I do not own Bleach, or Sailor Moon
Ichigo could hear nothing but his own heavy breathing as he stared downwards towards his hands. They were bounded by some kind of ethereal light that snaked its way around his wrists, holding his hands together. He was on his knees in a room so white and polished that the place glowed around him, leaving no room for shadows to exist. The place was hurting his eyes. The pillars on either side of him reminded the young man of the temples to the gods that he had seen in pictures of Greek myth. A sort of power and life could be felt all around him in the silent place.
He struggled to stand up, but two poles crossing over the back of his neck before moving underneath his arms kept him forced down on his knees. Twisting his neck around, Ichigo could just see two men wearing white veils to hide there faces where holding the staves that were pinning him to the floor.
For some reason, Ichigo didn't feel surprised to see them there, and even though the situation was so strange, he didn't feel at all uneasy. His heartbeat was calm as still water and his breathing was steady, if a little on the heavy side.
A sound echoed through the silent place, one that he couldn't understand. Where they words? Or simply a form of introduction, a call to attention as someone entered the room? Either way, when he turned his eyes back to the front of the temple, he saw something that could have taken any man's breath away.
She was a goddess. It was the only way that he could describe her. A woman whose beauty could not be mortal, calling up feelings of complete awe that left no room for wicked thoughts or intentions. Her long silver hair still managed to reach the ground, even when tied up in two tight buns on either side of her head. Skin that glowed with the same vibrant energy as the world around her. Her crystal blue eyes and pale peach colored lips were both pressed in a sort of mournful expression as she looked down at the young man who instantly felt more like a small boy who had been caught stealing cookies from the cookie jar. She was dressed in a beautiful white silk gown with four large flaps that came of the back, giving the impression that she had the wings of a fairy, and a jeweled crown sat above her brow.
Seeing her in front of him, Ichigo couldn't help but to give a sad smile. "I await your judgment, Your Majesty." Ichigo felt the words passing over his lips, though in the silent place they echoed all around him, changing his voice into something he couldn't recognize.
The goddess's low lip twitched as she looked down at him with those sad, unassuming eyes. Her mouth slowly opened…
"ICHIGO!" The dream dissolved as the instincts that had been beaten into him kicked in. He immediately rolled to the side, right before a knee landed on his bed, right where his gut had been just seconds before.
Reaching the edge of the bed, Ichigo twisted himself around to land on the floor on the balls of both of his feet, straightening up with his hands raised to face his attacker.
"Good dodge there my son, always stay on your toes." Isshin Kurosaki said with his usual stupid grin as he throw a punch at his newly awoken son.
Ichigo gritted his teeth as he shifted his weight to the side to pivot around the incoming punch before grabbing onto the outstretched arm. "You do realize that normal parents don't act like this!" Ichigo shouted as he pulled his father towards the edge of the bed, using his lack of balance on the cushion to his advantage. He put his free hand on the back of Isshin's shoulder and forced him face downwards off the bed to smack him down onto the floor.
Ichigo tried to keep his father pinned to the ground like that, but with his lower body still up on the bed, the man had enough room to move to slip out of Ichigo's grip and quickly wrapped his son up in a headlock, one that Ichigo broke free from by elbowing Isshin in the stomach.
The two kept struggling with each other until Ichigo finally landed a solid punch to his father's stomach, and the man went down for the count. "Honestly, when are you going to grow up?" Ichigo grumbled as he rubbed his shoulders.
"Ichigo! Are you up yet? Breakfast will be done in a few!" The voice of Ichigo's little sister, Yuzu, came up the stairs.
"Alright! Just let me take a shower and I'll be right down!" Ichigo shouted back before walking out of the room, leaving his father on the ground with a half twisted neck.
"You are becoming strong… my son." Isshin said proudly before he blacked out.
Ichigo sighed with frustration as the memories of the dream flowed slowly away from him, like the hot water from the shower head. He felt like the dream was somehow important. Like the words that the woman was about to say were going to explain to him the meaning of life itself. Why did his father have to have such horrible timing?
Though that was stupid. It was nothing more than a dream. He was too practical of a person to think that dreams had some special meaning. Such things were only in fairytales and the stories about true love that the little girls ate up like candy. Ichigo was too mature for such things. But even so, he couldn't shake the feeling that the dream was somehow different.
Shaking his head, Ichigo started to clean himself up for the day, rubbing shampoo through his bright orange hair. Hair that had gotten him into more than his far share of trouble. It marked him as a sort of thug like character, since no one could believe that the color was actually natural. Not to mention that no amount of brushing or jell could convince it to stay straight, always preferring a wild look.
He was sometimes asked why he didn't just dye his hair black if it gave him so much trouble. To which Ichigo would answer that he wouldn't, because that would be admitting defeat. Ichigo was a competitive sort of guy, and defeat was not a word that he understood. He would rather be shipped off to a hospital than to ever give into a thug or admit that he wasn't strong enough to protect himself and his friends. A philosophy that had landed a lot of people seriously hurt.
Drying himself off and putting on a clear school uniform, Ichigo headed downstairs to find his little sisters sitting around the table eating their breakfast. "Morning." Ichigo said as he took his seat and clapped his hands together in a quick prayer before starting to eat.
"Morning." Karen echoed the greeting in her usual disinterested voice, not taking her eyes up from her eggs and toast.
"Good morning, Ichigo." Yuzu said in a much more cheerful tone of voice. It was hard to believe that the two girls were twins. Both their personalities and appearances were opposites. Karen had shoulder length black hair and never seemed interested in anything other than sports, whereas Yuzu was the more traditional idea of a girl, with shorter brown hair and a cheerful attitude and appearance. They were a few years younger than Ichigo himself, in their final year of elementary school, while Ichigo was in his first year of high school.
The morning was going through the usual routine, with Yuzu talking about the happenings in the neighborhood and Ichigo and Karen just quietly listening. Then their father rushing back into the room and making a fool of himself, before the kids finished the morning meal and left to head towards school.
"So Karen, you have soccer after school today?" Ichigo asked as he walked with his little sisters towards the elementary school. The High School was actually closer, but he had always made sure that his little sisters made it to school before heading to his own. The high school started thirty minutes later anyways.
"Nah, it's been canceled so that they can redo the chalk lines on the field." Karen said with a shrug. "Will probably just head straight home after school's up."
"Oh, you should come to the sewing club with me." Yuzu said, clapping her hands together.
"Pass." Karen shot down the suggestion before it could even get started.
"Either way, just try to have fun, okay you two?" Ichigo said as they arrived out in front of the school. He gave them both a pat on the head before turning and walking on towards his own school building.
It was just an ordinary day. One like a hundred others that had come before it. The sky was a little overcast, with the last traces of the winter chill still clinging to the air before spring really started. The birds were cheeping, and everyone was going about their daily business. So naturally, someone, somewhere, was being an absolute asshole.
Ichigo stopped next to an alleyway where he hard two sounds that tipped him off that something was wrong. The first was the high pitch sound of a terrified animal, and the second was the laughter and jibbing of kids. Ichigo's upper lip twitched as he turned and walked into the alley.
"Ha look at the stupid thing. Those ears must just be for show." One of four high school age boys said as he jabbed at what looked like a small black rabbit. A string was tied around its back leg, tying it to a lose bit of pipe to stop the little creature from jumping away. It squealed as the thug's stick pressed against its ear.
"I could say the same thing about you!" Ichigo half shouted, making the four jump. "Pulling crap like this. What the hell is wrong with you?"
One of the thugs, the one that was the biggest and the most stupid looking, with a ring like nose piercing that made him look like a thick headed cartoon bull, spoke up. "I suggest you just keep walking. We're just having innocent little fun is all." He said, grabbing a bit of pipe and tapping it in his free hand. "Though if you feel like starting something with me and my boys, go ahead."
Ichigo's cold expression didn't change at all. He moved in, his shoulders staying level the entire time until he was already on the surprised group. He grabbed the bit of pipe and the shoulder of the guy holding it, pulling him into a head butt that smashed into his face. Ichigo heard a satisfying crack as the bone broke and blood started to pour from the idiot's nose.
The others hardly had time to curse before Ichigo had the pipe in his hand, holding it like a sword, and was on them. A jab to the side of one's head with the section of the pipe that he was treating as a handle, before stabbing out to hit a second in the stomach with enough force to knock him down, breath leaving his lungs and he gasped in pained shock.
The last of the thugs was the only one to throw a punch, but Ichigo easily side stepped it, tripping the guy so that he fell to the ground before hitting him between the shoulders. The entire thing hadn't even lasted ten seconds. Ichigo threw the pipe to the side, letting it clang against the cement path before growling at the other high schoolers. "Now scram, and if I ever catch you doing crap like this again then you will be pushing up daisies!"
Still sobbing, the idiots hobbled away as fast as they could. Screaming about the mad man.
Scoffing, Ichigo turned back to the rabbit, which was still trying to pull itself free. "Stop that, you're only making it..." Ichigo started as he bent over, but then he stopped. The rabbit... was talking.
"Damn brats. Grabbing me when I was resting my eyes." The rabbit cursed as she pulled at the string. It was definitely a girl, if the voice was anything to go by. The rabbit had a raven black coat of fur, with a white mark on its forehead, a sort of circle with a cross over it.
Ichigo's jaw nearly dropped. "You... you can talk?" He said in surprise.
The rabbit stopped moving and its ears twitched before it turned to Ichigo. "You can understand me?" It said with surprise before moving slowly towards him and sniffing. "Strange, he seem to be human, but he is able to understand me. Perhaps he's defective."
Ichigo's eye twitched. "What did you say?" He was not used to being insulted by a rodent.
"Doesn't mater, now cut me free!" The rabbit ordered him in a stern and very bossy voice.
Grumbling, Ichigo reached into his pack and found a pair of scissors. Holding the string in such a way as not to hurt the rabbit, Ichigo cut the thread. "There now... hey!" He shouted as the rabbit dashed off away from him without another word. "Some gratitude." He huffed before getting to his feet and throwing his pack over his shoulder before continuing towards school.
But that short seen was the starting point for things yet to come. The point Ichigo would point back to as to when he adventures began. When his normal days became much less normal.
The endless sky, a place filled with infinite possibilities. Stars and planets that number beyond count, and yet none are visible in the light of day. Is life the same way? Are we all blinded to the truth of things that are too far separated from us by the blinding light of what we know so well?
'Since when have I been this philosophical?' Ichigo asked himself as he stared up at the clouds through the leafs on the tree he was resting under. His lunch sat beside him, relatively untouched. He couldn't eat, not with the surreal feeling he was getting. He just couldn't get the event of that morning out of his mind. I mean, a talking rabbit?
Then there was the simple fact that even after this revolutionary thing ran straight into and out of his life, his life was... completely unchanged. It felt like he should be a different person than he was before, but he wasn't.
"Ichigo... Ichigo!" Ichigo lazily turned his head to look at his friend Keigo.
Alright, so maybe 'friend' wasn't the right word, but he didn't know of any that would describe his relationship with the hyperactive brunette boy. He wasn't dependable, and they had nothing in common. Ichigo didn't exactly go out of his way to be socially charming and make friends. He wasn't rude or spiteful, he just wasn't outgoing, and with his reputation as a neanderthal, people usually stayed clear.
Keigo was more of a hanger on, he supposed. Ichigo couldn't even began to remember how the guy had forced him into his circle of friends. One day Keigo just decided that he was going to be friends with Ichigo and that was that. No matter how much Ichigo wanted him to shut up.
"Come on Ichigo, you've been action weird all day! You've been ever quieter than Chad!" The guy shouted, starting to poke Ichigo's shoulder to try to provoke a reaction out of him. "Come on, you can talk to me man."
"Something wrong?" Chad's rough voice asked as the massive figure of the Japanese Hispanic turned towards him. Ichigo could hardly see his eyes from underneath his mat of dark brown hair and his face was always rather stoic, but that was just how Chad was.
Chad was a real buddy to Ichigo. Mostly because Ichigo felt the need to protect the guy. Chad may be huge and easily capable of taking down an entire gang with his bare hands, but for some reason he had this idea implanted in his head that he should only fight to defend other people, and that if someone tried to attack him he should just stand there and take it.
So Ichigo always went out of his way to watch Chad's back, and the big guy returned the favor. It was a mutual understanding between them, they would each fight to the bitter end to protect whatever the other felt was worth protecting.
"See! Even Chad think's you've been acting strange! So talk!" Keigo demanded, then a sly grin passed over his face. "I get it, it's a girl isn't it? Come on, you can tell me, which one caught your eye? I'll play your wing man for you." Keigo said, nudging Ichigo's shoulder again.
"Hey Keigo." Ichigo said calmly. "What would you say if I told you I met a magical talking rabbit?"
Keigo stopped and his face went slack. "Ichigo... substance abuse is wrong."
"Yeah, that sounds about right." Ichigo said with a sigh.
"Ichigo, you sure you are feeling ok?" Keigo asked slowly.
"I'm fine, just a little out of it." Ichigo insisted.
Another smile passed over Keigo's face. "Well then I know just the thing to cheer you up! There is a new arcade down town, and as part of the grand opening, they aren't going to be charging for any of the games from the first day! So what do you say!? Want to go!?" He said, more loudly than necessary. Then he started to laugh. "Oh who am I kidding!? Our Ichigo would never..."
"Sure." Ichigo said in his usual only half interested voice.
Keigo's eyes bugged out in surprise. "What!? But you never want to do anything fun! I thought you were allergic to fun!"
"I need something to take my mind off of things. Besides, it's been a long time since I visited an arcade." Ichigo said.
The smile returned to his face. "Alright! How about you Chad-meister!? You up for some arcade action!?"
"Can't. Band has a gig." Chad said shortly. Chad played the base guitar in a band. Ichigo wasn't sure if they were very good or not, not being an expert of the musical arts, but Chad seemed to enjoy being a part of it, even if it was ironic that the most hard to miss person in the group was playing the background tone.
"Hm, good to hear. Hope you knock them dead." Ichigo said, his eyes turning back to the sky. He saw a cloud in the shape of a rabbit and cursed himself, closing his eyes. He really needed to just forget about it.
"Ichigo... I think I've died and gone to heaven..." Keigo said over dramatic as usual. Though Ichigo himself had to admit to being impressed. The arcade wasn't just big, it was huge, bigger than their school's gym. The lights and sounds of over a hundred different games all being played at once turned the entire place into a river of energy.
"Little crowded though." Ichigo mumbled as he looked around. "Most of the more popular games are probably already taken."
"Well, I'm pretty sure you two will still manage to find something that catches your fancy." Ichigo and Keigo turned their heads to find a woman standing behind the desk.
Ichigo would have to admit that the woman was... interesting. Early to mid twenties and dressed in the sort of tight fitting suit that one would probably think of when they thought about a flight attendant. Her deep tanned skin and the red dot in the center of her forehead made Ichigo think that she might be Indian, that and the tightly knotted bun on the back of her head. Her hair seemed to have a green tint to it, but that could have just been the lighting in the arcade playing tricks on their eyes. Could also explain the odd green glow that Ichigo could have sworn he saw in the woman's eyes, if only for a moment.
Something didn't feel right, and Ichigo was immediately put off. Fight or flight flashed up in Ichigo's mind, even though he hadn't identified a threat.
However, before he could act on such instincts, Keigo started acting like... well, Keigo.
"Oh, I've already found something that interests me!" He said with a wide and incredibly stupid grin. Ichigo felt disgusted at his 'friend'. He didn't even have to look to tell that Keigo was staring straight into the woman's cleavage. Keigo's legs were beginning to bend, preparing for a leap when Ichigo grabbed him by the collar and pulled him back.
"Stop making an ass of yourself, Keigo." Ichigo practically growled as he struggled.
The woman began to chuckle. "My my, what an energetic young man."
"Yes I am." Keigo said, earning a hit on the back of the head from Ichigo.
"Don't encourage him." Ichigo snapped.
"Ichigo! Stop being such a cock block!" Keigo whined as Ichigo pulled him away from the woman and further into the arcade.
"Keigo, she's a little old for you don't you think? Why can't you just try to date women your own age instead of going after people who are twice your age all the tim..." Ichigo stopped as he realized the shirt in his hand had stopped pulling away. He turned his had to find that Keigo had ditched his blazer and was nowhere in sight. "For the love of the gods." Ichigo groaned, not exactly knowing why he had said it.
Shaking his head, he turned away. He was there to unwind. He wasn't going to spend the whole time looking after Keigo. He wasn't the guy's baby sitter, though he would rat on him to his older sister later, revenge for giving him so much grief.
The place was almost completely packed, but after a few seconds of looking around, Ichigo spotted an game that was unmanned. It was one of those old fashion mortal combat type games, the one on one fighters. Ichigo had fond memories of playing such games with his little sister, Karin.
Pressing the start button, he watched the standard intro clip before being dropped into character selection, with over a hundred characters to choose from. Not really knowing what he was in for, he moved the indicator over random and pressed the select button. His bland faith rewarded him with a character dressed in black with black hair and a old face tattoo wielding a one handed sword, Haru. Not the most creative character ever, but it would do.
An half baked piece of exposition came up on the screen to explain why exactly Haru was going to be fighting, not that Ichigo even read it. Trying to follow the story of a one on one fighter was a lost cause, everyone knew that.
His first opponent, some kind of cultist. A man(?) with a sort of staff with a blade on the bottom of it who was wearing a dark blue cloak that hid its entire body, with a plaster mask over its face, one with a large worted nose. All around ugly.
It took Ichigo a few moments to get back into the grove of the controls of these one on one fighters, but after a few seconds figuring out the reaches of his attacks, he shifted into offense. Attack patterns, combo lengths, the time it takes to switch from offense to defense and vise versa; Ichigo was memorizing it all.
The first round was a close lose, the second, he won by a large margin. By the time the final round was over, he was practically untouched. "Finish him." Ichigo's character drove his blade into the enemy's chest before flipping it upwards and taking off the head entirely. He watched as the low resolution graphic of the mass flew through the air.
A small smile of victory started to cross his lips, but then he felt it. His head throbbed as if he had been smacked in the skull by a steel beam. He went down on one knee, his vision blurring as the sound of screams echoed in his ears.
"Wh...at the hell?" Ichigo gasped as visions of dead bodies flashed before his eyes.
Then a soft voice called out to him and a sad and accusing manner. "Why? Why did you kill them?"
By the time his vision returned, minutes had gone by and a repeating music was echoing in his ears. Looking up, he saw that the game had continued and that he had lost two rounds and gotten a game over. His eyes widened as he saw the game over screen. His avatar was forced to kneel, two individuals holding him down with spear shafts.
'Will You Continue? Yes/No'
Ichigo stumbled back, his mind racing. His head hurt and the noise that surrounded him was not helping him with the feeling that something was wrong. Horribly wrong. He could hear the sounds of hundreds of games being played around him, but he couldn't help but feel like there was something else there. Or maybe something missing.
Turning away, he looked around, trying to find Keigo. But when he couldn't spot the boy he decided to just pull out his phone.
'Heading home, see you tomorrow.' He texted as he headed towards the door. He needed to get out of there. He needed to find a quiet place to figure this all out.
Opening the door to his room, Ichigo tossed down his book bag on his desk and collapsed into the chair, staring up at the fan about him as it spun in circles. Memories of the daydream coming back to him, as the repeated movement hypnotized him. "Dammit." He mumbled as he covered his eyes. Was he going insane?
Leaning forward, he turned to look out his bedroom window, ring behind his bed, expecting to see the sun setting. But he froze as he saw the black rabbit from that morning sitting on his bed, looking straight at him with the kind of bright purple eyes that you never saw in any animal. A look on its face as if it was weighing Ichigo's worth while its ears twitched.
"You can understand me, correct?" The rabbit asked, watching Ichigo's stunned face. "Then I will stay here while you assist me with my task. I will try to inconvenience you as little as possible."
Ichigo blinked once before responding. "THE HELL!?"
The rabbits ears flatted against the back of its head while Ichigo's surprised shout died down. Then it gave him something he thought was a glare. "Quiet down you moron, these ears are sensitive!" She snapped at him. "Don't you have any manners at all!?"
"Manners my ass! How did you get in here!?" Ichigo shouted pointing an accusing finger at the rabbit. Then the words from before finally caught up to him. "What do you mean you are staying here!?"
The rabbit sat up on her hind legs and stretched out her ears, as if to try to make the most of her rather small height. "I will be staying here while I am completing my mission. Is that really so hard for you to understand, human? You should feel honored to help with such a noble cause."
"You say that." Ichigo grumbled as his eyebrow started to twitch. "But I have no idea what your talking about? What mission, and why should I feel honored that I'm having to put up with a bossy little rabbit?"
"Little?" The rabbit growled, its eyes looking angrily to the teenager who was standing above her. "I am the last member of one of the four noble families that advised the King of Earth during the Silver Millennium. The time of peace between worlds before the powers of the Negaverse attacked the Silver Empire of the Moon."
"...Say what?" Ichigo said, one more than skeptical eyebrow raised.
The rabbit closed its eyes, as if to look back into its own memories or simply back in time. "The people of Earth have forgotten the Silver Millennium, believing it to be nothing more than a myth. But it was real. The time when the entire solar system was filled with life and peace, each planet united under the gentle queen, Queen Serenity."
Ichigo's eye twitched and the mention of the queen's name and he momentarily felt short of breath. An image of the goddess from his dream popped into his head, and he had to fight it down.
"But all that changed when the Negaverse attacked. They destroyed the peaceful Kingdoms and spread their evil across the solar system. Then, when all hope seemed lost, Queen Serenity used her powers to banish the minions of the Negaverse and send the children of the royal families forward in time where they would be reborn and help to restore order to the worlds." The rabbit said, seemingly unaware of Ichigo's internal conflict. He had already regained control of himself by the time she opened her eyes. "And that is my mission, to find the reincarnated Prince Endymion of Earth, so that he can unit all of Earth underneath his banner and drive back the evil powers of the Negaverse. So do you understand now?"
"Yeah... I understand." Ichigo said before taking a breath. "I UNDERSTAND THAT YOUR FULL OF CRAP!" The rabbit jumped back in surprise at the sudden outburst before glaring up at the boy.
"How dare you!" She said angrily.
"Silver Millennium, Negaverse, reincarnated princes; that story sounded like the delusional fantasies of a nine year old! And you expect me to believe that without any sort of proof?" Ichigo snapped.
"I'm a talking rabbit! What more proof do you want!?" The rabbit snapped back indignantly, her black fur standing on end.
"That doesn't proof anything!" Ichigo said with a scowl. "And even if you were telling the truth, why should we want this Prince whats-his-name to be our king!? You honestly think the world is going to bend over and just accept some monarch from a little girl's fantasy story!? And what are the chances of finding him, there are over a billion people in the world!"
"Don't say that!" The rabbit closed its eyes again and Ichigo stopped. She was shaking. Suddenly he fell like an ass. "I have to find him! I have to! The fate of the world depends on me finding him." Her voice dropped off.
Ichigo looked at her more closely. She was a little on the thin side and she was shaking. He briefly wondered how many times it had rained in the last week. Had she been caught out in bad weather?
"Hey... you can stay here if you need to." Ichigo said, hoping his voice sounded as apologetic as he meant it to. "Just try to stay out of trouble, and don't let my sisters or dad spot you."
The rabbit stopped shaking and looked up at Ichigo with its large purple eyes. "You... you'll let me stay? I thought you didn't believe me." She said in surprise.
"I don't. I don't believe a word you said, and even if I did, it wouldn't be my problem. I'm not a perfect human-being... but I'm also not so much of an ass as to throw you out when you don't have anywhere to go. So if you want to stay here while you are searching this area for your 'prince' then be my guest, just try to stay out of the way." Ichigo said sticking up his chin, but after a moment he added. "You need something to eat?"
"Here." Ichigo said as he put down at small bowl of carrots in front of the rabbit. At first she tried to make it look like she was eating with dignity, but after a few moments she seemed to be trying to inhale the food, as if she had been starving. "Not much green in Tokyo for you to live off of." Ichigo commented looking away as he moved over to his laundry basket. He emptied it our on the floor before grabbing a pillow.
"Yes... but something told me that I had to be here. That this was where everything would happen." The rabbit said weakly, still keeping an eye on Ichigo as the boy make a make shift bed for her out of his laundry basket, a pillow and a light sweater. He put the whole thing into a dark corner in his closet, leaving enough of the closet door open for her to get in and out, without letting too much of his bedroom's light in. "Thank you."
"Don't mention it." Ichigo said flatly before sitting back down behind his desk and pulling out a chemistry book and starting to study, doing his best to ignore the talking rabbit in the room.
Ichigo was in the top twenty of his year at school, but not because he was any kind of genius. He was a hard worker, always had been. Everything he did he put a hundred and ten percent of his effort into, that included studying. However, he was finding it hard to concentrate that day, for obvious reasons.
What if everything she said was true? What if there was some kind of war going on between the light and the darkness? Ichigo almost scoffed at the idea. He didn't believe in the whole dark verse light thing. The world simply wasn't that black and white.
'You have let yourself drift too close to the darkness.'
The soft voice echoed in the back of Ichigo's mind, giving him a killer headache. He put two fingers over his eyes and rubbed them slowly, trying to get the image of the woman out of his mind.
Hours went by. His sisters and father had come home and they had all eaten together. The rabbit was asleep in his closet and he was lying on his bed, looking up at the ceiling, unable to sleep. He felt so disconnected from everything, the events of the long day passing through his mind. He was sure there was something he was forgetting. Something he had overlooked.
His cell phone started to ring. It was a few minutes till midnight, who would be calling at this hour. Picking up the phone he gave a sigh as he saw Keigo's home phone listed on the caller ID. "What is it?" He answered, expecting to hear Keigo's voice on the other end.
"Ichigo! Is my shit brother over there!" It was Mizuho, Keigo's older sister. Ichigo had to pull the phone away from his ear.
"No, I haven't seen him since he dragged me to an arcade this afternoon. That was around five." Ichigo said. He frowned, it wasn't like Keigo to skip curfew. He was usually to scared to be out after dark without Ichigo or Chad there with him. The off feeling he got at the arcade started coming back to him.
"Well he never came home! I swear, you better not be lying to me!" Mizuho said angrily. Her worry was starting to enter her voice, breaking through her angry older sister act. "He isn't answering his phone."
"That woman at the arcade..." Ichigo mumbled. There had been something off about her. Ichigo had felt it from the moment he saw her, and he had left Keigo with her.
"What was that?" Mizuho asked.
"Don't worry, I'll find him!" Ichigo said, hanging up before the girl could say anything. Ichigo was running down the stairs and out into the street before his phone rang again, but he ignored it, running full speed towards the arcade. Hoping that his gut was wrong.
He didn't notice that the rabbit had waken up and was watching run from his window, her large purple eyes following him before she opened up the window and jumped down twelve feet, landing on her feet as if it was nothing. She chased after the boy. She wanted to know who he was, and what made him different from other humans. She needed to find out.
Even though it was the middle of the night, there was plenty of light to see by. Car's still drove sped through the streets and the combination of street lights and neon signs caused the night time Tokyo to look nearly as bright as the day time one.
Even so, the world seemed unnaturally silent and dark to Ichigo as he ran through the streets towards the arcade. A cold dread that had nothing to do with the nighttime winter air was pumping through him with each stride he took. Reality and the dream blurring together, making him question existence, as rationality struggled against instincts. Though his heart was ignoring the conflict in his mind. Pumping faster and harder in order to full his legs as he moved towards the organ of his unease.
Though when he finally left the busy streets and went into the small district area where the arcade was housed, the shape of the surrounding buildings plunged the world into shadows and blocked out most of the noise that came from the highway. Ichigo's legs started to feel heavy as his body started telling him he was making a mistake and to turn and run in the other direction. But that wasn't an option. He needed to make sure that Keigo was alright.
As he approached the arcade building, he moved much slower than before as he caught his breath from the mad dash and let the cold air take away the sweat that had form on his body. The lights in the building were still on, and he could still hear the ocean of noise that came from the games that were inside. It was just as before. Completely unchanged. There was still something missing.
The sound of humans.
That is what had been missing before. Even though the games produced a lot of noise, Ichigo hadn't been able to hear anyone talking. No shouts of victory or laughing, or cries of frustration as they lost do to the cheap enemy attacks that often characterize arcade games. It had all been missing. There was plenty of energy filling the air, but none of it was human.
Walking up to the double door entrance, Ichigo tried to open it, pushing and pulling at the handles, rattling the whole frame.
It was locked.
Maybe the place was closed. Maybe everyone had been sent away. Ichigo hope that was the case, but that hope fell flat went he looked through the front door's large screen windows and saw several people lying on the ground in front of the game machines, there bodies not moving an inch as strange symbols moved across the monitors. Ichigo felt his blood run cold.
He shook the door again, desperately trying to open it, but the lock held tight.
In a change of tactics, Ichigo pulled off his blazer and wrapped it around his right hand before pulling his arm back and punching the screen door frame with all he had. The first hit only cracked the glass, but with the second hit his hand broke through, creating a small hole as his fist was forced into the building.
Moving his hand around, he found the door didn't have a lock leach, so he had to inch downwards and try the inside door handle, hoping that it would work. It did. The moment his hand pulled up on the handle, the door started to swing open and he quickly pulled his arm out of the door frame and rushed into the building.
Dozens of people were lying on the ground, their crumpled forms were hardly moving. Ichigo moved up to the first one he found and quickly checked for a pulse, fearing the worst. But he let out a sigh of relief as he felt a heart beat. It was weak, but it was still there. These people weren't dead, they were just in some kind of coma, or something close enough too it.
"Ichi...go." Ichigo's head snapped at hearing Keigo's voice, though he could hardly recognize it. It was so tired, lacking its usual energy.
The boy was leaning up against the smoothie bar counter, sitting on the ground and looking up at Ichigo with unclear eyes. The boy was deathly pale, his brown hair was more of a mess than usual. "Keigo!" Ichigo shouted, rushing over to his friend and placing a hand on his shoulder. "Keigo, what happened to you!?" Ichigo said, fear and anger getting caught up in his throat.
"Ichigo... run." Keigo said weakly before his eyes fluttered closed.
"Keigo, stay with me man! Keigo!" Ichigo shouted, shaking the boy's shoulder. But he stopped as he heard a eerie chuckle behind him. His head slowly turned to see the woman from before standing half way between the boys and the only exit.
"So you came back. Goodie. Your friend there was a practical spring of energy. I wonder if you will be as filling as he was?" The woman said in a tone that made a shiver go up Ichigo's spin.
"What did you do to him?" Ichigo growled angrily, but the woman only gave him a sickening smile. "What the hell did you do!?" Ichigo roared as he jumped up and moved in, pulling back his fist and letting go a cork screw punch straight into the woman's face, putting one hundred percent of his strength behind the punch.
It was a hit that would have knocked a full grown man down and left him out cold. It was Ichigo's strongest punch. But the woman stood there, her smile unchanging as Ichigo's fist was buried in the woman's cheek, just two centimeters from her nose.
Ichigo could feel his fist giving out a scream of protest. It had felt as though he had hit a brick wall. His knocks popping as the force rebounded on him. His mind was in momentary shock, but when he saw the woman's shoulder moving the instincts that had been beaten into him registered an upcoming attack.
Ichigo did a half step back, trying to get out of the reach of the woman's arms. It shouldn't have been a problem, his arms had been longer than the woman's, he had been taller. But as he felt something sliding over the right side of his chest he leaned further backwards and did a combat roll to get even further away.
Moving to his knees in such a way to allow for fast reactions, his hand moved to the area on the right side of his chest. He could feel his warm blood against his fingers. There was a cut, around a half a centimeter deep and three long. It was in a spot without any vitals and as Ichigo shifted his shoulder, he decided it wouldn't stop him from fighting. Though if it had been just a little further up and to the right it would have gotten an artery and Ichigo would be a good as dead. Did the woman have a knife? It would explain why he had miss judged her reach.
This explanation went out the window when Ichigo's eyes focused on the woman gain and his mind whirled in shock.
Two of the fingers on the woman's right hand, the ring and middle fingers, seemed to have been torn out from the inside, their skin hanging off of two long claw like fingers, the fingers had a shiny black shell over them, reminding Ichigo of that of a insect's exoskeleton. The skin on the woman's face looked unnaturally tight as a monstrous grin cut her face.
Ichigo's stomach turned as the dot in the center of the woman's forehead seemed to tear outwards, revealing a blood red third eye. This was not a woman, it was a monster wearing human skin.
Ichigo's mind was screaming at him to run, focusing on the fact that he was now in a position closer to the door than the... thing was. It told him to save his own life. To flee before it was to late.
But Ichigo's eyes spotted Keigo's limp form. To run away was to leave him to die. Ichigo would never abandon a friend like that.
So even though his mind told him to run, his spirit commanded his body to get to its feet and to hold his ground. He shifted his footing into his own fighters stance. He had trained since he had been six years old. He had learned Karate, Judo, Muay Thai, and Kendo. He had sworn to himself that he would never be helpless to save his friends and family ever again. It was time for all that training to be put to the test.
The creature started to laugh. "Oh, you aren't going to run!? How funny! Do you think you can stand against me, human!?" It said in a disgusting voice that seemed to hold a sort of echo to it. A long, black thing moved out of its mouth, looking like an oversized leech as it slide around the monster's mouth, licking its lips. Ichigo didn't react. He focused his entire body on being ready to react to the monster's first strike.
It was a fast one. A long over hand swing that came straight for Ichigo's head. Ichigo shifted to the side, dodging the strike which smacked against the ground, cracking the tile floors as the fingers scrapped against them. The claw came back up, swinging in a back handed strike toward Ichigo, but he moved in closer to the attacking arm's shoulder, making it impossible to him at that range.
Normally, Ichigo would have aimed a Muay Thai low kick for the knee cap. At this angle and range, he could have smashed through a normal human knee, and left the person on the receiving end crippled for months at the very least. But after the way the monster had brushed off his punch to its face, he wasn't sure that would work. And if it didn't break the joint, then the damage would be minimal and Ichigo would be back were he started, and unlikely to get another opening this good again.
So he reached up, grabbing the extended arm with once hand and reaching under it to grab the monster's shirt collar with the other. Placing a foot in front of the thing's leg, he used its own momentum to force it into a fall.
It felt as though he was trying to throw a two hundred kilogram man, even though the monster's body only looked to weigh around fifty kilograms tops. But with gravity and momentum on his side, he managed to pull it off the ground and fling it downwards with a loud clapping sound.
Not waiting to see the damage the fall dealt, since he was sure it wouldn't be enough, Ichigo jumped up onto a table next to him before jumping again over the creature's grounded body as it tried to get up.
He had managed to get a good jump in, around two meters up into the air, and gravity brought him down straight onto the thing. He pushed his leg down as hard as he could into its neck, putting all his weight behind it. He shouted as he put all his strength into the one strike, the objective, killing this thing.
The thing's face was pushed down into the floor with enough force to shatter the tiles underneath it. The blow had been so hard that it sent a wave of shock up Ichigo's leg, stiffening his muscles. He staggered back, staring at the things body. Panting from the exertion he had put into that last hit.
"That... was for Keigo, you freaking bitch." Ichigo said as he tried to get feeling back into his leg. It had been a solid hit to the back of the neck. No one could have survived something like that. No human at least.
So Ichigo was more than a little shocked when the thing started moving again. "My face... How dare you!?" The monster growled as it pushed itself up. Its face had been flattened, the human shape was all but completely gone. Its nose had been pushed into an unusual position and the skin around its mouth was torn. "Damn you! Damn you!"
Ichigo stood in horror as its arms and legs started to grow outwards. Clothes and skin tearing away as the monster shed them. Its lower jaw split in two and three of those leech like tongues started to slide around the air outside of its open mouth. The skin on its face was ripped apart and a white bone like face pushed out from underneath it, the green hair falling out of its bun and flapping down to its shoulders in a tangled mess that looked a lot like seaweed.
When it pushed itself up onto its back legs, it stood over two and a half meters tall, its body covered in the same black exoskeleton as its claws had been, with the exception of its face. Its eyes had changed, filling up completely with colors so that no white or black remained. The two original eyes were completely green, and the one in its forehead was blood red. All three of them were focused on Ichigo.
Its mouth opened wide and spit came flying out as it screamed. "I will rip you apart!"
Ichigo wasn't even given a moment to adjust to the monster's new form. It dove at him, its arms swinging two long sickle like fingers straight for his head, and he jumped back to avoid them before having to immediately roll to the side to dodge the second hand.
He managed to get out of the way of the razor like fingers, but when the monster pulled its arm back up he was in no position to react. He was hit in the chest by the things lowered arm. The blow push him off the ground and sent him flying backwards into one of the arcade games, the control stand smacking into his back, knock the air out of him and leaving him to slide to the ground, pressing the stool that had been in front of the game to the side as he slid.
The pain was intense, but Ichigo had experienced the like before. The muscles were still in shock though, it would be around half a minute before he regained full control over them. Half a minute he didn't have.
He forced his eyes to the monster, pushing down the screams of panic so that he could focus on the situation at hand. Panic wouldn't help him survive. Panic wouldn't help him win.
Most people would think that the boy was insane for still thinking about 'winning' in this situation, but he didn't care. Winning was the only option. He wouldn't even consider the alternative. With Keigo still out cold, to lose would mean they both die.
Luckily it didn't seem as though the creature was going to press its advantage. It must not have been very used to street fighting. When you've got your opponent on the ground, you finish it. Then again, why should it think that it needed too so quickly? It wouldn't think that Ichigo had any chance. He had a whole ten seconds of it laughing at him before it even talked. "Bet you wish you had never comeback now, huh human?" Its sickly echoing voice gave Ichigo even more of a headache, but he ignored it as he pushed himself back to his feet.
"Like hell." Ichigo grumbled as he grabbed the stool and lifted it up, trying to keep his weight off if his injured side as he held up the impromptu weapon. He looked to the creatures arms. They were long, very very long. As long as Ichigo was tall. At range, Ichigo would be a dead man. But the way it held its elbows out to prepare for long range strikes, it would be hard for it to maneuver them close to its body.
In built human instincts were screaming to get away, but the fighter's intuition won out and he moved in closer. One of the arms shot out like an arrow from a bow, but Ichigo had predicted it and was already out of the way, moving as fast as he could towards the monster. It tried to get at him with the other arm, but he was already to close for it to get a good angle on him and he didn't even have to try to move out of the way, leaving the second attack to land on the ground behind him.
With a short roar, he swung the stool up with all his strength, getting the monster in its split chin and smashing into those disgusting leech like tongues. It gave an angry cry of shock and fell backwards onto its rear.
Though Ichigo was disappointed to find that the tongues remained in tact, he didn't dwell on it. His swung had brought the stool above his head, so he used what strength he could gather and swung it down, aiming for the eye in the center of the monster's forehead. He hoped that the eyes would at least be vulnerable, otherwise he was going to have to think of something else.
The blow never connected as one of the arms came in, blocking the attack. Ichigo's sides gave a scream of protest from the jarring change of momentum, but he didn't pay any heed to that. He could already see the second hand coming towards him from the corner of his eye. Its sickle like blades aimed for his head.
He dipped backward, far enough for the blades to miss on their backward arc, but his weapon was hit head on. The blade like fingers ripped through the metal frame like it was made of paper rather than steel, and Ichigo found himself holding nothing but the two legs while the rest of the set went skidding across the floor.
Ichigo's body moved inwards again, not wanting to give up the attack. The monster's arms were crossed and it's momentum was all inwards. He pulled up his right hand and aimed the jagged end of the stool leg for the creature's middle eye, pressing himself forward with all his weight, trying to get this single meaningful blow in.
But the monster kicked out, its leg catching Ichigo in the stomach and sending him flying once again. He went smacking into a pillar, hitting his head against it hard enough to make his vision swim as stars flew before his eyes. It was bad, he could feel the blood dripping through his hair and over the back of his ears. The air had been knocked out of his lungs, and the muscle refused to bring in more. He had managed to hold onto one of the two stool legs, the one in his left hand, but it didn't seem like that would do him much good now.
"If you won't so feisty, you might have made a perfect sacrifice." The monster's already echoing voice sounded like an entire chorus as his head throbbed angrily. The beast was getting up and moving towards him.
'Get up.' A demanding voice commanded Ichigo inside of the back of his head.
'I can't.' Ichigo's own voice replied. It was pained and fear was taking it over.
'Get up.' The first voice insisted again.
'My head is spinning.'
'Air. I need air.'
'What is the use? I'm going to die.'
Ichigo was back on his feet. He could hardly see. His sides were killing him. He was struggling to bring air into his lungs. But he had returned to his feet and was holding the sharp piece of metal out, pointing it at the monster.
The monster paused, seeming surprised that he had managed to get back up at all. Nearly as surprised about it as Ichigo himself.
"Why do you keep getting up? Surely you don't think that you can continue in your condition." The monster said as it prepared to impale Ichigo on its long legs.
"I... will... beat you." Ichigo stuttered out between gasps for air.
"So foolish. I suppose this is the end of it though. It was fun, but it is time to die, human." The monster's arms pulled up. Ichigo could see it, he could see the path the attack would take. But his body wouldn't respond. He was through.
"Hadō #31. Shakkahō!" A burst of crimson flames crashed into the side of the monster's head, and it fell to the side, as if hit by a car.
Ichigo blinked in surprise as his head slowly turned to see the rabbit standing in the doorway he had left open. The symbol on its forehead was glowing as it stared at the monster. "What the hell..?" Ichigo mumbled, wondering if this was one of those strange visions that people who were dying sometimes reported.
"Move it you moron! That wasn't enough to stop the Yoma for good!" The rabbit shouted at Ichigo.
"A guardian familiar? What is one of your kind doing here?" The monster was back up on its feet, there was a burn on the side of its head, but otherwise it showed no sign of damage. "No matter, the Master would be pleased if I brought you back to him."
"Disintegrate, you black dog of Rondanini! Look upon yourself with horror and then claw out your own throat!" The rabbit started to glow bright red as it chanted. "Bakudō #9. Geki!"
The same red aura that had surrounded the rabbit spread over the monster's body and the creature was suddenly held completely still. It groaned and spat, as if struggling with a force that was holding it on the spot.
"I thought I told you to move!" The rabbit shouted at Ichigo. Shocked out of his trance, Ichigo did move. "Not that way you idiot!" The rabbit shouted as Ichigo stumbled across the room, away from the exit. But she stopped yelling when she saw him bending over to pick up Keigo.
"Come on, Keigo... I'm getting you out of here man." Ichigo said as he struggled to lift up his friend, regardless how much his own body hurt.
Pushing himself, he made it out the door and the rabbit followed behind him as they made their way towards the main street.
Ichigo's mind was spinning with questions. What the hell was that thing? What did the rabbit do to it? What did it do to Keigo? But he didn't have the energy to spend with questions. He just kept putting on foot in front of the other and he moved towards the sound of cars.
Ichigo stepped out into the middle of the street. "What the hell do you think your doing ki..." A drive started to yell as he was brought to a stop right in front of Ichigo. But the words died when he saw the blood running down Ichigo's body and how he was supporting his friend.
"Please. I need to get my friend to a hospital." Ichigo said, his voice shaking as his head throbbed. Not waiting for an answer, he moved to the passanger's seat. The man unlocked it and watched as Ichigo load his friend it.
The boy was about to get into the back when he heard the monster screaming and saw it rush out into the street in front of them. His blood seemed to freeze as he and the monster locked eyes. The driver freaked out at the sight of the thing.
But rather than going after Ichigo himself, he saw the monster turn and run after something small and black. It was the rabbit. Ichigo was gasping. "Kid, get in the back! Now!" The man shouted at Ichigo, but Ichigo's heart was torn.
The rabbit had risked its life to save him. He was not about to turn his back. He tightened his grip on the stool leg that was in his hand before slamming the car door and running after where he had seen the monster going. The driver yelled at him to come back, but he didn't listen. He was not going to leave the rabbit behind.
The rabbit darted between cars and cut corners in an attempt to lose the beast that was nipping at her heels. Her heart was slamming in her chest as she heard the metallic scrapping of the monster's claws as it followed her on all fours. She cursed her sensitive ears and the thrall hearts of rabbits as the pounding in her chest mixed with the screams of the human's that saw the murderous creature.
As she got off the main road and slide into an alley, she risked a glance over her shoulder at the monster, immediately wishing she hadn't as she saw it jumping up onto a parked cab at the curb behind her, its sharp claw slicing long grooves into the metal as the glass windows cracked under the things massive weight. Its three eyes seemed to be focused on her as it bounded after her.
The alley was a dead end with a tall wooden fence. Fortunately, there seemed to be a small gap where some creatures had dug underneath the fence in the past and the rabbit dived through it. She stopped to look back at the fence, trying to judge how long the wood would at least manage to slow the monster down.
Almost none at all. The long claws made short work of the wood, ripping it to splinters in a mater of seconds, the pieces of wood were sent flying about as the monster bashed through what was left of it with its entire body after three quick slashes.
The rabbit tried to turn around and run again, but the monster's long arm caught it in the side and throw it against a nearby garbage can. The rabbit felt like it was going to die from just that one hit. Its body wasn't made to absorb such hits, not without the assistance of magic. And she was running low on that after the stunt she pulled to bind the monster so that the human boy would be able to escape.
Groaning, the rabbit tried to push itself forward, only to have just one of its back legs follow the program. The other gave a sickening jerk and just collapsed. She couldn't tell what was wrong with it, whether it was just a nervous shock, a pinched muscle, or something more serious like a sprain or a break, but one thing she could tell almost instantly, and that was she wasn't going anywhere soon.
The monster was laughing as it came closer. "You should be happy you aren't worth anything dead. Otherwise I would have killed you for what you did to my face." The monster hissed, tilting its face to show the burn that the rabbit's spell had left. It explained why she was still alive though, the monster had used the back of his arm, so as to not cut the rabbit into pieces. "Of course... don't think I won't get some pay back." The rabbit looked around, trying to find a way out. She tried to move again but couldn't. The monster was closing it. "I think I will trim down those ears of yours. How does that sound to you? If you don't like the sound of it, don't worry, you won't be able to hear for much long." The monster laughed as it slide the two long fingers on its right hand in the style of scissors.
The rabbit was gasping as its heart beat kept getting faster and faster. Damn the rabbit heart. She couldn't close her eyes. She just stared as the monster came down towards her.
But before it even reached out towards her, something jumped up onto its back. "What!?" The monster cried out as it leaned back in shock. The response it got was a right hand coming around and driving something that looked like a stool leg into the monster's right eyeball.
It screamed and started to thrash about and the rabbit saw the boy from before holding onto the things back. "You shouldn't have turned your back on me!" The boy shouted as he used the palm of his right hand and smacked it into the bottom of the stool leg, pushing it throw the monster's head in such a way that it popped out the other side.
The shriek was deafening as the monster lashed about in pain. The boy was thrown of its back, unable to hold on with only one hand. He fell to the ground with a smack and rolled himself away from the beast's tantrum and towards the rabbit.
The rabbit was shocked. No normal human had ever done so much damage to a Yoma before. "I told you. I'd beat you." Ichigo said with a smirk as the monster screamed unintelligible words. But after two seconds of it thrashing his grin faded. "What the hell!? Didn't I get its brain? What does it take to kill this thing?"
"That isn't enough." The rabbit said from beside Ichigo. "It's a Yoma. A monster created from clay and given life through the dark powers of the Negaverse. It can't be killed, not without the use of a magic weapon."
Ichigo stared as the monster tried to grabbing onto the part of the stool leg that was embedded in its eyes. It was having a hard time of it, since it had no joints on its fingers to help get a grip.
"You should run. It's only after me. If you go yourself you might make it out of this alive." The rabbit said to Ichigo as she watched him struggling with his injures. Even if he got up and grabbed her, they wouldn't make it out. Not together.
"What about you?" He asked the rabbit, looking at its twisted leg.
"All manage. Just go." The rabbit insisted, though it clearly couldn't move anymore. Ichigo stared for a second before struggling back up to his feet and positioning himself between the rabbit and the monster. The rabbit's eyes widened at the gesture. "What are you doing? Run! You can't fight it. You don't even have any magic."
"I don't care." Ichigo said bitterly as he looked around the alley. There were no good weapons on hand. Didn't matter. He couldn't have lifted anything heavy in his condition anyways.
"This doesn't have anything to do with you! Just leave!" The rabbit shouted. "Why are you doing this!? Why, human!"
"I could as you the same." Ichigo said, leaving the rabbit confused. "Why is it that you came in and help me back at the arcade? Why is it that you ran off in order to distract this thing while I got my friend to safety? The simple fact is, we don't need a reason to help people." He stood as tall as he could in front of her. He was still covered in blood, his shoulders were moving up and down from exhaustion and he was leaning to the side, probably from a broken rib. But from her position on the ground behind him, he looked like a powerful giant. "I don't care if is impossible. I've already decided that I am going to save you. So just shut up and watch me."
The rabbit stared open mouthed at the human. She had never met anything quite like him before. A particularly loud scream got the rabbit's attention as the monster started to pull the stool leg out of its eye. It's left eye was already starting to regenerate from the earlier injury.
"Shit." Ichigo cursed, trying to think of what to do.
"Human, I think... I know a way we can both get out of this alive." The rabbit said quietly.
Ichigo blinked and looked down at her. "Then speak up. What do I need to do to beat this thing?"
"I can transfer what's left of my magic to you, if it works, you will be transformed into a Knight of Earth, and you should have the power you need to destroy the Yoma." The rabbit said sounding a little unsure of herself. "But if it fails, then you will be destroyed from the inside."
Ichigo just turned to the rabbit, looking down with a determined look. "Well, what are you waiting for then? Show me what you got, rabbit."
The rabbit's mouth twitched. It might have been a small smile. "My name is Rukia. Rukia Kuchiki." The rabbit said as its eyes closed and the symbol on its head began to glow. The monster had pulled the stool leg out of its face and had thrown it aside to slide across the ground. It's middle eye glared at the two as its other two eyes continued to mend themselves.
A small wooden plaque of sorts began to form out of thin air in front of Ichigo, glowing with the same light as the mark on Rukia's forehead. The same symbol was covered into its face, a circle with a cross over it.
"And my name, is Ichigo Kurosaki!" Ichigo shouted, grabbing onto the wooden badge. The Yoma rushed towards them as a blinding blue light spread over Ichigo's body, concealing him from view.
The monster swung out its arm, bringing down its right claw towards Ichigo. Trying to tear throw the human who had humiliated it so. But rather then ripping through soft human flash the claws came to a stop and the sound of metal scrapping against metal ringed loud.
The Yoma didn't even have time to be surprised as a fist came out of the light, smashing into its face and sending it bouncing across the ground to come crashing into a wall on the other side of the alley. The Yoma cried as two of its fangs fell from its mouth to the ground before dissolving into clay sand. The magic power, it was overwhelming. Where was it all coming from?
"Now, let see how hard it really is to kill you." The light faded away to reveal the human boy. His body was cloaked in a loose, black robe tied close to his body with a white belt, the long sleeves coming down to his wrists.
Rukia was surprised as she looked up at Ichigo. This wasn't right. The warriors of Earth were supposed to be draped in white, where had this uniform came from? Though that hardly seemed worth even registering as the young man lifted a large slab of metal the size of his entire body and pointed it at the monster.
His sword was huge, so much larger than all the others Rukia had seen in her lifetime. The single edged Japanese style blade was different from the double edged swords of the Knights of old. Its handle was two and a half hands long and wrapped in a red leather grip. Even so, Ichigo was moving it through the air with just one hand. As if its weight was hardly worth registering.
The Yoma was still in shock, sitting on the ground, but Ichigo wasn't about to make the same mistakes it made. The first rule of street fighting; when the enemy is on the ground, you finish the fight.
Ichigo moved in, seeming to glide through the air as his sandaled feet made no sound as they hit the alley street. The Yoma shrieked, swinging one of its large arms in an attempt to intercept him, but Ichigo deflected the hit and then in an upwards slash, he cut the arm clean on.
The Yoma screamed in pain as its arm dissolved into nothingness and bits of clayed dirt flaked away from the stump where the magic blade had cut through. It tried to reach over with its other arm to guard its head from attack, but Ichigo's blade came down as he switched to two hands. The force of the blow crashed through the monster's second arm, split the monster's head in two and kept going until the entire body was sliced cleanly in half before the blade buried itself in the ground.
"Like I said before... That was for Keigo, you freaking bitch." Ichigo growled as the monster's body broke down. The color draining away from it as it died.
Rukia watched the entire thing with wide eyes. It had only taken a few moments. She had never seen anything like this Ichigo fellow. She had never hear of a human who was so skilled, or a man so stubborn and brave. He had taken on the task of knighthood without a second thought.
He was to be her knight.
Unfortunately, Ichigo's body had done all it could. Blood lose took a hold of him and he collapsed to the ground. The dark robes disappearing to be replaced by the school uniform, minus the blazer.
"Ichigo!" Rukia cried, trying to drag herself over to him. She looked over him. He had lost a lot of blood, and his body had bruise from the battle. He needed medical attention soon. She tried to call on her magic, but she had used to much in the process of knighting him. She couldn't even fix her own leg.
Just as she was wondering what she should do, something came to her ears. The sound of a steady clapping. "My my, that was some display." Rukia turned her head to see a man standing in the entrance to the alley. A figure in a sort of cross between a pancho and a normal coat. He grinned down, his odd stripped green and white hat covering hiding his eyes, if not his wheat colored hair. He was clapping slowly, with a cane tucked underneath his arm. "Well hello, Ms. Kuchiki is it? You seem to be in a bit of a bind. I, a humbled candy store owner, would like to extend my services." The man said with a smile, tilting up the hat to show intelligent gray eyes.
Rukia only stared back. How could this get any stranger?
The symbol is supposed to be the star symbol of Terra, or Earth.