KD's Notes: wow, look at that, I haven't abandoned this fic, but no one bothers to read it anymore, so why bother posting it right? Well, I've started this and I will finish it, I just wish it was as popular as my other fic.

So, this chapter is long I know, but some of the things inside will explain about Tenshi and others.

Chapter 13 Reminisce

Tenshi's green eyes opened slowly as when he never felt the blade penetrate his body. He gasped lightly at what had saved him; standing to the side, the most unlikely of people stood there defending him with a sword.

"H-Hikomi-san" he whispered as the man shifted his cold eyes to the youth and grunted in response. The other man, Naruchara, trembled slightly when Shinu turned to him, putting his best smirk on and glaring daggers at the man.

"Now, now, you weren't thinking of killing my apprentice were you?" Shinu asked throwing the other man back but not knocking him to the ground. The gang-boss smirked at Naruchara and turned back to Tenshi's still hung up form; he reached over and ripped one of the daggers out, which happened to belong to Naruchara.

Shinu didn't even give the other man a chance before he jabbed forward with the blade and plunged it into Naruchara's chest. Tenshi remained in slight shock as the other man's body fell to the ground with a heavy thud and he paled when he saw the amount of blood that began to pool around the corpse.

Shinu smirked at the lifeless body before returning his attention to the Chouwan. He stepped forward and unceremoniously ripped the other dagger from Tenshi's shoulder out causing the stunned youth to fall forward. Shinu caught him easily and tried to straighten him up the best he could; he noticed that since the blades were removed that the wounds were now bleeding profusely and that any longer the stupid child, which was what he believed Tenshi to be, would die from blood loss.

"Baka! Stand up straight!" he commanded of the youth but Tenshi only glared at him and tried to walk on his own. Shinu pulled the youth back and slung him over his shoulder and proceeded to return back to village.

"Iie! Stop! Put me down!" Shinu rolled his eyes at the pathetic cries of the strange youth, but being as stubborn as he was, he didn't give in to what the teen pleaded for. The unpleasant man continued on even as the youth complained non-stop since they had left the forest. Countless times Tenshi had tried to fight back, but because of his injuries he was in no mood to fight back so he decided to prattle on in his native language, most of which were Chouwan insults.

Shinu tried his best to restrain himself from strangling the youth and the strange language was starting to get to him. The most annoying thing that the boy was doing was his constant whining of "yaruo" which he assumed was the Chouwan word for "help".

"Yaruo, anyone" Tenshi pleaded softly and again it was simply to enrage the man that refused to put him down, "yaruo, yaruo, yaruo"

"SHUT THE FUCK UP!" Tenshi tried to stifle his laughter at the usually stoic man's outburst, but he was failing miserably and he wasn't at all surprised when he felt Shinu hit him hard, causing him to yelp in pain.

"What was that for!?" Tenshi asked, wishing he could move his arms to rub the sore spot, "you know I can walk on my own and return to the castle if you just drop me!"

Tenshi's desire was granted when Shinu removed him from his shoulder and dropped him *splash* into a large keg full of rainwater. Shinu smirked as he saw little bubbles surfacing and soon the stopped appearing, /hmm, I wonder how deep this thing goes? \\ the gangster contemplated before sticking his head over the basin to see if he could locate the stupid kid.

As soon as he saw a mop of silver hair in the murky water; Shinu looked in for another minute before he reached in and grabbed Tenshi by his hair and forced his head up over the water. The youth sputtered out water, well what he believed to be was water, and tried to glare at Shinu, but the wet bangs covering his eyes made it impossible.

"Okay, what was that for?" the Chouwan asked calmly; Shinu shrugged and plunged the teen's head back down into the water for another five minutes. Again the youth came back up with the help of Shinu and he glared more and more each time.

"Stop that!" Tenshi screamed trying his best to make a grab at Shinu's throat but failed due to his injured shoulders. The man smirked and finally pulled the annoying youth out of the water and knocked him to the ground hard.

Tenshi looked up at the man with anger in his eyes; never in his life had he met a person who hated him for no reason, yet protected him from death. He again was shocked when Shinu picked him up off the ground and smirked at him for the umpteenth time that day.

"Why?" Tenshi asked staring at the older man; Shinu's face remained neutral and he walked away slowly.

"I didn't think that you should die at such a young age and not when you are so rebellious and moronic" he stated whilst he stared at the city that was now covered with a sheen snow.


"Yes you really are a stupid kid, did you know that Tenshi!?"

"I'm not stupid, but there has to be another reason, and why did you call me your apprentice?"

"Well, you will be, because I see great potential in you and I think that you should enhance your stamina in order to protect certain people"

"Certain people?"

"Yes, like that woman you are always with"


"That's her, you need to be strong to protect her, besides look at you, you're not strong and you need guidance, which is why you get the privilege of having me as your new sensei"

"...-_-' you think rather highly of yourself don't you?"

"What's that suppose to mean!? I'll have you know that I am a master swordsman and that I can teach you many things"

"Such as?"

"Well knowing what an idiot you are the main goal should be discipline"

"Fuck off! Stop calling me that!"

"Calm down baka, and listen to me, will you take me up on my offer? Remember this is for you, not me and I want this for you. Huh, I don't know why but I feel that you will be very important in the future"

"Alright then, if you believe this, but on one condition"

"Name it"

"Stop calling me an idiot"

"Alright then, let's get your wounds treated...baka"



"Keep still baka"

"I can't help it, it hurts"

"Such a child"

Shinu looked up into the annoyed eyes of the boy he had saved. Although Shinu was known to be rude, conceited and unpleasant, he was honest in his want to help Tenshi become more then just a simple moronic kid.

"So, was what Naruchara said true?" Shinu asked, not looking up from what was preoccupying him.

"What do you mean?"

"About you being part of the Taihen"

The small establishment was completely void of any noise at the late night but the sounds of two warriors breathing softly could be heard clearly.

"Hai, what he said was true" Tenshi replied eventually.

"I see, so baka you're actually an assassin aren't you?"

"In a way"

"Willing to clarify that?"

"I don't normally kill like the other Taihen, I have killed, but now I try to just injure them, not end their that that's any better"

"Hmm, so why do you do it in the first place?"

"My mind tells me to do the job and get it over with...but my heart won't let me hurt people, which is why I feel the need to protect them"

"The heart is only as strong as the mind that controls it"

"...perhaps that's true, but I can't listen to my mind when it comes to that sort of thing"

"Hmm, well you certainly live up to being called a baka don't you?"

"What is it with you and calling me that anyway?"

"Well because until you learn to be stronger and try harder, you will be the baka I know you as"

"*Sigh* fair enough...but at least try to trim down the insults"

It was an hour later when Shinu successfully cleaned and bandaged the Chouwan's wounds and gave him a change of clothes. The two of them remained silent through most of the hour, only occasionally asking questions to each other. Through the small interrogation, Tenshi had learned that Shinu owned a training hall somewhere within the area and he also owned the new, although unknown, gambling hall that was part of the underground of Yoake.

The most interesting part of the mild conversation was that he learned that Shinu had fought in the war that he had seen his parents die in. However Shinu didn't know who the opposing army was and they still didn't .

The peaceful sound of rainwater hitting the windows was shattered when a loud shout came from the new gambling hall. Both Shinu and Tenshi exchanged glances before getting to their feet to see who or what was making all the noise.

As soon as the two men stepped into the hall they had to dodge numerous objects flying at their heads. Upon closer inspection, Tenshi saw that the onslaught was not meant for them, but the usually loud, vulgar mouthed Li Yamasaki instead. The raven-haired youth staggered towards the two men and fell forward, falling into Tenshi. As soon as the dust cleared from the fall Li opened his eyes and tilted his head up to see what he had fallen into. Pale green regarded dark green for a few moments before the vagabond smiled brightly at his acquaintance and hugged him in an almost comical fashion.

"Hey man, I haven't seen you in a while" Li beamed as he removed himself from Tenshi's lap and stared at him with mischievous glint in his eyes, "where's the brat?"

" you mean Kaia?" Tenshi asked the impetuous youth dumbly. Li nodded in response and leaned in closer to the Chouwan nearly bumping noses.

"Yea, that's who I was talking about, so what are you doing here anyway?" Li asked as he stood up and offered his hand to the other teen. Tenshi took the offered hand and with help from the doorframe and the lewd youth he was able to stand to his feet without as much pain from his shoulders.

"Oi, Tenshi, what happened to you anyway?" Li asked poking at one of the injured shoulders out of fascination and his own morbid curiosity.

"Don't do that" Tenshi demanded, grabbing the older man's hand before he could touch the wound anymore then he should. Li nodded quickly as he removed his hand from the Chouwan; he had seen the strange shift of colour in the man's eyes and he thought it best to listen to the youth.

"Sorry man, so it looks like you got into a fight, hehe, did you win?" Li asked crossing his arms and staring at shorter youth; he closed his eyes and waited for the response, knowing all too well that Tenshi had easily defeated the person that had attacked him, even if he was injured as severely as he was. Tenshi shifted about and moved past Li into the warmth of the gambling hall; he looked around at all the gruff men and he scrunched up his nose at the putrid smell from the intake of alcohol and other things.

"Iie, Yamasaki-san, I lost" Tenshi said finally causing the raven-haired youth to open his eyes and stare at the Chouwan in disbelief.

"You lost!?" Li screamed, causing many of the gamblers to look up at the two teens. Tenshi nodded and returned his attention to the hall again; as he scanned the people he noticed something out of the ordinary within the group of men. Sitting at a table in the far back was a young woman, no older then sixteen; her hair was the colour of sunflowers and her eyes were a dark ruby.

"Hey, what are you looking at?" Li asked, obviously over his shock; his line of vision followed Tenshi's and he saw the girl, "oh, her"

"What do you mean?" Tenshi asked, watching as the girl beat the men easily at poker.

"She just showed up one day at Yami no Kage looking for a place to stay" he explained "and Amiko-dono offered her a job, so she works there during the day"

"I see, does she have a name?"

"Yea, it's-" Li was cut off when a dagger went flying past his head and hit the wall behind him. Tenshi remained in shock and was even more surprised when he saw a few locks of his hair float to the ground /shit, that was close! \\ he thought erratically. The girl, whom obviously threw the small blade, approached Li with a charismatic grin on her face before she ran over to him and hugged him.

"Ah, Li-chan, you weren't going to introduce me to another man were you? When you know how much I love being with you ^_^" Li cringed as the girl hugged him tighter and rested her head on his chest, "ah, aishiteru Li-chan ~_~".

"Li-chan? Aishiteru?" Tenshi stared at the couple in amusement and tried to stifle his laughter and the smile that was creeping on his face. Li looked over at the suddenly jovial youth and sent a glare his way, which caused Tenshi to almost fall over laughing. The girl, whom was currently fawning over Li, turned towards Tenshi and finally acknowledged him.

"Hey, who's the weird looking kid?" she asked.

"Nani!? I am not a kid," Tenshi said in defense to himself and from the sparkling, questioning eyes of Li's woman, "I'm Hikari Tenshi, third officer to Lord Tomoe of Rokushin".

"Oh! So you're a big shot eh?" she asked; she removed herself from Li's form and stood in front of Tenshi. She wasn't a tall girl; Kaia surpassed her in height as well as beauty. "Well Hikari-san, I'm Miyamoto Kimura and I don't have a nice title like you though ^_^"

"Well it's late and I need to get back to my lover, so, it was nice to meet you Kimura-san, ja ne" Tenshi bowed and took his leave. He stopped at Shinu and bowed respectfully before leaving the gambling hall quickly and running to the castle through the rain.

Tenshi slowed down when he reached the gate and smiled at the memory of Kimura hugging Li like he was a small kitten. He was happy, although Li didn't seem to be, that the thief had met a nice girl, although she was a little strange, but she liked him for him.

Tenshi's thoughts traveled to the dark haired beauty that he had been sharing rooms with for the past week, even though he knew it was unacceptable for him to be sleeping in the same bed with her, but neither of them cared. With the swiftness of a cat, Tenshi was able to sneak into the castle unseen by any of the guards or caretakers.

Once inside he slowly trudged up the stairs, finally feeling the pain fully as he tried to balance himself on the railing. He staggered slightly, feeling drained as the night caught up with him as well as the amount of blood he had lost. He reached up the railing and his hand hit something soft and smooth. Startled he looked up to see a hand on the railing, completely naked of any jewelry indicating that it was not any of the royal family.

Pained and wishing nothing more then to sleep, Tenshi looked up at the owner of the hand. Soft amber eyes gazed into soothing pale green, no one said a word to the other for some time, and they stood there as if remembering every detail of the others features.

Kaia stepped down further so that she was eye level with Tenshi and she reached out to him; Tenshi smiled when she saw her outstretched arms. "Tenshi, are you alright?" she asked, but her answer came when the Chouwan fell forward, his eyes closed, but a smile on his lips.

"Koishii" he whispered as he fell forward into her embrace. She caught him effortlessly, noticing that he seemed lighter then usual. She rested her cheek on his head and breathed deeply, gracious to whatever god had protected him from what ever hurt him. Her eyes widened when she felt a sticky substance where her hand rested on his shoulder; removing her hand she saw crimson blood marring her palm.

"Tenshi" she whispered, holding him close.


Tap, tap, tap that rain came down violently onto the windowpanes, almost threatening to shatter the delicate glass and disturb the soundless sleep of the people who dwelled in the castle.

Soft eyelashes brushed open allowing pale green eyes to look around the room. The eyes squinted in the darkened room, but the sense of smell took over and it was flooded with the scent of roses and Sakura.

"Kaia" was all the form lying on the bed uttered as he stared at the ceiling, his limbs screaming in protest when he tried to move. Ceasing his efforts Tenshi rested against the soft silk of the bed covers and let the gentle lullaby of the rain and wind lull him.

"Tenshi?" the man in question opened his eyes, fatigue pulling at him, but he tried desperately to stay awake. His eyes finally adjusted and he saw the same hand caressing his face and soon it's owner came into his line of vision.

Kaia leaned over Tenshi and peered down at the young man, worry evident in her gentle eyes. The Chouwan smiled slightly at the woman and tried his best to reach up and touch her face as though she was a dream. Kaia smiled and entangled her fingers in his; she stared down at him, her hair cascading around them like a curtain, the colour like ocean at night.


"Are you alright Tenshi?"

"I think so..what happened?"

"You passed out on the stairs so with the help from one of the servants I was able to get you into my room" she explained, backing away from him slightly, "your injuries were starting to bleed through the bandages so I changed them for you"

"Oh, thank you"

"Actually I did a bad job since you were asleep, so I need to do them
again" she said as she helped him sit up.

"It doesn't hurt as much as it did so you did alright," he said quietly as she busied herself with removing his shirt. She wasn't at all surprised to see that his shirt had been soaked through with blood and she thought briefly how he could be so alert after losing so much of it.

She watched as he flinched when the material was removed and the cold air got to the wounds. Slowly she removed the old, bloodied bandages before dabbing a cool cloth on the stab wound causing Tenshi to hiss in pain.

"Sorry, I'm not very good at this" she said quietly, putting her head down as she placed the cloth in a basin of cool water that now had a red tinge to it.

"Kaia?" the young woman looked up upon hearing her name and stared at Tenshi shortly before cleaning the deep cut that marred the young man's broad shoulder. Tenshi, seeing that she was lost in thought, took her hand down from what was busying her and he forced her to look him in the eyes.

"Kaia, what would you do if I died?" he asked lightly, staring into her large sparkling eyes.

"If you died...I'd take my own life...to be with you" she said quietly bandaging his shoulder, and refusing to look him in the eyes.

Tenshi remained in shock as he watched the woman dress his wounds tightly and more efficiently then Shinu had done. /She would kill herself in order to be with me..\\ he thought staring at the girl and wishing that she would look at him.

Kaia, still refusing to meet his gaze got up from the bed and placed the basin and dirty cloth on the table before returning to him and sitting on the edge of the bed, making it so her hair blocked any way of Tenshi seeing her face.

"Kaia?" he reached out, despite the pain in his arms to remove the hair that had fallen around her face to see that she had crystalline tears cascading down her gentle, flawless face, "Kaia?"

"I'm sorry I said that, heh, I'm sure that's the last thing you cared to hear" she said, smiling at him, but he could see that she was trying not to cry and it made him wonder what exactly had made her shed tears like that. Despite the searing pain in his arms, he lifted his hand and brushed her tears away gently in a comforting fashion.

Tenshi was surprised when she turned to him quickly and hugged him around his waist, resting her head against his chest. He slowly wrapped his arms around her trembling form and looked down at her feeling content that she was able to show such emotion in front of him.

To Tenshi, this was the most unusual scene for him; for years he had seen Kaia as a strong independent woman who wouldn't let anyone push her around. She was courageous and willing to do what was necessary to show people that she wasn't a frail, weak woman as the stereotype was. However his assumptions were wrong and she was just like any other woman, she cried, felt pain and wanted someone there to comfort her even if she was strong on her own.

Tenshi was pulled from his thoughts when he felt her shift and sit up; she wiped the tears from her eyes, this time not seeming to care that he had seen her.

"I'm sorry Tenshi," she said in a small voice that was not at all like her, "I didn't mean to burden you with my problems".

"No Kaia, it's not a problem at all, I'm just wondering if you are okay?" he asked softly, taking her hand in his and giving her a reassuring squeeze. Kaia smiled slightly and turned her body to away to retrieve a clean shirt for him and helped him dress.

"Kaia, I should be going now, if someone came in and saw us, your honor would be disgraced" he explained, trying to slide out of the bed but two arms around him ceased his efforts.

"Baka, you're injured and exhausted, and I could care less about my honor as long as you are all right" she said harshly, pulling him back onto the bed gently and pushing him back onto the mattress. With determination and despite Tenshi's objections, she covered him with the blankets and kissed him on the cheek like a mother would do with a child.

"There, now I'll go into your room and stay there alr-" Kaia was cut off when she felt a hand on her arm and was pulled back toward the bed, ironically enough onto Tenshi.

"Tenshi?" she asked, seeing that she was sprawled out onto his chest. He wrapped his arms around her and stared into her eyes, before smiling at her.

"This is your room, so we can share.. if you want?" he said mischievously which made her blush slightly; she nodded and carefully moved herself off him to lie next to him instead.

"Good night Kaia-chan" the Chouwan said before kissing her on the cheek like she had done to him and closing his tired, overly exhausted eyes. Kaia watched him as he fell asleep quickly and brushed hair from his pain-ridden sleep before closing her eyes and falling into a peaceful dream.


"What an interesting sight"

"Hehe, she looks weird doesn't she?"


Nami and Tanmi watched intently as Kaia slept peacefully, clutching a pillow in her arms and smiling like there was no tomorrow.

"I wonder what she's so happy about?" Tanmi asked, poking at the girl's smiling face.

"Hmm, I bet it's about Tenshi" Nami replied watching as Tanmi stretched Kaia's face and laughing at all the different looks.

"Tenshi? You mean that nasty guy with the red eyes?" she asked as she probed Kaia's face more, causing the young woman to scrunch her nose up and swat at whatever was bothering her.

"What? Tenshi doesn't have red eyes and he's not nasty, he's really sweet" Nami concluded, blushing at the thoughts that ran through her young mind.

"Just because you like him doesn't mean he's not a jerk" Tanmi said bitterly, still poking at Kaia until the young woman rolled over and smacked the girl with her pillow. Tanmi fell to the floor in a heap from the impact of the pillow.

"Huh? Nami, who was that?" Kaia asked peering over the bed to see the little demon glaring at her.

"I'm Tanmi of the Niishi people" she stated, hopping to her feet and glaring daggers at the navy-haired woman. Kaia smiled at the vivacious demon before swinging her legs over the bed and standing up. It was at that moment that she realized Tenshi was no longer next to her /where would he go? Especially when he's injured \\ she thought as she changed into her usual clothing, discarding any thought of wearing another dress.

"Nami, where did Tenshi go this morning?" she asked as she tied her hair back into a braid.

"He went somewhere rather quickly, something about Yami no Kage" she said in a low tone as she licked her wrist, "why? You looking for him?"

"Um, well yea, he was here and now he's gone" she said sarcastically, which caused the little demon girl to giggle at her outburst. Kaia smiled and waved goodbye to the two odd girls and rushed down the stairs in search for Tenshi.

***In Yoake field***

"YAHHHHHH!...huh?, woah!"

Tenshi hit the ground hard and rolled to avoid further injury. Spitting out grass and dirt he turned and glared at his new "teacher"

"Baka, come at me faster and with more aggression" Shinu demanded smacking the silver haired youth with the blunt edge of his sword. The youth stood up and dusted himself off while glaring at the egotistical swordsman and fighting the urge to slap that smirk off his face. Tenshi turned and glared when he heard laughter coming from beside the stream; Li continued laughing despite the scowl he was receiving from the shorter teen.

"Wow, I can't believe that I wanted to learn tactics from you Ten" Li laughed, steadying himself on the rock he was perched on. Etowa-ru shifted his eyes to the stupid human that had the nerve to laugh at someone like Tenshi. However, knowing that Li eventually got his in the end, he had nothing to worry about and he wouldn't shut the boy up because he knew that something would happen and he wanted to see how well Li could react to the situation.

"Urusei!" Tenshi yelled storming over to the laughing youth, "you know? You're really fucking irritating Li!"

"Aww, hey now Ten, that one hurt" Li mocked, placing his hand over his heart and covering his eyes as fake tears streamed down his face. "Hmm, but you know" Li challenged "you don't really get irritated with me, you can't because my charms have worked their magic and you're falling helplessly in love with me aren't you!?"

"No, I'm with Kaia, so I don't have time for you" Tenshi shot back, picking up his sword and dusting some dirt off himself.

"That's understandable" Li said brightly, but soon a smirk played across his lips and an idea came floating into his head, mixed around a little, and the reason why he gets in trouble all the time was born.

"Well what if you and I shared Kaia?" Li asked, "seeing as how you need her to do anything remotely fun"

"THAT'S IT!" Li never had a chance to react when Tenshi came flying at him, knocking both of them to the ground. Tenshi grabbed a hold of Li's throat and gradually began to choke him; Li thrashed slightly and yelled for Shinu or Etowa-ru's help, but both the sword master and wolf waited and watched the fight progress.

"What-ack- did I say!?" Li demanded as the smaller man was now straddled on him and still relentless with his assault.

"And Shinu calls me an idiot, Baka, baka, baka!" came Tenshi's enraged scream; he stopped however when he heard laughing coming from the direction from the forest. Everyone stopped and saw that it was Ukai, Erinu, Yue and Reiko.

"Good Morning!" Yue said enthusiastically rushing over to Li and Tenshi, his eyes bright and happy, which the two younger men thought was odd for a man of Yue's age to act. Yue Mukugouenu, although a highly respected and loyal god to his people, was nothing more then a child at heart, that enjoyed smiling and laughing all the time. Reiko Yasashii also respected greatly as the high priest, loved nothing more than knowledge and cared deeply for his out of control lord Yue, and the fact that the two men shared intimate moments.

"Good morning Lord Yue" Tenshi said, letting Li go and approaching the jovial god and the Chouwan didn't have time to react when Yue latched onto him and squeezed him tightly.

"Tenshi! Oh why so out of breath? Are you okay?" he asked, sounding so innocent and incredibly childish. Tenshi nodded about the lack of air and the overly happy man removed his arms from the Chouwan. Tenshi stared at the ecstatic man as he looked around in awe at the scenery of Kirei.

/I wonder if the Chouwan gods are anything like him? \\ Tenshi mused, watching as Reiko tried to calm the older man down, /you'd never know that he was older then Reiko \\.

"Tenshi!" the Chouwan turned when he heard his name being shouted and he saw a very enraged Shinu glaring at him, "stop screwing around and get back to your training!"

"Hey, I've been at it all morning, give me a break!" he retorted, turning away from the older man and to Ukai, whom at the moment was talking with Li.

Currently Tenshi could see that the vagabond was not taking to kindly to all the praise that Ukai was bestowing upon him and he looked a little uncomfortable, but Tenshi said nothing, he was too busy enjoying the look of contempt on the other's face.

"I don't care if you've been at this morning, you will do it until you are good at it" Shinu retorted, smacking Tenshi hard with the blunt side of his sword again, which only caused Tenshi to his the ground hard.

The Chouwan growled low in his throat and picked up his sword then charged at Shinu at such a speed that no one saw him move. However Shinu was able to retaliate and knock Tenshi back; the Chouwan staggered back and hit the small fence surrounding the castle moat before he fell into the dirty water.

Shinu winced and held his wrist; the impact from Tenshi had caused his wrist to break bleed slightly /the boy is getting strong this fast? That's impossible, my techniques, even the most skilled swordsman cannot master this quickly \\ Shinu thought, wrapping his wrist lightly in a cloth to stop the bleeding.

Meanwhile Tenshi came to the surface of the water, sputtering out the grimy water from his mouth.

"I hate water" he said simply, trying to grab a hold of anything that he could but when that attempt failed he became inpatient and he spread his wings, which allowed him enough leverage to remove himself from the appalling water.

The people on dry land looked toward the moat when they heard a loud curse and cascading water coming out from down in the moat. Now standing next to the small fence covered in an unusual black substance and wet all over was Tenshi with his partially white wings out.

"What is all that?" Li asked, forgetting that he was trying to fight off Ukai, and even the pink haired man halted his attempts at the look of his friend.

"I don't know" Tenshi said, wiping the substance from his shirt and picking off large slimy pieces. The youth turned pale when he felt the substance move and it was at that point he new what was all over him.

"Tenshi?" both Ukai and Li asked in union as the Chouwan's eyes became wide and his lips began to twitch.

"LEECHES!" Tenshi screamed frantically as he tried to pull the water dwellers off his body, "just don't stand there, help me!"

Li and Ukai ran over and began to rip the little slugs off him quickly, afraid that they might cause infection or something worse. After five minutes or so, they had managed to remove all of the creatures and also they had a good long laugh at Tenshi.

"Shut up both of you" he yelled, trying to hide his flushed face the best he could, but he failed, "it's not that uncommon".

"True, but it was still funny" Li snorted, causing Ukai to fall off the rock from laughing so hard. Tenshi calmed himself; he didn't want the two of them to start teasing him again, especially not this early.

"Hikomi-san, I'm taking a break," he said quietly as he removed his soiled shirt, leaving only a thin shirt underneath and headed towards the south to another village. He walked on, his hands dug into his pockets as thoughts raced through his mind; nothing that could be clearly seen was bothering him, but he felt it in his soul and heart, almost as though he knew something would happen.

It had now been nearly two weeks, he had only four days left and soon his job to execute Katsuhiro Yoake would be in effect. Tomoe had told him that he should do it swiftly and right to the point so that the caring kind didn't even have time to scream. The thought of killing the man never really registered in Tenshi's mind; he had thought at least once or twice about killing Tomoe when the man had pushed him too far, which was quite often.

***Away from the castle***

Tenshi sighed loudly and sat down on a fence that was stretched out around Yoake. Looking around he thought about what Kaia had said about how much nicer Yoake was to Rokushin. He also noted that the hills at this particular light looked a fair amount like the ones he lived around when he was a child, but he could only remember five years of his old home before he was taken to live with Kuroku and the others.

The Chouwan stood up and began to travel towards the forest, unsure of where exactly his legs had decided to take him. In a matter of minutes he found himself in a clearing in the forest. As he walked further he felt as thought he had been here before. He took a step forward, but tripped on an uplifted root.

"Ow, man I'm a klutz" he said to no one, but he thought he actually heard some of the birds tweet in agreement. He growled low in his throat at what a rotten day he had been having until his eyes shifted and something came into view.

Off in the distance, surrounded by the trees was what looked like a small house. Tenshi stood up and on a bizarre impulse he ran to the house. It was run down and he noted that there was blood on the door and around the cabin.

"This is..." the realization hit him hard, the house that he stood in front of was the one that he and his parents used to live in before they were killed. Tenshi stood motionless as he viewed the house, it was so much the same that he had a hard time believing how long it had been. The Chouwan shook away his thoughts and ran to the horse stalls, not really knowing if he would find anything.

Once inside he looked around, the only animal that was in the barn were rats and other rodents.

"I really don't know what I was expecting," he said, his voice echoing loudly through the empty stable, "maybe I thought someone in my family lived here".

Tenshi left the stable and headed towards the house; he looked it over before entering his old home. Light streamed in through broken windows and there were chairs and books littering the old wooden floor. The young man wrapped his arms around his lithe form, as the air in the small house began to chill him. He walked around the large room, occasionally stepping on shards of broken glass until his foot landed on something that's texture was different then the ground.

"What is this?" he asked, picking the canvas off the floor; he looked at it closely and he had to wipe his eyes of the tears that had formed in his eyes. The picture that he held in his hands was of his parents and him from twelve years ago.

"Mother, Father.." This time Tenshi didn't brush away the teardrops that had clouded his vision, instead he allowed them to fall to the floor and splash in a quiet whisper.

Tenshi spent the rest of the morning sitting in the quiet, empty house, staring at the picture of his family. So wrapped up in his thoughts of his parents to notice two sets of eyes on him.

"Wow, he looks so sad" Nami whispered sadly, staring at the picture of the man and woman with their child, "I didn't know that he missed his Mama and Father?"

"Yea well, we've all got problems" Tanmi stated bitterly, sharpening her claws on the windowsill, "he's just wallowing in self pity, pointless really".

"Oh Tanmi-chan, why do you say that?" Nami asked, standing on the tips of her toes in order to see Tenshi a little better. The small cat girl gasped when she noticed that the young man was staring at them, but his face was calm and weary before he rose to his feet and towards the door.

"Eek! Tenshi saw me! He's coming here to punish me for being bad!" the demonized teen watched the little cat girl run about frantically on the spot; she could actually care less if they were found out by the bitter Chouwan.

Tenshi walked out of the house with the painting tucked securely in his tunic before venturing to the side of the house where they two girls were spying on him. As soon as he got there he saw Nami hoping around nervously while Tanmi just watched her in fascination.

"What are you two doing?" Tenshi asked as he walked up to them; Tanmi shrugged and Nami was almost in tears about getting caught doing something bad, even though it really wasn't.

"Well we heard from this guy Li that you stormed off, so we followed your scent and came here" Tanmi explained reaching over and grabbing Nami to cease her unrelenting jabbering.

"Oh, well I don't plan to head back anytime soon" he replied, walking over to a large uplifted root and sitting on it and resting his head on his propped up leg, "I wanted to train to become strong, but that ass Shinu is working me too hard!"

Nami ran over to the distraught Chouwan and sat next to him before hugging him and nuzzling him lovingly. Tenshi just sat there and watched her from the corner of his eye, unmoving, and wondering what she was doing.

"Aww poor Ten-chan! Shinu is mean isn't he?" she chimed loudly into his ear, but he only smiled at her, not wanting to spoil her forever jovial mood. The little cat girl let go of Tenshi and began to ramble off what she had done that day from waking Kaia to what she ate for breakfast to the butterflies she saw and chased.

"It sounds like you had a very productive day-" Tenshi was cut off when he heard his name being called out over the trees. He didn't move, worried that Shinu had decided to come and retrieve him, probably smack him a bit with his sword, and then train him again for seven grueling hours.

He heard the voice again and this time her heard a woman's voice followed by a man's voice and then bickering between the two voices.

"Who is that?" Tanmi asked and the young man knew all to well that it was Li and Kaia that had come in search of him, so he waited, perhaps they would find him without his assistance. He listened intently as the bickering stopped and the rustle of leaves got closer to him.

"Tenshi!" he knew whose voice that was, it was the lovable, vivacious Kaia that he was falling in love with, if not already. He listened intently to the footfalls of his friends and the yelling between the two of them.

"Hold that branch so I can get through!" had came Kaia's enraged and shrill cry and the sound of her getting hit by the branch echoed out of the forest.

"Careful Busu, you're already ugly, I'd hate to see what would happen if your face got maimed" Li laughed, but was soon silenced by a slap to the face, Tenshi smiled. The Chouwan listened intently, his keen ears picking up on the cracking of twigs and the shuddering of bushes.

Li emerged from the shrubs, this time being kind and holding them for Kaia as she stepped through the trees and vines. Kaia looked over towards the house and the rest of the area where her eyes finally caught sight of Tenshi sitting casually on a root with the demon and cat girls. Upon seeing the two girls Kaia felt a twinge of jealously, so much so that she lost her footing and nearly hit the ground if it wasn't for Li grabbing her by the collar of her shirt.

"Careful again busu, you're just asking to damage your face I know it" Li scoffed, smacking her lightly on the backside, but he was soon on the forest floor with a large red hand print marring his face.

Kaia tiptoed through the rest of the shrubbery and towards Tenshi; he smiled when she got closer and jumped down from his perch on the root to meet her face to face. On impulse Kaia blushed, having remembered the previous night and the words he spoke to her.

"Kaia, you okay?" he asked, leaning towards her; she felt her heart begin to beat so quickly that it threatened to burst through her chest. It was strange when she remember what he had said about her honor and that he didn't care if his name was drug through the dirt, it made her feel loved and respected that he cared so deeply about her.

"I'm perfectly all right Tenshi, Li may act like an ass, but he's really a sweet little boy" she laughed softly, placing her delicate hand up by her mouth to stifle her giggles about the lewd thief.

"Hey, that's not even close to the truth busu" the thief argued, finally peeling himself from the ground and stalking over to the younger two. Li looked between the two scornfully, not liking the way they were smiling at him, as though he was left out in the dark about something.

"Anyway, um, what are you two doing out here?" Tenshi asked, changing the subject for Li's benefit.

"Well I came out here to find you after this idiot drove you away from the castle" she said, more to Li than Tenshi. Sighing to himself, the Chouwan shrugged and regained his place back on the large root as he watch Kaia and Li argue more. He began to wonder how two people who disagreed so much could be around each other for so long, but then he remembered his parents and the way they acted. Before his parents died he remembered quite clearly that his mother was incredibly impatient, spontaneous, fiery, also she never let people push her around. She was always as strong as a lot of the men and never acted too much like a lady, since she believed that she was at the same level as any man. He was only three years old, but Tenshi knew that his mother was a strong woman physically and mentally, which is what he loved about her, in a way Kaia was exactly like her.

His father on the other hand was very level headed, stoic, and passive, he was usually the one that had to calm down his mother. He had watch them carefully when growing up, he had also learned a lot from them in the five short years he was with them. Nonetheless even though they were dead he kept them alive through his spirit which contained both his mother's fiery nature and his father's passiveness.

In a way, Tenshi mused, Kaia and Li were so much like his mother, which was probably the reason why they clashed all the time, they were the same two sides to a coin.

The Chouwan sat and watched in fascination as his friends continued to fight, only at this moment Kaia had Li in a headlock, threatening to break his neck.

"Man, you two act nothing at all like friends" Tanmi said from her perch next to Nami, "all you two do it fight".

"Eh?" both the two teens said, who finally decided to let each other go and walk toward the Niishi girl.

"What do you mean Tanmi?" Tenshi asked, turning to the pouting girl next to him, "they may not look it, but you can always tell when two people care about each other.. I know this"

"How can you be so sure? I thought if you had friends you weren't suppose to beat each other up and call the other names?" she said quickly, trying to make sense of the Chouwans words.

"Well, Li may be an idiot, but I really see a good person in him, even if he doesn't want to show it all the time" Kaia stated, punching the older teen in the shoulder.

"Right, Kaia may act like a bitch but that's just was she is *slap* I mean, she's a good person" Li commented, rubbing his sore face again for the third time that day.

"Tanmi, there is no real logic to it and it can't be explained, it's just something that happens unexpectedly at times" Tenshi explained to the demon girl, whom finally nodded in understanding of the situation.

"Anyway, Tenshi what are you doing all the way out here? You're not out here seeing Erinu are you?" Kaia asked, trying to hide the jealously that had begun to creep up into her heart about another woman even going within a two mile radius of Tenshi.

/He's mine, so all those other little whores better keep their hands off him! \\ Kaia thought irately as she watch the little cat girl Nami get closer to Tenshi and tap him on the shoulder as she asked him something which he smiled at.

/Well, I guess I'm acting a little crazy, and I could understand why Tenshi wouldn't want someone like if he and I were, more than once, being slightly intimate \\ Kaia watched as Tanmi, Nami and Li started up a conversation, leaving out an always smiling Tenshi. Suddenly a thought emerged into Kaia's mind and she hastily ran over to the Chouwan, grabbing his hand and dragging him further into the woods away from prying eyes.

***Away from the others***

"Kaia, what are you doing?" Tenshi asked, although not really caring where he was being led by her since he wanted to be alone with her since last night and if it wasn't for his injuries then something could have progressed.

"Just leading you away from the others is all" she smiled sweetly, still holding his hand in hers for what seemed like an eternity.

The young woman moved away from Tenshi and began to walk among the flowers that seemed to pool on the ground and surround the trees like a necklace. She looked up at the sky as though searching it for the right words at that moment, but it was hard, she really didn't want to ruin the serenity. It was such a nice day that any words that might fall from her mouth could jeopardize what she was feeling.

"Are you alright Kaia?" the girl turned around to look at him and smiled, enjoying the way the sun made his hair shine like the finest silver. She moved to him and without thinking embraced him tightly, afraid that if she let go he might disappear forever.

"I'm fine, I just like this place, it's so serene" she commented, snuggling into the warmth that his body possessed. She thought it odd how one trip to this place could uncover all the feelings towards him, but than again, since he had come here it seemed like there was always something around Tenshi, like a presence that he couldn't feel, but she felt it.

"Serene, not really, the forest is dead" he commented bluntly, picking some dead leaves from a low branch.

"What do you mean? It's looks healthy" the Chouwan shook his head at her, moving away from her embrace, but still taking her hand to guide her towards the rest of the woods.

"It may look it, but the souls of the trees and earth are unhappy and slowly withering away, soon there will be nothing left" he explained. To him, this place was still his old home from when he was a child, it still smelled of rich pine, but now it was diminishing.

There was another place that had a lot of bad memories about it, so much so that he began to walk closer to this spot, the exact place that his life changed. It was a clearing in the forest that was always naked of plant and animal life; it was cold and desolate.

*It was twelve years ago that a strange group of people rushed in from the north and began to slaughter the Yoake soldiers that had hidden within in the trees to stop the massacre of their villages.

At the tender age of five, barely even to understand the world, Tenshi watched as his father was slain, while his mother kept him clutched tightly to her body.

She ran, but a man, no, a demon followed them into the desolate clearing in hopes of escaping from everything, just as the woman's husband had told her to do, leave this place and don't look back. However, her plans would be interrupted when she felt an arrow pierced her back, causing her to fall, but she still clutched her child to protect him.

From the immense pain, the woman knew that continuing would become futile, as the demon man continued closer, the man that was still covered in her husband's blood, would not cease to kill her and her child. She knew that she would die, but if she could save her son, then her sacrifice would be worth it all.

The woman struggled but managed to stand to her feet and walk a few steps to where the earth became green and the trees began to form. She was able to find a small hollow in a tree, perhaps an animal's home, but for now it would be her child's refuge from the demon.

The child began to cry softly, but the mother coaxed the small boy, turning his sobs into whimpers. She knew this was it, the last time she would hold her little child in her arms, no longer would she touch his soft hair as he slept or consoled him when he was frightened. No, this was how it had to be to protect her small angel, she would lose her life, but her soul would stay with the boy for eternity.

With a final goodbye and kiss she left her small child alone, to stop the man from going further and taking her life and her sons. As she walked, tears fell from her eyes, but not from the wound in her back, she had forgotten that long ago, her heart now broke from the pain by having to leave her child all alone in order to save him.

She approached the desolate clearing and saw the man standing there, his sword drawn and ready to kill. Oh how petty it is to think you can truly kill one's soul with such a weak blade she thought and smiled to herself. Tenshi would be strong, she already knew it, she sensed it from the day he drew first breath that he was special.

She gazed at the man in front of her; his eyes were wild, cold and dead, it made her shiver just by staring at him. Without a second thought or reason, he ran at the woman, sword to his side, ready to slay the woman who so boastfully stood up to him, while others would cower in fear.

The woman moved out of the way and drew a dagger from the sheath hidden behind her back. The wound that the arrow had conflicted began to heal itself and she thanked the gods that they had made the Chouwans the way they did. Perhaps she could win now, live and be with her son, watch him grow old and fall in love with someone.

The man demon came at her again, but she simply evaded the attack and was able to nick him lightly with the blade. Her breathing became ragged as she tried to avoid his advances, with each dodge she could only hear the loud jangle from the earrings she wore. Ah pure amethyst and gold, given to her by her father, as she was the first born child of the Sennen family. The beautiful treasure was to be passed onto her son when he was older and the tradition was to continue.. But would it be able to if she died here, now?

She lost her footing as he came at her, pushing her to the ground, the twigs and death earth reopening her wound, causing her to scream. He removed the dagger from her hands and did not hesitate to drive it into her chest.

No scream came this time, the pain was too extreme and she felt as though her voice had disappeared, all she could do was reach a hand up and remove the cloak from the man's face. What she saw made her gasp; she began to cry, not understanding why a person she had known so closely would do something like this to her of all people. She whispered his name as she touched his face with her hand.

His eyes burned with hate at first, but as the woman whispered his name the dead, clouded blue eyes began to shift to ones of sorrow, sadness and compassion. The man was different she knew this, his body on hers was warm now and not cold as it was before. This was the man she knew before and she felt sorry for him, having been corrupted to the point that he killed her.

She felt no anger or hatred towards him, no, because she knew that he was just as dead inside now as she would be in a few minutes. She smiled at him, confusing him to no end, why be so kind to a man that had just killed you? He couldn't understand that, but he too knew the woman a long time ago, and how he loved her.

He wanted to apologize but she hushed him before he could speak, but one sentence was able to leave her lips as death's arms embraced her. Save my soul, she told my soul. She smiled at him, knowing that somehow he would do as she commanded. Her body grew cold and she sobbed as thoughts of her son came to mind one last time in this life. His bright smile, large happy eyes, sweet innocence that could never be tainted by even the sickest of creatures.

The man's eyes flashed back to the dreary colour they once were and he finally ended her life with a final stab to the heart. Again the compassion returned to the man and he was aghast at the actions he or the tainted side had done to the woman.

He stood up, terrified to move any more as he stared down at the still smiling woman. Footsteps approached and he continued to stare down at her, even when a hand touched his shoulder. He hadn't meant to kill her or her husband, but the presence inside him would not resist the urge to feel blood between his fingers again.

The gentle hand on his shoulder became a loose embrace. The person knew that the man was not like this, but there was nothing that could be done, it was the man's own horrible fate that he would take to the grave with him.

Hours passed but the man stood there with his army, now clean of any blood that had become plastered to them. He did not wash the essence away, this way people knew that he done such an act and that he was lower than crushed maggots.

The kind man that had tried to console the forlorn slayer left the clearing upon hearing small cries coming from not far away. He wandered through the forest, not too far in until the whimpers became clear from a hollowed out tree. The sobs were that of a human or something else, so he had nothing to be cautious about as he kneeled down to the soft sniffles coming from the tree occupant.

He peered into the hole and saw a small boy trembling violently, clutching a dirty, wore stuffed bear in his small arms. The small child's pale face was buried into the toy's faux fur and large tears cascaded down the little one's face as he sobbed uncontrollably.

The boy heard the rustle of clothes and opened his eyes, a dazzling jade green, to stare at the man that peered at him. His heart stopped as the man watched him closely. The child, still just a baby by mutual belief cried out for his mother in a long wail that pierced the gloomy atmosphere.

The man, by all means the most kind of the slayer's army, tried to hush the boy and calm his tears. He reached in and touched the boy's head, but the child backed away into the tree until the rough bark dug into his back, causing more wails for his mother.

The poor child, the man thought as more tears found their way down the boy's face and onto his little toy, which he held onto for dear life, as though the raggedy bear could somehow protect him like his mother had done.

In one quick motion the man reached in and gently took the boy out of the hollow tree and took the struggling child into his arms. The little one stopped his futile attempts as the man began to stroke his hair gently, in hopes of calming the child.

He was rewarded when the boy's wails turned into small whimpers and hiccups. The man had wished for his own child, but he wasn't about to have one right now when the world was in such hell, yet somehow he knew how to comfort the little boy that was slowly falling asleep. It astounded the man that the child was so comfortable in his arms and had ceased his crying for the time being.

The child looked like the woman that the king had killed, making this child nothing more than a poor orphan, just like him and the slayer were. The kind man looked down when he heard the boy cough hoarsely, more than likely from all the smoke that was around now that some of the soldiers burned some of the bodies.

Making sure the boy was securely in his arms, he ventured back to the where the rest of the assassins were waiting. As soon as they saw what he had in his arms their eyes lit up with murderous glint as the small boy, now awake, cowered against the kind man.

Tenshi terrified and unable to understand whom they were, clung to the man as the others advanced. However the slayer stepped in front of them and looked at the small child. It was hers, no doubt about it, the facial structure was the same and the eyes were shaped and as lovely as hers were. He smiled at the child and petted his hair in a gentle manner to keep the boy calm.

The young Tenshi opened his eyes to stare at the slayer, who now was clean from the mother's blood. The child looked down and froze; there was Mama, covered in blood, and her eyes blank, yet a smile still grazed her pretty face.

He struggled out of the kind mans arms and ran to his mother's side, trying to wake her up from her eternal sleep. When he knew that his mother would never answer him, he cried, a long mournful wail that made all the people that surrounded the scene stop, and think about what they saw. A small boy crying for his deceased mother, it was sad, and it was all their faults for attacking innocent people.

Tenshi stopped crying, wiped the tears from his eyes and slowly removed the earrings that his mother had always worn and that he used to pull on when he was a baby. He unclasped them and pocketed them for the time when he would have the strength and threshold of pain to actually pierce his own ears.

"Boy, your name, tell me it" the slayer demanded softly. The said boy looked up sadly but complied with the demand.

"Hikari sir, Tenshi Hikari"

"Do you have any place to go now boy?" the slayer asked again, wincing inwardly at his tone. Tenshi shook his head sadly, still keeping his eyes locked onto his mother's still body.

"I see" the slayer looked at the boy and his mother /Save my soul \\ he now knew what the woman meant, in order to save her soul he would have to take her son to live a new life, but most importantly, live.

"Tenshi, you will come with us, for your best interest and protection, what do you say?" the slayer asked. The boy remained quiet for a moment, then stood and approached the slayer.

"I will," he said sternly, but in all his childish innocents he asked "only if you help me find my mother's killer"

The slayer's heart felt heavy, the boy had no idea that it was he who had killed his mother.

"Yes Tenshi, I will help you" he promised, and deep in his sub-conscious harsh, maniacal laughter filled his mind, chilling him to his soul. They helped the boy dig a grave and placed the late mother into the ground around the hollow tree, where the flowers grew around the trees. The perfect place to bury the perfect woman, wife and mother. Once this was done, and after a Chouwan prayer, Tenshi left the ground where his mother laid and went with his newly found protectors. *

"Tenshi, Tenshi?" Kaia shook his shoulder gently to snap him from his trance. He had been staring at the clearing for more than ten minutes, his eyes were sad and unshed tears pooled within them.

Tenshi looked away from the sight before him, placing a mask of happiness to cover his true emotions. Kaia approached slowly, being cautious, as she felt the tension boiling in the young man's troubled soul. Before her hand could touch his shoulder he spun around, startling her.

"The two weeks that we came here for are over in three days, on fourth day, I am to kill Katsuhiro Yoake" the young man's words were ghostly and immortal, unlike his upbeat spirit.

"I know you go through with it?" the maiden asked, praying that he would not sell his soul to the devil. She knew that the one man he had slain was by sheer instinct to save someone he cared for. It was that day he claimed he would never kill again, but instead form the illusion that he killed them, often knocking the opponent unconscious and stabbing the ground to pose as the murder, but never did a blade in the Chouwan's hands ever pierce skin.

Tenshi, however, loved the humans that shunned him for what he was, they saw him as an ethereal creature. The humans were afraid of what the Chouwans could become, they were not feared for their physical strength, but for their immense power and ability to wield magic stronger than that of any human mage.

In his old village, he heard talk that as he grew he was to be something stronger than most Chouwans, but he believed it as nothing more than a fable, something that the elders thought, nothing more.

Would he kill Yoake's king for his own king? It was hard to say, could he honestly sell his soul and give up his ideals about taking life, only to please one wish from his benefactor?

"I don't know Kaia, I will cross that bridge when I come to it" he said in low whisper, almost afraid to say anything that may be used against him in the future.

He wondered many times as he lied alone at night, what was to be of him if he killed the man he had come to know, and welcomed him so nicely into his home? The thought of bathing his hands in the blood of another life would leave him forever tainted, and he wasn't about to ruin his life because of that.

But what of Tomoe? What would his reaction be? Although he did not wish to kill the kind man, something about disappointing Tomoe affected him deeply; the man was somewhat a father, always pushing his son to achieve greatness. But also the man was like a brother, challenging the youth to be more than he could truly be, yet at the same time protecting him.

The Chouwan youth turned from the place his mother was slaughtered and back to the living where his friend awaited him. They were new to him, and different, but their hearts were kind and their souls free from corruption, they did not have to see what he had in his short life.

Li was an orphaned child, just like himself, as was the Neko girl Nami, but the story of Tanmi was yet to be told to him or anyone. Demons by nature were tricksters, failing to understand the veracity of their pranks.

Kaia was the only one out of the four of them who grew up well, with a loving mother, father and younger brother. Eikoh, Kaia's father, would gladly give up his own life to save his daughter and sacrifice anything for her, a truly noble gesture.

"Kaia, let's head back now, the woods are becoming eerie now" Tenshi said quickly, taking her hand in hers gently and leading her out of the forest to where the old house sat in a decrypted silence. They trekked not long before they saw the house, only now it was surrounded by men and women dressed in dark robes.

"Hmm, more of them" a tall man said, looking over at the couple that had emerged from the trees.

"Yes, but they're with me, so leave them be, besides father you already know Tenshi" Li said, inclining his head slightly to Tenshi "he was the one that helped me back home when I was injured".

"Oh, it's the thieves again, this should be interesting" Tenshi said walking over to the group of men, two of which were holding Nami and Tanmi in this arms so they couldn't escape.

"Ah yes, I remember you kid, what is one of nobility doing out here in the vast woodlands?" Atsuko laughed at the youth. Such stupidity on his part really, Tenshi was anything but nobility, far from it. Sure his mother was an important woman, seeing as how she was the great Genzai Sennen's daughter, but Tenshi's father was the bastard son of an artist.

"Sir, I am anything but noble" Tenshi argued, approaching the two men holding Nami and Tanmi in their grasps. He made a quick motion of the hand and the two girls were released, Nami quickly latching onto Tenshi's arm, and hissing at the two men.

"Better work on the people skills children" the man scolded the two girls, but they hissed at him in reply. Tenshi laughed at the action and turned his attention back onto the group of thieves.

"So, what are you doing here anyway?"

"Not much, we heard rumors of Taihen being around here, so we came to check it out" Atsuko explained quickly, watching the trees suspiciously.

"Well, don't worry, they don't come out this far, and they'll be gone in four days" Tenshi explained, casting his eyes to the trees, feeling unworthy of looking anyone in the eyes.

"Oh, and how do you know this?" he asked, but Tenshi ignored the question, not about to get Kaia and himself in danger, that last thing he needed was attention drawn to himself.

"Alright, keep it to yourself, but please little ones, join us, even your annoying pets" one of the elders requested, acknowledging the two odd looking girls.

"Okay, if you don't mind, just stop calling them pets and they'll be relatively fine with you" the Chouwan chided, following the retreating thieves back to their hideout.

"Don't mind the way we act Ten, it's not that bad" Li said, making Tenshi suddenly worry about what he had gotten himself into.

End Chapter 13

I know it was long, but oh well. Some people used to like this story and I have no idea what happened to all the people that used to review it, but I wish they would read it, some just give up and don't care, but please care.

Review, you know you want to...