And The Boy Fell Asleep
As his cross swiped through Mana's metal skeleton, Allen's eyes widened in terror and mortification. The metal of the demon gave away under the slightest bit of pressure the clawed innocence applied and Allen was forced to watch as he ripped through his own father. The sight wasn't as gory as the original accident that killed Mana in the first place, but it was more scarring than anything else.
This time...this-this time it was by his own hand.
A choked sob racked through his lips, and he didn't know whether it was from the burning pain from his eye, or the sorrow. He just heard Mana's voice, only for it to be ripped away again. His arm shrank in again, turning into the veiny red arm he was used to. It was lighter now, and he could move it more freely. Was it because of what happened...?
If so, if killing his father is what made his arm decide to cooperate with his body then he hadn't his arm. He hated what it could do and he hated it because it forced him to do it.
The Earl watched idly by, drinking in the boy's sorrow, his wide girl was not giving away his anger. Just his luck he would find a child exorcist, it would have been nice if his innocence didn't activate that would give him a demon that controlled innocence if his hunch was correct, and the look on the exorcist's face would've been priceless.
The newly cursed little boy ruined it now, and now he had to die. His sword formed in his hand, and he stalked toward the pitiful human, ready to swipe. Even if his innocence took over the boy's movements again it would be no match for his sword.
He raised the sword over his head and brought it down.
Only to stop moments later.
The boy hadn't paid any attention to him, probably lost in his own little world. Allen was only a step from crumbling away probably, but he was holding his hands to his bleeding bu now rapidly healing- eye and humming. Normally humming annoyed the Earl, and he scolded Road every time she did it, but the song...he recognized it all too well.
It was the fourteenth's melody.
The Fourteenth Noah was somebody he knew quite well, as he was his own family. Thirty some years ago, though, he attacked and killed almost the whole Noah clan with the exception of Road and himself, and only now was Noah's awakening. Right now, he only had Skinn, Lulubell, Road, and Tyki Mikk. The rest weren't reborn yet.
Now, he had potentially had Nea. Of course, the boy could attempt to kill all of them once he awakened but he was still was family. The Earl knew what he had to do.
"Boy," He said gently, "Look at me." Allen didn't respond immediately, but allow the Earl to gaze into his fearful eyes. The cross on his left hand was glowing green, and it burned, but he ignored it.
"What's your name?" The Earl asked, kneeling and trying to coax the boy out of his shell. The roots of his red hair were transforming into a pristine white. A result of the curse, the Earl supposed.
"Allen," He responded.
"Do you know what just happened Allen? Well, that thing on your arm is innocence. All exorcists have innocence, but see what a bad thing it is? See what it made you do? Are you proud of that my boy?" He pointed to the ashes of the demon, and Allen flinched and turned away.
Allen blinked back up at the Earl, "Innocence?" He tried the word out, staring at his grotesque arm. He didn't want to believe the Earl's words but tried to think of any good that came to his arm. His parents abandoned him for it, he caused trouble for Mana, and now it was the result of killing Mana for the second time.
...What good was an arm that did that?
"What should I do then?" Allen asked the Earl. Allen was a child and like all children and distilled trust in almost all adults. The information the Earl gave him proved to be correct, so he trusted him.
"Well," The Earl held out a hand, "You can come with me. That song you sing, it's a sacred song to my family. You haven't awakened yet, but you are part of this family, you don't wish to be alone do you?"
"But...what will happen if I say no?" Allen asked curiously.
"Then, an exorcist will find you and bring you to the place where the exorcists live, and you will be forced to kill more people that others love. You see, these souls are bound to their love one in the closest of bonds. The soul of that person is living in their beloved's body."
Allen didn't get it, if that was true, then why did Mana get so angry? Even so, it didn't sound so bad. From what his mind could work out it sounded like a win some lose some deal. He gave Mana his body, Mana lived. He would die, but Mana would live as a demon, but that was beside the point. It was sort of an exchange he supposed.
"...That doesn't sound bad..." Allen reasoned, "I should go with...you?"
The Earl nodded eagerly, "Yes! Yes! You should come with me, you'll have a whole bunch of family. There's Road, Tyki, Lulubell, and Skinn...they'll adore you!"
"What about my innocence?"
"You can fight with it, you'll fight against exorcists with it of course. When your Noah awakens we'll remove it but for now use it as a source to protect yourself." Allen slid his hand into Earl's and the Earl grinned. He curled his arms around Allen and hoisted the boy up, figuring he must be tired after all the commotion.
They disappeared into the night through a heart-shaped door. They just missed the red-haired general that came up as they walked out. He cursed lowly under his breath, clutching the gun in his hand.
Cross watched as the door faded, tempted to go through it, shoot everybody, and take the boy and go. However, he knew better. That would result in death for him.
"Mana, I'll have to go the long way on this one...won't I? You owe me for this."