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Eris Jones

A Reluctant Demon

0 · 867 views · located in Japan

a character in “How To Deal With A Demon”, as played by WendyDarling

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"I am more than what I am."

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F ┠┨ "Jones"

Her hair changes colors almost weekly, but that's due to a salon, not any skill of her own. Similarly, her curly horns were also due to science, and their blue shock of strangeness matches the color of her eyes. A layer of muscle like steel lays under soft curves, echoing the friendliness of her manner that hides something much... darker.

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Red meat Action movies Desserts More Desserts Motorcycles
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Stubborn┠┨ Kind┠┨ Sarcastic┠┨ Devout

Eris struggles between her species and her sense of identity. So she can seem moody, when her demon self fights with the soul she believes she still possesses. Outwardly, she's easy to befriend and even charming, although her sarcasm and cynicism about the world around her can pop up now and then.So while she has "normal" friends, none of them know what she really is... or what she'd do to them, if her resolve ever weakened.

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Scientists Demons Vegetables Impressionist Art Plastics
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Labartu ┠┨ Straight

Eris took the name after scientists made her what she is. She can remember something of her past, and the "average" life she recalls in the Midwest makes her present a high contrast. The Council's intervention made all the difference.

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As a Labartu demon, Eris possesses a second set of sharp teeth she can bring out at will, or can come out on their own if she's extremely hungry. Her strength and speed are also augmented, as is her ability to track prey. She may have other abilities, but as she doesn't like to explore them, they remain unknown.

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|| How To Deal With A Demon ||
CS (c) βəəlzəβ∩β

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Do Not Use Without Permission!

So begins...

Eris Jones's Story

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Character Portrait: Eris Jones Character Portrait: Molyneux
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Chou just kept smiling at the girl and made himself appear as eased as possible. ”The Council are a bit intense at times but you get use to it,” he told her softly, ”at least from what I’ve heard. I tend to just avoid them as much as possible, you know.” The boy was rather infamous for it as well. Ms. Dimitriou would have a hard time pegging him down though Chou was thankful that the scary woman wasn’t actually after him in particular, just poor Eris it seemed, and the boss. ”They keep hassling the boss every so often. One time someone came and cleared the whole bar out just so they could talk to Molyneux.”

Turning away from the counter Chou focused his attention to the many bottles and snacks that decorated the wall behind the bar to their side. ”Don’t worry you’ll get the hang of it,” he assured her, before going on to explain the different brands and flavours that hung on the wall. There was plenty to choose from but a lot to remember, Chou almost laughed when remembering his first time serving behind the bar. ”This should help you,” the boy gestured towards a laminated sheet with information covering it. Picking the sheet up and running his finger down each one he continued, ”It’s got every drink listed along with its price and so on.” A handy thing. Lillian had it made especially for all new staff members, since the woman got fed up of having to teach them every little thing over and over again.

”Fire extinguisher and emergency stuff is kept behind the bar in-case you need it,” he continued a moment after and pointed as he went, making sure Eris knew where to find certain equipment that might be need, ”Lily’s number is always found by the till, first aid things are in the cupboard down there, yadda yadda,” Chou yo-yoed up and down the bar’s length offering little bursts of information concerning this and that, basically what he thought the girl should know. ”Some customers can get a bit snippy so pay them no mind,” he said to Eris, ”it’s mostly easy-going during the day so I don’t think we’ll have many problems...”

”It’s the nights you gotta watch out for.” There was a reason why Lillian and Molyneux tended to the late evenings out of all the staff. They were probably the most qualified to handled them really. ”Oh yeah, you still thinkin’ over what colour to dye your hair next?” He asked, just remembering their last conversation. Just then another customer entered at that moment and made their way to the bar. ”Want me to handle this or you think you can manage it?”


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His instructions were easy enough to follow, and everything was placed more or less logically. It wouldn't be too hard to get into the swing of things, she thought, as she answered his question, "Yes. There are so many possibilities! But I'll make a decision within a week or two, at least just to choose something and be done with it." She was too impatient to let it go longer.

Absentmindedly, she wondered who had cleared out the bar to speak to Molyneux and why. Was it Ms. Dimitriou, or another Council representative? And what exactly had Molyneux done to deserve such a serious chat? It wasn't as if the demon seemed harmless, exactly, but he seemed civilized enough, and certainly enough that the Council wouldn't have to keep him closely watched, but he didn't appear to do too well with rules. Or with Ms. Dimitriou. Yet again she wondered what his species was, and resolved to look at her book before she went to sleep for the night and begin the search. Knowing that could help her know how to get along with him better, and the same could be said about Ms. Dimitriou.

Eris watched as the customer came in and made a swift decision. Better to keep herself distracted from the combined curiosity and worry abut the meeting rather than letting herself dwell on it, which did no good at all."I might as well start now," she said quietly, and turned a charming smile towards the rather unassuming man dressed in casual clothing that approached the bar.

"Hi, what can I get for you?"

"Just a beer, Asahi if you have it."


He and the other few customers that straggled in over the next few hours were easy enough, mostly bottled drinks and nothing fancy, a few snacks she was unfamiliar with but wanted to try when she got the chance. They didn't talk much, and the tips were only all right, but Chou's banter in between customers kept her entertained. And when she poured the first beer from on tap, one from a local microbrewery for what looked like a very trendy young Japanese man, she came to a decision.

When the customer turned to take his glass to a table in the corner of the room, she turned to Chou. "Ombre. Green with purple ends. I think that will be crazy enough for me for a while. I could do it myself, but a salon would be better. Do you have any you would recommend, or someone I can ask for a recommendation?"

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The boy carefully watched and refrained from intervening as Eris went about serving the customer, already seeming capable enough of handling it on her own. ”Not bad,” he offered compliment, ”better than how I managed on my first go.” The boy sniggered with the confession. Which was probably why Chou was kept out back most the time, until eventually needed to man the bar. He wasn't the greatest but the lad could keep the punters at bay. ”Well that does sound pretty crazy,” he amusingly grinned at her choice of hair colour, before having a good think. Out of everyone, he was typically the best bet for information regarding the area. ”There’s a place not too far that deals with hair that I’ve heard is good,” Chou offered while leaning against the bar and crossing both arms. Generally the area had plenty to offer for just about anything, not to mention the vast city just hanging nearby. ”Lily’s also handy at it. She’s always messing around with potions and products.” He remarked, trying to remember what exactly it was that the witch did with such things. ”She can also give advice on how to look more human. She’s known to help the local supernaturals with that.”

Not long after footsteps were heard coming down the stairs from the back, and soon after Molyneux appeared and casually took a seat up at the bar across from the pair. Although giving a quick glance over his shoulder first and looking about, he then turned and remarked, ”What? Nothing broke or damaged yet?” It almost sounded as if he had expected such and was nearly disappointed at seeing everything still perfectly intact. ”And we still have customers too?”

”Aw. Don’t be so nitpicky boss,” Chou chimed in, smiling at the older man. ”It’s all good!”

Molyneux continued to give an unsettled look to the boy, and a more doubtful stare at the girl. However saying no more about it he leaned back in his seat, hooking one leg over the other while lighting up a cigarette. ”It’s been a few hours so I figured I’d drop in anyway,” he spoke, puffing out a smoky breath. It always felt so nice having a good smoke at this time of the day, especially when knowing he’d need it before attending the meeting that he’d undoubtedly force himself to go to. ”Lillian should be arriving soon to take over from you two. Although... you sure you really want to go to this meeting?” He asked Eris, particularly.


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"If she could just make the horns appear a little smaller," Erin said with a wry grin, "that might help a little. But I don't want to impose on her. Maybe when I've been here for a while, then I'll ask. I don't want her to think I'm trying to take advantage of her or anything, and it's certainly not been necessary so far." And strangely enough, she didn't want them to go away entirely, at least not all the time. She knew it would just be an illusion, a glamour of sorts, but as odd as they were, she had gotten used to them. And they had proven useful the few times that other demons had attacked her, or thought about doing so. They were a rather obvious indication of her species, which wasn't exactly picky when it came to meat sometimes.

Eris shrugged. "I like making new friends. And having people to talk to about... people like us will be nice. I really don't think it's necessary, but Ms. Dimitriou was insistent, so I don't really think I have much of a choice." She tried not to scrunch up her nose at the smoke, and ended up just moving farther away from him behind the bar, almost tripping over Chou.

"Sorry!" she said, returning a bottle that had started to slightly tip from her bump to the shelf back to an upright position.

Lillian strode in, a large personality in a small body. "You still here? You have a meeting to attend you two--and like I said, we really can't afford to make that woman angry. Shoo!"

Eris nodded, wiped her hands, and turned to Chou. "Good working with you, see you later!"

He waved and went off his own way as Lillian came behind the bar. Not wanting to make her angry, either, Eris looked at the card in her pocked and motioned to Molyneux. "I'll follow you, since you've been there before."

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He had a feeling that Eris would insist on going. Of course Molyneux knew they must if only to keep Dimitriou satisfied, though as well the half-demon couldn’t resist the opportunity to see if the girl would obediently follow or tuck tail and run. Needless to say she did the former, albeit wisely perhaps. With that in mind and going on with what his manager insisted, Molyneux merely gestured for Eris to follow as he made his way to and out the door.

”I can at least remember the way there,” he said, heading down the street. It had been a long while since Molyneux had last attended a meeting admittedly, but seemingly the way there was forever engrained on his mind. If anything the half-demon only wondered what the others were like now, since last seeing them. Perhaps a few of the members had gone now and maybe a few new faces would be there? Who was even leading the damn group now? So many questions for someone who seemingly didn’t care enough to go. It wasn’t like he had made any friends there; Molyneux hadn’t stuck around long enough for that, though he supposed the demons there were friendly enough from what he could remember.

The meeting was held in a place not too far from the bar. Well at least they could walk to it easily enough, which was likely why the Council had put Molyneux at the bar, assuming that the half-demon wouldn’t have had many issues getting to and from the meetings. Of course to save even fewer issues he just didn’t attend, in his opinion. Though the Council never was too keen on discussing his views on it. By the time they arrived it was already getting a bit dark outside and more so when making their way down the many alleyways that lead to the spot. It was rather dark and quiet and isolated, very out of the way from passing humans and the general beginnings of the early nightlife.

”This should be it,” Molyneux spoke, stopping outside an old withered door. The building it belonged to looked a bit unused and old and the sort that wouldn’t attract too much attention. Raising a hand he gave a quick knock on the door, before stuffing both hands into his pockets and taking a step back. He almost hoped deep down that nobody would answer, and that possibly they could make their escape even sooner than expected.

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Eris' boots clicked on the dark streets, a soft echoing sound down the long alleys. She had given up wondering what to expect, and had instead turned to her favorite thing. Nibbling on a soft biscuit-like pastry, she watched as Molyneux knocked.

A small slot opened in the door, eyes peering into the darkness, and the door quickly opened after that. A woman, her grin wide in a soft, round face, her wrinkles multiplied by the cheer in her expression, and a glint in her eyes. The rosiness of her cheeks and the white of her hair made Eris think that perhaps the North Pole had relocated this year.

"Molyneux!" She said, her voice melodious but with a bit of a hoarseness to it. "I am so glad to see you again. Come in!"

She ushered them into a small foyer, a table with pamphlets of all kinds and a small bowl of hard candy. Beyond the foyer was a short hallway with a few more doors, but the largest door was at the end of the hall. This was where she led them, opening the door to reveal a group of no more than ten or fifteen people, all sitting in a circle. When they saw them come in, a few quickly stood up and urged the others to expand the circle, adding more chairs to accommodate Molyneux and Eris.

"Molyneux!" She heard several cry out in welcome. There was even waving.

Eris looked with a mischievous smile at her companion. Apparently he had been missed. She sat in one of the empty chairs, to her right, a large man who barely fit into his chair, who grunted at her. A greeting, she assumed?

The woman who had led them in sat in a chair on the other side of the circle, picking up a clipboard as she did so from the seat. "Welcome to our meeting. I am Iona."

"Hi, Iona," the group echoed with smiles. Iona laughed.

"Yes, that is how we generally do it. Why doesn't everyone go around and introduce themselves?"

The names were all sort of a blur, but the three ghostly tails that flickered behind a young man that introduced himself as Hikaru intrigued her more than anything. She tried not to stare, but they kept drawing her attention from her peripheral vision.

"I'm Eris," She said simply on her turn, and noted that no one seemed to look twice at her horns, save a quiet girl in the corner, who stared at them with wide eyes.

"As you can see," Iona explained, "we do not refer to each other by our species, for that is not what we are. We are more than that. We can aspire to be much more than that. But we also must be honest with ourselves about our struggles, and in sharing that honesty with others of this group, we gain the support we need to continue upon the right path."

"For our new member and for anyone who may have forgotten, I will go over our rules. They are very simple. Be honest with one another, share of your lives, and above all, tell no one about anything that happens in these meetings. The need for privacy is essential, not only because of what we are, but also because we must be able to trust that anything shared here will not be used against any of us in the outside world." Iona looked at her clipboard and at Eris, then back at her clipboard.

Pursing her lips, she looked up again to the group and smiled once more. "Does anyone want to share anything about their week? Or any updates from what we spoke of last week?"

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The sudden calling of his name caused the half-demon to flinch ever so slightly, and before he knew it the pair were herded through the door and guided towards the room where the meeting would be held. Molyneux was almost having déjà vu at one point when first entering the room and met with the all too familiar circle of chairs, never mind the bodies that occupied said seats and the overly friendly welcome that followed – Molyneux just wanted to turn and head out the door again, heavens know suffering the wrath of the Council was a bit more comforting than having to sit and listen to this bunch.

But that wasn’t an option. Instead he sucked it up and went and sat in the other empty chair, not even bothering to notice who was next to him just yet but instead, appear more casual and subtly attempt to slip out of attention while slumping against his chair. Maybe if he seemed lazy enough and kept completely still nobody would notice him? He hoped. However soon time came to introduce himself along with everyone else in the group, and once it was his turn and after a minor pause the half-demon merely offered a plain and rather simple, ”Molyneux.”

He listened as Iona went on to cover the usual rules and much of the likes, most of which he had heard before and seemed to recall more or less. Molyneux never thought to share the sort of things he’d heard within the group, but as well he never shared anything either. Say nothing, tell nothing. That was what the man figured. Sighing quietly, he eased back in his seat somewhat boredly, seemingly counting down the minutes.

“Oh, I would like to share!” A woman spoke up, leaning halfway out her seat. She was an attractive blonde who’d announced herself as Ayano, eagerly waving a hand delicately in the air seeking the groups’ attention. “Earlier this week I had stalked a human man for three days, but right when I was about to strike I just remembered what you always tell us Iona,” the succubus went on, “I took a deep breath and went through the steps, calmed myself and thought “I’m better than this” and left the man alone.” The woman seemed really proud of herself and even smiled warmly, sitting back in her seat.

Other members clapped and gave reassuring words of praise to the woman. Clearly she liked the attention though, even if it was from a self-helping group. “Also, I’ve been single for a whole week and a half now! I’m finally learning to not give in to temptation as much,” she added, thriving from the kind words offered by her fellow members.

Molyneux felt anxious for a brief moment, he didn’t have to say anything but at the same time he didn’t know what to say anyway, and avoided eye contact with mostly everyone as long as he could. Not long after another spoke up though, a young man with pale skin and visible fangs curving against his lower lip, known as Sho. Calmly he had raised a hand and once given a nod from the leader went on to say, “I’ve tried to stop viewing humans as food and instead turn to hunting animals in the nearby forests,” he spoke softly and continued, “I believe it has helped numb my blood urges somewhat.” Expectedly the members gave encouraging words to the man, expressing an underlined sense of understanding with his plight.

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Eris was fascinated. A vampire, and another demon that fed on humans? How interesting!

The large man next to her raised his hand, and when he was motioned to, he spoke in a deep, gruff voice. "Hi, I'm Ibaraki." Everyone said hello in return. "I was going to smash a man yesterday who cut in line in front of me. But I didn't go back to my car and get my club and pulverize him into so many pieces that they would never be able to identify him. Instead, I walked outside and shattered his car windows."

There was soft applause before Iona glared at the offenders, putting a stop to that. "Simply because you did not hurt him, does not make breaking his property acceptable. It is laudable that you did refrain from beating him, but this is not an age where such retaliation goes without notice or without reprisal."

"But--!"

"We will speak about this later, Ibaraki. For now, I will remind you that violence only brings out our most savage selves, and puts all of us into danger. Have you been volunteering at Habitat for Humanity, as I suggested?"

He grunted.

"Excellent. Carpentry skills are still in demand, and perhaps your goal might be that, by the end of the year, you are ready to apply for a job in construction?"

He grunted again, this time with a sneer. "And work with humans? No thank you."

"You have been working with humans at Habitat for Humanity, how is that any different?" Iona responded patiently.

"I don't have to do what they tell me to. And why should I? These mortal creatures would fear me, try to kill me if they knew what I was, and the idea that one of them could boss me around like some kind of slave makes me sick."

Iona shook her head, and turned to Molyneux. "Molyneux has worked at a job that serves humans for some time. Molyneux, please remind Ibaraki and our group how this is an important part of the process."

Eris blinked. What in the world is Molyneux going to say? He doesn't like humans either, and he's never seemed at all excited about his customers.

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When the large man raised a hand to request their attention, Molyneux watched with mildly curious eyes, wondering what the figure would say. He didn’t seem as friendly as some of the other members within the group and without a doubt shadowed most of them too with his sheer size, including the half-demon possibly, quite. Molyneux couldn’t help but size the man up somewhat, as if debating that matter in his own head. But shoving the issue aside for now and listening to what they said, he hooked one leg over the other and slouched more, trying to get a bit more comfortable in his seat.

It was almost amusing as some dared to applaud the hulking mans efforts, though the half-demon kept both hands snuggly in his pockets. He figured that it must’ve been nice to feel such rage and loathing towards humans, and enough to act upon such emotions, if only in some minor way. Molyneux couldn’t recall the last time he had felt so strongly about something. The Council had broken him long ago and while the discontentment was still there it only came in rationed amounts, it felt like. But he didn’t dwell on the thought and instead focused on what was being exchanged between the man and woman.

He froze somewhat when Iona directed all the attention onto him suddenly. Molyneux wasn’t the shy sort by any means but just reluctant more than anything else, which was apparent in the glare he aimed at the woman quickly after. He didn’t like to talk and she knew that, and besides he couldn’t care enough to lie, but didn’t feel enough want to be honest either. ”I don’t know if I’d say that it’s all that important,” he spoke after a small pause, ”it’s not like I wanted to do the job in the first place.”

“But Molyneux,” the vampire spoke up, raising a hand slightly. “Haven’t you ever come across a human that utterly filled you with immense displeasure and resentment? How do you cope, if you don’t mind the likes of me asking?” Immediately it felt as if most the group inched forward in their seats, awaiting his answer.

The half-demon gave a cautious stare at the group. ”You don’t have to break a bone to hurt a human, being discreet speaks volumes actually,” he answered simply. There was a lot to be said for opting to spit in someone’s drink as opposed to ripping their arm off frankly. Or going one step further and having all your staff spit in their drink before serving it with a smile. ”Though I’ve also found that if you successfully threaten a human once then there is little need to act upon it later.”

“Ooh, what do you mean exactly?” The succubus asked keenly.

”Instill complete fear in someone and they’ll never trouble you again.”

“So are you suggesting that we should be more intimidating?” The vampire questioned.

”If you break someone emotionally then you’ll never have to hurt them physically.”

“Uh, if we’re scary enough then... humans would know not to bother us again?” The kitsune spoke.

”The Council wouldn’t be any the wiser and you’ll seem as if you’re making progress.”

There was a couple more “oohs” and “ahhs” that followed, some members even seemed to be scribbling down notes in their books for safe keeping. Though Molyneux didn’t show much feeling in his expression, almost as if he hadn’t said anything wrong. That’d also show Dimitriou for sending him back here.

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Iona shook her head. "I'm surprised at you, Molyneux. Intimidation is a tool that can be used, yes, but it is a short-sighted choice. Humans, if nothing else, are extremely adaptable, and fear only lasts for so long. Repeated exposure to the source of such fear, especially when there are no consequences to your threats, will dull their effect. The next step is apathy, then the possibility of anger comes in. Humans vastly outnumber our kind. There is a reason that the Council insists on secrecy, and it is not just because it makes things easier. There have been long periods of time where demons of all kinds were hunted, and the divisions between our species and our much fewer numbers left us easy targets."

She looked each of the group in the eye as she spoke, in turn, attempting to impress the seriousness of her words upon them. "The Council made us strong by giving us alliances, and in turn, we all agreed to keep our existence a secret from humans, at any cost. As I said, intimidation can be used, but it is much more valuable to cultivate friendships among humans, to become like them as much as we can, in their eyes. Friends will defend us against suspicion, keep us away from awkward questions. Many demons even marry humans, becoming that much more a part of their society."

"I don't mean to lecture, but this is an important point. I am not telling you that you need to cultivate human friendships or marry one, that is up to you. But even remaining cordial but distant will keep you that much more invisible than a lot of outright intimidation and disdain. A human that dislikes you and fears you might look for a reason why, might investigate more than is safe into our lives. But the vaguely friendly neighbor down the street, why, who would think twice about him?"

Iona turned to Eris. "Eris, I have heard a little bit about you. Would you like to talk about your own experiences with humans, and living among them?" She didn't want to reference anything specific, but given the files she'd read she thought Eris' view would make a good contrast to Molyneux', for the sake of the group discussion.

Eris' eyes widened, surprised at being put on the spot. "Uh... well, I wasn't out among them for very long," Not as a demon, anyway, "but it wasn't too hard to blend in. For obvious reasons I got a job in the underground goth scene, told everyone my horns were just a body modification. No one really questioned it."

"And did you have human friends?" Iona asked, trying to draw her out.

"Yes and no. I had quite a few that I was friends with, but I didn't have enough time to get really close to anyone. And... being what I am made it difficult to let anyone too far into my life."

"Understandable. I am so glad you were able to join us here, the Council is indeed wise. Who knows what might have happened if you had been left without support or proper guidance." Iona turned to the group. "Can anyone else tell us about their relationship with humans, how it has worked out for them for good or ill?"

Eris listened, but only with half an ear. Iona seems nice enough, but she's just yet another person who thinks that the Council can do no wrong. I might not be perfect, but does that mean I don't deserve freedom?

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She shouldn’t have been surprised. What was Iona honestly expecting from Molyneux? He had ditched the group long ago and was only here due to being forced. The man was there under protest. Yes, that was it. He wouldn’t be shy in making that obvious if it came to it however, that wasn’t to say he was desperately seeking some sort of outlet for his disdain right now. Not overly, but there was a spark just waiting to be ignited.

After another member had spoken, Ayano fidgeted in her seat somewhat. “While I have never married a human though I too have had some relationships with human men,” she said while in half a thought, “some treated me nice enough, it was great for the most part. Perhaps I even forgot I was a demon while around them, but then there were few who treated me horribly. I was almost glad to be a different species, admittedly, and I really wanted to hurt them.” Everyone was quiet as the succubus told her story, seemingly invested in it as much as she herself was. Of course they had all been attending the group for a while now and so really it felt more like confessing to friends than mere strangers. “Sometimes I struggle to understand why it’d be so bad to harm a human... some deserve it I think. Humans can be just as bad as us, it’s not really fair... but I guess the Council knows what’s best?”

Nobody uttered a noise, clearly in half minds over it. But that wasn’t all too surprising. The Council was always a difficult subject to approach with demons. Some struggled to tell whether the Council was truly good, while others didn’t seem to mind being lead by them. And then you had Molyneux, who seemed to be in a situation entirely unique to himself. He wasn’t given a choice, but then maybe he needed to be controlled and rightly, have that right taken from him. Heck the Council wouldn’t even allow the half-demon to die if he wanted. They rather persistently kept him around.

“Um... I use to have human friends when I attended school, but I had to move around every few years since I didn’t age quite like my classmates,” the young vampire man spoke shortly after, “but one time I accidently bit a friend – I was always told to never smile, that way nobody would see my fangs. But it just happened and I had to move away the next day. I guess in my experience making friends isn’t that hard but... keeping friendships is. It’s hard not to feel lonely sometimes.”

Molyneux moved round and sat sideways in his chair, leaning his face against a hand and looking mightily sullen. He was still a bit hung up on getting told off, it reminded him of being with the scientists that worked for the Council; getting punished when doing something wrong, then getting praised when doing something right. He didn’t need that in his life again, and so whenever in any doubt he’d do what he always did, and sulked.

“Iona, don’t you ever struggle?” Ayano asked, raising her hand. “Don’t you ever have bad days, like us?”


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Iona smiled, but it was almost as if the twinkle in her eye dimmed for a moment, a shadow passing over the sun. "I've lived a very long life. I've seen many centuries of humans come and go, some more worthwhile than others. I've protected many families in return for very little, found their cattle, helped their crops to grow, all sorts of little things to help them thrive. But those that angered me, that broke trust with me, I have been... unkind."

She spread out her hands and shrugged. "I have no excuses for my actions, and have paid penance for them many times over. In time, I learned, just as you all will, that for good or ill the humans are not going anywhere. They can outbreed us, they are exceedingly adaptable, and in time, I truly believe it will be in everyone's best interests to reveal our true nature to the world and work together towards a greater future. And it is toward that goal, towards that eventual unity, that I urge all of you to learn how to not only blend in with the humans around you, but to gain them as allies."

"Heh. That seems unlikely." Ibaraki grunted. "The day the Council actually goes public is about as likely as Molyneux marrying a human."

The group laughed, even Eris. Molyneux marrying a human? Ridiculous.

Iona spoke again, redirecting the group back to its purpose. "We are just about out of time for tonight, so I would like to send you all away with an assignment for this week. As is appropriate for our discussion tonight, I want each of you to have an in-depth discussion with a human this week. Friendship takes longer, so I will not go that far, but a meaningful conversation with a human will be enough. Please be prepared to come back and share about your experience next week."

The group stood, but only a few left. Many remained, snacking on the odd selections of a long table by the wall and drinking from small paper cups.

"I'm Hikaru," a voice said behind her. "It's nice to see demons from other parts of the world join our little gathering."

Eris turned to see the young man with the tails from earlier, and noted that this time, a pair of pointed ears had appeared on his head. "Nice to meet you as well. Have you traveled much?"

He shrugged. "Here and there, but mostly in this part of the world. My family likes to visit the temples and holy places, and learn from priests. We even fight off the evil demons on occasion, when the situation calls for it."

"You mean, when your family gets paid." Ibaraki grunted from a corner of the room. Given the sour look on his face Eris had no idea why he even remained, but she turned to Hikaru for confirmation.

The young man--if young he was--grinned. "I can't really deny that. We do like to get paid." His tails flicked. "But Iona is trying to teach me that good is better done out of the kindness of your heart, not for compensation."

Ibaraki grunted again, and thought that sufficient.

Eris nodded. "It is better to be kind without expecting anything in return, yes, but there is also making a living. Having a family isn't exactly cheap."

Hikaru nodded. "That is exactly my point. But I must admit that I feel shame, now, for when we walked away from those who needed us, simply because they were poor."

"They deserved their fate."

"Ibaraki." Hikaru rolled his eyes."You will be a grump to the very end. His wife left him, you see," he whispered. "Left him for a human basketball player. He still hasn't gotten over it."

Eris looked sympathetic. "That would make me pretty grumpy as well."

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Oh ha. Molyneux huffed at the joke with his pouty expression. That's what it was, right? He could barely grasp the funniness of it though as everyone else shared a chuckle. However on the other hand it couldn’t have been more apparent just how relieved he was when things seemed to be coming to an end; though it was entirely debatable over how much of Iona’s words he took in and how much value he placed on them. After all how much meaning could one put into a conversation with a punter? It rarely stretched beyond asking them what they wanted to drink and honestly that was about as much as Molyneux felt to discuss.

Regardless he had served his time here. And shortly after when everyone had risen from their seats Molyneux instinctively felt keen to join the handful that opted to leave at that moment. But of course there was Eris to think about, who was over talking with the boy with the tails, he noticed, when glancing over his shoulder. She seemed to be hitting it off with a few of the members which was a good thing, he reckoned, as now Dimitriou couldn’t complain about it and perhaps, if only possibly, the woman wouldn’t be too in a hurry to shut his bar down now.

He made an uncomfortable face when observing a few of the members consuming the food on offer and gulping down what drink was made available, but Molyneux almost always declined is seemed. His eating habits never escaped him and especially here, as the snacks didn't quite agree with him. But possibly the half-demon was slowly, very slowly, very very slowly getting better with that. If only through the fact that Eris cooked a lot and there seemed to be plenty thrown his way whether he approved or not.

“Oh. Leaving so soon?” Ayano grinned when passing the man, gaining his interest. “This was certainly an interesting night and I sure hope that you consider coming again, we've really missed you.” She was quite a forwarding woman as expected from a succubus, though Molyneux didn't entirely appreciate having his space invaded so boldly as she hooked one slender arm around his own, petting it in an assuring and almost comforting manner with her other hand. “Just like old times. Hm?”

Molyneux only sighed while reaching into a pocket and pulling out a cigarette, to which she then cheekily asked, “So how is your business fairing? You run that bar, don't you? Fancy giving an old friend a discount sometime?~” She urged in a sickly sweet voice to the man and leaned on her tiptoes, clearly pushing her luck.

”Not really,” he huffed plainly, slipping the smoke between his lips. ”It'd kill my profits at the rate you drink.” Molyneux remarked and wriggled free from her grasp. As the small group made their way out through the door and headed outside, he dug out his lighter and was swift in setting the end alight when eventually reaching the cool air. Iona hadn’t entirely approved of his habit indoors from the last time he remembered, but honestly he’d use any excuse just to get out and away for a few minutes.

“Hope to see you next week then,” a member urged behind him followed by some encouraging sounds. Ayano quickly caught up, following Sho and some others as they took their leave. “See you next time~” The blonde said afterwards as the few members offered waves at the half-demon before heading off down the alleyway.

Molyneux only watched, surprisingly half tempted to raise a hand and wave back if only very briefly, but the latter of him won out and he stood, simply watching them fade off into the distance. As much as he’d like to follow them down that path he would instead wait for Eris until she was done. Maybe the horned-girl would do better without him around, who knew. She seemed to be making herself very welcomed there with the others from what he could tell. But still for now he'd enjoy his smoke for a moment.

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"I'd better get going. I have an early job tomorrow," Hikaru said, and he bowed slightly before he, too, left.

Ibaraki said nothing, simply followed him out the door, and Eris, noting that not Molyneux had left, thought it was time for her to leave as well.

He stood outside, smoking alone, she saw as she went through the door and closed it behind her, waving to Hikaru and Ibaraki as they walked through the narrow alleyway away from her. Hikaru waved back, but Ibaraki pretended she didn't exist.

"They all seem nice," she commented quietly. "I still don't think I need something like this, some of them make me seem perfectly well adjusted, but at least it won't be torture."

She paused, tugging at a long curl, and shrugged. "I guess you don't like it because you and Iona differ with how you like to treat humans? Or do you just not like being forced to go somewhere and talk about your innermost feelings?" Molyneux really didn't seem like the type to enjoy that sort of sharing, and the fact that Iona had managed to get him to talk at all made Eris even more impressed with the woman.

"By the way, and I know it's kind of cheating to ask, but what species did we have in there? The vampire was obvious, but I'm pretty lost about everyone else."

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Molyneux slowly turned to the girl as she emerged waving at the pair that passed by moments before. ”Whatever I feel is my own business and not up for discussion,” he sighed out in one smoky breath. Clearly whatever innermost feelings he did have were not going to see the light of day anytime soon. ”Iona can preach all she wants to us but it doesn’t mean we’ll become better demons by the end of it. Some of us don’t desire to be good and some were never meant to be, you should mind.” They were demons after all and only a handful at most was ever originally good to begin with. Most were typically bad and only came into existence due to some ill cause or another. And no amount of good hearted words could change that internal programming.

”The blonde was a succubus,” he answered a moment after, dropping his cigarette and stomping it out on the ground. ”You’re tailed friend is a kitsune and the big guy was an oni. Our little leader though is just a brownie,” Molyneux remarked, before listing several other species that formed the majority of the other members. He didn’t entirely know for sure what most the species were, but from what subtle emotions he could sense from the members, Molyneux could offer surprisingly near-perfect assumptions on what species of demon someone was. Certain types expressed certain feelings, to put it simply. Though not many could understand that and the half-demon’s power wasn’t what it used to be. So he could be forgiven for miss-guessing one or two.

”You could probably find their species listed in that book you got,” he mentioned to the girl, and then took a few steps forward. It was beginning to get late and it’d be wise to return to the bar before too many humans appeared, Molyneux figured. ”We should get going anyway.” He quickly urged and changed the topic, leading the way down the alleyway like the many others had travelled down. He’d only be settled once fully removed from the area and tucked back up in the more comforting surroundings of the bar.

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"I see." Eris wondered exactly how many of the species in the group actually fed on humans in one way or another. The vampire and succubus were obvious, but what of the others? Were they like the oni, they just didn't want to blend into the human population? Or were there other issues, perhaps subtler and more dangerous?

It wasn't a long trip back to the bar, most spent in silence. Molyneux didn't really seem to want to talk, and there was plenty of things to think about. Back at the bar, Eris tottered into her room and sighed as she took off her shoes. Beautiful, but painful. Tennis shoes for sure tomorrow, or whatever equivalent they'd packed for her. Propping her pillow up against the headboard, she reached to pick up her new book from the small bedside table.

Brownies.... let's see.

The book was organized, but first by global origin, so it took a bit to find what she wanted. She finally found it in the Celtic section, and the drawings were curious. Brownies, according to the book, were generally benign demons, who, in exchange for a bit of food and milk left out for them on farms, would care for the family, or at least leave them alone. Left ignored, or worse, persecuted, she thought as she winced at the next picture of the potential damage, they didn't exactly live and let live.

The succubus was obvious, but the kitsune was interesting. They could take other forms to make mischief and lead humans astray, numerous powers depending on type, and some fed on life force, as the succubi and incubi did. Without knowing more about Hikaru's specific species, there wasn't much more she could know for sure, but at the very least she was now absolutely confident that he was more dangerous, and potentially much more powerful, than he seemed. The oni was also a formidable enemy, and generally a bad-tempered one. The others of the group were harder to pin down, since she had to go from very slight clues over a brief acquaintance, but reading through the section on East Asia would at least give her some guidance as to what to watch for from the group, for further clues.

Eris put the book down and turned off her lamp. She worked another shift tomorrow, and sleep would help it go smoothly. And with Lilith, she knew she'd have to stay on point, at least until she won the witch's loyalty, assuming that was ever possible.

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The night was pleasantly uneventful and passed by quickly. Molyneux was already up and mobile once morning came around and was busy doing the things that he did by this time of the day, mainly opening the doors and flicking lights on, ensuring everything was where it should be and that no incidents had occurred during the night. Even their bar wasn’t an exception to the occasional delinquent break-in; though few and rare it had happened a few times. But the amount had steadily shrunk over the years, as Molyneux always made point to hunt them down and hand out swift justice.

”Nothing to report,” Chou informed the older man, leaning lazily against the bar. ”All’s quiet here.” Molyneux merely grunted, sitting on a seat next to the bar and glancing over what appeared to be various paperwork of some sort. He looked ever so dully at it. ”So how’s business? We sinking or floating this month?” The boy asked, but with apparent caution.

Molyneux didn’t answer at first, lifting the small pile of paper and shuffling it into a neat stack. The deliberate delay had the younger male somewhat uneasy, until the half-demon sighed, ”We’re managing as always,” his tone a little bit resigned, ”though it wouldn’t hurt to up our game a bit.” That was always the case though. The constant need to do something to draw in a crowd.

”Consider it upped then!” Chou grinned, pushing up from the bar. Though as to what that meant exactly or even what it entailed the boy had no clue, only that it must’ve been something good if the boss was suggesting it. ”Anyway I’m gonna go have something to eat real quick before we open shop,” he said, disappearing out through into the kitchen. There was some rummaging about and other noises following, but Molyneux paid no mind to it. Instead reluctantly focusing back on the paperwork and lifting a pen as the half-demon scribbled down some notes and this and that.

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"Hey, Chou!" Eris greeted, stirring her bacon porridge. Large pieces of ham floated in the thick mixture, which was also flavored with a little brown sugar. She spooned a large amount into a bowl, but as there was plenty left she felt comfortable in offering, ""Feel free to try some if you want, there's enough to go around."

It took moments for her to finish, and after she'd spooned herself a second bowl she put a small serving in a bowl and carried it in to Molyneux, leaving it there without a word, along with a spoon and napkin, leaving as quickly and quietly as she entered. He seemed busy with papers and such, and a breakfast that would stick to those too-skinny ribs of his would give him strength for the day. Assuming he chose to eat it. If not, she had no problem finishing it cold. Win-win!

After she'd cleaned up her mess (and eaten anything that was left of the porridge) she took a quick look at the folded schedule in her pocket and went to the bar. Her assignment was to stock the bar and write down anything that might need to be restocked. She started methodically, moving from right to left, noting anything that seemed below an acceptable level. Snacks, drinks, lemons, everything was carefully noted on her sheet. Hopefully Lilith would appreciate her attention to detail!

Her platform tennis shoes squeaked slightly as she moved, her blue shorts matching her horns. When she thought she had it complete, she double checked herself, and then went to Lilith's office.

"I've finished!"

Lilith glanced over the list, her gaze moving quickly from item to item. Eris could practically see the gears in her head turning. "This will do. Chou can go on a grocery run, I'd like you to go with him so you know where it is. If everyone else is busy, I need to know that you can run out and get something for the bar without needing guidance." She waved a hand dismissively. "I'll have a list for the two of you later. Shoo."

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In typical fashion Chou offered his most friendliest grin to the girl as he passed and just as quickly inhaled the warm aroma that filled the kitchen. ”It smells good,” he commented before Eris left, helping himself to a bowl and eagerly sampling the unusual mixture. Porridge wasn’t his typical meal of choice though the horned girl had a peculiar way with it, he believed, when chewing on a piece of bacon and musing his thoughts, however random and silly they may be.

Back in the bar Molyneux had reluctantly glanced at the offering placed next to him, initially not entertaining the thought of eating, but his stomach gradually broke him down in the end. Having not eaten for a good while and then some it proved too tempting and perhaps the half-demon was more appreciative for the girls silent coming and going than he let on, as Molyneux looked over the papers with the spoon poking out the corner of his mouth. He was unresponsive to much that went on around him; not that there was much to really observe beyond staff doing their orders before official opening hours. Most just left him to do what he did undisturbed.

A few minutes after and Chou, now filled and satisfied, was back and nosily watching his boss. One of few who didn’t know when to leave someone alone or even notice when he was being a nuisance, the boy leaned against the bar with crossed arms, rising up on his tiptoes and making occasional, but irritably regular, little “ohhs” and “ahhs” at the slightest click of a pen.

A moment after and Chou quickly pushed off and hurried to the doors, pushing them aside and signaling the opening of the bar. It was a nice day, a hopeful beginning for what was to come possibly. ”Oh let me get that,” he called, walking over and swooping up the empty bowl beside the man. Making sure he didn’t accidentally drop it the shapeshifter disappeared back into the kitchen for a handful of minutes, before later emerging and seeming cheerful as ever.

”Did you get a chance to look at that book of yours?” Molyneux asked when sitting up straight and forcing his gaze from the papers and onto Eris, when the girl appeared back in the bar. Of course the boy beamed an unfaltering smile again when hopping onto the bar and sitting on the counter, naturally earning a disproving glance from the older male.

”Looks as if Lily wasn't too hard on you either, heh.” Chou joked slightly, before wondering. ”Anyways, what book?”

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"A book that a friend of Molyneux' gave me, on the different species of demons. I'm afraid I still know very little, and although the book is helpful if I don't have a starting point it's still all rather a mystery. But it's certainly very interesting!" Eris was glad her friends had shared her breakfast, it made her feel like she was contributing as a new member of the bar. A little thing, true, but a full belly was not to be sniffed at.

"Oh I don't know," Eris said with a grin, "maybe Liliith will warm up to me eventually. She's not too bad." She shrugged. "At least not so far."

The faint sounds of mortals walking by the bar distracted her for a moment, but not by much. The porridge was exceedingly filling, and she made a mental note to experiment with it more often. And the others seemed to enjoy it too, a nice bonus.

"I can't really talk about the meeting, but I can say that I met some species I didn't know about. That's not saying much I guess, given how few I've met, but it was really nice to talk to them." Eris commented, trying to read Molyneux' papers from an upside-down diagonal, and having little luck. Bar stuff, she assumed, the sort of things a manager would have to deal with to keep the place running. I'm surprised Lilith didn't just take over all that. she thought, and turned again to Chou.

"I know it's not exactly polite to ask what species you are, but... I don't suppose you could give me a hint?" She asked, adding a charming smile. "Or you, Molyneux? I do need practicing researching in my new book and all."

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”You’ll meet plenty species at this bar,” Chou spoke, leaning sideways, ”we get a good variety here most days and especially nights... since some can’t come out till late while others are early birds you know.” The bar catered for most if not all types, being open most of the day and only shutting in the early hours of the morning – unless there was a special reason otherwise. ”Fact you’ll probably learn a lot here than anywhere else as a few are pretty friendly, but some not so much.”

Grinning to himself the boy quickly hopped off and hurried round to meet the girl, as if presenting himself. ”It’s no biggie,” he assured her casually, ”if you wanna know, I’m a shapeshifter, primarily... if not only dogs.” Chou explained as simply as he could, flashing a fanged smile. Honestly it wasn’t that big of a deal to him, half the time he felt like the most common thing at the bar compared to others. ”You think your book would have me in it? I’ve never been in a book before! I feel kinda’ important now, heh!”

Molyneux just scoffed, pretending to be absorbed in his papers. Chou, however, seemed to get an idea. ”I bet I could probably find the boss’s species in that book of yours,” he declared rather confidently, knowing all the while the half-demon in question was glaring daggers at him, if only secretly. ”Why not make it interesting?” Chou grinned more, enough that Molyneux’s interest was tugged away from his paperwork as the boy challenged, ”If I can find your species, might I get a one-time raise on my wage?”

The boss clearly appeared to be musing the proposal over, instead of out-right dismissing it. But the whole thing seemed completely daft to the half-demon. ”If either of you did, I’d give the whole bar a raise.” He remarked doubtfully, but honestly.

Chou beamed a smile at the horned girl. ”Oh, how ‘bout it Eris? Me and you, hm?”

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"It certainly might, Eris said, wondering how to connect his abilities to the behavior she'd observed in him. He hadn't seemed very dog-like, but it was certainly possible that there were many signs she'd missed. "Remind me when we get some time off, we can look through the book and I'm better between what you know about yourself and the wealth of knowledge it contains, we can find something about shapeshifters."

Eris smiled widely. "Done! Finding out the boss' species it is, I could certainly do with the money. We will have to be very clever, and I'm sure with how well you know him, we can figure out enough clues for a decent guess."

She stepped closer to the desk. "I don't suppose you could give us any further clues, in the spirit of generosity?" Eris absentmindedly twirled a piece of hair, wondering where they'd even start on the project. It was a daunting task, but she was ready to meet the challenge, and it seemed like Chou was as well.

The afternoon went by quickly. On her lunch break, she pored over the book, but she could find nothing very helpful. Whatever Molyneux' species was, he was excellent at hiding it. She'd never seen any strange appetites--in fact, he seemed to eat only reluctantly. He preferred to push humans away rather than seduce them, so if he had any method of feeding on them, as some demons did on fear, it was difficult to determine. She left the book in the kitchen where she told Chou she would, so that he could take a turn on his break once she replaced him at the bar.

The grocery run, once both of their shifts were over, was more productive. They were careful to follow the list, but Eris kept getting distracted by all of the strange and unusual items in the store. Had she more money, she would certainly have bought quite a few things simply to see what they were, but Chou's explanations were mostly enough. "That one is just a sweet," he told her, "and that is a snack that tastes like seaweed."

Eris made a face. "I am not a very big fan of seaweed."

Chou laughed. "You'll probably get used to it."

Back at the bar, they put things away, and Eris gathered the courage to ask, "What is it like to shapeshift? Do you have the instincts of the animal, the urges, or are you simply yourself in a different body?"

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Chou had certainly enjoyed the brief trip out, even if it had actually been a grocery run in reality, it was still nice to get a bit of air during the day at least. Eris had made it all the better too and when he could the boy would fill her in on what every little thing was and what she ought to try and what best to avoid. Not everyone had the stomach to sample half the things that Chou would suggest, but when the opportunity came he’d definitely attempt to sway the girl into trying some of it!

”That’s a good question,” he replied when stacking some things onto a shelf. He basically knew where everything went within the kitchen and was more than happy to point out where Eris should put certain items of food. ”I don’t think I was born with normal human instincts,” Chou admitted with a grin, ”but it’s ok! Like... it just means my senses are all crazy better than a humans, y’know?” Frankly he couldn’t recall the last time he properly thought about such things. Nobody had really ever asked him about it, but then he had also known that some supernaturals preferred not to be questioned about themselves and thus many often refrained from inquiring.

”Weeeell... my mind doesn’t change, only my body if you get my meaning.” It was hard to explain, he supposed. Or rather just describing it accurately was a challenge. Unless you personally experienced it, how would you fully understand how it felt? Chou wondered about it. ”I actually don’t know whether I was originally a dog or a human,” he blurted out. Was it really possible for someone to forget such an important thing? Yes. ”It’s been many years and I’ve changed so many times that I can’t remember which I started out as.” Chou had made his way over to the book once he was finished putting things away, and began flipping through the pages. He had given the book a quick glance through before leaving though it was hardly his best effort, as the boy took more care and interest when scanning over the contents this time around.

”He certainly hides it well or at least he doesn’t give much away,” Chou commented when referring to the boss and the mystery of their species. The boy had no honest clue, but that wouldn’t stop him trying to find out. ”I remember when he took me in, said he needed a guard dog, you know. But it didn’t seem like he actually needed one.” He paused with a thought, grinning wildly and very proudly as he added at the end, ”Molyneux’s super tough!”

It was a pity though. Molyneux hadn't given the pair any clues to his origins, if only for the sake of making their challenge all the more harder. The half-demon could be rather mean in that sense. ”No doubt Lily will be down to check any minute,” the boy sighed a moment after, ”you sure we got everything on the list? She and the Boss will be helluva' critical.”


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"I see." Eris thought a moment. "Well, perhaps the book has an answer to that question, if it matters to you. It's more important to know who you are, than what you are, if you see what I mean?" Eris said, clumsily explaining something she'd been thinking about ever since... ever since.

"We don't have to be our species. That's what the group meeting I went to was about, and that's what I know to be a fact. If you think of yourself as a human shape, then that can be what you are. If you'd rather be a dog, well," Eris grinned, "they also make good friends, so I might be just one person, but I think you'd be just fine either way."

Eris looked at the pages over Chou's shoulder, leaning slightly. It really helped that he didn't smell like humans, that none of her coworkers did. It made for less distraction, to say the least. She drew back. Better not to push herself too far, though. She might be confident in her own self-control, but if she wasn't in her right mind, or something happened... instincts could be the very devil.

"I'm pretty sure," she answered, glad for the distraction from her own thoughts. "I checked the list twice, and then again on the train, just in case. I really don't want to make her made, just in case!" She flashed a wry grin. "I'm not quite sure what she would do to me, and Molyneux--whatever he is--has a healthy respect for her, so I certainly don't want to cross her."

Molyneux, Molyneux, Molyneux. Chou passed over the book and Eris flipped through the pages again. He didn't have any external markers of his species, unless the hair color was a clue, but narrowing it down to hair color--when dye was cheap and she had no idea if it was his natural color--seemed useless. He hadn't exhibited any extraordinary strength or speed, or hungers, or reflexes that would reveal him as something other than human. "Has he ever shown you anything... unusual? Speed, strength, anything like that?" She questioned Chou. "Your nose is good, does he smell or sound like any other demons you've met?"

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Chou beamed a smile to the girl, feeling an odd sense of reassurance even if it was only small and unexpected. ”Makes sense, and thanks.” He replied before chuckling slightly, ”... Oh, she’d just turn you into a toad or somethin’. No biggie.” The boy was almost weirdly casual with his last remark, like it were a regular occurrence or better yet, perhaps being a slimy toad wasn’t as bad as it sounded? One might very well wonder.

He keenly observed the girl as she looked over the pages when handed the book, almost half expecting some miraculous answer to their seemingly impossible task. ”He smells like other demons... though his scent isn’t as strong as others I’ve noticed,” he responded and shrugged, ”one time the boss smacked my head with a rolled up newspaper when I got too close to him, so there was that.” He added, recalling the incident. Chou fell quiet for a few minutes after however, apparently thinking harder over it.

But the boy shook his head conclusively. ”He keeps to himself and deals with things in his own way I guess, the boss does a lot of things out of sight? Y’know... he patrols at night, I know that much from living here. So can’t say I’ve really witnessed anything personally,” the boy continued on, offering a few occasional nods. It was strange to admit how little he genuinely knew about the man who bossed over him for so many years, and while the lad might not have known the extent of the demon’s abilities there was perhaps others things he did know, small things.

”He doesn’t like people crying... customers who get soppy when they’ve had one too many,” Chou added and crossed both arms together, confirming this to be fact. Though it was an odd thing to admit. ”Or when we have big parties with people who are all loud and buzzing and super happy, the boss just hides away in his office doing paperwork.” Well he could only guess that’s what Molyneux did in that office. Nobody else dared enter unless given permission and Chou rarely recalled ever hearing much happening through the door, much less seeing anything through the keyhole. ”But he’s not keen on humans and hates the Council so he must be a demon for sure! In fact I once overheard that he has quite a track record... according to that woman, Dimitriou.”

Just then the boy had a thought. ”Maybe Lily might know a thing or two, she’s been manager here for years!” Chou confessed daringly when mentioning the tough witch. ”What’d you think?”