“See you later teach!”
“Yeah, see you tomorrow. There’s still some snow on the ground, so be careful not to slip.”
Giving salutes so crisp you could almost hear the sound effects, the children energetically made their way home. It was January 8th. The new year had begun and the opening ceremony of the third term was safely held with perfect attendance. A winter break of about two weeks came to a close- there wasn’t long to go for this mischievous, rowdy class of third years. I looked back upon it in earnesty, finding myself deeply moved that I had managed to overcome it all. I almost felt like crying.
“With all this energy going around, Hiroshi-kun didn’t look so peppy today… I’m sure he had a fantasy-filled winter break, so perhaps he’s still tired out.”
Back on the day of the opening ceremony of the second term, while the reality of that one time the essay a child wrote over summer break became clear, this world continued to turn as smoothly as ever. Naturally, my life as a teacher as well. A mere teacher need not dig too deeply into a family’s circumstance (and alternate worlds) and more than that, I had no idea how I was supposed to approach it. It’s not like anyone caused any particular problems for the school so, “I guess there’s a world like that somewhere out there,” I gently tucked the matter away in my heart. There really was no problem for the administration of the school.
Well I mean, on the day of the athletic meet, a group of sweltering black-suited foreigners was in attendance, causing a light panic, and in the PTA meetings, for some reason, “I’m Hiroshi-kun’s sister. It’s a pleasure to meet you,” a sister who was definitely not on the family register listened in alongside his mother as if it were only natural, and during parents’ day, a curious silver-haired parent and daughter were in attendance; this and that happened. Personally, I’d have to say quite a bit was going on, but it never became a problem… everyone went at it at their own pace.
By the way, I tried asking the foreign legion and they said, “We heard today was a day to pay respect to a child’s health and growth through a display of physical feats, so we tried wearing the clothing of this worl… I mean country. Have we done something wrong?” they said with innocent eyes, so I rushed into the management and PTA, told them to overlook it, and explained the situation as best I could.
The mysterious older sister individual gave off the impression of a calm, beautiful woman at a glance, but I don’t think it’s my fault that rather than love-struck, I felt my heart racing in terror. After parents’ day, the silver-haired parent and child grew lost on school grounds, so I properly delivered them to Hiroshi-kun. The demon lord and his daughter were the most pleasant on my heart. What is the meaning of this?
It was quite a busy second term, but now that I had safely overcome it, a sense of relief spread across my chest. The children were full of energy and there were way too many school events during the second term. But everyone helped out; during break times, they would all play ball games together. I think that those were some fun days spent. When I marvel over how I only have three months left with the kids of this class, I start to feel just a little bit lonely.
“Oh, just like summer, it looks like everyone’s properly submitted their winter homework and report cards.”
I got the submissions in order and looked over them again. While it was a rowdy class that got carried away easily, they didn’t see the act of gradually building up their knowledge as something bad, and when push came to shove, they were kids with a strong sense of duty. Though there were quite a few spacey ones who went at things at their own pace. Even so, I was sure I could send these children off to their fourth year with ease. As their homeroom teacher, I felt a sense of pride.
“And as per the norm, we’ve got the continuation of the homework they did over summer break… the winter essays are here.”
Personally, I’d received a huge impact to my sense of values and humanity from a child’s essays, so I thought I’d just give them some simple writing drills this time. But after discussing with the teachers from the other classes, for educating the children in writing styles and so-forth, it was decided we would have them write essays on what they did over the break.
While it brought back memories of the pain I felt in my throat over the summer essays, honestly, it’s only through these little essays that we can get a more detailed look into the kids’ usual conduct. Actually, I was also curious to see how Hiroshi-kun and those fantasy residents spent their winter break. The essays of the other children were- in a different sense- considerably deep as well… Unable to fight against that curiosity, I agreed to make this winter break’s homework an essay.
And the third term ended. The way my lunch time-slot became my free time was the same as the second term. It was just a little strange, and I ended up laughing as I ate the rice ball I had bought from the convenience store and doused my throat with tea. I sat in the teacher’s chair, taking the winter break essays I had just collected in hand.
“Oh, as expected of Hiroshi-kun. He’s written an amount I’d never imagine from two weeks of break.”
Feeling a warm sensation from Hiroshi-kun’s mysterious sense of stability, I picked up the essay that made one want to ask just how many things could have happened in a span of two weeks. The summer essay had gouged into me with a surprise attack, but now that I’ve been trained indirectly in the ways of fantasy, I’m sure there won’t be a problem. Like that, I triumphantly passed my eyes through Hiroshi-kun’s essay.
‘December 24th, the closing ceremony ended, and winter break began. This evening, we’re going to hold a Christmas Party at my house and celebrate with my family and everyone from the other world. I’m looking forward to my present.’
“Hmm, sometimes it’s nice to sit back and relax.”
‘The old magic guy who came from the other world put up a barrier, while the king and knights prepared an amazing royal hall. Mother and sister and Deana cooked up a lot of food. Asahiko and the black dragon helped out as well.’
“First off, someone’s got to tell him it’s bad for the black dragon to come to a standard house on earth.”
‘Finally, the demon lord used a magic circle to send in snow from the other world and have it fall. It was pretty.’
“And finally, I’ve discovered the identity of that surprise white Christmas.”
By applying the principles of summoning, they could use a bit of magic even on earth, apparently. Even so, with summons and returns, a barrier and everything that must have gone into concealing it, I have to tip my hat. That old magic guy really is amazing; I get the feeling he’s going to collapse again.
‘Together with Deana and sister, I went to pick up the Christmas cake we reserved.’
“So that princess is now able to go to all sorts of places.”
‘Or so I thought, when the space above my head grew dark, and by the time I noticed it, a UFO was flying through the sky.’
I spat my tea.
‘Bzzzzz, a beam suddenly flew out from the UFO, but sister and the knights managed to stop it so everyone was safe.’
“Why is the princess moving alongside her knights, or rather her guards.”
‘I was surprised when the knights suddenly appeared, but, “Ever since summer break, they’ve always been by your side to protect you,” sis told me. I never noticed.’
“Your teacher never noticed either.”
So they weren’t the princess’ guard, they were Hiroshi-kun’s guard. Honestly, she really didn’t need them anyways, that heaven-sent child of the hammer. It seems while Deana seemed alone, she had them on her as well. Rather, you don’t mean Hiroshi-kun had those guards through his whole school life? Not just during parents’ day, were they watching and reporting various things during regular classes as well? I think I have to make a stop by the pharmacist for some stomach medicine.
No, wait. More importantly, what’s with the UFO? That’s the wrong genre. Why is an element of SF sticking itself into Hiroshi-kun’s laid-back fantasy lifestyle? He’s already got plenty awry with fantasy alone. If it was an essay from any other child then, ‘Yeah, yeah,’ I’d be able to laugh it off with a smile, but just by it being Hiroshi-kun’s, it has way too much persuasive power. What’s with this, it’s terrifying. This essay is terrifying.
‘The UFO was following us, so we decided we had to run away. “I’m sure the aliens have come to invade humanity. They’re going to abduct us in order to study humans,” sister said with a difficult look on her face. “Is that a disk type? But when you look at it from a level plane, it could also look triangular, so perhaps it’s one of those triangle types they spotted a lot of last year,” Deana taught me. They’re both amazing.’
“These otherworlders are steadily being dyed in earth’s culture.”
‘It was hard for everyone from the other world to use their power on earth, so we were in trouble. While we were running, sister used the war hammer she carried around as simply good sense for a noble lady to send nearby items flying at the UFO, but she was only able to dent it.’
“I’ve found something greater than the unidentified flying object to retort to.”
Come to think of it, in the essay I read in summer, he did write that the powers of those from the other world were suppressed. This is just by Hiroshi-kun’s basic explanation, but there’s some mysterious wall between the other world and earth, and that suppression is something they have to do in order to bypass that wall, it seems. So this is that princess in her weakened state? If she was at full power, that UFO was definitely going down. An otherworlder on earth was going to cause an intergalactic problem by sinking a UFO with a hammer. What is this I don’t even.
By the way, Hiroshi-kun’s staff that apparently housed a god put out water normally, even on earth. I know that because in the preparations for the Christmas party, the old magic guy who was working hard to conceal all the otherworld party’s outlandishness was downing it like crazy. Even if he didn’t have the power of his own world, the essay said he was fine because he was using the power of the god in the staff. It’s called a staff of god, so even if it could only put out water, it was still an amazing item after all. Perhaps there are other things it can do as well.
‘Sister did her best to shoot, and the knights prepared things for her to send flying, but after we ran out of things that wouldn’t cause trouble for the locals if they were gone, we were in a pinch.’
“Should I praise them for that? Or tell them to value their lives more?”
‘When the time came where sis had no choice but to activate her final technique, The Pinnacle Of Ladihood, a beam suddenly flew out from the sky and hit the triangular UFO. The UFO chasing us let off steam as it flew beyond the horizon. And then a new UFO flew over to us.’
According to Deana-chan’s explanation, it was a three-dimensional pyramid-type UFO. I think these members are too eager to carry their own paths to the extremes.
‘The UFO came down in front of us. The entrance opened, and from inside came a girl around the same age as us. When the girl looked at me, for some reason her face looked like it was going to cry, but she quickly showed a smile. All by herself, the girl tucked a small box-like something away in the UFO. I was surprised. When she was supposed to be a girl I was meeting for the first time, for some reason, when we were together, I could calm down. I don’t really understand this feeling.’
“Eh? A girl? I was sure Hiroshi-kun’s heartwarming mindset would even accept a resident of sci-fi, but this isn’t their first meeting? Yeah, I don’t get it.”
‘“In order to save everyone, I’ve come from a few hundred years in the future,” the girl said. Sis acted as our representative and talked with her with a serious face. A little while later, “Cute little girls are justice,” she said, skipping as she returned, holding the girl’s hand. It seems we are going to hear the specifics at home. My sister seemed really happy for some reason.’
“She’s an honest child lover (danger).”
After that, the guard knights returned to the shadows as per usual, they went to get their ordered cake as if it were only natural, and the four of them held hands as they happily returned to Hiroshi-kun’s house. When such an SF impact occurred, what’s with this all’s well with the world journey home? Even from the essay, I could feel the SF girl’s confusion.
Of all things, the Christmas party that had planned was held regardless. I can imagine the blank look on the SF girl’s face. It seems the adults had already drunk their hearts out while they waited for the cake, and even when a girl they’d never met before appeared, “When yer celebratin’ somethin’, you don’t sweat the small stuff!” they just went and accepted her. Hey, you should at least hear out the SF girl who came from a few hundred years in the future to save you. They really take it as it comes.
The only sober face among the adults, the demon lord who was nursing the drunks thought for a moment, but, “Perhaps my daughter will be able to make a female friend,” was the conclusion he came out with. As expected of the demon lord who started an invasion of the other world for his daughter. Just stay that way. Though that means the two largest powers of the fantasy team share the same weak point.
They sang, made merry and ate cake late into the night, and it was only after the Christmas present exchange had ended that the talks began. SF girl, I think you have every right to cry. Though she was delighted when she received a ribbon from Hiroshi-kun and she nervously enjoyed herself, petting Akihiko and eating cake with Deana-chan as she told her about the UFO. For now, Hiroshi-kun’s effort did an ample job of conveying the fact that the Christmas party was fun.
‘The girl said her name was Twinkle, and she had come riding a spaceship from an earth in the future. It so happened the aliens who were trying to invade future earth were coincidentally able to create a device that let them return to the past, so they had warped to this era in order to eliminate us. Learning of it by coincidence, Twinkle infiltrated the aliens’ mothership in order to stop them and was caught up in their warp. The UFO Twinkle was riding originally belonged to the aliens.’
“Whoa… super sci-fi. And I’ve just casually learned from a child’s essay that aliens do in fact exist in space. But why would the aliens who came from a hundred years in the future go out of their way to warp and erase Hiroshi-kun?”
‘The reason they were after us was because the aliens had experienced the unfairness of going against the earth that had taken in fantasy elements in the future, and we were the intermediary. In that case, as long as they could eliminate the fantasy elements before they took hold, their side could win! Or so they warped and aimed to change history.’
I understand completely. Meaning this fantasy exchange that started in this era with Hiroshi-kun would likely keep expanding into the future. As a result, the earth in the future had successfully mixed in with fantasy, and the earth of the future had become such a powerhouse the aliens who came to invade received a baptism by fire. It wasn’t just the other world, Hiroshi-kun and his family had indirectly managed to save the earth of the future. This hero family really is something.
The aliens who received such a painful experience from the powerhouse that was earth coincidentally hit upon a way to travel back in time, and aimed for a chance to use that device to turn the situation on its head. That was the turning point, the cause that plainly connected the earth to the fantasy realm. After erasing the cause of Fantasy, they were thinking to go straight ahead and invade earth. Petty, these aliens are really petty. When the SF scale is off the charts, they’re really wasting it here.
And while I ended the year doing a bit of work before returning to the countryside, skillfully changing channels between singing competitions and music shows, to think a crisis of alien invasion was actually encroaching upon the earth. Why did I have to learn this outrageous truth from an essay a child wrote as his winter break homework? I ended up looking into the distance.
‘While they noticed the aliens were trying to go to the past, it seems the only one who could move quickly enough was Twinkle, so she was the only one who made it to the past. Twinkle’s goal was to either send the aliens back to their original era or defeat them and destroy the device that spanned time. “Unlike everyone else in the future, if it’s me, even if I’m left in the past, I won’t cause any dissonance, and I thought that if I went to the past, I might be able to do what I always dreamed of doing,” she said as she gave a happy smile.’
“… So if it comes down to it, even if she’s unable to go home, she intends to destroy the time machine.”
‘I asked Twinkle what her dream was, but, “It already came true,” she told me. I said I wanted to hear it, but she told me it was a secret. I was a little sad.’
Yeah, Twinkle-chan, eh? The girl who resolved to abandon everything to save Hiroshi-kun and his family to protect the earth of the future. If you think of what might have granted her wish, I think she really must have had fun in the short time she made merry at the Christmas party. It was written that she tied up her hair with the ribbon Hiroshi-kun gave her that made her a matching set with Deana-chan. If she came with such a tragic resolve, I don’t think she’d be able to smile like this. Perhaps she wished to return to the past from the start.
Anyways, while I’m curious about her, there’s no doubt they have to do something about the aliens first, or it’ll be a problem. In the future, it seems research was done so that the other world’s power could be used across the boundary, but in the current era, it might be rough. While it the enemy was apparently already half-destroyed with nowhere else to turn, Hiroshi’s family was a standard household on earth and the fantasy team couldn’t exhibit their original strength.
And would Twinkle-chan alone really be able to do something about the aliens? While I’d be thankful for some reinforcements from the future, there’s a limit to what a single girl could come to the past to do. When she hid and stowed away on the space-ship, she found some SF-tech, and she’s the sort of girl who was able to drive a stolen UFO and fire its beams, so perhaps she’s a considerably determined and amazing kid. Even so, the biggest problem has to be the difference in war potential, after all. This is a difficult task.
‘By the way, I asked her how we were going to defeat the aliens. She said that as long as she had our power, they might be able to do it.’
‘If me, Deana and Twinkle worked together, then it looks like everyone from the other world can use their power on earth as well.’
“Problem solved, just like that.”
‘All the adults talked, and as they thought the aliens were going to come again, they decided that the first thing they would do was take them down before they could.’
“While you have the demon lord there, is that really the thought process of the hero side who saved the other world!?”
‘We would have them give us a lot of UFOs, and together with everyone from the other world, we would board their mothership and take them down all at once..’
“Is this Armageddon?”
It’s no good, if this hero household and the otherworld team went at it full-throttle, I’m not getting the slightest feeling they’re going to lose. I don’t know what sort of chaos there is in the future, but even if they had come to the past, the aliens were dealing with a foe that had traumatized them. What’s more, all the members that might be able to take over the real world had been gathered. The hero couple that makes crying children cry harder (Mom and Dad), the peerless hammer (Princess), the indulgent common man (Demon Lord), the working house security (Akihiko) and the dogs of the dog (The Four Heavenly Kings). Everyone’s kinda out there.
What’s more, when you say everyone from the other world, are you perhaps including the knights and monsters? But if you have too many people, then moving by UFO will prove difficult, and I doubt a giant monster like the black dragon will be able to take part in this battle. I mean, the stage is the vast expanse of space.
‘The demon lord spoke up. He said if we could use our powers, he would try developing a magic that would allow us to operate in outer space.’
“Oy, don’t be rash.”
‘“Father’s amazing!” Deana said and clapped her hands, so me and Twinkle clapped along. The demon lord told us to leave it to him, sticking up his thumb in a cool pose as he returned to the other world at a really high speed.’
“You’re definitely exerting yourself in all the wrong places!”
This demon lord started an invasion for his daughter, and through his daughter’s support, he went off to use fantasy powers to step into the realm of sci-fi! Just how much of a doting parent is he!?
‘The king also returned to the other world. He said he would investigate the UFO Twinkle came on. After taking some earth gadgets to the other world, they were able to make various things, but will they be able to make a UFO?’
“He casually brought it up, the other world super foreign culture exchange. Earth technology is flowing over to the other world, but is this really alright? Seriously, why does a mere elementary school teacher have to learn all these outrageous facts from a child’s essay?”
‘If we defeat any attacking aliens, the king told us to send them to the other world. When I asked why, he said he had some things he wanted to talk about. I’d like to talk to them about space too.’
“Hiroshi-kun, hurry and give the king some water! That man is definitely thinking something dark! Those aliens are definitely going to go through something terrible!”
Huh? This is a bit late, but why have my worries begun to tilt towards the side invading earth?
So Christmas ended, and the week leading up to the new year went by. During that time period, it seems Hiroshi-kun and Deana-chan received guidance from Twinkle-chan. Apparently, Twinkle-chan would channel her power into Hiroshi-kun’s staff, and Deana-chan would use magic to spread the water that came from it to everyone. With Twinkle’s magic, they could distribute the power without any burden on the staff.
I wondered if the staff inhabited by a god would be alright, but it didn’t show any particular rejection reaction. For the daughter of the demon lord, controlling magic was as easy as breathing, it seems. And for all the troubles she had caused with her miasma fever, she was happy she could be useful to everyone.
Even so, Twinkle-chan’s ability to let everyone use their otherworldly powers sure is convenient. If she had such an amazing power, wouldn’t she be necessary in the future? Regardless of my questions, the three of them endeavored through their training. In Hiroshi-kun’s essay, at the end they ate mochi and talked a lot, took a commemorative picture and made a snowman with the snow that had piled up, it was colored with nothing with happy memories.
There was a picture stuck between the pages of the essay, and I held it up in my hands. It seemed to be inside a house, a picture of them eating a New Year’s feast. A black haired boy was delightfully eating herring roe, and perhaps the silver haired girl had taken a liking to the shrimp as their shells made a thick layer over her plate. A pink haired girl chewed on octopus as she warmly watched over the two. For some reason, the scene set me at ease.
Of course, the circumstances surrounding it involved attacks from UFOs, and robot-like things from time to time, but the fantasy group that had drunken Hiroshi-kun’s water abandoned their prudence and returned fire with momentum as if they were the ones launching the assault. It was Fantasy versus Science Fiction. By the way, the one who took the cake in enemies defeated was Akihiko after all. But the one with the most distinguished service had to be the old magic guy who continued to conceal every single one of the battles.
A number of the disciples he had raised were already in emergency care. I apologize to all the magicians. While you were out protecting the earth, us earthlings were getting rowdy over a normal happy new year. It’s because of your contributions that the news wasn’t taken over by unidentified crafts and dragons. We offer our dearest gratitude.
‘We had finally managed to gather enough UFOs and robots to carry all of us, so we made for space with the driving technique the captured aliens happily taught us. The demon lord cast space magic on the large monsters, and we also handed out water to everyone.’
“Since it’s an essay, it feels light, but if you think of the deeper meaning, those are some contents that are going to hurt me later.”
‘It would be bad if the water’s power ran out, so we went along with them. Everyone was fighting the aliens, while we were with sister and her knights on a mission to find the device that crossed time. I worked as hard as I could. But lately, Twinkle’s health isn’t looking so good, so I’m worried.”
Come to think of it, she’s definitely swooning more than she was around Christmas. Since it was a device that spanned time, perhaps she was getting a cold because she warped to a colder time. Even so, with a face as bright as her name would suggest, Twinkle spent her days with a twinkling smile on her face.
When the battle was over, what did she plan to do? If she returned to the future, the three of them wouldn’t be able to play anymore. But would remaining really be what’s best for her? I suddenly wondered such a thing. While it seems the old magic guy collapsed just as the fantasy legion made it to space, I prayed that everyone would return safely as I continued down the essay.
‘Riding the UFO Twinkle piloted, we made our way into space. The earth seen from above was more beautiful than I’ve ever seen on TV or in photos. When I looked to the side, I saw lots of UFOs, robots, dragons, and monsters flying and that was also amazing.’
“Yep, I can see that would be an amazing sight.”
‘There were lots of aliens near the mothership. But everyone kept on pressing forward. The UFOs that came towards us were all sunk at once with the beams from the UFOs Twinkle and everyone else rode. “No mercy to those who expose Hiroshi-kun to danger,” Twinkle said, and with that, she exchanged a high five with sis.’
“And I can also see I’ve gained yet another peril to my life.”
They keep growing the further I read on, these death flags of mine. So if something happens to Hiroshi-kun in the remainder of the third term, not just fantasy, some sci-fi stuff is going to come flying at me too. I held down the corners of my eyes.
‘Because of everyone’s support, we were able to safely enter the mothership. I held up my staff, borrowing Twinkle and Deana’s power as I prayed that the water would reach everyone. When I did, the staff let off a gentle pink hue as Deana’s magic formed the water into little beads and spread them across the expanse of space.’
“Oh, how truly fantasy.”
‘The aliens who fired beams at us were kabaamed by the beam from mom’s holy sword. Father and the king rode a robot they had fiddled with in the other world, “Set course for a man’s romance,” they said as they energetically went off to conquer the ship. Meanwhile, we headed to the spot with the time machine Twinkle had looked into when she first infiltrated the ship. With sis smashing down walls with her destruction hammer, we headed straight for it.’
“Within such a mysterious scene, the fantasy elements aren’t hesitating to plow straight through.”
‘We were finally standing before the room with the time machine, or so I thought when a red lamp lit up the room and strange robot things flooded in from all over the place. While sis and the knights did their best we were about to be pushed into a corner.’
As expected, the enemy prepared a security system for their important device. The members of the hero party were specialized in physical and focused attacks, but when it came to waves of foes or long-range attacks, they couldn’t help but be troubled to cope. When they were fighting while protecting Hiroshi-kun, they couldn’t swing their weapons willy-nilly either.
If even the princess was hard-pressed, then this wasn’t the sort of predicament some half-baked power could deal with. Just how did they plan on overcoming the enemy’s final struggle?
‘Then Akihiko made his appearance.’
“Aight, that’s a wrap!!”
‘Taking the four heavenly kings along, Akihiko’s brilliant coordination cleared a path to the device. “Awooooooooh!” Akihiko stood gallantly to protect our backs, wagging his tail as his large howl resounded through the ship as if to tell us we could leave it to him. With swift movements and techniques, he made a sport of his foes, almost dancing around the robots as he and the four heavenly kings sent us a nod and sent us on our way.’
“Who is this handsome hound? ”
Also, the four heavenly king, strongest members of the demon king’s army are completely under Akihiko’s control. They’ve clearly grown stronger than they had been over summer break, the demons of the four heavenly kings. Rather than the demon king’s army, aren’t they already members of Akihiko’s world reformation rangers? They’re a team of five, after all.
‘We were able to suppress the device on our own, so all that was left was to send the aliens back to the future. A little while later, the aliens signaled their surrender and we were able to win. When we asked the aliens if they would return to their original time, the aliens told us they no longer had a homeland, that they were looking for a planet they could take a permanent residence in. It looks like they could only live in a world with greenery and water like earth, and without earth, they had nowhere left to go.’
“Yeah, I see. So they tried attacking earth in order to survive only to be greeted by an inhuman land of magic. I do pity them a bit, but they’re completely reaping what they sowed…”
‘The king said, “Then do you want to live in another world? Let’s build a robot together,” and he began talks with the aliens.’
“Oy, don’t be rash!”
‘The alien said, ‘Robots are the best,’ and at the end, they exchanged a firm handshake.’
“He really went and did it!!”
‘The aliens ended up living in the other world. Their skin colors were different from humans, so they would cause a ruckus on earth, but as demons with red and blue skin lived normally in that world, it didn’t seem there would be any particular problems if they slipped in. All the aliens were glad they had found a new home.’
“He said it so casually, but with science and magic mixing together, isn’t this a historic event marking the start of a new era!?”
Everyone wants to build a robot together, is that reason really enough for you all to get along!? Though I’m also really interested! The aliens also had some interest in the robots modified with magic in the other world… I get the feeling the inhuman powerhouse state of future earth is only getting worse.
In order to prevent the disclosure of the mothership’s technology, the ship that had been put in tatters from everyone’s rampage would be erased without a trace. With everyone’s fantasy powers. But for argument’s sake, is that the end of this time’s SF incident? This time was yet another chaotic flow, but it does seem they managed to get it all together in the end. Somehow. By putting everyone’s power together, it looks like they were able to resolve it. Though I can’t tell if it was a pretty ending or not.
Humans and demons working together were able to accomplish so much. From now on, SF was going to add onto that even further. What do I do, I just heard such a vital piece of news for the earth and other world from a child’s essay. The crumbling of the values and humanity within me is way too severe.
Even so, my heart had no choice but to accept the contents of the story. Everyone was showing consideration not to cause trouble for the earth, and while the old magic guy collapsed a number of times, he was fed water and rose like the Phoenix himself. I cannot let his devotion to his overwork go to waste.
But, well, with this, everyone’s smiling and it’s a happy ending. Even in SF, Hiroshi-kun’s healing water that brought smiles to peoples’ faces played a huge role.
‘After that, we only had to use the device to send Twinkle to the future, and then we would destroy it. I thought I would have one last talk with Twinkle, but Twinkle suddenly collapsed. As we approached in surprise, I saw her whole body was pale, and I noticed it was becoming somewhat faint. Before our surprise, Twinkle said, “I planned on returning to the future before it came to this…” she said with a small laugh. I could tell she was forcing herself to laugh.’
‘I told her we would have a doctor see her at once, but, “I knew this was going to happen to me,” she returned a smile. When I asked her why she could smile when she was in so much pain, “My name Twinkle is an important name that was given to me by a precious person. He said it was because I had the power to give everyone a twinkling smile. So at the very least, I want myself to be able to smile like my name,” she told me. Twinkle kept growing paler and paler and I didn’t know what to do.’
She knew this was going to happen. She knew the reason behind her poor health and concealed it from Hiroshi-kun and the others the whole way. It’s quite likely she planned to return to the future without telling a soul. But before she could do that, she had approached her limit and everyone had noticed.
But why was she on the verge of disappearing? I thought it was the sort of paradox phenomenon you might find in sci-fi, but that didn’t seem to be the case. Was there any other reason? She had just used her power to make it so everyone from the other world could make use of their own powers… after thinking that far, I noticed.
Right, there’s no way such a convenient power could be used free of charge. It was definitely written that otherworldly powers could be used in the future only through hundreds of years of research. Thinking back, her health started to take a dive around when she was letting everyone use their powers. What’s more, it seems the fantasy team hit on it as well.
‘Perhaps it’s because everyone used Twinkle’s power, they said. When I thought Twinkle was going to disappear, my tears started to come out. Twinkle apologized for making me cry, she told me it was alright. She wasn’t going to die, since she had used up the power she had gathered over hundreds of years, she was just going to sleep. Twinkle told us that she wasn’t human.’
“Not human? Then she’s not an otherworld child of the future?”
From how she said a hundred years, perhaps her age wasn’t as it appeared. Certainly, for a normal child, she had piloted an unidentified mass of SF technology and operated on her own after coming to the past alone.
More than anything, even if she had to use her power in order to save Hiroshi-kun and the future, did that mean she accepted she was going to disappear? She could’ve spent her days surrounded by smiles, dammit.
‘Why did you save us when you knew it would make you disappear? Tears surfaced in sister’s eyes as she asked. “I only became able to move around like a human more than a hundred years from now. By the time I had a proper form, I could only cry that my wish would never be granted. What I always wanted to do… for the person who found me when I was alone, covered in dust for so long, for the person who showed me how vast the world could be, who gave me a name, when I could do nothing but produce water, the one who taught me how wonderful it was to have a power that could bring smiles to peoples’ faces… I always, always wanted to convey my gratitude. I wanted to be useful to Hiroshi and everyone else,” Twinkle cried as she told us.’
“Found alone, covered in dust in this era by Hiroshi-kun, and when she could only put out water, she could bring smiles to peoples’ faces…she taught humans and monsters, demons and aliens that they could all get together and laugh. Twinkle-chan, you’re…”
‘When I looked between Twinkle and the staff in my hand, she gave a happy nod. “The name Twinkle is a wonderful name you’ll give me in a few years’ time,” she laughed.’
The staff of god able to put out purifying water. And there was a god dwelling in that staff. I finally managed to connect it off. The reason she was able to let everyone from the other world use their power was because they were using her own power as a god. Hiroshi-kun was able to put out water even on earth. It was only natural she was able to pass through the staff and grant her power to everyone. I mean, the staff of god was her herself. There’s no way there would be any rejection reaction.
Thinking back, in the preparations and concealing work for Christmas, the old magic guy collapsed from stress, but even so, after he drank Hiroshi-kun’s water, he revived. That was the power of solace said to dwell in the divine water, and the effect that let him use the other world’s power.
Her dream was to be useful to Hiroshi-kun, who she owed so much to. But by the time she was able to move with a human form, Hiroshi-kun’s lifespan prevented her from ever meeting or talking to him. I get the feeling he’s going to live the rest of his life as a normal human, going at it at his own pace, after all. That’s why she came to a past era without the slightest hesitation.
I’m sure the time she spent at the Christmas party, the times she spent laughing with Hiroshi-kun and Deana-chan were all irreplaceable moments. Even if using her own powers would send her into a long sleep, Twinkle-chan’s thoughts were strong enough she wouldn’t regret it.
‘“I was really happy. Hiroshi and Deana, I was able to talk with everyone, I was able to play a lot, I was able to say thank you, able to protect your smile, I was happy to be able to meet everyone. I don’t think I’ll be able to wake up in an era that has everyone, but I’ll always be by your side. So you don’t have to be sad,” Twinkle wiped away my and Deana’s tears. I always thought she might return to the future, but not being able to talk or play with Twinkle is still sad.’
‘When I asked if there was anything I could do, “I want you to pat me on the head,” Twinkle gave one final request. I pat Twinkle’s head a lot. A pat her, I pat her.’
After that, alongside the device that crossed time, everyone bid adieu to the mothership. Twinkle was smiling to the end before reverting to a tree branch about the size Hiroshi-kun could barely hold in both arms. It’s likely that over a long period of time, the staff Hiroshi-kun carried would grow to that form, the demon lord who researched the staff told him.
It seems Twinkle-chan who resided in the staff taking human form was something that normally wasn’t supposed to happen. The sacred tree maturing to adulthood like this was also an impossibility. But by her strong desires, her staying on earth while using the powers of another world and the warm thoughts that always enveloped her, a miracle had been born.
It seems the staff Hiroshi-kun currently held, and the will of Twinkle-chan who came from the future had been connected, so the future her remaining wouldn’t be a bad influence. When she said there wouldn’t be a problem if she stayed in the past, she was likely taking into account something like this.
‘All the aliens crossed over to the other world, it seems they’re going to live there with the king and princess and demon lord. We smiled as we all decided we would treasure the future that Twinkle and everyone worked hard to protect. It seems some heated debates about robot design are going on in that world. The old magic guy drafted up a plan to raise a hundred disciples and he’s drinking my water every day. Akihiko’s expanded his world reformation to space, and taking along the four heavenly kings and a group of robots, he’s going to give it his all.’
A fantasy world, and a world where SF naturally mixed itself in. While it was chaotic, everyone was walking towards their own futures one step at a time.
‘I planted Twinkle’s branch in the yard. The demon king said that Twinkle’s thoughts, the earth’s power, and our warm thoughts for her had created a miracle. So if me and Deana and everyone in the family keeps thinking of her, I thought we might be able to meet again. The people from the other world sometimes come to give her water and the aliens also come to lower their heads. Gripping Twinkle’s staff, I think I’ll do my best to smile like she did.’
‘Together with Deana-chan, so our friend won’t ever have to worry, we’re going to do our best.’
Reading Hiroshi-kun’s essay to the end, I carefully placed it in a corner so it wouldn’t crease before exhaling my breath. I wiped away what I felt in the corners of my eyes with a handkerchief, closing my eyes as I let my thoughts turn. I now know why Hiroshi-kun looked so down in today’s opening ceremony. I’m sure that he’ll put in his wishes as he gives water to Twinkle-chan’s tree today. Believing in another miracle.
Because of Twinkle-chan, everyone’s future, the earth was protected. For that I really am, really am grateful. I won’t deny her hard work, and I won’t question whether there was a better way to do it. Even so, some unbearable feelings were welling up inside of me. I’ve never actually met Twinkle-chan, and no matter what an irrelevant person like me who just read of her in an essay thinks, it won’t do a thing. Even so, she’s the savior of everyone on earth, and a precious friend of a child in my class.
I’m just a teacher. I read of a strange experience in an essay by coincidence, nothing more than a normal civilian. Even so, I’m a teacher. Thinking of the children, and sending them off towards their futures with a smile is my role. I took another deep breath before quietly standing from the chair.
“This is all I can do, but even so, if it’s just giving a miracle a push on the back, I might be able to do it.”
The goal of an essay isn’t just to elevate one’s writing ability. They let one honestly convey one’s experience and feelings in words, they let one transmit what they’ve felt and thought to another. And I learned of what Hiroshi-kun experienced, and was able to pick up on his wish. Just like this, he was able to connect his emotions and feelings to others. That was the amazing part of an essay.
I took the remaining essays and the necessary items as I hurried my feet out of the faculty office.
“Now this is the end of your third year, so let’s all create a place to remember! Even if you become forth years and get separated from your current friends, even if everyone graduates this elementary school, a sort of place we can remember for years, for decades… great enough to carve into this academy’s history, let’s make a really splendid garden!”
After I read everyone’s essays and stopped shouting out, I made a plea to the teachers of our year, lowered my head to the administration, and managed to obtain a portion of the school’s biology garden. It was originally a lot where weeds grew however they pleased and a place that was never used, so if it was going to remain a wasteland, they were better off giving permission for the students to make a garden.
Of course, in that state, there was no way we could use it. What’s more, the season put us in January, the dead of winter, and it was much too early for the seeds to grow. So after school, once class ended, I would pull the weeds and dig up the dirt with a spade, lining up the crumbled brick anew and spending over a month of the third term on the dirt.
While it was hard work, after about a week had gone by, my colleagues began to help out. Thinking over the arch of the garden, I received some juice from the administrator who had just got off work, and at the very end, everyone in the school was building it up.
When February came around, I led the children to the lot that was well-in-order enough for children to wander. What sort of flowers would we plant, what sort of trees would we grow? There were kids who wanted to make signs to say what sort of flowers were growing, and others who wanted to try planting vegetables.
Pulling weeds every day, I’d sketch the yard and discuss with everyone what sort of flowers we’d plant, sometimes taking opinions from the kids in the lower grades, and the upper grade students would sometimes get around to helping of their own initiative. I was worried whether this high-paced work would make it in time, but with everyone’s power, we were able to make it.
“It’s everyone’s garden we’ve all worked on together, so your teacher thinks we need something to be a centerpiece. I’m sure that just like now, many kids and adults will pour in their feelings, treasuring this garden for a long time. So something that will become the symbol of this garden, I want to plant a wishing tree. An important tree that will grow with all of you”
“Everyone’s feelings, a wishing tree…”
“Hey, Hiroshi-kun. Isn’t there a tree in your house you put your all into watering every day? If you want, you could plant that tree in the garden and let everyone look after it. With everyone’s power, everyone’s thoughts, the tree will be treasured. So that it will become a tree they’ll all remember after they graduate this school, so that it’ll become a tree the newly enrolled kids will feel a connection to.”
I leaned down and matched Hiroshi-kun’s eye level. The other kids already knew about the tree Hiroshi-kun raised with such care and voices of approval began to come out. His wide eyes opening wide, Hiroshi-kun nodded with a glimmering smile.
In the garden, everyone lined up bricks, taking care to make a place where it wouldn’t collapse no matter how the winds blew. On top of that, to make sure it was bathed in plenty of sunlight, using the mirror experiments the students carried out in their third years, we made devices to reflect light onto it. From the rumors that spread before anyone knew it, the guardians of the children came to help out as well. The ‘Garden for Everyone’ that had started as my whim was now filled with a lot of wishes as it proceeded forwards.
“Ah, Hiroshi! Does this tree have a name?”
“Yeah, she’s called Twinkle. Because she gives everyone a twinkling smile… she has an amazing power.”
“Hmm, a tree of smiles, huh. That sounds nice! Then this garden’s name is the Twinkling Garden.”
“Eeeh? You’re just using it as-is!?”
“I think it’s nice and easy to remember. Right, we’ve got to decide shifts for watering Twinkle-chan, so everyone said they were getting together.”
On the words of his classmates, a slight tear surfaced in Hiroshi-kun’s eyes as he gave a delighted laugh.
March marched in, and we were somehow able to have the garden take shape within the term. The seeds and seedlings had only just been planted, and while it felt rough with only a single branch from Twinkle’s tree, by the time spring comes around, I’m sure we’ll have a wonderful flower garden. Entering the newly-finished garden, the third years took a commemorative photo with Twinkle at the center.
Writing up a signboard that said, ‘The Tree of Smiles,’ Hiroshi-kun tied a cute ribbon to it. Looking over the garden that had been finalized as the Twinkling Garden, I could see plenty of smiling faces in full bloom. With the garden’s completion, the other children and adults, even outside the school, smiles were born on the faces of many people. Foreign-looking men and women would come and gently stroke the tree’s leaves. The myriad of feelings all tied to a single tree had taken on a definite shape.
As I turned my gaze to Twinkle’s tree, I thought I saw it leak a warm, pink light for just a moment. I blinked my eyes to find a strange smile spread across my face.
While I retorted at the outrageous fantasy that started from a child’s essay, and yelled at the gouging sci-fi that followed, at the end, as per usual, there was a smile on my mouth. Though I’d really like it if the Fantasy and SF stopped indirectly drilling holes in my stomach.
Alongside the warmth of spring, a small warm spot had sprouted in my heart as I began preparations for the next year.
In a certain small garden of a certain elementary school, there’s said to be a single strange tree that gives flowers of a gentle pink hue. If you approach that tree, you’ll feel relieved as if your heart was rinsed, and no matter who you are, you’ll strangely begin to smile. Many children gather around the tree, and grown adults come to reflect on their amusing memories; it’s a place treasured by all. A black haired man, and silver haired woman stop by, and they’re often seen laughing alongside a girl who wears the same pink hue as the flowers.
Perhaps drawn to that mysterious tree, UFOs and robots, dragons and mysterious battalions, all sorts of peculiar existences have been confirmed, or so the voices cry out. Even so, yet again, the world turns with nothing amiss.