The Last Mazoku
By: Tellemicus Sundance
Chapter 1--The Heir
Hokushin watched his great master from the darkness, ready to jump forward at a moment's notice. He could only stare in depressed sympathy for his slowly dying master.
It had been more than seven hundred years since he'd last eaten. His once unfathomable strength had been reduced to only a little over two hundred thousand, a slightly high S-Class demon. But where his power had grown weak, his ferocity had increased to an equal amount. Hokushin honestly believed that Raizen could do battle with an opponent who now surpassed him in strength and still win due to that ferocity.
But, unlike any other day, something besides his hunger was troubling him. After keeping a careful eye on him since becoming his second-in-command, Hokushin was much more well-versed in his mentor's moods and expressions. And what he saw now was usually something that he reserved for a big fight or battle that he knew he was about to enter; impatience.
"May I ask what ails you, Raizen-sama?" Hokushin asked politely, earning an almost calculative glance from his master.
"I grow impatient of waiting for him to arrive," he answered after a moment, in his usual deep, growling voice. "It's been over seven hundred years."
"Who, Raizen-sama?" Hokushin asked, quite curious now.
The great Mazoku only chuckled for a moment as bittersweet memories rose up in his mind. Taking on an almost depressed gaze, he stared almost longingly at entrance to his throne room; practically begging some mysterious person to suddenly enter.
Hokushin was almost sure that his question would remain unanswered until a nearly silent sound disturbed the air of the room.
"My heir," was the sound.
"Urameshi Yusuke!" called the furious voice of one furious teacher.
Any other child would've shrunk away at the tone used, but not the dark-haired eight-year-old boy in question. If anything, the boy didn't even hear the sounds of the man quickly approaching. Or the chanting and screaming of his fellow classmates. Not the sobs and cries of pain from his victim. Nor the futile and disbelieving cries of his only friend trying to make him stop.
All Yusuke saw was the mocking face of the boy underneath him.
His fists were sore and covered with both his own and his victim's blood. But he didn't let such miniscule details interfere with his goal. That was to badly hurt the boy who'd said so many bad things about him and his best friend. To make this brat understand that no one picked on him or his friend.
The look in his hazel eyes was that of a demon, pure bloodlust.
Yusuke was only brought back into reality when a pair of strong hands grabbed his shoulders and yanked him non-too-gently off the bloody mess that was his hated victim. Before he could fully reorient himself, the teacher had a fistful of his hair and was dragging him away from the gathered mass of his classmates.
"What do you think you're doing, brat?!" the teacher half yelled, coming out partially as a snarl as well. Rather than let the young boy defend himself, the teacher continued to pull Yusuke away. "I've had enough of you and your petty fights! I'm going to expel you this time for sure!"
"Let go, teme!" Yusuke cried out as he futilely tried to pry the teacher's strong grip off of him. All he succeeded in doing was sealing his fate.
"Badmouthing a teacher?!" the man snarled, with a wicked looking sneer forming on his face. "You're most definitely not getting out of this one, Urameshi."
Yusuke trying, but not succeeding, at pulling himself away from the unjust authority figure while glaring and swearing in his most imaginative cuss words was the last time Yukimura Keiko saw her childhood best friend for the rest of the day.
He waited, centuries of training and battling teaching him the importance of patience. And with his own great power considerably reduced, he was extra careful not to be noticed. If he got caught now, he would be interrogated thoroughly on his master's strengths, plans, allies, weaknesses, everything. Then he'd be executed, without remorse or second thought.
But this brutal fate would only be intensified if he caught was now, especially now. In the records room of the Reikai Check-in Station, home of the great King Enma. But that was why he kept one eye trained on the only known entrance into the room, literally. The other eye and the rest of his body was geared towards finding the necessary information.
After searching for nearly three hours for the correct name and time of death, Hokushin found the woman his great master had fallen in love with. From there, he carefully traced all her descendants through the ages. It amazed him how many ordinary humans he found that had once possessed his master's bloodline.
But, due to both their homeland beliefs and their own love of battle, nearly all of them were dead now. In fact, according to the evidence he had found, nearly all of Raizen's descendants had died in the last major war their homeland had been involved in. Some conflict called World War Two.
Though he tried to fight it for Raizen's sake, Hokushin couldn't help but to start believing that he'd waited too long. That all of his master's children were dead now. There would be no heir for his mentor to train and raise in his image. But then he found it.
One was still alive to this day, a young boy by the name of Urameshi Yusuke.
It was just as he was able to memorize the boy's address that he spotted a silhouette in the slightly ajar doorway. Hurriedly replacing the scroll he was reading back into its proper place, he pulled himself up onto the top of the considerably large shelf.
Suppressing his already diminished youki to nearly non-existent, he watched as the silhouette gradually took form. A very small form with a pacifier in its mouth. Which was grumbling softly to itself as it entered the record room, not noticing the door was ajar in its absentmindedness.
Smirking at the figure's inattentiveness, Hokushin turned and made his way stealthily towards the small hole he'd found. It took some considerable time, patience, and unholy flexibility to fit through the thin crack. Lucky for him, he had all three now that he knew where to find his prey.
Yusuke was in a foul mood, as the small pebble on the ground knew all too well. He'd been kicking it violently for the past three blocks as he sulked on his way home. He couldn't believe it, but his life had gotten much worse in less than an hour.
Two hours ago, he'd been accused of beating up a fellow classmate who had done nothing to provoke the punishment. All accounts from the students in the classroom were that as soon as Yusuke had walked into the doorway, he went straight up to the boy and started hitting him. Yusuke's only comment was that the boy had insulted him, his family, and his friend.
If it had only been a case of his usual violence, Yusuke probably would've been issued his fourth detention for the week. But, thanks to the teacher who'd apprehended him, the accounts of the violence Yusuke displayed him as he dragged the struggling boy to the principal's office were greatly embellished. And all the cussing that Yusuke was yelling at the teacher for not listening to him only added fuel to the fire.
Now he was officially kicked out of Sarayashiki Elementary.
But the worst part, in Yusuke's eyes, was the fact that Keiko hadn't believed him when he told her what really happened. She didn't know that while he'd gone to the restroom to do his business, the boy and some of his friends had shown up. They had started hitting him, mocking his alcoholic mother and other things that he had no control over. They had even said that Keiko wasn't really his friend, only that she felt sorry for him. The boys had left shortly after. When Yusuke had finally recovered some of his breath after they'd stopped kicking him, he'd gone after the leader like charging bull.
Why were things so unfair for him? He hadn't done anything wrong! Sure, he got into a lot of fights and had short temper paired with a dirty mouth and a growing vocabulary of sarcasm. But he'd only gotten any of that because of how he was treated. There was only so much a child could take before they started lashing back at anything that looked at them the wrong way.
And for Yusuke, that was usually the teachers. Power-hungry, image and tradition-obsessed bastards and bitches who felt that he was far less than worthy of even licking the dirt off their shoes or high-heels!
"Sensei-teme" Yusuke grumbled for the umpteenth time as he once again kicked the pebble. What he really needed right now was a good fight to vent all his anger. While deep inside he knew it wouldn't solve his problems, he also knew it would make him feel at least a little better. Too bad he couldn't go beat the crap out of that teacher for causing the worst of his recent problems.
No, wait. The worst of his problems had nothing to do with teachers, bullying students, or even school. No, his real problem was his mother and her addiction to alcohol, partying, and, more times than not unfortunately, prostitution! If he didn't have to live with her anymore, if he could leave forever, things were bound to get better for him right?
But the problem with running away was simple. The farthest he could go was to Keiko's house because he had no other friends and no sane stranger would allow an eight-year-old boy to live by himself at wherever he wound up at. He'd be dragged back to his drunk mother within a few days. Gah, the horrors of modern society!
Without really paying any attention as to where he was going, Yusuke accidentally walked into a man who'd stopped in front of him. Recoiling, Yusuke glared up at the bald man who was staring at him with an expectant gleam in his eye and an almost unnerving small smile.
Growling, Yusuke snapped out, "What are you staring at, old man?!"
If anything, the small smile on the bald man's face grew by a fraction of a millimeter. This kid was very feisty, just like what he'd imagined his master had been like in his youth.
"Are you Urameshi Yusuke?" the bald man asked.
Narrowing his eyes up at the giant, Yusuke's face hardened as though he were preparing for a fight. "And if I am?"
"My name is Hokushin," Hokushin said as he bowed slightly, surprising the young boy. "I've been sent to bring you before my master. He wishes to meet you very badly."
Yusuke was so surprised by this strange man's actions that his only response was a stumbled stutter.
"My master wishes to meet you as soon as possible," Hokushin said, adding some firmness into his voice to let the boy know it wasn't a request. "We must leave at once, my master is a very impatient being."
"Why should I go with you, baldy?" Yusuke demanded, crossing his arms and trying to make himself look intimidating. The effect might've worked better if he weren't so small and young compared the giant in front of him.
As the man started to reach out to ruffle his already messy hair, Yusuke swatted the large arm aside. "Touch me again and I'll kick your ass, bastard!"
"You really shouldn't swear at such a young age, Urameshi-san," the man said, his smile growing slightly larger yet again.
"You still haven't answered my question!" Yusuke snapped, backing up to put a little distance between them.
Staring down at him, Yusuke could see the man's humorous expression wane a bit. Then he felt something weird brush up against him. Actually, he didn't feel anything physical. It was more of a feeling of touching, smelling, and seeing all combined into one; almost like a sixth sensory organ that he'd nearly forgotten how to use. But as soon as he'd felt the…thing, it disappeared.
"Wh-What was that?!" he yelped, jumped back and looking around for what he'd felt. Glaring accusing up at the man when he noticed his strange expression, he yelled out, "Did you do that?! WHAT DID YOU DO TO ME?!!"
"You have only a slightly larger than normal amount of reiki than other children your age…How pitiful," the man said, his expression changing to slightly annoyance. "Yet you also felt my presence while I was examining you. That means that your reiki awareness is somewhat better developed…That is…strange for a human."
"What are you talking about?!" Yusuke demanded, raising his fists in preparation.
"I was assessing your strengths and weaknesses," the man said, closing his eyes as he considered this new information. "…You won't survive for long if we left for my master immediately. I guess I'll have to train you until you're a little stronger."
Finally fed up with this stranger, Yusuke snorted. Turning around to walk away, he called over his shoulder, "Go away, bastard! I'm not going anywhere with you!"
Yusuke had barely taken even half a step when the man suddenly appeared in front of him. Flinching back and stumbling, the young Urameshi dropped to the ground in his surprise.
"Then perhaps I should go with you," the man said, kneeling down to pick up the boy. "You can introduce me to your parents."
Swatting the man's hand away again, Yusuke stood up and glared at the man's face as he was now at his own height. "Leave me alone!"
Closing his eyes, the man nodded his head slightly as he began to think carefully. Yusuke turned to run away while he was distracted, but the man grabbed his shoulder. The strength in his grip was enormous, too much for him to wriggle out of.
Before Yusuke could swallow his pride and yell for help down the empty street, the bald man said, "Would you like to see something that I and my master can teach you, young master?"
Standing up but maintaining his hold, the man started to walk towards a nearby alley. Yusuke struggled to escape the whole way; pulling, kicking, punching, even girly stuff like scratching and biting. But the man didn't seem to even feel it!
When they were well inside the alley, the man held out his hand towards a nearby dumpster. "Watch closely, young master."
He wasn't sure what he was looking for. But a sudden blinding flash of light from the man's palm instantaneously captured his attention. Yusuke watched in awed fascination as the narrow beam of light crashed into the dumpster. The metal received a large dent and was thrown violently onto its side with a resounding crash.
While Yusuke was gawking in disbelief for a moment, the man was hurriedly looking around to guarantee that no one had noticed. Looking back down at the boy, the man grinned at Yusuke's expression.
"Are you interested now?" he asked, almost innocently.
"How'd you do that? Can you teach me?!" the first thought that went through Yusuke's head was how awesome it would be if he could do that to those bullies and teachers. Then they'd never try to pick on him or his friends again!
"I'll teach you how to do that on one condition, boy," the man said. "You have to come with me to meet my master afterwards."
"Why?" Yusuke demanded. "Why would he want to meet me in the first place?!"
"Don't you want to meet your father?" he asked, curious what the boy's reaction would be to that bit of bait.
As it turned out, he now had Yusuke's undivided attention.
When her little Yusuke had finally come home, she should've been a bit more concerned. But at the time, her friends down at the bar were just getting things started for another liquor party that she was only too willingly ready to attend.
"Urameshi-san," the strangely dressed man that followed Yusuke into the house greeted her with a formal bow. "My name is Hokushin and it is a pleasure to meet you."
"What do you want?" she demanded, very much in a hurry. The best part of the party was about to start and she wouldn't be caught dead being late to it! Taking another quick observation of the man's clothing, she said, "if you're here to take Yusuke into some kind of school, you might as well turn around and leave! I don't have the money to send him to another school for another year."
Bowing respectfully to the woman, Hokushin answered, "I have no intention of enrolling your son into a scholarship, Urameshi-san. I merely seek to train the boy. Teach him what my master has taught me, how to live your life to the best of your ability and resources."
"How much is this gonna cost?" she asked, snatching her purse and counting the money in it.
"I ask no charge of you, Urameshi-san," Hokushin answered, his head still bowed. "I merely request that, when the time comes, I shall be able to take young Yusuke-san to meet my master. My master has high hopes for this young boy."
Snorting slightly, she turned and hurried towards the door. As she was opening it, she called over her shoulder, "Fine then. Just make sure he's in bed at ten o'clock."
"Hai, Urameshi-san," Hokushin said, bowing again as she vanished out the door.
Standing up erect, Hokushin glanced down at his new charge. The boy had his arms crossed with a look of contempt on his face. The stretchy demon couldn't help but to grin slightly, it reminded him of Raizen-sama whenever he was in a particularly 'distasteful' mood.
"Don't say a word," the boy growled as the giant began to open his mouth. Turning, Yusuke walked over towards the farthest door without bothering to take off his shoes.
Following the boy, Hokushin soon found himself in the descendant of his lord's bedroom. It was small, simple, but homey with a definite feel of a young boy. Clothes were scattered everywhere, bits of torn or wrinkled paper were wedged in the corners, several books lay discarded in a crumpled heap, and there were pieces of broken action figures littering the small desk by the window.
"Teach me!" the boy's demand snapped him out of his observations. "Teach me now!"
The boy had taken a seat upon the stiff mattress that was his bed. Grasping the only chair in the room, the one by the desk, Hokushin sat down lightly and stared down at the boy. Yusuke returned his gaze with a glare, impatience about to cause him to snap again.
"What I'm about to teach you," Hokushin said quietly, forestalling the boy's wrath temporarily. "cannot be learned in an instant. It takes time, dedication, and talent. It will be very hard work for you."
"Why?" Yusuke demanded, already peeved that Hokushin assumed he knew what Yusuke's limits were.
"Time: something we have a very short supply of before my master finally passes away," the demon said, ticking his fingers off with each point he made. "Dedication: once I start teaching you this, there is no going back. You have to learn what I have to teach, or you'll be killed when we go to see my master. Where we are going is extremely dangerous place to live, even for a being like me. While what I can teach you will protect you, it doesn't make you invincible. And finally, talent: which is all you seem to have. You were able to sense me scanning your reiki, which means you are unusually aware for a human."
"What's that mean?" Yusuke demanded. " 'for a human.' What's that mean? You're human too!"
Smirking knowingly, Hokushin just stared at the boy. This was going to be interesting teaching this boy, especially now since he'd caught on to his slip of tongue.
(Author's Note) Even though I have started yet another story, most likely another epic-length, it doesn't mean that TLM is my primary story. No, that privilege still belongs to Legacy II. This story is just another plot idea that has been bouncing around in my head for the past six months and I just have to get it out!
This story is also something of a 'vent' for me. Writer's block is coming much easier to me these days. I try to write Legacy II but lose interest quite fast or am pulled away for something. TLM is method that I'm going to pursue for a while, by writing a different story for a little bit may inspire me to get back to work on Legacy II.
So, with that said, what do you guys think for a start? Please keep in mind that I don't know Yusuke's or Keiko's childhood personalities too well so most of these early chapters will be guesswork for me. If there are any ideas you may wish to provide to me that you think could be a good fit for the story, please tell me. I'm always open for new ones.
In essence, many of the chapters that pertain to Yusuke's and Keiko's childhood from this point to the start of canon are open. So if some of you want to see any 'guest appearances' before their actual introduction in canon, please tell me (with a possible scenario to fit their sudden appearance).
IMPORTANT!!!! I have some awful news for everyone involved. I now have a date to which I am being deployed finally. It is August 25, 2007. Needless to say, from that point my ability to write or update shall be drastically reduced for the next one and half years! Of course I shall continue to write whenever I have the chance.
I swear to you all that Chapter 3 of Legacy II shall be posted before this unfortunate date. I swear to you all on my reputation as an author!