No Sweeter Hell
Disclaimer: As if I could ever come up with as kick-ass a character as Zadei? I don't think so. Thank You Higuri in all of her infinate talent and genius for this and all the characters in Seimaden!
Because I remember, I despair. Because I remember, I have the duty to reject despair.
- Elie Wiesel
There is nothing quite so painful as the realization that love is not returned. Its an odd thing, love that is, it can bring the strongest man to his knees in abject anguish or it can give the strength and courage to a shy and timid man. Demons weren't supposed to love. That was the idea that had been drilled into Zadei's head from the moment of his violent birth. His childhood, or what one might call that violent period in his life, had taught him all about hatred and the trill of power. It was that same power that he'd used to bring the demon realm under his sway and between his clawed fingertips.
It had been his realm until that upstart Laures had stolen it from him.
Some might have argued that Zadei had been too young and brash to hold onto his kingdom for too long but those people weren't alive to utter such words again. Zadei was nothing, if not infamous for his temper. When he had been freed of his seal and his hated confinement, the last person Zadei had expected to see was Laures' lieutenant, Teteiyusu standing there as proud and regal as ever.
There was an etherealness to Teteiyusu that Zadei had never seen before. He was like the frost that covered Zadei's frozen homeland. It shown so bright and blinding in the light but it was sharp and brittle to the touch and could cut an unwary finger with little notice or provocation. The pale-haired demon had done little to mask the disdain in his eyes when he dealt with Zadei; though he was never anything but unfailingly polite. Too polite, the rough and somewhat crass Zadei would complain. He had seen the vipers nest that made up the royal court of the demon realm. It was no place for an uncouth barbarian like himself and Zadei knew that.
Tetei was more suited to that world with his cool and remote eyes and that beautiful exterior. He belonged in Laures' world and to the dark-haired king more then he would ever belong to Zadei and the other demon knew that. A foolish and brash demon he might be, but an idiot he was not. When Teteiyusu had approached him and proclaimed his loyalty to Zadei, the former general had been leery to say the least. You didn't just end a loyal servitude of a few hundred of years to a man like Laures at the drop of a hat.
Zadei, poor fool that he was, had thought he might puzzle out Tetei's hidden agenda and his emotions. But the winged-demon had ever been a mystery to the former general and his aloof regality had fascinated Zadei. Seemingly, out of spite, Zadei had surrounded himself with beautiful things and beautiful women. None seemed able to outshine the elusive Teteiyusu with his snowy wings and wounded eyes. Perhaps that was where Zadei's plan had backfired. He had not meant to become ensnared by the very creature he sought to unravel and eventually destroy. He had not meant to fall in love with Teteiyusu.
But the heart, he would come to realize, cared not for the thoughts and plans of mankind or even demonkind for that matter. It had started out simply enough, but then most things did. Zadei had begun to notice the pale beauty of the delicate man and he cynically wondered if Laures had partaken of that delicious morsel. There was no denying that Tetei was a gorgeous creature. Few demons were born quite so finely crafted of ethereally beautiful.
That stupid girl hadn't been too far off the mark when she called Teteiyusu a angel. He was an angel, a Fallen one. But an angel all the same, and Zadei had been drawn to him like a moth to the flame. At first, he had tried to scare and intimidate Tetei into becoming his and he had even gone so far as to place that painful seal in the man's chest so as to hold his very life over his head. Teteiyusu had merely regarded him with those beautiful green eyes and hadn't bothered to stir a feather or even acknowledge the power Zadei held over him.
It had….angered him. Many things about Tetei enraged Zadei however. As much as the winged-demon attracted Zadei, so too did his duplicity repulse him. The gorgeous man might have the face of an angel but Zadei discovered his heart was that of a demon.
Cold, calculating, and not a bit cruel.
Bitterness had twisted Zadei's heart though, that and a pained sort of envy for Laures had what he did not. It was like an eternal game between them, Zadei constantly wanting what Laures always took away. It didn't matter if it was Zadei's land or the man he wanted, the results were always the same. That angered Zadei beyond his sensibilities. The cruelties he'd enacted upon Tetei's body were that of a madman and after he'd returned to his senses, even Zadei had been horrified by his actions. He was used to getting angry with hot flashes of temper but he'd never experienced such a blinding, hating fit of rage before.
Staring down at Tetei's still and pale body with it's broken limbs and missing wing had been the turning point in Zadei's mind. He'd made a promise with himself right then and there to change. Logically, he knew he couldn't hate Tetei for loving Laures. Yes, it hurt and it tore a piece out of his soul to see the beautiful creature pine after Laures despite the fact that he stood no chance with him. What could Zadei do? He loved the perfidious demon, Teteiyusu, even with his many faults and petty bitterness.
Zadei could not imagine his life without him and with the frightening realization that he might have fucked things up for all time had been a chill and heart-wrenching shock for Zadei. In order to save the one he loved, the demon made a deal with the devil himself. Charon had willingly provided the Flowers of Life needed to keep Teteiyusu alive as Zadei held the winged-demon sequestered and hidden in the icy northern reaches of his homeland.
Tetei had already died once and the false life provided to him never seemed to give him the same burning essence or aura of sad power. Where once he had been pale and aloof, now he was a frozen and pathetic shadow of his former self. That pissed Zadei off more then almost anything else, for that hurt the most. He wanted the old Tetei back, he wanted b his /b Tetei back, not this pale ghost that barely put up a fight and broke his heart with each plea for death.
Zadei loved Tetei but the pale-haired demon didn't seem to care. He was too lost in his own pains and unrequited love for Laures to give his captor more then a passing notice. Or at least, that was how Zadei read the situation and each day he grew more and more twisted in his pained obsession for the once proud 'angel' and his hatred for Laures grew. The demon-lord had never been good at handling pain. Like most of his kind, he tended to lash out with a vicious feral-ness at whomever was hurting them. So he taunted Tetei and tossed bitter in cruel words in his face though the impassive demon never seemed to let it phase him.
Finally, Charon gave him the promise of power he would need to defeat Laures and being the brash fool he was, Zadei leapt for the opportunity to kill his nemesis. A logical part of Zadei's mind pointed out that if he killed Laures, then Tetei would be devastated and would hate him. Zadei snarled at the voice of reason however. I Good. Let him suffer like I have. /I He silently willed with a bitterness that surprised and shocked him. I He already hates me anyway how can things get worse/I
The sad truth was, they couldn't. No matter how much he'd tried to win Tetei's affections, the other demon remained cool and untouchable. Maybe in time he might come to view Zadei as more then the vicious monster that had attacked him and torn his spirit asunder. It was doubtful, but in removing Laures, Zadei was able to give Tetei the one thing he didn't have. Freedom. Without Laures, Tetei would be free to live his life and would not be bound to a man who seemed to view him as little more then a passing amusement and a playful toy to taunt and tease.
Yes, in killing Laures, Teteiyusu would most likely come to hate Zadei, but the demon found he didn't care. He would kill Laures and free Tetei of his influence. Who knew, a few hundred years or so tended to heal most wounds to the heart. Maybe one day Tetei would love him.
It was a false and brittle hope but Zadei clung to it as he studied Tetei's cold and impassive face when he entered the demon's icy prison. Tetei looked to him, those sad and sorrowful green eyes instantly hardening and chilling until they were little more the chips of green glass.
Ah, the things one did for love.
This was agony, this painful and false semblance of a relationship as Tetei's pale body yielded beneath his own in apathetic submission. Zadei could make the demon respond and whimper with need but Zadei knew that in the end, all he would ever be able to possess was Tetei's body.
This was Hell, Zadei decided as his lips covered Tetei's silky ones only to receive no response from those soft tiers.
This I was Hell, but it was the sweetest kind of Hell.
Ahh...my first foray into the wonderful, but sadly unappreciated world of Seimaden fandom. I've loved this manga series for years and hopefully I'll be able to write for it again. Till next time!