[A/n]: Hey there! Thanks for clicking on that link to read the story! It will be a bit cliche in the very beginning, but bear with me, it'll get better (hopefully) :)
Enjoy the story!
Goodbye, Peaceful Life
All kids hold an egg in their soul, the egg of our hearts, our would-be selves… Yet, unseen…
13, almost 14 year old Hinamori Aki sighed as she entered her neighbourhood dojo, the one she'd been going to for almost five years now. She walked across the lush green grass of the yard, making her way into the actual building, which was pretty much deserted at this time of day, with the exception of one person.
"Aki?" She glanced over to her right where her master was sitting with a bottle of beer in his hand, looking surprised. "You're pretty early today," He mused, running a hand over the stubble on his chin. "It's only 2:00… Doesn't your school end at 3:30?" She tossed her bag on the ground and huffed in annoyance.
"I don't want to talk about it," She muttered sourly, trudging over to the changing room where her outfit lay. "Today's been a pain." This elected a raised eyebrow from the teacher who was used to her just grunting in response to his question. That's a first, he hummed to himself, taking a sip of his beer. What's got her panties in a bunch, I wonder?
To answer that question, we must go back a few years… Back when everything began.
A little girl opened her eyes blearily, not entirely sure where she was. She sat up slowly and frowned when she couldn't see anything, raising her hands to try to feel the area around her. What… What is this…? Nothing. It was absolutely nothing. She couldn't see, smell, taste, hear, or feel anything. Panic started to bubble up in her throat, closing it up. W-What's going on? She thought frantically, getting more scared by the second.
As if out of nowhere, a bright light appeared. It was small at first, but slowly grew larger, still fast enough to hurt the girl's eyes. In the centre of the light, a form took shape and came closer to the 12 year old, who could now see and was wincing at the headache that the light brought.
"Human girl of earth," The voice rang out clearly, "You have been chosen, along with your younger sister, to travel to a new world, in exchange for keeping your lives." She trembled, hugging herself tightly.
"A-A new world?" She squeaked. "What d-do you mean, 'keeping your lives'? What did y-you do t-to my sister?" She stammered, not able to muster up any of the courage or bravery she was well known for back home.
"Fear not, little one," The form came closer, taking on the shape of a girl of around 12 years old, the same age as the girl shivering on the floor. "Your sister is merely in a different sector of this dimension," It explained, kneeling down to face the girl. "I'm afraid I have to inform you that you have been in an accident, and you won't be able to return to your body for a long, long, time."
"But I'm in my body," She argued weakly. The being shook her head.
"No, you are currently between worlds, along with your sister. Luckily, or I suppose, unluckily for the four of you, your counterparts in their own worlds have gotten seriously injured as well, resulting in the chance for all of you to switch lives, without dealing with the strain on your souls, therefore keeping you alive." The girl looked overwhelmed by all of this information. "I'm sorry, I know this is a lot to take in, but we have to do the switch now, otherwise it will be too late,"
"W-Wait!" She protested, waving her arms in front of her. "What does that mean, assuming this is all real? Does that mean I…" She swallowed harshly. "I won't get to see my family again?" The being nodded solemnly, confirming the girl's worst fears.
"You will not see them again until you have fulfilled certain… Criteria." The being answered vaguely. "Now, come here." She shifted forward, placing a hand on her forehead. "From now on, you will live in a world where all of your favourite books, tv shows and anime are all real. You will be taking the place of Hinamori Aki, who is supposed to be a main character…" She trailed off. "Of what, I cannot tell you." She refocused her attention on the girl in front of her. "It is your job to find your place and live out your life the best you can." The girl started to get drowsy, her eyelids slipping closed. The being smiled sadly yet gently at the young girl. "My name is Rei, by the way… Good luck, Alexia."
With that, Alexia blacked out, not seeing the obvious regret, guilt and shame on Rei's face. She regarded at the girl splayed out on the floor silently for a moment before she stood up quietly and walked away, leaving the soul of Alexia to fade and seep into the new dimension she would now call home.
The next thing Alexia, or rather, Aki, knew, she was lying on some sort of hard bed, a sound of a beeping machine next to her. She let out a groan of pain, opening her eyes. Once again, the light was ridiculously bright, along with the fact that every part of her ached.
"Not again," She moaned, shifting slightly only to get the sting of what felt like thousands of paper cuts on her leg. "Not another dream,"
"Aki!" She winced at the sudden noise added to her soundscape, but her eyes flickered over tiredly to the feminine sounding voice regardless. A woman with coppery brown hair any honey gold eyes was quickly moving to stand over her, tear stains obvious under her puffy red eyes. "Oh sweetie, we were so worried," The woman hiccuped, tears making her eyes look shiny as she sniffed. We? Alexia looked over the area again and saw a few more people, one being an adult male, and the other two being young boys, probably around 7 and 12. "You and Ali got hit very badly in the accident, and the doctors said that you might not…" The woman choked up, clearly finding it difficult to say. "Y-You might not make it, since you must've saw it coming and covered up Ali and Shouta instead of reacting for yourself," The honey eyed woman looked at Alexia with a proud but weary smile. Alexis frowned at her, not understanding.
"Who are you?"
" , ," The doctor in front of Alexia looked at her "parents" with pity, looking up from his clip board. "I'm afraid your daughters are suffering from a case of psychogenic amnesia, which can cause complete loss of memory about their past." He informed them soberly, causing the two adults to gasp. Alexia watched passively from the back of the room with her little sister, who had woken up shortly after Alexia herself. The doctors had done a whole bunch of tests on them to make sure they were somewhat functional, but they were concerned once the brown haired woman told them about Aki not recognizing her.
Assuming that this isn't a dream, that Rei person said something about our last name being Hinamori… I guess that means that that woman actually is our mother. She mused, surprised at how calm she was. Reality would probably kick in soon, but she was going to delay it as long as possible.
"It'll normally fade after a few days, possibly a few weeks. It's extremely rare that a child wouldn't regain their memories, but it's still a possibility," He warned, sneaking a peek at the two silent children in the back. Andrea, Alexia's sister, now known as Ali, hadn't spoken the entire time, but only clung to her sister.
"What should we do?" Their 'father' questioned, gazing worriedly at both his wife and children.
"Just do what you normally do, and don't press them for answers." The doctor advised. "You don't want any flashbacks of… That…occurring randomly, and scaring them." He shook his head sadly. "Such a horrible thing to happen to such little girls…"
"They're only eight," The woman whispered, staring at the floor. "My girls are only eight-" She had to stop when she started to sob, the girls looking on passively.
"Do you want candy?" Alexis and Andrea stared at the teen with a camcorder blankly, still not having the will to admit to each other that this was reality. The dirty blond haired boy pouted and shook the candy at them. "C'mon, I won't tell the nurses," He whined, the younger boy behind him nodding enthusiastically. Andrea slowly reached out a hand and took it gingerly, snapping her hand back once she had it. The boy grinned happily. "That's better!"
The two boys had turned out to be their siblings, the oldest being 14, as Alexia guessed, and the younger one being only a few months younger than them. They had also found out that they were eight years old, which was a loss of four years on their part. The girls hadn't had a chance to bathe themselves, be alone or look in a mirror yet, so neither of them knew what they themselves looked like.
"Onee-tan," The little one, Shouta, tugged on Alexia's clothes, making her flinch. "Why are you so sad?" He wondered, looking at her face. "You always smile, so why are you sad?" Alexia's eyes softened.
"I'll get better soon," Her voice came out somewhat raspy after so long without use. It'd been almost a week in the hospital, plus the two days she was asleep. "I promise." Shouta's face lit up.
"Yeah." Shisui, the eldest, watched the two interact with interest, but didn't say anything.
After the second week, the girls were finally allowed to be alone and were permitted to use the shower on their own. Much to their parents' disappointment, the girls hadn't regained any of their "memory".
Gently, Alexia pulled her sister to the bathroom and helped her undress. It was a tedious process, both needing assistance from the other with their injuries. Eventually, they turned on the water and got in, cleaning each other carefully.
"Green," Andrea commented with a look of awe in her eyes, "Your hair is bright green." Alexia turned, looking at her sister. "And you have brown eyes."
"You too," Alexia noted. "It makes sense, if you think about it."
"What do you mean?"
"Those guys, our supposed family, said that we were both eight, and if we're siblings, we're probably twins." Andrea 'oh'ed.
"That does make sense." She hummed, scrubbing her hair with shampoo, careful not to aggravate any of her wounds. "That's a loss of four years, huh…" Her eyes grew misty, but she blinked it away. "You know… When I was talking to the…" She trailed off, not knowing what to call the being.
"Rei." Alexia supplied helpfully, getting out of the shower dripping wet. "She said her name was Rei."
"…Rei. When I was talking to her, she said something about fulfilling certain criteria, and how we would get… achievements?" She shook her head, turning off the water. "Something like that." Alexia hummed, drying herself off.
"She didn't mention the achievements thing to me," She pondered. "She did talk about meeting criteria, though." She paused for a moment. "I know I should be freaking out, but it just doesn't feel real, you know? I don't remember getting into any accident, or having any trauma."
"Same here." Her sister agreed, getting dressed again. "I feel bad for the little girls who lived here though… They just lost four years of childhood, while we went back."
"Yeah." The air in the room grew heavy as they mentioned their counterparts. "I guess we should start calling each other by the names they gave us." Andrea nodded.
"I'm Ali, I think." She recalled. "And I know that you're Aki. What weird names," She started brushing her hair, which was rather long.
"They sound- well, mine at least- like Japanese names."
"Rei did say that the world was made up of your favourite anime and whatnot, and that you're supposed to be replacing someone. Maybe we were born into a family that has main characters? We do have the green hair, after all." Alexia, or rather, Aki, frowned.
"Me? Isn't any of this connected to you?" Andrea, now known as Ali, shook her head.
"She only said you."
"Odd." She sighed and glanced at herself in the mirror that she found in the cupboard. "Well, I guess we'll just have to live with it until we find a way out of here."
[ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED: WELCOME TO THE FAMILY]
The two girls gasped as a floating notification sign appeared in front of their eyes, and something that looked like a game menu popped up -one for each of them- with the buttons saying "Pause", "Inventory", "Wardrobe", "Abilities/Status", "Quests" and "Relationships".
"W-Wha…?" Ali managed, gaping at the screen. "What on earth?"
"Welcome to the world of AMA," Aki read, seeing another pop up on the side of the screen-like thing. "You are Hinamori Aki, the daughter of Hinamori Midori and Hinamori Tsumugu and the sibling of Hinamori Shisui, Ali and Shouta."
"…Your job is to unlock a set path of achievements and complete the story." Ali continued, reading off her own menu. "If you fail to complete the tasks assigned to you, you will be sent back to the start of your lives at age eight and try again." They shared a look of horror. "You can summon this menu by saying either "Menu" or "Game Pause"."
"Your character has: Strength 7, Speed 7, Intelligence 10, Charm 7, Defence 3, Attack 6 and Luck 5." Aki muttered, having clicked on the Status button. "You currently have no quests and nothing on your inventory."
"Um…" Ali clicked on the button as well and scanned the page. "Your character has Strength 6, Speed 7, Intelligence 7, Charm 12, Defence 8, Attack 2, Luck 2 ." She frowned. "Why am I the weak one?"
"Hey, you have more charm than I do," Aki protested. "You're pretty much averaged out, other than the fact that you're super weak and unlucky."
"Girls, are you okay in there?" Midori's voice called from the other side of the door. "You've been in there a long time." The two girls glanced at the door then back at each other.
"We're fine," Aki called back in a monotone. "We'll be out in a minute or two."
A few months had passed since the switch occurred, and the girls were finally allowed to come home. Their parents had done pretty much everything to try to get their memories back, using their favourite foods, shows, and toys. The only thing that they responded to was their rooms, which had all the same things that were inside of them in their own world.
"My bunny!" Aki snatched the stuffed animal off of her bed after the adults had left them, cuddling it close. "And my books are here too!" She saw all of her furniture and clothing, although it was a bit smaller, and her electronics as well. She rolled over on her bed to open her phone, but none of the contacts worked when she pressed on them. Her message history was still there, along with photos of her family and friends, much to her relief.
The green haired girl sighed and closed her eyes, thinking about what they'd learned. I've got to get used to having a food bar and a health bar, She thought. They noticed that they didn't need to eat as frequently as others and checked their menu. It turned out that they only had to eat when they were running low on health or stamina, which was damaged by injuries. They also found out that every person they came across had a level, title and health bar above their heads, much like a game of sims.
Their inventory was useful as well, so they didn't actually have to carry things around with them, they could just put it in their inventory and call it back out into their hands when they needed it. This world is so strange…
Ali burst into the room carrying her phone and babbling happily to her older sister.
"Ne, Aki, look!" She squealed, showing her sketchbook. "All of my things are here!" Aki nodded, much less enthusiastic than her sister.
"All of mine are here too," She hummed, sitting up and getting off the bed. "I want to explore, and figure out where we are." Ali blinked at her.
"How're we gonna do that?" She questioned, tilting her head to the side. "We just got back from the hospital and we have "amnesia". There's no way they'll let us go out on our own, especially since we're eight." Ali pointed out. Aki shook her head, hair swishing with her moments.
"Not if we have a guide," Aki refuted. "That Shisui guy is 14, and I'm sure that they'll trust him enough to let him walk around with us."
"Oh, that's smart!" Ali praised her sister. Aki nodded and walked to the stairs, going down them into the living room. She glanced around at their surroundings. Apparently this was only a temporary house, since they were planning on having a baby within the next few years again.
"O-Okaa-san?" Aki stumbled over the unfamiliar term, but caught the woman's attention anyhow. She turned and smiled kindly at the two.
"Yes, Aki-chan?" Yeah, we're definitely in Japan, Aki noted. Midori had "LVL 7, MOTHER" above her head and a small gauge that showed that she was feeling fine.
"I was wondering if Shisui could take us around the neighbourhood," She asked, catching the look of worry on the woman's face. "We won't go far, just around the area near the house."
"I don't know…"
"Please?" Ali pressed, holding Aki's hand. "We'll be with Shisui-nii, so we'll be okay," She reasoned, looking pleadingly at the boy on the couch. He nodded.
"I'll go with them, and it might trigger something," He smiled at his mother reassuringly. "Besides, we can't keep them all cooped up in the house, right?" She sighed.
"I suppose." She gave in, but gave Shisui a stern look. "Be back by 6:00, and don't start any monkey business, okay?" The blond gave her a mock salute.
"Roger that." He got up and waltzed over to them, softly pulling them to the door. "C'mon, let's go."
Ali dashed ahead of us, excited to be outside, much to Shisui's amusement. He was always recording something, and always had his camcorder on hand. He turned the camera over to me, probably recording my reaction.
"Aren't you going to smile?" He grinned at me cheerily, obviously happy that his little sisters were finally out of the hospital. I shook my head.
"I don''t feel particularly happy, so I don't feel like smiling." He raised his eyebrows in surprise. "What?"
"Those are some pretty big words for an eight year old," He responded. Crap, I forgot that we're eight! I cursed in my head, but kept a poker face. "I don't remember you knowing what 'particularly' meant before." I shrugged casually.
"I don't remember me knowing anything before." He flinched at that comment, making me feel a little guilty, but it was better to play dumb. "I don't even remember what made me go to the hospital." A half truth. Aki had heard the nurses in the hospital, and knew that it was a car crash, and that she protected her younger siblings, but that was it. Shisui was still recording, but his face showed that he was internally debating.
"You were in a car crash," He started slowly, looking sad. "You, Papa, Shouta and Ali were all in the car, but you were the first to react," He recounted, telling her what she already knew. "You covered Ali, who in turn protected Shouta. Since the car hit the right side, only you and Ali got injured, really." His expression darkened. "We were lucky that the car only skidded across the road, and didn't flip over. It could've gotten really nasty…" He must've realized that he was telling this to an eight year old, since he stopped talking. "Anyway, the doctor thought that since you were scared really badly, your brain did this thing where you lost your memories, so that you wouldn't remember it," He tried to explain. Nope, I just switched bodies with one of your little sisters, I corrected him internally.
"Oh." I looked up at him, but he wasn't all that much taller than me. I was pretty tall, close to my original height, actually. It wouldn't surprise me if I grew a lot more.
"Aki, Shisui-nii, hurry up!" Ali was at the end of the road now, tapping her foot impatiently.
"We're coming, we're coming, jeez." I started to jog over to her, Shisui behind me. I suppose I can deal with this world for awhile longer, but I'm going to have to train. My HP bar only had a few point in it, and that scared me. If I were to fall or get hit by something, I would be screwed if I didn't have food on me.
[A/n]: So, that's the beginning of the story! There'll be a bit more of backstory before I get on to the actual main chunks.
[Ali]: Please review and F/F if you liked it!
[Aki]: We hope to see you next time.
[Ali]: *pouts* C'mon, put more energy in it! Thanks for reading and we hope to see you next time!