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This article, Of the Fate: Demons Unleashed, is property of Cold hard steel.

This article, Of the Fate: Demons Unleashed, is property of Achrones150.

Previous: Of the Skill: Training Kie

Third Day

It was a few moments later.

Sachi held her arms across her chest, as she sank down to the wall. She was shivering, both in pain and in chills, as she attempted to hold her tattered shirt together. Her head was hung down, and her hair was messy. Tears continued to spill from her eyes, as she attempted not to break down completely.

"Oh, God...." She continued to repeat in her head, as if in a broken mantra. "O-oh my G-god...."

Ean's body staggered back, the demon was spent, as was Ean's own spirit. He fell to the ground, unconscious once again, but not after saying "I... win..."

At the sound of Ean's voice, Sachi almost flinched. Then, with shaky hands, she flicked the tears off, determined to retain what diginity she had left. Slowly, she turned towards him, the dead look in her eyes clear.

"Ean....did you turn away?" Was the only thing she could think of.

But he lay there, on the ground, the ice melting away as the demon of his mind was sealed away by force, his own spirit taking over. Somewhere, inside the realm of his mind, Ean was regretting what happened, even though he did not see it. He did not want this to affect Sachi in any way, but he knew it would.

As soon as he could, he would apologize. As soon as he could.

Why....

She shook her head, forcing the tears back into her head.

Was this some sort of punishment? A sick joke from the Heaven? Why did this happen?!

The pain was welling in her chest once again, but she didn't cry.

Instead, she shut her eyes, and let out a raw scream, straight from her heavy heart to her torn throat. It was one of a tortured soul, a lost hope, and a woman forever shamed.

Aftershock

She cried for what seemed like hours. If not that, then eternity.

She wailed and screamed until her throat hurt and her eyes were red, until she had seemingly run out of tears.

Is Sachi... Crying?

The thoughts of the ice swordsman were vague, muffled.

I should... See if she's okay... After all... It is my fault...

He moved his arms, slowly and shakily, he was tired for reasons he did not create, yet he felt he deserved it. He could just barely lift his body off of the ground, his legs felt like they were dead, just there and unable to move.

Sachi opened her eyes suddenly in a horrified manner, then turned to look at the now-standing form of Ean. "E-ean...? I-is that y-you....?" She said, her voice violently shaky.

He took steps toward the terrified and shaking figure of the Urami, standing over her, looking down at her sad, robbed form. He did not reply, except for the knitting of his eyebrows and the sadness of his eyes.

She lowered her head. "T-tell me one thing...." She said in a quiet voice. "D-did you look away?"

She was suddenly brought into an embrace, the large, strong form of the man holding the sad, small one of the woman, bringing her into his arms, trying to reassure her. "...Yes."

"I'm sorry."

He didn't need to say anything more.

She wrapped his arms around his back, sobbing heavily in his chest. Her shoulders heaved with grief. "Oh, Thank Kami...." She managed to say between hiccups. "I-It was so awful...I c-c-can't even remember what happened....! I-if you had to see it..."

She said nothing after that, continuing to drown her sorrow into his chest.

"I have to ask you something..." said Ean, his voice deep and heavy, filled with regret.

"Are you afraid of me?"

Upon her ears picking up the question, she willed herself to stop sobbing, in order to make her voice clear. She rested her head against Ean's chest from the side, and managed a weak smile.

"Why would I be afraid of you, for something you can't control?" She asked quietly, her voice still a bit shaky, but much clearer now.

"It... It was my fault... I could've been stronger... I could've done more to stop it..." he said, small tears forming at the edges of his eyes, gritting his teeth, bringing Sachi into a warmer, stronger, sadder, embrace.

"It's all my fault..."

"What happened, happened." She said softly, her voice having a more grateful tone. "Don't blame yourself." She smiled again, but this time it was more genuine.

"It's over now...I'm just glad....thank God that you're here now...."

"I'm just glad you don't have to go through that again..." he said, the tears finally falling. He realized something at that moment, and it made that moment even more grateful to him. He looked up, into the seeming infinite darkness of the "sky" they were under.

"Sachi, I think I've figured something out..."

"Huh?" Sachi followed his gaze, a confused one.

"That... It takes a lot not to feel lonely..." he said, resting his head on top of Sachi's, keeping the embrace.

"Yeah...no shit." Was her depressed, but grateful reply.

Kie

They were out of the cave, both fully unscathed and relatively well.

They didn't speak on the way out of the cavern, and they had not spoken when they got to the mouth either.

It was Ean who broke the silence, "I think it'd be better to take the God road, we need to get back to Kie."

We sure can't run, any physical effects from last night would certainly take their toll on her... thought Ean, feeling guilty all the while.

Sachi simply nodded, holding her arm. "All right, then let's go..." She said simply, taking a few steps forward....before she staggered and fell on her face like a drunk.

"God DAMN it!" She growled in her head.

Ean was immediately at her side, an intense and worried look on his face, "What's the matter? Can you walk without me or was that serious?"

"I-I don't think I can...." She said wearily. "I must be more screwed up than I thought..." She even managed a grim chuckle.

"Well then I have to carry you," said Ean, lifting Sachi off of the ground and holding her bridal-style, "Please don't be angry with me for what I'm about to do, by the way." he said.

"Mmm..." Sachi sucked in air slightly through her nose. "Can't be any worse off..."

They were flaking away again, into snow, floating up to the realm of Jaque de Glaciation once again.

It was as cold as ever, blinding still, and the wind could possibly have been worse.

Ean looked out into the white, calling "Jack! Jack, where are you?"

"Who's Jack?" Sachi muttered, squinting her eyes as the snow blinded her.

Giant feet came out of nowhere in front of The two, causing both of their hearing to be shot for a second, and suddenly the wind stopped, revealing a giant whose skin was white, a frown plastered on his face and a beard on him, completely white from the amounts of ice and snow he had endured over the millennia.

"That is Jack, aka Jaque de Glaciataion."

That prompted the blonde to give Ean a "look". "You better start explaining when we get back." She said.

Ean was more focused on the large man in front of them when he bent down to get a better look at them.

"Well, if it isn't an Eromalc, one of my children, and a female human," said the giant considering the two guests he had as of now.

He stared at them until he came upon a realization, one of his Godly powers obviously affecting this, "Oh, and you two seem to be emotionally distressed! She pregnant boy?!" he said as he gave a loud, hearty laugh at his own words, like it was a joke.

"...." Sachi fell deathly silent, a comically darkened look on her features.

After seeing Sachi's reaction, Ean sweat-dropped. "Uh... No, sir... Actually, she's injured, and I was wondering if you could give us a free pass to our destination..." said Ean, the nervousness apparent in his voice.

Sachi sighed. "Nice cover...." She thought.

"You're such a liar, boy! She ain't injured in the least bit, yet you're carryin' her home! And, on top of that, you-" he stopped abruptly, standing fully back to his full height, stroking his beard.

Ean's eyes narrowed, his gaze intensified, as if he knew the god called his bluff.

Sachi felt a slight sense of panic, and her eyes widened slightly, fearing the worst. "Damn....I think he found out....!"

The giant chuckled to himself, as if he was grimly satisfied, "Did ya like mah gift boy?" he said with sinister intent, while Ean looked down, his eyes cold and hard, his jaw set, not replying.

The woman looked from both Ean to the giant. "I missed something..." She thought, feeling apprehension in her chest once again.

"Aw, c'mon, did he really put ya in this bad of a pickle? Don't tell me I made an adulterer out of 'im?" asked the giant. "all this is due entirely to that ancestor of yours, if he hadn't been so Goddamn arrogant, then I wouldn'ta' screwed with your race!" he said while bending down again.

Ean lifted his head up to meet eyes with the god, "I am not him."

"But ya lived under his house! You followed his teachings, as I told ya not to! I messed with all your minds because you lot deserved it. And I never going to change your curse. Now get outta here, you little maggot, and take your victim with you."

Sachi shook her head slowly, her closed eyes flaring with hidden anger at the giant's words. If she wasn't so weak, she would've had the courage to fire back a few insults of her own. But she was as helpless as Ean possibly was.

"Ean..." She reminded in a low and slightly venemous tone. "Let's go. Kie's waiting...."

Ean walked to the point of being behind the giant. He sat Sachi down, and broke open the ground again. before going back,he said to the god, "Just remember this Jack. No matter what you do, you cannot control people's lives. I am no longer your child," he said with a glare, before he grabbed the blond up again and jumped.

It didn't even seem to phase her at the moment.

Oh, and you two seem to be emotionally distressed! She pregnant boy?!

While one hand was locked with Ean's, her other hand seemed to float, touching her own stomach. Her expression was one of pension and worry. Even as they dropped, it seemed like they were simply suspended in air, as she was lost in thought.

She could only hope he was wrong.

They landed moments later, surprising multiple people, but Ean didn't care. What The giant had said echoed through his mind, blanking out his other thoughts.

The fact that the god was glad he had messed with his race unnerved him, but the idea of Sachi being pregnant from that night scared him even more... He just hoped he didn't have to be a father with someone he didn't even know for that long...

He failed to notice the massive killing intent coming from Sachi, making the people that were staring at the two of them promptly faint. She put her hands in her pockets, head down, and started walking towards Kie's room, not saying a word.

Ean followed suit, donning his mask to at least try to hide his mood, and knocked on Kie's door when they got there.

The door promptly opened, revealing a cheery-faced Kie. "That was awfully fast!" He greeted. "I think it was only a minute or ha--"

Then, his mirth faded into concern when he saw Sachi's disheartened expression. He could not see Ean's "Ms. Urami...what's the ma--"

"It's nothing, kid." Sachi sighed, walking past him, but not before ruffling his hair gently. She took a seat in the chair in the usual crossed-legged position.

Kie looked at Ean with an expression of concern and confusion.

Keepin' it from the Kid

Ean just walked past Kie , giving a half hearted "Glad to see you're standing," and leaned against the counter, across from Sachi, his arms crossed. "We need to discuss your training from here on out,so we have an idea on where you need to imrpove."

Kie's concern faded, but only slightly. He breathed in through his nose... and stopped.

Wait a minute...what is that smell?

Inside of his head, a slight twinge of disgust came upon him. The smell was of... sweat.... and arousal....

He stopped his thoughts there, but was discreet about it, as he folded his arms across his chest. "Ok. I'm listening."

Ean noticed that this a fairly well disguised lie, but a lie nonetheless. He decided to ignore it, and continued along with his explanation.

"Like I said, we need to know any weak spots you may have in your style that aren't obvious so we know where to start."

"And you're going to do that, by...?" Kie raised an eyebrow.

"By asking you, you little punk." said Ean exasperatedly.

Kie's eye twitched, and Sachi almost laughed. "Gee....thanks." He retorted sarcastically. He folded his arms across his chest, replaying the scene of his fight with Ean. "Hmmm..."

Ean pout up his fingers, two showing. "There are two obvious ones. The first," he pointed to his index finger, "Is that you have no long range attacks. Second," he pointed to his middle finger, "Is that you have no control over your inner energy."

"The long range attacks I can understand...." Kie muttered. "But why is it so necessary for the control of my 'inner energy'?"

"Simple." Sachi spoke. "Once controlling your "inner energy", otherwise known as chakra, you have access to a plether of abilities. Healing wounds inflicted, increase your attack and defense.... even manipulate elements."

Kie's mind immediately flashed back to his own duel with Otonami. How he had made those tornadoes, those wires, and that healing ability....that's what it had been.

"So, if you can learn how to control your chakra, or what i prefer to call Inner Energy, then you can gain a far wider array of techniques, not just your sword," explained Ean, forming an ice crystal in his hand to play with.

"I see..." Kie nodded in understanding.

"Like..." said Ean, fumbling with the crystal in his hand, and finally producing it to reveal a perfectly formed kunai, made completely out of ice, "This. Now, Miss Ur- I mean Sachi will guide you on learning how to access your inner energy, while I will help you in junction with her to strain you to a breaking point if need be, as well as hone your skills in such things."

"Sounds good to me." Kie grinned, folding his arms across his chest. "When do we start?"

Ean looked to Sachi, his eyes betraying concern, and guilt.

"Tomorrow morning."

Sachi's look back to Ean, however, sent an expression of seriousness and even her own guilt as well. She could allow herself to rest later. For now, she had her own job to do.

This exchange of looks was not missed by Kie, but chose to ignore them instead of pressing further. He knew, that whatever had happened, it was possibly a very sensitive situation.

"I see. I guess I'll have to get the rest I can get then." The boy said quietly, walking over and sitting on the bed.

Ean stood up, his expression still very sober, motioning for Sachi to follow. "I think that would be wise. You'll need it more than you know," he said, walking out the door, Sachi following suit.

Kie said nothing more after that, merely watching them leave. After the door closed behind him, he flopped down onto his bed, a sober expression of his own on his face.

"What's going on?" He thought to himself.

He Knows, He Knows Not

Outside, Ean walked down the hall, contemplating the question that might've been on Sachi's mind also.

He whispered to her, "Do we ever tell him?"

"....we're going to have to." She whispered back. "You saw the look in his eyes. He's catching on."

Ean's face turned displeased, "But... We can't let him know that... that happened, especially now!" he whispered back.

"It's going to be worse if he figures it out on his own." Sachi insisted, her voice distraught, but keeping her serious tone. "He might assume that you had done it yourself."

Ean looked down, thinking about this situation.

What she said was completely true, but if they told him either way and he was present, violence would ensue.

"I... okay. But... I'm not going to be there when you tell him."

That caused Sachi to stop in her tracks. "....what did you say?" She muttered, the slightest bit of anger in her voice.

Ean stopped next to her, facing her, "Anything I say won't help the situation. He'd probably see me as scum either way..."

That clicked something in Sachi's mind. She could've backed away and shook her head. She could've stopped and started pleading for him to not leave. She could've acted dramatic about it and just run off.

But she didn't.

Instead, with the quickest motion, she lifted her hand, slapping Ean right in the face.

Ean barely saw it coming. But he didn't dodge it. He stood there, and just took it.

But he had no idea why she hit him, he was confused. She said she wasn't afraid of him, but... he was trying to do as much good as he could...

"Wh... What was that for...?"

"For being a selfish coward!" She hissed, pointing at herself with her thumb. "I felt pain that no woman should ever feel, stuck with the burden of whether I'm gonna have a kid or not, and yet you're gonna leave me with explaining of how it all happened?!" Her eyes shone an intense glare, as she stared down Ean with anger.

She was right.

His initial desire not to take on that responsibility of fatherhood, of Sachi for christ's sake, scared him off, he tried to distance himself from confronting this shit.

He looked into Sachi's eyes, "Sachi, I'm not going to lie to you. This frightens me, more than any monster I've ever faced... I guess I tried to run from it more than I wanted to stop it... I'm sorry."

Sachi's anger dissipated at that statement, but she was not finished.

"How do you think I feel?" She asked, lowering her hand. "I'm scared, too, and I'll be even more scared if it actually happens." She placed the hand on her stomach, sighing. "Of the labor I would have to go through, of the fact that there would be no one there....it's scary to think of."

"Don't even imagine it!" said Ean, his voice turning to that of shock, aghast that she would even think he would lever her like that, "I've felt true solitude, and I know how it feels to be alone! Don't ever think that I'd leave you if this happens!" He looked down, his tone softening.

Sachi's look turned to one of surprise at Ean's words. Then it softened. "You...really mean that?" She asked, a little bit of hope in her voice. "You'd take your time out of the Guardians, just to be there with me?"

"My job is to protect lives..." said Ean, looking back into Sachi's eyes once again. "This falls under that category. Of course I mean it," he said as he opened his arms for an embrace.

Sachi felt a sense of gratitude wash over her, as she accepted the embrace. "Thank you, Ean." She whispered. "You don't know how much that means...."

Ean chuckled, "Hm... I said it before... It takes a lot not to feel lonely..." he said as they stood there, content with their standings in life as far as they were concerned.

After a moment, it was Sachi to break the embrace first. She smiled. "Oh, and one more thing...."

Ean raised an eyebrow, "Hm?"

She pointed at herself again, at the tied-together front of her still-sleeveless shirt. "You owe me a new shirt."

Ean blushed at that comment, "... Fine. But I get to choose," he said, walking down the hall. "Oh, and, we need to find the inn in this place, I'm certainly not sleeping in that chair again..."

"That makes two of us." Sachi agreed, rubbing the back of her neck.

Almost like Mary and Joseph

Their search for a place to rest ended abruptly after going through three inns, which were all full for some sort of festival.

Ean walked in, checking the place out, and, upon, noticing how ritzy it looked compared to it's outside, he actually stopped walking and took some time to appreciate it.

I'm finally going to sleep in an actual bed tonight...

"So..." Sachi supplied, looking up at the large building and scratching her nose. "I'm assuming we finally found one?" She was a bit exasperated at full inns.

He stepped back outside, saying "Yeah, it looks pretty good from inside," taking her hand and re-entering with the blond in tow.

Sachi slightly blushed at the contact, but ignored it as she followed Ean. Looking around, she did see its outlook defied its innards. "I think you're right...."

Ean walked over to the attendee at the front desk, asking "Are there any rooms left?"

The serviceman leafed through his book, stopping at a page, "Ah, here we are. Uh, two beds or one bed?" asked the man, not fully sure of what relational standing these two were in as of now.

Ean blushed, but did a very bad job of hiding it, as he turned to Sachi, "Uh... T-two beds or one?" he asked, rarely making direct eye contact with her.

A seemingly genuine, but discreetly mischevious smile came across the woman's face. "One would do, sir." She said politely.

Ean turned to the attendee, first taking his room key after paying, and then turned to Sachi, whispering "What the f---?!"

Sachi smiled innocently, satisfied with Ean's reaction. "If you were so sure of yourself, you would've picked two. Too bad..." She whispered.

"Fine, but it's not my fault if something happens after dinner, alright?!" whispered Ean, his face completely red now.

"I shall take the blame for this one."

Ean wa silent all the way up the stairs, through the hall, and up to the door, when he fumbled with their room key.

That is, when he opened the door, he was speechless.

"Holy crap..."

"What? They forget some--" Sachi started to say, as she took position beside him. Then her eyes fell on the room in front of her. "Woah...."

The room was magnificent, gauze-like curtains shrouded the abode from the majority of the lght of day, leaving light, sleepy shadows on the furniture, which was comprised of multiple chairs, a sofa, a bath(which for some reason wasn't in the bathroom), and of course, the large, luxurious bed that Sachi herself had asked for.

Sleeping in that bed would be great... thought Ean.

Having sex in that bed would be great... thought that demon he so hated. Despite that fact they were separate minds, this didn't stop Ean's blush from increasing as he heard these raunchy ideas. Shut up you monster. And get back to not talking.

Luckily for him, the blonde didn't seem to notice, as she stepped into the room, taking in every detail. "This...is perfect!" She said in an impressed tone. "I'm almost ashamed of even stepping in here!"

Ean did not answer, instead he immediately flopped down on the bed, taking in a deep breath and letting it out in a deep, satisfied sigh, as if all of his troubles had been let out in that breath.

"Sachi... I'm starting to actually thank you for picking one bed."

She snapped out of her trance. "See?" She asked, walking over to the other side and flopped down on her back as well. She put her hands behind her head. "I knew what I was doing."

"No you didn't," said Ean, drawling about her lie. "You just wanted to annoy me and embarass me.

"It worked, though, didn't it?" She asked, grinning smugly.

Ean turned his head away, childishly pouting while crossing his arms, "...No..."

Sachi rolled her eyes, chuckling. "Don't be that way, Ean, it doesn't suit you!" Then, she turned over, as if about to go to sleep.

Ean noticed her movement, "You tired? If you want me to, I can leave you alone for a while..."

"Sure, if you want." Was her reply.

"o...kay," said Ean as he got up from the bed. "I think I'll go find you that shirt I'm supposed to owe you... Sleep well, Sachi," he said as he stepped out the door.

"Don't worry..." Her voice was reassuring. "I will."

He closed the door and locked it from the outside, walking down the hallway, giving a glare to the staring attendee behind the desk.

He walked into the shop, hoping that it would be deserted, he hated shopping. And the fact he was shopping for his girlf-...

Was he about to say Sachi was his grilfriend?

Oh, he sure as hell hoped he wasn't...

He stepped into the women's department, owing him a few stares from certain shoppers, and began to search for something that would at least have a sense of style...

He tried to remember what color Sachi's eyes were... Hmm... They were... blue, he believed.

But not just blue, they were an electric blue, a charged blue, something conveying energy and spunk, a strong will. He needed something that complimented that... He soon found what he needed, quickly paid for, and left, back to the hotel. The trip overall gave Sachi an hour of sleep and him a bill of 1500 ryu. But he was fine either way, he had enough.

"Zzzz...." The sound of light snoring came from behind the door he was in front of, signaling sleep.

Okay, so she's still asleep, which means I need to be very quiet... thought Ean as he unlocked the door, opening it slowly, and slipping, doing the best he could to stay as silent as he could. He set the bag down, and slowly and quietly, lay down next to sachi seeing if he too could get some sleep, along with the blond.

Unfortunately for him, she seemed to have woken up. "Mmmm....that you, Ean?" She asked.

"Yes, who else would come in here like this?" he said, wrappinng his arms around the still waking woman in front of him.

"I thought it was one of the attendees..." She muttered sleepily, turning her head slightly to look at him. "But since it's you, I'll just go back to sleep..."

"I think that's a novel idea..." said Ean as he fell into weariness, and soon sleep followed.

Ambitions

Back at the hotel, however, things were under a different circumstance.

Instead of staying in his bed, Kie, wondering where his two "teachers" had gone too, had secretly snuck out of his room, but not before switching to his previous clothing. He had managed to sneak out through the use of his window, which he had quietly opened and slipped through in order not to let the doctors know he was gone.

Now, he was roaming the streets, his sword sheath on his back, as he looked for the two older adults. At first, he was getting nowhere fast. He had asked several people for "a masked man and a blonde woman together", but he had gotten random directions, and he wasn't sure where to turn. Finally, he soon found himself at the front of a large inn, located by the latest set of directions he was given.

"I guess it wouldn't hurt to check it out...." He thought, slowly stepping inside. He approached the innkeeper, who was looking at him through an open book.

"Excuse me, sir?"

"Yes, boy." The attendee set down his book, walking up to the counter and staring at Kie. "What is it?"

Kie sighed. "I'm looking for two adults, one blonde female and one masked male. Do they happen to be here?"

He expected a "no". But to his surprise, the attendee smiled. "They just came in a few minutes ago. I assume they're your parents?"

At that statement, Kie was almost tempted to fire back a smartass remark. But he instead nodded. "Yes, sir. I got lost from them, and was hoping they had stopped somewhere near here."

"Well, you've found the right place." He motioned over to a hallway. "They're down there in room 108."

Kie nodded his thank you, and then slowly stepped down the hallway, his footsteps creaking the wood.

The boy had entered the inn.

His assignment had been to kill the teenager named Kie Joukai, with the description of wearing a sword, and having pink highlights in his bangs. He didn't want to enter through the front door, as it would draw suspicion as to his intents, so he walked through the back door that he had expected to be open, most likely used for maintenance and staff.

Geez, how could such an expensive place like this be such a security liability?

Kie had reached room 108, but he heard light snoring from behind the door. He rolled his eyes, but winced slightly at his slightly aching wounds. They had almost recovered completely, but part of the pain still remained. He would have to make it quick, in order to keep from getting suspicion.

He knocked softly on the door. "Ean. You in there?" He asked, waiting for an answer.

Suddenly, the door unlocked, as if Ean had been expecting Kie to come and find them.

The hunter had entered through a vacant room, and was now watching the boy from a door way down the hall. Depending no who was in that room, he would be able to deliver the blow and bring the body back to the Mizukage as soon as he had started the mission.

"Hmph..." Kie muttered. "He must be so out of it he couldn't have recognized my voice." He slowly opened and pushed the door open, and peeked inside.

His eyes widened immediately at what he saw.

Both Sachi and Ean were sleeping in the same bed. The blonde was currently being "hugged" by the slightly taller male, and both were not under the sheets.

He shut the door immediately, a small grin on his face.

"Boy, have I got some dirt on you two..." He thought deviously to himself, grinning widely as he was about to turn away from the door.

"Hello, Kie," said a sinister voice behind a mask, who was directly in front of him, sword drawn.

Inside the room, Ean had awoke fully, and was out of the bed. That punk slammed the door. He will pay for makin' me wake up... he thought, getting up to go to the door.

Sachi stirred once again. "Hmm...what is it, Ean?" She muttered, turning over to face him.

Outside, Kie's reactions were quick. He pulled out his own sword, clashing it with the mysterious stranger's in a sword lock. His look was a mix of shock and annoyance. Then, he let out a grunt, shifting his weight and shoving him deeper into the hallway.

'"What the hell?!" Was the only thing he could think of.

"Kie," was all Ean said as he got up to open the door to disgruntledly be pissed off at the teenager.

He turned the knob, opened the large oak door, and the scene in front of him made his eyes widen. He quickly grabbed Kie by the collar, and pulled him into the room, freezing the door completely to the frame, even covering bits of the surrounding wall with ice.

He turned to Kie, "Dammit, boy, why the hell did you bring a bounty hunter with you?!"

"You should be grateful I just happened to be looking for you two!" Kie snapped heatedly, glaring at him.

They both didn't seem to notice the blonde, who opened her eyes wide in surprise. She immediately sat up, staring at the new arrival. "Kie?!"

This drew Ean's attention to Sachi, and, upon noticing the slightly indecent clothing she was wearing, he grabbed the bag he had brought from the store and tossed ti to her, saying "Sachi, go change. We need to kick some ass."

She immediately understood, catching the new shirt and setting herself off of the bed. "Just a moment, then." She said immediately, her trademark smile on her face, as she reached the bathroom, shutting the door behind her.

Kie's eyes had fallen on the blonde the entire time, up to that point. He balanced his sword over his shoulders, back to Ean.

"What?" asked Ean, slightly blushing. "You got a problem?"

Kie turned back to the closed door, but looked over his shoulder at Ean, smirking. "What the hell was that, Ean?" He asked. "I mean, you could've told me you two wanted some alone time before you left!"

"Hey, that was extenuating circumstances, punk! We were tired as shit from that trip to the training grounds, and that was not 'alone time'!" argued back the swordsman, whose blush only deepened from this provocation.

Kie chuckled, turning to face Ean and putting his free hand on his hip. "Oh, really? I guess puttin' your arms around her counts as some sort of puzzle for me when I got here, right?"

"I-... It-... It was-... Oh, just get back to facin' the door so you can kill his ass when he gets in!" said Ean as he tried to uphold his side of the debate, getting flustered enough to try to abort the conversation.

Kie's smirk remained, as he turned back to the frozen door. "Sure thing, lady-killer." He replied, settling into a kendo stance.

A knife formed of ice sped past Kie's shoulder, slicing a few magenta hairs off. "I've had enough of your shit. Now be ready, or you'll have more than one sword at your throat," said Ean, his face showing extreme agitation at the boy he had saved minutes earlier.

Kie's smirk remained, and he rolled his eyes. "Oooh, sounds scary!" He mocked. "What are you gonna do, tickle my chin or some--

But before he could finish his insult, the bathroom door opened, revealing a newly changed Sachi as she stepped through. "Did I miss anything?" She asked, putting on a smile of her own.

Ean turned to see the blond in new attire, "Not that much, just this punk pissing me-"

He stopped abruptly after looking at Sachi in the clothes he had bought her.

The only real change was the shirt, but he didn't realize how well it would fit her when he purchased it.

It was a strange color, really, a mix between turquoise, sky blue, and sapphire, giving it a mesmerizing and even hypnotizing quality, and it was seamless. He liked seamless after all, so that was a major reason why he got it, but it made it look like water, and with the colors it didn't help with abandoning that connotation.

It fit her perfectly, too. Sleeves not too short, not too long, it went down just past her waist-line, but what that demon in his head liked the most was that it fit her curves the best, accsensuating her hips and going up to her-

But of course these thoughts were punched out, once again, and he turned around, his blush still very evident.

Kie had also turned around, almost choking on his own spit after eyeing the new outfit. His mouth slightly gaped open, and he felt a temptation to state a comment that would've made him look like a pig, but he restrained it instead.

"Ms. Urami...."

"By the way you two are staring...." Sachi raised an eyebrow suggestively, which fit perfectly well with her smile. "I guess that's a good sign?"

Ean gave Kie a look that said nothing more than "Turn around... NOW..."

Kie almost recoiled. "Gah! All right, I'm turnin' around!" He protested, turning back around to face the door. "Geez...."

Sachi lowered her eyebrow, shaking her head in good humor as she grabbed her sword, which was in its sheath, and secured it to her waist.

Ean sheathed both of his swords, explaining what they were going to do. "Alright, I'm going to release the ice on the door, and Sachi, you stay behind Kie while he goes out and gets in the hunter's face. I'll be behind you guys with a fog technique so he can't see Kie coming. Sachi, you go in for the kill, got it?"

Both of them nodded in affirmation.

Ean put his right hand up, holding it at the door.

"On my count... Three... Two... One... Now!" he said as the ice reformed into water, the door becoming exposed.

Kie didn't waste any time. He rushed through the doorway and turned towards the direction of the inn entrance, expecting to meet the blade of the hunter once again.

What he didn't expect was a large and bat-like creature to slam into him instead, knocking him deeper in the opposite direction. His vision was now obscured, but he could clearly hear the shrieks of other bat-like creatures as the two slammed through a wall.

"Shit...this is NOT good...."

Sachi's eyes widened in shock and horror, as she saw Kie disappear from view. But before she could do anything to react, another bat flew straight into the room, and she knew they were cut off.

But instead of freaking out, she crouched, poising her sword for a lunge attack. Then, she thrust it forward, the blade extending to impale the attacking creature. It kept extending, slamming into a group of more of them who were just passing by.

Infestation

Ean did not like what he was seeing.

Demons- Hellbats, as he could see- were swarming through the inn.

The attendee at the entrance was most likely already dead, and when he saw Kie get pushed out of sight he ruyshed over Sachi's attack to another one, freezing as many as he could while making his way down the hall.

They were like the normal hellbat, black, leathery skin, decaying parts and screeches not meant for mortal ears. They were completely infesting the inn's walls and ceiling, like termites in an old house.

Ean chased after the bat that had attacked Kie, icing the door they had crashed through and subsequently breaking through the thin layer of frozen water. He saw nothing but hellbats on the other side, and found Kie being surrounded by them, joining him in fending off the monsters.

"We need to get out of here!" shouted Ean to Kie over the screeches and howling of the bats.

Another sound, the sickening tone of metal slicing through flesh was heard. Three bats fell out of the infested sky, flopping on the unforgiving and cold ground. Then, Kie turned towards Ean quickly. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Sachi backpedaling out of the door he had just come from, successfully fending of another wave.

"I really don't see how we're gonna do that!" He shouted back.

Ean sliced through another wave of blackened creatures, raising unearthly shrieks from their throats as he cut through them, running another through with his other hand.

After listening to Kie's observation that they were surrounded he turned to his other fighting partner, who was fighting them enough herself, yelling "Sachi, do you have any tags on you??"

"Yeah!" She shouted back. "What for?"

"We need to get out of here, I need them!" called the swordsman, fighting yet another group that was courageous enough to attack him.

Sachi nodded, then reached into her pocket, pulling out seven tags and tossing them to Ean in just a few seconds. "Catch!"

"What are you thinking, Ean?" Kie thought, flipping on the back of a low-ground bat and split-kicking two others, then flipped off and sliced the helpless bats in three quick motions.

Ean created a sharp projectile out of ice, warping it to have enough surface area for the tags.

He stuck them to it, and, with one hard throw, he leaped back while grabbing Sachi and Kie, blowing a hole through the hellbats and the wall, leaving an opening for their escape.

Sachi grinned, as did Kie. "Good thinking!"

Ean smirked, and took a sprint for the newly created doorway, leaping out into the air from the highest part of the building. He let g of his two friends and blew a huge snowbank between the inn and the adjacent building, allowing them to fall into the relatively soft material.

He turned to see the building, but the hellbats were flying away all at once, as they had surrounded the outside of the inn also. They had left nothing but the foundation, and it seemed like they had become the inn itself. After the cloud of black had disintegrated into nothing, Ean looked to see if the two were unharmed.

"You two okay?" he asked into the snow.

Sachi's voice rang back, as she stood up, waving off the dissipating smoke with her free hand. Her other one was still clutched around the hilt of her sword. Alongside her was Kie, crouching a slight distance away. She appeared to be waving over to Ean.

"Yeah!"

"Speak for yourself...." Kie grumbled. "I think I swallowed some smoke..."

"Smoke?" asked Ean, walking over to the two. "Hmm... Hellbats don't normally leave helldust, they eat it..."

Sachi sheathed her sword, looking around. "I think they all took off. I don't hear or see a single trace..." She mused.

Ean bent down and scraped a small amount of black soot-like dust from the ground. He examined it carefully, "Hmm... But it's still left over... And there certainly wasn't any of it around beforehand..."

Ean's eyes widened considerably, his face dire, "Wait, where the hell is that bounty hunter?!"

"Probably ran off and hid somewhere while we had to save ourselves." Kie replied in an irritated manner, standing up and sheathing his sword. "Damn coward...if he's gonna kill me, the least he could do is with his own two hands!"

Ean turned on Kie, grabbing him by his collar forcefully, "We need to find him! Now! guys who can summon swarms of hellbats like that are insanely powerful!" said Ean, his voice going into a slightly hysterical tone.

Sachi immediately picked up his tone, her face showing slight apprehension at his panic. But Kie chose to ignore this, his hot-headedness taking over as he slapped Ean's wrist away.

"Oh, really?" He retorted, his voice showing his agitation. "If he was that strong, he could've had the job done and over with in the time it took to summon those oversized bats!"

Ean raised his voice, to cover Kie's snapping retort, "If he had the power to do that, it would've taken ZERO energy to summon them! He probably just walked out of the fuckin' building and sprayed the walls with them! We're dealing with the most powerful necromancer I've seen in years here! and he's on your tail!"

"Oh, like what you've seen of him is gonna make me a crying coward." Kie snapped. "Maybe he already made you one!"

Ean turned on his heel and walked to the edge of the building, where the alley between the inn and the shop next door used to be. "I'm not afraid of the hunter... I'm afraid of him..."

"....Excuse me?" Kie's anger faded, and he widened his eyes. "Who's him?"

Sachi relaxed, having feared a violent verbal exhange between the two. But she also had a sense of dread of who Ean was talking of. "It can't be Jack...could it?" She thought.

"It is the opposite of a god... While a lot of people confuse the darkness deity with this entity, he is not it. The creature I am talking about, is Satan's servant... Zeref." said Ean, his voice grim.

Sachi narrowed her eyes. "That's even WORSE!"

Kie's pupils shrank in shock, but he refuse to let his shock slip. "...What does he have to do with this... necromancer?" He asked.

Ean faced them, while unsheathing his swords. "Big-time necromancers only come around once every few decades or so, and even then they rarely become infamous enough to be a problem generally. But, when they get to the point where they had just reached the infamy level and nobody has heard of them yet, they can cause a whole crapload of damage, especially those who are whcak in the head... But that's not the point. This guy is unruly, and will most likely go a long way to get you killed, as we can see by looking to our left. But, since he's not around here, I'm worried that he'll summon Zeref and just nuke the whole town..."

Kie let out a small gasp, before falling silent for a moment. "....We have to stop him!" He said, his voice both pensive and anticipating.

Sachi leaped right beside Kie, facing Ean and folding her arms across her chest. "Do you have a plan, Ean? I would suggest splitting up, but if what you're saying about this guy is right..." She trailed off, leaving him for imagination.

"Actually, splitting up might be the best idea," said Ean, putting his hand to his chin. "Unlike summoning just a swarm of hellbats, summoning Zeref would obviously take time. And energy. He can't move, can't summon any guard demons, nothing. So, I say we do split up to find him."

Kie punched a fist into his open palm. "Then we have to be quick about it!" He said confidently.

"Arrogant brat..." Was Sachi's thoughts, as she rolled her eyes.

Ean's eyes narrowed comically, "Then get you brat ass to the north. Sachi, you take wast, I'll take east. Good luck," he said as he disappeared in a flicker.

Kie turned to the older woman standing before him. "Good luck, Miss." He said sincerely, gesturing with his arms. "And take care of yourself."

That broke Sachi's annoyed mood against him. She couldn't help but smile warmly. "You too, Joukai." She replied, nodding and raising an eyebrow. "But, any reason you didn't tell Ean that before he left?"

"He would've just called me a punk and left anyways." Kie muttered.

Sachi laughed quietly. "Don't worry, he'll be fine."

With the both of them giving one last and respective nod towards each other, they set off towards their destinations.

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