Better late than never…?
The dreaming boy
Author’s note: from the point of view of Natsume Kengo
Oh look, I’ve died. Even though I’m referring to myself, the impression that comes to mind is that it’s like someone else’s problem. Well, I can’t help it you see. It’s something that happened in a dream after all. If this was reality then I’d be panicking though. Merely dying while dreaming, is something that’ll end once I wake up.
At long last, this shitty dream has ended huh. It really was a shitty dream. Me being the prince of the Empire and so on is ridiculous beyond belief, right? I quickly realised that this was a dream. It has to be, right? This isn’t just a dream, it’s that thing. Right, a so-called lucid dream, yeah.
Once I realised that this was a dream I did whatever I wanted afterwards. Since it’s just a dream after all. Since it’s my dream anyhow, I can do what I want, right? Saying whatever selfish things I like, enjoying whatever luxuries I like. I’m a prince for a start, and everyone around me readily does whatever I tell them to do as well, so I guess there wasn’t anything I couldn’t do.
Well, saying that though, there was no smartphones or TV either, and the food was questionable so it didn’t actually feel that luxurious though. No helping it I guess. The dream was set in a fantasy world after all. I guess it’s strange for food to have taste despite being in a dream though. Or rather, since this is a dream and all, couldn’t the meals at least be a bit tastier? Why were they so inflexible about such things. Even when I complained to the chef nothing changed anyway. I started missing my mother’s cooking. That was enough to make me want to wake up from this dream already, but this dream really seems to be continuing on for bloody ever.
Being able to raise my level by defeating monsters felt like a game at first and was fun, but I still got bored with it after a while. Most of the monsters were just too weak, while it would take a long time to get to places with strong monsters. Since I was a prince and all they couldn’t just allow me to go to dangerous places you know. Why is this damn dream so fussy about the minor details? Since this is a dream after all, teleportation should at least be possible, right?
Just when I was getting seriously bored with it all I enrolled in an academy at some country. I hadn’t expected much from that either. I had expected that at best it would only be fun at the start, and that once I had gotten used to the new environment then I would soon get bored with it. But, contrary to my expectations, there was something there that I hadn’t had until now. To be precise, it was them.
Several of my classmates were there. Well, since this is my dream it wouldn’t be strange for them to be here after all. However, whether it’s Yamada or Ooshima, it was strange for it to be the ones who I wasn’t particularly friendly with. Since this is my dream the first one to appear should be Issei, normally. Why isn’t he around, darn it. Somehow even sensei turned up, yet while sensei seems to know where all the others are, she wouldn’t tell me anything about Issei when I asked her about him.
While I can’t accept Issei not being around, it’s okay since there’s others here that I do know. Maybe this dream that I’d gotten bored with will finally become fun. That’s how I had thought at the beginning. But again, that was only at the beginning. My classmates at the academy were centered around Yamada at all times.
People naturally gathered around Yamada. On top of that, that bunch genuinely idolised Yamada. Yet the ones that gathered around me, were not those interested in me as an individual, but only those drawn by my title as prince of the Empire. Those types tried to approach Yamada as well, but they were turned away by Ooshima who was always together with him. Thanks to that he didn’t have deal with complicated political powers, or those who associated with him on that basis, and could simply be relaxed all the time. That relaxed attitude attracted even more people, and they gathered around him.
I could only watch on from a short distance. That short distance was like an enormous wall blocking me. I knew. The fact that Yamada wasn’t good at dealing with me. I’m at least self-aware to the extent that I know my own personality isn’t particularly praiseworthy. When Issei isn’t there for me, I’m more likely to create enemies than friends. Precisely because Issei was there, I could be at the center of the boys like the leader of the pack. Because he always supported me, I was able to behave as myself. When he’s not here, the only ones who gather around me are just a bunch of useless ones.
How can that Yamada be so happy, when I feel so empty? Why do I have to experience something so unpleasant in a dream? If you’re going to dream you might as well have an enjoyable one. That’s right, this is all a dream. In that case, I might as well just do whatever I like to my heart’s content, right? It seems impossible to open up to Yamada after all this time anyway, so I might as well go completely hostile to him instead. Why don’t we see who’s better eh?
Yet, despite all my aspirations I was completely defeated. My pride is shredded. Since it was a dream after all I kept on escalating things, finally with an attempted assassination. Not only did I lose but I pathetically had my skills and status values stolen. I was made to seem like such a small-fry that it’s laughable.
However, I’m not giving up. This is my dream after all. If I continue to desire it then someday that wish will be granted. Brandishing the power that I had gained that way, it was time for revenge. Wakaba-san is also cooperating with me, so this time I’ll win for sure.
Huh? Come to think of it, when did Wakaba-san start cooperating with me again? My memory of that part is vague, but well, I guess that’s how dreams are. In dreams it’s common for the scene to suddenly change completely. A lucid dream is still a dream at least.
I fired myself up and had a rematch with Yamada. Having thrown down the gauntlet while brimming with confidence, the tables were easily turned on me. Hey, seriously? You’re too strong, Yamada. What are you doing acting like the protagonist in my own dream. Swap places. It’s laughable.
Then it all ended with my head being crushed by someone. Even in my last moments I was like a small-fry, dammit. It’s so total that I could laugh continuously.
However, well, finally it’s time to wake up from this weird dream. It was a shitty dull dream, but I guess this is a message telling me not to get too carried away huh? It must be. Once I wake up, maybe I’ll keep humility in mind a bit more. I’m always always doing whatever pops into my head, aren’t I. Then every time it would be Issei cleaning up after me as well, so I better reflect on things
First of all, once I wake up I better say “good morning” to mother. I wonder what’s for breakfast? I’m looking forwards to it. I wouldn’t think that usually, but after seeing such a long dream maybe I’m feeling nostalgic.
Then, once I get to school I gotta tell Issei about this dream. I gotta complain to him about why he didn’t turn up. I can just imagine Issei’s face having an expression saying “what the heck are you talking about?”
That’s right, I’ll talk to Yamada about this as well. I’ll tell him that in the dream he was seriously like a cool hero. That guy hates me, but maybe it’d be a good idea to use this chance to get along better with him. If Issei is there then surely I’ll be able to take that step forwards. I guess Yamada might be a bit troubled if I suddenly start talking to him though.
Ahh. Won’t I wake up already? I’ve returned. To reality. I can wake up. Quickly, wake……
“Issei” – Sakurasaki Issei. He is dead according to Oka-chan’s Student List. He is referred to as “Natsume’s stopper” in S22, the only guy Natsume seemed to acknowledge.