Chapter 1:

Call Of The Night

Soul Nemesis [VOLUME I]


“Heh, what you gonna do?”

“She’ll probably go crying back to her mom!”


“Leave her alone!”

A strong voice resounded throughout the small neighborhood park, and of course, the 3 bullies were not stupid enough to not notice. It took quite the courage to fight back against such injustice, even when you weren’t outnumbered. Yet the boy who uttered those words was known for running headfirst into danger.

“Oh, it’s that punk again…” One of the three kids, probably the eldest, muttered, shifting his gaze from the bullied little girl towards his potential rival.

“I said leave her alone!” The boy spat yet again, looking furious. It was not common to get so mad on a stranger’s behalf, which is what baffled the other kids even more.

“Heh, he thinks he’s some kind of hero…” Another one whispered in mocking fashion.

The playground around them seemed to have gone completely still, as the four kids stood opposite of each other. Even with the odds stacked so clearly against him, the brave, yet foolish boy charged onwards, giving the younger girl the brief window to make her escape.


“OW! OW! OW!”

“Eiji, how many times must I tell you…?”

The young woman standing before the boy sighed, as she drenched a pinch of cotton in iodine, and continued disinfecting the bruises on Eiji’s face. Her voice was clear and silvery, and always seemed have a certain calming effect towards everyone around her.

“But Nee-chan—“

“But what, Eiji?” She brushed a stray strand of her brown hair away from her doll-like face as she pressed on with her work.

“She was-- OW!” Eiji winced for a second “She was being harassed by those ba—“

“Language!” His sister scolded at once.

“Stupid… kids.”

“That still counts as swearing, but I’ll let it slide.” She put away the tools, before glancing back at her baby brother “…For now.” She ultimately ruffled his short black hair, albeit a little forcefully.

The name of the young lady in her mid-20s was Kanzaki Hifumi, Eiji’s older sister. She was quite tall for a woman, yet her slim figure made her quite desirable for the opposite sex. Shame she was already taken.

With his now patched-up face, Eiji jumped down from the kitchen counter, landing softly on his feet.

Hifumi fixed up her loose hair in a tail and turned to her younger brother once more as they left the kitchen.

“Eiji, listen….” She sighed yet again, kneeling before him, their eyes level.

“If you’re gonna be fighting with other kids anyway, I’m at least glad it was in order to protect someone.”

“Nee-chan?” The young boy was taken aback for a second. For a person like his sister, who was so averse to violence, to say something like that was quite puzzling to say the least.


Eiji rolled his eyes briefly. Deep inside he already knew a “but” was coming.

“….Violence is not the answer to every problem. Most of the times, words will save someone, far more than physical strength ever will.”

“But Nee-chan no matter what I said they wouldn’t—“

“Did you try talking to them, then?”

A brief moment of silence ensued.


“See? You didn’t even try.” Hifumi sighed lightly.

“But I managed to save that girl in the end, anyway!”

“Yeah, and got a bruised face to show for it!”


Eiji winced once more at a simple poke of his sister’s finger.

“It’s a shame to have to patch up that nice face of yours every single time!”

“What’s all the fuss about?” As the two of them were bickering, a tall, blonde man unlocked the front door and stepped into their humble home. Dressed in an officer’s uniform, and with a cigarette resting on his lips, he gave a cheeky grin.

“Asahi!” Eiji smiled at the man, who gave a wink back.

“I was just telling Eiji, how he shouldn’t get into fights…” Hifumi walked up to him, before they shared a brief embrace. “Welcome back.” She said, her words seemingly covered in honey.

“Glad to be home.” He replied in the same manner, setting aside some shopping bags and walking over to the living room.

This young man was none other than Hifumi’s boyfriend, Asahi Bryce. Born from a Japanese mother and an English father, his natural swept back blonde hair was quite frankly too striking to ignore in a sea of regular Japanese people.

“Now those will make for some cool scars, Eiji!” Asahi joked, poking at the bruised kid’s cheek, as he sat across from him on the sofa.

After wincing once more, Eiji smiled cockily, “You should have seen the other guys!”

While Asahi puffed out the remaining smoke from his cigarette, he let those words sink in, “Guys? You fought two at once?”

“They were actually three.” Hifumi added with a sigh, leaning on the counter.

“Damn! He’ll make for an even better officer than me!” The blonde man said cheekily, putting out his cigarette on the coffee table ashtray. Hifumi didn’t like it when he smoked indoors, but it seemed she was too absorbed with Eiji’s fighting habits to notice.

The culprit in question, smiled wryly at such a self-eccentric comment. Yet that was clearly in Asahi’s nature. Always the one to stir up some laughs.

“And who says he’ll be an officer?” Hifumi’s tone gave off a slight hint of disapproval.

“Hifumi-chan! Can’t you see? He’s destined to be—“

“A punching bag, if he doesn’t learn what’s dangerous and what’s not.”

“Ouch.” Eiji winced once again.

“Nobody touched you this time.” Asahi pointed out.

“The damage was emotional this time.” Eiji cleverly retorted.

“Hifumi, he’s catching my sense of humor!”

“A-NY-WA-Y!” Hifumi put a stop to their shenanigans, before clearing her throat. “I’m willing to let it all slide, if you don’t utter a word to mom about it tomorrow, okay?”

Eiji perked up, “We’re seeing mom tomorrow?”

“Yep, we are. And with her condition being as is, we don’t want her worrying about her son’s fight club antics on top of it too.”

Asahi snorted “She said fight club antics….”


Before Hifumi could switch back into reprimanding mode, Eiji titled his head in puzzlement “Why tomorrow though?”

“You really don’t know?”

“It’s your 11th birthday, silly.” Hifumi chuckled, and finally smiled at her baby brother once more.

“It is?”

“Hey, hey, I know it’s summer vacation and all, but even I’m not that absent-minded about counting days.” Asahi added.

“So do we have a deal, dear brother?” Hifumi brought back the subject at hand.

“Yes, I won’t say a word to mom.”

“Cool, now let’s get dinner ready!”

“What’s for dinner?!” Asahi asked in delight, on his way to get changed.

“You, if you don’t come back here and wash the veggies!”

“Yes ma’am…” Slightly less enthusiastic, the man in his late 20s seemed to have already been caught in his girlfriend’s net for good. But he didn’t seem to mind either.

Eiji couldn’t help but sigh at their shenanigans, as he laid on the couch, careful not to rub his sour face against the pillow the wrong way.

Their household wasn’t big, and the rent didn’t come easy but the two of them provided Eiji and themselves a life certainly worth working for. After Eiji’s and Hifumi’s father left them and their mother while Eiji was still a newborn, for reasons unknown, their three-member family found life difficult at first. Somehow though, they got their bearings as their mother landed a teaching job in the nearest high school. For a while, their finances were in the green, and they seemed to make do even without their father. To their dismay however, their mother fell ill to a progressive disease, and soon had to spend every day in the hospital. That was when Hifumi decided to move in with her partner, Asahi, and of course brought along her brother, who Asahi has come to see as his own. For the past 3 years, life hasn’t been easy for the Kanzaki family. But they made it work. Even if their father never returns, they’ve made themselves a place they can call home.


“Come on, wake up Eiji!”

“Eeeeh?” The young boy got up groggily, rubbing his eyes.

“Dinner’s ready!” Hifumi called, as everyone soon gathered around their small kitchen table.

“Omurice?” Eiji inquired, poking the meal briefly with his fork.


“Yeah, don’t you like it?” Hifumi looked skeptical, while Asahi was already digging in. “…Hey, Asahi!”


“No. I do…. Itadakimasu!” Eiji put his hands together as per the Japanese custom, and started on his dinner. Omurice was a really common dish in Japanese society, and more so in their household, since it was easy to make, and also Hifumi’s favorite to boot. Meaning that, even if Eiji was getting tired of having it every other day, he couldn’t really object.

“Itadakimasu!” “Itadakimasuf!”

“You can’t say itadakimasu with your mouth full…” Hifumi scolded the man seating beside her, who in return paid little mind to what was going on around him.

He was probably just that hungry…

Eiji thought to himself.


After the meal had finished, the biggest eater of them all was on cleaning duty, which was only fair, while Hifumi was watching over him, and Eiji was completely engrossed in an anime on their small television. It was called Onmyouji Yakuin, and followed the adventures of two brothers fighting evil spirits during Feudal Japan.

“Asahi, you missed a spot here.”

“Yes ma’am!”

And he was as obedient as ever too.

“You really ate a whole lot,” Hifumi pointed out, “Did you really like it that much?”

“Of course I did!” Asahi continued wiping the table clean with renewed vigor “And it’s not gonna be long now till you start eating for two as well.”

The man’s wording caught Eiji’s attention fairly easily, who briefly forgot about the anime he was watching altogether.

“For… two?”

“Asahi!” Hifumi glared at her partner, who stopped wiping the table and thought about what he just said.

“Nee-chan?” Eiji quickly turned to his sister, almost thirsty for answers.

“Eiji, look…” She got up and walked over, “We wanted to tell you tomorrow, but…”


“Me and Asahi are…. Having a baby. So you’re going to be a big brother soon.”

“A baby? So you’re pregnant?” Eiji cocked his head to the side, still unable to comprehend.

“Y-yeah…” Hifumi nodded, despite some heat rising to her face.

“But you’re not even married yet!”

“Gah!” Asahi felt like he had been shot, as he leaned against the counter dramatically.

Hifumi’s blush became even more fierce, “Eiji!”

“But isn’t that supposed to—“

“Eiji…! Off to bed with you!” Hifumi quickly cut him off, unable to hold back her embarrassment even longer.

“Yes! On you go, boy!”

“Et tu, Asahi?!” The boy looked on betrayed, his mouth agape.

“Yes Asahi too! Now go on!”

“But it’s not even 11 yet!”

“No buts! Look, your anime just finished too!”

“Aw, I missed the ending!”

Tossing and turning in his bed for a good half hour, the young boy couldn’t sleep to save his life.


All he could think about was the sudden news that were dropped on him like a bombshell. He was to be a big brother figure to her sister’s son… Could he really do that? And what if Asahi and Hifumi forgot about him altogether? Maybe they would move out of their house and get a new one, while Eiji was sent to be taken care of by someone else? No, that didn’t seem likely. He knew Hifumi and Asahi were not that kind of people. He had seen how they were struggling though, and despite not knowing what bearing a child entailed, he was well aware of how hard it might be.


Another sigh, bigger one this time.

He only wish he could grow older faster, so he could help them with their struggles. If only he was older, then they’d probably rely on him more.

And then there was his mother. Living in a hospital, getting frequent treatments. Eiji didn’t know much about illnesses and the like, but he could understand it was rather serious.


Yet despite all that, those news made him quite happy. He would be a big brother soon…

As he sat up in his bed, he looked out the window of his bedroom. The moon was hanging up above in the sky brilliantly, with a glow so enchanting it could put anyone in a trance. It shone, so full and beautiful, like it was almost whispering to him. He couldn’t see as many stars as he would have liked in a gigantic city like Tokyo, but the moon, was always there. Sometimes smaller, and sometimes bigger, it rose up on the sky each and every night. And now, it was calling him.

And so, he obeyed. Slipping out of his pajamas and into some clothes and shoes, he opened his window, and jumped outside. He had done that plenty of times, so he didn’t even break a sweat.

Since he couldn’t sleep, he knew just the place to visit, and thankfully it was even nearby.

With brisk steps, he walked out into the night, and breathed in the night summer breeze. The city felt different at night. The lamp posts at night seemed like large antennas of a living breathing creature, and the paved road like the throat of that same monster. Yet it didn’t faze Eiji. The lights of the night district ahead cast a colorful rainbow on top of the horizon. This inanimate bunch of concrete finally felt… alive.

Eiji always felt in place at night. He wasn’t afraid of the dark like the other kids… But of course he wasn’t fearless too.

Although the streets were mostly deserted during such a time, and most people were already back at home, some of them still roamed the streets. But they weren’t ordinary people. Eiji didn’t even know if they should be called people at all . There were figures, translucent and hazy by the side of the road. Inside the park, sitting on a bench. It felt like they were staring straight into his eyes, his soul, and at the same time, nowhere at all. They only appeared at night, and rarely even moved from their spot.

Just standing. Observing.

He tried talking to his sister and Asahi about them, but they brushed it off as just a young kid’s imagination running wild. But Eiji somehow knew, deep inside, that it wasn’t his mind playing tricks on him. Those people, those entities felt real. Like he could reach out and touch them.

But he didn’t dare…

He was wary of them, but not exactly afraid. What scared him the most were the abominations. The weird, monster-like creatures, crawling and prowling into the night. They were of the same translucent glow, and light blue color, yet something seemed off about them. A bad, ominous feeling. Could it be danger?

Eiji made his way past the scarce figures and soon found himself in front of a shop. A grown-up kind of place. The sign up above read, “Dream”

Quite the catchy name for just a small, ordinary bar in the suburbs. Yet Eiji liked it there all the same. It felt like he belonged... like home.

Lucid Levia