1 Light and Shadow

Izumi Rivai’s POV:

The land was soulless except where two beating hearts fought tirelessly. Fog smothered the air and the rain poured on the ground, making it slippery. My muscles ached for more air, but my lungs were only able to do so much. We had both reached our limits.

We were both exhausted and the intensity of the sword fight left me vomiting blood. My swords were beginning to fail me with the harshness of each blow threatening their very existence. This appeared to be a fight I was on the verge of losing.

“I knew you were strong, and because of this, no human would dare pick a fight with you.” I said panting.

“I only wish you weren’t my student, so that I could hurt you just that bit more each time.” He spoke with the predator’s glare in his eyes. He was preparing to strike again and so was I.

“To hate something that you used to love is such a painful feeling. Isn’t that right, Professor?” I retorted.

Leaving the Professor to ponder over the question I attacked, feeling the wind flow past my ears. Shortly after my bold move the fog dissipated, but the fighting didn’t.

Harvi closed his eyes and silently voiced: “If only we had met in better circumstances, I would have loved to have had a long heartwarming conversation with you, Rivai.”

~End of Izumi Rivai’s POV~

They both dashed from their respective positions, the one with fastest blade swift ahead of the other. As they came close to the other blades swung from every direction and this continued. With each swing came banging and clashing in response to each direct hit.

~5th Division~

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Narrator's POV:

Izumi Rivai was the boy who lost both his parents. Neither did he have friends to call family. His loneliness was nothing in comparison to the criticism and bullying he faced at school. It drove him to the brink of suicide but this reason alone was not enough to lead him there.

The Past...

March 12, 2010

[9:10 PM]

The weather was stormy and the road slipper. Izumi’s parents were on their way to the airport. They had booked tickets to fly to Korea for a holiday, a flight they never boarded. Demons were in wait. They had chosen their targets and were waiting for the right time to attack, to devour them both.

They were reported missing and later found murdered. Their bodies drenched in blood. Izumi’s mother was missing the lower half of her body, left arm and both her eyes; his father was found decapitated, without his arms and his right leg.

Their son heard the news on the TV, for nobody had told him of his parents’ fate. He was to live without them for the rest of his life. In shock, he went to his room and fell into a deep sleep, but before he slept, he thought to himself: ‘Is it better to have survived knowing both your parents are dead or is it better to have suffered the same gruesome fate as they did?’

March 13, 2010

[8:18 A.M.]

A loud knock awoke him from his sleep. It was his aunt. She was now his guardian. The 26-year-old Aina was a kind soul who had much talent and intelligence. She was the only person who adored Izumi.

He opened the door and noticed his aunt standing by the door with a solemn look in her eyes. “Pack your things.” She said in a calm yet frustrated voice. “You’re coming to live with me.”

Izumi didn’t hesitate and he went to pack his things. He only brought essentials with him and followed his aunt out of the house. He knew he could trust her.

A few hours passed and they arrived at Aina’s apartment. She showed him the way to his new room where Izumi put away his things and slept again. His aunt understood the loss he had just gone through and so knew he needed to sleep.

Evening arrived and she woke Izumi up so they could eat, “Wake up! Dinner is ready!” She yelled in a voice that highlighted slight excitement which was both confusing and surprising.

He was on his way to the dining room when he caught a glimpse of a shadow in the middle of the light. It was moving, he

suspected it to be the trick of the eye. He rubbed his eyes to see if it was real, but then it had vanished.

He arrived in the dining room.

“Did you see a shadow in the middle of the light?” He asked.

“Maybe, I’m not sure… are you perhaps referring to the total eclipse of the heart?”

She replied while serving a cup of rice on his plate.

“Never mind, let’s just eat.” He said smiling at Aina.

She looks at him, both curious and concerned, “Are you not shocked about what happened last night? About your parents’ death?”

He replied with the look of sadness in his eyes, “I do not have time to think of them anymore. They were in my past and I need to keep moving forward based on what I believe in.”

Aina didn’t reply and gazed off into the abyss for a split second.

“Listen! In this world wherever there is light, there are shadows. As long as the concept of winning exists, there must also be losers. The selfish desire of wanting to maintain peace causes wars and hatred is born to protect love. Hate was all I knew. It built my world, imprisoned me, taught me how to eat, how to drink, how to breathe. I thought I’d die with all the hate in my veins… It’s okay, Izumi… even if you’re weak, there will be people who will be able to help you. You might not meet them right away but don’t give up and until then you need to keep moving forward.” Vented Aina with a mix of emotions.

Izumi continued eating and after a few seconds he replied, in a serious face, with: “My parents only considered me as the living corpse of a would be suicide, a person who is dead to them, a living ghost.”

Neither one spoke regarding this matter that evening after what he said.

After a few minutes they both finished eating.

Aina was cleaning the dishes when she said. “Starting tomorrow you will transfer to my school. I have prepared everything you need.”

“Would I be in Class A?” He asked.

“Yes, and I will be your English teacher. I’ll take care of the rest of these things, you go brush your teeth and go back to sleep. Goodnight.” She chirped.

Izumi replied with a nod.

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