Illustrations

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Prologue

In my previous books, I have written in great detail about the 'holidays' of our city.

Today, as a change of pace, let's talk about the holidays of those who live in this city, shall we?

Naturally, we tell ourselves that we must rest in order to relieve our bodies.

However, this is not the case.

Particularly on their days off, people will make a point of going somewhere far away, getting lost in their merriment, immersing themselves in pastimes, and repeatedly spending more energy than they usually would.

You probably know what I'm talking about.

Don't you?

Well, no matter if you don't.

We'll call this my mistake.

I apologise.

I am sorry.

I misunderstood humans.

I underestimated them.

Please, forgive me!... I beg of you!...

… Well, now that we have that over and done with, how about I continue the story for those of you who nodded, and said 'That's right.'?

It could be said that, those who tire themselves out on their days of rest, are actually seeking something more than an everyday life.

It may deviate slightly from the original meaning of the word, but perhaps to these people, 'relief' is actually finding a temporary escape from the monotonous life that they lead.

Not to rest their body.

Not to rest their mind.

No, not the body or the mind... But to give a rest to that very state, which we call monotony.

So that when they return to their normal life, they can savour that taste all the more.

Really, it's the same thing...

The same as when you're eating a good meal, and drink water to cleanse your palate.

So, what do those who are always living an abnormal life do on their days off?

Does the word 'holiday' even exist for urban legends like the Black Rider?

It's a tough question.

Do people who usually eat only strong savoury foods, only drink water on their holidays? Or do they chug bottles of soy sauce?... Wait... That was just an example, and one you shouldn't follow, ok? It wouldn't work out well for you. To be more specific, you would die.

Well, for those whose everyday is abnormal, perhaps their holidays bring them so far beyond strange that they become self-destructive, and seriously consider death by sauce-asphyxiation.

In the first place, do people like that even have days off? Or perhaps every day is a day off for them.

This is a question that could only be answered by the subject themselves.

In any case, the city itself can make no real distinction between the routine days, abnormal days, work days, and rest days of these people.

At the end of the day, the ones who watch and decide are the humans.

The city doesn't discriminate between people. It merely consumes. Consumes every act and deed done by its subjects.

Although, like soy sauce, eating too much at a time can be bad for you.

Well, this city may have a much stronger stomach than people think.

An excerpt from the foreword of “Ikebukuro Bites Back – 3: A Traveller’s Guide to Ikebukuro”.

                Written by Shinichi Tsukumoya, published by MediaWhacks Japan.