Chapter 18 - Miguel
Miguel wiped his mouth and stood. Zafina watched carefully, uncertain if she should warn him of the three protectors closest to Jin Kazama. The blue-haired one concerned her most because she could sense the girl was not human and thus very difficult to gauge in strength. She could probably distract at least one of them for her new acquaintance. She glanced over to the other table. Maybe people from there would help. By now, however, the tall Spaniard was nearly to Jin's table.
Two men in the young CEO's Secret Service tried to stop Miguel's path, and he threw them aside, continuing onward. He stopped short of the table where the three bodyguards sitting beside Jin remained for the time being. This one is seething with hatred for you. He's one of the voices we hear. "You!" Miguel pointed an accusatory finger. "My sister…my comrades…my life has become hell because of you. Do you have anything to say for all your sins? For what you've done!"
Jin Kazama looked up from his seat, maintaining his calm posture with his elbows on the table, gloved hands interweaved, and resting his chin on them. His eyes flickered to their lighter gold. "You asked for a man's death, and your wish was granted."
Miguel's eyes widened in shock at the brief change in eye color and the words. He took a step back. At first, he wanted to ask what Jin meant, yet he recalled his anger upon learning his sister was to be married. He indeed made such a wish upon the thought of the husband-to-be, taking her away, but he eventually accepted their engagement. "You…you lie." He didn't know how Jin could know about that. It was not as if he truly meant it or wished the same on all the others. The man in regal white snickered. Further angered, Miguel asked, "And the rest? My sister?!"
Jin stared blankly at the man confronting him for a moment. "Eddy, Nina, clear the hall," he ordered without looking at them. "This ceremony is over. Melissa, you are dismissed. Leave this man be."
The trio of elite bodyguards followed their commands, Nina glancing to Jin briefly. He only stared ahead at the Spaniard. Eddy looked to Miguel with apprehension, unsure if the man's life was in danger.
Melissa approached Asuka's table. "Miss Asuka, we must be on our way. I must also advise the rest of you to leave."
Though met with some resistance, the blue-haired robot eventually reasoned the others to leave upon pointing out it was quite simply the end of the party. The host was closing his doors, and as guests, they were obligated to comply with that wish. When pressed by Asuka if Miguel were truly safe being left behind, Melissa only advised to leave that between those two men. It was clear that was what they both wanted. A threat of being forced out was understood, even if not spoken aloud.
Soon Miguel stood alone facing the sitting Jin Kazama. The young CEO had at least unfolded his hands, removed his elbows from the table, and ran a finger lightly on the bottom of his wine glass. "Your dark desires are not the only ones I have heard," he said. He looked up from the glass and looked directly at the one regarding him as an enemy. "The world asked for the hell I have given it."
"You expect me to believe that?" Miguel asked in disbelief at such arrogant words.
Jin snickered again. "I don't care what you believe. This interrogation does not fool me. No answer I give could ever suffice for the burning rage in your heart. It's a pain I know very well. Go ahead. Forfeit your life and attack me. I'm still hungry."
"I don't know what game you're playing Jin Kazama, but your life is the one that ends tonight," the Spaniard replied fiercely. Miguel lifted the table between them and threw it aside.
A dark aura swirled the young Japanese man from bottom to top and in his place stood his devil form.
"A diablo…" Miguel gasped in shock.
"Yes, that's a good expression," the evil creature's gold eyes glimmered with satisfaction. "Fall deeper within your fears!" He eyed the other man keenly, waiting for him to dare strike forth.
The Spaniard muttered a profanity and went in for the attack. Whether Jin Kazama was a demon or not, he would have his vengeance. He struck the monster a few times but upon a successful block, Devil Jin dashed in quickly to uppercut the large opponent, followed by several blows before grabbing Miguel by the throat and ramming him into one of the tables, which broke on impact. The dirty dishes on it fell with a shatter and clangs. Miguel moved clear as quickly as he could muster and punched the winged beast several times before kicking him into yet another table, shattering that one as well. Devil lifted himself in the air to grab the Spaniard and tossed him into another table. Within a few more blows, Miguel lay on his back against the debris of one of the fallen tables, broken and exhausted, unable to stand. He could hear the threatening footsteps of the beast walk near.
Devil outstretched his right forearm, and the numerous shattered pieces of dishes and wood lifted into the air, and he swept them aside into another pile. He situated himself above the larger body and tore at the white shirt his victim wore with his claws, exposing a bare muscular shoulder. He hissed, bearing his fangs before he bent down and bit it. The larger man screamed. "You are filled with rage and hatred and fear and now agony too," the evil creature said. His lips pursed together to suck in a small bit of blood, staining his teeth and lips with the crimson color. His eyes lit up with evil glee. "Delicious."
"Stop!" Miguel pleaded. "You monster…stop…"
"Beg for mercy!" Devil commanded with a growl.
"Please…please…I beg you demon, stop it…mercy…"
The creature sat up straight and licked his lips, cleaning the blood on them. He wiped his mouth with his mutated arm guard. "And what will you give me in return for your life?"
"I don't know…just…let me be…"
Devil narrowed his eyes, annoyed, and ripped the left side of the shirt to bite that shoulder too.
Miguel screamed again. "What do you want from me? What can I possibly give you, demon?"
Gold eyes shifted up from Miguel to scan the area, as if he heard something, out of range to Miguel's struggling senses. Devil glanced back down at his quarry. "We shall continue this discussion later. You're a bit useless like this anyway." A flurry of black feathers surrounded the creature, and he disappeared in an instant.
"Miguel!" Zafina ran over to him. "What happened? You're bleeding." She touched his shoulders, and Miguel felt the pain ease. He noticed the dark-haired woman was not alone.
"Who's this?" he asked as he sat up.
"Raven," the man with her replied, analyzing the room, noticing a couple of scattered black feathers. "Where's the devil?"
Miguel stared back in shock for a few seconds. "Devil?"
The agent squatted and picked up a nearby black feather. "The one with these. Judging by the room, you fought him…" He paused for a few seconds. "…and lived. Guess he doesn't kill all his victims."
Recognizing there was no point in denying it, that these two knew plenty more about the monster than he did, Miguel shook his head and said simply, "I don't know."
Raven and Zafina met each other's eyes. "He was here only seconds ago. I know he was. I sensed him," Zafina said. "How did we not see him leave?"
"He just…disappeared," Miguel spoke as if in some kind of trance.
"Disappeared?" Raven started to pace the room as if he could find the creature lurking under the debris. Perhaps he was invisible.
"What did he do to you?" Zafina asked urgently. This was more than a physical beating. Miguel seemed somehow broken from inside.
"I'm not sure…" the Spaniard trailed off. "He's not here," he called out to Raven.
"How would you know?"
"I just…do." The fight did something to him. He felt connected with the creature. He stared at his right healed shoulder. Was it the blood? Yes, that and Devil's cruel, cold mercy…Miguel would have this link until his death, he knew it by instinct.
"Interesting but not a good enough answer. I should still do a full sweep of the area."
"Miguel…" Zafina began, sensing the shift in his thoughts even if she could not read them directly. The rage she initially sensed in his heart felt replaced by trepidation, anxiety. "What will you do now?"
"I need to rest," he stood fully and left the room.
"Area's clear," Raven told her. He concluded to himself Jin must have teleported. Capturing him would be that much harder, nearly impossible. "Next move?"
"I'll look after Miguel and enter the tournament. The evil star did something to him that goes beyond his physical injuries. You?"
"I'm entering too. In the meantime, I'm staying on Asuka and the robot. He went through a lot of trouble to put those two together for some reason. Melissa won't tell me, but they can't leave the other girl in the dark forever."