Chapter 2

"This was your idea!"

Kurama rolled his eyes, "They're locals, my Lord. And they're not trying to kill us."

"Yeah, and neither one of us understands a damn thing they're saying!"

Kurama repressed the urge to sigh and pinch the bridge of his nose, supposing he should have expected this.

"And we can safely assume this is not… Earth," Kurama continued, pretending not to have heard Yusuke's second outburst. "We are in what appears to be this world's equivalent to Ningenkai, but there is no way to tell whether we could get to its surrounding planes or if we can return to our own world. It would be best to… 'make nice' with the locals."

"Fine," Yusuke grumped, folding his arms petulantly, "but you get to figure out how to talk to them."

"Yusuke, are you or are you not a Lord of the Makai?"

Yusuke uncrossed his arms, straightening slightly, "Yes, but you're the diplomat. I just antagonize people."

Kurama had to concede that point. Yusuke wasn't considered a diplomat anywhere except certain regions of Makai, where 'diplomacy' was synonymous with 'beating your opponent into submission'.

The three… beings they had saved from the latest spider-nest were watching their interaction with something between puzzlement and amusement, laced with the barest tinge of wariness.

Yusuke cast their impromptu rescue-es a glance, observing their too-fair features and wise eyes in a heartbeat before returning his attention to Kurama. "They're not human."

"No," Kurama agreed, "but… what they are, I do not know. They aren't demons."

"They feel… old. Light. Like stars."

Kurama nodded, sighing. "They are older than I. The plants speak well of them."

"Well, that's something," Yusuke muttered, turning to face them properly.

Kurama took the hint and stepped towards them, hands held out in a non-threatening manner, Rose Whip curled up in one hand, thornless. "We mean you no harm."

"Man…?" one of them began, a confused look on his face.

Kurama glanced back at Yusuke and shook his head, then to the others, trying something different. "I am Kurama," he stated, gesturing to himself and emphasizing his own name before indicating the Toushin in human form behind him, "This is Yusuke."

One of them brightened slightly, and indicated himself, "Alagos."

"Galad," the one with the bluest eyes either demon had ever seen said, following the apparent leader's example.

"Dae," the last stated.

Yusuke nodded slightly and Kurama inclined his head, accepting the silent message. With introductions out of the way, they seemed safe enough—and these were nowhere near their level of power, anyway. Kurama returned his rose whip to a flower, then reduced it to a seed and tucked it safely in its customary spot in his hair.

Yusuke irritably brushed his own shoulder-length hair back, slightly annoyed that Kurama hadn't dared cut it any shorter without proper tools, and stepped up brusquely. "So, now what? We go with them?"

"What else?" Kurama asked rhetorically, knowing neither of them knew anything about this world.

Yusuke briefly turned his attention to his still-hidden Spirit-Beast, telling him to remain that way… just in case.

xxxx

Yusuke glanced at the impromptu guides, listening to them make the rare comment in that flowing language of theirs, and sighed.

"Kurama? Any ideas?"

"None of them seem to speak a second language," Kurama stated, "As they would presumably have tried them to see if we would understand."

"So that's a no?"

"If they are taking us to others of their kind, one of them may be able to speak one of the languages we know, but I am not hopeful. We are in a different world."

Yusuke grimaced, "Which means we'd better start trying to learn theirs."

Yusuke was not dumb, despite the front he often put forth. And the 'ADHD'. He had learned English quickly when his demon father had gotten all his teachers to stop speaking in anything but the Western language, and several others besides.

Said father had even forced Latin upon him, though Yusuke had never managed to figure out why. So one more, give-or-take, shouldn't be too bad…

xxxx

OK, Yusuke was about ready to take back his previous thought. This language was annoying. He had yet to figure out the grammar rules—that is, what part of the sentence went where—and had only picked up a handful of words, which he knew he was butchering the pronunciation of.

Kurama was not much better off, though he didn't tend to butcher the words quite as badly. However, they—with the active help of their three guides—were getting better.

Slowly.

Kurama, however, had noticed Yusuke's growing restlessness and turned to the three who referred to themselves as Eldar.

Haltingly, he asked "Ungol?"

Yusuke perked up on hearing the word—as far as they could tell, it referred to the giant spiders, and he was itching for a fight.

The response Kurama got was a puzzled glance and shaken head.

Kurama sighed in frustration, not knowing how to say what he wanted to ask. How hard could it be to figure out what the words for 'where are' were?

Yusuke veritably drooped at the lost prospect of a fight and the three Eldar exchanged puzzled glances.

Kurama glanced at his friend and growled softly, the Demonic version of 'Sorry', knowing that half the reason Yusuke was getting so restless was the several-day-long lack of physical contact with his Spirit Beast.

Yusuke grunted an ambiguous sound that could have meant anything from 'accepted' to 'not your fault'.

There was a pause, and Kurama got an idea.

"Would you like to spar when we stop tonight?"

Yusuke brightened, "Hell yeah, I would!"

xxxx

I know, long time between updates. I'm notorious for that, just as a warning to you all. I also came down with mono, so pretty much all I've been doing is sleeping.

Still, I managed to write an update for this and a bit on my other stories, which will have updates eventually.