Chapter 1: The beginning

It was a cold November night in the city of Lunarvale. Snow was falling.

It was silent in the alley, which was normal, considering that it was around 12 AM in the morning. A man walked into the alley. His breath reeks of alcohol and he was swaggering. He was singing an incoherent song, much like any other drunkard.

"Hic, ah... What a night. Hic", he said to no one in particular. He had been rambling loudly since he entered the alley. He didn't care if he cried loudly enough to wake the dead. As far as he knew, he was alone. But that was as far as he knew...He continued walking into the alley, looking for a good spot to relieve himself.

His cries could be heard several minutes later.

The next morning, the snow had piled to a good 3 cm on the roads. Students were walking into St. Hermelin with shawls, gloves, mittens and all kinds of cold-weather gears on top of their white uniforms. The standard attire has not changed much from 7 years ago. White shirt coats, buttoned down the center. For boys, there were white pants and shoes, for girls, there were the skirt and black shoes with white socks. There were no formal rule for the length of skirt, though, so it can be so short that the panties nearly showed, or so long that only the shoes were visible.

It was 6.30 AM at the time, 30 minutes before the classes start. Mei walked through the gate into the school compound. Her hair was tied back with a small ribbon today.

"Good morning, Mei!" a voice called out from behind her. Mei turned around and smiled when she saw Kanako and Ami, her friends.

"Good morning!" she replied. The three of them gathered and walked towards the school building. As with most girls, their conversation quickly turns to the latest rumors.

"Have you heard about the latest murder case?" Kanako asked Mei.

"No, what about it?" Mei answered.

"Well, the victim was found this morning, and the police are baffled by this case", Ami said to Mei. She just talked about it with Kanako before they met Mei.

"Well, that's not a big surprise", Mei said. "They say that almost every time something new comes up", she continued.

"Well, there is something strange about this one", Kanako said. Mei turned her head towards her, curious.

"The victim found yesterday was missing his heart, but there were no outer injuries on him" Kanako continued. At this, Mei cocked her head to one side.

"What...are you saying exactly? Is it some kind of alien mutilation?" Ami asked Kanako. This one's news to her as well.

"I will mutilate you if you girls don't hurry up and get to class quickly", someone said behind them. They whirled around and saw a woman with short, blue hair.

"Miss Yuki...!" Mei gasped.

"You girls better hurry up. Class starts in 5 minutes, you know." Yuki told them. The three looked at the big clock on the face of the main building and ran as fast as possible into the building.

Yuki sighed and said, "Kids nowadays..." Three boys suddenly zipped past her towards the building.

"Last one into school buys food for the week!" Stevan said to Kai and Takeshi.

"I don't have money to spare, you know." Kai said as he gradually pulled ahead of Stevan.

"Give me a break! A lot more of my money goes to you guys than anything else!" Takeshi said as he ran alongside Stevan. They continued running and arguing. Kai, the one ahead, looked back at the two behind him. He crashed into Mei just seconds later.

"Kyaaaaaaaaaa!" Mei shrieked as she started to fall to the ground. Kai somehow managed to retain his balance and hooked his arm around Mei's stomach, preventing her from falling. Stevan and Takeshi zipped past the girls as if they were standing still. Kai quickly released Mei and ran on in pursuit of his friends, and his money. The girls were silent for a while until they looked at the time. They ran to class with only two minutes before class starts.

Five minutes later, in class...

"Alright, class. We're going to change your sitting positions as agreed last Friday", the teacher said above the din of class 1D. He put a square cardboard box with a hole on one side on the table.

The students quieted down as they line up to grab their seating assignment numbers. Mei looked at Kanako and Ami standing behind her. Kanako winked and Mei replied with a thumb up as she took her number and handed it to Mr. Albert. Five minutes later, the students were told where their new seats would be. Mei waited, hoping she would be seated with her friends.

"Mei Shiyama", the teacher called. Mei held her breath.

"You're with Kai at the back", he continued. She gaped, blinked, and blinked again.

"E, excuse me...?", she said after a while.

"You're with Kai," he repeated and gestured towards Kai, who was sitting leisurely in his seat. Mei turned her head slowly and looked at Kai.

He was rumored as the most dangerous student in St. Hermelin. She had even heard rumors that he is the most feared man in Lunarvale's underworld. He's also notorious for his apparent lack of emotion, feeling or anything like that.

And she's going to sit next to him...

"C, can I take another number?" Mei asked nervously.

The teacher shook his head and said, "Sorry, but we can't waste any more of our time on this. Now, siddown". Mei walked to her new place and sat down. She looked over at Kai. Kai ignored her. She turned her head back towards the front of the classroom and slumped forward. It's going to be a long day...

"I still can't believe you're sitting beside Kai, Mei," Kanako said to Mei during lunch in the canteen.

"It's not fair..." Mei replied.

"Well, at least he didn't do anything to you," Ami said in between bites.

"...Sitting beside him is like being in a graveyard...The only time he ever open his mouth is when he yawns...And he only move his hands to crack his knuckles, other than writing..." Mei said.

"Hmm...True. Most of our classmates are too scared to go near him, and the teachers are too scared to even call him to do anything in class" Kanako said to Mei as she unwrapped her meal.

"Why didn't I get to sit with Akira instead? I'd give anything to see that handsome face sitting next to me," Mei sighed as she began eating. Her friends nodded in agreement. Anyone would love to sit beside the coolest guy in school.

"You know, sounded like you were actually watching him very closely", Ami said. Mei stared at her for a minute before her face started to turn beet red.

"Now hold on here...", she began, and was interrupted just a second later.

A loud crash suddenly rang out in the canteen. Everyone turned their heads to the source.

"What's wrong, boy? Can't even hold your food right?", a female student said to a short boy in front of her. Her company, made up of several girls about her size, laughed at the boy. The boy, who was of the same age as her, looked back with fear in his eyes. The girl sneered and drew back her leg to kick him. The boy closed his eyes and drew up his arms in front of his face to protect himself.

One second passed. Nothing came. Ten seconds passed. Still nothing came. The boy slowly opened his eyes and saw the girl holding her leg and grimacing in pain. In between her and the boy was Kai, holding his tray of food. He had counter-kicked the girl's kicking leg and damn near broke it.

"Don't make such a noise. I'm trying to eat here," he said to the group of girls.

"You asshole!", one of the girls screamed as she rushed towards Kai, brandishing a knife.

Kai kicked the girl in the forehead with the toe of his right foot as soon as she was within range, sending her flying into three others in the group. They crashed in a heap onto a table behind them. He looked over at the boy who was harassed just moments before and motioned with his head for him to go. The boy nodded quickly and ran out of the cafeteria.

"OK, who's next?", Kai said to the girls, tapping his right toe on the floor leisurely.

"Hey, it's not nice to hit girls, you know," a voice said behind him. He glanced backwards. The girls stared at Stevan, who just came in and was standing behind Kai.

"Kai, please curb those violent impulses of yours. We don't want to bail you out of jail one day," Takeshi said to Kai as he came up beside Stevan.

"Whatever. They were pissing me off," Kai said to his friends as he walked towards his table, being careful not to step on the spilled food. The girls quickly helped their wounded friends.

"This isn't over, Kai!", the girl that Kai hit on the leg shouted. Kai ignored her and walked over to his usual table with the whole cafeteria still staring at him.

"You know, perhaps it's better not to hear him talk. The only thing that might come out are death threats", Mei said.

"I wonder how those three became friends," Kanako said.

"Heaven knows...Maybe it's because they are not very sociable with the rest of us," Ami said in between bites.

"Are you kidding? Stevan is one of the loudest guys to ever walk in this school, and Takeshi is the top student in the school. How do they fit in with him?" Mei said. Just then, Stevan laughed loudly. Mei raised her hands in that 'see?' kind of position.

"Well, I guess we'll just have to ask them...Any volunteers?" Ami said. They looked at each other, shrugged, and resumed their meal, chatting about that morning's gossip while they were doing so.

That's it for this chapter. I know it's not much but it'll be big when I'm done with the story (if I ever get around to finishing it, I hope).