Author note: I do not own the Last Story.

This is probably only the second fanfic I've ever had with Mirania as a main character. So, this should be interesting since I usually don't write with her as the main person here... XDDDD

Warning: AU, takes place post-game, possible spoilers, violence, eventual pairings

I hope you that you enjoy reading this and constructive criticism and reviews are appreciated! Thanks! XD

CLoCkwoRk aNgEL

1. Quarter to nine

Mirania blinked, looking around.

What in the world was going on? What was she doing sitting on the ground in the middle of the marketplace, in Lazulis City? How did she even get here? Did she fall asleep while getting booze for Syrenne and Lowell's new bar, or...

Wait. Wait a second, wait a minute. The nature mage got onto her feet, looking down to realize that she was wearing her nightgown.

Nope. She'd fallen asleep in her room, she remembered, lounging around in her bed and reading. She'd been reading a recently-published book about the Vono Islands' history to see if there were any herbs there that would be useful for her growing business as a doctor of sorts. She'd been living with Syrenne and Lowell for the time being, helping out at their bar on occasion while treating other people in Lazulis City when they needed help.

Yurick had also been living with Syrenne and Lowell, though he had plans to go back to the village where he lived in his childhood and show the surviving villagers that his father was anything but a coward, that he and his crew at sea sacrificed their lives to save the village from an even greater bad than pirates attacking.

But right now, right now, Mirania had no idea where she was.

This Lazulis seemed different. Looking up, she noticed something different about the buildings. There was less brick that actually made these buildings. Instead, vast carvings of clicking gears, steel, glass—that was what made up those buildings. A huff of steam appeared at her left, and she looked in that direction to see some sort of carriage wheeling by her, steam coming out from the metal horses that pulled it.

That helped a lot. She knew now that she couldn't possibly be in Lazulis at all.

"Excuse me?"

Mirania turned to her left to see none other than a familiar figure appear, but he wasn't walking with a cane, which was the notable thing, but he was still limping. The wavy, blond hair with bangs partially clipped back was also familiar, trailing over his shoulders like a lion's mane. The metal left leg and arm was also familiar, but the clothing differed just a little bit. The usual white lacy scarf was now a bright scarlet, a black cross imprinted on it. His black tailcoat trailed off into the slight breeze as he approached her, the shirt underneath the black waistcoat a sullen grey, and the rest of his attire was just as saddening to eye, as if he'd just went to a funeral.

But this man—this man was supposed to be dead.

The nature mage stared at him quietly, words escaping her lips before she could stop them.

"Count Arganan?"

The man (was it really Count Arganan? He was supposed to be dead!) stopped in his tracks and just stared at her.

"What?" He sputtered, as if not expecting her to speak. "A-Arganan is my family name. Did you hear of me from others in the city...?" He trailed off slowly, his facial expression turning to suspicion.

Mirania gasped, shaking her head. The thing she didn't want was to accidently turn help away. "N-no, I haven't, I just, um, I knew someone who looks exactly like you. Almost exactly like you," She corrected herself, "And he was, I mean, he died. In a war."

That was technically telling the truth, right? Keep it simple, and things don't get weird. Not too weird anyway, she hoped.

The Arganan standing in front of her sighed, fully approaching her. "I see." He looked around, wincing slightly after he opened up a pocketwatch he held in a hand, gazing at it before looking up at her. "I can't just leave you wandering out here in a place you don't know. It's quarter to nine and it'll get dark soon. Perhaps you'd like to, well, come stay at my manor tonight? Though I understand if you refuse. It's all very sudden to you, I assume, to end up here."

Mirania observed him quietly, thinking. He was a lot easier to talk to in this world. Back in the other world, he wouldn't have listened to people of no status like her, or even his own niece...

This Arganan was a little different, that was for sure. And seemingly kinder too. Perhaps she would try to befriend him, because it was always good to be on good terms with people instead of giving people the cold shoulder.

She smiled at him. "Sure. I wouldn't mind staying at your manor for the night, mister, uh..."

He smiled at her slightly. "Just call me Arganan if it helps."

She nodded. "Thank you."

"And..." He paused. "What is your name?"

She blinked. There wasn't an alternate version of her in this world? Weird. Well, it did explain the awkwardness. There must be no Mirania like her that lived here in this world that this alternate Arganan knew of. "Mirania. My name is Mirania."

The two went to his manor, walking through winding alleys, past people with such odd clothing (they all seemed to have gears or had some kind of mechanism on their apparel, somehow). The walk was not too long, thankfully, and they got inside before it was too dark. He seated her in a living room, sitting down opposite her after he ordered what looked like people at first but then at next sight were actually metal beings shaped like humans, as she discovered with much surprise, to fetch them some tea.

"So," Arganan started, facing her. "Do you know how you ended up here?"

Mirania shook her head, trying to think. "No, I don't know. I remember falling asleep..." She then blushed, remembering she was still in her nightgown. No wonder she felt cold while walking to the manor! "And then I woke up outside, and then you found me. That's all."

"Hm." Arganan looked like he was thinking, just as the metal servants returned with a tray with empty teacups and a steaming teaport. One of the servants poured the tea into the cups, handing one cup to Mirania and another to Arganan. He looked to the servants quietly. "Get Therius and Asthar here at once." He spoke to them, and they nodded, walking out of the room. He then looked to Mirania. "I unfortunately have no knowledge as of what means you took to accidentally get here, but perhaps there is a way to send you back. I'll have to look into it. In the meantime, you can stay here for now if you'd like."

Mirania nodded, sipping her tea. "Thank you, Arganan. I really appreciate this."

Arganan nodded quietly, sipping his tea. "You're welcome. If you have any questions about this world, just ask. Or if I'm not available..."

That was when two men walked in. Mirania looked to them, her breath hitching slightly in surprise. Their clothing was different, simpler, with no armor attached, but the men were still Therius and Asthar. The white hair and emerald eyes on one and the brown hair and long scar over the other's eyes were unmistakable.

"Just ask Asthar and Therius here." Arganan finished, looking to them. "Therius, Asthar, this is Mirania. She's ended up here somehow with no idea as of how she got here, and she'll be staying here for now until she finds a way back home. Until then, I expect you both to make sure she's not in any danger." He raised an eyebrow. "You'll do that, yes?"

The Asthar look-alike (Shouldn't he be dead too!? Mirania thought quietly, but then remembered that she was in an alternate world and therefore he could still exist as a living being) nodded. "Of course, sir." He spoke in response. He made eye contact with the nature mage, the two giving each other insecure gazes before Mirania broke it off, feeling entirely awkward and strange.

The way Asthar looked at her seemed like he'd recognized her from some near-forgotten fairytale, as if she were some sleeping beauty that suddenly got up and began walking and talking after years of slumber and he just happened to be one of her close friends or something.

It was very strange, indeed. After she broke off the gaze, Asthar simply looked away, as if to apologize for staring. She looked ot him again, as if to reassure him that it was okay, that she felt weird about it too.

The alternate Therius was just awkwardly staring at the both of them, then at Arganan, then at Asthar and Mirania again. Mirania couldn't help but feel her face heat up out of embarassment. "Uh...sorry if I'm just making it awkward." She managed awkwardly.

"It's fine." Arganan managed quietly, biting his lower lip. "Really, it's fine...I think." He looked to Therius. "Can you take Mirania to a guest room so she may rest?"

Therius nodded. "Yes..." After saying goodnight and one final thank you to Arganan, Mirania began to follow Therius down the hallway, up the stairs. The two were silent, until the nature mage remembered the metal servants.

"Um, Therius?"

The white knight (no, just simply a white-haired man, as this Therius was no knight from his appearance) turning to face her, stopping in his tracks just as they arrived at the door to a guest room for her. "Yes, Miss Mirania?" His voice was stoic and disciplined, just like the Therius back in her own world, with that same formality echoing in his veins.

Mirania made sure to make proper eye contact with him (for even this Therius had one eye covered by the bangs of his hair). "Are you and Asthar the only servants here that aren't made of metal?"

Therius nodded. "Yes, Miss Mirania. Asthar and I are the only servants that are actually human. The rest are automatons, created by Arganan himself, though Asthar and I have helped him repair them from time to time. Do they concern you?"

"Well..." She frowned. "Isn't it lonely, living with nothing but automatons What about other people? Do you have any friends of the sort?"

The white knight (no, not white knight, Mirania corrected herself, white-haired man) looked a little saddened by that. "I don't exactly have that many friends. Asthar is a father to me, and Arganan is a good master, but...friends, well, I don't really have any. Not many anyway. It shouldn't concern you, Miss Mirania."

Mirania nodded. "I see. Well, you can always talk to me if you'd like. And I'll probably end up asking you, Asthar and Arganan a lot of questions. There is a lot I need to know about this world, after all."

He smiled at that, just briefly but gently. "Thank you, Miss Mirania. I appreciate it..." He looked to the door. "You can sleep in here for the night. If there is anything you need, just ring the bell in the room and either Asthar, me or one of the automatons will come and see what needs you must have attended to."

Mirania nodded, smiling. "Thank you, Therius."

He nodded, turning to leave. "You're welcome, Miss Mirania, and..." He looked to her again, one last time. "Thank you." He then left, walking down the hallway to attend to whatever duties he might have next.

The nature mage went into her room right away to notice, first that there were plants hanging all around her room, a small potted shrub in one corner while there was a spider plant hanging from the ceiling. The bed was large, with incredibly fluffy and lacy covers, and there were even curtains that she could pull to cover the bed to provide extra shade of sorts. Two doors were nearly adjacent to each other, one of them leading to a small bathroom while the other led to a balcony. It was a rather roomy, er, room, and it was all very charming. She liked this guest room.

Sitting on the bed, she realized that the fabric of these covers, the pillows...she could trace the ornate yet simple designs on them. She lay on the bed quietly, pulling the covers over herself. As if on cue, the lights suddenly turned off to reveal that the plants emitted a gentle glow, keeping the room dimly lit but dark enough so that she could sleep peacefully.

Perhaps this place was really magic. Or maybe just a dream. She smiled, falling asleep after a few moments...

...barely noticing the tick-tock of the lantern clock hanging on the wall opposite her.