Welcome to the Prince Of Tennis ---- Mythic Brotherhood stories.

If you have not yet read the two main introduction stories "Loss of Innocents" and "When Deer Bow Down"; then I strongly suggest you do, to gain a better insight into this story's background.

"Heart of Dragon Gold" very roughly parallels the anime; but like every good fan fic' writer, I have taken certain ... liberties.

Firstly, due to yaoi references and adult themes that will crop up in these stories, the boys are a few years older.

Tezuka is seventeen, going on eighteen, while Ryoma is Fourteen. (Besides; the way the characters are drawn, one would think those WERE the right ages!!!)

Seishun Academy Middle School is now Seishun Academy Senior High School, etc.

Some characters still live with familles, while others rent rooms or apartments.

Some have mythic parents, while others are adopted or disguised. Of course, for the sake of the story, ALL creatures mentioned can assume human form; and some have the power of mental telepathy (so D&D players out there --- you have been warned!! -- no getting picky!!).

Special dispensation from the Hikari. E.g. In the chibi episode when Inui "lost" his glasses he didn't transform because he still had the glasses on his head - Ed.&Minion363

There are one or two who can't FULLY hide what they truly are, so have fun picking them out!!!

Read. Please review and ABOVE ALL ----- ENJOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

Disclaimer: Takeshi Konomi owns Prince Of Tennis ---- not me ---- worst luck!! Mythic's however, belong to themselves.

"Heart Of Dragon Gold------Chronical's of the Mythic Brotherhood"

Story: Tora Macaw

Concept: DSM ( Death's Silent Mistress )

Ed.: Kerin Macaw

Additional ideas:Minion 363

PART 1: "When darkness calls."

Chapter 1

Kunimitsu Tezuka awoke as he always did: to the sweet warbling music of bird-song outside his bedroom window. Sitting up; he yawned and stretched, blinking at the chink of bright sunlight streaming in between the heavy blue curtains. Allowing a tired and somewhat lopsided half-smirk to cross his face; the young man slowly ran his fingers through sleep-tussled, golden-brown hair, then lifted his head to yawn once more. The sound of his yawn rumbled up out of the very depths of his throat, deepening to sound almost like a roar, as his jaw creaked from the effort. Accompanying the action was a second round of stretching. Arms arched up over his head, long thin fingers curling up in claw-like fashion before straightening out.

Abruptly; the arms fell, his hands dropping limply to the bed as the yawn ended. Eyelids drooping, Tezuka stared into space a moment, then yawned again. Only this faint hissing of breath was but a pale shadow of his previous mighty intake. The teenagers breath puffed out in a small cloud of steam, a faint ghost of a smile curving his lips. Outside the window, the trilling had progressively grown louder. Turning his head toward the sound; Tezuka spoke in low, flat tones.

"Hel-lo!! I'm up." The frantic trilling continued, making the Seigaku tennis captain glare. Swinging his legs off the bed, he spent another minute staring blearily into space before speaking again.

"I'm up. Are you idiots even listening to me?" Standing, Tezuka crossed over to the window; seized the curtains, braced himself for the onslaught of daylight, then violently yanked them aside. Wincing as the bright sunshine flooded in to dazzle him; the youth slowly lowered his left arm away from his face, to fix the gathered avians with a stern, commanding stare. Instantly; the feathered alarm clocks took the hint and rapidly departed in a flurry of wings, loose feathers and annoyingly cheerful little cheeps.

"Every morning" he growled to himself, his chin dropping onto his chest, one arm hanging limp while the other hand kept a feeble grip on the curtain. A low chuckle sounded within the inner recesses of his mind, then a strong mind voice spoke.

'They can't help it. It's because of who and what you are.'

Closing his eyes, Tezuka lifted his head to concentrate. Words formed up in his head and were sent out with the ease of long practice. 'There are times when I would like to sleep rather than be "honoured" with bird song every dawn. How is the Kirin?' There was a pause, then 'He sleep's.'

'I am overflowing with joy.'

The mental chuckle rang for a moment through the young man's mind, then fell silent. Blinking to clear his vision; Tezuka gazed out upon the new day, enjoying a moment of peaceful solitude.

The sky was a beautiful sapphire blue, without a single cloud to marr the vast expanse. Cicada's had begun to shrill amongst the shrubbery surrounding the apartment, and the horizon started to shimmer with an early heat haze. Opening the window, Tezuka deeply breathed in the crisp, morning air. Standing perfectly still, his eyes closed, the youth let the breezes stir up his hair with cool, cloying fingers. In his morning isolation from the modern world, he felt utterly at peace.

" Ma-jes-ty ." The single word was spoken in a malignant, hissing tone.

Jolted out of his trance, as effectively as if he had been suddenly doused with a bucket of iced water, he knew That particular type of voice and curled his lip at the owner's brazenness. To openly taunt him, and in broad daylight!!!!!!! Normally his foul kind kept to the depths of night, or deep within the earth. To have one abroad in day time could only spell disaster. The morning may have been golden, bright and cheerful, but to Kunimitsu Tekuza the day had suddenly become bleak and cold.

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"HI-YAH!! HI-YAH!! YEE-HAH!! Take THAT Oishi!!! HA!!" Eiji Kikumaru pranced, cart wheeled and back flipped his way around the tennis court in full cry as he taunted his beloved doubles partner with his incredible aerobatic plays. Across the net, Shuichiro Oishi smiled indulgently at the springy, red-haired youth; admiring his flawless, natural grace; and laughing a little at the teenager's wide-eyed grin.

Fighting down the urge to charge across the court, pin that restless body to the ground and soundly kiss the grin away, Oishi settled instead for swinging his racket in a perfectly executed back hand; sending the little green and white missile flying back at him. It flew high, yet Eiji leapt up like a cat to swot it clean out of the air. Smiling gently at his lover's gravity-defying display, Oishi charged after it to send it back. Pursuing the ball with two springy back flips; Eiji sent it sailing over his partners head, then landed lightly to wave his racket in the air, while simultaneously yelling a wild welcome to his team captain as Tezuka appeared court side. Retrieving the ball from where it had landed beside the dignified youths feet; Oishi smiled at his captain, then froze, a look of concern darkening his features. Instead of Tezuka's normal look of thoughtful calculation, the captain's hazel-gold eyes were filled with a dark, faraway look of foreboding. Oishi tentatively reached out a hand. "Are you all right?"

Seeming to return to himself; the young man stared at his vice-captain, his head nodding stiffly.

"Have you seen anyone strange hanging around?"

Oishi's nostrils flared as he drew breath, his green eyes quickly darting about, then he gazed steadily at his captain as he shook his head.

"What's up?" asked Eiji as he trotted up to join the pair. Peering intently at Tezuka's serious face he said "Gee captain, you look like you've seen a ghost!!" Turning away, Tezuka gave the "golden pair" a stern look over one shoulder. "Maybe I have" he rumbled. "Stay alert." Turning; Tezuka walked away, leaving his teammates to exchange worried glances as they sniffed the air.

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Keigo Atobe strode like a king across Hyotei college's sweeping, front lawns; his head held high. An expert at observation; the youth's keen, grey eyes missed little or nothing. This morning all seemed to be as it should. Students hurried too and fro, or sat on the grass in chattering groups. Those who did notice him and his escort gave them a wide berth. No one DARED to upset the great Atobe, and he knew it.

At his shoulder, Akutagawa Jiroh stifled a yawn and mumbled something about wanting juice. Casually lifting his right hand, Atobe snapped his fingers. "NA KABAJI!! Ore-Sama wants blackberry ponta!!"

"USU!" came the instant reply from above his head. Dark eyes swiftly raking the area and finding nothing unusual, the towering-monolith of a student trotted away to find the nearest vending machine.

Laying a loving arm across Jiroh's shoulders, Atobe's fingers reached up to gently caress the youth's reddish-gold, soft, wavey hair. Sighing with pleasure, the young man's mocha-brown eyes half closed as he leaned into the touch.

"Hmmm --- Atobe." Smiling dreamily, the sleepy teen turned his head, so his cheek rested in Atobe's palm. Fog-grey eyes warmly glowing; his fingers traced a light trail up the boy's face, to softly caress Jiroh's golden eyebrows, then very carefully placed his hand on his beloved's brow. Jiroh practically purred with pleasure as Atobe tenderly touched the one place that no-one else could. For the pair of young males, the world around them seemed to stop. Only their deep bond mattered. Not even Kabaji's quick return disturbed them. This was their moment, their time.

" Hi-kar-i ... Yyyyyyyyyyeeeeeeeeesssssssssssss ." The mind voice hissed with malicious pleasure; making both Atobe and Kabaji snap upright, their senses fully alert. Also feeling the hateful, sneering presence; Jiroh cowered into Atobe's side, snorting as his eye's widened at the unknown threat. Whatever it was, Jiroh strongly felt it was after him.

"Shhh Jiroh. Be calm." soothed Atobe as his sharp eye's darted about, searching for the intruder. Shifting his gaze to Kabaji; Atobe narrowed his eye's, his second sight looking past his friends human disguise to gage his reaction. The great bronze held himself tense as iron, little streams of flame licking out from his open jaws. Claws and wings then extended, his body ready for combat. All around them, the school day progressed as normal; the student's blissfully unaware of the unearthly creatures that lived among them, or of the drama unfolding between them.

" Ki-rin!!! Yyyyyyyyyyyyyeeeeeeeeeessssssssssss " the voice laughed triumphantly. Shocked that the creature could see through his shields, Atobe warned "Do NOT attempt to hunt him!!" Suddenly, his probing gaze fixed upon the rooftop of a nearby building. A large demon crouched there, it's midnight black wings held stiffly out from it's sides. Beside Atobe; Kabji snarled, his legs squatting and wings lifting as he prepared to take flight.

'Stop!! Are you mad? We are not under attack yet and besides ... .' Atobe paused in his mind speak to glare at the milling crowds. In the background the school bell shrilled it's strident message, and the crowd became a jostling mob. Kabaji the dragon grunted, then settled. His human self hadn't moved at all. Swinging his head so he gazed up at the rooftop once more, Atobe's lip curled. The demon, at least for now, had gone.

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Crouched on a branch of a huge camphor tree, a large demon hid within concealing shadows to plot his next move. So the rumours were true. There really was a Kirin hidden among the humans. Lord Aion he knew, would reward him well for such information. He had been surprised to have been able to see the beast so easily, for he knew the Shining-Cloud Hikari's powers were strong, but ... . 'Ah!!' Aion had enlisted secret aid in bringing the horned-one's true nature to light. Grinning, the demon knew his fellow hunters would rejoice in the thrill of the hunt. But first, he had to spy out an even greater prize. No Dark Hunter had ever defeated a metallic'; but he was certain his master could take the mightiest of their kind, and become unstoppable. Spreading large wings, the demon drifted invisibly toward his goal: the place called "Seishun Academy."

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The bell had rung, and morning classes were in session. Seated near a window; Takashi Kawamura idly rotated a pen between his fingers, while fixing his steady gaze onto the back of his teachers head.

The morning sun pouring in felt warm on the back of his neck, but Takashi didn't mind. He liked the heat. Absent mindedly turning his head, the youth gazed out through the slightly smeared glass to stare calmly at the sky. A few birds flew across it's cobalt perfection, and the young man sorely wished he could join them. Abruptly, Takashi felt his peaceful mood evaporate. He sensed something, a presence that only just tickled at the very edges of his mind. It carried with it a sense of danger that made him shudder. Nearby, Sadaharu Inui shifted in his seat as he too fixed his gaze on to the window. Closing his eye's in concentration, Takashi attempted a mind send. Due to his youth, the hatchling red had a hard time of it. Eventually, his faltering, unskilled thoughts knocked against Inui's iron clad mental shields, so the bespectacled youth half turned to look at him. Wide eyed; Takashi asked anxiously, "Do you feel that?'

Moving his glasses between thumb and forefinger, Inui silently replied 'Yes. Stay quiet while I figure this out.' Huffing, Takashi folded his arm's in a mild sulk; then growled a little under his breath as another voice reached him.

'Silence yolk crawler!! Every sender for miles will hear you!!'

Throwing an arm over the back of his chair; Takashi nervously watched Inui, who took no notice of him. Building up his unsteady mental walls, the very-young, red dragon wished he was much older than his current seventy years of life. Trying not to broadcast his thoughts, the human-disguised dragon found himself studying his teammate.

Although not a dragon, Inui was a similar creature ... somewhat of a distant relation. Narrowing his eyes, Takashi invoked his second sight. A huge, baleful form took shape to rear up over Inui and hang above him like a misty cloud. This, Takashi knew was the teenagers true form. To most of the class, Inui appeared to be studying his history book; but Takashi could see the great snakelike head turning gracefully, his long forked tongue slipping out to taste the air. Two malevolent, golden eyes glittered in a face of black scale, all rippled throughout with gold. Only in his shadow form was his dangerous gaze harmless, and Takashi sincerely hoped he would never give his friend cause to display his eyes for real. Yet, the great serpent was as stunningly beautiful as it was extremely deadly.

Some times, Takashi felt sorry for his friend. He was very old and the last of his kind. He was a bit of a loner; his eyes forever hidden as not only couldn't he transform them, but also he couldn't stop his penetrating gaze from turning anything he looked at to stone.

Sighing, Takashi let his thoughts wander onto the subject of kaido. He at least was of similar blood - if not species - and was only one of four Mythic's in the world that could withstand his lover's naked gaze. Then, there was Momoshiro ... .

'Shell crusher' came an authoritative voice. 'Silence!!'

Wincing, Takashi meekly replied, ' Yes sir!!!!'

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Grinning wickedly, the invisible Dark Hunter soared rapidly over the sprawling town. The object of his search had hidden himself well, but the mental cries of a foolish, downright, mind-bogglingly-stupid hatchling now guided the demon toward his goal like a beacon. Suddenly, his flight shuddered to a halt as though he had run into a brick wall. Uttering a low, painful cry the demon gripped his head, as he fought off the invading presence that threatened to over run him.

"Oh no you don't beast!!" he snarled, lips drawn back to reveal sharp, pointed fangs. "I've fought your kind, and was out killing your brethren when being a Basilisk meant something!!" Abruptly, the demon's pain ceased as his mental shields slammed firmly into place. Freed from the powerful telepathic attack, he continued on his way. Glancing down, the demon suddenly spyed something that made him smirk with malignant amusement. His own kind played out some insignificant little drama almost directly below him; and, feeling it would provide an interesting diversion, swooped down for a closer look.

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Back in class, Takashi tried to concentrate on his lesson; but his brown eyes kept flicking toward Inui. The youth continued to calmly read his book, while making a few notes. Staring out the window, Takashi fought against the urge to mind send. At last, the bell rang to signal the end of class. Under the cover of students chattering loudly as they made their way out of the room, Takashi asked quietly, " Inui, what did you find out?"

Not lifting his gaze from the books he was stuffing into his bag, the slightly taller teenager's reply was a low sounding rumble in his ear. "Trouble." Shouldering his bag, the spiky-haired youth strode off without so much as a second glance leaving a confused Takashi to scratch his head, and wonder just what sought of trouble the ancient basilisk meant.

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In a different class room; Syusuke Fuji rested his chin on his right hand, a serene smile curving his lips as he listened to his teacher droning on.

Close by, Eiji twitched nervously. He could feel a sense of impending danger; that made him lift his hand to his bandaged face, and shake a little. Fearful memories of his own encounter with Dark Hunters reared up to plague him.

Feeling his friend's anxiety, "The Blood"youth turned his calm gaze to Eiji, then laid a hand gently on his arm. Soothing thoughts flowed, and the fire-haired youth nodded his thanks. He was about to speak, when the bell rang out. There was a quick flurry of activity as books vanished into bags, then all the students shoved to their feet to stand, bow, and depart for lunch. When some of Eiji's classmates tried to speak to him, the springy, tennis star answered in a preoccupied manner; then followed Fuji into the hallway.

Stopping at his locker, the prodigy spoke quietly "Don't be afraid."

Laughing, Eiji said airily "Hey!! I'm fine!!"

Fuji nodded, but was quick to notice a fleeting look of uncertainty flare briefly in the youth's eyes. "Mada mada da ne."

Both teens spun around to smile in response to the familiar greeting, then Eiji threw an arm over the smaller boys shoulders. "Hey Echizen!! Looking forward to next week?"

Two golden-green eyes briefly appeared from under the rim of his white cap, to smirkingly regard his team mate, then he shrugged the arm from his neck, with a surly "yes."

"Yamabuki are tough, but we will win" remarked Fuji as he spyed Oishi and Momo' approaching. Spotting Tezuka coming up behind them, his smile grew warmer.

"Training begins at two" said the captain in his usual stern manner (as a way of greeting). "Inui, a word please."

The pair strolled away as Takashi joined them. Moving in close to Oishi, he muttered, "Something's going on." Looking up, Oishi hummed in agreement, his green eye's deadly serious.

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Lunch hour at Fudomine saw a tennis team known as the "Stray Cats" tearing about a tennis court, much to the amusement of their hidden observer. One particular phrase yelled with intensely savage venom rolled across the area to ring in the demon's ears, so he grinned with vicious glee.

"No Mori!! I'm NOT going to forgive you, you arse hole!! How dare you think you can get away with wrapping up Shinji and me like common, ordinary merchandise!!!!!! Now come here so I can shove this racket up where the sun don't shine!!!!!!!!!!"

Smirking, the dark haired youth danced back out of the furious red heads reach, his hands up raised defensively.

"But Kamio!! It was for Buchou's birthday!! Didn't you enjoy yourself? I know our captain did!!"

Screaming blue murder, Akira hurled himself at his team mate. The fiery tempered youth was fast on his feet, but Mori could move just as quick when he had too, and Akira's grasping hands closed on thin air.

Frustrated at his friends neat escape, he roared "You're DEAD MEAT Tatsunori!!!"

Close by, Kyosuke slapped his brow with a long suffering moan, then carefully approached the snarling youth with upraised, imploring hands.

"Will you please calm down Kamio? It was just a silly prank!!"

Deep blue eyes blazing, Akira whirled about to spit chips at the speaker.

"Oh just a SILLY PRANK huh? Was it YOU tied up practically naked to a chair to be left to the whims of a perverted captain? Well come here Uchimura!! I've got a nice length of rope with your and Tatsunori's name on it, and it's itching to wrap it's self around the pair of you!! And once I've got you turkeys trussed up, I'm going to deliver you both to the Seigaku club rooms!!! Only when THEY have finished with you, I'm going to hand you over to Atobe so he can make you both his own personal slaves!!! THAT will be MY little prank!!! I'm going to film the whole thing, send it in to 'Japan's funniest home video,' then laugh myself sick!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Pausing in his spectacular rant, that was growing progressively louder by the moment and accompanied by some extraordinary wild arm movements, Akira leaned forward to rest his hands on his knees - his laboured breath rasping in and out as he struggled to recover enough to beat his laughing team mate into a squishy, bloody pulp. Then, a very calm voice spoke in his ear.

"Akira, it wasn't that bad now was it? And after all, it was for Tachibana's birthday. Personally, I think he enjoyed having us as his presents, and you seemed to ... ."

With the speed of a striking snake, Akira's hands whipped out wrap themselves tightly around Shinji's neck. Shaking him so hard that his head flopped alarmingly, the flame-haired youth bayed into his lovers face.

"If you ever, EVER mention this to me again, I SWEAR ... ."

"What a stupid oaf!!" All heads turned at the sound of the harsh drawl of the stranger who had swaggered up to join the group.

Dropping Shinji so he fell limply to his knees, Akira rounded savagely on the new comer, then gasped "Lyrium!! What the hell is a Dark Hunter doing here?"

Holding up a long, clawed, index finger, the demon drawled in his hissing voice, "How rude!!! Such behaviour, and from a half-Hikari too!!" Ignoring the youth's shocked splutters, the demon strode past him to icily regard Shinji; as he still knelt, hands steadily massaging his painfully-bruised throat.

"And YOU!! Just what kind of weak fool are you, to let a cloud dancer strangle you!! Where in Jigoku is your pride????"

Low, angry muttering broke out, while Shinji stood up to curve a protective, shadow-form wing over Akira's head. Sneering, the demon's arms crossed over his chest. "You are all the saddest excuse for demons I've ever seen!! Hiding among humans, shielding your true forms, your all pathetic!!! Especially you!!!!!" The Demon stabbed a finger at Shinji, who narrowed his hard eyes, glaring dangerously. "I see by your appearance that you are of higher blood, a noble of Thleerium, if I'm not mistaken; and I'm never mistaken!! So tell me worms, why is it you protect a pitiful half-angel as this?"

With a decidedly evil smirk curling his lips and revealing his very sharp, fang-like teeth, Mori strode forward, his long reptilian tail whipping cat-like behind him. "Watch your mouth life stealer, or you'll be kissing worms six feet under!!"

Holding up claw tipped fingers, the rest of the team closed around Akira in a protective ring, then menacingly stalked toward the dangerous Dark Hunter. Snapping his wings out and raising his own claws, the demon prepared for battle.

"What's going on here?" Instantly, the snarling demon pack drew back to make way for their leader. Short black hair gleaming in the sunlight, Kippei Tachibana raised an eye brow as he calmly regarded the strange demon in the midst of his tennis team. Pointing with the racket gripped in his right hand, Kippei said firmly, "I know you. It's been - two hundered years - but I remember, Shinzyo of the Deep Earth clan."

To be continued...................................

Well, it's begun. Just in case your wondering, Aion is the same demon lord from Chrono Crusade, ... and NO I don't own THAT either!! But I am a big fan, and this character will become a little more prominent later on.

The clan's in these story's are made up of family group's, ranging from as little as three to as many as fifty. Although they may not be directly related; they all live under the rule of the "Clan Father" or, if matriarchal, the "Clan Mother;" and all call themselves by the clan name. Mori belongs to the "Razor Fang clan", etc., ... you get the idea.

The incident Akira is screaming about is a direct reference to DSM's "Rope and Ribbon" story. It's very funny, so check it out!!!

Some of the characters in these story's are either immortal, or very long lived, while other's have a more "human" life span.

Full stat's and details will come later. (I promise!!!)

Next chapter will mention "Adion". He is an original character of DSM, and used with permission.

Fans of "12 Kingdoms" will know a kirin hates being touched on the brow.

But because Jiroh is a little different and in love, he is quite happy to allow it.

In demon form, a Dark Hunter Hisses when excited and tends to hiss during speech.

However in human form, they speak clearly.

Sender; Dragon word for those with telepathy.