Saturday, February 21, 2015

Volume 2 - Side Story 2

Side Story


“Yes, darling?”

A petite woman in her early 20s with long black hair coquettishly drapes her slender arms around a man, just a tad bigger than herself with a loose spiky hairstyle - whom is sitting in an office chair, leaning her weight gently onto his shoulders.

The woman continues to lean onto the man silently, putting her head on his left shoulder. The man furrows his eyebrows at the strange action of his wife, stops his work and place his hands on hers.

“What’s the matter, XinXin?”

The man nestles his head against the woman’s.

Xin bites her lower lips nervously before replying. “The doctor said I’m pregnant.”

The man’s face goes blank for a few moments. “Are you serious?!” Excitement fills his voice as he gently kneads the woman’s hand. He quickly gets up from the chair and guides her to sit down. “Umm… okay! You should stop working… work… right! We are going to need to hire a maid! And a nurse! I’ll see if I can get a doctor to be on call, I know a friend that might be willing to help out. Oh! A nutritionist as wel-”

The woman gently places her hand on the man’s mouth to interrupt his excited rambling. “The doctor said I can keep working until the end of the second trimester.”


“No buts, I’d be bored to death if I all I do is eat and sleep. And we don’t need to waste money on these other things, save it for the baby, okay?”

The man gets up and starts pacing excitedly. “We need to take precautions though! I mean, this is a miracle!”

Indeed, he had been diagnosed as impotent by doctors due to an unrelated accident when he was a child. In a society where leaving behind descendants is part of one’s filial piety, it was a great shock to both himself and his family. It was due to this fact that he worked relentlessly to better himself, even if he can’t contribute to the family bloodline, he can still contribute academically and financially. With this spirit forged through despair and hard-work, he gained the title “Millennial Genius” from society at large, ignorant of his circumstances.

[T/N: 千年に一人の天才 is actually “One in a thousand year genius”, but that’s a mouthful, hence Millennial Genius].

The man finally stops pacing and gently places his hand on the woman’s belly before giving her a kiss on the cheek. Both of them are smiling warmly as they continue to make plans for the future.

* * * * *




A tired looking man paces outside the Intensive Care Unit entrance accompanied by the rhythmical beeps of various large, unwieldy machines.


A dignified looking doctor, with gray streaks in his hair, exits from the large double door, the soft rubber paddings scraping along the floor.

“Sensei, how is she?”

[T/N: Doctors are also addressed as sensei in japanese, although there’s another reason why I opted to keep it]


The doctor sighs dejectedly. “Miss Xin is fine… but, as for your daughter…”

“But, what?!” The man grabs the doctor by his shoulders in a vice-like grip.

“We think it might have been Erythroblastosis Fetalis… we also see some signs of Uveitis, we would like to keep her for observation.”

[T/N: 胎児赤芽球症 and ブドウ膜炎 respectively, it should be correct since it’s “common enough” to have a quick GT for it, correct me if I’m wrong~].

“Erythro… what?”

“It’s when the antibodies from the mother attacks the fetus… it’s already surprising that she didn’t have a miscarriage. Uveitis is an illness of the eye, if she survives, it’s very likely she will be blind.”

“Please Sensei, save her…” The man drops to his knees, his hand falling off the doctor’s shoulder onto the floor, tears streaking down his face.

* * * * *

“Maaaaama, wuuuu!” A small babe calls out as she practices her speech in her mother’s arm, her small hands reaching into the air as a gust of wind rolls by. The family of three is slowly strolling through a path within a vibrant forest filled with vivid green and soft, pastel-esque colours dotting the fruits and flowers.

“Are you feeling better, Nyoko?” The father grabs her little hands and gives them a kiss before running his hand through her curly, silky hair.

[T/N: Her name is 如子, which can be either Yukiko or Nyoko, I vaguely remember there’s something to do with Nyoko in the future chapters, but I can’t really remember. I might change it to Yukiko in the future if I remember the wordplay wrong since Yukiko also have alternate meanings.

“Daaaaada, bluuuuu!”

“Call me that one more time, Nyoko.” The man leans in and rubs his nose on his daughter’s before giving his wife a quick kiss.


Bird poop splats onto the ground where the man was merely a moment ago.

“Bluuuuuby!” The child squeezes her face slightly before smiling again, reaching into the air.

“Ken, are you sure about this?”

“There’s no other way… bringing her to the forests, fields and the sea helped slow it down, but it seems her body has adapted. She already lost her eyes… I can’t have our child suffer like this.”

“There has to be another way…”

“I wish there were Xin Xin, but we don’t even know what disease this is… her immune system is so strong and unrestrained that it’s literally attacking her body from the inside, all her fevers aren’t even caused by infections. Sensei is already at a loss… we think it could be Lupus Erythematosus [全身性エリテマトーデス] and are working toward that area… but we really don’t know…” The man looks helplessly into the trees.

“But… how long will you be gone?”

“I don’t know… I will unlock that device somehow, I’ll send all the information I can to some friends at Leviathan Medical Laboratories. They will somehow help you, so wait for my news there.”

The man gives both his wife and daughter each a long kiss on the forehead as they enjoy their last outing together as a family before he heads off to the Leviathan Conglomerate Headquarters across the Kelantan Strait to the east.

* * * * *

“-atholiths are … locations for … permanent sites.”

“Offsh-… expensive for… -cinity”

Indistinct chattering can be heard from the quiet little room haphazardly filled with dolls and toys that are completely mismatched with the large, inactive machineries as well as the array of filing cabinets. Soft, thin curtains are closed where the windows are, letting diffused sunlight fill the room.


A young child tilts her head as she steadies herself in the cradle.


“Hello, Nyoko. Just here to pick something up.”

“Aaanty Yuuu~!” The eyeless Nyoko turns toward the voice and calls out to the woman in the lab coat that’s reaching for a nearby cabinet to retrieve some document.

“Oooohhh you, such a cutie.” Temporarily forgetting her task, she reaches down into the cradle to give the smiling Nyoko a light pinch on the cheeks. Feeling the cool hands, the child giggles as she gropes the hands that are touching her face. “Let’s have lunch with aunty and mommy later, okay?”

“Ooookay~. Aanty, Bafuooolibfff bad, okay?”

The woman scrunches her brows in confusion before mumbling an “Okay”, and grabs her document before leaving the room.

“Batholith? Where did she learn that?” The confused researcher heads back down the hallway, still slightly confused.

[T/N: Batholith is a complex geological feature that produces large outcrops that “sheds” its outerlayer every once in a while, making smooth, round surfaces. A famous one is the Halfdome in Yosemite Park in the US.]

* * * * *

“Okay, Nyoko, slowly open your eyes.” A man with a confident voice fills the room.


“Xin Yue, lower the light a bit more.”

“Come on, honey, try again.”

“Okay, mommy.”

About a dozen people are gathered into the room, the luminous fluorescent light in the ceiling is dimmed to the point that everything is covered by shadow. A young Nyoko is sitting on a white medical bed with gauze draping over her shoulders.

“Mommy…?” The child reaches toward a faint shadow within her new found vision.


The woman suddenly reaches over and hugs her daughter, tears of joy streaking down her face.


The room fills with raucous cheering as Nyoko confirms that she can indeed see everyone. The researchers and medical staff are cheering along with the mother and daughter pair.

“Thank you, Yue, Hector, everyone.” Xin Xin rocks Nyoko back and forth in her arms, with medical techniques recovered from one of the artifacts Kentaro was researching, a way of returning sight to their daughter as well as a treatment method has been found.

“It is our pleasure. But she will still have to stay here for a while until she gets used to seeing again. We will implant the secondary and tertiary cornea layer once the optic nerves connect permanently to the implants. Things will be blurry for a while since we won’t install the lens until the after the secondary layer is set.” The man turns to the young child that’s now looking up at him with dark, hollow eyes, the mechanical iris slowly opens and closes silently as it tries to adjust to the light for the first time. “How are you feeling, Nyoko?”

“A little sore…” The girl looks down and tucks her face into her mother’s shoulder. “Thank you everyone.”

* * * * *

“Everyone, please welcome our new transfer student, Nyoko Yamashiro [如子 山城].” A middle-aged elementary school teacher with her hair tied into a bun makes a nervous introduction to her class as Nyoko makes the short walk from the door to the front of the class in a yellow sundress, giving a bow. Silence fills the room for a few moments, causing Nyoko to look at the rest of her future classmates.

*kusha kusha*

The students start murmuring amongst themselves.

“My mom said her mother is the ‘Millennial Demon’ to be able to chase her dad away.”
“Eh, my dad said that her dad is the ‘Millennial Fraud’.”
“Did you guys see her eyes? It’s weird, it’s like a monster’s…”


*pashi* *pashi* *pashi*

The children start throwing crumpled pieces of paper, crayons, erasers and other things at Nyoko all of the sudden.

“Monster! Go away!”
“Go back to the zoo you freak!”
“Go hide in your castle, Yamashiro! Wait for a Hero to come defeat you!”

[T/N: That one took me a bit to figure out (although I spent a lot longer looking up her name :P). The wordplay here is 山城, which means Mountain City or Mountain Castle. And villains were often hidden inside some sort of castle, hence the rather weird insult. I couldn’t think of an english equivalent]

“Class, calm down.”

*pashi* *pashi*

Things are thrown at the teacher as well.

“Why did you bring a monster here?!”
“What a useless teacher!”
“Send her back!”

Nyoko grips her sundress tightly as she makes her way out of the classroom as the teacher uselessly tries to calm the classroom down.

“Just take a good rest okay, Nyoko? Mom has to get to work, so rest for the rest of the day, I made some jelly if you want to eat something to cool down a little.” Xin reaches down towards her daughter’s forehead, checking the temperature. “It’s so hot… should mom skip work and stay home with you? Damn these kids and their parents, don’t they teach them manners nowadays…” She angrily complains about the children after she hears about what happened, getting a call suddenly from the school right after dropping Nyoko off.

“No, it’s okay mommy, go to work, I can take care of myself. I will call you or Uncle Hector if I feel any worse.”

“Alright, be careful not to get chilled okay?”

“I will.”

Nyoko gives her mother a hug before quickly kissing her cheek while sitting on her bed. Feeling tired, the girl closes her eyelids and tries to sleep as Xin quietly leaves the room.

“So… boring…” The girl gets up after a few hours’ rest. Her feverish temperature returns to a more normal range, giving her a clearer mind. “Hm…?” She recalls the numerous books that line their bookshelves. With nothing better to do, she grabs a book randomly and proceeds to read it. Maybe it’s because she’s ignorant of the supposed ceiling in learning a child her age should have, she’s reading books that are at the university level. For words she doesn’t understand, she will grab the well-worn dictionary and look up its meaning. When she’s bored of reading, she would start looking at math problems, treating them as simple puzzles to be solved. As her conditions continue to be unstable, her days remaining at home are more than the time she spends at the new school she enrolled in, thus she spends more of her time entertaining herself with the collection of books in the apartment as well as the radio and crude technicolour television that adorns the living room.

* * * * *

“Nyoko! Guess what?”

“What is it, mom?”

“This!” The woman holds up a lamp-like object while putting on a pair of dark glasses.

“What is this?” The girl looks at the objects with curiosity.

“It’s graduation present from your dad!”

“Dad…?” Nyoko has no impression of such a person, but supposedly he’s a genius and went somewhere to find a cure for her.

“Just sit down in your room, okay?” Xin gives her a peck on the forehead before heading off to Nyoko’s bedroom within the 2 room apartment. Obediently, Nyoko follows.

“According to dad, once you use this for a while, your fevers should taper off.”

“Oh? Then what’s with your glasses?”

“Apparently I need to wear it otherwise the light will burn my eyes out. But you don’t have to worry about that.”


“By the way, your Uncle Hector successfully took over the Labs after kicking the previous owner out. That owner was up to some evil stuff.” Xin makes a face of disgust. “So I’ll be busy for a while to help sort things out. I will be helping Aunty Yue with the TIES project, so things might be a little crazy for the next few months.”

“Then I should come and help you! It’s not like I need to attend school anyways…”

“No, you will have to attend school. But I don’t mind you coming to spend some time with me, I’m sure the aunties and uncles wouldn’t mind, but I’ll ask first, okay? Now just sit here for 30 minutes, then turn off the lamp afterward, got it?”

“Yes, mom.”

* * * * *

“Hello, Aunty Yue!”

“Hello, sweety!” The young-looking, middle-aged woman gives the cheerful girl a hug. “Are you ready to try this new system we developed?”

“Yep! That’s what I’m here for, where’s mum?”

“Hahaha, she’s already waiting for you! Don’t worry, we already tested it ourselves, unlike the last owner…” A menacing look flashes across her eyes before returning to normal.

“Eh… isn’t this the game system that caused several deaths, mom?” The girl looks at the large, bulky consoles sitting in the middle of the large windowless room filled with various machineries.

“Ah, that’s the version the previous owner tried to commercialize. We fixed it up, added a bunch of safety features and even trimmed a lot of the unnecessary equipment down. Soon, it would be nothing more than a console and a bed! Come on, honey! I can’t wait to show you this place, it’s like the forest where we used to stroll in, but many times more beautiful!”

Unable to resist her mother’s smiling face full of excitment, Nyoko enters the machine for the first time with complicated feelings.

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  1. Who wants to bet that there's some vestigal code in the back end of Second Phantasia from "the last owner" that's really screwed up?

    1. Good catch, there's something alluding to something similar in chapter 2 of this volume :3
      According to Ishman (the editor), this series is full of Chekhov's Gun.

      I have a list of things (ie, references, links and whatnot) to add to the end of each volume when I have time... the map is hopeless since the file I was working ended up using more ram than I have and will have to redo from scratch, *facepalms*

  2. Is the girl in this story is Till?

    1. Who else? From what's been said in official chapters, she's the one in it from very early time.

  3. Thanks for the side story of another character!
    I wonder what happened to the dad?


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