Summary- Sometimes the most beautiful of flowers has its thorns. This is the story of a group of friends who survived the Great Tentou-Makai War that lasted ten centuries. A story of a group who lost nearly everything in the War. An epic tale that will be told centuries to come and they will become legendary.

Rated- T; maybe bordering M if I use a lot of swear words

Genre- Fantasy, Drama, Angst, Romance, Action/Adventure

Warnings- Shounen-ai, Shoujo-ai (don't worry, there are hetero pairings; quite a lot even), Dark fic sorta

A/N- The first line in the summary does have significance in this story. If you don't get it, just ask me and I'll try to explain for you. I sincerely hope you'll review. I want at least one review per chapter. That's all. This is in all three persons view and from the diary of Ketsuteki, Tsuhirei, Saeki, Kotoha, and other characters from this story.


Marionettes of Life

Chapter One


mabushii gogo mado wo akeru
I open the window on a dazzling afternoon

wakemonaku kakeru hikage no komichi
For no reason, I run down a shady path

kata de iki wo sukonde me wo togi
I take a deep breath, close my eyes, and...

omoiegaita ashita kara no suteeji
...imagine out the stage settings of my tomorrows

imeeji shiteru atareshii peeji
The new page that I have imagined...

masshiroi kyanbasu ni egaku
...I paint onto a clean, white canvas

mukaikazemo okemainashide kirihiraku
Without heeding the opposing headwind, I clear my path...

kono hatenaku tsuduku Brand new story
...and continue creating this never-ending Brand new story

-Wonderful Days--Prince of Tennis


January 4, 3100

They say that rain are tears from Heaven. But I beg to differ. Rain is nothing more than something created to wash away the dirt of the world. But of course. That's a matter of opinion and that's mine. However, once you hear Heaven, you think angels, good, and paradise. But what good is Heaven when it takes away the ones you love the most? The ones you can't bare to live without. The ones you wanna be with forever even after death. What good is Heaven when it isn't paradise anymore?

Is Heaven truly the opposite of Hell? Or are they more similar than we think?

What is truly Heaven?

And what is truly Hell?

Those are the ultimate questions. The questions of life and death itself.

-----From the diary of Ketsuteki

--------------------

The Tentou and Makai war had gone on for centuries. Exactly ten centuries, in fact. Of course, it finally ended just last year, when the four kings of the Makai and the four kings of the Tentou signed the Treaty and harmony and peace, in a way, fell upon the two worlds.

However, many civilians had suffered under the war. Families were seperated and friends were killed. Proverty rose and the single law of the Makai was the only thing obeyed in both worlds; the law of the jungle, 'Kill or be killed.'

I was among those who suffered. I watched as I was the outcast from my home because of my heritage. I watched hopelessly as my home was burned to the ground from the war. I watched as my twin was taken away from me by the bandits.

My name is Ketsuteki and I am the younger twin of the children of Inari, the fox god, and Nakoori of the infamous Koorime, the ice maidens (1).

--------------------

A lone boy, looking about sixteen years old, watched the birds flew pass him as he continued down the stone path. His cerulean blue hair whipped around as the wind blew through them. His crimson red eyes, despite his age, showed pain, suffering, and knowledge. He wore a simple black robe that made it hard for others to tell if he was a boy or girl with his waist long hair.

He stopped on the path when he was suddenly surrounded by men holding swords. The blunette knew who they were, having been running into them a lot lately. Bandits.

"Well, well, well. If it isn't a lone wanderer." the leader stated. The blunette's eyes hardened, recognizing the voice. It was the same group of bandits who had taken away his only reason to live, his only comfort in the world of war.

"I suggest you leave me alone." he said in a threatening tone. He would warn them; if they didn't heed it, it would be their own fault that they'll soon be dead.

"Aye! Lookie here! She thinks she can boss us 'round, eh?" one of the followers said, laughing. The others, except for the leader, began laughing as well.

The blunette growled. He wasn't upset that he had been mistakened for a girl. He was used to that because boys don't wear their hair long. No, he was angry that he ever thought that he thinks they deserved another chance at living.

He reached into his robe and pulled out a katana. It was a simple one and was light-weight; perfect for someone whose strong point is speed.

Soon, the bandits caught sight of the weapon and stopped laughing. The leader eyed him cautiously. "You want a fight?"

"No. I simply want to rid the world of simple-minded idiots like you." the blunette stated.

The leader narrowed his eyes as he continued looking at him. "So you want a fight."

He resisted the urge to roll his eyes and settled for a nod. "If I win, you must answer my question."

"Very well. If you lose, I get to do whatever I wish with you." the leader stated, giving a perverted grin.

The blunette smirked at the idiocy of the group. They still haven't noticed that he wasn't a girl. He had a deep voice that would never cause people to mistaken him for a female once he spoke at least once. "I don't plan on losing."

"Ah...Boss?" one of the bandits started.

"Give us some room." the leader ordered, ignoring him. The bandits obeyed and moved a few meters away from them. He pulled out his sword and looked at his opponent who stared back.

Without warning, the two fighters charged at each other with so much speed that all the bandits could see of the fight were flashes of light from the two weapons. Then, with as much warning as when they charged, they moved away from each other. The bandits stared at their leader in horror as he was bleeding furiously. The blunette hardly looked like he was hurt or tired whatsoever.

"You've...won." the leader breathed out. "I'll...answer...your question."

The blunette didn't shealth his now bloodied katana yet. He just stared coldly at him. "Ninty years ago, you raided a village and stole someone precious to me. My older twin sister. I want to know why she is no longer with you."

The leader struggled to stand as he was helped by his men. "Sister? I don't remember us stealing any girl."

"Boss, don'tcha remember when we raided Sodoma, we came 'cross a ten 'ear ol' gal who 'ad silver 'air and green eyes?" one of the bandits chided.

"Ah...her." The leader turned to the blunette. "'fraid she's no longer with us. We haven't killed 'er, if that's what you're thinking. Ran off when she was sixteen years of age. Damn strong gal she was. Probably 'bout B-class (2) when she ran off. We 'aven't seen 'er since."

He coughed up blood and the blunette cursed under his breath. Just when he thought he had a lead, it turns out to be a dead-end.

"However," The blunette turned his attention back at the leader. "I've heard of a thief they all call the Fallen Angel. Rumor has it that she's the best thief in the two worlds and she fit the description of your sis. Reckon ya go to the next town for more news. She might be her."

"Thank you." The blunette finally shealthed his katana and walked pass the bandits.

"Wait." The blunette stopped and turned his head slightly. "What's your name?"

He smirked and continued walking as he stared ahead. "Ketsuteki."

"Ketsuteki..." The leader smiled before coughing up more blood. He then recognized the name. "Ketsuteki, the best swordsman in the two worlds. Known as the Kurokage (3) 'cause of his speed. Glad I got a chance to meet him."

--------------------

A girl looking twelve years of age watched as a bird flew outside her balcony before returning to her canvas. She added the finishing touches and stepped back to look at her work. It was a painting of a teenage boy who was holding a sword and a teenage girl who held a white rose. The two were standing back-to-back and were looking as if they were in battle. She smiled at it before twirling her wavy blonde hair.

"That's really pretty." She jumped and turned around to see her guardian standing behind her, walking towards her. "Who are they?"

Her red eyes brightened and her lips curved to a smile as she answered proudly, "My older siblings!"

Her guardian patted her head and couldn't help but wonder how the young girl knew how her siblings look like now when she had only been three when her sister was taken and six when her brother gave her to the orphanage.


(1)- Koorime, if you translate it, means 'ice maiden'. I would use Yukime but that's 'snow maiden' and that's another race in this story.

(2)- This ranking system depends on how dangerous their powers and abilities are to humans and the Tentou. E-class being the lowest, then D-class, then C-class, then B-class, then A-class, then S-class, and the SS-class being the highest.

(3)- Kurokage translate to 'black shadow' which fits him since he always wear the black robe and because of his speed, a fleeting black image is the only thing his opponents see.