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Shadowed Nights

Chapter Text

There was no moon…

That was never a good thing…

A delicate shadow raced frantically within the deep forest underbrush as fast as his feet could carry him; which wasn't fast enough since the lesser demons chasing his frenzied flight were gaining with each step. It was almost as if the very trees were reaching for the figure to hold him back, to ensure that he would not be able to escape his pursuers.

It was karma coming right back to bite him in the ass!

"Kuso!" the figure growled shooting an irate gaze at the sky. 'Why does this shit always happen to me?' he thought angrily as he took another sharp corner in hopes of losing his pursuers.

It wasn't going to work; he knew that it wasn't going to work. He had first hand knowledge that any demons senses were more heightened and the very sound of his heaving breathing gave away his every position, but it should buy him some time to come up a plan.

'A plan… a plan, a plan, a plan…' the thought continued to run rampant through his mind.

He dodged a few more trees and jumped as best he could over the entangled bushes.

'Fuck, no plan!' It was getting down right irritating. He never needed a plan before. Usually he just went out and did what he did best; which was kick the shit out of anything and everything that so much as looked at him wrong.

A pale, clammy hand clutched at the small sword at his waist in a vice like grip of desperation with a brief thought of fighting back, before the figure huffed and continued forward. This was the one night- the single most aggravating night that always arrived like clockwork each month- that rendered the small but deadly blade practically useless in his hands.

He continued his flight through the forest but that would not be able to save him. He could already feel the deep threads of fatigue creping upon his consciousness. He knew he would not be able to keep up this pace for long.

"DAMN IT!" the small figure bellowed. "Why? Why me? What did I ever do?"

The sky kept silent.

The figure cursed again and started to venture into the denser foliage of the forests. He could feel the uneven ground tear at his bare feet. Cutting and tearing into him as blood soaked into the ground in his wake.

'This has just not been my night!' the figure thought as he heard the gentle rumble in the distance. "Like it wasn't dark enough?" he growled in annoyance.

'Just what I need- rain,' the figure groaned as he squinted into the darkness. It was only years of honed instincts that he was even able to navigate the thick underbrush.

If only the demons had stumbled across him on a different night… 'Keh, if it was a different night, they wouldn't have come after me at all!' The thought did little to help his current situation.

Slipping around another corner the figure quickly whirled away from the offered path of a small farm road. 'They'll defiantly catch me if I'm in the open,' the figure reflected as he moved back into the cover of the forest.

'Why the Hell did I have to leave the thrice damn village tonight of all nights?' he bemoaned as he continued on his uneven course.

It was really just a simple reason of miscommunication, he reflected, that led to the argument, which in turn led to the wild hunt he found himself in now. One small, insignificant comment that set off a chain reaction of screaming, shouting and finally leaving that small house that for the past year he could call somewhat "home".

He had wandered thought the entire day grumbling at the sheer idiocy of such a fight. It wasn't as if he went out of his way to be hurtful. It wasn't as if he actively sought out to be cruel or spiteful. It had just been the way he had been raised…

…Or rather how he hadn't been raised.

He had truly never been taught the way of proper manors, or the need to think before speaking. It was never the most important thing when he was smaller and later as a young child. The simple need of survival had been a primary concern and it was in those skills that he prospered and grew to the "young" man he was now.

There was never a need before for any type of "guiding hand" in how to function in society. He had never wanted anything to do with society or any form of civilization since that painful day all those years ago when he was suddenly found himself so terribly alone.

Proper manners were the least of his worries when what was his only source of encouragement had been suddenly ripped away from him to gate of Hades and the underworld.

That pain of loss still hurt to this day.

Never before, however, had he ever been accused of such malice. By a supposed friend at that!

How a small simple fight over food could spin out of control as to come to the point of him actually leaving was something that was beyond his understanding.

He liked what he liked and to try and force a different view over years, over the decades, of having a single mindset was bound to be a harsh battle.

What hurt him the most though, was that his so called "friend" was constantly trying to change him. To coerce him to act a part that was so different from his normal habits and chastising him for simply being himself.

He shook his head to banish the horrifying trail of thought. 'NO ONE can ever FORCE me to do anything,EVER!' he reassured himself.

In all his life, the only thing that was ever truly his and not gifted to him by anyone was himself, and he would be damned if he allowed anyone to take that away. He was himself; thought sometimes it was difficult to remember who he truly was after years of cultivating his current persona. But there was enough time to contemplate that later.

'Right now, I just have to live long enough to get to later.'

The figure finally lifted his gaze from the ragged ground he was running only to see a massive tree coming straight at him.


"Fucking HELL!" the figure cursed as he quickly tried to slide into a stop. It didn't work.

The momentum of his hurried flight drove him head on, and while he managed to avoid the large trunk of the tree, the full, thick branches managed to catch him dead in the face.

"Stupid Tree!"

The figure managed to catch his balance and took off once more. 'Dawn, just have to make it to dawn!' a mantra he continued to repeat in effort to bolster his resolve to survive. However dawn was still hours away and he could already feel what little strength he had left depleting and his reserves were close to nil.

Eyes that had faded from their normally sharp golden hue to a springy light bronze darted frantically around looking for any possible way to escape. Anything would be better than to actually be caught by these small fries. After fighting and defeating countless stronger demons among other things, to be finally killed by a couple of lesser demons really stung at the figure's pride.

It was perhaps one in a long line of mistakes that night that was his downfall… literally.

With his gaze away from the path in front on him, it was just a simple stone that finally brought him down. The figure hit the ground with a bang and aches that never before were any concern suddenly took on a life of their own as his body seared with pain.

Blood was pooling in his mouth and he hastily spat the blood and perhaps a tooth or two out as he tried to stand. Sharp needles suddenly coursed upward from his ankle and he stumbled again to his knees gasping for air as he clutched the paining limb.

That was when the fact that he was not alone finally registered.

A glance over his shoulder confirmed that the three demons had indeed caught up and were staring at him with actual glee.

"A human," one rasping voice snarled in confusion. "A human but not…"

"Who cares?" another hissed. "It's lunch now."

"You want to try it ugly?" the human spat as he finally did pull the sword from his waist. It was not exactly useful at the moment, but it was something and all he had. Grasping a low hanging branch from the tree beside him, the figure was finally able to pull himself into a standing position holding the sword before him in a shaking hand.

The demons gurgled with laughter at his small attempt of protection. "What do you think you can do with that?"

"Any damn thing I can!" he shouted lifting the sword higher. "You think that I'm going down with out a fight and you are fucking out of your mind!"

Another gurgle. "There is nothing you can do, human. We are demons. We are hungry. You are food. That is the way of things."

"That's what you think if you assume that I'm just another weak pathetic human! I will not be defeated by the likes of YOU!" and with that the figure lunged swinging the sword in a large arch before steel struck flesh and the blade caught the side of the lead demon.

It roared out in fury as it reared back and swung a massive hand at the fragile human skull.

Instinct once more took over and it was the only way the human was able to doge the killing blow but it proved too much for his injured ankle as pain once more came to the fore front of his mind.

He went down screaming as a second demon managed to strike him from behind. The instant he felt himself hit the ground, the figure rolled quickly as far as the small clearing allowed before bounding back on his good leg. He had managed to keep his sword and held it once more before him, the only thing between him and a very close encounter with a demons digestive tract.

The demons gurgled in laughter again. "Such a troublesome little thing," the third finally spoke. "This one has spirit."

"Or stupidity," the leader spoke again. "Do you really think that you can defeat us little brat?"

"If I can't," the human rasped, "I'll at least be sure to take you down with me!"

With a wild swing of the sword the figure lunged once more at the three looming fiends.

It was really no surprise when the sword was bashed from his hands. Pain seared throughout his body as one of the lesser demons blows connected and sent him slamming into trunk of a colossal tree.

Blood was now spilling freely over his body, soaking and blending into the red of his garments.

"This grows tiresome," the second demon stated with a bored tone. "Kill him and be done with it!"

The human gritted his teeth as the lead demon took firm hold of him and slammed him back against the tree once more for good measure. Lifting him upward until he was completely off his feet, the human wrinkled his nose as the foul smell of unwashed sweat and decaying meat wafted at him.

"It is time to die, filth!"

A small smirk graced the wounded features. "Have it your way," and a small foot shot out to kick at the creature holding him.

The demon didn't even flinch as it grasped the small ankle of the only un-injured leg.

A pained scream managed to tear away from his throat as the slender appendage was slowly crushed under the inhuman strength.

The demons gurgled again with mirth.

'That sound is the most irritating noise I have ever hear.' It was a stupid fleeting thought but it was how he actually felt.

The weight suddenly left his ankle before it suddenly appeared around his lean throat.

"You have given us a most entertaining night human," the harsh voice growled, "however, all things must come to an end."

His vision was going.

Darkness that had nothing to do with the absence of the moon slowly crept forward from the corners of his eyes and small spots danced in front of his vision. Air was slowly escaping from his lungs as he desperately clawed at the thing grasping his throat. A growing rumble sounded from the sky above as the rain was finally released from their cloudy prisons onto the creatures below.

A whimper left his throat…

A roar left that of another…

Pressure lifted as he was suddenly dropped like a mere child's doll to fall in the forming mud. Screams echoed thought out the dense forest and the metallic smell of blood assaulted his senses as the human engulfed much needed breaths of air.

Growls and snarls were a low undercurrent of the lesser demons piercing screams of death until a sudden hush descended.

There was not a single sound other that his own gasping breaths and the soft pelting of the rain on the canopy of the leaves above as his vision slowly came into focus. His eyes slowly took in the sight of the three mutilated forms of the dead demons before finally managing to look away at the thing that so easily kill them.

He saw a massive shape of white and instant recognition took hold. There was a simple word that floated thought his mind as darkness crept upward once more.