Chapter Seventeen: Wrap Gesture:

Meanwhile, everyone had gathered in Emiko�s study. Tsuzuki looked down at the book.

�So Anna-chan is in there?� he asked.

�Yes,� Hotaru answered. He gave the pages a puzzled look.

�How?� Hotaru smoothed out her black frilly dress.

�She touched the letters,� she said.


�It�s a little hard to explain.�

�Try us,� Tatsumi challenged.

�Okay,� the loli demon said. �Back in the 90�s, Emiko-sama bought me this book as an anniversary present. It�s a magic story-writer.�

�Magic story-writer?� Hisoka asked.

�Yes. You just think up a story and the pages write themselves.� Many memories filled her head about Emiko. �I�m amazed it�s still writing after all of this time,� she muttered.

�So what happened to Anna?� Watari asked. Hotaru snapped out of her daze.

�Well,� she started. �If someone touches the text while the book is writing, they become part of the story.�

�So, Anna-chan�� Tsuzuki began.

�Yes,� the loli demon answered. �She is now part of the story.� The others started to read the book�s progress that had unfolded so far.

�Why am I a woman� and a caterpillar?� Tatsumi asked sternly. Hotaru threw up her hands as an innocent shrug.

�Hey, it�s Alice in Wonderland!� she reasoned. �Plus, Emiko-sama adored yuri.�

Hotaru�s cheeks turned pink. �So do I, but that�s beside the point.�

�So, Anna touched the ink and became Alice in this story,� Watari said.

�That�s right,� the loli demon said.

�Now how do we get her out?� Mike asked. �Can�t you stop the story?� Hotaru shook her head.

�It can�t be stopped,� she explained. �If that happened, Anna would be stuck there until the writing resumes.�

�So how can we get her out?� Tsuzuki asked.

�Well, we have to wait until the story ends,� Hotaru answered.

�And how long will that be?�

�No idea,� she admitted sheepishly. �It could be hours or months.�

�You�re kidding,� Vivian said.

�No,� Hotaru admitted. �However, there is a way to help Anna get back out once the story is finished.� All eyes fell on her.

�Tell us how!� Tsuzuki pleaded.

�Hang on,� the loli demon said. �Emiko-sama kept the key in our room.� Saying that made her heart tremble with sorrow. She lowered her eyes to the floor.

�Well, go get it,� Mike urged. Hotaru snapped out of it at his words and nodded.

�Oh, right,� she said. �Right.� Hotaru hurried down the hall.

�Think she�ll be okay?� Tsuzuki asked.

�Sure,� Mike answered. �She needs help getting over Emiko anyway. Besides, what�s more important�her feelings or getting Anna back?� Everyone turned their attention back to the unfolding story on the desk.