"…So what's the issue?" Heechul asked Leeteuk when he heard that the Keepers had gone to see the immortals. Leeteuk shrugged as he gazed at the torn up land around them. Most people were outside, relaxing as best as they could before the next battle.
"It's about mating seasons." Junsu said as him and Yoochun sat down on the grass next to the leaders. The other non-demon aristocrats, including the children, looked at the two and sat around them in a circle as if waiting for a story to be told.
The other demons saw this and decided to join the group in case the two demons needed help explaining. Hyosung, Jungmo, Jay, and Jieun were still with the Immortals trying to solve the issue.
"Well, you know that demons are rather animalistic, correct?" Junsu asked, earning nods from everyone. "Well, just like animals, we have mating seasons." He said.
"Days 1 – 100 are the Insects' mating time. Days 101 – 200 are Felines', Days 201 – 300 are Canines', and Days 301 – 400 are Fowls'." Yoochun said. "As you know, each demon has a mark on their arm that signifies which animal aspects they have."
Yoochun and Junsu rolled up the sleeve of their jacket to reveal a black paw-like design on their arm, "Yoochun and I have canine traits." Junsu said, "You are only able to mate with someone who shares the same animal as you do."
"The traits also show throughout battle." Yoochun said, "Canines have stronger attacks, Felines have better chances of dodging, Insects are able to hide or go unnoticed easily, and effect of gravity impacts Fowls less, so they are able to stay in the air longer."
The children looked at the other demons around them, curious as to what animal traits they had. The demons noticed and smiled, pulling up their sleeves for them to see. Zinger, Sunhwa, Zhoumi, and Henry all had horizontal lines with a line going straight down the center.
"Insects…?" Jihwan asked aloud, getting nods from the demons, "Mistress Jieun and Keeper Hyosung are felines." Zinger added in.
"Well…that doesn't answer why the four demons went to the Immortals to figure something out." Heechul said.
"Blossoms. That is why they went there to ask for help." Zinger said. All eyes turned to her as she continued, "Blossoms are special beings in the world…they are the ones who continue civilization. In short, they are the ones who are able to carry a child."
A moment of silent rushed by before Sunhwa continued the talk, "There is only one Blossom in each group of demons. They are marked with a green rose right under their left eye. Gender does not matter, but they only have one chance to give birth to that child. There is no second chance. If the baby somehow dies while it is still developing, all chances of having a child are lost."
"The issue with Blossoms right now is that carrying a child takes up huge amounts of energy, and it takes half a year, or 200 days, for the child to be fully developed. While the child is still in development, it is barely noticeable though. Unlike humans, where the baby takes a physical form in the womb, demon infants are just a black mass of particles in the womb, which is why they take up so much energy. At the end of the 200 days, the parent will cough up the energy and it will take a physical form. We cannot be having Blossoms pregnant during the war. That is the main issue for now." Zinger said.
"There is not a big population of them at the current moment who could bear a child. A Blossom under the age of a 1,000 is not able to carry a child, so they may mate and nothing will happen until they reach that age. Even if they were over a 1,000 and they mated for the first time, there is an extremely low case of them bearing child." She continued.
"On another note, just so you are mentally prepared…" Sunhwa started, "During the mating season, you will see many demons young and old scurrying around to find their mate…and to be an official mate and receive the mark on their face…they must have sexual intercourse…"
The children, fairies, and several vampires blushed when they heard that and the demons smiled at them with amusement. "I would stay away from any demon rooms at all cost." Junsu commented.
"Also," He added in, "Demons get into this kind of dazed trance during their season if they are unmated…they also emit pheromones, but only demons can sense it, so do not worry."
"…So why are we worrying about this so much?" Onew asked, still not getting a direct answer from the demons. The demons paused and glanced at each other, knowing something the others did not.
"Worrying about the other Blossoms is a cover up for our Blossom, who is in a slightly more difficult situation than the other Blossoms." Sunhwa said.
"And who is your Blossom? I can't believe none of us remembers this." Alexander said. Heechul rolled his eyes, "How can you not remember their Blossom?" The other aristocrats looked around at the demons to find that there was no green rose on their face.
"What are you doing?" A voice rang out followed by footsteps. The two Keepers and their Aides walked up to the group. They stopped at the outside of the circle, waiting for an answer.
"We are telling them about the issue you four had gone to the Immortals to talk about." Yoochun said.
"…You're the Blossom?" Injun and Jihwan asked innocently, spying the green rose under the Keeper's left eye. Jungmo's eyes slightly widened and an out of character faint pink color appeared on his cheeks.
Jungmo coughed, "Yes…I am the Blossom of Team Innocence…" The color faded away from his face. "We just had an issue with the mating seasons for us demons…that is all." He informed them of their reason to visit the Immortals.
Before any more questions were raised, a screen appeared in the sky, the words "Applies to Demons Only" flashing across it for a few seconds. The warning disappeared only to be replaced by the title "Insect Mates."
"We shall do this now so you will have no qualms in finding your mate later. You better remember them." The twins said as the screen started to change. Names and pictures of two demons appeared side by side, signaling unmated pairs who their other half was. The cycle continued until every insect mate was finished.
The title of the screen changed to say "Feline Mates." Jungmo snapped his head towards Hyosung, "Why are they continuing?" He asked her, she shook her head and shrugged, she wasn't in control of the twins.
Up next were the Canine mates and soon the Fowl mates. Shouts were heard around the buildings as demons were surprised about their mates. Jungmo sighed and looked up at the screen again. The other aristocrats watched the screen curiously, Jungmo's discomfort disregarded for the moment. The last pair showed up for the Fowl mates and the demon population rejoiced or smirked.
Keeper Jungmo and Aide Jay.
The Keeper glared at anyone who tried to approach him, earning confused stares from everyone except his fellow demons. Footsteps were heard around them and the Keeper sighed.
"Keep them away." Jungmo simply said as he walked back to his room. The other demons understood and braced themselves for the questions that would be thrown at them from the demon citizens about Jungmo and Jay.
As the big crowd died down and the day was wasted away, the aristocrats followed the demons to their room, having questions themselves.
"What's so wrong with you guys?" Alexander asked, the only one having enough courage to ask. The demons didn't say anything and the leader huffed. Heechul tapped him in the shoulder and gave him a look that told him to stop asking.
Jay stepped into the room alone, everyone else trying to watch from the door. Jungmo sat upon a chair, facing the window. Jay walked over and leaned down, a smile gracing his lips. The Keeper had fallen asleep, exhausted enough to not notice his presence in the room.
He picked the Keeper up gently and laid him on the bed, laying the blanket on top of him. He turned back to the door and made a hand motion for all of them to leave.
The group left and went to the vampires' room instead, most of them still confused.
"I still don't get it. They look like a fine couple to me." Alexander said. Heechul sighed, "They are not officially mated if you haven't noticed." The people in the room sighed as the leader stated the obvious. "Well we know that Heechul, but why don't they mate then?" Alexander asked.
"Well…" Heechul started, "They can't." He simply said, not explaining.
"Let us take this over." Zhoumi suggested.
"The first issue is that it is not their season to mate…those two are both Fowls, so their mating period is not until the 301st." Jieun said. "Secondly, they cannot because of their status of Keeper and Aide. Thirdly, Jungmo is a Blossom."
"Do you understand now?" Jieun asked, getting shakes of heads from the fighters. She sighed and continued.
"Were Lord Jungmo and Chief Jay to have a child, it would seem unfair to the other demons because it would seem as if their child would be naturally stronger. Also, once word gets out that Jungmo has conceived , many demon pairs will time their child to be born in the same year as Jungmo's, hoping that their child and the Keeper and Aide's child will be part of the same Team in the future."
"Thus, there would be too many children born in the same year, corrupting the balance." She finished off.
"Wow…you guys think ahead a lot…" Alexander commented.
"Wait…" Leeteuk spoke up, "Isn't there a ridiculous need to mate during one's mating season? Almost an unavoidable need to mate?"
"Ah…" Jay came into the room, interrupting the conversation, "Do you recall that one time that you brought your children to visit Lux Lucis Occulto?" He asked. The vampires nodded, "Remember you saw me there?" Another round of nods passed by.
"I was there to pick up a potion for Jungmo and I." He said, looking at Victoria.
The fairy cleared her throat, "Yes, I did make a potion for them to take. The potion pushes back their mating cycle and stopped their instinct to mate for that year."
"Wait wait wait…You said there was a low chance of demons conceiving a child when they first mate." Onew said.
Victoria sighed, "Well…the potions that they takes do have a downside…The potion pushes back their mating instinct, but in return for that, it will make sure that Jungmo, a Blossom, conceives a child the first time he mates because in a sense, that would not be his first time mating anymore since so many cycles have passed by."
"Basically…Jungmo and Jay have been taking it ever since we won the Team game, which was a century ago." Hyosung said, running her hand through her hair.
"Oh…that must…suck…" Alexander said, no other words coming to mind. Jay chuckled, "It is alright, as long as I am there for him I am fine. I should head back now, goodnight." He stood up and disappeared into the hallway, leaving the other to talk amongst themselves.
"Wait…so does every demon get um…trance-like during each mating season?" Alexander asked. "No, after they have mated for the first time then the season does not affect them…except for blossoms…Blossoms will be continuously affected by the mating season until they conceive a child." Hyosung replied.
"Oh…so how is the investigation on Gain's spells going?" Leeteuk changed the subject. "Oh, well they still have not figured anything out yet, but they are working diligently. When I stopped in they were watching a clip of a battle over and over again." She replied.
"I got it!" Kazuya yelled, standing up from his seat on the sofa. The other immortals looked up at him, eager for the answer to their problem.
"Well if Gain is using a spell to reanimate those who are dead, why don't we make a counter spell for it?" He suggested. "We cannot utter the spell every time someone is killed." Geunsuk pointed out. Kazuya shook his head, "No, let's make a coating for their weapons and elements that will prevent those who die from being brought back."
A moment of thought passed by and the immortals slowly nodded, "We could try that…" Kanon said.
A week later the Immortals emerged from their room and called everyone out for an announcement. Once the fighters were situated, Geunsuk told them to summon their abilities. As the powers were being summoned, Boa continued with the speech, a screen showing pictures behind her.
"As many of you saw, during the last battle many of the ones we cut down started to arise again." The screen behind her played several clips of the example. "We, the Immortals, have found a countermeasure for this. It will take time though, for all of you must come up to one of us one-by-one. Now, shall we begin? Aristocrats in the front please."
The Immortals separated and the people got into one of the five lines. As the Immortals placed the spell onto the ability, the power shone a light green for a moment before returning to its original color. After hours of blessing the abilities, the act was finished.
The sun shone high in the sky and the temperature was warm. It was like a spring day in human terms. The immortals had started to lose focus on the war after weeks of waiting for Gain to make her next move, and were in the process of staring at the three screens in their room.
"Shouldn't we attack her at some point?" Kanon asked, referring to Gain. Geunsuk shook his head, "We still have no idea what else she has stored." He replied, ignoring or not even hearing her use of slang words.
"Oh shit." Naoya said, looking at the screen.
The alarm went off and everyone sprang out of their slumber.
"Units 1, 2, 7, and 8 are to meet up with their Immortal at the western wall and transport to Lux Lucis Occulto. Units 3, 4, 9, and 10 are to report to the south and remain in Obscurum Vestis. Units 5 and 6 shall come to the eastern wall and make leave for Specialis Ammiculum." Geunsuk commanded.
As everyone came together the groups teleported to the worlds and were lead from there.
Boa and Kanon turned to face their teams and informed them of their current knowledge. "You are up against Division 5, led by Miryo and Yoona to the north, and Division 2, led by Narsha and Jungwoo to the south. Unlike the previous battle where most of the fighting was in a rather empty field, the enemies have hidden themselves into the forest."
"It is also very bright and warm today, do be careful to not overexert yourself. Units 9 and 10 will head to the north; Units 3 and 4 will go to the south." Boa said, the units quickly leaving afterwards.
Naoya and Geunsuk repeated the same information to their units in Lux Lucis Occulto. "Units 1 and 2 will take the northern half against Division 1, led by Jea and Shindong. Units 7 and 8 will take the southern half against Division 4, led by Rose and Yuri."
The warriors fled and the Immortals disappeared to watch from above.
In Specialis Amiculum, the defense was spread very thinly in order to cover the whole border. Heechul clicked his tongue when he heard Kazuya tell Units 5 and 6 to spread out.
"Aren't you supposed to be within a mile of your twin?" Heechul asked the Immortal before he went up to observe the battlefield. Kazuya shook his head, "Do not worry, there is a spell that will keep me as strong as I usually am when I am with Naoya." With that he disappeared.
Heechul sighed and looked around, a feeling of anxiety in the pit of his stomach.
I have come back my dear readers! Sorry for coming back with such a boring chapter...but we're heading into our second battle now! ^-^
The character profiles for the demons have been updated with their animal traits btw, but you don't need to look at it unless you want to XD