“Phoebe, are you in there? I can sense you in there, so I know you are. I know something's bothering you. Let me in and we can talk about it.”
Phoebe, the golden eyed Megami with blue hair trimmed extremely short, was sitting in the window sill staring out at the stars in the sky. She let out a sigh. As gracious as they'd been to take her in when her master died, these other Megami could be a little annoying. The lightweight, white silk blouse she was wearing rustled as she got up. She closed her eyes for a moment, took in a deep breath, and then opened them again, relaxing her face and letting the expression soften before going to the door. “Thanks, but I'm okay. Really. I just want some time alone to think.”
A golden haired Megami with shocking blue eyes, regarded Phoebe with a little uncertainty was the one out in the hall. “Are you sure? You don't really look alright. You're thinking about losing your master and sister again, aren't you? Let me help.”
Phoebe gently pushed against the door so the other Megami backed up to let it shut. Through the wood she replied. “I'll be fine, Ramiel. Thanks for asking.”
Phoebe went back to the window and stared up at the stars. There weren't nearly as many stars visible in Svyatylyshche as there were out in the wilderness where she and her sister had lived. Well... they never were sure if they were really sisters or not. Neither could remember back that far, and no one else bothered to confirm or deny it for the two Kamichu. They just felt a connection between the two of them and, when Melanie had realized the reason they couldn't remember their past was they were put through a level five conditioning cycle, they ran away together.
They were lucky enough to find a spot where the ferals were either weak or not aggressive, and they lived together for years until their master came to them. Phoebe fought back tears thinking of the man. He really wasn't who she had expected or dreamed of for a tamer. An older, gentler man. They found him in a cabin out in the wilderness near where they lived; they had actually been caught trying to steal food from his home. He just invited them both to dinner.
Just like the relationship between her and Melanie, the relationship they had with their master was nebulous but wonderful. In truth, he treated them more like daughters than his pokegirls. He never really even claimed them, letting them keep each other tamed and always joking that he couldn't please two young and eager girls such as them. They merely called him master because they didn't know what else to use. He taught them. He protected them from being captured and separated by other tamers. He loved them. Then he died.
It happened at night while both Phoebe and Melanie were sleeping, so neither knew how it happened. There was just a lot of blood and a mutilated corpse, and a letter explaining everything to the two. He had possessed the limited time blood curse, and had been living as a hermit to avoid anyone suffering from his inevitable, untimely loss. He apologized to both of them for the pain he couldn't save them from.
But their master was the only reason they could stay together. They were both still Kamichu when they met their master, but soon after Phoebe evolved to what she was today. Melanie became hopeful that she too would evolve to a Megami soon, but instead evolved to a Youma. Phoebe always held the hope that her sister wasn't evil, it was only the infernal nature that made her aggressive and selfish. She had always wanted to help people while she was a Kamichu, and Phoebe before had thought she would be more likely to evolve to the celestial breed before the now Megami.
But then she became distraught after the loss of their master, and vanished from Phoebe's side for a few days. She returned, a Succubus, only to evolve herself to a Mazouku right in front of the Megami's eyes, vowing to never be so weak she'd lose someone again. And then she left, teleporting away to somewhere Phoebe couldn't follow.
That was nearly a year ago. She had to move on, she was trying to move on. She was helping Ramiel, Sachael, and Kakabel in their work around the city. Working at pokecenters, working at clinics. The group did a lot of good, but they also could have done a lot more. Phoebe passed by a lot of people they could have helped, a lot of people Melanie would have tried to help from before, but the other three Megami passed them by.
Phoebe glanced at her reflection in the mirror, her own golden eyes staring back at her like they could have been the eyes of Melanie, somewhere out there in the world...
A hooded figure entered the west quarter of Svyatylyshche. She'd finally decided to come to this city after some time. It sounded interesting. The major crime groups of Sapphire didn't bother trying to set up much here. It was too far away and they would either have too many infernals trying to run the show or too many celestials trying to shut the place down in the name of justice. It was entirely possible both could happen at the same time, and then everything would go up in smoke. The entire city was divided by an invisible line that ran north to south, right through the center where the Dawnbreak and Duskfall gyms faced each other, the origin of the split. Svyatylyshche earned the knick-named Molotov City when someone in the capital said the entire thing sounded like it could explode at any minute. The city started with a history of celestial and infernal pokegirls squabbling, and had escalated over the centuries to what could seem like a full blown war. The East quarter was where the celestials had their strongholds, the West was the infernals. The North and South quarters, though much smaller than either East or West, were considered neutral ground. The North had the rich people and nice houses, the South was slums and run down apartments; people living more like refugees sometimes than citizens.
Melanie thought she'd try the West end, it was after all where her kind congregated. But the air tasted foul to the Mazouku. Hostililty, hate, and pride, all sickeningly strong this far back. She wandered east, hoping to find somewhere more to her liking. Hostility had its place, one shouldn't let herself be walked over. Hatred had its place, Melanie would never forgive that monster that took her master from her, nor would she forgive the town that took her past away. Pride was entertaining, and nothing wrong with it. But this was a world where someone was always stronger than you, and being boastful was just asking for them to come out and crush you where you stood. She wound up teaching many that lesson this night. Her travels took her all the way to the center line of the city. She took a moment to stare up at the massive structures, Gothic in architecture and made out of grey stone. How funny, that almost three hundred years ago this extravagant style was what they decided to use, and no one once stopped to consider something more practical for the city. She still hadn't crossed the line over to the East, she wouldn't. Not tonight. She turned in place to face North. Pride, more sickening than what she felt going through the deepest part of the infernals' territory. Humans... The pokegirl sneared at the idea that they thought they were so much better than her kind. She then turned to face the South. Fear; she could use fear to her advantage. So she headed south.
The buildings this way were cracked if they were stone, and in shambles if they were wood. No one made this part look pretty, the ones that cared about the beauty of the city would never come here anyway. Doors were locked, windows were boarded, and lights were snuffed out leaving the streets in relative darkness. Shadows lurked on rooftops and in alley ways, but Melanie sensed nothing as strong as she was so she strode boldly down the middle of the road. She pulled back her hood, letting the moonlight shine on her deep red hair. It flowed out behind her, always moving as if under the effects of a strong wind blowing from in front of her, even though the air was still. Four horns curled from the sides of her head, two sweeping back and arching slightly above another set that curled forward almost like a rams. Both sets were wrapped with pink colored ribbon and ornamented with numerous little pieces of gold. Her eyes were shining gold in the dark, they looked like two yellow orbs floating in the shadows of her hood before she had taken it down. With her cloak on, she looked human enough, the long length that went down past her ankles and dragged behind her hid her feet. They were still clawed; still too different to wear normal footwear. She also had two tails that swept to and fro behind her, almost like two chasing shadows behind her that flickered with red flames, the same color as her hair.
That was the fun thing about her body. If she wanted it to be, her entire being could look like that. A shadowy form surrounded in coursing power; only her eyes burning through. Or she could look like she was now, almost human in shape and complexion. Melanie's eyes locked onto an unusual sight in this part of the city; an open window. The Mazouku flowed up the side of the building, slipping through the wall by phasing and coming to rest on the floor next to the only human in the room.
A young human woman, young enough to still be in school or just out of it. That would be sixteen or so in the Sapphire League. A pretty young thing, with a worried expression and closed eyes. Melanie studied her for a moment as she swept an unseeing gaze around the room. Blind? Melanie asked herself as she watched the human girl scan about without opening her eyes.
“Who- who's there?” The girl asked. The sound carried through the room, but wouldn't have made it very far out into the streets. Melanie stood quietly and watched her before the human latched the window shut and made her way over to a small bed with few blankets and a large, raggedy, body pillow. “I guess... it was just the wind...” The human told herself. She peeled off her shirt and climbed into bed. Melanie smiled to herself seeing that the girl slept in the nude. A very pretty young thing indeed.
The Mazouku's tails swayed back and forth at a quicker pace in her excitement. How did she want to do this? Take what she needed? There was a dark thrill at the idea, but she hadn't sunk that low yet. So make an agreement? What would this lone, blind, human girl want? There was always the oldest arrangement humans and pokegirls made, one that was nearly three centuries old. Melanie shifted her weight to step forward and a floorboard creaked under the change in pressure.
“Who's there?!” The human girl shot up out of bed, clutching the sheet against her gooseflesh covered skin as she backed against the wall that served as her headboard. “Please don't hurt me. Take what you want and leave me alone, please.”
Melanie looked unhappily at the floorboard that had given her away before she had intended to reveal her presence, but then shrugged her shoulders. “And what if I want something you would need to give me?” She kept her voice low and gentle. Though a primal part of her was basking in the fear coming from this girl, it'd be better if she were calm to make the deal Melanie wanted.
“You're a pokegirl?” Melanie nodded. “Are you?”
“Oh,” the Mazouku felt a little bit of embarrassment at having forgotten that all signs pointed to the human being blind. “Yes, yes I am a pokegirl.” The infernal pokegirl took a few more steps forward, stopping within arms reach of the trembling human girl trying to hide behind a moth-eaten bedsheet.
“Then... just... please don't hurt me. And then go.” The fear coming from her was so intense it was intoxicating. Melanie knew why. There was no law here, no rules. How many nights would someone living by themselves worry that a pokegirl may come in and take from her by force what Melanie was seeking now? “I have more medical bills than I can pay already... so if you would-”
“I want a human I can rely on. I lost my master a long time ago and now I am tired of having to hunt for someone to stave off feraldom, even if I do take much longer than most to fall. So, for this, I am willing to negotiate for what I want. You're right to fear others of my kind, but you do not need to fear me.”
The human girl did seem to calm a little, and one uncertain hand moved cautiously through the night air towards where the blind girl heard the voice coming from. Fingers touched Melanie's cheek, and the Mazouku remained still as the other hand came up to join its mate in exploring her face. “You have soft skin...” The human girl commented as her hand moved up to Melanie's hair line. Melanie was examining the human's own skin, the sheet had fallen to the floor and it also was very soft looking now that all of the little bumps generated out of fear were gone. Then a finger touched the base of the Mazouku's horns and both hands shot back to protecting the human's body. “You're an infernal!”
“Yes, I am. A Mazouku.” Melanie replied. The girl's trembling worsened, she looked almost ready to fall apart. Melanie gently grabbed her hand again, and although the human girl did fight against her it didn't take much strength to bring the hand back to the side of the pokegirl's face. “But I won't hurt you. You safeguard me from losing my mind and I will protect you from whatever threats you face living here. You have my word.”
The hand Melanie brought back began exploring the length of the horn, fingers running over the grooves until they reached the tip. The hand fell onto the Mazouku's shoulder as the other came back up to touch the opposite cheek. The blind girl cautiously inched closer, till more of their bodies were touching and the distance between them wasn't even the length of one finger. One more second of uncertainty, and then they kissed on the lips, sealing the deal as they made their way to the humble bed that served as one of the few pieces of furniture in the room.
The body pillow was discarded on the floor. Melanie was now what Cecilia hugged close to her while sleeping. Introductions were made in the middle of the night, after the passion of the first taming. Then Melanie decided reciprocation was in order, and the human girl passed out soon after. Now the sun was creeping into the window and the Mazouku was alert, feeling the warm breath on her skin as Cecilia still snored softly. It wasn't until the warmth of the sunlight fell on the blind human's skin that she stirred.
“Mmmm. Good morning, Melanie.” She sat up, the Mazouku cracked a smile as the golden light danced across the younger human's skin. “It feels good... having someone else here with me just as soon as I wake up.”
“Cecilia, why don't you have a pokegirl to protect you?”
The blind human frowned. “I can't afford one as a pet, and I can't be a tamer if I can't see.”
“Were you always blind?”
“No... I was in a bad accident three years ago. One of the usual fights here got out of control. Both my parents were killed, and I would have died if the Seraph hadn't healed me right away. But she couldn't take the time to do it right, so my eyes didn't heal back up like they should have. I haven't been able to save up for the surgery I need to fix them.” She finished with a frown on her face. “What about you? How did you lose your master?”
“He died. Something killed him in the night. Both me and my sister were helpless to stop it. We didn't even know until-” Melanie blinked as the rage and sorrow moistened her eyes. “I... I'd been waiting, holding back. My sister and I were hoping I could become a Demon-Goddess, we weren't really planning on my becoming a Youma... but when I lost him...”
“I understand. Was he a good master?”
“He was amazing... But he's gone, and I don't like to think-” The Mazouku was cut off when there was a knock at the door. Cecilia jumped up and quickly threw on clothing she somehow knew were lying on the floor.
“One moment,” the girl shouted to the only entry in the apartment. “That's probably one of Marcus' 'girls delivering my groceries.” Cecilia made her way to the door, following a path as comfortably as someone with access to all of their senses. A Doggirl was the one carrying the sack of food, and was just about to hand it over when she dropped it upon setting eyes on Melanie.
“Cece! Is she- did she?!” Cecilia put a hand on the Doggirl's growling muzzle.
“No, she's not. She's promised to help me, I swear it. It's okay.”
“Alright...” the Doggirl said while still glaring in the Mazouku's direction. “Let Master know if she goes back on that deal though. Sofiel may be a pokewoman now but she's got friends who aren't.”
“I will. Tell Marcus thank you for me, again and always.”
After the spilled bag of mostly produce had been picked up and put away, the Doggirl left. “Who is Marcus and Sofiel?” Melanie asked.
“Marcus buys a lot of crops from the farmers and sells them in the markets here. Sofiel's his Angel. Their son was the one that owned the Seraph that healed me. They feel really guilty about what happened, but this is like the only way they can help me. They don't have much money themselves.”
“I see.” Melanie said as her tails swished back and forth. “That's... kind of them. I wonder who Sofiel's friends are though...”
“I'm sure they're good 'girls. Sofiel isn't a bad celestial, just like you're not a bad infernal. Right?” Melanie stayed silent with her tails swishing. “Riiight?”
“I suppose,” was the only reply Cecilia got.
A few nights later, Cecilia had just fallen asleep, hugging herself tight against Melanie like all the nights before, but the Mazouku wasn't letting herself fall asleep. Completely alert, she was reaching out with all of the senses she could as she perceived a vague sense of an approaching threat. Not to her, but to the human in whose arms she was wrapped. She got up to the sleepy protest of Cecilia. “I'm just getting a glass of water.” An unintelligible mumble was the human's reply.
Melanie had the glass nearly to her lips when the threats, there were two of them, burst through the door. The door of the frame cracked but held in place at the force the two infernal pokegirls entered with. One was completely beastial looking, horns and claws and wide, hungry eyes. The other was more human and had an ice cold expression. Both stopped when they saw the Mazouku standing there.
“You! Who are you? Let us have the girl and we won't kill you.” The larger, less human one hissed. Melanie glanced over her shoulder and saw Cecilia cowering at hearing the voice.
The Mazouku didn't reply. The water in the glass she was holding flew through the air, diving down the throat of the infernal that spoke. As the Youma coughed and sputtered, Melanie cast an ice spell on the water itself. The lesser infernal dropped to the ground as her neck bulged and shards of ice cut through the soft tissue lining her windpipe.
Her human looking companion ran from the room, and Melanie gripped the hand of the dying Youma, teleporting up on Cecilia's roof. The human looking infernal, maybe even a normal breed who was Fiendish, was running through the streets. Melanie made one more teleport to cut the fleeing 'girl off, tossing the soon to be corpse of the Youma at her legs and crushing both of them against a wall with a Hydro Pump attack. Just to be sure, she fired a water spear at the two, freezing it in midair so that it pinned both of them to the wall of the building through their chest.
Cecilia was cowering in the corner when Melanie teleported back in. “Cece...” That was the name the Doggirl had used, and Melanie had started using it too. It was what Cecilia asked her friends to use.
“Melanie!” The Mazouku caught the human girl as she threw herself into Melanie's arms. “Thank whatever gods you're here!”
Melanie shushed the crying blind girl. “You don't have to worry about them, or any like them, anymore. Not ever again.”
“Did you hear?” Sachael was giddy at the new gossip.
“Hear what?” Both Kakabel and Ramiel asked in unison.
“The infernals are killing each other again. Two of them were found completely mutilated. None of ours were in the South quarter last night, and we'd never be so barbaric. So it must mean they're starting up their infighting again. We might actually get somewhere if it gets really bad!”
Phoebe shook her head at the gossip. The infernals would kill each other on occasion, especially if the middle of the city was quiet for a while. But it really came down to the humans of the city where the line was, and nothing the warring infernals or celestials did would change that. Also, it was silly for Sachael to call the warring celestials, 'we'. The four Megami didn't involve themselves in the fighting at all, they didn't even support the warring celestials behind the scenes. It was like including yourself as a part of your favorite sports team.
“Maybe they'll learn to fight like we do, and just call each other names behind the other's back.” Phoebe chimed in. She'd meant it as a joke, but only Ramiel seemed to find the least bit of humor in it.
“We don't fight each other, at all!”
“Yeah, and we especially wouldn't do such things behind each other's backs!”
Phoebe backed down. “Oh, uh... right. Sorry. I was just trying to be funny.” The buzzed-short-blue haired Megami finished her breakfast quietly as the other three then tried to figure out what things might have been said about them while they couldn't hear.
After they were all done eating and the three others spent a lot of time freshening up, they headed out into the streets of Svyatylyshche again. Obviously they'd never spent much time out in the wilderness, if any. Phoebe made a mental note of that as she chuckled to herself. Today they wound up going even farther than they had for all the time Phoebe had been with the three. They were going to the South quarter. They healed people, spoke words of encouragement, and performed a bunch of other good deeds that everyone seemed really grateful for; always in the busiest parts of the city with a lot of people watching. And always skipping over some people that could obviously use the exact same kind of help. Phoebe was beginning to wonder what the qualification was for one person to receive help while the other was ignored when a very near human pokegirl jumped out in front of their group.
“You three again! Are you going to help Taylor this time?” Her aggressive stance and long, toned leg muscles hinted at a fighting type. A gentle voice in her head told Phoebe this red haired pokegirl was a Tyamazon, that she had no master, and that she would probably be evolving to an Amazonlee soon. The voice almost sounded like her late master.
“Has Taylor gone through the steps she needs to redeem herself?” Kakabel asked the Tyamazon.
“How can she?! No one is going to trust her until... FINE! Forget your help!” The fighting type ran back into an alley. The three Megami just huffed indignantly, but Phoebe broke away from them after a few seconds and followed after the Tymazon. Maybe the Megami was wrong, but it looked like she'd been crying as she ran off.
The Tyamazon was too fast for Phoebe to keep up, but her intuition guided her through the back streets. Eventually she was brought to where the Tyamazon was sitting with her arm around a blonde haired very near human 'girl. She must have been Taylor, and as Phoebe dwelled on that she became aware that Taylor was a Slicer in a similar situation as Hailey. The Megami blinked for a while until she realized that must have been the name of the Tyamazon.
Suddenly she was noticed by the Tyamazon, who jumped up to stand in front of the Slicer. “What? You were with those stuck up Megami. Finally going to let Taylor know what she needs to do?” The Slicer peeked around her companion's shoulder and Phoebe blinked as she saw solid black eyes. Taylor ducked back behind the other fighting type.
“Taylor,” Phoebe called gently, “can you come out here so I can see you?” The Slicer complied, even though the Tyamazon put an arm out in front of her when Taylor tried to step around. Finally the sword using pokegirl was standing in front of Phoebe, looking up at her with eyes that were two solid black orbs. “You were Fiendish, weren't you?” Taylor dropped her head with one nod, guilt on her face.
“She didn't have a choice! As soon as she could she ran away from that bitch, but now no one will help her because of that damn mark. I'm the only one who-” Phoebe lifted Taylor's chin and chastely kissed the Slicer on the lips. The blackness of her eyes seem to fade away, looking like ink blotting out across a paper played in reverse. When the black was gone, two violet eyes with the darker shaded pupils were staring up at Phoebe, glistening. Phoebe looked up at the stunned silent Tyamazon. “You two take care of each other, okay?”
“We will, thank you.” The Slicer responded with a soft and gentle voice. “My name's Taylor, you already knew that. My friend is Hailey.”
“It's nice to meet you. My name is Phoebe. I hope we run into each other again.” The Megami took a step backwards. “Well, my companions may be wondering where I got off to, so I'd better make my way back to them. Goodbye, Taylor, Hailey.” With that the Megami teleported away.
Things didn't go like she had thought when she returned to Sachael and the other two. They were angry with her, for helping someone who needed it more than half the people and pokegirls they had helped during that day. It left the golden eyed Megami confused, so she wandered off on her own. She finally stopped right on the center line, at a large closed down church building. Peeking in through one of the stained glass windows let Phoebe get the line of site she needed to teleport in, and she knelt in the middle of the vast sanctuary to meditate.
Why would such a beautiful building go unused? Did the people running it have the same attitude as Sachael, and they turned away people they didn't think were worthy? Or did the people visiting such a church think that maybe the others sitting next to them weren't worthy, so they stopped coming?
“How strange, to see a Megami so humble.” The voice reverberated in the Sanctuary all around her. There was a dark harshness to it, but also a familiarity.
“Melanie?! Are you here?”
The voice ignored her question. “I was surprised when you removed the Damnation from that Slicer. I had been considering doing it myself since those two have a lot of potential. It would be beneficial to have them in my debt.”
“You shouldn't have ulterior motives for helping people! You should just help to help, that's what you wanted to do!”
“What's wrong with wanting people to return the favor? What's wrong with making deals instead of hoping for them to mirror your generosity? If I make it the condition of my help that they need to help me later, is that so wrong?”
“Yes! It is! You're not like that, you're not like an infernal.”
“An infernal?! Isn't that how your friends are? They demanded that Slicer do their work before they would even consider removing that brand! And yet they're Megami, shining beacons of what it means to be a celestial. Just like you.”
“Please, Melanie... Don't do this. Don't fight with me. Look, I found a way to help you. If you let me bless you, and then we get an Angel stone... you could still be an Angel. We could still make things right even though you can't be a Demon-Godde-”
“THIS IS RIGHT!” Melanie dropped down from the rafters of the building, a shadowy figure wreathed in bold red flames, tails thrashing violently behind her. “This is how I want to be! I'm strong like this, stronger than any prissy Angel, or Seraph, or Megami will let themselves be! MASTER WOULDN'T HAVE DIED IF I WERE LIKE THIS!”
The words struck like a dagger. For a minute Phoebe could only gape and her sister in silence. Then she steeled her resolve. If Melanie couldn't see reason because of her evolution, then as her sister, she'd make the Mazouku see. Magical chains shot out from Phoebe's hands to hold the infernal in place.
The Runic Chain attack shattered against a barrier though. Golden eyes first went wide with shock and then narrowed. Water conjured around Melanie's hands, swirling and dancing around her fingertips. A stream of bubbles soared towards Phoebe, who popped them all in mid air with a single Dark Bomb. The Mazouku who fired the Bubble attack was lost with the burst though, until a Water Spear took Phoebe in the side and smashed her into the pews. The Megami jumped back to her feet, surrounding herself in a Dark Cocoon and Life Shield. A shadowy flying sickle blade smashed into the celestial's ward, piercing through but losing much of its damage. Hell Claw clashed against a Dark Blade, and then a Water Blade was crushed against a Transcendent Sword attack.
Melanie steadied herself after taking the powerful celestial attack only to have her mind explode with pain as Phoebe unleashed a psychic attack. The attack stopped abruptly as the Mazouku countered with Night Shade. Both sisters then threw a Force Bolt at the other, only to have it explode on impact with its counterpart right in the middle of the church they'd been fighting in.
The blast from the explosion knocked both pokegirls on their backs, and both clambered up at the same time. Phoebe started to focus her celestial powers again but had to cover her ears with both hands as Melanie let loose a horrifying Wail. When she recovered from the terrible sound, she looked up to see a massive ball of water about to finish the last bounce it needed to come in contact with her. She froze in disbelief as the Bubbler attack hit her and exploded, the wall of water it produced knocking her to the floor again.
Someone helped the drenched Megami up again, and Phoebe stared dumbfounded as Ramiel firmly told her, “Don't worry. We'll take care of that Mazouku now!” Electricity crackled in the air around the blonde Megami as she rushed to join Kakabel and Sachael before Phoebe could even explain the situation. She got up to try to call them off, but Melanie was blasted through one of the stained glass windows by a combination attack from the trio of Megami. The fight was out on the streets and suddenly all four combatants started teleporting around the city.
Phoebe was left, not knowing where any of them went, with a horrible sense of dread that she needed to stop the fight that she had started. Her mind raced as she tried to figure out which way to go, the guiding voice from earlier that day dead silent. As she tried to hear or see any signs of the battle, she could barely make out something, but it wasn't fighting and it wasn't the voice that guided her. It was a girl calling out a name, Melanie's name!
Phoebe ran towards that voice and found a human girl walking down the street carefully with one hand placed on the sides of the buildings at all times. “Melanie? Mel-ah-nie!?” Phoebe ran up and grabbed the girl's shoulders, which startled her greatly.
“Do you know where she went?”
“Wha?! Where who went? Who are you?” Phoebe noticed the girl's face was pointed right at hers, but the human's eyes weren't open. She was blind.
“My name is Phoebe. Melanie is my sister, or at least I have a sister named Melanie. She's a Mazouku”
The blind girl nodded her head quickly. “That's who I'm looking for. She's been looking out for me for a while now, but then today she just disappeared so I've been looking for her. You're her sister? Then you're a Megami, right?”
“Ri-” Phoebe cut herself off mid sentence. She suddenly knew where to go. “Come on! This way!” She grabbed the blind girl's hand and dragged her along behind as they both ran. Soon they heard the sounds of thunder and fire, then Phoebe saw a spray of water shoot up over the sides of a building up ahead. Rounding the corner revealed Melanie facing off against the trio of Megami, the lone infernal looking much worse off than any one of the celestials. Sachael, Kakabel, and Ramiel were all preparing to attack at the same time, and Phoebe launched a Dark Shield to absorb the abuse meant for her sister.
Cecilia felt the Megami she had just met let go of her hand and she was left standing in the middle of an unfamiliar street. The sounds of fighting died. For a moment there was stunned silence and then a new female voice asked, “Phoebe! What are you doing?! That infernal was attacking you!”
The voice of the Megami that had pulled her here, “No! That's not what happened!”
A new voice, “Could she be possessed? Enthralled? Should we attack her too?”
“NO!” Two voices shouted out. One of them continued. “We could sense it if she was. Phoebe, what's-”
There were the sounds of two more people running past her as two more voices joined whatever was going on. One of them was loud and bold. The other seemed much more suited to speaking much softer.
“Leave Phoebe alone, Megami bitch-squad!”
“Don't attack, or we will defend Phoebe.”
“EVERYONE, STOP IT!” Phoebe yelled to everyone present. Sachael and Kakabel let the energy of their attacks dissapate. Ramiel had already done so. Hailey and Taylor both stood in front of Phoebe with their guard raised, but then turned to look at the Megami. Phoebe though was kneeling down in front of her sister. “Melanie... I'm so sorry. I just couldn't, I didn't think you... forgive me.”
The Mazouku stood, looking down at her sister and then across the street to the three Megami, then all around them at the residents of Svyatylyshche peeking out their window's curiously. Most people that weren't of a celestial or infernal nature learned when to get inside quickly when fighting broke out. Lastly, she looked over at Cecilia. “It's okay. We both lost our temper. You're forgiven.”
Melanie sat on the end of the twin bed with Cecilia leaning right up against her. Phoebe was sitting on the floor against the wall with the window, and the Tyamazon and Slicer named Hailey and Taylor were both standing in the room as well. The three Megami had returned to where ever they had come from, only one of them in a halfway decent mood.
“...and this is Cecilia. She's been taking care of me since I came to town.” With that everyone was introduced.
Phoebe chuckled. “That's funny. She told me you were taking care of her when we ran into each other.”
Cecilia felt Melanie gently squeeze her hand. “That's just how this sort of things works.”
The blind girl smiled. “We could also take care of you and your two friends, if you need it.”
All three of the 'girls the offer had been made to flushed red, with Hailey recovering first. “Thanks for the offer, but me and Taylor are hoping to have a bit more adventure now that she got that damn brand removed. We're going to find ourselves a tamer.”
Phoebe looked thoughtful for a moment. “If that's so... You should head to the Jade Islands.” Both fighting types turned to look at her with surprise. “Eventually. What? I'm a Megami, I know these kind of things...” Lower under her breath, “...As long as I listen first...”
Taylor nodded a little. “Jade Islands it is. Will you be staying with Cecilia and your sister?” Phoebe gave an audible confirmation for the benefit of the girl without eyesight. “Then we'll have to keep in touch. I'm not sure how but things should work out.”
Cecilia chimed in, “But I don't think you two will be going anywhere tonight. Feel free to sleep here.”
Melanie poked the human in the ribs. “That's very generous of you, but I think all of us are going to break the bed that way.” Cecilia shoved the Mazouku off the matress an onto the floor.
She dove on top of the only infernal in the room, draggin the top blanket with her. “Then we'll just have to take things to the floor!”
Phoebe, Melanie, and Cecilia were still laying about in the pile of blankets on the floor. Cecilia was running her fingers over the top of Phoebe's head. “Why do you keep your hair so short?”
“I just do...” The Megami replied mysteriously.
It was a day a long time ago. A day before Melanie was a Mazouku, or Succubus, or even a Daimon. A day before they had lost their master. It was the day right after Melanie had evolved from a Kamichu to a Youma, and she wasn't taking it well.
Not only was it the evolution she wanted least, she also felt like she had lost all of her beauty thanks to it. Her skin was all red, and looked like it should be slimy even though it was smooth. She'd lost all of her hair, she had massive horns that weighed down her head with flaps of skin stretched between them. Her breasts had all but disappeared, and her hips had narrowed. Her legs were too long and skinny and her feet ended in two webbed and clawed toes. She had two thick tails with long flat paddles on the end. Her hands also ended in claws and had webbing between her grossly long fingers. Maybe the worst part was the gills, running down her neck like a Catfish's. Or maybe the second clear set of eyelids she could feel blinking. She didn't know, she didn't like any of it.
Her sister came and sat down next to her. She didn't look up at the Megami. The celestial breed she had wanted to become so bad was always beautiful, that's what everyone always said. But Phoebe kept poking her until she looked up. Melanie blinked in confusion with both sets of eyelids at what she saw. Her sister had shaved her head.
She didn't really look bad bald, she at least had the face for it. But the Youma wanted something to put down the Megami with. “You look awful.”
“I know, right? I change one little thing and my entire look falls apart. I wish I could be more like you. You still look great.”
Melanie couldn't help but chuckle weakly. “Are too.”
“Am not.” “Are too.” “Am-not.” “Are-too.”
“Just because you don't look like you did, doesn't mean you don't look good. Here.” Phoebe tied a pink ribbon around one of the horns. It had a golden charm dangling from it. “Now you look adorable. Don't worry about this. It'll work out better than you planned. I'm a Megami, I know this kind of stuff.”
Melanie leaned her head heavily against her sister's shoulder. “...thanks.”