Chapter 1

"Mana… come on. Wake up Mana!' the small child wept feebly into the arms of a dying man

"Mana…." whimpered the small figure, as sorrow overshadowed his face.

The dying man managed to croak "Allen… Listen to me. No matter what happens, no matter what, don't stop-"

"Don't talk like that! Please Mana get up!" Pleaded the small child

"Never stop, always… keep walking-"continued the man

"I need you, don't leave me alone!" shouted the child. The dying man grabbed the child's gloved hand with all his remaining strength, placing him at eye level, as he whispered "Always keep walking, Allen. Until the day… you… die…." The grip on the child's arm loosened as the man collapsed, drawing his last breath. The child - eyes overflowing with tears - managed to whimper "No… Mana? Wake up… Please don't go…. Don't die and leave me!"

"MANA!" crying the man's name with his very soul, the child slumped over the corpse, refusing to let it go.

A daunting blood red horizon rose over a sinister looking graveyard, as large full moon occupied more than half of the red night sky. Dead trees around each edge of the graveyard added to the oppressing atmosphere itself. A lone child huddled over a large grave with a tombstone that read 'Mana Walker'. The child sat alone, feeling a cold loneliness and emptiness; the only light in his life had disappeared forever. However, this was not entirely true as a loud cheery voice broke the silence. "Good evening little one. You look sad", said a funny-looking man with a large circular stature and a large top hat. He had spectacles covering his eyes and an inhuman grin, which was almost large enough to swallow a small child. The child barely looked up as he responded with a confused tone of voice.

The funny looking man waddled over casually, placing a hand gently on the gravestone and asking curiously "Would you like me to bring your 'daddy' back to life for you?" The child was awe-struck, spellbound by the offer. He had lost his purpose for living the moment Mana had passed away, and now he had a chance of being able to see him again. Hope glistened in his silvery eyes, glazing over as he thought of his foster father. Quickly deciding on taking the only chance he would every have of seeing Mana again. He closed his eyes and asked

"What?", in a confused tone, to make sure he wasn't dreaming. The man standing before him answered quickly and reassuringly

"I simply need you to call for him; since you have such a special bond…Wouldn't it be great if you could see him again?" Again the child stared blankly in surprise, of how easy it would be to see Mana again. He wanted to make sure so he asked

"He'll come back?" The man with the top hat smiled (if even more than already was possible) and replied

"Of course! Come, let's call him back from your detestable god!" The child's eyes widened again – captivated, and he asked

"But can he? Will he hear me call him?" The man bellowed in laugher whilst using his umbrella to float around the back of the child. He then gestured to a skeleton. It was no ordinary skeleton; its glowing dark aura was enough to prove that. The bones looked like a material stronger than steel, and the teeth looked inhuman, similar to a vicious beast's. The boy managed to draw strength from deep within him, stand up and walk, each step having the weight of life and death in it. Slowly but steadily, he moved towards the skeleton.

"Now!", bellowed the man, "Raise your voice and call the one you love back from the other world!" The small child began stepping forward again, slowly, and cautiously. "That's it, don't be scared now" the man reassured him. The child stared longingly at the skeleton, before shuddering and beginning to shiver. He then shouted

"MANA!" as the cry echoed, heaven and earth seemed to split open as a purple bolt of fire fell from the sky, evaporating once it reached the skeleton, but not before illuminating the entire structure. A dark beam of red light engraved the name "Mana Walker" into the back of the skeleton's skull. The man thought to himself for a brief moment 'That name… I have heard it before. It sounds so familiar...But where?' As he collected his thoughts, the skeleton began to move slightly, exciting the young boy as he whimpered

"Mana..." A pentacle shone brightly on the skull of the skeleton as it looked up, seeing the world again...through an Akuma's vision.

"A..Allen?" the skeleton asked in a deep despairing voice. The child took another shaky step towards the being, outstretched arms grasping for the love he once felt. He whimpered

"Mana…"The skeleton looked at its arms; they had no hands, only blades. He stared at the boy for a moment before roaring

"How could you! How dare you turn me into an Akuma! I curse you! Allen!" The child shuddered before collapsing to his knees, as the Akuma skeleton raised its bone arm and struck swiftly down the left side of the child's face. Blood cascaded down the Allen's face, while tentacles wrapped around, almost suffocating him.

"How could you make me an Akuma?" the skeleton roared as he bashed the child into the ground with his tentacles. The mysterious man in the background said with the large sigh

"Oh, young Allen, you're mine now. Mana Walker, I order you to kill this child and wear his body as your own." As skeleton stepped forward, obeying the command of its master, and raised one of its bone arms to kill the child, a monstrous flash of green light exploded in every direction and where the glove on Allen's left hand had been, there was a terrifying, monstrous claw with glowing green flame where it connected with his body. Allen's demonic arm acted on its own, throwing the Akuma skeleton off as if it were a leaf on his shoulder. Releasing its terrifying hold, the skeleton jumped back and fell into a heap on the ground a ways away. The boy's otherworldly arm seemed to want to destroy the skeleton, even if Allen begged it not to kill his beloved Mana's soul. Before he knew it, the arm as acting on its own, dragging him towards the skeleton, about to deal the final blow, when Allen's eye, that had been bleeding, shone a glistening red. The world around Allen was transformed, he saw his surroundings, drained of colour. But that hardly mattered to the child, all of his attention was drawn the new way he saw the skeleton. Above the Akuma, resting a few feet above his head, was a grim visage of Mana Walker's soul, an otherworldly corpse, resting on air, surrounded by purple hellfire. But the thing that Allen noticed the most, over all the other unnatural phenomenon, was that the soul was crying.

Crying blood.

"Allen… please… I beg of you, save my soul; kill this pitiful Akuma. I… I love you."

With these final words, Allen's left arm seemed to know it was all over. It expanded, growing to a size that would normally be impossible. The enormous claw came crashing down upon the brittle skeleton, crushing it as one would crush an ant. The Akuma shattered, splinters of bone rocketing off in every direction before disappearing in a puff of purple smoke. For a split second, Allen saw the soul of Mana Walker drifting off into the ether.

"Allen Walker… Thank you."

The man in the background with the large grin was considering his options carefully, seeing fully the situation. He could either kill the child, quite easily too knowing his own power and capabilities. Yet something was holding him back… that name again. Mana Walker… he had heard it before. As this thought set in, believe it or not, his grin widened as an idea came to him. This boy… had no family , nothing left in this world…. And had a left arm of innocence… A new brilliant idea forged in his mind… what, what if he could train this child. Have the child live with him and his family... If this plan were to succeed, it would put a definitive end to this façade of a war.

He looked down at the child, thoughtfully coming to a conclusion, while the child was grasping the earth where moments before, an Akuma with 'Mana walker's' soul was being imprisoned. The boy now had stark white hair and a large red scar running down his left cheek masked in rivers of blood. He walked slowly over to the child with a sympathetic look on this face…. Even with his inhuman grin he managed to pull off a grieved face.

He simply looked down at what the child was clutching and asked simply "What is your name, shounen?"

The child slowly looked up and replied with grieving eyes while sobbing "Allen Walker." The man then took a seat next to Allen, feeling slightly sorry for the child. After a few moments had past with a peaceful silence, the man smiled a true smile. Not the constant smile of this form, not a fake smile, a genuine smile towards the boy named 'Allen Walker.

Allen looked up with dull, lifeless eyes but with a spark of curiosity, he asked "And what is your name Mister?"

The man looked at the Allen with sympathetic eyes and put a comforting arm on his shoulder when he replied "I am known by many as the 'Millennium Earl." Allen looked up in curiosity, as the Earl's heart melted and gave the child a full fledged hug. The Earl, at that moment, didn't quite know what he was doing, but something about this child made his heart feel warm again.

The Earl stroked Allen's white hair and asked "It seems you have nothing left to live for in this world… would you like to come and live with me and my family?" asked the Earl, offering a hand to Allen once again. Allen looked up with empty eyes, no family, no friends, nothing to live for, why not, after all, he could enjoy living with the strange man named the Earl, as Allen smiled and took the Earl's extended hand as he had been offered a new chance at life. The Earl lunged and grabbed Allen, propping him up on his shoulders and giddily bounced off, walking towards a black door that slid up, out of the ground. The Earl eagerly swung the door open and then disappeared into the darkness, telling the child "Welcome, to your new family" with an even larger smile.