Hello, dearest readers! I am back with another installment of Demonic Storm! I decided that I might as well hurry up and update now before I forget during the haze of all the studying I have to do for finals next week. Anyway, I hope you enjoy and also I suggest you go take a look at the fanfic that Kuroi inazuma has written. It's pretty good and well worth the read!
Chapter 5: New Addition
"Hey, wake up."
I heard Conri call to me, but I definitely wasn't ready to face the day yet. I rolled over onto my side so that my back was facing him, which the wolf did not like one bit. Before I knew it, I had a cold, wet nose poking at my back and arms to startle me awake. When I became fed up with it, I turned back around to push him when he hopped back, giving me an amused look.
"What do you want?" I asked sleepily, rubbing at my eyes.
"You're supposed to be meeting with Mephisto in ten minutes," he reminded me.
"Did he tell you what this is all about?"
"Why in the world would he tell me things?"
"True. Alright, give me a minute and I'll get dressed."
With a yawn, I pulled myself out of bed and headed to the closet to get changed. Since it was the last day of the weekend and I didn't care, I grabbed a tank top and shorts, putting them on in record time while avoiding my sore shoulder. It had stopped bleeding entirely but it still sent jolts of pain through me when I wasn't careful. I motioned for Conri to follow me out of the room and we headed towards the main hall where the front door was located. I could already hear voices and when I came down the stairs, I could see all three of them waiting for me.
Rin was the first to look over in my direction and he gave me a bright smile. "There she is!" he called out happily. "Feeling any better?"
"My shoulder is still sore, but I'll live," I told him before hearing the knock at the door. "Now I need all three of you to leave. I'm going to be discussing something with Mephisto."
"You know we're just going to listen in on the conversation regardless, right?"
"Whatever, just stay out of sight."
I shooed them towards the stairs, Reina giggling to herself before they ran up them and disappeared around the corner. I could only hope that they would stay hidden before I finally opened the door to let in the always flamboyant Mephisto, who seemed to take up the entirety of the doorway. His green eyes immediately locked onto my shoulder and he grinned slightly, making me scowl at him while Conri growled.
"Did you allow yourself to be injured?" he asked mockingly.
"It's not important. What is important is the fact that you felt the need to discuss something with me."
He seemed to notice that I was not in the mood to be messed with and gulped a little before he grabbed something behind him to push it into my line of sight. Standing there was a boy that had to be fifteen years old with spiky silver hair, the tips edged with black. He had on a red shirt with some band name etched across it, a black hoodie with grey fur lining the hood, dark pants, and black shoes. He seemed a bit nervous, his yellow eyes looking down at the sword he carefully held in his hands like it was his treasure. It took me only a few seconds to realize from his scent and his energy that this was the guy that had been watching me a few days earlier. Not only that, but he was also a Demon. My eyes snapped back to Mephisto and I growled, making him look a bit hesitant now and he took a step back.
"What did I say about just dropping things on me so suddenly? Do you not remember what I did the last time or am I going to have to repeat the dog crate incident again?"
Mephisto gulped a little before the stranger finally looked over at him and hissed, "I thought you said that you were going to talk to her."
"I never had the chance to until now! She's a slippery eel when she wants to be and I couldn't get ahold of her until last night!"
As they argued, I looked over at Conri, who shook his head in exasperation over the whole situation. I finally had enough and let a rather strong breeze pick up around all of us, silencing them immediately once they noticed. I could hear the almost inaudible sound of Rin laughing before I let the breeze die down and concentrated on Mephisto again.
"Do you plan on explaining what's going on now?" I asked, glaring at him fiercely.
"Now, calm down, Kasumi," he said, holding up his hands in a nonthreatening manner. "There's no need to be hostile. I intended on telling you the purpose of this little visit."
"Any day now would be great."
The new guy let out a short laugh before he fell silent again when Mephisto glared at him. "This is Takeshi Yukimura and I'm enrolling him into the regular academy and Cram School so he can train to be an Exorcist. He's a half Demon that I want you to look out for."
"Do you intend on making me babysit every young Demon you come across or is this the last one?"
Takeshi didn't seem very happy about what I said, frowning slightly before Mephisto spoke up again. "No, Takeshi is a special case like Rin. He won't even need training unless he so chooses because I've already taken care of it. All you'll have to do is watch over him so that he doesn't get into trouble."
I looked at the both of them seriously, not saying a word for the longest time before I sighed. "Alright, I will do this," I told them, watching as they both looked as if they had one when I continued, "but I have a couple demands that must be met first."
The Demon King of Time narrowed his eyes in suspicion before asking, "And what are those demands?"
"I have a friend named Reina Tsukino," I began to explain, hearing Reina's tiny gasp at the top of the stairs. "She came here to get into the Cram School. She's already had some training with her grandmother, so she's already on her way to becoming an Exorcist. You're going to enroll her into the Cram School."
"Done," Mephisto said with a scowl before pulling a small gold key from his pocket and handing it to me. "She may start tomorrow as a Page. What's your other demand?"
"Reina gets to move into the west wing of the dorm with me. Her current living arrangement is expensive. I don't want her killing herself trying to balance regular school, Cram School, and a job."
He looked like he was about to argue, but decided not to bother with it. "Also done. Now that I've wasted a lot of time here, I must leave. You better watch out for your newest charge or you'll be the one hanging from shark infested waters. Now, Takeshi, I would like a word outside before I go."
When they both went outside and the door shut, I could hear the sounds of running and turned to see an excited Reina charging towards me. With a yelp, I quickly ran away from her and she chased me around the main hall with her arms outstretched. "Just get it over with, Kas!" she called out, laughing when she got closer. "I'm not going to stop chasing you until I hug you for what you just did for me!"
"How about just telling me thank you?" I called back to her as we ran around in a big circle. "That's what normal humans do to show gratitude, Rei!"
It was as I was running closer to the stairs where Rin and Yukio were now standing after coming down into the main hall that Rin thought it was a good idea to help. He swiftly wrapped his arms around my waist and leaned back a little so that he could lift me into the air. I yelped again, kicking the air in an attempt to get free, but no such luck until he finally set me down when Reina ran closer. When Takeshi came back into the main hall, the first thing he caught sight of was Reina standing at my side with her arms around my neck and a bright smile on her face while I stood there, scowling unhappily and tail twitching like an angry cat.
"What… just happened?" Takeshi asked hesitantly, looking very confused.
"Apparently hugging isn't the proper way to show gratitude," Rin chuckled.
"Hey, stay out of this, Firefly," I huffed, crossing my arms in annoyance.
With a vein popping on his forehead, he took a menacing step toward me before yelling, "Watch your mouth, Windbag, or I be forced to shut it for you!"
There was a solid five seconds of silence between us as we glared daggers at each other, sparks seeming to fly just before we moved into action to attack. Yukio and Reina must have been anticipating this for Reina quickly grabbed hold of my tail, making sure not to hurt me but remaining firm enough with her grip as she avoided the spikes on top. Yukio wasn't as gentle, pulling on Rin's with one hand so hard that the half Demon fell backwards onto the floor. Conri ran over to us when I tried to pull free from Reina's hold and grabbed the back of my tank top with his teeth to help her keep me in place until the both of us calmed down.
"Rin, how many times do I have to tell you not to pick a fight with her?" Yukio asked in exasperation, pushing his glasses further up on his nose so that the lens flashed with the reflected light. "She can easily take you down without feeling any remorse."
Just before Yukio finished his last sentence, I heard the new kid wander up behind me to reach his hand out and softly ask, "Hey, what are these scars from?"
Regardless of the fact that Reina had a hold of my tail, I flicked the spiked tip faster than Takeshi could react, turning my head slightly to see out of the corner of my eye a razor thin line of red appear on the palm of his hand. Silence fell over the room again as he took a startled step back, looking at his hand and dabbing an index finger lightly on the cut. "Lesson one," I stated, making sure to sound calm when I wasn't feeling it, "don't touch those scars. I really disapprove and you've been warned."
"I'd listen to her, newbie!" Rin called out to him from the floor before he stood up. "She almost broke my wrist when I touched them. She took it easy on you."
Takeshi didn't seem to approve of being called newbie, seeming as if he was about to speak up on that fact when I decided it was best to change the subject. "How about I show you to the east wing where you can pick out your room?" I suggested, reaching over to pat Conri on the head so that he would let go of my tank top. The silver-haired half Demon nodded and I lead him over to the stairs before calling out, "Reina, don't forget that we've got something of great importance to discuss as soon as I'm done!"
"Of course!" she laughed before starting a chat with the twins.
I headed up the stairs with Takeshi, Conri walking at my side and glancing at the new addition once in a while. When we walked into the east wing, he spoke up. "Is that wolf Demon your familiar?"
"That's right," I said with a slight smile. "His name is Conri. He's been by my side for as long as I can remember."
"What about the other three people?"
"Well, I've known Reina for a few years now. She and I met during her very first class at True Cross Academy. As for Rin and Yukio, I've only known them for about a week, but they're pretty cool so far."
We stopped talking until I reached the section of hallway where Rin and Yukio had a room, taking a step towards the wall and motioning that he could pick out which room he wanted. He seemed a little hesitant, almost as if he had never done this before, until he finally began to walk slowly down the hallway himself. I watched as he walked towards the end of the hallway to a room that was opposite of the old office. I could remember that the room he stood in front of held a huge window that overlooked the forest behind the dorm and he called out that this was the one he wanted after opening the door to see for himself.
"Now, there's only the bare minimum in that room right now," I informed him as I closed the distance between us, leaning against the doorframe and watching as he looked around the room he had picked. Due to the fact that it was empty of everything but a bed, desk, and bookshelf, the whole room felt large and spacious. Regardless of this fact, he looked like a kid in a candy store, making me wonder again if this was the first time he had a proper room for himself that he got to pick out on his own. "What did you discuss with Mephisto outside? Was it about when all of your belongings would arrive here?"
Instantly, Takeshi froze in place, his whole body looking tense before he said a word. "Umm… yeah, we talked about the fact that they would show up tomorrow," he said hurriedly, acting a bit shifty in the process. He placed his blade on his bed before turning and giving me a nervous smile. "I don't have a lot of possessions, but he said that he'd send someone to bring me what little I have."
His attitude seemed a little suspicious as if he was hiding something, but I decided to shrug and drop that topic for now. I was about to walk out again when Reina ran up to me, an amused grin on her face before she grabbed me by the wrist with both hands. "Come with me!" she said, slightly out of breath as she tugged on my arm. Both Conri and Takeshi gave her a confused look before she said, "There's something funny that you need to see!"
She dragged me along with both Demons following behind until we reached the dorm kitchen. Loud sounds of yelling and clangs could be heard and I could only wonder what was going on when she led me over to the counter that overlooked the kitchen. Once there, I had to cover my mouth with my free hand to stifle my laughter. Standing in the kitchen near the window was Rin, panting a little as he dodged a knife that was thrown at him from out of nowhere. A large metal fork was thrown next so that he had to jump towards the door, which gave me a good view of the stove. It looked like he had been cooking and I knew what this meant.
"He's already infuriated Ukobach, I see," I snickered. "I wondered how long this would take." I shook off Reina's hold on me and headed into the kitchen, moving faster than a blur to catch the huge butcher knife that had been aimed at Rin's head and jumping up onto the counter next to the sink. "Listen here, you two. I'd really prefer if this doesn't come down to death by flying cutlery. You might as well show yourself, Ukobach, so that this can be settled once and for all."
"What is she talking about?" I heard Yukio ask Reina, who only shrugged.
There was a flash of light that seemed to blind everyone before it faded, revealing a tiny Demon whose form was reminiscent of a satyr. It had mostly purple fur with tiny yellow horns and it glared fiercely at Rin with bright yellow eyes. "Now, here's what's going to happen!" I announced. "Since the only thing that Rin seems to be really good at is cooking – at least, that is what I've heard from Yukio – you two are going to have a cooking battle while the rest of us leave."
I watched the sparks fly between the two before I hopped off of the counter and headed out of the kitchen. Reina walked over to me and asked, "What are we going to do while they fight it out?"
"First of all, you and I have something to talk about. Don't think that I've forgotten, Rei. We can go take care of that right now," I told her before turning to Yukio. "While I'm having a chat with Reina, would you mind showing Takeshi around? You can just show him around the old dorm for now and I can take care of showing him to his new classes. I don't mind doing it a second time for a different person."
As I walked away with Reina and Conri, I gave them a wave without looking back as we headed to the west wing. On a whim, I thought that going to the library that I loved so much would be the ideal place to have such a serious discussion. It was a good plan since it was quiet and the light filtering in from the windows kept everything bright in the room. I found a couch to sit on with Conri while Reina took the chair perpendicular to it so that we could look at each other. It never failed to amaze me how Reina could always look so at home, no matter where she was or who she was with.
"So," she said, sounding like her normal bubbly self, "where would you like me to start?"
"How about you start from the beginning?" I told her seriously. "You keep telling me that you can see parts of the future. How are you able to do that?"
"Then you'll want to know the past first," she said before leaning back in her chair. "About a century ago, one of my female ancestors came across a man lying in the middle of a field. He was severely injured and unconscious, bleeding out all over the ground. Even though she didn't know if this man was dangerous, she did her best to carry him back to her home and treat his injuries. As she tended to him, she took notice of his dark red hair like fire that seemed so different for her little town. It was when she was almost finished with bandaging him up that he finally came to, opening his eyes and focusing forest green irises onto her. From that moment on, everything for my family line changed.
"The man, soon discovered to be named Gabriel, vowed to stay with her for as long as needed until he could fulfill his debt to her. For a year, they stayed together and grew closer as friends until there came to be a moment when my ancestor was attacked by a group of thugs, not knowing that they were actually Demons in disguise. They threatened to kill her if she didn't tell them where Gabriel was, which she refused to do. When it seemed like all hope was lost and that she would die, Gabriel appeared in a blaze of fiery light, wings of golden fire blazing on his back as he killed the Demons singlehandedly. Once this task was done, he told her that he was an Archangel that needed to go back to his home in the Heavens, but he loved her dearly. Months later, a child was born with the same fiery, dark red hair and forest green eyes that exhibited powers of telepathy and telekinesis. He stayed with them until the day that our first ancestor died, returning to the Heavens to watch over all of us that are branded a child of Gabriel."
"So… you're descended from an actual Angel?" I finally asked once the shock wore off.
"That's right! Sometimes, the gift from Gabriel skips a generation or two, depending on the soul of the child. It skipped my mother, but then again she was a horrible person that abandoned me when I was five. She left me with my grandmother, who also has the gift. She explained to me why I could sometimes hear the thoughts of other people as a child and what to do when I came across someone whose thoughts I couldn't hear. She told me that nine times out of ten, it would be a Demon in disguise."
"You can hear a person's thoughts?"
"Only when I want to. When I was a child, it was something beyond my control but my grandmother taught me a few tricks to keep it in check. Now, I only listen in to a person's thoughts for a brief second, just to see who in the room is a Demon so we can avoid them."
That was when I realized that there was something about what she had just said that didn't fit right. "Then I don't understand. If what you said is true, then you could sense the fact that I was a Demon by the fact that you couldn't hear my thoughts. You knew, yet you decided to sit with me and become my friend."
She gave me a wry smile before explaining what I was confused over. "Before Gabriel left for the Heavens after his human wife's death, he imparted a piece of knowledge down to his daughter, a prophesy that she had to pass down to the next child of Gabriel that possessed his gift. He told her that a day would come where one of his children would come across a female Demon with dark hair and sharp golden eyes with pupils that were slits. She would have a huge wolf familiar by her side and a hostile aura that was meant to keep others away. Gabriel told her not to let it fool her for it was just a defense mechanism to protect other people, regardless of the fact that this Demon is the one in need of protecting. He never did go into the specifics behind why this Demon needed protecting, but when I first saw you that day I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that you had to be the one he was speaking of. That's one reason why I spoke to you that day. Another reason was that you just looked so… sad."
It was all so hard to take in, but it didn't change the level of trust I held in Reina. She never once lied to me about anything when I asked her questions and I could understand why she didn't want to tell me that she knew Demons existed. For most humans, that was a terrifying ordeal to see all the different creatures of Gehenna that wandered about in Assiah. If she had mentioned it in the very beginning, I might not have decided to become friends with her. In my state of mind during that time, I would have instantly mistrusted her and figured that she would one day stab me in the back.
With a light sigh, I reached over to pat her hand that was resting on the arm of the chair and gave her a small smile. "Thank you for telling me all of this, Rei. I really appreciate it."
"I appreciate what you did for me more, Kas," she said earnestly, clasping my hand in both of hers. "Not only did you get me into the Cram School, which I felt would take me at least six more months, you even convinced the Director to let me stay here! I seriously don't know how I can ever repay you for all you've done."
"You deciding to be my friend that day is more than enough." I looked over at Conri, who had been watching the entire thing silently, and smiled at him. "Conri, I think it's time for you to finally talk."
"I thought this day would never come," he sighed, making Reina jump a little.
"He can talk?" she asked in amazement. "I just thought that familiars were silent or that they only talk with the person they're bonded with!"
"I was pretending to be an actual dog so that you wouldn't think anything was amiss."
Reina looked at me and winked. "He's a good actor then. If I hadn't known that he was a familiar, I would have definitely thought he was a dog."
I stood up from the couch and pulled Reina to her feet before saying, "Anyway, I'm sure that you'll want to move all of your stuff into this dorm. We can go pick out your room now."
"No need," she said, shaking her head slightly. "I'll take the one across the hall from yours."
"Alright, if you say so," I laughed before pulling two keys out from my pocket, one gold and one silver, and handing the small gold one to Reina. "Keep this key on you at all times. It opens the door into the Cram School, one that you can open from any door available. That used to be my key when I was training to become an Exorcist."
"Then I can't take it from you!"
"Yes, you can. I forced Mephisto into making me a Skeleton Key. I can go anywhere as long as I think clearly about the place in my mind."
We walked over to the door and I inserted the key into the lock, picturing Reina's room in my head as I twisted the key. She looked on in amazement as she realized that what I had said was true before we walked into her room and I shut the door behind us. Conri came along for moral support as Reina and I packed away her things into two large suitcases, the big wolf carrying her pillows and a couple stuffed animals after I wrapped and tied her blankets around him to keep them in place. Once we made sure that everything that belonged to her was packed away, I rolled a suitcase along behind me as I walked up to the doorway again, twisting the key in the lock as I thought about the bedroom that was across the hall from my own.
Reina gasped a little in surprise when she saw that this room was twice the size of her old one and immediately began to unpack. She wouldn't allow either of us to help her, instead going into her hurricane mode and sweeping through the room to place everything in its proper places within five minutes. All Conri and I could do was watch in astonishment until she was finished. We briefly went into my room after where she promptly informed me that I needed to decorate some more.
I showed her around the dorm until I finally decided that it was time to head back to the kitchen, the only two left around were Ukobach and Rin, both of whom were lying on the ground with happy looks on their faces. When Ukobach noticed me walk into the room, he struggled to sit up, gave me a respectful nod, and got up to go prepare us a meal. I helped Rin to his feet, who was still mumbling something to himself, before finally straightening up. He seemed rather happy about the whole ordeal and gave me a smirk.
"He and I have reached an agreement," Rin said, nodding in Ukobach's direction. "I guess you can say that we now understand each other through the bond of cooking."
"That's awfully good to hear since you did trespass on his territory earlier," I reminded him with a laugh. "He'll only let me cook in here once in a great while."
"Well… I may have had a slight mishap when trying to make breakfast," I said with a wan smile.
"He let her make pancakes and she burned them so bad that they were no longer recognizable," Conri said, wagging his tail a little. "He made her take cooking lessons from him until she was slightly proficient at the craft."
I shrugged sheepishly before saying, "Hey, I know that I'm not perfect. Cooking is my fatal flaw. I am willing to learn so I can get better though so that has to count for something!"
"You once burned popcorn in a microwave, so I hope you have improved," Reina reminded me with a grin.
I crossed my arms with a huff and looked away. "I'm not that terrible anymore, Rei! There's no need to act like that!"
Rin chuckled softly. "Don't worry, I was pretty bad at cooking in the beginning as well. All it takes to become better is lots of practice. If you'd like, I could help you get better at cooking in exchange for you training me to fight!"
"She'll do it!" Reina spoke for me, pushing me closer to Rin and ignoring my protests. "Start helping her now! Then she can make me food and I don't have to worry about being accidentally poisoned!"
As Ukobach cooked lunch, Rin taught me a few different dishes to make, but we focused solely on rectifying my terrible mistake at making pancakes. It was actually one that Conri would eat for me. He knew that in all the years that I had been alive, I didn't cook for myself because I was absolutely terrible at it. When Ukobach finished with making lunch while Rin assisted, Yukio and Takeshi arrived soon after and we all sat down at the table together. I could tell that Takeshi wasn't used to all the loud chatter that was going on and it again made me wonder what his life had been like before he arrived on our doorstep. I resigned myself to interrogating Mephisto about this half Demon in question and focused on the laughter that seemed to be a theme for the rest of the day.