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Chapter 2
"A fairy tale moon grins
like the cat of the night
and its empty smile on your empty eyes
forces a tear down your cheek
laughter becomes madness
madness becomes horror"


Mia screamed again.A sound somewhere between hysterical sobbing and terrified shrieking.
She,along with Sage,Rowen and Cye,stood in the middle of the small guest bedroom that Kento and Cye had been sharing. For several moments the three ronins stared stupidly at the bed in which Kento's seemingly lifeless body lay.Blood soaked almost every inch of the crisp white sheets.The white only helping to accentuate the bright red blood,and in turn accentuating the dire realism of the situation.
For everyone in the room it seemed like an eternity of torture went by before someone finally chose a course of action.Rowen raced out of the room,whithout saying a word.But they all knew he was going to call 911.Despite the very evident and unnerving feeling of wrongness about the situation,there was really nothing better or more appropriate to do.
Cye was the next to move.He took a few hesitant steps forward,positioning himself next to the spot where kento lay.He stared at his dead friend for a few seconds,which was quite enough,before he jerked his large,innocent eyes away from Kento and met Sage's bewildered gaze. Their eyes met and a mutual feeling of horror and confusion passed between them. They both knew what was wrong.There Kento lay,turning his surroundings a bright crimson,and not only did they not have a clue what had happened to him,he didnt feel dead.They assumed that if he had perished they would be able to feel it.To feel his soul being ripped from their strong unity,leaving a gaping hole.But all that Sage,Rowen and Cye were feeling was his same old presence. The exact thing they had felt every day of their lives.
"Oh my god......I...I cant believe this." Sage muttered to himself,breaking the silence that hung in the air like thick,hot humidity.
All Cye could do was nod slightly and back away from Kento,a bit too traumatized to speak.
"Ryo?"Sage called in a shaky voice,suddenly noticing his strange absence.Ryo must have heard Mia where was he?He wondered. The feeling of dread that already resided in him hightened and the silence once again seemed so intense it could crush him.
"I'll be back in a second,"he said with a fringe of worry,but otherwise emotionless.Sage released the stunned and shaking Mia from his arms and quickly started down the hall towards Ryo's room,the sinking feeling in his chest growing so strong that he felt like he would collapse in on himself at any moment.......


They were both proclaimed dead on arrival.Ryo and Kento. Both dead.Massacred by god knows what.

Rowen listened to the dull wailing sound of the ambulence sirens and whatched the flickering red and blue lights cast colorful,dancing shadows on the freshly fallen snow.
He could hear the distant sound of dozons of police officers scouting the area.To the paramedics and cops,this was just another murder case.
Fools,Rowen thought bitterly.He knew this case was one they would never solve.He had the odd feeling that somehow the dynasty was envolved.He was sure of it.But why would that be?He asked himself.Talpa is gone.......the dynasty is our ally now.....
The snow crunched like dead leaves under his feet as he wandered by the string of ambulences and police cars and surveyed the chaotic scene.
In the middle of the flashing lights and constant conversation he could see Cye and Mia being questioned by a bored looking,overweight police officer. He could hear that Cye's voice was squeaky and on the verge of tears as he frantically told the police officer that he hadnt heard or seen a thing even though he had been in the same room the entire time.
Rowen shoke his head and sighed deeply.The whole stupid situation was so perplexing.He couln't stand it.
He wistfully looked up to the night sky.Most of it,including the moon,was concealed behind enormouse dark clouds.The parts that were left uncovered were pitch black and speckled with an occasional star.
No....This cant be happening!He thought in desperation.There has to be a way......His thoughts crumbled as a hot,wet tear streaked down his cheek,quickly turning to an icey cold.
Rowen continued his stroll and eventually ended up back inside the warm comfort of Mia's house.Most of the lights had been turned off,but he didnt bother to turn any of them on.For some reason the darkness seemed more appropriate.
As he exited the entryway he could see a large figure shrouded in shadows,slowly pacing back and forth across the living room,making a low growling noise.
"White Blaze."
White Blaze recognized Rowen's voice and stopped,sitting still and staring at him,as if to ask what was going on.
"I'm sorry White Blaze." he said as walked over to the large white tiger and ran his hand through it's thick,soft fur.
"I'm so sorry." He said again as fresh tears welled in his eyes.
Rowen turned his head and saw sage standing no more than four feet away from him.He hadn't even heard him come in........
"Sage." He said,without much emotion or reason.
Sage didnt move from the spot where he stood.He was as still as a statue. The only part of him that seemed to move were his sultry,violet eyes that flickered slightly as he stared past Rowen at nothing in particular. "Is this really happening?" Sage asked,somewhat absently as he stepped forward to stroke White Blaze's back.
"I was wondering that myself.I guess it is really happening..........but they cant really be dead can they?"
"They better not be." Sage said fiercly as he spontaniously broke into tears.
Rowen felt as if he could start crying as well,but resisted the urg as he stepped closer to the large living room window and peered outside."They cant be dead.It seems like this whole situation is more........I dont know.......disturbing than anything else.............Their souls are still alive.I can feel it."
"Yes.I know what you mean."Sage slid up next to Rowen as he made an attempt to wipe the tears from his face with the sleave of his dark blue robe,smearing large streaks of wetness across his ghostly pale flesh.He gazed out the window at the monochrome sky along with sage and sighed.
The ominouse clouds had finally cleared away from a portion of the moon,sending a stream of pale blueish silvery light through the window,illuminating them both in a ghostly glow.
"It's as if they're waiting for something," Sage continued after a long pause,not quite sure how to put his thoughts into words."Waiting for us........To save them from whatever is keeping them from us.And we have no idea where to start or what to do."
Rowen mearly nodded,vaguely aware of the tears that silently slid down his pale skin.
White Blaze gave a low and slightly melancholy growl and settled down at their feet.
They stood for several long moments in front of the large window.Two pale silver figures,draped in their long and flowing coats and robes,standing silently in the shadowy room,just like two ghosts.
They gazed intently at the sky,as if looking for some kind of consolation.And for a split second as they surveyed the sky,what they saw through the massive dark grey clouds against the pitch blackness made them swear their eyes were decieving them.For a fraction of a a towering monolith that swallowed the stars,they swore they saw a shadowy castle in the sea of the sky.