1: To Bleed And To Live†

Days, weeks, months, years… I've lost track of time. For so long, I have not been able to see the sunlight, I have not been able to taste the sun-soaked apples in the backyard. It has been a long time since I last rejoiced the sweet scent of the flowers in spring. It had been for so long since I last stepped out of my prison walls.

I am Rai, short for Azraine. My last name is Lianee. The last time I stood in front of mirror was a long time ago. Back then, I had silky, white blond hair that fell like thin curtains down to my waist. My eyes, as I remember them, were a faded shade of blue. My complexion was of porcelain white, if possible, whiter than that. My lips were bloodred. I remember when people often thought of me as an angel. I never liked being called that...

I traced a crack on the wall. This house will not hold itself for so long. A shiver passes through my skin. My cage will never hold for long. I must never let it fall.

I walk towards the bathroom. Even after so many years, it still looks grand, as if it were carved out of a palace's restroom. I undress myself from that worn out, ash brown nightgown. Stepping into the shower, I notice the scars I have occurred. The past is a dark place to be. I never did forget everything-the deaths, the blood, the sins.

What I have forgotten is a big part of my past, the other me.

A sudden jolt of pain had me falling to the ground. I sat there for a moment, calming the pain down. Since I have started caging myself, I have fallen ill. How seriously ill I am is of no issue to me. I never did give it much attention. As the pain started to dull out, I began to dry myself up. Dressing in neat but faded casuals, I went to my room.

I must admit, I never did like my prison. It is a world I still continue to shun away. But the world outside, it was worse. There were things that lived outside, things that blended in society, which shouldn't be there. There were memories, parts of history, that should have never been uncovered. But humans were far too curious. They were far too intelligent.

I sit down on the cold ground, gasping for air. How long has it been since I last breathed in fresh air? I cannot remember. My mind is vague. My mind, of all the things possible, can only think about death and the like. It was, in every way, damned.

I lie down the soft mattress of my old bed. It was soothing, comforting even. I closed my eyes, letting all the pain subside. I felt this insignificant hiss come up my throat. I swallowed it down. What is this pain in my chest? What was this unusual throb on my head? I did not have to ask myself. I knew the answer. My memories… they have, once again, invaded my reality.

It was the 16th of March when I woke up to this new world. I remember opening my eyes, only to see three unfamiliar faces staring at me. I remember the unfamiliar sting that ran down my back, as if a thousand needles had been punctured on it. I had this bandage around my head. My hands, my shirt, they were stained with blood. As far as it went, the blood didn't frighten me. It enticed me. The idea of death, it enticed me.

I remember having propped myself up from bed. The soothing pain ran down my back, down to my numb legs. There were needles under the skin of my hands. Back then, I did not know what they were. I was lost in my own nothingness. I was lost in my own missing memories.

"Rai…" a voice called.

Rai… It was the first time I heard of such word. But it was familiar; it was a familiar sound, a familiar voice. I remember having asked what that word meant. I remember having seen his tears drop from those beautiful eyes.

"I'm sorry," a beautiful girl had said.

I remember when I raised my hand to grab hold of her cheek. This woman-whom to me was a complete stranger-had given me that warm feeling. Somehow, I knew her, and at the same time, I didn't. It was weird. I felt as if there was a vast space inside my heart, a part of me that disappeared, and yet, she filled it.

"Do not frown. It does not suit you." I had told her.

I do not know why, but back then, my words seemed to have had some charm that made her smile. She hugged me. I found myself gasping for air for the pain was too much, but I allowed my hands to crawl on her back, up to her neck. I patted it lightly, whispering, "Hush now. There is nothing to be afraid of."

There was not one reason that came up to me as to why I had done such a thing. It was oddly comforting, as if it erased what darkness there was in me. I breathed in the sweet scent of her strawberry shampoo. I had to smile then.

"Thank Heaven that you woke up." She said, pulling herself away gently.

A terrible throbbing in my head had me screaming. The beautiful girl disappeared, replaced by the third person in the room. His hands trembled as they helped me lie down. The terrible pain shot through my whole body, sending me writhing in pain. I could feel myself twitching as the last seconds of the burning pain left me.

"Call the doctors. I'll stay with her." The third person said.

Before going out of the makeshift hospital room, the girl shot me an apologetic look. Something in me told me that something was wrong. Whatever it was, I wanted to know. I wanted to understand…

"Who are you?" I found myself asking.

A sigh escaped his lips. "Don't you remember anything?" He asked. There was something in his voice that left me hanging in silence. There was something in it that made my heart sink. I shook my head. He let out another sigh. "I am Ray, your cousin. The other two were Ciel and Rayne." His hand brushed my hair as he said, "You tried to commit suicide. It was a miracle how you survived having that bullet inside your skull."

"Suicide…?"

Is it possible? Is it possible that I have tried to kill myself? Could I do such a thing?

Before I could ask Ray these questions, Ciel and Rayne came into the room, trailing behind them were five men dressed in white, the doctors. Ray got up from bed and moved aside. I could not seem to get a good eye hold of any of them-the three of them and the doctors'.

I could not seem to believe that I could kill myself, or at least, try to. But then again, I cannot remember anything... Who am I? Who is this 'Rai' that Ciel spoke of earlier? What reason could I possibly have to try and take away my own life?

"How is she?" Ray asked the doctors.

"She will be fine after she takes a good rest. There is nothing to be worried about." One of the doctors said. "Everything will be alright."

Rayne nods her thanks as the doctors left the room.

"Take a rest, my sweet princess." Ciel told me, planting a kiss on my forehead. "Please be well."

"Who"

A soft knock on the window pulled me out of my trance. Is it windy this morning? I think not. I push myself up from the floor. Flicking my hair back, I head to the window. Even before I opened it, I knew what I would see. With a dagger in hand, I jump back as Logan, one of my many enemies, kicked the window. Landing on his feet, he flashes me a smile.

"It has been for so long, Rai. I missed our friendly fights." He said.

Logan had sky blue colored hair that matched his deep sea eyes. He had a darker skin. He was an assassin. How I came to met him is a long story. It is, however, an incomplete chapter of my life.

I jumped just in time as he attempted to drag me to my feet. I threw the dagger at hand, impaling his right shoulder. The scent of blood washed over the room, striking me with a scent so tempting that I had to shake my head to keep it from losing focus. Logan pulled the dagger out of his shoulder, letting it clang on the floor. He let out a laugh.

"Is that the best you can do?" He asks.

I land on the balls of my feet. Taking in a deep breath, I swiftly run to his left, kicking myself up from the floor and planting a swift kick on his chest. Realizing what I was trying to do, he grabbed hold of my ankle. He pulled my ankle hard, causing me to trip towards him. In a swift second, he curled his fist and punched my gut. I land on the floor on all fours, coughing violently.

"You have grown weak, Rai." He said, kicking me over.

"You are wrong to underestimate me."

I kick the back of his neck. Tumbling, I grab his shirt and threw him onto the ground. I punched his chest, forcing him to gasp for air. Grabbing hold of his throat, I begin to choke him. He kicks me away. I crash into a cabinet full of plates. Dusting off the shards of glass, I run to the nearby stairs. He follows in pursuit.

"You are running away, darling." He shouts.

A smile escapes my lips. I bend over. Keeping my speed up, I send myself flying over the flight of stairs. Before I started falling, I grabbed the railing of the stairs, making myself airborne for a moment. Calculating the distance, I kick him in between his shoulder blades. He fell down the stairs. The fight was not over. A part of me knew that he would not die of such a case. I ran back up the flight of stairs and head to Rayne's previous room. Locking the door, I quickly removed the painting that hung on the wall. Behind it was a safe. Entering the code, I open it.

"It has been so long since I last used you, my dear sword." I say.

There were heavy footfalls outside. He is coming. I prepare myself. He will die, and he will die today.

Not for long, the door of the room gave. He came rushing in. Anger and the excitement of the hunt filled his eyes. He is an unworthy human. I bend my knees. When he was within range, I sprinted towards him and swung, hitting his abdomen. He fell on the ground, bleeding. I stand atop him.

"Any last words before I cut your head off, Logan?" I asked.

"Yes." He laughed hard, causing more blood to flow out of his open wounds. "You have no reason left to keep living. They are all dead, Rai."

I laugh at him mockingly. "You are never worth my time, Logan." With a deep breath, I drove the sword deep into his chest. I watched as his blood pooled at my feet. As his life faded away, my eyes began to water. Stepping back, I crumble into a ball on the ground.

"To bleed and to live, to avenge your deaths… it's what I chose. It will always be my choice." I said as the pain took over me.