Chapter 7: Making Frenemies

“Alouna, I won’t tell you again. Put the book away and go outside!” Caleb yelled down the hall, “Or I will ban all reading for a month!”

“OKAY!” Alouna groaned and closed the book. The last few days made it seem as if nothing had changed. If it wasn’t for the undeniable marking on her skin, she would have sworn that she had dreamed it.

Baal and Ai came the day after for a bit, Ai insisted that Kuro wouldn’t harm her and that as Summoners, they needed to accept the demon way if they were going to be around them. Ai made it very clear that she couldn’t control him and had no desire to do so either. Caleb didn’t talk much about the contract after that, and not a word about it to her. Maybe she was hoping that if she ignored it, it would go away.

Kuro didn’t come at all. She understood why he didn’t, he was busy with his new brother. But it still made her impatient. She yawned loudly with a big stretch and headed outside. She rubbed her eyes from the sun and looked around for something to do.

“Why don’t you go play with the kids by the beach? I saw a few on my walk this morning playing volleyball. There were a few demon kin there too. Looked like a lot of fun.” Caleb called from the kitchen window sipping her tea.

“Then why don’t you play with them…?” She grumbled marching toward the beach, she paused for a second watching the children play. Maybe she could just say she played with them. But then what would she do right now?

“Hey!” One of the children yelled. She jumped slightly and looked at him, halfling. He had the horns of a demon but the rest of him was human. His mother must be human. She tried to remember his name, she had seen him before. Was it Tim? Tom? Something with a T. “Why are you standing there watching us?!” She wasn’t that far, he didn’t need to yell.

“Umm… I don’t…know how to play volleyball…” She did. Rather she knew the rules. “But! I was hoping to watch to learn how, before I asked to play…”

“Why would we want you to play with us?” Another called out, girl. She had poofy orange hair and oversized glasses. Full human.

Another giggled, another human girl. Long black hair pulled back into a long braid with flowers in her hair. “We heard your parents didn’t want to because you have a disease. We don’t want to get sick…”

“Ew gross…” The poofy hair girl backed away. “Just go away before you make our mommies and daddies not want us too.”

“With an ugly face like yours I am surprised they do.” Alouna snapped back.

One male demon laughed. He looked like a frog. His skin was green and he had very long legs, webbed fingers and a strange looking flower dish on his head.

“Shut up, Ku!” The poof snapped at him. “You take that back, sicky girl!” Poof got in her face. “Or else.”

“Or else what?” Alouna challenged, she smirked and faked a cough in her face.

Poof screamed like she had been hit and then raised her fist to strike Alouna. Alouna quickly closed her eyes and waited, but the punch never came. She opened her eyes and looked up at the shadow that hovered over her. “Kuro?” Alouna questioned as he held poof up by her arm. Poof was in shock to be so quickly grabbed it took her a moment to start crying.

“Shut up!” Kuro snapped and Poof went quiet in fear, “What the hell are you doing?” He looked down to Alouna.

“I guess I was about to get into a fight…” Alouna shrugged.

“You were going to let her hit you and just stand there?”

“Well, I was going to let her throw the first hit, then” Alouna raised her fist, “Give her the good one two” She punched the air.

“You don’t wait to be harmed to take action.” Kuro rolled his eyes, “In combat, the least amount of hits you receive the better. Even if it doesn’t hurt, a hundred small hits will eventually do damage.”

“P-please don’t hurt me.” Poof squeaked, shaking violently in his grasp.

Kuro glared at her, “Awe, is the little bully scared? Gonna cry to your mommy?” Kuro mocked, “When you do, tell her to teach you how not to be a bitch.” Kuro dropped her on the ground and she hurried up and scrambled away crying. The black haired girl quickly took off after her.

“Uncle Kuro!” A cheerful voice ran toward the beach. A female demon child with soft peach colored skin, long sea green hair done in a braid coming down to her hips. Her eyes were a bright orange and she had small ram type horns curled around her head and two grass green, and lavender butterfly wings wrapped around herself much like Lillith, making a small dress on her.

“Hey, Vatalini.” Kuro turned to her, “Where is Baal?”

“Why do you always ask about daddy?” Vatalini complained, “He is doing work. Why are you here? Are you going to play with me? You promised you’d play with me!” She talked fast.

“I never promised to play with you. Come on, we have training to do.” He said to Alouna and started away.

“Darn, I was hoping you’d believe me…” Vatalini kicked the sand, “Find! Don’t play with me.” She crossed her arms.

“Wasn’t planning to.” Kuro waved and Alouna quickly followed.

“Good luck with your contract! I hope you get her soul!” Vatalini called out, waving to them.

Alouna started to run ahead of Kuro.

“Hey! Cool it!” Kuro grabbed her arm to stop her from running. “I take it you and Vatalini don’t get along.”

Alouna faced away, “It doesn’t matter… Let’s just start…”

“Come on, why does she want you to fail?” Kuro pried.

“I don’t want to talk about it.” She grumbled.

“Do you understand how this whole ‘do as I say’ thing works?” His tail twitched.

She turned to him with tears streaming down her cheeks, “Everyone wants me to fail!” She yelled, “Everyone hates me! There! Happy?!” She cried.

“My mother seems to like you. Baal as well. And that human chick you live with, doesn’t she care about you?” He questioned.

“They care about me because they feel obligated to. I am a child, if I was older they would hate me too… so I pretend…” She frowned, “It’s easier if I pretend.”

“Pretend?” Kuro scratched his head.

“Pretend to be a kid.”

“You are a kid…”

“Yeah… I mean pretend to ‘act’ like a kid. Like the rest of the kids do. Be loud, act stupid, do silly things, make cute faces, act all innocent and dumb. I pretend!” She extended her arms wide in frustration. “I hate it…”

“Then don’t do that. Be you. Doesn’t seem like the whole pretending thing is working.” He pointed behind him.

She sighed, “Have you not been listening?” He gave her a dirty look, “The kids hate me because I don’t know how to be ‘that’ way but I can fool the adult into thinking I am. As long as I do that, they won’t hate me! I have to pretend, or they will attack me too!”

“Don’t be ridiculous. No one is going to attack you.” Kuro rolled his eyes.

She stared at him with a defeated expression, “let’s just train, what first teacher?”

He stood there a moment, trying to read her, “Alright, first I need to know what you know. What can you summon? How do you channel energy? And what has mother taught you?”

“I can summon many different types, but I favor four. They are like friends.” She explained.

“Alright, summon each one. I want to see the four you favor.” He took a seat on a nearby rock, “Explain, aside from being your ‘friends’, why you summon them. What abilities they provide you. How you met them. Why do they follow you. And lastly, where would you like to approve with them.”.

“Shouldn’t the last one be what you decide?” She wondered.

“Oh it is” He smiled, “but I want to hear what you think about your summoning abilities. The good and the bad.”

She nodded and channeled her energy through her fingers, they glowed a bright white before shimmering in a purple. She moved her finger into a circle causing the lights to connect and in a flash of light Hein stood next to her. He chirped and quickly lowered his head to Kuro, who responded with a nod and Hein relaxed back up. “This is Hein. He is incredibly fast and strong. He is like my power house, he does good at defending me and also attacking. As for abilities he provides me, none. He can only be used when fully summoned. I met him, or rather, he found me. I had gotten lost on a new island, it was very hot and humid. I grew up on an island that was all ice. That change in temperature didn’t fare well with me and I collapsed. I woke to him caring for me. He has been my friend since.”

“Mmm… why do you follow her?” He asked the giant lizard, Hein responded with more chirps and whistles. Kuro eventually nodded, “interesting.”

“What did he say? I can only understand what he wishes me to understand.” She wondered.

“If you didn’t understand it, then it wasn’t meant for you to know.” He responded, “How can you improve?”

She pouted a bit “I want to learn to fight. I can defend myself well, and use their powers well. But I want to be able to fight alongside him, hand-to-hand combat. That way he doesn’t have to expend so much energy defending me as well.” She explained.

He nodded, “Alright. Next.”

She shrugged and moved her energy to her index finger, again the bright light that shone before turning color once again into a brilliant blue. She drew a circle on her chest and seconds later a bubble grew out of her chest. Small snowflake shapes appeared on the bubble and a small white koi fish swam inside. “This is Samumizu. She was the first demon I summoned. I met her back on my home island. There was a demon hunter who was trying to kill her, and I tried my best to fight against him. We ended up falling into a frozen lake, Mizu froze him and rescued me. Since then she taught me how to summon and I made her a safe place way up in the frozen mountains where she can be safe from people trying to harm her. This is a part of her form, her true form is much bigger.” She explained as opened her arms wide. “As for abilities, I can freeze liquids and make things very very cold.” She chuckles, “Like how I froze you and Baal. Did you know after you left, Baal couldn’t get out.”

“No kidding?” Kuro laughed, “Like he was really stuck?”

“Yeah!” She laughed with him.

He smirked, “Later let’s mess with him. I’ll get a bucket and you freeze him.”

“Okay!” She gave him a thumbs up.

He returned the gesture, “Alright, so she follows you because you helped her. How would you like to improve?”

“Well… without there being water present or me summoning another demon to make water I cannot use her. I want to be able to give enough energy to freeze things without water. Like making things SO cold that they shatter! Like metal! How cool would it be if I could freeze a sword!” She grinned ear to ear.

“That would be beneficial, and if you could learn to freeze blood and eventually skin.” Kuro nodded to himself as if making a plan.

“Whoa… that would be barbaric.” She paused, “Let’s do it!” She bounced on her toes.

He chuckled, “Calm down, keep going.” He waved his hand in a circle.

“Okay, next!” Alouna concentrated again.

“Are you not going to unsummon any?” He questioned.

She shook her head, “I don’t need to, my record is three strong ones, five medium ones and seven weak ones.”

He looked surprised, “I have never heard of summoning beyond two.”

“That’s what Ai said, but I can. I don’t know why I can, I just can.” She shrugged. She put back her concentration and moved the energy through herself again. This time there was a quick flash of blue light and seconds later a booming noise came from her hands. Then a dark cloud seemed to form around her, from it a small sliver and white long rope like dragon flew from it. The small creature landed on her shoulder and clung to her back. It was no bigger than a house cat but the energy surrounding its tiny body was powerful and static like, making her little hairs on her arms stand on end. Its eyes glowed a shimmering yellow and each time it blinked small sparks of energy spazzed out like lightning strikes. It flapped its large bat-like wings making sounds of echoing thunder before relaxing them to its sides. “This is Chi.”

He looked impressed, his mouth gaping. “You really can summon a dragon?” He whispered.

“Yes. She can.” Chi spoke, or rather a deep voice echoed around him, as he hadn’t opened his mouth. “It is a blessing to be presented to you, my prince.”

“Pleasure to meet you as well.” He answered, “Are you aware dragons are not demons? That fact that you received the blessing of one and the permission to summon one is remarkable.”

“Yes, I know. Chi explained it to me. Also, I read some of the books about you after what you told me a few days ago. You used the dragons in the war, I read that even the Veraxxis, king of the dragons, assisted you in the war. That is really cool,” she smiled.

“There are books about me?” Kuro raised a brow.

“Yep, quite a few. Most about Gehenna and its history but there is one that is all about your accomplishments. You have done some really neat things. Like saving a bunch of demon children from Cameras. And about your fight with Uriel, the warrior of Celestia. And also your fight with Zad Kiel, former King of Celestia. Is it true you consumed the God’s soul?”

“Yes, I did all those things. These scars on my skin, they are from eating his soul.” He smiled to himself.

“How did Gehenna not win the war if you killed their leader?” She suddenly asked.

“In a lot of ways, no one won that war.” He frowned. “Celestia lost its king, many of its people, not to mention almost all of its Holy Knights, and its Daughters of Hope. Celestia also was cast down to the earth. But Gehenna also lost a lot, four of our Alpha’s, Gehenna is missing, our king is missing and our keeper of knowledge is missing…”

“Keeper of knowledge? Is that Fakir’s title?” Alouna asked and He responded with a nod, “What are the Holy Knights and the Daughters of Hope?”

“The Holy Knights are much like how the Alpha’s are for Gehenna.” He explained. “They have a special gift from Celestia that gives them some kind of special power. They all seem to be born as male though, never have I heard any of them being born as female. With that, the Daughters of Hope are their wives. When a Holy Knight picks a wife she gets some of his power.”

“Oh, makes sense. The Alpha’s are wrath, greed, lust, gluttony, sloth, pride and envy. What are the Holy Knights?”

“Love, trust, passion, strength, loyalty, hope, and sympathy. Of those only trust and loyalty remain. Trust being Raphael and loyalty being Selaphiel. Uriel was strength.”

“What daughters remain?”

“Ariel, Rapheal’s wife, Leliel, Selaphiel’s wife, Charmeine, Uriel’s wife, and Kalka’il, Barachiel’s wife. He was Sympathy. I was the one who brought him down as well.”

“How many of the Holy Knights and Daughters did you win against in the war?”

“Four, Micheal who was Love, his wife Malayaka. Uriel and Barachiel. I also won against Nathaniel, he is the head commander of Celestia’s defense forces. He isn’t dead, however, he was able to escape with his life.”


“When he and I were fighting, I went in for the final bow but Raziel, Celestia’s keeper of knowledge, begged me to spare him. That Nathaniel had no more fight in him, and to please not kill his son. Of all the angels, Raziel is the only I have respect for. He took no part in the war, he and Fakir both refused to take part in the war and with doing so each side promised to not target them. We all understood their role and their importance. So when he asked me to spare his son, I agreed. I let Nathaniel live.” Kuro shook his head, “Let’s get back on track… I don’t really care to talk about this anymore…”

“Alright.” She commented, “I showed you Chi because he can make rain and thunderstorms. Water I need for Mizu and energy I can use to help me summon. Also, I thought you’d like to meet him.”

“What did she do that got your attention, Chi?” He was still in disbelief.

“It is quite simple really. King Veraxxis instructed me to accompany her as she needs me.” Chi answered, “I do not know the reason. But I dare not question my king. Though I was instructed to follow her, I have grown fond of her. Her intelligence never ceases to amaze me. The conversations we have are quite enjoyable. I hope you will find her as favorable as I do.” he nuzzled her cheek and she responded with a laugh.

“She isn’t like others, she isn’t as annoying. Don’t know if I would call her favorable, though.” He smirked at her attempting to push her buttons.

“I would say the same thing about you.” She responded, “Not as annoying but not favorable. You are too hot headed to be favorable.” She stuck her tongue out at him.

“Brat.” He slumped back against a tree, “Alright, bring out your last one!”

She took a deep breath and held her hands out. This time though there was no light, a blackness formed around her hands sucking in the light around it. The day was sunny and warm but the area around then turned cold and frigid. As she breathed out you could see her breath. A distant sound of clocks ticking echoed around them.

Kuro gave an involuntary growl as the energy around them shifted, “An Obsidian.” He whispered.

A shadow formed on the ground in front of her, so dark that you couldn’t see the sand anymore. Long metallic claws burst up from the shadow, two sets of four scissor-like appendages attached to two long arms pulled up from the ground and along with its body. Its body was small and round in shape. It hovered once it pulled its claws from the dirt. The claws were at least three times as big as the rest of its body. The body was gray, and looked much like a pocket watch, just the size of Alouna’s head, one claw being as tall as her. The face had gears poking out that turned and grinded against each other making the awful sound of metal scraping and pounding together. There was one large white eye in the middle of the clock face, it looked to Alouna and made a loud WWWWRRRR sound and one of the gears on the left side of its body spun fast.

“Hello, Cogllisto.” Alouna spoke to the creature.

“I thought it was an unspoken rule for Summoners to not summon Elites or Obsidians.” Kuro commented.

“I didn’t know what an Obsidian was until I got here.” Alouna explained, “And by that time me and him were already together. I know the risks of summoning an Obsidian. Cogllisto is the only Obsidian I know how to summon. And I wouldn’t dare summon an Elite, I was told it is not only dangerous but disrespectful by Mizu.”

“We-” Kuro looked to Cogllisto, “Yes”, He answered a question Alouna could not hear, “I suppose.” He chuckled, “Don’t be so quick to shuffle through people’s timelines without permission. You could get someone quite upset.”

“Cogllisto and I cannot speak with each other, what did he say?” Alouna looked back and forth between them as they spoke.

“He already knows what is happening because he read your timeline. He wants me to teach you how to have stronger control over your spirit so he can bond with you better without the risk of he possessing or consuming your soul.” Kuro answered, “Where did you meet-” he looked to Cogllisto once again, “You know it is rude to interrupt… Oh?… Fuck…” He looked to Alouna, “You were going to be sacrificed to him?”

She frowned with a flicker of vulnerability in her eyes , “Yeah…”

“That is some dark shit.” He laughed, “Making a deal with a demon, promising all the souls of your captors in exchange for your freedom.”

“They didn’t care about me, why should I care about them? They never stopped to even question if my life was worth anything. Fuck.Them.” She crossed her arms.

“Alouna!” Caleb’s voice came from behind her. “You are too young to be using such language.” She came marching up with Baal and Andrew close behind her.

“I should have known the disturbance was because of you.” Baal sighed.

“Disturbance?” Kuro questioned.

“Obsidians are not allowed in Sun Coast City or Foggy Peaks.” Andrew explained. “They are only allowed in Rainy cover or in the high mountains. They pose a high risk to humans. Only Elites and Naturals are allowed.”

“How does that work for crosses?” Kuro raised a brow.

“Huh?” Andrew seemed confused.

“I am a cross between an Obsidian and an Elite. Where do I fall?” Kuro questioned

“Usually if they have any Obsidian in them then they are considered an Obsidian. The reason you don’t have to follow the rules is because we can’t enforce rules on you.” Baal answered. “Did you summon him, Alouna?”

“Yes.” she answered, changing her voice into a softer, more playful tone. Kuro stared at her, it seemed her whole being became lighter. She became a ‘child’.

“You know better than to summon Obsidians. That is forbidden here on Abaddon. Too many people have been hurt doing that.” Baal’s voice was softer as well, like he was talking to a child. But he was talking to a child.

‘Why does it feel strange?’ Kuro wondered but his thoughts were interrupted, he looked back to Cogllisto, “the terms are how Summoners classify us.” He explained, “I was confused by it as well. In all honesty I find it quite childish and overly simple. Elites are any of our brethren that have a humanoid form. We are strongest and pose the biggest threat when summoned. Not only for the one who the Summoner is fighting against but for the Summoner as well. Come to think of it, I think there has ever been a successful summon of an Elite that didn’t result in the death of the Summoner. Then there are Naturals. Like Mizu and Hein there. Any of our brethren who resemble something of their world. More often than not, they pose little threat to the summoner when summoned. And they are not always used for combat, some help with other mundane things, like cooking and building things. And then there are Obsidians, which are beings like you. Show almost no resemblance to the natural world or have a humanoid appearance. Obsidians are considered dangerous and only well experienced Summoners are allowed to summon them. Used almost always for combat and pose a threat to the Summoner.” Kuro explained in an almost monotone text voice, like he was reading it from a book.

“Right, Obsidians are known for going after control of their Summoner’s soul, whether it is for possession or consumption. And they do some very unsettling things to people.” Andrew finished, staring at Cogllisto fear dancing in his eyes but his face stayed calm.

“Cogllisto isn’t like that.” Alouna defended him. “He is my friend and he doesn’t want to hurt me!”

“Hun, I would love to agree with you. But-” Baal started.

“Shut up, dumbass. Don’t run your mouth about something you don’t know.” Kuro interjected, “She knows Cogllisto or rather…” Kuro paused looking at Cogllisto once more, “Any reason?” He questioned, “If you so wish her not to know your true name then that is between you and her.” He shrugged. “Anyway, the point is she knows more about Cogllisto more than you. He has requested me to make her soul stronger so that there is no risk of his soul consuming or possessing her when they fight together.”

“I thought you were supposed to be teaching about the fundamentals of being a Summoner, not training her for combat.” Caleb crossed her arms, shooting a quick look to Baal.

“I am doing both.” Kuro Explained, “If she wants to help me find Gehenna, then she needs to know how to defend herself. I cannot count the times I have had to deal with demon hunters. They know who I am and they still think they have a shot of defeating me. She needs to be ready for that.”

“Help you find Gehenna?!” Caleb looked at Baal, “Why wasn’t I made aware of this? I was under the impression this teaching thing was to help protect the island. Not for her to leave it.”

“Why would I help her train to protect an island that doesn’t need protecting?” Kuro questioned. “This island had tons of our strongest on it, not to mention Baal, and I frequent here. Have you ever had a demon hunter even attempt here?”

“Only once, when we were first starting out. But not a single one since then. And to be fair Caleb, you never really asked why.” Baal shrugged, “I thought you understood since you didn’t ask any questions.”

Caleb took a deep breath, “I don’t really care what the Obsidian says, we have a strict rule against summoning Obsidians.” She said as calmly as she could manage, “And, Kuroishi, here on this island, we have rules everyone must follow. This includes her. And this includes you. I allowed the demon contract, even though that is also not allowed here on the island, but only because there isn’t anything I could do about that now. I don’t really care what you were on Gehenna, here you are just another demon. And I will not stand by and let you put her in danger any more.”

“Then sit down and shut up. You are not in charge. You don’t have power over me.” Kuro huffed, “You are weak and hold no power over really anyone, yet you demand respect? Your strength comes from the power we, demons, grant you. Without it, you are nothing but a simple mortal matching her way down the path to her grave.”

“Excuse me?!” Caleb grew red with anger.

Kuro smirked, “You’re excused.”

Caleb shook, unsure what to even say.

“Are you done? I have things to do.” Kuro asked with a smug look on his face. “Come along now, Alouna.”

“No! Baal! I don’t want her to go with him!” Caleb snapped.

“I am starting to feel like a broken record, I cannot stop him.” Baal sighed. “I have made this very clear. And I advise you not to pick a fight with him.”

“Alouna, sweetheart, maybe it would be best if you just come home today. Maybe finish a book or two.” Andrew tried to defuse the situation.

“I have a contract to focus on. He can teach me more than the books can. Sorry Andrew, I am staying with Kuro.” Alouna stood next to Kuro. “I mean, I am suppose to be having some time outside.” She rolled her eyes.

Kuro looked at her for a long moment, her voice had changed again. It wasn’t bounce and playful, it was the voice she usually talked to him with, mature and knowledgeable. He glanced back and Caleb, her face looked like a ripe tomato. Red and ready to burst. Kuro got in her face, “You look ugly when you are angry. You want to attack me? Go ahead, summon your strongest. I won’t raise a finger, won’t attack you or the demon you choose. Yet I will still win.”

Caleb glared at him, “Me and Glisser have been through hell together, he won’t let me down.” She warned before touching her snake tattoo. The tattoo glowed and from it came a long brilliant white viper, it towered over everyone as it stood tall. “Glisser! Attack!” Glisser bared his fangs, and flicked his tongue identifying the threat, but as it seemed he would attack, he stopped and relaxed. “Glisser! Attack!” She repeated her demand.

“I cannot.” He answered bluntly.

“What?! But he threatens me!”

“What have you done to upset our prince?” He asked as if she was in the wrong.

“What?!” Caleb said in shock.

Kuro shook his head, “Do you not get it yet? We are loyal to each other. We may fight, get into arguments and threaten each other day in and day out, but we will always stand up for each other. We do not betray each other. In that way, as well, we are better than humans. Stronger, wiser, and more loyal.” Kuro smirked, “You humans truly are vile creatures. But you do have some uses for us, so we keep you around. Lets just hope you stay useful.” Kuro grabbed Alouna’s arm and almost dragged her away. “Next time you challenged me, I will take away Glisser’s assistance from you!” He warned her.