Author: Akira Ninomae
Data.1 : Begins
A Record of the Beginning.
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2X87 2.28 Wednesday
“Hello there, are you awake?”
That was the first voice I heard when I woke up.
I tried to get up, but I felt completely powerless.
In addition, my vision was so blurred that I couldn’t even see who was calling out to me.
I tried to ask who it was, but I couldn’t speak properly, just made my mouth flutter.
Perhaps noticing this, he called me again.
“There’s no need to rush. Let’s take our time and get to know each other.”
It was a very gentle, reassuring voice.
As I felt relieved, a sudden drowsiness came over me, and I fell asleep without any resistance.
“It’s nice to meet you, Mer Ivy.”
Just before I fell asleep, I heard such a voice.
Data.2 : Hide
A Record of Secrets.
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2X87 3.24 Saturday
It was a month later that I woke up again.
The next time I woke up was a month later.
“Oh, you’re up. I just brought breakfast. Why don’t you join me?”
It was a gray-haired man in a white lab coat.
He carefully placed the breakfast plate on the table and said…
“Good Morning, Mer Ivy.”
It was that gentle voice.
※ ※ ※
I woke up to a white room with a single bookshelf, a small desk with two small chairs and a desk with numerous electronics and monitors.
As we ate breakfast together there, he told me a few things.
“Your name is Mer Ivy, and you are sixteen years old. Mer and I used to live together for nearly a decade, but one day you got a very serious disease. I was there to take care of you.”
He was laughing, even though it seemed serious at this point, and I asked him.
“Is my lack of memory due to my illness?”
“No, it’s not.”
He answered clearly.
“Is that right?”
Suddenly, he clapped his hands as if he remembered something and said.
“I have to fix this room in order for you to go outside, but I can’t say exactly how long it will take. I’m sorry, but you’ll have to bear with me until then. If there’s anything you want, I’ll do my best to prepare it. Is there anything else you would like to ask?”
He asked after the explanation, but I couldn’t think of anything, and I answered that there was nothing in particular.
“I see. At any rate, I’ve been looking forward to meeting you. It’s good to see you.”
I came up with what I wanted to ask him, as he laughed really happily.
“What should I call you?”
I don’t remember the name of the person who thinks so much of me.
It seemed so sad to me that I asked for his name.
But he slowly shook his head and said,
“I don’t have a name to call myself, so I want you to call me Doctor.”
“…… I understand. Doctor”
He didn’t give his name.
Data.3 : Favorite
A Record of Affection.
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2X87 4.12 Thursday
He told me that I needed an inspection and while I was reading the books he lent me, a few weeks passed in no time.
“Good morning. I brought breakfast.”
I asked him what had been bothering me since yesterday, when he came to my room with breakfast for two as usual.
“Doctor, what is the ocean?”
“Hmm? Why again?”
“I read a book yesterday that mentioned the ocean. I searched for a detailed explanation, but I couldn’t find it…”
“Haha, I see.”
He laughed happily, nodding again and again.
“The ocean is…”
He put salt, which should be seasoning, into a glass of water, and offered it to me, saying “Drink it”.
“What do you think?”
“It’s too salty”
“Hahaha, I bet it is.”
He said merrily, but I did not enjoy it.
“The ocean, you know, is a collection of that.”
He pointed to the glass I was holding, to be exact, the salt water in the glass.
“The ocean accounts for about 70% of the planet’s surface, and it’s very large and vast, and most of the ocean is salt water.”
“Yes. So think of the ocean as a large collection of salty water. The blue ocean, a collection of salt water, stretches endlessly beyond the horizon.”
I had no idea what he was talking about, so I was lost in thought.
“The ocean is blue, just like your eyes.”
I looked into the mirror he had given me, and examined the color of my eyes, but I could not convince myself that this was the color of the sea.
“Even if you can’t imagine it now, you’ll love it when you see the real thing someday.”
“Is that right?”
“Yes, you will.”
It was strange to see him laughing and saying that as if it was him.
I spent the rest of the day thinking about the ocean he had described to me.
I didn’t understand what he meant when he left, saying “You’ll like the pudding too.”
Data.4 : Hero
A Record of Salvation.
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2X87 5.6 Sunday
He had been working in my room since morning and we stayed in the same room after breakfast.
So I was able to ask him about anything that was bothering me.
“Doctor, why do the characters in this book give their name in front of the enemy?”
“Hmm? Which book… oh, that comic? That’s what heroes do, you know. But why would you do that?”
He was so interested in my question that he stopped what he was doing to type on his monitor and came to listen to me.
It seemed to me that he liked being asked questions.
I’ve come to like asking him questions, because he would tell me about most things.
“It’s this scene here, but no matter how you look at it, he would definitely be able to defeat the enemy if he surprises them without announcing himself. This character has lost his chances. It’s irrational to say the least.”
“Haha, that’s very blunt. Hmm, that’s right…”
After a brief laugh, he folded his arms and began to think.
Whenever I ask questions, he always thinks happily with his arms folded.
After about ten seconds, he said.
“A hero is not just someone who beats up the bad guys, but also someone who gives people peace of mind.”
“Gives peace of mind…?”
I didn’t understand the meaning of his words, so I parroted what he said.
“Yes. If you read the comics carefully, you’ll notice that whenever a hero shows up, there are always civilians taken hostage or left in dangerous predicaments.”
When I read it again, I found that the heroes did indeed appear even in situations where there were no enemies.
The person he said his name to was a boy who was about to fall off a cliff.
I was tempted to tell him to save the boy before he gave his name, but he started talking, so I listened.
“It may be more rational to defeat the bad guys without giving your name, but it’s more important for a hero to give people peace of mind than to beat the bad guys. That’s why heroes first reassure people by saying, ‘it’s okay, I’m here now!!’. Of course, in the end, he gives peace of mind by defeating the bad guy.”
“What if he loses because his identity was discovered?”
“He’s a hero because he can give his name and still not lose.”
I said to him with confidence.
“Then, Doctor is my hero, isn’t he?”
“…… Haha, that’s funny. Me, a hero? Yes, funny. I haven’t even told you my name yet.”
“Then, why don’t you just say your name?”
“I can’t, you know.”
Exaggeratedly shrugging, went back to the monitor, saying, “Oh, how troubling”.
As I glanced down at the book to continue reading, I heard him murmur.
“…… Mer was my hero.”
“I’m not a man.”
“A hero’s gender doesn’t matter.”
For some reason, time seemed to go by very quickly that day.
Data.5 : Not Silly
A Record of Altruism.
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2X87 6.17 Monday
“Doctor, why are there so many different letters and languages?”
“That’s another one of those questions.”
Just before going to sleep, I asked him on the bed.
He was busy these days, and he continued to work in my room even when it was almost time to go to bed.
I hardly had any checkups done, so I asked him if I could go out soon, but he only replied, “I have to fix this room for you to be able to leave.”
So I spent the rest of the day reading, stretching, and listening to music.
“Isn’t it inconvenient? Look at the translation of this book. I have no idea why ‘I love you’ translates to ‘The moon is beautiful’. “
“That’s a great question…”
I could see his tired expression grow even more tired at my words.
But then I continued.
“What I’m saying is, why not standardize the language if such translations can be misleading?”
“Hmm, that’s also a difficult matter…”
As usual, he began to think with his arms folded.
It went for much longer than usual this day, maybe five minutes, maybe even ten.
He exhaled abruptly and unfolded his arms, and said.
“Words and letters contain a certain romance.”
“Yes, romance. For example, I really like the letter V.”
“The letter V also means “Love”. It looks like a heart, so that’s why it has that meaning. Interesting, isn’t it?”
“It’s certainly an interesting idea to think of a letter as a shape and find a new meaning.”
“That’s the romance of it.”
He laughed and said so.
“That’s the romance.”
I nodded and said so.
He burst into laughter, I don’t get it.
Then he looked at his watch and stood up.
“Let’s go to bed today. It’s a little bit past bedtime.”
I really wanted to talk a little more, but I can’t be selfish.
As he turned off the lights and left the room, he put his hand on the doorknob and said.
“Oh yes. Speaking of romance, even your name has the same romance as ‘the moon is beautiful’.”
I couldn’t make sense of his words and just nodded my head in wonder.
Maybe it was because I was sleepy.
So I said something else.
“Good night, Doctor”
“Yes, good night. Sweet dreams.”
Data.6 : Emotion
A Record of Sentiments.
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2X87 7.17 Tuesday
He has been working in my room since last month, but recently he has been even busier, so we’ve had fewer opportunities to eat together.
I was only worried about his health, as he was getting thinner and thinner.
One day, after having lunch, I was reading a book and humming a song when he suddenly called out to me.
“You’re a good singer.”
“Ah, Doctor. You’re back?”
“I’m back. I wasn’t sure if I should call out to you, but your voice was so beautiful that I couldn’t help but listen. That’s the song from the album I gave you yesterday, isn’t it?”
Surprised to hear from him all of a sudden, I replied.
“Yes. They are all very good songs and I wanted to sing them myself.”
As I said, I stroked the cover of the album that he gave me, which was labeled “X→LIST +”.
I’ve listened to a lot of other songs, but I especially liked this album.
When I told him of it, he said with a happy, nostalgic look in his eyes.
“Oh, it was Mer who sang them. No wonder you wanted to sing.”
“Is that so?”
At his words, I couldn’t help but imagine myself singing the song.
Surprisingly, it may not be bad.
“Hey, please sing me something.”
He said as he picked up the album.
I was a little surprised by the sudden request, but I was happy to hear him praise my singing voice, and it was very unusual for him to ask me to do something, so I decided to comply.
“What song would you like?”
I was confident that I could sing any song on this album, so I asked him which song he wanted me to sing.
He didn’t hesitate, pointing to one of the song names on the album and saying,
“I want you to sing this one.”
He requested a song called “Redo”.
Upon request, I played the song and started singing.
“Redo“, starts with a piano accompaniment and a light melody, telling the story of a girl who travels the world repeatedly to make her wishes come true.
It was one of my favorite songs from “X→LIST+”.
I was so absorbed in singing before I knew it.
So when the song was over, I didn’t immediately notice that he was crying.
He was really quiet, just in tears.
“Doctor…? Why are you crying?”
“Huh? Oh, really.”
He didn’t seem to realize he was crying, and he wiped away his tears with a surprised look.
“Are you alright? You seem tired lately. You can take a break…”
“No, no, I can’t rest. I’m going to fix this room.”
He wiped away his tears and said with reddened eyes.
“I’m glad I heard it from you again, thank you.”
“Just tell me, and I’ll sing again sometime.”
The whole time.
Wishing this day would go on forever.
Three days later, he passed away.
Data.7 : Secret
A Record of Love.
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2X87 ??? ???
In a corner of the dark room, I murmured.
On the bed, he was asleep, long asleep.
Even if I scream, no one was there to answer.
He will never wake up again.
It was really sudden.
As usual, he was working.
He finished his work earlier than usual and asked if he could borrow the bed, so I agreed and was sitting on the floor, reading a book.
And finally, when he was lying on the bed, he muttered the words, “Mer, I love you”.
I don’t know what happened.
All I felt now was a deep sense of emptiness.
“He hasn’t told me anything yet…”
I wanted to talk to him more.
I wanted to know him more.
I wanted us to go see the outside world together.
I couldn’t think of what I should do from now on, in a world without him.
I was just stunned.
For hours, maybe even days.
In the meantime, I was sleeping beside him before I knew it.
I was dreaming.
Dreaming that I was laughing with him on the beach.
His hair was black and he looked much younger than he did now.
Suddenly, he started running, and I chased after him, but I couldn’t catch up.
No matter how desperately I chased, no matter how hard I screamed for him to wait, he kept moving away.
『Hello there, are you awake?』
I thought I heard a voice say that.
I woke up and looked into his face, but he was still asleep.
“… a dream?”
Even in a dream, I was able to hear his voice, so I thought it was okay, the next moment…
『Can you hear me? Can you see me?』
When I looked up, one of the monitors on the desk had been activated.
He was reflected there.
『If you’re watching this video, I’m probably dead. And you’re probably wondering why right now.』
I was bewildered by the remark which saw right through me.
In the video, he had a good complexion and wasn’t too thin, and the footage seemed to have been taken a long time ago.
『I’m going to tell you what you’re wondering, about my past, and my wish for you. I’ll only say it once, so please listen carefully.』
I waited in silence for him to speak.
And he started talking.
『First of all, I am recording this video on June 20, 2X87, a month before I died. Why do I know the day I die? That’s because I heard about the day I died from Mer. That doesn’t mean you’re the one who told me.』
『At this point, being so intelligent, you may have noticed. The Mer I’m talking about isn’t you. I have never called you Mer. I have only called you by your full name, Mer Ivy, a few times.』
『The one I’ve called Mer is the you of the past, the one who is completely identical to you and yet is a complete stranger.』
I had no idea what he was talking about.
But then he continued.
『Mer Ivy, you’re not the one I’ve spent ten years together with. You have never been seriously ill. You don’t have a memory loss because you never had a memory. You have no memory because you were built by me.』
To that fact, I can’t say anything.
『I met Mer 26 years ago in 2X61/ Mer told me she came from the future in the year 2X87. I’ve never seen her, I’ve never met her, but she told me: “I was built by you in the future”.
『I spent the next ten years with Mer. We often sang together. Mer’s voice was really beautiful. It was a really happy decade. I realized that I was the happiest in the world. But one day, after almost ten years had passed, Mer contracted a serious illness.』
『It was an incurable disease. I asked Mer, who is getting weaker day by day, as I was nursing her, if she was afraid to die. It was a very rude question when I think about it now, but Mer said with a laugh, “I’m not scared. Rather, I’m looking forward to it”. I cried so much. I still remember the lullaby Mer sang at that time.』
『At the end, Mer told me everything, she entrusted it all to me. The day of my death and what I wished for you in the future. When I heard that, I devoted myself to research to build you and worked to fix that room. And after 16 years, you were finally born. That is my past. At the same time, I hope I was able to answer your questions, but I’m sorry if I couldn’t. I don’t even know what your questions would be.』
He paused there and laughed a little sadly, saying, 『Oh, there was one more thing』.
『I didn’t give you my name because I didn’t want you to get attached to me.』
『It’s not the present me who should love you now. It’s the past me, the one who will meet you in the future. That’s why I didn’t call you by name. I didn’t say my name because I thought that if I told you my name now, the future might change. Maybe I wouldn’t be able to meet Mer.』
『I simply wanted you to like the me you’re about to meet.』
『I’ve already had Mer call me my name my whole life.』
『Well, the recording time is running out. Finally, I have one last favor to ask you! Please listen.』
『Please, find me in the past.
I want you to save me from crying alone.
I want you to save me from being alone.
I want you to be happy.』
Finally, he held a piece of paper on his chest.
『Mer, I V You.』
I remember, his words.
—-The letter V also means “Love”
—-Your name has the same romance as ‘the moon is beautiful’
Is that what my name, Mer Ivy, means?
It was the same thing he said just before he died.
I noticed, I was crying.
I couldn’t stop the tears from flowing afterwards.
For hours, maybe days.
When I finally stopped crying, I noticed something in front of the monitor.
There was a black choker with the note that read, [Finally, I have a gift for you. This room will start up when you put on the gift, so please make sure you are properly prepared before you wear it.]
It was a black choker with a blue stone on it, the same as my eyes.
On the back was a small engraving of my name, “Mer IVY“.
It’s just like him to elaborate on such details.
I couldn’t help but laugh, I wiped away my tears, and slowly put the choker around my neck.
At that moment, the electronic devices and monitors that had been sleeping quietly until now operated all at once.
With the startup sound, the monitor and lights gradually became brighter and brighter.
I made up my mind.
This throat is to speak to you.
This voice is to sing with you.
No matter how many years it takes, I will find you.
And so the light filled the room, and I was swallowed up by it with determination.
Data.EX : At the Beach
A Record of the Beginning.
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2X61 ??? ???
The soothing sound of the tide echoed in my ears, and the blue of the ocean and the blue of the sky stretched out before me.
The feeling of the soles of the feet stepping on the sand and the sensation of the waves pulling at my legs was very interesting.
I walked along the beach, my hair blowing in the ocean breeze.
It feels strange, as if it took me a long time to get here, and it was just a short time.
As I walked, I came to a lone figure standing in front of me.
He was staring at the ocean, or maybe beyond the ocean.
Just quietly, shedding tears.
I stopped right next to the person, took a deep breath, and called out to him.
“Whoa, ugh. Who are you?”
He didn’t seem to realize I was there, and he looked surprised and asked, wiping away tears.
The question reminded me of what he said a long time ago.
— A hero is someone who gives people peace of mind.
So, I say my name.
“My name is Mer Ivy. I’ve come a long way to sing with you.”
So, I ask.
“What is your name?”