Sunday, November 16, 2014

New Work: The Cursed White Rose Chapter 1 - White Rose

After a long hiatus, I've finally decided to post something. Unfortunately, this isn't a new chapter of the Purchase. I haven't touched that since my hiatus sadly. I've been focused on a new work for the last three months. The Title is "The Cursed White Rose". The story for this new work is initially set in Japan so there's some Japanese references here and there but they're generally pretty minor since I can't give much justice to the Japanese speaking style. I regretfully made myself keep it to the style I'm used to. It might be a bit messy with the mix of Western and Japanese style, but should iron itself out as I get more into the later chapters.

Edit: Fixed several parts of the chapter to adhere to the Japanese reference style I use in the later chapters. Also made a few grammar corrections. Not major changes missed if you've already read this chapter.


Chapter 1 - White Rose

Girl: "Haaa."

A young girl, of 16 years old, sighs as she closes her book. Her brown eyes close as she sighs. Her chestnut brown hair reaches slightly past her shoulder. Her hair shifts slightly as she puts her book back into her bag. She wears a beige colored blazer and a checkered skirt. She looks around her classroom. Most of the other students have already left. Only two girls are left in the room chatting with one another. Both wear the same beige blazer and checkered skirt as her. Most of her class had already left for the day with some students still lingering.

The girl picks up her bag and leaves the room.

Girl: "Have a good evening."

She gives a parting to her classmates.  They wave and return the greeting as she leaves the room. She walks down the hallway. Some people remain here and there talking to their friends. However, the young girl does not stop to converse with any of them. She stops as she arrives at the library. She opens the door and heads inside. A girl sitting behind the checkout counter sees her and gives her a slight bow before returning to her work. The girl gives a bow in return.

She drops her book into the return chute before heading to the fiction section. She browses through the shelves looking for her next book. Partway through the aisle, sits a ladder. She moves around the ladder, but bumps her elbow lightly against the opposite bookshelf. She pulls her elbow back in pain. As she rubs her elbow, her bag brushes against the opposite bookshelf. A book with a white rose embroidered on the cover falls from the shelf and lands directly inside her bag. She continues looking through the bookshelves until she finds a book that interests her. The girl takes the book to the checkout counter.

Librarian: “Good afternoon. You’re here again.”

The girl approaches the librarian and writes her name down “Sato Sara[1]” on the checkout ledger before handing the book to the librarian.

Sara: “Good afternoon.”

Librarian: “You know you should try and make some actual friends that you can spend time with. Reading books is fine, but it isn’t very fun to be alone all the time.”

Sara: “It’s fine. I’m not really interested.”

Librarian. “Ok. I won’t say anymore. Here you go.”

The librarian hands the book back to her.  Sara takes the book and places it in her bag.

Sara: “Thank you. Have a good day.”

She leaves the library. She exits the building and leaves the school grounds passing by the school sign "Maria's All Girls School". After leaving the school, Sara goes on the train and eventually arrives at a building with numerous lockers. She stops at locker number 43 and opens her bag to find her key.

Sara's hand stops when she sees the unknown book. She takes it out of her bag to get a better look.

"W-what's this? Did this fall in my bag when I was in the library? I didn't s-steal this did I? But I don't see a label. Mmm...How weird.” Sara turns the book over several times trying to find a label without avail. “Where did this come from? Ah, but this white rose is really pretty though." She touches the white rose embroidery unconsciously before opening it. She flips through some pages and frowns.

“It’s not Japanese, Chinese, or even English. What kind of book is this?” She stops at a page with a large circle on it. Two circles enclose a ring of unreadable words. Two hexagons sit inside the circle overlapping one another forming a twelve pointed figure. A rose lies in the very center of the figure. Sara touches the rose picture and frowns.

Sara: “How strange. It looks special, but I wonder what it says. Haaa… Well staring at it won’t tell me anything. I’ll ask about it tomorrow.”

She sighs and closes the book. She grabs the key from her bag and stuffs the book back into her bag. She opens the locker and removes a blue sports bag and places her school bag in the locker.

Sara heads to the restroom and changes her clothes. She puts her uniform in the sports bag and puts on a sky blue blouse and yellow skirt. She also ties her hair into a ponytail. After leaving the restroom, she puts her school bag and sports bag away taking only her purse with her. After leaving the building, a white light shines from the locker for a brief moment before fading away. Sara starts going around different stores, arcades, and restaurants fully enjoying her time.

Sara: “I guess I should get to my homework soon.”

She starts walking back towards her locker when she encounters a group of boys coming out from an alleyway. They’re mostly dressed in dark colors with various intentional rips in their clothes. Some keep their hands in their pockets like they’re concealing something. She turns around and starts to quickly walk away.

Guy A: “Well what do we have here? A lonesome girl all by herself.”

One guy says gripping Sara’s arm preventing her from running.

Guy B: “Ohhh. Hey cutie, how about you join us for some fun?”

Another guy says with a creepy smile. The guys quickly surround her.

Sara: “Hey, let…”

Sara tries to break the guy’s grip, before she finishes speaking another person steps in knocking the boy’s hand away from her. Everyone’s gaze focuses on her and their breath stops for a moment as they admire her, a girl in pure white from her clothes to even her hair that stretches down to her knees. Despite her white hair logically being unnatural, it suits her amazingly well. She only looks to be about 17-18 years old. Her dress is extremely elaborate and large especially around the skirt reminding Sara of a wedding dress. The high heels on her feet make her seem even more out of place. The most notable thing is the color of her eyes amidst all the white. One eye is a deep blue resembling a sapphire while the other eye a deep red like a ruby.

Guy A: “Hey you. I don’t know who you are, but if you wanted to join you only had to ask.”

She scoffs at them with a grin on her face, angering them even more so than before. They glare at her attempting to be as menacing as possible. The girl continues to smirk without flinching. She points at their feet as she talks.

Girl in White: “Is it okay to stand in such a place?”

Guys: """Huh?"""

They look at their feet only to see the asphalt pavement of the road beneath them. A series of car horn soon sounds behind them. They look behind to see a stream of cars heading towards them. They scream and scatter. The girl in white smiles calmly as she walks up to Sara.

“A-ah. T-thank you.” Sara responds hastily with a quick bow. The girl just continues to close the distance. She places her hands on Sara’s shoulder turning her around.

Girl in White: “Go…”

The girl’s voice is barely audible, but oddly clear to Sara's ears. The girl gives Sara a light push making her break into a run. On impulse, Sara glances back to notice the girl is gone. She returns her attention forward continues running with all her might as she gathers distance from the gang of boys. She eventually arrives at the lockers and quickly changes out of her street clothes and back into her uniform.

Sara heads to an internet café with private rooms and pays the clerk before heading into an empty room. The room has a simple desk and computer in the room. On the floor sits a blanket and pillows. She takes out her books and starts working on her homework. After some time, she closes her books and puts them away. She blankly looks at the wall as she thinks about the girl in white.

Sara: “I should have stayed and helped her. What if she got hurt because of me? I didn't even get her name. I should try and find her tomorrow so I can apologize.” She sleepily rests her head on the table and closes her eyes. Within a few minutes, she’s fast asleep.

A light shines from her purse as the white rose book floats upward from inside her purse. The book rises into the air and opens up. The book stops moving at the page with the rose surrounded by the odd symbols. In a short flash of light, the same white haired girl appears in the room. Sara remains fast asleep unaware of the sudden appearance. The girl bends down and looks at Sara’s face.

Girl in White: “Such a cute girl. It wouldn't be very fun to wake her. I should make some preparations to make the most of things while I have the chance.”

The girl giggles as she moves Sara’s hair away from her face. The girl stands up and disappears from the room. However, the book remains in the room as it loses its glow and falling back inside Sara’s purse.

The next day, Sara arrives at school after cleaning herself up. She enters her classroom and sits at her desk opening up the book she borrowed and starts to read. The first bell rings and the classroom begin to fill up as everyone takes their seats. Sara puts away her book as the teacher enters the room. “Stand.” The class president[2] speaks up causing the class to stand. “Bow.” The class bows to the teacher.

Teacher: “Ok. Please have a seat. Before we start class, I have someone to introduce. Please come in.”

The class stops talking as they see the girl enter the room that looks to be around 17-18 years old. She wears a black suit top and white skirt and high heels. Her black hair hangs straight down extending to her hips. She writes her name on the board in English, 'Akari Rose'. Rose gives a short bow.

Rose: “It’s a pleasure to meet you. My name is Akari Rose. I will be the student teacher here for a short time. Please call me Rose.”

Silence fills the classroom. After several seconds, “...Ehhhhh!!!” The whole class cries out in surprise. Sara looks at Rose in shock. They’re eyes meet and Rose gives a quick smile before returning her attention to the class. Sara blinks wondering if it was her imagination.

Teacher: “Quiet down. As mentioned, she’s here to train to be a teacher. Despite her appearance, she has finished college already, so treat her respectfully.”

The teacher says attempting to control the class.

Class: “Yesss!!!” 

Teacher: “Then I’ll leave it to you.”

The teacher responds leaving the classroom. When the teacher leaves the students all start talking at once. “Please quiet down.” Rose slams her hand on the table. The class becomes entirely silent. “That’s better. Now I’ll answer a few questions, but the rest will have to wait until after class. Now raise your hand if you want to ask something.”

Most of the class raises their hands. Sara chooses to just watch though. Rose picks one student.

Student A: “Akari-sensei[3], how old are you?”

Rose: “22. And please call me Rose. There’s no need to be too formal.”

Student B: “Rose-sensei, why did you come at such a time instead of at the beginning of the term?”

Rose: “I was overseas and came here for various reasons. So I decided to work on getting my teaching license.”

Student C: “Why become a teacher?”

Rose: “I enjoy helping others and teaching.”

Student D: “Do you have a boyfriend?”

Rose: “No. And since we’re going into such topics. I’ll start the class now.”

Rose takes out her computer in response.

Class: “Awwwww.”

The class groans as they take their notes out. Rose projects her computer screen as she starts teaching math. After the class, Rose returns to being bombarded with questions. After some time she pulls away from the crowd, as she returns to the staff room. Sara doesn’t interact with Rose at all and doesn’t think any further about the smile Rose gave her.

After school, Sara heads to the library and greets the librarian on duty from yesterday.

Sara: “Hello."

Librarian: “Hello. That was fast. Did you finish your book already?”

Sara: “No. I had a question. I found this book in my bag. But don’t remember checking it out or buying it. I was wondering if this came from the library?”

Sara removes the book from her bag. The librarian takes the book and looks at it, but shakes her head. She opens it and flips through the pages.

Librarian: “No. I would remember a book like this. There’s no title either. So it doesn’t look like a normal book. And it’s blank. Are you sure you didn’t buy it?”

Sara: “Eh?”

She returns the book to Sara. Sara accepts the book and opens it again to the page with the rose surrounded by symbols.

Sara: “It isn’t blank, look.”

Librarian: “You’re telling me to look. But I don’t see anything other than a blank page.”

Sara: “You’re not just joking with me?”

The librarian shakes her head. Sara frowns looking at the book again.

“Ok. Thank you. I’ll check other places.” Sara exits the library still holding the book in her hand. “How come she didn’t see anything?”

???: “Is something the matter?”

Sara: “Wah!”

Sara cries out in surprise. She turns around quickly to find Rose behind her.

Sara: “Rose-sensei! Please don’t sneak up on people like that.”

Rose: “Sorry sorry. I didn’t realize you would be so scared. Also, it’s not very ladylike to scream like that. You should be more careful or you will be scolded. Anyways, what’s the problem?”

“Huh? Oh! It’s this book. I’m trying to figure out where it came from.” Sara shows the book to Rose. “I think it must have accidently fell in my bag somewhere and I’m trying to return it and the librarian was saying something weird like the book being blank. Even though every page has some text… Not that I can read it.”

Rose: “Well I understand the situation. May I see the book?”

Sara hands the book to her. Rose flips through the book seriously before stopping on one page near the beginning.

Rose: “Since you don’t know much, I suppose I should tell you two things. First, there’s not much point asking other people on how to read this book. It’s special in that way.”

Sara: “You know about this book?”

Rose: “Mmm. Very much so. But the biggest detail is the second point. It’s your book, so it’s natural that only you aren’t affected by the protection on this book.”

Sara: “Eh!? Eh? What are you talking about?” The sudden declaration leaves Sara at a complete loss.

Rose shows the first page of the book. She points to the last line of the page.

Rose: “I’m talking about this. That’s your name written here. You probably didn’t notice since you can’t read it, but that’s definitely your name. The book itself is also special so it can’t just be written in. You’re the owner, so the book is yours. Because it’s yours, the book is protected so that no one else is able to read it. Minus this page of course. Well that’s what it means. I should get back to making my rounds.”

Rose finishes her explanation and hands the book back to Sara who blankly accepts the book. As Rose starts walking away, Sara snaps out of her stupor and grabs Rose’s shoulder.

Sara: “Wait! Wait! Rose! You know what this book is!? What do you mean it belongs to me!? I don’t even know how I got it.”

Rose calmly uses her finger to shush Sara.

Rose: “Any more details should not be spoken about in public. That’s what it means. I still have work to do. Bye-Bye~”

Rose calmly gets Sara to release her grip and walks away. Several hours later, Rose exits the school to find Sara waiting for her at the entrance to the school building. Sara stands in the middle of the entranceway blocking Rose’s exit.

Rose: “I’m surprised you waited for me.”

Sara: “How could I go home when you left the whole topic in the air? Can you tell me what this book is now?”

Rose: “Ahaha. You’re really curious.” Rose giggles at Sara’s stern attitude. Rose becomes more serious herself as she speaks. “But not here. This wouldn’t be a good place.”

Sara: “Even here is no good?”

Rose: “Yes, you’ll catch a cold after all. How about we head to your home? I’ll talk about things there.”

Sara: “A-ah. M-my house…W-w-we can’t... Now’s not a good time.”

Rose nods with a simple smile. “Ok. I won’t pry since you don’t want to talk about it. If you don’t mind my home, I’ll be happy to welcome you there.” Rose pats Sara’s head while tousling her hair a bit. Sara looks at Rose.

Sara: “Is that okay?”

Rose nods.

Sara: “Okay. Let’s go!”

The two of them walk exiting the school grounds. While passing through a nearby neighborhood, the group of boys from before appears from an alleyway.

Guy A: “We found you.”

The leader licks his lips looking at the girls. Sara shivers and hides behind Rose.

Rose: “Hey! Don’t go and try and do things with my student.”

The group of boys laughs hysterically.

Guy B: “Ahaha. You! A Teacher!! There are better lies you can think of.”

Sara: “What do you want anyways?! I don’t want anything to do with you!”

Guy A: “We’re going to use you to get back at that white bitch. That crazy bitch is going to pay for beating us up. But don’t worry. We’ll also do this and that to you in the meantime so you can enjoy it.”

The leader responds with a disgusting smile on his face. Sara pales at thought and whispers to Rose.

Sara: “Rose-sensei. Let’s run.”

“No need. I’ll protect you don’t worry…” Rose starts to move her hand, but pauses with a confused look. She looks at Sara again. “Would you rather I kill them?”

“Kill?” Sara pales significantly at the thought of killing them.

Rose: “Is that a no?”

Sara: “No. K-k-killing. That’s too much.”

Rose: “Ok. No killing it is.”

Sara is barely able to whisper her response. Rose nods calmly and raises her right hand upturned in front of her.

Guy A: “Hahahaha. What do you think two little girls can do?”

Rose snaps her fingers. “Burst.” In an instant, five simultaneous pop’s ring out as the 5 boys all fall to the ground unconscious. “Mind wipe.” Five rings of light shine brightly as the rings surround their bodies. “Teleport.” In a bright flash of light, they all disappear from sight. “And done. No killing just as asked.” Rose smiles as she looks at Sara who stares in front of her with a blank stare. “Let’s go then.” Rose holds Sara’s hand pulling her out of her stupor.

Sara: “Rose-sensei, that was…”

Rose looks at her nods. She holds one finger over her mouth to tell her to be quiet. Sara just looks down deep in thought. They ride the train for a couple of stops and eventually arrive at Rose’s home. Her place is a normal home painted in a light peach color with a light blue trim around the edges. The house features a yard and gate in front of the home. Various plants and flower reside around the perimeter of the gate. The two of them move quickly as they enter Rose’s house.

“Excuse me for intruding.” Sara comments as she takes off her shoes. She places her shoes to the side and borrows a pair of slippers.

Rose: “No need to be formal. I’m the only one living here after all.”

“Is that so?” Sara mutters with a frown, unsure if she broached on an uncomfortable topic. They move into the living room. The living room features a large and smaller sofa situated around a television set. The room also has a table for room and the kitchen is beyond that table.

“Go ahead and sit.” Rose motions to the table. “What would you like to drink? Some juice, coffee, or tea?” Rose asks moving into the kitchen.

“Some tea would be nice.” Sara asks sitting down and places her bag in the seat next to her. Rose brings some tea to the table and pours a cup for Sara before sitting down herself. “Thank you.” Sara replies and the two of them drink the tea. Silence looms in the room for a minute before Sara speaks up. “So you’re a magician, and this is a magic book? That’s why you know about this.” Sara asks taking out the book and placing it on the table.

Rose pauses before answering. “Yes, I could be called a magician. No, that is not a magic book.”

Sara: “Eh? It isn’t?”

Rose: “No, it isn’t. To put it simply, it’s a wish granting book.”

Sara: “Wish granting? You mean a genie or something lives inside here and grants wishes.”

“Something like that.” Rose smiles mischievously.

Sara: “So if I wanted to make a wish, then something living inside in the book would pop out right now? But how...?”

“That’s impossible.” Rose cuts Sara off swiftly rejecting her question. “I’m already outside the book. I can’t pop out again in such a situation.”

“Eh?” Sara snaps her attention back to Rose. Her eyes become as wide as saucers as she takes in what she just said. “Already outside?... T-then you?”

“That’s right. I suppose I should stop playing around and introduce myself for real.” Rose stands up from the chair and moves to allow Sara a clear view. Rose snaps her fingers. “Shift.” All the color from her hair loses its color becomes a sleet white. Her clothes also fully change into a white dress that is quite wide the skirt area. Her skin becomes a bit paler. Lastly, her eyes changes from brown to a ruby color on the left eye and a sapphire color on the right. After her transformation, she bows to Sara. “It is a pleasure to meet you, Master. My name is Rose and I’m the one that lives in the book you hold.”

Sara’s mouth hangs wide open as she stares at Rose. “I-it’s n-nice to meet you.” Sara’s mind spins at the thought that Rose was actually the girl in white that helped her yesterday.

“Is it okay if I continue to speaking and explain the rules for making a wish? Or will you make a wish right away?” Rose replies still bowing.

Sara: “Y-yes, please explain.”

Rose: “Before that, I would like to apologize for not appearing sooner. It’s been a while, so I decide to play a bit before appearing.”

Sara: “N-no, no, no, that’s okay! I didn’t know about you yet anyways.”

Rose:  *Ahem* “Okay. Then I’ll explain the rules. First, you may ask for as many wishes as you want. However, for any wishes you make, you will have to pay the price.”

Sara: “Pay? …With money?”

Rose shakes her head. “No, for me it is lifespan. Depending on the wish, I’ll consume a part of your lifespan.”

Sara: “How does that work? And how do I know how much is needed for each wish?”

Rose: “I devour a piece of your soul is the basic concept. And I will tell you the cost before making the wish. If you give the okay, then I’ll grant the wish and take my payment after that. Please keep in mind that the price for the same wish goes up after each wish. So I could easily kill you if you aren’t careful.”

Sara: “W-what happens when your soul is totally eaten?”

Rose: “When that happens, it’s safe to say you die. Your body doesn’t technically die from it, but you have no soul, so you can’t move or function on a basic level. So your body withers away from the lack of food, water, and nutrients. Even if someone keeps you alive, you do not wake from your eternal stasis since your soul is totally devoured and destroyed. Plus, when your soul is devoured, your existence is erased. That means your family will forget you exist, so no one will end up caring for you. Your only form of help is through the assistance of a kind stranger.”

Sara: “I-I see.”

Rose: “It’s for those reasons that the more greedy owners were killed right away you know. Some didn’t listen to the rules at all. It’s because of that that my current title is “The Cursed Tome of the White Rose”.”

Sara doesn’t respond for a moment. Rose patiently waits for her to elicit a response before continuing. “What happens if I don’t make a wish or don’t want to wish at all?”

Rose: “I can last for some time without wishing, but that means I can’t eat for that time. I’ll eventually be very hungry and might attack you at some point. If you really don’t want to make a wish, then specifically say “You rescind ownership of the book and me” and I’ll leave and move onto the next owner. Naturally, that would mean we will never meet again. On the rare occasion that we do meet again, please don’t expect anything from me.”

Sara looks up in confusion. “What does that mean?”

Rose taps on the book. “When I change owners, only some details remain like the wish and what they did. But my memory gets wiped whenever I change owners. So I will remember nothing about you once I change to another owner.”

Sara: “I see......... Can I ask… why do you go around making wishes and eating people?”

“Ahhhh…” Rose bitterly smiles. “I’m not doing it because I want to. I’m a prisoner after all. What I want to do doesn’t matter.”

Sara: “Prisoner? What did you do?”

Rose: “In short, I made friends, lived nicely with them helping people and even making friend with some people with lots of power. Some people didn’t like that so they held some of my friends hostage and sealed me in this book. Basically like that.” Rose answers plainly, but without any emotion in her voice.

Sara: “Your friends couldn’t help you?”

Rose: “No. The people that had me locked up are pretty much government level in the magic world. I wouldn’t want them to try and do anything for me and cause their positions to suffer. However, that’s my own feelings. Knowing them, they definitely tried something and have already been punished for it.” Rose speaks calmly, but clenches her fists as she speaks.

Sara looks away in uncomfortable silence. She remains silent for some time eventually turning her eyes to the book. “How about I wish for you to be free from the book?”

“I refuse.” Rose answers instantly.

Sara: “What?! Why?! Didn’t you say you don’t want to continue your life like this?”

Rose: “There are two reasons. One, you don’t have the ability to pay for such a wish.”

Sara: “And how much would that be?”

Rose: “Around eight thousand or so people. And that leads to the second point. I do dislike this lifestyle since I hurt and kill people. But performing such a wish to kill people en masse leaves an even worse taste in my mouth than continuing to live like this.”

Sara: “Ahhh…I’m sorry.”

Rose: “It’s fine. I was prepared for such a request. Anyways there’s no point in wishing something for me. You should think of something for yourself. With that said, I should make some dinner. Will you be staying?”

 Sara blinks several times before speaking. “...Is it okay?”

“Yes. No problem. You’re my master anyways. Why would I reject you?” Rose smiles as she begins preparing dinner.

Sara just watches Rose cook for some time. Eventually she speaks up, “Rose-sensei, for my wish, can you be my friend?”

Rose stops in the middle of cutting some vegetables. She puts the knife down. “Friend, huh?” Rose takes a deep breath.

“I’m sorry.” Sara replies. “I…”

Rose holds up her hand. “Let me finish what I want to say first. I have no problem being your friend. With something like that I could probably limit what I would want from you to be around one year of your lifespan. But there’s a time limit of a week.”

Sara: “Why one week?”

Rose: “That’s about the limit I can go without eating. Past that point I might end up devouring you on impulse.”

Sara pales slightly at the thought. “Okay. I understand.”

Rose: “If there’s nothing else you want to ask, then I’ll take that as your first wish?” Sara nods. “Ok then.” Rose claps her hand and returns to her cooking.

“That’s it?” Sara asks slightly confused.

Rose: “I have no problem with it to begin with. I don’t need to waste time casting any spells for something so simple. Unfortunately the price still holds so the one year limitation was the least I could take for the situation.” The two of them remain silent as Rose continues cooking. Rose places a simple pasta dish on the table. The dish is simple with pasta, meat sauce and tomatoes, but is neatly arranged in a spiraling tower. “Here you go.” Sara looks at the dish in anticipation with some drool running down the corner of her lip. “Go ahead. No need to wait for me. I still have more to cook.” Rose hands Sara a plate and some utensils.

“Then, Itadakimasu[4].” Sara digs into the meal without a second thought. “It’s so good!!” Sara cries out as she eats at a lightning pace.

“Please calm down. The food isn’t going anywhere.” Rose pauses in her cooking preparations to give Sara a glass of water.

Sara swallows her food before draining the entire cup of water. “I’m sorry. It’s been too long since I ate such good food.”

“Ah okay.” Rose replies. She places another dish on the table. “Here you need to get some more vegetables for balance.” Rose places a simple Caesar salad on the table.

Sara: “Okay.” She hesitantly takes a bite before digging into the salad too occasionally returning to the pasta. “Gouchisou-sama deshita[5].”

“Oh done already.” Rose asks, eliciting a nod from Sara. “That’s too bad. I just finished with the dessert too.” Rose holds up a glass filled with custard pudding.

Sara’s eyes glimmer seeing the dessert. “I’ll take it!”

Rose: “Okay. If you’re sure, I thought you were full though?”

Sara: “I can eat it!” She takes the pudding from Rose and immediately digs in finishing it in a few seconds.

Rose: “I’m glad for that. I just hope you don’t make yourself sick.”

Sara: “I’ll be okay. I haven’t eaten that well in some time.”

“Is that so?” Rose comments nonchalantly before turning her attention back to the kitchen. She begins putting away the food that hasn’t been fully prepared.

Sara: “…You’re not going to ask further about what I mean?”

Rose: “No. You don’t look like you want to talk about it. Both as a friend and a servant, it wouldn’t be appropriate to force you to talk.” Rose finishes up putting away the remaining ingredients. Sara looks downward without saying anything. “Anyways, why don’t I show you around the house? You’re planning to stay here anyways so you should know where to go.”

Sara: “Ok. Thank you.” Rose begins guiding her around the house. On the first floor she shows her how to get to the backyard, a simple bathroom, the door to the basement, a library filled with various books and several chairs for reading. On the second floor, Rose leads her through three normal bedrooms, a bathroom, a study filled with a large wooden desk and even more books. She opens the door to the master bedroom. The master bedroom is similar to the other bedrooms, extremely bare. A large bed, a closet, a dresser, a bookshelf and a desk with a mirror are the only things that are found in the room. No personal effects can be seen in the room at all.

Rose: “This will be your bedroom.”

Sara: “Ehhh? But isn’t this your room? How can I just take your room?”

Rose tilts her head at the unexpected question. “Hmm?? What are you thinking? I’ll be in here too you know.”

Sara: “Eh!?”

“Specifically, here.” Rose makes a motion with one finger at the nightstand and her book appears on top of the nightstand next to the bed. “I need to protect you. So the best place to guard you is right next to you.”

Sara: “…Is that okay? You’re not going to sleep in a bed?”

Rose nods. “It’s not necessary, so don’t worry about it.”

“If you’re sure…” Sara responds sitting on the bed. Rose opens the closet and brings out some clothes. She throws them towards Sara and snaps her fingers. The clothes vibrate slightly as they fly close to Sara and land on the bed next to her.

Rose: “I’ve adjusted the size. You can shower and change into those.”

Sara: “You know my size?”

Rose nods. “I already knew it by looking.”

Sara uneasily smiles. “O-Ok.” Sara takes the clothes and moves into the bathroom. The bathroom is split into two rooms, the first room with the toilet, sink, a cabinet for supplies and a hamper for clothes. The second room has tiles on all four walls as well as the ceiling and floor. A large marble bathtub sits on the far end of the room already filled to the brim with hot water. A showerhead sits on the right wall for her to clean up before getting into the bath. She starts to undress, but looks uneasily at the door before deciding to lock it. She finishes undressing and moves into the other room. She showers and thoroughly cleans herself off before sliding into the bathtub. “Ahhh. I’m in heaven.” She stretches fully enjoying the bath. “How long has it been since I had a nice bath like this?”

After some time in the bath, Sara gets dressed and leaves the bathroom to sit Rose sitting on a chair in the corner completely engaged in reading a thick book. “I’m glad you enjoyed the bath.” Rose comments without looking up from the book.

Sara: “Ah. I did. Thank you very much for that.”

Rose: “Mmm. And for reference, there isn’t much need to lock the door. If the need arises I will come in regardless, but since you didn’t want me to I just stayed here.”

Sara: “A-ah-haha. I see.” Sara sits on the bed unsure of what to do. Rose makes no motion of moving from her spot. Sara decides to lie down on the bed, and quickly falls asleep enjoying the comfort of the mattress.

[1] Sato Sara- Japanese style, Sato is the family name, Sara is the given name
[2] Class president Representative for a class. Point of contact for the teacher and student council and takes charge of events involving the class and communicating with representatives of other classes.
[3] -sensei: Formal way of addressing a teacher in Japan
[4] Itadakimasu: Japanese word spoken before eating that means ‘Let’s eat’ or ‘Thanks for the food’.
[5] Gouchisou-sama deshita: Japanese saying spoken after a meal to give thanks to the person who prepared the meal. Literally translated to ‘It was quite a feast’.

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