"Chronicles of the Killer Angels"
By Nes Mikel
Standard Disclaimers apply. You know what I'm talking about. Note that this fanfic is based on the manga, not on the anime, so some parts might be different from what you know from the story of the Shaman King or somewhat differently translated. I have never seen the anime, but I do own 25 volumes of Hiroyuki Takei Sensei's manga. Own, as in, purchase, by the way. Don't sue me. Please.
"He who overcomes will be dressed in white, and I will not take his name from the book of life; and I will give witness to his name before my Father, and before his Angels." - Revelations 3:5
Chapter I; "The Boy Who Dances with Ghosts"
I, Manta Oyamada, never liked running. Whenever I was in a competition, I always finished dead last. That alone was a good enough reason to not like running, but in my mind I could figure out many other reasons to loathe running.
I mean, what exactly do you get out of it? Exercise? Ha, give me a break. No, really. Give me a break. Running is tiring. It's exhausting. In my self-proclaimed rational mind, running was like torturing yourself. Even if you do get healthy in the end, running is no good if you can't beat other people. And I can't. Being 80cm had so many disadvantages it made my head hurt. Like having short legs, for instance. Even if I was moving my legs as fast as the fastest man in the 100m races, I would still finish last. Having short legs meant shorter stepping distance. Argh, I hated my body. Curse genetics.
But now, I was running. What for? I was late for the last train. Stupid cram school. Why did that teacher always had to pick on me to do the cleanup? I added another reason to my long list of reasons on why I hated my height. But I hastily pushed that annoying thought aside as I tried to sprint as fast as I could. I had to make that train. Walking home wasn't exactly the most appealing idea to go home. Especially so if it took you three hours.
I checked my watch. Damn. 12:09. The last train departed at 12:32. And unlike the other trains that would usually arrive late, this one always comes strangely early. Oh, I still remember the bitter days when I found out that fact the hard way… This wasn't looking good at all. I still had to run a few kilometers.
It was precisely at that moment I noticed a graveyard to my right. An idea started to form in my head. If I remembered the town's layout correctly, if I cut through the graveyard the train station was just a half a kilometer away. The route wasn't all that preferable, however. I mean, wouldn't you try to avoid cutting through a creepy graveyard with a "Do Not Enter" sign on the fence in the middle of the night? But it seemed better than to walk for three hours just to get to my house and probably face a scolding from mother. So I threw my bags over the fence and tried to climb over when a voice suddenly called out to me.
"Hey, you there… why are you in such a hurry?"
I freaked out. Slightly panicking, I searched for the source of the voice. And when I found it, I almost didn't believe the sight I was seeing. It was a boy. He didn't look that much older nor younger than I, although he had normal height. He wore baggy jeans and bathroom sandals, a very loose white shirt, and headphones around his head. But what freaked me out the most was the fact that he was sitting on top of a gravestone, staring at the sky with a blank look on the face.
Who was he? What was he doing at this hour at this place all by himself?
My mind raced to compute an answer, and I didn't like the conclusion it gave me.
Was he a ghost?
My watch beeped. I was sort of relieved that the watch took my mind off the insane possibility of the boy being a ghost, but what I saw on the watch made me panic even more than I had when the boy called out to me. It was already 12:25.
"Oh no!" I shouted. "I shouldn't have been thinking something stupid like that! I wanted to catch some TV before I go to sleep!"
I gathered up my bags that were still lying on the floor and proceeded to run past the strange boy. But then he spoke again.
"I told you to wait."
I froze. What did he want with me? He continued to speak. "You can see the stars so clearly today. Why don't you come join me over here and watch it with everyone?"
What was he talking about? "Stars?" I replied. "What will you get from watching stars anyway? Besides, your grammar's all messed up. You don't say everyone when there are just two people…"
He jumped off the gravestone and smiled at me. "No, I meant everyone..."
Suddenly, I felt a chill up my spine. Was there a cold breeze cutting through the graveyard? I looked at the boy thinking he was insane. Then, I saw something.
"Everyone of this grave!" The boy finished his sentence. And, as if on cue, numerous… ghosts… appeared besides him! In my mind, I repeated over and over again that I refused to believe the sight I was seeing… even through my eyes were nearly bulging out of my sockets at this point.
"Ah, don't be so surprised." The boy continued, as if what was happening seemed to the most normal thing in the world. My eyes continued to bulge out even more as I saw him join shoulders with two ghosts that were by his side. "These are my friends! Heh, although they're all good for nothing souls that don't want to go to heaven."
Then he finally noticed the unnatural facial expression I had been wearing the whole time. "Hm, what's wrong?"
The next day, I went around the school telling everyone I knew of the incident that happened last night.
"I swear I saw it!" I found myself yelling at the top of my lungs. "At that graveyard! There were ghosts! And they were looking at the stars! Believe me, I even doubted it myself! But I…"
"Pfft, Manta." A boy in my class cut me off. "I seriously doubt you head now."
"What!?" I shouted back.
"You, of all people, should know that ghosts don't exist." The boy continued.
"You probably thought you saw it, but probably saw something else." A girl pitched in.
"Heh, did you screw your brain up by studying too much?" Another boy chimed into the conversation.
"No, no, no." The boy who I was talking to first spoke up. "He's possessed by ghosts!"
Laughter erupted in the classroom. Never before had I felt so embarrassed before in my life! I was about to shout a rebuttal back at him when the teacher entered the classroom. "Hey, hey, it's getting too noisy in here. Oyamada, shut it. We're gonna begin homeroom so go back to your seats."
Grumbling, I stubbornly went back to my assigned seat. The teacher was saying something in front of the room but I hardly paid attention to conversation that was taking place. All I heard was something about a new transfer student coming into our class. But, geez! Why did my classmates have to treat me that way? Why didn't they believe me? But if they were indeed true, what was it that I saw yesterday? Was it simply a dream?
The teacher was still saying something in the front. "…And so, here's the new transfer student, Yoh Asakura. He came all the way from Izumo by himself due to family matters. So I would like you guys to show him around the school and try to be friendly… hm?"
The teacher was looking at me, I realized. No wonder, especially if I had my mouth hanging open so wide it was most likely physically impossible.
"What is it Oyamada?" The teacher asked. "Your face is all weird."
"IT'S HIM!"I pointed an accusing finger at the new transfer student whom I was sure was the boy I saw yesterday. "Everyone! This is the guy I was talking about! That ghost boy!"
"G-Ghost boy?" Murmurs traveled through the classroom like wildfire. The accused boy seemed unfazed at all this however. He simply scratched his head.
"Pft, ghosts don't exist." The transfer student said. "Who are you anyway?"
I hardly believed my ears now. "WHAT!?"
Laughter erupted around the classroom once again. If my blood could have boiled, I didn't doubt a single moment that it would've done so now. So, the cat was out of the bag then. I was now officially confused.
"C'mon, Manta. Get it over already." A classmate was trying to cheer me up. "The transfer student says he doesn't know you, so the thing you might have saw yesterday was some other…"
"NO."I spat out the words with the most venom I could. "I'm certain! He's just pretending! So I was going to ask him why he was doing that… but…"
I pointed a finger at the transfer student. "WHY IS HE SLEEPING ON HIS FIRST DAY AT SCHOOL!? IS HE MAKING FUN OF ME!?"
The noise didn't seem to bother the transfer student at all, however, as he continued to sleep peacefully at his desk. This only fueled my rage even further.
"Geez, calm down. You're too loud." The classmate besides me said.
"Well, I'll admit that he's a little weird." A girl next to the classmate spoke.
"But it's nothing to get you screaming at and all." Another boy finished the sentence.
"That's right. And Manta," the classmate besides me was saying. "That graveyard is rumored to be the gathering place of those delinquents of that Bansho High School. It's highly possible that under these circumstances that transfer student could be a member of the gang."
I gulped. The classmate shrugged slightly as he stood up. He was leaving. "So just don't bother with people who you don't know."
"Yeah, that's right." An agreeing voice sounded next to me. "Well, I need to study for the test next week. See ya later, Manta."
I appreciated their advises. However, I still was determined to find out who he was. I was now on a mission to reveal his identify, and I intended to carry it out. But how was I going to carry it out? I thought it over with my mind, and a conclusion was drawn soon enough. I know! I could tail him when the school bell rung. I evilly eyed the sleeping transfer student. Just you wait! I'll make you regret that you showed your sleeping face in school! And besides… don't come to school with bathroom sandals! I screamed inwardly.
The bell rung.
I checked my watch. Three hours. I looked straight ahead. There, standing in the middle of a bridge that crossed a small river, staring at no where in particular was that transfer student Yoh Asakura. For three hours he had stared, and stared, and stared. Ever since he got out of school he went straight to the bridge and just stared. Dammit! Exactly how long is he going to stay there and stay spaced out!? He was wasting my time! Exactly what was so interesting about river that makes him look at it for such a long time without moving at all!?
As if on cue, however, the Asakura boy finally showed some movement. He was taking in a deep breath, and out. "Ahh, being one with nature feels so good~!" I heard him say.
I couldn't resist. "WHAT!?"
Oh great. He just saw me.
"Ah, you're that…" the transfer student was coming my way. "What're you doing here?"
I considered running away, but he didn't seem all that threatening. I gave up. "I was… uh… um… following you. Sorry."
"Huh? What is there to be sorry about?"
"…Um, okay." Talking to him, I found, was strangely difficult. "Well, I followed you, and I think I was suppost to apologize, so I did."
"Ah." He just took it in as if it were perfectly normal.
I explained further. "I followed you because I wanted to know who you were."
"Ah~! Now I see!" He clapped his hands together as if he thought up of a new idea. "I see, so that's why you followed me." He proceeded to walk to the edge of the river and sat down on the grass. "Well, come here. I wanted to talk with you anyway."
"O-Okay…" I nervously followed him. "Aren't you angry?"
"Why should I be? You followed me because I ignored you in school, right?"
"What? So you did know…"
He laughed as if he were rather embarrassed. "Well, I'm just too lazy. I can't afford my secret to be known to everyone and have everyone talk about it."
I took a step back. "A s-secret?"
"Yeah. To tell you the truth, I'm a Shaman who came here to train."
It was as if everything around me suddenly got quieter. "A… a Shaman?" What was a Shaman? What was he? But even more importantly… wasn't that suppost to be a secret!? Why did he say it as if it were totally natural!? But all the boy answered in response was the embarrassed laugh he gave me.
"A Shaman is a person who connects this world with the other world." He stood up and turned to leave. "If you're in trouble, call me. I'll help you in anyway I can." Without turning back, he waved his hand, and disappeared into the afternoon. I was simply left there speechless.
My watch beeped once more.
"Oh no! I'm late for cram school!" I hurriedly gathered my bags as fast as I could and ran as fast as my short legs could possible muster.
Naturally, I was late for cram school. The teacher at that school always shouted at students who were late for his class, and I was no exception. I was forced to hear him lecture about the importance of arriving to class time for 20 minutes in front of the classroom before I was even permitted to sit down. Geez. It was all that transfer student's fault. So what was he anyway, I wondered? A Shaman? A person who connects this world with the other world? What the heck was that? Besides, coming to Tokyo just for the purpose of training wasn't a story you heard around here lately…
I was flipping through a dictionary I always carry around with me when I saw it. The word 'Shaman' was in the dictionary!
A member of certain tribal societies who acts as a medium between the visible world and an invisible spirit world and who practices magic or sorcery for purposes of healing, divination, and control over natural events.
I sighed and closed the dictionary. How suspicious. So, that boy used ghosts to do his bidding for him? If he was a Shaman, like he claimed to be, then he was related to a special group of people who used ghosts and do strange things with them? But ghosts? I mean, it's a modern society now, and many people don't believe in ghosts…
Then an image flashed through my mind – that horrifying picture of that Yoh Asakura smiling next to ghosts in the graveyard. I knew it right then that I couldn't deny the existence of ghosts. I saw them myself. I scratched my head.
But it was true that I did see them. So he was saying the truth then?
Argh, everything was so confusing. I needed to meet him once more in order to…
I didn't realize what the sound meant until it was too late. A chalkboard eraser hit me square in the face and sent me flying backwards for a short distance. Apparently my height wasn't an advantage this time as the object hit me dead on. It took me a few seconds to register that it was the teacher who threw the eraser at me. He looked annoyed. I instantly realized that I hadn't been paying attention to class.
"Can't you even pay attention to your name?" The teacher was grumbling to himself. "If you don't feel like participating why won't you just go home? And you don't have to come here anymore if you want to. We are a school that only houses elite's, understand?"
"S-Sorry mister." I managed to reply.
I was naturally in a bad mood after cram school was finally out. I soon found myself sitting in a set on top of the platform of the Funbarigaoka Station, waiting for the last train. That teacher didn't have to go that far as to hit me with a chalkboard eraser! I was fuming. It was that transfer student's entire fault! Everything had become a mess ever since he entered my life!
A Shaman? So what! That didn't give him the right to do anything he wished! He probably just always sits wherever he wants and be lazy even if he didn't come to Tokyo in the first place! He probably never studies, listens to his favorite music all the time, and watches the stars and the river without a hint of worry…
I suddenly felt a void opening within me. I had just spoken the things I wished I had in life. And Yoh Asakura held the lifestyle that I had dreamed of always having. Worry-free, care-free, a lifestyle without constrictions, boundaries, and pressure…
But, in order to live in today's society, you couldn't spare any time for things like that. I sighed. I felt empty. A small vibration rocked the station announcing the final train's arrival. I looked up and saw the train's doors open. In my mind, I knew I should have gotten up and get into the train and simply go home, but for some strange reason, my body didn't move. I sat there silently and watched the last train close its doors and leave the Funbarigaoka Station. And somehow, that scene warmed me a bit.
I looked up. The stars were shining brightly. I suddenly wondered if Yoh was at the graveyard again.
Big mistake. If I had listened to the warnings about those delinquents of that Bansho High School that my classmate had told me about, I probably would have thought twice before actually considering going to that graveyard. But no, I forgot. All I did was eavesdrop on the conversation the delinquents were having about the legendary samurai Amidamaru that existed 600 years ago, witness the gang leader Bokuto no Ryu smash Amidamaru's gravestone into pieces with a simple wooden sword, then stupidly let myself be discovered and then getting beaten up. Result: broken arm, black eye, and numerous head injuries that will probably affect my grades.
Of course, going to school the next day with those injuries didn't help either. When I explained to my classmates about my injuries, they responded by laughing.
"Geez, Manta, what's with that face! You look so… so… hilarious like that!"
"That's why I told you not to go to that graveyard!"
"But I still can't believe that you actually decided to follow the transfer student back home."
"What happened to you, Manta? You were suppost to be the brains of the class, but all of a sudden you talk about ghosts and now this!"
"Maybe he's actually dumb!"
More laugher followed. I was grinding my teeth and tears were starting to squeeze out from my eyes when a voice suddenly spoke out behind me.
It was Yoh.
"T-Transfer Student!" All of the other classmates that were making fun of me took a step back. I heard Yoh approach me. I didn't turn around.
"I heard what happened… from the guys at the graveyard." Yoh continued to speak.
"…What guys from the graveyard?" I bitterly replied. "I'm busy. It has nothing to do with you. So just leave me alone…"
"You… you were Manta, right?"
He suddenly grabbed my hand and dragged me out of the classroom. Before I knew it, I was already out of the hallway.
"Alright, let's go get some revenge on them!" Yoh said.
"WAIT A MOMENT~!" I protested. "W-Who told you that I wanted help!? Did you even listen to me!? Besides, you don't have any obligation to help me or anything…"
"We're friends, so that's why we help each other." Yoh replied.
I was momentarily dumbfounded. "What?"
"Gramps was always saying, that if people could see ghosts, they can't be bad. So that's why I told you my secret because you saw ghosts accompanying me that night." Yoh was laughing now. "So, we're friends! Everything's gonna be alright!"
"N-No, nothing's alright!" I was almost screaming. "It's not alright! Who would want to be friends with a lazy bum like you! Besides, you know about them, don't you? The enemy is numerous, plus if I understand what you're saying correctly then you're declaring vendetta against that infamous Bokuto no Ryu! He's dangerous! Only idiots will try to fight with him! With a physique like yours there's no way you can beat him."
"Yeah, I know, I'm weak!" He said rather delightfully.
"T-Then there's more the reason to…"
"Ah, well, everything's going to be alright."
"ARE YOU SERIOUS!?"
"Yeah, I am. Besides, that guy uses wooden swords, right? Don't worry!" He turned around slightly and flashed a smile. "We have an ally on our side that's much stronger than him!"
"B-But… no, I don't understand! Just let go of my hand already~!"
But before I knew it, I was in the graveyard, hanging behind the back of Yoh, in front of the entire Bokuto no Ryu's gang. I tried to get away, but somehow Yoh had found a rope and tied my hands together and hanged me behind his back. I was yelling at Yoh to reconsider what he was doing, but he had already said the words of impeding doom: he just told Bokuto no Ryu's gang to get out of the graveyard. I yelled at him more.
"P-Please, let me go home! I don't wanna die yet! NOOOO!"
"What did you just say to me, kid?" I heard Bokuto no Ryu speak. "You just told him to leave here? What's your wish, kid? You want to die!?"
If Yoh had a hole in his back, I would've hid in it. Bokuto no Ryu simply looked scary. Veins were popping out of his head!
"Well, not exactly me, Mister." Yoh was saying. "Those people who have already passed away are the ones that are saying that they're bothered by your presence."
I finally managed untie the ropes around my wrist when laughter echoed through the graveyard. The gang was making fun of Yoh's comment.
"Ha- hahahaha! Ghosts! Again?"
"Heh, you're an idiot! Ryu-san isn't afraid of ghosts!"
"That's right!" Bokuto no Ryu said calmly as he brushed his excessively horizontal hair. "Why don't you come here and fight like…"
"I have to fight, right?" Yoh said suddenly. "There's already a guy who's been itching to fight you."
I suddenly felt a cool breeze sweep through the graveyard. It was then I noticed a faint figure standing next to Yoh.
"Isn't that right, Amidamaru?"
It was a ghost of a samurai!
"Yoh-dono, I sincerely must thank you for granting this opportunity to redeem myself from the injustices that had been dealt to me!"said the ghost.
"I-Injustices?" I asked, trembling. "D-Does this mean that this ghost is… the owner of that shattered gravestone… the legendary samurai Amidamaru!?"
O-Of course! I thought to myself. If a real samurai fought those delinquents, they wouldn't be a match! But…
"Hey, hey, hey… give me a break, willya?" mumbled a angry-looking Bokuto no Ryu. "Don't tell me this is about that piss-poor samurai Amidamaru again?"
That's right! Amidamaru was a ghost! They can't see it, and that means that ghosts have no affect against them! After all, a ghost was still a ghost! What was Yoh going to do!?
"Hey… Spaceshot! Apach!" With Bokuto no Ryu's call, two strong, mean looking members of the gang stepped forward. I feared for the worst to come. "KILL THEM!"
"AAAAAAH! T-They're coming! They're coming! What are you going to do! If that samurai's just a ghost then it's meaningless!"
But Yoh was laughing. "Ah~ you're loud. All right then, let's show them Amidamaru, exactly what we're capable of…"
"Yes, of course!"agreed the ghost of Amidamaru.
"We can be invincible!" With Yoh's shout, the ghost of Amidamaru turned into a spherical shape, a hitodama, and rested on the palm of Yoh's hand. I gasped at in at shock, but Yoh was still smiling even through impeding danger was charging at him straight ahead.
"I told you, didn't I Manta?" Yoh calmly reassured me. "A Shaman is a person who connects this world with the other world! Alright, here we go!"
Suddenly, Yoh thrusted Amidamaru's hitodama into himself. The hitodama ball seemed to burst when it came in contact of Yoh's body first, but I noticed that the hitodama ball was going inside of him! Yoh's body jerked sharply for one brief moment, then…
The next thing I knew, the two members of Bokuto no Ryu's gang were lying unconscious on the ground, with Yoh standing behind them victorious. Were my eyes deceiving me? Or did Yoh really beat those two guys up with a single swipe from a wooden grave marker? Could it be that… what he said about 'connecting this world with the other world'…
"Heh, heh, heh…" Yoh laughed mysteriously. I shuddered. "There wasn't a convinient weapon nearby, so I had to settle with this. But this is enough for the likes of you." Yoh pointed the wooden grave marker straight at Bokuto no Ryu as if he were intimidating him. "You're next. Are you ready to meet your fate?"
I stole a quick glance at Bokuto no Ryu. He seemed to be… hesitating?
"What's the matter, kid? You witness some real sword techniques for the first time, and now you're scared?" Yoh continued to intimidate Ryu.
He finally snapped. "Y-You, don't make fun of me! You samurai wannabe!" He charged at Yoh swinging his wooden sword around.
"Ah n-no!" I shouted. "Don't! You don't want to fight him with and type of blades! You'll be killed! Yoh really did transform into a samurai!"
So now I understand everything! 'Connecting this world with the other world' meant that he let ghosts possess his own body, and trace the ghost's movements, skills, and everything else into this word!
It didn't take long until Bokuto no Ryu was on the ground with his comrades. He looked totally defeated, with his horizontal hair cut off from a single swipe from the makeshift weapon Yoh/Amidamaru found. The rest of the gang was panicking and started to flee, taking an unconscious Bokuto no Ryu with them. Yoh, now back to himself once more, was chatting with the ghosts of the graveyard, who were praising him for chasing out of the gang.
"Yoh… Asakura…" I found myself mumbling to myself.
It was perhaps that moment when I aspired to become a Shaman like himself.
I know the this prologue sort of was a translation of the first episode of the anime/manga of Shaman King, but do understand that even in this AU universe Manta had to meet Yoh somewhere along the process. So, I decided, why mess up a perfectly good storyline anyway? It will be much more different after this chapter, believe me. Just be patient, and Manta will develop as a Shaman. This was suppost to be an intro to the story only anyway.
I tried to keep Manta's personality as close to the original as I possibly could, but I had to change a few spots. For example, after this Manta won't be afraid of ghosts as much, or at least he'll try to be anyway, because he's now aspiring to become a Shaman much like Yoh and the others. And he'll be a bit more courageous than the normal Manta, because I can't make him run away or make him sit in the sidelines every time he gets involved in a Shaman Fight.
Also note that I have translated most of the conversation texts from the manga myself, so some people may notice small changes from what they might have seen in the Shonen Jump (English version) manga or the anime. I tried to keep it as accurate as possible, but I don't own either of them, so I can't check.
A note about the title of this fic. Killer Angel. I think many people might not be familiar with this phrase, so let me explain. If you look at the sweater Manta's wearing in a few Shaman King manga chapters, you will notice that on the back of his sweater are Angel Wings and the phrase 'Killer Angel' written on it. And to top it off there's a halo written on the top hood of the sweater as well, with the 'Angel Ring' inscription. Its only written in the earlier books of Shaman King, but it's there. So, I believe that Hiroyuki Takei Sensei is portraying Manta as a small guardian angel or something, so I might develop that idea further.
As for Manta's fighting style… I've yet to finalize that, but I've got an idea. For those who are curious, I suggest they look at the title page of Chapter 107 of the manga, Volume 12. And those two little guys in the bottom just might be the spirits Manta needs. I mean, that and Manta just looks so cool. I just need to decide what 'baikai', or item he needs to use for his Oversoul-style… but ah well.