Was this world always this way? Demons engaging in random battles until one or the other retreats, or dies? Bloodshed and destruction seemed to be the only purpose in this realm.
And what about the demons themselves? Were they all like that man had been, with a human-like form as well as the demonic one?
She lifted her hand over her face and rubbed her forehead. Was there any place in this world where she could find peace and quiet, or would she soon be a victim of some vicious demon, as well?
One of the dueling demons landed near her with a crash, as it struck a large tree, and bled over the ground. It startled her into fleeing away, running through the forest with no particular path, until she landed at the base of another tree, far from the battle. She panted for a long while, regaining her breath. All this running was beginning to catch up with her.
After a time, she pulled her legs up, tucking her knees beneath her chin and thought of what she should do. Every option she came up with seemed so hopeless. She was beginning to feel more weary of this endless fear for her life than the constant running away.
Footsteps soon came near, stopping on the other side of the tree. She held her breath and hoped she could remain undiscovered.
A shout was heard, and she flinched, just as a scuffle broke out on the other side of the tree. Afraid it might soon involve her, she groaned and got up, dashing off again.
She heard voices behind her, and then a shout of “Hey, wait!” that sounded familiar to her, but she dare not turn around. Instead, she kept running, quickly despairing of ever finding a place to stay, without having to run any more.
She tripped over a leaf-covered fallen limb and threw her hands out to catch herself, squeezing her eyes shut. Instead of landing on the ground, she landed on two arms, and felt two more on her shoulders, before they stood her upright.
‘Great going, Vieve, now they’ve caught you and will likely eat you, or at the very least, kill you.’
“Didn’t think you’d show up again.” a familiar voice said, from her left side, all hands falling away. She turned quickly, looking towards the speaker, her eyes going wide.
It was him… the man from before. And dear lord, but he looked handsome up close. She blinked and stepped back, a blush staining her cheeks.
Two hands returned to her upper back, as if to prevent her from going any further. She turned again and saw another man, who looked much like the first, except that his hair was blonde, where the first man’s was deep violet, but both had red eyes and black wings.
“You must be the girl my brother told me about.”
“Brother?” she asked, turning back to the violet-haired man. He nodded, smiling congenially.
“After the other day, I thought maybe you were gone for good.” he admitted. After what he feared he'd learned of her, he had almost hoped she was gone for good.
“The other day? But that was just a while ago, wasn't it?” she inquired, somewhat frightened. It couldn’t have been more than an hour or two from the time she passed out in the cave and the time she woke up elsewhere. The look on the violet-haired man's face told her she was way off. "Just how long has it been since we... met?"
“A week, I’d say. Your demon was pretty angry with me, so I thought maybe he took you away.” he once again wondered if it was a bad thing that she was back... or a worse thing. With the first of the demons possessing her, she was a constant danger to everyone in the frozen forest, including herself.
“A week…? My… my Demon?” she squeaked in fear. She seemed lost in her own fears for a long moment.
The men both looked at her, puzzled. The one with violet hair spoke first. “Do you not remember the cave?”
“Yes, I remember you asking me things, then you… looked into my eyes, and said something about a demon possessing me, but I didn’t understand you. Then I passed out. The next thing I knew, I woke up by a clearing, and ran here.”
The men looked at each other this time, seemingly communicating silently. “I think you should come with us.” The blonde said.
“Come with you? But where? Are you going to..." ulp, "kill me?” she squeaked the last part, afraid of their answer.
The violet-haired man laughed behind her, and she turned. “Now don’t you think we would have done that already, if that had been our intention?”
She regarded him warily. “I suppose so…”
He smiled at her, amused. “By the way, my name is Krys. This is my brother Chai.”
“Nice to meet you both.” she mumbled.
Krys just laughed again, and scooped her up into his arms, bridal style. She gave a surprised “eek” and clung to his neck. “Hold on tight.” He warned, winking conspiratorily.
She watched as Chai sprang up into the air and flew upwards into the trees, hanging on tightly as Krys followed suit. She hid her face against his chest and a low rumble of laughter met her ears.
They landed in a tree house, several hundred feet above the forest floor. Chai walked into the house, folding his wings, and Krys did much the same, setting Vieve on her feet in their living room. As Chai went to dig out something to eat, Krys sat down, and motioned for the girl to do the same.
“It’s time you learned who this demon of yours is.” he said solemnly.
Chai returned to the living room with some bread and cured meat, as well as cups full of water for the three of them. Vieve regarded the food cautiously, but took a bite at Krys’s urging. It wasn’t half bad. A bit bland, but otherwise fine. Of course, to her hungry stomach, it tasted like a meal fit for royalty.
“First of all, what do you know of him?” Chai asked.
“Nothing, really. I didn’t even know demons existed until he showed up.” She munched thoughtfully on a piece of what reminded her of beef jerky.
“Hmph.” Chai snorted. He’d never met a human, but what he’d heard of them didn’t lead him to believe they were so ignorant of demons.
Vieve blinked. “Is something wrong?”
“You’re telling me you never even supposed demons might exist?” He inquired.
“Well… when I was younger, yes, but my family and the villagers convinced me that there were no such things, and that I shouldn’t think of them anymore. I guess it was taboo.” she admitted.
“Well, just goes to show how ignorant some people can be.” Chai accused.
She stared at him, but couldn’t bring herself to glare. Even as a child, she’d thought people were hiding something from her.
“Humans have different customs than we do, Chai. You know that.” Krys argued.
“Whatever. So what can you tell us about your demon? Anything?” Chai asked. Surely the girl knew something about the demon. Why would it possess a total stranger?
“Just that it is cruel, ruthless, and spiteful, and it loves to kill, with no remorse, or even reason behind it.” She scowled at her bread and bit into it.
“And how do you know this?”
She sighed and closed her eyes, trying not to remember the images that had forever burned themselves into her mind’s eye. “Because he murdered everyone I held dear. We had done nothing against him. Didn’t even know he existed… but then he just shows up and slaughters everyone in cold blood… everyone but me. He told me…” she huffed again, angry and upset, “He told me that I could never love another human so long as I lived, and that it was my fault these people had met such a fate. That if I had never been born, these people would still be living peaceful lives. And then I remember feeling a pain in my eyes and a burning in my body…. But deeper than just bones and flesh… like he was burning my very soul from me.”
They were all silent for a few moments, the brothers looking at each other in silent contemplation. Vieve took a sip of her water and rubbed her eyes.
“I’m sorry for what he’s done to you, Vieve.” She looked up as Krys spoke, his expression soft and caring.
“Why would he do that to a human group? Why would he bother? Why not just take her away and be done with it?” Chai was confused.
“I don’t know… he said something about her having untapped powers. Maybe he thought she derived them from some of these people, and wanted to eliminate any means of aid.” Krys offered.
“What does it matter? Finding out won’t bring them back.” Vieve muttered darkly.
“I know. But if we can understand why he’s acting out so suddenly… maybe we can discover why he’s returned.” Krys countered.
“What do you mean, suddenly? Isn’t he from this world?”
“Eh… well.. Yes and no.” Krys scratched the back of his neck.
“This demon, if he tells the truth, is the first demon who ever existed. According to legend, he’s been around for over five thousand years, and will continue to exist long after every other demon is dead. The legend explained very little about why he left, but foretold that, should he ever return, that both worlds would be doomed to devastation.” Chai explained.
“Wow…” was all she could say.
“Sadly, we know nothing more of him. That’s why we were hoping you could shed some light on the subject. I suppose I should visit the council and ask for their wisdom in the matter.”
“That sounds like a plan. I could go dig up some of the old legends from the council’s library. Maybe that would help us.” Krys added.
“And me? Where should I go? I can’t fight like you two can, and I wouldn’t want to, anyway, but it seems that’s my only choice in this forest.”
“For now… I guess you should stay with us. Then we can keep an eye on you, as well.” Chai wasn’t about to let a girl, let alone a human girl, live in their house, unless it was important. The situation, however, seemed fairly important to him, given that the very existence of his people was involved.
“Thank you, but-” she started
“No, Chai is right. You need a place to stay, and we need to make sure your demon doesn’t harm anyone else. You’ll stay here.”
“Um… well… thank you, then.”
“This is more for our sake than yours.” Chai said seriously, thinking first of his people.
“Yeah, hopefully you can cook, or we’ll all die of food poisoning from Chai’s failed attempts.” Krys joked.
Chai merely gave an indignant “Hmph.” and stood to put the food and dishes away.
“While you stay here, you will have to carry your own weight. You are not a guest here, you are to be a working member of the household. I expect you to take on a few chores and help out.”
“That’s fine with me. In case you’re actually wondering, I am a very good cook.” She tried not to smile as Chai’s brow twitched in annoyance. She looked at Krys to see he was holding back laughter as well.
So it came to be that she started living with the brothers, as Krys showed her how to live safely in this forest, and what kinds of food could be found, while Chai instructed her on how to do her share of the chores, and taught her basic defense.
They settled into a comfortable lifestyle, with Vieve cooking and cleaning, Krys fetching the wood and food for their meals, and Chai building or repairing the home as needed. There were times that Vieve forgot where she was, or what had happened to her, so content was she in her new home.
A/N: Okay... so.. yeah. I probably should have said something in the first chapter, too, but forgive me?
I know some things seem really vague. But seriously, what would you remember of a traumatic occurence like that? What would you even want to remember?
Things will be explained better, later. Once she comes to terms with everything, she'll open up more. You'll see. (I already wrote it, so I know it happens. It's just got to be typed into my computer, revised, and uploaded).
Also, if you're wondering about the ratings 'n stuff... I know there aren't any detailed fight scenes or anything, but I'm new to this, so I want to make sure I rate things properly for violence 'n stuff.