Thank you for your continued support and patience with this story, I hope you continue to enjoy it!
P.S: Happy New Year to you all!
Sebastian's amber eyes widened as he sensed Claude's aura suddenly appear in the Hell Plains, his emotions soaring high as he realised that his mate had come for him. His concerns grew however as he considered what his Father might do if he found out that he had already Bonded with someone, and he worried even further considering his Father's reaction to Claude's name earlier on that day.
His emotional high plummeted abruptly and his face fell, his neat eyebrows knitting together slightly as a soft sigh escaped him. It was only then that he realised the other two demons in the room had fallen silent and were looking at him.
He swallowed and sat up straight, looking back at them with raised eyebrows, "Problem?" he asked.
Leviathan sighed in response to his son's bluntness, noting that he clearly needed more work on his etiquette before he was let loose on the Council, "Your demonic aura jumped for a moment, I was apprehensive that something was wrong." The older amber eyed demon murmured.
His eyes widened slightly before he licked his lips, "It's nothing. If it's alright with you both I would like to continue my training now, I feel as though I should complete it as soon as possible so that I can return to the Human world without you being worried that Ash will hurt me."
Duke glanced at his Master for a moment before he stood up slowly, "Come with me, I have a special room prepared for us to train in, Sebastian-sama."
The younger demon nodded once and got to his feet as well, inclining his head to his Father before he followed Duke from the room, determined that he would be ready for when Claude reached the Estate. He wouldn't be a burden.
Leviathan watched his son leave the room before he stood as well, walking over to the floor to ceiling window, he glanced out at the darkening red sky; his eyes narrowing faintly as pink and black bled into them. Sebastian's reaction when Claude Faustus's aura had appeared suddenly had not been missed by the Demon King; it made him curious, and just a little agitated. Why had his son reacted like that?
He would have to find out. And quickly, judging by the speed at which Claude's aura was moving towards their home.
Ciel winced under the chill of the black sun; his blue eyes turned skywards and widened as he observed the blood red sky above them, highlighted by the odd black cloud and black sun. A shudder ran through him and he looked around hastily as Alois, Undertaker and Grell arrived just behind him. Turning his gaze forwards again he looked at Claude.
The butler had his head thrown back, his eyes open, and his glasses discarded as he observed the sky, his usually golden eyes were vibrant pink, the colour of a demon's eyes. Ciel recognised them from when Sebastian's turned the same colour.
"Do you sense Sebastian yet?" Alois asked, clearly unnerved by the unnatural appearance of the world around them.
"Yes, Your Highness." The demon replied and looked towards them, his eyes returning to their usual golden hue, "I will lead the way, please stay close to me, and should another demon look at you, make eye contact with him, and do not speak. The moment you break eye contact with him or her, will be the moment you die. The moment you speak will be the moment they gain control over you and can influence your actions. Beware, my natural presence will ward some of the weaker and lower level demons away, but those who are of the same strength level as me, or stronger than me, may still approach."
Ciel nodded once and started walking with the demon butler, Alois stuck close to his side and Grell and Undertaker were bringing up the rear of their little troop.
They had arrived in the outskirts of a forest, and the further they walked away from it, the closer they came to habitation. Tense from Claude's warning they stayed quiet as they walked and their eyes darted around with no control, looking for any demons who would dare to approach them.
They had just begun to ascend a rather large hill, passed some elaborate buildings which appeared to have been constructed out of both light and dark marble, when a tall creature which had the legs of a man; the feet of a large cat; the tail of a Siberian Husky and the head of a large raven. It's eyes were beady and blood red, like the sky above them only... More evil.
Without a doubt, this was a demon. Ciel, without thinking, reached out and grabbed Alois's wrist and pulled the blonde closer to his body. He lifted his gaze and looked directly at the bird headed demon, and as their eyes met he realised why Claude's words had been so important. There was a cold chill which ran through him and cooled him to his very bones, before his skin suddenly felt unbelievably hot. Like he was running through a burning building.
His teeth clenched, but he continued to shield Alois behind his own body, out of instinct or compassion he didn't much care but he could feel the blonde trembling at the sight of the demon and he didn't like that Alois was scared, so he kept utter concentration and fixed his eyes on those of the bird demon's, not moving or blinking, even as his eyes began to water in reaction.
Immediately, Claude appeared in front of him, cutting off his staring contest and leaving him feeling somewhat weak and wobbly.
"Kindly avert your gaze, Bird." The demonic butler's voice was calm and controlled, his own now pink and black eyes fixed with the red ones of the other demon, "They are not for you to play with."
"Not even one of 'em?" the other spoke with a tone of voice which somewhat reminded Ciel of water, "A lucky bastard yar, ta 'ave such juicy lookin' humans wit' ya."
"Indeed, however that makes me the lucky one and you the inconvenience. If you wish to try and take one of these children from me, I shall kill you and send you to the Seventh Plain."
A low hiss was released from the bird headed creature before he merely huffed and continued walking without a second glance.
Ciel swallowed and licked his lips, looking up at the butler, "What's the Seventh Plain?" he asked.
"Demons cannot be killed by mortal weapons; we resurrect and regenerate what is lost and return within days," Claude said as he turned to face them, "So what do you presume happens when we are killed by non-human weapons?"
"Uh... I don't know..." Ciel replied with a frown.
"There is a hell within hell." Undertaker called over, his usual manic smile no longer present, "The Hell Plains, where we stand, is the home of all demons and the human souls which they steal, plunder or earn through contracts. But when a demon is killed by another demon, or by an Angel or Shinigami, there is somewhere else that they go. The souls which they have devoured are released and are forgiven by God, they are then blessed and go on to Heaven, purged of their hatred and evils. But the demons, they go somewhere else... Somewhere darker, and that place is called the Seventh Plain."
"You know much of our culture, Undertaker," Claude commented, "However you are correct. When we are killed by another immortal, we go to the Seventh Plain, which is a place of fire and everlasting pain. No demon desires to go there, so much so that they were willing to risk a truce with the Angels around ten years ago."
"Angels and Demons... Under a truce?" Alois piped up, his former fear slowly ebbing away in the wake of curiosity, "Isn't that a little... A little..."
"Complicated." Claude finished, "Yes. Very. And it would seem, now more than ever, that the complications are growing, considering a certain Angel's certain recent actions against a certain half-demon half-human."
"Sebastian Michaelis." Undertaker half purred, "A lot of people are very interested about him... I can see why."
"Huh?" Ciel frowned again.
"It doesn't matter at the moment." Claude murmured, "What matters is that we get him home, quickly."
Nodding in agreement, they began walking again, at a much faster pace than before.
As they went along, the houses got grander and grander in appearance, the marble which they were created from grew whiter and whiter, which seemed somewhat odd to Ciel who pictured demons to relish darkness and shied away from the light. Considering that though, he had noticed that Sebastian quite liked the sunlight.
"Originally, demons lingered in the darkness of light. However, since Leviathan, King of Demons took over the ruler ship of the Hell Plains things have greatly improved for everyone here. We no longer fear the light, we revel in it. And when night falls we party." Claude chuckled humourlessly, "But in truth... Is it not the humans who relish darkness? The temptation? The attraction? The inquisitiveness?"
"How did you know what I was-"
"I can see it on your face." Claude replied softly, "Let us consider for a moment that what I say is true... Would it not be humans like you and Alois who shy away from the light? You live with the darkness inside of your very soul, which is what attracts us to your kind and your age group. You are so dark... And yet so very innocent."
"That way of speaking..." Ciel crinkled his nose, "Is disgusting."
"I am a demon. It is my nature to consider you humans as snacks." The butler shrugged simply.
Ciel looked at Alois, curious of his reaction to his butler's words, and he was surprised to see a look of deep contemplation on the blonde's face, his brows knitted together in deep concentration. Interesting.
"One more thing, Ciel Phantomhive," Claude smirked on the inside, "These houses. They aren't made from marble. It is bone."
Ciel's eyes widened and he looked at the houses again, "How?! There are so many... So many..."
"And how many humans do you think have fallen in to sin?" Claude asked with a raised eyebrow as he turned to face him, "More than enough to craft an entire world out of bone. That much I can tell you with confidence."
Sebastian was panting hard, leaning against the stone wall of the training room which Duke and Leviathan had prepared for him; sweat rolled down the side of his face and his usually pale skin was flushed with the strains of exertion.
However, across the room from him, Duke was still stood tall and was unaffected by the strains he was feeling; Sebastian would always tire first because of his half-human status, but he could at least build up his stamina so that he didn't collapse right in the middle of a battle.
The amber eyed male pushed away from the wall and staggered back towards the middle of the room; raising his fists once more as he prepared for Duke to attack him. He allowed his demonic powers to seep through and his eyes turned pink and black.
They clashed in a flurry of fists and feet, throwing punches and flicking kicks around. The only sound which filled the room was that of punches connecting and Sebastian's ragged breathing.
Sebastian faltered momentarily as he felt a flare in Claude's aura and in that moment he was flipped onto his front and planted on the floor with his arms twisted up behind his back.
"You are too easily distracted Sebastian!" Duke snapped, "If this was a real fight then you would be dead now!"
"I know, I know." The younger said with a sigh, "Let me up already."
"Are you even taking this seriously?"
"What? Of course I am!" Sebastian growled as his eyes narrowed.
"Really? It doesn't seem like it; you are holding back and you aren't focusing." Duke stood back slowly and looked down at him, "I don't think you really care about getting stronger at all."
Sebastian rolled over onto his back and did a small flip so that he was stood up again; he glared at him and balled his fists, "I do want to be stronger; I don't want to be a burden or a concern to my Father or my friend in the human world. I want to be able to look after myself!" he exclaimed.
"Then prove it!" Duke growled back at him.
The amber eyed demon clenched his teeth and his eyes narrowed at him, "Fine. You want me to act serious? Fine. I'll be serious, but don't blame me if you end up in several different pieces!" he hissed.
Sebastian pulled his shirt off and threw it aside before he balled his fists and allowed his demonic powers to seep out; his eyes darkened in their shade of pink and his skin paled even further than usual, he bared his teeth and felt a dull ache resonate along his top jaw as his canines lengthened slightly to form fangs which gently nudged his upper lip out slightly. His shadow flared and grew, flickering with an ethereal green-blue mist.
Duke's eyebrows raised slightly, he had never expected Sebastian's demonic powers to be quite so developed as they seemed to be.
The younger male stretched his fingers out as his nails grew and sharpened at the tips. He rolled his shoulders as they began to heat up before his black feathered wings began to grow, stretching out of his shoulder blades like two dark canopies.
Duke's eyes nearly popped out as he saw his wings and his mouth went dry, demons... Demons didn't have wings. Demons were bound to the Earth while Angels soared in the sky on pure wings. Sebastian... Sebastian shouldn't have had wings!
His thought train cut off as Sebastian disappeared, reappearing in front of him and hurling a kick into his gut; sending him flying back into the far wall. He crumpled, but stood again quickly as he dodged a secondary attack by Sebastian's and returned with several short; sharp jabs with his fists. He faltered when he realised they barely tickled Sebastian's abdomen and chest.
His head snapped around as he was back handed and he felt the sting of a cut in his cheek from the other's claw like nails. He ducked another kick and jumped over his head, flipping back several paces before he allowed his own demon powers to leak out as he shimmered and transformed into his true form.
With the head and tail of an albino lion, his arms and legs turned leathers and his nails turned to claws. His eyes remained pink and black in the face of his lion form and he crouched on all fours, his tail swishing behind him angrily.
He would have to suppress Sebastian and teach him to control this demonic power quickly, and then he would have to have a very serious conversation with Leviathan about how demons got wings.
Streaking forwards with an age old speed, he knocked Sebastian's legs out from under him and pinned him down, roaring in his face and snapping his teeth shut around his throat to keep him in place.
Sebastian hissed and kicked his feet restlessly as he was pinned down before he gasped as a sharp pain shot through his body and forced his demonic powers back. He slumped against the floor and winced as Duke released him slowly.
"That's enough for today." Duke said quietly, "Go back to your room for now. Someone will bring you some dinner in a short while."
The amber eyed male frowned at him, "Why? You wanted me to get serious so I did... Why are you acting like something is wrong?"
His eyes narrowed very slightly, but not so much that it was noticeable to an untrained eye, "I'm not. I just remembered that I have an extremely important meeting to attend with my Master."
"Oh... Alright then." He sighed and turned away, walking off slightly sulkily.
Duke licked his lips thoughtfully for a moment before he hastened out of the room after Sebastian and hurried towards Leviathan's office where he sensed the man's aura waiting for him.
This was going to be an educational conversation.
To be continued...