"Ok so what's the difference between a croissant and a bagel?"
"I'm telling you! A croissant is a piece of bread! A bagel is like a donut!"
After the bell had rung, 3 teenagboys began walking to the sushi place down the block. Apparently they had decided for a while now, but it was very difficult due to the new semester.
Hioko along with Makoto & Aiko turned the corner and saw a headlight. Waiting for it to turn green, the young Iki turned towards his companions to continue with their conversation.
"But what kind of donut? Like they're glassed ones, chocolate ones.. strawberry on-"
"The ones with a hole in the middle! What do you mean with what kind? What other kinds are they?" Aiko adjusted his glasses in a frustrated manner.
Makoto replied with a snarl of his own.
"Maybe Mako was talking about the ones that have filling? Not all of them have holes." The pink eyed boy joined in their strange topic.
Why they were talking about that was beyond understanding.
"THANK YOU Hioko! At least SOMEONE understands the struggle!"
"Aw come on Hioko don't help him! Most donuts have a hole in the middle, it should have been obvious!"
Hioko suppressed a chuckle as the lights finally turned green. In the middle of the street, the teen felt a familiar buzz in his left pocket.
Picking out his phone and unlocking the screen, a message popped out from the Delivery Goddess. It said she requested his presence downtown.
Sighing for the first time that day, he replied with a quick 'I'm on my way' and placed it back where it belonged. Turning to Mako who was glaring at the other boy, he said:
"Sorry guys. Something came up and I gotta go."
Both teens paused their bickering to listen to what he was saying. In fact, they even stopped Walking right after getting to the sidewalk. With a half looped smile, Hioko waved a bit and took his leave.
"See ya tomorrow! I'll make it up to you guys!"
Before he could take another step, Makoto's firm grip came in contact with his arm. It was strong, yet somewhat hesitant.
Looking at his friends in confusion, Hioko noticed that they're faces expressed concern.
"Hioko.... where are you going?"
Mako asked with a soft almost hidden glare.
The young Iki was caught off guard, and began to quickly think of something to not give anything away.
"Umm... I-I forgot that my mom wanted me to buy something so... gotta go quickly before she gets home."
"Then we'll go with you."
Now said Aiko with concern.
"NO! I-I mean it's not necessary. I kind of like shopping on my own.."
Both boys looked at one another, silently agreeing on something. Afterwards, Makoto slowly let go of the pink eyed boy's arm and then told him:
"Man, are you feeling alright?"
"What do you mean? I feel fine."
"Well.. you've been acting a little... strange lately."
"Strange? Strange how?"
Aiko began fidgeting with his sweater, a bit hesitant. Mako didn't let anything stop him though.
"Its just that you've been a little.... what should I call it... distant? Like, when was the last time we went to do something together? Just the 3 of us?"
The black haired boy stared at his companions with confusion written over his face. They DID hang out! Maybe not like they used to, but they still had contact with one another.
Yet still, the looks he was getting from both of them, gave away the fact that they were worried. And Hioko always appreciated that his friends actually cared about him.
So, with his typical soft smile, he went back just a bit and gave each of his buddies a fist-bump. Then, that smile changed to a grin.
"I'm sorry guys. Guess your right, we totally need to do something. Perhaps to the movies or the park?"
Mako turned towards Aiko and, quickly, whispered something in the other's ear. The boy with glasses seemed to agree and suddenly they're expressions lightened up slightly.
"Make it CapypaLand and it's a deal!"
Laughing to himself, Hioko nodded. He knew how much his friends wanted to go to the famous amusement park. To be honest, he kind of wanted to as well.
Without saying much except 'Be careful' & 'See you tomorrow!', the 3 boys parted ways.
As he made his way towards the desired location, the teen couldn't help but think about what his friends had said.
How long has he known Yaru?
How long has it been since his accident?
How much time has passed without him realizing it?
Remembering the date, the boy's pink orbs widened slightly.
"Its already been a month?"
Time goes by before you know it. So maybe he WAS paying a lot of attention to the Far Shore.
Maybe more than he needed.
Yet still, Hioko decided to keep this to himself, since he was about to arrive anyway.
Running down many streets and running past many cars.
Until he finally made it to the park.
And there, sitting in a bench, was Yuki.
She seemed to be waiting for someone, so the boy assumed that Yaru was not around. He slowly made his way towards her as to not startle anyone.
She was wearing the exact same thing from other days, except that this time it appeared to be a lot more dirty. Stains of dirt & probably sweat were visible everywhere, and her shoes were now torn in many areas.
Suddenly, her eyes locked with his, and then she smiled.
Hioko smiled in returned and waved slightly. Afterwards, when he was close enough, he sat down next to her.
"Hey there Yuki-chan."
"Hello Hioko-kun. Yaru said she'd go get something, but told me to wait for you. Not sure why though."
"Ah. Guess she can be weird at times huh?"
"Just 'at times'?"
"Hehe.. yeah.. I guess.."
Awkward silence fell upon them, and that's when Hioko realized that he hadn't spoken to the young regalia ALONE before.
Yes, they talked about trivial things by themselves from time to time, but usually Yaru was around. And this time, no one was around.
"I don't know much about her...."
Not even Yuki knew about herself, but still they should talk a little more often. But about what?
This was the only time in his life where he questioned how to talk to a girl.
"N-Nice weather we have today right?"
Yuki whispered and Hioko almost missed it. Turning to the right, he noticed the blond fidgeting with her short locks that kept getting in her eyes, all the while a blush in her face.
"Well at least I'm not the only one who's trying to start conversation."
Realizing he hadn't replied yet, the half phantom rubbed the back of his neck with a grin and said:
"Yeah it's... w-warm and cozy hehe.."
"Yeah....kind of like-"
"HERE IT IS!"
A woman with blue-black hair fell in front of them with a small
mouse-looking phantom in her hand.
Hioko had screamed, but remained glued to the seat thanks to immediately recognizing the voice. Even so, he felt his heart racing and his breathing exhilarating.
Yuki wasn't so lucky. The poor young girl had screamed and fallen off her seat, right in her butt.
The little phantom that Yaru had captured kept wiggling around, making the blond even more uncomfortable.
"Yaru! You don't just randomly shove things like THAT in someone's face!"
In the word 'that', Hioko pointed at the green spirit to empathise his point.
"I think I kind of agree..."
Yuki was trying her best to not rub her butt in pain. Actually, it was taking her a lot of effort to STAND in general, since the fear had let her legs feeling like jelly.
Yaru noticed this, and actually smirked with satisfaction about it.
"Good. Fear and hate are perfect while creating a borderline!"
The young boy helped the blond to stay still in her spot, but then amusement took over him and thus he decided to ask.
Yaru placed the phantom on the floor while keeping it away from the others. She locked eyes with the teenager and then began explaining.
"Yup. They serve as a regalia's ONLY weapon. A line that divides them from the phantoms. Some kind of a barrier."
Turning towards the now stable blond, she continued:
"Since you did so well yesterday, I figured it was time to teach you."
The teenage regalia seemed hesitant, but then it turned into embarrassment as she turned away with a frown on her features, showing her a rebellious attitude.
"Flattering isn't gonna get you anywhere."
Yaru chuckled at the girl's antics, and then moved out of the way, letting both teens in front of the small phantom.
Gesturing with her own fingers, the Goddess spoke:
"Try to put both your index & middle finger together like this. Then swipe a line between yourself and the phantom."
Yuki's flustered face disappeared as a somewhat determined one took its place. The blond placed her fingers as indicated previously, and she let out a breath that she didn't know she was holding.
Imagining the line already, the teen stood her ground and slipped.
A white light drew a line in the ground right where the girl had pointed at. The barrier took a light blue color as it shielded her & Hioko from the small spirit.
It almost covered the whole bench behind them, and the mouse-like phantom jumped in surprise.
Just like the other teen & the Goddess.
"W-Wow! That's a borderline?"
"Hmmm. It divides the light from the darkness, keeping corrupted spirits away, making them unable to cross."
To prove her point, the small phantom still tried to pass the barrier, but retreated in the end because of the shockwave that was sent its way.
"Can you do that too? How about me?"
"You and I can't. A borderline is a power exclusive for regalias. Only THEY can use it. But..."
At the hesitation, Hioko turned towards Yaru with curiosity and then simply found her with a serious blank expression, looking straight at the borderline.
"Creating one so powerful in the first try? I've never seen anything like it. Not from the regalias I know..."
Yuki seemed pretty pleased with herself, even though she also appeared to be a bit flustered (nothing new there).
Hioko was happy for her, since she appeared to be growing into someone much more confident.
Yet still, when Yaru mentioned other regalias, the young Iki couldn't help but think about a mysterious figure that they had encountered the day before.
"She called him Nora... Who was he?"
Speaking his mind, the pink eyed boy asked:
"That boy you called Nora... is he your regalia too?"
Both God & Regalia turned towards the half phantom with a look that indicated they're confusion. But then, realization hit the blond, and then she frowned.
Yaru on the other hand was annoyed. She got up from her spot in the ground letting out a sigh.
"Oh him? He's...."
The woman stopped mid sentence to think of a good term. Then it dawned to her, and she replied with a cocky grin:
"A friend with benefits!"
That could be interpretated in many ways. And each one appeared to be worse than the last. Or at least in Hioko's perspective.
Feeling bad for everyone the Goddess has been with, the boy's train of thought once again rested in the small blond.
Yuki was a newbie. Yet still she was also human; or used to be one. Her necessities had to be taken care of, even if she was just being used as a tool.
She needed a warm bed, proper clothing, food, shelter and many more.
Things the Goddess dressed in a Jersey couldn't provide.
The blond wasn't just a human, but a GIRL nonetheless!
Hioko's kind instincts were taking over, and before he knew it, he had taken a hold of the teen's arm and pulled her against him.
Yaru could feel the pain in her neck already.
"That's it! I'm done! Yuki-Chan's coming with me!"
"You heard me! You can't give her proper treatment! With your ex-regalia, boyfriend & friend with benefits, it's not possible for you to take care of her needs!"
Pulling the blond into a hug like if she were a mere teddy bear, Hioko kept his glare intense and began walking away with her.
"STAY. AWAY. FROM. HERRRRRR!!!"
Yaru chased them both and began pulling from the regalia's free arm. Both Hioko & she would pull with all their might, while poor Yuki struggled to break away.
After a while, they all got tired and began panting heavily. The Goddess was the first to compose herself, as she directed a glare towards the source of her affections, she said:
"What are you intending to do anyway?"
Hioko took a deep breath of his own, and replied:
"Take her home. I will give her anything she wants."
Yuki's face once again resembled a tomato at the moment, and another sharp pain cursed through Yaru's body.
"NO NO NO! Let me spell it for you:
N-O! A boy & a girl in the same house is the PERFECT formula for disaster! Don't you see all this pain she's causing me?!"
"Aw come on stop being paranoid! Yuki-Chan is a very nice & polite girl. Not a perv like SOME people."
"Oh so now I'M the perv?!"
The bickering began at that moment. Good thing nobody was around to see them. Well, they wouldn't be able to see them anyway.
The teenage regalia was still on the sidelines, not daring to go any closer to the insane duo.
In a sense, she was kind of happy that Hioko had so much faith in her. Unfortunately, Yaru was also kind of right.
The little blond was slowly, but surely, growing a crush on the pink eyed boy.
He was so nice and kind to her, but she figured that maybe he was like that to everyone. Either way, her heart would skip a beat whenever he touched her or spoke to her about certain things.
Waking her from her thoughts, Hioko stood in front of her with an outstretched hand. It brought back the blush.
"Come with me Yuki-Chan!"
Yaru on the other hand, also outstretched hers with a pleading look in her eyes that also held annoyance.
"Don't do it Yuki! Stay away from him!"
A/N The decision took long so we'll just say that Yuki went willingly with Hioko-senpai
Yaru: WAIT WHAT? AHHHHHHHH *Cries*
Night time had fallen pretty quickly. The teenagers took longer than necessary thanks to the continuous begging from the Delivery Goddess.
In the end, Hioko had to use one of his special 'moves' to pray her away from them, leaving her beaten down in the process.
Hioko's house wasn't that far away, but since it was pretty chilly, he wanted to take the blond there as quickly as possible.
In the entire walk, neither of them had spoken at all, which had disappointed the male more than he had expected.
Yuki staying at his house would be the perfect opportunity to get closer to her.
Become a friend.
Not be just a random stalker that offered shelter.
So once they stepped into the Iki property, the pink eyed boy greeted her warmly.
"Welcome to your temporary home!"
Yuki's gaze fell upon the house/mansion right in front of her. Looking around like if she had been mistaken, the blond asked:
"Wait... THAT'S your home?!"
The girl pointed towards the place in emphasize, and the half-phantom chuckled.
"Yup! Why? Too big for your liking?"
They began walking down the path and straight to the door, passing many beautiful flowers and animal statues meant for decorating.
The blond couldn't keep her eyes away from it as she spoke:
"No! I mean...... you must be rich!"
"Hahaha what are you talking about? I'm just a regular high school boy."
Both of them came to the door and then the older opened it with the key. The girl trailed behind him, keeping a safe distance between herself and everything.
The inside was surprisingly simpler than the outside. It appeared to be a 2- floor house.
Where they were was the living room. A beautiful brown colored sofa in the middle of the room with many love seats around it.
A flat screen TV was in the front of the seats, and was placed on top of a wooded table.
Many family pictures were in the walls, decorating and symbolizing many precious moments for them all.
No sounds could be heard, and that was getting a little creepy.
"Um... are your parents in another room?"
After he left his backpack next to the sofa, the young Iki turned towards the blond with a small smirk gracing his lips.
"Luckly for us, they're not home yet."
It took almost 10 seconds for Yuki to process what he said.
And when she did, her face exploded into 100 shades of red and many images of Hioko with THAT smirk doing 'certain' things appeared in her head.
"Y-You mean! We're here by-.......... ALONE!?!"
The smirk disappeared, and was replaced by the teen's usual soft eyes. But these were filled with worry as he quickly covered her mouth, preventing her from talking.
Inhaling a sharp breath of air, the girl's first instinct was to bite his hand and run away. Yet she refrained from doing so, just for the simple fact that Hioko wouldn't hurt her.
Or at least she hoped.
"Hioko-san? Is it you?"
A elderly man walked into the room, holding a bag of uncooked rice in his hands. The place he came from was the kitchen obviously.
Yuki held her breath praying to not get caught, until she remembered that he shouldn't be able to see her.
Still, she didn't want to take any chances.
Hioko still had his hand clamped on top of her mouth when he laughed nervously and said:
"Y-yes Satzio-San. I'm home."
The older housekeeper stared at the teen in front of him with a frown. Hioko then realized how awkward he must look to Satzio-San.
Clamping his hand in thin air, and holding onto an invisible body.
Both teens were anxiously waiting for this man's response. In the end, Satsio-San smiled and then said that dinner would be done in a few minutes, all the while walking away from them.
Once he was sure that the man was away from ear range, the young Iki turned to face the girl that was in his arms, and then released her mouth.
Even after that, Yuki stayed silent.
They both stared into each others eyes.
Pink mixing with Orange.
And then came the laughter.
They laughed simultaneously like if there was no tomorrow.
The tension along with suspense had exploded into fits of giggling.
They're faces were cherry colored as well because of embarrassment and them getting out of breath.
Hioko was the first to calm down, and could then appreciate how the blond looked like while laughing.
Cute would be too small compared to how she actually looked like.
Yuki regained her composure after a second or so and then turned towards her friend.
Gesturing for her to follow, the teen walked towards the staircase leading to the 2nd floor.
The blond agreed and then began walking as well. Once they made it to the top, Hioko led her to a room that was at the end of the hallway.
Opening the door and turning the lights on, Yuki stared in wonder.
It was a small room, no denying it.
Painted with a white color.
With a light blue bed.
A small night stand painted in a black color.
Some old books/comics organized in the shelves.
A T.V placed on top of said shelves, with a wardrobe to the right, filled with much needed clothing.
"Wow! This is your room?"
The blond didn't even let Hioko answer as she dashed towards the bed and began jumping up and down.
A smile was placed on her face as she giggled in glee.
"No, it was my sister's. Before she left to collage she used to sleep here."
"Hmmmm. And now it's yours. We don't use it anymore so it should be a perfect guest room."
"Thanks a lot!"
Yuki stopped her jumping festival and then got out of the bed with ruffled hair that was all over her face. Hioko rolled his eyes and then made his way to the drawer.
There he picked up some towels and then went back to place them in the girl's hands. She looked at him confused, but then he began explaining:
"The bathroom is the door with a panda on it. You should refresh yourself. Clothes are in the closet."
The boy began walking away, letting the girl know that he wasn't gonna take a 'no' for an answer. Already on the door, he gave her one last look and said:
"My room is right next to this one. Make yourself at home."
Yuki smiled at him, and politely nodded.
Once the door was closed, Yuki let herself fall onto the bed, and she snuggled closer to the fluffy towels. Letting out a sigh, she said to herself:
"Hioko-kun really is lucky...."
Meanwhile, downstairs with our beloved teenage boy, he makes his way down the staircase with a solemn expression.
Yet once he reached the bottom, this was quickly replaced with a smirk and a fist bump to the air.
"I did it! She laughed! She's having a good time! And best of all, my parents won't figure it out!"
Hioko kept doing his own little victory traits in his head as he walks towards te living room to watch some TV.
The teenager will wait for Yuki to take a bath, and probably then sleep so they can go the mall the next day.
He wasn't planning on letting her live with him.
He just wanted to give her one weekend full of fun so she could enjoy the life she still had.
Flopping himself on the couch and reaching for the control, the boy let out a sigh of content.
This would be a nice day.
"Honey~! We're home!"
The young boy, startled, dropped the remote causing the batteries to scatter all across the floor.
He knew that voice.
Running full speed towards the front door (which was conveniently close to the living room) he came to an abrupt stop as he saw that his fears were true.
"M-Mom! D-Dad? Welcome home!"
Iki Akane along with her husband Iki Moyobu wee in the doorway, the latter carrying bags full of groceries.
"They're not supposed to be here so early!"
After getting over his mini heart attack, the teen helped his father with the bags even though the man refused. Ms Iki helped as well with certain lighter things.
"Thank you son. Who knew we'd need so much!"
Mr. Iki had more similarities to his son, such as personality and hair color. The only physical difference was that he had brown eyes.
"No problem dad, it's my job to help whenever I can. Since Maru isn't here, I'll be the one to do so!"
The whole family beamed at that statement, for they knew that the oldest child of the Iki household was a wonderful woman who was now engaged. Remembering her from time to time was nice.
Though, the moment was ruined, when a woman with bright blue eyes showed up behind Mr. Iki, sniffing because of the story.
"Awwww such beautiful awaited reunion~!"
A vein popped, and the teen growled softly at the woman antics. Yaru's snarky little 'pity' for wasn't helping either.
"Honey, are you ok? What's wrong?"
Ms. Iki worried about her son since he just suddenly started getting angry at the wall for some reason.
Hioko realized his mistake, and thus he simply brushed it off saying that he just felt tired so he would head to his room.
Giving the Goddess one last glance, he made it clear that he wanted to talk, and so did her.
So once the boy made it to his room safely, he jumped through the window to the backyard, and there was the Goddess standing next to an old tree waiting for him.
"What are you doing here?"
"How is she?"
"Don't change the subject, WHAT are you doing here? Can't you just let her stay for once?"
The Goddess glanced at the night sky and then spoke in a more quiet tone, like if she didn't want anyone else to hear:
"Usually, we sleep in shrines because those protect us from corrupted spirits. This house isn't sacred at all. Remember that I can feel her emotions."
"What do you mean by all that?"
"Look, I trust you. Just make sure of keeping and eye on her..."
The Goddess' eyes fell upon the boy's, and at that moment, Hioko noticed her vacant expression. She was still thinking about something.
And she spoke it out loud afterwards:
The wind blew past them like in a classic horror movie, and it later took the woman away with it.
We say that because she disappeared from her spot, but not until Hioko heard what she said:
"Afraid of the dark."
When the whole talk with Yaru passed, our teenage protagonist jumped back into the room trying to decipher the woman's words.
To do so, he walked downstairs to the kitchen for a 'late night' snack.
We say 'late night' because once he got back to his room, Hioko noticed that it was 10 pm.
He grabbed a bag full of Doritos and took it back upstairs. While going to his room, the boy took a quick peek inside of Yuki's room.
She wasn't there yet, but he noticed many drawers and the closet open. There in the bed, folded neatly, was a pair of his sister's old pajamas along with brown slippers.
The black haired male smiled at the scene and then made his way back to his own bed.
Putting on his pajamas, he covered himself with his blankets and went to La La Land.
Almost half an hour later, the boy couldn't sleep. And it was ok, since later the door to his room opened and the light from outside came in.
Hioko adjusted his eyes to the darkness surrounding him, and stared at the figure of messy blond hair in the doorway.
Indeed, the blond haired girl stood there with one hand in the doorknob and the other holding her hair out of her face.
The pajamas that the boy had seen earlier actually fitted her. That's when he realized that she actually seemed the exact same height as her sister when she was 14.
"I'm sorry that I woke you up."
The blond spoke softly since it was, of course, pretty late. Hioko didn't mind and got up just enough to sit in the bed. With a quiet yawn, he said:
"No, it's ok. What's wrong?"
Yuki began fidgeting with her fingers as she explained:
"W-Well.... you see.. your dad just turned the light off of my room. I....
I'm honestly not comfortable in the dark so.. I was wondering if I could.... s-sleep here?"
During the whole speech, the poor girl had started to turn red. And Hioko couldn't help but think of her as cute.
She expected for him to tell her to leave, yet he merly replied with:
"Sure. There are some blankets over there if you're cold."
Yuki was surprised, but afterwards composed herself and smiled as a sign of gratitude. She made her way towards the drawer the boy had pointed at, and then began grabbing a pair of blankets.
Once she picked the ones she liked, she walked to a clean area and then placed one of the blankets on the floor.
Hioko watched curiously on the sidelines, Yuki could feel his gaze. After another minute of intense observation, his voice asked:
"What are you doing?"
The blond glanced his way, and then, rubbing the back of her neck, she said:
"Preparing to sleep. You don't mind if one of your blankets gets dirty do you?"
The boy's pink orbs widened slightly, and then he removed his blanket, uncovering the lower part of his body.
"Yuki-Chan that isn't necessary. You can sleep in my bed."
The blond shook her head furiously and turned to the boy with a determinant look.
"Thank you but no thank you. I'll be fine on the floor."
"No that isn't proper! Your my guest and a girl as well. It would be rude of me to let you sleep there!"
"But your my host! It would be rude of ME to kick you out of your own bed!"
When Hioko noticed the girl's eyes, he knew that she was serious. Thus, with a sigh, he knew there wasn't another option.
"Well then. What if we both sleep together?"
Yuki's eyes widened and her face erupted in a blush. When he saw this, the boy blushed himself when he understood the hidden meaning behind his earlier statement.
"I-I mean we can share the bed. Come on."
Patting the spot next to him, the young Iki tried to control his blush and afterwards smiled reassuringly at her. He didn't want to seem like a pervert in front of her.
Yuki's blush was still present, but she still forced herself to move forward.
Before they knew it, they were both huddled up close to one another. Hioko had fallen asleep, clearly stated because of his light snoring.
The girl was still wide awake, and she could feel her companion's breath in her neck. The close contact with the handsome young boy made her heartbeat increase.
The smell of his shampoo got to her nostrils.
His whole body was lightly pressed against her back.
His hands were curled against his chest in a cute sleepy matter.
She began wondering what they would feel like close to her body.
Touching her skin.
Caresing her face.
Near certain areas that were somewhat private.
Unconsciously, Yuki placed her hand on top of her clothed breasts, and squeezed for a bit.
A soft moan escaped her lips until she turned towards the boy. She slowly got a hold of one of his hands and was also slowly guiding it towards her chest.
A hand covered the blond's mouth, and, with many protests and struggles from her, someone had dragged her out of the room.
The girl's head was a mess while her heart kept beating like if it were a drum. Thus, she kept kicking and trying to bite the hand off but with no avail.
As a last resort, she licked the person's hand and, while they were distracted, hit them with a back kick.
The person didn't even flinch, yet they did release her afterwards.
Finally looking at her kidnapper in the light, Yuki felt her stomach began to twist.
"W-What are you doing here?"
Yaru, her master and Delivery Goddess, was practically glaring at the younger girl with a scowl clear in her features. With a lecturing tone in her voice, she began:
"Don't act all innocent you little brat! What were you about to do?!"
The last minutes in Hioko's room came flashing into the blond's mind as she blushed.
"It's not like that! Hioko-kun invited me into his bed!"
The dark aura around the older woman slowly disappeared and was replaced with annoyance instead. With a soft glare, she said:
"You're too young to start thinking about boys. Focus on THIS beauty in the meantime Yuki-chan~!"
Yuki began twiddling with her thumbs in embarrassment. But then a thought also occurred in the back of her head.
Yaru treating her like kid was getting really annoying.
She knew what to do and what not to do.
She wasn't dumb.
She could handle it.
Yeah she was about to do something she now regrets, but still regardless, always keping her distance was something she's done for a while.
So just because she did one mistake it meant she was useless?
"Then why do you need me anyway? Why not go with that other regalia boy 'Nora' instead?"
The Goddess gave her a somewhat worried look mixed with confusion. Only now noticing her parted lips, Yuki realized that she must have said it out loud.
Not even thinking twice, the blond ran off without turning back, leaving Yaru in the dark with her inner thoughts.
The next day was a Saturday.
Hioko's parents left early to work, so The teens had the chance to eat some homemade breakfast.
Yuki would never get tired of his amazing cooking skills.
Afterwards, the young boy invited her to go to the mall, considering he had to buy some new clothes for himself.
He didn't mention anything about last night, so Yuki figured that he didn't know about it. So she kept it that way for both of their sakes.
She also hadn't seen Yaru all day, which she was grateful for. Anger was still lingering in her heart so she didn't want Hioko to see her lash out.
They were currently in the convenience store buying some extra food for dinner later.
While he was in the snack area she went looking into the magazine section, just to kill some time.
Many romantic sappy novels were placed in alphabetical order in front of her. Also history on sports, girly pre-teen magazines, etc.
Nothing seemed to catch her eye.
She wasn't girly.
But she wasn't a tomboy either.
Walking past the many bookshelves, the options became even worse the more she looked.
With a sigh, Yuki was about to head with her friend defeated. Until she came across the manga section.
It was surprisingly small, considering they were Japanese and all.
Only 2 or 3 stocks of the black and white styled comics.
What had caught the girl's eye, was the cover of a manga that seemed interesting enough.
She picked it up and began reading the summary. Intrigued by the story's plot, she started flipping through the thing, finding herself digging deeper and deeper.
The character designs were impressive and they're personalities were pretty mashed up.
It took place in a high school outside of town with a transfer student named Hiyori. She started developing a crush on 2 of her new classmates: Yato & Yukine.
Yato was childish yet handsome.
While Yukine had an anger issue but that made him a cute cotton ball.
Yuki was about to begin the 3rd chapter when she felt some warm air in the back of her neck.
"So this is where you were."
With a gasp, the blond turned towards the person terrified, yet she calmed down once she saw a smiling Hioko.
"Sorry Yuki-Chan. I was just finishing and got kind of worried since you were taking too long."
During his awkward explanation, the boy rubbed the back of his head sheepishly.
"It's ok. I was just bored so, we can go now."
The blond left the manga booklet where she found it, but not before giving one last hopeful glance. It was involuntary so she didn't even notice. But her companion did.
"Do you want it?"
Hioko began searching in his back pocket muttering things like 'lets see how much I got left..'.
The young regalia merely replied with mutters of her own, like 'don't worry.'
Even though she DID want it, Yuki didn't want to take advantage of her friend's kindness. So, thinking of a quick solution, she then said:
"It's ok Hioko-kun thank you!"
Placing her hands against his, she stopped his movements so he could look at her.
"If I want to read it, since no one can see me, I'll just borrow it."
Emphasizing her words, the blond took the booklet she was reading before, and headed past the store's door. Just as predicted, no one noticed her.
Turning towards her friend with a smile, she said:
"See? Let's go, I'm starving!"
But Hioko didn't move.
In fact, he wasn't even looking at her.
Getting a little worried, she called his name again.
This time, his response was almost immediate.
Running towards her almost at full speed and getting a grip of her arm.
A HARD grip.
"Yuki-Chan, that isn't any different than stealing! Here, give it back!"
The black haired boy took the manga and then walked calmly inside the store to return it.
Yuki's head began filling with many different thoughts. But the primal one, was deception.
Even Hioko thought of her as useless?
Well maybe he didn't say it like that. But it still hurt.
The thought of a friend making her feel like a thief.
Accusing her of being a thief.
Before she knew it, the girl had started to walk away, to wherever she liked.
The teenage girl spent most of the day wandering through town, looking at many people passing her by.
She had also seen a couple of boys her age that seemed to be heading to a soccer game. They were cheerful and confident.
After a while of walking like a homeless person, she decided on taking a short cut into the public library. Yet still, she couldn't find what she wanted, and just took a random kids storybook.
Afterwards, she just took a slow walk in the park, since it appeared to be nearly empty. Taking a seat on the bench, she started considering her options.
She could always go back with Yaru, but the chances on finding the Goddess at this time were very thin. Plus, she could still be keeping guard on her.
Then there was Hioko. Of course that would be an easy resort, but still...
"I wonder if Hioko-kun is still mad at me..."
Knowing him, he would probably forgive her out of pity, do it wouldn't be that bad. Yet still, she worried about him telling Yaru about the earlier situation.
The Goddess could actually do something against her. She was her master after all.
Ding! Ding! Ding!
Surpised, Yuki turned towards the clock tower on the other side of the street. It read 9 pm.
The girl stared wide eyed at this, but then looked around. It was already dark outside and people were leaving quickly.
Getting up from her seat, she took the last minute resort and ran towards the direction of Hioko's house.
The darkness became thicker, and suddenly it was almost around her.
If it weren't for the people that were near her, she would have thought she was lost by now.
Sweat began forming in her forehead, and for some reason she ran faster.
Her heart was pumping, and the blond could feel the breath leaving her.
"Somewhere with light! Please!"
A voice from a young boy broke her train of though, and made Yuki stop on her tracks.
She only stopped because it felt so close to her.
Indeed, next to an old shop that was closed, sat a little boy with black hair huddled between his legs, keeping his knees close to his chest.
"I need help....someone help..."
Yuki stayed still staring at the poor form of the boy. He was shivering and appeared to be hungry since he had his hands clutching his stomach.
It would break her heart if she wasn't careful.
Yet before she could go her own way, the boy must have feel someone's gaze on him, for he turned towards her in a matter of seconds.
His dark green eyes were filled with shock as he stared at her.
"You... can see me?"
Yuki inwardly thought to her dismay.
She was about to ignore him and continue walking, until she felt a pressure holding her left leg in place.
The little boy only clutched tighter as she wanted to wiggle free.
Tears began forming in his eyes, and at that moment the blond's heart sank.
"Wait! I don't get it! Why is everyone ignoring me?! These weird eyeball things talk to me, but I'm scared!
Al I want is to see my mom!"
Yuki couldn't understand the kid's distress, until she noticed something else lingering in the old shop.
A small commemorative sign, in honor of someone who died. What caught the girl's eye was the drawing in the front. It looked a lot like the kid, but still with a different hairstyle. It read:
"A boy of the age of 10 died in a car accident while waiting for his mother to pick him up from his boarding school."
Putting 2 and 2 together, the teen glanced down at the boy between her legs with a heavy pain in her heart. He looked up at her again, and said even more desperately:
"Please Miss! Can you stay here with me? Just while my mom gets here!"
The dark atmosphere around them reminded Yuki of the reason why she wanted to go home as quickly as possible.
Yet the little kid was begging to her, making her heart sink, and finding new confidence inside her.
Be the brave one of the duo.
So, as she leaned down to be in his eye level, the young regalia gave him a gentle smile and replied:
"Sure. Let's wait over there ok?"
Yuki was pointing towards the park across from them, so the little boy agreed. Hand in hand, they walked over there.
Sitting down in a bench with lighting, they waited.
Over another 10 mins. Yuki grew impatient. The boy must have noticed, since he placed a hand on her knee and said:
"I'm sorry about her. She's usually on time. I bet your family must be worried about you by now right?"
Laughing lightly, the blond replied:
"It's ok. And I honestly don't have any- AH!"
The girl had stopped dead in her tracks when the light of the pole flickered out. It was still ok, but she was now visibly shivering.
Her resolve was crumbling little by little.
"Miss don't worry! When my mom gets here, we'll give you a ride home! She'll be here soon! You'll see!"
Fear mixed with anxiety caused her to speak her thoughts out loud:
"I..I.. don't think she's coming..."
Silence filled the air, and suddenly Yuki realized her mistake. Turning towards her companion, indeed she found him staring wide eyed at her, almost not believing what she said.
Staring down at his feet for a bit, he began to sob and then decided to walk away from the bench towards the dark area of the lamppost.
Yuki immediately stood up as well yelling for the boy to come back. He had already past to the dark side that wasn't being illuminated.
"Wait! Come back!"
The blond could have sworn she heard her name being called, yet once she saw some floating eyeballs near the little kid, she ignored it to run towards him.
"Stay away from the-!"
"pOor LiTTLe boy.."
Stoping dead in her tracks, the teen shivered slightly at the source of the voice. Phantoms were slowly approaching the still crying boy, trying to convince him.
"You Don't DeSeRve thAT, but Your MOmmy iS here. DoN't worry .."
The little boy asked helplesly.
"COme hERe and we'll ShOw yoU..!"
Phantoms got closer and closet until you could practically see the boy being consumed by them. The blond was frozen in place, yet she tried her best to think of some way to help him.
Her mind was blank.
Nothing would come to her.
What could she do?
"Yuki-Chan! Use that thing Yaru taught you!"
In that instant, the young regalia finally acknowledged her friend's presence and them began thinking. The gears in her brain started moving as she remembered what the boy was referring to.
Getting in position, the girl mumbled to herself:
"Keep your middle & index finger together and then...."
Yuki was about to swipe, until she realized that she was gonna have to get closer. Leaving her fear of the dark behind, she ran towards the boy with all her might, and pulled him against her while yelling:
The little boy started to shiver in Yuki's arms, as she securely held onto him while panting heavily because of the run.
She stared down at the kid with a hesitant expression, but then spoke softly:
"I'm sorry about what I said earlier."
The boy merely opted by shivering faster and tugging at the girl's torn
She then stared ahead at the phantoms that were trapped behind the white barrier, and spoke in an insecure tone:
"Don't worry. They can't cross over here!"
The young girl trembled a bit after hearing the voice behind her, making everything seem a lot more darker and creepier.
Everything surrounding her appeared to be getting smaller as well. Phantoms began getting closer and closer as the blond took a couple of steps back with the little boy.
The new source came from the teen's chest, and, with fear clear in her eyes, she turned towards the kid with her.
The only thing that made her heart nearly stop, was the phantom-like eye that replaced his normal one.
"Miss..... yOu smell NicE.."
Falling backwards into the floor, the young blond tried her best to crawl backwards, away from the little phantom in front of her.
To make matters worse, the lighting pole flickered again, but this time it stayed off. Dakness was actually surrounding her, and the phantoms were the only thing she could see.
The only sounds that she heard were her somewhat calm breathing, and the rapid beat of her heart.
"Where is Hioko-kun?! Wasn't he with me?!"
Indeed, her teenage friend was nowhere to be seen. All she could see was the phantoms, and all she could hear was her own voice in her head pleading:
"PLEASE STOP! I'M SORRY!"
That was enough. For Yuki to break.
The reason behind the question was obvious. Everything had just been a blur to her...
She didn't know when Yaru appeared.
She didn't know why Hioko was so concerned about her.
She didn't even know how DoD that phantom appear.
All that she could utter, was a single plea to her master:
"Help that boy... he's still in there....
Silence filled the air, until the Goddess replied with a firm 'Alright'.
Turning into her blade form, Yuki thought she could help, but ten realized that was not Yaru's intention at all.
The Goddess was going for the kill.
Fortunetly, her scream had caused the Goddess' attack to not be so effective, thus making them fall to the ground in pain
The regalia spoke her thoughts out loud:
"What are you doing?! You're supposed to SAVE him!"
"That won't do! He's been corrupted!"
"The only way is to slay him! We can't do anything about it!"
The gigantic phantom had Yaru pinned to the ground, and then was pushed against the concrete wall with a big smash.
Getting up with bruises all over her body, Yaru spoke:
"Yuki. When your corrupted by a phantom, your a spirit that has to go through a hell of pain and misery."
"If we want to help him, we must do this!"
The blond began shaking in fear, desperation, frustration...
"But I want to help him... because.."
Yaru began slicing though the beast's body, with no remorse whatsoever.
The blond began crying as well, trying her best to do what Yaru wanted her to do.
But the back of her head kept the negative feelings at bay.
Monster defeated. Kid long forgotten.
And a Goddess of Calamity holding the back of her neck in pain.
Her blade resting in the dark areas of the street.
"No wonder I don't have any friends..."
Sweet mother of Equestria, this took a dark turn all of a sudden °_°
So, sorry about the late update, but school has been getting the best of me XD
Good thing that I'm starting vacations in 3 more weeks. Gotta focus on manga & anime More specifically Yu Yu hakusho
Thanks for all of your support and I hope that we can start with other series before I go dead. Most likely I'll do Seraph of the end after I finish this one and THEN do Aragoto.
Guys, if you also read other stories of mine that need updating, please bear with me XD I'll update one and then another.
(Also hooray for long chapters! Longest I've ever written!)
See ya all later, and have a good day~!