I sat on the warm blankets that were folded underneath me and leaned against the occupied bed behind me. Cradled in my arms was my spirit, Kororo. I can't help but smile at her as she nuzzles into my arm and lets out a soft yawn with her green Coltsfoot leaf covering her small form like a little blanket. She never usually sleeps, I think. I'm never awake to find out, but it'd sure make sense if she never does. She's a spirit, after all. A holy spirit of the Earth to be more precise. However, I guess spirits can get tired out after all.

Kororo may not look like much, but she's actually pretty powerful and a trustworthy spirit... I couldn't ask for more. To others, she may seem like a small, pipsqueak of a shaman spirit (a cute one though), but size doesn't mean everything, right? She may not be huge like Bason and Amidamaru, or vicious-looking like Tokageru and Mic, but she's just as powerful as they are, since she controls the element of ice.

However... I, on the other hand, am not as strong as some of my friends. At least I don't think so. I'm almost absolutely positive that I can't ever surpass Yoh or Ren. I never even thought about never being able to beat Yoh or Ren until Nyorai opened my eyes and "shined the light upon the darkness of my heart." Ugh, I still can't believe I fell for that. She's a creepy girl too, even though Chocolove is trying to bring her out of her shell. But, she did bring up a point. Even though I never thought about it, I -do- feel a little threatened by Yoh, and our team's "leader," Tao Ren. I've been trying to deny it, saying over and over to myself that I just need more practice or more training or something like that, but even though I -have- grown stronger over the course of our journey, they've grown stronger still. I... can't ever hope to reach their level. Why? I don't know why. Maybe they just have something in them that I don't.

Asakura Yoh. He's always so relaxed and easy going. Could that be his secret? ...Other than being a descendant and younger twin brother of Hao, of course! I'm pretty easy going myself and I've always tried to act it whenever there's a tense situation. It's supposed to throw my opponents off, right? Yoh, Ren, Ryu, Chocolove, and I have always been berated by others about how calm we all are whenever there's something serious going on. But, I guess I'm not as naturally calm as he is.

Tao Ren. The shark-finned kid with those glaring, golden eyes that stare at you as if you're the stupidest person in the world. It's funny how he always gives Chocolove and me that look. Chocolove, I understand. I mean, dammit, his jokes are reeeeally awful, but I can't help but chuckle right now at how bad his puns can be.

Oops, I don't want to wake up Kororo. Mou, she's so cute! Every time I look at her, she renews my determination to earn our dream.

Anyway, must.. focus.. thoughts.. on Ren. Maybe it's his egocentric and arrogant attitude that gives him the upper hand? He thinks he can do everything himself and that's true... most of the time. But I always thought that those kinds of feelings were... well, bad. Teamwork is good, ne? But then again... only one person can be the Shaman King. Maybe it's his wish that he wants granted when he becomes the head honcho of shamans that gives him strength? ...Come to think of it, I don't know what it is anymore ever since he defeated his dad (Kami, I'm glad I don't have him as my father!)

But... aren't I determined to become Shaman King, too? Isn't my cause noble? It might sound silly to others, but Kororo and the other Koro Pokkuru really do need that field of Coltsfoot! I don't want anymore of her kind to disappear! They've always been so kind to my people, the Ainu, and they make really good friends, too. They've taught us to respect and live with nature! I'd be a totally different person right now if I didn't appreciate nature. Sometimes... it makes my chest hurt to see Kororo with her huge, friendly eyes and shy smile because it's then I realize that I probably can't ever obtain our dream.

I couldn't defeat Yoh in our first fight, and though I've never fought with Ren before (in a Shaman match! We always fight outside of a match though...) but, it looks like I'd have a pretty tough time with him anyway.

Bokuto no Ryu; Ryu of the Wooden Sword. He's only just become a shaman, but he's become very powerful already and is a great asset to our team. Does that mean I'm a slow learner? Well, I know I'm not the brightest bulb in the lot but I've worked hard to become what I am.. but Ryu's up to my level already and he hasn't been doing this all his life! I probably won't be able to beat any of them... except for Chocolove and Lyzerg though, hehe.

Anyway, this makes me doubt myself. I don't like doubting myself. I thought for sure I was one of the strongest shamans out there when I left my village. I mean, I command the power of ice!! ...Okay, Kororo does but she's my main spirit! Why -did- she become my spirit? She could've chosen the other people who became shamans in my village.. Why didn't she pick them? They were strong as well... We all fought for her to become our main spirit, even though there were others to choose from with different elements. Come to think of it, why did I want her so badly? Oh, I think it was because she best represented our village, our country. The land we live on can be harsh with the temperature going below -10 degrees often, but our village has always been a lively and warm place, but shy to foreigners.

We've had to live off the land for all our lives, and I'm proud to say that I'm one of them. I volunteered to sleep on the floor tonight with nothing but a carpet and some blankets underneath me. Ren's sleeping behind me now. Hehe, I bet he couldn't live without a bed. I don't need such luxuries.

But.. maybe I'm growing too soft. I haven't slept outside in a while, or had to forage or hunt for food (since Allen kinda prevented me from having my tender bear leg!) Maybe if I get in touch with nature again, I'll grow stronger. I can't even beat another shaman by myself lately.. one that comes to mind is Pino. He said he came from a land where the temperature reached below -30 degrees, and he was able to beat me. He blew me away with his mini ice storm inside the restaurant.. and it's true that I didn't have Kororo to help me at that time, but still.. that was embarrassing!! And I can't bend a snow storm's will like Hao.. dammit.. what kind of an ice shaman am I? A pretty shabby one at that...

Kororo... maybe you should've picked someone else to be your shaman. I don't.. think I can fulfill our dream. As much as I want to, I don't think I can be the Shaman King with people like Yoh, Ren, and Hao fighting for that spot. I'm sorry that I couldn't be a much better shaman...

I hate this feeling.. I felt something on my cheek, and I raised a hand to brush it away, but my fingers just got wet. Crying is for the weak.. and look at me, I'm crying, so that means I'm weak. No, wait, that's Lyzerg. Damn, I don't want to be like Lyzerg... I just.. need to try my best. That's all. So I won't have an regrets in the end. Then... you don't have to blame me for anything, right Kororo? Yeah.. I'll try my best. I'll try not to disappoint you, Kororo.


A/N: I absolutely adore Horo Horo. He's so innocent in a way... I mean, he -wants- a field of LEAVES when he becomes the Shaman King while he could just get a girlfriend that he wants so much (I'm a Horo x Ren fan, btw! ^^)

Anyway, back to the ficcy. This takes place after episode 50, which is the one about that shaman/priest girl, Nyorai, making most of Team the Ren (*skerk*) go crazy. Actually, I started writing this fic before I saw episode 50 because, if you think about it, does Horo Horo -really- have a chance against Yoh or Ren? As much as I want Horo Horo to win... it doesn't look like he will, since Yoh is also the main protagonist in this series! Gomen, Horo Horo! T_T Maybe you can ask Yoh to grant your wish, too!

I also wanted to highlight his relationship with Kororo... since I haven't seen much of that around here or anywhere. She and her people is the reason that he's doing this, after all! She's so cute, too! ^_^ I was also thinking about sticking on another chapter and turning this into a real story, but if I feel like it, I'll post it up.

Comments, criticism, and blah blah are welcome. Help me write better!!!