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Saga

死の絶望 [Re-release of 50SoD].

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Saga

[color=#808080][font=Courier New]Summary: [/font][/color][color=#ffffff][font=Courier New]The diary of a seme, Death. 
"死の絶望" [shi no Zetsubou; The despair of death] is actually
a new version/re-release of 50SoD. I dropped the old version,
but I will keep the main idea and the characters.
The story of a Death God and a mortal.[/font][/color][color=#808080][font=Courier New]
Status: [/font][/color][color=#ff9933][font=Courier New]Completed [/font][/color]

[color=#ffffff][font=courier new]CONTENT [update 14th of August, 2016]: 
[/font][size=1][font=arial narrow]* [url="http://www.yaoiotaku.com/forums/threads/22634-%5Bre-release-of-50sod%5D#post745675"]The man with no beliefs[/url]
* [url="http://www.yaoiotaku.com/forums/threads/22634-%5Bre-release-of-50sod%5D#post745999"]Cognizance[/url]
* [url="http://www.yaoiotaku.com/forums/threads/22634-%5Bre-release-of-50sod%5D#post747310"]Funny how Irony is similar to Comedy[/url][/font][/size][/color][size=1][font=arial narrow]
[color=#ffffff]*[/color] [url="http://www.yaoiotaku.com/forums/threads/22634-%5Bre-release-of-50sod%5D#post748485"]Reasons[/url] 
[color=#ffffff]*[/color] [url="http://www.yaoiotaku.com/forums/threads/22634-%5Bre-release-of-50sod%5D#post749358"]The Day I Died[/url]
[color=#ffffff]*[/color] [url="http://www.yaoiotaku.com/forums/threads/22634-%5Bre-release-of-50sod%5D#post751334"]Death Wish[/url]
[color=#ffffff]* [/color][url="http://www.yaoiotaku.com/forums/threads/22634-%5Bre-release-of-50sod%5D/page2#post753281"]A Trace[/url]
[color=#ffffff]* [/color][url="http://www.yaoiotaku.com/forums/threads/22634-%5Bre-release-of-50sod%5D/page2#post755855"]The hotel[/url]
[color=#ffffff]* [/color][url="http://www.yaoiotaku.com/forums/threads/22634-%5Bre-release-of-50sod%5D/page2#post756314"]The Dormitos[/url] 
[color=#ffffff]* [/color][url="http://www.yaoiotaku.com/forums/threads/22634-%5Bre-release-of-50sod%5D/page2#post756676"]A Nightmare[/url]
[color=#ffffff]* [/color][url="http://www.yaoiotaku.com/forums/threads/22634-%5Bre-release-of-50sod%5D/page2#post757393"]Memories Part 01[/url]
[color=#ffffff]* [/color][url="http://www.yaoiotaku.com/forums/threads/22634-%5Bre-release-of-50sod%5D/page3#post757932"]Spiritus[/url]
[color=#ffffff]* [/color][url="http://www.yaoiotaku.com/forums/threads/22634-%5Bre-release-of-50sod%5D/page3#post759086"]Casa Crux[/url]
[color=#ffffff]* [/color][url="http://www.yaoiotaku.com/forums/threads/22634-%5Bre-release-of-50sod%5D/page3#post759611"]Memories Part 02[/url]
[color=#ffffff]* [/color][url="http://www.yaoiotaku.com/forums/threads/22634-%5Bre-release-of-50sod%5D/page4#post760098"]Bravery or Selfishness[/url]
[color=#ffffff]* [/color][url="http://www.yaoiotaku.com/forums/threads/22634-%5Bre-release-of-50sod%5D/page4#post760909"]Disconnected[/url] 
[color=#ffffff]* [/color][url="http://www.yaoiotaku.com/forums/threads/22634-%5Bre-release-of-50sod%5D/page4#post762736"]Rababada[/url]
[color=#ffffff]* [/color][url="http://www.yaoiotaku.com/forums/threads/22634-%5Bre-release-of-50sod%5D/page5#post766199"]Desiderium[/url]
[color=#ffffff]* [/color][url="http://www.yaoiotaku.com/forums/threads/22634-%5Bre-release-of-50sod%5D/page5#post767913"]The jurar[/url]
[color=#ffffff]* [/color][url="http://www.yaoiotaku.com/forums/threads/22634-%5Bre-release-of-50sod%5D/page5#post769823"]The Albus God[/url]
[color=#ffffff]* [/color][url="http://www.yaoiotaku.com/forums/threads/22634-%5Bre-release-of-50sod%5D/page5#post770555"]Messorem Kou - The Birth of Death Part 01[/url]
[color=#FFFFFF]* [/color][url="http://www.yaoiotaku.com/forums/threads/22634-%5Bre-release-of-50sod%5D/page6#post773066"]Messorem Kou - The Birth of Death Part 02[/url]
[color=#FFFFFF]* [/color][url="http://www.yaoiotaku.com/forums/threads/22634-%5Bre-release-of-50sod%5D/page6#post773601"]The Vow[/url]
[color=#FFFFFF]* [/color][url="http://www.yaoiotaku.com/forums/threads/22634-%5Bre-release-of-50sod%5D/page6#post776289"]Princeps[/url]
[color=#FFFFFF]* [/color][url="http://www.yaoiotaku.com/forums/threads/22634-%5Bre-release-of-50sod%5D/page7#post776706"]During Raining Nights[/url]
[color=#FFFFFF]* [/color][url="http://www.yaoiotaku.com/forums/threads/22634-%5Bre-release-of-50sod%5D/page7#post778077"]Angel Passion[/url]
[color=#FFFFFF]* [/color][url="http://www.yaoiotaku.com/forums/threads/22634-%5Bre-release-of-50sod%5D/page8#post789265"]A choice with no regrets[/url]
[color=#FFFFFF]* [/color][url="http://www.yaoiotaku.com/forums/threads/22634-%5Bre-release-of-50sod%5D/page9#post800247"]Connection[/url]
[color=#FFFFFF]* [/color][url="http://www.yaoiotaku.com/forums/threads/22634-%5Bre-release-of-50sod%5D/page9#post803609"]A truth to dare[/url]
[color=#FFFFFF]* [/color][url="http://www.yaoiotaku.com/forums/threads/22634-%5Bre-release-of-50sod%5D/page10#post813832"]To Discover Part 01[/url]
[color=#FFFFFF]* [/color][url="http://www.yaoiotaku.com/forums/threads/22634-%5Bre-release-of-50sod%5D/page10#post814503"]Love is not Knowledge, it is Existence[/url]
[color=#FFFFFF]*[/color] [url="http://www.yaoiotaku.com/forums/threads/22634-%5Bre-release-of-50sod%5D/page10#post814878"]Aurora[/url]
[color=#FFFFFF][color=#FFFFFF][color=#FFFFFF]* [/color][/color][/color][url="http://www.yaoiotaku.com/forums/threads/22634-%5Bre-release-of-50sod%5D/page10#post824690"]Different Reality[/url]
[color=#FFFFFF][color=#FFFFFF][color=#FFFFFF]* [/color][/color][/color][url="http://www.yaoiotaku.com/forums/threads/22634-%5Bre-release-of-50sod%5D/page11#post825300"]Agony[/url]
[color=#FFFFFF][color=#FFFFFF][color=#FFFFFF]* [/color][/color][/color][url="http://www.yaoiotaku.com/forums/threads/22634-%5Bre-release-of-50sod%5D/page11#post825456"]Lust 01[/url] 
[color=#FFFFFF][color=#FFFFFF][color=#FFFFFF]* [/color][/color][/color][url="http://www.yaoiotaku.com/forums/threads/22634-%5Bre-release-of-50sod%5D/page11#post825700"]Auburn[/url]
[color=#FFFFFF][color=#FFFFFF][color=#FFFFFF]* [/color][/color][/color][url="http://www.yaoiotaku.com/forums/threads/22634-%5Bre-release-of-50sod%5D/page12#post831101"]Dreams[/url]
[color=#FFFFFF]* [/color][url="http://www.yaoiotaku.com/forums/threads/22634-%5Bre-release-of-50sod%5D/page12#post834875"]Regret[/url]
[color=#FFFFFF]* [/color][url="http://www.yaoiotaku.com/forums/threads/22634-%5Bre-release-of-50sod%5D/page12#post841299"]Gluttony 02[/url]
[color=#FFFFFF]* [/color][url="http://www.yaoiotaku.com/forums/threads/22634-%5Bre-release-of-50sod%5D/page13#post929070"]Beyond Terra[/url]
[color=#FFFFFF]* [/color][url="http://www.yaoiotaku.com/forums/threads/22634-%5Bre-release-of-50sod%5D/page13#post929532"]Greed and Four More[/url]
[color=#FFFFFF]* [/color][url="http://www.yaoiotaku.com/forums/threads/22634-%5Bre-release-of-50sod%5D/page13#post934568"]To Discover Part 02[/url]
[color=#FFFFFF]*[/color] [url="http://www.yaoiotaku.com/forums/threads/22634-%5Bre-release-of-50sod%5D/page13#post950466"]His name was, for his greatness is[/url]
[/font][/size][color=#FFFFFF][font=&quot]*[/font][/color][font=&quot] [/font][size=1][font=arial narrow][url="http://www.yaoiotaku.com/forums/threads/22634-%5Bre-release-of-50sod%5D/page13#post950833"]The Blade[/url]
[/font][/size] 

2hyji94.png

The man with no
beliefs
.

 

I always existed in that place, there, right beside humans. Observing and knowing them. It became as natural as the spirit force that flowed through my body. And all came undone before I could even realize it, before I could even protest.

 

But above all, the most that had shaken my whole being was one mortal's way of tearing apart the threads of fate. He denied in acceptance, he loved in hatred, and he found joy in despair. Such a mortal was the one that captured my interest, the interest of Death. That, by the way, was one of the most dangerous facts that could ever exist in our solar system.

 

You picked a read, I saw. And exactly what read you opened, should be mentioned that it's my dairy. The dairy of Death. I am very old and tired, and your interest towards Death and Life holds no importance for me, in fact, it's an inefficient detail. Whether you believe or not, at the end it's me who reaps what one sows. I invite you to my world, where all reasons are left behind. Where your deeds do not thrill me off my throne.

I got fed up with the mortals need to find 'the answer', nicely put though. They always seemed to need a justification, a proof. When all was just a temporary fact, memory, call it - a momentum. Even their needs and proofs. But there was one mortal. Yes, that mortal. His question differed, enough for me to take a liking to him. The name was Shirahane Gin.

 

The night was breezy and warm, the summer humidity. I remember clearly that sky, it had no cloudy scars, no starry treasures. It was only the ever so lonely moon. Its silver rays reflected in that deep, black lagoon of the ocean's. It was one of the few nights I had some time to take 'a breather'. As for the town, it had its own history. Small town with nothing exceptional, if we don't count that famous 'Uncle Bob' restaurant that seemed to be the rage back then.

 

The crashing waves into the cliff were playing a nice tune for my ears, when suddenly a fragrance beckoned me. I knew that fragrance's meaning. Such a thing occurred only when a mortal invited me before their time would come, or humans called that 'a suicide'.

Each mortal had their timer set and when the last second ran off, there was that pale, white thread I had to tear off their soul. That thread is named 'Albus'. Whenever a mortal decided to tear it by force, there is an alarming and tempting fragrance which only I can sense. And why should I stop myself? It is a fragrance with the pure purpose to lure me.

 

It took me less than a minute to find its source. That sweet vanilla aroma, it was such a sweet and pure soul. I found myself before that house, with self-restrains fading off. The place wasn't something fancy. And the light was flickering so weakly from inside, as if synchronous with the life that was about to cling onto my cold arm. I've seen enough of forced deaths, to be able to judge with a glance why the soul has chosen that end. And of course, my deduction didn't get late that time. I knew two things right away - he was very lonely and very beautiful. Who wouldn't pick the most beautiful flowers in the garden? Of course even I can be tempted by beauty and purity.

He was sleeping away his last dream, with no trace of worry, not even a regret. My gloved hand reached on its own to caress that smooth skin across his cheek. Still warm, he was. But then I got curious to see his last dream. I wanted to see why he demanded my appearance, why he was in a need of me. Why he rejected Life.

I lowered down, setting my forehead against his, curiosity got the best of me. That mortal's dream, I wanted to see it so badly.

------------------------

***

- Don't 'nah' me. I am worried, ya' know? You seem so off lately. Say, when you lastly took a break? And how about when you last ate? You sink yourself into the pool of work. It's so annoying to watch you this way. - a young male seemed to scold Shirahane.

- I am good, really - but the faint smile couldn't hide well the lie. The beautiful male looked as if given up on life, but still holding onto one single thing ... his friend's care.

- Geez, is it because of him?

- What are you saying? Of course it's not.

- Right. Well, let's enjoy the club's program tonight. - carelessly his friend lifted the glass up to empty it.

By chance a waiter passed by them and Shirahane really had some need of cold water, not really feeling well.

-Excuse me, er, can I have a glass of water, please? - a flash of kind smile, the male gave an aura of well mannered businessman.

 

- Yes, of course, sir! I will get it right away, sorry for the messy schedule today. It's because of the VIP guest we are to welcome. - all excited the waiter gave the feeling that some really important person was to drop by the club.

- V..VIP guest? - Shirahane frowned up, not quite catching up.

- Yes! You can actually go downstairs and hopefully will be lucky to get signature! With all the crowd tonight, ahahaha, it's crazy around!

- ... Can I ask... about the name? - he already knew it, after all, it was his dream and his worst nightmare.

- Ah, it's Ryuji K.

There it went, that suffocating feeling. What was again, why it had to happen? It was 5 years now, he did so well so far... trying to forget his only love.

 

- I..I...I must.. - in the hurried gesture to get up, he spilled his beverage down but the agony slamming into his heart was stronger. It was screaming for danger, but he didn't know why it felt so terrifying to him.

- Sir?

- Shirahane? What's wrong, dude?

 

Both of the males stared at the panicked beauty as his mind went blank. He had to get away, fast. As he made his way to downstairs before it was too late, the tiredness said its word. His vision got blurry, he felt like throwing up. Of all the damned times, he had to lose strength now? Quit kidding!

Gin made a few more steps, trying to avoid being crashed from the crowd and desperate to reach the exit. In the hurry, he didn't even hear his friend calling his name from behind. A little more, but not. Something was different in that dream, he knew that dream. But now it felt different, it was scarier and somehow 'unknown' to his subconscious.

 

The final reach for the door, he was so close. But a sudden bump from the excited crowd got him lose balance and stumble to side. He swore to himself, he was losing conscious and to top it - in the middle of some beast-like crowd. But as said, something was different. He felt the coldness of a hand slide against his hip before he gave to his black out. Why it felt so safe in such a cold embrace? The last thing he could hear was the loud screams of the crowd.

"Ah, so Ryuji is already here...", mumbled with last strength he gave in to the powerless self.

 

- You... - Shirahane's friend stood there, obviously not liking the person who caught Gin, as a result he reached hand to grip onto Shirahane's arm, - Let him go.

A firm stare was the reply to the demand, a stare that Ryuji would never make before his fans. But what was more, he averted his eyes, to stare at the unconscious Shiragane, as if already knowing that 'sleeping face', in fact, he has only seen that sleeping face.

- No.

- What... you bast-...! - disturbed by the cold and empty gaze of Ryuji, he felt that it was better to shut up. As if his senses were alarming for danger. Was it actually Ryuji?

- I will take care of him, you can rest assured.

- ... If.. if you hurt him, Imma seriously get you for that, Ryu!

- Heh, I'd like to see you try. - with cocky chuckle the male made his way out the club, not giving a damn about the screaming and over-excited crowd.

 

.

.

.

.

.

"I am tired of all. I am tired of dreams that never come true. I am tired of chasing something that can never be mine. I know, I should be happy with what I have. But why won't you take everything away, if it feels like I have nothing? Am I just another miserable pawn to your chessboard, God? Well, give me a checkmate, I am already sick of that play... Sick of being sick, I am--..."

 

A slight flinch, Shirahane was coming to it. His subconscious and conscious making the border again. His mind was a complete mess, but that fragrance. What it was? Ocean breeze and....vanilla? His green eyes made a motion for a wake up, the cheek of his feeling smoothness of cold skin. As soon as he realized he was laying on top of a man's chest, he got up like burned by fire.

 

" Wha-what!!?...", his voice unable to scream his question, but yet his eyes meeting the sleeping face of Ryuji. He couldn't believe it. Was it a dream? It should be a dream, right? The male got so confused with what was reality and what not, that his tears ran down. Heck he gave what was reality. Even if it was a dream, he preferred to not wake up if he could be near that man. But come to think of it, Ryuji looked so beautiful. More than he could imagine or more like something unreal? A stinging pain crawled up his heart again, so it was a dream? There was that light coming from the small window, gentle light. Shirahane didn't really paid attention to it, but the coldness of that sleeping face. So peaceful. His own tears at the edge of landing down onto Ryuji's chest, not fully aware that his last seconds were being counted down.

 

That was it. The beautiful tear smashed against the bare and cold chest of Ryuji. The sleeping male was about to wake up and that was a reason for the naive Shirahane to panic.

" What do I do? God, what to do...I look like pervert...Ah!" , he came up with the most childish thing ever, pretending he was still asleep. But as he knew it already, that dream was different.

 

A small grin spread across the lips of Ryuji. That was the moment when the dream was no longer such.

I wondered, should I watch him a bit more? He looked so fragile onto my chest. The only thing I could see was the trembling shoulders of his. But my cold chest felt so warm, something that I never knew as a sensation. The touch of a human's tear.

- Why are you crying, Shirahane Gin?

There was that moment of sweet silence, until the stubborn mortal decided to face me. I thought if I could take the image of his most loved one, it'd be easier. But humans could actually run from what they loved. And so did he.

- I... I am sorry... just..

Ah, he finally sat up and showed me his off expressionless face. It was so hard to tell what he felt when he was sleeping, but once I got in his dream - I saw and felt all the pain.

- Just?

-Just... why are you here?

That was a question I have never been asked as Death. Why am I here? Why do I exist? That human really caught me off guard and truly, I liked it. Even though, he didn't know I wasn't his beloved Ryuji.

- I am here to take away the pain.

- Take away the pain? Are you kidding me?

And then he got angry, but it was understandable. He was having a nightmare, actually the worst nightmare a human could have.

- I am afraid not. I should be the one asking, why are you here?

- What...do you mean by why am I here? You brought me here!

So funny it was, to dispute with a mortal. I couldn't hold my chuckle and I knew that the Albus was about to be torn whether I wanted it or not.

- Shirahane, it's you who demanded me to come. And I am afraid, I can't just leave.

- ... Are you sick!?

He got up and I suppose he felt the danger surrounding him. His time was up and all his being was telling him to run from me. But you can't cheat or run away from Death. I easily grasped that thin and fragile arm of his. I felt that anger I haven't felt for decades.

- Yes, I am sick. People like you make me sick, disturbing the natural flow. Forcing your way out of the cycle. What are you thinking? Fate is not something to play with, kid.

His eyes startled at me, he was like slapped. I suppose I forced his memories within the dream-realm and he knew what he did. He was actually a very neat doctor who injected himself with some overdose, to die in his sleep. The only thing I couldn't see was actually the source of his pain. That man was the walking despair. And I never ever have seen such a pure despair.

- Hah... so... it's not a dream, huh... I am...actually dead?

- Basically you are about to be dead. But I suppose you fulfilled one of your goals.

Ah, I didn't mean to say that. But there was something in him. He denied me, he denied fate. And his fear was less and less, until I felt only emptiness.

- So... why am I seeing you? Are you Death?

He was clever, rather with quickness of mind. And I liked it, again. Such an attractive human, he was tempting me in each aspect.

- I am what you make me to be. I am your biggest fear, apparently is this mortal named Ryuuji.

- Right... Well, what are you waiting for, Death? Do you like to have chitchats with losers like me?

That was annoying, perhaps it was his goal to make me annoyed so it ended faster. But I was too old for such tricks, so I just tilted my head to side for a quick inhale-exhale moment.

- Fool.

- Eh?

- You are a fool despite your beauty and purity. What a paradox, but I guess the world itself is a paradox. Shirahane Gin, the only reason to stand here and listen to your dismal feelings is merely because of courtesy. If your time was up by the natural flow of things, I wouldn't give a damn about your afflicted by despair life. So you should know your place when you speak to me.

 

I guess I broke the thin wall of his pretend. He stumbled to the floor, his arm raised up only because my grip was there to hold on. And he should have been glad about it, the reason Albus was still there was because of my touch.

- I am sorry... I.. I just don't know what is supposed to be good and bad, happy or sad. Somewhere between the layers of difference I lost myself. I asked many times why do I exist...but I never could figure... And seemly, God abandoned me... Tell me, Death... do you know? Do you know why do I exist? Why do we exist? Why..do you exist, Death?

Merely talking about it, no wealth, no ruin, no silver and no gold could satisfy me. I had no use of them. I existed purely for the souls. But then, I existed...,in that single damned by the God and the Devil moment, purely and solely for that soul, Shirahane's soul. His eyes were tired of crying. So dry. His soul was skinned off by despair. So nude. And I resigned. I resigned that contract.

- Life. Life is my purpose.

- ... Life? But... you are---

- Death. But tell me, doesn't your God exist to save you from the Devil?

I knew he was faithless, but yet no soul could lie to me. So he spoke up.

- Suppose so..

- Listen, Shirahane Gin. If you always want to drink from the glass with happiness and sweetness, it would poison you. Too sweet gets to turn into bitterness. Life is the same way, pain is required to grasp the real meaning of it. While I... I am what takes the pain away. I can always show you what you desire, but it'd be a pure product of your beliefs. Tell me now, do you believe in Fate?

- No. Why should I believe in something that never returns the favor? Fate never believed in me, to give me the chance to turn my life the way I wanted to.

- Do you believe in God?

- Isn't partly the same as Fate..?

- Then... do you believe in me, Shirahane Gin?

- In you?

- Yes, in me. Death.

- ... I.. I guess so. After all, we all die, don't we?

I liked that answer, I admit. He was stubborn. He was a fighter. I wanted him in my deadly embrace, but yet that man believed in my existence. Life would always deny me as God denied him. But even God could die, and it was a matter of time before I reap him too. Yet that simple man there, he was firmly staring at Death into the eyes with nothing but his despair.

- Very well. Then I will return the favor.

- What?

- You heard me. You will live. Don't disappoint me, mortal. If you ever give up, I will devour your soul forever. That shall be my decision. Go ahead and show me what else you believe in, Shirahane Gin.

- Wait! I---

 

And I let go of Albus, fixing the thread in a very unique way. I also have Albus. But instead of a single thread, I have threads as much as the lives I've taken. His thread was connected to immortality, to my threads. But who knew that the man who held no beliefs, could believe in Death?

Shirahane Gin, what an intriguing mortal.

 

 

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Saga

30jpegk.png

Cognizance

I prefer two types of drinks whenever I had my free of duty time - a glass of the best quality wine or a cup of plain, very plain to my likings, tea. Whenever I had a good day of reaping, I'd have my cup of tea. And when not, I'd drink wine. I keep the best for the worst, and the worst for the best. Which you think I chose to drink when I fixed that thread of his?

 

Everything has its price. As I say, price existed for the expiration date. Sadly, being connected to my threads had its price and consequences as well. Immortality and knowledge. You, as mortal, would wish nothing more. In fact, you'd gladly accept them, but knowledge had a double-edge effect. It could move forth a whole nation, and yet it could bring it to an end. Whereas 'immortality' is a punishment. When everything falls apart around you, and you can do nothing but watch, immortality is the last thing you'd be in need of.

 

There is where I step in, because your God loves you. And despite the sins you commit, and despite how you ruined all given to you, I come. I come and save you from the pain of immortality. Some fear me, others laugh in my face. But it can never affect me. And exactly that was what you have to fear, I never bow before your inconsequential existence.

What could a mortal do? Ignorance is not a human-trait. Even gods could be ignorant. We believe just like humans do. We bet and risk just like humans do, and we do mistakes just like you do. But no god would admit. No god would show weakness. You request of us power - we grant power. You request mercy...well, we offer truth. Tell me now, would you like the power or the mercy of a god?

--------------------

***

 

Thump-da....thump-da....thump-da...........thump-da..................THUMP-DA.

- .... Ngaaaah!! - his body jerked, his dry throat begging for air. Shirahane sat up as he got awaken from the deadly dream he had. The heartbeat was calm but slow. Very slow. Instead of trying hard to catch on the beats, he had them drilled into his head.

Thump-da..........thump-da.......thump-da......

- Ah--....coughah - a dry cough came out of his saliva-less mouth, his eyes half open and half closed. There was no pain. There was no emptiness. There was no despair. What was there? Ah, nothing. He couldn't feel a thing, well, besides the drilling sound of his slow heartbeat. It was like a reminder of 'you sneaked away'. As soon as he became aware of what he did and what he dreamed about, the male's body got weak and flopped back onto the couch. Was it...that was impossible, right? He was dying and he woke up, while dying. Senseless.

 

The male stared at the ruined by the time ceiling and couldn't grasp one single thing - his feelings. But let's get back to the ruined and worn out by the time house. He was a respectful doctor, actually the best diagnostician one could imagine, money were no problem for the luxury he could have. Probably that was the thing which intrigued Death. What was the thing he could hide from Death? No one could hide from that damned by the fate god. But there was an exception, it seems. Shirahane could have anything in this would, for the world was ruled by money. But yet he lived in that old house. No, no. It wasn't about being sentimental or humble, and Death knew it. Then, what it was? What Death missed? Probably the answer was behind who Ryuji K were? Seemingly, Death got chained by mortal which actually happened only once before. And the consequences? Well, Death become what he was - death.

 

I liked his reaction after coming to life. He wasn't confused, he was aware. Aware of me. But unlike the rest of the souls with forced cut off Albus, he didn't fear me, nor denied me. I admit, I got curious.. Isn't it funny? I gave answers to the departing souls because I always knew the answer. But that mortal refused to give me the answer I needed.

 

..Ah, I like this tea.

 

Yes, the question I had was only outwardly appearing as simple. Why he lived in despair when he had what was given in order to destroy despair? This wouldn't leave my head for awhile. Or might be another 'forever'. Can I surprise you with his first line after having a dream of me? Heh.

 

- ... I am alive. - Shirahane was continuously staring at the ceiling, aware of what he got himself into. And yet, he didn't know if wanted to meet Death again or to run away from him. Yes, that was right. Run away; he was thinking to deny Death. He believed he could run away from Death, which was kind of a beginning. But to believe in something, sometimes wasn't enough. Shirahane didn't move from his couch for the rest of the night. He just kept pointlessly breathing. But they say, once you learn to breathe pointlessly, it is the moment when you learn freedom. And indeed, he was free.

Nothing could harm him now. Nothing.

 

The first sunrise of his new life was beautiful. Soft purple liquid embracing the coldness of the parting night, blue color. The art of a goodbye between the day and the night. Still numb to his senses, Gin was leaning against the windowsill. Jade, green eyes filled with the warmth of Life, but cold from the touch of Death. He was the proof the universe needed. That destiny could be rewritten only when Death wished so.

 

I wanted to touch him. It was a urge I couldn't explain. Stood still next to him, but he wouldn't know. Not if I wished so. And for the time being I thought it was better to let him adjust. Something caught Shirahane's attention, then. He looked away, at my direction. I was right there, on his left side because the invisible for mortal's eyes 'chain'. But I forgot, he wasn't mortal anymore. He could actually hear the ring and the dong when I moved my hand. The chain was strong enough to be heard, but still invisible because of my end. And there, he looked back to the sunrise. Each time he looked away from me I felt like death-struck. Ahahaha..hah.

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Funny how
Irony
is similar to
Comedy

 

The light brown haired male decided to give himself a day off. Right now he felt too numb, to save lives. And the irony about all was, he who saved lives was chained to the one who reaped lives. However, Death could rest not. Said so, the chain dangled to the floor when Death relaxed his arm. It was a habit of his to follow the tick and tack of the clock. His calm gaze averted from the male to the clock, the schedule man was about to come and greet. Shirahane felt a bit uneasy at that time. His eyes roamed around the room for some reason. How sudden it was that fleeting chill; Gin jerked to find an awfully pale male before his eyes. The figure was tall, dressed in black costume with red necktie that could make you focus on it rather than on his powdered-like face.

- Greetings, Mr. Shirahane. - it was the schedule man of Death, or put in other words, secretary. His hands were cupped and relaxed in front of his crotch, a manner of gentlemanly behaved butler. His black eyes moved to left, noticing his boss. But when the chain was seen, he had to keep silent. His attention returned to the human when the natural question came.

- Who are you? Death? - a quick guess that made the invisible Death chuckle.

- No, I am not Death. - sadly the schedule man lacked humor.

- Ah...but then...how did you---?

- How did I get in this ruined house that obtained...56 holes and 2 new that are about to appear in... - he quickly and skillfully flicked hand to get an old-fashioned,pocket watch appear - ... seven days and four hours, to be exact three hours less with 2 minutes and half?

Shirahane had to blink a few times, not really used to such an odd man. Actually, a being. Part of him already knew that he wasn't a human. But just for assurance, he asked.

- Er... I am alive, right?

- Yes, you are the most alive being that could ever exist.

- ..What?

- Yes, you are the most alive being that--

- I don't need you to repeat, but clarify what you meant.

- In brief, you are alive.

- Ah...right. And...now to the next, who are you?

For his luck not, the schedule man hated to be late. More than Death. In fact he existed purely for Death to be exact and in time.

- My! What time it is! We are late, Mr. Shirahane! Quick! Follow me!

- ...F-follow you? - Gin wrinkled his brows when the man passed through the wall.

- Yes, follow me. - a peek, taken with his head from the whole body through the wall, which actually looked as if some scene from a horror movie. Especially with that pale, white face. It made Shirahane's heart jump. As for Death, well, he was enjoying it.

- But.. I can't pass through walls! - said in an obvious irritated voice, Gin headed for the kitchen's door so he could actually move to the other room.

- In fact you can. - the Death's secretary was in a real hurry there, he grabbed onto the invisible chain and pulled Shirahane right through the wall. By instinct the human raised arms before face in an X gesture, but oddly he passed safely through the wall. And that wasn't the only weird thing. He was actually standing in a small hall. In another house, obviously Western styled.

-.. Should I ask or leave it for later?

- Quick! Please! We will be late! - the man kept pulling around Shirahane through the walls which felt as if bumping into ghost trees. Each next wall left the uncomfortable feeling of being forced in and out his body. With the last wall coming, he averted head aside. Eyes ready to close, but as he bumped into the ghost-tree-like wall, he saw it. Part of it. The chain on his left arm. For some odd reason he could see a small knot of its length. And then...it disappeared.

- We are here!

- ... WHERE?

- Borough High St, Southwark, London, United Kingdom.

- .. Aha. - it was a bit too much to take for his first day and for the record, ah, how hard Death was laughing at that moment. Each of the human's reaction could entertain Death. That made Death crave for more. Aside the fact, Shirahane had no idea what was going on right now. He just stood there, trying to grasp that walls could be a hardcore version of planes.

- It's time. - the schedule man announced by low voice as pointed at a woman that walked their way.

- It is...time?

- ... My Death! - cursing with the proper term, the secretary got annoyed which made the room's temperature drop. A reason why he was the right hand of Death - he never ever allowed Death to slack off. And he had the powers granted.

- Calm down, Jaropht.- a calm and hypnotizing voice echoed in the room. A chilly feeling could tear you apart just from its power over each existence. The chain was getting visible for Shirahane inch by inch. And then a beautiful hand appeared for it to continue upwards for the arm and shoulder. The true form of Death revealing for Gin's eyes. No one could look away from Death, neither could Shirahane.

 

I was Shirahane's Albus. And that moment took him to the land of knowledge.

He was mine for the taking.

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Reasons.

I never was a popular kid, in fact I was too plain even now as an adult. I know from my mother that it was my father who chose the name 'Gin'*. Nothing special, even my name was plain, compared to 'gold'. I loved my parents though we didn't spend much time together. My father was a lawyer and my mother was a famous doctor. You can understand that the work and the studies in my case came before family even though the moral etiquette speaks of the opposite.

 

In school I was doing good, as long as I tried I could do anything with ease. However, I remember my mother saying that a fortune teller once told her that I'd be a great mathematician. Well, I liked maths and I did fairly good, but truth is, I never became one.

 

Speaking of fortune tellers, I rather avoid them. It's not I am afraid to know what awaits for me, it's just that I don't believe in fate. What was fate? It looked to me as an empty hope, given temporary wings or in some people's cases, it was bad news. And if they happened to believe in fate, seemed to me like they ended their life in the moment they heard their future.

 

Others blamed certain outcomes and consequences to fate, as if it was decided before they were even born. I don't want such excuses for be it failing my exam or my job interview. One would say I am a realist. No, I am not one.

 

A claim to be a realist is like claiming you see the truth and only one truth, universal things as 'reality'. But who am I to say what was the true reality? Who am I to put a truth for being really one? I can only guess, I can only give opinions. But people fail to understand that it wasn't the belief and God that had them in peace and war, but the belief in an opinion. And that alone, is another opinion.

 

I wanted to become many things, but I didn't. I wanted to have one single thing, and it was exactly that one which I could never have. The border of wanting and belonging to the reality, your own reality, is so huge. Whenever I see a successful person, first thought of mine is, did that person really want to become what he is today?

 

After my parents passed away, I lost many reasons and desires. I lost things before I could even set them as a goal, and I guess I gave up on myself. I just went with the flow of life. Wherever it took me, so I said. And I can't even blame 'fate', if there is such a thing, and I can't even thank 'fate'.

 

It was Ryuji back then who had me standing on ground even after I lost my parents. Thinking back on it, he appeared so kind and I wonder now and then if he pitied the young and dependent me. Whenever I question it, I feel that throb in my chest. I knew I was too plain for him to hold the same feelings for me, so as the years pass I am more convinced it was just a pity or in best case, a sympathy. Though I can't really differ them, to be honest.

 

When Ryuji left my life as well, I just thought it was enough. No more, I had enough of this life and the pain of living it. Yeah, living it. It was out of question to 'survive' it.

 

Isn't it funny though, who knew exactly me would survive a deadly embrace when I couldn't even survive in life. And I won't thank 'fate' for giving me one more chance, but I also don't want to blame death for bringing me back to my own Hell.

Note:

* Gin 「銀」

[jp. noun 'silver']

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The Day I Died.

 

It was just another day, didn't even plan anything 'huge' like that. In fact, I even saved two lives in the hospital I work at. A dull day, like any other, just a different person who urges to save their life. I always questioned that need. Why do you even bother after what you've done to yourself? Be it drugs, alcohol, or the usual suicide tries we get from the majority. Of course, even the hidden inborn defects of people could be blamed to 'someone'. No idea to whom, but they say, everything has a reason.

 

- Shirahane-sensei, did you check the examination documents of Unit II? The director is asking for your agreement to proceed with the surgery.

- I just finished reading them, let me put a stamp and you can proceed.

- Understood. Ah, - the woman's pager beeped and she glanced to it. It was the room Shirahane and his team were assigned to.

 

- It's room 23, sir. - her eyes gave away her worries. Shirahane got up from his seat, his white, lab coat followed after.

- Gather the team for an urgent surgery.

- Understood!

 

I had to learn how to manage my emotions during work. I shouldn't have any closeness with my patients. Truth is, whenever I entered the surgery room, I was like on a battlefield. And my enemy was Death. There, I shouldn't have any expectations, yet I should give my all. And if I can't save a life, I shouldn't get despair overwhelm me. Because another battle awaited me outside the surgery room, Life. That day I did what a doctor never should do, let the emotions get the best of him.

 

- Quick, I said! Get the defibrillator ready! On three, move! - Shirahane rubbed the gel against the cold metal, ready for defibrillation - One! Two! - On three he already sent the signals to the life muscle, but the monitor gave no change for the heart-rate.

 

- AGAIN! - his eyebrows locked in a frown, counting from the beginning, - THREE! The procedure was repeated five times, and as a doctor I should have known, it was risky to revive a human after a certain amount of minutes. I knew that the brain was still working, I knew the old man could hear me. Why he was so stubborn to die? Did really Death win today?

 

- Damn it! - Shirahane left aside the defibrillator, the assistants announced the time of the death. His head was lowered down, what did he miss. He was sure that when entered the room, he wouldn't let that person die. He was like the grandfather he never had, no way to lose him.

 

The bloody, gloved hand clenched in a fist, he had to raise head. Everyone in the room was educated and properly taught how to leave the surgery room during a loss. With head raised, and sealed with silence words. They were humans saving humans, not gods. Each one of them knew it. But like on battlefield, if you lost your officer, you lost the battle. Shirahane had to get a hold of his emotions, and as the 'officer' in this room, to lead the people outside after the loss. Simple, it looked.

 

It was just another day, nothing big planned. I just finished my work, and headed home. On my way to there I dropped by the convenience store, to buy a bottle of fine whiskey. I am a light drinker, I can't hold well my liquor. But my whole existence wanted to be numb. I was swallowed by the pain, by despair. I lost just a battle, not a war. I knew. But I am just a mere human, and my life is just a mere battle itself. So what is the point of wanting to win a war, when your life is not even close to one well managed battle?

 

Dejectedly I reached home, no one was there to greet me, so I stopped announcing I am home long time ago. It is just another lonely and quiet night. The liquid danced along with the ice-cubs in my glass. I didn't even bother using the lights, just the old table light I had on my desk. There were two small bottles on the table with one unused injection. I just dully stared, I lost too many people I cared for. And no matter how many I saved, it mattered not to me. The smiles, the gifts, the money and the thanks I received. I didn't live for the applause, I just wanted to have something in my life which I could hold onto. That's all I needed, nothing more and nothing less.

 

- Haa... - fully drunk, Shirahane injected himself, obviously overdosing and abusing his privileges as a medical subject.

 

There was no pain. It was blurry and I felt the couch beneath my back. It was cold, and I could barely hear my surroundings. Today I fought with Death and lost, well, I thought I'd just surrender to him as well. It was just a day with no big plans, a day when I decided Death would welcome me in his embrace.

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Death
Wish

 

There were three ultimate rules in my daily routine. First, I cannot revive the dead. Second, I must grant one's death wish as long as it doesn't involve coming back to life. And lastly but not by importance, I cannot lie when I am asked a question. Well, I have the freedom to choose the words in my answer though, heh. So if we say, you ask me what is the color you bleed with and I answer the color of blood - pretend you don't know it is red - then, you can't say I lied but you can't say you had your desired answer, right? That is what happens when mortals ask the question wrongly or choose the wrong question. But what happens if you ask me, from all the simple colors known by the humans, what is the color I bleed with? Then, I have to state a simple color and 'color of the blood' is not an answer. One single word has the power to bring the importance forth. But that is what humans lack - insight. Most of them. I have met only a few souls that could bring the importance forth and get the desired answer. One of the souls was that... Confucius, it happened around the 479 BC according the human's chart of time, and that man actually never asked a question. Which kind of kindly surprised me because all souls ask a question. One question. But he nodded his chin lightly and it looked like he had found his answer while he was alive. Well, what could I do? I nodded back as a manner of respect to such a soul. Because his journey has come to its term. When a soul stopped asking questions, it didn't need a rebirth anymore. ..But let's leave that topic for another time. You are about to witness how I do my job, which is one of a kind. And mind you, it is not just another expression. My job is really, really one of a kind. And no human is supposed to take the job of a god.

 

-------------

**

- Calm down, Jaropht.- a calm and hypnotizing voice echoed in the room. A chilly feeling could tear you apart just from its power over each existence. The chain was getting visible for Shirahane inch by inch. And then a beautiful hand appeared for it to continue upwards for the arm and shoulder. The true form of Death revealing for Gin's eyes. No one could look away from Death, neither could Shirahane.

- Sir. - a smooth and gentle bow of head as a greeting to his boss.

Death could have many forms. He had the power to use his imagination anytime and anywhere. But a few could see his true form. His hair had that silk-giving feeling, the color was something unknown for the humans. It was called 'crystállum nebula' though, which meant 'crystal mist' and if a human had to define it - liquid-like silver biting at the color of black. Which would look like, a never stopping change of the contrast. One time he tilt head to side, you'd say - ah, it's black. Then one time he tilt to the other side, you'd say - ...it is silver. Funny color, according to Death. Anyhow, besides that it looked pretty. The damned god actually was stylish. He had a sense of humor or so he believed, but mortals would call that 'mocking on'. Especially when he grinned. His perfect lips could form any kind of a smile - teasing, mocking, threatening, calming and of course, sad. Mortals believed Death lacked feelings and emotions, mostly because of the 'reap' part. It was spurious. The only thing that Death lacked was a god he could pray to. That was the sad part. But he compensated it with an amazingly powerful presence. And that would come from the two earrings he had. No, his power wasn't laid there but justified through them. One earring was a small and typical christian cross, color would be silver. As for the other, it was small and typical satanic cross, color would be black. The trick about these two could be called 'the way a mortal would die'. If the human had a heavy sin that wouldn't be forgiven for another decade and their destination would be Hell, the black earring would make their death painful. And if destination would be Heaven, the silver earring made the death peaceful. So much for now about the true form of Death, Shirahane would often see it and he would have enough of time to see unseen sides of Death.

 

- ..You...are you-.. - Gin made a short plod to side, his shoulders naturally trembling but not because of the low temperature in the room. It was the effect Death had over souls.

The damned god didn't say anything, he just averted eyes for a brief to Shirahane and then looked at the woman who couldn't see them. ..It was her Albus at its limit. The woman paused and leaned against the wall. She felt really sick, as if dying.

- Look. - his husky voice was like an order and Gin turned his head to the woman's direction. She was suffering. That happened when Death would be late. The supposed to die souls would suffer while innocent and not yet to die souls would depart from Life. How would Shirahane know? Well, because many white threads in their smoky form would start rushing into his body, spiraling their way through the chain connected to Death and end up crashing onto the damned god's body.

 

- One unreaped soul equals hundred not yet for reaping souls. - Death stated a terrible fact.

- Why...why are you standing there!? Do....d-do something!!! - Gin was such a gentle soul, he would give anything to save a life. It was only essential thing for him to panic.

- It's late. - Death calmly announced, while the Albus threads of one hundred souls kept rushing through them both.

- It is not late! Aren't you Death!? Fix that! - Shirahane tried to move towards the woman but the chain held him back. He couldn't move because Death wished so.

- Look carefully what you did.

- .. What I did?

- Yes, you fucked up the natural flow of things. - the damned god directed his attention to Gin.

- How did I fuck it up? I wouldn't know this would happen if I am late!

- Hah. It's not about being late, Shirahane Gin. - Death started to move, making his way toward the woman.

- ..Huh?

- You wanted to die, didn't you? - his tall figure stopped before the suffering human, his black gloved hand in pants' pocket.

- What that has to do with her? Save her!

- You realize what you asked me to do just now, right? - Death looked over shoulder.

The light brown haired male paused his tongue. What he was saying? He told Death to kill her? After all, they were there to reap her....weren't they? Gin looked away, still feeling the warmth of Albus threads crashing into a smoky manner through body.

- I..ask you...to reap her...not kill her, right?

- Well, if that helps you through the night. Sure.

A squeeze of jaw, Shirahane was starting to really dislike Death. But the damned god wanted to be disliked, even feared. After all, he wasn't there to be loved.

- Do it, then..

- Ah, that won't do, human. - Death formed a beautiful grin.

- ... - Gin looked up straight into Death's eyes, not quite catching up.

- You have to do it.

- Why me?

- Well. My left hand is to reap heavily sinned souls, while my right hand.. - he looked at his hand in pocket which was the one chained to Shirahane- .. is for pure souls. And right now I can't use it. Apparently your Albus was pure and captured my right hand. - a flash of smile darted to Shirahane.

Gin slowly moved his gaze to his left, chained hand, realizing that he couldn't use left hand. But his right hand was free.

- You want me to...kill her?

- Well, a bit ago you called that 'reaping', right? - Death chuckled.

- Sir. - Jaropht appeared next to his boss, putting hand onto shoulder to whisper something into Death's ear. By the look of it, Death's smile vanished right away.

- Enough of the chitchat. Let's get to it. - the Albus god took his chained hand out of pocket as the chain dangled in a swishing gesture; his slender and gloved fingers captured it for a pull, getting Shirahane forcefully move forth where the woman was in a terrible pain.

- Put your right hand onto her forehead.

So Gin did. It was like an order he couldn't deny.

- Repeat after me. - suddenly Death's voice was like mute and only Gin was speaking.

Viewless essence, thin and bare,

Still with fondness hovering near

The earthly form thou once didst wear,

That thrill'd upon thy dying tear.

 

In fact, I don't need to chant when reaping. But when chained, my powers are weakened and I have to gather them through chant spells. Shirahane Gin didn't know what power he had until that moment. And another thing he didn't know.. Back then, that night, when I renewed his Albus..hundred souls died not. It was a greater number. But I thought he would break, if he knew. So I decided to keep silent. Though you can't call Death a murderer, no matter what. But oddly, I felt this way. And yet, I didn't regret it.

 

As soon the chant stopped, the woman dropped down on floor, dead. Her Albus was spiraling around the right hand of Shirahane. He smiled. The soul was so gentle and it tickled him. He saw all her beautiful memories, for he reaped the pure souls. At that moment Death's silver earring glowed behind the length of his hair. They stopped the unbalanced reaping of hundred souls. But still caused some chaos out there.

The woman's spirit appeared before Gin, of course to ask the question she needed.

 

He was smiling, so purely. It caught me off guard. I stared like unconscious to his senses fool. I wondered then, did I smile the same way when reaped pure souls? I don't think I ever smiled whether I saw some of their beautiful peaks of life. Probably it was because I forgot. I forgot what it was like.

 

Jaropht was still with hand on Death's shoulder and squeezed a bit, reminding to his lord the thing he told him awhile ago. Death averted head lightly, recalling. They had to go. Actually, to run. But only after Shirahane gave her the answer.

 

Ah, I could have sworn that being in hurry with Jaropht and running away from them, had its difference. You would think what Death could run from? Nephilims. I could bet that the dark creatures already knew about my recent doings. Thus, they would lust Shirahane's position. Once I take out the chain, which is known as 'jurar'*, the one who takes a grip over Shirahane's end is going to be the new boss. Or simply said, they'll have power over me.

 

Legend:

Jurar*

to administer the oath to… {vb}

[law]juramentar a {vb} [law]

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A Trace.

 

Humans always seek for certainty. Something to believe in, not of a matter what it shall be. They just need to grab onto that thing, thus they seek some truth. 'The truth'. When in fact, there was one truth... What is true today is for today, what is true for tomorrow is true for tomorrow. Change; this is the truth. Everything could be changed unless one thing - my endless existence. And all of you, all of you met me. One way or another, and although I saw the urge for something certain, for something that is absolute in this world even if a 'truth', you needed to see it. To know it. To feel it. But less become the souls that realized they already met that thing - me.

 

-----------

**

The day was too exhausting for the new partner, if could be called this way, of Death. Never would he imagine being Death was so hard and so spirit-crashing. He even wondered, how Death did it? How he could drink that tea so calmly. And come to think of it, why during the night Death could rest? Couldn't be that humans let him take a nap, right? The mortal parted lips to ask his doubts away.

- Say...

The Albus god was sitting on some random bench, while drinking plain tea; his long and dark coat almost brushing the dirt of ground because of its length accompanied by the breeze ruffles. Luckily the park was pretty much empty in the small hours of the night, so Shirahane didn't look like some monologue-freak.

- ... Are you usually free during the night? - with almost torrid voice Shirahane asked. He was pretty much a beat from all the reaping he did today.

- Not really. - simple and clean answer, as to be expected from someone who looked so not affected by the dead people today.

- How come then... - Gin paused, while his gaze got lost in the far.

- How come what? - Death's gaze was pretty much at the same far direction, but pretty aware of the question coming.

- ... How come then you didn't reap last night and even now? - the human averted his head to Death, looking for some change of that beautiful and cold expression.

But the damned god was so calm, nothing he could read from the body language. It was a dead silence and that one was the hardest to 'read'.

- Well, I suppose even I can have nights off? - a faint and quick smile appeared on lips as his gaze stood focused at the pointless and far direction; though there was a tree that way. And Shirahane stole a glance from the gaze's direction but couldn't figure what was so interesting in that tree to be stared at.

- ... Right..

Although Death couldn't lie when asked a question, he could choose his words in the answer. So did he. It wasn't a lie, he had nights off. But Gin actually didn't manage to ask the question in its right manner, so he could get the right answer - lucky Death, huh.

 

- Poor thing. - Death suddenly commented, still staring at the tree.

- ... Poor thing? - Shirahane had to blink away the answer, but still not fully able to brush it away. Probably it was his curiosity.

- It's dying. - a lift of plastic and cheap cup of tea, he sipped from the beverage.

Gin tore his gaze away from Death to the tree's direction and then back fastened at Death. The tree looked pretty...lively?

- Er... I suppose if it's you saying it... - Shirahane felt seriously no match for this man...or whatever he was.

- You are so mean. - Death finally moved his beautiful gaze to the human, the color of, illuminated by the moon, light blackcurrant caught Shirahane breathless. The circle of Gin's pupils widened as if partly knowing what Death meant, but yet he had to ask. After all, humans always ask.

- How come I am mean?

- Ah, you know very well, don't you? - that smile was deadly serious despite being a smile.

- ... You know... despite being Death...you are pretty annoying... - Gin felt that no other word could hide his guilt for what he did last night, but still had Death say it so...bluntly?

Suddenly a gentle tone of laughter came out of the god's lips.

- Ahahahaha, that was a first.

- W--what? What was a first? - dense, he was.

- Well, you are probably the only one in the whole world sitting on a bench with Death, who is by the way drinking plain and cheap tea, still alive and to top it... calling him 'annoying'.

Suddenly Shirahane felt a chill wildly rushing through spine; damn true.

- Um...and that is a reason to laugh? - awkwardly averting eyes to side, he felt seriously in some deep shit there but not backing off.

- That's why you are mean. - Death left the fragile male's body out of his sight as returned his gaze to the tree.

- ... - Shirahane frowned up, truly wondering if their definition of 'mean' was same.

- Poor thing. - Death said again.

- ...Right, it is to die soon... - a roll of eyes as he was sure that the conversation was no where to either friendly or at least to human's grasp of understanding. So he did no effort to even ask why a tree could be 'poor'.

- Not the tree. You.

- Huh? - Shirahane quickly turned head to the already staring at him Death, who slowly curved the sight of gentle smile on lips.

- ... Why ... why I am the poor thing now? I am going to die, too? - Gin had to break the awkward silence between both.

- No. You can't die.

- I can't die? But you can kill me and I was supposed to die?

- True.

- Then.............?

- Hm. - Death looked away as the night breeze dangled the chain between them two. Was it fate or Death beckoned the wind on purpose, so he had to remind to Shirahane their current situation?

- Say... did I ask a question, too? Like,you know..that woman... - Gin changed the topic, recalling how uncomfortable he felt with his first soul's question today.

- You don't remember? - a bit surprised Death lifted a brow.

- So I did, huh? - smart, damn smart human.

- You did.

- If I did, why am I back? - the tensed stare and composure of Shirahane gave his nervousness away.

- Because it was a damn stupid question. - Death laughed, recalling. Somehow he seemed to enjoy that human, so why not tease him.

- ... Thanks? - not aware of his sulky face, Shirahane looked to the tree's direction. The silence grew louder, only the rustling of leaves could be heard around them. The wind could have no form, no fragrance and no color, but it could always leave a trace. Gin's gaze landed onto the tree, thinking pretty much the same. However, he felt that 'nothing' in his chest grew to 'sadness'. If that tree was to die, what trace could wind leave? In fact, what trace could a tree leave?

- ..Poor thing.. - he mumbled, not even realizing it but when he did and looked right to his left; knowing what Death meant already, he found only a sad smile on the god's lips. So, that was it? It was all about what you could leave as a testament. Surely the tree had its purpose, but no one would think about it. Gin realized, he was just an ignorant.

- I am sorry... - the human had nothing else to offer to Death; for all he did and for all he thought up until now.

On other hand, Death let his eyes slide close, his smile fading away. That wasn't the thing he wanted to hear, nor a thing that could fix anything. But even so, he knew humans. They were that way, even if it could or couldn't fix anything, they felt the selfish need to say 'sorry'.

- Let's go. - the Albus god stood abruptly and tugged the chain connecting them, forcing Gin on feet.

- Eh!? Reaping? - he asked right away, staring at that wide and firm clothed back.

- No, idiot. You need to sleep, don't you? - Death glanced over shoulder, his light blackcurrant eyes having the teasing sparkle.

- Hey, you don't call your partner 'idiot' - a frown formed to guard his ego.

- Pf. Long way to be my partner. Still a servant.

- Who is your servant, you brute!

With laughter Death led the way.

 

When in fact the servant was me, but of course he wouldn't know what power he had over me, Death. The problem was if he was actually to know it. But I think if it was him, he wouldn't abuse that godly powerful chain, to turn upside down the world, right? But after all, he was just a human. They would always allow corruption overtake. So I was careful, careful to not let Shirahane taste the deadly power of my existence. The last time a human got a hold of the jurar, well..let's just say that I had to work my ass off and clean the mess I allowed to happen. Slowly, but surely. Surely I knew, he would either be the peak of my existence, or the end of me. ..Or both.

 

 

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The hotel.

 

 

The need to be judged. Your ultimate excuse to justify the understanding of right and wrong. I remember the days when all creatures awaited for the Supreme Curia*, to judge them. But with time, little by little, some species decided they don't need that court. One of them were humans, of course they were called with another term. And they strangely created their own laws, their own Supreme. And started acting like gods. I suppose you wonder if I am one of the Supreme Curia, the great court that decided what even fate could do. No, I am not part of it although I have far greater powers than them. However, the connection between them and me is more complex than any explanation could be given. In fact, whatever I try to give as an explanation to a mortal, they would either end up as mental or would check me in the category of mental. Do you understand, mortal? You are not created to grasp everything and you are blessed from the moment of your creation with ignorance. Opposite of me who was cursed by creation with the grasp of everything. Long, long time ago, when the universe was whole and I didn't need to reap but teach, every single one of the species were in peace. I used to have a brother who was the complete opposite of me. He was bright, lively, kindhearted and forgiving. Well, basically, he is still the same. My brother, my fate and my Lord - he was. He ruled over the universe and not a single soul or spirit could deny his order. They and I would bow before him. Nonetheless, corruption is everywhere, even back then. When the universe knew the taste of the truth and felt the destruction of corruption for first time. Whenever there was power, there would be temptation. Whenever there was a law, there would be denial. Whenever there was peace, there would be a war. And you all are in a war, as for me...I am just the everlasting testament of that war. If you cry for the truth, I beg for the lie. If you cry for the reality, I..I beg for my past that seemly turned into a forgotten fragment of an old soul such as mine.. I am tired, human. But you cannot even imagine my definition of 'tired'. I saw enough.

------------------------------------

Their synchronized steps were making their way to a roughly but still deserted parcel of old constructions. Shirahane was following behind Death, his eyes dancing around the unknown place. Without even noticing his shoulders felt slightly stabbing sensation of cold pinch, they seemingly passed through a barrier. Probably if he wasn't connected to Death, he'd never imagine that other dimensions could exist. As soon as they pierced through the transparent to eye barrier, the place changed ...not.

Gin blinked a few times, swearing on his own that he indeed felt as if they were passing through something similar like passing through walls. But yet, the deserted parcel looked the same; or might be a bit darker and colder than before?

- Er... - he attempted a start of some conversation but felt odd to call 'Death' by no other name besides...'Death'. As for the Albus god, he heard the male's doubtful beginning of speech, but didn't say anything. He kept walking in front of the human.

- Do you have...a name? - Shirahane shyly lifted his gaze from the ground to land it onto the tall and firm figure of Death.

- No. - a lie, in fact, the only lie Death was allowed to speak.

- So...I keep calling you 'Death'?

- I couldn't care less how you call me. - strangely Shirahane didn't like the answer Death gave. So he made a grimace.

- ..Fine. I will call you 'Dwarf' - beside the fact that Death was nowhere to being a dwarf, Gin liked these animations with dwarfs he watched when a kid. The human was pretty content with the idea and went all happy about, to bump into Death's back.

- Ufff! - the light brown haired male rubbed his nose from the bump, to look up at Death,

- Why did you stop!?

- Seriously. How can you even relate me to these annoying midgets!? - by slightly irritated voice Death spoke, which made Shirahane wonder if dwarfs like these in animations existed.

- Wait... they exist? - Gin blinked.

- If it was up to me, I'd wipe their existence off this universe.

- ... You dislike dwarfs? - Gin tilted head to side, trying to peek from Death's shoulder's side.

- Dislike? - Death glanced to side, catching Gin's eyes in a tensed up gaze-dance,

- I can't even stand them.

- Ooookay, no 'dwarf' name for you. - with roll of eyes, Gin looked aside to hear an announcement.

- We are here. - Death stood tall, gazing up at a certain old building that had a different atmosphere around than the rest of the constructions.

What actually is this place? - standing right next to the Albus god, Shirahane stared.

- What humans call 'hotel'.

Gin blinked and turned to Death questionably.

- Wait-- ..how--... what? - not that he didn't comprehend the word 'hotel', he couldn't get how come Death knew about hotels. And how come he knew this place? It couldn't be that... other humans met him? Or he booked there before? What the serious jesus-ingly hell?

- Follow me.

- ...Right, last time I heard that I ended up crashing into walls.. - Shirahane mumbled as followed.

 

The moment they stepped into the hotel, Gin almost jaw dropped. From the outside this place looked like a ruin, but its interior looked as a five-stars hotel. But that aside, he could swear that before his eyes an elf was gesturing for a room's keys.

- D-Death...am I..-

- No, you are not dead. - calmly the damned god made his way to the information desk, where a faceless woman nodded chin.

- Welcome! We are pleased to see you again, Death.

"..'See'? You don't even have eyes!!!" , Gin stared intensely at the faceless woman that had only a pair of lips, his own lips slightly parted. Rather, he looked like some handicapped. The woman turned her head to Gin's direction which startled him.

- I can see rumors were true after all. - she said, obviously no human could step into that hotel. The only way a human could pass the portals in all dimensions and still be alive was with Death's jurar.

- How long has it been? - an odd question came off Death's lips and Shirahane looked up at the beautiful god's face.

- Since you went missing?

- I call it vacation. Be exact, please. You know I dislike to be misinformed.

- 25 years. - scared, the woman went straight to the point.

Gin couldn't control his blinking, this time he was seriously lost in the conversation. What was going on? Death was with him for almost two days and ...what?

The Albus god clicked with tongue from discontent and looked aside. He looked troubled and it was the first time Shirahane saw his troubled face. The human chose wisely to be quiet.

- Will you book, Death? You know that this place is not safe for you especially since the recent doings of yours?

The damned god averted gaze to the woman, his chain visible for all eyes in the hotel.

- Hah. Who do you think I am? I book. That room.

The faceless woman shook head as if she knew Death wasn't one to back off. No matter the situation he was in, there was a reason to be chosen among the dozen and dozen of species, for he was Death.

- Here. Your keys. Enjoy your stay.

Shirahane noticed that she gave him a strange and different from the rest key. Not only that, she avoided his touch. Trying hard to ask questions not, they both made their way to upstairs. Something told Gin to look not around, feeling the stares of different people...creatures, whatever they were on his body. However, Death seemed not effected, like always. That man seemed so cold. So composed and so lonely. The human kept his gaze at the straight and firm shoulders of Death. He felt nostalgia crawling up his chest, it was a weird feeling and he felt it only when looking at Death. Was it because of the chain connection between them two, that he felt something? Or probably he felt Death's own feelings? Then, Death felt nostalgic?

 

They stopped before a door. That door though was so different. Made of white iron but the symbol on it..Gin saw it blurry. He blinked a few times to clear his vision, but no use. He couldn't see the number of the room. Then naturally the rubbing of eyes came. Death turned his head to Gin, watching him blankly.

- What are you doing?

- I don't know... - he kept rubbing eyes and staring intensely at the blurry number.

Death stole a glance from what Shirahane was trying to see.

- Ah, the number. - Death chuckled.

- What? You can see it?

- Correction. Only I can see it.

- Why!?

- Because it's the date of my birth. - Death grinned.

- Ah, right. - he nodded as if getting it, but it was just the opposite.

- You wonder why only I can see it?

- ... Is it so obvious? - Shirahane sulked up at Death, his green eyes with the glitter of curiosity.

- Rather than obvious you are screaming it. - Death smiled as looked back at the door.

- Because that's the number of how many times I have to die before the universe is destroyed and nothing will be left. Not even your beloved God. Such a number is dangerous.

- You can die!?

- Can't I? - teasingly Death answered with a question, his lips with a mocking grin.

- Dwarf.

- Now. Watch it. - Death frowned like a child and opened the door, but not really angry. He just let Gin think that he got him this time. And so the human went all happy,

- Hehehe~

 

What was behind the door could be said to be surprising. One single room, small room. Dust embracing all the decoration though there were mostly books. Books in all kind of languages ,even some weren't known by humans.

-Er...is that your room or something like that? - Gin suggested.

- Correction. This is a room only I can enter.

- ...Well...wow? - Gin blinked and seemingly it was a habit to blink so much for the past two days.

- Go on and sleep.

- Eh? You brought me here to sleep?

- ... No, I brought you here to make out. Of course, to sleep. - Death was particularly tired. How wouldn't he be? He was used to answer only one question per soul and for two days he answered so many questions to the very same soul.

Gin got flustered there, not taking it as a mock on. Probably the fact he-..

- .. Ah, I see.

- W-w-what!?

- That explains a lot. - Death grinned widely.

- What explains a lot? - Shirahane was self-conscious and got nervous.

- Why you captured the right hand of mine. You are a virgin, aren't you?

- ............ I!! Am going to sleep! - a major turn and he found his way onto the bed.

Death looked aside with a lift of brow, his grin still on. How cute. He should have known it in fact, the only way such a heavily broken soul to be pure was to be virgin. But it was rare to meet such, so he wouldn't even imagine it. It was so long since Death could feel the taste of being surprised. Somehow, he loved it.

The human seemed to be asleep soundly for such a short time, couldn't be blamed after the reaping they did for a whole day. And it was mostly Shirahane doing the job. Death was content that he didn't reap heavily sinned souls because he knew... it would scare Gin. But sooner or later, he would and it couldn't be avoided. Sadly, Shirahane had to see why every single being bowed before Death with fear.

 

------------------------------------

Legend:

Curia*

[coviria (“male community”)]

cūria {f} (genitive cūriae);

court;

meeting house.

 

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The Dormitos

There were times when I used that room for studying. Of course, I wasn't born with knowledge. Only one absolute creature is born this way, Set. But between Set and me, there is a few differences and yet many similarities. I guess it's just a matter of 'time' when he and I shall become one. But I never worried because it would be a time when I shall disappear. Seemingly though, I am reaching my limit as Death, and I knew it. It actually is pretty funny, people celebrating the date of their birth each year. In a view of the fact that it's day they were born in. Alas, each year they pass the day of their death, and yet they aren't aware of it. Unlike me, who knows the day of my death, just that the important detail of the era is unknown. Here is the difference between Set and me, because he does know that certain era. Am I scared of what I am, death? I don't know, human. I knew 'fear' once, but it was so long ago that the feeling seemed to fade away. And a creature without fear, they say it is the point when you turn into 'a god'. But I know God, and he also fears. Then, what I am? A matter of fact, you do know. But facts are just like rules, they can be broken.

----------------------------------

**

The room became quiet, only the small breath in's and out's could be heard off Shirahane's mouth. Opposite of the bed, Death was sitting on his chair. The Albus god guided his chin onto his knuckles as kept staring at the sleeping face before him. The moon rays reached high enough to sneak inside the room through that small window, caressing the old but yet huge globus on their way to the bed where the human slept.

 

The beautiful features of the mortal captivated Death, and actually Death really loved to draw. Well, he used to draw long ago; and whenever he saw beauty even in the invisible for the eye, he would draw it. It's been so long since Death felt like drawing, so he just let the corners of his lips stretch a bit. The damned god averted his eyes to side, glancing over the dusty sketch papers and the pencil on the small table on his left. But something kept him away from picking them. He just stared and recalled about a time when he drew many things and many wonders of the world. His hand reached to side, spreading the papers enough to check the drawings. If one were to see them, they'd probably think nothing made sense – a bird with a broken wing picking a worm was the first drawing. Why would he find such a scenery for 'beautiful'? After all, the bird is just picking its 'food', and the worm is just about to 'die'. Rather than beautiful, it was just a normal flow of things. But would one know the story of the bird and the worm? Through Death's eyes, the bird was in desperate need to feed its little ones despite reaching its life span, and the worm was created purely for the purpose to 'serve' the nature and it already reached its life span. Truly, any creature in its time of 'dying' could never lie to Death; only when we lived our last moments, we were sincere. And there was that beauty of not submitting to Death despite the fear of him. The second drawing was a spilled coffee over a table, dripping from the edges. Again, probably it didn't make sense; yet once you knew the story of that cup of coffee, you'd see the beauty of it. It was the cup of coffee of a mother rushing to save her son. And while the drops were dripping like sand in a sand-clock, she fought 'against' Death.

 

Rather than drawing the important scene, Death drew the 'proof' of that scene. A bird fighting Death, to feed its little ones; spilled coffee on table while mother is saving her child; a blade on a hill which belonged to man who stood tall to die for the love of his life. Everything in this universe had its story and its proof of existence. The proof of life was death, and yet....what was the proof of death?

 

The Albus god's empty gaze moved away from the sketches and glanced to the small window. His blackcurrant eyes grew sad as the silver moon light bathed inside the indigo colour of his vision. The night was yet young and only a few hours passed since Shirahane fell asleep. The Albus god couldn't do much because of the jurar, so he thought of reading something. With a quiet shift, he gestured to get up and yet suddenly a sharp pain stroke his chest. His gloved hand reached up, clenching onto his dark coat. The shaky breath escaped his lips as the frown danced upon his forehead. With a quick glance he eyed the human, who was sleeping soundly.

 

- Damn...them.. - the jawline of his contracted as he leaned against the bed onto one arm, his body hovering over Shirahane,

- Wake..up...human..

The pain became stronger, so his body bent even more over the other. Shirahane was also frowning, but unable to shake his sleep off. And Death already knew why he couldn't open eyes. Dormitos*. Sneaking creatures that could enter one's sleep and manipulate them, and even kill them in their sleep. The more one feared them, the more they would materialize. Soon after his realization, a dim creature started forming inside the room right beside Death. The Albus god glanced from beneath his slightly long hair to the creature. It particularly looked like an old and very ugly woman.

 

- It's pleasure to see you, Death. - she spoke with a smudge grin on, her wrinkled hand reached towards Shirahane's cheek from above Death's shoulder even though he tried to shelter the mortal.

- Don't touch him, you filthy woman. - he brushed the hand off even though his chest needed to be 'comforted' by the clenching. Yet more important was that Shirahane wouldn't be hurt.

- It saddens me Death, that you chose a mortal. What an unlucky one though. You should have known that I reign over the dreams in this dimension, and yet you brought him here, hm?...Oh.... - she made a pause as leaned forth, face to face with the damned god, - Could it be that you fear the Nephilims more than me?

- Heh... - the Albus god already knew why the other was there, she needed youth. And the best opportunity was to feed on Death's Albus threads. Dozen and dozen of threads, the meal to keep her young for eternity.

Shirahane on the other hand started breathing irregularly, which meant that he couldn't fight against the Dormito inside his dream. He was slowly devoured by the witch. A situation Death knew might occur, but he lowered his guard down. He should have entered Shirahane's dream instead.

 

- What's wrong, Death? Won't you enter his dream, to save him? Or could it be you are afraid to see what dream I can show you two? - her hand caught a strand of the silky hair of Death as her wicked eyes enjoyed the agonized by pain Albus god, - Ah, what a lovely sight. To see Death in pain. Something you don't actually come across often, right?

 

 

The ugly laughter echoed inside the room, but Death's empty gaze didn't seem effected by the 'joke'. -

- Let him free.

- Now, this is not how you make business. Of all creatures you are known to be a bureaucrat, where is your sense of business now, Death?

-You don't have much to live, do you? - a crack of grin on Death's lips, he could see her Albus very clearly. It was in its limits, and seemingly the Dormito took the risk.

- What can I say... I don't want to die? - she laughed once again, - You see, they say when you haven't sinned, your death is a spiritual ecstasy, but when you have sinned... it's even worst that a Dormito's nightmare. I don't really want to have such nightmares, Death.

 

The Albus god felt the pain reaching deeper into his chest as he bent close enough onto Shirahane that his harsh breathing caressed the mortal's lips. The damned god had to enter the dream or...had to sacrifice a huge number of souls to feed the Dormito. And neither of the choices were acceptable. Even Death had his own 'nightmare'. But yet, watching Shirahane's pained face from close made him feel his own agony greater. On the other hand, the jurar chain started dissolving, knot by knot.

 

- Oh my, seems the mortal is in his limits – her merry voice was rather annoying to Death's ears. How could Shirahane give up on his promise to Death; didn't he say that he'd trust the Albus god? The temperature in the room dropped drastically, the sign of a great anger coming from the damned god.

- Hah... You are rather pitiful one, Ella. - he glanced to the woman that wasn't really surprised that Death knew her real name. No one could hide their real name from him, unlike he could from everyone.

 

With a gentle gesture to Shirahane's forehead, he placed his gloved hand onto the male's head. By a calm yet cold voice he made a promise,

 

- You better be prepared for I shall return and reap you as a heavily sinned soul, Ella. - his sharp eyes threw a pretty scary glance to the Dormito, - Because I will make it hurt worth an eternity.

----------------------------------

Legend

Dormito*

... a sleeper [noun, Latin]

... Dormire - to sleep {vb}

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A Nightmare.

Eons, eras, periods, epochs and ages - they all pass like seasons. I watched the sun wake up and the moon sleep for so long that I forgot what it was to call it 'yesterday'. For me all seems.. 'today'. But if I have to tell you about my 'yesterday', I'd probably tell you about the time when I wasn't Death yet. It was during the 'absolutus pax'* when all creatures lived in one single dimension. We didn't need separation, we didn't need to kill each other and I didn't need to reap. All we had to do was to follow the law of our Supreme Curia, our rulers and our gods. Alas things didn't last. Some believed 'fate' got corrupted and denied the pack of the supreme gods and others believed that the supreme gods themselves were corrupted. What I believed in? My brother - The King of Terra. However, beliefs change with time. If you ask me what I believe in as Death.., well, it's simple - Life. Of all beings in the universe I, indeed, do know the value of Life. Heh, despite being the opposite of it.

 

So many things changed since then. I am the oldest of all and still I feel like the youngest one, seemingly, I froze in a time where I feel at peace. It is not that I can't accept the changes or the present, it's just I don't care about it. Same way like humans don't value their lives, I though don't value the future. Whatever it will be, so shall it be. I stopped caring whether I can change something or not. Because I find humans for the biggest sin of universe. So, take a seat and enjoy what I can offer because I doubt I will invite you a second time.

---------------------

Humidity. The forest smelt like wet soil and grass. Death opened his eyes to find himself inside Shirahane's dream. The Albus god reached his gloved hand to push his hair with fingers back. He was soaking. The damned god's chin lifted upwards, to feel the tips of the rain across his skin. Faint drums echoed in the quiet forest from the raindrops falling onto the greenness. Death was surrounded by nature, by life. His blackcurrant eyes eased into the distance, it was such a beautiful place despite being in a Dormito's nightmare.

 

With the lowering of his chin, he noticed Gin's soaked figure standing around fifty meters away. The male's shoulder were shrugged down, as if completely engulfed by despair. Death's eyes shifted in a sharp gaze, something was really off.

 

- JUST DIE ALREADY! - a scream of a woman echoed in the forest, yet Shirahane didn't seem to even flinch. The human seemed to know that scenery already, unlike Death who just made a few steps forth to pause and stare at a woman strangling her child.

- If it weren't for you to be born, your father wouldn't have left us!

The Albus god averted his gaze to Shirahane's figure, noticing the male's legs trembling, almost giving him away to knees.

- Mother... - Gin whispered in a very quiet voice, weak to his own memories.

 

A heavy stomp in the mud, Death stood tall next to the kneeling mortal. His lips sealed as watching the scene in hand. Shirahane quickly rose his head up, eying the Albus god. It didn't take him long to recognize Death. But even if he already knew it must be a dream, Gin was unable to fight that memory. Of any other memory, it was the worst one to have showed up.

- So it was you. - the Albus god spoke with his hands jabbed in the long coat of his. Seemed he had witnessed that scene before. After all, whenever 'death' was lured and demanded, he'd appear. But it never meant he would reap. Thus, he has been already here.

 

Shirahane lowered his chin again, dropping his gaze down in the muddy ground. His whole body felt heavy, the pain was too strong for him to even utter a single word.

 

- Stand up, human. - Death demanded.

- I can't... I am tired, Death... - a faint chuckle escaped Gin, he really felt tired of everything, even of himself.

The Albus god averted pupils to eye corner, glancing down at the mortal. The fragile figure was shaking.

- Tired? What do you know about 'tiredness', Shirahane Gin? You don't give up on life because you are tired.

Gin rose his gaze up, ticked off by Death's statement.

- What do you even know, Death!? You are just Death! You will never understand what it feels like to be a human! How painful it is to be a human...no... how devastating it is to STAY as one!

Instead of anger, the damned god felt a sting of pain in his chest. Was it because their time in this realm was limited because of the Dormito or was it because of that harsh statement? Death returned his gaze to the strangling her child mother.

- It's easy to be a human, Shirahane.

- EASY? HA...- the male rose on his feet with a stumble, grabbing Death by the coat's collar, - HAVE YOU EVEN ONCE BEEN A HUMAN? All of you...playing gods with us, demanding us to pray and stay proper, and yet...is it so fun to torture us? To make us wag tails like dogs, then shoving us ten feet under the ground.. And I prayed, Death...but no one answered to my prayers..

 

The Albus god's eyes were empty for Gin to read whatever it was in, actually he couldn't even detect a single emotion inside the gaze. So this was how much Death cared? An exhausted chuckle ripped off Gin's lips – of course Death wouldn't care. The human let go of the damned god's coat and gestured to fall back on knees again, but a strong hold kept him up by the arm. Shirahane looked up to see Death's calm gaze.

- I said...stand up, human. Be it anger, be it hatred, be it love. Just keep standing up, human. No one asks of you to make the right choices, Shirahane. Your purpose is 'to learn', not 'to know'. When you are born, you learn to stutter before you can speak. You learn to walk, before you can run. You learn to live, before you can die.

- Let..me go... - a weak pull, Shirahane tried to shake Death's grip off. But he didn't know whether it was Death's strength or his own need to be held, that kept him so weak to that grasp.

- How to be a human? - the Albus god repeated Gin's words and pulled him into a close embrace, chest against chest, - Then tell me, isn't it trying to be a human...human-like itself? You, humans, chose to be gods. And not for a single moment you prayed to the right God, but kept being blinded by own desires, own needs – you worshiped your egos! And whenever something went wrong, you blamed it to either God or fate. This is not human-like, Shirahane. It's cowardice.

 

The rain kept whipping the males, and it covered up for Shirahane's tears. The human leaned his forehead against Death's chest, like a child in need for warmth. What paradox it was, to seek warmth into the embrace of the most coldest creature. And yet, Gin found these arms for the most warmest.

- I am sorry... - Shirahane mumbled into Death's coat, clinging like a kid to the older man.

Despite the right words he spoke, Death still felt somehow unused to such a closeness.

- Let's go, Shirahane. - Death's calm and gentle voice reached the mortal and as an answer he just nodded shyly.

 

The moment they both turned to walk out of the forest, Death froze on a spot. Gin followed the gaze of the other, to land eyes onto a tall figure standing before them with a very disturbing grin.

- ...How have you been....brother? - the tall male greeted.

Death's blackcurrant eyes glanced to his side, to see his past self walk by them. It was a ghost memory and he knew it, but that memory he never wished to see it played before his eyes.

- Death? - Gin tugged at the Albus god coat sleeve, but Death didn't react. He just stared at the scene before him. Like a mute soul lost in the chaos of despair.

------------------

Legend

absolutus pax {Latin}

[absolute peace]

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Memories.
PART 1

 

If you wonder whether I have wished to be reaped and fully destroyed - there were such times, indeed. It was when I couldn't shake off the sensation and the thought I was a mortal before. However, I got numb. I know things that the universe no longer remembers. I know dangerous things that can bring any being and any life to annihilation. It's not about being smart or wise. You just hit the point of 'nothing else to learn'. Each single gesture - I can read it. Each single mask - I can stir it. Each single type of silence - I can hear it. Because beyond the silence, there we lay what was most important. However, the price for the knowledge was my heart. I don't even know where I left it. Did I drop it somewhere along the path I took? Did I reap it myself?

-----------------------------------------

- Death? - Gin tugged at the Albus god coat sleeve, but Death didn't react. He just stared at the scene before him. Like a mute soul lost in the chaos of despair.

 

The forest scenery started gradually changing to a place that seemed similar to a foggy graveyard. The cold spread everywhere, it felt real enough for Gin to shudder. With a light gesture he let go of Death's sleeve as soon as he saw the frown formed on the damned god's brows. Was he in pain or was he angry? Shirahane didn't know, so he silenced himself.

 

- So you finally decided to show up? - the tall male circled around Death who looked a bit younger, and with a longer hair than his current self. Gin didn't need to ask, he already knew it was a memory he was seeing now. But yet, he felt uncomfortable to peek from what Death kept deep within.

- Brother.. - the damned god past self grabbed the other one by the arm, with his intense gaze he begged his older brother about something they both knew was impossible.

- What's wrong? Could it be you still have your doubts? - the male sneered in close.

 

As his brother pulled abruptly his arm to break the grip, the current Death turned to Gin and placed his palm onto the male's forehead.

- I am sorry, Shirahane. You will have to return alone.

- But! Wait! Are you not gonna come? - not liking what Death's eyes gave away, Gin grabbed onto the male's hand.

- Heh. As long as you call for me, I will appear.

Before Gin was ejected from the dream, his eyes saw the hatred in Death's brother's eyes. As for last, he felt the pain enough strong to break even one's backbone. Was that what Death felt now?

 

Why he had to see such a disturbing sight as for last? Surely, Death found that for his own nightmare, but would he be okay? After all, he was trapped in a Dormito's realm all by himself. And although Gin knew nothing about Dormito's, he at least knew the agony he felt.

 

The male suddenly opened his eyes, finding himself all alone on the bed, with a dim creature in the room. The Dormito seemed rather moody. Who would have thought that Death would force his powers inside that realm? Indeed, that's what Death meant – 'pure end', even for a nightmare.

 

Meanwhile Death just jabbed his gloved hands in his long coat and leaned his shoulder against the closest tree, watching the memory played before his full with knowledge yet empty eyes.

- Isn't this what you chose, Kou? - the tall male growled in his brother's face.

Death lowered his gaze along with his past self gesture that was no different as a response to his brother's words. 'They', no matter past or present, were mute to the words of 'their' beloved.

- You threw away everything, and you put the world...no...you created that universe yourself. The moment you defined yourself as its end, the beginning started just for you to reap. And you knew. You knew that in the end, you will become nothing but what you fear the most, alone.

- ...Brother, listen to me..

- Shut up, don't call me 'brother'. I don't remember having a monster for brother. After all, you came here to kill me, didn't you? Even now, you chose the 'natural flow' before your own brother.

 

The Albus god's present self slid his eyes close, the pain in his chest burning. It was obvious that the Dormito got him trapped. And he knew the scene he regretted the most could get him. Damn them, humans. He could have just left Shirahane die, then deal with the Dormito. It's not like he didn't know any seals and chants. In fact, he knew even such that were known to be distinguished.

 

- Am I wrong, Kou? Answer me! - the male called Death's real name over and over again. It drilled in Death present self's conscious. How long has it been since he heard that name...? With a smooth slide, Death opened his eyes to glance to the scene.

- I don't know.

- You...don't... know!? Ha! Aren't you supposed to know everything...'Death'? - the brother mocked his younger brother, rather he humiliated him in any possible way. Be it for his choices, be it for his doings, anything that showed the humanity being gone within his heart.

- What do you want me to do? - the past self of Death grabbed his brother by the shirt to pull him in close, - I chose to be Death for you could keep on living. And yet, once again, you make me choose. How many times I have to choose 'you' over the death of whatever it is, even over my own death? So be it, Set. Damn me for being Death, kill me now or return to Terra.

- Heh, brave words, brother. What if I choose to kill you?

- So be it.

- Oh, you think of having it easy now, I see. But no, Kou. I think I have a better thing for you. - the male drew from his sleeve a pocket blade with hatred drawn all over his face, - You will have to kill me yourself. Your death is meaningless for me, and Terra is no longer what it used to be. But my death, my death shall haunt you forever.

 

The two figures were clearly reflected in these blackcurrant eyes, like mirrors linking to the depths of Death's soul. It was an old, tortured and exhausted soul. Empty enough to shelter the billion of Albus threads, empty enough to make the right choices without any preferences. Empty enough to keep the universe alive. Such a power had a high price, and no other creature but Death himself could have paid it.

 

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Spiritus*

{lat. '
breath
' }

 

Do I have a weakness? Particularly it seems I don't have even a single one, but truth is...I am bond to weaknesses. My existence evolves into fragility as much as life gradually develops into me. Life is a fragile thing, just like freedom is. You cannot speak of an absolute freedom, because no such exists. Each creature is chained to something essential. So am I. I am far from free, human. I am hellbound.

 

----------------------------

Steady breathing airway'd from Death's lips, his face looked as usual pale. But the two figures that looked at him from above the bed he was laid on, knew the paleness was too much even for Death himself.

 

- He will be fine, right? - Shirahane was sitting by the bed, while Jaropht seemingly looked gloomy. He was rather fond of his boss, and whenever something related to Death occurred in a negative perspective, he was ready to bare fangs.

- I am not sure...

- What do you mean you are not sure? He is Death, he can't die. - Gin frowned, reassuring himself even though he knew...he was an ignorant, but they said ignorance was a bliss. So he preferred to believe in what suited him the best.

 

Jarohpt sighed tiredly and moved to the chair in the mid of the room, taking a seat. It was an odd sight. A man of the run, taking a seat. If anything he looked like the type who would be hectic no matter what time of the day it was.

- It's not about being alive or not. If anything, Death is already dead..in a way.

- How he is dead? I mean, he breathes and … - Shirahane put his palm on the Albus god's chest, - and...and his heart is beating!

- ..Wow you must be a doctor... - Jaropht couldn't help the sarcastic joke, -Your definition of 'dead' is a bit different from his 'death'.

- Oh... So...he is sleeping now? I didn't know he could sleep. - like a child Gin could only guess with silly suggestions, even though he already sounded like anything but a professional medical subject.

- Because he doesn't sleep. - Jaropht frowned and reached up to pinch the bridge of his nose.

- ….Then..why he is not opening his eyes...? - Shirahane glanced to the jurar, to make sure that really everything was in place. He was still alive, Death was still Death. The jurar was still there. Everything seemed to be just as it has to be, or at least as Gin knew it was. So what was wrong with the damned god?

 

- Because...someone certain is feeding on his spiritus.

- Spi-...what?

- Spiritus. His powers, in other words.

- The old woman that was here? But didn't he already take rid of her? - Shirahane dropped his gaze, recalling what happened a few hours ago.

- Not her, - Jaropht glanced to Gin with his ever so straight face, - It's you.

- What!?

- In order for you to stay alive, in order to keep the jurar strong and yet to behold the balance of the universe...do you know how much powers Death uses daily? The last time he used such powers was during the war in Heavens. The Universe is a fragile thing, Shirahane Gin. Just like a child. If you don't take care of it, you shall reap what you sow. And the one who knows the best about 'reaping' is, I believe, him.

- But how am I...I mean...how this 'spiritus' is even related to me?

Jaropht gestured with his hand down to the dangling jurar, it was obvious. Gin dropped his gaze and then looked up back at the butler.

 

- Ah... So I am just a burden...

- Yes, you are. - not saving him the truth, Jaropht stated it bluntly.

- I suppose he used too much of his powers to protect me.. - awkwardly Shirahane rubbed the back of his nape, not knowing what else to say. It was such a situation when you are bared to the truth and you have nothing but 'facts' to state. Sometimes it was better than the 'loud silence' that was the alternative.

- Well, at least you are aware of it. - Jaropht rose from the chair and adjusted his red necktie, - Sadly the reaping can't be delayed much. I guess I can use 'him' for a temporary substitute...

- Him? - Gin blinked.

- Yeah, he is something like Death's associate, just inferior to him.

- But wait....You said 'temporary'...so Death will wake up, right?

 

Jaropht threw a pretty cold stare to Gin and walked up to him,

- It's actually up to you when he will wake up. - with a jab of hand in his pants pocket, Jaropht gave the feeling of someone 'requesting' a 'little something' of the human.

- Up...to me?

- Well. - the butler doubted for a second how to order his sentence and after the pause continued, - You have to share your spiritual energy with him.

 

Gin blinked slowly, not catching up. But he has known to read many fantasy related books, and he was sure that spiritual energy was related to chakras or something. Once he was actually interested in yoga, so it must have been that.

- Oh, I have to massage his body punctures! - the male confirmed with a nod as looking at Jaropht. As for the butler, he rather blank stared the other; one of these emotions stirred up Gin – he probably said some nonsense, for sure.

- No. There are two ways to share that energy. ...You have to kiss him.

- ...K-kiss him!? - Gin frowned up, not liking the idea of kissing Death, - ...What is the other way?

In need for alternative, he was ready for anything but that.

- ...You sure you want to know the other way? - Jaropht lifted a brow.

- Yes, yes. Definitely the other way...I think? - for a moment there he doubted; Jaropht was a straight-forward creature. But if he held back the other choice, it probably meant something.

- Well, I doubt you can sleep with him in his state. - the butler threw a glance to his boss.

- Sleep...with...him. - Shirahane repeated like a retard, comprehending each word separately.

- Yes. You must have a sexua-...before Jaropht could have finished the sentence, Gin jumped up and covered the male's mouth.

- Okay, okay. I got the picture! I am not a homo, damn it! There is no way I can sleep with him.

- Then, you can just kiss him. - with a shrug Jaropht moved away from the mortal, ready to leave the room.

- No way! We can wait for him to wake up! He will wake up!

 

A deep sigh escaped the butler once again,

- Look, human. The limit Death can be unconscious is three days. Whether you want or not, you will kiss him.

- What does that even mean!?

- You will see. And Death can be unconscious, but you better stay awake if you don't want to be trapped again in some kind of a nightmare. I don't have time to deal with Dormito's.

Jaropht's figure started fading away and before Shirahane could ask another question, he was already gone.

- ….Great.. - Gin flopped on the floor with his arm guiding his stomach; in fact, he wanted to eat. Couldn't Jaropht actually relate that Shirahane was a human and if anything, for three days without food he'd be gone for good? Well, at least he wouldn't be a burden to Death anymore.

A dejected exhale came off his lips.

- ...A burden...

With a gentle thud, he buried his face into the side of the bed, feeling the softness of Death's spread coat which naturally fell from the edges of the bed. He smelled so good, like a spring breeze mixed with vanilla and...oranges.

- Oranges.... - his stomach protested loudly, - Ngh....wake up already, ...'Dwarf'...

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CASA CRUX*

{lat. “House Cross”}

Small taps of footsteps echoed in such a gray street; nothing could be seen as an attraction, not to mention, it being a busy street. Jaropht reached a certain guesthouse, a big sign named the place as “Casa Crux”. The butler frowned, not really fond of such places. And by 'such places' could be meant 'brothels'. But it couldn't be helped. If he wanted to find him, the most possible place he would be at was here.

 

Jaropht was a man of the duty, so being neat and upright was just a normal thing. Ever since he became one of Death's servants, he rarely paid attention to the existence of any other creature but his lord. Sometimes he reasoned that as a side-effect of the work he had to do. Being near to such a fearsome figure had its pros yet its cons. First, you fear nothing. Second, you are immortal. And lastly, you grow cold and empty. Whether which of these could be seen as a pro or a con, it was a matter of personal opinion. Overall though, Jaropht was a beautiful man; in fact, all of Death's inferiors were such. One would wonder if Death picked them for their look. But truth is, Death believed in the saying, “Beautiful inside, beautiful outside.” Probably that single thing, with time, brought out the natural beauty of the creatures around the Albus god.

 

The butler reached his gloved hand to creak open the door and let himself inside the guesthouse. In other circumstances he'd probably set such places on fire. He really abhorred brothels.

- Well, well, well. What we have here? - a wide grin grew on the desk lady's lips. She was known as the manager of this brothel, so Jaropht couldn't hide his dislike each time he saw her.

The woman actually looked pretty despite the fact she was a Mennis. Mennis were known to be fallen creatures, that were similar to Sirens. So one would rather wonder if they really looked like this or it were just another illusion. But similar to his lord, Jaropht believed what was beautiful inside, was beautiful also outwardly. Thus it was normal to see her as something impure and ugly.

- Hello Marta.

- What brings you here, Jaropht?

- I am here to meet Samael.

- And here I thought you'd request one of my girls. - she made a brief pause and chuckled, - Or one of my boys, since I heard you can't stand women.

Marta always teased Jaropht, but it couldn't be helped. Each time he frowned in disgust, he looked cute.

- I will pass. I don't have much time to waste, so can you lead the way?

- You really should make some time to enjoy your eternity, Jaropht. Many species would love to be immortal, you know? - she hummed in a mocking way as moved away from the desk to give him a key, - He is on the fourth floor, room number 340.

- Thank you. - with a gesture he took a hold of the key and retreated the hand right away.

- Pf. Ahahahaha – laughing to tears Marta teased for a last, - Are you a virgin or something. I won't eat you, you know my type is rather close to your boss.

- And I think my boss' type is far from your kind. - annoyed he headed for the fourth floor, leaving Marta fumming with anger.

 

Meanwhile Samael was enjoying the softness of a Mennis skin. With his gloved hands he gently caressed the body, delighted to hear the woman's moans. But before he could even move forth for a closer contact, he paused. His pupils went slit as moved to side, eying the door on his right.

- What's wrong Samael~? - she reached arms up to pull him down, but yet the male moved away, reaching for his pants.

- Leave.

- What..? - nude to cold air and still panting she felt stunned.

- You're deaf or something? I said to leave. Now. - not even a pitch of tone shifted, his velvet voice just felt cold despite its mesmerizing sound.

- I understand... - she quickly rose to gather her stuff and rush out of the room. No one actually liked angering Death's servants. And it was a known fact that Samael was actually the next most powerful creature after the Albus god. After all, he was the Angel of Death.

 

Not bothering to put anything on his top he just stayed with his elegant black pants on, reaching for his pack of cigarettes. The male's long hair covered his shoulders and yet his wide back didn't hide the fact he wasn't less fearsome than Death himself.

 

The door klank'd open as Jaropht walked inside the room, finding Samael standing tall before the huge window near the messy bed. The butler grimaced before greeting the other.

- Good grief, you are really good for nothing. - it wasn't what he wanted to say but embarrassed to what has happened before his appearance, the butler just couldn't help but try to mask it with the usual harsh words he spoke to Samael.

- Come on, is this how you greet me, Luis? - with a glance over shoulder, his slit pupils firmly capture the other male's eyes in a stare; had he to use Jaropht's real name now? In this messy and filled with smell of sex room?

The male frowned in response to Samael and looked away,

- We have work to do. Death is unconscious for now, but I guess you already know that. So hurry up and dress.

 

A creak replaced the silence that took place between them, Samael moved towards Jaropht who still kept his gaze in the far corner of the room; obviously avoiding Samael's eyes. As soon as he felt the lingering heat from the angel's body and the scent of cigarettes, he realized how close he has moved. Jaropht took a step back to hit the door behind, slowly frowning to the closeness between them two.

- And you could have just given me a call, instead of coming here, couldn't you? - Samael's gentle voice caressed Jaropht's ears; was he trying to make some point there? The butler shifted his gaze, glaring at the male.

- Or could it be you actually wanted to get me enough in the mood to do you? - in response to the glace, Samael made another statement with an angelic grin.

 

Doubtful to what to say, Jaropht spoke Samael's mother language – Latin.

- Veni servire nec serviri, Samael. ( I came to serve, not to be served, Samael.)

- Pauci resistere mihi sperant. (Weak suggestion of hope to resist me.)

- Viro sperant licet. (A man is allowed to hope.)

 

Muteness colored Samael's lips before his grin slid over his lips. Indeed, the Angel of Death was really attracted to Jaropht, yet sadly for hundred of years the butler has resisted him. And these eyes that could hypnotize any creature in the trap of his seduction, but Jaropht withstood them.

 

- Very well. - Samael retreated and walked over the only chair in the room, to pick up his shirt and start buttoning it - Is Death with that mortal?

- Yes, he is.

- What does he think he is doing? The end is a few centuries away. Is he planning to bring the apocalypse sooner... - a sighed suggestion, Samale fixed his clothes.

- I believe Death rarely makes any mistake, so it must have a reason for he took out the jurar.

Samael glanced over his shoulder, dulling eyes at Jaropht,

- Are you his lawyer or something? He knows well enough that the jurar is the open doorway to the ultimate dimension. If it happens to break or be corrupted, the whole universe will collapse.

- But it said that the jurar can bring Set to knees. And you do know what Set can do to the universe if not tamed.

- Yeah, yeah. A pure myth. There is no way a mortal to fall in love with Death, to make the jurar a tool to enslave Set. So give up on such childish hopes, really.

With a shrug Jaropht brushed off Samael's statement,

- I don't think it's impossible.

- Ha? Have you hit your head? - Samael obviously grew jealous of Death. Why Jaropht kept defending the foolishness of the damned god?

- Why you dismiss the idea that someone can love him!? - Jaropht raised his voice unaware.

- Have you heard of a mortal loving what they fear or abhor? Death is bound to the never-ending solitude. Every single creature can be attracted to him or lured by the idea of being embraced by Death, but no creature can truly love him. Death is an ending, and love is the opposite – a beginning.

- You are truly convinced that he can't be happy, huh? - with a cross of arms before chest, Jaropht took the bait of the blooming argument.

- I am more than convinced. Don't forget that I was born from his pain and I've been always near him ever since his existence. If anything, I've seen how mortals treated him. Disrespect and fear, these are the only feelings a mortal can keep for him.

The butler looked away, displaying his moodiness,

- I want to believe in the opposite.

- Sure, have your own beliefs. It doesn't change the facts though. - with a shrug Samael reached for his coat, - Let's go.

- … - speechless to the Angel of Death's words, Jaropht followed him.

 

Death was just a figure of horror and pain, and mortal could never love such a creature. Samael has seen enough of his lord's sorrow and despair. He dismissed the hope, rather, he stopped encouraging Death that one day, maybe, his lord could find peace and happiness. More than anyone else though Samael wished to see the Albus god happy. After all, he was his guardian angel.

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Memories.
Part 2

The reflection in blackcurrant eyes disappeared with the drop of gaze, the Albus god felt swallowed by the fog around the place. His eyes might not keep track of the scene, but his whole being was listening to it.

- ..Where did you get that from? I will not use it to harm you! - the past self of Death questioned his brother, taking a step back from the blade.

- When you hold the knowledge of Death, you know many things. - with a swing of hand Set dangled the jurar connecting both of the males, - You were really foolish to give me such a power, Kou.

 

With a rock off the tree the damned god, who was forced to witness his past again, made his way to the two figures. His eyes keeping track of the fighting scene. Kou holding his brother's wrist, preventing the blade from cutting the jurar.

 

- What are you doing!? You must not cut it with that blade!

- Hah, why? Because you do know what will become of us, don't you?

Standing before the past, Death was just an inch away from the males locked in a deadly embrace. The pairs of blackcurrant eyes, past or present, both gazed into the hatred of Set's eyes.

- You've got two choices, brother. Kill me or be cursed forever with the universe ultimate knowledge, and I, I will reign over you. Whenever you break, I will fix you so you live once again this nightmare. Whenever you destroy the world, I will remake it so you dive into its pain and hatred. And whenever you beg me to kill you, I will bring you back to life, again...and again...and again Kou.

- STOP IT!

The blade made its way across the jurar, making the past Kou kneel down in pain. The jurar burning its way upwards to his arm, making it impossible for Death to breathe – the agony of full illumination, the agony of Death's death. And the Albus god's present self just stood there tall, mute to the scene. His blackcurrant eyes kept staring at his crying brother, who kept dissolving into the nothingness. No matter how many eras would pass, he'd never understand the meaning of these tears. And the reason why he got so close to the scene was the damned hope that he could read these eyes. The pair of eyes he could not forget for as long he lived and died.

 

Meanwhile Shirahane was facing a truly tight situation with the Dormito, that seemingly decided whether in a dream or not, she just needed the human dead. With a kick to side, he sent the chair into the creature. But for his unlucky chance, the chair passed right through the dim figure.

 

- It's useless to fight me, human. You are too weak to harm me, and unfortunately your guardian is having a hard time with getting out of my realm. So let's not make this complicated. - she whispered wickedly as made her way closer to Gin that was stuck in the room's corner.

- Stay away! - unable to escape the corner, he just glared at the ugly woman; her long and grotesque fingers reached for the mortal with greed for that soul.

- Don't worry, it won't hurt...much. - laughing hysterically she gestured to pull him for the clothe while her free hand moved upwards, darting for the male's chest. Forcing him up against the wall with an inhumanly strong grip around his neck, she kept digging her nails into Shirahane's chest to break the flesh and reach the life muscle.

 

No matter how much Gin struggled, it was really useless against the Dormito. Figures, he was just a mortal despite connected to an immortal creature. He had no such power that could match the witch's one. With a slide of eyelids he frowned. And for first time he wished to die not. His whole body shivered in response to his thoughts. He didn't fear Death, but he feared 'death' - which particularly was the same without him realizing it. He really feared the Albus god as 'Death', his own 'death'. With his hands around the Dormito's wrist, he scratched the cold skin that felt like snake's pattern. But despite being a dim creature, more likely when in a close contact with her, she could materialize even more.

“...Death...damn you...didn't you say...I can't die..you prick....frigging liar..”, cursing in his mind, Shirahane felt the warmth of crystal drops slide against his cheeks. Was he crying? He didn't care anymore about being manly. He just wanted to stop that pain that felt like nails hammered through his flesh.

 

Suddenly he felt a hot splash of liquid across his face. Was it blood? The room echoed with agonized screams. Was he screaming? Gin felt his body flop onto the floor, eyes struggling to stay closed but yet they opened. There was that black coat, spread open before him. And that board back that looked just fitting for most secure protection ever possible.

 

Shirahane reached for his chest, was he dead now? But he felt no wound even though he was all covered in blood. With a flinch of body, he came to realization. There was the Dormito's rotting hand on his right. So the blood wasn't his!? ...What was this brutality he witnessed!? Shirahane shuddered in horror. He quickly rose his head to glance to the Dormito's bleeding figure. The creature was glaring at Death who stood tall before Gin.

- How dare you wound me!

- Wound you? - the temperature in the room started dropping once again, - I don't intent to wound you, Ella.

A step forth, Death's coat followed after him, his cold eyes piercing through the Dormito.

- Stay away! You can't kill me yet! I have more to live, and you can't break the laws! - knowing that she could enter but not exist this certain room, Ella really fell into a trap.

- Kill you? - another step, Death's voice felt like needles dancing over a glacial surface; it could give you goosebumps, - I don't intent to kill you, Ella.

Finally in close with the other creature, the damned god leaned in with his illuminated by the moon's reddish eyes, his hand pulling the glove off the other - I intend to make you suffer and atone for your sins.

 

With an already bare hand he probbed through the chest of the Dormito, pulling at the Carinus thread*, forcing it out of the creature's soul. Shirahane on the other hand reached up to place palms over his ears, the screams were too disturbing for his heart. In fact, he never has seen Death so angry and scary.

- Please, stop! Not that! - Ella begged in the face of a heartless doll. He looked just like a beautiful painting lacking any emotion for recognition.

 

The Albus god finally broke off that certain thread and voided her off the right to regenerate and be reborn. With the thread spiraling around Death's arm, his lips spoke terrifying truths,

- Now then, you cannot materialize anymore, nor you can regenerate. All you can do is wait for me to reap you, in agony and fear. ...Until next time, Ella.

- You-...! - before she could even place 'a curse' or two on him, the Dormito vanished from the room.

 

The silence finally mended and the temperature felt bearable enough for Shirahane to stop shivering. But yet the mortal kept shuddering even though with his eyes and ears were 'disabled' to any sight and sound. Death glanced to Gin, fixing his glove back. Did he overdo it? He tried his best to keep the room clean, not wishing to scare Shirahane with all he urged to do to the Dormito.

- Shirahane. - with slow steps Death inched close to the mortal, but as soon as Gin felt the god closing...

- STAY THERE! - with his voice shaking and body trembling, he refused to even look at Death.

The Albus god sighed and looked to side; so it be, he knew pretty much he couldn't be close with mortals. What to mention about being friendly or intimate. Death frowned lightly, his chest still feeling sore from all that happened. However, due to the bond they shared, he could feel whatever the mortal felt. And right now he was weak enough to let the disturbing feeling in his chest bring him down to knees, once again.

 

- You damned human... - with a reach for his chest, he clenched onto his shirt, - Do not fear me. I will not hurt you.

- Shut up! - Gin refused to listen to whatever reasoning Death could give. After all, the rotting hand was just there beside him; how he could listen to the creature that ripped it off with such an ease!?

- Shirahane... - leaning to side against the bed, the Albus god felt the denial on Gin's part. And if he only knew that he could effect so much Death, he'd probably realize his powers over the fearsome god.

- Just get lost! You are a monster! How could you rip off her hand....You could have done so much less, but this brutality.... - not able to comprehend Death's motives and doings, Shirahane was someone who'd rather save a life, not take it away. And sadly, he was bound to someone who was the complete opposite. In the heat of the moment, Gin spat whatever words came to mind, just to keep the other away.

 

Death felt his eyelids heavy and the powers he spent recently were enormous. Without any restoring, he wouldn't last much long. And of all things, a denial on his 'master' part was just like a pure shut-down button.

- Heh... You are really one of a kind, Shirahane Gin... - gently spoken, Death felt his body fully rest against the bed's side, his gloved hands naturally relaxed on his lap, - And you so desperately called to me...

 

Gin glanced up, wondering why such a gentleness caressed his ears, more than anything, why the silence replaced Death's words.

- Death?

 

A denial. Death already tasted enough of denial; another one was like the drip in a rainy storm. With or without it, the storm would have continued.

------------------------------

Legend

Carinus*

… lat. “dark brown”.

Carinus thread*

… related to one's soul's rebirth/health.

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Bravery
or
Selfishness.

 

Kindness. I admire kind people, for I am not one. Frankly though, humans fail to see that all virtues had their own sinful consequences. You can't be saint without making a sinner out of someone, for you need to judge them as one; then where is your proof of piety?

 

Chastity meant to put the burden of others lusting it, of others stealing it; chastity was like the push from sanity to insanity. Temperance was a funny excuse to cover up for your kind's gluttony. Be it glory, be it justice. You all craved for your own self-interest to be filled with a small matter of what exactly meant to be 'satisfied'. You genuinely lacked the true restrain of justice for you long forgot what was right and that which was wrong. Charity. Ah, charity is the reason why actually Greed existed. True charity, did it ever exist? Actually you all hyped over the idea to reflect the glorified image of God himself, that you forgot what Charity meant. In fact you forgot God himself. And even there was a single soul ready to sacrifice something precious in the name of the Lord, it would lead to greed and hatred. Sacrifice distinguished by own origin never left compassion or honor behind. All left was an endless pit of hatred hued by the shades of Greed. Diligence, patience, humility. They all could cause the old know wrath and vanity, your kind never rested a single day when it came to expressing own needs. Even if you tried to fight for the needs of someone else, it was just a matter of time to rediscover that your justification was led by the self-concept of 'truth'. But kindness.... Kindness was different. It could cause enormous wounds when misused or unknowingly applied. It could ruin a whole generation, for Envy was the sin that had no day off. And yet.... you humans, you are still kind, even if in your own cruelty. Tell me, mortal, is your kindness a bravery or just a selfishness?

-----------------------------------------------

 

Green eyes stared outside the window, he was sitting on the thin windowsill which was covered with dust. But Shirahane was enough out of it, to be bothered about his clothes getting dirty. With a deep sigh he shrugged down his shoulders, he felt dejected. It's been two days since Death fell unconscious and yet Gin couldn't think of anything else how to wake up the immortal god. He tried whatever he could, even if seen as something lame. Was it singing 'the dwarf' song, or tickling the male. Nothing worked. But figures so much, if Jaropht himself said it wasn't a normal state of being asleep, then such methods obviously wouldn't work. But why of all things he had to kiss Death!?

 

Another sigh. A glance over the bed, he frowned. Was his imagination or...Death was actually getting rather attractive despite the fact he was being so pale? The mortal parted lips in a trace, following the beautiful features of the Albus god with eyes. A sudden realization brought his hands upwards to ruffle own hair in frustration, “What the hell am I thinking...!? There is no way a dead man to be sexy...God, am I turning into necrophiliac?! No, no, no.”

With a pause, he stared at the floor and his bare feet. A dejected sigh escaped him unknowingly.

“What my life turned into.... A few days ago I was just an ordinary doctor with many awards and merits. And just a moment of urge brought me to a world I never could have imagined, to truths I never would have wished to know....”

 

His arms relaxed down, letting his light brown hair in a messy order. A shoulder touched the cold surface of the window's side, he felt the guilt eating at him. “I called him a monster, but truth is, his cruelty is far more kinder than my own, isn't it?”

 

A slide of glance, his eyes sought the image of Death in the room. He was captivated by the god's beauty. Long and dark eyelashes, beautiful and straight nose, as for the lips. His gaze fell upon the lines of that certain spot. They were a very pale pink color, but probably it was because Death's condition kept worsening. His skin color kept dropping close to pure whiteness; even so these lips fought to justify the life in him with their plum color. Without realizing it, Gin was already standing tall before the bed. The male gestured with an arm, to wrap palm around his relaxed other forearm. “I am not particularly in debt to him or something. Or am I?” Not convinced enough the mortal dropped his gaze to Death's lips once again, “...Am I a burden to you, Death? Seems my whole existence is just a burden, be if before or after death, hah.....”

 

The bed creaked slightly when Shirahane found a seat near the Albus god. His body weight guided on one arm, while he was hovering over the other. Little by little his pride as a man, his conscious as a heterosexual male started fading. His own voice softened to ears; was he really gentle and sincere in what escaped his lips while talking to the most grotesque presence in the universe? One would classify it as a pure madness, probably.

- You know Death, before I met you my life was an unblended schedule, plain and...already accepted. I have saved many lives. I fought on a battlefield where my enemy was Death himself. Without knowing actually I grew to dislike you before I have even had the chance to meet you. Whenever I lost on that battlefield, I felt anguish, mortifying despair. I detested you for you took away what I thought was the only thing rightfully claimed by our kind, humans, - Life. And you...you just came and reaped it like a still blooming flower destroyed by a hurricane. ….'One of a kind'? Hah...

 

Shirahane's eyes saddened, recalling Death's cruel yet gentle words. How Gin was one of a kind? If anything he was nothing compared to the creature right next to him. Gin could be replaced in any given moment by the universe. And he knew that he was small....so small in such a huge world. But Death, he was different.

 

- The one being one of a kind is actually you, Death. I don't know much about death and stuff. I don't even know if your existence could be also replaced, but you know what, Death? ….I never was fond of my friends, for I knew friendship and love were just temporary illusions created by the brain. But you as my biggest enemy, I couldn't have you replaced. Because on that battlefield I found life and its bits of meanings. And if anything, I liked fighting you.

 

A small smile crawled Gin's lips. Vast memories from his doctors days rushed in his mind. The bloody sweat that was a proof of a hard battle to save the life off Death's claws. He liked the feeling of bringing someone back to life, but yet he knew. The one who actually allowed each and next 'win' was no one but Death himself. So believing that he has actually won was foolish. And Gin wasn't one who liked losing. What to mention about wins he won because of the mercy of his opponent? With that single truth he leaned down,

- So don't you dare leave us in a tie, Death. I still want to claim a pure win.

 

The warmth of Gin's lips caressed the damned god's ones. The scent he loved so much mesmerized him, so he didn't think of the kiss as something disgusting. In fact, he leaned even more into it close enough to feel the gentle breathing of Death. Just when he was about to retreat, he felt the gloved hand guide his head from behind. Eyes shot wide open, green eyes met the calm gaze of blackcurrant ones.

 

- ..!?

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Disconnected.

It's a feeling of attraction that moved forth the evolution. It's similar to the deadly beautiful dance between a butterfly and a spider. The beauty of the fragile winged purely and solely for the predator's sake. This is evolution, an attraction that leads to destruction. And in that moment, he was the fragile beauty and I was the predator. But now and then I wonder, was he the one caught or me? Heh...

-------------------------------

 

Shirahane was too disturbed by the gaze that pierced right through his very soul. The feeling of staring into the Death's eyes was one of a kind, but as soon as he felt the wetness spread across his bottom lip, a warm muscle forcing his lips open, the mortal raised his hand to hit the damned god. Before he could land the punch, a strong grip captured him by the wrist and a roll followed. Suddenly the situation, no, rather the positions were switched. How come he got pinned down beneath Death so easily? Was the Albus god so hungry for spiritual energy that his kiss felt like a force tugging the rug off beneath one's feet!?

 

With what was left of his will Shirahane averted his chin to side, gulping a mouthful of air. His chest rose and fell in an irregular panting. It must have been that spiritual something, right? There was no way that just a kiss would have caused his composure disturb. The damned god eased his eyes on Gin's neck side; it was that white and soft skin, it was that sweet fragrance of purity, and it was the weak tremble of the mortal – such things really could tempt a predator. The Albus god leaned down to brush his lips against the mortal's neck, following the jawline path down to Gin's Adam's Apple.

 

- ..!? - Shirahane's body jolted in response as his pupils went wide even though his gaze was glued to the wall beside the bed, - WA-! WAIT. DEATH!?

The immortal creature paused, the pain in his chest was completely gone. And he knew that his powers were enough of charged to stop to there, but that alluring fragrance Gin gave away was hard to ignore. Even the smallest anticipation from the human could charge Death. It was just like a balance that had to be kept. A negativity Death sheltered could be soothed with just a small acceptance on Gin's part. And being intimate with him was the best way, but Death resigned himself from the idea to feed on the mortal's energy. After all, humans feared him. There was no way one to accept or love the damned god. With so much in mind, Death released the hand, ready to be pushed away. But Gin just stood there, right beneath him, not flinching an inch away. The Albus god rose his gaze to meet the crimson crawling Gin's skin while the mortal was trying his best to stay focused on the plain color of the wall.. Was he blushing?

 

Fascinated by the purity, once again, Death reached his gloved hand to brush the messy hair out of Gin's cheek and before doing so, a loud grumble disturbed the comfort of the silence. The damned god paused his gesture, staring at the color's escalating nuance. Gin became just like a ripe tomato.”Ah...he is hungry.”, so Death registered the fact in his mind. He might have been voided from human's daily needs, but still knew about such.

 

Another creak and rustle, the Albus god sat up on the edge of the bed, letting the embarrassed man shot up as if burnt.

- Um... I am...kinda hungry... – blushing up to ears, Gin kept his head lowered while sitting on the bed in seiza style.

- Hm... - Death's back faced the mortal, but the avert of head to side was even visible from behind. What he was gazing at? Gin took a peek from under his bangs, noticing the direction of Death's stare. But it couldn't be that the window was broken or something from when he sat on its sill, right? So he couldn't really figure out what Death was staring at to that direction.

- I guess we can go now.

- Eh? Reaping? - he quickly guessed, and a second later the eyes of his got startled. Death suddenly glanced over shoulder with a smile.

- No, he can work a bit more.

- 'He'? - Shirahane blinked. Come to think of it, Jaropht also spoke of someone as 'he'. It couldn't be that there were two Deaths, right? The mortal reached hand upwards to rub his temple. The idea of another 'Death' like this one gave him an odd feeling of 'the universe is really fucked up'.

 

But suddenly Death burst in laughter. It was a sound Shirahane found for beautiful. A melody that could pacify his ripped apart soul, mend it and then give it a feeling of being alive. Despite the paradox, he really liked when Death laughed, though the idea of Death's laughter could send chills up one's spine.

 

- Wh-what's so funny? - almost in loss of words, Gin finally rolled the question off his lips. It couldn't be he said his thought by voice, right?

- You. - gentle respond after a gentle laughter. Gin had to mentally slap himself for thinking that Death was rather attractive, again.

- I am funny? Now...that's funny. - he blank stared the other and scratched awkwardly his cheek as gaze ran to side in a need to avoid the blackcurrant orbs.

- You have to eat, and I feel like having a cup of tea. I guess we can take a day off.

 

The sincerity and the care, on top of it coming from Death, were an unfair move. Gin has forgotten such sentimental tendencies. And again, he felt like a burden. The mortal let his hand slip off his cheek and rest on his lap.

- I am sorry....Heh, I guess...I am really a burden to you...

 

The Albus god just stared at Shirahane, who was restless and troubled. Just like an open book, he need an assurance that he was, for once, needed...wanted. How funny, Death thought. Just like Death himself, he just needed a reason to feel special. To whoever it was, just a single string that tugged at him, and spoke words of certainty. Yet, the damned god knew such emotions even though he abandoned them long ago. Each creature needed that feeling – being special. Be it mortal, be it immortal. To exist meant to feel importance despite the knowledge of your small participation in such a huge world.

 

Death's lips stretched in a faint smile, his thoughts collided with the silence. But what made Shirahane so intriguing was his impatience and sudden frets.

- ...Won't you...say something? - with a frown across his face, the mortal clenched his fingers onto his own pants.

- Do you want me to say something? - tender in his words Death leaned to side, resting his weight on one arm.

Gin flinched from the closeness and shrugged his shoulders slightly up to hide his neck this time.

- It's...a common sense to do so! - feeling pathetic, he blabbed the words out in frustration.

- Oh? - Death grinned wickedly with the urge to tease him again, - Who speaks now of a common sense?

- Eh?! - Shirahane rose his chin confused to widen eyes as they met from close with Death's ones.

- I mean, isn't kissing a sleeping person just like sexually abusing them? How come someone like that speaks of common sense to exactly me?

- ...Y-..You! - mute to truth, Gin averted his head to side in an 'hmph' sulking manner but yet the lively color of red decorated his cheeks.

 

It was a tempting sight but for Shirahane's luck, Death had his iron self control. The Albus god rose from the bed, fixing his white shirt.

- Let's go. I will take you to a place I used to visit a lot.

- Oh...We will work after all? - dejected that he'd have to bear with the hunger, Gin sighed.

- No. I am taking you out for a treat. - Death turned around with his hands jabbed in his coat, a soothing smile comforted the male off the embarrassment and the discomfort he felt.

 

Gin looked to side once again, brushing off another disturbing thought of his. He felt special.

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Rababada

 

It was the end of February, but yet the weather was chilly. Despite being in and out different dimensions, Shirahane could tell that it was still the winter season. With cupped hands before lips, he warmed them up with short puffs of hot air. Unlike Death who looked mostly comfortable in such a cold afternoon, or probably it was his gloves? Gin frowned, envying the male for having the patch of fabric over hands.

- You are cold? - the Albus god asked as lead the way ahead.

- Not really... - quickly he shrugged and jammed hands in his jacket pockets, but who could actually fool the damned god?

- We are almost there.

 

Gin nodded quietly though Death couldn't see the silent agreement, but part of the mortal knew even the silence was audible for the damned god. The streets in the current dimension were nothing different from what he already knew in his hometown, but yet they felt so deserted and lonely. What kind of dimension it was again? After all, the air itself felt different, at least to the mortal. With his eyes wandering around, he paused his gaze into the far scenery of mountains wrapped by the fog. The mist took him back to that graveyard he saw in the Dormito's realm. His eyes eased and averted to Death's board back. For a second there he wondered what heavy weight such shoulders bore. And in spite of it, he found them for rather fragile, in fact, he always found them for such. A small smile spread across Gin's lips, he felt closer to Death. After all, even Death had his own weakness, right? Somehow it deducted a fear or two from his terrifying image known to the common creatures. But was it a reason to be happy; Shirahane sighed and mentally tapped his head, feeling silly - “There is nothing to be happy about, silly me...I bet it was a nightmare to see things he didn't want to see...”

 

Another stolen glance, he felt like hugging him. Was it a natural thing for humans to sense the loneliness of others? Gin wondered whether it was instinct or his own urge to touch the other, “God, what am I thinking again...” With a shake of head he forgot to keep track of Death and so a bump followed.

- Uppfh! - once again, he bumped into Death's back.

- You seem rather quiet. - the Albus god didn't miss to point out.

- Do I...ehehe,um..I guess, I am..hungry...yeah, I am hungry. - nodding again, he stepped forth to peak at Death's beautiful face.

- I see. Well, we are here.

 

Gin blinked and tilted head to side with eyes averted to the same direction. There was an empty park, how on earth they were 'there'?

- Er... Are we gonna have a picnic..or something? - doubtful the answer would be positive he scratched awkwardly his cheek.

- ..Picnic? - Death glanced down to the other, a few seconds took him to 'flip' all the mental pages of knowledge about the humans dimension, - Ah..the meal eaten outdoors. You like such things?

- Eh? ...No..I mean, I never went to picnics. So I don't know whether I like them or not. - Gin dropped his gaze, too shy to stare at Death's piercing eyes.

 

Before he could continue the random topic, he saw the other out-stretching his hand and his own heart started beating rapidly. Although it was just a mere gesture, to swing fingers through the air and 'lift' a veil for a place to appear before them, Gin really felt flustered for thinking that Death was about to touch him. What was with him today? Thinking of hugging him, then craving to be touched. Something was really off with him. But he blamed it to the hunger, yup, it had to be the starvation messing with his brain neurons.

 

- Welcome to 'Rababada.' - Death introduced the place as creaked open the door.

- Raba...da..Ra-... -giving up on saying the name correctly he quickly followed Death, scared that if he lost track of him or something, he might end up in some odd place. After all, out of nowhere buildings pop, odd creatures attack them. It would be a pure madness if he happened to get lost in this dimension.

 

Walking behind the Albus god, Gin looked like a shy little boy hiding behind his 'mother's dress'. But with a taken peek, he saw a rather normal looking girl bowing as a greeting to the Death god. Well, pretty normal though compared to the faceless woman. Just that...she had three eyes instead of two. But for the last few days Gin saw enough of bizarre things that three eyes seemed like 'a piece of hottie'. A sigh of relief, he finally managed to be in a not so weird place.

 

The girl lead them to the farthest table in the place which could be taken for what humans called 'restaurant'. Or so Gin registered it in his mind, it had to be a restaurant or a place for junk food. Once they took their seats, Shirahane took off his jacket but his eyes wouldn't stop observing the place.

- Say... - he looked around for anything similar to paper menu or something that could hold the list of offered drinks or food, anything would do, - ...is this something like a restaurant?

- Pretty much so. - Death sat aback, relaxing his back on the small sofa.

- Cool! What can we order here though? I mean, do they have what ...um...humans eat?

- It's a place known for universal orders. Meaning, you can order whatever you can think of, even if you make up something new.

- Make up something new?

- Yes, you can 'create' dishes in a way, just by ordering them.

- Ooooh! I see!!!! That's pretty neat! - Shirahane liked the idea though he wasn't really creative when it came to cooking.

 

Without much delay the girl came to take the order. And even though Shirahane accepted the fact she owned three eyes, he still somehow felt stiff around her.

- So what would you order, Misters?

Gin threw a glance to Death awkwardly, but the Albus god nodded lightly as letting the other speak first,

- Um.. I would like...one bowl of Miso soup with fish and tofu! And two small breads with red bean filling, please! - all merry that he would finally eat, Shirahane smiled at the girl that kept the order with mental notes.

- Understood. - then she glanced to Death, he seemed pretty expressionless, - And would you like to order something, Death?

- One share with horse eyes, though I'd like it stirred with bull's saliva. And make me a shake of cow's brain, please.

- Understood.

 

Once she took her leave, Death glanced to the mortal who was a step away from fainting. He had his body leaned to side, the paleness of his skin reaching almost to his ears.

- What's wrong? - Death stared at the other who seemed about to throw up.

- N-nothing..nothing at all... - feeling dizzy from what he just imagined and yet on an empty stomach, Gin really fought the urge to cancel his food order.

- I see. - glancing to side, Death tried to hide his faint grin.

- … What are you grinning at? - Gin frowned, quickly detecting the male's behavior.

- Ah, 'at nothing at all'.

.

.

.

- Wait a minute. - Shirahane leaned forth and stared, - You don't sleep, but you eat?

- Hm. - humming gently he glanced to Gin with a grin – I can sleep but I don't. I can eat but I don't.

- So you felt like eating now? - narrowing his eyes at the other, Gin interrogated him.

- No. I felt like messing around with you. - Death finally cracked a faint chuckle.

- ...You...seriously...piss me off.

- Heh, at least I am not boring. - he moved his arm up to adjust to a pose in which he could lean his cheek on gloved knuckles.

- Did you just...call me 'boring'!? - Shirahane looked like a hissing kitten in Death's eyes.

- No. I said that I am far from boring if I manage to piss you off. The rest is what you yourself assume, isn't it? - he slowly stretched his lips in a teasing mock-grin.

With a stare Gin proceed to an hmph and crossed his arms before chest,

- “Dwarf”.

- … - speechless to the foolishness and yet the mortal's childish behavior Death frowned, - Is this how you treat your savior?

- Ha! I saved you too, so we are even.

- Ah, true. You kissed me.

- … I... - Shirahane looked to the ever so smiling Death and glared, - You kissed me.

- I kissed you? From what I recall you make a rather boring speech and then kissed me.

- I did no-... Wait. You heard what I said!? - Gin's eyes grew wide.

- Oh, especially the part about 'liking me'.

- That...was not that.

- That was not that? - Death teasingly repeated to assure the male, he did not make any sense now.

- I mean.. - his tongue started stuttering and his face felt hot; why he had to reason himself now – I didn't mean I like you as in … I like you but .. - frustrated from his feelings stuck like thorns in his throat, he got up and slammed his palms against the table - You really piss me off, you know that!?

 

Death's calm gaze followed the man's body language and his lips relaxed in a soothing manner, he was gently smiling at the mortal. Gin really felt guilty for raising his voice at Death. Or did the Albus god had some triumph card that could hypnotize and make you under some kind of spell? Suddenly Shirahane felt calm and sat down,

- I am sorry.

- I know.

- … And I am hungry.. - he sulked with gaze averted to side.

Death chuckled, - I know.

- ...And.. You are not annoying, nor a monster..

Expecting to hear another 'I know', he found Death's silence for disturbing. Why didn't he say 'I know', or could it be that Death himself disliked being Death? Or actually the fact he 'rejected' him a while ago made the Albus god self-conscious of his own existence? Whatever it was, he had to make it clear. He did not hate Death.

 

- The orders, Misters. Miso soup with fish and tofu, plus two small breads with red bean filling. And a cup of tea for You, Death. - the girl smiled, catching up with Death's tease from before. So the only one who didn't get it was Gin. The human felt awkward so he scratched his cheek lightly, waiting for the girl to leave.

- Um...Death. How do we pay?

- I don't pay. - the damned god reached for his tea.

- You are you, but I-...

- And you are with me, so you don't pay either. Though if you insist to pay, they accept anything from human's kidney up to four or six toes.

Shirahane stared wide eyed and then brushed off the insane payment method,

- You are ...joking...right?

- Yes, I am.

- Oh... - lightly chuckling, Gin sighed in relief.

 

“What's that. He is actually pretty funny in his own odd way. I guess...I don't mind him messing with me...”, with a small smile, the mortal clasped hands together to thank for the meal and dig in.

It was a cold afternoon, but eating Miso soup with Death warmed his heart.

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Desiderium

{
lat.
Noun 'Longing' 1 }

{
lat.
Noun 'Regret' 2 }

 

“In his eyes I light the heat.

I see the doorway to a thousand churches,

and to a thousand bottomless pits.”

- Shirahane Gin

 

-------

**

 

A soft sneeze buzzed Shirahane's nose as he squeezed eyes, rubbing it. Despite the clear skies and the soft sunset, it was chilly. Or probably the fact he tagged along with Death was a reason to always feel cold. The male shrugged his shoulders as jabbed hands in his jacket pockets.

- Say Death... - both of them were standing on a connecting a small river bridge. That bridge actually had its history, like any other thing in this world. Once you checked in in the universe, without a matter of your importance, you made a history.

 

It was the bridge that got burnt 1000 years ago by the wrath of gods, and the sand on both sides of it couldn't escape the thunder storm, the deep holes left were crystallized forming beautiful yet deep glass pits. Thus although the bridge was restored now it was known as “The Glass River”.

 

The sunset reflected in the glasses, creating different on color and pattern images over the sand, the river and of course, the bridge. The Ablus god's light blackcurrant eyes were illuminated by the rays and his eyes took on a very soft blue color.

- Um? - listening calmly to the flow of the water, Death averted his pupils to Shirahane's direction.

- Do you think that if we restart the world something might change? - Gin leaned elbows on the bridge, staring forth into the horizon. He couldn't give up on the thought that 'fate' was something unchangeable.

- Change? - the damned god shifted his gaze to the sky horizons and smiled lightly, - What do you even mean by 'change', Shirahane?

- I don't know. For example, to have no wars but peace. Or to care for the nature...stuff like that..

- No, unfortunately no. - Death's eyes, despite the sun, adopted a very dark nuance.

- Why? You think we humans can't change or...? - Gin frowned, feeling a bit of offended by the answer he heard. But it couldn't be else, he knew that Death wouldn't lie to him; at least not for such a thing.

- It's not about 'changing', it exactly because you are 'humans'.

 

Gin couldn't hide his discontent with the answers, so after a short pause he glanced to the Albus god with the ever so sulky face,

- You know, in my world this is called 'racism'.

- Ahahaha, now, did you just call me a racist? - the damned god burst into laughter, his usually stoic expression shifting to a gentle one.

- ..It wasn't even supposed to be a joke.. - with an avert of head to the other side, he mumbled the remark. But figures, such things like 'racism' seemed so insignificant to the damned god.

- My bad. - Death relaxed his arms onto the bridge with forearms guiding his weight, palms coming in contact to lock slender fingers in a crossing manner, - Even if we restart the world, one day the path shall lead to the same decisions, clashes of emotions, which shall lead to the end. And of course, no matter how many times you restart your own 'world', it will take us to this very bridge, Shirahane.

- So this is the infamous 'fate', isn't it? - Gin saddened his eyes, as if he heard something he didn't wish to hear.

- No, fate is not what you humans take it for. Fate is a tool through which we justify. What matters is far more simpler than 'fate'.

 

The sun was almost fallen into the embrace of the rising night, so the glasses around them lost their glitter.

 

- We need something more simpler than fate? You mean.. the things can be changed after all but not through fate..-Shirahane had to speak out what he understood put in an easier way to comprehend. It was hard to follow, sometimes if not always, Death.

 

The mortal's eyes met a faint stretch of lips, the mute 'answer' that left you with so many meanings. How he hated when the Albus god did that.

- It is far more simpler, indeed. But it is, at same time, the most hardest thing to cultivate.

- Hmmm... - Gin caught on that was the most easiest way Death could give the answer, so the rest was up to the mortal, it seemed. With a thoughtful face Shirahane sighed softly and looked up to the rising moon, - Heh, I guess things look simple yet hard when you are aware of them.

- Well said. - Death chuckled, agreeing with a mortal. It was a rare thing though, to agree with a human.

- Say, we still have some free time?

- Pretty much. Until sunrise, it's the third day and I have to return. - Death leaned to one arm against the bridge, averting his torso to side, facing the human, - Anything in particular?

- No, just... I have to shower after all, you know...

- Ah. Yeah. Human needs. Well, let's head back. You can take a shower in that room.

 

With a quick nod from Gin, the males headed for the hotel. The walk wasn't long but was rather calm and relaxing. Come to think of it, Shirahane loved the comfort he felt around Death, despite that every creature shuddered in his presence. But understandable, even Gin shuddered once.

 

When they finally reached the room, Gin felt a bit awkward. After all, how he was supposed to ask Death to leave him alone in the bathroom? They were connected, and doing the trick with 'being invisible' wouldn't be enough. Shirahane wanted a bit of privacy.

- What's wrong? - Death stood behind Shirahane who was just like frozen on a spot before the bathroom door.

- Say...you don't plan to shower with me, do you?

- ..Why not? - completely aware of what the mortal felt conscious about, Death really felt the urge to make the other spit it. He was shy, wasn't he?

- … I mean... I already have hard time with you following me in the toilet. So can I at least shower alone? And no, not going invisible on me, okay!?

 

The Albus god made a brief pause of silence then stepped to side, bumping a shoulder against the wall next to the door as arms came up to cross before chest,

- Fine. Take your time, then. It's not like I don't know how a nude human looks, though.

- Sure you do. - with a small puff of cheeks, he bammed the door after himself.

“What's wrong with him? Can't he tell when one has to take care of own needs? If he doesn't need to, it doesn't mean I don't either.”

 

Quickly undressing himself, he kept mumbling mentally to himself. First came after the shirt, “Besides, doesn't he really do it? He doesn't eat, he doesn't sleep.” The pants slipped down his firm legs and he let the boxers follow, “Wait. What if Death is a virgin!? ...Nggh..Geat, now I got really curious if he is.”

 

With a smooth reach for the shower tap, he ran the water quietly. It took less than a minute for the bathroom to become steamy, yet ever so lost in the foggy room Shirahane kept his mind circling around the figure who stood right outside the door.

 

“Ah...but he kissed so well...”, the male unconsciously reached for his lips, fingertips barely touching the soft patch of skin. A few mental replays ran in his mind from the time when he felt the coldness of Death's lips against his. With a wave of hand, he hoped it was enough to chase away the thoughts, “I am being odd. I bet it's because of...”, with a pause he had to think of a good enough of reason that could pass before his very conscious as 'true', “...yeah, because of that darned chain!” Good thing that he was able to see the dangling metal even though Death was, for first time, 300 meters away from him.

 

Gin kept his gaze in his feet, watching and feeling the falling water spiral around his flesh and yet crash against the hard floor. A sigh escaped him, but unlike before, his sighs weren't due to being tired of life. Now, they were because of hunger for life. Ever since he met Death, Shirahane started feeling that little sparkle within – it was the feeling of being truly alive. With that thought alone he rolled off a weak chuckle, hand reaching upwards to slide the wet hair backwards, completely exposing the male's facial features.

 

“I am mad, truly mad. How can I even start being fond of Death?”, the male hardly fell in love in general. In fact, he was always like that – barely paying attention to people for he was tired of getting hurt. And falling in love again, it was too much to handle. So he avoided any kind of closeness. For the past few days he has been so close with Death that he never has been with someone for the last years. And he blamed it to loneliness. Of course it had to be loneliness, how could he start liking Death's company? But yet, when he thought Death could disappear, when he felt like a burden...something really tugged the wrong string within. But that string wasn't of anger, it was similar to the highest pitch of sound that could break a fragile glass.

 

And again, the image of these piercing eyes came in mind. The eyes that could bare your soul, strip off any kind of lie and any kind of sin, yet drown it in most cruelest sea of truths and justification. Such eyes he had to bear with each and next second. But in spite of it, he liked that blackcurrant gaze. His own eyes actually slid close, it felt even more real once he did so – like an addiction of a human being to be close to something dangerous, so he thought.

 

Without even planning to, he was traveling with hand down his body with mind filled of the Albus god. Truly mad, he felt so. It was an urge he couldn't fight, in fact he refused to. Besides, who would blame him? Death couldn't possible know, so it was the so called 'golden chance'.

 

The wet strands of hair fell naturally over his face once his forehead felt the cold and wet pattern of the bathroom marble wall, his hands too busy to explore his own lower parts. Quietly swallowing the harsh and abrupt pants as responds to the damp mess between his hands, his palm kept stroking. And all he could think of or imagine as a subject of desire was just a few meters away from him. But the mortal refused to admit it, yet he was so absorbed by the other than he could barely feel guilt or let the pride of his eat at him.

 

With a quiet escape of a panted sound, the heat rushing throughout his whole body. And the steam added to his irregular breathing. The whips of the water drummed against his back but shortly now and then he missed to feel them. Probably he was getting there and nothing but the sensation in hand was truly felt. But then once he slid eyes open with hazy gaze begging to 'get there', he froze.

 

He felt clearly the harsh breaths against his neck, and a proof of the presence were two gloved hands reaching for the marble wall to trap the male in between.

- ...Having fun,...Shirahane?

The green eyes averted to side with a squeeze, determined enough to avoid the other pair of eyes. Right now the least he needed was that deep and tempting voice tickle against his ear. But somehow, Death felt different. Or was it another 'obsessive' thought of Gin's? Was it because he used 'Death' as 'a getting off material', so he grew aware of how attractive Death was? Whatever it could be, the situation he got himself in was far from these you could brush off.

 

Ready to explain himself and naively apologize, green eyes opened with an avert of chin over shoulder. But what he saw was a gaze not even close to being anger. Death was really different now.

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The jurar.

 

I certainly do not believe in the power of the jurar. However, as an everlasting and absolute creature I have to be aware of its destructive power. But if we have to speak of the legend about the jurar, I guess it goes like this....

 

“ Whenne your own expiry stand before thou,

aright cyre shall thou made.

Hou-ever, what sowe thou, that repen ye.”

 

“When you stand before your own death,

then shall you make the right choice.

However, what you sow is what reaps you.”

 

THE JURAR.

It's a known fact that such a thing should be not taken lightly, for it has the power to bring along the peace, a desolation. The ritual of a proper usage of the jurar actually has three stages. First, when a soul is saved by Death. Secondly, when that very soul shall develop a feeling, whether a positive or a negative shan't matter, towards Death. And thirdly, the decision, known as 'The judging' – when that soul has the proper and one of a kind right to judge...Death and through him he shall judge Set.

 

The stronger the soul loves Death, so shall Death be Life. The stronger the soul hates Death, so shall Death be the End. Through the jurar shall they share pain and joy, love and hatred, thoughts and feelings. Through the jurar shall they crack the Realm of Set. And yet...through the jurar shall they bring the End.

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

The Albus god was resting his back against the wall, barely paying attention to the running water coming from the inside the bathroom. His blackcurrant eyes were rather focused onto the long stopped in time clock, which actually was so cracked and so dusty – one could barely tell what hour it had stopped on. But well, Death knew the hour, and even the day when that clock ticked no more.

 

“When it was...”, his beautiful eyelids relaxed as the gaze dropped to the floor, “Ah...29rd of July, 1630...” With a small chuckle noted in his mind, he recalled why actually it broke. It was when Death had that bad, very bad night. It was a reason why he made the rule – drink wine only when having a good day, and tea when having a bad one. Back then he got so drunk, despite that being the strongest creature among other strongest, he indeed got drunk. A hard task, but not impossible. And then, he broke all clocks on his way to this room. Be it tower clocks, be it street clocks, whatever ticked it had to stop. Well, wasn't he young then? He laughed inwardly. “Ah, I am indeed old, it seems. To get so sentimental over just a clock.”

 

The damned god flinched a bit, feeling an abrupt jolt in his chest. And as the gloved hand reached for where his heart laid, the male frowned. Was he getting out of shape or something? It couldn't be that he abused his powers lately, could it? With such thoughts in mind, the Albus god slid his hand across his chest, uncrossing the arms, “Something feels odd..”

 

It was annoyingly hot. And Death wasn't a creature of the heat, just the opposite. He was used to coldness and rather chilly to feel air, so the unusual heat irritated him. The male loosened his necktie, letting the shirt collar have some room for a 'breather'.

Simple to guess yet Death knew there were two reasons to feel this certain heat. Funny though, both were the complete opposites, when he is at his limit due to over-usage of powers or when a pure spiritual energy is rushing into him.

 

The gaze framed beneath these fine and long eyelashes, the Albus god parted lips to exhale a hot mouthful one, it felt pretty dry. What was wrong with his body, could it be he was losing it? Then a sudden jolt made him open his eyes, pupils averting to the bathroom's door, “Oh..I see...”

 

The damned god easily passed through the locked door, grimacing at the heat coming from inside. For a moment he wondered how the human could breathe inside this steamy room. A few steps took him to where Shirahane was too busy with 'himself' to even notice Death silent stand behind. With his lowered chin, the Albus god reached both hands to set them against the marble wall, not even aware that his irregular breathing was whipping Shirahane's neck side. Once eyes met, the mortal quickly 'exploded' like a red balloon,

- Having..fun, Shirahane...?

- WA-WA-WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?! - with his embarrassment all over the face, Gin leaned into the wall, hiding his hard on, but the contact with the wet surface made him shiver.

- “What am I doing here” … - another hot exhale rolled of Death's dry lips – It's you calling me here.

- What?! I haven't called you! Ngh, god..just..get out already!

- … I can't.. - Death frowned, barely keeping his hands against the marble wall, fingertips fighting to stay glued there instead of touching the mortal.

- ..How you can't? Don't make me kick you out...!

 

Death didn't want to reveal to the mortal what power he could have over the Albus god. The jurar was like a leash, and the one holding the end of that leash was the master. Despite Death being fearsome and able to break that jurar, taking away 'his master's' life, he had to do what the master truly desired unless the Albus god really meant to annihilate the other.

 

But seemed Shirahane himself wasn't aware that he didn't want Death to leave. Just the opposite, he was embarrassed because of all people right now, Death was the last one he wanted to see – after all, it was awkward to see the one you were masturbating to right after or in the middle of it, right?

 

The damned god fixated his stare onto the beautiful curve of Gin's neck, following down to his shoulder “textured” with transparent drops of water that were sliding down and yet replaced by the running water.

- … Turn around. - Death's voice softened and if it could suit in any kind of movie genre, then it be these honey coated romantic scenes.

- ..No way.. - desperate to hide his manhood, Gin crouched down to hug his knees, imagining all sort of disgusting images in his mind for the sake of 'killing' his own 'mood'.

 

Still standing tall, the immortal creature body throbbed. His top completely hovering over the other, stopping the water with his already drenched body fall on the shivering figure beneath. Blackcurrant eyes eased with gaze dropped down, carefully engraving the curves of that fragile back in his memory.

 

The Albus god's arm finally moved off the wall, reaching down with his gloved ,yet wet leather fabric, hand to run fingertips against that beautiful nape. In response he watched the male's body flinch.

- What are you doing!? Get away! - Gin's eyes were tightly shut but his ears didn't fail to register the rustling sounds. It required a bit of logic to know that Death crouched down as well.

- 'Get away'? - lips spoke on Gin's ear level, and the words sounded so fascinating despite being nothing special, - And each time I get away from you, you always get us into a trouble. ...Even now...you are seriously dangerous, Shirahane.

 

The dark eyes stared forth where the marble wall had a matte reflection of Gin's face.

“Humans...creatures I despise the most, and yet … I love the most... Are you my own end, Shirahane?”

Eyelids closed to the inwardly piercing thoughts as Death's chin tilted to side, sliding his lips against the damp skin on Gin's nape.

- Ah-YOU! - Shirahane attempted to swing his arm to side, slipping backwards to fall straight into the Albus god's embrace.

 

The males abruptly sat down on the wet floor, under the strong whips of the water. And truly, the waterdrops didn't help much as kept crashing onto Shirahane's exposed erection. The male quickly reached to cover his privates but a strong grip stopped him from doing so.

- Didn't I tell you? I know the human's body – leaning even closer, Death's damp hair tickled Gin's neck, - I guess, I know it even better than a mere 'doctor', heh.

- You! Are you picking a fight with me!? - not following much with what Death was doing but yet aware of it by instinct, Gin tried to tug his arm off the other male's grip.

 

Death's lips faintly stretched in a grin, gazed dropped down to the throbbing erection. The damned god felt Shirahane's heat from behind through his wet shirt that was just a patch of clothe separating them from skin-to-skin contact. But even so the Albus god was captivated by the body heat of a mortal. It made him crave for more, but with a dismiss he blamed it to the need for spiritual energy.

 

No verbal response came off Death's lips but yet his free hand gestured down between Gin's legs to wrap slender fingers around the male's length.

- WA-DEATH! STOP IT! IT'S NOT EVEN FUNNY! - partly sulking and partly blushing, Gin averted his chin to side as being no match to the god. He couldn't shake off the strong grasp, nor he could refuse that hand, which even though gloved could bring Shirahane to soft pants.

- I never was known to have a sense of humor. - chuckling softly into the male's shoulder, Death flicked his thumb against Shirahane's glans.

- Ngh-ah... - lowering down his chin, Gin leaned back against Death's chest. His legs not able to stay closed together soon started making more space for the Albus god's strokes.

 

Gin was sensitive, to begin with he was even a virgin, but there was something weird in the gloved hand. The fabric smoothness scrapped in a very tingling way; his green eyes opened lightly, watching the dark gloved and pretty slender fingers play him as if knowing each and next good spot. Gin wondered how it would feel to be touched directly by Death, and just the imagination of Death's skin against his made him gasp out his first not-so-manly moan.

 

Blackcurrant eyes averted to side, noticing the male's hand relax in Death's grip. So he finally gave up on fighting?

- Easy to give in, are you not?

- ..S-shut u..ngh.. - just before he could even go bossy on Death, the damned god dag his thumb tip against the male's cock slit. It was oozing precum and it was red enough to make Shirahane bite at his own words as threw his head backwards, letting it rest on Death's shoulder, - Don't...there..

 

The Albus god pulled his hand away just to capture the erection between his middle finger and index, pressing hard downwards so the foreskin revealed the sensitive flesh beneath to the harsh whips of the water.

- Nngh..De-Death...Don't.. - feeling the irritating sensation of the need to pee, rather, he already knew that it wasn't that he needed to pee. The male reached with his free hand to hold onto Death's thigh. The feeling drawing near made his body tense from head to toe. And he could barely put words together. Despite his pleads, the damned god kept rubbing that slit opening whenever he stroked upwards to make the foreskin relax, and back to downwards he flicked, for the tease, the glans which resulted a flinch or a squeeze made on Death's pants.

 

- ..I... let go.. I am.. - prideful enough to allow the urge to get off so hard with the hand of a male, actually with Death's hand, Gin struggled with his last bits of coherency.

- Not convincing enough. - bruising Gin's ear with a soft whisper, Death sped up the strokes, feeling the fabric of his glove grow stickier each and next moment he jerked. Soon after he felt the warm liquid ooze down his hand as Shirahane's body went limp against the damned god.

 

Short and fast pants echoed in the bathroom, as the shower decorated the exhausted body of the mortal. It was too hot and too steamy, so Gin's eyes closed relaxed. He passed out after climaxing from just a handjob. But just maybe, it was his acceptance that made him drown in Death and abandon the need to defend his pride as a man.

 

The Albus god's hand stopped, closing eyes as his own lips parted to exhale a shaky breath. The energy rushing into his body felt more than what humans knew as an orgasm. It was called 'spiritual orgasm', when his very soul shivered in the chains of a mere yet pure mortal's soul. It was terrifying how sweet that energy 'tasted', making the damned god's torn to pieces and scarred by the time soul feel light. A gentle and warm rush of sensation caressed Death's every and next Albus thread. He took a few seconds to devour that untained energy, in a twinkling the damned god eyes opened to glance to side. Gin's beautiful and delighted expression, calmly resting in his arms made him throb once again. The immortal sighed out an unlikely chuckle.

- Don't I spoil you too much, 'Master'? - sarcastically spitting the truth to the unconscious Gin, Death would never accept a mortal, not to mention as a 'master'. It wasn't pride, he just knew that humans were fragile. And there was not even one that could handle his being. To begin with, humans could barely handle themselves; and Death was old enough, scarred enough, tired enough to allow to a human to get a hold of the most hard-to-get love in this universe. The love of the Albus god.

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The
Albus
God.

note: old chapter but a bit changed.

 

When I was born and how I was born? Such questions take on a different level when the one questioned is Death, don't think you so? Nonetheless I don't have a birthday; humans would celebrate as a tradition but I don't. My birth date was my death date. I was born along with the seven dimensions, I was created to keep the order, the balance and the justification of one's existence. And with time I realized that if I were to disappear, there would be no justification of my own existence for the universe would die along with me.

 

------------------------------------

The room where Shirahane and Death were staying at had no ray of technology or something to make you feel like being in present days, rather the light within the room was coming from something similar to candles though their flames were white and the very small window though that night was cloudy. Gin was sleeping like a baby, after he passed out on Death in the bathroom, cocooned in a single layer of blanket, while Death was sitting on the armchair beside the bed. His gloved and chained hand was holding a book, the Albus god was pretty much stoic so the chain wouldn't make any noise. His light blackcurrant eyes were fastened at the old book's pages, he would glance over the briefly flinching body of Shirahane now and then. He almost forgot that humans could dream. And then, back to the book. Probably if Gin was awake, he would think the silence was awkward but Death found that silence for pretty much relaxing. Only if he wouldn't count the breathing coming from the human. Another glance came as his head tilted to side, letting his cheek lean against the relaxed on elbow hand, knuckles gently pressing against his skin. Pupils averted to the chain that was getting warmer.

- So it began. - Death mumbled under breathe, gaze sinking back to the the body before him.

 

**

Awake or not, he was gazing at such a clear sky. Shirahane almost forgot to breathe. Breathe? Was he breathing? The male jerked up, to sit up; his palm came up to pat chest. Was he dead now?

- Where the... - the light brown haired male turned head from side to side, making sure to check all places engraved in his head, in order to find some similar to the current one. A field of yellow tulips. But no, nothing came to his mind; it was another unknown place... Another?

Shirahane started looking around even more intensely.

- Death...? - however, he realized that no answer would come no matter how many times he'd call Death.

The field was so cheerful and peace-giving as a feeling,if he wasn't aware of these supernatural things he met the past few days,he'd most probably enjoy the sight. Alas, his mind was pretty much 'awake'? So, if it wasn't a dream...what was it? Because he knew he-...

 

Suddenly the male grew red. That was right, before that he..and Death. Shirahane flopped down on his back, surrounded by the beautiful yellow flowers.

 

Did Death bring him somewhere and then abandoned him? To be expected. Shirahane gave a sigh and sat back up, to look at his feet.

- Well...nothing to sulk over.., it has been always this way...being used and then abandoned.. - on his way to dive into his despair, a sudden pair of cheerful voices echoed around that field.

- Come on! You said you are gonna beat my ass off! - laughter could be heard as running steps followed the tune.

- Seriously! Sometimes I think you are the kid between us two! Stop running! - somehow known by the senses voice replied.

Shirahane had to raise from the ground, his hair gently ruffled by the dancing wind in between the green and the yellow of that field. He saw two beautiful, more beautiful than any grasp of beauty, children running his way. The child that was in front had really bright hair, some strands were like liquid'd gold while others were warm brown color. The other kid strangely had the same color Death had. No, it wasn't strange and Shirahane knew it. These light blackcurrant eyes were the same, almost the same. Right now they looked happy. When the two of them closed by even more, he could see even more details. Their clothes, their smiles and the atmosphere they gave.

- D..Death? - Gin followed the running by him child, but it looked like he was invisible for the kid. Was it some imagination of his or he could see memories? It had to be a memory. By instinct Shirahane followed the children with their pace. He ran and listened to the conversation of...

- BROTHER! I AM SERIOUSLY-!!! - Death frowned as his elder brother was making faces at him since he was faster than Death.

Shirahane's green eyes widened and moved attention to the other kid. He knew something new. So Death really had a brother? But he was so different from the memory he saw before, on that foggy graveyard.

- You are seriously what? - the child laughed hard, mocking on his younger brother. They both seemed so relaxed even if the situation was one of tease. None of them though was out of breathe. Which wasn't same for Gin. Were they too fast and unhuman-like or the memory made it hard for Shirahane to travel further within? Suddenly the field started wittering, as if the darkness was chasing after the three of them. Gin looked over shoulder, feeling chills on spine. He sensed danger similar to death. What he was thinking? After all...the kid before him was Death, right? He averted his head back, but the bright memory of the children was like fading into the already dying tulips.

- Wha-...WAIT! DEATH! - he tried to run faster and catch up with the memory, however it seemed impossible. His arm trying to reach for Death's small back. And for a second, Shirahane could have sworn, the kid in front Death seemed to smile straight at Gin.

 

Still trying to catch up with what happened, Shirahane slowed down his pace until he hit a stand at one place. The darkness seemed to surround him, the field was dead. The sky was dark and rain promised to whip the wittered land. He felt the cold drops against shoulders and cheeks. Not sure what he was supposed to do, he just stood there. Oddly aware that it wasn't up to him when to wake up. If he was to wake up. When his chin nodded down, his eyes slid close. He felt really tired from the chase, and yet scared. From the far he could hear the riot of thunders coming, as if about to announce something bad. Was it another memory of Death? Shirahane opened his eyes slowly. It wasn't curiosity anymore. He thought if Death saw all he was allowed to see now, then..that wittered field was part of Death's mind,too? Dared he peek and see the dark side of that man?

 

The human lifted his chin, pretty assured he wouldn't back off. He would stare at whatever was showed and revealed. But nothing else was there. Just a dead land. Wherever he turned to, it was dead. Although he knew it wouldn't be of any use, he tried to call him.

- Death? - the male made a few steps forth, his heart raising alive although the death around him. It smelled like death and felt like death. So cold, so dark and so lonely. His green eyes could see the real meaning of Despair. Before he was to part lips and try calling again, thunder illuminated the sight of two figures on his right side. Gin moved his torso to that direction, eyes widened for the beauty of Death. He looked a bit younger of his current form and his hair was very long, but yet it was him. Right after he recognized Death, only naturally was to move attention to the other figure.

- Brother. - Death spoke by low voice, his clothes torn and dirty. Gin thought what one would think, did they fight? After all, the elder brother was also in mud and even wounded.

- Do say... - a thunder roared as if muting on purpose part of what the other said, - ..., why?

- Terra is no longer alive. But if the king is left alive, Terra will live.

- Fool. You can't deny the Curia.

Death knew it was true, his gaze lowered before his brother, rather his King.

- I..couldn't care less. - his husky voice had not even a drop of doubt.

- What are you saying!? - back to his anger, the elder brother pulled Death off the ground by the clothe,

- Do you know what will happen, if I live!?

Shirahane felt the urge to move closer, but his feet could move not. He couldn't see Death's face clearly. He wondered what face he showed, for the elder brother to be in such a desperate disbelief.

- I know. You will be the King and that's all.

- But you--

- Who cares? Do you want to die by my hand or give the birth of Death? - Death himself rose his voice, a thing Shirahane never thought would witness.

- ..You will never change.. Can't you see? We can't deny the Curia. Even if you kill me or choose not to,

one day this thing will happen again. The difference will be that...it's going to be one of our descendants. Listen to me, follow the final order of your King!

A pause as if they waited for the rain's peak, both of them and Shirahane soaked by the cold embrace of water. Death's bleeding arm raised to capture his brother's hand, which was gripping him by the clothe, by the wrist. It looked as if Death was taking a goodbye, so strong the grasp looked.

- .. No.

- You--!! - before even the elder brother could react, Death was already reaching for the sword on his brother's side, pulling his own blood and flesh into a tight embrace.

- ... Long..live the King..- Death coughed the praise of their nation, accepting an oddly shining sword into his chest.

Gin's eyes fell into shock. He couldn't understand so many things. Death died? But he sounded like a mortal and he even said 'birth of Death'. So many thoughts and questions took place in Gin's head at once. He made a step back, the memory was too painful even for him. For some stranger and mortal. He thought Death was just a being created to bring pain to people just shortly until all was over. When in fact, Death accepted their pain and left pain only for what would remain. And the proof were his brother's tears. But then again, why in the very first flash of memory he saw his brother, they looked like foes? What has happened? What Death lived through? Shirahane couldn't help but be even more curious.

A sharp and sudden raise, Shirahane sat up in his bed. It was already morning and his eyes caught the calm and composed presence of Death. He was sitting right there, holding a book and not even effected by the dramatic way Gin awoke. As if he partly knew.

- Slept well? - Death asked with eyes still on the certain page.

- ... - speechlessly Shirahane stared at the other; was he mocking on him?

Just when he thought that Death didn't really care, suddenly the blackcurrant eyed male averted his attention to Shirahane. His eyes filled with the knowledge of whatever Gin could think of. It was like nothing could surprise that being. Not even the fact Shirahane peeked at his memories.

- What...what was that?

- My dream.

- Your...dream? - Gin lifted a brow, surely doubting that he dreamed the dream of someone else. What, serious what?

- Well, I dreamed through you. Kind of.

- ... Am I your dream bin or something? - Shirahane frowned, first time hearing something like that.

- Well, I don't sleep. But you do.

- And?

- And you are me in my human form.

- What?

- And you are me in-..

- SERIOUSLY. STOP REPEATING.

- Okay. - Death returned his gaze to his book and turned a page.

- Um.. won't you explain, at least? - a little uncomfortable and awkward after he yelled, he was curious after all.

- What you can't understand of what I said?

- The...the whole thing?

Death glanced over blankly, his eyes screaming 'are you an idiot'.

- You are Shirahane Gin.

- That I know...

- And I am Death.

- ... Yes...And?

- Then, you are Shirahane Death. Or Death Gin?

- ... Am I your wife!?

- Uh. If you put it that way, sure.

- ... WHAT!? - Gin's cloth fell off his shoulders, his messy hair sticking out.

- The connection between us two allows us to see and feel fragments of the other. - Death moved his hand to dangle the chain.

- Oh... so I dreamed a thing you dreamed before? Or?

- Yes and no.

- Uh?

- You dreamed a thing that happened before and a thing I used to dream.

- You used to dream? Wait, it happened?

- ... Which question to answer first?

- ... Sorry - Gin looked down, realizing that he was actually asking something from a very delicate topic.

- It happened, indeed. - Death moved his gaze to the small window, the fog preventing any ray of light in that dimension. However, he continued.

- It was very, very long time ago. It was the time of my death and the time of my birth. After I was born as Death, I still had dreams for the first sixty or eighty years. Then I realized, I was able to sleep not.

- Oh... He.. he was a King? - Gin dared to ask.

- Heh. The only King I bowed before.

- Is.. is he...-

- Is he alive? - Death smiled gently.

- Yeah...

- No. He was mortal.

- Then you were mortal, too?

- You really ask stupid questions. - Death chuckled and rose from the armchair. The tick and the tack, Jaropht was about to appear.

- ... - Gin decided to say a word not, he was asking too much already. Besides, he had the whole time in the universe to dream. Sooner or later, he knew he would know more. If not off Death, it'd be through his dreams.

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Messorem
Kou
– The birth of
Death
Part I

Books. There is something fascinating about books; you walk in a library and you get captured be it by the specific scent of old books or be it by the overwhelming feeling a room full with books could give. But it's not even needed to know the content of a book to be mesmerized by it. The more older the book looks, the more precious is taken for. And yet, indeed there is that 'breed' of people who don't really judge the book by the look of it, but by its content. And then we go to 'words'. Languages, which we weren't supposed to know. In fact, we weren't supposed to know many things for the beginning was simple and there was no need of an 'end'. Things weren't supposed to end. But every book has to end, and so books actually were never meant to exist either. Neither were I.

 

----------------------------------------

 

The castle corridors whistled with whispers, no soul could be seen for the crowd was waiting for the birth of the second child of His Highness outside. Only now and then would maids run with either towels or bowls of warm water.

- Hurry, girl! It's starting, we have to prepare the Queen! - the maid elder worriedly gave orders left and right. It wasn't because she was afraid that if something happened she'd lose her head. The Kingdom of Terra actually knew no violence. The royal family itself actually was the source of that kindness and it never gave the feeling that it 'ruled' over someone or something. On the matter why it was royal, it was just because that family was the most oldest by origin in the whole universe. And out of respect, they were given a title to claim.

- Yes, yes, Madam! I am coming! - holding in her hands the clean towels, the young maid made her way to the Queen's chamber.

 

Soon after, the screams of the pregnant woman spread over the castle empty corridors. She was giving her best in the race of giving a life to another creature. And then after the long wait, the cry of a child followed its mother's painful screams that turned to relieved laughter.

- It's a boy! The Lady gave birth to another boy! - the maids praised with joy.

 

From the far left wing rushing steps could be heard. The wing was pretty much empty like the rest of the castle, but these steps were clearly heard. And a jump from the stairs above was used for a short-cut, seven-years-old child landed with a bright smile. The firstborn son of the royal family, Jiran. The blond haired boy's eyes rose from the floor as the body stood on two feet, his gaze filled with excitement as stared straight at his mother's chamber doors. The cries of his brother were like a song he loved.

- Mother! - so he rushed and spread open the doors before even his father could made his way to his lovely wife. So much he was impatient to see the newborn.

- Master Jiran! You shouldn't enter the chambers of your mother like that! - the teary maid scolded the child, seemed she went rather emotional after the birth of another beautiful child.

- Where is it~? WHERE!? - jumping from side to side, trying to take a peek from the sides of the maid, he saw his beautiful mother holding in her embrace a very small creature. And Jiran pouted,

- I want to see it too!

- Ahahahah, Jiran...Come here, dear. - the soft yet tired voice of the mother beckoned the child. And so he stuck his tongue out at the strict maid and rushed to the bed of his mother.

- Be careful, he seems rather shy. - the Queen instructed Jiran as the small newborn was hiding his face into his mother's chest, too quiet for just being born actually.

- Yes, yes. Let me see now!! - impatient Jiran reached his hand to poke at his brother's cheek, - Hey there~ Look at me~

 

But the baby ignored his brother. In fact, it snuggled even more closely to his mother. Which made Jiran frown and feel dejected,

- It doesn't like me! Mother, it hates me! - about to cry Jiran rubbed his eyes but the Queen laughed once again.

- He doesn't hate you. Give him so time, or you can try call his name? - she suggested and smiled at his firstborn.

- His name? Oooooh~ - once again excited Jiran clasped hands, ready to hear the child's name, - What's his name?

- Hmmm. How about you give him a name?

- Eh? But, but, but...Dad is gonna get mad that I gave the name!

- Please, your dad gave you already a name. Now it's your turn.

- But..doesn't mother want to name him?

- Ah, it's not about whether I want or not. I just know that you will find the most suitable name for him. After all, you came first to see the newborn soul of Terra.

 

The words of the Queen made Jiran blush, not even aware himself that he came before even his own father! The child puffed lips as looked to side,

- I didn't want someone else to see him first before me...so..I..forgot that dad has to come first... - shyly he played with his indexes, looking away from his mother.

- Ahahaha, my child, you are adorabl- …

- WHOAH! - Jiran dismissed his mother's praise as soon as his golden eyes met the light blackcurrant ones that stared at his brother's, - MOTHER! HE LOOKS LIKE YOU!

- Oh, seems someone got curious about you, Jiran! - the Queen gently caressed the newborn's cheek.

- R-r-really!? - Jiran blushed once again, getting closer to the child, - Hehehehe~!

- So how you will name him?

- Hm...I don't know... - Jiran sadden his eyes, his excitement making it hard for him to be original.

- How about I help you?

- Yesh~! - he gestured hands up in the air once again joyful.

- Okay, so let's see when you look at him what comes first to mind? - the Queen smiled ever so gently at Jiran who dropped his gaze back at the kid, with a very thoughtful look.

- Hmmmmmmm.... He looks like you!

- Ahahaha, but you can't name him with my name! - the tired but yet happy voice of the Queen caressed Jiran's and the newborn's ears.

- Hmmmmmmmm....Kou.

- Kou? Like with the meaning of 'fortune'? - the mother tried to guess which meaning Jiran wanted the name to be under, but Jiran shook head.

- Oh! I know! Wasn't 'Kou' same like 'steel', Madam? - one of the clever maids standing from the side of the bed wanted to take part in that guess-game.

- Nuh! Not that! - Jiran pouted even more that people didn't even guessed it.

- Hmm..Then..is it with the meaning of 'proof'? - another maid guessed.

- But Madam, wasn't that the word for 'death' as well? - a third maid worriedly commented.

Jiran sighed and rolled eyes, displeased that no one guessed it and all started giving weird suggestions. But as soon as he was about to let his sulky face disorder, a very gentle laughter came from the newborn's lips. A very unusual thing to have a newborn laugh but not cry. Which startled everyone. But as soon as Jiran and the kid met eyes once again, Jiran smiled brightly.

- That's right, Kou. Your name means 'to love'. - the golden eyed boy leaned down, placing his forehead against his brother's, he knew they shared a bond. Strong enough that Kou himself could understand what his brother meant and felt.

 

19 YEARS LATER...

 

- Hmmm... - thoughtfully inspecting some plants in between the beautiful flowers, Kou was gathering herbs.

 

The long and silver-strand'd hair yet indigo colored of the young male was reaching downwards for the ground as he was crouching down. Besides he held a small bag where he would put the chosen herbs. Kou, he was more composed, he loved nature. As for his brother, the heir, he was more into the wild life; he liked to fight and run around. Pretty much a troublemaker.

 

As the long haired boy was gently caressing the petals of a flower, a sudden splash showered him from the right where a small river ran.

- JIRAN! - Kou wiped his cheek with his sleeve, frowning at his brother who was with pants rolled up to knees, freely standing in the water.

- Oh, come on, Kou~ Let's swim~ It's so hot today and I am bored!

The stoic face of Kou pretty much spoke of his dislike for dangerous things,

- None of my concern. You can swim by yourself. - raising from the ground, Kou's long hair followed after his slim and tall body.

- Mou, you are so not cute.

- Who would want to be cute...seriously, brother.. You are like a kid. - patting the dirt of his knees, Kou felt another splash of water that got his hair wet this time.

- Pfhahahahaha! Don't glare at me~! Come on, let's swim or I will drag you in here by force! Besides, if you beat me at swimming, I will be cleaning the kitchen today. How about it, hm?

 

The males really disliked cleaning but that they were royals never was a reason for them to dump all the dirty work to the maids. Terra was evenness and peace, so they were helping around even though from a royal blood. So 'cleaning' was their 'betting' price whenever they raced for something.

- Ha! Deal! Don't whine though if Elza makes you wash even the toilets!

- Pf! Who would clean the toilets? Just get in the water and beat me first!

 

The bag was dropped on the ground and soon Kou's shirt followed. The male stood topless before his brother as his long hair caressed his strong arms. Then Jiran whistled as a tease,

- Someone has grown up quite a lot!

- Shut up... - embarrassed Kou looked to side before he took a step into the warm water.

 

The males raced where the waters got deeper, laughing freely and feeling free. Once though when they reached the deepest part of the river where the waters ran wild, Jiran faced a trouble from under the water. There was a pretty sharp river rock beneath, which seemed to have fallen from the cliffs that surrounded that part of the river. The male cut his thigh pretty badly and the crimson spread right away around the males.

- Aghr!

- JIRAN! - Kou fought to make a turn and swim against the river flow which was a pure madness taking in account how fast the flow was there.

- KOU! DON'T COME! IT'S FULL WITH ROCKS!

- HELL I CARE, IDIOT! HOLD IT THERE! - Kou's worried face was drawn all over, and no surprise when he was partly swimming in his brother's blood. Seemed the cut was very bad, and as a person who loved nature and medicine, Kou naturally could imagine how deep the wound was.

 

But before he could reach the place, he saw the violent wave hit his brother from behind, making his tired body sink under the water. Kou followed right away, diving underwater. His eyes sought for his brother's body beneath the surface, and he saw him curled in pain as holding tightly at his bleeding thigh. The crimson waters embraced their bodies once Kou got a hold of his older brother's arm to pull him up.

 

- Ngha! Haa..haa... - both of them breathing heavily, barely have made it to the edge of the earth.

- So..cold... - Jiran coughed as shivered abruptly, which made Kou jerk right away.

- Damn... - the realization that his bag wasn't in him made him curse. Watching his brother in pain and his state worsening, it broke his heart. The long haired male gathered strength to fully take off the water as pulled his flesh and blood out of it as well.

- Hold it there, Jiran. It's nothing to whine over, yeah? - Kou's tries to stay strong made Jiran chuckle.

- Silly.. You could have gotten hurt. Don't be reckless.

- ...Dear blessing, Terra's future King is an idiot. - poker facing his brother, Kou laid his body down in the embrace of fallen leaves that lonely strayed from the trees after being ruffled away by the wind.

- The joke aside, Kou. Never ever risk your life to save mine, you hear me? - Jiran reached for his brother's hand as got a strong grip of it.

- Would you save me if I am to be sucked into a spiritual renewal, brother? - Kou's strong and sharp gaze pierced through his brother's very soul.

- Of course, I am the future King and your older brother.

- Well then, I am that very future King's blood and flesh, and also.... - Kou flicked his brother's forehead as smiled, - I am the cooler between us two.

- Pf! Show off. - Jiran's pale lips grinned though his body kept shivering and growing colder.

- Don't fall asleep. Talk to me, while I am taking care of the wound.

- Yeah, yeah. I know. Ne...Kou...

- Um? - his younger brother already using the close-by herbs to cover the wound, while checking the leg's artery state.

- Do you know about the Legend of Setsugekka?

- Setsugekka? - Kou repeated, pretending to be very interested while nursing the leg under the open sky, letting the sun assist with the body's temperature. The rays caressed his silver liquid like strands, making them shine as a very pure white color. Jiran's gaze fell onto his brother's beauty, dry lips stretching a bit in a smile. How the legend actually really related to his brother's appearance.

- Yeah, it's a story about the moon snow-white flower. You like flowers, don't you?

Kou paused and frowned,

- Don't make it sound so annoying. - the male turned to side, reaching for a small patch of wood and rock, to scrape a deep enough 'bed' so it could be used as a tool to gather water.

- It's said that it blooms only once a year, and only on a full-moon for only one night. But no one knows where that flower grows.

- ...Then how the hell that legend was made? - obviously logical as ever Kou rolled eyes as hands kept working with the rock.

- Geez...you always ruin the mood, Kou.. - chuckling at his brother, Jiran continued, - But they say... if you can find that flower, it shall connect you to your soul-mate even if the world is to fall apart, once you are connected through Setsugekka...you can save the world.

.

.

.

The silence screamed, Kou was obviously speechless.

- ..Are you falling into renatus*? - suggesting that his brother was about to have his soul refixed, Kou brushed off the legend with ease.

- Boy...you surely don't appreciate your brother's stories.

- Because my brother's stories are like bed-time stories.

- Not true! I believe that Setsugekka exists! ...Say Kou...don't you think that the Curia is a bit unfair? I was thinking....but the peace is no longer here..that sky...is no longer free... - golden eyes saddened under the same color of the sun. Kou quietly gathered water with the self-made bowl from the river to drop two red leaves in,which he skillfully detected in the rich choice of herbs around.

- Jiran...you are to become the King soon. And I shall follow you until forever. If you say that peace exists no more, so shall I believe. - the blackcurrant eyes rose from the waters to stare at his brother, - If you say you want freedom, so shall I free you. If you say the Curia is in the wrong, so shall I trust and deny them. But Jiran...don't you ever betray the trust of Terra's people. Because you are the future King and we exist to be the peace and the hope of Terra. Shall you waver, shall Terra shiver. Shall you disappear, shall Terra die. So no matter what, do not let your soul be taken into the Realm of Set.

- Geez... - his brother's arm reached up as covered his own eyes for hiding his tears, - You are really cool, Kou.

 

Truth is...I thought, shall he disappear, shall I exist no more. Who knew that I was right, and I never wished to be right.

 

Legend:

{lat. [noun] renatus -

spiritual renewal}

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Messorem
Kou
– The Birth of
Death
Part II

One year passed pretty quickly and the King had to retreat and free the throne for his son, Jiran. Although in his twenties, the male was pretty clever and kind. The people of Terra adored their new King, so did Kou. The brothers were always together whenever helping in different villages or just visiting the vast lands on the Earth. Nothing seemed to have changed, the ever so peaceful days were like a promise for en eternity.

 

The morning sun rays caressed the strong but yet youthful flesh of that relaxed arm, while the man was still in his bed chamber. The rushing footsteps to his room made him frown. It was too early for anyone to step in this part of the castle. The right wing, where only one single bed chamber was located along the dozen of libraries – Kou's bedroom.

- Master Kou!! - the doors opened abruptly as a young gentleman stumbled inside, - Master Kou! Hurry! Wake up!

- Ummm...Iyan, what's with all the fuss early in the morning?

 

Without even taking a gulp of air, the male continued with the so said 'fuss'.

- Master Kou! Something awful is happening! - watching his master sit up on bed, his beautiful long hair falling so naturally upon the bareness of his firm top.

- What's going on? - Kou's blackcurrant eyes took aback the young boy, but after a short pause he spoke,

- It's...the lands are withering!! Terra...is...dying!

- What?

- Master Kou...what do we do? The King is gone!

- Jiran is gone? What do you mean he's gone!? - Kou frowned deeply as his voice rose for first time. No one would have ever heard the ever so calm Kou get so emotional. His voice always has sounded like a hypnotizing and yet calm melody, but right now the notes were so disordered.

- Master Jiran....he..he beheaded...the previous King and his Queen...

 

The pupils in that liquid like indigo night sky colored eyes widened as Kou rose from the bed, reaching his arm to the shirt on the chair.

- There...there should be some misunderstanding.. Jiran will never do it..Where did he go to?

- To West, Master! The King...he.. - the boy started trembling, just like the rest of Terra and its creatures. They never knew fear up until now. He didn't even know how to respond to that feeling within. Kou eyed the male, although he was confused himself he could manage the calm atmosphere around.

- Calm down, Iyan. I will find the King. There must be some misunderstanding. Everything will be aright. Return to your daily schedule, and don't slack off, okay?

The boy rose his chin and managed a faint smile, he trusted Kou's word and nodded,

- Yes, Master Kou! - once Iyan left the room, Kou's fist banged the wall on his left.

- What's he thinking he's doing...!?

 

Many questions and fears overwhelmed his mind. What if his brother betrayed Terra? It can't be! Kou refused to believe that. Terra, he loved it dearly. His King, he respected deeply. But his brother, he was devoted to him. Every single patch of skin, drop of blood, gulp of air – all for his brother's sake.

 

The long haired, beautiful man rushed outside, his long royal mantle following behind. Every second, minute or hour was of importance. Kou didn't want to waste time, he needed to find his King, and even more he needed to meet his brother.

 

As soon as he got outside, the male headed for the stable where horses were taking a rest. Kou picked the saddle and placed it onto his favorite black horse, Mond. With a few flicks and clicks, he prepared the huge animal for the race he was to take on to the West. He ,pretty much, knew where his brother could be, after all, it was their secret place – a valley of yellow tulips.

 

The place had a legend going on, speaking of the eternal peace between all species. When Terra was created by the ultimate existence called 'Set', he firstly landed on that valley. And it has turned from dust to the today's amber valley – The Valley of Peace.

 

Kou was drown in his own thoughts that he didn't even hear the old man who took care of the horses.

- Young Master, can I help with something? … Master Kou?

On the third call of his name, Kou finally detected that someone was talking to him,

- Ah, old man. No, I will be fine. Tell mothe-... - he paused and released that his mother was no longer there. Kou's jaw line contracted, he didn't know what exactly he was feeling. Was it fear, pain, disappointment or anger? But that had its name already, it was called, despair.

- Master Kou? - the old man nodded his head to side, eyes trying to read the complicated expression of Kou. The young male was holding onto the horse leash and his brows were locked in a frown.

- Never mind. I will be late. Please, do take a rest today. - Kou forced a faint smile on his lips and pushed himself up on the horse.

- Young Master! Please...return safely... - humble as ever, the old man bowed lightly before his master.

- Raise your head, Garol. I am not the one you should bow before. - Kou's voice felt so cold and yet the old man knew that the young male never wished to be one of the royals. But none of the royals ever wished so. To carry the hope of a nation was hard, but to carry the hope of the world was impossibly hard.

 

So said, Kou took off. The dust followed the strong legs of the animal. They echoed and sank into the soil as if nails hammered against something so fragil. The universe was trembling, whistling its hope in the wind that brushed Kou's long hair. The male's gaze was lost far into the horizon, he lost track of the time. But the sunset rays bathed in his sad eyes. It was a day when he lost his parents. It was a day he took off to look for his brother, and it was a day when the universe span around him with its claws clinging to his soul, wanting a promise of a tomorrow. But Kou knew he couldn't give a promise to Terra. He was selfish enough to abandon everything but his brother.

 

As soon as he reached the valley, he saw the horror. The beautiful and soft color was no longer of a valley named 'peace', it was already the valley death. And yet on that hill, he saw his brother's figure. Surrounded by the dying flowers, he was staring into the horizon of lakes. And like a dramatic cut of a movie, the weather darkened. Kou eased the leash and gradually stopped at a spot. His eyes doubtful. Did he have the courage for a truth? The male's chest felt tight, too tight for two lungs, actually even one would take too much place. With his drop of gaze, Kou jumped off the horse. And his feet caressed the soil in pain. Everything was dying, and he felt it too. Without question, only one thing could bring that blackness, a betrayal.

 

- Ha... - exhaling what he gathered in his ribs cage, the young male made his way up to the hill. The rain drops accompanied him, chilly and harsh against his shoulders. The moment his vision locked Jiran's back, the King cupped his hands behind back and spoke calmly,

- Took you long enough, Kou. I was starting to think that you forgot that place, heh.

- ...Jiran..What's ...what's all that?

- 'All that'? - with a note of sarcasm in his voice, the golden wet hair dripped water onto shoulders when the King turned around to eye his brother.

- Bow before me. Now. - the gentle eyes Kou knew once were no longer there. It was emptiness and his glacial soul piercing with ruthlessness.

- ...What's wrong with you? Are you telling me that you did all that because you wanted someone to bow to you? Jira-...

- Bow.

 

Kou's blackcurrant eyes blurred by the strong rain didn't leave his brother's gaze out of vision. His being in a very tight inner battle, he wanted to embrace his brother yet punch him. But it was not a brother but the King speaking before him. So did he follow. Kou's knee bent and so it landed into the mud. Forearm gracefully guided onto the thigh as his chin lowered before his Lord.

- Kou. Today I am your King, it's the first and the last day you shall bow before me.

 

The words stabbed Kou and he rose his chin right away. The rain visibly caressing his white skin, one could imagine..with such a sad pair of eyes, how that beautiful man would look when crying.

- Brother. What's going on? Are you really betraying Terra?

- Ah....Terra this and Terra that. Is everything related to Terra? - the male 'unlocked' his cupped hands and shrugged shoulders up, - I am sick of Terra.

- ...What are you saying!? Please! Reconsider!

- There is nothing to reconsider, Kou. - once again he turned his back at his brother, - It's an order from above. Terra shall end.

- ...The Supreme Curia*? It...it can't be...They...They will bring Set back to life!

- No. There is a way to stop Set from coming back. - with his sorrowful smile out of vision for Kou, the King continued, - Kill me, Kou.

 

And as Jiran awaited his brother's answer, he felt a strong pull on shoulder. It twisted his body around to meet a pretty harsh punch; and it didn't take much for his lip to crack and bleed. Kou finally lost it.

- What shits are you spitting, Jiran Is that why you killed Father and Mother? Is that why you made Terra hate you!? So I return as a hero!?

 

Not waiting for Jiran to get a hold of himself, he pushed the male down onto the muddy ground with another punch,

- Give me a break! - Kou's strong hold pulled his brother off the mud with hand onto Jiran's shirt collar.

- Ahaha-ha...ha.. Kou. Haven't you realized yet that the world always needed its hero? But what a hero is without a villain?

- To hell with your heroes and villains! - another punch, Kou's emotions made him lose his temper. And as he was about to land another punch, his brother punched back.

- Stop being a kid. You do not raise your hand against your King! Now, do as I tell you.

- I refuse.

- How dare you defy me!

- I defy my brother, not my King. - Kou's lip cracked as well, the rain washing off the blood quickly. But yet the stinging feeling was nothing compared to the one from within, - Jiran. There is another way to stop S-...

 

Before he could even speak it out, Jiran punched him. Kou landed onto the ground, coughing out a mouthful of blood.

- SPEAK NOT!

- ..es...Yes, I shall. - with his piercing eyes, he stared back at his brother from below, - Only one other creature can stop Set.

- I SAID...- a kick came into Kou's ribs, - ..SPEAK NOT!

- … - curled on the ground, the long hair of Kou mixed with the wet soil. He felt the nature trembling in fear. The whole universe was screaming. Seemed that Set was on his way to crack his anger onto the very existence of any being.

- ..Death.

- YOU...SPEAK NOT WHEN YOUR KING ORDERS! - with a pull around Kou's arm, Jiran pushed him up on feet. His voice raising despite the thunders rawring on background.

- Brother...

- Do say Kou, can't you see what I did? Tell me don't you think it's fair for me to die, so why?

- … Terra is no longer alive..but if the King lives, so shall Terra.

- ...Fool. You can't deny the Curia.

- Haa.. I couldn't care less.. - Kou's knee giving in from the pain so he staggered lightly down.

- What are you saying!? - back to his anger, the elder brother pulled him off the ground by the clothe,- Do you know what will happen, if I live!?

- I know. You will be the King and that's all.

- But you-

- Who cares..Do you want to die by my hand or give birth to Death?

- ..You will never change.. Can't you see? We can't deny the Curia. Even if you kill me or choose not to,

one day this thing will happen again. The difference will be that...it's going to be one of our descendants. Listen to me, follow the final order of your King!

 

Not noticing his arm bleeding from the harsh bump he landed on a sharp rock, Kou lifted his arm to squeeze his brother's hand by the wrist which was holding onto the clothe. It was a time for a goodbye.

 

- .. No.

- You--!! - before even the elder brother could react, Kou was already reaching for the sword on his brother's side, pulling his own blood and flesh into a tight embrace.

- ... Long..live the King..- Death coughed the praise of their nation, accepting an oddly shining sword into his chest.

- .. - there was the cry of the rain, and his brother's mute scream, - ..no... No..Kou..No,no... - patting his brother's motionless body, he separated their figures just to find his brother fall into his arms. The most beautiful child of the nation fell asleep. In a sleep that could no longer be called such.

- Kou...no...- Jiran fell onto knees, holding Kou into his arms. The rain fell hard onto both. The lakes turned black and so did the sky, - You...idiot... you...- curling onto his dead brother's body, Jiran let his voice out until it hurt his airways. No matter how many times he called his name, the gentle indigo eyes would not open. Kou was dead, and he was the only soul on Terra that could shelter the powers of the Albus god, the being that could deny Set.

 

Legend:

Curia*

[coviria (“male community”)]

cūria {f} (genitive cūriae);

court;

meeting house.

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The Vow.

 

 

Genesis 1:1–5

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

April 14 of A.D. 33.

 

It was another day in that lonely valley, forgotten by the world. Its beauty has stayed impregnable though; in the very far corners of it, there was located a small cave.. A million of years have passed and not a single creature could get close to that part of the valley for it was protected and sealed. Only the sun and the moon could reach, only they could peek at that stoic and yet beautiful, sleeping face. But on that morning, he awoke.

 

Blackcurrant eyes slid open as their glitter has been matted but the sun insisted for them to reflect some light. Kou parted his dry lips, but the dryness in his mouth made it hard to make a sound. So he just exhaled and his hand reached down to guide his body up. It was a rock bed he was laid on. If it wasn't for the enormous pain he felt in his skull, he'd probably question what day it was and what has happened to Terra after he had a spat with his brother.

- Ngh... - with his slender fingers the male caressed his long hair backwards; how it felt to have your skull split in two, he wondered.

 

The male graceful bare feet reached the dusty ground and he made his first step, which felt as if a newborn was trying to walk. Of course, he stumbled and leaned onto the rocky wall. Come on, he couldn't have forgotten how to walk!? But before he could check for his wound he himself inflicted through his heart, the male noted down his clothing. It was the traditional white and red Terra's robe...for the dead. He was dead? Figures. But....

 

Kou frowned and as soon as he tried to make a question in his head, his skull felt as if hammered. The male fell onto the ground, kneeling as holding his head.

- You shouldn't force it, boy. It's impossible for all that information to be stored for such a short time as a million of years. - a calm voice spoke from the rocky bed's direction. The long haired male rose his chin, not recognizing the voice, he hoped to recognize the face. But as expected, it was a stranger.

Kou tried to speak and ask for the male's name, but his dry and unused for a long time throat made his voice equal to silence.

- Ah. You can't speak yet, I see. I wonder if it's a kind of protection to not speak about unspeakable truths...or it's just your dry throat? - with a tap on chin, the stranger smiled, - I am Samael.

- ..re..s..i...ther.. - Kou was forcing his vocal strings to pull some sound, but only part of sounds rolled off. And yet, the stranger could understand.

- Where is your brother? - Samael titled head to side with a faint smile on lips; it seemed that the most powerful and fearsome creature awoke and yet it looked pretty miserable and pitiful. It sent a sting of pain in Samael's chest, - Your brother is dead.

 

Kou's eyes widened and his agony could be read from the shakes of body. Did he miss the chance to protect his brother and his Lord? The male tried to raise from the ground with the help of the rocky wall beside him. So many questions in his head and it made it hurt even more.

- I said to not force it. It will be hard to classify such an enormous information. I will answer your questions instead. Your brother died by a natural death.

- ...ural...ea..? - Kou's dry lips tried to mimic the words he just heard off the lips of the stranger.

- Yes, natural death. Terra is no longer out this cave, boy. It's the era of many gods and goddesses. Particularly ruling one is called 'Jehovah', or in brief, God.

 

Kou's brows locked in a frown, his head could understand oddly, but his soul could not. Gods and goddesses? Jehovah? Terra and his brother gone? The headache became stronger and it made him curl forth a bit.

- Listen to me. From now on you speak only truths so be careful of what your lips say. From now on you own no name but 'Death'.

 

Kou's heart stopped for a second once he heard the mention of 'Death' That was right, he recalled. He died to become Death, and so it was a success? Set recognized him as Death? But...if that were so, why Terra was gone? The male rose his chin to Samael's direction with his question in eyes.

- Oh, boy. You have all answers in your head and yet you are not used to picking that information. I thought a million of years would be enough to store it out. - Samael reached hand to pinch the bridge of his nose and then glanced to the other,

- After your death, the universe sank in darkness. There was no light, there was no hope. Terra survived but it bathed in a never-ending blackness. Your brother, Jiran, confronted the Supreme Curia for years. But his lifespan wasn't enough to do miracles. Once you unlocked the powers of Death, immortality was no longer there, though some creatures could escape its claws. After all, the source of it was in a deep slumber. The world's history was rewritten many times, but Set never dared to step on Earth thanks to you. - Samael shrugged and continued as hopped off the rocky bed, - The history was rewritten by mortals. They set the start as the moment when God returned their light, and there was no longer darkness and coldness. Though in the archives known, your fateful choice was kept, “so God wished”. - the male chuckled – But you and your brother were given other names for no one could remember yours – Cain and Abel. Though if you ask me, the original and true story-plot is more dramatic than their 'copy'.

 

Kou was speechless to all he heard. He knew it was a truth. How? He didn't know how, it's just his being saying, “That's a truth”. But his soul rejected it. The male felt his head heavy, and before he could lean onto the wall he fell onto the ground. His arm holding his body up as he vomited. It was too much to take, all that power and information, all that 'truth'. In his head many truths screamed, hidden and secretive. And he knew, no one was supposed to know them. And yet he had to carry on their weight. It was too much. That agony.

 

A sigh escaped Samael's lips and he closed in, to gather the long hair up as took out from his pocket a long silky but thin patch of cloth he used to tie the hair up.

- My bad, Death. I thought when you awake you will know 'everything' and you will recognize me right away. But since its my first time out of the seal, I had no idea how these powers will work.

- ...re...uh..eth..end..? - Kou's tries to “retrieve” his speaking ability were getting better but still was hard to talk. After all, he was like a newborn. Learning anew how to walk, how to speak. With the difference that unlike newborns he had to be 'careful' of what left his lips.

- Ah, if I am Death's friend? - Samael chuckled as skillfully tied the silky hair of Kou, - Not exactly. I am your guardian. Ah, how lonely I was all this time guarding your darned cave. You really took your sweet time, Death.

 

Kou frowned, 'Death this and Death that'. He was starting to understand his brother's words “Terra this and Terra that”. The male averted his chin and was about to say to call him by name, but Samael covered these lips.

- Don't. Never speak your name. Forget it, abandon it. You are no longer 'you' from a million years ago. Your real name is dangerous as your birth date. No one remembers them for a reason. Because you can die by the hand of the one carrying your brother's sword and shall he know your name, shall he pierce Death. And you shall die exactly as many times as the number of your birth date is. So Death, be careful of these two things. Your existence can never lie, but Set allows you to speak two lies – Your name and your birth date.

 

Not allowed to remember who he was, it saddened Kou. So he had to forget who he was in order to become Death? But what it meant to be Death? He had no clue nevertheless. As his gaze dropped, Samael detected the sadness in his Master's soul.

- Ah, it's hard to deal with youngsters. - he retreated his hand and grabbed Kou by the arm to force him out the cave, - Let's go out. You're lucky though, the only place on earth that could stay the same as it was from its creation is the 'Valley of Death'. Though if you ask me, I prefer it as now than as it was when the 'Valley of Peace'. - Samael chuckled.

 

The moment Kou stepped outside his eyes widened. The beautiful yellow tulips were still there but it was like a check-mate hills, colored instead of white and black as yellow and black. The beautiful greenish lakes were in a very elegant lilac color, under the sun they looked as purple silk.

- It's...beautiful... - Kou finally spoke his first words. And it took aback Samael, he never expected Death owning such a hypnotizing voice.

- Er...yeah, it is! - Samael hopped his arm over Kou's nape and pulled him in close, - I knew it will brighten you up, hehehe!

 

But despite the laughter Kou heard for first time since he awoke it felt nowhere near cheering up. A million of years might have passed, but for Kou it was just like a bit ago when he fought with his brother. And the feeling that he could not meet him was more than devastating.

 

Both of them gazed into the horizon, watching the same thing but thinking on different things. And somehow both ended with a sigh.

- Death. It's such a tasteless name, don't you think? Set surely sucks at giving names. - Samael shrugged and then grinned, - How about I give you the Latin one?

- Latin? - Kou glanced to Samael, his head understood automatically it was a language spoken in Heavens and thus it was spoken on Earth now.

- Yup. Shall we call you.... Messorem Reoss.

 

Not really caring how he was called, Kou shrugged the idea off and returned his gaze to the lakes. It was a nice weather. And yet he prefer the rainy day when he spoke to his brother and his King. How he wished to have it back now. Samael could read Kou's feelings, it was a natural thing. So the male sighed again,

- Oh, boy. Seriously. I am only sighing ever since you awoke. Can't you be more merry? It ruins my mood too, geez. - placing both of his arms on each side of his hips, Samael sulked. But the frown on his face was because of something else. And oddly Kou also could 'feel' the other. In fact, he could feel every single creature. The Earth was in pain, bathed in sins. His body felt the exhaustion and the agony of the world. But his powers as Death could help him stand the ground firm.

- Samael.

 

The angel of Death naturally responded, it was his first master's call and so he changed his expression to a serious one.

- Yes.

- What day is it today? - Kou finally acted normally. The first thing to ask was 'the date he awoke to'.

- It's 14th of April, After Death. - Samael's voice dared not to bother much that stoic face he saw. It was Kou but yet it was Death. No one would actually want to anger him, and Samael knew pretty much that it was too soon for him to 'grow' cold from within and keep his cool. Even if he was the immortal Albus god, he acted as a mortal now, unstable.

 

Kou's chin rose to the skies, his eyes sharpened. It was the air trembling and he could feel it.

- God is sad.

- You can tell? - Samael blinked, not really detecting that despite being an angel assigned to Death.

- The Earth is crying. It's a terrible feeling, Samael.

- Yeah, I can feel the Earth, too. But I guess only you can feel 'God''s feelings- Samael chuckled and then his smile dropped, - It's tomorrow you have to reap your first soul, Messorem.

 

Kou's eyes averted to the angel and pretty much his question was answered in advance, but even so he listened to Samael's words,

- You have to walk that path along with him, and see his pain, hear the sinners and feel everything – from the agony to the fear, from the love to the hatred. Such a contrast can destroy anyone but you and Set. The only ultimate creatures that could ever exist but never co-exist. You two are pretty similar and yet different. If Set ruled you would be sealed forever, if you rule Set will be sealed forever. So you have not the luxury to die, Messorem. - Samael's sad gaze averted to Kou.

- See, hear and feel? I saw, heard and felt once. - Kou's chuckle came out bitter recalling his brother once again, but what he had to 'see,hear and feel' now? He doubted something could be more hurtful that what he was through.

- Yes, and that's why you can withstand it. But deep inside you are still like a twenty-years-old mortal, Messorem. You will want to save 'him', but you shouldn't.

- Him? - Death 'knew', but Kou was still adjusting.

- You shall reap the son of the Christ, Jesus.

- The son...of the Christ... - Kou's eyes dropped his gaze to the lakes and his white clothes gently ruffled by the wind was the nature's 'pat' he felt. Was God talking to him? Kou chuckled lightly but it was a melody of sorrow – What the world came to, Samael. It's just a pitiful place I awoke to, or did I create it myself?

 

Both of the males stood on the hills silent, watching the sun change with the moon and then the fateful day coming in hand. It was the day when God shall cry.

 

The breeze froze, and Kou rose from the ground so Samael followed. The Albus god's eyes glittered in red, his body burning from within. So it began, and both of them knew it. The white clothed male stepped forth, but not falling of the cliff. His foot shook the air and it landed onto a dusty ground. The smell of blood filled the whereabouts. Eyes were watching and screams were echoing along whips that stabbed Kou's eardrums. He felt his back burning, and so his knee trembled. The long haired male's crimson eyes rose from the ground to meet the eyes of Jesus. There he laid on a rock, tired and in agony, but his eyes too innocent for this place. No tear escaped the male's eyes, but his soul was torn just like the whips tore the flesh.

 

Kou's orbits captured the ugly scene, mortals torturing a mortal. People throwing rocks and screaming their 'own truths' but none spoke of sanity.

 

“What...are they doing...”, Kou's mind rejected the truth it registered, “You..” in anger he was about to release his anger and kill the whole crowd, but Samael captured his hand,

- So God wish, so it be. Messorem, you shan't interfere.

 

The Albus god jerked his hand off, the agony stirring him from within. Ugly words he heard, laughter of the punishers, what was so rightful in torturing another being? Terra spoke of equality, but Terra 'now' as Earth was an unknown place for Kou. What has become of the world?

 

The male tried to reach his hand to Jesus and caress his cheek, but once again Samael held his hand,

- Don't. Not yet. You cannot touch beings so freely, Messorem. Your touch brings death.

 

Bare to the ruthlessness, Kou took a step backwards from the bloody rivers, the white robe that reached the ground was swallowed by the crimson. Each whip splashed a new amount of drops across his face. Each hit was made against his soul. Monsters in human suits, all were. And no one saw that fearsome being there for it was motionless, for it was swallowed by the 'excited' crowd. Everyone wished so much to 'judge' the pitiful being there that barely could lift a finger on its own.

 

By the 10th hour, Jesus moved no more but breathed weakly. And once they stopped, Kou's empty eyes hoped it was the end. The end of all. They had to stop, but he knew he was there to reap. And all he could do was await and watch. Once the male was forced to walk the path to the crosses, Kou stumbling-ishly walked on his right. The crowd bumped into his body, but he cared not. He walked along that being, mute and expressionless.

 

“Messorem...Messorem...”, the call in his head sounded like a distant call, but he answered not until the voice continued its pleads, “Messorem....please...save my child from the pain...” And Kou's empty eyes watched the nails pierce the flesh of the mortal. They feasted, they enjoyed it. “Messorem...save my child....” And the cross was lifted, but Kou moved not. It was a body of a soulless man. The being called Death was astonished by the ruthless world. Faces laughing and spitting on the face of Jesus. Throwing rocks and 'teaching' what was right and what was wrong. The humanity he once knew was no longer there. The creatures and the different species he once knew hid away, far away from them, the humans. Such a lonely race turned out to be a demonic-like.

 

“Messorem....I beg of your existence as an ultimate power, my child can endure no more. I as a Father have failed. Messorem...my child bring it back to me...”

 

Kou stood on the lonely hill decorated with death-crosses. And the being called Jesus shed no tears but there were a few people that cried along with God. And Kou saw them crawl on ground, bathe under the dripping blood of the Christ. Calling his name until their voices dried to muteness.

 

And Samael stood on the far, watching his Master motionless to the cruelty. He could not force Death to reap, for only Death could decide 'when'.

 

The Albus god's eyes were glued to the bloody rivers clinging to his bare feet. It was the same color as his eyes. Death witnessing death-penalty, what a joke – he thought. The damned god parted his lips, stretching them in a painful smile, “What a joke have you created, God? I locked Set and you took over the world as its faith and hope, what a joke have you created, God? No different than the ones that judged my brother to death.”

 

His eyes sharpened in anger, and the clouds beckoned by his agony started rawring from the far. Death was angry, but so was God.

 

“Messorem, I can be judged only by you. But it's me who can judge mortals. Save my flesh for I saw enough of my children torturing him.”

 

“How pitiful. Is that our God now? Forgiving the wrong and pleading the right to do not punish?”, and so the earth cracked.

 

Kou had enough of that small chit-chat with God. His first one with Him, and yet blind from the anger he pretty much resented God now. But on his way to punish them all even the so called God, he heard the weak voice above all the noise around,

 

- Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.

 

Kou's chin looked up to the cross, watching the exhausted body tremble. Death's very presence sank any soul in fear. The other mortals ran but only that lonely soul stood nailed against the wood. The Albus god made a few steps forth, setting his hand onto the cross.

- I thirst.... - so Jesus spoke, and Kou made it rain. The beautiful slender hand made the wood darken, his powers swallowing the life spiritual force of what it touched. Soon the blackness reached Jesus' feet. And he felt the end soon,

- Father, into your hands I commit my spirit. - peacefully smiling, he parted and Kou captured a white thread spiraling down the cross. It sank into his body. The Son of Christ died.

 

“Thank you, Messorem. I wish you well, let us meet again.”

 

With parting words God shook the Heavens and the thunders filled the air with anger. So even God was angry. Kou chuckled.

“Forgiving, my ass. You can't lie to me, God. But I shall wash that pain away, for your Son shall return in three days from now. I will rise him from the Dead, and so shall you forgive the Earth. But you do not ask of me to forgive the humans.”

 

It was a vow, and all creatures heard it. From the vast lands up to the last dimension, even Set registered it. Death's first vow. And Samael knew the best, the Kou today abhorred mortals.

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Princeps

{lat. noun

“the one who takes first place”;

“the ruler”;

“prince”}

In the end, we all search for something. What I search for? I want to find 'myself'. I go by many names, famous and infamous. And certainly, I wasn't created to bring peace. My true name in Heaven and on earth is Samael, given by Him with the meaning of 'the wrath of God'. And my true name in Hell, well, we will reach that part as well.

 

Far in the rain forest village of Jianfeng Mountain located in Hainan,China , Samael and Jaropht were finishing their last reaping job before Death would return. With a very heavy exhale, Samael let off his lips a deep sigh. The relief was drawn on his face; seemed that the angel of Death really disliked reaping, in fact, he disliked doing whatever job it was. Give him a free night, watch him sink the red-district and feast – he really knew how to spend his immortality in leisure.

 

The sun was about the rise, beautiful purple colors spread across the Chinese province as the males stood in the mid of that dead-like village. To begin with, the population was too low in such a poor village, what to mention when it's so early in the morning. Only now and then the fleeting birds would decorate the silence.

- Seems you have to return. - Samael pointed out as broke the morning peace.

- I guess so. - both of them watched the horizon as the gentle and yet humid breeze ruffled their silk hairs. Jaropht felt the alluring fragrance that Samael oozed, what to be expected. He, like Death, was a pure sinful beauty. But the shorter male, Jaropht, had to say something before his whole being was consumed by that beauty,

- Don't you plan...on coming back?

- Coming back.... - he repeated with the nostalgia adjusted in his low voice, - ..I doubt I can. Death's orders are absolute, I don't wish to be 'spanked', you know.

 

Samael chuckled as to color the truth with a sense of humor but Jaropht knew very well the male always spoke the truth in a joking manner.

- I see..Should I pass him a message? - with a stolen glance, Jaropht averted his chin to Samael but the male beside him has changed his ever so grinning face to a rather lonely expression that gazed into the horizon.

- No. I don't have what to tell, nor teach him anymore.

- You two are... - Jaropht shook his head lightly then exhaled tiredly, - At any rate. I have to go.

 

As the 'peace' returned once Jaropht left, Samael dropped his gaze. Somewhere deep within he felt really lonely, but that was the result of what they called 'the sad life of a clown', wasn't it? The male existed just for Death's sake, and yet there were things even Samael couldn't be allowed to do as wish.

 

Meanwhile Jaropht was making his way through the deserted village, much preferring to walk out the forest first before he took on the magical distance-jumping. Besides he knew there was a bit of time, so why not just walk. On his stroll down the village, he recalled his first time meeting Samael. To be frank, actually at least honest with his inner self, Jaropht found Samael for really handsome. But swore he how annoyed he would get whenever around him, and their first meeting wasn't an exception.

 

Intimate with his own thoughts, the always stoic face of Jaropht brightened by a small chuckle. How wouldn't he laugh when recall that dumbfounded face of his? The butler coughed lightly to fix his suit, he really had to manage his image in public. His eyes quickly looked around; speaking of 'public', wasn't it odd for village people to not rise early? After all, they were first to greet the sun before the land of the rice would be embraced by golden. However, not a single soul was up. Jaropht paused his steps gradually and moved chin from left to right, something was off. How come the birds went quiet as well?

 

The male frowned and stepped to side, away from the main street. It couldn't be Samael was playing a prank on him, right? If it were him, he swore he'd beat him for a good whole year! His frozen heart felt like about to beat again from the quiet notes of fear that started ringing from within. Lips parted as his voice barely managed to call for Samael, when an abrupt pull followed with a muting palm over Jaropht's mouth. As soon the male was tugged into a dark corner, he rose chin upwards to see the 'hunter' that got him in such a tight embrace. And as he thought, it was him! With the rage in his eyes, he was about to elbow him good when the long haired male gave the whisper of a quiet 'Shhh'. His eyes didn't even glance for once to Jaropht, but were kept straight forth. What was going on? He barely saw Samael so serious.

 

Once the grip over him loosened and his lips were free, he of course questioned the other.

- Did you set that barrier?

- No. It wasn't me.

Jaropht knew it wasn't a lie. Despite being a tease, Samael also had his serious and scary side. For a reason he was the guardian of Death, after all.

- So someone followed us.

- Aaaah, seriously. - Samael titled his head back to lean it against the wall behind, - I really hate bothersome things. - with a dismiss he avoided Jaropht's statement and went straight to the point, - You better leave this place now.

- What? How about you?

- What what? Started worrying about me now?

- Samael, I am being seriou-... - just before he could finish the scold, the loud noise of a crashing wall filled the streets. Jaropht's eyes were widened as his lips were a breath away from Samael's.

 

“When did he...!?”, with the screaming question in mind, Jaropht's eyes averted to side, following the strong arm around his torso. Drips of crimson slid down his body, alarming him that whatever crashed the wall from their front was darting for Jaropht's guts. And yet, there was that strong hold stopping the hit from damaging his body.

- Sa...mael...? - scared to even check on the male, Jaropht shaking hand moved upwards to move the long hair off the male's face to check on his facial expression.

 

- Ah, that was a close one, brother! You had to dart though 'bit up! - a voice came from behind Jaropht, when he moved chin to look over shoulder. The foggy image of two males making their way through the hole in the wall.

- Shut up, I didn't even try to hit him! There is no way for me to miss! - the other replied as easily crashed down a fallen rock with just a stomp onto it.

 

A shaky exhale caressed Jaropht's neck side, Samael was alive. But of course he was alive, Jaropht thought, he was immortal and such a simple wound wouldn't harm him. With a relief the butler moved to side, standing right beside Samael. Once the damned angel's eyes slid open, his silver eyes sparkled and stunned anyone with their coldness.

- Oh, sorry~! Did we interrupt you? - one of the other males mocked on Jaropht and Samael.

- Brother, don't be so rude. After all, we stand before the great Samael, you know. - the other laughed as if making a very poor sarcastic note, with the intention to annoy the angel. With his hand on hip, the stranger continued, - Who would have thought we'd find him easier than finding Death. Say, you really alive? We all thought you were killed by that monster a millennium ago!

 

The males burst in laughter, as for Jaropht and Samael, they were pretty much wary and quiet. Though Jaropht felt so ticked off when they called his boss 'monster', but he could sense a far more greater irritation – Samael's silent wrath.

 

- What's up, Sam? Ate your tongue or somethin'? That won't do you know, we came so far and so far, - with an annoying high pitched voice the stranger kept his mocking, - ….just to greet ya', you know? Aren't you a bit touched or somethin'?

- Pf! He is rather annoyed, if you ask me. But understandable! - the other male nudged his brother and accompanied him in 'annoying Samael' game, - After all, his precious lil' “student” went and did it again! He took out the jurar!

 

Jaropht's brows locked in a frown, these men were mad. But to not fear Samael and actually mock on him, Jaropht couldn't come up with an answer – who on earth dared to?

 

- So boring. He is just standing there. Probably that's what 'a loser' looks like, ahahahaha! - the male retreated hand off the hip and swung it in the air as almost sang, - But that won't do, Saaaam~. We need you to tell us where is Death now~ Come on, don't shy. You do know God dislikes 'weaklings' and 'foolish stuff', yeah? Don't make God disappointed more than he is, ahahahahaha! - with a mouthful of laughter in his throat the male kept pressing the wrong 'button'.

 

And then, that chilly chuckle tore off Samael's lips as his chin lifted up. The air felt heavy and even Jaropht shuddered.

- “God dislikes 'weaklings' and 'foolish stuff'”? Yeah, well said. But lemme tell ya', what else God dislikes. - with a step forth, Samael smashed beneath his shoe a small rock. The ground itself cracked from each step taken; once he stood tall before the other two, his merciless eyes stared upon them with a judgmental gaze, - Assholes that speak on his behalf.

 

With his gloved hand he caught the closest by him male and smashed his head into what was left of that wall. The bang was strong enough to crumble the rest of the wall as the body dropped down, smashed under the heavy pieces of rocks. And yet none of the males there flinched by the bloody scene. That was the real world, violence. And Samael has seen enough of it, more than even Death saw. He had to endure the ruthlessness of humans, how they treated his Lord, and how they treated his precious Death. But it wasn't only humans, even other species dared a cruelty upon their names. Samael hated violence, but he was the violence himself.

 

His eyes averted to eye the other male who was glaring up him.

- You think you can fight me?

- I do not wish to fight. Leave.

- Ah, you catch on pretty slow. Tsk. - with a displeased face the male continued, - Death is weak when the jurar is out, and you know why we look for him. But I give you credits for the marvelous scene. However, you might be able to kill two of us, but how about ….a thousand of us?

 

Once he spoke the words through a smudged grin, the streets got filled with 'them'. The mist that embraced the village was their sign, the Nephilim*.

 

- Ah, Sam. You really do foolish things, one after another. First pledging to God, then guiding Death, then leading the Heaven's War shoulder by shoulder with Michael. And then, killing Death's brother. How does it taste? To be a god? Oh! Or could it be you don't know how the saying goes? - with a tilt of his head, the male patted Samael's firm chest and moved nearer, - “Kill one, be a murderer. Kill thousand, be a ruler. Kill all, ...be a god.”

 

Samael's eyes flattened their irritation as his lips were mute. Jaropht though slapped the hand off Samael's chest and glared under his messy dark bangs,

- Don't touch him.

- Oh? And if that's not the faithful dog! What? You know only how to bark? Pffahahahahahah!

 

The crowd of Nephilim closed in, circling around Samael and Jaropht. But despite the tight situation, Samael oozed confidence which even Jaropht couldn't read.

- So, let's not beat around the bush. Tell us where that monster is. Or....you can die here? - innocently suggesting the male moved backwards as standing in front of the crowd of hybrids.

 

Silence. It was a brief silence as the drips of Samael's royal blood colored the ground beneath his feet. Such moments were called 'fateful', weren't they? And it was true that Samael had led many 'fates' probably to their 'foolish' end. But if it were for the sake of his Lord and Messorem, hell he'd open wide, but let them do as they wish. That was Samael, for some a foolish tyrant, for others a foolish traitor.

 

- Hah, 'to die'? Don't fuck around, asshole. I am too young to die. - with a mixture of his ever so poisonous sense of humor and yet 'deadly' seriousness, Samael made the choice. To fight a thousand of fallen.

- Oh, how sad. Truly sad. - the male shook his head and faked his disappointment, - You might have killed one or two of us in your 'golden age' known as 'The Prince of Heaven', but you know that you cannot overpower a thousand of us, Sam. Ah....so disappointed~~...

 

Samael lowered his head once he heard his title. It was a long time since he was called by that title,

- The Prince of Heaven, huh...Say, you are actually newborn, aren't you?

The male frowned upon these words and misunderstood them as a synonym for calling them 'weak'.

- So what if we are newborn? - he almost growled. But Samael just chuckled at that 'bark'. All they did was 'barking'.

 

Just when the Nephi was to jump into a fight with Samael, he felt the ground discharging an unusual amount of heat. Through the cracks of the very dryness of it, one could feel 'Hell'.

- Nothing. It just means you are damn ignorant, you brats. - silver eyes met with the stare of the other, - Haven't your daddy taught you to not pick on 'the firstborn'?

- ...Firstborn? - the male stepped backwards, bumping into the mass of Nephilim behind, - He is just a myth!

- Ah, I wonder. But hey, have you heard also, that the first angel born was actually allowed to wander in and out Hell as well? - with a faint stretch of lips Samael stepped forth, the earth turning black beneath as the cracks seemed to bleed in crimson, - For he carried two names, Abaddon – the Prince of Hell. Samael – the Prince of Heaven.

- It's...a lie! No angel can access the Hell and be not fallen!

- That's why, you are newborns. - as smooth as he moved his hand forth and up, one by one the Nephilim behind the male started burning in Hell flames, crimson and auburn, - You haven't met me yet for the last millennium before I disappeared, I ended the garrison of two million Nephilim, known as 'The Bloody Sabbath'. No one survived. Ah, that must be why your daddy didn't teach you, huh?

- FUCKER! You are lying! It was Death! He reaped them brutally!

- Well, you know, trait of 'humans' is to make mistakes. - Samael returned the favor by mocking on the half-human side of the hybrids they abhorred so much. With that the mass of Nephilim jumped at once the angel of Death.

 

And in the pile of bodies and flames, Jaropht kept calling his name. But the battle roared too loud. It was a first when Jaropht was really worried about Samael. Deep within he knew, he was immortal but yet only Nephilim could wound him deadly.

----------------

Legend:

Nephilim

{half-angel half-human}

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During Rainy Nights.

 

The day rolled off too quick for Jaropht, who was the man of the 'time', to grasp it as a checked well-managed one. The fact that he didn't make it as appointed to meet with Death wasn't so worrisome as the man who was upstairs. That was right, the place they managed to get to was one pretty old (in fact old enough to be called 'a ruin') castle. The very owner of that castle, Luna, was actually an old friend of Samael. If it weren't for her old, very old age, Jaropht would have put a hand on chest and would swear that Samael slept with her. After all, whoever he knew was someone who has tasted from the so called 'angel passion'. But Luna was different, despite her old age of course which wasn't a criteria, she was a pretty famous witch. After they made it out the bloody mess, Jaropht could only think of that woman who he has met only once before, that time actually he also met Samael for first time.

 

With head lowered, Jaropht had his face 'trapped' between his slender fingers. The male was sitting on a sofa in something that could pass for a living room. Thanks though to the thick rock walls of the castle the loud thunders outside were numbed so he could drown in his inner world. Or what was made of it today. Ever since they got here, all he could see was that bloody scene where Samael fought a thousand hybrids. Curses on him that he was so weak, in such times he abhorred himself for not having any special abilities. If anything though he was only a burden, and yet he dared to mock on that mortal, Shirahane, that he was just a bother to Death. Laughable! When he himself was pretty much similar.

 

A deep and dejected sigh spread across lips, in and out his memory. How pitiful he could get? With a frown of brows he deja-vu'd once again the firm body that sheltered him from the attack of a Nephilim. And he doubted Samael didn't know it was just a trap to get the damned angel wounded across his very chest. Who he joked now, when from the very beginning Samael told him to leave those grounds. Just when Jaropht was to spit a curse, the witch made her way down the curved stairway.

- My dear, what a stormy weather! One to wonder if Death or Samael is the one in sour mood! - with a slight chuckle on lips she carefully stepped off the last stair with the help of Jaropht's outstretched gloved hand, just like a real butler, - Thank you, dear. But, oh god, you look terrible!

- I am sorry for troubling you so late, Luna....The only one besides Death who can heal Samael is you... - not daring to meet the witch' eyes, Jaropht humbly kept chin lowered.

 

Luna observed briefly the sincerity and then a shake of head followed by a sigh,

- Don't mention it. I owe my life to these two boys, whatever I can be useful with it'd be my pleasure!

Hesitant to ask but yet the worry sucking even his natural strict look, Jaropht averted eyes to side,

- How...is he?

- Unconscious, still. I managed to close the wound, but I guess he won't be able to move around for some days. How about you? Are you injured somewhere? - with her hands she patted the butler's abdomen gesturing to 'catch' him if he were to lie.

- No..I am good, really.. - still feeling under the weather, Jaropht reached hand to pinch the bridge of his nose, lately all has gone crazy. First his boss going mad and taking the forbidden chain, then falling into a Dormito trap. Now Samael and the Nephilim. Just all left was for God to pack his baggage and take on a long never-coming-back trip and fuck the world behind.

 

Luna noticed the troubled face, in fact even the blind would. And she knew pretty well their situation and Death's late doings, so the woman's wisdom spoke.

- I suggest you to stay here until Samael gets better. You can't go to Death now when Nephilim are after you. All you can do is lead them to where Death is. This place has one of the oldest barriers known, so no one can walk in what to mention walk out.

Jaropht glanced from under his still messy bangs and he couldn't confront her. She was right, in every aspect. Death could hide his and Shirahane's presence. He managed too many things at once and the jurar was slowly sucking on his spiritual energy. It'd be madness if Death had to shelter him and Samael right now. Without a valid argument to object Jaropht just nodded his chin lightly.

- I will go to check on him. - as he was about to go up the stairs he thought he heard a very mute 'N-..' sound off Luna's lips. Was his imagination playing tricks or the woman had another piece of advice?

- Sorry, did you say something? - tiredly he glanced to Luna but the woman's back hid no answer, a second later she turned around with a grin on face.

- No, sorry dear. Actually, you should spend the night with him. I might be busy in the basement.

- Oh...Should I be giving him something or just watch over him?

- Ah..no. Just 'watching' will do. - she chuckled in a very odd manner and Jaropht couldn't read much into it so the male nodded once again and without giving it much of thought headed upstairs.

 

The stairway seemed endless, especially since Samael's room was located on the last floor. On his way to there Jaropht's eyes ran across the glass walls that were similar to cathedrals wall-windows. Beautiful and colorful patterns which now and then were illuminated from the lightnings outside, seemed the storm was raging. Once he reached the last floor, Jaropht saw a very long corridor which he followed to its end. A very old wooden door stood before him, he wondered how to open it – for sure it would make a creak. And if Samael was sleeping, it'd be bad to wake him up, wouldn't it? But yet he could pass through the walls, on the other hand though he might give Samael a heart attack if just waking up.... Briefly there he glanced to the floor, wondering whether to spend the night outside the door – just like a puppy guarding its master's chamber. But then again, Luna said it'd be good to watch over him. Frustrated from all the thoughts debating on themselves, he just reached hand to open the door slowly. Luckily it didn't creak, so another sigh of relief came.

 

Jaropht's head 'popped' in the room to take a peek since it was a dead-silence. Only the whips of the rain drummed against the windows. Once his eyes detected the huge bed in the far left in the room he sneaked his body in, closing the door behind. The room was rather bright thanks to the candles carefully placed on matched spots which connected the light well enough so the room would be light enough for one to make his way freely. Or it was just the old woman with her poor eye-sight, making sure she wouldn't knock into something. With a few steps he closed in but paused just when he saw the damned angel's painful expression. Jaropht followed the fine lines to see well done from shoulders to torso bandage work. Luna was of a real help, he wouldn't have made them this precise. With another glance he realized Samael was sweating heavily.

 

The tired male rushed forth naturally reaching for the wet towels set on the night-table. Once he turned to Samael to relieve the male's pains he got startled since the damned angel was sitting up by himself. His long hair naturally sliding onto his wet shoulders, reaching for his topless yet bandaged body; if it weren't for the thin sheet that covered his lowers parts, Jaropht would get the very wrong signals. Samael was obviously nude and it was rare to see him wear his gloves not. Anyone who had to do something with Death had to wear them, not only as an emblem of serving under the Death god but also limiting their powers.

 

The male cleared his voice and stepped closer, he didn't want to startle Samael. Probably he was under the effects of whatever the witch gave him, so it was wise to be quiet and not annoy him.

- Samael...I have to wip-...!! - just when he gestured to 'unstick' the hair off Samael's sweaty shoulder, he lost to gravity and felt the angel's thighs beneath his back. Wasn't Samael supposed to be weak? When he gathered his strength back to get Jaropht pinned down on his lap?

 

With the cloth in hands, Jaropht frowned up. The silky long hair tickled gently the sides of his cheeks but he gave in not to the bare sexapile of that man. Because of the strong hold around his wrist, he thought to use verbal confrontation. Even wounded the angel was strong, so he noted down mentally.

- Are you half-asleep? I was saying that I have to-...!!? - and once again he was interrupted but this time his lips were abused by a strong pressure. Samael's lips forcefully took Jaropht's, the male feared for a second he was about to be literally eaten after the second bite he felt against his soft patch of reddened skin on lips.

 

A loud slapping sound echoed in the room which was followed by a creak. Jaropht finally escaped that animal-like brute, with his back turned at him he barely found the words to describe that frustration. He was glad the angel survived, and he was thankful he was saved by him. But Samael was too much to take! Actually Jaropht himself felt stupid. He knew very well that strong beings like Death and Samael needed a huge amount of spiritual energy. So that was what Luna looked hesitant about? Ha, how foolish he was to think he could actually help the angel and spend a whole night, no, to 'waste a whole night' watching over him!

- You...asshole.. Good-for-nothing horny dog...If you want so much to screw, go find someone.. Don't use me to please your needs..! - his whole body shivered, still holding tight onto the cloth. But he couldn't stop his thoughts taking on a verbal form, even he himself wanted someone to punch him so he'd just shut up,

- Why you are always like that? What do you want from me....? Just coming and then going, I don't even know where you are most of the time... and when I finally happen to find you, you go and screw like a mad god... Why do you make me so miserable.. hah, to be expected... are you all godly creatures like that? Giving hope and then taking it away? To think that up until now I was afraid, afraid that I am no good for one of the Lord's angels.. Just go die, you idiot!

 

With a stomp, Jaropht headed for the door. His shaking hand quickly reaching for the door knob with desperation to get away from the angel. He was always afraid of Samael, but not because he was strong and fearsome, but just the thought that something this pure and yet deceiving could touch him – he feared Samael's angel side the most.

 

Another loud sound filled the room. Startled from the slammed hand that forced the door close with a bam, Samael's heated and nude body pressed against Jaropht's.

- How about you, Luis? - Samael's low voice tugged the rather thin and fragile strings within Jaropht's body, - 'Why do you make me so miserable', too? You always have that pleading look in your eyes and then you dismiss me with such an ease.

- … S-Shut up.. I didn't...let go.. - stubbornly pulling at the door knob, he was trying his very best to run away from Samael.

- I am really sick of it. - his body weight leaned forth as both males pressed into the door, Samael's heavy breathing whipped Jaropht's cheek. The male's body was burning yet he was forcing it up on feet. Something from within stirred the shorter male; was he moved that Samael endured the pain just to stop him from going or he was caught up in this beautiful man's tempting whispers?

- Move...Let..me go... -struggling from between the door and Samael's body, the butler's arms tried to do a standing up 'push up' pose, as to force the angel off his body. But instead he felt the heat of these bare and big palms press against his. He got him well pinned with no where to run to.

- Luis... Haven't you heard, the more the prey runs, the more the predator chases. - with slide of his palms Samael traced up to Jaropht's shoulders, lowering his chin to place a small bite against the male's neck side.

 

The signals Jaropht ever so feared were right after all. No matter how much he refused to see Samael as an undisclosed desire, he couldn't deny that somewhere deep within he always felt attracted to the angelic demon. And the shivers of his proved it, as much the acceptable lean he gestured with his body, letting the taller man to feel his chest. If someone was to tell him that would happen this morning, he'd deny it to the end of the world. But truth was, he'd still hope it would happen. Was it real? These gentle caresses were they real? Jaropht's eyes slid close.

 

To be continued...

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