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The Seraphs and the Hunters

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    The world is known to be full of friendships.  Some are between those who are supposed to be enemies, such as the friendship in this story.  But before we see how this friendship came to be, let’s meet the four boys.

 

     It had been a normal morning for eight-year-olds Yuichiro Amane and his best friend Mikaela Shindo.  Young Yuu and Mika are young seraphs, living in a small village where only angels and seraphs reside, completely secluded from the world, their own safe haven.  The two boys had met a couple years ago for their mothers were close friends and been inseparable ever since.

    So the sun had just barely risen as Yuu and Mika remain asleep next to each other when their mothers hurry into the room, faces full of terror.  “Mika, get up!” Mikaela’s mother Anahita says as she shakes her son awake while Angelique, Yuu’s mother did the same.

    “Mom, what’s going on?” Yuu asks, still half asleep as their mothers then scoop them both into their arms.

    “There’s no time to explain.” Angelique says, the two angels hold their sons closer.  “We must leave!”

    “But what’s…” Mika is cut off that once they stepped outside their home, the boys were in shock to see their village up in flames and they could hear dogs barking as the villagers were forced apart.

    “Mom, what’s happening?” Mika asks as he clutches himself closer to Anahita in fear and not understanding what is going on.

    “Those damn Hunters have discovered our village and they won’t stop at nothing until all of the angels and seraphs that reside here are killed by their hands.” Angelique answers as she glares after the Hunters before they catch them.

    “We must escape while we still have the chance.”  With that, Anahita and Angelique began to run out of the village and through the woods, Yuu and Mika hanging on while sharing a scared glance.

    After running for most of the morning, the two angels stop and set the boys down for a moment to catch their breaths.  So far they haven’t had a single hound catch sight of them or pick up on their scent, which meant that there was no hunter pursuing them, for now.

    Knowing full well that both boys are scared with Yuu trying to be brave, Anahita and Angelique hold them close.  But that was when they hear a dog bark, meaning that now its master is after them.

    Scooping the boys back in their arms, Anahita and Angelique make a run for it with Mika and Yuu burying their faces in their shoulders so they wouldn’t see who could be pursuing them.

    Running into a clearing, the angels could see a house and a barn not too far ahead.  Stopping for a moment, they could still hear the barking echoing among the trees behind them.  Noticing a really thick tree with some tall grass around the trunk, Angelique and Anahita look each other straight in the eye, silently discussing what they should do.

    Just as Mika and Yuu look up at their mothers to see what’s wrong, why are they silent, they watch them nod their heads once with stern expressions on their faces.  “Mom?” both boys ask as the angels walk over to the tree.

    Happen to hear the barking outside his tree house, a young man of sixteen steps out onto the balcony of his home to see two angels, with two young boys in their arms, approach his tree and set the two children in the tall grass.

    As the two glance up at the women in confusion, Anahita and Angelique simply smile at them and each leave a small kiss on their foreheads, the seal of protection.

    They could hear more barking as the hound and hunter are closing in on them.  With the boys hidden, the angels make a run for it with the sixteen year old watching, hoping that they would make it, only to hear two gunshots.

    Knowing that the angels have been killed, the teen looks over to the tall grass where the two young boys remain hidden, staring up at him.  Taking his ladder to get closer, the teen watches as the boys hold each other close, clearly they are still terrified after hearing the gunshots.

    Yuichiro tries to be protective for the both of them as the teen, Shinya carefully approaches them.  “You poor things. It’s all right, now that Shinya is here.” Shinya attempted to show them he means then no harm, Yuu and Mika scooch away.

    To hear the dog howling that he lead his master to their targets, Shinya felt sadness that their mothers won’t be coming back for them.  “You know. You two need some caring for.”

    Just as Shinya was about to think it over, the three hear someone yell, “God damn it!”  Which had scared Mika and Yuu as they hid behind the teen who simply grin at the new thought.

    “Oh, uh-huh!”  Taking the boys gently, Shinya sets them back in the grass.  “Now, you two stay here. I’ll be right back with some help.”  With that, Shinya leaves to find the two girls he’ll need.

    By a few close trees, two young girls, one eight and the other seven, are tapping at a few of the trees until they both saw a couple of kittens in the branches.  The two girls, Shinoa and Mitsuba had been chasing their pets for some time since the mischievous felines pick fun at taunting them.

    Just as they are about to reach for the kittens, Shinya appears, a bit out of breath.  “There you two are. I need you to come with me. I need your help.”

    “But big brother, we almost have Shikama Doji and Tenjiryu!” Shinoa whines when she missed Shi as she taunts her.

    “You can worry about your cats later.  Now come on, I need your help with something.”  Shinya leads the girls back to his tree as the kittens give each other high-paw since their masters couldn’t get them again.

    Back at his tree, Shinya shows the girls the orphaned boys and they immediately take on a sad look, feeling sorry for them that they lost their mothers to a hunter.

    As Mika and Yuu look up at them in curiosity, Shinya kneels right next to them and says, “Don’t worry.  We’ll find someone to look after you two.”

    Taking a moment, Shinoa looks over to the house and barn.  Remembering that place is an orphanage and knowing exactly who runs the orphanage, an idea came to her mind.  Gesturing her brother and friend closer, Shinoa tells them of her plan, with Yuu and Mika watching them in curiosity.  With them nodding, Shinya turns his attention to the boys and gestures them up to their feet. Once they had complied, Shinya stands behind them and with Shinoa and Mitsuba beside him, they take the two over to the orphanage.

    Standing on the front porch, Shinoa knocks a couple times and they hear an older voice say, “Could you get that Akane?”

    “Yes ma’am.”  Came a young girl’s voice and soon the door opens, revealing a girl the same age as Shinoa with her brown hair in a loose braid, big brown eyes, wearing a pink stripe shirt under denim overalls.

    Once she saw Mika, the girl’s cheeks became a little pink as she calls back into the house without her eyes leaving him, “Director, it’s Shinya Hiragi and he has company with him.”

    Soon to appear in the doorway as the girl Akane move a bit aside was a matron, her short, light brown hair combed, wearing a simple blue dress with a beige apron and brown slippers.  “Hello Shinya, hello girls. How may I help you?”

    “Good day, Director.  I am in need of your help.”

    “Of course.  What is it?”

    Then Shinya gestures to Yuu and Mika.  “These two young seraphs need someone to take care of them.”

    “Oh my.  What about their parents?”

    The sadness returns to their faces with Shinya answering, “I’m afraid their mothers were hunted down and shot.”

    “Oh dear, you poor boys.” The Director says sadly as she carefully brings the boys into her arms in a hug.  “You did well with saving them from the Divine Hunters. Those greedy men never spare any of these beautiful beings.  I’ll take care of them, Shinya.”

    “Thank you, Director.  I’ll come by from time to time to check on Mikaela and Yuichiro.”

    “That’s fine.  We’ll have them become a part of our family.”

    “That’s what they need now that their mothers are gone.  Alright, you two take care.” Shinya says as he and the girls take their leave.

    But before they stepped down the porch steps, both boys stepped forward with Mika saying, “Wait Shinya.  Before you go we want to thank you for what you’re doing for us.”

    Shinya simply smiles at them.  “Don’t worry about it. The Director will make certain that you’re safe from the hunters.”  With that, the Director ushers the two inside with Akane bidding Shinya and the girls a good day before closing the door gently.

    Smiles across their face now that Yuu and Mika are safe, Shinya and the girls hear an engine backfire and they turn to see the Hunter Kureto return home, a small eight year old boy in the back and a girl slightly older in the passenger seat.

    Hearing the old engine of his foster father’s Jeep, Shiho Kimizuki wakens from his nap in his hammock and sits up just as Kureto takes his Jeep out of gear and helps the two kids out.  “Hey Kureto.” Kimizuki greets his foster father.

    “Hey.  I have a surprise for this family.”  With that, as Shiho climbs out of his hammock, Kureto calls into the house for his wife Aoi and Shiho’s little sister Mirai.  Soon a woman with blond hair and a small girl with red hair emerge from inside the house, then Kureto shows the girl and her little brother to the family.  “Everyone, this is Yoichi and his older sister Tomoe. They are new additions to the family.”

    Kureto and Aoi couldn’t have their own kids so they had been adopting orphans.  Since adopting him and his sister, Kureto has been teaching Shiho about hunting while Mirai helped Aoi with house chores from cleaning to cooking.  Now with the new additions, surely the girl Tomoe will be helping with the chores, but Kimizuki wasn’t sure of what the small boy Yoichi will be doing for the family.

    “Tomoe, you will be helping Aoi and Mirai with the house.” just as he had thought as Kureto informs Tomoe of her role in the family.

    “Yes sir.” Tomoe nods in understanding before going to Aoi and Mirai with the two greeting the older girl with a hug before they went inside to show her around.

    With the girls back inside, Kimizuki then turns his attention to Yoichi who shyly hid behind Kureto.  Gently patting his little head, Kureto then sets his attention on the other boy. “Now with Yoichi, I want you to teach him everything I had taught you about hunting.”

    This had left Kimizuki confused.  “What? But he’s too young to be hunting.” Kimizuki protested.

    “When he’s older, he’ll be ready.  So you may as well get used to having him and Tomoe around.”  With that, Kureto heads inside to have a mug of freshly made coffee that Aoi had prepared while he was out.

    Not a fan of this new responsibility, turns his attention back to the smaller boy.  “Ok kid. I’ll teach you everything I know in the next hour or so. But for now, I’m getting back to my chill time in my hammock.”

    “Ok, Shiho-san.” Yoichi answers.  Just as Kimizuki gets settled in his hammock, Yoichi walks up and asks, “Mind if I join you?  It’s very nice out and I want to stay outside.”

    Kimizuki sighs.  “Fine, if you want to.”  Just as he is getting comfortable, Yoichi gets in the hammock and snuggles close to him, his eyes closing and he instantly falls asleep after letting out a long yawn.

    At first he’s a little in shock of the new boy being this close, yet Kimizuki can’t help but feel that he is cute, being all curled up against him like this.  So with a soft smile, Kimizuki settles into his hammock, holding Yoichi close as he too falls back to sleep.