"Kill him off. Take warriors with you if necessary. We can't afford the existence of a subject that is capable of causing chaos in our society.
Especially not after the uprising in the middle ranks because of this debacle with our security standards at the brood care system", the council member stared Aeon down with a condemning look in his smouldering eyes.
Aeon kept his composure proud.
It was their fault that they hadn't listened to him. He had only shown them what flaws the system had had.
It wasn't his fault either that the middles got so angry about that lack of care. It served these ignorant bastards just right.

Then he thought about the command and his mind turned to the place where he had left Chrno and his new toy. He was sure that the girl would not like this, although the outcome of the meeting had been predictable.
But he couldn't let the council know about her anyway. They would demand her death as well. Saying that she knew too much.

Inward, he snorted. How cliché that would be. Better not tell them about her, this whole "audience" was cheesy enough.
He took in the darkened room, only lit by torches and the glinting eyes of the council members, then nodded at them and turned to leave.
No need to busy himself with gratuitous courtesy. He was, after all, one of the highest ranked demons in this world.

A few minutes passed after Rosette had whispered into the demon's ears, when she suddenly became aware of the fact that she was indeed in a very compromising position with Chrno.
Turning a fervent red, she moved off him awkwardly with a subdued "I am sorry" and looked to the stony floor, not perceiving the soft, sad smile he scrutinized her with.

He was not sure, even after she displayed a moment of strength, if she could conquer the darkness that he was sure of would creep into her heart.
All he could do was to give her as much help as he was able to give.

She wiped her nose with her sleeve, not caring about this sort of etiquette anymore. Why should she ever care about it again? Where should she go from here? What should she do?
She had no idea.
But she knew that before a new life (And she was certain that there was one awaiting her. One in which she had to deal with these new memories. One without her family, as alien as they sometimes had been to her) could overwhelm her with its worries, she would rescue her father.
She would get him back and destroy the thing that had changed him.
In any circumstance.
Even if Chrno did not approve it.
Rosette was no imbecile; she had noticed how he had stiffened when she had been talking about getting him back. And she was intelligent enough to know that he wanted to act entirely different in this matter than she herself intended to.
But Charles was everything she had left in this world.
And she was not willing to give up on her father and believe that he was insane or evil. "It must have been the stress of the last years … the constant summoning ... or dangerous demonic Energy … MAGIC! Anything!" Rosette was ready to believe all of it but the possibility that her own father was the murderer of her family by choice.

"Oh, Rosette … you seem to still believe in him … how can I show you that you lost him … just like the rest of your family?", Chrno thought and watched her every move. His thoughts were absorbed with her. "And what if…what if the final realisation lets you surrender to the darkness?" His face twisted. No! Never would he give up on her! His determination surprised himself; it felt so natural, so instinctively right, that he probed this feeling further … What was this …? He had not felt this for a long time … Was it …? No, not desire, not lust, nothing as profane as that … but … tenderness.

She sighed heavily and vowed to herself that she would fight. But … but not now … now she needed distraction if her mind was to remain in one piece. Distraction…

"Lo—?" Even his thoughts stumbled over the word. His eyes widened a bit. (1)

A thought crossed her mind and she grinned.
Maybe now was the time to ask the good questions.

He looked up, happy to be allowed to shove this word away from his mind without further consideration. He looked into Rosette's puffy red eyes and had to smile. There was this fire glinting in them again. The thirst to nourish her blazing mind with more knowledge.
"Tell me the truth about your world, please. You obviously are much more potent than all the other demons I have ever seen. What are your real powers? And are you one of the strongest? What are the duties then, that come with great power in your society? How is it organized? How—" Chrno cut her off with a raised hand and a wild grin in his face. "Not so fast", and then, still savouring the name, "Rosette"

He stood up: "...My powers?"
She nodded, standing up as well.
He seemed very contented to finally be able to show and use his real powers again.

"Transformation." He morphed into his true form, leather and metal moving against each other as he performed quick sequences of a mock fight. "Close combat." His movements were deadly accurate and so inhuman fast that his form blurred for Rosette's gaze. He straightened himself. "Destruction", locking hardened eyes with hers he lifted an arm and blinding Energy pulverized a nearby tree.
The ash started to softly fall to the earth.
Rosette could only stare. Mouth nearly hanging open.

Chrno on the other hand, got angry. Not with the girl, but with himself. Why hadn't he killed the swine when he had the time to do it?
You were thinking about saving the innocent life instead of assassinating the unworthy one…perfectly normal—especially for you, idiot.
His inner voice sounded awfully like Aeon. He bit back a groan and repeated his mantra of paying Charles back, when a finger touched the material of his cloak.
He looked down and saw Rosette, obviously recovered from the pulverized tree and now fascinated by his appearance again. "I always wanted to look at you in this form more closely … may I?", she asked, not aware of their proximity, and he nodded, allowing her to scrutiny every metal clasp, every muscle of his arm, hardened from the high concentration of Energy(2) in his body.
He chuckled at her thorough examination.
She turned her inquiring look up to his face. These mysterious red … beads in his front head. Rosette extended a finger and — He held her hand in a gentle grip, eyes serious.

"Please do not touch them."
She felt like blushing when he very slowly released her again: "Sorry, I did not know."
"Of course not", he smiled again, "the gems represent our status, abilities, powers … we have written whole books about the various possible formations of them … and … they are only to be touched by our Chosen Ones. Our life partners."

"Something I could never be", Rosette blinked at this thought. What? Chosen One of a demon? Heaven forbid!
She really started to loose her wits now.

Better … to start asking again.

And because I am a bitch I let the chapter end here. I am so sorry guys, that I let you wait so long, but you know how it is, life gets in the way! =(
I hope I can update faster, but it's my graduation year, so I ain't making no promises ;)
Please review (or PM) and tell me what you think about it (and tell me how much you missed me xD).
(1) No, it is not LOVE. Lo- stands for LONGING. He longs for someone who really understands him, he longs for a deep trust towards another person, the willingness to do anything to help one another and an intimacy that searches its equal in both societies!
THAT is Lo-! It does not have to be physical intimacy!
Yes, he has a very very close friendship with Aeon, yet he feels that he can have an even greater alikeness to someone if he would just find this person(He already felt it before, but lost this person in an up rise similar to the one Aeon accidentally caused...I call her Magdalena)!

(2) Actually, this should be Legion. I would prefer it to be that, but I think it would fuck up the flow a bit. This story is so crucially turning around Energy… so let us call it the stupid stuff Energy! xD

EDIT: I noticed that bloody sometimes swallows a few words...if a sentence seems off, please message me, I hate it when my writing is not grammatically correct. ;)