About Crimson Winter: City of Ruby:
And what the Lady Lilyth can’t control, she plans to destroy.
In a desperate bid for the survival and freedom of the various races of Crimson Winter, Yukari must seek to uncover secrets the Vile Emperor has kept hidden for a millenia and in order to do this, she has to journey to the last place she’d ever thought she’d go – the Ruby City.
The school’s hallways were blissfully quiet and surprisingly bright. Even the red haze seemed to clear from my mind a bit as I caught my breath within the relative safety of Shinjuku High.
Had I imagined it? Perhaps the red haze was more troublesome than I had originally thought. It seemed as if my imagination was running away with me and creating horrors where there was nothing to fear. I took a deep breath to steady myself and determined I would make a doctor’s appointment tomorrow – even my nightmares were not usually this horrible or vivid.
For now I had my glasses to find, and if I could also locate my swimsuit then a dip in the pool would certainly make me feel better. Reigning myself in, I strode with purpose toward the new swimming pool complex our school’s student council president had raised the money last year to construct for us.
As expected, I found my swimsuit in my locker in the girl’s change room, though my glasses were not in there. Changing quickly, I folded my uniform and placed it in the locker, grabbing a towel on my way out to the pool area. Considering the time, I figured that I would have the pool to myself, but surprisingly that wasn’t the case.
He was waiting there for me, the blonde exchange student.
At least for a moment it seemed that way, as he looked up expectantly at the sound of my entrance. At first I was tempted to ignore him – being a student of Shinjuku High, he had just as much right to be here as I did – but after a moment I found myself studying him curiously. Why did he seem so very familiar?
Oddly, he wasn’t wearing swim clothes, but rather he was still dressed in his school uniform from earlier in the day. Had he even gone home yet?
It occurred to me after a moment perhaps he wanted to swim, but hadn’t yet been provided with a swimsuit from the school. However, the look on his face as he regarded the calm surface of the pool betrayed a deep aversion to water.
“What are you doing here?” The question escaped me before I even wondered if it would be rude of me to ask.
He looked startled, then immediately confused. “Me? Oh, I…” He stumbled over his words as if embarrassed and I noticed that though he was speaking Japanese, his accent was decidedly foreign, almost Scottish or Irish. “I suppose I just wanted to see it.”
He turned his attention back to the pool and gestured vaguely at the clear blue water.
“Haven’t you ever seen a pool before?” I asked, startled by his answer.
He shook his head, looking confused. “No, I don’t think I have.”
I found myself wondering where he had come from and wishing I had paid more attention to his introduction this morning. I opened my mouth to ask him when I was interrupted by the distant, yet unforgettable, sound of a chilling inhuman scream.
“What was that?!” I asked no one in particular, but he answered me regardless.
“Lillem.” The word brought up a sudden wall of red fog and I fought to see through it.