Disclaimer: I wish I owned this, but I don't.
By the way, did anyone notice how the last few lines in the last chapter were almost a direct lift from the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie? That was SO not intentional!
It was the second time that Ayame had woken up in an unfamiliar place.
This time, however, when she opened her eyes, she was in a very comfortable bed. Upon opening her eyes, she saw a very beautiful woman with brown hair and green eyes sitting in a chair beside her bed.
"Oh, good, you're up," the woman said. "You gave us quite a scare for a while, there."
"Where am I?" Ayame asked, propping herself up on her elbows. She noticed that the arm the dragon nearly sliced open was bandaged and had that annoying itch that told her it was healing.
"You happen to be in Fanelia," the woman told her.
"That can't be right."
"Why not?" the woman asked; though, she didn't seem surprised at Ayame's reaction.
"Well, it doesn't exist!" Ayame exclaimed.
"I know how you feel. When I first came here, I didn't think that it could be real. It all seemed like a dream or one of those visions I had been having recently."
Wait a minute, Ayame thought. That sounds familiar. She decided to take a chance and ask, "You wouldn't happen to be Hitomi Kanzaki, would you?"
"Yes," answered the woman who was now identified as Hitomi.
"I'm Ayame Susumu," Ayame told her, now excited. If this was all real (which Ayame was still not sure about), then this was her parents' best friend. And if she was in Fanelia, the story she had written was (somehow) true!
"Susumu," she heard Hitomi whisper. "Your father isn't Amano Susumu, is he?"
Ayame nodded. "And my mother's name is Yukari."
"So they got married," Hitomi said, more to herself than anything else. She smiled. "I can't say I'm surprised. Still, when they told me that Folken had found a girl from Earth, I never suspected that you would be the daughter of two of my school friends."
Ayame wanted to say to say that the last thing she expected was to be transported to a world she thought only existed in a story that she had written and meet the woman she had actually written about, but she decided to refrain. It would probably come out too sarcastic, and if her thoughts were correct, Hitomi was the Queen of Fanelia, and it would be a bit disrespectful. So what she said instead was, "How long have I been asleep?"
"It's been a day since Folken found you lying on the forest floor with a swollen ankle and a long gash in your arm," Hitomi answered. Ayame nodded, though she was quite surprised to hear that it was that long. "You are very lucky that you survived a dragon attack with such minimal damage. We have some visitors from Astoria, and one of them is a good friend of mine and an excellent doctor. She fixed you right up."
"Oh, I would like to thank her, then."
"That's good," Hitomi smiled. "I was going to invite you to dinner tonight, anyway." Ayame's eyes turned wide. She had a pretty good idea of who exactly was going to be at this dinner, and she knew that she had nothing to wear. "If you're worried about your clothes," the Queen said, as if reading the young girl's mind, "I can have a dress sent to you."
"You really don't have to do that," Ayame said, feeling that this was much more than she needed.
"You are a guest," Hitomi insisted. "I promise that no one will mind."
"Are you sure?"
"If they are not, I will make sure that they will be. I can be very persuasive." She laughed as if it were her own private joke. In a way, Ayame understood, because who would be stupid enough to speak out against a personal guest of the Queen? There was a pause before she spoke again. "By the way," she said, going over to a table and picking something up, "we had some people search the forest after they brought you back here. They found this." She showed the object to Ayame who immediately recognized it.
"That's my journal," she murmured.
"I figured as much," Hitomi said. "I'm the only one who can read, as everyone seems to say, 'Mystic Moon writing', no one else knows what is in here. I'm curious to know how you know all this, however."
"I just wanted to write a story," the girl admitted. "Part of it, the part where you disappear from the high school track in a beam of light, is just from what my parents told me. I stopped believing it after a while, but I thought it would make a good story if I could think of where to go with it."
"These details about the Destiny War are extremely accurate," Hitomi said, "even down to Atlantis and Emperor Dornkirk's true identity. How did you find this out? Have you had any dreams or visions?"
Ayame knew why the Queen was asking this, as she knew that Hitomi was a seer of sorts.
"No," she answered truthfully. "It just seemed right at the time. I only just finished the story about what happened to you. Then, I started writing the sequel, and I ended up here."
"So, you wrote about the beam of light coming to Earth, and it did?"
"Interesting." Hitomi muttered. "Well, Miss Ayame, it seems as if there is a lot of things we need to figure out. No one ever comes to Gaea without a purpose."
"I'm not sure what you mean by that," Ayame said.
"Of course you do," the Queen rebutted. "It's all written down in your journal. It started out with my grandmother, and then it was me, and now you. We all came to Gaea for some reason, and then we left when it was finished."
"But you came back."
"Well, I found a reason to come back," she said. "And it's not something I can just finish. Now, I think that since you have been lying in bed for so long, you would like to get up. Would you like me to show you around the palace?"
Ayame deliberated for a moment. "Are- are you allowed to do that?"
"I am the Queen," she said, a smile of near victory coming over her face. "I can do whatever I please. Now, of course you can't walk about the palace in those bed clothes. I shall call for a maid to bring you a dress, and then I can show you around."
"Thank you very much, Queen Hitomi," Ayame said.
"Oh, come now, we'll have none of that," Hitomi laughed. "You don't have to be so formal. Us Mystic Moon girls have to stick together, right?"