Burning Steel and Blood
Skip, skip, skip.
A beautiful, young girl with snow white hair skipped along the path in the Forest of Souls just on the outskirts of Chokma. On her back a pair of white, angelic wings rest on her back as her dress of whites and light greens trails behind her. She was wearing no footwear, but it didn't matter to her. The little angel enjoyed the feeling of the mana-rich ground against her flesh. She eventually stopped at a grand tree deep within the wood; surrounding it many small transient lights of all colours and at the foot of the tree a small spring. All around were trees, most likely thousands of years old.. Lush with life and magic.
Behind her was a silver haired man with brilliant sunset eyes. He walked up to the girl's side and looked up at the tree. On his head black horns and a tail like a devil's... An incubus.
"Look, Kai," the angel said with such glee in her voice, "The souls are dancing! Dancing into the tree!"
He smiled, "Yes. It's part of the ritual for a new Yggdrasil to be born. The old one is withering away, after all..."
"Mmm... Poor older tree... At least the new one will be able to carry on it's legacy, right?" the girl smiled, her eyes filled with wonder and curiosity.
Kai gave her a nod, "... Yes, Bianca... That is, if it lives through the war."
Bianca knelt down next to the spring and cupped her hands. She dipped them in the water, then brought her hands to her lips to drink the cool liquid.
"Anyways we best get going. Bianca, put the choker back on before we run into any demons... You know what it would mean for the both of us if anyone saw your wings," Kai knelt down and quickly took a drink of water himself. He then reached into his pocket and held out a simple, black leather choker with a buckle to fasten it. Much like a belt.
Bianca gave him a nod and took it. She stared down at it in her hands as both she and Kai rose. "... It's been three hundred years... And even when it started... There were no problems..."
The incubus said nothing more and turned away from the tree and the girl. The girl on the other hand put on the collar and felt as the magic took hold of her wings and tucked them away, almost as if forcing them into a dark crevice, never to be seen.
Never to be seen.
After looking at the marvellous tree longingly, she began to recite something. A poem. Or perhaps a prophecy?
"Brilliant pitch-black overtaking the sky
What I dream under it is equally as dark,
perishing just before I reach my paradise
Ringing stirs my thousand year slumber
Hoping to hear the shaking of that bell again,
within my dreams every sheep is made of brass
Gorgeous carpet stretches like sea
trembling along as his heart misses a beat,
the fool disappears deep inside an evil den
A wealth of gears twisting into motion
lowering the latch, and unbarring the entrance;
now I can give in to that beautiful music
The pleasure is being eaten up.
Give me it. Blind my eyes.
Play for me melodies of ruin
Gathering. Building up.
Overlapping into the final song.
Saying to me, "Turn back now!"
Ash returning to ash...
Dust returning to dust..."
As the main battles of the war took place in Asgard, most of Utgard remained fairly peaceful. It was currently the afternoon, so the streets of the capital of Utgard and the country of Banem, Chokma, were bustling with the activity of citizens. Demons of all sorts of shapes and sizes were about, up to their own devices. Newsies were running around, handing out newspapers on the current worldly events... The war claiming its rightful place on the front page.
"Makoto Yuuki once again claims a brilliant victory for us of Utgard!"
The city, surrounded by a great stone wall to protect from invasions, has grown incredibly in the last centuries. Was it due to people from different corners of the world moving to the wondrous capital? Of course!
In the city of Chokma the royal family resides, and is well guarded by the militia whom are stationed here in Utgard. Not only that but the well known oriental restaurant named The Red Papaya owned by the Kagamiya cubi clan is here, always filled with nobles and delicious aromas from the unique menu. Though the special it quite questionable...
On the outskirts of the city were demon forces patrolling the area, making sure to dispose of any angels that fall into Utgard territory. Also in the same general area was a rather usual duo traveling- A slave Baubma girl with snow white hair and a incubus man with silver hair.
"Hey! We're almost there!" Bianca exclaimed excitedly.
"Great. I feel like I could eat a platypus bear!"
"But those are poisonous!" the young girl shot a worried look at Kai.
Kai crossed his arms behind his head, "Really?... But still..."
Bianca grabbed him by the arm and began to shook him, "Nooooooo!"
"Okay okay," Kai laughed, "I was just joking, anyways."
"...And the verdict says..."
A bandaged man looked over at the jury woefully.
One of the jury members looked at the man, and spoke for the Jury.
"We here find Elly the Whitehand to be expelled from Asgard, as well as any title she has acquired here! She will be stripped of all her property, valuables, social status, and political achievement."
"Surely you jest!"
"No ma'am, you are to be sent to Utgard. Have a nice day."
The last thing I remember was a cold hand on my back.
She felt a strong wind on her back.
Elly opened her eyes. There was a fiercely cold updraft slamming her back.
She forced enough momentum to turn her body 180 degrees, and saw that she was falling from the skies.
Her mouth was open wide open, as she fell closer to the city.
She held her arms in front of her, trying a spell to lighten her fall.
Her magic was weak. She could not completely stop her momentum, only slow it down.
Elly widened her arms and legs, hoping her miko attire would catch some of the wind.
This came with little success, and her landing on a hard roof of a restaurant.
The impact was not enough to break through the roof, but enough for her to land hard on the roof, damaging her a bit.
The angle of the roof caused her to roll down, to land on the grass.
The wind was knocked out of her.
A little demon kid walked by.
"Hey mommy, look! A peach skinned demon fell!"
A woman walked to the child, and she was in shock.
"No horns, nor a tail... Peachy skin... And a miko's gi... Son, I think it would be best if we leave this beast alone. She looks in pain."
The two left Elly on the ground, the civilians paid any mind to the pasty demon.
Cecile and her two sisters, Clemence and Charlotte were on patrol duties that afternoon. Other than their uniform sleeves and weapons, their hair color patterns and eyes were covered and shaded by a black beret, making them almost indistinguishable from each other.
As an incubus and pale girl approached the walls of the city, Cecile, followed by her sisters, walked up to the man.
"Stop. State your name, race, and reason for coming." She ordered.
"My, must we be so difficult with civilians when our shift is almost over?" Charlotte giggled to herself on Cecile's left.
In a small alley, a dimly glowing ball was floating passively as time passed by. The ball suddenly lit up and began to shine a fiery dark purple color.
"Mmm... I must have overslept."
The voice echoed throughout the alley. Nathan began to form his human body and clothing, and tidied his hair.
He walked out of the alley with a misty aura following him, only to see a girl fall from the sky, onto a rooftop, and roll onto the grass. Nathan ran up to her, and checked to see if she was still alive, or conscious for that matter.
"Oh, my. Are you alright, Miss?"
Kai and Bianca looked at each other, then back at the triplets.
"Akaiito Kagamiya, incubus, and I live in this city. I own The Red Papaya restaurant too. The girl's name is Bianca and she's a baubma slave of mine. Say hi, Bianca."
Bianca bowed before the three triplets and let out a quiet "hi".
Elly felt dazed from her landing.
She grabbed her head.
"Oh, my. Are you alright, Miss?"
"Nngh, I'm alright, I just fell from Asgard, I guess."
She kneeled, then stood up.
Ah... I guess that valkyrie training paid off somehow, eh?
She looked at Nathan.
"Oh, where are my manners? My name's Elly, what's yours?"
She stuck out her arm, as if she were preparing a handshake.
"Nathan Dane," he said while graciously accepting her handshake.
"'Fell from Asgard'? Odd, you don't look like an angel."
Nathan took a look at her clothing, which seemed to be quite peculiar. He thought of angels as holy beings that had a strict dress code, halos and wings.
"Ah, I apologize for making such assumptions."
"Oh, no worries, I'm actually a half demon, half human, so it's alright."
She patted his back hard. She laughed.
"Hah, in fact, I'm somewhat flattered that I'd be called an angel."
She removed her arm from his shoulder.
"So I've got a few questions for ya. What's been happening recently? And where is this?"
"Kagamiya? Bianca?" Cecile echoed questioningly. Although her eyes were shaded, she seemed to be staring intently at the girl named Bianca.
"Oh my, if it's not the same names as Nihiru mentioned many millenniums back." Charlotte replied, seemingly happily. "Don't you remember, Cecile?"
Cecile took off her beret to reveal her hair color pattern and eyes and looked back at Akaiito. "Is that so? Then it is my mistake to stop you. You must know how Asgard has been able to push back slowly, thus security has been tighter lately." She motioned towards the city.
Charlotte smiled and leaned forward to Akaiito. "We'll stop by your restaurant once our shift is over. Wait for us."
A half demon was in Asgard? There can only be a few possibilities to why she was there in the first place...
"You are in the city of Chokma right now, located in Utgard. I've heard that there is a war going on between Asgard and Utgard. Most of the battles have been happening in Asgard. Did you happen to be a soldier of some sort, sent to fight the angels?"
"...A solider? No, I was invited there by a high ranking official there for residence and training. And a war? No wonder they were so quick to send me off."
Elly looked down.
"Chokma, eh? Well, this place looks bigger than it used to be. Anywho, mind showing me around here?"
"Nihiru!?" Kai said, surprised, "... Oh, I see... So you three must be sin personifications... Just like Bao and Nihiru."
"The girl with the gold and black hair?" Bianca asked.
Kai nodded, "Anyways let's discuss this more later. I'll see you three in a bit then." After smiling he led Bianca into the bustling city. However the pair took a quick detour to the marketplace.
"Get your fresh chickens here!"
"Platypus bear venom, ready and loaded in crossbow bolts!"
"Lose the swords go for the guns! Get your revolvers and shotties here!"
Bianca and Kai stopped at a sweets shop.
"Good day, sir," the woman greeted Kai, "Would you like some fine chocolate?"
"Yes, please," Kai reached for one of the pockets on his one belt and pulled out a wallet. After all, he did promise to pick something up for Kana and send it to her. Plus Bianca enjoys chocolate too...
And erm... His own sweet tooth...
After paying the woman and collecting the sweets, Bianca and Kai made their way to the Red Papaya Restaurant.
"You've been invited to enter Asgard? My, what a strange predicament."
"Anywho, mind showing me around here?"
Nathan slightly chuckled as he scratched the back of his head.
"Quite honestly, I've only just arrived. People have been giving me the cold shoulder lately, because of this sickening aura in which I bear. Although, I have heard about a fairly good restaurant owned by an incubus. I believe it was called The Red Papaya. Shall we look for it?"
Nathan looked up at the building that Elly had landed on. The sign read: The Red Papaya.
"Dear me, I must be blind."
Once Bianca and Kai reached the restaurant, they saw two people hanging around the front. A man and...
"Elly? Is that you?..." Kai muttered, but his eyes were glued on the man, "And you're a Phanta--"
"Nathan!" Bianca ran up to the man, "Oh my goodness, I knew I was forgetting something when I went to Midgard!" she took both of his hands in her own, "How are you fairing? I apologize for not attending to you for so long!"
Nathan looked at the girl and the young man next to her.
"...Bianca Seraphina? My, it has been a very long time. My bones were aching for being the same position for so long!... If I had bones." He chuckled to his joke, if it could even be a joke. "Ohoho, I should write that down sometime."
Nathan shook his head around.
"Your manner of speech has been influencing me lately, as well. I do very wish I can break out of it."
He took a glance at the man who had been with her.
"Akaiito Kagamiya? I've heard of fascinating tales of you defeating the evil that had roamed in this world years ago!"
"...Oh, hey Kai. I don't believe we have met much, buuut..."
She pointed to the dent on the roof of the restaurant.
"Would asking for a place to stay be too much now?"
Elly scratched the back of her head.
"Oh, and I don't think we have met before, Miss Bianca. My name's Elly."
Elly smiled and closed her eyes.
"Ah, well," Kai grinned smugly and crossed his arms, "All in a day's work... Well week. But whatever." He then turned to Elly, then looked up at the roof, then back at Elly, "... If you're willing to pay for it. You can work if you don't have any cash on you."
Bianca blinked, "Oh, but I'm sure we've met before. Just never exchanged names," she smiled, "It's a pleasure, Miss Elly."
Elly dug into her dress's pockets.
"...Oh, those punks took my valuables. Hmm..."
An idea just popped into Elly's head.
"Oh! Is Chokma Capital Bank still around? I had a couple thousand gold deposited with them, if that can fix up the roof in a jiffy."
Elly turned to Bianca.
"Nice to meet'ca too, miss royalty!"
"Oh don't worry, this one's on the house," the barber said with a laugh, "After all, if I don't treat my regulars right, I might find that one day they won't come back!"
"Wow, well thanks again Rune," the patron said with a laugh, "I'll be back again in a few weeks."
"Sure thing Hooch," Rune taunted, "I'll make sure to do a comb-over next time, ohoho!"
"Dammit, don't call me Hooch," the customer whined as he went out the door.
"I better sweep up quick, I was supposed to meet the boys for lunch 5 minutes ago," Rune huffed as he hurriedly swept up his shop.
That should do it!
As he exited his shop, he made sure to lock the door and post a sign that said "Out to Lunch".
"Now where was I supposed to find them... Purple Peach? Green Grape? No no, that's not right... Red Papaya, that's it! I better hurry, those asses won't wait for me," Rune laughed as he rushed to the restaurant.
Upon arriving he saw people talking in front, but he just ignored it and walked in the door.
Nathan watched as another man passed by them and into the restaurant.
"Shall we go in? I'm starving."
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