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Hama Sayuri

A very sad girl with an unwanted, yet constant companion.

0 · 276 views · located in Isogashi City (Fictional; Similar to Tokyo)

a character in “The Followers”, as played by RedFox

Description

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~S a y u r i~





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Appearance

Sayuri is ordinary looking for Isogashi City standards. Bright hair, expensive beauty surgeries, and fantastical clothing are the norm for the big city. With those in mind, Sayuri is a very plain girl. She stands at about 5'5, slightly taller than the average girl. She doesn't have much muscle or fat, making her awkwardly gangly-looking. With ocean-blue eyes, thick lashes, a small button nose, and thick dark lips, she definitely has a feminine appeal about her. Her face is slender, just like most things about her. She's fragile and soft looking, with eyebrows that often slant in worry. If you look deep enough into her eyes you'll catch a glimpse of the depression that haunts her.

Sayuri is just unique enough to be invisible instead of being 'too' normal. Her hair is wispy and silver, catching the wind rather easily. She had her hair treated once to be this color long ago with advanced technology and lost interest in it since then, therefore keeping the same color. Her freckles on either side of her face are coincidentally placed moles, which she used to enjoy quite a bit when she was younger. Her ears are the most discerning part about her, abnormally long and pointed. This is a common fashion trend in Isogashi, and she had the surgery done when she was dubbed as being too ordinary looking and she wanted the attention taken off of her. She wears elven-styled clothes because it matches the theme of her ears. It's a fairly popular fashion, which once again, keeps eyes from staying on her too long. Sayuri wears a mystical blue pendant most of the time. It was a gift from her deceased grandmother, supposedly to ward off evil spirits. Though it's obviously useless, she holds it close to her heart.





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Personality

Above anything else, Sayuri is sad. This sadness overshadows most things about her and consumes her very being. Still, when you look past the sullen eyes, the sunken heart, and the coldness that wraps around her soul, there is more to her. These things may be blocked out completely because of her depression, however, they can be retrieved with enough care.

Sayuri has a deep love for the big city. Lights and splendor, shows and interesting foods, it's always exciting and fun-filled. In addition, she has an adventurer's heart. New experiences, especially dangerous ones, give her a rush that she's become addicted to. As a child she would put herself in moments of danger just to feel this rush. She also took martial arts classes as a child when she wanted to grow up to be an adventurer. Along with this, she used to be a huge fan of magic, which she's since then almost entirely stopped doing. She enjoyed creating charms and spells of all sorts, and she still has a collection of herbs, crystals, and other ingredients stashed away in her house.

As a fan of adventure and excitement, Sayuri also appreciates solemn and heartfelt moments. She's a deep and philosophical person, appreciating meaningful friendships and conversations which invoke thought and feeling. Since her depression, however, she has set up a hard wall around her heart and soul and has not let any person access it. She doesn't give much of anything away to people on who she really is, instead she puts on a facade of an uninteresting girl. She has come to hate confrontation and socializing because of her illness.


Positive Traits / Adventurer / Thoughtful / Intuitive / Appreciative / Loyal / Martial Arts /
Negative Traits / Emotionally Weak / Easily Manipulated / Severely Depressed / No sense of self /





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Zetsubo

Meaning 'despair' and 'hopelessness', Zetsubo is the demon which has been haunting Sayuri since she was 16. Zetsubo attached his soul to her's after the loss of her family, taking advantage of the sadness and using it to his advantage. Sayuri is now 18 and Zetsubo has not left, continuously keeping her in a depressed state. He lurks behind her, though because she is the only soul he is attached to, only she can see him, unless he allows another to see him or they have another way to see mythological beings who are normally invisible to mortal's eyes. He stands at about 6 feet and is covered in dirty-looking black bandages. A broken shackle rests on his right wrist, showing how he broke free from Hell to come to the mortal realm and feast off of Sayuri's sadness. He speaks to her in her ear, whispering negative things and causing her to do things she otherwise doesn't want to do. He has her in his grasp, and abuses her constantly. While his wounds do not leave physical marks, they hurt just the same, and Sayuri cannot escape him. His tone of voice and use of wording changes depending on what will upset Sayuri the most in the moment. He can speak in a low, terrifying growl, or have the voice of an annoying child. He reads her soul and reacts to it in any way he can to keep her chained to the bottom.

Zetsubo was mortal once, though Sayuri doesn't know this. While his name is unclear, he was the son of an emperor and murdered him, his mother, and his older brother so that he could inherit the throne. He ruled as a tyrannical dictator and killed millions of people before he was overthrown, murdered, and sent to Hell, his soul being turned into a demon by his evil spirit. He caused torment to mortals from Hell, but he wanted to be closer and feel the torture more. Once he broke free, he sensed high amounts of negativity coming from Sayuri and decided that she would be his victim. He was expecting to torture her, kill her, and then move on to the next mortal, but he fell in love with her. Not a normal love, however. He found her sexually appealing, and loved her despair. So he stayed with her, causing her agony and consistently feasting off of her. He plans on doing so until she dies, and then capturing her soul and keeping it with him for eternity, forcing her to be his lover.





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Back Story

Sayuri was born into a tight-knit family consisting of her grandmother and older brother. Her mother died in child birth with her, and nobody ever told her what happened to her father. Her grandmother raised her, and her brother since he was 3. They didn't have a lot of money, but they all loved each other. Her grandmother made her living off of reading tarot cards to those who didn't believe she was crazy, which is where Sayuri picked up her love of magic. Her brother, Nobu, was her best friend and adventuring partner. They did a lot of parkour together, and went into areas they weren't supposed to. Sayuri grew up with good grades, a few friends, and had an average yet good lifestyle. When she turned 15, her grandmother passed away of old age. Her brother, at 18, did his best to take care of them both but it was hard on both of them. Sayuri's grades plummeted and she lost touch with all of her friends. Her brother realized that he didn't want to live in the city for the rest of his life, and he was forced to move to another country to start a career, abandoning his sister and forcing her to live on her own at age 16. She sunk into depression, which is when Zetsubo attached himself onto her. She eventually had to give up her grandmother's house when she couldn't afford the bills and she moved into a very small apartment that she could hardly afford to pay for with her job as a mochi saleswoman in a small booth on the city's main street - a job she still has. Her brother doesn't talk to her anymore - the last letter he sent was three months after he left.

So begins...

Hama Sayuri's Story

#, as written by RedFox
She woke up, sprawled out on her bed, a pounding in her ears. Darkness loomed outside, for it was too early for the sun to have come out to play. Too early for anyone to be getting ready for work, but here she was again, just like she had been for the past several years. She sat up, realizing that she had a headache as soon as the blood moved from her head. A sickly sweet voice whispered in her left ear, a finger dragging ever so lightly along the bottom of her ear lobe,

"Aww, what's the matter? Does your head hurt? Were my nightmares too scawy?"

She should be used to it now. She should be, but it still sends spikes through her heart. She stood up, trying to keep herself from shaking, keeping herself from showing signs of weakness. She knew that resistance was futile, and yet there was still the urge to fight. Somewhere. Right?

She had just woken up and she was losing the battle.

She looked in the mirror, staring straight into her dull eyes. Most of the time she felt as if she was disconnected from herself entirely, as if she was never quite in her body but just... slightly to the side. Always looking on. And then there was Zetsubo.

His dark face reflected in the mirror revealing how he was hovering just over her shoulder, a wide smile spreading as he caught her looking at him. "Maybe you should skip work today..." He purrs it seductively, because he knows it's sending waves of disgust down her spine, and his hand curls around to gently rub her inner thigh...

"You know we can't. You know I need to go."

He laughs an obnoxiously loud laugh that increases the pain of her headache. His voice transforms from seduction into a mocking, slightly younger-toned one. "I know that, dumbass. Did you really think I was serious? I swear, the only thing you have going for you is your great ass."

She ripped her eyes from him and splashed water on her face to disguise the tears forming in her eyes.

--

She arrived at work a few minutes early, as usual. The mochi booth was nothing special. Nestled in between a karaoke bar and a drug store, it sat right in the middle of main street. Only the size of a bathroom, Sayuri often felt claustrophobic, especially sharing it with an otherwordly demon only she could see. Still, she was forced to go, and she took her place in the chair at the front of the booth. Customers wouldn't be coming for at least another hour. And then she'd sell mochi for ten more hours. And then she'd walk home, and lay in bed, and stare at the ceiling. Who knows what Zetsubo would do? He's been hinting more and more recently that he's sexually attracted to her. She's thinking that any day now he's going to rape her.

At this point, honestly, she doesn't really care. Her life has slowly started to become less and less sad and more and more completely, hopelessly empty. She has no friends, no family, no hobbies, no interests. She lives waiting for the next day, but nothing ever happens besides more torment. Lately, she's been seriously toying with the idea of suicide. The only problem is doing it in a way where Zetsubo cannot interfere, or else he'll capture her soul.

She lives in a world where she can't escape even if she kills herself.

#, as written by Feyblue


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β–‘β–‘β–‘The Golden Houndβ–‘β–‘β–‘


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"Ugh. You'd think there'd be some kind of empty house or abandoned warehouse where a guy could get some sleep with a chance of some peace and quiet." Grumbling to himself, a boy in a black and yellow parka continued his aimless march down the street, kicking a rock along with each step he took. Chattering in surprise, a possum in a nearby gutter raised its head, only to be struck head-on by the rock as the irritable boy passed by, shrugging as he stretched his arms over his head. Putting it mildly, he was bored. More accurately, perhaps, he was bored, tired, stiff, sore, and hungry, and was dead broke in a town he'd never seen before in his life on top of that. Of course, he had ways around those last two problems. For example, he could just try knocking on doors until a cute girl answered one, and then he could ask her if she could show him around town. His eyes would ensure that she'd agree to do so, and by the time she was done, she'd probably be so infatuated as to invite him back to her house to "stay the night." It would have been simple, but his pride forced him to dismiss that solution as soon as his mind presented the possibility. So, here he was, searching for some unused building he could camp out in while he looked for a temporary source of employment, like some sort of bum.

Well, okay, to be fair, he wasn't so much "like a bum" as he was "quite literally a bum," but his pride wouldn't let him accept that, either.

He sighed, rubbing his growling stomach. If this kept up, he'd start eating his own butterfly familiars. Come to think of it, though, where were they? He'd sent them to keep up a patrol 50 meters from himself at all times to make sure there weren't any Demons in the area, but he couldn't sense any of them still on the trajectory.

Oh, don't fuckin' tell me... He thought with a groan, slapping a palm to his forehead. Expanding his Territory momentarily, he searched the surrounding buildings of the city. Sure enough, he found his wayward familiars flocking around some kind of stall about two blocks away from him. He sighed. If there was a Demon there, then he swore, he was going to punch it right in the face - or whatever equivalent it might have - right then and there. He was already sick and tired of this damn town, and he'd only just gotten here. The last thing he needed was Demons attacking and causing trouble - trouble HE would have to risk his reputation to step in and fix.

"I would say I don't get paid enough for this shit, but I don't even get paid at all," He muttered, turning his path towards what looked to be the town's main street. "I swear, I get no fuckin' respect..." He swore, sliding his hands into his pockets as he confirmed nobody was out and about yet to be watching him. In that case, no sense taking the slow way there. In the blink of an eye, Izayoi vanished into a flash of blue "flames," blurring upward onto a towering building overlooking the block. Of course, after his initial disappearance, nobody save those attuned to the Spirit World he was currently occupying would be able to see him, which made matters a little easier. Hopping over the edge, he completely ignored gravity, as well as the building across the street from him, which he phased clear through before allowing himself to float down to street level, landing in an alley. So far, his familiars hadn't moved, meaning his presence probably hadn't been sensed. Good. In that case, he wouldn't give himself away as a Demon until he'd identified the target. Returning to the physical plane, he dusted himself off before stepping out into the street, glancing around to see if he could find his familiars. It didn't take him long to identify three golden butterflies hovering inconspicuously over some kind of stall selling Mochi. It didn't seem to be open yet, but it didn't hurt to check. Strolling up casually, he peeked his head into the booth.

"'Yo, anybody in here?" He asked boredly. Honestly, he was actually hoping that a Demon would just come flying out on its own and try to eat his face, or whatever. If nobody was around to see him kick the ass of whatever being was haunting this area, so much the better.

#, as written by RedFox
Sayuri sat obediently on the stool, face baring no emotion as she kept her gaze fixated on a point in random space. Zetsubo was whispering in her ear constantly, "lips" curling into a grin every time he got the reaction he wanted.

Things about how lonely she is. How nobody loves her or notices her. How if she disappeared nobody would notice. He never let her forget these things.

She was mildly surprised when a tall boy approached the booth, broadly sticking his head in. It took a moment for her to register before she moved closer to the window at the front of the booth. "Hi, can I help you?"

It was the phrase she'd been programmed to say so many times that it now came without ease, without even thinking, like breathing. Her voice had a distinct lack of emotion. Nobody ever noticed, however, because any customer would assume she was simply in a temperamental mood. She was never rude, she'd be fired, but there was an absence of friendliness. If anything, painfully fake friendliness.

She took this time to evaluate the boy in front of her. He had blonde shaggy hair, wore a parka, and was about a half foot taller than her. When her eyes caught his she felt a really strange sensation. It made her extremely uncomfortable so she tore her gaze from his and instead fixed it on his forehead.

She had never had a customer this early in the morning. Not unless she were to count the night-watch police man who stopped by a year ago before heading home. What could he be doing here?

#, as written by Feyblue


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β–‘β–‘β–‘The Golden Houndβ–‘β–‘β–‘


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Great. Just my luck. Not only is somebody here, but it's a girl, too. He thought to himself, drawing back out of the booth as he sized up the person sitting inside. She was average in height, but there was something about her bearing and wistful expression that made her seem smaller than she actually was. Coupled with her pale skin and hair, and distant blue eyes that broke contact with his own enchanting crimson gaze in an instant - not to mention her rather pointy ears - she seemed almost like a phantom, one that might fade away in an instant. It took Izayoi a moment to realize that this might mean she was the Demon herself. Pointy ears were certainly a fairly obvious tell that a being wasn't Human. Then again, it was pretty easy for normal Humans to give themselves rather exotic appearances nowadays, and even if she was the Demon, working at a Mochi stand was probably just about the least threatening thing he could think of. Still, it didn't hurt to investigate, and so he shrugged, crossing his arms and legs and leaning casually against the side of the booth.

"Hey, lady, what's the cheapest thing you sell?" He asked on a whim. "I'm kinda piss poor at the moment, but my animal instincts are telling me I need a snack." He glanced back over his shoulder as he spoke, and, wanting to spare her direct contact with his Mystic Eyes, moved his gaze towards the back wall a few inches behind her. It was around then that he realized that she wasn't actually alone in the tiny booth. He hadn't seen the... whatever the hell kind of Demon it was behind her at first, since it was lurking in the darkness at the very back of the stall, making it rather difficult to pick out at a glance, since it was covered in jet black bandages like some kind of mummy from a bad horror movie. The difference being that unlike a shambling, cloth-wrapped zombie, this thing seemed to be half-fused with the girl's shadow, writhing, unseen, in the darkness behind her. Izayoi's carefree half-smirk turned sour in an instant. That was definitely his target, and by the look of things, it was way less harmless than he'd first expected. Most Demons didn't have nearly enough control to hide themselves so well whilst gorging themselves on an innocent soul, but this one's disguise had been good enough that even he'd had trouble noticing it. His scarlet eyes narrowed, but he allowed his gaze to wander innocently, as though he was just looking for some kind of menu. The last thing he wanted was to spook it and make it hold the girl hostage. If she got caught up in the line of fire, he'd be hard pressed to get it off her, considering how well it had fused itself with her Spirit. He'd need to take it by surprise, which would probably mean letting the girl in on his secret. She had to have noticed the thing, though, didn't she? It was practically on top of her, and if he knew his Demons, had probably been whispering lies into her ears to break her resolve ever since it had tried to possess her. She'd understand if a creepy kid in a hoodie turned into blue fire and started punching something that wasn't there.

...Well, okay, no, she probably wouldn't. She'd probably run screaming for the police, who in turn would probably lock her up as crazy. Few people wanted to acknowledge the existence of Demons, and those who did were usually labeled insane just to keep them quiet. Assuming they did believe her, he'd probably be taken in, and then he'd have to bust himself out of custody and get the entire city up in arms against him. He'd probably have to keep on moving as though he'd never stopped for fear of being caught. Even so, he couldn't exactly just let this girl stay like this. The thing was practically eating her from the inside out, and that was utterly unforgivable. Izayoi turned away, biting down on his lip. Patience wasn't his strong suit, but he'd at least have to wait around until the girl left the booth, taking that little Demon following her with her, so as to minimize the chances of her getting hurt by collateral damage. Once it was out in the open and he could beat the shit out of it, he'd do so without hesitation. Then, once he'd ripped it loose using his Territory, he'd crush it under his boot heel, and that would be that. But, although he told himself that, he had to admit, he was a little wary of that monster, whatever the hell it was. It had nearly hidden itself from him, meaning it was probably a lot more powerful than the small fry he was used to dealing with. Even as a Demon whose powers specialized in driving off or killing other Demons, he didn't exactly have much strength at the moment. He'd need to make this quick. He couldn't risk a drawn out fight.

But, for now, the best plan was to observe his prey. Even if it meant spending pretty much all of the meager sum he had left from his last job, he'd buy something here and see how the Demon acted, thinking it couldn't be seen. That'd give him some clues into its nature, and, hopefully, how best to deal with it. After that, he'd just lurk nearby in Spirit form, so that he couldn't be seen by the girl, at least, and wait for an opportunity to present itself...

#, as written by RedFox
So he was a customer. That was peculiar, but not as peculiar as what she was used to, for sure. "Our mochi rice cakes are only 400 yen. Ice cream mochi is 600 yen, same with our red bean mochi. Those are our most popular products." She listed these things off as if she were a machine, each individual price tag programmed into her brain. Something was making her feel very uneasy. Jetsubo was being silent, and she sensed an observatory vibe being given off of him. Most of the time when a customer is at the booth he tries to make her as uncomfortable and shy as possible to make her interactions all seem extremely awkward.

So what is it with this boy? Why is he so special? And why did his eyes make her feel so...

She couldn't even place the feeling.

#, as written by Feyblue


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β–‘β–‘β–‘The Golden Houndβ–‘β–‘β–‘


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The young man reached into his pocket, scrounging around for a moment before withdrawing a few worn coins. 735 Yen was all he had to his name right now, so spending almost all of that in one go would probably be a pretty stupid choice... but it hardly mattered. Right now, saving this girl was priority, and to ensure his chances were at their best, he'd need to ensure the Demon didn't realize something was up. It certainly didn't seem to be doing much. Probably, it had caught a whiff of the faint traces of Spiritual Power leaking from his eyes. He certainly wasn't able to hide that as well as the Demon was able to conceal itself, at any rate, which meant it was logical to assume that it had noticed. Of course, considering his Human body contained his actual presence quite well, it wouldn't be able to sense much else off about him, so the logical thing to assume would just be that his eyes had been cursed at some point, since Izayoi hadn't shown any signs of knowing or caring about the Demon in the shadows. There was no reason for his prey to be alarmed - yet. And he intended to keep it that way.

"Fine. I guess I'll just take a normal rice cake," He said, shrugging as he withdrew four 100 yen coins from his pocket and placed them on the counter, flicking them offhandedly towards the girl before returning to his leisurely posture leaning against the side of the booth, glancing up at the cloud-covered gray skies. Brushing back his hair from his crimson eyes, he glanced up with dismay at the foreboding weather. "Ah, damn. Rain's the last thing I need on top of all this crap," He muttered to himself. Demons could seldom resist the plight of another. Maybe he could prod some response out of the creature in the shadows by complaining of his own misfortune, without ever alerting the creature to the fact that he had noticed it...

#, as written by RedFox
She took the coins with a plastered smile (she actually could not remember the last time she smiled genuinely) and moved to the back of the booth to pick out the largest rice cake she could find - she felt... gratitude? to this boy for some reason. As she turned back to the front, he commented on the rain, and she silently agreed. She knew that rain meant she would need to walk home in it without cover, cold and shivering by the time she returned home. And then she would need to shower, and Zetsubo would watch...

She shuddered, and she felt Zetsubo behind her shudder in anticipation and happiness at her misery. It made her feel sick, and it appeared he was starting to act more normal again. He moved a bit closer to her, form dissipating and moving up her back, whispering in her ear disgusting, perverted things. She looked on without her expression changing, though she felt as if she was being torn up from the inside.

She handed the boy the rice cake and tried to keep her hand from shaking as she did so. "I hope whatever you're talking about gets better, sir. Have a nice day."

#, as written by Feyblue


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The boy took the rice cake with an expression of ambivalence, trying to seem as though he hadn't noticed anything off about her. But notice he had. Try though she might to hide it, there could be no concealing from his eyes the writhing of her shadow as it licked at her heels, the formless specter holding her captive and whispering mocking, degrading words in her ear. She couldn't hide from his keen senses the trembling of the hand that momentarily brushed against his. He pulled up his hood and turned to go, stopping only to cast a single glance back at the girl's fragile form as she gazed blankly into a future that held no hope for her.

"Yeah," He said quietly. "I hope so too."

He turned away and walked around the corner, seating himself on a nearby bench and pulling back the wrapping paper on the treat he'd bought on a whim - but he found the paper tearing with an audible crackle beneath the almost clawlike fingers of a hand clenched into a fist of rage. Nothing he'd seen in the girl's circumstances were anything especially new to him. No, just the opposite. It was because she'd seemed so familiar that he couldn't help but feel a sickening twist in his gut, and a burning of furious hate in even his inhuman heart. The way she'd looked - that blank-eyed, slack-jawed stare, like the face of a broken doll... He'd seen it all too many times before. No, more than just seeing it... he'd been the one responsible for it. Memories flashed before his eyes, unbidden, of a shabby hotel bedroom, and a girl splayed out on the bed before him, her mind and spirit eroded by his accursed gaze to the point that she was little more than a puppet, dancing for his sake. She had been like a flower, and like a flower he'd plucked her, leaving her a lifeless, hollow echo of what she'd once been.

He bit into the cake with teeth as sharp as fangs, and had to resist the urge to paint the pavement before him with the sickeningly sweet pastry mixed with bile. The things that Demon was trying to do to her... It was no different than what he himself had almost done. Guilt mingled with disgust and the nauseating sweetness of the treat he held as with each beat of his heart he felt an increasing urge to either vomit or rush back around the corner and tear the shadowy wretch limb from limb - whichever came second. In that instant, he knew for sure that he'd come to that town for a purpose. He was here to make amends for the sins he'd committed, to utterly crush every last pathetic scrap of the desirous monster he himself had almost become. He swore to himself then and there that he would, without a doubt, succeed. No matter what it took, Izayoi would save that girl before he left this city. Justice would be done, even should the heavens themselves fall on his head, for only then could he look at himself without reliving the sins of his past. He, prideful though he was, had no choice but to acknowledge the mistakes of his youth.

#, as written by RedFox
Work passed on dully. After the strange boy in the parka, nothing out of the ordinary happened for Sayuri's standards. Unlucky enough for her, the rain had stopped for a few hours during midday and then started up again just before she got off work. It was pouring rather heavily now, making the darkened sky appear even darker. A thick fog made it difficult to see more than a couple yards in front of her, and she sighed softly to herself as she closed up the booth and began to walk home in the freezing rain.

Her body shuddered with the cold. She lived a few blocks away from work, and by the end she was completely drenched and shaking like a leaf. She wasted no time in immediately stripping and jumping into the hot shower, at first standing and letting the warmth run down her skin and send it tingling as it defrosted before she sat down on the ground and hugged her knees to her naked chest, allowing the liquid to completely envelop her as if she could hide away in it.

But, as always, Zetsubo was there. Watching her. He made it obvious how appealing he found it, getting uncomfortably close and breathing down her neck. She hugged her knees closer to her, burying her head in between them, but she couldn't get rid of him. She'd been enjoying the heat but she knew she had to get out and get dressed once again, for she was starting to feel utterly ill at the unwanted attention.

He watched her with a predator's eyes as she turned off the water, got out of the shower, and dried herself off with a towel before changing into a sweatshirt and sweatpants. He stalked behind her as she sulked over to her bed, curling up in it in a fetal position and pulling the covers securely over her, as if it would protect her from Zetsubo's prying gaze or horrifying nightmares.

She was almost asleep when she felt his form dissolve and appear under the covers behind her, hand slyly snaking in between the back of her thighs.

#, as written by Feyblue


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For the rest of the day, Izayoi had been waiting nearby, watching with his familiars to ensure the Demon did not escape his notice. And, when the time finally came for the girl to close up shop and head home, he'd been waiting, like a beast ready to pounce, atop a nearby rooftop. The rain had flickered as it shimmered through his incorporeal form as a Spirit, falling silently down onto the streets below. Running from rooftop to rooftop, invisible amidst the darkness even to eyes that could see a Spirit such as himself, he'd concealed his presence as best he could, stalking his prey both in person and through countless tiny butterflies wandering the skies alongside him. He'd wanted to pounce while the Demon was still in the open, but unfortunately, there'd been too many people out and about that night, making it impossible for him to strike. So, settling for the next best option, he'd followed the girl home, positioning himself in a dark alley across from the girl's house and sending his familiars in closer to watch.

He'd wanted to get an idea of how this Demon behaved. After about two minutes of watching him follow the girl out of a sideroom and into her own bedroom, slowly looming closer and closer like a cat savoring the moment before it devoured a cornered mouse, Izayoi had had enough. The way the girl cowered before it, the way it mocked and used her... he was sick of watching. Even if it meant revealing his identity, he couldn't just stand idly by. So, searching his surroundings, he laid about himself for a weapon. He found one in the form of a broken-off piece of metal piping lying at the base of an old-fashioned, shattered gutter. Pouring his power into it, he began to creep closer, checking the eyes of his familiars to make sure the Demon hadn't noticed him. With any luck, he'd be able to slip into the house, strike the Demon from behind, and rip it away from her. Once it had lost its tether to the physical world, he could just beat on its Spiritual Body using his Territory-boosted pipe to damage it, while its incorporeal form wouldn't be able to leave much lasting damage on his Human body - especially considering his natural resilience to harm - forcing it to either flee, die, or manifest itself, in which case so long as he could outlast it, it would still be his victory. That was where things would get tricky, however, as if the Demon was on a level equal to his own, it would probably be a fair fight, but its power wouldn't be able to sustain it long. But, if the Demon was more powerful than him, he'd be forced onto the defensive. Fortunately, Demons of great power were something of an anathema to physical reality. Without a host body to contain their power, it oozed off them rapidly, causing the physical plane to reject them and force them back. So long as he could survive, even if the Demon was especially strong, it wouldn't be able to kill him.

Thinking reasonably, thus, he'd initially planned a surprise attack once he got closer. However, when he saw what the Demon was doing through the eyes of a butterfly perched on the windowsill, all that caution and hesitation disappeared in an instant. Oozing into her bed like a living, shadowy nightmare, it perched above her, reaching under the covers as though about to undress her. The same, hated scene played out in Akatsuya's head once again, and, clenching his hand on the long metal pipe, he realized he could wait no longer. Not even bothering to manifest himself physically, he braced his feet against the ground, and then leaped forward. incorporeal as he was, he streaked towards the house without regard for gravity or its walls, phasing through the window and streaking into the bedroom like an azure bullet. Unable to mask his power, however, he forfeited the advantage of surprise as he drew back with the pipe and swung it with all his might straight for the neck of the Demon.

"Get your hands off her you degenerate piece of SHIT!" He roared, at the same time activating his Territory at the most powerful level he could muster at the very tip of the pipe. Even if the Demon dodged the swing, it would find a circle of blue light appearing right in the center of its neck, emitting a concentrated force analogous to the impact of a speeding freight train. He didn't know how resilient this creature was, but a normal Demon would probably have its head reduced to dust by the force. Even assuming it somehow resisted him, this attack wouldn't be one it could take and hold its ground. It would have to retreat, and at that point, the Territory he'd left between it and the girl would sever its tether to her.

To Sayuri, this attack would likely take place faster than she could comprehend. A blur of azure flames and a black shadow followed by a roar of outrage and a glittering of metal amidst the darkness would be all even her awakened eyes could see before Izayoi was upon his prey. To a being of such power as Zetsubou, however, the attack would seem quite obvious. As Izayoi hadn't the time to conceal himself as he leaped closer, by the time he reached the house, the Demon would be aware of his presence. Even so, Akatsuya was confident that he could at the very least force his enemy to retreat, no matter how powerful he was. After that was where the hard part began.

#, as written by RedFox
It all happened so quickly

Sayuri was lying in bed, completely frozen in place, eyes wide in fear as she felt his abnormally cold hand slide in between her thighs, and then he was gone. She turned around, confused, but by then it was already happening.

Zetsubo had sensed him when he finally had the girl where he wanted. Immediately pissed off, he dissipated and appeared across the room as the boy struck down where he had been, laughing as he instead hit the pillow. He thought fast, creating a soul-barrier to protect himself for at least a little while around his body before throwing his voice to whisper in his ear thousands of dizzying, confusing, depressing things simultaneously. Too much for the brain to understand in the moment, but the subconscious will pick apart each phrase and it will influence his mood.

Throwing out his shackled arm forcefully, he called upon his spirit army, though held them on standby, just outside of the physical realm. He wasn't sure yet if he would need them.

All this happened within a matter of a second and a half, and now he was staring straight through the boy, though his eyes were indecipherable. He'd known there was something off about that god damn boy the moment he was at the mochi booth. Couldn't he have waited another night so he got his way with his mortal?

#, as written by RedFox
Hama Sayuri

#, as written by Feyblue


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Izayoi grimaced, his swing connecting with nothing but the side of the best as he landed between himself and the black shadow that reformed across the room, glaring daggers at him. Recalling his Territory, he jabbed his pipe down onto the floor, striking the girl's shadow and relocating his power into it. He could feel the power of the bandaged Demon lingering, flowing into the girl's heart through the darkness she bore. Here and now, he'd sever it. Deploying his Territory, he willed the Demon to be expelled, pouring into it all of his hatred and anger. In the instant his Spirit connected with that of his loathsome adversary, however, something happened. Flooding his mind were countless voices, filling his thoughts with unnatural screams of anguish and hatred. Images he could not comprehend flashed before his eyes, bringing to the fore his own most unwanted memories. Nevertheless, he'd expected a counterattack of some kind. Their Spirits were momentarily in contact, after all, meaning the Demon would likely try whatever it could to get him off. He just had to hold on. So, gritting his teeth, he focused solely on his hatred of his enemy for what it had tried to do, and repulsed it with all his might.

He felt something snap. Had he done it? No, not exactly. It appeared the Demon had drawn back of its own free will, creating a barrier to protect himself from harm for the time being. Izayoi gave a growl of disappointment. Even if he'd succeeded in splitting him off from the girl, that would make things a bit more difficult when it came to driving him off. And, by the look of things, the Demon had some sort of power he was mustering in the Spirit World. This wasn't going to be nearly as easy as he'd hoped.

Returning to the corporeal plane, Izayoi shouldered his pipe and glanced back to the girl, his crimson eyes gleaming in the darkness. "Sorry I took so long to get here," He said. "If I'd know what this bastard was doing, I've have punched his lights out the moment I saw him at the booth." Turning back to his enemy, he bared his fang-like teeth, snarling as he raised the pipe and lunged forward, swiping it up towards the Demon's head. In another instant, he spun with the momentum of his first strike, phasing out of existence as he jumped sideways, using a Territory to instantly redirect his momentum, launching him in a blue of azure around behind Zetsubo as he spun into a second swing, bringing down the pipe towards the back of the bandaged specter's head and flipping over him from behind before once again landing between his prey and the girl he had sworn to protect. "Piece of shit," He growled. "Why don't you just make this easy on the both of us and die?!"

#, as written by RedFox
Sayuri stared at him with a blank expression. She felt confused as her thoughts were not being completely controlled by Zetsubo while his energy was being used elsewhere. She was so used to not having a voice that she'd kind of forgotten how to have one.

This boy.... What was he doing...?

Zetsubo growled as the damn little kid struck him in the back of the head. It hurt like hell, but didn't do much besides render him confused for a moment. "What the hell do you want with the girl?" He growled. "She's just a stupid mortal, and mine at that."

Sayuri tilted her head quizzically at the boy standing like a protective guard dog a few feet in front of her, wondering the same thing. Why was he even trying to protect her? What had she done for him? Sold him mochi?

#, as written by Feyblue


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Izayoi rose from his beastlike crouch, cracking his knuckles as he twirled the pipe casually, a sadistic grin spreading across his face. He'd managed to hit him, this time, even if the blow didn't seem to do much. His power had been "What do I want with her? Man, you've misjudged me, you unsightly, festering shitstain," He said with a cold laugh. "Hate to break it to ya', but there's not much of anything I want anymore. I just hate scum like you, and as it just so happens, I've got nothing better to do than take you down a few notches." Leveling the pipe like a knight might ready a sword, he braced himself to lunge again, confident that he had the advantage of speed in this fight, at least. However, he was a little disturbed by something. The Territory he'd used to power up the otherwise mundane pipe he was currently trying to beat his opponent into paste with was pretty powerful by his standards. Against a normal Demon, he should have at least drawn blood, maybe even damaged its physical form. This guy barely even seemed hurt by it, and he hadn't even manifested himself physically to protect himself. Just how powerful was this thing?

Nonetheless, Akatsuya wasn't one to back down. If his enemy wasn't going to counterattack, he should push his advantage for all it was worth. Lunging towards the Demon like a lightning bolt, he jabbed the pipe forward, again projecting a full scale Territory at the tip to release immense concussive force completely disproportionate to the power of the blow itself, hoping that he could punch a hole clean through his adversary's torso with raw power.

#, as written by RedFox
Zetsubo, seemingly bored, conjured his millions of minions, sending them sprawling out of their inter-dimensional portal right in front of the blow. They appeared as blobs of shadow, crying facing calling out for mercy as they were blown to bits by the kid's power attack. All of the energy was used up on the spirits, and there were many more to spare. They'd re-materialize in the spirit world, being his minions and all, so he wasn't concerned about casualties.

"Listen, I'll cut you a deal. I want a break from this girl, anyway. Take her for two days. Do what you want. And I'll be back to reclaim her." He lifted his left arm, making a severe slicing motion in the middle of the air. Sayuri, behind Izayoi, let out a pained cry as the tie between her soul and Zetsubo's was cut in half after being together for so long. "I'm sure you have other intentions with her. I don't mind sharing, for a bit. I have other matters to attend to." His teeth stretching into a large smile on his otherwise hidden face, he completely blinked out of the physical realm, gone.

Sayuri was hugging her knees to her chest, shaking slightly, staring straight through Izayoi. Millions of thoughts were racing through her mind - of who he was, what he was, and what he was going to do to her. More than that, though, the feeling of being completely free was petrifying. She had no idea what to feel, or think. She felt completely alone, even if the loneliness was the only peace she'd had in years. What was this feeling?

#, as written by Feyblue


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The boy drew back, grimacing at the shock that ran down his makeshift weapon as he impacted some sort of large mass of spiritual energy - a mass far greater than the power within his comparatively weak Territory. His attack seemed to have sealed the strange portal the Demon had opened, but it had done seemingly no damage to his target. Can't hit him so easily anymore, huh? Well, I guess I at least know how much power it'll take to get him concerned enough to defend himself, which means I must be able to actually harm him. He thought, analyzing the situation. Still, even if he knew how much energy he'd need to put behind his attacks to damage his opponent, that wasn't going to help him much, since the amount of power he'd used was pretty significant by his standards. He couldn't just throw around Territories on that level. At least, not without a lot more time to prepare himself, which he didn't in the middle of a fight. Nevertheless, he'd sworn to see this through to the bitter end. He wasn't going to fall back, least of all knowing what that Demon planned on doing to the innocent girl he'd made into his host.

If only he knew more about his enemy's capabilities. Then he might be able to plan a course of attack that could bypass this creature's frustrating defensive abilities. But, knowing nothing, all he could do was keep swinging until either his target died or he did. But just as he was preparing to engage in a battle of attrition, the most unexpected outcome possible occurred. Instead of manifesting himself to attack the foe before him, his enemy casually retreated, cutting ties with his victim and saying he'd just come back later. So, he'd realized, then. Just by looking at Akatsuya, this Demon had realized that he wasn't long for this world anyway. Probably, Zetsubo had assumed that the Hound was just trying to use the girl as a cheap source of power to sustain himself a little longer, and that after that, he'd just crawl into a gutter somewhere to live out the last few weeks of his miserable existence, preying upon the weak to extend his life. But although that was the reasonable thing for a Demon to do, that didn't mean it had to be what the Hound planned on.

He'd managed to weaken the Demon's ties to its host, so it made sense that it would retreat to recuperate, especially after utilizing power on the scale that it had a moment prior. Since it expected Izayoi would just cut and run anyway, getting the girl's hopes up that she might at last be saved would only make her despair all the sweeter when the bandaged monster returned to claim her, making his hold on her even stronger the second time around. As his enemy disappeared, Izayoi already realized that he'd only delayed his hated foe's plans. But he could still stop them. He still had a chance.

"Condescending bastard," He snarled, lowering his pipe as his opponent vanished. As the shadow raised its hand, something glimmering in the darkness caught his eye. A broken chain? The Hound's eyes widened in surprise as he realized where exactly that storm of souls had come from. Unlike him, descended from a spirit based on Human beliefs, this Demon was the real thing - a monster that had forced its way straight out of Hell itself. He'd picked a fight with such a powerful entity unknowingly, and come out unscathed?

His thoughts were cut off as a shriek of fear and pain echoed from behind him. His foe vanished, he turned to see the girl cowering underneath the covers, pulling them and her knees tightly against herself and crawling backwards away from him in abject terror. Oh, right. He'd just phased through her wall and started swinging around a lead pipe that created explosions like some sort of berserker ninja ghost. Of course she was terrified, even if he'd done it in order to save her. His eyes gleaming crimson amidst the darkness, he stepped forward into the light of the moon shimmering through the dark clouds in the sky. In this half light, he set down the pipe he'd been carrying, raising his hands as though in surrender.

"Hey, are you alright? I'm not coming any closer," He said, trying to reassure her that he really wasn't here to rape, kill, and/or eat her - only possibly in that order. "Yeesh, am I really scarier than a bandaged hell-mummy like that shithead I just chased off?" He muttered to himself, glancing away so as not to meet her eyes. After all, she'd just been released from a mental influence that had gone on for god knew how long. She'd probably realize something was off if she started falling under the effects of his Mystic Eyes, and that would only scare her more. "You're not hurt, are you?" He asked uneasily. He thought he'd severed the Demon's tie to her, but if that scream earlier had been any indication, maybe he hadn't done as well as he'd hoped...

#, as written by RedFox
Her eyes were wide. She felt numb, confused, and scared. The boy seemed harmless, and that's what scared her most. Was it all part of a ploy? Nobody had been nice to her in such a long time, her trust had completely shut down long ago.

"I'm fine," she lied, trying to hide the fear in her voice. She suddenly was keenly aware of the vulnerable position she'd placed herself in. She had to be strong if she was going to be safe... At least for a while.

So, even though every part of her wanted to curl beneath the blanket and shut out the world, she forced herself to stand up and stride forward so she was nearly touching the boy, chin tilted up and staring him in the eyes.

There was something about his eyes...

"What are you?" she questioned harshly. "What do you want with me?" she was the opposite of threatening - her clothes were much too big for her, making her look even smaller than she originally was in comparison. She tried to puff out her chest to make herself appear bigger, but she had no idea if it was helping.

#, as written by Feyblue


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"Like I said before," Muttered the Hound, averting his gaze quickly as the girl tried to force him to make eye contact. Given her suspicion, accidentally using his Mystic Eyes wouldn't help his case at all. "I didn't come here because I wanted you or anything pathetic like that. Don't equate me to that piece of fuckin' garbage who I just chased out of here just because I'm a-" He cut himself off, reining himself in only too late as he realized that he'd basically just admitted his biggest secret up front. Well, not like it wasn't obvious already or anything, so he supposed that he hadn't really said anything she didn't already know. "...just because I'm a monster like him," He finished, his voice seeming much quieter and more contemplative as he sighed, scratching at the tousled mass of blonde hair adorning his head. "I'm givin' you the honest-to-God's-truth here, so at least hear me out. I just happened to be passing through and noticed that creep harassing you, and decided I'd do something about it. I was planning on jumping him sooner before you got back here, but your scent got all mixed up with the rain and there were too many people around, so I had to wait. If I'd known what he was tryin' to pull, I wouldn't have bothered with hiding." He shrugged, allowing his legs to give way as he slumped against the wall beside his pipe. After the fight had ended, he'd felt the strength seeping away from his body. His physical form was almost burned out by the Territories he'd rapidly erected and spent. He'd probably have to sleep or dematerialize himself if he wanted to preserve what remained of his energy. He sighed, shutting his eyes. If he'd wanted to do anything to her, he'd made it abundantly clear that he already could and would have done so. Of course, since he'd freely admitted to being a Demon, she probably wouldn't trust him anyway, but there was nothing to be done about that.

#, as written by RedFox
She eyed him for a moment longer, lips puckered. "Wait here," she instructed, still in a voice she was projecting to be louder than normal. She disappeared into another room, fumbling around in the kitchen until she got what she wanted. She sighed, not really sure why she was doing it... Gratitude?

She returned a few minutes later with tea, complete with milk and sugar added in. "You seem kind of tired. I always drink this when I feel like that. You should have it, sleep here, and be on your way tomorrow." without waiting for a response she set the saucer with the cup down on the nightstand next to where he was leaning.

She was grateful for what he had done, but now she wanted him to go. She didn't know what to do at this point, and didn't want him here when Zetsubo came back and she went back to her own personal hell. The idea of someone so distant witnessing that made her uneasy. After years of being completely alone, except for a soul capturing demon who constantly terrorized her, she didn't really want anyone. Not only did she completely forget how human (and demon?) interaction worked, it sounded outright terrifying.

She kept her gaze pointed to the right of the boy, pink coloring her cheeks. She felt awkward and lost for words. He'd just... He saved her.