Summarized & HTML'ized by Mandisa Washington. c. 2001-03, ver. 1.0
Original material by Tomoko Katoh, Hana to Yume Comics, Hakusensha, 1996.
In an empty classroom, a typical schoolgirl is packing her bag. She is quite ordinary-looking and introduces herself as Kaidou Kiriko, 15 yrs. old, a first-year high school student. Her parents are divorced, but she doesn't quite know how to deal with that. She has a "little brother" [author's quotes] who is very nonchalant about the whole situation. Her reverie is interrupted by news of her brother from the adjoining junior high school. Dai (aka. Kaidou Dai, 13 yrs. old, second-year junior high student) has gone up a tree to rescue a stray cat. The mission is causing quite a commotion in the courtyard. Shouting, Kiriko bolts from the room, presumably to aid her adventurous kid brother.
From the vibrating branches of a tree, Dai assures his audience of his absolute safety. Arriving on the scene, teeth gnashing, Kiriko sees the frightened witless cat and her brother out on a limb, and comes to a different conclusion. Everyone in the courtyard sees Dai as a cute, sweet, charming little boy, and a decent little brother. All too aware of the hidden truth, Kiriko laments silently that her brother is a little demon. At that point, the rambunctious guy up in the tree loses his balance and falls. Landing softly, cat cradled in his arms, the bat's-winged demon beams at his sister and at the entranced onlookers.
Just at that moment, from the cloudless sky, a bolt of lightning strikes the tree, splitting it down to where Dai and the cat are standing. Furious at this showy display of power, Kiriko rushes up to Dai, hurriedly shoving his wings back into his body. Quite calmly, Dai reassures his human "sister" that he would not jeopardize their situation. Absorbing his wings and releasing the hapless cat, he ignores Kiriko's shrieking protests and awakens the bespelled students. Even as the crowd cheers and hails the fearless cat-rescuer, Dai wonders what or who might have created the lightning that struck so close.
Amidst the happy hubbub, Kiriko stands alone, entertaining vengeful thoughts of announcing "Dai-kun"'s true inhuman nature to their assembled classmates. As if sensing her thoughts, Dai turns to her and flashes his most cheerfully open and honest smile. Kiriko considers this as the students return to the building. Hanging back in the abandoned schoolyard, a somber young man dressed all in black comes to stand before the cloven tree with a bemused look.
In flashback, Kiriko recalls how her unusual little brother came into her life...
Walking down the street one bright, crisp day, Kiriko happened to pass a pleasant-looking boy. Just as she was thinking that she who was an only child, might like to have a brother such as this boy someday, she tripped. Although tripping on the sidewalk is usually a pretty simple, though embarrassing affair, Kiriko managed to knock down a telephone pole, sending it crashing into a storefront. Shocked and afraid for her good reputation and promising future, Kiriko looked around frantically for any witnesses, only to find the horrified young boy. The boy solemnly clasped Kiriko's hands in his own, and offered her is silence in exchange for an odd request. He would live in her home, with her and her parents, as Kiriko's little brother.
Freaked out though she was, still Kiriko feared revelation more than a little inconvenience. She also reasoned that her parents would never accept such an arrangement, so she would be free and in the clear. To her shock and dismay, Mama and Papa Kaidou warmly welcomed the strange boy on sight, referring to their "son" Dai as though he had always been part of the family. Worse, they appeared, to Kiriko, to have more fun with Dai than with their true child. Kiriko's frustration surged even more when Dai revealed his demonic ability to read people's thoughts. While all her schemes were laid bare and dismissed by Dai, she could not uncover the usurper's plans despite her best sisterly efforts.
At home that evening, Kiriko confronts the source of her misfortune, and laments her fate of acquiring a demon for a brother. Dai happily points out that he read her wish for a brother and responded accordingly, for a demon. Filled with righteous anger and the desire to save her family, Kiriko appeals to Dai's heart for sympathy and mercy. With a tight-lipped almost-smile, Dai responds that demons have no heart.
Suddenly facing a slammed door, Dai retreats to his own bedroom. A black-clothed visitor awaits Dai with bat's wings much like his own. The curly-haired watcher from the schoolyard is Delteir, a messenger from the Demon-King Sadeirios. Dai, whose true name is Faraias, has been ordered to return to the Makai. [Ed. note: The Makai is the spiritual realm, generally populated by neutral and evil demons.] The king has given his messenger a 'wa', a circlet that will compel Dai to return, but Delteir offers the young demon-lord the chance to come quietly of his own will.
In quick response, Dai rushes at the man, confident in his superior demonic power (and surprise advantage). Delteir lashes out with a bolt of rather loud lightning, which stops Dai's assault cold. Scared for the first time, Dai shakes the older demon and rebukes him for losing control in the human world and making a racket. Of course, Kiri-chan comes banging on the bedroom door, seeking an explanation for the unnaturally storm-less lightning. Distracted by his sister's anger, Dai allows Delteir to escape out the window into the night.
The next day, the neighborhood is abuzz with talk of the recent strange weather, but Kiriko is engrossed in her own morbid thoughts. She's so distant that the tall curly-haired stranger is nearly upon her before she notices him. Delteir introduces himself as one who seeks the demon in her home, and offers Kiriko the 'wa'. He explains its purpose, pressing it into her hand, and intimately assures the girl that it will only send the errant demon to his true home.
All during school, Kiriko struggles with her decision, weighing Dai's self-proclaimed evil, inhuman nature against his superficially positive, sunny influence on those around him. Frantic, after school she rushes to the nearest police station and splutters an unintelligible confession. Just then, two detectives are discussing the unfortunate destruction of a storefront last month. Apparently a telephone pole had been weakened at its base and had fallen spontaneously. Realizing that she had been tricked by the illusion-wielding demon-child, Kiriko hastens home to carry out the dark stranger's will.
Tiptoeing into Dai's room that evening, Kiriko ignores the sleeping boy's angelic calm and ties him to the bed with thick ropes. Awakened by the heavy girl atop his chest, Dai blandly listens as Kiriko (prematurely perhaps?) announces her freedom from Dai's blackmail. Just as the girl is relishing her triumph, Dai calmly declares that he knew the truth behind the pole's collapse all along, and bursts free of his rope bonds. Gasping in horror, Kiri-chan lamely holds up the 'wa', hoping to fend off Dai's supposed wrath, but the sight only makes the young boy seem sad.
Quite somber, Dai laments Delteir's actions in bringing Kiriko into the matter. He explains that the true purpose of the 'wa' is to erase all memories of life among the mortals from Dai's mind. He muses that the humans would probably still remember him, at least for a little while. Suddenly worried, Kiriko questions the motives behind such a ruthless weapon, which prompts Dai to explain a little bit of the situation in the Makai. Sadeirios is king, but any dissension in the ranks is punished by such extreme measures as the brain-washing 'wa'. Dai opposes the king's actions in principle, but his small powers are not enough to take on the King of the Makai. Instead, he chose to flee to the mortal world and to hide out within the Kaidou family.
Adopting a reflective tone, Dai reminisces about the pleasant time he spent with Kiriko and her family, and remarks that he will miss such things in the Makai. Upset over her almost-complicity in destroying Dai's few happy memories, Kiriko curses Mr. Demon-king-whoever for setting up such an awful situation. Strangely, Dai protests against Kiri-chan's righteous anger, and announces that this is simply the way of things among demons. Furthermore, he cannot fight the king outright, because the demon-lord is his father. (Big shock!!) Resigned to his fate, Dai asks for the 'wa' in order to bring an end to his holiday-in-exile, but instead Kiriko clasps him in a great bear hug.
Not at all touched by the tender scene, Delteir comes through the door and announces his growing impatience. As Kiriko's resolve seems to have faltered, the tall demon at first requests, then demands, that she return the 'wa'. When the girl flatly refuses, Delteir transforms into a dragon right there in the bedroom. Dai shouts a warning, and shields Kiriko from the falling debris with his body. Selfless bravery abounds as "brother" and "sister" implore the other to run away, with Kiriko pouncing upon the raging dragon's exposed flank. Unfortunately, the *real* Delteir chooses that moment to appear on the sill, across the room from the illusory dragon. Speaking from underneath an enraged Kiriko, Dai explains that he only used the deception to make Kiri-chan want to keep him around. (*aww*)
Dai laments his fate, knowing that Kiriko hates everything about him. This despairing talk earns the boy a knock upside the head as Kiriko insists that she's never hated Dai, in thought or in word. They come to a happy understanding, disrupted abruptly by Delteir's dire warning about Dai's mischief-making. Kiriko wavers in the face of Delteir's persuasive case for controlling Dai's behavior with the 'wa'. Protesting wildly, the tow-haired demon declares firmly his intention to live a well-heeled life in the company of humans. Kiriko's dawning belief in Dai's sincerity dwindles when divine lightning strikes to give the lie to his statement. "Time delay," quips Delteir.
Hedging her bets, Kiriko invites Delteir to live with them in order to keep Dai's wandering magic in check. Dai urges his human "sister" to reconsider, pointing out the proven untrustworthiness and duplicity of demons. (He should know...) Kiriko stoically (or helplessly?) considers the future of her once-calm family life.
End Chapter 1 -- Return to Contents