Ryuuzaki Umi was scared. The last thing she remembered was going to her mother because of a nightmare she'd had of one of the many times she'd been bullied for her unusual hair, then, she'd woken up here, on a beach she was sure she'd never seen before. After crying out for her mother several times, the only thing she'd attracted was a very pretty water lady. Undine, said the weird little box that showed up next to it as she looked.

They had had much the same conversation as Hikaru and Ryoshi earlier. However, they were rather rudely interrupted by a group of giant bright orange crabs that The Little Box called Ascot crabs.

"Yoshida-chan! Look Out!" Umi cried as she lunged to knock her newfound watery friend out of the way of a crabs sneak attack. This had the added effect of adding Genus Undine to her Genus Slot 1. Unfortunately, noone had the time to examine the changes as the attack that had been meant for Yoshida the Undine, instead hit little Umi in the back!

"Umi-chan!" Yoshida, having been just newly named by her young new friend, was needless to say, rather scared for the little girl, and notably pissed at the crab that hit her! She was only a little girl! She wasn't ready for any of this! Thus it was that the large, three foot crab met its end at the hands of a furious Undine's Water Bullet spell.

The rest of the crabs, being stupid crabs, did not flee or cringe, or indeed, react at all to their comrades demise. Unfortunately, their stupidity combined with their numbers was enough to actually make them dangerous.

"No! PLease! Stop! Stop hurting us! Please!" Umi was starting to withdraw in on herself as horrible memories of the times she was bullied came to the surface, regrettably not having to travel far. With these however came one particular memory, of a boy around her age that saved her from the bullies before, which she seized upon with all her little might.

"Help! Please! Help Me! HIKARU-KUN!"


Said girl lifted her head in stark disbelief. There, charging on all fours at the crabs like the wolf behind him that he now resembled, a look of utter rage on his now somewhat terrifying visage, was the very same boy that had saved her before. The very same one who, in her desperation, she had just called out to for help!

"Hikaru-kun?" The girls timid voice was quiet with shock as her little six year old mind, simple though it yet was, did not fail to immediately grasp at what she felt was most important right now.

'He had saved her again.'



Hikaru had no real clue what he was doing, but then, by this point he'd lost most semblance of clear thought. His friend was being hurt by bullies again, and Papa had taught him that bullies were bad. The concussive roar that erupted from his mouth did little to shake him from his haze, so focused was he on the ones who'd hurt his friend. The crabs, however, took it full force and were sent flying a good fifteen feet away, all landing in a scattered heap, their health bars knocked down a quarter; not that Hikaru had noticed The Little Boxes yet.

Still set on making them pay for hurting Umi, he charged forward again, slashing at them all as he nimbly leaped through them.

"Dire Fang Fist!"

Landing on three legs ten feet away from his adversaries, He raised his left arm (the one not on the ground), and, his hand glowing red with power, slashed at the air towards the doomed crustations.

"Dire Blast!"

The diagonal wave of crimson energy shot towards it's target, and detonated. What remained when the smoke cleared, was seven dead, three-foot crabs, leaking rainbow colored bubbles.


Then, he'd set his sights on Umi.


Umi was crying tears of relief. Her hero had come and saved her again. That he had done so by utterly obliterating the bullies didn't even register. After all, last time he'd saved her he'd attacked the bullies too. This was no different, right?

Being six, she didn't realize that this was not the case until Yoshida-chan stopped her from getting closer to hug the boy in relief.


"Stay back Umi-chan, somethings wrong."

"Wha-" The sudden feeling of dread that washed over stole the breath from her lungs. As she turned back to her would be savior she saw just what was wrong. Gone were the childish, fun-loving eyes of her friend, replaced with a glowing blue madness that promised nothing but pain to whatever they look at. And they were looking at her! Umi stepped back in fear at what had become of her friend.

This, however, seemed to be his cue to charge. However, just as he seemed about lunge at them, that huge white wolf from before, DireWolf, lunged in himself and tackled the boy, pinning him to the ground bodily, the boys neck in his massive jaws.

"HIKARU-KUN!" Umi cried out, fearful for her friend, seemingly in danger. All fear for herself temporarily forgotten, she forward to help her friend, only to grabbed by Yoshida again.

"Umi-chan, Wait! He's a friend. He's trying to help him!"

"Eh?" Was the best response Umi's addled brain could come up with.

"Look closely, Umi-chan. He's afflicted with a Status Effect." Yoshida told her calmly, even as Hikaru continued to struggle with increased vigor.

"Wha-? I don't-?"

"Look closely, Umi-chan. You can help him. You just need to see the problem."

Umi was still thoroughly confused, but decided to trust her watery friend. As she stared harder and harder at her mad friend, she saw The Little Box appear for him too, though it was different for him then Yoshida or, Ryoshi? That must be the DireWolf's name. Hikaru's box was bigger, red, with more numbers then their friends and a diamondy(cut diamond, not the four sided kind) shape with a scary looking animal face in it. It was different enough from Yoshida's or Ryoshi's that she couldn't find what was wrong at first, until she saw the little, slowing flashing picture by his name. It looked like someone wearing an animal hat that hid their eyes, making an angry face and surrounded on either side by red droplets.

When she focused on the picture another Littler Box showed up.

Berserker Blood Frenzy - Attack UP Confusion -Target is afflicted with overwhelming rage and blood-lust, will focus on anything nearby that grabs it's attention single-mindedly and attack until target is dead, cured or victorious, in which case they will move onto next target till exhaustion overtakes them.

"Hikaru-kun." she whispered, putting her hands to her mouth in worry. She knew what was wrong now, but how was she to fix it. Luck was on her side thought it seems, as the thought of curing brought an immediate action to mind. Though she didn't know where it came from, she didn't hesitate in the slightest to follow the instinct. If it could help Hikaru, that was all that mattered.

Putting her hands in front of herself, palms overlapping and out turned, she took a deep breath and focused, just as Hikaru managed to break free of Ryoshi's grapple and charge at her.

"Soothing Waves!"

A pulsing blue aura burst from her hands to engulf her crazed protector, just as he was two feet away freezing him on the spot. As the soothing blue energy permeated his body, he began to glow a soft blue to match, and they could see the madness drain from his features.

As the last of the spell came to an end, Hikaru collapsed to the ground, unconscious from his ordeal.

"Hikaru-kun!" Sure now that there was nothing preventing her from reaching her fallen friend she rushed towards him, her tears of relief back in full force. About two feet away from him however, the world decided to be just plain unfair as the waterfront nearest burst upwards into the sky, the falling water revealing none other than an even bigger crab than before; this one being a shade rather reminiscent of red/purple grapes.

Everyone stared at it in stunned silence for exactly two seconds before it raised its claws in the air bellowed menacingly,

"KHUKHII!KHUKHIII!" (think of krabby from pokemon)

Another two seconds pass as slowly, thrown by the waterburst, a small wizzened stick tumbled through the air bounce harmlessly off of Umi's head; which happened land right in her hand through some irreplicable coincidence.

And something inside little, six year old, Ryuuzaki Umi snapped.

"grrrrrrnnNO! No! No! No! No! NO!" Yoshida and Ryoshi could only stare at the young girl as she threw her, in their opinion, completely justified tantrum, Ryoshi even backed up a bit. When the girl started walking forward with no hesitation they were completely flummoxed when even the huge Great Crab backed up in fear, its tiny mind able to register the anger flowing off the small child even through its thick shell. As Umi continued to approach, most rational thought gone beyond the need to get to Hikaru-kun, she brandished the small stick in her hand up in front of her face like one would a wand or sword at the start of a fencing match; she'd watched her older sister in some of her practice matches before and had always wanted to try it; then thrust it out horizontally, arm fully extended, and still walking towards the scared crab, steps full of purpose, she called out:

"Mizu Henge! Ha!" And to the ever increasing astonishment of all present, water burst force from the top of the hand holding the wand, engulfing it entirely before bursting away just as quickly leaving behind a glowing blue rapier made of water! And she charged.

For a little six-year-old girl with no swordplay experience whatsoever, she was remarkably good with that thing.

After thirty seconds of rating at the Grape (hey if the normal ones are apricots, then why the heck not), punctuating every other word with slash or stab she jumped back a couple feet, grabbing at the sword hilt holding it like a home-run hitter would their favorite lucky bat, and shouted out as she charged back in, the sword growing longer and longer as the tip swelled to grand proportions,

"Will, you, just go AWAY! You, great, big, Squirrley, BUTT-HEAD! LAKESIDE HAMMER!"

And with that she swung with all her rather considerable, considering her age at least, might, and Launched the unlucky purple sea-spider up into the air above the lake, disolving completely into rainbow bubbles as what was left felt to the water below. Yoshida made a note memorize that location so she could retrieve for Umi later.

Huffing and puffing from the unaccustomed exercise, Umi slowly turned back and ran back to Hikaru on the ground. She kept the sword out though, she was tired of interruptions darnit!


"Hikaru-Kun? Hikaru-kun!"

"Meh-Eh-eh!" Papa would understand Hikaru's usual grumblings to let him sleep some more hopefully and leave him be. He'd been having this really cool dream where he'd saved Umi-chan from a bunch of water monsters!

"HIKARU-KUN!" The shaking continued despite his wishes. Wait! That wasn't Papa's voice! And why was he in the sand? Had he fallen asleep in the sandbox again?

"Ehh?" Still groggy, he opened his eyes only to find he was still face first in the sand.

"Argh!" He sat up, rubbing at his eyes furiously in an attempt to clear them of the painful grit. Unfortunately, being six, he forgot to take into account that hands and arms were themselves covered in sandy fur. So all he really managed to do was rub more sand in his eyes. He'd always hated getting things in his eyes. It was as was worse than bullies, cause you couldn't just confront it like you could bullies. Thankfully, this little round of ocular torture was short lived as he felt a cool hand gently grab his hands away from his face, followed by a soothing wet sensation pass over, and into, his eyes that seemed to make the horrible stuff just disappear like magic!

Blinking a couple times to make sure his eyes worked, he looked up only to be tackled back down with a strangled cry of 'Hikaru-kun!' Looking down, he found to his amazement the very same blue haired girl he'd just been dreaming about crying in his lap!

"Umi-chan!" He shouted out, ecstatic at seeing his friend in this strange place. It wasn't till she looked up him that he saw she wasn't quite as he remembered.

While she still had the same long, ice blue hair as before, an unfortunate source of much bullying in the past, her skin was now an even paler shade of blue. The only other notable change he could find right away was the addition of webbed fins a shade darker than her skin where her ears should have been.

Hikaru, being the little boy he was, skipped the shocked stage and transferred directly over to stage two; reach up and grab her ear fin.

"Whoa! Umi-chan, what happened? You got all blue and pretty!"

While an older girl might have gotten angry over a perceived implication that she hadn't been pretty before, Umi just took this at face value and giggled at the boy, a slight blush on her cheeks from the compliment.

"Dunno, but you got all fuzzy and cute!" This caused Hikaru to start laughing as well as he scrathed the back of his head, something he'd seen Papa do when he talked to pretty girls before.


As the two child companions got reacquainted with each other, all thought to the turmoil that had just passed, their current guardians just sat to the side, watching the two interact and digesting the events that just smiled indulgently as Hikaru shouted tag and they started chasing each other around. About a minute later thought Yoshida turned to Ryoshi.

"I'm going to go and get whatever fell from that crab Umi-chan killed. Can you watch over her for me till I get back?"

The DireWolf looked at her in surprise. While Undine and DireWolves held no real animosity for each other most times, nor did they have any real trust between them either. But, he considered, the two kids probably made this a special case.

"I suppose. I was taking Hikaru over to the building in the lake before all this. I can take her along just as easily."

He was struck with a sudden thought as his gaze traveled over to the pile of Apricots (remember, those are crabs) still lying on the sands.

"Well, at least we don't need to worry about food for a bit." Yoshida raised an eyebrow at this.

"Indeed. Well, I see you all shortly at the building then." And with that she floated off into the water.


"Gotcha!" Umi cried as she launched herself at Hikaru. The two had been playing for about ten minutes and were starting to get tired. What neither noticed was that Hikaru had started moving on all fours intermittently, moving side to side in quick bursts off speed, while Umi had been launching herself from greater and greater distances to tackle him. As they sat on the ground laughing though it seemed their playtime had run short.

"C'mon you two. We want to get to the building before you tire yourselves out completely or it gets dark out. Nastier things tend to come out after dark." Ryoshi said padding up to them.

"Awww! Hai Ryoshi-nii." Hikaru was upset that they had to stop playing, but always did his best to do what Papa told him, so did the same for Ryoshi, having adopted him as an older brother figure.

"Ryoshi? Like the storybook!?" Umi was excited to meet the big canine friend of Hikaru. After all, he was Hikaru's friend, that meant he was okay.

"Hai! It was the first thing that came to mind!" Hikaru bragged excitedly, not counting Papa's name cause that was Papa's and it didn't count. And when Ryoshi pointed it out he'd said as much, Umi giggling to the side and nodding her head. The wolf, not really having any experience with kids, couldn't quite know what to make of it and said instead.

"Alright, enough you two. C'mon, grab a crab and let's get going. We're going to eat them for dinner tonight."

"Hai!" Came the young duet response as they rushed over to the pile and grabbed a crab, though Hikaru, being a boy and six, tried to grab three which he failed at miserably, much to Ryoshi and Umi's not so silent amusement. This of course only drove the boy to try even harder until he found out by accident that by grabbing a hold of his hair, he could pull it out slowly to any length he wanted! This of course let him tie five crabs together for him to drag along.

The reactions this cause were, mixed. Umi excited and somewhat jealous that he could do that with his hair and she couldn't, she'd kept trying though, while Ryoshi... Ryoshi was just plain confused. He had no idea were that had come from as he certainly couldn't do it. After a few minutes thought along the beach however, he decided to simply chalk it up to 'Wierd Adventurer Thing' or, more specifically, 'Hikaru's Weirdness'. Little did he know that was going to be one of the most used phrases later on in the coming months.


"Are we there yet?"




"Are we there yet?"




"Yeah, those aren't rocks, their veggies! BLEHG! Andersmith!"


"Are we there yet?"




"How 'bout now?"



[Negative...Wait. Say that last one again?]

"That last one again!"

[...I meant the name shardling.]

"Oh. Terrax?"

[Affirmative. I shall accept that designation.]




"Are we there now?"

[sigh, Affirmative shardling. We have arrived at the exit.]


'[What have I gotten myself into?]'