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.