It's been a while since I've written anything. Wanted to come back with something special. This is a story concept I stumbled across while cleaning one day. The concept itself is more then two years old. I guess I finally found the motivation to write it.

Special thanks to Soniclove for proofing it and Lostinhersong for helping me with the fight scene.


Bloodlines
Chapter 1

Date: July 27, 1843
Place: Tokyo, Japan
Event: Fall of the Tenou Empire

"Mommy, can we go into town?" Umeko tugged on the hem of her mother's dress.

Azumi hesitated in answering. Her husband placed a reassuring hand on her shoulder before whispering into her ear. "Go with her. What could it hurt?"

The young woman sighed in defeat. "Alright. Come on sweetheart." She reached down to take the hand of her five year old daughter before turning to walk down the hallway. It was a short walk down the stone path that lead to the iron gates that kept their palace separate from the rest of the town.

The market was a calm place that day, merchants and peddlers showing their wares on blankets they had spread over the rickety stalls that were built years prior. Voices mingled as the same merchants yelled to grab the attentions of any passer-by interested enough to stop to haggle down prices.

Business was wonderful in Tokyo. The number of homeless was down due to numerous acts that had been put into effect helping to keep the money from sitting, gathering dust, in the bank vault of one of the richer family's in town. Jobs were abundant, and the public schools that were offered were

Many of the high class families, though, did not enjoy the Tenous catering to the peasants. They hated seeing their money pulled from their accounts in taxes, just so those in the lowest social class could live in a somewhat comfortable manner. Or just, live in general.

Many had tried, some had come so very, very close, but none had actually succeeded…until that day.

"Bust down the gates!" The shout echoed throughout the streets surrounding the Tenou Palace.

Umeko pushed her way through the line of people that formed on the streets edge to see more than two dozen mounted militia rushing the gates of her home. "Umeko, get back here!" Azumi grabbed her daughter's hand before she could be seen by any of the men.

It was a mixture of Kaiou's family and outsiders that had been hired in. The Kaiou family was the second richest in the city. They had planned and attempted to overthrow the Tenou reign for decades. They were the only family to have ever come close.

Azumi quickly pulled the hood of their cloaks over their heads, if their hair color was hidden, the group of men wouldn't know they belonged to the family. "Who are those people?" Her voice was shaky as she watched the gate of her home fall under their force.

The head of the Tenou house felt his pulse begin to pound in his ears as the initial wave of militia breached his castle walls, the fingers of his right hand tightening around the hilt of his sword. His blonde hair was tied back in a pony tail, the wind whipping through the open windows to free it from its bonds, it beginning to fly around his face. His grey eyes were narrowed, the sounds of the battle surrounding him. His men were falling at an alarming rate, the attack catching them off-guard. He unsheathed his own sword, and launched himself into the heat of the battle.

"Ah, Ken Tenou. It's such a pleasure to see you again. Shouldn't you be sitting on your throne with your head up your queen's skirt," a cold, chilling voice stated from the door.

The blonde king turned, frowning when he saw the tell-tale aqua hair of the head of the Kaiou household. "What are you doing?" He hissed, his sword gleaming with blood.

He was answered with a chuckle. "Killing you, of course, and taking this city for my family. Where it belongs!"

Once all the noise settled. Katsuro Kaiou emerged through the mangled mess that was once the palace gates. "Fine people of Tokyo!" He shouted at the top of his lungs to gain the attention of the nearby citizens. "A new dawn is upon us," he let out one last yell before raising Ken's head high above his own.

The chatter that ran through the crowd hushed almost instantly. Some people gasped in a mixture of shock and horror, while others, mostly of the Kaiou allegiance, cheered and applauded.

Azumi covered her mouth as she watched in horror. Her worst fears had come true. She quickly pushed her way through the crowd, away from the men who just slaughtered her entire family. Away from the man who held up the freshly decapitated head of her own father. She didn't want to admit it to herself. But if her father had fallen that easily, so did her husband. A stray tear slid down her cheek as she dragged her daughter into a side alleyway.

"Mommy, what's happening?" Umeko tried to pull away to go back out to look.

The mother only held the child's arm tighter, preventing her from getting anywhere. "Nothing sweetheart," she knelt down to look into Umeko's baby blue eyes. "We're going to play a game okay?"

The child's eyes lit up and she smiled. Azumi often wished she could remember the time when she didn't have a care in the world either. "What game are we going to play?"

"We are going to hide," She pushed the cloth of her daughter's cloak aside to fix her hair. Tucking it all back behind her to make sure nobody could see it. "And you have to keep your head covered. Alright?"

"Am I hiding from you?"

The older woman shook her head, "No honey. We're going to hide from those people with the water colored hair."

"Why?" The youth inquisitively asked.

Azumi took a moment to fix her own hair before leading her daughter to a more run down portion of the city. "Because they want to hurt us."

"Daddy wouldn't let them hurt us!" Umeko stopped and pouted.

The mother just wanted to yell and scream, telling her daughter just to shut up and stop asking questions. She couldn't bring herself to do it though. She knew, even if she told Umeko that their family was dead, she wouldn't understand, "Daddy's gone honey."

"Where did he go?"

Azumi stopped to sit down in a small alcove in the stone wall, she drew her daughter near to her. "You know how in church," she paused to make sure she did, in fact, have her child's attention. "In church we talk about Heaven and Hell. Right?" Umeko nodded. "He's…" She choked back tears as she thought of how to explain to her child about her husband. "He's on his way up to Heaven right now."

Umeko frowned, "When can we go home?"

"We can't." She looked away from her daughter, tears seeping through her clenched eyes. "We can never go home."


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