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Akarui Mirai

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During RPG Maker VX, mysterious circumstances leads the creator of a file to find his game already finished, even though it was only partial done beforehand. So, as any good RPG creator would do, he beta-tests it to see how well the game works. However, he soon finds a location that wasn't there before and the story of a little girl named Akarui Mirai.

The Story

The RPG Maker VX is a pretty expensive download yet still there is so much variety that you can create almost any RPG you so desire. There once was a boy named Alex who had spent about two hours everyday for about two weeks developing his RPG. It was a fairly large one as well as he had planned it to be filled with a several act story as well as side quests and other bonus material. This RPG also featured ten storyline bosses that were named and based on Alex and his friends; just a little something to get his friends more involved and having a good time with it.

One day, however, he loaded up the map to continue in its creation only to find it completely done. Everything that he wanted to be put into the map was already placed: monsters, locations, bosses, side quests. Everything. Confused and a tad curious, he decided to beta-test the game to see how it worked. Putting on his headphones, he hit the play button.

To his surprise, it worked flawlessly. Everything moved, functioned, and acted exactly how he had imagined it would. Even the bosses who mimicked his friends acted very much like his friends. This, however, confused and began to disturb him a bit. He hadn't started putting in the dialogue for the game. He and his friends were going to work together to come up with their own dialogue, yet here he was playing the finished product with all the people who were supposed to be his friends acting exactly how they did and even looking like they did.

Something that got his attention though was the fact that they continuously mentioned a person named Mirai. They kept saying how they were sorry for what happened, that they wouldn't play, after they had been defeated. Who was Mirai? He didn't know, but he assumed it would be explained as he played the game. For some odd reason guilt began to build up inside him but he wasn't quite sure why.

As he kept playing, he found the one thing out of place. It was a town that he had never planned to have, a town that went by the same name as the town he and his friends lived in. He started to get a little suspicious and he explored the area. Despite the maker's limitations due to it being very fantasy-based, the town did look very similar to his hometown. This was namely in the way that homes were in the area of the town where homes were in his hometown and stores were in the town where stores were arranged in his hometown.

So he looked around the town talking to the carefree and unsanitary denizens of the town itself. He didn't find anything terribly unusual save on a character who mentioned a boy named Raymond. Raymond was a friend of Alex's who was going to be the second-to-last boss in the main storyline. Apparently, Raymond had gone insane after something happening with a girl named Mirai. That line sparked recognition within Alex. Raymond had also been a crazy kid who many would probably had considered insane. They were indeed going to incorporate that into the game itself but they didn't plan for any major explanation. Yet now it had something to do with this Mirai, who was now revealed to be a girl, and had something happen to her.

Guilt once again filled his stomach for an unknown reason and again he couldn't figure out why. Still he pressed on exploring the town eventually coming to what looked like a cemetery, the only part of this town that wasn't similar to Alex's own. In the cemetery was a crypt, one that was open. He entered the crypt and noticed it was a lot larger on the inside than on the outside, but, he simply shrugged it off. It was a custom-made RPG and anything could happen. As he continued down a long hallway he swore he saw the sprite of a little girl with black hair, red eyes, and a sort of dark, scarred face briefly appear up ahead. But it was gone so fast the only reason he noticed it was due to an afterimage. Curious, he continued on only to suddenly be stopped for no reason.

That was when the text showed up and read these words:

"Why couldn't you play with me?"

This disturbed him a bit, yet he continued walking. The character stopped again and another line of text came up:

"Why didn't you save me?"

Alex swallowed, yet he continued walking again. The character stopped. Another line:

"The burning... I can't breath..."

Slowly, sweat began to run down his face yet he somehow had the nerve to keep walking. One last time, the character stopped and one last line came up:

"Why did you leave me to die... Alex?"

The instant that line came up a pained scream of a girl rang through his headphones. Startled and scared out of his wits, he instantly threw them off his ears. The scream stopped and he looked back on the screen. It was black. Slowly, however, it faded back. He was now outside the crypt. His heart was pounding. He decided to go around town and ask people about the girl Mirai, assuming the text had changed.

Surprisingly, it did.

The people, one by one, explained the story of Mirai. Apparently, Mirai was a friendly, young girl who had hung out with Alex's character and the characters' of his friends many years ago, before they had become part of the organization the game's plot was based around. One day, Alex and his friends refused to play with her. It had something to do with her breaking a promise and getting them all in trouble. Saddened, especially after apologizing, she ran back inside her home.

A few seconds later, a scream was heard and the entire village rushed to see what it was. Apparently, in her upset state, Mirai had tripped and had fallen face-first into the lite fireplace. The village medic checked her yet quickly gasped and ran out the door, but not before ordering them to wait until his return. After he left, they assumed her dead and, not wanting to wait until the corpse started smelling, Alex and his friends offered to bury her within the old crypt, wishing to bury her peacefully to cleanse their guilt. Her parents agreed and they placed her in a stone casket inside the crypt.

The medic soon returned with a healer and asked where Mirai's body was. They had told her they didn't wish for the body to start smelling, so they buried her in the crypt. Horrified, the medic and healer quickly rushed into the crypt. The others followed wondering what was going on. They opened the casket only to find the decayed body of Mirai. Only it was not in the position Alex's character and his friends left her in. The position looked like she was struggling to lift the lid.

Like she was trying to get out.

A terrible sense of horror drifted over them as the realization sunk in.

Alex, reading this story, felt a terrible wave of horror and guilt fill him. But why guilt? It was only his character who did this...

...right?

Trying to get the horrifying story out of his mind he quickly continued the game. His friends were still muttering their apologizes to Mirai for their actions upon their defeat. Every time he read their lines he felt more and more guilt for his character's story.

Finally, he made it to the final boss: himself. However, something was different throughout this fight. Every time he took down a quarter of his character's health a text box would appear saying: "Don't hide from the truth."

After Alex had defeated his character, the in-game Alex started his dying speech:

"Don't hide from the truth... the guilt... you just don't want to remember do you? Stop hiding... face reality... repent... repent..."

Suddenly, game faded to black and the start screen came up again with the New Game and Load options dimmed, meaning they couldn't be used. Alex replayed the final speech over and over again in his mind. Why did he feel so much guilt for the actions of his in-game character? Why did the name Mirai suddenly start sounding familiar? Yes. The more Alex thought about it, the more it that name sounded familiar.

Alex decided to do some research, if only to stifle his curiosity. He found an old news report talking about a girl named Akarui Mirai, a Japanese girl who emigrated from Japan to the United States... and who had died after suffering severe burns after falling into a fireplace. He quickly read the story. To his stunned horror, it sounded exactly the same as the one in-game. Apparently, she had tripped while in an upset state after her friends insulted her due to getting them in trouble.

Slowly, memories started coming back to him. Memories of someone who had struggled for so long to forget.

Memories of a girl named Akarui Mirai.

"Repent... repent..."

Those words kept echoing in his mind. So, the next day he asked his parents if they could take him to the cemetery. Confused, they asked why, to which he replied, "I want to see Mirai."

Their eyes widened in recognition and nodded seriously and sadly. After getting in formal dress and heading to the cemetery, he walked up, alone, to a single grave stone.

Akarui Mirai

January 1, 1995 - April 4, 2004

Loving daughter and friend.

We shall miss you greatly.

A cold sense of dread filled him. He fell to his knees as he began to sob. Finally, after a few minutes, he spoke:

"I-I'm so sorry Mi-Mirai. I-I'm so sor-ry. I-I'm sorry for wha-for what I said. Pl-please, if you can- if you can hear me, for-forgive this sorry excuse for a friend."

He then thought back to the game... and how the Mirai in-game had been found in the casket. His eyes widened in horrible realization.

"N-no. Oh dear God. We buried you. We bu-buried you alive. Oh good God. Mirai. Sweet Jesus. Mirai."

Alex bent his head down in shame and horror. The pain was ever growing, never ceasing.

"Mirai... If you can hear me... please, never allow me to forget again."

Slowly, Alex got up and bid his farewell. But in turning around, he saw a young girl standing in front of him with black hair, red eyes, and a burnt and scarred face.

Exactly like the girl in the crypt in-game...

Afterthought

Akarui Mirai... Bright Future in Japanese...

How ironic...

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