Chin Mae P.O.V
"For how long are you going to control me? Is this some kind of punishment?" I asked as my legs took me automatically to Cheng's now-empty apartment.
"Until you learn your place and your mission. You need to learn to use your power."
"Can you not simply tell me why in the first place I have this God inside me?" as the night fell on the city and its citizen went to sleep, I climbed the building and broke into his apartment. The glass shattered when I only pressed my palm against it, cutting my skin superficially. I moved into the apartment and wandered inside, imagining for a mere minute how much I missed this place and the person that used to live here.
"If I can give you this God, will you leave me alone?" I sat on the bare mattress with my shoulder sank in, looking at the wooden floor that smelled of chemicals. I closed my eyes and controlled my breath, picturing the same space where I met Kurasa back then at the hospital. Like a magnet he appeared, smiling from ear to ear.
I stood up as he spoke "You're part of the Four Symbols which represents the four mythological creatures appearing among the Chinese constellations. They are viewed as the Guardians of the four cardinal directions."
"Baihu, God of the West. King of the wind and the beasts which once in human form, takes the name of Jian Bing" he brushed his hand on my shoulders as he walked around me "Byakko is how they call you in Japan, where your 'mother' took you under her care,"
"She was appointed as your keeper and protector, changing your name when she adopted you into Kim Hiraku and moved to South Korea. You needed to awake at your own peace, in a safe environment." his hand pushed me back slightly, and I felt my physical body being embraced by the soft surface of the mattress even though in my mind, I was still facing him.
"But you changed it again once ran away, isn't it? How that silly boy used to call you...?" he chuckled, placing a hand on his chin.
"Oh, yeah. Chin Mae?" he laughed amused when I turned my head to the side, feeling ashamed of my actions and at the sound of my lover's name. I simply regretted spending so much money to make those fake documents and the decision of leaving Cheng. But I did the best I could, I acted with the best intentions and for the best of everyone.
I should feel shocked by knowing my real identity and how my mother was in the end, not my biological mother, but I couldn't seem to feel anything right now. I just wanted to shut my brain off, close my eyes and think about nothing at all. I didn't even want to revive Cheng's surprised expression when he saw me at university, even though it wasn't really me.
"I heard years ago of the reincarnation of a God, and I searched until I found you. Your protector forgot what her place was, growing too fond of her human life, mingled with that stupid human and married him." his words bred envy and hatred. I held my breath angered and bit my lip.
"So I had to step in and ruined her beautiful life. If I wasn't allowed to have one, then she shouldn't too," he added proudly.
"When in reality, you ruined mine," I commented drily, recalling everything I went through for his fault. "If you just want to die, why waiting to be a mortal? Why do you enjoy ruining other people lives for your selfish desires?!" he paused for a few seconds before continuing, looking at me right in the eyes.
"Why can I not be selfish, when all of you LIVE to be one? Why can I not do what I really want with my life?" he scoffed curiously, hiding whatever he wanted to add by clenching his jaw.
"Because you are an immortal being, you can do anything you want! You have no rules, no boundaries, freedom and loyalty from the people you turn." I stated obviously. But why was I even wasting my breath?
"Look at you. Did you felt like that when you were forced to turn your back on the person you loved because of who you are? Do you feel free when your hunger is consuming you, and you yearn to suck other people's blood for a living?" he asked hilariously "And loyalty is not achieved from the one you turned, you and many others before showed me that. They chose to die rather than obey me."
I jeered "Then you are doing this because you feel lonely? Bored? You want to live a human life so that you can surround yourself with people who might love you? How would you even expect-"
"Your only mission is to empower King Baihu, give me his power and disappear. I don't care if you don't fulfil your purpose, I just need you to die." he turned his back at me and walked where he first appeared, several meters away from me.
"And what my purpose should be?" I brushed my air back, already tired of this conversation "Can you not just kill me now?"
"No, HE's not awakened yet." he scoffed and stared at me like he was about to lose his patience. Before that gaze would make me freeze in place, but now is only infuriating me.
"King Baihu appears in human form only when a virtuous Emperor is in power. His purpose is to serve him and to grant prosperity to his Kingdom. Pity you won't live until that happens," my confused face only incited him to continue.
"Is this another of your lies? Because I am not in the mood." I complained, turning my back at him to focus on getting back to reality and my own body.
"How dare you-" he hissed now next to my face. He grasped my arms so tightly that for a second I thought he would just rip them off my body like some banana peel. I sealed my lips when the black tentacles slid on my body, immobilising me "I won't dare to lie on something this important, you stupid boy!" he shouted charging a fist that I instead grabbed with one hand.
"You fooled me and abused me, how can you think otherwise?!" I shouted and pushed him back with his stupid black octopus with no head. Kurasa looked at me surprised. He didn't expect me to resist his power. I was too, but I only considered it luck.
"I am tired of you and your stupid mission, my purpose and this stupid God that caused me only suffering! Who is even supposed to be the righteous Emperor now?!" I shouted angered, I wanted to kill him with my bare hands so badly, but I needed to wait until I could get him in person.
"Are you sure? Because you had quite a close relationship with him..." I froze in place. No, no way-
"I am only a pawn in all this, just like you. The Gods always look down at us, playing with our lives and destiny. It's not a causality that you met that boy you are so fond of." he stated, turning serious. His eyes somehow weren't shining like usual. He wasn't lying.
"Liu Cheng is about to rule. Even if his family is evil, he will be the one who will bring peace to this world after them. He will stop his family wrongdoings as soon as I will kill them and restore the world's balance." Kurasa showed for the first time some signs of discomfort, clenching his hands into two fists, his body tensed.
"Wait, you said that you wanted to kill Cheng as well." I recollected some fragments of our conversations that cleared in my head.
"We'll see how he behaves once the war starts. If he doesn't get in my way, I will gladly spare him. He's indeed destined of great things, it would be a pity. " he admitted fainting away.
"Not yet, you bastard!" I grasped his arm and pushed him on the floor, topping him "You need to tell me more!" Kurasa only laughed at my fierce expression and vanished, leaving me alone in the grey space I was in.
I opened my eyes and looked exhausted at the ceiling of Cheng's apartment without understanding what happened. I didn't want to kill anyone, but Kurasa will be the one and only I will lay my hands on. I had to protect Cheng and his family. They did everything they could to protect him and raise him, even if their attitude was not the most appropriate. I was sure that if Cheng was destined to rule, and he could do it without seeing his family die. I had to get stronger quickly, but how could I even make this Baihu stronger, if I didn't feel it?
My phone vibrated in my jeans pocket, and I tiredly looked at the screen "Hello?"
"Pretty boy, you didn't answer my calls. I think it's time for us to meet, isn't it?"
"Liam? Why are you calling me an unknown number?" I asked confused, rubbing my eyes.
"Let's say that I need to lay low... Can we meet? Now?" he asked chuckling, closing the call soon after.
I rolled out of the soft embrace of the mattress and threw myself out of the window, worried. I ran as fast as I could and reached the back of the pub, the one where we first met. I didn't bother to look presentable, even though I felt like I needed a shower and new clothes, as they were still ripped and stained with blood and dirt.
I took a deep breath to stop thinking about something so frivolous; focusing on the smell of beer and alcohol that was impregnating the air. I sat on the stairs that connected with the back exit of the pub and waited patiently, trying to not overthink the reason he wanted to meet me. I will face the problem if there was any when I would see him.
"I am glad you're here." I turned back towards his voice, but Liam blew something on my face. I coughed and kneeled on the floor, holding my throat that was constricting at every attempt of breathing in.
"It's not going to kill you, His Majesty. It will just restore your Element Energy." he kneeled in front of me and pulled me towards him "Feel it. Let it melt inside you." I inhaled sharply, suddenly feeling something shaping on top of my heart and lungs. Liam clenched my torso as I tried to break free and pressed my body firmly to hold me in place, waiting patiently for me to calm down.
He then sat on the stairs taking me with him, my back pressing on his front "He talked about what you are, isn't it?" he asked lifting my chin so that I could look at him.
I weakly nodded, feeling dizzy "Please, excuse me, His Majesty. Your body is too weak." Liam turned my limp body towards him so that I could face him, embracing and holding my back as I sat on his lap and rested my arms on his shoulders. With the other hand, he pulled my chin down, letting my lips part "You'll feel better."
A white unshaped trail of light blue glow came out of Liam's mouth, making his way into mine. A powerful force started to irradiate in my body, energising me. I felt strength filling up my unhealed muscles and wounds; my head lifted from the heavy burden I had since Kurasa stained my thoughts since his appearance; since my transformation.
"He's not going to interrupt us for a while now, His Majesty." Liam helped me to stand up but he knelt before me and dropped his head "Please forgive me if I misbehaved when we first met. I wasn't sure it was you."
"So what I felt when we..." I recalled as when we kissed, I felt something being sucked from my very core.
"I feed on human energy, and I was trying to feed on yours that night, His Majesty. I deeply apologise-"
"Don't call me like that... Just speak to me as you did before, Liam." he hesitated at first but then agreed. He bowed and stood in front of me, piercing me in the eyes.
"I was sent after you since you broke contact with your first guardian. I apologise for her inappropriate behaviour." I shook my head.
"It's wasn't her fault... What I did was horrible." I commented dryly, looking at the pavement. I was a dishonour to our family, I deserved all the things she said to me.
"It is not, His-" Liam stopped and smiled "Chin Mae, you were only a young, inexperienced human being that was being manipulated by a demon."
I was about to ask something else, but he swiftly looking behind me "Let's talk about this somewhere's safe." he pulled me towards him, and annoyance was painted all over his face. His body tensed and reacted instantly when I felt something brushing my shoulder. Liam raised one hand, and a white, thick fog rose from the ground, dimming everything around us. We started to run, and I let Liam led me all the way without looking back.
"This place is safe; you will find peace from what you've been running from. Feel free to stay as long as you want, Chin Mae." Liam walked backwards and the fog dissipated, clearing up in a snap.
Liam's apartment was situated on one of the tallest building in the city. The Sun was slowly rising from the horizon, brightening the room we were in. The light made my eyes hurting for a moment, but as soon as Liam moved near me, I didn't feel any discomfort anymore.
"I can feel when you are in pain, even from afar. We are connected. The Gods wanted to make sure that your guardians would provide safety and comfort at all times." he noticed my back stiffening as he spoke, but he patiently waited for me to form my myriad of questions.
"So for all this time, you've been feeling my... pain?" I curved my shoulders forward, clasping his arm "What about my mother...? Since when?!"
"Since you descended on Earth." he looked at the sky clearing out and smiled. Why was he okay with it? It must have been exhausting.
"I am so sorry; I didn't know-"
"You shouldn't be just because others can feel it... Would you have been more careful if you knew? Would it not matter if only you were to feel it?" he asked even though I knew he wasn't really asking but only making a point.
"I don't want others to get hurt because of me" I looked at how his expression brightened as I spoke and turned towards me.
"You shouldn't allow it, Chin Mae. You don't deserve pain." he lifted his hand, and the yellow cotton curtains that were at the corner of the glass wall window slid over its surface. The room darkened, but the light coming from outside was enough for us to see clearly inside the apartment. I mentally thanked him, as I didn't want him to notice my watery eyes.
"What are you? How are you able to do all these things?" I watched him as he moved toward the open kitchen. He opened the fridge and took out a blood bag.
"I am not worthy... but since you asked," a peaceful expression rose on his face "I was created by the Gods appositely for you. They gave me enough power to survive and protect you when I would find you." Liam poured the red liquid into a takeaway paper cup and added some silver powder to it.
As soon as it touched the blood, a metallic smell soaked the air "Your element is metal. Feeding on it will restore and strengthen your soul and energy." he offered.
"I'm sorry, but I rather drink animal blood..." I lowered my head, looking at the wooden floor. After he took care of me and gave me strength, I didn't want to disappoint him, but I couldn't accept human blood anymore.
"I know. It's animal blood, so you can drink it. I have plenty in the fridge, take as much as you want." I felt my heart lifted from a heavy weight.
"Thank you." famished, I took the takeaway cup and drank, finishing my meal in a mere second.
Liam chuckled "I will get another one. Why don't you go shower? I will get you some clean clothes and chat more after you're relaxed" he smiled, pointing at the bathroom door "Take your time."