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Krystal Itzume

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Broken Glass [Closed]
« on: October 09, 2014, 02:58:02 am »
“Sit down, sad soul, and count the moments flying.”

Barnaby, then still the Vesper driver, sung to himself as the horses trotted up to the door of the manor he’d become accustomed to seeing. It hadn’t been there some years ago, a pile of rubble and corpses in its place, but it had been swiftly rebuilt. All but one room in the house suffered great fire damage, that one room Barnaby had never set foot in, where the Lady did most of her business.


“Come—tell the sweet amount that’s lost by sighing!
How many smiles? A score?
Then laugh and count no more!”

The carriage stopped outside of the Vesper manor. Barnaby jumped quickly from the coach’s seat, but was not quick enough to open the door first. The guard, a tall, broad-shouldered man, opened it first and stepped out. A gloved hand was offered, and Seren’s own smaller hand was taken as she was helped out.
“We should be done with traveling for the rest of the night, Barnaby. Please put the horses up and get some rest,” Seren said, a smile crossing her lips as she stepped out into the foggy night.

Barnaby nodded,
“Thank you. Good night, Lady Vesper, Sir Dietrich.”

“It’s Emil!”
The brunette said, a sigh parting his lips. Barnaby did not call back that he understood. He had already picked up the song where he left off.

“For day is dying!
Lie down, sad soul, and sleep….”

“Four years now, and he still calls me that.”


“Respect, Emil,”
she said, started walking forward. His hand released hers, moving instead to her shoulder as he kept pace with her. “He’s simple. It gets difficult if he has to remember all the nobles who want to be referred to in a familiar fashion.”

“I’m not noble,”
Emil reminded. Seren’s footing slipped then, though she didn’t fall. Emil was quick to pause and try to steady her. “You’re still hurt, my lady.”

She shook her head in denial,
“No. Slippery.” Not true, despite the slick leaves underfoot, orange and red. Of course, she was still hurt, an injury from two days ago. The Queen had another errand and Seren tended to it. As per usual, she was met with violence.

Emil’s smile was one of long suffering. She was stubborn.
“I sent for a doctor anyway.” The tension was apparent, and she glared at him. He didn’t flinch. Brown eyes didn’t avert. “I know you do not like them, but did not Raphael’s doctors help you?”

“Did you call one of them?”
Her voice was full of doubt.

“No,”
he shook his head, “I asked one of the women in the Magi, since I imagined she has a doctor used to such…well, oddities that she’s come to deal with. Someone discreet.” They were walking again, his hand now guiding her forward as it pressed on her back. Her arms were folded across her chest, clearly not happy. “Just have him look at your leg. Nothing else.”

He spoke with knowledge of her sensitivities. Seren did not like the mark she’d been given to be seen.
“He should be here already.”

“So that I can’t get out of it?”


“I do this only to help,”
he said. His look was pleading. If the older man was capable of puppy-dog eyes, Seren suspected that was as close as he’d get.

Seren didn’t protest, but the look suggested she was not pleased with his initiative.
“Fine. I will see him, but if I do not like him—”

“I’ll escort him out. Of course,”
Emil answered. Seren let out a breath and found her key. The door was unlocked, and the two entered the well-lit home. Emil hummed to himself, continuing the melody Barnaby had been singing.

From the entrance hall, Emil guided her to the parlor. The doctor was in civilian clothing, and walking about the parlor, examining it. He seemed to have lit candles while there. They caused the shadows in the room to dance. He was an old man, balding, portly, wrinkled hands clasped behind his back. He looked as Emil stopped humming and a smile alighted on his face.

Emil calmly shut the door. Seren’s eyes turned to him, a frantic look as words left her.
“My, I am surprised how quickly this place was restored. And so many of the books, too.”

‘Emil!’

Seren was mute in her own terror. Emil’s look was forward, impassive. She couldn't understand it,
“The Queen does favor you, doesn’t she?” Seren looked away from Emil. “Oh, forgive me, you have probably forgotten me. How long has it been now?” That smile might have been grandfatherly, if Seren had forgotten him. “I’m here to finish the treatments.”

Seren reached to grab her gun, but had her wrist caught.
“EMIL!” She shouted, “That’s—”

“I know who it is, my lady.” 


“No, he’s one of them, he—”


“—has offered me quite a bit to deliver you to him.”
And the bastard smirked at her. Seren could hardly believe it. She felt numb, too-light. This had to be a nightmare. “More money than you could ever pay me, but more than that—not that I needed more,” his nose wrinkled in disgust, “I was wrong to serve you, and I see it now. The work I’ve had to do in your service,” he shook his head, “The way you let that Underworld thrive, protect them and let that group, that Syndicate, continue. It is despicable.”

Seren could do nothing but listen, though the words went in one ear and out the other, the shock a bit much on her psyche. The look became cruel.
“But that is why you are perfect for their needs, I suppose.”

“Why?”
Shaky breath. She wasn’t sure what she was asking ‘why’ to.

The Doctor answered,
“You were the only one who didn’t ‘die’, that is, you never lost your will. All those other children we took succumbed to helplessness and stopped fighting, but you? No…you didn’t. You even rejected him—I must say that was a nasty shock to him,” there was glee. Seren wasn’t sure what he meant by ‘him’. The memories of then were a blur, though this Doctor’s face seemed so clear. No name connected with him, though. “You are the necessary evil we need to regain the perfection that humans were meant to have.”

The words made no sense to her. She looked at the Doctor as if he’d spoken Korean, and indeed, the words seemed to slip through her mind because it was simply ridiculous.

She couldn’t cling to anything but denial.
“No.” Stubborn. Fighting. No seemed the only appropriate word, a denial of the entire situation.

The Doctor laughed, and Emil chuckled.
“Even now,” Emil found it amusing. The Doctor turned away, “Find something to put her to sleep, she’ll fight us the whole way.” Though he was secure in his current hold.

“I came prepared, Emil,”
he promised.

‘You burned! Certainly you burned!’
Not that she had checked the corpses left in her wake when she escaped. They had all be cleared away that same night by the group, too, baffling the police.

The thought flashed through her mind, and she pulled, tugged. She wasn’t going back to that. Emil pulled her closer instead, released her wrist only briefly to wrap his arm around her waist. He was able to pin both of her arms to her side that way, holding her in front of him. She stamped on his foot, but it did no good. Fingers wiggled in an effort to reach her purse, or anything.

Nothing.


“Hurry up!”
His short nails dug into the flesh of her arm as she stamped down again.

Seren gritted her teeth and glanced around the room.
‘Nothing but books and weapons I can’t reach.’ A pretty silver sword, another of her father’s things. In fact, this room was full of her father’s things. It had been spared most of the damage, his magic protecting it. Here was his knowledge on the occult. “I will kill you for this, Emil.”

“I know you think that, Seren, but it is over.”


“Even if you succeeded,”
the Doctor laughed, “I have overpowered you alone before, and it would be no difficulty to talk the rest of your servants into joining me. No human would deny what I have to offer.”

“I’M DENYING IT!”

“Well, that's understandable,”
he chuckled. “You don't want peace.”

Seren glared. A syringe was in his hand. Seren didn’t attempt another futile struggle for freedom against Emil, though. She was not one to surrender, as they well knew, but the Doctor’s words did set in. The betrayal stung.
‘No, not a human.’ How she hated them all so suddenly, how she hated herself for being tricked. How long had Emil been plotting against her? She had no idea, and that realization bothered her. He had been perfect, graceful, and behaved. He had been everything that everyone hoped for and more, and she felt an instant repulsion to him and all who hid behind such wretched masks. She even hated Barnaby right then for his false politeness, abuse of titles and surnames.

But, there were things besides humans in this world, though, things with a nature so honest they were demonized.


“Hold her well, Emil.”

Emil tried, but one yank, utilizing the weight of her body, pulled Emil into the needle when the Doctor tried to stick her. He let out a yelp, and she escaped his grasp.

The Doctor did not push the serum into his arm. He removed it quickly, dropping the syringe in the process, just as Seren found her gun and pointed it at the Doctor, briefly halting the motion of Emil to grab her. Emil's step shattered the syringe underfoot. He was, indeed, the important one. It’d be simple to shoot him, but she hesitated. Technically, she was only outnumbered, even if was by one. Emil had proven himself more than capable.

Indeed, he acted on her hesitation. Emil took his own gun out into sight and pointed it at her. The Doctor made his fatal mistake then,
“Don’t kill her!” Emil cast him a cold look as a smile twisted onto Seren’s lips.

“I know!”


“Oh, you don't want to kill me?”
Seren instead pointed the gun at her own head.

“You won’t,” Emil’s voice trembled with doubt, though.

Seren’s finger moved to the trigger, and added weight. In that moment, she would have. Revenge could be achieved if she were dead, if she denied them what they wanted. She imagined the darkness of death, and it was far more alluring than it had been before. No heaven, no hell, no self, just oblivion.

One day, she might consider that Emil did his duty as a guard. He saved her life at the cost of his own. His aim had been low. He fired, the bullet striking her hip, grazing bone. Her finger pulled the trigger, but the shot jarred her aim. The bullet struck a wall instead of penetrating her skull. Seren screamed as she fell forward, catching herself with her hands, gun still held.

Emil moved forward to disarm her, but she fought through the pain. The bullet went clean through his chest. He dropped to his knees,
"My...lady?" before falling backward.

Seren dropped the gun,
“No….” The sorrow and horror didn’t need to be faked. She used her hands to pull herself forward to where he lied. Here was the necessary sacrifice. The blood was pooling on the wood beneath them, and she let herself cry as she fell upon him. She could still hear his heart beating. He was still breathing. The shock of the pain must have knocked him out. Perfect.

The Doctor chose to ignore her, thinking she was too overcome with emotion to be a threat. His mistake. His back was turned, and Seren continued to make those pitiful sounds as she lifted her guard’s gun and shot the man in the back just as he picked up another syringe. He let out a cry, his hands connecting with the desk as he tried to hold himself up.


“Stay there!”
She growled. She cast a look around the room before realizing it was unnecessary to get up and fetch a book. She had what she needed memorized, not because she’d ever planned to use it, but because she needed to know the dangerous magic if it was ever used before her.

‘Do not use them, Seren. The cost is never worth it.’


Desperate times, desperate measures. She was not letting this simply slide by. She was not going to simply escape again. She pressed her hand over the wound on Emil’s chest, and began to speak. The rhythm of the words was poetic, the language itself not English. The blood moved underneath the two, pulled by the words that escaped her lips, pulled by the violence she’d committed. Her hip burned, not for the last time, as more blood was pulled out. She spoke through it, spoke through the emotions that threatened to silence the spell with incoherent weeping instead.


‘Never again.’


Underneath the cloth, two circles of blood encircled the bullet wound, trapping the soul in the body. The Doctor moved, reaching for his suitcase. It spilled to the floor with him as he tried to grasp something, anything, to stop what Seren was doing.


‘Stay, then, till Sorrow dies.’
« Last Edit: October 09, 2014, 03:00:52 am by Krystal Itzume »

Krystal Itzume

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Re: Broken Glass [Closed]
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2014, 03:01:12 am »
"Help!" The man screamed but no aid appeared. He limped as fast as he could, the fog was especially thick today. Long rails of crimson ran like rivers down the side of his face. A trembling hand clutched at his side where sharp claws had opened him up to his clavicle. The man had been caught so unawares he swore his assailant must have dropped out of the sky. He had no idea every how correct he was.

The street was silent as a grave and the man had made the foolish choice trekking to his destination instead of taking his carriage. Through blurred vision, the man spotted an alleyway and he ran with unexpected vigor towards it.
"S-somebody please!" He cried out in anguish, slumping against a wall and falling knees first in dirty cobblestone water. He was expelling his life's blood in terrible wheezes and powerful coughs. Then the sound of powerful beating wings followed and then a sudden splash behind him echoed in the alley.

Upon looking over his shoulder, a tall winged figure shoved the man against a wall. A powerful hand closed around the man's throat, the strength of the winged creature was inhuman. With little effort, the creature lifted the man off the ground and crushed his windpipe easily. The man dropped into a brown puddle of dirty rainwater, moments from greeting death. The winged figure knelt over the dying man as if waiting for something. The creature was whispering in a non-human dialect nor language and a tiny orb drifted out of the man's mouth. The man died after parting with the small orb, red lesions and marks forming all over his body.

The tiny orb slowly made it's way into the creature's mouth, a tasty snack for the demon. Another Red Death victim. Extracting the soul like that was what caused the red lesions but the humans wouldn't know that. Once back in the skies, Vastien was contemplating on how to spend the rest of his day. Killing humans had become boring fast, even giving them a chance to flee was no fun anymore, they never got really far.

Although the summoner was far away, the words were clear in his head. The location of the summoning was in his mind's eye even if he'd never seen it before, the demon changed course. A fancy estate loomed below and Vastien wondered what idiotic human was summoning him? Demons were never to be trusted and almost always these summonings went bad for the summoner. The window shattered, scattering broken glass all over the wooden floor announcing the demon's arrival.

He wore a trench coat which draped a few inches over his shoes, the back of coat hung in tatters as the large, black leathery wings were spread out. The hat he wore was pulled down over his face to mask the imperfections, his human form was mediocre. The hair was a sickly, pale blond and his eyes were colorless.
Three. Vastien concluded, one behind him and two in front of him. Everyone appeared to be dying, but his eyes fell upon the blonde-haired female. It was her, he knew it. He raised a hand and pointed a finger at her, a scowl on his lips. "You. Girl. Why have you summoned me?" It wasn't every day a human tried to summon him, in her current situation however, did she really have anything to lose?


Krystal Itzume

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Re: Broken Glass [Closed]
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2014, 03:01:54 am »
The Doctor was truly a pathetic sight when the window broke. Seren stopped speaking and looked at the figure that answered the call, though first her eyes moved to the glass. ‘Well, I’ll have to work on those barriers.’ He broke through them as if they weren’t there. They were only meant to keep humans from being able to break in, though. Then again, how else was the demon supposed to answer the call? Somehow she’d suspected something a bit less…noisy.

Well, that didn’t matter. He was here, there was no mistaking that. The wings gave him away if nothing else. No feathers for him.


“You can’t…you can’t….”
The Doctor breathed out, not surprised that Seren could do this, but surprised she would. He had to get out. He had to tell the others. Thoughts of capturing Seren faded in light of this.

Seren ignored him. She did not rise as the demon pointed to her, spoke. No need to cause herself more pain for the sake of dignity. She supposed it was pretty obvious that she was the summoner. She pressed her hand down harder over Emil’s wound, as if it might slow his death.
“Simple,” she answered the demon. He looked human, though the way his face was covered in shadow made her suspect it was not a good illusion. Still, that meant he was one of the more powerful ones. That was just what she needed. “I want to make a contract with you.”

More clattering, the Doctor had pulled himself to his feet but his movement was jerky. The noise drew Seren’s attention and she looked at him. He fell against a book shelf and knocked a few to the floor. He was plotting escape. It’d be easy for Seren to shoot him, finish what she started. However, that was not what she did.

Time to see if the demon would humor her. She looked back at the shadowed face, hidden beneath that hat.
“You can have this soul, but not yet,” mentally, she cursed the tremble that entered her voice, a flutter of panic at denying a demon. She took a breath to try and quell it before continuing, “I don’t know if you’re competent enough for what I want, so prove yourself useful—kill our witness. Just kill.” She was very aware that taking a soul killed a person, or such was what all the books said. She’d never seen a soul actually taken from someone before, but did not want the Doctor to have that relief. He could go to hell.

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Re: Broken Glass [Closed]
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2014, 03:02:39 am »
An eye raised at the proposition, a contract? She really was desperate. Even though he wanted to grimace at how stupid the proposal was, she had to have an understanding of what the contract meant. That took guts, but was it really courage or need of a second chance? Either way, the demon was intrigued and silently pondered the idea to himself. Vastien couldn't stand the red-head bitch any longer and contracts had to be honored right? He wouldn't care.

The Warden did horrible things to escaped criminals once they were recaptured, death would be a mercy. Contracts were tricky business, the human girl would want something in return. He had duped Charlotte into believing they had a contract together and if she could be fooled, why couldn't this one?

The hint of fear was caught, the weakened resolve in not permitting him a meal. Standing in the way of a demon and his soul was suicidal and she seemed to know this. A flicker of annoyance washed over his face, not competent? Vastien's deeply rooted pride was pricked by her comment and the urge to kill her was intensifying. He grabbed his hat and threw it on the ground at her insolence.

Slowly the male began to grow in height and he shrugged off the trenchcoat as the transformation was occurring. His broad shoulders, muscled chest and arms also began to expand. Claws emerged from his fingertips and thick, twisting horns sprouted from his skull. The pigment of his skin turned into a blood red and long tail with an arrowhead tip swayed from side to side. The clothes he was wearing naturally ripped and fell to pieces around him. He went from 6'3" to an easy 10 feet.

The last time he shifted into his true form, he had been wearing nothing but rags. Loose, tattered articles of cloth hung around his legs and wrapped around his thick forearms. His body was ridden with old battle scars and wounds that had mortified and never fully healed. He also had black markings scribbled on his massive arms, muscled chest and his powerful back. His back was a mess of old lashing wounds, in the prison/island he'd been sent to he had been lashed with spiked wire. Brutal, but he was alive. His wings became thicker as well. He stalked over to the blonde female, roaring at her, the rows of sharp jaws opening in the process.


"I'm more than competent enough to kill all of you, girl." His voice was deeper, seasoned with hateful malice and faint hissing accented his English. "Look me in the eye when I speak to you, woman." His tone was angered and unpredictable, he could snap at any moment. The eyes though. Vastien's eyes were pools of charcoal, blacker than the darkest night. His intention was not to mesmerize her, once she'd look into his eyes, for a moment her deepest fears would reflect from the demon's eyes. The point was to instill pure terror but he wouldn't know her fears, it was just a side effect from the optical contact.

He wouldn't hold her gaze for too long though, he knew what that did to humans. His blood lust was more savage in his true form, he looked over his shoulder at the wounded individual behind him. He had managed to get to his feet but looked like he'd tip over at any moment. The huge, hulking demon walked over to the man who's eyes were already in disbelief from the monstrosity that was moving towards him.

Before he could scream, Vastien's thick, sharp claws penetrated his abdomen, protruding through the small of his back. Vastien ripped his hand upward; sinew, muscle, flesh and bone were torn apart. The look of horror on the doctor's face was priceless and the last thing he saw was those two pools of darkness. Upon pulling his hand out, the doctor's entrails spilled out, plopping on the floor with a comical squishing noise. Vastien had a handful of stringy guts and what appeared to be the man's liver as well. He turned to face the blonde female again, dropping the liver into his mouth and chewing noisily. The tangy, warm blood escaped through his lips and between the jaws.

At that moment, the first of many smirks directed at Seren played on Vastien's lips.
"Now then, what's in it for me if and only if, I change my mind about flaying you and agree to this contract."


Krystal Itzume

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Re: Broken Glass [Closed]
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2014, 03:03:17 am »
Seren knew she had annoyed the demon. His body language gave it away even before he discarded the hat and made his face visible. ‘Flawed.’ If he was to be in her employ, that would have to be fixed. He couldn’t go around in this natural form, tempting as it was. If the group ever learned she had a demon, they’d run away.

She couldn’t have them doing that. Seren needed them to come to her, again, in force. Getting rid of this Doctor and the traitor would do just that. The demonic form certainly held physical power, but there was also evidence of abuse in his scars. Somehow, she didn’t think demons scarred.

He roared, and didn’t truly need to request that she look at his eyes. She did, not doubting his ability to kill them all—at least, while she had Emil’s gun near her. There’d be no time to snatch up her own on a wounded leg, though she had always wanted to test how effective the ‘holy’ bullets were.

The eyes were dark pools, no light seemed to exist within them. She did not once flinch away, the side-effect of them only playing out the last thing she had to fear—her death, without having her revenge. Her death, with the group she detested being victorious. If anything, it solidified her resolve rather than terrify her. She could see eternal torment in his eyes, no doubt her ‘reward’. The fear did creep into her heart, and likely showed on her face, before he turned away to stalk his victim.

The Doctor was killed with wonderful brutality. A fitting end for a man who used to pull intestines out of still-living children. He munched on the liver, and Seren started to rise under his smirk. A rush of blood pushed out of Emil at the sudden loss of pressure. Seren balanced her weight on the uninjured leg and kept her gaze on the demon’s eyes. The nod was more for herself, confirmation,
"You do seem competent enough. You could kill me now if you wanted," she noted, agreeing with his earlier words. Now was not the time to antagonize the demon. He had listened to her and just killed the Doctor. He had the capability to listen, which was what she truly wanted to know. “And so what I have to offer may not mean anything to you, but I offer my soul,” Seren answered. No hesitation at all. She knew the cost of these deals, typically. “If you assist me with my revenge, if you never lie to me, you will have my soul.” She wasn’t dealing with another Emil. She wasn’t going to endure a number of lies in the demon’s game of intrigue. “You will have souls throughout to sustain yourself. I do not lead a peaceful life, and though it is probably meaningless to you, I am the Queen’s fist. I strike against her enemies, and I deal with the underground world of criminals.” That would explain how this demon could have his meals. There were plenty of filth that had to be cleaned up, often by death. “You’ll be provided for beyond sustenance. You will have a place to stay, alchemy and occult ingredients, books if you are so inclined,” she didn’t think this demon cared much for that sort of knowledge, though. Not by appearances, at least. She had to sell the deal as best she could without knowing what he wanted, though. Appearances could be deceiving. “I am willing to work to accommodate your needs, if you can work to accommodate mine—such as improving your human form, that will be a need,” Seren told him.

Not once did she avert her gaze. The natural form did not perturb her, but had its own beauty, in the way she’d come to think a natural werewolf form had beauty. It was such a shame that England wasn’t ready for these things just yet.
“Tell me what you require for us to come to an agreement, demon.”

Krystal Itzume

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Re: Broken Glass [Closed]
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2014, 03:03:55 am »
As she spoke, his long forked tongue sprang forward to lap up the warm blood on his fingers. While demons didn't normally feast on humans, meat was always tasty. It didn't provide the natural sustenance his body required to at full efficiency on the human plane. Souls were vital to his strength and health. Upon the offer of her soul, Vastien's smirk widened. What makes her think I won't let her bleed out and take her soul anyway? Nonetheless, the demon decided to hear her out.

Revenge? He couldn't careless what personal vendetta she had but a demon could surely secure her goals. He was beginning to understand the more she spoke. The contract invoked stipulations and apparently the no lying was one of them. He was so good at lying too. Violating stipulations held serious consequences once the contract was underway, the contractual marking was what held the contract together and sequestered their lives as one. A breach of contract could result in the death of the guilty party.

Complicated yet powerful business were the contracts. All in all, Vastien could only benefit from accepting her terms. He would have an ample supply of souls, plenty of killing and could blend in with the humans to throw off the Warden's bounty hunters. The way he saw it there were two options, accept and create the contract with her or pretend to accept and create the contract. The former restricted his freedom while the latter allowed it, the choice was a no-brainer. It worked with Charlotte and she was dense enough to take his word for it.

He wasn't sure how much she knew on how the contracts worked, the only way the lie would work if she was mostly ignorant to how it went down. A contractual marking is all the hard evidence anyone would need, but hopefully some demonic chanting would suffice. If she caught him in the lie, his options were simple. Kill her for her insolence or actually create the contact. In all honesty, if she trusted him outright, she was a fool and deserved to be eliminated.


"You must understand something, girl. This contract you want is not to be trifled with, your life and my own hang in the balance. You humans die from anything, I must have your assurance you will not do anything to get yourself killed. I will not risk my life for your stupidity. That being said, I want to rule out any self-execution on your part."

He could see the weakness in the way she was standing, her own blood could not be contained from the hip gunshot wound. Humans and their annoying guns, all they did was sting and tended to fragment if they managed to pierce his skin. No metal bullet would be enough to put him down permanently though, especially now in his true form. The raw muscle and tough skin on demons were like a natural armor, more resilient than the sacks of meat humans were made out of. "Now then.. do you trust me? This will not work without your trust, child." Would she willingly trust him outright? He didn't notice it, but the deception on his face was clear as day.

Afterwards, Vastien's face went sour with contempt, what demon wouldn't upon having to give up his freedom?
"If you do, take my hand." He held out his clawed hand, the demon waited for her to position her frail hand in his own before he'd start chanting in his own tongue. It was folly but unless she spoke his tongue, it sounded convincing enough or so he hoped. It consisted of snarls, hissing and some words. "It's done." He murmured.


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Re: Broken Glass [Closed]
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2014, 03:04:39 am »
It was stubborn confidence that made Seren believe the demon wouldn’t execute her then and there. Fortunately, he did no such thing. However, he seemed to agree…or such was her initial thought. There was something in his expression that suggested he wasn’t, in fact, being honest.

‘Suicide is out.’
She wondered if it was obvious on her face that she’d tried such a thing, or if it was obvious she might consider it again. “Very well, I shall not attempt suicide,” she consented to the terms, wondered if there would really be anything to keep her from doing it. She was already selling her soul. What more could be done?

‘Trust isn’t really required.’
She could see it clearly in his face then, in his words. She knew more than he suspected. However, she played along for a few moments. She took his hand. Seren did not even try to understand, but kept her head bowed. Irritation marred her expression, but she managed to mask it when the demon said something about it being ‘done’.

She looked up, didn’t remove her hand from his. Here was her own gambit. If she called the demon out on his treachery, he might very well kill her. She could not mention it and try to call upon another demon, but really, weren’t they all treacherous jerks? No, this one she had here. This one had every opportunity to kill her earlier, but he was humoring this.

Perhaps he’d humor an actual contract,
“I commend you on your treachery, demon. I am sure it has worked often in the past, and any human who would recklessly summon a demon without knowing how to forge a contract deserves what comes, but,” well, she couldn’t quite be humble here, “I am not that stupid.” Her fingers wrapped more tightly around the wrist of the demon, though they didn’t quite wrap fully around it. This contact would be necessary for the forging of the actual contract. “You never told me your real name, and no contract can be signed without names.” A half-smile, to suggest she knew a thing or two about the contracts.

She knew quite a bit more. The contractual mark would appear, and it wouldn’t exactly be a thing that went unnoticed. It burned to the soul. Of course, the demon would also have to agree to the terms set, much as she would have to agree to any terms he set, such as the suicide bit.
“Shall we start again? I will let you speak your terms first.” And there the circle that surrounded Emil took on a light of its own. Emil could die now, his soul was caught in the trap of the circle now that the idea of a contract was, at least momentarily, being seriously considered.

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Re: Broken Glass [Closed]
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2014, 03:05:31 am »
He frowned for a moment, exhaling his frustration through his nostrils. At least he wasn't dealing with some airhead which was good. The tightening of her slender fingers on his wrist felt peculiar, her grip was weak but cold. She figured him out. "Hah, you're damn right it's worked before. Why miss out on another great opportunity?" He was within the circle she'd drawn, the light emanating from it meant his soul was captive and still ripe for the taking.

"You can call me Vastien." The girl knew her stuff, but how much? She wasn't a complete idiot and ultimately the demon decided to give her a shot. One thing he noticed when their gazes locked for the first time, in her past there had been pain and terrible suffering. What the root cause of it remained unknown, she'd tell him when the time came no doubt. "Very well, no suicide. Your soul at the end of this no matter what shall be mine and then your fate will be sealed in Oblivion. You don't look irrational but remember both of our lives on the line here, so in a life-or-death situation, you will heed my counsel."

Vastien was still unsure if he should accept. "You look half-dead already, this will be one easy contract then." The demon smirked, looking down at her hand on his wrist, not around. "I suppose I should save you huh," The demon stared blankly at her mortal wound. "I accept your terms as well, the human form is incomplete because I never had much of a need to improve." His free hand moved to clasp around her bleeding hip, while his other gripped arm made a motion to break the grasp, pointing at his chest. "Here," He snarled at her, the markings on his body toning into bolder shades of black and while it would feel like her wound was burning, it wasn't. The contractual mark would be imprinted on her skin but it was branded onto her soul. The demon wanted her to place her contractual mark on his chest.

The other black markings decorating his body were past contractual markings from past contracts, he wore each one like trophies. Each contract and plenty of souls made him stronger, the girl's contract marking would be the last one he'd need. Taking on contracts was so risky, few demons dare to make more than a few in their long lifetimes.
"It's not too late to back out, girl. You've yet to mark me and name yourself." Her signature would have its spot on his chest, the old man's soul would be his and the contract would be official.


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Re: Broken Glass [Closed]
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2014, 03:06:10 am »
Seren was pleased that her intuition was right on this account. She had started to doubt it when Emil betrayed her. As it was, the demon gave her a name. “Vastien,” she repeated, tasting it, looking for the lie. No, he wouldn’t try a false name now. When their gaze locked, she had seen he understood some of her knowledge, if not what possessed her to take this chance. No, he’d likely never know that. It would be unnecessary. All she needed was revenge.

That, and oblivion, the oblivion her mind had invented before she fired the shot. It wouldn’t have come that way. Her soul would go to some other destination in the afterlife to live on. She didn’t want to see what was there. She didn’t need a second hell.

He did so like to smirk. It was almost contagious. When she put herself back together, he’d soon find it would not be as easy as he thought. No need to ruin his glee now, though. She sucked in air at the touch, the flicker of pain as tender flesh felt pressure upon it, heat. One deep breath, and one exhale, before she put her hand to his chest. He was certainly a lot hotter than she was, but then, she didn’t realize how cold she was. She didn’t realize how severe the gunshot wound was. Emil’s instincts had always been to kill.

He agreed to terms announced previously. Seren smiled. It was bright, it was innocent, and Vastien would soon learn this look was far more dangerous than any smirk she would give him. It was victory. Seren wasn't turning back now.
“You have agreed to the terms of never lying to me, and maintaining a human persona,” she knew better. She had to say the terms when the ‘circle’ was activated, “A convincing human persona. This contract shall not be completed until I have revenge on the specific group that the man you killed works for,” she didn’t know his name. She didn’t know anything about him, but this would be specific enough for the contract to bind them. “Until that time, you must protect me. You will not prematurely claim my soul unless I break the terms of the contract and attempt suicide.” That latter was a given, but she needed to say it.

Vastien had already agreed to the terms. Seren could have said anything there, but she did not add more trouble. She only ensured that the terms she’d proposed earlier would be followed.
“The name is Vesper.” It seemed appropriate, and it would work for the signature.

The Vesper line died here. The Vesper guild ended with her. It was almost exciting to know that she was the last of a long and noble lineage, and she was dictating the terms of its ending—of her ending.

The red light of the circle seemed to rise up, not just a glow but a light that touched that ceiling. Seren did feel the burning, but that seemed to be closing the wound on her hip—cauterizing it, perhaps, she didn’t know, she could hardly think through the pain that spread from that spot and through every nerve in her entire body. The bleeding did cease. Beneath her hand, she felt the flesh of Vastien’s chest react as well, no doubt to leave her mark behind.

Briefly, she caught the beginnings of the design.
‘Of course.’ Something of a star design. She wasn’t surprised at all, considering the meaning of her name.

She couldn’t see the mark made on her right then, though her mind painted the picture from the pain before it seemed to relax. That moment of relax also seemed to cause her leg muscles to release their tension, and both knees lost their ability to hold her up.
‘Least I didn’t faint.’ Small victory, but something.

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Re: Broken Glass [Closed]
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2014, 03:07:02 am »
The moment her hand touched his chest, the terrible burning began. The demon growled viciously, his entire body tensing up as her mark began outlining its design onto his chest. Nothing about the sensation was pleasant, yet under his hand he could feel the pooling of blood between his fingers starting to slow. She was smart, restating her terms with clarity enough where no loopholes came to mind. Protection was not something he was accustomed too but how was it any different than eliminating threats?

He just needed to remind himself that she was just as important now. His pride had taken a huge hit but he preferred living more. His mark was in the design of a black flame, Vastien himself was baring his teeth as her mark was still etching itself into his flesh. When both markings were done, he saw the quivering of her legs and all the strength left her at the moment. Not expecting the sudden reaction, Vastien had attempted to stop her from falling onto him but ended up awkwardly holding her up and keeping the girl from slamming into the floor.

The demon shook his head and scooped the frail girl up in his arms like a doll. He set her down on the floor outside the summoning circle so he could finalize the contract. Vastien stepped over the old man so she could have a good view of the soul extraction. In that moment, Vastien saw the old man's eyes flicker upon and the fear was caught in his throat, staring at the red, hulking demon kneeling over him. His clawed hand hovered over the old man's face and Vastien began speaking in his demon tongue, drawing the soul out of his body.

As the orb emerged from the old man's mouth, his veins went black with deterioration, huge red rashes and lesions appeared in patches all over his body. Vastien held his free hand on the old man's chest, lowering his head down to guide the soul into his own mouth. The tiny orb containing the old man's life-force was swallowed hungrily, the new power coursing through his veins, Vastien felt incredible. The intensity from the feeding caused Vastien's hand resting on Emil's chest to break through his chest cavity, black blood beginning to puddle outside the circle. When he pulled his hand out of Emil's chest, bits of broken bone clung to Vastien's hand and wrist.


"Now.. it's done." He snarled, the mark on his chest still inflamed and burning. He noticed that her wound had healed as well, it was too late to take it all back now. "What now, Vesper?"


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Re: Broken Glass [Closed]
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2014, 03:08:14 am »
Seren’s own pride had taken a hit in this. This would be a constant reminder that she was incapable of achieving revenge on her own. The girl who had saved herself from the group was apparently not strong enough, not smart enough, to deal with the group that had imprisoned her. ‘When they can get to any human….’ Yes, that was the issue, the words that brought her to this point of being pressed against the demon when her legs gave out. It was the nail in coffin. She couldn't even hold herself up after such pain, how could she have hoped to deal with that group?

Seren shut her eyes just as the demon scooped her up.
‘Not again.’ Not in public. She didn’t care to be carried. It deprived her of control. When he set her down, she opened her eyes and looked towards the final action, the one that would give true life to the contract.

It seemed Emil hadn’t died. Where sorrow and horror had been earlier, she now felt little of that. It was funny how quickly her mind had come to accept that those close to her might end up traitors. Such a thing was meant to be a surprise to humans, but right then Seren knew it would never surprise her again. No human would ever have such trust.

Perhaps it was the first true taste of revenge. It felt like it. Seren smiled as the ‘soul’ was removed, no human looking thing, but an orb of energy. Emil had looked in great pain before it was removed, seemed to try and struggle, to squirm, but to no avail. His soul was taken. His soul was eaten and his body immediately deteriorated.

Perhaps Seren should have felt horror, or even recoiled. Anything besides a simple:
“Ah.” Understanding. The fact Emil had just vanished into oblivion and would never go to heaven or hell didn't seem to bother her. The fact she would share his fate and know the pain he felt--might even still be feeling for all she knew about soul digestion--did not phase her.

She didn’t seem surprised, though she’d had no inkling the cause of the deaths,
“So the Red Death strikes this household,” not that such would be recorded as the cause of Emil’s death.

No, when she reported it, it would be her fault. Her fault for both, actually. She had to think of a story for Vastien. Bodyguards didn’t appear out of thin air. Jean-Baptiste would be suspicious. Raphael would demand a history—he had liked Emil because Emil had history with Demetri.


‘What now?’ Get rid of the evidence, for one. Emil's blood was going to stain in that pattern. Drink water, treat the wound, see if there were any clues with the Doctor, contact the guilds, figure out a reason for Vastien’s existence.

Thought forced her to move. It was better than dwelling on what was done, what could never be taken back, and why. Satisfied as she was with Emil’s ruined form, there was still some disgust that remained, and she wasn’t sure its source.
‘He deserved no better.’ Past acts suggested otherwise. She still remembered how friendly he had been, how many times he had risked his life for hers...all for this.

She forced herself to rise and walk to where the doctor’s suitcase was abandoned,
“You need a reason for being here, before anything else can be done,” Seren told him. She dropped besides the suitcase and popped it open once more. Items were sorted, shaky hands dropping them outside the suitcase. Agitation and blood loss were not a good combination. It was tempting to just dump the suitcase and hurl it against the wall.

The Doctor's secrets weren't hiding in his bag. They were hiding in him, and Seren realized belatedly it would have been better to keep him alive. It wouldn't be the last time she ended up sacrificing a lead, though at that moment she believed it would be. Promised it would be. It seemed he hadn’t brought identification. There was nothing in the suitcase that told her anything about who he worked for. It looked as if he’d been here to make a house call.
“It is illegal for demons to be in England, and doubly illegal for someone in the Queen’s service to be working with a demon.” Treason could be claimed just for that.

‘Off with her head.’
A smirk twisted her lips, though she didn’t explain as the words from that delightful book filled her head. It wasn’t a happy thought, of course.

“And bodyguards don’t usually appear as quickly as you have appeared,”
there would be many questions about his convenient appearance with Emil’s betrayal, “We’ll have to pretend I knew what Emil was plotting….” That might help. It could explain why Vastien was here—she had already gone out to seek his services in preparation.

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Re: Broken Glass [Closed]
« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2014, 03:08:59 am »
The demon wore a proud grin when she mentioned the Red Death murders. "So you've heard about those, huh? Guilty as charged I'm afraid," Not like he cared, if anyone was going to stop him, they would have. In his current state, engorged on souls Vastien's strength was at it's peak. The Red Death murders weren't just blind killings, the purpose was to harbor as much power as he could. He knew The Warden could decide to strike at any moment, Vastien would have to be at 110% just to survive.

The lies were beginning. If he understood correctly, he was undertaking the role of her bodyguard. The man Vastien had gutted didn't look the type, more like a doctor. The elderly gentleman had to be her previous bodyguard, killed by the one he was supposed to protect. Not a very good one then. Who knew though? The girl was clever it seemed and enough apparently to kill another human, but cleverness was a poor offensive against a demon.

The more he thought about it, lying wasn't completely out of the question, he just couldn't lie to her. He rose away from the rotting bodyguard and followed to where uneasily walked too.
"How open was your relationship with this man? Could anyone dispute you being unhappy with his services? If not, it seems to me you can paint this picture anyway you like. It's your word against his." He smirked, looking over his shoulder at the carcass.

She would want something with substance, a lie that no one could sniff out. Before he could come up with one, she went over the illegality of his presence in England and of his employment. Such petty restrictions didn't seem to bother the Vesper heiress. Her idea was good enough, he supposed he could add onto it.


"That could work, once you learned of his treachery, you acquired my services. The rest is self-explanatory, Emil met his demise by your hands with me at your side. A dog that had to be put down." Vastien smirked at this, not realizing just yet that he would eventually be the new dog.


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Re: Broken Glass [Closed]
« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2014, 03:09:37 am »
The demon was responsible for the Red Death murders. ‘And yet I am spared.’ She didn’t quite realize how lucky that made her. Seren looked up as he approached, added his own thoughts to hers.

There were people who could dispute it, but then again, it wouldn’t hold water. People found reason to fight, to disagree. Certainly, she’d had issues with Emil, and vented them to others. Few, if any, would have thought they’d come this far. Her proposed idea seemed favorable to Vastien, at least.

She smiled at his terminology,
“Yes,” she giggled, thought it blood loss that inspired the sound, “I put down my old German Shepherd and got a Rottweiler puppy!” Trading up, indeed. The puppy would need some training. The thought of the demon as a dog was quite amusing, and the smile didn’t fade despite the pain that remained when she tried to stand back up. She pulled herself back to her feet, put a hand on the nearby bookshelf to keep her standing. “I always wanted a dog,” she sighed. Demetri didn’t like dogs, something about their blind loyalty bothered him. A dog still respected a master that kicked it. She couldn't go get a real dog now, though. She'd just sold her soul, signed her death certificate. It wouldn't be fair.

She shook off the thought. Vastien’s loyalty wasn’t blind, it would be understandable. He had a soul to acquire.
“Then we shall use that story. I found out of Emil’s treachery and then I found you, Vastien,” he could keep the name. It wasn’t something like Lucifer or Beelzebub, after all. It was harmless enough. “Details can be filled in as necessary,” they’d keep the story straight.

Once certain of her balance, she walked to her desk, her father’s desk, probably her grandfather’s desk.
“The murders will have to stop, though. I cannot be connected to the Red Death.” Her hand ran along the wood. She let out a frustrated sigh. “Can’t explain the doctor.” No name, no reason.

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Re: Broken Glass [Closed]
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2014, 03:10:13 am »
Nothing about the word puppy sounded intimidating and in his demon form, intimidation was something he was going for. He really hoped it was the blood loss making her all loopy because he didn't know how much more condescending he could take before losing it. He nodded as she agreed with their collaborated idea, it was a good lie as any. He was sure she could sell it quite well to her peers.

Then came down the hammer. No more murders. He hadn't thought about that before creating the contract. Would he need to hoard more souls though? Maintaining his constant demon form made it easier for the Warden to locate him, perhaps toning down on the murders and perfecting the human disguise would buy some more time. Vastien scowled, he was stuffed to the seams but a demon could always eat more.
"..Fine. Just know that I will not be much use to you if I am not properly nourished," That was stretching the truth, it wasn't completely false however. The energy from the souls did more than just satiate his hunger, they allowed him to maintain the human form, made him stronger and increased his recovery rate of injuries.

A starved demon could be killed a lot easier, even human guns would work to some degree. He looked at the mess Vastien had made of the doctor. He was starting to stink, the exposed organs had been steaming inside of him and now they were cooling on her floor. The stench of death was thick in the air, Vastien actually enjoyed the smell though. He couldn't speak for the girl though.
"Girl, you seem to have forgotten what you're dealing with. You don't need to explain the doctor," He pressed his foot on the doctor's neck, turning the head to look up at him. "There was never any doctor here, you don't know this man. Making humans disappear is simple, making bodies disappear is child's play."

That would be the end of that and with that, Vastien closed his eyes, muttering something in his demonic tongue. The large, black leathery wings began to scale down in size, his height returned to 6'2" and everything demonic about save for the wings reverted to back to human. The rags he wore were large and not his size so it was almost like wearing a short kilt. With his sickly, blond straw-like hair, colorless pupils and imperfect facial features, everything else looked right. He'd need more practice to form a correct, persuasive and structured masculine face.

"You're the expert here, what needs work? It's the best I can do right now." Anyone with a half a brain would notice the imperfections, uneven facial symmetry, disproportioned skull structure.


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Re: Broken Glass [Closed]
« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2014, 03:11:17 am »
“You will be fed,” Seren answered his words calmly. ‘Girl’. She was as much a girl as he was a puppy, she considered with slight amusement. Whatever innocence a girl was meant to have had been lost in what seemed another life. “I have enough enemies.” This was evidence enough of her enemies.

He seemed to believe he could deal with the doctor. The man never had to be here.
‘Emil worked alone?’ Or he was cornered before he could pull off his scheme. The smell didn’t bother her much, though it was not pleasant. Truth told, she’d take this wretched scent over any antiseptically clean hospital. It was familiar, in a horrible way, touched on all those memories of days she’d forgotten too much of.

‘No.’ She wasn’t going to think on them now. She forced her breathing to shallow and watched the form of the demon change. The clothing that had been torn to rags now hung awkwardly on his smaller frame. His body at least looked human, but that didn’t surprise her. The demonic torso and legs had not appeared much different, except in hue. The wings were still there, though. His face was the greatest offender—eyes, structure, so much about it. His hair was so…lank, as well.

She couldn’t help the sigh at his question.
“Ok, this first,” then the doctor’s removal. She pointed to a mirror at the side of the room. “Go there,” she directed him as she took a framed portrait from the desk. It was a photo of the three Guild Heads in her father’s time, a younger Noel, Demetri, and Edwin Herschel—the one Jean replaced.

She limped, but her balance was more or less secure now. She pointed out the issues while he was looking in the mirror.
“The structure of your skull is clearly off—I imagine that isn’t helping the facial symmetry. Your nose is crooked, one eye is higher than the others, and your chin….” She wasn’t sure even what words to use, “Not to mention up here,” she couldn’t reach that high, but for some reason still insisted on motioning as if she could point it out that way, “The bulge in your forehead that’s slanting the hairline oddly and messing up your eyebrow. Needs fixed. And your eyes need color, if you can manage something. Blue, green, brown—normal.” All that she’d need would be for him to have crimson eyes. “Maybe gray.” That might be easier. “The wings need to go.” If he twitched them, someone was bound to notice the movement of his clothing.

She then offered up the photograph,
“Three examples of male faces,” he could try to make his face fit as closely to the general structure of them, though she wondered belatedly how well it might work. They weren’t stoic faces. They weren’t even simply smiling—well, Noel was.

Her father was wearing a grin, ear to ear, while holding up bunny ears over Lord Herschel’s head. Herschel couldn’t ignore it, but apparently couldn’t do anything about it, so he scowled for the photographer. He must have been tapping his foot, for it was blurred there. He was eying Demetri with something akin to exasperated irritation.

Noel was simply smiling for the camera, ignoring the antics. Demetri had set this up, for he wanted a photograph of his ‘best friends’ to keep at his desk. There was another there, of course. Family. Seren, her mother, Demetri, and her grandparents.

Lord Herschel died a month after. Demetri and the rest of the family followed not long after.


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Re: Broken Glass [Closed]
« Reply #15 on: October 09, 2014, 03:12:01 am »
Vastien could see the imperfections himself and it was a ghastly sight truly, perfection of the human form rarely had any importance. Those who witnessed his facial flaws didn't live long enough to tell the tale. Her pointing out what needed the most work was good though, it gave Vastien an idea of what to work on with more care. Restructuring his human form required tapping into his energy reserves from all the souls he'd devoured.

He took the photograph in his hand and stared at the three men for a while, taking in their differences. One of them looked like her, there was something in his face that he saw in her. Could it be that man was her father or an uncle? The contractual mark on his chest flared and soon after the human skull began to take on normal proportions. The cranium went from dented to round, the new bones helped his facial features to correct themselves. With a strong tug on his nose, Vastien broke it into place and it began to rebuild itself, making the nose smaller than it had been originally.

The bulging forehead was alleviated as well, the level of his eyes were equal for the most part but the pupils still had no distinguishable color. His hand clasped his jaw and he could feel the bones underneath the skin reforming to his will. The weak, slanting jaw was now strong, masculine and better suited to match his face. High cheekbones were now present, blond peach fuzz was slowly sprouting and outlining his future beard that would settle in. The lifeless, sickly yellow straw-like hair fell off like dead leaves until he was bald. His hand glided over the fuzzy scalp several times until a mop of rich and vibrant, blond hair replaced the previous hair.

He overshot how much hair to add on and the length of his hair reached his shoulders, nothing a little cutting couldn't fix. Lastly Vastien shut his eyes, placing his index and middle finger from his right hand on each eyelid for a few seconds. When he moved his hand away and reopened his eyes, the hues were a cold, piercing blue. His skin pigmentation was also pale, Vastien corrected it and gave himself more color. The end result was a tall, muscled man in his early 20s who could easily pass off as a bodyguard. He 'borrowed' some features from the men in the photograph to create his own disguise. It was easy molding his human form into whatever he wanted, the constant channeling of energy to maintain the form was the challenge.

Without practice, the human form could fall apart and all these new modifications required more energy to maintain. Eventually all the energy from the souls would be spent, the quality of his human form would begin to falter as well.
"I can't believe I'm wasting valuable souls just to keep up this façade. Will this do for now?" He asked, still observing his new, improved self in the mirror. Vastien turned to face her, standing straight as an arrow and awaiting her judgment. Without surprise, Vastien found it difficult to smile.