The Devil's Symphony
Chapter 8: Black and White
Disclaimer: The D. Gray -Man manga is way too interesting to have come from me. (:
Sadly, I can't join you all for breakfast. The money has been compiled into this envelope along with the letter. (Reever is making me finish my paper work last night… Too… Tired… Sorry, Lenalee!)
Please make sure you get this message across to the others.
The inscription insides your instruments are as follows:
Kanda: 'Obscur Aile Chevalier' which means 'Black Winged Knight'.
Lavi: 'Minuit Soliel' which means 'Midnight Sun'.
Lenalee: 'Crepuscule Colombe' which means 'Twilight Dove'.
Allen: 'Lucinia Soir Ciel' which means 'Nightingale of the Evening Heaven'.
'Chevalier' which means 'Knight'.
Have a good breakfast, Lenalee. And make sure you come home safe after.
Countdown: Three Days to Entrance Exams!
Your Loving Brother Komui"
The ebony haired-girl had just uncovered the horrendous scribble of a message from her pocket.
Maybe this was what her brother had stayed up so late to research.
She slid the small bundle of bills into her wallet before pocketing it, deep in thought.
All these names.
Her brows furrowed.
Having studied all the names of any existing Stradivarius instruments, she knew that this could not be possible.
Then again, her brother, certified to determine the genuineness of Antonio Stradivari's world-renown instruments, had confirmed that their instruments were authentic.
So what on earth was going on?
The clatter of a plastic tray on the table snapped her back to reality and Lenalee started momentarily.
"Sorry. Didn't mean to scare ya. You looked kinda distant. Something wrong?"
Lenalee looked at the redhead.
Where had he come from?
'Now I'll never talk to Allen about that properly…"
She shook her head.
His emerald eye glistened, and he grinned.
The amethyst eyed girl figured he was smiling behind his eye-patch too.
"You were daydreaming about Allen-chan, weren't you? Hm?"
The girl was taken aback.
Similarly, Allen, whom had arrived at the table and quietly put down the tray unnoticed, nearly dropped his mocha latte mid-air.
"Yo, Allen-chan! How are ya?"
Lavi blinked numerous times.
"Don't seem fine to me."
He turned to Lenalee, his voice drenched with a masked sense of seriousness.
"So, are you going to ask him?"
Allen's relief dissipated.
At first, when Lavi had showed up, he'd thought that now, Lenalee wouldn't be able to ask him those questions.
But instead, the redhead knew what was going on.
"W-What? You knew about this, Lavi?"
Now puzzled, Allen pondered upon the possibility that Lenalee hadn't told Lavi anything, and that the redhead had simply found out himself.
But maybe it was just an act?
Then again, there was nothing to be concerned about. And Lenalee wouldn't lie.
He didn't even know what she wanted to ask him.
So there was no need for alarm.
The eighteen year-old folded his arms, feigning a stern demeanour.
"I'm a Bookman apprentice," he announced, "I should know about anything that may be going on."
He seated himself next to Allen.
"So go about your business, Princess."
He smiled and winked.
"Pretend I'm not here."
Lenalee looked at him lamely.
"You just made your presence very obvious. How are we supposed to pretend you're not there?"
She narrowed her eyes.
"And don't call me 'princess'."
"Aw, come on, Lena-chan! Be creative."
Said teenager rolled her eyes.
She looked out the shop window, at the sunrise far beyond the small buildings that were the post office and bank.
The large ball of fire was just rising over the top of the buildings, and it was still quite dark.
She shut her eyes.
'Tolerance, Lenalee, tolerance. Be composed…'
'Crap, what do I say?'
Opening her eyes, she asked slowly, "I wanted to ask you about your scar and your arm…"
Allen looked surprised, and his eyes goggled slightly.
"I-If you don't mind."
She sounded awkward to herself already.
Who knew what Allen would think?
Said person turned away from her, and Lenalee bit her lip.
"It's alright if you don't want to talk about it."
She looked up.
His grey eyes gazed at her truthfully, but he wasn't facing her. Looking at her from his peripherals, he looked like an angel.
The sunlight danced in his storm grey eyes and they sparked gold for a split second before he lowered his gaze to the mahogany table.
"I don't mind."
Lenalee watched as he suppressed the urge to gulp.
"Well, this arm…"
He unbuckled the cuff on the left sleeve of his shirt, rolling the sleeve up to his elbow.
He ran the fingers of his right arm over the charred skin.
"I was born with it."
"As a small child, I was abandoned because of this deformity, and was left without a place to live. So, I wandered around for a while, coming across a circus sometime when I was five. They agreed to hire me; they needed an extra worker to help clean up quick after acts..."
Lenalee looked at him curiously, worriedly.
"They hired a five year-old without a second thought…?"
A crooked smile played on Allen's lips.
"The world may seem cruel after you hear such a thing…"
His tone darkened.
"But there are even worse things than that."
And suddenly he was smiling again.
"And better things."
Lenalee was momentarily baffled by the swift expression change.
"Well, what happened after that…"
"Is he dead?"
He dug his hands into his pockets, attempting to keep them warm in the cool night air.
The clown looked at him.
"…He's covered in bruises."
The clown lifted the small ball off the ground, placing it gingerly on the top of the small mound.
"Cosmo probably did it. 'Cause the audience likes you more than him."
The boy looked at the clown strangely as he sighed.
Sighs seemed just wrong coming from people with painted-on smiles.
"He hates it when people are better'n him," he went on, "He's got no talent except when it comes to stuff like this."
The younger of the two remained silent.
Dusting off his hands, the clown added, "He was an old dog. He wouldn't have lived much longer anyway. It's alright."
He thought for a moment.
"You're not gonna get revenge?"
The clown smiled.
"If I do that, I'll get thrown out of here and won't get paid."
He clapped his hands together, and chanted, "Namu Amida BooBoo."
The boy looked at him lamely, disgusted.
"I'm a newcomer after all."
The boy's silver eyes glanced at him briefly from the side before returning his gaze to the small mound before them.
"After Christmas tomorrow, I'll move on to somewhere new…"
The boy leaned his head on his palm, looking away from the clown.
He cocked his head to the side.
"Who are you anyway?"
Still facing away from the clown, the boy replied monotonously, "I do odd jobs around here. I've brought you your dinner before."
The clown's mouth formed a big 'O'.
"I have a bad memory for faces."
Suddenly, he let out a startled gasp.
The boy paid it no mind.
He stuck out his tongue and licked the tip of his finger.
"You're covered in bruises too, aren't you?"
He touched the wet finger to the boy's swollen cheek.
The boy started.
"WAH, GROSS! GET YOUR SPIT OFF ME DUMMY!"
He glared ferociously at the clown.
"It's disinfectant," the clown insisted.
He withdrew his finger.
"Did Cosmo beat you up?"
The boy wiped his face with the sleeve of his shirt.
He refused to look at the irritating clown.
"Don't you have friends?"
A vein threatened to pop on Allen's forehead.
He folded his arms and drew his knees up to his chest, looking away.
"When I grow up…I'm getting out of here as soon as I'm strong enough, so I don't need any friends…"
Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the clown make a stupid face.
Staring straight ahead, the distorted face having no effect on him, he asked, "What are you doing?"
The clown withdrew himself back into his original sitting position.
"You didn't think it was funny?"
He sounded disappointed.
"Sorry, but I don't like clowns and stuff."
He thought for a moment.
Why was he even talking to the idiot?
"In fact, I hate 'em," he added brashly.
The clown raised his nose, acting indignant.
"Well, I hate crowds and children who don't laugh."
A silence settled between them.
"Aren't you gonna cry?"
The boy's voice shook.
"He lived with you for a long time, didn't he?"
He stared at the small mound of earth before him.
"Aren't you sad?" he asked again.
"So sad I could die."
The clown was 'hanging' from a noose that was tied to the tree.
"QUIT IT!!" the boy yelled.
'Is this guy dangerous?'
"But I can't cry."
He looked at the clown incredulously.
He returned the disbelieving look.
"Maybe my tears are dried up."
He unfastened the noose.
"They just won't come."
The boy's breath escaped his lips, forming a cloud of steam around his mouth.
"What's up with that…?" he muttered.
He continued to stare at the hillock of earth under which rested the dog's dead body.
His voice shook again, rust-coloured locks hiding his eyes.
"What… was his name?"
The clown did not answer, but the boy didn't notice.
"He licked my hand yesterday."
He raised his deformed left hand up, observing its disgusting features, horrible texture, noting the frightening colour of blood.
"His tongue was warm…"
He had tried to stop them, reinforce the dam, but to no avail.
They spilled over his cheeks, and he sniffed, his nose beginning to run as well.
"So how come…"
And everything just poured out.
"I'm crying…over him?"
He bit his lip, trying to suppress the wails that threatened to escape him.
But the urge to cry was too strong for him.
He howled and wept into the cold winter air, and the clown stood by, watching him.
And he seemed to understand everything.
"Well, this clown of a person became my foster father."
He smiled, eyes distant.
"He taught me everything, gave me everything. He taught me manners, words, anything you needed to know in order to survive in the world. He gave me a name, a birthday, anything a child needed to feel loved. All the while, he carried a special case. I never knew what it was until…"
The white-haired boy tensed slightly.
His gaze fell to the table, observing the wood lines.
"He…" he began, still slightly shaken by the thought he had hoped to forget, denied.
Lenalee could easily anticipate what he would say next.
Gulping, he continued.
"He died. And my eye… it…"
There was no other inscription.
They hadn't carved anything else onto the slab of black stone.
Hadn't acknowledged his role as the most wonderful foster father anyone could have.
The boy took it back.
No, they hadn't acknowledged his role as the most wonderful father anyone could have.
The bronze-haired boy slumped, dazed and disoriented.
His lips moved and the breath escaped into the cold winter air in wisps of clouded steam.
A single name.
The whisper rang around him like an echo, the stillness in the graveyard shaken just by those few words.
"It's all my… fault… Bring him back…"
His voice grew in volume.
"Bring. Him. Back."
And the silence was utterly shattered to pieces.
"BRING HIM BACK!"
The air grew cold as the last drops of silence evaporated.
A plump figure curled around the black stone cross.
"You want me to revive Mana Walker~?"
He was strange, this man.
A smirking moon sat atop his high hat.
He had two large ears, similar to that of a rabbit.
A pair of round rimless glasses sat on his nose, and his grin was insanely wide.
His clothes were peculiar too.
A white coat with long sleeves.
A pair of gloves adorned his hands.
He didn't look human at all.
The boy looked up at the figure, confused.
Tears ran down his cheeks.
"I can't say what happened next was very clear… But…"
They weren't related by blood, but he had been thrown away at birth because of his defective arm.
And Mana had been the only one who would adopt him.
The fatso summoned a large skeleton. It seemed to be made of metal.
"Now, I'll need your co-operation to call Mana Walker back. You need to call out to him as loudly as you can, so we can bring his soul back here~."
He gestured towards the metal skeleton.
"This is a special machine I've created that will house your father's soul~!"
The boy stared at the 'machine'.
Warmth returned to his fingers.
His deformed arm pulsed.
Mana was coming back! They would be together again!
He would get to see Mana's smile, and they could write letters in the snow.
Just like how they used to.
"Mana," he yelled, although still quite much muted by his excitement.
The corpulent man's eyes glinted evilly.
"Dear boy, you need to call out to him louder. Don't you love him~?"
"Better, boy. But louder still!"
The boy paused, catching his breath.
He would do it. For Mana's happiness and his own.
He gathered the breath in his lungs and inhaled deeply.
The corpulent man grinned wickedly.
"Yes… That's the way…"
A bright purple light sprouted before them, engulfing the two in a bright glare.
It sprang forth, seeming to force itself into the metal skeleton.
The metal skeleton twitched, and then, spoke, albeit softly.
Instantly, the ten-year-old's face brightened.
He had heard Mana's voice!
The metal skeleton began to tremble .
"A…llen… Why… What have you done… to me…"
Confusion streaked across the boy's face in a split-second.
The fat man had started sniggering quietly. He smirked.
"How dare you… HOW DARE YOU TURN ME INTO AN AKUMA!"
This time, horror was evident in the russet-haired boy's expression.
His silver eyes were wide with surprise, and his mouth curled into a frown.
Had he upset Mana?
"B-But Mana, I brought you back so we could be happy! We can be together again!"
"How dare you! HOW DARE YOU!"
The metal skeleton shook violently, and its arms began to move, the joints creaking noisily in the night.
"A…llen…You…made me into… an Akuma…! You made me into an Akuma!!! Allen!!!"
The boy fell, his knees weak.
What was going on?
"No, Mana… W-What have I done?"
It broke free from the rack it had been on, approaching the boy on sharp tip edged legs.
He scrambled, rushing backwards on his bottom with what little strength he had left.
"I'LL CURSE YOU-"
The machine slashed the boy, one sharp-tip edged arm coming in contact with pale, porcelain skin.
The slash drew blood, which flooded out profusely.
"I'LL CURSE YOU, ALLEN!!!"
The boy felt pain, like nothing he had ever experienced.
But it did not come from the wound on his eye.
His insides had caught fire, and they burned.
And his heart was being ripped apart.
The corpulent man laughed vivaciously, sadistically.
"Now, akuma! I command you to kill this boy, and wear his skin!"
The boy's face whitened further, a feat nearly impossible already.
The metal creature that was definitely not his father lunged towards him, but he did not fight back.
A numbing pain caught him in the chest as he sat sprawled in an awkward position. Time began to slow down.
He did not understand how or what exactly happened next, how his deformed arm transformed into a large metallic creature.
All he knew, was that there was a burning sensation in his left arm.
Sound failed to register in his brain, and words tumbled out of his mouth noiselessly.
The metal skeleton was immediately pushed back by the clawed creature. It fell back, crashing onto the ground and rushing backwards.
The metallic creature pulled towards it, towing Allen along with it.
"N-No! Mana, run!"
But the metal skeleton did not retreat. It dodged the metal claw agilely, clawing out to reach the boy instead.
It missed by a long shot, before the metallic arm caught up with it.
"What the hell..?! My hand's just automatically…?!"
He looked up.
A few feet away, the metal skeleton lay half-destroyed.
It seemed to notice his gaze, and turned to look his way.
The boy was astounded. Tears poured from his stormy grey eyes.
He shrieked, begged the monstrosity of his arm.
"NO, DON'T DO THIS TO MANA…!!!"
The claw pushed forward ever faster.
Then a coarse voice spoke, barely audible. A broken voice, so strained with guilt, regret.
Tainted with failure as a father.
The metal claw had its prey within reach…
Now, to make the final strike…
The boy's eyes widened at his father's next words.
"Please destroy me…"
Something ripped, snapped in the boy's head. And his eye reacted to something he couldn't understand.
It flew open wider, and the pupil transitioned into something monstrous; a blood red pupil, where the whites of the eye had gone black.
And everything was a dull black and white.
The claw brought itself down upon the metal skeleton, and the boy ricocheted upwards.
He landed on the muddy gravel, his face landing squarely on the ground, scrapes forming on his cheeks.
Then the boy was engulfed in darkness.
Allen's eyes were closed, his mouth pulled into a forced smile.
His hand was over his face, blocking his expression, wisps of silver hair hanging over it.
"I don't know what happened, but this is what master said to me when he found me:
"There is no freedom for the soul within an Akuma. You're trapped within it for all eternity, and you become the Earl's toy. There's no way to help it other than by destroying it.
"Then, he asked me if I wanted to become an exorcist."
Allen straightened up, pulling his hand away from his face.
He took a sip of his mocha latte, regaining his composure as he spoke once more, the tremble lost from his voice.
Lenalee's brows furrowed.
Something was wrong here…
The story didn't match.
"Master never told me what he was training me for after that. And for as long as I can remember, I've had the white violin."
Allen rested his elbow on the table, hiding his eyes in his palm.
He smiled forcedly again.
"I'm sorry. I've been jabbering on and on about my insignificant past…"
Allen noticed Lenalee's internal consideration.
"Is something wrong?"
Lenalee looked up, staring at Allen's hair; his face was hidden from view.
"I have a rather different version of this story…"
Allen looked up, raised an eyebrow.
Inquisition was written all over his face, especially in his curious grey eyes.
But she could see it.
The past he hid from them.
The past she knew.
There was a loud grunt.
"What's with all your skank-ass serious faces? It's still only eight AM."
Kanda scoffed, settling down in the chair next to Lenalee.
Said girl sighed.
Her questions would have to wait.
"Where's that idiot brother of yours?"
She glanced over at Kanda.
"He's at home, sleeping. I didn't want him wrecking the house just to wake up…"
She whipped out her wallet.
"He did leave us some money to buy breakfast, though."
She pushed the money across the table.
Allen instantly volunteered to buy the food.
"What would you guys like?" he asked, avoiding Lenalee's gaze.
"Ham Sandwich Meal, please."
"Bacon and Eggs Meal for me, thanks."
"Just a double-dose latte."
The boy nodded leaving the table.
Only to be broken by the redhead who'd deemed himself invisible earlier.
"Quite the gentleman, isn't he?"
Kanda rolled his eyes.
"Che. He's avoiding something."
He cast suspicious glances at Lenalee and Lavi.
Lenalee shrugged. Lavi grinned.
A/N: That's all for this chapter. :D This early update is for WolfInferno who's going on holiday soon and needed the update faster, and whom has been so nice, encouraging and inspiring~! Thank you all who reviewed, but sad to say, I won't be updating anymore for a while. D: Sorry. I need to rediscover the inspiration and motivation to continue this fic, so. Sorry.
I hope you've enjoyed 'The Devil's Symphony' thus far!