Takeda and Ukita didn't know what was going on with Kenichi, but they were for the most part happy that they had decided to skip classes today. They had been pretty worried that his protective instincts were about to get him into trouble again when they had run into an angry Miu earlier, whom had told them about Kenichi getting into a fight with her over an unknown person.

Why else would they have come to the park and seen him hanging out with the same girl that had attacked Takeda the other day? The two stood off to the side of some trees watching Kenichi as he hugged the girl. She looked like she was crying.

Takeda's fist connected with the trunk of the tree as fury rose up in his chest. The bitch was toying with his best friend! She just had to be. And Kenichi, being the honest, unsuspecting, and nice guy that he was- he was buying into her act without question.

It was infuriating to watch. Even more so to bear.

Just you wait honey, if anything happens to Kenichi- I'll kill you. He thought darkly as Kenichi kissed the girl on the forehead as she pulled back away from him and wiped at her eyes and started to speak again. This time he managed to make out what she was saying.

"I have to go now Kenichi."

"No!" Kenichi almost shouted as he grabbed her wrists and held her in place on the park bench next to him. "Please don't go. Not yet. Not until I can think of a way to help-"

"Enough, please. I have to go before someone comes looking for either of us. I don't want to get into another fight with any of your friends. And I certainly don't want you anywhere near any of Yomi's people."

Takeda frowned and peeked around the tree as the girl forced Kenichi to release her and stood up. She gave him a sad look and forced herself to smile and Kenichi got a strange look on his face a second before he hung his head and let her walk away. Takeda and Ukita stood silently bearing witness to Kenichi's inevitable breakdown as the girl disappeared from sight.

Kenichi sat on the bench with his head bowed, a look of pain on his face as tears slipped down his cheeks looking like a broken man. "What do you think she said to him?" Ukita finally asked in a whispered tone. Takeda shrugged his shoulders. He didn't know and to be honest he didn't care.

All he knew was that that girl was his enemy. She was Kenichi's enemy.

And though she hadn't done anything yet to physically hurt him, Takeda could feel that she would...eventually. And he planned to be right there to fuck her up.


Kenichi's mind was still reeling hours after leaving the park to return to the dojo. He couldn't seem to wrap his mind around all the horrible things that Winter had been blackmailed into doing. It has to stop- His mind hissed as he went through his daily training regimen. The violence, the threats, the fear, the whole damned cycle. It all had to stop.

But how? How could he stop the cycle and save Winter? He wasn't strong enough to take Yomi on. Hell, he was barely strong enough to protect his friends and himself. What good would he be to Winter? Maybe I can convince her to leave Yomi and come here. She would certainly be safe. My masters wouldn't let anything happen to her... Would they?

To be honest he wasn't sure that bringing her to the dojo would even do anything aside from get them all killed. But then again, could he even ask his masters to take in and protect her when she was considered their enemy?

He supposed that he could explain the circumstances that had made her a part of Yomi and hope that they would understand. But as martial artist he doubted that they would understand. Sure that would feel pity towards her, but that wasn't the same as understanding. And talking to Miu about this and seeing what she thought was simply out of the question since she had decided to ignore him after their fight earlier in the day.

He couldn't talk to Niijima, or Takeda, or any of the rest of the Shimpaku Alliance.

Jesus, he had no support what so ever here did he? The realization that he was just as alone in things as Winter was, shook him to his core. If he had no support, no one to talk too or ask about what he could do for her then how could he save her?

The answer would come to him the next day at school when he met her on the rooftop of the school building and noticed the bandages around her neck and wrists. He would simply have to become her shield and protect her that way. And that meant leaving Ryozanpaku.