Author: Not yet! It is not over yet!
As long as the support of everyone exists, Nekomimi Neko will come back, over and over!
※PS: It is going to end soon, so it won’t come back.
I wonder who was the one who said ‘life is like a one-night dream’?
When I think back on it, what has happened in these few months truly does feel like a dream.
“A lot has happened until now…” (Souma)
I -Sagara Souma- was a normal game-loving student 1 year ago.
But in July of last year, I ended up entering the game world because of a variety of circumstances. There, I met people that showed up in the game like: a cat eared swordsman, an expressionless lightning mage, a beginner adventurer, a skilled masked mage, and a slightly dangerous blonde researcher. Adventured together with them, defeated the Demon Lord and the Evil God, and finally became heroes that saved the world.
“Also, it will be over ‘tomorrow’, huh.” (Souma)
It has been several months since we defeated the Evil God. We defeated monsters here and there, would be reluctant about leaving my comrades, and would search for new magic books in the library; we spent fulfilling days.
I honestly don’t want to part with my friends, and I have an unending amount of things I want to do in this world.
But today is March 31st.
I came here to this world before Tanabata, the first of July, so that would mean more than half a year has passed.
If we stay here for longer, it would hamper our lifestyle in our original world.
“We are done here.” (Souma)
I mumbled this to no one in particular, and glanced at the clock placed on top of the desk.
The day is about to change.
When that happens, our final day in this world will come.
What kind of farewell is awaiting us?
I don’t know if we can return safely to our world.
But please, if possible…
“—Let tomorrow be the best day for everyone…” (Souma)
I silently prayed for this and closed my eyes, journeying to the world of dreams.
“Even though it is the last morning, it is unexpectedly…normal.”
I was thinking yesterday I wouldn’t be able to sleep, was wondering how I would be feeling once I wake up tomorrow, so me feeling so normal is unexpected.
I woke up at a somewhat lucky number as I muttered this and got up.
I filled up my chest with the refreshing morning air and stretched.
“…Let’s go.” (Souma)
Time is limited.
Especially on a day like this.
I quickly prepared myself, left my room, and headed to the dining room.
When I opened the door and took a step, I stopped because I saw a familiar blue haired girl in the corridor.
“…I have been waiting.”
The one sitting in the corridor and said this is one of my comrades, the princess that controls lightning magic: Ringo.
“Have some business with me?” (Souma)
When I asked this, Ringo shook her head lightly to the sides.
“…I was thinking about…going to the dining room together.” (Ringo)
“I see.” (Souma)
There’s no reason to refuse.
Ringo is my friend and the member I met at a pretty early stage when I came to this world.
To be more precise, I met her after Mitsuki and Sazan, but that alone doesn’t change the worth of a friend.
A silent time with no conversations continued.
But the silent times with Ringo are nice in itself.
That’s why the grief of not wanting to leave for the sake of moments like this was welling up in me.
—No, I have already decided.
I renew my resolve and arrive at the dining room with perfect timing.
A voice welcomed us the moment we entered the dining room.
When I looked over there, a comrade of mine was already waiting there.
A beginner adventurer called Ina.
I met her in a town called Lamurick and we separated once when I went to the capital, but we ended up together after many things happened.
“Good morning. Maki-san said she had business to attend to at the castle, so she will come after finishing those.”
The one who spoke to me in a calm voice there was the cat eared swordsman, Mitsuki Hisame.
A comrade of mine that has been traveling with me for a long time and prides on having outstanding sword skills.
“Good morning, Souma! Breakfast is ready.”
On top of that, the one who said this as she came out of the kitchen was Leila.
She is an ally that ended up coming together with us after many events, and she apparently loves me, but her love is a bit too heavy.
She is now in charge of the cooking, but she was originally—wait.
“Now that I think about it, your main profession should be researching ruins, right? I haven’t seen you going to ruins. Is that okay?” (Souma)
“Fufufu, I have the important duty of watching Souma’s life from good morning to good night, the 360 days of the year.” (Leila)
“I-I see…” (Souma)
I got cold sweat from that usual statement of Leila.
Ah, by the way, Nekomimi Neko has 360 days in a year.
In my original world the days would sometimes have 31 or 30, so it had 365 days in a year, but someone who made Nekomimi Neko must have thought there’s no need to recreate that in the game.
It is 30 days no matter the month, so it ends up with less days than my original world.
That’s when I noticed the most important member was missing.
“I heard about Maki, but what about Sazan?” (Souma)
“If it is Sazan-san, she hasn’t woken up.” (Mitsuki)
I sighed at what Mitsuki said.
Despite appearances, Sazan is pretty capable, but her being a late riser is a fault of hers.
By the way, Sazan is a comrade of mine too. Considering the time I met her, you could say we have known each other for an extremely long time.
Her name was originally Mitia, the priestess used to seal the Evil God Fragment, but after going out on a journey with heroic resolve, she had a fateful encounter with us.
She is always wearing a mask, but that’s a sealing tool, and her bare face below is that of quite the beauty.
As a priestess she is super skilled in magic, especially when it comes to fire and darkness magic.
Also, in order to return to our original world, we need to activate Death Flash which requires a combination of specific spells.
We need the Stardust Flare that Sazan uses.
I am also expecting things from her in other aspects though…
Someone rushed into the room while I was sighing.
“Maki? Weren’t you in the castle…?” (Souma)
“This is not the time, Souma! I-I found something incredible!” (Maki)
The one making that ruckus is Maki.
She is a cousin of mine that was raised in the same world as me, and a student that came to this world together with me.
I am working hard to return to our original world for the sake of Maki too, but…
“O-Oi, Maki! Is that…” (Souma)
What was in front of me was shocking enough to make me forget about it.
What Maki brought out was a device that shouldn’t be in this world.
“—Isn’t that a VR machine?!” (Souma)
The game machine that was one of the chief reasons for us being called to this world.
“S-So, where was that?” (Souma)
“At the treasury of the castle. There were 5 of them when I searched there. What should we do with this?” (Maki)
What do we do, you ask…
“—If there’s a game console, you gotta play it!” (Souma)
And so, we ended up all playing the game.
“T-This is incredible! I can move my body as if it were reality!”
Ina made a ruckus when she began playing the game with me, but well, it is not surprising.
In the first place, a VR machine is exactly that after all.
This is a machine exclusively to play VR games, and you can enter the game world if you use this.
I am going to omit the specifics, but how I explained it to my comrades is that it is basically a magic device that can transfer you to a different world by shooting something similar to electric magic.
“…Fumu, this is pretty well made. However, I feel like the sensation is delayed one tempo.” (Mitsuki)
But it seems like everyone is mostly receiving this VR game world positively.
I tested it out a bit, but it seems like I can use all the Nekomimi Neko techniques here. I could use Godstep Cancel and the other movement technique variations.
My equipment and strength is most likely the same as in the real world. I could defeat the mobs walking around in one hit.
“But who made this machine?” (Souma)
It made me think again.
…It would probably make you go ‘no, think about it before you begin the game’, but my body just itched in the face of a VR machine, and I ended up beginning the game before I could think.
“Someone most likely replicated it with magic. This world is undeveloped in science compared to Japan, but it makes up for it in magic.” (Maki)
“I see. There’s that possibility, huh.” (Souma)
If Maki, who is the only one aside from me that knows about VR machines, says this, that really might be the case.
Well, it should be fine to think about the details after enjoying this game.
Thinking this, we explored the game world, but…
“This is shocking.” (Souma)
We discovered something impressive.
It is basically a mesh of the Nekomimi Neko world and our world.
This game world even had mine and Maki’s school, so of course I would be surprised.
And so, we enjoyed the game, but…
“Wa? I-It is already 12?” (Souma)
When I checked the clock, it was already about to hit noon.
It seems like I got a bit too into the game and ended up playing too much.
“We have to leave quickly and make preparations to return to our world! Everyone, you have to ‘logout’ to get out of this game. Qui—” (Souma)
I hurriedly called my comrades, but their reactions were dull.
“What’s the matter? We have to be quick… There’s even people waiting to say their farewells…” (Souma)
Even when I said this, everyone was simply grinning.
They are not moving at all.
And then, Maki eventually came out to the front as representative and said this.
“—Hey, isn’t it fine to not return to our world anymore?” (Maki)
My head turned completely white the moment I heard those words.
“Ma…ki? What…are you saying?” (Souma)
Even though I am returning to our world for the sake of Maki…
But Maki said this as if she wasn’t even considering those feelings of mine.
“Cause you know, there’s even the school, and even the food and facilities of our world.
If we have this world, we don’t need to go out of our way to return to our original world.” (Maki)
“No, but…” (Souma)
“Right? Everyone thinks the same, right?” (Maki)
When Maki looked back and asked this…
“…Hn, it is just as Maki says.” (Ringo)
“Wise words.” (Mitsuki)
Ringo and Mitsuki nodded in agreement.
—What is this? What’s going on?
My instincts are ringing their alarms.
Something weird is going on here.
“Hey, Souma, let’s live together here forever.” (Leila)
“Souma-san, I…all this time, I have…” (Ina)
Leila had a somewhat blank smile and Ina approached me.
I must not stay here!
Feeling this instinctively, I shouted without restraint.
When I did, the world stabilized again.
My consciousness floated and…
What entered my vision was not the scenery in the game, but the usual dining room which relieved me.
It seems like my comrades logged out together with me, they were waking up one after the other.
“Hey, isn’t this machine broken? It is kind of…” (Souma)
Just when I was relieved and said this to Maki…
“Hm? What’s…this…?” (Souma)
I noticed that my body was tied up to the machine.
I was surprised and tried to stand up, but I was tied up tightly and couldn’t move at all.
The one who answered me was Maki who had a smile and wasn’t flustered at all at this sight.
She stood up, moved away from the VR machine, and sighed.
“Aaah, even though it took so much work to create this machine.” (Maki)
“This VR machine is something I asked the artisans of the castle and the magic tool experts to create. It was SUPER difficult, you know.” (Maki)
Words I couldn’t understand…words I didn’t want to understand.
But the question bothering me deep in my heart melted.
A VR machine is a concept that doesn’t exist in this world.
No matter if this world has magic and you can push boundaries, there’s no way they could recreate a concept they don’t even have a notion of to begin with.
On top of that, our school being in the game was way too unnatural no matter how you slice it.
But a japanese person who knows about how it works -Maki- were to provide the information, the story is different.
That’s why there’s a VR machine here.
“W-Why are you doing this?! I am trying to return to our world for you sake—” (Souma)
“That’s why, I…we decided that we would do this in order for you to not go back to our world.” (Maki)
I don’t get it.
Even if I were to return to my original world, it would be together with Maki.
Why is she doing this to me…?
“Cause even if we were to return to our world, you will just be playing games the whole time and forget about me!!” (Maki)
“T-That’s not…” (Souma)
I couldn’t say it is not true.
But even if so, for something like that…
“P-Please wait! Then, what about the others…?” (Souma)
“They all feel the same. They don’t want you to return to your original world either. That’s why they are making it so you will stay here even if by force.” (Maki)
When she directed her gaze there…
My comrades were apologizing as if feeling bad about this.
But that instead proved that Maki was telling the truth.
“R-Right! Sazan! What about her? If it is her…” (Souma)
“You are such an idiot, Souma.” (Maki)
The one who answered my last string of hope was the scorn of Maki.
“Hey, why do you think Sazan-chan is not here?” (Maki)
“Eh? Why, you ask… Because she slept in…” (Souma)
When I said exactly what Mitsuki told me, Maki laughed as if finding that amusing.
“Bzzt! Wrong! The answer is…if she were here, you would return to our world, so we had her disappear.” (Maki)
What kind of nonsense is she saying?
Those words clung to my throat, but I didn’t speak them out.
“Well then, we will have you sleep for a bit, okay? I would feel bad about leaving you tied up the whole time after all.” (Maki)
“What are you…” (Souma)
“As I said, have you… [Sleep].”
My vision was enveloped in darkness by the spell.
—Aah, this is just a bad dream.
I couldn’t resist it and I fell into darkness…
—If this is a dream, please let me wake up…
I woke up there.
I jump out from my bed while restraining my drumming heart.
I can’t see Maki or the VR machine no matter where I look.
And then, when I check the clock…
In other words…
“That just now was…a dream…?” (Souma)
The moment I said this, the memories replayed.
I fell asleep yesterday after looking at the clock, and then I had a weird dream, huh.
“Haah…that gave me a fright.” (Souma)
But now that I think about it, this is natural.
Even if my comrades don’t want me to return to my world, they wouldn’t use such drastic measures.
Moreover, the spell Sleep worked on me despite having resistance to status ailments.
Taking that one event, it is clear that that just now was a dream.
“Why did I see a dream like that?” (Souma)
It seems like I really was nervous from this being my last day in this world.
Even if it was in a dream, I have to apologize to everyone for doubting them for a moment there.
Thinking this, I prepare myself, and leave the room.
I felt something off for an instant there while I was turning the doorknob. I didn’t have time to wonder what it was.
A jet black something jumped at me from the corridor.
The one who jumped at me was the only girl that I didn’t see in my dream.
—She is not wearing her mask?
“Souma! That’s a relief!” (Sazan)
I could feel my heart skip a beat from her upturned teary eyes.
—C-Calm down, we are talking about Sazan here, you know?
Even though I thought that, once I was made aware of this, the heat on my face was not subsiding.
Sazan is originally a high pedigree Seal Priestess, moreover, a super beautiful girl.
She is normally someone I wouldn’t even be able to speak to.
On top of that…
(S-She is unexpectedly…big…!) (Souma)
Because she was clinging to me tightly, her breasts that had grown more than I expected were pressing against me.
Is she normally compressing her chests with something because she disguises herself as a man?
This sensation…Ina goes without saying, but her battle power is even higher than Maki and Ringo!
While I was having those carefree thoughts…
“Quick! Run quickly, Souma!” (Sazan)
Sazan was saying nonsense while clinging onto me.
“T-Those guys…because you are going to be returning to your world, they are doing something outrageous…
A-Anyways, run!” (Sazan)
A bad feeling crept in me.
Sazan was killed inside the dream.
There’s no way something like that would happen in real life.
Even though I am thinking that, my bad feeling isn’t subsiding.
But my mouth was saying the complete opposite.
“It is okay. It must be some kind of joke. There’s no way they would do something so bad.” (Souma)
“Also, even if they wanted to do something to me, what would they do? I have the strongest gea—hm?” (Souma)
That’s when I finally noticed what felt off.
Now that I think about it, the thing I had yesterday…is nowhere to be found…
“—Is this what you were searching for?”
A refreshing voice rang in my ears.
The one standing there is Mitsuki Hisame.
My trusted comrade…or so she should be.
But what’s in her hand is…
“Fufu, it was dropped on your floor, so I picked it up.” (Mitsuki)
“Lute Dis Aster…” (Souma)
It is Evil God transformed into a lute; the gear that grants the strongest power to its holder.
That is in her hands now.
“You picked it up, Mitsuki? Can you give it back?” (Souma)
I wonder why…
“It is your fault. You spouted such a thoughtless remark like returning to your world before my death.” (Mitsuki)
“Mitsuki? You are joking, right?” (Souma)
Mitsuki was smiling sweetly with katana and lute in hand while I was confused.
“Of course, I am always serious. Now then, let’s have our last battle.” (Mitsuki)
I felt my hairs stand on end.
If Mitsuki with a lute were to turn into an enemy, I definitely wouldn’t be able to win.
My decision was instant.
“Let’s run!!” (Souma)
I carry Sazan and run with Godstep Cancel in the opposite direction of Mitsuki.
“S-Souma! Leave me—” (Sazan)
“Don’t be stupid! It is okay! Your speed doesn’t increase with the lute. If it is in speed, I am the one—” (Souma)
Just when I said that to Sazan to soothe her within my arms…Sazan suddenly twisted her body.
At the side of the corridor…lightning flew our way and hit me directly.
There’s not that much damage.
But that powerful lightning spell stunned my body for an instant, and we ended up rolling on the corridor and getting tangled up.
Footsteps of someone approaching us when we were lying on the ground…a blue shadow.
“No way… You too?” (Souma)
Lightning that can stop me even if it is only for an instant.
There’s only one person who would be able to unleash something like that.
“Ringo, why even you?!!” (Souma)
Ringo with her white face like snow slowly directed her finger at me.
“…I will kill Souma…and die…too. That way…we’ll be together…forever…” (Ringo)
“No way… You would go that far…?” (Souma)
Being killed by Ringo might be fine -is what I thought for an instant.
But a black shadow ran by my side.
Sazan jumped at Ringo who was on the verge of shooting a Lightning Strike at me.
“Go…quick!! I…I am going to…uwaaaaahh!!” (Sazan)
“Sazan! Damn it!” (Souma)
I stood up and tried to run again.
I couldn’t do it.
A throwing knife flew at me from somewhere and stabbed my feet.
“You are the one at fault, Souma-san. Leaving your wife that thinks so much of you and departing to your original world…” (Ina)
The words ‘you too?’ didn’t come out.
I was simply in despair.
“—I have finally caught up.”
No, it seems true despair was just beginning.
Finally, my fate of death had caught up to me…the strongest swordsman, Mitsuki Hisame.
“Now, this is the end.” (Mitsuki)
She raised her katana with slow movements and…
The one who jumped in was a golden flash.
She looked at me and Mitsuki who was raising her katana at me, and ran desperately towards me.
She didn’t fear the katana raised at me and ran straight towards me.
“Don’t come! Run quic—eh?” (Souma)
—She stabbed a knife in my chest.
I spoke with a raspy voice and Leila, who was twisting the knife on my chest, made a broken smile.
“…Cause I decided that I definitely will be the one to kill you, Souma.” (Leila)
That way too hopeless response made me go on my knees and I collapsed.
—It is the end.
Right now I am not sleeping or using a VR machine.
In other words, I have truly died in reality…
It was at that moment.
Something clicked in my mind.
Yesterday was March 30.
In that case, today should be March 31.
If we think of it as the calendar of Japan, it would be that.
This is the game world of Nekomimi Neko.
I certainly did hear it.
I certainly did hear Leila say ‘360 days of the year’!
“1 year is 360 days. In that case…”
Nekomimi Neko made it that way to make it easy to understand…
If 30 days is the end and there’s no 31…
—The next day after March 30 is April 1st…
Today is April Fools!
In other words…
“So all of this was an April Fools joke?!!!”
Being stabbed and the sudden change of my comrades was all a lie.
Of course it would be.
There’s no way something like this could happen.
Aah, that’s a relief -is what I thought as I rubbed my stabbed chest and…
“…That’s not it.”
I froze at the voice of Ringo.
As if giving me the final blow.
Mitsuki also tilted her head with her katana raised.
“You say weird things. A year is 365 days. The next day after March 30 is obviously March 31.” (Mitsuki)
“L-Lies! Cause a year is definitely 360 days…” (Souma)
Mitsuki tilted her head and raised the corners of her lips.
“—Were you not just dreaming that?” (Mitsuki)
That’s when I realized everything.
I recognized the world of Nekomimi Neko as only having ‘360 days in a year’ when it was inside the dream.
It wasn’t reality.
Why did I make a mistake?
Nekomimi Neko is a game with the exact same calendar as my original world.
There’s no way a month would be 30 days.
But I clung onto that faint hope and asked Mitsuki.
“H-Hey, then, today really is…” (Souma)
“Yeah, not April 1st.” (Mitsuki)
Those words said gently…even affectionately…
Broke my heart.
Strength left my limbs together with my blood, and I didn’t even have the strength to escape.
“It is okay. We will all send you there.” (Mitsuki)
“…Goodbye, Souma.” (Ringo)
The words of Mitsuki and the others, as well as the coldness of the blades pushing against me one after the other…felt like salvation even.
I was tied to the floor as if made an example.
I can’t even move properly.
I could tell the heat in my body was going down.
What coursed through my mind in front of certain death was only one thing.
Not the grudge of my comrades…
Not the grievances left in my original world…
—If I knew this would happen, I would have believed what Sazan said.
It is my gratitude and regret towards my beloved person that stayed my ally till the very end.
“Sorry, Sazan…” (Souma)
Those were my last words as my consciousness fell into eternal darkness.
<Only me and the priestess know this world is a game. Special April Fools chapter ~End~>
I read until there and threw away that bundle of papers.
It made a low sound and fell on top of the bed, close to my knees.
Must have noticed after I did that…
“Ooh, finished reading? H-How was it? This one is a masterpiece of mine! I have been warming up that idea this whole time since you told me about that April Fools custom of yours! B-Be grateful, okay? I selected you as the protagonist, so I gave you the glory of being the first reader…”
I looked at the culprit of this situation…Sazan, who is talking on and on in excitement, with half asleep eyes.
She is writing a novel with me as the protagonist without the permission of the person himself, but let’s just say that’s fine and all.
I can also turn a blind eye at the fact that I was written as an idiot who would not even think twice when seeing a game since it is fiction.
The Japanese related stuff and VR game related things were awfully crude and filled with errors…which can’t be forgiven, but let’s leave that aside.
The setting related to Sazan being awfully exaggerated is…well, I will just graciously accept it due to pity.
The biggest problem here is…why have I been woken up at 3:00 am just to read a novel like this?
“This time around I made it a bad end for the impact, but well…I am not a demon. If you have reflected on your womanizing ways after reading this, I could make it a cliche happy ending where you and I escape and the mansion blazes up…” (Sazan)
“—Just go to sleep already!” (Souma)
As if I can tag along with this anymore.
Sazan was still rambling on, but I dunked her onto the bed no questions asked.
She rampaged in the bed for a while, but she eventually stopped struggling when I held her.
This hindrance turned meek, and the peaceful morning atmosphere finally returned to the room.
“…Haah, I will finally be able to sleep with this.” (Souma)
I moved the novel on top of the bed to the desk in order to enjoy the peace I won and crawled into the bed.
Going back to sleep really is wonderful.
Is it because I am sleepy?
I wrap myself up in the bed that’s more comfortable than before and, this time around, I really go into the world of dreams.
Author: You thought it was April Fools, but it was me, Sazan (‘s novel)!
Now then, I have fulfilled my due diligence, so I will be ending the story within these 3 days of continuous posts.
Next post will be on April 2nd.