Alternative Kanata Kara : This Isn't What It Was Supposed To Be!
Chapter 2 : Names
Noriko couldn't understand what was happening to her.
First it was that handsome playboy who came so close to her, scaring her out of her wits (she had to admit he was handsome, be he so obnoxiously arrogant and whatnot). Then a scary-looking man just 'picked' her up and trudged along the forest. Adding to that, monsters came out - looking like caterpillars a thousand times the usual size - but the soldiers easily killed them. The young man in blue looked at the carcasses and seemed to be disgusted.
Out of forest they mounted horses, and Noriko was driven into a carriage that she shared with the young man. Then they ran, ran and ran, stopping only once at a small town to buy Noriko what seemed to be a girl's clothes in this world. So she got changed (because the young man stared at her with such powerful authority). Then the company ran on again, until they came to a huge city. The horses trod quietly, and soon, Noriko found that they were entering a huge mansion.
The carriage stopped, and the door was opened to reveal a beautiful garden. The young man stepped down, and (out of habit) he extended his hand to help Noriko down...
...And Noriko refused just by glaring at him. She came down by herself. Izark raised an eyebrow, but said nothing.
Noriko looked around. It was a beautiful black and blue mansion, huge but with elegance. The garden had a small fountain with some exquisite statues that poured out clear water. Transparent flowers decorated the garden along with tall, gree trees. The grass was kept neat, and overall, it was a work of art.
"...Lord Izark, thank the Light you've come back!"
A boy dressed in light blue came running down the stairs. Well, actually he wan't running... he was floating-
"Kyaaaaaa! Ghost!!" Noriko screamed and hid behind Izark. The boy was obviously surprised by her outburst, and looked at his master for an explanation.
"Ah, don't worry about her, Iruk... She's probably surprised to see you floating..." He sighed again.
"She speaks a foreign language, Lord Izark... Oh, that's not why I'm here!"
"What is it?" Izark looked alarmed.
"Mr. Keimos has been here for half an hour and he's been making a racket, Lord."
Izark's shoulders drooped in relief.
"Iruk, that's hardly a surprise..."
"But Lord Iza-"
"Morning Mist be damned, where is Izark?! I, Keimos the great, have been waiting for half an hour!!! I'm getting impatient!!"
With that, a blond man came out of the building, huffing and kicking here and there. He was as tall as Izark, but his gray eyes seemed to be hunting for some prey...
...And he spotted Izark in the garden.
"IZARK!!! How dare you make me wait for half an hour!"
"Keimos, you never said you'll be dropping in today." Izark sweatdropped.
"YOU should be waiting for ME everyday and every moment of your life! I'll come and beat you to pulp one day, and I'll have the last laugh! And you should be waiting for that day!" Keimos almost shouted into Izark's ear, pointing him with flaming determination.
"...I know I always say this, but as usual, you don't make any sense of what you're saying, Keimos...;;;"
Then the blond noticed a girl behind Izark, who was half-hidden by the broad shoulders.
"...An island girl?" The blond man's face twisted with envy, jealousy and hatred. Finally he exploded.
"HOW COME YOU GET ALL THE PRETTY GIRLS TO YOURSELF WHILE I, KEIMOS THE GREAT, GET NONE?!? AAARGH!!! I'M OUTTA HERE!!!!!!!" With that he stormed off.
A huge sweatdrop formed on everyone's head.
(Wha... what was that...???) Noriko thought with her thumping heart.
Izark shrugged and turned to enter his mansion. Noriko followed him and entered the cool building, and was again surprised how beautiful it was inside. Gold curtains were draped over windows, flowing slightly along the evening breeze. Expensive-looking bases held beautiful flowers in them. Furniture was all carved with sensitivity. Noriko was speechless.
"Lord Izark, I'm glad you have come back." An alluring female voice greeted them. Noriko turned to behold a voluptuously beautiful woman in a golden dress, matched with her blonde hair, walking slowly toward the man in blue. Izark smiled and took her hand, kissing it and also her cheek.
"My precious Tazashina, how can I worry you? Thanks to your fortunetelling we were the first to arrive at the Forest. I cannot thank you enough."
"Oh, my lord, do not tease me!" Tazashina turned slightly pink. "It wasn't a hard work; I am happy to be of some use for you."
...Flowers and serenade flowed at the background.
(...How embarrassing... doing all those things in front of everyone...;;) Noriko had turned tomato red in the face.
Tazashina turned to Noriko. She was also surprised.
"This is Mezame?"
"Apparently," Izark sighed. "She dropped onto the Golden Bed. And she doesn't speak Common Language."
Tazashina stared at Noriko.
"Well, Lord Izark, I must suggest the next step to be changed."
"What is your suggestion?"
"Well, first I thought we could look for Tenjoki now, since we have Mezame..."
Izark's lips twisted in a pained smile.
"...But we must teach her language. She must know some secrets in finding and waking up Tenjoki. Yes, Lord Izark, I suggest that she be educated first." Tazashina stated proudly.
Izark thought for a moment.
"I think you are right, my beautiful fortuneteller. And I know the right man-"
"Who is it, Lord Izark?"
"Chief Priest Kreazita. He is a very experienced teacher of languages, not to mention that he researches deep and wide."
"But he'll know that she is Mezame. We must hide her. In fact, my lord, I do not even trust these soldiers."
Behind Noriko, some warriors snorted. Tazashina glared at them. "Why do you trust them, Lord Izark?"
Izark laughed soundlessly. "My Tazashina, they are completely loyal to me. I myself had picked them out of situations that you cannot imagine."
At that, the warriors grunted their agreement. The blonde fortuneteller frowned in disgust.
"And as to Chief Priest Kreazita, I also have his complete trust. I have scouted him from Aibisk, promising support for his research on the Worlds of Light and Darkness. And he is very much interested in Mezame and Tenjoki; moreover, he would not suspect anything, since-" here he dropped down to whisper, "-'conquering the world' does not come until one has both Tenjoki and Mezame. And he believes that even Tenjoki can be turned to Light. I'm supporting him - and he won't refuse."
"As you wish, my lord." Tazashina nodded.
"Iruk," he turned to the floating boy. "Send a word to Chief Priest Kreazita. Say I have an important, private matter to discuss with him."
"Yes, my lord." The boy turned and disappeared.
"In the meantime..." Izark looked at Noriko, hesitating what should be done.
"She must be imprisoned in a secret room, Lord Izark." Tazashina said in a low voice. "We do not know where spies may be. We cannot make careless mistakes."
But Izark wasn't so sure. "She's just a girl. Who would suspect her? She can't even run away herself."
"But Lord Iza..."
"Izark, how about Jina Has?" It was Gaya who interrupted Tazashina. The blonde fortuneteller glared at the woman warrior, but Gaya did not pay slightest attention to her. "She's lonely herself, her father away most of the time and all. Priest Kreazita can't devote all his time for this girl, but Jina can."
"An excellent idea." Izark mused. "Yes, I think that girl should play with Jina... That will teach her language fast too..."
"...Gaya," he asked his personal bodyguard. "What's her name?"
"Huh? You mean that girl? How should I know? You mean you didn't ask when you were in the same carriage with her all this time?"
"Give her some plain name to disguise her. It doesn't matter what her name is." Tazashina said in a disgusted voice.
"Oh no, I think it matters." Gaya retorted and turned toward Noriko.
"My name is Gaya Il Biska, little girl. Gaya, my name's Gaya. GA----YA, long A, GAYA. Do you understand?"
(Is she telling me her name?) Noriko thought. (She doesn't seem scary... In fact when she smiles, she seems friendly... all right.)
"Atashi... Noriko. Tachiki Noriko. NO-RI-KO." She smiled too.
"Oh, there it is. Her name's Noriko." Gaya smiled warmly, and patted Noriko's shoulder. "A girl's prettier when she smiles, right?"
Tazashina just stared at them disgustedly.
"All right, Noriko, I'll introduce you to everyone... First, this is Izark Kia Tarj, the owner of this mansion and also the Right Prime Minister of Zago..."
Of course... Noriko couldn't understand a word.
To Be Continued...