Conceit's Original Sin

Shall We Dance?

"Survival of the fittest."

"…The strong shall win, and the weak shall die."

She had accepted Kurei's offer. It was all she could do to save Deltiore and Ganko. The fight would begin tomorrow. Tokiya and Fuuko were escorted to where they would stay for the night by Kaoru, one of Kurei's minions.

The blood in Mikagami's ears had dried off so he was able to hear what Kurei had planned for them.

She was scared out of her wits.

He was, as well.

Whatever tomorrow would bring them, he was sure that it wouldn't be easy at all. He should know. He had witnessed and undergone Kurei's capabilities himself.

They just lay there on the room's bed in hushed contemplation.

"Are you… sure about this?" he didn't know how he managed to break the silence that they were so accustomed to at that point.


Her reply was simple, concise. But it held all of the uncertainty that she wouldn't be able to possibly form into words.

"So why are we doing this?"

Her hair spread around her head. No movement was made. She just blinked.

"…I'm sorry."

The answer she gave didn't satisfy his question, but it did anyway. Strange, isn't it?

He used his elbow as leverage for him to sit up and face his companion. "I know."

She smiled weakly. Tokiya had to hold his breath as he noticed just how close her face was to his. Even after all this time, he was still captivated with her beauty.

He leaned in for a kiss.

His thin lips against her full ones made him feel like he could drown with the sweet, soft feel of it all.

It started out slow; innocent, even.

But the night held more plans for the two.

Through the thin garment she wore, he licked her skin with such tenderness, nibbling a little if he wanted to. The rough fabric of her clothing served to be a great catalyst with her desire for him to touch her more; taste her more. His large, surprisingly smooth hands started to travel from her lower abdomen up until the space underneath her breasts. She moaned with pure irritation. She wanted every single part of her body to be touched by him, only him.

It was at that point that she understood that she belonged to Tokiya Mikagami.

No one else.

Not Deltiore, her father, her mother, not even Ganko.

Just him.

The realization of it all burst within her; causing her to be filled with such unspoken glee.

He cautiously pulled off her clothes. The way he handled her with such care made her ache for him more. Fuuko never thought that she would want anything as much as this before.

And it wasn't the act itself.

It was to become a part of him, to become a whole piece of what they were.

And for once, she didn't care if it was forbidden. She knew that this would be probably the last few hours that she would be able to spend with him. Regret started to build up in her. If only she knew…

"Fuuko…" he breathed out her name like it was the most sacred thing in his heart.

Pleasure-filled sounds emanated from her. Being with him made her feel so… beautiful.

He closed his eyes in sheer ecstasy. Just the idea that he was with her ignited such a strong passion within him. He wanted her more than any human soul there is.

He kissed her forehead, her cheeks, the tip of her nose, and finally her lips. "Fuuko." He whispered it to her again before closing the gap between them into a soft, persistent kiss.

It wasn't the first time that he would make love to her that night.

But she felt as if it was truly the first time she would offer her virginity to someone.

No regrets.

Her hips moved upward to make it easier for him to take off her undergarments. She felt a burning desire fill her entire self. Oh, how she wanted to stay this way forever.

No regrets.

He kissed the bare spot somewhere in between her belly button and the first few tendrils by her opening. It hurt now, the flesh that he kissed. Would this be the last time?

No regrets, that is, until the night ends.

Before any further action could be made, he faced her again. It was as if he was drinking in every single thing about her; every single detail that is entirely Fuuko Kirisawa. The band that once held in his hair was carefully taken off by her. Every gesture that they did that night was slowly done. Perhaps it was because they didn't want to take the next few moments for granted. The strands of his thin, long hair shrouded them; it seemed as if it was blanketing them from the harshness of what they were about to face in the morning.

"Fuuko…" that was all he could utter out. If his life was ever going to end the next day, he would like that to be the last thing that he would say out loud.

The lashes of her eyes fanned over her cheekbones, very much like the time when they first kissed. She brought her face closer to him, anticipating the kiss that she desired with her entire being.

"I love you…" he touched her lips with his own in short, fleeting, repeated ways. "…so much." Desperation could be heard as he finished the statement.

I love you so much.

His lips finally succumbed to a lingering kiss; every regret, every desire, every trace of hope summed up in that one, single action.

She felt like she was going to cry.

But it wasn't the same as when Deltiore or Ganko would let the stable boys dump her with horse manure; not the same as when she first broke her leg.

No, it was so much more than that.

She couldn't quite describe it, as much as she wanted to.

The hot, salty liquid fell freely down to her cheeks now.

His thumb brushed off her tears. It was as if to say to her nonverbally that she was safe with him, that she would be okay. He had done so much for her.

Tokiya tore off the confinement of her chest. The soft white mounds of her breasts looked so immaculate to him: almost untouchable. They bounced slightly from the sudden robbing of their shelter. The thin wisps of her red-violet hair fell above them, as if they were worshiping the pink, hardened buds that they surrounded. A series of moans came out of her again while he licked her nipples; sometimes louder than intended, sometimes almost inaudible.

The strain in his pants was starting to become unbearable.

…Much too unbearable.

He unzipped them and pulled them down using his left hand, the other hand clutching Fuuko's bottom possessively. His manhood was erect now. She touched it. It felt rigid.

He groaned out her name again.

And as he entered the slick folds of her opening, his entire length looked as if it disappeared underneath the unusual color of her vaginal locks.

They neared their climax.

Fuuko gasped out, her sentences coming out chopped and incoherent due to the movement of their bodies. "Don't…" he entered her in and out, in and out. It was like an adored ritual, the way he made love to the half-Phe'on. "…stop…" she panted some more. "Mi… chan!"

He growled at the way she said his name. It felt like he owned the world at that moment.

"Mi…chan!" she breathed out the last word loudly, her body convulsing at the intensity of their release. His seed burst in her; filling her, contenting her.

A myriad of colors encompassed her vision once she felt him empty himself within her. All that she could see as she called out his name one last time were patches of blue, yellow, violet… all the colors that the human eye could distinguish; all the colors that she never thought true to exist. As Tokiya sucked on the skin by her collar bone, she saw all of these shades and hues merge together, fading into white. Then black. The image mirrored the very same emotion she felt at that time: beautiful, unrepeatable, insatiable.

He fell down on top of her. His head rested against her chest as she held onto him with all her might.

The hot, sticky fluids of their sex were spilled all over their inner thighs. Oh, how she wanted more.

But tonight wasn't like the other ones.

Tonight, they expressed their love for each other, not their lust.

So they just slept the rest of their safe, few hours away. To await whatever tomorrow would offer them.

She kissed the crown of his head, inhaling the scent of the celdar. He smelt of lavender and spring She hoped that this memory would never go away.

Never wither…

"…You're doing all these for those Phe'ons?"

The crowd's hollers could be heard even from behind the opaqueness of the wooden doors.Acacia was engraved on its lower part. Their clothes were fashioned after those of the Gladiators that have long been gone.

Kurei truly had a sick sense of humor.

Fuuko tied her hair, the band tickling her nape. She didn't bother to answer his question. At that time, she was uncertain as to why she was still doing this.

His hair was braided neatly. It reached the middle of his back. The soles of his sandaled feet clicked away quietly against the cold, marbled floor. Fuuko looked up at him.

"I'm scared." For once, her face reflected the fear that she had kept inside of her. It seemed as if all the overwhelming emotions derived from the sudden rush of events caused her courage to crack gradually until it burst into fragments that would pierce her soul's bravery into ruin.

The warmth of his body comforted her a little bit. The fact that what they were about to face was inevitable shook her up.

He kissed her.

Nectar to the gods. Ambrosia to his heart.

It was painfully short. She wanted to hold onto him until this would all just end. But she had to do this.

…For her family.

It was foolish of her to risk her life along with his for them, but when her mother cast her out… they were the ones who took her in. It was cruelty who took pity on me. (1.0)

So it was just right that she would repay them for that lone act of kindness that they have bestowed upon her.

Bangs on the door. The crowd was wild now.

….It was time.

The enormous necropolis was surrounded by rings of stalls filled with people and creatures both beautiful and horrendous in sight, the farther the seat the higher its position. Very much like an arena, only the engraved stones that marked the ruin of everyone who once dared battle Kurei's men gave it a deadlier aura.

It stank of piss and blood.

Fuuko glanced around, completely in awe. Mikagami held on to the hilt of his sword. The noise from the spectators were deafening.

"Alright!" a woman with skin that possessed the color of rosewood and orbs as gray as the pale shade of moonlight walked towards the middle of the field. Her beauty resembled that of the eyes of a mischievous child, glinting with subtle trickery planned. Her hair draped around her face like vines, its honey-blonde hue greatly adding up to her exquisiteness.


The thought came to Mikagami's mind. The speaker was clearly a full royalty modeled after the Earth element.

"Alright!" she repeated, making the once boisterous crowd calm down. A straight row of pearly whites shone on her face as she smiled. "The rules are quite simple, really: if you win, you live." She paused for a while to emphasize her statement. "But if you lose…" the audience started to cheer and clap again, anticipating her next words. "…you die."

Roars emanated from the crowd.

Tokiya scanned the spectators. Obviously Kurei's pathetic followers. He was surprised that there were still so many of them despite the cruelty of their master.

"Now, now, now." A dainty giggle escaped her painted lips. "It's been a long time since we held a tournament such as this, so let's tell you how this goes." Her olive-green robe, which resembled Kurei's, followed her movement in a delayed pattern as she pointed to the screen located at the top-most part of the place.

The porcelain mask that looked as cold as its wearer appeared on it.

It was Kurei.

"Ah, yes. I'm looking forward to this," he said.

More cheers and claps.

"Since today is quite different, let's make it more interesting, shall we?" his gaze fell on Tokiya. "One of my kind is part of the opposing team." The crowd fell silent. Hushed whispers replaced their yells and screams. "… so I'll be a bit kinder. He is family, after all."

Mikagami seethed at him.

The raven-haired celdar ignored him. "This," he held up a card. "…is your challenge." The buzzes became louder.

The Earth celdar bowed at the screen. "Thank you, Kurei-sama." She took out a card identical to the one Kurei flashed a while ago from the sleeve of her garment.

"It's a shame that the Phe'on doesn't go first." She clucked her tongue while opening the card's seal. "I would've enjoyed that more."

Her lips puckered with glee at what she saw. "Interesting!"

Everyone waited for the next few words. She crumpled the piece of paper before throwing it to the ground. A delicate smile placed itself on her lips. The knot that held in her robe came undone, revealing the bare skin of the left side of her body. Its dark flesh shone under the glare of the sun.

Her skeletal hands slowly took away the only covering that protected her from the desire-driven eyes of the crowd.

The silence that followed was deafening.

Fuuko closed her eyes with disbelief.

Mikagami looked away.

The rancid skin on her upper body was even darker than her color, almost black due to its burns. It rotted away, spoiling what would have been a body modeled after Aphrodite's lustful form.

The Earth celdar secured the robe by her waist, leaving the lower parts concealed. "Kurei can be quite…" she tied her wavy hair up high. "…passionate."

A thin servant boy with a wide-eyed expression which made him look comically surprised stepped into the field. He handed her a long piece of cloth with the color of moss and the weapon of her choice. She wrapped it around her welted chest.

"I didn't think that he'd finally let me participate in one of his tournaments after all these years." She could feel the patches of grass beneath her tickle her toes. "I guess… anyone can change their mind."

Her eyes met Tokiya's.

He found it difficult to fathom which emotion she felt at that moment.

"Mi-chan…" Fuuko whispered, concern evidently etched on her features. A thin smile was all she got from him.

He sauntered towards his opponent, disregarding the howls of excitement from the spectators.

"Oh, where are my manners?" the Earth celdar chuckled while rubbing the blades by her gloved knuckles almost lovingly. "I forgot to introduce myself. The name is Ysandre (2). And you are…?"

Tokiya drew out his sword. "Tokiya Mikagami."

"I'd like to say that it's nice to meet you, Mikagami Tokiya…"

She flexed her fingers.

"… But I'm not much of a liar."

It's strange that I don't feel any sort of fear right now. I guess it's being part of a full royalty.

Ah, I feel exhilarated at the thought of having to battle someone considered the same as I am when it comes to the physical capabilities. My heart is beating faster at this very moment.

I swivel to the left as I hear subtle signs of movement in that direction.

Her clawed hands strike at the back of my knees. I can smell the blood starting to gash out of the wound she had created. But this… this just feels too exciting for me to take notice.

The stench makes me feel like I'm eating something metallic. It's all too familiar to me; yet this time, I am relishing its strange, sordid taste. I wonder if my keepers had ever felt this way towards blood.

I felt renewed.

I felt different.

And for a moment, I felt elated at the thought that, yes. This is my kind. And I wouldn't care if I killed any of them. It's all for her.

… It's all for Fuuko.

She lets out a horrible cry that could unleash any sort of frustration from the fact that I didn't seem to be affected by the attack. Her accent reminds me of the way sailors by the harbor talked when I used to roam around in France during the early 1800's mingled with that of the teenagers of this time and age. Her words were vulgar to the point that it could put even the most obscene people to shame.

It's my turn to strike now.

It's strange how the sensation of the sword being held by my right hand feels so comfortable. I lung at her while swinging the blade with such expertise, even I was surprised by my sword skills.

…Unfortunately, I missed.

Her pretty pixie-like face peers at me.

The gray of her orbs reflected the various colors in the arena with great ease as they slant in apprehension.

Her agile limbs stretched out, the razors that were fashioned like claws glowing under the broad daylight. A smile started to form on her generous lips. She smiled, yet her mouth looked mean.

"Been practicing, Mikagami Tokiya?"

I hate that drawl of hers.

"I don't need practice."

I may sound pretty arrogant, but it's part of my nature, really. Conceit has always been a characteristic of mine. I'm not afraid to admit that.

She paces around me. It almost seemed like a dance; a cunning and beautiful yet deadly dance.

I can sense her strategizing against me. Would she tire me first before going for the kill, or would she trick me into death?

It's all for me to find out.

And I'm not willing to die yet.

I'll be the leading man of this dance.

-… To be continued.-