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Arc 1 of By Moonlight


Prologue

He was running… as fast as he possibly could. His heavy and quick footsteps reverberated throughout the darkened hall, barely lit by an unknown source. He was panting and heaving, almost completely winded, his legs threatening to give out on him. He forced myself to keep going. He couldn’t stop… he had to keep going.

This hallway seemed to go on forever… he couldn’t see the end. The walls slowly closed in on him as he went. Still he ran. Further and further down that hallway. He heard her voice, crying out his name. He heard it so clear down that hallway. She was being assaulted as he ran, he knew it… he knew exactly what was happening… he could hear the man’s grunting along with her cries for help. He ran faster, pushing himself further. The walls closed in further, further, giving his shoulders barely enough room. He saw the glint of light approach, and he pushed myself even more to get there. He slowed, unable to find the proper room to run anymore, forcing his body sideways to squeeze further. Her voice was barely there, now… resigned to the fact that nobody was coming to help her. He tried to squeeze my way through, his chest and back sliding against the stone walls. He reached out through the crack towards the light, gripping the outside edge of the doorway, attempting to pull himself through.

He saw her… she was there… abused and beaten… the man over her finished with her. She had a blank stare, tears down her cheeks, an emotionless expression… she didn’t even resist as the man brought down the knife.

He reached out to her as time slowed, desperately holding his hand out, screaming out to her.

“TSUKIIIII!”

---

He woke up, roused from his sleep by the train he was on. He was seated at a window seat on his own, his head leaned against the glass, staring out at the scenery outside. He was traveling through Toyko, staring blankly out at the nightly cityscape, the bright lights making the streets below bright as daytime. This was his third train on his way to Tokyo, and the last one he would be on before reaching his destination. It didn’t take too long to pass through Tokyo on the bullet train and pass over the water on a long bridge. Tokyo wasn’t where he was headed. His destination was an artificial island-based city just outside the Koto Ward of Tokyo. A much smaller city than Tokyo, of course, but it was still quite large, and it was where he would be living for the next few years.

Tsukiyo.

He had been transferred over here from his previous school, on recommendation from most if not all of his teachers based on his impeccable grades and test scores. He was granted a full scholarship to the academy in the city, aptly named Tsukiyo Academy, though the city was named after the school, not the other way around. The entire city was built around the school, and had everything Tokyo had to offer, maybe then some. He gazed out across the water, the curved bridge leading to the city. Tsukiyo was alight, just as much as Tokyo was. He could see the school itself from here, the huge, snow white buildings towering over the central district of the city. Though the school wasn’t the tallest building in the city, it was certainly the largest, and dominated the island.

That would be his new school until he went to college… he was far, far away from home, but it didn’t bother him. He didn’t have anyone he really cared too much about back at home. His father actually insisted he go here, as he thought it best. He told him it was for the opportunity, but he knew better. Even so, he didn’t argue, and took the soonest train out of his hometown towards Tokyo. It took the whole day to get here.

He was quite far from home.

The train eventually slowed and came to a stop at the station. He gathered my things from the luggage compartment and stepped to the doors as they opened. He exited the train, stepping onto the platform and forward, down a set of stairs, leaving the station thereafter. He pulled a pamphlet from his pocket, taking a look at it. It told him the address of the dorm he would be staying in. Late at night, nobody was going to tell him where it was, so he'd have to find it  himself. It shouldn’t be too much of a hassle.

Sure enough, he made it. It was a bit of a walk from the station, and he did almost get lost a few times, but other than that, he didn’t run into any snags. He looked at the pamphlet to make sure the address was right before looking back up at the 4 story dormitory. It was placed close enough to the school as well as the mall nearby, and luckily for him wasn’t in one of the backstreet areas of the city. It seemed innocent enough as he walked up the steps and opened the wooden double doors. He took a look at the inside. It was quite a neat looking lobby, with red carpets, a living area to my right, complete with two sofas, a coffee table, and two chairs, a reception desk to my left, a bar at the far end of the room, and towards the end, large stairs leading upwards. He looked around for anyone, though it seemed it was too late for anyone else who may be in the dorm to be awake… he thought he was to be expected.

Turns out, he was.

“Oh, hello!” He heard a voice say, from across the room.

He looked over and at the stairwell, he saw a girl walking towards him. Long white hair and sparkling blue eyes were her most striking features. She wore the standard black uniform of Tsukiyo Academy, though it made him wonder why she would bother wearing it this late. He guessed she was planning on washing it in the morning… he himself had his uniform in his clothing bag. The uniform was mailed to him when he accepted the scholarship.

“You must be… um…” She put a finger to her cheek, thinking to herself. “Um… a-anyway… my name is Rin Nagase! What’s yours?”

She had an enthusiastic and cheerful smile as she beamed up at him, though in return he simply stared blankly and unemotionally, not very amused by her. He didn’t bother answering her, a response which she frowned at.

“Not very talkative, are you…?” She said. “Um… well, you’ll be staying here, um… you already know that though… ah…”

She stammered a bit, clearly not used to speaking to someone as unresponsive as he was.

“Um… well, boy’s rooms are on the second floor… girls are on first…” She tried to compose herself, shaking her head.

He looked over to the reception desk, noticing a red sign-in booklet that caught his attention more than the girl in front of him had.

“Um…” She said, trying to get his attention again. “Well… as I said, my name is Rin Nagase. I’m a second year at Tsukiyo Academy and one of your new dorm mates from now on! I hope we can get along well!”

Her cheery smile returned to her, closing her eyes and tilting her head, placing her hands behind her as she grinned. He still gave her that same blank stare.

“Narukami.” He heare another voice say from the stairwell.

He looked over to see a male come down the stairs. He had gray hair, cut short, and matching gray eyes. He wasn’t wearing his school uniform, instead wearing casual around-the-house clothes, which made more sense to him at this hour. He seemed much more down-to-earth than the girl first to greet him, and seemed to give of an air of seniority… which made sense because he looked to be at least a year older than himself. He also looked quite blunt and tough, someone I wouldn’t want to get into a fight with.

He stepped up beside the girl, saying, “That’s your name, isn’t it? Rai Narukami?”

“Oh, right! That was it!” The girl said, pointing a finger up in remembrance.

Rai didn't answer him, either, but the fact that he didn’t deny it meant that he had confirmed it well enough.

“Well… my name is Kiryu Sanada.” He said, not bothering to hold out a hand, catching the hints. Rai was glad someone understood, at least. “I’m a senior at Tsukiyo Academy, and captain of the boxing team.”

That’s why he looked so brusque.

The girl looked over to Kiryu and smiled. “Ah, Kiryu-senpai. I was just about to show him to his room.”

“Hrm… alright.” Kiryu said, crossing his arms. “Well, you’re probably tired after the trip over here, so I’ll leave Rin to show you to your room. We can get to know each other better tomorrow after school.”

Rai could sense the slight sarcasm in his voice when he said that, not because he didn’t want to get to know him, but because he could tell that Rai wasn’t the type to open up and be friendly around anyone.

With that, Kiryu left Rai with the girl again, and she once again turned to him and smiled.

“Well… I’ll just show you to your room then!” She beamed. “Like I said, boys are on the second floor. C’mon.”

Rin walked towards the stairwell, and Rai followed her up two flights of stairs to the second floor. He noticed at the landing there was another sofa and chair and coffee table, as well as two vending machines, to the right leading to a hallway with rooms flanking both sides. She led him down this hallway, all the way to the window at the end, turning right to the farthest room.

“This is your room.” Rin told him, gesturing towards it. “Um… do you have any questions?”

Rai once again remained silent. He didn’t like this girl… she was too happy for his tastes… it really brought down his mood.

The girl sighed, her shoulders slouching.

“Anyway… first day of school is in the morning, so make sure you get some rest.”

Rin made a single wave to him before heading back down the hall, disappearing around the corner to head down to the first floor. Rai looked back to his door and opened it up, stepping inside and shutting the door behind him. He turned on the light and observed his new quarters. A neatly made bed was at the forward wall, flanked by a nightstand with two drawers. In the leftmost corner was a work desk that seemed to have all the school essentials neatly prepared for him, and in the forward left corner was an LED TV on its own table. A closet was on the right wall, which contained a dresser for his clothes as well as a rack with hangers on it. The room was plain and boring… and it would suit him just fine.

Rai put his things down on the bed, sitting down next to it before opening it up and rummaging through it. He found his BridgeGear headset and his laptop, setting both down on the nightstand. He stared at them… the one game he had for the console was Endless Utopia Online. He had been playing the game for a while now… matter of fact, it was what took up most of his spare time outside of studies, though a gamer he was not. He only had one reason for playing the game…

He'd had distant contact with certain individuals who will not be named… he had certain connections that let him get information on certain people. Rai was looking for someone; one person in particular, who he has been searching for, for years now. One of his associates told him that some people in contact with this man played Endless Utopia Online. If he could find these players, he could find the man he was looking for… once he found out where he was… he was going to kill him.

For what he did to him… to his family… he would find him, and he would kill him. Rai was so close now, he could feel it. The day was soon where he would look that man in the eye and make him know what he did before ending his existence. For four years, it’s all he had been living for.


His one purpose in life was to kill the man who took it all away from him.

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