Author's Notes: Hey all! For those that are frequent visitors of my series, they will find this a little strange. For new visitors, this will hopefully be more helpful. Vague yes, but explanation coming. Anyway, so what is going on here? Well I have a currently running series here, however as I noticed a while ago (and pointed out once) the beginning is well a little flat. So I'm remedying that problem by providing a hook that should grab you.

Now for some details. What I did was take the original first sub-arc Awakening and condensed the bulk of it into a double length chapter. However, I must warn you now new and old visitors alike that condensed is not a completely accurate word here. I took the basic idea that was the bsub-arc and made it fit into a single chapter since in a manner of speaking the first sub-arc is the hook. What this means for those of you reading is that as I'm calling it Chapter 0 – Pilot is more closer to a retelling of the first sub-arc. Events are significantly altered from Awakening compared with Pilot. So if you've read Awakening already then you might get some enjoyment out of this new chapter that features mostly original material. I did grab from Awakening, but most ended up the cutting floor. However, if you haven't read the series and this is your first time I do suggest reading Pilot first. It's meant to give you a taste of the series and grab you. However, because events play out significantly different from Pilot and Awakening I do advise reading Awakening starting at Chapter 1. I also spend a lot more time explaining things in Awakening than Pilot and the last couple chapters of Awakening do not even appear in any form in Pilot. So pleased don't skip otherwise you could feel confused and lost.

I hope that you enjoy this new telling of Awakening. The changes I have made have altered my ideas of the current series making me question if I won't alter them at a later date. However, for now Pilot is independent, but the attention grabber for you read more. Please let me know your thoughts!

If you review me will return the favor and review something of yours, just hope you don't mind the length.

Series Details:

Name: Shift

Style: Shonen Jump Manga

Genre: Action-Adventure/Drama/Comedy

Rating: Teen (minor amounts of rough language, not graphic violence, but plenty of blood and injures to be expected and possible romantic situations)

Complete Summary: (SPOILERS) Yuki was a normal boy starting his first year in high school. The worst he had to deal with was sleeping in class, an overactive imagination and bullies throughout the school. However, his school life is suddenly turned upside when he is attacked by a man with the power to bring anything into reality. When his family is attacked he awakens his own powers discovering that he is not alone. Now Yuki must pretend to lead a normal school life while keeping his imagination from controlling his powers and stay alive as assassins that are trying to prevent him from returning to become heir of his long forgotten people.

* * *

The castle was safe now; it had been defended well against the overwhelming numbers of enemy soldiers that laid siege to its walls. As the rising moon bathed its warm pale blue light over the field the victorious champion of the people stood up pulling his sword free from its bloody corpse that held it like a sheath. The blood of those he had slain was coating his dulled battle-worn armor allowing a subtle glow in the moonlight to surround him. Through labored breathing and aching muscles he marched through the battlefield of death where the Lord Armuti waited for him.

He knelt down at the lord's feet saddened in the loss of so many, but relieved for the battle to be over. Lord Armuti lowered his hands on the champion's shoulders displaying a proud smile for the miraculous victory achieved. The lord grabbed him then by the sides of his arms insisting that he no longer kneel. "Champion Yuki, your name shall ring from these halls ever more! All praise Champion Yuki!"

The remaining soldiers gathered around the two shouting with Lord Armuti in honor of their champion. All cried out his name for him to hear echoing through fields. "Champion Yuki! Yuki! Yuki!" They repeated their chant clashing their swords against their shields building the champion to a smile.

"Yuki! Yuki… Yuki! Yuki…Yuki…" Amongst the chanting there was another distinct voice that he could hear rising over the others in a different tone. He barely acknowledged it at first, but it was persistent refusing to give up calling to him. As each call to his name came the voice became clearer and clearer until he could tell that it was a girl's voice mixed in with all of the men. The voice drew him away forcing his focus on it. "Yuki…time to wake up!"

The entire world went black suddenly washing away as though it had all been freshly painted pealing way under the pressure of water. All that he could see was the black void around him and then a narrow line of light that slowly widened revealing his desk and the soft warm glow of Ayumi Nishimura's green eyes shining in his blurring, not quite drooling yet face. "Morning Yuki!"

Chapter 0 – Pilot

"Huh? Oh…its homeroom…" he said pulling his head away from his arms to lean back in his chair. It was still early before the teacher arrived, but he already had fallen asleep, though it was more that his imagination wandered than it was about the sleep.

Ayumi smiled at him keeping from giggling too much knowing how much of a daily occurrence this was with Yuki. It happened nearly every day that she could remember that she would have to wake him up from his dreams. Though there were times that he woke up the class getting a little too involved in his dreams and starting to act them out in his sleep. "Don't want Ms. Kuniyoshi catching you sleeping. You know how she is."

Yuki laughed weakly as his memory of the last time she caught him sleeping was still fresh in his mind (it was yesterday). The thought made him a little blue in the face, but he shook his head to get rid of the feeling. "Y-Yeah! Thanks, Ayumi!"

"…Yuki…" Ayumi walked away from Yuki smiling at him.

Yuki could not help but grin to himself before he was slapped on the back. "Hey, Yuki! Sweet talking with Ayumi again?" Hiroshi said with a mischievous grin on his face as he pulled up a chair from another desk to sit down at his side. Yuki and Hiroshi had only recently become friends, when they started attending as freshmen at Monou High School a month and half ago, however that did not stop Hiroshi from acting very familiar with him as though they had known each other forever. It was always that way with Hiroshi, forward and pleasant with a joke ready whenever the situation needed it (or when it didn't).

"W-What?! Hiroshi…" Yuki's face became red as embarrassment took him over and he tried to deny Hiroshi's claim. When his flush face became visible Hiroshi's grin only increased making Yuki waving his hands trying to further deny it. "It's not like that! I've known Ayumi since we were little. We're just friends!"

Hiroshi rested his arms on the back of the chair as he leaned in against the chair's back resting his head on his arms. "Then why're you denying it so much. Wish my friends would wake me up like that…"

"What girl would want to wake up a pervert like you?" a girl said from behind the two of him that cast a heavy dark shadow with the glowing eyes of a demon that pierced down upon Hiroshi.

Hiroshi turned blue in an instant as he pulled back away from Yuki. "S-Saki! How long you've been standing there?!"

"Long enough, Hiroshi… Yuki's not like you and your twisted mind…"

"We were just joking, right? Yuki?" He looked over at Yuki for some assistance in calming down Saki.

"Good morning, Saki!" Yuki said as though the entire conversation had not occurred. He smiled up to her with an innocent very absentminded glow in his face. Yuki was the weakness Saki had turning her back into a normal high school girl smiling (also ignoring the last minute).

"Morning, Yuki!"

"Practice again?"

"Yeah…still getting used to the new coach…"

Hiroshi peeled away from the chair seeing his opportunity to get away safely. It made him thankful that there was at least one person that could control the wild girl, Saki. The look in her eyes was enough to scare most boys away immediately and her other talents made the rest disappear even faster. However, class was starting now that Ms. Kuniyoshi was entering the room making the stray students return to their seats.

* * *

Lunch had arrived for everyone. Many of the students stayed in the class to have their meals, but Yuki was disappearing out of the class with a look that said he had to do something, even if there was some confusion mixed in with it. Hiroshi had tried to stop him, but Yuki was too fast for him to catch leaving it be. Unfortunately, Yuki's speed was not what he needed in the halls as he crashed into three boys that were looking unruly. The collision threw their food up into the air spilling it out across the floor, completely ruined.

Yuki backed up away from them seeing the glaring glow of anger building in their eyes as they clinched their fists together leaning in towards him. "I'm sorry! I wasn't looking!" He extended out his hands hoping to keep them back, but it did not seem to help as they pressed in making his hands fold up against his chest.

"Oh ya hear that? He's sorry!"

The boy on the right laughed and snickered developing a mean smirk on his face. "Yea, if he's sorry…"

"Then we've got no problems!" said the boy in the middle before he threw his fist into Yuki's stomach knocking the wind out of him. The punch set him off balance and against the wall for support. The follow-up brought him to the floor making him an easy target for them to kick. All three boys took their opportunity to take advantage of a good bag to kick (Yuki) and physically worked on getting their apology out.

Then suddenly everything came to a grinding halt as though each frame was by held out in a camera shutter to display each moment as a knee came into frame planted firmly in the cheek of the leader. When time returned to normal he was sent flying speedily across the hall with students making way for him until he came flat against the wall cracking it with his impression. The two remaining boy's face turned blue even before this happened and were still reeling in shock trying to understand what was happening.

The light pulled over the one with the flying knee strike as they stood up revealing it to be a female student with a darkened expression in her face as her eyes glowed once more like a demons. She spun around giving the two stunned boys the back of her foot and leg sending them flying down the hall to join their unconscious comrade in the wall. The students nearby the collision looked on a little frightened, but quickly went about their lunch. The girl turned around to face Yuki.

This was Saki Furukawa and her other talent…martial artist. She quickly changed her demeanor as she offered her hand out for Yuki. "Bullies again, Yuki? You need to watch your surroundings!"

"I'm sorry, Saki…" Yuki took the help up and dusted himself off. Most of the pain was already fading away, a trait that he was used to and developed. "You're always saving me…" This too had become a nearly daily occurrence for Yuki to end up on the wrong side of a fist. He had the bad luck of always managing to find the roughest most violent students in school to bump into. Which meant that Saki, a long time childhood friend, would come to his rescue every time her radar went off.

Saki sighed softly and pulled Yuki away from the wall back into the middle of the hall. "If you weren't so absentminded all the time… What happened this time?"

"I bumped into them on accident and ruined their lunch. I tried to apologize, but—"

"They didn't listen, of course. Where were you going?"

"Huh? Oh! No! I've got to go!" Yuki jumped up alert and sped off down the hall in a panic leaving behind a trail of dust with a confused Saki staring on.

'Hope I'm not late…' he thought to himself as he finished running through the halls getting outside of the school. The school grounds were large surrounded mostly by a brick and iron bar fence wall. There were several sidewalks running through the grass connecting to the other doors and buildings as well as leading out to the track field. He slowed down his pace as he walked out towards the shed for the school that held most of the equipment for sports. When he reached the destination he pulled up his hand that held a small piece of paper. He read the contents once more just to confirm for himself.

'Meet me behind the shed during lunch.'

There was nothing further in the note and no name either. He did not know what was going on, but he had read enough manga to get a pretty good idea (delusions and fantasy had been playing through class in his mind). The back of the shed held no one making him figure that he was still early and so he waited.

However, being Yuki he could not stand still for very long. His mind began to wander and his dream from the morning began to come back to him. It was playing from a different point, but he indulged himself. A rake was resting against the wall of the shed and it became an immediate target for him. He picked it up spinning it around his hands with surprising dexterity. It came to a stop as he rested it against his back pretending it to be a staff. He lunged forward with a thrust of the rake letting it pierce the air. Then he swiped through the air horizontally. It soon became a spear thrusting and poking it against the shed.

A few thrusts later he pulled it back and carried it in two hands as though it was a claymore. He sailed the blade through the air hearing it sweep through sharply. He took the chance to swing at the pole in the ground near the shed for some feedback. It took a few hits from the rake. On his last swing he went through the pole leaving it to topple over as he sheathed his sword to the shed. He wiped his imagination of the battle scars that he left on the shed not feeling as restless. He walked over to the pole when he realized that it was actually cut in two (thought it was his imagination). 'What going on? I know sleep walk sometimes, but…' Yuki reached out to touch the pole where it was cleanly cut through finding to be real to his touch. He knelt down to the other half of the pole attempting to pick it up (hoping that it was his imagination). His hand grabbed it firmly picking it up and dragging to towards the other half (it's real!). "Did I really do this? I just broke school property!" Yuki began to panic turning his head side to side to see if there was anyone that had seen him do it. "Whatta I do?! Momoko'll kill me when she hears about this!"

Yuki dropped pole backing away from it already getting freaked out by his own imagination. His back clashed with the shed making him jump in fright. He stumbled over his feet backing into the claymore that was resting against the shed. The metal scrapping against the shed into a clatter on the ground that made Yuki's hair stand straight up sending vibrations through his entire body. "What was that noise? That was…n't…" He did not want to look fearing what he was going to see, but he could not resist it. It was as though his head had a mind of its own and turned itself to force him to see the claymore resting against the ground shining in the light reflecting his face in its polished blade.

Yuki fell back on his butt catching himself with his hands as the sword stared back at him through is divided legs. "No! You aren't real!" He kicked his foot out trying to push around the sword, but it only crawled an inch. "I didn't use you to cut that pole! It wasn't me! I didn't mean to! Honest!" He looked around the field again checking for anyone. 'What's happening to me? Did I finally go off the deep end?' He could feel his heart pounding in his chest from the racing thoughts in his mind. A moment later, he pulled himself up to crawl over to the sword wanting to test his imagination. "It's just a really vivid dream, right?! Right?!" Yuki's hand reached out for the hilt of the sword shaking profusely fearing what this would mean. It took forever for him to reach the sword, pulling himself back repeatedly, to take hold of the hilt. The feeling was same as the pole (it was real). He held the sword up to him feeling the blade calling to him seeing his reflection glowing in it. He touched the blade with his hand taking in the smooth pounded surface and the sharp looking edge. His finger slid down the edge, wanting to test his reality, only to slice his skin open making him drop the sword back to the ground as he held his finger in his mouth to stop the bleeding.

He crawled away becoming even more unnerved by what was going on. 'It can't be!' Yuki picked himself up barely with his legs shaking up through his body trying to get away from everything. The unsteadiness in his limbs carried through to his core knocking him off balance into the shed. He landed against the floor of the shed painfully receiving the blunt force of the cement flooring into his shoulder. The shaking did not stop and so he rolled over to his back giving a moment to pause. An exhausted breath later he was feeling a little better, but still uneasy. 'Just in my head! My head…' He pulled himself up sitting in the shed trying to shake off the weirdness. "Oh the track gear…" he said as he looked over at the nearby equipment in the shed (still hasn't realized yet). Yuki smiled to himself feeling better as he stood up testing his legs. "Now I just have to get out of the shed!"

A few seconds ticked by as he looked around the shed taking it in slowly (almost there…). "The shed…wasn't I outside?" He could see that he was inside the shed and the doors were locked and no holes in the windows or anything (figured it out finally). "The shed… …What am I doing inside the shed?! How'd I get here?" Yuki could feel the shortness of breath coming back to him as panic rose up from his stomach. He approached the empty wall where he was certain he should have been trying to understand what was going on. However, as he approached the wall a part of it disappeared. "…What the…"

First, it was just at the bottom like a mouse hole or something small, but as he pressed on it grew in size until there was clearly a semi-circle cut into the shed. He stood in what would be the wall staring left and right to the cross sections of the wall almost in awe. Since the hole was present he walked through and back outside, but as he stepped away the hole disappeared. "This is crazier than any dream I could have…" He tested his mind and picked up a rock to throw at the wall thinking that it was an illusion or something strange. However, when the rock hit the shed and fell down he took a step forward confused. Yuki had to know if the hole was still there and approached the wall again finding the hole returning. He tried moving around starting to feel like it was a game almost and wherever he went it followed. It cut into anything it touched giving him cross sections of balls, vaults, rope, anything and everything in the shed. However, under the playful exterior Yuki was beginning to be freaked out.

He looked down at where it began seeing everything being cut into a hemisphere that surrounded him with him at the center at all times. It was then that he noticed that at his feet were blades of grass, while he was in the shed. He jumped up and away thinking he could get way, but it just followed him revealing, rather than moving, more grass. "What's going on?! Is this a dream?" So much information was running through his head that he had nearly reached his limit. Yuki ran out of the shed and around the corner before he was grabbed by Ayumi. "Ayumi?! I-I…"

"Yuki?! What's wrong? You're sweating and… Yuki!?!" She could not even finish her words before Yuki collapsed passing out to the ground as everything following him disappeared. "Yuki!" Ayumi tried to lift him up, but her panicked state could not hold anything as she ran off screaming for help.

* * *

'…Do you ever…' said an unknown voice from a black void.

Yuki shifted unable to move or open his eyes only feeling the emptiness that surrounded him. "Who's there?"

'…Have you ever…'

"What?"

'…alone… …different…'

"What's going on? Answer me!"

'…Yuki, you…'

The voice was beginning to fade away going further out of reach. He struggled to pull himself up to strain against the void that was holding him back. "Tell me what you want?!" Black hands stretched out grabbing him by the shoulders and arms holding him in place so he could not follow as the voice disappeared completely. "Come back!"

"Yuki! Wake up!" Saki screamed slapping him across the face snapping him out of the world he was trapped in.

Yuki looked around the room seeing that he was in the nurse's office of the school with Hiroshi and Saki both holding him at the arms to keep him from getting out of the bed. When he realized that he was awake and it had just been a dream he relaxed falling back into the bed. He let out a long sigh feeling like he been living a nightmare for years that he was finally released from. His head ached like it had been split in two and beat around with a hammer afterwards. "What happened…"

"…Yuki…" said Ayumi from the foot of the bed that Yuki was resting in. She stared at him with swollen and longing eyes like she had been crying to herself for hours before.

"Don't you remember, Yuki?" Hiroshi said leaning in from his side of the bed staring at Yuki. All he got in return was a shake of the head and a puzzled look that was unmistakable.

Saki lowered her eyes taking it upon herself to get him caught up. "Ayumi found you collapsed out by the equipment shed. She panicked and came to get us so we could take you here."

None of that was making any sense to him. He could not remember much of anything apart from feeling run down and fatigued for a reason he could not explain. "Doesn't ring a bell."

"What were you doing out there anyway?" Hiroshi said stepping back in once Saki had finished. "You missed lunch for it! You never miss lunch!"

Yuki's eyes widened in panic when he heard what Hiroshi said. "I missed lunch! How could I miss lunch…" He quickly sank into depression as he could feel his stomach starting to become angry with him.

"Well he seems normal…" They could not help but smile and laugh at Yuki's reaction, which was so typical of him. Things returned to normal for them dropping the tension and stress. Yuki was left to rest in the bed for the remainder of the school day given the unusual case of him fainting. When school ended he was released, late though, and could walk home with Ayumi as he did on most days.

Yuki paused at his house looking up at it still trying sort through the fuzziness in his head. It felt like he was missing or forgetting something important, but could not place it.

"…Yuki? You feeling alright?" Ayumi said coming up behind him.

He turned his head to look at her putting on a pleasant smile. "Yeah, just feel like I'm missing something. But I guess it must not be important." Yuki stepped forward as the nagging poking in his head began to fade away. He stopped again just as Ayumi was walking away to her house. "Hey Ayumi? Want to come inside?"

Ayumi's face glowed bright red immediately when she heard Yuki's invitation. She noticed that he was staring at him waiting an answer making her shake her head trying to push out the rush. "Wel-Wha-Um-I…B-But…"

"It's alright! Momoko likes it when you visit!" Yuki pulled back and stretched out his arm behind Ayumi's back grabbing her by the shoulder to drag her into the house. She protested, but Yuki's suddenly boisterous attitude and smile could not be stopped for long. "Hey Momoko! I'm home! And I brought Ayumi with me!"

There were two stomping of feet down the stairs as Ken and Jun came to greet Yuki at the door. Ken kept a little more distance than Jun, who usually stuck to Yuki albeit always silent. Yuki's little brothers smiled up to him grinning and greeting Ayumi before running off through the house. Out of the kitchen in a store uniform came Momoko, getting dinner ready before she had to leave for her job. Yuki's older sister had a tired expression on her face that quickly changed the moment that she saw she had a guest in the house. "Ayumi! Welcome!" She held a large spoon in her hand coming to meet them at the door, Ayumi still rough around the edges. "Why don't you relax on the couch, Ayumi," she said with a pleasant smile. "I'm just going to speak to my little brother here."

"A-Alright…"

Ayumi walked off feeling a little out of place and sensing the ill aura between the two siblings. Momoko smiled until Ayumi disappeared out of the hall and turned back towards Yuki. "Late and bringing Ayumi! Yuki, you know I have to work in twenty minutes. You need to be here to watch your brothers after school!" Yuki passed around Momoko as she was quickly souring his mood as she always managed to do every time she opened her mouth. She grabbed him by the wrist to keep him from running off before she was done. "I found them alone again when I got back from class. You need to be more responsible, it's just us to keep an eye on them, Yuki. You can't be slacking off on this anymore." Yuki was tired of listening to her lecture and pulled away his arm walking into the hall leaving Momoko at the entrance. "You're fifteen! Yuki!" Momoko pushed back her hair that had fallen around her face as she sighed to herself. "You need to quit living in the past…"

Yuki stepped into the living room having heard the same speech from Momoko for longer than cared to remember. However, he felt some water drip on his forehead halting him. He rubbed it away with the sleeve of his school uniform and went back to walking around the area, but he was hit again. The sleeve cleaned himself again, but he was hit twice more before he looked up. "Blood? On the ceiling?" There was a red pool gathering on the ceiling that was quickly spreading across it. His eyes widened in shook as his iris shrank and he looked down at his sleeve checking to confirm it for blood.

"It's everywhere!" Ken said jumping up and down in an expanding pool of blood nearby them. He did not understand what it was only finding it to be a similar to water after it rained and just as fun.

Momoko and Yuki looked around the house confirming for themselves that the house was being covered in blood for no apparent reason. Yuki could see panic slowly wash over Momoko as he looked over at Ayumi and watched Momoko run for Ken and Jun. Yuki watched paralyzed as every surface was slowly engulfed in blood. Once all was crimson the ceiling above him suddenly gave way filling them up to their knees in a pool of blood. It felt like it was crawling on him and soaking through his skin. His paralyzed body could not move and his mind was empty screaming through his mouth that would not budge. All that Yuki could do was shake in uncontrollable horror as his house was pulled part.

"Yuki!?!" Ayumi screamed as she tried to get away from the blood that was covering them quickly. She tried to reach out to him only to watch everything around her begin to fall apart as it turned into blood and collapsed. The cloudy late afternoon sky with thin rays from the sun poured down on them tinting the blood an eerie color. The house's walls collapsed spilling out the countless gallons of blood that filled the house into the neighborhood. The sight was the same next to them as there was nothing, but a field of blood on everything. The neighbor's house was falling apart in a bloodied mess accompanied by screaming.

A heavy splash like the sound of a foot echoed through the area into Yuki's ear. The paralysis ended, but he collapsed to the ground in fear as every muscle in his body that had been tensed relaxed letting him go free. His mind was empty, but his body understood all too well. All he could do was sweat and shake violently making ripples in the blood. "…Yuki Hayashi..."

A man stepped forward towards Yuki. He was covered in blood it seemed while it had a silk like cloth appearance as well. Every corner or edge of the cloth dripped blood that the pool drank. This was only the clothes that he wore that the blood flowed; the skin remained untouched by the blood. The silk like material covered his large muscular chest as a solid piece and tied off firmly at the waist by a black belt. His pants seemed to continue on as though they were uninterrupted by the belt left a little lose around the legs. Leather boots covered in black and shining with crimson went up to his knees. His head and arms remained bare with only gauntlets covering his muscular arms. The man was as well built as he was tall and menacing, but none of the muscles were to excess simply being well defined. His entire presence breathed the sight of death.

Ayumi's mouth wavered as her eyes shrank in the horrors that she witnessed. She tried to scream for help, but fainted before anything could escape her lips. Yuki's head jerked over to see her collapse in the pool of blood that ran out. Another foot step towards him pulled his head back. "Who are you?"

The man turned a wicked smirk when he heard Yuki speak. "Who I am isn't so important. What is however, is that I'm going to kill you."

"Kill me? Why? I don't even know you! I didn't do anything!"

He pressed his hands together pushing down the gauntlets on his arms. "True, that is true. And you won't be able to do anything once you're dead." As the man took another step forward the right gauntlet changed its shape stretching the metal on top into a simple blade.

Yuki stumbled backwards crawling to get to his feet trying to keep his distance from the man that now stalked him with death in his eyes and on his blade. "What?! Aren't you going to tell me why at least?" He did not understand what was going on hoping that if he delayed things that he would be able to hold out for the police to arrive in time to stop this nightmare.

The man could not help but smirk at Yuki's stalling easily recognizing what he was trying to do. "This doesn't work like fiction. I'm not going to be revealing my reasons or motives to you. You'll die and then I kill your family. And then anyone that saw anything as well. The dead don't need to understand." He had closed the distance to Yuki during the conversation bringing him in reach to strike. His arm came up bringing the blade to bare swiping at Yuki, who managed to dodge out of the way nearly slipping in the process. "Hmm…got some eyes on you…"

"I don't need good eyes to see you swinging at me!" Yuki said as he brought balance back to his body trying to keep his distance.

"Oh? Don't like the blade? How about something more personal then?" He lowered his arm down as the blade retracted back into the metal gauntlet seamlessly. Then suddenly the blood pool pulsed in a wave almost alive reaching out towards Momoko, who was guarding Jun and Ken. Countless ripples appeared in the blood around them as spikes of hardened blood shot out from the ground becoming more like tendrils reaching out for them in their escape. Jun was first ripped from Momoko's hand followed by Ken a moment later tying them up with several of the tendrils that held him in the air. Momoko was the last to be captured and suspended in the air. "How's that?" Once they were bound more spikes drew up this time piercing Momoko in the back making her cough up blood. Even more grew out cutting and slicing in his family forcing him to hear their screaming.

"You bastard! Leave them out of this!" Yuki charged around the man to get to his brothers and sister, but two spikes from the blood shot up nearly taking off his arm if he had not stopped. Even stopping, they tore through his uniform grazing the skin. He looked down at his arm checking before looking back at the man with anger in his eyes developing.

Soon more spikes grew up around the siblings making it impossible to get close. "Anger now rather than fear. It's an improvement, but you're still boring me." The man stepped forward raising up his fists giving Yuki two punches across the face. Momoko strained against her bindings shouting for Yuki. Yuki slid against the ground tasting his blood from the cut on his lip. He narrowed his eyes charging for the guy seeing that his options we limited, but he was stopped by a punch to the stomach that knocked the wind out of him. The man pulled back his other hand as three spikes form along the gauntlet around the knuckles before he released his punch cutting him across the face. Yuki took three more punches to the stomach and chest as his uniform received more tears and his own blood seeped into the clothes. Momoko was frantic screaming and trying to get free from the restraints seeing the man transform his gauntlet back into the blade while Yuki stood helpless to defend himself.

'I feel so empty…my vision's blurry…' Yuki became taken in by a black void with its inviting warmth. 'Am I going to die?' It felt like his heart was slowing; the life was draining away from him out of grasp. 'They're going to…die…' He wrenched his eyes closed still hearing the dull echoing screams from them. 'I can't do…anything…' The voices would not stop pounding through his ears. '…It's my fault…' His muscles turned away losing strength no longer having the will to move. '…I…killed…them… …it's me… …alone…'

Saki suddenly slapped Yuki across the face waking him up. She stared at him making it unable for him to look anywhere else. "Come on, Yuki!"

"Saki?"

"You going to let them keep bullying you?"

"But Saki I can't…this isn't the same…"

"You're a man right?"

"Huh?"

"Stand up! You hear them shouting for you don't you?"

"Yuki!" Momoko and Ken's voices rang out around him as though they had always been there calling for him.

A heartbeat pounded stronger once more returning from its silence. 'But what can I do?' His heart shouted again this time cracks formed along the void he was in. '…I must…I need…' The sound pounded out again growing the cracks as some of the world started to fall down into dust. '…I need to save them...' The beat echoed around fiercer drawing cracks up to the top. '…I need power…I need the strength…' Yuki closed his eyes hoping, looking for anything that would give him that strength to save his family. "Give me the power to protect my family!" His heart pounded excited sending out shockwaves that cracked the entire world until it crumbled to pieces.

"AH! Give me power!" Yuki screamed through the plains of blood as his family were held to watch in horror as the man approached Yuki for the killing blow. 'I don't care what it is just allow me to save them!' Blue waves continued to issue forth from Yuki violently responding to his desire. The walls had come crashing down. A bright light exploded from his body displaying an array of foreign letters wrapped in circles covering Yuki expanding outward. As the array expanded it reached the limit to which it could hold and shattered to pieces. Once the light came to fade away Yuki was standing staring down the man that tried to kill him and hurt his family. The man had been forced to stay his hand in the blinding display and stood waiting looking unimpressed.

Yuki slowed his breathing closing his eyes. A moment later he opened his eyes quickly shooting out a wave from his feet throwing back the blood plains in a massive wave. Behind the wave was a blowing field of tall grass and flowers that spread for as far as the eye could see. When the blood ended Momoko, Ken and Jun were dropped from their restrains into the soft grass slowly dripping blood.

The man's face wrinkled in frustration knowing what had just happened. He looked down at his feet to see that the only area of blood that remained now was at his feet. It looked like his feet were emitting blood where he stepped. This changed everything now. "…Your powers have awakened..."

"I shall protect my family!" Yuki shouted as he threw out his arm as though to grab something. The wind blew up around him dragging the grass. The grass was pulled free changing to green energy that gathered at his hand building in length until it shined as a whole. As the light from the energy faded away a massive sword appeared in Yuki's hand far longer than he was. "I will end this now!"

Yuki's face narrowed fighting emotions of anger and rage while barely being held back by the thin threads of reason. However, there was no time for reason with his family lying in the grass bleeding out. He could not wait any longer. He had to give in. Yuki screamed out loud charging forward with his sword held back preparing to swing. "This ends now!"

The gigantic sword was released while he was still running forward swinging down at the man with surprising force. In a flash it was over and the man stumbled backwards staring at his gauntlets and forward. It had gone through his blood shield that had managed to summon from what little field control he had left. After that Yuki had even shattered his shield gauntlets. The metal of the guards fell to the ground dully in the grass fading out of sight in the tall plants. 'He's completely overpowered me. So this is the power…'

The stranger barely summoned up a sword in time for the next assault, but it shattered to pieces taken over by the sheer power pouring out of Yuki. He had no room for control, but his own body. Yet that was not going to be enough for him. The sword came in for a third strike and he had nothing left to defend himself. He brought up his bare arms as the sword sliced down his chest and forearms spraying blood across his face. The man staggered backwards his arms at his side unable to lift them with his blood dripping quickly down his skin. The clothes that the man had been wearing suddenly evaporated revealing clothes of white underneath that were pants and a shirt that looked more like a cloth tossed over one shoulder and tied down at the waist.

Yuki stepped forward hanging the huge sword over his shoulder. "…D-Die…" he said breathing heavily as he began to move his other hand to the hilt of the sword. This man would suffer for what he did to his family and he was the one that could do it. He nodded to himself as he had spoken to confirm that he was correct. 'He must die…he must…Die!' Yuki heaved the sword up bringing it over his head to swing down at the helpless man. He was justified. This was the right thing to do.

The sword began to move while Yuki recited in his head the choice that had be made. His rage shouted violently in anger bringing the sword down with greater strength. This had to be done or else he would only come back again. It had to end here. He was certain of this. 'Yuki!' The sudden voice in his head jerked his hand opening his eyes to what was truly happening. However, the sword was already in motion and could not be stopped. The shining blade cleaved through hitting the firm ground behind coming to a stop.

"Huh?" the stranger said in shock to having been spared by the kid. He stepped back not certain what this meant for him.

Yuki tilted his head up to the sky with his eyes pulled back in pain. 'Mother?' He let go of the hilt of the sword staring down at his blood stained hands almost choking on the thought that he had nearly killed someone. 'I-I almost…I let it…control me…' His hands tightened up as he realized how close he came to the edge. Yuki dropped to his knee falling between the tall blades of grass watching the blood drip down his arms crawling in horror at the sight.

Before Yuki's eyes a sword pierced through the back of the man and out the front releasing blood into the air as the final breaths of the man escaped his lips. He collapsed to the ground disappearing in the plant life when the sword was extracted. Standing over him was Ayumi with a cold dead expression on her face holding the sword thickly coated in the man's blood. "Why did you hesitate?"

Yuki's eyes had widened in shock at seeing his childhood friend do something so terrible as to take a life. "What? Y-You killed him!" Yuki stood up on his legs barely feeling the strength in him from the devastating reaction of seeing someone so innocent covered in blood with a merciless stare. "A-Ayumi? Why? Ayumi?"

"Because you didn't. This man was sent to kill you." She looked down at the dead man's body, her sword held in her hand, while her school uniform dripped in blood. "He was going to kill your family!" She pointed to Momoko and his brothers, now safe, barely visible in the tall grass.

"B-But…why Ayumi?! I've known you since were little! This isn't you!"

"That was a lie!"

Yuki jerked back unable to accept her answer. "No! It can't be!"

"I create false memories of me in your mind, your family and your class. So I could get close to you and watch you." She removed the sword from sight letting it disappear into the grass. "I, we, have the power to create anything with our imaginations. This was just an extension of my power."

Yuki could not believe what he was hearing from her. He shook his head unwilling to believe that the years of memories he had with Ayumi were just lies. 'I remember…it was real…' He looked at her seeing the tone in her eyes that were telling a truth he could not accept. "Why?! Why is this happening?"

"It's because of you. My people have lost their leader and we're in chaos without an heir. Or so we thought until I discovered you. You're the rightful heir and the power you displayed is proof of that. But some want control for themselves and you're a threat to them. This won't end here. There will be more assassins, because you hold the power to stop them!"

"But I haven't done anything! I don't even know what you're talking about."

"Ignorance will not save you any longer. You're the rightful heir to my people, your people, and the land of Atlantis."

To be continued…