The story will always go on, With a new place to explore and a new problematic scene.
With each scene change comes a new cast.
A new set.
More people and new personalities.
New love old hate.
Watch as this mysterious play continues on its dangerous path.
We call upon you now: To join in this Mysterious play.
Fushigi Yuugi: Saisho No Pēji
Smoothing out the bent and bruised books in the box,hands unfolded the yellowed pages as they tucked them neatly away.
The chilling fall air swung around the room and fiddled with the pages of the weary and old books that lie open on the floor. A redheaded woman sat cross legged on the rather cold wooden floor and flipped through the pages of the graying book in her hands in an almost absent minded manner.
In truth, her mind was indeed elsewhere. Where that was; on her work shift at the local library. Not that she hated the facility, on the contrary, it was one of the few places that held a friendly studying environment for students. But, late nights with hardly any people (with the exception of the fellow college students who just only now have heard of the assignment that is due the next day) are always hard to get through. The night shifts have always been bothersome to the staff anyways, so why not put the young blood on the job? The young lady clicked her tongue in annoyance as she recalled receiving the phone call from her boss.
“But money is money….” she huffed, ‘Can’t afford to be picky.’
Finally putting away the last book and letting it settle into its rightful place in the box, where it was to be shipped off to the school’s library; the red-haired woman pulled her bag up and onto her shoulder before briskly walking out of the small side classroom.
Just like the rustic room she just left, the hallways of the Tokyo Fine Art’s University were just as barren. Classes having ended a while ago, the women strolled down the hall alone. Not a sound came from the classrooms on the sides and all of the outside traffic had slowed to a trickle.
Turning the sharp corner, the young women took confident steps to a small cabinet with the name ‘Kajiro Minami’ in neat, printed kanji. The young women, Kajiro, let out a small exasperated sigh, “I should really change that…’
The annoyance of her full name for others to see was enough to make her correct anyone who calls her such, opting for the less formal name of Kaji.
Reaching inside of the small space, she pulled out a jacket and a tag that held her personally information and rank among the staff and students. Kaji pulled her coat on and adjusted the bag at her side then continued out the door and into the frigid air.
Stopping just short outside the door, the redhead closed her jacket further around her body and started towards the train station, just a mile outside of campus.
The after class sports teams were hard at work and the teachers were also starting to exit the building. Kaji waved cheerfully to a few of her professors and coworkers on the way to the train station and casted others a charming smile.
As Kaji passed the market, the large tower of the train station came into view. Picking up her pace, as not to miss the next train, Kaji slid past the towns people with ease and swiftness.
Closing in on the station itself, Kaji picked up her pace and bounded over to the man behind the glass with a bright smile, “Afternoon Mr. Akaka!”
The older man behind the glass smiled, the crows feet beside his eyes deepened and aged laugh-lines appeared, “Good evening Miss. Minami. The library again I assume?” Mr. Akaka chimed lightly and stepped to the opening in the window.
Kaji’s lips curled upwards as she leaned up casually to the window with her elbows resting on the wooden platform below it, “Off to work again,” she gave the older man a sleepy smile, “The train is on time today, yes?”
Mr. Akaka nodded with a smile and fiddled with the old printer at his side, hitting it once on the left side and twice on the right, before ripping out a faded ticket and passing it through the glass, “ Safe travels Miss.”
Ticket in hand, Kaji waved to the older gentleman before turning away and seating herself on the nearest bench, hearing the pleasant older gentleman deal with another person who was behind her.
Not long after seating herself, the young lady turned her head to the oncoming train. The large, ageing piece of machinery rolled into the station ominously and groaned before coming to a halt in front of the waiting crowd of people.
Slipping through the crowd of people, Kaji walked through the gaping doors of the train and to the back, grabbing onto the loop above her head. The train creaked and groaned in protest as the waves of people climbing aboard it’s back, but soon settled on the tracks once again.
It's slow but abrupt movement lurched Kaji and the fellow train riders forward, making them latch onto anything to steady themselves.
The sun hung low in the sky when the creaking beast came to a slow at the Hideaki Port Station. The sea of people flowed out onto the waiting platform and went their separate ways. Kaji, wanting to exit the rather decrepit vehicle, moved quickly to the front and bounded to the platform below.
The once blue sky was now painted red and orange as the last bits of light cast long shadows on the buildings and streets. The cold wind turned colder as it nipped at the young woman's cheeks and nose. Fall would be coming to an end soon and winter would be there to take its place.
The young women took confident strides toward the large, looming building before her, and jogged up the cold stone steps. Kaji waved at the regular patrons and the other staff as she entered the large building.
Approaching the front desk, Kaji grinned at the women behind it, ¨Morning Ma'am.¨ she said and slid the plastic covered badge across the desk, ¨Here for the night shift.¨
The older woman nodded tiredly and allowed Kaji to punch in her card. Hiking her bag up higher on her shoulder, Kaji made her way into the large, book filled area of the library. Moving to the main desk in short strides, Kaji again greeted another woman behind a desk, ¨Evening Mrs. Tenashi!”
The elderly woman behind the wooden desk jumped a bit, before turning around and smiling, ¨Oh! Kaji dear, goodness you startled me.”
Kaji, smiling apologetically, leaned over and put her elbows on the desk, ¨Sorry ´bout that Ma'am,” Kaji laughed.
¨That's quite alright,¨ the older women put the book she was currently occupied with on the desk between her and the redhead, ¨Let me take your card, dear.¨
Kaji obliged, sliding the plastic card over to the woman and shrugging off her jacket, ¨Anything you want done before closing tonight Ma'am?¨ Kaji asked, throwing Mrs. Tenashi a charming smile.
Mrs. Tenashi, finished with carding Kaji in, folded her hands on the desk and thought about this question for a moment, ¨Well, the cultural section and the agricultural section are a complete mess,¨ The older woman let out an annoyed sigh, ¨Some young man came and picked up book after book.¨ Mrs. Tenashi shook her head, ¨That section is a complete disaster now.”
Kaji slid her card into her back pocket and flashed the woman another smile, ¨Consider it done Ma'am!”
Mrs.Tenashi breathed a sigh of relief, ¨You are a treat my dear,¨ The older woman gathered her coat, ¨I'll be out of your way in a moment.¨
Kaji slid behind the wide desk and took out a notebook and textbook, before shoving her bag below the desk. Kaji waved Mrs.Tenashi out and settled down in the large chair behind her.
The library was already slowing down and the murmur of the public were non-existent. People were filing out of the building and the lights were turned down low and soon all was silent.
Kaji let the smile fall from her face and slid further into the chair, tapping her pencil on the desk in boredom.
¨Already….¨ she slumped down on the desk, ¨so bored.¨
All work done and doodles filling the page, Kaji´s attention was now on the ever ticking clock on the wall across from her.
Wandering around the library, helping any poor soul studying these late hours and pointing people in the right direction.
“Sure, the classic right? I know the one, right down the side of row W and to the left.”
And a little-
“Um n-no…. here let me put that away… yes thank you ma’am. Oh no, no trouble at all.”
The night shift was always the worst.
As the people started to filter out and when a few stragglers remained, Kaji resorted to just kicking her feet up and relaxing.
The sounds slowed and so did her surroundings, people filed out and Kaji was left alone with her thoughts.
A warm breeze weaved its way through the old books, played with the open pages of some and seemingly wrapped itself around the back of the library and settled a comfortable weight over the chilly night.
A noise, one that was foreign to the library, drove Kaji out of her thoughts.
Sitting up straight, Kaji looked around for the odd sound and its source. It was like a screech, but nothing metallic, more organic.
Standing and looking around, Kaji turned to the left most section and scanned the shelves with honey orbs.
She froze, knees locked and hands clasped tightly together as she watched the misty red glow flutter around the shelves with wings of velvet and eyes of crystalline jade.
And all at once, it was gone. The warmth, the glow and- whatever that was.
Standing still and completely lost as to what just happened, Kaji suddenly fell back into her chair.
‘Okay, what the hell? Was it like headlights from the road outside?’ Kaji thought, tugging at her sleeves and pulling them over her suddenly very cold hands.
She chewed her lip, ‘Maybe Chihiro was right…’ Kaji thought, remembering what a close friend said a day ago about Kaji’s horrendous sleeping habits. ‘Maybe I'm just real tired.’ Kaji reasoned.
Letting out a sigh and relaxing again, Kaji turned her back to the section with the strange velveteen bird and focused on her meaningless doodles in her notebook for the rest of her shift.
The clock ticking was obnoxiously loud now, and her tapping feet didn't help. Mindlessly fiddling with a pencil on her paper, she barely even saw the young women next to her until she cleared her throat.
Kaji jumped to attention, ‘something to do finally?’
“Yes ma’am? Do you need anything?”
The young women in front of her was quite the sight, long slender face and laxed expression framed by locks of pewter hair and beautiful olive green eyes. Resting her hands on her hips the women faced Kaji with dull expression, “yes, do you mind pointing me in the direction of the fashion literature section?”
“Funny,” Kaji thought, “she didn't seem like the type.”
But in response Kaji nodded, “anything you are looking for in particular?”
The white haired woman’s eyes drooped with exhaustion, “poor thing…”
“ Yes, it is an older document, printed about 50 years ago.”
Kaji stopped for a moment, “she's not gonna find a 50 year old document here…..but maybe up in the….” Kaji wrestled with the thought for a moment before letting out a sigh.
“Listen, it's late and there's hardly anybody here,” Kaji pulled out her key card, “and you're not gonna find a document that old down here.”
The woman across from her sighed irritably, “well do you know where I can find something like that?”
“Sure I do, but don't tell the staff I let you up there.” Kaji handed the other woman her card, “go to the lobby and to your right should be a vending machine and a stairwell behind it. Go up and swipe the card. I'm sure you'll find what you need.”
The lighter haired woman arched an eyebrow, “it's locked under a card?”
Kaji shrugged, “it's old stuff but,” Kaji flashed her a smile,” I think you can handle it.”
The woman thanked Kaji and straightened her stance, “I'll return it immediately after I am finished with it.”
Kaji just gave her a quick side smile and watched the white haired woman make her way over to the lobby.
Kaji watched the pewter haired woman approach the ends of the shelving, getting ready to sit back down when those same pale jade eyes pierced through the atmosphere again. The ruby red bird flew silently and suddenly, straight for the white hair woman.
Kaji reaching outward, one foot raised and ready to run forwards and a yell threatening to come up her throat, watched as the velveteen bird spread its wings around and forward, then pierced right through the woman and disappeared.
The scream died in Kaji throat as the white haired woman just kept walking, soon vanishing behind the corner, like nothing happened.
The panic vanishing and feeling drained, the redhead just fell back against the table in awe. The same questions arose but exhaustion was always the answer.
Kaji longed for the end of her shift, just so she could sleep and not be bothered with whatever hallucinations these were.
“Maybe giving her your key card wasn't that smart….” Kaji settled back down in the chair, “she could just walk right out that door with it….”
“Nice going dumbass, there goes your job!”
Kaji shooed the thoughts away and looked for something else to focus on.
Remembering Mrs. Tenashi´s words, Kaji bounced up and skipped to the cultural and agricultural sections. Sure, it was organizing books, but at the moment, the redhead would do anything to rid herself of the boredom.
Running her fingers along the spines of the books in the cultural section, Kaji agreed that the section was a complete mess. Books lay on the floor, some half open and others stacked on top of each other.
Kaji ran her fingers through her hair, pushing it back, ¨Jeez...The hell was he researching anyway?¨
The mess upon the floor and the books that were lazily thrown back into the bookshelf look like something that a mad scientist would have done during his research.
Settling down on the floor, Kaji slid all three piles nearer to her and began distributing them to the different categories. Running a hand down the spines of the different cultural and agricultural books, Kaji sheveled some of the more battered books with care. Sweeping aside the agricultural books, the young women organized the cultural books,
¨Japanese history…..The world wars...Asia….China….” Kaji paused to gaze and feel the old red tome in her hands. The book was of average size, but the stains of a darker red contrasted the once vibrant red beneath it. It´s brown spine was binded with care and the black, hand painted chinese characters were faded but clearly read, ¨The Universe Of The Four Gods.¨
Thankful for her chinese lessons, Kaji ran her fingers over the painted kanji, ¨Better be careful with this one I suppose….¨
Reaching up, Kaji carefully shelved the old tome and reached for the next book on the pile, ¨Romania…..The Germanic countries….more Japanese history….The Universe Of The Four Gods….the chinese money sy-¨ Kaji stopped abruptly.
She scrambled the other books out of the way and stared down the familiar, old red tome with an air of confusion.
Looking back up to the spot where the book once was put, Kaji was surprised to see an empty spot. Looking back down in bewilderment, Kaji examined the book, ´maybe it fell…?´
The book gave no hint about how it got there, just sat there innocently. Like a book.
Shaking her head, Kaji once again reached up to put the book back on the shelf.
A breezy, hot air swung past Kaji and down the bookshelf, effectively knocking the book from her outstretched hands. The ratty tome fell to the floor with a ´thump´ and fell open.
Letting out a sigh of annoyance, Kaji lent down and picked up the book for a third time and scanned the page.
On the title page, a gorgeous phoenix was painted on with the same,aging black ink. Running her fingers over the beautiful illustration, she found words written in the same ink below it.
´Herein contains the tale of the young ladies of legend and their quest to gather the seven constellations of Suzaku together. And if you, the esteemed reader, should read to the stories end, the spell contained within-¨
Kaji shut the book with a loud clap, ¨An old chinese fairy tale huh?¨ she snorted, ¨cute.¨
Once again she placed the book on the shelf and continued on with her cleaning. Upon turning around, Kaji let out sharp gasp.
There, on top of the pile, laid the same red book, with the same old ink that read ¨The Universe Of The Four Gods.¨
Feeling her stomach turn, she knelt down and grabbed with book roughly, ¨What the hell...¨
The book sat heavy in her hands, open and unmoving,
'-this book shall bestow upon you the power of the heroine, and grant you your wish. For indeed the moment the page is turned the story will become reality…..”
The young women was instantly blinded by a bright crimson light. Kaji squeezed her eyes shut and threw the book down on the ground and attempted to cover her eyes. Kaji felt as if her stomach was turning inside out and her whole body felt as if it would melt from the heat that the light emanated.
Soon, she felt as if she was lifted and thrown, and now, she felt nothing but white, hot burning.