Chapter 6: Spreading the News

Rainy Cove was nothing she’d ever seen before. It was like they went to a whole different island. Demons everywhere and the buildings were built strong with brick and metal. The streets were paved in the same brick that made some of the structures, making it look like they busted up from the earth. It was already raining on this side of the island, but none of the demons seemed to mind it or even acknowledge they were dripping wet. Even Kuro didn’t seem the least bit fazed by the crying sky. Alouna shuttered, her short sleeved shirt and small shorts did very little to help against the cold wind. She rubbed her arm and glanced around at all the different types of demons.

A large group sat around one building, they were a colorful group. Some looked more human than others, some looked like they were made of some types of elements. Like the one female demon who appeared to be made up of lava with steam rolling off of her skin as the rain fell on her. Others were strange creatures she couldn’t have even imagined, so far from the natural word. Like what seemed to be a being of stars, nothing but a collection of lights. She would have thought it was nothing more than a swarm of fireflies but the area around the lights darkened and she couldn’t see through it.

They all suddenly all looked at her, making her realize she had gotten closer without realizing it. “Well look what we have here, a human child. You lost? This isn’t a place to come sightseeing.” One of the more human looking demons commented and the others chuckled as if he made some sort of joke. He was young looking ,but so were many demons, you really could never tell how old a demon was. Slightly orange tinted skin with black hair that formed into fire red hair spikes on top of his head. His eyes were small half moons and all black, much like Kuro’s, but had orange irises. And much like Kuro, he had two horns that jutted from his forehead and curved up into a sharp point, however, his were a nice ivory color, not black. He wore an all-black leather jacket with a tight black undershirt and tight blue jeans and tall black boots. He seemed to be in the center of the group, Alouna concluded he might be the leader of them. “Come here! We don’t get many humans, let alone any children. I forgot how small and fragile they look.” A devilish smirk spread across his chaotic face. She was curious about them, she wanted to know more about them, especially the starry one. She had no reason not to trust him, at least not in her mind. She happily headed over to him, “What a good little girl” He grabbed her up in his lap, “What do they call you?”

“Alouna. What do they call you?” She asked as she looked around examining all their different faces and types.

“Name’s Furcus.” He turned her chin back to look at him rather roughly. “You seem to be popular among our kind, I can feel all those souls you can summon. You think they might be upset with me?” He laughed and like a chorus his friends echoed. “Hold still, I-“

“I turn my back for a few minutes and off you go!” Kuro marched up, “Are you a moron?”

Furcus starred unsure what was happening or who he was talking to.

“What do you mean? I was just making friends.” Alouna said innocently.

“Friends?!” Kuro facepalmed, “We have a lot of work to do if you think he was trying to be your ‘friend’!” He shoved one of the others aside as he quickly came up and grabbed Alouna out of Furcus’ lap. “He was going to eat your soul, stupid!”

“oh…” Alouna looked embarrassed.

“umm… she is with you, Kuro?” Furcus looked confused.

Kuro grabbed Furcus’ shirt and pulled him up by it. “Furcus, was it? Were you attempting to steal from me?”

“W-what? No, never? I was unaware she was with you…” Furcus stuttered, his malicious exterior quickly demolished into a fearful groveling mess.

“BULLSHIT! You know DAMN well that is my mark! Even if I were to believe you that you ‘didn’t know’, you were planning to steal from another of our brethren? Because I know you know that she has been contracted! Were you hoping for a fight? Because I’d be happy to help you with that!” Kuro growled.

Furcus cowered down, “No… I apologize…”

“That is what I thought.” Kuro threw him back into his seat, breaking the chair into pieces. He would grab Alouna’s arm and held up her wrist high where she had to stand on her toes so that the contact seal was displayed on it, “THIS IS MINE! If anyone tries to take her from me, I will consider it a personal challenge to me! And until you are beaten bloody pulp on the floor, I won’t stop.” His voice was dark and dangerous. “Oh and another thing! If you are looking to do some soul harvesting, do it OFF this island! Is this how you want our kind represented?! I don’t care what they are, a human, a dog, a fucking rat, an ally is an ally! So don’t you touch any creature who sides with us!”

“But humans are so-“ One of the bigger demons started but was cut short as Kuro kicked him in the head and slammed into the brick pavement with a loud crack.

Kuro hunched low to the ground getting right into the face of the other, “Guess what, asshole, humans exist and we are part of their world now! And they are working to become allies with us, so unless you are wanting another fight where we get our ass kicked by those bastard angels, I suggest you start getting used to the idea of humans being around! The more we have, the stronger we are and if you don’t like, FUCK OFF! We don’t need you here holding us back! Your way of thinking is why our kind get frightful stares when we walk down the streets. I am done being treated like a monster, are you!?” He grabbed Alouna’s arm roughly once more and forcefully yanked her down the street away from the stunned faces of the group that had gotten bigger as the incident went on.

They reached Kuro’s place and went in. Kuro finally let go of Alouna and hurried into the shower without speaking to her. Alouna rolled her shoulder, it ached from being almost dragged down the street. He was rough but he did protect her, so she was thankful. She looked around his place, it was simple and messy. For a place that was large, it seemed he only used a single room which was a living room and a bedroom. His bed had stained sheets with what looked like blood and who knows what else. For someone who had only spent two day here before, he sure knew how to make the place look like a pig sty. There was stuff all over the floor, clothes, bottles of what looked like alcohol of some sort, the couch was on its side and the walls had holes and scratch marks in them. ‘Did he let a lion loose in here when he got drunk? Geez…’ Alouna started to clean as she waited, ‘If this place is clean, then he can spend more time training me.’ She thought.

Kuro emerged sometime later, with a loud yawn. “dame… that felt good.” He wore a fresh black tank and tight skinny black jeans, feeling more comfortable in his choice of clothing. “What are you doing?” He asked, seeing Alouna making the bed.

“I couldn’t find a washing tub but I found new sheets. I had to throw away some dishes because the mold had claimed them. But I got the stain out of the carpet and the trash cleaned up. BUT there isn’t much I can do about the holes in the wall.” She slipped on a new pillow case.

“Okay… but why are you cleaning my house?”

“Because it was a mess! You are a messy person!” Alouna lectured while putting down the blankets.

“mmm… I lived in a castle before, so maids cleaned up after me. And since then, I have only visited here once in a while and usually only Baal’s place. So his maid cleans up there. I have never had to clean up before, it isn’t something I think about.” He shrugged.

“How did you get it that messy?” She sat down on the couch that was flipped over, she had Hein help getting back up right.

“I had Maow over for the night I was here. We got a little messy.” He shrugged.

“oh…” Alouna’s face lit up red, “so what is our next step?” quickly getting off ‘that’ topic.

“We need to gather everyone here. I need to tell them about my brother.” He mentioned, dipping into a room once more and then emerging with another shirt, “I should have asked Furcus but I was too pissed off…” he tossed the shirt at her, “That shirt isn’t supposed to get wet, I can see right through it.”

“You get angry really easily, have you ever tried counting backwards?” Alouna pulled off the still wet shirt and tossed it aside into a pile of ruined clothing and slipped on the new shirt that hung down just above her knees.

“I don’t get that angry…” He argued.

“Every time I have met you, you have been upset about something. The last time I saw you, you got so angry you and Baal almost tore each other to pieces. AND you got angry about me mentioning that you get angry…” Alouna commented on his pissed off expression he wore.

Kuro went to argue back but she was right. He was pissed off about her comments on his temper. “okay! Fine! It doesn’t matter!”

“There you go, getting angry again. It is okay to have things that upset you but you shouldn’t always be so mad. I get that you are wrath but I am sure a strong person like you can control it. Try counting backwards.” Alouna suggested again.

“Counting backwards! How stupid! Now are you going to continue to flap that mouth of yours or are you going to help me find someone to get the city together?!” He stormed out the front door, almost crashing into Maow.

“Woah! Hello there.” Maow chuckled, catching Kuro by the waist. “ So you have come back. I was missing you.”

Kuro’s face relaxed, “Maow, you have perfect timing. Is there a way we could get everyone together? I have something important to tell everyone.” He pecked Maow’s lips a few times as he talked.

“Of course, Baal does it all the time. There is a bell in the center of town. We just have to ring it.” He returned the kisses.

“Perfect. Let’s do that.”

“Do we have time to ‘catch up’?” Maow winked.

“Temping but I have a kid with me and I am going to have to take her back soon. Tonight though, we can. I want to hear about everything you did these last few months.” Kuro kissed his lips hard to Maow’s and then started for the center of town.

Maow’s eyes danced with excitement as he followed, “What is the big news?”

“Alouna! Hurry up!” Kuro called after her and she ran to keep up. “I don’t like to repeat myself, so you will just have to wait. I will say it is good news.” He took Maow’s hand.

“Are you two boyfriends?” Alouna asked, “If you are, you are not a very good one, Kuro. Leaving him for three months.”

Maow chuckled, “We are not together like that, sweetie. We… have different relationships than you humans have. Sometimes we are just…really good friends…” He tried to say it gently.

“Why are you explaining it like that?” Kuro raised a brow.

“She is a child, and humans like to explain to their children about stuff like that in a sort of-“

“That is stupid.” Kuro interrupted, “Why sugar coat anything? So in a few years she can ask the same damn questions and get different answers? Alouna, our kind like to fuck. We don’t follow the human’s ideal of one person, we do who we want.”

“I see…” Alouna thought for a moment, “What does Baal and Lillith’s bond mean? They don’t seem to sleep around.”

“Bonded mates, well think of it like marriage except more on a soul level.” Maow explained.

“Right, they promised their souls to each other. Usually in the bonded pairs they make the decision on whether they want a solidarity bond or a free bond. Solidarity bond, sometimes called a closed, is what Baal and Lillith have, a promise to only be with each other unless the other gives the okay, while free bond is allowing them to freely go around with whomever they want.” Kuro explained.

“Why even bother with a bond if you are going to just sleep around still?” Alouna asked, not seeing the point of it.

“It means a lot more. A bond is powerful, it means love, trust and commitment.” Kuro explained, “Where what me and Maow have is purely sexual. Have you ever heard the idea between having sex and making love? It is like that.” He paused for a moment, “Any more questions?”

“Nope, I think I get it. Thanks.” Alouna smiled, feeling quite relieved of not being told, ‘we will tell you when you are older’ or ‘you are too young to worry about that’.

They got to the center of town where a large wooden platform stood with a large silver bell attached to the back of it. “Looks like the one we have in Gehenna.” Kuro commented.

“I heard that it was designed this way specifically by the one who used to ring it in Gehenna.” Maow commented, helping Alouna up on the tall platform.

“Neat.” Kuro grabbed the large rope and gave it a mighty pull and in seconds the streets were filled with the echoes of the large bell. It grabbed everyone’s attention, how couldn’t it, it was loud and with every dong it would leave a piercing ring vibrating off the heavy metal. Alouna couldn’t help but to cover her ear quickly. In minutes the streets were filled with the town, their expressions were filled with complete surprise and confusion upon seeing Kuro ringing the bell and not Baal. As the bell’s ringing faded after the last dong, Kuro nodded his approval, it even sounded like the bell in Gehenna.

“Evening!” He shouted, “I know you are used to seeing Baal here but I have news! First! My mother, Queen Ai, has had her baby! I don’t know if you are aware, but the father is Lord Leviathan! The baby is our new prince, Mephistopheles!” A murmurer started throughout the crowd that quickly turned into cheers.

“Congratulations!” people yelled through the noise. Others held up glasses and made toasts. Others started to make plans for parties and others to take gifts to the new prince.

“Wait! Wait!” Kuro calmed the crowd, “I have more news! Trust me, we will celebrate! Prince Mephistopheles is an ALPHA! He is the new ENVY!” A wave of shocked silence spread over the city, “Yes! This means Gehenna, our home, it is still out there!” Some started to cry, others hugged each other and the crowd began to cheer again. This time it was louder, filled with cries and laughter.

“Impatient as always.” Ai approached being carried by Baal through the crowd, cradling her new son in her arms.

“Sorry mother, I just couldn’t wait. You shouldn’t be up, you just had a baby.” Kuro shot a disapproving glare at Baal.

“Don’t give me shit, she insisted.” Baal defended himself.

“YOU!” Kuro pointed to one that was sitting at one of the bars, “CHAIR! NOW!” He quickly scrambled out of his seat and carried the chair to the stage and handed it to Kuro, bowing his head.

“Thank you.” Ai waved to him, as Kuro sat in the chair down for her. “What Kuro says is true, Me and Leviathan’s baby is indeed an Alpha, his marking came in about an hour ago.” She held up the child, showing the back where the mark of a pentagram with a design of the envy demon burned into the flesh. In a wave everyone burst into cheers again and then like they all had planned it turned and fell into a bow to their new prince.

“He is beautiful, Ai!” One said as they began to rise.

“Lord Leviathan would be proud!” Another commented.

“Loki too! He would be beaming to know the one to carry on in his place as Envy is the new prince of Gehenna!”

“Please, Ai, if you are in need of any assistance, your people are here for you!”

Ai’s eyes overflowed with tears , “Thank you… What I really want is your assistance.”

“Of course, anything!”

“Gehenna is still out there, please help Kuro find it.”

“Mom…” Kuro took her hand.

“Our people are here, they want to go home as much as you do.” Ai kissed his fingers softly, “You don’t have to do this alone.”

“We want to help!”

“For our home!” one shouted.

“FOR OUR HOME!” The crowd echoed.

“Your service will be greatly appreciated.” Kuro Started, “It prides me to see your loyalty for our home hasn’t faded. Please allow me to explain what I know to you. Fakir is still alive, I think he has a plan. I feel he is trying to send us a message and guide us to our success. Alouna, come.” Alouna came to stand next to Kuro, her heart raced, being in front of a huge crowd was intimidating. Like a child reaching for a parent’s hand, she grabbed what she could and clung to Kuro’s pant leg for comfort. He stared at her hand for a moment but he allowed it. “This is Alouna Barathrum. Yes, I know she is human. But she has met Fakir in the in-between, and he delivered a message to me through her. He gave her a book that he and I wrote in Gehenna for his Library. A library he only had access to, and not just any book.” Kuro took out the small book from his pocket and held it to the crowd, “The Birth of an Alpha!” The crowd gasped, “He waited till the right time, I think he knew my brother would be an Alpha and this was his way of telling me what I needed to do. Fakir has instructed me to teach her everything he taught me, and mold her into a powerful summoner. Till then, I will stay here and teach her.” Murmurs fell through the crowd, and Kuro’s scowl returned, “SHUT UP!” He snapped, “Disgraceful! All of you! Can you seriously be so dimwitted? Fakir and Lord Leviathan could see the importance of humans and have never denied them of it. My father was more than supportive of the idea of summoning, because he knew of its role and the power in which it holds. Get off your high horses, and take your heads out of your asses!” Kuro picked up Alouna, “I don’t really give two shits about your option on humans, this is happening whether you like it or not! To find Gehenna we need to work together with humans!”

Alouna expected to become dizzy, as she usually did when people picked her up. But instead her body calmed itself in his arms, she felt safe and the anxiety of the large crowd faded away. She laid her head on his shoulder, soaking in the feeling of being… untouchable.

“She will be frequenting Rainy Cove often, so I will make this very clear to you. If anyone harms her in any way, I will take it as disrespect to me! I am not fucking around! As for what you can do to help, the strong and able to protect themselves against demon hunters, I need you to find other of our brethren. Spread the news to them of Mephistopheles and Alouna. As for right now, there is not much beyond that.”

Alouna unwillingly lifted her head from his shoulder and yelled, “Try to gather information! Others you meet outside of here, and others here too. Maybe one of you saw something that someone else didn’t when Gehenna disappeared. Share your stories with us. The more we know, the closer we can get to finding Gehenna!” Her cheeks were flushed and she quickly hid her face in his shoulder once more.

“That is smart! Yes! Please do that, we need anything you might know!” Kuro agreed, “good call” He whispered to her. She smiled with pride as he complimented her. “One more thing! I am placing a bounty on demon hunter’s heads! Anyone who dares attempt to kill us for the sole purpose of us being demons will only get in our way. The fewer of those who exist the better!”

“Kuro! If the angels get wind of that type of order, they may attack us. Do you really think-“ Baal started.

“The news of a new Alpha will surely get their attention anyway. They will know Gehenna still exists and they will know we will be looking for it by whatever means necessary.” Kuro responded. “ Not giving the order will only slow the inevitable, this way there will be less to fight against us if we start now. If they are going to attack us at least we will be prepared. It is like you said, ‘we are stronger in numbers’, let’s prepare those numbers.”

“I don’t want another war.” Baal argued.

“Neither do I, Baal. But I will not allow them to stand in our way of finding our home. We cannot allow them to control us by threatening war upon us. I don’t think they want to fight us again, so let’s call their bluff.” Kuro raised his hand, “Who is with me?!” The crowd erupted with battle cries, “those able, meet me tomorrow at my place, I will give you orders from there. Everyone else, please be ready to defend our brethren if angels do decide to show their faces.”

The crowd slowly dissipated, some stayed to greet the new baby, others stayed to speak with Kuro and Baal. It took a long while to finish but eventually things died down. “Are you sure you know what you are doing?” Baal came to speak with Kuro.

“I am doing what I can.” Kuro replied.

Baal frowned. “That isn’t reassuring.”

“Baal, I am not going to stand here and tell you I have all the answers and I know exactly what I am doing.”, Kuro sighed, “But I have to do something. I have put a lot of thought into the next steps in the last few months. Am I sure this will work, no. Am I sure this is the best step, no. But it is the only thing I can think of, I am trying to be more like my father.”

“I think you are doing a wonderful job, honey.” Ai reassured him as Mephisto chewed on her finger. “The way you spoke, made me forget that it wasn’t Leviathan. I will support you in any way I can.”

“Thanks, mother. You just concentrate on raising Mephisto.” Kuro grinned.

“Is Alouna asleep?” Ai asked, not hearing anything from her from Kuro’s arms.

“Yeah, she passed out a little bit ago.” Kuro commented.

“Poor thing, she must be exhausted. Such an eventful day, the birth of a baby, coming here with you, and this. She is all tuckered out, it is late. We should get her home.” Ai carefully stood.

“Caleb is going to be upset with me…” Baal sighed, “Allowing her to make contact with a demon. Allowing her to come to Rainy Cove, and then getting her home way past her curfew. I will be surprised if she isn’t at my place trying to break the door down.”

“She is gonna have to get over all of that.” Kuro interjected, “She will be with me a lot, she will be here in Rainy Cove, most likely daily, and curfew, really? Lame.”

“She is a nine year old human, Kuro. She is still a kid. Her curfew is sun down.” Baal tried to have something that would help Caleb not be so panicky.

“Curfew is whenever I send her home. There are things that are important for her to learn at night.” Kuro started lifting Alouna off of him to hand her off to Baal. In her sleep, she grabbed tightly to his shirt pulling herself back into his arms. “Hey, dummy. You need to go to bed.” She groaned in response. “I will throw you… let go…”

“k…” She whined and released her hands and he passed her to Baal. She felt her heart start to race again, she gave up on trying to fall back to sleep and just laid her head on Baal’s huge shoulder as they started home.

“I will come get you when I am ready!” Kuro called after them as he helped Ai back to Baal’s place.


The lights were on but the house seemed quiet. Baal took a deep breath and headed up the path, only to catch the sight of Caleb, Andrew and Lillith coming up behind him from the path that lead to him home. “Good evening…” Baal smiled sheepishly. Caleb’s face spelled it all, she was more than angry, her tall red heels clanking loudly against the pavement as she walked.

“I am okay.” Alouna perked up, realizing she was back at the house.

“Alouna go get ready for bed, now.” Caleb snapped.

Baal set her down and she hurried inside. “I know you are upset. But let me explain.”

“I am listening.” Caleb crossed her arms.

“A lot happened today. Ai had her baby. Prince Mephistopheles!” Baal reported happily.

“I know, I was at the city gathering in Sun Coast when you made the announcement and where Ai showed her child.” Caleb’s body tensed more as the rage began to build, “But I also took notice that Alouna wasn’t with you then. So I went over to get her as I had a feeling you would be busy. But she wasn’t with Lillith either.”

“I told her.” Lillith stated, not really needing to fill in anymore.

“A demon contact!? With the demon that attacked her?!” Caleb’s cheeks were red with anger, almost as red as her heels. “With the demon who also almost ripped you apart the last time he was here! Are you insane?! And then you allow him to take her, BY HIMSELF, to Rainy Cove?! I place crawling with demons who hate humans or have been deemed too dangerous to be around us?! And then let him keep her till almost midnight?!”

“Please understand, I do not have the power to tell him no. I cannot give him orders but I must follow his. He is the prince.” Baal tried to explain.

“Prince of Gehenna! Not here!” Andrew finally jumped in.

“The land isn’t the only thing that gives him his power, his people as well. It doesn’t matter where he is, he is still our Prince.” Baal explained.

Caleb’s whole face turned red so angry she couldn’t speak. Andrew patted her arm to calm her down, “Fine, he is your prince but we are Alouna’s guardians. We have to make decisions on what we think is best for her. We have to say no, we cannot allow her to be around that demon. He is too dangerous.”

“Andrew, will all due respect,” Lillith interjected, “I don’t think you understand how soul contracts work. She cannot just say no and then everything will go back to normal. She has to keep up with what she agreed to, or she will lose her soul.”

“She is right, there is no going back on a demon contract. If she did…” Caleb’s eyes turned fearful. “He would kill her…”

“NO!” Baal quickly interjected, “He won’t murder her. That isn’t what is being said. He will gain possession of her soul. She would belong to him.”

“Oh god…” Andrew gasped.

“I am okay with it!” Alouna stood at the front door, changed from her borrowed shirt into a proper nightgown.

“Alouna…” Caleb sighed.

“This was my decision. And I will be dedicated to it.” Alouna could hear her heart beating loudly in her ears, and tears started to betray her, “I-if you don’t want me any more… I understand…” Her head started to become dizzy.

“If it brings you less stress, she can always stay with us.” Lillith offered.

“We are upset with her and her carelessness. We are not abandoning her.” Caleb rubbed her temples.

“I guess we don’t have much of a choice but to allow it.” Andrew patted her head. “Let’s get you to bed. We can talk about this more after we get some rest. Maybe we can lay some ground rules with Kuro.”

“Let us hope.” Caleb sighed and hurried Alouna inside.

“I will speak with Ai, she may be able to sway Kuro to some boundaries.” Baal tried to ease the situation, “I will visit tomorrow to make such rules. Chances are Kuro won’t call on her tomorrow. With his new brother, he will be busy with him all day.” Andrew nodded and headed inside, not giving them a farewell.