Tuesday, May 22, 2007,10:12 PM
Traveler ch. 23




23

The first thing that Yossi saw in the new world was the floor’s rough surface.

Once the blinding light disappeared, the sharp pain of hundred knives hit her head. It was nothing like the first time; it wasn’t just a simple headache. The pain overwhelmed her senses, she felt sick, she felt her strength leaving her body and her legs couldn’t stand her anymore, making her collapse to the ground.

“Yoshizawa-san!”

Kaoru saw her falling and kneeled at her side, but Yossi didn’t answer. Her mind was blurred, unable to form any word.

“Wait here, I’ll find help!”

Yossi wanted to scream ‘no!’ to stop the younger but her voice couldn’t leave her throat. Kaoru had disappeared from her sight. The young traveler didn’t seem to understand that their priority was to go home and that being separated wasn’t a good idea. It was like if she hadn’t learnt anything from her previous adventure against the man-eating monsters. She tried to stand up, regretting every minute to have left the other world. No matter how dangerous it was, anything else was better than the pain she was feeling now.

As Yossi concentrated all the strength in her legs trying to leave the ground, a strong wind began to blow. Her legs failed again, her vision blurred and that damn wind… It was like if fate wanted her to not move from there.

Exhausted, she let her body fall and ended lying upwards on the ground, trying to recover some air. Finally, the pain seemed to leave her at the same pace that the wind lost its strength and became just a little breeze caressing her skin.

“Captain?”

The singer didn’t need to open her eyes to recognize that voice. Again, someone familiar in an unknown world.

“For God sake, what happened to you?”

“Long story, Mako-chan…” she said smiling slightly “…long story”

***

Kaoru was totally lost. She repeated once and again in her head that had been a bad idea to leave Yossi back there and go alone to find help. Maybe it’d been better to go straight to the next world and the next and the next ‘til they finally reached Kaoru’s and could send Yoshizawa back to her own place. But what if the sudden changes made things worst? The whole travelling thing seemed to affect too much the older. First the headache, now that horrible pain reflected on Yossi’s face. Something was wrong. Something was really wrong and it was in part because of her, because of that stupid trip. All that never would have happened staying quietly at home, living like a normal student and forgetting her stupid fantasies.

I must have listened aunt Ayumi…

The funny thing was that she couldn’t remember clearly when all start it. Maybe was the day she found that letter hidden inside an old book…, or maybe began with all the tales her mom told her before going to sleep when she was a child, tales about far away worlds, about courage and friendship but, most of all, tales about a shinning knight who used to fight for the sake of a better world.

Now, after being able to meet that person, the tales her mom told her didn’t seem so unbelievable. Yoshizawa Hitomi wasn’t just a fantasy. Not that Yossi was the super-hero type that she had imagined, she wasn’t even the Yoshizawa that her mother knew, but someway, there was something extraordinary in her, an amazing aura of self-confidence and the power to make her feel safe. Even if she was dying in pain like right now.

I must hurry…

She kept running, even if she didn’t know where to go. The priority at that moment was to find someone who could help Yoshizawa-san and then go back home as soon as possible. That was the plan. It should be easy.

Someone must be hearing her prayers up there ‘cause, finally, she saw a pair of silhouettes not so far. Two men to be exact. Two men wearing what seemed uniforms and weapons. Guards maybe? Kaoru didn’t care. There wasn’t time and they could help. Full stop.

“Excuse me!”

The men turned their heads to find a foreign girl running towards them.

“What’s wrong, Miss?”

“My friend, she needs help!”

“Ok, calm down, girl” said the taller of the two men “Where’s your friend?”

Kaoru couldn’t recall exactly where the place where she left Yossi was, but she tried to describe it and explained to the guards the way she followed ‘til reach where they were now, describing as much as she could the things she saw during her run. Luckily, the men knew the place and a faster way to get there.

“So, where’s she?”

The guards stared at her as if they’d been just tricked and waited for a good excuse for it.

“She’s probably hidden somewhere near” said the girl a bit confused too “Just…, wait a minute, ok?”

Where the hell she went? Was all that Kaoru could think. Even if she was feeling better enough, Yossi knew that she would go back for her as soon as possible. She should have waited there. Or maybe…, maybe something happened. Maybe that place wasn’t so safe as she thought at first and had been a really, really bad idea to leave her alone. What if…

“Yoshizawa-san!” she shouted with a bit of desperation in her voice. She couldn’t be far, she couldn’t…

While she was still searching around, one of the men approached her with a serious expression on her face.

“You said Yoshizawa?” he asked rudely.

“Yes” Kaoru didn’t pay to much attention to the question ‘cause she had more important things to worry about, but when the taller guard took her arm something told her that there were more trouble coming through.

“Yoshizawa Hitomi?” asked again the man to confirm it.

“Ye..s…”

The taller looked at the other man, who nodded in understanding.

“I’m sorry girl, but you’ll have to come with us”

“Eh? Why? I’m sure she isn’t too far, just wait”

“Don’t worry. If she’s here we’ll find her” then the man turned to his comrade “You stay here and start the research. I’ll take care of the prisoner and inform the others about this”

“Ok”

“Wait, prisoner?!” still with the grip of the guard around her arm and hearing those words, Kaoru began to panic “Why am I a prisoner?!”

“You’re arrested as Yoshizawa’s possible accessory” the man answered serious and began to walk pulling Kaoru along with him.

“But what did Yoshizawa-san?!”

The guard growled as the girl started to run out her patience.

“Princess Guard’s Captain Yoshizawa Hitomi is wanted in charge of the King’s murder”

***

“You’re feeling better?”

The soft voice whispering in her ear, the warm hand caressing her forehead… Yossi was, indeed, feeling much better. The headache and the sickness were already gone. Couldn’t say the same about her body, which was still weak and a bit in pain, but it was something she could deal with. At least, she wasn’t feeling like dying anymore.

Now it was time to evaluate her new situation. So, she opened her eyes slowly and examined every detail around her. She was in a bed, a very comfortable bed, in a really huge room a bit over-decorated, with flowers paints on the walls, thin and pink silk curtains failing from the ceiling and covering the windows…, all very girlish.

And then, Yossi diverted her attention to the woman besides her, to the soft features and the deep eyes looking at her.

“Where…?”

“Don’t worry. You’re safe now”

Even if it wasn’t true, the smile that came with those words would had make Yossi believe any lie.

“You’re sure about that?” questioned someone from one of the corners of the room “We’re inside the palace. Anybody can see her”

“Then you shouldn’t have taken her here at first, Ogawa. But it’s ok” she said turning again to look at Yossi “Even if it’s inside the palace’s walls, my chambers are big enough and no one would dare to enter here without asking permission first”

“But Princess…” tried to tell Makoto again.

“Stop complaining, Lieutenant” the Princess voice was categorical “Better go to find something to eat. She must be starving”

Makoto left the room with a bow and the Princess returned her attention completely to her guest, who was already trying to stand up from the bed to leave as well.

“No way” said the girl in front of her making Yossi sit again against her will. Not that was difficult. The singer was still weak and just a little push made it work “You’re staying here until we find what to do”

“Rika…”

“I told you, Yocchan. You’re safe here…” a gentle and delicate hand caressed Yossi’s cheek and travelled to the back of her neck, playing with Hitomi’s hair and then pulling her closer for an unexpected, brief and soft kiss “…with me”



To be continued...
 
posted by Lorena Enciso
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