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A red head quaked over the edge of the boat, pale and shaking. The boys eyes were wide, his pupils spinning like some type of tornado. His face, normally composed, was visually terrified and sick, his mouth open wide.

"I'M GONNA FALL!!" He yelled, the boat trembling as he moved. He was obviously seasick, his feet made to be on dry land.

His cousins laughed at him, the youngest one mocking and pointing at him. One was Jessica Ushiromiya, her eyes crinkled with laughter and her hair in a blonde ponytail. One was George Ushiromiya, his glasses glinting and his black hair like midnight. And one was Maria Ushiromiya, the youngest cousin. Her brown hair swayed in the wind as she giggled.

The boy with the red hair span around, pointing at Jessica. "Is she really Jessica?!" He yelled, having not seen his cousin in almost 6 years. Maria, naive, pondered over this, while an exsperated Jessica glanced towards George. "Is this big guy really Battler?" She asked him, and Ushiromiya, red-headed and determines, pulled a face.

the stage is Rokkenjima of the izu islands. For the sake of their annual family reunion, the Ushiromiya family gathers at that place. A reunion filled with six years of Nostalgia. We joked around to kill time, and it could of went on...

In the shimmering world where three cousins chatted and laughed on a boat, flashes of blood and gore and a sealed letter flashed, as though proclaiming the future. But as these images flashed, nobody at all saw them.

Until that one letter drove everything into chaos. The Legend Of The Golden Witch passed down in Rokkenjima. The shadows of unrest started to drift in. A NEW TRAGEDY... OPENS THE CURTAINS!

****************************

"Nanjo... how long do I have to live?" Kinzo Ushiromiya, head of the Ushiromiya family, asked shakily, his face hidden in the shadows and a globe of dark liquid, possibly wine, clutched in his palm. The study around him was filled with dark magic.

His old friend and physcisist, Doctor Nanjo, looked down, his eyes closed in respect as he kneeled before the dying Kinzo.

"......" Nanjo almost felt the darkness seep into the room. ".. hmph.. not to long after all....."

Kinzo stood up, smashing his glass off the floor and yelling as the green stained his carpet. "LIKE HELL I'LL DIE!!" He shouted, his eyes ridden with madness. "UNTIL I SEE THAT SMILE ONCE AGAIN, I WILL NEVER DIE!! APPEAR BEFORE ME ONCE AGAIN, AND SMILE AT ME..." and Kinzo's yell was the only one in the room, piercing the night as his eyes grew bloodshot, and he pleaded to Beatrice.

******************

YEAR 1986 OCTOBER 4 10:00 A.M.

***

Battler Ushiromiya, standing at the edge of the boat with the wind making him look stylish, smiled slightly as he thought to himself, the water creeping up the edges of the boat. Closer and closer they neared the shore, and Battlers red locks swayed against his face in the unending wind.

The destination of the boat is...Rokkenjima of the izu Archipelago. A small island, about 10 km, property of the Ushiromiya Family for a long time. This is our annual family conference. Thats why I, along with 10 other people, am travelling on this elegant boat.

An elegant...

The water splashed loudly once more against the boat, fast and furious. Battler began to sweat in terror. "Uh- It's fast! Too fast, isn't it? This?" Tears of terror and sweat dripped down his cheeks, making him look amusing to the other family members. Once again he yelled.

Due to certain circumstances, I had to neglect meeting with the house relatives for years now, but.. I never thought, even in my wildest dreams, that this would happen after six years...

The boy who sat tiredly on a plastic chair on the boat that had began to slow down sighed. His name, as you already know, is Battler Ushiromiya, and with the speed the boat had been driving, the sea sickness had caught up with him.

"Guess what, Battler? The driver said he would lower the boats speed! Isn't that great? But still... tehehehe, In six years you grew so big, but you still suck at riding stuff!"

"Jessica!" Battler yelled, annoyed at the girl in front of hims laughter.

"And your supposed to be an 18 year old man? Pathetic! It seems Battlers courage is still that of a childs!"

This girl, who's language is unfitting for a daughter of the head family, is Jessica. She's my cousin and she's the same age as me.

"Damn it, Jessica... Do you intend to become an adult all by yourself...?" Battler held out his hands in a perverted pinching motion, his face contorted into one that could only be described as creepy."Well then, just how much of an "adult" have you become? I'll be happy to verify that for you-!!" Battler, childish as always, reached towards Jessica's breast, and touched it. In an embarassed response Jessica thumped him over the head, leaving a noticable bump.

"Damn, you touched it! I should've figured that his reach would be longer." Jessica murmered to herself, her pretty ponytail bouncing and complementing the redness of her cheeks. Battler was  lying on the floor in pain, a tear at the corner of his eye.

"uu- Battlers exhausted." A childs voice spoke, sweet and innocent. This childs name was Maria Ushiromiya. She was dressed somewhat like a witch, however not an evil one. Her eyes were wide and she looked on in concern. Battler patted her head.

"Maria. aah.. Battlers little angel. Thanks for caring." Battler spoke.

"uu-!"

Maria is also my cousin. I haven't seen her in six years but she is still pure, honest, and cute.

Battler, unable to cope with her adorableness, lifted Maria onto his shoulders. She laughed as he ran around. "Take this! The princess gets to ride on my shoulders." Their smiles were bright and carefree. "Battler Battler!! uu-uu-!!" Maria yelled. Battler grinned. "Thats right! Maria! Maria!! uu-uu-!!"

They paraded for a while more, Maria's fist punching the air. "Maria, you can't grow up to be a violent woman like Jessica, got it? Grow up to be a cute lady and let me feel your breasts, okay? Its a promise!"

Oh, Battler, crude as always.

Maria, only a child, nodded and punched the air once more. "uu-! Let you feel! Promise! uu-!!" 

But then Maria was off his shoulders and there was a pounding pain in his forehead. Jessica had heard Battler, and wasn't happy, so naturally she'd attacked him once again.. "DON'T SAY SUCH STUPID THINGS! MARIA WILL REALLY DO THEM, YOU KNOW?"

Maria clenched her hand into a fist and stared up at Jessica with wide and twinking eyes, determined. "uu-! I promised so I'll let him feel it! Maria will protect her promise! uu-!"

Jessica pulled a face. "You can't make such promises, Maria. No deal, no deal!"

Battler looked up slightly, still on the floor,, a tear escaping his eye, which gave his words a dramatic effect. "Maria is such an honest and nice girl.... her future husband will be really happy." Jessica raised her leg, about to kick.

"DON'T MAKE IT SOUND LIKE SOME FAIRY TALE!" She yelled. Maria put a finger just below her lip, confused.

"uu-... take back my promise..?"

Grinning, a boy placed his hand in Maria's hair, patting her gently. "Thats right, Maria-chan, you can't make such promises! Battler-kun, you can't go around teasing others so much, got it?" The boy speaking was George Ushiromiya. He always looked professional, however was also the same age as Jessica and Battler. His glasses and dark hair moved as he smiled.

"Battler should learn from cousin George, he's becoming more of an intellectual!" Jessica announced.

"Me?" George placed a hand behind his head, humble. "I'm not at that level yet."

George-aniki is a first-class intellectual, at both studies and business. The total opposite of me, Battler, who doesn't have anything planned for the future.

"Jessica, lets drink for George later." Battler gave a smug smile, announcing with certainty that this is what would happen.

"What-? Is that supposed to be your way of pissing me off...?" Jessica asked.

"Battler-kun is here, so that means all my cousins have come! I've missed this kind of feeling." George smiled at his cousins as the boat sped on.

"uu-! Maria thinks this year will be the funnest! uu-!"

"I feel the same way!" Batler grinned all teeth, his hair spiking out in all different ways.

Has it really been six years? Playing with my relatives isn't the same as playing with my friends. For some reason... it's not bad at all.

"uu- Battler! I see the harbor! I see the harbor!" Maria yelled from the front of the deck, watching the see. Her smile was childish and seemed to light up the whole world.

"Oh! Let me see!"

Across from where they were drifting was a large bundle of rocks and grass. They were tall. Nothing seemed unusual, and Battler observed that nothing had changed. Well, nothing he could remember anyways.

"This island hasn't changed after all this time!" He yelled to his cousins, happily looking out at the harbor. But apparently Maria thought differently. Her eyes had widened and became black, and her smile fell almost immediately upon seeing the bundle of rocks.

".."

"Whats wrong, Maria?" Battler asked, as the child looked out. Her face was scary and eery, almost as if she were... possessed.

"UU-! GONE." Her voice was strangely different.

"Hm..?" Battler asked gently, his face smiling but slightly confused and worried. Maria pointed out towards the sea, her face regaining it's childish innocence once again.

"Gone, Gone!! uu-!! uu-uu-!!"

"What's wrong, Maria? Did you lose something?" Battler ased.

"I'll help search too, what's gone..?" George genty probed, worried for his younger cousin. She seemed distressed. Maria kept on pointing, and they all saw what she was pointing at. A large and dark cave loomed in the distance.

"... Huh? If I remember correctly... wasn't there a shrine archway-like thing there near that small rock?" Battler cocked his head, seeing the vision of a shrine form in his mind. "It was definitely there. I remember it being the first landmark we saw."

George suddenly remembered too. "I remember now too, the local god's shrine archway. It really isn't there. It was there last year, I think..."

The island founds it way into the cousins view. "Not there!! Not there!! uu-uu!!" Marria cried in distress, looking for the shrine still. Her face had went from evil to worried in an instant, and now just looked childishly scared for the old shrine.

"Probably the waves or something took it away. Weathering made it weak or something, right?" Battler smile was unconcerned.

"It was gone in the summer. I think the waves took it, but still." Jessica frowned as she spoke.

"Ho-! Ho-! Ho-! If only that were the case." The head house servant of the Ushiroyima Mansion (which the four cousins would soon be approaching) spoke. Her face was wrinkled, and her voice croaky. Her name was Chiyo Kumasawa, and she smiled.

"Kumasawa.. do you know something?"

Kumasawa's face was shadowed as they passed further rocks and such. "That is.. One night, a giant bolt of lightening came down and destroyed the shrine. The fishermen are whispering that this is definitely an omen of bad luck. Lightning begone, lightning begone."

Maria;s face had done that thing again. She put a fit to her chest and narrowed her eyes, looking strangely wise and dark. "OMEN OF BAD LUCK... UU-!" Quite suddenly, her eyes lost all of their light. "Bad luck Bad luck Bad Luck Bad Luck." She repeated, over and over, her voice high and dangerous.

"St-Stop that, Kumusawa-san. Maria's at an agewhere jokes like that don't go through." Jessica turned to the old lady, who had long since stopped talking.

George gently knelt down near Maria, and outstretched a welcoming hand towards her. "Bad luck Bad luck Bad luck Bad luck Bad luck." She continued repeating. 

"Maria-chan, nothing scary will happen." George said softly, yet still she would not listen.

Battler clamped a cool hand onto Maria's tensed shoulder. "Hey, Maria... if you keep repeating it, something bad will really happen."

"BAD LUCK. COMING." Maria announced, pointing towards the sky. Confused, Battler let go, his eyes wide.

Bad luck... coming?!

"Come to think of it... I heard in the news... that a typhoon was coming."

George gave Maria another gentle and concerned look. "It's okay, Maria-chan. The weather might turn bad, but it'll clear up by tomorrow."

"Thats right! The typhoon will be gone before you know it!" Battler said in reassurance.

"uu- uu- uu!! uu!! uu!!" Maria yelled, and George and Jessica each looked down in stress. "Bad luck coming! Bad luck!! uu-!! uu-!!!!"

Maria... why do your cries sound so desperate...?

"Ho, Ho, Ho-!!" Kumasawa went, her face still shadowed. "Do you believe in the ability to see the supernatural...?"

"Eh.." Battler looked foward, his eyes widening. Surely adults like Kumasawa didn't believe in something like that. 

"Everyone is born with the ability to see the supernatural. But it weakens with age. I always hear about it. Maria is the youngest of the group. The something you guys cannot sense... might be sensed by Miss Maria." Kumasawa looked sadly towards the young Maria, who was still desperately shouting.

"It seems that in the past, Rokkenjima, A witch.." Kumsawa sighed, closing her eyes. 

Jessica put her hands on her hips. "Kumasawa-san... let's not talk about that subject." 

Battler looked towards her in surprise, his eyebrows quizzicaly rising. 

".. hohoho, it seems I've been rude..." Kumasawa left, leaving them in a strange state.

"Witch? She said witch, right? Kumasawa-san... Does Jessica know something?" Battler did not say these words aloud, he thought them. He also thought these words, but further into the future, for in that moment Battler Ushiromiya could not predict the tragedys to come:

The countdown had already started. The endless nightmare waiting on this island... It was the beginning of the eternal torture.

Maria's face was dark and unnatural. She began to laugh. "Witch.. Bad luck! teehee..."

Next Chapter: 

Vol 1. Chap. 2. Legend of the golden witch.

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