In a dense forest small rays of the sun break through the green canape of leaves to shine down on a girl on the ground. Laying on her side in a fetus position, she moans out loud.

"...Aggg...g.."

Tangled mess of blond hair is in her face, brown eyes flouter open and then she shuts them again, "where am I? ... Wait a minute!"

She opens her eyes again and shouts, "Who am I?!"

On a rough dirt road not to far a head a young man with black messy hair and blue eyes is dressed in dark blue shirt and pants just barely covered up by plates of turquois colored armor on his shoulders, chest, knees and shins. He is holding his weapon, a trident, up and in a stiff stance ready for defence.

Facing him is a woman with light blond wavy hair pulled out of her face and gray colored eyes. She's dressed in a pale blue shirt, white pants, black boots and long white flowing cape. She is also caring a wood staff and glaring at him with an icy look.

"Don't just stand there come attack me already." The young man thinks to himself.

"Godais aren't stupid, so I will assume you want me to kill you." She states.

His grip on his trident loosens and his posture relaxes a little, "Of course I do, it's the only way..."

"My punishment for you is to allow fait to do with you as she will."

"And if fait grants me a long life and prosperity?!"

"Then it wasn't meant for me to kill you here, because you had better things yet to come." She turns and starts walking off with a cold indifference even as he shouts to her, "Feria, I heard you where the most fears of Serfs, your reputation is a mistake!"

She just thinks to herself, "Fait will tell if I inflicted just pain on that Godai for his insolence."

There is a wrestling in the brush, both Feria and the young man turn to face it. The girl stumbles out of the brush and lands on her knees. He places his trident in a holster on his back and walks up to her, "are you all right ma'am?" He offers his hand to help her up.

She stars up at him questioningly. "...Who, who are you?"

"Tapoca, the Water Godai of the East."

Still staring up at him from the ground she nods. "Can you tell me who I am?"

Tapoca looks at her as if she must be crazy. She looks embarrassed and explains, "I... can't remember any thing. Not who I am or..... how I got here..."

Feria smirks, "Godai it looks like fait has already given you a mission." With that she turns and continues on her way.

"Wait up!" Tapoca looks between the girl and Feria's back which is getting smaller as she walks off.

The girl stands up and looks around. Sigh. "Non of this is familiar either."

Tapoca looks at her and sees that she has several cuts and scratches on her arms and legs. He notice one other thing; She is dressed in a black polo shirt, knee length pleated plad skirt and black ankle boots.

"Your clothing is very strange. Hm, well lets get you to the closest village and take care of those cuts."

He leads her in the opposite direction then what Feria went in. The girl looks back, "what about the lady?"

Tapoca snickers. "That was no lady! That was Feria the Ice Serf. She really is as cold hearted as her title would imply. Believe me." "Witch, why she have to be smart too and see through me like that?"

"What's a Serf?"

Tapoca looks shocked, "you've never heard of the Serf before?!"

She arches an eyebrow, "I can't remember my own name."

"Oh, right. Well Serf is a unit of fighters who use technics very similar to Godai, but they don't fight for the Emperor..." Sigh.

"What do they fight for?"

"Only a Serf can tell you that. Their objectives aren't very clear. They have fought with us against the Emperor's enemies, but on other occasions they've been the enemy."

She chews on her lower lip as they walk.

After a long period of silence. "Um... What is a Godai?"

He looks a far off, "they are the sworn protectors of the Emperor, no mater how corrupt he is."

Looks at the girl, "there are always twenty Godai five at each end of the empire to protect all of the emperor's interests and scout for rumors of assassination plots. We are masters of the Godai weapons & technic."

She looks at him blankly.

"Did you understand that?"

"Oh yes... Well, yes."

He smirks, "we're almost at the next village. Some one I know may be able to help you."

"Thank you sir." "Even though I'm talking to you I feel so lonely. Am I the only one who doesn't know what is going on? ... Though it seams like a lot to keep up with..."

Tapoca scratches the back of his head as he thinks, "Once I leave her with Ara I'll go find another Serf. Roomer has it that Castile is in a village near by."

They look at each other and smile nervously.

"Hold it right there!" Shouts a voice from behind a tree.

Tapoca draws his trident out, "it wouldn't be wise of you to pick a fight with me right now." "It wouldn't be good for my reputation if I let a mere bandit kill me, besides who knows what he'd do with this poor girl."

"Just give up all your money lad." A large man with scars on his face and shabby clothing comes out into the open with a sword in either hand. "Or my men will take your lady."

About ten more bandits come out of the forest and circle Tapoca and the girl.

Tapoca whispers to the girl, "just stay behind me."

"First water attack," Tapoca swings his trident through the air from left to right. The points of the trident turns in to water and splashes out cutting through the four bandits standing in front of him.

The leader of the bandits looks shocked, "A Water Godai!"

"You should be afraid old man. Turn and head for the village to face trial for your crimes against innocent travelers or I'll kill every last one of you this hour."

The leader scalds, "we'll see who dies. Kill him now!"

Twenty more men come out of the woods with clubs, knives, swords, staffs, rocks and other weapons and attack Tapoca and the girl.

Further down the road a tall and handsome man with long light brown hair pulled back riding on a horse notices the commotion ahead of him. He ducks into the brush and gets closer with out being seen.

"Great four down only.... twenty- ... Twenty-seven more to go!" Tapoca mentally tells himself.

"Secant Water attack." He makes a downward motion with the trident, again his blade becomes water only this time the waves extends in front of him and engulfs the leader and those standing near him.

The other man continues to watch and keep his horse quite as he thinks to himself, "the one in armor can probably take care of himself so leave it alone Makatsu, it doesn't concern you."

"Twenty-four to go," Tapoca continues to count.

"AHHH!" The girl screams as a bandit with a club grabs her, she fights back with weak punches.

Tapoca stabs the bandit in the heart with the blade of the trident.

"Thank you."

"DIE!" says a bandit with a sword.

Tapoca uses Water technic two on him before he can use his sword.

"Twenty-five left, you better give up now and turn your selves in while you still have a chance."

An arrow hits Tapoca in the right shoulder just between plates of armor. "Arrogant boy. You're no mach against twenty-five well trained men."

Tapoca switches his trident from his right hand to his left. "Very well then," he swings the trident high in the air and waves of water washes out ten of the bandits. "Fifteen to one, like these odds better."

"Woaw, This guy really is strong... I'm glad he's protecting me," The girl tells herself

Tapoca's eyelids start drooping. "I'm feeling tired all the sudden....the arrow!"

"The last one was Water technic five," taunts Tapoca. More arrows are fired at Tapoca and the girl. "Defence technic three," he spins the trident around in circles, a sphere of water wraps around him and the girl as a large shield.

The girl is holding her hands over her face in fright, "what are you going to do next?"

"Ah, well I could do Master technic three and burst our shield into a title wave to blow them all away."

"Okay do it then!"

"However I haven't learned any of the master technics yet..."

"WHAT!? But you're a Godai!"

"I don't need critism from some one who just learned what a Godai is."

The attacks by the bandits come of nothing as they pound on the spinning water sphere.

"You can't hide behind that forever little Godai!"

"Girl, grab on to me and don't let go."

"What for?"

"Trust me, all right?"

She nods "If you say so."

She wraps her arms around his waist from behind and presses her head into the back of his right should. She clinches her teeth and closes her eyes. "He's the only one I can trust right now..."

"I'm feeling so weak... The arrow tip must have had poison on it, but I can't loss just now." Tapoca clinches his teeth and stops spinning his trident, "Water technic seven." Before the water of the sphere is displaced Tapoca tries to redirect it at the bandits behind himself.

He jumps up with the girl on his back and gently lands high up on a tree branch of one of the trees lining the road and edge of the forest brush.

"Ten more to go, ready to surrender?"

"Even if you defeat us the poison from my arrow will kill you." States the bandit.

"Poison! Please don't die and leave me!" Exclaims the girl.

Makatsu is still watching, "poison... I can't just stand by now..."

Tapoca shivers, "hold on just a little longer."

"I'm holding on!"

"I was talking to my self..."

The branch holding Tapoca and the girl starts to give under their weight. Tapoca jumps again and uses the first technic as he's landing back on the ground, his aim isn't very good though and it only kills two of the bandits.

Makatsu comes out into the open with his sword ready. "I'll give you a hand." He swings his sword around and quickly cuts through the remaining bandits.

The girl lets go of Tapoca who is going limp, "hey wait, sir are you going to be Okay?"

Makatsu wipes blood off of his blade with a peace of cloth on the body of a dead bandit. "Will you be needing any more assistance?"

Tapoca is on his knees clutching his wound. "Take her... to Ara..." Tapoca passes out with those words. "I can die now and she'll still be safe... he won't harm her will he?"

"When I wake will it be in heaven or hell? Or will I be reborn in a new creature... I wander..."

Tapoca opens up his eyes. He's in a dark room lying on a very thin mattress with a shabby blanket neatly tucked around him.

"NO! I'm still alive! Why can't I just get a break?"

He pulls himself up out of the bed, his shoulder is throbbing in pain. His armor though is in the flour just across the room. "I'll get my armor and leave..."

"Long time no see Tapoca! Don't move, the doctor was able to drain the poison out of you but you're still weak." Cheers a girl with a small build, short brown hair and bright green eyes.

"Ara, hu?"

"Makatsu brought you and your friend to my place after you passed out. So you're finally a Water Godai! And the girl, is she your lover?" Ara winks mischievously and pushes him back into bed.

"What?! No. Hey where is she any way?"

"She's talking to Makatsu right now. She's kind of cute, I didn't think you where into strange girls though Tapoca." Ara sits down on the edge of the bed beside him.

"We're not attached like that."

"Then why did you nearly die defending her?"

Tapoca scolds, "they where bandits harassing travelers on one of the Emperor's roads. I couldn't just leave them be after they where giving us such grief." "HA! You big fate liar, I wish they had killed me."

Ara just rolls her eyes at him.

Tapoca sits back up and dangles his legs off the side of the bed, "Ara can I speak to you seriously?"

"Of course!"

Tapoca fidgets a little, "as a Secrete keep?"

"Ah?" Ara becomes more calm "... that serious."

Tapoca looks distant as he glares at his hands.

"Go a head Tapoca, and because we're friends you'll get a half off discount."

"Ara, the Emperor had us kill 'his enemies' in a raid last month. Yes they supported a movement for a new government, but they where just women and children and old people in a village!"

Ara closes her eyes. "I know Tapoca... I heard of it from another client..."

"I've already been sworn to serve the Emperor with my life, but I would rather see him executed for his war crimes then serve him any more."

"It is a heavy burden you have... So many people are helpless to stop the Emperor."

Tapoca turns his face up to Ara, "what should I do?"

Ara looks startled, "I can't give advice, only lesson to the secretes of the condemned to ease their pains."

Tapoca sighs, "hey thanks."

"I'm going to make dinner now, don't get out of bed."

"Can I pay you later?"

"I'll let it slide for now, you'll have to pay the doctor bill after all."

Ara closes the door behind her.

"I Hate my job! I know the Emperor is down right evil, and I even know how to stop him but I can't."

There's a small table out side of Tapoca's room with a candle sitting on it. Ara picks it up and starts to light the candle.

"Like Tapoca I'm helpless because I gave my word. As a sworn Secrete keeper I face the penalty of death if I ever reveal the information I've been told in confidence."

As the wick catches on fire the flame dances across her face.

"Heck I can't even revel the names of my clients or give hints."

She opens a door that leads down into a cellar with canned goods and vegetables. With the little bit of light from the candle she reads labels and chooses an arm full of cans to carry back up.

"That's right another government toy to help keep their secretes. We where created just so that spies and goverment officials with guilty consciences could make confessions with out truly revealing any thing to any one."

She walks back up the stares and blows the candle out before setting it down. The girl is standing near the table and stars at Ara, "can I... is there some thing I can I help you with?"

Ara smiles, "if you'd like, are you a good cook?"

The girl fronds, "... I really don't know..."

"Don't worry! Every good cook knows it when they step into the kitchen, that's what my mom use to say and she was an excellent cook. One of the best if you ask me, but you didn't ask. Oh well!"

Though Ara was rambling she was also leading the girl into a small kitchen and setting down her canned goods onto a modest wooden table.

The girl smiles at Ara, "do you think that you can help me remember what I'm good at and who I am?!"

"I'll try, but for now I can't just call you Tapoca's girlfriend so how about we give you a temporary name?"

"I'm not Tapoca's girlfriend!"

"Okay a new name it is, lets see Gracie, Azila, Tallas, Celeste..."

The girl shook her head no. "She some times acts like no one else is talking..." thought she.

"Haha I have it, Memory! Lets call you Memory for now, what do you say?"

"... Memory... " The girl started at Ara in wander not sure what to make of her list of names,"is she joking around?"

"Well if you don't like it I can think of some other names," Ara says to the girl's lack of a reply as she gets a big pot down from a shelf.

"Memory... It sounds pleasant."

"Perfect! Then I shall call you Memory. Oh yes and incase you forgot my name is Ara Shinoko. Do you know where Makatsu went? He was suppose to stay for dinner. That boy, he runs off way to much for a secrete keeper."

"He's feeding his horse. What's a secrete keeper?" The girl, Memory, picks up a can of fruit and takes the cap off.

"Good, can you poor that into the wooden bowl over there? Makatsu and Tapoca, now I have my hands full baby sitting them both. But I'm glad you're here, you don't mind helping do you?"

Memory smiles and laughs.

"What's so funny?"

"I've never met some one who talks like you or has so much energy before. At least I don't think I have..."

"Haha, you're silly. Tomorrow I'll take you to a wise man in the village, he might know where you came from."

TO BE CONTINUED.