SO. Longest chapter yet. Hooray!

"Again, my name is Ryota. Ryota Ueda," said the smaller boy, pushing his glasses up. "Everyone, introduce yourselves."

The Hispanic grinned. "Name's Carlos Chavez. Professional pickpocket, at your service."

"Priya Khan," said the Indian girl, yawning slightly. "I'm just tired."

"I'm Elias Keller. German and hungry, always and forever."

"Zephania Ruben, but you can call me Z," said the other girl. "Nice to meet you."

"And you already know me," said Viviane, smirking slightly. "Quite well."

Soul sighed. "My name is Soul Frangos, as Viviane has already no doubt told you. We both go to Anderson High School in Austin, Texas."

Carlos snorted. "Man, we ALL go to Anderson."

Soul blinked. "Wait, for real?"

Ryota nodded. "Yes. You are just unobservant. Viviane had no need to tell us your name, nor hers for that matter. You both have a reputation."

Viviane giggled. "Now, that's something I like hearing."

Ryota rolled his eyes. "Not a very good one, in your case."

"Oh, you need to lighten up. I can help, if you want."

Ryota shuddered.

Soul stared at them. "Are you all crazy?"

"Huh? What are you going on about now?" Priya asked lazily.

Soul couldn't believe his ears. "You guys just told me we're in another world! Forgive me, but I'm a tad bit confused."

Z raised a brow. "Just a tad? Wow. Jocks are a lot simpler than I thought."

"Oh, for God's sake," groaned Soul. "I'm going to repeat myself, and this time answer properly. What's going on? Where are we? And how did we get here?"

"No one knows," said Elias, putting his hands behind his head. "Look, we were all just waiting for you. We thought you'd have a plan."

"And why would I, of all people, have a plan?"

Z frowned. "You're a senior, right? That means you're the eldest out of all of us."

Soul narrowed his eyes. "It's an elementary fact that older doesn't necessary mean wiser."

Carlos shook his head. "What the hell? He even uses big words. I thought he was a typical jock."

Soul ignored him and turned to Ryota, who was peering up at the sky in concentration. "You said Ueda, right? I think I've heard that name before. You're the freshman who got an invitation to tour Harvard, right?"

Ryota's attention was immediately caught. "Interesting. You do know me after all."

"Yeah," said Soul, "and I think you have some sort of idea regarding this mess. Tell us."

"What makes you think I know any better than all of you combined?"

"I'm going to go ahead and use my jock brain and say it's because you wear glasses."

Ryota's lips quirked upward. "Fair enough. I will tell you what I think. It's up to you whether to accept it as a valid theory or not.

"The sky is pitch black and only the moon and stars are out. At the same time, we are in the midst of light. Normally, it would be because of the moonlight shining down on us. We would have enough light to see and interact with one another. However, this is not the case. There is too much light, as if the sun was upon us instead of the moon. It makes little sense to me, and I doubt I could easily find a plausible solution.

"We have established the possibility of a parallel world, meaning this is not Earth OR the Earth we know. That answers the question of where we are, supposedly. How we got here? It had to be instantaneous, otherwise we would've been jostled out of our sleep. I never believed in magic before, but I think I'll keep my options open here. As for what's going on…

"There is a famous Shakespearean line. 'All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players.' I think this is a stage, and we are the players. When there is a call to adventure, it must be answered. Perhaps we are that answer, brought by some being to mend whatever's broken."

All six of them stared at Ryota, who took the time to take a bow. "You're welcome, peasants."

Soul looked at him incredulously. "You got all that from looking at the sky?"

Ryota shrugged. "Sure. That, and I was the first one to wake up so I found this."

He pulled out a piece of rolled parchment and handed it to Soul, who glared daggers at him. He snatched the paper from the Japanese kid and began to read aloud.

To the little children of Anderson (I forgot your names),

Hi hiiiii!

I've brought you here so that you can fix the balance between light and dark. Think you can make your way to the nearest town? I'll be waiting in the tavern.

Thanks, and good luck!

They all looked at each other.

It was Carlos who broke the silence. "Well, we're now sure of one thing."

"And that is?" asked Z.

"We were transported to this place by a girl. HAHAHA!"