Here you go! I haven't had any sleep in 36 hours so exuse any editing slips. Please comment and follow me. I have school starting up soon so sorry for delayed posting.

Im using OVA Clef cuz he is smexier. And for Umi's half demon form, she is Umi from the anime but with ears... And her human form is OVA Umi.


She heard the sound of battle clashing from far away. She also smelled human blood, and in a large quantity too. Sounds of clashing metal weapons echoed through the forest, along with the crackle of fire. There were also various elemental spells being summoned from one side.

She leaped from tree to tree easily until she got a vantage point. If one was watching, all that would be seen is a quickly moving shadow. Umi peered from the branch of the tree she was perching on, watching the battle rage on. The bright flames reflecting in her cerulean irises. She had no part in either side, therefore she had no need to participate in the battle.

The magic using side began to gain the advantage with their powerful spells that could not be matched. Fires burned the small shrubs and bushes but Umi would leave if one got too close.

But the other side were formidable opponents and happened to be of the elements fire and metal. They did not leave the magic side unscathed. Eventually, the battle was finished as the the leader of the other side called for a retreat.

The tall blonde commander sighed with a relaxation of his broad and armored shoulders. "Men, collect the deceased and help the wounded. Let's get out of here." He said in a rough voice.

"Yes, Dal LaFarga." Most of them replied, getting to work.

There was one dead body below Umi's tree, but she wasn't going to let some silly human scare her away. Her stubbornness got her in trouble occasionally though. As one of the tall soldiers collected the body, something told him to look up. And when he did, his eyes met flashing blue ones.

Umi made sure the hood of her cloak was fully covering the cat ears set behind the base of her bangs. Her long, uneven, blue hair was still tucked into the cloak. Even being a half-demon and all, taking on a whole army of trained swordsmen and mages would be a challenge.

"Who's there?" The man shouted in a commanding voice. Umi sighed and jumped nimbly down from the branch, making virtually no sound when she hit the ground, her hand resting on her hip very near her sword hilt.

"My name is Umi. I'm simply a traveller." She replied calmly.

"Then what were you doing here, just watching our battle? You have no business here." The soldier said, hand on the hilt of the sword at his hip.

"Simply watching." Umi replied with a shrug. She was trying to talk with her mouth as closed as possible without seeming suspicious, to keep them from seeing her pointed fangs. "It was my entertainment for the day, problem?"

A few more soldiers surrounded her, taking up fighting positions and remaining as backup. "Something doesn't seem right about her, Tako." One of them pointed out.

The soldier, now known as Tako, grunted agreement. "Pull down your hood, I want a good look at your face." The hood had been shading her face as well as covering her ears.

"I will not put down my hood." She replied steadily and stubbornly.

"You will put it down or we will have to take you as a prisoner for resisting." Tako challenged.

"Well, I guess you will have to take me as prisoner, because I'm not putting my hood down." Umi responded with a certain arrogance in her voice. She began to walk in the direction the group had come from. "So, shall we go?" If she even /wanted/ to escape, she couldn't do so without harming innocent humans. Oh well.

The soldiers got on the waiting horses, most of them holding a body or an injured person onto their horse. "To the castle!" LaFarga announced, slinging his legs onto his steed.

"Come here, little lady. Get on the horse." One of the scarred up soldiers rasped, beckoning to her.

"Nah, thanks for the offer, I'll go by foot." Umi replied waving the offer away with a hand. The man also rather creeped her out. She felt like screaming 'pervert' or 'lech' into his face. Just the way he said it disturbed her.

"We won't slow our pace for you. But you must show up at the castle at a decent time or we will come looking for you." LaFarga calmly warned before setting the horse to a full gallop, the whole troop following suit.

Umi sprinted to catch up to the group and did so very easily, heading straight to tie with the leader. Behind her, some soldiers were amazed.

"Wow, she's fast." One commented.

"Running at the pace of a horse? That's preposterous!"

"That must have taken a great deal of physical training."

Umi smirked, the emotion hidden in the shadow of her cloak. 'And this isn't even full speed.' She mused.

After about a quarter of an hour riding, the troop arrived at the castle gates. When LaFarga walked up to them, they slowly inched open until the door was fully open.

Umi followed them to the stables where they put their horses away and fed them.

-.-.-.-

The clink of fine silverware against china could be heard as the residents of the castle dined. Sitting next to King Ferio, the young and lively king with ivy hair and golden eyes, was the most powerful magic user in the whole nation. Master Mage Clef was the name of the mage and he had pale lavender hair with ice blue eyes. The hair was restrained by his coronet, except for a lock of fringe falling down the side of his face. He was looking down at his plate as he cut a piece of vegetable, when suddenly he sensed something and gasped, dropping his knife with a loud /klink/.

A few people looked away from the conversation they were active in. Two girls' eyes widened also, namely Fuu and Hikaru. The Magic Knights of Cephiro who were sworn to protect it. The fiery redhead, Hikaru, asked Clef "Did you sense that?" She blinked her crimson eyes in suprise.

"I also felt a disturbance." The blonde with glasses in front of her green eyes confirmed. She doubled as Queen along with her Magic Knight role.

"It's a... Demonic aura on the castle grounds." The Mage said slowly. "Hopefully the guards or the soldiers will handle it... Continue your meals." But he sounded hesitant. This aura was /very/ strange.

-.-.-.-

"Don't resist and neither my men or I will hurt you." LaFarga muttered to Umi. She made sure to keep her hands concealed in the pocket of her cloak to keep them from seeing her sharp claws. If she was revealed as a demon, she wouldn't be able to get out of there without trouble. "I'll take you to my commander." He grabbed her roughly by the arm - ignoring her hiss of distaste - and took her down many marble hallways to what seemed like a dining room.

Umi could tell it was by the strong scents of meat and gravy wafting around. The delectable scents made her mouth water and she realized how long it had been since she had a well prepared meal. She wasn't exactly... Socially accepted, being a half-demon and all. Neither demon or human would fully accept her. So Umi had to hunt for all her food, mostly fishing and small prey, cooking it on a fire afterward.

LaFarga noticed how antsy the girl in his grip seemed to be getting. She must be hungry or something. The girl seemed rather ragged; the smudges of dirt and such on her face and tattered clothes gave it away. She was probably desperate. "We're not here to eat. I have come to inform the castle officials of you. Stay in the hallway." He commanded as he opened the great door to the room and walked in, bowing slightly.

Umi remained in the hallway as told, and leaned up against the wall. What a silly thing to take a prisoner for! She could see a punishment if she /harmed/ someone. Well. Whatever.

A slight movement caught Mage Clef's eye in the hallway as LaFarga, the leader of one of the more powerful groups of men, walked in. But the mage had not yet made the connection with the demonic aura.

"LaFarga." Lantis, the commander of the whole army acknowledged, setting down his fork to talk to his partner.

"Sir, I have a captive with me. She seems to be very resistant and arrogant." The blonde man reported. Umi couldn't help but smirk from her spot in the corridor. That may have been a bit of an exaggeration. "One of my men also explained to me that he sensed a strange aura from her. He is one of the more powerful mages in my troop." Oh. So that's why they captured her. They were /suspicious/!

Fuu looked at Hikaru, both of them making the connection. Then, they glanced at Clef who had the same look of realization. "Bring this girl in." Clef commanded, making sure his staff was within reach for necessary defense.

Umi, of course, heard this so she waltzed in. "Hey." She didn't want to hurt humans, but that didn't mean she had to show /respect/.

"Girl, pull down your hood." He said with a monotone. He had to see if his hunch was correct.

"Nah, I'd rather not." She defied.

"You should, or else we will have to punish you for resistance." The lavender-haired mage threatened.

"Meh."

"Just do it." He replied a bit waspishly, fixing her with a wintry glare.

"Nah." The corner of her lip crept up into a smirk at his surliness. All because of her. She had heard that the master mage was known as an impeccably calm person.

Master Mage Clef was beginning to lose his temper, and the ones sitting near him could almost feel the crackling of lightning magic in the air around him. He didn't know why this one girl unnerved him. The mage stood up from his chair, staff at the ready.

King Ferio was torn between holding the Mage back or cheering him on. This girl rather annoyed him too. "That arrogant little..." He muttered under his breath before his wife's hand on his arm stopped him.

"Kind words." She whispered.

The half-demon noticed how tense the Mage was. Ironically, he seemed almost like a cat ready to spring. "Try me, Mage."

That was the last straw. A bolt of lightning hit near Umi's feet and she took off running around the dining room, a trail of near-misses following her.

One bolt almost hit Umi, so the only way to avoid it was to jump upwards. She had an impressive jump, being part cat. Umi did a lateral leap, twisting in the air just for show, and landed on the dinner table between the platters of food. The gaps between serving dishes were very small so her landing /was/ impressive.

The girl was being stared at with eyes as wide as dinner plates, more than one person flinching for their weapon. At first, her reaction was smug because of what a deal her performance made. Then, the expression fell off her face as she realized the change of temperature the sensitive skin on her ears felt. She closed her eyes with a pained expression for a fraction of a second, working one clawed hand free from her pocket to touch her head. Yep, her hood had flipped off.

"She's a demon!" A lady with pink hair and what seemed like a southern drawl declared. Clef gave a silent nod as his suspicion was confirmed.

All Umi could manage was a small fanged smile, knowing she would be attacked and the only way would be to fight her way out. She had to dodge quickly out of the way of a swing from LaFarga's heavy sword. Suddenly, a fire spell was launched at her, commanded by Hikaru. She jumped upwards yet again, flexing her claws in frustration. Umi didn't even draw her sword yet. "I don't want to hurt you!"

"Save it." Hikaru snapped, summoning red colored lightning that struck Umi's side. She normally wasn't so mean, but defending the castle was her job as a magic knight.

Umi hissed in pain. "I'm telling the truth." One ear twitched in irritation. She really wanted to draw her dragon-hilted sword. It would easily be able to take out everyone here. Except maybe for Hikaru, Fuu, and the Mage. "If I wanted to hurt you, I would have long ago."

"Then what are you doing here?" Clef asked calmly, staff held at the ready for attack. He had finally gathered his temper enough to keep his voice unwavering.

"Well..." Umi said in annoyance. "I was taken here! I didn't want to put up a fight because I would /kill/ you all!"

"You think highly of yourself, kitty." He taunted.

Umi held up one fist and flexed her claws. "You're asking for it. If you want me out of here because I'm a damn demon, fine I'm leaving-" She was cut off by a gasp from the Master Mage. "What?"

"A demonic aura."

"Have you forgotten I'm a demon so soon?" She asked in an incredulous voice, hopping off the table.

"No this one seems more evil than you."

"That's because I'm not evil!" Just then, a humongous fist crashed through the wall, grabbing Hikaru and Fuu in one easy swipe. The wall of the dining room was now a gaping hole, and both Umi and Clef ran toward it, forgetting the previous argument completely. Clef stood up straight and summoned a lightning bolt to damage the arm of the creature. Umi observed that the arm was made of brown, cracked mud that was half dried and covered in stone armouring.

"That won't work, idiot! It's made of rock and mud, you should know that." Umi hissed, jumping onto what was left of the wall. "Your attacks will all be grounded."

"You're the idiot! That's a twenty story drop!" He suddenly exclaimed. Clef couldn't help it, she was the age of Hikaru and Fuu. They were his students. He hated to admit it, but he was a bit concerned for the blue haired girl.

"I'm a cat demon, I live on balance and agility." She declared, jumping on top of the monster's clenched fist and sprinting up its arm, seaping from Rock plate to rock plate to keep her boots from sinking in the mud. She got the claws on her right hand ready. "IRON REAVER SOUL STEALER!" Umi's claws glowed and she stabbed a gaping hole into where the demon's heart should be. It stumbled back with a deep howl of pain and dropped the two girls in its fist. After that, it fell backwards and its flesh dissolved into dust, leaving bones behind.

Umi leaped off the arm as the flesh disintegrated, and dove into the air like it was water, leaving the horrified faces of the people still in the dining room looking over the edge. She got below Fuu and Hikaru, catching them on her back. With her free arm, she drew her sword and dug it into the wall, leaving a long scar in it, but the sword became wedged in the bricks so she was able to have a solid object to grip. "Hey, can you stop screaming? You're not falling anymore and I have really sensitive hearing." Umi asked irritably, wincing. She was clinging onto the hilt of the sword with her right hand and had both feet planted on the wall. The cat demon glanced down. A three story fall was left. It was perfectly survivable, for her anyway. "Hold on tight and just trust me, okay?"

Fuu and Hikaru glanced at each other and nodded. They really had no other choice. Umi let go of the sword and landed perfectly nimbly on her feet, bearing most of the shock, for the girls' sake. She lowered them to the ground.

"Thank you, Miss Cat Demon. I didn't catch your name." Fuu said politely, nodding her head slightly.

"I'm Umi." She replied shortly, looking up at her sword wedged in the wall and scratching her ear in puzzlement. "I have to get that somehow." She mused quietly. Fuu and Hikaru must have realized the extent of the fall they just took because they clammed up, eyes wide.

Just then, rushed footsteps revealed the very out of breath members of the dining room. Clef rushed to the two girls. They were his students after all.

"Are you two okay?" Both mutely nodded, Fuu biting her lip and Hikaru trembling slightly. "How could you let them fall?"

"Heh. I thought the demon would be stubborn and hold on longer. But they're safe, aren't they?" Umi replied, eyes flicking around, looking for a solution to the sword issue.

"I suppose so."

"And I slayed the demon." She pointed out, now looking him dead in the eye. Clef grunted agreement.

"Why in the world am I associating with you?"

"Because I'm not a bad demon, as I have proved?" She asked, a small fanged grin on her face. Umi wanted to have a place to lodge, instead of getting kicked out. But after that experience, it wasn't too likely.

"This doesn't prove anything."

"Well as you have seen, I could escape if I wished so. But I have vowed to myself not to hurt innocent humans. I don't like demons having a bad name, so I won't contribute to humans disliking us." Umi explained. She at least needed one person's trust to get in.

Just then Hikaru spoke up, voice still slightly trembling. "M-master Clef. I think she is being h-honest. I trust her." There's one. Fuu still couldn't find her voice, so she nodded her agreement. And two. Clef turned to stare at the girls.

"But she is a /demon/ we can't trust demons." He stated rather harshly. Umi nearly glared, but caught herself. She bit her tongue telling herself to be nice.

"There's something different about her though." Fuu said, finally finding her voice. "Her demonic aura isn't evil. It's... Unique."

"Clef, please don't discipline her!" Hikaru said, hugging the very surprised cat demon around the waist. "She saved us, /and/ slayed the demon. We owe her."

Normally, Umi would have pushed the girl away, but right now Hikaru was helping her case. So she let it go.

King Ferio went over to the slowly recovering Fuu and kissed her on the forehead. Fuu blushed raddish red and Umi and Hikaru started giggling at her reaction. "I'm not going to let anything like that happen again, my dear Fuu." He muttered to her, embracing her. She was shy in personality, therefore didn't like public affection by Ferio. But her lover was the extreme opposite.

"Fine, I suppose you can be lifted of charges. We will just call it even." Clef sighed and then smiled. "I think the girls even want you to /stay/."

Umi blinked and looked down at the redhead hugging her, who looked up nodding vigorously. Then she looked at Fuu, who pulled away from Ferio slightly and nodded also. "I... Suppose I could. But I'm making no promises to stay forever. I've lived on my own my whole life and that may not change so quickly." She replied, not wanting to commit fully even though he was jumping in giddy joy on the inside. Umi pulled off the outer cloak she was wearing since it was covered in mud and demon guts. Her sensitive nose really didn't find that particular scent pleasant. A mix of rotten meat, death, and fermented fruit? Bleh. She hoped /she/ didn't normally smell like that. Below her cloak, she was wearing a pair of black legging-like pants and a navy long sleeved shirt. Along with that was a black belt and some leather boots that fell silently as she walked.

Hikaru pulled away from hugging the cat demon and reached up to pet one of Umi's blue ears. Before she could, Umi slapped her arm away. (But not too hard.) "No one touches the ears." She said sternly with a small glare. Hikaru looked rather sad, but obeyed. "Sorry, that's the only thing I ask."

"It's alright, but your kitty ears are so cute!" Hikaru squealed.

"Um thanks?" Umi said, one of her ears turning to the side with embarrassment. At least she wasn't seen as hostile by those two. (Meaning the Queen and Hikaru.)

"Let's all go inside to finish our meal in a different room." Ferio suggested. Everyone agreed except Umi.

"I have to get that." She said, pointing at her sword wedged in the wall at least 60 feet up. Everyone turned to stare at the sword.

"How did it get up there?" The pink haired lady spoke up. She almost had a drawl to her dialect?

"I used it to slow our fall." Umi explained, climbing a nearby tree in a few leaps. She had planned how to get it earlier.

"What are you doing?" Master Mage Clef asked.

Umi turned an incredulous look on him. "I'm eating whipped cream to look like a rabid cat." She said sarcastically. "What do you think I'm doing? I'm getting my sword!" She leaped from the top of the tree, grabbing a windowsill two stories up. She planted her feet on the wall and slowly worked them up to the sill. Then she managed to leap all the way up to her sword. Umi grabbed the hilt and pushed off the wall to flip backwards, dislodging her sword in the same smooth motion. She landed on her feet back on the ground, unharmed. Everyone was staring at her. "What? I got it."

Clef shook his head. "Let's just go." He turned and began climbing the stairs with his black robes swishing behind. He was soon followed by the other people and then Hikaru, Fuu, and Umi walking in a trio.

"You're our new friend!" Hikaru announced childishly. Umi nodded, ears twitching in amusement.

"I would like to thank you again for saving us." Fuu stated, adjusting her glasses slightly.

Umi put her hands up in front of her. "Honestly, it was no trouble. A stunt like that is normal for me, even though it is a feat for humans." Umi figured she was meant to dine with them, since there were no objections. She then noticed her sense of smell wasn't as good as normal. She could smell the specific scents of all the people she was with, but not the birds in the trees outside or the grass scent like normal.

'Shit, tonight must be the new moon.' Umi thought. 'Just when I get a decent place to lodge.' The night of the new moon was the one time when she lost all demonic qualities and powers. Her appearance also drastically alters at this time. She would be considered a freak and not get accepted, most likely.

"Master Clef, I believe we could eat in the lounge room." Fuu suggested. "Since the dining room is... Ruined."

"I agree with Fuu." The king said.

"I suppose it is a plan then."

After many flights of stairs, the group came to a simple French double door of the colour white. Once opened, they walked into a comfortable lounge room.

Springy bamboo wood flooring was beneath their feet and the walls were painted a pale blue. The large window covering the whole east-facing wall gave a view of the crystal ocean from above. There was a black leather love seat, armchair, sofa, and a sectional surrounding a large glass coffee table with a stainless steel frame. The room mixed modern furniture with an island theme and it flowed very well.

Umi stood in the door gaping as the others moved to sit down. "What a beautiful view!" She squealed. "I absolutely /adore/ the water!"

"I thought cats were supposed to dislike water." The blonde Dal pointed out, settling into the sofa with the pink haired lady at his side. She later learned that the lady's name was Caldina.

"You see, that's being stereotypical... It is said that /all/ cats hate water, but I like it! So, I don't see a problem with it." The cat demon explained, making her way over to the area, her feet making absolutely no noise on the floor. But all of the spots were filled by the time she got there. Hikaru, Fuu, and Ferio sitting on the sectional and the raven haired commander in the armchair. That left only the love seat... She glanced over at it and it was already occupied by none other than the Master Mage.

'Just my luck..' She muttered in her mind sarcastically, grudgingly plopping down next to him. Umi would normally just sit on the floor, but that would be terribly awkward and make her seem like an animal. Oh wait, she was...

"I'll send for some food." King Ferio announced, flagging down a maid that had been passing in the hallway and delivering the message. She left with a quiet bow and scurried off.

About a quarter of an hour later, many dishes of food were brought in. Mostly veggies to Umi's dissapointment. One last server came in with a platter of salmon. "Special arrangements have been requested by the Master Mage for your... dietary needs." He explained, quickly dropping the plate in front of her and drawing away just as quickly. The poor guy must have thought she bites. Oh wait... She does!

She looked at the Mage and blinked a 'thank you' before accepting the plate in front of her on the table. Umi started devouring it, ears twitching happily, as the others began to eat. The twitching ears reminded Clef of his giant pet fish, Fyulla. Whenever the fish was pleased she would wave her flippers. 'I wonder what her ears feel like?' Clef wondered, then shook the unrelated thought away. 'But those ears are so cute...' Clef was an animal person. He had many creatures to summon at will including the said giant fish and a griffin.

"Does kitty like salmon?" Clef teasingly asked, giving into the temptation and reaching to pet one of Umi's cute blue ears, but she grabbed his wrist, sensing him.

"No touching the ears." She snapped, a bit of the pink fish on her mouth. He reached again.

"Oh, but you're just a sweet little kitty cat!" He cooed, knowing he was getting completely on his nerves.

"I'm not sweet /or/ little!" She snapped, setting her fork down so that she wouldn't fling it at the Mage.

Clef waited a few minutes and tried again when she had forgotten and wasn't looking or paying attention, absorbed in a conversation with Hikaru about the best type of food. "I love fish, but I think spaghetti is still my all-time favorite." Then, the mage started petting her ear and she turned abruptly. "I told you not to do tha- oooh." Her cat qualities started acting up and she started purring unconrollably. Her instincts made her snuggle up closer to his side. Umi kept purring loudly and started rubbing her face, ears, and head up against his side. And chest... And neck... Like an affectionate kitten, great! While her ear was pressed to his chest, she heard the rumbling of a chuckle and snapped out of it, pushing away abruptly.

"I told you not to..." Umi said, blushing bright red. "And /that/, people, is why you DON'T TOUCH MY EARS!" She yelled, moving to sit on the floor.

-.-.-.-.-

Other than the slight... mishap, the rest of the meal went along smoothly. Umi was introduced to the rest of the occupants of the room while she waited for everyone to finish their meals - Umi had finished hers in an eighth of the time it took the others to finish. But whenever the cat made eye contact with a certain lavender haired mage, she would advert her gaze angrily.

The cat demon kept casting nervous glances out the large window/sliding glass door. Since the room was west-facing, she would be able to tell how long until the sun sets. Her dreaded time.

Currently, the bright orange sun indicated about an hour until her transformation. She absolutely could NOT let anyone know about her weakness. Umi was plotting a way to get alone for the night, which she would stay awake the whole time. The half-demon didn't really feel completely trusting in her human form.

Lantis, Clef, and LaFarga were locked in a conversation about castle defense or something. It all seemed like technical jibber jabber to Umi... She waited for an opening to speak.

"Since we decided I will be staying for a while, where will I be sleeping?"

"...Are you sure she is okay to stay, Master Clef?" Lantis asked.

They began a rushed, whispered argument that nobody could hear. Even Umi's sensitive hearing could not understand because they were speaking so rapidly and her ears were more trained for natural noises. Well, that and the new moon had almost arrived.

"The two Magic Knights seem to trust her, and I trust their judgement very well." The Mage replied.

"But she is a /demon/! It is unsafe for every inhabitant of the castle and as the castle guard, I have to ensure their safety." Lantis said quickly, eyes flicking around. He wasn't used to talking this much to explain. The raven-haired man was normally a very quiet person.

"... I don't completely trust her either, Lantis. But she may be a good addition to our defensive team! You saw how she single handedly eliminated the monster."

"LaFarga, your opinion please?" Lantis beckoned towards his second-in-command, quickly explaining the situation.

The sturdily built man looked uncomfortable for once. "I agree that I don't feel completely safe... She is demon, after all."

Clef sighed. "I will keep a watch over her, if you wish..."

"She can stay for now..." LaFarga proposed. "I never confirmed anything about her helping with defense." Lantis nodded his agreement to the terms.

"It is settled then." Clef finished, then rose his voice. "Umi, you can stay... But only temporarily. Until we can decide a good place for you."

"Will I be given a place to sleep?" Umi asked hopefully.

"Of course! Why wouldn't you?" Ferio asked.

"I never have a dry place to sleep, that's all." That was the little explanation she was going to offer. Umi sighed quickly. "I accept."

-.-.-.-.-

Once dinner was over with, some kitchen boys came and collected the plates. The sun said that there was only about 30 minutes until the sunset. Umi had to hurry and get a place to sleep.

"So, where will I sleep?"

"We have no open bedrooms, so you may use this room... You are okay with sleeping on a couch, right?" Clef confirmed.

"Yeah, it's better than a tree." Umi said flatly, rolling her eyes.

"I will have one of the girls bring you clothes. You can clean up in that washroom over there. Unless... You don't wash yourself like a cat, do you?"

Umi laughed openly. "No!"

"Heh. Good because that would be strange." The Mage responded, clearing his throat awkwardly.

"Are you suggesting /I'm/ strange?"

"No, no. Sleep well anyway."

Umi smiled slightly. "Thanks."

She closed the door behind the Mage as he left.

The bluette decided that she had to shower quickly to get all of the dried mud off of her. It was clotting her hair together and crusted to her face. Just plain disgusting... She was part animal, but not completely savage!

After removing the mud, she dried off and found that someone had left clothing on the counter. A dark blue jacket top and a light blue pleated skirt, complete with black leggings and a small orange necktie. There was also a pair of loose navy pajama pants and a black tanktop, so she guessed the other outfit was meant for tomorrow. Umi donned the pajamas and once again entered the den-like room.

She paused to look at the sun and realized it was setting. Umi had to admit, the Cephiran sunset over the ocean was absolutely breathtaking! No time to admire it though. She was never planning on actually sleeping on the couch during this vulnerable time. The cat demon planned on getting on one of the horizontal beams supporting the ceiling before she lost her qualities. She stood balanced on the back of the couch and leaped up, grabbing the wooden beam and pulling herself up. Not the most efficient way to do it, but it worked. Just as she got up and sat down after balancing herself, the room darkened and a white light enveloped Umi. Once the glow disappeared, she was in her human form.

When in human form, the cat ears that were once emerging from her hair disappeared. Her hair darkened from light blue to a shade in between royal and navy blue, and her eyes changed from cerulean to a darker blue. The claws changed into human fingernails and toenails and she lost her heightened sense of smell and hearing, and her night eyesight isn't as good.

So, she planned to stay awake through the night. But somewhere along the way, she drifted off to sleep accidentally... What she didn't know was that Master Mage Clef was patrolling the hallways, casting out an aura scan to look for anything out of place.

Clef decided to investigate when Umi's demonic aura suddenly disappeared. He still sensed her though. Strange...

When the Mage knocked on the door, there was no answer because Umi was still asleep. "Umi are you alright?" He called through the door. He tried the knob and it was locked. Of course, the room was pitch black so he couldn't see through the glass door. "Umi?!"

No answer. Clef closed his eyes and cast a spell to unlock the door. He cautiously walked in. "Are you in here?"

The bluette finally woke with a start, falling off the support beam onto the wood floor, landing on her back.

"Unnmgh. That hurt." She muttered, not awake enough to realize she was in her human form in front of Clef.

The Mage's eyes widened. "U-Umi? Is that you?" He held his staff in between the girl and himself, just in case.

"Of course, you dimwit! How could you not-" She paused when she saw her hair colour. "recognize me... Oh."

Yes, that was Umi. No question about it. Only she carried that sharp tongue. He lowered the staff. "What happened?"

"It's nothing."

"This isn't /nothing/."

"It's nothing that concerns /you/." Umi snapped, sticking her nose in the air and crossing her arms.

"On the contrary, it does. As far as we are concerned, you are still a danger to us." Clef stated, gripping his staff to threaten.

With that comment, Umi finally snapped. "I wouldn't EVER hurt a human!" The descent into yelling was surprisingly fast.

"Why not? You're a demon and most are more than happy to harm us."

"BECAUSE I AM HALF HUMAN MYSELF!" She snapped loudly at him. Umi noticed what she admitted and calmed down a bit. "There... I said it."

"...You are?" She gave him an incredulous look that said 'would I be like this if I was full-demon?' At least, that is what she wanted the look to say.

"Yes. I'm a half-demon. That's why I'm human right now. It happens on the new moon."

"Why didn't you /tell/ us? What if you suddenly transformed and we attacked you because we didn't recognize you?" He asked incredulously.

Umi reached for the sheath that was leaning against the couch, holding her sword. "I have this." She drew the sword and for the first time, Clef could actually see what it looked like. The blade was finely crafted metal of some sort and the hilt was a blue dragon. That sword seemed very familiar to him.

"Where did you get that?" He asked, reaching out to grab it. As a reaction, Umi almost sliced his arm but stopped herself with a muttered apology.

"I found it... But I like to believe that it found me. One night I was defenseless because it was the new moon and was attacked by many, many monsters. I found this rapier leaning against a tree. The ground was muddy and there were no footprints leading to it, so it wasn't abandoned there... I used what ametuer knowledge I ha an was able to survive. Not unharmed though. I nearly bled to death that night because humans are such /slow/ healers. The strange thing is, the dragon on the hilt of my sword matches the one on the necklace my mother gave me. It was a gift to her from my father and she gave it to me before I left on my own..." She held the metal decoration up for Clef to see. "I always wear it because it is the last thing I have of my mother... It's very important to me."

"I'd imagine..." Suddenly, he snapped in realization. "I remember where I have seen that! It looks like an exact replica of a sword from a legend. Remind me to show you sometime." Clef suggested, trying to take her mind off of what seemed to be a touchy subject.

"Clef... Do me one favor?"

"Yes, Umi?"

"Keep my split blood a secret."

The Mage was obviously shocked. "They all are going to find out at some point."

"Well, please don't tell them. I have always kept a strong image and don't want that to change." She said, putting the sword back in its sheath, realizing she still had it out.

"I'm sorry but-"

"Please, Clef!"

Something about her eyes showed true kindness. Umi was not a bad demon, he determined. The Mage sighed, rubbing the bridge of his nose. "Fine. Is there anything else I should know about?"

"Something happens during the whole day of the full moon..."

"And what exactly is that?" He asked hesitantly.

"I turn um... Full cat."

"Like a house cat?" Umi knew where he was going with this. It was going to be another cute kitty comment.

"Yes, but I'm not as defenseless in that form. If need be, I can change into a saber toothed cat-type thing... It's really hard to explain."

"If we want to keep this a secret, you will need somewhere to hide. But there is only one place I can think of that has enough wards to keep people from sensing your change in aura." The Mage hesitated.

"And that is...?"

"Erm... My room." He coughed awkwardly again.

"No way, Mage! There is ABSOLUTELY no way!" Umi screamed at him.

"Do you want my help or not?"

"You PERVERT!"

Before she knew it, Umi had a piercing headache from getting hit from the wooden staff he always carried. "I am NOT A pervert!"

"If I had my claws right now, I swear on my ears that I would tear you to shreds!" Umi threatened, flexing the fingers of a clawless hand as if she still had claws.

"Well you don't! And why is that? You are HUMAN! That is why you need my help!"

Umi gave up and muttered something that he didn't quite hear.

"What?"

"Fine... And thank you..."

"You're welcome, Umi... Now, do you want me to leave you here or should we teleport to my quarters? It's too much of a risk to walk the hallways like-" He motioned to her human form. "This."

"We can go, I suppose..." With one last thought, she snatched the clothes they had left her for the morning. He grabbed onto her elbow and a prickly and cool sensation melted over her as the teleportation began. Before she knew it, they were in the Mage's room.

"Hope you don't mind sleeping on the floor..."

"I'm used to it." She muttered.

"Here's a pillow and some blankets, sleep well." The Mage said, dropping the said items on the floor and crossing half the room to his bed, clothes magically changing with a lazy wave of his left hand. He was now wearing a pair of grey pajama pants along with a black tee shirt. Clef removed his coronet and placed it on a table, after leaning his staff against the post of his bed.

"Good night, Umi." He muttered, glancing over to where he had left her.

To his surprise, Umi just curled up completely on top of the pile of blankets, head resting on the pillow.

"Good night, Clef." She said groggily, almost asleep.
His curiosity got the best of him. "Um... What are you doing?"

"Trying to get some sleep, but a certain mage won't let me." She hissed irritably.

"I mean, aren't you going to set the blankets up?"

"Ungh. Curiosity killed the cat. I still behave like a cat even if I'm not at the moment. Get used to it."

Clef chuckled at her irritability. "Alright good night."

All he got in response was her slowed breathing. 'Why do I trust this perfectly strange demon?' He mentally asked himself as he crawled into bed and turned out the candle with a flick of his hand. 'You know what... I trust her. It's my gut feeling.' With that thought, he drifted off to sleep.

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