Chapter 1: Welcome to Hana

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 576

Why do you not speak? Why do you refuse to do anything? Are you dead? Will you abandon me to survive on my own? Does our past together mean nothing to you? Speak to me… Listen to me… Do not ignore me… Do not ignore me! Don’t leave me! Traitor… I thought we were going to rule the world together. If you will not rule the world with me, then I shall do it on my own… I will find a way to survive without you…

The weather was bleak and damp. Asami had just parted from the international airport. One small glance at the sky told her that the rain would be returning shortly. The Japanese woman took in her surroundings. A large metropolitan region with buildings stretching into the sky. It was the weekend, but the streets were already packed with people going about their lives. Nothing seemed to be out of the ordinary actually. At least not in the capital city.

Hana is a large island nation located in the northern pacific. Travel far enough to the west and one would reach Japan. Travel far enough to the east and one would reach California. The nation itself consisted of seven large islands, with the larger being roughly the size of Britain. Many smaller islands dotted their waters. To Asami, it seemed like nothing more than another first world country. It possessed its urban centers and rural farmland. On some islands, the nature was expansive and untapped. Then why did Hana have such a foul reputation through all time? It was unexplainable, but many have noted that something just felt wrong. Even Asami already felt that something was off.

In recent years, a number of things could actually be pointed out however. Yakuza and Japanese crime groups have begun to develop a strong presence within Hana. But they were not the only ones. When they first arrived, they discovered that other criminal organizations had already been hiding within the shadows. Ruthless and terrifying clans originating from Europe and America. Why did they all come to Hana? What were they seeking? And then there was the worst piece of news. Disappearances… People have recently begun to disappear in Hana. Some have turned up and appeared to be eaten. Unexplained destruction within cities and communities. No one ever sees anything. It is as though a battle is being waged in the shadows. But Asami had her reasons for coming to this strange land.

“Ah, the rain is falling” she murmured to herself. Asami opened her umbrella as she pulled her suitcase behind. She wore another large bag on her back. The woman’s dark hair fell just above her shoulders and she carried an almost icy expression, but this did not match her emotions. Moving past her cold exterior, one could then see that she was actually quite beautiful.

After settling into her new apartment, she headed out with her camera. Asami managed to obtain a job as a photographer for a local reporting agency. But she never revealed her true motives for coming here. Despite the rain, she headed back out to the streets. She began to take pictures of everything. The structures, the people, the life. It was like a blend between the east and west. But again, something seemed wrong.

Nearly an hour had passed when she found something interesting. Two black vehicles escorted a limousine. After arriving in front of a nearby skyscraper, the doors opened and several men wearing black suits and coats appeared. One carried an umbrella as a woman appeared from the limousine. She had thick golden hair and snowy pale skin. Her blue eyes seemed to enchant all those who viewed them. The northern woman wore a red outfit and a black ribbon around the collar that gave her an air of elite.

Asami was focused on her camera when she heard a man’s voice next to her, startling the photographer. “Huhhh, I wonder what trouble she is up to now.” She spun to find a tall, thin, and dark haired western man staring at the party with a frown.

“T-trouble?” she stuttered embarrassingly.

He managed a smile for her. “You are just taking pictures of her because she looks important, is that it? Do you know who she is?”

“No, I am afraid I do not.”

“Hmmm, she is a high ranking member of House Tylinn.”

“House Tylinn? Wait, I believe I have heard of them. They are one of the most powerful families in Russia.”

“Yes, and Hana. Although I am not sure what the name Tylinn is supposed to be.”

“But she looks so young.”

“They all look like that. She is older than she looks. By quite a bit actually.” He pulled out his phone and began to check the device. Water poured over the edge of the cover above them, but she continued to photograph the few remaining party members that waited outside while the rest vanished into the building.

“So, who are you? A stalker?” Asami asked the man.

“Huh!? Stalker? I have never stalked anyone! I was just passing by!”

“I am sure that is what they all say.”

“I am not the one taking pictures. I have no interest in that woman. And her family is annoying! Personally, a serious pain.”

“Personally?” Asami inquired, but she received no more response. “So, who are you? I am Asami. Nanasaki Asami.”

“Oh, I have heard that name before.”

“You… have?”

“I know a world level mahjong player has that name” he said, forcing Asami to stiffen. But he did not pursue the subject. “I am William Setell.”

Why did the name Setell sound familiar? She could not pinpoint the reason. After a moment, she decided to ask. “Have you heard the name Nanasaki Madoka or Madoka Nanasaki, by any chance?”

William raised his eyebrows. “So, is someone looking for her little sister? Yes, but I do not know where to find the girl. But she pops up from time to time. She is a bit annoying as well.” He began to walk away but then stopped and looked back. “Word of advice. Keep your distance from the Tylinn family. They are dangerous people. You may want to be cautious around your sister too.”

“You are not going to keep me away from my sister!” she snapped.

“Do as you will.”


The hour had grown late and Asami finally decided to return to her place. She believed she had found a faster route and began to take a series of narrow back passages, but managed to get lost. Flustered, she must have roamed for half an hour to no avail. It was as though the alleys were changing. And her phone seemed unable to properly guide her out.

As she proceeded down one of the passageways, she thought she saw a shadow move. She froze and narrowed her eyes. Perhaps her eyes were playing tricks. It had indeed been a long day after all. She continued cautiously but after turning the corner saw nothing. It was then when she heard scrapping metal from behind her. Asami turned rapidly and saw a man holding a long knife and axe. The irises of his eyes glowed like fire and his skin starved of sunlight.

“H-h-hello” she said in a weak voice. Asami began to creep back slowly, but the man moved forward with axe in the air. She suddenly darted in the opposite direction, sprinting as fast as she could. With a loud scream and cry for help, she tried to get the attention of someone, anyone else. But was there anyone else? Slipping, she crashed into a wall, but quickly got up and continued to run as she ignored the warm blood falling down from her head and down her face. A wall of black smoke was found around the next corner she turned and the same man emerged from the dark abyss. He swung his axe and brought it down into her shoulder, sending her plunging to the ground.

Asami began to crawl away, covered in blood and crying in despair. The man simply watched her as she slugged around the corner. She stopped in a puddle and the rain began to come down harder than before. “Help me!” she cried one last time. Footsteps sounded and she knew they must belong to the man behind her, but then she saw a pair of shoes before her and then a woman crouched down.

She had long dark wavy hair that fell down her back and dark eyes to match. A tall and petite woman, she carried a similar presence to someone she had met earlier today. “He plans to murder you and then probably consume you. They are weird like that. But it is going to be all okay” she smiled and rested her hand on Asami’s good shoulder. “I am going to slaughter the false demon for you!”

The stranger stood up and walked around the corner. Asami could only hear a bunch of crashing as she began to lose consciousness, but the next thing she saw was the stranger standing before her again, covered in blood and beaming with a bright smile. And then all was black. This was Asami’s first day in Hana. It is said that all nightmares are born in Hana… 

Submitted: July 10, 2016

© Copyright 2020 Sean R Arnold. All rights reserved.


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