Crossover Fan Fiction ❯ The Saint Was Kidnapped ❯ Kidnapped: 2 ( Chapter 2 )

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Chapter 2


“So this is the place?” asked Andou-san. He was a high school student, like my brother in law was. The little girl with him was hugging a stuffed animal like it was a security blanket. Chifuya was an elementary student that hung out with high school kids and while it caused some concern, the girls around Andou-san said there was only friendship going on, though I suspect at least two of his “friends” were waiting for him to make a move on them. Adorable little girl though and she called him brother. She made the portal to the building with a simple gesture and we just walked through instead of driving for 5 hours. It was a multistory commercial apartment building. I found the door for the building supervisor and got the key after showing ID.

“Oh, so you do look a bit like Miss Takanashi. Ah, and I see you have the same family name. Very well. The police detectives filed their report but that’s all I know. Are you going to be covering her rent? It’s due in a few days, you know. And I’ll have to evict her if nobody pays,” she said in a completely unsympathetic drone.

She returned my ID. I shifted my travelling backpack, complete with cleaver, cutting board, spices pack, and cast iron frying pan. I’ve carried a wok before but while it’s great for southern food, the cast iron pan covers way more bases. It is worth the weight. My bedroll and mosquito netting were also packed. You never know, and I’ve gotten the whole travel thing down by this point. The pack was canvas and leather, not nylon. I melted too many nylon packs in a hot kitchen, and canvas really lasts unless it gets mildew, and it’s easy to replace when that happens.

“Well, thank you for the reminder. I’ll contact the family for arrangements,” I said, very politely.

We took the elevator to the correct floor of the building. It was a nice place, not a hovel. Sei appeared to have been doing well for herself. We opened her door and entered. It had nice furniture, not showy stuff, but clean and utilitarian. No signs of a boyfriend. The fridge was filled with spoiling food. I texted Souta and grandmother with the apartment news and then poked around the apartment. The shoes were in the entryway, just like described. It wasn’t huge, but the view was nice though the large glass window onto a very small patio and balcony. No sign of a cat or other pets, no fish tank and her potted plants were dying or dead. I’d guess it had been about 3 weeks since they last got watered. Her bed was made, a fastidious trait of my cousin. Her purse was on a small table beside the door and her raincoat on a hook. The phone had a dead battery, still sitting there on the table by her keys. It really was like she’d walked in and then just vanished. I took a couple pictures and forwarded them to Souta.

“Oniichan. I sense something here. A portal,” said little Chifuyu. She held out a hand and closed her eyes, concentrating.

“Try opening it?” the lad suggested. I was standing there looking down as a blue circle and lines appeared beneath me. I looked up at the girl, then the boy.

I had one of “those” moments. I had to make it count.

“Kiss Hatoko!” I said.

Then I dropped out of the world and landed somewhere ELSE. There was a ring of lights beneath my superhero landing crouch which rapidly faded. My ladle was in hand, for some reason, and my skin kind of sizzled. It was a very odd sensation, like being drunk on Redbull and vodka cocktails.

“Hey! Who is that?” shouted a voice. More voices of alarm arose and I looked around, rising to my feet. This isn’t good. As a seasoned traveler, you can tell when it is time to vamoose.

I spotted a door and made for it, finding a servant corridor from how narrow it was and lacking ornaments or obstructions to clean or trip over when you’re busy.

My pack jingled and clanked. I’d almost put it down at the apartment. That would have been a disaster for me. I’ve got the most important tools of my trade in here. I found a staircase down and took it, finding a nice quiet cellar with another exit. There was dust down here, and the smell of aging barrels of wine, barrels of beer, casks of whiskey. Row after row of wine bottles, various casks of what smelled like olive oil. I found cheeses wrapped in cloth, aging. Quite a lot of food was stored down here, but there was no electric lights, no refrigerators, no water pipes or drains, no ducting. It was a clean vaulted ceiling covered in plaster, with heavy oak beams showing and some exposed granite blocks in places. It kinda reminded me of an old castle.

The straps of my pack were cutting into my breasts again. That’s the downside of a pack when you’re chesty. I adjusted the tension and tried to get comfortable. Looking around I found a sign with unreadable letters which shifted into English for Library. Odd. I climbed the narrow staircase and emerged from a door which opened silently into a room filled with tomes, tomes that smelled funny, like vellum or parchment rather than paper. Odd, again. The books were row upon row rising a good 10 meters up the walls. I didn’t see any ladders or walkways, so that was odd, too. How were you supposed to get to the upper books? Fly? I looked at titles and the words did that weird thing again, this time shifting to Japanese. Odd. I looked around more and spotted Sei, who was looking back at me, startling us both.

“Toka?” she said.

“Sei. I found you. That was quick. Are you okay?” I said, moving towards her.

There was noise in the hallway and the doors banged open. A blonde guy dressed like some kind of Visual K knight burst in.

“Sei! There’s an intruder!” he said, then spotted me, yanking a sword out and jumping between my cousin and I.

“Ah. This is my cousin Toka. We are family. Please don’t hurt her,” she said, gently touching his sword arm. He stilled, calming.

“Her? I see. She is… from your world?” he asked. He’d taken me for a man because I’m in my work clothes, which includes trousers and my apron. I’m not the type to dress like a girly girl when I’m in a kitchen. Frills catch fire. He slid the sword back into its scabbard. I realized I was still holding the ladle and swung it onto my back to hang it on my pack once more. It clanked against something, one of the pans, probably.

“Toka, this is Captain Hawke. He’s been accompanying me between the palace and the institute of magic,” she said, as if that explained anything. I could see the romance. There were hearts and flowers in the air between them. Well, good for Sei.

“Your boyfriend is very protective. What kind of world is this?” I asked her.

“Ah, well, there’s magic here. And some kind of pollution demons. They said they summoned the Saint to cleanse the world of them, which apparently they do every century or so,” Sei explained.

“So that’s you?” I asked. She looked flustered now.

“Eh… well. There’s another girl who was summoned at the same time. The prince called her the Saint and took her away.”

“Took her away. And where is she now?” I asked, looking around.

“Ah… not here?” Sei said uncertainly.

“Well, hmm. I hope she’s okay. Was she our age?” I asked. I am 28. Sei is 25. We are grown women with all that entails in Japan. Sei was an office lady in Japan, and I have no idea if she liked her job or just did it because she was expected to make a living and hadn’t found a husband yet.

“Umm. No. I think she was probably in high school. She had a school uniform,” Sei said, uncertain.  

“And you didn’t inquire?” I asked. That wasn’t like Sei.

“They took her away literally seconds after we arrived. I never even got to introduce myself,” she admitted. That made more sense, but still, was this girl okay or being brutalized? Sei’s boyfriend didn’t look the type to hurt a woman, but I’ve seen some of the world and it wasn’t all wine and roses. Roanapur was the longest three months of terror in my life. I learned a lot about cooking, and self-defense, but still: it was scary.

“I see. So we need to find her to bring her back, too,” I decided.

“Well, Captain Hawke. Can you lead us to our country-woman?” I asked him. He blinked and finally nodded.

“I will speak to the guard’s captain of the palace to get her location. I believe she is training with the crown prince, so that may be awkward.” His voice was smooth, his features fine and just rugged enough. Sei had good taste.

He led the way out of the room and we followed. I checked my phone. No signal, of course, so I shut it off and stuffed it into a pocket. My pack clanked as we marched through some very nice hallways with big windows, fancy vases with fresh cut flowers, servants, men in armor with halberds guarding doorways.

I stumbled as the flooring changed from smooth wood floor and carpets to rough stone and gravel. I was in socks because I’d taken off my trekking boots when I entered Sei’s apartment. I am really missing them. These socks were going to be ruined walking around like this, and I don’t keep spare shoes in my pack. I do have a pair of flipflops though. I stopped, opened my pack, removed them and stepped in. Better. Resettled the pack and continued after them outside to a courtyard that stank of horses, and the sound of men training with wooden swords and shields. Lots of thumping and groans and shouts of encouragement. Visually it was weird, though. There were dozens of men out here, most of them young with a few grizzled veterans with canes or obvious wooden legs or sleeves empty and pinned up. This was a world of swords, not guns. The injured were teaching the young spry ones to be better fighters.

“How is everyone back home?” Sei asked, while Hawke stepped away to talk to one of the greyer haired men in full plate armor. That guy had all his limbs.  

“Eh. Okay. Souta is about to be a dad. His sisters are still themselves, though they’re kinda difficult without him there to settle them down. Nazuna does her best, but she can prank them when she likes. I fear what sort of woman she will grow into without him there as the moral center. My restaurant is doing really well. I paid off my startup loans a week ago, and I’m finally profitable and got my backup trained. Hopefully he’ll still be okay by the time we get home.”

“Home. Ah. Apparently nobody ever leaves after summoning. There’s no ritual for that,” Sei said. That stopped me in my tracks, literally. Hawke returned to us.

“That you know of, or never ever?” I asked, clarifying.

“That I know of,” she said carefully. Hawke looked back at us, eyebrow raised. Ah, the romantic interest. Sei might want to stick around for that.

“The captain says that the prince gave orders not to be disturbed and he can’t do anything else,” the handsome man explained, shrugging.

“So you know where they’re training?” I asked, seeing a “but” in there.

“I’ll lead the way,” said Hawke.