Duo woke to voices he didn't recognize. He stretched as he sat up and looked out the window. He noticed that the
sun was setting, the sky awash in hues of blues, purples, and pinks. It was very beautiful. That was one thing that
his mother found enjoyable. Just sitting out on the patio, watching the sunset. Thinking about her brought tears to
his eyes. She had only been gone for a little over a year now, but it seemed like she had been gone much longer.
The voices from the other room broke him from his memories as they rose in pitch. He decided to see what all the
commotion was about.
Out in the sanctuary Quatre was arguing with an Asian man. Duo didn't want to intrude so he waited in the hallway
and listened to them converse as it seemed to be about him.
"Why would *He* tell him to come here? We. no I am not supposed to be involved in this anymore. I was not
expecting to have to go through this again." Quatre told the other young man.
"You have to keep him here and not allow *Him* to claim him. We do not need to start another battle. The last one
was bloody enough."
"Yes, I agree, but he can't stay here forever. Sooner or later the True Lord will have him and reclaim his rightful
"This boy is but a pawn in their game of power. It is an injustice to him to be treated in this manner." The asian boy
growled out. "We should call in the others. They can help us figure out what to do next. Right now we must keep
him inside and have one of us watching him at all times." Suddenly they went quiet. Duo's curiosity got the better
of him and he peeked around the corner to face two sets of eyes focused intensely on him.
"Ahh.Hi. I was hungry." And to help emphasize the truth in his comment his stomach growled. He nervously
laughed as the two boys continued to stare at him. "Umm.. I am sorry to have interrupted you." He added
sheepishly. The Asian boy was sizing him up with his eyes and started to approach and Duo took in the boy's
appearance as he did. At closer look, he seemed of Chinese ancestry. His straight ebony hair was loose and reached
to his shoulders. He wore form fitting black leather pants, knee high lace up black leather boots, a crimson silk top
with sleeves that slightly billowed but were cinched at the wrists by black leather cuffs. The top was open slightly at
the neck revealing a leather choker with a small silver cross hanging from it. He wondered why he would be wearing
a cross, but put that thought aside as the Chinese boy spoke.
"So you are the Maxwell boy." He said while circling the boy and checking him over. "I can see why they would fight
for you." He added staring him straight in the eyes. "But I need to make sure you are the one. Do you have any
Duo looked at him questionly. He still didn't understand what this was all about, but could tell that he wouldn't get
any answers until he answered theirs. "Yes I do." He offered.
"Then show me." The young Chinese man kept his gaze locked on the boy.
"Ahh.." The fey boy was hesitant to show it. He remembered his mother telling him to promise her to never allow it
to be seen in the open, so he had always had to wear shirts that covered it, or kept his hair hanging over it. The
Asian could sense his hesitancy and turned towards the blond priest for help.
"It is okay to show him, Duo. He will keep the secret. You will not dishonor your mother's wishes by doing so." The
blond said with a smile.
"H..how did you know?" Duo asked in shock. /How could he have known of the promise?/
"Quatre has a special ability. He can feel others' emotions and on occasion when they are especially strong, he can
see their thoughts. He didn't mean to frighten you." All faces turned to see who the new voice was.
Another young man about his age stood in the doorway. His light brown hair hung over his face hiding one of his
eyes in the process. The one visible was the color of a brilliant emerald. He stood slightly taller than the rest,
dressed similar to the Chinese boy, but wearing emerald green silk shirt instead of crimson. He too had a sword
attached to the belt around his hips. Duo also noticed the choker he wore also had a simple silver cross. /They
must somehow be connected./ Duo thought to himself, looking between the new arrival and the Chinese boy.
"Trowa!" The blond priest all but threw himself at the newest visitor and hugged him. "I am so glad you came! I was
hoping that the message reached you." He hugged the taller man again and it was returned as well.
"Yes it did, little one." Trowa said to the blond who noticeably blushed at the endearment. He then turned his
attention towards Duo and the dark haired boy. "It is good to see you again Chang, Wufei." He said with a curtly
nod. "Is this the boy that was spoken of?" Trowa asked but kept his gaze on Duo, who was beginning to feel
uneasy under all the attention.
"Yes. This is Duo Maxwell. He showed up here this morning." Quatre shifted nervously. "*He* told him to come
here." At this, Trowa's visible eye widened and looked between Wufei and Quatre.
"Does he bear the mark?" Trowa asked Wufei, whom was the closest in proximity to Duo.
"We were just checking for it when you arrived." Wufei said then turned his attention back to Duo. "Show us the
Duo slowly unbuttoned his shirt while turning his back to the others in the room. Shaking it off, he lifted his hair
out of the way so that they could see the mark that looked more like a tattoo. Once it was fully exposed, Duo heard
their collective gasps.
"He really is the one." Quatre said as he approached the longhaired boy. He closely studied the mark that was
situated at the base of his neck where it merged into his shoulders. It was a dark blue in color, causing it to stand
out prominently against the pale white skin. The symbol was about four to five inches long, and consisted of what
looked like a sword, the hilt at the base of his neck extending down between his shoulder blades, with a chain and a
rose wrapped around it.  For being a mark that naturally appeared, it was very intricate.
"Yes he is. I figured it out, but was too late to catch him at his estate."
"His estate?" Quatre asked the ebon haired boy. "I thought that the *one* was to be an orphan?"
"He is an orphan, just one with lots of money." Wufei said while motioning to the fey boy that he could put his shirt
back on. "There was never any mention that he/she had to be poor. We just had assumed that was what should be
in being an orphan. I only figured that out recently. That is how I happened to come to the Maxwell residence this
morning. I found Professor G dead and decided to make a visit here. You do remember Professor G, don't you?"
"Yes. I remember him. He was the leading scholar on the history of the Blood, right?" Trowa said as he walked over
"Yes, and he was the one who was so adamant about this." Wufei said gesturing at Duo. "He spent most of his
time trying to find a way to stop this now inevitable war from starting. It seems that he tried and failed."
The current Blood Lord of the lands awoke for the night to find his head servant waiting for him.
"My Lord." He said as he bowed. "Important news has arrived." He said as he handed his master an envelope.
"You may leave." The Lord said and waved him away with a flick of his wrist. He opened the envelope and began to
read. The resounding yell sent shivers of fear and dread through all those present in the castle.
Quatre and Trowa wandered off to talk as Wufei and Duo continued to sit at the kitchen table, the fey boy
consuming his third helping of stew. Wufei offhandedly noticed that the sun had set. He knew that the True Lord
would return to take this boy, but he couldn't allow it. Yet he knew that no matter what they did, one way or
another, there would be blood spilt over him. They just needed to prepare.
After finishing off his fifth bowl of stew, Duo got up and headed back into the sanctuary with Wufei following close
behind. As soon as they entered, there was a rapping at the door. Wufei turned to Duo.
"You stay here. Don't move." Wufei then walked to see who was at the door. He knew that the others they sent for
could have, with luck, reached here by now, but it wasn't likely. He drew his sword and slowly inched to door open.
There in front of him was the True Lord. "QUATRE! TROWA!! GET OUT HERE!!" He yelled back into the church.
Turning his attention back to the young man at the door, he opened it further allowing the other to see he was
The True Lord merely stared at Wufei. He wouldn't let anything stand between him and what was rightfully his. "I
am here for Duo." He calmly said while his anger grew at the thought that these humans, he caught a glimpse of
the choker around the Chinese boys neck, --no, hunters-- would keep him from the boy. Hunters were harder to
fight than mere mortals. They were stronger and faster than humans, and many had the ability to heal. Their
presence wasn't to be taken lightly, but then again he figured they would appear after the boy showed up on the
doorstep. He also knew this was the only way to keep the boy from the Blood Lord until he could claim him.
"You may not take him. Not without going through us first." Wufei said, his eyes ablaze with fury at the Lord. He
knew that eventually the boy would be taken, as the Lord who now stood before him was the strongest that has
ever come to be. The reasons for him not rightfully claiming the throne, however, were still a mystery.
While Wufei was distracted with the Lord, Quatre and Trowa had entered. Quatre was now wearing a similar outfit
as the other two with the exception that his shirt was a deep hue of blue, which accented his eyes. Both stood a
distance behind Wufei and in front of Duo with their swords drawn.
Notes:  - got this idea from my favorite comic series DAWN by Joseph Michael Linsner.