( Yamaguchi Village, 1594, 420 years before the main storyline)
The streets were darkened at night, and the cool autumn breeze had been replaced by a cold winter wind. The darkness surrounding the stone roads were only pierced by the dim glow of the street lamps, lit only by the small fires inside of them. The roads and walkways looked barren and deserted, save for one boy.
The boy looked onward, never breaking his stride or turning to see the sights. If anyone had looked his way, they probably would have looked at his strange attire, failing to notice the deep and burning hatred in his eyes, or his bloody left hand. He wore a black coat that extended all the way to his knees, with intricate gold lining from the collar down. Under the coat he wore a long black undershirt, almost completely covering his hands. He had on black hakama and wore a pair of simple geta. His left hand was bleeding from numerous cuts all over it.
As the boy walked into one of the lights, he stops and stares ahead. "Who's there?" he calls out. Silence is his only reply. The boy turns his head so that his orange eyes focus on where the movement he has thought he'd seen was. After a minute of staring into the darkness, he pushes his black hair out of his eyes and continues on.
"Where do you think your going, lowlife?" A voice says on his right. The boy tenses and quickly retreats to the light, his eyes narrowing at the place where the voice had come from.
"Were going to make you pay for what you did back there, Shinsei." a different voice said from his left. The boy tensed again, and then said " I thought I taught you guys some manners back there and that we were even."
"Why you little piece of sh-" The first voice began.
"Calm down Ryo! Don't let him get to you!" the first voice stopped speaking immediately at the command of the second voice.
As the boy watched. Seven different shadows began to move into the light. One by one, those shadows took shape, and now seven guys stood in front of the boy. They all simple shihakusho's and each was holding a large knife or a club.
Then, two more guys stepped out of the enveloping shadow, and they held a tanto in their hands. " You thought you saw the last of us back at the bar, didn't you?" The boy named Ryo said.
Shinsei was walking down the streets, looking to kill some time. 'It's always so peaceful at night. I wish it could be night forever.' Shinsei thought. He smirked and continued walking until a sudden crashing sound made him snap his head to the right. A table was laying a few feet to his left, amidst some shattered glass surrounding it. Looking up, Shinse saw "The Devil's Drink", a new bar that had been packed for the last couple of nights. Yelling and cursing could be heard through the broken window. 'It's not my problem' Shinsei thought. He turned to leave when he heard a woman sobbing. For three seconds, Shinsei stood there with a blank look. Then, his blood began to boil in rage. Keeping a straight face, he walked into the bar and surveyed the scene.
The people who were yelling and cursing were standing at the bar. They all looked drunk, and extremely pissed. The one who was causing the most noise seemed to be the leader. He had slick hair and a red shihakusho.
"What do you mean 'We should go home' you bitch? I'm staying here and you are too!" The man yelled. A woman sobbed at the mans feet, bruises marking her arms and face. "B-But R-Ryo, were not su-supposed to-" "Supposed to WHAT? DRINK? I'll drink I'll I fucking want and you can't do anything, slut!" Ryo spat as he smacked the girl in the face.
At that moment, Shinsei's blood boiled over. "Excuse me sir, why are you hitting that lady?" he said. Ryo looked around and, spotting him, said "What's it to you, lowlife? This is our business and you can butt out, kid!" Ryo and the other men burst out laughing while the girl cried silently on the floor. Shinsei's eyebrow twitched, a tell-tale sign for all that know him as the indication that he's pissed.
"Before I go, sir, I have two things to tell you. First, my name isn't 'lowlife' or 'kid', it's Shinsei. Second, I absolutely HATE people who abuse women and children." Without another warning, Shinsei had moved right up to Ryo and smashed his stomach with his fist. The smile on Ryo's lips left almost immediately, followed by an expression of pain.
"Why you little PIECE OF SHIT!" Ryo yelled as he started wildly swinging his fists. The black-haired boy merely sidestepped all of them and responded with an uppercut to Ryo's jaw. Unfortunately for Ryo, he had picked a fight with Shinsei, who was a black belt in karate as well as a highly experienced kendo master, things he had learned from his grandfather. Within one minute all of Ryo's attacks were stopped and Shinsei sent him crashing into the floor, the only injuries suffered being his hand which had been cut up by the broken glass of the table.
The other thugs stared in disbelief at the fact that there boss had been defeated so easily by a kid who hadn't even broken out a sweat. Shinsei walked over to the girl and said in a soothing voice " It isn't safe with him. Find somewhere to stay and keep away from him. You deserve much better." The girl wiped the tears from her eyes and silently nodded, quickly picked her belongings up and left the bar.
He watched her leave, sighed, and said to Ryo " It's people like you that make me this world shit." Monty walked over and picked him up and said "If I ever find you abusing another woman again, I WILL come and kill you. Understand?" Ryo nodded, to which he replied "Good." He dropped Ryo and walked out, leaving a group of angered thugs to brew in their filth.
"Well, I think it's time to settle this little problem of ours, don't you think so Sho?"
The other man looked at Shinsei and simply said "Yes, lets."
All at once the nine thugs began to advance on Shinsei He narrowed his eyes, and before anyone could act, he moved to the nearest thug as sent a powerful kick into his stomach. The thug coughed up blood and doubled over, dropping his club in the process. Shinsei grabbed the pipe and ran in between the gap he created.
"GET HIM!!!!!!" Ryo screamed. Six thugs left started running after Shinsei, not willing to lose him from their sights.
As Shinsei ran in the inky darkness, he began calculating the best possible escape route from where he was. 'The guard station is too far away, so that is out.' Shinsei thought. 'That means that I can either get to the inn or the doctor's office. Although the doctor's is closer, they would expect me to go there, so I'll head to the inn instead.'
After running three more blocks, Shinsei turned right into an alley. He looked at the surroundings and hid behind an outhouse, waiting to see if the thugs would pass. While he hid, Monty began to feel the weight of the club he had grabbed. 'It's a little top heavy, but it will do.' he mused.
After about two minutes, the sound of heavy feet pounding the cobblestone alerted Shinsei to the thugs. "Where did he go?" One thug asked.
" I don't know. Maybe he ran to the doctor's office?" Another suggested.
"Yeah, that's pretty close to here. If he gets there, we won't be able to reach him! Quickly, follow me!" A third said. The thugs footsteps became distant, and now only silence surrounded the alley where Shinsei hid.
After three minutes, Shinsei cautiously moved from behind the outhouse, not taking any chances that one of the thugs might have stayed behind. When he peeked out from the alley, Shinsei saw no one around. Taking one more glance around, he quietly began moving down the alley towards the safety of the inn.
As he neared the other end of the alley, a nauseating odor began to enter Shinsei s nose. It filled his lungs with a stench all too familiar to Shinsei; the stench of blood and death. He also began to hear a strange sound coming from the direction of the smell. It was a low, fleshy sound, almost like someone was chewing rubber or fat. 'Judging by the smell, it's fresh. It's probably just a stray dog, though I should take care' he thought. Shinsei put the club into his right hand, and prepared a stance from kendo practice. He began to walk at a slower pace, and soon saw the end of the alley and the cause of the smell.
The sight that greeted Shinsei almost made him vomit on the spot. A sickening lump formed in his throat as he stared at the atrocious event unfolding before him.
Ten feet away from Shinsei in the center of the alley, was a human corpse. The face was cut very deeply and very badly, enough so that no one could recognize it. The arms were bent in awkward positions, almost like the person had be thrown around like a rag doll and left here by some careless child. The torso was also torn to shreds; there was no real way to identify if it was a boy or girl. That was all there was to see, for the entire lower half was gone. Strange marks decorated the area were the lower half was gone, 'Almost like teeth marks…..' Shinsei thought. Blood had pooled around the body, forming a large puddle or gore there.
But this sight wasn't what made Shinsei want to puke; what was behind the body had made him sick. Three feet beyond the body, stood a creature unlike any others that he had ever seen. It stood eight feet tall and was completely black. It was humanoid in shape, with a large three-fingered claw wrapped around the lower half of the corpse's body and the other off to the side. A powerful tail swished slowly behind the creature, ending in a scythe-like protrusion that looked about four feet long. A hole was situated in the center of the creature, large enough to allow a person to see the full moon clearly through it. The head was covered in a white mask similar to an oni's face; three eyes, two sets of horns and a wicked mouth full of needle-like teeth completed it's monstrous appearance.
What unsettled him most, however, were the creatures eyes. They were two yellow eyes without any pupils or iris, and similar in appearance to a snake. When Shinsei stared at them, a chill ran down his spine. 'There is no life in those eyes…… I need to get away before this thing notices me.' Slowly, Shinsei started retreating, one step at a time to not draw attention. 'Yes! Just a few more steps and I'll be home free!' he thought.
"Hey guys! I found him! He's down this alley!" Shinsei tensed and swiftly looked over his shoulder to see all nine thugs running at him, weapons drawn. "Of all times, they had to show up now?" he muttered under his breath.
A low growl reminded Shinsei of the creature in front of him. The creature was now looking at him and the thugs, it's needle-like teeth bared and ready to bite.
The beast took one step forward and disappeared. Shinsei was shocked, thinking to himself 'Did it just vanish?'. The loud booming sound behind him, however, told Shinsei that the creature was behind him. He instinctively jumped to his left, feeling the cold air pass by him as the creature swung it's claw down where he had been only seconds before
. 'No, it's not vanishing; that would have been instantaneous and I would be dead.' Shinsei reflected 'This is more like extreme speed, fast enough to make him invisible to the naked eye.' The creature growled again, and turned to face Monty.
For Shinsei there were two options left: head towards the creature and try to get the thugs and the creature to fight, or run away from the monster and leave it to deal with the thugs. 'I'm closer to the inn than the doctor's office, and I can't risk getting caught by the thugs or that creature, so….' Shinsei considered.
Without any warning, Shinsei took off running, passing the human corpse and onto the stone road. He had never run so fast or so hard in his life; no other time in life had strained Shinsei to this extent.
Another growl came from behind him, and he could tell it was close. It seems the creature wasn't done with him yet; his meal would not escape. Farther off, Shinsei heard the thugs yelling to go after him. ' If I don't die from this ordeal, I'm going to stop helping people.'Shinsei thought.
Five minutes he had been running, and during that time neither the beast or the thugs had given up. 'Don't they see that hulking monster? Why haven't they run away from it?' Shinsei questioned. '…. Maybe they don't see it. But then how do I see it? Some kind of strange camouflage?' He questioned.
'No, it doesn't matter at this point. All I know is that I need to get to the inn as soon as possible. I don't know if that will deter the creature, but it will stop those idiotic thugs from chasing me.' Shinsei concluded. He decided to pick up the pace and sprinted as fast as he could down the street, all the while focusing on how to get to the fire station as quickly as possible.
Now ten minutes had passed, and Shinsei s pursuers were still chasing him. "Don't they know when to give up?!!" Shinsei muttered. His breathing had become ragged and erratic, and his heart was pounding against his ribcage, gasping for air. Shinsei's pace had begun to slow, and his eyesight was starting to get fuzzy. "Just…. a little….. more and I'll be there." H wheezed.
The inn was in his sight, about 100 feet away. "Almost…. There….."Shinsei began coughing, and his pace slowed even more. ' No! You're almost there, keeping moving!' His mind screamed at him. Now the inn was 50 feet away. 'Just a few more steps……'. 20 feet away from him. Shinsei could almost hear voices inside.
A low chuckle was heard to Shinsei's right and an inhuman voice said "My dear prey, did you think I was going to let you live? Ha ha ha, no, it's time I ended this game of cat and mouse."
Shinsei suddenly felt himself flying through the air, and landed in an alley to the right of the street. An audible crunch was heard from his leg, and Shinsei bit down on his lip so he didn't scream. ' That thing …… was toying with me?….. Then, this was hopeless to begin with….'
" Do you know what I am, human?"Shinsei looked and saw the creature towering before him. The creature didn't wait for him to respond, and answered.
" I am a Hollow. And you, unfortunately, are my prey. You did amuse me by running, however; Give me your name, and I will honor your memory."
The Hollow then laughed, and stepped on Shinsei's other leg. This time he screamed in pain. " As if I would remember your name, you pathetic human! Your worthless, and serve only to feed me. So die already, and feed my hunger." The Hollow raised on of it's clawed hands, and thrust it into Shinsei's chest.
Shinsei's eyes began to dull immediately. A single tear ran down his eye. "Is this…. Really how I was meant to die? ……. heh, I guess I should have told my family that I loved them before I left." he whispered. " Well…… I guess it isn't too late, so…… Sorry, Mother and Father, goodbye.... Insei ….. Thanks for everything…….."
Tears were freely flowing down his cheeks by now, mixing with the blood that ran from his mouth to his chest. "I'm off to see Mom and Dad now, Insei…. So, don't cry when you find out…." His hands uncurled, and the life left his eyes completely.
The Hollow chuckled. "And now, time to eat..." He growls hungrily, before snapping his head up at the feeling of reiatsu baring down on him. "Shit, here already?" He snarls.
He looks at the body of his prey. "Next time, morsel. Next time..." He opens a Garganta and disappears through it, as a man descended into the alleyway from the rooftops above. He wore a black Shihakusho and a white undershirt. "Damnit, I was too late." He frowns, saddened seeing Shinsei's corpse splayed out in the alley. The man walks forward, pulling out a japanese katana from a sheathe on his side, before pausing. "Wait...where is the soul?"
A lone Plus ran down the street, a look of confusion and fear in his eyes. "Home.." he breathed, and made his way to the building he had called his house when he was alive.
(Hueco Mundo, 1595, Year Later from Shinsei's Death)
The eternal moon showed over the endless dunes of Hueco Mundo. The sand seemed to continue on in all direction for miles. No life showed itself anywhere.
And yet, it wasn't lifeless. A solemn trail of foot prints lead off to the North, footprints that couldn't belong to any human. And in the midst of the footprints, was tattered clothes of black, torn to shreds and thrown away. Sand slowly began to cover it, and after a few minutes the desert claimed the remains, leaving no trace of it.