“Honoka~! Wait for me!!”
The girl with long dark hair and glittering golden eyes cries as she desperately tries to keep up with her friend’s pace.“Come on, Umi-chan! If you don’t hurry, we are going to miss the shooting star!”
The orange haired girl with sparkling azure eyes announced, waving her arm at her approaching friend.
“Like I told you! I… don’t think… stars… will fall onto the hill like this…!” Umi protests while panting for breath after catching up.
“Hey, but didn’t you see? That star fell down on this hill! It has to be here!” Honoka insists with a voice full of confidence.
“Hnnnh… We shouldn’t come up here at this time… It’s getting really dark!”
“But if we come here tomorrow, the star might already fly back to the sky! We have to go pick it up now!!”
Honoka continues jogging up the hill, while Umi sighs nervously and quietly follows her from behind.
Soon, the two little girls reach the top of the hill overlooking their hometown. The houses have lights lit up inside, but from this distance, all of them are merely sparkling dots.
“Hmmm, now where is that star??” Honoka mutters to herself and sweeps her eyes across the area. Being a new moon night, the sky is filled with twinkle stars, but that also means the hill is in nearly complete darkness.
“You came out here without your Asterisk??” Umi sighs and reaches into her pocket for a small trinket; a glittering deep blue orb that fits perfectly in her palm. She places it forward, and in a moment, light emanates from the orb, turning it into a portable torch light on her palm.
“Wow, you are so thoughtful, Umi-chan!!” Honoka cheers in amazement.
“Well, of course! You are way too careless!” The girl with dark blue hair pouts then shines her torch light around the hill. “Anyway, do you see now? There’s nothing here on top of the hill at—- Wha!?!?”
Umi suddenly cries in surprise as her light stops upon a figure lying on the ground just slightly further away. She fumbles and nearly drops her Asterisk, but Honoka grabs it in time before it falls. The orange haired girl keeps the light towards that figure, revealing a petite girl with long light brown hair.
“W—W—W—Why is there a girl lying here!?” Umi flusters while hiding behind her friend, “I… Is… Is she dead?!”
Picking up a lone wooden branch from the ground, Honoka takes the lead and cautiously approaches the mysterious girl. From a glance, that girl appears to be around the same age as both of them. She dresses in a pure white gown, made in fabric the two girls have never seen.
“I think… she’s still breathing?” Honoka suggests upon noticing a subtle movement on the girl’s abdomen, “Do you think she’s from a rich family? Her dress looks really nice.”
“B… But more importantly! Why would she be lying on the ground on a hill like this?!?!” Umi cries frantically.
“Why don’t we ask her?” The orange haired girl then kneels down on the ground, and softly nudges the mysterious girl.
“H… Honoka! It’s rude to—–!”
“Hnnnh…??” the sleeping girl mumbles, twitching her eyelids. She cautiously opens her eyes, revealing the sparkling golden glitter.
“Hi there!” Honoka greets the girl with a smile bright as the sun.
“… Who… are you…?” she asks with a soft but pitched voice like a little bird.
“I’m Kousaka Honoka! And this is my friend, Sonoda Umi-chan!” the orange haired girl introduces herself and her friend eagerly, “What’s your name? Why are you sleeping on the hill like this?? Are you a star? Did you fall down from the sky???”
The mysterious girl looks at Honoka puzzlingly and tilts her head.
“Honoka. Not so fast. She’s confused now, you see?” the dark haired girl reprimands her friend then turns back to the girl lying on the ground, “I’m Umi. What’s your name??”
“M… Minami… Kotori…,” she replies.
“Hmmm? Kotori-chan? Cute name!” Honoka cheers, “But I’ve never seen you in the village before. Where did you come from? Why are you sleeping on the hill?? Stargazing?”
“Uh… I… don’t know…”
“Huh?” Honoka tilts her head.
“You mean, you don’t know where you came from?” Umi asks with her eyes widened in surprise, to which the mysterious girl merely responds with a simple nod.
“So like… You don’t have a home??” Honoka asks some more.
“Home…?” Kotori tilts her head.
“That’s right! The place where you stay and hang out with your family!” the orange haired girl explains.
“… I don’t know where my home is…,” the girl mutters in a sad voice.
“Aww… That’s so sad…,” Honoka utters in pity, slightly sniffling, “All right then! Why don’t you stay over at my house!!?”
“H… Honoka?! What are you saying?! You can’t just bring a stranger to your house!” Umi cries.
“I cannot go to Honoka-chan’s house???” Kotori whimpers with a sad voice.
“N… No! That’s not what I meant! Don’t you want to go back home? Your parents should be worried!” Umi says.
“But I don’t know where my home is,” she whimpers again, looking downwards.
“It’s okay, Umi-chan! I’m sure my parents wouldn’t mind! She can stay until we find where her house is!” Honoka suggests and turns back to Kotori again, offering her hand, “Come on, let’s go!”
For the first time, the mysterious girl smiles cheerfully as she takes her newfound friend’s hand and stands up. The three girls then run down from the hill and head back into the village together.
… A fated meeting under the starry sky …
… A new tale is about to begin …