Utsuro no Hako to Zero no Maria Volume 1 Prologue


It’s not like I’ve forgotten it. I probably still remember this place, and I even dream of this scenery, like I'm doing now.

But, I just can’t remember this place outside my dreams.

It’s not like I’ve forgotten. No, I just can’t find any cues to help me retrieve these memories. Nothing could possibly relate to this scene and make me remember. There's simply nothing

similar enough in reality. If I tried, I certainly could remember, but I don’t go about reminiscing.

Nothing in my everyday life could possibly remind me of the person in front of me.

“Do you have a wish?”

The man (woman?) who asked me that question in a calm voice had a face that changed fluidly to many other faces. This dream was created by my own deep psyche, by my own mind, but somehow, I couldn’t grasp the features of his face. I saw it, of course - at least, I believe I did. It's just that he somehow resembles everybody and nobody at once.

I guess I gave him a passive, harmless answer to his question back then. But I don’t remember precisely how I answered him. Anyhow, when he heard my answer, he presented some kind of container to me.

“This is a ‘box’ that grants any wish.”

It did look like a box, now that he mentioned it.

I narrowed my eyes at the box. My eyes weren’t bad, but nonetheless, I couldn’t see the box clearly. There was nothing in it, yet it exuded a strange feeling. It was like holding a closed cookie box that made a sound when you shook it, but was empty when you opened it.

I think I asked him something trifling then, something like ‘Why are you giving this to me?’

“Because you’re truly interesting! I can’t distinguish you humans from one other by your slight differences. I can’t tell this human apart from that human, even though I’m so interested in your kind. Ironic, don’t you think?”

I didn’t quite get what he was trying to say, but still, I nodded halfheartedly.

“But I can distinguish you. You might wonder how this could be something special, but it’s more than enough to draw my interest!”

I looked towards the bottom of the box. Even though there was nothing in the box, I felt as if I were attacked by an unpleasant sensation that drew my whole body towards its bottom. I quickly looked away.

“This ‘box’ will grant any wish. I don’t mind - any wish at all. I won’t stop you, even if your wish destroys all mankind. I’m merely interested in what you, or your kind, wish for.”

I said something to him, and he smiled.

“Hehe… No, no. It’s not some kind of special power. Humans already have the ability to grant wishes by just forming a clear image. I’m only able to give that power a little push.”

I accepted the box.

Of course, I wouldn’t remember this dream when I woke up.

But I would clearly remember what I thought about him. It was the same impression I had of him in the dream.

Somehow, isn’t that person—

—disgusting?

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