"The Hidden Kingdom, Chapter One: Big in Japan": Rapunzel has been living at New York's Woodland Luxury Apartments, where Fables can go unnoticed, so long as they can pass for normal. Some Fables though, like Rapunzel herself, are more inconv
- Ways you never imagine you'll be killed: death by a thousand paper cuts.
- — Rapunzel
Appearing in "The Hidden Kingdom, Chapter One: Big in Japan"
Synopsis for "The Hidden Kingdom, Chapter One: Big in Japan"
Rapunzel has been living at New York's Woodland Luxury Apartments, where Fables can go unnoticed, so long as they can pass for normal. Some Fables though, like Rapunzel herself, are more inconvenient. Her hair grows at a rate of at least four inches per hour. As such, she has a personal hairdresser named Joel who has to cut her hair several times a day. All of that excess hair has been providing them with a source of income, as they can sell it to wig manufacturers. Unfortunately, so much hair makes the buyers suspicious, and they often have to switch.
One day, as Joel is giving Rapunzel another haircut, thousands of origami paper cranes crash through the window of her penthouse. Horrified, Rapunzel unfolds one of them, and finds a disturbing message written in Japanese kanji: "your children." Memories of her troubled past flood her mind.
Meanwhile, Jack Horner has run afoul of the Fat Man, whose plans for a casino in Fabletown hinged entirely upon the veracity of a series of lies that Jack told him. As such, he has decided to make Jack dead. Rather than allow that, Jack leaps into the bay and swims for his life.
Rapunzel heads to the Deputy Mayor Snow White's office for permission to go to Japan to search for her past. The origami managed to get through Frau Totenkinder's magical barrier, and the kanji written on it is from the Hidden Kingdom, which means that one of the gates to the Homelands has been opened, despite their all having been closed by the Adversary, long ago. The message, though, means that someone is still in the Hidden Kingdom, and that someone knows where Rapunzel's children are. Though those children were officially lost during childbirth, Rapunzel is sure that they were stolen from her. Bigby suggests that he will look into it, forbidding Rapunzel from checking it out, given her inability to mix well with Mundys.
Rapunzel and Joel conspire to get to Japan anyway, and they head up to Frau Totenkinder's apartment, where the old woman - the woman who kept Rapunzel locked in a tower for years - offers a trinket that will prevent her hair from growing so fast. That trinket comes at a price though. While in Japan, she must retrieve a magical artifact, and give it to no one but her. Hastily, Rapunzel grabs the trinket.
Unfortunately, the only person Joel could think to go to for fake passports was Jack Horner, and while Joel himself is air-sick for the whole trip, Rapunzel is treated to the sound of Jack banging his way through the flight attendant staff for thirteen hours.
Tokyo is crowded, but even so, Rapunzel spots a crane floating in the breeze. A dishevelled man approaches her and calls her by a name she hasn't heard in a long time: Okiku. He urges her to follow him, as they are in danger. Moments later, a strange looking woman with a mask on steps out of the crowd with a gun and wonders if Rapunzel remembers her. Joel and the homeless man try to drag Rapunzel away as the woman removes her mask to reveal a horrifying, toothy grin. She shoots the homeless man through the head, causing water to spray everywhere.
Finally, a car drives up and the driver commands Rapunzel to get inside, with Joel and Jack rushing after. Rapunzel knows that her past is waiting for her, somewhere nearby.
story takes place before Fables #1
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