12 • Yuki's Hotel

Start from the beginning

"I want to say goodbye, just in case when we step out of the Metaverse I do die"

"I hate goodbyes," Ann mumbles with a sad sigh.

"You guys are the first people to actually notice me. To see me as I truly am, not as some invisible girl who blends in. Thank you"

Everyone got ready to leave, Mona turning into the car, but Ryuji grabbed my hand. "Everything's gonna be fine," he says.

"I hope you're right"

He was right. When I left the Palace I was still breathing, but the only thing that could mean was my Shadow was still alive, somehow.

6/15 After School

I found Skull in my Palace standing with my Shadow outside the wooden door to my Treasure, one of the Shadow guests sneaking up behind them.

I jumped down from the balcony in a dive, my two blades out in front of me. Then as I approached the Shadow I swung so I chopped its head clean off.

I landed in a crouch, my left leg out to steady myself from the long fall. The body of the guest slowly fell, its head falling first, revealing my crouched form to the boy standing in shock. I stood, tucking my blades back in their sheaths.

"Damn," I looked up - my attention drawn away from the Shadow guest I killed - at Ryuji. "It's just like the first time we met"

"Ryuji, what are you doing?" I demand.

"We sort of got caught up in some mafia business... anyway, while they're looking for information I'm here to help. You should go back to the real world"


"To avoid any danger"

I felt my heart beat quicker in my chest at his thoughtfulness but I couldn't help myself for feeling mad. I went to go past him but he grabbed my hand. When I tried to get out of his grasp he swept my feet out from under me and pinned me to the ground on the flowers we were standing amongst.

"Fine, you won. Now get off of me," I say. He didn't move, he just remained above me, straddling me, staring at my eyes. "I'm serious, get off me. Ryuji?" Finally he leaned down, kissing me.

I remained frozen, my eyes widened in shock. When he pulled away he quickly stood up and ran to the door, shutting it behind him. I got up and tried to open it but it was locked.

"Ryuji! Open the door!" I shouted, hitting my fist against it.

"I need to get the Treasure, you can't steal your own heart, right?"

"It's too dangerous for you to do this alone. At least wait for the others"

"It's not going to be there much longer. We already sent you the calling card. If it isn't done now then we will never be able to steal it"

The others ran into the Palace, just as Skull ran out with the Treasure in his hand. It was a small key. We left my Palace as it started to crumble then stood in my living room.

"Was your Treasure there this entire time?" Morgana asks.

"Yes, because I knew about this the entire time"

"How is your Shadow still alive? Why do you have a Shadow?" Ann asks curiously.

"Why do you think I have a Shadow? No matter what there's always going to be a darkness to me, one that will never be able to die"

"Then why did you ask us to steal your Treasure?" Panther asks.

"I wanted to make sure no one else could steal it. After it was stolen my Palace collapsed, but my Shadow still lives on inside me. However, she can't easily be reached now that the Palace is gone. Thanks to you"

Everyone left except Ryuji, I asked him to stay behind. We sat on my couch, the tv turned on but neither of us were watching it.

"That kiss..." I say, getting straight to the point.

He blushed, chuckling nervously. "I had to distract you somehow so I could get the Treasure"

I nod, staring down at my hands. "A distraction," I mumble to myself.

"B-but, uh... I..."


"I wonder what that makes us," he mumbled.

"Just friends?" I suggest.

I was still getting used to being around people and actually communicating with them, so that was the best solution I could offer.

He nods, standing up. "I should probably get home, it's late"

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