On the third night, as I sat in the car, pouring milk into my anpan and keeping an eye on Kataumi Aoi’s house, the fortune teller suddenly let out a strange cry.
“Ohhhh, they’ve come, they’ve come, they’ve come!!!! An incredible presence has arrived!!!!”
“C-Could it be the fortune telling?”
“Yes, indeed… Ahh, this time… Hmm. An evil spirit has awakened and it’s devouring Aoi. Originally, they could have sealed the evil spirit a bit longer, but due to the typhoon, the shrine was destroyed, causing the seal of the onmyoji to be broken. From the moment the seal is broken until Aoi’s death, everything will happen in a single day!”
“That’s amazing!! This is so helpful!!”
So it was an evil spirit after all. If that’s the case, then I know what I need to do. I have to go to the shrine and beat down the “Yumekui” creature. According to the weather forecast, the typhoon will arrive the day after tomorrow. If I want to settle things, should I do it today?
“This evil spirit, Yumekui, seems to have been eyeing Aoi for a while.”
She had been observing the scenery from that suspicious shrine. And perhaps Yumekui, being a pervert who likes the souls of girls, had noticed her.
Even if it’s sealed, can she somehow see the outside view… Well, it does have that feeling, but it must be quite troublesome for her. To be targeted by a monster like that.
“So what do we do? Should we do it today…?”
“Should we do it today….”
“No, we should do it tomorrow.”
“You’re quite exhausted. It would be better to rest today and give it your all tomorrow. Relax and take it easy.”
“You’re right. If I’m going to give it my all, then tomorrow it is…”
“You should sleep today. I’ll keep an eye on everything throughout the night in case of any unexpected events. That way, you won’t have to worry about a thing.”
“I see… Thank you very much.”
Completely exhausted, I decided to rest and bet everything on tomorrow… As I closed my eyes, I quickly…
Day four. I woke up feeling refreshed.
“Thank you. I’m off.”
“Very well… I’ll leave it to you.”
She seemed exhausted and began to snore as if a thread had snapped. The current time was 7:30 am. As I got out of the car and started walking, someone tapped my shoulder from behind.
“Morning. Taking a walk?”
“Well, something like that.”
“Hmm, you’re not following me today?”
“I just thought it’d be wrong to follow you around three mornings in a row.”
“Even one or two days is not good, though.”
“Ahaha, you’re right.”
“Hmm? Is something the matter?”
“No, nothing at all. By the way, the festival is starting soon, isn’t it?”
“…It’s three days from now, but there’s a possibility it might be postponed due to the typhoon, so it could be even later.”
After walking with her for a while, we parted ways at a fork in the road. She headed to school, and I went to the shrine-like sealing location.
“Then, I’ll go this way.”
“Okay… What are you planning to do after school? Shall I guide you again?”
“Oh, um… Let’s see. No, I’d really appreciate it if you could.”
“Okay. See you then.”
She waved lightly and walked away briskly. If I make it back alive, I want her to be my tour guide. It would be an incredible reward if I could enjoy a tour guide without any worries. I’ll make that my emotional support…
Day four. I walked up the staircase that was moderately high, although not as high as the sky. One hundred steps. Two hundred. As I climbed up to three hundred, I arrived at a small shrine-like hut.
Surrounded by tall and splendid trees, they slightly obstructed the sunlight. As I approached the hut, I noticed three old talismans attached to the worn-out door. There was a slight sense of eeriness, and as I reached into my pocket, I felt a marble rolling around.
Are these talismans the seals? If I remove them, will Yumekui appear? Most likely, but… I calmed my mind and then…
“Hohoho, are you planning to break the seal?”
I heard the voice of the old woman from behind, as always appearing abruptly. She’s definitely not human, but she doesn’t seem to be a malevolent entity either. Without turning around, I asked her.
“Yes, I’ve been curious for a while now, but are you some kind of ghostly being?”
“Thank you for helping me in various ways. Is there something I need to give in return?”
“I, you see, I just love seeing the smiles of the children in this town. I simply don’t want to lose sight of that. As long as I can continue to see that, I don’t need anything else.”
“Hohoho, then I’m counting on you. I can’t possibly match up against that entity.”
Her voice faded away, and when I looked back, there was no one there. The silence that dominated this place made me wonder if I had hallucinated the voice.
Well, let’s get this over with.
I tore off the three talismans, and the weathered shrine began to shake. Then, the door slowly opened, revealing something I had never seen before—a brown statue that resembled rotten flesh. Its size was about one meter, smaller than I had expected.
“Guhahaha! I’ve finally come out!”
A voice that was dirty and ugly. Just listening to it made me feel disgusted.
“Human, I am grateful. You’ve released the seal for me. Kukuku, I was supposed to be sealed for a little longer, but this is the best. Luck has finally come my way!”
“I see. So, what do you plan to do now?”
“Gwahaha! First, I shall make all the humans living in this land, protected by this onmyouji, my prey! There are some humans I’ve been eyeing for their delicious souls as well! That woman’s soul is so pure. I want to crush it and devour it into a mess!”
“I see. That’s a pathetic and moronic idea you have there.”
“What? Hey, human, I am generous. I thought of letting you go since you released the seal. Apologize. If you do, I’ll let you live.”
“You don’t have the brains to hang it between your legs. But more importantly, your breath stinks. Shut up, your balls smell rotten.”
“Very well!! It seems like you’re itching to die. I’ll drag you into my world and crush you into a mess.”
“A mess, huh? That’s annoyingly noisy. Can’t you say it more elegantly? Also, your breath stinks.”
“I’ll kill you, kill you! Open the ‘Dream World’!”
From Yumekui, a black shadow extended and enveloped me. When the black shadow disappeared, what spread before me was not the present day, but a desert. An endless sky and desert that seemed to stretch on forever…
“Gwahaha!! Regret it, human!! As a start, be crushed by the dragon’s bite!! Your entire body will spew blood and your joints will twist in every direction, agony worse than death!!! Gahaha!!”
A dragon appeared in the sky. It had a snake-like body, green in color, with eyes resembling blood. I immediately realized that it was preparing to devour me as saliva dripped from its mouth. The dragon opened its mouth wide and approached me…
The dream-eater was delighted. After hundreds of years, it had finally been able to venture outside and once again relish in the suffering of humans. It had initially claimed to let Izayoi escape, but that was a lie. In reality, it intended to deceive Izayoi by making him feel secure before plunging him into hell.
However, Izayoi’s provocation had immediately triggered the thought of killing the Yumekui. In this world, ordinary humans were powerless. Even the onmyoji no longer existed.
The Yumekui revealed in the sense of having its own desired world. However, it found the present time challenging to maneuver. But that was acceptable. From this point on, it was freedom. Freedom. Freedom.
As a starting point, the Yumekui planned to shatter Izayoi’s mind and reduce him to a broken shell by having the dragon consume him. The dragon opened its enormous mouth and swallowed Izayoi.
“Guhahaha!! Just killing you once is unsatisfying!! I want to subject you to agony repeatedly…”
The pleasure was palpable, but suddenly, a sense of discomfort arose. The dragon began to howl in pain.
“What’s happening? What is…”
The Yumekui couldn’t comprehend it. This world was supposed to be under the dream-eater’s control, and it hadn’t commanded the dragon to behave that way.
―― Black auroras emanated from the dragon’s belly.
A deluge of blood gushed out, soaking the desert like rain.
“What… What is this?”
The Yumekui grew frantic in the face of this urgent situation. It hadn’t considered such a turn of events. As it pondered what was happening, a voice resounded from above.
“Pfft, seems like you have no idea what’s going on.”
There stood Izayoi, wearing a black cloak, a long black scarf wrapped around his neck, and donning black armor. In his hand was a dark and ominous holy sword.
“What the hell is happening!?”
Though confused, the abnormality of the situation was undeniable. As the Yumekui considered fleeing from this world, at that very moment…
―― In the blink of an eye, the Yumekui was torn apart like diced steak.
“Fuu, I’ve cut something uninteresting.”
“I… I… Gagaga… Aaah!”
Letting out a roar that couldn’t be called a scream, the dream-eater suffered the consequences. In this world, it would naturally experience the damage inflicted upon its victims. It hastily envisioned its own repair, slowly regenerating and returning to its original elephant-like form.
“If it comes to this, I must escape…!”
“This world is already under my control. Through my magic, I’ve bound it.”
For the Yumekui, this reality was beyond belief. Yet, it couldn’t escape to the outside world. Despite being the creator of this world, it was unable to do so. At that moment, the Yumekui was filled with nothing but questions. Even the former onmyoji couldn’t wield such power in this world. So why, then, this insignificant human? That’s what puzzled the Yumekui.
“Why!? Why can a mere human freely exert power in this world?! It’s impossible!! This can’t be happening!!”
It was the natural question for the Yumekui. In response, Izayoi chuckled disdainfully.
“Fuu, fine. I’ll give you a little souvenir from the land of the dead. Once upon a time, I admired heroes and legends. On rainy days, I swung my umbrella like a sword, and when I went swimming, I imagined myself floating in mid-air. I aimed to become an overwhelming presence, trying various things.
Then, I came up with the idea of creating a being of my own and training myself to surpass it.”
“The result of that is my current appearance. With a design centered around black, every piece of equipment holds various abilities. Although I hadn’t thought about the name for this existence, if I were to name it, it would be something like ‘Ten’i Muhō’—a faultless and unrivaled warrior, embodying simplicity and unwavering justice…”
It’s inconceivable. It’s completely beyond the norm. But it is the truth. Since it is happening right in front of Yumekui, he have no choice but to believe. However, at this point, Yumekui’s doubts grow even further.
“…What? Even if that’s the case, just with that alone, such an image…”
“That’s right. There’s more to this story. I have always indulged in fantasies, but even before entering elementary school, I became aware of reality. It caused my tendency to indulge in fantasies to drastically decrease.”
“But then, I came across a certain book. It was filled with dreams. When I read that book, scenes continued to play in my mind. And not just when I was reading it, even when I wasn’t, I would constantly fantasize about that book.”
“In the bath, during classes, the short time commuting on the train, the time between getting off the train and going to school… Every spare moment was filled with fantasies, fantasies, and more fantasies. Through repetition, my power of imagination eventually reached a level where it was indistinguishable from reality… If I were to name it…
Let’s call it ‘—the Delusional Reality Dream.”
This person is insane. That’s what Yumekui thought and regretted. Regretted for inviting such a person into the world of dreams…
“Now then, it’s about time to scatter you into pieces once again. Once I return to reality, I won’t be able to do anything. So, I’ll kill you in this world.”
“W-Wait! I haven’t done anything yet. I intended to cause you some harm, but I haven’t actually done anything. P-Please let me go.”
“No, I can’t. If you were to go outside, you would wreak havoc. I’m not the kind of man who let it slide after being attacked. If there’s even a one percent chance of being attacked, I’ll strike before that happens. That’s my policy. Therefore, die here…”
Yumekui roared, summoning countless yokai and monsters. However, Izayoi effortlessly sliced through them like cutting tofu.
“Perfect timing. Let me explain about my equipment. Firstly, this scarf increases my attack power by five billion times.”
Yumekui took a step back, using the created monsters as shields. However, Izayoi calmly approached as if it were nothing.
“And this cloak. It increases my attack power by one billion times and fully restores my health and magic power every second.”
The more Yumekui heard, the less sense it made. The language barrier due to the difference in eras made it difficult to understand, but Yumekui could grasp that Izayoi was an extraordinary monster.
“And this armor has infinite defense, complete immunity to magic attacks, and agility increased five billion times.”
Furthermore, it approaches closer. Before him stands a creature that surpasses his own understanding, but if he doesn’t kill him, he will be killed. Yumekui is preparing himself for the inevitable.
“And this sword here, it amplifies my attack power by a quadrillion times and allows me to unleash a finishing move.”
It continues to spawn grotesque creatures one after another. There’s no escape. If that’s the case, he has no choice but to kill it and leave. Those who are prepared are strong, even if they are yokai.
With the consciousness of death crawling out from there, Yumekui’s imagination becomes stronger than ever before.
What follows is a life-and-death struggle, fought relentlessly. I don’t know how many hours have passed, maybe even a whole day. Yumekui starts to think that way. But as Yumekui becomes aware of his own mortality, he grows stronger and gradually corners the black knight before finally…
The ghostly swordsman with the Japanese sword successfully pierces through Izayoi’s head. Yumekui, who had created and fought against over a hundred thousand monsters, was exhausted. But he had accomplished it! He had defeated that creature!
“Kukukuku, ahahahaha!!! I won!!! Against that creature!! Guahaha, hahaha!!!”
The battle had taken over a day. Although time flows differently in the dream world compared to reality, the mental fatigue is the same. Exhausted, Yumekui feels jubilation. Pure jubilation.
“Now I can get out of here. And then… those humans…!”
But he couldn’t get out. From this world. He had defeated that creature!! But he couldn’t get out!! Why? He wondered, and then…
Crunch, crunch, crunch. Sounds of footsteps on sand can be heard from somewhere. And it’s not just one sound. It’s thousands, no, tens of thousands. A sense of dread fills Yumekui as he turns around.
The army of black knights from before is walking towards him. The sun shines upon their armor, gleaming. To Yumekui, it looks like the light of demons. And at that moment, Yumekui’s spirit shatters.
He had exerted so much effort to defeat just one of them earlier… and now there are tens of thousands. There’s no way he can win.
He will be killed. Despair, despair, despair.
“I forgot to mention. I can create clones of myself. Though each one is less than a hundredth of the original.”
A single black knight mutters, presumably the true form. However, Yumekui no longer has the energy or strength to do anything.
“Now, let’s unleash my ultimate magic, the Transcendent Radiance.”
All the black knights thrust their hands forward, and magic circles unfold before them. From there, tens of thousands of high-temperature lasers are fired. Yumekui is brought to the brink of complete annihilation.
“For the final blow, let’s kill you in grand fashion. With my ultimate technique…”
Izayoi raises the holy sword into the air. Dark light gathers and soars into the sky.
“Farewell. Dragonic Stream: The Absolute Overdrive, Spiritual Hecatoncheir Dynamic Overlay!!!!”
Izayoi shouts loudly, and the light from the holy sword grows even stronger. Yumekui has no willpower left to resist, but Izayoi intends to deliver an overkill.
“Featuring Chaos Infinity Cosmos Tanatis of Excalibur”
The name of this technique is quite long, but there’s a reason for it. Izayoi was too young when he created it, so he didn’t have a good sense of naming or understanding of English meanings. He just randomly threw in a name that sounded fitting, and for some silly reason, he thought longer technique names were cooler.
“Beef or Chicken Elementary School Junior High School Alternative Strike!!!!!!!!!!”
A black light. No, the sun engulfs everything, and Yumekui is completely eradicated. Not even a trace remains… The monster that had dreamt of the surface world for hundreds of years since its sealing experienced only one day in this realm. In the real world’s time, it only survived for a mere “hour” or so.
The sun unleashed upon the desert burns everything to ashes. And Izayoi murmurs a single word.
“Disappear within my ‘Dragonic Stream: The Absolute Overdrive, Spiritual Hecatoncheir Dynamic Overlay, Featuring Chaos Infinity Cosmos Thanatis of Excalibur, Beef or Chicken Elementary School Junior High School Alternative Strike’.”
And thus, Izayoi managed to avoid the fourth bad ending.
[TL: Alright, that’s enough cringe for today]