The sunlight filtering through Nanako's windows awoke her. She rubbed at her eyes slowly, blinking the blurriness away. Sitting up and looking around the room, she felt a heavy emptiness in her stomach. Perhaps it was being in a new place with nothing she was used to. Or perhaps it was the fact that her father was gone.
The door swung open and a woman pushing a cart bustled into the room, pushing a cart with a large breakfast on it. "Are you awake, m'lady?" She called.
"Yes. Good-morning, Petra," Nanako greeted numbly, a very blank expression on her face.
"Ah, good-morning, Miss Tsukioka. I've brought you breakfast. Did you sleep well?" Petra asked in a rush of questions that Nanako could just barely keep up with.
"Yes," She lied, forcing a weak smile.
"Good! Master Charles and Madam Octavia have given me orders to have you fed, bathed, and dressed and then to meet them in the parlor. Do you need help with drawing your bathwater or getting dressed?"
"No, I'm fine. Thank you, Petra," The teen said, nodding her head in thanks. Petra nodded back and walked to the door, sending Nanako a glance before finally leaving. Nanako sighed and slid out of bed, walking past the tray of food that Petra had set on her bedside table and going into her bathroom.
Sitting in the warm, lavender-scented water with the light of a few candles, she slumped into the water, just enough to let her nose be above water. And this was the most peace she would experience in a while.
Nanako pushed the doors to the parlor open carefully, her eyes landing on her grandparents. She curtsied without hesitation as she'd been taught to do in the presence of a higher up. "Good-morning, grandfather. Grandmother," She greeted softly. They both looked up from the serious-looking chat they'd previously been entranced in.
"Hello, Nanako," Octavia greeted in return, offering a small smile. Charles made no move to smile, or greet her.
"Sit," He commanded, gesturing to the chair across from them.
Nanako nodded, and quickly sat in the desired chair. "You wanted to speak to me...?" She asked a bit nervously.
"Indeed," Charles confirmed, staring at her with a harsh expression. "Nanako, you're going to Hell."
"Charles!" Octavia scolded in shock.
Nanako's eyes widened. "E-Excuse me...?" She stuttered slightly.
Charles opened his mouth to say something else blunt and crude, but Octavia shot him a look. "Nanako, do not panic, please. We have something to confess, dear," She said, furrowing her eyebrows a bit and glancing continuously between her husband and her granddaughter. "As you know... your mother passed away during your birth, so you've known nothing about her, her family, or where she came from," She explained.
"You're a demon," Charles blurted.
Nanako's eyes widened. She had not expected to be called such a name. What had she done wrong now? Her father's death was not her fault... was he blaming her for it? Were they both blaming her for it?
"I-I don't understand..." She admitted timidly, staring at her hands.
"What Charles means, dear, is that your mother was not what you think she was. Your mother was a demon, and she has passed that onto you. Your mother and father had originally planned to let her do the teachings of your kind, but her death resulted in a change of plans," Octavia explained again.
Nanako's eyes began to fill with tears. She didn't understand. What was so wrong with her? She did her teachings, she acted as they and her father had wished. And why were they trashing her mother as well? Nanako quite frankly knew nothing of her mother, but she couldn't have been that bad, could she?
"I'm sorry for whatever I've done," Nanako said with a wavering voice.
Charles sighed and stood up. "Get up, Nanako. Follow me."
The girl wiped her eyes quickly and followed her grandfather out of the parlor and down the hallway with no hesitation.
She followed him into the library, the very room that she had spent so many years studying. As he led her to the back of the room, through the rows of towering bookshelves, Nanako spotted a door that she had never seemed to notice before. Charles stopped before the door, glancing at his granddaughter for a few moments before pushing the heavy, wooden door open.
Nanako stared in disbelief at the unlit room. Charles lit a single candle, and the light cast dimly upon murals, ancient tomes on heavy bookcases, a desk filled with artifacts. "What is this...?" Nanako murmured in awe.
"Your father planned to teach you about you heritage here when you became of age and your horns came in--"
"My horns!?" Nanako exclaimed, eyes wide. She thought that he was just calling her a disappointment this whole time. Did he actually mean that she was a demon?
Charles sighed. "Yes. Your horns. Your horns will come in on your 17th birthday, which is when your father planned to tell you and to begin your teachings. His death was not in the plans..." He looked down, shaking his head. "This was the room that he prepared. It contains everything that you need to know about yourself and your mother and any other being of your kind. But, Octavia and I cannot teach you these things. We did not plan to raise or educate you. So, we've decided to send you to a friend of your mother and father's to begin your teachings," He explained.
"I... where? Who? When?" Nanako asked in a panicked tone.
"I'm sending you to see Lucifer in Hell tomorrow morning. We cannot spare anymore time. Octavia and I want to get you there as soon as possible."
"B-B-But... I-I'll be good here! I don't want to do this... I want to stay, please don't make me go...!" Nanako pleaded, tears glimmering in her eyes. This was so unfair. She couldn't even help it!
"Nanako, I'm sorry. But this is the only way that all of us can be safe. I want you to have your things ready by tomorrow, and we'll take you to meet Lucifer at the gateway." He paused, staring at her with a blank face, although there was the faintest trace of guilt in his eyes. "I'm sorry. This is the only way." And he left Nanako to her thoughts in the library.
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