• I

    The music filled the children’s ears as they gazed up at their idol. Hanamoroki Kimori, an 8th grader, played his clarinet in such a mellow tune that even the deaf would sway and hum to the music. Kimori quickly slipped a brownish-reddish eyed glance down towards his spellbound subjects. They swayed to his rhythm and inhaled in unison with his every breath. Soon, their minds would belong to him. After about another five minutes of playing his black kurarinetto, he dropped it from his lips. His audience still swayed to the wonderful music he had played, not one noticing he’d stopped. A thin smile formed on Kimori’s face as he jumped gracefully from the lunch table from which he had been standing. His blond hair loosened from his ponytail and whipped behind him as he flew above the crowd. Once he landed behind them, he lifted his kurarinetto and played a shrill, high, raspy note. The children’s eyes widened and soon they began to struggle for air. One by one they dropped like flies, unconscious, and unaware. He smiled, packed his kurarinetto back up in his case, and walked away. He stopped near the door of the lunchroom, and waited. “Nadashiko- san, Hanatoro-kun, it’s your turn to move.” Kimori laughed quietly and waited for the signal.
    Marusaki Nadashiko shifted nervously as she stood in front of the microphone. Many children stood in front of the stage, staring up at her. Nadashiko gulped. Slowly, she moved into position, and began to sing. A few minutes into the song, the children’s eyes clouded. All appeared to be in a trance. Nadashiko took a quick glance at the clock and nervously put down the mic. Hoping she didn’t make a mistake, she gazed at the audience. All of them swayed in an eerie silence as they mouthed the enchanted words to the song. Nadashiko sighed in disgust at the swaying group, turned, and jumped off the side of the stage. It was a long way down but she landed like a feather would land on a pool of water. She smiled to her-self and sang a long, sharp note and the children all held their ears. They all dropped to the floor. Nadashiko turned and walked out of the huge, dark room and jumped onto the roof. Now the roof was high up, no ordinary person could jump up there. But, I never said Nadashiko was an ordinary person. She waved her arms above her head, hoping Kimori-kun and Hanatoro-senpai would see her.
    “Hmph…” snorted Hanatoro. Those other novices wouldn’t be able to take out as many people as he did. Kadusako Hanatoro sat atop a building that towered over many others. It was kind of like Big-Ben in England. His jet-black hair waved in the wind. Kimori and Nadashiko had done their job, now it was his turn. He raised his violin and played a slow, drifty song. He played it loudly but not so loud that it would burn out ears. Almost half of Tokyo heard his song, but only a small portion would be affected. After two minutes, he lowered his violin. Hanatoro had done this many times so he knew just when to stop. A medium sized black cat landed near Hanatoro’s feet and circled him. He bent down to the cat’s ears and whispered two brief words. The cat leapt off the ground and shot off down the stairs. Hanatoro sighed and turned to follow the cat’s trail.
    Nadashiko stopped waving as she glimpsed the movement of a shadow. A black cat soon stood next to her. Nadashiko bent down to pet the cat. “Good Ukuto, good Ukuto-san. You did your job well.”
    The cat purred at the compliment and layed down on the flooring. A brief moment later, a blur streaked across the grass. Soon Kimori stood next to her. Kimori glanced at Ukuto and chuckled. “He sent his cat ahead again?” He murmured, “Hanatoro could have just come himself!”
    “Don’t use his name so plainly!” Nadashiko replied, “Hanatoro is just doing his job.”
    Kimori smiled at her. Even though Nadashiko was just a simple 6th grader, she had wits. She acted stupid sometimes, but, she had her moments. Hanatoro, on the other hand, was in 10th grade. He was stealthier than both of them and way taller. He was the leader of the group, though Kimori didn’t like him. He never had, though he did remember times when Hanatoro was like a big brother to him.
    After a few minutes of waiting and remembering, Hanatoro approached them. He looked up at the roof and grimaced. He had never liked using his powers in the open; he had already risked it when he scaled the building he had played his violin on.
    “How many did you take out?” He asked Kimori.
    “More than you could!” Kimori replied proudly, “I got about… thirty-six!”
    Hanatoro smiled a little and turned towards Nadashiko, “And you?”
    “Not very much, only about twenty-seven.”
    Nadashiko blushed a bit as Kimori laughed out loud. She knew her singing wouldn’t reach very far. She looked down at Hanatoro, who was still on the ground; he looked so small that she could just scoop him up.
    “Nada-chan,” he called, “You don’t have to be upset. Kimori’s just disappointed that he was only 2nd place.”
    “2nd place!?!” Kimori retorted, “Never! Just how much did you take out!?!”
    “About 25% of Tokyo. But that’s just an estimation.”
    Kimori was furious. If only he could punch that smug face of his. Nadashiko, on the other hand, wanted to wrap her arms around Hanatoro’s neck. Hanatoro was such a nice person. Kimori yelled and screamed! (He obviously had some anger management issues.)
    “If you’re that good,” he cried, “get up here! Talk to me face-to-face!”
    “If you insist…”
    Hanatoro backed up and leaped up onto the roof so lightly, he didn’t even break a sweat. His hands were still in his pockets. He smiled at looked at Nadashiko, who blushed immediately.
    Ukuto mewed loudly. They all looked up at Hanatoro and waited for their next order. Hanatoro looked up at the moon and sighed, his hair shining a bit brighter.
    “Ok,” he started, “disperse.”
    He looked down at Ukuto and smiled an eerie smile. Kimori and Nadashiko stared at their leader and shivered. Kimori snorted and leaped off the roof and ran slowly away into the distance. Nadashiko’s face reddened since she stood alone on a roof with Hanatoro. To her, he was amazing. ‘Oh my gosh,’ Nadashiko thought, ‘his blue eyes are so dazzling… he’s just so…’ Nadashiko shook her head to clear away the thought. After all, she was in 6th grade and he was in high school. She turned away from him, jumped off the building and ran away to where her sleeping audience waited. Ukuto brushed against a frowning Hanatoro’s feet. He bent down and rubbed the black cat’s ears. Hanatoro looked up coldly at the place where Kimori and Nadashiko had stood. He was a bit angry with himself for letting Kimori leave. He climbed to his feet, but the cat on his head, and jumped off the roof. Instead of making his way to the many sleeping people under his building, he followed Nadashiko’s trail.
    Nadashiko walked around the sleeping bodies that surrounded the stage. She picked up the microphone she had left on the stage and held it up to her mouth and waited until the first star twinkled in the sky. Finally, Nadashiko sang a low mellow note into the mic. Slowly, the audience got to their feet. Their eyes were still clouded over but all seemed to be in their right mind.
    “What happened?”
    “I don’t know…”
    “We were all her listening to her song and then we end up on the ground.”
    “My head hurts…”
    After a long moment of silence, the audience all looked up at the stage. The girl they were listening to was all teary eyed.
    “You all fell asleep?” Nadashiko sobbed, “I’m that terrible!?!”
    “No!” Someone in the audience cried out, “We all listened to you! You sounded great!”
    Nadashiko stopped crying and stared at the voice’s source. A tall man who probably forgot to shave stood, shaking. Nadashiko’s eyes narrowed and then cried,
    She quickly picked up her mic and sang several words. Half the audience got up from their seats and crowded around the frightened man. Some grabbed him by his arms and dragged him away. The rest of the audience lay unconscious on the floor. Then, they all got up and looked at her, all of them possessed and mentally dead.
    “Don’t ever, any of you,” she yelled, “defy your queen!”
    The whole audience bowed lightly. Immediately, a shrill scream filled the air. Nadashiko didn’t know what was happening to the man, but she knew it was a good enough punishment. Nadashiko laughed maniacally. A warm hand placed itself on her head and spun her around to face Hanatoro. His soft expression knocked her back into sanity and comforted her. She felt her face grow hot.
    “Nada-chan,” Hanatoro whispered, “I don’t think it’s a good idea to torture your servants. You wont have any left.”
    Nadashiko lowered her brown haired head, “Yes Hanatoro-senpai.”
    She sang a low lullaby and the man and the audience (including the ones torturing him) fell into a deep slumber. Nadashiko turned from Hanatoro and walked towards the injured man to wipe his memory and heal his wounds. Ukuto jumped off Hanatoro’s head and looked at Hanatoro’s face. After a brief nod from Hanatoro, Ukuto wisked off and started to transform. Black feathers erupted from Ukuto’s back and his mouth replaced with a beak. After his body was covered from head-to-toe with feathers, he burst into a raven. He lifted off into the night sky to scout ahead of Hanatoro. After Ukuto was out of sight, Hanatoro flipped his hair with his hand and ran off, jumping onto and off of walls towards the tall building he had played on.
    Kimori skidded to a halt as he reached the lunchroom’s door. He pushed it open and almost stepped on a 3rd grader’s head. He picked out his clarinet out of the case and pulled it to his lips. He played a peppy sailor song as he skipped, jumped, and hopped around the room. The music spread around the lunchroom and bounced off the walls in a terribley loud echo. Slowly, the people got to their feet. Just as the others, their eyes were clouded.
    “Thankyou for coming to the show!” laughed Kimori as he climbed up on the lunchtable again. “Please, come again!” Once they wereall awake, he played a loud and hearty army marching tune. The audience straightened their backs and marched out the door. Once they were all outside, Kimori put down his clarinet and watched all the confused humans outside trying to figure out where they were and stumble back to their homes. Kimori laughed to himself and exited the lunchroom through the back door.
    Ukuto flew high above the city lights. The winds pushed against him but Ukuto was determined to fulfill his master’s wish. He pearched himself on the ledge of the tower. Hanatoro reached him five minutes later and picked up his violin. He quickly spun a releasing melody in his head and freed it through his hands onto his violin. About a fourth of the people he had put to sleep stayed put. But the others got up, eyes unclouded, and walked home. Hanatoro wasn’t interested in taking over people’s minds, but it had to be done. Soon, the others got up (their eyes were clouded) and made their way home. Ukuto flapped his wings and flew on Hanatoro’s shoulder. Hanatoro turned, and walked away. The rest of the plan would have to unravel tommarow.
    Kimori, Nadashiko, Hanatoro, and his companion Ukuto all made their way home, unaware that their acts were being watched.