Kira had never practiced using the powers she had copied before. She just pushed them to the side, too worried about how much harm she could do without the guidance to use them. Mammon had warned her that lack of understanding of others' abilities could do more harm than aid
Now, however, with Ahlai's dark energy swirling within her veins she could feel the world as the Demon in question could. The power seemed to be reacting of its own accord, drawing her to follow along.
She could see the world as Ahlai did, invisible magic airwaves were spread around with her as the center, and she could feel the seals in her eyes moving like clogs in a clock or dials on a radio; searching, struggling and seeking to find the right signal that connected to various mental airwaves.
"So this is how you work, huh?" She snarled at the demon glaring down at her. She could feel the dagger at her neck trembling slightly, Ahlai was fighting against her own powers now.
"I'll admit, you caught me off guard, but this only makes things more interesting, that is if you can match up."
There was the click of a switch in Kira's mind as the right channel seemed to have been found. Ahlai gasped, stumbling back and staring with wide eyes as her thoughts muddled into watery memories.
The darkness vanished to reveal her looking up at a much younger version of her master, she could tell even with the Mask on his face because he was dressed like all those decades ago.
'You really can't see into minds, huh?'
She nodded, prepared for the usual sourness and contempt that those who summoned her often showed when they realized this. She'd be sent back to the other plane once they realized she was unable to give them what they accurately sought.
'It can't be helped, but there's hope for you yet.'
She stared up at the burning blue of his slit eyes inquisitively, joy was a feeling she'd grown not to expect unless she was watching others writhe in pain. All she knew was the cold numb feeling of boredom and the insatiable hunger of being a demon.
At those words though, something in her chest bloomed, acknowledgment from someone who accepted her as she was. Demons hated Summoners since they were usually more condensing than regular magic wielders, but they were the most frequent means to exit the Spirit plane.
This Summoner was watching her with kind eyes, hand outstretched, ready to welcome her and a flaw out of her control.
As one of the happiest memories she could hold on to, Ahlai wasn't going to let a mere human child taint it with inexperienced toying.
Before the memory could be corrupted she tore through the darkness, leaning back to watch Demona's foot fly over her face in an attempted kick.
"Nice try, Keeper, but you need to make it hit quicker, like so," the seals in her own eyes spun.
Kira growled, landing on unsteady feet as Ahlai's attack began to take effect, but she managed not to succumb to it. She dashed along the tree trunks, staff twirled in her grasp.
A wide menacing grin spread on the Demon's face, her eyes would as she watched Kira soar through the air, coming at her again, "You still wish to go, Keeper? I couldn't have asked for a better opponent!"
Kira brought her scythe down on her, only to be blocked by Ahlai's Kunai, "We'll see how you like your vision of the world being toyed with!"
"There's nothing to toy with, Keeper, my world has been dark from the start because it's your world. Because times have changed and the people got better at hiding it, that doesn't mean it isn't there."
Kira was just about to use the eyes again when Kuro's voice echoed in her head, 'I've taken care of all the Yokai, Kira. I'm coming to help.'
'No, find Troy and keep out of range!'
'I'm trying to use Ahlai's powers against her, I can't match her efficiency so you'll only make things worse if she turns her focus on you too.'
'Got it, I'll find Angel boy as quick as possible, with him, we can win this.'
Kira dodged a swipe of the demon's knife, 'Exactly, now go!'
Kira started the search for the right waves once more, pouring as much energy as she could to keep Ahlai still, there was a click once more as a different signal was found. She watched as Ahlai's brows creased once again.
Bingo. "If you want despair so badly, have a taste of yours!"
Ahlai gritted her teeth as the black clouds swirled before her and she fought against it, a strained smile pulling at her lips, "I've drunk enough of that for two lifetimes!"
Was it always necessary to explain one's actions?
Was it always necessary to have a 'reason' for things?
Ahlai didn't believe so. Her real name had been lost before she'd been old enough to know it. Perhaps she didn't have one.
If there was a reason for everything, there had to be one for why she could only creep in the corners and only be present when called. Why did she have no control over her life? Why did she have to take every insult thrown at her like a statue without emotions? Why did she have to bare the eyes watching with contempt or more malicious intentions?
'From filth, you came and in filth, you'll remain.' She'd heard that phrase a lot. She didn't like it. Why couldn't she just take what she wanted?
Once there was a girl who never smiled or felt true joy because the smiles she wore were plastic masks. Put on to please those who stepped into a cesspit of devious deeds.
The first time she really smiled was while driving a knife into the heart of some random man that pulled her behind closed doors. The first time she ever felt truly in control was while bathed in blood.
From there, she was unable to stop chasing that feeling. She hopped from town to town, taking victims of all ages and stations; men, women, children, none of it mattered. All she wanted was to see the world that didn't give her another choice but despair burn.
She'd never be able to tell you how she died, all she would only ever be able to recall we're purple robes and burning silver eyes hidden behind a swirling mass of black mist.
She remembered the pain though, the piercing, white-hot pain of her soul being torn apart.
Until she woke up to red skies and rocky terrain surrounding her from all sides. She sat up, head-heavy and hands reaching up to feel a bump on her forehead. Two actually. She studied her arms which were now covered in pale grey scales.
'You ain't seem like much.'
The voice had come for beside her. She turned to see a man, well not a man exactly but by his voice, she could tell he was male. Greyscales covered his skin as well, and his eyes were a violent red.
'Never seen a Demon before kid?' He drawled once more.
She shook her head, standing gracefully, 'May I ask where I am?'
'Spirit realm, the higher demon territory. You're lucky I'm feeling nice and you don't seem worth devouring.'
She tilted her head questionably.
He groaned, 'You've awoken as a Demon, kid, get a clue,' he snarled.
'Oh,' Another choice made for her, life (or death) didn't seem keen on leaving her alone. This time though, she wasn't as annoyed. Demons were known for doing evil. She could do what she wanted and it would be expected, no one would force her to be what they wanted.
She turned to the male demon that was already hopping off his perch on the mountainside to walk away.
'Who are you?'
'Call me Bel,' He huffed trudging off, hands in the pockets of his robes. She trailed after him. A long time passed until he finally let out a tired groan and spun to face her, 'What do you want kid?'
'Bel-san, I want you to teach me how to be a demon.' She stated plainly.
An amused smirk pulled at his lips, 'If you're here, it probably means you already know how.'
She didn't budge still, violet eyes boring into him.
Bel sighed, he had enough on his plate without having to pull along some scrub but he had nothing better to do with the infinite life of being a demon. He tilted his head towards the rocky mountains beyond, 'I'm searching for cracks in the human world, there's a bastard I want to settle scores with. You gotta pull your weight if you're coming though.'
With those words, a companionship lasting several centuries was formed, even after splits to form their own paths, whatever paths were open to demons cursed to roam the darkest regions of the spirit plane.
Beelzebub grumbled low under his breath, dodging another strike from the blond archer that came for him. As much as he wanted to crush this specific child for daring to look down on his abilities he wanted to be facing the Keeper.
If he managed to push her just enough, he would probably get her to surrender her body to Lucifer, and maybe after several centuries, they'd finally resolve things once and for all.
With an irate grunt, he summoned more walking corpses after he slammed Troy back into a tree trunk.
"Hold him!" He ordered the creatures to spring to life, charging forward at full speed, wave after wave of them to keep the blond busy.
Beelzebub was already tired of this fight, his blood burned to settle a more important score.
Troy hissed in frustration as he cut down another zombie, watching as the demon trudged toward the trees in the direction of the clearing.
He materialized his bow, pulling back the string, and a glowing arrow flared to life, "Hey, Demon! Never turn your back to your opponents?" He scowled, setting the arrow free, it blazed through several corpses at once, spinning in beautiful hues as it neared Beelzebub.
The Demon turned quickly summoning and smacked the blast off into a nearby cluster of shrubbery that caught fire from it.
"That's enough out of you!" He screamed, charging up a frighteningly large energy sphere which he launched at the archer.
Troy closed his eyes bracing for impact, but it never came, he opened them to see a dark red talisman absorbing the blast in front of him.
"You were meant to hide and recover, Angel boy?" Kuro's voice echoed around them.
"It couldn't be helped," he scoffed.
"The dark-winged brat? Just my luck," Beelzebub said, tone full of scorn.
"No one's leaving until we put you down," the younger boy stated. More talismans lit up their little battleground to reveal thin lines of garrote wire tangling through the trees.
"It's two against one, Demon scum, surrender and don't waste your strength," Troy added.
More corpses began to crawl up from the ground and his taloned hands glowed ominously, "You seriously doubt my strength, I will take victory..."
"For Master Nightmare!" Ahlai screamed as he and Kira clashed once more, both stumbling back briefly after they pulled from the strike as they'd both struck up memories.
The demon was first to recover but Kira was quick to dodge. They stayed apart, sizing each other up with ragged breaths spilling from their lips.
Kira could feel her stamina dwindling, she had to end this fight while Ahlai's energy levels were low as well. Gambles weren't her strong suit but she'd have to make this one work.
'Full power yet, Troy?'
'I think I'm good for one,' He replied almost immediately.
'I'm going to lead Ahlai into the skies and while she thinks you're busy with Beelzebub, I'll distract her and you'll strike. I'm starting now!'
Troy scoffed, what did Vermillion think he was? Some sort of miracle worker? 'Kuro, cover me,' he ordered as his wings glowed behind him and he prepared to take off.
"Oh no, you're not going anywhere!" Beelzebub yelled, leaping after him as he took off.
"Don't be rude, I'm your dance partner too!" Kuro whined sending feathers towards the demon who prioritized evading them to going after Troy.
Troy broke through the trees, golden arrow already at the ready and that's when he saw them, two figures locked in aerial battle. They were too close.
'Vermillion!' he called out strained.