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It was a warm hazy day. The clouds were passing through the sky as if they were all headed on toward one central point in the sky. The sun peeked out over the mountain of white barely heating the breeze of the air below. In between the grass below a dusty road leading into a city could be seen holding a young man in its grasp. What awaited him this day? No one could be sure....


The boy sheilded his eyes as he started ooking up at the large town "Whew! Almost to town...it seemed like ages since I Ieft home to find a good trainer. I guess if I ask around in town I'm bound to at least get a good lead on trying to find a competent swordsman." Sighing, he continued walking toward his destnation.

Amidst the crowd the boy would spot a red-haired young man taking a walk with his dog; though the whole situation was normal enough, something about the pair, the dog in particular seemed wrong, in a sense. This only intensified when the dog turned around and looked at him, revealing its eyes to be blood red in color.

The young man followed the gaze of the animal and his eyes came to rest atop of Haruki, his eyes were a perfect maroon and just like with the dog; there was something off about him. The man quickly turned around as he vanished - leaving behind a clear trace of Spiritual Power for Haruki to follow, should he choose to.

Haruki was still in a state of shock after making eye contact with the strange man and his pet. "I've come across what they call shinigami, I had an encounter with a pagan god, and I heard about my pal's battle with a homonculus, but what in the world were they?" Haruki began running after the faint trace of spiritual energy left dangling in the air. "Hm. This could be a trap but then again this could also be the trainer I was looking for."

Haruki would follow the pair to the farthest outskirts of the town, where the young man. Very surprisingly proceeded to rip off his shirt with an annoyed snort, before kicking off his shoes. The man turns towards Haruki, arching an eyebrow in surprise "Why have ye followed me, eh?" well, this at least proved that it was not a trap.

The man then turned towards his pet as he released it. The creature growled angrily before it vanished. Its "Master" folding his hands suspicously across his bare chest, awaiting Haruki's response.

Looking around at his strange surroundings Haruki laughed "Well, I'm looking for someone to make me stronger in preparation for an upcoming er...trip. And in town you and your...pet? Well you bove gave off some faint traces of spiritual energy before leaving abrubtly so I followed the trail. I guess I didn't think about if you wanted to be followed or not."

"I highly doubt I could help you with anything, whats more, I wouldn't want to help just any youngster whom came up to me and asked. Though, if you are a human, I think we could come to an agreement anyhow" The mans smirk widens slowly.

Haruki sighed as he slumped over a bit "Hm? Aren't you human?"

"Hmm.. Not quite, but then again you're not quite human yourself are you? But if you're born human, then I can grant you any wish you desire, against a certain price, of course. And within reason" The man folds his arms across his chest slowly "So, are you born human, or Shinigami?"

"Its a bit more complicated than that....I was born to a Shinkūmyō and a Shinigami, yet there were more outiside circumstances and I'm sort of a pseudo-human/shinigami hybrid. But what are you talking about?...Will this wish be able to make me stronger?"

The newcomer arched an eyebrow in surprise, before he spoke again "Stronger, hmm.. I think it could, though of course you have to pay - what I want is a promise, if you can promise that when you die, I'll have your soul, I'll grant you one wish - while I'm not able to make you stronger like this, I could offer to be you sparring partner - naturally, simply being a sparring partner ain't worth your soul, so therefore, I'll give you an additional wish, is there anything else besides power you'd want?"

Haruki was silent for a few moments as he pondered what could happen "Have my soul? Hmm..so I take it then you have the souls of others already? If that is the case then my other wish would be for me to have one for use in my zanpakuto. So in otherwords you have yourself a deal." He turned as he flexed his shoulders and reached down into his bag pulling out a long blade. "But a sparring partner is always good. Whatever it takes to get stronger is fine by me."

The red-haired man looked slightly taken aback by Haruki's request, but he answers nonetheless "I'm sorry, but I'm unable to give souls away as they become a part of me - I can however fulfill most other wishes, perhaps you don't want to look so girly?" He extends his hand out towards Haruki in a questioning manner.

Haruki showedan obvious irritation at the man's question. "Girly!? I don't think I look girly at all. In fact I think I look quite normal! Fufufufu. Hmph. Now listen up you insulting weirdo. You said you can grant wishes but so far everything I asked for you haven't been able to give to me. So why don't you tell me what you can grant?"

The man shrugs slightly before he speaks once more "Well, I can change the appearance of men, I can help you get a girlfriend, or a boyfriend.. one can't really tell in these modern times: I could also help someone else you care about, who knows, you have a lonely family member perhaps? Or someone whom have been born with some unpleasantries, warts, buldging eyes, etc: I can at least do something about such small things, male or not." Damn it, this guy is really simple, he only cares about power - Geez, It is much easier to do this with subjects whom have at least a tiny sense of self. The man frowns somewhat, clearly bothered by something.

Haruki sighed as he turned to looked at the strange man. "Hm? Why would I need any of that? I just have to get stronger in order to get revenge on a shinigami named Inshu Senshi. He attacked me and my friends in our home town and destroyed our school. I'm usually not one for fighting but it was such a one sided fight that we all decided to train and get stronger in preparation for finding him again for a rematch. How about this--you become my ally for a time and assist us when we invade the Soul Society?"

"I decline, I'll however train you though.. I've lived for some years after all, though Swordsmanship might not be the field I can teach you the most in: I think that I can assist you in the case of Kido and Hand-to-Hand Combat." The man folds his arms across his chest before he seemingly faded away into the air, only to reappear in front of Haruki, as he whirls his body around in order to attain the nessecary momentum for a powerful kick; his legs swings out in a perfect arc as he attembs to slam into Haruki's side with the front of his foot; aiming to send the youngster plummeting through the battlefield from the force.

After the kick, wether it was successful or not, the man tip-toes about at the spot in order to warm up no doupt, as he speaks "We'll have to see how far you've come, now won't we.. the name is Red, just incase I accidentally kill you - I'll pull my punches accordingly though"

The kick impacts with Haruki's mid-section sending him flying across the battlefield. Landing in some brush near the edge of the area, Haruki stood as he took the leaves and sticks out of hair. "Looks likethe class has already began, I'm not complaining I just hope he doesn't get woken up and comes to the front in order to take control." Haruki began sprinting toward Red as he continued "The name is Haruki, nice to meet ya formerly now so this can really begin." Drawing his blade Haruki took a swing at Red's shoulder.

As Haruki approaches him, "Red" abruptly turns his head and shoulder laternally and beneath the incoming swing, as his opponent's swing arrives he simultaneously shifts the weight of his body to the right, before quickly applying momentum onto his right leg and sending the knee straight up for Haruki's exposed abdomen in a rising motion.

The knee striking him directly in the gut Haruki fell to his knee as he spat up some blood. "Argh..why does conflict have to happen? A one sided fight like this...is this really all life is about? I'm sure that there is another way, but why can't I see it?"

Red takes but a few steps backwards as he eyes the boy "Ya' know, I think that your main problem is the fact that you're too inexperienced, and that ye don't seem to have any skill to begin with; Ye say ya' want to learn Swordsmanship, eh? Well, I'm able to teach you hand-to-hand combat if you'd like, and perhaps I can assist you slightly in your Kido as well, I dunno" Red scratches the back of his neck, seemingly bothered by something.

"I was told something like that before by one of my new friends and I guess it jusdt didnt sink in until just now." Haruki stood as he brushed himself off "But if you're really willing to teach me then I'm willing to learn." He bowed over sincerly, wiping his face of dirt and tears in the process.

"I will, but only if you accept the deal - that when you die, your soul belongs to me" Rutilus extends his hand towards the boy, as if to prompt a handshake.

Taking the man's hand Haruki smiled "If you're supposed to be training me, then I don't think I'll be dying anytime soon. Fufufufu"

As Haruki accepts his handshake a flurry of pictures, instructions and knowledge about Kido and Hand-to-Hand Combat should be poured into his mind, etching themselves to his thoughts; using this knowledge it should be fully possible for him to advance in these fields given the proper instructions.

Gripping his head, Haruki eyes glazed over as he seemed to stare off into the distance. "W-What is all of this?"

"Red" folds his arms across his chest as he takes a few steps backwards - "Work with these things for a week and we'll get in contact, and trust me. I'll find you wherever you are; after all, you want to become better, no?"

"I want to become more than just better if I plan on beating that guy. But thank you. With this I know I will be able to accomplish so much more." Haruki smiled with a determined look on his face

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