Chapter 1

15-year-old Ryuu laid down in the sandy beach at the edge of town, thinking about what his late older sister had told him over and over again.

Flashback

Ryuu and his older sister are at the beach when his older sister tells him a story of the girl in the sky.

"One day, you'll meet a girl who'll always want to be with you, no matter the circumstances. She's afraid and very lonely. What's she's afraid of, I can't say really. But what I will tell you is that you're the only one who can save her from her worst nightmare. All you have to do is say three magic words to her."

Ryuu had a puzzled expression on his face.

"What are the three words? C'mon and tell me already."

His older sister smiled and said, "That's something for you to find out when you're older Ryuu. I can't tell you because it's something you won't understand."

"Aw…please. If I'm the one who has to save her, then tell me. Otherwise she'll always be alone."

"Don't worry Ryuu. Everything will turn out alright for the two of you. All you have to do right now is believe that you can save her when the time comes, okay?"

"Of course I will! It's my job, right? Are you sure I'm the only one who can save her from her nightmares?"

"Yes. You are and that will never change. Just promise me that'll once you find her, you'll protect her for as long as you can."

"I promise. I'll do my very best to make you proud of me Nadeshiko. I'll never forget the story and I'll do my best to protect her!"

Just as Ryuu was about to remember something else his sister told him, a sound of a crash interrupted his thoughts.

"What the hell-huh? It's a girl."

There she was, a girl with short brown hair on the ground next to a blue bicycle. She got up slowly and dusted herself off. "Hey! You over there!" Ryuu called out. The girl quickly looked at him Ryuu could tell that her face was red from embarrassment. "Are you okay? Do you need some help?" The girl nodded her head. Ryuu got up from his spot and ran over to where she was. "Are you hurt anywhere? Do you need to see a doctor?" Ryuu asked. The girl shook her head. Ryuu then noticed that there was a bunch of drawings scattered around them. Ryuu bent down and picked one of them up.

"Did you draw these?"

The girl nodded again. "Here. I think these are all of them." Ryuu said as he gave her the collected papers. "These are really good. You have a lot of talent." The girl bowed her head. "You don't talk much, do you?" The girl looked down, as if she was ashamed. "Oh, I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings." She quickly looked up and shook her head. Then, she grabbed a nearby stick and wrote in the sand. As she wrote each word, Ryuu said them aloud.

"Hello…My…name…is…Momosé… Sorano…and…I…am…unable…to…talk at the moment."

Momosé got up from the ground and dusted herself off. Ryuu smiled and held out his hand. "Hello, Momosé-chan. My name is Ryuu Miyazaki. It's nice to meet you." It was easy to see that Momosé was reluctant, but she took Ryuu's hand and smiled. "By the way, do you know a motel I could stay at?" Momosé shook her head. Ryuu sighed. Momosé had an excited look on her face as she tugged on Ryuu's arm. "What is it?" he asked. Momsé started to write more on the sand.

"If…you…want…you…can…stay…at…my…place."

"Really!? Are you sure that's going to be alright with your parents?" Ryuu asked. Momosé nodded excitedly. "Okay then. It looks like I'll be staying with you for a couple of days." Momosé smiled. Then, she got her bike, and patted her hand on the rack. "No, it's okay. I can just walk next to you." Ryuu said. "Besides, it's hard to ride a bike on the beach, right?" Momosé chuckled nervously and nodded at him. Ryuu gave her a skeptical look as they started to walk. "You're really strange, you know that. I mean you said you can't talk, but you can laugh." The girl chuckled nervously again. "See!" Ryuu said as he pointed at her. "That's what I mean!"

"Hey Momosé-chan!"

Ryuu and Momosé turned around. By the way Momosé looked, Ryuu could tell that she felt really uneasy.

"So how are you doing these days? I haven't seen you in summer school lately."

Momosé gulped nervously and smiled. The boy had jet black hair and dark blue eyes. The closer he walked towards them, the more uneasy Momosé looked. "So Momosé-chan, who's that guy? Is he your boyfriend? Because if he is, I'm going to do something about him. After all, you're mine." Momosé shivered. "Hey Mr. Blue Eyes! You have no right to call a person 'yours.'" The raven haired boy scoffed. "I have a name. It's Satoshi Shirokawa. And for your information, Momosé and I were promised to each other the day we were born. So technically, she's mine."

"Momosé-chan, is this true?"

Momosé nodded.

"Well, who are you to question me?" Satoshi asked. "My name is Ryuu Miyazaki, and I going to live with Momosé-chan for the next couple of days." Ryuu said proudly while taking Momosé's hand. Momosé looked at him with her blushed cheeks. 'All I need to do is make this guy go away.' Ryuu thought. "Heh. Whatever. Momosé-chan and I are getting married later on anyway."

Satoshi walked away and said, "We're going to meet again soon, Ryuu Miyazaki-san. Good-bye."

"That guy gives me the creeps." Ryuu shuddered. "Well it's good that he's gone, right Momosé-chan?" Momosé nodded and smiled. "Now, let's go, okay?"

The two continued to walk along the beach until they climbed up the cement stairs of the sea wall. When they got to the top, Momosé tugged on Ryuu's arm. "Hm? What is it?" Ryuu asked. Momosé pointed at what appeared to be a small stand with a sign that said, 'Our town's favorite treats.' "So you want to get something from there?" Momosé nodded.

They walked up to the stand. "Momosé-chan! It's good to see Momosé-chan outside today." said the stand owner. "Would Momosé-chan like to have the red bean mochi again?" Momosé smiled and nodded. "Here, nice and cool just the way you like it." the owner gave Momosé a large bag. "Yurika put a lot in to last Momosé-chan a while, since you don't seem to come by here as often as Momosé-chan used to." The owner looked at Ryuu. "And what would you like?"

"It looks like I'm out of luck today since I don't have any money." Ryuu said with an embarrassed look on his face. Momosé tugged on him again. "What is it?" he asked. She then pulled out a blue wallet. "You're trying to tell me that you're going to pay everything?" She nodded. "Okay. If you're so sure, I'll get the banana popsicle." The owner reached into a small cooler and pulled out a popsicle. "Here. Now, is there anything else?" she asked. Momosé pointed at two juice boxes. "Okay. How many does Momosé-chan want?" Momosé held out two fingers.

"Is that all for today?"

Momosé nodded and handed over the money she owed. "Here's Momosé-chan's drinks and Momosé-chan change. Have a nice day!" Momosé put everything they ordered into the basket of her bicycle. As they walked into the distance, Momosé waved the stand owner. She then turned around after they walked a block away from the stand. "If I ever get any money, I'll pay you back." said Ryuu. Momosé shook her head and reached into her basket to give Ryuu and herself the drinks she bought for them. "Really? I can have this?" Ryuu asked. Momosé bopped him on his forehead as if she was trying to say, "Stop asking questions and take it." He took the small box and read it to see what it was. "Strawberry milk? It's strange, but it actually sounds pretty good."

Momosé stopped to put the straw into the box and Ryuu did the same. "Well, bottoms up!" Ryuu said as he bravely took a sip because even though he said it sounded good, he was still afraid to drink it. Momosé gave him a 'how did you like it?' look. "I was right. This is really delicious!" Ryuu said with amazement.

Momosé smiled an started to walk up to the house next to him. "So we're finally here." Ryuu said. Momosé opened the front gate with a silver key and used body language to tell Ryuu to come inside with her. She left her bike in the front and Ryuu followed her inside. As they walked into the house, they heard a male voice say, "Momosé, is that you?" Momosé answered by going back outside and ringing the bell on her bike.

Footstep approached Ryuu at the front (where they put their shoes). The door opened. "Momosé, it's about time you got-who are you?" It was an older boy with the same grey eyes as Momosé and a slightly darker shade of brown color for his hair. "Who the hell are you and what are you doing in my house!? I demand an answer!" Momosé opened the door. "Momosé, get in the house now!" the older boy instructed. "I'll take care of this creep." The older boy was just about to punch Ryuu in the face but Momosé caught his fist before it reached his face.

"Momosé, what are you doing? I have to protect you from this guy!" the older boy said. Momosé shook her head. Finally, the boy stopped fighting against the force of Momosé's hand. "Fine, you win this time." Momosé only smiled. "You can come in, stranger. It seems as though my sister trusts you, and I trust her."

30 minutes later…

"So let me get this straight. You're Ryuu Miyazaki and you come from a large city and now, you want to live in the country?" Momosé's brother asked. Ryuu only nodded. "And the only real reason you want to live in the country is because there's someone important you're looking for?"

"Yeah. That's sounds right. Ryuu said. Then, Momosé's older brother turned to her. "And you, you said it was okay for him to stay at our place without asking me first?" Momosé giggled nervously. Her older brother whacked her on the head. "Geez, you can be a handful. Well, I guess there's no choice but for me to give into my sister's wishes."

He turned to Ryuu and said, "You can stay here as long as you follow these rules: one, you don't lay a hand on my sister in a way that will make want to kill you; two, you do some house work around here; three, you take Momosé to school and walk her home when and if I go to work early; four, you help her with homework when she needs help; and five, even though your still young, you drink with me every night. Got it?"

"I think I can remember all of that." Ryuu said. "Good." He turned to his sister. "It's starting to get dark. Go to sleep now." Momosé nodded and went into her room.

"Oh, I forgot to introduce myself! How silly of me. My name is Kuya Sorano."

Kuya went into a small cooler near the doorway of the kitchen and took out a large bottle of saké. He came back, sat down, and took out two small glasses from under a drinking table. "Well, sit down and have a drink with me." Kuya said.

Ryuu sat down cross-legged and accepted a glass full of saké. "Is it true that there isn't a motel or anything in this town?" Ryuu asked. "I'm pretty sure." Kuya answered. "This place is too quiet for any tourists to come here." Kuya took a sip of saké. "What I said about looking after my sister, will you actually do it?" Kuya asked. "Sure. Why not?"

"Well, you're in for a long story." Kyua took another sip.

"When Momosé was still small, we both lost our parents in a really bad car accident. After that day, Momosé wouldn't laugh, smile or talk as much than she usually would. Then finally, she just stopped talking. God, I miss the sound of her voice. Her laughter always filled this house. But what's really bad about it is that Momosé is so sad because she always blamed herself for our parent's death. She always said it was her fault because it was rainy, but she begged them to buy her something that she wanted very badly. For some reason, though, she's starting to laugh again and I don't know why."

Kuya stopped to take a sip of saké.

"I have a question for you." Ryuu said.

"Ask away." Kuya responded.

"On the way here, we met up with this guy who went by the name Satoshi Shirokawa."

"So you met that stupid brat. I keep telling him that the promise between his family and our family has been terminated since our parents are gone and that I never agreed to it. He bothered you about that, right?"

Ryuu nodded and finally took a sip of the slightly chilled saké.

"Yeah. He made a big fuss over it, too."

"Hey, I know we've just met and everything, but I want you to promise me something."

"What is it?"

"Promise to be a friend to Momosé. She really needs one right now. She believes strongly that she's going to die because she supposedly killed our parents. So please, help her learn to laugh again."

"If it helps me able to stay here, I might as well do what you say."

Kuya looked out the window. "It strange."

Ryuu gave off a confused vibe. "What's strange?" he asked.

"Uh…it's nothing." Kuya filled his glass with more saké.

"Just help out Momosé whenever you can. She needs a friend and I think she's taking a liking to you."

The silver moon finally rose and the stars filled the sky like diamonds.

"If you want, you can sleep here in the living room. There's a futon and a blanket over there in the corner. Go to sleep when you want to."

And that's exactly what Ryuu did.