Part 6: Hoshido
"Oh! My gosh, are you okay?" The sound of a familiar voice that you couldn't quite place spoke to you, but you weren't sure you were okay. You ached all over, especially your head.
"Ngh...What happened?" Realizing you were laying on the ground, you moved to sit up, wincing as the pounding in your head increased with the effort.
A hand landed on your shoulder, and the familiar voice spoke again. "You don't remember?" Not thinking about the consequences, you shook your head. The pain that ripped through you caused you to lean forward, bringing both hands to your face as you cried out. The voice, of a girl, you guessed, gasped. "Subaki, is Sakura still inside?" You didn't hear a response, but you assumed 'Subaki' must have given her a positive reply as she continued. "Tell her we need a healer."
Healer? That was a weird word for a doctor. Oh, but you did feel like you needed a doctor. It felt like you'd fallen off a six story building and landed on your head (pretending that you would survive that, anyway), and you were in enough pain that you couldn't think straight. Seconds later, light footsteps came running toward you. Everything was quiet as the newcomer presumably evaluated your condition, but a few seconds later, the pain you felt dulled amazingly.
Finally, now that the pain was gone and you could actually focus, you opened your eyes. And then you gaped at the Pinkette and the two red heads surrounding you. The pinkette looked at you with concerned eyes. "A-are you okay?" She spoke softly.
Dumbfounded, you nodded in response. You barely noticed as a brown haired girl approached your little group. The first of the red heads, the girl that had spoken to you this entire time, seemed to inspect you before looking you in the eyes again. "Do you remember who we are?"
You nodded again. You did know these people. You just weren't sure how they knew you. Or how you got here. Or what was going on at all. You looked at the red head. "Hinoka," and to the pinkette, "Sakura."
A sharp intake of breath startled you as the brown haired girl, now recognized as Hana, frowned at you. "Lady." She practically hissed the word at you, and you suspected if you weren't injured moments ago, she might have hit you for it.
Your face flushed in embarrassment as you realized your mistake, but Lady Hinoka gave a soft laugh. "Don't worry. You were just hurt, after all." That being said, she turned to look at you seriously. "Do you remember what happened now?" You gave a soft shake of your head again, and she sighed softly. "Well...I guess that's to be expected. it was a long fall." You looked at her in confusion, and she turned to the remaining member of your group, who you recognized as Subaki. You couldn't believe you didn't put the pieces together when their names were said the first time.
Subaki looked at you apologetically. "I was training you higher up then normal...everything was going well, but for some reason your Pegasus flung you off. Lady Hinoka was heading this way and saw you, but neither of us could get to you before you hit the ground. I'm sorry..." He truly looked ashamed at his failure, and you recalled just how perfect he normally seemed to be.
You gave a shake of your head. "I'm sure it wasn't your fault." You paused. "...I have a Pegasus?"
Everyone stared at you, and you got the feeling you shouldn't have said that.
Fortunately, the tension of the situation was diffused when a calm, "Did I miss something?' Came from behind you, causing you to jump. This jump, in fact, was so startling, that both the princesses in front of you jumped in return. While Sakura's retainers caught her and fawned over her, Hinoka didn't fall and and turned slightly away to hide the embarrassment on her face. She pretended not to have jumped at all, leaving both of her own retainers standing behind you.
From the looks on their faces, Setsuna and Azama now both felt like they'd missed something.
Face slightly red from the scene you'd just caused, you stood. Sakura looked at everyone. "W-we should probably go back." She glanced at the sky as if to drive this point, and you realized it was indeed getting late.
Hinoka turned to her and gave a nod. "It looks like we'll be walking. It might take a bit." She turned to you before continuing. "Do you think you can walk your Pegasus back?"
You had no clue. But it was just walking, not flying. It couldn't be too difficult.
It was difficult.
It turns out when Hinoka said "Walk" she didn't mean "Walk alongside the creature" she meant "ride the creature on the ground".
Your Pegasus didn't seem to like you when you first started, clearly feeling something was amiss with its rider, but you were surprised to find that as the Hoshidan Palace came into view, you and your steed kept a comfortable pace, and it almost felt...natural. It was enough to give you time to think.
You had no idea if you were dreaming or not, but the pain you'd felt earlier suggested you weren't. But if that was the case, was this even possible? You didn't think it would be a stretch for a land of magic to connect to several worlds, like the Awakening DLC-And yes, you questioned if that DLC existed here, but you chose to file that away for another time-, but it was much harder to imagine your world connecting to a place like this.
It was impossible, really. And yet, you're here. And besides that, the Hoshidan's seem to know you.
Which then brought up more questions. So many questions it made your head spin, and you decided you needed to stop thinking about them and take one step at a time. "-ey. Hey." You blinked and looked at the person speaking to see Subaki looking at you, very concerned. He'd clearly been calling to you for awhile.
"Oh," You started, realizing that you'd reached the stables. "Sorry, I was lost in thought."
Subaki frowned at you. "...Are you sure you're alright?"
You stayed quiet a long moment before sighing softly. "No." The others turned to look at you now, equally concerned. "The truth is...I don't remember much at all. Not just what happened today, but.....most anything before that." The silence was deafening, and you wondered if you'd said too much...but the truth would have revealed itself eventually.
Subaki was the first to break the silence. "I want to watch over you, until you're better." He turned to Sakura then, and he bowed before her. "I am your retainer, but this was my fault...and I ask for a chance to do what I can to help. Please allow another retainer-in-training to join us."
You stared at him in utter surprise, but after a moment Lady Sakura nodded. "I-if I can be o-of help too."
Hinoka frowned at Subaki. "Don't be ridiculous. This is just as much my fault as it is yours. I'll take responsibility." She turned to you. "You can stick to us until you get all of your memories back, okay?"
Subaki looked like he wanted to argue, but he held his tongue. After a moment Sakura spoke once more. "Perhaps...w-we shouldn't be the ones to c-choose?"
Hinoka and Subaki both blinked before turning to look at you expectantly.
If you would prefer to stay with Lady Sakura's group, go to part 15.
If you would prefer to stay with Lady Hinoka's group, go to part 16.
If you would prefer they didn't make you choose, go to part 17.