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Light Novel / Hiraheishi Wa Kako O Yumemiru

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Hiraheishi wa Kako o Yumemiru (平兵士は過去を夢見る, Ordinary Soldier's Dream of the Past) is a nine volume Japanese light novel authored by Okano Yuu. It receives publication through Alphapolis with illustrations by Kusugi Toku, and a manga adaption with Suzuki Izo as illustrator.

The story details the life of a mid-rank soldier named John Serias, who perished mere moments after the brutal global war with Demon Lords and Archdevils had come to an end. He suddenly awakens to find himself a baby again, in the embrace of his mother, almost two decades ago. Determined to prevent the chain of tragedies that destroyed the world and slew everyone he treasured, John intends to "pre-invent" the advancements in swordsmanship and magecraft developed during the war, and provide the world preparation to repel the impending invasion. His plans also include locating and assembling the Four Heroes who defeated the Big Bad and ultimately made victory possible, but appeared after most of civilization was ruined.

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What John fails to realize: the more he changes history to his favor, the more events that did not happen begin to occur, creating a future potentially deadlier than he seeks to prevent. This forces him to take greater initiative and become The Chosen One to intercept problems before everything spirals out of control. There also exist details John has zero knowledge of, such as traitors who secretly worked with the demons before the invasion began, who could threaten to derail his plans. Then there's the hungry Eldritch Abomination that has her own plans for John's future and doesn't intend to remain an All-Powerful Bystander if things go her way.


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Hiraheishi wa Kako o Yumemiru provides examples of these tropes:

  • Always a Bigger Fish: Farenna is this for John. Often when he does not want her to be.
  • Animal Motifs: Farenna's glyph is a reminiscent of a Swallowtail butterfly with long wing tips.
  • Batman Gambit:
    • Upon freeing herself from John's first contract, Farenna runs off pretending she will gouge herself on the souls of people in the surrounding city. While she did nibble on a few morsels, it was a ruse to force John into hastily recreating the Summoning Ritual required for her to create a new contract with him. Furthermore, because John revealed the techniques to create the Summoning Ritual, the original creator (Illusion Lord Bullbach) can summon Farenna's Eldritch Abomination "siblings" a decade earlier than he originally did. John initially hoped the magic would not be required so soon, and though he made Bullbach promise to not repeat it, the guy is a Nightmare Fetishist Mad Scientist who dedicated his life researching such entities.
    • Farenna temporarily transfers her summoning medium to a dying Kerukeiro. Though it prevents her from physically manifesting until returned or recreated, she correctly surmises that Kerukeiro's despair from slowing dying and feeling powerless will summon Niko and bring an extra Adorable Abomination to help her nefarious plans.
  • Black Eyes of Evil: Farenna's eyes are pools of darkness that absorb light. Niko's eyes are empty with dull empathy.
  • Broken Smile: In the manga Farenna and Niko do them for humor when either get tricked by their contractor into a bad deal.
  • Casting a Shadow: John specializes in darkness magic because of Farenna being his Power Source.
  • Cheshire Cat Grin: Farenna and Niko exhibit them whenever someone agrees into forming a contract, get fed, or trick their contract host into an uneven deal. More often than not, the person observing the smile will regret what follows.
  • Christmas Cake: Nakoruru is a dwarven version of one. Even in the alternate timeline she remained hopelessly single.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Farenna will not share her future meal with anyone.
  • Commuting on a Bus: Though a major influence on John and being rather skilled, Kerukeiro died pathetically in the original timeline. John encounters and befriends him again in the new timeline, with the two joining forces during several adventures. John aids Kerukeiro to gather greater strength and become more powerful than before, so when they face the demons again, he will be powerful enough to survive.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: John suffered an inordinate amount of pain and suffering through the war, both emotional and physical, resulting in his broken soul becoming the tastiest meal an Eldritch Abomination ever encountered.
  • Deal with the Devil: John's Story-Breaker Power is granted to him by Farenna in exchange for Soul Eating the victims. This is most certainly not a good thing, and there are moments John would rather die than let Farenna save his ass. She's just that dangerous.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: How ordinary soldiers like John used magic and swordsmanship to defeat demons.
  • Denied Food as Punishment: John threatens to not provide souls to Farenna on the occasions she behaves poorly. Although she's able to end their contract if he doesn't provide them within a certain window of time, providing the minimum required would make her miserable. Also quality is better than quantity, so getting a dozen criminal souls is less appealing than getting one dragon soul.
  • Depending on the Artist: In the light novel Niko is visually depicted as a sickly dryad wearing a patient gown. In the manga adaption she is presented as a malnutrition Bandage Babe. Her eyes in the light novel are forlorn, while in the manga adaption she has a Yandere theme. Ironically the manga adaption more accurately aligns with the light novel content.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: In the manga Farenna is shown to hold and caress John like a lover. Her words about taking John's soul or giving it to her are loaded with Double Entendre. Enters Creepy Child territory due to her appearance.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Farenna looks like an Adorable Abomination as A Form You Are Comfortable With, but is The Dreaded whenever she summons herself. Using John as a conduit she can One-Hit Kill demons who Curb Stomp entire armies, resulting in Horrifying the Horror. She's not alone either, as three other "siblings" are hinted at existing (though contracted to other individuals).
    • Visual ques of traditional tentacles are hinted in their humanoid disguise. Farenna has them with her hair and skirt fringes. Niko has them with her ribbons and bandages.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Farenna dislikes demons because they're willing to ignore agreements when it suits them. She'll bend rules or subvert words, but Fareena will never openly break a deal. Gods help you if you're foolish enough to break a promise she agreed to obey.
  • Flower Motifs: Niko's glyph is a reminiscent of a four petal trillium. Incidentally such a flower was thought impossible for the species (the "tri" being indicative of three petals). An incredibly rare mutation exists that permits four petals, but only recently has this been known. Niko's glyph is symbolic of mutation and impossibility.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Nakoruru is one of the Magitek variety.
  • Game Face: Farenna's true form is like a shadow in the shape of a frail humanoid with hair and tendrils everywhere.
  • Gender-Equal Ensemble: The Four Heroes were two men and two women.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Any time Farenna is able to subvert her contract or not fall under John's control. He provided dangerous information from the future to a Nightmare Fetishist Mad Scientist with immoral values to obtain the only means that could attract her attention and negotiate a new contract.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The Big Bad who commands the demon race. There's also whatever Farenna and her kin are scheming.
  • The Greatest Story Never Told: Though specific details are revealed during flashbacks, the full saga of how the world was originally saved will never be known. John is trying to prevent things from happening like they did before.
  • The Grunting Orgasm: Illusionist Lord Bullbach loves information and summoning rituals related to Eldritch Abomination and their ilk.
  • Hero of Another Story: There's an early segment in the story, where it seems John was Kerukeiro's "sidekick" in the alternate timeline. Then Kerukeiro dies and John becomes a snack for Farenna. In the new timeline John finds a younger Kerukeiro and the two become best friends again. One of the greatest changes in the new timeline is that Kerukeiro forms a contract with his own Eldritch Abomination named Niko, something that did not happen in the original (a failure that resulted in his death). Kerukeiro and Niko depart on their own adventures, which are as significant as John's but occur "off screen" as The Greatest Story Never Told.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Due to the suffering he's experienced from their actions, John enjoys killing demons and making them suffer.
  • Hidden Agenda Villain: Fareena wants the future to change... but not with the same conclusion as John. Like John she is secretly doing things to alter the timeline. Unlike John it's not going to save humanity. What is her plan? Unknown... but whatever it is, she claims it will make John's soul incredibly delicious.
  • I Gave My Word: Whenever Farenna does something John considers out of character of her, it's often because she's bound by an agreement made with him. Her saying this sends chills down his back because he knows she'll demand the same out of him.
  • It Sucks to Be the Chosen One: Farenna doesn't contract herself to just anyone, and it's been thousands of years since she last found a person. The things she looks for in a mortal are suffering, self-hatred, prejudice, enjoying murder, and other unpleasant emotions. John has so many Fareena has never encountered a more miserable deviant, making his soul the tastiest she's eaten. She'll bend over backwards for the promise of having it again.
  • The Lost Lenore: John had a childhood crush on Karen. The agony of seeing her corpse is one of the factors that captured Farenna's attention.
  • Mad Scientist: Illusionist Lord Bullbach. While all members of the Sostenu are genius researchers at surpassing the limits of magecraft, they're also immortal and quite insane.
  • Magic Knight: What John hopes to become before the demon invasion begins.
  • Magically Binding Contract: Farenna obeys the letter of her deals with John, though not necessarily the spirit of them if she can steal a few souls here and there.
  • Master Swordsman: John's father is one of the greatest swordsmen in history. While talented, John never inherits the same level of skill without Farenna empowering him.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Nakoruru's elven illusion. Very intentional in this case, as she openly complains no one pays attention to her otherwise.
  • No Indoor Voice: Illusion Lord Bullbach is always screaming. Even when the person he's talking to is right in front of him.
  • No Sense of Personal Space:
    • All of the Eldritch Abomination entities in the setting tend to hover closely around the person they contract with, almost like a child hugging their favorite toy.
    • Illusion Lord Bullbach is mistaken for being Camp Gay by Nakoruru due to Accidental Innuendo and hovering excitedly close to John after the latter successfully reformed a contract with said Eldritch Abomination.
  • The Not-Love Interest: Farenna is very intimate with and knows more about John than anyone else.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: John goes unconscious whenever Farenna takes control of his body, so we never learn what happens during the Curb Stomp, aside from John being soaked in enemy blood. It's implied to be Implausible Fencing Powers and Power of the Void.
  • Older Than They Look: Nakoruru is a dwarven Christmas Cake. Farenna was born at the dawn of time. Both look like preteen girls.
  • Our Demons Are Different: High class demons are demigods in terms of destructive might.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: According to Fareena, dragons are Eldritch Abomination with physical bodies to house their essence. This shell prevents them from expressing the same amount of supernatural power, but allows dragons to exist indefinitely in the mortal realm without willing conduits.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: Male dwarves are par the traditional course. Female dwarves are Token Mini-Moe.
  • Perpetual Smiler: Farenna always looks like she's having a blast. Especially when John is involved.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Nakoruru. In the previous timeline she earned the titles of Great Wizard, Sage of Eternity, and Wiseman.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: John and Kerukeiro. The two were like brothers and endured many horrors of the war together.
  • Power of the Void: Farenna is an intelligent embodiment of darkness. Due to his connection with her, John's magic affinity is also darkness.
  • Psychotic Smirk: Farenna and Niko flash them whenever someone does something that benefits them. John knows it means you're going to regret what just happened and what's going to happen.
  • Readings Blew Up the Scale: When Nakoruru tried detecting John's magic potential it destroyed her Crystal Ball. Though it wasn't the first time she had seen such an event, she didn't understand how his connection to a familiar could do it.
  • Red Herring: Kerukeiro's involvement in the story, builds him up as The Chosen One material. It's mentioned his bloodline possesses an ancient ability to summon the legendary Phoenix, a Magic Knight Dragon Rider, and a Shipper on Deck for his sister hooking up with John. Then Kerukeiro dies pathetically after failing to rescue John's family and Childhood Friend Romance.
  • Reincarnation: How the main plot kicks off with John. Even the Eldritch Abomination doesn't understand how or why it happened, though like John she also has plans to take advantage of it.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Kerukeiro's little sister was one for John, after Karen died.
  • Sexy Mentor: Nakoruru was one to millions of soldiers in the future, as she created a new class of magic that anyone could learn. John was also enamored of her, until he learned the truth.
  • The Slacker: Compared to Farenna, Niko is less dangerous because she isn't as energetic and therefore doesn't secretly scheme as much. However when spurned into anger or forced into hunger, she is harder to reason with. Nonetheless the pair share the same insidious agenda, and it seems Niko's laziness is because she perceives time in an alien way. Farenna used to perceive it the same way as Niko, but learned to adapt the human reference of it... and thus acquired impatience as a result.
  • Subordinate Excuse: Oddly enough it applies to Farenna. She gets John's soul when he dies, and yet saves him from death on several occasions. She makes it no secret that the more suffering and pain John experiences, the tastier his soul will be when she consumes it, so letting him live longer enhances the flavor. However allowing him to permanently lose a limb or suffer incurable injuries would also increase his misery, but Farenna tends to do prevent such occurrences. She likes John because his emotions are so delicious. She will devour his soul and feel zero remorse when doing it, but currently stretches his life for as long as she can so long as it doesn't diminish his taste.
  • Sugary Malice: Farenna presents herself as an innocent child to lull her victims into false sense of security.
  • Soul Eating: Farenna sustains herself exclusively on souls.
  • Sweet Tooth: One can win Nakoruru's friendship with a few pieces of candy.
  • Through His Stomach: The only reason Farenna acknowledges John exists, is because his soul is delicious beyond comprehension.
  • Time Skip: The story jumps from John's childhood to his teenage years. There are also flashbacks to his time as an adult in the alternate timeline.
  • To Serve Man: Farenna and her kin enjoy helping humans, but only if their actions are rewarded with human souls to devour. They also "cultivate" the soul of the person their contracted to, so it tastes even better when they die.
  • Token Mini-Moe:
    • Nakoruru's true appearance, since all dwarven women look like underdeveloped human girls. It causes misconceptions that dwarves are an all male species.
    • Farenna takes the appearance of a young girl to interact with John. Niko does the same for Kerukeiro.
  • Took a Level in Badass: John was a competent, though nonetheless average solder before his contract with Fareena. Afterwards he was able to provide front line support with the Four Heroes.
  • Trauma Conga Line: The demons took everything John cherished and killed everyone John loved. His suffering and hatred are so immense, it has an Eldritch Abomination fawning all over him.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Farenna comments that everyone waving around weapons or casting magic to kill each other looks ridiculous. Why not just reach out and consume their souls? It's quicker and ends the fight with a single gesture.
  • Wham Episode:
    • In volume 1 of the Light Novel, when John realizes Farenna has not only reincarnated with him into the past with all her memories intact, but the contract he used to bind her is no longer in effect.
    • In volume 4 of the Light Novel, John has significantly changed the timeline after a series of events allows Kerukeiro to summon and contract his own Eldritch Abomination.
    • Before the ending in volume 9 of the Light Novel, John is back stabbed exactly in the same manner as the original timeline of volume 1. Fareena watches in enjoyment and does nothing to stop it. Just like she did in the original timeline.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Who stabbed John in the back and killed him the original timeline? A vision provided by Niko reveals it was a nameless goblin grunt. However there's reason to believe she's an Unreliable Narrator.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Farenna tricks John into thinking monster souls are less precious than human souls. This gives her the wiggle room to negotiate a contract where he must provide her dragon souls as a substitute.
  • Worf Had the Flu: War in the previous timeline provided Farenna with hundreds of souls to devour each day. In the current timeline she's lucky to get one a month. For this reason John can't call upon her power as frequently as before. It also forces Farenna to go dormant, thus John falls into traps or trouble she could have prevented when awake.
  • Yandere: John's soul belongs to Farenna. Do not even think of taking what the Adorable Abomination deems is her property and her's alone. In the same manner, Kerukeiro is the jealously held property of Niko.
  • You Didn't Ask: Niko is rather fond of not revealing everything when asked questions. If you don't ask for the right information, she won't give the correct answer.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: Whenever Farenna starts praising the reasons why she loves John.


Alternative Title(s): Hiraheishi

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