A Talk While Dreaming (Narumi Nendai)

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A Talk While Dreaming (Narumi Nendai)
Date of Cutscene: 15 November 2018
Synopsis: (CW: implied broken marriage, allusions to prior parental transphobia) Manako has a change of heart and warns Narumi about the Icela situation. Dream Princess Narumi then interrupts her mother's dream about Narumi's dead father, to warn her in turn.
Cast of Characters: Narumi Nendai

Maboroshi no Manako left Icela's dream feeling satisfied. The darkness coursing through her entire existence had won. Now there wasn't any internal dissent within herself.

... wasn't more than a little internal dissent within herself.

Actually, was she really sure of this at all? Now that she'd left Icela's presence, she found that the little voice of Yozora no Yumemi was much more pressing than she had realized. And it really thought that Icela was not the sort of creature of darkness she should be listening to.

She hurried away to the lucid dream which Narumi typically constructed in her sleep.

A moment later:


Kasumi Nendai was hanging around in a hut on a beach with her husband, Hideki Nendai. Who had died thirteen years ago.

"I dunno," she said. "Is it really okay for me to be here?"

"I don't think I'm actually here," said Hideki. "Like ... this is just a dream, right? So I can 'appear' here, but I'm not 'really here'."

Kasumi sighed softly, and nodded. "... Did you really marry me just so you could fit the stupid pattern the last two Nendai generations before you?" she asked. "The husband's name is six letters ending with 'ki', the wife's name is six letters ending with 'mi' ..."

Hideki looked away. "... What do you think?" he said. "I named our kid with the same pattern --"

Narumi burst into the hut wearing a black princess gown and a silver tiara. "MOM!" she exclaimed. "ARE YOU ALL RIGHT!?"

Kasumi blinked. "Wait, what?" Some instinct told her that this wasn't just a dream about Narumi, she was actually here. "Narumi!?"

Hideki continued, "-- and she switched to a 'mi' name when she made that wish --"

"Oh f*** off, dad," said Narumi.

"Narumi, language!" Kasumi said sharply.

Narumi shook her head, and ignored the dream of her dead father. "Mom, Manako-chan showed up in my dream!" she said. "She told me she slipped up with the darkness and that this evil dream-person Icela was gonna come after you!"

Kasumi stared at her. "Sorry, could you run that by me again?"

It took a few tries to explain, which wasn't helped by Narumi's frantic lack of clarity, but Kasumi managed to understand it eventually. At some point, dream-Hideki wandered out of the hut and faded away.

"So you're saying that the Phantasmal Eyes want to return to being good," she said, "but ... because of the way the 'darkness' inside her works, she lost control, and told your other arch-enemy about her situation, temporarily reverted to being completely evil, and this Icela hates happy families, so she's going to come after us sooner than she was already, and you're going to fight her as 'Dream Princess Narumi'?"

Narumi nodded. "I dunno if Icela is really my arch-enemy, but yeah."

Kasumi looked Narumi over. And then she realized that she was trying to find a soul gem, which Narumi didn't have, thank goodness, and stopped trying to overthink her daughter's magical girl status. "... Are you sure this wish you made is going to be a net positive?"

Narumi looked her in the eye. "Mom, this is nowhere near burning through all that," she said bluntly.

Kasumi flinched away. This was just another reminder about how she had been hurting her own child for the past couple of years ...

"And even if it was!" Narumi continued. She clapped her fist into her hand. "We'll make it a net positive."

Kasumi stared at her daughter. She wanted to protest. She wanted to tell her daughter that kids weren't supposed to put themselves in this kind of danger, that she should just stay on the sidelines where it was safe, and leave it up to the authorities and the professionals. She had to remind herself that neither of them was safe whether or not they were on the sidelines, the authorities weren't equipped to know about this, the professionals were other girls Narumi's age, and Narumi was in fact one of them.

She walked up and hugged Narumi. "It's just so weird that this is our life now."

Narumi giggled softly, returning the hug. "You have no idea." She smiled. "Don't worry, mom, I can get the other dreamers and we can handle all of it!"

Kasumi smiled weakly. "I'm sure you can," she said softly.

Even if she didn't want it to be true.

Narumi nodded. "Anyway, Manako-chan said she wasn't really my friend at the beginning," she said, "but she wants to try for real now that she's trying to go back to being Yozora no Yumemi --"

Kasumi groaned.