Sebastian tensed slightly, not being a very touchy person to begin with. He had to force himself to relax and let the elder do whatever it was she was doing. He felt a slight tingling sensation run up his arm while she kept hold of him. When she released him and began to talk he was actually amazed. He had no idea you could read someone like that. He looked at the contract, flexing his fingers as the tingling vanished. He wondered what all she now knew about him. The thought made him slightly uncomfortable. He had no doubt that the shifter could be killed, he had yet to find a true immortal.
He took the oppurtunity of her disapperance to look at the human sword. He did not move from his spot, but he wondered if it was the same sword he had heard stories of....
He gave the Elder his attention when she entered. He nodded as she exlained the needles- it was simple enough. Once she turned away to grab the cards he flicked the needles up into his sleeve. They now sat among the cutlery he used as a weapon.
He rose an eyebrow at the cards. He knew both his elements were considered dark on their own. His nails grew into deadly claws, which he used to slice his finger. There was no point in taking a weapon just to find out he couldn't use it. He let the blood hit the five swords first. Everyone started with the basics. Jumping to the difficult stuff, especially in magic, could mean death. He focused not just on one of his elements, but both. He did not get this strong by favoring one over the other. Both were powerful, unpredictable and dangerous. He did find the first card rather easy, but found the result interesting. He felt aggression seep from the card, and into him. He found the spirits quite agreeable as they used his power to take form. They were like him in a lot of ways. Selfish, manipulative, a need to be the best and cone out on top. No mater the cost. He found himself looking at 4 others that looked just like himself a quick test told him he could control them individually. However he could also see through their eyes. All at the same time. It was quite disorienting.
He cancled it out and moved to the other card. The challenge. He always lived a challenge, and having someone doubt him made him want to succeed more. He, again, focused on his powers as one entity, rather than two separate things. For a moment he thought he had it. He had been about to unleash it when something he could only describe a lighting flared through his whole body. The pain shattered his concentration and he released the card with a defensive hiss. He had expected pain if he failes, yes. Notbeing struck by magical lightning. He knee the basics of tarot reading, and knew that the cards could be opposits.
"What just happened?" He asked, knowing the answer. Something in the card had deemed him unworthy of sharing its power. He had always kept himself in careful check. He knew he was selfish-but could restrain himself if a situation required it. He kept absolute control over pretty much any given situation. Even his current one, which was proving a challenge, he was trying to grab the reigns.
The one thing he did not know- or perhaps refusing to acknowledge- was that he was slipping. His masters near death had shaken him more than he wpuld even admit to himself.
One of the things the older demon had seen was the duration of his masters coma. Shehad seen the crow demon being upset at first. Watched as the constant quiet ate at him, then the guilt of his failure. Then the sorrow of knowing there was nothing he could do if the boy died. The verbal apologies to the unconsious child- cuddling him and so despretly willing him to wake up. Cleaning the injury, giving the shots. Telling stories while he took care of his master. He did everything from brushing the boys hair, keeping his nails trimmed to brushing his teeth.
The complete joy he felt when Ciel opened his eyes, and the suppressed want to hug the human and not let go.
And the complete turn around where the demon buried the budding emotion- and ignored the thing he wanted most. His refusal to face his desire had cause him to become more emotionally unbalanced than normal. He had always struggled with that aspect and until he admitted that, this spirit would not accept him. Emotions were one thing that could not be controled, no matter how hard one tried.
The demon had also seen who the crow really was. Under all his demonic strength he was really just a broken man who had given up on himself, caving to what everyone had called him. Something he hid well behind his anger and bloodlust.
Every demon had a reason to accept becoming a demon. A desire, a wish to see something happen that never would in their current life. Sebastian, who had always been unusual by demonic standards, had become a demon for one of the purest of reasons. His wish had been to be guenuinly cared about. Something sebastian now would deny wholeheartly.
Sorath moved forward, reaching out in order to hold his hand between both of hers with the contract mark touching her top palm. Contract seals told quite a bit about the demon that had them if one knew how to harvest it correctly. Sorath's age gave him quite a few skills and the years had taught him many lessons, this being one of them. She remained still, looking down at their hands as she could read his information but not through the violet eyes. This mark told her many things including Sebastian's contract, the power he had and how he could use it, even the past few contracts he held. Once she had the information she needed, the demon's hand was released and she turned away from him.
The petite woman disappeared into a nearby room for a few minutes before returning with a few items. Sorath had taken down his fare share of shape shifters and knew well how to destroy them. [+purple "The creature you had taken on is old, a bit older than yourself,"] she explained while setting the items down on the empty chair. [+purple "I imagine it had fought in the war and managed to escape judgement. Still, it can be defeated just as most things can."]
She reached down, picking up a set of acupuncture needles and set them in Sebastian's hand. [+purple "Go for the eyes, it's their most important attribute. These have been crafted to do the most damage. There is one more thing you'll need."]
Picking up the other item from the chair, she set it in his hand as well: a deck of tarot cards. Such seemingly simple items to defeat an age old enemy. [+purple "Only a user with enough dark and mystic energy is able to provoke the full potential of these cards. You may not be able to harness the power of all of them, especially the major arcana. They require a drop of blood in order to release the spirits within the card you wish to use."] She picked the deck up and pulled out two cards, setting them into Sebastian's hand. [+purple "Try these, a major and minor arcana. I imagine the minor, the five of swords will be easy for you. The Emperor, however, I'm not confident you can summon. Still, I'd like you to try."]
Sebastian blinked at the news, he had been cause for rumor? That was rather flattering. He strived to he the best in anything he did, due to the fact he had been kicked down so much as a human. While he did not want to be Satan, he did want to be respected. He would not mind being strong enough to be able to take the throne, as until he could he would be stuck groveling at their leaders feet. He was strong, but not yet close to even think of challenging the powerful ruler.
He was quick to obey the older demon, holding out his bare left hand. He held it so the mark was visible. His dark nails reflected the light, Sebastian being one of the the demons to keep hygeine high on his list of priorities. His preference to use his claws made it so he kept his nails well groomed- else they risked growing brittle and break. This time, he was determined to keep her head as a trophy. This doppleganger had caused him enough trouble. The young demon tried to keep the relief he felt hidden. He could have been just as quickly thrown out. His red eyes watched closely, he hadn't gotten this far by ignoring any potential lesson. There was nothing he hated more than making a mistake. Well, there was a certain reaper that was right up there. He had always been a quick study, but he also watched to prevent any possible tampering to the mark.
Sorath glanced at Sebastian as they traversed the great halls, listening to his story as the lights continued to light themselves as they moved. He was lucky to be alive, he and his contract, as the old demon knew well what those weapons were capable of. She had seen plenty of it in her time, even getting hit with one before. They weren't meant simply for damage, they were made to kill. Either the shape shifter was sloppy/unexperienced or Sebastian was quicker than Sorath expected. She pushed her long, dark wavy hair over her shoulder as the final door opened, leaning the younger demon inside.
It was now time to get to business.
This room was rather large, housing some old but important demon weaponry. Many of these things were no longer in use, speaking of Sorath's age, but were kept in excellent condition. Even some peculiar items were visible and kept in high prestige with the others, such as a large rock and a human sword. These were no doubt mementos from the old demon's past.
[+purple "So you're the one I've heard rumors about,"] she mused softly as she moved across the room. Carefully she set the sword down on an empty pedestal, admiring it for a moment before turning to Sebastian again. [+purple "There's much talk about the demon with the earl under contract, though that's a matter for a different day."]
Bright violet eyes continued to watch Sebastian, her petite form leaning against the side of an empty chair near the wall. [+purple "You're rather lucky that you both survived, I've seen weapons like those eradicate entire groups with one swing. I suppose I can help you but you must do exactly as I tell you. If you let her go again, I guarantee you'll lose your master. Now, take of the glove from you contracted hand and hold it out."]
Sebastian relaxed slightly at the invitaion to further enter the grand mansion. He followed the currently female demon, gathering his thoughts. His eye roamed curiously over a few items, but he had no desire to try to steal anything. He was here for his master. He tried to seem passive about it all, however he had never actually been inside the great demons home. He had expected it to be cluttered and sloppy, as most other demons who collected things.
"I am under a contract, to the queens guard dog." If the demon had been working in England then there was no doubt that the elder knew who that was. "I assist him in solving cases the Yard cannot." There was no need to dive into their contract, that was personal. "He was sent a case, and all of them were contracted humans. I went to the crime scene to invesigate and found something peculiar. While the scent of the demions were there, all traces of their auras were gone." Again, he did not need to explain what that ment. "It took me a while, but I was able to idenify the creature as a doppleganger. I ended up underestimating," sebastian winced at admiting to that little failure, "her. She was able to get to my master, and gave him a rather fatal injury. He ended up in a 6 week coma." The crow demon watched the elders reactions closely.
"I put her in a little pocket world when I fought her. She was able to find me, even when I was hiding in my shadows." Something that was no small feat. "I managed to leave with her weapon." He gestured to the blade, "I did some research and found that any injury caused by it, it actually absorbs some of your power. I was unable to heal until I stayed away from it. I am lucky I did not fail my contract." There was an underlining tone that said it was more than concern for the contract. Even if the crow did not notice it himself.
The violet eyes sparkled faintly as they caught sight of the sword, indicating interest. These swords were very rare, especially for demons, as they were mean to kill their kind. How this young demon was able to take this from a shapeshifter Sorath couldn't say, but he wanted to know more. Slowly she reached out, taking the sword by the hilt, and carefully examined the blade. A delicate hand ran over the metal, while the bright eyes continued to shine. This demon, though young, seemed to genuinely want the strong creature's help. Such a gift and behaviors proved that. But why was he so adamant on accepting aid?
[+purple "It's been a long time since I've fought one,"] Sorath mused, looking back at Sebastian. [+purple "They aren't as common as they used to be, that's for certain. One must be threatening your way of life if you've come to me in such a manner. Come, walk with me and tell me your tale. Only then will I decide whether you're deserving of my help."] She kept the sword in her grip as she began to walk away, leading Sebastian further into the expansive home.
"I have come for information. I seem to have found myself up against a Doppleganger. I was so young during the end of the war. If I remember, you were one of the greatest hunters. I do not have much, just this sword. He hoped it was rare enough for the elder demons interest. He kept his chin up, a sign that he would not tolerate being walked on. However he did not look the demon in the eye. To do so without permission was a sign of complete disrespect. In short, a death wish. He offered the sword, point down, so the elder could look at it. He could offer his services, however he was under a contract. "I would like to ask you to teach me what you know about them."
Once the demon took the sword, Sebastian took a step back. He hoped he hit a nerve somewhere there, not in a bad way. It was rare for an adult demon to ask for guidance, they were too proud. Before his masters injury, Ciel would have had to make it an order. Instead, he was here ready to crawl on the ground of his own free will. It was certainly unusual for a demon to do such a thing. Sebastian chose to be both flattering and honest. He would fight the demon if he had to, if the other deemed him too weak to resort to such methods. The demon did not seem to be in a good mood.
As the demon noticed Sebastian's presence, the doors and gates began to open themselves as the younger demon neared them. Dark chambers suddenly lit up to give him guidance, Sorath more or less telling him what direction and halls to take. The older demon's home was rather expanse, having build himself quite a place with the years he had lived. All around were items of all rarities, displayed like trophies of his hunts and trades.
When the final doors opened, Sebastian was greeted not by a burly, tough looking male but a delicate woman, dressed in English common clothes. She was pretty despite the basic dress and a smirk touched her lips as he took notice of the demon's startledness. [+purple "I just returned from some work in London; this isn't a permanent appearance,"] Sorath stated. Even though the rest of the demon's form was soft, his eyes weren't. They were dangerous, just as they had always been, and let others know just how powerful this being was. [+purple "Men are incredibly stupid, especially when presented with a woman,"] "she" explained, turning from Sebastian to enter the room further.
It wasn't unheard of for demons to change forms or even sexes when they really needed to. Unlike shape shifters, they could only choose between their demon forms or human ones. They could also change their eye color, though it was much more difficult and only lasted short periods of time. It was really only worth it when hiding from something.
[+purple "Now state your business or be gone with you."]
The demon remained for a moment longer. He could do it tonight, he usually did such tasks while his master slept. However, the others would be asleep as well. The best bet would be to leave the master in the servants care while awake and alert. Rather than half asleep. He hated leaving his master with such a dangerous creature loose. His desire to protect him kept him rooted to the spot for a moment longer. He sighed, leaving now was the wiser choice. He quickly alterted the servants he had an errand to run and went to grab the sword. He did not know where to find Sorath, as demons did not have set 'homes.' They lived and moved to where ever thay wanted. Most stayed in Hell, however there were some that remained on Earth after their contract was completed.
Once he checked over his masters property for any invaders-either human assassins or other creatures, he went on his way. He started at the tea shop, asking about the demons whereabouts. He got a few different answers. One said he was actually in London, another said he was visiting the circle of gluttony, and someone else said he was staying at the castle in the innermost ring.
He was quick to cross off London, as he was sure he would have caught a scent or something. He went behind the shop, to one of the very few portals between the worlds. There was only one in each country, and they were guarded well.
As soon as he made it through he took off. He did not want to waste any time. He was in limbo, where the souls waited to be judged and sent to their respective circle. The demon almost made it to across the rather empty land when he stopped short. He stood there for a moment, looking off to his left. He sniffed the air, carefully sorting through the different scents he was able to pick up. Smirking, he turned and ran toward the mound in the distance. Apparently, lady luck was favoring him. He followedthe Old demons trail all the way to the huge mansion. It was truly impressive, if a bit exessive for the Crows taste. Large iron gates with hideous gargoyales that seemed to glare at him. Sebastian let himself he known, sending his shadows ahead to announce himself. Entering the old demons territory quietly would look like he was sneaking. He moved slowly, cautiously. He was strong, yes. However, Sorath was one of the oldest demons alive. He would not be able to protect his master if he got himself killed.
[+blue "Work on it as soon as possible,"] Ciel instructed, slowly pushing himself to stand. The exposed eye flickered around the yard, observing the scenery he hadn't seen in over a month. It looked beautiful, especially his roses. Finnian had done a good job upkeeping the garden. He wanted to enjoy as much of it as he could as he remembered the doctor's instructions: times outside were limited until his immune system rose again. [+blue "If you wish to do it while there's still daylight left, I'll stay in the parlor and library area in order to keep close to the staff. It's the best place to be if she were to return in your absence."]
He left after a few minutes, letting Sebastian mull over his choices while the young lord moved into the parlor. Sun was filling this room, giving it a rather inviting appearance, and Ciel dropped down into one of the comfortable chairs. Instead of picking up the book that lay next to him on the table, he instead chose to gaze out at the grounds outside of the window.
"Ah, yes. There is, of course, a fee for his services. He is a fellow demon, and one of the eldest. Unfortunatly demons are not very friendly with each other." Usually demons were only friendly with the young 'fledglings.' Once they young demon was considered grown, attitudes changed quickly. While young, Sebastian was far from being considered a fledgling. He recalled this old demon being a collector, pergaps the sword would be good enough for some information.
"The sword may be a good bribe, he has never refused a rare item before. I have yet to meet a greedier creature. I will try to convince him to let me give it to him after we have exterminated the vermin." Unfortunatly, the only other thing he had to barter at the moment was his masters soul. That was not happening. Demons had little use for matiral items, other than the occational sentimental item. None of his books were anything Sorath would be interested in. "I will see if I can locate him." Other creatures could be hard to find if they did not want found. If he could, he wanted to avoid the old Sun Demon being around his master. He would work on that tonight, he did not want to waste his precious energy. As it was he may have to deal with a small brawl as a show of strength or solve a riddle to prove his intelligence. It all depended on the elders mood. He could be in a giving mood and not require anything at all, but that was rare.
The guy honestly creeped Sebastian out. He remembered when Sorath had tried to convince his mentor to give him as payment. To 'raise' as a personal slave, or a pet. It had been a long time since he saw the demon, and had hoped to keep it that way. He did need to learn more about opponet, and Sorath had been an active hunter when he was younger. The fact the demon was old was a point in Sebastians favor. Much like humans talking about their experiance; the elders loved to talk about their accomplishments. Something to add to his collection- the demon had started hoarding after the war- and some flattering inquiries and he was sure he could get him talking.
What was it? Better yet, could he pronounce it right? Ciel mulled over it for a few moments, keeping quiet while he did so. He didn't want to give the wrong answer and send them in a completely different direction. [+blue "It started with an S, I think,"] he answered, looking back at Sebastian. He seemed rather curious about this new development and Ciel imagined he would delve into this rather quickly only to see where the trail would lead.
[+blue "Sorath...or something like it,"] he finally stated after another long minute or two. [+blue "One of your books stated this individual destroyed many shapshifting creatures, though the methods were never said. If this is one of your kind and not a fairy tale of sorts, a conversation may be worth your time. I suggest it be checked out immediately."]
This peaked Sebastians interest. "I see, do you remember it? Or, a better question, can you pronounce it?" He knew a great many different people of various races. There was quite the list that could have been part of a rumor in such a place. Both human and nonhuman. Besides, if it was a non human his masters irriation would be amusing. His master was extremely well read. The demon made sure of it. He, himself had caught quite a few quick updates so any specific names did not come up. If his master did not rememeber then he would question which book. It would narrow doen his list a lot. He gathered the minimal dishes, he would leave the actual cleaning up to the others. He suspected his master would want to plan their next move until it was time for him to go to bed.
[+blue "Perhaps just a small portion,"] he answered, finishing the rest of his tea. Sebastian's desserts were exquisite and the best part of the meal. Even though he was getting rather full he didn't wish to skip out on it. Whatever the demon had prepared would easily be the best thing he had consumed all day.
He ate what was brought to him but didn't rise from his seat after he was finished as he normally would. Instead, he chose to stay and speak to his butler, imagining that the others could handle cleaning up the kitchen. After all, he and Sebastian had very important matters to discuss. Ciel leaned back in his seat again, lifting his gaze to the demon. He was glad to hear that his butler had learned a little bit about its power and how to use it as well as how to best avoid being destroyed by it. It would help them both to keep themselves alive and maybe even abolish this creature. [+blue "Very good,"] Ciel told him. [+blue "Keep working on it, let's hope she doesn't return before we finish. It would be nice if we could close this case and this chapter in our lives. Now, about the tea shop..."]
Ciel remembered this well, especially now that he had seen the name in the book. It was late spring, he and his butler had entered the shop in order to try some new tea. The young master had been growing bored with the ones they had and wanted to try something unique. Now that quite a few Chinese had begun to occupy London, such shops were available to them if one knew the right place to look. [+blue "We were there last spring and picked up the cherry blossom black tea. While you were busy paying for it, I was still looking around at they things they had for sale and overheard two people talking in hushed voices. I couldn't understand what they were saying as it was in some kind of Asian language, I think, but they said a name. I know that because it's in one of your books."]
"Quite a bit, actually. It seems as though it was made to weaken our power. It is why I was unable to heal until your quarantine. Being around it nullified any healing abilites I have. I would hate to see what would happen if I were struck in a more serious area." In truth, he knew. All that research he had done told him that a fatal blow would, in a sense, suck him dry. A demons power was only as strong as their will to live hsd been when they died. As such, if you took their power it was the same as taking their life force. "I do have a thought on how to alter it a bit, to turn it to our favor." He said.
He looked at his master upon his next question. "Yes, of course sir." He knew London very well. The past few years serving this young human had forced him to learn the city as well as he knew the manor. "If I may, what brought your attention to it?" He gathered the dishes while he asked. It was an old business. Very succesful, as it did not discriminate between the rich or poor. Always clean, but ran by other creatures that were not human. An old family that had a strict no violence rule.He noted his master hadn't been able to finish his dinner. "Would you care for dessert tonight, sir?" He did not want to over stuff his young lord.
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