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MoonlitMelody: I did indeed use the phrase back in Chapter 3 or 4. You caught it.

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The Millennium Earl had seen some odd things in the many centuries of his life. He had once known a Level 2 Akuma that looked like toilet bowl. It was a mercy when an exorcist cut down the poorly shaped creature. Compared to what he saw at the end of the hall, though, the loo-like Akuma had been nearly normal.

Devitto, shirtless and as bald as an old man, was rolling around on the floor with a very angry Tyki Mikk. They were grabbing at each other and making odd noises, and if not for the way both of them were foaming at the mouth, their actions would have appeared highly sexual. Road was clapping and cheering on the action, encouraging Tyki to remove Devitto's organs and replace them with everything from stuffed animals to Lero.

"What's going on here, Lero? Where is Devitto's shirt? And his hair?" The umbrella bawled.

Road looked up and noticed a horrified Lero and a confused Earl staring at her. The girl waved energetically.

"Hi Millennie! Did you come to watch Tyki-pon do surgery on Devitto's brain?" Road asked.

The Millennium Earl inched closer. He didn't want to get too near Devitto, lest the charred teenager accidentally grab him and pull him into the fray. Lero looked as though he would rather jump in a pool of lava than get any closer.

"What's going on, Road?" The Earl asked. He wasn't completely sure he wanted to know all, if any, of the details.

"Devitto killed my chair, so I chased him. And then Tyki joined in, and I beat Devitto up. Then he hid in this musty old room and the Akuma that was supposed to be cleaning set his head on fire. And then Tyki gave him cigarettes but Devitto tricked Tyki by pretending to be traumatized and so now they're fighting over the cigarettes." Road explained.

"Yeah! They're my smokes now!" Devitto growled.

"You scrawny little bastard! They aren't yours, they're mine." Tyki said.

The two Noah continued their brawl. Devitto tried to bite Tyki's hand, only to have his teeth clamp together and nearly sever the tip of his tongue. The teenager had forgotten Tyki could reject touching everything but Innocence, and wasn't going to let Devitto's moldy teeth sink into his hand. With his tongue now bleeding, Devitto was more determined than ever to not let his effort go to waste.

Tyki grabbed hold of one of Devitto's scarecrow-thin arms. Unfortunately, that arm wasn't connected to the hand that held the cigarettes. Unwilling to forfeit his prize, the brat did the one thing that made sense. He hurriedly jammed his free hand down the front of his pants. No matter how badly Tyki needed his tobacco fix, he was not going in there.

"Still want them, Mikk? Devitto taunted.

"You don't wear underwear! Of course I don't want them!" Tyki replied. "Disgusting little barbarian."

Lero's pumpkin head turned from orange to green. He could just imagine the horror of Devitto's skin-tight, torn and ripped black pants and whatever lay underneath them. The golem nearly fainted from fear. The Millennium Earl also lost some of his normal coloration. It wasn't easy to sicken a guy who preyed on the anguished loved-ones of the recently deceased, all though Devitto, in all his half-naked glory, did it without a problem.

"So what if I don't wear underwear? You got a problem with that?" Devitto asked.

"Yes! My goddamned cigarettes are contaminated! Why do you have to suck so badly?"

"You suck! You suck on, eh, on the Earl's hat!" Devitto replied.

The Millennium Earl's eyes rolled up behind his glasses and he looked at the brim of his cheerfully adorned top hat. The very idea of Devitto slobbering on his hat like a St. Bernard with overactive salivary glands made the Earl's round body quiver. If the Noah ever tried to pull such a thing, the Earl would be forced to take immediate and instantaneously lethal action.

Tyki punched Devitto squarely in the face. If the kid was ugly before, he was going to make a pug look like a god by the time Tyki was done rearranging his features. Road stopped waving at the Millennium Earl and went back to cheerleading the excessive violence.

"That blood's never coming out of the carpet, Lero!" Lero cried.

It took a while for the Earl to recover from the idea of Devitto molesting his hat. To add to his horror he remembered, some time ago, Tyki going on a similar rampage. It was a well-deserved bloodbath, because Tyki had caught the perverted younger Noah doing terrible things to his own top hat. Tyki had never enlightened anyone as to exactly what those 'terrible things' were, but the smarter Noah, and certainly the Earl, figured it out.

Before Tyki could knock Devitto's nose to his hairline, the Earl decided to step in. The Millennium Earl hated to see expensive livery ruined, and Tyki was certainly staining his very fine suit with blood that wouldn't wash out. Not to mention, as Lero was practically sobbing about, all the gore getting on the floor and now the wallpaper. It would be an enormous pain to redecorate one little section of hall and the Earl was digging the d├ęcor too much to change the whole area.

Like a teacher wading in to break up a fight on the school yard, the Earl strode toward the massacre. Road apparently believed the addition of the Earl was going to lead to more guts and blood, because she began to encourage him to fight. He wasn't planning to; he just wanted to drag Tyki and Devitto down to the dining room so they could eat.

Maybe the vibrations in the floor from the Earl's footsteps alerted Tyki. He stopped abusing the brat, who was hardly recognizable as human, and looked up. The Earl was smiling, though that didn't mean anything. The guy was always smiling. With a mouth like that, he couldn't help it. Even at his most enraged, the Millennium Earl was a grinning joker.

"Don't you think you've done enough to him, Tyki?" The Earl asked.

Tyki looked down at the bloody squashed mess and shrugged. "I guess he can't get any uglier. Not like he was handsome before or anything."

Devitto had obviously suffered some severe head injuries. After lying on the floor unresponsive while Tyki poked at him for a few minutes, the kid finally opened his eyes. Well, eye. His left eye was so swelled up it was impossible for him to see out of it.

The Noah sat up with great difficulty. No one was all that keen on helping him; Lero especially floated back, hiding behind the impressive girth of the Earl. Once he was sitting, he brought and hand to his mouth and spat out half a dozen teeth.

"Whoa. Are those going to grow back?" Road asked, peering at the shattered teeth with eager curiosity.

"Yeah, probably." Devitto slurred. He ran a finger over the gaping holes in his smile. The light touch was enough to dislodge another tooth that had been hanging on by a thread of blood vessels.

"I had a tooth knocked out while I was in my white form. It grew back in about a week." Tyki offered.

Road snorted. "Right, when that guy you dig in the dirt with hit you with his pick axe. You've got really great human friends, Tyki-pon."

"He was half-drunk and don't call me Tyki-pon!" The Noah yelled.

"Why don't you go on to dinner, Tyki-pon? There'll be sushi." The Earl said.

Grumbling about his stupid nickname and how badly he hated it, Tyki trudged off. He supposed he could find Lulubell at dinner and declare himself the winner. He might be able to avoid paying Jasdero on a technicality. Devitto's hair was gone, but it had been an Akuma, not Road, who had burned it up.

"I don't like sushi! It's cold and slimy and smells like a pond. What am I going to eat?" Road asked.

"Hamburgers." The Earl replied. "Or chicken alfredo if the Akuma managed to make it."

"Yum. Millennie, can we have a taco and burrito night? Or how about pancake night? Oh, oh, we've got to have a teriyaki night! How about tomorrow?" Road asked.

"Eat my teriyaki!" Devitto howled.

Road, Lero, and the Millennium Earl stopped imaging the joys of future dinners and all gave Devitto reproachful looks. He was probably bleeding inside what little brain he had, but that was no reason to make dirty comments that didn't even make sense.

"Maybe you should just go to bed without supper." The Earl said.

"I don't wanna eat with Mikk anyway!" Devitto replied.

"And why not? What's wrong with Tyki-pon?" The Millennium Earl asked.

"He sucks monkeys and needs to die."

Tyki, who hadn't made it far because he was dragging his feet, turned around in a flash. He leapt at Devitto, intending to put his hand straight through the kid's head and yank off his naked scalp. Luckily for Devitto, and his singed scalp, the Earl grabbed Tyki in mid-pounce and dragged him back.

"Tyki-pon, if you don't go to dinner right now, I will revoke your smoking privileges for the rest of the month!" The Earl warned.

"But it's only the first week of the month! If I can't smoke for that long, I'll go insane and die." Tyki complained.

"Do it! Let him die a slow and cigarette-less death." Devitto said.

"Why can't we throw Devitto in the bottom of a well and let rats eat him?" Tyki asked.

The Millennium Earl secretly considered the idea, and decided if worst came to worst, he did know of several deep holes that could come in handy. However, he wasn't in the mood to plot murder. He was growing hungrier by the second. The hungrier he got, the shorter his temper burned and the closer he came to nuclear meltdown.

Instead of congratulating Tyki on his sadistic imagination, the Earl pointed down the hall, in the direction of the dining hall. "Go before the sushi spoils."

"One more punch?" Tyki asked.

"No."

"You just wait until after dinner, brat." Tyki said.

Devitto flipped him the bird. Tyki scowled, but continued to move away. He was pretty hungry himself. A man burned a lot of calories administering such a violent and bloody beat down.

"You can go too, Road dear. I'll be just a moment. You don't want Skin to eat all the good food."

"Don't you steal my seat, retard!" Devitto said.

"Millennie! You should punish him." Road cried.

"I don't wanna eat with stupid Road, either. She won't eat my broccoli for me." Devitto complained.

"Broccoli's gross and you spit in it! Tyki's right. We should push you down a well and let rats eat you." Road said.

The Earl's head was filling up with the dull buzz of anger. His vision was taking on a red tint, and he could feel his blood pressure spiking as his blood sugar fell from lack of food. Maybe he should have taken that half-eaten cinnamon bun after all.

"ENOUGH!" Lord Millennium roared.

Road squeaked in terror, Lero gasped, and Devitto covered his ears. Without even being asked, Road scurried away. Unless she was mistaken, and she would bet a year's worth of candy that she wasn't, there was going to be some serious hell breaking lose in about three seconds.

"Do I really, really have to eat with them?"

The Earl grabbed Lero's handle and wielded the umbrella like a barbarian on the war path would wield an axe. He raised the umbrella up, ignoring Lero's babble, and brought him down squarely on Devitto's mostly empty head. Devitto went cross-eyed from the blow.

Another two or three whacks later, Devitto was unconscious on the floor. The Earl took hold of the Noah's wrist, and began to drag him down the hall. Lero was floating in a drunken line; Devitto had an unusually hard head, and Lero did not enjoy being used as a bludgeon on the kid's skull of stone.

Back in the dining room, everyone was more or less settling down. Skin had hoarded a great amount of the food the Akuma had served. He had an entire roasted turkey sitting in front of him, as well as a bowl of candied yams, sweet corn, and a honey-glazed ham. Tyki had found his chair glued together by some Akuma's spidery spit, and was less than pleased about it. Road was teasing Jasdero, who was sobbing into his bowl of soup. Jasdero's chicken strutted around under the table, pecking at feet and any food that fell from Skin's gaping maw.

The Earl arrived with a dazed and bloody Devitto in tow. He handed the kid off to the spider Akuma, and ordered the creature to secure him to a chair. The Akuma scurried over to a recently repaired seat, propped Devitto in it, and spat a cocoon of white silk around him to keep him in place.

"No reason to wait for him to wake up! Dig in!" The Earl said heartily.

As though he was a machine built for the sole purpose of eating, the Earl inhaled a bowl of pasta in seconds. Road stopped poking weepy Jasdero with her salad fork long enough to admire the Earl's ability to consume. She was instantly reminded of her beloved Allen. One day, she was going to make him have an eating contest with the Earl.

After at least sating the earthquake in his guts, the Earl looked across the table at the faces of his children. Something unusual was going on with all of them. Lulubell, for some reason, was dressed in karate gear, complete with black belt around her waist. Tyki was frowning at a wrinkled piece of paper and casting baleful looks at Jasdero and Lulu. Jasdero didn't snap at Road, even when she stuck her spoon in his ear and hid her green beans in his hair. He continued to add tears to his soup and dribble snot from his nose. All in all, he was quite the appetite-killer. Devitto moaned something about his pants, but didn't wake up to ruin an all ready sad affair.

Hoping to see what weirdness had transpired while he was out, the Earl banged his spoon against his wine glass to get everyone's attention. Road flicked another bean at Jasdero before turning to the Millennium Earl. Tyki tucked the paper into his pocket. Jasdero blew his nose in the tablecloth and turned his beaten-puppy, watery eyes towards the Earl.

"I was just wondering what happened today and why some of you are so wretched." The Earl said.

As he would learn in the uproar of screams, sobs, and curses that followed, some questions were just better left unanswered.

THE END!

Expect more soon!~