Angel vs. Demon
Chapter 42 – Ame Corrupted?
"Great. Are we still gonna have to walk through more tunnels?" Kiseki asked, rubbing his face. "I swear, if I see one more f*ckin' tunnel ever again in my life, I will-"
"Aaalright, that's just wonderful, Kiseki," Moka interrupted, not wanting to hear any more complaining at this point. "I know you're anxious, but I'm sure we're getting close now. We've past the last level, after all. If we just go on a bit more…"
Kiseki sighed, but complied. Moka was right; he was feeling anxious. He thought they could already get to Ame, but what the hell was with this tunnel?! They seemed so close, but at the same time, so far away. He was getting exceedingly frustrated.
"Hey, guys, look at this!" Kenta raced up ahead, pointing at the very end of the tunnel. Thank goodness, this tunnel had an end; it actually led somewhere. Kiseki inhaled deeply in anticipation.
"It's a… door."
"What the hell?" Kiseki growled, staring at the door. "Are you kidding me, another door?"
Tsukune gulped nervously. "But this one looks a bit different from the last one, doesn't it…?"
Indeed, it was. These double doors were ash-black, rusty in some places, and very uninviting. Instead of the golden pillars they saw in the hall before, this door had equipped with spiky, metallic black pillars. The door itself was decorated with rusty chains (almost like streamers), and numerous locks and padlocks were placed over the crack where the two halves of the double doors met.
"You really think Ame's behind this door?" Yukari asked doubtfully, staring up. She hadn't even entered it yet, and she already felt its ominous aura.
"Well, where else does this tunnel lead to?" Kiseki snapped, on edge. Even he felt concerned; it Ame was locked behind a door like this, then no doubt something horrible was happening to her. He almost hoped for a comic relief… he wished that when they somehow managed to get the menacing doors open, Ame would just pop up from behind it, hair bouncing, wearing a party hat, holding noise-makers and plastic party cups, saying: "Hahaha! Congratulations on finding me! It was all just a joke!"
But he knew that it wouldn't happen. God, he wished it would, but it was just impossible.
"Alright, let's get this damn thing open," Kiseki muttered, setting to work. Along with Yukari, he first examined the many locks on the door. There were tons of different kinds; padlocks, number locks, password locks, chain locks, school locker locks… hell, it'll take forever just to take note of them all.
"There's so many," Moka said with worry. "How are we going to crack them all? I mean, we'll need passwords, keys… and maybe even a chainsaw, just in case we have to force some open."
"Hold on a second…" Yukari got closer to the dark double doors, eyes squinting at the locks and the door crack. Before anyone could stop her, she reached out and touched the locks.
"Yukari! Be careful…!" Kenta hurried up to her, taking her hand away from the door. "It could be booby-trapped or poisoned, you know."
Yukari laughed at this, then turned serious. "Guys… we won't need anything to open this door."
"Why?" everyone demanded. No key, password, or chainsaw to open the locks?
"Because the locks are fake!" Yukari declared, straightening up. "I mean, they're real, but they're just for decoration… they don't actually do anything. See this padlock? It has a crack in it… and when the door somehow opens by itself, then the padlock will automatically open. And this chain strung across the doors, too… it's held together by something and won't actually come loose or open. It's all just for show!"
Mizore gasped. "Who would do something like this?"
"Someone who wants to throw us off, I bet," Kiseki answered, shaking his head at the locks. "Damn, I was so – well, I didn't notice it."
"Then there must be something else to open the doors…" Tsukune mused, stroking his chin. "How are we going to get in?"
"I bet there's some switch or something," Yukari replied, nodding to herself. "Like a button someone can press to have the doors open automatically, without having to go through all those fake locks."
"Well, what are we waiting for then?" Kurumu exclaimed, jumping up. "Let's start looking for it!"
Everyone got to work. Kenta used his nose to try to sniff the switch out, and Kurumu flew up to get a birds-eye view on the area. Moka, Yukari, Mizore, and Tsukune searched the old-fashioned way, turning over rocks, looking behind boulders, and peering into cracks. The only one who was frantically searching was Kiseki; he raced around in a blur, crushing the rocks instead of turning them over, rolling the boulders around instead of looking behind them, and generally made a big nuisance out of himself.
"Dude, calm down!" Tsukune shouted, finally losing his temper.
"But we're so damn close!" Kiseki shouted back. As he said this, he kicked a boulder and destroyed it into smithereens. "We're so close…"
He was right. To come all the way here and be thrown off by a mere switch seemed too ridiculous. Everyone held their breath and got back to work again, searching harder than ever. No one bothered to respond to Kiseki's urges to hurry, though.
Out of frustration, Kiseki did a spin-kick and knocked a jagged rock down. Before, it was protruding out of the ground like an upside down icicle, but now Kiseki had knocked it over. Moka almost rolled her eyes at his behavior, but then stopped herself. She peered closer at the jagged rock, and then gasped.
"Kiseki… what did you do?" she whispered, horrified.
"What do you mean?" he asked, not looking in the rock's direction. "I just kicked it over. Why?"
Moka went over to the rock and felt around the tip – the top part – of it. Her fingernails caught the edge of a latch, and she used her fingers to flip it open. It opened like a lid. Hidden under that rocky lid was a red button.
Kiseki paled visibly. "No…"
"Ah, Kiseki you idiot!" Yukari cried, running over to look at the button. "You knocked over the door-opening device!"
Kiseki hurried over as well, breathing nervously. "No… no, maybe it still works?"
He pressed the red button once, but nothing happened. The door did not open. Frantic now, he pressed it again… then again and again, repeatedly. When still nothing happened, he began furiously pounding the button.
"Stop it," Moka ordered, putting her hand over Kiseki's. "You're going to destroy the button!"
"It's no use, anyway," Yukari muttered, sighing. "It was destroyed the moment you knocked its stand over. I think the wires inside broke or something; the top was completely severed, after all."
Kiseki collapsed on the ground, palms over his face. Tentatively, Kenta waddled over and gave him an awkward hug. Kiseki did not reject it.
"Dammit, look at what I did," Kiseki groaned. He was on the verge of breaking down. The others had never seen this side of him before, not even Moka.
"It will be okay," Tsukune murmured, patting Kiseki on the back. "We'll find another way to open the door. We'll go back to the school and call for back up and assistance if we have to! We'll rescue Ame, I promise."
Tsukune himself was feeling increasingly fretful. Ame had been the only human companion he had at Yokai Academy, and now he was going to lose her.
He shook himself. No, you can't think like that, he thought. She's going to be fine; we'll find her eventually.
"You know what?" Kiseki growled, standing up so suddenly that Kenta almost fell over. "I don't give a sh*t anymore. I don't care if we lost the button to open the door… I'm gonna force it open."
"What?" Kurumu cried, "How? Kiseki, that's impossible-"
"No it's not!" he objected. He spun around to face the door and glared at it as if it was his worst enemy. "I already knocked the button over; now I'm going to knock the door over."
With a deep breath, he ran up to the door and – with unbelievable force – shoulder-butted it. The pointy locks and chains dug into his skin, but he did not wince. He threw himself at the door, again and again.
Tsukune stood there with his mouth open, gaping at Kiseki. Then, after a quick shake of the head, he joined him in body-slamming the door. Pretty soon, the whole gang was doing it; they kicked at the door, used their powers to dent it, and generally scarred the door beyond repair.
This dark door wasn't as sturdy as the other one from the golden hall. The chains and locks rattled dangerously as the friends attacked the door, and the crack in the middle of the double doors grew wider centimeter by centimeter as they knocked their bodies against it.
Kiseki backed up a good few meters, sprinted up to the door, and used his hands to push himself off of the floor. Then – with a loud aggressive yell – the vampire kicked at the opening with both his feet.
Finally, the remaining chains and locks gave way and the door busted open.
"Impressive," Mizore commented, patting Kiseki on the shoulder in congratulations. Kiseki said nothing; he was busy focusing on steadying his breathing.
"Look who decided to show up!" someone laughed from inside the room. Kiseki and the others entered it cautiously, and there – near the back of the room – stood Lucy…
… and Garron.
"Garron?" Kurumu cried, eyes wide. "What the hell are you doing here?"
"I belong here!" Garron answered, smiling. "The Underworld is my kingdom; I am its ruler. I'm not your ally, and definitely not the friendly Garron Lived you knew from school. Your homeroom teacher, Ms. de Mone? Yeah, she's my demon minion. My slave, as she prefers to be called." He reached over and stroked her chin, and Lucy purred in pleasure.
"What the…?" Everyone else found this extremely far-fetched and messed up.
"Surprised, perhaps? Ame was too. That is, she was, until I forced her to obey." Garron smirked and pointed over at the wall behind him. Kiseki stretched his neck to look, and his eyes widened and his heart began to pound. Not in excitement or happiness, no… his heart was pounding from fury.
There, chained to the wall behind Garron, was Ame. Her arms were secured over her head by the leather straps on her wrists, which were connected by chains to the cement wall behind her. It looked painfully tight against her wrist, and Kiseki could see red marks where the straps had bit into her skin. Her feet weren't secured, though, and they were sprawled in front of her on the ground. It seemed that Ame had struggled; her chest rose and fell rapidly, and faint sweat covered her uniform. Much to Kiseki's discomfort, it even made some places… transparent, to say the least. She was sitting on her bottom in a very uncomfortable position, and her skirt was drawn up high over her thighs.
Luckily she always wears those shorts underneath them, though… Kiseki thought to himself. Or else that perverted sadist Garron would have seen her…
Kiseki snapped out of his thoughts. What the hell am I thinking about? Ame's in trouble, and I'm worrying about her –
"As I'm sure you had noticed, there's something different about her," Garron said in pride, interrupting Kiseki's internal debates. "I'm proud to say that she now belongs to me… My beautiful, powerful golden scale."
"The scale!" Yukari cried in realization, slapping her forehead. "Apollo said something about that…"
"Apollo?" Garron snapped, instantly alert. "This Apollo you speak of…"
"Nothing." Kiseki interrupted. He had to spit that word out of his mouth; his teeth were so tightly clenched. "What did you do to Ame?"
"Well…" Garron began hesitantly, reluctant to diverge from the subject of Apollo, "as I said before, she is now mine. She has become my minion, a part of the demon realm. I succeeded in taking the angelic part out of her," he finished proudly, looking pleased with himself.
"You-," Kiseki didn't know what to say, he was so furious. Yukari spoke for him.
"Oh my God, you shouldn't have done that!" she cried, stomping her foot in frustration. "That's extremely dangerous! You could have completely sucked the life right out of her and killed her! Her life must have been at stake! Doing that to a human, too. You sick, sick monster."
Garron narrowed his eyes at her. "Don't talk to me like that. And I didn't kill Ame, did I? In fact, I made her better. This 'angel' crap was making her less powerful, and more wishy-washy. She was vulnerable in both her human and angel state. Protecting others? Ha! What about herself, huh?"
Kiseki glared at Garron, but did not argue with him. He himself had worried over this very issue before.
"I just brought out her latent abilities and awakened her. She will open her eyes and become a brand new person! No, I should say, she will open her eyes and become a brand new weapon… my brand new weapon." Looking back at her, Garron snapped his fingers. "Ame, time to wake up! Get up and come to me, will you?"
Ame's eyes – closed only moments before – flew open at his command. Moka as well as the others gasped. Ame's eyes were red... And not vampire-red, either; they weren't a bright-colored red. Ame's eyes were a deep blood red.
She struggled to get up despite the straps and her bounds. Ame's red eyes narrowed in annoyance at the obstacles on her wrists. Lucy, looking upset that Ame was getting all the attention, went over to cut the leather straps off of her. But Ame didn't need help; she looked at the straps on her wrists, and they burned right off and melted off of her skin. Ame wasn't hurt, though. It seemed that she had summoned the fire up herself.
"Oh, no…" Moka whispered, looking on in dismay. "Ame, what happened to you…?"
Garron, an unsurprised expression on his face, had sat down on one of the many leather sofas in the room. "C'mere, Ame."
"Yes, Master." Ame said this in a sickly sweet voice; not her own gentle tone. Kiseki looked at her in desperation and frustration as she sat down next to Garron on the sofa.
"No, not there, Ame." Garron did not look at her as he said this; he was staring at Kiseki, a hint of smile on his lips. Provoking him, no doubt. "Come sit here."
He patted his knee.
Kiseki clenched his fist as tight as he could so that he wouldn't do something stupid. Attacking Garron now and pummeling him – with Ame in front of him and Lucy in the background – was not a good idea. He had to wait… no matter how much it hurt him, he had to bear it.
Ame perched on Garron's lap, legs perpendicular to his. Her eyes were empty as she brought her arms up around Garron's neck.
"Stop it," Kiseki growled. "Don't order her around as you please."
"What's wrong?" Garron asked, eyes wide in mock concern. "Poor thing… are you jealous, perhaps?"
"Hell, Garron, even I'm jealous," Kurumu snapped, "she's our best friend, and she's never sat on any of our laps before! But that's not the point! I don't care what you plan to do with her; we won't let you. We're here to take Ame back."
Garron looked at her in amusement, then tipped his head back and laughed. Automatically, Ame smiled as well.
"Wow, I'm sorry, but did I hear you correctly? What did you want to do with her? Didn't I tell you before that she was mine, Kurumu? Why would I give her back after all the trouble I'd gone through? Ame here – this new and improved Ame – is the key to my master plan, and now that she's on my side… I'll be undefeatable. Of course, I'm not completely crippled without her either – I have my own army, for your information – but I think I like it better when she's like this. Isn't that right, Ame?"
"Yes, Master," she answered, stroking Garron's hair.
"Why are you doing this?" Moka asked, a pleading tone in her voice. "Just let her go! She never did anything to you. She doesn't deserve this…"
"Yes she does," Garron snapped, glaring at her. "She accepted that damn angel's stuff! She should know better than to trust them. And besides, Ame's very useful… Remember what I told you before, Ame? Repeat it to them please. It seems they need a little clarification."
"Master said he needed me," Ame obediently answered, face expressionless, "because I can penetrate barriers and shields and create my own. I can put a shield around his army and protect them, or I could put a barrier around Moka and the others and trap them there." Garron smiled at this, and Ame continued.
"I'm also easy prey," she said, twirling her hair around her finger in a very unnatural, non-Ame way. "I'm human, and therefore easier to control. It's is not difficult to manipulate a human. I'm also my Master's 'golden scale'… and now I have tipped the scale in Lord Garron's favor." Upon finishing, Ame smiled sweetly at Tsukune and his friends, blinking at them innocently with her blood red eyes.
"I'm gonna kill you when we're through with this," Kiseki warned Garron, teeth grinding together. "I swear…"
"You'll die before I do," Garron said in response, pushing Ame off of his lap. "Ame, make sure of that."
Ame transformed then… and not to her angel self, either. Of course not. Black bat-like wings sprouted from her shoulder blades, and red horns grew out from her head. A horn-tipped tail flicked out from under her skirt, and a red, triangle-tipped devil's trident appeared in Ame's hands.
"Moka," she said, eyes empty, "Tsukune, Kurumu, Mizore, Kenta, Yukari… Kiseki." Ame blinked for a moment, as if confused, then continued again in her monotone voice. She uttered a single word.
Oh wow, you wouldn't believe how difficult it was for me to write this chapter, LOL. Sure, it was very exciting and drama-filled (and I loved it, I can't deny that xP), but it was so unsettling putting Ame in this situation. I had fun with this chapter, though.
I hoped you all liked reading this! Garron finally reveals his true self to the others. And Ame finally becomes corrupted! Woo-hoo...
BTW, remember when Ame found Yukari's crystal ball? This was many chapters ago (I think in Chapter 12), but she saw her reflection in it, remember? And it was of her evil demonic self, with her hair flying everywhere and her eyes blood red. Well, Yukari's crystal ball did tell the future after all ;)
Alright, thanks for reading! I'll see you in the next chapter :D