Episode 1, Part 1
Episode 1: Rosalie Appears
She appeared from within a television.
It was small, a mere 25 inches.
And yet, from within she appeared.
That television sitting innocently in Kanda Shun’s room was now a portal.
Proof? She practically stepped out of the game screen and into reality.
Sitting cross-legged on the carpet, Shun stared, stunned.
The television screen, bright with pixelated movements just seconds ago, had now turned into a pool of silvery white.
Slowly, gradually, her head, her neck, then her shoulders started to appear, causing the white surface to ripple gently around her.
Reacting unconsciously, Shun shuffled backwards in panic, his feet colliding with a package on the floor.
Falling forward, the title read “Dragon Bless III, An Eternal Princess Heroine”
Dragon Bless III was the newest, hottest RPG game in Japan. Distributions started just slightly over a month ago.
The illustration on the cover depicted a female avatar. Often described as pure and elegant, the princess cum heroine of the game, Rosalie, knew no better joy than to extend a helping hand to the weak, and the innocent, the lost, and those in need.
With her cloud of golden hair, traveler’s mantle draped upon delicate shoulders, and the Lia Fail stone of destiny shining with a fiery intensity in the hollow of her slender throat, Rosalie was the very picture of beauty.
And well, when the splitting image of that appeared from the milky depths of the television, it was no wonder Shun was stunned.
As the faux Rosalie was projected from the television, she floated above Shun, her hair and mantle waving about gently.
A stray thought crossed Shun’s mind. This must be a dream.
Her eyes were shut, hinting at the deep pools of blue residing within, her angelic features were a childlike innocence.
She was, for lack of a better word, exquisite.
And now, that exquisite arrangement of features was floating mere inches above his head, casting a slight shadow upon his upturned face. Their faces were close. So close, in fact, that their breaths were released in mingling puffs of air. If Shun were to just stretch upwards by a little bit, a very little bit, he’d be close enough to kiss her.
Oh my God.
Shun’s heart was near bursting. Just a millisecond more and…
His brain was totally blanking out. He had no idea what was going on. Why the hell was all this even happening anyways?
Just then, he remembered something.
A few minutes ago…
While bashing his controller, a thought crossed Shun’s mind: Oh man, I really wish Rosalie were real!
Yeah right, as if such things could ever happen.
But then again, it seems to be happening right now…
Just as the gears in Shun’s brain were starting to whirl out of control, the girl’s tiny little toes were projected out off, and finally left, the television screen.
And, as it often happens when gravity decides to assert itself, she fell down.
It was a full frontal body attack, from midair! Unable to withstand the force of the fall, Shun tumbled backwards.
Shun’s head collided with the side of the bed. He fell, sprawling on the carpet.
Languishing in his pain, Shun’s nose had picked up the telltale scent of iron from blood, and there was that warm, soft weight on his chest, pressing against him just so…
Her sloping shoulders, the sway of her back down to her hips, delicate though they may be, were strong and resolute, her flowing golden hair smelled of wildflowers, and further down, Shun’s legs were entangled with the material of her mantle.
It was impossible. And yet, she felt so real.
Shun’s head threatened to burst. What in the world was happening?
And then, the world halted on her axis.
She was kissing him.
That’s right. She was kissing him.
Her soft, pink lips were pressed against his cheek, mere inches away from his mouth. That rosebud mouth of hers felt moist, her breathe warm and sweet. It was heaven on earth.
To any other man but Shun, that was.
To Shun, this was an attack. A horrible, cruel attack of the highest order.
Through the entirety of his sixteen years of life, the total accumulation of Shun’s dating experience had been zero.
And suddenly, this happened.
Stunned, Shun’s right hand twitched and knocked against the television controller, causing the television screen to blank out.
The tensed silence that followed was so thick, it could be cut with a knife. This agonizing period seemed to stretch on further and further, as the silence filled all corners of the room.
An eternity could have passed, and Shun wouldn’t have noticed. And for the first time since the beginning of this fiasco, a passing notion hatched in his brain – This could possibly, just possibly, not be a dream.
He had to get out of this situation, fast.
As his eyes slid to the right, he found most of his vision clouded by the thick golden blonde hair on the girl’s head.
Well, no time like the present.
Employing all of his amazing reflexes, Shun whipped his head out from beneath the warm, soft pressure of the girl’s lips…
Right, he needed a distraction. He stared at the girl’s face instead.
Her eyes were still closed, her pretty features unruffled, almost as if his sudden movements had had no effect on her whatsoever.
No way… No, she couldn’t be…
Impossible, illogical, inane thoughts started to pop up all over Shun’s head.
After all this time, he was still trying to find a loophole. His common sense dictated he do so, even after witnessing an event that seemed to defy every rule of common sense out there.
A gasp escaped the girl’s lips, the first sound she made since her projection from within the television.
Her eyes fluttered open. They looked exactly like that of the game cover illustration, if not better, their blue depths reflecting such sincerity and beauty, putting even the turquoise waters of the Southern Islands to shame.
And now those same penetrating, blue eyes were staring right at Shun.
Faced with such intense focus, the only thing that came to Shun’s mind was –
Reflexively, Shun jumped up, and with surprising speed, managed to back himself, butt first, against the wall of his room.
The girl stood up, her mantle falling below her knees, a pendant swaying gently around her neck.
Hell, she really looked like the heroine Rosalie!
Absorbing her surroundings, and Shun, with curious eyes, it didn’t take a genius to guess that she was confused. Of course, waking up in an unknown place, with an unknown person, does tend to have that effect on people.
As her wandering eyes surveyed the cramped little room, they alighted on the only chest of drawers there before they stopped dead.
A few seconds later the girl began to move, efficiently and purposely, towards the chest of drawers.
In an unknown place, with an unknown person, the first thing this girl did was not to talk to and question Shun, but to seriously and placidly check through his entire drawer, plunging her hand into it, while messing up his clothes completely, seemingly without caring that the owner of the room was standing just next to her, staring.
Shun had to give in.
She was a heroine. The heroine. The Heroine Rosalie from Dragon Bless III.
After all, fumbling through drawer after drawer was one of the basics of being a hero. Any hero.
This was especially the case in those special quests whereby you had to find some special rare item. In such an event, the hero would usually just barge into any old house, proceed to open all the drawers and break all the teapots and kettles, just to find that one item. Then, when the item was found, the hero would just casually pocket the item and it would show up in their item list as their belonging.
Such were the rules of the game.
Shun’s brain had just shut down on him. There had to be something wrong with him. There was no way he could actually accept such a bizarre happening in real life… Could he?
Meanwhile, entirely unaware of the ongoing commotion in Shun’s cranial centre and having completed her task of going through the drawers, the girl started walking right towards Shun.
Five accelerated heartbeats later, she was standing in front of him.
She sure walked fast.
Snapping out of his momentary stupor, Shun stared at her, confused.
Up close, her delicate features were so very sweet and beautiful. But as he observed her, burdened gallantry, that ought to have no place in a young girl’s features, seemed to be deeply etched into the contours of her face.
The final effect? A strong and beautiful, yet heroic young princess.
And well, there was also that smidgen of displeasure on her face right then. Must be because she couldn’t find anything in the drawers.
The evening sun filled the room with a warm, golden glow.
As the faint scent of the Japanese mountain rose permeated the room, the girl finally uttered her first complete sentence, addressed to Shun.
“I wish to talk to you.”
Her silver, tinkling voice was exactly as Shun imagined it. The perfect voice, for the perfect girl.
“Where am I? And whereabouts is this town? Are we in *Gard? Or is this place located in *Eterna?”
Her tone was even and measured, despite having just asked the most crucial of questions. But to Shun, nothing made sense. Heck, she could have been talking at the speed of a snail and he wouldn’t have been able to catch a word she said. His already addled brain refused to cooperate; her every word only served to confuse him more.
This girl… Was she really the one and only Princess Rosalie?
Shun remained silent, unable to form a coherent reply.
For a few moments, two pairs of eyes locked onto each other, silently sizing up the other. Then, as if having deciphered the hidden message behind his silence, the girl stood up. Side stepping Shun’s frozen entity, she headed towards the door of the room.
The room wasn’t all that big – a few steps would take her to the exit.
A few seconds and she would be gone. For good.
And so would his chance.
He had to stop her, confirm that question niggling in his heart.
His mind made up, Shun turned with a sudden whip of his head and shouted out, “Ro-Rosalie!”
The girl stopped dead in her tracks. Turning to face him, her eyebrows raised in surprise, she asked, “Why, how do you know my name?”
END OF EPISODE 1, PART 1
*Gard – A fictional name for Earth in Dragon Bless III.
Eterna – A fictional name for Heaven in Dragon Bless III.