Chapter 2

"… Great Spirits?"

She closed her eyes. "Surely you've heard of them."

"Ah!" HoroHoro spoke up. … Heheh. He was so smart. Finally. Something he knew, that Ren didn't. "Grandma told me about them once." Not that he could remember the story that well! He was still really young when he was told about it.

She nodded. "They would determined the new Shaman King."

"The… what?" Ren looked confused. "I don't understand." He grumbled, sending a glare at HoroHoro—who merely sent a wide grin in reply.

Jeanne opened her eyes, smiling at the waiter passing by. "Perhaps it'd be best if the twins were here as well, too, ne?"

HoroHoro paused. "Good ide—"

"No."

"… Ren?"

He was standing now, grabbing his weapon. "No."

"Why not!" HoroHoro stood as well, sending a look at his roommate. Hao and Yoh both deserved to know. They'd be in danger as well, too, right…? … Whatever this meant.

He sighed calmly, his gaze directing towards Jeanne—starring at her crimson-like eyes. Funny, you know. At first glance, you'd think she was just another naïve girl in her teens—just another human.

She was anything but innocent or naïve.

"She can't be trusted." He began to walk away. "If you're smart enough, you'd follow me, HoroHoro."

The blue-haired boy stopped at that. Jeanne didn't seem dangerous… I mean, she had been around, obviously—but they hadn't sensed any kind of Shamanic powers from her! They still couldn't. She didn't have any powers to harm them with.

Even then…

They could easily stop her again, right?

Jeanne stood at that. "Horo-kun…" She offered a small smile. "I trust you to tell the twins what I have told you, correct?" It was most crucial that they would be told.

"Ah…" HoroHoro paused. "Yeah…" An eyebrow rose. And the question hit him. "Why are you helping us?"

That was true. After everything they had put one another through, after all the family they had both lost…

She stopped for a second, looking down—her bangs covering her eyes, her expression unreadable. "… I want to be forgiven…" She said softly, trying to bite back the slight tremor in her voice.

When she had lost her family… To think of how many other people she had put through that same pain, that same heartbreak.

"The government no longer has control of what I do." She frowned. "As far as they are concerned, I am merely another deceased Shaman."

How many people had known she was alive? How long had she lived in Lyserg in secret? And because of that, how long had it taken for her to recover?

"Ah… Uh…" … Well. This was… awkward. What would you do is someone that killed your family was saying all this to you." Eheh…"

She smiled slightly. "I appreciate you listening to me, Horo-kun." She sent a soft smile in his direction. "Let's have tea again sometime."

He stopped at that, a small blush forming on his features.

So cute…

--

"That was fun, Oniichan!"

Despite the fact that there was… much cleaning to do now, the twins were happy. More importantly, Yoh felt happier. Much happier than he had felt in quite a while.

"Mm." Hao sent Yoh a dry look, grabbing a nearby towel. Ugh. His hair was a mess. His hair. "I hope you realize that you have to clean this up, dear Otouto." He smiled in an innocent fashion.

His mouth dropped. "B-But, Hao…!"

"And." Hao smirked. "It's your turn to do the shopping." He waved his hand dismissively. "Piece of cake, right? I want this done before dinner. Easy for you, right?"

"…. Mou…"

"No whining, Yoh."

He stuck his tongue out, sighing. "Meanie."

"Mm. Tell me something I don't know."

--

Ren scowled when HoroHoro walked through the front door. "About time you got here! I was waiting." He crossed his arm, making himself comfortable on one of their couches.

The Ainu threw his shoes to the side. "Then you should've waited for me!" He grumbled under his breath, walking towards Ren and falling on the couch.

Ren took a sip of his milk. "And I told you that, if you were smart, you would've gone ahead and followed me. I'm not backing you up if you're going to be dumb enough to leave yourself alone in a room with that woman."

His eyes widened. "Hey! I would've helped you!" He groaned, glaring harshly at the boy. "Besides! She was harmless. Did you sense anything from her?"

… Now that Ren thought about it… "It doesn't matter. She could still have allies somewhere. Think next time, idiot."

HoroHoro rolled his eyes. "Whatever." He didn't exactly trust her, either… but… still…

"You think we should go see Yoh, then?"

Ren paused. Yoh…

Yoh was… something else, all right.

The brunet haired boy was the epitome of innocence, of happiness. He was… Eh. Well. He was so air-headed—you couldn't help but laugh when seeing the kid.

Would he even be able to realize the seriousness of the situation?

"Hao would probably be the better one to talk to, you know." He closed his eyes. "But first of all."

He sighed, setting his milk down.

"You tell me. Just exactly what are the Great Spirits? What's a Shaman King?"

--

"So mean! Mou!" Yoh crossed his arms, crying waterfall tears. "He's always making me train and do all the house work…"

He sighed. But Hao did take care of him, at least… He smiled a little. He didn't really mind. His brother had done so much for him in the past… It was just his way of thanking him.

But now, Yoh was… Yoh was strong enough to take care of himself.

Right now? He was outside—walking to the nearby supermarket. They needed to get food for dinner for the night. Where Hao got the money though…?

Frankly, Yoh didn't want to know. As far as he was concerned, his brother didn't have a job. And if he did, he didn't know about it.

Then again, Hao kept thing like that to himself. There was… a lot of things about his brother that remained a mystery to him.

He looked up at the sky, his hands going behind his head. The night sky would be pretty… Perhaps he'd take this as a chance to go stargaze at the cemetery. Amidamaru would appreciate that anyways.

"Oof!"

Too bad he wasn't looking where he was going.

"Maa…" He rubbed his now sore nose, looking at the older man he had run into. "Ah! Sorry, sorry!" He grinned. "Wasn't watching where I was going…"

The blonde-haired man smiled. "It's quite alright." He nodded. "You be careful from now on…" He adjusted his coat. "Wouldn't want any accidents occurring because of recklessness, would you…?"

"Mm…" The boy frowned a little. Was he a doctor…? Sure looked like one. "Your right!" A small smile was forced. "Have a good evening!"

… How creepy. He… wasn't getting a good vibe from the guy. What could it mean?

Faust watched the boy walk off.

"He's… an interesting one, isn't he, Eliza?" He smirked, looking to the night sky. "Shaman, hm? They certainly are gathering."

He turned. It was time to go home.

"However. He could prove to be… quite useful. We might not need to win this tournament."

--

"Yoh-dono."

"Amidamaru." He looked to his spirit, frowning, and a look of concern taking over his features. "What is it…?"

He shook his head. "He was a shaman…"

"Eh! Really!" His eyes widened. No wonder he had gotten such a strange vibe from him! He grinned, his fists pounding together in realization. "How cool! You don't see a lot of those around!"

"No!" The samurai had a hand to his sword, as if ready to fight. "He was… dangerous."

"… How so?"

He shook his head. "Master, I cannot put my finger on it, but…"

Yoh shook his head. "It's okay. What are the chances of running into him again?" That's right. This was the first time they had ever seen him around town. "Besides. He… didn't look very strong to me." And who knows? Maybe they could be friends!

"Neither did the X-Laws." He sighed. "Yoh-dono… You're too care-free…" He couldn't help but smile, however. His master had always been like that, nothing had changed.

"You're worrying too much." Yoh shrugged. "Not every other Shaman are like the X-Laws, right? Ren and HoroHoro are nice!"

Yoh was right. Maybe… Amidamaru was too concerned. And it was nice to see others who could see other spirits. "Perhaps."

"Enough about that!" Yoh laughed, continuing to walk. "Lets get this shopping done. Then… maybe we can go to the cemetery, ne?"

"What about Hao-dono…?"

He shrugged. "What about him?" Hao would probably be gone by the time they got back, anyways. He was always going from place to place.

The spirit sighed in exasperation.

"… Yoh-dono…"

--

"He looks weak." He adjusted his glasses—causing them to gleam in the moonlight.

"You sound disappointed."

Maro held a slight look of disgust. "Aren't you? Tao and Usui are supposed to be strong. I'm afraid to see what the older Asakura twin is like."

"Ah… Well…"

He twitched. "Daisuke-kun." He shook his head, scowling. "Do you even care about becoming Shaman King?"

"I told you!" Daisuke glared, still sitting at the same tree branch he had been on hours ago, rubbing his eyes. It was like Maro to wake him up. How did he climb up the tree so soundlessly, anyways? "I don't care about competing. It's dumb! How can fighting determine if a person would make a good Shaman King?"

Maro paused, reaching out for the boy. "Dai—"

He slapped his hand away. "Don't touch me. I'm not in the mood." Maro should know already. Don't ever wake him up. He was already short-tempered enough as it was, imagine how he was upon being awoken?

Maro twitched. … Daisuke was definitely a hard catch, wasn't he? Then again, under the circumstances he had found him in…

… Who could blame him?

Poor kid. No parents, no siblings.

No family.

They only had each other—as odd as that was.

They were in the same situation.

"I know you're interested in seeing them, aren't you? They do look a lot like you, you know."

Daisuke paused, brushing his brunet hair behind his ear and looking down.

He was silent for a few moments.

"… They wouldn't accept me."

Of course, no one else had in the past, why would they?

"Then I'll take that as a n—"

He jumped down swiftly—not a sound made when he swiftly landed on the ground. "I'll go alone."

Maro was about to open his mouth to protest… then again, it was best not to argue with Daisuke, especially in the mood he was in at the moment.

"… Sure. I'll be waiting." His expression was unreadable. "Come back soon, Dai-kun."

"… Hn."

--

Ren didn't move. He hadn't blinked. He was…

… Wow.

How could he have known, though?

The Shaman King…

He could win this tournament…

"Would I be able to see my sister again…?"

HoroHoro stopped. Ren had cut off his explanation. "Uh. I guess? Probably." He nodded. He was surprised. Hadn't the Tao's known what the Shaman King was? It was a story passed down among Ainu's. He figured that the majority of Shaman knew what it was.

"But…." He crossed his arms. "I'm surprised, you know? There hasn't been any sign that it's supposed to begin yet."

He shrugged. "It could be a lie."

"… Huh?"

"Look at who told us about it." He sighed. "Why would this bring danger, anyways?" For Ren, it gave him something to do. At least, he'd be able to fight again.

He smirked.

… Shaman Fight, huh?

"Well. We'll just have to see what happens!" HoroHoro grinned. "As Yoh would say, everything will work itself out."

TBC

… D8 I CAN EXPLAIN. I haven't been able to update due to personal problems. But I'll try to update often again, promise.