Still alive! I know, it's been months and months since I last posted. Honestly life just sucks and likes to kick me when I'm done. Nothing I can do about it. I'm hoping not to disappear for that long again but I just don't know. I'm trying to deal with a lot of things. Life is not going my way right now so you'll probably be hearing from me more but no promises. I know this sounds almost exactly like my last one but I don't really know what else to say. Hope you all enjoy it!
Dear Curse of Kings, Hi! I hope you're enjoying the story. As for the voices, Rey is an alto, low and smokey and she usually talks with a rolling lilt and typically rather sarcastic. She talks similar to the way Cross does much to Allen's chagrin. Zack is loud and he shouts a lot. He's very gung ho and his voice reflects that. He's older than Allen so his voice is deeper. It's kinda like a mix of Lavi and Kanda. It's deep like Kanda's but he talks like Lavi. Hope that helps! Enjoy the chapter!
Dear Haksol, Welcome to my story! You're close but not correct. Tyki's tattoo is something that will remind him of Butterfly but it's not a butterfly because despite that being his nickname for her it's mostly associated with him so she went with something else. Something he can't explain it away. Sheryl is going to freak about it and yes Rey made sure that the tattoo isn't going anywhere. She chose that shop for a reason. Road will laugh at him. It's kinda what she does. Enjoy!
Dear Alexc1209, Yay! Thanks! That means so much to me! Unfortunately for Rey Zack doesn't always think before he does things. Usually Rey is the one trying to fix everything that he causes but sometimes she just does what she did and throws him out. Can you blame her? You'll find that Rey especially has that effect on the Noah. Zack's sheer stupidity also does. Zack has many marks on the 'you suck' board. He doesn't have Rey's more acute senses. Yep! Rey and the Earl have met as other than Noah and exorcist. Well this isn't your normal story so you never know what'll happen to Rey. I'll betcha more than a twenty. ;D He is. I thought the male of Karen was a Ken? Maybe that's just me. Dunno. But yeah Sheryl can be such a pain, though if Sheryl asked to speak to Rey's manager he's gonna get Cross so I don't know how well that will go for him. Cross might even charge him for wasting his time. So good luck Sheryl. Road is definitely gonna be causing problems. Yes! I'd love to get drunk! Pour me a glass! Yay! Enjoy!
Dear Wolfs Child, Yay! Thank you! I'm so glad you love it! I'm definitely loving the tattoo, Tyki not so much but it'll grow on him. I can't wait to reveal what it is. I'd love to hear your guess of what it is. Enjoy the next chapter!
Dear WinterYule, I am looking at you! So do it! Have mercy on me! Be a good friend! It's your fault because Rey says so. Blame her. Don't look at me. There's no carpet. No carpet at all. Nothing to see here. I have no comment on the source or the people looking for it. The Walker Luck is what they have. Send them help. They are, you have to give them time for their relationship to bloom. Rey yells a lot and does get yelled at a lot. It doesn't really matter. She doesn't listen so she doesn't really notice. I have no sympathy for Komuii after all the robots he deserves everything Azalea does to him. SUFFER! Rey is trying to protect her but the way she goes about things doesn't always work. You'll love it. Azalea and Timothy are going to be one hell of a bad mix. Prepare for trouble and make it double! Rey doesn't resist. She smacks the voice all the time. Niko worries the most about her shenanigans! He swears she's gonna get herself killed at best and at worst she'll get him and Allen killed with her. You'd have to be blind to not think that Tyki is a pretty. Rey will hug both of them but Niko can't really do anything to Tyki. He could try to poison Tyki. I'm not sure if Noah can be poisoned but he can try? Tyki wouldn't see Niko as worth the effort to kill. It's a lot of work and Niko runs fast. They're both sassy. They practice being sassy by talking to each other. Have lots of pity on Niko. He needs it. His siblings are horrible. She does, just not everybody gets it. Gregory is kinda used to Rey being Rey. Komuii is a migraine himself. Zack can't believe that a human would be capable of such horrible acts. To him the Noah and the Earl are monsters or demons. Road's song calls to something that Rey would rather leave in her past. Rey's sense of direction is only slightly better than Allen's. It's not great. Zack isn't cool, he's just bottling it up for now. He's saving his righteous fury for the person responsible. It'll come. She cheated and she did not cheat. Oh she would have grabbed it even if it wasn't innocence. She likes shiny things. She has a collection of them. It was but she was just done with the whole experience that she no longer cared. Can't blame her. Sheryl will have to deal with Rey eventually. Let him enjoy his peace for now. So you think the CROWS are suspicious. Interesting. Very interesting indeed. Zack would not be able to stomach it. Do you really blame Tyki for wanting time away from Sheryl? Wouldn't you? Tyki has never played her before so he doesn't know. Besides he'd try anyway. Well his bones would be crunchy and if she flambeed him like a dragon then he'd be crunchy. Honestly he's lucky that's all that happened. Had it been Rey on the train instead of Allen she would have left them naked at the station. She's mean. You're welcome to guess about the tattoo. I'm curious to see what you'd come up with. Let me know what part you're most excited for! I wish, I don't have that cup though. Enjoy the chapter!
"The bond that links your true family is not one of blood,
but of respect and joy in each other's life."
― Richard Bach
"Brat," Rey ignored the voice. "Brat." Again she didn't respond. "Brat." He growled. Still, Rey stubbornly refused to turn." "XXXXXXX." Turning her head, green eyes landed on the looming form of her teacher. She turned to face him, not even bothering to roll her eyes at the fact that he faced away from her. "How many times do I have to tell you?" He didn't pause to let her answer. "Don't get attached to Allen. I don't care if you keep the other one but you can't keep Allen."
"Master, what do you mean? Keep him? He's my brother." She took several steps towards him, wading through the knee high grass of the field, ignoring the stray pieces that clung to her white peasant blouse. "Why do you keep saying that?"
"He's not your brother!" She remains passive despite his yelling.
"Yes he is."
"No," he growls out, "he's not. Do as I say, Brat. I'm tired of reminding you."
Her lips pull back into a sneer, "Then save your breath. I don't care that none of us share blood. Family, real family, it isn't who you're born with. It's who you'd die for. I stand by my decision." She whirled away from him.
"Rhea!" Whirling around she decks the person who shouted her name. Rey winced when she saw Allen on the ground rubbing his injured cheek.
"Allen!" She chided, "What have I said about sneaking up on me?" She bent down to offer him a hand up.
He took it gingerly, still cradling his cheek with a sigh, "Not to." Still he smiled at her. "Honestly by now I should know better. A hard lesson to learn." She pulled him to his feet with ease.
"Did you need Master? I'm gonna warn you, he's in a mood. May or may not," she shrugged, "be my fault." Allen didn't look away from her face, as if their Master hadn't been there.
"It's time to go. The others are waiting for us." Rey blinked once, twice, and then again.
"What?" Allen arched at eyebrow at her.
"Rey, are you okay?"
"What about-" She trailed off as she turned around to a stone wall instead of a field with their Master standing in it. Now she found herself staring at one of the walls of the Black Order. "-Master?" She finished slowly.
"Maybe you should sit this mission out. Hallucinations aren't good. I bet Komui would agree with me." Rhea looked down and found herself wearing her exorcist coat, which hadn't been there a moment before. Allen also wore his.
"No, no, no, I'm fine. Let's go." She waved him off, shaking the weird feeling off.
"Great! Paris awaits!" Allen led the way, Rhea trailing behind him, eyes glancing around.
"Don't forget what I have said." Rey whirled around when she heard Cross again. Still the long empty hallway of the Black Order greeted her.
"Great, I'm losing my mind." Rhea sighed. She whipped around again when Allen didn't respond. Her eyes widened upon finding him several meters ahead of her. "Allen?" She called, when he didn't slow, she started jogging. "Allen?" To her horror he only grew farther and father away. "Allen!" She ran. Despite her legs and lungs pumping furiously she couldn't catch up with Allen. With every step he grew farther away. Then he vanished around the corner. Pushing herself even harder Rey flung herself around the corner only to find another endless hallway with no sign of him. Panicking she bolted down it. "Allen! Allen!" She called as she sprinted down endless hallways after endless hallway. Skidding to a stop she spun around hysterically. "Allen! ALLEN! ALLEN!" Her heart beat furiously in her chest as her lungs constricted and then stopped moving. Panic flooded her veins as she could no longer breathe.
"Hey. Wake up."
Shooting up, Rey looked around wildly, trying desperately to remember where she was and what had happened all the while trying to untangle herself from the sheets, wrapped around her like a silken spider web. Her body shook and shone with sweat causing the sheets to cling to her like a second skin. Startled, Rhaps bolted up and flew around, ready to defend her mistress. When she found no threat the little golem fluttered back to comfort Rey.
"It's okay, Rhaps. It was just a dream. I'm okay." Her attempt to calm the golem and herself were weak at best. Finally able to breath properly she ripped the sheets from her legs and staggered into the bathroom. The bags under her eyes gave her a rather sunken in zombie look, granting her eyes a rather unnatural and unhealthy glow. She turned the faucet on fumbling with the handles before turning it to cold and cupping some of the water. Drinking as quickly as she can, Rey focused her mind on calming down. When her breathing returned to normal she wobbled back to her bed, still eyeing the floor as if it would give beneath her feet at any moment and she would plummet into the deep abyss. Shaking the irrational fear away, she dug through her bag, retrieving her nail kit. Taking a deep breath she began to fix her nails; falling into the calming routine.
Trekking through the Italian wilderness quickly found it's way to the top of Rey's 'Fuck it' list. She grumbled as she dragged herself down the dusty abandoned road. Completely barren excluding her. She glanced up at Rhaps and arched an eyebrow, glancing around. Looking in front and behind her she saw nothing but dusty roads as far as the eye could see. Above her head the sun beat down on her, tanning her skin and overheating her head, causing her to shrink farther into her hood while her boots collected the dust as she walked through.
"Either I'm losing it or something is coming. Bu there's nothing here!" Rey sighed when the golem didn't have some Earth-shattering answer or an answer at all. "Definitely losing it." She turned back in the direction she had been walking just in time to collide with something barreling down the road, right at her. They hit the ground and her instincts kicked in. Rey threw them off, rolled back onto her feet and fell into a natural battle stance.
"Hiya!" Rey quirked an eyebrow at the chipper greeting. Before her stood a preteen girl with spiky dark blue hair and matching eyes. Slowly she straighten up.
"The girl from Paris?" She questioned. Her eyes flicked to the girl's aura and found the same black cross that My Love had carried in his human form. "Or perhaps I should greet you as a Noah?" A wide grin split the girl's face.
"That's right!" She cheered bouncing on her toes then frowned. "Hey~!" She whined, "How did you figure it out?" I didn't give you my name or change. That's not fair." She pouted. "I wanted to surprise you."
"Sorry," Rey didn't actually sound all that sorry, "I don't like surprised."
"You ruined all the fun." The girl continued to pout.
"Oh well. Guess you have no reason to be here then. Have a nice day." Rey waved her off and started back down the road.
"I wouldn't say that." Rey flung herself to the side, narrowly avoiding dozens of sharp pink and purple striped candles. She rolled, landing in a crouch.
"Well that's an interesting attack." Unable to help her overwhelming curiosity, Rey reached over and picked the candle up. "Is this a real candle?" She twisted it over and over in her hand, watching the wax drip in the dirt and on her gloves. She pushed off from her knees and stood to her full height.
"Why don't you find out." She challenged. Candles rained down from the sky forcing the exorcist to danced through them, swing back and forth. Road watched, marveling slightly at her footwork. A small grin pulling at her lips as the exorcist emerged from the attack, unharmed.
"You aren't scared?" Road asked. Rey shook her head.
"There's nothing to be scared of."
"Not even death?" She cocked her head to the side.
Rey shook her head again, "Death is just the next great adventure!" A wicked grin spread across Road's face.
"We'll see." Instantly dozens of candles flew at her. Rey bolted to the left.
"Innocence activate!" Harlequin shot down her left arm and out her sleeve, splitting into tendrils coming from ever direction. Candles flew through the air, streaking towards the exorcist. Road frowned as the exorcist vaulted sideways out of the way. She flung more candles, her eyes widening as the black liquid appeared between them, absorbing the candles completely. The exorcist landed on her feet in a crouch, her innocence shoot around before firing her own candles back at her. Road jumped back, avoid them except for one which sliced her cheek. The Noah reached up, touching her finger to the cut, pulling them away to look at the blood.
"Not bad. I forgot to ask your name last time. I'm Road! Road Kamelot."
Straightening up, she answered, "Rhea. My name is Rhea."
"Well then, Rhea, I hope you survive!" A barrage of akuma bullets rained down from the sky sending Rey running for the cover of the trees lining the right side of the street, Road's maniacal laugh following her, directing the four level ones to follow the fleeing exorcist.
"You can't run forever!" She laughs.
"Mistress Road!" A level two akuma comes flying towards her. The smile vanished from Road's face as she turned to the akuma.
"You're interrupting my game! What do you want?" She hissed at it, a scowl setting on her face.
"My deepest apologizes, My Lady." The level two looked close to evolving bowed deeply on it's needle legs. "I found some innocence in the next town over!" Both Rey and Road's ears perked at it's words.
"Well then go get it." She snapped. The akuma grinned at her.
"I already have it for you." The akuma produced the innocence holding it out in it's arms that matched it's legs. The small piece of rock glowed green, unaware of the danger.
"Son of a fucking motherless whore bitch ass fucker!" Rey cursed before switching over to her native language to curse some more, ducking as a bullet lodged into the tree right above her head. She dove out of the way, rolling across the ground to another tree and away from the poisonous gas quickly filling the air. Looking down at her feet, Rey bent down, grabbed two rocks and put them into the pouch sitting on her left hip.
"Well then give it here." Road demanded, holding out her hands for it.
"Harlequin!" Rey shot her innocence out. The black liquid flew through the air, wrapping around the akuma. Rey leaned around the tree she was using as cover making sure the piece of innocence was securely protected in hers. The akuma shrieked as it fought against the innocence as it flew through the air.
"Hey!" Road cried watching the innocence steal the akuma. The level two struggled vainly as it crashed through the row of level ones still firing on the tree grove. All four exploded as the level two wrapped in innocence speared through them.
"Give it!" Rey hissed as she pried the level two's arms apart to grab the innocence with Harlequin wrapped around her arms in a pair of clawed gauntlets.
It thrashed wildly as it shrieked, "No! No! No! This is for Mistress Road! No! Release me!" It flailed, trying to stab her with it's needle limbs. "I want to go back to Mistress Ro-" It's words died as Rey thrust her fist into it's head through it's open mouth.
"Shut up," She groaned, wrenching her arm back.
"Did you get the innocence, Rhea?" Road called to Rey when the akuma stopped screaming. Rey slid the innocence into her coat, next to the other ones she had acquired. Rey looked at Road from around the tree and then all around her.
"Can I sneak away?" She questioned to herself. She peeked around the right side of the tree again only to feel her eyes widen. "Wait! Where did she go?!"
"I'm right here!" Road sang in her ear, driving a candle through her left shoulder. Rey let out a cry of pain, Harlequin spiking out from her gauntlets forcing Road back. Rey grabbed the candle and hissed loudly. She yanked on it until she fell free of the tree and sank to the ground.
"Damn it. That really hurt." Rey glowered at Road who grinned at her, swinging back and forth on her feet. She tried to move her shoulder. "Fuck." She cursed again and finished extracting the candle, pressing her fist and the candle into the gushing wound. "Will this vanish?" Rey asked, waving the candle she was holding. Road nodded. "What about the wax when the candle disappears? Will it still be here?" Road cocked her head at the question she asked but nodded her head all the same. "Cool." She smiled with all her teeth as Harlequin snapped out, connecting with Road's stomach, launching her out of the trees and across the road. Shoving her free hand into one of her pouches she pulled a roll of bandages out. Quickly wrapping the wound she sealed the edges with the candle, hissing as the wax burned her skin.
"Hey~ that's actually not a bad idea." Road sang, watching the exorcist. Rey rubbed the wound.
"You're just playing, aren't you? That really hurt." She stood up, Harlequin floating around her, ready to defend again as she pulled her coat back on.
"I'll kill you if you'd rather." Road teased. Rey smirked back.
"Sorry, I'll have to pass." She took several steps back, putting more distance between them. "What do you want from me, anyway?" Rey asked.
"You intrigue me."
She swallowed, mouth going dry, "I'm not so interesting."
"Funny," A smile flickered across Road's face, her gaze never wavering. "Uninteresting people usually don't have to say that." Silence filled the space between them. Walls and walls built between them, shielding the exorcist's mind. Road grinned then added, "I have to say, you're a lot different than your brother." Rey froze at her words.
"My brother...?" She repeated. Slowly she looked down at the candle she was still holding. Her own words echoed in her head.
"That little bitch stabbed my little brother! In. The. Eye. With. A. Fucking. Candle." She enunciated each word carefully causing the older exorcist to shiver.
"Rhea, Allen's eye is already healing! He'll be fine in no time." Komui tried to argue though she quickly spun around on him causing the man to yelp and cower in fear.
"That's not the point! That's like saying if I stabbed a person but it wasn't a fatal wound than it's okay because they didn't die! Shall I try it on you?"
"Yeah! He was a lot of fun to play with. He cried when I forced the akuma to self destruct. I foun-" Her words died as the candle that Rhea had previously been holding flew through her head right between her eyes. "That was rude." The innocence snapped out, forcing her back, spearing where she had been standing. Road eyed the cracks that spread from the impact.
"You. It was you." Her messy bangs shadowed her eyes, hiding them from view. "You stabbed my little brother in the eye with a candle."
"I was helping him!" Road chirped, smiling. Harlequin retreated, hissing along the ground. Road tilted her head as it climbed Rhea's form, hardening into armor.
"Unlock." She ordered, jerking her left arm sideways she heard it click. She lunged. Her fist connected with the ground, Road arking through the air gracefully.
"It seems that's your trigger. I wish I had known that rage bubbled in you earlier." Road laughed, only to yelp with the glove disconnected, wrapping around her ankle to throw her around. She hit the ground, causing a crater with her impact. The ground shattered beneath her feet as Rey kicked off, swinging for Road's head. "I better get serious." Road commented. Her eyes widening as Rhea charged straight through the barrage of candles flung her way. She jumped away as Rhea kept coming straight for her.
"Hold still." She snarled. Road smiled and unleashed another flurry of candles. Rey let out a cry as they connected with her legs, arms, and torso. She hit the ground and rolled. "Damn it." She forced herself up again, her legs wobbling under her.
"You sure can take a beating. This is so much fun!" Road chirped, bouncing up and down.
Rey snorted, "Well I'm glad somebody's having fun." Road smiled sweetly at her.
"Would you like this to end?"
"I'd like you to die." Rey answered plainly. Road's eyes widened a fraction before she threw back her head and laughed, clapping her hands together.
"What fun you are!" A vicious smirk spread across her face. "Well then, go ahead," she spread her arms out wide, exposing her chest and neck, "go ahead and kill me." She challenged. Rey straightened up, her armor peeling off to create a long sword, the edge gleaming wickedly. Stalking forward she drive it right through Road's heart. Road threw back her head and laughed. "What a beautiful expression! You'd actually kill me! You're so different from Allen! I love it!" Rey withdrew her blade and struck again.
"Damn it! Why wouldn't you fucking die?!" Rey demanded, swinging the blade, intending to sever Road's head but the innocence just passed through the girl's neck as if nothing had happened. She swung again. And again. Again. Again and again and again. "Fuck it. I'm done." Rey whirled around in her heels and stalked away. Road's laughter ceased.
"Hey! You can't quit! That's no fun." She shouted after the retreating exorcist.
"I don't play games I can't win. If my innocence can't touch you then you must not be here, thus I'm not playing." She snapped over her shoulder. The pain radiating though her body slowed her down. A single candle to the back of Rey's right knee took her down. She rolled across the ground cursing. Her sword clattered from her hand, landing a meter or two away. Road walked over and stomped on the candle in Rey's leg, driving it into the ground. She let out a scream.
"You ruined the game." Road pouted as she walked over to Harlequin and the other piece of innocence that had rolled out of Rey's hip pouch when she had fallen. "However you amused me. Your brother shed tears for an akuma and even after that he refused to kill me. You had no such sentiments. What a strange pair of siblings you make. So I won't kill you today but you still must be punished."
Rey's eyes went wide and she grabbed a rock from the ground and threw it at Road and snarled, "Leave my brother alone!" As with everything else it passed right though her. Another candle flew through the air pinning Rey's left hand to the ground. She screamed and writhed as pain overwhelmed her.
"Say goodbye to your innocence." As a last resort Rey smacked a pile of sand, filling the air with dirt. Road staggered back, waving the dust away from her face. When everything had cleared she saw that Rhea had finally passed out from the pain, blood oozing slowly from her wounds. Smirking, she placed a single finger on Harlequin, grinning widely as the strange liquid exploded into particles. She picked up the glowing green rock and then grabbed the other one. Without a single glance back, she stepped through her door, seeking the Millennium Earl so he could destroy two more pieces.
Mere moments aster the Noah left Rey moved. She groaned and pulled the candle from her left hand, biting her lip as she did so to quell the whimper on her tongue.
"Well, it's been quite a while since I've had my ass so thoroughly kicked, eh, Rhaps?" The small silver golem fluttered out from the trees. She tried to get up only to drop to the ground with another yelp of pain as she remembered the candle still lodged in her leg. Son of a bitch!" Looking around slowly, making sure to check that she was truly alone she called, "Harlequin, come." All around her dust particles began to gleam and slowly began to reform the innocence until a black cloud of mist hung over the girl. "Consume the candle." She ordered. "Rhaps did you grab the other one?" The golem bobbed up and down before opening it's mouth to reveal the glowing piece of innocence tucked away safely. "Ouch!" Rey cried as Harlequin pulled the candle from her leg then absorbed it before deactivating. Rey spent the next several minutes wrapping her wounds and cursing colorfully. Wobbling she got to her feet and started walking as best as she could. "I better get out of here before Road realizes what happened." The magic sparks at her fingertips flickered out.
Road skipped through the ark, humming the song she had created to torment that general, a piece of innocence clutched in each hand. A thought occurred to her and she paused mid step. She opened her left hand curiously. For such a lively piece in weapon form, Harlequin didn't react to her at all. It didn't move or even burn. Her eyes widened and she clenched her fist only to snarl when the regular rock passed through her form and fell to to the ground. Quickly picking it up she dropped the other one and scratched her nail along it. Green pain and glitter came off. She glared at it for a moment and then began to laugh.
"Well played, Walker! Well played indeed!"
"Let me see if I got this straight," Rey said, reclining in her seat at the table finishing off the dredges of her spaghetti and marinia sauce, picking through with her fork for any more bits of sausage, "you think the children of your town have been possessed by demons? Like actual demons from the bible." The man sitting across from her, Dario as he had introduced himself, nodded fervently.
"Yes, and it's getting worse. Every day more and more of our children are infected. Nothing we've done has worked. After confirming that it was not a sickness, virus or otherwise, with our town doctor we turned to the priest but nothing he said or did had any effect. You, Lady Exorcist, are our last hope." Rey watched silently, leaning back once more now that she had cleaned her plate, letting nothing pass over her face, despite wanting to arch an eyebrow skeptically at that. The man looked at her with hop filled pleading eyes.
Rey sighed, "I will look into it. I promise nothing though." Immediately Dario brightened up.
"Let me go pay for our meal and then we can be on our way!" He scrambled to his feet and rushed off to find a sever.
Rey finally allowed her eyebrow to arch as she turned to Rhaps who floated by her head and asked, "Trap or poorly behaved children? Noah and akuma or brats? Hmmm, which do you think?" The golem didn't answer. Smirking slyly at the golem she shoved herself out of the chair and followed after the man.
"Evenin' Dario." The innkeeper of the only inn and tavern in the small village made almost entirely of wooden structures and old leaning street lights greeted as Rey and Dario stepped in, shutting the door against the cooling air of the night behind them.
"Good evening, Enzo!" Dario removed his hat from his head, not bothering to try and stifle the smile clear across his face.
"What can I do for you? You seem to be smiling too much for the missus to have kicked you out for your shenanigans." Enzo grinned, his dark eyes a light with mischief in a way that reminded her a bit of Lavi.
"Nope! I've still got it but right now I've got something even better, may I present, the Lady Exorcist, Rhea." He stepped aside allowing Enzo to see Rey or the first time. His eyes widened as he stepped around the counter, moving slowly as if Rey were a deer, fleeing if he startled her.
"My God, can it be? Have you come to answer our prayers? Has the Lord finally heard our cries?" Rey shifted on her feet, idly, entertaining the idea of fleeing for a moment before dismissing it. A distant voice made a sharp comment in her head but she pushed it deeper into the recesses of her mind. Instead she offered a tentative smile. "May God bless your soul, Lady Exorcist. Allow me to get the master suite ready."
"Oh that's not necessary. A regular room will be fine." She answered, waving her hands.
Enzo grinned and replied, "No, no, no, no, I insist. Free of charge! I cannot even remember how long we've been waiting for God to answer our prayers. My son will finally be free of his demon. I cannot thank you enough." Rey smiled again, arguing no more.
Despite the rather plush bed, Rey tossed nd turned all night, never finding a comfortable position to fall asleep. She groaned as she rolled over again, turning to face Rhaps who rested on a separate pillow by her head. She eyed the sleeping gloem, pushing own her jealously at how easily the golem sleeps. Taking a deep breath, she forces herself to close her eyes and lie still. She stayed put until she felt several presences gather in the street.
"One, three, five, seven, ten, eleven, twelve." She counted under her breath as more and more appeared. Giving up on sleep, she throws the blankets off and pulls her clothes back on. She slips out the window, stalking through the shadows before settling in a crouch near the wall of the inn.
"Angelo," One of the little girls, the mayor's only daughter Rey notes from the list she had been given by Dario, whines at one of the boys, "how much longer do we have to do this? My parents are really mad at me. My daddy is talking about sending me to a convent. I don't even know what that is! I'm scared! I don't wanna go!" She shouts. Rey understands the sentiment.
"Be quiet!" Another girl hisses, this one older. "It's nothing important. A convent is a place where nuns live."
"I don't want to be a nun!" The first girl cries, fat tears rolling down her cheeks.
A boy chimes in, "Yeah I heard my parents talking when they thought I was asleep. They're planning on taking me away. They think it's the town. That the whole town is doomed. They wanna get out before something worse happens."
"Mine too." A different boy adds.
"My parents as well." Murmurs went around the small gather as more and more children agreed, revealing that their parents were contemplating moving away. Rey's eyes darted from child to child. Memorizing faces to match with voices for later.
"Angelo," A taller boy steps forward, placing his hand on Angelo's shoulder as he spoke, "we have to try something else or we'll all going to be split up. Worse, the town will die." Angelo violently shrugged his hand off.
"I don't care if the town dies. Good riddance is what I say. Let it die." The taller boy's brows furrowed along with Rey's as she leaned back against the wall, allowing her legs to shift from their uncomfortable and stiff position. She glanced up at Rhaps, tilting her head towards the red faced child.
"Angelo," The taller boy scolds, "some people can't afford to move away. The wouldn't be able to compete in other towns. Ours is a small town that only works because in hard times they pull together. You're tearing the entire town apart. It's time to end this."
"If you wanna stop then just stop, Lorenzo!" Nobody is making you keep it up!" Angelo shouted, swiping at the taller boy with his hand.
"Ssssshhhh!" Several girls hissed, trying to quiet him.
"Guys," Flavio, Enzo's own son inched forward, wide eyes glancing at Angelo before flicking to Lorenzo and then back to Angelo, maybe Lorenzo, well, what I mean is, maybe Lorenzo is right. Lorenzo's dad brought in an exorcist. They're sleeping above us as we speak." Rey smirked a little.
"If only you knew." She hummed under her breath. Rhaps bobbed up and down in agreement while recording the children and their secret meeting.
"Oh that's right!" Lorenzo agreed, he eyes going wide. "I remember dad talking about it to mom. He's super hopeful about them! Says they're gonna fix everything!" Lorenzo remembered his dad telling his mom that their prayers had been answered.
The arguing went on until the early light of the day began to lighten the sky prompting the conspirators to sneak back home. Standing up in one fluid motion, Rey yawned and stretched.
"Well, I guess that answers that. Kids suck and even if we finish the war and save the world I will still never have kids. Master was right. That's a scary thought." She bent backwards until her back released a series of cracks following by her elbows, knuckles, and fingers. Then she cracked her neck. Leaping with ease she vaulted back into her room to change her bandages again.
Rhea waved, fake smile plastered to her face, as the adults reluctantly left her alone with the 'possessed' children. Her smile fell away once they could no longer see her and she immediately sat on the ground, legs crossed, exhaustion and pain flooding her system. Her wounds from her fight with Road throbbed dully.
"Well come on, sit down." She patted the ground, ignoring the puffs of dust that floated up. When none of them moved she smiled widely, "Oh come on, I won't bite. Promise." They stood dead still as if they were stone statues.
"Why should we trust you?" Angelo finally broke the silence, hissing and glaring at her like she had personally offended him.
Rey shrugged and answered, "Well Angelo, it doesn't really matter whether you trust me or not." She ignored the audible gaps that she knew his name, "The truth of the matter is I already know that you're faking and this whole demon possession thing is nothing more than a massive farce concocted because your little sister, Gabriella is very sick and as the town doctor your father is spending all his time and resources on her wellness and you're feeling jealous and left out but you knew that nobody would believe it if it was just you so you gathered your friends and other children that you could blackmail and convinced them to do it with you because you're a selfish, manipulative, uncaring, heartless monster. You care for nobody but yourself. It's rather unfortunate really but nothing can be done about it. People only change when they want to and you," she poked him in the chest, "don't see what's wrong with the way you are." She smirked, "How ma doin' so far?" She watched in a rather bored manner as their mouths hung loose.
"You can't prove any of it!" Angelo screamed, face turning bright red. "Why would anyone believe an ugly old hag who can only find work as a prostitute! Nobody actually believes you're an exorcist! Everyone is just laughing at you behind your back, you dumb bitch!" Rey tilted her head to the side, wondering how he had possibly managed to get his face redder than it had been before. She jerked to the side, avoiding his attempt to spit in her face. As he continued to scream and curse at her Rey felt something prick in the back of her mind. Shutting the ranting boy out, she closed her eyes and reached out, probing it gently for a better understanding. Opening her eyes she stood up, dusting her pants off, ignoring the shot of pain radiating from her knee. She caught the rock Angelo flung at her with one hand. "Are you even listening?!"
"No, not really. What were you saying again?" Rey smiled pleasantly at him. Angelo's entire body shook with rage before he shouted once more. She listened indifferently to his threats.
"I'm going to get you arrested!" Rey leaned backwards, lacing her fingers together over her head as she cracked her spine, not even bothering to listen to anymore of the threats. She winced as her bruised skin pulled with her stretch. She closed her eyes, massaging her temples in an attempt to fight off the oncoming headache.
"Well you may certainly try if you would like." She responded, silently hoping he would stop being so loud. He and the rest of the children threw themselves upon the ground and began to screech and convulse though she noticed Lorenzo and Flavio were slower to join and the rest of their friends. Sighing deeply, "Children." Green eyes rolled in their sockets. They took it as an invitation to get louder. "Why me?" She bemoaned.
"Aren't woman supposed to be good with children?" A familiar voice asked from several meters behind her. A smile tugged at her lips as she turned to glance over her shoulder.
"Good morning, My Love. I've missed you." She purred. The Noah came to a stop by her side, the akuma, still in it's human skin, halted several meters behind him.
"Indeed, it's been a couple days, Butterfly. Calmed down from our tantrum in that little mountain town, have we?" She pouted, then smirked, arching an eyebrow.
"How's your shoulder? It heal alright?" He scowled at her, automatically rubbing the sore spot on his shoulder blade despite it no longer hurting.
"It healed just fine. I do hope you know that if anyone ever finds out about that we're both dead." The smirk remained in place.
"I'll take my chances."
"Of course you will." His shoulders slumped as he scowled though Rey would have called it a pout.
"So," She began swinging back and forth on her feet as she spoke, "Didya miss me?" He purposefully kept his gazed locked on the children in front of them. A massive grin spread across her face. "Awww, you did!" He sighed deeply, removing his hat to turn his fingers though his dark curly hair before replacing his hat.
"Perhaps I did. You certainly are the most interesting person I've ever met. I'll give you that." A stream of smoke emitted from his lips with his words. Her gaze drifted up to the hat sitting on his head. Rey eyed the shiny red ribbon wrapped around the base of it. A striking difference from the ones she'd stolen from him before. Mayhaps he had to replace the one she ha stolen with one that usually only wore for special occasions. Something swelled in her chest causing her to bounce on her toes as she grinned at him.
"Anyway what are you doing all the way out here? This is rather out of your way, isn't it?" She teased causing him to look down at her. He arched an eyebrow as she bounced up and down like a child. To the memory's disgust he hummed, cute.
"I'm looking into the innocence activity here but considering that you're already here I'll just assume that you've already got it. Otherwise I doubt you'd waste your time with such badly behaved children unless of course it was the innocence all along and they're secretly wonderfully behaved little angels." He cooed sarcastically. To his delight the exorcist thew back her head and laughed.
"Terribly sorry, My Love, but there's no innocence, just badly behaved children."
"Wonderful." The Noah growled.
"Honestly if I had acted like this even once my master would've strangled me and left my body in a ditch for the buzzards.
"I'm not sure how I feel about the answer." The Noah responded idly, watching her out of the corner of his eye as he dropped the butt of his cigarette only to light up another one almost immediately afterwards. He stomped the discarded butt out as he glared at the children. "No matter how much I enjoy your company, Butterfly, I can't say that I'm pleased with finding out that this entire trip was for nothing."
"The joys of children." Her grin grew as her eyes darted over to him, gauging his expression and reaction with her next words. "I bet you just can't wait to have your own little angels, eh?" She allowed herself to tip sideways, knocking her shoulder into his arm. He didn't budge, clearly unperturbed by her weight nor the fact that she seemed perfectly comfortable in his person space.
"Oh hell no! Road is bad enough. Why on Earth would I want one of my own?" Rey chuckled to herself as she nodded in agreement though the name caught her attention.
Cocking her head to the side quizzically she asked, "Road?"
"My 13 year old niece." He groaned.
"I am SO sorry." She snickered, wondering what kind of relationship Road had with My Love. Or if she told him about their encounter. Something in her chest tightened at the thought of Road interfering with their game.
"Yeah me too." She tilted her head up at him, forcing her teeth to unclench as she did so.
"I didn't know you had siblings." She commented lazily, shoving the unknown feeling away for another day. It was future Rey's problem.
"Brother." Tyki snorted at the idea of Sheryl meeting Butterfly. The memory agreed in his head that the man would flip and nobody would soon forget that day.
"Huh," She hummed, drawing his eyes to meet hers, "Me too." Finally he noticed that she had been leaning against him.
"Really?" The idea of anyone putting up with this crazy girl brought a smirk to his face. Idly he wondered if her antics had given any possible sibling gray hair. "Older or younger?" She smiled up at him.
"Both younger. You?" She asked as he filed the number away for later, he may need it, and scratched the gray hair and decided to wonder if they had her striking eyes.
"Older. Just one. Thank God."
"Ya don't say?" A moment of silence passed between them.
"SO can I kill them?" His blunt question brought the conversation back to the group of children sitting quietly before them, having stopped their shrieking and convulsing some times ago to watch the strange pair bicker and flirt.
"You could." She shrugged. "I'd take it as a personal kindness if you didn't." He pouted at her.
"Why?" She sighed in response to his question.
"Because I'd get in a lot of trouble."
"Something tells me you don't care much for what others say or do." He chuckled, side eyeing her. She smirked in return.
"True but it's also a lot of paperwork and very messy. Besides," She shrugged again, "they're not worth the effort. Trust me. All of this is just an act for more attention because Angelo's little sister is quite ill and he's feeling neglected. In the end he will not matter nor will he be remembered." Angelo snarled at her.
"Oh yeah? What do you know?!" Tyki watched the kid for a moment before raising an eyebrow as the kid went pale.
"Well then, I do apologize, Butterfly." She didn't have time to brace for the attack before he grabbed her by her exorcist jacket and flung her through the wall of the building to his left. The children screamed and scattered as the akuma shed it's skin and trained it's massive guns on the fleeing children.
"Harlequin activate!" Black liquid split the dust, streaking through the air, straight into the akuma's skull, right between the eyes. The akuma exploded before the guns could fire. "How rude! That hurt, My Love." Butterfly stepped out of the debris, brushing it from her coat. She slid her left sleeve down to cover her arm once more from where her innocence had exploded. Tyki noticed with a frown, the bandages wrapped around her hand beneath her fingersless glove that extended over her wrist and up her forearm.
"Wow!" One of the little girls whispered, her wide eyes trained on the woman who stepped between them and the strange man who's skin rapidly changed colors, now darker than the woman's own skin.
"That was amazing!" A boy cheered jumping up and down. She glanced at them over her shoulder.
"She's not a prostitute after all." A different girl murmured to Angelo who swatted her away from his ear.
"Of course she is! She probably hired him or better yet he's her customer." Angelo snapped, waving the girl off. Tyki leaned slightly, glancing around Butterfly to look at the boy again.
"I see your parents didn't stress manners." He frowned at the blue eyed child, his lips sneering at the boy. "That's no way to speak of a lady."
"You need to get out of here. I'll deal with him." Butterfly hissed at the boy over her shoulder, Harlequin floating around her, separating him from her.
"No stupid bitch tells me what to do!" Angelo shrieked at her, kicking a rock at her legs.
"That's enough out of you." Tyki snarled, appearing between Butterfly and Angelo. She whirled around, ready to attack him, only to be flung back by the exploding air between them. She yelped as she flew through the air and hit the wall across the street. Tyki stalked towards the child, his left hand raised to strike him, a killer grin morphing on his face. Angelo stumbled back before tripping over his own feet. He scooted back, using his hands to drag his body away but Tyki's long legs easily closed the distance until he towered over the boy. Just as his hand swung down out strike Harlequin shot out, wrapping around his body multiple times before tightening painfully, restricting his movements.
"If you keep ignoring me like that it'll hurt my feelings." Butterfly's voice flitted through his ears as she reeled him back in, pulling on her innocence, dragging his feet through the dirt road. He hissed as it burned his skin.
"I'm not ignoring you." He turned to look at her. "I was just going to deal with this little nuisance and then you can have my full attention. I promise." He yanked on the innocence, trying to get to the boy once more.
"Oh no you don't." Rey swung around, flinging the Noah across the road and away from the children. The innocence released him and snapped back to it's mistress. "While the protectiveness of my honor is sexy," She grinned at him, one hand resting on the hip she cocked out, her whip resting in her other hand. "But I really will get in trouble if you kill them and I don't try to stop it. While I may not listen the lectures do go on and on and on and I have to sit through it. So you'll just have to play with me instead." She turned her attention to the kids, now all hiding, making eye contact with each of them. "Scram!" Wasting no time, the children turned and fled.
"My Love commented as he pulled himself from the rubble, "How did that go again? That was quite rude." He busied himself with dusting his suit off, no longer interested in the fleeing children now that Butterfly stood before him.
I suppose I should thank you for your help in dealing with the children. Now I don't have to explain that they're just prats." She glared after the children, swearing she could still feel Angelo's spiteful gaze boring into her skull. The familiar pulsating of his aura lingered just at the edge of her range, like a fly buzzing right outside her ear. No doubt the little troll had settled somewhere safe to watch the coming battle. Undoubtedly hoping for her imminent demise. The Noah noticed and followed her gaze.
"He still out there?" He questioned. She nodded, her Dutch braids moving slightly with the movement. "He seems to really have it out for you. What did you do?" He chuckled.
"Merely pointed out that he was only acting because his little sister was sick and thus he wasn't getting enough attention. I think my last comment about him not mattering in the grand scheme of things really got to him." She hummed contemplatively. She turned her gaze back to him.
"That one did seem to upset him quite a bit." He agreed, then looked around at the deserted part of town the two now stood in. "Well since there's no innocence, what now?"
She eyes him up and down then quirked the corner of her lips and suggests, "Cuddle?" The Noah vanished from her sight but his aura appeared behind her. She rolled her eyes.
"I'll just have to take your innocence instead." He hissed in her ear, his hot breath on the shell on her ear, heating the metal cuffs and rings that decorated it.
"Guess not. Too bad." She shrugged and snapped the whip back, forcing him to jump away.
"Is that thing barbed?" He asked, looking at the hole it left in the ground and clutched where it had nicked him on the cheek, blood beading along the seam for a moment before it healed, leaving only the smear of blood as proof. Slowly she spun to face him and held it out. Small disk like sections made up the whip, a small barb protruded from both sides of the disk. "How charming." He smiled but it didn't reach his eyes. Something in the back of his head told him that he'd seen that shape before. He tucked it away to ponder at a later time, preferably when he didn't have an exorcist trying to kill him. The whip flew at him again forcing him to duck and roll out of the way.
"It won't hurt for long if you'd just hold still." She purred, batting her eyelashes at him.
He threw his head back and laughed, " Oh, certainly, however I'm not quite ready just yet. Maybe later." The building behind him split in two as he narrowly dodged the whip yet again.
"That's too bad." Rey bit her lip, pain spiking through her hand and down her fingers. She could feel the blood seeping into the bandages beneath her gloves. Raising the whip, the strike fell short as her entire shoulder went stiff. Kicking up a dust cloud she gripped her left shoulder with her right hand, hiding from sight. Her whole body ached from connecting with the wall; reopening all of her wounds from her battle with Road. Sweat began to bead along her hairline and drip down the back of her neck.
"You're not hiding from me, are you, Butterfly?" The Noah appeared, cutting through the dust cloud she'd been using as cover. Shooting back from him, Harlequin folded in on itself and crawled up her arm, building sleek overlapping plates of armor over both her arms. Her left fist seized up and she threw a right hook. The Noah caught it mid air and smirked at her. "Gonna have to do better than that."
Her lips pulled back in a snarl, "Son of a bitch!" Rearing back she slammed her left fist right into his forehead, connecting with the stigmata. They flew apart, both curling up on the ground.
Tyki snarled and cursed, the memory howling in the back of his head as he clutched his wounded and bleeding forehead. It throbbed angrily, the skin along the tear in his skin red and ragged, pain radiating throughout his head from it. He pressed his hands against it, attempting to ease the pain and silence the memory, the noise filling his head and ringing in his ears. Hearing nothing over it. Blinking blearily he found Butterfly huddled on the ground several meters away from him. Rocking slightly she gripped her left arm, her fingers twitching wildly as she whined quietly; the sound gradually getting higher as her nerves spasmed more and more. Her golem flew over, crashing into her head repeatedly, trying to get her to move. The innocence slid from her body, pooling on the ground beneath her. Forcing himself up he rejected the air beneath her. She shrieked as it flung her one way and her innocence the other. Catching her, he spun around, slamming her into the wall, his hand closing around her throat.
"You're slowing down on me, Butterfly." Her head lolled, eyes slowly fluttering open. She watched him through thick lashes. Dirt and sweat clung to her skin, darkening it. "You should have been paying attention."
"Couldn't focus," she croaked, a sly grin pulling at her trembling lips, blood beading along a split in the bottom, "your beauty was distracting me." He frowned at her words and the weak attempt she made at prying his hand away from her throat, the skin of his hands unblemished by her nails. Beneath the grime she began to look quite pale.
"Pity that you're going to die this way." Her fingers twitched at her side.
"You're gonna miss me." She taunted. He contemplated her words. An odd unknown feeling forming in the pit of his stomach, crawling up into his chest kept him from noticing her leg swing up over her head until it soared down, her heel covered in her innocence driving right into the center of his forehead directly on his middle stigmata. Pain searing through his skull, the memory bellowing in his head as he dropped her. Butterfly skittered away, gently massaging her abused throat. Tyki staggered several steps, attempting to ease the pain by rubbing it. As the pain subsided he glanced at Butterfly who stood still, unmoving from the spot she stood despite the perfect opportunity to attack. No, not still, he noted. She swayed on her feet, her entire body trembling. His vision went red for a moment as the memory wrenched control from him. Immediately he grabbed it back but Butterfly had vanished. Straightening up he looked around.
"Butterfly?" He dropped his hand, eyes locking on the dissipating air, realizing that the memory had rejected the exorcist. When the dust settled he found the house across the road from him in ruins. "Butterfly?" He called again. Smoke still rose from the rubble. One of her legs stuck out of the wreck motionless. When she didn't move he walked over to her Pushing stone, wood, and other debris he found her unmoving at the bottom of the pile, her golem tugging on her bangs trying to rouse her. Blood poured from her left shoulder and hand, her right knee oozed blood and pus from the bandages peaking out through the rip of her pants. Her bottom lip had completely split and a large nasty cut ran from the middle of her forehead, over her left eye and down over her cheekbone and jaw to the bottom of her left ear. Four of her fingers on her right hand looked broken and a wet rattle rang in her chest as it rose and fell in a strange pattern. "Son of a bitch." He cursed. Crouching fown he brushed some small rocks off her. "Well you're still alive which is pretty damn impressive, but you still lose." The golem hissed at him, mouth opening wide to reveal a set of long needle sharp teeth. He smacked it away, vaguely hearing it bounce off something before falling to the ground.
Tyki reached for the exorcist's heart, it'd be quick. He'd slide through flesh and bone to pluck her heart out. She'd never wake again. Simple, he reasoned. Or in theory. His hand dropped but didn't pass through her skin. Instead it rested right above the organ, beating gently. Why do I feel like this isn't right, he questioned to himself. By all rights h had won their game and yet, he looked over her wounds again. Her shoulder, hand, and knee weren't his doing. She'd been previously injured.
"Damn it!" He cursed, running his hand over his face. Reaching over he brushed a stray piece of her bangs away from her face, his fingers ghosting over her high cheekbone. When she didn't make faces, she almost looked innocent. He traced the shape of her cat like eyes, down ot her small button nose, over her soft lips to the tip of her chin. "You look younger." She didn't hear him. He reached out once more only for her feet to connect with his stomach. He crashed into the house across from where Butterfly still lay. "You were awake?!" He leapt to his feet, readying for another attack, waiting for her to get up. "What kind of sick power play was that?!" She didn't.
Tyki watched, mouth agape as the liquid innocence slid from her legs, moving across the ground. Slowly it folded over itself, growing and growing. Staggering back he watched as the innocence grew limbs and rippling muscles. Deep gray skin covered muscle. Short black matted fur covered skin. The monster towered over Tyki and 600 centimeters, shaking it's fur out. Pale green smoke drifted from it's open mouth filled with rows of discolored sharp fangs. Five yellowish green eyes with black slit pupils opened and instantaneously zeroed in on Tyki. He took a shaky step back. The beast shrieks as it gives chase, it's skin and fur rippling as it thunders towards him. Tyki turns on his heel and flees, the ground shaking as the eldritch abomination gave chase.
"We built cathedrals
Out of spite and splintered bone,
Of course they aren't pretty,
Nothing holy ever is ―"
― Brenna Twohy
Alright guys that's it! I'm only gonna say it once: Rey is not the heart. No need to ask about it. She'd be a horrible wielder for the heart. It's just a bad idea. I can't wait to hear your thoughts on the chapter. I hope you all enjoyed it. Let me know how Rey's first interaction with Road as a Noah went. I'm curious to see how I did and what you all thought of it. Can anyone guess what Rey's whip reminds Tyki of and what myth it's based on? Next time! How much would you pay for a soul? A broker's deceit, a glimpse into Rey's past, and a memory's interest! A Fiddle of Gold Against You Soul!