Monday, November 29, 2010

Masque of Red Death

This trailer is made for the fantastic Masque of Red Death contest brought to us by :iconthrax-lovers: group that I am a proud member of. Yay, Thrax~!!

And my best dA friend MikomiShizuka has created a fan trailer just for the contest, featuring ME!! LOL, not just me, but a few of us, including herself.


Description by her:

Oh, right.
Christina Ricci = Me
Jennifer Connelly = Judith aka IllusionEvenstar
Emmy Rossum = KiaraPhantom

This video is for the story we're writing about Thrax, called The Masque of the Red Death. Each of us are invited to a masquerade ball while Thrax holds the people we love most hostage.

Footage: Sleepy Hollow, Van Helsing, Labyrinth, Osmosis Jones, The Phantom of the Opera
Music: Within Temptation; It's the Fear (edited by myself)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Masque of Red Death

Created: 24-11-2010
(For the Masque of Red Death Contest in dA)



Jude groaned as she slammed the alarm clock. Curse her ex-husband to get her such a loud, obnoxious clock for her birthday. Now she couldn't wake up without having a heart attack first.

As she slowly slipped her legs off the bed to sit up and put her cold feet into her warm furry bed slippers, she stared out into the slowly rising sun at the horizon beyond her window. An empty feeling that she thought was long gone resurfaced as she glanced at the empty space of the other side of her bed, and her heart unconsciously ached at that feeling, making her wish in vain that all this had never happened.

It had been almost 3 years to the letter that she had divorced Jay, her ex-husband of 5 years, due to some stupid misunderstanding. She had to admit, they were really young at the time and they seemed to have rushed into the marriage (after dating for only 6 months) as soon as they were fresh out of high school and at an age where they should be considering college first. She had abandoned almost everything: her friends, her family, her hometown of Burlesque, to be with Jay in Kite City, but when she had a miscarriage and, due to her depression over the loss of their child, mistaken Jay's visit to his sister, who came to console him, as an affair, they started drifting apart, losing each other's trust and finally lived separately for a few months before Jay mailed her the divorce papers for her to sign.

Jude sighed as she turned off the snooze button on the alarm clock and made her way to the bathroom to freshen up. Despite the divorce, she still kept a multitude of vanity items that she got from Jay when he was still courting her and she couldn't bear to part from it no matter how painful it reminded her of her mistake to let Jay go yet never tried to earn him back. Though, despite her lack of college education, her talent for linguistics due to the fact that she was a half-breed (incubus on her father's side) with better brain capacity to absorb foreign languages just as easy as one would learn how to drink water secured her a job in Kite City as an international translator, and while back then she used to be able to be the biggest breadwinner between her and Jay and live comfortably, now she, single and alone, was earning more than she needed to. If she were to show others her bank book, you'd be bamboozled with all the zeros laid before you.

As she finished freshening up and got dressed, she went to her front door of her $900-a-month condominium to check for any incoming mail, and sure enough, there were a few. Bringing them to the kitchen counter where she poured herself a cup of strong black coffee and reheating some leftover omelets, she sifted through them one by one.

"Junk mail…bills…bills…junk mail…subscription fee renewal advice…bills…hey, what's this?"

Her eyes caught sight at an odd-looking envelope. It was fully red, like the colour of blood, and sealed with golden wax, almost like the ones that were used during the Middle Ages. There was no return address and no indication that her address was written anywhere, and there was no stamp either. It was as if someone wrote a letter to her and mailed it by hand themselves.

"Ah well," Jude shrugged as she opened the envelope. "It's not like my day could get any worse."

As she took out a card that was inside the envelope, she saw that the front of the card was a picture of a medieval-looking castle. At closer inspection, she recognized the castle as Prospero Castle, one of the 8th wonders of Kite City, allegedly rumoured to have housed more than 5 generations of the area's most notorious and scandalous royal dynasty of the history. When she opened the card, there it wrote in red ink:

Dear Judith Light,

You are cordially invited to the most spectacular masquerade party the city has ever seen. Should you decide to accept this invitation, your life, as you know it, will change for the better and you will be rewarded with something you hold dear the most.

Venue: Prospero Castle, Frankfurt Avenue
Date: All Hallows Eve
Time: 7.30pm onwards
Attire: Will be provided upon confirmation

RSVP: Please confirm your acceptance of invitation by dialing 555-1408

P/S: You may want to think carefully and considerably before you decide to reject this offer. This is your only chance

"I…Is this some kind of joke?" Jude exclaimed in disbelief. She read and reread the invitation card and yet she still couldn't figure head or tail of this. Her? Invited by a stranger to a masquerade party? A change in life and a reward of something she hold most dear? It sounded more like a scam to her.

As she was about to reach back to the envelope to see if there was anything else that came with the card, she caught sight of the time, found out that she was almost late for the last subway train to work, swore and hastily made her way out of her condo, leaving the envelope and the card behind on the kitchen counter amongst the pile of junk mail.


Jude groaned as she finally stepped out of the subway train and into the open. She was glad that her job allowed her freedom to wear whatever she wants as long as she does not wear it during public functions for the rich and famous, and she was wearing her usual baggy clothes to work, or she would've probably suffocated to death by the clothes alone that everyone seemed to have an affinity of wearing despite its lack of room to breathe.

If only Jay were to understand that her lack of fashion sense was the one thing that probably saved her life so many times during rush hour.

She readjusted the strap of her sports bra she wore underneath that long, baggy T-shirt dress and made her way towards her workplace, her left pants leg folded up an inch higher than her right and her Japanese wooden sandals—Jay called it clogs, more like it—echoed down the steadily busy streets of Kite City. She couldn't care less if people were staring at her weirdly; she just wanted to continue on her way and be within the walls of her office listening and/or read into whatever her superiors had to throw at her to translate and get on with her day so that it would end quickly for her to return to the sanctuary of her home and carry on what she did best: drawing comics.

As she took out her pass card and made her way towards the building where she worked, she recalled the last time she tried to convince her mother to allow her to pursue her true dream career as a manga-ka. She always had a passion for comic books and manga and hoped that one day she could be just like those wonderful artists, sharing their dreams and imaginations for the world to enjoy, rather than sit there and tell people what other people were talking about. That discussion led into a huge argument about a total waste of talent and potential and total destruction of her manga story by her mother that she spent almost a month completing and had planned to be sent to publishers.

At least Jay allowed me to do what I want to do, Jude thought, barely realizing that she had tend to associate everything that she could think of to her ex-husband. She berated herself for not getting over it even though it had been 3 years after the fact, as she swiped her pass card at gate entrance, but she knew, deep down inside, it was easier said than done.


"What?" Jude raised a brow and swiped her pass card again. The reaction was the same for the next 2 times she tried it, and at the 3rd time, the security breach alarm went off, prompting the security guards to the door to investigate.

"What seems to be the problem here?" a chubby African-American man clad in the company's security uniform came out along with another tall, lanky partner. Jude recognized them as Al and Sticks, some of the closest friends she had made in Kite City.

"Oh, Al! Sticks! Thank goodness you're here," Jude sighed in relief. "Did you guys changed pass cards or pass codes or something because, seriously, you really need to update your memo system…"

"Ma'am, where did you get this card from?" Al asked sternly. "This is exclusively for employees only. And how do you know my nickname?"

"Al, it's me, Jude! You know me, I always get you decaf and jelly donuts every chance I get. Come on, it's not April's Fool Day, stop playing!"

"Ma'am, I don't know what you're talking about. I have diabetes and can't touch anything sweet without insulin, let alone have coffee and jelly donuts. Now hand over the card before I take you to the authorities for theft and trespassing."

"Sticks!" Jude turned desperately towards Sticks who looked at her just as sternly as Al did. "You know me too! I gave you that necklace for your birthday last week! Don't tell me you don't remember that!"

"Lady, I dunno watcha playin' at," Sticks replied in his thick Southern accent. "But the missus is the one who gave me this necklace, and you sure ain't lookin' like my missus to me."

Jude looked at each of them in disbelief. They seemed to know what they were talking about, but it seemed so impossible and unreal. Just the evening before she got off work, she had a hearty conversation with the two of them gossiping and joking about a recording she had to translate of a so-called Ukrainian underground mob, to only find that it was just some poor Russian sap being caught by his wife for having sex with her sister, and now they were looking at her as if they had never ever seen her before in their lives.

Her fight or flight instincts soon kicked in as she pushed past the two guards to run up to her office. Maybe it was a mistake. Maybe it's some sort of joke. Maybe it was some sort of sick sense of humour from the upper management to make subordinates like Al and Sticks not acknowledge her presence. She had to make sure that she didn't just step into the Twilight Zone. Ignoring the shouts of the guards that were chasing after her, she quickly dashed up the stairs (since her pass card couldn't work and the elevator required pass card access) to her floor where her office was.

The moment she pushed the door open, all eyes were on her. Everything in the office was just as she had left it last night, but something about it was different in a sense, like she both recognized and not recognized it at the same time. Her seat was replaced with a Caucasian man who was a half-breed like her as well, but one look at the wings he sported and Jude knew he was descended from a different breed of nether beings.

But the most disturbing part was that her fellow colleagues who shared the same office with her were all giving her the same look that Al and Sticks gave her.

Needless to say, once the security guards were able to catch up with her, she was dragged kicking and screaming out of the building, stripped of her pass card and clearance badge and escorted unwillingly into the company security car to the nearest police station.

After almost 3 hours of interrogation and Jude repeating over and over again her identity and her position in her company and almost half a day in a holding cell, the police decided to let her off—since they couldn't find any proof of foul play on her part as to how she acquired a high security pass card that was employee-exclusive only—provided that she did not leave town. As she left the station, she caught a glimpse of a newspaper clipping on the notice board. There was no picture to illustrate the article, but the headline was big enough to catch anyone's attention:


She would've gone over to read it in more detail if she didn't realize that she was being watched. The piercing gaze of some of the detectives who were interrogating her was like daggers on her back, making her feel like a criminal already. Guess she was still under suspicion even though her situation proved otherwise. Giving the detectives one last challenging glare, she made her way out of the police station.


Jude was wrong when she stated this morning that her day couldn't get any worse, because it did. Just like the incident at her workplace, it was happening again at her own condo as the locks were changed and the landlord did not recognize her and denied ever letting her stay in her condo. Someone else—a family of four—occupied her home, and everything that she owned in that home was gone, except for her alarm clock that she got for her birthday from Jay and the invitation card that was left carelessly outside the door. And when she tried to prove her residency by showing her the clock and the card together with the condo keys, the landlord went into a fit of denial and threatened to call the police if she did not leave.

Not wanting to make another trip to the station and risk meeting those detectives again, she reluctantly left the condo with only the clothes on her back and whatever she had brought along for work in the morning, in addition to the clock and the invitation card. After walking aimlessly for miles, she found herself in Kite City Memorial Park, her footsteps echoing down the long walkway with only the park lights to illuminate her way.

Finding the nearest seat, she rested on it and mulled over what had just happened. Why didn't her pass card work? Why didn't anyone recognize her? Why was she suddenly replaced from her job and her home? How was it that she could be Judith Light the International Translator to Jude the Nobody overnight? Who was doing this? How did they do it? And why?

Giving her luck one more shot to assure herself that she had not gone insane, she took out her cell phone and dialed home, back in Burlesque. It had been so many years since she called home ever since she eloped with Jay, but knowing her mom, she would jump to the chance to scream her head off at what an ingrate she was for running away and ruining her dreams of seeing her little girl being the trophy daughter she always wanted her to be.

For a moment, she actually would welcome that if only to know that she still exists.

"Hello?" a brisk, no-nonsense yet familiar voice came through after 2 rings.

"Um…Hello? Is this…Mrs. Light?" Jude asked tentatively, testing the waters.

"Yes, this is Mrs. Light speaking. Who is this?"

"H…Hey, Mom. Um…it's me, Jude. You remember me, right?"

Jude braced herself for a yelling, but nothing prepared her for this reaction:

"I think you have the wrong number. I don't have a child."

"Hey, Mom, you're kidding, right? You're just saying that to spite me, right? I know it's been years and what I did was wrong but…"

"I said you have the wrong number. I've been infertile for as long as I can remember, let alone have a daughter to be done wrong to. Is this some kind of sick joke? Who is this? Hello? Hello?"

Jude hung up helplessly, not wanting to explain herself anymore. If even her own mother did not recognize her, who else would now? In a fit of rage and despair, she flung her phone against a nearby tree and shot up, shouting at the top of her lungs at thin air, "WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS?! WHO THE HELL IS DOING THIS?! WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU WANT?!"

She was about to grab something else to throw and vent when she caught sight of the invitation card. As her half-breed brain worked out the kinks, she soon realized that it was the moment she received this invitation that her day went downhill. As crazy as it may sound, it had to be the only explanation when nothing else made logical sense. It had to be!

Desperate for a lead, she snatched the invitation card and studied it again. She read and reread the message on the card from cover to cover until those specific words started to sound like a mantra in her head:

…you will be rewarded with something you hold dear the most…

Reaching over for the envelope, she tore it open as she should have done this morning and sure enough, something fell out of that envelope. As she picked it up, she was shocked to see that it was the 4-photo strip that she and Jay took at the Kite City carnival's photo booth on the 1st year of their marriage. She remembered it was near autumn when the annual carnival began, and the first she and Jay did was rush to the photo booth to take pictures of themselves. The first three were just silly faces they put up, but the last one was of them kissing.

She flipped to the back of the photo strip to confirm her suspicions and sure enough, there was the little doodle she and Jay did and the handwritten date of the photo taken in Jay's handwriting. There was no doubt about it as the answer and those specific words were laid out in front of her.

Whoever sent her the invitation card and the photo strip had Jay.

A feeling of warmth washed slightly through her heart at the thought of Jay keeping this photo when she did not, but a sense of dread overpowered that feeling as she wondered why Jay became collateral damage to a vendetta that was targeted to her. Millions of questions ran through her mind as to who, what, why, where, when and how did all this happen, but she knew it was not going to be answered by just standing there staring at nothingness. If she were to get her answers, she would have to accept the invitation.

She cursed as she remembered she smashed her cell phone against the tree and quickly exited the park to find the nearest pay phone. Finding one, she quickly dialed the number that was on the card and waited. At the 3rd ring, a woman's voice that you often hear on an answering machine greeted her:

"Thank you for accepting the invitation to the masquerade party at Prospero Castle. Please specify your residency to receive your event attire and everything else will be arranged."

Jude had wanted to say her condo's address but, remembering that she no longer live there, her mind immediately thought of the next best option, which was the Apollo Hotel where she and Jay stayed for their 2nd anniversary. The moment she said the address, the voice in the phone ended the conversation with just a "Thank you" and she was soon left to her own devices.

Double-checking to see if she had enough cash at hand, since using her credit card would probably not work thanks to today's events, she took a cab and made her way towards Apollo Hotel.


Jude's musings were broken with the sound of knocking on the door. It had been almost two days since she checked into Apollo Hotel and All Hallow's Eve was almost approaching. She was almost getting cabin fever waiting for any news from whoever sent her the invitation and she literally made a sprint for it when the knock came.

Seeing no one through the peephole, she opened the door cautiously to find a black box tied in blood red ribbon at her feet. Picking it up, she looked around again to see who left it behind in vain before bringing it into her room. Almost immediately, she tore off the ribbon and opened the box to see a shocking sight before her.

Inside the box was a pink ballroom dress with a slight dark hue and embroidered with tiny pearls and sequins in random pattern, with gloves, shoes and accessories to match. There was something very medieval about the dress, almost like something out of a Shakespearean era where Romeo and Juliet still existed and A Midsummer's Night Dream was not much of a dream at all, and judging by the quality of the dress, it did not come cheap. Along with the dress and accessories was the crème of the crop: a pinkish-white mask that could literally cover half of her face with elegantly carved holes for the eyes, and like the dress, it was decorated with tiny pearls and sequins with a creamy-coloured bunch of feathers on either side of the mask.

But that was not the shocking part.

It was a picture of Jay taped to the bottom of the box cover that really got her riled up. He was stripped down to his briefs and blindfolded and gagged while his hands and arms were raised and tied above his head. There were long and thin scorch marks on every part of his body and some of them were fresh and bleeding. Jude would've thought him dead if not for the fact that his legs were still standing firmly on the floor, albeit weakly.

Her heart burnt with fury and agony at the sight of this. Why him? Why, of all people, him? What did they want from him? What did they want from her? What was the point of all this? Those were questions she would demand from the culprit first chance she gets.

As she flipped to the back of the picture, a small note was found written in red, saying:

Your reward will soon be at hand, if you were to follow the rules.
Put on the dress and wait for further instructions

As much as she didn't want to, she had no choice. Jay's life was at stake, ex-husband or not. She couldn't deny that she still loved him with all her heart, and she would do anything to save him from this predicament.

The moment she finished dressing up in the outfit she was given and fitted the mask, the hotel phone rang. As she picked it up, the same voice she heard the first time through the pay phone came in.

"Thank you for accepting your attire. Please proceed outside your residence and your mode of transport will be with you shortly."

Jude was tempted to yell at the phone to demand she has proof of life from Jay, but the phone was already hung up by the time she actually thought of saying. Grumbling curses at it, she slammed the phone down and made her way out of the hotel, ignoring stares, teases and wolf-whistles by those she walked past.

She wondered, at the back of her mind, what would Jay think if he saw the ex-wife he knew who had totally next to no fashion sense all dolled and dressed up like that right now.

Sure enough, the moment she was at the entrance of the hotel, a black limo was parked right outside waiting for her. No one came out to open the door for her, so she had to go in herself. A tinted glass window separated her and the driver and the moment she got in and closed the door, the limo started up and made its way to their destination.

As she sat there, letting the vehicle take her to wherever she needed to be, she stared at both the photo strip and the photo she got of the tortured Jay and whispered quietly to it, caressing it tenderly.

"Hang in there, Jay. I'm coming for you."

Saturday, November 20, 2010

FMA Brotherhood-Hologram (Girl Version)

After browsing through all the gender-bender songs that I have (unsuccessfully) created, I found one that I dare to post it up for, which is a girl version of Hologram by NICO Touch the Walls that was sung for the Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood anime. So I hope it's the best to your liking!

Disclaimer: I do not own whatever was used to make this video

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Casts for I'm A Slave For You

I was RP-ing with :iconheaven56: to create more ammo for our next upcoming chapters while surfing the net and I read a Sixth Sense fanfic entitled "Touching the Dead" (I think that's the title).

It's pretty good actually, but the most interesting part was that at his/her author's note, she said this fanfic was like sort of a sequel to the original movie and when she was writing it, she had her casts prepared to play the role of her fanfic characters. She had a link to her homepage so I clicked on it and was amazed at how she actually went through the trouble looking for the pictures of the actors and actresses for her characters.

Soon I was inspired. I decided that if our fanfic "I'm a Slave for You" were to be made as an AU movie, I bet these are definitely the characters I want to have to act in our movie. LOL!

I actually went to Wiki to look for their real names and used Google to search for their pictures to create our character sheets. Actually there are so much more characters that I want to put inside, but I've decided that it's best I just put in the ones that actually have speaking roles or are a obvious and constant appearance in the fanfic.

So, if you wanna know what the whole story is about, go click on the sidebar that says Fanfics to find the title and while you're reading, imagine these people's faces that will appear in the fic.

Zee Captain Motivator

I decided to jump into the bandwagon by entering my own funny caption into Zee Captain's speech bubble from the blank template that was created by the awesome-tastic talented :iconalexiuss:

Romantically Apocalyptic (c) :iconalexiuss:
Caption (c) Me

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

How Joe Met Jude

I made this video for a sort of montage during our wedding reception on how my hubby and I met, since we have very little photos of us together, not to mention childhood pics or pics of us being younger. I had a pretty good response from people, and I thought I'd like to share it with you guys

Disclaimer: I own everything there is to make this video except the song

Alice of Human Sacrifice

After many a week of designing, drawing, colouring and procrastinating in between, I have finally completed my first animated video ever~!!!

Dedicated to :iconkp-chan: for doing my art request, :iconandreac: for her amazing Jack/Demongo art, :iconmikomidarklightning: for her upcoming video that I requested her to do (can't wait! ^^) and :iconakari-jaganashi: with his gf :iconaikou-yami: as an uber belated birthday present (sorry, ottoto-chan ^^; ). Feel free to assume what sort of story is behind this video, as this is my own version of how Alice of Human Sacrifice went.

Just so you can get who is which Alice if my credits were too fast, these are the Alice-s featured:

Me as the little dream
:iconmikomidarklightning:1st Alice
:iconandreac: 2nd Alice
:iconkp-chan: 3rd Alice
:iconakari-jaganashi: 4th Alice (along with his girl :iconaikou-yami:)

Just in case as well, if you can't see the lyrics in the video, here they are:

"Somewhere, there was a tiny dream. No one knew who had dreamt it.
Such a tiny dream it was. The tiny dream began to think.
'I don't want to disappear this way.
How can I make people dream of me?'
The tiny dream thought and thought, and then came up with an idea.
'I'll make humans get lost in me, and let them create the world.'"

The first Alice bravely entered Wonderland, sword in hand.
Cutting down countless creatures, she left a bright red path in her wake.
That Alice is in the forest,
Locked away like a criminal.
Aside from the path she made in the forest, there is no sign that she existed.

The second Alice meekly sang a song in Wonderland.
Spreading out countless notes, he gave birth to a mad world.
That Alice was a rose,
Shot down by a madman.
He makes one bright red flower bloom, and admired by all he withers.

The third Alice was a young girl, a beautiful figure in Wonderland.
Deceiving countless people, she created a strange country.
That Alice was the country's queen,
Possessed by a warped dream.
Fearing her decaying body, she ruled from the summit of the country.

Following the small path through the forest, having tea beneath the rosebush
The invitation card from the palace was the Ace of Hearts

The fourth Alice was twin children, entering Wonderland out of curiosity.
Passing through countless doors, they had only just recently come.
A stubborn sister and an intelligent brother.
They came the closest to being the true Alice, but...
They won't wake from their dream. They're lost in Wonderland.

Disclaimer: Aside from the art drawn to create this animated video, I do not own anything else

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Doraemon: The Rumoured Ending

While I was looking through my old collection of Doraemon, I was suddenly reminded of this doujin that I read online of a so-called official ending for Doraemon drawn by a guy named Nobuo Sato and published without permission, causing a settlement of quite a sum of Japanese yen.

Throughout the years, when the group of Fujio F Fujiko decided to disband, there have been many discussions on how they should properly end the series, but was never discussed and put to action even after Fujiko's death in 1996. Below are some of the possible endings that were discussed that I got from Wiki:

  • The first and the more optimistic ending was made public by Nobuo Sato several years ago. Doraemon’s battery power ran out, and Nobita was given a choice between replacing the battery inside a frozen Doraemon, which would cause it to reset and lose all memory, or await a competent robotics technician who would be able to resurrect the cat-robot one day. Nobita swore that very day to work hard in school, graduate with honours, and become that robotics technician. He successfully resurrected Doraemon in the future as a robotics professor, became successful as an A.I. developer, and thus lived happily ever after, thus relieving his progeny of the financial burdens that caused Doraemon to be sent to his space-time in the first place. A dōjin manga for this ending was made by a “Tajima T Yasue” in 2005, and it sold 13,000 copies before Shogakukan halted its publication. Tajima apologized to Shogakukan in 2007 and paid an undisclosed amount of money for settlement.

  • The second, more pessimistic ending suggests that Nobita Nobi is suffering from autism and that all the characters (including Doraemon) are simply his delusion. The idea that Nobita was a sick and dying little boy who imagined the entire series on his sickbed to help him ease his pain and depression no doubt angered quite a lot of fans. Many Japanese fans staged a protest outside the headquarters of the publisher of the series after learning about this suggestion. The publisher had to issue a public statement that this is not true. (This ending actually correlates to the ending for the series St. Elsewhere, which ended in 1988.)

  • The third ending suggests that Nobita fell and hit his head on a rock. He fell into a deep coma, and eventually into a semi-vegetative state. To raise money for an operation to save Nobita, Doraemon sold all the tools and devices in his four-dimensional pocket. However, the operation failed. Doraemon sold all his tools except for one used as a last resort. He used it to enable Nobita to go wherever he wanted, whichever time or era he wished to go. In the end, the very place Nobita wanted to go was heaven.
But since it was never officially put to action, they considered Doraemon a never-ending story that will live on for years to come. That's where the doujin came in, so I decided to showcase this for you guys to see. It's written in Indonesian, but translation is at the bottom of each page:

?: And now let us introduce our special guest. The leader of robotic technologies: Dr. Nobi

Nobita: Hello.

Dekisugi: Wow, Nobi-kun! The greatest founder of technology and the pride of Japan. Amazing, isn't it?

Suneo: Not as amazing as you, President Dekisugi

Giant: Isn't Nobita coming back from overseas? We should get in touch with him.

Suneo: You're right. It's been a while since we gathered together.

Dekisugi: No. That's not necessary. Today I want to discuss something with you. Do you still remember...Doraemon?

Suneo: ...Isn't it obvious that we can never forget him?

Giant: That guy...suddenly running back to the future...Doraemon...After all that we've been through, I thought we were best buds! That bastard! Just running off like this without a word!

Suneo: Calm down, forget about that...

Dekisugi: His sudden disappearance is something we have to face. But on the other hand, it's about Nobita. Have you ever heard of the "Time Paradox"?

Nobita: Doraemoooooooooooon! Borrow me that thing I used to have the last time! I really cannot stand that Giant any longer! Hey! What's wrong with you, Doraemon? Say something. Hey, Doraemon. Are you teasing me too? Or are you mad at me? Hey, Doraemon! I'm talking to you!

Nobita: ...Doraemon?

Dorami: Ummm...

Nobita: How is it, Dorami? Doraemon's not moving at all. He's been like this since just now, and hasn't changed since.

Dorami: It seems like his batteries have run out.

Nobita: His batteries ran out? So that's how it is. Well, hurry up and change it then.

Dorami: It's not that simple. Old version cat robots like my brother are supposed to have memory support circuits in his ears during times of battery change, but since he doesn't have any ears, he no longer has that support anymore. In other words, if his batteries are replaced, his memories will be erased forever, including the ones of you!

Nobita: WHAT?! DORAEMON WILL LOSE HIS MEMORIES?! I-I don't understand! He's just running out of batteries, isn't he?! If it's replaced, he should be fine, right?!

Dorami: Calm down, Nobita. All robots need energy. And even the most advanced robots can only store the most important memories, just like humans do...

Nobita: Enough! I'll take him to the factory in the future myself!

Dorami: Nobita!


Dorami: You can't do that anymore. Interference between your timeline and ours are prohibited. When I had a bad premonition, I have tried to come over, but I was stopped by the time police. They don't even want to listen to my pleas! This has never happened before!

Nobita: Then what am I supposed to do?!

Nobita: What if I put his ears back on? His memories will return, right? He must have some gadget in his pocket for me to do so, right?

Dorami: You know that once my brother stops functioning, so will his pocket. I'm not sure if we can even proceed with such detailed modifications...

Nobita: Then call in the creator, then!

Dorami: I'm afraid the biodata of the creator is top secret. It's been highly classified and protected. Even my memories have been altered to protect that secret. Nobita...They're going to tap in to this monitor broadcast soon. Right now, we have only 2 choices. First, bring my brother to the factory in the future to replace his batteries. If we move fast, we can still get past the time police. Even though his memories are wiped out, I'm sure you can live with him again. Second, we must wait for someone from the future who can fully restore him.

Mrs. Nobi: Nobita, Doraemon! Dinner's ready!

Mr. Nobi: What's wrong?

Mrs. Nobi: They're not answering. Are they having a fight?

Nobita: .....Doraemon. You still remember the first time we met?

Nobita: It was during the New Year, right? I was so shocked at the time. You were like popping outta nowhere and said, "You're so troublesome, ne?" We've been to so many places...The future, the past...Not to mention the weird ones...Atlantis, outer space...We've had countless dangers, and you always seem to be useless when you panic. Every time I get bullied, you think of it as if it's your own problem...I never told you truthfully, but I felt so lucky. We also always fight over the smallest things! But in the end, we always get back together, right? Hey, say something, Doraemon! Just one word...Doraemon...Ugh...I beg you...Say something...

Dorami: ...Alright. I understand. I know you would never want my brother's memories of you to just disappear like that...Thank you. I'm grateful to have met you, Nobita. One day, there will be someone who can fix my brother. I'm sure of it.

Nobita: I...


Shizuka: Nobita! You're amazing! You got first for the national exams!

Dekisugi: That was close, Nobita. Now no one can top your score.

Nobita: Thanks. But it's not the scores that I want. I need knowledge. Much, much more knowledge. I still need to work hard.

Shizuka: Don't force yourself too much. You'll get sick. We haven't been to the hill behind the school for a while. Let's go have a picnic there!

Nobita: Thanks, Shizuka, but there are still more analysis I need to complete.

Kya!! It's Nobita! Nobita! Kya!!

Dekisugi: Nobita...He really has changed, huh?

Shizuka: No! That's not true! Nobita may be weak, clumsy, careless, a Peeping Tom and not malleable, but when he does something, he does it with all his heart. He also pays attention to people around him, and even though he's worse off, he keeps smiling! He's strong! Ever since Doraemon left, he's been forcing himself without complaint, bottling it all up inside! I understand his feelings! Nobita...Nobita is...

Dekisugi: Shi...Shizuka...?

Shizuka: I will make him go picnicking with me! Even if it kills me! Nobita~!!

Suneo: "Time Paradox"? The theory of time-travel contradictions due to actions that potentially change the past?

Dekisugi: Exactly, Suneo. Right now, our human race is at a standstill, isn't it? Compared to what Doraemon had shown us when we were kids, human development right now is too slow.

Giant: Oh yes, right. When we were kids, we often daydream that once we're adults, travelling through space would be a walk in the park.

Suneo: That's right! Going places with the Door to Anywhere, machines that serve food at the touch of a button, even robot servants, right?

Dekisugi: Yes, I thought of that too. That's why, as an observer, I kept on going, seriously and carefully, so that all this will become a reality, waiting for the day the "Doraemon Era" would emerge. So much in fact, that I've never joined any of your summer vacations. Do you realize that?

Giant: Dekisugi?

Dekisugi: Tonight, a discovery that will bring the entire human race to this new era in one giant leap will be done by one man. Because this is a high-risk factor that will change history and time as we know it, parties from the future reminded me that, as the most important figure in the world at this time, any interference with this discovery is prohibited.

Giant: Hey...Are you sure it's alright for you to tell us all this?

Suneo: You mean that man will be...

Dekisugi: When he was young, he made a promise...And in the end, I understood. He hadn't changed a bit...There's no doubt about it. This is a "time paradox", but in reality, this ambition and dream of the entire world was thrust into him 35 years ago.

Shizuka: ---Honey?

Nobita: Shizuka, can you come here a moment?

Shizuka: Didn't you say this place is dangerous and that I can never come in? Honey...Nobita? Dora...emon...

Nobita: I'm gonna turn him on now...

This sort of thing is good...I wish I could do it...

Doraemon: Nobita! Have you finished your homework?

Tthat sort of dream, this sort of dream, I have many of them but...All of them, all of them, all of them, He grants my dreams. He grants my dreams with a mysterious pocket...I want to fly freely in the sky

(Here! Bamboo-copter!)

Ah ah ah, I love you very much, Doraemon! I love you very much, Doraemon!

(Italics are actually exerpts from the main theme song)

There you have it. Isn't it just a real tear-jerker. If it had ever been actually made an ending for Doraemon, I would love it to be like this

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Katsuya's Secret

Created: 02-11-2010

"Ne, Katsuya~!" Hiroshi called out, waving at me to get my attention. "Wanna go grab a smoothie and drop by the arcades? I heard there's a new game up in the stands."

"Nah, not today," I replied. "I have to go pick up my sister for tuition class."

"You sure dote on your sister a lot, na no da," Makoto commented as I walked past the group with a nonchalant smile on my face.

"Of course," Kyoko said, mirroring my response. "He singlehandedly raised her since birth, after all."

"Didn't think you had it in ya, Katsu-chan," Miki, my self-proclaimed girlfriend commented with a grin. "Being you are a bit of a juvenile delinquent and all."

"Give him a break, guys," Hiroshi defended me as he ushered me out of class. "He's not all that bad. Give him some credit there. You run along now, Katsuya. Catch ya later."

"Sure thing," I replied as I left my friends to their devices. Like I said, the arcades can wait. Manami needs me.

Heaven and hell knows, I need her too.

Without her, my life would be the utmost uncertainty and emptiness, a void that can never be filled no matter I, or anyone else, tried.

If only they knew what truth lies behind my juvenile delinquencies and misdemeanor as well as my sorry state of an attitude, along with my most undying affection and love for Manami, they would never look at or think about me the same way again.

But of course, it is a secret I'll bring to my grave.

As I made my way to Manami's class to wait for her outside, I began to remember things that I wished I forgot. I remember it was roughly around this time when it happened, when I was in 3rd grade. I have yet to come across Hiroshi, Makoto or Miki, but I definitely was in the same class with Kyoko at the time. It was right there, at the school playground when it happened. I was approached by a man who was dressed in a black suit and was about roughly 10 feet tall, with long limbs and only had a grinning mouth on his faceless features, like that of a Cheshire Cat I used to see in the Alice in Wonderland storybooks when I was younger. He was standing there, almost hidden behind the tall trees, his arms extended, his fingers curling in and out in a beckoning motion, calling me over wordlessly. I tried to tell others about his presence, but they looked at me like I was dreaming. I couldn't understand at the time why is it that I was the only one who was able to see him, but I did.

Common sense told me I should make a run for it, but curiosity and adventure got the better of me as I answered his beckoning call. Somewhere deep in the back of my mind, I know I shouldn't be going towards the weird man, that I should turn back and run to the nearest adult I can find, but my body was not listening to me, as if the other part of my mind, the more dominant one, was telling me that it was alright, that the man wouldn't hurt me, that he will just show me something interesting and be on his way.

Once I was in the man's embrace, I soon learnt the hard way that my common sense was right all along. By the time I realized it, I found myself in a dark room adorned with candles everywhere. The canopy bed I was sitting on was blood red in colour, as were everything else in the room, with a hint of black in between. It was like being brought from the bright, colourful world I came from into a world that existed in the Twilight Zone. The worst part was that I found myself naked and my right ankle chained to the foot of the bed. It was long enough for me to reach the bathroom or walk about the room, but only just.

The door of the room I was in was constantly locked, and no matter how I screamed and banged and pull and tugged at the door knob, it would not open. Whoever was outside fell on deaf ears upon my cries to be released. It only opened whenever it was meal times and I was fed with the richest food any kid wished they had the money to buy. Every day and night I was served of my meals by the man in black suit, but he would not tell me where I was or what I was doing here. All my questions were only answered by a wide grin on his face that would probably rival the famous kuchisake-onna and a comforting embrace that I couldn't help relaxing into, no matter how much I resisted. Up close, I realize that I was right about his faceless features: he really didn't have any other facial organs other than his mouth; bald, no eyes, no nose, no ears and only one huge grinning mouth that displayed razor-sharp jagged teeth, it was a wonder he was even able to breathe, let alone able to see and navigate at all. I named him 'Kuro' because of his black suit, and he didn't seem to mind the nickname I gave him. There was something about this man that I feared so much, yet also adore and admire at the same time. It was a very conflicting emotion for me at that age, but I continued to cling on that emotion in the hopes that I will still retain my sanity and get out of this place alive.

Days turned to weeks, weeks turned to months, months turned to years. By then, I had almost forgotten how people looked like anymore. Kuro was my only regular visitor, and sometimes he would bring me things from my world so that I would still be in touch with it and not feel so homesick. He brought most of my things from home, including my favourite cap that I always wore—a gift from my father when my parents finally had the time from their hectic work schedule to take me out to celebrate my 6th birthday—and he also brought a photo frame containing a family photo of us. I think he did that so that I will have someone to remember by, though he never said it. He would bring me clothes as well, but mostly just huge T-shirts and underwear supplies, and he also would bring me toys and books to read—the biggest toy being a trampoline in which I would leap and jump on it for about a couple of hours just to keep myself in shape from all the rich food I've been eating—and sometimes let me have some stationeries to write and draw on to pass the time, and on my birthday, he would bring in a small cake with candles along with my meals, which was how I kept track of time other than the worn off calendar at my bedside.

Aside from the usual meals, once a week, Kuro would take me outside to catch some sun, in which he would blindfold me and carry me up what felt like a long flight of stairs up to the top, put me down, undid my blindfold and held onto the chain on my anklet and let me roam around the area, never letting me go any further. The first time I came here, I was terrified at the sight that was before me. I found out that I was in some sort of lighthouse tower that overlooked the horizon, and beneath us were fields of red and black, with patches of fire and hills of volcanoes here and there, as if I was in the pits of the 7 Gates of Hell itself. There were beings flying about in the sky that looked like gargoyles I've read in comic books, but much more demonic-looking than that. The reality of me no longer in the human world dawned to me and hit me like a ton of bricks and brought back my age-old fear and my desire to escape, but with me being at Kuro's mercy, it was a futile attempt. There have been a few times when I tried, but I always ended up being at the short end of the leash and being embraced by Kuro again into submission.

Probably the day I finally accepted Kuro as someone who was more than my captor was during one of our outdoor sessions. I was looking up at the sky at the gargoyle-like demons, thinking of my family and friends and trying to formulate another way to try and escape from this place when one of them actually caught me staring. Whatever I was doing must've either offended him or made him thought I was tasty, because in a split second, he was swooping down towards me and tried to attack me, but Kuro jumped in the way and, with a swipe of his hand, stabbing the demon through and through before hugging me close to his chest and brought me back to my room, locking me in. I could hear sounds of blood-curdling screeching and crashing and the loud bangs of body crashing, fist punching and things breaking, like all hell had broken loose. By the time he returned, he was covered with wounds and his suit was torn and tattered from the fight, but still maintained his Cheshire Cat grin. I didn't know what came over me at the time, but I immediately fell into his arms and cried, apologizing profusely over and over again, and I could've sworn Kuro was stroking my hair and back, trying to calm me down before I fell asleep in his embrace.

Since that day, as I helped tend to his wounds to the best of my abilities, my need to leave decreased bit by bit until I no longer thought about escaping. I slowly began to get used to this routine of receiving my meals in my room and going out for sun once a week and I got used to my one-sided conversation with Kuro as he continued to pamper and care for me in his own weird, mysterious ways. My heart had resigned to the fate that I would never—to be more exact, would never want to—leave this place.

This was my home now, among these four red walls and the lighthouse tower, and this was where I would stay for the rest of my life.

Then one fateful day, when I was 18 years old, Kuro came to my room for my usual outdoor sun, but as I was blindfolded and carried (it was a wonder he still had the strength to carry me) out of my room, I felt that the route he was taking was different than our usual route. Years of experience with Kuro told me that we were not going upwards, but downwards, and the deeper we went down, the more my heart was pounding, and by the time Kuro had stopped, I was already in tears, begging Kuro to take me back upstairs and back to my room. Unfortunately, Kuro fell deaf to my pleas and set me down the floor despite my resistance and undid my blindfold, although I could feel from his touches that he seemed reluctant to do so.

What stood before me was the biggest and tallest gargoyle-like creature I have ever seen. From the books that Kuro brought me to read, one of them being about the creatures of the world I was kidnapped into, they were something of a distant cousin of the incubus/succubus clan that were cast down from the youkai realm because of their bloodlust tendencies and their habit of sucking the life force of their own kind in addition to the human life force, like an incubus/succubus version of cannibals. The one before me looked like he could probably be the head honcho of the clan and one look at his feral eyes and I knew I was in for a world of hurt, maybe death.

He towered over me like a giant, but he couldn't be more than a few inches taller than Kuro. He was fully nude and his member was fully erected, dripping with pre-cum, and I wasn't that naïve to not know his intentions. I tried to run away, tried to go back up the stairs and call Kuro for help, but the creature overpowered me as he grabbed me by the ankles and pulled me towards him, dragging me across the rough rocky floor. I kicked and screamed and shouted and struggled to no avail as the monster…had his way with me, tearing off my clothes into ribbons and entering me with such force and size that he was almost going to split me in half, and his hands and tongue that roamed around me made me feel so much dirtier than any common whore on the streets. I screamed Kuro's name again and again, begging him to save me and I cried until my voice was hoarse at the creature to stop what he was doing, but my cries fell into deaf ears and Kuro didn't come to rescue like he did during the day at the tower.

I didn't know how long time has passed, but by the time the monster was done with me, I was covered with his essence inside and out and I passed out from sheer trauma. When I came to, Kuro was right beside me with medication for my sores. I wanted to scream at him and hit out at him for allowing all this to happen and not come to my rescue, to tell him that he was a bastard for letting that monster rape me and to tell him to get the hell out and not to show his face ever, but the pain that coursed throughout my whole body was holding me back from my intentions.

But that wasn't why I did not lash out at him.

It was because as I glared at him, he wasn't sporting his usual Cheshire Cat grin. In fact, it was the biggest, saddest frown I've ever seen from him. He never frowned, not once, and there he was, his upside-down smile showing whatever sadness, guilt and remorse he could ever portray that the rest of his face could not.

That night was probably the longest I've cried in his arms, because by the next time I woke up, I no longer have the urge to blame Kuro.

I understood then that Kuro was something of a slave or servant to the huge creature and he was just following orders, whether he wanted it or not. But it still didn't make the next few times the creature needed to satisfy his lust on me any better.

The moment I had my first signs of morning sickness, I realized the whole purpose of me being here. Kuro, out of all the little children he had surveyed and kidnapped, chose me out of forced obligation and servitude towards the creature to become the creature's breeding mate. Kuro had decided that somehow my physiology was compatible with the creature to carry his spawn and was force to allow him to impregnate me. From what I understand from Kuro's attempted teachings, the creature was one in a few generations that was able to impregnate a person regardless the gender and had the sick sense of humour to choose human males to do it. The moment I conceived, an artificial womb and a temporary birth canal had formed within me to allow my body to carry the spawn to term. I was horrified at first and wanted nothing more than to get that child out of me, but Kuro stopped quite many of my attempts until I understood the fact that if I were to do anything to the spawn, not only it wouldn't solve the problem, because the creature would rape me all over again, but it would get my best and only friend in trouble.

But it didn't mean I gave Kuro a bit of hell just to make myself feel better, and I have a feeling that Kuro didn't mind, as long as I didn't do anything stupid.

Apparently the gestation period was roughly 6 months, because during my usual outdoor session, I was suddenly hit with birth pangs so strong, I could've sworn I was being hit by a freight train. Kuro carried me all the way to my room and helped me with the birth as much as he wordlessly could. I was bloody hell clueless as to what I was supposed to do, but my body seemed to take over somehow, as if it knew what to do as the urge to push came quite naturally. Painfully, but naturally. Whenever I pushed down as hard as I could, Kuro would use the back of his bloody palm to stroke my thigh and calf as his way of encouraging me to keep going. At the back of my mind, I have come to fully understand how pregnant women—especially my mother—had to go through as I cursed, swore and cried throughout the entire birth, pushing down like never before. My heart leapt with joy and relief as I could feel the spawn—my child—moving down and popping its head out of my birth canal despite the excruciating pain, and by the time I felt the shoulders coming out, I was pushing and pushing, not stopping until it slid out of me and started wailing as it took its first gulps of air.

To my utmost relief, Kuro revealed to me that the baby was a very beautiful human girl. She had the blackest hair and the brightest green eyes I've ever seen, and whatever reservations I had for this child while she was still in me were out of the window as I took her in my arms and kissed her over and over again, crying happy tears. As I held her close, I could hear footsteps closing in towards my room, and my sinking heart was telling me that the father of my child has probably heard wind of my birth and was coming down to see his spawn. I didn't know what it was, but something deep down inside me was burning painfully in my chest, a very bad omen, telling me that the creature would not like what he sees and will kill her. I couldn't allow that to happen! I couldn't! Never mind how this child came to being, she is my daughter, my flesh and blood, my child! I could not allow him to kill my child I've carried inside for the past 6 months! I could tell from the slight downward curl of Kuro's face that our thoughts were mutual.

"Help me…please…" I begged Kuro, and the last thing I saw was Kuro nodding slightly before embracing me.

When I came to, I found myself in my own room of the apartment I was born and raised in the human world, fully clothed in my jammies and laying on the futon on the tatami floor. My body ached a bit from the birth but it didn't deter me from trying to get up. My little girl was nowhere to be seen, and I searched frantically for her, worried that the creature had gotten to her, that Kuro couldn't save us in time and the creature had returned me home after being done with me. I didn't care that I was screaming the whole apartment down; I just wanted to find my baby.

"Hey, hey, easy there, Katsuya," I heard my mother's voice in the midst of my rambling. "Did you have a nightmare or something?"

"My baby! Where's my baby? I want my baby! Have you seen my baby?" I was getting hysterical.

"Baby? What are you talking about?" my mother's tone sounded ludicrous, then let out an amused chuckle. "You're only 3 and you're already thinking of having kids? Silly boy. If you mean your sister, she's at the nursery. Have you forgotten? You tucked her in yourself."

I looked at my mother like she had just announced that the end of the world was coming. It was then I realized when I caught sight of my reflection in the mirror that I was no longer 18 years old, but as a 3-year-old. It was as if I had just been given some sort of shrinking serum and got sent back through time where I never left home and that whatever happened to me was just a dream.

"Th…That's impossible! I…I was kidnapped by…by this man in black suit…I named him Kuro! I was gone for years! And…And then I was raped by a youkai and I had a child…a little girl…!"

"Wait, wait, wait, have you been watching those porno horror flicks again?" my mother stopped me and glared towards the direction of the master bedroom. "I told your father to put those away, but does he listen? No~! He had to corrupt his only son!" she reached over to hold me close, "It's alright, darling. Everything's fine. You just had a very weird nightmare, that's all. That's it, I'm telling your father to burn those trash. No more of those porno horror flicks for you, young man."

As she tucked me in and kissed me goodnight, I stole a look at the digital clock beside me. The date showed the day I was kidnapped by Kuro, and the time showed that it was a little towards midnight. The day I was kidnapped by Kuro was roughly midday, and I was in 3rd grade—9 years old at the time—and now I'm back home, in my own bed, in my own home and years younger than I should. It was as if those years with Kuro had never happened and whatever I had experienced in that youkai world was all just a dream.

But I knew, from the dull pain between my legs and my aching joints, that this was not a dream.

I got up slowly and made my way to the nursery. Sure enough, in the baby cot, was my little girl. I'd recognize her anywhere. Her black hair, her green eyes as she fluttered them open a little while before going back to sleep and her tiny frame, and the familiar feeling when I carried her in my arms told me she was there, she was real, and she was my daughter.

Except now, due to whatever Kuro had done to save me, she was now my sister.

I'm sure by now, you'd understand where I'm going.

That night, as the clock struck 12, I whispered into my little girl's ear her name. A name that did her beauty justice. A name that immediately came to being the moment I uttered it.

"Manami. Manami Kimura. My daughter."

I never knew what happened to Kuro after that incident, but I knew that whatever he did, he did it to save me. My parents never knew the truth, and it seemed that their memories and thoughts were altered to believe that Manami was their little girl and had always been there since the day she was "born" into this family. As for me, I am now a 26-year-old trapped in a body of a growing 11-year-old. Before I went to grade school (again), everyone thought I was mature beyond my years and that I would grow up to be a genius, now everyone saw me as a troubled juvenile delinquent who would break rules just for the fun and satisfaction of it, but they did not, and would not, understand that I did it because I was entitled to, that I was doing whatever I had missed out so much throughout my actual childhood. My grades were crappy because I couldn't care less about them. In all truth, I'm not supposed to be in school anymore, but I am. At my real age right now, I should be in college, or a salaryman at the very least, but I never had a decent education when I was in the youkai world despite being able to read much better and more than anyone else in my class, so I probably would qualify for neither. They said I was perverted because I am only interested in buxom girls, but the truth is I never had a single girlfriend in my life, my real life, and I've always wondered how it feels like to be in the arms of a real woman instead of being reminded all the time that I was raped by a youkai, and a man at that. I wanted to break free, explore, have fun, experience the thrill and danger of the human world that I never had the chance to do when I was in captivity, and if it means breaking a few rules, so be it. Kyoko had caught me smoking and boozing once behind the school backyard, and I got in trouble for it, but technically I was old enough to do all those things. I am pretty much an adult after all.

The only person that kept me grounded was Manami.

As I watched her grow up, from a nursing baby to a tottering toddler to a bouncy kindergartener to finally a cute, innocent 2nd grader, I knew that I had to do everything in my power to make her safe and happy. My workaholic parents served as an advantage, more or less, to me because I could raise her with my own hands, and love her like a mother should, though my size as a child had its disadvantages. My heart would sometimes ache when I hear her call me "Oni-chan" instead of "Oka-san". I really wished she would call me that, but it was wishful thinking.

Besides, who would ever believe that an 11-year-old boy is actually a mother to an 8-year-old girl?

I see Kuro sometimes, like I am seeing him now as I continued to wait for Manami to finish her class. I can see him there, hiding behind the trees in plain sight, surrounded by oblivious people and sporting that same old Cheshire Cat grin on his face. The first time I saw him again was on Manami's 1st birthday, and he had a huge scar that ran across his face, and it was one of those gouging scars that would not heal even through time. He was there to give me back my cap, and he gave Manami a set of hair ribbons that she wore on her two pigtails even till now. He never told me why he shrunken me into an age I was not supposed to be and why did he take me back through time and brainwash my parents into thinking Manami was theirs all along, but it didn't matter anymore. Manami was with me, and she was safe from the creature who sired her, and that's all I could ask for. Kuro would visit me from time to time, but always watching from afar, never coming close anymore since the day he gave me back my cap. Sometimes he was there to serve as a warning that someone from the youkai world I was kidnapped into was sent to find me and Manami, so I often managed to escape unscathed and luckily never have to cross paths with them. My friends, however, were not so lucky. I have a feeling that some of the supernatural encounters that my friends had were originally directed to me, but thanks to Kuro, they had to suffer my sins.

I feel bad for them, really, but I cannot allow that creature to take away my Manami.


I smiled as I approached the door of the classroom. I turned back for a moment to see that Kuro was gone. Manami came out in all smiles as she quickly hugged me and took my hand.

"How was class today?" I asked.

"Boring as usual," she replied. "But I'll get over it. You are a sight for sore eyes."

"You know you have tuition later, right?"

"Aww~ Can't we just play hookie? Just this once?"

"Manami…" I warned, but I was beaten to it by Manami's puppy eyes.

"Please~? Oni-chan, please~?"

Those eyes. Those sparkling green eyes. How could I resist?

"Alright, just this once. But don't tell Mom and Dad though. You know how they feel about your education."

"I won't tell if you won't."

"Deal. So, where shall we go then?"

"I want a sundae~!"

"Hai, hai, sundae it is then."

If Nube, the all-seeing spiritual teacher, couldn't even see through my façade and discover the real me, even with his oni-no-te, no one could ever will.

The world may not, and will never know, that Manami is my daughter.