If you don’t mind, would you like to meet them sometime?”
“We’ll leave that for another time…”
I realized that she must have had her share of life experiences as well. She changed the subject, seemingly remembering something.
“Oh, right, I mustn’t forget this. While I was creating this world in my own way…”
“This world is not only my ideal but also a world of regrets, perhaps.”
“Could you please explain more?”
“There were two bad endings here. Well, it’s impressive that you easily avoided one of them. But, this is just a gut feeling, but maybe another story that you don’t know about might begin.”
“The theatrical version.”
“I’ve never heard of that…”
I’d never heard of a theatrical version of Magical Girls before. If it existed, I would have definitely gone to see it multiple times.
“Well, this work was conceived after the main story concluded. But after the main story ended, I fell ill and let it sit for years. By the time I thought about it again, the tides of the times had changed.”
“Well, that couldn’t be helped with the tides of time… but I had a plot in mind, so I regret not making a theatrical version…”
“Could you tell me more about it?”
“Sure. In that story, the fourth member of the Malevolent Three Musketeers, Try Liberation, is sealed between dimensions. Her power is the ability to manipulate space.”
“Isn’t that kind of overpowered?”
“No, she’s defeated quite easily.”
It sounded undeniably overpowered, but if they defeated her easily, that was indeed impressive.
“In fact, in that world, there’s a parallel world known as the ‘Mirror World.’ It follows a slightly different timeline from this one. In that world, the five of them get transported and meet their future selves. The main story revolves around their interactions with their future selves. They transform together and defeat the enemies together. Even though they can defeat the enemies without transforming together, they still transform together.”
“I see… So, the ultimate ‘kamase’ malevolent Try Liberation… remains the same even in the theatrical version. Wasn’t she treated quite poorly even in the main story?”
“That’s right. As soon as the Demon King was resurrected, she was eaten without even getting a chance to fight alongside the Magical Girls. She exited the stage without ever getting the chance to fight.”
“Yeah, I heard that people said she was taken out so easily, and there was something about ‘Ochazuke Senpai Trio.'”
“Oh, yes, that too…”
But there’s a theatrical version like that? It piqued my curiosity. Since it involves my future self, maybe I’ll get married to her and have children… No, that would be way too fast, right?
“This theatrical version focuses on the moment when the five members are assembled, right after they come together. It might be about to happen soon… but remember, it’s just a possibility.”
“Thank you for sharing this important information with me.”
“I’ll return now. Let’s meet again sometime.”
She got up from her seat, as if she had said everything she wanted to.
“Leave the bill to me.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah, it’s fine. Next time, let me meet them.”
With that, she left the cafe.
I was able to express what I wanted to say. I wanted to meet them once, but I don’t think I have the right.
Thinking like that, I left the café and headed towards the station. Then, someone called out to me.
I turned around and there were five girls standing there. The silver-haired one seemed to be the spokesperson as she addressed me.
“What’s your relationship with Izayoi-kun!?”
“Fufu, it’s not the kind of relationship you’re thinking of.”
As I said that, they seemed relieved.
“I-Is that so… Is it really like that?”
“You’re too suspicious… It’s the truth. I’m just a former classmate of his mother with a slight connection.”
Once they seemed to catch their breath, the silver-haired girl asked me again. I remember her mother being a yandere, so maybe she’s like this due to her possessive tendencies. Perhaps she’s naturally suspicious when it comes to love… It’s an aspect I didn’t know about, a side of her that I wasn’t aware of.
“Well, I’m glad to hear that.”
“See, like I said. You’re too suspicious.”
“I was quite suspicious too…”
“Don’t make things up, Aoi!? That’s not true at all!”
“True, Aoi-chan can be surprisingly suspicious.”
“That’s why Moegi Onee-chan was the first one to suggest tailing him, right?”
“Th-That’s… But everyone was on board with it!!”
I know and yet I don’t. They must have changed after meeting him. But I felt that their bond and other important aspects hadn’t changed. I couldn’t help but smile as I sensed my own cheeks loosen.
“I’ll take my leave… Please be happy.”
I said to them as I walked away. I walked away with my back turned. From behind, I heard words of gratitude, apologies for doubting, and various other words spoken by all five of them.
I thought I’d ask them to invite me to their wedding at least.
As I left that place, the winter wind was cold, but my heart felt warm.