Wishing for an New Life (Book 1)
Cameras were flashing everywhere as a lovely young woman with long wavy brown hair and dark green eyes in her twenties sat at a table smiling serenely. Yamaya Mia was her name, or rather, her pen name, an author who had recently debuted her new best selling book, Wishing for A New Life, which had instantly became popular with the people the moment it was published and had been flying of the shelves ever since. The woman was now seated at an open conference for that very book, looking at all the excited faces of the reporters and fans who had read it.
"Mia-sensei, how did you ever get inspiration to create the different worlds mentioned in your book?" asked one of the reporters.
Mia smiled serenely at the man. "You could say, it was a product of imagination and personal experience~!" she answered cheerfully. In the back of her mind, she was thinking, 'If only they knew the real story behind my book...'
4 years ago...
"Wake up, go to school, come home, eat, train, homework, bed.. that's all I ever do nowadays..."muttered Maya as she walk through the park slowly. She always walked home slowly through the park after school, not that she had anything better to do at home. Yama Maya was the kind of teenager every parent dreamed of and nearly every girl dreams to be, beautiful, rich, smart, and talented musically, artistically and athletically. The 'perfect' child, her parents call her. Maya could feel the disdain overwhelming her every time she hears her parents bragging about her. How she hated perfection. It's what everyone expects out of the 16 year old prodigy. She just wanted to feel normal which was why she enrolled herself in a public high school without her parents knowledge. They never figured out anyway, since they were always overseas.
Unfortunately, her last name was a dead give away to her social status. Her classmates all avoid her because they feel inferior and the teachers pay extra attention to her due to her outstanding grades. Her whole life from the moment she could talk was nothing but study, study, study. No friends, no toys, no fun, no sense of accomplishment, no boyfriends, no NOTHING! Life was just a big bore for her. Her only escape from the world was her secret mixed-martial arts training and reading.
Whap! Clunk! went the sound of Maya kicking a soda can into a rubbish bin with precision. "DAMN IT! CAN'T I MISS JUST FOR ONCE IN MY LIFE?" screamed Maya in frustration, stamping her foot. Luckily, the place she was in was isolated or it would have made a scene. Suddenly, she heard a woman laughing nearby.
"My, you certainly are a strange one aren't you, Maya-chan? But then again, humans are strange beings..."
Maya turned her head to see a tall elegant woman with long black hair wearing a black dress sitting on a nearby bench. What was strange about the lady was her pale skin and ruby red eyes that stared deep into your soul. For some reason, Maya didn't feel startled at all, in fact Maya felt as if she was expecting the woman to appear which confused the girl greatly. "Wh-Who are you? How do you know my name?" she asked.
The woman chuckled a bit. "My name is Ichihara Yuko, and I know a lot of things that you have yet to learn, Maya-chan. Such as, the reason you don't feel startled to see me means that hitsuzen has already decided on our meeting for a long time."
A look of confusion appeared on Maya's face as she felt herself approach the woman. "But this is the first time we've met, and I've walked through this park many times without seeing you. Shouldn't this be just a coincidence?" asked Maya.
Yuko looked at Maya with a serious expression. "My dear girl, there is no such thing as coincidence, only hitsuzen..."
Maya looked at the woman blankly. "Ok lady, now you're just confusing me..." she said bluntly.
Another chuckle emitted from Yuko. "I get that a lot. Before we discuss any further, come with me," invited the woman, beckoning to Maya as she began to walk away. Maya herself, feeling intrigued decided to follow Yuko without question.
The walk was surprisingly short as Maya found herself entering a large unfamiliar shop house. "Welcome back Yuko-san and customer~!" exclaimed two little girls in unison as they danced around the two. One of them had long blue hair while the other had short pink hair, something about them seemed very off to Maya, but she ignored it.
"Ichihara-san, was this shop always here? I never knew it was this close to the park!" exclaimed Maya looking around.
"My shop only appears to a person who has a strong wish or desire to be granted, which is the reason why you are here," explained Yuko, leading Maya into a large room where a small black table with two chairs sat in the middle. "Watanuki, bring us some tea please!" she called to someone in the other room.
"Hai!" answered a male voice as the two sat down.
"So, let's get down to business," said Yuko, her expression turning serious again. "Maya-chan, you're a girl who was gifted with perfection am I right?"
"Yes, Ma'am...though I can't say I'm thrilled by it..." answered Maya. "Perfection is something that has always been expected of me..."
"But then again, you don't exactly hate either do you?" asked Yuko as a young man, a teenager around Maya's age, came in serving two hot cups of tea. "Arigatou, Watanuki."
The boy nodded his head and left the room. Maya thought a little about Yuko's question. "I guess... I don't mind being a little perfect, the problem is, since I'm a prodigy, I'm in my final year in high school and ..I feel like I've accomplished nothing... everything I do has been done without effort, my life just feels so boring..."
"So, what is it do you really wish for?"
Maya closed her eyes and thought for a while. "My wish...I guess I wish for a new life, one filled with adventure! " she said after a long pause.
"Oh?.. Are you sure that's what you want?" asked Yuko once more.
"Yes I do, Ichihara-san..."
Yuko closed her eyes for a while before beckoning to the two girls who apparently have been in the room the whole time. "Maru, Moro, can you please go to the storage room and get me that object, please?"
"HAI~!" they both said unison as they pranced out of the room. Minutes later the girls came back with a long wooden box tied with a red string. Yuko nodded and took the box from the girls as they vacated the room. Yuko then turned to Maya.
"Maya-chan, you've played a flute before haven't you?"
Maya nodded, a bit unsure where the conversation was headed. That was when Yuko handed the girl the box. "In this box is a special flute that derives it's powers from the moon. It's power would be at it's fullest on a full moon, which occurs tomorrow. Do you know of the lake which is located in the park?"
"Why sure, I walk past it everyday."
"When the time is right, go to that lake and open the box," instructed Yuko while Maya looked at the box once over. "However, until then, you are not to open it or your wish would not come true, got it? "
Maya nodded again and looked at the box in her hands. "Wait, this is a shop right? Don't I have to pay for this?"
Yuko propped her chin on her hands and smiled. "True, but I'll receive it when the time comes."
"How much do you want?"
"Sweetheart, the prices that are paid must be of equal value to the wish, but are not something that can be be paid for with money or gold," explained Yuko, mysteriously.
"Is that so?..." asked Maya with interest, before glancing at her watch, her eyes widening. "Nuts, it's getting late!" she exclaimed jumping from her seat, quickly bowing to Yuko. "Thank you, Ichihara-san, I won't forget your instructions!" she said running out the door.
Yuko simply smiled after her as a small black rabbit-like manju with a blue gem in it's popped out from under her hair and sat on her shoulder. "Yuko-san, why did you give her Mikazuki?" it asked.
"She's a one of a kind, Mokona, one of a kind..." replied Yuko with a smile on her face that signified she had something up her sleeve.
Maya managed to get home in and run straight to her room without anyone noticing her, despite the fact that she lived in a mansion with about two butlers and three maids running about. After a shower and changing into her night clothes, Maya placed the bag on her bed and removed the box to get a better look at it. It was made from really old but good quality wood and it had a picture of a pure white fox decorated in pearl. What was strange about the fox was that it had nine tails and an blue crescent moon on its forehead with sapphire blue eyes. Just looking at the craftsmanship of the picture awed Maya as she traced the picture with her finger.
Suddenly a knock on the door made Maya jump in surprise as she quickly hid the box under her pillow and sat on her bed as if nothing was wrong. "Come in!" she said.
Her bedroom door opened to reveal a baby-faced young man in a butler's uniform who simply popped his head in. "Ojou-sama, is there anything wrong? You seem a bit high spirited today.." asked the young man. He was good looking, baby-faced with brownish-black hair and large onyx eyes.
"I do, Ryu-kyun? I didn't notice..." said Maya, trying to look surprised while averting her eyes. She didn't like keeping secrets from this guy. His name was Ryukyu Usagi, who is actually three years older than Maya herself despite his looks. He has been serving as Maya's faithful butler for five years. "By the way, didn't I say you could call me Maya-chan, already?" the girl asked frowning.
Ryukyu just smiled sheepishly. "Sorry, Ojou-sama, it's part of my job."
"Is there any mail from my parents?"
"I'm sorry but no..."
Maya's face hardened a little before turning away. "Is that so?" she said in a cold voice.
"Can I get you anything, Ojou-sama?" asked Ryukyu quickly, sensing that he had said something wrong.
"I fine, please go..."
"Yes, Ojou-sama..." said Ryukyu, closing the door silently.
Maya heaved a huge sigh before burying her face in her pillow. "I can't wait for that full moon..." she muttered as she clenched the box she hid under her pillow and slowly fell asleep.
In her dream, Maya found herself in strange darkness. Suddenly, she heard a sorrowful high pitched wail which caused her to turn around to see the white nine tailed fox that was decorated on the box. Only this time, it looked real, glowing like the moon itself. The fox looked at Maya with it's blue eyes sadly as it began to approach Maya slowly. The girl carefully stuck her hand out, letting the fox sniff it, before it rubbed it's head against her hand, crooning. Just as Maya's fingertips brushed against the crescent moon on its forehead, the mark became a full circle that glowed brightly, engulfing Maya in it's light.
Maya gasped as she sat up in bed, the morning light of the sun shining in her eyes. She quickly glanced at her alarm clock. "Oh RATS!" she exclaimed jumping out of bed as she made a grab for her school uniform.
"You can stop around here, Ryu-kyun!" said Maya who had hitched a ride with Ryukyu on his motorcycle. The butler obediently stopped his bike just a few blocks away from Maya's school. The girl quickly grabbed her bag and jumped off, taking off her helmet in the process. "Thanks for the ride Ryu-kyun!"
"Take care!" called the butler as he watched the girl run off.
When Maya arrived through the school gates, those who saw her practically made a pathway for her, much to Maya's chagrin. "Seriously, you'd think I have some contagious disease or something..." she muttered in disdain as she walked past everybody towards her classroom. Maya just sat down in her chair looking poised and perfect as she was groomed to be. She could hear the others whisper about her. 'Just stay neutral Maya, just stay neutral...' she thought as lessons began.
When lunch began, the students quickly cleared out of the classroom, leaving it deserted save for Maya who remained seated with her head propped up on the table, picking at her the food in her bento box. "Yep, just like every other day..."she said poking at a sausage. Just then, she heard someone stumble over followed by a small yelp making Maya quickly turn around. Her eyes traveled downwards to see a girl with long jet black hair, olive colored skin and amber eyes wearing large round glasses who had paused when she realized that she had been seen. From what it looked like she was trying to crawl out the door on her hands and feet. She looked at Maya with a look that can be comparable to that of a child who was caught with his hand in the cookie jar.
"Uh..Hi!" she said getting and dusting herself.
"What are you doing, Habu-san?" asked Maya curiously.
"Oh my gosh, the great Yama Maya-sama actually knows my name?" asked the girl who said it in surprise and awe.
Maya gave the girl a weird look before sighing. " Kumeshima Habu , the sole member of the Mystical Magical Club, and happens to sit right behind me..." stated Maya bluntly.
"Oh..."muttered Habu, sheepishly. "I'm sorry, it's just that I usually have no presence so people don't really notice me...much..."
"Uh-huh.. so mind telling me why you were trying to crawl out of the classroom?"
Habu placed a hand behind her head and blushed slightly. "Well.., you see, I sorta had to return this over due book which I left at my desk and I was going to get and then I saw you, I freaked and I tried to bolt but I fell and then..you..saw me..."
Maya's face faulted in disbelief. "Am I really that terrifying?" she asked .
"AHH! I'M-SORRY-I'M-SORRY-I'M-SORRY-I'M-SORRY-I'M-SORRY, I'M SOOOOOO SOOOORRY, MAYA-SAMAAA!" exclaimed Habu suddenly becoming flustered as she quickly got down in front of Maya and began to bow repeatedly, much to her surprise.
"Ok, seriously Habu-san. Get. A. Grip!" said Maya grabbing the girl's shoulders, making her stand up and shaking her slightly with each word. "Secondly, Maya-chan is sufficient enough!"
Habu nodded silently with wide eyes when she suddenly noticed a wooden box sticking out of Maya's bag. "What's that?" she asked. "May I look at it?
Maya whipped her head around to see what she was looking at and nearly lost her eyeballs from widening her eyes in shock. "Oh Darn!" she whispered loudly.
"N-never mind, forget what I said.." said Maya hurriedly, passing the box to Habu. The girl sat down at her desk and peered closely at it.
"Hey! I've seen this design before!" exclaimed Habu suddenly.
Habu looked at Maya excitedly as she reached under her desk and pulled out an old large,very thick, book. The title was written in bold, golden words. Underneath it was a picture of a silver and green snake curled into the shape of a triquetra.
"The Book of Mystics?" read Maya incredulously as Habu began flipping through the pages.
"It's what got me into really into magic in the first place. I think it belonged to my great, god knows how many times, grand mother, Kumeshima Hebi, judging from the date it was first written. It has writings of spells, potions, and information on creatures and items I have never heard of before..." explained Habu as she continued to flip through the never-ending pages before finally stopping on a particular page that depicted the exact same picture that was shown on the box. The page was titled Mikazuki.
"Here it is!" exclaimed Maya as the two girls began to read.
Mikazuki, the white nine-tailed fox, a magical coveted creature that has more power than an average Nine-Tailed Fox. It's powers are derived from the Moon and requires a vessel to survive. Mikazuki's power can only be wielded by whom it deems worthy of. It cannot be controlled by force, only by feelings of strong emotion. Last appearance was during the climax of the Feudal Era, it is unknown whether it has been sealed or disappeared.
The girls finished reading and stared at the page silently for a few minutes. "That's it?" they both asked looking at each other.
Habu tried flipping through the book a few more times. "I can't seem to find anything else on Mikazuki," said Habu as she closed the book. "How in the world did you get a hold of that box?"
"Um, lucky find, I guess?" replied Maya, averting her eyes. An brief awkward silence hung in the air. "You wanna hang out at my place later?" she asked out of the blue.
Maya found herself getting replied with stunned silence as Habu stared at her with extremely wide eyes. Maya waved a hand in front of her face before snapping her fingers, bringing Habu back to reality. "Huh?" asked a dazed Habu before she realized that Maya was waiting for an answer. "Um...sure!"she replied.
"Great!" Maya replied happily before swiftly seating herself and cleared away her bento box just a few seconds before the bell for the next class rang. Habu also quickly stuffed her precious book in her bag seconds before other students began returning to the classroom. Both girls were having similar thoughts as they tried to act normally.
'I can't believe she invited me!/ I can't believe I invited someone!' both girls thought excitedly.
So after school ended...
Habu stood wide -eyed and open mouthed at the size of Maya's mansion. "SUGOI! IT'S HUGE!" she exclaimed.
Maya smiled and shook her head in amusement. "Nah, you should see the summer house," she said bluntly as she opened a side gate to let herself and Habu in.
"Okairinasai, Maya-sama!" greeted twin maids around their late twenties who held open the front doors for her and Habu.
"Tadaima!" said Maya in response before turning to the maids. "Hora, Mai-chan, Utau-chan, I keep telling you guys to call me Maya-chan!" she said in annoyance.
"Gomenasai, Maya-sama~.." said the first twin, tilting her head and smiling.
"But it's part of our job~" finished the second twin, imitating her sister.
Habu unconsciously also tilted her head at the twins while Maya rolled her eyes and sighed. "Utau, Mai, this my classmate Kumeshima Habu," said the girl introducing said person.
"Ah, domo!" Habu said quickly bowing.
"Irrashaimassen, Habu-sama~!" said the twin maids cheerfully in unison, bowing as well.
"I'm Mai-chan~!" said the maid on the right raising her left hand.
"And I'm Utau-chan~!" said the maid on the left raising her right hand.
"And together, we are the Twin Maid Sweethearts!" they said in unison, pirouetting in circles before striking peace poses by their eyes and winking. Sparkles and hearts surrounded them as Maya shook her head in amusement while Habu clapped in amazement.
"Alright you two, enough with Sparkle Fest, I'll be in my room with Habu," said Maya as she walked ahead with Habu quickly trotting after her.
"IT'S MAYA-CHAN!" yelled Maya in protest.
"IT'S PART OF THE JOB~!" called back the two maids in response.
Maya sighed exasperatedly as she led Habu up a carpeted spiraling staircase. The carpet felt so soft under Habu's feet as she tread lightly. "You can take off your shoes you know. I like the feeling of the carpet with my bare feet," said Maya, who had already taken off her shoes and socks as she waited for Habu to take off hers.
It was a surprisingly high climb to Maya's room, so it was no wonder Habu was already panting heavily by the time they reached the top. Maya appeared fine since she was used to it as she led Habu down a long hallway. The girls passed three doors until Maya finally stopped. Habu leaned against the wall exhausted. "Not to sound rude but please tell me this your room..." pleaded Habu wiping the sweat off her brow.
Maya turned to look at Habu with a serious face. "Actually my room is right at the end of this hallway..."
Habu caught her breath and stared in disbelief at the long hallway, which looked like a five minutes walk. "EEEEEEEEEEHHHH?..."
Suddenly Maya burst out laughing, confusing Habu greatly. "Relax, Habu-chan I'm kidding! It's this one."
"Moh! Maya-chan!" pouted Habu as Maya led her into the bedroom, where she was greeted by another surprise. "This is your room?" she gasped. Habu had every reason to considering Maya's room was about the size of a classroom and had two storeys with a staircase leading up to the second floor. It even had a golden fireman's pole going through a hole on the second level leading to the first floor.
Habu couldn't resist herself as she ran up and down the stairs jumping everywhere like an excited kid. " This place is a palace!" she squealed from the second floor. She eyed the golden pole before looking at Maya.
"Go ahead, you know you want to."
Habu had to bite herself from squealing any louder as she jumped on to the pole and slid down to the ground and landed on her feet with a bump. "Your room is soooo cool Maya-chan!" she exclaimed.
"You think so?"
Outside, the twins Mai and Utau along with Ryu the butler sat outside the room smiling to each other as they heard the girls having fun. 'Ojou-sama finally has a friend!' cheered Ryu in his head while tears streamed out of his eyes like a waterfall. While the twins waltzed with each other happily.
It wasn't until sunset did Habu decided to leave the mansion with Maya seeing her off at the gates. Maya smiled sadly as she watched her new friend skip off like a happy little girl. "Gomene Habu-san...but after today you will never see me again..." she whispered before walking back to the mansion.
Later that night, whilst everyone else was asleep, Maya got up and walked into her bathroom with a pair of large scissors. The girl looked at her self in the bathroom mirror before she grabbed a handful of her hair and cut it. At her feet, locks of wavy brown hair fell onto the bathroom tiles as Maya styled her hair into a bob. Satisfied with her new look, Maya began to change into a new outfit she had been saving.
When she was done, Maya now sported a pink and black jacket with a picture of an Iriomote Mountain Cat on it and a khaki mini skirt with black tights and socks. The girl completed the look with a pink hair band and grabbed a small black bag-pack containing the box, a small diary, a picture frame, digital camera and batteries, and snacks. Grabbing a pair of matching pink and black roller-blades from her closet along with a pair of sneakers which she tied to her bag, Maya was ready. She slowly opened her bedroom door and made sure the course was clear before she swiftly made her way outside. Once outside the gates, Maya donned her roller-blades and skated off down the street. Unknown to her, Ryu had spotted her leave from his bedroom window just as he was preparing to sleep.
"Maya-sama? Where is she going? And what happened to her hair?" asked Ryu aloud as he quickly donned a blue sweatshirt and black running pants along with white running shoes before he grabbing a blue and black streaked skateboard as he ran out.
Meanwhile, Maya had already gained some distance ahead, unknown that her butler was already following her and quickly gaining speed. While she skated past the convenience store, Habu, wearing a simple green cardigan over a white top paired with brown slacks and black sandals along with a small backpack, was just coming out with a bag of groceries when she spotted Maya.
"Maya-chan?..."wondered Habu aloud when she saw a young man she recognized as one of Maya's butlers skate past her following Maya. "What's going on?" she said to herself in confusion as she quickly dumped her groceries in the basket of a dark green and yellow bike, unchained it and quickly pedaled after them.
Amazingly enough, Maya still had no idea she was being tailed as the only thought of her wish finally being able to come true fills her mind. It wasn't long before Maya had reached the park as she skated down the path that lead to the lake. There, a tall woman in a butterfly kimono waited by the edge, her pale skin glowing brightly in the light of the moon.
"Ichihara-san, I'm here!" said Maya skidding to a stop, panting a little.
"My, aren't you excited!" commented Yuko cheerfully, before she cast a brief glance into the bushes and smiled knowingly. "Looks like all the pieces are in place..." she muttered mysteriously as she and Maya looked towards the sky just in time to see the clouds shift to reveal the full moon.
Suddenly there was a shimmer from Maya's backpack, much to the girl's surprise.
The butler had managed to secretly follow Maya all the way to the park and was curious about why Maya was at the lake and who was this woman she calls "Ichihara-san"?
Anyway, Ryu, hiding behind some bushes, began to gasp when he saw a light shimmering from Maya's backpack.
Maya quickly reached in and pulled out the box containing the flute and opened it releasing a large burst of light. When Maya looked into the box, she saw a beautiful shimmering flute made of pearl. "Oh wow..." she gasped in awe. Suddenly she began to feel an urge to play something.
"The flute is calling for you, Maya-chan...go on play something..." urged Yuko gently.
Before Maya could have a second thought, she found herself picking up the flute and putting the box away. Putting it to her lips, Maya felt herself go into a trance as she began to play a melody she herself had never heard off before. It was light and melodious, yet it had wild tempo somehow that made Maya's own heart beat in time to it. Maya was sure she had never played this song before, but for some reason she felt like a connection was made...as if awakening from a dream... As Maya continued to play, a white wisp emerged from the flute, moving in time to Maya's playing. It swirled around the girl slowly. Suddenly, Maya began to float off the ground and hovered just inches over the surface of the lake to where the reflection of the moon was.
Habu reached the park just in time to see a bright light shining from the direction the lake followed by the sound of a strange melody. She quickly pedaled her bike closer to seeMaya beginning to float over the water.
Suddenly, the calm surface of the water began to ripple violently as it rose into a pillar of water and began to engulf Maya, who still appeared to be in a trance like state.
"Maya-sama!" yelled Ryu out of the blue, jumping from his hiding spot as he began to run towards the lake. "Hang on, I'm coming!" he cried shoving past Yuko and jumping towards the water pillar.
"Oh no! Maya-chan!" gasped Habu loudly, accidentally loosing her footing as her bike began to roll down hill, taking a screaming Habu along with it. "HEEEEELLLP!" she squealed as her bike hit a stone that was slanting upwards by the edge of the lake, resulting in her bike getting thrown into the air and into the the water pillar just after Ryu disappeared into it.
No sooner did all three people got engulfed into the swirling water pillar, the glow disappeared as the water slowly died down into the peaceful surface of the lake.
"Ah-ah...they're gone...and I was going to ask for souvenirs..."whined Black Mokona as it hopped on Yuko's shoulder.
"Oh cheer up Mokona, let's go home and tease Watanuki for some sake and steamboat dinner!" suggested Yuko playfully.
"SAKE! SAKE! STEAMBOAT! STEAMBOAT! PU-PU-PUPU~!" cheered Mokona bouncing onto Yuko's head.
The woman smiled as she looked towards the full moon. 'It be long now Maya-chan and friends...soon your purposes will be revealed...'