Disclaimer:I don’t own jack!
Her hands burned as her legs grew numb.
It wasn’t supposed to be like this.
Kagome gnashed her teeth in frustration. The sharp tang of copper filled her mouth.
Pulling back the tsuru string of her bow, her eyes narrowed upon the pale figure darting across the smoke-blackened sky. Thick plumes of canon fire and gun powder blotted out the sun. It was difficult to see her target but not impossible.
The bow gave a violent tremble as she released the arrow. It whirred over the men cloaked in white, beyond the animalistic beasts that hovered in the air and past the confused villagers staring upon the scene with both fear and awe.
She straightened her back as her arrow struck its target.
A man’s arm fell limp as his weapon became lost in the chaos below.
“Kirara!” The young woman cried to her companion. “Save her!”
The fire cat gave a fierce roar. Its fur stood on end as it darted over the bloodshed and towards a young woman. She bore a pair of white, feathered wings but the thick splotches of scarlet splattered across them gave way to the injury that she bore. There was no way that woman could save herself from the height she found herself falling from. Not with her wings injured the way they were.
Kagome pulled at the hood of her own cloak.
She had no business here.
She didn’t need to be involved in any of this, yet here she was. Dragging herself into yet another war she didn’t understand.
Her lips thinned at the thought.
She really needed to learn restraint.
“Come,” A masculine voice commanded beside her. “We can’t wait around. Kirara will follow us once she’s done.”
Kagome glanced between the man and her feline companion, still ferrying the stranger to the ground a safe distance away from the fighting.
Instinctively she knew that he was right. That they both needed to leave before they became any more entangled in this mess. Yet her feet remained rooted to the ground and her eyes fixed upon the injured woman’s form.
Would she be alright?
Should she go to her aid directly?
Kagome chewed on her bottom lip nervously.
She didn’t know.
“Girl,” The man’s voice grew sharper. “Our task cannot wait. Leave them to their war. We have our own to face.”
Kagome lowered her eyes to the ground.
She tugged at her hood once more before turning on the ball of her heel.
Whatever happened from here would be out of her hands.
Azure eyes flicked back towards the woman once more.
“I hope you survive.”
Sesshoumaru glowered at the woman in front of him.
“Again.” He demanded.
He watched as Kagome’s face fell.
It was an anticipated reaction but he knew better than to ignore it altogether. She could be rather… spiteful when she felt insulted.
“Don’t you think you’re pushing this a little too much?” She folded her arms over her chest petulantly. “It’s not like I’m going to be attending any special galas or visiting the Devildom any time soon.”
He tapped a glassy claw on the arm rest of his chair impatiently.
Now it began.
Her endless list of complaints.
Not the least of which was her displeasure at these particular lessons that he’d forced her to undergo.
“Whether you like it or not, you now bear an esteemed titled as the Shikon’s sole guardian.” His gaze thinned at her with annoyance. “We must prepare you for what’s to come after your official introduction. You will be hounded for marriage proposals from all three realms. On top of that you’ll be expected to act the part of your station.”
He glanced up, distracted by the sight of her stretching her arms high above her head.
“That,” He came to stand beside her. “Will be coming to an end. By the time I’m through I’ll have you acting the part of a proper noble. I won’t allow you to tarnish your title nor my reputation with your uncouth behavior.”
The young woman snorted through her nose, “Right, since when did you ask me what I wanted?” She turned her back towards him, “I don’t have any interest in all this royalty crap. I finally made it back to my era so I’m just going to enjoy my life as a normal human.” Kagome pushed on, “You know. Go to school, graduate, get married and have kids. I don’t want to get pulled into any more supernatural crap.”
His lips curled at that, “That imagination of yours is too active. You will never be able to live the life of a normal human. Not so long as you bear that soul.” Sesshoumaru prodded it with a long, dexterous finger. Kagome flinched away from him, folding her arms further over her chest as she scowled in response.
“You’ll attract demons and angels alike wherever you go. Trouble will find you.” Sesshoumaru stepped back, “But if we secure a peace treaty with both realms then you’ll have a higher chance of surviving. What the golem did to your soul will be nothing compared to what a stray demon will do to it.”
He lowered his voice, “You must be prepared for all possibilities. Improve your social standing, train both your body and your soul, then forge meaningful connections in all three worlds. Only then will you be able to relax.”
Kagome’s brows furrowed in response, “Slave driver.”
His lips curled into a smirk.
“You haven’t seen anything yet.” He cast a quick glance at the door behind them. “Come in, mother.”
Kagome blinked, “Mother? You have a mom?”
He paid her comment no mind.
The heavy oak doors flung open as his mother strolled through the threshold.
“It’s about time you called me in!” The woman huffed, snapping her fan shut in the process. “You’ve left me waiting for ages!”
Golden eyes slid towards Kagome curiously, “This the little human girl you’ve claimed as your heir?” She circled around her predatorily.
In most circumstances he’d be concerned that she would launch an attack. Today however he knew that he had nothing to fear.
“She’s quite the cute one!” His mother cast the young woman a smirk that was a hair too sharp to be called friendly. “So tell me,” She opened her fan again. “What sort of men are you into?”
Sesshoumaru closed his eyes.
These next six months were going to be incredibly long.
Lilith rested her weight upon the palm of her hand.
This was so boring!
She pursed her lips in frustration as she kicked her feet out.
“Come on, Lucifer!” She whined, “Why not just pick one and be done with it?”
She didn’t understand why any of this was such a huge deal. Humans were a dime a dozen. They could easily just choose one at random and still be alright. There was nothing any human could do to them that would endanger them or threaten the Devildom. So the amount of caution her oldest brother was putting into the selection seemed over the top.
“Come now Lilith,” Diavolo chided. “We need to make sure that whoever we choose will fit in. They’re going to undergo some measure of culture shock when they arrive, so we need to be careful in who we select so it doesn’t traumatize them completely.”
She fell silent at that.
This was the Devildom. Everything here would be traumatizing to a meager human!
In truth, she didn’t see the point in any of this. What logic was there in making peace with a world that didn’t even know that they existed? They were nothing more than the stuff of myths and legends in the Human World—just remnants of a bygone era in which people believed in their existence.
Nowadays, there was nothing intriguing or worth while within the Human World.
As the centuries wore on humans as a species grew cynical, boring and overwhelmingly weak. They were so fragile that a mere flick of the wrist could end their lives prematurely. Even something as simple as a disease could strike them down.
Her brows furrowed at the thought.
She hated them.
She hated everything they stood for.
She hated everything she’d sacrificed for them.
It was only after she’d fallen from grace that she learned the most difficult truth about humans: They were ungrateful.
After all the love she offered them. After all the sacrifices she made for them. They still plunged a knife into her back. Literally.
“Lilith,” Lucifer called her name.
She snapped to attention, her eyes darting between her oldest brother and Diavolo curiously.
“Did you not hear what we said?” His tone deepened with his displeasure.
She flushed in response.
She certainly did not hear anything that they’d said these past few minutes.
Diavolo cast his friend a placating smile, “No need to be upset, Lucifer. Things like this happen. Besides, I just got word from Barbatos.”
She perked up as their prince pressed onward.
“Apparently Sesshoumaru has announced that he’s taken on an heir apparent.” Diavolo folded his arms over his chest, “Barbatos tried to get more information but all he’d tell him was that she needs more training first before her official introduction.”
“So it’s a girl?” Lucifer scratched at his chin curiously.
“Indeed. I thought for sure that he’d choose a male heir. He’s not the sort that prefers female companionship.” Diavolo commented.
Lilith paid their conversation little mind.
She had no vested interest in Sesshoumaru nor this supposed heir of his. He was a stiff as any man could get and he’d rebuffed her more times than she could count. His prickly personality made him nearly impossible to approach. Few enjoyed his scathing responses but other still refused to give up.
She wasn’t quite so masochistic.
Her gaze drifted towards Diavolo.
“Do we know what family she’s from at all?” Lilith kicked her feet out again.
Despite her lack of interest, she’d keep the conversation going if only for the sake of lengthening his visit.
“As far as I know she’s not from a noble line at all.” He tilted his head to the side curiously, “In which case that would explain why he has no interest in introducing her any time soon. He’ll be cautious until she can pass his standards for what makes a noble here in the Devildom.”
“Wise decision.” Lucifer added his own two-cents into the conversation. “The Devildom hierarchy will run over her if she’s unprepared. It can be a difficult role for anyone to fill.”
“True but if Sesshoumaru himself selected her among all the other possible candidates then it must mean that she has promise.” Diavolo continued, “In which case we should try to pay them a visit when Sesshoumaru feels that she’s ready for her introduction. It’d be nice to meet the person who managed to impress him.”
Lilith leaned back on her palm once more. She carefully leaned over and plucked a stray application from the top of the stack beside her.
“Well enough about that. Let’s let fate decide our human exchange student.” She pressed the application into her brother’s awaiting hands. “Choose this one.”
Realistically she just wanted to change the topic. She was tired of hearing them talk about some random woman.
Lucifer’s eyes thinned as he glanced at the page.
“Fine,” The man finally sighed. “It’ll take too long to look through every application.”
Diavolo’s smile widened, “That’s wonderful! Now all that’s left is to make the final preparations!”
Lilith watched as their prince swiftly exited the study, his long coat nearly fluttering behind him with the speed in which he left.
She rested her chin within the palm of her hand.
“Off he goes.”
Sometimes, she wished she could just tie him down.
A small smirk formed at the corner of her lips.
Maybe one day she would.
Kagome dropped her head onto her desk.
“Don’t slack off!” Jaken groused at her. His spindly arms waved in the air frantically. “You’ve still got ten more lessons to finish!”
She folded her arms over her head and gave a low groan of complaint.
“It’s too much!” The young woman cried out. “I’ve been here six months and I haven’t had a single break! My mind has turned to mush!”
Was it too much to ask for one day off without being forced to undergo the unearthly grind that was Sesshoumaru’s “training camp”? Granted, she’d liken it more to a prison at this rate. She studied from the hour before day break to near midnight every night. On top of her textbook lessons, she still had to practice traditional ballroom dances from all three worlds, learn their social etiquette and study up on all the noble lines.
It was a nightmare!
Sure, it’d be somewhat easier if she were in the thick of it and experiencing new things every day. However she was stuck in a stagnant setting with no changes to her routine or breaks to refresh her mind.
She was going crazy!
“Sit up at once!” The imp growled with a scathing tone. “There are to be no breaks! Keep studying!”
There was only one thing left to do.
The young woman quickly flung the window open before clamoring out onto the roof. It was only a two story house so the jump wouldn’t be far. Plus the cherry blossom tree’s boughs reached to the far edge of the roof. If she hurried, then she could make her way into the forest beyond for a few hours.
“Get back here young lady!” Jaken’s furious growls turned to frantic pleas.
Kagome hurtled herself over the ledge of the window. She steadied her balance, carefully trekking across the roof and leaping into the branch of the thick cherry tree.
Just a little further!
She scaled her way down and darted past the iron-clad gate that guarded the estate. Although beautiful in its own right, she wanted to see more and do more than just be locked up behind its walls.
She wanted to be free.
Kagome pushed her way past the heavy shrubbery and into the thicket of vines and branches.
It would take some time before Sesshoumaru would be able to find her. He was off visiting important nobles within the Devildom and wasn’t due back at the estate for another eight hours. Kimi, his mother, often haunted the halls and would drag her into awkward conversations if she found her. However today she found herself within the Devildom as well, called down by the promise of alcohol and an entertaining evening with a handsome noble she couldn’t quite name.
Kimi always did prefer the younger sort.
Kagome shook the thought from her mind.
She had to focus!
The young woman darted down a thin path between the foliage. The branches cut close and she felt herself squeezing through the maze just to make her way deeper into the forest.
She stopped as the ground beneath her suddenly fell away and her vision became obscured.
Kagome fought back a scream of surprise as the feeling of weightlessness hit her.
She was falling.
And she hadn’t any clue how!
She shut her eyes tight and waited for the impact to come.
She was dead.
Diavolo blinked at the odd sight.
The woman had fallen through their portal as expected, however she had her arms folded over her head and eyes squeezed shut—as if afraid of what was to come.
He watched as she slowly lowered her arms, her eyes flicking to the ground beneath her feet with confusion.
“My apologies,” Barbatos interrupted her train of thought. “But I’d used a summoning technique to bring you here. I apologize if the fall gave you a fright.”
The woman’s features visibly relaxed.
It was rather entertaining how easy to read she was. Every little emotion flitted across her face without a second of hesitation.
“Where is this place?” She queried, her gaze drifting around the room in confusion.
“Ah that’s right, you must be confused.” Diavolo began, “This is a place called the Devildom and you were chosen to take part in our exchange program that we’re initiating this year.”
He stepped back as Lucifer took over the explanations for him.
The girl didn’t seem all that confused by their presence. Besides being startled by the fall, she remained calm and collected. He cocked his head to the side curiously. Had she known about the existence of their kind prior to today? It certainly seemed like it.
He scratched at his chin thoughtfully.
As far as he knew she wasn’t a witch or sorcerer. He’d had Solomon cross reference her name with the Sorcerer’s Society logs just to be safe. So there should be no reason why she’d have come across any demon before this.
“You sure she’ll survive?” Lilith piped up from the far end of the room. “She seems a little air headed to me.”
“I don’t think you’ll need to worry about that.” Kagome flashed a sharp smile at the other woman, “I can handle myself just fine.”
A chill ran over his flesh—a sure sign that danger was to follow.
His eyes thinned at the exchange student.
A thick wave of power filled the Student Council Room. It was nearly suffocating, weighing upon them like an anvil. Was this power coming from her?
He couldn’t see her soul directly but he could sense its presence. Just by the pressure alone, he could tell that she had a great deal of reiki. That would prove useful to her in the near future should anyone attempt to harm her but it could also spell disaster for the program if she accidentally hurt someone.
“You? A mere human?” Lilith’s tone turned scathing. “What can you do? You’re just as weak as any other human in existence.”
Diavolo stepped forward, “That’s enough Lilith.” He cast her a warning look.
It wouldn’t do to preemptively antagonize her. Not until they knew exactly who she was and what she was capable of.
“I didn’t start this program with the intention of fostering bad blood between the three worlds. So I would appreciate it if you gave our guest the proper respect.” He folded his arms over his chest as he threw her a challenging glare, “Have I made myself clear?”
Lilith shrunk back in her seat. She pursed her lips together with displeasure as she gave a small noise of reluctant agreement. He was well aware of her dislike for humans. In fact, just like Belphegor, she too protested the exchange program when it’d first been introduced. Both of the siblings had such negative feelings and experiences with humans in the past, but he’d hoped that this would give them the opportunity to move forward with their lives—not backwards.
It would seem that he would have to keep a close eye on all three of them to be safe.
“My apologies,” Diavolo turned his attention back towards Kagome. “It will take some time before many of our kind will accept a human’s presence here within the Devildom. However I hope that by having you here we can change some of their opinions about humans in general.”
It was just one small step but he hoped that it’d be the first of many to come towards achieving peace.
Kagome’s features softened, “I expected as much.”
The pressure around them lightened as her power slowly retreated.
Was it possible that she had a fine tune control over it? If so, then that would make things much easier for him. That was so long as she wasn’t angered by anyone.
“In any case,” She pointedly ignored Lilith’s rapidly souring expression. “I’d like to talk more about your ideas. Would you have time after this meeting to discuss things further?”
His lips curled up into a smile.
Kagome glanced over the menu items curiously.
Diavolo had brought her to a restaurant called Ristorante Six after the meeting as promised. In truth the place likely had more zeroes attached to its prices than she was comfortable with, however the menu itself conveniently left them off. It was the sort of place people went to when they had no fears for the dent they were about to make in their wallets.
While the atmosphere was nice, she felt like a fish out of water.
On top of that, she didn’t recognize anything on the menu.
Sesshoumaru had told her that demons preferred an array of unique delicacies that were dangerous for human consumption. She hadn’t thought much of it then but now she could understand what he was talking about.
Her brows pinched together as she read over the item titled ‘Poison Belly Newt Stew’. That did not sound safe to eat.
As if sensing her concern, Diavolo interjected.
“You needn’t fret,” The man stated with a soothing tone. “I’ve already seen to it that everything on this menu is safe for human consumption. So feel free to try anything that catches your attention.” His lips curled up into a bright smile, “I’m quite fond of the Devildom Style Oden myself.”
She perked up at that.
They had oden here?!
“I’ll take that!”
There was no way she was going to pass up oden no matter what world she was in.
The man beside her gave a hearty laugh.
“I do believe that I just discovered your favorite food.” His expression lightened with his laughter, “Our version is much spicier than the typical Human World style oden. Our people are quite fond of spicy foods in general.”
She set her menu down upon the table.
Funny, she could recall a certain half-demon loathing anything mildly spicy. Then again, that was probably his human half’s influence. Sesshoumaru always did seem fond of spicy foods in general. In fact the only time he’d eat “disgusting” human food was if she’d made something from scratch and packed it to the brim with every spice imaginable. The first time she’d done it, it was just to try to prank him. However he devoured it whole and even went for seconds. She could hardly believe her own eyes when she saw it.
If what Diavolo said was true then it’s no wonder Sesshoumaru had no issue with the horrifying concoction she’d created.
“Here,” He pushed a wine glass in her direction. The liquid inside was a soft golden color and it’s scent burned her nose a little.
“Is this alcohol?” She carefully plucked the glass from the table by its stem.
He gave a quick nod, “It’s called demonus. This year has a wonderful flavor but it’s not as strong as the deluxe version. It should be good for a first time trying.”
She tested it with caution.
She’d seen Kimi drink demonus on many occasions but this was the first time she’d ever had any herself.
“Not as bitter as I expected,” Kagome perked up. “I thought it would have more bite to it.”
Diavolo’s smile widened, “Some of the more aged demonus will have a bitter flavor, but since one is newer it’s easier to handle.” He gestured to a silver bowl of brightly colored fruits at the center of their table, “But if you feel that a particular year is too bitter then you can add a few bleeding heart berries to make it more palatable.”
“I don’t mind it so much but I am curious about these,” She carefully reached over and took one from the bowl. “I’ve never had food or drinks like this before so don’t mind me.”
Sesshoumaru had warned her to watch her manners when in the presence of nobility within the Devildom. They were extremely stringent about their rules and customs being respected. There were still many things she didn’t understand but at least like this she could make a few mistakes without facing any serious consequences. Plus, the prince himself didn’t seem to mind her lack of decorum. So she would take full advantage of this opportunity while she could
“In any case,” Kagome shifted the topic of their conversation. “You mentioned that you wanted to foster peace between the three worlds. May I ask how you intend to do that? I know it must be a daunting task to take on, on your own.”
She’d fought humans, demons and everything in between for the sake of restoring peace once. She knew how difficult it could be—especially for a single person.
His features hardened, “Ah yes. Well this program in particular is just supposed to be an introduction. A sharing of ideas and cultures if you will.”
She listened intently as he pushed on.
“I don’t expect changes to happen overnight. However I wanted to give my people the chance to broaden their horizons and experience what it’s like to live in harmony with both humans and angels.” He cast her a wry smile, “Although as you’ve seen there’s still a long way to go before we’ll achieve that much.”
Kagome set down her glass, “Which is where I come in, correct?”
“Yes.” He answered firmly, “I’m not asking you to do the impossible, but it would serve the others well if you spent time with them. Especially Lilith and Belphegor. I think being around a human will be good for them.”
She fell silent at that.
That was the woman at the meeting earlier today.
It was clear that she felt only a fierce loathing towards humans as a whole, but would just spending time with be enough to change the other woman’s mind?
“If I may,” She say up straighter within her seat, “What caused their anger?”
Bloodline alone wouldn’t be enough to leave such a lasting effect on the two of them. If her hunch was correct then something must’ve happened. Something horrible enough to leave the two feeling the sting of hatred for centuries to come.
Demons often looked down upon humans. To them, her kind was little more than cattle that they sometimes raised for the sake of food. Other times, they were just pests meant to be squashed. Either way, Lilith’s reaction was far beyond that.
It would take more than just a few casual conversations to get her to change her mind on humans as a whole.
Diavolo set his drink down, “I can’t get into the specifics for the sake of that family’s privacy, however she’d endured a terrible tragedy a few centuries ago. It’s left a lasting effect on her but I think if she just spends more time with humans than she’ll eventually change her mind.”
“That tragedy also affected Belphegor as well?” Her brows pinched together at the thought.
“They’ve always been exceptionally close, so it’s not all that surprising.” Diavolo sighed through his nose, “I know that I’m tasking you with something that shouldn’t be your responsibility to deal with, but would you mind giving it a try?”
A small smile pulled at the corner of her lips, “I won’t make any promises but if it helps with your goals to achieve peace then I’ll give it my best shot.”
She’s fought too hard and lost too much to ever consider risking the balance between the three worlds.
It couldn’t be that difficult to make friends with a few demons, right?
She raised her glass, “To peace.”
He tipped his towards hers as well, “And to the future.”
At least she could say that this year wouldn’t be boring.
Disclaimer: I don't own jack!
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!"
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."
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.
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.
"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.
"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.