Just right outside an alley within a small medieval town was a young purple-haired girl, no more than ten years of age. She was on the ground clutching a grimoire near to her chest— a grimoire which was slightly smaller than the width of her shoulders. Around the girl was a group of mean-looking people who closed out any escape path. Beyond the surround was the sight of onlookers who either viewed the scene from afar or simply ignored it altogether.
A girl named Harbin.
One of the people that surrounded her, a person who had hard lizard scales on his body and short horns protruding from the sides of his head, kicked Harbin in the stomach. He then shouted out to her, ordering her to give him the book that she was clutching within her hand.
Harbin let out a moan of pain before curling herself into a ball. Her hands continued to clutch the book tightly. It was clear that the book Harbin was holding was very important to her. It didn’t seem to be any ordinary book.
During this moment of distress, memories flashed through her mind— memories of her mother giving the book to her. The Grimoire of the Analysts, one of the five relics from the era of the First Demon Lord, the main symbol and pride of the Analyst Crest. To lose this relic is a great shame for all those who are of the Analyst Crest.
“I won’t! Mama told me to protect this book with my life!”
The man with the scales howled in anger before giving her another kick. He then started to pry the book out of the young girl's hands. Bystanders in the area only stood still and watched as they looked towards Harbin with eyes of pity.
Most of them at least.
Some people had eyes of disgust as if looking at trash. Not towards the men harming Harbin, but towards the young girl herself. Every single one of them was different from her.
Unlike Harbin, they all had unique traits like claws, tails, wings, scales and horns. The only thing that she had in common with everyone else was her eye colour, the crimson red eyes that signify that one is of the demon race.
"Give me the book! This relic will be better in our hands than in the hands of a useless Analyst like you!” The man forcefully pulled the book away while punching her in the face. Nonetheless, Harbin held on to the book with dear life. She held the book so hard that she was carried up into the air alongside the grimoire.
“Noooo!” She defiantly held onto the book.
“You Analysts are all the same! So weak and useless, yet not knowing when to give up! Arghhh let go!” The man raised his hands in order to give her another hit. Harbin saw this and closed her eyes, bracing for another impact.
She was confused when a few seconds passed and realised that she hasn’t been hit yet. She opened her eyes to see the scene of a beautiful woman with long black hair holding the man’s arm. The man was unable to move due to her sheer strength.
“Wha-?” The man said out when he realised that his hand would not budge.
“No. I think it’s you who should be letting go.”
Harbin didn’t even have time to prepare herself when she suddenly fell to the ground with a loud thump. The violent drop hurt her a bit, but she held on to the book regardless. She stared above only to see the man had disappeared, no… the man had been flung several meters away from her location.
“Why you little!” Another man went to give the woman a punch but he soon disappeared right in front of Harbin's eyes.
Harbin noticed that the man had been flung far away as well. The rest of the scaled man’s henchmen went on to attack the black-haired woman, but she swiftly knocked and beat up every single one of them. Her movement was fast, serene, graceful and most of all, inspiring. Like a moth attracted to the flame, the young girl watched in awe as if mesmerized by her beauty.
As fast as it came, everything ended and the black-haired woman now stood right in front of Harbin. Unlike everyone else in the area, she doesn’t have any traits that stood out. No tails, no wings, no claws, no scales, no horns. No traits except one, her crimson red eyes. It was proof that she was an Ak’him, an Analyst, just like the young purple-haired girl.
'She’s an Analyst but her strength is like a Warrior!' Harbin thought to herself as the woman held her hand out towards her, who only held out her own hand in response.
The look on Harbin’s face when the woman reached for the grimoire instead of her hands. Harbin panicked and tried to grab the grimoire back but she was kept at an arm’s length of the woman with her strong grip on Harbin’s face. The woman opened and analysed the contents of the grimoire with her other arm.
The struggle went on for a few moments when suddenly the woman gave the grimoire back to Harbin who immediately hugged it with vigour. She then backed away from the woman, a little bit wary of her figure.
“All that trouble for a book? You could have lost your life,” The woman spoke, her voice calm, almost emotionless.
'Just a book? She’s an Analyst but she doesn’t know the importance of this grimoire?'
“What’s your name by the way?” The woman asked.
“Harbin… Harbinelikel Analyst,” Harbin responded meekly.
The woman used her hands to wipe off the dirt on Harbin’s hair. “Harbin huh… A bit of advice from an older Analyst here. People can say a lot of things, but don’t go believing their words. Just because people call you useless, doesn’t mean you should believe them and do nothing.”
“...” The young girl just stared at her without uttering a word.
“Don’t just stand still and do nothing. Run away, fight back, shout for help, something. Don’t just let those assholes hit you for free like that. Don’t just let life or fate or whatever people call it nowadays beat you up like that for no reason. You can’t be stagnant, always be moving. Always be improving yourself.”
Harbin only nodded to the woman. 'I don’t understand a single word she is saying, but I think it’s pretty cool.'
The woman then patted Harbin’s head before walking away. Harbin only watched her wide back in awe as she walked into the crowd. Watched in awe at the way she moved with radiance and strength. Harbin recognised the outfit that the woman wore. It was the military uniform of the Northern Demon Kingdom.
'If I join the army… maybe I can meet with her again…'
---Seven Years Later---
Running down the military encampment was a girl that looked to be in her late teenage years. Her purple hair tied down into a low twin ponytail. In her hands was the Grimoire of the Analyst— the very grimoire that she swore to protect with her life. She kept running down the lane in her black and red themed military uniform— a bright smile on her face.
Occasionally she would get mocking stares from the other soldiers within the encampment. However, Harbin merely ignored them and ran forth towards her destination with a smile that never falters. Her destination was the private tent of a person very dear to her. A person that she and many other Analysts look up to. A person that she’ll gladly give her life for.
Harbin entered the tent of the said person with vigour. “Good morning Captain Klauna! I’ve received a report from Senior Yuupiecca that—Ngahh!!”
Harbin quickly pinched her nose as she smelled the strong pungent smell of liquor. What entered her eyes was the sight of a woman wearing an officer’s uniform on the ground within a very disorganised room. Her long beautiful hair messed up and in shambles. In her hand was a bottle. Liquid of what was assumed to be alcohol leaking out onto the ground, soaking her clothing.
“Arrhhh, Captain Klauna! You’ve been drinking again! Where on earth did you get all of these from!” Harbin shouted to her superior officer, but Klauna only replied with a disgruntled moan.
“Shia….” Her beautiful charismatic voice escaped her mouth, totally at odds with her condition at the moment.
Harbin could only hang her head in shame as she saw the sorry sight of her superior officer.
'This is… the person I look up to?'