Chapter 22

Yuki sat on a ledge he had discovered near the top of the building bundled up in a warm fur blanket his breath coming out in white puffs in front of him. A silver, blue visri floated lazily around his head music playing through it. The school normally prohibited the use of visri on the grounds but an exception was made for Yuki since he no longer mingled with the regular classes.

His stomach had been showing more and more signs of the child growing within him along side his worries. They nipped and prodded at the back of his mind showing their face every so often when he was left to think like he was currently.

The lightly clouded night sky calmed him as he looked up seeing flickers of stars peaking past the thin veil like a child playing peak-a-boo. Snow still lay thick like a blanket across the land and floated happily on the waters below freezing the first foot of water below it. Nudging the snow just inches in front of his foot Yuki watched as a chunk broke free and slid down into the patches below making a light crack as it hit the ice breaking it apart.

"What in the name of the lost souls are you doing out in this cold?"

A light icy wind suddenly picked up biting at Yukis cheeks as Trist flapped her wings landing right next to him. Folding her wings over her shoulders for warmth Trist bend down at her knees to come face to face with Yuki a playful smile on her face.

"Sit out here for to long and I'd see you within my domain faster than a Casta can fly."

Letting out a sudden breath Yuki cast his gaze down the mood remaining somewhat somber between them. Trist moved closer nudging Yukis should trying in a reassuring way.

"Something bothering you, boy?"

Yuki took a deep breath, held it for a few moments, then let it out slowly watching the misty breath swirl out in front of him. His jumbled thoughts became more clear the more breath that escaped his lungs before he could finally speak.

"I'm worried my body won't be able to handle giving birth. I mean I'm a man not a woman and I know for a fact that it is hard even for the proper gender to bring life into this world. So how do you expect me to get through this? What am I to do if there are complications?"

Letting out a frustrated growl the boy buried his face in his hands letting out a muddled groan. Trist sat down properly wrapping her feathered black and maroon wing around his shoulders.

"You need not worry about those things boy. We gods and the child itself will not allow anything bad to happen. Yes its going to be painful but life is painful, but I promise you the second you see the child and hold it in your arms you will be filled with a pride far stronger then any worry or pain. Of course there are a lot of troubles that are going to come hand in hand with the birth of your child but leave those to me."

Trists smile became that of a child about to get a new toy as her eyes turned into slits. Her tail twitched excitedly as if she had been waiting for something like this to happen just so she could play.

"Your emotions really are like a rollercoaster you know that?"

Closing one eye Trist looked to Yuki her tail poking him playfully on his back.

"There is a reason for that but if I told you id have to kill you."

She flashed him a friendly yet cold smile sending shivers down his spine. Turning his head away from Trist he shuffled his feet under him balling up as much as his protruding belly would allow. He couldn't tell if she was joking or serious but he could sense it was better not to pry any deeper. At that moment all he wanted was for everything between them to go white so he could change the subject.

Letting out a slight sound Yuki looked to Trist who in turn was looking towards the sky a wicked small smile curling her lips. He followed her gaze up to the sky above, his breath catching in his throat as he saw what she had been staring at.

Up in the sky as snow started to fall from the thing clouds the sky beyond the clouds could be seen as if you were looking through a thin veil. The starts twinkled before a light would shoot from them across the skies to another star. There were several of these lights flashing between one another making Yukis heart flutter with amazement.

"You know even the stars have souls just not the same type as humans. You see stars are a collection of heat and light so bright and powerful that when they die the energy from that light slowly collects until finally the collection forms a pure soul. A pure soul is literally all the light collected from all the parts of the universe. It takes hundreds of stars to die just to build up enough energy to create one pure soul. That is why pure souls are destined to become a true god or demon once they die. It is also why it is of the most importance that the soul lives a life and has a guide."

Yuki looked from the sky to Trist and back again his mouth gaping wide open as the light became slightly more rapid. His heart pounded in his ears as the weight of the child he was blessed with sank in deep into his own soul. Trist nudged him once more never moving her eyes from the sky.

"It's nothing to worry about boy. For the most part pure souls become gods even with a bit of tragedy and darkness around them. Most true demons come from the secondary energy that is created when a star dies. Although that energy is a bit more rare then the energy born to create a pure soul as well as quite a bit more weaker. Some of the more larger stars out there explode in something that some humans have come to call super novas as the core collapses in on itself creating a thing they call a black hole. You see the white energy forms into a star that many humans across the worlds call white dwarfs. The dark energy that becomes a shadow soul comes from a thing called a black hole."

Yuki bit his lip pondering how many energies were out there currently collecting into more pure souls and shadow souls. The energies collecting and colliding until finally a new life ready to be born waiting to be taken in by one of the gods or demons. Guided along its path till it finally fulfills its roll in the mortal realms and join the afterlife.

"H-how do the energies meet and form into larger groups? I mean just looking up at the stars now they are nowhere near one another. Right?"

Trist got up stretching her wings down before folding them behind her as the sound of clattering behind them came closer and closer.

"Once there is enough energy collected in the universe a god or goddess is chosen to enter the universe and collect the energy together in a place called Lei. Once in the land of Lei the energy starts compressing together until finally it is formed into a small orb otherwise known as the pure soul. Lei is also used by the demons but can never be found until you start collecting the energy. It is a master-less land that is in need of a being from both the light and the dark to control it. Just like Limbo and its beasts have no master."

Yuki tilted his head his brow knit in confusion as Trist gave him one final smile and disappeared into smoke. Right as the last wisps of her body disappeared the latch to the window behind Yuki clicked as the window opened to reveal a somewhat disheveled Eridian. He looked as if he had been running a marathon trying to find Yuki.

"There you are. Do you know how worried I was when I saw you had disappeared from the room."

Eridian climbed clumsily out onto the ledge a cold shiver of fear shaking his body as he saw exactly how high up and how exposed they were out on the ledge. Shaking his head to clear the small cloud of fear that had begun to form within him he glared at Yuki worry etched in every shadow on his face.

"What the hell were you thinking Yuki. Coming out here with this blizzard hooking into the island. Sheash I have never in my life seen so much snow, how can you just sit out here like its nothing."

Eridian crouched down shivering as the cold bit into him stealing away his warmth in a matter of seconds. Even though he was wearing a fur just like Yuki the cold still affected Eridian even with the layers to Yuki it felt more homey then anything. It was almost like he belonged in the grip of the icy winds and snow covered lands. He closed his eyes and lifted his face to the sky letting the flecks of snow land on his skin to melt into little streams down his face.

Eridian watched the water stream down his lovers face a small smile flickering on his face as his chest felt with pride at his wife. Slowly shaking his head he put his arm around Yuki's shoulders squeezing the young boy close to him and bumping their heads gently together. Placing a light kiss on his wife's head he placed his hand on the boys swollen stomach closing his eyes waiting. After a few moments he felt a slight movement against the stretched skin and chuckled.

"Sprightly, isn't he?"

Yuki placed his own hand over Eridians snuggling into his husbands warmth.

"He is only eager to join us, but he must be patient. It is not time yet for him to be born although I can feel it is getting close. When that time comes we must all be prepared there is going to be a huge change in our life as well as the life of just about every important figure of this world."

Recoiling with shock Eridian loosened his grip on his wife's shoulder his eyes somewhat wide.

"That's laying it on a little thick don't you think? I mean almost nothing spurs the leaders of this world into action. It's that sad truth but most of our parents could just watch everything sink into the springs as if it were nothing so long as their own blood were safe."

Sighing Yuki stood the think layer of snow on his body clinging like light powder of camouflage. Eridian let his hands slip back down to his side looking up at into his wife's eyes full of sorrow.

"Sadly I'm not so certain that any of us will be safe once things start. No in truth things have already started we just can't see them but, but I don't know. For some reason I haven't been able to shake this feeling that once I go into labor things are going to be a lot worst then what Trist or the others have been telling us."

Eridian rose and pulled Yuki into a warm embrace running his fingers through the boys freshly trimmed hair in back. He gave the now shivering boy gentle pecks on his head for reassurance. Yuki just buried his face into Eridians chest feeling the heart beat of the man he had fallen in love with.

"It's going to be okay Yuki. Even if what you say is true there is no way things will be so dark that we can't see the light, and even if it does seem to get to that point there is no way you'd have to climb out all on your own. You have me, Castor, Rage, Sedra, Rose, and that ever so noisy brother of yours. There is no way we'd let you go through that type of hell all on your own."

Smiling Yuki gripped Eridians shirt like a child clinging to their mother. They stayed like that for what seemed like forever as the snow drifted lazily down around them. It was as if the world had melted away around them leaving just them and night sky. Their breath coming out in cold vaporous puffs and the chill of the night seeping deeper and deeper into their bodies.

Clearing his throat Eridian pulled himself back his face red with warmth as he scratched his chin somewhat bashful.

"A-anyway lets get ourselves back inside and treat you two to a nice cup of cider. That should warm your bones and get your blood flowing."

Making a motion as if saying "ladies first" Yuki shook his head a smile on his face as he hobbled back inside where his body was greeted by a blast of warm air. Eridian hopped in after him and held his arm out letting Yuki link them together moving in the direction of their private room.

Drake flitted down the hallway like a ghost roaming the corridors of a haunted house, flashing in and out of sight as he watched the people of Trask drown in debauchery. It sickened him how far and fast the people he loved so dear had fallen with a few sweet words and a dose of pink perfume that turned their minds to mush.

After some time of just floating by he finally found the root of the mist as it seeped from behind closed door. It leaked out and down the corridors traveling to the various rooms and finally escaping outside where it hung around the town like a fog thick and persistent.

Rolling his eyes Drake kicked the door open releasing a heavy blast of the pink fog making him close his eyes as it pored out like water being released from a damn down onto its unsuspecting victims. When his hair finally settled back onto his neck Drake opened his eyes to see Izsma feeding. The library had been converted into her own personal den as men and women delved in sexual pleasures around her as she sat on her plush throne drinking a strange thick liquid.

"I see you still enjoy swallowing rather then taking part."

Iszma licked her lips of ever tiny drop of the thick silver, pink, purple liquid that she had just pored into her mouth. A light giggle bubbling out of her as she moved her hand to her lips eyeing Drake as if she were eyeing a sweet treat.

"My oh my what is it that I owe this lovely visit from the all mighty and ever so handsome Drake god of the Trask family."

Drake cast his sights around the room taking in one last sight of the people their moans of pleasure filling the room. Closing his eyes he pinched the bridge of his nose taking a small breath to compose himself before looking directly at Iszma.

"You know why I am here. I want to settle this like civilized beings before you get yourself in to deep and find yourself on the wrong end of that woman's scythe."

For a split second Iszma looked shocked her hand dropping from her face to hang limp in the air her face relaxing only to have it twist open as she let loose a spree of laughter. She slammed her hands down on a small table in front of her as she moved into a more upright position on her plush throne her face twisted into that of a madwoman.

"You really think that bitch can beat me!? In case you haven't notice but for the past hundred to two hundred years she has been getting soft, weak as she traveled from world to world. It is such a shame but the woman you and the other gods depended on so greatly in the past has become a shell of her former self."

Drake folded his arms annoyed at the mocking tone that bit so cruelly with Iszmas every word. Although he didn't express it on his face he dug his nails into the flesh of his arms.

"Your naïve if you really believe she has truly become weak. Our kind do not grow weak, we grow stronger as the mortals beliefs in us grow stronger. As for Trist well her power is solely based on how many souls live and how many people die. Her power unlike ours are not based in the people but rather the ever certain end of a life. Like you her power is not restricted to the wise of the races but rather the many whom fall under the proper conditions."

Iszma sneered leaning back in her plush chair and reached for another glass of the strange liquid she had been sucking down earlier. She swished the glass watching the slimy substance twirl the colors together only this batch was purple, green, and red.

"You really put to much fate into that woman. I will not loose this battle, my lord will rise once again and there is nothing your pretty little death goddess can do. Besides in case you haven't noticed her scythe has been down graded. I doubt she'll be a problem for me in her current condition."

Drake rolled his eyes and turned to leave shaking his head in exasperation. He stopped just before leaving looking back at Iszma whom had a ever so twisted, wicked smile stretched on her lips.

"Listen here and listen well Iszma, she may seem weak but it is never good to judge a book by its cover. Even with the standard scythe she can put up one hell of a fight, and do not forget she will not be alone in this battle. Its better to stop now rather then having your existence be shattered over such a thing as raising your master from his slumber. Although knowing you, you just want to raise him to deal a final blow yourself to obtain his position."

The wicked grin dropped from Iszmas face as fast as it had settled, her skin going pale and her eyes went wide at Drakes accusation. She could only bring herself to grit her teeth which Drake took as a confirmation on his words.

"You're lust for power is going to be your downfall, have I not always told you as such?"

At that Drake turned and disappeared from Trask leaving Iszma to wallow on his words of warning. She grit her teeth so tight that one cracked under the pressure sending jolts of pleasure inducing pain through her jaw.

She stood and in a sudden fit of anger tossed her glass against the wall violently shattering it. She flinched back as the mess of slime dripped down into a skull with the red liquid coming from the mouth and eye sockets like blood. Yelling out in anger she stormed from the room pushing down people who were indulging in their pleasures.

Going down the corridor she didn't stop until she was in front of Ellies room watching her perfume failing to enter in through the cracks of the door. This fact just infuriated her even more, she lashed out at the wall of energy only to have it rip apart the skin on her arm and burning her pinkie and ring finger to the bone. Glaring at the door she growled the flesh of her cheeks becoming translucent to reveal not molars but sharp fangs in the back of her mouth.

"I will get you my cute little princess, you will become my trump card in the battle no mater what."

Her voice had come out in a hiss mingling with the sizzle of her fingers as she scratched them down the barrier wall. Giving another growl she turned on her heals and left heading in the direction of Marlins study.

Two black birds and a young man stood on the window seal into Ellies room looking in on the sleeping figure of the sickly girl. He kneeled down gently touching the burned in feather testing the seal to make sure it was still going strong. One of the birds flapped its wing and jumped up onto the mans shoulder revealing a red streak down each side of its body that was normally hidden by its wings.

"Why exactly are we here Radi? Seriously if they sent you just to keep tabs on a seal isn't that a little demeaning for a reaper such as yourself?"

Radi smiled to the bird scratching her under her beak making the bird fluff out happily. The other bird at his feet puffed out its chest showing off the blue moon crest on its feathers.

"Must you ask so many unnecessary questions Willa. We are here on orders from masters darling master Trist to make sure this woman remains safe. It is our honor to participate in such a, such a, such a."

The male bird stopped in the middle of his sentence his feathers slowly smoothing back down as Radi reached down and pet him on his head.

"It's ok Willow, she was just speaking her mind. As for you Willa, Willow is correct we are doing this because lady Trist asked us meaning this is a big job. Besides look at the feather burned on the window here, its loosing tuffs meaning a powerful being has been slamming against it."

Willa looked over Radi's shoulder to see the feather, it looked as if a bird had come by and plucked chunks out of it and left those chunks behind just because it could.

"What are we to do if the feather becomes even more haggard? If it looses any more feathers then the seal would break would it not?"

Willa tilted her head in a curious manner as Radi reached up and plucked out one of her wing feathers. She gave an indignant caw flapping her wings angrily.

"Honestly Willa can't you be a little more lady like, all he did was take a feather. Although leave it up to a crow to be uncivilized so much so as to not, not."

Willow blanked out again as Radi took a feather from him as well making him fluff up for a split as he rearranged his feathers. As soon as he had to two feathers he placed them one on top of the other and pushed the two into one large black feather. The feather was black with red and blue weaved in, shimmering in the light with an aura to match.

"This will be placed over the old feather and create another layer to the seal on this room. The only problem is it will put a bit of a strain on our group. Do you two think you can handle it?"

Both birds fluffed up as if saying "what do you take us for? Doves?" making Radi smile as he placed the new feather directly over the old mark. He shuttered as the energy from the old mark burned and mingled with the new sending a wave of all the owner of the first feather had gone through since placing its mark. Slowly he lifted his hand from the wood and looked to see the same mark on his hand glowing gold, orange, and white as the heat settled on his skin.

Radi's whole body stiffened as he heard Ellie stir in her bed and sit up turning her head slowly, listening around the room. Even Willa and Willow had stiffened not wanting to be discovered by the human woman. Ellie finally stopped moving her head and tilted her face up in the direction of the window where Radi and his birds sat.

"Has my time finally come?"

Worry showed on her face as Radi let out a breath, relaxing his muscles as he looked from one bird to the other. Both birds just shook their head and shrugged their feathers. Sighing he decided it was best to give up on their stealthy silence.

"No, that is not what I am here for my lady."

Radi jumped down from the window into the room his clothes flitting out in back to show two small hand sized scythes with chains on the end wrapping around his waist. The sharp tips of the blades were shoved into holsters pointing towards the ground so they didn't hurt anyone. He ran a hand through his ash colored hair as he looked around the room nervously.

"Then tell me, why have you come if you are not here for my soul?"

Jumping Radi looked at Ellie eyeing an invisible brittle chain hanging from her throat, sorrow washing over him. Sighing he took out a pair of glasses and put them on making the view in front of him that of a mortals eyes and bowed his head slightly.

"I have been sent as a guard from lady Trist herself to make sure you remain comfortable through this whole ordeal until she can make due with her part of your deal."

Ellie gave a gentle smile to Radi making him blush which in truth startled Radi. He had never felt his face heat up before since the only contact he had with mortals was when they were on their death bed. Willa looked to her master and pecked his head giving him a glair that told him to get his act together. Clearing his throat Radi gave another bow as he jumped back up to the window.

"I will always be close by if you ever need someone to talk to or if you ever feel yourself in danger. You can count on that."

Ellie gave a nod her soft smile still on her pale lips making Radi blush even more profusely before jumping up and disappearing in the air like smoke in the night.