Dream Game was published in Dengeki MAGAZINE Volume 39.
This is a prequel to “Dream Game -Crossover-“, which is a collaboration work between Mahouka and Sword Art Online.
“Dream Game -Crossover-“ is not related to Mahouka’s main storyline, but “Dream Game” is related to Mahouka’s storyline. Especially, it is related to Volume 16, Yotsuba Inheritance Arc.
Scroll to the bottom for summary.
The story starts with Holy Artifact (聖遺物) arriving at First High School. There is a problem with the receiver’s address, so it accidently arrives at First High School when it should have been shipped to Magic University. The receiver’s name is Momoyama Azuma, the principal of First High School. However, Momoyama is on the business trip for the next one week, so the vice principal, Yaosaka, moves the shipment to the principal’s office. And, the story starts. The artifact absorbs right Psion and activates itself. And, it drags every student who attends First High School in the dream world (mental world). In this world, Tatsuya’s power (decomposition and regrowth) is not active. The most effective magic in this world is Mental Interference Magic.
At the beginning, everyone who drags themselves into the dream world, does not know who they are and simply perform roles that are given by the Artifact. The only ones who manage to remember their original identity are Tatsuya and Mayumi due to their special sights. Besides Tatsuya and Mayumi, everyone is simply playing their roles in the dream. In the real world, Tatsuya and Mayumi meet up and discuss about the dream world and decide to find the thing that causes this phenomenon. However, both Tatsuya and Mayumi fail to discover any clue, and they continue waking up in the dream world after falling into the sleep. Every night, Tatsuya is waking up in the completely different dream. At the third night, Tatsuya gets injured in front of Miyuki who does not remember Tatsuya’s true identity. Due to the nature of mental world, Tatsuya’s regrowth cannot work, so Miyuki sees injured Tatsuya and uses Cocytus with anger towards a beast that threatens Tatsuya. After this scene, Miyuki regains consciousness in the dream world.
As the story progresses, Tatsuya communicates with his friends, and they starts sustaining their consciousness in the dream world. At the same time, Tatsuya communicates with other members of Student Counsel about the dream world and gathers information. In the discussion, they name this artifact as “Dream Caster”.
After getting a suggestion from Ichihara Suzune, he contacts the counselor, Ono Haruka to gather more information because Suzune has been close to Haruka and hears that Haruka has been counseling students with unique dreams. After consulting with Tatsuya, Tatsuya manages to persuade Haruka to investigate the principal’s office because this is only place that Tatsuya and Mayumi cannot enter and search.
On the last day, Tatsuya and Miyuki enter the school. When they enter the school, they find other students who are collapsed on the ground. Tatsuya finds Erika on the ground. After he wakes up Erika, he realizes Erika is somewhere between the real world and the dream world. Even though Erika is awakened, she is seeing illusions that are created by the artifact. For an example, in the real world Tatsuya and Miyuki are wearing the school uniform, but Erika is seeing Miyuki with white dress and Tatsuya with dark cloth. As the story progresses, the group also finds Leo and continues searching for the artifact. Soon, they encounter an enemy who is blocking their path by operating the school system. It is Ono Haruka who is under the illusion. Tatsuya uses a little trick that he learned from Fujibayashi Kyouko and blocks cameras that Haruka is using. At the end, the group ends up in front of the principal’s office. Tatsuya knocks Leo and Erika down and uses decomposition magic to open the door. Finally, Tatsuya asks Miyuki to use Cocytus in order to stop the artifact.
After stopping the artifact, Tatsuya and Miyuki deliver the artifact to the Magic University’s research lab. At that place, they meet Kurebayashi who is the butler at Yotsuba Main House. Kurebayashi’s age is somewhere around 50 years old and holds respectable tone towards Tatsuya. It is due to his character and his position, which is the second highest rank among employees at the Yotsuba Main House, allows him to know internal information of Yotsuba. His job is not only limited to manage the facility to produce genetically altered magicians, but he is responsible for the facility that enhances magic.
Tatsuya is surprised that Yotsuba manages to influence Magic University because Magic University is supposed to be neutral, but Kurebayashi tells Tatsuya that Saegusa Clan also does the same thing as Yotsuba. At this point, Tatsuya learns how hard one can stay neutral besides learning the power of Ten Master Clan. Through this meeting, Tatsuya learns, the artifact’s final destination is not Magic University but Yotsuba.
Kurebayashi explains about the artifact. According to him, the artifact is a part of the collection called, 邯鄲の枕 (it is an old Chinese proverb; its direct translation is “the dream that an old man had at the land of Handan(邯鄲).” It means, in a person’s life wealth, honor, and power are meaningless.) He also mentions, even though it carries, the character, “枕”, which means “pillow”, none of artifacts from this collection looks like pillow. So, Kurebayashi thinks, the name, “Dream Caster” may be better name for this artifact.
Through this event, Tatsuya has been consulting Yakumo. After taking care of the artifact, Tatsuya purchases the carpet with Mandala, which is written with words that displays the color of Psion from Yakumo. By using this carpet, Tatsuya is trying to build his own dream world. In the dream world, his regrowth is not active, so he thinks, the dream world may help him to train more by pushing him to the corner. However, Tatsuya’s talent in mental interference magic is not strong, so he continues failing until Miyuki enters the Tatsuya’s training room. Miyuki helps Tatsuya to initiate the magic.
After the magic initiates successfully, Tatsuya and Miyuki ends up in the dream world. In this world, Tatsuya and Miyuki encounter a person who calls himself, “Shadow”. “Shadow” looks and talks exactly like Tatsuya. Shadow says, he is only reflecting its original body, so he looks like Tatsuya. “Shadow” says, he shows himself to Tatsuya to provide knowledge. According to the Shadow, the dream world is very close to the location, where magicians named as “Gate”; it is the space between consciousness and subconsciousness; it is consciousness’s lowest place and subconsciousness’s highest place. This is where individual’s mind and Idea information are contacting. Shadow points out Tatsuya understood the structure of Dream Caster (Artifact), but he did not look into his own subconscious area. And, Shadow says, normal human beings cannot freely use abilities from subconscious area. Even if a magician knows how to use magic calculation ability that exists under the subconscious area, a magician cannot take out knowledge from subconscious area. And, the shadow praises Tatsuya for using knowledge from subconscious area consciously even if it is limited.
At the end, Tatsuya says, “it is weird to be getting lectured by myself, but it is even weirder to be praised by myself.” And, Shadow says, “You are right. Let’s stop this non-productive work. My job of transferring knowledge to myself is finished. Now, it is your job to find a way to use this knowledge.” At the end, Tatsuya concludes, the artifact, Dream Caster, only used the garden (area) in front of “Gate”. So, even without the artifact, one can imitate this with the modern magic.
The story ends with Tatsuya waking up in another dream with Miyuki, and this story continues at Dream Game –Cross Over-, which is a collaboration work with SAO. Additional Magic Technology Information
- Modern magic concluded, it cannot perform “Teleportation magic”. But, the book does not mention whether traditional magic can perform teleportation magic or not.