Chapter 1 Scarlet's Walk
"Searching for Inspiration started as just that. I was looking for something to write, so I wrote the words on the top of my paper and said to myself, 'Hey this would make a great title.' I guess from there it just took off," she giggled on TV and tossed her dazzling blue hair.
"It certainly did," the reporter was only a small step above gawking at the two gorgeous women on the stage in front of him, "So what does it feel like, writing this book?"
"Well," she sighed and looked at the girl next to her, "I guess I feel relieved."
"Umi-san has always been a talented writer, but sometimes she gets discouraged about her writing," she smiled her dazzling smile, and the entire audience could do nothing but smile back.
"That does get us back to the real topic," he stared but tried not to gawk, "You two have been best friends since you were…?"
"Fifteen," Umi said calmly; she was used to it.
"Right, ten years. You're both running a huge successful veterinary office and more importantly," here he smiled a dashing smile, "You're both single."
They both looked suddenly downcast, and he immediately regretted saying it, quickly he changed subjects, "Back to your book, Fuu, Umi tells me you had a lot to do with it."
Fuu blushed and smiled, "Maybe…"
"But one of her main characters seems exactly like you," here he pulled out a copy of Searching for Inspiration and opened a pre-marked page, "Short hair, golden like the sun framed dazzling green eyes. She moved with grace but caution and was somewhat soft-spoken; she had always been the smartest of the three.' Now," he closed the book and set it back down, "That sounds a lot like you."
She laughed, "I'm no Magic Knight sir," the word tore her in two.
"Bringing us back once more, where did you get the idea from?"
"I guess…" Umi looked down, "It mirrors everything I wish I had. I just put all my desires and fantasies into words. After all," she looked around, "Who here wouldn't want to be able to snap their fingers and have things appear before them?"
The audience laughed and agreed.
"Okay, let's take some time for questions," he pulled himself from deep pools of blue.
A lady stood when addressed and looked from Umi to Fuu, "The romances in the book, were they based on real events and real people?"
"Yes," Umi could barely breathe, thinking about it.
"They were," Fuu nodded solemnly and closed her eyes.
"Who's the third heroine based on?" someone asked.
"Another friend of ours, Hikaru Shidou. She was the artist who did the cover of the book. She couldn't be here today because she had a prior engagement," Umi answered, laughing, as she exchanged glances with Fuu.
He looked at his watch and saw a nod from the producer and knew their time was up, as much as he hated it, "Well here you have it. Umi Ryuuzaki, author of Searching for Inspiration and her partner, Fuu Hououji, the Magic Knight of Water and the Magic Knight of Wind," he laughed slightly, and they tried but the closing was too much, "Until next time…"
She walked into her flat and put the keys on her kitchen table. She sighed heavily and fell into her couch. Alone, again. She closed her eyes and sighed again before making a salad and quickly eating, standing up in her kitchen. The dining room was too depressing. She sat and imagined him on the other side even though she knew she was alone.
She picked up the phone with itching fingers and a sense of adrenaline went through her as she asked, "Fuu, you wanna go for a ride?"
"Always," her partner's voice smiled.
"Okay, meet you at the stables in fifteen?"
"Good for you guys," she smiled at the TV as she coughed again. She began to stand, but a man rushed in and pushed her back down.
"Hikaru you will not get better if you don't sit still for awhile!"
"Satoru, come on, please?" Hikaru begged, but he shook his head, and she sighed in defeat and tried to get some sleep.
Fuu mounted her white stallion and stroked his neck, "Ashiteru," she whispered into his mane and smiled as Umi mounted her deep black mare.
She grinned and stroked the glossy fur of each of the horses that they had just spent an hour grooming and picking and pulling at.
Shyly a little gray colt came from the stable and hesitantly walked toward his mother.
"Hey Black Dove," Fuu pet him, and he whickered gently.
"He'll follow Scarlet, let's take him with us," Umi urged, and Fuu laughed and gave in as they set out.
"How about Scarlet's Walk for a title?" Fuu grinned at Umi, and she smiled.
"Sounds pretty good to me. What do you think girl?" she reached down and hugged the horse, "God I love you."
"Umi, do you miss them?" Fuu asked softly, and Umi looked at her curiously.
"The people in…in…Cephiro," Fuu looked around the woods nervously as they trotted through.
Umi looked down, "Sometimes."
"If you don't miss them why did you write Searching for Inspiration? If you don't miss them why did you call it that? I know that you could have easily changed the title. I know that you want something to make you feel again, feel the way you felt there. I'm not blind," Fuu said harshly, and Umi sighed.
"I miss them yes, but I knew that writing that story would get my real talent out there. I knew that it would be so unreal that people would think it was original and accept my real works," she told her, "It really boosted my career."
"I guess, but I thought that…" she looked at the white stallion, "I thought that Hikaru and I weren't the only ones."
"I don't know Fuu, see it's different with you two; you had the loves of your lives. I just left wonderful friends. I still have you two, and all my dreams are coming true here. I don't want to live there; I don't want to be stuck there all my life. It was an amazing experience that I'll never forget but all in all it was just that to me, an experience. Something that you experience and turn away from. You do that in life; it was just one of those, only on a more extreme level."
"But what about in the book, you wrote about you and…" Umi glared and dared Fuu to say the name in her presence.
"That was just to spice it up. The public would be disappointed if the Water Knight didn't have a secret lover as well. The public doesn't like to know the truth most of the time, that's why they read fantasy, so they can delusion themselves to believe whatever truth they see fit."
"Don't speak to me like that."
"Like you're a writer and I'm a reader, speak to me like I'm a friend, and you're a friend," she said quietly, and Umi apologized.
"Sensitive subject," she muttered, "Race you to the pond!"
Fuu agreed, and they took off toward the pond near their stables.
"They've been gone from Cephiro for five Earth years," Ferio was making an announcement to the people of Cephiro. It had been a long time since they last saw their protectors, and they wanted to know where they had gone, "Officially," he muttered, "They've been gone for five years; they moved to another country far from their home, far from the portal to Cephiro. The county is called…" he faltered; he couldn't even remember.
"England," Clef encouraged, and he nodded.
"England, because the Knight of Water and the Knight of Wind were offered a very good job there that they had to take. The Knight of Fire went with her brothers there to expand some kind of fighting they call Kendo."
"But Prince there is danger!" someone in the crowd called, "You need to summon the Knights once more!"
"We know of this danger you speak of," Ferio said calmly, "And it is nothing that we need to summon the Legendary Knights for; it is something that can be easily handled."
"The monster outbreak is huge Prince! More and more people are hurt everyday. Something must be done. Whole villages are being ransacked and torn apart. Surely there is some room for more concern," a man called.
"There is much concern over this," Ferio informed them, "But we need to find the source of the problem rather than just drive the minions out. We have to find who is summoning the monsters."
Hikaru coughed as she looked disgustedly at the tissues near the bed. She knew that using another one was going to make her nose more raw than it already was, "Man," she muttered and pulled it out of the box, last one. There was triumph on her face; she had successfully beaten the tissues. She grinned.
"What are you smiling about?" Kakeru asked as he walked into the room.
"I…Well-I…" she stuttered.
"I…" she pointed to the box of tissues, "See!"
He muttered and laughed, "You amaze me little sister."
She smiled, "Love you too!"
He laughed again as he walked from the room. She felt time freeze up, and looked around her in wonderment. She didn't see anything moving. What was going on?
"Hikari!" she called for her dog, but he didn't come. That was definitely odd; he never didn't come.
She didn't have much longer to worry though because she was throwing things in a bag subconsciously and looking for the portal. She knew it was somewhere; she could feel it, but she didn't know where. She searched her room for it, and finally went into the dojo in the back. She took a step onto the padded floor and was gone.
Umi and Fuu laughed and joked, "Hey Fuu did you pack these saddlebags?" Umi looked behind her and noticed them.
"Um…no…I thought you did," Fuu told her, and Umi's eyes creased in worry as they approached the pond. She looked at it in horror. The water was swirling white and blue; someone had summoned them.
"The portal," Fuu whispered.
"No," Umi turned Scarlet and urged her forward with words and feet. The horse reared and screamed as they were all pulled into the pond, pulled back to the world.
His eyes snapped open; he was tired. Why had she fought so hard? He didn't want to think about it. He needed to rest. He put his head on his fist when someone knocked on his study door. He opened it with a hand, not having the strength to open it himself and found the Magic Knights standing at his door, escorted by a equally surprised and ecstatic Ferio and Lantis.
"Guru," the Knights bowed to him while looking at him completely. He had taken on a new form when Hikaru was named pillar. He was taller than Ferio but shorter than Lantis, and his robes now fit him more snuggly. He met quiet sapphire blue eyes; she stood in the back. Since the fight she had strayed from first him and then Cephiro and even now, summoned, she had changed. She had become more quiet, more alone, and it killed him to see her fire die.
He looked over the girls. It had been a long time since he last saw them. Hikaru was now almost as tall as Fuu, but neither were as tall as Umi. Her hair no longer hung in a braid but in a ponytail down her back. She was in pajamas, and her face was red and flushed. She yawned and stretched her hello.
Fuu had let her hair grow so that it was half as long as Umi's and had small crimps in it. If it had been much longer it would have looked like Emeraude's. Besides growing she had obtained a more feminine figure, gaining the curves of her age. He noticed, with a small smirk, that Ferio seemed to enjoy it because he couldn't keep his eyes off her.
Then his eyes turned to Umi, strayed to her beauty. Her dazzling hair had not changed though now she held it constrained in a high ponytail. Her blue eyes had lost some of their shine, though from pain or age he could not tell. She had grown into herself amazingly, and he tried to keep his eyes from staring overly much.
She looked down; she was used to people staring, but she wasn't used to him staring.
He flicked a few fingers and summoned chairs for them, "Magic Knights."
They sat graciously, and Hikaru stifled another yawn, "Pardon me," she mumbled and lay her head in her hands.
"Hikaru-san is a bit under the weather," Fuu informed them. Her voice was as sweet as before, though obviously older.
"Why have we been summoned?" Hikaru yawned, "And does it involve a bed?"
"Under the weather?" Lantis asked.
"Um…sick…" Hikaru explained. "I saw you guys on TV by the way. Great stuff," she grinned at Umi, "he couldn't keep his eyes off you."
Umi blushed and looked down, and he couldn't help but get defensive.
"You were summoned," he changed the subjects with a bit of heat in his voice, "Because…" he didn't want to say because they missed them, "There's a monster infestation."
"Can't you handle that?" Fuu inquired, "Not that we're not glad to be back," she added when Ferio looked hurt. He smiled and accepted it.
"We could, except they keep coming back," Lantis told them.
"Interesting," Fuu was thinking.
"You know what would be real interesting right now?" Hikaru asked, almost to herself.
"What?" Lantis questioned.
"The inside of my eyelids," she laughed, from joy and from fever and from everything put together.
"Hikaru," Umi scolded gently, and her voice brought butterflies to his stomach. Again he forced it down and tried to continue.
"There's someone summoning them," he told them.
"Didn't you ask Ascot?" Fuu thought that seemed the most logical explanation.
"Well yes, but he doesn't know. He couldn't tell," Ferio answered. "We've tried everything. We thought that maybe you and the Rune-Gods could help."
"We will," Hikaru agreed before she completely understood the situation, "Just as long as I get to sleep tonight, preferably right now."
They laughed and sent the Magic Knights to bed.
In the morning, when Clef had regained his strength, he easily cured Hikaru, and she was ready to go.
"Shall we start?" Fuu asked cheerily, and they nodded.
"The sooner the better," Umi muttered, and they looked at her.
"Why the rush?" Persea asked, and she shook her head.
They dismissed it, leaving it there and thinking maybe it was nothing, but he wondered. What exactly was nothing, or who was nothing?
"So what have you been doing with your lives?" they asked the Magic Knights over breakfast.
"Well!" Hikaru shouted, glad to tell everyone, "The greatest thing just happened!"
"Oh?" Lantis inquired, intrigued.
"See we moved to England because my brothers got a shop there. We've been teaching English kids kendo which is a kind of Japanese sword-fighting. They're so cute," she laughed, "They have the most adorable accents. And I just did the cover work of the number one selling book in England."
They stared, "That's amazing."
"How big is this England?" Lantis persisted.
"Dunno, pretty small, country wise, but very big in the whole world wise. If a book is number one in England it's basically number one everywhere," she answered as she scooped eggs onto her plate.
Umi looked down.
"Umi-san and I own a successful veterinary clinic, a place where we help injured animals," Fuu told her part.
"Successful?" Ferio shook his head, not completely understanding.
"It means we're kind of rich," Fuu answered modestly. "We have enough money to buy whatever we want basically," she blushed at her vanity.
"Kind of rich," Hikaru scoffed, "you have more money than God."
"Hikaru-san!" Fuu scolded, and they laughed.
When she didn't speak he had to ask, "What about you Umi?"
She shook her head, "Besides the Veterinary Clinic there's nothing to say," she wouldn't look at him, and he didn't understand.
"What about Searching For Inspiration?" Hikaru and Fuu asked at the same time, and she glared and shook her head.
"What's that?" Ascot inquired.
She looked up and smiled at him, and Clef wanted to kill him just then. He fought as hard as he could for that smile, and she never satisfied him, "Just a book I wrote, nothing major."
"Umi-san don't be daft!" Fuu scolded, England had rubbed off on her, and she blushed, "Gomen."
"Pick a language!" Hikaru laughed, because they heard each other in English and Japanese, but the others only heard the language of Cephiro.
"Never mind," Hikaru dismissed it.
"It's nothing," Umi tried to get them to lay off, but they would hear no such thing.
"Tell them or we will," Hikaru warned.
Umi sighed and resolved to tell them herself, "Searching for Inspiration is a book I wrote about Cephiro, only they don't know it's a real place and real people and everything," she told them. "It's the book Hikaru did the cover art for."
Now they were completely shocked.
"The number one book?!" Caldina burst out, and Umi nodded.
"But it was easy. All I had to do was recount the events of Cephiro and put them in writing. I sent them to some guy in London, and he published it. I had no idea it would catch on, that's completely luck."
A writer, his breath caught, she had pulled herself to silence and isolation then. Is that why her eyes died? Suddenly he found himself wanting a copy of this book. He closed his eyes and said a quick spell, searching for it. He found it in Hikaru's bag, and nodded to himself.
"Maybe you three should spend the day at the palace and attack the monsters tomorrow," he told them and stood. "I'm going to try and find out more about the monster crisis."
He walked down the hall and when he got close to Hikaru's door he opened it slightly and called the book with a spell. It flew into his hands, and he walked to the library quietly.
*New fanfiction! This might be the last good idea I have up there. I need to stop writing fanfiction and get back to my manuscript, but like the title I'm Searching for Inspiration, as always. Anyways, this one is gonna be real short and sweet.
Extra note: New Tori Album October 29th! That's where my names are from. Scarlet's Walk is the Album's title. So Scarlet is from that. Black Dove is a song on the Album, "From the Choirgirl Hotel." Most of the names in this are going to be Tori related. I'm so excited! Ah! Isn't it October yet?! *Whines*
Why England? Because England is a great place, full of Faeries and Horses. Okay I'm going to shut up now*
And I ride alongside
And I rode alongside you then
And I rode alongside
Til you lost me there in the open road
And I rode alongside
Till my honey spread itself so thin
For me to break your bread
For me to take your word
I'd have to steal it"
~Tori Amos, A Sorta Fairytale, Scarlet's Walk (speculated lyrics)