Disclaimer: Saint Seiya belongs to Masami Kurumada.

Chapter One - Shaka

Shun crossed his legs, hands placed on his lap. He proceeded to look at us, Gold Saints, taking in each of our expression. My comrades weren't aware of his wandering eyes, only I. The boy had managed to intrigue me since the day he had climbed up the steps toward the Pope's chambers. Now, he merely sat, eyebrow raised, and contemplating on a thought that made his lips move side-to-side.

"I have a question."

He gathered our attention, all eyes focus on him.

"What do you guys cherish most?"

A simple question, one innocently made by him. He looked at us, waiting for an answer, but none of us were ready to speak. I was too absorbed in my memory to have heard who had spoken. A question like that will no doubt bring unwanted memories.

We store our memories in our brains, the negative and the positive ones. The positive, at times, are hard to recall the exact details, but the negatives ones are easy to recall. Is it because the negative encounters we had faced caused us to have such strong emotions that it is practically engraved in our minds? I believe so.

A smirk tugged a side of my lip. An innocent boy, who was controlled mentally by the power of Hades, has spoken among us. Who would have thought that a boy full of innocence to be the reincarnation of Hades? His innocence can be a nuisance, at times, considering the fact that he had asked a question that none seemed comfortable to address. Hmph… What an innocent boy, indeed.

Before these events, I, along with rest of my comrades, had left the Pope's chambers and departed toward our temples. Aphrodite had not taken a single step to enter his domain when the Bronze Saints decided to waste our time with their gist of "hanging out". I had refused to partake in their group gathering, but Mu and Aldebaran insisted that I tag along. I agreed to go, not to please the Bronze, but rather my two comrades who had valid good reasons on why I should go, none of which I am willing to speak about.

Our gathering had taken place in the Aquarius's Temple, much to Camus's refusal. But, a plea from Milo, and the man opened his doors to anyone.

I opened my eyes and listened to Seiya speak. The boy did not know when to slow down, or, rather, he was too excited to do so. It was difficult to comprehend the gibberish uttering from his lips that I ignored him. The only word that I was able to catch was: family.

I disdain at the word.

I hardly care for the term, but it bothers me. The word has been used constantly by many people. Take Aldebaran, for example. The man considers us family, even though we are not blood-related. The word, "family" causes strong emotions to emerge and bring an unwanted memory to surface.

A memory of someone I had thought I had buried in the past.

… Mother…

My dear mother whom I never saw again since the day she left me.

I can still remember her dancing. She always loved to dance.

Her arms were brought upward. Her hands swayed softly side-to-side. The bells around her ankles rattled and graced the room with noise, providing the silent room with music. She danced to an illusionary song, twisting and stopping at the rhythm of each invisible beat.

I pushed the door wider to see. I had a question, dancing in my mind, not leaving me in peace. The question: who was she dancing for?

Her blond-hair swayed as she spun. She stopped and opened her eyes, staring at the hidden chair ahead. There was someone sitting in the shadows of the room, but I could not see who.

A clap before another until the man came into view. He smiled and approached her, not liking the gleam in his eye. A chill ran down my spine. I had a fear, racing through my veins. The adrenaline made my heart race that I had no choice, but to fling the door open and place myself between the man and her.

Anger started to settle in. I did not know why I had become angry, but I decided to settle myself down and ignore it.

"What are you doing, mother?"

She cupped my chin and made me look into her eyes. She picked me up and took me out of the room. All I can do was hug her neck and watch the man until my mother turned and I was placed in my room.

I had nothing to say. I knew she was going to leave. Somehow, I knew. It was a feeling I had. I knew I was not going to see her after this night. And all she could do was smile and kiss the dot on my forehead. The final sounds of her taps were a constant reminder that she was real and alive. She turned and stared at me, her red lips stretching into a smile. The door slowly came to close and the final image I had of her was her reassuring smile and teary eyes, as if telling me, "Everything will be alright".

And, she was right. I was found by one of the Saints throughout the rest of the night.

I sighed and let the bitter memory flutter away. I wonder if she is still alive.

"Shaka, what is it that you cherish most?"

Do I really need to respond to Seiya's question? I would rather not, but the boy is persistent. I crossed my legs and closed my eyes.

"The answer is quite obvious. Don't the people in this room speak for itself?"

Seiya scratched his cheek, trying to comprehend my hinted message that everybody in the room was my family.

His intelligence is truly lacking.

Revision: June 24, 2011