I walked along the snowy path and watched as snowflakes fell on my gloves.

"Look, Mana! I caught some!" I held my gloved hand up to my father. He chuckled and rubbed my cheek with his cold hands.

"Lovely, Allen," he said with his deep voice. He tilted his long top hat lower, having it hover over his face casting a dark shadow.

"Mana! The snowflakes are gone!" I said, getting teary eyed. Mana laughed softly and shook his head.

"The snowflakes melted." He looked up towards the dark sky and stuck out his tongue. I watched in amazement as he caught a few in his mouth and tasted them. He shivered and smiled. "Cold."

"Mana, you can eat them?" I asked. I wrapped my scarf around my neck a little tighter, I felt the flakes sneak their way in and I was freezing. Mana gave his large wagon a tug since it had gotten stuck in a little hole.

"Snowflakes when tasted is like tasting water, Allen. Don't you know this?" Mana asked. I shook my head.

"I never had the chance to play outside in the orphanage." I looked down at my footprints. I smiled up at Mana. "But now I can since I have you here, right?" I giggled a little. Mana nodded.

"We're here Allen. Wake up," Mana said, giving me a gentle push. I woke up and rubbed my eyes. I was covered in blankets in the filled wagon. I looked at Mana, and I usually don't see his face much but I noticed he looked very stretched.

"Have you been pulling the wagon all night, Mana?" I asked him, yawning a little. He nodded, dusting off the snow on his shoulder and hat. I noticed he shivered a bit. "I'm sorry."

Mana shook his head and tapped my shoulder. "There's nothing to be sorry about. We had to get here by morning anyways. Come on, we've got to set up." I nodded and jumped up.

"Circus time!" I yelled. Mana groaned and rubbed his ear. I giggled. "I love you Mana." I jumped on his shoulders and he carried me by piggyback to the big area where most of our stuff was set up. Mana set me down near the costumes in the tent and told me to change into my joker outfit.

Mana is a traveler and he has a portable circus. We've never been able to have a steady settlement because we move around a lot, but I don't mind because I get to learn new things along the way.

"Hey, Mana," I ask once we were on the road again, "How did you pick me to adopt?" I carried my own pack of equipment which made me walk slower through the snowy road. Mana sighed.

"You . . . peaked my interest. You were different from the rest of the children. Even though you were abandoned as an infant, you were still alone at that place." Mana looked at me and smiled, his teeth shining brightly in the streetlight glow. "I wanted to raise you, Allen."

I stared up at Mana and felt myself coming to tears. I began sniffling. "Mana . . ."

"Now, now, Allen, don't cry. There's no reason to."

"Thank you, Mana . . ." I was just about to bawl, but then there was a loud thud in the night. I rubbed at my watery eyes and stared at the ground beside me. "Mana!" I dropped to the ground, shaking Mana. "Mana! Are you alright? Wake up! Mana!"

"Allen . . ."

"Mana! What's going on?" I continued to shake him as I saw his eyes slowly flutter closed. "Mana!"

"I love you . . ." he whispered.

"Mana! Don't leave me! Mana!" I screamed. Tears streamed down my face as I watched Mana become still in the night. He didn't move a muscle. I shook. I couldn't stop shaking. "M-Mana . . . W-What happened?"

Just then, a poof of purple smoke, a big, round thing popped up. It was a terrifying looking thing. It, he, had a large top hat, grey skin, a large grin that seemed impossible to have, he wore small glasses, he wore a yellow suit and he carried a talking pumpkin umbrella.

"Behold! What do we have here?" the thing spoke with a loud wondrous, terrifying voice. I sniffled and held onto Mana tighter in my arms.

"Mana . . ." I stared down at my father who still hadn't moved an inch. His body temperature was getting colder and colder every second. I swapped away the snow that dared to cover him.

"Did someone you love die?" the man asked him. I looked up at him. I nodded. "Well, you're a lucky boy. I can bring your daddy back."

"You can? You can bring Mana back to life?" I asked. The man waved his pumpkin and a metal skeleton appeared.

"Of course, boy." He pointed his umbrella at me. "All you have to do is call your daddy's name, loud, so he can hear you, and then he'll be back with you in no time," the man said smiling oddly. My eyes grew wide.

"I . . . can bring Mana back." I looked down at Mana. I set him down gently and walked slowly towards the skeleton. I looked back at the man and he nodded his head, urging me to go. "Mana!" I screamed to the top of my lungs. The man giggled darkly as we both saw Mana's name being written on the skeleton's forehead: Mana Walker.

"Good job, boy."

"What? Allen!" the skeleton spoke. I walked closer to it, holding my arms up.

"Mana? Is that you?" I asked it.

"Thank you child, for creating me another Akuma," the man said.

"Huh?"

"Allen! How could you? How could you turn me into an Akuma!" Mana's skeleton yelled.

"W-What? Mana!"

"I want you to consume this boy's body and use it for your own," the man said to Mana. Mana shook his head violently.

"Allen! Kill me! Kill me with your own hands! Kill me before I become an Akuma!"

"What! No! Mana!" I yelled.

"Kill me before I kill you, Allen!" he lashed out towards me. "Curse you, Allen Walker!"

Before I knew it, Mana attacked me, but I defended myself somehow. My left arm, my deformed arm, abnormal arm, transformed into a large, silver weapon, with a glowing green light in the center of my hand. I fought back and struck Mana.

He seeped back, tears falling out of the empty eye sockets. "Thank you Allen."

"Mana . . ." I cried. My arm had changed. My hair, brunette, turned white like the snow surrounding us. My brown eyes changed to a silver grey. Over my left eye, a red mark appeared in the shape of a star.

"It seems this was a failure," the man said. "Goodbye, kid. I am the Millennium Earl." Then he just left like that, flying away in the violet night with his pumpkin umbrella that always said, "Lero" at the end of its sentences.

I looked at Mana's body and at the spot where the metal skeleton faded away. "What do I do now?" More tears fell down my face.

"You can come with me," a tall man appeared in front of me. He wore a gold and black coat. He had a cowboy hat on and a mask over one side of his face. He had long red hair and a little beard, he also had glasses on. He kneeled in front of me, moving his cigarette away from his mouth, blowing out the smoke.

"Wh-Who are you?" I asked.

"I'm Cross Marian," the man said. "I can help you become an exorcist."

"An exorcist?"

"Akuma. The Millennium Earl, a great terror and abomination to this Earth. He creates Akuma and plans on erasing the human race with them. Akuma are killing machines."

"Wait. I don't understand."

"You will soon enough. It's rare that I take on any students . . . so what's your name kid?" Cross asked. I stood up weakly and looked at him determinedly.

"Allen Walker."

"Heh," he chuckled. He took a swig from his cigarette and looked back at me. "Well, Allen Walker, are you willing to become my apprentice?" he asked.

"Will it help me avenge my father?" I asked him. The man nodded.

"Avenging is not the only thing you'll do," he said. "You can also save lives. Many lives, at that. It's part of being an exorcist."

I looked back at Mana. I don't want people to experience this pain. Having their loved one being turned into a monster.

"I'll do it!"

"Of course you will," the man said darkly. I gave him a questioning look. "Let's go."

And at that, we first gave Mana a burial, and then we set out on a journey . . . that I knew nothing about.