“No!” Macy slaps the raw beef away from her and out of Mia’s hand. “I don’t want it!”
“Oh Macy, please stop being so difficult. You have to eat something; it’s been 2 months! You’re already feeling unwell right? Eating this will make you feel better. So please just-.”
“No, no, no! I’m never eating meat again!” She throws herself into the bed, effectively giving a major tantrum. Between her fit, she begins coughing and her face is flushed. She feels really sick and as any other child, she begins to cry. “I want my mama and papa!” Her tantrum gets worse as she screams and shouts. Mia can do nothing but sigh. It’s been like this ever since. Macy understands that she was tricked, but still can’t forgive what she did. She also knows that her parents no longer remember her and she willingly accepted that, but even knowing that, she can’t help but long for them, still holding them dear. Mia feels such sadness for her fate.
“Oh enough already. Quit that racket kid, it’s not going to change anything, but it is quite annoying!” Rachel comes into the room, frowning at the young girl causing a scene. “If she doesn’t want to eat, then just leave her be Mia. She’ll eat when she gets hungry enough.”
“I’m sure she will, but we don’t want her to get to that point as it was her extreme hunger that made her susceptible to what happened before. What happens if we leave her be and she once again reaches her breaking point and devours the town next? What then?”
“Then nature would’ve run its course.” She says this matter of factly as she sits.
Mia frowns. “That’s a view only a monster would have. We’re not monsters.”
“Please, don’t even kid yourself. Yes, I’m a monster, but so is that child. We are Junsui, like it or not; it’s what we are and there’s no shame in embracing it. We can’t help it if we were born to feed on humans; we didn’t ask to be born that way, but it’s how it happened. So I’ll be damned if I’m going to hide myself and try to conform to “human” standards. The real monsters here are you and the others, trying to conform to those standards and take this child with you. Shouldn’t she be allowed to live as she wishes to live? Shouldn’t she discover for herself what she considers the “right” and the “wrong” way? She’s too young to be restricted and it’s only going to ruin her later on and maybe turn her into a true monster you fear her becoming.”
“That’s such a shameful thing to say, considering you were born human.”
“Ha! Yes, I was born human, but did that in fact make me “human?” What does that mean anyway? Please, define humanity to me. Is it striking down others who don’t follow your ideals? Is it starting senseless wars without reason simply because you want to boast your power? Is it ostracizing others based on their race or giving those of “impure” existence less rights than others? Is that, my conformed little sheep, what it means to be human? If it is, then I was obviously born in the wrong body. I’ve never fit that role and I’ve always been for myself so I think that when I was turned into a Junsui, I had finally been born as who I was always meant to be. I feel more human now than I ever did before becoming Junsui, so don’t criticize me.”
Mia starts to respond, but then Macy starts to have an extreme coughing fit, blood staining her pillow. She runs over to her and touching her forehead, she is almost singed by the heat. “Goodness Macy, you’re burning up! That’s blood you’re coughing up too. You might need to go to the doctor. Oh, but Noah won’t be back for a few days from training. What do I do? Should I just take you on my own? But do they have doctors here that would know how to treat Junsui? Oh god, what do I do?” Mia has a small panic attack from the difficult situation.
“How about you calm down, that might be the best first step. All you’re doing is stressing yourself out and doing nothing at all for the kid. I’ve seen this kind of reaction before, she’s experiencing a withdrawal reaction from the human nutrients she had so abundantly until just a while ago. No doctor will be able to do anything for her unless they wish to offer their human flesh. She needs to feed, but your cheap packaged beef won’t do a thing to satiate her. She needs human nutrients. From the moment she had a taste of it, like a drug, she was hooked. Her body began to metabolize it and now it will not function without the real thing. So as much as you may not wish to believe it and as much as Noah tries to deny it, the truth will remain. She’s going to be a human eater for life. The sooner you all accept that, the better it’ll be for everyone.”
“No, I refuse to believe that! Noah survives just fine feeding indirectly from other Bakemon sources and he wishes for Macy to practice the same ideals. So you’re wrong.”
“Say what you will, but that won’t change the truth. If you refuse to acknowledge it, then you’re effectively sentencing that girl to death. It’ll be a long, slow process, but inevitable all the same. Even if she’s some Junsui God, it’s only a matter of time. As for Noah, well he’s never been one to fit into normal limits. He is undeniably extraordinary and unbound to this world’s rules, but that is precisely what makes him the most amazing man and why we love him, right?”
Mia says nothing, refusing to accept anything she’s said. Ever since she joined them on this journey, she’s done nothing but put her down and brag about her relationship with Noah. Noah has kept his word and makes sure they travel far into the woods or elsewhere to be intimate, but knowing that they can connect on that level still leaves her feeling jealous and even a bit of envy. She has Noah, but there is one thing Mia has that Noah entrusted to her exclusively and in her opinion is the most important, caring for Macy. Noah left her in her sole care when he was off with Mika training and has trusted her well-being to her. That makes her feel much more important to Noah than someone he simply sleeps with. However, with new developments, even this special honor is slowly slipping from her reach and it makes her angry. However, right now she wants to give her attention to Macy and will do anything she can to ease her suffering. She crawls into the bed beside her, holds the crying child close and comforts her in the only way she can. Rachel simply grins and reads silently to herself, feeling absolute confidence in her words.
Hours pass and everyone is fast asleep. However, Macy soon rises and carefully gets out of Mia’s grip and out of the bed. Her head feels like it’s spinning and her stomach hurts in hunger. She makes her way out of the small Inn and heads towards the forest. She’s not sure where she’s going or why, but in her dreams she remembers hearing the same words over and over. “Into the forest, go into the forest, all that you need will be found in the forest.” She chants this softly, as though in a trance as she walks deeper in and the shadows surround her.
Rachel awakes abruptly, sensing something amiss. She notices Macy is gone and seeing that her coat and shoes were still on the chair, she assumes she left in a hurry. “What are you up to little girl?” She decides that since she’s bored anyway and has nothing better to do, she’d follow her trail and she what she might be doing so late at night out there alone.
Macy reaches a small clearing deep in the woods and looks around. She has a feeling there is someone watching her, but she’s not well trained enough to detect their location and they know it. She can see the shadows on the ground encircle her and although she’s a little scared, she stands strong. “Who are you? Why did you bring me out here? I’m not scared of you!”
“Oh? Well, how courageous of you. I’m no one special, consider me a friend.”
“How can I be friends with someone I don’t know? Noah always said never to talk to strangers. Are you the one that lured me to those people? Did you let me kill them?”
“My, how intuitive you are. I guess your body isn’t the only thing that grows at such an extraordinary rate, but your mind as well. Your are truly fascinating, no wonder master wants to have you on our side. I don’t think you realize just how special you really are.”
“I’m not special, I’m dangerous and a burden. All I can do is hurt innocent people.”
“No my girl, you are quite special. You can do things that no one else can do, not even Noah. You are not any normal old Junsui. No, you are the Queen of Junsui, a goddess.”
“A goddess? Me? No way. Only Noah is a god, I’m just a monster.”
“Is that how they make you see yourself? I don’t see a monster; I see an extremely powerful goddess who just needs the proper mentor. My master would be perfect for you.”
“Can your master make it so I don’t have to eat humans anymore?”
“My master can do a lot of things, so surely he’ll make you into the person you want to be. I promise he’ll never judge you, call you a freak or make you feel unimportant. So come with me now and we’ll go to him together.” A dark figure falls from the trees and to the ground, facing Macy. He’s wearing a long black trench coat over a black suit and top hat. He tips his hat up so that his eyes dark as night can be seen in contrast to his pale skin that shines in the moonlight. He’s surrounded by those same shadows as before. “Come with me, my goddess.”
Macy had always been taught to be wary of strangers and knows that this man is probably not good, yet she finds herself feeling comfort at the sight of his outstretched hand. “Can he turn me into a human? So I can go back to mama and papa? I want to go back home.” She sniffles.
“Yes, he can do anything you desire, but he’ll need your help to do it. So come with me and become the best version of yourself. I promise, you’ll never feel like a freak with us.”
Macy contemplates her decision and begins walking towards him. She stretches her hand, raising it so that it can make contact with his. Rachel watches from a distance, deciding that it was time to finally intervene as Noah would never forgive her if she let Macy be whisked away into Judas’ clutches. She starts to charge in, but just before she reacts, the man begins to scream. “Ah! What…what is this?! What are you doing to me?!” He feels like everything is on fire.
“You just want to use me again! I’ll never forgive you for tricking me!” She frowns.
“Wait, please stop! I’m sorry I tricked you before, but this time I’m being honest! Ah!”
“No, I’ll never forgive you! Even if I’m a monster, I know Noah still loves me!” She continues to use her mixed elemental abilities, raising his body temperature, burning him from the inside out. Feeling her rage become more intense, she also begins to manipulate his blood, such that it is extracted from his vessels, disrupting the flow and cutting off his oxygen.
He can feel his cells bursting and the blood leaving his body, pouring from his nose and mouth. This girl intends to kill him and she’s going to do it in such a vicious manner. “You just may be the perfect fit for master after all….” He falls to the ground, his body shaking violently as his brain begins losing the blood flow and his vision blurs. “Master…I’m sorry I failed you.” All at once he stops shaking and his eyes go pale as the surrounding shadows scatter.
Rachel carefully approaches Macy and feels a chill at the sight of her deep red eyes and chilling glare. This is her true power it seems and it’s terrifying, but also awe inspiring. Noah would never support this kind of compassionless killing, but Judas would gladly welcome it. If this is what she’s capable of, it’s no wonder why Judas wants her and could easily corrupt her. However, she won’t let him have her, simply because Noah wouldn’t want that. However, she can’t help but feel that having her conform to their “humane” standards would be a waste and would dull her awesomeness. Perhaps she could foster her natural abilities and make her stronger in secret, while Mia can continue to do her part to keep her righteous. That way when she’s older, she can see both sides and make her own decision on how she wants to live. “Macy?”
Macy turns to the voice defensively, but holds back after seeing who it was. “Rachel?”
“Yes, that’s right.” She looks down at the man who is quite dead. “Wow, you’re brutal.”
Macy suddenly returns too normal and looks down. “Was I a bad girl again?”
“No, you were just protecting yourself and he was a very bad man, so he deserved it.”
“But he’s a human isn’t he? Isn’t killing humans wrong no matter how evil they are?”
“I don’t know if I believe that, but it’s ok because he’s not human, not really anyway.”
“He’s not? But he doesn’t smell or look like Bakemon. Though he did use shadows.”
“He was a Conjurer. Basically, he’s a developed Bakemon that used to be human until he sold his soul for dark magic and power. That darkness corrupted him and so his soul is no longer human, It’s become condemned and so he’d never be considered human.”
“Oh.” She looks at him on the ground and the remaining blood oozing from him and her hunger returns. Her eyes go red again and her fangs are revealed. “But he smells human too.”
“Well, he’s still got the makings of a human, so he’d certainly still be as appetizing. Now that you mention it, I agree, he does smell pretty good. So…want to have some dinner then?”
Macy’s mouth waters at the thought, but a piece of her conscious remains. “But…it’d be wrong. It’d be like before. Even if he’s been corrupted, he’s still technically human and so it would be wrong to feed on him. I don’t want to be a bad girl again. Noah will be angry.”
“I think it’s ok. Look, he’s a very bad man and has hurt many people before this. He’s evil and corrupt and so shouldn’t he be punished? You had to kill him, to protect yourself. So now that you have, you’ve avenged all the innocent lives he took. Think of how happy those souls are now. They can finally rest in peace knowing he’s been punished. However, it’d be a shame to let such a good source of food for us go to waste wouldn’t it? I mean, if he had to die, then it’d be best to utilize him for something good right? That’s what you call justice Macy.”
“Really? I’d never thought about it like that. It does kind of make sense though.”
“Yea and you’re really hungry right? Punishing only bad humans for the sake of the good ones and then feeding on those bad humans would be fair right? That way no one who’s truly innocent gets hurt, you won’t have to starve yourself and Noah won’t be angry. A win-win.”
“You’re right! You’re so smart Rachel. Thank you.” Macy hugs Rachel and for a moment pauses, sensing something tasty in her stomach. But she quickly ignores it and turns her attention to the equally tasty man in front of them. “I want to eat now. Will you eat with me Rachel?”
“Of course I will Macy, thank you for the offer.” She smiles and then they proceed to feast on the remains of Kole, Judas’ most loyal servant. “Well, that was delicious. We should head back now though before Mia notices you’re gone. Let’s keep this our secret ok Macy?” She nods happily, finally satiated as they walk back. Rachel looks back and grins, taunting him.
A figure grins in return. “Oh yes, she is wonderful. Teach her well, then she’ll be mine.”
“So, it seems like you’re feeling better Macy. I hear you’re eating again too.” Noah gulps down some soup as he speaks. “Have you finally come to accept what happened?”
Macy nods as she bites her steak. “I have Noah; I know it was just an accident now.”
“That’s great. I’m also happy to see you’ve returned to your usual diet of raw beef and feeding from Rachel. You’re satisfied just as well getting the nutrients indirectly rather than direct from the source right? This way your conscious will always stay clear and pure.” Macy nods, but says nothing. “I’m really glad that you’ve been getting such good care from Mia and Rachel too. Knowing they are here to keep you safe and keep your needs met allows me to train in peace without worry. So I just want to thank you both for doing such a good job while I’m gone.” He turns to Mia. “Mia, you’ve been the perfect caregiver to Macy and I have no regrets over leaving her in your care, so thank you.” He smiles at her and she smiles in return, with a blush. He then turns to Rachel. “Rachel, I’ll admit, I thought you’d be nothing but a bother when you showed up and decided to travel with us, but I am actually very grateful to you as well. I can’t be available to Macy to feed on like before since I have to train and so you doing so in my place has helped so much. It also seems you’ve been playing nice with Mia and you two seem to be at a civil standing, so thank you for being so cooperative. I hope that you both will continue to do such great work while Dad and I head off tomorrow to train for the final two weeks.”
Rachel is smug as she says, “well naturally I’d be on my best behavior. I’m not going to give you any reason to turn away from me and to her. Besides, it’s time I settle down and become more respectable…for the future, you know?”
Noah is genuinely surprised at her words. “Wow, I’m surprised to hear such mature words from you Rachel. Maybe being in a more domesticated setting and seeing Mia’s example is rubbing off on you. You just might make a respectable wife and mother one day.” Noah sees her face light up and he quickly elaborates. “I’m just saying in general! Don’t get excited.”
“Maybe not, but you never know when it just might sneak up on you babe.”
“Yea right, don’t even make such a terrible joke. I may very well be dead a year from now, so having a wife and kids is not exactly on the top of my priority list.” He finishes his soup.
Mia rolls her eyes at Rachel’s prodding and decides to change the subject. “So Noah, how’s the training been going? Are you mastering everything? Or maybe I should ask you Mika? Has Noah proved to be a worthy pupil? Do you think he’s ready to face Judas yet?”
Mika strokes his white beard, looking like a true air elemental master and holy monk in his robe. “Hmm, I’d say he’s much improved from where he was before, but he’s still got one big hurdle to conquer. However, that would require the others being here.”
Noah puts down his bowl in excitement. “Wait, do you mean…it’s finally time to link up? I’m finally going to be able to unleash my god mode again?” Mika nods. “Awesome!”
Mia laughs at Noah’s childish excitement. That purity is what she finds most alluring about him. In contrast, Rachel is enticed by the thought of him becoming all powerful and when he displays that power, she falls even deeper in love with him. However, as she thinks about power, she can’t help but think of Judas and the raw power he used to flaunt every day and now she laughs. She suddenly notices the others looking at her strangely. “What? I can’t laugh?”
“It’s not that you can’t, it’s just we’ve never seen you laugh since you’ve been here. What were you thinking about that could actually make you laugh? It can’t have been me.”
She finds herself feeling flustered at Noah’s question and can’t look him in the eye. “It was nothing. I was just remembering an annoying pest I’d finally freed myself from.”
Mia and Mika simply shrug and leave it at that, but Noah continues to stare at Rachel, his mind starting to wander and he wonders if just maybe Rachel may be thinking of Him, However, before he can think any further, Mika interrupts his thoughts. “Wait, what’d you say Dad?”
“Come on Noah, get your head out of the clouds. I said, being that is the final lesson I have to teach you and since the others have already completed their individual trainings….”
Noah leans forward. “Wait, don’t tell me. When we leave for our final training mission tomorrow, are they going to be joining us? Are we going to have joint training until the end?”
“Yes, that’s right Noah. For the next two weeks, you and your team will reunite and train together to master your Elemental Resonance and unite to share energies as one.”
“Alright! That’s going to be awesome! I can’t wait to see everyone again.”
“Wow, well someone’s turning into a bit of a softie aren’t they? I think they’d all be in denial if they were here to actually hear you say that out loud. Have you finally embraced them as your friends?”
“Don’t be ridiculous Dad, they’re beyond friends now, they’re family. I love them all.”
“Wow, someone is feeling very sentimental tonight. Or, maybe you’re just growing up.”
“Yea maybe…I have been thinking about making some big changes recently.” He glances at Rachel for a brief moment and then stands. “Anyway, dinner was delicious as usual Mia, thank you. I think I’d like to go for a walk and work some of it off though. Rachel, would you like to join me?” He looks at her with a smile and she stands with a pleased grin.
“I would love to. Let me just get my coat.” She walks away, but not before giving a smug side glance at Mia, who frowns in response. She knows this is just this the code they use to escape together so they can be intimate. She should be used to it by now, but it still bothers her.
“Well, I think I’m going to call it a night early. These old bones are worn out. Goodnight everyone.” Mika stands from the table and heads for his room.
“Night Grandpa!” Macy says this enthusiastically as she gulps down the last of her pig’s blood. She rubs her eyes and this is Mia’s cue to enter Mommy mode, forgetting her envy.
“It’s about time for someone else to call it a night I’d say. What do you think Macy?”
“I don’t want to sleep yet! I want to play more. Please, can I Mia?” She yawns widely.
“You ask this as you make such a big yawn. No, it’s time to get to bed now. I’ll be going too, so let’s go get ready together ok?” Macy starts to protest, but seeing Noah’s stern expression as he stands waiting to the side, she reconsiders. Mia smiles in thanks at him and says, “ok now, say goodnight to your Uncle Noah now. He may be gone when you wake up tomorrow.”
Macy runs over to Noah and hugs him tightly. “Bye, bye Noah. See you in two weeks.”
“Yes, I’ll see you soon. Make sure you keep being a good girl for Mia and Rachel.”
“I will. Have fun training and tell everyone I said hello. I can’t wait to meet them.”
“Yea, I’m sure they are going to be excited to meet you too Macy. Go on now.”
Macy runs off into her and Mia’s room, leaving Noah and Mia alone in the living room. There’s an awkward silence and it seems Rachel is taking longer than originally stated. To try and initiate a conversation, Mia says, “so, I guess it should be fun to see how they’ve changed.”
“Yea, that’s for sure. I know their power levels will probably be on a whole other level, but I wonder if they’ve made in personal changes too? I mean, those four all left on a sour note, especially Mai, Lili and Gunther, so I hope that they’ve all come to some sort of peace so that once we reunite we can all be at peace again. We won’t be able to work together if not.”
“Oh, I’m sure you guys will be just fine. Your love for them is so obvious and I know they love you too. You guys grew up together, so you really are family. Family will never be torn apart when the bonds are true, even if you fight, you’ll always be there for each other.”
“Yea, I really hope so.” It’s silent again for a moment, but this time Noah initiates the conversation. “So have things really been ok here while I’ve been gone? Rachel hasn’t been tormenting you or anything has she? You can be honest; I won’t hold it against you.”
“Yea, surprisingly I don’t have to lie to you Noah, she’s been on her best behavior. I mean sure she’s been her usual smug, bitchy self, but she’s respected me and my role. I was worried she’d be a bad influence on Macy, but it seems like she’s respected our wishes and only encourages Macy to drink from her. Where she’s getting her source from…well I don’t think we really want to think about. The bottom line is, everything has been peaceful and calm.”
“Well, I’m very glad to hear that. Maybe I do have to give her some credit. It seems like she really is growing up a bit. I really hope she has, it’ll make things easier going forward.”
Mia looks confused. “What do you mean? What’s happening?”
“It’s nothing you have to worry about right now, but just know Mia….” He takes her hand in his and squeezes it affectionately. “When I return, things are going to be different.”
“What…?” She starts to question him, but he quickly releases her hand, just as Rachel returns. However, she feels a warm sensation in her chest and at once everything is clear.
“Ok, I’m ready! Sorry it took so long, I just…wanted to…freshen up….” She notices Noah’s quick movements and Mia’s flustered expression. “Is there something happening here?” She looks at them suspiciously, the accusation thick in her expression and words.
“No, there’s nothing going on but us. Let’s head out already. Goodnight Mia.” He walks out and Rachel follows behind him, but not before glaring at Mia, who looks back innocently.
They walk deep into the forest and once they reach their usual spot, Rachel wastes no time reaching for Noah’s pants. However, he stops her and shakes his head. “What? Did you want to lead today? I don’t mind.” She leans back, encouraging him to come to her.
He doesn’t however and instead walks to a thick log on which he sits. “I didn’t bring you here for that Rachel, we need to talk.” He looks at her seriously and she can tell he’s not joking.
She sits beside him, taking his hand in hers. “Ok, what did you want to talk about?”
“To be honest, I had this all scripted in my head and was ready to get straight to the point, but it’s a lot harder to do when the person is in your face. Also there may be new developments.”
“Ok, so what exactly had you rehearsed and what developments are you referring to?”
“I’ll be upfront with you Rachel because I know you can take it, I want to end this.” He feels her hands tense around his, but he doesn’t stop. “Look, there’s no doubt that I loved you all this time and I don’t regret getting back together because I think we needed to end things the right way. We ended things so suddenly when I angrily sent you away that day, so we never really had the closure to tie up those residual feelings. However, now that we’ve been together for all this time, I feel that we’ve allowed our relationship to run its due course. This time, I want us to end it on a better note, and I really hope you’ll accept this gracefully. I think there will always be a part of me that loves you; you were my first love after all. However, I’m no longer in love with you Rachel. Being away for training all this time and finding that I didn’t long for you anymore was very eye opening. I realized that the love between us was very childish, and not so wholesome that it could become everlasting. Thanks to dad’s training, I’ve been able to tap into my spiritual aura and I’ve been able to clear my mind of all trivial things. However, there is one thing that has always remained and actually has only been getting stronger; my feelings for Mia. I love her Rachel; I’ve finally come to realize this. It’s not because she holds my heart, literally, but simply because she makes me feel a happiness no one else, even you, has ever made me feel before. I’ve been thinking of almost nothing but her the entire time I’m away training, where you rarely cross my mind. I think we’ve finally grown apart Rachel and that includes you too.” He can see her face twist in confusion. “You’re not in love with me Rachel, not anymore.”
Hearing those words, she finally reacts. “What? Are you serious? How dare you say such a thing!” She stands, snatching away her hand. “You seriously have the gall to say all of that? I left my job, certain security and much nicer living conditions to join you out here in the wilderness and even put up with that annoying twit every day and you say that to me?!”
“I never asked you to do that!” Now he stands. “To be honest, I wish you hadn’t.” He can see the hurt in her eyes. “Look Rachel, I know you’ve been so stuck on me all this time that it’s hard to see anything else around you, but I need you to think now; think about everything that’s happened over the last couple of years. After everything with Marcosias happened and I cast you out you said you went back to Judas and he rewarded you for your efforts with your freedom right? He told you that he’d gotten what he wanted and no longer needed you as his servant. He allowed you to walk out then and never look back, no conditions or strings attached, right?”
“Yes, that’s right. What does that have to do with this?”
“Everything. Your enslaver gave you FREEDOM Rachel. You could have left him that very day and never have looked back, what true slave wouldn’t? If you truly despised him so much and resented him for making you a prisoner, then wouldn’t you have high tailed it out of there as soon as he allowed you to? Yet you didn’t. Instead you took up a job under him and became his employee. You voluntarily chose to stay with the man that killed you, turned you into Junsui and imprisoned you for years, when any sane person wouldn’t have stayed for any amount of money or security. Why the hell would you do that? How do you explain that?”
“I had nowhere else to go. It’s not that I really wanted to stay, I was just using him.”
“If you claimed to have loved me so much, then why didn’t you come after me? Why did you let me end things like that? You should’ve come back to me and fought with everything you had to win me back and prove to me that you were worth staying with?”
“It’s not like I didn’t want to, but I thought you wanted some time. So I gave it to you. But I came back after you returned from the underworld didn’t I. Doesn’t that mean anything?”
“Ok fine, maybe I’ll give you that, but did giving me space mean sleeping with your imprisoner? Because last time I checked, true prisoners don’t willingly sleep with their master.”
Rachel is shocked. “What? I didn’t….” She knows she’s caught. “How did you know?”
Noah smirks and chuckles as he says, “you can hide a lot of things Rachel, a baby isn’t one of them.” He points to her stomach. “Using magic to mask its presence isn’t enough.”
“You knew? You knew all this time?” He nods. “Why didn’t you say anything then? I wanted to surprise you, that’s why I hid it. I wanted to tell you once your training was done.”
“Don’t even try that game Rachel. You and I both know you hid it because you were scared of me rejecting you again. How long exactly where you planning on hiding it? When you were in labor? I mean, you’re due in a few weeks right?”
Rachel is stunned. “How could you possibly know all of this? Even if the magic wasn’t enough to mask it from you, your abilities don’t allow you to estimate gestation do they?”
“No, I simply heard the heartbeat. A month after we got back together, I started hearing the heartbeat. I put it all together and everything became clear. I chose to accept you anyway.”
“So you’ve known all this time and seriously said nothing? I thought you would’ve been happy to know you were going to be a father. Did you feel no excitement at all?”
“What difference does it make. The truth of the matter is; you clearly love Judas. Seeing how you were tonight confirmed my suspicions. You think about him more often than I think you even realized. Even when we would come out here and talk, you’d casually bring him up or talk about some cool thing you saw him do. I never really said anything because I felt that you’d eventually come to realize it on your own. I was hoping that you would be the one to end things honestly. At this point, I think you’re more sexually dependent on me than anything else. You don’t want to admit your feelings for Judas, because you hate that you have them at all. I honestly think you may have always had feelings for him. I’m not doubting that you loved me as a child, I know you did, but it was in a pure way. However, I think you found his wild side very alluring back then and you two connected with the wickedness of your hearts. He’s naturally evil and you’ve always been naturally vindictive, which is why you had no issues with him killing your family; you hated them all anyway. In return, he could use you too. You guys have always gone together like two halves of a whole, but you loved the goodness I had. You fell in love with that goodness, because it was something you didn’t have.”
“No, you’re wrong! I don’t love him; he was just a means to an end! I love you Noah!”
“Maybe so, but you’re in love with him. That’s why you never walked away.”
“You’re wrong! I don’t! I only slept with him because you rejected me! When you sent me away that day, I was so angry and hurt. He was there and offered me comfort. It was a period of weakness I wasn’t proud of, but you were really the one I wanted. So when you came back and finally accepted me again, I stopped it. I was with him only one more time; the night after we slept together for the first time in so long. It was my final gesture of kindness to him, a goodbye if you will. I never let him touch me again after that, I swear!”
“I believe you, but answer me this; did you use protection that final time?”
She looks away in shame, but owns up to it. “No. It was the only time we hadn’t.”
“Our first time after all that time was the night before just as you said, and we also didn’t use protection, we never have. So you slept with me and my brother within a day of each other unprotected and you have to wonder why I didn’t jump for joy when I realized you were pregnant? You should be happy I stayed as long as I did once I knew. But seriously Rachel, why the hell would I be happy to be faced with caring for a baby that’s not even mine?”
Her moth drops open. “What? How can you say that? Of course it’s yours Noah. I mean yes, I was stupid enough to not use protection with Judas that one time, but I still had him take appropriate precautions if you know what I mean, where you held nothing back, so the odds of it being his over yours is like 1 in a million. This is definitely your son Noah, I swear.”
Those certainly are slim odds, yet it seems it was just your luck. You should think about playing the lottery when you go back. Your odds of getting pregnant by him, even if it was from a stray drop is far higher than getting a full load from me. I’m assuring you, that baby is not mine and if you don’t believe me, ask Tahno for my health records. He did a full workup of us when he first made us a team many years ago and I mean it was a full workup. He had every aspect of our genetics and otherwise tested, including fertility. I’ve known since I was 14 that I was never going to have children of my own. My count is absolute zero, which means that I’m so sterile, I could put a hospital to shame. So believe it when I say, that baby isn’t mine.”
Rachel’s eyes go wide and her legs go weak. “No…that can’t be true. This baby is…no!” She falls to her knees. “It has to be yours! I won’t accept anything else! This baby is yours!”
“I’m telling you it’s not! Even if the science wasn’t on my side, look at it from a logical view. Ouran got Simone pregnant and her gestation period was greatly increased. She also gave birth to a child who is clearly some kind of divine being, hence why his growth is accelerated as well, just like Macy’s. That baby inside of you is a human. Do you really think that with my god status, I’d ever end up with a child who wasn’t at least Junsui even if not a god? There’s no way I’d end up with a human child, even if with your human DNA. However, it’s quite logical to see how Judas could produce a human baby just like any regular Junsui can. It’s almost assured considering you were born human. That baby is his and yours together. That’s the reality.”
“No…it can’t be….” She holds her face in her hands and begins to cry. “Why?”
“Look, I know it’s not the best situation, considering that you’ve created a baby with the ultimate evil demon spawn who I may end up having to kill in a years’ time, but I think you should go home to him and really look at things objectively. Look deep into your heart and consider just what your true feelings for him are. I mean, you have to at least like him a little to sleep with him without protection even if only once right? Also, I think maybe you need to look a bit more at him. Haven’t you ever stopped to consider what he feels about you?”
“What’s there to think about? He hates me just as I hate him. He’s said it many times.”
“I’m not so sure about that honestly. I mean, look at his own behavior over the years. When you two made that deal as children, where you would help him get to me if he got rid of your family. Based on your reaction, clearly him killing and turning you was never in the plan, so why did he do it? Because he’s evil? No, he is, but that wasn’t the reason. If that’s all it was, he’d have killed you and that would’ve been the end of it. But no, he purposely turned you and then made you his “servant”. Tell me, have you ever heard of servants being treated with rights? Think about the other servants I’m certain he’s had other than you. Did he treat them the same way? Did he give them a room of their own? Did he feed them regularly and respect their personal space? Did he allow them to turn away his advances or talk to him with disrespect?”
Rachel thinks back to the early days of her time with Judas. Now that she’s thinking about it, he was a good master to her. He allowed her to stay in that large room in his estate and make it her own. He allowed her to walk around freely within the grounds, rarely ever locking her in or chaining her up unless she became aggressive or tried to run. She was allowed to eat at the table with him and his family. Even when she did try to run away or if she cursed him, he never struck her. He’d simply restrain her or lock her in her room until she calmed down. He would sometimes get a bit aggressive and try to intimidate her, but they were always empty threats. He never followed up on them. He had tried to make advances on her a few times over the years, but she always turned him away. He could’ve taken her anyway and broken her down, bending her to his will, but he never did. He backed down and instead utilized one of his concubines. They were the true servants. They had no rights. They were kept in the cellar, chained up and fed scraps. They were constantly beaten, serving as the punching bags for his frustrations, most caused by her. No matter how they resisted or begged, he never backed down or let them refuse his advances, taking everything from them, leaving them to become empty vessels, no better than dolls. She never really stopped to consider why, if she were supposedly a servant just the same, he never treated her that way. She rationalized it by thinking that he kept her pure so he could use her to get to Noah, but looking back on it now, she doesn’t think that was the only reason. Also recalling his behavior upon her announcing her departure, she realizes that perhaps he hadn’t said what he was really thinking. Could it really be? Could that evil bastard actually care for her? It seems too unreal, yet makes complete sense thinking back on it.
“You’ve realized it haven’t you?” Noah kneels down beside her. “Despite not actually growing up together, I know Judas, I know my brother; we are twins after all. We’ve got a connection and who can say if that connection has allowed his cold, evil heart to actually feel genuine love through my own feelings for you, but regardless of how, he clearly does. If you allow yourself to be honest, I think you’ll find you don’t hate him as much as you claim to. So you should go home Rachel. Go home to him, I’m sure he’s not going to want to let you go, especially now that he will have a child. It’s for the best of everyone, including Macy.”
“Macy? What’s she got to do with this?”
“You know what. Did you think I didn’t realize that you’ve been taking her on nightly adventures of justice? Allowing her to use her powers to kill the corrupted humans and then feeding on them? I knew that her sudden improvement wasn’t the result of simple determination and raw beef. I knew she was getting human nutrients from the source rather than indirectly through you as you’d have Mia and I believe simply because I could detect her power. The levels are off the charts and she’s becoming more powerful everyday as she continues growing. I chose not to say anything when returned last week because I didn’t want to disrupt the happy times. However, I’d been waiting for this night to finally say that I’m disgusted by you. You keep claiming to love me, yet you continue to do underhanded things that you know I’d never approve of. You’ve always known that I didn’t want Macy to live like that, believing in a false sense of justice and getting stuck on feeding from humans. I wanted her to live like I do, accepting what she is, but choosing to rise above it and not let it define her. I wanted her to understand that this isn’t the only way. She can survive without needless bloodshed. I wanted her to live under human morals and values, just as I do. I wanted this for her simply because I love humans and I wanted her to too. The only mother and brother I preferred to acknowledge was human. The people who’ve embraced me from the start of my life have always been humans. The people who I’ve come to love, respect and see as my own have always been humans. I’ve learned that despite there being evil even in humanity, there is still so much good and I’d accepted the human sin. Even if humans do wrong, that doesn’t make them less deserving of forgiveness. That doesn’t mean it’s ok to treat them as though their lives have no value. That’s what I wanted Macy to learn and understand. However, you’ve tainted her even more than that evil man did. What happened that day was a mistake, she could’ve rose above it, but now you’ve damned her soul to a life of sin. I’ll never be able to pull her away from it because she’s already gone too far. She’ll never be able to take back all the blood she’s shed with intention to kill. I’m not sure what to do with her now, but I do know that having her around you another minute is toxic. I’ll never forgive you for what you’ve done and I’d certainly no longer love you now, even if I still did. So I want you to leave our lives once and for all and never return. Do you understand?” He looks down to her, glaring as she trembles on her knees.
“Please Noah, don’t do this. I’m so sorry. I’ll do anything you ask, just please don’t-.”
“There’s nothing you can do or say but leave! I’ll pack up your things and leave them outside. Don’t even think of taking a step inside the house again! I really wish you and your child the best. I’m sorry I may never be a part of my nephew’s life, but it’s not as though I’d feel welcome anyway, considering I may very well be the one to kill his father. Goodbye Rachel.”
She watches as Noah walks away and she reaches out for him with tears streaming down her face. “Noah!” She calls after him, but he doesn’t acknowledge her. She puts her head down on the ground and begins to cry even harder as a figure watches her within the darkness.
Noah returns to the cabin, looking drained. Mia notices this and rushes to his side. “Noah, are ok? What’s happened?” She takes his coat and shoes as he sits at the table.
He shakes his head. “It’s nothing. I just did something long overdue. Where’s Macy?”
Before she can answer, Macy comes running out. “Here I am! I was waiting for you!”
“Oh is that right? Well, I appreciate that. Anyway, I need to speak with you Macy, so come sit with me.” He pulls her on his lap. “Now, I’m not going to be angry, but I want you to tell me honestly, did Rachel take you out at night to feed on the bad people?”
She tenses, looking scared. However, she doesn’t really want to lie anymore, so she tells the truth. “Yes.” Mia gasps. “But it was only on the bad humans, I promise! They killed innocent humans, so I was only punishing them to avenge those innocent humans.”
“I get that Rachel made it seem like that was justice, but that’s not true justice Macy. No matter what wrongs humans have done, it’s not our place to punish them, only god’s. We can’t take their lives with our own hands, we can only try and teach them through example. If that doesn’t work, then we have to imprison them to protect them from themselves as well as other people. They must be tried and convicted and then a professional judge must decide their punishment. Even then, killing them is not the answer. I know you once again were tricked into it, but I’m still disappointed in you Macy. I thought I taught you better than that.”
Macy starts to get teary-eyed as she’s scolded. “I, I didn’t mean to be a bad girl.”
“I know, but you were. However, it’ll be ok now because I got rid of the bad influence.”
“Hmm?” She looks confused, but then she notices Rachel isn’t there. “Where’s Rachel.”
“She’s gone and she’ll never be coming back. So don’t worry about her anymore.”
“Gone? No! I don’t want her to leave! She’s my teacher. She’s been training me to be really strong! Why did you make her go away? I’ll be a good girl, but please don’t make her go!”
“It’s already done, so let her go. Now, it’s late, so you need to get to bed now. Go on.”
Macy pouts and frowns at Noah, but says nothing more. She runs to her room, slamming the door. Mia places her hand on Noah’s shoulder. “I had no idea, I’m so sorry. This was best.”
“I know. She’ll be angry for a while, but she’ll get over it eventually. I’m really sorry through, things are going to get harder for you. She’s going to still need to feed on humans while I’m gone for these final weeks, but I’ve made arrangements for someone to help supply her. Can I ask you to oversee her and make sure she adapts to this new situation?”
“Of course, I’ll do my best. I won’t let her become corrupted. Are you ok though?”
“I will be, especially if I have you.” He takes her hand and looks into her eyes. “Like I said earlier, things are going to change Mia. I’ve realized while I was gone that you’ve always been there for me unconditionally and I’ve never truly thanked you. But I’m thanking you now. I know that everything is still uncertain, but one thing isn’t…my feelings for you. I love you Mia and when this is all over, if I survive somehow, I want us to be together. I want to spend the rest of my life with you.” He smiles as he sees her face become bright red and pulls her to him.
Sitting on his lap and facing him, Mia can look directly into his eyes and she feels their heart going crazy. She’s not sure if it’s more him, her or the combo of the two, but she’s never felt more embarrassed and happy than she does now. “I love you too Noah, I always have.”
Noah smiles wider and leans his face towards her slowly, waiting to see if she reciprocates. She nods and leans forward, giving him the ok. They kiss, and although this is technically the second time, it’s much more tender than the first, as this time they both desire each other and it’s a kiss filled with love. On instinct, she wraps her arms around his neck and legs around his waist and the back of the chair as they kiss with increasing passion. Noah stands and carries them to his bedroom, shutting the door behind them. Soon after, Macy emerges from her and Mia’s room and sneaks out while they are occupied. She runs into the woods, hoping to find Rachel before she’s gone forever. She picks up her scent and follows the trail deep into the woods, until finally she reaches a clearing. In the distance, she can see a figure lying on the ground, lightly sobbing and realizes it’s Rachel. However, before rushing out to her, she pauses and realizes they are not the only ones out there. Another figure, a man, emerges from the trees.
He stands over Rachel, but his face is not menacing. It’s actually very sympathetic. He leans down to her, strokes her cheek and whispers in her ear, “let’s go home now.” He takes her into his arms and picks her up in a Princess Carry form. She becomes vaguely aware of him and reflexively grips his shirt as she cries into his chest. He starts to walk away into the woods.
“Wait, who are you? Where are you taking Rachel? I won’t let you hurt her!” Macy yells.
“I’ve been expecting you little girl, though I thought we’d meet under different terms.”
She looks at the shady man with his deep purple eyes and matching hair. “Who are you?”
He smirks. “My name is Silas, though perhaps you’ve only heard of me as Judas?”
“You…you’re Uncle Noah’s evil twin brother. That means you’re my uncle too?”
“I suppose so, though evil is a relative term. As my servant Kole told you before you so ruthlessly killed him, I am very powerful and have many abilities. I know Rachel has helped you get used to using your powers a lot, but you’re still only scratching the surface. I can tach you how to bend the world to your knees, so that no one will ever tell you how to live again. However, understanding you have a more civil heart, I can at least show you how to protect yourself and the ones you love from true evil, but in order to do that, I’d need you to come with me to my estate in the Bakemon world. You’d have to leave behind this human world and all you have here. That includes your grandfather, Mia and of course Noah. If you join me, you very well may have to call them your enemy in the future, however, I believe that it would be a far greater sacrifice to stay here and conform to a life that you do not desire. I can read what’s in your heart. I can tell that although you are not evil and heartless like me, you don’t share in their righteous and holy sentiments. I can see that you want to punish those who deserve to be punished and save those who do not. I can help you become the kind of savior you wish to be, but I won’t force you. I’ll offer you they choice here and now. Do you wish to come with me and unlock your full potential and be an anti-hero, or will you stay with Noah as a human, and become a sheep? Choose now as I won’t offer twice.”
Macy thinks it over, knowing that for the second time, she’s faced with a decision that will greatly affect her life. She knows that whichever side she chooses, will lead to the loss of the other forevermore. She loves Mia and is grateful for all the love and care she’s shown her. She of course loves her uncle Noah and her grandpa, and will miss them, but deep in her heart, she knows what Judas says is true. She’s never going to be able to conform to the same standard as Noah because as much as she doesn’t wish to hurt innocent humans, she can’t deny herself. “I’ll go. I want to become someone who can protect this world, even from itself. However, I won’t help you hurt Noah, nor will I stop him from coming after you. Do we have a deal?”
Judas walks over to her, grinning widely. “Yes little girl, we have ourselves a deal.”
Noah wakes up with Mia in his arms. He can feel her body heat everywhere their bare skin touches and it feels nice, but also embarrassing. She’s fast sleep and her sleeping face looks so peaceful. He feels so happy; he can feel his heart beating faster in Mia’s chest. It’s all still so surreal, sharing a heart with someone else. His heart is her heart and in that moment they were perfectly attuned to each other. They felt every emotion, every sensation and every pleasure at double the intensity and it was the most amazing thing he’s ever experienced. He has no doubt that he wants to spend the rest of his life with Mia by his side and he will do whatever it takes to achieve that happiness as well as save the world. It’s this sort of human ideal that he hopes Macy will have one day, and it’ll be hard, but he’s going to do his best to help her see human beauty.
Noah gets up and heads out to the kitchen for some water. It’s been a few hours and in just two more, he and his father will be on their way to meet the others, so their joint training can begin. As he drinks from a cup, he notices a single piece of paper on the center of the table. He picks it up and begins reading, his expression going from content to alarm in an instant. In this letter from Macy, she explains that she’s made the decision to go train under Judas and Rachel so that she may be of better help to him in the future. She wants to get stronger and see more of the world, so she can determine for herself if humans are as worthy as he says. She apologizes for leaving so suddenly and against his will, but she promises she’ll be as good as she can and come back one day, when she can be someone he’d be proud of. She gives her regards to the others and says that she loves them all. Noah holds the note with a trembling hand and a pained face. Mia comes out in her robe and supports him. “Noah, what’s happened?” He hands her the note as he sits down in the chair, clutching his head. “Oh no…it’ll be ok, I’m sure she’ll come back.”
“No, she won’t. I drove her away and right into his hands. This is my fault. Now he’s got his hands on an extremely powerful weapon. He’s going to turn her against us, I know it. This just made our mission that much harder. Damnit!” He slams the table. “I can never face Tahno.”
“Don’t be so hard on yourself Noah.” Mika joins them. “She’ll be ok, she’s a strong girl, like her parents and you. Sometimes children must venture out on their own and learn certain lessons for themselves. Trust in your teaching and trust in Macy, she’ll rise above the evil.”
“I hope you’re right dad, for all our sakes.” Mia comforts him as he says this.
“Just have faith Noah and don’t lose sight of what you must do. Don’t let this distract you. We have a duty and so we will leave today as planned to meet your team and finish our training. We’ll all need to be more united and strong as ever. However, we may need to extend the joint training for a bit longer as now we do have to account for Judas’ potential to use her against us. I believe in her, but even she isn’t immune to corruption. She’s extremely powerful and so with both her and Judas to potentially face, we’ll need to be diligent.”
Noah stands, suddenly determined. “I’m going to make him pay! I’m going to save her.” He returns to his room and starts packing his bag. He’s going to put his everything into getting strong, so that he can become all powerful and save Macy, as well as the world. Judas has crossed him for the last time. He will not let him win, not as long as he is still breathing.