Author’s Notes (Pre-reading)
Wow, it’s been a while since I have written a chapter. That may be partly to blame on studying, classes, and the fact that I had run out of ideas until most recently. I thought I would focus on I.A. since not much is known about him except that he has a habit of turning animated objects to dust (an idea made by his original maker) and that he likes pretty girls (a quality that I came up with though with less perverted thoughts at the time -_-;). I wanted to expand on his character so show his wickedness since he appears… meek? I hope you enjoy his development!
To tell you the truth, I’m kinda nervous about posting this (I feel like Kelly Clarkson when she released “My December”). I really hope that I don’t turn you off. It might be ummm… graphic so if you’re a prude/squirmish/really young, don’t read Part Five. If I had to rate this, it would be PG-13 or an R. Read at your own risk!
I divided each sub-arc in parts so it would be easier to read.
”Are you positive that your source is right?” came a questioning voice from the back of the group. Rinvak turned around and nodded at Tabby as she sat on a bench, waiting for the train to arrive. Surprisingly, the now defunct Order had enough money for them to purchase tickets to Plymouth though the exorcist was quite suspicious that Lyra and Madeline were lying. She could have sworn that she saw them buying only three tickets, which definitely wasn’t enough for the five people gathered here.
Tabby was pacing anxiously along the platform. She like everyone else was worried about their captured comrades. With the disappearance of Lione, they all feared for the worse. Could he have been captured as well? The North American branch’s luck was getting worse every day it seemed. Maybe the main branch was right to shut it down…
“Stop pacing around, worry wart! You’re making me nervous!” scolded Lyra who was laid sprawled out on a bench. Her head was leaned back with a sheet of newspaper covering her face in order to block the blazing sun rays. The exorcist always hated spending the afternoon outside especially when the seasons were changing. They were too hot but during the evenings, she was too cold. Still she seemed too relaxed in a situation like this, which caused the Bookwoman to glare at her.
The teenager stopped and apologized. “I’m just worried about my friends. What if they’re tortured and suffering? What if we’re too late and they’re already dead?” Her voice cracked upon saying the last statement and she turned away. No, she had to have faith that they were alive. After all, that was the only thing she had left.
She felt a warm hand placed upon her shoulder and turned around to see the motherly face of Madeline. “It’s okay,” the nun comforted. “I’m sure they’ll be fine. They are exorcists and it’ll take a lot more to bring them down.” Though the words may have quelled Tabitha’s fear, the woman knew that deep inside her words were just producing false hope. Deep in her mind, she knew that this task was not a search and rescue mission; it was instead a “seek and recover” job. Recover the dead bodies so they could be buried properly.
The train’s whistle echoed throughout the area, causing everyone to turn in its direction. Eny grumbled, “It took it long enough. Hopefully, there won’t be any more delays or else our actions will be in vain.” Before she could grab her bag, someone grabbed her wrist.
“Where do you think you’re going?” questioned Lyra with a small smile on her face. Eny slapped the exorcist’s hand back and angrily replied, “Where else? With the rest of you guys to get my cat back!” Seriously, was this lady dumb or something?
The female didn’t react at all and brought her hand back. She quickly moved her fist forward and for a second, Eny thought that the carefree person was going to punch her. She covered her face with her arms, anticipating the impact only to hear “Pick a stick, you pipsqueak!” In front of her, she noticed Lyra’s holding five sticks in her hand, the girl’s eyes staring at her commandingly.
“What?” escaped her lips and she looked around confused. It seemed that everyone else except Madeline shared her thoughts because their face reflected the same puzzlement. “Pick a stick. That’s all you have to do,” replied Lyra patiently. This girl claimed that she’s a child prodigy but apparently she couldn’t follow simple directions.
The Bookwoman looked at the exorcist defiantly. “Why should I? As far as I know, it’s probably some trick. Is something going to explode once I pick one up? Or is there poop at the end of them?” Lyra placed her left hand to her face and shook her head annoyingly. She was really questioning Eny’s credentials now. She gave the girl a bewildered look and curtly replied, “Why would I hold a piece of $#!+ in my hand, you piece of turd?”
Before the argument could get any worse, Madeline interfered, “Eny, you and the others must understand this. We cannot leave headquarters unprotected. If the enemies know that all capable exorcists have left to rescue their friends, then they can easily attack the base, leaving countless more casualties than their earlier assault. Besides, if we are going to attack their camp, we must have a small number so they won’t detect us. I’m afraid a group this big might be noticeable, decreasing our chance of surprise. That’s why we’re going to decide our teams this way. Whoever gets the smallest sticks will go while the others will stay behind.”
Silence overtook the group, contrasting the exorcists from the bustling atmosphere around them. Suddenly, Rinvak approached Lyra and grabbed a stick. “I hope I get a small one. I really want to punch that Urea, Ariel, or whatever that punk calls himself nowadays.” She gave an encouraging smile to Tabby who followed suit. Eny noticed that Madeline had picked hers and she reluctantly took one from Lyra. “See I didn’t bite,” teased Lyra as she looked at the remaining stick. “Who got the small ones?”
Eny turned to look at her companions as she raised her hand and much to her displeasure, only Madeline did the same. “Na uh! No way! You purposely rigged this, didn’t you?!? You think that I would let you torture me before we get to the Noah’s base!” she exclaimed as she shook her head violently, her fists flying around causing those around her to move out of the way. Lyra shot a puzzled look and placed her hand on the Bookwoman’s forehead. “Are you feeling okay? Did you take anything that might have messed up your psyche?”
Trying in vain to get away from Lyra who was holding her tight, Eny replied, “No! Why would you say something like that?” The exorcist released her and answered, “You did say that I was trying to explode you or give you a piece of turd. You make it seem like I have something against you.”
Before Eny could respond, Rinvak handed the girl her bag and whispered, “Just go! I’m sure Madeline—or Lyra—wouldn’t let anything happen to you. Besides, don’t you want to see Fermium again?” She gave the Bookwoman a reassuring smile and continued, “If you see that jerk, shot him in the face for me.”
Tabby pushed the girl into the train and yelled, “Good luck! Headquarters will be safe in Rin and my hands! Don’t you worry about us!” Along with Madeline and Lyra, Eny watched as the two exorcists grew smaller and smaller. She felt someone grab her hand and turned to find out that it was her “sworn enemy” doing the deed. Lyra winked and asked, “Shall we go to our cabin? It will be a while so we should rest up a bit.” The girl just stared and then nodded. Perhaps she would have sweet dreams of her reunion with Fermium.
Evening had arrived and the cold air nipped Madeline’s face. She was standing outside, watching the scene change around her at a ridiculous speed. The train had faced various delays that caused her to worry. Did the Noah know that they were coming? Or was God truly against them?
She heard footsteps behind her and she turned to punch the uninvited visitor. The person dodged it and raised her hands as if she was surrendering. “Whoa! What happened to the warning “friend or foe’?” Madeline deactivated her Innocence and quickly answered, “Sorry, Lyra. You caught me off guard.” The exorcist laughed and stood next to her, leaning against the metal rails. She appeared like a night elf with the blue moonlight reflecting off her body and her hair dancing in the wind.
The two stood in silence for a while until the nun broke the silence. “Is Eny asleep?” Her companion nodded and joked, “For a moment I thought that you were on the same medication as her. Seriously, do I give off some kind of aura that turns people off?” Madeline bit her tongue and decided that it was best to leave that question unanswered. “Did you leave Rinvak instructions on what to do if we fail?”
Lyra continued to stare at the night as she responded, “Yes. I left them on her bed before we left. If we don’t return in a week or two, she will know we have failed and that she is in charge. Hopefully, she would have moved headquarters by then.” She turned away from Madeline and sighed. “I sent my Finder as well as two others ahead to scout the area out. By the time we arrive there, they should be able to give us a report about the area.” The nun nodded and nervously began tapping the train’s railings with her fingers. “Do you think we’ll succeed, Lyra? Do you think that they might actually be alive?”
The girl laughed nervously and glanced at her companion. Madeline looked like a formidable woman but deep inside was a gentle person who needed assurance during troubled times. She leaned her back against the cold banister and answered, “To tell you the truth, I really don’t know.” The exorcist noticed the sister’s crestfallen face and added, “It is beyond our control right now after all.”
Her words didn’t make Madeline feel better. The nun knew that it was a dangerous mission and despite the facts that she had undergone missions that were as dangerous or even more, she always became anxious. “It’s going to be okay, Mad!” cheered Lyra as she looked up to the moon. “After all, we have the child prodigy with us.” The exorcist smiled at her companion, causing her to eventually chuckle.
“You purposely wanted her to come. I know that,” retorted Madeline. “That was really nice of you.” Lyra gave her a dumbfounded look and innocently replied, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” She was scratching her head in an attempt to play dumb but the nun saw right through it; she did use to teach mischievous children in the past.
“If you say so,” muttered the woman as she headed back inside the train. “I can’t believe you convinced the ticket person at the train station that the North American branch was still active.” Lyra laughed, “Would you have rather stayed in coach?” Madeline shook her head and walked to the cabin where a sleeping Eny awaited her. Maybe this was another reason she was so eager to join this mission. By succeeding in this mission, the Black Order might reconsider and keep this branch open. Perhaps this would make Lione happy again; this would be a fair trade to thank the man who saved her life.
The dim candle light did not hide the grim face on the girl’s face. Yet Magier tried her best to hide her disgust as she watch Gabrielle take her spot next to Jacques, serving him some salad that she had made. Even though they only had family dinners on special occasion in Japan, her brother always insisted that they have them together during their stay in America in order to preserve the family feel. She did like that idea but should that woman even be considered a part of their family?
Her sentiment must have come across for Amaterasu looked at her and smirked. “You would like to switch places with her, wouldn’t you? Maybe if you weren’t so fixated on mutilating your doll, you could have worked your way up in Jacques’s favor.” He quickly dodged the knife that Magier threw at him and laughed.
“Stop it, you two!” commanded Jacques who was still reading his Bible at the table. “We’re family and we shouldn’t be fighting each other.” His sister stood up and pointed angrily at I.Amaterasu. “He started it! He makes it seem like my work is pointless. As far as I know, he has been slacking off.” She glared at the blond Noah who was staring at her amused. “Has the Bookman started talking? Oh wait, you wouldn’t know! You have made Jacques’s guardians do your dirty work while you do absolutely nothing but feed that dumb cat!”
Jacques raised his hands to bring back order, making shhh-ing noises to calm them down. He hated playing babysitter. Didn’t they realize that their bickering only brought shame to the family especially in front of the other members? Gabrielle grinned as her eyes traveled to the other guardians who appeared that they didn’t know whether to laugh at such a scene or to pretend they didn’t notice.
“It’s okay, Jacques!” she said as she played with the food on her plate. “We live to serve you and if your siblings ask for assistance,” she continued as she moved her eyes to Magier, “we’ll be more than willing to help.” The female Noah now began to fight the urge to throw her fork at her but sat herself down, slamming the table with her fists in the process. She knew that if she aimed carefully, she would hit that bitch right in the eye.
The priest looked at the woman and nodded. “I know that I can count on you and others to do your job.” He looked at his brother who looked defiantly at him. The Earl had always told him that Amaterasu was a troublemaker but for some reason, the Duke had faith in Jacques’s ability to calm him down. “Brother, please do your part. That Bookman is essential for the Earl’s plan and it isn’t fair to make others do your work.”
Amaterasu ignored his brother’s admonishment; did the priest actually believe that he was being lazy? He did have a plan after all but he liked to see other people fail first before he flaunted his victory. It was more fun that way after all. Noticing that his words did not have any effect on the boy, Jacques sighed and turned to Uriel who was seated to his left (his help in the destruction of the North American branch had brought him up in Jacques’s rank). “Did you have any success with him? He is after all your comrade.”
The redhead shook his head disappointedly. “He refuses to listen to me and calls me a traitor to our clan. Even after using him as a punching bag, he would not budge and reveal his secrets.” Uriel stared at his reflection on the back of his spoon, muttering how Blade was the fool. Jacques pretended not to notice the crestfallen face of his guardian and asked aloud, “Did you consider sending that Akuma that looked like that female exorcist we obtained? He appeared to have an attachment to her after all.”
Magier bitterly mumbled as she stabbed a tomato, causing its juice to squirt in the eyes of Michael who sat next to her, “We already tried that but that bastard knew it wasn’t her.” The Akuma had even threatened to kill her sister in front of Blade but he only laughed at her empty threats. If you kill her, then it would only cause me to restrain myself more, he had said, enraging the Noah more.
Amaterasu yawned loudly, drawing the attention of the table. “I don’t understand why you’re obsessed with my prisoner and my success with him. It’s not like you’re doing anything important with your trophy, Jacques.” The guardians stood up to protest at the Noah’s rudeness. How dare he mock their work and their leader when he had not accomplished one thing!
The Noah laughed and threw his napkin down on the table. “Listening to you guys made me lose my appetite. I’m off,” he said over their angry screams. As he headed out to out the tent, he mocked his annoyed family members, “You guys are so silly. You obviously don’t understand humans.”
The cold air betrayed the fact that the autumn was approaching. How many days, weeks, or months have they been in this godforsaken place? It seemed like ages since they have had the freedom to move around in Boston. Even the faces and voices of their friends could not be recalled so easily. Did they abandon us?
Dreadful thoughts entered Stephanie’s mind as she sat with her knees against the cold earth. Still, the girl refused to shiver lest her captors know about her discomfort. Her once proud uniform was now tattered under the abuse she had gone through. Yet it still hugged her body as if it refused to abandon her, refused to let her forget that she was an exorcist. It was the only identity that she had left.
Every so often she would try to yank her arms in a vain attempt to release them from the ribbons (Magier had the great idea of using her own weapon against her—minus the Innocence core, of course) that bound them to the tent’s wall. However, it would only result in her cutting her wrists and the exorcist tried her best not to squirm as she felt the warm blood move down her body. The Noah had been quite sadistic and had blindfolded her so the exorcist could not detect Magier’s presence nor be able to determine whether it was day or night. Such a simple deed had confused her, messing up her sleep cycle and slowly deteriorating her sanity.
The wind blew louder and she heard the tent door opening. She froze and pretended to be unconscious. Stephanie had done this before and it had work in the past. The female Noah only like to play with her when she was awake and even if she beat her, the exorcist still kept up with the act until Magier would leave disgruntled. Hold your breath and don’t move, she commanded her body.
However, the thing that brushed across her face was nothing she felt before, causing her to jerk back. She cursed under her breath for revealing her guise and prepared herself for her punishment. Instead, she felt the stranger circle around her, rubbing her body and face affectionately and instantly knew who it was. “Stop doing that!” Stephanie hissed only get a “meow” in response.
Fermium prompted himself onto the exorcist’s lap, making himself comfortably. It had been a while since he seen someone from the Order and though the person wasn’t Eny, he was quite satisfied. The sentiment wasn’t shared by Stephanie though. Despite the fact that she could not see, she knew that the cat had gained a bit more weight, causing her to bitterly think of the injustice that an animal was getting fed more than she. The girl could not recall the last time she had eaten.
“Fermium!” pleaded the exorcist. “Be a good cat and chew away these ribbons!” Deep in her mind, she finally began to realize the extent of the damage the Noah had inflicted on her. My God, she thought. I’m talking to a cat.
Suddenly she heard chuckling, causing her heart to drop. Someone else was in the room and she turned in the laughter’s direction. Amaterasu moved away from the shadow and approached the prisoner. “Fermium? Is that its name?” he asked as he knelt in front of the girl. He placed his gloved hands on her cheek but it only caused her to turn away from him.
He smirked and removed his hand. “What? Has my sister broken you so badly that you won’t even speak to another person?” He turned away and reached into his pocket. “Here, kitty kitty,” he said as he dangled a piece of meat in front of him. Despite Stephanie’s protest, Fermium leapt from her lap and rushed over to Amaterasu. “Traitor,” she muttered under her breath.
Hearing her word caused the Noah to flash a clownish smile. “’Traitor’? I’ve heard that word so often for the past few days that it has lost its meaning to me.” He patted Fermium’s head, causing the cat to purr happily. “Animals are amusing creatures,” he continued as he gently placed the feline on the ground. “They can be mean to you for a second but present them with something they like, they’ll change allegiance and show you affections like that.” Upon saying the last word, he snapped his finger near Stephanie’s ear, causing her to flinch.
The girl smiled and angrily responded, “Are you comparing me to a cat?” The Noah only chuckled and began to stroke her long black hair. “Heaven’s no! A cat may keep me company but it can only do so much. Humans are better bedfellows in my opinion.” He began rubbing the girl’s face which made her move away from him. He brought his face closer and whispered to her ear, “Are you afraid of me? I have plenty to teach you if you like.”
The girl spat at his face and laughed. “Afraid of you? I’m more afraid of what will happen if you don’t stop touching me.” She struggled to move her arms in order to hit the Noah but the bonds restricted her movement to a few inches. Amaterasu reached into his pocket and grabbed a handkerchief to wipe his face. After doing so, he coldly muttered, “At least you still have your fighting spirit. I was worried for a bit that my sister might have actually broken it. I do like feisty girls.”
He slapped Stephanie’s face and he watched as her body recoiled from the blow. He walked over to the edge of the tent and removed Magier’s blade from its sheath. He placed it under the exorcist’s eye and asked, “Watch your tongue or you’ll experience the unpleasant sensation of having dust in your mouth. Or would you like me to kill you instead?” He lowered the sword to the girl’s neck, caressing it as if he was preparing to chop it off.
Stephanie started shaking, her heart racing in beat with the metal’s movement. This had to be a cruel nightmare concocted by that Noah, she thought as she recalled Magier’s cold eyes. This isn’t real. She felt the sword’s withdrawal and then heard its swift motion towards her. She silently said a prayer as she prepared herself for the blow.
The arms hit the ground hard and her body followed suit. She let out a cry as she laid in fetal position for a bit. This wasn’t a dream for she felt extreme pain all over her body. Stephanie lifted herself off the ground and removed the blindfold. Unfortunately, her eyes met those of Amaterasu who was standing before her. Fermium was rubbing against the Noah’s legs and as the girl had predicted, he was chubby with four stubby legs supporting his round body.
“Well, aren’t you going to thank me? After all, I did liberate you from that horrible contraption,” spoke the Noah as he lifted the girl off the ground. His gloved hand cupped her chin and he forced his lips upon hers. She struggled greatly against him but it only encouraged him to squeeze her tighter, his hands caressing her. He felt a sudden pain in his knee cap and let her go.
She repelled herself away from him, wiping her mouth. Stephanie felt as if he was trying to suck away her soul, his taste still lingering on her tongue. She considered herself lucky that she managed to kick him away while she had the chance; who knew what else would have happened if she didn’t do that? She glared at him as she watched him hold his knee annoyed.
He spoke through his clenched teeth, “Do you have any idea how many girls would like to be in your shoes? Not many people are lucky to spend a night with a Noah. Besides, is this how you treat your savior, you ingrate?” His eyes were full of anger, hatred and lust at the same time. The girl before him had no idea how long it had been since he had been able to touch another person lovingly. Every girl he had encountered had turned to dust before he was able to control his power with the Earl’s help. After accomplishing that, he was determined to fulfill his corporeal needs. But how could he when girls rejected him upon finding out his secret? Even his bratty sister rebuffed him.
Sensing the anger of its new master and the possible outcome, Fermium ran out of the tent, leaving the two humans to settle their fight. Stephanie stared at the cat as it disappeared, thinking that it was a coward for doing that. The Noah was approaching her and she franticly tried to find something that she could use against him. Her ribbons were useless without their Innocence core. Desperate and finding nothing at her disposal, she tried to dodge him by running past him. Unfortunately, he yanked her hair, causing her to fall into his arms.
With his left arm around her waist and his right cradling her neck, Amaterasu whispered, “Did you really think you could escape your fate? No one is going to save you. In fact, rumor has it that the Black Order has closed down your worthless branch so no one is going to come for you. Not even that Bookman whom I have locked up in a cage.” Upon hearing that last sentence, the girl began struggling more, requiring the Noah to use more force.
“Does he mean something to you? Because if he does, I have a proposition for you. Are you listening?” he continued. The exorcist stopped struggling, her nails digging into the Noah’s arms. He was getting too touchy feely and she was doing her best from preventing him to feel anymore of her. She looked into the man’s eyes and nodded.
“I can save his life. I can even spare the werewolf’s life but of course, it’ll come for a price,” he said in a sickeningly sweet voice. He turned her body around so she would face him. “Their lives for your innocence. It sounds like a fair trade to me, don’t you think?” He let her drop to the ground and walked away from her. “Think about it.”
As he prepared to leave the tent, he felt someone grabbing his hand. He turned to see Stephanie looking at the floor ashamed and he smiled.
::BAM:: Jacques immediately woke up upon hearing the loud noise and jumped out of his noise to investigate. He had an inkling on the cause (or shall he say causes) and the priest rushed to prevent something more serious from occurring. The sun was slowly raising and the dew from the ground glistened in the light. The crisp air felt refreshing to him but the Noah was in no mood to enjoy it.
He opened the tent and screamed, “ENOUGH!” causing his two siblings to stop their fight. His intimidating figure struck them with fear, his chest heaving with anger. Magier had her sword drawn while Amaterasu hid before a knocked over table. The interior was a mess—furniture were turned over, broken plates and other objects littered the ground, and the clothed walls were ripped.
Jacques sat down onto the only chair that had not been abused by the battle. He reached into his pocket and pulled out his Bible, hoping that some passage calm him down. “What happened?” he inquired as he began to read the story of Solomon and the two mothers. By this time, his guardians had arrived and sensing that their leader had taken control of the situation began cleaning up the squalor.
With her sword slicing the air in irrational motion, Magier complained, “Jacques! That punk that we call brother came into my tent and messed with my stuff without MY permission.” She shot a dangerous look at Amaterasu, fighting the urge to stab him. He was clearly showing no remorse, his face reflecting his glee.
With his eyes still not leaving the pages, the Noah asked calmly, “What did Amaterasu touch?” It had to be serious if she was getting all emotional about it. Before she could reply, their brother laughed and answered, “Oh I played with her sword… and her exorcist doll. Other than that, it isn’t important.” He smirked and removed himself from his hiding place.
This only infuriated his sister more who lunged at him. Uriel and Michael grabbed her arm, telling her, “You’re making Lord Jacques upset.” She calmed down and looked at her brother who still seemed captivated by the wisdom of King Solomon. “I demand retribution, Jacques! My doll is no longer in mint condition and I refuse to play with anything that HE has violated.”
At this point, the priest finally raised his head and rose. He confronted his brother who still remained in a haughty pose. “Is it true? Did you really do that to Magier’s toy?” Amaterasu grinned wider and nodded quite happily only to receive a slap from his brother. “You know what Tyki and everyone in our family says. ‘Nothing can come from a love between a Noah and an exorcist.’” His eyes met the frightening eyes of Jacques and for the first time, he trembled.
His eyes averted, the boy replied, “I know that but no one said anything about the lust between a Noah and an exorcist. I guess you don’t comprehend the greatness of my scheme with your closed-minded ideal of abstinence.” He anticipated another smack but instead he heard Jacques walking toward Magier.
“I think a fair trade would be giving Magier your exorcist trophy. In exchange, she’ll give you hers since you have defiled it,” ordered Jacques who was busy comforting his sister. Amaterasu looked on with disgust and then nodded. He turned to leave, thinking happily how everything worked out the way he had planned.
“Is that all you’re going to do?” asked the girl. Her anger was still boiling. She was recalling what she witnessed late last night and thinking about it made her more aggravated.
Upset about Gabrielle’s closeness to Jacques and Amaterasu’s outburst, Magier decided to go out for a walk. Perhaps she would come across some stupid human to kill. She just needed something to blow off some steam. Unfortunately, no victim came and she decided to call it a night or in this case, a day.
As she approached her tent, she sensed something was wrong. The flap was opened and she heard noises coming from it. Magier ran inside to find her room in ruins and her brother on her bed with her doll underneath him. Was fate mocking her lack of love again?
She only heard her brother sigh and watched as he sat down again. “Our brother is going through a strange period, that’s all,” he explained. “I’m sure that once he had his fill, he’ll calm down.” He noticed her befuddled look and added, “When you’re old enough, you’ll understand.”
Gabrielle moved towards him and gently placed her hands on his shoulders, slowly massaging them. The Noah continued reading his Bible and spoke, “Gabrielle, if I had known that he was like that, I would have asked you to take care of him.” The woman laughed and replied, “Is that how you think of me? My old profession? You know that I’m not like that anymore.” To Magier’s displeasure, she was rubbing her hands harder and faster.
Still, Jacques did not make any kind of response. He had finally come upon an interesting passage and was too busy analyzing it to come up with an answer. This did not deter his guardian who continued, “Besides, I’m not his type. He always wanted to an innocent girl preferably one of those fallen angels of the false god.”
The Noah finally looked up and sighed. “I guess you’re right.” He turned to see Magier who was now helping the others clean up to avoid seeing such a disgusting sight. “I hope you never have such dirty thoughts, sister. It seems like you’re the only pure one left in our family.” Hearing those words made Gabrielle giggle, stabbing Magier with its shrillness.
As he rubbed his hand against his right cheek, Amaterasu recalled Magier’s face when she walked in on him and smiled. It expressed horror, anger, and a pinch of jealousy; he wished that she could have seen it for he was positive that she might even had have a good laugh. Last night was definitely worth punishment he had received.
He stopped his trek once he noticed footsteps following him. “Are you going to discipline me as well?” The Akuma did not answer but sent ribbons that flew by the Noah’s head. “I don’t care what you did to my sister and I don’t want to know if that’s what you’re implying.” He rotated his body to face her. Though she was the mirror image of the girl he spent the night with, he could sense a dark aura enveloping her. That probably was the give away for the Bookman in the stupid attempt of his sister to fool him.
“If you don’t care about her, then why are you so eager to attack me, Akuma?” he asked as the ribbons danced around his head. “Does the overprotective sister complex still exist in your metal frames and you disapprove of me?” This was the first time this servant had ever lashed out on him and at the moment, it amused him. Could this Akuma still have its soul despite its many evolution?
The eyes of “Stephanie” still fixated on him as if she was still strategizing her next move. She suddenly withdrew her weapons and snapped, “Don’t confuse your loyalty to my mistress with the love for my sister.” This rejoinder didn’t satisfy the boy though for he turned around and continued walking ahead. “Silly Akuma,” he admonished as he distanced himself away from her fierce gaze. “Try that again and I might have to kill you.”
Less than a mile from camp, the Noah finally stopped walking. He stared at the hole in the ground, looking quite pleased. The alcove which was guarded by two Level 3 Akuma didn’t take long to build but that was expected when you had more than 100 Akuma willing to help out. As he climbed down the dirt stairs, he could have sworn he heard someone moving.
“I’m glad to see that you’re awake. Are you enjoying your accommodations?” he asked the figure who lurked in the shadow. Upon first impressions, one would not believe that the unkempt person covered in dirt was once a proud Bookman. Blade smiled and replied, “Oh it’s wonderful. Why? Would you like to trade places?” Metal bars separated him from this unwelcome guest who unlike him was looked clean and polished.
Amaterasu unlocked the door and entered the cell. As he examined the room with disdain, he teased, “No thank you. I’m quite happy with my living accommodation.” He gave the Bookman a clownish smile and continued, “After all, I try my best to live comfortably and with pleasure.” Blade stared at the Noah bewildered. It was as if the man was trying to entrap him.
“Of course, I can assure you better living conditions if you agree to talk. I am your master until later today.” That statement made the Bookman laughed mockingly at his guest. This guy was absolutely clueless; did he actually believe that he would betray his clan just to get a better room? He ruffled his brown hair, resulting in dirt flying around him. “Not a chance.”
Surprisingly, the Noah looked on amused; the boy was still quite defiant. He casually thought to himself that perhaps if they weren’t on opposite sides, they could have been friends, causing heartache and pain to friends and family. He dug into his pocket and tossed a silver button towards Blade. It glistened in the dim light long enough for him to catch it.
“Stephanie” was etched on it and he immediately knew what the person before him was implying. “What did you do to her?” he demanded as he formed his fists. If he had done anything to her, he swore that he would kill the guy. Amaterasu sat down on the ground and inquired, “Why does it matter to you? Is she that important to you?” He swatted the air with his right hand as if he was brushing away the Bookman’s question.
This only infuriated Blade more and he began to charge at the Noah. Unfortunately, this only drew the attention of the Akuma guards who rushed him, slamming him against the dirt wall. He heard the boy’s clapping and his voice greeted him, “Oh I guess you really want to know.” Amaterasu started pacing the room, never letting his eyes off the Bookman as if he was eager to see the prisoner’s reaction.
“Did you know what a magnificent creature she is? She is truly a darling thing, very willing to do anything to help her friends.” He walked up to Blade and whispered in front of him. “She gave herself to me in order to protect a scum like you.” Amaterasu watched in joy as the Bookman tried to kick him only to be subdued by the two Akuma.
“I guess that means that I own her now though I doubt she minds. I can still hear her moans and cries in my ear and I can still feel the sensation of her nails digging into my skin. I never knew a girl’s body would be so flexible but it was quite amazing,” he continued as he noted that the more he talked, the more enraged the Bookman became. The Noah began to lick his lips as he mentioned, “Her taste still lingers in my mouth. Like Adam, don’t think that I will stop at just one bite of the forbidden fruit.” At that last statement, Blade managed to break free from the guards’ grasp only to suffer a punch in his gut from Amaterasu.
The Noah grinned as he held the exorcist in his arms, whispering, “I guess you never experienced such pleasure. What a pity. Of course, this would have never happened if you had only talked.” He dropped the boy to the ground and headed towards the exit. “Akuma, beat him up until he spills out. This is his punishment for his obstinacy.”
As he listened to the pounding and grunts, Amaterasu glanced back at Blade and added, “Mr. Bookman! When I grow bored of her, I’ll return her to you. Just don’t be surprised if she calls out my name instead of yours.”
As the girl opened her eyes, she felt extreme pain throughout her body. She tried to recall the events of what occurred last night but the only memory that she conjured up was seeing the eyes of the Noah staring down on her, his body pressing against hers. Stephanie immediately brushed her arm over herself as if she was confirmed what her thoughts. She noted that her tattered uniform had been replaced with a short white dress that stopped mid-thigh.
Someone grabbed her wrists, causing her to yelp. She turned to face her own reflection, her gaze looking at her sternly. “I knew that he was lying,” muttered the Akuma as she let go of her sister’s hand and began stroking her hair. “I knew that you would be too stubborn to let any person touch you.” She got up and retrieved a wet cloth, placing it over her sister’s forehead.
Stephanie struggled to move and asked, “What happened to me last night?” Her body ached as she tried to sit up. Her sister slammed her down and admonished, “How would I know? Stop moving around; how can I make you presentable to Lord Amaterasu if you keep wiggling. And don’t worry; I was the one who changed your clothes. Your purity is still intact.” The Akuma noticed tears coming down the exorcist’s eyes and curtly demanded, “What’s wrong now? I thought hearing that would have made you feel better.” Stephanie was always the crybaby of the family.
“You’re my older sister. You’re supposed to protect me from situations like this,” retorted the exorcist as she slapped her mirror image’s hand away from her. She forced herself up and glared, “You should have never let this happen to me or to anyone else.” The girl noted how tense the Akuma was going to be and closed her eyes in anticipation for the slap.
To her surprise, she felt someone embracing her, reminding her of the countless times her mother held her after she had dreamt a nightmare. “Silly sister, did you actually believe that I can actually disobey the Noah?” The Akuma looked at her sister’s face and wiped away from tears. “I serve them to redeem our family for supporting the Black Order over that Earl. Do you realize how much a burden it is for me to bear?
“But I forgot that you’re quite a selfish person. You were spoiled rotten as a child and have always been that way. Perhaps you really don’t care about your comrades despite your profession that you care about them. If you actually did, you wouldn’t have allowed them to suffer.”
The tent flap opened and “Stephanie” released her sister. “Swallow your pride, girl,” she advised as she abandoned her sister to the presence of Amaterasu. As the Akuma passed the Noah, she stared directly into his eyes; the boy did the same though his look was colder. “I won’t betray your secret if that’s what you want to hear.”
As he looked straight ahead, he muttered, “Keep it that way. If I hear anything, I will personally destroy you no matter how useful you might be.” The Akuma nodded but she exited, she said in an innocent voice, “By the way, I hope you don’t mind if I messed with my sister’s mind. Manipulating her was part of my favorite pastime.”
Amaterasu ignored the ramblings of the Akuma, more worried that she might actually blab to Magier; she was more faithful to his sister than she was to him. He couldn’t afford to lose face especially all the effort he spent making an elaborate scheme. But that variable was beyond his control so there was nothing he could do now except makes that lie become a truth.
He stared at the girl who was sitting on his bed and recognized the stark difference in her appearance. Yesterday, she was rebellious and quite bitchy to him; today, she appeared meek with her hands pressing her skirt down against the mattress. Did she not remember what happened after she rejected him like those countless others?
Stephanie had laughed at him that night, saying, “Do you actually believe that I would buy that? Even if I sleep with you, would you actually protect them? I don’t trust your lies.” Her eyes contained a fire that irritated him; she felt a blow to her face that caused her to crash to the ground. Blood was dripping from her forehead as she cowered before the Noah.
Amaterasu was heaving heavily, revealing his cold bloodedness. He would not stand for insubordination, not even from a weak human whom he was prepared to rescue. “You’ll regret saying that. When I’m through with you, you actually think my sister was an angel,” he threatened as he dragged the girl by her hair. Her screams fell on empty ears as he beat her with his fists. He watched on callously as she tried to defend herself, her uniform falling apart.
The Noah threw her on his sister’s bed and proceeded placing his hands around her neck. “I want you to beg for me to kill you,” he commanded as he tightened his grip. Her nails were stinging his hands but he ignored them. The dim moonlight reflected her skin, making her irresistible. It’s her fault that she’s making me do this, he thought as he watched her struggling less with each passing second.
The girl finally stopped moving, her arms falling down besides her. Amaterasu stared on, confused. Did he kill her? He was relieved as he noticed her chest moving up and down subtly and placed his hand on her face. She appeared so peaceful, so angelic in her sleep. She wouldn’t mind if he took a bite, he thought as he removed a silver button on her uniform…
But before he could anything else, the tent suddenly opened, causing him to turn around swiftly. The look on Magier’s face terrified him at the time, so full of anger and shock. “What are you doing here? What have you done with my possessions?” She immediately grabbed her sword and aimed it towards him. She had an idea on what had happened in her absence though she was in complete denial of what had transpired.
Her brother lifted himself off the girl and replied mockingly, “My cat came into your room and I went inside to fetch it before it scratched any of your belongings. After all, the last thing I need is to hear more additional complaints.” Amaterasu was now cleaning himself up, not only to make himself presentable but to imply what “act” he had done in the girl’s tent. Magier was the type of person who would jump to conclusion without rationally thinking.
“I noticed that your trophy was in my shape so I tried to fix it,” he added, grinning widely as he tilted his head towards the unconscious victim “We are siblings so we are supposed to share toys.” He had to duck to avoid a possible decapitation. His sister glared at him and cussed, “Damn you!” How dare he leave his dirty imprints on her doll! She chased him out of her tent and into the dining area. The girl didn’t care about all the noise they were making; as long as she made him pay, whatever punishment Jacques would exact on her would be nothing.
He didn’t need to say anything to her; she knew who was in the tent with her, causing her to tremble. Stephanie did not know if she could trust her sister though her words echoed in her mind. “Swallow your pride, girl” had harshly brought her back to reality. Was she really that selfish?
From the corner of her eyes, she noticed a scarlet liquid dripping from Amaterasu’s gloved hands and her heart sank. Before she could say anything, the Noah confirmed her deepest fears. “This is the results of your defiance. His blood is on your hands, not mine,” he mentioned placing his bloodied hands on her face. “Taste its bitterness if it satisfies you. After all, you are the type of girl who likes to hurt those who love her.” The boy laughed wickedly as he placed a finger in the exorcist’s mouth, making her cough.
He walked away from her and examined her. With the delicate white dress on, she resembled a virgin bride, he thought. But white doesn’t suit her. “I told that boy about our little adventure last night. He didn’t seem to appreciate it though,” he said aloud as he wiped his hands clean with a towel. “I don’t understand why.”
“Nothing happened last night,” retorted a pissed off voice. Stephanie’s hands squeezed the red sheets, shaking with rage. How dare he imply that she had cheated on Blade with him! She threw a comb that was on the nightstand at the Noah but he simply dodged it. He looked thoughtfully at her and added, “Is that what your sister told you? Well, it doesn’t matter anyway. You will submit yourself to me eventually; I am your new master now.”
Seeing her shocked face was almost as funny as Magier’s. “Oh, she didn’t tell you? My siblings also believe that something transpired between the both of us last night. My punishment was to take my sister’s damaged goods in exchange for my trophy, the Bookman. You know from your experience how she likes to abuse her things.” He admired the change in her expressions from shock to horror.
Hoping that his plan would actually be completed, he continued, “Of course, you can save him from such a nasty fate. My offer still stands; all you have to do is consummate it with a single kiss and we can continue from there.” Amaterasu leaned forward, his breath against Stephanie’s face. “You might actually enjoy it.” He could feel her heart racing, her breathing faster.
The boy pressed forward only to get shoved off the bed. The girl was panting hard as she gave him a dirty look. She covered herself with the bed sheets and seethed, “Don’t think you can manipulate my love for him into getting what you want.” For a brief second, she considered the offer but something inside of her couldn’t stomach letting the man touch her. Besides, the words of a Noah were not to be trusted no matter how sincere they may be.
Her gaze was met with the equally pissed eyes of Amaterasu who was trying to regain his composure. This was definitely going to be harder than he thought but he shouldn’t complain. It would be more entertaining and more gratifying this way. He got back onto his feet and dusted himself. He mumbled, “Stubborn girl! Would you have rather I presented you with his heart instead?” The exorcist cowered back a bit as if she was readying herself for another hit.
However, he turned his back towards her and made a slight grin. Amaterasu knew that he couldn’t complain. Everything had worked out according to his plan: the Bookman was now talking. Jacques was off his case because he had miraculously caused this to occur. The others looked like fools for their failures. And he successfully stole his sister’s doll though she was being uncooperative.
As he headed towards the exit, the boy cried out to the trembling girl, “The deal will still be available as long as you remain here. But when you finally accept it, I expect you to crawl on your knees and beg me to love you.” She would eventually break and succumb to him; he just had to be patient and await for that day to come.
Author’s Note – (Post-reading)
So I hope that I made the story darker. Did I trick you guys into believing that something actually happened between Amaterasu and Stephanie? Because I hope I did because I’m wicked like that (though not as wicked as Amaterasu). He is quite a naughty boy.
I don’t know if my character plans on accepting his offer; I just like writing open-ended endings so I won’t have to deal with it. -_-; I’ll leave that to the upcoming writer(s). I’m sure that you’ll make the right decision.
I left Flames’s torture scene up to ds since he already had an idea. Besides, it’s his character so I think it’s best that he abuse him :amuse
I think I’ll take another break. My sister might write a chapter using my account though.
I hope that you liked reading.