CHAPTER 2: DARK HORSE TITLED UNDERDOG

YEAR: 630 (THE LIGHT-BRINGER); MONTH: CANICUS; DAY: 48;

TIME: 31|36m

1:1-51"Greatness is not, nor has ever, existed in one place. 2It is not something that only a select few can experience, but something that resides in and of everything and not simply in a 'special' person. 3No, greatness is in anyone looking for it… 4But even greatness dwindles… 5All things must come to an end, and the such is called 'peaking' which follows the gravitational law of 'what goes up must come down'."

1:6 6"Alright then, if that's the case, then pray tell as to how do we preserve our own immortality?"

1:7-13 7"…Immortality? 8Are you jacking me? 9No one should live as 'gods', nor deem themselves greater than any other creature; you élites should consider that. 10It has upset the entire delicate balance of things. 11If you ask me: Certain 'things' should fade away, so there would be room for other 'things' to come. 12All the same, you should carve your name on hearts, not stone. 13…I blame your damn avarice."

1:14-15 14"Oh, me. What's dead is dead, so leave it buried. 15Please, for our sakes, don't go digging up old bones."

1:16-18 16"Really? 17Did you have to go there? 18Tch…like you're one to twaddle."

1:19 19The girl's eyes bore into her ally, her mien unreservedly deadpanned.

1:20 20There were many words to describe Kaguya Takeuchi, but "exultant" was not one of them.

1:21-23 21She was an old solemn, forlorn soul whose tenets and dreams had all been ruthlessly decimated, and subdued by not merely those of her peanut gallery but likewise by those dearest to her. 22She bore the all too wonted tokens of how cruel the dwellers in EREBOSA were and could be, evermore fractured by her own personal trials. 23She was not a stranger to both hurt and incubi.

1:24-27 24Yet, her passions sustained for having been swayed by the cruelty of every kind since she was a child, and which positions often left her teetering on the fence. 25She saw what others might not see, or what negators refused to recognize and confront; not that they could, what with their heads in the ground. 26She was a fair one, a peculiar who lived by a code of honor, though oftentimes an alleged "self-righteous diehard" as the upshot of her conduct. 27She sought to perceive the greater good in every being, nonetheless, but as this delicate "saint" had bloomed such an undertaking had became all the more unviable.

1:28-30 28They breathed upon her neck about how she was always being such an insufferable drama queen; that she was being way too susceptible and that she was bearing everything way too momentously. 29Thrice as undermining, they would frequently expose her shortcomings and omissions, and all before they vied with her on how she had better "live and let live" and let the rheostats conduct everything. 30Forthrightly: They—this insurgent's 'mates—advocated unto her to "get with the program" and had been ministering the cultivation of the smoldering dark horse below without a lick of forethought…

1:31 31…Perhaps they were all genuine when they conveyed their upsets, but she could not be weeded, or swayed by their winds to heed and balk, from who she was.

1:32-33 32Unlike the scores of degenerates, she was powerless to turn her back on EREBOSA so effortlessly. 33She could not tear away from another's undergoing as though naught was transpiring; much less succeed to pull away from her own fiery depths.

1:34-37 34In that dementia wrought world, dissent was everywhere yet lain hidden beneath the spoils and wonders. 35The brightest stars had plummeted down from paradise, their golden dust disbursed by the feculent dioceses who had long since clipped away the wings of innocence by having crucified man's brevity. 36No ersatz light could ever manage to vanquish away the strangling cloak, the sordid violence that plagued the persecuted. 37Amidst the wanton bloodshed, suffering persisted on behalf of one and all's perpetuity; reeling in the toxicity, all had became sick to the back teeth via poisoning one another.

1:38-40 38She could not feign when she knew that the circumstances were all too real to. 39She would not bow and she would certainly not yield to the disquieting silence. 40No matter what her qualms were, she was dogged on subjugating them in order to set the gears right…

1:41 41You see: Kaguya was an overall "determinator" and an altruist, just as she had opted to be aside from how she lived by the sword.

1:42-43 42Lamentably, her associates behaved as though they were chagrinned of her. 43This pragmatist was branded "The White Knight" by her comrades in arms for having such a goody two-shoes methodology; all ofwhich nominated her as being "Miss Nice-Guy" yet also a chauvinist against demons.

1:44 44Except she wanted more than to play "sidekick" to "the appointed one", indeed, she desired her path to totality to take metamorphose.

1:45-46 45Overtly, she was often made a mockery of for being too forbearing and too sympathetic with her opponents; whilst her nemeses jeered and relegated her as "the angel of mercy". 46She was wedged within the jaws of their anointed redeemer, chewed up by hypocrites, hanged and speared in the ribs by those bogies who preyed upon her.

1:47-48 47"In my defense, I forgot about…" 48The man who sat across from her did not possess the forte to conclude his statement.

1:49-51 49As they sat there upon that gallery in "The Desiree" off Leipzig Avenue, streaks of tepid colors pirouetted and blossomed about their table throughout their tête-à-tête whereas they both gingerly sipped upon tea. 50The piquant, stippled floor appeared as sleek as glass. 51The upper balcony itself was girded by iron bannisters and of which the balustrades impersonated butterflies amidst flame.

1:52-55 52Her pale complexion shone in the backdrop of lapis lazuli, her wild ginger locks framed her heart-shaped face and furrowed down past her shoulders, and all whilst peering at him through deep-set eyes with absolute obsidian orbs that gave an impression so hauntingly deep it seemed one could very well drown within them. 53Her regard was penetrating, demonizing, and so profoundly captivating yet troubling. 54Her features were sharp yet ironed; her chin and cheekbones prominent. 55Her about average peripheries rimmed a pretty generous gate and of which possessed a relatively boyish, Pan-like charm whenever she beamed or flashed her jagged incisors…

1:56-58 56…More's the pity, her smiles had became more desolate and far lean as times had passed on; and without so much as a wave back in return. 57She was not stingy, just ever so mawkish and missing within the world she was begotten into. 58That star used to be the brightest years back, but her vivaciousness had faded though ever so slowly.

1:59-60 59Being notably tall for her gender, she did not possess dainty appendages; her substantial hands and feet accommodated her long limbs and height. 60Yet despite her stature, she was not at all wiry but muscular and was considered voluptuous in form—what with her proportionate hourglass figure, her full thighs and baby doll legs.

1:61-63 61As for apparels, she never wore anything too extravagant or cliché since she preferred comfort over making impressions. 62Her standard get up consisted of a loose shirt, a matching hoodie, a pair of pants or tights, and a pair of hobnailed combat boots. 63She favored white over any other hue and wore it in abundance.

1:64-65 64"Yeah, whatever… 65My brother reminds me every day just about." She replied promptly, steadfast on bringing an end to the matter.

1:66-67 66Kiriyama puckered his brow, having caught wind of her agitation and mistook it for hostility rather than what it essentially was. 67He focused his medium-brown eyes upon her softly.

1:68-70 68Somnolent eyelids bordered those downturned peepers upon that almost oval-cut visage of his. 69His brown hair was commonly short and wispy, his rind a fair mulatto, and his chin moderately weak. 70She and he were about the same altitude, though his physique was literally svelte and his attire tailor-made.

1:71 71"It's a shame…" He uttered in a somber tone.

1:72-74 72A beat passed as he sat there in reserve, his gaze fixated on the rubicund concoction in his porcelain cup. 73His fingertips listlessly cracked against the table, the contact muted by the delicate, vintage overlay. 74After a moment had passed, he lifted his courtesy and placed it where it should be and attempted to get back onto the real issue at hand.

1:75-76 75"But honestly," Kiriyama commenced, who adjusted his posture. 76"You shouldn't be moping about your days about what is or what could have been…and if it bothers you THAT MUCH you should forfeit." He opined, and in silence he prayed that she would consider his counsel.

1:77-78 77"I'm not leaving the force." 78Kaguya defied him, moving over that mulligan.

1:79-80 79Her eyes then drifted aimlessly about the scope, even peering beyond the iron balustrades of the upper tier to the lively variety below them whilst her hands were mangling the napkin on her lap. 80With a blink, she narrowed her eyes at him, stark and gauging; like a perfect tempest that was strengthening in the far horizon.

1:81 81"I just get sick of being excluded from the missions on behalf of everyone's rationality of me being the weaker member on our team and just because I lack some magnificent power-up." She expressed through clenched teeth, her composed utterances barbed with Spartan fervidity.

1:82-85 82Kiriyama became rubbernecked, flabbergasted by her thwarting comeback. 83"I wish I could help you with that one, Kaguya," He spoke once he got over the initial shock. 84"But you're simply a volunteer rather than an operative. 85Besides, you have…forgive me for saying this…became a consummate liability."

1:86-87 86"…Because I'm human, isn't it?" The girl voiced in a dull, stale manner. 87"How like you to throw me under the bus."

1:88 88Her head tilted slightly downward as her shoulders became heavy, and a haze had crept its way into her firm stare.

1:89-90 89The lights around them flickered hysterically for about a minute or two; which seized the sentience of the crowd, who assumed either the power was surging or about to crash. 90Kiriyama fathomed up and about in confusion, too, oblivious as to why the luminosities were faltering.

1:91-93 91All the more listless, as though she had grown weary from speaking, Kaguya added; "You know me, Kiriyama…or at least I thought you did. 92Either way, I worked just as hard as he did to get this far, in fact, all the more diligently. 93Just because I'm not some sort of daemon, apparition, fay, elemental, half-blood, or a full-fledged idol doesn't mean I can't stand my ground and pick up my own slack."

1:94-95 94Kiriyama had fallen into a painful taciturnity once again as he shifted awkwardly in his chair whereas he cogitated over what he was to say. 95"…Ever thought that maybe he's only trying to protect you?"

1:96-98 96Kaguya persisted to only sit there and resemble a wilted flower. 97Her ascertained rejection haloed about her alike a noose tied to the gallows, and on the grounds of not at all believing a single word she had obtained from him. 98She could sense everyone, everyone she had ever known, spurn her and for reasons that were unwarrantable.

1:99 99The divinity pressed on and, when doing so, underscored his words to make his point clear to her.

1:100-106 100"Stop being so damn selfish…" 101He then began to berate her, but in a way as though he was belittling a despotic brat. 102"Think about how you would be if you were in his shoes. 103…And let's not forget what happened to you that one time. 104He might have not showed it, but—dammit, Kaguya, I bet it terrified him. 105You know, it's not every day when someone is taken hostage by one of the most dangerous beings in all current history—HIM of all people—a sadistic psycho bent on turning our world upside-down and throw it into utter pandemonium. 106For pity's sake, your brother lost an eye because of that monster—!"

1:107-108 107Exacerbated, Kaguya slammed her palms against their table, the riveting effect having snatched him unwary afore she erected. 108"AND YOU HONESTLY THINK THAT I'M OKAY WITH THAT?" She squawked with such rampant vehemence that her hoarse voice resonated off the walls.

1:109-110 109The harmony came to a crashing halt and the entire brasserie had descended into silence. 110The space itself seemed to spin as everyone from all around aimed their immediate attention to their situation.

1:111-112 111Still hunched over the girl juddered unusually before him, and of which shook the very table quite unpleasantly. 112Her fingers dragged at the covering, creasing the intricate fabric as she waged war within herself and strained to hold her bulwarks against their insidious voices that tore at her.

1:113-122 113"…There's not a day that goes by that I'm okay with myself…" 114Kaguya's notes burbled their way out through that hideous grimace which had torn itself free beneath her flared nostrils. 115She had begun her slow descend, nearly collapsing onto the surface; her squirreled angst attuned to a traumatized cava decanter apropos to an eruption. 116"I'll never forgive myself for what happened to my brother. 117Never. 118Never." 119Her bottom lip quivered. 120"Never. 121Not even after all this time… 122Never…"

1:123-124 123Thump… 124Thump…

1:125 125She had broken into a state of fits, and bemoaned as her shoulders flounced and her chest heaved.

1:126-127 126Dreading as to where this was going, a perturbed yet mortified Kiriyama-Dao stood up from his seat. 127He was never kind when providing any formula for emotional support.

1:128-130 128"…Excuse me…" 129He shifted about on his feet at first and then turned his back to her. 130"But I have to go on account that I have somewhere else to be…soon…immediately."

1:131 131He indivertibly failed to pull a Houdini: Kiriyama shrank away from the scene as viably normal as he could manage to, but then took off flying when he believed he had reached a reasonable distance.


DARK HORSE TITLED UNDERDOG: II

YEAR: 630 (THE LIGHT-BRINGER); MONTH: CANICUS; DAY: 48;

TIME: 44|15m

2:1-3 1YUUDAI CADMUS HARUSUKE was perhaps one of the most celebrated half-bloods on their side of the quadrant; what with his expertise in counterassaults, likewise his triumphs over foes, and having been recognized as the greatest dick that had ever assisted parliament. 2He had extemporaneously transformed the entire civic system by having initiated all demons alike into high society, contravening all byelaws that had been established on partisanship. 3He was respected as a PR tactician subsequently and was considered an advocate for all who sought after reconciliation.

2:4-5 4Before it was all underway, a fourteen year old Yuudai had been blackmailed by THE ATTORNEY GENERAL of The Helix Edict who had later became the LORD ADVOCATE OF "THE NETHERWORLD"; otherwise he would have declined his obligation. 5The Attorney General was none other than Kiriyama-Dao himself at the time when he was merely but a prince, who—alongside with the other divinities—oversaw the relationship between the unknown and the well-known…

2:6-8 6…Indeed, there was "the paranormal" side of the spectrum, but there was also "the otherworldly"; or more specifically, beings that were apparitions barred in correlation with the departed from the other erstwhile eternities. 7THE HELIX EDICT represented three core components: The Natural [matter (energy)], the Paranormal [the hidden], and the Transcendent [powers that be]; along with their correlations and effects on a more comprehensive facet. 8Composed all three fundamentals entailed a manifold of dimensions in conjunction with a myriad of dominions, still leave be a "wide load" of undertones…

2:9-10 9…Understood to be "The Chosen"—a cumbersome destiny {I'm sure}, Yuudai was employed by "the gods" yet was facilitated primarily by four characters; though, in regards to the concluding, the figure had increased substantially over the years due to his accrued prominence. 10Two of his teammates were fearsome "demons" [non-familiars], whilst one was principally a courier yet "faerie" [sprite (fay)], and the other a lowly human.

2:11-15 11Now this "Chosen One" was rumored to possess the fighting deftness comparable to "The Devil" himself; but that went without saying about how no one knew "karma beasts" [fates (moirai)] personally, so those contentions were empty dues based on central beliefs. 12Notwithstanding to the aforementioned, he sure knew how to milk a fight for all it was worth before the BIG finish. 13Contrariwise to his repute, this titleholder was by no means a "killer"; albeit he had been termed per se by the loose-lipped preponderances. 14He earmarked no inkling of enmity concerning anyone yet he would not vacillate in presenting any mug a high-quality thrashing when called for, though oftentimes that itself was a moot assessment. 15For all intents and purposes, he did not support committing "attempted murder" and did his finest to evade mangling his adversaries brazenly; not that anyone really could attain death, but literally exist in shambles somewhere and perhaps interconnect by way of "homunculi"—i.e., automation or synthetic bodies—provided IF they could afford to do so.

2:16-20 16Though he was considered brilliant via mono-e-mono, the same could not be said for smarts or savvies in overall. 17Predominantly, the negative traits of his persona regularly intervened and prevailed over the positive. 18He was pigheaded, cocky, loutish, careless yet self-seeking. 19O' and though not a chauvinist, he was definitely not gallant either and, yet, your standard cad. 20Pay heed, worms: Yuudai was not a heartless yanker, but a yanker even so.

2:21 21In summary, he was all that moguls prized and, yet, he was shooting the same bile down those niggardly holes of "the wicked".

2:22 22Dead Time had commenced a quarter o'er five hours back.

2:23-25 23The rococo cavalcade had finished roughly three hours ago, having reached its full completion with a round of picturesque displays of pyrotechnics that shimmered down from the faux firmaments; like capered flickers of light which were analogous to the painted embers of blitzed pixies. 24The golden megalopolis burned an insipid indigo throughout those "nightly" hours. 25The roaches had simmered back into their filth, the figures having substantially deserted the streets to return to their customary functions of slog, frivolities, and stupefying feats of decadence.

2:26-27 26Cream of the crop and friend to one and all, together with the liggers, Yuudai encircled himself with an interminable amount of spoils and advocates. 27With him being "the toast of the town", anyone who was anyone was there in the midst of that tumultuous masquerade and all for the sake of basking in the magnificence of their aberrant—aka their "beloved protagonist".

2:28 28Cavorting hither and thither, the detective pitched amateur salutes to those insects whom he lapsed by in his capacious hole.

2:29-31 29The once ghetto nosh now dwelled in the premier high-rise that he had obtained with a beefy sum of credits. 30He now breathed "The Life" and per diem promenaded through Shangri-La, an alternative to a chronic veracity in the purlieu that which he had departed from. 31He no longer concerned himself amid the mundane, much less fret about simple survival.

2:32 32Every tick was sunshine for the superstar.

2:33-38 33His pithy brunet mane stood up on end, expressly spiking off into every direction upon the frontiers of his scalp; his hairs resembling bristles on a shallow brush. 34His complexion was a watered down ocher, his height was about average if not a bit stunted, and his fleshy hands and feet extended from a reedy yet brawny physique. 35Yuudai had prominent, broad eyes with opulent orbs alike warm puddles of chocolate. 36An aspect lionized yet envied by "womankind", he possessed the thick, long eyelashes that many regularly pined. 37He was not the utmost masculine of chimps, dear wormfolk; distinctly he had the comparatively ingenuous features of an exemplar rather than that of your common roué. 38He had an iconic nub and unsubtle brinks upon an unripen countenance.

2:39 39Bells and whistles throbbed against his great auricles and washed against the barrels with electric whines.

2:40-41 40A contemporary descant boomed through the mood like plodding hitches, the whirring echoes pogoed about vivaciously on obscenities and cadences. 41The flowered tunes shredded were synthetic and mechanized yet unlike industrial, and the guitar uncontrived.

2:42-44 42Warm splashes of light raved upon a balance of ecru, rich maple, and silver, spatters of gold and pale hue swam against every surface within his chamber. 43The fittings were a shade of sage framed in that glorious "wood", the fabric littered with ivory embroidery. 44Obvious to the amateur eye, his abode suffered from a fickle woman's touch.

2:45 45A delicate wallflower stayed to the sidelines, replenishing flutes and distributing canapés to their companies.

2:46 46"Megumi…" One of their guests greeted her by name.

2:47-49 47Her mahogany swathes were splayed with yellow resin and would dust her coat hangers just a smidgeon whenever she stirred her bean upon her stalk. 48She maintained a petite figure on legs, her curves mildly sweet and all of which complimented her brown honey eyes; she was quite the catch. 49She had adorned a baby blue slip that drifted about her knees and was veined with timid birds of paradise, her lanky pegs bare and feet sheathed in latex within dress matching slippers.

2:50 50"Oh, Kiriyama…" She addressed in return.

2:51-52 51Kiriyama strode his way over to her. 52"…Have you seen Yuudai around anywhere?"

2:53-54 Megumi glowered at the question. 54"…How would I know where my fiancé is, after all, since he's the one who left me to handle everything and in between?"

2:55 55The male deity cringed at her sharp tone, her assertion subtle yet lethal.

2:56-58 56That was when Dorian materialized out of thin air, or so it appeared. 57He burrowed his dark, daunting gaze into the two. 58His long sable ribbons flowed beyond his shoulder blades, framing his angular features quite suitably.

2:59-60 59"Well, you're certainly dressed for the occasion." 60Kiriyama observed the man's garb.

2:61 61Unlike the rest of the aspiring sprats, Dorian was cladded in white formal attire while his collar was noosed by a startling wine tie combined with an ebony vest and mutual grosgrains, lapel facings, trouser braids, and cummerbund.

2:62-64 62Dorian quirked the right corner of his door before a grievous aura fared to slip through. 63"Remember, Kiriyama-Dao, always go out in style… 64I would think you, now god of the modern underworld, would know better."

2:65 65Mortified by the aid's snide remark, Kiriyama salved himself, for there upon the brow was an unseen contusion…right upon his ego.

2:66-67 66"Intimidating you is such an effortless endeavor." Dorian quipped for good measure. 67"Consider yourself fortunate that you're not the target in mind…for the moment."

2:68-69 68Kiriyama fidgeted with the pleats on his suit. 69"Oh, ha ha very funny." He banally clipped prior to having thrown the male a purpled glimpse.

2:70-71 70Dorian seemed fair-minded, his observance already on other things. 71"…Where is Miss Takeuchi?" He asked, yet his tone implied that his inquiry was more of a prescribed obligation than any.

2:72-73 72The divinity was flummoxed by his request. 73He faltered his return; "How should I know?"

2:74-76 74Dorian grunted. 75"Well, I haven't seen her throughout this entire fiasco." 76When having seen their puzzled expressions, he explained as he rolled his wrist; "…The ambience is absolutely ghastly."

2:77-78 77"Maybe this taste of music frightened her away…" Kiriyama razzed with a horselaugh. 78"…Or mayhap the lack of grunge and raucous guitars thus far?"

2:79-80 79"Or perhaps her jaundice eye is at play?" Dorian careened in exchanged. 80"Aren't mousers far better than these pampered poodles?"

2:81 81Kiriyama scoffed and then added laconically; "So sayeth the Metal Head."

2:82-85 82Megumi pulled a face. 83"…Isn't it obvious? 84He didn't invite her…his own best friend." She inculpated, and those words clouted their acumens. 85"She didn't make the list."

2:86 86Their hostess revolved and peeled away, and thenceforth clunked her course to and fro from the bar all through the remainder of the shindig.

2:87-88 87The two noblemen stood there like two cattails rooted in a quagmire. 88They regarded each other virtually in an awkward condition.

2:89-90 89"My lord, I found Yuudai. 90He's out on the terrace." Another aid informed Kiriyama, the sprite who was his special envoy.

2:91-96 91The prince looked to the faerie, her rosy orbs indistinct in the surrounding light. 92Her toffee complexion highlighted her lengthy pink-lace tendrils, though the boarders were sculpted into feathered threads and likewise defined her smooth structures. 93Her observable scopes were encompassed by glitzy dust, lids underscored with dark liner, and her ample eyelashes painted with hot pink mascara. 94She wore her usual pewter hued habiliment, along with the married rosy tights and sash, and silver slippers fitted over flushed socks. 95The tunic itself was tri-layered which contained net over kinder fabric topped by sophisticated filigree, granting the ruched wrappers hung off her bears whilst the rest hugged against her treasury. 96The fay's figure was not quite parallel to Megumi's since she was only a tittle robust in divergence; especially in those stems of hers.

2:97 97"Thank you, Shierelle." Kiriyama bid his gratitude and took off toward that said point.

2:98-100 98He weaved through the writhing masses. 99Inane to say, he pressed his way through, ignoring the reprehensible stares he received for his presence alone. 100While he endured such incursions from the litter, he failed to notice the two demons, Takeshi and Akihiko, who watched from the wake.

2:101 101Takeshi grunted.


DARK HORSE TITLED UNDERDOG: III

YEAR: 630 (THE LIGHT-BRINGER); MONTH: CANICUS; DAY: 48;

TIME: 44|15m

3:1 1Elsewhere with "the bum"…

3:2 2Nigh hitherto the crescendo and evermore eyeless of the oubliette metaphorically below her ends, her extensions fettered, her faculties knocked for six and deaf eared to the rattling in the ossuary.

3:3-4 3"I choose death over dishonor…" Kaguya disclosed to her posse, otherwise known as "her dubbed squires" who had stayed ever true. 4"I'd rather die—any day—than to live down on my knees before that punk-assed ijit."

3:5-7 5Auden, Bonamy, and Wyndell bowed their heads in reaction. 6The three fellows tailed their master, leader of "The Devil's Own", down alongside the thoroughfare. 7Out of routine survival tactics, the band kept to the shades as transports buzzed past and soared about them.

3:8-10 8The three menfolk were lowly decent, the material threadbare yet the style was far from hackneyed. 9They were often a rough and tumbled crew, tawdry but none too kitschy, and sported a divide between martial gear and anarchy appeal. 10Kaguya had also bidden head shields to be mandatory, whether or not she wore one herself.

3:11-18 11Ranging from tallest to shortest was Wyndell, Auden, and then Bonamy. 12Bonamy was but a hair's breadth of five feet in stature though his twisted form appeared dumpier due to scoliosis, his cranium was slightly larger than ordinary and his shins and ankles set by crude fixes in an attempt to defy that she-devil called "rickets". 13Auden was five feet and six inches tall and with a husky build. 14Wyndell was five feet eleven. 15The boys' apparent bronzed skin seemed wan. 16They were ashen by paucity, scored by brutal manifestations and, alike to all and sundry of their class, had missing and shattered ivories that were not so…ivory; all due to the poisons in the water. 17Their brown eyes were glassy, owning that infamous hollowed stare within nooks. 18Generally their coarse hair was ratty and teeming with green imps, so on occasion they washed with distilled vinegar and later applied homespun mayonnaise to their scalps to control the infestation.

3:19-21 19The three of those lads used to be just so gaunt, that is, before Kaguya had taken them in under her able wing. 20To boot, Kaguya had the benefit of her brother who—out of tough yet often glib love—would push the gal into ameliorating herself; especially in the face of her own foolhardy perceptions. 21The girl lacked common sense, or at least she seemed to; especially when she puts virtue over her own wellbeing.

3:22 22Outside of man's own vagine, beyond the cupolas world, IF you were to endure it was essential to be part of a "safety" knot; be it was or not of a tightknit clan.

3:23-25 23The boys' ears attended to their leader's scuffle with morale, the dame oscillating between "gatecrashing" and "upholding moral responsibility". 24Why, the racket of such was like nails on a chalkboard; that is, the experience was completely unbearable. 25They should have stayed home or hid away in a grubby hole somewhere, for anything was better than dealing with the downhearted. 26Needless to say, the chaps regretted ever having tagged behind such a downer and her load of bricks.

3:27-28 27"Remember when I said how I thought everyone was smokin' blow, injecting smack, and cracking rock?" She posed periphrastically as they traipsed through the refuse forsook by the parade's spectators. 28Her gaze was a tad duller, hazy rather than their usual gleam.

3:29-35 29"Hell, every last one of those damn conspirators is barking." She continued. 30"They've all bloody lost their ever living minds; fame has twisted them over into the sad, diluted existence of the has-been… 31And all for what? 32Decadence?" 33She looked back at the trio. 34"Is it just me, when I say that something is wrong with this world? 35And since when was corruption believed moral?"

3:36 36The boys uttered not a single syllable, for they were unable to respond in lieu of how they lacked a general understanding as to what she was howling on about in her moment of discourse.

3:37-44 37Kaguya turned around and proceeded to conduct. 38"Now everyone's slurping spheroids but me, but I don't envy them for that. 39Not one bit." She emitted, and just before she had begun to express her failed expectations. 40"I tried being pleasant. 41I tried being more appropriate in my bearings. 42Shoot, I tried to keep it on an even keel, been biting my tongue and dodging silver bullets. 43I trudged through inferno and steep, chocolate creeks for these wankers and in the midst of the mêlée I even plucked myself right back up onto my feet while everyone else was too busy jacking bones to even lend a freaking pinky. 44Exonerate my raving, but it seems these elitist cards are hard to please and I've had it up to the eyeballs with their wasted vitriol."

3:45-46 45"Then you should balk while you're at it before you get ahead of yourself." 46A deep voice had resonated through that proximity of EREBOSA and, moreover, the atmosphere about them had became dense and suffocating for the coughing lost boys.

3:47 47Kaguya had frozen there in place when she heard that voice, a voice which she silently swore that it had to have come "from nowhere".

3:48-50 48"You're not from their world," The voice continued as the dark presence persisted. 49"So you best quit representing and keep your ass from those clouds. 50Away from the little piggies and leave it to the big bad wolf to tend to his field."

3:51-52 51Kaguya grunted when she, at last, had turned and seen him standing there. 52She fixed her steamy regard upon the figure in reserve.

3:53-54 53The three boys muttered curses beneath their breaths, noting amongst themselves about "the types" their leader had {and has} been attracting over the past two years. 54Even so, Auden was the one who noticed something inexplicable and eerie about her doppelgänger.

3:55-56 55By having long since read his energy signals with her internal ear, Kaguya had estimated that this stalker—her "second shadow"—was a "demon" entity who perhaps had the power of metamorphosis; pretty much the capacity to "shape shift" or reconfigure his molecules at will. 56She used the term "demon" loosely those days, due to her own accumulating confusion.

3:57-62 57From glimpses she had captured of the "demon", she had guesstimated that the entity was right around seven and a half feet in height, whose skin possessed a dark honey complexion. 58His ebony hair was darker than the blackest void; no light seemed to reflect off a single strand. 59He had secular eyes which crazed such a distinctive shape, those deep-set oculars skewed inward toward his nose, brims defined, framed in black and tattooed with smudge. 60Those rounds of his gaze, including the very pupils themselves, were also a salient blood and shone like a pair of red hot lorry lighters. 61A long angular face, pointy yet malleable lugs, high cheekbones, a long thin nose, and a dominant chin, his bended eyebrows had a certain thickness of "not too thick yet not too thin"; the brows broadened a bit as they curved to a point and then became burly as they fringed out upon the ridges. 62He had reptilian brinks to accommodate his large maw.

3:63-72 63The "demon" had a lanky gait. 64His long neck projected from his broad shoulders, his head held in an overshadowed fashion, and from his sturdy shoulders extended his long arms, a long torso and—from there—stretched his long, prevailing legs. 65He had large, durable hands with distinguished "piano fingers", crowned with sharp nails near the end of his digits. 66His torso formed into the familiar shape of a "V" and, yet, matched the "serpentine archetype" of body formation grounded by the contours of his spine. 67He had a sinuous physique. 68His torso was thin however wide, alike the frame seen of a cobra, as his oblique and lateral muscles tapered to a typically more narrowed waist. 69From a profile: His posture formed a gentle S-curve as his neck stretched slightly forward above squared, italic shoulders with blades that jutted out dramatically whilst his spine was strong yet supple, and each of his muscles rippled prominently. 70He was lean and muscular, built to kill, but he was not excessively strapping to the point of hulking. 71With his torso being rather elongated, his lower stomach stretched endlessly toward an outward projecting pelvis, and he was bendy kneed for he centered his weight of the balls of his feet. 72He had large though long and thin feet, which corresponded nicely with the rest of him.

3:73-74 73"'E's righ';" Bonamy spoke up suddenly, wrangling with his dumb tongue as his body juddered and teeth knocked. 74"We're aw fraum a' boo'ies a' we 'ave 'o busi'ess bei'ere."

3:75-77 75Wyndell espoused their friend's words. 76"We're the undesirables." He added. 77"The legit misfits they jeer at, including the very mention of."

3:78-80 78"Sir, we're numbers rather than people." Auden petitioned in gravity. 79"Hell, we're hardly that as it is! 80We should all go back to Sunufville and forget we ever tried."

3:81-85 81Kaguya gritted her teeth and was on defense, her incisors glinted. 82"Tch. 83Say that to the fat lipped son-ova-bitch that left us here to wallow." She snarled. 84"There's no honor amongst thieves. 85The only reason why the pigs incorporated demons into their schemes is because the two breeds are so much alike—ass greasing, belligerent, portentous crybabies."

3:86-89 86"And it's clear, Takeuchi, we're not welcomed here." Auden counteracted to her mulishness. 87"We're suckers to ever dream we'd measure up to these knockers and try to change things, much less bathe in those cracks' shadows…" 88He stood his ground, meaning no disrespect. 89"But I'm here to back you up every step of the way, even though it goes against my common sense to."

3:90-91 90Kaguya shifted her eyes, a vague quiet occurred between the five. 91"The industry isn't the issue, it's their greed…" She slurred.

3:92-96 92"Ah, such creatures after my own heart…" Her agitator taunted. 93"This boy you speak of, he is as useless as nipples on a boar." 94After having claimed that, he was rewarded with a glare from her. 95"You're all enslaved to the government; you don't even own yourselves much less anything else… 96How sad it is that you're all even now delusional as you have been."

3:97 97Taken aback by his latter statement, she turned a bemused eye to his way.

3:98-99 98Bonamy continued to tussle with his own impediments, failing to transmit a reply. 99Auden placed a bolstering hand upon the lad's shoulder.

3:100-101 100"Criminy, that's daffy." Wyndell uttered. 101"The bloody government hardly does anyone a favor, much less shies our way."

3:102-107 102A gruesome leer ripped its way across the nuisance's countenance. 103"Silly human, that's because they OWN you." He sneered. 104"You don't owe favors to your possessions; rather it's the other way around. 105You know nothing about government. 106Why else are screaming babes assigned a number before they are given permission to suckle upon their mother's teet? 107Simply because it's trendy?"

3:108-109 108"Fancy that, a clever demon." Kaguya fired back at him. 109"And I presume that you know all there is to government, eh?"

3:110 110"Yes." He hissed and then loomed in on her, deliberately violating her personal space.

3:111 111Kaguya abided, snubbing the urge to reel back despite feeling overwhelmed by his aura.

3:112-115 112"Twisted and warped by fear," He continued as his eyes washed over her form. 113"People do terrible things when they are afraid. 114And I am NOT a demon. 115I am no more a demon than you are a human, girl."

3:116 116His tidings dumbfounded her.

3:117-120 117"Listen to yourself, that doesn't make any lick of sense!" Kaguya reacted with such passion, her own words having spurted forth. 118"And what's with the emphasis of my gender? 119Are you sexist?" 120She heaved him backwards.

3:121-122 121The man confidently landed on his heels. 122"Are you racist?"

3:123 123Sick and tired of receiving such accusations, Kaguya thundered; "NO!"

3:124-129 124"It's okay to be, if there is a valid reason." 125He seemed sincere, his eyes locked with her own. 126"Indeed, there usually is. 127Such aversion needs to be dealt with rather than suppressed. 128One's repugnance to any subject is a matter needing to be addressed, like a wound, rather than simply an unpleasant sensation. 129No need to lie, little Shinimi."

3:130-132 130Kaguya became bristled when having heard that name, much less having had witnessed its formation from between his lips. 131It was a disturbing little "pet name" that others had bestowed upon her, one which ponged with such rot and disgusted the senses. 132Easy to understand, really, considering that the meaning of the name "Shinimi" was "death", and she was entitled as such for reasons she could not remember or refused to evoke.

3:133 133"I'm not jacking anyone's bone, but you're about to feel it in your g'nads, Mephis de Pheles!" She threatened, full of bellicose as she shook her fist at him.

3:134-136 134"Such vulgarities emerging from a pretty mouth…" Mephis goaded her on end. 135"You're the one who's being testy…" 136He flashed his sharp teeth.

3:137-138 137Mortified, the hot-blooded girl screamed before them. 138Afterward, she gripped and pulled at her hair by the roots, which was prior to her having generated such a profound ruckus that her eccentric, abstract airs were beyond excruciating.

3:139-141 139Her gauche homeboys resembled stone since they were too anxious to step in and, for whatever reason that seemed valid enough, pretended as though they had phased out of the picture. 140One thing was for sure: They could not tell whether she was overreacting or that she had, eventually, been overtaken by her own rearing insanity. 141Not so new to them, contrariwise, her deplorable behavior was intentional though irrational; like a bully who stole gum from another's pocket and placed a chewed wad into some poor girl's hair but, when asked, was unable to discern a motive as to why he did so.

3:142-143 142In sin, Mephis snarled a depraved snicker. 143"This is all merely an experiment."

3:144-146 144The sensitive froze and blinked at him peculiarly. 145"Take your experimenting bong elsewhere, magick man!" 146She pointed off toward any and in all directions, including both upward and downward in a random approach.

3:147-148 147In all conscience, their argument had transformed into just one BIG put-on and if any onlookers had not caught on, then they were eyeless… 148Naturally, Kaguya's party remained ill-informed.

3:149-150 149Mephis did the inconceivable, at least in their eyes. 150"You know I am, mama." He crooned with a dusky quality, the words having rolled thickly off his tongue.

3:151-152 151"Man, this is sick…and not in a good way." Auden remarked. 152"I think I'm about to honk."

3:153 153"Stone the swaggers, is he finally wheeling her in?" Wyndell mouthed.

3:154 154Bonamy's had grown three sizes that night, his mouth hidden by his bandanna.

3:155-156 155Auden grimaced. 156"Shut the front door, what about Yukio?" He mimed in exchange, having recalled what their leader had spoken lately.

3:157-158 157Wyndell vividly shrugged and continued to spot Mephis and their leader rowing.

3:159-161 159"She only behaves this way around HIM." 160Auden jabbed a thumb toward the whereabouts that was Mephis. 161"None of that hopeless yakking, arse over teakettle tension and tactless malarkey—the ol' sixes and sevens—she pulls with—"

3:162-164 162Mephis drew his attention to their audience, aware of the boys' curiosity regarding Kaguya's and his deranged banter. 163"Devil's Own, eh? 164More like Lost Boys or The Misfits."

3:165 165Those chumps exclaimed in union; "Hey!"

3:166 166"Are you now calling out my men, Mephis?" Kaguya raised in a cautionary accent.

3:167-168 167Mephis snorted as his eyes glinted behind those circular, yellow stained shades. 168"Can I help it that your boys are tragic?"

3:169-170 169Kaguya narrowed her eyes at him as her head made a slight incline downward. 170"Come again?"

3:171 171The man's jaw became crooked, a condescending sneer slithered upward as his left fang overshadowed the lower lip in a wolfish sort.

3:172-174 172Kaguya scowled and then straightened her hunched posture. 173"You wanker! 174Do you always have to bully everyone?"

3:175 175Auden and the other boys were about to add their own two cents in when—

3:176-177 176Mephis heaved skyward a guffaw of diabolical proportions. 177"Do you always have to be so serious?"

3:178 178The trio was dangling.

3:179-180 179Having noticed, Kaguya turned her attention to the lads. 180"Keep your peckers up, we're only gallivanting."

3:181-182 181Mephis injected his hands into his pants' pockets, his black trench coat having whooshed back when he did so. 182"So, I overheard that you're fed-up with Sir Nark the Laughing Puss."

3:183-184 183Kaguya turned her head to the side and rolled her eyes. 184With a sigh she propped herself up against a wall, the cold sting of the barrier hardly caused a quiver.

3:185-187 185"That prat's a nesh and a duffer… 186Whilst my patience is piss poor and I'm left gagging." She divulged under her breath. 187"Gutted, I feel like a two-bit slapper left holding the baggage, snookered up in wee creek."

3:188-189 188"Then wangle." Mephis warned. 189"Drop them, or else have them torn off."

3:190-191 190Kaguya shifted her gaze, and then looked at him from the corner of her eye. 191"I'm not about to jump the gun, not this time."

3:192-193 192A beat passed. 193"Shite, I need a fix."


DARK HORSE TITLED UNDERDOG: IV

YEAR: 630 (THE LIGHT-BRINGER); MONTH: CANICUS; DAY: 48;

TIME: 44|28m

4:1 1Erstwhile with "the gods", even as everyone continued to commemorate the grandeur that was Harusuke…

4:2-6 2"I know it had been about two years ago," Kiriyama mentioned to Yuudai, who stared into the mountainous splendors beside him as he leaned casually over the rods. 3"But I need to know how you're fairing with what happened. 4He kidnapped her for a reason… 5There's no doubt in my mind that he wanted to break her, but what for? 6I'll never understand how or where—"

4:7 7Yuudai rumbled afore he interposed, his knuckles turned white.

4:8-9 8"LISTEN, this is a party." Yuudai clipped, his eyes fixed on the view. 9"Lighten up or GET THE FUCK OUT."

4:10-11 10Kiriyama was not as touched by the boorish riposte as one assumed he would be. 11The chap stood there; his jaw became lax as his eyes glassed over.

4:12 12"You're killing the mood." Yuudai gritted the words between his teeth.

4:13-14 13By that notion of the puffing salvo, rather than beg to reason with him, Kiriyama conceded. 14Despite that, however, Kiriyama was resolute in giving his final word toward the matter.

4:15-19 15"I tried to tell her, Yuudai." He fed the words somberly. 16"I tried to convince her. 17I'm sorry, but it's all out of my hands now. 18And I don't have to argue with you, so I won't. 19You're not my boss; rather it's the other way around."

4:20 20Yuudai scoffed in return as Kiriyama bowed out.

4:21-22 21Beyond the balcony, back in the drawing room, the remaining team members and closest allies observed as Kiriyama withdrew from Yuudai and the rest of the party. 22But when having perceived the remorse that swathed over Megumi's demeanor, the man gave a slight nod.

4:23-24 23"Clearly, he's forgotten his roots. 24I wish you the best of luck." He bid and then continued his way before vanishing.

4:25 25Megumi and Shierelle slowly exchanged glances, but only one tittered nervously and that was Shierelle.

4:26 26Megumi sighed; "Yuudai, you idiot."

4:27 27The rangy yet becoming Akihiko lowered softly and, as he did so, his stunning burgundy hair which defied gravity pooled before him.

4:28-29 28Takeshi responded not, seeming not to care one way or another. 29He turned his head away; his jagged white and black locks swooped up to the back of his crown.