Chapter 1

The mists part.

A young girl hovers over a large body of water. She cries never-ending tears that continuously fall into the water around her. Her thin white dress fluttering in the slightest breath of wind is sodden. Her cropped light brown hair is tangled and matted. Her beautiful green eyes are red from crying.

The mists close. Now they part again.

A handsome young man leans against a large elegantly decorated mirror. His white clothes are tattered and flutter in the breeze with his white-blonde hair. His hands are crusted with blood and his haunted blue eyes stare up in despair as if beseeching the sky to free him from some terrible thing. His reflection does the same. A large iron chain clasps his wrists and bind him to his reflection in the mirror. Tears flow down his face. Slowly, so slowly, he is being absorbed into the mirror.

The mists close. Now they part again.

A young man sits in the rubble of a burned-out house. His red eyes are dull and glazed in his soot-covered face. Tears streak down through the soot as he despairs. He clutches a simple wooden staff and a long, slender, curved sword close to him as he silently cries.

The mists close.

XxX

The wind rushed over his face. This is what he lived for, the wildness and freedom of the skies. His cropped, naturally spiked black hair rustled and his bangs fluttered around his face as purple eyes practically glowed with exhilaration. Kero, his draco, darted in circles as the excitement became contagious. He couldn't wait to use his glider, fingering the staff strapped to his back in anticipation.

The smile on his face could have rivaled the sun as the young man hung onto the rope ladder leading to the crow's nest gazing forward as his shipmates below rushed about readying the canons. Their next prey had been chosen and sighted. They were currently in pursuit of a large, expensive cruise ship. With the exquisite exterior and extra-large, smooth-running engines the young man was certain his relatively small, light-weight ship built for speed and stealth could easily capture their prey. After all, there was really no need for an extended stay, however tempting that idea seemed judging from those large pools on the top deck. All his well-trained crew needed to do was drop-in, grab what loot they could, then get out. If he guessed right, this could be their best catch yet. And he was always right. That's why he was the captain, as the red scarf tied around his head signified.

"Are the dragonflies ready?" he called down to his first mate, Shougo.

The gray haired, goggle-wearing man saluted as he smiled as he hollered back, "You bet, captain! Just say the word!"

The young red-eyed captain turned his burning gaze back to the cruise ship, which seemed to only just realize they were being tailed. Stupid rich! Never noticed anything until it was too late to do anything. Wasn't that just their style. Oh well, he smirked, served him just fine. After all, their loss was his gain. He reached up to scratch Kero's head and whispered, "You know what to do."

The draco's eyes seemed to sparkle and it darted away to the hunted ship. Smirking, the young captain released his hole on the rope and let himself freefall to his ship's deck. Ginryuu would always be his pride and joy. She had never let him down, and she wouldn't start now.

"Ready the dragonflies, everyone! We got a cruise waiting," he exclaimed as he leaped into his own dragonfly. The small, light-weight glider was easy to maneuver, and were a wonderful advantage in air fights were the opponents were army fighters which were the exact opposites.

With that, the large group started their engines and took off into the sky toward the elegant gold-mine. The captain loved cruise ships specifically because they were not well-armed and, since their passengers were rich, that meant riches. His crew knew the drill. Shougo broke away from the main group and headed for the few fighters that were able to depart from the distressed ship. The captain continued with the rest to land on the open deck right by the large glass roof before jumping out of the open-air cockpit and smashing the glass as he leapt down into the abyss.

He saw the ground race towards him as he whipped out his glider. The sides of the staff extended revealing membrane-like sails that reacted with the natural airflow as he righted himself placing his two feet on the glider's shaft with a practiced ease. He carefully balanced himself leaning when it was necessary to change direction.

"It's Kurogane the Red! Captain Kurogane! Run! The Silver Pirates! God save us!"

Captain Kurogane loved listening to those terrified shouts. The pompous rich folk were oh, so high and mighty when looking down on others. But they were certainly a site to behold when they were the ones being looked down on.

He watched in pleasure as the people in skimpy bathing suits leapt out of the number of large Jacuzzis and fled screaming like idiots. He looked around the pavilion and saw the apartments lining the walls on the five balconied levels. He chose one at random and sped toward it leaving his men to do that same or play with the frightened little rich people still in the pavilion below.

Little did he know that behind the chosen door, lay Hitsuzen.

XxX

Sakura struggled desperately to get out of iron shackles that bound her hands. She had to save her mommy! She knew enough of what was going on to know whatever those intended to do to her mother, it wasn't good. Especially with the look on her mother's face as her captor slammed the door shut behind him, separating her and her mother. She twisted and turned, desperately seeking a means for escape. Then she heard glass breaking outside the apartment followed by screams and running feet. Now was her chance. She slammed her chained wrists onto the edge of a nearby table hoping the metal would give, if only a little. No such luck.

Then the door to the apartment burst open.

She blinked at the sudden brightness. When she recovered she was being shaken, roughly. "Oi! Are you alright?"

Sakura blinked again as her vision returned. Then she blinked again in astonishment as she saw the face she had seen on so many wanted posters. She knew this man. Captain Kurogane of the Silver Pirates. She gulped.

The pirate shook her again and repeated his question. Then she noticed the red laser blade in the pirate's hand and severed shackles on wrists that were more like individual iron bracelets now. "I'm fi—"

She was cut off by a scream from the other room. All her attention was abruptly diverted to the closed door behind her. She squirmed free of the pirate's grip and scrambled to the door. But the black-haired pirate beat her to it. He tried the door knob, then stepped back before slamming his shoulder against the door. The door burst open revealing a sight that would be forever embedded in both onlookers' minds.

A man with long black hair hanging unbound on his sweat-slick back was riding a young blonde. He had his head buried in the crook of the blonde's neck nipping the low spot where the pale shoulder met the person's throat. He was moving his body in a rough and fast rhythm gaining pained cries and gasps from the blonde beneath him. His hands were holding the blonde in place while he administered his rough pleasures. He seemed so into the work of sex, that the sound of the door being forced open didn't even seem to faze him.

The blonde on the other hand seemed anything but a willing participant in this intimate dance. She squirmed about trying to free herself of her rapist's arms. She cried out and begged for it to stop. Her hands were clawing at the rapist's back and sobs spilled from her mouth.

Sakura just sat on the ground, eyes fixed on the sight in shock. Her mother was being raped! Kurogane wasn't much better. He stood stock still for several moments, but those moments were enough to see everything, understand the situation, and for the scene to reach it's climax.

The two entangled people's actions became more and more rapid and rough until finally the blonde screamed and the rapist arched his back flinging his head up. He had a finely chiseled face, cold and beautiful as if carved from marble. Then he fell forward gasping as the climax ended.

"Mommy," the green-eyed girl whispered in tear-filled shock.

The little girl's voice shook Kurogane from his daze and he sprang into action. In three quick steps he was at the bedside. He grabbed a handful of the rapist's back hair and yanked him off the blonde so he was sprawled on the floor. A single, solid punch to the face left him out for the count.

Certain the rapist would not be a problem for a while Kurogane stood and reached out to help the young woman. But his eyes caught something strange and he gasped. No breasts. The woman had no breasts. But that would mean…she wasn't a she…she was a…he. And he looked absolutely shell-shocked. His cerulean blue eyes stared wide and unseeing at the ceiling and his hands lay limp on either side of his body. His chest and neck were purple and blue from bites and rough treatment.

Gently, Kurogane reached out and brushed s few strands of the young man's mop of blonde hair out of his face. At his touch, those two blue eyes blinked and looked over to him. His chapped lips parted and he whispered, "Sa...ve...Sak…u..." then he passed out.

Quickly Kurogane raced to the nearby wardrobe and yanked a long, elegant kimono off its hanger and carefully dressed the unconscious young man. The little girl seemed to have gathered her wits and come over to help. Together they dressed the prone form and Kurogane gathered him up in his arms. "Come on," he ordered curtly.

He didn't wait for the girl's response; instead he stepped onto his floating glider and waited for the girl to follow him. He felt the weight shift as the girl stepped behind him and wrapped her arms around him. Satisfied, he glided out the door and out over the pavilion before changing course so they now flew up out the broken window. He knew his men would follow when they saw him leave. He was too furious right now to continue this hunt. If he did, he kills someone, or some ones.

He landed on the deck by his dragonfly. The girl stepped lightly off and he did the same before climbing into his dragonfly, mindful of the unconscious man in his arms. He settled himself so he held the blonde against his shoulder in one hand and grasped the steering handle in his other. He gestured for the girl to sit next to him. It'd be a tight fit, but right now he didn't care.

She squeezed herself in next to him and he immediately started his engines and took off towards Ginryuu. He needed to burn off his anger, and he knew just the way to do it.