Behind the Legend

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After encountering two mysterious figures while retrieving books at a historical library, Daisuke and Satoshi are thrown into the afterwards of an ancient legend. Can they help two entities and free them from their curse before darkness takes them all?

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Chapter 4

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The library opened at nine o'clock in the morning; Daisuke and Satoshi were there by eight thirty.

Despite their late night, both boys had been able to rouse themselves early enough. They changed into warm clothes; Daisuke had donned a dark brown jacket over a pair of black pants and a white shirt, and Satoshi wore all black. The November air was chilly, though bearable enough for the two boys to withstand waiting outside for a few moments. The lack of anything to do, however, drove them across the street to the small bakery.

They took their seats, ordering hot chocolate and muffins, as they waited.

Satoshi stared for a long moment at the two-story building, his eyes darting over the extent of the library's exterior. Daisuke took a sip of his drink. "Don't you think that it might just be a coincidence that they shared names with the characters from the book?" he said quietly, almost as if afraid to break the silence that had come over the small shop.

A set of blue eyes attached themselves to the speaker. "No. I may be wrong, of course, but isn't it just a little odd. Shadows moving of their own free will. People disappearing into thin air. A boy covered in blood. I want to know why."

"Oh," Daisuke said with a nod, "Right. Me, too." He sloshed around the dark liquid in the ceramic mug in his hands, watching it splash against the sides of the glass. "It is pretty weird."

Satoshi picked up the plain muffin in front of him and took a small bite. "More than weird."

From across the road, two chattering women got out from their car and made their way toward the library. Satoshi immediately recognized the smaller of the two women to be the librarian.

They made their way to the door of the building, unlocked it, and disappeared inside. Lights flicked on downstairs, and a face appeared in one of the windows upstairs. Only there for a moment, Satoshi had little time to focus on the person's features, though he was positively certain it hadn't been one of the women. There was no way one of them could have climbed the stairs so quickly…

"Come on Daisuke. Finish up," he said, "the library's open. If we get in now, we might even be able to ask the librarians some questions."

Daisuke nodded eagerly, lifting the mug to his mouth and downing the rest of its creamy contents. He rose from his chair, Satoshi doing the same. They made their way across the road and into the library.

One of the women was bustling about, still turning on lights and unlocking doors and turning on computers. She turned to meet the two. "Well, hello, there! You two are here bright and early. Can I help you with something?"

"Actually…yes, I think you might be able to," Satoshi said, adjusting his glasses. "I was wondering if you could maybe answer a few questions about this library…it's for a school report, you see. Would you mind?"

The woman gave a hearty smile. "Of course not. I'd love to."

"Right. Well, then. Is there anything…weird about this library?"

A puzzled look appeared on the woman's features. "I'm not quite sure what you mean," she said.

"Like…have there ever been any incidents that you couldn't explain? Strange figures? Shadows?"

The smile returned, and the woman crossed her arms. "You two are asking about the ghosts."

Daisuke looked thoughtful, and Satoshi nodded. "I suppose we are. Would you tell us about them?"

"I don't think it could hurt. There's one that's here all the time. I see him, but 'Lena over there tells me it's all in my head. He never says anything, just watches. I feel his presence more than I see him…he's one for the shadows."

"What does he look like?" Daisuke asked, suddenly.

The woman shrugged. "I don't know. Every time I see him, he's familiar to me, yet when he's gone, I can't place his face."

"But you know it's a he?"

The woman nodded. "Definitely. And there are other ones. Ghosts, I think. You might think me crazy, but I have my beliefs. Most of them are shadows. Things happen around here that I can't explain," the woman said, tucking a strand of her blonde hair behind her ear before continuing, "Not bad things, just…strange things. I've locked this place up at night with stacks of books needing to be sorted and come back in the morning to find them all gone. Lights come on and off. People have told me that there's someone in the library—a young man—that always offers to help. They say he has wild, dark hair, always dressed up in some weird outfit. They tell me to thank him, but I've never seen him."

The woman shrugged. "And I would know. I remember every face that walks into that door, and the way they describe him, I know that I've definitely not seen him around."

The two boys exchanged glances before casually continuing. Satoshi raised a brow, "Do they ever give you a name?"

"Of course. Dozens of people have told me he's introduced himself as a Dark Mousy. Now, I'm not saying that he's a ghost, but I am saying that I've never seen him. I find that to be awkward, so I have my speculations. All I know is that this Dark fellow most certainly isn't my ghost."

"Your ghost?" Satoshi asked. "The one you can see?"

"Right," the woman stated, and after Satoshi asked, "How do you know?" she responded, "Because he isn't social. I've seen him many times over these past few years, but he's never said a single word to me. I know he watches me, and I don't mind. He's not menacing. Just…curious, I suppose. And sad. I get that impression when he's in the room. Everything seems to get darker, and I have this overwhelming sensation of grief."

She chuckled, "I feel so silly telling you boy's this. What's your project on?"

"Oh, you know. We're researching hauntings and doing an report on the presence of ghosts," Satoshi said, lacking his usual eloquence. "We figured, since this library is so old, that it might be a good place to start."

The woman cocked her head to the side a bit. "Is that so? Well, I've got to do a few things around the library, but if you need anything else, feel free to come find me. You boys enjoy yourself; good luck."

The boys nodded in unison. "Thank you for time, ma'am," Satoshi murmured before he dragged Daisuke upstairs. "Let's start up here, shall we?"

Daisuke nodded and looked around, eyeing the vast rows of books. His gaze drifted from the books to the maroon carpeted floor to the arched wooden ceiling. "This place is beautiful," he said after a moment. Satoshi shrugged. "In a way. It was built to be. Let's look for Dark, since he always seems to be here. Krad, too, but be careful if you see him."

"Why's that?"

"Because last time we saw him, something was chasing with him. If it's dangerous, we don't want to come in contact."

"But the woman said that nothing bad had ever happened because of the ghosts."

"But then, Daisuke, why would the ghost be covered in blood?" Satoshi gave a brief pause before sighing. He shook his head, "Never mind, Daisuke. Just look for anyone, I suppose. Keep an eye out for books that might be useful for writing a myth, too."

The redhead nodded. "Sure thing."

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Daisuke reached his hand out to graze over the spines of a few tattered books. Gold lettering was printed on the back of black, cotton like covers. He sighed. No sign of anyone for nearly half an hour, but what had he expected?

His shoulders sagging, the redhead took a few steps back. Out of the corner of his eye, something sparkled against the dull light. Cocking his head to the side, the boy turned his gaze to the figure at the end of the aisle.

His ruby eyes widened; before him stood the not-so-familiar sight of the blonde he had briefly encountered the previous day. The figure stood, arms crossed, against the back bookshelf. He was donned in a white ensemble, greatly contrasting with what he had worn the previous day. Before, he had worn slack, baggy clothes, dark in color. They looked like they might have belonged to someone of stature, though no one of importance. Today, however, the blonde wore a white robe, trimmed with gold hems. The clothes, while concealing, left little to the imagination. It was apparent to Krad that the figure before him was lean, with narrow shoulders. He had elegant, graceful limbs, and long, gloved hands. His hair tied back in a tight ponytail, and Daisuke eyed with suspicion the golden cross tied at the end of its length.

The boy swallowed, looking over the figure with great curiosity. The male made no movement, at first, but then pushed himself away from the bookshelf with a wary glance towards the aisle down his left. He hurried towards Daisuke, who took a step backward in alarm.

The blonde froze, watching as Daisuke scuttled away, and quickly waved his hands in a dismissive gesture. He himself took a few steps back, as if to show he would be no harm.

Funny, Daisuke thought, how when he moved, he made no noise.

The man's lips moved, as if he was speaking, though no words came out. He looked at Daisuke, hopefully. The redhead shook his head. "I can't hear you," he said weakly.

The man's eyes closed, and he heaved a great sigh. Despair racked his features, and sank to the floor. One knee raised, he rested his elbow atop it, pressing his head into the nook his bent elbow made.

"Krad?" Daisuke asked, tentatively.

The male raised his head quickly and looked at the boy. Astonishment on his features, his lips moved again. Silent words rang from his mouth.

Daisuke strained to read his lips. It almost looked like he'd said…

"How do I know you're name?"

The silent figure nodded.

"Someone told me. A man named Dark."

Astonishment was wielded once again, and Krad jumped to his feet. He was speaking frantically, making rapid gestures with his hands. His eyes danced with hope.

Daisuke shook his head. "No—please. I still can't understand you! Don't speak so fast."

The blonde paused before nodding. He tried again, slower this time. His lips read, 'Where is he?'

"Dark?"

The blonde nodded.

"Satoshi is looking for him, I think."

The name was repeated on the blonde's lips.

"My friend. I was here with him, yesterday. Did you see him?"

Krad nodded and quickly moved next to Daisuke, who watched him curiously, no longer startled. The blonde was chattering again, and the small boy had to speak up again, "I still can't hear you. Do you want me to go get Satoshi?"

Krad nodded. Daisuke picked up the bag he had let fall to his feet and slid it over his arm. "All right. I'll get him," he said, noting how Krad followed a few steps behind him.

Satoshi was easy enough to find, leer into a book while standing in a distant corner of the library. He looked up, eyes widening slightly as he scanned over Daisuke, and Krad behind him.

"You found him?" he asked, almost astonished that Daisuke would have such luck. The boy nodded. "I did. But you can't talk to him."

"Why is that?" Satoshi asked, unable to take his gaze away from the blonde, who scanned over the boy in much the same manner that Satoshi scanned over him.

"I can't hear him."

"But that doesn't mean I can't."

Daisuke's eyes narrowed. "What are you talking about?"

"Yesterday, he said something to me. He asked me what I was I was doing here. Did you not?"

Satoshi focused his last words to the blonde, who nodded.

"Why? People come to this library all the time. Why did you ask me what I was doing?"

There was a long pause. "Because I knew you could see me," the robed figure whispered.

Satoshi's eyes narrowed. "What do you mean? Daisuke can see you."

"But I know you," came the feeble reply.

Satoshi looked at the blonde for a long moment. "Well I don't know you."

The blue haired boy did not speak for a long moment, and the blonde's gaze sank ruefully to the floor. "Are you the one the woman was telling us about? The ghost that doesn't talk?"

"I don't know. There are others here," Krad said, his voice distant.

Daisuke worked hard to read the lips of the blonde as he spoke, and he turned to Satoshi. "I think he is."

"Why is that?"

Daisuke shrugged. "Because I've got this sinking feeling in my heart."

Krad looked remorsefully at the younger boy. His lips moved, though Daisuke didn't have to hear to know that he was apologizing.

"Tell me, Krad. What are you doing here?"

The silky voice returned, "I can go no where else."

"Why is that?"

The blonde shook his head. "I can't say."

Satoshi crossed his arms. "Can't say…or won't."

"Both."

"What do you know of Dark?"

The calm demeanor Krad had only just recently attained shattered, and his face lost all color. His eyes flashed, and his mouth twitched. He fought for words, though could not bring any to his tongue. After a long moment of struggling, finally he was able to say in a whisper, "Is he here?"

"I should think so. He's standing right behind you," Satoshi said with a shrug.

The blonde turned on his heels, staring hopefully. All that was before him was empty space. He faced the blue-haired boy again, confusion in his every motion. "Why would you lie…?" He asked, pain lacing his quiet words.

"I wasn't lying," Satoshi said, offended. "He is. Or can't you see him?"

Krad turned again, though not a soul was in sight beside the two boys. "I cannot."

"So, Satoshi," Dark said, "Since when did you start talking to yourself?"

Satoshi and Daisuke both looked around Krad and toward the figure leaning against the bookshelf. "I'm not talking to myself. I'm talking to Krad."

Dark snorted, though it was evident that he had been surprised by Satoshi's words. "I don't see him."

"And he doesn't see you, apparently. He's right in front of me, I assure you. Just as I assure him that you stand over there by that bookshelf."

Krad stared towards the bookshelf, and Dark towards the empty space of air next to the speaking boy. "You lie," Dark spat, charging forward. He reached out a hand as if to throttle the boy, though was hit by a brutal shove.

He tripped over his own to feet, colliding with one of the bookshelves lining the wall. Emitting a curse, he looked to the source of the shove, only to find air. "What the hell?"

"He says 'don't touch him'," Satoshi murmured, watching as Dark picked himself up and looked around.

"Then…he's really there?" Dark looked hopeful. "You aren't lying—Krad's really there?"

"He really is. And he just shoved you into that bookshelf."

"But I thought you said he couldn't see me," Dark argued.

Satoshi frowned. "I thought he said he couldn't see you, too."

He glanced at the blonde, who shrugged. "I don't know what happened," he said, rubbing his shoulder. "I knew he was there."

"Daisuke, what do you recommend for this? You and your mother are the one's trained for handling ghosts."

Daisuke's eyes widened. "What? How did you…How did you know that? I never said anything about it."

"You have things lying about your house. I've seen them. I merely assumed."

"You assumed right," Daisuke said, his brows furrowing in thought. "What's the problem?"

"I can't see Krad. And he can't see me," Dark said bitterly.

"You're not human, are you, Dark?"

Dark raised a brow. "Of course I'm human, Daisuke. I'm just a little different from you guys."

"How is that?"

"Because I don't happen to be alive, anymore."

"We'd figured that much out," Satoshi began, only pause in his sentence.

Krad had turned on his heels and was quickly walking away. "Where are you going?"

The blonde hurried away. "I have to leave. I've been gone for too long. Someone will notice."

"You can't leave!"

"I have to!"

"Will you be back?" Satoshi cried, following after the blonde.

"If they don't dispose of me."

Krad turned a corner and was lost. By the time Satoshi had reached where the blonde had been standing, he had already vanished. "What…?"

He made his way back to Daisuke and Dark. "What was that all about?"

Satoshi looked at Dark. "He said he had to leave. Before someone noticed he was gone."

Dark stood, frozen for a long moment. "They've still got him?"

"What are you talking about, Dark?" Daisuke asked.

"It's nothing. Nothing you should worry yourselves with."

Satoshi nearly opened his mouth to protest, though Dark cut him off. " What I want to know, Satoshi, is why you're so intent on figuring this out. You want answers, but why?"

"…Because Krad said he knew me."

"So?"

"I want to know how. I want to know why I've seen him in my dreams all my life."

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Talk about a long update, eh? Well, let me assure that this will not happen again. I say that all the time, but this time I happen to mean it. I'm not too much for words, now, because I've got to be getting off, however, I will say this, in case any of you were confused:

Krad and Dark, are, dead. Ghosts. That much you've gathered from the story, however: Dark can be seen and heard by nearly everyone he comes in contact with. Krad can be seen by Daisuke and Satoshi, thought only Satoshi can hear him. Dark and Krad cannot see nor hear each other. This will be explained in the next chapter, I hope…

Anyway, thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed!