Blood…..so much blood…
Yuri Hyuga slowly turned around, brown eyes wide, looking but not registering the carnage before him. Blood dripped off the walls, forming clotting, crimson pools on the originally pristine floor. He glanced around his feet. Small torn pieces of an animal no, it's human were strewn across the floor, creating a macabre jigsaw puzzle.
"Why?" escaped from his lips. Or rather, what? What monster did this in his own home? He didn't remember much, only fragments. A knock on the door, mum screaming for him to run, the demons striking her down, then….nothing.
Mum! Where was she? "Mum?" he called. Then more plantively, "Mummy?" No answer. What if…she was the person dismembered, their flesh thrown to the winds? Yuri prayed that this wasn't true, that she would walk in the door and wipe his tears away.
His hopes were dashed as he stepped on a human hand. Slender, graced with the wedding ring his father gave her, Anne Hyuga's hand was the only recognisable object in the room. Yuri collapsed into the gore and started crying uncontrollably.
'Yuri…' whispered a voice, faint and insubstantial. Yuri's head shot up. "Who's there?" he cried, trying to sound defiant, but betrayed by a quaver in his voice.
'I ….don't have …..much time…..Yuri. Get my….pendant….on the desk.' Yuri staggered upright, and wavered over to the desk. There was his father's cresent moon talisman, hanging on a silver chain. He picked it up and placed it around his neck.
'Get…the book…too. And remember…to find me…..drink from….the grail….remove your masks….fight your fear.' The voice faded into nothing. Yuri, finally realising who it was screamed "Dad!"
'Yuri…..Vladivostok, Russia…..Ivan and Katerina Milovitch…..Anne's son…..I'm sorry'
"Dad? Why are you sorry? Are you coming back? Why do I have to leave?" Yuri opened his mouth for another question when a dark presence overtook his mind. "Hello boy," a cool baritone commented. "I'll just make myself at home shall I?" Yuri felt his body changing, warping into a form belonging in his nightmares. He screamed and ran, away from the house, toward the north.
-Three Months Later, Vladivostok, Russia-
Sasha Vasily wandered aimlessly on the outskirts of town. His mother would constantly scold him for this, preferring that he stay closer to home. Sasha hated doing that. His mother would never let him grow up. Sometimes he wished that his mother would just leave him alone. It wasn't his fault that his father died from a monster attack three years ago. Maybe, when he got older, he would track down the monster that killed his father, and avenge him.
Sasha was disturbed from his thoughts by a weak "Help me….please?" A gaunt, wasted boy about a year younger then Sasha's 11 years staggered out of the bushes. "Who are you? Who are you looking for? Where are you from?" Sasha asked curiously.
"…Milovitch…." The boy looked at him, pleading with his eyes, then collapsed. Sasha looked down at the boy's unconscious form sprawled in the dirt, shruggec and dragged him to the Milovitch house. Maybe he would get some answers there.
Katerina Milovitch stared at the boy slumped on her late husband's favourite chair. When the Vasily boy dropped him on her door step and banged on her door, she didn't know what to think. Obviously he knew who she was, but who was he?
"Boy? Do you have a name?" she asked, knowing that he was too far gone in fever to realise that she had asked him his name, but she felt she had to try.
"Well, he must be someone. Maybe he's got something in his pockets with his name in it or something," she spoke aloud, as she searched through the rags draped on his frame. She gasped in shock when a cresent moon pendant fell out of his shirt-rags. "He's got one of those pendants! Another harmonixer! Wasn't our suffering with Ben Hyuga enough?" Her fear was compounded when a thick tome fell out of his shorts' pocket. She opened the book and read the message inside;
'To my darling son Yuri, may this keep you safe during the dark times ahead' "It's Anne's handwriting!" she exclaimed. "This must be her son. It has to be, otherwise how could he have her good-for-nothing husband's pendant?" Katerina was torn by indecision. If he was an harmonixer like his father, then nothing but evil would come from this, but he was Anne's son, her nephew. "Isn't blood thicker than water?" she asked herself. Convinced, she picked up the young Hyuga and carried him to her son's old bed. She would nurse him back to health, and that's all.
Yuri wandered in and out of fever dreams, a state he was quite familiar with, ever since his father allowed the monster to take him over. The trip had smeared into hellish, sporatic episodes of running through forest and snow with hunger being the only constant. When the demon stopped outside a town, it retreated, leaving him tottering outside an unknown town. A stranger in a strange land, he staggered toward the houses, hoping that he could beg for food before continuing. He didn't know why he was running, or to where. He only knew a name, which he recited to himself. He needed to rest, his legs would no longer support him.
"No!" he whispered to himself. Unfortunately, his body had other plans, and he collapsed into the bushes on the outskirts of town. Clinging to consciousness, he realised that he would have to get onto the main road, or no-one would ever find him, he would die by the side of the road. He dragged himself upright and wavered onto the main road, in front of a boy, who jabbered at him questions that he could not make out. "Milovitch" he told the boy, hoping he knew who that was, then blackness overtook him.
A light was in his eyes. Yuri tried to cover them with his arm, but couldn't lift it. It was too heavy. Everything hurt. Yuri moaned softly and screwed up his eyes.
"You're awake! Do you know your name?" asked a soft voice, accented with a Russian accent like his mother's.
"Yuri Hyuga," he answered and fell asleep again, the effort of answering taxing all his strength.
Much later, he woke up again, and this time opened his quickly closed them, then opened them a fraction. This wasn't his room, nor his parents. Where was he and why was he here? An elfin face framed by short midnight hair filled his vision.
"Hello Yuri. I'm your aunt Katerina,"
"Hi…." Yuri replied nervously. "Where am I? Why am I here? Where's mum and dad?"
Katerina shook her head.
"You're in Vladivostok, more specifically, my house. I don't know why you're here, nor where your parents are? I was hoping you'd know what happened to Anne. Is she …dead?"
Yuri gasped, eyes going wide.
A knock on the door, mum on the floor, a human hand….her hand! What did this?
'You did, boy. With my help of course'replied the monster inside his head.
Katerina watched in consternation as Yuri paled. Wide brown eyes stared unseeing, breath quickened by a fear that only Yuri could see. He was only a child, so what could he have seen to terrify him so?
"Yuri? Yuri! You're safe! Nothing can hurt you now!" she screamed at him, desperatly trying to break his self-imposed terror. When that didn't work, she slapped him, hard. He recoiled and then focused his eyes.
"She's dead. Dad too." Yuri replied blankly. Katerina just looked at him, waiting for more. There was none.
"Okay. You can stay here until you decide what you want to do." With that, she left the room. Yuri watched her leave, then whispered "I don't know what to do."
Yuri spent the next week sleeping. When he wasn't sleeping, he was being force fed food by Aunt Katerina. It wasn't that he wasn't hungry, more like he wasn't interested in food, or the world at the moment. When he thought about it, he was scared of his own apathy, but most of the time, he was too tired to care.
Eventually, he was sick of lying in bed, so he tried getting up. Bad idea. He was fairly sure that the world shouldn't spin around, nor have a strange sparkle to it. Aunt Katerina walked in the room just as he fell on the ground. Among a lot of scolding, she put him back in bed.
"How are you supposed to heal if you insist on getting up before you're better?" she demanded, hands on hips.
"I'm bored!" Yuri whined. Aunt Katerina looked annoyed for a minute, then left the room. She returned with a book in her left hand.
"Here, this should keep you entertained," she commented and exited. Yuri watched her leave, then glanced at the book.
"'The Art of Harmonixing.' What's that supposed to mean?" Yuri questioned. No answer forthcoming, he opened the cover. He read the first paragraph;
"'All creatures have souls, it is what animates what is otherwise lifeless flesh. When a creature dies, their soul escapes into the world, to wander as they will. However, a Harmonixer can attract such spirits and control them. The ultimate control for a Harmonixer is the ability to change to the form of the soul's corporal body before it died. This ability is called fusion, and only select Harmonixers have it. Other Harmonixer abilities include unusual stamina, strength and agility, improved spectral vision (the ability to see disembodied souls) and the ability to reattack disembodied limbs. However, these abilities come at a cost, as the use of undead souls will eventually lead to madness. Also, the Harmonixer will have problems crossing water, for reasons unknown.'" Yuri put the book down.
"Aunt Katerina?" he called. No answer.
"Guess she went out," Yuri reasoned to himself. He picked up the book, and continued reading.
"'A Harmonixer is a magnet for negative energy, and must always be alert as to the intensity of this energy. Originally Harmonixers could sense this energy for themselves, but as time progressed, this ability disappeared, and talismans were made to perform this task. These come in variety of styles, but there is always a cresent moon in the design, a symbol of the changing state of the energy." Yuri pulled out his father's necklace.
"This is a Harmonixer's talisman? Dad was a Harmonixer?" Yuri continued reading.
"'The Harmonixer talent is passed on from parent to child, without exception. This forms a spiritual bond, which, for the main part, remains unused. The child's talent remains latent until the parent dies, when the bond awakens the talent. The awakening can be violent, depending on the manner of death of the parent. In general, if the parent dies violently, the child's talent will erupt without warning, sending them temporally insane and quite possibly killing anyone within range.'"
Yuri slammed the book shut and threw it across the room.
"I'm not a Harmonixer! I'm NOT! I didn't kill mum, a monster did!" he screamed.
'Ah….Yuri, is it? You are a Harmonixer. Yes a monster did kill your mother. Only thing is, the monster was you. How does it feel to know you killed your own mother?' the undead soul asked mockingly. 'By the way, my name is Death Emperor. I'm here because of the darkness in your soul. Maybe if you weren't so evil, your mother would still be alive." Death Emperor laughed, a low sinister laugh.
"NO!" Yuri screamed shrilly. Katerina ran inside the room and slapped him again.
"Yuri! There's nothing here, you hear me? Nothing!" Yuri focused on her and tried to speak. It was too much. Yuri passed out again.
"Where am I? Why is it dark?" Yuri spun around, searching for light. There was none. "I want to go home now, please let me go." Nothing answered. He was alone in the dark. "Please let me out….I don't like the dark," Yuri said planitively.
"Are you sure you want to see where you are? Truly?" Yuri nodded, then realised that the person probably couldn't see him.
"…yes" he replied in a small voice.
The darkness disappeared, and Yuri began to fall toward the ground. He shrieked, certain that he would die. He hit the ground, but didn't die. Everything felt broken though. He screamed with the pain.
"Did the Harmonixer get a boo-boo? You're a monster, inhuman. You don't deserve to live. Maybe you should just die….now!"
"No!" Yuri screamedand woke up.