Itd been enough, and he was ready to face the damned place again. To die or just to get his stupid clothing back, it didnt matter, but he couldnt stay in the hotel much longer, not with the way they looked at him, the things they said to him. Eran had asked him to stay and wait until he could talk to him, but even this he couldnt keep. Maybe...maybe hed just sit in the quiet woods for a couple days. He...he couldnt die yet. Hed have to set Aza free first.
The woods were quiet, thick, the trees rich and dense providing a dark, guarded santuary. Zei walked silently through them, now used to the dirt and sticks scraping beneth his bare feet.
Up ahead of him, he saw a smallish pond, its crystal waters clear reflecting the dark trees on its mirror surface. Walking over to it, Zei knelt to trail his thin hand through the cool water, trying not to see his human face, but still seeing it all the same. He was ugly. HIs eyes were large and...human. The violet color didnt even promote them. His hair...it was blonde. It fell calmer now, the light sunlight locks falling over his right eye still. The only good thing about this was his ears, small and normal now. If he could just keep these and nothing else...
Straightening up, he reached down to slip the thin loin cloth off over his lean body, letting it fall in a heap of cloth beside him. Without hesitation, he stepped forward and into the water, the the cool water surround him. Hed never liked water. Still didnt. But somehow, it felt almost soothing now...
Zei sunk into the water, closing his eyes, letting it come up to cover his neck and chin and mouth, soaking the ends of his hair. He went completely under and came up, his blonde hair soaking messily around his face a little.
He stayed in the pond for some time, just soaking, but he knew he had to move on. He came out of the water, he water dripping down off his slender body. Disgustedly, he pulled on the loin cloth again. At least it was preferable to being naked.
He was walking though the woods again now. He could already feel his region, the suffocating energy pulsing. Just a little further...
He was before it now, staring up at the fortress. Gods, it was beautiful. Suffocatingly beautiful. He walked on.
When Zei entered it, the same feeling closed over him, closing his throat, weakening his body, but... to a lesser degree. Suddenly, he was just hyperventalating, but he pushed on. I cant die yet, he thought firmly, gritting his teeth against the pain that overcame his body. What am I here for, if not to die? he wondered. Just to be able to stay forever and ever, perhaps. He felt his human body weakening against the energy, giving into it, and he struggled to keep walking, his breath in short, staggered gasps, entering the next area.
Something suddenly brushed over his shins, and then was gone. He jumped a little, his eyes confused and wary, staring into the darkness suspicously. The tinkly, mocking giggle told him he was not alone. It was followed by more, all sounding whispery and echoey, completely inhuman voices. He jerked around alarmedly, struggling to see who was in his region with him. Unable to use his voice to call out, he simply continued to breath harder, battling the urge in his limbs to collapse.
Its the human....
..Back to die?....
Back to us...
He belongs to us...
....Back....he has come...
The whispers and echoes surrounded him, mocking him, taunting his being there. He could vaugely see forms--tiny, female bodies, fluttering around him.
The voices spoke clearly from the rest, Beautiful human....return to us....
All at once, the forms seemed to surround him, grasping his sunlight hair, kissing his eyes and lips, touching his chest and arms, as if claiming him as their own. Alarmed and frustratedly, he attempted to throw them off of him, gritting his teeth and struggling to breath, pulling them off him while others enclosed him in their swarm. There were so many...Zei remembered Aza and Grey mentioning beings or fairies that had taken his clothes, that dwelled here.
His anger building up at a rapid pace, he could shout anything to them, but let out a furious strangled sound, and without warning, a large, black energy burst from around him, through the beings off.
No one moved for a long time. The beings hovered where they were, frozen and silent, and Zei just stood, breathing hard, his eyes huge. My.... my power!! he realized shockedly, raising his hands to stare at them. His nails...they were once again his sharp claw-like nails again. Breathing heavy from his excitement now, he could feel his body change, a dark energy surrounding him. It was overwhelming, and he had to shut his eyes. He ears grew up, long and pointed, while his hair rose a little around them, a light calypso green color bleeding through his sunlight locks. His body changed, organs disagrating to nothingness, the loss of lungs enabling him to breath freely, not deseperate for air any longer. As the region pulsed around him, it fed his mazoku side, rapidly changing him, his body shape going back to what it was, no longer skinny and weak, but strong, well built, and slender still. In an instant, he snapped his eyes open, the slit violet orbs growing dimmly.
Finally. He felt like himself again, completely. No more pains in his stomach, no breathing problems, the energy continuing to feed him, making him stronger. His mind almost couldnt comprehend his relief, his delight, to finally be rid of being human.
The beings eyes glittered. Excitement and joy began to sweep through them, murmuring quickly about the demon being back. They began to surround him again, adoringly touching him, praising him, honoring him. He was too shocked to shove them away now, to try and think of who they were, what they wanted.
Lord...youve returned, the clear voices said again, and Zei looked up to see two women walk out slowly. They looked like the rest of the tiny beings except human size. Their bodies were feminine looking and black, their hair a darker shade of black and short, spikey. And their wings....their wings were long and black, thin and like feathered dragonfly-wings. The beings were utterly beautiful, and he couldnt take his eyes off them as they approached him slowly. The rest of the fairies dropped away, and they were upon him now. They smiled in unison, one on each side of him, Lord... their voices were tinkling, resonate, exactly alike.
Who are you...? he asked in a choked, startled voice, staring at them tensely.
We are yours, Lord, they said in unison, dropping to their knees in unison in a bow. Zei continued to stare at them, You...youre created from the energy here, arent you?
Were made from you, yes, they said, you are our Lord.
Zei was having trouble comprehending this, What are your names?
The fairy-like women seemed confused for a moment, ....Names?
Yeah, names... Zei furrowed his brow, what are you called?
There was a long silence, the women still looking confused, We...have no names. We are not called anything.
The mazoku frowned a little, unsure really of what to say to them. Something occured to him, and he furrowed his brow in anger a little, Hey, where the hell are my clothes??
We will make you whatever you want... the voices cooed, the beings watching him adoringly.
....Just give me my old clothes.... Zei said warily, toying a little with the edge of the loin cloth.
Suddenly, the black energy surrounded him, curling around him, and clothes began to form on his body. They were like his own, but the material was finer, more detailed, excellent quality. The design was intricate, more regal. On his shoulders, white-gold shoulderpads rested, holding up his original cape that flowed down his back. The rest of his clothes shined a little, his belt-cord and boots lined with white gold. He looked like a Prince.
Zei looked over his clothes surprisedly, but actually smiled gratefully, Thanks...
The beings bowed as if they were unworthy to recieve such words from him.
Lord...please, give us something for you to call us... the two human-sized beings requested, still on their knees, now grasping the material of his pants.
Zei gazed at them for a long time, his mind going over names and meanings. Finally, he put a hand to own of their heads, speaking quietly, Kirauko. It means hatred, loathing, she smiled as if shed been given a great reward, and Zei turned to the other, and Kiraiko, the same. The suffix ko declares that you are women.
They blinked. But Lord, we are neither male or female.
Well, youre women to me now, Zei declared, stroking Kiraukos hair a little. They simply nodded, bowing their heads.
Something caught the mazokus eye then. It was held in the darkness, a small, lit ball of light, looking almost glass. It...looked familiar somehow...
Hey, whats that? he asked, cocking his head toward it. The beings turned their heads, and Kiraiko and Kirauko answered, That is the life of a pathetic kitsune we hold in our possession.
Zeis eyes flared at the mention of a kitsune. You mean Aza?
We know no names.
He gritted his teeth slightly, knowing it was Azas kitsune ball, Howd you get it?
The pathetic kitsune have it to us in exchange for you, they watching almost innocently, can we keep it?
Zei almost glare at them, Were you suppose to give it back?
With an impatient sigh, he frowned, Well, then its going back to him.
The two grasped his hands now, Please, Lord, let us smash it.
Zei was tempted to slap their hands away but found he continued to adore them, No... no, you cant. Ill take it back with me.
They nodded disappointedly, the smaller remaining picking up the kitsune ball and carrying it over to him. He took it with a nod of the head, tucking it away, but his mind raced against him, I have to get back now....
Kirauko and Kiraiko were on their feet immediatly, No, Lord, do not leave us! The other beings protested too, crowding around him. He made a slight face, tilting his head, I have to go back...
Please, come back soon....
He smiled, rubbing Kiraukos wings a little, Sure, I will. Ill come back a lot.
All the fairies seemed to smiles, draping their small bodies around him, kissing him. Still overwhlemed a little by all this, but rather pleased, he grinned a bit at them, moving to leave.
Kirauko stopped him, touching his arm, Lord?
Zei looked back at her questioningly.
Her eyes bore into his, Lord, will you bring with you when next you visit the dark human? The one with black wings, wings like the birds.
Zei blinked. Grey. She meant Grey. .....Why Grey?
We want to keep him for our own.
The same possessiveness flared in Zei. You cant keep him, he gritted his teeth a little, /I/ own him.
The beings seemed rather surprised and delighted by this, and Kirauko went on, Then, bring him so we may see him?
The mazoku paused. ......Ill ask him if he wants to come.
They nodded, and he moved to leave again. But Kirauko grasped his arm again, pulling him back to kiss him suddenly and deeply. He blinked surprisedly, not really responding for a moment, but melting into it, his eyes sliding closed. She finally pulled away, and the mazoku looked to Kiraiko curiously. She seemed to shyly hesitate before leaning forward and kissing him also. Her kiss was slightly more held back, but urgant all the same.
They finally let him go, and he was walking back out of the woods of Jackiland, feeling in a daze, but amazingly...normal.
Fue-chan barely realized what was happening as Zei strode into the room. It was all so sudden and unexpected, she jerked her head up, opeing her mouth to call his name, but she stopped.
He was a mazoku again. Just the same as hed been, his hair spikey and a light calypso green, his ears high and pointed, his eyes a bright violet and slip. His clothes were almost the same as his old clothes, but more...regal and fine, intricately detailed and lined with gold, shoulderpads of white gold on his broad shoulders. She was so startled at his appearance that she didnt see the severed rabbit head in his bloody grasp until he flung it. It swung and hit the white wall with a sickening splat, the blood spurting and staining the spot on the wall red. The head fell with a soft thump to the ground, the neck raggedly severed, blood and meat protruding.
The moment it happened, Fue-chan shrieked, her eyes wideningly hugely, her shaking hands going to cover her mouth horrifiedly.
Zei head blood stains over his fine, new clothes. He gazed at her through his demon eyes boredly, They were starting to get annoying.
A sob escaped Fue-chans throat, hands still over her mouth. She couldnt stop shaking, her heart pounding rapidly in her chest. Without meaning to, her gaze went over to the rabbits head again, and she began to vomit, a mix of sobbing horrifiedly and puking.
Zei rolled his eyes, walking more into the room, something in his other hand, You know I cant kill anyone here, you wont let me, and /damn/, its been a fuckin long time since I killed anything. With that, he tossed whatever was in his hand at Fue-chan. A torn off deer leg landed on her knee, and with a terrified shriek, she flung it off of her, the blood already staining her jeans. Hyperventalating now and sobbing and vomitting, she couldnt even look at the mazoku as he crossed the room, looking curiously around it. I cant take it I cant take it I cant take it. Her eyes were freaked out, crazy, and her whole body shook violently. The stench of rotting meat rose around them, and she vomitted more, the tears streaming down her cheeks. Jerome... Gods, I need Jerome I need him I cant take this...
Zei glanced at her, Wheres Grey?
Grey Grey yes get Grey. She tried to find her voice, G...r...e...y.... It wasnt even a whisper, more just her lips mouthing his name.
Grey.... it was louder now, between her panicked breaths, Grey............hes back.