Forgotten Harmony of Germane Errant (A Touhou FF)
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    Default Forgotten Harmony of Germane Errant (A Touhou FF)

    Okay, so I finally got my fan fiction up. So many rules...
    Anyways, here's FHGE. Enjoy.

    [Disclaimer: I do not own any title to the series Touhou or related material. All of that belongs to ZUN, who is probably drunk as we speak.]
    [|EDIT|Please Review here: Review Thread]

    -------------------


    Forgotten Harmony of Germane Errant
    Chapter One: Descending


    Every morning I stare at the ceiling.

    I have done so every day since I first arrived. It has already been a month of the same routine. A month of waking up, and lying still in my bed, staring at the plain white ceiling. Every morning, I would lie there for a half-hour, without any motivation to rise up. It was as if I was waiting for someone to come into my room and greet me, to brighten my day with a smile, to give me the motivation to begin my day.

    Of course, I knew that would never happen.

    Sitting up, I observed the emptiness of my room, and then half-heartily removed the bed sheet from my person. A few minutes later, I was dressed in my school’s uniform, and making my way out the door. Along the way I passed the opening to the apartment’s kitchen, which was gathering dust, as well as the main room, it being as empty as the kitchen. I didn’t stop to say good-bye to anyone. There was no one to say it to.

    I was alone. My parents were both successful American business people, the two completely dedicated to their work. A month ago, I, their son, was becoming a distraction to them. To remedy that, they sent me across the ocean to Japan, to complete my studies there. Me, an American teenager who did not know anything about Japanese, language or culture. All a month ago.

    Locking the door to the one-room apartment my parents paid for, I lifted my school bag and began to walk down the stairs, aiming for the convenience store next door. As I proceeded down the steps, I went by a single crow that was sitting peacefully on the railing. It did not react at all when I walked near it. I just looked at it once and continued on my way.

    When I arrived on Japanese soil, I was met by a man in a black suit who explained to me where I would be living from there on and what school I would be attending. He also told me the essentials of living in the country and gave me all the stuff I needed; a credit card, cell phone, school uniform, and etc. After all that, he drove me to the small and simple apartment complex I was to stay at, handed me the keys, and drove off, wishing me luck. He never gave me his name, and I have not seen him since.

    Entering the convenience store, I casually walked into the snack aisle, ignoring the wide selection of trans fats and grabbing two onigri from the shelf. Making sure they were the ones filled with synthetic pickled plums, I then went over to the register counter, where an elderly Japanese woman greeted me with a blank look, a muted TV behind her broadcasting the local news. It appeared that there would be clear skies that night.

    “That will be 200 yen, please.” The old lady said to me without any emotion, her words hollow. She did not even look at what I had picked out. Makes one wonder how many items had left the store for only 200 yen.

    “Here you go.” I responded back simply, pulling out the bills from my pants’ pocket and placing them on the fingerprint-covered glass countertop, along with my assumptions.

    “Thank you… have a good day.” The old lady recited to me before waving me off, returning to her state of stillness. As I walked away, I looked at the TV one last time, catching a glimpse of what appeared to be a reporter at the scene of a crime.

    I know what you must be thinking: how did I communicate with the locals when I did not know any Japanese? And why were they speaking perfect English?

    Well, this may sound absurd, but ever since I was a kid, I was always able to understand other people’s words despite language.

    It’s nothing special. If someone were to talk to me in another language, my mind would automatically translate his or her words to English. It was only recently that I found out that when I spoke back, they would know what I was saying, too. I don’t know how or why I have this ability, but frankly, I don’t give much thought about it. It was helping me survive in that country, so why ask questions?

    Walking out of the convenience store, I proceeded to the train station, where I soon found myself standing in an overcrowded train after a few minutes of waiting on the platform with multiple irritated business people, workers, and students: all wanting to reach their destinations in peace. As the steel vehicle sped along the tracks, I let out a small yawn and slumped back into the wall, closing my eyes and lowering my head to rest for a bit.

    Why was I even making the effort to attend school? I had no obligation to. It was not like I was learning anything. Everything they were teaching me I had already learned, except for the topics in history class. I was not in any clubs or after school activities, and no one at school seemed to remember me long enough to nominate me for clean-up duty. I was just scenery. Why should I waste my time doing something worthless?

    Suddenly, a yelp removed me from my thoughts and caused me raise my head back up, wondering what was going on. In front of me, there was a girl who looked flushed, her eyes shut with tears threatening to fall from the corners. She was shaking slightly, making it obvious that something was not right. Looking over her, I saw a middle age man in a suit staring off to his far right, his face also red. However, his eyes told me what was really going on.

    "Sir, I would stop that if I were you." I said to the man after talking a step forward, causing both the girl and him to look at me in surprise.

    "What are you talking about?" the man asked in false confusion after hesitating a moment, acting as if he was doing nothing wrong. The girl blinked a few times, amazed that someone had come to her rescue. Of course, I wasn't saving her because I was this defender of justice or some crap like that. Actually, I did not even know why I was stepping in.

    "Sir, you wouldn't want me to announce to everyone here what you are doing, do you?" I whispered to the man as I took another step forward, causing the girl to move aside. Despite being surrounded by people, no one seemed to be paying attention to us. That was the reality of the world. No one seemed to care anymore.

    “Listen boy. I have no idea what you are talking about, but don’t you go accusing me of something I didn’t do.” The man said to me with malice now leaking from his eyes. He was trying to use the authority he automatically had by being older than me. I, however, did not back down. I was from America; I was used to that type of thing. So I only looked back at him with a determined expression.

    “Really? So you were not feeling this girl up just now?” I responded back a little louder, jerking my thumb over in the girl’s direction.

    “Of course not! She can even say I wasn’t! Ask her!”

    Glancing over to the girl, I did just what the man requested.

    “Hey, you. Was this man touching you in any weird way?” I asked the flushed girl next to me, who jumped a little when I spoke to her. Gazing at me with embarrassment, she did not say anything. That gave the man some confidence.

    “See! I told you! I’m innocent!” the man shouted to me with a look of relief, unaware that he had spoken too loudly that time. All around us, people began to pay attention to the conversation, curiosity influencing their thoughts. Realizing what had occurred, I decided to take advantage.

    “But sir! The girl is clearly uncomfortable! You can tell just by looking at her face! How can you say that you are innocent when it is obvious that you were molesting her!” I cried out, acting the part of a concerned citizen. The minute I finished speaking, the man’s face grew pale, reality catching up to him. At the same time, the people around us in the train cart changed drastically. The women near the man quickly backed away, looks of disgust and fear painted on their faces. The men, somewhat humiliated that one of their own was uncovered as depraved, suddenly grew hostile: all glaring at him. However, the only group of people who did not react seriously were the teenagers on board, each one of them with their cell phone at hand, texting the person next to them about what was happening. All I did was take a step back, and watched on as the flood came crashing down on the man.

    “How could you do that to a poor innocent girl?”

    “W-wait! I-!”

    “You should be ashamed of yourself!”

    “N-no, that’s no-!”

    “Pervert!”

    “Someone call the Police!”

    “Quick! Grab him!”

    The mob did not even give the man any chance to defend himself. Immediately, they had begun to yell out insults and orders against him, their minds riled up. Soon enough, the man was detained by a group of angry males, and could not do anything more. By then I had stopped paying attention and was back to leaning on the wall of the train, since the matter was now resolved. A few minutes later, the train came to a smooth stop at the next station, causing a single crow to fly past my window from the platform.

    Stepping out of the cart before anyone else, I calmly commenced my usual route to the school, not bothering to check what time it was. Proceeding through the waiting platform, I ignored the shouts of the humiliated man as he was basically dragged to the nearest police officer. I had already placed the whole situation behind me. As I walked away, I came into believing that no one from the mob would to be interested in the piece of scenery that stood up for the victim, which was fine by me. Unfortunately, I was wrong, for one person was.

    “Umm… excuse me.”

    Already outside the train station building, I looked remotely over my shoulder to see who had spoken out. It was the girl from the train, the one the man had abused. At first, I thought that she was calling out to someone else, but after looking around quickly, I found that I was the only one in front of her at the time. I did not know why she wanted to speak to me again. I was an object in the background, someone unimportant. So why…

    “Yeah?” I answered as I turned a little to glance at the girl better.

    “Oh! W-well, I just… wanted to thank you for what you did back there.” The girl timidly said back to me as she slightly bowed her head, her loose blonde hair swaying forward beneath her white mobcap as she did.

    “It was nothing. Really.” I replied back truthfully, not at all sure on how to react to a bow. It was then that an uncomfortable feeling appeared in my chest, causing me to observe the girl more. Though she had blonde hair, she did not seem to be a foreigner like I was. She appeared around my age, but she was not wearing any school uniform. A university student, perhaps? Telling myself that it was pointless to think about that, I turned around fully to leave.

    “Wait!”

    Having taken a step forward, the girl’s voice stopped me again.

    “Yeah?” I said again simply, growing more and more uncomfortable by the second. I was not one for conversations. The girl, as if sensing my discomfort, hesitated a little before speaking again.

    “Your uniform. You’re a student at Gaidai Nishi High, right?” she asked quickly, referring to the black school clothes I was wearing.

    “Is that all?” I answered back, looking at her over my shoulder again, this time noticing her plum-colored dress, which had a white folded collar with a crimson bow hanging gingerly from it.

    “Well… yes.” The girl said in a puzzled tone. I kept on observing her for a second, wondering why she would ask that of me. Seeing nothing that screamed wicked intentions, I decided to go ahead and answer.

    “Yes. I’m a student there,” I told the girl stoically, continuing as I began to walk away, “I’m also going to be late… Are you okay? I mean, that guy was abusing you, right?” I asked the girl as I stopped, wondering how she was handling the whole situation. It had to be somewhat dramatic, right?

    “Oh! Well, you see… that man kinda just bumped into me, and his hand only grabbed my hip, but for all we know he could’ve done that on purpose, right?” the girl answered with a puzzled frown, bringing her hand up to her mouth to think.

    As she contemplated her question, I stood there dazed. I may have just condemned an innocent man to a reputation of a pervert. Great.

    “Uh… yeah. Anyways, I have to go. Don’t let anyone take advantage of you again, okay?” With that, I left, not even giving her a chance to respond back. For some reason, I noticed another crow near me as I strolled away, this one eyeing me from on top of a streetlamp.

    Ignoring the bird and reflecting over the whole matter as I proceeded down the busy sidewalk, I realized that the girl was the first person who had spoken to me with genuine kindness since I first moved there. In fact, she was probably the first person to hold a conversation with me in a long time. What was her name again?

    Stopping in my tracks, I found that I kept referring back to the girl. Attempting to push any thought of her to the back of my mind, I continued on my way to school, but slowly those same thoughts resurfaced. Becoming more and more frustrated, I looked around for something to distract myself with, and found that I was at the main entrance of a park. I paused and stared at the entrance for a few moments, the people on the sidewalk just sidestepping around me, as if I was not even there. Slowly, I began walking into the public area, avoiding bumping into anyone.

    That was not my first time there. I had discovered Maruyama Park on the fourth day after I had arrived in Japan. I was just exploring the city then, and had accidentally stumbled upon it. It was a beautiful place, especially now that it was spring and the cherry blossoms were in full bloom. Though there were many cherry trees in the park, there was one tree, a massive one that stood over the others in the center of the park that I really grew fond of. Whenever I sat at its base, my mind would become blank, and all of my worries would fade away so long as I remained there. The tree turned into my haven, and I visited it every afternoon. Without it, I do not believe that I would have survived as long as I have in this world where everyone shared the same strand of dejection.

    I set my bag against the wood of my haven before placing myself down among its roots; unaware and uncaring of the time. There were no rules against being on the grass, so I knew I would not be bothered. Instantly, my body relaxed as well as my mind as I fell into the base’s calming embrace. However, the thoughts of the girl remained.

    “I guess she must’ve made a bigger impression on me than I thought.” I muttered to myself before feeling my eyelids grow heavy; sleep threatening to overtake me. After a weak effort to maintain awareness, I shut my eyes from the world, fading into the depths of subconscious.

    The next thing I knew, I was awake. Or at least I thought I was. I found myself standing in an open field with tall blades of grey grass all around me, a cloud-ridden melancholic sky overhead. I didn’t know where I was, nor did I know why I was there. All I knew was that I was alone again, but this time in a cold and desolate world. There was no one to see me, no one to care for me, no one to call for me. That was my reality, and I had to accept it.

    “Are you sure?”

    The words were said by a minute, childlike voice from behind me. For whatever reason, I did not bother to turn around to see who was speaking. I was sure that I had recognized my current world, a world where I was invisible.

    “But that girl talked to you.”

    So what if the girl had talked to me? I was nothing to her. I was nothing to everyone, including my parents.

    “You defended her.”

    I was… bored, and the man may have not intended to touch her in the first place.

    “Are you sure?”

    About the man, no, but about why I did it, yes.

    “She seemed really grateful.”

    I do not care.

    “Are you sure?”

    …

    “Are you sure?”

    “Are you sure?”

    “Are you sure?”

    “Are you sure?”

    “Are you su-?”

    “No, I’m not sure! Stop asking me that! I don’t know why I helped her out! I don’t know why she would even thank me! I don’t know and I don’t care!” I exploded at the voice behind me, frustration taking the best of me. After snapping, I quickly turned around to see who I was yelling at. There was no one there.

    Confused beyond belief, my knees suddenly felt weak, and I dropped down onto the dark-grey ground, panting. Around me, the world remained the same. The grass, the sky, the dirt. Everything remained grey. Trying to recover, a chill ran down my spine right as the voice returned to speak to me again, inches from my ear.

    “Are you sure?”

    Thrashing, I came out of my dream and returned to reality, detaching myself quickly from the cherry tree. Sweat covering my forehead, I gasped for air, suddenly feeling like I had ran miles without stopping once. Immediately, questions about what had occurred began to manifest in my head, overcoming any other thought. Grasping my face desperately, I felt back into the tree, trying to maintain my fading sanity. No one seemed to notice. Even in angst, I was alone.

    And then, my mind went blank.

    I remained how I was, frozen, for some time. After minutes passed, I looked up at the cherry tree, a single blossom landing on my forehead. Empty of emotion, I sighed, and got up. There was another crow there, staring down at me from one of the tree’s branches, studying me like the last one. I did not bother wondering why.

    -------------------


    I had arrived at school an hour late, and was given an appropriate punishment, since it was not my first tardy. As the school day went by, I allowed everything to blur past me, not paying attention to anything around me. Though some thoughts about my bizarre dream surfaced during that time, I would just remember the cherry tree, and then I would go back to being vacant. Before I knew it, the day was done.

    While my fellow classmates rushed out the door towards their homes, clubs, or part-time jobs, I remained seated at my desk, my homework spread out in front of me unfinished. Though I had my pencil in my hand, I did not even bother to lift it to write. I was too busy staring out of the window at the students in the main courtyard below, making use of my window-side seat, watching how they met up with their friends and left. Witnessing that, I felt myself slipping into melancholy again. Even back in America, the only people who would wait for me afterschool were the drivers my parents hired when I was young. Never any friends.

    Tilting back into my seat, I continued to watch from the second floor, observing how two students were laughing with one another, probably from an inside joke. As they passed the main gate, my eyes caught sight of something odd, instinct making me look to see what it was. There, standing in the same violet dress and wearing the same white mobcap, was the girl from the train. This time, she had a companion; a girl of almost equal height who had a white-collared button-up shirt on with a black skirt, a black hat hiding her facial features from my eye’s perspective.

    What was she doing there? By the looks of it, it seemed as if they were waiting for someone. Who would they hang around for? As I tried to come up with a reason for why they were there, the girl in the violet dress just so happened to look up in my direction, and was able to somehow see that I was on the other side of the panel of glass. Almost instantly, a smile formed on her face, which made me feel uncomfortable again. Raising her arm up, she waved at me, a greeting that I returned by just lifting my hand up to shoulder-height before realizing what I was doing. By then, the other girl realized what her companion was looking at, but kept her arms crossed. Just by looking at both of them, I knew that they wanted me to go down to them. To tell the truth, I did feel a warm feeling in my chest along with the uncomfortable sensation at that moment, but I quickly suppressed it. There was no telling what the reason was for the girl to come looking for me. Gathering my homework, I kept glancing back at the girls, wondering what they wanted. A minute later, I was already out of the classroom.

    Once I reached the two in the courtyard, it was the girl with the black hat who spoke first.

    “Hey! Are you the one who helped out my friend here?” stated the girl with an expression that made me wonder whether she was furious or not. When she spoke I stopped, my mind yelling at me to run away, leaving me speechless. Before I could do anything, the girl in the purple dress stepped forward, placing her hand on her companion’s shoulder.

    “Renko, relax. That’s him.” The girl muttered calmly before approaching me again. Pausing in front of me, she continued to talk, her blonde hair flowing slightly in the breeze.

    “Sorry about that. My friend is just angry that she wasn’t there to help me on the train. Anyways, you must be wondering why we are even here, huh?” Looking at me after asking the question, I discovered that she had serene eyes, colored a light shade of lavender by the sunlight. Once again the uncomfortable feeling from before gripped my chest, causing my idea to flee to spread throughout my mind. What was happening to me? Becoming aware of the fact that I was creating an awkward moment of silence, I quickly cleared my throat, replying back to the girl.

    “Um… yeah. What are you here for?” I responded plainly, adding a distant tone to my voice in hopes to bore her and make them walk away. I did not want them to waste their time talking to someone as unimportant as me.

    “Well, I felt bad after you left the station for not introducing myself, so I talked my friend into helping me find you. Thankfully we knew about this school, and when classes would be finished for the day. So we came in hopes of catching you before you left. And here you are! So without further adieu…” blushing slightly, the girl bowed her head to me for the second time that day, her eyes looking down at the weather-beaten stone the courtyard path was made of. Taking a deep breath, she jerked her face back up, saying her name with determination.

    “My name is Han Maribel. Pleased to meet you!” she exclaimed, still a little flustered. Overhead, a single raven flew through the clear blue skies.

    An awkward silence did manifest this time, no one knowing how to continue the conversation after the girl’s self-introduction. However, knowing her name lessened the uncomfortable feeling, but only by a small margin. As I stood there like an idiot, Maribel’s friend sighed loudly before stepping forward, standing in the space next to the purple-dressed girl, breaking the silence.

    “And I’m Usami Renko, university student and Maribel’s best friend. Now, aren’t you going to tell us your name, oh great hero?” the tie-wearing girl named Renko stated calmly, including the question with a tone that was faintly lined with irritation. As she talked, a single strand of dark hair landed over her face, and she casually moved it behind her ear. Blinking once, I managed to maintain a stoic persona, but it took me a few moments to reply back.

    “My name? My name is… Emil. Emil Blanc.” I mumbled hesitantly and quietly under my breath, hoping that the two girls would not hear it fully. I hated my name, since Emil meant ‘emulating’ and Blanc translated to ‘white’ in French. If you put the two words together, you get a phrase that did not define me at all. Thankfully the girls, who heard me despite my mild attempts, were more interested in another fact other than the meaning of my name.

    “Blan-k? Your first name is Blank?” Maribel asked me with a puzzled expression, which served only to confuse me as well along with her question. Opening my mouth to correct the girl, I was interrupted by Renko, who seemed to already know the answer.

    “No, Mary. Can’t you see that he is a foreigner? People like him say their surnames after their first names, unlike us, who say it the other way around. Isn’t that right, Emil-kun?” the girl with the black hat stated before turning to me, a stoic demeanor now over her face.

    “Uh… right, and it’s Blanc, with a ‘c’. You pronounce it with more emphasis on the last part.” I said carefully, the look on Renko’s face creating suspicion in my mind. And why did she address me as Emil-kun? I had just met her, and such a casual greeting was distrustful. Taking a step back, I decided it was time to leave. “Sorry, but it’s getting late. I should be headin-…“ I began to say as I took another step back, before the blonde-haired girl cut me off.

    “Would you like to help us out with something, Blanc-san?” she asked swiftly, the question appearing out of nowhere. In fact, it was so sudden that I was rendered speechless once more, and Renko (again) beat me to saying anything.

    “Mary, what are you doing? I thought you only wanted to introduce yourself, not-…”

    “Renko, don’t you see? He’s perfect for the Occult Studies Club! He would be a great addition, I just know it!” Maribel smiled to her friend, eagerness radiating off of her.

    “But Mary, I don-…”

    “Come on, Renko! It will be fun! Trust me!”

    “Mary, we don’t even know him well enou-…”

    “He stopped that man on that train, and that says a lot about his character, right?”

    “Mary… Oh, alright. Go ahead. Don’t cry if he refuses.”

    “Renko!” Maribel shouted to her friend before returning her attention to me, a little flushed from being teased. “Sorry about that. So what do you say? Wanna help us out?” she smiled at me, her hands now behind her as she leaned forward a little, expecting an answer. During the whole conversation she was having with Renko, I only stood there as silent as a pole. I had even amazed myself for not trying to run away as they were discussing with each other. Now placed on the spot, I looked at Maribel, then at Renko, and then back to Maribel, not knowing how to answer her. I could have just told her a lie. I could have made some excuse about being overloaded with homework, or having to go to a part-time job. I could have done that, and I should have done that, but…

    “Sure.” I answered quietly, making Maribel smile greater and Renko frown more. If someone were to ask me now why I had agreed to help them, I would not know how to answer. The only possible way to explain it was as if my body was reacting on its own, without my consciousness, but even that explanation is sketchy. However, that one word would come to change my life. Forever.

    -------------------

    Walking down the familiar sidewalk, I turned and walked into the entrance of Maruyama Park once again that day, the two tall lampposts on each side of the gate illuminating the kanji on the sign that hung overhead. Stopping to check my wristwatch, I noted that I was ten minutes early, and continued to walk to the nearest bench to wait. Reaching it, I placed my school bag in the spot next to me before actually sitting down myself, checking my watch again. Nine minutes. As I waited, I once again went over what Renko and Maribel had told me to do in my mind, and wondered why I was even following their orders at all.

    After I had agreed, Maribel went on to explain what it was that I would be helping them out in. Apparently, she and Renko were the creators and the only members of the Occult Studies Club at their university, and their main goal was to discover another world, one that was hidden inside this one. To find that world, they searched many places in and around Kyoto, but did not encounter any evidence of its existence. Maruyama Park was the only place in that part of the city that they had not searched, so they planned to look around it that night. It was Renko’s idea originally, since Maribel said that she was the person that initiated most of their activities, but thinking that three set of eyes were better than two, the girl in the white mobcap had thought about inviting me to assist them after we had talked to each other outside of the train station. However, she had not told Renko about her intentions, which explained her behavior in the school courtyard. Or at least I think.

    That was how I became an honorary member of the Occult Studies Club.

    Resting back into the polished brown wood of the bench, I looked up at the night sky, gazing at the heavy clouds that were visible even in the darkness. What was I doing? I was to look for another world. Why did I agree to do something that was impossible? I should have refused them on the spot. Instead, I was alone at the park at 8:51 PM, waiting for two girls who may in fact be insane, to look for a fairy tale world. I could have been at home, doing… nothing. I guess that was my reason. I wanted to do something for a change, to be known. I was trying to become something more than just scenery, even though I did not realize it at that time.

    Checking my watch again, I took note that it was still seven minutes till the time Renko and Maribel had told me to meet up with them. Looking up once more, I opened my mouth to say something, and ended up standing up, grabbing my school bag seconds later. I was still dressed in my school clothes, only with the top two buttons of my jacket unbuttoned. Normally, I had them all fastened during classes. Walking off in a familiar direction, I passed a hand through my short black hair, and looked forward as I approached my favorite cherry tree, expecting to see its base empty, like always.

    However, this time, there was already someone among the blossom-covered bark roots.

    Stopping in my tracks, I felt my bag fall only the grass, and a sense of invasion grip my body. Who was that person, and why were they sitting there? As I stood there, I felt a raindrop fall onto my head, and before I knew it, it began to downpour everywhere. I did not care about the rain. There was something else more important to me at the time than being drenched. Approaching the person and leaving my bag behind, I noticed that they were holding a parasol over their person, keeping me from seeing their face and the rain away. As I got closer still, I realized that the person was wearing a dress that looked like it was from China, but at the same time looked as if it came from some country in Europe, which led me to believe that the person was a woman. Or, a cross-dressing man. All my hopes were with the former.

    Before I knew it, I stood right in front of the lady, my clothes wet from the falling rain and my hair matted to my head. Oddly enough, I did not know what to say to the woman, and I remained there, planted for a good minute trying to think of something to declare. Suddenly, I felt my mouth open, and two words left it quickly before I could stop them.

    “Excuse me.” I uttered softly to the woman, not knowing how she would react. A moment after I spoke, the parasol tilted a little, and the woman’s hand moved up underneath it, a yawn appearing a second later. It was then that the parasol was raised, and I finally caught sight of the woman’s face.
    “Maribel-san?” I whispered under my breath, my eyes pools of puzzlement. However, somehow I knew that the woman in front of me was not the white mobcap-wearing girl. Though their faces looked familiar, there was something about that woman that set her apart. Her face seemed more mature, and her eyes, which were the same lavender shade as Maribel’s, appeared to be less innocent, and more cunning, almost… manipulative. I could not help but stare at the woman. She was beautiful.

    As I gazed at the woman in the rain, she rubbed her eye sleepily before noticing that I was even there, her eyes widening at the sight of me looking at her. Recognizing that fact that staring was both rude and slightly unnerving, I quickly looked away, spurring out multiple statements at the same time.

    “Ah! I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to… I mean, I was just curious as to why… You shouldn’t be sitting there in the rain like that, you could… I’m sorry if I woke you… Ummmm….” I stuttered on, embarrassed, my first notion of telling her off forever gone from the moment on. As I spoke, the woman seemed to be observing me with interest, before smiling coyly and standing up, elegant even at that. She seemed to be around my height, if not an inch taller. The action caused me to stop stammering, and made me aware of the same uncomfortable feeling from before being present in my chest. Taking a step towards me, the woman continued to smile, and she moved her parasol over me, keeping any more rain from falling on me.

    “H-hey! You’ll get we-!” I began to say before realizing something about the woman that was oddly peculiar. Despite being in the rain, she seemed completely dry, not a drop landing on her. Trying to make sense on how that was possible, my train of thought was broken up by the woman’s voice, as she spoke to me in a friendly manner.

    “Well now, you seem interesting enough. I guess you will do.” She said plainly, taking another step forward, which landed her to be under the parasol with me. My face heating up, I was rendered speechless, as I stared into the woman’s eyes, which were narrowed slightly as she placed a hand on my chest, bringing her face closer to mine. Entering a state of shock, I remained still, confused beyond comprehension. Once her lips were centimeters from mine, she stopped, and muttered something to me quietly, the heat of her breath adding onto the increasing warmth my face was radiating.

    “Become something greater for me, okay?”

    Before I could even think about replying, the woman pushed me away from her, and I fell back, losing my balance on the wet grass. As I fell, I caught a glimpse of the woman again, and saw that she was still smiling. Feeling the blood rushing from my head, I braced myself for the impact with the drenched ground.

    The impact never came.

    Instead, I continued to fall, right through an eye-shaped opening in the ground. As I descended into what appeared to be eternity, I was greeted by an infinite number of red eyes, all of them staring at me as I went deeper and deeper into their world of crimson. The last thing I saw, before entering that hole into which I had presumed to be Hell, was the same crow from before, sitting on the same branch as before, watching me as I fell to my fate.

    Every morning I stare at the ceiling. That night, I did not think I would have ever had another morning again.

    -------------------

    End of FHGE: Chapter One
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  2. #2
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    Sorry for the double-post and the wait. Circumstances and whatnot.


    [Please Review here: Review Thread]

    -------------------


    Forgotten Harmony of Germane Errant
    Chapter Two: Accepting

    When I opened my eyes, I was met by a crimson sky.

    Too dazed to notice it at first, I let out a quiet groan as I lifted myself up from the spot where I laid, my entire body protesting against the action. Once upright, I rubbed my eyes sleepily, as if I had just woken up from an uneasy nap. Removing my hand from my face and letting it fall onto my lap, I sat there for at least a minute before falling back, my mind giving in to my body’s pleas. Laid out on the ground again, I stared up at the sky once more. It remained crimson.

    “This must be a dream.” I remember saying at that time, spread out on the warm grass of a clearing, surrounded by a garrison of tall trees, whose dark leaves held the light from above at bay. There was not a noise present, only the pulsing in my head and the sound of the wind passing through the leaves of the trees. My body had become numb, which was probably the reason why I was not able to stay upright at the time. Somehow managing to turn my head to the left, I stared at my curled fingers, admiring the way each fingerprint looked. However, I could not move them. I did not have the energy or strength left to even attempt to. As I gazed at my digits, a movement in the corner of my eye distracted me, and naturally I glanced to observe it, out of curiosity. There, on one of the dark tree branches, among darker leaves, sat a single crow, which stared at me as I was staring at it. For a while, nothing happened, but then my brain hit a trigger.

    I had seen a crow like that before, I told myself without spoken words. One outside of my apartment, another flying past the train window, a third looking on from a streetlamp, and a last one on a branch of the cherry tree twice; once during the day, a second time at night, when I met the-….

    It was then that I was reminded about what had happened to me. It was also when the panic hit.

    Suddenly full of energy, I quickly sat up and twisted my head side-to-side, hastily checking out my surroundings.

    “Where am I?” I muttered out loud, sweat beginning to form on my forehead, “What is this place?”

    As if a spell was broken with those words, a wave of noises came crashing down on me, jamming my head with a resonance of insect screeches, birdcalls, and other unknown hums. Cringing at the sudden change in volume, I somehow got up to my feet and began to stumble in a random direction, covering my ears with my hands, my eyes shut. It was probably the adrenaline gained from the panic that permitted me to do all of those actions. Not at all aware of what I was running through, I just kept going forward, my stumble slowly evolving into a full sprint. For some odd reason, I could feel my body becoming weaker, despite the adrenaline, and my breathing become irregular. Before I knew it, I had stopped in my tracks, and was already on my knees, breathless and drenched in my own sweat. However, I could not feel myself recovering. In fact, I only experienced the opposite effect. Despite my lack of ordinary breathing, I continued on with the notion of getting out of that area, crawling that time slowly towards nowhere.

    It did not take long for me to find myself sprawled on the ground, unmoving.

    On my side, I tried to get up and get going, but my muscles and limps finally gave up on me. Stranded within myself, I gazed off towards the distance, my vision blurring and refocusing multiple times.

    What was happening to me? Why was I so weak? Can this be what happens when a person dies? What did I do to deserve this? Those questions tormented my fleeting mind as my eyelids gradually began to shut, darkness leisurely invading my brain.

    Before I descended into mental blackness, I felt two strong hands raise my limp body up from the reddish warm grass, a bizarre feeling for a dying person. After that, my consciousness collapsed.

    -------------------

    “…hope that the remedy works. It would be a shame if this boy perished. The death of one is never a joyous event.”

    Hearing the voices speaking somewhere behind me made me realize that I was awake again, and still alive, or at least dreaming. Opening up my eyes only slightly, I clenched my teeth tightly as my head exploded into sheering pain, a migraine wrecking havoc inside my skull. That massive discomfort shot down my dream theory instantly.

    Rising up to a sitting position while holding my head, I found that I was on an old-looking bedroll covered by a raggedy blanket, my school jacket and shoes laid out on the dirt next to me.

    “Sensei, I’ll go get some more firewood. I’ll be back shortly.” said a voice off to my far-right. Turning around as fast as I could in that position, I was too late to actually see the person who spoke. The only thing I caught sight of was flowing amethyst-colored hair leaving through a doorway.

    “Well now, I am glad to see that you have recovered.” A sagely voice said to me from further in the room. There, sitting with his legs underneath him in a proper pose as he sipped from a small and plain wooden cup, rested an elderly man wearing a white Japanese kimono with an aqua vest next to a simple fireplace.

    “Come join me by the fire now that you are awake. I have many questions to ask, as I believe that you must have also.” The man continued before taking another sip, his eyes shut as he did. Blinking twice, I removed the blanket from me and stood up slowly, realizing that I was no longer too weak to do so. Though my head still hurt from the migraine and a faint soreness made itself known in my joints, I walked over and flopped down on the ground adjacent to the man, crossing my legs in front of me instead of following the elder’s example. As I did so, the man put the cup back down to his lap and remained silent, the fire illuminating the left side of his face along with his short silver beard. He seemed to be one of those seniors who remained in shape despite their age, since his shoulders did not snoop forward like most. There was an air of dignity radiating off him, one that gave the impression that he could be trusted.

    Catching myself staring, I quickly brought my glance down to my feet. After a few seconds went by without any words spoken, I raised up my head again to say something, but nothing came to mind, or rather, I could not pick what question to ask first. My indecision left me with my mouth open, and looking like a complete moron. More time passed, and I lowered my head, still striving to pick something to say.

    “Do not force yourself. This must be hard for you. Take your time.” the old man said finally, keeping his eyes closed. My head snapping back up, I once again experience the same sensation I had every time I talked to someone in another language, when I heard the words in my head rather than in my ear. That was the best I could explain it. Grateful that he began the conversation, I cleared my throat to speak. However, he went first.

    “I assume that you are a human, correct?” the man asked me, bringing the cup up to his lips again.

    “Uh… yeah, um….” I stuttered quickly, my mind in too much of a disarray to say anything further.

    “Well, you are a long way from the human village. Tell me, how was it that you came to this place?” he continued, slowly moving the cup from his mouth to the floor in front of him, neither his posture nor his expression ever changing.

    “I don’t know.” I answered, clearly for once. This seemed to catch the man off-guard, since he allowed his eyes to open up in unmasked surprise.

    “You do not know? Did you not come through the cave from Gensokyo?” the man asked me with some suspicion in his voice. Hearing that, my mind suddenly and finally arranged itself.

    “Cave? Gensokyo? What is that? Where am I? What is this place anyways?” I stated frantically, wanting answers. The man seemed taken aback from my statement, but soon he regained his composure.

    “I see. So you are from that world. I should have seen it sooner, with your clothing and all. This changes everything. Greatly.” He muttered before rising up, something white moving along with him as he did. As I watched, he brought himself up to full height and stood there gazing down at me, a white cloudlike thing appearing from behind him, hanging over his head. The fire gave him an ominous glow, one that made him more intimidating.

    “You are in the world of Makai. You may also think of it as the world where demons dwell.” He announced solemnly, the specter of white moving slightly as he spoke. Left with my mouth hanging open, I tried to make sense of what the man had said, but could not get even close.

    “What?” I stammered with shock, sweat once again forming on my forehead, “What are you talking about? Who are you?”

    Looking up to the white being over him, the old man ran his knuckle over it once, answering my last question.

    “You may call me Youki. I am a half-human, half-ghost hermit. No, half-phantom is more accurate. I am a resident here in Makai.” He responded simply, dropping his eyes to me once more. The statement only served to confound me more. Half-ghost? That could not be possible. That man was insane.

    “No… you’re lying. This can’t be true. This must be a dream.” I said desperately as I fell back onto my elbows, my migraine growing more and more painful with the seconds that went by. Seeing this, the man took a step forward, reaching out with one of his hands.

    “You must calm yourself. You are in no condition to-…”

    “Stay away from me!”

    Getting to my feet, I ran past the man and out through the doorway, finding myself in a world of crimson once again. Looking up, my eyes widened as my mind brought up an image of multiple red eyes staring at me, unblinking, in a similar scarlet sky. Gripping my head tightly, I ran for only a second, but then stopped to let out a scream of agony. The migraine had grown unbearable, and I felt like I wanted to die. All that time I thought to myself that it could not be true. It was all a dream, like the world of grey. Where was that world? How I would have given anything to be in that cold and desolate world of grey, instead of that agonizing world of crimson. How I would have preferred to be alone than in pain. What did I do to deserve that? What did I…

    Bending over suddenly, I let out the contents of my stomach all over the ground in front of me, and fell back, my head hitting the dirt hard. Dazed, I stared up at the sky a third time, my mind rattled beyond belief.

    “This… a dream…” I muttered despairingly before blacking out again.

    -------------------

    The next thing I knew, I was in a dimly lit room, one that seemed familiar to me. Standing by the door, I did not say or do anything. I only watched a little boy fold a paper crane in the middle of the room, his back to me. As he finished, he tested the crane by moving the tail before setting it aside, letting it join a large pile of other cranes of different colors right next to him. He then reached for another piece of colored paper, once again starting with the first fold. As he began, someone behind me shouted something that I could not make out.

    The boy did not respond.

    Turning around to see who had yelled, I found myself face to face with a being consisting of all black, its face absent. As it came at me, I flinched, but to my surprise, the being passed through me, as if I wasn’t there. Turning back, I saw the black being approach the boy from behind, standing over him menacingly and grimly. For some reason, I knew that it spoke to the child, even though I did not hear words or see its mouth move, for it did not have one.

    Again, the boy did not respond.

    This seemed to anger the being, and with a quick kick, it sent all the paper cranes in the pile flying in all directions. That made the boy jump, and stop with the folding of the crane in his hands. The black being then proceeded to stomp every crane flat, silently barking at the mute boy. Once it was done, it stood away from the boy, its foot crushing a single unfortunate scarlet crane.

    The boy, not even looking up at the being, continued to fold the piece of paper in his hand into another crane. Soon, he finished the last fold, tested it once, placed it next to him, reached for another sheet, and started again.

    The black being erupted into a rage, and it began to strike at the wall, knocking blank frames onto the ground. As each frame hit, the glass shattered, sending small shards flying everywhere. One of thoseshards flew at the boy, and cut his hand, making him stop briefly due to the pain. In spite of the cut, it was only a brief pause, and with a bleeding hand, the boy continued folding. Now furious beyond comprehension, the black being lashed out with his foot, aiming for the only paper crane that was not flattened, the one next to the boy.

    However, the boy was in the kick’s trajectory.

    “Wait! Sto-!” I began to yell as I jumped forward, trying to stop the boy from getting hurt.

    At that point, Time seemed to have slowed down completely. With my hand outstretched to the boy and my body plummeting to the ground, I cried out to the boy once more, telling him to move from there.

    The boy did not respond.

    As the foot of the black being hit the paper crane and continued towards the boy, my eyes widened in despair as inches turned into centimeters, and then into millimeters. As the kick was about to hit the boy, everything froze; everything save the boy. Turning his head halfway towards me, I saw that his hair hid his eyes, and soon became aware of the fact that the boy opened his mouth. With no fear towards the paused black being, the boy said one thing to me, his mouth growing into a smile.

    “Become something greater for me, okay?”

    Time then unfroze, and the world turned black all over again.

    -------------------

    Snapping awake, I looked around in a panic, the nightmare still fresh on my mind. Trying to rise up, I felt hands retraining me by my shoulders, and I could hear sounds of effort coming from someone over me as I struggled. Gradually, I calmed down, and once I was back in control of myself I felt the hands let go.

    “Oh good. You are awake.” I heard the old man Youki say from somewhere off to my right, though I did not bother to look at him when he said that. Instead, I glanced up and was looking eye to eye with the person who had held me down, a person with amethyst hair and burgundy eye.

    “I was not given the chance to mention that the atmosphere in Makai is physically harmful, even lethal, to humans unless they hold a certain decree of power within them. Your extreme reaction to the air only confirms my suspicions about you.” Youki continued as he approached to where I lay, standing behind the person who was kneeling next to me in a similar white kimono as the old man, only with a simple cherry-colored vest on instead of an aqua-colored one. That person must have been the one who had gone out to get more wood for the fire when I woke up the first time. In my state, I could not determine if the person was a man or a woman. All I could tell was that they were a lot younger than the old man, perhaps as old as I was or a little older. Eyeing the old man, I turned my head away from the two people, a single thought floating in my exhausted mind.

    I was not dreaming that time. It was all real, whether I liked it or not.

    “You are not from this world, are you?” Youki asked me seriously, from which the person with the burgundy eyes looked to him, probably in surprise. Bringing my head back to glance at him, I nodded, accepting my reality the best I could.

    “No. I’m not.” I said plainly, causing the cherry-vested person to back away.

    “Can you tell us how you came to be in this world?” the old man continued to ask, bringing himself to the same seating position as before next to the bedroll I was laying on. Looking at him, I nodded and began to tell my story, or at least attempted to, since there was so much that I was still confused about.

    I started with the train. As I illustrated the normal world both Youki and the other person listened intently, apparently fascinated with any detail from it. By then I had just assumed that the person who was next to Youki was also a man, despite his slightly feminine face. It seemed more likely, since the person acted as a student to the old man. Once I got around to Maribel and Renko, I realized that I had completed the main goal of their club: to find another world inside of the normal one. Grasping that fact and the irony around it, I began to laugh out loud sadly, causing my two listeners, even Youki, to jump a little. Recovering, I kept going, finding myself describing my favorite cherry tree in Maruyama Park. Oddly enough, Youki seemed to tense up at the mention of a cherry tree, but at the time I only thought it was my imagination. Leaving out the dream I had about the world of grey, I reached the point where I was in the park the second and last time.

    “There, sitting in the spot where I usually sat at, was a blonde woman in a strange dress, holding a parasol. When I got close to her, I thought that she was Maribel, but after I looked at her face, I knew it wasn’t her. She woke up then, and looked at me for a bit before standing up and pushing me into some kind of eye-ridden hole. I blacked out when I fell through, and the next thing I knew, I was laying in some dark forest. That’s… how I got here.” I finished, keeping what the woman said to me a secret for some reason. It was not as if I did not want to tell them, but something in me told me not to. Maybe it was my latest dream’s fault.

    When I was done retelling my story, Youki was once again silent with his eyes closed. It was then that I guessed that it was his way of stopping to think. Suddenly, the person behind him finally spoke again.

    “Sensei, I want to duel him.” He said with determination, standing up a second later. I only stared at him, wondering if I heard him right.

    “Very well. Go prepare.” Youki said plainly, rising up also.

    “Wait… what?” I said, puzzled about the sudden turn of events.

    “You shall face my student Meira in a duel. I assume that you now have recovered enough to stand, correct?” Youki said bluntly, walking over to a chest next to the fireplace as the person named Meira stepped outside. I had gotten myself into a sitting position once again halfway through my story, since talking to someone while lying down was rather bizarre. If I knew that it would lead up to that, I would have remained sickly.

    Before I could answer, Youki tossed something towards me, which landed on the ground next to me. It was the typical bamboo sword used by kendo martial artists. How did he have one?

    “Come now. You cannot have my student wait for you.” The old man said as he approached me and grabbed my arm, pulling me up effortlessly. Amazed at the man’s strength, I was left speechless as he basically dragged me outside, the sword in my hand.

    Once out of the small cabin, I quickly understood what was happening.

    “Wait! Why do I have to fight?” I shouted at the old man, who let me go then.

    “You desire to return to your own world, correct?” he asked me seriously, the white specter behind him still present.

    “Of course.” I blurted out, thinking it was the obvious answer.

    “Then you must learn how to survive in this one. This duel will allow you to see if you are able to stay alive until you discover a method to go back.” The old man said before taking a few steps back, leaving me on one side of a dirt clearing. He had his hand up in the air, as if intending to chop something with it.

    “Hold o-!”

    “Begin.” Youki interrupted, bringing his hand down. Quickly turning to Meira, I found him already in front of me with his bamboo sword raised, having been on the other side of the clearing when I was still speaking with the old man. My eyes widening, I tried to move back to dodge the strike, but my body did not respond quick enough. A flash of white later, I was on the ground with a wave of agony passing through me. Dots danced in front of my eyes, and the migraine from earlier resurfaced.

    “Point.” Youki announced calmly, the white specter hanging over him moving closer to his shoulder. Coughing as I got up to my hands and knees, I shook my head to get rid of the blood-rushing feeling, my temple pulsing from the blow.

    “Come on! I was holding back with that swing! Don’t tell me that you are already done!”

    Twisting my head towards Meira, I glared at him as I slowly got back up to my feet, the bamboo sword still in my hand. Coughing some more, I felt sick again, and instantly remembered what the old man had said about the air in that place. If it was really harmful for humans, why wasn’t Meira affected? Was he even human?

    “Begin.” Youki declared again, making me hesitant. Meira beat me. Why did the old man start another match? Quickly I tried to bring my sword up to defend myself, but again Meira was there in front of me, his weapon beginning its arch towards my unguarded body. Another moment passed, with another blow connecting.

    Dropping to one knee, it took everything I had just not to scream out in pain, holding the spot on my right shoulder that was hit.

    “Point.” Youki repeated, his face not showing any reaction to my distress. In front of me, Meira laughed confidently as he leaned forward so that his face was inches from mine, which was sweating from the physical anguish I was experiencing.

    “If we were using real swords you would’ve died twice. You call yourself a man? You’re weak. Stay down if you know what is good for you.” Meira laughed as he walked away, his amethyst hair, which was tied up in a ponytail, flowing in the poisonous wind. With his words, I found my mind blank again, as if I had just relaxed underneath my favorite cherry tree back in the normal world. However, unlike those instances, where I felt nothing, there was one single emotion remaining in me, one that I had not expressed in a long while.

    “Youki … please start another match.” I hissed through my teeth, letting out a cough shortly afterwards. Hearing me, Meira quickly turned around, looking both surprised and annoyed of my unexpected enthusiasm. The old man, however, seemed to be intrigued, and lifted his hand up in the air, ready to signal the start of a third match.

    Switching the bamboo sword I had in my right hand to my left due to the blow to the shoulder I had received, I stared angrily at Meira, clenching my teeth as I suppressed another cough. The longer I stood there, the more and more sicker I got, which meant that I had to beat the old man’s student quickly. I did not know how I was going to do it, but I was not going to let Meira win and make fun at me again. I had too much experience being teased back in America. Looking to Youki quickly to signal that I was ready, I saw him nod once before letting his hand fall, his mouth opening to shout that one word. As his hand dropped, everything slowed down around me, and suddenly the blonde woman’s last words to me rang through my head once again.

    “Become something greater for me, okay?”

    “Begin.”

    Returning to reality, I did the first thing that came to my mind: I threw my sword in front of me. I did not know then nor now the reason why I did that, but it provided results. Seeing my discarded sword flying at him, Meira had just enough time to stop and dodge it, which gave me a window of opportunity for only a few seconds. Seeing it, I did something that I learned to do in my native country.

    I charged and tackled Meira.

    We both landed hard on the ground, with me landing on top of him. Ignoring the dizziness in my head along with the pain in my body, I snatched his sword from his hand and toss it aside, keeping a hand on his chest to keep him down. Breathing hard, I looked up at the crimson sky, Meira still dazed under me.

    “Ha! Finally!” I yelled, something I rarely did. That amount of relief that ran through my body at that time was overwhelming, but was kept in check by the increasing sense of nausea. Turning my head to look at Youki and to see him declare ‘Point’ one last time, I saw him instead slowly shake his head as he covered his eyes with his hand, obviously disappointed about something. Confused, I was about to say something before I felt something soft in my right hand, which was the one that was keeping Meira down. Looking back to the fallen student, I did not see anything under my hand that could be soft on his chest. The kimono itself was made of rough material, which I could tell from feeling it, so what could it….

    It was then that Meira recovered enough to realize that I was on top of him, letting out a quiet moan before looking up at me. When he saw my hand on his chest, immediately his face turned as crimson as the sky, and he glared at me, tears threatening to fall from the corners of his eyes, his mouth hanging open in shock. Trying to make sense of why he was suddenly embarrassed, I grabbed his kimono and opened it on a whim, trying to see if there was anything he was hiding underneath it.

    Realization drove a burning sword into my chest a second later, causing my eyes to widen insanely as I stared down at what I had uncovered. A second after that, Meira’s fist came crashing down into my left cheek, introducing me to a world of white.

    -------------------

    “I do say, you continue to surprise me.” Youki laughed, the specter over him remaining motionless in the air.

    “I could say that about this world as well.”

    Covered in bandages, I weakly drank from a small and plain wooden cup, one that the old man said had a liquid that helped people cope with the crimson world’s harmful atmosphere. Cringing as my bruised cheek pulsed suddenly, I placed the cup down and laid back on the same bedroll as before, my entire body in pain. Off in the corner sat Meira, who remained flustered and furious as hell. Once more in front of the fireplace, Youki relaxed with a wooden cup of tea in his hands, his posture as straight as ever as he sat on his legs.

    “Meira, he is not to blame for not knowing. You are more at fault, since you never formally introduced yourself.” Youki said calmly with a wise tone, taking another sip of tea from his cup. Even with his eyes closed, the old man seemed to know that Meira was still sulking. However, his statement only served to unleash a storm of anger and hellfire.

    “Not knowing? It should’ve been obvious! How can someone be so stupid as to not see it?!” Meira shouted from the corner, pointing a finger towards me with a still crimson face.

    “Well, you didn’t act the part, that’s for sure.” I muttered under my breath, looking away after adding in my input to the conversation, rubbing the side of my head as I did. Unfortunately, Meira heard me.

    “What did you say?! Say that again, you otherworldly scum!” Meira roared before getting up, drawing an actual blade with the intent of driving it into me.

    “Meira, sit. He is our guest.” Youki coolly commanded, probably still with his eyes shut.

    “A depraved guest! What type of person goes around groping and disrobing people?!” Meira snarled in a furious rage, taking another step towards me.

    “I didn’t know, okay? You weren’t the only one who was embarrassed, you know.” I said to the angry student, my face heating up a little also. After I said that, I remembered the man who I condemned as a pervert despite the off chance that he could have been innocent on the train. How karma was cruel sometimes.

    “You think you were embarrassed! I was the one you humiliated! How did you not figure out that I’m a woman?!” Meira shouted at me, throwing the sheath of her sword at me. The piece of polished black wood hit me square on my back, sending another wave of pain coursing through my body. However, I did not yell out. Rather, I forced myself to speak calmly after the strike.

    “You’re right. I shouldn’t have humiliated you like that. I’m sorry.” I said sincerely without turning back around, the pain from the hit already adding onto the overall discomfort in my body that I could at least tolerate. I was to blame after all, so I deserved whatever punishment she had for me.

    My apology brought forth an awkward silence, and shortly afterwards I heard the distinct sound of footsteps move away from me. Spinning my body over to see what had happened, I saw Meira back in her corner, her face still a little red but quiet for once. Studying her face for a bit, I noticed that she was a lot more feminine than I had first guessed. How was it that I mistook her for a guy?

    “May we now have your name?” Youki suddenly said to me, opening his eyes for once in doing so. Moving my glance to look at him with a confused expression, I realized that in all that time I had never said my name. Sitting up quickly, I twitched a little from the headache I had before answering.

    “My name is Emil. Emil Blanc.” I revealed finally, a little hesitant but clear. The recent events had not made me a fan of my own name just yet. Hearing it, the old man allowed himself a small smile, and stood up, walking over to me.

    “Excellent. Now, Emil-kun, would you like to be taught the way of the sword?”

    Looking up at the man with silver hair and a white specter roaming over him, I did not know what say. Off to the side, I noticed that Meira looked surprised about the offer, but made no motion against it.

    “I…” I began to say, but my words trailed off, indecision plaguing my mind once more.

    “Though you did best Meira in your last duel, it was only in the third attempt that you managed to do so. The demons of Makai will not give you two more chances to fight if you fail the first. Should you lose that first time, you will be killed,” Youki explained as he took a knee alongside me, his white specter following him down, “and you stated earlier that you wished to return to your own world, correct?”

    It was only when he asked me that question then that I began to think about my answer from earlier. Common sense told me that I wanted to go back, but something else in me made a counterargument. Why should I go back? I was nothing in that world. No one paid attention to me. I was alone there, and because of that I could not see a reason to want to go back. Maybe in that world known as Makai I could become something, something other than background scenery. Maybe… No. I was not alone when I was forced out of the normal world. I was waiting for both Maribel and Renko, who were the only two people who seemed to treat me like a person, not like scenery.

    Going over the events involving the two members of the Occult Studies Club, I soon understood why I had agreed to help them. I had said ‘yes’ that day because I had hope. Hope that with them, I would no longer be alone, that I would be able to enjoy my life for once. That reason alone suppressed the counterargument, but did not destroy it.

    “Yes.”

    Aware that I had taken my time before answering, the old man nodded and offered his hand, a smile appearing on his face.

    “Then will you allow me to give you the necessary skills to survive until then?”

    Eyeing his hand, I returned.

    “Yes.” Was all I said as I placed my hand in his, shaking it once, confirming our agreement. As I did so, my eye caught something moving in the doorway, and as I twisted my head to investigate, I only caught sight of black feathers slowly floating to the ground. On the back of my hand was a faint scar that ran horizontally across it, so aged that it was no longer noticeable.

    When I opened my eyes that day, I was met by a crimson sky. As I let go of the old man’s hand, I began to worry on how many days I would go seeing that same sky.


    -------------------

    End of FHGE: Chapter Two
    [|EDIT|Please Review here: Review Thread]
    Last edited by BLKJett; 01-09-2012 at 07:50 AM.

  3. #3
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    Chapter Three is in the works!

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