You all can thank yourselves have this story. Thanks to the sheer numbers of you who still had some questions that I didn't answer or those who wanted a sequel, I present to you this story.

The shocking tale behind Ulrich's disappearance will finally be told.

The Soul of a Warrior

By: Tellemicus Sundance

Chapter 1--Polite Courtesy

The rays of the sun creeping over the horizon shone brightly. The sky was a magnificent shade of blue with no clouds as far as the naked eye could see. It was blinding to the five sets of eyes that were accustomed to the darkness of night.

They sat in a patch of ferns in the park this Saturday morning. A blonde-purple haired boy was lying on his side, absentmindedly chewing on a candy bar. Yumi leaned against Odd's legs, her attention on Ulrich. Jeremy and Aelita sat next to one another, holding hands. Ulrich sat with his face to the rising sun.

"So," Odd said. "Do you want to start explaining? Or should I?"

Yumi, no mattered how she loved Ulrich, sheeted at him telling Odd before he told her. It just didn't seem fair to her after all they'd been through together. But what's done is done, she growled to herself.

Closing his eyes and looking at the ground, Ulrich swallowed. He hated talking about himself, even with his friends. That and the story that they wanted was so very … personal and yet farfetched that he doubted they'd believe him.

"Go ahead, Odd," he said. Memories flooded through his mind unwillingly as his friend started the tale

July 1

Even though the school year had ended two months ago, the gymnasium doors were wide open. The busy activity in the gymnasium was because of it being almost overcrowded. The students worked with a suppressed zeal at what they were making. Tonight was a special summer dance, courtesy of Principal Delmas.

It was no secret that this dance was his gift to his daughter, Sissi.

The gymnasium was littered with blue and white balloons. Strips of blue and white confetti paper were being draped over anything that was fastened down. In the center of the gym the tall, dark-haired girl who the students had to thank for this special occasion was supervising the setup of a fountain.

"Don't worry, Sissi," Herb said. "Everything's going to be perfect."

Snorting, she glared at him. "Who asked you?"

Before he could answer, Sissi turned her back to him and walked away. Though he knew that he should've been used to this from her, it hurt Herb at how cold she could be to him. Deep down in his heart, he wanted to ask her to the dance. But his considerable intelligence informed him that she'd not only turn him down but also kick him when he was down. Hanging his head, Herb returned to setting up the decorations.

Yumi was in her room but it was barely recognizable. This was due to the mountains of clothing that she'd thrown about it in an attempt to find something to wear tonight. Like the students in the gymnasium, she was filled in a barely suppressed energy.

Pausing in her frantic search, she sat down on her bed. In her mind played scenes of how she hoped that the actual dance would turn out. She pictured herself dancing along with Jeremy and Aelita, whom she knew her blonde friend was currently teaching to dance, and with Odd and Ulrich. Especially with Ulrich.

She watched as Ulrich walked up to her and asked her to dance when a slow song came on. Then she watched as he slid his hand around her waist and took her hand. She imagined how his fingers would feel if they were laced between hers.

Smiling sheepishly, Yumi felt a fierce blush burning her face. If the morning sunlight hadn't shining into her room, her embarrassed gaze at her room would've had the same effect. Then she realized that she still didn't have anything worth wearing to the dance.

Jeremy and Aelita stood up in the large chamber of the factory. There was a small stereo nearby playing a love song. Taking her slowly through the steps of dancing, Jeremy couldn't hide the blush that was lighting up his face as well.

Aelita was a very fast learner and he quickly found himself just dancing with her for the sheer joy of having her in his arms. She clung as closely to him as she could, enjoying the sensations of touch and smell. Dancing came to her almost as naturally as scanning a computer code for errors.

The rising sun was casting bright reflections throughout the factory through its broken and remaining windows. But what was blossoming inside it was far brighter than anything in the natural world.

Odd was singing in the bathroom. A stereo was playing loudly over the spraying water that dampening his body. Scrubbing his hair vigorously, he attempted to eradicate any dirt or grit that may have settled into it. A loud pounding on the door brought him back to reality.

"Yeah?" he called over the song. "What do you want?"

"Are you gonna get out of there anytime soon?" Ulrich's voice called in loudly. "You'll miss the dance at this rate!"

"Hold on, speedy," Odd shot back with a grin. "I'm washing my hair."

"Again?" Ulrich couldn't believe this. "That'll be what? The fourth time in less than an hour? LET ME IN!"

Smirking, Odd cried out. "You can't expect someone as gorgeous as me to rush things, can you? I'll get out when I'm good and ready!"

"I hate you," Ulrich growled as he left the door.

Sighing, he sat back down on his bed. His eyes wondered the room aimlessly until they came to rest to on his cell phone.

Should he call her? Should he ask her? He wanted to, he really did want to. But he was scared that she might not want to. That was probably the only thing that was holding him back, fear of rejection. Only days later would he realize how different his life would be if he'd have mustered the courage to call.

But, instead, he decided to go shopping. The day was still quite young after all. Maybe he should get her a gift? Just to be a friend, he thought. When was the last time I did that for her?

He first the small boy walking down the street toward an old diner. The boy was dressed in a strange outfit that was clearly ancient Japanese. His clothes had an intriguing homemade look to them, worn with small rips and tears throughout its length. The boy's hair was dark, long, and pulled into a bun at the back of his head. The boy seemed no older than six or seven.

But what caught Ulrich's attention was that he seemed to be tormented by a pair of teenagers easily in their middle teens. The young boy was walking forward, ignoring the obnoxious teens when one of them decided that taunting him was getting boring. In one swift act, he sent the boy to the ground.

Something seemed to snap in Ulrich. This boy may have dressed funny sure, but no one deserved that treatment.

Walking forward boldly, he called out, "Leave him alone!"

The teens turned at the sound of voice. It was only another little kid, nothing for them to worry about.

"What do you want, kid?"

"Leave that boy alone," Ulrich said, his fear not quite reaching his voice. He was careful to watch both the boys. A sinking feeling told him that they wanted trouble. "He hasn't done anything to you, has he?"

"Get lost, kid!" barked the other teen. "This brat needs a fashion upgrade. We were just giving him some pointers."

Roughly yanking the small boy before him to his feet, the teen threw him forward. The boy stumbled slightly but remained on his feet. His light blue eyes flickered with anger as he stared at Ulrich.

"If I were you," Ulrich said. "I'd leave him alone before his family shows up."

Reaching slowly into the shirt portion of his clothing, the boy grasped something. Closing his eyes, the boy took a deep breath. A strange calmness seemed to wash over the boy. Ulrich couldn't help but watch as a series of events happened at incredible speeds.

The boy who had been beating on the kid drew back his leg for another kick. But as his leg was passing through the air, the kid suddenly dodged to the side and whipped his arm out. The teenager stood frozen, a cold blade of steel pressed threateningly against his throat. No one moved for a moment.

"Hey kid," Ulrich said, approaching him slowly. "Put it down."

The kid's gaze never left the boy. The sharp dagger pressed slightly harder into the bully's neck. The bully's eyes bulged considerably and his jaw was trembling in fear. He had never felt such fear in himself for a long time.

"Kid," Ulrich said with a slightly louder voice. "Put it down! He's not worth it."

Slowly the kid looked toward Ulrich. Then he spoke in a strange language. Though he couldn't understand the kid's words, he did catch his tone. He was mad and he wanted to take it out on the person who caused it. But as the boy continued to speak, his tone took on a quieter and indifferent quality.

Removing the dagger from the teenager's throat, the kid turned his back and walked away as though nothing had happened. The bullies wasted little time putting as much distance between them and the knife-wielding kid that had been their prey.

Ulrich followed and quickly caught up to the kid. Grasping his shoulder, he turned him to face him. The boy's face was empty except for a little confusion.

"Why did you do that?" he asked. "You could've killed that guy. Didn't your parents ever teach you not to carry weapons around?"

The kid just smiled as he listened incoherently to Ulrich's lecture. Seeing that he wasn't getting through to the kid, Ulrich shook his head. Turning, his waved farewell to the kid and started to walk away.

He didn't get very far however. As he rounded a corner, he failed to see a staff swinging down toward his head. He dropped unconscious with a single blow to the back of his head.

(A/N) Just so you all know: I have NO idea how often I'll be able to post. See, I'm working in my spare time which is extremely limited right now.