Chapter One: He's Back

It's been six years since the infamous Funbari massacre reached its ultimate end. The investigation ended in a cold case file buried deep in the boxes of Funbari police station to be forgotten. There are those, however, who will never forget the horrors of that fateful year. On this, the annual day of mourning for those killed by the Dragon of Death, the souls of those lost will be remembered for eternity. Let's have a moment of silence for the victims claimed, not just the dead, but those left behind as well.

Officer James Sagara clicked off the television and angrily hurled the remote to shatter on a wall. He sat, motionless on his couch, gripping a pillow in his fists. Glancing around the room, he could remember every detail of that night six years ago. Six years…it was hard to digest that fact. Six years since he had lost everything. His wife was murdered and his kids were taken and most likely killed as well. He tried to imagine how they would look if they'd had the chance to grow up.

His daughter would be tall and slender, like her mother. She would have deep, soulful blue eyes and long, silky, black hair put up in the newest styles. Her smile would light up her face and make her eyes sparkle. She would have been turning fourteen this year, and he would have been fending off the boys.

His son would be nine years old. His light brown hair would be wild and constantly falling into his face. His green eyes would hold that child-like wonder and curiosity and the two of them would go to the batting cages together every Saturday. The phone rang across the room, startling Sagara out of his thoughts. He stood, abandoning the pillow, and wiped the tears from his eyes as he headed to the opposite wall.

"Officer Sagara." He answered like he would at the station. After all, the only ones who ever called him were his work, family, and occasionally his in-laws. His life now revolved around his job. He solved each case with speed and efficiency. It was his way of paying back the murderer he couldn't catch six years ago.

"It's Penny. Sir, there's been an…incident. I think you may be interested in this one." The tone in the young woman's voice spoke rivers of information to him.

"Is it him?" he asked eagerly.

"It's possible. The only other explanation is a copycat." She replied, sounding slightly distraught. His features softened, calming his anticipation. He knew what it was like to see your first murder scene. If it was anything like what he was expecting from this man, it would be far more gruesome than most. Penny was still green, having started only a month earlier, fresh from training...but training and the real deal were two very different things.

"Still shaken, ne?" He smirked a little at his tease.

"No, sir!" she replied promptly.

"Good. Where is it?"

"Funbari apartment complex 2, apartment 33." came the quick reply. He nodded to himself.

"I'll be there in a minute. Don't let the press near it and don't let anyone touch anything, clear?"

"Yes, sir!" the long, low tone filled his ears before he put the phone back onto its holder. He breathed out deeply.

"That son of a bitch is back."

Officer Sagara took a deep breath before slamming the car door shut. His was an old patrol car that was getting on in years, but it served its purpose and was as reliable as the day it was made. As soon as he entered the front lobby, Penny was with him, walking in step.

She was a fairly attractive woman of twenty-one, with bleach blonde hair in bouncy curls and bright, happy, blue eyes. She had not yet been broken by the strain of her job, as Sagara had, and it showed. She was perky and upbeat; he looked as if he had attended one too many funerals, tiredness behind his grayish eyes, though still smart and calculating. His eyes were two deep wells of history mixed with burning hatred for the one who had made him what he was. He had never let go of that fateful day, and he doubted he ever would.

His age was beginning to catch up with him, though, evidenced by his graying hair, but his grudge would not allow him to retire before he found the bastard and made him pay. He had vowed long ago that he would see that man behind bars before he left his job.

"Brief me." He said as they got into the elevator. She pushed the button for the second floor.

"The victims were ID'ed. Lulu and Kiki Himura, two twenty-three year old archeologists who were here on temporary excavation research. They may have been searching for the secret behind the sudden disappearing acts he pulled, but their notes were unorganized. They were identical twins, both 130 pounds and both 5'4, with dark brown hair." Penny stated, looking very much empathetic. They were only two years older than her, after all.

"If they were looking for his secret, and he found out, he may have decided to do away with them." Sagara noted.

"Sir, he is dead, isn't he? How could he be alive if there's been no killings resembling his for six years? After all…there are no recorded cooling periods that long among serial killers." she questioned. James smiled bitterly.

"Because of his Kitten. You must remember, this is a unique case. He defies all the guidelines of serial killers. Toss your education out the window on this one, he's unpredictable except in the case of that one person who kept him under any kind of control." He replied as the elevator doors opened. He walked on, leaving her to stare at his retreating form for a few seconds before following.

The officer held his breath as he entered the apartment, finding both women were nailed to the wall by their hands, their legs hanging at awkward angles, obviously broken. One look at their faces told him everything he needed.

"It's him. He's back." He whispered, letting go of his breath and breathing in the stench of death and blood.

The girls' eyes were missing, blood streaming as tears down their cheeks. Their mouths were open in screams of agony. They were wearing only undergarments and doodles marred the ivory skin, doodles designed especially for Sagara. The perfectly carved images were of his family, all graphic scenes of their deaths. More pictures smeared the walls with blood. He clenched his fists and directed his attention to the opposite wall. There, in dripping, streaked letters of blood was a message.

My, oh my, what will you do? Dragon's come back to play with you. Your family gone, it's just you and I. Will you play the game of live or die? We must catch up, it's been six years. For our losses, we both shed tears. You're anger hasn't died down much, but keep your eyes peeled, I'll be in touch.

It was then that Sagara realized just how much he hated that man. He remembered every minute detail about him: the light blue hair on top held by a headband, the ebony black hair on bottom, and his eyes a darkish blue that gleamed with the keen look of a murderer. With years of experience backing him, he already had a clear picture of what went on in the killer's mind. The man loved to have fun. To him, it was all an elaborate game. His soft spot was this Kitten of his.

"He has no conscience…" Penny murmured behind him, having just read the note.

"No. He does. Why do you think he takes their eyes? He can't deal with them looking at him all the time." He replied, eyes tracing the bloody letters.

"The eyes are the window to the soul… what did the victims' souls show?" she mused. The officer shook his head.

"Get forensics in here. I want this all tagged and cleaned up. Get the bodies to the coroner's for an autopsy. Chalk out the bodies, as well. Leave no stone unturned. If any small bit of evidence was left, I want it found." He instructed and turned sharply to head to the station. Penny nodded, giving one last sympathetic look at the two young women before grabbing her radio.

Officer Sagara sighed from his seat in his office. He had pulled out the case file for the massacre. It had grown so big they had it in two huge folders the size of dictionaries. He poured over the pictures, maps, and other notes within, finding it all just as baffling as it was six years ago. The phone began to ring, causing him to look up from the picture of the violet-haired Tao kid he'd shot. He picked it up.

"Officer Sagara."

"…Long time, no hear, officer." a slow, sweet voice came from the other end after a pause.

"You." Sagara hissed, clicking a button that would start tracing the number.

"Did you miss me, James?" A low chuckle sounded.

"You tell me." The policeman retorted.

"Ah. Evading the question… I thought you'd try that. It's human nature to avoid topics that bring emotional conflict. I wonder, do you want to kill me? Do you wish me dead? Do you ever have fantasies about it? Do you sometimes dream of killing me? Of course, you wouldn't stop there. Maybe you torture me first. Maybe you slowly bleed me while suffocating and strangling me. How do you do it?"

"Why are you calling me?"

"Who else on the force would I call? I like to keep up with the latest news. Tell me, have you any idea how I did it yet?"

"Did what?"

"Don't play games with me, James. How I 'disappeared' just when you thought you had me. I hear they nicknamed me the Dragon of Death. It fits, I suppose, but have you any clue how I did it?"

"I don't need to know. All I need to do is find out where you operate from."

"You'd be much closer to your goal if you tried to find out how I did it. You still don't know my name, do you? It's amusing, really. You've spent seven years hunting me, and you don't even know my name. Kitten did a very good job of erasing my existence, didn't he?"

"Too bad he's gone, now, isn't it?" Sagara's eyes narrowed and he frowned, one eyes constantly on the screen, willing the tracing to go faster.

"On the contrary, Kitten's right here with me." The officer began to imagine this scene, the killer holding a six year old corpse in his arms with a phone in one hand.

"You are sick." He hissed.

"That's often been said of me, but the reality is that it's you who are all sick. However, as much as I'd love to sit and chat about sickness, I've… business to take care of, and I must be going. Call me in a few hours, will you?"

"How am I supposed to reach you?" A small laugh came from the murderer.

"Silly, James, don't you already have my number on your screen?" Just as the officer was about to reply, the phone went dead, and the policeman slammed it down almost angrily. Looking at the screen, a cell phone number was blinking at him, and he scrawled it down on a sheet of paper, unaware of what was going on beneath the city.

Deep in the darkness of the caves, a single light flickered in a portion untouched by human hands for decades. There was a desk piled with old texts, bookshelves full of more. Sat at the desk, leaning over a leather-bound hardback, Horokeu Usui was sat. Every now and then he mumbled something to himself, but he remained focused, concentrating on the letters dancing across the pages.

"Aha! Here it is! Didn't I tell you I'd find it, Horo-kun?" he exclaimed in triumph, pointing at a paragraph excitedly.

"I still don't see why you couldn't have said anything about it before we died, Dragon." Horo pouted.

"Baka! Don't question me, I had my reasons!" Dragon retorted.

"Meh. So what do we need for the spell?"

"Hmmm…eight quarts of his blood type, some jade figurines from the museum, and a picture of him in life." Horo frowned.

"So how do we know who has his blood type?" he asked. Dragon grinned.

"Allow me."

Funbari hospital was once a small clinic, now grown to a large institute. Security was okay, but not the very best. Patients and just regular questioning people came in everyday, so it was no great spectacle when Horo Horo walked in.

He wore a black t-shirt that said Are You My Type? in red letters that dripped blood and a black pair of baggy jeans with a few chains hanging on them. The shirt was rather short, allowing his smooth stomach to show. He had wristbands on and a few chains around his neck as well as some gothic makeup defining his features, a lip stud and pierced eyebrow completing the look. It was rather a feminine goth look, but he made it work anyway. He went to the front desk with a wry smile and leaned his arms on it casually. A young woman glanced up at him and her eyes stuck. She smiled warmly.

"What can I do for you?" she asked. He pushed a few strands of blue hair back, knowing they would simply fall back into his face and smiling winningly.

"I think I'd much rather know what I can do for you." He said suggestively, making a show of looking her up and down. She blushed bright pink.

"U-Umm…" she sputtered a little.

"You look like a high-class girl. You're probably really smart, ne? Not to mention absolutely gorgeous. I understand if you're already taken. After all, what man wouldn't be taken with a gem like you?" he said casually.

"A-Actually, I'm not smart, and no one likes me." She said quietly. His jaw dropped a little, his eyes going a little wide and eyebrows shooting up.

"You're kidding me! I wasn't even coming in here, just passing by window-shopping! I happened to glance in through the window and when I saw you, I knew you were an angel on earth! I had to at least talk to you!" he exclaimed. Her blush darkened.

"Mona! No fraternizing with the patients! You dunce!" a large woman yelled as she went by them, not even glancing up.

"Hey! Don't you talk to her like that, Tubby!" Dragon snapped. The woman huffed but left quickly, not bothering to look his direction. He turned back to Mona, who had tears in her eyes.

"There now… Mona, was it? That's an angel's name if you ask me. Don't cry now, darling." He murmured, taking her hand.

"You don't see! I really am a dunce!" she cried softly. He shook his head, walking behind the desk and hugging her gently.

"You aren't a dunce, sweetheart." She made to protest, but he interrupted.

"You know what? I'll bet a dunce couldn't get that computer there to show all the healthy people on record with blood type AB, now, could one?" he said, gesturing to her computer screen. She smiled through her tears and brought up the database, typing in a bit and clicking, then turning the screen to him, allowing him to view the list.

"See, now, you aren't a dunce, doll. You want to have dinner with me tonight?" he asked. She nodded happily.

"Good, it's settled. I'll meet you just outside at 9." He grinned and moved in, kissing her gently before leaving. She smiled, pressing her fingers to her lips and getting back to work, checking the clock often. The Ainu smiled as he left.

"See? All according to plan and the best part is that she's on the list, herself. All we have to do is kill her, drain her for every drop she's worth, and make the body dump look like a date killer." He mused.

"I wonder what would happen if you actually used that intelligence for the good of mankind…" Horo said sarcastically.

"Hey, don't get like that. I'm doing this for Ren. You do want him back, don't you? Besides, it's better for mankind if most of these people die, anyway. For one thing, less overpopulation; for another thing, less emo and idiotic people with little or no self-worth." Dragon retorted.

Horo shrugged and carried on heading towards the museum. Finally they arrived. Horo Horo stared up at the huge building that used to be the town hall. Horo slowly made his way up the large stone steps. The door creaked a little as it swung open and he entered the dimly lit museum. He walked along the displays, his eyes flitting from artifact to artifact before suddenly holding on a certain object.

"Kami-sama…" he breathed. "It's her…" He put a hand to the glass of the display, his eyes drinking in the old portrait.

"Oh, Deirdre…" the Ainu whispered, his eyes watering a bit, but he blinked it away.

"You like it? It's a portrait of an ancient French princess, estimated at 400 years old." Horo Horo jumped at the voice beside him, turning slightly to see an old man stood beside him. His gaze narrowed.

"It's 600 years." He said in a rough tone. The man blinked.

"Oh? And where did you learn this?" he asked.

"I…I just know." Horo muttered, looking like he had been about to say something else.

"Hmmm…" the man nodded and went on his way. Horo glanced one last time at the painting before moving on.

"Oi! Who was she?" Horo spoke up.

"None of your damn business!" Dragon snapped back.

"You knew her?" Horo persisted curiously.

"Do you want the figures or not?" Dragon hissed back threateningly.

"Fine." Horo pouted.

The Ainu hurriedly slunk over to the jade figurines, eyeing them a moment. The next instant he had picked the lock, opened the glass, and snatched the five things within, quickly closing it up and going back to the painting. Without a second thought he repeated the process, shoving it all into his knapsack and stalking hurriedly away.

"Hey! Stop!" The Ainu sighed and halted, slowly turning. The old man from before came up to him.

"You seem so taken with ancient France, I decided to give you these from the gift shop. It's on the house." The man said, handing him a book about that time period with pictures and a journal made in the style of ancient France. Horo blinked as he inspected them, turning a few pages.

"Thank you…" he said softly. The man smiled.

"It is so rare to find such a young person so interested in the past. You are a refreshment." He said.

"Who are you?" Horo asked.

"The curator of the museum. I am Hiro Fujiwara." He replied. The Ainu nodded and made a small humming sound, checking his watch. When he looked up again to speak to Hiro, the man was gone. Horo blinked and turned, quickly jogging away, towards the police station.

He snuck in through an open window, spotting Sagara sleeping at his desk. He chuckled a little at the sight and went to the huge folders beside the older man. Flipping through them, he snatched out the picture of Ren and shoved it in his pocket. The rest of the paperwork and folders were thrown into the trash can and lit ablaze. He pulled out a note, leaving the message for the officer. He then headed for the hospital. When he arrived, he saw Mona stood eagerly waiting. He grinned and slowed his pace, casually coming up behind her.

"Mona?" he asked, and she whirled around.

"Y-You scared me!" she admitted. The bluenette smiled good-naturedly.

"I have a tendency to do that. Gomen." He said, scratching the back of his head. Mona smiled and shrugged.

"Shall we?" The Ainu offered her a hand and she took it, blushing, as he led her off towards the edge of town. As the city grew farther away and turned into suburbs, which were getting even less common, Mona began to glance around fearfully.

"U-Umm, where are we going?" she squeaked nervously, being sure to stay close to him.

"Not much farther. I'm sorry, but I live a little far from society. I don't like to be bothered by the noise and nosiness of people very much." He explained, keeping a firm grip on her hand. When they reached the last house before it was simply a road out of Tokyo, he stopped. She smiled in relief, sighing a little.

"Ladies first." He gestured ahead, towards the darkened house. She went ahead, only to find herself quickly whacked in the back of the head. Horo caught the girl easily, checking to be sure she wasn't bleeding before dragging her to the cave entrance nearby.

When Mona woke, she found herself chained to a wall. In the center of the room was a large steel table with a body on it. Each of the four corners had a small shelf with a different jade figurine on it. A small, wheeled table held a large jade-incrusted cup and a framed photo of the dead person on it, a few candles placed strategically around the room.

"Finally, you're awake." She looked up to see her 'date' suddenly standing beside the table, looking at her with half-lidded, wandering eyes. She glanced around some more.

"A-Are you going to k-kill me?" she asked in fear. He blinked and looked down at the dead man's face, caressing his cheek lightly.

"Yes. Unless you have more than eight quarts of blood in your body." He replied.

"The human body only has that much!" she protested.

"Then I suppose you will die." He said coldly, face set. She began to cry softly. He went over to her, bringing a hand to cup her cheek. She looked into a set of warm, loving and caring blue eyes.

"Mona, I'm really sorry. Don't be upset, please. I really wish it didn't have to be this way, but I have to get Ren back. You understand, don't you? Your blood can allow him to live." Horo explained.

"I could get you some blood! I-I work at the hospital! I could get it for you!" she sobbed. His face grew cold and his hand moved, slapping her harshly as he stood.

"Idiot! And have you run to the police?! After all we've been through; it's NOT ending like that! It's too late now; you must die so Kitten can live." He grabbed the cup from the table, pulled a large container over, and knelt down beside her, pulling a knife out of his jacket. The knife had angels carved into the handle and a bluish blade.

She began to whimper when he pulled out a syringe and injected her arm, causing it to go numb quickly, unusable in an escape attempt. He unchained that arm and held it still, making a single gash in her flesh and making sure the blood dripped into the cup. When the cup was filled, he moved her arm so the blood was pouring into the large container, using duct tape to keep it still there. She watched as the blood filled the container slowly, moving upwards towards the 8 quart mark.

"Please…no…" she sobbed.

"The more you cry, the faster your heartbeat, and the faster you die." Horo said, taking the cup to the table. He held the body up, coaxing the lips apart and bringing the cup up, the blood running its course down the corpse's throat.

"Drink up, little Renny, we drink to your life tonight." The killer whispered. When the cup was drained, the killer sat next to her, waiting, watching the blood whisper down into the container. She cried as she knew she was slowly dying. Soon, her breath grew slower, until finally she seemed to deflate, limp against the side. The last drop of blood plopped in, making the final count nearly 8 quarts. He then repeated the process with the blood and the cup to Ren's mouth until all had gone down. The candles began to flicker a little faster.

"Déesse des Morts, je vous invite. À votre domestique Drakonis, soyez vrai. La vie de nouveau aux morts sous la lumière de la lune. Sang de la vie-force des morts un trop tôt. Grant le souhait d'un dont les mains sont souillées, cette vie peut être donné et expiation être atteint. (Goddess of the Dead, I call on you. To your servant Drakonis, be true. Life back to the dead under the light of the moon. Blood from the life-force of one dead too soon. Grant the wish of one whose hands are stained, that life may be given and atonement attained.)" Dragon chanted the words of the spell in French, softly and quickly. The candles blew out all at once and the room illuminated in the glow of the jade set about the room.

"Drakonis, enfant cher à mon coeur, qui trouve la faveur aux yeux des dieux, j'accorde votre souhait et accepte l'offre du sang frais. (Drakonis, child dear to my heart, who finds favor in the eyes of the gods, I grant your wish and accept the offering of fresh blood.)" a serene female voice echoed around the walls. The candles flickered back and the jade went back to normal. Mona's body had disappeared along with Ren's picture and all traces of blood. Ren slowly sat up, then blinked his golden eyes open, looking straight at Horo. Horo waited anxiously.

"Ren?" he asked tentatively. Ren blinked again and a small smile appeared on his face.

"I knew you'd come for me…I knew you'd bring me back." His voice was barely a whisper.