|As the days progressed, even my heart grew sick... I locked myself up in my room, and led a lonely life where I listened to garbage like Wagner all the time.
I was supposed to die like that: like a character in a play by Shakespeare, with no hope of rescue, my head plunged into muddy waters.
I didn't have a single warm or precious thing to hold onto.
But then I met Keito. Generation after generation, members in my family have led short lives...
When my great-grandfather died, there was a monk who came to conduct the funeral. Keito came along with him.
It seems like our families have been on good terms for a long time. Whenever someone died, whenever there was a funeral, Keito did it.
He was like a charming young shinigami.
Whenever I think about Keito when he was young, I picture him shrouded in death.
The scent of burning incense, the sound of voices reciting Buddhist sutras and beating the mokugyo drum, the whispers and sobs of the crowd, and darkness...
It looks like Keito was made to help his parents whenever they performed funeral rites. He was raised feeling close to death, but in a different sense than I was.
That's exactly why he sympathised with me, and he never treated me in any special way.
We got along well, and even though it was a little imprudent... we used to get excited and talk a lot about what kind of funeral I'd have.
Like, he used to say "Let's build a pyramid!" ♪
Before long, we weren't just talking about the funeral, but Keito was coming over to play like any kid would.
His house was in the neighbourhood, after all. Whenever boredom overwhelmed me, I called him to get him to come over, too.
We were both kids, and the same age... Keito was always making me be with him.
At social gatherings, or whenever my parents went away; at times like that.
In truth, the people in my house really thought I was a handful. They eventually started forcing Keito to take care of me.
I only even let Keito get close to me.
Keito was a lot more stubborn back then than he is now. He was a high-and-mighty brat who used stuffy language all the time.
Every time I acted spoiled or said something selfish, he lectured me with such force I thought he might've been a demon.
He had absolutely no mercy. He was scary, you know. I still have nightmares about it, even now.
But I suppose that's because we were kids. I didn't know just how powerful the Tenshouin family was back then.
So without any hesitation, any worries at all, we were able to become friends.
Even though he's always lecturing me, he's the first one at my bedside when I collapse.
He's read books for me, or talked about his daydreams to entertain me.
It was exciting. So much so... I wonder if you know this already? But way back when, Keito wanted to be a manga artist.
He was always drawing pictures. I treasure them all.
But. In just a short amount of time, our happy days came to a close. We grew up, and we came to know the real world, what reality was really like.
I did as my parents asked and entered Yumenosaki Academy.
At some point I'd take control of the entertainment world, as successor to the Tenshouin line.
Since I was in the hospital a lot, I saw them on TV and all... Idols. I wanted to be like them, but.
The thing that was really surprising was that Keito came along with me. When I saw him at the entrance ceremony, it was like the light had gone out of him.
Even though he wanted to be a manga artist.
He gave some really uncharacteristic reason that I didn't really get -- something like, "Manga artists and idols both entertain people."
He was probably worried about me. In reality, I was... weak, and I didn't know the real world at all. Keito had guided and supported me. Up until now, he did it constantly.
Thanks to Keito, I was able to become Yumenosaki's grand and reigning Emperor.
I didn't really want it, though. He never does things that I really want.
He's my stick-in-the-mud, unkind, always-scowling childhood friend.