DISCLAIMER: I OWN NOTHING!

RIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGHT. Third attempt on Samurai SEED. Same title. New approach. You may find the characters are a little bit OCC… if so… sorry. It's just my attempt on making a good story. This is a prequel to a Naruto Story, Of Demons and Gods. You'll find plenty of elements from Naruto and some bits from other anime. Enjoy.

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Chapter 1:

My life

It was raining, and thunder tore the skies.

Freezing rain pour down upon the bloodied ground… and upon me.

Lying face first on the cold wet ground, I can smell the stench of corpses around me. Bloodied, wounded… and near death.

Every bit of my bleeding wound felt every drop of water the sky barrages me with. I tried to stand up, my Katana still gripped tight in my bloodied hand… but the weight of my own body came crashing. Heavily I breathe, trying to catch as much cold air as I can into my lungs. But they do little to ease my pain. I tried to look upfront, to where my opponent stands… but the pouring rain blinded me… or so I thought. Despite the rain, every bit of open wound on me is burning intensely… it was as if I'm on fire. Slowly my vision blurred… and I almost can't see or think anything.

They say your whole life flashes before your eyes before you die.

I tried to smile, to laugh… though it pains me so. I don't know what to say, or think… I've longed for death… and now… I'll die… just like that. Despite my unwillingness to die at the time… here I lay now, dying and staring, one by one, to every thing that has been going in my life.

The world I live in, it is split into two kinds of humans. It was said, that long ago, eons ago, the world was under the rule of deities of the gods… called the Oni clan. During the time, some Oni sometimes melded with human as they marry a human. Soon, the society was split into two: Those who possess an advanced bloodline powers, and those who aren't. Those who possess a special ability are called the Advanced. Others who do not were called Naturals. Yet, despite the difference, mankind continues to live on peacefully. Thanks to the watchful eyes and the order brought about by the Oni clan. Until they suddenly vanished.

With the disappearance of the noble clan, the peace and order that once were… are no more. Envy ensued amongst the Naturals, those who didn't bear the blood of the Oni. Whilst those who possessed the advanced bloodline felt that it was their right to rule the world, as the 'True descendants of the Oni clan'. The building emotion began to surfaced, following the Oni-clan's demise. The once united society was soon broke apart into three great sides.

On one side called themselves the Zaft Empire. Factions of advanced ones joined together, creating a nation consisted of those who bear the advanced bloodlines. With the aid of their more powerful ability and strengths, they created a hidden empire, built on artificial islands. The Zaft empire was ruled by the symbolic crimson emperor aided by a group of council. This council consists of elders chosen from the clans in the society of the Advanced.

On the other side was the Allied Nations. A nation made by a union of Fire, Water, Wind, Earth, and Thunder, and various eastern and western countries join forces together creating a massive world nation, ruled by an anonymous governmental body known simply as 'the Five'.

On February 14th, the building tension between Allied and Zaft eventually burst out, marked by the fall of Junius, one of the main agricultural areas and the central food distribution of Zaft. Genma, a demonic race whose entity was sealed off by the Oni in the past was harnessed by one of the radical faction of the Allied, the Order of Blue Cosmos. A horde of Genma was released right in the middle of the city, decimating the entire town in an instant, killing more than 250,000 innocent people in a flash, turning the entire town into dead city. The loss of the main food distribution also caused severe food shortage and deaths everywhere on the Zaft empire. The accident, later known as the Bloody Valentine, sparked the beginning of a long war between the Advanced and the Naturals.

And that was 72 years ago.

72 years… and the war still raged throughout the world.

Myself?

Name: Kira Yamato

Age: 16 going 17

Gender: male

Status: single

Hair color: brown

Eye color: purple

That's how I used to know myself.

I lived and worked as a chef in a ramen bar, Amate ramen, in the peaceful village, which brought us to the third party, the neutral United Emirate of Orb, a relatively small, somewhat insignificant country, led by the noble Houses of the ORB senate. The Nation openly stated to the world, that they are a nation of neutral status. Being of such, they refused to give and accept any help from other country which concern military purposes. They declare themselves as the country open for either natural or advanced human.

This is the world that I know of.

The only world I thought I would always know.

I woke up at 6:30, had a bath, get changed, had a breakfast, had a toothbrush, and finally ready to go to the bar, ready to deal with some hungry customers waiting for their steamy meal.

And that's what I did for last 2 years of my life ever since I moved here, 3 years ago.

This is my life.

This is my world.

And this is my reality.

Little did I know, my life going to change that day.

I walked my way calmly, striding my way like every normal person would in the midst of the Amaterasu village streets. Well even though we call it village, that place was kind of big. You can find school, shop, and other things you would usually find in a city, here. The village itself is passed by trade roads, thus the city is open for trade for everyone. You'll hardly find any military soldiers or building around here. There are already several people in the streets. I gave them a quick hallo or hi… all that kind of stuffs.

In a few minutes time (actually, few minutes before an hour passed since I departed) I arrived at my destination. Amate Ramen. A simple humble bar, selling only ramen and tea, the size is enough to serve 10-15 tables. A ring of the bell sounded as I opened the door. "Owner, I'm here."

"Kira… late again, as usual." Wan Pore, the owner of the Amate Ramen. Basically, he's my boss. A simple guy, normally wear three things that never separated from him: sunglasses, and a Bandana and a cigar. A glance and people can say, as he put it, a simple, handsome, and honest bar owner. A bit greedy if I may say so myself.

"Err… This place is a big city and I got lost in the road called life and the…"

"My wish is that you have a better sense of direction. Still, late is better then not coming at all. Thank heavens that you still got 20 minutes to do the drill. Now hurry up!"

"Hai." Yes. It is a routine drill for me. I walk in, scolded because I'm late, then get some dough ready, boil some spices in the soup… wait for another 15 minutes, and welcome to our humble abode customers. It was always like that for 2 years since I work here. Well at least, in the last 2 years, it WAS like that. Today however, seems gonna be a little different.

Yep, around 10 minutes before we open the restaurant, that's what I thought when I saw 3 figures suddenly coming to our restaurant and go on waiting in front of the door. I thought of opening the door and let them in so they can wait inside… but something inside me tells me to wait for Pore who went to the back to get changed 5 minutes ago. A moment later, Pore came out and he immediately took notice of the guests. He seems recognized them since instead of scolding me for not letting them in, he said:

"Kira, open the restaurant in 10 minutes okay? I got some errands to do and I'll be back soon, so you have to do things on your own."

"Hai, hai." I simply nod. By that time, I already knew, that 'soon' for my boss means an hour or two. Well, since I'm used to it, for me it doesn't matter of stretching my muscles a little bit for some extra work.

The boss went out of the door, had a few chat with the three before walked away. As expected.

10 minutes later, some customers had made some queues. 'Right, time to open the bar.'

I walked, open the door, and in a professional way, I welcomed them: "Irrasai Masen! Welcome to Amate Ramen, Orb finest ramen and tea."

That sentence… after that day… it'll be a very long time before I said that welcoming sentence again.

End of Kira's POV.

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Somewhere in an alleyway…

"You're a Taichou now, eh Mwu?"

"It's been a while Pore." A blond wearing a white haori atop grey hakama simply smiled.

"Yes it has… how long has it been?"

"dunno… 7-8 years?"

"Uh hum. 10 years in fact." A woman with short hair, wearing somewhat of a tight kimono answered.

"10 years… well time sure flies fast when you're a civilian." Pore chuckled.

"Pore-san." Mwu took one step.

"Yes?"

Suddenly Mwu swing his fist at Pore. As if an instinctive reflex, the bar owner replied with his leg. The fist met the leg with a thud.

Everyone was silent. Mwu then chuckled. "I thought your leg was amputated."

"Well there's a lot of rumor goin on." Pore merely laughed. "Don't waste my time buddy. You three are surely not here for giving an old nakama a good old nostalgia crap right?"

"Well, we're here actually on other errands, Pore-san." The third figure, also a woman, also wearing a white haori spoke this time.

"Murrue, right? Murrue Ramias. Great. You make yourself a Taichou too now? Good job."

"Please, Pore-san. We have no time to be idle." The woman with short black hair answered, somewhat impatiently.

"Natarle, good, old, Natarle Badgiruel… Still so stiff I see. Loosen up a bit. You'll never get married that way."

Mwu La Flagga and Murrue Ramias had to snort. Natarle cleared her throat again.

"Anyway, I can already tell on what you guys up to. And my answer is still a big no."

"But… Wong-Taicho-"

"It's Pore. Master Wan Pore. Honor Chef of the Amate-ramen bar and a simple, honest, yet handsome ramen bar owner."

"You forgot greedy." Mwu added.

"Urusai!" Pore shot daggers at the blond, who replied with a smirk. "Anyway… what does the Alliance force doing in Amaterasu city anyway? Aside from your futile attempt of recruiting me that is."

Mwu answered by dropping a Katana right in front of the restaurant owner.

Pore's frowned as he saw the katana. "So the rumors were true?"

The Captain nodded. "You're quite well informed for a former Taichou."

"It's allover the town, Mwu. This is just totally outrageous. I heard 4 cities had already got hit."

"Yes. They hit us one after another, stealing the other 4 in the process. This is the last and final weapon we have."

"Earth to Mwu. You realize where we are? This is Amaterasu. A neutral city under the jurisdiction of United Emirate of Orb. You want the whole city to burn for this stuff? Trying to recruit me is one thing, but bringing this here is…!"

"…thought you'd said that… But we had to hide the weapon somehow…"

Pore sighed. "So to make long story short, you're trying to recruit me was an old story… the new one will be… you want me to guard that Katana?"

"The Five consider you to be the most competent one to… wield it."

"Two words: I'm retired!"

"We thought you would say that too." Murrue chuckled. "We tried to convince the Five otherwise, but…"

"The Five my ass… those bunch idiots bows to Muratta and the story ends there! I had enough."

"Gomenne." Mwu took the Katana back. "Then, how bout if you treat us a free lunch!"

"…hai?" Pore looked at Mwu, his dark eye behind his dark glass seem questioning Mwu's sanity.

"What? We're old Nakama! Discount at least?"

"The only way a guy like you can have a discount after all the things you did to me in the past are to walk over my big fat dead ass."

"Thought so." Murrue touched her chin understandingly.

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Back to Kira's POV

"One big bowl Amate-ramen special please!"

"Haaai!"

"Where's my green tea?"

"Coming!"

"The bill please!"

"Right away!"

"My son needs a towel, please."

"Right away ma'am!"

Averagely, Amate-ramen sold around 50 to 60 ramen a day. More on special occasion and shorts. One bowl of ramen cost around… 150 to 200 ryo. I'll leave the calculation to you of our monthly income. I got paid around 15,000 ryo per week. 150,000 to 200,000 were spent for restock each month. What happen to the rest? Heaven knows. He said it is spent for necessary spending. Yet, he keeps saying he can't afford extra worker to help me. See why I call him greedy now?

"Yo! Kira!" the bell rings again, signing a new customers' arrival.

"Ah, guys!" Smiling, yet, against my will to come and greet them, I resolve to wave my friends when a customer's child suddenly vomited allover me. "Gah!"

"Tetsuo! That's not nice! I'm sorry. My son is a bit…" the mother of the son apologize while I had to endure the hot, steaming soup of the ramen throw up and give a calm smile.

"Ah. No! It's alright. It's quite cool." I gave her a big (forced) grin.

"Anyway, I think you better get changed Kira." A boy with brown hair tried not to laugh. Tolle. A good friend of mine. A little bit mischievous… but generally a nice guy.

"Tolle, getting vomited is no laughing matter!" a girl pinched Tolle's arm. The boy winced a bit. Miriallia. Tolle's girlfriend. Every bit of a girl you would expect… some short of a… in my opinion, a limiter to Tolle Mischievousness.

"Need a hand, Kira?" Kuzzey. A somewhat fat boy, Tolle's partner in mischief making.

"Don't push it Kuzzey. You'll break more things rather then helping." Sai. The brain and the main limiter of Tolle's and Kuzzey's mischief. Usually calm and collected… but watch it. Piss him, and he'll unleash hell unlike anything you can imagine. Together, Sai, Kuzzey and Tolle formed the Dynamic Destruction Trio.

"Hey that hurts." Kuzzey groaned.

"I merely am stating the facts."

I can only laugh at their demeanors. "Well, you want to help, stay away from the kitchen and collect orders from the customers while I get changed okay?"

"You got it." Tolle replied for everyone.

"But you better give us discount for our meal!" Kuzzey yelled as I get back in.

"Sorry Kuzzey! No discount!" I popped out my head.

"Aw come on!"

"Not a chance! Can't help you anymore this time. He'll cut my wage if he finds out I've been giving unofficial discount!" I half yelled. Seriously. They don't know how stingy that Pore can be!

"Doh…" Kuzzey mumbled.

"Give it up! So, what we can have for you?" As I put my head back in, I can hear Tolle and the others proceed on their job and smiled. Having friends are good alright. Especially if they don't discriminate. The world I live in, thanks to the long war, racialism has become somewhat of a long standing tradition. Even in neutral city where it is said equality is of the uppermost concern, for some people, it exist in papers only. People acting as if they're good at the front but at the back, well… I had the luxury of understanding that the hard way. My father, working in a Rengou government installation had to talk with lots of Naturals… not all of them are happy if they know I'm an advanced for sure. So, as I mentioned before, 3 years ago, my parents sent me here. Alone. I'm glad though. At least in here, there are less stone throwing bullies, no law enforcer that try to beat me to the inch my life with no reason at all, or any other racist bastard that will try killing me or anything. Though, frankly, I kinda missed a friend of mine…

As if reading my mind, a chirping sound suddenly sounded from my back.

"Torii! Torii!"

I turned around and smiled. A bright green cockatiel bird landed on my back.

"Torii! Torii!"

I raised a finger and like a shady light, the bird landed on my finger. "Torii? Been a good boy today?"

"Torii!" the bird chirped as a yes.

I laughed a bit. Yes. Funny isn't it? A bird, but instead of chirping like every bird does, it chirped torii-torii instead… But still… I like him. Just as he like him also. I looked through the window and smiled. 'Right? Athrun?'

Just then, a sound of breaking plates echoed from the dining hall. Immediately I ran to the room and lo and behold: Kuzzey was standing in one foot like a street performer, with stockpiles of broken plates around him. As if that's not enough, the door suddenly opened and the Boss along with three other people that I saw earlier appeared. Pore looked at the scene for a second before dropped down the verdict: "Kira, you'll be paying that with your wage."

"…" I SWEAR I could've fainted then and there.

Kira's POV end

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"I always wonder how Natural could stand wearing something so loose like this." A silver haired boy moaned as he looked at his garment.

"I think they call it Hakama. These Naturals… it's pretty good actually."

"Shut up, Nicol! Nobody asked your opinion. Oi, Athrun. What was our job, again?" A red haired teen moaned. He wore a white Hakama with red lining along the collar and sleeves and a green loose long trousers. A word Fire was imprinted on his back.

"Our job is to find and retrieve or destroy one of the secret weapons. According to our Intel, this one should be the last." A navy haired boy with emerald eyes, wearing a dark green Hakama and a dark grey scarf on his neck answered. Unlike the others, he didn't bear any tattoo. "And indeed, our Priest had found a strong energy from this city."

"It's hard to believe in such a peaceful city like this, weapons are developed." A boy, obviously the smallest and the youngest of all, with green hair, wearing light blue clothing and dark blue shorts looked at their surrounding with concern. A tattoo of Wood was imprinted on the left of his neck.

"Oh, drop it Nicol! This city is just like any city we've taken down! Filled with Naturals. None of them can be trusted." The silver haired boy barked. He's wearing a blue Hakama, and a pair of white long trousers. The word Water was imprinted, weirdly enough, in his left eye.

"Let's just get this over with just like the other cities we've taken out." A tanned boy with blond hair groaned lazily. He's wearing a furry vest on top of his bare chest. He's also wearing a pair of long grey trousers. The word Earth was imprinted at the center of his chest.

"Quiet you two." Athrun growled lightly under his scarf. "Whether or whether not the news about these weapons were true, we're still in ORB's territory and we're about to violate one of their lands. If the ORB leader knows about this, they won't let us off easily."

"Then what do we do, Athrun-san?"

"I think we need to find, if any, military facility or sort… if anything, I'd say it's in there…" The red haired boy muttered.

"No. I don't think so. The place will be too obvious and standing out. They wouldn't put something secret there. They will choose a place that none of us would even think off."

"Really? Well, they sure hit the jackpot. Look at all this place. Restaurant, toyshop, warehouse, grocery store… there are many places that they can use." The blond haired boy scanned the surroundings. "What now?"

Athrun thought up for a moment. "Split up. We'll search the city inside out. First, we'll check places where people will go the most often."

"Okay."

The 4 boys split up to different directions. Athrun was the only one left. He looked around and sighed. 'Let's just hope that the information was wrong. The last thing we want to do was to break chaos in such a peaceful city…'

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Kira POV

It's already 4:50. 10 minutes to go before closing time. And the people whom boss called old colleagues are still eating. Well, not the other two woman, but one particular blonde man, aged around 20 I think, are still eating. He finally finished with a loud belch.

"Now I know why you don't want to go back to the army." The Blond burped. Mountains of bowls of ramen rested on the table. I counted how many bowls the three customers, specifically the blond one, had eaten. '23, 24, 25… I didn't know human can eat this much… 28, 29…'

"You still have that monster appetite for ramen I see." Pore blow another smoke from his cigarette.

"Right off the bat. I am what I eat." Mwu smirked. I can only smile nervously. Let's just hope this guy didn't faint when he sees the bill.

"Kira, how much?"

"Uh-hum okay: for Ramias-san, 1 veggie Ramen, for Badgiruel-san, 1 seafood ramen… for Flagga-san…"

"That's Mwu for you boy."

"Eh?"

"Just call me Mwu. That's my first name but it's alright."

"Err… Mwu-san then… 10 pork, 10 Seafood ramen, 5 veggies, 15 Beefbowl, 20 Amate Specials… that's a grand-total of 60 bowls of ramen, and two jugs of Sake… summing up with Natarle-san and Murrue-san's portion… along with 10 percent tax: 11,000 ryo."

"Nanni!" Murrue gaped.

"Okay! Murrue, pay it for me, please?"

"Nanni! So you eat all that ramen to suck my wallet dry!"

"No. Sucking your wallet is one thing, the tasty ramen is another. I just don't bring my wallet with me."

"I'm not paying."

"Please… Pretty please?"

"I don't bring that much money with me!" Murrue growled.

Just then, a glint sparked on Pore's eyes. 'Uh-oh… not good.' Every time that glint appears, I know some EVIL plot is stirring in boss' mind.

"Pleeeeease?"

"NO!"

"Then…" Pore suddenly grabbed Mwu's back. "You'll be paying that by working for me."

"W… What?" Mwu looked pleadingly at Pore. Outside, I pity the guy, inside… well, that's another story.

He looked at me, seemingly asking for help. But I gave him a 'you-brought-this-to-yourself' look.

In short, the captivated customer was brought to the kitchen where mountains of plates and bowls were waiting to be cleaned.

"You have to wash the plates here for one month. Then I'll consider your debt settled." Pore dropped Mwu right in front of the washing tap. The guy looked at the piles of the plates as if this was his grave.

I merely sighed. Just then, I heard the bell ringing. Another guest is coming. "I'll get it."

"Okay." Pore said as he cautiously watching over his 'prisoner'.

The last thing I heard was the sound of plate breaking and howls from Mwu-san when Pore increased his sentence by one week.

Kira POV ends here.

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"Poreee… please… have mercy!"

"Sorry. All out of mercy."

"…tell you what… then… I have something I can use to pay… it's not money but please let me go. I got 3 kids waiting for me at home."

"Urusai! We all know that you're still single! Even jackasses worse then you knows! Anyway… what are you going to pay me with?"

Mwu pulled the Katana he previously shown to Pore.

"You're going to pay me with this?"

"Just keep it safe. Keep it hidden. You're not obliged to wield… just keep it. Will you do that?"

"…2 weeks."

"What?"

"I'll keep it for 2 weeks. You'll wash these plates for 2 weeks for me. Then you take the Katana back, and then you better be gone with it."

"But Pore-"

"You want this whole city burn because of it? I'll keep it for 2 weeks, and then you take it and get out of this city, that's final!"

"…okay…"

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Kira POV again

"Welcome to Amate-ramen. What can I have you?" I welcomed the customer. He's a teenager, probably of my age, has raven hair… and somehow, his face looked… familiar. And I had a peculiar feeling he was thinking the same too.

"Good evening… can I ask for the menu please?"

"We only have 5 menu: Beef bowl, Pork bowl, veggie, seafood, Amate-special."

"Amate-special then."

"Single, double, Custom?

"What?"

"Oh, sorry. You're not from around aren't you? This is Amate-ramen's special service. We can adjust the portion of toppings. It can be the standard single or double topping… or custom which adjust it yourself. You know, like when some people want their vegetables doubled, or somebody want half portion…"

"Oh… single then."

"Okay." I wrote things down before whistled. Torii flew at me. "Torii, get this to Pore."

The cockatiel took the piece of paper with its beak and flew of. I turned to see the shocked face of the recent customer. "Torii. My cockatiel, my best friend, and my assistant." I'm used to see the shocked face of newbie customers when they saw me do that. Usually, they'll ask, how I did train Torii, where did I buy him… Things like that. However, today, this particular customer's question is a little different.

"…Kira… Kira Yamato is that you?"

"…yes…? And… you are?"

"KIRA! AHAHAHAH! IT IS YOU!" He stood up, knocked down his chair and hugged me like a friend. Though, my brain seem still can't recognize him.

"Err… have we met before?"

"What, you've forgotten about me? It's me! Athrun. Athrun Zala! Remember now?"

"A… ATHRUN!" Now this is a big shock, and definitely a pleasant one. Like every friend, I returned the hug. "My god. How long has been? 7-8 years?"

"Yes. It is been a while. I see you still have a bad memory, aren't you?"

"Ahaha… I suppose. What are you doing here?"

"Uh…" For moment, I saw his face look like someone trying to cover something up. But I don't care. My childhood friend, my best friend is here. All that suspicious crap can go out of the window for all I care.

"This call for celebration. Sit down. This meal is free!"

"What… oh no, no. I'll pay."

"No need to add more pennies into that stingy owner's purse. This meal's my treat."

"I heard that, Kira!" Boss' voice sounded from the kitchen. Crap.

Athrun chuckled. "So… I take it that you're an employee in this restaurant?"

"Obvious ain't it? I tried a lot of jobs before… but seem this one is most fitting for me, though sometimes I had to work overtime, dealing with noisy customers… typical business problems." Just then, the bell sounded. I get into the kitchen, and a moment later, I came out with a hot steaming ramen. A howl sounded from my back when the poor customer apparently just touched a still-hot frying pan he was washing.

"I see. But you seem happy doing it, yes? Good for you."

"Thanks… Now then… what business you have here my friend? Certainly not just for sightseeing?"

"In fact, Kira, my friend, sightseeing is what I'm doing right now. This is my first time being here in Amaterasu." Moments later Athrun had finished his meal. I looked at the clock, it's 10 past 5.

"I see… hmm… Owner, it's closing time, I'm off!"

"What! Matte, Kira, you haven't cleaned the dishes yet!"

"Leave it to that guy!"

"What! Pore! Did you teach that waiter to act like that!" another voice, Mwu-san's voice, sounded.

"To a certain extent…" Pore muttered.

Athrun sweatdropped.

"Let's go Athrun, I'll show you around the town."

"Kira, you left that door, I'll cut your wages!"

"Are you sure this will be okay?" Athrun's face frowned a bit. But that frown diminished immediately. I know why. Evil smirk spread across my face.

"Owner, you cut it again, I won't have enough money to make a living. I won't be able to pay my rent, and I'll be knocked off the streets, I won't be able to pay my food, and I'll die of starvation. Then I'll become a ghost, haunting the restaurant for all eternity, next, morning papers will show up, saying you as an irresponsible owner who cares not of his employee's welfare… and then, and then, and etc, etc, etc…"

"GET OUTTA HERE YOU UNGRATEFUL LITTLE BRAT!"

And I laughed. And we both laughed. Just like what every good friend would. We ran. Still laughing. Still smiling.

We ran away from the ramen bar and still we laugh like mad.

"Was he always like that? The owner, I mean?"

"If you ask him, he'll just say to you: 'I'm a simple, honest, and handsome ramen owner.' But if you ask me, he's a little greedy."

"Really? He seems a nice guy…"

"If he can work me 24/7 he will! It's just inhuman!"

"Who's the other guy? Is he a new guy?"

"No. He's a customer who can't pay. A friend of the boss who thinks he can skimp on paying his share."

"Aha. So the boss told him to wash the dishes? Classical."

"But effective. So! Where do you want to go?"

"You tell me. You lived here longer."

"Yeah well, you just contracted the worst guide in the world. So ready yourself for some walking."

"Try me."

"Okay."

And I tried to do my job as Athrun's guide to the best of my abilities… which isn't saying much, truly.

"Didn't we pass this spot, like, three times already?"

"Ulp." I could feel beads of sweat drench my neck.

"…"

"…"

"Okay… so now we're lost?" Athrun finally concludes after we passed the same spot for the tenth time.

"I think so…"

"How did you survive all this time? How did you find your way home?"

"Erhh…"

"Torii!" As if answering Athrun's question, Torii landed on my shoulder.

"Ah… I see. Torii showed you the way, didn't he? You know what Kira? If Torii's a man, I think he'll be smarter than you."

"He is the smartest bird in this corner of earth. I give you that. Tell you what, why don't you stay at my place?"

Before Athrun could answer, a green haired boy, about my age, called. "Athrun-san!"

The boy was running towards us. Upon noticing that both of us fixed our eyes on him, the boy stopped. Athrun gave me a glance and run along towards the boy. They were having some sort of a conversation. Very brief, as a few moments later… "Er… Kira! Sorry. But I think our reunion must be cut short. There's a bit of a happening… and uh, I need to go. I'll see you again tomorrow?"

"You know where." I smiled.

And then, Athrun set of with his friend.

Little did I know at the time, that I will meet him again…but in the way that both of us wouldn't like at all…

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"Athrun-san, who was that?" Nicol asked politely.

"A friend. A childhood friend."

"Really? He seems nice."

"He's the nicest guy in the world. He wouldn't hurt a fly." Athrun smiled. But his smile immediately vanished, replaced by a more serious looking face. "What is it? You said it was an emergency?"

"It IS an emergency. Lord Klueze just called."

"What? But, we haven't even begun gathering anything yet!"

"I have a direct order sent personally by Lord Klueze's guards. The order was for us to retreat back to the rendezvous point outside the town to meet up with the squads from Versalius and Gamoff who had just arrived. Word has it that, Lord Klueze decided to hasten things up."

"Hasten things up?"

"They've decided to move up to siege phase immediately."

Athrun's face turned to ghastly pale at the statement.

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I found my smile still remained; even it's already some time after I parted with Athrun. "It's been a fun day, right Torii?"

"Torii!" He chirped happily.

"Kira!" The boss called. I forgot my train of thoughts for a second and run along to Pore's room. By the time I get there, the boss was already packed and ready to go home. "Clean the table and the floor and then you can go home, as usual."

"Yes sir… anything else? You didn't call me just for this, did you?"

"No. Actually… I'm rather curious… about that friend of yours."

"Athrun? Is there something wrong with him?"

"…who is he?"

"A childhood friend. We know each other since we were four. At six we separate ways. His father went on a business somewhere else, and he had to come along. We've lost contact for ten years ever since. Until today that is."

"What was his father's business?"

"He won't say."

"…you said his full name is… Athrun Zala?"

"Yep."

'Zala… Zala… now where have I heard that name before…?'

"Boss? Are you okay?"

"…Yes. I'm okay… Finish up cleaning and then go straight home… till tomorrow, then."

"Hai. Tomorrow."

And then, despite the peculiar conversation we just had, I still sent him off like every evening and then back to work. I swept the floor; get the mop, cleaned the dust, and the everyday routine. Some minutes later, I came to the boss' room. And then I saw it. The thing that changed my life, forever.

"Hm? What's that? A Katana?"

A katana. Neatly placed on the floor. Apparently boss dropped it in a hurry… or just left it there… I don't know.

"Did boss leave this?" I moved closer to the katana.

If I think it back now… maybe I should've stopped then and there.

'I better get this back to boss.' And I grabbed it.

But sometimes, I wonder if it would be better… if I didn't grab it.

I closed the shop, locked the doors and run after the boss, hoping I can still catch up with him. All the while, I failed to notice the Katana was reacting in my hand.

I looked left and right, seeking the all too familiar bandana in his head. Not many people wear it 24/7 like Boss.

Chopsticks and bowls atop blue background. Yep. I saw him. That's definitely my boss. "Pore! Pore-oyabin!"

"Hm?" Boss turned around and look at me as he saw me coming.

"Pore, you dropped this, big boss sir."

Pore looked at the Katana for a few seconds, and then at me, and fro. His sunglasses hid his expression quite well. Which I think, it might've been a well mixture of confusion and shock.

"Thank you… Kira. You better go home now."

"Yes sir." And I walk away. And fail to notice that Pore was looking at my hand and then back to the katana, over and over…

That… was the moment… where my life, as I knew it…

was ended.

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