Time Runs Out (MonaRisa)

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"It's unfair." Shida Manaka hadn't realized that she had let her voice slip.

She wondered when the last time she had exited into the real world had been. In her hand was a vial of medicine that she made with her alchemy skills as a mage, but upon finishing the creation, she had zoned out and started staring at the clock on the wall.

The short haired mage girl was currently in a magical space created in order to manipulate the passage of time where time inside the space only took a little while outside of the space. She was in a sweet little cottage, and the 'outside' of the cottage was a fresh grassland with a few fruit trees. The sky was nearly always blue, but there were fluctuations in the weather here and there to recreate the real world.

Yet, she knew that it wasn't the real world.

Her friends, like the adventuring squad called the Yuipon Protection Squad created by Oda Nana who was chasing after Yuipon, which had grown to include Suzumoto Miyu who was chasing Oda Nana, weren't in this false world.

Manaka herself could easily leave this world behind. Rather, she had the capability to do so. Yet, she couldn't bring herself to do so. Her heart would break.

She muttered aloud again, "It's unfair." She wanted to break something.

Then, she heard a small but familiar voice. "Manaka?"

Manaka turned around from where she was standing and saw that her treasured person, Watanabe Risa, had awoken and was weakly sitting up on the bed.

"Risa, did I wake you up?" Manaka made motions to act normal.

Manaka wondered how long had it been since Risa had last woken up. It had been four days. The last time Risa woke up, Risa could only stay awake for thirty minutes. The time Risa had in the living world was slowly but surely shrinking, and Manaka couldn't accept that.

Risa replied, "It's fine."

Risa would eventually fall into an eternal coma where she would never wake up again and could only die. This was a curse, an illness that couldn't be cured with conventional methods, a cruel instance in the world where time was tied to a girl's soul by a devil's power. In other words, it was not fine at all.

Manaka held up the vial she had in her hand, "I made you medicine." It was a potion that was supposed to slow down Risa's time temporarily so that Risa could stay awake for longer, but it didn't make much of a difference. All the things that had been made to try to cure Risa hadn't worked.

Risa said coolly, "I don't need it. Manaka, you can... you can just leave."

"No. I won't." Manaka rejected.

"Manaka, leave."

"No."

"Manaka."

"I won't leave."

"Manaka!"

"No!"

A moment of quiet fell between the two girls. Risa clutched her chest in pain, wincing while trying not to worry Manaka. However, Manaka's heart still hurt at her lover's pain, eyes noticing the magical chains of curse on Risa's body and the hands of a watch that were only a sliver away from midnight, the end of Risa's existence.

Manaka cursed her own eyes for being able to see the curse. She had been successful as a mage and alchemist because of her ability to detect magic, but the grotesque thing that was destroying Risa's body was something that she wished that she couldn't see.

"I'm sorry." Risa sighed.

"No, I'm sorry. It's my fault."

"I'm just unlucky. I was born with this, a curse."

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