By the time Yuriko and Akira made it out of the secret passages, the sun was already high in the sky. The passage ended in a large cave hidden behind a waterfall. Not wanting to risk travelling in daylight, they slept in the cave until nightfall.
Akira’s plan was to contact the generals and rally their support to restore Yuriko to the throne. First, he would have to find her to a safe place to hide so he could put the plan into action. But where could he take her? He was certain by now Yuriko already had a sizeable prize on her head. Being a female child and barely a woman, he was not even sure if any of the generals would be willing to fight for her.
Akira looked over at where Yuriko’s small frame lay huddled against a rock. She appeared so fragile and weak. What could the Emperor Terasu Sun have seen in his daughter that made him believe she was the hope of his empire? Akira could still remember the moment when the palace gates had been breached. He had rushed to the Emperor’s aid only to be told that he was to go to Yuriko’s chambers and get her out of the palace by whatever means possible.
“But Emperor, you are my first priority!” Akira had argued.
“No,” Terasu Sun replied. “The sun is setting on my day. The end of my reign is fast approaching. The hope of my empire now lies in my daughter’s hands. You must protect her and help her claim back my throne.”
Akira hesitated, looking confused but Terasu Sun pushed him out, “You do not understand now, but you will. Give this to my daughter.” Terasu pressed a book into his hands. “Now go! Quickly, before the invaders get through to the inner quarters!”
Akira pulled the book out from under his robes where he had hidden it. It was a worn, leather-bound book with some ancient writing etched into the cover. Perplexed, Akira turned it over in his hands. Why would the Emperor give his daughter a book? Women were not allowed to read books and were not taught how to read one.
He opened the book and flipped through the fine sheaves of paper. Akira was startled to discover that the contents were about Yuriko; they detailed events in her life all the way up to the point when they escaped the castle through the secret passages, but the rest of the book was blank. He sat on the rock staring vacantly at the last word in the book, pondering over the events of the past day.
Suddenly, he realised new words were forming on the page in the book. He looked up and saw Yuriko stirring. Akira slammed the book shut and hurried over to the princess.
Yuriko sat up and rubbed her eyes. Disoriented from sleep, she asked, “Where are we?” Almost as soon as she asked, the tears began to well up in her eyes as the memory of her family’s slaying returned.
Akira sat awkwardly watching her cry. Uncertain about what to say, he handed her the book. Yuriko took the book and opened it for want of something better to do. She sat holding the book gazing blankly into the pages. As the tears ran down her face and connected with the pages of the book, something miraculous happened. The book started to glow and the pages began to turn themselves. Fresh words appeared upon the blank pages.
Yuriko wiped her tears quickly and began to read. It was just a simple line: seek the three sisters.