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Secret of The Night

Chapters:   « Previous 1 ... 4 5 6 7 8 9 ... 16 Next »

Mud and Puddles

Oh, man, was I screwed. So this weird ass demon monster thing makes me fall in love with him and then goes ahead and drinks my life blood. And he's the son of the demon world. Mmhm. This s*** is my life. My 21st century life.
What the hell, God?
Sighing, I forced my legs into a bent position and put energy on my calves to support me. Crap. I was stuck. Not really stuck, more like that I didn't have enough energy to physically stand up. And so I waited.
When I was strong enough to actually bend my legs and exert enough pressure to hold up my own ass, I walked out of the alley and back to the street.
I think it's safe to say I was feeling pretty confused at the moment. Life-blood? Demon prince? Tomoro-whatever? I need answers, I thought. And I need them now. But whom could I ask? I can't just walk up to Mari and ask if he also drank blood from her. I'm pretty sure she would've told me if he had. You know, girl to girl advice about guys. Who knows stuff about him?
The old guy at the cafe. I stood up a little straighter, with a plan in mind. I walked past the stores with the white bridal dresses in the windowsill, past the ones with the Gucci handbags on display. Down Magnolia Street, and halfway down Reverend Avenue, I stopped. Looked through the glass window of the cafe I so often frequented and where I found the man/demon of my dreams/nightmares.
Pushing open the glass door, and hearing the familiar tinkle of the bell made me feel safe. I closed my eyes for a brief moment before opening them and staring at the occupants of the cafe. There he was. In the back. One person clad all in gray sitting in a 8-person table all by himself. How much free time does this guy have, to be sitting here all the time?
I walked over to his table. He looked behind me for a moment, but when I turned around, there was nothing there. When I pivoted back, he smiled at me, showing his teeth. Ok. No weirdly pointy incisors. That's good, right?
"Sit down," he invited. I sat down, directly opposite him. I was NOT getting friendly with this guy. "I'm sure you have questions for me."
Damn right I have questions. Your f*cking friend bit me and took my blood.
I bit my lip to keep from spewing curses at the man in front of me. "Yes. I do." He looked at me, and I looked back at him. "I want to know who Yoru really is. Why did he do what he did? And tell me what the hell is life-blood."
He nodded. "Fair questions." He looked around us to check if there were any eavesdroppers. None. He and I, the manager, and another old couple with their grandchild seated near the paint windows were the only people in the cafe. "Yoru is, as you probably know by now, a demon. He's not a vampire, though. Oh no."
"What's the difference," I asked.
He glared at me. Okayyy. So old graying man doesn't like to be interrupted when telling his demon story. "Vamps can only suck blood and live on that. Demons can do much more. At our prime, we can suck life-blood, which is so much more potent than all the regular filth floating around in your bloodstreams."
Hold up, old man. We?
I must have looked petrified because he answered my question without me even asking. "Yes, I'm a demon. A lesser one, though. You know how kings in the mortal world used to have eunuchs as advisors? Demons do, too. I'm Yoru's advisor. But I'm old and past my prime, so I can't do anything to you. So you can stop looking like I killed your dog now."
Oh ok. Good. That explains why he doesn't have sharp teeth. I relaxed a bit.
He took another breath, ready to continue. "Yoru is the prince of our world. The first heir to the throne of the Tomorokashi family's reign. He has special characteristics that we lesser demons do not possess. All the ruling family have this ability, but in Yoru this quality is most potent. He can take the life-blood of human mortals and add those years to his own. Basically, he stole 80 years from your life and gave it to himself. That's how he's been living so long. Also another difference between us and the vampires you mushy teenagers love to read about these days. They can live forever, but are dead. We do not live forever, but we are more alive than they are, because human blood remains in our system. If we drink once as a child, it can sustain our life to the same as a human's. If we drink more, we add a couple of years to the general 100. Life-blood, on the other hand, is unique. It adds 80 years, rather than just 3 or 4. That's how the Tomorokashis have been ruling for so long. That's why Yoru is so special."
The old man stopped and took a sip of his water, which the manager had brought over soundlessly halfway through his story. I leaned back in the wooden chair I sat in and sighed. What was I supposed to do now?
"Wait, so what do I do to get it back? Can I get my life-blood back?" I stared at the old man intensely, desperately hoping his next words would be 'yes.'
"Yes, you can." I breathed a sigh of relief and waited for him to go on. "You have to, if you want to live past 20. It's easy in theory. All you have to do is go down to the demon world, go to the Tomorokashi palace, find Yoru, and kill him."
"Oh that's awesome. So basically I have to go down to hell, find the sleaze bag that stole 80% of my life, and kill the son of a b****?" I looked at the old man, wondering how it could be so easy.
He smiled at me, no teeth this time. Suspicion crept up my spine like ivy vines stretching for the sun. I sensed a 'but.'
"Easier said than done, my friend. Yoru's our prince. We won't let him die so easily. Guess how many guards are around the palace. Guess how many guards are around his room. Guess how powerful he is. And that's assuming you make it down there alive. It's a treacherous journey. You sure you up for it?"
Like I have a choice. Dude stole my life. I kinda sorta want it back.
"Yup," I said it confidently but I felt anything but. "So how do I get to the demon world? I'm assuming there's no elevator."
"Not really. But the entrance is in this cafe. Go to the kitchen. There's a closet. Just go inside." His smile was taunting, more so than I would imagine an old man such as himself could feel.
I sneered back at him with as much contempt as I could convene in my trembling state. He smiled condescendingly at me and left the cafe, tinkling bell in his wake.
I got up and walked to the back, where the kitchen entrance was. The manager stopped me and handed me a thick burlap bag. "Here. You'll need this," I started at the sound of her voice. It was deep and manly. "Relax. I'm human. I just know what they are. They took my brother's life-blood too. The ruling king did. He went down there. He just didn't come back," her eyes cast downwards in grief.
"I'm sorry," I really didn't know what else to say. I probably wouldn't come back either.
"But I guess it's better to die trying than to just give up. Your 20th birthday is probably approaching. You have until then to find him," the lady stared up at me pitifully.
Uncomfortable with her gaze, I moved the zipper of the back and rummaged inside. 3 water bottles, 9 packets of dried fruit, 10 dried jerky bags, a flashlight, a matchbox, some rope and a bottle of some kinda perfume.
I hardly needed perfume down in the underworld, but I mean, this lady meant well, I guess. 
I zipped it closed and swung it onto my back.
"I can't fit any more in there. It'll be too heavy for you to move, then. You need your flexibility down there," Ms. Manager nodded at me. "Go."
"Thank you," I murmured, still trembling. One foot in front of the other, I walked to the closet the old man mentioned. It looked like a normal storage closet, brown wood streaked with different hues of chestnut. I put one hand on the antique silver doorknob and opened the door. It was pitch black inside. Like a hole that could suck up anything and anyone. Like it was ready to eat me and never let me go.
I turned back to look at the woman briefly. She gave me an encouraging smile, although I saw her hands. Resting by her side in clenched fists.
I guess I'm in for the vacation of a lifetime.
I took a breath, and stepped.

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