Disclaimer: I don't own Owari no Seraph, its plot or characters, or any other mentioned books, songs, or series. They belong to their respective owners. I only own my OCs and the plot that deviates from canon or doesn't exist in canon. This is a non-profit fan fiction just for fun.
Characters: OC, Shinya H., Mikaela H., Crowley E., Makoto N.. Sooner or later most of the other canon characters will appear, too. I've also named some unnamed canon characters... Maybe you'll spot them.
Pairing: For me to know and you to find out ;)
Genre: Adventure, Friendship, Mystery, Angst, Supernatural, Romance, Humour, Drama, Hurt/Comfort, Action, Horror
Rating: T for now. I will probably change the rating to M in later chapters or put up warnings for certain chapters.
Warnings: The usual warnings of the series apply. Mild Language. Violence. Mentions of abuse, self-harm, torture, death, and gore later on. Some sexual content might occur in the later chapters (I'm not sure yet). And obviously blood. A lot of blood.
A few OCs will appear at the beginning to build this story up, and this fic will be mostly pre-canon but slowly transitions into canon with some changes here and there. Physical rules of the ONS- Universe will be as canon and accurate as possible, and so will be the relationships of the canon characters. This fic will be mostly OC-centric, but there will be some other POVs, too.
Remember that because of the whole reincarnation-thing going on my OC might seem OP at first, but I've tried my best to make her a realistic character with strengths, weaknesses and quirks.
This fic will be somewhat epic in length and there will be a lot of worldbuilding, so if you want to immerse yourself in the world of ONS, you've come to the right place! This story will contain things from the light novels, manga and anime, and there will also be some minor spoilers for the manga chapters (from ch48 onwards) and the light novels. You have been warned ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°). If you're not put off by any of this, then, by all means, please continue reading!
A/N: This is an English writing exercise and hobby for me. I have been in love with the Owari no Seraph series ever since I've watched the first episode, and somehow I came up with this idea for a story while reading the manga and light novels.
I'm nervous (๑•́ ω •̀๑). I'm open for constructive criticism, but... please don't kill me.
Okay... enough of my rambling. I hope you enjoy my first fan fiction and give it a chance! - Saya Tsukihime
Last edited on 16.09.2019. I adjusted some things to make the chapter a little easier to read.
Chapter 1 – Nothing Is Like It Used To Be
I had never really thought about my own death or what would come after it. If something would come after it. But who really does? There was no point in it because no one who is alive has the answers to the question humans have been wondering and warring about ever since their dawn of existence.
You simply live day by day, learning, working, surrounding yourself with family and friends, doing what you like to do. That was what truly mattered, and not thinking about your impending demise because it was inevitable. One day everyone would die. That was what I thought the first time around – think about life not death.
My perspective changed in my next life. After receiving my second chance, I learned that it was indeed a blessing not to know when you would draw your final breath, or you would always live in fear of that day. Despair about that day when you would lose everyone and everything, and make decisions you wouldn't have made otherwise... Just like I did.
The moist autumn air left my mouth in white puffs while I was walking through my favourite forest, and the fallen, reddish brown leaves crunched under my boots. It was a beautiful but cold day and I had to wear gloves to keep my hands from freezing over. Frost covered the ground and the air smelled fresh and musty. There was no one else here yet – it was quiet and still early, shortly after sun rise.
I wasn't really a morning person, even less one who did some morning exercise, but today I'd just felt like getting up early and taking a stroll through the forest. Forests were my all time favourite places because of the tranquillity, serenity, and air of pureness they provided. They were like an escape from hectic everyday life, some kind of safe haven. I was happy and was enjoying the walk, not thinking over much as I took in the impressions of the wood, simply relishing the nature that surrounded me.
But then, in the next moment, I heard someone murmuring my name right next to my ear. It was hardly more than a faint whisper in the wind, but it gave me goosebumps, a sense of foreboding.
Suddenly, there was a sharp pain inside my head, much worse than my frequent headaches, that drowned every other thought out, and without struggling or suffering for long I died just like that. Not because of an accident, but because of a brain aneurysm that had never been detected.
Pretty anticlimactic, huh? There was nothing spectacular about the way I died. I couldn't even feel how my body hit the ground. Faintly, I felt sorry for the person who would discover my body.
The next thing I knew, I found myself in a seemingly dark world. It looked as if I was floating in space. Twinkling stars that gave off a strong white light were all around me but they were too far away to reach. And right above me, floating high in the air, was a giant golden ball of light. I didn't know how I could have missed it at first. Perhaps it was because it didn't seem to emit any heat and its glow didn't reach me.
Now, as I looked at my surroundings more closely, I noticed that the world around me wasn't pure blackness. It gave of a reddish luminescence here and there in a way that reminded me of the northern lights. The reddish light seemed to connect the stars like pathways.
And right underneath me was impenetrable darkness without any lights. An abyss. This whole... world was breathtakingly beautiful but eerie at the same time. Was this the World of Death? Or was this some kind of Heaven or Hell? Some space in between? Limbo?
My ears perceived ethereal whispers, otherworldly music, and weird noises of something fluttering through the darkness, but I never saw anything concrete. I could only make out that there was some motion in the darkness around me, which seriously creeped me out, just like this whole place. I still couldn't completely comprehend what had happened.
Was I really dead? The thought was so absurd.
It was cold here but not the unpleasant kind of cold; it was somehow soothing, like a breeze on a hot summer day. All in all, this place was really creepy but serene at the same time.
Despite the ability to feel the temperature in this place, I didn't have a tangible body. Was I a ghost, a soul, or an accumulation of memories and emotions? Would I be stuck here in this state and world forever?
Just when I'd asked myself this question, there was another whisper, a voice I could finally understand. It was the one that had called my name just now.
...Had it been just now? It was hard to tell how much time had passed in this world.
"Come. I will guide you to the next world..."
Another world? Was there really something like that? Was reincarnation a thing? Or did it mean that there was something like Heaven or Hell, or the Pure Land?
I wanted to protest, say that I didn't want to go and wanted to stay in my world and continue my life, but I couldn't talk.
However, the same someone or something answered me sadly, "You can't return. You can only go forward."
Whatever had spoken to me led me through the darkness despite my protests. While I was pissed about being shoved around like that and having no choice in the matter, the unknown being made me feel protected and at ease.
I couldn't see the being, that had appeared at my side, clearly, because it was shining too brightly in a silvery-white light, but I was able to discern a humanoid form and two pairs of wings. The being of light, or was it an Angel of Death, pulled me towards a certain direction without touching me, as if it was moving me with its mind.
The light or star it was leading me to became brighter and brighter as we approached it.
For an immeasurable amount of time I flew through that plane until I finally reached an end. The star was in fact not a star but a round, gigantic, shining white crystalline door, that opened on its own accord or at an unnoticed sign of the angel.
Radiant light engulfed me and I was snatched out of the dark world.
I was still blinded and cold when I became aware that I wasn't in the World of Death anymore. But it was a different kind of cold than in that world, somehow more physical, and there was the feeling of someone holding me. For a moment I thought about those fan fictions where a person gets reborn in another universe, but there was no way something like that could really happen for real, right?
Yes way. As soon as my eyes had adjusted to the brightness, and I was able to take a look around as well as hear the voices of people around me, I realized that I had indeed been reborn as an infant with all of my memories from my past life and the World of Death intact.
The Angel of Death had botched up my reincarnation.
Let me tell you, being a baby and being aware of it was not fun, it was disgusting (I hated being unable to go to the toilet and shitting myself), disturbing (breastfeeding was something I luckily didn't remember from my past life, this time was enough for all other lifetimes to come) and mind-bogglingly boring (I hated laying around and doing nothing but sleeping).
Fortunately, time passed relatively fast because I was sleeping more often than not, purposely so, and soon my first birthday took place. Apparently, I was born on October, 15th 1999, more than five years later than my last birthday, the 17th of April in the year 1994.
I was at a loss. Not only had I been reborn on the same day I had died but also at a time where I had already been alive once. Needless to say, I was confused. Maybe I had really been reborn on the same planet but just in a different time? Was that how it worked? But the angelic being had told me that I would go to the next world and that I couldn't return to my own...
I had questions over questions that nobody could answer.
Everything in this world seemed normal and exactly like my past one until now at least. There were no ninja jumping around or any other extraordinary supernatural things for that matter. It was the same plain old world I had always known.
Was that a good thing or a bad thing? Maybe it was a little boring, but it was better than being reborn in a dangerous world, right? I didn't want to die again for a long time.
Apparently, I lived with my new parents in Kyōto, Japan. It was hard to accept them as that at first, but I could see how much they cared for me. It didn't take them long to earn a place in my heart though I couldn't see them as anything but new relatives for a long time.
Despite living in Japan, we were not entirely Japanese. Well, the person I assumed to be my father was, but my mother wasn't. The one who called herself my Mum was a stylish woman with long, blond hair, that was styled in a perfect up-do most of the time. It was something I'd never managed to do, so I eyed her hair with envy. I couldn't do much more than observe my surroundings and baby talk at the moment anyway.
'Mum' had sea-blue eyes and looked really fashionable in her business attire and skirts. You could rarely see her in jogging pants or shirts, as if she abhorred comfortable clothing, which mystified and worried me. Which sane person didn't like jogging pants?
'Mum' seemed to be a real workaholic and made me want to say, 'Girl, you should relax once in a while'. She also put more effort into her everyday-appearance than I ever had, which made me reconsider my own style from the past. Perhaps I should put in some more effort this time, too, and not only when I was on a night out.
Well, that could wait for more than a decade. Maybe I felt like it then.
My 'Dad' was a little taller than my 'Mum', was clearly of Asian descent and had black hair and friendly, dark brown eyes. Unlike 'Mum' who spoke in a completely alien language that I didn't recognize, he spoke to me in Japanese, which I recognized from my previous life. I knew a few words and phrases because I had read manga and had watched a lot of anime in my free time, but that was as far as my knowledge of the Japanese language went.
Once I was over the first months of my infancy, I didn't see either of them as often as before anymore. It looked like they were really busy with their work.
Of course, I had to get workaholics as parents again, lucky me. Not that my parents in my previous life had been bad – I really did love them – but it could become rather lonely at times if they were away and you were alone at home most of the time. I didn't have any siblings in the past. So far it looked like I didn't have siblings in this life either.
A nanny they called 'Yoriko-san' was my constant companion whenever my parents weren't around. She was a nice old lady that fed me and kept me occupied when I was feeling bored and demanded her attention. Just like 'Dad' Yoriko-san was always talking to me in Japanese.
From this I'd gathered that I was somehow reborn in Japan though it took me a little longer to find out we lived in Kyōto, which was honestly kind of cool... minus the dying part of course.
Because of the language barrier it also took me some time to realize that Yoriko-san was actually my paternal grandmother. I felt like an idiot once I discovered that.
Sooner or later I discovered that my new parents were called Irina and Hayate Kido and were of different descent as I had suspected. Apparently, Irina was originally from Russia and Hayate a native from Kyōto. I was really interested in our family history after discovering that.
It also explained why I had no idea what Irina was saying to me when she wasn't pointing it out. I didn't know a thing about Russian, so it sounded like gibberish to me, but she was determined to teach it to me whenever she had time. As if learning Japanese from scratch wasn't hard enough already. Bilingual babies didn't get enough credit – this was hard. Well, at least I had something to occupy my time with now.
Much later I found out that my parents had met each other in Japan while they were studying at the same university and had bonded over the same interests. They were working here at some kind of multinational business firm now, something that had to do with cars and other technology.
Interesting, but not the kind of job I would go for. My own interests were of a completely different kind.
Learning Japanese and Russian at once was mentally exhausting but it helped that I knew which language to associate with which person, so I didn't mix them up too much. I hoped. However, learning languages and new vocabulary without being able to write them down was really difficult and so were these two particular languages themselves.
They were of a completely different language family than English, German and Latin, the languages I knew from my past life. I was fortunate that my brain had the impressive learning capacity of a toddler and I had nothing better to do than to learn the languages. They were my new bane of existence but also my most interesting task apart from potty training.
Over the years, through hard work and constant, frustrating practise my language and motoric skills got better and better, making me able to move and vocalize myself again. I could tell that my parents had been a bit concerned that I was a rather quiet baby because I only cried when there was something bothering me like hunger, or if I needed a new diaper.
However, what they heard from Yoriko-obaasan about my learning curve made my new family really proud of me. I couldn't helpt that they thought I was a child genius because I had no idea how slow or fast a normal baby or toddler developed certain skills. And I didn't bother to hold back in any regard because I was too frustrated with being a toddler and couldn't learn to be indepent fast enough again. So, screw discretion.
Irina and Hayate often brought me presents to make up for the lost time with me. I appreciated the gesture and the feelings behind them even if it made me feel like an entitled little shit. I would have preferred to spend more time with them – my new family – to get to know them better, but they were very dedicated to their jobs. They tried to be around me as much as possible, though.
But no one was perfect and they were new at this parenting-thing, so I could understand that they struggled. Thankfully, I had Yoriko-baa, so I never felt too lonely, even without a sibling.
I still had flashbacks of the life I had left behind once in a while, that made me depressed for a few minutes, but it wasn't as bad as at the beginning anymore where I would cry or shut down. Still, I was constantly worried for my Dad of my previous life who was all alone now... I hoped he was alright – as far as he could be considering the circumstances.
I should have never ignored the warning signs and let myself be checked by a doctor. Now it was too late for regrets.
Like the angel (or whatever it had been) had said, I could only move forward, no matter how painful it was. Slowly, I accepted my death and new life. Dealt with everything like I had learned to do it after my Mum's death in my previous life. There wasn't anything else I could do.
Life went on.
In the year I turned five years old I began to attend an elementary school, which wasn't something I looked forward to because as an adult in mind I already knew most of the things they would teach us there. I had started writing and reading Kana and Kanji and the Cyrillic alphabet more than a year ago, too, because I had nothing better to do, so I was much more advanced than normal children my physical age.
Even in my past I'd been a more or less good student. The exceptions were my mathematics and physics courses. Numbers and abstract formulas were not my cup of tea. Also, I was horrible at drawing things, which worked in my favour this early in my new life. To my shame my drawings looked actually like a real child's. It was one less thing to worry about.
Instead, language courses and music lessons had been my strong points in the past because I was good at memorizing things. This proved to be true in this life as well.
A hobby I enjoyed doing this time around again was playing the piano. Of course I did – I'd tried to major in music in my past life to become a pianist and music teacher. At first I wanted to do something with languages but had changed my mind.
Hayate... Dad was overjoyed when he found me playing a melody of my own on his old piano in the living room one day once I was able to reach the seat. After that incident, Hayate got me a music teacher.
I didn't really need him to teach me for obvious reasons, but Ikeda-san taught me new pieces that didn't exist in my old world. On that note, I suspected that I was in a parallel world that was almost identical to my old one. I recognized many pieces, but there were a lot of classics I had never heard of.
Irina, Hayate and Yoriko-baa enjoyed listening to me play and I was glad to be able to make music again, even if everyone was under the impression now that I was some kind of (musical) genius, which I really wasn't. I had talent for playing the piano ever since my past life, yes, but most of it was acquired through hard work and constant practise. I wasn't the second coming of Mozart, but my parents didn't know about my past life, so they and everyone else I interacted with thought I was a child genius.
I could live with that though I hoped my ego wouldn't get overblown this time from all the praise I got. It almost made me feel bad and as if I was cheating my way through this new life because I remembered my past one... Silly, I know, but sometimes I felt like invisible fingers were pointing at me.
That angel was to blame for forgetting to erase my memories. Not that I was complaining. I wouldn't want to forget my previous life, even if it would have made things easier.
Another instrument I began to practise this time was the transverse flute, simply because it was different than playing the piano and it didn't make me feel like I was somehow cheating. I'd always wanted to try it anyway. It was something entirely new that I enjoyed learning though I didn't like it as much as the piano.
I still didn't want to play a violin again even though it had been the first instrument I had learned to play in my past life, even before the piano.
As a result of my 'prodigious tendencies', that were just a by-product from my retained memories of my past life, my parents gave me free reign to try out whatever else I wanted to do. Not that they would have allowed me less if I was just a normal child.
After I had 'coincidentally' watched a documentation about kendō on TV, I knew what I wished to learn. Learning a language or playing an instrument were indoor hobbies that required much time sitting, so I thought some physical training as a compensation and for a change of scenery wouldn't hurt.
Also, I lived in Japan this time around, and I would be a fool if I didn't use this opportunity to learn kendō and some martial arts, karate to be precise. Pretty stereotype, I know, but it was something that I had always wanted to try in my past but just never got around to do it.
I mean, who wouldn't in my place? Being able to do some kendō or martial arts was really cool if you asked me. And now I had the time and opportunity for it, so why not.
Back then in my past life, I'd also been prone to back problems because of my indoor hobbies, and exercising this time around would help with that, even more so when I was doing it from a young age and kept at it. I specifically chose kendō and karate because I was such a big anime and manga fan – a reason why I was ecstatic to be reborn in Japan of all places.
I had a penchant for samurai. My inner otaku couldn't be happier. You always had to look at the bright side of life.
In her free time Irina liked to clothe both of us with a dress, braid my hair, or go shopping with me, almost as if to compensate for my lack of 'girly hobbies' or interests. I guessed all mothers wanted to do these kind of things with their daughters once in a while, so I indulged her and had a lot of fun with her. I preferred to wear pants in my past life but also liked to wear more girly outfits like skirts and dresses from time to time. Irina knew what she was doing so I wasn't too worried about embarrassing childhood photos.
I had to confess that I also liked being fussed over by her and Hayate. Due to their work, I only got to see them in the evenings and they often had to travel between countries or cities.
I acted a bit mature for my physical age but not overly so; I tried to enjoy my childhood as long as it lasted because I knew the adult life would arrive quickly and it wasn't always fun.
At school I was unsurprisingly placed two grades higher than my age group after I had taken the end test of the first grade and the second one, and had received a perfect result in all subjects. It wasn't hard to achieve for someone who had the memories of a former twenty-four-year-old woman.
If I wanted to, I could have skipped elementary school entirely. Everyone in my place with half a brain could have done it. Seriously, elementary school was no challenge for an adult.
My parents wanted to let me take the tests for the other grades and considered letting me skip elementary school entirely, too, but they relented when I told them that I wanted to find friends close to my age, physically of course.
I was already sticking out enough and didn't want to live the life of a child prodigy... not more than I already was. Going to university under the age of eighteen wasn't something I was particularly eager for. I had had a real child prodigy in my school class in my past life and the poor kid had never fit in. I refused to be the same so being physically younger than my peers for more than three years was a no-go. Even if it was doubtful that I would fit in anyway.
So I had to sit through a few more years of elementary school.
It was really, really weird to be the physically youngest in class and at the same time being mentally the oldest with exception of the teachers. Also, I was the only somewhat foreign looking child in class because of my mixed heritage, so I was even more noticeable despite my efforts to fit in.
It was kind of awkward. I had been okay at interacting with kids in my past life because I had given private piano lessons to teens and adults as a part-time job but as a kid interacting with other kids... I was kind of bad at it.
"Hey, why do you have such a weird hair colour, Kido?" a boy who was missing a few teeth asked me during lunchtime. He and a few others had gathered around my desk.
"It's genetic." For some reason I had blond hair like Irina and shared her complexion, too. The dark brown eyes were entirely the same as Hayate's but even without looking at the hair one could tell that I was not completely Japanese, but a Half. Needless to say, I looked a little different than the typical Japanese person. Unfortunately, that also made me stick out more.
"And you may call me by my first name 'Vivian', if you want," I replied politely, too stiffly. Ah yes, my mother had insisted on a Western first name for me, so that didn't help with fitting in either. I cringed internally. I was a hopeless case, wasn't I?
All in all, I somehow looked slightly similar to how I had looked in my past life – I even had blond hair again – just with a more Asian touch, which was another weird occurrence. Maybe that was part of being reborn in a parallel world? The same soul requires a similar body or something like that? Were there physical laws to rebirth?
"Hey Kenta, what's 'generutic'?" another boy whispered to the one who had talked to me.
"Th-that... I don't know! The weirdo uses strange words!"
"Um... sorry, I didn't want to confuse you. 'Genetic' means that I was born with it," I tried to ease the situation but failed spectacularly because of my nervousness and because I had no idea how to properly interact with kids on the same level.
"Don't act all high and mighty just because you're younger than us and know a few complicated words, weirdo! Let's go, guys." He left with the others. Whoops? That didn't work like planned. I didn't want to come across as arrogant... even if I honestly was a little arrogant. It was just that I was around adults or teens who were much older than me most of the time, which is why I was used to talking more formally than a normal child would.
"Don't mind Kenta, he is always a little hot-headed," told me a girl with a pink ribbon in her hair, that sat also next to me. "I'm Emi and I really like your hair! Nice to meet you... uh...?"
I smiled at her. "Thank you, Emi-chan. I think your ribbon is very cute. I'm Kido Vivian, but you can call me 'Vivi' if you want."
The girl smiled brightly at the compliment and my introduction. "Thanks! My Kaa-chan got it for me as a present! Do you want to play outside with me and the others, Vivi-chan?"
"Then let's go!"
That was how I made my first friend in this new world and life. I had met other kids at the playground before or even at the martial arts dojo I was attending now but had never really befriended them because I was a little socially awkward and didn't know how to act as a child among children. Plus, talking to younger kids and befriending them was different than befriending an adult.
At first it was hard to learn kendō and even karate because I had never done something similar before, but sooner or later I got the hang out of it and began to advance with a lot of practise and determination. Once I had set my mind on doing something, I would always give it my all – I was a tenacious person and I didn't like losing, not even against children.
Unfortunately, because of that disposition, the teacher at the dojo had to place me in an older and more advanced age group soon, too, because I advanced too quickly to stay with the beginners. The other children my physical age were naturally nowhere as focused as me. Not many older children or teens liked it that someone who was younger than them was in the same courses as them, so that didn't help to endear myself to anyone there either.
Sometimes I felt somewhat bad and conflicted for'cheating' my way through this new life with my memories and abilities from my past life mostly intact, like some kind of overpowered character from a series, but I couldn't just get rid of all that knowledge inside my head or entirely hide who I was, nor did I want to. Even if it would have made things easier for me...
I felt kind of lonely.
Two years at school passed faster than I thought and then the spring holidays came again. Over the years I had been able to befriend some of the other children at school with some effort. Kenta had accepted me as his 'rival' when I beat him in a wrestling match. Kind of unconventional and the first time that I did something like that, but oddly enough it worked.
I never had a rival before, but I admit it was kind of fun to compete against someone and giving your best even if your opponent was a child. Kenta always tried to beat me at sports and the other subjects too, but lost more often than not. Still, he never lost his determination. It was really cute and I respected the kid for that even if he could be obnoxious at times.
All in all, the two years at school had been enjoyable even if the lectures were incredibly boring (though I read novels or manga during class to pass the time), and I got in trouble a few times because I fell asleep in class or got caught reading.
But like always, the fun had to end at some point in time. It happened when I came home from the last day of school in my second year, before the spring break. My parents were both at home, which was rather unusual at this time. I slid out of my shoes and made my way into the living room.
"Hey, Mum and Dad. You're home early. Is today a special occasion?" I greeted them and sat down with them at the table.
"That's right, Vivi-chan. We have to tell you something," Dad began and exchanged a glance with mum.
"We are really sorry that it is so sudden because we know that you've made friends at school... but we have to move," Mum broke the news with an apologetic expression on her face.
"What?! Move? Where? Why? Why so sudden?" I was finally starting to fit in... somewhat... and didn't want to move anywhere. I liked it here in Kyōto. Liked Yoriko-baa who was always there for me, liked Ikeda-san my music teacher. The city was exciting, the kids were friendly and I had lots of fun here.
"Your mother and I were transferred to a firm branch in Tōkyō. Our firm fused with another one there and we're going to be the ones to oversee it. The fusion was rather unexpected for us, too. I'm sorry, Vivi-chan."
I could understand their reasons and that they couldn't do anything if they had to work somewhere else; but still. Tears of sadness swelled up inside my eyes, the emotions of a child were hard to suppress even with an adult mind.
I snuggled up to them and let the tears stream down my face. "I don't want to leave my friends..." I whispered between small sobs. I had already lost the friends from my past life, that had supported me during tough times and vice versa. I didn't want to lose them again, even if they were children. It had been really hard to make some friends.
"We know. You can still write or phone your friends and visit them during the holidays. Maybe we'll come back in a few years. It's not like you'll never see them again, Vivi," Mum comforted me. I knew that she was right, but that didn't make it any easier.
Resigned, I nodded in acceptance. Once again, there wasn't anything else I could do.
Three days later, after a tearful goodbye with Emi, Kenta, and some of the other kids who had become my friends, we moved to Tōkyō. Our new apartment was in a newly built complex and had to cost quite a lot of money. Not that our old one in Kyōto had been bad in any way, but the air surrounding this one was... different. We weren't super rich, but we weren't bad off either because of the well-paying but time-consuming jobs my parents had.
I spent the spring break adjusting to the new environment and my new caretaker, Sawako-san, who was a lot stricter than Yoriko-baa. She didn't let me wander out of her sight.
When I went to a nearby park with my bokken to train by myself because I wasn't enrolled at a new dojo yet, Sawako-san followed me like a guard dog and her eyes almost never left my form. Well, I couldn't blame her for that – I was only a seven year old child in her eyes.
As I was going through my stances with my wooden sword, I got the distinct feeling that I was being watched by someone else than her. I tried to look around discreetly to catch my watcher. I thought that maybe a pervert had been watching me, but I didn't suspect that a child who was barely a few years older than me would turn out to be my secret spectator.
It was a boy with outstanding white hair who donned a school uniform. Everything else was too hard to make out as he was sitting up in a tree a few meters away. I had no idea if he had been there before I had started practising, or if he had gotten there sometime during my training, unnoticed by me.
Pretending not to see him, I continued to practise my sword techniques for a few more minutes until I decided to take a break and talk to him. I walked to the tree he was sitting on and looked up at him. He seemed surprised that I had noticed him in between the thick leafage of the tree.
"Hi there! I hope I didn't interrupt your... tree climbing? Do you want to join me and eat something? My caretaker has packed some lunches for a small picnic," I proposed. Over the past years I had become better at interacting with children and wasn't as socially awkward anymore.
He smiled at me. For some reason it didn't reach his eyes. They somehow looked... hollow. The expression didn't belong on a child.
"Ahaha, it seems that I've been noticed. I saw you practising and didn't want to interrupt you." The boy jumped down the tree without much effort and stood in front of me.
His medium length, snow-white hair and blue eyes indicated that he was most likely a foreigner too, but his Japanese had no foreign accent – like mine – so he must have grown up here as well. And his features looked Asian – perhaps he was a Half of mixed heritage, like me?
He was a really cute kid. Weirdly enough, I had the distinct feeling that I knew him from somewhere, but I couldn't put my finger on it. Maybe he just reminded me of a character from an anime.
"You're very skilled already. If I may ask, how old are you?" the taller boy inquired politely.
Usually, I wouldn't tell someone I had just met anything about me, but he was just a child a few years older than me.
"I'm seven, going on eight, and you? Do you know anything about kendō?" He had to be at least familiar with it if he knew something about it.
"Wow, you're really young to be practising kendō already!" The boy sounded impressed. "I'm ten. I practice kenjutsu, too. That's why I know a bit about it."
"Hmm, do you want to have a talk about kendō while eating a sandwich with strawberry jam? If you have time, that is."
The boy considered my invitation for a moment. "Alright, but I can't stay for long..."
In response, I took his hand and steered him towards Sawako-san. "That's okay. I'm glad to meet someone with similar interests." Sawako-san took out the sandwiches from the picnic basket, and I sat down next the white-haired boy. Which reminded me...
"Ah, I didn't introduce myself. My name is Kido Vivian," I told him with a smile.
"Nice to meet you, Vivi... -chan?" he asked if he could call me that and I nodded in response. "I'm... Shinya."
"Oh, nice to meet you, too, Shinya. Don't you want to tell me your last name?" He was old enough to introduce himself with a last name, and because he was so polite and mature it struck me as odd that he didn't do so. Shinya avoided my gaze.
"I... well... I'm not supposed to..." he fidgeted. Not supposed to tell your name to a little girl? Maybe his parents had instructed him not to give his last name to strangers?
"Okay, I don't mind. Should I just call you Shinya or Shinya-nii?"
A happy smile spread over his face at my proposition. "I would like to be called... Nii-chan."
"Shinya-nii it is then! Do you like your sandwich? It's my favourite kind." Talking about food with kids was always a hit.
He looked down at the one in his hands; he had taken a few bites out of it. "Yeah, it's delicious. Thank you for sharing with me, Vivi-chan."
"No problem! Food tastes the best when you eat it together with someone else after all," I told him seriously. This time his smile was honest and reached his eyes.
We ate together in comfortable silence.
"Do you live around here, too, Vivi-chan?"
"Uh-huh. My parents and I just moved here from Kyōto. I'm going to attend a new school when the new semester starts."
"Ah, I suspected that you were from the Kansai region because of your funny dialect."
"Hey! My Kansai dialect isn't funny, it's sophisticated," I huffed. Most people in Kyōto spoke it so it was no wonder that I was speaking it, too. Plus, my father was originally from Kyōto.
Shinya lifted one brow, perhaps because of my usage of a more advanced word but grinned in amusement. "Sorry. Are you going to attend a school of the Order of Imperial Demons?" he asked me, sounding somehow hopeful.
And wow, what a weird name for a school... and somehow familiar. Did I hear it somewhere before? Or did the school just draw inspiration from a manga or anime I had watched before? This was Japan, so it could be possible, right?
"The what of the what?" I shook my head and grinned at him. "No, it's a normal school with a less exotic name."
"Ahaha, is that so... Then I hope you'll make many new friends at your school." Shinya seemed a bit disappointed and somehow saddened as he mentioned friends though he smiled again.
"Yeah, I hope so, too... But at least I've already made one friend here!" I declared with enthusiasm.
"Oh, that's good..." Why did the boy look so sad at the mention of friends? Perhaps he didn't have any? I could understand that issue really well now. He seemed really nice and kind but also somehow... depressed and insecure even though he hid it well. There was something about him that made me want to cheer him up.
"It's you, you dummy," I told him with a huge smile and placed one arm around his shoulders in a friendly gesture. "So, there's no reason to look so gloomy, Shinya-nii. You're my new kenjutsu buddy!" One of the perks of being a child: declaring someone your friend after just meeting them for the first time. It was much easier than making friends as an adult.
His eyes widened in surprise, but this time a genuine smile spread over his face and his cheeks turned to a light pinkish hue.
"Say... about kenjutsu..."
I hit it off with Shinya and we became good friends over the course of the next three years. We were able to meet once or twice a week and sometimes had friendly spars with our bamboo swords or in hand to hand combat, which he knew, too, much to my surprise. Or we just talked about everything and anything and played games.
It astounded and worried me that he didn't know any at first, but that was quickly rectified.
All in all, I really liked Shinya. He was a brilliant kid with a fun and light-hearted attitude despite his maturity. He often went over to my house (my parents had taken a shine to him) but I never visited his place. He rarely talked about his own family, or that he had been adopted, so I left out that subject most of the time.
Surprisingly, he won against me all the time in our 'sword fights', which was incredibly frustrating but also... refreshing. It made me want to improve myself and incited my competitiveness. Shinya was incredible and I told him so though I scolded him when he began to hold back to let me win a few times. Was it out of pity or just to be nice?
Anyway, sooner or later I just couldn't take it anymore to be constantly bested by a kid even if Shinya was almost three years older physically and had been training for longer than me. I brought out a newly bought console game and chose a character. I had played this particular game as a child in my past live, too, so I was pretty good at it. This could definitely be considered cheating, but... well. Even with an adult mind I wasn't above petty feelings. I was already cheating my way through this new life, so what was one more cheat in a game?
"Let's try out this game, Shinya-nii," I proposed with a devilish grin.
Shinya watched me but agreed with his own light-hearted grin. "Okay." This poor summer child...
It didn't even take me a minute to beat his avatar to a pulp.
"Wow, you're good at this, Vivi-chan," Shinya complimented me. "This is the first time that I've lost against you... and the second time that I've lost a match at all..." He appeared in thoughts as he said the last part but then smiled at me.
"Hn," I stuck up my nose and grinned. "You're always welcome to try again."
Although Shinya quickly good better at it – I had expected nothing else from my friend – he still was unable to beat me.
"..." Shinya furrowed his brows, frowning slightly.
"Getting frustrated, huh?" I gloated.
Shinya smiled again but there was a slight edge to it. "Ahaha... No, not at all." Despite his determination to win against me, he didn't manage to do so. I couldn't hold in an evil laugh.
When both our stomaches began to growl, I decided that it was time for a break even though Shinya didn't want to stop yet until he had defeated me. I went into the kitchen to make some tea and something to eat. I pulled out some fresh bread, butter, and strawberry jam and made Shinya and me a sandwich. It was something like a tradition between us. Once the tea was done, I took everything with me and placed it on the table.
"I'm not really hungry..." he objected weakly, but a second later I heard his stomach rumble again.
I threw him a daring glance as I shoved the plate with the sandwich into his hands. He had once indirectly told me that his family wasn't specifically treating him well and he sometimes had to go hungry to bed. It was more a slip of the tongue and Shinya didn't tell me more about it when I asked, but I couldn't forget it. Ever since then I made always sure that Shinya ate something here before he had to return home.
"Eat, and then you can have your rematch," I told him in a no-nonsense tone. I was surprised that it actually worked. I didn't think that a physically nine year old could make a twelve year old obey.
Once again the idea that my friend was being mistreated at home worried me. "Shinya-nii... you know that if you're not getting treated well at home, that you can always come to me and tell me about it, right? And that I'm always willing to help you?"
Shinya smiled at me. "You're already helping me enough by being my friend, Vivi-chan."
"...That was sappy."
"Ahaha~. But that doesn't make it any less true." There was a mischievous twinkle in his blue eyes.
"Trying to butter me up with sweet words, huh? That doesn't make me forget the issue, you know."
Shinya's smile waned and he sighed. "I... I've told you that I can't tell you more yet, Vivi-chan. But I will someday... I promise. It's just... safer for both of us this way if I don't tell you more about me or my family. Can you please trust me until then and remain silent about it?"
I didn't want to comply with his request because it felt like I would look away when a kid – a friend – needed help.
"Are you sure you don't want me to sic the police on those people? It feels like I'm abandoning you everyt time I let you go back to them, Shinya-nii. It's not right that they mistreat you."
He nodded. "Right now even the police wouldn't be able to touch them, but... I'm going to change that. I'll overthrow them someday. It will take a few years though. But I won't give up."
That response puzzled me. Was he part of some yakuza family or a family that was involved in illegal activities or... in politics... if the police wouldn't be able to help? He saw that I was still reluctant to comply with his request.
"Please trust me, Vivi-chan."
I sighed in response while I had an internal conflict. "I don't really want to. It's not right, but I know that you're an intelligent kid... so I'll trust you, Shinya-nii, and won't say anything... for now. BUT if you ever need a safe place, help, or someone to talk to, please don't hesitate to come to me. You're always welcome here, okay?" I embraced him and he brought his arms around me. "Nobody has the right to mistreat you."
"Okay... thank you for being my friend, Vivi-chan." Shinya held me a little tighter. My heart melted for my friend.
"It's alright, Shinya-nii. I'm glad that I met you, too. Now, drink your tea and relax for a while longer."
"...You still owe me a rematch~," he pointed out. It seemed like Shinya wasn't ready to give up yet.
Once again, I didn't really fit in at my new school at first, but over time I was able to make a few friends I could hang out with. Akira, a rather shy boy from a different class who was interested in classical music and could play the violin, too, was the first one I befriended at the new school.
When I helped him out to fight off some bullies who were jealous of his good grades, Kaori, a tomboyish girl, saw what was happening and joined in to help Akira and me. All of us were scolded by the school headmaster afterwards and got detention, but that helped to get to know each other.
Kaori promptly became my new best girl friend with the words "That was a nice kick in the butt!", to which I replied, "Your punch to the solar plexus was admirable." It was also helpful that she went to the same dojo I went to although I was two classes above her. We had seen each other there in passing before, but I hadn't noticed it until we met and talked at school.
Soon, we became known as the 'Odd Trio' at our school, Akira was the brain and Kaori the brawn because she was good at any type of sports, and I was the weird prodigy who spoke in Kansai dialect and sometimes seemed too mature for my age, knowing things nobody else knew. We had an awesome time together.
Something I realized during those ten years of life here was that this world was somehow slightly different than my old one. For example, some shows, books, and artists that had existed in my old life didn't seem to existhere but some did.
I was rather surprised when I found out that there was no Dragon Balls. I was devastated once I found out that there was no Lord of the Rings.
Otherwise, everything seemed to be pretty much the same, even history. And wasn't it puzzling that there were people that existed in both worlds? It made me wonder if my family and friends from my past life existed here, too. Naturally, I was curious and sent E-Mails and messages to the E-mail addresses and phone numbers I remembered, but it appeared that they didn't exist here. I didn't know if I was disappointed or relieved about it.
The nine-eleven attack occurred, some wars broke out, and songs and films I knew from my past life came out. Too bad that I didn't remember any lottery numbers from the past or I could have tried my luck with that.
I resolved to invest in some stocks which I knew would succeed in a few years when I was old enough for it. Getting reborn had to have some perks, right? Not everything I knew was the same, but it wasn't too different either. It was really odd and I sometimes had the feeling of déjà vu in this parallel world, but was unable to discern why.
"What do you think about one family ruling many others for generations?" Shinya asked me out of nowhere over his steaming cup of green tea. I was ten at that point while he was thirteen. We often talked about more adult subjects than children our age usually would, and I was really grateful about it.
I could be completely myself around him. While I didn't purely act like a normal child my physical age because I was a 'prodigy', I still had to 'dumb' myself down from time to time to avoid creeping out a lot of people. I didn't always succeed. Plus, I hated being on the receiving end of baby talk.
"Like a... royal family? Like it was in Great Britain or in Japan with the Tennō?"
"Yes, like that."
I thought over his question. "Well, to be honest, I think that it's utter nonsense."
Shinya was clearly interested in my opinion. "Why do you think that?" he inquired.
"The morals and abilities of a person should always be more important than their descent. Therefore I think it's idiotic when one family rules others just because it is 'tradition'. A right to rule shouldn't be inherited but earned. Let the most capable person rule," I elaborated my view on the point while sipping on my tea.
"I'm always baffled when such mature things leave your mouth. Are you sure you are only ten, Vivi-chan?" Shinya teased me. He already knew that I was considered a child prodigy. God, how I began to hate that term. However, Shinya was a true prodigy. I shrugged my shoulders in response.
"I have an old soul. But you're pretty mature yourself," I half-joked. "Can you tell me the reason why you suddenly wanted to hear my personal view on such matters?" I asked him.
Would he finally act against his family, that had put him through bad treatment and experiences? Experiences which he still hadn't told me about. I didn't pressure him into talking about them and was resolved to wait until he was ready to tell me what had happened to him.
"Well, you know that I'm adopted and that my family is pretty traditional and strict. I just wanted to hear your opinion. Ah, by the way, what do you think about arranged marriages, Vivi-chan?"
Today Shinya seemed to be rather troubled by something. Over the years he would ask for my opinion on things that shouldn't concern a kid his age – like his purpose in life or things like that. Sometimes his questions were really depressing, but I always tried to cheer him up.
I sighed. "Once again, something like that is pure idiocy in my eyes. You only live for a certain period of time and should be able to marry whoever you want because in the end things like prestige, money, religion, and status won't matter. Everyone dies as you are born, you didn't bring anything into this world, and you won't leave it with those things either. Everything is evanescent, Shinya, especially companies and superficial relationships that aim to gain something. The only thing that should matter in your life is that you are happy with it so you won't have any regrets when you die. That's why you should marry out of love and not out of obligation. It's your life and no one else's."
He stared at me for a moment, taken aback by the point of view of a western adult that had left my mouth before he grinned. "I once made fun of someone who thought the same. But now I've begun to wonder whether she was right all along..." Shinya told me while looking deep in thought.
"I'm absolutely certain that you will be able to change your family, Shinya-nii," I encouraged him, guessing why these questions had come up. A small smile spread over his face.
"I'm glad that you believe in me..." he trailed off, "Say, can you play a few pieces on the piano for me again? I love listening to your play," Shinya requested.
"Of course." I sat down at the piano and started playing the Moonlight Sonata before I played one of my own songs – both were some of Shinya's favourites.
Shinya stayed for longer than usual with a rather thoughtful expression on his face, still mulling over our conversation.
"Is everything alright?" I asked Shinya after a while.
"Yeah, of course," he replied in his usual light-hearted way, but I could always tell when his smile was fake.
"If you need someone to talk to again, you know where to find me, Shinya-nii," I reminded him.
"You're really cute when you're worried, Vivi-chan."
I rolled my eyes. "I mean it. Take care of yourself."
He grinned at me. "Thanks, Vivi-chan! I'll see you soon, have a good night." He left the apartment and started walking to the elevator.
"Goodnight, Shinya-nii. Don't get lost on the way home!" I yelled after him.
"Wouldn't dream of it!" Shinya yelled back.
We didn't meet up for quite some time after that conversation, which made me wonder what he was up to.
"Vivi, do you like Shinya?" my Mum casually asked me one Sunday morning with a mischievous smile on her face. Dad stopped eating breakfast and looked at her with furrowed brows.
"Irina, what are you talking about? Vivi-chan is only ten years old. There is no way that she thinks about boys already," Dad protested and took a sip from his cup of coffee.
"Yes, I like him," I answered with a playful grin that made Mum smile and Dad...
Dad spat out his coffee. "WHAT?! No way! NO! Not my little daughter!" he protested vehemently.
I laughed at his reaction and after a few minutes of his whining, I finally put him out of his misery.
"I like Shinya-nii but not that way, Dad. I'm still too young for romantically liking someone. I like Shinya as a friend, so relax."
"But you two would make such a cute pair, Vivi. Perhaps in a few years..." my Mum commented thoughtfully.
"I kind of doubt that, Mum. His family is rather traditional," I made an excuse. I just couldn't consider a relationship with someone who wasn't an adult yet even though I wasn't physically one either. I would wait and mull oversomething like that when I was older. Anything else screamed paedophile.
"Just consider it, Vivi. Shinya is adorable – you have to make the first move before someone else can snatch him away," Mum said happily. She had come to love the intelligent white-haired boy with the light-hearted attitude.
"Irina! Stop giving our little baby such ideas!"
Mum laughed in response. "Why, darling? Just imagine how cute their babies would look like..."
Dad began to cry. "Irina~."
"I'm just kidding, darling. Don't take everything so seriously. We have ten more years before we become grandparents." I sweat dropped at Mum's words and Dad's reaction and silently left the kitchen... That was enough for me.
Gross, Shinya was a kid and so was I, I couldn't imagine myself being together with anyone at this time.
My parents are so weird... but this new life is pretty fun.
A/N: Aaaand you've reached the end of the first chapter! Thank you for reading this far! Opinions?
I hope you enjoyed it even if not that much has happened... yet. This fic is going to be pretty long so it's kind of a slow burn. I want to built up Vivian's new life and her new relationships with other canon characters a little bit more before shit hits the fan... But it will happen soon. I'm not entirely satisfied with the first four chapters so I'm probably going to edit them a few more times (not enough to change the whole plot, just to fix some smaller things), but I think the following ones are better, so perhaps you'll stick around until then at least.
1) A bokken is a wooden sword that is often used for kendo practice.
2) Kansai Dialect is spoken in the Kansai region in West Japan, which includes Kyōto.