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The very moment I decided to bring Ryuu-kun over to my house, I knew the next day was going to be strange.  I had left Akemi-chan's house in the middle of the night, without leaving any message as to where I was going.  I was sure she was a bit freaked out when she woke up that morning to find that I was gone.  Probably the first place she'd come looking was my house.  It was obvious.  Knowing Akemi-chan, she'd probably jump to conclusions.  After all, she didn't really know much about my personality.  She knew about my past, but not how I really acted in certain social situations.  She'd probably think I felt weirded out or something, staying at someone else's house.

So, when the piercing cry of my alarm clock grabbed reality and shoved it into my face the next morning, I wondered how the day was going to go.  Akemi-chan didn't live really that far away from me.  She was probably waking up at the same exact moment.  And, to her surprise, finding an empty futon next to her.  I lay in the softness of my bed, staring at my beloved ceiling fan, with its perfect, endless cycle, pondering on these things.  Was I worried about school, or dealing with Akemi-chan's inquiries?  Not exactly.  After last night, I found that things like that didn't bother me as much anymore.  It couldn't possibly compare to a supernatural, inter-Dimensional card dealer hellbent on my demise.  So, I sort of tossed it aside.  

After I mustered enough motivation, I slid out of bed and trudged into the kitchen.  It was very early, so it was a bit dark.  I flicked on some lights and squinted as my eyes adjusted.  It was very quiet in the house, too.  The only sound was the constant, soothing noise of the refrigerator I was gazing at.  I ran my hand over my face, trying to wake myself up.  I wasn't worried about the rest of the day, but that didn't change the fact that some tough decisions would need to be made.  I had opened the refrigerator and had begun the search for some breakfast when I sensed motion nearby and noticed Ryuu-kun had appeared in the doorway.  He was dressed in his school uniform already, perfectly ready to go.

"Good morning, Shiori-san," he said.  I almost dropped the tupperware I was holding.  It was a bit shocking to suddenly see him looking exactly as when I had first seen him.  And, oh, what an experience that was.

"H-hi," I whispered.  I also performed some sort of strange waving motion with my free hand.  Then I remembered the state of my physical image.  It was embarrassing.  Gesturing to my pajamas and hair, "I-I'm sorry . . . I just, uh, f-forgot . . ."

"It's fine," he replied nonchalantly.  "I've seen worse."

Not sure if that was an insult or a compliment.  I didn't have any reply for that sort of thing.

"I'm going to head to school here in a bit," Ryuu-kun continued.  "I know it's really early, but I'm not sure you'd want us to be seen walking to school together, after what everyone saw yesterday."

Yeah, that could cause some problems for me.  "Oh," I muttered.  "Um, okay."  I paused for a bit.  "D-did you eat?"


"W-well . . . I can fry you an egg, or something.  If y-you'd like."

"I don't want to cause you any unnecessary troubles like that," Ryuu-kun said.  "I've already caused you enough trouble by staying over."

"I-it's not like th-that," I replied.  "You need to, uh, eat.  Y-you know.  Breakfast."

He smiled.  I sensed amusement on his part.  He must've been comparing me to his mom or something.  "A fried egg?"


"Sounds tasty," he laughed.


"Nothing.  You just didn't seem like the type that could cook anything."

Well, excuse me.  "I-I can . . . cook."

"Then why eat instant ramen every day at school?"

I looked at the floor, at my bare feet.  "B-because it's . . . easy."  I could feel his gaze.  It seemed like he was totally making fun of me.  There was a brief silence.

"Maybe some other time," he said at length.  "I've got to get going, I'm going to buy some lunch on my way."

"Um, okay."

"See you at school."  

And with that, he disappeared.  A few seconds later, I heard the front door open and close.  Then, silence.  I was alone.  Surprisingly, I didn't feel relieved.  Why, I wonder?  Maybe I wasn't flustered or nervous.  Well, I was.  Perhaps, not as much as before.  I seemed to be getting used to him already.  I stood there and stared at the tupperware I still had not opened.  Was I getting attached to him?  I didn't think so.  I only needed him around because of this 4D mess, right?  Once this was all resolved, things could go back to how they were.  I could sit behind Ryuu-kun, and he wouldn't talk to me.  I wouldn't have to be nervous around him.  His eyes wouldn't be so scary to look into.  Things will get better after this.  I was sure of it.

It was too bad that day didn't come for a very long time, and it was not how I had imagined it at all.

I was startled by a sudden knock at the door.  I had to perform some ninja moves to keep from dropping what I was holding.  Who on earth could possibly be here?  Oh.  Akemi-chan.  I took a deep breath and went to the door.  I turned the handle slowly, creaked it open, and peered through to see the exhausted figure of exactly who I had presumed it to be.

"Shi-chan!" she wheezed.  "You're okay!"

I wasn't sure where to start.  I began by opening the door all the way.  "I'm s-sorry about last night . . . it's a bit of a long s-story."

"I was so worried!"  

"Thank y-you," I answered.  Before I could get any more out, she hugged me again.  

"You scared me so badly!" she said into my ear.  "I didn't know what had happened to you!"  

"I . . . uh, don't have time to tell you r-right now," I said as she released me.  "B-but I can tell you at s-school, okay?"  But, of course, I couldn't tell her everything.  I'd have to leave out the Dealer, Ryuu-kun, and my new powers.  All of that.  I'd have to fill in the holes with other stuff somehow.

"Why did Ryuu-kun come out of your house earlier?" Akemi-chan asked.  He eyes were wide with both fear and curiosity.  My heart stopped.

What the hell was I supposed to say?  She had seen him, undoubtedly.  She must have almost been here when he left, seen him leave, stood there in disbelief, and then ran full speed to the door.  It was a very bad situation.

"I . . . uh," I hesitated, "it's n-not . . . what you th-think.  You s-see, he . . . uh . . ."  I had no idea what to say.  "I . . . wanted to, um, apologize."  That's right.  "For yesterday."  But that still didn't explain why he had come out of my house.

Akemi-chan's face changed to one of oh-my-god-I-understand-now.  "That's nice of you Shi-chan!  I was sure that it was something related to that."

Oh really?  "Y-yeah."  I was hoping she wouldn't ask why I was still wearing my pajamas.
"I'm proud of you, Shi-chan!" Akemi-chan chirped.  "See?  You're already changing!  So, can you talk to him, like, normally now?"

"Uh," I replied, "n-not really."  I faked a smile.  "It's a . . . work in p-progress."

She clapped her hands together.  "That's wonderful!  Will you be fine with us eating lunch together like yesterday?  Or is it too soon?"

This could work out for the better.  "N-no, that's great," I said. "Let's eat, uh, together . . . today."

"Roger that!" Akemi-chan said, saluting me.  "Well, I'm off to school early!  I need to beat the other girls there to invite him to lunch!  I won't lose!"  Yeah, that's true.  He probably has a fan club already.  "I'll meet you there, okay?"

"O-okay," I replied.  "I still need to g-get ready."

"All right!" She patted me on the shoulder.  "Good work, Shi-chan!  See you at school!"  And she danced away down the street.  What a rainbow of emotions she exhibits in such a short period.

I couldn't believe I made it through that alive.  I almost cracked under the pressure.  I wanted to slam the door and never see her again.  Not in a bad way, I just didn't want to face her or have to reply to her questions.  But when I thought about it, she would make a terrible interrogator.  If I hadn't said those few words that caused Akemi-chan to jump to conclusions, things could have gotten bad.  I felt like I was a character in a light novel or a manga.  Is there some sort of natural law that states whenever a high school student obtains special powers, they are then faced with situations like this?  Or rather, I think it has something do with a certain mentor that has to appear to help the hero master those powers.  So, it wasn't me, I told myself.  It was Ryuu-kun's fault.

I laughed.  My head was hurting.  It was too early for this kind of thing.  Sighing, I shut the door and leaned my forehead against it.  My long black forelocks framed my sight.  For a few minutes, I stared at the floor, listening to the occasional hum of a passing car.  I tried to clear my head, but the less I tried to think of anything, the more I actually thought of.  School was going to be interesting.  And, with Akemi-chan there, difficult.  Ryuu-kun didn't know he had been seen, probably.  He doesn't know what Akemi-chan thinks happened.

That's not good at all.  But, knowing Ryuu-kun, he'll probably come up with some perfect line that neither agrees nor disagrees with anything Akemi-chan says or doesn't give a yes or no answer no matter what she asks.  Or, Akemi-chan might just forget all about the ordeal by the time she gets to school.  The possibility of that happening is quite high as well.

I took a little longer to get ready for school than usual.  I was very tired.  I had run around the school grounds dodging deadly playing cards and swinging around a chainsaw last night.  My body had barely enough energy to finish getting ready…and after that I had to stop and collect some energy before heading out the door, trudging along like a tortoise.  I hoped my quiet personality could help save me from having to muster strength to answer people.  Staring at them could shut them up.  But, I couldn't do that to Akemi-chan.  It would destroy my progress in getting a close friend.

Now that I think of it, wouldn't last night's events make me closer to Ryuu-kun than Akemi-chan?  I worried at the thought.

When I got to school, Takahiro-kun was in his usual position at the chalkboard writing kanji.  Ryuu-kun and Akemi-chan were nowhere to be found.  When I slid open the door, the clacking of the chalk on the board ceased and Takahiro gazed at me through his glasses as if he were criticizing me.

"Oh," he said in response to my appearance.  "Good morning, Shiori-san.  You're okay?"

Am I okay?  Oh yes, I forgot.  I had a nervous breakdown yesterday during lunch.  "Y-yes."  I needed to stop forgetting that other people didn't know about the situation other than the events yesterday at school.

"Akemi-chan ran after you a few seconds after you left.  She didn't show up for the rest of the day."  He turned back to his work.  "She was really worried about you."

"Yeah…" I said.

"Are  you going to be okay today?" he asked.  "Do you want me to get Zakuro-sensei to ask Kiyomizu-kun to switch seats with someone else?  I can do it for you."

That's nice of you, Takahiro-kun.  However, despite what you may think, that will not be necessary.  I shook my head.  

He glanced back at me.  "Are you sure?"

"Yes," I replied softly.  "I th-think that was a one-time thing…"

He looked confused, but shrugged.  "If you say so."  And he continued his work.  

I took my seat, and found my book bag lying underneath.  Thank the heavens.  I opened it and looked through my notebooks for my unfinished homework.  While I was in the process of searching, Akemi-chan arrived and danced towards me with her usual radiant smile, so bright that I almost had to shield my eyes as I watched her.  How could she be so cheerful all the time?  I was bewildered but entertained.

"Good morning, Takahiro-kun!" she said to him.

"Good morning, Akemi-chan," he chuckled.  "Not only are you early, strangely, but you're unexpectedly cheery.  Did something happen?"

"Lots of things!  Hey, Shi-chan!"

I couldn't help but smile.  "H-hello again. Long time no see."

"I saw Ryuu-kun!  He was acting a bit strange, but he said he'd eat lunch with us.  Takahiro-kun?  Wanna eat with us too?"

Takahiro-kun laughed.  "Is this going to be a daily thing?  Should I just assume you're going to ask me every day, Akemi-chan?"

Akemi-chan's giggle filled the otherwise vacant classroom.  "I guess so."

"Wonderful.  However, I have a lot of student council issues to deal with during lunch, so I'll have to pass."

"Aw, that's too bad."

"Wh-where is Ryuu-kun?" I interrupted.  "Er, I mean, Kiyomizu-kun?"

For a split second, Akemi-chan's face was that of profound confusion.  I called Ryuu-kun by his first name accidentally.  It was how I thought of him, for some reason.  But, I needed to make it seem like I hardly knew him at all, so it was best for me to call him by his last name.  Thus, my correction.  Akemi-chan, despite how innocent she may have seemed, noticed my blunder and for a split-second looked at me extremely suspiciously.  But, the expression vanished as quickly as it had appeared.  I barely even registered it.

"He was in the library, getting books," Akemi-chan said.  "I ran here full speed after leaving your house, Shi-chan.  But he wasn't in the classroom, so I went looking for him and found him there.  He was acting really weird though!"

"W-weird?  How so?"  I hope you didn't mess up, Ryuu-kun.

"Like he was not listening to anything I was saying."

"W-well, what were you saying?"

She seemed taken aback.  I knew she was talking to him about my supposed apology to him this morning, which obviously did not happen.  She was trying to verify my words.  I should have known better than to think she believed my half-assed lies.  Akemi-chan seemed to notice that I knew this.  Gullible, ditsy Akemi-chan had a quick, clever response.

"I was asking him to lunch, obviously!" she chirped, smiling.

And that was the end of it.  My other classmates began to appear, greeting us.  By "us," I mean Akemi-chan and Takahiro-kun.  After yesterday's ordeal at lunch, I was sure a larger number of people were taking care to avoid me and not speak to me.  Not that I had any complaints, though.

Akemi-chan disappeared to greet her other friends.  Takahiro-kun had finished his work and began studying again.  I was left with no one to speak to.  Ryuu-kun showed up five minutes before the bell, with a stack of very thick books in his arms.  All female heads in the room turned to look when he stepped through the door, with some gasps and the usual dramatic reactions.  No one seemed to care about the huge books he was carrying.  Takahiro-kun greeted Ryuu-kun as he passed on his way to his seat, in front of me.  Ryuu-kun only looked at me once before he sat down, but as he did, he mouthed one word.


With a loud thump, he plopped the stack of books on his desk and seated himself with some clattering.  Notes?  What is that supposed to mean?  I leaned forward a bit to look closely at his books.  They were very large, with complicated titles relating to physics, space, and chemistry.  What on earth?  First of all, why go to the library in the morning before classes?  And, what's up with all the crazy scientific bibles?  I didn't figure Ryuu-kun to be that type.  But, perhaps I could be wrong.  I was wrong about a lot of things about him before.

After Ryuu-kun's entrance, the room became considerably less noisy, as most of the girls were not talking, but watching him.  And me.  I felt a large number of vilifying glares.  Perhaps it would be best if I did not greet Ryuu-kun today.  Zakuro-sensei began homeroom.

Homeroom.  Math.

It was a third of the way through History, as the bald-headed history teacher rattled on about boring dates and people, that Ryuu-kun passed me a note.  I hesitated at first, but took it and opened it.  Was this what he meant about notes?

Did you get my message?

What message?  Does one word count as a message?  Glancing around, I frantically scribbled yes and passed it back to him, making as little noise as possible.  The teacher had his face buried in the textbook, reading it aloud.

Ryuu-kun returned it to me a few seconds later.  Good.  These books are for you.  I will give them to you after school so no one sees.  Do you think you can read them in a few days?

All of them?  That's a lot of reading.

So, can you read them?

I can try.

Good.  This is how we're going to communicate during school.  I'm guessing, to avoid as much stress as possible, you want us to act like we didn't meet at all last night? Around other people?

He was spot on.  Yeah, that'd be great.  One thing.  Why do I have to read those books?

They'll help you.  Trust me.

Ok.  Whatever you say.  I probably won't read them, though.  So what's up?

Let me first begin by explaining where I come from.  The reality that I come from is a Fourth Dimensional reality.  Its existence is denser than this reality that you come from, because yours is a Third Dimensional.  Mine is a very advanced world, but it still takes some work to travel between Dimensions.  The organization I work for is the IDEA.  It's the Inter-Dimensional Enforcement Agency.  We have technology to detect disturbances in certain realities.  Most of them are of lower density than ours, like yours.  Soldiers like me are dispatched to resolve these disturbances.  We are trained warriors.  I underwent strict training for several years before I was even accepted into the IDEA, and even then I had to be enlisted for several more years before I could attain status as a soldier.  Even more time before I could be dispatched outside of our own reality, and even more time before I earned enough merit and a high enough rank to travel to other Dimensions.  Does any of this make sense?

Good god.  He filled up the whole rest of the page.  I flipped it over.  I don't get the whole Dimension/reality thing.

Imagine a bookshelf filled with books.  The shelves are the Dimensions, and the books are the realities.  I'm from a different book, one shelf above you.

That's easily understood.  Okay.  That makes sense.  So what's this dream thing you're looking for?

The Talisman of Dreams.  It's an artifact from my reality, an ancient weapon that is supposed to possess the power to transcend bookshelves.  Not only that, but transcend the restrictions the books have on which shelf they can sit on.  Basically, its power is capable of transforming an entire 3D reality into a 4D one.  Or, even above that.  It's an unbelievably powerful item, sought after since the birth of our world.  

Damn.  So how do you find something that's immaterial?

It's not technically immaterial.  Before I can explain that, I have to explain the Dimensional concept.  Obviously, matter from your world possesses three dimensions.  If that matter were to be transferred to my world, a 4D world, the matter's very existence would be crushed into nothingness under the existential pressure.  That's because the density of a 4D world's existence is much higher than what any 3D matter is able to withstand.  Understand?

I was dumbfounded.  I understood what he was saying, I just could not wrap my mind around the concept of an existence being crushed into nothingness, as he described.  That's incredible.  Yes, I understand.

Good.  So, 4D matter in a 3D world?  What do you think that would be like?

Now he's asking me questions about the things he's supposed to be explaining to me. I thought very hard, taking a moment to glance up at the history teacher. He hadn't noticed a thing. Well, 3D matter has three dimensions, and 4D would have four.  So 4D matter in a 3D world would have…an extra dimension?

Good.  That's right.  That means that since I am made of 4D matter, I have an extra dimension that is incapable of being expressed in this world.  On top of that, explaining the concept of my fourth dimension to you would be pointless, since the idea cannot be expressed in common words or numbers that are used in this world.  Problem is, the Talisman of Dreams' makeup consists entirely of the fourth dimension.  So, it is immaterial in this world only because it does not use any of the three dimensions that make up the fabric of this reality.  Make sense?

I wasn't sure what to think.  But yes.  It makes sense.  It's just unbelievable.

You have to believe it.  You are now exposed to the truth of the universe.  There are things that seem unbelievable, but must be believed because they are real.  They weren't real to you before, but now they are.  Please.  Bear with me.

This is crazy.

You may think that.  But that doesn't change the fact that it is real now.

It took me a while to respond.   I hated how all of this was forcing itself on me.  But, I needed to know what was going on with my body.  So, I needed to learn this stuff.  I guess I should be grateful that Ryuu-kun is willing to divulge this information.  He could have just left me in the dark, found his talisman, and left.  I should thank him sometime.  But, seriously.   This stuff was insane.  I replied regarding one of my biggest concerns.

What happened to my body?

This time it took Ryuu-kun a while to respond.  Every now and then, I would see him erase something, think really hard, and then write something else.  It worried me.  I grew anxious.  I kept glancing around at my classmates.  They seemed about as interested in the history lecture as a famous rapper in the sheet music for ACDC song.  Eventually, Ryuu passed the note back to me.  I opened it to read the words that haunted me for days.

I don't know.

I stared at the words, both angry and fearful.  What do you mean, you don't know?

I mean I don't know.  It's not possible for a 3D being to gain 4D powers or weapons.  Now, if you were from a 4D reality, there wouldn't be any problem.  But, you claimed to be of this world.  Plus, the fact that you don't know what happened, yourself, proves that you are indeed a 3D being.  How you attained 4D powers is beyond my comprehension.

That still doesn't help.  Wouldn't having 4D powers make me a 4D being?

It should.  But apparently, for you, it doesn't.  You still blacked out when I performed the reparation incantation last night before we left the school.  If you were a 4D being, you wouldn't have blacked out, you would have seen it.  So, it seems to me that you're a 3D being with 4D powers.  I still have no idea how you attained them, though.

That's wonderful.

This has never been witnessed in the history of any known reality in any Dimension.  I believe you are the first being to ever achieve qualities of a higher Dimension.  It's unbelievable.  I've only ever read theories and legends and myths of this happening.

Like I said.  That's wonderful.

It makes you the most powerful 3D being to have ever lived.

I sighed.  I never asked to be.  So what's next?

Well, since this is the first incident like this to ever occur, I will be observing you while carrying on my search for the Talisman of Dreams.  I'm sure it would be best if the IDEA didn't send officials or researchers here to observe you.  They tend to be ruthless.  Our best option would be to come back to the school tonight to investigate the area again, perhaps I can gather some clues as to the origin of your powers and maybe some idea of where the Talisman of Dreams is located.

Class was almost over.  Ok.  The teacher asked for our homework from yesterday, but naturally, I did not have it done.  I cringed as he marked my name and scolded me with a stern face.  Ryuu-kun handed his in, no problem.  Where did he find the time and energy?  Well, he is a 4D being.  Maybe that fourth dimension has something to do with very high stamina.  Hopefully I can gain that ability soon, too.  If it weren't for Ryuu-kun's notes, I probably would have fallen asleep during class.

Lunch began.  Takahiro-kun stopped by for a second to apologize for not being able to eat with us.  Akemi-chan told him it was no problem.  I had no problem with eating lunch with them, but Akemi-chan invited Yuko-san and Riko-san again.  Apparently Akemi-chan retained a the-more-the-merrier mentality, whereas I was pretty much the opposite, depending on the people.  Most of today's lunch period consisted of Yuko-san, Riko-san, and Akemi-chan drilling Ryuu-kun with questions while I sat there and ate silently, while most of the girls in the class watched, hanging on Ryuu-kun's every word.

"So, Ryuu-kun!" Akemi-chan began.  "What're all those books for?"

Ryuu-kun took a second to respond.  "I think I'm getting interested in this field.  I thought I'd read a bit of it to see if this was true." Clever.  Except you won't be the one reading them, I will.

"Do you perhaps want to be a scientist?" Yuko-san asked.

"I'm not too sure."

"Hey," Riko-san interrupted.  "What do you like to do for fun, Ryuu-kun?  You seem like the sportsy type."  

Sportsy? What kind of word is that?

"I used to play soccer back in Hokkaido," he replied.  "I wasn't too good though."  

Like hell you're from Hokkaido and like hell you played soccer.  I held back a laugh.

"I find that hard to believe," Yuko-san commented.

"Yeah," Riko-san added.  "You seem like you'd tear it up out there."

"I think Ryuu-kun's just being modest!" Akemi-chan declared.  The other girls nodded.

I got the impression that Ryuu-kun was uncomfortable in this situation.  But there wasn't really much I could do for him.  I decided I would just finish my lunch and watch Ryuu-kun's interrogation.

"What do you do on the weekends, Ryuu-kun?" Yuko-san asked.  "You don't have a girlfriend, do you?"  At these words, I noticed Akemi-chan glance at me.  I lowered my head a bit as I continued to finish my food and listen.

"I had one back in Hokkaido," Ryuu-kun said.  "But we hadn't been together long.  When I found out I was moving here, we both figured it was best to break up.  Long distance relationships always end badly."

I noticed Akemi-chan gaping at Ryuu-kun.  What the hell was with her?  Before anyone else noticed her, she recollected herself and resumed her usual air of curiosity.  What was that all about?

"I'm sorry, Ryuu-kun."

"Me too."

"That's terrible."

I could almost hear Ryuu-kun's mental cries to me.  Help, I imagined him pleading.  But, it was all I could do to keep back my laughter.  He had to make up so much crap just to answer their silly questions.  I doubted he'd ever be able to keep any of it consistent.  Something tells me he's going to ask me for help with that.

Thankfully, I made it through the period without any bad incidents.  I don't recall ever even saying a single word.  Akemi-chan, I'm sure, was hoping I'd talk more; but, technically, it was her fault for inviting the other two girls, who were intent on learning everything about Ryuu-kun.  They left no room for any other conversation.  Hopefully Akemi-chan will get the hint and not have them eat with us next time.  But, I was worried that Yuko-san and Riko-san had grown accustomed to eating with Ryuu-kun and having a Learn All About Kiyomizu-kun Period instead of a lunch period.  I feared they would just show up uninvited from now on.

But, considering how the bright, cheerful Akemi-chan was beginning to show her suspicious side after this morning, she may have only invited the two girls to have an interrogate-Ryuu-kun-session just to see my reactions to certain things he said, however subtle they may be.  Like I mentioned, Akemi-chan appeared to be smarter than she seemed.

A few minutes after the afternoon classes began, I took the first chance I had and passed Ryuu-kun a note.  How was your lunch? I wrote, holding back laughter.

Shut up.  I thought I was going to die.  My brain is fried.  Why didn't you say anything?

It was too funny.  You did well though.  You never visibly hesitated.

Well, thanks for your approval.  Next time, help me out.

Huh?  How?  What am I supposed to say?

Can't you faint or something?  Then I could carry you to the nurse's office.  Well, not really.  We could ditch.  Those two girls are very annoying.  Akemi-chan's not.  But they are.

I can't ditch again.  I already have a late assignment for History that was due today that I didn't have done because of last night.  I can't afford to ditch any more classes.
Not like you pay attention, though.  

Oh, well, excuse me, Ryuu-kun.  That's been thanks to you.

I don't want you to be in the dark if things get tough.  The Dealer may not have been the only one to follow me here.

I shuddered.  That's a lovely thought.  So, this Netherworld is another 4D world?
Yes, much like Hell.

I shuddered again.  Wonderful.

It's full of malicious beings and powerful sprites bent on dominating neighboring realities.  IDEA has been at war with them for ages.  Occasionally, one or two Nether beings will escape to lower dimensions and we have to go hunt them down.  Remember, any being from a higher dimension cannot be killed by matter or beings from lower dimensions.

Thanks for reminding me.  I figured that much. So what's the plan for tonight?  We're just gonna come snooping around campus again?

Pretty much.  I've been thinking and putting things together.  It is possible that the activation of your 4D powers created a dimensional rift on the school grounds.  We will need to go see if there is one, and how bad it is.

What's a dimensional rift?

When there is a powerful surge of energy from a higher dimension inside a world of a lower dimension, the strength of the impact against the fabric of reality may blow a hole in the walls of the dimension, and matter from higher dimensions may leak in.  Take your bookshelves for example.  It's like drilling a hole through the bottom of the shelf above you.

And books can fall through these holes?
  I saw Ryuu-kun laugh silently when he read my note.  Don't make fun of me.   I know very little about this.  He passed it back to me.

The books are realities.  Other things from those books can fall through, like…I don't know, bookmarks and little pieces of paper.  Beings, likely.   If a dimensional rift was severe enough for an entire reality to fall through, it would be a complete catastrophe.  It could not be repaired.  I wouldn't even be able to begin to describe the destruction.  But that's never happened before, and I don't think we have to worry about it.

Again, I couldn't wrap my mind around the concept.  So…what if there happens to be a rift where my powers activated?  Couldn't 4D beings be spawning there right now?

No.  It's hard to explain.  Your powers activated last night around two or three in the morning.  If there was a rift, and 4D beings were near it on the other side of the fissure, they could only spawn there during that same time frame.

I began on a new piece of paper.  I stuffed the last two in my bag to take home and reread over and over.  It made some loud crinkling, despite my efforts.  Some heads turned, but the teacher didn't seem to notice.  Sighing, I continued my investigation.  Why is that?

It's hard to explain.  I can think of an example, but it may not be very clear.  Let's imagine a large set of working gears.  They keep spinning no matter how many you take out, but there's so many of them, you can't even fit a small stick through any opening at any time.  That would be the working fabric of this reality.  There are no holes.  A rift would be the equivalent of taking out one of those gears so that there is an opening to the other side, but it only appears every few seconds because of the continuous spinning of the others.  Those few seconds would be the span of twenty-four hours that the days in this dimension cycle around.  Make sense?

More or less.

Good, so at three-ish last night, you took out a gear and an opening appeared that only appears at three-ish every night.  Through this opening, 4D beings can leak through from other worlds, most likely the Nether.  There's just one problem.  A 4D being passing through that opening would be like sticking a steel pipe through the opening in the gears.  After a little bit, the opening closes.  It would close on the pipe, and all the gears would stop.  It is detrimental to the existence of the reality if this is not dealt with as quickly as possible.

I saw where this was headed.  So, pretty much, if a 4D beings passes through from the Nether, we just have to destroy them before the opening closes again…on the pipe.

Precisely.  If there is a rift, and it is in such a place in the fissure that 4D beings can leak through, we will have to fend them off every night until the rift is fixed.

How does the rift get fixed?

IDEA does it.  I would have to go back to IDEA in my home reality and get them to come fix it.

How long would that take, in the event that there is a rift in the first place?

The fissure between dimensions distorts time.  I could leave, and, for me, be gone two days, while to you I may be gone for several weeks.  There's no telling.

I sighed.  That's just great.  If there's a rift there, I'm going to be screwed for quite some time.  Are you sure you don't have some sort of inter-dimensional communication device?

I have another analogy for sending messages back and forth, but generally it's best to just go yourself.  Messages get lost in the fissure a lot, since they are data and not matter.

How frustrating.  Imagine trying to send your mom a birthday card through the fissure.  No matter what you do, it probably won't arrive on time.  Wait.  You said 4D beings can only spawn here during the certain time frame when the opening appears.  I thought the fissure distorts time.

I'm glad you caught that.  New analogy.  Imagine a vertical tunnel.  At the top is the Fourth Dimension.  At the bottom is the Third Dimension.   A rift would be a tunnel that you would just haphazardly fall through.  A rift gets you through faster, but it usually happens randomly and is uncontrollable once it appears.  The time distortion doesn't quite have the opportunity to effectively set in.  Actually traveling through the fissure is like a tunnel with a ladder.  It's much safer, but slower, and that's when the time distortion sets in.

Something hit me.  Why can't you just jump down when traveling instead of taking the ladder?  That's pretty dumb.

Because there's the chance that something in the fissure will shift during your fall, and you'll end up inside the fissure instead of your destination.  People who fall into the fissure doing just that are never heard from again.

Who knew that there were so many rules for this sort of thing?

They're not rules, they're precautions and guidelines.  Things to watch out for.

I sighed again, and glanced at the clock.  We still had a lot of time left, even after school was over.  What was I going to do?  Go home and do homework, and then come to the school to fend off fourth-dimensional ravenous beasts, and then come home in time to go to school again?  I doubt I would last very long under that sort of schedule.  Seems like no sleep.  Or, sleep during classes.  And get failing grades.  I ran all of this past Ryuu-kun.

Not good.  Since I am a 4D being, I can go for weeks without this "sleep" that you 3D beings require.  I would have to fend them off every few days or so, that way you could get some sleep.

I caught a condescending tone.  How does that happen through written notes?  I think it was the quotation marks he used. Well, I'm sorry I get tired.  I'm exhausted even now.

Go home and sleep.  I'll come and wake you up a little before 2 a.m. so that we can run through some stuff really quickly, like battle tactics and stuff.

You're saying that like 4D beings are actually going to show up?

Better safe than sorry.

Fine then.

When classes finished for the day, Akemi-chan disappeared without her usual invitation to go shopping and such.  Ryuu-kun purposefully left his books behind so that I would end up with them.  He didn't say a single word to me as he shuffled past the misty eyes of Yuko-san and Riko-san and vanished out of the classroom.  I tried to slip the books into my bag but they were too big.  They were heavy too.  There's no way I'm even going to crack one of these.  Besides, Ryuu-kun told me to go home and sleep, right?

To avoid being noticed with these ridiculous hardcover science bibles, I had to give up on my signature first-in last-out class attendance and immediately exit the school and endure the trek home carrying these in my bag and in my arms.

The sky was dark and overcast by the time I reached my equally dark home.  It looked like it was going to be a rainy night.  Slipping inside to the cold, vacant interior of my little house, I plopped Ryuu-kun's books onto the kitchen counter, dropped my bag on the floor, and trudged towards my room to change into more comfortable clothes for the late night ahead.  If I went to sleep in them, I wouldn't have to change again when I woke up.  Convenient.

As I headed down the hallway on the way to my room, I passed a small coffee table, adorned with the glinting surfaces of a long, white chainsaw.

Shiori - Day 3 by RavenousCrucifix


I put this one off for a while.
I just needed about six more paragraphs and it'd be done. Those books Ryuu-kun lends Shi-chan are quite special. That'll be revealed once she actually decides to take a look at them. She's a bit irresponsible on stuff like that. And do you think 4D beings are actually gonna show up? Of course you do. And I guess I kind of gave it away already with this: [link] .

Next chapter:
orocrimson Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2011   Writer
Wow, finally managed to read this haha. Done quite well, and only found one grammatical error ^.^ Haha sorry, typically I'm not a grammar nazi but I am when it comes to actual literature.

You know, with all the notes they were writing, it seems like they'd have a half a notebook's worth filled o.o
StuffL0rd Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
You can draw and write.
I can barely do either.
Damn you.
Zaxiade Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Such a cute and shy/ innocent story <3
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July 6, 2011
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