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How does it taste?

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“Hey, Ray. Why are you having bite marks on your jaw and arm?”

Emma is looking at him curiously. Ray’s eye twitches. He thought he had rolled his sleeve and scarf just right to cover those weird shaped bruises.

“Bites? Did you got attacked by some wild animals?” asks Don, half-curious and half-concerned.

“W-what? W-wild animals?” Hayato looks scared to death and is about to cry.

Emma shakes her head. “No, it looks more like a bite from human’s mouth…”

Gillian and Oliver appear in the kitchen doorway, whistling suggestively.

“Ohoho~ Seems like Ray's becoming an adult, now~” Gillian smirks at him.

“Shut up! It wasn’t like that!”

“Oh, really now? With all those ‘evidences’?”

Emma only seems more confused. “An adult? But he’s the same age as me! What do you mean? Wait. If Ray is already an adult, does that mean I’m an adult too, now?”

Violet rolls her eyes. No one who understood the innuendo has the gut to taint Emma’s precious innocence. Or, Hayato’s, for that matter.

 “I told you, it wasn’t like that!”

“Hmm, how do you explain those marks, then?”

“Well, that’s—”


[Rolling back time: Approximately a few hours before]


It happened one day in one peaceful afternoon at the Paradise Hideout. Or as peaceful as you could get in a world full of human-eating demons.

They were both in William Minerva’s office. Or rather, as Emma, Ray, and the rest of Grace Field House escapees called affectionately, Norman’s brooding room.

The occupants of the room were currently Norman, the pseudo-William Minerva himself, and Ray, the trusted friend and confidant of everyone.

They were both enjoying a conversation with each having a cup of tea civilly. Or that’s what it looked like; the dark liquid on Ray’s cup was actually mocha coffee and on Norman’s was chocolate milk.

Well! It’s all just menial things—in other words: not important. Because what important was their interaction that happened in the middle of their ‘tea party.’

“Ray,” called Norman, from behind his one-meters stacks of papers.

“Hmm?” Ray called back, still looking at the drink inside his cup intently, trying to determine whether he’d need another cube of sugar or not.

“Why do you think demons are eating humans?”

Ray’s head snapped up—drink’s forgotten. He blinked confusedly at his best-friend. “Huh? Wasn’t it you who had explained it all to us? The whole demons’ bacteria-like organ functions and—”

“No, no.” Norman shook his head. “I mean, why humans specifically? Why not like, chimpanzees? Or orangutans? They’re both quite intelligent creatures too.”

Ray deadpanned. “Are you really comparing humans to monkey ancestors?”

Norman shrugged. “This man called Darwin did.”

“You’ve never even saw a chimpanzee or orangutan,” Ray pointed out.

“Well, true. But point is, why humans specifically? Are humans really that delicious, that they even dedicated a complex system orphanage-esque plantations for it?”

 “Who knows. I’m not a cannibal. I never taste humans.” Ray shrugged and gave his attention back on to his cup. Unbeknownst to him, Norman was now looking at him with weird expression.

“You know, I’ve tried to lick my skin, and it didn’t taste good. I don’t know about other humans, though.”

“What are you imply—”

Precisely at that, a sudden momentum took Ray by force. It tackled him to the ground, and someone’s teeth and tongue were suddenly on his jaw—

“Ack– Norman! What are you doing?!”

Another ticklish lick.

“Hm…your skin tastes saltier than mine.”

“Seriously?! There’s a limit for curiosity! Get off me!”

But Norman only blinked at him. “I wonder about other body parts—”



[Rolling forward time: Approximately a few hours after]


“Well, that’s– That’s not important!”

Suddenly Norman appears between out of nowhere.

“Hey, are we running out of salt?” Norman asks.

“I think Pepe used it all when he cooked the last dinner,” Hayato answers.

“Ah, what a shame. I’m craving for some salty foods. I was about cook something too.”

Then Norman’s stare lands on Ray.

Ray stares back.

Norman stares back.

And then—

“I said NO, NORMAN!”

Then a game of chasing occurs there.