The kingdom of Akiyama lies in the same world we live in. It is one of many kingdoms on the continent of Haruhi. However the continent of Haruhi is hidden from us by a magic barrier, accessible only through portals. Some portals exist in certain places, others appear seemingly at random and do not remain for very long. All are mysterious and must be treated with care. I learned of the existence of Akiyama when I accidentally stumbled through one of the many random portals. I have started this journal recording my adventures in Akiyama so others may learn about both Akiyama and all of the continent of Haruhi.
Now, as you may have guesses, Akiyama is a land of kings, queens, knights, grand adventures, fantastical creatures, mysteries, and magic. It is my hope that whoever reads this does not dismiss this as a work of fiction or the delusional ramblings of a mad woman. If you seek true adventure, find Akiyama. Your quest awaits.
-Irene Summerset, professor of English and History at Mountain Brooke University
Darcy Collins brushed strands of blond hair off of her face as she looked up from the leather bound book. A glance at the boy sitting next to her confirmed that she hadn’t imagined what they had just read.
“Do you think this could actually be real? Or maybe it’s like those ology books where the publishing company claims it’s a real journal they found in a crate or a tree or something? Maybe we should send it in!” Benni Dutch told Darcy, a look of disbelief on his face.
“No Benni,” Darcy whispered. “I think this is real. No one goes into this old section of the university library. We aren’t supposed to be here. After all, this was the private library of Professor Summerset before she disappeared. Why would she bother to write this book and leave it here if it’s just a joke? Maybe this is where she disappeared to.”
“Well, we can’t show this to anyone. No one would take us seriously. After all, a disappeared professor leaves a journal talking about magic portals and a place that shouldn’t exist? I mean, this is a pretty shocking thing. Who would have thought another continent exists and is hidden by magic? They’ll assume she was a nutcase and they’ll assume we’re delusional too.” A frustrated Benni put his hand on the desk. “We have to find one of these portals ourselves and learn what really happened. Darcy, what’s the journal say about locating a portal?”
“It says that they can pop up anywhere but are most common in the woods.” Darcy scanned several pages of the journal. “Apparently the things we need to look for are fairy rings made of toadstools, waterfalls with caves made from stone with a blue hue to them, and unshod horse hoof prints leading to a circle of barren grey trees.”
“What’s unshod mean?’ Benni looked at her in confusion.
“It means the horse doesn’t have shoes on. You’d know this if you paid attention to what mom tried to teach you.” Darcy chastised.
“Your mom you mean. My real parents got taken away and are never coming back.” Benni angrily began to walk out of the room.
“Benni, wait, I’m sorry!” Darcy called. “I know you’ve only been living with my family for a few months but to me you’re already an important part of it. You’re more than just a foster brother, you’re my best friend. I know it’s been hard but just give everything a chance, it’ll work out. Please, just try to give this a chance.” Tears filled Darcy’s eyes and she made no move to wipe them away.
Benni turned around and walked back to the desk. “Okay Darcy, let’s try to find one of these portals.”
“Great! Let’s grab some supplies first. I bet there’s quite a bit in here that will come in handy. Take everything that looks like it could be useful.” Darcy’s enthusiasm returned.
The two children found a leather backpack and filled it with several books and maps from the private library. Darcy put the backpack on and slipped the journal into her coat pocket. Benni then filled his backpack. They exited the library and walked across the campus to the woods.
“Hang on a second Darcy. Let’s head into the history building first.” He steered her away from the woods and back to campus.
“Benni, why?” She questioned as they entered the history building “We usually can figure mysteries out on our own. Do you think there’s a clue of some kind in this building?”
“Darcy, maybe one of the other professors knows about Akiyama.” Benni told her as they walked down a hallway. “Professor Summerset must have had at least one person that she would have trusted with this. It’s common sense. And besides, Kirk is usually the one who knows the most about history and myths and figuring out the mysteries. Remember, he couldn’t come to camp so we need another source of info. We had to turn in our cell phones at the beginning of camp so it’s not like we can call him and ask.”
“Yeah, that’s true. I guess I’m used to having him around when things get interesting. But are you sure we should talk to a professor?” Darcy replied.
“We don’t know anything about her personal life outside of Akiyama so it’s our only option right now. And we aren’t allowed to leave university grounds.” Benni stated.
“Which one though? A lot of professors teach here and I’m sure she talked to most of them on a regular basis. But I doubt she trusted many, if any of them with her secret. It would take a person open to the impossible to even consider believing her. Most of them probably wouldn’t give her a chance to explain. They’d just call her crazy and laugh at her. I honestly doubt anyone here knows anything about the journal. Who’d believe her?” Darcy contemplated.
“Let’s start with the mythology professor. Professor Kincaid might be weird but he seems like a nice guy, maybe she said something to him. It’s worth a try. Come on, let’s find his office.” Benni led her toward a group of offices.
They scanned the names on the doors until the pair stopped in front of a door with a plaque reading Professor Martin Kincaid, Mythology and Ancient Civilizations, nailed to the door. Darcy and Benni looked at each other, and then Benni knocked on the door as the pair waited to see what would happen.