Chapter One

The Riversdall orphanage wasn't exactly the best place for children or anyone for that matter to grow up. It was one of the many buildings that were not sufficiently funded by the government. The orphanage itself used to be a jailhouse. Instead of taking time to fix it up the government gave the owners a small budget and they did what they could with the place. Children slept in the cells and nearby the orphanage was a farm where the children worked to harvest food everyday. Life was hard but at least they had somewhere to sleep at night other than the streets. Even with the budget and the children growing their food it was still hard to feed and provide for everyone and the numbers at the orphanage grew everyday with the ongoing war.

The war was now at eight years long and was being fought between the government and a small rebel group. Although many opposed the war because of the death toll and famine it brought, the citizens tended to support the rebels more then they did the government. The rebel group was lead by a former knight that served the king. His followers were simple peasants, merchants, husbands and sons of the people who wanted freedom. The war continued for another two years and ended with a large scale battle at Endion's Castle. King Endion's soldiers kept the rebels at bay but the knight snuck into the castle by himself, hoping to end the battle quickly. He was killed by the high priest as he entered the throne room. His followers, enraged at this, stormed the castle and took the king into custody. Before anyone could catch him the high priest fled the kingdom never to be seen again.

Things after the war was not like anyone expected, though for awhile all seemed well. The former king was placed in jail making the country free of its dictator. Although people thought not having a leader would benefit them years went on to find that it didn't. The people had had a leader for so long that they did not know what to do without one. Confusion rained for months on end after the war but finally the rebel group took matters into their own hands.

The second in command of the rebel group, a man by the name of Dante Esanto, took control of the country to ensure that it progressed and the needs of the people were met. The rest of the rebel group became knights and helped to protect the citizens. Dante even married and his wife gave birth to a daughter. By this time though, something had come over Dante. Power was a very hard thing to resist. He began enforcing taxes on the citizens, the very act that had begun the rebellions with the former king. Unlike the former king things in Dante's hands got worse and worse by the day. The queen, horrified by what was to come hid her daughter, who was now only five years old. Dante was enraged by this and killed the queen with his bare hands; the only witnesses were his personal body guard. Later on as an announcement to the people he claimed his wife had gone crazy and killed herself and their daughter.

Dante's rule brought the country into an even deeper depression then the former king had but by now so much power behind him. How he gained this power no one knew but he became incredibly strong. Some of his knights refused to do his deeds and were killed, those who weren't escaped and tried to start another rebellion against him. The rebellion though did not work to stop Dante. The country continued to crumble under his control, nothing could stop him now.

Dante's Kingdom, Riversdall Orphanage, Four Years Later

"Hurry up you bunch or you won't get any food," an old man called out from where he stood. There was a large gate behind him and a long winding road that led to a large building. The place was broken down and there seemed to be no attempt to fix it. An old rusted sign on the front gate read jail but the words had degraded over the years. Ten small children came running up to him, all of them carrying a basket full of vegetables. A tall ten year old boy led the pack and was followed by nine other kids who were younger then him. Four of them were girls and five were boys. A girl with long blue hair followed the older boy closely.

"Alright get up to the house and let's get dinner. The others are waiting on us," the old man instructed and the kids ran ahead of him up the road to the building. Riversdall orphanage was one of the places that were not repaired before King Dante became corrupt. It stayed broken down and dirty as it always had been. Also now the size of orphans in the orphanage had increased. Times were hard but the children seemed to not notice it.

"Ren! Ren! Look what I found!" the girl behind him shouted as she picked up a flower. Ren turned around and she ran over to him, handing him the flower.

"It's for you," she said as he took the flower and inspected it," You like it?"

"There are a million more flowers like that around, what's so special about that one flower Kira," another girl laughed at Kira as she walked by and the others joined in. Kira looked at them then down to the ground and started to walk away.

"Thanks Kira," she heard Ren say behind her. She turned to see that he had placed the flower in his shirt pocket and was smiling. He walked up to her and they walked into the orphanage together. As soon as they entered several kids, younger then them, ran past them yelling at each other. Others were scattered throughout the building, playing with whatever they cold. There weren't many toys here and those that were given to them were broken hand me downs. The orphanage consisted of cells were prisoners used to be housed but now that was were the children slept. The cafeteria served as both an eating place and a room for schooling. Since they could not afford any well educated teachers the owners had to teach the children what they could from books.

That was maybe the only good thing about the orphanage, the book collection. All the books were kept in a room and collected dust since not many of the children spent time there, not many except for Kira that was. She spent most of her day locked up in that room, reading books on literature, science, mathematics, the famous ten year war of Endion and anything else she could get her hands on. She had no respect for the government or anyone in high authority for that matter. The owners told Kira that she was an orphan and that her parents had most likely died in the war. Though she didn't want to believe it there really was nothing she could do. She was still young and naïve on what the world around her was like. So she decided she would learn as much as she could before she ventured out to find them.

"Okay everyone settle down," the older kids you guys please help and bring everyone else into the cafeteria. We'll be eating shortly," the old man said as he walked inside and closed the door. There was no anger to his voice ever and it was rare when he raised his voice. Klein had been a soldier in the Endion wars and know looked after the orphanage with his wife. He was the one that had found Kira long ago.

"Hurry up Kira," Ren said as he carried his basket into the kitchen. She followed him and pushed the kitchen door open with her elbow. Inside Klein's wife Saki was busy stirring a large pot. Kira placed the basket along the wall with the others and walked over to Saki.

"What's for dinner today," Kira asked as she looked up at Saki. Saki was like her husband though she never had raised her voice against the children ever. She was the kindest person Kira had ever known and she had the deepest respect for her.

"Just some potato soup and bread," Saki said with a weary sigh. It was hard cooking for this large number of children and there wasn't really any difference in the meals. Most it was soup, vegetable soup and if they were lucky there would be some meat in it.

"Kira let's go," Ren said as he left the room. Kira smiled to Saki then ran after Ren heading towards the cafeteria. They sat down at a table filled with other kids; some where the others that helped carried the baskets back.

The older kids, the oldest here was fifteen, sat in the back of the room together. The lowest age for a child admitted here was four, those who were younger had to go to other orphanages. All the children tended to either sit with others their age or with friends. Once you reached the age of sixteen there was no longer any room for you at the orphanage and you had to leave to make a life for yourself.

"So I guess we're having the same crap we've been having for weeks now," Kira overheard one of the older kids say. She disliked how they didn't appreciate anything that was given to them here.

"I don't know why they complain all the time, if they don't like it they should just leave," Kira said to Ren. He shrugged and leaned back in his seat.

"Don't worry about it, in a couple more years they'll be gone anyways. They just like hearing themselves talk," he told her then turned to talk to a boy next to him.

"Kira you're such a loser I don't know why you bother talking to Ren," a girl sitting across from Kira laughed at her," You know he doesn't like you."

"Oh shut up Sakura," Kira said rolling her eyes. Ever since she could remember Sakura always talked down to her, just because she knew some of the older kids she thought she owned the place. The other reason she "knew" them was because Sakura let them feel her up every once in awhile, what a great ten year old she was.

"Don't tell me to shut up Kira, you better learn to respect me more," Sakura said with a glare then returned to talking to someone beside her. After several more minutes of waiting Saki and Klein brought out the soup and everyone rushed to get into the two lines. Kira had been near the end of the line last time and only got soup water to eat, this time she tried as hard as she could to reach somewhere near the front. Seeing an open spot somewhere in the middle she started towards it but Sakura ran towards it and stood there triumphantly. The line filled up quickly and Kira found that she would have to make her way to the end again. With a defeated sighed she started towards the end of the line until someone grabbed her and pulled her in line. Looking up she saw that it was Ren.

"I swear Kira if I wasn't here you wouldn't know what to do," he said shaking his head and smirked. She smiled; thankful he was always there to help her. Ren arrived three weeks after Kira did and used to not talk a lot. Like Kira and many others Ren was also a war orphan. One day Sakura and her friends were picking on Kira and Ren stepped in to help. Since then he's looked out for her ever since.

After dinner everyone had an hour to do what they wanted then it was time to sleep. As Saki and Klein called the children to bed Kira saw two of the older kids sneak out. Deciding against telling on them she headed to her bed. It was cell number fifteen and she shared it with three others, one four year old girl, a six year old girl and two seven year old boys.

"Kira!" the enthusiastic four year old greeted her as she walked into the cell. Kira smiled and patted her on the head. The other three were already asleep, the two boys shared a small mattress in the corner and the five year old girl had the top bunk which she shared with the four year old.

"Hey there Ai," Kira smiled at her then helped her onto the top bunk," Sleep time." Ai crawled onto the bed and immediately went to sleep. Kira got into her bed in the lower bunk and laid down, her hands rested behind her head. She could hear Saki and Klein walking around making sure everyone was in bed and Kira thought of the two older kids who snuck out. Not really caring what happened to them Kira pulled the blanket over herself, closed her eyes and fell asleep within minutes.

"Kira, Kira get up," the voice was Ai's. Kira slowly got up and looked around. Lights were on throughout the cells but looking outside it was not yet morning. When she thought about it, it didn't seem that she was asleep for long.

"What's going on Ai?" Kira asked as she got up. The other children remained in their cells, most likely at the request of Saki and Klein.

"Juni and Ishi snuck out and were caught by some of the lord's soldiers. They're in the cafeteria right now talking to Saki and Klein," Ai explained and at the end of her explanation Saki came walking towards them. There were tears in her eyes.

"All girls age eight and up come with me please, in a straight line," she asked in a hoarse voice, had she been screaming? All girls eight and older did as they were told and got into a line. Kira let go of Ai and got into the back of the line, looking to her left her eyes meet Ren's.

"Just stay calm Kira and don't do anything stupid," he whispered to her which made tears well up in her eyes. There was something not right about this; would she ever see him again?

"Alright let's go," Saki said and the line started to move, Kira followed after glancing once more at Ren. In the cafeteria Klein sat in one of the seats and two others were there with him. It was clear they both were King Dante's soldiers; the royal emblem was on their shields and hilt of their swords.

"We're taking twenty old man," one of the soldiers said ending the conversation they were having with Klein then turned to the line of girls. The other soldier walked down the line, inspecting each girl closely then stood away from them.

"Okay you fifteen go with him," the soldier said pointing to fifteen girls in the front of the line," These girls will be in the first wagon." The other soldier nodded and led the chosen girls away. The younger ones in the line started to cry and looked to Saki for help but she stood there motionless.

"Okay then the next five will have the pleasure of going to the castle, isn't that nice?" the remaining soldier asked; did he actually think this was funny? Or that it was a game? The anger in her threatened to surface but remembering Ren's words she tried to remain as still as possible. Once again the soldier walked down the line, this pulling out girls as he walked by. By the time he reached Kira he had already picked four girls, one more left.

"And you." Kira almost didn't hear those words but even if she didn't the soldier pulling her out of line made her realize it. She had been picked; she was going to the castle.

"You five come with me now," the soldier ordered, his hand resting on his sword to show that he wanted no funny business. The four girls picked before Kira immediately followed him but Kira just couldn't make her feet work.

"Kira you must go," Saki said as she walked over to her," I'm sorry my child but we must sacrifice you twenty for the sake of everyone else." And with this she pushed her forwards after the soldier. Outside the sun had barely begun to rise and the chill night air still remained. Two large wagons waited out front and the girls were ordered to get into them. By now everyone else left their beds and had run outside to see what was going on. As Kira stepped into the wagon she heard Ren's voice. He was next to Klein screaming about something.

"Ren!" she called out as the wagon stared to move; he ignored Klein and looked over to the sound of her voice.

"Kira!" he started to run towards her but Klein held him back.

"Don't be stupid boy, they'll kill us all!" Klein struggled to hold the young boy back. The last Kira saw of her home was Ren, he continued to scream but she could no longer hear his voice.

Dante Castle, Three Years Later

"Miss Celia actually let her servant sleep in her room again. The master isn't going to be too happy about this" one of the maids said as they left the room and slammed the door. Kira woke up to find herself on the floor in the corner of an extremely large room. Looking around she realized where she was and how much trouble she was in.

"Ah damnit…" she muttered to herself and got up. Her hair was cut very short for a girl and she wore clothes marking that she was a servant. She had only this tunic and pants to wear; money was never wasted on clothes for servant.

"Miss Celia," she called to the girl sleeping in the large bed on the other side of the room which was a good ten feet away. This was the room of Celia; she was the daughter of the Royal Military Advisor Kithis who also happened to be King Dante's brother. The two joined forces after Dante took control of the kingdom.

"Kira I told not to call me that, it creeps me out," Celia said in a sleepy voice, she started to get up then realized why Kira had awoken her," Has he come in yet?!" She asked looking around frantically.

"Of course not why do you think I'm still alive!" Kira said as she walked over to the door and peered outside, the halls were empty. She had to make her escape now or it was goodbye to food for awhile and hello to punishment. Closing the door she ran as fast as she could across the hall and opened the door. Slipping inside she closed the door and looked around. The whole room looked as though it couldn't fit more then two people, and spider webs hung from every corner. There was a tattered mattress in the corner and a thin blanket on top of it that hadn't been cleaned in years. There was a window next to the mattress but it was better called a hole in the wall since there was no glass. Home sweet home she thought to herself.

"Dad, stop making a big deal out of it! She didn't even deserve the punishment so I let her out. And I let her sleep in here because her room is entirely too small. Besides, it rained last night and she has nothing on the windows to stop the rain from coming inside!" she could heard Celia shout.

"Aw no Celia, just stay quiet," Kira said as she pushed against the door to listen in. She had argued against leaving her room last night but Celia had ordered her to sleep in her room since it was raining. Sure going to sleep without rain water dripping on you all night was good but facing Lord Kithis's wrath was not. His voice now boomed through the door.

"She is a servant Celia and she is to be treated as such! I will not have you undermining my authority again!" he shouted and Kira heard the door open. Backing away from her door she waited for what was to come. Lord Kithis slammed open her door, a very unhappy look on his face. Celia came barging in after him.

"Kira had nothing to do with this, I ordered her and she couldn't not follow my order!" Celia shouted as she walked over to stand in front of Kira and her father.

"Celia stop please, I'll be fine," Kira whispered to her but she stood firm in-between them.

"You will make note never to speak to my daughter girl," Kithis spat as he took Celia by the arm and pulled her away. Celia was no match for her father's strength and was pulled out of the room. Before leaving he gave Kira a glare that she knew well, it meant "I'm going to make your life a living hell." He slammed the door shut and Kira let out a tired sigh. There was nothing she could do know but wait. Knowing that punishment would be coming soon, rest was needed. She walked over to her mattress and laid down, she fell asleep several minutes afterwards but not for long.

It was only an hour later that she was awoken, with a pitcher of blazing hot water to the face. She leaped up, the water burning her face and arms. Wiping her eyes she looked around to see Tiran standing there, he was one of Kira's most loathed guards.

"Looks like you were bad again, come with me," he said with a smirk that she would have loved to wipe of his face. But he was a guard, trained to fight to the death and armed with a sword. She was a servant armed with nothing and had been severally burned several minutes ago. Following down the hallway she noticed that the other servants were looking at her with smirks as well. They were all much older then her and had worked here their whole lives, the hated Kira because of Celia's treatment of her.

The night Kira had been taken away from her home this was the place she had been taken. It was a large mansion just two days travel from King Dante's castle. Lord Kithis had needed more slaves and Kira was given the task of being Celia's servant. Unlike her father Celia was a very kind and peaceful person. She and Kira become friends, Celia helped her whenever she could but usually they were found out and Kira was the one punished.

Tiran stopped and opened the door to his left; Kira followed him inside and found that she was inside the armory. She glanced around the room wondering what was going on. Why had they not gone into the underground cells? Would she not be punished?

"Don't even think you're getting of," Tiran said and Kira turned to face him. He held a battle helmet in his hands with a grin," Here's what you do, put this on." He shoved a shirt and pants into her hands. He left the room as she changed then reentered when she was done. The clothes she was just given seemed to have been taken from a peasant and had no markings of servitude. All this confused her and as Tiran shoved a helmet onto her head she started to get nervous. She slid open the visor to see but then he reached over and pulled it down, making it cover her face.

"You are ordered to keep that helmet on and hide your face understood? And if asked you are not to reveal who you are," he told her as he handed her a wooden sword and a very thin wooden shield," Now let's go, our Lord awaits us." He led her into out of the room and into the courtyard where Celia was standing next to her father.

"Thank you Tiran," Lord Kithis said and Tiran bowed as he walked away. Celia looked over to Kira then back to her father.

"What's going on? Who is this?" she asked.

"Well my dear you've been asking about what you can do to get rid of that girls punishment have you not?" Lord Kithis said with a grin," This is what you can do. Standing before you is a no good thief who has been stealing from our poor citizens. Now I'm not asking you to kill her heavens no, just rough her up a bit. The better you do the more generous I'll be."

So this was his plan, he was going to have Celia punish Kira without her knowing that it was her. It was very clever, yet very cruel. A thought came into her mind to scream out to Celia who she was but she had been warned against that. She wouldn't fight against her of course; she doubted Celia would even attack her that bad.

"So then if I take care of this girl then Kira won't be punished?" Celia asked her father.

"If you do really well I may even let her eat dinner with you," he patted her on the head and handed her a sword," But of course you will use this." Celia took the sword, stared at Kira's wooden sword and turned to her father. The look in his eye said "use it or no deal", and with a sigh she headed over to face Kira.

"You there, what's your name?" Celia asked as they stood face to face. Tiran walked over to them, gave Kira a threatening glare then stood a few inches away from the two.

"Are you ready Miss Celia? Then begin!" Celia didn't hesitate as Kira thought she might, she moved towards Kira with the sword swinging the sword down towards Kira.

Celia had several lessons in sword fighting from her Tiran and was extremely good with it. All Kira could do was block her attacks but the wooden shield wouldn't last long against the real thing. She backed away from Celia who stood there for awhile.

"Celia dear this is only a simple peasant, no need to worry about her. Now if you don't land an attack soon I'll use Kira as target practice for our archers," Lord Kithis said now, his temper rising. Celia, after hearing that, immediately ran towards Kira intent on finishing her off. Kira blocked all the strikes Celia made against her and she could see that Celia too was getting mad. Having to keep backing up she blocked yet another attack with the shield, this time the sword made a crack in the shield, and tried to move Celia away from her using the sword. Not seeing the large rock behind her Kira tripped and fell onto the ground. Using this to her advantage Celia brought the sword down on Kira who raised her left arm to block with the shield. The next thing she heard was the wood cracking and a sharp piercing pain going through her left hand.

"Very good, well done," Lord Kithis said but Kira didn't hear him. Her focus was on the deep gash on her left arm made by the sword. Confusion and hurt raced through her mind as she backed away from Celia.

"….." Celia said nothing as she backed away from Kira and stared at the blood on the sword. She hadn't meant to cut her but the shield had broken, it wasn't her fault.

"Magnificent Miss Celia," Tiran said as he walked over to her," I see my lessons are paying off." Kira looked up at Celia through the helmet and clutched her left arm in pain.

"So does this mean Kira won't be punished?" Celia asked as her father walked over to her. He grinned once more then started to walk away with Tiran.

"Oh I think you've punished her enough," he laughed as he and Tiran went inside. It took Celia a moment to realize what his father was saying but then she looked over to where Kira was.

"Oh god…" she cried as she rushed over to her, she lifted the visor, Kira's frightened face underneath.

Two hours passed since the fight and Kira awoke finding herself in the very room that got her in trouble in the first place. Remembering what had happened she looked over to her left arm which now had been bandaged but the blood was slowing seeping through. The door opened making Kira flinch.

"Thank goodness you're awake!" Celia said as she walked over to Kira, she sat down next to Kira with new bandages. She reached for Kira's arm but Kira backed up at her touch.

"It's fine I'll do it," Kira barely made out as she took the bandages from Celia then stood up. She felt dizzy for several seconds due to the blood loss and Celia helped her over to a seat. The door opened again, this time a much older woman walked in.

"Miss Linda, when did you get back?" Kira asked as the women walked over to them.

"In time to see that my husband let his temper get the better of him again. Here give me those, now hand them over you can't do it yourself," she said and Kira handed her the bandages," Celia bring me the towel from that glass of hot water would you please?"

"Yes mother," Celia said as she dipped her hands into the water and fished out the small towel. After rinsing it a few times she handed it to her mother. Kira watched as Linda un-wrapped the bandages to reveal a scar running down her arm, there were a few stitches along her arm as well.

"I'm sorry dear but this will burn," Miss Linda said as she placed the towel on the wound. Surprisingly Kira felt nothing, the heat of the towel or even the towel itself, Linda and Celia seemed to notice this as well.

"Kira move your fingers," Celia asked. Kira put much effort into doing so but only managed to move them a bit. Fear set in now.

"This isn't good, Celia stay here while I fetch Dr. Jin," her mother said as she left the room. Celia stood up, her hands trembling at her side. Kira looked up at her, seeing tears fall from her eyes.

"Miss Celia? Please don't cry, none of this is your fault," Kira tried to persuade her.

"Not my fault? Kira I was the one who attacked you, and it doesn't matter if I didn't know it was you. I shouldn't have fought so hard and now your hand is... is…" she stopped as Kira handed her the towel.

"Really I'm fine, please don't cry. If you hadn't helped me all these years I'd probably be dead," Kira said smiling at her. The door opened again and Mistress Linda walked in a white haired old man in long robes walked inside. The old man walked over to Kira and immediately began examining her hand. Kira watched as Linda walked over to Celia and wrapped her arms around her daughter. She had always wondered what that would feel like, having your mother hold you, care for you and love you. Looking away she eyed the ring on her hand. Saki had given it to her on her eighth birthday. When Saki and Klein found her it was the only thing on her person that might reveal who her parents were. It was a simple metal ring with a small emblem on it that resembled nothing that Kira had every seen before. . Seeing Celia and her mother together made her think of her family. Saki had told her that they might have died in the war but what if they hadn't? It was that day she decided she needed to find out.

It was midnight and everyone in the castle was asleep, well almost everyone. Getting up quietly Kira opened the door and standing outside was Celia. She held a bag tightly in her hands. Kira reached out with her left hand to grab the bag then stopped halfway through remembering what the Doctor had told her.

The sword seems to have disabled the use of her left hand quite a bit. She won't be able to hold onto or grip things that easily anymore.

"I really shouldn't have even asked to do this," Kira said as she switched to her right hand and took the bag. Celia put a finger to her mouth and led her down the hallway. After several minutes they were outside near the stables.

"Don't even think about not doing this Kira. Finding your parents is the most important thing you can do right now," Celia said as they walked over to two people standing near a two horse wagon. Celia lit a candle to show that it was her mother.

"But what if they aren't even alive?" Kira asked as she shouldered the backpack. Linda placed a cloak into the bag and put a hand on her head.

"Then you come back here, you will always have a home here," she said with a smile," Peter here will take you as far away as he can. Take this; it will help you until you get settled. Kira take it," she said handing Kira a pouch filled with coins.

"Ma'am we need to be quick about this," Peter said as he took his place at the driver's seat. Kira turned to Celia who ran towards her and hugged her. She let go seconds after and Kira walked into the wagon. With a call from Peter the horse's start to gallop away. From the window in the back Kira watched as she yet again left another home. Celia ran after the wagon calling out to her.

"Kira remember, you're always welcome back here! Good luck!"

Commercial Town Fanta, Five Years Later

It was a busy day like always in Fanta. It was the largest town for merchants in the kingdom, anything you needed could be found here. There were five inns/taverns in town where people went to drink, socialize and get work and that was exactly what she was in this town for. After no luck at the other four she headed towards the last one. Opening the door she took a second to glance around at the patrons then advanced to the seat in the farthest corner of the room. From underneath her hood she could see eyes glancing at her as she walked by but she ignored them all. Sitting down in the seat she made sure that she could see everyone and that there was no room behind her for any surprise attacks.

"Can I get you anything?" a blond haired waitress asked as she stood to the side of the table.

"Just some water please," she answered and the waitress left towards the bar. With a sigh she removed the hood but kept the cloak on. She reached upwards and raked a hand through her long blue hair. It had been a rough day and she still hadn't found a job worth taking. Mercenary work was getting harder to find these days. Looking around she frowned seeing that the only people in this place seemed to be drunkards.

"Just great," she muttered to herself, looking to her left she noticed a large group of men who seemed to be eyeing her out of the corner of their eyes. The waitress walked back to her table with a large cup of water. Kira nodded towards the men and the waitress glanced over to them.

"That's Jack Gilmer's gang; they're a bunch of brutes that have been causing trouble around Fanta. Don't get involved with them if you value your life," the women warned her then walked away to other tables. Right after the waitress left an old man walked over to Kira.

"Miss might I ask if you are a mercenary?" he asked. She looked him over; he seemed to be in his mild forty's and was starting too bald.

"That's right I am. What's the job?" she asked as she leaned back against her seat. The old man tossed two fairly large bags of gold onto the table. This was the most amount of coins she had been offered so far.

"I need a guard to accompany me to Lord Kithis's land. I have very important news to deliver to him from King Dante," he said as he sat in the chair opposite of her.

"If you were a messenger from King Dante why would he not have sent guards with you?" she asked as she picked up the cup of water and drank from it.

"That's the thing he did, he sent twenty men with me. They were all killed. I barely escaped with my life," he said as he pointed to a resent looking scar on his face," There are several demons running loose these days. They overpowered us. So I will need you to escort me safely to Lord Kithis's, might I have your name to begin with?"

"It's Kira."

"Kira huh, my name is- "Kira had stopped listening as she heard excess noise from the table where Jack Gilmer's gang sat, their attention seemed to be focused on someone at the back door. Looking in that direction she was surprised to see a girl standing there with no clothes on at all. She looked around for a few seconds then ran into the kitchen.

"Let's go," she heard one of the thugs say and all five of them got up from their table, they headed towards the kitchen.

"Of course you are able to defend me in cause of any attack yes?" the old man asked but Kira had already stood up.

"Just watch," she said to him as she followed the five of them. Opening the door slowly she saw that they had surrounded the girl, who looked to be the same age as Kira.

"Wench I told you to come over here," one of the men ordered as his eyes scanned the girl.

"You must be a slut to be walking around like that, so why not let us have a go?" another of them barked out and the others laughed as they closed in on her. Anger rose within her as Kira slammed the door shut behind her making her presence known. The five turned around to see what had just happened.

"What the hell? Can't you see we're busy here? Get the hell out!" one of them shouted. He was the shortest of the five and the fattest.

"Well that's not very nice," Kira said as she smirked.

"Smiling are you? Do you know who you're dealing with bitch? I'm Jack Gilmer, that's right of the Jack Gilmer gang," he puffed out his chest like he was something important. Kira ignored him and stood there glancing at the other four. There weren't exactly push overs; one looked like he was built specifically to just break things apart with his bare hands.

"Boss it doesn't look like she's going. Let me take care of her then we can have some fun with her," the built one said as he started towards Kira. Just great, she had to fight him first. He ran towards her seconds later headfirst.

"Idiot," she said as she pushed the sides of her cloaks away from her body to reveal a scabbard tied to her waist. Before he could reach her she leaped into the air, landing on his back and kicked him away as she landed on the ground behind him. His head rammed straight into the door and got stuck.

"Bitch!" before she could avoid it someone behind her slammed something hard against her head. She back away from the attacker and held the back of her head in pain. Looking around she saw that one of them was holding a skillet.

"Aw are you serious?! What the hell is wrong with you, hitting me with that! That hurt damnit!" she groaned as she winced a bit.

"Enough of this kill her!" the Jack screamed and the other three ran towards her. She crouched downwards and drew her sword with her right hand; she sliced it sideways at her first attacker. It made a deep cut, his intestines and organs dripped from his stomach as he fell to the ground. The other two stopped in shock then enraged drew their swords as well. The first raced towards her meaning to finish the fight early but she blocked the attack and ducked to avoid the other's blade. Pulling a small knife from inside her boots she stood and shoved it upwards into the jaw of the man who had hit her with a skillet. He fell to the ground with a thud seconds later.

"What are you waiting for Sen?! Kill her!" Jack screamed but Sen, seeing what had just happed dropped his sword and ran away. Kira looked to Jack and he soon ran after Sen.

"Well that was fun," Kira muttered as she looked around for the girl but was only meet with a punch to the stomach. She groaned and fumbled onto the ground.

"Forget about me?!" the large fifth member of the gang laughed as he bent down and grabbed her throat," You'll pay for what you did." He laughed then as his hand tightened around her throat.

She could feel herself starting to slip and to her left she saw the girl still sitting there looking frantic, Kira then noticed a large meat cleaver rested on the table above her. She pointed to it with her right hand as her left hand loosely hung onto the hand choking her. The girl seemed to understand and grabbed the cleaver from the table. She placed it into Kira's hands and with all the strength left in her Kira swung the knife towards the thug's head until she heard it hit with a thump. Seconds later the pressure around her neck was released and she moved away from him. The knife stay lodged in his forehead as he fell to the floor. She rubbed her throat as she started to cough, the air returning to her lungs. The kitchen door opened and the chef walked inside with a scream.

"What the hell happened here?!"

After explaining everything the chef allowed Kira and the girl to go without any more trouble. Kira gave the girl her cloak and wrapped her up in it as they reentered the bar. Walking back to her table she pulled out a shirt and pants then handed it to the girl.

"Go upstairs and get changed then come back down here. I'll get you some food okay?" Kira said and the girl nodded then headed back upstairs.

"Well I can see now that you are truly capable of guarding me. Will you take the job then?" the old man said as Kira sat back down. She called the waitress over, ordered some food then took the two bags of coins that he had offered her.

"Fine I'll take you to Lord Kithis, but what is so important? What's the news?" Kira asked as she eyed him. He shook his head furiously.

"Of course I'm not at liberty to tell you. Just get me there safely, we leave in one hour. Meet me outside when you are ready," he informed her then walked towards the door and left.

"Excuse me," Kira turned to see the girl standing next to her holding out her cloak," Thank you for this, actually I should thank you for saving me as well." Kira took back the cloak as the girl sat next to her. She had brown hair that was only a little shorter then Kira's and very innocent very innocent looking brown eyes.

"It's no problem at all really but who are you and what in the world happened to you?" she asked and immediately knew she shouldn't have. The girl looked down since her eyes seemed at the brink of tears.

"My name is Kyoko. I…just escaped from my master," she explained.

"Master…you mean you were a- "Kira stopped asking seeing her flinch at the question. That had answered it, her master had used her as a sex slave. People like that in this world made Kira wonder it the human race deserved to live, it was people like that who angered her the most.

"I'm sorry…I don't even know your name," she asked as she looked up.

"The names Kira, you should eat," she said nodding to the food. Kyoko smiled and started eating, for someone who seemed like she had been starved she ate very slowly. Kira shoved the cloak back into her bag and silently cursed looking at the blood that now covered her sword and dagger.

"You're a very good fighter," she heard Kyoko sat in-between bites. Taking a small towel from her bag she wiped the blood of the two weapons, sheathed the sword and placed the dagger back in its hiding spot.

"No, just a good murderer," Kira replied with a sigh, looking over to her she saw that Kyoko was looking at her," Eh listen so do you have anywhere to go?" Kyoko shook her head and took another piece of bread.

"I don't know anyone and never knew my family," she said then looked up Kira," Could I come with you?"

"I really don't think that's a good idea. My line of works is sometimes dangerous," Kira told her but then saw the sad look on her face. There was no one she could go to, no family that she of, just like Kira. With a defeated sigh Kira stood up and jerked her head towards the door.

"Fine you can come with me but only for awhile," and with this Kyoko leaped at Kira giving her a hug. She was a bit taken back from this seeing as how the last hug she received was five years ago. After she let go a small blush was on her face.

"Sorry, I'm just so happy," she smiled. Kira smirked back as she tossed several coins onto the table. She then picked up the bag with her right hand then headed towards the door, Kyoko followed closely behind her. Looking around Kira found the old man standing next to a large wagon.

"Are you ready?" her asked as the two approached him;" Wait who is this?" Kira tossed the bag inside the wagon and helped Kyoko into it.

"She's coming along, let's get going then," she told him as she climbed into the back of the wagon.

"Wait a minute; you are supposed to drive the wagon. How will you protect me?" the old man said sounding frantic.

"I can just as easily protect you inside here away from the sun. Now let's go," Kira smirked and that was the end of it. The old man walked grumpily to the front of the wagon and soon it started to move. Laughing a bit Kira sat down and placed her sword to the side, she then saw that Kyoko was staring at her once again.

"You know you're not a murderer," she said in a soft understanding voice," You saved my life."

"Yeah I did, but I didn't have to take theirs," Kira said as she leaned against the side of the bumpy wagon. They had left the town it seemed and was now on the road.

"They threatened your life, you did what you had to," Kyoko replied. Kira picked up her sword and unsheathed it, the metal was rusted from blood that had been wiped off.

"Don't look up to me as a hero or something, I'm far from that. I killed them because I wanted to, not a very justifiable reason to kill someone now is it?" she said then sheathed the sword and put it away.

"Well however you see it I think, you did the right thing, they were scum." Kira laughed at this.

"Yeah I guess that much is true, hit me with a damned skillet," she whined as she rubbed her head and Kyoko laughed as this.

It was nearing nighttime when the wagon stopped and they set up camp. There were now in the woods and were only several hours away from Lord Kithis but it was not safe traveling in these woods at night. Kira moved back as the fire she made started to grow and tossed a couple more sticks into it. Kyoko and the old man, Loki, were in deep conversation about what was going on with the world today and she seemed very interested in everything he said.

"Well if you two will excuse me I'm going to get some sleep," Loki said as he walked over to his spot and laid down on the blanket he had setup for himself. Kyoko walked over to Kira who sat near the fire.

"You listen to the things he says like you've never heard them before," Kira questioned as Kyoko sat next to her.

"It's because I haven't. My master he…locked me up. I haven't seen the outside world in years," there was sadness to her voice as she spoke. She stared into the fire, her head resting on her knees.

"That's horrible," Kira said trying to contain the anger in her voice.

"I was lucky to escape, he came home severally drunk a couple of days ago and fell asleep right next to me. I took the key from him, unlocked the chains on my hands and ran for my life. I don't know what good it did me, he'll come after me and take me back," now fear added to the innocent girls voice.

"No he won't," she looked over to Kira whose hands were trembling with anger," Because I'll protect you." Kyoko smiled at this and leaned her head against Kira's shoulder.

"Thank you, so much. You're the first person who's been kind to me in a long time," she whispered and slowly closed her eyes to sleep. Kira sighed and pulled a blanket over her, then returned to watch the fire. She knew that it was be dangerous for all of them to sleep at night; hundreds of hungry eyes watched them from the darkness.