1. Ryo : Wild
Kaosu eyed the young boy critically. He was in sorry state, with knees scratched and bleeding from falling and running through thorn-filled bushes, clothes and hair in disarray from a night spent outside lost in the woods.
He looked… wild.
But his eyes, oh his eyes, they told another story. They were true jewels, full of kindness, and Byakuen purred under the child’s hand. The tiger had chosen; the priest bowed.
“Hello, Ryo-kun. Would you like to hear a story?” he smiled.
2. Naaza : Hatred
He has heard them speak since the moment he was old enough to toddle away from his mother’s skirts. They do it most often when they think he’s not around, when they think he can’t hear them and sometimes, when they’re really callous, right to his face, as if he was invisible.
He scares away the children, the elders do warding signs when he passes by, and he doesn’t understand.
His mother smiles, tell him to ignore them. But he can’t and he rages insides.
“One day,” Naotoki thought, tightening his fists, “I’ll be strong enough to make them pay.”
3. Anubis : Hunt
He loves the hunt. The feelings, the thrills he gets while he tracks and pursues a prey until he feels like he’s going to drop from exhaustion can’t be described with words alone. He sees every weakness and how to use them to his advantage. No matter what or who he chases, it can only end with his victory. A born hunter, that’s what he is.
But for all his strength and cunning, he despises being alone. He’s a wolf, a pack animal; he needs the contact with others. Too bad those that should be Anubis’ pack are such condescending jerks…
4. Kayura : Nightmare
There are screams in the air. Flames are licking the rooftops of the villages and smoke billows everywhere. The dying gurgles of fatally wounded clanmates are hardly heard over the clashing of weapons, metal on metal, as the streets run red with blood and that laugh, that evil laugh, drown everything as Arago watches the carnage and she can only look up and open her mouth to scream…
“Kayura? Are you alright?”
There is a shadow behind the paper screen, a shadow who don’t dare enter and a shaking Kayura tries to smile.
“Yes, Rajura. It was only a nightmare.”
5. Kenbukkyou : Honorable
He’s not like most of the Youja. One could even say he’s one of a kind, but it’d be a lie. There used to be more like him, once upon a time. Invading the human realm and lording over the mortals never interested him. He doesn’t dream of conquest and enemies crushed under his feet, no.
What he wants is to be the greatest swordsman and warrior to ever exist. And perhaps to have Arago’s head before he dies, too. But he needs the best swords and the best armor to do it.
He won’t go for the armor while its bearer is still weak from previous fighting, though.
For Kenbukkyou is an honorable foe, and he intends to stay so.
6. Shadow and Illusions
Shadows can be deceitful, but so are illusions. There is danger in the dark, but there is also danger beyond a mirage’s sweet allure. They’re both holders of mysteries, they both inspire fear and respect, and both can be equally deadly for the unwary.
Shadows and illusions make Anubis and Rajura dangerous foes to go against. They eye and mock each other in public, unwilling to concede the other might be just as good as them.
But when there are no prying eyes on them, who knows if they don’t go along better than they appear…
7. Shuten : Doubt
For centuries, even if he never felt the weight of years, he has followed Arago without any doubt. For him, he had left behind everything, friends and family and clan, seduced by promises of glory and power and eternal life. He had never truly taken time to wonder if he should have accepted, if he should have regretted.
At least, not until today.
Could the priest be right? Could his Master truly be only interested in the armor Shuten wears? Could he be, too, a Trooper? He doesn’t want to believe it.
But Kaosu’s words ring true, and Shuten’s mind is in turmoil.
8. Shuu : Protective
Shuu is a big brother. It means nothing and everything. He’s a strong boy, he knows it, and he has never been afraid to take a battle stance against bullies to protect his siblings.
Fighting the Youja alongside the other Troopers is not so different, he decides after they finish their first fight. They’re kids like him, even if some are a couple months older, and they’re tugging at his protective instinct like his brothers and sisters do.
Shuu has always fought to protect his family; it just happens that the Troopers are now part of it, wherever they know it or not.
9. Shin : Tea
It takes time to make a good tea, or so Shin has always been told by his mother and sister as they taught him the ceremonial. He doesn’t always have the time to uphold it, which is a pity, but he stills savors every cup he makes.
He loves the variety of tastes and colors as he pours the hot water over the leaves. Tea can taste like joy or like tears, depending on his mood.
But, he thinks as he brews a cup of a batch he has never tried before, those days, teas taste more like adventures waiting to happen…
10. Jun : Adventure
He used to be a very normal, very average little boy. He had a father, a mother, and might have tentatively entertained the idea of a younger sibling to play with if his parents ever decided to try for a second child. Like all children his age, he used to dream of going on adventures and fight bad guys like in the morning cartoons and the manga, waving a stick around like a sword when he wasn’t on his skateboard.
Then real demons attacked in daylight, his parents disappeared and Jun wondered, even as he put on a brave front, how he could have thought adventures were always fun.