It's Not What You Think
Chapter 1: Reminiscence

AUTHOR'S NOTE: Wheee! Another ficcie! I thought I'd give up fanficcing, but then a great good friend of mine let me borrow all seven of the Demon Diary mangas...and, well...what can I say! Enjoy! Oh, and this fic takes place after the end of the manga...it's explained in the fic...

Disclaimer: I...don't...own...it... -collapses- Man, that was hard...

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The combined noise of a gang of people calling her name wakened Erutis with a start. "'Smatter?" she asked sleepily.

"Sensei!" said a relieved sounding man who was dripping in sweat and panting hard. "You're awake! We were all wondering if that much was enough." He motioned to the men and boys standing around the large courtyard. All of them were in a similar condition to the man who spoke: sweating, panting, and holding wooden swords.

Erutis yawned, "How much of what was enough?" she asked.

The man had the look of someone dreaded something inevitable. "The strokes, sensei...we were wondering if that many were enough..."

Erutis smiled. "Oh, that's right, I set you all to strokes...erm, I fell asleep and lost count...just start over."

Groans chorused throughout the courtyard while the oblivious sensei promptly turned around on her hammock and fell back asleep. It had been a tiring day. Turning a gang of men into swordsmen wasn't an easy task. Especially not when the men were ruffians and the like. The sounds of training took Erutis back aways...really, she owed this all to that annoying Lord Fancy-Pants. He was the one who'd suggested it...and started it...and prodded her to it...and quashed any objections. The memory of his help was quickly wiped from the young girl's mind, however. This was HER dojo, and SHE was the master swordswoman, and SHE was teaching these guys, so the credit was HERS! Yea, that worked. But still...

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He'd killed the traitors...and also made it so she couldn't find work anywhere... However, he HAD let her use his training quarters, and the large, roomy courtyard. He'd also bought all the equipment. Eclipse had seen to Chris's deportation out of Raenef's castle soon enough. The girl was an annoyance, but the boy was unbearable. What with his constant self-assessed super genius and his threats to the master...it was just getting to be too much. Besides Chris had that high cleric training thingy. That left Erutis.

She knew full well she couldn't kip under Raenef's roof forever, so she'd gone out boldly to seek employment. I mean, come on, she was a master swordswoman, there had to be work enough for her! However, Erutis's assumptions were quelled quickly. Lord Krayon had seen to it that no one employed the girl. "It wasn't fitting." After that rich expletive had tricked Erutis into helping her, it was Lord Krayon that had seen to the justice of it...and suggested that her captors become her students...which was all good and well, except she didn't have any facilities or equipment.

Fancy-Pants soon saw to that, as well, which left Erutis with little choice. She liked sword training, after all...what was the harm? The harm came in the fact that despite all that, Erutis herself still didn't have a place. It figured that Fancy-Pants had worked that out, too. She had an entire apartment to herself and the castle was hers to roam. Naturally.

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"Sensei! Sensei, how was that?" The boy's voice dragged Erutis irritably out of her reverie.

"I fell asleep, start over!" she snapped. Now, where was she? Ah, yes. Erutis had grudgingly taken Lord Krayon's offer...

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"Fine!" she said, as they walked side by side down a long, winding, beautifully landscaped garden to the front doors of Lord Krayon's castle. "But it's not what you think! I'm doing it because I have to eat, too, you know!" She fumed incoherent half phrases for much of the remainder of the time. Fancy-Pants's smug expression didn't help much. "Cornering a lady...scaring off the employers...just wait...get settled...show him!"

When they'd reached the huge, silver grilled gates of his castle, Lord Krayon had thrown them open with a flourish and a smirk, and then waited to see her reaction. Her breath caught in her throat. It was as though the entire castle was a huge garden. The sides of the upper story balconies's cement complimented the structure so well! Somewhere a brook was babbling and unseen birds chirped their foreign calls. The bright colors of exotic flowers set off the green of the plants so well! A wide natural pond was set a little to the left of the center. The castle was a botanical dreamland.

Lord Krayon had cleared his throat marginally, although he seemed pleased with Erutis's breathlessly speechless silence. The quiet, almost not there sound had snapped Erutis to moment at hand. Clearing her throat a few times, she'd said gruffly, "It'll do." Ha! That's show him how little it had impressed her!

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In her hammock, Erutis's lips curved into a quiet smile of victory. She seemed oblivious to that fact that her awe was quite plain for the regal lord to see. She turned around and promptly fell out of her hammock. Rubbing her butt and wincing, she got up, muttering, "Why? Why always the butt?"

In her mind, she could hear the young cleric's voice, "I'm telling you, it's because your butt's so heavy!"

The reminiscence only served to deepen her scowl. She stood up and dusted herself off impatiently. A lad came running up to her, seeming half dead. "Sensei!" He nearly gave out with the effort of the word. "Please, sensei, tell us that much is enough!"

"Erm..." Erutis hadn't been paying attention again. "Why don't you guys just-"

"PLEASE!" The distressed cry came from every man present and cut Erutis's words off. The lad who'd come up to her fell to his knees and prostrated himself before her, "Sensei! Sensei, please! Have mercy on us! Look, the sun is already setting!"

Erutis looked up and indeed, the sun was disappearing behind high cement walls of the training courtyard. She sighed, "Wow, time flies. Sure, I guess you all could go. Get back here the same time tomorrow, though, and practice! You won't get anywhere if you're lazy!"

The men all left in varying degrees of extreme exhaustion. Presumably alone in the large courtyard, Erutis stretched herself, yawning. What a long day it had been. She went around absently picking up all the equipment the men had, in their haste to leave, forgotten and left strewn across the floor. Her arms full, Erutis disappeared into the equipment room off the side of the courtyard. The wooden swords blocked her vision and, not being able to walk a straight line, Erutis immediately bumped into the doorway of the room before finding her way inside.

The man leaning casually against the doorway of the courtyard felt his lips curve in an affectionate smile at the young woman's clumsy gait. She was just ever so charming!

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