Author's Notes: This story was originally created for my Imaginary Writing class when I was a Freshman in collage. It was suppose to be a short story that did not come out too short. I wanted to make this story much more emotionally provoking than my others writings and I think I did a good job at it.

I truly hope you will enjoy this story

Part I

It was now spring in the peaceful mountain area. The tresses were pink with flower blooms and the smell of their sweet scent. Birds were once again singing their lovely music and the wind blew a cool breeze across the late afternoon sky. One should be cheerful in the celebration of this new season, however, one man was not.

Tike was an old master who lived in this remote region of the world. Despite his age, he still had a youthful look with only a few wrinkles that graced his face. He had a long beard and partly closed jet black eyes. He was almost completely bald, but he always hid that with a snow hat over his head.

One would think that he was just a hermit who lived in the wild, however, that was only part of his history. Once, a long time ago, he had trained his body in the ancient art of Junto and used his skills to fight against the evils of the world. After years of wandering, he decided to settle down in the peaceful mountain area of Popor.

Tike had grown tired of fighting the darkness of men and wanted no part in the new modern age, which is why he chose to live in almost complete isolation. As years flowed by, Tike had began to learn that there was a price for his isolation.

Only a couple days ago, he received a letter from his old friend, Antaean. Years ago, Antaean used to be his old sparring partner under their master. When they both grew up, however, they went their own separate ways in life, but they still kept in contact. The letter was to inform him that Antaean's wife had just given birth to a healthy baby girl.

Tike was, of course, happy for his old friend, but this news had opened up a part of him that he had long forsaken: the part of him that had always wanted a child. A piece of him that would live on when his time came to leave this world.

Alas, Tike knew that his time to have kids had come and gone. No woman would want an old fossil like him for her husband.

The fact that it was spring made it even worse. Spring was a season of new life and hope, something Tike would never have. Something he did not even want until recently. He wanted to be alone and would die alone. Funny how your desires change as you become older.

He looked into the clear blue sky as the pink blossoms blew past him.

"Great Lord of our world," He muttered softly, "before I die, I wish to have a child that I may call my own. Please, fulfill my prayer Great Lord."

Tike was not really expecting anything to happen, when a bird with rainbow feathers covering its body flew pass his eyes. He stared in shock as the bird flew to a small tree and landed gracefully. The bird turned around to look at him as if asking Tike to follow him.

"A messenger?" Tike whispered. It was said that the bird with the colors of a rainbow was the pet of the Great Lord who only came to those who were most in need.

At the very moment he finished his thoughts, the bird flew past him. He wasted no time in following the multicolor bird across the forest. He did not even bother to look where he was going. Tike knew these mountains better than anyone and trusted the bird to lead him safely to his destination.

He followed the bird until it suddenly disappeared into the sun's rays. Tike stopped and looked for the bird. He searched all the trees in the area and found no sign of it. He began to give up on his foolish quest until he heard crying in the distance. Following the sound of the cries until he came across an opening in the woods.

He found a little baby lying naked among the fallen cherry blooms, which seemed to created a small bed around the helpless child.

Tike stared for what seem liked minutes, afraid to approached the small infant. As he got closer and looked at the young child he noticed that the baby had a full set of teeth as well as two small fangs at the top and bottom of its mouth. It had a long black tail, like a panther, coming from its bottom. Its ears were also slightly pointed unlike a flat human ear. Its hair was long and a deep black color. The baby was also most definitely male.

This boy was beyond a doubt a half-demon. It was extremely rare for a human and a demon to mate. Male demons had been known to disguise themselves as humans and mate with unexpecting females. It was often their idea of a sick joke. It was not until the woman gave birth that the girl learned that she had intercourse with a demon.

Half-demons usually come out two ways: pretty or ugly. A pretty half-demon was a child that looked human with only a few demon characteristics. Ugly was a child that looked more like a demon than a human. This young child was lucky enough to come out pretty.

Some mothers would keep their half-demon babies, despite the fact that most people hated them. Most of the time, however, the child was killed or abandoned somewhere. That seemed to be the case for this unfortunate child.

As Tike stood over the baby, he wrestled with the choice of what to do with it. Strong half-demons were known to survive on their own without the help of human parents. This child, however, looked so weak and helpless among the spring's flowers. If this baby dies, he would never forgive himself.

Also, was he not led to this child by the Great Lord? He must have wanted him to have this child and raise it as his own. Is that not want he had asked for earlier? Even if it was a half-demon, he should not question it.

With his mind made-up, he lifted the crying child into his arms. The child stopped whining as he stared right into Tike's eyes. For the first time, he saw that the baby's eyes were a light emerald green. It seemed to stare right into his soul.

"So, how are you doing little guy?" Tike asked the baby with a small smile. He knew the question sounded stupid.

"Well then, for now on you will be living with me as my grandson. Isn't that nice?" He questioned the baby again, lifted him into the air. The baby laughed and cooed at him.

"But, we need to give you a name first." Tike said. "Have any requests?" The baby laughed and babbled happily. Tike could not help but smile as he continued to lift the baby up and down.

"I think a name that suits your demon qualities would be perfect." He continued. "Since you have a tail like a panther why don't we call you Panther." The baby continued to babbled happily.

"Well, Panther it is then." Tike said cheerfully as he began to throw Panther up and down, causing him to squeal in delight. Finally noticing it was becoming late, Tike cuddled Panther safely in his arms and began to walk home.

Tike smiled softly when he saw that Panther had slowly fallen asleep in his arms.

It was sunset when Tike finally reached his small house. It was only built for one, but Tike could extend the house to provide more room. He, after all, had built the house. He would have to make a twenty mile walk to town to buy diapers and other baby supplies, but he did not mind too much.

He finally had a child to raise and keep him company. He felt like a young boy again at the thought of raising a family. Tike, unfortunately, did not have a crib yet, so Panther had to sleep in his bed.

After making sure that Panther was sleeping peacefully, he got a spare blanket he had in the house and began to settle down for the warm night. The sun was still partly up, but he decided to call it a day. He looked at Panther one last time before he laid down to sleep.

He knew this would be a hard and long journey. Raising a child was challenging enough, but raising a half-demon would be demanding even for him. He would be unwelcome and hated by many in the world. He could never shelter him from such cruelty.

He, however, had made a promise to himself as well as Panther. He promised that no matter what happens, Panther would always know that he was loved. That was the greatest and only gift that he could truly give the demon child. With that, Tike closed his eyes and smiled at his new life.