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Chapter Two:

Kagome flung herself upon the mattress that Lucifer had been kind enough to give her. She buried her face into the soft fabric of her pillows and gave a heavy sigh.

This was not what she'd had in mind when she escaped Sesshoumaru's estate earlier. She'd only wanted a small break from the grind. A mental refresh from the daily routine of brain breaking repetition. She didn't exactly intend on signing up for helping the Devildom's Prince establish peace between the three realm.

The young woman blew a breath between her lips in resignation.

"At least the first task is easy. Can't be too hard to make friends here." She rolled to her back, taking in the imagery of a tree's boughs stretched across the ceiling of the room.

She'd never seen anything quite like it before. Ferns and vines grew across the walls—invoking a nostalgic feeling for all the nights she travelled through the forest's edge. It smelled of both oak and pine, likely emanating from a Devildom native species of greenery. She couldn't imagine Human World trees remaining so lush and green in a place that lacked sunlight.

Regardless, this room really did suit her. It made her feel comfortable in a way she hadn't expected. The memories of her journey, although bittersweet, were reinvigorated with these new surroundings.

"I don't want to go back yet," She pillowed her arms beneath her head. "Sesshoumaru will just drag me back to the estate. Plus being here I can experience more of the things he wanted me to learn first hand."

There was no better way to learn than by jumping into the fire, right?

She closed her eyes as she drifted off to sleep.

She'd find a way to message him somehow without giving away her location. That way he wouldn't be tempted to tear apart the three worlds searching for her.

The young woman sighed through her nose at that thought.

For now, she just wanted to focus on having fun.

It'd been far too long.

Her lips curled up into a smile.

Tomorrow was definitely going to be interesting.

Kagome blinked as she took in the chaos that was a morning breakfast within the family's household.

"Beel, don't eat your plate!" Leviathan growled at his sibling.

The other male paid him no mind, biting through both food and ceramic in a single movement.

She kept quiet, only observing as Beel ate through everything set in front of him.

She could see why he'd been dubbed the Avatar of Gluttony. She doubted that there was anything in the three worlds that he couldn't eat at the rate he was going.

Kagome leaned towards the blonde flanking her side, "Is it always like this?"

Out of the brothers, he seemed to be the most down to earth. Satan, she recalled his name, was both polite and well educated. He had an air to him that was slightly different from the others. It made him feel more familiar to her somehow. Although what it was specifically eluded her.

"This is quite tame compared to usual. We've had to replace the table three times this month due to Beel's eating habits." Satan cast her a quick glance, "You should be careful not to wander too near him when he's on a binge like this. He might accidentally swallow you while."

There was no hint of amusement in his voice—only a stern warning of what was to come if she did not heed his words.

Her lips curled up into a smile, "I think I can handle myself."

"Says the human," The second oldest, Mammon, growled from across the table. "This is a world of demons. There's no way you can get by here without our help!"

Her smile turned teasing, "Is that a hint of concern I'm detecting?"

"No!" Mammon shot back, slamming his palms flat upon the table's surface. "As if I'd give a rat's ass what happens to you! You're just a stupid human pet we have to take care of!"


Oh, he was sorely mistaken about that.

Kagome tucked her foot behind her ankle as she sat back in her seat.

This was going to be rather fun.

"Listen up, human!" Mammon's voice rose.

"Kagome." She corrected him.

"Huh?" He cocked his head to the side, as if confused by her reaction.

"Kagome. If you're going to address me then you'll do so using my name." She kept her tone even as she spoke.

The first step to being friends with demons was to remind them that they weren't on top of the food chain. Not so long as she was around.

Respect had to be earned first before anything else could be built on top of it.

"As if! A human like you doesn't even deserve that much! I'll call you whatever I like!" Mammon threw himself back into his seat with a sharp snort.

"Stupid human!" He added for good measure.

Kagome folded her arms over her chest, "Scumbag." Azure eyes thinned at the male across from her, "That's what your brothers call you, is it not? I overheard you guys arguing last night. So until you learn to use my name, I'll just call you scumbag. That sound fair to you?"

Something this simple didn't require the use of her reiki. All she really needed to do here was just assert herself. She just needed to show that she wouldn't allow herself to be pushed around by anyone, let alone them.

It'd be a tough process but it'd be worth it in the end.

"Mammon, stop antagonizing her." Lucifer interrupted their quarrel. "Lord Diavolo has asked that you treat her with the upmost respect. So I expect each and every one of you to follow his orders without complaint."

She saw Lilith shift uncomfortably in her seat—as if disturbed by the very notion.

"Speaking of," Asmodeus rested his chin within the palm of his hand. "You had dinner with Lord Diavolo last night, right? How was it? Did he put the moves on? What was it like?"

Kagome shifted at that, "It wasn't a date if that's what you're insinuating. He just wanted to go over some of the things he wants me to focus on as an exchange student here."

Namely making friends with two prickly demons, but that wasn't any of their concern.

She gave a placating wave of her hand, "It was pleasant but not at all like anything you're suggesting."

The young woman paused as she saw Lilith's form stiffen. Her eyes narrowed into sharp slits and a rush of danger washed over her senses.

Kagome turned to face her directly, allowing her reiki to rise in warning.

"Lilith," She addressed her directly. "Is there something you wanted to ask?"

The girl turned her head away, giving a sharp snort of decline.

Clearly that was a no from her.

"Enough about that," Lucifer broke the silence. "Mammon walk Kagome to school and show her around. I'll have to stop by the council room to talk to Diavolo this morning."

Mammon started to whine however a sharp glare from his brother stopped him.

"Fine, whatever! Come on human! Lets go!" He took to his feet.

"Whatever you say, scumbag." Kagome shot back.

She didn't miss the way his eyes narrowed nor his lips thinned in distaste at her new nickname for him.

Kagome lowered her voice as she caught up to her escort, "Remember, just use my name and I'll return the favor."

She lengthened her stride, ensuring to put a small amount of distance between them as they made their way out of the house.

She'd give him to the end of the day before he'd be calling her by name.

Until then, she was going to have a bit of fun with this.

After all, what was the point of an exchange program in the Devildom if she didn't raise a little bit of hell?

There was something peculiar about Kagome.

He'd noticed it the night before during their dinner together.

Although she was human, she seemed oddly versed in the ways of Devildom etiquette. He hadn't missed how she turned her cup clockwise twice before drinking. Nor had he missed how she chose the correct silverware for each dish that they'd been served. It was a small detail but many of the brothers still hadn't even mastered that much.

It was clear that Kagome had at least been exposed to Devildom culture before. How was anyone's guess, but he was determined to find out.

"So what do you think of her?" Diavolo turned his attention to Lucifer. "Do you think there's anything we should be concerned about?"

He was curious to hear his friend's opinion on her. She would be staying at his house and interacting with him on a daily basis, so he would have a more solid idea on her personality at this point.

The other man folded his arms over his chest, "I can't say anything for certain. Last night she went straight to her room and this morning she was busy telling Mammon off for not using her name. She's got a fierce personality. As for your other request," Scarlet eyes thinned, "I did manage to get a strong feel for her soul. She raised her reiki again this morning during all the squabbling but she didn't have any ill intention."

Diavolo perked up, "And?"

"She's definitely powerful." Dark brows pinched together with concern, "I could sense a barrier as well, which means that she's trying to keep both her soul and her power hidden."

"I sensed a lot of reiki from her the other day. If what we suspect is true then it's very likely that she could be of blood relation to the Shikon's previous guardian." The prince sat back in his seat, "That's the only way a priestess such as herself could exist within this time. The Celestial Realm has stopped giving such blessings to humans after, well, someone interfered in the Great Celestial War."

None of them knew who'd done it either.

One moment the battle had been a bloody, chaotic mess and the next a sacred arrow cut across the sky and pierced the angel's arm that'd nearly dealt Lilith a fatal blow. It was that particular arrow that'd saved her life. If the priestess who'd fired it hadn't ever gotten involved, then Lilith would've assuredly died that day.

Try as he, Barbatos and Lucifer might, they had never been able to identify the one responsible for saving her.

It was a pity really. He knew that both Lucifer and his brothers had wanted to thank them profusely but it was never meant to be.

Diavolo continued, "Therefore that sort of power could only be inherited. Though given the amount of time that's passed since the age of the Shikon, I find it hard to believe that so much of that power still exists. Normally it would dwindle and become diluted with each new generation."

Lucifer threaded his fingers together, "Which means that either the previous guardian's soul managed to reincarnate itself in the human world without help from the Celestial Realm, or someone is granting blessings against father's orders."

It was a bleak thought.

No matter the source for Kagome's power, it could very easily lead to increased tensions between the three worlds. If the Celestial War deemed her existence a threat then there was little he could do to protect her. He would not risk the lives and safety of his people over a single soul—no matter how tempting it may be.

"What's more," Lucifer added. "She appears to have a strong handle on her power. The pressure she used yesterday and this morning was a warning and nothing more. If she'd wanted to do Lilith harm, I believe that she would have."

Which meant that they would have to get Lilith's antagonistic attitude towards humans under control if they didn't want her to wind up purified.

"I've already asked Kagome to spend some extra time with both Lilith and Belphegor. I didn't go into the details but she's aware that their anger comes from a place of grief." Diavolo sighed through his nose, "Therefore she should be a bit more lenient towards their… misbehavior when it crops up."

Lucifer's brows furrowed, "Misbehavior or not, they'll need to get those attitudes under control. Otherwise this will boil over into a fight."

He couldn't argue that fact either.

His friend was correct.

Peace would be impossible to achieve so long as Belphegor and Lilith continued to shut themselves off from humanity as a whole. Their hatred was overwhelming. Even if Kagome spent every waking moment with them, there was no guarantee that they would accept her.

His lips pressed into a thin line at the thought.

Still, there was something oddly pleasant about her soul. It'd given off a soothing vibe that made him feel at ease. He didn't know if she'd done it on purpose or not, but it didn't matter. So long as she used it on the other two then it'd only be a matter of time before they opened up to her.

His lips curled up into a confident smile.

"I wouldn't count Kagome out just yet Lucifer," He poured them another glass of demonus. "I get the feeling that she might just be able to pull this off."

His friend gave an aggravated sigh, "I hope you're right."

Diavolo peered down at his face reflecting against the surface of his drink.

He had his doubts but more than that, he had hope.

He tipped his glass back, "Just give her a chance."

If things played out the way he hoped then by the end of this program, they would be closer to his idea of peace than ever before.

Diavolo closed his eyes.

He's have to put his trust in Kagome for now.

Only her influence could make the changes they needed most.

He just hoped that Lilith and Belphegor would be willing to open up to her.

He curled his lips up into a smile, "She is rather cute, isn't she?"

Lucifer snorted in response.

Some things never change.

"Damn it, stop calling me that!" Mammon threw his arms up in the air.

Kagome sighed, "No way, scumbag. Just deal with it, scumbag. I'm not calling you anything else now, scumbag."

"That's three times!" He growled, whirling on her. "I'm the Great Mammon! So call me master or Lord Mammon!"

Her lips curled up into a teasing smile, "Oh master of filth and scum!"

"Not that!"

She gave a short laugh, "Like I said before. Call me Kagome and you can have your name back. What's so hard about that?"

It'd been entirely too much fun teasing Mammon. He reacted a lot like how Inuyasha used to but unlike her old friend, she could only describe Mammon as cute.

"Stupid human!" He sniffed, as if on the verge of tears. She had a sneaky suspicion that it was his hurt pride more than his feelings that caused his eyes to water.

"Come on, just give it a shot! Don't you want me to use your name? Respect is a two way street, Mammon. You've got to earn it too." She purposefully chose to use his name that time. It'd give him the tiniest fraction of encouragement. Which was something he desperately needed.

"Fine, you stupid hu-!"

She raised her hand, "Ah! What'd I say? Don't make me call you something even worse than scumbag!"

"Alright already! Kag…" He paused.

"Ka-go-me!" She reiterated for him.

"Kagome! There, you happy now?" He tucked his hands under his arms as he sank back in his seat—clearly pouting at having lost their war of wills.

"Absolutely, Mammon!" She beamed up at him. She hadn't missed the subtle flush that crossed his cheeks nor the silent curse he whispered beneath his breath.

He was adorably stubborn, but that wasn't so bad. It could be worse.

"Kagome, there you are!" Diavolo appeared in the doorway of their classroom. "It looks like you and Mammon are getting along quite well, I'm thrilled!"

Her smile brightened as she turned to face him, "We were just doing some ice breaker exercises today."

The other male glowered at her but said nothing. She had the distinct feeling that he didn't want to call attention to the fact that he initially refused to use her name.

"Oh what fun!" Diavolo's smile grew brighter. "We'll have to try that sometime later ourselves, but I actually came here for a reason. Would you mind coming with me? I'd like for you to meet the other exchange students."

Kagome took to her feet, "Of course!"

Now this was where things were going to get real interesting.

Besides her brief brush with a single angel back in the Feudal Era, she'd never met anyone from the Celestial Realm before. She was curious to see how they actually were without a bloody and violent war going on.

"Shall we go?" She fell into step beside him.

Diavolo's smile widened, "I'll lead the way."

He felt the soft brush of her reiki against his arm—almost as if she'd reached out and touched him directly. It had all the same warm and comfort as a physical touch.

He was unsure as to whether Kagome was doing it on purpose or not. Souls were tempting for demons in two ways—either to consume or to bond. The more pure and powerful the soul, the stronger the temptation was for their kind.

Diavolo kept his pace steady, ensuring to match his stride with hers.

He felt another soft brush of her reiki as she fell into step beside him.

Even with a barrier to mask the full presence of her soul, he could sense the immense pressure coming from it. She was strong—unbelievably so. What's more, the light and airy touch of her reiki denoted her fine tuned control over it. She was purposefully altering her power so as to not cause him any harm. In return, she likely was completely unaware of the effect she had.

He clenched his fists at his sides, focusing on the tile of the walls instead.

"So what're they like? The other exchange students." Kagome broke the silence, her smile bright.

His own curled up into one in return, "It's best if you see for yourself. First impressions are always the most important."

In truth it really wasn't necessary for him to force these introductions. The exchange students would've eventually met each other organically through the program.

The fact of the matter was that he had his own ulterior motive for this outing.

He wanted to try to learn more about Kagome and the unusual soul she wielded. It was unlikely that she would turn on the Devildom given her interest in his dream for peace between the worlds, but he wanted to have a better understanding of her.

Why was she unafraid of their kind?

How had she learned to use her reiki?

Most importantly, what caused her soul to become so powerful in the first place?

He wanted to learn it all.

As the prince it was his duty to ensure that she would not present a threat to this world nor his people. However as himself, he just wanted to know more about the woman who seemed so joyful and carefree.

His gaze shifted back towards the woman beside him.

Her smile widened as she caught his gaze.

Diavolo returned it in full.

Regardless of what the future held in store, he wanted to learn more.

She'd followed behind Diavolo for several minutes, both of them content with a comfortable silence. It was only when they breached a classroom at the end of the hall that he broke it.

"Kagome, I'd like you to meet your fellow exchange students." Diavolo gestured towards the three standing before them.

She cocked her head to the side curiously.

The goose flesh on her arms rose as she felt the subtle brush of power against her skin. That had to be one of the angels.

"I'm Simeon. It's a pleasure to meet you." The one in the center of the group spoke up. He had a genial tone and warm smile. The kindness in which he exuded was enough to set her at ease.

It was clear that he was one of the ones from the Celestial Realm.

"This," Simeon gestured to the boy at his side, "Is Luke."

Her smile turned bright, "It's wonderful to meet you both. My, you must be really brave to come down here to the Devildom, Luke."

She couldn't imagine what would've lead the Celestial Realm to decide that sending a child to a world full of demons was a good idea. Sure he had Simeon with him, but the dangers here were still very real. The poor boy had to have been scared out of his mind when he'd received the news.

The little blond tucked his arms in towards his chest petulantly, "Don't treat me like a child!" His face became flushed with a mixture of embarrassment and indignation.

Ah, so he was at that stage. The one where he wanted to grow up as fast as possible and hated it whenever anyone treated him like a child. Souta had gone through it at the initial start of her journey to the past. Unfortunately she hadn't been given too many opportunities to tease him. Still, Luke's indignation reminded her so much of her younger sibling.

It was quite cute.

"It's a compliment, Luke." Simeon chastised him gently; the tone he used was one akin to a disappointed older brother. "You should thank her."

"It's fine," She gave a placating wave of her hand. "I have a little brother and he went through the same thing." Kagome straightened up, "So you two are from the Celestial Realm, correct?"

She could tell just from the power she was sending from them alone, but asking directly would be a nice ice breaker.

"Yes," Simeon smiled. "We were offered the opportunity to take part in the exchange program so we gratefully accepted." His azure gaze shifted towards the male beside him. "Solomon here is the other human student."

She glanced at him carefully.

His smile was genial enough but his eyes were sharper than any human's she'd ever seen before. On top of that the pressure of his soul was enough to make her feel uneasy. He possessed the sort of power she'd never sensed before. Strong but tainted. Human yet not. He wasn't a demon but what was he exactly?

Was he really a human?

She couldn't imagine that.

"He hardly classifies as a human," Luke spoke up. "He's lived for centuries."

Kagome blinked.


How was something like that even possible?

"Well that was rude," Solomon gave a hefty sigh. "It feels like you're calling me an old man. I do my best to make myself look young."

She quirked her brow at that, "So you are an old geezer in disguise?"

Diavolo gave a hearty laugh, "Now now, it wasn't entirely Solomon's fault he ended up like this."

"I tried making a new potion but it didn't go as planned. Next thing I knew I ended up in this state." Solomon closed his eyes as he cupped his chin thoughtfully, "I can't even remember what exactly I did that day either. It's all just a blur."

He wasn't lying.

Despite the sharpness in his eyes, she couldn't sense any ill intent from him whatsoever.

Perhaps it would be worth the effort to learn more about him?

She felt her lips curl up into a smile, "Well it's still nice to meet you. So I take it us four are the only exchange students?"

"Indeed," Solomon responded. "So why don't we all exchange numbers? Birds of a feather and all."

In a normal situation she would've shot him down. She would've kept her distance and avoided getting any further entangled with the supernatural. Even if he was human at his core, he was clearly something more. However she was here now and knee deep in a world far beyond her understanding. If anything, perhaps he could help her out and point her in the right direction to getting along with Lilith.

He certainly seemed familiar with the Devildom and the people here so perhaps his advice might just be useful.

"Hey Solomon," Kagome spoke up. "There's something I want to ask you. Mind if we go talk?"

He quirked a white brow at her curiously but a smile played upon his lips.

"Of course."

She just hoped that his advice would pay off.

Lilith glowered at the little human standing in her doorway.

She'd barely met the woman but she already loathed her. She acted strong while being weak. She tried to be polite when they both knew that they only held an abject dislike for one another. Just this morning, Kagome had attempted to engage her in small talk. She hadn't responded, pointedly ignoring her despite her best efforts.

Humans were weak, vile and prone to betraying the ones they professed to love.

She wasn't about to allow Kagome anywhere near her.

"What do you want?" She curled her lip back in a half snarl, hoping that it would frighten her off. Alas, either the human was too stupid to understand the danger she was in or she was just plain foolish. The girl remained rooted at the threshold, her brows pinching together with concern.

"I actually wanted to talk to you. Yesterday things were kind of… tense when I arrived," She hesitated for just a moment, as if searching for the best word to describe their situation. "In any case, I wanted to clear the air with you. I don't expect us to be buddy-buddy but I'd like to keep things civil at least."

Lilith folded her arms over her chest.

So the little human wanted to make nice, did she?

Perhaps it was time that she reminded her why demons were feared in the first place.

"Civil?" She stepped forward.

Kagome held her ground, azure eyes narrowing into sharp slits.

She had to give her credit.

The girl didn't get scared easily.

"Yes, civil." The other woman shot back testily. "I didn't come here looking for a fight."

"Hasn't anyone ever told you that invading a demon's territory is the same as to beg for death?" She tipped her head up, "Right now, you're in my territory. This is my home, my family and my world. You aren't welcome here."

Lilith took another step forward.

That time she spotted Kagome squaring her shoulders, as if preparing for a fight. There wasn't a trace of fear in her eyes; only a fierce sense of indignation.

Stupid girl.

"Make no mistake," Lilith pressed on. "The only reason you're alive right now is because of Diavolo. It's his power and his influence that's insulating you from attacks. Without his protection, you'd be dead on your feet." She curled a finger through her hair, "So don't get cocky. It's not that hard to fake a suicide or accident in this house. You're outnumbered eight to one. Remember that the next time you try to 'set things right', because it just might end with your untimely death."

She expected the woman to either break down in a fit of tears or to start screaming at her in fury. Yet Kagome did neither.

She watched as the human squared her shoulders and pinned her with a sharp glare.

"I think it's laughable that you believe that you have the power to kill me." Kagome took a step forward, forcing her back one. "Trust me, many have tried before but they've all failed. So what makes you think that you can finish the job?"

Her voice dropped, growing icy with the sharp twinge of fury.

"You're hardly a fly compared to the demons that have tried before you." She raised her hand, curling her index finger towards herself in a beckoning motion. "But if you think you can take me, then try me. Right now. There's no one here, right? Make your move."

Lilith curled her fingers into tight fists at her side.

Her instincts screeched for her to attack; to end the threat against her territory. Yet her feet refused to move. Her throat went dry as the air thickened around them with a pressure she'd never felt before.

Sweat beaded her brow as she gnashed her teeth in frustration.

What was this girl?

"Don't test me, Lilith." Kagome turned her back towards her. "I'm offering you an olive branch but if you insist on treating me as an enemy, then I'll return the favor."

Her voice turned sharp, "I'm sure your brothers wouldn't want to lose their sister because she picked the wrong fight. So try not to force my hand. I don't want to have to kill you."

Lilith growled beneath her breath.

That bitch!

"This isn't over, human!" She snarled at the other woman's retreating figure. "I will not let you stay here! Mark my words, you'll be dead before this program ends!"

Kagome gave a placating wave of her hand, "I'd love to see you try."

Her claws flexed as she growled at her retreating figure.

Kagome would die by her hands.

She'd make sure of it!

Kagome sighed through her nose.

Her first full day and already she was getting into fights. Since when had she ever had this much trouble getting along with a demon?

Oh right, Inuyasha, but he was a whole other ball game. The man had more issues than she could shake a stick at.

If Lilith was this aggressive with her just for trying to reach out to her, then clearly she was dealing with a lot more than just a past trauma.

As much as she wanted to sympathize with her, she could not allow Lilith to believe that she was afraid of her. Demons respected spirit and strength. Displaying both was a good way to start the path of earning Lilith's respect, however there was something in the way the woman stared down her nose at her that pissed her off.

It were as if Lilith viewed her as a pest that she wanted to squish beneath her heel.

She'd seen that look many times before. Back when Kikyou still roamed the earth as a golem in search for revenge.

Her mouth went dry at the thought.

What was it about Lilith that reminded her so much of Kikyou?

The upward turn of her nose when she looked down upon her? The abject loathing in her eyes anytime they caught each other's gazes? Or perhaps it was just the fierce sense of hatred coming off of her in waves?

Regardless, it was giving her too many flashbacks to a time best left forgotten.

"If you want to get close to Lilith then you'll have to get creative."

Solomon had warned her earlier.

"I don't know what you're up to but you best be careful. That family can be rather unpredictable, Lilith especially so. You best be sure that the risk you're taking by approaching her is worth it, because she will kill you if you push too far."

He'd been stern yet concerned—as if worried that she might be diving head first into a depth she could handle.

Honestly, maybe she was out of her league when it came to Lilith but she would at least try.

For the sake of peace if nothing else.

She closed her eyes as she threw herself upon her bed.

She had a lot of work ahead of her.