|The Traveler, The Shadow, and The Thieves
Author: TwoFacedPierrot PM
When Kagami Taiga was saved by a group of thieves known as the Generation of Miracles, he finds himself in a big mess. And things only got more complicated when he falls for a thief with the name of Kuroko Tetsuya. AU. Overprotective GoM. KagaKuro.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Adventure - Kagami T. & Kuroko T. - Chapters: 13 - Words: 64,260 - Reviews: 159 - Favs: 227 - Follows: 203 - Updated: 01-31-13 - Published: 10-05-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8582415
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I just had to OTL
my national exams are in three days and here I am writing this lol /shot.
I seriously have no idea right now on how I should continue this. Let's hope I can complete the story in less than fifteen chapters OTL. I can't do another 40+ chapter fic like what I did with my Kuroshitsuji fic anymore QAQ. rather, I don't want to /shot
herp. KuroBasu isn't mine. Excuse my mistakes. Thanks in advance for reading!
In a place very far away, there existed a country in the west where social rankings mattered the most. Rich merchants, ministers and royalties lived their lives in the big city where no one was ever hungry, cold, depressed, or alone. There were enough food, shelter, and clothes for those who can afford them.
But for those that were poor - penniless, even, it was a conspiracy. Only those who have the money - the wealth - are allowed to stay and work in the city. Peasants were no given a chance to even step foot through the giant gates that separated their world from that of the people beyond those metal poles and concrete walls. They were all forced to live in a small village deep in the woods, prone to fatal plagues, scraping for food, and barely keeping themselves alive. And for those desperate enough to climb the gates leading to the city, they were never seen again.
It was a place where you were either born rich or poor.
It all happened very suddenly. It had been an especially difficult month that time. It rained every day, and it interfered greatly with the villagers' attempts to survive. They could not go fishing at the river - and even if they could, their catch would only last for three days at best. Meat spoilt easily. Fires could not be lit up for there were little dry wood to be found. Hunting was very difficult as the rain made the forest floors slippery beyond imagination.
Villagers slowly died one by one - from starvation, exhaustion, and sicknesses. Little can be done. There was not enough food to be shared, and there was nothing they could do to cure those cursed diseases. All hope was lost.
Until they appeared.
'They' were a band of six thieves who had a lot in common. They had all lost their parents to fate, and had did their best in the struggle to survive alone. They were all coincidentally the same age. They had the talents to keep themselves and others alive.
And they were barely adolescents.
Despite that, their talents for thievery were undeniable. They rose like a phoenix out of ashes in the misery. During the times when everyone in the village had just decided to give up on life and let themselves rot away, they carried out their very first mission. They'd somehow found a hole in the great walls that separated them from town, managed to slip in unnoticed, and had brought back with them several bags of food that could feed the entire village for five whole days.
And that went on every alternate days for years. They only stole food, clothes, and all the other basic necessities. Never money. Because they knew there was no point in taking money when there was nothing to be traded with.
The villagers were amazed. Not even adults had succeeded their attempts in stealing from the rich. But here this group of children are, returning from town alive carrying loads and loads of precious items with them almost every day. Bounties were shortly placed on their heads, offering a constantly increasing amount of money to anyone who manages to catch them. Someone had yet to claim it. They were never caught once.
And that was how they got their name. That band of thieves who were considered as nothing less than a miracle sent by God by the villagers, was later known as the Generation of Miracles.
Kagami Taiga was a traveler from the country of the East.
He had been born into an utterly boring life in a cozy town, and he yearned to see the vast world ever since his mother started telling him stories about the beauty of grasslands in the countries of the east, and about the sweetness of the honey fountain somewhere in the North. He hated being confined in his house, and would spend most of his days in the forests; fishing, hunting, and learning all the survival skills he would need.
And when he turned fifteen, he set off on his journey with his parents' blessings. He'd packed with him enough food to last him several days (he figured he could hunt for more when the time comes), some change of clothes, and some small weapons to help ward off rampaging animals and whatnot.
Kagami started his adventure by going to the country of the West. It was the hardest, but the path to the north from there was the easiest and shortest. The only way there was through the thick forest. Despite the fact that Kagami had practically grew up with trees, he was starting to hate it. This forest wasn't the one he was used to. It wasn't his domain. It was trying to slow him down or break his willpower by attempting to trip him with every step he took. The ground was uneven, muddy, and basically not very comfortable to step on. It had only been the first day, but Kagami had already came close to spraining his ankle for the eighteenth time.
Even so, Kagami did not give up. He learnt to adjust his footing to the ground, and was soon able to walk normally enough. His food supply ran out fast due to his humongous appetite - which, had only been made worst by all the energy he spent crossing the woods, and he had to hunt. He thanked whichever deity who was listening for bestowing upon him the talent to find food and water.
But as he ventured deeper into the woods, he wasn't so sure anymore. Kagami eventually saw nothing but trees, trees, and more trees. No berry plants. No tiny animals scurrying around. Just trees. And dammit - why the hell was the ground getting harder and harder to move on? Those stupid gnarled roots were just getting on his nerves.
A sigh escaped his lips as he pushed the thought away. What was he doing, trying to yell at plants? He should just save his energy for the rest of his journey instead. With that in mind, he forged on, all the while assuring himself that once he passed the forest, things would not be so complicated. He would reach some kind of town, and will have the chance to replenish his supplies and stuff.
It sounded like a lie even in his thoughts.
"..Umm.. sir? Are you alive?"
A finger prodded his cheek. Kagami could not open his eyes, and he was barely aware of his surroundings. Did he faint? He couldn't feel his limbs. He felt so weak. He could only manage a soft groan to answer whoever directed the question to him.
"Should we bring him back with us?" the same voice sounded. Kagami heard lots of shuffling. He guessed there were several people there.
"Do you think we have enough for him?" another voice said, sounding doubtful.
Kagami had no idea what they were talking about. But his consciousness could only last that long. Hunger had drained most of his energy, and he once again blacked out.
A boy slipped into the busy streets, weaving through crowds of people.
His big blue eyes darted around, surveying everything in his surroundings with a single glance. There was a fruit store to his left, a tent selling warm quilts to his right. And further ahead was a bakery and several other buildings that sold all kinds of items.
He stopped before the stall selling fruits, pretending to blend in with the crowd. It wasn't hard. Everyone there was well fed and were wide enough to hide his overly thin frame. He leaned to the side, and saw what he was looking for. He pushed his way out of the crowd, and pretended to walk away, looking like the fruits were completely uninteresting to him when his stomach was actually growling like an angry dog.
And in barely five minutes, he saw his chance. The stall owner was in a pinch with all the gathering and over-demanding customers. Lots of curses broke out. The boy quickly slipped past the man, unnoticed, and with one mighty heave, he slung a good-sized sack of apples over his shoulder.
He was running before the owner could even realize what had happened. He was about fifty meters away when he heard an angry roar, and a stampede of footsteps was charging towards his direction.
"It's that boy! Get him!"
He slowed down - half because it was all according to plan, half because he really did feel tired. The fruits weren't weightless, after all. He counted the seconds pass - one, two, three..
A shadow rose behind him, and he heard someone yell "I caught you!" before being completely enveloped in darkness. A wave of humans crashed upon him, all struggling to grab hold of his hands, legs, clothes - whatever that was connected to him.
"Wait! Stop! Something's not right."
The person who spoke was blissfully ignored. But when they finally calmed down and ungrouped, the boy and the stolen apples were nowhere to be found. Not a footprint, strip of fabric, and even a hair was left behind.
It was as if he had vanished into thin air.
"That was easy!" A blonde boy chimed as he and his companions slipped into a dark alley leading towards the big concrete walls. He held two full sacks over each of his shoulders.
"Shut up, Kise. You're gonna lead them to us with your loud voice." His companion, a tanned bluenette retorted.
"Ehh, but didn't we do a good job?" Kise whined, ripping off the ragged cloth that was covering most of his face. Then his golden eyes widened, and he spun around frantically. "Wait. Where's Kurokocchi?"
"I'm right here."
The tanned boy, whose name was Aomine, had to clamp a hand over his blonde companion's mouth to stop the shriek that threatened to inform the whole country of their location.
"W-When?" The blonde stuttered, trying hard to stop his crazy heartbeat.
The boy that had appeared only tilted his head, eyebrows wrinkled slightly. "Since the beginning."
"Don't scare me like that, geez!" Kise said, easy tears filling his eyes.
"You're being a wuss," Aomine grumbled, turning on his heels. "Let's just go already. Akashi will skin us if we're late again."
No one bothered to argue. Akashi was scary and that was that. The three boys silently made their way towards the hidden exit/entrance they'd been using to sneak into the city for the past five years. It looked just like any other part of the wall, but they knew where to look. The trio stopped before a particular spot, and temporarily set down the stolen goods. They then proceeded to press their shoulders against the rough surface of the wall, and pushed.
A solid slab of concrete came loose and revealed a hole the shape and size of a door. The boys slipped through the exit, and replaced the slab. Once again hefting the sacks over their shoulders, they headed right into the woods.
If it weren't for their years and years of experience, they would've gotten lost countless times. The path they used was overgrown with plants, and there was barely a visible track. Weak rays of sunlight streamed through the thick greenery. Strange cries of all kinds of animals echoed in the distance.
Despite that, the boys could make their way back to the village with their eyes closed. The muddy ground did not bother their bare feet at all. The plants served as signs and landmarks. The sounds of animals made them relax. This was their territory. No one from the city would dare to even leave the gates, let alone chase them all the way into the forest.
The boy with the name of Kuroko had stopped in his tracks, his gaze focused to their right. The other two followed suit, expecting something out of the ordinary. They only saw more trees and shrubs.
"Tetsu," Aomine voiced, confusion obvious in his tone. "What's wrong?"
"..There's someone there."
His friends did not doubt him. They knew of his observation skills. They squinted, trying to figure out what exactly their shorter companion was talking about. Kise stood on his tip-toes to get a better look. Aomine merely grunted before walking further east.
"Don't get lost, Aomine-kun," his pale friend warned.
"I won't," Aomine huffed. "Let's just see who's there and get this over and -"
He stopped short. Raising their eyebrows, Kise and his remaining companion reluctantly headed over.
Then they realized why Aomine had not bothered to continue his sentence. Lying there face-first on the ground, was an unconscious boy they'd never seen before.
When Kagami came to, he found himself in a wooden hut.
His head hurt as he sat up slowly, trying to understand the situation. A patched-up blanket slipped from his shoulders to the floor. Where was he? The last thing he could remember was that he'd been so very hungry when he was crossing the woods. And then that was it. He figured he must've blacked out in the middle of the way or something.
"It seems that you're awake."
Kagami's head whipped to the direction of the voice. Standing at the entrance of the hut was a bespectacled boy with neatly cut green hair. He wore rags for clothes, and Kagami noticed the bandages on the fingers of his left hand when he reached to adjust his glasses. He looked about Kagami's age.
"Where am I?" Kagami asked, glaring at the boy. He set his nerves on high alert mode. "What happened? And who are you?"
The boy did not answer. For some reason, his calculating stare really pissed Kagami off. He looks like those ladies back at home, Kagami realized. He'd received the very same type of look from the people in his home village every time he goes to the market to help with the shopping. Kagami had learnt over the years to ignore them, but that did not stop the fury that burnt in his heart. So what if his mother used to be a harlot? She was the best woman in the world. She'd raised him with all the love he needed, and she'd loved his father dearly. She'd given up on her old ways and had started doing decent jobs to make ends meet.
Nothing was wrong with that.
"You are in a village in the middle of the forest," the boy answered, just when Kagami's temper was about to flare up. "You fainted somewhere, and my.. acquaintances found you when they were returning from a job." He once again pushed his glasses up his nose. Kagami waited for him to say more, but instead received silence.
The growl of his stomach helpfully broke the quietness.
The bespectacled boy turned to leave.
"Hey, wait!" Kagami yelled after him. "Where are you going? You haven't answered all my questions yet!"
The boy glanced at him from the corner of his eye. "I don't suppose you want food, then?"
He exhaled in exasperation. Was the redhead a freaking idiot or something?
"Just follow me if you want to eat," he said, and continued walking.
This time, Kagami didn't try to question further. He carefully stood up, making sure his legs could take his weight. They were shaking slightly, but he figured he'll survive. He took a tentative step forward, and found himself still standing. A grin spread across his face. He could still walk. He made his way outside.
Calling the place a village almost seemed to be an understatement. Worn down huts and tents spread in every direction as far as Kagami could see. Sunlight blinded his eyes. The heat was almost unbearable. Kagami peeled off his dirty tunic, leaving only a loose white shirt and his trousers on. He slung the piece of garment over his shoulder and stepped out from the hut. The ground was sandy and firm, unlike its forest counterpart. People in rags were walking here and there, some stealing a glance at the redhead, some ignoring him completely. Kagami looked around. The green-haired boy was nowhere in sight.
That little bastard, he thought. If I ever see him again I'm so going to..
"Hurry, Mummy! They're giving food at village square!"
Kagami's train of thoughts stopped short. He raised his eyebrows at what the child had just said. For the first time, he noticed that everyone around him was heading towards a specific direction. Positive that they would lead him to the food he needed so much right then, he followed the crowd.
The entire population of that place must've gathered at the place where he assumed to be the village square. For the next ten minutes, Kagami only saw humans, humans and more humans. He realized this must've been the famous 'Lunch Time Rush' phenomenon he'd heard about when he was a kid. Kagami towered over many people thanks to his height, but it didn't help much. He was pushed around all the same.
But his height did help him see the medium sized open-air tent that had been set up several yards away from where he stood. He could make out several silhouettes standing behind a few gigantic pots and handing out food. He could see that the children were having their turn first, women next, and men the last.
Kagami knew his stomach wouldn't last that long.
He had to think of a plan fast, while he still had his consciousness. Kagami headed towards the edge of the sea of humans, where the crowd wasn't as thick and suffocating. He had to take a longer way and use more energy, but he had no choice. It was either that, or wait for another hour. Or week.
Kagami was almost at the front now. He noticed the group of adolescents queuing behind the kids. To make it there and blend in would need him to plow his way through the crowd. Kagami took in a deep breath, counted to three, and with his fists clenched, he shoved his way through.
The next few minutes felt almost like an eternity. Kagami wasn't aware of anything other than the elbows on his face and the knees on his stomach and the feet stepping on his own. The crowd itself seemed to be repelling him. He was hungry. He was weak. Kagami somehow got the feeling that he would lose the fight.
But his stomach urged him on. It was almost growling loud enough to be heard over the noise. Kagami gritted his teeth, and with one last surge of strength, he pushed through.
If he could choose, Kagami would've preferred to be ignored rather than to be the centre of attention. He could feel dozens of pairs of eyes trained on him after that pathetic stunt. Silence suddenly spread through the crowd.
Kagami straightened. He awkwardly raised a hand in greeting, and said something like, "Um.. hi."
The silence that followed was broken by a cheery blonde boy standing under the tent. He held a ladle in one hand and a half-filled bowl in another.
"So you're finally awake!" he beamed. His voice sounded familiar, though Kagami couldn't really be sure. "And I guess you're really hungry to do something like that."
Kagami felt himself blushing because it was the truth. Seeing the tint on his cheeks, the blonde let out a good-natured laugh and waved him over.
"Come on. I'll serve you first. Akashicchi wants to meet you later, and you do not want to be late."
Akashi? Who the heck is that? Kagami knitted his eyebrows, but accepted the offer anyway. The other kids were surprisingly nice enough to let him go first. He struggled to keep his drool in his mouth as the boy ladled some porridge into a bowl. It smelled somewhat similar to what his mother used to make back home.
Huh. Only a few weeks of travelling and I'm already homesick, he realized.
"Here you go," the blonde handed him the filled bowl. Kagami took it and muttered a thanks.
"Oh, and before I forget," the blonde said as Kagami turned to leave. "Can you take your meal over there?" He jabbed his thumb behind him.
"Huh?" Kagami gave him a confused look. "Why?"
The blonde shrugged. "Personal request?"
This guy is weird, Kagami decided with a sigh. Oh well. What harm can it do? He made his way to the back of the tent, careful not to spill his hard-earned food. It was quieter over there compared to the madness of the crowd gathered in front of the tent. He turned at a corner and disappeared behind a sheet of canvas.
Kagami immediately stopped in his tracks. A group of adolescents were already there, enjoying their own meals. Kagami recognized the green-haired boy from earlier. The other three, too, had strangely colored hair compared to the other villagers. There was a giant with purple hair that touched his shoulders, a tanned bluenette with a cocky look on his face, and - ack! When was he there? - a frail looking boy with pale blue hair. They were all sitting on pieces of hollowed logs.
As soon as the strange group heard his approach, four pairs of eyes looked up and focused on the redhead. Kagami gulped, feeling uncomfortable under their intense gaze.
"Err.." he shifted his weight from foot to foot. "The blonde guy outside asked me to come here so.."
They stared at him as if he just spoke in some foreign language. Strange. Kagami was sure he was speaking a universal language.
"And so I did." A voice suddenly sounded from behind him. Kagami glanced over his shoulder to find the blonde walking towards them, wiping a faded towel across the back of his neck.
"But this is our spot, Kise-chin," the giant whined. For someone so big, he sure had a childish personality.
"I can't help it," Kise protested. "Akashicchi wanted to meet him after finding out he's a foreigner."
"Wait. What?" Kagami interrupted, sounding exasperated. "Hold up. Can someone tell me what exactly is going on?"
"You fainted in the middle of the forest," the tanned guy said helpfully.
"And we saw you and brought you back with us," the blonde guy added.
"We reported it to Akashi-kun," the smallest boy said. "He wants to meet you when you wake up."
"What do you mean meet me?" Kagami asked, bewildered. "I mean, I'm just a traveler that happened to have fainted while crossing the forest. What's so special about that?"
"That is precisely what's special. You're not from here," a voice sounded from behind Kagami all of the sudden. The redhead involuntarily let out a surprised yelp before turning and finding himself face to face with..
There's no one there.
He casted his gaze further downwards.
A pair of mismatched eyes glared up at him. Kagami gulped and found himself instinctively bending his knees slightly to reduce the different in height between them. The boy standing there had bright red hair several shades lighter than his own. He had this look of superiority on him, for some reason. He looked like someone who expected to be obeyed at all times. Kagami got the feeling he was. He casually twirled a small knife between his fingers. Kagami's hands flew to his belt. That knife was his. When did he-?
"Sit down," the boy commanded. "You can eat while we talk."
They were a band thieves known as the Generation of Miracles.
Kise Ryouta was the boy with hair the color of spun gold. He had handsome features that were not at all affected by the poverty he'd endured when he was a child. His specialty was copying. He could copy disguises, handwriting, and actions to perfection. All with one look. He had been caught several times when he was distracted, but had escaped all the same.
Aomine Daiki was the tanned guy. He hadn't always had that arrogant look. Kise claimed that he'd started looking like that just recently, but that's besides the point. Aomine had undeniable talents in thievery. He was fast, silent, and agile. And he was strong. His thefts alone were able to feed the whole village. Few people from the city had managed to just touch him.
The green-haired boy was Midorima Shintarou. Despite his young age, he served as the doctor of the village. He learnt medications from the books he stole a while ago. He seldom participated in the thefts, preferring to just write down the necessary items and leaving the rest to those who are going. He only does the job himself when he deems absolutely necessary or when Akashi says so. He was known for his accuracy in many things; mainly identifying herbs or when handling long range weapons.
Murasakibara Atsushi was the giant. He had to be at least two meters tall since he towered over even Kagami. He ate anything as long as it's edible. He specialized in stealing big, heavy things like metal objects and whatnot. He was surprisingly fast at moving, considering his monstrous height.
Akashi Seijuuro was the redhead and leader, as Kagami had expected. Apparently, those mismatched eyes held the ability to predict the future. Because of that, Akashi was more of a planner, and his plans never fail. His orders were absolute, and he was really scary - as little as Kagami wants to admit it. He seemed to have an obsession with sharp items like knifes and scissors.
"And this," Akashi motioned to the boy with pale blue hair. "is Kuroko Tetsuya. Also known as the Shadow for his almost unnoticeable presence. You will find out soon enough why he is given that nickname. And," he paused dramatically, letting Kagami process the facts. He didn't seem to be taking it too well. "Tetsuya has the highest bounty placed on his head among the six of us. The prize for capturing him alone will make you the richest man in the country."
Kagami did have trouble letting all that sink in. He was rescued by thieves of all people? What's wrong with this place? Why is everyone treating thieves like heroes? And most of all, how can that short, pale boy there be a renowned criminal? He looked like he could hardly even climb a tree, let alone steal something.
"So," Akashi's voice interrupted his train of thoughts. He leaned forward, his heterochromatic eyes glinting in the sunlight. "Before I go on about why I'm interested in you, I want you to tell us about yourself."
Like hell I'm involving myself with such a dangerous group, Kagami wanted to protest. He opened his mouth, ready to get those words out, but decided otherwise at the last moment. Akashi looked ready to slice his throat open there and then if he refused to do as he said.
"..I'm Kagami Taiga," he mumbled in defeat. "I'm a traveler from the country of the East. My parents work in a small sweet shop in a town there. I journey all over the place because I'm fascinated by the uniqueness of each country there is."
"But did you have any idea about the current state of this country when you came?" Midorima asked darkly, pushing his glasses up his nose.
Kagami shook his head.
"Which makes my job even easier," Akashi smiled. The rest of the group couldn't help but shudder at the sight.
"W-What do you mean?" Kagami dared himself to ask.
"You see," Akashi laced his fingers, the sinister smile still not leaving his face. "You will play a role in helping us change the fate of this country."