After a long hiatus, plus some college classes in writing, I have decided that this story needs a huge re-haul. So with this, I reboot Book 2 from the beginning and start fresh. If you haven't read 'Legend of the Guardian Children: Book 1' before, go back and do so. This first chapter is spent recalling the relationships between the characters, but that's more for the benefit of myself and people that read the first book over a year ago and need a refresher. That doesn't mean to skip this one, as it covers how the characters have changed since then.

-Kouji Tamino

Legend of the Guardian Children

Book 2: A Strange New World

Chapter 1: Summarize

Kiriko Shimohara was being followed. While she couldn't see her stalker at the moment, she could tell that someone was there. She had gained a bit of a 6th sense when it came to these kinds of things in the past several months since very strange things began happening to her and the people around her. While she needn't worry, her older brother was right next to her and was deathly protective of her despite the fact that they weren't blood related, she still felt uneasy. She really disliked the fact that the people she cared about were endangering themselves for her sake. She could feel her brother Kyoji take her hand in his and squeeze firmly, as if silently reassuring her that she would be safe from whoever or whatever was following them. She sighed, her eyes wandering to rest on the wooden sword or bokken that he had become accustomed to carrying around as of late. "Please, can't we just ignore it?" she asked, a pleading tone to her voice.

"You know we can't do that, Kiri-bozu..." Kyoji replied, tightening the grip on his sister's hand. "If we could, I wouldn't be carrying this", he said while motioning to the bokken at his side. He had come to terms with the fact that he wasn't related to any of his known family by blood, resolving to love them the same way he had been for the past 16 years he had been living with them. However, he was still haunted by the way he had treated them when he first found out he had been adopted and that made him work twice as hard at loving and protecting them.

Both siblings froze when they heard footsteps. Now it was no longer a hunch, someone or something was definitely following them. The aura they were picking up was much too strong to be from any normal human, so they kept up their guard. Whoever it was, they were just around the corner that they had just passed. Looking towards each other, the brother and sister nodded and separated. Kiriko got as far away from the wall as she could while staying within her brother's protective reach, while Kyoji unsheathed his wooden sword. With twirl of his wrist, it suddenly transformed into an actual blade, the sunlight reflecting off of it majestically. While any type of long and straight tool would work, he found it easier to transform actual replicas or practice swords. Anything else just took too much concentration and it a situation like this, he couldn't waste time like that. Wielding it in front of him at a horizontal angle, he quickly leaped towards the target, only to find himself on the other end of a bow and arrow. Sighing in both relief and annoyance, he greeted his friend and ally. "Good morning, Tsukino..."

An uncharacteristic expression of genuine surprise graced the features of the normally stone faced Class Representative of Kaneda Tokio High School's Room 2-A. "Sh-Shimohara-sempai!" she gasped out, lowering her weapon in embarrassment, "G-good morning!" She groaned in disgust, placing her palm over her face with a shake of her head. "That's the second time this month... This is most definitely annoying."

"Second time?!" Kyoji squeaked out, lowering his stance and sheathing the sword. "You mean this has happened before?"

Laughing nervously, Kiriko smiled awkwardly while placing a hand behind her head. "Oh, that's right!" she began, her face turning red at the memory. "Last week when you were stuck at home sick, we were in a situation just like this... Tsukino-san shot Akito-san and Akito-san punched her in the face." She giggled at her brother's shocked stare, waving her hand in front of his eyes. "I meant to tell you when I got home, but you were asleep and it just never crossed my mind after that."

"...How the hell do you forget something like that?" he asked plainly, tilting his head in disbelief. Growling, he shook his head. "Never mind. We really need to find a way to stop mistaking each other for monsters, though."

"Easier said than done", Tsukino said while putting her bow and arrow back away. "Our auras are too similar to the monsters we go up against. It probably has to do with the fact that our powers and the emergence of the creatures are connected."

"It must have been the bright light I saw that night that seemed to swallow up the whole city..." Kiriko said, trailing off as she realized that the others had begun walking ahead of her. "Hey! Don't just walk off without me, damn it!"

Chuckling as he and Tsukino stopped looked back, Kyoji waved his younger sister over. "Then hurry it up, squirt! We're going to be late for school!"

"Don't call me that!"

Summer break had come to an end. The students of Kaneda Tokio High School were returning for the second term of classes, but instead of being wary they were instead quite ecstatic. The next month or so would be dedicated to the upcoming Cultural Festival. Today, each class was to decide what they were going to do for this year's festival. In Class 2-A, however, things weren't going very well...

"No way!" one boy shouted, crossing his arms as he stood up. "We did the Host Club last year!"

"Yeah, it's the girl's turn to be objectified and shown off!" Akito piped in, with about as much tact as anything else that came out of his mouth. Last year had just been embarrassing, waiting on hand and foot for any girl that came in to their setup along with all the other guys in class. "I say this year we put together a Maid Café!"

"Ew, no way!" another girl screeched, stomping her foot down. "Besides, the Host Club was surprisingly popular. We originally set it up as a joke in revenge for that prank all you boys pulled on the girls right before the Summer Break, but a lot of people came in to check it out!"

"Regardless, I believe that our time and resources would be better spent in putting together something different from last year", Tsukino said, tired of the back and forth arguments that weren't going anywhere. The teacher looked like he was at his last strand of patience as well. If they didn't think of anything soon, he would be forced in intervene and make the final decision, regardless of whether anyone wanted to go through with it in the first place. "Now, does anyone have any ideas that we all can agree with?"

The boy most vocal about his distaste of last year's Hot Club spoke up again, raising his hand. "If we can't get back with the Maid Café, then how about a play with an all-girl cast? No one should have a problem with that, right? Plus, it's pretty unique." He sunk back in his seat as he was met with silence, scowling. "Yeah, I guess it was a pretty stupid ide--"

"That's a great idea!" another girl exclaimed, the whole class beginning to erupt with clamoring students who thought that it was quite a clever plan.

Tsukino, who was pretty shocked over the excitement was showing, stared in disbelief. Sure, it was better and more tasteful than any other idea that had been mentioned so far, but frankly she didn't see what the big deal was. "Um, okay... All those for an all-girl play?" A thick forest of hands raised. "All opposed?" A rather pitiful number of people timidly went against the hive mind. Sighing and shrugging, still a bit taken aback by the huge amount of support, she nodded with a smile. "All right, then! That settles it! Tomorrow we will vote on which play we will perform!"

"Oh my god..." Tsukino mumbled to herself the very next day as the play and the leads had been decided. She should have seen this coming this coming from a mile away the minute the class had suddenly lit up at the thought of a play with an all-girl cast. The play that they had chosen was an untitled piece from an unknown era about a samurai bodyguard, the rich heiress that he's been assigned to protect, and the love that forms between them. One guess as to which two people were voted to play these two characters. "...You guys are unbelievable", she muttered to no one in particular, as Kiriko sunk down into her seat with a face as red as a ripe tomato.

"But it will be so cute!" one voice chimed, almost drowned out by all of the squealing and catcalling. "It fits so well!"

"You guys are so mean", Kiriko whimpered, crossing her arms and pouting, which only served to make her squealing classmates to squeal harder at her adorable fit. "Damn it, stop teasing us!"

"But we're not teasing", the mysterious Ukichi Tenya replied, looking up from his book. Unlike the rest of the students in the room, he and Saori Kumishima were not part of last year's Class 1-A. They just enrolled in the school this year and seemed to take pleasure in tormenting poor Kiriko. However with the exception of an incident last term, things never got out of hand or became to malicious and thus most people turned a blind eye to it, chalking it up as normal teasing. They argued that the poor girl only brought it on herself, getting upset so easily and all. "You truly are the best pair for the roles. You have an interesting chemistry that perfectly emulates the relationship between a target and her sworn protector."

"He does have a point", Saori agreed, leaning up against Kiriko's desk and staring at Tsukino. "Compared to the beginning of the year, you seem to have become very protective of her. If just one hair on her pretty little head is misplaced you become like a guard dog..."

Freezing from Saori's observation, Tsukino quickly recovered. "As Class Representative, I believe that it's my responsibility to watch the back of every one of my classmates if they're in trouble. Kiriko is just especially helpless, that's all. I mean, just look at her."

"Hey!" Kiriko shouted, offended at such accusations. Rising up out of her seat in protest, she cried out as she bumped her knee on the desk, hissing in pain and nursing it with a weak whimper. "Owie..."

Grimacing at the pathetic sight, Saori conceded, at least for the moment. "You do have a point. All right, you're off the hook for now, lover-girl."

"All right class, settle down!" the teacher shouted, attempting to bring the steadily rising chaos of the class back down into some semblance of order. They didn't pay him enough to deal with the crazies in this place. "Now that that's out of the way, please return to your seats and open up your textbooks to page 237. We will continue the lesson from yesterday on Keio era technologies and how they led into advancements on the Meiji era." The students complied, calming down and reaching for their texts to begin the first class of the day.

At lunch time, in Room 3-A, Kyoji was talking with his best friend, Saeko Kumihisha, and a few other classmates. The door to the room suddenly opened, with their former friend Domon Togashi standing on the other side. Several classmates who went to the same junior high as the three gasped, wondering if a confrontation was about to play out.

"Hey. Shimohara-san. Kumihisha-san. I have something I want to tell you." He growled in annoyance as everyone leaned in to listen, pounding his fist on the wall. "Alone, thank you very much!" As the other students cowered, Kyoji and Saeko stood up without a hitch, following out of the classroom to whispers of "Are you crazy?!" and "Please be careful", among others.

Now on the roof of the school, Domon stood with his back to the other two members of the long defunct trio. His expression was unreadable to them. "I just wanted to say... I'm over what happened back in junior high."

"Same here." Saeko replied, her hands at her waist.

The taller boy turned around and glared coldly, hands in his pockets. "I refuse to forgive you, though."

"Fine with me!" Kyoji shouted, scratching his nose. "As far as I'm concerned, we don't deserve your forgiveness. You kind of beat the crap out of me before I could say that, though."

"Right." Domon said, chuckling.

"We're so sorry, Togashi-san", Saeko said, her features softening. "We should have never hid the truth from you. It only caused things to spiral out of control."

"Yeah, who knows?" Domon began, walking past them without looking in the eye, "Maybe we still would have been friends." He paused as he said this, than continued walking through the door and down the stairs back into the building.

After a few moments of waiting, the two remaining teenagers looked to each other. "So, wanna do it?" the girl asked, a big grin on her face. "We're all alone..."

"Saeko!" Kyoji shouted, shocked at her rather lewd behavior at an inappropriate moment. On second thought... no he wasn't.

"Relax! Dude, I was just kidding..."

A few hours later, after school had ended, Tsukino caught up with Kiriko as she was about leave the premises with Kyoji. "Shimohara-sempai! I need to borrow Shimohara-sama for a moment."

"Wait, what?" Kyoji gave the girl a disoriented expression, placing a hand on her head. "Look, Tsukino. We're friends. Don't you think it's time you dropped the formalities and start calling us by our first names?"

"Um, maybe..." Tsukino replied, pushing his hand away casually. "That's not really my style, though." Looking to Kiriko, she gave a small smile. "Shimohara-sama, I would like you to accompany me to my Archery Club today. I'll be sure to walk you home afterwards so you stay safe."

Kiriko winced a bit at that last bit. She really hated being treated like a little kid, but it couldn't be helped. She was literally a walking danger magnet. Unfortunately, not only was she in danger of the creatures that have been attacking her as of late, she was also a danger to herself, accident prone even in the days before all of these strange happenings. Of course, she'd never admit it out loud. "Um, okay", she finally answered, taking her friends arm in hers. "Let's go!" Looking to her brother, she smiled mockingly. "You'll be fine walking home by yourself, won't you Nii-chan?"

"Cute", Kyoji muttered, sensing her sarcasm from a mile away. "Go on, brat. I'll meet you when you get home. I'll tell mom and dad that you're with a friend."

The two girls were off, walking to the school's huge sports club area. After greeting her teammates and getting set up, Tsukino instructed Kiriko to go behind the fence and watch. The long haired girl did so with great interest, admiring how graceful yet powerful her friend looked as she set up her shots and let the arrows fly. As she hit the target with amazing accuracy, she had to wonder of it was Tsukino's natural talent or her powers helping her out. Thinking back, she remembered back to a time where she once watched the other girl practice, and she was just as amazing back then as she was now. "Tsukino-san is awesome!" She suddenly shouted, causing the other archers to glance at her and Tsukino with a smile as the latter blushed furiously.

Soon enough, practice was over. The other archers had enjoyed Kiriko's company and would be delighted if she would watch more often. After saying their goodbyes, the two classmates were off. The girl with long flowing hair that reached all the way down her back looked to her shorter maned friend. "Well, that was fun! But tell me, why did you bring me here all of a sudden?"

"Oh, no reason..." Tsukino said slyly, never missing a beat as she walked. "I just wanted to introduce the team to my best friend", she said warmly, stopping in her tracks when the other girl suddenly paused. "What is it?"

"Do you really mean that?" Kiriko asked, frankly surprised that the usually emotionally blank girl would admit something like that.

"Of course, I do!" she exclaimed, gasping when the other girl began crying. "What's the matter now, Shimohara-sama?"

"It's nothing!" she shouted, wiping her eyes. "Nothing at all! I'm just so happy!"

"Oh good grief", Tsukino sighed, slapping her forehead. "Get a hold of yourself."

"You don't have to be mean about it..."

"Oh for heavens sake--" Groaning, she shook her head and then smiled, hugging the girl close to her as they began walking again. "Come on, let's get you home... Your brother's probably worried sick."

"Oh, right..." Kiriko said, giggling softly.