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Yuuki Keisuke enters cyberspace, a big grin on his face.

Keisuke: Hello, all! I am Yuuki Keisuke.

Tetsuya's voice, in the background: They already know that!

Keisuke: [whispers back] Shut up, I'm the one who's narrating here! [turns to the audience once again] Hello, everyone. I am the brother of Yuuki Miaka, heroine of the Four Gods of Earth and Sky, or the Universe of the Four Gods, or whatever they're calling it in the English subs of Fushigi Yuugi.

You see, my baka sister followed her friend Yui to the library one day and got sidetracked from the vending machines when she saw a phoenix fly by. She followed it to a room entitled "Authorized Personnel Only." I know it well. No, I'm not authorized--I'll get to that. Anyway, in the library, she and her friend Yui were sucked into that book, The Four Gods of Earth and Sky. All of a sudden, they were transported to ancient China. Yui, being a smart girl, got out, but Miaka stayed in there. This guy with the character "oni" on his forehead kept fighting off attackers for her. "My name's Sou Kichiku, but people call me Tamahome." Of course, she wound up falling in love with him.

Next thing you know, she's at the emporer's place, set up as Suzaku no Miko, the priestess of Suzaku--that phoenix-god she saw. She has to find her seven seishi--see, there are seven constellations in each region, north, south, east west. In the South, Suzaku, the constellations are Tamahome, Hotohori, Nuriko, Chichiri, Chiriko, Mitskake, and Tasuki. There are people who have the powers of each of the constellations, and Miaka has to find them to call Suzaku--then boom, all her wishes come true! That guy, Tamahome's one of them, the emporer Hotohori's another, and then they met this girl, Nuriko, except, well, things are complicated...

Miaka told me all of this when she came out of the book for a while. As any good older brother would do, I told her she was studying too hard for the high school entrance exam and to stay away from that book.

But would she listen? I tell you, my great advice is underappreciated. Because she ran right back to the good. Okay, so she had a good reason. Yui-chan was sucked in when she came out. But now things are a mess because Yui fell into another county, the one that's attacking Konan, where Miaka is. They set her up there as Seiryuu no Miko, the priestess of that region. So now, best friends are at each other's throats, there are more guys hitting on my sister than I thought was possible, and I'm here in the library reading all about it. I tell you, that sister of mine's going to make me get old fast--

[Keisuke's voice is fading...] Hey, stop dragging me away, I'm not finished yet--

Tetsuya's voice in the background: Yes, you are...

©1999 shilpa

the subversive pomegranate
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