Blood Feud

Awaken, child…

Kazuya slowly opened his eyes, surrounded by darkness and wondered if he was dead.

No. Not dead. Not yet…

Trying to sit up, he realized after trying to bear weight on his arm that it was broken. Every part of his body ached and he struggled to recall what had happened to him.

He did this to you.

He screamed as he remembered being hurled into the ravine by his father, then broke into sobs. Wracked with pain he curled into a fetal position and cried, "I don't want to die."

I can save you.

"Who's there?" Scanning the black void around him frantically, Kazuya couldn't pinpoint where the voice was coming from. It almost sounded like it was coming from inside his head.

Do you wish to live?

"Yes!" he begged the unseen speaker.

What would you do in order to live?

"Anything!" he sobbed.

Look at me, boy.

Raising his eyes, he screamed again at the sight of the apparition that floated before him. An enormous figure with large black wings hovered in the air, surrounded by a faint halo of blue light. His face frightened Kazuya, not only because he had horns, but he also had a third eye and his pupils were tiny slits that floated in his red irises. Grinning at him, the monster showed two rows of razor-sharp teeth and brandished a set of long curved claws on either hand. "Wh-who are you?" Kazuya stammered.

I am your salvation.

"What does that mean?"

It means that I can save your life – that I can make you stronger than the man who wounded you, but in return you must do something for me. In exchange for your life, do you swear to do my bidding?

"If I can live, yes, I promise, I'll do whatever you ask!" The monster revealed his gleaming teeth in a wide smile and narrowed his eyes.

Excellent. I grant you your life and with it great strength but from this moment forth you belong to me, and you will serve as my vessel in this realm. Together, we shall bring chaos into the world that will defy all comprehension.

Dissolving into a blue haze, Kazuya watched as the demon enveloped him and felt him enter his body. It was a strange sensation, but already the pain he had been experiencing began to slip away. Going limp, he lost consciousness again.

A small beam of light danced over the bottom of the canyon. Wielding a flashlight, Jun continued to search for Kazuya's body, hoping beyond hope that there was some way that he was still alive. Having searched the bottom of the gorge for almost three hours, she was beginning to become disheartened when she saw him lying not ten feet from her. Running to his side, she dropped to her knees and turned him over. His arm had been twisted into a funny angle and he was covered in cuts and bruises but he still breathed. Slinging one of his arms over her shoulder, she tried to hurry, not knowing how much time he had left.

Upon waking this time, everything was white and again Kazuya wondered if he was dead but when his vision came into focus, he saw that he was in a hospital. Looking over, his right arm was set in a cast and his cuts had been cleaned and plastered. Trying to figure out how he got there, he didn't see Jun poke her head into the curtain. "Kazuya-kun? Daijobu?"

Recognizing her, he nodded mutely. When he saw her smile, he felt a bit more relaxed. "Where am I?"

"The local hospital."

"How – how did I get here?" he asked.

She looked down at the ground. "When you fell, I climbed down to look for you. It was a miracle I found you and I got my father to help carry you out of the chasm. He called an ambulance and they brought you here. It's a miracle you survived."

Oddly enough, he couldn't remember anything after he had been thrown into the ravine. "I don't remember what happened after I fell."

She shuddered. "How could your father do that to you?"

"I don't know," he replied.

Looking at him with concern, she asked in a tiny voice, "What will you do now?"

"I don't know that either," he mumbled with a faraway stare. "I can't go back – he might try to kill me again, or worse." Observing his cast, his brow furrowed and his bewilderment was replaced by anger. "I won't go back, not until I'm strong enough to make him pay for what he did!" At his harsh words, Jun drew back, unsure that he had actually said that. Then as quickly as it came, the cloud that hung over him departed and he resumed his child-like demeanor.

"You can come stay with me," she offered softly.

He glanced up in surprised. "What?"

"I'll ask my father," she smiled. "I'm sure he won't say no. Just until we figure out where you can go, I mean."

Touched by her compassion for him, he simply nodded, "Arigato."

arigato: thank you