All disclaimers apply! Review please, merci, gracias, salamat, arigatou!

When You Meet Your Match

Chapter 1

All her instincts told her to run.

She ran and ran, limping every now and then a sack held tightly in her hand and a knife in the other. She winced through the pain, but she couldn't stop, she had to run.

It didn't help that she was bleeding waist down either.

Mayumi struggled to run through the forest, and though it was daytime, and the sun was brightly shining on top of the trees, her eyes were blurry and she couldn't see properly, probably because of the pain. Once or twice, she actually collided head on to a tree.

She grumbled steadily as she ran. How can she have not seen that man as she grabbed that sack of money? She had never been caught before, much less attacked by the ones who caught her, but she smirked all the same. At least she got the guy too.

She could still hear footsteps run after her, but they were getting fainter. She turned every now and then in the hope that she would lose them in the way and she made sure not to use any of the beaten tracks and only stepped on the forest floor full of scattered leaves, making sure that her footprints wouldn't give her away.

She found herself staring at the lake, and making sure that she hadn't heard any approaching footsteps. After convinvcing herself that no one was coming, she collapsed by the lake, and dipped her face into the water. The coolness of the water felt good on her face and afterwards, dipped her whole body into it, the wounds on her thighs sting at the first second, and gradually the coolness of the water numbed it away.

It took her a long time to clean her wounds and it was difficult to stop the bleeding. In fact, it still hadn't stopped. She must have lost a lot of blood during her running, and she was feeling pale and dizzy. She needed blood and needed it fast, but where can she get it? There's no one around for miles!

"So," she smirked as she stared at her reflection in the lake, "this is how I'm gonna die then? Blood loss?"

SHe often found it remarkable that ehr life would be like this. She hasn't always dreamed of becoming a bandit, in fact it was the last thing on his mind. She didn't look the part either. Blessed with beautiful long wavy black hair and a naturally fair pace, that is increasingly becoming pale by the second, and fierce bright blue eyes, she had the beauty that men all over the country sought after, the wit and intelligence that can take her anywhere and the courage and strength of the best of the country's warriors.

Yes, she was perfect

Then her parents died, and then the rest of the family stole everything from her, and she was forced to live out on the streets while her greedy aunt and uncle lavished themselves in the luxury that is supposed to be hers.

That was three years ago. She is nineteen and has vowed revenge against them, and for everything they have done to her. Unfortunately the thought of her aunt and uncle sends a fiery rage to her body that the bleeding began again, this time more profusely.

She froze. She heard footsteps. They found her, but she couldn't start running again. It hurt too much. She lied by the lake, and waited for them to find her. While she waited, she lost consciousness.

She couldn't help it.

She couldn't run any longer.


"Hey, Genrou," said Kouji, stopping, "did you hear that?"

Genrou, or Tasuki, nodded and slowly, he and Kouji walked up to the lake. He heard someone fall, and wanted to investigate. After all, this is their turf, and if any nosey people started to come up here, they were sure to find themselves destroyed in a matter of seconds.

He found the cause of the fall immediately. At the other side of the lake, there was a figure lying there, stock still, like it was dead.

"I think it's a girl, Genrou," said Kouji excitedly.

"Hn." said Tasuki. He never cared for any girl, not after what he had to deal with with his family, they were more than enough, thank you very much.

Kouji had already started to walk towards the figure. As they drew closer, they found that it was a girl, and the first thing that Tasuki saw was her thighs. "She's bleeding."

There was a steady pool of blood sorrounding her, staining most of her clothes. In her hand, she clutched a sack. Tasuki kneeled down and reached for it, thinking that it maybe something to his advantage, and sure enough, when he felt it, he felt a lot of coins.

"Money!" he cried, his eyes spearkling.

"We have an injured girl here, and all you think about is the money that she's got?" cried Kouji incredulously.

"Of course not!" cried Tasuki. "She's got a pretty necklace too." He went to pry the money sack out of the girl's hand, but as he grabbed it, he felt the grip of the girl tighten on the bag and saw her face look quite angry.

"You know, Genrou," said Kouji, "she's quite a pretty girl."

"Like I care," grumbled Tasuki. He did see that she was pretty, and with a great set of legs too, but right now, he wanted her money.

"Her injury's getting worse," said Kouji, looking quite worried, and turned to Tasuki, "Do you think -"

He stopped because Tasuki was forcefully trying to pry the money out of the girl's hand, ready to take the girl's arm out in the process.

"WILL YOU STOP THINKING ABOUT TAKING THE MONEY FOR ONCE!"

Tasuki scratched the back of his head and held up a piece sign, with a silly look in his face. "Sorry, hehe." he said, "Maybe we should take her back to our place, and let someone heal her there."

Kouji nodded and lifted the girl in his arms. They were bandits, yes, but they were not heartless. Both Kouji and Tasuki both thought that like them, the girl too was a bandit and had gotten caught and had to run. Tasuki was quite amazed that assuming that she had come from the village, she was able to run all the way here with an injury like that. Besides, if they do nothing, it would drive them into guilt anyway.

"Whatcha got there, Kouji!" asked one of their companions as they approached their camp. "Someone we could play with?"

Tasuki glared at the speaker, and he promptly shut up. "She's injured. Someone has to tend for her - PROPERLY!" she shouted the last word since many of his companions were already lining up to carry her like some rag doll. Tasuki noticed that Kouji's clothes were stained. "She needs medical attention right now!"

Luckily for bandits, they have their own doctor and in next to no time, the girl was in a tent, her wounds clean and bandaged and she was sleeping soundly in there, as Tasuki came in to check up on her. He had this task because Kouji mumbled something about cleaning his clothes after it's been covered with blood.

"The bleeding's stopped," he said to himself, looking at the girl's leg. He smirked as he saw that the money bag was still firmly held in her hand, and she slept like there was no tomorrow. "Kouji was right," he whispered, "you are very pretty."

And with that, he left.