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Ryusoulger Oneshots

Chapter Text

“Bamba!” Towa ran over to his injured older brother as the minosaur got away. Bamba had defended Towa earlier in the fight and got badly hurt as a result. Towa demorphed as he frantically looked at the other Ryusoulgers but didn’t say anything. He just started crying.
Towa didn’t notice when Asuna picked up Bamba and started talking to Koh.
“We’re going back home. You stay with Towa.”
“Okay,” Koh replied as Towa heard the others walking away.
Towa tried to say something, but nothing came out.
After a while, sobs turned to quiet crying, and Koh noticed that Towa’s crying slowly stopped. He didn’t talk to the younger boy, since he wasn’t sure what to say. Suddenly, Towa started trying to get up, but kept slipping, not having enough strength to stand.
“Want a piggyback ride?” Koh offered. Towa nodded and weakly got onto Koh.
“I’m tired, nii-san,” Towa complained.
“Sleep. I’ll make sure you’re safe,” Koh replied, before realizing that Towa hadn’t used his name.
Koh got Towa home to the Tatsui’s house and quickly shushed the others, not wanting to wake Towa. He carefully put the younger boy on the couch as Melt grabbed a blanket.
“Bamba will be okay, but does need time to recover,” Ui mentioned quietly as everyone sat down.
“That’s good,” the Ryusoulgers made an effort to be quiet.
“I think…” Koh spoke quietly. “I think Towa thought I was Bamba.”
“Why would he think that?” Asuna asked, finding the idea sweet, but confusing.
“…probably because I was being really gentle and said I would protect him,” Koh smiled. “He was really tired.”
“Let’s leave them alone for now. I’m going upstairs,” Melt decided. Everyone else followed, with Koh stopping for just a moment to watch as Towa and Bamba flailed a little bit before finding their brother’s hand and calming down again.

Chapter Text

“Nii-san, why are we leaving?” 4-year-old Towa asked again as the brothers finally left.
“Because the people in that village are mean,” 16-year-old Bamba explained again as they started walking.
“But the Elder is nice, and the Masters, like Master Blue, he’s super smart-”
“We’ll have our own Master too. He left a few days ago, remember? We’re going to meet up with him,” Bamba explained. Master Black encouraged Bamba to leave the village and get ahead of the other future Ryusoulgers in their training. And he encouraged him to bring Towa, stating that brothers should stay together so they have someone else they can trust.
“Are we going to another village?” Towa kept asking questions as they walked. Bamba decided he didn’t care, as long as they kept walking and they didn’t get off track.
“No, we’re going to stay all by ourselves. You, me, and Master Black. We’re not going to stay with enough people to be considered part of a village.”
“…do I get a necklace?” Towa asked after a moment.
“What?” Bamba wasn’t sure where that question came from.
“Your necklace, don’t you still have it? The lightning bolt…?” Towa looked up at Bamba, who wasn’t wearing his pendant. The lightning bolt was a symbol associated with the village, so Bamba had thrown his pendant into the lake the night before and forgot about it.
“It’s called a pendant. And I got rid of it. I didn’t want it anymore,” Bamba explained simply. “And you don’t get one,” he answered the original question.
“But I want one!” Towa stopped walking and decided this was important enough to throw a tantrum over if necessary.
“Look, Towa, it’s not a big deal. Why do you want one?” Bamba crouched down so he could be on eye level with his brother.
“Because I wanna remember the village,” the child explained, crossing his arms and not looking at his brother.
“Well, I don’t want to remember the village,” Bamba explained. “So, I got rid of my pendant because it reminded me of the village.”
“Oh,” Towa stopped and picked up a rock. There wasn’t anything special about it, it was just a smooth grey rock the size of the kid’s hand. “I wanna keep this rock. It can remind me that we left the village, but it’s not from the village.”
“Sure. As long as you carry it,” Bamba shrugged. If he kept collecting rocks, Towa wouldn’t have room in his bag for food and supplies and would have to get rid of the rocks. Or never have enough supplies, but hopefully he would choose to get rid of a few rocks.
“Okay!” Towa resumed walking with the rock in his hand. “So, we left the village,” he mumbled, not knowing how major that event really was.
“Yeah. And we should meet up with our Master before it gets dark. So, let’s go,” Bamba started walking, making sure Towa kept up with him.
A few hours later, after two breaks and Bamba giving Towa a piggyback ride since he didn’t want to walk but they had to keep going, they were finally at the place Master Black told them to go.
Well, it looked like it. There was a cave, there was a pile of branches that were gathered for a fire, but Master Black was nowhere to be seen.
“Maybe he’s hunting,” Bamba reasoned. Gathering food was important, especially since the area was still unfamiliar to them.
“I’m tired,” Towa decided.
“Okay. Let’s sleep in the cave,” Bamba decided. Of course, he really meant you sleep, I’ll stay awake and make sure you’re okay until Master Black comes back but Towa easily lay down in the corner of the cave, not caring about it being uncomfortable, which meant he really was tired.
At least for now, Bamba was responsible for keeping Towa safe in an unfamiliar environment. And he promised to keep his little brother safe.

Chapter Text

Teenage Bamba was sparring against his Master, to see how skilled he had gotten. A 5-year-old Towa, too young to train, was watching. Bamba and Master Black always stayed aware of where Towa was, so they wouldn’t accidentally run into him. And since the kid had a lot of energy and liked running around a lot, this was always very important.
“Can I join?” Towa asked for the millionth time.
“You’re too young,” Bamba replied, focused on training. “And you don’t have a sword.”
“Yes I do,” Towa said, carefully picking up a stick off the ground. “Sword,” he declared as he ran up to the men.
“Stop,” Master Black commanded. The sparring stopped, and Towa stopped running. “Towa, you’re still not old enough to train. And you’ll need to learn to be safe with swords before you can use them,” the older members looked at Towa, who was holding the stick in the middle, likely where a blade would be if it was a sword. Towa thought for a minute before moving his hand closer to the end of the stick, where the handle would be.
After that, Towa used sticks to fight pretend monsters, and over time he got told how to handle a sword and could use a sword with Bamba helping him hold it properly. The kid obviously wanted to spar, so when he was old enough, about 2 years after he started playing with sticks, he finally got to use a basic sword against Bamba.
“Come on,” Bamba encouraged the kid. Bamba was on his knees to be at Towa’s height, holding a sword. “Hit my sword. Like this,” Bamba gently tapped his sword forward so it made contact with Towa’s.
After a minute, Towa leaned forward and successfully hit Bamba’s sword.
“Good job! Can you do it again?”
After doing some basic hits successfully, Towa got more excited and started putting more effort into a slash. Bamba was able to block it successfully.
“Good job! But we’re just supposed to hit swords. Don’t try to hit me, just the sword.” Towa nodded to indicate that he understood.
When they were finished, and all swords were safely put away, the brothers sat down as Master Black started a fire.
“That was fun!” Towa decided.
“It was,” Bamba blindly agreed.
“Someday I’m gonna be a great knight, just like you!”
Bamba was taken aback by the comment, but also proud. He smiled at his younger brother.
“You already are.”

As he grew up, Towa got more skilled, and Bamba went less easy on him. Obviously, he didn’t want to hurt his brother, but he also knew that his brother wasn’t a little kid.
Once the boys were officially Ryusoulgers, and met the other Ryusoulgers, the monster was a squid-like creature that fought using what seemed to be water guns. It seemed very childish, but when it got down on its knees and encouraged the Ryusoulgers to attack, Bamba didn’t see a monster based on a child. He saw a parent encouraging a kid, like he had with Towa years ago. They were deep memories, that Bamba wasn’t sure Towa remembered, but Bamba remembered that when Towa was brand-new to using swords, he needed a lot of encouragement and positive reinforcement.
He saw a memory.
And in front of him, he saw a great knight.

Chapter Text

“Do you guys miss the village?” Koh asked. It had been about two weeks and the Ryusoulgers were getting more used to living with Ui, and the Ryusoulgers were walking to a local mall. Bamba didn’t want to come, and Ui’s dad was at work. That left Ui, Koh, Melt, Asuna, and Towa.
“A little bit. Why?” Asuna replied.
“Do you miss it?” Melt asked the Red Ranger.
“Not necessarily, but there are so many changes between the village and here. Like, we’re literally going to a building with clothing, fresh food, electronics, and games,” he named a few things off the top of his head. “And you can just buy anything you want if you have money.”
“When you put it that way it is kind of interesting,” the others mumbled.
“Things were different in the village. But I think this is better,” Melt decided. “We don’t need to worry about having enough food, for example, because there are places to buy food everywhere.”
“True. And it’s more fun, too! Like how we’re going to the movies this weekend, that seems cool,” Asuna agreed.
“Yeah! You guys still have to decide which movie you want to see,” Ui reminded the group.
Towa looked around as they walked, not really paying attention to the conversation.
“Towa,” Koh got his attention.
“I asked if you miss the way things were before.”
“Oh. Well…I don’t know. I don’t remember the village, though apparently I was sad when we left it, but living with Master and Bamba was…well, this is more fun. Though I don’t know if it’s because of the stuff here or the fact that there are more people.”
“How many people did you live with?” Ui asked Towa.
“Bamba and Master Black. And sometimes people would be in the forest and we would help them. But that doesn’t count. So it was just the three of us for a long time, until-” Towa stopped himself, not wanting to say Master Black died.
“Until what?”
“Never mind.”
“Okay. Hey, what stores do you want to go to when we get to the mall?” Ui changed the subject and the group continued talking.

Chapter Text

Melt sat down on a rock, reading his book. He enjoyed reading books that were from a store in a nearby town, and as long as he did his training and was prepared to be a knight, the preteen was allowed this access to books, usually chapter books aimed at his age group or a few years above him.
“Melt, do you wanna play the winner?” Asuna called out as she sparred with Koh. Melt shook his head. He did his training with his Master, and Koh and Asuna were competitive despite being the same age as Melt.
“No thank you. I’m trying to read,” Melt said as he returned to his book.
The swords kept clashing, and Melt tuned it out.
He looked over at the pair occasionally, watching their techniques. Asuna was winning from the looks of it, since she was naturally stronger, even if she was a kid.
Asuna extended her arm and her sword hit Koh’s forearm, giving him a small wound.
“AH!” Koh stopped and looked around frantically. He looked over at their Masters. “Asuna hurt me!” he tattled, but he said it in a tone of voice that sounded like he was trying not to cry. The Masters paused what they were doing and came over to the kids.
“What happened?” Master Pink asked Asuna as Master Red started putting a bandage around Koh’s arm.
“It was an accident! We were playing, and I think I aimed wrong,” Asuna murmured. Melt put a bookmark in his book to mark the page.
“I think it was an accident. Asuna doesn’t intentionally try to hurt people,” Melt spoke. “And all she did was lean forward, like this,” he demonstrated what he had seen.
“Thank you, Melt. I think Koh’s taking a break for now. He should be okay. Asuna, you have to be careful with swords,” Master Pink directed her attention away from Melt, who turned back to his book.
After the Masters were gone, Melt went over to Asuna, who seemed…discouraged. The Masters often told Asuna to not use her full strength when sparring, which made her not want to be a Ryusoulger.

“You know your strength is a good thing, right?” Melt sat on the ground next to Asuna.
“Yeah. But it’s not useful,” Asuna muttered.
“Against Koh it’s not useful. Against a minosaur it would be great! And someday when I’m RyusoulBlue, and you’re RyusoulPink, and Koh is RyusoulRed, we’ll use your awesome strength and my technique to defeat all the minosaurs in our way!” the boy imagined.
“What will Koh be there for?” Asuna seemed curious.
“He can carry our Ryusouls,” Melt decided.
“We don’t have Ryusouls.”
“Not yet, I bet but we’re gonna start training with them soon!”
“Thanks,” Asuna smiled. “Anyways, do you wanna train?”
“No, I’ll go back to reading. Thanks for the offer.”
The kids got up and went separate ways.

Chapter Text

Bamba did not want a sibling. The 12-year-old had always found babies stupid, annoying, and a distraction from training/working.
So, when his parents announced that his mother was pregnant, he was not happy. His parents tried to get him used the idea of having a baby sibling, but he didn’t even pretend to be interested.
Until the due date was closer.
“Is the baby gonna be born soon?” Bamba realized.
“Soon! Though they could be born before or after the day we expect,” his mother agreed.
“What’s it gonna look like?” Bamba asked, referring to ‘what does a newborn baby look like’ since he always heard that babies are cute, regardless of what he thought about them.
“The baby? Probably very small, so you need to be very careful. When you were born you were this big,” Bamba’s father demonstrated with his arms. “And you didn’t have much hair. And once they cleaned you up and made sure you were safe they wrapped you in a blanket we were able to see you and hold you. And then Mom fed you for the first time and we were just happy to see you.”
A few days later, in the middle of the night, the baby was born.
In the morning, Bamba woke up to find that his mother was gone, but his father was still home.
“Where’s Mom?”
“Mom’s with the new baby!” the father announced.
“Did it come while I was asleep?” Bamba realized, getting up quickly.
“Yes. Do you want to go see the baby?”
When he got there, Bamba saw the baby boy, sleeping in a soft blanket, and immediately all the negative thoughts he had about babies and having siblings were gone. He was so tiny! He seemed so small and fragile Bamba couldn’t hide the fact that he loved his brother.
Holding his brother for the first time, Bamba let out a genuine smile. The baby was asleep but looked so pure that the older brother knew he had to take care of and protect his baby brother.
And he knew that he would protect his brother, no matter the cost.

Chapter Text

“This is nothing, don’t worry about it,” Bamba told 4-year-old Towa, who had tripped and scraped his knee, kissing it to make it better. “There. You’ll be okay.”
“Okay.” The kid forgot about it almost immediately.

“This is nothing, don’t worry about it,” Bamba told 8-year-old Towa, who had a slight concussion. “You’ll get better.”
“Okay.” About a week later, the kid was better.

“Who did that to you?” Bamba yelled when he saw a 12-year-old Towa with a black eye.
“Well, there were these boys wandering through the forest, and I was training, and they started bugging me, and then we started fighting-”
“-they started it! They’re gone now.”
“Are you hurt?” Bamba noticed that there were various bruises on Towa’s body.
“This is nothing, don’t worry about it.”

There were 4 small wounds on his arm where the monster had bit Towa. The teen pulled back his sleeve to see the pools of blood. Bamba asked if he was okay.
Towa decided to say what the answer always was:
“This is nothing, don’t worry about it.” It was only 4 small wounds.
Even though it wasn’t nothing. It was a very bad something. It was poison.
But Towa didn’t want to admit that. He would deal with it.

Chapter Text

A small item made a sharp sound as it fell onto the floor. As that happened, someone let out a small cry, and then there was silence. After a moment, there was quiet crying.
Bamba opened his eyes. He glanced at Towa, who was still fast asleep. The brothers shared a room in the Tatsui’s house. Ui and Asuna shared a room, and Koh and Melt shared the other. A bathroom was down the hallway, where the crying was coming from.
Bamba looked at the clock. It was 3:47 AM. Assuming that someone just went to the bathroom and dropped something by accident, he decided to see what it was.
The door was closed, but a small puddle was forming under the door. It seemed clear in colour and didn’t smell like anything, so it was probably just water. The light was on. Bamba knocked on the door. After a moment, the door opened to reveal Melt, crying on the floor in his pajamas. A plastic cup was on the floor, laying on its side. The blue-haired boy sniffled as Bamba reached for a towel to clean up the water.
“What happened?” Bamba decided to ask. He kept his voice down, not wanting to wake the others.
“I had a, uh, I remembered uh, M-m- and then I went to get, uh, water and then I was holding the cup and then I remembered again and then I dropped the cup and then there was water on the floor and then I fell,” Melt explained, still upset.
“What did you remember?” Bamba asked in a gentle voice that he had only ever used when Towa was very young.
“M-m-master Blue,” Melt spoke quietly. “And he- the minosaur was- he pushed me out of the way and then the monster- it breathed fire like- whoosh then him and Master Pink were gone.” Melt paused to wipe his tears. “I miss them.” In a surprising move, the younger knight threw his arms around Bamba, who didn’t know how to respond. He had never seen Melt emotional before. Bamba put his arms awkwardly around Melt.
“It’s okay now. I’ll hold you,” Bamba decided. He remained calm and didn’t move.
“Thanks,” Melt paused. “It was scary.”
“But it’s okay now, right?” Bamba didn’t know how to respond.
“No!” Melt started crying again. “They died, it’s not okay! And I, I want him back,” Melt stuttered, referring to Master Blue specifically.
“That makes sense. You know, sometimes I miss my Master too,” Bamba confessed. “But instead of getting sad about it, I try to make my Master’s spirit proud of me for being able to go on without him. And I’m sure your Master is proud of you. I know he’s watching over you right now. And he misses you too. If he could be here, he would,” Bamba said all the things he would want to be told. He noticed that Melt wasn’t crying anymore.
“I still want water,” Melt decided.
“Okay,” Bamba picked up the cup and filled it with tap water. He made sure Melt wasn’t hurt, and then lead Melt back to his room. Once Melt was in his bed, Bamba quietly closed the door, turned the bathroom light off, and headed back to bed.

Chapter Text

The Ryusoulgers got to the fight and saw a minosaur quickly growing giant. It was crying like a baby.
“It’s so loud!” Koh yelled over the crying.
“Yeah, we can tell!” Melt yelled to be heard over the baby. He covered his ears.
“Ryusoul Change!” the Rangers morphed quickly.
There weren’t many people in the area, and most were able to run away. Since the minosaur was already giant, the Ryusoulgers summoned their DinoKnights and formed Five Knights.
“What’s that?” Bamba noticed a baby on the ground, extremely tiny from where he was in the middle of the formation’s chest.
“Hm?” nobody else seemed able to see the baby. “Ah!” the minosaur was still crying, and it threw them off.
“I’m going,” Bamba jumped onto the ground and ran to the baby, who was sitting on the ground crying. They didn’t seem to be hurt, just tired.
“Oh,” Bamba demorphed, not wanting to scare the baby. They were wearing blue jeans, a green shirt, and tiny shoes and socks, and had messy brown hair. He approached them carefully. “Hi, sleepy baby,” he used a small tone of voice none of the Ryusoulgers recognized. “Shh,” he picked up the baby. “It’s okay. You need to go beddy-bye.” He started looking around for the baby’s parents, but any people had since run away. He walked with them for a little bit, and the minosaur gradually grew smaller as the baby fell asleep.
“Whoa,” the others got the mecha to separate and got back on the ground. “What just happened?” Asuna whispered, not wanting to wake the baby.
The baby started crying again, and everyone freaked out like a bomb had gone off.
“It’s okay. Let’s go to Ui’s, and we can figure out what’s wrong there,” Bamba remained calm.

After Ui bought some diapers and got back home, Bamba successfully changed a diaper on the baby. He also guessed the baby was about a year old, based on the clothes sizes the baby was wearing and the fact that they could crawl, but not walk. The baby stopped crying.
“I didn’t know you liked kids,” Ui commented as the baby sat on the couch.
“It’s sort of nerve-wracking, I haven’t taken care of a baby in a long time,” Bamba replied, obviously referring to when Towa was a baby. The baby went over to Towa, who was sitting on the couch, and crawled onto his lap.
Since he obviously had no experience with babies, Towa just stared, not sure what to do. The baby started touching Towa’s sleeve, interested in the green pattern on the white shirt. Since the baby was a baby, they put Towa’s sleeve in their mouth.
“Eww!” Towa shrieked, pulling away and causing the baby to accidentally fall backwards (still on the couch) and start crying. “Oops!” Towa felt incredibly guilty. He glanced at Bamba.
“It’s okay. Hey,” Bamba picked up the baby and kissed their head. “Here,” he sat next to Towa, with the baby on his lap. The baby decided after another minute that they weren’t hurt and went back over to Towa.
“No,” Towa decided he didn’t like kids and got off the couch. The baby didn’t notice and continued crawling until they got to the armrest of the couch, and Ui took a picture with her phone.
“I’m posting online to see if anyone lost their kid after the monster attack. How old did you think they are?”
“10-12 months,” Bamba decided.
“So, the minosaur came from the baby, right?” Melt confirmed.
“So why did the monster grow big, but shrink again?”
“Babies sleep a lot. And minosaurs grow big when the host loses energy. So, by sleeping, the baby took the drained energy back, I guess,” Bamba theorized.
“Weird. I didn’t think that would be possible,” Asuna commented.
“Maybe it’s less the baby taking the energy back and just…making more energy,” Koh decided.
“Well, we have to fight the monster, regardless of it being giant or not,” Towa stated (what, you expect Towa and Bamba to consider killing a baby? They’re not that heartless). “Let’s go,” he said, temporarily forgetting that Bamba was the only one who had experience with babies.
“You guys go. I’ll stay here,” Bamba ordered as the baby started crying. “What? Are you hungry?”
Everyone left as Bamba tried to figure out what was wrong.

The Ryusoulgers morphed and started fighting as Bamba went to the kitchen and looked in the fruit bowl. He decided on a banana and started mashing it up and put it into a small bowl.
As they fought, the minosaur stopped crying and started fighting less. Koh put his Ryusoul into his sword and started to do his finisher move. As he attacked, the minosaur hit the sword out of the way. Not as an attack, not really as defense, just…as a motion. The minosaur laughed.
The baby hit the spoon Bamba was using to feed the baby mushed banana out of the way and laughed when the food fell on the ground. The baby was sitting in Ui’s lap, since they didn’t have a highchair. The duo sighed.
“Do you want me to…?” Ui offered to feed the baby.
“No, it’s okay.” Open,” Bamba tried to feed the baby again. The baby decided they were full and shook their head instead.
The minosaur kept flailing and shaking their head.
“Ugh, this is difficult,” Towa commented as he slashed the minosaur. “Bamba, we could use your help,” he spoke into the communicator.
“Sure. The baby seems full anyways. Ui, you stay and take care of them.”
Ui let the baby sit on her lap as Bamba left, before deciding to play peek-a-boo with the baby.

When Bamba got to the fight, he saw the minosaur was playing peek-a-boo with the Ryusoulgers. Or at least, the monster did the motions of covering their face and then uncovering it.
“Peek-a-boo!” Ui moved her hands away from her face. The baby laughed. “Man, babies are so easy to amuse.”
“Wait. Cover your face,” Bamba realized, since babies sometimes think you’ve disappeared when playing peek-a-boo. He covered his face but didn’t finish the motion to uncover it, and the minosaur seemed confused.
“Oh!” Koh realized the plan and did it too. Soon, everyone was “invisible” from the minosaur’s point of view.
“I didn’t know babies were this stupid,” Melt commented as the minosaur made no attempt to move out of the way or attack anyone.
The Ryusoulgers finished the minosaur, and the baby suddenly looked around the room at random objects, before deciding to focus on Ui’s face.
Ui decided to check her phone, as someone messaged her, saying they were the baby’s parents. Ui messaged them back and provided her address.
A little while later, the baby was reunited with their parents and the Ryusoulgers said bye-bye.

“That was stressful,” Towa declared once the family was gone.
“Yeah it was,” Bamba flopped back on the couch. “I’m exhausted.”
“You didn’t seem exhausted five minutes ago,” the others pointed out.
“Babies are hard work. When Towa was that little, once he knew how to walk it was all over.”
“Walking? Why would I do that?” Towa laughed, referencing his speed.
“It quickly became running. Even when you were this big,” Bamba estimated with his hand. “you were…a handful. Luckily, I don’t have to worry as much now.” Bamba covered his mouth in an attempt to hide a yawn.
“Ah, nii-san, do you need to go beddy-bye?” Towa remembered the phrase Bamba had used earlier. Everyone laughed.
“I’m an adult, I can stay up as late as I want,” Bamba declared, yawning again.
“Go,” Towa pointed, deciding he was in charge. “You need it.”
“Okay, just don’t call it beddy-bye.”
“Whatever you wanna call it, you need rest,” Koh interrupted. “I think we should all just relax. Today was a weird day.”
“That’s one way to put it.”

Chapter Text

“I’m going to swim around the world one day,” Koh decided.
“How are you gonna do that?” Melt asked, not understanding what that meant.
“Well, lakes eventually lead to the ocean, right? So, if I swim in a lake I’ll eventually start swimming in the ocean, and then I can go wherever I want by swimming through the ocean!”
“Hypothetically, I guess so, but lakes and especially oceans are extremely big. And what if you encounter an animal?”
Koh paused. Melt hoped that his friend could understand what a foolish idea that was.
“Then I either befriend the animal or kill the animal for food,” Koh decided.
“Or the animal kills you,” Melt mumbled. “Besides, why not go by boat?”
“That’s not fun!” Koh protested.
“Okay, but it’s more realistic.”
“These are my dreams, I don’t have to be realistic!”
“Well, going by boat would be easier than swimming. What if you were swimming and got tired? Oceans are really deep.”
“Then I’d lay on my back and float for a bit. It would be relaxing.”
“You could drown.”
“I’m a good swimmer!”
“What about when it snows?”
“Then I’d go live in a village until the snow is gone. Plus, then I could skate!”
“What if you fall through the ice?”
“You’re such a pessimist, Melt.”
“No, I’m just a realist. You’re too naïve.”
“Guys, stop. Koh, it would be impossible to swim around the world. Melt, don’t crush his dreams that badly,” Asuna got herself involved in the conversation.
“Anything’s possible!” Koh argued. Melt and Asuna looked at each other and shrugged.

Chapter Text

The Ryusoulgers (Koh, Melt, and Asuna) and Ui were sitting around the house, watching TV and hanging out. There was a knock on the door and Ui answered, letting Towa inside. (Bamba wasn’t there).
“Hi,” everyone greeted him as Towa casually walked in. The group was watching anime on TV. “What’s up?”
“Not much. Uh, I came by because I wanted to talk with Melt,” Towa explained. “In private?”
“Sure,” Melt got up and walked upstairs, where the boys continued their discussion. They sat down at a table and continued.
“You’re smart, right?” Towa started.
“I’d like to think so, yes.”
Towa leaned in like he wanted to keep whatever the conversation was between just them, even though nobody else was around.
“How do you know if you like a girl?”
Melt covered his mouth to keep from laughing. He didn’t think Towa would ask him that. Towa blushed, feeling awkward for asking.
“Sorry I know it’s random it’s just-I don’t wanna talk to my brother about it, and so I thought-”
“No, it’s okay,” Melt cleared his throat. “Let me think,” he paused. “Probably…you spend a lot of time thinking about her, and she makes you really happy. And she’s really pretty, like, oh her hair, or her pretty eyes,” Melt sighed, thinking of Asuna. “And everything about her is perfect, and you like things like her smile or her laugh. And you don’t want to mess up in front of her, because that would be embarrassing, and you probably…”
“Have you ever had a crush?” Towa interrupted, bringing Melt back down to Earth.
“Uh, yeah. But it was a long time ago, I’m over it now,” he lied. Well, he was mostly over it, it just wasn’t a long time ago (relatively speaking).
“…How do you tell a girl that you like her?”
Now Melt blushed, since he never really told Asuna that he ever had a crush on her, he just told himself that he shouldn’t have a crush on his teammate and got over it over time.
“Why not just say ‘I like you’?”
“No!” Towa whispered, as if someone would hear them. “That’s- whatif it comes out awkwardly?”
“First crushes are always awkward,” Melt replied.
“Whatif she doesn’t like me back?”
“Then you move on,” Melt shrugged. Towa bit his lip.
“So, who’s the girl?” Melt decided to ask after neither of them spoke for a moment.
“Uh,” Towa paused. “Sanae-san,” he whispered, smiling afterwards. “She’s so nice, and pretty, and,” he let out a sigh and blushed when he realized it. Melt chuckled.
“Well, good luck for when you tell her. Anything else?”
“Okay, I’m going downstairs. Wanna come? We’re watching Naruto.”
“Ah, no thanks. I’m going now, see you later.”
“Okay, bye.”

Chapter Text

The Ryusoulgers ran into the city where there was a monster attack, and saw a purple knight who looked a lot like them. As the Ryusoulgers morphed, the villain stared at Bamba and Towa.
Everyone started charging at the knight, who went straight for Bamba.
“I recognize you...” the purple knight spoke. “Don’t you remember me?” He slashed at Bamba’s stomach, and then went over to Towa. “I see you got a replacement for me.” Towa started to run away, but the purple knight grabbed RyusoulGreen by the neck and lifted him off the ground. Towa tried kicking and flailing but the knight wouldn’t let go.
The others started attacking the knight, who quickly started using Towa as a shield. Towa demorphed, still in the purple knight’s grip.
“STOP!” Bamba demanded. “Put him down.”
The knight carelessly let go, and Towa fell onto the ground and started coughing violently and trying to get up.
“Towa,” everyone rushed to protect him.
“You care about him,” the purple knight observed. “What about me?”
“Who are you?” Koh asked cautiously.
“Gaisorg,” the knight turned away and started to leave. “We will fight again, when you are stronger.”
“Who was that?” Melt asked once the knight was gone. “Bamba, did you know him?”
“He said he remembers Bamba, but he didn’t know us,” Asuna added.
“He seems to have something against-”
“Please be quiet,” Bamba interrupted. He picked up Towa, who was mumbling something that wasn’t really coming out as words. “I got you, Towa.” The boy whined as Bamba started walking back to the Tatsui’s house. The other Ryusoulgers followed quietly.

At the Tatsui house, Ui helped tend to Bamba and Towa’s wounds, even when Bamba insisted he was fine and could do it himself.
“I didn’t know there was a purple knight. Did you know that?” Koh asked Melt.
“I didn’t. Though he didn’t look exactly like us. He looks more like a suit of armour that someone is wearing.”
“Who do you think was wearing it?”
“Yami,” Bamba answered.
“A long time ago, I trained with a knight around my age named Yami. He was going to be RyusoulGreen. But one day, we were sparring,” Bamba decided to phrase it that way, even if it was more of a personal fight. “And it ended with him accidentally hurting Towa, who was really little, and so Master Black took the RyusoulGreen Changer and Ryusoul away. Yami left after that, I haven’t seen him since.” It wasn’t an accident, but Bamba didn’t tell them that.
“Master there no Master Green?” Melt noticed.
“No,” Bamba answered directly. “There is not.”
“Why not?” The four kids were curious.
“That’s a different story. Anyways, Towa became the next RyusoulGreen once he was old enough to start training. So he technically did replace Yami.”
“Oh. Why didn’t you tell me?” Towa asked.
“You were very young, and you did notice that Yami had left, but when you asked I said he had been killed while hunting. You missed him, but after that we stopped talking about it.”
“But he’s back now,” Koh mumbled. “Does he want something?”
“We weren’t exactly on good terms when he left. This is between me and him,” Bamba told the others. “Stay out of it. I don’t want you guys getting hurt.”

Chapter Text

Bamba, Towa, and their mother left the village when Bamba was 12 and Towa was only a few months old. Their father...”I don’t want to talk about it,” their mother decided when Towa was about 4 and decided to ask.
“Bamba, where’s Daddy?” Towa asked his brother.
“He...wanted to stay at the village, but Mom and I wanted to leave. So we left.”
“Why didn’t I stay with Daddy?”
“Because we love you! And wanted to take care of you,” his brother replied.
“...did you not love Daddy?”
“...Dad was mean,” Bamba decided to answer.
“That’s bad,” the 4-year-old stated the obvious.
“Yeah. And we wouldn’t leave you with someone who’s mean.”
“I love you, nii-san.”
“I love you too.”

It was raining.
“Is Mommy still coming back? Does she remember where we are?” Towa, who was about to turn 5, asked his brother. They were staying in a cave, the family had been travelling but when a storm started they hurried for shelter. Their mother went “to do something important” alone.
“Of course! I’ll stay up, and I’ll wake you when she gets back. You need sleep,” Bamba got a small blanket out of his bag and Towa lay down and went to sleep.
Bamba carefully grabbed Towa’s blanket and took it out of the child’s fingers, even though he didn’t want to. Their mother was back, but she wasn’t okay. Bamba didn’t want to wake his brother to this. He held the blanket around his mother, who had stumbled in, unable to speak clearly.
“It’ll be okay,” Bamba said, mostly to himself since he wasn’t very loud.
“Bamba...givethis...t o......Towa...for me,” she didn’t speak very clearly, but Bamba got the message. In his mother’s hand was some fabric that looked like it had been ripped off from the end of her dress, and one of her earrings (shaped like a lightning bolt) was holding the two ends together.
“I-I will. I’ll take care of him.” She wasn’t moving. Her eyes were staring at nothing. After a moment, she stopped breathing. She was gone. Bamba broke. Strong older brother that he was, he took the makeshift bracelet in his hand and fell to the ground, crying.
Once Bamba could finally get up again, he picked up his mother. He took a shovel and went to do something he never thought he would do. Luckily, the rain had let up just a bit. Once he was finished, there was thunder and lightning. Bamba ran back inside to protect his only family. He lay down and held Towa tight.
The next day was Towa’s birthday. It was nice and sunny out.
“Good morning!” Towa chirped, well-rested. He noticed that his mother wasn’t there.
“Where’s Mommy?” Bamba was sitting up, facing away. He had been awake all night trying to figure out how to answer that question.
“She, well,” Bamba couldn’t cry. He couldn’t say what happened. Not today. But he also didn’t want to lie. “She...never came back.” He lied. “But she wanted you to have this. Here,” Bamba gently put the bracelet on Towa’s wrist, adjusting it so it fit properly. “Happy birthday.” Realizing this was his birthday present, Towa gasped.
“Yay! Thanks nii-san!” He went outside and looked around, not sure where his mom was. “Thanks Mommy, wherever you are.” Bamba didn’t let himself cry.

Towa and Bamba were each other’s only family for a long time. When Towa’s bracelet couldn’t fit him anymore, Bamba took a rare trip to a city to actually interact with people and got the material to make a friendship bracelet. He learned to make one, and added the earring at the end.

It was the day before Towa’s birthday. And there was a storm. And the brothers were sleeping in the same cave that they had stayed in 10 years ago.
“Do you wanna go to the Tatsui’s house? We’d stay dry’s more comfortable,” Towa pointed out when he saw that his brother was freaked out.
“No,” Bamba replied. “Just...don’t leave tonight unless it’s an emergency. Okay?”
“Okay,” Towa paused. “Want a hug?”
“Yes,” Bamba admitted. The brothers held each other for a moment.
“I love you, nii-san.”
“I love you too.” Before they fell asleep, Bamba spoke. “How old are you turning?”
“15!” Towa smiled. “You should know that.” 10 years...
“Yeah, I should. I love you, goodnight.”
“I love you too. Goodnight!”
The next day, it was overcast, and the whole sky was grey, but it wasn’t raining.
“Happy birthday,” Bamba said once Towa was awake.
“Thanks! Good morning!” The birthday boy ran outside. “What’s wrong?” Towa asked. Bamba didn’t let Towa see him cry.
“I...did you know that it’s been 10 years since you got that bracelet?”
“Really? Oh, yeah,” Towa looked at his bracelet. “It’s cool, isn’t it?” After a moment, Towa remembered that his mom gave it to him. “ you miss Mom?” As far as he knew, it had been 10 years since she went missing.
“Do you think we’ll ever find her?” Bamba stared at the ground where Towa was standing. Where his mother was buried. And the boy didn’t even know it.
“I...don’t know,” Bamba mumbled.
“I hope we do!”
“Towa, just...stop talking.”
“Why? Don’t you want to find Mom?”
“...I know where she is” Bamba mumbled, trying not to cry.
“Where? Can I see her?”
“Why not?”
“She’s-you’re STANDING on her,” Bamba didn’t know how to say it.
“...what?” Towa looked down, taking a moment to understand. He ran into the cave when he realized what that meant. He curled into a ball on the floor and started to cry. Bamba tried to put a hand on his shoulder, but Towa hit it away, with actual force. “You’re an awful brother and I never wanna see you again!” Towa yelled all the things you yell when you’re mad.
“Towa...” Running away from his only remaining family, Bamba started crying as it started to rain.

Chapter Text

Towa didn’t know what to do. He decided to stay in the cave, since he could hear thunder.
Bamba was out there in the thunderstorm. He shouldn’t be.
Towa wanted to look for him, but promised to not leave unless there was an emergency...
...was this an emergency?
The next morning, it was sunny out. Towa decided to go to the Tatsui’s house. Because it’s more comfortable there.
He stopped when he saw the patch of grass where Bamba said his mother was buried.
Towa stopped and prayed.

 A few minutes later, there was a monster attack.
“I’m on my way,” Towa replied when Koh informed him.
And then he remembered that he said he never wanted to see his brother again...words that he now regretted.
Would Bamba be there?
“Ryusoul Change.”
Towa went anyways.
When Towa got there, Bamba wasn’t there. The other Ryusoulgers were there, and they also noticed Bamba’s absence.
“Where’s Bamba?” Melt asked after the monster got away.
“...I don’t know,” Towa admitted as everyone demorphed.
“...what do you mean?”
“I...I don’t know...he...I said...well he-mom...” Towa started getting upset as everything that happened over the last 24 hours came to him in a blur. He shook his head. “ birthday was yesterday,” he mentioned quietly.
“Happy birthday! Wanna go to Ui’s house, we can have cake!” Asuna offered.
“NO shut up,” Towa pushed the others away and sat on the ground, refusing to move.
“...should we go look for him? Would that help?” Towa looked away at Melt’s question.
“...I don’t know. I don’t think he wants to see me ‘cause I got really mad, and I...I don’t wanna go...”
“You can stay here. I’ll stay with you, Koh and Asuna will go look. Okay?”

 Koh and Asuna looked around for a long time. Bamba could be anywhere, and since he didn’t come to the monster fight, they assumed something was wrong.
“What do you think happened?” Koh asked, referencing whatever event made Towa upset.
“I don’t know. I don’t think it’s our place to say,” Asuna replied as she saw Bamba, who was asleep and drying in the sun. At first they thought he was dead, but he wasn’t hurt and after a moment they noticed him breathing.
“Thank goodness,” Asuna sighed as they approached.
“Wake up, Bamba,” the kids approached him.
“What?” Bamba grumbled. He didn’t seem that happy to see Koh and Asuna. “What are you doing?”
“Towa said-”
“Is he okay?”
“Yeah, though he seems upset,” Koh restarted his sentence. “Towa said he didn’t know where you were, and he didn’t want to go look. So we said we would help!”
“...does he want to see me?”
“Yeah? Well, he kept saying ‘I don’t know’, but I think he misses you,” Asuna clarified.
“Then let’s go.”

 Melt lead Towa over to a bench, and they sat there for a while. Melt responded when Towa asked him things, but didn’t make him go into any detail about what happened, since Towa didn’t seem fully able to comprehend it.
Eventually, Towa calmed down and fell asleep. Melt stayed with him, and the others found Bamba about an hour later. Melt gently nudged Towa awake as Bamba and the others approached.
“What...” Towa muttered before he noticed Bamba.
The brothers looked at each other like they were strangers. They didn’t know who should speak first.
“I’m sorry,” Towa spoke. “I...I’m glad you’re okay.”
“Me too. Sorry for ruining your birthday.”
“I missed you!”
“I missed you too.”
The brothers hugged each other.
They were together.
And everything was okay.

Chapter Text

Towa couldn’t sleep. He was on a comfy bed, his brother was next to him, he was wearing pajamas, it was very comfortable. But he couldn’t sleep.
“You okay?” Bamba asked as Towa shifted around and ended up on his back.
“I’m fine,” Towa declared, crossing his arms and closing his eyes.
In his dream, Towa was fighting the Druidons, and winning. It was awesome. He was so strong. Then, he started losing. The minosaur grew bigger, and there were somehow two now.
Towa called Tigerlance. Nothing happened.
“What? Tigerlance!” Towa tried again. A third minosaur appeared.
“What? No! What’s happening…?” Towa tried slashing at a minosaur’s foot from on the ground, but it was ineffective.
In the real world, Towa squirmed around on his side of the bed, and started crying.
“Towa, what’s wrong? Wake up!” Bamba heard his brother and started shaking him.
Towa sat up and started wiping his tears. He didn’t look at his brother.
“Towa? What happened?”
“There was a…there was Druidons and I was fighting the Druidons. And then…there was a minosaur, and then it grew giant. And there were more, and they were giant. And then I called Tigerlance but he didn’t come. And then I…” Towa started crying again.
“Don’t worry, it was only a dream. If something happened I would be there, and Tigerlance, and everyone else,” Bamba hugged his brother.
Towa went back to sleep, followed by Bamba.

The next morning, Towa sleeps in. Bamba tells the others he’s fine, so they leave him alone. At about 9 AM, Towa is still asleep, but his brain starts thinking of things. A new dream starts, where Towa goes outside while Bamba is still asleep. After running, Towa is in the forest, he has his sword, everything is good-what was that?
Ah, maybe it was nothing. Towa can’t see anything. He keeps running.
No, there it is again.
“I hear something,” Towa goes to his brother to tell him there’s something. But Towa…is lost. He doesn’t know where he is.
Something’s behind him. Towa tells himself to not turn around…
…and turns around. He sees a big lion, right behind him. Towa turns around and starts running immediately.
But the lion chases him and right before he can die, Towa wakes up. He looks over where he expects Bamba to be, but he’s not there.
“…Nii-san?” Towa got up and went to the kitchen for breakfast, having no idea what time it is.
“Oh, you’re awake! Bamba went for a walk,” Ui explained, as all the Ryusoulgers sat around eating breakfast. “Want breakfast?”
“Sure,” Towa replied, taking a second to sigh before being happy about breakfast.

The Ryusoulgers go through the day, and somehow there isn’t a monster attack. (Jupiter must be in alignment with Mars) The group hung out, watched TV, learns about YouTube from Ui, who’s uploading a video, and then, when the kids started getting ready for bed, Ui said she has something for Towa.
“What is it?” Towa asks, hoping it’s not a prank.
“I heard…that you had trouble sleeping last night, so,” Ui brought out a white stuffed goose with a black ribbon around its neck that looked like it was old, but in good condition. “this is Ducky. H-”
“No, that’s a goose,” Towa corrected her.
“But his name is Ducky. I was very young when I named him. He’s very soft and is good at snuggling to cheer me up when I’m sad, so I thought if you wanted something to help you sleep, you could have him. If you want,” Ui realized that this was awkward for both of them.
“Thanks,” Towa thought for a minute before gently taking the stuffed animal. Clearly it was important to her, so he could at least pretend to be serious. Besides, it was a very soft stuffed animal.
“Okay. Bye-bye Ducky, I hope you like Towa!” Towa played along and made the goose wave bye with its wing. “Goodnight,” the humans spoke to each other.
Towa went to bed hugging Ducky. Bamba noticed but didn’t say anything.

Towa had another bad dream that night. His eyes shot open, and he sat up clutching Ducky. He turned to wake his brother but looked at the stuffed animal he was holding. He pet its head.
“Hi Ducky,” Towa whispered as he snuggled the stuffed animal. He glanced over to see if Bamba was awake, not wanting his brother to see him. He turned back to the stuffed animal and smiled. “You’re soft,” he smiled as he fell back asleep.
The next morning, Bamba woke up before Towa, and noticed that a stuffed goose was on the floor. Bamba gently put the toy back into Towa’s arms, making the younger brother smile. Bamba smiled back as he got up quietly.
Towa woke up well-rested, not remembering any bad dreams or waking up in the middle of the night. He looked at the stuffed goose and wasn’t quite sure what to think. He just smiled. “Hi Ducky,” he spoke quietly even though nobody else was around. “Thanks for protecting me.”

Chapter Text

The minosaur fired attacks at the Ryusoulgers. It hit everyone twice, with the exception of Towa, who Bamba protected. “Are you guys okay?” Towa shielded his eyes but rushed over once the minosaur was gone. The others were gone. There were 4 kids, who all appeared to be under the age of 10, on the ground. They all had Ryusoul Changers.
“Koh, are you okay?” A boy with blue hair asked a younger boy who was wearing red.
“Yeah. Asuna?”
“I’m fine.”
Towa noticed an older kid, who looked like Bamba. Based on how the other kids seemed to be Koh, Melt, and Asuna, this kid was probably Bamba.
“Are you okay?” Melt asked Bamba.
“I’m fine,” Bamba answered.
“Uh, excuse me,” Towa got their attention.
“Who are you?” Koh asked. They all seemed wary of Towa.
“My name is Towa,” he introduced himself.
“Come on, let’s get back to Ui’s house and figure out what happened.” This got a bunch of responses from the kids.
“Who’s Ui?”
“Where’s the village?”
“What do you mean what happened did something bad happen?”
“Can I trust you?” Towa realized that these kids didn’t have any memories of being Ryusoulgers.
“Ui is a friend of mine. She’s very nice. The too far away to walk to right now, so we’re going to Ui’s house instead. I can explain that later. And you can trust me, I’m a Ryusoulger!” Towa showed the kids his Ryusoul Changer.
“Cool!” Thank goodness.
“I don’t want to go,” Bamba decided.
“Come on, n-” Towa stopped himself before he could call a 9-year-old ‘nii-san’. “Come on, just so I don’t have to worry about you?”
“You don’t have to worry about me. You’re not my parents.”
“Well, where are your parents?” Towa frowned, slightly worried about what the answer would be. Bamba didn’t answer, he just pushed Towa, who stumbled a little but was fine, and the kid ran away. Towa stood there for a minute until Melt got his attention.
“Are we going to Ui’s house now?”

 “So, Ui, something happened-”
“DINOSAURS!” Melt yelled as he saw Naohisa’s dinosaur fossils. “Coooool.”
“I wanna see!” Asuna pushed Melt out of the way with not that much force, but he fell to the ground.
“She pushed me!” Melt tattled from the ground.
“It was an accident!”
“Yeah right!”
“Seriously! I just wanted to see and you were in the way!” While the older two bickered, Koh looked at Ui and decided to hide behind Towa’s legs.
“WHAT is going on?” Naohisa asked over all the noise the older kids were making. Asuna and Melt looked up from where they were, with Asuna sitting on Melt to prevent him from getting up, and Koh stared at the grownups.
“Uh, there was a minosaur attack. And it made everyone turn into little kids,” Towa explained.
"She pushed me!” Melt spoke from under Asuna.
“He was blocking my view of the dinosaurs!”
“Get off of him,” Naohisa grabbed Asuna gently by the arms and lifted her up. “No fighting,” he spoke in a nice voice. “Can you two go watch TV quietly while the adults talk? It’s right over there,” he directed them to the living room.
“Okay.” As the kids left, Ui knelt down to Koh’s level.
“My name is Ui! What’s your name?”
“Hi Koh, nice to meet you! How old are you?”
Koh held up 4 fingers.
“Four?” Ui held up the same number of fingers. “That’s cool! Want to go watch TV with the others?”
“Okay!” Koh decided after a moment that Ui was nice and that he wanted to watch TV. He went to the living room, where Melt has successfully figured out how to use the TV remote. Ui glanced in and saw that they were watching a kid’s channel, so she left them alone.
“I’m going to look for Bamba,” Towa decided.
“Should we take their Changers? Koh’s looks too big for his wrist,” Ui pointed out.
“Yeah, maybe we should. They shouldn’t go into a fight in this state.” Ui went into the living room.

“What’s that?” Ui pointed to the Ryusoul Changer on Asuna’s wrist.
“A Dinosaur Bracelet!” Asuna smiled.
“Can I have your Dinosaur Bracelets, please?” Ui asked politely.
“Why?” Melt asked.
“Because you don’t need them right now.”
“Okay,” Melt decided that was a legit enough reason and told Asuna and Koh to give up theirs as well. Ui put them in a clear plastic bag, and on a high shelf.
“I’m going to look for Bamba. Do you want to come? I don’t think he trusts me.”
“Sure. Dad, the kids are watching TV, keep an eye on them.”

Once they left, Towa used the MieSoul (See Soul) to locate Bamba. He was running outside of town, though it wasn’t clear where he was going.
“He’s stopped for a moment, let’s hurry,” Towa observed. The grownups started running. They found Bamba sitting on a bench, at a park where there wasn’t a lot of people. On closer approach they noticed that he seemed sleepy.
“Excuse me,” Ui spoke quietly, bending down to be at the child’s height. “Are you lost?”
“No, I’m just taking a break before walking home,” Bamba decided, not making eye contact.
“Okay. Do you want a snack or anything? You look tired,” Towa added.
“I’m not hungry,” Bamba decided as his stomach growled.
“Are you sure? Not even a little bit?”
“...never mind. Are you Ui?”
“Yeah,” Ui answered. “Your friends are at my house watching TV. Do you want to come over for dinner?”
“They’re not my friends. But I guess,” Bamba figured out that the adults weren’t going to leave him alone.
“Okay. What do you want to eat?” It was about dinner time.
“I don’t care,” Bamba decided, which Ui decided meant curry.
“Well then, let’s go.”

Ui and Towa arrived home with Bamba and heard Melt implementing a “this is my side, this is Koh’s side, this is Asuna’s side” rule on the couch with imaginary lines.
“We’re back,” Ui called out, getting a “welcome home” in response. “Can we have curry hotpot for dinner? Preferably soon, I can help make it,” Ui asked her father.
“Of course,” he agreed.
Eventually, four small children, two sort-of adults and one man were fed.
After he finished eating, Bamba decided that he was done here.
“Thank you. I’m leaving now.”
“Where are you going?” Towa asked.
“Oh. Is it far?”
“Can I come with you to make sure you get home okay?”
Bamba looked at the floor, not answering that question. Towa waited.
“...I guess.”
“Okay, then let’s go.”

The brothers got up and left. Outside, it was getting cloudy and looked like it could rain. Bamba didn’t try to make small talk, and Towa knew that his brother hated small talk, so the brothers walked quietly. Bamba lead Towa to where he apparently lived, but after walking for a while and seeming confident that he was going the right way, Bamba froze.
“Shh!” Towa looked and saw the Druidons. Bamba stared and quickly dashed past them. This ruffled some grass and got the villains to look over. Bamba just kept running.
“Ryusoul Change!” Towa transformed and started fighting the Druidons. Bamba stopped running and hid behind a rock once he was far enough away. He had a Ryusoul Changer on his wrist but didn’t use it.
“I got you,” Towa grabbed Bamba and started running. Bamba stared, tears were forming in his eyes. Towa used the KakureSoul (Invisibility Soul) to hide both of them until they were a safe distance away.
“Shh, it’s okay now,” Towa crouched down as Bamba sniffled, trying not to cry.
“No,” Bamba looked at the ground.
“‘Cause the Druidons are back so I have to fight them ‘cept I can’t fight ‘cause I’m not ‘ficially a Ryusoulger! But I don’t know where my parents are and THEY’RE the Ryusoulgers! But I don’t want my parents to have to fight!” Towa tried to follow along as Bamba cried.
“Shh. It’s okay. I’ll protect you until we find your parents. Okay?” Towa was surprised when Bamba went in to hug him. He gently put his arms around the kid.
“Thanks, onii-san.” Towa didn’t know how to reply to that. He had always been the younger brother, the one needing protection.
“You’re welcome. Wanna keep going now?”
“I guess...” Bamba continued walking, slower this time. He occasionally glanced at Towa, who smiled nicely at him.
“I feel like I know you, but I don’t know how,” Bamba admitted quietly as he walked.
“Oh? That’s interesting. Like I remind you of someone?”
“Yeah, but I don’t...know why...”
“ you have any...friends, siblings, cousins...” Towa started listing things.
“, but...”

“Well, that’s interesting,” Towa shrugged, silently realizing that Bamba was so young that Towa hasn’t been born yet in his mind.
“I’m tired,” Bamba admitted when they got to a cave. Towa figured this was where Bamba lived, because he seemed comfortable. The kid lay down.
“Okay. You want me to stay here until your parents come back?”
"No thank you.” Bamba fell asleep quickly. Towa briefly wondered how much sleep Bamba got before he had to be responsible for Towa. He told Ui where he was, lay down in an area on the other side of the cave and fell asleep.

Ui managed to get three Ryusoulgers ready for bed, wearing old shirts as pajamas. The small children all fit on a futon mattress on the floor, so that’s where they slept with some small blankets.

The next morning, Towa woke up and saw that Bamba was awake, and probably had been for some time, tending to a fire.
“Good morning. You were sleeping all the way over here, so I thought you were getting cold,” Bamba explained.
Towa blinked. His older brother was back to normal. Maybe the minosaur effect wore off overnight.
“Oh, I…” Towa shrugged it off, not able to think of an answer. “Good morning!”
The brothers soon headed to the Tatsui’s house to see how the others were, with Towa explaining what happened yesterday on the way.

Melt lightly kicked someone next to him in his sleep. They kicked back. Melt opened his eyes to see that he was sleeping on a mattress with Asuna and Koh, wearing clothing he didn’t recognize and with no idea what happened. Melt quickly thought of things that could have happened, and hoped he was wrong.
“Guys…wake up,” he nudged them awake.
“What…happened?” Koh asked.
"I don’t remember much of yesterday,” Asuna admitted.
“Oh! You’re awake!” Ui glanced in. “Oh, thank goodness, you’re back to normal.”
“What do you mean?”
“The minosaur turned you all into children. Towa must have defeated the minosaur, he wasn’t affected.”
“Why are we wearing…” Koh didn’t know how to finish that sentence.
“Because when you were transformed into kids, we didn’t have any kid-size pajamas, so we let you wear old clothes. 4-year-old Koh LOVED that shirt, because it has sleeves, and he was flopping them everywhere because they were too long for him.”

Towa and Bamba showed up, with Naohisa having let them in.
“Hey. Oh good, you guys are back to normal,” Towa commented.
“Yeah, you defeated the minosaur!” Ui celebrated, referring to Towa.
“No, I didn’t,” Towa frowned. “I told you I was staying with Bamba, and then I fell asleep.”
“Oh. Then who did? I took everyone’s-Koh, Melt, and Asuna’s-Ryusoul Changers yesterday.”
“Can we have those back, that’s kind of important,” Asuna mentioned.
“Yeah, here,” Ui got the bag and handed the Changers back. Her phone buzzed. “Ah! Last night, a minosaur fight was caught on film! And it was…is there a RyusoulGold?” she asked the Ryusoulgers.
“Well, this article claims a RyusoulGold defeated a minosaur last night. It was recorded by someone from a distance. No other Ryusoulgers were on the scene.”
“I didn’t know there was a RyusoulGold!” Koh commented.
“There isn’t one,” Melt rolled his eyes. “Did it say who it is?”
“‘RyusoulGold’s identity is currently unknown, and he left shortly after the fight, not wanting to be followed.’ That’s what it says.”
“Cool. I wonder if he’ll show up at the next fight.”

Chapter Text

“This is all very interesting,” Canalo spoke. “But can I speak with you in private?” He asked Bamba, who hesitated for a moment but agreed. They stepped into another room.
“Why are you making your little brother fight?”
“Excuse me?”
“Have you seen him? He’s a baby! Why was he selected to fight, was there literally no one else in the village who could? I’m a good older brother, I wouldn’t make my sister fight,” Canalo judged the brothers, along with the entire village.
“We left the village. So, no there wasn’t anyone else. Towa is a great fighter, and he thinks I’m a good older brother.” Bamba replied.
“Why would you leave the village?” Canalo frowned.
“That’s none of your business. You can’t just show up and insult my brother and get away with it.”
“It’s not intended as an insult for him, really. He-“
“So is it an insult for me and my parents?”
“-seems to really like fighting, but no kid is like that naturally-“
“Answer the question,” Bamba interrupted.
“Well, was there a candidate to be RyusoulGreen besides him?”
That is none of your business,” Bamba repeated. “He’s perfectly capable of fighting the Druidons. More than you, I bet.”
“Really? That kid is more skilled than me? Who’s insulting who now?”
Bamba only glared in reply.
“This conversation is over,” he declared, turning to leave. Bamba left, and Canalo followed after a moment.

Towa wasn’t really sure what they were talking about, but he definitely heard his name. Bamba was probably mad at Canalo.
“Towa,” Koh spoke to get his attention.
“What are you thinking about?”
“Ah, nothing. I just zoned out,” Towa apologized.
A few minutes later, Bamba and Kanaro joined the others again, and Bamba was mad. He looked the same as he always did to everyone, but Towa knew that his brother was angry because his brows were slightly closer together than usual.
That night, when the brothers were alone, Towa decided to not let on that he knew, because he didn’t really know what had happened, but he wanted his brother to feel better.
“What did Canalo talk to you about?” Towa asked.
“That’s none of your concern, Towa,” Bamba sighed, trying to be polite.
“Okay,” Towa paused as he lay down. “You’re the best nii-san ever. I love you.”
Bamba smiled slightly as Towa glanced over.
“I love you too. Goodnight.”
Those sentences meant a lot to the brothers, even if they didn’t show it.

Chapter Text

“Ugh,” Melt woke up, not sure where he was. It appeared he was indoors. He was laying down. He started to sit up, but his head hurt, so he lay back down.
“Oh! He’s awake,” Koh ran over to Melt’s side. “Are you okay?”
“Dizzy...” Melt mumbled as he lay back down. “...hey, what happened?”
“There was a minosaur attack. Don’t you remember?” a young boy in a green tunic that Melt didn’t recognize asked him.
“N-no. Uh,” Melt wasn’t sure where he was or who half the people in this room were. All the people exchanged glances, and Melt decided to ask a question: “Where’s Master Blue?” Melt regretted asking that question, because nobody was answering. “What?”
“Melt, what’s the last thing you remember?” Koh asked gently.
“Uh, like last night? We-you, me, Asuna, and our Masters-spent all day training, and then we went fishing for supper. Asuna caught this GIANT fish that Master Red killed and we ate it. It was good! And then we went back to the village, but by the time we got there it was getting dark.” Melt did reference an event that happened, based on Asuna and Koh’s reactions.
“And that’s it? You’re sure?”
“Yes.” Melt looked around, realizing he was clearly not in the village. “...we did go back to the village, right?” He whispered to Koh.
“We did. But it’s been 6 months since then.”
“...oh.” Melt looked at the other people in the room, none of which he recognized. The young boy from before was smiling and trying to be friendly. A man next to the boy had a neutral expression on his face, but Melt saw concern in his eyes. A young girl seemed concerned but smiled at Melt when he made brief eye contact with her. Melt knew that they were probably harmless-except for that man who looks like he’s killed someone-but he was still scared and confused.
“It’s okay, they’re our friends-”
“Where’s Master Blue?” Melt asked again, more urgently this time.
“He’s...well, when the Druidons attacked, our Masters, they...they saved us. But the village was destroyed. So, we came here, and Ui and her father were nice enough to let us live here,” Koh pointed out the girl when he said Ui’s name.
“Wait, so he’s,” Melt started panicking at the thought of his Master being dead. “No, he can’t...he can’t be...”
“He is. Sorry,” Asuna spoke gently. Melt wiped away a few tears that started to fall, embarrassed to be crying in front of strangers.
“It’s okay. We can fix this. We just gotta beat a minosaur, which we’ve done before,” the boy said like it was easy. “I’m Towa.”
“Uh,” Melt looked around again and started standing up. He immediately fell on his knees, too weak to support his body.
“I think he should go back to sleep,” the man spoke in a gentler voice than Melt was expecting, but he was still intimidating.
“Lay down. It’s okay. Hey,” Asuna tried to get his attention, but Melt was focused on the man that he didn’t trust.
“Should I leave?” The man asked, making eye contact with Melt. Koh started saying no but Melt nodded and the man went upstairs. Melt sighed and lay back down. Towa frowned, like he was trying to decide what to do.
“I think I just want to be alone for a bit. I’ll tell you if I need anything,” Melt decided, trying to go back to sleep.
“Okay,” everyone left and went on with their day.

When Melt woke up again, Towa was sitting nearby playing a Nintendo Switch. Nobody else seemed to be around.
“Excuse me,” Melt got his attention. “Where is everyone?”
“Koh and Asuna are...watching TV. Ui’s working on a video, and nii-san...went for a walk,” Towa answered. Melt figured that the man from earlier was Towa’s brother. Melt looked past Towa and stared at the wall. Towa followed his gaze but didn’t see anything interesting. “What are you looking at?”
Melt blinked and came back to Earth.
“Nothing, I guess. Uh, am I supposed to know you?” Melt asked awkwardly.
“Yeah. We met about a month ago, though we haven’t talked much personally.”
“Why not?”
“I dunno, you’re kinda quiet,” Towa shrugged. Melt didn’t reply. As Towa turned back to his game, Melt stopped him.
“Can you keep me company? I don’t really wanna see the others right now, they’re loud.”
“Sure,” Towa smiled.
Melt ended up telling Towa about the village, about the village elder, about this time when they were six and “Asuna was trying to pet a squirrel but she startled it and it ran away and then she punched a rock and broke it and that’s how we found out Asuna has super-strength. Don’t tell her you know, she’s embarrassed about that.”
Melt fell asleep shortly after that. Towa quietly got up and spoke into his Ryusoul Changer.
“Did you defeat the minosaur or do you need my help?”
“We did it, we’re coming back now. Is Melt asleep now?” Koh asked.
“Yeah. Should I try to wake him?”
“Leave him alone, let’s hope he wakes up with all his memories. If he’s awake before we get there be nice,” Bamba replied.
“I was SO nice earlier hey he told me this story about- wait never mind,” Towa saved himself from Asuna’s wrath.
“I’m trying to sleep,” Melt mumbled.
“Oh! Sorry.”
“Where are the others?” Melt asked as Towa came back over.
“They’re...there was a minosaur attack, so...”
“And you didn’t wake me? Why not?”
“Uh,” Towa hesitated. “What’s the last thing you remember?”
“There was a minosaur attack yesterday. The minosaur was attacking innocent people and knocking them out, and you guys went to save the civilians and I used the NobiSoul (Extend Soul) to attack from a distance and not get hurt. Then after head hurt a lot, and I got tired. And I’ve been asleep since then.”
“And you just woke up now?” Towa clarified, wondering if Melt remembered their interactions earlier.
“...yeah. Why are you asking?”
“Just curious. The others are on their way back now.”
“Okay. Why didn’t you go to the fight?”
“To keep an eye on you! Because you were asleep. Though it was pretty boring,” Towa shrugged off the ‘keep me company’ and all the stories Melt told him. According to Melt, he wasn’t supposed to know those stories.
He could pretend nothing happened. Everything was back to normal.

Chapter Text

During a fight, the minosaur kept saying the word “change” and firing beams at two things, but the beams didn’t seem to do any damage. And it was only hitting objects, since the Ryusoulgers were successfully dodging.
“Change!” The minosaur fired a beam at Towa, who demorphed and fell unconscious but wasn’t otherwise hurt.
“Towa!” Bamba ran over to his brother to try to wake him up.
“Change!” The minosaur fired the other beam at Bamba, who demorphed as well.
Asuna and Melt went to make sure they were okay, and Koh scared the minosaur away.
“I think the beams just made them unconscious. They seem fine,” Melt observed. He picked up Towa, and Asuna carried Bamba, and everyone went back to the Tatsui’s house.

“Ugh,” Bamba woke up at the Tatsui’s house. “My head hurts...”
“He’s awake! Towa, are you okay?” When Koh said his brother’s name, Bamba glanced around frantically for his brother, and only saw...his own body, lying right next to him.
...if Bamba could see himself in third person, what was going on?
“ I dead?” Bamba concluded, scared that the answer was yes because if he was dead Towa wouldn’t have a family.
“No, are you okay? You look concerned,” Ui answered.
“Where’s Towa?”
Nobody answered. Everyone looked either concerned or like they were trying not to laugh.
“Where’s-” Bamba made a fist, ready to yell and demand answers, but it felt different. He paused, and looked at his hands.
These...were not his hands. They were small and more gentle. Bamba looked down and noticed that he was wearing a green tunic and capris.
Towa wasn’t missing. And Bamba wasn’t dead.
Bamba was Towa.
“Uh,” Bamba, now realizing that he was in Towa’s body, relaxed his fist. He looked at the others and frowned. But since everyone saw Towa doing it they perceived it as a small, confused, scared frown.
“Is something wrong?” Koh asked in a caring and gentle tone of voice that Bamba hated but couldn’t react negatively to.
“Is...nii-san okay?”
“He seems okay...wanna wake him up, or should we let him sleep?”
“Wake up,” Bamba made his voice urgent and Ui started going towards Bamba’s body. Which, hypothetically, should actually be Towa.
“Bamba, are you okay?” Luckily, Bamba was a much lighter sleeper than Towa (under normal circumstances) so Bamba’s body woke easily when Ui put her hand on his shoulder.
“I’m-” Towa, in Bamba’s body, looked at the others, and then looked at Towa’s body and let out a yelp, which surprised everyone because that was very strange for Bamba to do.
“Don’t freak out. I have a reputation,” Bamba spoke to his body.
“What?” Asuna looked at the brothers, trying to figure out what was going on.
“B...b-b-but...uh, you’re me! I this a dream? I...”
“I said don’t freak out!”
“...the minosaur swapped your bodies!” Melt realized. “That’s what that beam was! It makes both bodies fall unconscious and switches their brains, so when they wake up they’re in each other’s bodies and don’t know what happened!”
“Great, can we switch back now?” Towa asked, crossing Bamba’s arms and using his voice.
“I...don’t know how to do that,” Melt admitted.
“But I do,” Bamba got up as Towa and grabbed a sword and started to leave.
Where are you going in my body?” Towa demanded in Bamba’s voice.
Whoa, Bamba’s voice was intimidating when he wasn’t technically the one using it.
“ find out who made the minosaur and...”
“Yeah, let’s not do that. I have a reputation too.”
“I agree with-“ Melt paused to figure out who was who. “-Towa. If the minosaur is defeated before you switch back, we don’t know that you’ll go back to normal.”
“I guess. I wanna go back to sleep...why did you wake me...being a grown-up is tiring,” Towa concluded after approximately 3 minutes of being a grown-up.
“The minosaur is back!” Ui announced.
“Let’s go,” Bamba said from Towa’s body, making him sound more enthusiastic than Bamba usually is.

When they found the Drunn Soldiers, everyone went to transform by default.
“Ryusoul Change!”
It was only after they transformed that they realized that Towa and Bamba...had...successfully transformed, somehow, with a tall RyusoulGreen and a shorter RyusoulBlack.
“How did that work?” Everyone stopped and stared.
“Well, it worked, so let’s just do our job,” Bamba decided, running ahead in Towa’s faster, more energetic body.
The Ryusoulgers fought the minosaur and Drunn Soldiers. Towa started to run, but tripped and fell because Bamba was taller and his feet were bigger and heavier.
“Ow...I was not expecting that,” Towa commented before getting up and continuing to fight.
“Change!” The monster fired its beams again.
“Quick! Over here!” Bamba ran over to Towa and the siblings got ready to be switched back.
And the minosaur was so stupid that it actually worked.
Unfortunately, this knocked out the brothers.
“Could have used a bit more warning on that, but let’s defeat the minosaur!” Koh commented. The trio of remaining Ryusoulgers took out the minosaur with a final slash.

Bamba woke up at the Tatsui house and looked around, and saw Towa next to him, still asleep. Since Towa had complained earlier about being tired (to be fair, being an adult is tiring) Bamba shushed the other Ryusoulgers and let his brother sleep until he naturally woke up on his own.
“Good afternoon, did you sleep well?”
“I had a dream where I was nii-san,” Towa smiled.
“Did you like it?”
“Yeah! But I was less fast,” Towa frowned.
“I’m fast! Did anything else happen? In the dream?”
“...I don’t know. It was scary at first but then I decided it was a dream and everything made more sense that way.”
Everyone else glanced at each other, silently saying ‘don’t tell him it wasn’t a dream’.
So they didn’t.

Chapter Text

Towa didn’t remember his parents that much. He knew that they were very kind. He remembered them hugging him and remembered his mother saying “I love you” every night. And he remembered they were happy. All of his memories (though there weren’t many), he remembered they were smiling. Always.
He remembered how one day, his parents disappeared. Towa didn’t understand, at only 5 years old. He didn’t know what happened, and Bamba wouldn’t explain.
Towa decided they were invisible. And that worked for a while: his parents were invisible and he treated them like imaginary friends. He still called them Mommy and Daddy. But they could do whatever he wanted them to (which could have probably gotten Towa getting killed doing something stupid if Bamba didn’t stop him).
Then one day, after doing this for about a month* Bamba decided to stop this. He told Towa to stop talking to Mom and Dad, stop playing with them, stop pretending.
So he did. He didn’t get an explanation about why he had to stop. Bamba didn’t really explain things. But he seemed serious about it, so Towa listened.
Things were quieter after that. Towa played less, since he couldn’t pretend as much. He played with imaginary creatures that he completely made up, but not people. Bamba didn’t comment on this, and Towa eventually grew out of it as he realized that minosaurs were a very real threat.
Things changed, and Towa grew up, but one thing stayed consistent: Towa’s fear of thunder. Ever since he was a baby, Towa cried during thunderstorms.
He remembered his mother holding him during thunderstorms. It felt safe. It felt comforting, and he was relaxed. It was his brain recognizing that Mommy was here now, and everything was okay.
As much as Bamba tried, he couldn’t match that same level that his mother could. There was something different about it. Towa thought that it was how his mother was more gentle, since Towa had always been fragile and tiny for her, and Towa and Bamba obviously grew up together.
It was one thing that Towa remembered perfectly clear about his mother. She held him, no matter what was going on she was calm, and she reminded Towa that “I love you”.
Now, with a storm just outside, with the thunder and lightning, Towa tried to remember that feeling. That safe, gentle touch and the “I love you”. The teenager fell asleep as the storm raged on. And for the first time in a long time, he replied.
“I love you too, Mommy.”

Chapter Text

Bamba had a lot of memories from before he became an older brother. They were mostly boring and vague, but there were a few memories that stood out. When he was 6, he found a stuffed animal that someone had lost in the woods, probably while a family was camping. It was a teddy bear. He took the item to his parents, wanting to keep it, but they took him to the nearby campsite office, and made him return it. It was put in the Lost and Found, and Bamba never saw it again.

When Bamba found out he was going to be an older brother, he acted happy. He wasn’t exactly thrilled, but once he learned that he would be Responsible now, he got interested in it.
When Towa was born, it was boring. Towa cried a lot as a newborn, and Bamba had to learn to sleep with noise in the background as the baby cried and his parents comforted them.
Sometimes Towa threw up. One time, Towa threw up on his father, who got really upset. Obviously it wasn’t on purpose. But his dad got mad either way, saying it doesn’t matter that it was an accident.
His parents started fighting more once Towa was born. Towa didn’t know any different, but Bamba noticed. But their mother always told Towa and Bamba that she loved them.
Sometimes their dad did too, but not nearly as often.
When Towa was 5 years old, their mother killed their father, and then herself, in the middle of the night. Bamba was lucky to wake up first, he panicked and didn’t know what to do so he threw them into a ditch. And he decided to not tell Towa what happened. Towa played with his parents as imaginary friends. Bamba told himself that imaginary friends were normal, and Towa doing this was okay. But Towa didn’t know fiction from reality. He talked to his parents like they were really there. And because he was a kid, Towa tried to use a “but (Mom/Dad) said I could!” as an excuse to do whatever he wanted. Eventually, Bamba put a stop to this. Towa moved on to play with imaginary creatures, clearly not humans, and grew out of it on his own as Bamba made him train more. One thing that always stressed Bamba out was Towa’s fear of thunder. Towa was scared of thunder as a baby, since it was a loud, sudden, uncontrollable sound. Their mother would stay up all night when Towa cried, and Bamba couldn’t sleep when that happened, knowing his little brother was scared.
And then their parents died, and the next time Towa cried over a storm, Bamba had to help him. He held the 5-year-old, and tried to reassure him that it was okay. Eventually, Towa fell asleep.
As Towa grew up, he seemed to develop coping mechanisms independently, and Bamba had to help him less. This was proven one night when there was a big storm outside, Towa and Bamba had barely managed to stay dry, and even with all the thunder and lightning, Towa started to fall asleep, and Bamba heard him mumble “I love you too, Mommy”.
Towa was safe, whatever he was thinking of. He was falling asleep, and Bamba wouldn’t interfere.
Bamba fell asleep after that.

Chapter Text

Everyone watched as the monster hit Towa with a weird ray, causing him to demorph. There was a flash of light, and then Towa was on the ground, about 3 years old, sleeping peacefully.
“He seems fine. I mean, he’s a baby, but he’s not hurt,” Koh reported. “Towa, wake up.”
Bamba gently came over and picked his brother up, letting him sleep. He shushed everyone else.
“Towa had a lot of energy when he was little, I don’t want to wake him yet.”
The group headed back to the Tatsui house with Towa still asleep. All of Towa’s clothes scaled down when he did (AKA: his clothes fit) but since the Ryusoul Changer was meant for adults, Bamba took it away and put it out of child’s reach.

A few minutes later, the group left to go fight the minosaur that had attacked and turned Towa back to a child. While they were out, Towa woke up on the couch.
“Good morning,” he said, looking around and slowly realizing he had no idea where he was.
“Good morning,” Ui, who had stayed home, replied, even though it was the afternoon. Towa didn’t recognize her, and his first thought was that he had been kidnapped. He looked at Ui, who smiled innocently, and started running away with wide eyes.
“Hey! Where are you going?” Ui asked as Towa ran to the front door, but Ui grabbed the doorknob before he could leave. The kid started crying, and Ui realized that Towa perceived her as a threat.
“Hey,” she knelt down to his height. “Did I scare you?” Towa nodded, still crying. “I’m sorry!” She went to wipe away his tears, but Towa hit her hands away. “My name is Ui. What’s your name?” Ui asked, staying still.
“Towa,” he answered, still not looking at her.
“Nice to meet you. Let’s stay inside. Want to watch TV?” Towa shook his head at the offer.
“Okay. Are you hungry?” He shook his head.
“Are you scared of me because I’m a stranger?” He nodded.
“Okay. Bamba will be here soon, so you should wait for him.” Towa nodded, but paused after a second.
“You know nii-san?”
“Yeah,” Ui had to think fast. “He dropped you off here. He went…out to…training. He’ll be back soon.”
Towa decided this was legit and walked away from the door. He looked at everything and noticed the dinosaur fossils.
“Careful! Look but don’t touch,” Ui instructed as Towa went to touch one. As she said that, the door opened and the Ryusoulgers came in. “Welcome back,” Ui greeted them. Towa attempted to pick up a rock, dropped it on his foot, and started crying.
“What did you do?” Ui asked, having only looked away for a second. Bamba came over and saw the rock on the ground. He put it on a table and picked Towa up, taking Towa’s socks off and revealing a bruise forming on his left foot.
“How did that happen?” Bamba asked, looking at Towa, who wasn’t looking at him. He put the kid down on the couch. Towa curiously touched his foot, discovered that it hurts when you touch bruises, and continued crying. “I can wait.”
“The monster changes people into kids, and they don’t seem to remember what happened. There’s a lot of scared kids at the city,” Melt reported what happened at the monster attack.
“Yeah, we kept telling them to stay and wait for their parents,” Asuna added.
“We told a police officer what happened, they’re dealing with it. I feel bad for them,” Koh said.

Meanwhile, Bamba waited for Towa to stop crying.
“The rock hurted me!” Towa decided as his explanation.
“Why did the rock hurt you?” Bamba asked calmly, following the explanation like it made sense and the rock was an entity with free will. Towa didn’t answer. “I think you made the rock angry when you picked it up. So it became too heavy, and you dropped it and hurt your foot. Can someone get me some ice?” he turned to the grown-ups, who were surprised at how Bamba handled the situation.
Melt rushed to get an ice pack, and gave it to Bamba, who put it on Towa’s foot. Towa squirmed. “Stay still!”
“Cold!” Towa shrieked.
“Yes. It’s ice,” Bamba pointed out.
“You’ll be fine,” Koh commented. Towa looked at him suspiciously. “I’m Koh. That’s Melt and Asuna,” Koh introduced them once he realized Towa didn’t know them. Towa waved, not saying anything.
“Towa, can you hold this?” Bamba asked, referring to the ice pack. Towa made a face when he touched it but held it in place anyways. Bamba gestured for everyone else to huddle.
“When he was little we told Towa that everything was alive, like plants and animals, so he would be gentle. But he thought that means everything has a brain and free will, so you have to explain things happening like it’s happening between him and another person or an animal.”
“Okay. If there’s a minosaur again what should we do?”
“Ui, you can watch him, right?”
“Yeah. I’ll keep him safe.”
“A minosaur?” Towa heard. “There’s a minosaur?”
“No, we were saying if there was. There won’t be a minosaur. Right guys?” Koh turned to the others.
“Yeah, we’re just being silly. There’s never any minosaurs around here!” Asuna laughed.

A few minutes after that, there was a minosaur attack in the city.
“Guys, there’s a-” Ui paused since she remembered them saying no minosaur attacks ever happen. “-a movie that I think you should see at the theatre! It starts soon. It’s downtown. It’s a cool action movie, if you want to be on time you should probably go now.”
“I wanna go to a movie,” Towa decided.
“You have to be able to sit quietly for 2 hours before you’re old enough to go to a movie,” Bamba knew Towa wouldn’t be able to do that as a kid. “Ui, stay with Towa. Towa, listen to Ui.”
“Okay,” Towa agreed. The others left in a hurry. “Why are they leaving so fast?” Towa asked.
“They’re in a hurry to get to the movie. They don’t want to be late!”

“Do you still need the ice or can I take it away now?” Ui asked. Towa decided the best way to decide would be to touch his bruise again. It still hurt, and he began crying again.
“Don’t touch it, that will make it worse. Wanna do something else?”
“Like what?” Towa was curious.
“We can watch TV or draw. Which one?”
Towa chose drawing.
“Okay. Stay here, I’ll get paper and crayons,” Ui thought out loud. “I’ll be right back.”
Ui got some white computer paper from next to the printer, and a box of crayons from a closet. When she got back, Towa was fiddling with the TV remote, but hadn’t figured out where the Power button was.
“What are you doing?” Ui asked, putting the paper and crayons on the coffee table.
“I got bored,” Towa answered. He found the Power button and the TV had wrestling on.
“Let’s not watch people punch each other. Give me that,” Ui held a hand out for the remote and blocked Towa’s view of the TV.
“I was watching that,” Towa frowned as Ui turned off the TV.
“Let’s draw instead,” Ui decided, carrying Towa over to the coffee table, getting a piece of paper for each of them. “What do you want to draw?”
Towa looked at the crayon colours and picked a green crayon. “This is my most favouritest colour,” he announced as he started to draw with it.
“Cool. What colour is that?” Ui asked. Towa frowned as he tried to think of the word.
“That’s green. This is yellow,” Ui showed Towa the crayon she was using and then started drawing flowers. She looked at Towa’s drawing, which appeared to be a lot of green scribbles trying really hard to look like a person. Towa switched to a brown crayon and started adding it over the head of the green person.
“What are you drawing?” Ui decided to ask.
“Me! Next I’ll draw nii-san,” Towa switched to a black crayon and started drawing his brother. It looked pretty similar to Towa’s drawing of himself, just taller. “Nii-san uses a lot of black and not a lot of other colours,” Towa observed as he coloured Bamba’s clothes and hair black.
“Is black his most favouritest colour?” Ui remembered the grammar Towa had used earlier as she drew the sun in the corner of her paper and added a sky.
“Probably. How do you write “Towa”? the child asked, wanting to put his name on his paper.
“Here, do you want to do it? Make a line…” Ui guided Towa’s hand on the paper to write his name.
As Towa was about to ask how to write Bamba, everyone except Bamba came in.

“Welcome back,” Ui greeted them.
“Where’s nii-san?” Towa noticed.
“He decided to stay and watch the movie,” Melt remembered the excuse from earlier.
“Okay. I made him a picture! How do you write ‘Bamba’?” Towa asked. Ui helped him write his brother’s name.
“What did you make? Can you show us?” Asuna asked, excited.
“Me and nii-san!” Towa held up the picture for everyone to see.
“Good job!” Koh genuinely thought it was good, Melt knew to act like it was good, and Melt nudged Asuna and she congratulated him as well.
“When will nii-san be back?” Towa asked.
“In a few hours. Movies are pretty long.”
“Okay. Wanna watch TV there were people going-”
“Do NOT punch anything not even the air,” Ui stopped him quickly. “There was wrestling on TV,” she translated.

The group sat around until 5 minutes later, when Towa decided he was bored and started running, ignoring the fact that he hurt his foot.
“Where are you going?”
“First of all, no running inside. Second of all, if you’re done with the crayons, please clean them up,” Ui instructed.
Towa put away the black, green, and brown crayons that he used, but then ignored the yellow, pink, and red that Ui had used.
“I didn’t use those ones,” was Towa’s excuse when this was pointed out.
“I told you to put away the crayons. I’ll put away the paper, that way it’s fair,” Ui picked up the pile of unused paper and left. Towa put away the rest of the crayons.
“Now outside!”
“Let’s wait for Ui to get back. She’s in charge.”
Ui walked into the room a moment later.
“Now outside!”
“Let’s put on sunscreen, it’s pretty hot out today.”
“Now outside!”
“Put on your shoes- fine, don’t wear shoes when your feet were already hurt, that’s not a bad idea or anything.”
“OWIIIIEEEEE the ground hurt my foot!”
“Come put your shoes on.”
“Don’t wanna go outside. My foots hurts.”
The adults collectively sighed.
“I guess we’ll stay inside then.”

“I’m tired.” Towa looked around. “Where’s Blankie?”
“…what’s it look like?”
“It’s thiiiis big,” Towa stretched his arms. “And is like the colour of grass and sun and in my backpack.”
“Where’s your backpack?”
“Uh…” Towa started running around, looking for his bag.
“If you can’t find it we can get something from storage,” Ui offered.
“No! I want MINE blankie,” Towa started looking in Koh’s bag and dumped it out.
“Hey! Don’t dump out my bag! That’s not nice,” Koh started cleaning up his things.
“Stop running,” Melt said, grabbing Towa’s hand. “Say sorry to Koh.”
“You were going to look through his bag without permission! That’s not very nice. You hurt his feelings,” Melt explained since Koh was frowning.
“…sorry,” Towa felt guilty as he apologized to Koh.
“I accept your apology. Can you help clean up my things, and then I’ll help you look for your blankie?”
“Blankie!” Towa remembered and started running again and got 2 seconds away from repeating the same incident with Melt’s bag before he stopped and yawned.
“I’m tired.”
“Go to sleep.”
“I need blankie!”
“If we can’t find your bag then blankie isn’t here. We can find something else-”
“MINE BLANKIEEEEEEEE” Towa screamed, insistent that he needed this specific blanket to fall asleep.
“No screaming. I’m taking you upstairs for time-out. Ui will look for a blanket that has yellow and green,” Melt picked up Towa and calmly handled the situation as Towa struggled to get free by kicking and hitting.
Upstairs, Ui found a blanket with green and yellow, and Melt kept Towa in a time-out for five minutes-it was originally three, but he added one for hitting and one for Towa trying to guilt Melt out of punishing him by crying. When the five minutes were up, Melt took Towa back downstairs, where he fell asleep without complaining.
“How did you know how to do that?” Asuna asked quietly once Towa was asleep.
“I put up with you guys for 200 years,” Melt replied.
“So, is Bamba…okay?” Ui asked, hoping Towa wouldn’t hear.
“He…was still fighting, he said he would finish it…we should go check,” the trio left.
Towa returned to normal about 10 minutes later, still asleep.

The Ryusoulgers came back 5 minutes after that with a very hurt Bamba, who was insisting he was fine, and he could totally take care of himself, seconds from passing out.
Once Bamba was patched up, Towa naturally woke up.
“I had a strange dream,” Towa announced.
“If you were 3 years old, hurt your foot, and had a tantrum over a blankie, it wasn’t a dream.”
“…wait WHAT THAT WAS REAL oh that means I have a picture for-” Towa got up, ignoring a small bruise on his left foot to get the picture he drew for Bamba.
“…nii-san? This looks so stupid,” Towa looked at his 3-year-old self’s drawing. “Uh, I made you a picture…it sucks but…” he showed his brother the picture. “That’s me and that’s you.”
“This…” Bamba looked at this picture, still conscious by sheer willpower keeping his eyes open at this point. “…thank you.”
“A-are you gonna be okay?” Towa noticed how serious the state his brother was in really was.
“I’ll be fine…thanks for the picture…” Bamba closed his eyes.
Towa noticed that he was still breathing, so Bamba really was just asleep.
“You were a difficult child,” Ui commented. “I took my eye off you for a second and you dropped a rock on your foot how did you even manage to lift that?”
“I wanted to see the rock! But it was heavy, and I dropped it.”
“The sunscreen was the best part,” Asuna decided. Everyone smiled.
“No, Towa asking for help writing was easily the best,” Ui decided. “You just weren’t here for it.”
“I liked it better when I thought I had a dream,” Towa decided.

Chapter Text

Ui, like most kids, had imaginary friends. When she was 8, she had a group of imaginary friends, people from a faraway land called the Ryusoul Tribe, a tribe she made up where immortal knights lived. The characters she made up were all old by human standards (since they’re immortal, they age slower) but they looked like normal kids ranging in age from 2-14.
Ui made the following characters:
Koh was a very childish and kind knight. He was also brave, and a good leader. He knew how to cheer the others up, both the other imaginary friends and Ui.
Melt was a smart knight, who knew everything and had a perfect memory that remembered everything in detail. He helped Ui study for school. He encouraged her to ask questions when she didn’t know things and was always eager to learn.
Asuna was Ui’s imaginary best friend. She was super strong and pretty. She loved eating food, especially meat. Asuna loved having sleepovers with Ui, where Ui’s dad would order pizza and the girls would watch movies and eat junk food. Koh, Melt, and Asuna were all 80 years old, or 8 years old in maturity.
Towa was Ui’s only imaginary friend younger than her, created as a baby brother for her to be a big sister to. He was very energetic and loved animals and helped Ui think of arguments for Why I Want A Puppy Please Dad Please Please Please (it didn’t work). Towa was about 20 years old, or 2 in maturity.
Bamba was Towa’s older brother, someone to take care of Towa when Ui went to school (since Towa wasn’t school-age. And because he’s imaginary.). Ui viewed him as an adult and didn’t play with him as much. She made him the responsible one, the one who told her to go to bed and make sure you brush your teeth. He was probably Ui’s least favourite. Bamba was 140, or 14 in maturity.
A little bit later, she made two more friends: Canalo and Oto. Canalo was 130 (13) and Oto was 60 (6). Ui made them part of the Ryusoul Tribe of the Sea, characters who lived underwater like mermaids but looked like humans. Canalo was generally made to fill the same purpose as Bamba-to take care of Oto, his little sister. Oto was made as another female friend for Ui, joining them at sleepovers. She also used Oto to come up with Why I Want A Puppy Please Dad Please Please Please (it still didn’t work).
Ui also made a villain for her stories-an armour named Gaisorg. The armour was evil and could possess people. The armour would try to defeat the Ryusoul Tribe. Ui didn’t know who was in the armour. It was a mystery to everyone.
About 13 years later, after Ui grew up, stopped having imaginary friends, sort of forgot about them, and became a YouTuber, she met the Ryusoulgers: three people named Koh, Melt, and Asuna, whose village was destroyed, and they needed a place to stay. Ui asked her dad, and he let them stay with her.
Feeling like she knew them somehow, Ui went to look through a box of crafts in the attic-stories she had written and pictures she had drawn-of Koh, Melt, Asuna, Towa, Bamba, Canalo, and Oto. There were many storybooks with covers drawn in pencil crayon (stories were written in pencil and had page numbers and chapters and everything.)
…were they imaginary?

Chapter Text

‘If I had to attack the others, could I?’ Towa thought to himself as Koh hesitated to attack illusions of Ui, Asuna, and Melt. Actually, he didn’t hesitate on Melt. ‘Would he hesitate if it was me? Or nii-san?’
Since it was the middle of a fight, Towa didn’t have too much time to think about this. But he thought about it that evening, when he was alone. He sat up against a wall and closed his eyes.
Could he attack the others? If it technically wasn’t them. It just looked and acted like them.
Koh...he probably could. He could. Towa could fight Koh no problem, regardless of him being a fake or real. When they were competing for the map, Towa and Koh fought each other easily.
Melt...Towa didn’t really have any attachment to Melt. So, yes. He could. Melt wasn’t a bad person or anything, but Towa didn’t really consider him a best friend. Though, Melt did seem upset when Koh attacked the illusion when it looked like him. strong. She could defend herself if Towa attacked her for real, and in this scenario it’s not real. So it’s not a problem. not strong. She’s really innocent and has no fighting skills-anything that happened with the minosaur fight was accidental, and Ui wouldn’t attack them on purpose, right? Maybe if she was mad...but Towa had never seen Ui mad. Towa couldn’t attack his brother, even if it was fake. But...Bamba would defend himself if it was real. Would he defend himself if it was fake? If he was really fighting a minosaur, Towa wouldn’t hold back. If the minosaur looked like Bamba, and didn’t fight back, Towa would feel...wrong. He would regret it immediately. Even if it was fake, he couldn’t attack if it looked like his brother. Not with the intention of hurting him.

Towa opened his eyes when he felt a hand on his shoulder.
“No, go back to sleep. I was just making sure you were okay,” Bamba said, taking his hand off his brother’s shoulder.
“I’m...okay,” Towa decided, closing his eyes and going back to his thoughts.

Towa felt weird about what he had decided-he could defeat a fake Koh, Melt, and Asuna easily, but not Ui because she’s not a fighter. He didn’t want to hurt her. The only other person he didn’t want to attack was Bamba, because it felt wrong to attack his older brother to hurt him on purpose.
But why Ui?
Was it because she’s a normal human, not a Ryusoulger? Was it because she couldn’t fight? Was it because she was too cute and Towa didn’t want to see her hurt?
Wait, what? Why did he think of that?
Well, she was an innocent person who shouldn’t get involved in fighting. Towa didn’t know if she had a fighting background. He had seen her as an illusion earlier today, where she was acting completely amazed at being a giant. She flinched when Koh went to attack her! Towa wouldn’t attack her! Or Bamba, or Asuna, or Melt or Koh! Even if he physically could, he wouldn’t do it by choice.

Towa started crying quietly. Bamba noticed, and shook him awake. Towa’s vision was blurry, but he recognized his brother.
“What’s wrong?” Bamba asked.
“I...was thinking. About...” Towa dried his eyes. “If...if I had to fight the minosaur like how Koh did. If it looked you. I wouldn’t want to hurt you. Even if it’s not really you.”
“Well, the minosaur was defeated, so you don’t have to.”
“Would...” Towa gasped as he thought of a question and decided to go through with asking it. “...if the minosaur looked like as an illusion, would you...?” Towa was shaking as he asked. He looked at the ground, doing his best not to cry.
It was quiet for a long time. Towa was worried that Bamba actually had to think about the answer, like there was a chance he could say yes.
“I would never attack if it was you. I couldn’t hurt you, minosaur or not. I promise.” Bamba took his time to think of and say the answer, but he did eventually answer. Bamba sat down next to Towa. “But that’s not something to worry about, because the minosaur is gone now. And we’re okay. Everything is okay.”
“Yeah. I know. I was just...” Towa’s voice trailed off as he put his head on Bamba’s shoulder and sighed.
Towa fell asleep with his head on Bamba’s shoulder, making his brother unable to move for the rest of the night.

Chapter Text

The mall was big. Everyone had some money, and Ui said to contact her if you wanted some more (Ui doesn’t have endless money, but she is an at-least-mildly-famous YouTuber so...)
Everyone split up. Asuna went clothes shopping, Koh went to look around, Towa went to look at video games, Melt went to the bookstore, and Bamba decided to just sit down and take a nap. Ui was generally vlogging and having fun.
Towa looked at some gaming/nerdy stores and found some t-shirts that he wanted to try on. He found them in his size and went to a fitting room to try on 4 items.
While he was taking his shirt off, Towa decided to take off his bracelet and Ryusoul Changer. He left them on the floor, and kind of forgot about it as he tried on different items.
Towa bought 2 shirts, remembered his Ryusoul Changer, and left the store.
Next, Towa went to look at action figures. He took out his Green Ryusoul to see what it looked like in comparison to other things, and a store employee told him to put the items back when he was done if he didn’t buy anything. Towa didn’t buy anything and left the Green Ryusoul.
Towa went to look at bracelets, took off the Ryusoul Changer, and realized that he lost his bracelet. He left the Ryusoul Changer since he was in a rush, and an employee put it away in the back, so it wouldn’t be lost further.
Towa went back to the previous store and skimmed the area for his bracelet. He didn’t find it, so after a few minutes, he started to head back to the first store when there was an announcement over the intercom, throughout the mall:
“Customer announcement. We have lost a child in the mall. We are looking for a boy, age 144, wearing a green tunic and tan pants. If you see him, please notify security so his brother can pick him up. Thank you for your cooperation.”
“Hey, I’m 144,” Towa said, temporarily forgetting that being 144 was strange to most people. An employee of a random store heard this, contacted security, and told Towa to stay in their store.
“But I’m looking for my bracelet!” Towa complained. He listened anyways.
Bamba showed up, confirmed with security that everything was okay, and hugged Towa. “Thank goodness you’re okay I tried contacting you on the Ryusoul Changer and you weren’t answering, and I thought something happened,” Bamba said quickly and quietly. “Where is your Ryusoul Changer?”
“I lost my bracelet!” Towa could only focus on one lost item at a time.
“My bracelet with the green gem I can’t find it I had it earlier!”
“Okay, come on, let’s look for it. What stores did you go to?”
They went to the first store Towa had gone to, the store he bought the shirts from, and Bamba helped him ask if they could look in the fitting rooms for a lost item. They did, and Bamba found Towa’s bracelet and helped him put it back on, thanking the employees as they left.
“Where’s your Ryusoul Changer?” Bamba focused on the more important thing. “What store did you go to next?”
“Umm...well then, I went to look for...oh yeah I went to look at the action figures and I took out my Ryusoul to-“ Towa paused, realizing he lost his Ryusoul. Not saying anything, Towa ran to the store.
Towa looked through the items on display and thankfully found his Ryusoul in Knight Mode.
Being played with by a little kid, who was probably 8 at oldest.
“Excuse me,” Towa got their attention. “I left that here earlier by mistake and I would like it back now please.”
“But I want it it’s cool and there’s no price so it’s free so it’s mine now!” The kid walked Towa through their logic.
“There’s no price on it because it’s mine. It’s not an item on sale in this store.” An employee came over to see what was going on and recognized that the item wasn’t from the store.
“He’s right, that’s not from the store, so you can’t claim it as yours. If it was from this store there would be a tag on it, or it would be in a box like this, see? Now give it back.” The kid gave the Green Ryusoul back and seemed disappointed afterwards. “I looked for action figures, and I was looking at...bracelets. And I took off the Ryusoul Changer when I did that.”
“What store was that at?” Bamba was getting tired of this, but he was on a mission and would complete it.
“At the...” Towa started walking through the store, trying to look for something familiar. He eventually found the store, and an employee recognized him and said that he left something here earlier. They retrieved the Ryusoul Changer from the back, Bamba finally relaxed, and everything was okay.

Chapter Text

There was snow on the ground. It was officially winter.
Bamba didn’t like the winter. Towa didn’t ask why, he just thought his brother didn’t like the cold. To be fair, Towa wasn’t wrong.
As everyone else sat around drinking hot cocoa (with marshmallows) and watching snowflakes fall to the ground, Bamba was sitting by himself, staring at the ground, ignoring the mug that Towa picked out for him, which was still hot. He started remembering something...someone.
Bamba had a brother.
If you just thought ‘yes, of course, he has Towa’ then you are wrong. This isn’t about Towa.
Bamba had a brother. His name was Daisuke. Daisuke was born when Bamba was thirteen. Bamba was too old to play with the baby as he grew up, but he loved his brother and helped take care of him.
When Daisuke was seven and Bamba was twenty, their parents had another baby, who ended up being Towa. Towa was born near the end of autumn, and as the snow started to fall Daisuke wanted to go play. Their parents were busy since they had a new baby, so Bamba got (unfairly) tasked with watching his brother and playing with him.

One day in winter, the boys were playing out near a lake. Bamba made sure to remind Daisuke that even though the lake was frozen, they couldn’t go on it right now because they didn’t want to fall in.
Their parents called Bamba to come back for a minute, and they left Daisuke out of sight for a minute.
There was a sharp sound outside.
When Bamba came back after that minute, he called for help since Daisuke had fallen through the ice and wasn’t able to get out.
Bamba had to think fast-he didn’t want to fall through the ice. But he had to save his brother, who was drowning and, regardless of swimming ability, was a small child, too scared to lift himself out of the water.
Bamba grabbed a stick and tried using that to give his brother something to hold on to. Daisuke was turning blue, shivering like crazy and was fighting less.
“Daisuke! You have to-” Bamba stopped as the ground beneath his foot cracked. Bamba quickly backed away, not wanting to fall in. By the time their dad managed to get Daisuke out of the water, he was already dead. Bamba felt directly responsible and, as he went back inside, decided he would never let anything happen to Towa.

Towa grew up without knowing of his dead brother. Bamba hated hearing about it, so his parents didn’t talk about it much. When their parents were killed when Bamba was 22 and Towa was 2, Bamba always made sure that Towa was safe.
And every winter, Bamba always made sure Towa never went outside alone, and was never out of his sight.
As Towa got older, Bamba wondered if he should mention the fact that they had another brother. He decided not to, even when he knew Towa was able to comprehend the idea of death and dying.

Now, in the Tatsui’s house, with Towa laughing with the others, watching the snow, and being so happy, Bamba thought about Daisuke, and briefly wondered as he held his mug of hot cocoa, if he should tell Towa about him.
‘Not right now,’ Bamba took a sip of his hot cocoa, which didn’t have marshmallows in it since Bamba hadn’t wanted any.
And while his body warmed from the hot drink, his heart warmed seeing Towa and the others having fun together. He didn’t want to ruin that. He couldn’t. The snow turned into a snowstorm, and Bamba quickly decided that he would stay here overnight with Towa. Towa knew better than to go outside in heavy snow.

“Hey nii-san, Koh and I are gonna go outside to build a-”
“No, you’re not,” Bamba cut them off, citing the heavy snowfall and wind as reasons to stay inside. The boys seemed disappointed, as their plans to build something were ruined.
“We can still make a fort inside, right? Hey Ui!” Koh called out to ask Ui if they could get blankets and build a fort with blankets and pillows. Ui, who was vlogging the storm, said yes, and decided to help.

The Ryusoulgers made a fort with sheets, pillows, couch cushions, designated rooms, and snacks in the middle.
After acting like five-year-olds all evening, the kids fell asleep, taking their fort down and rearranging all the blankets and pillows to sleep on the floor. They invited Bamba to join, but he declined and went to sleep in the guest room.

Chapter Text

Bamba woke up in the middle of the night after having a nightmare. Bamba glanced over to look at Towa and reassure himself that his brother was okay, but Towa wasn’t there. He was sleeping in the living room.
Bamba dared to go to the living room and quietly found Towa sleeping between Koh and a couch. He carefully picked up Towa and started crying quietly.
“What...” Towa’s eyes cracked open. “Nii-san?”
“Shh!” Bamba put Towa down and went back to his room. Towa followed him.
“You’re crying,” Towa noticed.
“...I had a bad dream,” Bamba admitted.
“But it’s okay now because it’s only a dream, right?” Towa said the thing Bamba told him all the time when he had nightmares.
“...not exactly. It is okay now. But it’s not only a dream.”
Towa frowned, trying to understand. If something had made his brother start crying, it had to be bad.
“You can tell me,” Towa sat on the bed and waited for Bamba, who was sitting on the other side, to talk. Once Bamba realized that Towa wasn’t going to go back to bed, he sighed and turned to face him.
“It’s...really scary. You...won’t understand.”
“I can try. And you’re sad! I don’t want you to be sad!” Towa spoke quietly.
“Seriously?” Bamba sighed. He made sure the door was closed, so the others wouldn’t hear. “Fine.”
“Before you were born...I...had another brother,” Bamba admitted. He had never told Towa that in any capacity. He continued talking before Towa could interrupt. “His name was Daisuke. And when you were born, he was seven years old. And...the winter after you had been born, he fell through the ice and...” Bamba put his hands into fists to try not to cry. “...and I didn’t know if I should tell you because I wasn’t able to save him...!”
Towa wiped Bamba’s tears while he tried to think of what to say. After a moment, Towa started talking.
“I’m...sorry you weren’t able to save him. I mean, you would’ve had to do it yourself since our parents were busy taking care of me...and...he must have been so little...” Towa wasn’t sure what to say and started crying.
“It’s...not your fault, Towa. But every winter I think about...I remember it. I miss him.”
“I know it’s not really the same, but I miss him too. I’m sure he was a great kid,” Towa said.
“He was...”
The boys sat there for a few minutes, not sure what to do.
“Can you tell me something happy about Daisuke?” Towa asked, not wanting his only knowledge of his brother to be that he fell through ice and died at age seven.
“He...” Bamba stopped to think. “He was really excited about becoming an older brother. He held you once, and I remember that look on his face, he said he was going to be the best brother ever for you. You were so tiny I’m sure you don’t remember that, but he really meant it.”
“Was he the best brother ever?” Towa asked.
“You are both great brothers in your own way,” Bamba decided. “Now let’s go to bed.”
“Okay. Goodnight,” Towa got under the covers of the bed and Bamba tucked Towa in before going to sleep.

Chapter Text

“What was that thing?” Towa asked as the team defeated a purple suit of armour. As the Ryusoulgers demorphed, the helmet flew off and revealed a man. The man looked exhausted and was gasping for air. The suit disappeared into thin air, and Bamba realized who the man was.
“Master Gr-” before Bamba could confirm who it was, the helmet started flying around, like it had free will. It approached Towa, but Bamba got in the way, so it went onto Bamba instead. Bamba started freaking out, waving his arms wildly and trying to get the helmet off. Towa tried to help, but Bamba pushed Towa onto the ground as the suit of armour reappeared, and Bamba was gone.
The armour started to leave, and Towa chased it. Koh grabbed his arm, and Towa just froze. He stared at the ground as the others started asking who the man was and making sure he was okay.
“Are you okay? Can you walk? Come on, we can help you.”
That’s how they noticed the man had a necklace. Not just any necklace-it had a lightning bolt with a green gem in it. Recognizing it as a symbol of the Ryusoul Tribe, Melt and Asuna started to help him up, and Koh let go of Towa.
“Towa, are you okay? Come on, let’s go now,” Koh spoke gently, but Towa wasn’t acknowledging him. The boy focused on the man, who looked to be in his 40s.
“Towa?” the man asked in a small voice.
“Do you know each other?” Koh asked. Towa hid behind Koh, so clearly the answer was no.
“No, but…” the man sounded like he was trying to remember something. “Is your brother Bamba?” he asked Towa, who nodded and started crying.
“He- well, Bamba wasn’t my student, he was Master Black’s- but I knew him. He told me he had a baby brother named Towa. Is that you?”
“…” Towa didn’t want to answer. He stared at the ground and kept crying. He would rather be talking about anything else, with anyone else. As far as he knew, a stranger showed up and started talking about his brother, who had just been…captured(?).
“Let’s go,” Melt decided to leave with Asuna and the man, who he figured was Master Green, and told Koh to stay with Towa.

Koh stayed with Towa and let him cry for a few minutes. “Come on, it’s time to go home-” Towa swat away Koh’s arm when he tried to make him start walking.
“I want nii-san!”
“Bamba’s not here right now. Come on-”
“I’m not leaving.”
“Towa, this isn’t a choice. Now come on,” Koh started dragging Towa, who actually took a step before he started screaming. Feeling bad, Koh stopped. Towa kept freaking out whenever Koh tried to get him to move, so he eventually used the NemuSoul (Sleep Soul) and carried Towa back.
Finally arriving at the Tatsui’s house, Koh walked in as Master Green was confirming who he was to the Ryusoulgers and said he had been in that armour for 150 years.
“…then you’re Towa’s master?” Koh asked, placing Towa in a chair while the boy was still asleep.
“Technically, yes. Though I never officially met him.”
“Why did the armour leave you and go onto Bamba?” Koh asked.
“The armour seems to be looking for the strongest person to be a host for it. It found Master Black, Bamba’s master, and I protected him, and was taken as a result.”
“Is it,” Melt looked through his book that contained the history of the village. “…Gaisorg?”
“Yes. The cursed armour. It can imprison people for hundreds of years. It likes going after young hosts, so it can take them over for longer.”
“To free the trapped spirit, either defeat Gaisorg, or lift the curse,” Melt read.
“How do you lift the curse?” Asuna asked.
“I don’t know.”
“Maybe the Elder knows?”
“Ugh…” Towa woke up slowly. “Nii-san?”
“He’s not here right now,” Koh said vaguely.
“Towa, there’s someone who would like to meet you,” Melt interrupted.
“Nice to meet you Towa, I’m Master Green.”
Towa stared for a moment. He had dreamed of this moment, but it felt…wrong. His brother and Master Black were supposed to be here.
“Nice to meet you,” Towa said quietly, not sure what he was supposed to do. He didn’t look at his Master. “…I want nii-san,” he whispered, deciding Bamba was his master, not this man who happened to have a green necklace.
“He’s not here,” Master Green replied.
“I want him!” Towa put his hands in fists.
“Then we have to save him. Defeat Gaisorg, or lift the curse,” Koh explained.
“I don’t know. Melt, what’s the shortest amount of time someone’s been in Gaisorg?”
“40 years.”
Towa suddenly started heading back to where he had last seen Bamba. Koh followed.

Chapter Text

Towa was tired as he fell onto the grass at the scene where he had last seen Bamba.
“Hey, what is it?” Koh asked, coming closer to make sure Towa wasn’t hurt.
“The sun is hot…but right here,” Towa lay down and curled into a ball. “is where home is now.”
“What? Towa, you can’t live here.”
“Where’s nii-san?”
“Uh…I don’t know…”
Towa closed his eyes and established his home. He didn’t remember the village and had never stayed in one place long enough to call a place home. All he knew was that wherever Bamba was, was home.
“Mine,” Towa claimed the grass.
Koh left Towa there, and told the others what happened.

“That’s…stupid,” Asuna decided.
“Don’t tell him that. Either way, he clearly can’t live there.”
“I’m going to talk to him,” Master Green decided, leaving without any further details.

“Go away.”
“I heard you live here now,” Master Green sat down cross-legged next to Towa.
“Here,” Towa corrected, referring specifically to where he was curled up.
“There. Is it nice?”
“The sun hurts a little,” Towa said, covering his eyes.
“Hmm, that doesn’t sound good. Maybe you should get a blindfold? How else will you be able to sleep?”
“I’ll sleep when it’s dark,” Towa decided, emotionless.
“Ah. Do you have a blanket?”
“Then what will you do if it gets cold?”
“I don’t know.”
“Are you planning to live here until your brother is back?”
“On that patch of grass? What about in the winter?” Master Green tried not to laugh. He had to stay serious.
“I don’t know. I’ll figure it out.”
“I…I know this isn’t the best of circumstances,” Master Green didn’t elaborate. “But I do want to help you. And I know nobody can replace your brother, so I’m not trying to, but could you at least let me live on your patch of grass with you-” Master Green coughed to cover up a laugh. “-until he’s back?”
“There’s not enough room,” Towa laughed as he realized how small the space he had chosen was.
“Then can we live with the others? They would have enough space, and we wouldn’t have to worry about rain or snow.”
“Okay. But,” Towa wanted to make something clear. “It’s not home. Wherever nii-san is, is home. Not them or you. Nii-san is home.”
“Got it. Then, how about we go back to our house?”
Towa came to the house happier than he left it, which as far as Master Green was concerned, was a win.

Chapter Text

It was Father’s Day. Ui told the others that when she showed them what she bought her dad-a nice cap that she thought he would like. Koh, Melt, Asuna, and Ui were sitting around talking about their fathers and significant male figures (like the Village Elder, Master Red, Master Blue) as Towa and Bamba showed up.
“What’s up?” Towa asked as the group paused their discussions.
“I was telling a story about me and my dad. It’s Father’s Day!” Koh explained.
“Oh! Cool.”
“Towa, do you wanna tell any stories about your dad? Or your master?” Koh offered.
“No…not right now,” Towa shrugged, ready to listen to whatever story Koh was telling.
Bamba left in the middle of the story, not saying anything. Towa didn’t notice until afterwards.
“Do you wanna tell a story about your father, or- oh, Bamba left,” Koh realized.
“Uh,” Towa looked at the ground, not wanting to admit that he didn’t remember his father, at least not enough to have any stories. “No thank you.”
“Okay. Melt, do you?”
Melt looked at Towa, who seemed uncomfortable with the situation.
“No thanks. Hey Ui, wanna show Towa the present you got your dad?”
“Sure! I’ll go get it.”
Melt made eye contact with Towa. As Koh and Asuna had a separate conversation, Melt decided to ask Towa quietly if he was okay.
“I dunno…I don’t remember my father, so I’ve never really celebrated Father’s Day,” Towa admitted.
“It’s okay! Father’s Day can be for anyone. It can be a day for Bamba if you want,” Melt smiled. Towa frowned as Ui came back and interrupted.
After nicely paying attention to Ui showing him the hat she bought for her dad, Towa left, saying he was going to go find Bamba.

A few minutes later, Towa contacted Melt on the Ryusoul Changer.
“Hey, I’m at the park…can you come? Nii-san’s not here.”
“Okay.” Melt excused himself. They met up a few minutes later, and Melt joined a stressed Towa on a bench. “What’s up?”
“I…don’t know how to celebrate Father’s Day. And Bamba wouldn’t really want whatever I bought him.”
“You just…have to spend time with him. You don’t have to buy anything if you don’t want to. Do you know where Bamba went?”
“Do you want me to help you find him?” Melt offered nicely.
“…can we just sit here?”
Melt stayed with Towa for a few minutes, lucky that the Druidons decided to take Father’s Day off to celebrate (Do Druidons have parents?) until Towa got up.
“I’m going to look for Bamba. You can go home now.”
“Okay,” Melt agreed as Towa walked off, using the MieSoul (See Soul) to look for Bamba.

Eventually, Towa found Bamba leaning against a tree in the forest, not paying attention.
“Hey,” Towa said quietly, not too sure what he was doing.
“Hi. Did you have fun with the others?”
“…no. Hey, today’s Father’s Day.”
“I know.”
“I know you’re not really my dad…but…” Towa hugged his brother. “I love you. I hope you had a good day.”
Bamba smiled at his brother.
“Thank you.”

Chapter Text

Bamba liked the village. He had friends, he looked up to the Masters (the current Ryusoulgers-Master Red, Blue, Pink, Green, and Black) and he had fewer responsibilities compared to his friends, as an only child. His friends varied in age, but even some his age had younger siblings they had to be responsible for.
One friend was an adult, a teacher, was called Miss Kano. She was a young teacher who taught at the school, because she wasn’t chosen to be a Ryusoulger. She had a white necklace with a gem on it. She had a special handshake that she taught the kids, and she was always patient and helpful.
One day, she left. She said goodbye to the kids, and Bamba asked where she was going.
“I’m leaving the village,” is all she said, and she didn’t elaborate about how long she would be gone. She was going by herself. The kids wished her good luck, and she left.
Bamba heard rumours about why she left: ranging from her probably just being bored to people claiming she was going to betray the tribe either way so it’s good that she left. People, mostly adults, claimed that she had often lied to them, or didn’t uphold her end of deals. Bamba didn’t know how valid these claims are but chose to believe them. His father claimed that she had promised to give them money before she left (paying them back for something? Bamba didn’t care) but left before doing so.
Bamba didn’t see her again until he was much older, and a Ryusoulger. She recognized him and treated him the exact same as she did when he was little. Towa was greatly confused, and Bamba was annoyed. She claimed that if they defeated the minosaur made from her, after it had grown giant, she would tell them about their Master. Towa seemed to be thinking about it, but Bamba knew better, and defeated the minosaur before it could kill her.
He would get her to tell them where their Master was. She had to know. She had been all over the world, witnessed all kinds of events, met all kinds of people. She would know where he was.
She had to.

Chapter Text

Bamba held his baby brother, who was only about an hour old, and sighed. He was so tiny and perfect. Bamba looked at his brother and thought about how pure and innocent Towa was.
‘I know Towa’s only been alive for an hour but if anyone even tried to hurt him I would kill everyone in this room and then myself,’ Bamba thought.
That was...extremely dark. Plus, the only people in the room besides Bamba and Towa were their parents and a midwife, none of which Bamba especially wanted to kill.
But he did promise to protect Towa. And if needed, Bamba would kill for his brother.

Once Towa was able to walk, he didn’t walk, he ran. And got into all sorts of trouble as a result. And his father got mad, especially when he broke something important to him.
One day, when Towa was 2, Towa managed to grab the Black Ryusoul that was sitting on a bench that the family thought Towa wouldn’t be able to get onto on his own.
They were wrong.
Towa grabbed the item and put it where any small child would-his mouth. When his family looked over to see what he was doing, and Towa closed his mouth, leaving a tiny bit of the Ryusoul poking out.
“What is that?” Bamba asked, noticing something was there.
“Towa, open,” his mom put out her hand. Towa kept his mouth closed.
“Towa, open,” his dad tried, and Towa listened, handing his dad a Black Ryusoul, now covered in slobber.
“Disgusting!” His father grimaced. Towa laughed, thinking his dad was making a funny face. As his mom took the Ryusoul and went to clean it, his dad picked Towa up and started spanking Towa. Bamba helped his mom, and when he realized Towa was crying, he ran to save him. Their father tried to rationalize this with he’s a baby, he won’t listen to words but all Bamba processed as he grabbed the crying toddler was that Towa was hurt. And he remembered back when Towa was born, the promise he made: if anyone even tried to hurt Towa, Bamba would kill everyone in this room and then himself.
Someone just hurt Towa, and it was his father.
That night, Bamba took his own sword and killed his parents while they were asleep. He quickly grabbed his and Towa’s bags, the RyusoulGreen and RyusoulBlack stuff (including Changers), and grabbed Towa.
Bamba murdered his parents and kidnapped Towa.
But he protected his brother.
...would kill everyone in this room and then myself.
Bamba couldn’t kill himself, could he? At least not without making sure Towa would be okay first. He ran around and found an area where a couple appeared to be staying. Since it was night, they were asleep. Bamba put Towa down gently and started writing a note with Towa’s name and the fact that he lost his family and needed someone who would take care of him.
Then Towa started crying, probably uncomfortable from lying on the ground. Bamba quickly grabbed Towa and made sure he had the bags, and ran away, ripping up the note.
Towa couldn’t be left with anyone else.
Bamba couldn’t leave Towa without a family.
Family, as Bamba had been told growing up, was more precious than anything else in the world.
Bamba had just killed both of his parents in the name of protecting his brother.
But family was more precious than anything else...
Nothing could be done about it now. Towa was his family.
And family was more precious than anything else in the world.

Chapter Text

Towa didn’t have that many material possessions throughout his life, and definitely no toys or stuffed animals. He did have one memory of a stuffed animal, one he clung too when he wanted to feel like he had a normal childhood.

Towa was about two and a half years old. He was very hyper, and Bamba had a hard time keeping up with Towa when he ran off, so Bamba would often give him piggyback rides or make Towa hold his hand if he wanted to walk.
This time, Bamba had been telling Towa to hold his hand, but something caught Towa’s attention and he ran off. Bamba followed him as Towa ran to another kid. A little boy with a stuffed tiger. He looked lost. Towa asked, “You okay?” But the kid didn’t reply. Bamba approached and realized from his appearance that the kid was definitely American and had absolutely no clue what Towa just said. The boy blinked at Towa with blue eyes and didn’t seem to notice Bamba.
“Hey,” Bamba crouched down and waved. He smiled and tried to appear friendly. The kid held onto the stuffed tiger, and Towa quietly approached, not saying anything. He sat down and pet the stuffed tiger. The boy smiled and seemed to join Towa in this activity. (Maybe they saw it as a game?) Bamba watched and a few minutes later, two parents came over and picked the boy up, fussing over him. Bamba didn’t catch what the parents were saying, and Towa definitely didn’t, but Bamba did catch the boy’s name, Lance.
The boys waved bye-bye, and Lance took his stuffed animal.
“Where he going?” Towa asked.
“I don’t know. Let’s go,” Bamba picked up Towa to avoid letting him run off again.
“He has toy,” Towa observed.
“Yes, he did. It was a stuffed animal. Do you know what animal?”
“A tiger.”
“Oooh. Tiger was soft.”
“That’s nice.”
“I wish I had soft tiger.”
“If I can get you a stuffed tiger I’ll let you know.”

Years later, when Bamba was sure Towa didn’t remember that interaction, Towa met his kishiryu, and named it Tigerlance.
‘There’s no way...’ Bamba thought. There was no way Towa remembered a single isolated incident from when he was two.
He decided to ask about it anyways.
“Why did you name your kishiryu Tigerlance?”
“‘Cause when I was little I remember this time there was this little boy I think he was lost and he had a stuffed tiger. It was really soft. The lance part I just made up.”
“I remember that kid too. Though something you don’t seem to remember is that I think the kid’s name was Lance, at least that’s what I remember his parents called him. So I think some part of you remembered that too, even if you didn’t.”
“That’s cool. Tigerlance,” Towa mumbled.
He wondered where the boy and the stuffed animal were now. Hopefully, that boy still loved his toy, and gave it to another kid who would love it just as much.
Until then, Towa knew that he had the real Tigerlance, and it was every bit as cool.

Chapter Text

“Look at the pretty flowers!” Koh and Asuna had just got the ability to see in colour (which meant they were soulmates) and were looking around at everything and saying it was so pretty. Melt sat nearby, reading a book.
“Melt, your hair is blue!”
“What?” Melt looked at Asuna. “No, it’s not.”
“It’s the same colour as the sky! That’s blue, isn’t it?”
“...yeah,” Melt knew about colours, and knew things like the sky is blue and grass is green but had never seen it. He was 10 years old and just accepted that his soulmate wasn’t in the village. Maybe he didn’t have one. And that was fine.
But his hair was blue? Melt decided that Asuna was trying to take advantage of Melt’s colour blindness for a joke and didn’t respond. Nobody else had ever told him his hair was a crazy colour before.

“Did you ever have a soulmate?” Towa asked his older brother. Neither of them could see in colour, and Bamba explained that neither of them had a soulmate.
“Oh. I hope I have a soulmate. I bet all the colours are soooo pretty!” Bamba smiled at the kid. Towa was five and had a lot of time to find his soulmate. Bamba didn’t tell his brother that he was part of the 1% of people who didn’t have a soulmate at all, but he did tell Towa that your soulmate isn’t necessarily romantic and told him basic things like the sky is blue and grass is green. Even though Bamba couldn’t see those colours those were just facts that he knew.

Years later, Towa and Bamba met the other Ryusoulgers. Once they demorphed, Towa commented that the others were weak, and they went back to their house.
“I’m Melt, this is Koh and Asuna,” Melt said. “And you are?”
“I’m Bamba, and this is my brother Towa.” Towa and Melt had the same reaction at the same time as their vision was suddenly in colour, like a switch had been flipped.
“Your hair is blue!” Towa told Melt.
“Is it? Koh and Asuna always tell me that-"
“It is! Look nii-san, that’s blue!”
“That’s n-” Bamba almost brushed it off before he realized Towa had never been able to see in colour before. “You can see blue? Can you see any other colours?”
Melt looked at Towa’s outfit and saw green and could identify Towa’s brown hair. He looked at Koh and Asuna and saw red, brown, and pink.
“There are so many colours I need to sit down,” Melt decided.
“I think you guys are soulmates,” Koh whispered to Melt. Melt took a moment to realize this, turned away, and smiled really happily.
Towa knew that once you could see in colour it meant you found your soulmate. He looked around the room, and then at Melt, still fascinated by his blue hair.
They had found their soulmate, after years of thinking they didn’t have one.
And that was exciting.

Chapter Text

Bamba and Towa were walking near the ocean. Bamba was carrying Towa’s shoes and socks, and the young boy was walking barefoot. Towa ran to the water. He laughed as the water rushed over his feet.
“Nii-san, the water feels funny.”
“Is it hot or cold?”
“Cold, just a little. Come on!”
“I don’t want to-“ Bamba had taken what the child said to mean ‘you should put your feet in the water too’ but Towa started running into the ocean. “Towa!” Bamba immediately followed, and Towa was in water over his head. He came up after a minute, being carried by a teenage boy with brown hair. Towa was coughing, but he was fine.
“You should be more careful. Wear a life jacket next time,” the teenager said, getting Towa back to Bamba.
“Wait,” Bamba realized that a human being just spawned from the ocean. “Where did you come from?”
“Uh, the water? I was...swimming...” the boy was definitely not dressed in normal swimwear.
And his clothes and hair weren’t wet.
“Why are you not wet if you were underwater?” Bamba tested, as he realized Towa wasn’t wet either.
“...come here. You can leave your shoes on.”
“Towa, stay there,” Bamba said, going into the water.
Bamba went underwater and felt wet. It definitely felt like he was in water. But when he came up for air, his hair wasn’t wet.
“What just happened?”
The boy was gone. Bamba assumed he either went deeper underwater or he just swam away.
Bamba got out of the water, still completely dry. He kept walking along with Towa, who was 50% convinced they just met a mermaid and 50% convinced the ocean was magically dry.
Bamba tested another part of the ocean a while later, and it was wet.
So, whether or not there were mermaids, there was a magically dry spot in the ocean.

Chapter Text

“Why don’t you want to join us?”
“I have more important things to do.”
Canalo left, and nobody followed.
Later, Towa decided to look for him. Whatever Canalo’s reason was, he said it was more important than joining the Ryusoulgers.
“You can’t be on land.”
“But you can! So that’s not fair!”
“Oto, you’ve never been on land. It’s dangerous.”
Towa saw Canalo and a young girl, Towa’s age or possibly younger, talking near the water. were standing in the water. Towa hid behind a tree to watch.
“But...I like it!”
“We’re going home.”
“Hi!” The girl noticed Towa. Canalo turned around and Towa didn’t have enough time to hide.
“What are you doing? Were you sent as a spy?”
“No, no one sent me. I just wanted to...go for a walk and I was in the area,” Towa saved himself before admitting that he wanted to spy on them.
“I see. I’m Canalo, and this is my sister Oto. We have to go-“
“Wanna go swimming?” Oto asked suddenly.
“Uh-" Towa hesitated. “Right now?”
“I...sure,” Towa took off his shoes.
“You don’t have to take off your shoes. Just come on.”
“I don’t want them to get wet-”
“They won’t,” Oto said like that’s how water works.
“Come on!”
Towa went into the water and though it was cold, and Towa did feel wet like he expected, when he touched his hair it...wasn’t wet. But his hand had been wet. Oto and Canalo weren’t wet either.
“This...” Towa put his head in the water. When he came up for air, he was dry.
Towa took a moment to remember one time when he was little, when he felt like he was drowning but when he came up he was completely dry and safe.
Was he there again?
“I have to go,” Towa decided. He would ask Bamba if it was the same place.

“This isn’t it,” Bamba answered as the boys walked along the beach, where Towa had gone swimming earlier. Towa took off his shoes and put his foot in the water. When it came out, his foot was wet.
“But...I was here with Canalo and Oto and...”
“RyusoulGold and his sister. It was fun! We swam in our clothes and it felt like we were wet but when we got out we were dry! Like magic!”
“That is like what happened years ago...” Bamba remembered.
“Oh yeah! I thought we saw a mermaid, right?” Towa paused. “Do you think Canalo and Oto could be mermaids, but they just look like humans?”
“No, Towa. Let’s go.”
“...but why was the water dry when I was here with them but it’s not now?”
“I don’t know.”
The brothers left, with Towa still questioning whether mermaids were real.

Chapter Text

Koh’s tattoo was a feather. Melt’s was a book, and Asuna’s was an ice cream cone. They all knew this, and all looked forward to seeing what other tattoos they would get as they grew up (some of the grown-ups in the village had a lot of tattoos).
Then one day, when Melt was 12 and Asuna was 11, it happened. A tattoo of an ice cream cone was on his left leg, in black and white. He liked Asuna.
It was black and white, which meant she didn’t like him back.
“Not necessarily,” Master Blue told Melt when he found out. “Maybe she’s still maturing and hasn’t had a crush yet.”
“I hope so,” Melt mumbled. Master Blue smiled. Master Blue had a lot of tattoos, and only a few were coloured.
A few years later, when Melt was 15 and Asuna and Koh were 14, Koh came to Melt one day after training.
“Look!” Koh had a small black and white ice cream cone tattoo on his leg.
“Uh,” Melt had never told anyone besides Master Blue about his crush on Asuna.
“Do you think she likes me back? I guess it would be coloured if she did. What colour do you think it’ll be-”
“Be quiet, Koh,” Melt said. Koh frowned. Melt pulled up his pant leg to show off his tattoo.
“You like her too?” Koh asked quietly.
“Yeah. Since I was 12. I don’t know, should I tell her?”
“Well...” Koh thought about this. It would be weird for both Koh and Melt to tell Asuna they liked her.
“I don’t know...” Koh tried to think of a plan. “Hey Asuna!” Melt quickly put his pant leg back down.
“Hey guys.”
“Have you gotten any tattoos yet?”
“Well...” she blushed. “Maybe,” she smiled.
“Ooh! Who is it?”
“I’m not telling!”
“Aw c’mon!”
“Fine,” Asuna leaned to whisper in Koh’s ear.
The tattoo on Melt’s leg coloured itself in, with pink ice cream in a brown cone. Melt didn’t notice.
“Ooh! I won’t tell.”
Meanwhile, Asuna’s tattoo of a book coloured itself blue and had Melt’s name written on the cover.
Neither of them noticed that their tattoos were coloured in until they were alone.
Melt decided to not tell Koh, at least for now.

Towa had a tattoo of a soccer ball on his left ankle, and Bamba had a sword on his. Bamba didn’t have any other tattoos, not even small ones. Towa didn’t have any more tattoos until he met the other Ryusoulgers and Ui.
A very small tattoo of a camera was on his left leg. Towa didn’t know who it belonged to, but he decided to ask Melt what his and the other’s tattoos were.
“Koh’s is a feather, mine is a book, and Asuna’s is an ice cream cone. Why? What’s yours?”
“A soccer ball. Uh, I was just curious.”
The tattoo Towa just got was a camera. And there was only one other person it could be if it wasn’t any of the Ryusoulgers.
Ui had a tattoo of a camera on her left ankle.
Towa hoped that she would get one, even if it was tiny, of a soccer ball.

Chapter Text

Bamba couldn’t find Towa. He had looked away for a second, and a second was all Towa needed to get completely lost. His bag was left behind, and Bamba was looking frantically for any sign of him. He looked around, picked a direction, and started walking. When he felt like it wasn’t working, he changed direction.

Towa was lost.
He had run off when Bamba wasn’t looking and didn’t know where he was anymore. All the trees looked the same.
The kid continued wandering aimlessly, and he found an area near a village. He saw some people training with swords. There were three adults and three kids. The kids were probably 10 at oldest. Two boys were sparring.
Towa sat and watched quietly, deciding the cheer for the boy with blue hair. That boy lost, so Towa was disappointed.
After the boys stopped, one of the adults approached Towa.
“How long have you been there? Where are your parents?”
Towa shrugged in response to the first question. Then he remembered that he was lost.
“I- my brother, I was walking with him then I ran and then I don’t know...” he tried to explain. The man wearing red crouched down.
“It’s okay,” he saw Towa’s bracelet, which had the Ryusoul Tribe symbol and a green gem in it. “Let’s get you back to the village,” he decided, figuring the kid was from the village. Towa listened.
Towa was taken back to the village and met the Village Elder. When the Village Elder saw the bracelet had a green gem in it, he got mad and said that the kid wasn’t allowed in the village.
“But he’s lost and looking for his brother. Can’t we-" “He’ll curse the village if he stays for much longer!”
Towa wasn’t sure how he would do that, since he was a small child, but was scared of the Village Elder and started to cry. The man in red picked him up and took him back to where the group had been training before.
“I don’t wanna curse the village,” Towa cried, still not knowing how he would do that or what that even meant.
“It’s okay. Let’s just stay here and wait for your brother. What’s your name?”
“Towa, do you wanna watch Koh and Asuna train?” The preteens smiled at Towa, who nodded. The man sat Towa next to him and they watched.
After about fifteen minutes, Towa was getting bored. Once Koh and Asuna finished, Towa complained that he was hungry.
“I am too, let’s have dinner,” Asuna agreed.
The adults went back to the village to get food, and while they were gone, the kids sat around and waited.
“Why is your hair blue?” Towa asked Melt.
“It was magically like this when I woke up one day. I think it was from a witch,” Melt replied, deciding not to say that he dyed it, which was the true but boring answer.
“Ooh! Does a witch live in the village?”
“Yes. She has good magic as well as bad magic, but she used good magic on me and it made my hair blue.”
“I dunno, that’s just how magic works.”
“Oh,” Towa said as Bamba showed up and the adults came back with food “Nii-san!”

“Thank goodness you’re okay,” Bamba said. He looked at the others and recognized the grownups. “Let’s go now.”
“But we were gonna eat-"
“We have dinner too. Let’s go,” Bamba picked up Towa and carried him as Towa started crying that he wanted to stay. Once they were far enough away and Towa stopped crying, Bamba started talking.
“How did you get all the way out there?”
“I dunno. I was running and got lost.”
“So, you do know. Were they nice?”
“Yeah! They wanted me to stay in the village, but the Village Elder said if I stayed I would curse the village. I dunno what that means.”
“Curses are bad. Though you wouldn’t be able to curse anything,” Bamba reassured his brother.
“Can magic curse things?”
“Yeah,” Bamba went with.
“The boy with blue hair said a witch used magic to make his hair blue. Was that a curse?”
“Interesting. If the boy wanted it, I don’t think it would be a curse.” They got back to where they had been staying in the forest and Bamba started making a fire to cook dinner. “Don’t run off again, okay? Not everyone you meet is going to be nice.”

Chapter Text

Bamba was a teenager and lived in the village. He hadn’t found his soulmate yet, but didn’t worry about it. He was busy training to be a Ryusoulger, he didn’t need a soulmate.
One day, it happened. He met a girl in the forest. She was a normal human, around his age (relatively speaking) and when he met her, everything burst into colour.
Everything was beautiful, including her. Bamba stared at her brown eyes. She had brown hair in a ponytail and was wearing a purple shirt. Purple was a lovely colour. Bamba liked that colour the most. Everything in the forest was brown or green.
“Uh,” the girl nervously explained that she was on a camping trip, but wasn’t from the area, and wouldn’t come back with Bamba to the village when he asked. She loved him, but she couldn’t stay. He could come with her if he wanted. Bamba said no, since he had to train to be a Ryusoulger.
Bamba continued his life, now able to see in colour. He didn’t tell anyone that he had met his soulmate, and didn’t think about it.

When Towa was born, Bamba looked at his brother’s brown hair and eyes, and remembered his soulmate. He wondered where she was now.
One day, when Towa was a few years old, Bamba was relaxing as Towa told him about some imaginary creature when everything went black and white. Bamba froze. He had forgotten what the world looked like without colour.
“...and it’s able to make giant rainbows that take up the WHOOOLLLE sky...”
Bamba didn’t pay attention to Towa, and started to cry.
“...and it’s able to- what’s wrong?” The five-year-old paused.
“Uh, nothing, just...” Bamba didn’t want to say that his soulmate died, since Towa didn’t even know Bamba had a soulmate in the first place.
“Don’t worry. Rainbow Pegasus will protect you,” Towa hugged his brother, referencing the imaginary creature he had been describing.
“Will it?” Bamba asked.
“Yeah! They can make a giant rainbow to make you happy if you want.”
“No thanks,” Bamba decided. “Can you tell me more about the rainbow pegasus? What else can it do?” Bamba hoped the next one didn’t have to do with colours.
“ can fly! We can go take a magic ride! And we’ll be able to fly around the whole world!”
“That sounds nice. Can we take a slow ride around the whole world?”
“Sure!” Bamba gave Towa a piggyback ride as Towa described flying through clouds, pointing at mountains and saying when they entered another country.
Eventually, Bamba accepted that this was how the world looked, and that his would be black and white from now on.
But at least he was riding a rainbow pegasus, which makes it a bit better.

Chapter Text

“I don’t want to meet them,” Bamba said again. His parents had been divorced for years, and his mom wanted him to meet her boyfriend and his three kids, who were between eight and twelve years old.
“Come on, we’re just going to their house and eating dinner and staying there for a bit. They’re kids, they might not even remember you differently than any other grownup in their life. Towa wants to meet them,” his mother mentioned his four-year-old brother.
“Fine,” Bamba rolled his eyes.
“Is nii-san coming to dinner?” Bamba heard Towa ask, excited when the reply was yes. “Let’s go!”
“It’s tomorrow,” Bamba laughed, realizing how close that was as he stopped.
The next day, they went to the house a bit before dinner. A preteen boy with blue hair answered the door and let them in. Two younger kids were sitting and playing a card game, but stopped when they heard the door open.
“Hi!” Towa said, hiding behind Bamba a little bit. Bamba walked in and ignored the fact that his brother was trying to hide.
“Hi! My name is Koh,” the boy looked up from his card game against his sister.
“Hi,” Towa said, not introducing himself.
“I’m Bamba, and this is Towa,” Bamba provided before deciding that was enough socializing for today.
“Nice to meet you! I’m Asuna,” the girl introduced herself. “And that’s Melt.”
“What are you playing?” Towa asked, referring to the card game.
“Go fish! Wanna play?” Asuna asked, totally ready to end this game and start a new one (she had way more cards in her hand).
“Okay! How do you play?”
Melt started gathering up the cards and shuffling them.
“Melt gives everyone five cards and then the rest go in the middle and we take turns asking each other for cards. If you have 4 cards with the same number, you keep them.” Melt handed out the cards, but Towa flipped his all up and put a few on the ground, not able to hold them all in his hands.
“No, you’re not supposed to let us see your cards,” Koh said.
“I’ll give him different ones,” Melt took the cards back. “Bamba, can you hold Towa’s cards for him?”
Bamba sighed but didn’t complain. He sat down and put Towa on his lap as Melt gave him five more cards and put the rest in a messy pile in the middle. There was a 2, 4, 8, 10, and Queen in Bamba’s hands, which he quickly organized from smallest to largest value.
“You go first,” Melt decided, talking to Towa.
“Okay, so who do you want to ask? Koh, Melt, or Asuna?”
“Okay. What number?”
“That one,” Towa pointed at the two.
“Then can you say ‘Koh, do you have any twos’?”
“Koh, do you have any twos?”
“Yes,” Koh gave him a two. “Now you ask someone else.”
“Asuna, do you have any twos?”
“Go fish!” Asuna replied. “Now you take a card from the pile in the middle.”
“Okay,” Towa picked a card and Bamba put the 9 in his hand.
“My turn. Asuna, do you have any fours?” Koh asked.
“Go fish.”
Koh picked up a card and it moved to Melt’s turn.
“Towa, do you have any nines?”
“That’s this one,” Bamba pointed out. Towa gave the card to Melt, who then asked Asuna if she had any nines. She gave him one. He asked Koh, but Koh didn’t have any, so Melt picked up a card.
“Do you have any threes?” Asuna asked Melt and got a card. She asked Towa and was told to go fish.
The game progressed well, with Towa learning what Kings, Queens, Jacks, and Aces were, and once the game finished everyone had three “books” (sets of 4 cards). Koh had fives, tens, and Jacks. Asuna had twos, eights, and Queens, and was first to run out of cards. Towa had fours, Kings, and Aces, which Melt said was worth the most. Melt had threes, sixes, sevens, and nines. Since he had four books, he won.
“But you have the Aces, which are worth the most. So technically you won,” he explained to the four-year-old.
“But I ran out of cards first, so-"
“Asuna, he’s four, let him win.”
The kids then ate dinner. While eating, Towa accidentally knocked his bowl over and spilled noodles and broth everywhere, including his shirt and pants.
Asuna shrieked, Koh jumped, and Melt was startled. The parents grabbed paper towels and started cleaning up, and Bamba took Towa, who was crying because he ‘ruined it’, to the bathroom to dry off his clothes.
“Come on. It’s okay,” Bamba cleaned Towa’s pants first, getting the stain out with soap and water before it could have time to sit. Towa kept crying, sitting on the floor in his underwear. Bamba dried off the clothes and let them dry for a few minutes before trying to get Towa to put the pants back on.
“Why not? They’re dry.”
“They look like I peed.” There was a stain from where the water was.
“It’s just water. Come on, you can’t be naked at someone else’s house.”
There was a knock on the bathroom door.
“Towa, do you want ice cream for dessert?” Asuna asked.
“Yeah!” Towa replied, getting dressed to go eat immediately.
The brothers returned to the kitchen and ate ice cream with everyone else. Towa was careful to not spill anything this time. The accident was soon forgotten, and the brothers left, happy that they had met their potential stepsiblings and everything had went well.

Chapter Text

Bamba was about 21 years old, wandering around the forest by himself. He was alone, and had been for a long time.
He heard something.
There was a small cry from somewhere nearby, and he started following the sound. It quickly got louder, and Bamba realized it was a baby crying.
“It’s okay,” Bamba said, finding a baby boy that was wrapped in a blanket. He picked up the baby and noticed there was a note.
Name: Towa
Birthday: 1864/04/02 (6 months old)
Any other information was too messy to read. Bamba looked at Towa, who had no idea what was going on.
“Towa?” Bamba asked. The baby looked at Bamba, but didn’t do anything, not realizing that his name was Towa.

Bamba took care of Towa for a long time. When Towa was old enough to say the words mama and dada, Bamba made sure to enforce that Bamba wasn’t Towa’s dad, opting to be his older brother instead.
As Towa got older, Towa started asking questions about their parents. Bamba didn’t elaborate on what happened to them, and didn’t tell Towa that he wasn’t his brother.

One day, a minosaur attacked. The Ryusoulgers went and fought the minosaur, who was separating people, specifically family members (the Ryusoulgers saw it work on a group of three siblings) and making a force between the two people, so they weren’t able to interact.
The minosaur tried it on Melt, but it didn’t work since he didn’t have any family nearby. Towa realized what was going on, and made an effort to avoid being hit, since he knew it would affect him and Bamba.
Bamba made little to no effort to avoid it. Just before the monster retreated, Towa was hit.
After the monster retreated, everyone demorphed and Bamba rushed over to Towa with no difficulty at all.
“Are you okay?”
“My head hurts...nii-san?” Towa was confused.
“Towa, it’s okay,” Bamba said as everyone stared, wondering why the supposed brothers hadn’t been affected.
“How...?” Koh asked. Towa seemed to realize what was going on.
“...there’s a reason for this,” Bamba said, knowing there was a lot of confusion to clear up. “Let’s get somewhere safe, and then I’ll tell you.”
“No,” Towa decided. “I’m not going anywhere with you.”
Towa quickly got up and ran, not wanting to see his supposed brother right now.
Everyone else went to the Tatsui’s house.
“What happened?” Melt asked. Bamba took a deep breath.
“I’m an only child. I found Towa when he was 6 months old. He had been abandoned in a forest with a note. I took care of him after that, but never told him that he wasn’t my brother. I never thought it would come up.”
“So...that’s why nothing happened,” Koh finished.
“That’s so sad! Do you know anything about his real family?” Asuna asked.
“There may have been information about his biological family on the note, but it was too hard to read.”
“Do you still have it?” Melt asked.
“Yes, but it was ripped into two pieces. And if it was hard to read then, it’s impossible now.”
“Let me see it.”
Bamba got the two pieces of paper, which ripped into three, from the very bottom of his bag and put them on the table. Melt was able to read the part that stated Towa’s name and birthdate. He looked at the writing, using a magnifying glass in an attempt to make it easier. The paper had been smudged from sitting under a bunch of things forever.
“I’ll try to figure this out,” Melt decided. The others left him alone.

Towa was lying on a bench, crying. He ignored anyone passing by and soon fell asleep.
When Towa woke up, Koh and Asuna were there. He quickly realized that he was at the Tatsui’s house, and that Bamba wasn’t there.
“Where’s- Bamba?” he paused before calling Bamba by his name.
“He went out. He told us what happened and we’re trying to read this note to figure it out,” Asuna said, pointing at Melt working on the note.
“I’M working on solving the note,” Melt corrected. He had taped the pieces together correctly, and was trying to rewrite it on a separate piece of paper.
“Can I see it?” Towa asked.
“Sure. I haven’t been able to get anything useful,” Melt said. He had only scribbled down random characters.
“Hmm...” Towa tried to read it but got nowhere.
A moment later, the door opened and Bamba came in. Towa immediately tensed.
“Hi,” Bamba said quietly, and Towa went back to looking at the paper. Towa decided that he wasn’t sad that Bamba wasn’t his brother. He was mad at Bamba for lying. He grabbed a blank piece of paper and started tearing it up.
“I need that paper, thank you,” Melt said before Towa could rip the page he was scribbling on.
“Maybe you should go for a walk,” Koh suggested to Towa.
“No,” Towa crossed his arms.
“Towa, come on.”
“I think I got something...but it’s not good,” Melt reported.
“Hmm...I cannot...Towa...danger...maybe it’s dangerous?...that’s it.”
“Someone couldn’t take care of Towa because it was dangerous?” Asuna interpreted.
“I’m dangerous?” Towa interpreted.
“No! I think whoever wrote this was going somewhere dangerous and couldn’t take you with them,” Koh explained.
“This is really hard to, they said I love you.”
“No they don’t,” Towa denied. “They abandoned me. I have no idea who they are.”
“Something about a brother...” Melt mumbled.
“See right here? I don’t know what else it says though.”
“Maybe you had a brother?” Asuna guessed.
“Hmph,” Towa’s mind went back to the present day situation of Bamba.

That night, Towa stayed over at the Tatsui’s house. He woke up the next morning, well-rested.
“Shh,” he heard people. “Towa’s still asleep.”
“I’ll just leave this then. He probably won’t want to talk to me.”
“...Bamba?” Towa got up and poked his head out the bedroom door. He carefully went to the living room where the others were.
“Good morning! Did you sleep well?” Koh asked.
“Yeah,” he smiled before he looked at a piece of paper Bamba was holding. Bamba handed it to him.
“Should I...?”
“You can go read it if you want.”
“No thank you,” Towa decided, politely putting it down. Bamba left.
A little while later, Towa went to read the note to himself.
Dear Towa,
I’m sorry for keeping such a big fact secret. I didn’t mean to hurt you. I’m not your biological brother but I still love you. You can still call me nii-san if you want to. I hope you can forgive me. I am very sorry.
Towa was ready to rip it up as soon as he opened it, but he read it and didn’t tear up the letter. Instead he sat around, trying to process everything.
Towa had known Bamba forever. Bamba had preferred to be called an older brother as Towa grew up and he treated Towa well. Bamba always made sure Towa ate good food, got enough sleep, and was safe. He felt sorry for keeping secrets.
Towa remembered one time when he was really little. Bamba had taken Towa into town to go to the doctor when Towa was sick. Towa didn’t exactly have a medical record, and had never officially been to the doctor before. He was very scared.
The part Towa remembered wasn’t really about the appointment at all. It was something when checking in at the reception. Towa had complained that his stomach hurt, and finally Bamba took him to the doctor. The receptionist had asked if Towa was Bamba’s child, and Bamba said he was Towa’s legal guardian.
“No, he’s my brother!” Towa had said. Everyone laughed, and then the receptionist continued talking to Bamba and said the doctor would be with them shortly. Towa also remembered being nervous before the appointment, worrying that he was going to throw up.
“It’s okay. You’ll be fine,” Bamba hugged Towa as they got called to go see the doctor. “Let’s go.”
Towa remembered that hug really well. He had felt secure and safe. He could do anything because his brother would help him.
And Towa decided it didn’t matter who his biological family was, because he didn’t need them.
He had Bamba.
Towa came out of the room when he heard Bamba come back. He went and hugged his brother.
“I forgive you, nii-san.”
Bamba hadn’t been expecting that, at all. He smiled and hugged Towa back.

Chapter Text

It was raining. Everyone was at the Tatsui’s house to stay dry, including Canalo and Oto, because there was thunder and lightning. Even though they would have definitely been outside if it was up to them. Oto loved rain. But Melt was inside, and she loved Melt too.
The storm kept going into the night. Ui lent Oto an old nightgown for the little girl to wear as pajamas.
“You should go to bed,” Canalo told his sister at 9:15 PM. She had gotten into pajamas, brushed her teeth, and had agreed to sleeping in Ui’s room (in the bed-Asuna and Ui would join the others in a sleepover in the living room, where they had mattresses, pillows, and blankets).
“But you’re not going to bed.” The group had been sitting around talking and planned to whisper scary stories when Oto was asleep.
“We’re adults. You’re a kid. You need to go to bed.”
“Am not! I’m 123!”
“And I’m 218,” Melt revealed. “You should go to sleep.”
“...okay,” Oto didn’t argue with Melt. She went to her (Ui’s) room and Canalo tucked her into bed, rain still pouring.
“Sleep tight. Come get me if you can’t sleep.”
Canalo closed the door to her room as he left, and joined the others in the living room.
“She should fall asleep easily, but there is a storm so that might make it harder.”
“Is she scared?” Asuna assumed.
“No, she loves storms! She’ll probably stay up to listen to them,” Canalo explained as there was thunder.
The group stayed up talking, in case Oto came to get Canalo. She didn’t, so they assumed everything was fine.
About an hour later, as the group took turns telling scary stories (besides Bamba, who had fallen asleep) the power went out. Nobody noticed until Towa went to go to the bathroom and the light didn’t turn on.
“Uh, I think the power went out.”
“Shoot. At least we all have flashlights,” Ui commented. They had been using flashlights to make dramatic effects while telling stories in otherwise pure darkness.
That was when Oto decided to wake up (assuming she had been asleep at all. She might have been watching the storm.)
“What?” Canalo asked, going into her room with a flashlight. Ui’s digital clock was flashing the time 10:26 PM. Oto was standing near the light switch.
“The lights aren’t working...”
“The power went out because of the storm. Everything’s fine, you can go back to bed.”
“Okay,” Oto seemed more scared now that the power was out and she was trapped in darkness. She headed over to the bed.
“Did you want anything?” Canalo asked.
“...can I have a stuffy? Ui doesn’t have any...”
“I’ll ask. Stay here.”
Canalo left and asked Ui if she had any stuffed animals that Oto could borrow.
“Of course! I’ll go look.” Ui took a flashlight and went by herself. Canalo waited with his sister until Ui got back and gave her a stuffed dolphin, who didn’t have a name but Ui said she had it since she was 4. Oto took it and Ui and Canalo slipped out of the room as the kid fell asleep.
Asuna and Melt were asleep by 11 PM, and Canalo and Ui went to sleep at 11:30 PM. Towa and Koh were the last ones to fall asleep, with Towa daring Koh to stay up until midnight, but they both fell asleep by 12:15 AM.

The next morning, the power was back on, and Oto was awake by 8 AM. Bamba was also awake, but everyone else was asleep.
“Good morning,” Oto said, trying not to wake anyone. She was carrying the stuffed dolphin with her.
“Good morning,” Bamba replied.
“...why is everyone else still asleep?”
“Because they went to bed late. If you want to make noise please don’t disturb them.”
“...can you help me make breakfast?”
Oto signalled for Bamba to follow her to the kitchen.
“I wanna make breakfast for the others for when they wake up. Can you help me onii-san?”
Oto was very little, especially compared to Bamba, and was using the childish voice that she often used on Canalo.
“Okay,” Bamba softened for just a moment and started to help her.

Chapter Text

Bamba was a teenager who lived in the village when something happened: a baby was born with blue hair. The baby was named Melt. Bamba didn’t know Melt’s family. The odds of a baby having differently-coloured hair were about 1 in 10,000 (keep in mind that the Ryusoul Tribe is small) and usually, the colour meant that the person was destined to be that colour Ryusoulger. (If they were destined to be RyusoulBlack, they were born with silver hair.)
Bamba left the village with Towa a few years later, and didn’t see Melt grow up.

He forgot about it until years later, when they became Ryusoulgers and Bamba saw Melt again. Same name and blue hair.
Melt was smarter than Koh and Asuna, and knew their village history quite well. He was likely the oldest of the trio. He was a skilled fighter, but still behind Towa and Bamba in skill, since the brothers had more practice.
“Why do you have blue hair? Is it a wig?” Oto asked curiously. Oto was from the Sea Tribe and Bamba didn’t know how much she knew. Melt didn’t directly answer and didn’t let Oto touch his hair.
Later, Towa decided to ask the same thing, but in private to Bamba.
“Why does Melt have blue hair? I just thought he dyed it.”
“In the Ryusoul Tribe of the Land, I don’t know if it’s the same in the Sea, there is a 1 in 10,000 chance of a baby having naturally...odd-coloured hair. It can be red, blue, pink, green, or silver, and that baby is destined to be a Ryusoulger of that colour- silver is for RyusoulBlack. So, he was destined to be RyusoulBlue. I remember when he was born it was a bit of a big deal. I didn’t care much about it. He seems to be doing good as RyusoulBlue.”
“ his hair is just like that?” Bamba nodded. “Cool! Does it do anything else?”
“You mean besides mark him as a destined RyusoulBlue? I don’t know. I didn’t see him grow up and it’s rare.”
“Could I ask him about it or would that be weird?”
“I don’t know what Melt finds weird besides Oto’s behaviour. You do as you like.”

Chapter Text

Melt was born with blue hair. He was a very observant child, and asked why he had blue hair as soon as he had all the basic words to do so. His parents didn’t have blue hair, so he thought it was weird.
“It’s just something that happens sometimes. And in your case, it means you’re going to be the next RyusoulBlue!”
“Why?” Melt asked his favourite question.
“Well,” his dad got ready to tell a story. “A long time ago, there was a group of five people. They all had different hair colours. And they happened to become the first Ryusoulgers. And they had naturally odd hair colours it seems, because sometimes when they had babies, they would also have interesting hair colours. So, people figured that these kids with interesting hair colours were direct descendants of the original Ryusoulgers.”
“So I’m the descendant of the original RyusoulBlue?”
“...why doesn’t anyone else the other colours? Like RyusoulRed and...”
“There’s a 1 in 10,000 chance in the odd hair colour happening at all. And then, there’s a 1 in 5 chance of getting blue, since there’s a Ryusoul Red, Blue, Pink, Green, and Black. RyusoulBlack had silver hair. So that’s why no one else does.”
“Oh.” The kid was content with this answer.

One day he was talking to the other future Ryusoulgers: Koh and Asuna, RyusoulRed and RyusoulPink.
Melt already had a bit of a different childhood from them, since he was slightly older, and the teens were talking about one day in their not-so-distant past.
“Remember when we first started using the Ryusouls?” Koh asked as he went to use the NobiSoul (Extend Soul) in practice.
“I went to use the Mukimuki Soul (Strength Soul) and used the KusaSoul (Stink Soul) instead,” Koh laughed.
“I remember that, it was gross,” Asuna said.
“No, you were supposed to use the MieSoul (See Soul). Master Red noticed either way when you used the KusaSoul. I remember that.”
“...was I? Ah, whatever.”
“And you said it was hot out so you wanted to take a break. But it wasn’t too hot out, you guys just wanted ice cream.”
“That’s nice-“
“I had ice cream too but Asuna tried to steal it because she thought I wasn’t paying attention. That’s why I always make Koh sit in between us when we eat ice cream.” Melt was completely off topic.
“You done?”
“Huh? Yeah.”
The conversation ended as the trio got back to training.
Melt figured out on his own that he had a more detailed memory, and it soon just became another fact about him, which happened to be related to the fact that he was born with blue hair. He thought it was obvious, so he didn’t mention it.

Years later, Melt met Towa and Bamba. They didn’t seem to question his hair or his tendency to talk over people, so he thought it was normal to them, and that they also knew that he was descended from the original RyusoulBlue.
One day, Melt met Oto, an adorable kid who was from the Ryusoul Tribe of the Sea.
She pretty clearly had a crush on Melt. And liked his hair.
After successfully running away from Oto (which was very difficult, but Canalo eventually told her they had to go back to the sea and Melt couldn’t come) Melt went home with Koh and Asuna.
The next day, when the brothers were over Towa was talking to Melt privately and asked why his hair was blue.
“Because I’m a direct descendant of RyusoulBlue, which means I was destined to be the next RyusoulBlue.” Towa gave him a look, like part of that didn’t make sense.
“Wouldn’t the...that does match with what nii-san said kind of...” Towa mumbled to himself.
“I asked nii-san after if he knew why you have blue hair and he said it’s a 1 in 10,000 chance to have weirdly-coloured hair and that whatever colour it is means they’re destined to be that colour Ryusoulger. But he didn’t say the other stuff about it being about the original Ryusoulgers.”
“Hm. Well what I was told is that, the reason why very rarely people are born with blue or whatever colour hair, is because they’re directly- or, very distantly but like, in their bloodline- related to an original Ryusoulger. Because the original Ryusoulgers had different colours of hair. And that’s why then I was seen as destined to be RyusoulBlue, because my hair indicates that I am related to him.”
“Aren’t we all, distantly but...”
“Yes but I have blue hair and that’s proof that I’m related to The Original RyusoulBlue, which is different,” Melt explained but his patience and listening abilities were starting to melt.
“Okay, I was just saying...”
“And there’s a 1 in 5 chance of getting each colour, so there’s a 0.00002% chance of having blue hair. Or red or whatever colour.”
“That’s interesting but...”
“And since the village is so small Master Blue says he doesn’t really know who the last person to be a Destined Ryusoulger was, since y’know he’s not that old when you think about it...”
Towa didn’t know whether he should cut Melt off, or still appear interested, even though he didn’t really follow this.
“ probably, if there are 5,000 people in the village and a 1 in 10,000 chance,” Melt was completely ignoring Towa now, doing math on a piece of paper to figure out when the last Destined RyusoulBlue would have been alive. “...and an average lifespan of 800 years...” Towa slipped away and left Melt rambling.

“Did you get an answer?”
“He says it’s ‘cause he’s more directly related to the original RyusoulBlue. I think. He started going on about there being a 1 in 10,000 chance and a whatever for it to be blue makes it a zero point zero something chance, I didn’t really care or understand so I just left. I don’t think he noticed.”
“Did you get to ask if his hair does anything besides look cool and make him RyusoulBlue?” Bamba asked.
“That’s too bad. Maybe it doesn’t do anything,” Bamba guessed.
“I guess.”

Chapter Text

“I’m not going,” Bamba declared, not wanting to go to the Ryugu Palace with the others.
“Please?” Oto spoke in a childish voice and tried giving Bamba the look she always gave Canalo to get what she wanted.
“No.” Bamba said as Towa tried doing the same thing. Towa was older than Oto, and Bamba hadn’t fallen for puppy-dog eyes in years, but the combined forces of both kids made Bamba cave.
“Only once,” he decided. The kids smiled, and Oto started leading the others to Ryugu Palace.

Chapter Text

The Ryusoulgers showed up to the fight and saw a suit of armour. It was mostly silver and purple, and looked a lot like a Ryusoulger.
Everyone morphed and started to fight. During the fight, the armour zeroed in on fighting Canalo.
Canalo knocked the helmet of the armour off the wearer (who appeared to be a random civilian) and floated for a moment before forcing itself onto Canalo. He struggled, trying to pull it off, clearly in pain.
After a minute, Canalo was gone.
The armour walked away, taking Canalo’s body with it.
Everyone demorphed. Everything had happened too quickly for them to stop it.
“Onii-chan?” Oto ran over from where she had been hiding. “His Mosa Changer is still here,” she noticed, picking it up. “Where is he?”
“Please give that to me,” Bamba decided that it would be a bad idea to let the child have a gun.
“Where is he?” Oto asked again, giving the gun to Bamba.
“...” nobody knew how to answer her. Oto was a child to them, and they didn’t know what to say.
“He...” Towa started. “...he left.”
“Left to where?”
“He went...somewhere. But we don’t know where. There was a flash of light and he disappeared.”
“Like magic!” Oto decided.
“Yeah! So...he’s not here. We don’t know when he’ll be back.”
“Okay,” Oto paused before looking at Melt. “Can you be my onii-chan until Canalo gets back?”
“...okay,” Melt accepted. He wasn’t sure what he had been expecting, but not that. Oto smiled at his response, and the others could tell that meant a lot to her.

Chapter Text

Towa and Bamba were out in the woods. There wasn’t anyone else around, and it was a quiet area. They usually trained around here and there weren’t any distractions.
But today...
“What was that?”
Towa heard something.
“I didn’t hear anything,” Bamba said, still focused and ready to fight. Towa put down his sword and went to the sound.
“Oooh! Look!” Towa found a tiny black kitten. Bamba went over to see what it is as Towa picked it up.
“Don’t pick it up! It could be dangerous,” Bamba said.
“Its eyes aren’t even open. Hi,” Towa carefully held the kitten in his hands. The kitten instinctively tried to attack Towa’s fingers. “You’re so tiny. Where are your parents?” He spoke to the cat like it was able to answer him.
“Put it down. If its mother comes back, we’ll appear as a threat.” The kitten let out a tiny meow as Towa noticed one of its back legs was bleeding.
“Its leg is broken.”
“Don’t touch it!” Bamba said. The kitten was hitting Towa, but it didn’t hurt and wasn’t actually scratching.
“We should help it.”
“No, we should leave it.”
The kitten meowed again.
“I’ll help you kitty!” Towa called Ui to ask if there was a vet or animal hospital nearby. Bamba sighed, and Ui and Towa exchanged information, with Ui agreeing to call ahead of time and say Towa and Bamba were coming.
“Come on,” Towa started walking out of the woods. Bamba sighed, but knew this was important to Towa, so he put up with it.
They went to the animal hospital and saved the kitten. The vet took the kitten, who was confirmed to be a boy, to be treated, but Towa asked if the kitten would be okay.
“It’s a stray and we don’t know where the mother is, but we’ll do our best to make sure he’s okay and we’ll likely send him to an animal shelter once he’s recovered, since it’s unlikely he has an owner.”
“Could we...” Towa started to ask.
“No,” Bamba shot down the idea of getting a kitten.
“Could Ui...”
“We’re not making Ui take care of the kitten.”
The boys left, and Towa was disappointed.
“What’s wrong?” Bamba asked.
“I hope the kitty is okay.”
“It’ll be fine. You saved him!”
“...I thought you didn’t want to help him.” Towa was confused.
“But it’s important to you, isn’t it?”
“You did something very good today by not listening to me.”
“...I guess. Yeah,” Towa remembered that Bamba originally didn’t want him to help the cat.
“I’m proud of you,” Bamba admitted. Towa beamed.

Chapter Text

Bamba knew that Towa was growing up. He knew this was normal, and that Bamba had done it too when he was young.
But...these were different circumstances than what Bamba grew up with. Towa was only 12, and lived in a forest, and only had Bamba instead of the village.
But Bamba had heard Towa masturbating for multiple nights now, and since he couldn’t just go to another room, he needed to address it. Towa was wearing his pajamas and making a lot of noise, but Bamba turned the other way and pretended he didn’t hear it. After a few minutes, Towa’s breathing slowed, indicating that he was finished and was falling asleep now. That seemed to be how it worked in previous nights.
Bamba fell asleep, mentally preparing himself for a conversation in the morning.

“Towa, we need to talk about something,” Bamba declared after both brothers had been up for a while and had a chance to eat breakfast.
“It’s’ve been really loud at night, and it’s been hard for me to sleep,” Bamba explained. It was true.
“Sorry!” Towa blushed, realizing what this conversation was about.
“So I would like if you made noise while I wasn’t around, or once I’ve already fallen asleep.”
“Okay,” Towa was embarrassed.
“It’s okay. It’s part of growing up. And since you’re not a child anymore, I can trust you to be alone more, right?”
“...yeah. Can we, uh, stop talking about this?”
“We can.”
Towa didn’t make any sound that night. Bamba still lay facing away from him just in case, but the grown-up did get a peaceful sleep.

Chapter Text

“Can we get a puppy please?” Towa asked his brother. Towa was about 8 years old, and Bamba knew that dogs didn’t live nearly as long as Ryusoulgers, and that Towa having a dog would be a bad idea.
“No,” Bamba said.
“Please please?”
“No. I will never let you have a puppy.”
“Hmph,” Towa pouted.

Years later, the Ryusoulgers were at an animal shelter. Canalo and Oto were looking at fish, and the other Ryusoulgers were looking at dogs and cats. Ui was doing a YouTube video raising awareness for the animal shelter and had let the others come along to play with the pets. Bamba was hanging out and waiting for Ui to say they were leaving.
Towa noticed a dog that was in a room by itself, and carefully went into the room with a German Shepard that was 9 years old and named Duke according to the info outside the room. The dog looked up from the bed in the corner.
“Hi Duke,” Towa greeted the dog. Duke didn’t move, and Towa carefully put a hand out so Duke could sniff it as he came closer.
“Hi,” the dog didn’t seem scared, so Towa went to pet him. There wasn’t anything else in the room, just some food and water bowls nearby. “Can I sit with you?” Duke didn’t do anything that seemed aggressive, so Towa sat down and decided that he could just sit here and pet the dog. Towa noticed that Duke’s back leg was hurt and he probably wasn’t able to walk or play as much as other dogs. Towa didn’t touch it. Duke was wagging his tail, indicating that he liked the attention. An employee quietly came in.
“Sorry, Duke isn’t allowed visitors.”
“But he likes me,” Towa argued, slowing down.
“Sorry, it’s just how it works.”
“His leg is hurt, and he’s-” the employee stopped.
“What?” Towa waited for the sentence to be finished.
“-he’s not recovering as quickly as we hope, so we’re...probably going to let him go soon.”
“Go where?” Towa asked innocently but didn’t get a response. Bamba knocked on the door as he came in, cautious as he went over to Towa, who was near the dog. Duke sniffed Bamba.
“Can we adopt Duke?” Towa decided to ask.
“We can’t get a puppy-”
“He’s not a puppy, he’s 9 years old! And they’re probably going to let him go soon anyways so we can take him right?” Towa thought his logic was great. Bamba looked at the employee to see if that was true. It was.
“Towa, we can’t adopt a dog.”
“But he,” Towa was slowly starting to realize that Duke was hurt and could die naturally very soon. “He likes me,” is what he went with.
“He’s not allowed visitors right now. You have to go now.” Towa completely stopped petting Duke and held him for a moment.
“Bye-bye Duke. I love you.”
Towa got up and the group went to leave.
“Did you meet any animals?” Ui asked.
“I tried to convince Melt to adopt a cat but he said no,” Asuna reported.
“I want a puppy,” Koh declared.
“I want fishies,” Oto said.
“I want fishies too but the employees said you can’t release them into the ocean,” Canalo complained.
“I want Duke,” Towa said.
“We can’t adopt Duke,” Bamba replied. “He’s a German Shepard dog who they’re probably going to...let go soon,” he remembered the wording.
“Huh? Where will he go?” Oto was confused.
“Please,” Towa tried again.
“If he was going to leave the shelter either way...” Melt realized what that meant.
“Why can’t you take him?” Koh was confused.
“Leaving doesn’t mean what you think it means,” Melt warned.
“Let’s go home,” Bamba decided.
“Hmm,” Asuna and Koh decided they would use their 1 brain cell later to figure it out.

Chapter Text

Ui was livestreaming. It was an audience of about 5000 people, and Ui was showing off a clothing haul she had bought at the store (not sponsored).
“And this-“ Ui was about to show off another item when the door opened and Asuna came in.
“Hi Ui! Are you recording a video?”
“No, uh, I’m livestreaming...” Ui tried to explain.
“Ooh! Is that a new dress? It’s so cute!” Asuna looked at the item in Ui’s hands.
In the chat, people started asking who the girl was, if Ui was gay, and whether or not the girls were dating.
“Asuna, please leave,” Ui was trying to not freak out.
“Oh, sorry. Bye!” Asuna said to the camera as she left. Ui looked at the chat, completely embarrassed, knowing she couldn’t edit that out. It was on the internet forever, witnessed by at least 5000 people, which was the same amount of twitter followers that Ui had.
“Uh, that was Asuna. She’s my friend. We aren’t dating. I’m not gay, I’m- straight,” Ui quickly remembered that she wasn’t out to the internet as bisexual.
“Anyways,” she tried to recover from that but people in the chat kept talking about it, and Ui finally ended the livestream. She put the clothes, which she had sorted into piles on the stream, away and fell face-first onto her bed and screamed.
“What was that?” Koh asked, hearing a sound from Ui’s room.
“I don’t know. I think I embarrassed her when I went in earlier so I’m not going to go in,” Asuna replied.
“Ui?” Koh knocked on the door. Ui opened it. “Hi! Is everything okay in there?”
“Yeah,” Ui replied, going onto her phone to find her name in a twitter moment: Tatsui Ui’s Live Event Was Crashed By Her Roommate. She clicked into it and muted her phone as a clip started playing.
Thank goodness, maybe the internet didn’t think she was-
She then spent several minutes clarifying that she wasn’t dating Asuna, and that she was straight. Asuna is apparently a roommate.
@TatsuiUi123 has not yet commented on the situation since the livestream ended.
Okay, so the internet wanted to know what she thought of this. Ui’s social media notifications were blowing up, and Ui had to respond.
First, she decided to make the Ryusoulgers, specifically Asuna, aware of this. She called Asuna info her room and the girl came in.
“So, when you came in earlier...people saw that. And now it’s on the internet forever. And...” Ui paused. “People think we’re dating, which we’re obviously not. People are asking what I think about it...but what do you think about it?”
“I...I’m sorry for interrupting your video,” Asuna said. “I thought it was a video, like you can edit it, right?”
“Livestreams are different. You can’t edit them until after. And people saw that. About 5000 people, but it got a lot...bigger now. Hundreds of thousands of people,” she didn’t exaggerate.
“Oh. That’s a lot of people...uh, are there pictures of me? Shared by the hundreds of thousands of people?”
“Yeah,” the video was going viral, and people definitely screenshot it.
“Uh...if you could say, on my behalf since I don’t have Twitter, to not share pictures of me or ask questions about me...thank you. And we’re not, um, I don’t like you in that way,” Asuna confirmed.
“Okay,” Ui said, putting the information into a tweet. She tweeted a short thread about how Asuna didn’t want to be talked about online, the two definitely weren’t interested in each other, and that Asuna thought Ui was recording a video, and that her interruption could be edited out of a final video. Ui also included her on thoughts on how it was annoying that Asuna complimenting Ui’s new clothes immediately lead to them being shipped, even though Ui had never mentioned being in a relationship (since she was single) and that this was all a minor interruption that shouldn’t lead to major YouTube news or drama. She would also not be acknowledging tweets about this, or providing any further information about Asuna. Ui also privated the stream.
The internet was divided on this, with people thinking Ui was secretly in a relationship, and with other people defending Ui and saying her asking for privacy and ignoring the subject was valid. Ui checked the same article, which had an update.
Update: @TatsuiUi123 has tweeted asking for privacy for herself and Asuna, and privated the video. Our images and photos have been removed. We will not report on this article further unless Tatsui Ui mentions it.
Ui sighed. Even if someone insisted on making a big deal about this, the internet would get over this.

Chapter Text

Towa woke up in a dark and unfamiliar room. The young boy saw a person wearing a face mask. They moved closer to him, and Towa realized his arms were suspended above his head and he couldn’t move. The person was holding something that Towa couldn’t see clearly. Towa braced himself, expecting it to hurt.

“Towa?” Bamba said as Towa’s eyes shot open. The younger brother woke up in a cold sweat, back in reality. It was still dark, and Towa had somehow put his arms above his head in his sleep.
“Nii-san,” Towa quickly moved and hugged his brother, crying.
“Hey. What happened?” The brothers had officially moved into the Tatsui’s house that day. Bamba turned on the lamp next to the bed.
“I had a nightmare,” Towa identified. “It was was so real...”
“It’s okay. I’m here. Want to talk about it?” Bamba offered, holding Towa.
“There was someone,” Towa said. “In, in the dream? I think...I don’t know who. I think they kidnapped me...” he started crying harder.
“It’s okay. I got you. I’ll protect you,” Bamba reassured his brother. “Anything else?”
“Uh,” Towa remembered that the person had been holding something. “They were...holding something...I think. I don’t know what. I think,” Towa’s brain tried to fill in what the item was. “I think,” everything he could come up with was a weapon. “...they were gonna hurt me,” he whispered.
“I’ll protect you. Nobody will hurt you,” Bamba started.
“But you weren’t there!” Towa recalled from his nightmare.
“It was just a bad dream. It wasn’t real. I’ll protect you. I promise.”
“You promise?”
“I promise.”
“...would you save me if I got kidnapped?” Towa whispered.
“Of course! I’d always save you,” Bamba comforted Towa. “But that’s not going to happen. It wasn’t real. It’s 3 AM and time to go back to sleep for a few hours.”
“Keep the light on,” Towa said, referring to the lamp.
“Goodnight. I love you,” Towa went back to sleep.
“I love you too. I’ll protect you.”
Bamba waited until he was confident Towa wasn’t going to have another nightmare or get kidnapped, and then fell asleep two hours later.

Chapter Text

Towa woke up to shaking. He had experienced earthquakes before (in 130+ years of living in Japan) and instinctively lay still on his side, and covered his head.
He felt a few pieces of rubble from the cave above him fall, with a few pieces banging on his legs. His eyes remained shut until the shaking stopped.
He looked at the cave entrance, but it was sealed off.
Towa’s next instinct went to his communicator, and when he shouted into the Ryusoul Changer, he just received static.
Towa carefully got up, using most of his strength to get a big piece of fallen rubble off his leg. He shook smaller pieces off, and cringed as he tried to move his right leg, which is where most of the impact had fallen.
“Nii-san...” Towa tried the communicator again, but didn’t get any indication that he was getting through. He lay where he was and tried to stay calm.

Bamba was outside when an earthquake hit. He was in an open area, so he got onto the ground and stayed put until it finished.
After it finished, he got up unharmed and tried to contact Towa.
“Towa? Are you okay? Answer me!”
He didn’t get a response.
Bamba got worried, with his first thought being that Towa was hurt. He ran back to the cave where the brothers were staying, and the entrance was caved in.
“Towa? Oh my god,” Bamba quickly got out the TsuyoSoul (Power Soul) and was going to use it when he realized that he didn’t know where Towa was, and Towa could be directly on the other side of the entrance.
Not wanting to hurt his brother, Bamba stopped and used the KaruSoul (Float Soul) on the rocks instead, to lift them up.

Towa spent some time just thinking of things to keep his mind busy, but looked over at the entrance as light came in. The rocks in front of the entrance were getting out of the way. Towa’s eyes adjusted to the brightness, and he saw Bamba.
His older brother moved the rocks out of the way and Towa stayed where he was, not wanting to hurt his leg further.
“Are you okay?” Bamba ran over and tried to help Towa up. Towa winced as he stood, and held onto Bamba as he took pressure off his right foot.
Realizing something was wrong, Bamba lay Towa back down and pulled up Towa’s pant leg to see what happened.
Towa’s leg was heavily bruised, with the worst bruise being a big purplish colour in the middle of his lower leg.
“I’ll carry you, okay? We’re going to the Tatsui’s,” Bamba decided.
“Okay,” Towa said, going to use his communicator before realizing it was broken.
“We can ask Melt to fix that too,” Bamba mumbled. He used his own communicator to say that they were coming over and carried Towa in his arms, careful of his right leg.
“You’ll be okay.”