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Izayoi Akatsuya

"The name's Izayoi Akatsuya. If ya' want something, then say it. Don't just stand there staring at me."

0 · 642 views · located in Isogashi City (Fictional; Similar to Tokyo)

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

Description



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"Well, what do we have here? A whelp stealing away the heart of a pup too weak to protect herself? Man, what's this world coming to if I'm the one who's got to step up and be the hero? Oh, fine. How about you just make this easy on yourself, roll over like a good little dog, and die for me?"

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FULL NAME
      Izayoi Akatsuya. As he'll proudly inform anyone - or at least, anyone female - his surname, Izayoi, refers to the 19th day of a month, right after the full moon, where the night is supposedly the most beautiful. Meanwhile, his given name means "Red Glow." Overall, his name indicates a scarlet full moon - a beautiful and welcome sight. At least, for a monster...

NICKNAME(S)
      He usually just goes by “Izayoi,” even though it's technically his surname, both because it's convenient and out of reverence for his former family.

IDENTITY
      Although apparently an ordinary delinquent teenager, Izayoi's real nature is much more dubious. Born to a Demon – specifically an Incubus – and a Shinto Land Spirit transfigured into a Human – specifically, an Inugami – his existence is less that of a living human and more that of a fully functional human facsimile constructed from spiritual energy. Although normally, as a Kami, he'd draw his powers from the faith of those who believe in him, his Incubus heritage has tainted that aspect of his being so that he can only empower himself through the love and lust of women. Nevertheless, provided a source of energy, he can establish a “territory,” a boundary permeated by his spirit which Demons of all stripes are harmed by, and thus find it difficult to enter, as well as tap into the powers of his spirit – although he's unable to transform himself into a form more suited to his Divine heritage, since his mother bore him while she was still technically “Human,” and an Incubus is a sort of degraded Human as well.

GENDER
      Male.

AGE
      18.

SEXUALITY
      He encourages heterosexual attraction towards himself, since it empowers him, but he has certain qualms about actually entering into a relationship, be it romantic or sexual, making him more demisexual/demiromantic than anything.

NATIONALITY
      He looks Caucasian – probably a gift from his father, a Demon from the west.


“Tall? Extremely. Dark? Not so much. Handsome? Why don't you tell me? Your personal knight in shining armor? Eh, what the hell. Not like I have anything better to do. Fine, I'll help you out, lady – but just this once.”


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HEIGHT
      6'2”

WEIGHT
      198 lbs, mostly muscle.

HAIR COLOR
      Blonde.

EYE COLOR
      Technically brown, but it looks more bronze-red, like dried blood.

SKIN TONE
      Pale.

GENERAL APPEARANCE
      A tall, powerfully built youth with fair skin and hair and bright, almost scarlet eyes, Akatsuya immediately strikes one as being rather out of place amidst any sort of group. A stern-faced, cold individual, he strikes most as rather off-putting, given his confident, carefree bearing and rather condescending and rude attitude. Never one to let his appearance bother him – a good thing, considering his very limited budget – he dresses in rumpled, somewhat worn button-up red shirts and white jeans, and of course his trademark black-on-yellow parka, which he's seldom seen without, even on warm days. More often than not, he keeps the hood raised enough to obscure his face, avoiding contact with prying eyes.

      His physique is athletic to say the least, with long limbs and a muscular, if not overstated body. Coupled with his upright, firm posture and resolute, defiant expression, his appearance alone makes quite clear that he's not somebody to be messed with. But, although he might be called attractive, given proper grooming, at the moment he brings one more in mind of a stray dog, with his hair unkempt and unruly, and traces of stubble appearing on his otherwise rather youthful face, as though he doesn't wash or shave regularly. Given his circumstances as a drifter, really, it's more of a wonder that he doesn't look like more of a bum than he already does.

      His most notable feature, to a casual observer, is probably his eyes. Looking into them, one finds oneself practically drawn into his gaze, as though unable to escape it – at least, if one happens to be female. His eyes have an almost hypnotic effect that drives women who look into them long enough to become inexplicably drawn to him, attracted by a mysterious charisma that they can't quite comprehend, a pull which is only compounded by his inexplicably handsome looks. Such is the nature of being half-Incubus, and many women who see him, not knowing of this fact, might find themselves lusting after him in short order. The effect of his physical charisma isn't limited to just females, though. Although men might not find themselves romantically attracted to him unless already of a homosexual persuasion, they nevertheless feel like they can trust him instinctively, even though he's probably the most untrustworthy-looking person imaginable. People always seem to find themselves wanting to help him despite their suspicions – another perk of his lineage. This is one of the reasons he usually wears his hood – he doesn't like controlling people accidentally into bending over backwards just for his sake.



“Demons and Humans... I couldn't give less of damn about them or their issues if I tried. Demons abandoned me, and then Humans shunned me when they found out what a monster I really was. They didn't want me, fine. I'll leave them be – but they can deal with their shit themselves.”


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PERSONALITY
      ✦ Rude ✧ Aloof ✦ Flirtatious ✧ Suspicious ✦

      Akatsuya is a rather confusing individual. On the surface, he's your typical wannabe bad-boy, albeit one with much more substance behind his boasting than most. He disregards other people callously when they annoy him, belittling, mocking, insulting, and pushing them away. Even to those with whom he's agreed – however reluctantly – to interact, he's rarely civil, being sarcastic, lazy, and generally self-centered and abrasive. He doesn't expect anybody to show him any courtesy, and so he never shows any himself. However, although he seldom allows others to realize it, this is more of a front to protect them from his true self, and to protect himself from ever getting hurt again, than anything. For that reason, if it means that he can keep isolating himself from others, never risking being shunned as a monster or hurting someone or making them go against their nature due to the influence of his eyes, he's more than happy to play the villain, even if it isn't nearly the bad guy he purports himself to be.

      Bearing a sense of chivalry, and thus a desire to atone for the mistakes of his past, Akatsuya actually goes out of his way to help people whenever his assistance is really needed. He just doesn't do it up front. If an old man needed help moving something heavy, he'd gripe and complain and then come up with some lame excuse to do it anyway. If a girl was crying because her boyfriend had had a fight with her, he'd console her and give her advice on romance, and then claim he was just doing it to make her break up so he could pick her up on the rebound. She'd probably slap him in the face and run off, and he, in turn, would simply grin and bear it, content that he'd helped her forget about her anger towards her boyfriend, redirecting that anger towards himself, the conveniently appearing villain. He hates to see other people in trouble or sad, but at the same time, doesn't want to risk opening himself up to them for fear of hurting them or being hurt himself.

      On the subject of the previous example, there is one exception to his general rudeness towards all who converse with him. Namely, girls. Although he's far from the perfect gentleman, he nevertheless considers it his duty to respect and honor women. He doesn't hurt girls, and he utterly loathes any man who would. If there's a female in trouble, he'll be the first to rush to help her. If there's a girl who's sad, he'll be there to dry her tears. Of course, he can't commit himself to any of them for fear of enchanting them with his eyes, so he in turn pretends to be an insufferable flirt, pushing girls to distrust him in spite of his eyes so that they won't become too attached before he leaves them behind for their own good. This, in turn, adds to his image as a bad boy who couldn't care less about anybody else, thus ensuring that he doesn't have to show his real feelings to anyone – even the girls he dotes on.

      In reality, though, the young “Demon” is much less confident than he lets on. Deeply ashamed of what his powers and his own selfish desires have caused, he seeks nothing save to atone for what he's done. Viewing himself as an abomination who only hurts people and interferes with their lives, he has thus removed himself from society, only interacting with others to either protect them or assist them as means of atoning for his sins, and then moving on. Although he tries to tell himself that if he keeps pushing people away so that only those who truly care will ever interact with him, and if he keeps on helping people, he'll at least have earned their affection himself instead of stealing it with his eyes, in reality, he's still far too afraid of his own nature to risk opening himself up to others. He worries that if he does, he'll lose control, and might do something unforgivable – a thought that terrifies him regularly.

      In the event that somebody actually did care about him, even without being influenced by his eyes, it's likely he wouldn't know how to deal with it. Too scared to show his true self to anybody, he'd probably keep trying to push them away, all while clinging to the secret hope that they'd stay with him. Yet, he's unable to express those desires, due to the guilt he feels over what he's done. So, Akatsuya locks them away behind his facade of the carefree, selfish ingrate who hates the world and all who live in it, and wants nothing more than to be by himself, hoping that, even if nobody sees the truth lying beneath his mask, at least nobody will get hurt because of him...


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LIKES
      ✦Women. – Considering his spirit is fueled by the love of others, he literally needs adoration or else he'll die. However, this isn't the only reason he cherishes the company of girls, as his chivalrous nature compels him to ensure that they're happy above all else. Perhaps this is one of the ways in which he seeks to make restitution for all the grief he has caused...
      ✧Chocolate. – Well, sweet foods in general, actually, but especially chocolate. To a ruffian drifter like him, even such a simple thing as sweets are a delicacy, so he cherishes them while he has the chance. For whatever reason, though, chocolate serves as a fix to get his mind off of his cravings for affection, and the urges to seduce and dominate that they bring, making it sort of an “anti-drug” for him.
      ✦A good fight. – Blame it on his canine ancestry, but he's more than a bit excited by the prospect of a battle, especially if it's against someone he doesn't like. Demons, especially, are his favorite targets, as they help him blow off some steam, kick some ass, and do some good in the world while he's at it.
      ✧Singing. – But for the love of all that is holy, TELL NO ONE, OR AKATSUYA WILL END YOU.
      ✦Attention. – But only if it's unsolicited. He likes to know that people care about him, but only if he's sure that it isn't just because of his eyes. This is, perhaps, the only time he feels like he has a purpose.


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      ✦Women getting hurt. – Due to the mistakes of his past, this is perhaps the greatest way to enrage the young “Demon” that there is. If he sees anyone treating a woman in a way he himself wouldn't, then he's more than happy to intervene, and, if necessary, to punish the transgressor.
      ✧Dealing with people. – Most people either hate him or blindly adore him because of what he is. He dislikes both attitudes equally.
      ✦Seeing people sad. – Izayoi is a person who can't live with another's tears. He'll do whatever it takes to ensure the people around him are happy, even at his own expense.
      ✧Demons – They prey upon the weak, both amongst themselves and amongst Humans. In his eyes, this is unforgivable, and he thus seeks to right the wrongs of his own race.
      ✦Not knowing things which are obvious to people around him. – He HATES being left out of the loop. If he's trying to help and you're not treating him as an ally, then you can be damn sure he'll keep harassing you and snooping around unwanted until you do.



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TALENTS
      ✦Enhanced Physiology – Due to his unique nature, Akatsuya has obtained a rather unusual body. Although his mother was an Inugami, she was in Human form at the time of conception, and thus bore him with a Human body as a container. However, it's less of an ordinary Human body and more of an Inugami's shell reformed to fit the appearance and functionality of a Human. His hearing and smell are incredibly sensitive, much like those of a dog. Unlike a dog, however, he retains sight on part with an ordinary Human – probably because of the Demonic “enhancements” to his eyes. Similarly, although all of his organs function like those of a Human, his muscles and bones are countless times tougher than normal, giving him superhuman strength and beast-like agility. Finally, due to his father's Demonic influence, he possesses the appearance of an Incubus overlaid onto his outward shell – the visage of an abnormally handsome young man whose appearance attracts the eyes of all who would seek the pleasure he can offer.
      ✧Abilities – However, although his body is like that of a Human, his spirit is much closer to that of a Kami. A vast existence that thrives on the faith of others and creates wards against evil, his spirit functionally serves the purpose that normally a Shinto Land Deity might. However, there are also a few key differences. Unlike a Kami, his normal state of being is within a physical body. Consequently, he doesn't need to spend precious energy just to manifest himself, allowing him a much more stable corporeal existence. On the other hand, if he feels like conserving power, he can do just the opposite of what is normal and enter the spiritual plane, subsuming his physical body into his spiritual one in order to save the energy consumed by a Human body in day-to-day activity. Furthermore, by eating food or getting sleep, he can also replenish some of the energy he does spend. However, unlike a Shinto Kami, he also doesn't get power from faith and recognition alone. Rather, due to his tainted nature as a Incubus, there is only one feeling that can satisfy his hunger for power: the love and affection of a young woman. Consequently, he feels an almost addiction-like compulsion to seek out and seduce females in order to steal the power that dwells within their hearts. Were he to actually prey upon them in this manner, it's highly unlikely that they'd be left feeling anything, as all feelings of affection, love, and tenderness would be stolen from them, along with a large part of their souls. Fortunately, he doesn't actually need to go this far, and can at least manage his cravings by simply harvesting a small amount of affection passively. It doesn't even necessarily have to be romantic in nature, although this type of affection is the most effective at granting him power. Unfortunately, this is only a temporary solution, as without genuine interest him, both romantic and sexual, he's bound to eventually run out of power and die. Unfortunately, given his code of honor, he isn't willing to actually go looking for the love he needs, since doing so efficiently would doubtless require using his eyes to seduce someone against their will – or at least, so he tells himself.

      Speaking of which, although most of the traits transferred to his spirit by his father are physical, he does possess a few potent powers that hail from his Incubus lineage rather than his Kami bloodline. The first of these is his Mystic Eyes, which have been described in detail above. Possessing a spell that causes those who meet his gaze to fall under an unconscious compulsion to get closer to him, it inflicts his own usual cravings on the women whose eyes he looks into unless he's very careful, essentially inflicting a subconscious form of mind control on them that makes him nigh irresistible. However, the effects are most often temporary, requiring repeated sustained eye contact were he to seriously try to seduce someone – something he probably wouldn't do anyway, considering it's completely against his character. Finally, they do actually have some small effects on men as well as women, as previously stated – but only to the effect of making him seem more trustworthy and worth staying around.

      His second ability that comes from his Incubus side, however, is a bit more unusual. Bearing a few elements of Kami powers in addition to Demonic ability, he is capable of becoming a sort of guardian spirit inside a person's dreams. This allows him to watch over them while they sleep, “eating” any nightmares they might have and protecting them from forms of curses or mental assaults while their consciousness is weak from fatigue. Not exactly an incredibly useful ability, but one that does work well on those who knows who are afflicted by Demons.

      His most prominent ability, however, is his power as a Kami to shift in and out of the spirit world – which he often uses in conjunction with his incredible agility to seemingly warp from one place to another, or to fly with complete disregard for the laws of physics, and to establish “Territories” in the physical realm where his spirit is made manifest in order to subtly influence the nature of reality. By doing so, he can expel anything he defines as evil – most usually Demons, but technically anything living that he wishes not to see. His Territory takes the form of an area wreathed in blue light, which burns things he wishes expelled like a flame, the intensity of which is proportionate towards his dislike for the target. For example, a person he simply dislikes might be able to approach him despite his Territory, and just feel a slight tingling, while a Demon might literally burst into azure flames. However, his Territory can be resisted by those with similar levels of spiritual power, making its effectiveness in a spread out, unfocused form rather limited against powerful Demons. This is why he more commonly concentrates his territories to form focused barriers, either using objects as a focus, or simply standing on their own. Without a focus, they can only be created close to his person, moved, or reshaped. Nevertheless, they're tremendously powerful. By utilizing his Territory as a barrier, he can project a variable-strength physical force in one direction, creating an opposite force to any incoming one. This repulsion is powerful enough as to functionally be a solid object. This can even stop bullets, as shown in the animation above, by projecting a force equal to that possessed by the bullet, but in the opposite direction. The utility of these fields isn't just defense, either, as he can use them to project a force on himself, flinging him as though fired from a cannon, or on somebody else, concentrating an overwhelming impact directly into one area of a foe's body in order to punch clean through them, as though hitting them with a cannonball at point-blank.

      With a focus, they function more like enchantment than defense. For example, he could imbue his Territory into a metal pipe, vastly strengthening its durability and giving it the power to burn Demons on contact. Alternatively, he could imbue his energy into living tissue, strengthening and healing it – an ability which grants him the side effect of being incredibly difficult to harm, as his Territory is usually in a permanent state of activation on the inside of his own body. Or, assuming he placed his Territory inside a sufficiently weak-willed creature, he could give it commands and make it into his Familiar. Most Kami do this with mobile and somewhat dangerous animals like Wolves, Foxes, and the like, but due to his lack of power, Izayoi usually just uses butterflies as a network of mobile eyes in the sky to keep an eye out for Demons.

      His Territories usually linger for some time, even after he leaves them, as they run on a set supply of energy provided in advance in order to repel Demons. However, he usually reclaims his power once he leaves, as he seldom has a need to leave such areas behind.
      ✦Fighting – Although not formally trained, he's still freakishly fast and strong, and has incredible awareness and reflexes, making him dangerous in any sort of battle.
      ✧Empathy – As a being who thrives on the feelings of others, he possesses a sort of psychic instinct that allows him to experience what people close to him are feeling. This allows him to identify those who are in need of help easily – and also to know when people are falling under the influence of his eyes, telling him when he needs to leave in order to give the enchantment time to wear off. In worst case scenarios, he can actually take on the pain of others in order to protect them in a variation of his power as a “guardian spirit.”
      ✦Determination – Akatsuya just does NOT know when to give up. Once he sets his mind to something, it's nearly impossible to stop him, making him stick to his principles and to his comrades. He can always be trusted to never betray those, at least.

FLAWS
      ✦Power Difficulties – Akatsuya has difficulty managing his cravings and his powers. He can't maintain any of his Territory-based abilities for very long at high levels, as he doesn't have the energy to spare, nor can he keep his Mystic Eyes from taking effect on those around him, much as he despises them, due to his need for attention and affection. This makes him somewhat of a hazard to those around him – especially women susceptible to his eyes.
      ✧Technologically Illiterate – Akatsuya grew up in the countryside, and has been a vagrant of sorts ever since. He has no idea how to use most types of technology, or to fix almost anything that's broken.
      ✦Domestically Useless – While he's good for doing odd jobs and generally helping out, he sucks at cooking, cleaning, and other such chores. He has neither the patience nor the talent, and should never be relied on for any sort of housework.
      ✧Guilt Complex – Akatsuya feels like anything that goes around him is his responsibility to fix, no matter how trivial or unrelated to him. Furthermore, he feels like he's obligated to pay back any sort of debt he incurs, and if he hurts someone accidentally, or drives them to do something they regret, he doesn't forgive himself for it, nor does he forget. He views his every mistake as him owing anyone inconvenienced by it, and won't stop until he's repaid his “debts.”
      ✦Distrusting – Akatsuya has come to think that anybody who cares for him is only under the influence of his eyes, and thus, should he be faced with undeniable, genuine affection, he probably wouldn't believe it and would retreat into himself, not knowing how to handle it. It takes some serious effect to get him to open up, and even more to make him stop worrying that everything is just a lie created by his Mystic Eyes.

FEARS
      ✦His Eyes - His greatest fear is without a doubt that his powers will lead him to manipulate an innocent girl into becoming his own personal slave, and that his nature as an Incubus will make him unable to resist the temptations that such a situation would create. Considering how close this fear came to becoming a reality, it's definitely not unjustified.
      ✧False Merit - Quite simply, he's paranoid, always afraid that any praise, love, or achievement he earns was only given him because of his powers. This inferiority complex drives him to constantly test himself, always trying to prove that he's not just skimming through life by virtue of forcing those around him to love him. Ironically, this also means that the emotion that he can easily induce just by batting his eyes is the one thing he most fears he'll never truly be given freely.
      ✦Being Discovered – Given how people have responded when they realize what he is – hunting him, fleeing in terror, etc. - he always fears somebody will realize he's not entirely Human, and he'll have to run away like he always does. He hates being made the enemy of Humans, and would do anything in his power to avoid confrontation with those who would put him to death for his Demonic heritage.
      ✧Disappearing – As he's very low on power, and isn't willing to utilize his eyes to gain affection, he's on the verge of fading away completely. What worries him even more than the prospect of dying this way is that he almost finds the possibility welcoming in a strange way. At least it would mean he'd never have to worry about hurting people, or being hurt, ever again...
      ✦Losing Himself – Sometimes, it's almost impossible to resist the tug of his Incubus nature. If his Kami heritage doesn't cause him to vanish permanently into the Spirit World, then he worries his more physical legacy will cause him to forgo all the morals he holds dear and do the unthinkable. That possibility terrifies him even more than the thought of dying.



“I'm so fucked up... What the hell am I even supposed to do with my life if all that I cause is misery? I hate it... I hate all this bullshit! There isn't a right answer and there never will be. All I can do is keep on protecting people in the hopes of making myself useful before I disappear...”



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FAMILY
      No known relatives.

BIO
      Akatsuya never knew who his real parents were, although he has a good guess. Judging by his nature, his parents must have been a Shinto Kami of the canine variety and some sort of seductive Demon. Given that such an affair would never happen on its own, he has a feeling that the Demon either seduced or raped the Kami, and she, loathing the child she'd birthed as a result of this unnatural union, had thrown him away in disgust. Left by the side of the road in a small town, he was taken in by a family who lived there. Given his name due to the scarlet full moon that shone brightly on the night he was found, he thus became an ordinary member of the household. Raised as a Human, he never realized the true extent of his nature, even into his teenaged years. Throughout his early life, he was doted on by everyone around him. Far from giving him an overinflated image of himself, however, the strict but loving care of his foster parents instead shaped him into a person who felt a passionate desire to repay every one of the favors that were given him. Taking on "Ongaeshi," or "showing kindness to those who are kind to you," as his personal motto, he strove to pay back each and every debt he owed to those around him. This, in turn, prompted them to continue giving him favors, resulting in an endless cycle of payment and repayment that reinforced his need to keep on showing kindness to others, no matter what.

      However, things changed for the sinister in his adolescent years. A favorite of his female classmates, he found himself asked on dates by several. He was a kind boy at heart, but his very nature was one that desperately sought love and companionship in as great a quantity as possible. Consequently, he found himself surrendering to his monstrous desires, and began dating several individual girls in secret, cheating at least half a dozen times over before he was inevitably caught. His parents were deeply disappointed in him, and he vowed he'd never do it again... but strangely enough, many of the girls he'd dated came back the next week and offered him second chances, as though they hadn't even been hurt by his betrayal. In fact, most of them seemed completely oblivious to what had happened in the first place, pursuing him like blank-eyed, mindless dolls that only seemed alive when he was doting upon them. This was the first tip off he received to his true nature. Although it horrified him to admit it, he began to realize that he was something other than Human, and was manipulating those around him to his will, a suspicion that was only confirmed when a young woman ten years his senior arrived in town, a flurry of controversy and rejected suitors following in her wake, and approached him, revealing to him the truth. She was a Succubus, and he, at least partially an Incubus, her male counterpart. Explaining to him how his powers worked, she demonstrated her own, giving him a few tips on how to control those he desired for himself, encouraging him to give in to all his darkest desires, use those who he could so easily break into his disposable pleasure slaves, and then throw them away like discarded dolls.

      For all his kindness, he nearly gave in, pushing his powers to their limits to draw in one of his classmates, to make her submit and offer herself to him. But in the end, he just couldn't do it. Pushing back his Incubus self, he looked with horror on what he'd done, turning a girl he'd once genuinely loved into nothing but thoughtless toy for his own amusement. It hit him in that moment that all the love and affection he'd ever received in his life had probably been just as fake as the adoration he was being shown unquestioningly at that very instant. Even his adoption had probably been caused by his powers, as the adults who found him had been infatuated by his eyes, and desired him as their own child. In short, he'd never earned any of the favors he had tried so desperately to repay, nor could he ever hope to match the kindnesses shown him when he was the one forcing those around him to bend over backwards to accommodate him in the first place. He was an abomination, a being who couldn't even control his own selfish lust for satisfaction, a monster who did not, and could never hope to belong in Human society.

      So, he ran, fleeing his hometown, his would-be slaves, and the misleading advice of his mentor. All he wanted was a place for people like him. A place where even he could belong. A place, where maybe, just maybe, he wouldn't have to be afraid of what he was, or what he could do. But it wasn't so easy. The Succubus had taken an interest in the boy, and would have him for her own. She pursued him, caught him, and tried to lure him back in again, employing her own powers to dominate his mind with an absolute, burning desire for her. An Incubus and a Succubus would be able to reciprocate each other's desires for eternity, she told him. He'd never have to worry about drawing in anyone else by accident, or hurting anyone. But he didn't give in. Although every aspect of his being screamed for want of her, he panicked and, tapping into his powers, desperately wished to protect himself – to be by himself. The next thing he knew, he was standing alone, and she was nothing but a charred husk on the floor.

      He knew that her death was for the best, considering what she had advocated and what she had tried to do to him, but he still viewed himself as a murderer regardless. After all, she'd been right, in a sense. Together, they wouldn't have ever had to worry about breaking anyone else's heart. If he'd just let her have him, sacrificed his own dreams for her sake, nobody would have had to be hurt or to die. Was it really just for him to have killed her just to better himself, then? He didn't know. But on the day he realized just how dangerous his careless wishes could be – for they'd broken one woman, and killed another, and for those two horrible sins, he could never forgive himself. He vowed that he'd keep running, never letting his true nature be discovered by anyone, and do as much good as he could. Then, his debts paid, he would disappear without a trace, never harming an innocent person – or even a person who could be saved – ever again. But although he felt death would be his final absolution from his sins, one day, he stumbled across a girl who changed all that...


ImageImage
OTHER
      Dɪᴀʟᴏɢᴜᴇ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✦ #FFCC00

      Tʜᴏᴜɢʜᴛ Cᴏʟᴏʀ ✧ #FF3300

      Fᴀᴄᴇ Cʟᴀɪᴍ ✦ Fuwa Mahiro

      Pᴏʀᴛʀᴀʏᴇᴅ Bʏ ✧ Feyblue

      ⒸⓄⓅⓎⓇⒾⒼⒽⓉ ⓌⒶⓇⓃⒾⓃⒼ
      character basic form © aurei
      modified form ઽ૮૨Α
      edited, modified form Luna Delta


So begins...

Izayoi Akatsuya's Story

#, as written by Feyblue


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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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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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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 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.

#, as written by Feyblue


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"'Wait here,' she says - like I'm planning on going anywhere," muttered the boy to himself, sighing as he cracked open an eye to follow the girl's movement into the kitchen and the progress of her shadow across the wall as she wandered about, fetching something or other. His body felt too weak at the moment to reliably do much, so he dematerialized. To his surprise, however, when the girl returned, she didn't look around in confusion to see where he'd gone, or do anything that indicated that she couldn't see him. So, she was aware of the Spirit World as a whole and not just that one disgusting Demon? Maybe that's why he'd been so keen on having her.

That Demon couldn't return for a while, but even so, with something that powerful on the prowl, it was likely that other, lesser Demons might make their presence known, trying to snatch at and extinguish this girl's delicious hope. But if he couldn't protect her from those, then he wasn't worth his salt anyway.

Re-materializing briefly to grab the cup she handed him, he took a long gulp, giving a sigh of fatigue as the warm liquid splashed down his throat, barely taking enough time for him to take note of what it had tasted like. "Thanks," He said quietly. "Don't exactly have a place to stay, so I hope you don't mind if I take you up on that offer," Shrugging, he rose, pulling himself over a ways into the corner, not wanting to lie too close to her bed. After what she'd just been though, that would only alarm the girl. Taking another sip of the tea, he gave a slight grin. "It's good," He said.

Naturally, he wasn't planning on abandoning her the following morning, but he wouldn't take up that issue right now. He was far too tired, and she too stressed. He'd just deal with the issue of finishing what he'd started tomorrow, after he'd gotten to sleep and recuperate. Downing the rest of his tea without any regard to the burning in his throat, he set it aside, decorporealized, and curled up in the corner like a guardian dog, shutting his eyes.

#, as written by RedFox
"Thank you," She said softly, a smile smile creeping onto her lips. She moved over to the bed, sitting on the edge of it, looking over at the boy in the corner, curled up. She wrapped her arms around herself, and then looked behind her and admired the empty space in her bed. Zetsubo was gone, at least for a little while. She was free!

She thought about the years of torture she'd been through. She thought about her grandmother, and her brother. She thought about what could have been happening to her at this very moment if the blonde-haired demon boy hadn't saved her. She felt tears sparkling in her eyes and her bottom lip quiver. She held her gaze on him for a while longer, watching him peacefully at rest. It made her feel so... warm. "Thank you," She said again, quietly, before she slipped under her covers, pulled them up over her shoulders so she was completely tucked in and covered, and slipped off to her first sleep without nightmares in so, so long.

#, as written by RedFox
When Sayuri woke up to golden sunlight streaming in through her window, her initial response was fear. She was waiting for the punch - the moment when Zetsubo hit her, or screamed at her, or told her she was worthless.

But it didn't come.

She sat up, rubbing her eyes and blinking in confusion as she assessed the room. Only when she saw the boy sleeping in the corner did it all come back to her. Her heart skipped a beat. With a sudden new motivation to make it a great day, she hopped out of bed, tiptoeing when she got close to him to avoid disturbing his rest, and made her way to her closet. All of the clothes in the front were the few outfits she'd recycled and reworn for the past couple of years straight. She dug into the back and pulled out a cute dress she had bought before everything went wrong, and since she hadn't grown much it would still fit her.

After getting changed and doing her hair, she inspected herself in the mirror. It was a blue strapless vintage-styled dress, the same color as her eyes. It cinched tightly around her waist and then flowed out, collapsing in on itself in tons of ruffles and pleats. It fit her form well, and made her feel girly and cute. She took in a deep breath as she exited the bathroom and went in front of the blonde boy, sitting down on her knees and leaning forward so her face was close to his. "Hey," She whispered, "Wanna wake up and tell me your name?" She'd been wondering about it last night before she went to bed.

#, as written by Feyblue


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[font=occidental]The young man cracked open one red eye beneath the matted mane of hair that hung down over his face. He yawned, rolling over and stretching himself out like a dog who does not particularly wish to rise, even if he has awakened from his nap. The ceiling overhead didn't look familiar to him, but that was a feeling he'd long since gotten used to. Where had he been staying this time, he wondered, trying to think back and remember what had happened on the previous night.

Just then, however, a girl with silver hair and rather pointy ears knelt abruptly in front of him, her face looming close enough to his that his keen nose could take in every last aspect of her scent, her breath warm on his face. He quickly shut his eyes, trying to avoid the inevitable contact that this position would force upon him. He had to resist the urge to groan. He was pretty sure he didn't remember charming any girls just to get free lodgings. He might have been a Demon, but he refused to stoop that low. However, it all came back to him a moment later as he processed the girl's scent, recalling tracking that same smell before the rain could wash it away, and how he'd charged into this same room to attack a Demon only seconds away from doing the unspeakable. So, she hadn't decided she didn't trust having a Demon in her room enough to stab him while he slept, or something, huh? That was kind of new.

"'Mornin'," Akatsuya mumbled, forcing himself into a half seated position and rubbing his tired eyes vigorously - although this gesture was more of an excuse to keep them open than anything. "Oh, right, I guess I never introduced myself, did I? The name's Izayoi. Izayoi Akatsuya. And yours?"

#, as written by RedFox
Izayoi... She liked the way it sounded in her head. It fit him, really. She couldn't have imagined a better name, and that made her happy. Though she still was not nearly willing to open her heart up to him, she definitely felt a bond with the boy who had saved her.

"My name's Sayuri. Hama Sayuri." She found her voice coming out timid and shy as she fell onto her knees and brushed a piece of hair out of her face. "I was wondering if you wanted to go somewhere today. Somewhere fun." Luckily, it was the one day of the week she was off work. Usually she loathed these days, for it just gave more opportunity to Zetsubo to attack her, but for the first time in a long time she felt glad to be rid of responsibilities.

As she inspected the boy, she began to notice more things about him. He reminded her a bit of a golden retriever puppy, so cute and restless. He seemed almost childish, in a way, when he let his guard down. His parka reminded her of a big fluffy coat of fur. It seemed soft and cuddly, and she imagined what it would be like to snuggle up in something so soft.

Not that she was thinking of snuggling up to him or anything.

#, as written by Feyblue


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A day off, huh? The canine Demon had to admit, he rather liked the idea. He'd been wandering from place to place hunting down Demons ever since the day everything had gone wrong, protecting people from those creatures that would harm them, and protecting Demons like himself from those who would harm them. He walked a fine line between two races that existed to fear and be feared by one another, not quite standing with either party. Although he technically didn't have a "job" to take a day off from, the prospect of finally getting some rest and relaxation was certainly an ideal alternative to lurking around indoors all day just waiting for that bandaged freak to come back, like some sort of overzealous guard dog. Besides, they'd be safer from Demons in public, where there were plenty of Humans around, their collective denial of the existence of such supernatural beings weakening the powers they possessed. Only the very most powerful of Demons would ever dare to strike in the midst of a crowd.

...The most powerful Demons being those like the one he'd just antagonized. Right. So maybe it wouldn't be very advantageous after all, but assuming that shithead actually kept his word - which he probably would, just considering how much preparation it took a Demon without a physical body to manifest itself - he had at least two days to prepare himself before he'd actually need to deal with the bandaged freak again, which meant for now, all there was to worry about would be much weaker creatures. Even so, he needed to come up with some way to level the playing field against his main enemy, or else in two more days, he'd find all of his efforts coming to naught...

Still, for now, the best thing to do would be assuage this girl's fears. Doubtless, she didn't trust a mysterious, homeless Demon kid who'd jumped through her window in the middle of the night using a steel pipe to try to explode the head of a ghost. Furthermore, she was probably worried that, within a couple of days, her old tormentor would return and he'd skip town, leaving her to suffer as she had been for god knew how long. Even if he doubted that he'd be able to stop the Demon from coming back, he wanted her to know that he wouldn't stop trying, regardless. So, for now, he'd play the role of the knight in shining armor, escorting his princess to wherever she wanted to go - even if that meant making stupid metaphors about fairytale logic that presented COMPLETELY the wrong image and were probably just conjured up by his Incubus side to torment his dignity.

Still trying to avoid making any sort of extended eye contact - although given the way she was looking him over, and the feeling of curiosity turning to interest his spiritual senses were perceiving, his efforts might have been for naught - he nodded, extending a hand in a curiously canine fashion, almost like a dog might extend its paw for its master to "shake."

"Nice to meet'cha, Miss Sayuri," He said, giving a slight grin. "If there's somewhere you'd like to go, then I'll go with you. It's safer that way. Although, I might not be able to stay corporeal all the time... I don't exactly have much power to spare on manifesting myself at the moment." He tried to downplay his situation like it was no big deal. The last thing she needed to know was that, win or lose against that Demon, he was going to be disappearing regardless...