Author's note: Another quick update! Hooray for me! Sadly I won't be working too much on fictions this week because my sadist employer scheduled me in for 5 days of work. I'm also have a slight struggle with 12, but hopefully I'll pull through.
Author's translation: (Yes, I'm actually tell you what one of the Japanese words means!) Midori Hana: The Green Flower
To Akira Ruyiko: …yes! Suboshi came into Miaka's world in chapter 5!
To Poruporu: Are you referring to Kourin? I can tell you right now she's not making any appearances any time soon, lol. If you re-read the end of chapter 10, you'll see whom Kazuki plans on sending back. I do love Nuriko, but I don't have too much of an evil scheme for him…yet.
To Amaya: I'm glad Tasuki's presence makes you happy! Again, thanks for the Beta, I really screwed up a lot of things in this chapter! When does Koji's woman come into the picture? Hmmm… not for a while, and it won't be too big of a thing.
To Quackabbot: Tasuki kinda likes her even though she likes Hikitsu? We may have some love triangle mixed up, lol. First off, Inami and Tasuki more than "liked" each other in part one of this story, and second, Inami never had romantic feelings for Hikitsu. He was her best friend from her previous life. Hope that clears some stuff up.
To Silver Pain: Tasuki's reactions will be interesting to write. I hope no one needs the healer soon… I can barely control what Kazuki does anymore…
Chapter 11: Meddling with the Cosmos; A Tamper with Time
"Sourun." Chichiri answered, sitting on top of the railing outside the throne room of the Konan palace.
"Sourun?' Hotohori repeated. "Is that not where Mitsukake is dwelling?"
Chichiri nodded. "I found Tama walking around in the market place, no da. I was worried, so I teleported over there, no da. Mitsukake has a fever, most likely Honu. He's been sick for a while, no da."
Taka didn't know what Honu fever was, but looked concerned anyway.
Hotohori's eyebrows lowered a bit. "That's terrible news… I will send a doctor over there right away…"
Chichiri shook his head. "Don't worry about it, no da. He's still sick, but he's getting better. Honu Fever makes the glands in the neck swell, and his were normal. If it is Honu, he's in the recovering stage, no da. Besides, Shouka is there to take care of him, no da."
Hotohori nodded. "I'm glad to hear that, Mitsukake cares a great deal for her."
"Even though he's sick, I think Shouka's happy to take care of him, no da."
"We should let Tasuki know." Taka broke in, "but I think he's still napping. "Traveling from Reikaku to the palace isn't a short journey."
The familiar pain of a large weight falling on his stomach once again woke Tasuki from his slumber.
"What the h…" Tasuki controlled his mouth when he saw who had woken him.
"Wake up!" Shouei shouted, beating Tasuki's chest with his small hands.
Tasuki lay back down, rubbing his eyes. "Yer some alarm clock, y'know that?" He grumbled, trying to go back to sleep with the young prince still on top of him.
Shouei frowned and bounced in his place. "You can't come back and not play with me!" When he saw Tasuki wasn't waking back up, he began to whimper. "Have I been bad?"
Guilt overwhelmed the bandit, and he sat back up, Shouei rolling off of him like a ball. "Na kid, I'm just wiped out. A little saddle sore too. I need a break." He yawned.
"But it's not night." Shouei pointed out. "Sleep at night."
Tasuki raised an eyebrow. "You don't take naps, kid?"
"I don't like."
Tasuki sighed. "Okay, let's go." He tumbled out of bed and stretched, yawning again.
Shouei cheered and grabbed the end of Tasuki's thumb. "Let's go!"
Hachiro paused reading for a moment to check his watch. "Kazuki, I have band practice in an hour." He pointed out. "We got a gig this weekend at Techno Lights I gotta practice for."
Kazuki shook his head. "The plot line is getting too thick for a break now, Hachiro."
Hachiro rolled his eyes and closed the book. "You read it, then. Summarize it for me later."
Kazuki stood too, not quite reaching Hachiro's height. "I think you're missing the point, Oushige."
Hachiro waved his hand aside. "Listen, I've been sitting in this apartment all day. Let me have some time off, okay? My butt is numb anyway, and I need a real meal, not that ramen and beer isn't great."
Kazuki frowned. "Fine, but I want you back after band practice."
"Yes, mother." Hachiro grabbed his jacket from the couch and headed for the door. "If it's not late. Sorry man, but I'm not one for sleepovers."
The comment left Kazuki with a slight scowl as the guitarist shut the door behind him.
Hachiro stuck his hands in his pant pockets as he walked down on of the many sidewalks in Tokyo, glad to be able to move his legs. Reading all that kanji was starting to hurt his eyes anyway. He wasn't much for books, but something about the one Kazuki found really drew him in. He found it fascinating, really. A magic book that wrote itself according to your whim sounding ridiculous, but it was the most fun Hachiro had had with reading in a long time.
His guitar was at Michael's… he had left it there during his last break from Kazuki. He's stop there on his way to practice. It really wasn't out of the way, seeing how Michael was the base player for Luminance.
Hachiro hurried and crossed the street when he caught a glimpse of the blinking "walk" signal, and started down the next block. Despite the cabs and vehicles everywhere, the fresh air was good. Kazuki should get out himself. Hachiro didn't know how he was scheduling all this book-time around his job at the library, but he really didn't care too much. For an aspiring author, Kazuki sure wasn't very bright.
The sidewalk widened a bit more at the place where a long blue and white striped canopy stuck out; tables under and around it decorated the same way. Flowers of all kinds filled the tops of the counters and tabletops, along with several vines and ferns—each in an individual pot or tray. A sign that read "Midori Hana" designated the outlet as a popular greenhouse and flower shop.
There was only a small crowd outside admiring the plants. Hachiro slowed down to take a look himself. He wasn't too into flowers either, but why not "stop and smell the roses", like the famous saying stated? So he glanced as he passed by, but before passing the shop, he felt a gentle tug on his sleeve.
"Hey," a young girl said, looking about 14 or 15 years old, "Aren't you the guitarist from Luminance?"
Hachiro smiled, happy that a stranger would recognize him. "Yeah, I am. How'd you know that?"
The girl's eyes lit up with admiration. "You guys played at the Tokyo Monster a few weeks ago, I just loved your songs! You guys are so great… do you have a CD?"
Hachiro laughed a little. "Not quite yet, but we're working on it."
The girl swung her pink bag around to her torso and dug through it frantically, pulling out a pen and an address book. She flipped the book to the last page. "Can I have your autograph? Please?"
"Sure thing." Hachiro smiled and signed his name. It wasn't the first time he had been asked for an autograph, but it didn't happen everyday. He was just happy that his band was getting its name out. He handed the book and pen back to the girl.
The girl took it and looked at the smooth signature. "Arigatou, Oushige-san!" She said, now knowing Hachiro's name.
"Anytime." Hachiro replied. The girl gave him another big smile and rejoined her mother at the other end of the booth.
"Hachiro?" A different voice called his attention.
Hachiro turned around and looked inside the shop, seeing a familiar redhead, one he hadn't really seen or spoken to for a while. "Oh, Mayo, how you doing?"
Mayo adorned an apron with the themed design for the florist, and held a spray bottle in her hand. "Good, pretty good. I haven't seen you around lately." She picked up a pansy from the table and held it up. "Come to buy a flower?" she joked.
Hachiro shook his head. "Nah, I was just looking for… well, I don't really know. Pure curiosity, I guess."
Mayo nodded. "How are things going?"
Hachiro shrugged. "Band's picking up, that's always good."
It was a bit awkward for a moment, but then the atmosphere was broken by a customer approaching Mayo with a Jade plant. He asked her something that wasn't in Japanese.
Mayo blinked in confusion at the middle-aged man trying to speak with her. "Ano… nani?" She asked.
The man pointed to the plant and asked his question again.
Mayo held her confused stare.
"He wants to know if you have the plant in a bigger pot." Hachiro said.
Mayo looked back at the guitarist. "How do you know that?"
Hachiro pointed to the man. "Help the customer first, Mayo."
Mayo took the plant from the man and nodded. "Yes, we have this in a different size, hold on." She stepped out of view for a moment with the plant, returning a moment later with one of slightly bigger size. When she came out, Hachiro was carrying a conversation with the man to occupy his time. Mayo then recognized the foreign language as Chinese.
She handed the plant to the customer. "Here you go."
Instead of addressing Mayo, the man turned to Hachiro and said something to him, then pointed back to the employee.
"He wants to know how much it is." Hachiro translated again.
Hachiro translated this back, and the man got out his Japanese money, paid Mayo, and left with the plant.
Mayo cautiously watched after him as she took the money to the register.
"He said he's here on vacation." Hachiro explained. Just then, the tune to "Thriller" started playing, and Hachiro dug into his pocket for his cell phone. He flipped it open and held it to his ear. "Moshi-Moshi?" he asked.
Mayo listened to Hachiro's side of the conversation.
"What do you mean?" Hachiro paused, "They're not kidney stones if it's in the front, Bakero…" Hachiro sighed. "Okay, okay, call everyone else. Uh-huh. Fine. Ja."
Well, band practice was cancelled, the drummer was apparently too ill to make it. Hachiro groaned.
"Who was that?" Mayo asked.
Hachiro didn't answer her question, just waved and started heading back the way he had come. "I got to go, Mayo. See you later."
Mayo hesitantly waved back. She sighed. Hachiro really could be a nice guy if he wanted to, but he needed to get his priorities straight. After all… he broke Saori's heart without even a second thought to it.
Hachiro continued on down the sidewalk, not caring much for more of a conversation with his ex's best friend. With band practice cancelled, he may as well just grab a bite to eat and head back over to Kazuki's place.
"So Mitsu is taking it pretty hard, huh?" Tasuki repeated, getting caught up on the story as he and Chichiri sat down to a game of Nisuya. One of Houki's handmaidens had found Shouei dragging the bandit down the hallway and scolded him for leaving a penmanship lesson. She had taken him back, and Tasuki got off the hook. He ended up in the lounge area, meeting up with Chichiri on the way. The monk had never played Nisuya before, only watched a few matches. He would be a good opponent.
Chichiri looked at Tasuki's move. "He is, no da. But he's recovering. He's in good hands, na no da." He looked at the board. "The dragon moves diagonally, no da?"
Chichiri moved his dragon and took out one of Tasuki's pawn pieces. Tasuki went bug-eyed.
"What?" He raised his voice. "How th'hell did you…" He grumble, then slumped back into a comfortable sitting position. He'd been playing for two minute, and already he'd lost twice as many pieces as the magician. The only one who could beat him that fast was Chiriko… or so he thought.
He moved another piece. "This game is pointless." He grumbled.
Chichiri made a move too. "You're the one who wanted to play, na no da!"
The game was temporarily interrupted when a magistrate poked his head into the room. "Oh, Chichiri-sama… and Tasuki-sama!" The magistrate apparently didn't know Tasuki had come back, "I have a message for his Highness, but I believe I can deliver it to you as well."
"A message?" Chichiri repeated, fully aware that Tasuki was moving one of his pieces, though for the time being, he didn't do anything.
The magistrate nodded. "Chou-sama and Lady Seii have just arrived here."
"Chou-sama?" Tasuki snickered. He wondered why Nuriko was addressed so much more formally than he and Chichiri were… but perhaps it was because the magistrates here didn't know most of the seishi's last names.
The magistrate nodded, "excuse me, but I have to find his Highness and tell him." He gave a short bow, and left.
"You and Nuriko time yourselves together pretty well, no da." Chichiri said.
"Let's just finish the game. Your turn."
Chichiri looked at the board. "You need to learn how to cheat better, Tasuki."
Tasuki looked confused.
Chichiri moved a single piece and captured Tasuki's king. "You made it easier for me to win, no da!"
By the time Chichiri and Tasuki got out of the lounging area and located just where in the palace Nuriko was, Hotohori and Taka were already greeting him, as was Lady Houki. Nuriko looked well rested and happy. His petite wife, Seii, was standing beside him, holding their tiny baby in her arms. Houki seemed completely enthralled with little Nashuka, and didn't even notice the other seishi's presence.
Nuriko's salmon eyes finally caught site of the others as they approached. "Tasuki, Reikaku not enough fun for you?" he joked.
Tasuki grinned slightly, revealing a single fang. "Not as much fun as you two're probably havin'."
Seii glanced up, giving a totally naïve and unaware reaction to Tasuki's comment. She noticed the monk. "Chichiri-san!" She exclaimed, though her voice was still in its quiet manner. "It's very good to see you."
Chichiri indeed hadn't visited Nuriko's young bride since she was just that… Chichiri had been at the wedding, of course, and visited for a short time after that, but he hadn't been back to the house since.
Chichiri gave his usual masked smile. "It's good to see you too, no da!" He stepped forward to look at Nuriko's daughter. She was so tiny. "Life's a wonderful thing, no da." Chichiri said more hushed.
Tasuki managed to pull Nuriko away from the awing crowd for a moment. "So why'd you bring the wife over?" He asked, glancing back to the red head, "ain't it safer fer her back home?"
Nuriko sighed, and nodded. "Maybe… I don't really know what's safe anymore, for them, at least." Nuriko had a good point… the palace had been attacked several times, but so had his own home. "Rokou's not home to take care of them, so I brought them here for the time being. It's not too far… and when my brother gets back home, I'll have them stay there." The guilt was evident in Nuriko's voice. He was more than willing to fulfill his duty as a seishi, but it was conflicting with his duty as a husband and father. "Where's Miaka?"
Tasuki went along with the change in conversation. "Back in her world."
Nuriko seemed surprised. "W-what? But Taka…"
"She was gone by the time I got here, too, apparently she disappeared this mornin'. She just…. vanished, red light 'n everythin. We think she's okay though, Chichiri does, anyway. There's a lot fer you ta catch up on." Tasuki explained.
Nuriko didn't say anything, just waited for Tasuki to continue.
Tasuki kept his voice down. "The palace has been attacked twice since you and me left, apparently. Chichiri's got some idea about who's doin' it, but I haven't gotten th'whole story yet. I'm waitin' on it myself."
Nuriko nodded. "The whole 'good news, bad news' ordeal, ne?" He turned back to look at his family. "I don't know, Tasuki, I don't have the feeling that's it's over yet."
"None of us do." Tasuki replied. "I don't think anyone does."
It wasn't until later that night that everyone did manage to get together to discuss the current situation on the possible crisis threatening the Miko and her seishi, not to mention the Konan civilians as a whole. Seii and Nashuka had been delivered safely to Rokou's home, so all the seishi were available. Sitting at the all-to-familiar rectangular table they seemed to visit so often, Chichiri fully explained in careful detail his conclusions about the man tormenting their world. He explained the meaning of Taiisukun's disappearance and the wavering of stability it resulted in, he explained how the menace was a human and lives in Miaka's world, and spoke of what his miko had said—if their world is indeed entered through a book, then this person must have it. The ideas were all taken in slowly and seriously.
"So," Nuriko spoke once Chichiri was finished, "why would 'he' send Miaka back to her world? And why not Taka?"
Chichiri shook his head. "I don't know, no da. Perhaps in some way, Miaka posed a threat."
Nuriko frowned. "I don't like the sound of that, Chichiri. What if Miaka isn't safe?"
"Well," Taka tried to answer the question, "When I came into this world, I landed out in the middle of no where. Maybe I was meant to end up there, maybe not. Miaka… Miaka may not be in the hands of who is doing this."
Nuriko seemed to understand. "This… I don't even know what to call him… seems too secretive to reveal himself to Miaka. I mean, we haven't gotten a single trace of him yet, all we see are these symbols."
Tasuki finally took an opportunity to say something. "So yer tellin' me that we're all bein' ruled by a fake Taiisukun?"
"Some sort of false idol." Hotohori reworded. "We are warriors of Suzaku, yet we seem helpless against this farce." As Hotohori seemed to sink into deep contemplation, the rowdy footsteps of the night watch clambered down the hallway to the private meeting.
"Majesty!" One called out.
Hotohori stood up. "What is it? What is the meaning of this?"
The guard swallowed from intimidation. He caught his breath, "Your Highness, you told me to alert you if I saw anything suspicious, and I have something to report."
Hotohori was instantly interested, and quickly headed over to the guard. "Yes? What have you found?"
"A symbol!" The high voice of a patrolman answered from behind.
Nuriko and Taka exchanged worried looks.
Hotohori cringed. "Yes, proceed, please." He urged.
The first guard went on, "I was doing my rounds as usual with this group, and we looked over at your majesty's gazebo, and there was a red symbol there. It looked like it was made of light, but it's dark outside. Only lasted for a minute, sire."
"What did it say?" Tasuki asked.
The guard straightened. "Appear. That was it."
"And this is all you saw?" Hotohori interrogated.
A nod. "Yes, sire. After that, we came directly to you."
"Thank you." Was Hotohori's quick reply, "please stay on watch for anything else and report back to me. I want you to double the guard tonight, understand?"
"Yes sir!" The group said in unison. Hotohori excused them, and the hurriedly went off to complete their tasks.
Hotohori folded his arms. "Appear? What could the meaning of this be?"
"Well, nothing's happened yet." Nuriko pointed out.
"Maybe more of them dark clothed freak from before." Tasuki stood and glanced around the room, pulling out his tessan. "Ya said they were sneaky." He scanned the room the best he could in the dim lighting. "Come out, ya bastards!"
"Tasuki, be quiet for a second, no da!" Chichiri hushed him. The five seishi listened intently for a long time, but heard nothing.
"Maybe not all the symbols will lead to an attack." Taka pointed out. "Maybe we're being consumed by paranoia."
"You show me one of those damn things that mean anythin' good, then say that." Tasuki retaliated.
They waited, and waited. Nothing happened. After ten minutes of deep suspense, Chichiri got an idea.
"We should walk around, no da. Nothing's going to happen here."
"It doesn't always happen here." Nuriko thought out loud.
"Then why do the symbols always appear here?" Taka asked, moving towards the door to follow out Chichiri's suggestion.
"I don't know," Nuriko admitted, "maybe someone just wants to make sure we see them."
Miaka was alone in her apartment now, with the exception of Hikari, Yui, and Emi. It was getting really late, but Yui still stayed with Miaka to make sure everything went okay. She had also told Miaka she was worried she'd be taken back into the book again, so she'd be checking up a lot. Miaka was putting the dinner dishes away as Hikari and Emi colored in the living room. Yui had just left to use the restroom.
Miaka sighed as she closed the fridge after putting the leftovers in there. She'd have to get used to sleeping along again, at least for now. Though she knew Taka was helping the others inside the book, part of her wanted him to be sent back with her. She missed him already. Miaka wondered if she still would have come back if she hadn't gone into the garden that day. She loved being home with her daughter and her friends, but her heart was being pulled towards the book… the book that was evidently lost.
Trying to pull away from her thoughts, she decided to enjoy the time she now had to reunite with her daughter. She walked into the living room and sat next to the two toddlers, making herself comfortable on the floor to watch them draw with crayon. They were wondrous crayons; she had found them in a super market in the toy section. They only drew on paper, which made Hikari's scribbling less of a hassle. Miaka turned her head to see what Hikari was drawing. The stick like body of a person could roughly be seen amidst the swirls of color.
"What that, Hikari?" Miaka asked, pointing to the drawing.
Hikari didn't look up from her picture. "It's daddy, see?" She said. "Where daddy?"
Miaka bit her lip. "He's at work honey. He'll be home soon."
It had been a while, maybe Taka was right—maybe nothing was going to happen. Nearly half an hour had passed. The sky was pitch black, and the hallways of the palace were lit with their usual lanterns and torches. Each seishi roamed the halls, Hotohori being followed by two guards for safety. It was just another calm night at in Konan.
But of course, there weren't many calm nights in Konan lately.
A muffled explosion could suddenly be heard throughout the palace. Some of the walls actual shook lightly. Almost immediately the distant sound of dozens of guards could be heard.
Hotohori had felt the slight shock himself. "What was that!" He demanded to know. He and his two bodyguards ran down the hallway to discover what was going on.
"What th'hell!" Tasuki blurted, waving his fan around. He spotted Chichiri running down his hallway, looking around to figure out what had cause the explosion.
"Chichiri, what's going on!" Tasuki asked, running with him in the direction Chichiri had decided on.
"I don't know, no da!" Chichiri exclaimed. "Something's not right, no da!"
"State the obvious, Chichiri!" Tasuki argued. They reached an intersection in the hallways, and Chichiri stopped to try to sense what was going on.
"It's not working very well, no da…" He grumbled, trying to concentrate with his heart racing. The storming of guards was now on their level of the palace. The guards were several in number, each with a weapon drawn.
Tasuki ran to them while Chichiri tried to locate the disturbance. "What's goin' on! What was that explosion!"
One of the guards halted to speak to Tasuki. "An intruder!" He said in a rushed voice, "and intruder has escaped from the dungeons!" He left it at that and rejoined his companions in the search.
"Dungeons?" Tasuki repeated. He darted back to Chichiri. "You hear that? There's some intruder, and…"
Chichiri finally looked up. "They're in the south wing." Chichiri said. "Those men are going to wrong way."
"They're all over the place, I don't think it matters!" Tasuki shouted, "C'mon Chiri, let's move!"
Elsewhere, Hotohori was stopped from his search.
"We're sorry, your highness." The captain of the guard said, stopping Hotohori in the hallway with several of his men. "I cannot let you go on. We must protect you."
Hotohori stepped back in disbelief. "I am a warrior of Suzaku! Allow me to pass!" He ordered.
The guard shook his head. "Please, your majesty, it is for your own safety."
Hotohori felt a hand on his arm, and saw Houki standing next to him. Her eyes pleaded with him not to go.
Hotohori sighed, and sheathed his blade. "Very well, but I do not approve."
"Intruder?" Nuriko repeated, getting his information from a sentry as well. He turned back to Taka. "Split up, this person may be who we're looking for."
Taka nodded his agreement, then took off. Nuriko went the opposite direction.
"Head out!" Taka heard some of the patrols say, "They may be trying to leave the palace!"
But Taka had a feeling the intruder was still within the walls. Perhaps another spy sent for Hotohori… but who? Taka shook his head as he ran, trying to clear his thoughts. The first key was finding them before they found anyone else. He may be weak, but he was a celestial warrior too. He had to protect those around him.
Taka grabbed the next torch he found from the wall and took it with him down the dim or dark hallways. It was smart for the trespasser to escape at night, unlike in Tokyo, it was much harder to find criminals in this kind of night. He came into an open room of the palace, waving his torch around. There were two doors out, but which one to take? If Chichiri was having difficulty sensing the life force of others, how would he?
Then he saw it, heard it. A shadow darting by one of the exits, running top speed. Their boots hit against the marble floor loudly… some king of thieves this guy was.
"Gotcha…" Taka gripped his torch tightly and sped off after the assailant. The intruder must have heard Taka on his trail, because he ducked off suddenly into another open room.
"This may be the guy doing all of this!" Taka's mind screamed. "We finally have him!" Taka ducked into the room as well, only one dim lantern in the whole place. He waved his torch around. It looked like the only exit besides the one he was standing in front of was a sliding paper door, so he'd hear it if the intruder tried to slip out that way.
Taka switched the torch to his other hand and made his right one a fist. It would be hard to fight holding the light, but a torch could also be a handy weapon.
He got quiet. There it was, the breathing of a second person.
"You're finished!" Taka shouted, running to the corner he heard the person in. His torch got a glimpse of a shoulder, and he swung for it, his pinky knuckle barely scratching a piece of fabric. He spun and swung again, getting a solid part of the arm, but not too hard. Then a fist hit him, right in the jaw. Taka was the one in the light, he was an easy target.
Taka dropped the torch onto the hard floor and stumbled back. He lunged out and grabbed the culprit by the elbow, trying to tackle him to the floor. He got a yelp and a swift kick to the shin. The trespasser pulled away and headed back out the door they had entered in.
Taka cursed under his breath and grabbed his torch, running back into the hallway. He was only running again for a few seconds before a handful of guards joined up with him from another corridor.
"They went this way!" Taka shouted, pointing.
The guards increased their speed, ducking into every possible hiding place to find the intruder. Taka turned the corner, and saw a second torch coming towards him; not so much a torch as a fan.
"Tama!" Tasuki's voice shouted.
"I had them!" Taka shouted back.
"Where!" Tasuki asked
The three slowed down to meet each other, then heard a pair of footsteps that was still going.
"There!" Taka shouted, heading in the direction of the footsteps. Tasuki followed him, passing him up with his incredible speed. Chichiri hesitated, concentrated, then in one swift motion, spun his hat over his head, and disappeared.
"This is the end of the wing!" Tasuki shouted. "They'll be trapped!"
Taka ran hard to keep up with Tasuki, eyes and ears focusing on locating the intruder. They couldn't be far now.
Passing a window, the two seishi got a glimpse of the runner from the moonlight. They were so close. The runner darted into another room.
"It's a closed room!" Tasuki shouted, readying his fan.
Before Tasuki and Taka reached the room though, Chichiri materialized there. The second he did he heard something whiz by his head, but then countered by casting a force field in the room. The area was fairly small, lit with one bright lantern in the corner.
The intruder hit the edge of the force field, being flung back. There was no way out. They panted heavily, looking around frantically.
Chichiri took a look at the troublemaker with the light provided by the lantern. He held the field, then gasped. "I… Inami no da?"
The girl blinked her eyes at him, struggling for air. "How… How do you know…"
Tasuki and Taka ran into the room, seeing that Chichiri had beaten them. Tasuki looked at the prisoner and went wide-eyed. "A-Akue?"
Inami stepped back in disbelief. "….my name?"