I nodded in thanks to Valarie. “Well, in our world there didn’t seem to be a way to control your power and because of that you were marked for death however now there are other options. We have a whole new world to explore for a way to control your ability. And if that doesn’t work then we will be able to find a world where we can.”
“Thanks, I hope I won’t be too much of a burden on you.”
“Considering we would never have been here without you I could not think of you as a burden. Also it isn’t like my Tools are that useful for daily routine so I doubt you will be a burden in any way. Now for the important question, do you want the couch or the bed mat?”
She looked between them considering her options, “I think I’ll take the bed mat.”
It was a few days later when we finally stopped staying in the break room at the Pendulum Lounge. We had accepted Martin’s offer to work there for a while at least until we had better options to choose from. Valarie had been made some kind of waitress although it mainly seemed leaving people alone except when they needed something. Her experience at the observatory helped here.
I had been placed in the kitchen not because I was a good cook, although I was passable, but because I could handle a knife and quickly cut things without injuring myself. Most of my cooking still was leaned at Master’s place and generally the stuff cooked there had been simple stuff, good but generally didn’t require much skill. My knife skill was also due to the time Master had trained me, you wouldn’t expect sword practice to help with knife use but it does.
Still we did the work and after a couple of days Martin offered to help us find a place where we could stay that wasn’t the break room. I’m not certain what magic he used to find us a place that didn’t require us to show ids and sign for it but somehow he did it. Made me wonder slightly who Martin actually was even more than I previously did.
But he got us the place. It was apparently some kind of monthly rent so if we didn’t pay by the end of the month we would be kicked out. The place was small. Little more then a kitchen and a couple of rooms. It was no where near anything which was a probably but that was one of the reasons we could afford rent.
We had basically nothing to move in. The only real thing that I still owned was Shīringuken which I generally kept hidden on me with the Dimension Seal. The money that Martin paid us, because of our situation he agreed to pay us by the day at least for now, was enough for the down payment for the place and just enough personal effects to survive for now.
With the immediate survival needs dealt with we were finally able to start looking into other matters. I had made sure that there was time this evening make our first visit to the Clocktower and hopefully find out the truth about the Forbidden Domain.
It was a risk but we decided that we would wear the clothes we had brought with us into this world instead of the new clothes. If people were capable of recognizing us then it would be pointless to disguise ourselves but if we were easily noticeable then it might be possible to learn more.
The route to the Clocktower was a bit long but we were able to make it alright. Once we got there we both gaped in surprise. Martin was right, the place did used to be a clocktower but that was mainly noticeable by the clock at the top of the building. There were signs and posters outside advertising all sorts of things. I didn’t really understand what it was though.
The door was a glass sliding door and the two of us approached and went in before we got stunned by the noise and colors. There were aisle full of boxes, toys, figurines, and almost everything that I could imagine.
“Ladies, how may I help you?” Came a voice to one side of us. I looked at saw a butler with a name tag. It took me a moment to realize that the butler was actually a woman. I could see others dressed in the same manner all over the store both men and women.
“Um, we are from out of town and thought we would pay a visit. We have heard a lot about this place and wanted to see it for ourselves.”
“Very good ma’m. Please if there is anything that you need help with then ask one of us for assistance.” She then slightly broke her stoic pose with a cracked smile and said, “You might also want to check out aisle seven on the second floor. “
“Thanks, we will do that.” With that she bowed and went off into the aisles. We also walked through the aisles looking at the different things piles on the shelves. There were comic books, regular books, and games. There was also all sorts of extra stuff like models , posters, keychains, and many other things related to the before mentioned items.
I began to feel nervous again as we got into the elevator and took it up to the second floor. I was afraid of what I would see there and I could tell that Valarie standing next to me was like that too.
There were more games on the second floor and we walked into aisle seven. It was easy to spot and we walked up to it. I picked up the small box which was labeled, “The Forbidden Domain”. There was a picture of me and Valarie on the front.
Next to it covering this entire section of the aisle was more copies of that same box and other stuff. Posters like the one we had seen at his house, art books, and other items all emblazoned with our likenesses.
“Yiskah, what are these things?” Asked Valarie. There was an uncertain in her voice like she was trying to confirm what she thought they were with me.
I flipped over the box and read a little of the backside, “They seem to be a game. A game featuring us.” I set down the box and picked up one of the books to flip through. Everything was very familiar, it contained stuff I remembered, the story that I had repeated many many times. It drew up the memories of some of those times that I thought I had forgotten through the repeats.
“Does this mean we are…” Valarie paused as she was looking through one of the books on her own, “not real? That we are just characters from this game?” There was a bit of panic in her voice.
I placed my hand on her shoulder to try and comfort her. I was feeling the same panicked thoughts in my head as well but I was the one who had initiated our entrance into this world. I had to make sure we endured through this too. “Just characters in a game? Is that what you think we are? Looking at this I could believe that that was who we might have initially been but what now? We are here aren’t we?”
Valarie seemed to take a grip on what I was saying and nodded to herself. “Yes, you’re right. But our memories, how much do you think is fake?”
“I think that might be the wrong way to look at it. To us those memories are real because they made who we are right now.” I picked up a copy of the game. “Maybe some other person decided what happened back then but since we are definitely real, standing here, there must be some reality from our old world.”
“I’m not certain I understand.”
I ginned a little bit before saying, “I’m not certain I really understand myself either but it is just a hunch that I have.” There was a lot of merchandise on the table with the copies of the game. I picked up a little keychain which had a mini plastic Shīringuken on it. “Maybe we should get something. Something to remember our old world with.”
She wiped the small beginnings of tears from her eyes and picked up a small replica of the observatory that they both need so well. It was well crafted and quite good looking. “I think this is the think that I want to remember the most.” Said Valaire.
We took the items and began to walk toward the elevator when we were ambushed and finally got to see the true horror of the fandom that was The Forbidden Domain.
“I found them!” Lyle was excited as he ran through the abandoned office of Project Mayfly. “Miss Linson, I finally found them!” He ran into her office brandishing his phone.
Miss Linson was writing reports. She wrote a lot of them. Usually they just went in the files cabinets to never been looked at again. Mainly they just helped her pass the time. She looked up at Lyle and said his her serious voice, “Mr Clarke please calm down. Stop waving that think in my face and tell me what you found.”
“The two of them Yiskah and Valarie, you gave me the task helping you look for them and I found them.” Lyle handed his phone over to Miss Linson.
She looked at it. It was a picture of two woman who did indeed look uncannily similar to the two in the poster. They were posing in front of some kind of store. Miss Linson looked back up at Lyle and asked, “Could you please explain how you found this picture.”
“Well, I was searching the internet checking to see if anybody else had seen these two walking around town. Apparently these two were seen outside the Clocktower and were surrounded by a bunch of Forbidden Domain fans asking to take pictures. According to the websites they two had one of the best Forbidden Domain cosplays that they had ever seen.”
“And you think that these two are the ones you are looking for?”
Lyle nodded enthusiastically, “Definitely. These are the two the came out of my computer.” He pointed at the phone, “That isn’t just simple cosplay. Not only are their costumes an exact replica their body type is exactly the same too. Some cosplays are good but these pictures are too good to be real, unless those two actually are Valarie and Yiskah.”
“They certain do look the part. However we still have no evidence that they did come out of your computer. We still need to find them to….” Miss Linson paused at Lyle smirk, “Unless of course you have already found them.”
“Indeed. Scroll down.”
Miss Linson looked back down at the picture. It was actually some some of image board picture so there was a bunch of comments about the picture. She read through them until she found the one that Lyle must have been talking about, ‘I remember those two, they were working at the Pendulum Lounge. They sure do look like the characters even outside the costume.’
Miss Linson bit her lip. “The Pendulum Lounge. Oh boy, is this going to get complicated.” She pulled herself out of her chair and slung her purse over her shoulder.
“Complicated?” Asked Lyle, “How so? I’ve already looked up where this Pendulum Lounge is. We should be able to get there really soon.”
“It isn’t that much of an issue. It is just that me and Mr Bryant, the proprietor of the Pendulum Lounge, have some history.” There was that look that annoyed Miss Linson. “It is none of your business what happened in the past. It had nothing to do with the current case. Now grab your stuff we need to head out.”