Author: "AUTHOR NOTE TIME! So, yeah. I'm rewriting this thing. Legit. Not even kidding right now. If you're new to this fan fiction, then know that this is a rewritten chapter. If you're NOT new, however, then you're probably oozing with questions. If you are actually OOZING, then... then, you need to, like, stop reading right now and go to a doctor, seriously. That crap ain't healthy. But yeah, the reason I'm rewriting this fan fiction is because I'm just not satisfied with the majority of the chapters anymore. Not to brag, but my quality standards have increased TREMENDOUSLY since I started writing. Not only are my latest pieces longer and more dished out, but they also have more delicious details that my previous works lack. And I ain't joking when I say they're longer, nu-huh. This is actually not all of chapter one; I had to split the chapter into two so it wouldn't be ludicrously lengthy. And even then, both parts are STILL ludicrously lengthy. I don't know if I should give myself a pat in the back or a punch in the face.

So, from what I just said, you should be expecting chapter two (which will actually just be part two of chapter one) later today. Or at least no later than tomorrow. Now, that's all assuming you're actually reading this on release and not weeks / months / years later. If you are reading this weeks / months / years after release, then this probably doesn't concern you. But OK, I know you're aching to get reading. So what is different from this rewritten chapter to the original? First of all, a LOT more character development. After that, more interactions, altered events, more characters are going to start becoming important, cooler action, and it's all taking a turn towards a more "dastardly" side. If you don't know what that means, I'm just saying that it's gonna be darker now. Fun.

Re-read, review, follow, fave, do whatchu' wanna do."

Lost Origin: A Saiyan's Quest

Figure #1: "... Hmhm..."

Figure #2: "Ah... It really is the end, isn't it?"

Figure #1: "Yup..." *looks at burning skies* "... 'fraid so."

Figure #2: "Hmm... It's such a shame... There's just..." *contemplates space pod* "... so much we could have taught her..."

Figure #1: "My thought's exactly, dear. I guess loving minds think alike, amirite?"

Figure #2: "Of course, honey. But... as long as I know that she's gonna make it out of here alive... I can rest happily."

Figure #1: "Indeed. It ain't every day that such a fine fellah comes to being, and you best believe I'll do my darnedest to give her a bright future." *starts setting up space pod destination*

Figure #2: *looks through space pod window* "Hmhm... Isn't she just the most adorable thing? I'm sure she'll grow to do great things!"

Figure #1: "She will. She BETTER! Haha!" *looks into space pod* "Hey, kiddo! Umm, well... Heh, this is kinda awkward to say, but... this is the last time we'll get to talk to ya. So, take these words with a bit of consideration, will ya?"

Figure #2: "As your parents, we're willing to sacrifice everything for you, sweetie, even our own lives. Neither of us would be able to live with ourselves knowing that we could have done something great for you, so it's better this way. But no matter what happens, we'll always be right there!"

Figure #1: "Listen, uh... There's a million things you could do when you have the chance to, but whatever you do, just make sure you make us proud of it! There, uh... There ain't a better thing than keeping your old man happy!"

Figure #2: "There'll be many obstacles in life, but you shouldn't get stuck with any of them! Remember to always look up, and realize what is really worth dying for!"

Figure #1: "Well... Time to... Time to go, lil' warrior!" *space pod begins to shake*

Figure #2: "Remember this conversation, dear!" *space pod lifts off the ground*

Both: *single tear streams down* "Goodbye, Litua!"

With every passing second, the space pod containing the year-old daughter left the surface of the planet more and more, and left a bigger and bigger hole in her parents' hearts. However, they were happy, as happy as a couple could ever be. As long as they knew that their loving child would have a brighter future than theirs, there was not a thing in the world that would upset them. Not even death itself could kill their joy, even if their bodies were destroyed forever. And they were.

Far in the vacuum of space, the temperatures dropped to absolute zero. The space pod slowed down, and continued to do so until it stopped and became suspended in the middle of nowhere. It lost its course and completely froze over, allowing no trace of motion to take place. Just like that, the short-lived journey of the child came to a halt, and none of the goals she would ever desire could be accomplished any longer. What a pitiful fate.

For the next sixty years, the space pod remained immobile, floating alongside hundreds of other satellites in the vicinity. One moment, however, an asteroid came rocketing through the area. It was a massive rock, and its speed was inconceivable, but it fortunately did not impact the space pod. However, it did pass close to it, and the heat produced melted the ice from the apparatus. With this, the space ship was turned on once more, and the heart of the child inside started beating again. The space pod flew rapidly out of the frozen territory and was headed to a new destination - a planet not too distant and flourishing with life, and also the origin of the quest that our heroine was about to embark.

Chapter 1: Forging Absent Memories

Located in the central area of the eastern continent, Waterleaf Village was happy to have yet another sunny and peaceful day! The clear and bright sun illuminated the vivid skies and adorned the village with life. The sounds of birds singing and children playing brought joy to the ears of all the inhabitants. However, one residence in particular was preparing for something; or rather, one particular individual.

Ninomiya: "Alright, dad, I'm ready!"

Mr. Ikeda: "I can tell, son. It's great to see you're always so enthusiastic about doing this job."

Ninomiya: "Of course I am! It's part of my training, how couldn't I be?"

Hitomi: "Just remember, bro: gather at least twenty gallons of water and ten of each different kind of fruit found on Waterleaf Mountain. Don't be late~!"

Ninomiya: *glances* "Hey, Hitomi, if you're so specific with how much supplies I should bring, why don't you help me out?"

Hitomi: "Becaaaaause, Ni, I'm not gonna be the 134th Guardian of the Ikeda, so I don't have to bust my butt training. And besides..." *pokes Ninomiya's nose* "... I'm your older sister!"

Ninomiya: "Hmph! If you don't train as hard as me, I'm gonna be way stronger than you when I'm older!"

Hitomi: "That's fine; you're supposed to be stronger, since you're gonna be the Guardian and all that fun stuff. I'll be satisfied by knowing I've better wits than you."

Ninomiya: "What's that supposed to mean?!"

Mrs. Ikeda: "Now, now, kids, stop fighting. We don't want to keep Ninomiya from going out to get this week's supplies, now do we?"

Mr. Ikeda: "Your mother's right, children. Better waste no more time, Ninomiya! Go pick up the baskets and start."

Ninomiya: "Yeah, on it!" *picks up baskets* "Bye!"

Hitomi: "Don't take too long, Ni~!"

Ninomiya: "Psh... Whatever, sis!"

Doing as he intended, Ninomiya headed for Waterleaf Mountain, ready to gather the weekly supplies for the family. This was traditional for the Ikeda family, as well as their other customs that had been passed down through generations. It was an honor for Ninomiya to be nominated as the future 134th Guardian of the Ikeda, but he still needed much rigorous training before this goal could be accomplished. His father - the 133rd Guardian of the Ikeda - trained him on a daily basis, ranging from simple tasks as jogging and performing errands around the village to arduous spar sessions. For a man his age, Mr. Ikeda still had the strength and expertise worthy of a martial arts master, and he hoped dearly that his son would equal or even surpass him in prowess. Ninomiya, too, was anxious to fulfill his father's wishes.

As he made his way to a lake in Waterleaf Mountain, Ninomiya took his time to look around and simply appreciate the scenery. Waterleaf Village was a beautiful place that sprouted with life in every corner, and the fact that it was so insignificant in the world maps diminished the amount of tourists and outsiders to a minimum. Despite striving to someday be a prestigious martial artist, the six-year-old mind of young Ninomiya could simply not ignore the magnificence of the cherry blossom trees and exotic animals as he ventured through the mountain. The extravagant explosion of colors and songs of the wilderness entertained him like a baby with a toy; it was all partially training and partially a time for Ninomiya to enjoy himself. He went on to gather some fruits and water, then decided to lay down on the grass and observe the blue vast skies above him. The limitless nature of the Heavens gave the Ikeda youth a sense of infinite sightings, as if he could jump at any point and gracefully fly through the skies. He calmly watched the birds fly by, and the clouds floating with the wind, and the black dot up in the sky that seemed to be rapidly approaching him... Wait a minute!

Realizing that his object was not a bird nor anything that he was used to seeing, Ninomiya stared at the item suspiciously. Then he actually realized that he was about to be crushed by an unidentified flying object, so he ran away as far and as fast as he could - which was not much. With a tremendously boisterous sound, the object crash landed few meters away from Ninomiya, just enough to not kill him. The impact sent the boy flying through the air a good distance away until he crashed with a tree, and he painfully turned around to see the massive crater that now laid before him. Besides a nasty headache, Ninomiya was now plagued with curiosity; it is not every day that you barely get away from a projectile like this, after all. Very carefully and with trembling legs, the kid approached the crater, observing the smoke clouds generated by the extreme heat of the event. All of the animals within the vicinity were long gone, but not before making a roar of fear before doing so. Ninomiya was now the only living creature around the area, as far as he was concerned. The thought of that terrified him - if his life became endangered, there would be no one around to help him. But then again, he was destined to become the 134th Guardian of the Ikeda - surely he was strong enough to tackle anything! Finally, Ninomiya reached one of the edges of the crater, and cautiously peeked his head to look at the bottom.

At the dead center of the crater was what appeared to be a spherical object; in fact, this object was a bit too perfectly spherical. No asteroid could possibly have a shape as well defined as the one this UFO sported. Then again, Ninomiya knew very little about astronomy, so who was he to judge? The next thing he noticed was the color of the object. It was a completely tone-less white, and it almost seemed like it could shine brilliantly and reflect the rays of the sun, had it not been for the fact that the object had numerous scratches and dents. With every detail that he discovered about this "thing," Ninomiya thought of it more and more as an item that he would only see in a dream world. Yet, it was right there in front of him, and he certainly was not dreaming. Judging by how odd this whole situation was turning out to be, maybe it would have been better for Ninomiya to run away. Who knew what kind of dangers might have been awaiting for the right moment to manifest themselves, and would Ninomiya really be able to defend himself? His confidence as the future 134th Guardian of the Ikeda started fading away, to the point where it was a battle between common sense and morbid curiosity. And unfortunately, morbid curiosity came out victorious. As more of the smoke clouds disappeared, a small, spherical, green window was revealed on one side of the object. Then Ninomiya noticed some lines that shaped in a curve around the window and under the object, almost like a gate. Now he had to make a choice - to investigate this strange item thoroughly from close proximity, or return to the village and inform the others. For some stupid reason, Ninomiya just could not hold his thirst for information and he jumped down the crater.

Once down there, Ninomiya slowly peeked into the window. He was unfortunately too far away to be able to see the inside clearly, so he had to come closer. The boy rested his palms on the metallic surface of the spherical object, realizing that it was quite warm but not so much that it would harm his skin. Looking into the window, Ninomiya could finally start to slowly make out what was inside this "thing." He saw some strange lights and circuits at the corners of the object, allowing him to deduct that this was actually a ship. And then he saw it. In the center of this ship was a small creature, a person. With that size, it must have been a baby - and it was stuck inside that ship! Somehow, though, that baby was sleeping; how could anyone sleep after all that noise, and especially if that person were to be the one inside the rumbling ship? Heck, was this baby even alive? Sure, the cushion seat behind the baby seemed safe enough, but still. Regardless, Ninomiya could not simply stare at this baby and leave it alone - he had to get it out of there! Or did he? This baby was no one he knew, and he might have been risking his life if he attempted anything at all. Ninomiya was really starting to realize just how much he was getting in businesses that did not concern him in the slightest. But on the other hand, could he really just leave an innocent and defenseless creature as a baby so alone and unprotected? Was he that selfish? No, he would never be able to live with himself if he committed such an act. Resolving on trying to save the baby, Ninomiya put all his strength into trying to open the ship's "gate." However, no matter how hard he tried, the thing would simply not budge. And right on cue, the "gate" started releasing some kind of a smoke cloud and began to open, allowing for Ninomiya to access the inside of the ship.

He took a good look at the baby. It seemed to have an unruly amount of ebony black hair, not to mention it was shaped in a mess of spikes. The eyes were shut, so he could not see what they looked like, but after seeing the baby take a few small breaths Ninomiya was reassured that the baby was indeed alive and asleep. The baby's skin tone was quite similar to his, as if it was reminiscent of the Asian continent like Ninomiya was. Maybe this baby was human and not some sort of alien race, and it was in this ship for some unknown but logical reason. Examining the baby's "lower" areas, Ninomiya realized it was a girl. With as much delicacy and fragileness as he could generate, Ninomiya picked the baby up with his childish hands. As soon as he did, a shocking image revealed itself about this girl. From behind the girl was hanging a monkey-like tail, brown in color and surprisingly lengthy for the toddler's size! Turning the kid around, Ninomiya became certain that this was not some strange piece of clothing or accessory - it was a real appendage. In fact, it seemed to twitch slightly from time to time. This would have been a lot more surprising if there were only humans in the planet, however. There were actually a few anthropomorphic animals here and there, and human-animal hybrids were occasional as well. But the strange part about this girl was the fact that her tail, and only her tail resembled a simian. Literally every other aspect about her appeared perfectly human, save perhaps for the gravity-defying hair, though even that was arguable. After minutes of examining the baby dumbfounded, Ninomiya finally decided to take action and take the baby back to Waterleaf Village. His parents would probably know what to do much better than him.

On his way back to the village with the baby, Ninomiya stumbled upon his family and several other residents of Waterleaf Village. The noise made by the ship's crash landing was loud enough to be heard all the way in the village, and everyone was ready to go investigate. Seeing the youngest Ikeda still in one piece caused Ninomiya's family to make a sigh of relief. They were worried lifeless that something horrible might have happened to him on his trip to get supplies; whatever happened on Waterleaf Mountain did not sound good at all. Mrs. Ikeda was the first to rush towards her little baby boy, and was also the first to notice the (actual) baby he was carrying. There were many questions to be asked, and Ninomiya was willing to answer them all to the best of his abilities, but it would be better to do that in the comfort of his house rather than in the middle of a mountain's forest. Heading into the Ikeda residence, the first thing Ninomiya was asked was if he needed any medical assistance. Other than a headache, he was fine, so they could move onto the next crucial question. Who was the baby girl?

Ninomiya: "Well, I was going around picking up fruits, and then I noticed that there was something falling from the sky! So I moved out of the way, and then there was a HUGE explosion! Then I went to look at what it was that fell on the mountain, and it was this weird ship. Some kind of gate opened and there was a baby inside, so I picked her up and headed back home. That's when I found you guys!"

Mr. Ikeda: "A ship... Hmm..."

Hitomi: "So... So is it possible that this baby isn't from this planet?"

Mr. Ikeda: "Well... She looks human, save for the tail, but... Hmm... I actually cannot say for sure."

Hitomi: "S-So, wait, where's the ship?"

Ninomiya: "It's still up there in the mountain. I can take you guys there if you want."

Mr. Ikeda: "Perhaps it would be best to retrieve the ship and bring it to a safe place. Though, I do not know how to ride one of those strange gizmos."

Ninomiya: "The ship wasn't too big, actually. I'm sure a few people could lift it and bring it here without much trouble!"

Mrs. Ikeda: "Now, what do we do with the baby? We don't know where she comes from, so we can't bring her back to her owners."

Mr. Ikeda: "That is correct, dear. In that case..." *looks at sleeping baby* "... It would not be wise to leave it up to a family of apes to take care of her... Hmhm...!"

Hitomi: "You have a plan now, dad?"

Mr. Ikeda: "Hitomi, Ninomiya... how would you like to have a little sister?"

Ninomiya: "Little sister...? You mean... You wanna take her in with us?"

Mr. Ikeda: "Why, yes! At the moment, it does not seem like she has a home, and what better home than Waterleaf Village?"

Ninomiya: "Yeah, you're right! Alright, I'm gonna have another sis now! But, what's her name?"

Hitomi: "I, uuuhh, don't think she has one. We need to give her a name..." *thinks* "... Hey, I got it! She crash landed by the cherry blossom trees, right, Ninomiya?"

Ninomiya: "Y-Yeah, it was close to a river, too."

Hitomi: "Then how about we call her 'Sakura?'"

Mrs. Ikeda: "'Sakura...' Yes... Yes, that's a beautiful name!"

And generic as all hell, too-

Author: "SILENCE!"

Mr. Ikeda: "'Sakura' it is, then."

Sakura: "... Hnng..." *slowly opens eyes* "Wah...?"

Mr. Ikeda: "She's finally waking up!" *picks Sakura up* "Welcome to the family, Sakura!"

Sakura: "Waah...?" *looks around and sees Ninomiya* "Wah..."

Ninomiya: "Huh?" *waves hand* "H-Hey, Sakura!"

Sakura: "Woh..." *wiggles tail happily* "Wah!"

With open arms, the baby girl from outer space dubbed Sakura was welcomed into the Ikeda family. Soon after the introductions were over, Mr. Ikeda gathered a group of men from the village and asked Ninomiya to guide them to the location of Sakura's space ship. Upon laying eyes on the intriguing machine, the father easily understood what his son meant when he said that the ship was odd. He always thought that all ships looked like those rockets he always saw in books and articles about James Armstrong's flight to the moon, and the many, many more intergalactic journeys that sprouted from that event. And it was not necessary to say that he did not understand how that spherical apparatus could possibly work, as what Mr. Ikeda had in martial arts skills he lacked in technological knowledge. But even if he did not know how that ship worked, Sakura might have some sort of understanding for it, seeing as it might have been reminiscent of her people. Sakura might have looked no older than two years old (she was one year old), but through some strange nano-machines, her brain might have been capable of understanding the technology of her ship. It was all a guess, yet it could very well be factual information. And besides, leaving the ship there in the middle of the mountain would be unwise, and potentially unhealthy for the environment. Mr. Ikeda, Ninomiya, and some village men gathered around the ship and lifted it off the ground. Once they reached the village, they brought it into the Ikeda residence and down into the basement altar. It would be safely kept here, and accessible for Sakura to see whenever she would want to look at it.

13 years later...

Now 14 years old, Sakura had grown to be a perfectly fitting member of the Ikeda family. Since a very young age, she joined Ninomiya on his training, not striving to become a Guardian like him but rather just to stay in shape. Not like she was violent in any manner, but Sakura did thoroughly enjoy physical training, and the thrill of sparring with Ninomiya and the others was always a pleasure to experience. On top of liking said activities, Sakura seemed to have a natural knack for fighting, as if the spirit to battle flowed through her veins. So much so, in fact, that she topped Ninomiya in almost all of their training routines, surpassing him in speed, strength, agility, flexibility, and even combat techniques. Regardless of how much better Sakura was than Ninomiya, he still was the one destined to become the 134th Guardian of the Ikeda, so she could not dethrone him. Not like she wanted to in the first place. Outside of her thirst for fighting, Sakura acted very politely towards her elders and friendly towards those of her or close to her age. She was innocently clumsy and clueless about certain topics, but she could come up with some clever ideas to facilitate certain tasks, and she liked to ask questions constantly. If she could help people around her in any way she could, Sakura would attempt her hardest to please them, but she had to admit that there were certain types of tasks that she was simply not fit to do - like math homework and other education-related work. One thing Mrs. Ikeda adored about Sakura was the fact that she would never put up any trouble when it came to eating; Sakura would eat just about any edible material that was put in front of her, and would do so in massive amounts. Her appetite was astronomical! And one of the things Sakura loved about herself that the others around her did not have was her tail. She took great care of the appendage, making sure to keep it clean from all the dust and bacteria that could get stuck on the fur, and the prehensile aspects of her tail made at least half of Sakura's tasks half as hard. But this marked the end of the joys.

Soon after Sakura was named, Mr. Ikeda took her to the basement altar for her to see her space ship. She did not react in any particular manner with the device, and was rather confused at the technology of it, just like Mr. Ikeda had been. This was understandable, though. After all, Sakura was just one year old back then, and asking her to understand the ship was perhaps a task too out of reach at that age. But Mr. Ikeda and the rest of the family began realizing that Sakura was actually clueless of her origins as she grew older, as if she had no memories recorded before the moment she was found. She even came to recognize Mr. and Mrs. Ikeda as her parents, and Ninomiya and Hitomi as her siblings, completely disregarding her real family that she was oblivious of. Knowing this, Mr. Ikeda made a choice he knew he would regret some day, but he chose to bear with the consequences. Instead of allowing Sakura to see her space ship again and inform her about the fact that she was from anywhere but Waterleaf Village, he decided to keep it all a secret from her. Through much persuasion, he managed to convince the rest of his family and the townspeople in Waterleaf Village to keep the information they knew to themselves. This decision came mostly as a fatherly instinct; Mr. Ikeda knew that Sakura would want to go to her real family, whoever they were, as soon as she found out. But he simply wanted to be Sakura's father - there was something about her that Mr. Ikeda felt a connection with. Being naive, Sakura believed all the lies told to her about how she was part of the Ikeda family and a natural villager of Waterleaf Village. She was indeed part of the family, but not in the sense she believed. Mr. Ikeda actually dreaded the day Sakura would learn the term "self awareness."

With age comes wisdom, and this was just as truthful for anyone as it was for Sakura. There came an age when she started noticing just how different she really was from the rest of her family, and it only got clearer from there. Her tail was a major giveaway, but it was not the only factor to contribute to Sakura's grim realization. No one else in the Ikeda family sported the jet black hair and eyes Sakura possessed - the same could be said for their shape. There was never a moment that would make anyone say that Sakura resembled her "father" or "mother." And she also started noticing how people would sometimes act oddly around her when topics about her childhood arose. The more Sakura slowly carved the truth out, the more depression would reign over her still-innocent mind, and with it came sadness for the rest of the family. Escalating questions formed answers and more questions, and sooner or later it would all spill and splatter in a pond of emotions.

Sakura: *staring at night sky through window* "..."

Ninomiya: *wakes up* "... Hnngh... Hmm...? Sakura...?"

Sakura: "Oh! U-Uh, sorry, Ninomiya, did I wake you up?"

Ninomiya: "Baah, nah, it's fine... But, umm... are you having trouble sleeping?"

Sakura: "Oh, no, no, it's nothing..."

Ninomiya: "... You sure? You don't look like nothing's happening."

Sakura: "Really, it's fine... I just..."

Ninomiya: *sits up* "Hey, if anything's bothering you, you know you can talk to me about it. I'm your brother, remember?"

Sakura: "... 'Brother...' If... If I tell you... If I tell you about something... do you promise..."

Ninomiya: "Hm?"

Sakura: "... Do you promise that you will tell me the truth?"

Ninomiya: "Uhh... W-Well, yeah, of course."

Sakura: "..." *stares at the ground* "... Lately, I've been noticing a few things... Things about me..."

Ninomiya: "About you...?! (Oh, crap, I'm not good with explaining puberty!)"

Sakura: "Yeah... Like... There's no one else in the village with a tail like mine... is there?"

Ninomiya: "Umm... Well, the Tanuki down the street are raccoon people, but besides them there's no one else in the village with tails, no."

Sakura: "Right... And do you know if any of our ancestors had... I don't know, some kind of connection with monkeys, at all?"

Ninomiya: "Ehrmm... Not as far as I'm concerned...?! (Oh, crap...)"

Sakura: "I see... And... do you know if any of them had hair like mine? Or eyes like mine? Even just a general facial structure will do."

Ninomiya: *trembling* "W-Well... We-Well, no, but, like, you know, I mean...!"

Sakura: "..." *looks straight at Ninomiya's eyes* "... Ninomiya..."

Ninomiya: *nervous* "Hm-Hmm...?!"

Sakura: *starts walking towards Ninomiya's bed* "... I... I..."

Ninomiya: "S... Sakura...?!"

Sakura: *sits knees on Ninomiya's bed* "... I... I-I have... one more question..."

Ninomiya: *heavy breathing* "Y-Yes...?!"

Sakura: *holds Ninomiya's hands* "Am... A-Am... Am I..."

Ninomiya: "Are you...?!"

Sakura: "... a... a... a-ad..." *gulp* "..." *stares deeply into Ninomiya's eyes*

Ninomiya: *staring back* "...?!" *gulp*

Sakura: "... Am I adopted?"

Ninomiya: "..."

Sakura: "...?"

Ninomiya: "... O... Of...! O-OF COURSE NOT!"

Sakura: "... No...?"

Ninomiya: "Y-You're not a-a-adopted, Sakura! Haha! W-Why would you ask something so silly?!"

Sakura: "..."

Ninomiya: "Ah...?"

Sakura: "... I..." *tears form* "... I-I see..."

Ninomiya: "S-Sakura, are you..."

Sakura: *tear streams down* "Oh..." *wipes tears* "O-Oh, don't worry about this..." *sob* "I-It's just... Just... Y-Yeah, how silly of m-me..." *sob*

Ninomiya: "(Damn it, Sakura, don't cry... Seriously, don't...)"

Sakura: "T-There were just some t-things that..." *wipes more tears* "T-That had been bothering me, a-and I just wanted to talk..." *sob* "... t-talk about it with someone..."

Ninomiya: "..."

Sakura: "Well... T-Thanks, brother, I really w-wanted to get that out of my c-chest..." *gets out of Ninomiya's bed* "... I-I'll..." *sob* "... I'll go back to sleep now..."

Ninomiya: "... (I am SO going to regret this) Sakura." *touches Sakura's tail tip*

Sakura: *turns around* "Hm...? Y-Yes, Ninomiya?"

Ninomiya: *staring at Sakura's tail in front of his hand* "... I... (Yup, totally going to regret this) I have to show you something."

Sakura: "S..." *sob* "Show me... something...?"

Ninomiya: "(Ninomiya, you stupid idiot, what the hell are you getting into?) ... Yes. (No, no, seriously, dude, just stop, it's not worth it) Come with me (OOHHHH, GOD, I'm already regretting this BAD)."

Sakura: "Where... are we-" *Ninomiya grabs Sakura's hand* "Uh?"

Ninomiya: "Let's go (I am so dead. Where do I sign my death bet?)."

If there was one thing no one could stand to watch was Sakura crying. The innocence emitting from her sorrowful eyes could melt even the coldest of hearts, and this was especially true for people that belonged to her family. With that awkward but powerful conversation, Ninomiya realized just how much Sakura was suffering, and at that moment he could simply not stand it any longer. He knew the whole truth about Sakura; in fact, Ninomiya was the first member of the Ikeda family to ever lay eyes and hands on her. He was more forced than anything to hide the truth from Sakura, and he had had several chances in the past to reveal the truth to her, but he never once took those chances - not until now. Perhaps this time was not the best time, but a man can only bear with a burden for so long. Firmly grasping onto Sakura's hand, Ninomiya guided the two of them outside of their room, asking his "sister" to be as quiet as she could. Sakura was confused and still down, which was the main reason Ninomiya was so anxious to take the choice he was about to make. He knew the consequences would cost him dearly, but deep inside, he also knew - or rather believed - that he was making the right choice. Silently, Ninomiya walked Sakura down the corridors of his house, praying that only him and her were awake at the moment. Sakura kept a steady pace with Ninomiya, whilst using his arm to cover her mouth so her upsetting sobs could not be heard through the walls. They made their way outside and around the house, where the entrance to the basement altar was located. Sakura was never allowed into the altar, so she was hesitant to go and asked Ninomiya to not take her down there, but her request was to no avail. Making their way down a set of stairs, the two found themselves in a pitch black room haunted by a creeping silence. Ninomiya grabbed a torch he actually knew was attached to his left wall and lit it up with a lighter he had on his pocket. When the lights came on, Sakura could finally see the square room with a monument of sorts at the end of the other side. This monument was an odd-looking sphere, big enough for a person to fit inside, resting over a large cushion with some candles and ropes surrounding it. The thrill of disobeying her orders by venturing into a forbidden area was really starting to get into Sakura's head, but just as equal was her increasing curiosity about this strange object. After a long moment of silence that allowed Sakura to take in the situation, Ninomiya was ready to explain it all.

Ninomiya: "That thing... Looks weird, doesn't it?"

Sakura: "Yeah... Yeah, it does... But, why did you bring me here, Ninomiya?"

Ninomiya: "Well, now that you asked me all those questions back there, it's my turn to interrogate." *walks towards spherical monument*

Sakura: "W... W-What do you want to ask me?"

Ninomiya: *puts hand on spherical monument* "Sakura, does this... Uhh, 'thing' spark any particular reaction or thought?"

Sakura: *swaying tail* "Not... No, nothing 'special,' per say..."

Ninomiya: "Hmm... You sure? It doesn't trigger anything at all."

Sakura: "N-No, I'm sure it doesn't."

Ninomiya: "..." *sigh* "I was afraid of that..."

Sakura: "W-What do you mean...?"

Ninomiya: "Umm... OK... How should I put this, huh... OK, well... There's a... There's... There's a reason you don't really 'look' like an Ikeda, Sakura."

Sakura: *tail drops sadly* "... S... So you mean that..."

Ninomiya: "BUT to say... to say that you're 'adopted,' that's... i-it's a bit of an understatement, if that makes any sense."

Sakura: "I... I don't get what you mean, Ninomiya..."

Ninomiya: "Yeah, it doesn't make much sense for me, either, hehe! Well, uh..." *sits on the floor facing spherical monument* "I've got a bit of a story to tell you, so why don't you come sit here so we can get comfy."

Sakura: "Huh...? E-Eh, sure..." *walks towards Ninomiya* *sits by Ninomiya*

Ninomiya: "OK, so... You know how every other Sunday I have to go to Waterleaf Mountain and get some supplies for the week?"

Sakura: "Y-Yeah, I've helped you with those a few times."

Ninomiya: "OK, good, and, uh... You remember how there's a crater somewhere close to a river and around a few trees?"

Sakura: "Oh, yeah, I remember that."

Ninomiya: "Great, right. So, thirteen years ago, when I was still only six years old, I was on Waterleaf Mountain getting some supplies. Day was going pretty normal - I mean like, you know, sunny skies, a nice breeze, Hitomi and I being knuckle-head siblings, the usual. Then I decided to take a breather and lied down on the floor to look at the clouds and stuff."

Sakura: "Mhmm..." *rubbing leg with tail*

Ninomiya: "So, while I was there taking my break, minding my own business, I saw this... this... 'thing' falling from the sky, and it was kind of heading straight towards me, so I had to jump out of the way."

Sakura: "R-Really? Like a meteor?"

Ninomiya: "Yeah, like that, kind of. So yeah, the 'thing' crash landed against the surface and that's where that crater comes from."

Sakura: "Oh, that... t-that's interesting, I guess...? I wish I'd been there to see it."

Ninomiya: "Ahehe, yeah, you, y-you kind of were. So then I went to investigate what that 'thing' was, and at the bottom of the crater was... well..." *looks at spherical monument* "... this thing."

Sakura: "O-Oh, I get it, so... this is a meteor? It... looks kind of strange for a meteor, don't you think? Wait, is that green thing a window? Odd... it really looks like a window..."

Ninomiya: "YEAH, yeah, haha! It..." *looks nervously at spherical monument* "... It sure looks strange... (You know, me, you haven't told her anything too impacting or crucial yet. If I stop right now, I might not get in trouble)"

Sakura: "Well... i-it's nice to know what's down here. I always sort of wondered... But, umm... I-It's not good for us to be sneaking around at this time, so... what do you say we go back to our room, Ninomiya?"

Ninomiya: "We should..." *looks down* "... We really should..."

Sakura: "Y-Yeah..." *starts standing up*

Ninomiya: "... (Idiot.)" *grabs Sakura's shirt* "Wait, wait, Sakura..."

Sakura: "Huh...?"

Ninomiya: "That... That wasn't the whole story... Sit back down, please..."

Sakura: "O... O-OK, but..." *sits back down* "... We shouldn't be here much longer, you know..."

Ninomiya: "Yeah, yeah, I know, but... this... i-it's really important."

Sakura: "OK... OK, go ahead..."

Ninomiya: "..." *sigh* "..." *looks at spherical monument* "... This thing... It... It's not actually... a meteor... It's..." *looks at Sakura* "... It's a ship."

Sakura: *raises tail curiously* "A... ship...? Like... Wait... why a...?"

Ninomiya: "Ah, yeah, well, that... that green thing that looks like a window... I-It's actually a window! And that day, when I went to investigate this object, I looked through that very window, and..."

Sakura: "... And...?"

Ninomiya: "Thereeee... T-There was a person... A baby..." *looks at Sakura* "... A baby girl... with... spiky black hair... and jet black eyes..."

Sakura: *pupils slightly constrict* "..."

Ninomiya: "... and a set of very sharp canine teeth... and an inhuman appetite... and the most adorable lil' face... and..." *looks at Sakura's tail* "... a monkey-like brown tail."

That short and simplistic description was enough to devastate Sakura. She understood exactly what Ninomiya meant with those words, and the sudden realization struck her with fatal force in the most fragile part of her soul. Sakura stared at Ninomiya with anguish and confusion, as he stared back with clear signs of guilt and ambiguity. Slowly, she shifted her gaze to the spherical monument which she now knew was a ship, her ship in fact. As the image of that object in front of her engraved itself into Sakura's mind, a plague of questions was spreading rapidly inside her head. Some involved reflecting upon herself, like wondering where she was really from, or where were her real people. Others questioned the family she previously thought she could have her full trust on; why would they hide such crucial data from her, and were there other secrets that she was being kept from discovering? Whatever the case, she was craving for answers, though she was not sure if she could handle any other life-changing information that soon. Slowly, Sakura rose from the ground she was sitting on, and made her way towards the green window of the ship. She gazed upon the inner construction of the machine, surprised to see signs of highly advanced technology in every corner of the ship. Tears started swelling up in her eyes, but her vision was at all times locked onto the other side of that window. While the non-dumbfounded Ninomiya was able to hear the footsteps hastily moving above them.

Ninomiya: *gasp* "Footsteps?! Crap, crap, crap...! Sakura, we have to get out of here!"

Sakura: *numb* "..."

Ninomiya: "H-Hey, Sakura, c'mon...! I-I know this is all too much to take in so quickly, but we REALLY need to leave! Or at least hide, whatever, but..."

Sakura: "..."

Ninomiya: "OK, OK, fine, I'LL hide YOU, just-" *footsteps intensify* "AIIE!" *grabs Sakura's arm* "C'mon, c'mon, Sakura, behind the ship! S-Sit back there and be as quiet as physically possible, please?"

Sakura: *not moving* "..."

Ninomiya: "... PLEASE?! Sakura, I'm going to get in A LOT of trouble if anyone finds ou-"

Mr. Ikeda: *slams doors open* "SAKURA!"

Ninomiya: "AAH (Yyyyup. Dead.)!"


Ninomiya: "D-DAD, DAD, WAIT, I can explain this, I swea-"

Mr. Ikeda: "SAKURA!" *runs towards Sakura and pushes Ninomiya to the floor* "SAKURA!" *grabs Sakura by the back shoulders* "Please, Sakura, forget everything about this room! This thing is just a monument, there's nothing...!"

Sakura: *endlessly staring into the window* "..."

Ninomiya: *on the floor* "Ggh..."

Mr. Ikeda: *turns to Ninomiya* "NINOMIYA!" *menacingly walks towards Ninomiya* "You... Do you have ANY idea of the damage you've just caused, son?!"

Ninomiya: "Dad, look, just calm down for a second and let me exp-"

Mr. Ikeda: "THERE IS NOTHING TO EXPLAIN HERE! How could you do this to her?! To your own SISTER?! Do you understand that this damage cannot be repaired?!"

Ninomiya: "I know, I know, I disobeyed you, and I'm sorry, but there is a reason-"

Mr. Ikeda: "I sure hope you are prepared for the consequences of your acts, Ninomiya! To not follow a simple order is one thing, but THIS, this has gone too far!"

Ninomiya: "Wait, dad, please, just let me tal-"

Mr. Ikeda: "ENOUGH! What you have done here is a DISGRACE for the Ikeda family! With a burden like this, you will NEVER be able to become the Guardian!"

Ninomiya: *stands up abruptly* "LISTEN TO ME!"

Mr. Ikeda: "..."

Sakura: "..."

Ninomiya: "Hagh... Hagh... I... What I did here... was the right thing..."

Mr. Ikeda: "... The right thing...?! HOW DARE YO-"

Ninomiya: "HOW DARE I WHAT, LET SAKURA KNOW SOMETHING SHE SHOULD HAVE KNOWN FROM THE BEGINNING?! Why are you trying to deny this so much?! From the very start, you KNEW she was going to realize that she wasn't one of us! You KNEW that you would have to tell the truth to her some day! But you never did! WHY?!"

Mr. Ikeda: "DO NOT raise your tone of voice towards me, Nin-"

Ninomiya: "ANSWER THE QUESTION! No, wait, I'll answer it FOR you: you wanted Sakura to be just like one of us! And how did you accomplish that?! Through a riDIculous string of lies, that's how! And just like you couldn't answer that, you couldn't tell her something she deserved to know as a birth right! So I had to be the one to tell her!"

Sakura: *still dumbfounded* "..."

Ninomiya: "You used lies, dad, stupidly tasteless lies to fulfill a selfish desire! You call that 'HONOR?!' She was suffering, and so was I - so was EVERYONE! She was being consumed by sorrow, and as her 'BROTHER,' I could not, I could NEVER stand to watch her in pain like that! Because..." *looks at Sakura* "... Because she's family, and families are supposed to support each other, no matter how difficult the challenge proves to be."

Powerful words indeed. Mr. Ikeda would have never thought that his son would oppose him in such a manner. He understood Ninomiya's point of view, and even understood that he was "right," but Mr. Ikeda would not accept it. Ninomiya was scared, bitter, and almost dying on the inside, yet he was willing to stand his ground no matter the cost. Father and son continued their stare down as intensely as a battle of life and death. And at no point did Sakura ever react to the exploding argument behind her - she had no conscience to express emotions. What is to become of Sakura with this shocking revelation? How will the structure of the Ikeda family be formed from this point onwards? Find out next time on Lost Origin: A Saiyan's Quest!

To be continued...

Bonus Skit

At the age of ten, Sakura just came out victorious of a sparring match with Ninomiya. After the boy left defeated, his sister came in to the scene.

Hitomi: "Hey, nice match, Sakura."

Sakura: "Oh, thanks, sister! It's so fun to train with Ninomiya!"

Hitomi: "Hah, I bet it is! I love beating him up, too!"

Sakura: "What?! No, no, I don't like hurting him! I just like… umm…"

Hitomi: "Hmhm… You like… him?"

Sakura: "Him? Uhh… Well, yeah, of course! He's my brother!"

Hitomi: "Hehe! I mean like the 'other' kind of 'like,' Sakura."

Sakura: "Umm… What 'other' kind of 'like' are you talking about, Hitomi?"

Hitomi: "Would you: kiss him on the mouth for ten seconds or longer; make a pinky promise with him under a tree; and/or get upset if he engaged in a relationship with someone else?"

Sakura: "… I… I'm not…"

Hitomi: "I'll take that as a yes."

Sakura: "Bu… B-But, we're siblings! Isn't that kind of thing not allowed between siblings?"

Hitomi: "Hehe… Well, Sakura, pretend that Ninomiya wasn't your real brother and instead just a really close friend for one moment."

Sakura: "But, Ninomiya IS my brother, though…"

Hitomi: "Yeah, yeah, I know that, but just pretend. Now, would you do any of those things I said?"

Sakura: "I… I… I don't… know…"

Hitomi: "Haha! Just to show him how much you care for him, how about you go and kiss Ninomiya, Sakura? I'm sure he'd love that!"

Sakura: "He would…? Well, if that's the case… then…"

Minutes later…

Ninomiya: "Ugh… Seriously, how can a ten year-old hurt so damn mu… huh?"

Sakura: *trembling* "N… N-Ninomiya…"

Ninomiya: "Sakura…? Are… Are you OK…?"

Sakura: *trembling* "Hi… H-Hitomi… t-told me… t-that you'd like t-this… s… s-so…!" *kisses Ninomiya's mouth*

Ninomiya: *being kissed* "HMM?! SHUHKUREH, WHT R YMHU…?! MMUUUHHH!"

Hitomi: *observing in the distance* "PFFFT—HAHAHAHAHA! OH MY—OH MY—Oooohhh, maaaan… That's classic right there… But you know, I have this odd feeling that telling Sakura that might come back haunting me in a few years… Oh well, must be some of that superstition non-sense dad keeps talking about. Haha!"