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Chapter 2 - Letter 2: From Tsuyoku to Shizuka

Tenshi, a young boy suddenly finds himself lost in the Shadow Relm, where the evil King Akuma reigns. In order to save his life, Tenshi's father must take away all of his son's memories and hide him in a village in hopes that Akuma will not find him.

Chapter 2 - Letter 2: From Tsuyoku to Shizuka

Chapter 2 - Letter 2: From Tsuyoku to Shizuka
Letter 2
From Tsuyoku to Shizuka
``Sadly... now is not the time for this," my father said seriously. ``My son… he… Akuma is after him. He needs somewhere to hide… so, I…'' My father stopped and looked at his friend, Tsuyoku, for sympathy. The kind man looked back at my father, Mukashi, with complete understanding and nodded.

``I understand. I'll take care of him for you.'' Tsuyoku smiled kindly. My father handed me over to the kind man and he studied my face for a little while. ``He looks just like you Mukashi. I knew he would. Hmm… What's this?'' He carefully studied the spot where my wound had been. ``You erased this, with that potion, didn't you?'' My father glanced away for a second his bright purple eyes became dark. ``You sealed away his Guardian and his memories. When he wakes up, he will remember nothing of what has happened before.'' Tsuyoku looked up and smiled confidently, his golden-lime eyes stared into my father's darkened eyes. ``Will he, Mukashi?''

        My father stared at his friend in amazement and almost fell over. His kind purple eyes returned to normal. ``How did you…?'' he began.

        ``Did you forget that I am just as good at potions and spells as you are? If
I'm not as good, then better. After all we did have the same teacher. Or did you forget that as well?'' Tsuyoku laughed at the confused look on my father's face his silvery-golden hair flicked as he moved.

        ``No. I never forgot, I just… oh, never mind.'' The two men looked at each other for a moment then started laughing at my father's idiocy.

        ``It's just like old times. This town could use a warrior like you again. Why not come and stay with us? We could fix up your old house. It's still here. Katana and I have been taking care of it ever since you and Tenshi left.'' Both men turned to face the two-story house next door.

        ``I would like to live here once again,'' my father said. ``But there are too many memories that still dwell here. And… if I chose to stay here, I know that Akuma would find me easily. If that were to happen, I know that this time I would not be able to defend Tenshi. And that was the reason why I left before. I have to make sure that he never finds this place. I'll make him follow me, that way he'll never find this village and who lives here.'' My father looked down at me.

        ``You haven't changed. You always took on the danger by yourself. You never liked seeing someone else face troubles that you could take care of. You were always the first one in line for trouble,'' Tsuyoku laughed seriously.

        ``Would you prefer it any other way? This is the only way that I can see to keep your family and mine safe,'' my father replied his soft eyes grew cold with seriousness.

        ``I would like it if you would stop getting yourself into danger.'' Tsuyoku's bright golden-lime eyes flashed with fear as he stared at my father. He seemed to be searching for the answer inside of my father but he didn't answer Tsuyoku. His dark eyes were fixed on something in the distance. ``Where is the other half?'' Tsuyoku seemed to pick that question up out of nowhere.

        ``Hmm?'' My father asked in confusion while still staring past the village.

        ``The boy's twin? I helped you take care of them when they were still just babies. Oh, did you forget that too? I guess it's true what they say about fire people having all muscles and no brains. So, where is his twin sister?'' Tsuyoku had a bit of worry mixed in his kind voice.

        ``She is with my wife. It has been so long since I last saw them. I know there fine. The last time I heard from them, Shinrin had just turned six, as did Tenshi. They were both doing just fine. My wife said that she found a nice cottage in the forest to live in. That is where she is still staying I think. Anyway, how is your son, Shizuku? The last time I saw him was right before he turned fifteen, I think.'' My father searched his memory to make sure he was right. His fiery-golden hair glistened in the soft moonlight.

        ``Shizuku is no longer with us. He became a knight as he… and you always wanted him to be. He fought in the war we had this year, against the Dark creatures. He became a war hero from that battle. He went all the way to general. As the knights were coming home from the war, the Dark creatures attacked them and killed almost all of them. My son, one of the survivors said, was one of the last knights standing. He died protecting his men.'' Tsuyoku's kind voice had become empty and lonely. He lowered his golden-lime eyes to the ground. His silvery-golden hair slid into his face and covered a part of his sad eyes.

        My father stared at Tsuyoku in disbelief. ``I-I'm sorry…'' he stuttered. My father slowly lowered his dark eyes to the ground. Sadness hung in the air around the two men and my unconscious self.

        ``Do not worry about it, Mukashi. I am proud of what Shizuku had accomplished in the short time that he lived. He will not be forgotten. Hmm… and having your son here will bring back my lost memories of what having a son was like. I am so used to having only a daughter. It will be nice to have another man in the house. I was beginning to feel out of place. However, Shizuka acts so much like a boy, you would think that she is one.'' Tsuyoku stopped and laughed at his little joke. Then he looked down at me. ``He looks so much like you, Mukashi. He may not know it but he gives off a radiant aura that is definitely yours and yours alone. With him here, it seems as though my old friend has returned, and this time, for good.''
        ``Hmm… I don't remember you having a daughter.''

        ``She was born a few months after you and Tenshi left.''

        ``Oh I almost forgot. Would you give this to Tenshi when he leaves, and make sure that he keeps it?'' My father pointed to the red ribbon that was wrapped around my waist. ``It is my connection to him, so please, make sure he keeps it with him. That way, I will be able to make sure that he is okay. I will be with him wherever he goes.''

        ``I will, do not worry. I will make sure that he doesn't throw it away or anything like that,'' Tsuyoku smiled weakly.

        ``Thank you. It means a lot to me, old friend.'' My father smiled warmly and Tsuyoku's smile grew bigger. His golden-lime eyes shined brightly against in the dark morning sky while my father's dark purple eyes seemed to mix with the surrounding shadows.

``Hey, I'm not that old,'' Tsuyoku laughed trying to brighten up the sadness they both were feeling. My father looked up and met Tsuyoku's eyes. Suddenly both men began laughing uncontrollably. After a few minutes the laughter slowly died. They both knew that the time had come for my father to leave once again.

``It is time for me to go. The dawn will soon be waking,'' my father said sadly as he turned to face the soon to be rising sun.

``And so will he,'' Tsuyoku hinted.

My father gave one last smile; a sad smile that was attempting to be cheerful. He ran his finger through my golden-silver hair.

``Good-bye, my son,'' he whispered quietly. My father gave Tsuyoku a silent gesture, telling him to be careful. He turned, hopped back over the fence, and soon disappeared into the night.

He never told me where he went to after that day. The only thing he said was that everywhere he went, Akuma was always right behind him. My father said that he could never stay in one place for too long, or else Akuma would find him. Akuma seemed to think that my father was the one from the legend, the one who would overpower all evil, and that's why he followed my father everywhere he went.

But all that didn't make any sense to me. For one thing… Why did Akuma let us escape like that? Did he not realize what he actually found that day in The Land of the Dead? Or… did he plan this? Are we all locked within this thing they call `destiny'? Or are these events just coincidences? I wonder if Akuma knew what he was doing or if was he just running? That couldn't be because my father was beaten. He couldn't have won. Could he? Did Akuma know something about my father that I didn't? Did my father have one of those guardians too?

All of that didn't matter to me anymore, for once I awoke the next morning, I didn't remember any of it. I didn't know anything, not even my own name.

I heard voices, so many voices. I heard a kind, familiar male voice, a soft woman's voice, the kind that only belongs to a mother, and a small child's voice. I slowly opened my eyes upon hearing them whispering above me. Warm light from a nearby window soothed my cold cheeks. The rays of sunshine blinded my dark eyes. I squinted and tried to focus on the blurry figures around me.

My eyes slowly adjusted to the light and I was able to recognize furniture. I was in a gigantic bed about four times my size. To my left was a large dresser, which was probably filled with clothes. I glanced to my right and saw a beautiful woman with long golden hair, which had very little silver in it. I guess her wisdom was just starting to turn her hair silver. She smiled, came over to me her kind golden-lime eyes seemed to smile at me too as she dabbed my forehead with a damp cloth.

``I am glad that you are awake little one. You have been asleep for so long that you were beginning to worry me, Tenshi.'' The lady smiled at me so warmly. I thought that maybe she might be my mother.

``A-Are…'' I wasn't sure if I should ask her if she was my mother. I decided that it wouldn't hurt just to ask. ``Are you my mother?''

``Me?'' she giggled. ``No, no Tenshi, I'm not your mother.''

`Tenshi'. There was that word again. When she says that, is she talking to me? Am I this `Tenshi'?

``Tenshi, are you hungry dear?'' she asked me while I was trying to figure out who or what this `Tenshi' was. ``Tenshi?''

``Is that me?'' I asked her.

``Oh… yes. Tenshi is your name dear. It is who you are,'' she answered with a smile.

``So, my name is Tenshi? Then what is your name?'' I asked her as she quickly walked around the room.

``My name is Katana, but if you want you may call me mother. I don't mind,'' she said kindly. ''Now, breakfast is almost ready, so if you feel up to it, why don't you come down and join us? If not, I'll bring you something to eat. Okay?''

I simply nodded. She must have been satisfied with that because soon after, she left the room. I examined the room for a little while but I was interrupted, by a loud growling noise. It was my stomach. I thought about waiting for Katana to bring the food up, but I didn't want to trouble her. So, instead, I decided that I would have breakfast with her and everyone else in this house.

I slowly sat up in the bed I had been laying in and moved the warm covers and blankets aside. I slowly crawled to the edge of the huge bed and let my legs dangle off the side. I gave a small push and shivered as my bare feet touched the freezing floor. I felt a little dizzy and I had a sharp pain above my left eyebrow. But suddenly a strange smell dominated my senses. The smell told me that breakfast was now ready. If I don't hurry, there will be no food left for me, I concluded.

I carefully walked down the steps to the lower part of the house. I hid behind the banister of the stairs so that the other members of the house wouldn't see me. I wanted to see them first.

There was a man with golden hair and jade-lime eyes sitting at the table, talking about something I couldn't understand. His voice was the same voice I heard while I was sleeping. I've seen him somewhere before, I thought.

``Oh, Tenshi, you decided to join us I see. I wasn't expecting you to get sick. Are you feeling well enough to eat something?'' the man asked with a warm, kind voice. I peered into his bright eyes for a long time. I had seen them somewhere before.

That's it! I realized. He took care of me this morning. I woke up in his arms just before the sun came up. He smiled at me and I saw another face that was not his. Then my head started to hurt and then I got sick. He took care of me until I fell back asleep.

``Thank you for taking care of me, this morning.'' I could feel my face turn red with each second.

``Oh no need to thank me. I'm just glad that you are feeling better. Now, why don't you come and sit right here next to me. I've got a special spot for you right here.'' He pointed to the chair on the right side of him.

``Okay.'' I did as he told me and came out from behind the banister. I sat down next to him and Katana. While trying to make myself more comfortable on the chair I was sitting on, I noticed a little boy with a golden ponytail trying to get into his chair between Katana and the nice man.

I didn't realize it until that second, but all three of them had golden hair. They all looked almost exactly the same. I felt a little strange sitting with them. I didn't feel like I matched like they did.

``Shizuka be careful,'' Katana warned the little boy.

Hmm… This Shizuka must be that little boy that I heard while I was asleep, I figured silently.

        ``Sir?'' I turned to the kind man. He turned to face me and smiled. ``Are you my father?'' I felt a little embarrassed for asking such a weird question. Or at least I thought it was weird.

``No Tenshi. I am not your father.'' I lowered my head. ``But that doesn't mean that you are not a part of this family. If it makes you feel better, you can consider me as your father. And Tenshi, you don't have to call me `sir'. My name is Tsuyoku, but if you want to call me `sir' that is fine as well.'' Tsuyoku seemed to think it was amusing that I called him `sir'. But I didn't know his name, so what else was I supposed to call him?

I could never remember to call him father. For some reason it didn't seem right. I knew I wasn't his son. Even though I knew that, I still cared for him like a father. I guess I could think of him as my father, but something was missing in his eyes.

It always puzzled me how I could see Katana as my mother. She was always just like a mother to me, so I never really missed my own mother. Maybe they once knew each other and that's why I thought of her as my real mother. But there was always something missing from Tsuyoku. He was always so kind to me, he loved me, I knew that, but something inside of me knew that he was different from me.

My father, I wonder if he was like me. I once said to myself, ``My father must have been something like me. If he wasn't, I would have been more like Tsuyoku and I would not have noticed the pieces of him that separates us.'' I wasn't like Tsuyoku in many ways. However, there were those times when I saw familiar things. Familiar things that I should have known, but I didn't know.

I always noticed little pieces of him that reminded me of myself. Those parts of him stayed with me and nagged at my brain as though I was supposed to know something that I didn't know. But there were always those parts of him that were the exact opposite of me. I can't really explain it. There were parts of me in Tsuyoku and yet there weren't.

I noticed that he and Shizuka were a lot alike; in the way they laughed and smiled. I wondered if maybe he had known my father and some of him rubbed off onto Tsuyoku. Maybe that was the reason why Tsuyoku sometimes reminded me of myself. If Tsuyoku and Shizuka were a lot alike, then my father and I must have been alike. Isn't it natural for a father and a son to be alike?

I sat and watched Tsuyoku's family prepare for breakfast. Katana was quickly laying out the silverware and dishes, while cooking the rest of the food. Shizuka reached over the table to grab a fork and almost knocked over a large glass of water. Tsuyoku swiftly grabbed the glass before it spilled all over the table. Katana finished the cooking and set the last part of breakfast down before she sat herself down.

Shizuka grabbed at the food first, but Tsuyoku corrected him and let me pick my food first. I felt so weird sitting and eating with this family that was not mine. Though they all tried their very best to help me fit in, it didn't help much. I was thankful for their efforts though.

When I was finished taking my share of the porridge we were having for breakfast, I handed the giant bowl back to Tsuyoku. He dished out his own share of the food and then gave a helping to Shizuka, who was impatiently waiting for his food. Then Tsuyoku handed the bowl over to Katana, who dished herself out only a small scoop of porridge.

While the rest of Tsuyoku's family happily devoured their breakfast, I sat staring at my bowl with a dazed look in my eyes. I was so confused. I felt like I didn't belong and yet I did. They were willing to share their house and food with me. So why didn't I feel like I was a part of their family?

``Tenshi, why aren't you eating? Are you still sick?'' Tsuyoku asked when he noticed that I hadn't touched the food in my bowl and on my plate. I couldn't answer him. I couldn't say that I felt like a black sheep standing with one hundred other white sheep. ``I know that this must be really strange for you to have to eat breakfast with a bunch of strangers. But let me tell you something young Tenshi, we are not as different as you think.''

I didn't understand what he was talking about, but I decided that I was too hungry to worry about anything else. I started to devour my food as quickly as Tsuyoku and Shizuka. Katana ate slowly and tried not to make a mess, while Tsuyoku and Shizuka sipped and slurped up the remainders of the porridge.

I finished my small serving and asked politely if I could leave the table. Katana gave me permission to leave, so I gathered up my plates and carried them over to the sink.

I walked out the front door and made sure that it closed behind me. I slowly shuffled over to the white fence that surrounded Tsuyoku's two-story house. I reached the fence and leaned into the old wood.

So, this is my family, I thought. But isn't something missing? Shouldn't someone be here? There are things missing. Who or what are they? Whatever they are, I hope they come soon. Maybe if I wait long enough they will come back. They were here once before, I'm sure of it. I will just wait for them.

I waited and waited but no one came. I was starting to doze off, but with my eyes open. I stared past the fence, past the next house, past the road to the entrance of this village, and past the surrounding meadows.

Someone very important to me lives in the trees beyond the meadows. I wasn't thinking, I just felt it. I knew something was over there but I didn't know what. I tried to find the answer. I searched my mind to give me at least a small clue. My mind suddenly began to take flight into a place I had never been before. It flew me to a small house in the woods. I drew closer and closer to the tiny cottage. I reached for the doorknob and slowly turned the handle. The door flew open and three shadowed figures stood in the doorway. One was a man, I think, and the other two were definitely girls. All three figures started to slowly walk toward me.

Suddenly a hand on my shoulder instantly flew me backwards, back to where I was standing.

``Tenshi… `` Tsuyoku's voice spoke in my ear. ``I forgot to give this to you.'' Tsuyoku handed me a thin red cloth with gold word printed on it. The sunshine reflected off the shiny letters, I had to squint against the bright light to read the words. My eyes widened at the realization of what was written on the thin ribbon. Tenshi? That's my name. But why is my name on that piece of cloth?

``This is yours, your father wanted me to give it to you. He wants you to keep it with you wherever you go. Understand, Tenshi?'' Tsuyoku asked kindly as he handed me my ribbon. I cautiously grabbed the red cloth from his gentle hand. I examined the ribbon for a little while trying to decide where I should keep it. I know… I'll tie it around my waist! Tsuyoku watched me attempt to tie the long red ribbon around my tiny waist and began to giggle under his breath.

``Would you like me to help you with that?'' Tsuyoku laughed. I glanced up from my waist and my ribbon tying and blushed while I slowly nodded. Tsuyoku casually walked over to me his golden and silvery hair flowed softly as he walked. He stopped and knelt down next to me. I could see every aspect of his face, which was somewhere in between young and old. His bright eyes glowed even behind the soft shadow he cast while kneeling against the sun. He grabbed both ends of the thin red cloth and tied them into a loose knot. ``There you go.'' Tsuyoku chuckled.

``Th-Thank you.'' I stuttered bashfully.

``Oh you are welcome Tenshi. It was your father's wish after all for you to keep it with you.'' Tsuyoku paused for a moment. Sadness suddenly began to cloud his golden-lime eyes. ``I know how you must feel. You miss him. Your father, I mean. Of course… No one could ever forget a person like him. But don't you worry you will find him someday. Don't worry. Why don't you try to just have a good time today? I have an idea, why don't you go play with Shizuka? What do you say about that?'' Tsuyoku smiled at me.

I looked up at him and smiled back, just to make him feel better. ``Do you really think that I will find who I'm looking for?'' I asked him.

``I am certain that you will eventually find everything that is missing. It may take a long time, but I promise you that you will find them. But for now, why don't you take your mind off of this and go have fun? Okay?'' I wondered if maybe Tsuyoku knew more than he mentioned.

``Okay,'' I answered. I really didn't want to leave my spot on the fence. I wanted to find out who those people were that I saw in my mind. Tsuyoku was trying to help me, because of that I wanted to be nice and just do as he asked.

``Thank you Tenshi.'' Tsuyoku gave me one last smile, then walked past the fence and toward the forest. After I lost sight of Tsuyoku, I decided to find Shizuka. I found him in his room playing with miniature people. I asked if I could join him. He let me play with the miniature people and I spent the rest of the day playing.

When night fell I went back outside to see if I would find what I was looking for or if they would find me. I waited there until Tsuyoku came home. And sadly I didn't get a chance to see the shadowed people.

``Have you been waiting out here all day long Tenshi? I thought you went to go play with Shizuka.'' Tsuyoku asked with a tired voice. His golden hair lay flat around his face almost as if it was tired, too.

``I did play with Shizuka, but I came out here to…'' I wasn't sure if Tsuyoku should know that I was waiting for the three figures in my mind. Tsuyoku stared back at me with a worried look on his face. He was waiting for me to answer. I quickly came up with an excuse for being outside so late. ``I was waiting for you.''
``You… You were waiting for me? Is something wrong?'' Tsuyoku lost the sleepiness in his voice and sounded more alert. His golden-lime eyes stared back at me in surprise.
        ``N-No!'' Tsuyoku's question startled me, which made me answer a little too quickly. I hoped that I didn't sound too suspicious.

        ``Oh well that's good. I'm glad that you are getting used to living with us.'' Tsuyoku raised his eyes to the sky and then glanced down back at me. ``Do you smell that? I think dinner is ready, come on. Let's go inside and eat.'' Tsuyoku lowered his soft but soiled hand to me. I stared at it for a second then put my hand in his. He and I, hand in hand, walked into the kitchen for a wonderful dinner.
        Days passed so quickly, like a never-ending blur. Every morning and evening I waited… leaning on the old fence… waiting for the three figures to finally show their faces. Then, at last, they once again came to me in my dazed state.
        I was concentrating so hard on the people in my mind that didn't notice that Tsuyoku's little boy, Shizuka, behind me. ``Why do you wait here everyday and night? Are you waiting for someone?'' He asked in a quiet and confused voice. I was just about to see the faces of the shadow people when Shizuka's voice reached me.
        ``Huh?'' Shizuka's voice startled me so much that I turned around with a quick jolt. ``Oh… I uh…'' I was speechless. I had no idea that he was behind me.
        ``Are you waiting for someone?'' Shizuka walked closer to me and then leaned on the old fence right next to me. I don't know why but I was always so nervous around him. ``What do you see while you wait here everyday?''
``Um…'' I didn't want to tell him either about my secret shadow people.

Shizuka gazed back at me with a look of disbelief. ``Hmm… Do you want to play?'' Shizuka asked suddenly.

``Play? Play what?'' I asked with curiosity. Shizuka smiled innocently.

``I'll show you. Come on follow me,'' he grabbed my hand and dragged me off to the back of the house. ``Here! Take this!'' Shizuka handed me a bent, and twisted twig. ``This is your sword and I will use this sword,'' Shizuka laughed.

        I glanced back down at my shriveled, pathetic excuse of a stick and then looked at Shizuka's stick. It was perfectly straight and very smooth looking, as if someone made it perfect, unlike mine. This is a little mismatched, I thought to myself. Shizuka's stick is a better stick than mine is. I decided not to say anything. I knew that if I did say something then Shizuka would have gotten angry with me.

        ``Okay… heh. Now come on… let's fight!'' Shizuka positioned himself in this strange stance… one that I know I had seen somewhere before. I did exactly as he did. ``No, no, no. Don't just stand there… attack! Like this…'' He lunged at me and would have stabbed my right side with his stick if I hadn't moved out of the way. ``Hey… that was really good. Now come on fight back and we can have our own tournament. ``

I smiled at the compliment that Shizuka gave me and dodged another one of his attacks. As we continued this sword-playing game, I began to notice a pattern in Shizuka's attacks. After I discovered his pattern of his attack, avoiding them became extremely simple. He became annoyed with the fact that he wasn't able to hit me with his stick.

``Why aren't you fighting back? If this was a real fight you would die because you don't attack.'' Shizuka breathed out heavily from frustration.

``But you haven't hit me yet. You are the one who's tired so why would I be the first one to die?'' I asked with confusion. Shizuka's cheeks puffed up like an angry bullfrog and his face became red with fury. He quickly thrust his stick at me, aiming for my heart but I immediately stepped aside. His golden ponytail flapped in the wind and his golden-lime eyes darted in the direction I had moved. He lost his balance as he passed through the spot where I was once standing and almost fell onto the cold ground.

Shizuka turned and glared at me with anger and excitement mixed into one. A small drop of sweat dripped down his milky-white face. He then smiled and held out his hand.

``You are really good. Where did you learn to do that?'' he asked as he walked closer to me.

``I don't really know.'' I laughed as I shook hands with Shizuka.

``You need to learn how to attack though. You can't win a battle if you don't fight back. Don't worry, heh, I'll teach you and in return you can teach me how to avoid attacks.'' Shizuka smiled innocently.

In all honesty... I am not sure if these are the fixed chapters or not... I have too many files for this story... So anyway... hope you are enjoying it.



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