Saiyuu no Ryokou: The Continuing Adventures of Yuriko
Saiyuu no Ryokou: The Continuing Adventures of Yuriko
The Story So Far: Yuriko's week hasn't been the best of her life, but she's not sure
which is worse - that she can't figure out her lover's dark secrets, or that
supernatural forces seem to have aligned against her.
Volume 3, Issue 10
"Breaking the Spell"
Hachi and Mariko looked at each other, confusion, concern and amusement clearly warring
for supremacy in their voices and on their faces.
"Cursed?" Hachi repeated, obviously waiting for the punch line. "You're
"No, no," Mari insisted, waving her hand, dismissively. Let's do the
important one first. What contest?" she asked, her eyes traveling from one woman to
the other. "And most important - what's on the line?"
Yuriko bowed slightly in Midori's direction. "When we were visiting her family,
Midori challenged me to guess what hobby or interest she had in high school. Since I can't
guess, I give up. But, in retaliation for being mortified that I couldn't guess correctly,
I'm going to make her announce it in front of you two," she leaned forward smiling,
and said in a stage whisper, "in case it's *really* embarrassing." She sat back
and grinned. "And the prize is 'something fun' whatever that might be."
Mariko grinned salaciously at that, "You can't give up, Yuri - you have to
persevere!" With a laugh, she patted Hachi on the arm. "Let's help, Hachi...I
want Yuri to win! Midori-san, give us to the end of dinner to guess?"
Midori smiled and nodded, "Of course," she said confidently. "because
you'll never guess!" She laughed at the determined looks on their faces.
"How close did she get?" Hachi grinned.
"Not." The author shook her head.
"Okay," Mariko said thoughtfully. "Hints?"
"It wasn't anything high culture or literature-like," Yuriko said, ticking
off ideas on her fingers. "Or crafty, or artistic. Actually, it wasn't anything, as
far as I can tell." She threw her hands up in a gesture of surrender. "Maybe
you'll figure it out. In the meantime, Hachi, can I help you in the kitchen? I can lift
things and put things on plates. Sometimes I can even cut vegetables without hurting
Hachi smiled, "Come on and help me with the salad."
As they worked in the kitchen, Yuriko and Hachi could hear Mariko's voice coming from
the living room as she attempted to fathom Midori's secret.
"Hockey? No? Bookbinding? No, okay...how about fishing? Hmmm..."
When they rejoined the two women, Mariko was looking exhausted, while Midori's face
expressed a smug amusement. She looked at Hachigoro, "Care to try?"
"I'm thinking," Hachi said with his usual quiet smile. "I'm sure I'll
get it." He seated himself next to Mariko. "I'm good at games."
"I'll tell you what," the author said, "If you guess correctly, we'll
all do something fun together, my treat. How about that?"
Mariko laughed. "The obvious lascivious comment aside, I say - you're on."
She looked thoughtful. "Hair and nails. Your true dream was to be a beauty
"No!" Midori looked scandalized. "Good gracious, no."
They all laughed.
"While they're working it out, Yuri, why don't you finally tell us what's going on
with the tour?" Midori leaned towards the blonde to get her attention. Yuri's blue
eyes focused back on the present from wherever they had been and she smiled
"Like I said - we're cursed."
"Your tour in particular? Or should I be contacting an exorcist, as well?"
Mariko asked. Without pause for breath she shot a look at Midori and said, "Animal
husbandry - you used to raise pigs."
Midori only shook her head and smiled.
"I'm not sure - you might want to get one on principal." Yuriko answered
the first comment, but let the second slide.
"Well, for pity's sake, what's been going on, already?!" Mariko and Midori
both snapped simultaneously, then laughed at their mutual outburst.
Looking petulant, Yuri said quickly, "A lot of stuff! Ren-san's car was damaged.
Madame Sophia was injured in an accident and one of the sets was destroyed...for a
start." She looked up to find herself confronted with three politely blank faces.
"My co-star has screaming tantrums at everyone *but* me, even though she's already
told me she hates me and my dresser is terrified of me because she was told I was
violent." Still, no one looked convinced. Yuriko sighed again. "I just have this
weird feeling that it's cursed." The idol lapsed into a sulky silence in the face of
her friends' skepticism.
"That doesnt sound like much," Hachi finally voiced what they were all
thinking. "I mean, it just sounds like a lot of coincidences. Don't you think?"
Mariko sipped from her glass thoughtfully. "Do you remember insulting any wizards?
Or did you refuse to kiss an old woman that you met in the forest?" She sat back and
reflected. "Maybe an evil priest has it in for you, or Mayumi-san. Or both of
"Go ahead and make fun of me," Yuriko said petulantly, "But I'm telling
you..." she thought about telling them about Kishi, but she hesitated. She opened her
mouth to mention it, when a loud buzzer interrupted.
"Dinner's ready!" Hachi announced. "Please, seat yourselves and I'll
bring everything out."
Yuriko, all of a sudden, felt silly and embarrassed about her concerns. Her friends
were right - it was just a series of unrelated coincidences. She stood and helped
Midori to her feet.
"You guys are right. I guess I'm not as strong as I thought - the pressure
must be getting to me." Yuri laughed at herself. Even as she said the words, she
believed them. "Thank you for setting me straight!" She followed Hachi into the
kitchen, where, ignoring his protests cheerfully, she proceeded to assist him with serving
Dinner with her friends was exactly what Yuriko had needed, apparently. She felt
refreshed and relaxed in a way she hadn't in many days.
They were all laughing at Mariko's increasingly silly attempts at guessing Midori's
youthful hobby, when the author turned to Hachigoro and pointed at him genially.
"Come on, Hachigoro-san! You have to at least *try!* You haven't said a
"I've been listening," Hachi protested.
"You've been cheating!" Mariko insisted with an elbow to his ribs.
"You're making me do all the hard work."
"But I just can't see Midori-san being a spelunker," he said, shaking his
head, "I just can't."
"So, what do you think she was into?" Yuriko prodded. "Come on, now, you
have to guess at least once, so you can join the ranks of those of us who have lost the
"Hmmm..." Hachigoro put his hand on his chin in a gesture of profound
thought. "I think..." he hesitated, then smiled. "My guess is that
Midori-san was into professional wrestling."
Mari and Yuriko howled with laughter at the idea of the stylish author at a
professional wrestling match. As they flailed in amusement, it was Yuriko who noticed that
Midori was not reacting with the expected hilarity.
She turned a stunned look on the author. "Midori? He's wrong, right? You have to
tell him he's wrong."
Midori's wry expression changed into one of maniacal glee. "Actually - he's
Saiyuu no Ryokou, all characters and situations copyright E. Friedman and Yurikon LLC. All Rights Reserved.