• Chapter 9
    The day he never forgot

    It had been about six days since Kiobi's ordeal with the cloud beast, “ I'm glad you’re feeling better!” said Rin. Kiobi looked down at her and smiled “ Yeah” he said “ I'm glad I can be here to protect you like I promised.” Rin looked up at Kiobi and giggled “ I'm glad you’re here too.” she said. They were silent as they made their way down the sidewalk. The air was warm and the oh so familiar feeling of summer was around them. “ I can't wait until summer break” said Rin with a sigh “ Why's that?” Kiobi asked with his hands behind his head. “ No school for one thing” Rin replied “and I get to spend time with you.”

    “ Don't you have friends for that?” Kiobi asked looking down at Rin. “Not really” replied Rin “I've never really had friends, most of the kids at school only liked me because I'm wealthy.” She said looking down at the ground. “That explains why you got so mad at me the first day you brought me to your house.” Kiobi said surprised. “ you thought I was going to be like them.” Rin looked up at Kiobi “Yes I did.” she said “ But now I know you’re not like them at all.” They walked for a while longer and talked about Rins up and coming summer break. Before long they were standing in front of Rin's school, “ I'll see you later!” she called out to Kiobi as she headed toward the building. “ Ok!” Kiobi called out “ I'll meet you at the sea wall later!”

    After making sure Rin got to school Ok, Kiobi took a walk down to the sea wall where he'd later meet up with Rin. He climbed up on the wall and stood there looking at the ocean “ The ocean is the only thing that hasn't changed in all these years.” He said to himself “ It still looks the same.” Then his mind changed to something else. He began to think of his past, of his best friend who had lost his life. “ Matta if you had just stayed away you would not have died.” Kiobi thought to himself. Kiobi walked to the edge of the wall and picked up a large stick he found leaning against the wall on the opposite side. He began to practice his fighting stances and agility. “ I must be ready for this battle the beast spoke of.” He said to himself.

    Kiobi practiced for hours, swinging the stick and zipping back and forth on the wall trying to increase his speed. Before he knew it, it was almost time for Rin to be released from school. He decided while he still had time that he'd take a short nap. He laid down on the wall and propped his head up on his hand he listened to the sounds of the ocean and began to drift off. Soon he was asleep and at first it was peaceful, but then he began to have nightmares. Images of the beast flashed through his head, and of his best friend. “ I'm sorry” He mumbled in his sleep. He kept repeating himself over and over again until he jumped up scared out of his mind.

    “Are you ok?” asked voice from below him. He looked down from the sea wall and found Rin looking back at him. “ I'm fine” he said with a sigh “ It was just a bad dream.” “ I see” said Rin she climbed up the wall and sat next to Kiobi “ Where you thinking of your past?” she asked him. “ I was” He replied “ But I'm fine now.” He said. “ It will be Ok.” Rin said placing her hand on Kiobi's shoulder. Kiobi took in a deep breath. “ Do you remember a few days ago when I told you the story about how the mark on my hand came to be?” He asked Rin. She looked up at kiobi and nodded “ I do.” she said. “ I think I'm ready to tell you what happened.” he said, Rin looked up at him “ Ok” she said “ Maybe you'll feel better if you talk about it.” Kiobi turned his gaze to the ocean, “ It was just hours be for the war” He began “ I noticed that my hand was aching more then normal, but I ignored it. My squad and I were told we had to guard the front gates of our village that day, “ Why do you think the humans waged war against us?” One of my squad members asked. One of my other squad members answered saying that nobody knew, and that whatever the reason it had to be stupid.

    When we finally reached the front gates I was feeling a bit lightheaded but I didn't think much of it, The squad and I sat up on top of the gates overlooking the forest outside our home. We spoke of some of the girls in the village, you know normal guy talk. But one girl really caught my squads eye, her name was Miumi and she looked a lot like you Rin.” Kiobi told her “ She had the same white hair and blue eyes, nobody knew where she came from but she was considered the prettiest girl in the village. In fact I had fallen for her, But my squad didn't know this.

    We joked until it got dark, Then that’s when the humans launched their first attack. “ This is it!” I called out as we left our posts to defend our village. My best friend Matta was there, we fought alongside one another just like we had promised as children. As we fought I noticed the pain in my left hand was getting worse, almost unbearable. Matta could tell I was in pain and told me to retreat, I refused I was going to fight alongside my best friend no matter what. But then something ominous happened, The mark on my hand began to glow and I was in so much pain I could no longer stand up.

    Eventually I was brought to my knees, and after that everything went dark. From that point I don't remember anything, That is until I came too several hours later. I was lying in a pool of blood, But this blood was not mine. When I had finally regained my strength I stood up and what I saw destroyed me. My whole squad was dead, even the humans we were fighting and Matta. I looked down at my hands soaked with their blood. It was the beast, I had killed everyone even my own people. At that point I had no choice, I fled my village. I had to protect my family, and those I loved from the monster that lived with in me.

    I remember seeing Matta's lifeless body, and I remembered something else. Just before blacking out I remembered telling Matta to run that it wasn't safe to be near me. I remember standing over his body asking “ Why didn't you listen?” For months I was haunted by the images I had seen, of all the people I once knew laying there dead at my feet. I traveled until I could no longer walk and I collapsed outside the gates of an unknown town. When I came too there were several humans standing over me, One of them went by the name Isaac. “ He's one of them” I heard one of them whisper “ A Nekohito.” said another.

    That's when Isaac approached me, “ You don't belong here” he told me. “ Tell me something” I said blatantly ignoring him “ What started the war between my people and the humans.” I asked him. And of course he didn't answer me instead he pulled out his sword and held it to my throat “ I'll say this one more time” he said “ You don't belong here, leave before I slit your throat.” I fought back, and we ended up in a huge fight. I thought I could win but I was wrong, as we ran toward each other to deliver our final blows Isaac moved to the right at the last second. I had to stop him so I moved right as well, and then a pain to horrible to describe raced up my right side. He had stabbed me and I knew I had lost.
    I collapsed and he left me to die in the cold winter snow.
    I remember I heard a voice reaching out to me, it told me my soul would not be allowed to move on. That I would have to pay for my sins, I would be forever earthbound until I could prove I was not heart-less, That in battle I didn't fight for myself. It was then that I learned that my people were calling me a trader because I fled my home and left my people to fight on their own.” Kiobi told Rin.
    Rin looked up at Kiobi “ I don't even know what to say” she said “ I'm sorry the monster with in you has caused you so much pain.” “ It's ok” said Kiobi rubbing his face with his sleeve “ It was the past, I need to focus on the present.” Rin nodded in response and looked up at Kiobi “ I'll be with you every step of the way.” she said taking his hand.

    “ Thank you.” Kiobi said. he lightly gripped Rins hand and looked over the ocean “ Thank you.”