Chapter 1: Gaps in the Past
The first thing I remember about my past is blood. I can't remember anything before it, and even a little after that my mind has lost. Or, at least, the memories had been locked away in the darkest corner of my mind, far out of reach.
Blood. In the air; splattered on the floor; the wall; on me. On my hands, my clothes, my face. And I remember the feeling of horror.
Then it was strangers.
An old lady, trading me for a bag of gold to a large, burly man. A kind man with shining grey eyes taking me away from the abusic, burly man. Then a masked man, leaving me after killing the kind man.
Then it was Hiro-nii.
He was about four years older than me. At the time, I was six. He had the kindest face, innocent, unlike mine. He had shoulder-length brown hair that he wore back in a ponytail and bright green eyes. His skin had a healthy tan, but I could tell even under his filthy clothes that he was too thin.
He stood there for a moment, staring at me. Then he glanced at his half-eaten loaf of bread and promptly held it out ot me, still chewing his own mouthful.
I stared at it dully.
"I'm Tatagami Hiroshi," he said suddenly. "But you can call me Hiro."
Even when I fought against him, he dragged me all the way back to the run-down shack he lived in. He told me how he lived alone after his parents died, and how he would really like a friend.
Despit my own hardship, I felt emphathetic towards him. We were really quite alike, after all.
So I stayed with him, if not out of pity, then my own longing. And soon I began to like him. He was what I would imagine an older brother to be, so I called him "Big brother."
We grew up in that little shack together. We never really had full stomachs or any luxuries like that, but we made do. Hiro-nii and I had the best times of our lives together, getting jobs whenever and wherever they were available in the village, causing mischief on unsuspecting travelers. It was all fun and games to us.
Until Hiro-nii became ill, that is.
One day, when I was 15, I found him unconscious in the snow. I knew it was bad, and I couldn't bear the thought of losing him. But he smiled, placing his hand on my bleached blonde hair gently. He didn't say a word, but I understood, and I wiped away the tears form my purple eyes solemnly.
FUN FACT: In the original version of this story, Rai had raven black hair and yellow eyes asbright as the sun, and he started out 14 years old.