You went to the store to buy apples. That was the last thing you remember, right? Before you were teleported into the present day.
Oh yes, that’s right, I was buying apples. And then… everything went white…
Er… How did you know I was buying apples that day?
I… uh… I’m good with these sorts of things. I thought it would be worthwhile to look into since we’re facing each other now.
You looked into why I was buying apples? I don’t understand.
No. I looked into why you were transported here into the present.
…You do know why… right?
I thought it was because I was invited to the tournament?
…Well, yes, but not exactly.
Oh? Do you know why? It’s been a mystery to me ever since I arrived, I’d love to know!
…Well… how familiar are you with…4̷͚̩͔͗̓̏́͆̄͘1̸̹̱̳͓̥̀͊̀̍̍̐̎̾̀̎͘͝4̵̨̬͙̳̖̳̼̻̘̮̰͕̫̐C̷̰̾̂̈́̈́̃͐̂4̸̢͎̻̼̣̮̯̻̍͋̿̽͑̿͋̾͆̅͑̇7̴̨͈̞͕̳̥͕̙̰͙͊̃͛̿̈̎̓̍͐͊̇͘̚͠ͅ4̸̛̮̲̲̀̄̏̓̅͛̊͑͐͗̄̚͝F̸͎̺̱̞̟̰͓͓̲̿̏͊̽̆̍̓͌̈͝͝͝͝͝5̴̤̳̖̳͚̤̼͎͖̻̔̉̄̆̈̀͂̈́͝͝2̶̤̰̖̫̙̳̟̓̈̀̀͒̆̐͛͆͐̆̊̀͋5̵̛͓͔̫̞̥̠͐͊̐̂͊͑͑̾̚͝͠9̶̧̡̢͓͚͎̞͓̞̗̼̊͋͊͛͂̎̎̆͜͝͝5̷̨̡̝̣͔̹̩͍̖̠̺̃̂̑̒̅̐4̸̛͚̝͎͉̈́̉͒̆̾̊͌͌͂̔͝4̸̨̺͔͈̦̣̬̫̹̪̣̼͆̋́͐̑̉̎͊͆͝͝ͅ8̶̧̬̦̖͈̝̦̈́̕4̷̧̜̠̯͇̺̜̥̌̓̀̇̕D̷̡̢̧̛͕͖͎͎̙̜͈͇̽̈́̄̿͆̌̾͘͠5̴̨̨̨̺̙̠̟͈̤͇͔̫͇̫̓̑͑̓͊̎̊̀̊͠3̵̟̤̘́̀͋̋́̄̾͆̊̈́̅̉̈͋͝ ?
… Sorry… It’s hard to explain to someone who doesn’t understand how to…
Just try your best. I promise I’ll do my best to understand!
…Let me… show you instead.
Show you what you’re capable of.
Huh? W-What’s going on?!
Melody… Kimi no tame ni… Hmm, that’s not bad…
Tatsuro!! Can you hear me?
…You… can’t hear me… can you?
…And I’m still black and white…
…MissingNo, is this an illusion, or are we really back in the past?
That is the real Tatsuro. We’re back in your old time.
He looks so… not worried that I’ve been gone for so long?
You’ve only been gone for a few hours from his perspective.
…I’m lost. What does any of this have to do with anything?
The song that became popular recently. 竹内 まりや Plastic Love. It now has around twenty-eight million views on YouTube. Do you know how you accomplished this?
Oh, I had nothing to do with that…
Actually… you had everything to do with that. You did that yourself.
It’s your music. It has the power to control the algorithm of life in this universe. And with it, you were able to manipulate time and send yourself into the future. It’s… pretty easy, actually. Time can bend a bunch of different ways if you know what exactly to break. But… you don’t really know how to control it yet. You did it on accident this time, I think.
So, you think… I sent myself into the future?
Did you think Notwoodman brought you back from the past himself? He doesn’t have that kind of technology.
But, there are so many other strange people here. I thought-
Melody, everything is alright… Melody, everything is alright…
…I could teach you. If you wanted.
Your powers are kinda similar to mine. And there are so many more algorithms you could control than just time or YouTube. I think you have the potential to do some pretty cool stuff. But… But I can only teach you this stuff if –
I’ll only teach you on one condition.
I want to win.
You heard me… I want to win.
I thought you didn’t?
So, do you accept?
…Hold on, let me get this straight. You want me to purposefully lose our current battle so that you can win, and in exchange, you’ll teach me how to do something I might not be able to do?
Yes. That’s a fair deal, isn’t it?
Darling, that’s called bribery.
Bribery isn’t a very nice thing to do.
Did you really think this through?
Well, we’ve both come so far. It wouldn’t be fair if one of us cheated our own way to victory now, would it?
But don’t you want to win?
Of course I do! But it’s not so important to me that I’m going to make a shady deal with you under the table for it.
…But I want to win too… We can’t both win!
…I thought you didn’t want to win?
Didn’t I hear that you tried to get yourself eliminated?
I… still wouldn’t mind that… to be honest…
I’m sorry. I’ve caused so much trouble during this tournament. So much has gone wrong and it’s all my fault.
How do you know that? Not everything can be your fault!
Yes it is. Everything I touch becomes a buggy mess…
Oh, come now…
If what you’re saying is true about me having these “reality-bending powers”, then maybe some of it’s my fault.
I doubt it.
…Why do you want to win, MissingNo?
…The same reason you want to.
…To be seen.
It’s okay to want that, you know.
…Isn’t that…why you want to win?
Oh, well… I…
For me, it’s not really about being seen. It’s more… um… I think it’s more about sharing the music of my friends and myself. But it might be nice to explore outside of my comfort zone, too?
…That sounds nice.
…Hey, did you- I feel really c-cold all of a… s-s-sudden…
…That’s strange. I don’t usually freeze water like that without meaning to.
Haha, see? Not everything you change is bad. Don’t worry!
Come on. Let’s go inside and get back to the match.
They head back, following the glow of the streetlamps.
Another morning comes.