Chapter 3.5: Memories From Dreams Within Dreams
I was alone in a lurid, hollow, dismal, yet beautiful world. I vaguely wondered if I was dreaming. While floating up and down, I merely looked at something that seemed like bubbles.
Is it alright to call these my memories, I wonder. No, these don’t exist in my current life.
Is it alright to call these recordings, I wonder. No, I can’t touch or feel anything.
The colorless bubbles became smells, sounds, images, I could feel something against my skin, and could taste things at times too. Although it was nostalgic, I also felt a sense of emptiness inside as well. It was as if I was forced to pick up a book I’d already read before, and forced into reading it again.
This isn’t me. While I was confident of this, the knowledge contained within were things only I knew. Meaning, at the same time, this is undoubtedly also me.
How should I call this. – I think its term is my ordinary, banal previous life.
I was born and raised as a regular girl with regular parents and a younger sister in a much different world where civilization was highly developed. Other than the fact that I died rather young, there was nothing special about me at all. I didn’t have any hobbies or passions like my younger sister, I was moderately cool about everything, a person lacking in personality.
And the thing is, the girl that I used to be gave off the impression that she had no interest in anyone or anything around her.
Among that girl’s colorless memory bubbles, only vivid images appeared. Meaning, recent memories from right before she died. As I looked at her life, I felt like I was treading water, it was distant and dull to me, as I was forced to relive these memories I’d already gone through.
Of course, since that girl is now a different existence from me, although I understand her way of thinking, I’m no longer the exact same wavelength as her. Another way of saying it, it felt more like a sense of intimacy just like towards my mother and younger sister.
“Lately, I’ve been getting so tired from everything……”
The girl’s voice sounded muddy and weak. Before she died, she had kept thinking that. Running would make her instantly tired, I wonder if it’s because she never participated in any school activities. Also, even climbing the stairs would make her have shortness of breath. I think it’s because she really lacked physical strength.
Come to think of it, I remembered about that girl at this point in time. Lately, she would only use elevators and escalators, to decrease the amount of walking she would have to do. Whenever she left her house, she would ride a car or take a train, she never even walked one kilometer from her house.
As this memory bubble disappeared, another one replaced it.
“Something seems off. I’m this lacking in physical fitness?”
Before she realized it, the girl had begun burning out. She had difficulties getting to sleep every night due to her breathlessness, and she would often get dizzy.
There was also terrible edema on her hands, feet, and face, I wonder if it’s because of lack of sleep?
As her physical condition got worse and worse, and after she fainted more than five times, she was withdrawn from school for medical reasons and simply rested at home, and thoroughly managed her own lifestyle. Like a machine, she would get up every day at a predetermined time, take a calculated diet, and get a moderate amount of exercise.
However, her situation didn’t improve. On the contrary, she even began feeling pains in her chest.
Then one night, she convulsed in her death throes, and died.
The memory bubbles felt like they were distorting my body. The girl’s experience and suffering dully wrapped around my body, and felt like it was trying to crush me, but I somehow managed to withstand it and moved on to the next memory bubble.
The girl had very few clear opinions on anything. It wasn’t limited to only difficult subjects, for example she couldn’t even say what her favorite foods were, or give an opinion on whether it was right or wrong to eat the more intelligent animals.
In contrast, the girl’s younger sister was a person that clearly expressed her opinions on everything, and made her like or dislike of things clear rather than remaining ambiguous.
Her younger sister had felt dissatisfaction with the older sister’s weak will, and conversely the girl wasn’t able to understand how her younger sister had the ability to clearly speak her thoughts on everything.
As if to show everything more clearly, the bubble had mostly disappeared and become a blur. The next memory bubble appeared.
“Your physical condition doesn’t seem to be so great lately. Are you alright?”
The third time that I fainted in the classroom during lecture, the teacher finally had a one-on-one discussion with me. The teacher was shocked at the girl’s badly swollen face, and encouraged her to get a checkup at the hospital. As suggested, the girl got tested at the internal medicine department, but there was no clear result, and the only conclusion was that she should review and revise her lifestyle.
Although she tried to do what she could for her irregular school life, the changes in the girl’s body continued.
The colorless memory bubble faded. As I watched the memories, it felt like my heart was gradually drying up. Without paying any attention to that, the next memory appeared, and I was reluctantly forced to accept it.
After the girl began staying home from school and was planning out her daily life, her parents suggested that she take up a hobby for fun. Indeed, the girl’s original plans had been a bit too mechanical.
However, she couldn’t think of anything she wanted to do for fun at all. She had basically no interests at all. Normally she just watched TV or surfed the internet, or read manga that she would borrow from friends, or flip through magazines, she would just pass the time meaninglessly.
“Hey, why don’t you try this game that’s being featured right now?”
Maybe she couldn’t bear to see the state the girl was in, one day the girl’s younger sister made a suggestion.
At this memory, I got goosebumps all over my body. For some reason, I really didn’t want to see this memory only. I got a really bad feeling.
The moment I thought so, I escaped with a strong momentum. The colorless bubbles, the lurid colors, everything was rapidly fading.
But even so, I didn’t wake up from my dream. While still sleeping lightly and feeling like everything was so far from me, I looked back at my previous world again.
I fell down into the muddy world of sleep. In the darkness, beautiful yet lurid colors were overlapping. If this is a visualization of my own spirit, even I feel that it’s quite bleak. I’m not quite able to describe it accurately with words, but it was a twisted sight, that seemed terribly hollow to me.
Even though I was so immersed in my dream world, strangely my mind still retained quite a sharp sense for emotion. It feels like while I’m asleep, my heart is shriveling.
Memory bubbles appeared again out of somewhere, they were wriggling. What will I see this time, I wonder. At any rate, I had no way of resisting, so I’ll just quietly watch them obediently.
They were some pretty old memories. It happened when I had been just a little older than I am now.
In front of the young girl that used to be me, was her younger sister that was scratching in pain at herself due to the effect of some plant. The girl was watching the sight in horror.
The girl’s younger sister had been playing at a shallow river. Her whole family was out that day on a picnic. Her parents noticed that her younger sister was violently thrashing about in the river, and came running over. My father forced my younger sister to throw up by sticking a finger down her mouth, while my mother called an ambulance.
Her younger sister had accidentally swallowed some leaves of the hemlock growing by the water’s edge. It seems that some of the leaves had fallen into the water, so she swallowed them along with the river water.
It’s an extremely clear memory. Even though my memories had begun fading after I reincarnated, this is one of the clearest memories that I can recall. I had used this memory to kill my entire family.
Even just a few tiny leaves had almost killed my younger sister. When I had shredded maybe hundreds of the leaves into the soup, it was a memory that remained carved into my mind even up to now.
Without paying attention to my feelings, the memories kept changing on me to new scenes.
“Oh? ……So there was this type of game as well.”
The girl was holding a video game controller pointed at a TV screen. The 3D CG character looked pretty good on the screen, and places that seemed like western palaces were beautifully displayed on the screen as well. In front of all this scenery, was the girl that was the heroine of this game.
“- If you take this path and turn right, the crown prince should be there.”
Next to the girl, her younger sister was giving her information on the game’s capture targets. Even though the girl really didn’t care for spoilers about characters and story that she hadn’t seen yet, her younger sister kept blabbing on.
Maybe it was that she sensed that her older sister was approaching death, and that she wanted to have more conversation time together.
“If you listen to the crown prince, you’ll also learn about the military commander-in-chief’s grandson. But, you won’t be able to go down the crown prince path then.”
On the screen was a young boy with blonde hair. It seems that he’s the crown prince.
The screen darkened as some conversation choices popped up, while an image of the crown prince remained on the left side. It seems that there’s different screens for when the characters are conversing with each other.
“Hey, Emilia Rindarl. What’s up?”
Although the lines had voice acting, the voice actor acting the part sounded a bit unnatural. The girl furrowed her eyebrows as she went to the options menu, and turned the voice acting to the OFF option.
The girl ignored her younger sister’s objection. The tone of the male voice had sounded a bit too flirtatious, and the girl felt uncomfortable at that.
This is quite a long memory. Even though I didn’t want to see it, the memory continued on. Still, I couldn’t avert my gaze. Even if I tried to pay no attention to it, I wouldn’t be able to pretend to forget about it immediately. My heart was pounding.
Even though I didn’t want to see it and tried to resist, I couldn’t move even a finger. Even though I’m feeling distressed, this time I wasn’t able to escape.
The game’s BGM suddenly changed, to a much more aggressive soundtrack. A girl in a gaudy dress with black hair and sharp eyes appeared. She had a much different type of design from any character that had appeared so far.
“Ah, it’s Eliza.”
The girl’s younger sister suddenly muttered that, and the girl learned that Eliza was the heroine’s rival and enemy.
There was a noise ringing in my head. The fog was already fading from my head, and I just kept staring at the remnants of this piece of memory in my mind.
I can’t say that the person on the screen merely looked like me. After all, the person on the screen really had been “me.”
The moment she appeared, it was made clear that she was the heroine Emilia’s enemy. She’s always dressed in vulgar and gaudy clothing, and has a twisted, evil personality. She would feign politeness while getting in the way of the relationship between the crown prince and the daughter of the archduke from the neighboring country.
That was the type of character that Eliza Kaldia was.