Hello, this is my first Hakuoki fic!^^ It's slight AU, so I will start from their young days, and my own version Chizuru's past. Shinsengumi here is not a group that fight for shogunate, but a samurai group that formed to fight Oni, or Demon.
By the way, English is not my first language so forgive me for grammatical errors etc T_T
My grammar sucks and my vocabulary knowledge is so-so (oh how I wish to know more difficult words so I could make more dramatic sentences T_T), but I think it's still understandable :D
The first chapter is more just like a prologue…oh well, guess I've talked too much! Let's start reading and don't forget to review!^^
Disclaimer: I don't own Hakuoki, wish I did. They belong to Idea Factory. No profit obtained by writing this story.
Update: I've changed the image cover. I made it myself. However, I don't own those magnificent arworks, I just edited it~ nothing more. The original pictures are credited to the artists.
THE FROZEN SWORD
Snow… pure white snow had started to fall from the midnight sky.
Winter had come once again.
A ten-year old little girl was sitting on the wooden floor, fascinating to see the falling snowflakes. She was smiling with happy expression. She had really loved snow since many years ago.
"Chizuru," a stern male voice approached her. The girl turned around and saw Hijikata Toshizo, the most discipline creature in that manor, if not in the whole world. He was still 20 years old, and already had that killing look. "It's already late, who gives you permission to get out of your room in this hour, especially in this cold weather?"
Chizuru stood up and bowed her head to the young male, "I'm sorry, Hijikata-san."
Without looking back, she went to her room. Hijikata said nothing, but Chizuru could feel those amethyst eyes still followed her every step until he was sure that she was already in her room.
"Hijikata-san is so protective like always", Chizuru grunted. She was lying on her futon and slipping through the warm blanket. "I wish I could see the snow for a bit longer…," she murmured and stared at the ceiling. She was not in the position to object anyway. After all, it's the Shinsengumi who had saved her life, and then decided to take care of her. Minutes later, Chizuru had fallen asleep and dreamt about the past...her past…about the snowy night that crossed her fated meeting with the Shinsengumi.
It happened in the winter, five years ago…
This was the era where human and oni had been fighting each other. Oni was a superior being who underestimated human and wanted to dominate the world. It caused the war to break everywhere, and of course, the war had threatened the innocent people. The situation was chaotic and it had been years since the war started. Kyoto was the most affected city because it's the capital. Many innocent victims were killed there.
In this desperate moment, there was this young man called Kondou Isami who intended to end this war. He was the owner of a small dojo in Edo, who moved to Kyoto with a group of men, most of them were his own disciples. Along with him, there were Hijikata Toshizo; his childhood friend who shared a same ambition, the strong Nagakura Shinpachi and young spear master Harada Sanosuke; who often visited his dojo, and about at the same age as Hijikata. There were also a sword prodigy at the age nine; the child Okita Souji, and Toudou Heisuke; still six years old at that time, but begging Kondou to bring him along, since his parents were murdered by oni and he felt obligated to fight.
People laughed at them, especially on the departure day. Well, what could have a small group of teenagers and children done? Even though they were good with swords, there was no way they could survive this war.
Even so, Kondou was an optimistic yet stubborn man. He was planning to gather as many people as possible in Kyoto before joining the war. He and his friends weren't that stupid to throw their lives so easily.
On their way, on a certain freezing night, they saw many people gathered in front of a house. The house looked like it had been abandoned for quite a long time. The snow had piled up around it. The curious Kondou and his comrades joined the people to see anything that had distracted such large crowd.
"Hey, why the heck you gather in front of someone else's house?" Nagakura asked a man besides him.
The man sighed and answered, "There's an oni child lives there, it looks like she has been abandoned by her father. Her father, Yukimura Kodo is a mad scientist who often abused his own daughter. However, Kodo disappeared two weeks ago and left that child alone."
Harada, who was next to Nagakura, asked, "And then what happened to that child? Has she been saved yet?"
The man shook his head and continued, "Who wants to save an oni? In this era where people and oni fight each other, there's no way we humans could save an oni. We just watch her from here everyday to see how long she could live without her father. It's interesting to watch, after all." He chuckled.
Right after the man finished his words, Hijikata punched him and shouted, "How could you say anything like that?! That child is innocent! She didn't choose to be born as an oni! She's a victim here! You consider yourself as human?! You could be even worse than her father!"
People trembled in fear as they saw the teen's angry purple eyes. Without saying anything, Kondou stepped to the crowd and ran through the house. The rest of his men followed him afterwards.
Kondou stopped and saw a pair of big brown hopeful eyes. She was tiny and just about five years old, with bruised body and dirty torn kimono. It looked like she was cooking, although what they could see in the cauldron was just something like charcoal.
"Oh, you're not my father..," the girl tried to look tough despite her terrible looks. Seconds later, she collapsed but Hijikata managed to catch her before she hit the floor. It was clear that she had been exhausted from living alone with sick body, without anyone helping her. "So, it's true..," the girl opened her eyes slowly before falling asleep in Hijikata's arms. "Father said…that he won't come back…so, it's true.."
It was a heart-wrenching experience, even for the damn people who had watched her suffering alone for weeks. Hijikata still held her until Kondou broke the silence, "Toshi, let's look for the nearest doctor. After that, we will bring her to Kyoto with us".
No one objected Kondou's decision, the group walked through the large crowd with angry glares. Nobody dared to prevent them from going. Perhaps they were grateful that a bunch of brats could finally get rid of that demon child. Some people whispered about the child would bring bad luck in the future and even told the kids, Okita and Heisuke to stay away from her even though they would be in journey together. Okita suddenly pointed a short sword at the crowd and said, "Maybe what I should truly avoid is becoming a terrible adult like you all."
Heisuke just glared at them. It was painful to see a girl who was about the same age as him had been treated like that. When they almost arrived in the doctor's house, the girl woke up and smiled while gazing at the sky.
"Snow…I'm so happy…it's beautiful…and always cheer me on…"
From what they got a few days later, after the girl had been fully recovered, her name was Yukimura Chizuru, an adopted daughter of Yukimura Kodo, an oni who was also known as "mad scientist" due to his extreme experiments that often used living humans. Chizuru's real parents had long died so she had taken by Kodo, who happened to be her relative. Kodo abused her whenever he felt displeased with his experiments, but also treated her badly for no particular reason. It looked like Kodo adopted her not as his child, but as his stress reliever. Fortunately, she was also an oni, so Kodo would not use her as one of his guinea pig. Maybe Kodo got bored and decided to get rid of her at last.
When the group finally arrived in Kyoto, they had hard times at first, but slowly they gained people's trust and became an élite force to fight the oni. Although they were just humans, their spirit and sword skills often suppressed the oni's. The oni's advantages were their healing ability and fierce strength, but basically they didn't really know how to use swords well. So, with good tactic and strategy, human with great swordsmanship could pierce an oni's heart to kill them.
The member of the group increased every year and they also got a big manor as their headquarters from government, the Aizu Clan. Another positive thing, the people had accepted Chizuru as one of them after seeing her innocent look and hearing about her sad past. The group practiced everyday with genuine hope to end this war, with Kondou Isami as the Commander and Hijikata Toshizo as the strict Vice-Commander.
…It had been five years ago…Now, Chizuru was already a ten-year old cheerful girl.
That was the beginning of Shinsengumi, the official name of the group.
Sorry but Saito hasn't made his appearance yet!^^ but he will in the next chapter (which will be finished soon!) Wonder how he would be in his teen days? XD Just wait for the update! Also, please REVIEW! It will give me supports more than you know to continue this story.