Oh that tragic day! She still felt her head throb at the memory. Her powers sometimes would manifest themselves as if they had a will of their own. She would usually either learn new spells because they were edged into her soul or purely by accident due to her tendency to get in to trouble when Zenki wasn’t around to save her ass. That day though, her powers had done the most bizarre thing she had ever experienced since the beginning of her days as a sorceress. For instead of locking away her trusted guardians she had accomplished something she was sure no other sorcerer had ever done in the history of the Enno Shrine: Turn a demon into a human being.
Zenki’s rage at his discovery was so large that their friends had to join forces to restrain him for she was sure he wanted to strangle her for what she had done. Sure, he wouldn’t have killed her (at least she hoped) but she was sure her small body would have gotten a good shacking as punishment for her mistake. It was all too strange for her though. She could have sworn she heard her ancestor chant a string of words she had never learned before. Her attempts to make contact with the distant spirit of Ozune to inquire about his meddling had failed miserably and instead her mind had received dead silence in response.
“I guess he doesn’t consider this an emergency…” she sighed, her head still resting upon the cool wooden floor of the main shrine. “Poor Zenki... Goki is used to being a human but Zenki must be feeling terrible.” She whispered to herself, genuinely feeling sorry for her guardian’s predicament. The demon prince had been born to fight, had done it all his life; He loved what he did and now he was reduced to nothing but (in his own words) a pathetic human.
Chiaki sat up, releasing a stressful breath. Her black eyes looked around the room at the scattered scrolls, wondering silently if maybe she had missed something. The sorceress had read through most of the ancient texts left behind by Ozune and no answers had been found yet. It was becoming frustrating, especially when a former demon lord kept breathing down her neck like an angry war hog.
“Any luck Chiaki?” the soothing voice of her grandmother came from behind her, making the girl turn her head to look at her.
“No…it’s like the spell doesn’t exist. I don’t understand…”
“Well…” the old woman walked to stand beside her, concern creasing her features further. “…Perhaps it was predetermined that something like this would happen once all the evil seeds were destroyed.”
“But that doesn’t make sense!” The younger girl crossed her arms, her eyebrows arching in a frown. “It is said that evil is never truly destroyed. That as long as humans continue to be corrupted by desire the seeds of evil will always come back.”
Granny Saki shook her head, her eyes landing upon the oni statue resting adove the fire pit at the end of the room. “ Maybe we were wrong.” She began, her eyes still set upon the demonic features of the statue. “Perhaps we did eradicate the evil seeds for good and now Master Zenki and Master Goki don’t have to fight anymore. “
“That’s still not right…” Chiaki shook her head. “Why would Master Ozune do something like that without telling them?”
“I don’t know child…” Saki placed a hand upon the girl’s shoulder, offering her a reassuring smile. “You will get your answers sooner or later Chiaki. Master Ozune always did things for a reason.”
Chiaki watched her granny walk away, pursing her lips in annoyance. Sure her ancestor knew what he was doing, but man…sometimes his methods and reasoning made no sense.
“Zenki would you stop pacing like that? You’re going to make a hole on the floor.” Goki uttered, irritated at the man almost twice his size. Seriously, his partner was nearly as old as he was but his brain must’ve stopped growing at some point. Zenki was a fierce fighter but his attitude rivaled that of a five year old human.
They had been given some clothes since Zenki didn’t have any and Goki’s were too tight now due to his sudden growth. The red oni looked strange with the grey hakama pants and the haori. Goki, however, was fortunate enough to find some clothes that were given to his human shell Akira, for his birthday, which had been too big for him to wear back then.
“It’s been three days!” the red-black haired male growled angrily, stopping long enough to glare heatedly at blue haired teenager.
“So what? “ Goki responded calmly, taking a drink from his tea and ignoring the fiery stare. “It’s not so bad Zenki.”
“Don’t give me that shit. You were sealed in a human body for most of your life before Chiaki found you so shut the hell up.” The red oni retorted, resuming his endless pacing pattern. “You’re used to being a weakling. I live to fight! I’m the strongest demon lord!”
“Used to be…” Goki countered, hiding his amusement behind the teacup between his hands.
“-Master is doing everything she can to turn you back into a demon so shut up and stop being so inconsiderate.” Goki interrupted sternly, sending an irritated look his way.
“She did this to me!” Zenki protested, crossing his arms arrogantly over his chest. Goki could have sworn he saw him pout before the red oni turned his face away.
“It was an accident; Stop putting all the blame on her.” Goki sighed, shaking his head at his companion. “You heard her. Master Ozune had something to do with it.”
“That cursed old man…” Zenki’s fist shook, his fang-less teeth bared as his thoughts wandered through all the misfortune that had befallen him thanks to the old man’s annoying tendency to control his future. Realizing his rants were not solving anything, he turned towards the shoji doors behind him. “I’m goin’!” He blurted out and began to stomp his way to the family library.
Goki watched him leave the dinning room, shaking his head at the antics of his companion. “Baka…”
Chiaki grunted while she struggled with reaching one of the last scrolls she had missed earlier. She feared it probably didn’t have the information she was looking for but she was running out of options. She breathed out an expletive at her short arms and decided against doing things the safe way. She put her foot up on the bottom shelf, pushing herself up and finally taking ahold of the ancient scroll’s wood corner.
The young woman squealed, falling on her butt as other scrolls and ancient artifacts showered over her, burying her under a pile of old rice paper. Moments later her black haired head popped up from under the pile only to have a large foot pushing it forward.
“What the-?!” Chiaki’s shocked squeak matched the expression on her face, totally caught off guard by her attacker.
“Stop messing around woman!” Zenki spat, crossing his arms and glaring daggers at the short human girl.
“Grr…! What the hell are you doing you ass!?” The sorceress smacked his foot away, pushing herself off the wooden floor to show the former oni her own set of canines.
“What’s taking you so long?!” The demon lord shot back. “That old geezer must’ve left something laying around and you’re just bullshitting in here!”
“I am not bullshitting!” she growled, her fists shaking with anger. She then sighed, feeling her boiling blood calm slightly. She figured she’d probably lose in a fistfight against the now towering Zenki, so instead she settled with looking away, giving him her version of hard headed arrogance. “I’ve been searching in every scroll and I can’t find any clues. For some reason Master Ozune never documented this in his scriptures.”
“What?! So you’re saying I’m stuck in this wretched form?!” Zenki snapped, a mix of horror and anger swirling in his voice. He looked down at his now clawless hands, his eyes narrowing as if he could will them to grow back. Chiaki watched sympathetically, her anger towards him fading slowly at the look on his face.
“Zenki, I know what this means to you.” She felt her shoulders slump lightly while running her hand over her face in frustration. “I assure you though, I’m really trying to find the answer. I promise I’ll figure it out somehow, but you have to give me more time.”
“I didn’t think being human would feel this way…”
“I have no powers, no weapons.” He uttered, his now maroon eyes a reflection of pure discomfort. He closed his hands, looking up at the triangular ceiling of the shrine. “You humans truly are pathetic and weak.”
“Zenki you jerk…” Chiaki’s angry flare built up again and with it came the urge to punch the insensitive oni.
“Now I know why you’re always being squashed like bugs.“ He continued, now actually looking at himself and poking the now mortal flesh covering his strong chest.
That did it; The sorceress didn’t care how tall he was or how strong, she was going to punish him. Her arms lifted up one of the iron boxes containing more paper and before the demon lord could notice what she was doing she had swung it down onto his hard head.
“I should leave you like that you ungrateful bastard!”
“BITCH! What the fuck are you doing?!”
A crash sound was heard soon after the oni’s pain filled cry.
“Now you’ll learn what it’s like to heal like a human!”
“I’ll kill you woman!”
“Even as a grown man Master was able to put you in your place…” The blue oni uttered with a hint of surprise, staring at Zenki’s bumped head while the red oni lied on his side outside the shoji doors facing the outside of the shrine.
“Shut up Goki.” he growled lowly. “She got her share too.”
“You know…you really should trust her more Zenki.” The blue haired boy stood up, walking over to the open door to look at the star filled sky, his hands now tugged inside his pockets. “She’s stronger than you think. You saw how she was able to give us the power to overcome any obstacle. I think she deserves your respect. ”
“Feh…” Zenki said, rubbing the inside of his ear with his index finger. The red haired male pushed himself up, suddenly feeling hungry. He began to walk to the kitchen, completely ignoring the blue eyes that watched him leave. Deep inside him he knew Goki was right but he’d rather die than openly admit he did respect the human girl to an extent. She had proven her worth to him many times before, without her he wouldn’t have grown as strong as he did during the numerous fights in which they had worked together. He just hated being ordered around. He had been used to being the one barking the orders far before Ozune tied him up like a dog.
Zenki opened the fridge and rummaged through its contents. Once he was satisfied with his finding, he made his way out of the building and into the darkness of the outside. He hated his now limited vision. He used to have the senses of a hunter; no night was ever dark enough to prevent him from seeing his prey. Now he had to rely on moonlight to see whatever was in front of him. He couldn’t even jump up to his favorite perch on the shrine’s roof due to his weakened leg muscles.
Despite his hatred for his human form, he couldn’t help but think that maybe the absence of his powers was Ozune’s way to release him from the leash he had wrapped around his neck. He hoped to be wrong however, because to him being trapped in a human body was worse than having been locked up in that cold rock for a thousand years.
“That asshole…” Chiaki mumbled, rubbing her sore behind after having been kicked by the guardian during their last quarrel.
Her hand reached for the fridge, the sounds of her rumbling stomach announcing that it was way past dinner. She had been busy looking through the last scrolls and her granny had called her over to the dinning room to inquire about her progress. It was late now and aside from her hunger, her body was also telling her it was time to go to bed. She grabbed the last rice ball that sat conveniently upon a bamboo plate and closed the door. Sighing happily while taking a bite from the treat, she found herself looking outside. The young woman noticed the 6’5 figure standing outside and even though she was still upset at him for leaving the red imprint of a foot on her butt, she couldn’t help but feel curious as to what the oni was thinking about.
“Hey, what are you doing?” She ventured, taking a few tentative steps towards the demon lord.
“What do you want?” He looked at her from over his shoulder, a glint of irritation showing in his maroon eyes.
“Nothing, I was just checking on you.” She responded, her now empty hands clasped behind her back.
“I didn’t say you weren’t.” She said with a wide grin, completely forgetting about their previous ordeal. “I just wanted to tell you I haven’t given up. I’ll keep trying to turn you back, no matter what it takes.”
“Why…?” He looked up, his eyes searching the indigo skies. “…You don’t need me anymore. Ozune probably did this because I have no purpose now.”
Chiaki frowned at his words, shaking her head and walking to stand before him. “I thought you knew by now Zenki.”
Her statement caught his attention, drawing his sight down to raise an eyebrow at her, completely oblivious as to what she was talking about.
“We’re friends." Chiaki’s wide grin shrank into a tender smile. “Friends help each other, no matter the situation.”
Zenki’s confused look quickly turned into one of shock, his human heart coating itself with a strange feeling he couldn’t understand. He ignored it, smirking and crossing his arms over his chest in a display of complete disinterest. “Feh…that’s foolish.”
Chiaki brushed his words off, giving him a smirk of her own. “Have I ever let you down, Zenki?”
He felt his tongue completely lose its ability to produce words, his fierce looking eyes widening slightly at the question. Silence stretched for what felt like hours, and he watched Chiaki give him a knowing grin. “I didn’t think so.”
The woman waved at him as she began to walk away. “Good night, Zenki.”
“Good…night.” He felt his lips produce the words soundlessly; His eyes following her retreating form. ‘I had forgotten…this stupid girl’s not like Ozune.’
Hi guys. I haven't had this one proof read yet so let me know if you see any mistakes that I have to fix. I tried to word things as comprehensible as possible too
I noticed a lot of people read the first chapter so I felt confident enough to post the next one. I really hope I'm doing a good job. I'm trying to dish out time for this and work on school and commissions at the same time.
Thanks for your support!