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Looking up at the high blue sky, Yuna breathed out.
For some time she had been raising her voice and, as one would expect, she wasn’t able to hide her fatigue now.
“Shall we take a short rest, Lady Celiastina?”
Beside her Aeneas looked at Yuna’s state with concern.
Yuna and the others had been running about the next day, and thereafter, collecting signatures. Right now, they had even stretched out to the vicinity of the entrance to the gates of the royal palace and soliciting help from the people who passed by in order to release Duo. Signatures were being collected smoothly and in these few days they had actually exceeded 100 names from twenty percent of the people going in and out of the royal palace.
“I’m okay, let’s continue on a bit more. We’ll have to return soon anyway.”
It was an unexpected person who moved in this stalemate.
“Lady Celiastina, it looks like Lady Yodel is making a move to save Duo!”
One afternoon, after several days had passed, Nasha, who came to prepare tea, reported this to Yuna excitedly. Nasha knew about the situation with Duo. Rather, this matter spread throughout the royal palace in the blink of an eye, to the point where there was likely no one who didn’t know about it already. Many sympathized with Duo’s position, but the fact that he pointed a blade at the saint meant that the majority’s view was that there was no choice but to execute him. And so, why Duo hadn’t been executed yet was making everyone suspicious.
It was most likely that not many knew about how the saint was thinking about ways to free him somehow. But, due to Nasha having spent a long time with Yuna, she could sense those feelings. It seemed like she was hoping this information she brought would be able to cheer up Yuna, who had been depressed lately.
“By Yodel, do you mean that priestess?”
“Yes! The lady who gave me the pendant I talked about before.”
Yuna was genuinely surprised. Ever since she had been severely rebuked that one time, she hadn’t seen Yodel again but it looked like she had been making her own moves. –And it was to save Duo.
“I hear that she is gathering signatures from those who want Duo to be released. The subject of the movement being what it is seems to make it so they can’t act too publicly, but it seems like she is centered on requesting signatures slowly from the servants and even the nobility.”
Everything that happened after that passed by in an instant.
The silhouette of the tanned man suddenly became larger. He lifted his right hand up with great force and, the moment she realized that, he swung it down. She could hear the sharp sound of the passing wind by her ears. And then, roughly at the same time, a dull shock impacted against her. Yuna was completely confused. In that moment, her entire body had judged that she was going to be attacked by that unfamiliar man. But the coldness of the ground striking her cheek brought Yuna’s consciousness back to reality.
Right now, Yuna was lying on the ground. The one who had pushed her and thrown himself on top to cover her was– Asyut.
By the time Yuna managed to raise her upper body, Asyut had already brought himself up to a knee and was guarding her against their opponent.
The person who assaulted her was someone who was around the same age as Asyut. He gripped a dagger in his right hand. And he was looking down at Asyut and Yuna with hatred burning in his eyes. There was an unthinkable strength that poured out of him, despite his haggard appearance, but Yuna trembled with fear just from his appearance.
“–Don’t get in my way!”
Shouting, the man leapt at them again. Asyut placed a hand on the handle of his sword, but he didn’t move and simply glared at the other person. As the distance shrank, Yuna was unable to bear it and gave a small scream. Right at that moment, a thick arm stretched out from behind the man and twisted the right hand of the man strongly. Like that, the man’s body was thrown into the air and then immediately hit the ground.
The endlessly wide starry sky wrapped around this world equally.
Were her friends and parents – people she could no longer see – staring up at the same moon? While thinking that, Yuna looked up at the night sky, alone. She liked the unique smell of night. The slight moisture that was mixed in with the air made her recall a sense of nostalgia for some reason. It wasn’t a bad thing. Rather, feeling comfortable, Yuna closed her eyes softly. There must be flowing water nearby because the gentle sound of water running passed through her ears faintly and she concentrated on it. –Even though the afternoon was just as quiet, when it became night it was like the world changed and she noticed various things that she hadn’t noticed under the sun.
(How long can I remain here like this?)
Leaning against the balcony, Yuna did nothing but continue to look at the scenery. When she thought about how this scenery would be something she wouldn’t be able to look at soon, it became all the more harder for her to avert her eyes. By nature, she had a personality where it wasn’t a pain to stand still in once place for a long time. And this night too, she looked up at the stars and moon for a long time.
(–I want to meet them, my mom and dad.)
Afterwards, Linus immediately came to retrieve her and, as stated, Yuna spent several days in her room.
The large room was as wearisome as usual, but thanks to Linus’ consideration there were several new things inside the tasteless room. There were various books, ranging from religious texts to the popular, arranged on her bookshelves, and a complete set of lacework placed casually on the table. Most of the books were difficult for Yuna and hard to read, and the lacework too was unmanageable for her since she didn’t have experience in the aristocratic arts. Even so, she was grateful for Linus’ thoughtfulness and expressed her thanks in her heart.
The room was provided with a private bathroom and, as long as food was brought in, she could live inside her room without any inconvenience. On this, she was grateful.
Yuna, who had been excused from every ceremony, quickly became bored though and looked around the room. After wandering around the room aimlessly, she looked at the mountain of books. Just looking at the spines made her feel overwhelmed but she managed to pull herself together and pull out one book.
It was a book on the history of this country and the saints. It wasn’t something that was impossible to read but it would take a lot of time to decipher the words and it was a bothersome history book to understand for Yuna. However, it was precisely because of this that it was something she could use to pass the time, and she also wanted to know more about the relation between the saints and this country, so it was like killing two birds with one stone. She was lacking in too much knowledge.
(Ever since the long gone time of myths, there has always been the existence of a saint.)
By the time Yuna, who was carefully reading each page, sighed and reached a point in the book where the events were only 1000 years ago, the maids had brought in candles for light. While lifting a cup of brewed tea to her mouth, she found herself unexpectedly astonished at the “deep-rooted” history of the saints.
Rap, rap, rap.
At the sudden sound of unreserved knocks, Linus raised his eyes from his book.
Who was the idiot who was violently knocking on his door this late at night? When he went to open the door with an unhappy expression, there stood Celiastina with an even more complicated and sullen expression than him. Behind her was a blond-haired young man that he had the memory of seeing somewhere before.
“Is something the matter? Coming here at this time…”
“I’m sorry, but I couldn’t think of anyone else to ask help from.”
The young girl in front of him appeared to be even more worked up than the time he spoke to her this morning.
“It’s about the Holy Jail.”
For generations in this world’s only country, Sibelius, it was tradition for the saint, always a maiden, to serve the royal family. There was only ever one of these in the world, an extremely beautiful girl with the Holy Mark on her neck. This was the only proof needed for a saint; it didn’t matter whether one was born as a noble or as a peasant, so long as one had that mark then they were acknowledged by the royal palace and welcomed in. In other words, without the holy mark then one would never be acknowledged as a saint.
Whenever the previous saint drew her last breath, it was a given that the following year a new saint would be born. It was a rule of the country that the saint had to be discovered before she reached her 15th year and welcomed into the royal palace; and, as she entered the royal palace, it was necessary for her to be joined with the young man awarded the position of the First Holy Knight in an engagement ceremony. If this wasn’t done, then it was said that a disaster would befall the kingdom. In the long history of Sibelius, there were only three instances where a saint had not been welcomed into the palace. During the first time, the people underwent a great flood and 40% of the population died; during the second time, the three most powerful forces in the kingdom clashed and all three powers were destroyed in the civil war; during the third, an epidemic had spread and it was reported that 40% of the population had died. Because of these, the entrance of the saint into the royal palace was not just an issue limited to the powers of the country, but a serious event all of the people in the country looked forward to.
There was a murmuring, pleasant sensation.
It was a little cold, but its gentle and soft caresses against Yuna’s body put her at ease.
Yuna slowly opened her heavy eyes and raised her head a little.
Her eyes were still out of focus but faintly, in her vision, she could see a rock face? Come to think of it, she could also feel a rough and rugged sensation against her body.
Where was she right now? What was she doing?
Little by little, her awareness came to her and Yuna slowly raised her upper body– her body was very heavy. But even still, she somehow twists her body and looks around the area. It seems that she is at the edge of a river.
Most of her body is submerged in water and only her upper body is leaning against the moss-covered stones of the riverside. She must have lost consciousness like this. Because she had been in the water for some time, her hands and feet were chilled.
There was a thick forest in this area and in between the gaps of the tall trees, a black night sky spread. And, as if shying away from the painted black sky, the stars twinkled here and there, and the moon could not be seen.
Yuna gathered up her white one-piece dress, heavy with water, and crawled out from the river.
Yuna’s ordinary life was stolen in an instant.
On that day, Yuna was walking on the main paved road, just as she had many days before. She was making her way to the herb market, looking fondly at the many shops lining the street. Shopkeepers acquainted with her greeted her warmly as she passed by, which she returned with a wave of her hand. And just as she rounded the corner, with her slow measured steps.
Something happened to her body.
Thinking back, the details rose to the surface with frightful clarity: the piercing scream of a young woman, the wet breathing and high-pitched neigh of the horse, who realized far too late, and a large horse carriage filling her entire vision.
And the last thing she saw was the wide eyes of the coachman…
— I was run over and killed by a carriage.
The road upon which humans walk has always been short-lived.
No matter the amount of splendor amassed by the rich.
No matter the depth of envy incited by the beautiful.
No matter the level of faith collected by a servant of God.
As long as they were human, death visited them all the same.
Thus, what befell one girl that day, was nothing removed from the norm.
She simply found herself at her inevitable destination, no more, no less.
But the masses would lament. For a girl so young, death was too sudden and cruel.
“But you won’t stop moving forward, will you. As long as the flickering light beyond the road’s end is within sight.”
I seem to be writing more and more of these short review things but THIS WAS TOO GOOD OF A STORY NOT TO TALK ABOUT!! It also has romantic elements in it so… I’m still keeping to my blog’s theme of otome games, right? LOL. Seriously though, I have to write my thoughts down to find release and I hope in doing so I can convince some people to try this game out. I’m going to try my best not to spoil anything (this game is best when going into it blind) but some analogies and references I make might hint at things so proceed past the read more at your own risk.
First though I’m going to talk about my general thoughts about The House in Fata Morgana. I found it to be a story that nails the delicate balance between despair and hope. You’re given happiness and then it’s ripped away, but when you’re in despair you’re given a reprieve in hope and happiness. Fata Morgana is a story about how humans and the unshakable principles that make each person unique can lead to tragedy; but it’s also a story about how every human has the capacity for resilience, hope, and forgiveness, and how those can make a difference. I think, ultimately, it’s a story about humans in all their messy and glorious humanity and the connections – and influence – we can have on each other (and it’s also a story about how perspective is everything).
TL;DR: Fata Morgana takes you to the terrifying depths that humans can fall into but it will also lift you up with displays of the human capacity to connect and support each other. It’s a very well-done story with despair and hope that ends on a beautiful and uplifting note (which is what these kind of stories need, imo, otherwise you’d just crush your readers with all the tragedy LOL).
I do have some criticisms though. The pacing can be a bit off at times such as giving massive backstory on characters when, at that point, you have no idea why you should care or what you should even take away from it. Also, I don’t know if this was a localization issue or not but on a technical standpoint the writing can be a bit bland for a gothic suspense/horror/romance story. HOWEVER, the craft and entirety of the story is masterful. Everything is placed in the game for a reason (the game answers everything) and it’s amazing how many layers this story has. At one point you end up reading the same scene three times but this happens after you gain additional knowledge each time which warps your perspective of that scene and it just. blew. my. mind.
I’ve been replaying some routes to collect calls that I’ve missed and so, since I’m doing it anyway, I’ve decided to make a call time guide. I’ll be updating this as I continue through the routes so check this post often! I’ll be editing in notifications too to let people know what I’ve completed and where I’m at.
Decided to write an introduction, some thoughts, and provide resources on the latest game that has consumed my life, and the lives of many others.
I’m just going to start by saying I love this game SO MUCH. It’s unique, clever, and the humor of the characters is so on point for me. I’m an internet child and so hearing their pop culture references, their slang, and the way they express themselves through their typing was just so funny and familiar. The overarching story of Mystic Messenger probably isn’t going to blow your mind but in my opinion its execution is where Cheritz deserves all the kudos. Even when you see tropes coming at you miles away, the characters and their stories pull you in and it’s just so much fun to chat with them and experience the story.
I felt like each of the characters had relatable struggles and they all learn a valuable life lesson, which I’m sure you could take away from this game. On another note, they’re all so positive and supportive which is a nice thing to experience from time to time (when the conflict is external rather than internal). Seriously, Mystic Messenger is just a great game that will hopefully make you laugh, cry, and love.
SERIOUSLY!? Already!? It’s been another year and this blog is still plodding along ヽ(*´ー`*)ﾉ! Much love and thanks to everyone who has continued to follow this blog (and those have just recently joined me on my otome adventures, or who drop by occasionally).
I don’t have much to say this year other than that I have a job now!! I’m also in a better place mentally and personally now that I have more of an idea of what I want to do in life, and have projects going on, so financially and emotionally things are going pretty well (I hope saying this out loud doesn’t jinx everything LOL).
Now I’m sure you’ve all been waiting for this since it’s slowly becoming a tradition but, yes, I’ll be hosting another giveaway! This year there is not just ONE but THREE prizes! But this also means I’m going to devise a really hard challenge– kidding kidding. It’s not a hard challenge but I am changing things up a little from the usual number generator thing.
EDIT: The winners are:
- Hirarisa (you have a way with words and I was wheezing from laughing so hard at the lines “seduce them by harassing them with bad music” and “assaulting students and members of the public with the power of song”);
- Alicia Yumasaki (there were quite a few Diabolik Lover entries but YOUR DESCRIPTIONS OF THE GUYS. L O L. “like who showers naked anyways lmao”);
- Lope (this game sounds terrifying but these lines got a chuckle out of me “descend straight into crazy town” and “therapy your way to love”).
Honestly, this was hard for me to decide because I laughed at a lot of entries. It took me half the day to decide on 6 favorites and then another half day to come down to these three. THANK YOU ALL FOR PARTICIPATING THOUGH!! I was smiling a lot when reading these entries and thank you for the well wishes to this blog as well <3. Here’s to hoping for another great year! I will be contacting the winners by email.