Demonic Conversions (Excerpt 2)
They snuck into the Nobles’ city, Babylon. I kept praying that the flotation devices would fail, so the city would fall, crash and burn, but it never did. Somehow Xyla and Koneko managed to arrange a flight to Jigoku, and I was mildly surprised. I didn’t think the amateurs had it in them. They were a little better than I expected, but I wasn’t going to let them know that. They might become overconfident.
The whole fight I pointedly ignored them. Litho was going to be upset about the broken promise… I hadn’t seen him for a year, and Death Kiss had been dead for two. I was now nearly 18 years old. How old I had been getting! By the time we arrived at Raksha, I was a nervous wreck. Since I was tired and jumpy, those aggravating lovers kept sneaking up on me.
We arrived at a huge palace, but Xyla insisted that everyone said this was Litho’s dwelling. Everything going through my head consisted of curses. I was not a happy camper. That’s beside the point though. A guard came up to the gate and asked us who we were, why we were there, and whether we were expected. Before Xyla could flub it up, I decided to say something, “We’re here to see Litho, and it is about an old acquaintance of his.”
“Who is this ‘acquaintance’? Who are you?”
“The acquaintance is named Lady X, but you can call me Bloody Kitten,” I smiled fiercely at him, baring my teeth. Since demons are generally more animalistic than other races, this intimidated him and also showed him that I knew about his culture. His feral eyes showed every underlying emotion he’d ever think. I held his gaze, forcing him to feel my presence. I finally released him from my gaze.
He reeled back and stuttered some gibberish about “right away”. All I did was walk in through the now opened gate, into the door the butler held open, and into the waiting room. The butler escorted me, so it wasn’t too hard to find the waiting room. Koneko was surprised at my cocky attitude, but Xyla was in complete shock. They trailed behind me in awe of my “new” confidence.
Litho arrived almost instantly. He was dressed in the ceremonial robes of the dog demons, but he hadn’t changed one bit besides that. He looked me up and down, reminding me of our first meeting. He finished his inspection of me, then slit his eyes in anger.
“You broke your promise, Kitten,” he spat, “Do you remember what the terms were? You killed two people, so what should I do? Kill those two whelps over there?”
I looked at my feet, and he called in his butler and his maid. He pulled out his blade, and as their eyes widened, they knew they were doomed. Litho threw their heads at my feet, which I stopped looking at immediately. Xyla didn’t understand what was going on, but Koneko had a faint idea. Koneko was shocked at his lack of emotion, but I expected it from him, he was an assassin after all.
Litho called another butler to dispose of the bodies. He then smiled at me gently, and chuckled, “You aren’t the flat-chested wench I once saw, are you now?”
I sniffed, “I never was. And I quote from The Gates of Fire, ‘Are your balls still the size of chickpeas’, Litho? Or have you actually grown some?”
He stepped forward, and politely asked Xyla to leave for a minute or so. After she left, he embraced me. I held onto him like a lifeline, for he was all I had left of my past, and what a past it was. He asked, “How have you been, Kitten?”
I said I was fine, but it was such a lie… Litho caught on though, and said, “Well, I’ve missed you.”
He sat down on a sofa, and I sat close to him, while Koneko sat on a chair in front of us. The silence was lulling, and I contented myself by just listening to his heart beat, feeling the rise and fall of his chest. Litho was the first to break the silence, knowing that Koneko didn’t want to interrupt, “What is it that you want me to do exactly?”
“Well, as you probably already know-” Koneko was cut off.
“You are half of Kitten and half of Death Kiss. Yes, and you want me to kill someone?”
“No, that is for Xyla and I to accomplish. All we need you and Kitten to do is intelligence. Why did you send Xyla away anyway?”
“I sent her away so she wouldn’t know just how close we are… Kitten and I can do intelligence, no problem. You didn’t use me as a bribe, did you?” Litho asked suspiciously.
I shot Litho a thought, ‘Duh, they used you as a bribe. Xyla already knew. She knew you’d agree because I was here.’
I mistakenly thought that this was going to be a good mission. Once again, I was wrong. Being wrong wasn’t very much fun, especially when it’s about something that actually mattered. The mission turned out to be nonexistent.
Xyla and Koneko split off from us, allowing us time to be together, and do our research on Dragon Heart as well… I hacked into the Babylon mainframe, something I learned from an old acquaintance. I got a hold of his daily schedule, daily dwellings, acquaintances, and dealings. Apparently this scientist spent a lot of money in a brothel, and I commented to Xyla that she could do some espionage. She glared at me over the communicator sphere, but obliged, knowing it was better that way.
I never really knew Litho that well… I did research on him, but that was when he was a walking target. He was a royal blooded dog demon, part of the Silver clan, and was apparently well respected and loved by his subjects. Litho was one of the few people alive that managed to impress me, and it was no easy task, I can assure you of that. Since I couldn’t cook, he did the housework, and he did a good job… for a spoiled royal. I took a fleeting glance at him one day, and saw that his body was still as toned as ever… maybe even more so. He glanced back at me and chuckled.
“What’s so funny?” I asked, indignant at him laughing suddenly. He walked toward me at a relaxed pace, his gaze steady, hypnotizing… Nothing about his manner put me on edge, it rather attracted me, and I had a sense that something was about to happen, and I couldn’t wait.
Pushing me onto the bed in our motel, he growled, “Do you remember where we left off? Ah yes…” Litho kissed me gently, knowing full well that I was uncomfortable with kissing. His soft lips sent off alarms all through my body, and his tongue darted teasingly around mine, tempting me to join him in this game of seduction. He began to press against me insistently, and I moved closer to the side of the bed.
“But you don’t remember this,” and I flipped him off the bed. I still felt his lips on mine, and the thought heated my body once again. He groaned and gradually got up to his feet. Wincing, he asked me, “What was that for? Honestly, Kitten, what did I do?”
I couldn’t bear the hurt look on his face, so I stalked off to the hot springs near the mountains to the East. I was glad that we had been able to get a motel room in the country, or the wilderness as Xyla called it. The managers of the motel didn’t allow clothes in the hot springs, much to my chagrin, but I complied with the rules. No harm in conforming for once, right? I soaked blissfully, making sure that nobody was around. I lay soaking in the water, and I saw a figure in the distance dip into another spring. I could see and hear this new figure, but it couldn’t sense me at all. Besides, I was downwind of them.
After the figure left, I relaxed a bit more. Then two arms wrapped themselves around my neck, I jerked my head up to see… Litho??? My first reaction was to kick him, but as I was in the nude, I had to pass up on that chance. I was very upset, so in my mind, I called him a f…er.
‘That wasn’t a very nice thought, now was it?’
“Stop talking in my head Litho!!!” I screamed angrily. Why was I so angry? He was pretty much the only person I was close to… oh yeah, the only other people like that all left me alone too… It wasn’t against him personally…
“What’s wrong Kitten? What did I do? Why are you being such a damn bitch???” His golden eyes turned an angry green. All the friendliness and warmth I’d ever experienced was not match for this coldness radiating from him now… Of course, I’d never experienced much kindness anyway.
A fierce battle ensued… after I got my clothes on of course. I had just slammed him into a tree, and was about to hurl insults in his face when I felt a thud in my back. Litho looked in horror at my chest, his eyes now silver with worry. I collapsed, looking at my bloodstained shirt. The tip of an arrow protruded from my chest, and when I vomited, blood filled it. I saw Litho transform, something I’d only heard about in the historical archives, and I saw now why demons preferred to refrain from it as often as possible. Litho had spotted the archer.
Litho’s eyes turned a furious red, his fangs grew as long and sharp as daggers, and his beautiful silver hair now became a fiery red. His bones popped and cracked, and they finally formed the shape of a giant dog. Litho dragged the archer out of his tree with his claws, and then he ripped him apart. All I remembered was that he transformed back into his humanoid form, and I remember darkness. I awoke to yelling, and recognized the voices as Litho and Koneko. Why were they being so loud?
“Litho, I’m telling you for the last time, we’re not killing her, rather, we’re saving her life! The Nobles swore they wouldn’t kill her!” yelled Koneko.
Litho scoffed, “And you are fool enough to believe them? We need her research for the mission,” spat Litho, “or did you forget that? Didn’t you learn anything from what they did to you? All they care about is profit for themselves.”
Xyla was the only one who saw me leave, and she failed to catch their attention in time. She finally broke through their argument, “Um… guys?”
They both glared at her, “WHAT???”
“I think she heard you… she just left…
I was literally running myself into the ground. My feet formed the rhythm for the chant flying through my mind; Can’t trust Nobles… can’t trust men… can’t trust, can’t trust anyone… My head was spinning. It was raining when I got to a secluded area even farther East of the hot springs. Far, FAR east of them. I had never run so long or so hard in my entire life. As soon as I stopped running long enough to think, I was aware of a pain in my chest…
Note to self. Never run after being shot with an arrow. Heh, that stung… a lot. The next thing I knew, or rather, didn’t know, was that I passed out on the floor of a cave. I then began to dream, of maybe I predicted… I wasn’t sure, maybe I saw? Well, it was Litho being ties up and threatened by elves! When I roused from my slumber, I dismissed it as a dream, a mere figment of my imagination. My dream freaked me out, understandably of course, but still… I had no option, so I dismissed it as a mere notion, but it wouldn’t leave my thoughts.
A day or two later, I had stolen enough clothes and food to last me for a long time and stored them in my cave, on a huge cliff. Satisfied with my work, I sat down and looked outside. It started snowing, and a growing fear gripped my heart. What if I got snowed in? I felt oddly lightheaded, afraid of being enclosed, trapped, and the walls of the cave seemed to come closer to crushing me. I looked outside at the ensuing blizzard, and the first thing I saw was a shadow, almost like a human…
This I dismissed as a figment of my imagination as well. I ignored it at first, yet it appeared day after day, and never at the same time. At night I felt a presence laying next to me, but I dismissed this as my paranoia of being snowed in. I decided to find out whether it was real or not one night by tricking it. I went to sleep, and as soon as I felt it, I awoke silently. When I began rolling on my side to see it, it suddenly jumped up. I looked up and saw a pair of bright green eyes staring at me. I opened my mouth to scream. It then leapt away into the snow. His stance reminded me of a ninja or samurai, but who cared. I was tired, so I went back to sleep.
On the third month, I ran out of food. The blizzard raged on, and I couldn’t get out. Nobody could get in either, or so I thought. I was aware of a person leaving me food, probably that shadow… I was too grateful to care though. His gifts of food helped me through the harsh winter. When spring arrived, I decided to go hunting. I chanced upon a young man looking around near the entrance of my cave, and I figured that this was my mysterious shadow, “Excuse me?”
He froze, and I could literally see his muscles tensing, he unsheathed his sword and whirled around. He realized who I was, and said, “I’m sorry, how may I help you?”
The guy was pretty cute when he blushed, but off of that subject… “Thank you for helping me out…” I said, he nodded, so I added, “but why in the world were you sleeping next to me?”
“I do apologize, miss…” he put his hand behind his head, “I-I really don’t know why…”
His dark brown hair contrasted sharply with his light skin and green eyes. As he noticed me observing him, he smiled gently, “Is there something on my face, miss?”
“It’s none of your business,” I said hurriedly, even though it was his face, I was worried about whether or not he was a pervert, “Why?”
“Nothing really, this unworthy one merely thought you saw something on his face,” he said.
I flushed slightly… this “unworthy one” knew more than he was willing to tell. That was alright with me though, everyone had secrets. What was someone so polite doing in the wilderness though? He couldn’t be an outlaw, he was too gentle, kind, and polite… was that what the city dwellers had thought of me? He politely suggested that I stay with him for “protection”. I appreciated his concern, and I didn’t want him stalking me again, so I complied. He led me to a small camp with two sleeping mats and a campfire. I appreciated everything except the fact that he knew I was going to agree to stay with him. I wonder what his na-
“My name is Rurouni. I prefer to be known as a wanderer. My true past is disgraceful. I deserve nothing,” he said quietly. Wow. He was good at knowing the thoughts of others. Perhaps even better than me… maybe. I decided that if I was going to stay with him, I had to confess, “Um… It’s nice of you to take me in and all… and I’d love to help out… but I can’t cook… or clean… or anything… Sorry…”
Rurouni just smiled and began cooking dinner. I had to admit, he could cook for a former samurai. They were supposed to be cultured, but he exceeded my expectations by far. Nothing he cooked was ever burnt, nothing was EVER wrong with it. It was a wee bit aggravating, since I burnt water. He was often away, taking care of his business, so I tried learning how to clean clothes and collect firewood. I finally decided to try cooking, and he honored my request quickly. That’s how the wench who managed to burn water became as good a cook as any geisha. If you don’t know already, a geisha is a woman talented in all honorable things. They were experts at tea, singing, dignified conversations, etc, etc. They were supposedly very attractive. Pfft.
Being part of something… a part of someone else’s life makes you feel like you are actually worth something. One day, he asked me when my birthday was. I replied surprised, “July 20th, why Rurouni?”
“No particular reason. It’s only a few days until then, just in case you wanted to know.”
I nodded in acknowledgement, “Yes, I’m aware of that. It’s in 1 day to be more specific. Tomorrow in fact.”