This is a story that happened a long time ago, about one girl and her adventure-filled life. It takes place in the hot Arabian regions of sand dunes, camels, tropics, and – most importantly – love...

A simple yet intricate melody rang through the busy air of the village, followed by the jingles of many tiny bells in the dry, desert wind. The extraordinary sounds caught the attention of the people bustling about and people slowly stopped in their tracks, dropping their tasks for a moment's time. It was hard not to have their attention diverted by such a rare and mesmerizing spectacle.

"Are they travelling performers?"

"Seems likely," one woman murmured in awe. "I've never seen them around here before."

"What a beautiful looking dancer."

"The lute player is quite handsome, as well. They seem exotic, I doubt they could be natives."

"Perhaps gypsies."

Throngs of people gathered about the scene: a beautiful dancer girl and her handsome companion. It was an odd sight, one which they did not get the chance to witness everyday. It was hard to keep their eyes from watching so intently when they all had business to attend to; the lull of the gentle lute, as they watched the girl twirl about, was captivating and rich in contrast to the dull lives of the villagers.

Here, you will find the story of your not-so-typical girl. A young girl named Amu Hinamori.

They marvelled at her glamorous movements. They were bewitched by the swish of her foreign rosy hair, whilst the musician enchanted them with his own strange navy locks and enrapturing tune. The duo were mysterious and unheard of in their parts, it was a wonder who they were; where they could have come from.

"That marking on her chest is bizarre."

"Come to think of it, I have never seen such tattoos on anyone. It's quite dazzling, really." Another odd sight for them to gaze upon...

Why was she not-so-typical, you may ask? Because she had a magnificent yet mystical flower blooming on her chest. To those who had no knowledge, it was just a striking mark on the stunning girl; but for others, who were more familiar about such a legend, knew that it was the mark of a demon and its borrowed heart...

"Aye, yer preposterous thinkin' will have ye killed on the spot," a surly old woman spat, grumbling as she picked up a large basket of herbs and fruits and waddled through the clusters of townsfolk. She pushed her way through the crowd, avoiding the sight of the alien performers. "Ye don't know nothin' 'bout who they are, let 'lone what they come for in our land. Don't any of ya folk have some sense of pres'vation at least for yer young'ns? Can't just trust any sort of folk that come wanderin' inta the town!"

Some of them looked at the old woman sceptically – she always had seemed quite batty to them. Still, she was considered one of the elders in the village and there were a few who saw truth in what she had said. They were squeamish, standing at the edges of the crowd; very much afraid yet very much drawn by their own curiosity.

"It's true, the dancer isn't to be trusted. Don't you know? It's a rumour apparently, but that 'flower' is the mark of having a demon's heart," one man whispered quite audibly for the rest to hear. In an instant, a thick buzz ran amongst the people.

"Nonsense! A demon's heart?" A lady next to the man said with disgust, the man nodded gravely.

"Yes. Such people trade their hearts with the demon, just so they can lengthen their life. It's revolting," the man seethed. "However, that is the signatures of those cursed by one, carved into their skin right over their heart." The new drone of voices made the old woman look back once more, her eyes narrowed, the wrinkles around them furrowing. She watched the crowd thin around the dancer.

"Aye, it's a phenomenon that ye rarely hear of. Only the wors' of the wors' – those folk of grime, filth and sorcery – would sell their souls for the verve of breath. There's no trustin' those that go far as tradin' their souls with the devil jus' 'cause they can't accept it when their time comes!" The people watched her shuffle away with peculiar quiet but as her retreating back disappeared around the corner, voices started up again.

So you see, dear friendly readers, her chest was engraved with a flower mark. Although people of her kind were rare, those with a demon's heart were formally known as "Akuma no Hana": a "Demon's Flower".

"So that witch worships the devil?"

"Doesn't that mean she has the power to curse us as well?"

"She must have swindled that musician, as well!" Another careened. "If we don't be careful, we'll become bewitched by her, also."

With that, the streak of unpleasant murmurs swept through the crowds of the townsfolk and they hurried away as fast as they could from the dancing girl. Their once mesmerized selves now avoided the girl at all costs, like a disease. Like a plague. Like the people had seen the devil in flesh.

But those who looked down on those of her type called her an "Akuma no Ko": a "Demon's Child". And thus, our great story and this vast journey will begin…

Disclaimer: All rights to Shugo Chara and its characters go to the wonderful Peach-Pit. The basic plotline comes from the beautiful manga Hanatsukihime which belongs exclusively to Hibiki Wataru – thank you for the inspiration, Wataru-sensei!

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