Footsteps echoed through the dark corridor. Shadows shivered at the edges of illuminated patches of light casted by small circular floodlights. The moon shines high above, but its light could not enter; the metal beams and structures blocked its path as the light - save for the artificially created ones - bathed only the outer surface.
A figure stepped from the corner of the narrow corridor as his eyes watched his fleeing prey - a middle aged man - and gingerly stepped over some constructions tools that the builders had left over night. Though the man constantly drew further away from him, the stalker never broke his slow yet purposeful gait.
“Why do we wait,” grumbled a voice from behind the man. A dark mist appeared as rich mahogany eyes peered at its Shokanshi. “The spirit has been dealt with; the charms of the mortal vanquished. We have not all night.”
The sound of metal colliding against concrete echoed through the hall as a flood light shattered into tiny pieces. “When one chases after a wounded mouse, merely killing it does nothing to satiate the predators hunger.”
“You wish to torment?”
“I wish to feel fear,” replied the man. He rose his right hand as a dark vortex of purple energy crackled within his fingers. “I wish to feel pain; I wish despair. The works. Shouldn’t you know that by now?”
A hint of light found its way through a sliver of cracked cement as it revealed a dark haired man whom wore a jacket against his dark clothes. A scar was painfully carved across his right eye as a sick smile cracked against his pale red lips. His violet eyes sparkled with delight as the dark vortex of energy shot in the direction of the hunted with blinding speed.
The Yokai, still lavished in darkness, let lose a low rumble. It was laughing. “Any second now.” As if on cue, the scream of the agonized ricocheted off the cement walls while the moon hung silently as it watched in silence. The mahogany eyes slowly rested upon the scarred man. “The greatest sound of life, is it not?”
The man’s grin grew wider. “Another offering for the return.”
“You’ll bring it back alive then, Keita?”
Keita cackled madly as purple energy crackled and jumped at his finger tips. “Just barely dear Vergil ... Just. Barely.”
Stella sighed in relief as she finished writing the document before her. School had been dismissed a little over a half hour ago, yet she remained behind to finalize her proposal for the upcoming Arts Festival that the school had decided to hold. It was to bring in quite a crowd, for Yosogami High had been known not only for academics, but for artistic talents in the contemporary field and dance arts as well. She would know, for she would be one of the many dancers performing. The rumors that circulated around amongst the faculty spoke of the more notable alumni coming to this event, which made it even more urgent for Stella to plan this carefully.
She quickly packed everything within her bag as her eyes kept scanning the document looking for anything that she could have missed. Still reading, she left the classroom and walked down the sparsely populated hallways of Yosogami. A few students had remained for sports or cultural clubs, but the main body had already left. In the distance, she could hear the kiai from the Kendo club, the subtle thunk of Kyudo practitioners, and even passionate recitation of lines from the drama club just down the hall.
As she finished reviewing her final copy of the proposal, Stella found herself before the Faculty Office. She brushed back her hair before she gave the door three solid knocks.
“Please, come in.”
She slid open the door as she saw Suga sensei and bowed to her. The teacher’s deep hazel eyes shifted from the stack of papers on her desk to Stella. “Excuse me Sensei.” Stella took a brief glance around the room. She frowned. “Has Iori-sensei left already?”
The teacher’s eyebrow rose sharply. “Iori-sensei hasn’t been in all day. Did you need him for something?”
And he told me to have the proposal in at this time ... Stella smiled as she waved dismissively. “The proposal for the Festival. I’ve finished it and was hoping to drop it off. I suppose I can come by tomorrow.”
“Diligent as always Asakashi-san.” Suga pursed her lips as she gazed over to where Iori-sensei sat each day. “I don’t think there’d be any trouble if you left it on his desk. I’ll also remind him tomorrow. Does that work?”
“That’d be fine thank you.” She walked towards the desk and placed it neatly in the center of the workstation. If she had it her way, since her family did donate generously to this school, she’d find Iori-sensei and lecture him of how he should have told her that he wouldn’t be in today. She would have most likely finished the proposal anyways, but being notified of absence would have been welcomed. Alas, though her upbringing made her look down on her teacher’s character, she quickly relinquished the thoughts. She couldn’t expect everyone to act as such. Stella walked back to the door and bowed again. “Thank you very much Suga-sensei. Have a good evening.”
Exchanging small pleasantries, Stella was once again in the hallway. Having finished her tasks, she made her way to the entrance where her Yokai, Ira was told to meet her at this time. She scoffed to herself as her mood was still dampened by the Student Council advisor’s absence. “...What’s done is done I suppose.” She walked to her shoe locker and quickly replaced her school shoes with her street ones. “Now, where's Ira?”
The air was still and quiet around the house of the Shirakiin Seers. The high, prestigious looking wall gleamed with afternoon heat and the fragrant flowers and plump plants left mysterious scents and peaceful energy flowing through the traditional garden as the sun slowly fell from its peak. Rays of life flittered across the somewhat clutters grounds, bathing upturned leaves in warmth. The almost suffocating air stirred when the shishi-odoshi filled with water and fell, clanking against the rock below with a familiar doink . Though the lovely garden was filled with extravagant trees and plants it appeared to be missing something. A very important thing that maintained the lovely garden; workers. In fact, not a soul was seen or heard in the garden, only the beat of bug wings and soft breeze sounded at the time. The servants had a good reason to not be wandering the ground, and if they were it would mean punishment. Through the thick leaves and petals of the garden, you could barely make out two, still shapes, one more hunched over then the other. They sat in silence in front of a small, elegant shrine, more likely meditating than anything else. Both shapes appeared to be female, one older, with long white hair thrown up in a small bun and detailed, and slightly sagging wrinkled face loose of any emotions. The other girl was younger looking, with the same emotionless expression but a much more paled, rounder looking head. Their eyes remained opened and wide, gleaming with the intensity of a white fire while their faces stayed as still as stones. They only moved when the sun was obscured by a cloud, shrouding the garden in pale darkness. Shirakiin Risha, the older woman, was the first to move, her eyes clouding up with sudden darkness and her body shook for a moment before she straightened again, her face screwed up with a look of confusion. Shirakiin Chihiro was the second to move, her eyes closing slowly as she let out a small sigh before turning to stare at Risha, an expectant look on her face. The old woman quickly hid her surprised face and gave the girl a brisk nod before heaving her body up, using a small, deep colored walking stick for support. Chihiro gave a soft smile before regaining her peaceful and emotionless expression, standing up to give Risha a polite bow before vanishing through the brush and onto the stone path that lead through the garden. Though you couldn’t tell in hesitant clops of her sandals nor her face, Chihiro was actually very excited. It had been seven years since she had been a representative for the Shirakiin household and though it sounded like something someone would hate Chihiro found it as a way to make a friend. She pulled herself up onto the wooden porch slowly, removing the wooden sandals that hung loosely from her feet before sliding open the colorfully designed door. The servants instantly stirred from their hiding places, assisting in helping Chihiro up and taking her sandals. Most went to the garden to tidy up and tend to the plants while others began cleaning the already spotless building in preparation for the head of the house whom would be taking Chihiro any minute now.
“I’ve laid out something out for you.” One of the servants spoke up, bowing slightly. Chihiro gave the woman a soft smile before returning the bow and heading towards the thin hall that connected the now lively room and other empty ones. At the far end of the room a red tag was stuck to a sliding door, a sign to keep out. Chihiro’s room. She entered, sliding the door quickly and doing the same to close it, an automatic light quickly flashing to life as she moved forward towards the center of her room. An elegant looking kimono lay splayed out in front of her. The material was light and somewhat itchy, designed with pale pink flowers and dragonflies. It was a deep red in color with black and white outlines and pink undertones, the sash being the same pink as the design. Her changing was quick and quiet without the need of a servant; she slipped on the material easily and mindlessly, remembering every detail on how to put on a kimono by now. She was soon out of the room, dressed in heavier outfit with her long, black hair running over her shoulders in dark waves. Risha was now in the main room of the building, sipping some sort of drink from a wooden cup as she conversed with an out-of-view person. Chihiro had a slight idea of who this person was and she instantly raised her head, carrying herself much more mature then before, shuffling her feet while her hands clung to each over in front of her stomach. Her red eyes glanced down towards the duo as she approached, nodding towards Risha and then her Grandmother, who had been talking with Risha only a few moment before. The woman seemed to be as old as Risha, her pale eyes narrowed into two dark slits while her wrinkled face suppressed a frown. Chihiro instantly turned seeing her grandmother’s face, giving a long and low bow.
“… Hurry along, then.” Came a brisk voice laced with ice and Chihiro straightened, her mouth pulled into a tight line. She gave Risha a soft nod and the woman stared on with clouded eyes, which instantly sparked a worry in the back of Chihiro’s head. An impatient cough quickly brought the black-haired girl back from her wonders and she followed after her grandmother, exiting the building, and then the walls of the Seer House and into a prestigious looking black car. Her grandmother sat far against the window, eyes forward, hands clamped over a gold and black walking staff while Chihiro slouched slightly in her seat, glancing out the window while she thought about Risha’s cloudy eyes. She never looked like that unless she was A) getting a cold or B) she saw something when they were meditating. She racked her brain for remembrance of anything she saw today, traces of anything or flashes of something to come, but nothing came to mind. Her forgetfulness will be the end of her, and with that thought, Chihiro drifted off into a light sleep. They had three hours until they reached their destination and the exhaustion from school and concentrating still lingered on her skin.
“We are here, Ma’am.” Came a deep voice from the head of the car. Chihiro flinched awake and quickly regretted it after receiving a piercing glare from her grandmother. She slowly stood up and slipped out of the car, going to her grandmother’s side to stare up at the house before them,
“This is the Kimiko residence, you should recognize that name, yes?” her grandmother asked, a slightly curious glint shining in her old eyes. Chihiro nodded, remembering the days of young when a slightly forgotten face would sometimes come over to play. Her cousin lived here.
Ira laid her head against her hand, a waterfall of golden hair spewing over her slender, ivory fingers. She gently twirled a long lock of sunshine around a vibrant-red, flawlessly manicured nailed. The air was thick from the humidity, making it hard to breath, not to mention the overwhelming scent of body-odour from the pubescent gaggle of guys in front of her. With not much else to do, she looked around the bland classroom in disinterest. She was thousands of years old and a man probably two-hundred-fifty times younger than her was trying to conduct remedial lesson on mathematics to a group of hormonal teenagers. She would give him credit for trying but not much else. This guy seemed to loath his own job just about as much as he hated the students in the crowded classroom.
She leaned forward, poking the young man in front of her with end of her pencil as she put on a sultry smile. "Yata-chan, are we still going out on Saturday?" she purred, her blue eyes now lit up with a gleeful sparkle as she made goggly eyes with the S-rank boy who was now sporting a charming smile. It was cute to Ira how he thought he was in control of the situation at hand. Humans had always made Ira feel right at home, since they were unused to her glamour, they flocked to her like sheep to their Shepard. It was only a bonus that as time progressed in the mortal world, people began to completely abandon their morals. It was at the point where losing a their phone was more important than losing their virginity. To the promiscuous spirit, this was better than Christmas and her Birthday slammed into one.
"For sure, Ira-chan" he nodded, quickly looking her up and down with a sleek smirk. He was head of the soccer-club, 182cm tall and absolutely beautiful. Well, for mortal standards of course, in the spirit world, he would be a 3/10, max. It was a forbidden pleasure of sorts, copulating with humans while contracted. It was often look down on for elder-kami to do engage in those sorts of activities but when it came to Ira, it was a different matter entirely because...Ira wasn't entirely all Kami.
Well, time idly passed by as Ira spent her time looking out the window, mesmorized by the dancing leaves that tumbled from the trees. There was five more minutes till the prisoners were released from their mustard yellow classroom. Abruptly though, her tattoo began to burn, she clenched her chest with her hand, wincing in pain. "Stella..." she mumbled, raising her hand to grab the teachers' attention.
"Can I be excused to the washroom? It's an emergency" she replied, beginning to pick up her purse and books as he replied with a sigh and dismissed her.
She quickly scuttled out of the room, hissing profanities under her breath as she searched for Stella to sooth the burning in her chest. "Goddamn contract." she whispered, brows furrowed as she ran in the direction of her "cousins'" classroom. Per Stellas' request, Ira had memorized her very-detailed schedule, down to her snack-times. At the time it had been a mind-numbing request but during times like these, the skill came into use. She soon approached her classroom, panting as the soothing resided in her chest as she slumped herself against the stuco-wall of the school. "Christ all mighty..." she panted, clutching her crumbled blouse.
Ira texted a couple of her friends to meet her in the student lounge after school, so that she should be entertained while Stella busied herself with Student Council. The trio of females gossiped loudly as the school soon evacuated itself, by students eager to return home. Soon, it was time for Ira to leave, hugging her girlfriends goodbye before merrily making her way to Stellas' locker on the first floor.
"Stellaa~" she purred, jumping on top of the bent over Student councilmen, wrapping her hands around her neck, nuzzling her cheek affectionately against her contractors'. "Don't wander without telling me, christ. I thought we went over this" she whispered in her ear, before standing up straight and readjusting her hair. "I can't believe Yoazue-Senpai still thinks I care about his class. I'm like, 10,000 years old..."
There was a soft breeze going. It carried with it fragments of the various scents of a bustling city at the height of its day. The distant sounds of the city bustled in the background, only the occasional nearby noise moving the otherwise calm atmosphere. A dog barking somewhere. A car door being shut. The rustling of the leaves of nearby trees. The warm bricks of the roof were pressing against Yin’s back as he lied there with his eyes closed. His arms were crossed behind the back of his head as the breeze ruffled through his black hair. If he had opened his eyes he would have seen a stunning panorama of the city’s skyline in the distance. The house was located in an elevated position, its angular roof allowing for a great view over the city. The surrounding neighborhood was located in the outskirts of the city. Close enough to feel its claim of still being part of the metropolis, but far away enough to give of the calm atmosphere of a suburb. This roof was perfect. For the past week, Yin had spent several hours a day lying here, feeling the warmth of the sun on his face. The sounds and scents of the town flowed around him like the water of a brook around a rock lying in its bed.
Yin was an Akuma.
One could wonder about the behavior of this particular Akuma, considering the reputation his kind had. Most people thought of them as beings nesting in the dark, hiding in the shadows and drinking blood under the pale moons shine. It would be untrue to say that Yin had not done at least two of these things in the past before. But circumstances were a little different. The past few weeks had brought a radical change to Yin’s life that had before been so downright unchanging for almost a century.
He had finally been freed.
Now that of course, was utter bullshit. But considering the kind of change that had occurred, he could not deny that in way he would be considered free compared to what he had been enduring before. Yin slowly opened his eyes and lifted up his arm against the sun. In the bright dazzling light he could clearly see the dark stains on the end of his forearm around his right wrist, forming runes of unknown origin. The shackles he was still compelled to wear. The chains that kept him bound to this world. The runes were not unique in the world, for they were to be found in one other place: Along the blade of the wakizashi he had been sealed in. Yins mind wandered back to that fateful day a few weeks ago.
When Yin felt someone performing the ritual, he didn't put any hopes into it. Just another heir of the family coming of age and taking part in a tradition he didn't even understand the meaning of. Trapped inside the blade Yin could but linger in a damp numbness when every twenty year or so another boy would attempt to contract with him. Of course, all of them never performed with enough vigor to produce a reaction. The boy this time was no better. His movements were sloppy, he was weak of mind. Like many before him he did not perform the ritual wrongly, but it was akin to the uncoordinated moves of a poorly performed dance. He was without grace and passion. When the boy was about to approach the final step, thrusting the blade towards his chest, Yin noticed an opportunity. What was he to expect of this contract? The ritual was poor, chances were the boy wouldn't even percept him, him, the spirit of this blade. All it took was a little nudge. The boy had no willpower; it was but a child's play to make the blade swivel in just the tiniest of movements to accomplish the fatal consequence. Maybe the boy would have missed the right spot anyway. Maybe he would have brought the ritual to an end without real success; It mattered not. Yin only made sure the ritual failed permanentaly. As he felt the boy’s blood fill his penetrated lungs he prepared himself for another two decades of mindless slumber. But then the most unexpected of things happened. Shortly after the boy had lost grip of the blade, another pair of hands wrapped themselves around the hilt of Yins sword. Yin was used to the hard grip of male hands, young and fresh in most cases no doubt, but still with an unmistakable roughness to them. These hands were different. They were akin to the soft touch of a bird’s wings, light as feathers but still sure and strong in movement. And then the dance began.
The unknown person and Yin danced together. They performed the ritual in a synchrony he had never felt before. Motion after motion they moved, step after step their souls bonded closer. Never before had Yin reacted to the ritual this way. Inside the blade he had no way of telling what this unknown person looked like, but he was unlike any other before him. And then, when the end came and the final step was performed Yin felt that the ritual was by far successful enough to form a contract with this person. Curious to see his mysterious dancing partner for the first time he opened a path to his inner world. He had never shown himself before to those attempting a contract and was wondering what this one was like. How surprised was he as he witnessed a young girl stumbling into his realm! Yin could tell by the look on her face that she was confused and had no idea what was going on. She most likely hadn’t even felt his presence when they were dancing together before. He decided to not mention anything and approached her, confronting her the usual repertoire of an Akuma offering a mortal a pact. She dazedly agreed and left his world. Yin drifted back, alone again in his inner world. Well that was that, he thought. Now he would probably go back to spend his days in boredom. He did not expect anything to change. But there was but one big surprise left for him that day. A bright light suddenly flashed before him as a path to the outer world opened. Yin didn’t hesitate a second and jumped out of the blade, taking on the form he preferred most. The outside world greeted him with dazzling light after decades of captivity.
Yin opened his eyes again and watched the soft white clouds wandering over the sky. He didn’t understand why the girl had given him admission to leave the blade. Maybe she didn’t even know it herself. Chances were she had done it unconsciously, not knowing that she had the power to forbid him to ever leave the sword at his own choosing. Whatever the reason, he was free at last. At least as free as his contract allowed him to. Still bound to the blade, he could never leave the human realm and travel back to the spirits world. Still, it beat spending years inside a dull sword. He heard a low meowing sound next to him on the roof. Yin’s eyes wandered from the clouds to his side, where a small animal with white fur was sitting about an arm’s length away from him. It was watching him with deep mysterious green eyes. After their eyes met, the animal returned Yin’s gaze for just long enough to make him clear it wasn’t afraid of him and then started cleaning its fur.
After having left the wakizashi, Yin had grudgingly waited for orders from his slaver. But the white haired girl had simply carried on with her live without giving him much of her attention. It appeared she didn’t plan him to follow her every whim as her ancestor had intended him to. Yin had trouble grasping her intentions; her cool and controlled demeanor threw him off balance. After a day of not hearing any clear demands, Yin had started to take her up on it. Somewhat weary of this newfound freedom he had left her side and vanished from the estate.
He had started to travel. His abilities allowed him to cover long distances in a comparably short while and so he took in all the human world had to offer. His hunger for stimuli was so great after a century of numbness that he didn’t even waste a single thought on his contractor and the sword for three weeks. It didn’t take him long to be reminded though. The shackles around his wrists prevented him from leaving the human world, and albeit it was not a place without things of interest, it was nothing like home. After a while his thoughts had returned to the wakizashi that still was in the girl’s possession. While he did not acknowledge her as his master, uncommanding as she was, she still held an indisputable power over his life. If she was to die, Yin would instantly be forced back inside the blade. A security measure implemented by his enslaver to ensure the contractors security and to prevent Yin from letting his master come to any harm. Yin had thus, for his own reasons, concluded to have an interest in the girl’s well-being. After having reached this decision, he had narrowed down the extent of his travels and started to return to the girl’s estate in regular intervals. Approximately every two days he checked up on her at her house, making sure she was in no danger. He made sure she didn’t notice his checking up on her. Once in a while he appeared before her, giving her the opportunity to convey her orders. But she never seemed to have anything to say to him. So he just made his presence known to her once in a while, wordlessly staying by her side, only to be on his way again after a few hours. An odd relationship indeed.
The shadows were starting to grow longer as the sun was approaching the far horizon. The small animal was sound asleep lying next to Yin, its closed eyes giving it a content expression. It had now been about three days since he had last checked up on his contractor. As Yin watched the small animal the thought passed through the back of his head if anything was happening that required his presence. He decided it was time to visit the estate again. Yin pulled his arms from behind the back of his head and with his usual calm movements got to his feet. He stood to let his gaze slowly wander over the scenery presenting itself to him one last time before taking his hands out of his pocket and jumping away in direction of the Kimiko residence.
His arms folded behind his head, Ba’al yawned as he crossed one leg over the other. It was an unpleasantly warm day today, despite the air conditioning within the café, and the akuma really couldn’t be bothered to do anything today. Then again, in the spirit realm, he never did anything; it was always done for him. Such were the perks of a powerful demon, to hold lordship over all the weaker ones. And then there were the young upstarts. The youkai grimaced. How he despised them. Turning around on the sofa on which he was lounging, the akuma let his arm hang over the side as he rested the alabaster skin of his cheek upon the arm of the soft upholstery. This truly was the life…lounging around…with nothing he needed to- A loud buzzing suddenly snapped his nerves to alert mode. Baring his fangs, Ba’al growled as he sat back up. Apparently, his hour long break was over. Truly, it had only felt like scant moments. Then again, he was sure no-one would care if he just-
“Oi! Get your lazy arse to work!” shouted an obnoxiously loud voice. It sounded distinctly male, but Ba’al knew better. Sitting up, the akuma rolled his neck again, producing a creepy cracking sound as he say back and crossed one leg over the other. Pressing his left arm onto his face, the youkai rested his elbow onto his knee, forming a support structure. “How nice of you to join me…madame,” he hissed angrily as he glared at the fat woman in the corridor, “I was simply enjoying my lunch break.” His language was archaic and ancient, as if he had learned it in a different time period. “Your breaks over, back to work Ba’al,” the woman hissed back, her eyes equally as sharp, “you don’t work, you don’t get paid, and if you don’t get paid, you get no food.” The two glared at each other for what seemed to be an age, and one could almost see the burning flames of defiance from both sides trying to crush the other. Eventually, Ba’al grunted and placed both feet back on the floor, standing up at the same time. “Very well…I will return to my duties,” he said haughtily.
Dressed in a white dress shirt, bowtie, and a black vest and pants combo, Ba’al looked for all the world like a butler or a bartender. Dusting himself off, Ba’al pushed past the woman and picked up a serving tray and notebook, That was another thing he didn’t like in this world. Here, he actually had to eat. Without a contractor, Ba’al did not have the proper source of sustenance for both his bloodlust and energy requirements, which meant that he had to seek it from other sources, in this case, food. Unlike the youkai realm, food here costed money, instead of him simply walking onto the plains and devouring some horrors whole. What a stupid system this was. He cursed the man that had summoned him here.
“You have summoned me, and I have heeded your call,” Ba’al said as he emerged from the pool of blood, dressed in his usual red regalia. His ivory hair was pushed back into a large spike, while his arms, covered in blades, were folded across his chest. The raised hood behind him made him look even more intimidating, as did the gilded decorations all over his clothing. The man in front of him stared open mouthed, his hand still rifling through the traveller’s backpack for valuables. Not a single word came out of the man’s mouth, but several syllables did, making sound like an idiot. “Well, why have I been called, foolish mortal?” Ba’al hissed as he took a step closer. The man dropped the bag and scrambled backwards, pointing at him. “Y-you! What are you!?” he managed in between nonsensical gibberish. “Me?” Ba’al said, raising an eyebrow, “you summoned me here to this plane of existence…without even knowing my name? What kind of amateur summoner are you!?”
Ba’al did not like to be disturbed without good reason. The man suddenly got up and started to run towards the entrance to the alley where he had dragged the poor traveler. Just as he was about to reach the edge, the blood trail rose up, and formed a crystalline wall of red. “I am the Lord of Blood,” Ba’al said as he stalked closer, his head held high. The man looked back, his eyes full of fear, before smashing his fists on the crystal, trying to shatter it open, but to no avail. “I am the Sanguine Prince,” Ba’al continued, naming the many names by which he was called by, “The Red Demon, the Haemofiend. I am Ba’al!” Glaring at the man who had collapsed into a mewling bundle against the wall, the akuma grabbed him by the scruff of his shirt and lifted him to his feet. “Tell me, did you mean to summon me here?” he hissed. The man said dnothing, only able to stutter, apologise and cry. Shaking his vigorously, Ba’al slammed his hard against the wall, silencing him. “Did you summon me here without purpose!?” The man finally nodded. Ba’al’s eyes suddenly glowed red. “Unforgivable…” he muttered, tightening his grip. “UN-BLOODY-FORGIVABLE!” Slamming his left hand into the man’s chest, Ba’al dug the claws deep into the cavity, ignoring the screams his victim emitted. Grotesque noises sounded as the flesh was forced apart, Ba’al’s fingers searching for something. His digits grasped a fleshy mound, before ripping it outwards in a spray of vermillion. The man himself gasped in horror as Ba’al’s grip ceased, dropping him to the ground with a squishy thud. “I will grant you the honor of witnessing the completion of the contract before you expire,” the akuma said with disdain, as if he was doing the man a favour. Scratching himself along the wrist, the youkai flicked it towards the man’s open chest cavity, a single drop landing in a vein. At that point, all the veins and arteries started to close up, but the disgusting entry wound did not.
Lifting the fleshy lump towards the moonlight, Ba’al revealed the package to be the man’s heart, still beating in a vain attempt to circulate blood, showering the general area in crimson liquid. The man watched in horror as the red-eyed fiend inspected the heart with a smile of fascination. “Such a beautiful thing…too bad it was in you,” the youkai said as he brought it down to chest level. Taking a deep breath, Ba’al suddenly pressed the heart against his chest, and a red aura began to surround it. Maniacal laughter erupted from the demon’s lips as the light grew brighter. The beating of the heart became louder and louder and it rang in his ears as he watched the light wrap the heart. All of a sudden, the beating ceased, as did the light. Taking a deep breath, Ba’al breathed out. “Did you enjoy the show?” he asked, in a considerably better mood, “you’d better have…because it’s your last.” Lifting his left hand up, the palm facing upwards, Ba’al approached the somehow still alive man, who tried to scramble away, but could find no strength in his limbs. “Well then, I bid you…adieu.” Crushing his fist, the man suddenly stood up, rigid as a pole, before several red spikes erupted from within him, stopping just short of the Youkai himself.
Looking around, Ba’al saw the mess that had been his ritual. The dead backpacker, the thief who had been impaled from within. It would raise questions if anyone saw it. Lifting up his left hand, he liquefied both the blood wall and the blood spikes with a simple waving motion, before inverting his hand and beckoning towards himself. The blood formed several thin strings and shot towards his arm, before burying themselves into his forearm, like a torrent of high pressure water. Watching as the blood was synthesized into his system, Ba’al threw one last look at the dead backpacker, before deciding he wasn’t worth it. A bottle of vodka lay near the man, so he was probably already tainted. No use taking it. Leaving the cold corpse and the remains of the thief behind, Ba’al stalked into the night, his urges satisfied…for now. The blood he had obtained from the ritual would be enough to keep him alive in this plain of existence, that was, unless he was attacked…but then again, he would probably be able to handle himself in that case. Surprising light of heart now, Ba’al walked out of the alley and into the city.
Two days later, he had collapsed from hunger, an utterly new feeling in his body, so he did not know what to do. In that sense, he was a newborn baby. An arrogant, dangerous, and downright scary newborn baby. However, he was found by the owner of this café and given food and shelter, despite his constant snarky attitude and occasional threats. Still, she had not impressed him enough that he would call her his contractor. That, and she looked like a fat man, but acted like a woman half her age. That was disgusting to his refined senses.
“May I help you?” Ba’al asked with disdain as he walked up to a table of young women. They proceeded to scream. Usually, the demon would have relished this, but this time, it was an entirely different type of scream. They were screams of joy. “Oh my god! He’s so cool!” one of them shouted, looking into his crimson eyes, “And his skin is so pale…almost like a vampire!” another said. “Tch, you people are annoying! Hurry up and order, you wenches!” Ba’al shouted back, hurling what, was in his case at least, mild abuse, “Oh! And he talks like a prince! Good choice, Miyako!” a third shouted, while a fourth nodded enthusiastically. “See? I told you you guys would like him.” Ba’al’s patience was wearing thin. “Just…freaking…order already!” he hissed. Yes…there was something deeply wrong with the café in which he worked. According to the owner, it was a…theme café or sorts, or so he put it. Apparently, they gathered men and women with different personalities to be waiters, to tailor to other people’s needs or something or rather. He was to play…something called a tsundere prince? Ba’al didn’t care, but he swore that one day he would murder everyone in here if this kept happening. It was like they weren’t afraid of him at all.
After finally managing to get their orders, the youkai stomped off towards the kitchen, his ire thoroughly raised. How did he sink so low...More importantly, oh what he would give for a good fight…
"But Oka-san! I-I don't... even do Gymnastics!" Hina whined to her mother as well as lying. Her mother knew this was untrue though considering she had seen her do fancy flips in front of her. She sighed and shook her head. "I KNOW you're lying Hinata so go and get outside and do something instead of wasting your time eating pocky and watching needless violence on TV... It's a beautiful day outside! SO GO OUTSIDE!" Her mother yelled in rage and literally threw Hina outside.
With an ungraceful landing on her butt she dusted herself off and folded her arms with an annoyed look on her face. "Son of a bitch..." she muttered under her breath. She was annoyed to say the least. She just stood up and looked around. People were all talking to each other or doing something. Funny, considering it was a School Day. For her school just ended and she was back inside her house snacking on pocky and watching Higurashi. She had now nothing to do. "Hina? What are you doing out here?" someone asked her in a rather surprised voice.
She turned to see who the voice was. "Oh hey Kiku! I didn't see you! How are you?" She replied in the most sweetest voice she could and put on the bright smile she could. Kiku returned the smile. "I'm doing fine. Kikuyu got sick so I'm out getting stuff for him." Kiku answered with a blush. Hina never really got what the two twins relationship was. Ever. "Well, what if I help?" Hina asked with hint of expectation. She was bored and she was only out here for like five minutes. Kiku was thoughtful for a minute but nodded and smiled. The two then walked off to the grocery store nearby.
(OOC: Sorry about this but I have to get to sleep soon >.>)
Megumi caressed the velvet fur of the domestic ferret that had fallen asleep on her lap. She could feel the warmth of the animal through her spring-green yukata, decorated with dragonflies of the same colour, only lighter. One might be surprised that the girl hadn’t passed out from the heat already, but Megumi had by now gotten used to the weather. The past few weeks the temperatures had been fairly warm, even for fall.
Megumi watched as some red maple leaves made its way through the open sliding door into the room where she was sitting, one at the back of the large house, built in traditional style.
Normally a servant would have immediately removed the leaves, but at the moment there was no one at her side; they were all busy with preparations for the arrival of her cousin and her family. Her name was Chihiro, if Megumi had remembered well. She could vaguely recall her appearance. The only thing that had always stuck in her memory was her silky, dark hair.
She bent over, reaching out for one of the maple leaves so she could take a closer look at it. The ferret lying on her lap awoke to the shifting and looked up at her with its pale blue eyes. They reminded Megumi of a person who she had met only a few weeks ago and who had, to a greater or lesser extent, changed her life.
When her brother Kenta had turned sixteen, he had performed a ritual to obtain a weapon that had been passed from father to son for several generations. The ritual had failed. Her brother had put the sword to his chest, the final step of the ritual, but had accidentally hit a critical spot. A few seconds later he had collapsed to the ground, his eyes dull and lifeless.
Instead of feeling the need to rush over to him, Megumi had just sat there, staring at her now dead brother. Suddenly it was as if something had drawn her to the sword, like an invisible hand had been on her back, shoving her forwards, and had made her pick up the sword. She had performed the ritual just like her brother, but unlike her brother, she did succeed.
A black haze had formed before her eyes and from the darkness a male had appeared. His persian-blue eyes had met her golden ones as he approached her. After introducing himself, the man Megumi now knew went by the name of Yin offered her a pact. If she would give him a part of her life, she would receive a part of his powers and him as her servant in exchange. Without even hesitating she agreed, not even sure why. Perhaps to be able to protect the one’s dear to her, or to get recognized by her family, or maybe just to break the daily grind.
After that, Yin had been released from the sword and had stood beside her from time to time as if he was waiting on something. Megumi had been unable, or maybe rather too shy to ask him why he was guarding her. She just looked at him every now and then, still new to him and the idea of having gained powers and him as her servant.
After a while he had just left, but returned every once in a while, still looking as if he was waiting on something.
And now here she was, still unsure why she had agreed to the contract and what to do with it. She looked out of the open sliding door up at the pastel sky. “I wonder where he is now…” she softly mumbled. “The next time he arrives here I will ask him what he is waiting for, what he is expecting from me. This time, for sure.”
Megumi heard a car near and take a halt. “That should be Chihiro and her family,” she thought. A servant opened the door to the quarter where she was present. “Ojou-sama, your cousin has arrived,” a friendly woman voice informed her. “If you will please follow me…”
Megumi did as she was asked and followed the servant to the foyer. From here she could see her cousin exit a large, black car. Like Megumi had remembered her, Chihiro still had the sleek, black hair, the descending sun giving it a slight red glow. She noticed the girl’s grandmother had also come along as her cousin took place next to her. The two stood still for a moment, taking a good look at the house in front of them, before drawing closer.
Megumi turned around, her silver hair following her movement, sweeping gently. She made her way into the living room where light had grown dim as it faced the east. She put on a hanging lamp above the low table which stood almost in the centre of the spacious room before taking placing on one of the cushions near it, awaiting her family’s entrance.
“Ugh…I don’t get humanity...” Ba’al muttered as he strolled along the boulevard, a very pissed off look on his face. It seemed no matter how much he verbally abused and threatened the humans that came into the cafe, they didn’t mind. In fact, they seemed to enjoy it, even becoming infatuated with him. He knew he had charisma and charm as a demon, but this was just ridiculous. Thankfully, he had finally been let off his shift, and, to the dismay of many of the customers, he had left as soon as he could. Now dressed in his casual wear, a black dress shirt and dark blue jeans, he made his way towards a little grocery store that he knew which stocked what he was looking for. A ruby red drop hung from his neck by a black cord, swinging back and forth as he moved.. Had humanity’s rituals of courtship and mating changed since he was last on this plane of existence? When he looked around at the couples shamelessly flaunting their love, he shook the thought out of his head. Humans were strange...but not THAT strange...hopefully. He still needed to find one to get him off of this wretched realm.
Letting out another groan, Ba’al cracked his neck eerily. “Ugh...what a pain...” he muttered as he turned a corner, finally arriving at a little grocery store which he frequented. Stepping through the door, he hissed slightly as the scent of incense wafted into his nostrils. The one drawback of this shop was that the owner was a right religious bastard, always having incense lit, and that was anathema to an Akuma’s existence. Thankfully, Ba’al was no lesser Akuma, and easily stepped through the otherwise noxious fumes, with little more than a passing groan of discomfort. “Oy, Ossan, you have my order?” he asked, as disrespectful as ever. The old man behind the counter sighed as he reached under the counter and pulled out a plastic bag filled with smaller red bags that sloshed as they moved. “Here you go you disrespectful brat,” he said grudgingly as he gave him the bag, in exchange for a modest sum of money, “what do you use that for anyway? Rituals?”
“Wouldn’t you like to know,” Ba’al replied as he shot the man a venomous look which told him not to pry any further than he needed to. With another heavy sigh, the old man returned the change to the Akuma, who then slung the bag over his shoulder and exited the store. Passing two young girls, Ba’al paid them no notice...until he felt a strong spiritual presence from one of them. Stopping right in his tracks after he passed them, he confronted them. “Oi, you,” he said rudely, not even turning to look at them. As he caught their attention, he turned to face them directly. “Not you,” he said to the one on the left, who started, “you.” The one he was addressing had deep violet eyes and an athletic looking body, as well as a fair face and dark hair. “I’d like to have words with you,” he said in archaic Japanese, “I may have a proposition for you.”