Tsu-kun was scared. The bullies kept chasing and chasing and chasing. The boy was chased from the suburban region of Namimori to the city's financial district. He was unfamiliar with the place and easily got lost as the large buildings all looked the same to him.

Unfortunately this made it easier for the bullies to corral him into an abandoned alleyway.

From there it became one of the worst beatings Tsuna has ever taken. He doesn't know why the bullies bothered to chase him so far. Nearly an hour has passed since they began this little game, yet they persisted to chase Tsuna.

Dame-Tsuna was known to be useless at everything. Everyone, even himself, refuses to acknowledge his accomplishments. He was clumsy, yet in his desperation he does the one thing better than anyone else, he endures.

He does awful in his PE classes, but when the bullies chase him not one can catch up to him without using unseemly means. The only reason they got up to him today was because they planned on ambushing him and used their bikes to maneuver themselves into position. He was tactical, able to quickly use his environment to his advantage Such as how he used obstacles such as cars to hide himself when he turns the corner, giving him time to run away from his pursuers.

Yet the single most important trait others refuse to acknowledge was his compassion. When he sees others missing their lunch he discreetly gives them his, willing to take a beating by the bullies for not giving them his lunch. When someone cries because they lost a treasure he stays after school, looking for it and place it in their locker. When he sees someone being bullied he attracts the bullies attention. He helps not for acknowledgment or for popularity, but because it was the right thing to do. The boy would continue to go unacknowledged for years had it not been for what happened on this day.

Tsuna woke up to see it was dark out. The bullies were relentless today. For once he was not the last in class. Many of the bullies received an even worse score than Tsuna on yesterday's test. But no one gave Tsuna credit for his hard work. Everyone, even the teachers, claimed he cheated. But he didn't! This time he studied hard and diligently even though he hates math. He earned that C! But no one believed him. The bullies all thought they should 'teach' Dame-Tsuna why it was wrong to cheat, as if they themselves did not cheat all the time.

Hours have passed since the beating, and Tsuna woke in pain. His shirt was torn in some regions as the bullies pulled at it when he tried to run away. He could see dark purple bruises loitering his skin. His knees and arms were covered in dry blood from the scrapes from when he fell and was subsequently dragged around.

His backpack and books were laid out beside him, torn to shreds. Staring at it, he could not help but sob at the scene. It's not fair. The one time he finally does something right and no one believes him. Instead this is what happens, a beating worse than any other before.

He curls up in the filthy alley, crying freely at the thought of his solitude. No one has ever supported him. In school everyone either avoids or bullies him. At home his mother gives him disappointed stares and asks why can't he be more like his father. Nana doesn't even try to help him with his homework!

It's not fair! His mother wouldn't even care if he arrives late tonight, injured and in obvious pain. She has always been like that, not cruel but indifferent to her child's agony. She was kind, but it was an empty kindness as though she herself cannot put her heart into helping her son. She was never the emotional support that other parents were, that Tsuna needed.

He was all alone, both figuratively and literally.

Until he wasn't, not in the dark alley away from prying eyes.

"Hello little boy" was what Tsuna heard. He stared up to find a sickly pale man who was balding with patches of thin long blond hair falling off his shoulders. His breath was rancid, the smell of meat left out in the sun for days. The scent of decay and death. He wore sunglasses (at night) and a large black trench coat extending to his knees.

Overall he looked like what his teachers once told them was a 'pedophile' and if they see someone suspicious like this offering them something like candy then they should run and call for help.

"Look at you" he crooned "You're hurt. Follow me home and I can make sure you hurt no more." He ruffled his pockets until he found something, and pulled out a red bar with a metallic sheen, a candy bar.

"Here, take it. Some candy would help make you feel better" he gave a toothy grin at the end.

...Yep, Tsuna may be stupid but he is not oblivious. Countless times has he been offered aid only to be hurt for the amusement of others. He doesn't trust this man. Something tells him that despite the kindness in his voice the compassion was fake.

If one were to look behind the glasses covering his blood red eyes they would see the undisguised glee. His nostrils inhaled the heady scent of blood, sweeter than any other he has smelled before.

This man was no man, but a vampire. A dead Apostle, a blight upon mankind. He was on the prowl when he found the most delectable looking little boy with the sweetest of fragrances permeating the air.

He would have taken the boy then and there had it not been for caution. As young as this vampire may be, he did not want to recklessly advertise his existence. He is incapable of using magecraft to create a bounded field to hide his immoral activities. It would not do if the boy cried out in pain or fear and attracts attention, and it would not due if an enforcer stumbles upon him while he feeds.

He planned to lure the boy into a more isolated area to have his meal. Sometimes he would find a stray child out at night, so he ensures to always keep sweets to lure them in. Children were easy victims and delicious to his refined pallet. He thought this child too would be easy to fool, yet this child was much more cautious than the others.

"I-it's okay sir, I have to get h-home soon"

"Nonsense boy! Look at you, you bleeding and dirty! Do you want to go home in that state?"

"I-I have to go". The boy could not hide the desperation in his voice nor from his face. He knew something was wrong, and that just pissed the vampire off. He would not let this easy tantalizing meal get away. His rationality quickly left in the face of his anger.

The need to feed was strong, but the twisted desire to see this child in pain was even stronger. It wasn't supposed to take much effort to get children isolated. Yet this child kept refusing him.

Tsuna turned around preparing to run away from the creepy man when a hand shot out to cover his mouth and an arm reached over to pull his waist, leaving him trapped next to this man. He tried to kick at the legs, he tried to bite at the hand and scratch the arm preventing him from screaming for help, yet it was all wasted effort.

"I won't let you get away, boy" was sneered directly into Tsuna's ear. No longer was he weary of the strange looking man, he was outright panicking.

He gently raised his hand while keeping Tsuna's waist locked with his arm, and caressed Tsuna's wrist and forearms, before snapping it like a twig.

Tsuna screamed at the pain but was muffled by the disgusting hand covering his mouth. It was horrible. It felt like the bones were going to tear his skin from the inside, but the vampire wouldn't allow that. He wanted to keep every last drop of blood from the boy.

The vampire's smile was serene, as if he derived pleasure from watching Tsuna squirm in his grasp. He proceeded to break the other arm, then both knees, taking time relishing the pain he was giving the boy. He may have been a rather young vampire, but he takes pride in being superior to humans.

To Tsuna's young mind, it was the worst pain he was ever subjected to. It was a pain unimaginable to most, it was a pain most would have fainted from shock of, yet Tsuna could not faint from the pain. It felt like the boy was tortured for days when only half an hour had passed. The fear that the man would kill him was too great, depriving him from relief found in being unconscious.

Tsuna was losing hope, would he die right there and then, but then again for what reason did he have to live? He was all alone, and everyone did their best to destroy any small happiness he could find. He held no delusions, He doubts anyone would miss him were he to die. Frankly his mother cared only for his father, and at school everyone thought of him as a burden.

The vampire could no longer suppress his growing hunger, his rampant anticipation of the delicious blood from this mess of a boy in front of him. As he was about to kill the boy, Tsuna heard a miracle. It was two words, two words that began the start of a new life for him.

"Trace on"