Author's Note: Yuuki~desu! Hey guys! I know I have other stories to complete, but I feel I just have to post this one. It's based on the manga, so don't get confused if some things are different than you remember it from anime. There'll be more coming later on! So review and I might just post the next chappie sooner than I planned!


"Characters Talking"

Main character thinking and flashbacks

Stressing something or time skips announcements

"Main character's spirit talking"

Chapter 1: The Message

I never saw the kick that was heading my way. Like lightning from a clear sky, it struck me, right into my abdomen, leaving me breathless.

"You have potential, Yin. I can give you that. But it is of no relevance." roared a deep thunderous voice I knew so well. "Can you tell me why?"

I stayed quiet, knowing very well it would make no difference whether I answered or not. I would get beaten up either way.

"Because you are female. And there is no need for such a woman. If only you were born a boy..."

This time, I saw the attack coming at me and I blocked it, wheezing from the effort after having the air literally kicked out of me.

"You dare defy me?" he asked incredulously. I could only scowl at him, rage boiling within me.

"Yes." I answered simply, not for one moment caring about the consequences.

The door upstairs creaked, breaking me away from my meditation. There were only a handful of people who would have gone to the trouble of actually seeking me out and the number could be narrowed down to three once you accounted for the lack of steps being heard in the moldy dungeon.

Chains that cuffed me to the wall behind me jingled when I moved into the most effective defensive stance I could manage without breaking any bone.

Torch lights outside my cells flickered as the person got closer and I tensed, inadvertently opening up freshly closed cuts on my wrists and forearms in the process.

Slowly but steadily, my visitor's presence was approaching my cell, the anticipation making me clench my teeth and hold my breath.

I sighed in relief once I caught sight of the person's long blonde hair held in a high ponytail and black and purple robes.

"I don't think I'm up for any more training, Kyo." I piped up weakly, slumping against the slick stone tiles behind me.

"I'm not here for the training." came a deep baritone of one of my two mentors.

I nodded in acknowledgment, silently prompting him to continue.

The warrior opened the doors to my cell and came to stand before me, eyeing my visibly malnourished and bruised form. "Ran-sama told me to deliver you this message. Here."

I gingerly took the piece of paper from his outstretched hand and let my eyes quickly skip over it.

"I see..." I whispered, handing the message back to the blonde man, knowing I could count on him to dispose of it. He pocketed the little white note, staring at me expectantly.

The silence between us stretched, him waiting patiently, while my mind was whirling in chaos.

"Thank you, Kyo." I finally said, each word spoken with stiff precision. "For everything. Tell Shu I said so, too."

Miniscule jerk of his head told me he heard and then we were silent again.

Minutes passed lazily, but this time he was the one to break the eerie silence. "And Ran-sama?"

I thought about it for a while, trying to find the right words. In the end, I knew whatever I wanted her to hear had to be said face-to-face and I didn't have that luxury. Not when she had a son whom she wanted to protect from his father and a daughter to teach.

"Tell her I said goodbye."

He nodded again, his face still impassive, though his eyes reflected something akin to understanding and remorse. As soon as the emotions showed, however, they were gone. He turned and strode out of the cell, leaving me alone with my thoughts.

Seconds turned into minutes and minutes into hours before my feeble voice was heard again.

"We're leaving." I said into the darkness, knowing the recipient of my words was there, waiting for me to call upon him.

The shadows to my left shifted in response and I laughed at the motion. The laughter never died down as I rattled the chains on my arms and legs.

I am breaking free tonight. I'm getting out of this hellhole.

The shadows moved even more violently, rising and extinguishing flames from the torches, all the while I sat there, laughing.

One by one, my cuffs opened, falling to the ground with a telltale sound of metal scraping against the stone.

"Come." I said merrily, reaching into the darkness that accumulated at the center of the cell.

Instead of an answer, something cold and wet touched my bleeding wrist, wiping off the warm liquid.

My smile widened when I felt it, knowing the hidden meaning behind the gesture.

"We are now bound." confirmed the creature made of darkness, barest hint of joy hidden in its mysterious voice resounding in my head.

"Good." I said approvingly. "Shall we pay a visit to the armory, then?"