Part 1 - New Home
It was dark.
… until I felt the burn of sunlight drift over my eyelids.
Why was it so bright…?
I could hear birds singing away, and the splashing of water running down a river.
Peeling my eyes open, I was surprised to see the life-full surroundings.
“A… forest…?” my voice was weak.
My whole body felt heavy, yet so fragile…
I slowly lifted to my feet, and observed my surroundings.
Although the nature enclosing me emitted so many sounds… It was silent. Empty. There was nothing.
I raised my hand to push my hair behind my ear. That’s when I noticed it…!
A tear…? My eyes are watery… why…?
It took a few seconds for my mind to collect itself…
Where am I…?
Who… who am I?!
How did I get here?!
I can’t remember anything! Nothing at all! What’s my name? Do I have a name?!
As these thoughts consumed my mind, the light of day turned to the darkest night! The singing of the birds became tortured screams! The splashing of the gentle river became fierce waves of destruction!
I didn’t know what was happening! So, I panicked… and ran!
I didn’t know where or for how long, but I knew I had to run! I had to get away! From this place! From this nightmare!!
As I ran, I suddenly felt my body launch forward, abruptly tripping over an overgrown tree stump. I skid into the dirt.
But wait… It wasn’t a stump.
I pulled my spinning head up to find a pair of eyes staring down at me.
It was a young boy…!
In his gaze… I saw kindness.
“Are you ok, little one?” came a voice from above.
His voice was so soft… so fragile and gentle.
His tone was calm and tranquil as if to confirm that everything was ok.
The boy had fluffy black hair, complete with a kind of simple yet… Broken smile.
He was wearing a long black jacket with red lining the sleeves and end. Grey fur padded the shoulders. He also had a red, diamond-shaped jewel on a necklace…?
Wait… why… does he seem so familiar?
I feel like… I’ve seen him before. He seems so… important to me, but– I just can’t think why… Why do I feel like this? Why can’t I remember anything? What… happened to me?!
As I gazed further at the boy, an image of him covered in blood, wearing that soft look, abruptly broke into my mind!
To my dismay, my arms fell weak as I scurried back in fear.
My back bashed against a tree, but my gaze with the boy refused to break.
His expression was frowning with concern and pity. Almost like a puppy…
Slowly, he bent down to my level, assuring me he was of no threat.
“Here, let me help you up. What’s your name?” he asked, offering a hand.
Although his voice was so soft, I didn’t answer. I met his gaze without movement, too nervous to accept his hand.
He seems so… familiar.
“Akira, there you are,” a girl suddenly approached.
“Uh. Who’s this?” she questioned, meeting my gaze with a firm tone and tilted-up chin.
I looked up to see a girl with long straight, white hair, a few inches longer than mine. It was also a lot straighter than mine, as my hair seemed wavey…
She had two long braids tied together at the back. Hair also dropped down over her shoulder, hiding the sides of her neck.
The girl’s stance and even clothing conveyed confidence and authority. Her dark green eyes matched the green of her striped jumper, which had the letter “m” stitched on the bottom…? She had long, black, laced boots and small blue shorts.
Her skin seemed a little tanned compared to mine. My skin was so pale… as if I’d never seen the light of day before… and the boy’s skin was even paler compared to her…
But what stood out more than anything… was that this girl… she was… so pretty.
“I don’t know. She seems lost…” the boy mentioned as he got to his feet, height around the same as the girls…
I didn’t realise how small he was…
“Could you tell us why you’re here?” he asked.
“I… don’t know where here is…” I mumbled a reply.
“You’re on an island in Lucea. The name of which… I’m not sure myself,” the boy smiled, a hint of amusement present in his gaze.
“Lucea…?” I repeated, name foreign to me.
The boy nodded.
“The only land left to still inhabit magic, in the human world…” he explained.
My eyes widened…!!
“My name is Akira, and that, over there, is Echo. She’s… my acquaintance. I train her here, teaching her about magic,” Akira explained.
“M-magic?!” my lips trembled.
“Hm…? You seem surprised,” Akira commented.
“No kidding. I sense magic coming from her, so I assumed she was a demon too,” Echo mentioned.
“DEMON?!!” I yelled with great concern, shuffling further from the pair.
“We should probably inform you… Although we’re in the human world, we are, in fact, demons,” Akira clarified.
Echo suddenly unleashed magnificent wings, along with tall horns!
I tried to react with words but found my shaking lips would not release a reply; my voice wouldn’t come out. I was too shocked, too scared.
“It seems you’re unaware of your own existence… how very curious. Tell me, how did you find yourself here?” Akira asked gently, hand on chin in thought.
“…” I looked down, trying to think of the answer.
How did I get here…? How? How I did end up in this place?!
“Mm! I… don’t remember,” my voice was closer to a squeak.
More tears threatened to break free until, eventually, they escaped me in an outburst…
“I don’t remember anything! Not a name or face, not even why I woke up here! I don’t understand! I just… I wanna go home!” I panicked, tears flooding out.
“Hey, calm down,” Akira extended his hand to me.
“Uh!” I flinched, squeezing my eyes shut.
Akira paused… then carefully knelt down.
But then… I felt a warm touch softly pat my head…
I slowly opened my eyes again to see a warm smile.
“It’s going to be ok. We’ve found you now; everything is going to be just fine,” Akira tried to comfort me with his soft and reassuring tone.
My cheeks darkened to his gentle pet.
Why… is his touch so comforting?
Echo suddenly barged past Akira, making him stumble back. She bent down to my level, leaning a lot closer than Akira had.
Some kind of pattern flashed in her eyes as they turned lighter. It was like code was scrolling down her eyes…!
“Your name is Luna Shomei,” she stated, eyes returning to normal.
I remained silent, having no way of knowing if the girl was even right or not.
“I can read minds under certain conditions. You’re in a weak state, so I can explore your past through a magic intelligence. You’ve been wiped of your own memories; however, they’re not lost… they’ve simply been locked away by complex magic,” she explained.
“So… someone who knows magic wiped my memories and left me here, all alone??” my voice was high and tone unstable.
“Why… Why would anyone do that?! What did I ever do?” I panicked.
“Please! You have to help me! Give me them back! I don’t wanna forget! Please, make me remember again!!” I desperately cried out.
“Unfortunately, I’m not the kind of creature that can control the mind… I’m sorry, but I can’t recover your memories,” Echo explained as she rose to her feet.
“Then tell me what happened to me! Please, can’t you tell me who I am?” I cried out miserably.
“I cannot quite decipher your memories. Even your name may have been slightly misread,” Echo explained.
“B-but…!” tears drizzled out.
“Please, don’t cry. Look, no matter who you were, it’s up to you and you alone to decide who you’ll become,” Akira told me with a gentle tone.
I gasped, unsure of how to react…
“Don’t you think we should get her some food? She was lost, so probably needs some energy right about now,” Echo suggested.
“Of course,” Akira agreed.
He turned to look back at me…
“You haven’t been left all alone… because we’re here,” Akira smiled gently to me.
A spark lit up in my eyes to his soft words.
“If you come with us, I could teach you all about magic!” Akira beamed.
“Then who knows, you might just be the one saving us one day,” he remarked with a warm smile.
“But for now, allow us to save you. We’ll look after you here, and you can think of Echo as a big sister. She’ll take care of you and as will I… I swear it,” he continued.
“So… If it’s ok with you, I’d like to rename you: Luna Shomei Rose. The last name of Echo Blackmythe Rose,” he finished.
Without knowing the value or meaning of the name locked inside my memories, I nodded.
Tears remained to drizzle down as I cried out to them. I whipped my arm over my eyes as my teeth clenched uncontrollably.
As I cried… I sensed something in front of me…
He reached out a hand to me for the second time…
And this time…
I accepted it.
But one thing I noticed at that moment… was the strange look on this boy’s pale face.
He seemed nervous. I wasn’t sure if it was me or… something else? His cheeks were slightly flustered, and his movements were all so… shaky.
I still felt like I should know him… but there wasn’t anything I could remember to explain my unusual feelings. This teasing feeling that we had some connection; it made me confused by having so little meaning, yet the feeling itself was so strong. So how is it that I remembered him in some sense? Was he a part of my lost memories? Maybe it’s something I’ll never know…
We strolled through the forest, my hand loosely linked with Akira’s. My grip loosened as my body grew tired. I guess my energy is drained from all the panic. I felt like I was going to fall asleep while walking. This uneasy feeling made me tighten my grip on Akira’s hand. Yet his remained very loose and fragile… as if scared that the slightest movement could shatter me. I could feel his hand shaking. He must be scared too…
We eventually found ourselves in front of a large tree, growing over a small cabin near the seemingly endless sea. This… would be my new home.
I walked through the door to see a shared kitchen and living room area. There were bookshelves filled with books and a comforting fire in front of the blanket-covered sofa. There were two bedrooms; one a lot bigger than the other. There were two beds in the smaller room, which I happily collapsed in immediately.
I gazed at the ceiling… It was so peaceful and warm…
I turned my body to huddle up on the bed.
“…” I gazed down at my hands, sleeves, and trousers, looking for any clues to who I was.
My clothes are damp and dirty… what are these black marks…?
I sniffed my sleeves. It smells a little… burned… I don’t like it.
I looked down at my trousers… to notice pockets. Curious, I searched them.
“Uh…” I gasped, feeling a bit of paper in one of the pockets.
I pulled it out…
There was writing on it!
My body launched up, holding the paper tightly as if clinging to my memories themselves.
‘I’ll come save you soon. Wait for me.’
There was a heart drawn in the corner…
“Save me…?” I murmured, slowly leaning back to lie down, body feeling too weak to sit up for any longer.
My back bounced into the bed, arm still up, holding the note up in the air, above me.
… save me from what? Who wrote this? Maybe… my mom or dad? Or a friend…? Are they ok? Are they… still going to save me?
My eyelids grew heavy as my arm fell to my chest, grip loosening from the note.
It’s ok, whoever you are… I don’t need saving now…
I had no clue what my past could hold, but… I was happy. I’d found people that were willing to help me, a place to have a new start. It was amazing.
Almost too perfect…
Almost as though…
… This was me being saved…
This was the beginning of a new life… that marked the end of many.
Later that night…
“Akira, may I give you some advice?” Echo asked, leaning against a tree next to Akira, who was gathering some fruit.
Blackness started to grow on the side of the bark as he stepped closer to it.
“What advice could you possibly give me?” Akira asked, frustration growing as the fruit turned a blackish-brown when he pulled it.
“I noticed you reached out a hand to Luna. Bit dangerous, don’t you think?” Echo mentioned.
“She’s strong… there’s no need to worry,” Akira replied after a hesitant silence.
“Oh yeah? Well, I don’t know if you noticed, but she did seem rather tired tonight… I doubt your magic had nothing to do with that,” Echo mentioned, referring to the fact I had fallen asleep not long after we reached the house.
“… she’ll be fine…” Akira hesitated, looking down at the useless fruit in his hand.
“Is that what you told yourself a few days ago?” Echo replied, dropping an apple in his basket.
Akira’s eyes widened, pupils shrinking with a tremble as the apple he held dropped to the ground…
“… I’ll keep a distance, just in case,” he mumbled with a sigh.
“Good call. She may be strong, but she’ll only become weaker being close to you…” she returned.
“I won’t allow for her to feel weak, Echo!” Akira growled, smashing the apple from the floor in anger.
“I refuse to let that happen again. From now on, she will be strong! I’ll make sure of it…” Akira finished as Echo yawned in the background.
“Tsk, whatever. Here,” Echo added, chucking him two metal cuffs the size of his wrist.
He looked confusedly at her, raising a brow.
“Wear them, *******. You can’t control how **** powerful you are without them, right? You’ll just end up killing the poor girl. Wear them when you’re around her; it will leave less risk for later…” Echo told him.
“A conductive metal to absorb my magic?” Akira assumed.
“I’ve got a feeling that necklace won’t be enough to restrict the danger of your power. These should act as a precaution,” Echo added.
“Hm. Well, they’re certainly not as appealing…” Akira grumbled, observing them in disapproval.
“Tst! My crafting skills are still developing!! Don’t be so **** picky… or are you too used to a more privileged life, your bloody highness?!” Echo mocked, arms crossing childishly.
“That’s quite enough, Echo. You know we will have to find a way to get along while here. Especially in front of her…” he mentioned.
Echo rolled her eyes, turning back to the cabin.
“I’m going to bed,” she told him.
Akira didn’t reply but sighed deeply. He followed her inside with a basket of fruit and a hollow expression.
And so… the story re-begins.