Chapter 14

''The Culprit!" Kanae shouted in a most Yako-like way to Neuro. After she said that, he stopped and peeked behind him with the same poker face as usual. He was gone by an instant, after that. Before he was entirely gone, she could say that he was piqued by what she said, on what Yako said to him.

Their walk inside the castle was silent. The entourage of Estrea along with Yako and King has been walking in the castle hallways escorting them to their destination, only their footsteps could be heard and the passing servants like earlier was making way for them. At the same time, bowing their heads. Dalla spoke again since they've entered the castle to take the attention of Yako and King.

"Your Majesty, I'll be departing here. The other servants will escort you and the human your respected destinations. I'm going to inform the circle of your arrival. If you'll excuse me" He bowed and started to walk in another hallway to their right until King spoke. Dalla halted to look at him one last time.

"Dalla. Make it quick. The preparations later should be finished."

"As you wish" He said bowing again before he finally parted ways.

It wasn't before he was gone that Yako was curious enough to ask 'King' what he is talking about.

"Preparations?" She said questionably and King can't help but smirk.

"For the party later, of course." He said continuing to walk.

"Party? On what occasion?" She said following.

King specifically halted just to see her and cupped her chin to look into his. Yako is getting a bad feeling about this.

"Our engagement" He grinned.

"E-engagement!? Haru-..." Before she could finish the name, she stopped. But instead by a reproach of saying his name, King just smirked at her.

"Surprised? Do you think I'm going to let you go after my other half barely even controlled himself to get you? I'm not that foolish" He said smug as his crimson eyes looked at her that Yako has noticed has become darker. "I'll have you, Katsuragi Yako."

Yako's face reddened a little in surprise and in her fluster. 'Now, I'm in bigger trouble. Oh the person guiding from above, I only wanted food in my life. Why does it need to end up like this?' she thought to herself nervous. At that moment, Yako still remembered Neuro. Her face saddened. 'Neuro...I bet he's still mad at me. If he really was jealous, then that's not my fault but... if it is...I should've understood him more. I knew he was a demon but Neuro has been my partner for a long time and for this to create a rift that great? I think it's not worth it. Even if he didn't come, I said what I have to say and the message...I'm so stupid. He wouldn't understand it-'

"Don't look so sad, Yako. I'm sure you'll enjoy this place with me even more when were married" Haruse smirked.

"Haruse...what do you really want?" Yako faced him.

"What I want? Come, I'll show you" he said leaving the rest of the guards behind and went over to look at one of the balconies available in the castle showing the whole demon world below them. Yako followed. "I'm sure Haruse already told you. I want to conquer this and soon the human world. I'll create our own haven for the two of us"

"I won't let you hurt all those people!" Yako said determined.

"Ah, the kind-hearted detective. Haruse and you are alike in that way. He was weak! He would always go on about his curiosity about humans. He want to understand humans, understand us as an entity and understand the people of the demon world's actions towards him. Pathetic, this other side of mine. He didn't know that in hell if someone does something unto you, you bring it to them."

"He's not pathetic! Haruse was warm and kind! He's a good detective!"

"And yet, you didn't choose him. Haruse would be happy to be told those words but like I thought it was, it didn't last long. You would like more for that demon Neuro to hold you, don't you?"

"It isn't like that-"

"What is? That you led him on, making him believe that you will love him someday?" He grinned deviously.

"He knew how I felt! I didn't-"

"And yet, you held him. You let him give affection on the level of you humans. You've let him get hurt as that parrot of a demon just showed up again out of nowhere. You shoved him aside."

Yako went quiet. She knew these words will come sooner or later. She will have to face these confused feelings she had for Haruse for a short while that he already given up on Neuro loving her. It still does stand but she's as stupid at love as Haruse. Hopelessly in love with someone who can't like you back.

"But I'm different" King said grinning. Yako looked up at him.

King came closer to her, his head suddenly leaning towards her in a grin. Yako was surprised and her body tensed by the all familiar closeness with Haruse. It is like that except this in front of her isn't exactly him but an alter-ego who calls himself King. His head ran past Yako's face and ended in her ear and he whispered.

"I wonder what would Neuro react if I take his partner away from him?" He said, breath tickling her ear.

"Haven't you already accomplished that?" She said back.

King laughed. "Don't underestimate the words of the demon, detective. Even we do like to cause chaos and rule above others, we still have a certain culture we keep. I want to test that. Let's have fun, shall we?" He chuckled as he slashed Yako at her neck. Yako pulled herself away in agony and touched her neck, only to see blood. She looked at him menacingly.

King forcibly pulled her hand that covered her wound and gazed at it. He grinned before licking the residue of blood on Yako's hand. Suddenly, she felt dizzy as the action took place. Her whole body trembled like someone taking her energy from her. She leaned on the castle wall for support.

"Not yet, Yako" He grinned as he slit his other hand with his sharp nail as blood came out. He licked his gushing blood in his hand and let Yako drink it with a forced kiss. She could feel the warm blood passing through her mouth and King's intruding lips on hers. In instant, the kiss ended. She felt more pain inside her, legs giving out. Yako gagged. " do...?" She said in pain.

"You'll know soon enough, Yako. For now, rest. Partner." He grinned devilishly as Yako given up her last strand of consciousness. His wound on his hand already healed. "Me and Neuro still have a score to settle before I could proceed my plans. Let's make him suffer" He smiled and turned into a laugh that echoed through the empty corridors.

The sound of a portal formed in a room inside a castle, it was eerie compared to the castle walls. It glowed with a green hue as a demon stepped out signalling his malevolent return to Hell.

"As boring as ever" He said.

"Is that you?" a voice said entering the door as the portal closed. "Neuro-sama?" Aron said as he looked at the demon in hopefulness and surprise. It took a second later that his face turned into glee. "Neuro-sama, you're back!" He said as he jumped toward him in glee and was met by a shoe with metal spikes and was cast aside.

"Good to see you, Aron"

Aron's front face bled with holes but as natural as ever he spoke as his face healed fast. "Neuro-sama, you're really back. I'm glad" he said, face still hurting.

"What's the situation?" Neuro spoke.

"It's terrible, Neuro-sama. The prince has come back and with a human nonetheless. Everything's in an uproar and soon he will declare his control on his father's throne. He's declaring war to all the king candidates, especially you Neuro-sama. He's getting arrogant that he could defeat you all in one swoop and take over the throne"

"It seems he is indeed full of himself" Neuro said as his green eyes glowed.

"And news has it, everyone's invited in a ball this evening. It's the prince's engagement party"

"Hmph. Who's the lucky demon?" He said in amusement.

"It's not a's...-" Before he could finish, Neuro's eyes widened and his gaze sharpened as he cut short Aron's words.

"Make preparations for tonight's ball. Let's return his courteousness, shall we?" Neuro said.

Aron noticed the change of mood that is uncharacteristic of his known master. Also, it's surprising to know it was caused by a human female being engaged to the prince. He doesn't trust that human. 'If he is correct, that human will bring the master's downfall and I won't let that happen. I will protect him even if it means sacrificing the misplaced human in this wretched hell' he thought eagerly and obeyed Neuro.

"Right away, Neuro-sama" He said as he left the room to make preparations. Neuro stood in front of a window showing a bright dark sky with a blood red moon.

As the red moon shone valiantly on the sky of Hell, visitors from Hell's high society began to fill the ballroom of the castle in likeness to the Victorian setting of a ball except the demons and the eccentric food on the table. All the same, these things felt familiar to Yako who is sitting beside a throne where King sat gallantly like a King in his royal princely clothes.

She, on the other hand, was wearing a black gown up until her knees, showing off her legs and a bodice, closed by laces on her sides on which showed her curves, smooth shoulders and her arms covered with black gloves that ended above her elbow. She wears a black net veil over her eyes only showing her button nose and her tinted lips. She looked elegant on her seat. It took a great shock to her as other demon females tried to dress her, it felt like torture at the same time shocking. She gets goosebumps when she remembers it and let her eyes wander the ballroom before her.

'This felt like the Victorian age in Human history in Europe: the balls, the hierarchy, the king that represents its monarchy and the kingdom. Well, this can be a place to rule at. But so much chaos ensues, you can't really call it a kingdom.' She thought. 'Still, so this is Hell, huh? After all these questions I got for Neuro about his place that he never answered, I came here by myself.'

She felt that she finally got to know the mystery of Neuro's beginnings and the place where demons like him came from. It's somehow oddly satisfying to be here and yet sad. She didn't even need to know these kinds of things, Neuro the start of her curiosity isn't even part of her reach now. He may as well abandoned her or go here but do nothing because of amusement and come to get her, just to drag her for his gain again. He never changes still she loved him and hurts her more that he can't reciprocate that.

While she is lost in thought, King grinned. He saw his mark on Yako's neck glowed and could feel Yako's hesitation in waves as his mark gains power from her emotions that appears to be accepting him more by the minute.

"Liking it here?" King teased.

Yako looked at him with a flustered face. "I-I didn't say that I hate it. It's just an unfamiliar world to me that I haven't seen that's all. It's uncomfortable at the least"

"You're emotions tell otherwise" He grinned.

"My...emotions?" she said confused.

"Confused? Well let's just say that the mark I gave you on your neck makes me know how you feel at the moment, a partial connection between me and you also I can get at least a little energy from you if I wish. Since you haven't fully agreed, it's partial but enough to let me know where you are and enough for people of this domain to know that you are mine"

"Yours?" She felt a little embarrassed. "I'm not anybody's property"

"They don't see it the way you do, Partner" King said to her in a whisper, his face near hers.

"Partner? Don't tell me-" Yako's face blushed in realization.

"No it isn't specifically that word that could announce your courtship to another demon, it comes with different names. The difference is how much scent of that demon has on you when he called that name to a certain person or demon that search for companionship and what level does the name goes to depending on the demon. Demons aren't really companion-dependent like humans do. But if we do, it meant trust or the other or maybe both." Yako was silent. King smiled at her in amusement. He could feel the shift of emotions of Yako from a blush to being bothered, affection and that twinge of pain as it subsided into nothing again even he knows to whom it is for.

At that point, the dancing already began at the ball. It looks so surreal to look at even for Yako as it looked like it came from a movie. It caught her attention and another took her notice when the big doors of the ballroom entrance opened only to reveal a demon in a dark blue suit, fashioned like a noble of the hierarchy. Everybody stood still at that moment. It's hair was combed back perfectly in place as his swirling green eyes made any female demon from high society give lustful looks towards him. He stepped through those doors towards the throne where King and Yako sat. He looked with a smirk in his face, his presence as always domineering. Yako felt tense in her seat.

"I see you've got my invitation, Nougami Neuro" King said smugly.

"You did leave a big enough trail to follow you. I'm afraid you were meowing so loudly I came to take care of the cat" Neuro said in return.

"Hehe. Is that so? I think you might be following the wrong cat. Instead, you've found another else entirely. It's a happy occasion for you to be here. Join the festivities, there is much of the demon female population that you could obtain easily. Let's continue!" He shouted to the people in the ballroom and the dancing restarted. His red eyes glowed towards him.

"I did find another one entirely but that doesn't mean it's less than a target since it tampered more than just my territory"

"Did he now? So what action do you want to do, puzzle-eater?" he grinned, red eyes glowing.

"Since it is an engagement party, can I have a dance with the lucky bride then?" Neuro smiled at King. He smirked at Neuro.

"Eh?" Yako said nervous, not only does she was not being rescued but being danced to not to any person but Neuro. Neuro wants to dance with her. 'What kind of torture that exists in hell that they planned to make me dance with Neuro!?' She couldn't even dance well. She gets more nervous by the minute when she dances. She's passed ballroom dancing through highschool in a wreck but now I've got to dance!?

"Hmmm.." King said with interest. "Sure. Why not?"

'I'm doomed' Yako thought of her as she imagined the unimaginable outcome of this dance with Neuro. She could already feel cold sweat gathering on her back. She gulped before she was to face the dance floor with Neuro.

A/N: Now, we're talking. Sorry for the late update. Hope you still read though.