Prologue

A busy city, noisy from morning to sunset. Shadowed alleys, crumbling shacks, and dark windowed houses. It wasn't always like that. It started out as a bright and peaceful place. That time of happiness did not last long though. The government, called The Supreme Council became greedy and power hungry. Taxes went up, the monarchy grew smaller, until it disappeared entirely. The Supreme Council took complete control of the city, creating a group of fighters for them called The Mercenaries. More than half of people's earnings each year were delivered to them, whether it was gold, produce, animals.

Many were furious. What had they done to deserve this? People began to rebel, but this did not faze The Supreme Council. They stripped the rebellious people's home and ownership of anything, even their children which were made slaves for them. Yet unknown to The Supreme Council, in the shadows of the streets, rebellions were forming.

The first to rise out of the dark was the Umbra and their first leader, Shankra. For generations, they killed political, rich people in any way connected to the government, even members of the Council. The small group of Umbra continued under the bloodline of Shankra. Their current leader was Murai. More people gathered courage because of the deeds of the Umbra. But they did not want to join a group under one leader. They no longer had faith and trust in any type of leader. So another group was born, leaderless and independent.

The Street Fighters, who relied on no leader, and fought for themselves. You could say they were like every man for themselves, but that's not entirely true. There was an invisible and unwritten rule in which Street Fighters can rely on each other anytime, anywhere. Often times, a more experienced Street Fighter called a Street Master would take in an apprentice and train them with everything they know. Such, is this story, the story of the Black Lily.

A seven year old girl laughed as her mother tickled her. In one hand she waved a long wooden sword meant for play. Her mother smiled lovingly down at her. "Oh, my little Maiyguna, stop waving that sword around, you might hurt yourself." The mother chided.

"I will not hurt myself, Mama, you carry a sword too you know." It was true what the child said, for a sheathed saber was thrust into a pink sash tied around her mother's waist. Maiyguna squirmed away from her mother's hold as she heard her father's heavy footsteps draw near.

"Papa!" she cried happily as she flung her arms around him, burying her nose in his stomach. Three swords hung around his waist. She looked up, hazel eyes sparkling happily with an innocent smile. Her father gave her a small smile before turning to look at his wife with an anxious expression. "Love," he said, "The Mercenaries are here." Maiyguna's mother's eyes widened, "No…" she gasped.

"Go take Maiyguna somewhere safe." Maiyguna felt herself being scooped up by her mother. She watched her father walk away. Her mother placed her in a closet. "Are we playing a game, Mama?" she asked. "No dear, now stay inside and be quiet."

"Mama…" she murmured as her mom wrapped her tightly in a warm hug then shut her in the darkness of the closet. Maiyguna curled up in fear. She did not like the darkness and smallness of the closet. Moments passed. All she heard was yells, mostly males that were not her father's, stampeding feet, slashes of sword, and objects falling. Maiyguna whimpered. Her mother had told her to stay quiet, and she would. She was a good girl. An agonizing yell brought tears to her eyes. "No, Mama…" she sobbed quietly.

"Papa!" she gasped as she heard his heavy boots clomp nearby. Faster, lighter boots followed his. The slide of steel being withdrawn from scabbards was heard. Metal rang loudly, clashing over and over again. Maiyguna knew her Papa would win! He was the best!

She heard a grunt and a body falling. The lighter steps walked away. "No…P—Papa… Mama…" she sobbed. Tears streamed down the girl's cheeks as she curled up into a tight ball.

Maiyguna did not know how long she slept, but light footsteps brought her awake. That man who killed her father must have come back. Angrily, she ignored what her mother had told her and shoved the closet door open. She gripped the wooden sword and charged the lean male figure blindly.

"You killed Papa and Mama!" she cried. "Calm down young girl, I did no such thing." But she did not listen, and continued to strike in vain, for each time she attacked, he stepped away.

"I'm sorry," he whispered, before he knocked her out and caught her. "This girl, such fire, such strength…she shall make a fine member of the Umbra."