Trials of the Junsuikaoni: Battle of the Elementals (Book 1)

Noah Gremory's life changed forever the day he discovered he was a Junsuikaoni Demon, a supernatural being believed to have been extinct after the end of the Cursed War. He lost everything, but when he arrived at the Academy, he would find he was exactly where he was meant to be. Now 18 and in his final year at the Academy, Noah and his friends are faced with their final exam; The Battle of the Elementals. All must pass the test to graduate, but only one can be the victor and get the glory. Can Noah rise to the top while faced with memories of the past that haunts him? Can he break free from the watchful eye of Ouran, a mysterious student who seems to have a strange obsession with him? Above all, will he finally come face to face with the demon who destroyed his life and is out for blood? This is the first chapter of Noah's journey, as he fights to stop the hands of fate and change his destiny.


8. Down the Rabbit Hole They a Forgotten Past

“Ow! What’s with this dark tunnel? I can’t see anything. I think I just impaled myself on something.”

“What? Can you not see in the dark? Honestly, this is nothing compared to places I’ve been.”

“So what, you can? What are you? How did you even find out about this hidden tunnel?” Noah looks around at the scantly lit tunnel, it’s stone walls covered in cobwebs, slime and unknown bugs. He’d never had guessed that such a place could be found just outside the academy walls. Ouran led them to a water drain along the wall out back where they met and after swimming through a pocket of water, they entered this underground tunnel. “I’m seriously getting the creeps and I’m soaked on top of it.”

“Oh stop being such a baby, you’ll dry pretty quickly down here. That’ll happen sometimes if it happened to rain the day before, you’ll get used to it. It must be nice to live such a pampered lifestyle that you can complain about getting a little wet and dirty. This was a good day for me.”

Noah finds himself a bit annoyed at Ouran’s constant evasiveness. He swears that every time he asks her a question, she gives an unrelated response that only leaves him with even more questions. “Pampered? As if, Tahno wouldn’t pamper us even on a good day. In fact, I think he makes our lives more difficult than any of the other students. It’s annoying too because everyone thinks we’re the school idols or something because we supposedly get special treatment from Tahno and even the council. Little do they know though the council doesn’t like us, especially me, very much and Tahno’s harder on us then he’d ever be on a normal student. I’d gladly switch places with one of them if I could.”

“So you’re saying that you don’t think having an entire floor and living quarters isn’t being pampered?”

Noah wants to protest, but he realizes that he’s kind of right. Looking at it that way they are pampered. Seeing how much Ouran obviously envies them, Noah can’t help but wonder just what his…her story is. “Hey, I’m not really sure how to ask this, but how am I supposed to refer to you? I mean I know you said you’re both a girl and boy and I’m totally cool with that, but what happens if someone has to refer to you with a him or her, which do you prefer people to use? I’m sorry if this comes off as rude.”

Ouran laughs. “Aww, you’re so cute when you’re embarrassed. Honestly, I get asked that all the time, especially by my classmates. When I first transferred in, my classmates were so confused because no one, not even the teacher knew if they should refer to me as he or she when I was introduced. I basically told them the same as I told you, I’m a boy…and a girl, so they could call me whatever they liked. Didn’t help much though because it was still awkward for them, so they just say Ouran or even “they”.”

“So basically, you don’t identify with one side or the other? You really intend to live as both sexes?”

“Well it’s what I am, so why would I choose to confine myself into only one side? I mean to pick a side is denying myself half my identity, is that really easier? Can I really say I’m me if I’m not all of me?”

Hearing her words, Noah suddenly feels like a jerk and very insensitive. “I’m sorry, I was being stupid. You’re right, you are who you are, you’re Ouran. I wish I could be that confident about myself too.”

“Hey, don’t get me wrong, I hate myself. I hate that I was born this way and the cursed existence I’m forced to live each day. That’s not confidence, that’s just being factual. It’s a fact that I’m both sexes and choosing to limit myself to one would be like denying half of who I am, but I’ll never be able to look in the mirror and say I love myself, because I don’t, but it’s my fate, so I won’t change it either.”

Noah suddenly feels depressed, feeling as though Ouran is speaking words right out of his heart. “I can definitely understand that, I hate myself too, so much so that I wish I could die. However, the difference is, I would change if I could. I don’t believe in stuff like fate or destiny and I don’t want to be some great savior of the world. I just want to be normal, like I was a long time ago, before my world turned to complete shit and I lost everything.” Noah feels his anger flare up and his inner beast stirs, but he quickly stifles it and calms himself. “Don’t pay me any mind, I’m just talking nonsense.”

“No, I get it. I told you before, I really believe we’re soul mates Helios, because we both got stuck with curses we didn’t ask for. We even share a father. Not by blood of course, but even if he wasn’t my real dad, he’s the only one I knew.  That’s why it hurt so much when he left me behind, then she did too.”

Noah feels as though a lot of info was just thrown at him and he doesn’t know how to react other than, “huh?” With a confused expression he asks, “What do you mean? We share a father? How is that-.”

Ah we’re finally here! Sorry to cut you off, but you need to be prepared. I know you have tons of questions and I have loads of answers, but we’ll have to talk about them later. For now, though….”

As they round a bend, a huge door comes into view. It’s at least 10 feet and several symbols are engraved into the stone, the frame is lined with a metal trim. On either side of the door stands two guards, dressed in armor and wielding a sword and shield. They could pass for normal human guards, but once they approach the door and can see the faces clearly, Noah can quickly tell they are not human. They have faces of a monster, though Noah’s not sure he’s seen any like them before in books he’s seen.

“If you wish for entry, you must first pass the security test. Please step forward both of you.” One of the guards motions them forward and without hesitation, Ouran steps in front of the one on the left.

The other guard looks at Noah and beckons him forward. “Come, stand in front of me please.”

Ouran can see the hesitation on Noah’s face and tries to encourage him. “It’s ok Helios, just do as he says. This is just a security measure to make sure no one who’s not supposed to gets into the city.”

“The city? Wait, so are we at the entrance of Hokkaido City then? Bakemon are there too?”

“No silly, we’re not anywhere near Hokkaido City. As if we’d go to that human infested place.”

“Please stand in front of me at once or I will be forced to take action. “The guard is agitated.

“Better do as he says, his claws are not something you’d want to play with.” Ouran jokingly warns.

Noah is still unsure, but he can tell that he’ll be in trouble if he doesn’t do as he was told, so with caution, he stands in front of the guard on the right. In unison, both guards pull out a spray canister and before Noah has time to even think about blinking, the liquid is already spreading around his eyes. “Hey! What did you…?” Noah rubs his eyes as the liquid starts to burn, but this only lasts for about five seconds before the sensation has passed and he’s staring at the guard once again. “What was that?”

The guards say nothing, but instead they each pull down a lever and with a rumble the door begins to open. “Welcome to Tourer Kenai, please enjoy your stay. May your life be long and true.”

“Thanks Glenn, Ted, it’s good to be home. Give my regards to your family. Come on Helios.” Ouran walks ahead and through the entrance. Noah is still trying to wrap his head around what just happened, but as the guards glare at him, he quickly runs after Ouran to catch up before they bite his head off.

As soon as he’s inside, the doors close behind him, making a loud bang as they do. Noah finally takes a moment to inspect his eye, worried that they’ve been changed somehow, but as far as he can feel, they are the same as always. Ouran chuckles at him and then walks over. “Don’t worry, your eyes are fine…very fine actually.”

Noah snaps back to attention at Ouran’s flirting and asks, “What did they do to me? What was that?”

“It’s an aerosol spray. They do that to everyone who tries to enter the city to be sure they are Bakemon.”

“How can they tell from that though? I mean, if it burned me, then that’s no different from a human whose eyes would burn as well right? What’s the difference between the two? Couldn’t a human have a resistance to it?”

“Ha! Helios you crack me up. That’d never happen. For us it’s simply an aerosol spray that irritates our eyes temporarily, but to humans it’s a toxin. If you were human, you would’ve been dead by now. You’re  so funny, a real comedian.”

Noah isn’t sure how to respond and so he just blinks like an idiot, feeling very frustrated and confused. “So what were those guards? They looked kind of human, but they obviously weren’t. Were they demons?”

“Demons? No way, they’d take some serious offense to that comment if they could hear you. They’re different creatures known as Lamia. They’re very strong and their claws are super deadly. They love human hearts, so they look forward to the times when humans take a wrong turn and end up here. As soon as they die from the toxin, they help themselves to their hearts. I’ve seen it happen once, it was some gruesome stuff, let me tell you. Anyway, enough about that. Let’s get going as we have a lot to see and not much time.” Ouran walks forward and stretches his arms up wide as he shouts, “Welcome to Tourer Kenai, the Bakemon Capital City and Hub.”

As though he had been suddenly plugged in to a virtual world of some sort, Noah suddenly notices his surroundings and his eyes go wide. In front of him is a large expansive city, that he can see in full as the ground they stand on is elevated in a way that overlooks most of the city. It’s like something from a sci-fi movie, except it’s reality. There are several tall buildings scattered throughout a sea of smaller ones, there are cars on the roads, trains on the rails and even hovercrafts in the sky. There are hundreds of creatures walking around the city and in and out of shops along the paths. He’s only been there once on a controlled excursion with Tahno, but this city is like an alternate form of Hokkaido City, just with monsters instead of humans. Noah suddenly starts to feel calm, as though he’s subconsciously realizing that these creatures are like him and he can belong.

“Feels good doesn’t it? Feels like a place where you can be yourself right? I felt the same my first time.”

Noah looks at Ouran and sees his eyes light up with happiness that he’d never seen him have. He could tell that this really was his home and he felt a bit envious of him that he had that, a real home.

“Come on, I want to show you my favorite spot. You’ll be able to get some food there too. Follow me.”

Ouran grabs Noah’s hand and pulls him along. She’s got so much excitement, it’s like she’s a different person than before. “Where are we going? Do you have a house here? Do you live with your parents?”

“I told you, we’re going to the best spot in the city. I don’t have a house and definitely no parents.”

No home, no parents, then why is she so excited? How could she be so happy if she’s got nothing? Noah can’t help but ponder this as he and Ouran run through the crowds. As they do, Noah can get glimpses of several different creatures he’s never seen before, as well as some who even look like humans. He wants to ask so much, but he holds out, assuming he’ll have his chance once they get to their destination.

“Alright, we’re finally here.” They stop in front of what looks like an inn or pub of some sort and walk inside. As soon as they step in, they are greeted by several people who all seem to know Ouran.

A woman who appears to be a hostess, comes and greets them. “Welcome back Ouran, it’s been a while. I see you brought a friend with you, who is this hand-sssome young man?” Her tongue slithers slightly.

“Hey Sheila, yea I had some stuff to take care of these last few weeks so I couldn’t come by. This is MY friend Helios, though the humans like to call him Noah Gremory and he’s fond of the name.”

The inn suddenly becomes hushed as Ouran mentions Noah’s name and many people start to whisper under their breaths. Is it really him? That boy is of the Lord Cain lineage? Does Lord Silas know? None of their words mean anything to Noah, but it’s a bit strange to him that they know who he is.

“Oh, I s-sssee. Well welcome to you Noah, please make yourself at home. Call if you need me.”

“Uh, thank…you.” She walks away with a wry smile; she definitely seems uneasy. “What’s with her?”

“Oh don’t mind that, she’s just a bit surprised is all, they all are. I mean it’s not everyday that the brother of the Chief Junsui Lord comes around here. You’re kind of a legend. Your entire bloodline is.”

“Wait, hold on a second. What are you saying? I’m the brother of who? You’re obviously wrong.”

“Man Helios, you really know nothing of your true nature. That’s how it is I suppose when you’re raised as a human. Come over here, we need to have a discussion about your history and who you are. But first, let’s get some grub! Hey Sheila, hook my friend up with something he’d like and a huge jug of juice.”

“I got you girl, the usual for yourself right?” Sheila calls out from across the inn.

“You know it!” Ouran responds with an unexpected flair and then turns back to Noah. “Ok, so while she’s getting that cooked up, I’ll give you your lesson of Noah Gremory 101. There’s a lot to cover and I’m sure you’ll have questions, but for the sake of time, please hold them until I’m finished, ok?”

Noah isn’t sure what to expect and he’s a bit nervous of what he’s about to hear, but he’s come too far to go back now and chicken out. So he simply nods and responds with, “Ok, I’m ready. Let’s hear it.”

“You were born Young Lord Helios, son of Lord Mikael and Lady Remy, grandson of Lord Cain. You were one of two, your other half born just minutes before you was Young Lord Silas, he is your brother. Your bloodline traces back hundreds of years, originating from the mating between the son of the Supreme Kusaru leader and daughter of the Karyuhdo Great Savior of the Cursed War era. This was done in the hope that one day a new, perfect Supreme Leader would be born. One to command both the Karyuhdo and Kusaru and eventually the whole world. When Lord Silas was born, they believed he was the destined one and he has since taken command as Supreme Lord, but only among the Junsui for now. When you were born, they believed you were human as your oldest brother, Demetrius had been, but they were wrong. They realized that you were destined to be the new Great Savior, but by the time they discovered this, your father had taken you away from there and hid you away with humans.

“Thus, you ended up with your new family in the Tekisu district. They knew nothing of your nature of course and assumed you to be a normal human baby and raised you as such, naming you Noah Gremory. However, when you reached your 12th birthday, you began to change as your Junsui gene had been activated. It was at this same time that your brother Silas, though at that point he’d been going by Judas to have a human name as you did, launched his attack against your district, slaughtering everyone, including your family. You were the only one left and it was at that point that General Tahno found you and took you to the academy. He decided to take responsibility for you since you had no one else.”

“I don’t need a reminder of that night, I know what happened and how I ended up with Tahno!” Noah had been listening quietly, but having his memories of that night made him lose his composure.

Ouran realized this and decided to move on. “I’m sorry, I forgot how sensitive of a topic that must be for you. Let’s just pick up with things as they are now. Not long after you ended up in the academy, Judas began his rise to leadership. He killed your grandfather and took his place as Supreme Junsui Lord. Since then, he’s been running a pretty tight ship among the Junsui community, but he’s surprisingly a reasonable dictator, so the Junsui community generally approves of him. He also has a strong relationship with the Bakemon Council, heading their Chief Junsui Leader position. The remainder of the council is made up of Angel and Demon Leaders. Together, they are our governing body.”

“So where do I come into this? I get why everyone knows me now, but why is it a big deal I’m here now? Are they looking for me? Should I expect them to bust in here and capture me?”

“No, not at all. They just know the history between you and Judas and how the prophecy says you two are mortal enemies or something and are destined to face off. It’s exciting because now that you’ve finally discovered our world, they fear everything is going to change. I suppose it will actually.”

“So my question still stands, is Judas going to come here and kill me?”

“No, he’s not gonna make any moves anytime soon so don’t worry. He’s having too much fun being in charge. He says that when the time is right, you two will meet again and he’ll kill you. For now, though he’s not interested and he’s even given strict orders that when you enter our world that no one is to attempt to harm you or bother you unless they want to face his punishment. He desperately wants you to discover yourself and get stronger and be a worthy opponent when the time comes. That and he wants to enjoy playing his twisted game with you. He’s a real sadistic son of a bitch I tell you.”

Noah can hardly believe everything he’s hearing. He’s known since that day that he is a Junsui demon and he also knew that Judas was his brother, so he claimed at least on that day as well, but all the rest of these blanks have finally been filled in about his origins and it sounds almost unreal. His family is supposedly more or less royalty of the Junsui species? He’s a Young Lord? Helios, that’s his name? “This is all so much to take in.” He starts to feel lightheaded. “Man I’m seriously hungry!”

“I’m sure you are, but no worries, the food will be out very soon. Sheila’s going to take good care of us. I’m sure the chef just wants to make sure everything is perfect for you, lest Lord Silas come to collect their heads for bad service.”

Noah was receiving so much info at once, it’s only just now dawned on him that Ouran just told him so much. Things he shouldn’t possibly know without being there. He’s the same age as him after all. “Hey, so wait a second, how do you know all of this? I doubt you’d find this all in a history book.”

“Ah, I was waiting for you to ask that. The truth is, I’ve been watching you for a long time. Ever since our dad skipped out and I learned about you and your brothers. I had nothing left after my mom killed herself, so I went out on my own in hopes to find out why I suddenly had my new powers and abilities. I searched all over for two years, until one day right when I was ready to give up, Judas found me. Granted I didn’t know it was him at the time as he talked to me from the shadows, but he lead me to where you were and that’s when I began watching you. Eventually, I finally met Judas and he promised me all the things I’d wanted, which was simply to kill you and your brothers and get my papa back. Little did I know that I’d already met two of them, you and him, but by the time I’d learned this, I’d already decided to give up on killing you all. I realized that despite what my mother told me Papa was going to do, he never actually took part in your lives. It seemed he had a habit of leaving his children behind and being a wanderer. It was only through his wandering that he found my mom and I, I was still just a baby then. Mom said he found us on the streets all alone and he had just traveled far over the previous two years and wanted to settle down. He settled down with us and we were a family.

“Ten years later though, he had to leave to help you and your brothers, but apparently whatever he thought he had to do never came to pass because you two never knew him either. I can’t speak for Demetrius though, since no one, not even Judas actually knows who he is since he’s human and was sent away long before either of you were a thought. So it’s possible he could be enjoying a life with our father right now, neither of them thinking anything about us.” Ouran looked a bit sad and bitter.

“So basically, your saying Judas told you all of this himself? Have you two become friends?”

“Ha! Friends? No, don’t insult me. I’m no more interested in being friends with that jerkoff than he is with me. We’re just mutually beneficial to our desires. We both want to see the world burn and so working together is the best way to do it. Though I’ve already declared that when the time comes, I won’t be letting you go without a fight. He wants to kill you, but I want you to be mine, so he and I will have to settle that, but that’s not going to happen for a while, so it’s all good. It’s actually because of him that I enrolled at the academy. He was able to help me get approval for transfer as a foreign exchange student as far as the council was told anyway, all for the purpose of watching you and introducing you to your history and our world when the time came. That time is now and so that’s why we’re here. Though this is also for my own desires as I’ve been dying to get your attention. You’ve always ignored me everytime I tried to approach you in school.”

“You’ve approached me? I’ve never met you before that day in the clinic.”

“Aw, that’s so terrible Helios. You really don’t pay attention to anyone do you? I’ve talked to you several times and flirted as well. You always just acted like I wasn’t there, spacing out and acting all emotionless. We’re also in different classes, so I guess there’s also that factor as well.”

“Wow, I seriously don’t remember you. I’m sorry. I’m just not the friend type of guy and also, no offense to you, but I’m not really into guys either. I know you’re technically both, but…well either way, I’m not interested in relationships with anyone right now. Love is definitely not something I do.”

“I figured as much, but that’s not going to deter me. I’m interested in you Helios and I’ll do whatever it takes to make you like me. If that means being a girl for you then I will. You can refer to me as she and I’ll even change my appearance to look even girlier. I have the necessary part already; you can just ignore the other part if it’s easier. I’ll even cut it off if it’ll make you happy.”

“Woah, take it back there Ouran. I don’t want you to do any of that. Wasn’t it you who just said that defining yourself as one or the other would be denying who you are? You shouldn’t change who you are for anyone, not even me no matter how much you love me. It won’t change how I feel.”

Ouran looks sad and disappointed and Noah almost feels guilty about being so blunt, but at the same time he feels that it’s for the best, so that he can understand now and start to move on. “So what are-.”

“Here we are! Sorry about the wait you two, we just wanted to make sure you received only the finest cut of meat as our special guest of the evening. Here’s a nice slab of premium cut meat for you Helios and a large jug of the finest juice around. For you Ouran we have your favorite meat pie and ale.”

As she places the plate down in front of her, Ouran’s glum expression brightens up and she’s excited again. “I guess you bounce back fast huh?” Noah chuckles and then looks at his plate. It’s a huge slab of meat, with a side of potatoes and broccoli. “Wow, this looks delicious!” He takes a bite. “Delicious!”

Sheila smiles. “Well I’m very happy you like it; I’ll be sure to let the chef know. Can I get you anything else?” Noah looks up to see that Sheila has yellow, slit-like eyes. She must be a snake creature he thinks.

Ouran answers for them. “I think my friend is gonna want more of that and you can keep his juice coming, I’m sure he’s going to want a lot more. I think I’m fine, thanks a lot Sheila.”

“Of course. I’ll have the chef prepare more right away and I’ll keep the juice flowing. Enjoy boys.”

Noah eats his meat so quickly that he’s more than half way done. He takes several large gulps of juice and then finally takes a break to look at Ouran. “This is freaking delicious! This is the best I’ve had!”

Of course it is, there’s not a Junsui alive that wouldn’t relish in such deliciousness. You’ve never had anything like this because those uptight humans would never offer such treats. So enjoy it now.”

“Yea that’s true. I’m definitely not getting steak as good as this when I’m back. Tahno’s a cheap ass too, so he’s always getting me the discount stuff. My tomato juice has nothing on this either.”

Ouran just smiles, deciding to let him enjoy his meal for now. She enjoys hers as well. “Here we are, another round of meat and juice for our friend Helios.” She places it down and takes his empty plate.

“Thank you, it seriously is delicious! Oh and please call me Noah, it’s the name I’m used to you know?”

“Oh, my apologies. Of course Noah. Can I get you anything else? Another serving?”

“No, this is fine. I could have another, but I won’t. Definitely keep that juice coming though.”

“Of course.” She smiles and then walks away to tend her other tables. As Noah and Ouran continue to chow down, a cloaked figure watches them from across the room. Specifically, they are watching Noah.

As Noah takes the last bite of his meat and gulps down the remaining juice, he finally asks once again what he’s been wondering since he met Ouran. “Hey, so what are you? Are you Junsui too?”

Ouran smirks as he wipes his hands and mouth having just finished his meal. “That I’m afraid…will have to be for our next date. I’m not going to give you everything on our first date, I have class.”

Noah frowns. “Oh come on, don’t you think you’ve been dodging the question long enough? You know all about me, isn’t only fair I know all about you too or at least a bit more. I’m just asking what you are, it’s a simple question.”

“I don’t like to reveal all my secrets in one sitting, but I will say that I’m definitely not a Junsui. However, my species and yours come from a similar ancestor, which is why I say that we’re soulmates. I promise that I’ll bring you here again soon as there is much more to tell you and even more to show you. For now, though, it’s getting really late and we do have class tomorrow you know.”

Noah looks at his watch and sees that it’s after 11. “Damn, I didn’t realize it was this late, I was so excited about this place and my delicious steak and cranberry juice that I lost track of time.”

Well it’s to be expected so don’t be so hard on yourself. I should probably tell you now though…that wasn’t cranberry juice you were drinking. That meat wasn’t steak either, not beef steak anyway.”

“Huh? Oh, so was it lamb or veal steak then? And what do you mean that wasn’t cranberry juice, it’s exactly like what I had earlier in the clinic, just fresher and tastier. Are you joking around?”

No I’m not. I told you then didn’t I, that cranberry juice you had wasn’t actually cranberry juice.”

“So, what the hell am I drinking then? Is cranberry juice not some sort of animal blood?” Noah’s eyes go wide as he suddenly has the realization. “H-human? Have I been drinking human blood all this time!”

“Well…yea. I thought you knew at least that much from earlier. I can understand about the meat but….”

“Wait, this meat. Is it not…. No, no! Don’t you dare tell me this is human meat. Tell me it’s not!”

“It is. They get livestock each day and they kill them fresh just before cooking. It’s how it’s done. It’s the best way to handle Bakemon rejects born as humans, they’re good for the economy as livestock.”

“So you’re telling me that you raise those human babies the same as animals and then use them as meat? Meat like what I just ate? So I just ate…I ate….” He suddenly feels sick to his stomach and then rage spikes up, making him change abruptly. “You turned me into a fucking cannibal!” He roars angrily.

At this point, the inn has become silent and everyone’s attention is on them. “You’re beautiful Helios.”

Ouran stares at Noah in awe, reveling in his beauty that she’s longed to see once more. Noah has his hand gripped tightly around her neck, and he can feel the bloodlust coursing through him. “I could kill you for this. You made me eat my own kind. You made me be the monster everyone expects me to be!”

“I’d like to see you try, I really would. However, you’ll find that quite difficult I’m afraid. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you the truth sooner, but you were starving. Ever since you had that cranberry juice earlier, you haven’t been the same. I know you felt it, the change in you after you had the first sip. It was your first taste of human blood, naturally your body would immediately utilize it. It’s like a switch, once it’s on there’s no way to turn it off. You’ll never be able to go back to animal blood again, but you’ll also see that you will become so much stronger. You thought you were strong before, just wait until you see what you can do now. You’re going to be unstoppable. I was doing you a favor. Hate me if you want, but even if I didn’t do this, you would’ve ended up doing this anyway, but rather than doing here in this controlled, safe environment where no innocent people will get hurt, you’d have done it there at school. Who do you think would’ve been your first victims? The ones closest to you right? I saved them from you. If you’d lost control there, you would’ve killed them all and no one could have stopped you, not even Tahno’s fancy electro device. Also not to point fingers, but think about it Helios, who gave you that first taste of cranberry juice in the first place. I wasn’t the first one you met in that clinic was I?”

Noah thought about it and realized he was right. The first person he met wasn’t him, it was the nurse. She offered him the juice, which means she knew what it was, what he was all along. “The nurse.”

“Exactly, now you’re thinking. Now maybe you could let me go, this is kind of embarrassing.”

Noah finally releases his grip on him and changes back, having calmed down. He looks at Ouran and with a frown says, “Fine, I don’t blame you for triggering my beast, but I’m still angry that you did this. I want to go back now and then tomorrow I’m going to go have a word with that nurse.” Noah grabs his jacket and starts towards the door. “I’ll be waiting outside Ouran.” He looks at Sheila. “Thank you.”

“Of-of course. Please…come again….” She’s visibly shaken, having seen how fearsome he looked.

As Noah powerwalks to the door, that cloaked figure who had been watching him had been also heading for the door rather quickly. They were attempting to get out unnoticed, but at Noah’s speed, he caught up quicker than they anticipated and bumped into him, revealing a turquoise eye and locks very briefly.

“Oh I’m so…rry.” As Noah caught that brief glimpse of her he immediately recognized her and to his surprise her scent as well. It was a nostalgic scent, but he couldn’t place where he’d smelled it before. He knew she was the nurse, but that’s not the scent he’s remembering. The scent belonged to someone else he knew. But who, who was it? It was a girl, turquoise hair and eyes, just like the nurse. Her name was…her name was….” Suddenly like a wave smashed into his brain it came to him, “Rachel!”

On reflex, the hooded figure turned around and their eyes met. Noah looked into her eyes, which were full of tears and sadness and suddenly he was 12 again. Playing with his friend, nearby neighbor and first love all over again. It was as if time had been paused for the last 6 years and seeing her again, looking into her eyes, pressed play on their story. “I’m so sorry Noah. I’m truly sorry.” She runs out.

Noah was frozen by the sudden resurgence of memories and so it wasn’t until several seconds later that he came to his senses. “Rachel? Rachel!” He runs out the inn and looks all around trying to catch sight of where she may have gone, but he sees no sign of her nor can he smell her scent. She’s gone. “Rachel!” Noah falls to his knees and before he can even feel them form, tears are streaming down his cheek. “Rachel, how are you…why are you…?” He’s so confused. When he last saw Rachel she was lying in his arms bleeding out of the slash wound in her back that Judas had given her. He killed her, so how is it possible that she was alive? He had said that there was no way to save her after she was already dead. If he could’ve have, he would’ve saved her, but Judas said it was impossible. Could he be wrong? Perhaps it’s not Rachel after all? No, he would never truly forget that scent or those eyes. He can’t believe he didn’t recognize them before when they were in the nurse’s office. Perhaps the glasses threw him off? Or maybe he was just too delirious? He must know how she’s alive and so he must find her.

“Wow, I gotta say, I was expecting that reunion to be pretty emotional, but not that deep that you’d be in tears. You really had the hots for that girl didn’t you? I can’t imagine why though, she’s a bitch.”

Noah jumps up and grabs him by his shirt again. “Don’t ever fucking call her that!” His eyes burn red.

“Jeez, aren’t we aggressive now. I’m sorry, I won’t talk bad about your princess anymore. Sheesh. I don’t know that much, I’ve only met her like twice during my correspondences with Silas. I’m not sure I should tell you this, lest you bite my head off, but I’m pretty sure they’re an item or something.”

Noah feels his blood boil. “So Judas knows she’s alive and has been keeping her for himself all these years? He must’ve lied to me about that. That fucking bastard, I’m gonna kill him!” Just like a clock set in motion, the hands of fate turn as Noah takes the step towards the path of vengeance, bloodlust surging through his veins. Ouran smirks in satisfaction knowing that she’d successfully set Noah on this path.

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