Yuki is a normal junior high student daydreaming about boys until one day she is attacked by a strange girl and discovers that she has magical powers. Now she must fight evil with three companions ...
I want to see you, I miss you, we’re apart
That day will never come again
My life-sized self, I’ll wave to you in the distance, raise your hand
Put your hands up. Yeah. Oh.
The season comes when you can smell something faint in the air
Now I’m reliving that time when my heart was full of life
I fell in love for the first time, everything was shining back then
Even if it was only for a short time, we made our mark together
Beneath the blooming cherry blossom trees
The spring breeze blows and I can’t hear your voice
I prayed you weren’t saying goodbye
I want to see you, I miss you, we’re apart
That day’s smiles flutter to the ground
You promised it would last forever but you’re not here anymore
If my wish comes true then cherry blossoms will fall again next year
I want to take a photo side by side, that day will never come again
Hyouden no Densetsu~Snow White Princess, Snowflake
Chapter 1: Birth
“Monsters have again been appearing around the city, and once again they’ve been stopped by the mysterious young man in blue and yellow armor, known only as Knight,” a woman speaks from the TV. A blurred image of a boy dressed in armor and a flowing deep blue cape appears on the screen behind her. A sword that seems to be made of electricity is clutched in his hands and he is leaping in the air towards a dark creature.
“People everywhere are wondering where these creatures, speculated by many to be aliens, are coming from and why they seem to be attacking humans,” the news reporter continues. “Furthermore, we cannot help but be curious about the identity of this ‘Knight in shining armor’. Who is he? What is his connection with these monsters?”
A young girl sighs dreamily at the TV as the image of the boy slides back onto the screen. Her short, dirty blond hair is held behind her ears with two clips. ‘Knight, the man of my dreams,’ she thinks. ‘I hope one day I can meet you.’
The doorbell rings, bringing her back to reality, and she quickly hops off the stool she is perched on, clicking off the TV before she runs out of the kitchen to answer the door. A second girl stands on the doorstep. She has even shorter brown hair and is wearing a white and orange school uniform identical to the one the first girl wears. “What’s up, Yuki? Ready to go?” she chirps cheerfully.
“Uh, almost. Hold on a sec, Kimi-chan,” Yuki says. She runs back inside to grab her backpack before joining her friend.
“You seem dazed,” Kimi comments while Yuki fumbles with locking the door. She grins mischievously. “You were watching the news again, weren’t you?”
Yuki blushes. “What? No!” she says a little too quickly as she finally manages to lock the door and the two girls start walking down the street.
Kimi eyes her suspiciously. “Your face is turning red. Somebody was thinking about her ‘Knight’ again,” she says in a sing-song voice.
Pouting her lips, Yuki replies defensively, “Well, he’s cool! You know you think so too.”
Kimi waves her hand dismissively. “He’s okay, I guess. I’m not all that into him.”
Yuki rolls her eyes. “You only say that because he doesn’t have glasses.”
“Glasses make guys sooo dreamy,” Kimi sighs.
Yuki rolls her eyes again. As the brick school building comes into sight, a few other students rush past the two girls. “Hurry up! The bell rings in two minutes!” one boy calls back at them.
“What?” Yuki and Kimi gasp at the same time. They exchange glances and start running too.
A tall boy with long blond hair tied in a low ponytail watches the two girls run into the school from behind a tree. “So, I’ve finally found her,” he says.
Later that day, Yuki heads outside to a small grove of trees behind the school where she and Kimi usually meet up for lunch. Her stomach rumbles loudly, causing her to rub it. The taller brunette is already sitting with her back pressed against one of the trees, a lofty green oak, gobbling her lunch in huge bites as if she hasn’t eaten in days. “Kimi-chan!” Yuki cries, running up to her friend. “It’s terrible! I forgot my lunch!”
Kimi looks up from her lunchbox. She has shoveled so much food in her mouth that her cheeks are puffing out. “Wadjumwamizudobtzit?” she mumbles.
“Give me some of your food!” Yuki demands, somehow managing to translate ‘what do you want me to do about it?’ from Kimi’s food muffled blabbering.
Kimi glares at her, pulling her lunchbox protectively towards her as she swallows the mouthful. “No way,” she states bluntly.
“Aww, please? I’m so hungry!” Yuki gives her best puppy dog look, staring at Kimi with wide, pleading blue eyes.
Groaning, Kimi rolls her eyes and reluctantly holds out the lunchbox. “Only a little!”
“Yay!” Yuki claps her hands and plops down on the ground beside Kimi, grabbing some food and taking a bite. “Yummy! Thank you Mi-chan!” She gives a slightly chagrined Kimi a hug.
Unseen to the two girls, a small humanoid creature scurries up into the branches of the oak tree above their heads, peering down at them through the leaves with wide, liquid black eyes. “That is her,” it croaks, glancing down at a dark spot on the ground which at first glance looks like merely a shadow. “Master Salem’s orders are to kill her immediately, before her power fully awakens.”
As lunch ends, Yuki and Kimi split up, heading off to their separate classes. Yuki rubs her stomach, still feeling hungry. ‘Kimi-chan is so greedy,’ she thinks bitterly, pouting.
Hearing someone call her name, Yuki turns around to see a brown-haired boy standing beside her. He is staring at the ground, his cheeks a bit flushed. Yuki feels her own face grow warm as her pulse quickens ever so slightly. “Oh, O-Odayaka-sempai,” she mumbles, joining the junior high second year in staring at the ground. “H-hello.”
“Um, how are you doing, Kiyoi-chan?” he asks, scratching the back of his head nervously.
“I’m doing good. How about you?”
“Oh, yeah. Me too,” he replies. An awkward silence ensues. “Well, I guess I’ll see you around.”
“Yeah. See ya,” Yuki says. She watches as he hurries away and gives herself a mental slap. ‘Darn it. Why can’t I ever say anything to him?’ she screams in her head. The bell rings, startling her back to reality. “Crap, Sensei is gonna scold me again!”
The final bell of the school day rings, releasing the classes. Yuki stuffs her notebook into her backpack and rushes out of the Class 7B room. Kimi stands waiting for her in the hallway. “Kimi-chan! I have to tell you what happened!” Yuki practically screams. Some students who are walking by cast her strange glances and she bites her lip a little abashedly.
“What happened?” Kimi asks as the two walk out of the school.
Yuki lowers her voice to a whisper. “Odayaka-sempai talked to me!”
A smile widens on Kimi’s face. “Really? What did you guys talk about?”
“He asked me how I was doing!”
Kimi pauses for a moment, expecting more. Yuki just smiles obliviously. “...And?” Kimi finally asks.
Yuki peers at her. “And what?”
“What else happened?” Kimi cries with impatience.
“Oh. That’s all!”
Kimi smacks her forehead. “You idiot. Why didn’t you start up a conversation?”
“Well, I wasn’t sure what to say,” Yuki mumbles. “You know how I get when he’s around.”
Kimi groans, shaking her head. “How are you ever going to get anywhere if you don’t talk to him?” They are approaching the school gate.
Yuki watches her feet. “I dunno…”
Suddenly, Kimi stops. “Speak of the devil,” she says. “I gotta go, Yuki. See you later!”
Yuki jerks her head up just in time to see Kimi running off down the road. “Wha? Hey, Kimi-chan! Wait!” she calls, starting to run after her.
“Um, Kiyoi-chan? Are you busy?” Odayaka’s voice stops her in her tracks.
Turning her head, Yuki feels her heart skip a beat as she sees him walking towards her. “Uh, n-n-no,” she stutters.
Odayaka stops in front of her and resumes his head down, nervous position. “Oh, good. I, uh, I wanted to talk to you, if that’s okay.”
“Sure! Anytime!” Yuki says.
Odayaka takes a deep breath. Yuki glances up at him. His face is completely scarlet. “I like you Kiyoi-chan! Please go out with me!” he proclaims in one breath.
The color of Yuki’s face matches his. “I-I like you too, Odayaka-sempai,” she mumbles.
His head jerks up, staring at her in shock. “Really? Then you’ll go out with me?”
Too embarrassed for words, Yuki simply nods her head yes.
“That’s great!” Odayaka exclaims. “Then, can I walk you home?”
“Okay,” Yuki says softly. The pair walk side by side down the street, completely silent for a long moment.
‘What do I say to him? I can’t believe he just asked me out! Oh my gosh. I have to say something now! Is this really happening?’ Yuki’s mind races uncontrollably.
The street gradually clears of people as they walk until it is just the two of them. Yuki feels her pulse quickening. ‘I’m all alone with Odayaka-sempai. And he’s my boyfriend now!’
“So, Kiyoi-chan, do you want to hang out after school tomorrow?” Odayaka asks, finally breaking the silence. “We can go to the arcade or something.”
“Okay!” Yuki agrees. ‘Oh my gosh! A date with Odayaka-sempai! What will I do? I’ve never been on a date before.’
“Kiyoi Yuki,” a girl’s voice calls softly.
Odayaka and Yuki stop, looking around. The street is still empty except for them. “Kiyoi-chan, did you hear that?” Odayaka asks.
Yuki nods. “But…I don’t see anyone?” she wonders. “Um, hello? Is anyone there?”
“I’m here,” the voice says. The two whip around to see a long shadow on the ground in front of them. They take a step back. The shadow begins to move and slowly the figure of a girl begins to rise out of it. Long, jet black hair hangs in gentle waves down her back. She wears a deep purple dress covered with black lace and netting. Dark eyes observe Yuki from behind long lashes.
“Who are you?” Yuki asks, staring at the girl with wide-eyed disbelief.
“I am the one who will bring your demise,” the girl says. Her voice is eerily calm as she speaks the words.
Yuki’s and Odayaka’s eyes widen. Odayaka steps in front of Yuki, holding his arms out. “I don’t know who you are,” he says, “but I definitely won’t let you touch her!”
The girl smirks. “Brave words. Yet, your voice is trembling with fear.” She holds out her hand. A black substance begins to form around it. “I wonder…how will you protect her?”
Odayaka opens his mouth to reply, but before he can the dark substance shoots at him, sending him flying back several feet. He lands on the ground with a thud and does not move.
“Pathetic,” the girl says. “As I expected from a mere human.”
“Odayaka-sempai!” Yuki cries. “What did you do to him?”
“Don’t worry, he’s merely unconscious. I’m sure Master Salem will have use for him after I’ve killed you.” The girl holds her hand up again and the darkness begins to appear. “Now, you just be good and stay still while I kill you.”
Yuki takes half a step backwards, trying to get her mind to catch up with the situation. “Y-yeah, right,” she says. “Like I’ll just stand there!”
“Oh, you want to make it a little harder do you? Very well. Do your best.” The darkness flies towards Yuki, swirling and menacing. Yuki can feel an eerie chill as it draws near and her body freezes. She watches in slow motion while the evil power comes at her. And then, there is a flash of movement and instead of cold darkness she feels crackling warmth. She blinks. In front of her stands a tall boy dressed in yellow armor. A deep blue cape billows out from his shoulders. In his hands he grasps a crackling sword of bright energy. From his stance, Yuki guesses that he has just blocked the girl’s attack.
“Knight,” Yuki whispers beneath her breath. In spite of the situation, she feels her heart skip a beat. He is really standing there, before her eyes.
“Are you alright?” he asks, casting her a brief glance over his shoulder.
“Y-yes,” Yuki breathes, still in shock.
“Stay back,” he orders. “I will handle Shadow.”
The girl smiles. “Is that so, little Prince? Do you really think you can protect her? You and I both know that you were injured in your last battle.” She nods towards his right arm. Yuki looks and sees that there is a long gash reaching from his elbow almost to his shoulder. The girl slowly walks towards him. “In this state,” she murmurs, “you are both doomed to die. Perhaps you should run away and save yourself while you can.”
Knight narrows his eyes at her. “Don’t take another step or I’ll slice you in half where you stand,” he growls. “I’m not alone. If she can awaken her power then you don’t stand a chance.”
“True,” the girl says. She smiles, tilting her head to the side. “Do you think she can force her powers to awaken so suddenly?”
“She can,” Knight says. “You there.”
“Huh?” Yuki says. “Me?”
“Who else?” he spats. “If you don’t want to die here and now, you’d better hurry up and awaken your power.”
“My…wha? I-I don’t know what you mean,” Yuki sputters. ‘Power? I don’t have any…’
The girl giggles. “The poor thing. She has no clue what you’re talking about. You may as well give up and accept your fate.” She waves her hand and flings several swirls of darkness towards Knight. He swings his sword, deftly blocking each of them, but a grimace of pain crosses his face with each swing. Yuki stares with wide eyes at the scene as Knight launches himself towards the girl, preparing to cut her with his energy sword. She dodges at the last second, and he whips around as she jumps behind his back.
“Fine, fine,” the girl says. “If you really want to die, then I have no objections. I’m sure Master Salem will be doubly pleased.”
Knight says nothing, simply comes at her again, but again she dodges. He stands there, panting for breath. His right arm shakes and Yuki sees there is blood dripping from the wound.
“Wait,” Yuki says. “You’re bleeding. You can’t keep fighting her.”
“And what should I do? Run away and leave her to kill you?” he asks. He glances back at her with a stern look in his flashing green eyes. “Is that what you want?”
Yuki bites her lip. “No,” she murmurs.
“Good. If you’re that worried, focus on awakening your own power,” he says. He turns his focus back to the girl just as she launches another attack.
Yuki stands there watching and feeling completely helpless. ‘But I don’t…’ she starts to think.
‘Don’t you?’ an unfamiliar voice speaks softly into her mind.
Yuki stops. For some reason, the sound of the voice brings a wave of nausea to her. ‘Who…?’
‘Look inside of you. The answer you seek is there,’ the voice says and then fades away.
‘Inside…me?’ Yuki repeats. Looking up, she sees Knight struggling to keep up with the girl. His face is pale and dripping with sweat. To the side she sees Odayaka lying motionless on the ground. She holds her own hands up, staring at her palms. ‘If there is something, anything, I can do, then I…I want to. I hate being useless. I hate standing here and not being able to do anything while people around me are hurt. So, if I have a power, please…’ She closes her hands into fists and squeezes her eyes shut. ‘Please, do something.’
She feels a strange coldness wrap around her, but unlike the chill of the girl’s darkness, this is a gentle cold. Somehow it is calming. ‘The power is right there,’ the voice whispers to her. ‘All you have to do is reach out to it.’
Behind her eyelids, Yuki sees a blue glow. She reaches her hand out before her and her fingers touch something cold and smooth. ‘Snow Crystal Birth,’ the voice whispers the words into her mind.
Yuki opens her eyes and holds up her hand. In it she clutches a dark blue jewel. “Snow Crystal Birth!” she shouts. A blue light engulfs her body. Her hair lightens to a white-blond and lengthens to her waist. A light blue, lacey dress replaces her school uniform, and as the light fades away her shoes transform into knee-high blue boots with lace wings extending from the tops and the heels.
“Damn it,” the girl curses. “How could she have possibly awakened her power so suddenly?” She leaps backwards, landing gracefully several feet away from Knight and Yuki. She holds her arms above her head.
“Quick! Before she attacks!” Knight cries.
“Um, uh,” Yuki stutters. ‘Pure Crystal Storm!’ the voice speaks into her mind.
The girl begins to chant. “Dark Illusion—“
Yuki holds her hands out before her. “Pure Crystal—“
“Scream!” “Storm!” The girls scream in unison. Yuki twirls around and a thousand sparkling slivers of ice shoot out from her hands, colliding with the black wave from the girl’s attack. The two attacks struggle and then each disappears, consumed by the other.
Before the girl can recover, Knight leaps towards her and brings his sword down. She dodges, but a wide gash appears in her shoulder. She stumbles in her landing, clutching her injured shoulder. “You win this time,” she says. “Akogi, retreat!” The humanoid creature runs to her from beneath a bush along the side of the road and the two disappear into the girl’s shadow.
Yuki stands still, finally taking the opportunity to let everything that has just happened sink in. Suddenly feeling drained, she collapses onto her knees. “I am…what—what is this?” she asks no one in particular.
“You have done well, Snowflake, Princess of Ice,” Knight says, coming to her. Blood now completely soaks his arm and he staggers slightly.
“Knight!” Yuki cries, reaching for him. “Are you alright?”
He avoids her touch. “I am fine. And my name is not ‘Knight’. I am Bolt, the Prince of Thunder. Together, we are destined to save the world.”
Yuki blinks at him. ‘Me? Save the world?’ “I don’t really understand what you mean, but more importantly, you are definitely not alright. Look at your arm!” She pushes herself to her feet, but Bolt steps away.
“I promise, I will explain everything to you soon,” he says, looking at her through his long light brown bangs. He leaps into the air and disappears. Yuki stares into the empty space where he stood only a moment before.
“But…” she starts to say. A groan interrupts her and looking over, she sees that Odayaka is starting to stir. “Odayaka-sempai!” she exclaims, starting to rush over to him.
‘Undo the transformation,’ the voice says into her mind. ‘Do not let him see your identity.’
Yuki stops. ‘How do I un-transform?’ she wonders. Her hand moves instinctively to the jewel which has become part of her outfit and clasps around it. She closes her eyes, focusing on returning to her normal form. As she does, her outfit and hair turn into a flash of blue light which is absorbed into the jewel, leaving only the jewel hanging around her neck on a thin silver chain. She has returned to her normal appearance.
Yuki opens her eyes to see Odayaka sitting up and holding his head. “Sempai!” she says, rushing towards him and bending down to help him stand. “Are you alright?”
“I…think so,” he says. “Wh-what happened?” His eyes widen as he remembers what happened. “Where is that girl? Are you okay? Did she hurt you?” He grabs Yuki’s shoulders, looking her up and down to make sure she is not injured.
Yuki blushes a little at his concern. “I’m fine,” she says. “You must have been dreaming or something.”
Odayaka blinks at her. “Dreaming?”
She nods. “You all of a sudden passed out. I was really worried! I’m glad you’re okay, though.”
“Really? That’s what happened?” Odayaka scratches his head and Yuki nods again. He blushes slightly. “How embarrassing…” he says.
Yuki giggles. “Come on, let’s hurry. My mom will be getting worried.”
Ending (Dawn from .hack)
I'm always yearning after that strong, shining glance
Even if tears soak my cheeks, that's surely not weakness
Don't sometimes count what you can't do, you should just walk
There is no night that will continue forever, even if it's in the rain
Though it's little by little, the scent of elapsing wind goes changing
Yes, the path is continuing