A missing scene from Chapter 4 of Angel Biter.
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
The woman in question paused from the liquor she was pouring, looking up and glancing to the demon across from her. The woman had a rosy glow to her cheeks and was swaying unsteadily on the beam she rested on, and as violet met red, the blonde smiled at her, revealing fangs that shown in an almost unnatural light. It had been an hour since their earlier argument which had led to a new crater in the construction site below the skyscraper which goddess and demon sat upon, and the duo were well on their way to getting thoroughly hammered.
Urd, a goddess who'd begun feeling the effects of the potent alcohol in her system fifteen minutes prior, raised her eyebrow in question, looking at what she thought was her old friend with one eye. Too bad it was a pole that had been bent in the small scuffle between goddess and demon. To Mara, the eye seemed to grow gastronomically large, warping and bending as the bronze goddess leaned forward.
"Whaziz you so laughy at?" Urd slurred, her words coming out in a thick accent that had been lost through the centuries .
The giggles turned into laughter, and the silver-haired goddess scowled, taking another swing at her glass and then looking at it, wondering if it was worth loosing over the demon's drunken state.
"Hey, hey Urd." Mara repeated. "Do you wanna' hear a story?" She asked, giggling and laughing and swaying to and fro on her iron bar. "Itsa goood one." The words came out as a purr, and Urd tilted her head to one side in curiosity.
"Yeah?" The goddess asked. "Whasit' about?"
The laughter grew into a roar as Mara threw her head back, tilting back so far that this time she actually did fall from her bar on the skyscraper. Then it became Urd's turn to laugh, and it was in such a state that the drunken demon returned to the bar, a piece of an iron pipe sticking out of her head from where it lay tangled in her hair. Floating up, the demon wrapped her arms around her bar, the magic that kept her afloat vanishing and leaving the blonde hanging by her hands on the steel.
Urd laughed harder as the demon fought to scramble up on top her former seat once more, continuing to laugh until the demon, red-faced and panting, finally settled herself once more. As the laughter died down to giggles, the goddess grinned at her friend. "So?" She asked. "Whasit' about?"
A bell tinged overhead as the duo entered the Wild Duck Burger. A large grin on her face, the dark child led her older companion to a booth, dragging the blonde by the hand and pulling her into the booth next to her. With a grunt, the older woman allowed herself to be pulled in by the child's whims, gaining a few furtive grins from the other denizens milling about and waiting in line.
Mara met their grins with a frown before looking away, instead turning her attention to the little girl at her side. "Daimakaicho, what are we doing here?" She whispered, voice low as she glanced quickly over her shoulder, wondering if anyone was watching them. A place like this…so open and with so many mortals…it was a perfect place for Valkyries to hide. And the last thing Mara wanted was to deal with divine guerrilla forces hell-bent on sending the Daimakaicho to an early grave-no matter the consequences to their divine-kin.
Losing one life in return for ending the Queen of Hell's would not be seen as a great loss in their eyes.
Yet Hild seemed unconcerned, idly kicking her feet from where they hovered above the floor, looking out the window with a child's innocence that Mara had long-since seen through. "Oh Ma-chan." The child giggled. "You worry too much. There aren't going to be any deities around here and even if there were, they most certainly wouldn't appear in any form you'd recognize." Her gaze wandered to where a group of teenagers sat, celebrating some victory or accomplishment. Perhaps one of them had won a bet over another or achieved some high test scores. The child's eyes fell on one person's head in particular, and as though sensing her gaze, the youth lifted his dark-blue head of hair, and eyes a shade near-matching his hair came to meet Hild's violet.
Mara followed her leader's gaze, and with her added attention so too did the celebration of the other teens seem to die down. They too in turn looked to see what had drawn their dark-haired friend's attention, and as Hild and Mara fell under their gaze only then did Mara see what it was Hild had already known.
For above each teen's head, a being hovered, large and intimidating, connected to each child's spirit as though by chain.
Kala-Nemi, the signs of the zodiac resting upon its large shoulders from the youngest of the group, little more than a child by comparison to his older comrades.
Juno with eyes of five and wings that spread from her back like one great metallic moth, her lower body little more than a giant globe of swirling mists from the shy looking lass with the light-blue hair, hanging above her head like some great and all-powerful mother.
Artemisia and Caesar, towering above the two oldest of the group-a serious-looking red-head and the handsome youth with the platinum blonde hair at her side-a Lord and Lady made divine by their own accomplishments.
The four-winged Trismegistus, hovering protectively over the youth in the hat, sitting next to the girl in pink, sprouting Isis from behind her like her own pair of divine wings.
Athena growled at the duo from where she hovered over the blonde, and from the young man with the dark-blue hair…
Thanatos snarled at them, hand twitching as it moved to the hilt of his sword, the coffins aligned behind him in a strange and perverted cape rattling in discontent against the chains that connected them.
"Hiiii!" Hild shouted at the top of her lungs, gaining the attention of all present within the fast food joint and breaking the growing tension with a beaming smile, waving at the group and laughing cheerfully. Like magic, whatever had possessed the small group vanished, and when Mara blinked, the forms were gone, replaced with nothing more than a group of children once more.
One of them, the youth with the hat, waved back to Hild. "Sup' Dudette!"He called back, only to be elbowed in the ribs by the girl in pink next to him. The wave came to an abrupt halt in favor for nursing his now-throbbing side, and as he sent an exaggerated hurt look to the girl, she looked to Mara, grinning an apology before turning to scold her friend.
Both actions seemed to help break the ice that had been forming between the two groups, and soon it was only the dark youth who'd first caught Hild's attention who kept his eyes on the two demons. Hild's smile grew larger, and hesitantly, soon he too looked away, returning his attention to the group that surrounded him.
Mara watched the exchange in a contemplative silence, and as they grew uninteresting once more the blonde looked to her boss. "Persona?" She asked, even as the child next to her nodded. "What are Persona doing here in this day and age? I thought they went out of business with Philemon."
Yet Hild only giggled, looking out the window and following the path of a blue butterfly as it fluttered past. "Philemon?" She asked. "The one who grants mortals the capability to access the Powers That Be? Who ever said that man was out of business? He's simply not as proactive as he used to be." The child explained. "I heard he's been leaving most of the dirty work to one of his underlings. I think it was ol' Igor and his servants."
There was a soft murmur from the group of teens, and Hild and Mara watched as the small group moved to exit, chatting and laughing with each other as they left even while another pair moved to enter. Another duo, the newcomers consisted of a child and a teen. The child-a westerner with his blonde hair and blue eyes, was dressed somberly in a black suit, as though he was to attend a funeral of some deceased relative. The other, older youth looked more a punk then the young 'gentleman' at his side, his hair messy and unkempt, dressed in a jacket whose sleeves were aligned with demon insignia and a pair of short-cut black pants.
Hands shoved in his jacket pockets, the older boy trailed behind the westerner like a silent sentinel-a dog following its master as the child lead the way to the very booth Hild and Mara found themselves at, crawling up onto the empty booth and sliding in to the end, allowing enough room for his punk to slide in next to him.
Sitting across from her, the punk caught Mara's gaze before the woman even had a chance to question what it was the two of them thought they were doing.
The demon couldn't recall a time she'd ever looked into the eyes of a wolf. Now, meeting the golden, hungry eyes of the boy across from her, it would probably be the only time she would ever have come so close to a being that looked capable of devouring her alive.
The revelation caused her to shudder, and so instead Mara turned her gaze to the child who'd come to sit across from the Daimakaicho, and finding that much like the child next to her, so too did the boy emit an unearthly aura, one that spoke of a darkness even greater than that emanating from the fiend across from her and coming to near-rival the Daimakaicho's herself. The demon blinked in surprise, raising an eyebrow in question and even going so far as to open her mouth in question, yet finding her vocal chords strangely mute, as though Mara suddenly found herself incapable of making any sounds amongst the newest arrivals.
Perhaps it was the sudden realization that among the four beings at the booth, she was the lowest on the food chain.
"Cyphre!" Hild's shout caused Mara to jump, and with a start the blonde looked to her companion, whose face had grown alight with a large, beaming smile. "You're adorable!" The child cooed. "And you brought a friend with you this time as well. So tell me Louis, is this handsome young man the newest addition to your army? Or does he simply like little boys?"
The dark haired youth's head whipped to Hild so fast Mara could hear his neck crack, and the little girl met his wild gaze with a mischievous smile, snickering at the expression of shock that had come to adorn the golden-eyed teen's face.
Across from her, the westerner, Louis Cyphre, crossed his hands together, placing them on the table in full view of Hild and the others. The child cracked something that might have been a grin if one squinted. "Hild…a pleasure as always." The youth's voice was not that of a child. Rather, much as Hild, the calm and cool purr of an adult spoke, and now that voice addressed the youth at his side. "Naoki, calm yourself. The Daimakaicho's words are in jest, and it would be foolish to make an enemy of one of her power over such a petty comment."
Something-Mara wasn't sure if it was a growl or not-escaped Naoki's throat, and from where he'd begun to move towards the Daimakaicho at the comment, instead the teen relaxed once more into his seat, scowling at Hild before looking away with a snort.
"You can relax Ma-chan. Cyphre's wolf isn't going to eat me-or you for that matter."
The demon in question blinked, releasing a grip that had grown white-knuckled on a table that had gained indents from her fingers, the hand not grasping the table releasing the magic that had been gathering in her palm. Had she really been so tense? The demon hadn't even noticed her own move to rise. Trying hard to ease out of her own tension, Mara released a sigh, keeping a red gaze on the wolf in front of her while the blonde listened to the conversation between the two children.
"So you decided to try something new this time I see. A Hito-shura? A demi-fiend? What a novel idea Louis. And with a magatama as well."
Cyphre 'hmmed' in response. "Yes, well…since our last meeting left me like this, I couldn't very well go out and coerce Naoki to my clause through simple conversation. So I decided to try a little…experiment, if you will. Rather than converse with a man who carries with him the means by which to speak to demons, why not skip that part entirely? The man known as Steven, the original programmer for the Demon Summoning Program that both sides, be they divine or damned, have come to rely so heavily on, does not exist in the world from which Naoki was once a part of."
"You had to improvise."
"So you MacGyvered yourself a demon using a human and congealed magnetite-magatama- to go ahead and create yourself a new play-thing: a creature with a human's soul and a demon's body." A single violet orb came to rest upon Naoki, and the teen turned to meet her gaze with an unwavering gold.
"Only…his soul is no longer human now, is it?"
Cyphre didn't answer the Daimakaicho's question-something that proved an answer in itself, and despite herself, Mara felt a shiver race down her spine. She looked back at Naoki, this time from a new perspective.
She didn't like what she saw.
To change one's body was one thing. Mara had come across more than one client in the past who'd wished for a new body, a new form to grant them strength. She herself had delved into several different forms in the past, be they for the advantage of winning a potential contract to her side or simply as a means of protection from annoying gods.
But to change one's soul…to rip apart the very essence that made a creature, by definition, what they were…to tear away one's morals, goals, likes and dislikes, a person's values, and then rebuild them into a mold that better fit the artist…It was like being stripped naked, and then having one's own flesh removed, strip by strip, until none but the muscle beneath remained. And then having that stripped away, to bones, to the organs, until nothing remained but a mass of flesh and bone and tissue before being put back together again. Only things didn't return to where they were supposed to-organs in the wrong place, muscle where bone should have been, things that fit too loosely and others that barely fit at all-until a monster stood where once there was a person.
Suddenly, Mara didn't know whether to pity the creature before her for what he'd lost, or to fear him for what he'd become.
For under those golden wolf eyes she saw a spark of red, the sure spark of a demon, only for it to vanish the moment she saw it.
She wondered just what it was he'd given up for that red spark.
"Ah, but enough of this idle chit-chat." Hild's voice cut through Mara's thoughts like a butcher's knife. "As much fun as it is to chat about your wonderful new pet, it is an unfortunate truth that the both of us are rather busy people. I do believe it's time we got down to business." The silver-haired demon slammed a hand down on the table before leaning over it. "So Hon, what shall it be this time? Our last bet ended in a draw, and I have to admit, while wandering the Assiah as a child is entertaining and dare I say advantageous at times, I do think I'm up for a little change."
Hands still folded in front of him, the blue-eyed child nodded in agreement. "Yes…It was interesting, I'll admit, just as most of your bets are Lady Daimakaicho, however these bodies do have their disadvantages as well. Obviously a person such as you has an idea already in mind, so please; feel free to divulge your proposition."
A large smile crept upon the Daimakaicho's face, and with a quick glance to the petite girl, Mara felt the color drain from her face. She knew that smile all too well, and her experiences with whatever plot was behind that smile were never good ones. She looked back to the hito-shura before her, who seemed to catch on to her pallid features and glanced at the Daimakaicho with a tilt of the head before looking back to Mara, as though asking what it was that had spooked her so badly.
"…You…don't want to know. Trust me." Mara responded to his silent question and gaining nothing but another tilt of the head from the youth.
She wondered if the capability to speak was one of the things he'd sacrificed for his new existence. Maybe he never had a voice to begin with.
Mara's head hit the table.
"I'm…sorry?" Cyphre peered at the Daimakaicho inquisitively. "Hild, I'm afraid I'm slightly…unfamiliar with that word. Genderbend? What exactly do you mean?"
If it was at all possible, the smile on Hild's face grew larger; looking to near split her face in half with how far back it stretched. "I want to see you with breasts, Louis."
By now Mara was trying hard to disappear, her cheeks red and only growing rosier the more Hild spoke, eyes shut tight and fingers moving to bury themselves in her hair in embarrassment. Even Naoki looked a little disturbed, seeming to shy away from the Daimakaicho and looking at the child with a perturbed gaze.
Silence befell the table at Hild's words, and it wasn't until a soft chuckle broke through that Mara raised her head, opening her eyes and following Naoki's gaze to the child at his side, finding Louis Cyphre's shoulder's trembling in a silent laughter. The westerner looked at his female counterpart, a smirk on his face and eyes dancing with an unknown emotion that raised the hair on the back of Mara's neck. "Ah, yes, this is why I find myself coming back to you for our meetings Hild. You always manage to put the world into such an interesting perspective."
"Oh, you old snake charmer."
A snort from the boy. "So, you wish to see me as a woman, is that it?" He asked. "Does that mean I'll get to see you as a man?"
It was Hild's turn to laugh. "Only if you win, Hon."
Now with a smile of his own on his face, Cyphre leaned back, a hand moving to rub his chin in contemplation as he stared at the Daimakaicho. "Hn…very well then. And what would be the circumstances necessary for such an act to be achieved?" He asked.
Violet eyes darted to Naoki, and the Daimakaicho's smile was vicious. "Well…"
Yet Cyphre was already shaking his head before the proposition could leave Hild's lips. "In regards to Naoki, whatever it is you have planned for him, I'm afraid I'll have to pass. I'm saving Naoki for a very certain time in the near future, and the last thing I need is for him to be exhausted because of some challenge you issued to him. I'm sorry Lady Daimakaicho, but the times of trial for this one have long since passed. You really should delve more into the Vortex Worlds that accompany the endings of worlds-you'd have had plenty of opportunities to test his strength there."
Was it Mara's imagination, or had that been a sigh of relief from Naoki with his master's rebuttal?
At her side, Hild crossed her arms over her chest in a pout. "Aw…you're no fun Louis." She closed her eyes with a shrug. "You certainly know how to put a downer on a mood. I'd have enjoyed seeing how well a creature such as he would have fared against a certain goddess trio who've caught my attention."
One violet orb peeked open, meeting the pair of blue that watched her keenly. "Alright then, why don't you come up with something then? My only condition is that a fight is involved. I've been spoiling for a good fight for centuries, and a recent bout I had with a Valkyrie in this country has left me a little…"
She trailed off as Cyphre raised a blonde eyebrow.
"I take it the matches between your Slayers isn't holding your attention the way it once did?" He asked, shaking his head in amusement. "Lady Daimakaicho, you really should show your face more around the Endings of Worlds. I'm certain you'd find at least someone there who could keep you entertained."
Hild eyed the youth across from her with a look that made both the children's companions draw back in caution. "Louis Dear, I hope you're not comparing me to that person. I'd have to say that'd be a rather daring move-even for one such as you." She warned, her voice cool and calm and holding an edge like lightening to it.
Yet if Cyphre felt any fear, he did a wondrous job of hiding it. "Not at all my dear-only a comment that perhaps you spend too much time behind that stuffy desk of yours."
"You certainly have a way with words, Cyphre."
The boy matched Hild's tight smile with a slight grin. "Perhaps." He said. "However I do believe we're getting off track, don't you agree?"
The boy leaned forward, propping his elbows on the table and interlacing his fingers in front of his face. "So, a battle you want is it? Like so many of the challenges I place upon the heads of those who've caught my attention?" Blue eyes roamed across the table, distant and focused all at once and leaving Mara with the impression of one who was not fully there when his gaze brushed and settled on her own.
"You." He said, startling the demon with the sudden attention. The boy hadn't even acknowledged her existence until he'd looked to her, and now she fought simply to hold eye contact with the boy, his gaze holding a power so similar to Hild's it bordered on terrifying. The corner of his lips lifted in a smirk. "Ah, yes…you are a servant of the Daimakaicho, is that correct?"
Feeling the attention of her own boss's gaze come to land on her as well as the gaze of the wolf in front of her, numbly, Mara nodded her head, her heart ramming inside her chest at the sudden, undesired attention.
"I believe the Daimakaicho called you…Ma-chan, is that correct?" His gaze never left her own, not even to look back to Hild for a confirmation, and she could feel the Daimakaicho's scrutiny increase in what the fanged woman prayed was contemplation at the attention she was getting and not enragement at being dismissed so casually. "Ah…n-no." The woman stammered. "Ma-chan is a…nickname. My name is Mara."
Blue eyes grew inquisitive at the mention of her name, and Mara felt her apprehension only grow as the boy seemed to scrutinize her, looking her up and down as though she was a piece of meat. "Mara…" He murmured, a soft, thoughtful smile growing upon the boy's face. "A good name for a demon." His compliment startled her. "In one religion, the word 'Mara' was believed to have been a curse if repeated, for it was the same as saying one patron deity's name backwards. In another, 'Mara' is the name of a great demon lord-one who tried to tempt a great holy man and even went so far as to use his three daughters against that man." Again, the words came as a start, and this time the fanged woman felt her eyes widen in surprise.
She knew that story.
Cyphre returned his gaze to the Daimakaicho, and even with the relief she felt about not being under the boy's gaze any longer, still Mara felt more than a little uncomfortable.
"Lady Daimakaicho you know of the Demon Lord Mara, I'm sure. Tell me; is there any relation between the one I speak of and the one sitting with us right now? I must admit, to hear the name of one of my own servants coming from the lips of yours is rather surprising. I'm hoping it's not simply a coincidence."
Hild's expression grew smug as the boy across from her looked to the silver-haired demon. "Oh, I assure you, it isn't." She said. "Despite Mara's more…western Norse background, she does have ties to the eastern Demon Lord you speak of." Violet eyes danced with humor as they turned to regard Mara, and the red-eyed woman stiffened. "Care to explain Ma-chan?"
The demon looked down at the table. "He's…my grandfather."
"Is he now?"
Another nod from the blonde woman, and the little boy's smile grew deeper. "Well now…this changes everything." He rubbed his chin in thought before looking back to the Daimakaicho, who watched Cyphre with contemplative violet eyes. "Lady Daimakaicho, I do believe I have a proposal for you."
A silver eyebrow rose in curiosity. "Oh? And that is…?"
"A battle of Maras."
Naoki's jaw dropped at the proposal, and the youth turned to stare, gaping at his master. The youth almost looked as though he was about to voice his disapproval at the idea, but Cyphre silenced the already mute teen with the raise of his hand even as Hild let out a peal of gleeful laughter. As the teen moved to bury his face in his hands-a move that left Mara more than a little uncomfortable, Hild spoke, "A battle of Maras…you wouldn't by chance mean my girl going against Ol' Mara's avatar, are you?"
As Cyphre nodded his head, Hild's laughter grew more rambunctious. "Oh…Louis hon, you are an evil person, you know that? That's a stupendous idea."
A look of alarm steadily growing on the red-eyed woman's face, Mara's head darted from one person at the booth to the next, wondering what it was she was missing. For all her childhood that had been spent with the old man, the fanged woman could never recall a time she'd seen him in the form of an avatar-the less human, more demonic counterparts privileged to demons without a devil. And what did that boy mean when he'd mentioned her grandfather as one of his servants? For the longest time, she'd always seen that man as one of Hild's Slayers. He'd never mentioned anything about a person with blonde hair and blue eyes-one who felt almost as powerful as the Daimakaicho herself, yet didn't give off the same scent all demons held.
Just what in the high heavens was going on?
"You look confused Ma-chan."
Mara turned her gaze to her leader, and Hild's smile grew larger. "Your grandfather and Louis here are long-time associates, you might say. When he was not busy with some task I gave him, he was usually off on some mission for my dear friend across from me-usually in the guise of the avatar that you've never seen. He always liked to keep his more human form separate from his avatar-a peculiar trait of his I'll admit, something about keeping two personalities separate."
Slowly Mara nodded her head once more, still not fully understanding the reason behind her grandfather's actions in regards to his avatar-she'd seen and met plenty of Hild's warriors in their avatar forms, and it still didn't explain why a Slayer like him would work for two different bosses.
Hild, perhaps reading Mara's thoughts, perhaps just her expression, chuckled. "Oh, don't worry, Ma-chan, you'll understand soon enough."
The land was bathed underneath a red sky as the group of four formed up. Clouds were died an angry red that reflected the sky they were within and from them great bolts of yellow-orange lightning danced. The ground below their feet was dry and barren, a mixture of bright and dark reds that seemed to taint the earth itself with fire and brimstone. It was a realm within a realm; a primordial melting pot that was rumored amongst the Powers That Be to be a never-ending constant, a land that saw through the end of worlds and became the beginning of new ones.
Mara allowed herself a moment of awe at the landscape, having heard many stories of such places before but never having visited one in her long life. She whistled appreciably at the land before turning her attention to the other three.
Gone were the two children she'd once found herself in the company of. Their more adult counterparts had taken their place, and whereas Hild had returned to her standard revealing dress, the boy she kept calling Louis Cyphre seemed to have only aged, wearing the same suit he'd first appeared in. The teen that was his wolf had changed too. Gone was the teenager with the golden eyes-in its place a creature even Mara had to call a demon stood, the standard marks of power that so normally aligned Hild's and her own faces appearing in the form of odd tattoos and brands that seemed to move to cover the lad's entire body, black stripes and other markings all outlined in an eerie green-blue that glowed with a foreign power. As the youth turned to take in the new scenery, Mara caught sight of a black spike protruding from the back of the boy's neck-more evidence of the magatama that had changed him so.
Frankly, Mara was wondering where his shirt had gone.
"Wow…wow…waita' sec…" Urd interrupted, swaying unsteadily on her beam as she brought her hands out in front of her. "Ya' mean…his shirt was gone? Howzat' happen?" She slurred.
Mara took another swing of her drink. "Iz means…it was there one sec and gone the next. That's what."
"So gimme' some details! Was he built? Did he have any muscles? C'mon, tell me!" This time Urd leaned too far in, and it was the goddess's turn to fall from the building. Mara watched her fall silently, a grin on her face as sharp ears heard the silver-haired woman grunt as her body impacted against the ground.
Then she screamed down at her companion, "He was built like a kid! Ain't nothin' but skin and bones! A shrimp!" With that the demon through her head back and cackled, scaring off several gang members who'd been drawn to the sound of women coming from the construction site, now replaced with images of witches and spirits in their minds eyes.
They quickly departed the area.
Urd slowly floated back up to bar Mara and herself rested on, but not without first smashing her head against the very beam she'd fallen from. Mara laughed harder as Urd cursed, and as the goddess slowly got herself situated on the metal once more, this time in favor of rubbing her head over finishing her drink, Mara picked up from where she left off.
"So yeah, he was the only one who'd lost his clothes and…"
Mara stared at the youth, wondering fervently why it was he'd lost his jacket and his shirt, but somehow managed to maintain a hold on his pants and shoes. If the hito-shura was going to start stripping before the challenge she'd been assigned even started, she at least wanted to get a good view first.
Or at least find out why he didn't have a shirt anymore.
Yet Naoki seemed to have other thoughts then paying attention to the somewhat confused demon, his body tense as his bright gaze darted from one place to the next, as though he were a cornered animal awaiting an attack.
"Hey, what's got your tighties in a bunch?" It was not the question Mara had wanted to ask the teen. What she'd wanted to ask him was why he didn't have a shirt, however it seemed another part of her had different ideas.
The youth only sent her a look in response, and the demon frowned. "Oh Ma-chan, you don't need to worry about that. I'm sure young Naoki is simply searching for our hosts."
The Daimakaicho nodded. "Of course. You don't think this land is uninhabited now, do you? Oh, but I' sure our little demi-fiend knows all about those who dwell within this realm." A violet gaze wandered to Naoki, who with the conversation between the two women had turn to regard them thoughtfully. "Isn't that right, hito-shura?"
Again, the boy responded with nothing but silence, yet with his quiet came a rumble. The earth beneath their feet began to shake and the sound of thunder roared in the distance. Laughter reminiscent of a madman echoed throughout the valley the group of four found themselves in and then they appeared.
Four of them, charging to the group from the north, the south, the east and west, all riding upon horses; a black horse, a red horse, a pale horse, and a white horse, all carrying upon their backs skeletons decked in robes, weapons in hands as their mounts began to circle the group. Fast at first before slowing to a trot, a stop, encircling them and allowing Mara a full view of just who she was looking at.
The demon paled, now understanding why it was Naoki had grown so tense upon their arrival.
She'd once heard that many demons considered it a gift to have never laid eyes upon any one member of the Four Horsemen.
She wondered what it meant for her, who now found herself in the presence of all four.
It was the red horsemen who addressed them first, cackling madly as its horse reigned back on its hind legs, screaming to the winds and pawing madly at the air. "What is this?" It proclaimed, a voice that echoed with the roars of men rising to the bloodied sky above their heads. "Lucifer! By what means do you bring these ones to our realm?"
Lucifer? Even as the name entered her mind, Mara felt her gaze drift to the western boy who'd become a man, even as Louis stepped forward to address the red rider. If she'd paled upon the discovery that she was in the company of the Four Horsemen, Mara went stark white as the fourth and final member of their small group revealed what Hild, once more, undoubtedly already knew.
Lucifer, the fallen angel who'd descended with his brethren to Hild's realm, coming to its ruler not begging and pleading like so many before him, but with a quiet and simple proposition that had left him with a portion of her realms to call his own and even now, was still plotting the downfall of the Almighty.
Not for the first time that day, Mara felt the distinct impression that she was in over her head.
"Come now, is this any way for the great fiends to greet your guests?" Loi-Lucifer called out in greeting, remaining unfazed as the angry horse fell forward once more, the earth below its hooves shaking upon impact.
"Tyrant King, you know it is not you we greet with such hostility but rather the ones who accompany you." A voice wheezed from the white rider's skull, the many eyes that covered its horse's body moving to focus on Mara and the demi-fiend at her side, before moving its full attention to the hito-shura alone. "Do know that whilst the Daimakaicho and the Femme that accompanies her are welcome just as yourself, that which you have created has long ago been considered an undesirable presence in our land."
The blonde demon looked to the teen at her side, catching an expression that Mara couldn't place even if she wanted to and finding herself instinctively moving away from the lad. The boy in question didn't even seem to notice, his attention too heavily focused on the fiend he was currently facing, the black rider, with a small, vicious, blood-thirsty smile on his face. The lad took a step toward the rider, and almost automatically the black horse moved back, nickering and whinnying in anxiety as it tossed its head back and forth.
There's a wolf at your side Mara. He's been tethered up and muzzled by his master, but he's still right next to you. And that collar that binds him to his master's side is weak Mara, the straps to his muzzle loose. All it'll take is one strong yank, and that wolf won't have a leash anymore…
"Ah, yes, Naoki is still something of a sore subject for you all, isn't he?" Lucifer's smile grew large. "But worry not; Naoki will not cause you any trouble for our visit here. He is merely an observer here, just as the good Lady and I are. Just as hopefully you yourselves will be if you accept my invitation."
From somewhere behind Mara, another voice spoke up, different from the other two in the large amount of calm it held, the sense of peace within its voice. "What games do you speak of come this time around, Tyrant King?" The pale rider asked, its steed a silent and calm sentinel that seemed opposing to its three kin, all whickering and pawing the ground restlessly.
"Nothing but a simple challenge between like-minded folk, Horseman." The blonde man responded, looking to the Daimakaicho, who'd fallen into an observant silence as she allowed Lucifer to take the lead, the devil being more familiar and on better terms with the fiends before them then she herself was.
Now, with his gaze meeting hers, she bequeathed him a dazzling smile. "Indeed." She purred. "And with your allowance, we'd like to use your realm to host the challenge. A small, friendly dual, if you will, between two…similar…factions."
Once more a cackle erupted from the red rider. "Oh, a battle is it?" It exclaimed. "How can one such as I turn down such an invitation? If its blood to be spilt, then I shall tolerate the hito-shura's presence. Though the words of the Tyrant and the Lady have gained my attention. If it is not the demi-fiend's blood that shall be spilt, then whose blood shall it be?"
The Daimakaicho pointed to Mara. "Hers. And the one who shares her name."
One of the riders approached from behind the fanged woman, and now the horse snorted, it breath sinking through Mara's clothes and to her flesh. She stiffened. That breath felt colder than a corpse. "And just what is this one's name?" The pale rider asked.
"All the more reason to accept my invitation to watch and find out." Lucifer interrupted. "I can assure you all, it will be well worth your time."
There came a silence as the Horsemen looked to each other, and then the rider backtracked from where it stood near Mara. "Very well then Lucifer. But do not keep us waiting long. You know that we are not the only fiends whom dwell here and that there are others who would love to steal what is rightfully ours. We cannot be kept from our borders for long lest they take note of our absence."
Lucifer's lips lifted upwards in a slim smile. "Of course. Then by all means, let us begin."
At some unknown signal, Naoki drew away from Mara, looking back at the demon with an expression that said 'stay' as he moved to his master's side, where Hild had already moved to stand by. The silver haired woman smiled at her servant as Mara stared at the group with no small amount of trepidation. "Have fun Ma-chan." She said, the man next to her raising a hand in the air, palm reaching the sky as he grew ready to summon the one who was to be Mara's opponent. "And remember…" The next words weren't spoken aloud, but rather echoed from deep within Mara's mind as the demon's eyes remained centered on the Daimakaicho's. "..My gender is at stake."
Do not lose this battle, Mara.
Numbly Mara nodded in understanding, swallowing a sudden lump in her throat before taking several steps back. One thought and one thought alone entered her mind as she tensed, waiting to see how it was her grandfather's avatar would appear before her.
There was a shout of command from the blonde man before her, and from above came one of the bolts of lightning, large and bright, blinding any and all who looked at its light. Mara covered her eyes, yet even as the clap of thunder that had accompanied it ended and the light dissipated from the surrounding area, Mara still found spots in her eyes when she opened them to view her opponent.
The fanged woman blinked, trying hard to focus through the dark areas of her vision and to the avatar. It had to have been one of the stranger creatures she'd come across in her long life. Though her vision was taking its time clearing up, she could still make out the creatures sickly green flesh from where it rested in a chariot of gold. What looked to be blades adorned the front of the chariot, and mechanically they chopped the air, slowly and chaotically, as though something had fallen between whatever gears worked the contraption and had caused the blades to jam.
A multitude of limbs erupted from its long green body-boneless, reminding Mara of worms or tentacles. Each limb ended in a three-pronged claw that proved just as green as the rest of its body, which leaned up to the heavens at an angle. It didn't have much of a face-what Mara could only assume was the other demon's head seemed to consist of little more than a large black hole of a gaping mouth.
She stared at it, blinking. It kind of reminded her of some kind of intestinal worm she'd seen in a documentary one time, only green and covered in tentacle-hands and sitting in a chariot. Again, strange, but she'd seen stranger.
The blonde looked to the Daimakaicho, who in turn stared back in curiosity. "You seem to be taking the avatar's appearance rather well, Ma-chan!" The woman cried out, causing Mara to shrug in response.
"He's not that bad." She called back over the dull roar that had to have been the avatar's-the Demon Lord's?-voice. "I mean he looks strange yeah, and he's an ugly son of a bitch, but I've seen worse."
The Daimakaicho only smiled at her comment, and Mara returned her attention to the…other Mara, feeling more than a little ridiculous at having been weaseled into what many would have considered an ugly fist-fight. "Alright, let's get this whole thing over with." She said, running a hand through her hair self-consciously. "I don't really want to do this, especially when I don't have an avatar of my own to call on right now, and since I know for a fact the Daimakaicho had you sentenced to several lifetimes of reincarnation, I can only assume that you're not even a full representation of my old man's avatar." She shrugged, rubbing her eyes once more and blinking, several dark spots still persisting throughout her talk. "So no matter how you look at it, this isn't exactly a fair fight for either parties, I don't think."
And to herself she muttered under her breath, "I wonder why it seemed everyone was making such a big deal over this whole fight."
As the fanged woman moved to ready herself for an attack, summoning for her magic to the palm of her hands, Lucifer looked to the Daimakaicho. "I have to admit, you know how to pick your servants, Lady Daimakaicho. Even the legendary summoning clans, the Kuzunoha, have shown they are not completely infallible when first gazing upon our Demon Lord's form." He looked to the lad at his side, taking note of the gaping expression the boy wore. "Even Naoki, though he had once faced a failed summoning of the Demon Lord Mara, seems incapable of remaining unfazed at the creature's true form."
Hild followed his gaze to the teen and chuckled, moving to stand behind the youth with a mischievous smirk to Lucifer. She leaned in close to the hito-shura before whispering in his ear, "…if you leave your mouth open like that, Beelzebub will come and lay his eggs in your head."
The youth jumped with a gasp at the sound of Hild's voice. Or perhaps it was her words, having been a creature that had both seen and fought the very demon Hild spoke of and believing, if nothing but from past experience, that the fly demon was well capable of doing just as Hild had proposed. He wheeled to face her with a snarl on his face, only to slide on the loose earth beneath his shoes and fall to his rump. Another peal of laughter escaped the Daimakaicho and this time even Lucifer let slip a snort of amusement at the two's actions, Naoki capable of little aside from an annoyed glare at the woman.
"Well now, no wonder Louis seems to be dragging you everywhere he goes like some lost puppy. For all that power you have gained you're still lacking in both grace and experience with it. What a shame." Her small bit of entertainment extracted on Naoki's behalf, Hild turned to Lucifer once more. "As for Ma-chan…just wait a little while. Judging by the way she still seems half-blind to the world around her, I don't think it's quite sunk in yet as to just what it is she's fighting."
There came a long pause from Lucifer as he regarded the Daimakaicho with an impassive expression.
"Oh, don't be like that Hon." Hild said merrily. "You'll be in for the most amusing battle of the century once Ma-chan takes a moment to look at her opponent."
Another blank stare, one that was matched by Naoki, who had yet to pick himself up off the ground. "…you're just keeping that demon around for amusement, aren't you Lady Daimakaicho."
A flash of white teeth set in a manner that was neither a smile nor snarl. "Oh Lucifer, you know the answer to that. You're guilty of the same thing."
"I wonder, just how is it that I was called forth to test a runt of a demon such as yourself." Somewhere between the end of Mara's speech and the beginning of their fight, the blonde had come to the unfortunate discovery that, unlike a good many avatars she'd come across in the past, a few of her own no great exception, the one she found herself up against had the capability for speech.
The overgrown worm charged her in its chariot, and Mara narrowly missed being sliced, diced and run over like a pancake from the machine it rested in, the blades squeaking and the grinding of the chariot's mechanics audible to her ears even over the continued ramblings of her opponent. "…nd to think, in all my years of service, I'd have to go up against some youngling who can't even wield her magic properly…"
A good many of her spells had already shown little effectiveness against the monster, and if nothing else Mara had to acknowledge the fact that yes, the avatar she was facing most very likely was what remained of her grandfather from long, long ago. An ungodly amount of resistance to anything and still incapable of shutting up once he started talking.
At the rate he was going, he'd talk her to death before she could even wear him down.
"..ut I have to wonder, how long can someone like you avoid my thrusts?" The avatar wheeled around to charge Mara again, and with a yelp she dodged to the left just as the thing rushed past her.
Mara watched after its charge slowed to a halt, wheeling around to face her once more like an ugly green bull. "Thrusts?" She said, wondering if perhaps she'd heard wrong. "Uh…can I get a so to speak?" The blonde couldn't help it. With a comment like that the Demon Lord was practically begging for it.
A shout of command brought fire to her clenched fist, and it was her turn to rush her opponent, taking heed of the blades that adorned its front and darting to the monster at an angle, looking to strike its more vulnerable side. The blow struck true, and as her hand connected with the green flesh, the magic that had gathered in her fist exploded outward, engulfing the demon in a rage of flames.
The monster shrieked in pain, yet as she moved for a repeat of the attack, the tentacle hands that covered the thing's body reached out and grabbed her, the many limbs wrapping around her arms, her legs, her torso before she could even react and lifting her off the ground. The hands moved the poor demon to the heavens, hoisting Mara high above the avatar's head where it looked up at her-at least, she thought it was looking up at her.
"Heh, I like this one." The creature said. "Kid, you've got brass balls to be coming around here thinking you can beat me."
From where it held her, Mara stopped struggling, staring blankly down at the creature's mouth. "So to speeeeeek!" The comment ended in a shriek as one or five of the tentacles groped her, and instinct took hold immediately.
Her hair standing on end like an overly-large cat, Mara's body erupted into flame as rage and panic engulfed her. "Pervert!" She roared, the flames burning through the tentacles with cackles and hisses and dropping the woman to the ground.
The fanged demon rolled as her body collided with the earth, what remained of the tentacles still clinging to her body disintegrating to ash as Mara retreated from the beast even as the Demon Lord did likewise, the limbs it'd used as arms little more than seared stumps flailing uselessly against its it roared in pain.
Retreating to a safer distance away from the monster, Mara sat up; trembling as she hastily brushed the residual ash from her body. That thing had groped her. There and there and there and there. Feeling dirty and more than a little violated at what the avatar had done to her, Mara sneered at the creature before looking to Hild. "Daimakaicho! Did you see what that thing did to me?" She cried in rage. "That overgrown tapeworm groped me!"
From where she watched at the sidelines, the silver haired woman tilted her head off to one side. "Tapeworm, you say?" She asked, her voice, though she didn't shout, still managing to carry through the air and to Mara's ears. "Ma-chan, is that truly what you see when you look at the Demon Lord's avatar? Perhaps you should look again."
The blonde stared at her leader in confusion before looking back to her opponent, still thrashing in rage and pain at the loss of several of its limbs. Mara didn't understand it. What did Hild mean? It was a giant green worm.
Blonde brows furrowed together as she examined the beast, wondering what else it could have been if not an overly-large worm.
The answer struck her like a rapid ferret glued to a cement block.
An eye twitched as the realization hit her, and too shocked to do anything Mara simply sat there. "…is." She whispered, her voice so low that from where she stood, even the Daimakaicho could only hear the very end of what Mara had said.
The violet eyed woman smiled, the grin catching Lucifer's attention and causing him to stare in curiosity.
Naoki took a single step away from the Demon Lady. He didn't like what he saw in that smile.
"What was that Mara?" Hild called out. "I didn't quite here you."
"pen…" Again, the word was only half complete, and silently, taking no small part of joy on the opposing woman's behalf, Hild silently urged Mara on.
"A penis." The word finally left Mara's mouth, and Hild didn't bother holding back the giggles it brought forth, her smile growing more and more vicious as she watched Mara's reaction.
"You're makin' that up." Urd interrupted from her post. "Your old man's avatar, a green dick?" The woman threw her head back in a laugh. "There ain't no such thing!"
Across from her, Mara scowled. "Stop interruptin' me. And it's true!" She whined. "I couldn't make this shit up if I was drunk!"
"But you are drunk!"
"That's not the point!"
Urd laughed harder, and Mara pouted as Urd hysterics died down to mere giggles and snickers before continuing.
"A goddamned penis. I've been fighting an overgrown, tentacle-adorned, chariot-riding, motherfucking green PENIS this entire time!" She looked to the Daimakaicho and Lucifer, so filled with rage and horror that any sort of courtesies she owed the Lady and Tyrant were thrown out the window with the same cement block-glued ferret that had originally hit her. "What the fuck is wrong with you people?" She shrieked, pointing with a hand that shook with rage at the avatar. Oh, this explained so much. The fucking tentacles, the fucking 'so to speaks', everything. "Is this some sort of sick joke?" The blonde demanded, leaping to her feet with an energy fueled all the more by her rage. "Is this even a real fight? Or did I just unwillingly become the rapee volunteer for some sick demon hentai!"
The comment caused Naoki to snort and Hild to cackle, and even the avatar seemed to find humor in her words, roaring a laugh that made Mara fume. She looked back at the monster. "And you shut up!" She snarled, her rage so fierce that the creature actually listened, the laughter falling silent as she looked back the trio who'd voluntold her to fight.
Lucifer's smile was slim; lacking the amusement the Daimakaicho next to him seemed to hold. Mara wasn't sure if it was better or worse than Hild's laughter. "My Dear, I assure you this is no joke. Nor is there deceit behind the actions of this battle or ulterior motives. What you see before you is indeed the Demon Lord's form."
A snort from Hild. "Unfortunately."
He sent her a pointed look. The bronze woman simply smiled. "And I assure you, that while his form is somewhat…deplorable, he is also no opponent to take lightly." The devil warned. "It is highly unadvised to allow your attention to stray too long from an opponent such as he."
Another cackle from the Daimakaicho as Mara suddenly found herself bathed in shadow. "Keep your eyes on the target, Ma-chan!"
The demon turned, a cry of protest unable to escape her throat before the Demon Lord plowed into her with all the force of a freight train, the blades of its chariot slicing into her none too kindly in passing and tearing into her flesh. Yet the fanged woman found herself incapable of even voicing a scream of pain as she was instead knocked to the ground, the chariot and all its blades running over her and to the other side of the clearing.
Mara's body screamed in pain as she fought to sit up, turning to look back at her opponent and finding her vision graying dangerously in the process. "Well fuck me." The demon gasped, wobbling unsteadily to her feet and disliking the amount of discolored red that covered the ground below her.
Before her, the Demon Lord wheeled around to face her once more, a harsh laughter resonating from his…throat…as he addressed her once more. "Well will you look at that! And to think, I'd have mistaken you for a human with that frail body of yours! But I wonder…how many more of my thrusts can you endure?"
Mara frowned in response, spitting into her hand and wiping the saliva onto a deep cut that had all but shredded her arm. The wound scabbed almost immediately, and though her hand came away red with residue blood, Mara forced a smile at the monster. "I stand corrected." She said. "Fuck you."
With a roar she charged the monster, a chant on her breath that brought fire to her lesser injured hands, running to meet the avatar that looked to be calling a magic its own. She leaped to meet it, hoping to skewer its mouth with a blade of fire when the ground below both their feet began to grow and unnatural gold, and suddenly the duo were encircled in gold and black energy. The pressure of the spell pulled Mara to the ground before she even came within reach of her target, and the demon gasped as the spell took effect, feeling her energy pulled from her body almost immediately.
The spell dissipated into the atmosphere, and with it Mara found herself capable of little movement, finding it a challenge in simply keeping her eyes open. What the hell was that? She wondered, eyes darting to the blades of the chariot containing the beast which had felled her, the grinding, screeching metal flecked with blood-her blood-and slowly growing closer as the Demon Lord approached.
"Well, this certainly is a surprise. Ma-chan must have had some sort of affect for our Demon Lord to draw on Almighty-branded magic. He doesn't usually draw upon that type of magic unless he thinks his opponent might actually have a chance of beating him."
It was a type of magic, named not so much after the deity amongst deities as it was a branch of spells to rule amongst all others. It was a near-perfect type of magic, hard to master and even harder to wield, yet coming with no weaknesses and the capability to destroy anything it came in contact with. They were spells reserved for only the most dedicated of spell casters.
They were spells used to kill.
Hild's smile was thoughtful. "Too bad she got caught in its blast radius. If she'd stayed out of its ring long enough for it to go off, perhaps she'd have had a chance to defeat him." The next words came out a mutter, unheard by all but one, who fought to look at her from under bloodied locks of blonde hair. "At least…not without my help…"
And that was when the music began, causing Mara's eyes to widen in open horror as she stared at her leader, who returned it with a calculating look of her own. You are not going to lose this fight, Mara. The blonde recognized the song instantly, as the demon began trembling, her mind begging, pleading with the Daimakaicho to stop before it had begun, to give her some time to gather her strength, something, anything to stop the song from playing.
Yet the Daimakaicho only grinned, her eyes glued to Mara's even as Lucifer looked to her with a raised eyebrow. "Music now?" He said. "Do we really need theme music for your servant's evident demise?" He tilted his head to the side and returned his gaze to the battle. "Really Lady Daimakaicho, that hardly seems appropriate."
The Daimakaicho lightly smacked his shoulder. "Oh you, allow an old woman her peculiarities, why don't you?" Her eyes sparkled with mirth as a single violet orb beheld the man before looking once more to Mara. "Besides, somehow music such as this seems appropriate."
Ignored by both the Lady and the Tyrant he found himself near, Naoki wore a large, shit-eater's grin on his face. He recognized the song. He knew the lyrics. And with shoulders quivering in silent laughter, he had to approve.
And as AC/DC's Big Balls began vocalizing their lyrics to all the underworld, one thought entered his mind.
The Daimakaicho sure knew how to pick 'em.
Well I'm ever upper-class high society
God's gift to ballroom notoriety
Almost as if possessed, Mara's body lurched into a roll away from the blades that seemed so ready to chop her into pieces. The demon pulled herself to feet with a pained grunt, and she wobbled on feet that swayed in a dead-man's gate. Pallid red eyes rolled in their sockets to Hild, and Mara's mouth parted as though she wished to speak to the bronze woman. Yet no sound escaped her throat-nothing aside from a soft pant, as though the very action of moving pushed her past the brink of exhaustion.
And I always fill my ballroom
The event is never small
The social pages say I've got
The biggest balls of all
"What's this? It seems your 'Ma-chan' has caught her second wind, Lady Daimakaicho." Lucifer watched in unveiled interest as the demon before them swayed to and fro on her feet, seeming to almost dance in and out of her opponent's range to the beat and sway of the music ringing in their ears. "I wonder, is it because of your sudden desire to delve into the musical arts during a battle? I was not aware your servants were trained in anything like Capoeira."
One amethyst eye came to regard sapphire and Hild chuckled. "Capoeira? The human martial art disguised as dance? A clever theory, I'll admit but…" The Daimakaicho shifted her attention once more on Mara, who with the melody of a guitar to guide her, seemed to dance around the Demon Lord like a ballerina, leaping and bounding and scoring slashes that turned to scorched scars on the avatar's unprotected sides. "…let's just say that when the music starts playing, Mara can't help herself."
I've got big balls
I've got big balls
They're such big balls
And they're dirty big balls
And he's got big balls
And she's got big balls
But we've got the biggest balls of them all
As the final portion of the verse grew more aggressive, so too did Mara's attacks grow more vicious, and this time, when a ring of magic began to arise from the floor, the blonde danced away from its radius, hands sweeping through the air as though gathering the natural magic that resided on the plain of her battle field and coming away with hands that glowed with unholy light.
And my balls are always bouncing
And my ballroom always full
And everybody cums and cums again
If your name is on the guest list
No one can take you higher
Everybody says I've got
Great balls of fire
The magic erupted from the ground before her, and as it once more dissipated into the air, Mara danced to her opponent, her steps light and fleet footed as she avoided the monster's sudden rushes that only brought it closer to her. With a strength she didn't have the woman leaped, bounding over the blades wishing so much to skewer her and onto the gears that connected the slicing metal, using the mechanics that connected the weapons to the chariot to propel her upwards to where she landed on the monstrosity's back.
I've got big balls
Oh, I've got big balls
And they're such big balls
Dirty big balls
And he's got big balls
And she's got big balls
But we've got the biggest balls of them all
As AC/DC screamed their chorus to the heavens, so too did Mara release a shriek of her own, a great battle cry that almost seemed to resonate with the music as she plunged her hands down into the soft flesh of the avatar's back, fire searing away surrounding skin, surrounding tissue and allowing the demon to burrow deeper like some horrendous parasite.
With a strength brought on perhaps by the beat of the music she danced to, perhaps by an energy born of emotion and adrenaline, Mara screamed. "No rape for you!" Before releasing the magic gathered in her palms, allowing the magic to propel itself outwards and away from her body and into the mass of flesh on which she stood.
Some balls are held for charity
And some for fancy dress
But when they're held for pleasure
They're the balls that I like best
My balls are always bouncing
To the left and to the right
It's my belief that my big balls
Should be held every night
The entity roared in pain as portions of its flesh were ripped from its body in Mara's attack, writing in pain and tossing the fanged woman off its body before the blonde demon had a chance to prepared herself. She landed on her back behind the beast, and quickly Mara rolled to her feet, twirling and swaying around to the Demon Lord's front, her body in the heat of the beat and her mind loosing itself to a bloodrage as the demon grew daring. Boldly, the woman reached out a hand to grasp one of the slicing blades, grabbing its blunt end with a hand that ate through the metal with the heat of magic and tearing the blade from where it connected to the golden chariot.
Oh, we've got big balls
We've got big balls
We've got big balls
Dirty big balls
He's got big balls
She's got big balls
But we've got the biggest balls of them all
Yet it seemed the avatar was ready for her attack. Or perhaps it was simply spurned on by its own rage and pain, charging the woman once more just as the blade separated from its brethren and running Mara down once more.
The demon howled in pain as the blades sunk into her like teeth once more, barely manage to protect her head from the metal claws that so wanted to burrow into her with the blade she'd managed to wrestle from the avatar. And even then the woman found herself at the mercy of a beat, squirming and wriggling beneath the chariot in a manner that looked to do more harm than good before it finally passed over her body.
Oh, we've got big balls
We've got big balls
We've got big balls/And I'm just itching to tell you about them
Dirty big balls/Oh we had such wonderful fun
He's got big balls/Seafood cocktail
She's got big balls/Crabs
But we've got the biggest balls of them all/Crayfish
A hand shot up just as the last bit of the carriage passed over Mara's head, and the woman grabbed it's back end, the cart dragging her behind it and leaving a long streak of blood in its path before Mara hoisted herself off the ground with a grunt, feet raising to the sky with all the strength left in her beaten body and allowing momentum to guide her further. The fanged woman flipped on the back of the chariot with all the dexterity of a gymnast, landing heavily once more on two feet before twirling and dancing once more on the avatar's body.
The cart came to a halt automatically at the intruder, and momentum seemed to work in the blonde's favor, propelling her towards the things head with her new-found weapon before her and sinking the blade deep into the avatar's flesh.
Oh, bullock sucker
With each repeating lyric Mara tore the blade from the creature only to cleave another blow into its body, working in rhythm and looking very much a bloodied axman falling a squirming green tree.
With each blow, the monster let forth a pained wail, its blood spraying onto Mara and mixing with her own, creating a red creature unrecognizable from the woman it once was.
The music ended, and with the last remaining borrowed energy she had, Mara cleaved one final slice into the Demon Lord, the blade sinking deep enough into its flesh that it stuck, Mara unable to draw it once more. Not that it mattered now. With the song ended so too had the strength it'd given her departed, and even if the weapon hadn't stuck, it'd been doubtful Mara would have had the strength left to lift it, let alone wield it like a would-be scythe.
The monsters peals of agony and pained writhing's had not stopped with the music, however, and with a sudden buck, it knocked the fanged woman from where she stood trembling, sending her to the ground with a grunt. The woman collided with the earth on her side, and with an agonized moan of her own, she rolled painfully onto her back, staring up at the avatar through eyes that saw the world through a hazy red of the blood sprayed upon her and the stars of exhaustion.
It was still alive.
Damn it…why won't you die? She seethed inwardly, her eyes growing heavy as Mara's consciousness tediously began to slip out from under her. All those attacks…all that blood…that damned music from Hild…Had it all been for naught? Was she going to faint, here on this makeshift battlefield of a realm within a realm, surrounded by her leader and the devil that was her equal and the wolf that was his servant and the four horsemen who stood as witnesses?
The answer seemed clear, and as the monster in front of her began to blur, Mara closed her eyes with a sigh, awaiting the blackness of her own mind to sweep her away.
Fucking penis monster…
Her arm was on fire.
Something had latched on to the arm she'd torn up so badly on one of that monsters blades, and it was scalding her alive. She tugged at it, hoping to break the clamp's grip, but instead only more pain came with it, and Mara howled in pain and rage at the grasp, snarling a demand that it let her go and tugging the limb once more.
It was a voice she was unfamiliar with, young and male and filled with the power of command all at once. However Mara had already sworn her allegiance to the Daimakaicho-she owned no other entity her obedience.
And so instead the demon snarled a curse to the voice, demanding that it go fuck itself before returning her attention to her arm, whose burning pain had begun to feel like someone had dripped molten metal on her flesh.
This time the pain grew a tenfold, and Mara shrieked, clawing at her arm with the desperation of a coyote in a trap, hoping to escape the pain at the loss of a limb. She pulled and yanked, scratching at torn cloth and torn flesh until her fingers grew red with her blood once more.
This time Mara did not resist, the demon opening her eyes and meeting the golden gaze of the wolf that was the hito-shura, staring down at her with an impassive face. Somewhere off to the side, Mara caught the Demon Lord in her peripheral vision, however she found herself incapable of looking away from the demi-fiend in front of her.
He was holding her up by her injured arm, after all.
"Why aren't you wearing a shirt?" The one question that had been on her mind since the moment the four of them had arrived in the other realm finally escaped her throat, and as Naoki pulled her further off the ground from which she lay, he smirked at her.
The woman gasped at the action, but before she could curse him out like she had in her mind the teen had already stooped to wrap the injured arm around his shoulder, the hand not grasping her injury moving under her lesser-wounded arm as he moved to support her weight.
"That's not helping!" She rasped, the youth being none to gentle with her in regards to her own injuries, and the boy merely shrugged in response.
"Pain will keep you awake."
Well, that answered her other major question-now she knew he could speak as well.
Wincing at her throbbing arm-the one thing that throbbed more than the rest of her body at the moment-she looked to him. "Mind telling me what you're doing?" The overgrown penis monster was still alive, if the grinding of rusted gears told her anything, and as she looked towards the noise, sure enough it still stood, its body hanging limp over its chariot, the sickle Mara had assaulted it with still gleaming in the red light of the land, little more than a streak of shining metal from where Mara rested against the hito-shura. The wounds she had inflicted on it still oozed a thick blood, one that had pooled within its chariot and had begun to drip over its rails, creating a trail of blood behind it wherever it moved.
"You want to win."
It was more a statement than a question, and Mara looked at Naoki with one eye, the other closed in pain. "You know, you haven't answered even one of my questions. You do realize that, don't you?"
Another quick smirk from her tormentor. "If I give you my energy will you be my demon?"
"What!" Mara demanded, unsure if she even believed her own this punk serious? What in his right mind was he thinking? Was this some sick and twisted way he asked a girl out on a date? Or was he asking for something else? What the hell did he mean?
Yet Naoki refused to elaborate on the subject, despite the fact that Mara was gaping at him like a fish.
Or maybe it was the fact that around that same time, the half-dead Demon Lord decided to try his luck on Mara once again.
She'd heard the squeaks and grinds of gears but hadn't registered it in her mind, too flabbergasted was she by the few words Naoki had bothered to vocalize and automatically tuning the beast out. Only now the ground was beginning to glow again, and with a start Mara squirmed to look to its source, her body screaming with a pain she'd forgotten in favor of a very real fear.
The woman cried out, already knowing what was about to come and finding herself incapable of doing anything but close her eyes.
And then Naoki dropped her. Just…dropped her, like a bag of potatoes he'd been forced to carry on his back through a Louisiana swamp.
Mara opened her eyes again. Just in time to see a bright beam of violet-white energy appear in his hand, the demi-fiend sweeping it downwards at an angle. The ground exploded in front of him, the magic in his hand dissipating into a wave of power that followed the explosion to the Demon Lord and fully enveloping it.
There was no Demon Lord when the dust settled once more.
Naoki sniffed. "I liked you better as a failed summon." He said softly before redirecting his gaze to the woman on the ground. He offered a hand to her. "I like you." He said simply. "And I want you to be my demon. What do you want from me in exchange?"
Mara was spared any sort of answer in the form of Hild. "Nothing, if she knows what's good for her." With the Demon Lord gone, the Daimakaicho and Lucifer approached, their expressions identical to Naoki's impassive face even as a pair of gold and red eyes came to rest on Hild's. "She is one of my best agents, after all. I'm not about to give her up simply because a whelp like you takes interest in her."
Naoki narrowed his eyes at the insult and from where she laid Mara watched as the youth's hand twitched, a spark of magic alien to her senses flickering against his palm. Oh shit. This fool wasn't thinking of challenging the Daimakaicho now, was he? All so that she would be 'his' demon?
It was at that point in time that Mara came to the frightening realization that the hito-shura was insane.
The spark did not go unnoticed either. Hild's eyes shone dangerously as she caught sight of the bit of magic, and the silver-haired woman smiled thinly. "Well now…" She murmured, her voice cool as she addressed the youth. "You wouldn't be thinking of challenging me, would you? I dare say you're a millennia too young to be doing that."
Naoki's eyes flashed red, and even as Lucifer ordered against it, the youth leaped at the Daimakaicho, an animalistic snarl twisting his face into something wild and barbaric. Yet the Daimakaicho remained unfazed, stepping to meet him with a hand that moved to grasp his face before the youth even had a chance to react. It was in such a way she held him, several feet off the ground with one hand, nails that had elongated to claws digging into the boys flesh, piercing skin and drawing blood. Both Naoki's hands wrapped around the Daimakaicho's as he struggled against her, muffled howls of rage seeming only to illuminate the mad eyes that glared into Hild's own, and without pause suddenly she thrust him to the ground, the hito-shura's head impacting against the earth hard enough for an impact crater to form.
When Hild released him, the boy didn't get up.
Staring at the youth's fallen body, the voice that had haunted Mara's thoughts earlier returned to her.
All it'll take is one strong yank, and that wolf won't have a leash anymore…
Lightly, Lucifer coughed, gaining the attention of the other two demons. "It seems there was a small…misjudgment in my decision to being young Naoki along with me." He said, addressing the Daimakaicho and the Daimakaicho alone. "I do apologize…with his interference, there was no true victor to our match." His gaze drifted to the now-unconscious demi-fiend, and what might have been a frown tugged at the corner of his lip. "…and his foolish actions in regards to not only you, Lady Daimakaicho, but to your servant as well were both unexpected and uncalled for."
With that, the blonde man bowed to his darker counterpart. "As a sign of good will on our relationships, please, allow me to forfeit this bet. I declare you and your servant the victor, and as a further sign of good will…" The devil rose from his bow, and in his hand something Mara couldn't identify appeared. "Please accept this gift to you in the hope that you might find some use for it in the later days to come." The blue-eyed devil offered it to her-something that looked like an almost living, snake-like fossil in Mara's eyes-and Hild accepted it with a smile that was more gracious then the one she'd showed to Naoki.
"A magatama, Lucifer? The very device you used to create your hito-shura?" She asked, examining the small object-it was about the size of her hand-before looking back to her companion. "Please explain; what use would one such as I have for a little toy such as this?" Her smile turned feral. "After that joyful little act Naoki just preformed, I'm not entirely certain I'd want to go about creating such creatures."
Lucifer only shrugged. "Perhaps. Perhaps not." He said. "As I've found in the past, one can never know just where the future may lead. You might yet find a use for it amongst whoever it is you associate yourself with on the Material World these days."
A face with brown hair and eyes flashed in front of Mara's eyes, and the blonde shivered, suddenly feeling inexplicably cold as she watched the Daimakaicho pocket the object with a thoughtful frown. The Daimakaicho…Hild wouldn't do…
With a respectful nod to the Daimakaicho, Lucifer turned his gaze to Naoki, and with a sweep of his arm the youth vanished is a hiss of white-violet light. "Until we meet again, Lady Daimakaicho." His gaze turned to Mara. "…and Femme Mara." And then he too was gone, vanishing in a plume of light similar to what had stolen Naoki away.
Hild approached the blonde as the last of the light dissipated into the atmosphere. "I suppose we should be on our way as well." She said, gazing across the landscape that had become a temporary battlefield. At some point in time, the Four Horsemen had disappeared, and with a shrug, a booted foot suddenly collided with Mara's exposed stomach, knocking the wind from the already beaten demon and forcing the fanged woman to curl into a ball of wheezing pain.
The violet-eyed woman raised an eyebrow in amusement, and as Mara uncurled from her ball shouting curses to the sky, the Daimakaicho allowed herself a smirk. "Daimakaicho that hurt!" Mara cried, rising to her feet with an energy she'd not had a moment before and rubbing her belly. She was going to have a bruise there later on.
Hild nodded. "Yes…but the cure for the problem often does, does it not Ma-chan?"
The blonde didn't respond at first, simply rubbing her kicked stomach gently even as the pains of her other wounds began to fade, shrinking away with the amount of energy Hild had thrown into her kick. However still feeling sore and cheated in a manner Mara couldn't quite understand, the blonde looked at her leader.
As one, the two began to walk from the site of confrontation, Mara a step behind her leader.
"I…want to call you a bitch. Is it okay for me to call you a bitch?"
One violet orb flew to her companion, taking note of the haggard state of the demon that was her servant. An amused smile curved upwards along her face. "No Mara. You cannot call me a bitch. You can think I'm a bitch, but you cannot call me a bitch."
"Oh. Okay." The Daimakaicho had pushed her to the point of breaking this time around. After everything that had happened, Mara was just getting to the point where she was beyond caring of whatever it was the Daimakaicho would do to her for her actions. "Daimakaicho?"
"Yes Ma-chan?" This time there was a hint of laughter in the silver-haired woman's voice, and Mara could only wonder what it was she found so amusing.
"Daimakaicho-Hild-I think you're a bitch."
A snicker came from somewhere ahead of Mara, though she wasn't sure if it was from her leader or not. "I know Mara. Most people do after working with me for a certain amount of time." This time Hild's head tilted back to look at her. "…I think it is in both of our best interests to return home for now. Somehow I get the distinct impression that you've been knocked silly."
A dazed nod from Mara, and then they too were gone, leaving behind nothing but the echoing laughter of horsemen and the screams of mounts in their wake.
The duo had already passed out by the time he'd arrived. By the gods what a pain in the ass these two were to track. How the hell did a goddess and a demon travel from a construction site to a house so quickly?
And why couldn't he do it?
Slowly, the hito-shura approached the women, his steps soft and silent and unnecessary in his current predicament. Before him, passed out on a table with which they shared their drinks, Urd and Mara rested, their snores soft and breath deep. Golden eyes lit up at the site of the blonde demon who'd so caught his interest, and carefully he moved towards Mara, his gaze hungry.
The youth reached a hand out to brush a stray lock of blonde hair from her face…and was suddenly knocked to the floor as a frying pan collided with his cheek, a hollow gong echoing throughout the room as metal connected with bone.
For several seconds, the demi-fiend laid where he'd fallen, blinking in a daze and wondering just what the hell had taken him by surprise. His answer came in a pair of pale, tattooed legs entered his line of sight, the trail of a black wing and a white wing near-scraping the wooden floor he found himself sprawled out upon.
"I knew it was you." World of Elegance's voice was cool, her expression stony as he followed the legs up to meet her face. "As soon as Mara mentioned a blonde-haired westerner accompanied by an eastern punk with gold eyes, I knew it had to be you." The angel growled at the youth, the frying pan that was her weapon brandished in her right hand with all the threatening force of an angry house wife.
For some reason the image was terrifying.
Ignorant of the hito-shura's feelings on what fear her current impression brought down upon him, World of Elegance continued. "Just what the hell are you doing here demi-fiend?" She hissed. "Did your master send you? Are you here to try and collect me for him once more?" The frying pan rose an inch threateningly. "Because if you are, I'm not above beating you within an inch of your life. Even if it is with a frying pan."
Yet Naoki shook his head. "Just come to check on my demon." He said, looking back to the unconscious women on the table with a fond expression on his face.
It had to have been one of the creepiest things Elegance had ever seen before.
"You're demon?" Elegance stared at the youth in shock. "I beg your pardon?"
Yet the hito-shura simply shrugged once more, slowly rising to his feet and moving towards Mara. "Not yet maybe, but soon." He said, leaning down and scooping the blonde up in his arms.
Aware of an impending death by frying pan at his back, the teen slowly maneuvered around the table and into another room in the house, depositing the demon carefully on the couch inside and remaining aware of the angel haunting his back. He looked back to the dual-angel with a smile. "Just like you, when the time comes." His eyes darted back to the room he'd just left, just catching a stray flash of silver that was Urd's hair. "…And maybe the goddess who plays host to you as well."
He looked back to World of Elegance, ignoring the murderous gaze and the tension that had befallen the angel. "And together we will destroy and together we will kill. YHWL-the Almighty you call him?- first I think, and then maybe the one my demon calls 'master'. I don't like her very much. It will be fun."
World of Elegance's feathers rustled uneasily, rising against her like the hackles of a dog sensing danger. "You're insane." She whispered. "I want you to know that right here and now. You're insane. Get out of here. Now. And don't come back. If I see hide or hair of you ever again-around my sisters, my goddess, or even my demon," she pointed to Mara. "I swear to the heavens above, I will kill you. I don't even care if I have to end my life to do it. The next time I see you, your ass is mine, demi-fiend."
Again, nothing but a shrug from the creature before her-a beast neither human nor demon nor god, but some hideous monster living under the 'guise of what he'd once been. "As you wish." He said. And then he turned once more to the sleeping Mara, and before Elegance could react, the hito-shura leaned down and kissed her.
World of Elegance shrieked in rage, and the demi-fiend darted away with a laugh, the frying pan that had been thrown at his head instead colliding with the already unconscious demon. The angel swore an oath, and with a large smile that seemed out of place on his face, Naoki vanished in a plume of magic.
Mara hadn't even twitched when the pan had collided with her face, and with a sigh, World of Elegance ran a hand through her hair. Sensing Naoki's aura fading away, the angel moved to collect her temporary weapon, looking at the red mark that was slowly spreading across the demon's face with a grimace. "My demon. Yeah. Right. Some guardian angel I am." She grumbled, placing the pan down on another table before moving to the room Urd was in. "I can barely take care of my goddess, let alone a demon."
With a grunt, the angel gathered her own charge in her arms before returning to the room Mara was in, propping the demon up and laying Urd down on the couch next to her. With that, the angel quickly moved to retrieve some pillows, fitting them under both woman's bodies in the hopes of them resting comfortably.
That done, the angel took a step back, crossing her hands over her chest as she regarded her work. She frowned as her dual eyes rested on Mara. "You know, sometimes I wonder if maybe I should have been assigned as your guardian angel rather than Urd's. You certainly seem to need one more than she ever did, demon."
Mara snored louder in response.
The angel grit her teeth in irritation. "…Maybe some more pillows will drown out that snoring too."
And so it was a story remained untold, its owner passed out before she could finish and the warnings it held within its reach falling on deaf ears. Within one realm, a woman occasionally toyed with an item of great power, her thoughts distant yet plotting as she rubbed the cool surface with a finger. In another realm, a wolf returned to its den, its own plots unfolding before its very eyes.
And somewhere in Antarctica, within a realm that should not have existed, a young, blonde-haired, blue-eyed woman dressed in a blue gown approached a sleeping Marine.
Louisa Ferr smiled softly as she stared down at his resting form.
"It's time to wake up…"
Comments of a Madwoman: I love torturing Mara. She's such an underdog.
Anyways, when I was first writing this, I had a lot of insecurities about it, thinking the content might be too mature or too inappropriate to post. Then, through a friend I watch on deviantart, I discovered something that took all my inhibitions away. It was an anime called 'Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt'.
It had to have been one of the most horrifying shows I'd ever come across.
And I couldn't stop watching it.
After that, I took another look at my fic, my mind tainted with pole-dancing hooker angels, giant monsters of shit, and a green dog that looked like a would-be Gir impersonator devouring porn to the point where I could almost hear my mind breaking, and decided a giant penis monster wasn't really a big deal.
The Demon Lord Mara being Ma-chan's grandfather is kind of true-I don't know how long it took me before I came to the realization that the two characters shared the same name, but somehow that and a little research were some of the things that got me started on writing Angel Biter and Origins. The idea of Mara sharing a name with her grandfather was one of the things that kind of got me started, among other ideas.
Also, I suck at writing drunks.