Serena raised an eyebrow. "What did you just say?" she asked.
I slowly rose to my feet. "I think you heard me," I slowly spoke.
She darkly laughed. "Whatever you're gonna try, it's not going to work. You're too passive to try anything violent."
A dark aura had started swirling around me. "Care to make a bet, Demon bitch?"
She threw her head back in laughter. "You mean to tell me that you're going to try to kill me? Oh, that's too rich." She lowered her scythe to lean on it, trying not to fall over laughing.
I felt an uncomfortable smirk form on my face. "In other words, challenge accepted." The dark aura that encircled me started attaching itself to me, sticking to my very outline, until I looked and felt like my own shadow.
Serena stopped laughing to look at me. "Well, that's certainly interesting," she mused. "And I thought Shiro Tatsu was the most interesting thing about you."
"Methinks you thought wrong, daughter of darkness. Now then... shall we?"
The Demon gripped her scythe tightly, a determined look in her eyes. "Let's dance."
In as quick as a flash, she went straight for me, ready to take me down. She brought her scythe down, but I've somehow been able to hold it back. The scythe's blade was so sharp that blood started trickling down my hand. Serena pressed the blade harder and harder into my hand, but the pain didn't reach me. I wasn't sure why I wasn't screaming in pain, but I merely laughed and sent a dark flame to my Demon counterpart, and it sent her flying while her weapon was in my hand. But I didn't think of using her weapon against her. No, it was more - satisfying? - to use my own two hands. Any common sense and thought had either left me or I was just ignoring it.
Then everything went black.
I didn't know what happened. I didn't know what came over me. It just happened. I blacked out. The last thing I remembered was when Serena challenged me. And now there she was, cold and lifeless, her blood rushing out of the open wounds on her stomach, torso, face, arms, and legs. I looked at my hands, my nails have grown long and sharp like claws of a wild animal. They were stained red, and just the smell made me want to puke my guts out. My eyes were wide with fear, and my legs were shaking so uncontrollably that they buckled underneath me. I just sat there, covered in the blood of my late enemy. She may have been Demon, but she was also - shall I say it - human. I felt a drop of water fall. I looked up at the sky. It had grown dark, and the rain started to come down hard. Even with the blood washing off of me, the smell of copper lingered.
Oh my god...! What have I done? I... I KILLED someone! My power... it's out of control! I need to leave and never come back.
As I stood, I felt my stomach twist and turn, and then I threw up. I quickly wiped my mouth and ran away. I didn't care which way, just so long I stayed away from Serena's corpse. I didn't want to take the chance of being tried as a murderess. I ran and ran as far as my legs could take me until I stumbled and fell into a puddle on a dirt trail. I crawled to underneath a tree. It wasn't much protection from the rain, but I didn't care. My arms were cold, so I rubbed them to keep warm. My wings then covered my arms, but I was still cold. I wished my wings were bigger so that I could use them as a blanket or shawl.
That voice... Zephyr...
Running footprints grew louder with each pounding step until Zephyr came into view, completely out of breath. I quickly looked away from him, not wanting to see his accusing stare.
"There you are, I've been looking for you everywhere," he said with worry. "Where the hell have you been? Why are you covered in blood?"
Let's see, I killed a person, so that's the highlight of my day...
"You WHAT?!" he yelled. "How could you do something so stupid?!"
I cringed from him yelling, still not looking at him. Tears started going down my cheeks. But it was an accident! I didn't mean to! She pushed me! ...I think. I can't remember exactly...
"She? She who?"
You know the one girl who looks almost like me, right?
I heard him stagger back. "You don't mean... Serena?! But why her?! She wouldn't harm a fly!" When I didn't respond, he knelt to my level, gently grabbing my arm. "You're cold." A pause. "You feel bad about what you did, don't you?" I slowly nodded, not meeting his gaze. Then suddenly, he put his hands on my shoulders, wrapping something around me. I glanced up a little, seeing he placed his jacket on me to keep me warm. I then looked up at him. I expected a look with a cold shoulder, but this was softer. Much softer than I expected.
"But... but why..." I started.
"Come on," he said, helping me to my feet. "Let's get you back to the detective agency, get you warmed up and-"
"NO! I... I don't wanna be trouble..."
He let out a sigh. "Alright. Let's just get out of this rain." He led me for a little while until we came across a small cave. It was even colder in the cave than it was in the rain. Zephyr started shivering uncontrollably, starting to curl into a ball.
I started taking off Zephyr's jacket. "You're gonna catch your death," I said, trying to hand it to him.
"N-n-nah, I'm fine," he shivered. He sneezed. "Don't worry a-about me."
"Zephyr... after what I did, you're still by my side. Why?"
"Well, for one, I'm not letting you freeze in the cold rain. You'd get sick. Second, it may not look like it, but we're family not only by blood but by bond as well. I'm sure that what happened was a freak accident. We'll get through this."
"What do you mean 'we'? You weren't there; you didn't see what happened."
"We'll come up with a story like we used to do before." He shivered a little more.
I looked at my hands, my nails still claw-like. "Is this... Is this going to be permanent?" I showed the shivering wolf my hands.
He looked at them, gently taking one of them. "W-well, your claws don't look like they'll be stuck like this. Try and give it some time; they'll return to normal." He gripped my hand tightly as he shivered. The pain of his claws seeping into my skin didn't sway me. Instead, I gently pulled my hand away.
"Zephyr, you're going to get hypothermia if you don't warm up soon." I brought my hands next to each other, a large fireball forming. Using my foot, I pulled a stick over to me and placed the flame on it. "Hopefully you'll be a bit warmer."
I looked out through the mouth of the cave, the rain still pouring down. Seeing the rainfall just reminded me of a sad song that echoed in my head. I started humming it, and then my mouth opened, and the world around me just disappeared...
itte kure yo, samishitte itte kure yo
Mukae ni yuku donna toko e mo
Ikanai de yo doko e mo, oite ka nai de
Bokura zutto futari de hitotsu darou
Furitsumoru yuki to tomo ni kiete yuku kimi wo
Dakishimeru koto shika dekinai yo
Kanau nara mou ichido dake
Kimi no koe ga kikitai...
"When'd you learn how to sing like that?" Zephyr asked.
I was shaken back to reality. I looked at Zephyr. "Like what?" I asked.
"The Japanese. How'd you learn to sing in Japanese?"
I shrugged. "I wanted to learn Japanese one day, but instead of trying to speak it, I got into the habit of singing it, and I've been singing Japanese songs ever since."
"I don't say this to most people, but you have a great voice. Ever tried recording?"
Again, I shrugged. "I never thought about it much."
He chuckled a little. "And now I know why your nickname is Chy."
We laughed a little at the inside joke. Then, a moment of silence. Before, Zephyr just seemed like a nice guy to talk to. Now, to know that we have something in common, it just, I don't know, brightened something inside me. My eyelids started to get heavy, and then I drifted off into a deep sleep.
I woke up lying on the cold, hard ground, the sun shining through the cave mouth. I sat up and stretched a little, letting out a yawn. Zephyr quietly snored a few feet from me. Still wrapped up in his jacket, I took it off and covered the sleeping wolf's torso. I went outside, the sun shining brightly on a new morning.
"Niece!" Zekrom just popped up right in front of me, making me scream. "Forgive me! I didn't mean to scare you."
"Tell that to my bloody heart attack!" I yelled.
Zephyr stumbled out of the cave, putting his jacket on as he did. "What's going on?!" he asked. "What's wrong?! I heard you scream!" He then looked up at Zekrom and me, and his nerves went away instantly, turning into annoyance. "Oh. That explains it."
"I said I was sorry," Zekrom pouted. "Besides, I came by to bring Cheyenne some congratulations."
"Congratulations?" Zephyr and I asked simultaneously.
"For what?" I asked.
"For killing off a demon, of course!"
FUCK ME! HE KNOWS!
"It's not every day that a Half-Blood trainee kills off their Demon Doppelganger. I've yet to be rid of mine..."
"Wait a minute," Zephyr pondered. "By 'Demon Doppelganger', could you mean..." He glanced at me, cluing me in on Serena.
"Okay, okay, back up," I spoke. "So, Zekrom, you're saying that me killing Serena is a good thing?"
"Who?" Zekrom asked.
"Serena, my doppelganger."
"Oh, yes, Demon Doppelgangers usually have a name to associate themselves with to avoid confusion with the original person, as well as changing a few other attributes."
Okay, now I'm confused. I tilted my head to the side to show how confused I was.
"Oh yeah, I was about to tell you," Zephyr explained. "Cronus tried finding a way to go around protection spells and seals, remember?" I nodded. "Well, he did find a way, and it just happened to be a type of cloning process. How it's done is by taking the blood from people and Immortals."
"But how the Doppelgangers are formed is completely unknown," Zekrom interjected. "But I'm sure that they're unlike full-blooded Demons, which are born from the Demon queen's blood, sweat, and tears. That, and dark energies from Tartarus's mines."
"And because of the Doppelgangers being born," Zephyr continued, "they're able to slip by and remove the spells and seals almost without detection. Then they let the latter out into the mortal world so they could devour the souls of the living."
Oy vey, this is A LOT of information to take in. I think I need some sort of Demonology book or something to help explain this a little better.
"Demonology? You got it!" Zekrom chimed, pulling a book practically out of thin air. The book was indeed titled Demonology: History and How to Repel. He put the book in my hands.
Three. Three in total.
"What's with three?"
"It's the number of those who can read minds," I answered.