Assignment – Chapter 1

"Yosei! Do you have any idea how long I've been stalking that oni?" Toshi glared at her master as she rose out of the scrying pool.

"Far too long." Yosei motioned for Toshi to have a seat before her. "I have a new mission for you."

"It'd better not be babysitting a ficus." Toshi crossed her arms.

"Nothing so challenging, I assure you." Yosei smiled. "I'd like you to meet Alexandriel."

Toshi looked up as a blond angel emerged from the hedges of Yosei's garden.

"I've made a pact with his higher-ups that I need you to fulfill." Yosei started. "It seems that our young angel has reached the age where he may apply for an archangel apprenticeship. Unfortunately, it turns out that he was too innocent when he died and has no real world knowledge… just what he has learned from texts."

"So, I need you to take him back to the mortal realm and teach him about life. Do not corrupt him so irreversibly that he cannot return, but… find him some balance." Yosei continued. "Within a week, he must be resanctified graveside and sent back upstairs for his testing. Due to some of Heaven's restrictions, you two are only allowed to head in a westerly direction. Any extreme deviation of your course will result in both of you losing energy, and I'd rather not have that happen."

"Easy enough." Toshi grinned. "I can just take him to my temple and get this over with."

"That's not what I said." Yosei crossed her arms. "It needs to be completed on his hallowed grounds. You will have to travel."

Toshi looked over to the angel who was still innocently smiling. "And whereabouts would your grave be, child?"

"A few miles north of Dublin." Alexandriel beamed. "I believe it's still known as Armagh."

"That's ridiculous!" Toshi stared incredulously at her master. "Can't you just teleport us there and I can teach him at the graveside?"

"No." Yosei almost stood. "He needs not only the experience of the knowledge, but of the journey as well. You will take him, you will make it there on time, and everything will go as dictated. Do I make myself clear?"

Toshi looked ready to tear the angels' head from his shoulders.

"Yes, Yosei-sama." Toshi avoided eye contact with her master as she rose.

Backhanding Alexandriel lightly on the shoulder as a sign to follow, she stepped back into the scrying pool. "You know, there are some days I despise my contract with you, Yo-sama."

"Goodbye, Yosei!" Alexandriel waved to the goddess.

"Have fun, dear!" Yosei hollered after.

After the two disappeared, Yosei sighed and rested a hand on her chin. "The feeling is mutual, my dear hunter."

Alexandriel moved to grab Toshi's sleeve as the pair materialized in Tokyo.

Toshi pried the angel off, rolling her eyes. "I can tell this is going to be a long week."

"What?" Alexandriel played with the buttons on his sleeve. "This is the furthest I've ever been away from home… it's not my fault."

"I know. But this whole 'Head West, Young Monk' bit is going to get tiresome. My temple is east of here and there are supplies there we need." Toshi nodded. "You can either stay here or come with me, but I have to go back."

"I don't think Yo-sama would mind." Alexandriel shrugged as he started following Toshi.

A few moments later, Alexandriel let loose a blood curdling scream.

"What happened?" Toshi whipped around. "Are you okay?"

"No…" Alexandriel's wings drooped. "I just found a gray hair."

"You have got to be kidding me!" Toshi approached the angel.

"See?" Alexandriel held up the offending hair.

"Your hair is so light… how can you tell?" Toshi took the strand and examined it.

"It's not as shiny as the others." Alexandriel moped.

"Pride is a sin." Toshi yanked out the gray hair, sending the angel reeling.

"What was that for?" Alexandriel protected his head as he glared up from the ground.

"I will not travel with someone who can't take losing a little energy." Toshi smacked the angel with her sleeve. "Part of this pact is that I have to teach you about life. I can't do that if you're going to panic about every gray hair you have or insect you see."

Alexandriel's eyes snapped open as the angel tried climbing over the demonhunter. "Augh! Six legged menaces from Hell! Kill it before it gets me~!"

"There are no bugs." Toshi crossed her arms as the angel realized what she'd meant and climbed down. "I was being rhetorical."

"I knew that." Alexandriel sheepishly scritched his cheek.

"C'mon." Toshi grabbed Alexandriel's hand and teleported.