Mahou Shoujo Kuroneko
"Not like we have much choice. I'm gonna have to ask you to do that vine thing you were talking about earlier. It's dark now, and that rain is still going strong. We do not want to let them move around too much or else we're gonna be fucked." Jago stated, causing Alice to make the first move.
Usually when fighting, Alice was very cautious of her actions. But with Jago on her side, she realized that these battles wouldnít be as hard as before. As the demons focused on her though didnít approach the door, maybe to instill fear first, she folded her arms in discontent. As the first one charged, it was tripped by the grass wrapping around its torso. The second one growled at Alice before vines wrapped around his snarling mouth and head, pulling him down. As he mentioned his transformation, she was already turned around, focusing hard on the beasts. She wished she could rip them apart, so much that the vines became tighter as they tried to resist.
As Jago finished his transformation, Alice looked towards him, impressed with his armor. His power, though disgusting, was very useful in nature. She nodded to him and opened the door to the storm. Quickly, she guided some rainwater carefully over their fire, which was roaring lively. After all, she didnít want the food to burn. Eating would have to wait.
ďHeh, you beasts think itís funny to kill us and destroy our hope, huh? You bastards! You arenít going to live through this! All the blood you spilledÖitís going to end here!Ē she yelled at them, her Korean heritage staining her words.
She cursed at them in Korean, kicking the muzzled one in the stomach. Though it didnít seem to hurt the beast much, it gave her satisfaction. The angrier she got, the more she felt like crying. These beasts destroyed her family, her friends, and everything she found safe in the world. Nothing could bring those people back, that life she remembered, so she gathered the rain into a whip, hitting them roughly without remorse. Something in her snapped. Her normal reservations were no longer an issue. It had been a long time since she let go of all the feelings that had been weighing her down, and these demons couldnít deny her, not with those vines mutating and digging into them with thorns. They were the sole embodiment of her anger.
One demon howled, piercing through the sounds of the rain and thunder causing Alice to stop suddenly, a sudden fear washing over her. Her heart began to beat painfully from a different type of adrenaline. She stepped back, breaking her concentration on the demon. One of his hind legs broke free, his teeth chomping at the air as she struggled to keep him in place. She fell into the mud, words causing a lump in her throat. This was that feeling from a year ago. That same childish fear from when her brother was killed. Those eyes. It was as if those blood eyes controlled her thoughts, her emotions, her memories, and she was weaker because of it.
Jago watched silently as Alice's vines wrapped themselves around the bodies of the waiting demons outside. It was clear that, this time around, she had a far stronger hold on them than the one from earlier. The moment they were both down on the ground, struggling effortlessly against the constraining plants, Alice opened the door and set herself upon the one closest to her. The ferocity with which she descended upon the beast was a little shocking.
Angry words in Korean poured from her mouth, and she soon began to crack down on her target with a whip crafted of water. While she did this, Jago walked over to the other demon, which glowered up at him. Kneeling down in front of the demon, Jago lifted its chin with one of the bone blades extending from his arm.
"I think you're lucky you got me on this one", he stated flatly as the sounds of Alice's assault permeated the air behind them.
To this, the demon spat something out in the demonic tongue Jago had heard the demons speak in over the past year. It was all jibberish to him, but one word was spoken in English that caught Jago by surprise, Domino. However, there wasn't anything more Jago would be able to get out of this one. Whether a demon knew English or not was painfully obvious, and this one clearly didn't know a lick of it; the blasted beast was still going on in it's demonic tongue as though Jago could understand. Shaking his head, Jago dropped the demon's chin and ran the blades into the beast's neck, shredding off it's head.
Standing up, Jago turned around to see how Alice was faring; the sounds of her angry voice had died down, so he assumed that she too had finished with her target. However, he was shocked to find her on the ground and the demon she'd been attacking slowly breaking free of the vine's grasp. Dashing through the dark and rain, Jago placed himself between Alice and the blood-eye, just as it managed to break it's other leg free.
The beast barreled into Jago, who managed to stop it in its tracks. The two stood, grappling with each other and trying to push the other back. "You're not getting through", Jago growled at the demon, who stared at him with those crimson eyes.
Falling back a bit, Jago forced the demon to take an unexpected step forward. Surprised, the demon was met with a sharp blow to its abdomen. Looking down, the beast realized that the human had kneed it in the stomach and extending from that knee was another blade of bone. Howling in pain, the demon broke away from Jago, the blade of bone breaking off in it's abdomen, clutched its side and fell back a few steps. As blood gushed from beneath its hand, the demon glared at Jago, clearly not done yet.
Preparing for the next go, Jago watched the demon carefully, trying to ignore the falling rain. However, just before the next move was made, a shrill whistle pierced through the night and rain. Immediately, both Jago and the blood-eye's heads snapped up and looked around. Turning their eyes back to each other, Jago gritted his teeth as his fingers began to form needle-like extensions of bone. Drawing his hand up quickly, the bone needles fired off at the demon. However, the beast managed to jump out of the way and dashed off into the road, running off toward the mountains.
Jago made to give chase but immediately decided against it. It would be suicide to give chase in these conditions, especially with them there now. Cussing under his breath, he turned back around and went to Alice's side, all bones on his body retracting back into his skin.
"You alright?", he asked, helping the girl up.
"Come on, we need to get back inside. I'm afraid we have some more complications..."
His last words were spoken heavily, as his eyes looked off at the dark horizon.
"T-they're engaging them", Lina's voice broke out, her eyes never leaving the backyard down below. "The demons are on the ground though... something's holding them down", she reported.
Narrowing his eyes, Alejandro slammed a fist against the cave wall, "What?! What do you mean they're down already? What's holding them?"
"I don't know, I can't tell in thermal"
"Then switch over, you idiot girl!"
Flinching at his words, Lina changed her sight back to normal, but it was just as difficult to see through all the rain. She knew she'd have to try her best though, lest she suffer more of Alejandro's rage. Peering in carefully, Lina did her best to zoom in and pierce the veil of rain. There were blurred bodies standing above the demons, the girl and boy from inside. The demons were covered in what looked like grass.
"It looks like plants... They can't move, one of them is being attacked, and the other just got beheaded. Um, the one being attacked just broke free and is engaging the boy, something made the girl fall", Lina continued her explanation.
Clenching his fists, Alejandro listened with agitation. Sure, the demons weren't supposed to kill them, just rough them up. Yet, the demons were the ones getting screwed over. This was shit, complete shit. "Call the remaining one back here before it gets killed. Your lack of detail makes it clear that you can still hardly make anything out, how useless. We'll just ask the demon", Alejandro ordered, tossing an oddly carved whistle to Lina.
Catching the whistle, she nodded softly, her brother's words piercing her. Blowing into the whistle, she beckoned the demon back. Turning her eyes back down, she switched back to thermal to make sure the demon had gotten away. Thankfully, it was rushing back to them, and their target had chosen to avoid giving chase.
Soon, the demon stood before Alejandro and Lina, blood oozing from its side. Alejandro conversed with the demon in their tongue, something both he and Lina had learned over the past year in Vegas. Lina listened silently and watched as the demon extracted a bone blade from its wound. From its description and the piece of bone, it was confirmed that they had indeed found Domino. However, he wasn't alone, and the demon had made it clear that the two were a dangerous pair. Alejandro dismissed this claim though, declaring the group in the cave far more dangerous. Ending the demon's life, he turned to his sister and motioned for her to get her things, "Get ready to move out, we have to get to the old shrine here. We'll intercept them there and fix this fuck-up of yours."
Nodding, she obeyed her brother's words.
Mahou Shoujo Kuroneko
Alice watched as Jago held back the demon, but even now, his demonic words were ringing in her ears. Her mind didnít understand them, but deep inside, her soul knew what they meant. It was her fault that she was alive and others were dead, that she managed to get this far, but no more. They were going to kill her too, kill her and eat her bones and flesh. She was no better than any other human, and so she let fear take over her mind, the water falling through her fingers like the rain that drenched her clothes. Jago fought him back, stopped him from harming her physically, but he had ripped through her psyche. She couldnít see what Jago was doing, but it soon ended as the demon ran off, wounded by another one of Jagoís bones. He had such a strength about him, so much resemblance to Aliceís brother that when he turned around, she could almost see Dae standing there, breathing heavily, his arms moving to pull Alice off the ground. She didnít stop him.
As Jago helped Alice off the ground, she was silent and distant. Her stare was empty as she stepped away from him. It was always like this, always her to be saved, always the same way, with people sacrificing themselves, eventually dying, and for what purpose? Her chest heaved up and down, and with Jagoís heavy words, they returned to their home base.
The food was still warm; somehow there were still glowing coals at the bottom of the grill. All they had to do was eat their fill. Alice grabbed the plates and silverware and quietly served the food in front of her. With all her strength drained, she was quiet and reserved like before, but now, she didnít want to talk to Jago. He just reminded her of everything wrong with the world. No, not wrong, maybe just what she missed. He was sane, friendly, strong, daring, and he cared, which meant a lot in these crazy times. But instead of thanking him, she just began eating, noticing that there was a faint red glow in the pile of her things.
Someone was nearby, but whether or not they were friend or foe was uncertain.
As brown eyes looked over the valley that was the city of Chimayo, a tanned hand held out two vials, one glowing, one dark and unresponsive. He hated the rain, even more now than before, because the smell of sulfur and blood always seemed to permeate the air. His legs bent under the pressure on her back, the pain like fire burning in his bones. Thin, leathery wings sprouted from his back as he screamed. He still wasnít used to the pain, but at least he wasnít passing out anymore. Somewhere down there, there was someone who he could pass this vial onto. After all, the owner succumbed to a gruesome death by a group of devil talkers, those that sided with the demons, and it was only because he could fly that he had two vials instead of one.
He couldnít see anything, just the demon flying around the moon, which was mostly hidden by the clouds, but still a silver glow, unlike the sky, which always seemed to bleed. Soon, he would make his way down there and find that person. Thatís what the owner would have wanted. He didnít want the responsibility of two vials anyway; his was telling him to go north, and this other one may take him in a completely different direction. He sighed, placing both around his neck. Hopefully, they would be at least be friendly, and preferably a woman. He hadnít been seeing enough of them these days.
As he grabbed his bag and secured his items, he took flight. Not too high, not too low, but just right , just in case there were any demons or devil talkers about. At this rate, he knew it would take him at least half a day to get into the city from where he was due to the pain and the fact that he was only running on a small amount of food. He was already tired as it was; he should have set up camp ages ago. But, he wanted to get this over with quickly. He was just lucky to find someone so close. He grinned, distracting himself with the thoughts of a pretty girl that he could cuddle up next to.
Though he'd asked if she was okay, Alice didn't speak a word. She was shaken, far more so than their previous encounter had left her. Jago wanted to try and say something, but he wasn't certain if there was anything he could say. He'd never been the best at comforting others, so he could only follow Alice back inside in silence.
Closing the door behind them, Jago turned his eyes to the second corpse to grace this home's backyard. It'd probably make sense to bury that one as well, but the point in doing so was well and gone. Their location was compromised. All they could do now was eat and rest, but they'd have to keep watch throughout the night. Though the enemy had withdrawn, Jago couldn't be certain what their plans would be after this.
Accepting the food Alice had prepared for him, he looked at the silent girl sitting across from him. She'd left that very spot to head out and fight with such fire, and now, there was barely a flicker of fight in her eyes. They were distant, clouded, and haunted; they were eyes Jago was familiar with. His own grandfather had often spent nights just sitting in the garage doing nothing but staring into space, after Jago's grandmother had passed away. There had been little Jago could do for his grandfather at the time. The loss of his grandmother had weighed heavily on him too, but he'd somehow been able to keep moving forward. The best he'd been able to do for his grandfather was getting him to aid in the finishing of the very motorcycle that stood in the shed outside. Jago's grandfather just needed to do something to take his mind of things, and that's probably what Alice needed too.
Taking a bite, he pointed his fork at Alice to get her attention, "Hey, after we eat, why don't you get some sleep? Not sure how much you got before getting here, but it'd probably do ya some good. I managed to get a few hours in earlier, before you got here, so I'll stay up and keep watch. You can sleep without worrying too much, yeah?"
It wasn't much, but it was all he could offer at the time. A decent rest typically helped revitalize his mind, especially if he could sleep in a safe spot.
Mahou Shoujo Kuroneko
A sigh escaped Aliceís lips as if it was her soul leaving her body. Gently, she placed her half-eaten food down and stood up. As she passed by her bag with her vial in it, she unbuttoned her jeans, leaving them on the ground. Similarly, her shirt, underwear, and bra came off in the same fashion, creating a trail that led to the master bedroom. Cold and naked, she closed the door behind her and crawled into the bed. The blankets were cold at first, taking what little warmth her body seemed to make, but soon, the warmth spread as she stared at the wall through damp strands of hair. She hadnít really wanted to leave; she didnít feel like sleeping. But, she did feel like crying, punching the wall, screaming, and other things she thought about doing, but held back. After all, she just met Jago, and she would rather not seem any crazier than she already appeared. Still, she couldnít get that thought of him out of her head. Not just earlier when he wasnít wearing a shirt and she could see his scars among other things, but when he saved her. Just like that, he had saved her twice, and just like that, all she could think of was her brother. The tears fell from eye to eye, from eye to pillow. He was so young, so brave, and so stupid to sacrifice himself when he could have been right here along with her. Alice laughed to herself as she imagined the awkward moments Dae would create between her and Jago, with jokes about repopulation and stories about how many boys she rejected in high school and college. He would make enough jokes to almost make it seem like their world hadnít ended.
Alice turned to lie on her back, her breasts peeking over the blankets. She placed a land on her forehead and stared up at the ceiling. He wasnít cut out for this world. He couldnít handle a place so hopeless. But, he knew that Alice could. He knew that she would live for the both of them. Alice hadnít lived her life until now, and Dae knew it. He always knew, and Alice knew that he knew, but she was still holding back. Even that demon could smell her fear. Still, she had a long way to go before she could come to terms. Although it had been a while since he died, she still had nightmares about it. Alice wondered if Jago ever thought about his family like that. If he was ever frightened by the way they died. She thought to ask him, but she wasnít sure if she should. Still, as strong-willed as he seemed, it wasnít like he would break down and cry. No, in fact, maybe he would console Alice if she cried.
As Aliceís eyes traveled up to the window near the bed, the light from the sun long gone, her attention suddenly focused on why they were here in the first place. They had a job to do, and the sooner they did it, maybe the sooner the demons would leave them alone. But then, would that mean Alice would have to leave Jago? After all, this wasnít set in stone, so she wasnít supposed to get attached to the setup. Even right now, he was probably thinking of getting rid of her. After all, that motorcycle looked like it was only built for one. Maybe Alice would stay here for a while. She was far away from home, and she didnít really know where to go or how to get there. Her thoughts fogged up as she curled up in the blankets, her body dry and comfortably warm. Slowly, her last waking thoughts wandered somewhere familiar, a place with the smell of drying spices and the warmth of the sun on a patio swing. She could feel that someone was waiting for her there, but she couldnít see them. Soon, the dream was gone as she fell into deeper sleep.