Warnings: If you are offended by homosexuality, leave now. I'm very, very Pro-Gay and at least one character in this story is going to be gay.
Also, this story might offend religious people.
CarpenterFan if any of this bothers you, let me know so I can take out your character and substitute her with someone else.
Also, the first few chapters are meant to be ambiguous about where the story takes place.
Someday I am seriously going to need to proofread this
Volume 1: Namahage Dreamers
Cover: Naota and Hikaru sit back to back under a cherry blossom tree.
Chapter One: Elkherian Nightmare
Title Page: Naota sleeps in his bed.
Mr. Monroe walked along the busy streets fully expecting his day to be relatively normal. Sure, his car was in the shop being repaired, but the weather was perfect for a nice walk. So he woke up early, showered, and dressed in formal business attire as he headed out the door. At an average pace, getting to work should have taken him approximately an hour, so he left with enough time to spare should he decide to stop at the mall for breakfast or a snack. They say the early bird gets the worm.
Mr. Monroe was the worm.
A large black bird swooped down from the sky and grabbed him in its claws, carrying him away. Nobody seemed to notice as he screamed for help. It was as if he had ceased to exist to the world.
Thirteen-year-old Naota Yamaguchi ran through the streets of Augusta City hoping he'd make it to school in time. "Why didn't my parents wake me before they left?" He moaned. He couldn't recall a single time in his life where he ran faster than at this moment. "It's my first day, I don't wanna be laaaaate!"
He woke up at 7:13 that morning, with just enough time to take a quick shower, brush the tangles out of his girly brown hair, and dress in a red long sleeve shirt and blue jeans. He dashed out the door without any breakfast, though he did manage to grab his iPod. He hit play and listened to the new Hazuki/Zer0 song, Nightmare Sympathy.
Tell me what shall we do, my queen?
There weren't many other pedestrians, so crowd weaving wasn't a problem, it was a straight line from his new house to his new school. Except for the one white haired kid running right at him. Naota spun out of the way in a needlessly dramatic fashion, locking eyes with the boy for a split second before he passed.
Scythes, swords, and nightmares now invade our dream
'H-holy, was that guy carrying a scythe?' Naota completed his 360 spin and scanned the are for the boy, but he was nowhere to be seen. He vanished completely, there was no way Naota could miss a boy with that kind of spiky white hair.
Destiny is calling and the prophets sing
He had no time to spare, so he turned back around and began running off to school again. Luckily, he lived nearby, so he still had enough time to make it if he hurried. He focused on running as fast as he could, not even noticing the white haired boy reappearing on the top of a nearby building, or the giant black bird overhead.
And the angels cry out as the bell rings
"Please, put him down," the white haired boy asked the bird, pointing his large scythe at the man in the bird's clutches. The monster let out an angry and defiant caw.
"Who are you? Please, save me," the man begged.
"My name is Haseo, and I intend to." the boy nodded. He bent his knees and jumped toward the bird, raising his scythe above his head. Seeing this, the monster opened his claws and let the man drop, then it flew forward preparing to tear the boy apart.
Haseo threw his scythe downward. it whirled through the air, whistling loudly as it became a black blur. It tore a black portal open beneath the falling man's feet and continued its journey, opening a second portal not far from the ground. Mr. Monroe screamed loudly as the first portal swallowed him up. When the second one spat him safely onto the ground, he looked around in confusion.
"RUN!" Haseo shouted.
Monroe obeyed, not stopping to watch anymore of the battle.
The bird tore at Haseo's chest, his claw ripped through the fabric of his T-shirt with a shhhrp. Black fabric and blood flew through the air as Haseo winced in pain. He held out his hand and called his scythe back to him. It raced through the air in an instant, and he swung at the bird's back with a loud wooosh.
"Cawww!" The bird cried angrily as Haseo dug into his back. it flipped around and fired a flurry of feathers at the scythe wielding hero.
Haseo teleported as the black feathers flew pat. he reappeared on his target's back and dug in, cutting the monster into two pieces. The crow's body fell through the air, turning to dust with a melancholy hum. Haseo blurred through the air, landing safely on the ground. "Ouch," he winced as he held his stomach in pain. "I think I need to change."
He vanished once more, using his powers to teleport home. Haseo never noticed the three figures who watched as he disappeared. A beautiful slender women turned to her partners, who hid in the shadows of a building. "So, that's the boy named Haseo. He looks interesting, what do you think, Kyle?"
"He looks weak. His powers are mostly defensive. He won't stay still and he just jumps around like a flea. Crushing him will be easy," came a child's reply. "Sure he may have seemed impressive, but taking care of one Elkheria proves nothing."
"Well, whatever," said a third voice, this one also a male. "I just hope we can kill them all and get this job over with. seriously, why did we have to be the ones to do this. Couldn't someone else handle it instead?"
"Impatient as ever, Richard."
"Where is it?" Naota ran across the green grass searching for C building. His first period class, English with Mr. Carson. Sidewalks cut through the grass leading from one old run down building to the next. He traced the path with his eyes, and found that B building lead to D building. He dashed around, trying to find a sidewalk that lead to his class. Sadly, he could only find one that lead to A building. "God this is frustrating," he complained.
He saw a bunch of kids calmly walking to their classes, so he knew still had sometime. he thought of asking someone for directions, but didn't feel like bothering anyone.
"Lost?" A girl asked him. Naota turned around to see a girl with spiky blonde hair staring at him with silver eyes. Naota wanted to respond but his voice caught in his throat.
"Goggles?" He asked, noticing the goggles she wore on her head.
"Yeah, got a problem with that?" Her face contorted in mild annoyance.
"N-no, not at all. It just seemed unusual, that's all." He explained. "It's not often you see people wearing goggles on their head. It's just a bit of an unusual fashion statement.
"Screw society and its standards!" She declared proudly and randomly. "Anyway, my name's Loaño Ishida, no relation to the teacher. You can call me Lo." She held out a hand covered with black fingerless gloves. Naota apprehensively shook it. He felt something poking his palm.
"Naota Yamaguchi, I know who you are," Lo interrupted. "C Building is that way," she pointed off in the distance. "Mr. Carson's pretty relaxed though, he probably won't mind if you're late. Hell I only show up to class about once a week and most of the time I just sleep through it." She waved as she walked away.
"Hey how did you know my name?" He looked at his hand, where Lo had left a simple business card with a message handwritten in silver ink. Come to school tonight at 7:00 and meet my friend beneath the tree. The boy looked around. 'Which tree?' He could see three trees from where he stood, and there were probably more elsewhere. 'Guess I'll just show up tonight and look for her.' He decided to worry about it later and head to class.
"Hello class, today we have a new student joining us," Mr. Carson signaled Naota.
"Hello, my name is Naota Yamaguchi," he introduced himself with a bow. "It's a pleasure meeting you all." He looked around and saw that half the students offered him frienfdly smiles while the other half just stared at their books with dull lifeless expressions. Assignments decorated the walls, posters of poetry with accompanying art, essays, and short stories covered nearly a third of the wall.
He quickly glanced at one to see what kind of assignments he could expect. One was a recent short story written by an Izumi Legacy, dated a week ago, September 23rd. It seemed to be a good eight pages in length covering the adventures of a young magical girl and her stuffed hamster. A few words caught his eye, like blood, skull, and guts, showing that it was not the happy story one might imagine.
"Why don't you have a seat right over there." The teacher pointed to an empty chair between two cute girls. Naota smiled as he moved over and sat, placing his black back pack on the ground.
The teacher cleared his throat loudly and said, "today in your journals I want you all to write about what you would wish for if you had three wishes."
'Simple,' Naota thought, 'like I haven't been asked before.'
"So, Naota, how are you liking it here so far?" One of the girls asked. She had shoulder length red hair and wore a red top with a blue jacket and skirt.
"It's pretty nice. We just got here last Friday, spent Saturday unpacking, and Sunday we went to the mall. I haven't met many people yet though." He ruffled through his back pack and extracted a tablet and some mechanical pencils so he could begin writing. The scritch scratching of twenty-something pencils filled the air, and Naota joined the symphony.
"Well, my name's Celena. I'm pretty good at most subjects so if you need help getting caught up with any of your classes let me know. Not sure what your other classes are but we haven't had much work in here, so you aren't too far behind."
"Stop hogging the new guy all to yourself, Kurosaki." Naota turned to his left to see the other girl staring at him with a smile. A ponytail held up her long black hair and let it fall down her back, running alongside her purple sweater. "Hi, my name is Emi Fujibayashi."
"It's nice to meet you," the boy smiled at the girl before snapping his tablet shut. "Done," he cheered to himself.
"So, what did you wish for?" Emi asked out of curiosity.
"It's kind of private," Naota admitted, blushing.
"You know that when time is up we're supposed to switch journals with a partner and write comments," Celena told him.
"Crap." Shrrrip. Naota tore the page out of his tablet and started writing all over again. He crumbled the paper and stuffed it in his bag.
Emi grabbed her slender silver cell phone from her bag the second class ended. As the bell rang out and students rushed to their second period classes, she read the text message Loaño had sent her. It summarized the events of her encounter and ended with:
Can't make it tonight, can you go in my place?
Emi sighed and dialed a friend. She began walking to her next class, Science, the most boring subject of her day.
"Everything okay?" Asked a girl on the other end. "Did Ta-kun show up on time?"
"He made it. Lo bumped into him and gave him directions. Apparently he was lost. Anyway, she says something came up and she can't make it to the meeting tonight. She asked me to go but I can't make it either, so I was wondering if you could go for us."
"Sure, I guess I can make it. I haven't got anything better to do, really."
"Thanks, Hikaru. Anyway I'll talk to you later, I need to call Haseo." She hit the end button and opened her phone book up a second time. "Hey, Haseo, how did it go this morning, did you kill it?"
"Yes, I did. But it managed to scratch me up a little. I healed though, so I'm fine."
"Did this one talk?"
"No, this one only cawed. I'm afraid I was unable to get any information out of it."
"Damn, I was really hoping we could figure out why the Elkheria have been increasing in numbers lately. Not even Queen Keiko has any clue. Listen I have to go, club meeting is still on for tomorrow okay?"
Emi hung up her phone, sighed, and stepped into class.
Naota's classes were pretty straightforward. For second period he made his way to B building for Geometry. He breathed a sigh of relief as he realized he already understood the work, so catching up would be a cinch. After that came recess. He tried to find Lo again, but he failed. "Need help finding anything?" Asked a boy from his math class named Tyler Aubert. Naota explained that he wanted to find Lo, and though Tyler had heard of her (she was rather infamous) he had no idea how to find her. Naota thanked him and gave up.
Third period came quickly, and he found himself back in D building for History with Akemi Ishida, a beautiful young teacher shoulder length blonde hair and parted bangs. She wore a cute and casual pink cashmere shirt and black pants. She told him not to worry about his work, because she'd be there to help him if he needed any. Naota smiled a lot in that class, the teacher was really friendly.
Fourth period, the last before lunch, was Science. He hated the subject, it was usually pretty boring. Thankfully the teacher, an old man with a gray beard, seemed funny enough. He learned that Izumi Legacy, author of the short story he'd glanced at in English, was in this period, though she wasn't in today. He frowned a little, he was very interested in meeting the girl behind the work.
Lunch came and went uneventfully. Naota poked his spaghetti with a fork, not sure if he wanted to eat anything that looked so disgusting. It smelled horrible, and made him wish he could eat real spaghetti, as opposed to the school lunch trash. He tossed his food in the garbage, and watched some boys play football for awhile, they looked and sounded like they were having fun, cheering noisily as they threw the ball between themselves. He almost forgot that he hated (and that he sucked at) sports and asked if he could play. But he decided that they'd probably reject such a scrawny looking player.
Fifth period came next, and he moaned. Gym sat at the top of subjects he didn't like, even higher than science. He went into a bathroom stall and changed into his gym clothes, a simple white T-shirt and black cotton shorts. They ran laps and then played a game of basketball with the class split into two teams. Naota's team won, even though he didn't really do much besides run around. He quickly showered, changed back, and ran to sixth period.
The final class of the day, was Home Economics, an elective he had happily signed up for. They had a cooking lesson that day, were told to partner up. He ended up with a brown haired tan boy named Sanmaru, who seemed pretty nice. At Sanmaru's insistence, they diverged from the recipe ever so slightly, adding a bit more salt and vanilla extract than usual, but Naota had to admit they tasted delicious.
"You can take them," Sanmaru said. "I bake all the time. I actually have a lot of cookies at home." Naota thanked him as he dashed home, listening to his iPod, hoping his parents would be there.
Nothing disturbed him when as he walked home. When he got there, he sighed as he gazed at the empty driveway. "Hello?" He called out hopefully as he tried to open the door. It wouldn't budge, so he grabbed his key. He lifelessly trudged across the soft carpet as he closed the door behind him. His eyes saw a note resting on the table
Hey Naota, won't make it home till around midnight. There's some money on the table so you can order a pizza. Love, mom and dad.
The campus looked different at night, it seemed eerier somehow. Naota nervously jumped over the fence and hoped that he wouldn't be caught by night time security or anything like that. He looked around, hoping for some sign of the silver eyed girl. He wasn't sure why he was there, he mostly showed up out of curiosity and the chance to make a new friend. That way he'd have someone to hang out with while his parents were away. He hoped she wasn't planning anything illegal, she did sort of seem like the type.
"Yo, Ta-kun," a voice called out from behind. Naota looked around and saw a different blonde girl staring at him with cold icy blue eyes. "You're late." She looked a bit underdressed for the cold, wearing a pink T-shirt and a light blue skirt. At least she had light purple arm warmers.
"S-sorry," Naota hung his head low. According to his cell phone, he was still three minutes early, but he didn't want to contradict the scary girl. "And please don't call me Ta-kun, there's only one person who I let call me that."
"Shut up, Ta-kun. Listen, Lo said she couldn't make it so she asked me to come instead. Actually, she asked Emi to come, but she was busy too." The girl explained.
'Lo and Emi are friends?'
"Anyway, I'm surpri; no, you're just the type to do this sort of thing. Coming to some random meeting place just because someone told you too. What would you have done if you got in trouble? Or if Lo turned out to be some delinquent hell bent on burning the school to the ground?"
"I'd try to stop her," Naota countered. "And what do you mean I'm just the type? You don't even know me!" The young boy protested.
"Naota Yamaguchi, Age thirteen, blood type AB, birthday December 21st. Favorite color, silver; favorite flower, rose; favorite smell, strawberry; favorite"
"Okay, enough with the trivial facts about my life."
"Want me to get deeper?"
"No, you, just forget it," Naota shook his head. "Who are you?"
"Hikaru Reinhardt," the girl said calmly.
"Well, it's nice to meet you, Hikaru. So why did Lo want me to come here anyway? And how the hell do you know so much about me?"
"A, to chat and b, Google." Hikaru stepped forward. "She wants you to join our club. Hell, everyone else does except for me."
"What kind of club is it?" Naota asked. "And why don't you want me in it?"
"Holy crap, look out." Hikaru jumped forward and pushed Naota out of the way as a giant metal boomerang sliced through the air with a loud whistling sound. It crashed into the side of a building, knocking it to the ground and sending dust flying through the air.
A large humanoid dragon somersaulted through the air, catching his boomerang and placing it on his back. "Looks like I'm out of practice. Master won't be pleased." Naota gasped as he looked at the thing. He was easily eight feet tall and very muscular, with a mouth full of sharp teeth, metal armor covering his green scales, and two large wings that looked like they could tear through flesh and bone with ease. A sword rested on his side, though from the look of his sharp claw, he wouldn't need it if he wanted to kill anyone.
"Stay back, Naota!" Blue and white electricity cackled in Hikaru's palm as a spear appeared. It was long, slender, and silver, with a decorative diamond and large pink ribbon just below the spear head. "Out club fights these things every day, and I do not want to see you get hurt." She jumped forward swinging her spear.
Clang! The dragon raised his sword in defense. Sparks flew as the weapons met again and again at rapid speeds. Hikaru sent sparks of electricity through her spear, the dragon winced as pain shot through his arm. "Your attacks are too weak to hurt me, Dark Dreamer." He spat the last two words as if they were an insult.
Hikaru spun around, swinging her spear in a wide arc. It crashed into the dragon's side, knocking him over, tumbling into the ground. "Tell me who your master is? Is he the one responsible for the rise in Elkheria attacks?"
Naota watched in horror as the dragon spat a large roaring fireball at the girl. Hikaru back flipped through the air as the attack exploded with a boom, sending out shockwaves that shattered glass windows in nearby buildings and knocked Naota to the ground. Hikaru rode the shockwave higher as she spun through the air.
"TAKE THIS!" A bolt of lightning flashed through the sky before falling toward the dragon. Thunder crashed loudly as several more bolts followed.
"Hmph," the dragon danced through the attacks, dodging white streaks of lightning as they fell harmlessly around him. "You're too slow, girl." He flew forward and grabbed Hikaru's face in the palm of his hand, applying pressure in an attempt to crush her skull open.
Hikaru jabbed her spear forward quickly, impaling the Elkheria in the side, straight through his armor. He let out a shriek as he swung his blade at Hikaru, tearing through her shirt and sending splatters of blood to the ground.
"No, Hikaru!" Naota cried in pain.
"Why are you still standing there, idiot? Run!" Hikaru jumped back and sent an arc of electricity hopping along the ground. She bit her lower lip to help mask the pain. The monster jumped back over the attack, but Hikaru moved forward, slicing upward. Metal screeched on metal as her spear sliced through his armor like a can opener.
"I told you to run!" Hikaru repeated.
"Don't bother," the dragon spat. "My master would just pick him off the second he vanished from your sight." He took a deep breath and unleashed a stream of fire that engulfed Hikaru before she could dodge. It stretched toward the sky, licking the nearby trees, setting them ablaze.
Hikaru hit the ground grunting in pain, injured but alive. She braced herself as the dragon's mighty wing flaps fanned the flames, spreading them to the buildings. Soon, a fire roared around them, filling the air with smoke.
"Great, I need to finish this before any spectators show up.." Hikaru coughed. The flames roared around them heating the air to an uncomfortable degree. "Damn, this is bad." She focused all her energy into her spear, bringing it to life with the sound of a thousand cackling volts. "You need to die!" She tossed her spear like a javelin, knowing it would miss.
The dragon side stepped and laughed, sending a swarm of fireballs racing toward her. A grin broke out on the girl's face as the spear discharged, sending spark wave through the air that zapped the metal armored beast. He fell down, cursing.
Hikaru limped forward; the burns on her skin stung. "This, ends now," she summoned her spear to her hand and jammed it into the monster's back, calling down a burst of lightning from the heaven's.
"NOT QUITE!" The dragon roared as he slammed his claw into the ground, causing an explosion that rocked the school.
The shockwave launched Naota's body through the air, and he crashed into a tree, striking his head hard enough to knock him unconscious.
Queen Keiko- turtlequeen2
Haseo Misaki- Tsukinoki/Tsukiyomaru (Named in honor of a video game character)
Sanmaru Atarashii- Tsukinoki/Tsukiyomaru
Akemi Ishida- CarpenterFan
Loaño Ishida- Twilidramon
Izumi "Izzy" Legacy- Twilidramon
Credit goes to Shang for the Cover and Title Page Ideas