Notes: I said that I preferred to wait until I finished a story before I published it, but I feel bad for making people who are looking forward to this wait so long. So here's a taste of what's coming up. It's almost winter break, so I'll probably have more time to complete this story soon.

Prologue - Alluring Mystery

From the moment they became acquainted, Ryoji knew something was different about Minako Arisato.

Strangely enough, it wasn't because of the immense nostalgia he felt when they met. Sure, the nostalgia was very curious, and he didn't know why it was so strong, but there was something else about her that caught his interest. At first, he couldn't put his finger on it, but as they got to know each other, it became clearer. Every now and then, he would notice unusual things about her. Most of them were pretty minor, but sometimes it got to the point where he would worry for her safety. Watching her and learning new things about her, Ryoji started feeling a wide range of emotions, something he never felt for the other girls that followed him around.

In short, she was different. There was something about her that made her stand out from the rest of the students. Some kind of maturity that he would never expect from someone her age, but it was hidden well behind her cheerfulness. And actually, it wasn't just her. The other students living in her dorm seemed to have the same hidden maturity about them. Ryoji could see it in the way they interacted. Something about their relationship was different than other students. It wasn't in a bad way, but the amount of trust they seemed to hold in each other was rare for such young people. There was that and all the other strange things about them as a group. Was he the only one who noticed?

As a group, they were all very mysterious people. They were hiding some sort of big secret, and somehow, Ryoji knew that Minako was the leader. She was the most mysterious one: The one who managed to capture his attention; the one who made him feel such a wide range of emotions. He was drawn to the mystery almost as much as he was drawn to her.

They had a bond, the two of them; he could feel it. Somehow, it was all linked together, but deep down he had a feeling he already knew what the answer was. Yet, at the same time, he knew that finding out the truth would not be pleasant. No facts, no proof, just the overwhelming feeling that someone will be sad in the end.

But the mystery's allure was too strong to resist. He had to know, no matter how much he may not like the answer.

He felt like he was destined to find out.