The Ghost of OtherWorld Vol. 1: The Flame Knight of Ember Palace
Beep, beep, beep.
The alarm clock of a high school boy sounded. The sound was enough to wake him, but it took something more to get him out of bed.
"Okada, are you awake?" asked a curious housekeeper.
Souta groaned, signaling her that he was, but that wasn't enough. The housekeeper entered Souta's room and made herself comfortable on his stomach.
"Ahh!" Souta exclaimed as she wiggled on his stomach. "Rina!" Souta complained. "This is really uncomfortable for me."
The silver haired housekeeper stopped wiggling and poked at Souta's stomach.
"My, my, Okada. You've gotten quiet a muscular stomach. Have you been exercising?"
"Rina!" Souta complained from underneath her, looking up at his silver haired housekeeper.
She was wearing a sky blue blouse with a red ribbon at the top. Her breasts were quiet big, and bounced as she wiggled on his stomach. Below her waist she was wearing a black skirt, and knees socks.
Souta's eyes widened as he realized Rina had her legs spread across his waist.
"R..Rina, he stuttered. "What...what are you doing?"
Rina tilted her head, "What do you mean, Okada?"
His eyes drifted down to her skirt, which was covering the in between area of Her open legs.
Rina noticed Souta's line of sight and smiled. "Could it be that your full of hormones this morning?" she asked.
"Of course not!" Souta said. "I'm just confused at your methods of waking someone up."
Rina began to bounce on Souta's stomach again. And he couldn't help but watch as her breasts bounced with her.
So big, He thought. What do they feel like?
For a moment he was tempted to reach out and touch them, But shoved away the idea as Rina began to bounce harder saying, "Ok-Ka-Da. Ok-Ka-Da. Ok-Ka-Da!"
"I'm up!" he shouted with a playful tone. This wasn't the first time he'd been woken up in an odd way.
Rina removed herself from Souta's stomach, as she stood up he caught a glimpse of her panties. They were white with blue stripes.
Stop it! He thought. She's your housekeeper!
"Breakfast is waiting downstairs." Rina said giving him one more smile before leaving him.
Souta sighed as she closed the door, she didn't know the meaning of normal. What was she so excited about any way? Souta forgot the question, as the answer surfaced immediately. Rina was a college student, and normally the full time housekeeper of Souta's home. His parents were quiet successful, and when they went away on long business trips they hired Rina to looked after Souta and the house. Souta liked Rina, she was fun. On a normal day she had lots of energy and always managed to make the most boring things interesting.
Souta found himself after a few years, thinking of her as his older sister, and that single fact made him sad at the thought of her leaving. Every summer Rina went away from Tokyo. Souta never asked what it was for, but he knew it had something to do with school, and family. Probably visits.
A few months alone will be nice. He thought as he got out of bed.
As much as he'd miss Rina, he wanted some alone time. He was completely independent, in fact the only reason Rina had been around these past few years was because Souta asked his parents to keep her as the housekeeper. Now he'd have three months of boredom, summer was often the worst part of the year for Souta.
"Why does school have to end, can't it go on year round?" He muttered as he dressed himself.
He changed from pajamas to his academy uniform. It consisted of a white dress shirt, with a red tie, and a black jacket to go over it. He fixed his short brown hair in the mirror, and took a moment to reflect on himself. It wasn't something he'd ever done, but as he stared into his own blue eyes something about himself didn't feel necessarily right.
"This summer," he whispered to himself. "This summer your gonna make it worth wild!"
Making this promise to himself seemed to really wake him up. He flashed a smile of confidence and headed down stairs. He walked down the stairs and into the kitchen where Rina was frying something on the stove, and humming to herself.
"Aye, Good morning Rina!" Souta said taking a seat at the table. It was a decently sized table, that could fit about five people, but since it was just Souta and Rina, the table was always mostly empty.
"My, My Okada, you seem to be in a better mood then a few minutes ago."
He nodded, "Yeah, I'm very excited that summer is dawning."
"Really?" Rina asked placing a small bowl of white rice in front of him. "Where's the Okada I know? You're never excited for summer."
"After all," She said with a expression of satisfaction. "I won't be here to keep you company."
He made a face, and began to eat his rice. "Yeah, that's also true. But I've decided to make this summer worth my time."
Rina placed a plate in front him, it consisted of cooked steak, and noodles with fried vegetables. Rina proceeded to take a seat next to Souta, and began eating her own food. "What is it you'll do then?" She asked him with a smile. She knew as well as he did that he didn't have any plans.
"Ahem!" Souta cleared his throat. "Lots of things, I may even get a girlfriend!" he said trying to pull off a confident expression, but Rina burst in laughter.
"Ah hahaha! You're so funny, Okada."
"I'm serious!" Souta said crossing his arms. "I'm very popular with the ladies, I'll have you know."
Rina contained her laughter, and looked at Souta with a kind smile. "I believe you, but you make it seem as though I'll just give MY Souta away."
He blushed, realizing what exactly she'd said, but quickly said "You do?.. I mean...you should!"
Rina pinched his cheek, "Yes, you're a very nice guy, and not bad looking either, why if I were in you school, and your age I'd---"
"Thank you, Rina!" Souta said interrupting her last comment. Some part of him was wondering What she was about to say.
Rina's eyes widened a tad, then she smiled. "It's almost time to leave, Okada."
"Really?" he asked. "I've barley gotten to eat."
Rina smiled, "Well, you did sleep in quiet the extra amount today, if I hadn't woken you up, you would've missed your last day."
Really, He thought. I've over slept that much?
Souta continued eating, he wasn't really hungry but ate anyway. He didn't want to make Rina feel bad by not eating her food. She might get the impression he didn't like it, even though he'd been eating it for years.
Souta looked over at Rina, who had taken her cellphone out of her pocket to check the noise.
"It's time to go, Okada." she said smiling.
Souta nodded and quickly put up the food that he hadn't had time to finish in the refrigerator. He grabbed his cell phone and bag on the way to the door and exited the house, followed by Rina who locked the door as they both left. It was a beautiful day. The sky was clear, with the exception of a few clouds, and the sun shined brightly.
"What a beautiful day, it's a shame I have to leave." Rina said making her way to her small, two person car, that was parked in the driveway.
"Yeah." Souta said approaching her. This was the one thing every year had in common, this was the goodbye. At least for a few weeks. Rina would sometimes check up on Souta since she wasn't going that far away.
"Are you sure your be alright by yourself?" Rina asked with a slightly concerned face.
"You ask me that every year!" Souta complained. "I'll be fine, I know how to take care of myself."
Rina nodded, and without hesitation pulled Souta into a tight hug. Even though this happened every year, Souta was never any less surprised.
He noticed how her breast were pressed against his chest. He couldn't help but consider a few inappropriate thoughts, but decided not to make it obvious.
He hugged Rina back, and they stayed that way for a good few seconds.
It would have lasted longer, but Souta got her to let go by telling her he shouldn't be late.
Rina sniffled as she pulled away. "I'll come check on you in a few days. I'll make sure you haven't completely messed up the house."
Souta nodded, "Alright, Rina."
He gave her another quick hug before she got in her car and drove away, leaving him standing in the driveway alone, and wondering...
"Damn it!" he muttered as he checked his smart phone, it was later than he realized.
He put his phone in his pocket and rushed down the street. He took a lot of the back streets and alleys to avoid any people or cars that might slow him down. He'd had a perfect attendance all year, it wouldn't be that great to be late on the last day. Souta hadn't realized what price such a beautiful day came at, as nice as it was, it was scorching hot, and Souta didn't like having to rush to school. Why'd he have to over sleep? He had all summer for that!
But It didn't take as long as he expected, soon he found himself at the entrance of his school. Above the doors was a sign that said, "Kenji Academy". It was a fairly large school, having three floors, and three athletic fields. It was once an all male school, but after the "incident" that happened not so long ago, the school had to change policy and accept female students.
Souta didn't really care either way. He didn't really associate with a lot of girls. The only girl he was really friends with was Yuriko, a second year student. She was really nice, but could be a bit...perverted. Souta took a few deep breaths as he entered the air conditioned building. He quickly climbed The stairs to the second floor, and rushed down the hallway. He stopped at the door labeled A3.
"Souta Okada?" he heard the teacher ask.
He burst into the classroom, a little louder than intended and everyone turned to face him.
"Here, Akiko." He said taking deep breaths. She smiled, and checked him off the list.
"Now," the teacher, Akiko, said as Souta took his seat. "It is the last day of school, it was decided that you will all stay in homeroom today. Please get comfortable, and relax, but please keep it at a minimum."
Everyone cheered at the news, a whole day of just nothing but talking with friends and hanging out in homeroom. It didn't sound so bad.
From across the class Souta's best friend called his name. He made his way over to Souta and took a seat in the desk beside him.
"Hey, Kaito." Souta said facing his best friend. Kaito was a cool guy, he had shoulder length brown hair and glasses that covered his green eyes. He was also one of the top athlete in the school. The only odd thing about him was his anime problem, Katio had a serious addiction when it came to anime, but he tried not to get out of hand around Souta.
"What's your agenda for summer?" Kaito asked.
Souta shrugged, probably what he did every year. He'd just sit around and read manga, or get on his computer.
"I haven't decided yet, how about you? What are you doing these next three months?" Souta questioned.
"Camp." Kaito said. "I'm going to a cross country camp for about two weeks, after that I don't really have any plans."
"Cross country." Souta mumbled.
Kaito was really interested in running, so when the topic was brought up or mentioned he would try to make the conversation last.
"Are you looking to join?" he asked Souta. "Because I'd love to have a friend on the team."
"Aren't you friends with the entire team?"Souta questioned, making a face.
Kaito laughed and scratched the back of his neck. "Well yeah, but I'm better friends with you then any of them."
Souta thought about it. He'd never been a big athlete, but he wasn't out of shape. Cross country sound seemingly fun.
"What is it exactly?" Souta asked.
"Distance." Kaito said glancing out the window. From this room they had a perfect view of the track field. Souta saw that was what Kaito was looking at.
"Its all about how far you can go without stopping. Its very different from track, were the goal is to be the fastest."
Souta nodded, and opened up his bag. He noticed a book and pulled it out. It was a book about modern American culture.
"I'd better return this." Souta said standing up.
"Akiko?" Souta asked looking at his teacher, who seemed very absorbed in her book.
She took a minute to look up, but smiled. "Yes?" she asked.
"Do you mind if I return this to the library?" Souta asked holding up the book.
She shook her head, "No, go right ahead. Just come straight back when you're finished."
Souta nodded, took a hall pass, and exited his homeroom. He headed down the stairs, and looked at the book in his hands. America was fascinating.
I wonder if they think the same about Japan.
"Come on, just a little bit more..." Souta heard as he passed the males locker room.
At first he didn't think about it, then he realized it was a girl who'd said that, and he slowly backed up. He saw a girl on her hands and knees looking through a crack that revealed the guys changing room.
"Yuriko, is this absolutely necessary on our last day?"
"Of course, Souta." She said swatting her hand at her back. "I've got to see---"
Yuriko hadn't really processed that her best male friend was behind her.
"S...Souta!" she said turning around with the most flustered face. "You pervert!" she said attempting to punch him, but her hand bounced right off his chest.
"How am I the pervert?!" he asked. "I caught you watching the guys change!"
"Maybe.." She said. "But I know you were checking me out while I was distracted."
"I was not!" Souta said defending himself. "Besides I need to be going." he said and continued walking. Souta assumed that Yuriko would continued her perv fest, but she followed him instead.
"Where are you going, Souta?" she asked with a smile.
Yuriko was small. She was about five foot tall, and had a petite body. She had medium length black hair, which stretched just above her waist. Plus her grey eyes. She was often a nice person, but her pervertedness could get out of hand, like just now.
"The library." Souta said holding up the book he almost forgot he had. "I need to return this."
"Is it a book about America?" Yuriko asked.
Souta nodded. "How'd you know?"
She pointed down at the cover, "I saw the title." she smiled. "So, Souta, What are you doing this summer?"
"No idea. I considered joining cross country."
Yuriko smiled, she liked the idea of Souta as an athlete.
"There's just one problem with that." Souta said stopping outside the library doors.
"What?" Yuriko asked.
"I'd have to deal with you watching me change." he said with a smile.
Yuriko made a face, as she followed Souta into the library. "When you put it that way," she said. "You should defiantly join!"
Souta scoffed as he approached the check out, and return counter. It didn't seem like anyone was there. Souta set the book and the counter and left, Yuriko at his side.
"Hey, Yuriko." Souta began. "Your supposed to be in homeroom right?"
She nodded, "Ya, but I decided to not show up."
"Well you should come back with me. I'm sure Kaito would like to see you before schools over."
Souta looked over and she nodded, "Yeah okay, Souta, I'll come with you."
Souta and Yuriko made their way up to the second story of the school and into room A3. Souta expected Yuriko to get called out by the teacher, but she was so focused in her book, she didn't notice them enter the room.
Not many people noticed, with the exception of a few girls who began whispering among each other, "What do you think Souta was doing with a junior outside of class?" one asked.
"Probably blackmailing her to do all the things he wants." replied another girl.
"Simply outrageous!" said a third.
Souta ignored them and took a seat next to Kaito, Yuriko sat in front of Souta and turned around to face them both.
"Hello, Kaito!" Yuriko said smiling. But Kaito didn't seem to notice, he was staring out the window and seemed lost in thought. "Kaito?" she asked poking his arm.
He snapped out of his daze and smiled, "Oh, Yuriko, how long have you been there?"
She exchanged a look with Souta, Kaito must have been doing some serious thinking.
"Never mind that." she said. "What are you doing this summer?"
"Camp." he replied quickly and bluntly, like he'd expected the question. "What about you?"
Souta realized that Yuriko hadn't told him what she was doing over their break.
"I'm going to a convention. I'll be submitting my writing for a national award." she said obviously pleased with herself.
Souta knew that Yuriko liked to write, but he didn't know it was this much.
"That's cool, so Souta is the only one without actual plans." he said chuckling.
His words caused Yuriko to laugh along with him. "I guess so." she agreed.
Souta made a face, "I...I'll be doing so much this summer!"
Kaito was still laughing a little when he asked, "Like what?"
Souta didn't really know how to answer his question. He didn't have plans, He could do so much but he just didn't want to. He couldn't find anything he wanted to do. That was his problem. He'd choose a day at home with Rina, or a friend over a cruise or trip. Souta felt like a boring person.
"I'll tell you what," Kaito said, "I'm leaving for camp in two days, I'll get back in a week. The day I get back, I'll visit, and if you can prove you've done something worth while then I'll admit you were right." Kaito said smiling.
Souta's eyes widened. "Deal!" He said quickly. Souta was the type of person who couldn't stand being wrong. To have his best friend say he was right would be something amazing, since it didn't happen hardly ever. And with the deal struck the three friends continued to conversant between one another. Taking all the time that would have consisted of their first three classes on a normal day.
Ding. Ding. Ding.
The bell sounded signaling everyone it was time for lunch.
"Come on, you two. I'm absolutely starving." Kaito said standing up.
Yuriko, and Souta followed as Kaito made his way to lunch. Souta didn't like eating in the mess hall. He normally ate in homeroom with Kaito and Yuriko, but I guess they decided to mix it up today?Souta took a seat, Yuriko and Kaito disappeared to get something to eat. He wasn't exactly sure why he wasn't hungry. He hadn't gotten to eat much this morning, yet his stomach didn't demand anything. He sighed, he couldn't get summer off his mind. Why was it so annoying to think he was the only person not having fun on break?
I have fun, I'm a fun person... At least he wanted to believe that, but convincing himself of a lie was harder than he'd thought.
"Are you not feeling well, Okada?" Yuriko asked sitting across from him with her lunch.
Souta shook his head, "I'm fine, just not that hungry."
"That's unusual." Kaito broke in as he took his place beside Souta. "You usually eat quite a bit."
"Not today." Souta disagreed. "I haven't been hungry since breakfast, and didn't get to eat much then."
Kaito sighed and began eating his food. He again seemed lost in thought, what was so important to think about it that much? So much that you then get distracted from everything else because you're thinking about that thing? That seemed odd to Souta, but he'd been in that situation before, he often got that way when he wondered about seeing his parents. They were around maybe two weeks out of the whole year. But they often text Souta or called. It just bothered him that he didn't have a real relationship with his parents...
Losing himself in thought, Souta began to look around the Mess hall, resting his head with one of his hands. As his eyes wandered the room, someone caught his eye. A girl dressed in a long dress which was mix of red and black. The colors blending into a perfect mix of fashion. Her hair was long, reaching down her back, it was crimson. The color of blood. He glanced down and saw that she was holding her side...she was bleeding.
She limped through the room, but no one payed her any attention.
"Hey guys, I think we should help that girl." Souta suddenly said facing his two friends. Kaito and Yuriko exchanged a confused look, then both frowned at him.
"What girl?" Yuriko asked looking around.
Souta pointed directly at her, "The one limping." he said, "It looks like she's bleeding."
Kaito and Yuriko began looking for the girl he had described, but they couldn't seem to see her.
"I'm not seeing anyone like that." Kaito admitted.
"Okada, are you feeling alright?" Yuriko asked.
"But she's right there!" Souta said pointing, only when he looked up, the girl was gone.
"Souta, are you sure you're okay? Maybe you should see the nurse?" Kaito suggested.
Souta shook his head, "I'm fine, maybe just a little tired."
Yuriko and Kaito didn't seem convinced, but Souta lay his head in his arms and listened as they continued their conversation.
Souta adjusted his grip on his bag as he eyed the list of clubs he could join. Track, Literacy, Swimming, Astronomy, etc. There where options stacked on top of options, yet he had no desire, no interest in any of them. He sighed to himself at his thoughts, and made his way from the school.
As he exited the building, and made his way off the school campus he saw that the sun was midway through setting. Half of the golden globe was sunken below the horizon and the other casting the orange glow over the city. It was beautiful. He admired the view as he walked, when he wasn't rushing it could take him hours to reach home, as he was rather interested in almost every little thing. The stores, the scenery, even the people sometimes. But when he wanted to, he could get around Tokyo as quick as ever.
He looked up at the sound of his name. His thoughts immediately dispersed as he saw a girl. But not just any girl, it was the girl he'd seen in the mess hall today, and she was unconscious. She was helplessly detached from the world as she lay in the street, motionless...
"Souta.." She mumbled his name.
That was odd, and he knew she needed help. Rushing to her side he keeled. His immediate thought was getting her out of the streets. That led to him noticing that the roads, the streets, the shops, they were all empty. No one else was anywhere to be seen, and with one look at the sky he understood why.
His eyes widened, facing what was known as a 'Moonlight Miracle'.
The Moonlight Miracle was an extremely odd and dangerous phenomenon that occurred only in Tokyo. As the sun set and the moon rises, the moon would emit the same light, The same heats as if the sun had remained dominate in the sky.
That explained the absence of people, why no one was here, why every other student had left the school earlier than Souta. They knew it was happening today. But that would mean that no hospitals where open, not in these circumstances. He examined her body, and saw that she unconsciously held her left side. Souta cursed as he observed that she was bleeding, the immediate area of her white shirt was stained crimson.
What could he do? With all the immediate areas closed he could only manage one thought, so as careful as could be, he scooped her ever so lite body up into his arms and rushed in the direction of his home. Hoping not to be exposed to the phenomenon happening overhead too much longer.