Prologue

"You must find a bride, Yoh." Mikihisa informed his son.

"As heir to the Asakura throne of the Shaman King, you must have a Shaman Queen by your side." Kino, his grandmother added. "It is part of the Asakura tradition,"

Yohmei, his grandfather, said, "We encourage you, Yoh, to find a bride before you become Shaman King."

An 18-year-old brunette looked up at his father and grandparents, and asked, "Must I? All the girls you introduce me to are too…too obeying. I want someone who doesn't obey my every order. And they insist they do all the work, like cooking and cleaning. I don't want someone like that."

"He's hopeless." Kino told her husband and son.

"Yoh-kun? Earth to Yoh-kun." A voice interrupted Yoh's thoughts.

Yoh looked down to see his short friend, Manta, staring up at him.

"Nani?" Yoh asked. Manta pointed in front of Yoh and answered, "Yoh-kun, you were about to walk right into the lake."

Yoh looked at where he was and noticed he was standing at the edge of the lake that lay just a small distance from the Asakura Palace.

"That was close. I guess I shouldn't look back on former conversations while walking near the lake anymore." Yoh laughed, grinning sheepishly. He and Manta then started walking in a different direction. They headed towards the woods that lead to the village down the hill where the Palace stood. Manta and Yoh often went there. That was, until Yoh had to start looking for a bride.

Yoh could hardly visit any of his friends and he only got annoyed when he had to spend pointless time with girls he didn't even know. He would much rather be hanging with his friends.

As they walked down the path, they talked about various subjects. Finally, the two found themselves at the end of the path and in the peasants' village.

"Well, Yoh-kun, I have to go, but I'll see you tomorrow." Manta waved goodbye as he ran off to his home.

Yoh decided to look around the village. So he put the orange headphones on his ears and walked to the docks.

The brunette watched the villagers as they passed him, all in a hurry to get home. Villagers at the docks were all carrying crates or nets full of aquatic life. Each new person he saw, Yoh thought they were like little mice, scurrying to get the job done, so they could their dinner before it turned cold.

Yoh waited until all the people were gone. He looked at the docks. Five of the platforms had boats. Yoh glanced at the rest of the piers and was surprised to see a person standing was still there. From where he stood, Yoh couldn't tell exactly what gender the person was, but from the look of the person's clothes, it was a girl. He walked down to the platform on which the person stood on.

Just as Yoh got half way down the platform, he saw the person was a girl, but he couldn't see her face. Before Yoh could walk up to her and say 'hi', the girl jumped into the water. The girl had not come up to the surface three minutes after Yoh had got to the end of the platform. He waited for another minute. Two more minutes crept by and the girl still had not come out of the water. Either that girl can hold her breath for a long time, or something's wrong, Yoh thought. Then it dawned on him that the girl did not intend to rise to the surface.

In a hurry, Yoh threw off his headphones and sandals, and dove into the water.

He swam down as the freezing water pierced his skin like needles. Finally, he spotted a white figure floating to the bottom. Yoh swam to the figure and grabbed a pale, skinny hand.

As soon as he grabbed her hand, Yoh swam back to the surface. Right before Yoh's head was going to turn blue because of the lack of oxygen, he reached the surface. He pulled himself onto the platform and then pulled the girl's lithe body onto the platform as well.

Yoh looked at the girl he had saved. She wore a red bandana on her head and a black dress. Wisps of her wet, blonde hair stuck to her face. He noticed the girl wasn't awakening yet, or even showing the slightest signs that she was still alive.

The boy went into a panic. What should he do? Here a girl was dying, and he couldn't do anything to save her. A sudden thought appeared in his head: mouth-to-mouth respiration.

Yoh sweat dropped. Should he? He didn't even know who this girl was or where she came from. But she was dying! There was only one answer.

And as Yoh lad his mouth on hers, he thanked Kami she was a girl. But before Yoh could start the process, the girl's eyelids fluttered open, revealing onyx eyes.

Yoh, not noticing the girl was awake, received a slap. Soon after, Yoh's cries of pain could be heard throughout everywhere.

As he nursed the bump on his head, the girl yelled at him, "Hentai! Hentai! How dare you touch me, you filthy scum!"

The girl slapped him again and started walking away.

"I'm sorry! You were drowning and I had to help." Yoh pleaded, cowering behind a nearby tree.

The girl's head whipped around. "Did it ever occur to your stupid head that I might have wanted to die?" she yelled.

Yoh's face became full of confusion as he asked, "Why would you want to do that?"

The girl tensed and snapped, "None of your business!"

Yoh winced. Her voice could turn the already ice-cold ocean to real ice with just one word.

Why is she being so cold? Yoh thought. I just saved her, so why not say 'thanks'?

The girl strode up the platform.

"Wait!" Yoh called after her. Turning around and placing both hands on her hips, she asked, "What do you want now?"

Yoh mustered all his courage, afraid to be slapped again, as he asked, "What's your name?"

"That's none of your business, either!" the girl snapped before she ran off.

Yoh stood there, dazed. Today he had saved a girl, whom he didn't even know, and was rewarded with two slaps. Then she wouldn't even tell her rescuer what her name was.

A grumbling sound erupted from Yoh's stomach. Remembering he still had to eat dinner and meet another girl that might be his Shaman Queen, the boy began to saunter back to the Asakura Palace.

I'll come back tomorrow, he told himself. Just to see if I can learn more about her. And, maybe, prevent her from committing suicide.

Who does he think he is? She wondered.

Anna Kyouyama walked down the deserted street. Instead of watching where she was walking, she let her mind focus on a certain boy that just saved her life.

Curse him. Curse his entire family. Anna thought for the one-thousandth time since she left the docks. She had been trying to end her life, when, all of a sudden, this boy pops out from nowhere and decides to stop her.

Her miserable, miserable life. Anna was orphaned after a small pox epidemic had taken the lives of her family when she was four-years-old. She was shunned by the other peasants, and wasn't allowed in the orphanage. Only because she had been born into the world as an itako, a kind of shamanic medium. The only good thing that had happened in Anna's life so far is when she had met another itako. The old itako took Anna in at the Asakura Palace and taught her of the ways of the itako. Kino Asakura was the only good thing that happened in her life.

And meeting her grandson…a nagging voice echoed in her head.

Shut up! She ordered the voice, as she opened the door to the little shack where she lived. The shack had only one room, with two doors. One door lead to the street, while the other lead to the tiny lean-to that was the bathroom. It wasn't much, but it was the only thing Anna could afford.

The itako walked to a corner of the room where a futon covered by a blanket laid. She sat on the futon, letting her thoughts drift away. To the day when she first met Kino's grandson a.k.a. the heir to the Shaman King throne…

A little girl that looked like Anna was sitting on a marble step leading up to the Asakura Palace. She silently sobbed into her fists, tears crawling down her face.

"Why are you crying?" a boyish voice asked the weeping girl. Anna looked up to see a boy her age, staring worriedly at her. Anna sniffed and answered, "I was thinking about Mama."

The boy sat next to Anna and the little girl flinched. The boy laughed, "Don't worry. My brother might bite, but I won't."

"Who are you?" she asked him.

"I'm Yoh Asakura. What's your name? I've never seen you before. Are you servant?"

"I'm not a servant. I'm Kino-sensei's student." Anna remarked bitterly. She could not believe the boy just asked if she was servant.

"Hey, that's my Obaa-san! You're my Obaa-san's student!" Yoh cheered. "So, what's your name?"

Before Anna could reply, another boy rushed out of the Palace. He looked exactly like Yoh. Except his hair was longer and he wore earrings and a white cloak.

"Otouto! To-chan wants to see you!" the boy yelled at Yoh, seemingly full of energy.

When the look-a-like saw Anna, he smirked.

"Otouto, is that your girlfriend?" he teased.

Yoh jumped up, "No, she's not! I was only cheering her up!"

The look-a-like ran back into the Palace, screaming, "YOH'S GOT A GIRLFRIEND! YOH'S GOT A GIRLFRIEND!"

"I got to go. I'll see you some other time." Yoh told Anna before running into the Palace after his twin, yelling, "Hao! Get back here!"

Anna never did see Yoh again. A week after that, Kino had told her she completed her training and even surpassed Kino's own powers! Kino then sent Anna to live among the peasants once again, and Anna has never put one foot into the Palace since then.

Now, ten years later, Anna was 18 and she still wished she could see Yoh or even his stupid twin.

Anna lifted the blanket and laid down on the futon. As she closed her eyes, she decided to go back to the docks tomorrow and try to end her life once again. And if that boy's there again, she thought. I'll make him wish he never messed with Anna Kyouyama.