Oki looked around cautiously as he entered Wep'keer. It felt like Yoshpet had when he had entered it earlier. He approached the merchant booth, wondering why the dutiful man had left his wares, and then saw the blood. He jumped back, ready to fight. However, no enemies emerged.

He sniffed the air, worried that he was unable to detect the Illusion Demon's rotting stench. He could smell his own, and even Kai's, but not the Demon's. He looked around one more, noticing something on the path. "Tracks…" He began to follow the tracks, still sniffing for the monster's stink.

"BOOM!" The ground before Oki exploded in a shower of snow. He leapt back and staggered, barely able to support his own weight. When the snow cleared, Oki thought he might faint, for there on the path stood Samickle, his Samickle. However, it was what his mate said next that truly wrenched his heart.

"Cursed demon, I'll rip you apart and send you back where you belong!" Oki could not find his voice, nor his breath. Everything seemed to freeze. "Kami…he thinks I'm the demon…and I have no way to prove otherwise…" He knew exactly what was going to happen. Samickle would strike him down and then, when his guard was lowered, the leader would be killed as well by the very demon he thought he had destroyed.

Oki stumbled away as Samickle leapt at him, Kutone swinging in flashes of silver. He could not bring himself to fight Samickle. He couldn't even truly look at him.

"Do not run, demon! I will cut you down, no matter where you go!" Slice. The sword just missed Oki's tail. Cut. Just missed his back. Stab. Perfect hit.

The sword stuck in his side and threatened to continue through. However, Samickle could not force it through. His hands trembled and he released the sword. He fell to his knees and took his head in his hands. "I cannot do it. You win, demon. I cannot kill my Oki, nor his double."

Oki shifted to human form and wrapped his arms around Samickle's neck. He removed his mask and kissed Samickle's neck. "Dearest, I am not a double. I am your Oki." Samickle accepted the embrace, but his hand moved near the sword, which still stuck in Oki's side. "Please believe me. I know not what that Demon has told you, but I am your Oki, Samickle."

"Do not believe his lies!" The couple turned toward the voice. The false Oki stood there, his body covered in bloody injuries. The true Oki stood, just barely, and bared his fangs.

"You are the liar!" Kutone was wrenched from his side and discarded haphazardly. "My fangs shall slice your belly!" He shifted to wolf form, as did his double. "And I shall prove it!" They raced at each other as they had in Yoshpet, with the same result. Both sported new wounds, but the Demon seemed worse off. The Demon stumbled and shook his canine head, sending flesh scattering to the snow. Samickle's eyes widened as he realized the deceit. The Demon's true form was showing; flesh was melting away to reveal muscle and bone.

"Samickle, get away! Quickly!" The elder male shook his head and picked up Kutone.

"I will never leave you again, Oki. I will stay by your side, no matter what happens." The Demon reared its head back and howled, shaking the ground and nearly splitting their eardrums.

"And I thought you said you weren't into sappy poetry." Samickle shot Oki an angry glance but it was lost as the Demon let another howl loose.

Remembering the whole "Amaterasu" saga, Samickle said, "Here we go again," and Oki just nodded in agreement.

----------space----------

A/N: So, whatcha think? Good chapter or bad chapter? I kinda thought it moved too fast, but life often does, so, yeah.