AN: Aaaaand there goes the next one 8D Yes I'm still having a drawing flash. From now on I'll be uploading slower though cuz me notes that I wrote in winter ended after this chapter :P
This chapter seems to be a bit longer than the others, but I had lots of ideas for it X3
NOTE: I'll try to write each chapter out of the view of another Sinner :3 The last chapter was the twin's turn and now it's Shaders :3 She's one of my favourite characters so I'll also probably go deeper into her personality XD
The young cat demon sat on her uncomfortable bed that only consisted of a hard board and a very thin mattress that was padded with straw. On her hands she held a little moving toy that she had build all by herself. She was very proud that it turned out so well and it was a little joy in her poor life. Life in the outskirts wasn't easy.
"Shader! Come out and help if you want to have dinner!" A child voice called from outside the hut that several kids shared together.
"Coming in a minute!" The girl called back, though she didn't intent to get up so soon.
The louder children voices from outside died out.
Shader's ear twitched. She could hear some low talking voices but couldn't understand what they said. The voices were followed by heavy steps that approached the hut. Had they called one of the strict guards now because she didn't come to help them work now? She had always been lazy in doing her work because she just had other interests, the others must be angry at her and now they called help. Oh no…
The old carpet that was used to cover the doorway was swung aside. The silhouette of a tall demon was seen. Shader crawled into the corner of the room and curled up there. When the man stepped inside she could see that he wore the uniform of the guys sent by the center. She had never seen such a uniform, but it was very splendid, so it must've been one.
Fear rose in the child. What was someone like him doing here?
"Are you Shader?" His voice was dark and didn't exactly sound nice. She stared at him with big eyes and nodded. "You come with me now."
Shader gulped and nodded. Even if she tried to run away, that guy would catch her in less than a minute anyways.
When she followed him out of the hut, her friends threw some curious glances at her. They didn't know it'd be the last time they saw her.
The older demon led her to some kind of vehicle and told her to get it. It looked similar to a carriage but without any animals that pulled it. Shader guessed that it must run on some astral powered engine. She bit her lips and took a seat in there.
The man in uniform sat down across from her. "We've heard you have a great technological talent despite your young age. You see, such young talents are always welcome to us they're useful. So if you do well and pass the entrance exam, you'll be granted a place in the central academy."
Shader's eyes grew wide. She? In the center? No way. That was something impossible. She was just a stray cat in the outskirts. No way she would be allowed to go there. But the direction, to which the vehicle brought them, proved his words were true.
For the rest of the trip there was no talk. But Shader noticed the change in scenery. It smelled cleaner and also was cleaner the closer they got to the center. Also the facades of the bigger and bigger getting buildings got lighter until they had some kind of a futuristic look. And then they passed the gate in the wall that parted the center from all other parts. The center had an extra barrier shield around it and this was the only gate where one could get through.
The older demon straightened his back. "When we are there I will bring you to your new tutor. You will only talk when being asked to and you will not look straight at the demons since they of a way higher rank than you. Now get out."
Shader took a deep breath and went out of the vehicle with the older one. He brought her to some office where a snobbish looking woman awaited them. The demon bowed to the higher ranked female and Shader decided to follow his example. Then the other one left her alone with the adult demoness.
"Hmpf." The demoness let out a sound of disgust. "If you are to stay here, you have to get bathed first." She said and held her head high.
Was she supposed to answer something like 'yes, m'am' now? Shader decided against it and it seemed to be the right choice.
"Well then." The adult said. "Let's get started." The look in her eyes was clearly telling 'Why do I have to do this job? Testing filthy kids over and over again and none of that filth is useable anyways.'
Shader nodded. She already despised that woman now. The girl had heard lots of things about the center. There, the demons were living in complete luxury. Though, if all demons were like this demoness, she wasn't sure if she wanted to stay here.
The tests that she got were easy. Highest likely too difficult for the other kids in her age that she knew though.
The other one raised an eyebrow when watching her do the tasks. She gave her more difficult ones now. Shader thought this would never end anymore. Tiredly she gripped the items of the last task. There were several objects with which she was to build a device of her choice. After she fumbled with them, her stomach grumbled. She was hungry and hadn't eaten anything for today.
"I'm done." She spoke and rubbed her eyes. The work had been hard and her glasses gave her a headache because they didn't have the right strength for her sight, but she didn't have other.
Her tutor nodded and came over to the table.
When she saw the item of the size of a button that Shader had made she looked surprised. "What's this supposed to be?"
"An astral camera." Shader told tiredly.
"I don't see a camera there." The woman said and crossed her arms.
Shader sighed. "You see the tiny thing there? It's an astral receptor. It works similar to optic receptors just that it does not react to electromagnetic waves but to pure energy instead. All objects and beings are radiating out both, photons and astral energy. Our eyes are converting the photons into colours while we cannot sense the radiated astral because it is too weak. Astral is all around us all the time, so it is impossible for us to detect such a little change. Some demons are able to make themselves invisible by distorting the photons around them. It seems that they are invisible but in reality they are still there. They're just messing with our reception. However with astral it's something different. NO demon is able to shut that radiation off complete except for when the demon is hornless. A hornless demon you won't get to see very often though." The girl yawned. "Aaaaaaand there's also a little transmitter inside. You can synchronize it to any surveillance device you want. You can even synchronize it with your horns so you get the picture transmitted directly into your head." Shader ended her speech and looked at the tutor who stood completely perplexed next to her.
The older woman stared at the kid and the device in shock. How was such a low ranked brat able to know that much? Especially in her age! Couldn't be. She gripped the receiver and let some little energy flow between it and her horns to synchronize them. For a moment she almost lost balance when the view changed. She saw herself through the receiver and she saw the girl too. They shapes were rendered in a bright turquoise light. Some very dim lights were seen at the wall. Those were probably from the guards on the other side of the wall.
Shader took the little device from the woman and turned it in her hand. "Does it work?" She asked.
"That… is… FABULOUS!" The demoness exclaimed loudly. "Congradulations! I'm more than happy with the result!" She ended the synchro with the device and clapped her hands together. "You will start classes the day after tomorrow with the others! Such a talent mustn't be wasted!" Her hand rested on Shader's back as she shoved her out of the office. "She will bring you to your room now!" With that she left her to a teenage demoness. After the door was closed, Shader could hear her doing a victory dance… probably because one of 'her' kids finally had some talent and she hoped for a promotion.
"I am the dorm leader and I will show you around after you have bathed." The other girl attracted her attention now. She was standing there with crossed arms. Then she began to walk quite fast and expected the cat demon to follow. While walking she explained the tons of rules that were to be followed.
Shader's room was a smaller one. Two maids – wow she had her own maids now? – anyways, those two maids already waited there and as soon as they arrived at the room they prepared the bathtub and rubbed all dirt off Shader with a hard brush while she was bathing. Directly after getting dressed the dorm leader showed her all important buildings, the places where she was allowed to go and the places where she wasn't allowed to go.
Shader couldn't remember all of it. She was too tired and just wanted nothing but sleeping. The next morning she was almost too late for breakfast – she had forgotten the way to the dining room. Having gotten a tray with food she looked around for a seat. The other kids were throwing glares at her as she walked by them. Confused Shader looked around and accidentally hit another one's arm with her tray.
"Watch your way! Or don't you get taught not to hit others in the slums?!" The other kid shouted and attracted all other's attention by that.
Shader winced and mumbled an apologize before she hurried off to the last corner of the big hall.
Also during the next days and weeks she had to recognize that she wasn't all too popular with the others. They didn't accept her at all and only kept mocking and bullying her. When she complained to the teachers, those barely took notice of her.
"I want to go back home please." Shader said and stared with big eyes at her tutor.
"Excuse me please?!" The demoness said and spit out her tea. Her only kid that was worth something? Now leaving? Nonononononononoooooo
"I don't like it here. I would like to go home now."
"You want to leave?! You unthankful brat!" The female's voice got louder. "You are NOT in the position to decide that. You will stay and follow your studies, UNDERSTOOD?!"
Scared Shader nodded her small head and her ears dropped.
Outside the building Shader was greeted by some of the other kids that bullied her most often.
"Are we going to whine to our tutor like a little baby now? Buhuhuu~" A boy said and the others laughed.
"Leave me alone." Shader peeped .
"Awww, can't the little filth defend herself?" Another girl said and started calling her names and pushed her around. The big round glasses fell to the ground and with a crushing sound someone stepped on them. Shader saw a possibility to escape, snatched her glasses and ran away.
After a while she had completely lost her way, it was already getting dark and she was all alone. She had stopped running by now and leaned against a wall.
Not much time passed until she was found by another male demon. She was already afraid she'd get into big trouble now, but to her surprise he was nice and offered his help. He brought her back to the dorm area and left her there.
The next day she was told that she'd be transferred to another studying group. The demon she had met earlier was the assistant of a really high ranked one and he had put in a good word for her there. Moreover she'd also move into another room, so she wouldn't have to get into contact with the bullies.
She was ordered into an office where she met another demon and later two boys around her age joined them. They were introduced to her as Chrno and Aion. Curiously they looked at her. Feeling insecure Shader looked down at her feet. They wouldn't start bullying her too, would they? If they were special enough to get private classes, they must be even more spoiled than the others.
"Hey, shall we show you around?" The short haired one asked – Aion, or was it Chrno? They confused her. "Okay…" She said and got off her chair.
"Why aren't you with the other kids?" Chrno asked when they were out of the office and down the corridor.
"They hate me." Shader replied. "But I could ask you the same."
Aion shrugged. "Dunno. But why should they hate you?"
"I… don't come from the same place as they do." Shader said quietly.
The two boys stopped. "Where are you from?" Both asked it at the same time.
"… the…. Outskirts?" Shader said and winced as if expecting to be bullied again.
"COOL!" Both twins exclaimed at the same time. "You gotta tell us all of it!"
The cat girl looked confused over to them. "Really?... Sure!" She hadn't smiled that bright for a long time. Shader felt comfortable with those two and she was sure her life would get better from now on.
During the next days she told them all of her previous life and they never lost interest in her stories.
Lots of classes they had together, but also in some others Shader was alone because the other two hadn't reached that level yet.
After classes they mostly examined the grounds around or played something. Mostly they were alone. One day it should change.
They were running around in the gardens when they saw a guard – recognized by his typical uniform – and his apprentice. The adult told his apprentice that he was free for now and walked away. Since the other three didn't get a lot of chances to talk to other kids they went over to him. Shader recognized him. He was a very nice, tall boy with dark hair. He had helped her once in a while to chase some bullies off. "Hello, Viede, how are you doing?"
AN: soooooo that's it for now. Next one is obviously going to be Viede's chapter. Any suggestions for Rizelle's and Genai's story are highly welcome since I have no fucking idea for them at all 8D