Tag Archives: Eternity

TCOL : Eden : Children In Eden Pt.3

“You are seriously scary, doll face.” Brig laughed and helped Karla to her feet while he watched Kaneko lick blood from her hands. She had massacred dozens of angels while they searched for her sister, only stopping when the winds forced them to slow their pace. “I guess the hubby needed sugar and spice.”

“Nyaa.” Kaneko giggled. “Karla smashed a guys face once.”

“Don’t tell people that, Kaneko.” Karla scolded. “I didn’t mean to.”

“Wow.” Brig shook his head and looked over their options. Slim tunnels cut through the otherwise impassable winds. “So which way.”

“Oww.” Karla rubbed her arm where something struck her and looked for an assailant.

“Who’s there?” Kaneko growled when she heard what sounded like sighing. “Kyaa! Come out and play with Kaneko!”

“What the shit…” Brig felt a nudging at his foot and crouched to inspect what seemed like nothing but a pile of stones. Cid and Tali started flapping wildly on his back when the pebbles moved around his fingers. “Settle down, you two.”

“It’s a spirit.” Demise offered as she fluttered down to his hand. “Came to help out?”

The stones jittered and a path formed through one of the tunnels. Large stepping stones at the entrance to guide them and smaller ahead.

“So we go that way?” Karla leaned close.

“Yes, girl.” The air sighed. “She will guide you.”

“Where is Kaneko’s sister?” Kaneko growled at the more talkative wind. “Kaneko is not following the rocks until she finds Neka.”

“Kagami’s other kitten seems to be in good hands.” The wind laughed. “Hurry along and you’ll see them both.”

“Quiet rocks and talking windstorms.” Brig shook his head and gave the stones under his fingers a gentle pat before he stood. “Lead the way, doll… uh… yea.”

“You okay?” Demise crawled up his sleeve. “You handled that pretty well. Outside of talking too much and embarrassing yourself. ”

“Thanks, doll face.” Brig followed close behind Eidolon’s brides afraid that they would be followed. Cid and Tali had proven themselves useful for defense and made spectacular lookouts, so he preferred to keep his eyes forward while they watched everywhere else. Demise was also lending a hand when needed and Brig realized more and more how far removed he was in potential from the company he kept. “I just felt like I could trust it… her.”

As they walked the stones behind them vanished and the tunnel closed behind them. More stones appeared to lead them and the violent storm opened a path to let them pass unscathed. Brig felt it when he touched the stones. The cool surface that emanated an indescribable warmth. A feeling deeper than words, like the blissful moments of silence being held in a compassionate embrace. The spirit had given no words but it asked to be trusted and offered protection. Brig accepted.

“There are so many now.” Karla hugged Kaneko’s arms as she watched uncountable angels trying to fight against the winds only to be knocked violently back into the garden. “How can they beat so many?”

“Trust Master Eidolon.” Kaneko purred. “He squishes even better than Kaneko.”

“Besides.” Samael stepped into their path as he interrupted. “He will have help.”

“Kaneko.” Shiroi’s eyes welled at the sight of her still alive and well. “You’re okay.”

“Hmmph.” Karla sneered.

“Kaneko is always okay.” Kaneko just walked ahead with Karla to avoid screaming. “Are you coming, Brig?”

“Welak Isa, nepu.” Samael took Shiroi’s face in his hands and gave her a quick kiss before he pushed away the coming tears. “De danbol sesa zan ba sekni zekusi’tach.”

“Kono.” Shiroi tried to look away.

“Hak ‘kono’.” Samael held a finger in front of her. “Nepu. Baat.”

“Tek, Kaleka Samael.” Shiroi inhaled deeply and kissed his finger just before he darted away shouting.

“Sekni jer.” Samael narrowly snatched Eidolons brides out of harms way as attacking angels broke through protective winds and went for what they assumed were the weakest targets. Instead they met with a crushing blow from Samael’s tail and his blade relieved them of their heads.

“Let go.” Karla slapped at Samael’s arm.

“You are so very welcome.” Samael sat the girls to their feet.

“Maybe if you spoke in Tsuri you wouldn’t have had to grab them.” Brig pushed past Samael to check on Kaneko and Karla. Angry that he could do nothing to protect them. “Of course you get off on touching other people’s things.”

“Do you truly want to stir things up again, boy?” Samael offered his arm to Shiroi before resuming their hike. “It’s been a while since your last visit and I’m certain I have a nice box to keep you in when I’m otherwise occupied.”

“Leave it alone.” Eternity advised as she saw Brig’s temper flare at the sound of Shiroi’s laughter. She was surprised to see it was Kaneko that drew her blades first. “Both of you. If our guide will let them keep a bit of distance between us…”

“Gathering you all together is entertaining.” The wind giggled as it strengthened its protection. “And I apologize for that momentary lapse. This is somewhat of a new trick, but no more will get through.”

“How far are we going?” Brig pulled the hair over his face as he wiped his eyes.

“Nearly there.” Samael called back to them. He could smell the air ahead of them opening up into Eden. He could smell Gabriel. He could hear the wailing of hundreds of angels. “I do hope you’ve saved your strength, children.”

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TCOL : Eden : Those Who Will Stand At The Gates Pt.2

“Bret deseka vonek na Eden, baat?” Azrael tapped his foot impatiently.

 “Palak, Azrael.” Gabriel waved off the eagerness of the Wyrms to destroy and stepped toward Lucifer. “I have one last concern. I asked that you stay behind, Lucy. Hanseka. We helped you close the gates for a reason.”

 “I’m not going anywhere, Gabby.” Lucifer had decided to honor Gabriel’s request… in part. They all felt the trembling as Lucifer started the massive undertaking. Hell shook, but it was not a threatening tremor but a warm pulse of energy. “I won’t have to.”

 “I don’t like this, Vivi.” Eliza clung to Vikarr as if he could stop the shaking himself.

 “Myrt…” Caleb clutched his husbands sleeve and trembled as Myrt pulled him into his arm and drew a lance from the air, ready to protect him. He didn’t say a word but smiled when he saw his brother similarly standing as guardian to Donovan.

 “Is this really a time for games?” Eidolon held his brides in his protective embrace and noticed that Neka’s pet had nearly enveloped her in an embrace of his own. “We came ready to fight for you. Stop this.”

 “Show some faith, Falcon.” Kage grinned.

 Lucifer laughed as his magic completed and he gloated over his success. All of Golod watched him; Asura and Bezer giggling over what they were sure was going to be another argument. Raziel’s puppets stood silently at his side, so intent on making their Master proud that it didn’t even seem to occur to them to be afraid. Nei just fawned over Presia and yawned mockingly over Lucifer’s spell. Vikarr smiled at his worried bride and assured her there was nothing that would harm her. The lot of them were truly remarkable.

 “Done showing off?” Maefyl clapped slowly and laughed. “Now tell the class what you did.”

 “Remodeling.” Lucifer grinned.

 “You’ve brought Eden into Hell?” Raziel stroked Galik’s back. The most eager of his puppets to indulge in the coming fight was growing more impatient.

 “More specifically into my estate.” Lucifer grinned. He could feel the astonishment of the entire realm stroking his ego. Outside his estate they would marvel at the swell of power without ever knowing what had caused the realm to nearly double in size. They would simply see the superficial growth of Lucifer’s castle and know he had once again grown stronger. Once again done remarkable things. “Lilith does love her gardens. Who would like to help rid it of some vermin?”

“I just can’t go a day without saving the world.” Maefyl tightened his ponytail and jumped onto Gabriel’s back. “Stop looking so agitated. You knew he was going to do something obnoxious.”

 “This is not merely obnoxious.” Gabriel stepped up to Lucifer’s throne and rested his fingers against the arm. “Lucy, are the gates contained?”

 “Of course.” Lucy nodded. “I wouldn’t bring Eden only to let those nuisances run about making a mess of my home. Until we’ve destroyed them there is no way out of Eden.”

 “And then?” Gabriel asked quietly.

 “One thing at a time, Gabby.” Lucy stood in front of him and smiled. “Let’s get on with this.”

This is not an end… The gates will open.

 

Presia’s momentary augury brought an eerie quiet to the room and troubling questions they were trying to avoid finally ate away at Maefyl’s patience.

 “Why gates?” Maefyl kissed Gabriel’s face in an effort to calm him. “You said Eden was your home.”

 “And it was.” Gabriel rested his hands over Maefyl’s wrists. “It is also largely inaccessible.”

 “More accurately, locked away.” Raziel explained. “To protect the magic there from itself and our own abuses.”

 “What magic could you possibly not control, Razzy?” Van giggled.

 “Not all magic wants to obey the ones who call on it.” Vikarr smiled at her and Van stepped behind Raziel for comfort. Vikarr was saddened that she was still unwilling to accept him as family, but in no way wanted to push her. “You were fortunate that the magic in you embraced you as it did.”

 “Don’t harass the girl, Vikarr. Even you could not understand this magic.” Eidolon tried to explain further when he realized Karla was waiting so eagerly for an answer. “This magic was more than just beyond us as young Watchers.”

 “It took the six of us to seal the damn things away.” Samael laughed.

 “Vasun Lucifer seta ise benus kenun.” Azrael added as he covered his eyes feigning fear. “De seta kowaksi.”

 “It was an experiment.” Lucifer shrugged. “I think it went beautifully.”

 “This is not a laughing matter, Lucy.” Gabriel snapped at him. “The gates remain locked.”

 “The seals stay, Gabby.” Lucifer grinned. “At least for now. There are other concerns and I have no desire to make an enemy of you over this.”

 “We are going to talk about this later.” Maefyl whispered as he slid to his feet and lit a cigarette. “For now can we do what we came to do?”

 “For once we are in complete agreement, Half-breed.” Kage felt the familiar flutter of Kagemusha’s wings as she whispered her encouragement and praise. “My Lord Lucifer, we have trespassers to remove from Lilith’s newest garden…”

 “Come along then.” Lucifer was waiting suddenly by the door in the back of the hall. “What are you all waiting for?”

 “This should be interesting.” Azazel purred as he walked proudly beside Nikolai until Nei nearly knocked him over on his way toward Bishop. Azazel hissed and clawed toward the vampire but found himself holding a small bouquet of wildflowers and accepting the warm smile Presia offered in apology as she looked back at him. “Fucking weirdos.”

 “Let it go, my pet.” Nikolai snatched the flowers from Azazel’s hand and tossed them to the ground as they walked. “I want you focused. Keep each other safe.”

 “We will, Master Nikolai.” Bezer assured him as she took his hand.

 “At last this Council is living up to expectations.” Lucifer led them inside with a twisted sense of confidence in his dragons and their beloved treasures. In tragedy they were always at their best. “You’ve earned some time to play. Let the games begin.”

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TCOL : What We Are : Fathers & Husbands Pt.2

“Do you want this Council to fail, Lucifer?” Eidolon leaned on his desk and Karla clutched his arm. “You set it up without proper guidance, set ridiculous deadlines to undo damage that you allowed to occur and are making no effort to aid with any of it. Now this? Why sow this unrest among us? I have long been your friend, long been loyal to you. Like every other time you have broken my heart I will find a way to forgive this. Do you think the Wyrms will be so forgiving when their bride begins to mourn this?”

“It is because I don’t want this Council to fail that I have given little aid to your current dilemma. I expect you to put bickering and nonsense aside and work together to solve the problem, but before you insult me further I have already started to restore my protection where I had removed it. All the twelve of you need to do is clean up the mess.” Lucifer created several tablet computers in his hand and slid them across the desk. Each was engraved on the back with the name of the intended recipient so there would be no more questions on the matter regarding his acceptance of Eidolon’s decision to let Natasha play secretary to the Third. He also included one for Kaneko and simplified versions without access to Circle or Council data for the entire pack. “As far as your accusation that I am sowing unrest, my recent orders are unrelated to the work the Council has been doing and quite frankly none of the Council’s business. If the Wyrms take issue with it, they are free to bring it to the table, but they will regret the intrusion into my personal affairs and I don’t care how their bride mourns. If her tears leave her a dried out husk she’ll make good kindling for their fireplace. I’ll say this only once, Eidolon. Do not mention her to me again.”

“Understood.” Eidolon had let himself say too much and was grateful the response to it was as benign as it was. He was barely scolded at all for his insult and Lucifer instead seemed to reward what self-control he had managed to use. Eidolon neatly gathered the computers into a stack and sat them aside. “And thank you.”

“How can you thank him?” Karla sniffled and wiped her face dry before she looked at Lucifer and pouted. “And how could you do this to Kaneko? You pretty much raised her, didn’t you? This is just mean.”

“Quiet, Karla.” Eidolon lifted her chin and pulled her to look up at him. “I know you mean well, but you also know better.”

“Okay, Master Eidolon.” Karla did know better. Yelling at Lucifer never ended well and he was trying to protect her from herself. As angry as she was over the situation, she had to be patient and hope for the best.

“You hate Snowflake now, too?” Kaneko sniffled and turned to look at Lucifer. “Do you hate Kaneko? Kaneko is always a good girl.”

“Yes, you are.” Lucifer pulled out his phone and he stood and shifted beside Kage. He pulled up his own little biography before he stooped to rub Kage’s back and show her. “You and your sister Neka are our beautiful girls. Your brother is a bit of a nuisance at times, but Kage, Lilith and myself love all three of you. We are a family, Kaneko. A proper one, like you always wanted.”

“But Kaneko is still sad.” Kaneko pouted. “Kaneko didn’t get very much time with her mother.”

“You have had plenty of time with my Lilith.” Lucifer brushed the tears from Kaneko’s face. “You always wished for this, don’t hate me for granting your wish. You know that granted wishes always come at a high cost.”

“But…” Kaneko couldn’t find a good way to protest. She had wished for it. She wanted to be his daughter more than anything when she was small. She was always jealous that Shiroi had been the lucky one. But Kaneko felt just as lucky when she came to Tsumi and met Eidolon. She had love and happiness. Spending her days with Eidolon and Karla brought her so much joy and she had made so many friends. She still missed running around Lucifer’s estate and napping with Lilith, she loved them both, but her time in Tsumi gave her something else that she adored. Kage. As much as she had been brought up to hate the things he had done, Lucifer still told her stories of how he had once been so great and when she met him that was all she could really see. Her great father. Unfriendly, antisocial, generally unlikeable and in her eyes: perfect. He was strong, feared and always smelled like magic.

“Shh.” Lucifer tussled her hair. “Set a good example for Neka. You have always made me proud, Kaneko. Accept that this was for the best.”

“Neka.” The baby grabbed a fistful of Kage’s hair and yanked it making him cringe.

“I hope this fascination of yours ends quickly, child.” Kage kissed her face and rubbed Kaneko’s back. “You have every right to be angry. I have something to give you before you run from me.”

“Kaneko doesn’t run from anything.” Kaneko sat in front of him and held out her hands. “You told Kaneko you would be a good Father if Kaneko could forgive you. Kaneko is going to try really hard so Kaneko can make you keep your promise.”

“I want you to have this.” Kage pulled one of the bracelets from his pocket and laid it in Kaneko’s hands. As her lip quivered he knew she recognized it and he closed her fingers over it and held them tight. “It split in two as she passed. I believe she wanted each of you to have one.”

“What about…” Kaneko started to wonder why even Nexus would exclude Shiroi but realized in her last moments she must have been thinking only of her life with Kage. The only children she wanted were the ones she had with the one she loved. “Was she happy? Were you nice?”

“I…” Kage was going to tread lightly to avoid the frustration it would cause Lucifer but decided Kaneko deserved the truth. “I took her life as she asked me to, Kaneko. Nexus died in my arms knowing she was loved.”

“No!” Malice cried as Neka grabbed her legs and shook her like a rattle. “I’m not a toy.”

“I told you not to get so close.” Kagemusha scolded her quietly. “You twit.”

“Neka, that’s bad.” Kaneko slid the bracelet onto her wrist and inched closer to help. She gently took the babies hand and opened her fingers to let Malice crawl onto her hand. “Be nice to fairies. Malice is a friend. Kaneko will show you. Put your hands like this.”

Kaneko sat her hands together like an open book and let Malice dance on her fingers. Neka smiled and started to wiggle around until Kage sat and let her rest in his lap and she mimed her sister’s actions. Neka kicked her feet excitedly as Malice bravely fluttered over to the infant’s hands. The blanket Kage had her wrapped in opened enough to expose her long white tail as it swayed.

“Good kitty.” Kaneko patted her sister’s head.

“Neka kitty.” The baby squealed and startled Malice. Neka was still just as happy with the shimmery dust the fairy left behind and her new friend. “Neka kitty.”

“Nyaa!” Kaneko smiled and grabbed her tail to show Neka. “Kaneko is a kitty, too.”

“She’s going to talk like Kaneko.” Kagemusha sat on Kage’s shoulder and leaned against his neck.

“What’s wrong with the way Kaneko talks?” Kaneko cocked her head to the side and twitched her tail along the floor.

“Nothing at all.” Kage smiled. “Would you like to hold her?”

“You haven’t even let me hold her.” Lucifer smirked. “You haven’t let go of her at all.”

“Naked Neka!” Kaneko lifted the baby and hugged her closed. “Can Kaneko make her not naked?”

“You would know better how to dress her.” Kage nodded.

“You worried for nothing.” Lucifer pulled Kage to his feet as he whispered to him. Kaneko was raised in Lucifer’s care, taught to respect his orders without question. He knew that she would accept the end of Nexus in time regardless of the pain it caused. The promise of a more perfect family and a younger sister to look after would help her move forward quickly and spare Kage the hatred he feared. “Your daughters will both adore you.”

“I’m glad she will grow fast.” Malice smiled at the baby as she sat on Kaneko’s head. “Babies are a little scary.”

“Neka is not scary.” Kaneko laughed as she stood and carried her sister over to Karla and Eidolon. Now dressed in a frilly white dress, black tights and shiny red boots, Neka giggled and pulled at the lacy frills. “Neka is so pretty. Look, Master Eidolon. Like a backwards Kaneko.”

“She is!” Karla tightened one of the tiny bows on Neka tiny boots before she pet her tail. “She’ll be a white kitty.”

“You will be raising her together?” Eidolon asked and let Kaneko rub her face dry on the jacket of his suit as she held her sister. “The two of you and Lilith?”

“Is it not fitting that I am Father to my husbands children?” Lucifer grinned. “Or is it that you find me unfit as a Father at all?”

“You raised Kaneko brilliantly, my Lord.” Eidolon smiled. “I don’t question the ability. Only the decency of it.”

“It was Nexus’ desire that both Lucifer and Lilith become family to her children.” Kage informed them. “She was humbled by the care they took with Kaneko, she would want no less for Neka.”

“It was always in tragedy that woman managed grace.” Lucifer muttered to himself. He realized Kage’s interruption was meant to help, but it only served to make Lucifer look villainous. Lucifer had no problem with a prolonged visit to fawn over the child, but he wanted an end to the sympathy for Nexus so he decided to force a change in topic. “How did you enjoy your trip through the realms of souls, Karla?”

“Some of it was a bit sad.” Karla let Neka grab her finger and chew on it as she continued. “But it was mostly amazing. The second place was better, they were happier. Why bother having two?”

“Most of them seem content where they are.” Lucifer explained. “Perhaps some of the older souls would accept a place with the Lost, but most the Blessed have a certain attachment to the idea of the ever after that keeps them clinging to the realm they found their way to.”

“You would make room for the ones that would go?” Karla asked. “I mean if someone were to make the offer?”

“I would.” Lucifer grinned. “Talk your husband into bringing it up when some of our larger concerns are dealt with. It would make an interesting project.”

“Would I be able to help?” Karla smirked. “Since it was kind of my idea?”

“I’m certain we can find a role for you.” Lucifer laughed. “But be patient and yield to your Master’s decision.”

“They always do.” Eidolon smiled proudly. “Neither of my brides give me trouble.”

“You want her back?” Kagemusha rubbed Kage’s neck gently and he gave a quick nod. She had noticed him tense as Kaneko carried the baby away and he had been watching quietly with no interest in the conversation. Kaneko and Karla were playing with the girl and she could see that there would be plenty of affection for Kage’s second child, but her Master was not ready to share Neka so soon after losing the one who had left her in his arms. “Just ask.”

“I think Neka might miss her Daddy.” Lucifer shifted behind the girls and put his hands around Neka. Kaneko and Karla pouted and hugged Eidolon as Lucifer walked away with the baby. “Don’t pout you two. You will see plenty of her.”

“It was fine.” Kage took Neka into his arms and cradled her lovingly. “Kaneko is entitled to time with her sister.”

“You are welcome.” Lucifer grinned as Kage smiled at the girl in his arms. He checked the message from Maefyl on his phone and chuckled. “I am going to leave you to spend some time with the girls. It seems my son wants my attention.”

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TCOL : What We Are : Fathers & Husbands Pt.1

“I expected you later in the week.” Eidolon looked up at Lucifer’s arrival and choked on his breath when he saw Kage beside him with an infant in his arms. “What is this?”

 “I need to speak with Kaneko.” Kage was barely able to look his friend in the eyes. After putting years of distance behind them, they set aside so many mistakes and cruel schemes and had come to enjoy their friendship again. Kage knew the confession he was about to make could bring an end to it. If Kaneko turned on him, Eidolon would no doubt keep Kage at arms length.

 “Kaneko is resting.” Eidolon stood and quietly demanded an answer. “Kage, the child?”

 “Is mine.” Kage looked at Neka sadly as she pulled at his tie and giggled. “Please, Eidolon. Don’t force me to make this confession twice.”

 “Kaneko will want to meet her sister, Falcon.” Lucifer smiled at the girl in Kage’s arms and rubbed her face with the back of his fingers. “Don’t make this difficult and I might approve this nonsense with Natasha helping Kryss.”

 “I don’t make things difficult.” Eidolon walked to the door near his desk and walked through it voicing his insults in a whisper as he went to wake his brides. “Everyone else seems to do a fine job of it.”

 “Is it morning already?” Karla smiled at Eidolon as he sat at the edge of the bed. When she started to stretch Kaneko squeezed her tight and mumbled before she started to lick her face. Karla laughed and pushed her elbow back to nudge her awake. “Wake up.”

 “Nyaa!” Kaneko curled around Karla like she was a life size doll and purred. “Kaneko wants to sleep here. Lord Lucifer can sleep somewhere else.”

 “Yikes.” Karla giggled and pinched Kaneko’s arm.

 “Kyaa!” Kaneko jumped to her feet on the bed and looked around startled until she saw Karla and Eidolon smiling at her. She jumped into Eidolon’s lap and hugged him as he stood. “Kaneko feels better. Are we going to finish playing with the fancy ball of string?”

“Unfortunately not. Coming, Karla?” Eidolon waited for her to jump off the bed and join them before he headed out of the room. He kissed Kaneko softly. “Your father wants to talk to you.”

 “Is that a baby?” Karla ran ahead excited and bounced on her toes as she stood in front of Kage and held the edge of his arm. “Hi baby! Who do you belong to?”

 “Kaneko thought you didn’t like kids, Pops. Who got you to babysit?” Kaneko hugged Eidolon before she hopped to her feet and ran over to join Karla. She took one look at the baby that smiled at her with eyes that matched her own and knew. She looked up at her father and her lip quivered. “Kaneko has a sister?”

 “Sister?” Karla looked at Kage in shock. “She’s yours?”

 “Neka.” Kage nodded.

 “Neka.” The baby giggled as she yanked Kage’s tie. “Neka.”

 “Speaking so quickly.” Lucifer put his arm around Kage’s waist and tapped Kaneko on the nose. “Just like this one.”

 “Kaneko, I have to scar this occasion with darker news.” Kage closed his eyes and let Neka pull herself up to his shoulder as he supported her in one arm. “A truth you should hear from me.”

 “Daddy?” Kaneko took Kage’s free hand and squeezed it. “Do you still like Kaneko?”

 “I love you.” Kage kneeled and rested his head against their hands. “Even if you hate me for this, that will not change.”

 “Why would Kaneko hate you?” She whimpered.

 “You shouldn’t.” Lucifer smirked and sat in one of the chairs in front of Eidolon’s desk. “I gave the order.”

 “The order for what?” Eidolon had been waiting patiently for answers, but Kage’s pain with what he had to say was becoming unbearable. Kaneko already had tears in her eyes and Karla had returned to his side to cling to him nervously.

 “An execution.” Lucifer grinned at Eidolon. “One I should have ordered a very long time ago. It would have saved all of us a lot of grief.”

 “Nexus…” Eternity answered without thinking.

 “Kaneko’s Mother?” Kaneko scratched Kage’s face and hissed at him. “You killed Kaneko’s Mom?!”

 “He had no choice.” Lucifer folded his hands in his lap.

 “But why?” Kaneko tried to pull away from Kage but he only held her tighter against him and shielded his younger daughter with his face. Kaneko gave up struggling and just hugged him and cried on his shoulder. “Kaneko doesn’t understand.”

 “I’m sorry.” Kage whispered.

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TCOL : What We Are : Valiant, Noble & Kind

“This is kind of exciting.” Karla held Eidolon’s hand and swung like a child beside him. He had complimented her quick recovery and her confidence was as high as her anticipation of the second part of their journey. “Thank you for letting me come with you, Master Eidolon. I’m not making it harder, am I?”

“No.” Eidolon took his brides into the realm of the Lost and smiled at Karla’s reaction. As peaceful and inspiring as the realm of the Blessed must have been for her, this place made it seem commonplace. The realm of the Lost had grown over time as it filled with the souls of millions living out eternity in a harmony untainted by the need for praise. Harmony served by those souls still paying their debt for the crimes made in life, but it was a debt they paid willingly knowing they in turn would have their peace. The regions of the realm offered every possible life, bustling metropolises and simple neighborhoods that catered to all of histories time periods, fields and mountains filled with stunning wildlife and plants that no mortal would have seen until they had left life behind. Each amazing landscape reminiscent of Tsuriai and the lives the souls had lost, but grander and more vibrant.

“This place is incredible!” Karla was enthralled. “Do more neat magic.”

“Nyaa.” Kaneko giggled. “Let’s find the rest of Vikarr’s wild oats.”

Karla was still young and seeing the path of a family through history was without a doubt one of the most humbling journeys she could have every taken. So many lives intertwined. Beginning and ending as time went by and the world changed around them. Her own family had been small and unremarkable, but there were times Vikarr’s distant family seemed more like a community all on its own. She was sad to see the threads compact and dwindle into a smaller set of lines so suddenly and it was heart wrenching to land in a gathering of the souls that existed before the tangles nearly disappeared.

“How can so many die all at once?” Karla whispered as she looked at the souls around them.

“War, illness…” Eidolon began to explain but was interrupted by one of the souls who overheard.

“Ignorance.” The woman explained and bowed to the visitors. “We welcome you, demons. We rarely have guests with such a presence.”

“We are rarely noticed.” Eidolon plucked the thread that ran through the woman’s soul. Like some of Vikarr’s other kin she had been touched by magic and it seemed her soul managed to carry some of it with her. “What tragedy befell your family?”

“As I said, ignorance.” The woman sighed. “There was illness as you mentioned, but it was not illness that claimed out lives. The illness was blamed on our family. Our line had long been gifted with children morn with certain talents. These talents have not always been well received. When plague ravaged the city, one kind townsfolk who called us friend cursed our names. They hunted and burned most of us as witches and the like, they made claims that we had allied with Satan and brought death to them. I would have liked to see their faces when our corpses offered no cure from their merciful god.”

“Kyaa.” Kaneko growled. “That makes Kaneko angry.”

“Some of you managed to survive.” Eidolon followed the few remaining threads that trailed off.

“Those of us with small children sent them away.” The woman nodded. “It was no longer about prestige or protecting the magic. We just wanted our children to live. We gave what we could to ensure they would be placed with far off families and given a chance to escape the life. It was tedious being groomed for formal affairs and eventual marriage to someone you would have mundane conversations with on occasion. In a way, our tragedy may have given our children a better life.”

“One of them was yours.” Karla said sadly.

“A daughter.” The woman nodded. “If you find her in your travels, do not mention me. Our time here is meant to be calm. I made my peace with my end and choose to believe she had a happy life. I don’t want her eternity darkened by a past I gave so much to spare her from.”

“Understood.” Eidolon bowed his head to give her his promise and watched her return to the rest of her kin. He listened to them a moment and discerned that she was respected as the head of the family. She and her husband had been wedded for the purpose of strengthening the magic in the bloodline because they had been the purest of converging families. If their daughter had lived and the family had thrived she was to lead the family and would have led a similarly structured life.

Eidolon lifted his brides and continued to follow the glistened threads. Ten children quickly became four, then three. Only two survived to adult hood and had children of their own. The male of the pair still died young and his children ended his line, but the girl had a daughter who had a daughter of her own.

“So many girls.” Kaneko giggled as they followed the one remaining thread. Each daughter having a single daughter and each one having a wealth of magic locked up inside them. A few of them managed to find it and used it, but some never even noticed the power they had.

“Oh no!” Karla pouted when they reached the souls of two women playing cards. The thread seemed to vanish from sight after their location. “Where did it go?”

“Valerie, you nincompoop.” The older woman laughed. “Can’t you see we have company?”

“Yes, mother.” Valerie answered and stood up to say hello. She blinked up at Eidolon. “Aren’t you handsome? And such beautiful daughters.”

“Kyaa!” Kaneko hissed and jumped in front of Eidolon as he laughed. “You take that back!”

“They are my brides, not my daughters.” Eidolon wrapped his arm around Kaneko. “But they are beautiful, thank you.”

“You’re all just damn divine.” The older woman grinned at them. “You mind getting to the point though? These little strings you’ve been yanking on all day are starting to piss me off.”

“Can I?” Karla looked up at Eidolon and hugged him. She hoped she could be more than a spectator for the adventure and it seemed like this would be her last chance. He patted her head and nodded and she gave him a quick squeeze before she stepped past Kaneko and smiled. She curtsied and tried to make Eidolon proud. “We’re sorry to bother you. We are doing a favor for a friend. I’m Karla.”

“You are just so cute!” Valerie grabbed Karla’s cheeks and pulled on them. “You’ll have to forgive my mother. She was just as cranky when she was alive. Tell me about this favor.”

“Cranky my ass.” Valerie’s mother mumbled before she waved Eidolon and Kaneko closer. “This itchy damn string brought you here. What are you searching for?”

“I hadn’t expected the spell to become bothersome.” Eidolon looked at the final length of thread wrapped at his wrist and let the magic slip into the chaos until it was needed. There was no point in agitating the woman and it was clear the search was nearly over. “We were following your family line.”

“It’s no bother.” Valerie giggled. “Just noticeable and she likes to complain.”

“How you ever raised a child is beyond me.” Valerie’s mother sighed. “Who is interested in the family? Not that there is much of it.”

“The bride of the one who began it.” Eidolon explained. “She was more interested in living relatives, of course.”

“That narrows your options considerably.” Valerie laughed. “Only one of those.”

“You’ll be looking for my granddaughter, Vanessa.” Valerie’s mother added. “And good luck. We only assume she is still alive because the little dear never showed up for the party.”

“Maybe she doesn’t like cards?” Valerie shrugged.

“She loved cards, you nincompoop.” Valerie’s mother pushed the cards across the table. “Shuffle the damn deck.”

“Excuse us, ladies.” Eidolon bowed his head and left the souls to their bickering. He had a very strange feeling the tug of the remaining thread was going to take him somewhere more familiar than he was ready to deal with so he stopped in Tsumi to give himself a chance to consider abandoning his favor and at the very least let Karla and Kaneko recover from the exhaustion of traveling a realm of souls.

“We’re stopping?” Karla leaned against Eidolon and was hit with the exhaustion that excitement had kept from weighing her down.

“Just taking a break.” Eidolon lifted her onto the bed and kissed her. “I want the two of you to get some rest. I do have other work.”

“Nyaa.” Kaneko curled up with Karla. “Just don’t go having fun without us.”

“I won’t.” Eidolon smiled and left them to snuggled together.

“You already know where you’ll be going.” Eternity fluttered to his desk as Eidolon sat.

“I’m fairly certain of it.” Eidolon nodded. “Considering some of the trouble between them, I’m not sure this is a favor any longer.”

“You should let them decide that for themselves.” Eternity scolded him. “But while you debate that with yourself I am going to take a nap.”

“Did the Cherabim seem unsettled to you?” Eidolon questioned her. “I am used to them questioning the arrival of the living.”

“They are always a bit dodgy.” Eternity stretched out and closed her eyes. “They know both of us; I’m sure it’s nothing.”

“I am not.” Eidolon whispered. There were too many things not right with the realms to dismiss anything out of the ordinary. He pulled out his phone and sent a message to Gabriel to at least give the information to the one who was most likely to have some understanding of Heaven’s business.

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TCOL : Hearts : A Thread Of Red

“At least he made this little slip up before Iehovah began his meddling.” Eternity was already spinning a strong magic around them seeking out the soul that would begin their search. “This part of the realm is much easier to deal with.”

 “I agree.” Eidolon held Karla’s hand and smiled as she marveled over the sight of the world around her. These older districts of the realm of the blessed were pleasant enough and as they walked he answered her innocent queries and listened to Kaneko explain her understanding of the realm.

 “What was that?” Karla swung around to watch a winged creature dart out of sight. It was like another world, but most of the residents seemed remarkably human. They seemed to go about their lives peacefully and didn’t pay much attention to their strange living visitors. The thing that had flown by was the first creature that seemed unusual and at the same time it was the only thing that seemed to belong in a world where everything had an eerie glow to it.

 “Cherabim.” Eidolon explained. “Gabriel has them look over this realm, but they spend most of their time in areas where they are more familiar. The souls here don’t have much of a need for angels. They had simpler beliefs in life, so their eternity is a calm one. They aren’t bothered by a need for glory or enlightenment, they just accept the way of things.”

 “Do they remember being alive?” Karla asked.

 “Some of them.” Eidolon told her. “Each soul deals with things in it’s own time and in its own way.”

 “The little girl that died.” Karla looked at her feet. “I mean the one who I ended up being. Do you think she is here?”

 “Most don’t come to this place anymore.” Kaneko leaned over and smiled at Karla. “They go to the realm of the Lost. It’s nicer.”

 “Careful, Eternity.” Eidolon lifted his arm and let out a length of the thread he had created from Vikarr’s blood. As he started to infuse it with magic particular to his cause Eternity guided the end with her magic. “I don’t want to stir any of them.”

“That’s her?” Karla whispered as she stood beside Eidolon and fixated on a young woman that had caused him to stop their stroll. Eternity was leading the thread through the girl and Karla saw the thin line of blood glisten.

 “It is.” Eidolon felt the thread react and watched as it ran its course through two nearby souls. “And it appears, Vikarr’s daughter did have children.”

 “It is always touching to see the souls of family so close.” Eternity returned to Eidolon with a warm smile. As the thread departed the two of them it split and pulled itself violently spreading a web over the district. “And quite a family.”

 “He must have passed on the love of getting naked.” Kaneko laughed as she climbed into Eidolon’s arm.

 “This might take a while.” Eidolon pulled Karla into his other arm and spread his wings to follow the threads more efficiently. The bloodline grew and spread for generations. In several districts it thinned and disappeared, families that had branches and died out. In others it thrived and split, then oddly converged again. What had covered nations started to gather and form a tight family line. Like wealth and royalty protecting a pedigree of sorts.

 “What’s wrong?” Karla asked as Eidolon landed suddenly.

 “This is somewhat strange.” Eidolon plucked at a few of the threads and sighed as the souls turned to give him dirty looks. “Mages.”

 “All of them?” Kaneko giggled. “Vikarr sired a line of wizards?”

 “Most of them were probably oblivious to it.” Eidolon continued following the threads. He started to pay closer attention to the traces of magic as the family became more elitist and smaller. It was as if enough of them noticed the faintest hints of power and tried to breed it back into the line. Unfortunately the threads offered a violent tug and pointed Eidolon elsewhere.

 “Where did they go?” Karla yawned.

 “Not a religious family.” Eidolon laughed and caught Karla as her legs nearly gave out. The sky was heavier with the Cherabim and the songs of praise that should have fell silent ages ago could be heard in the breeze created by the wings of angels. “The rest will be found elsewhere. You need a rest.”

 “You have a meeting.” Eternity reminded him.

 “Not what?” Karla curled up to Eidolon as he took them into Lucifer’s audience hall.

 “Religious.” Kaneko explained. “We just hit a point in the family tree where history went stupid. Vikarr’s family must not have caught the crazy. Lord Lucifer took care of their souls.”

 “Oh.” Karla mumbled as she started to drift off to sleep. “That’s good. When are we going…?”

 “Nyaa!” Kaneko hugged Karla tight against Eidolon. “She is just so cute. Do you want Kaneko to hold her?”

 “Come stand by me.” Eidolon smiled and kissed Kaneko’s cheek. “We’ll let her rest so she can enjoy the rest of her adventure.”

 “Voldrak, Eidolon.” Kage greeted him quietly and pulled Kaneko into him arms and held her tightly.

 “Voldrak.” Eidolon instantly knew Kage was in pain. The Viper rarely allowed himself to be bothered with any affection in the company of others and his expression was more often filled with disgust and rage than the bizarre calm that covered him now. Malice and Kagemusha sat silently with him and held each other as he wrapped his daughter in his embrace. “Kage, if something has happened…”

 “Kaneko loves you, daddy.” Kaneko hugged him as tight as she could. “Are you okay?”

 “I regret that I was not a part of your life for so long.” Kage pushed Kaneko’s hair back and kissed her forehead. “And that I have been difficult. If you can forgive the things I must do, I will be the Father I should have been. Know that I will love you always.”

 Kage continued past them without explaining and Kaneko clung to Eidolon’s sleeve as they watched him go through the doors to the Council hall. Kaneko had never blamed Kage for being absent. It was a secret she had helped keep herself out of loyalty to Lucifer and she loved them both. She couldn’t understand why he was upset, but it scared her to see him that way.

 “What happened?” Kaneko wiped the tears off of her face. “Kaneko loves hugs, but he never hugs Kaneko by himself.”

 “We’ll have to ask him later.” Eidolon sighed. He wasn’t certain he wanted to know the answer at all, but it was clearly a personal matter and the Council was no place to bring it up.

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TCOL : Hearts : Not So Simple Pt.2

“For the love of rainbows.” Eliza rubbed at her neck. “Its like a damn disease. I walk out of the room and start itching. This stupid thing needs some sort of ‘chill the fuck out’ setting.”

“We are quite far away from Lord Vikarr.” Vale giggled. “I suggest making the visit short.”

“I’ve been far away.” Eliza scratched at her collar as she looked up at the balcony. “I just didn’t remember it being this irritating. Eidolon should be the middle office…”

“Lady Eliza.” Vale followed Eliza as she climbed the stairs. “This trip… Are you doing this to hurt Lord Vikarr?”

“No.” Eliza turned back and winked at Vale. “Don’t tell him I said so, but I kind of like him. This is just for fun. Like a game.”

“I can’t plot against him.” Vale pouted.

“It’s okay, Vale.” Eliza smiled at her. “I don’t want to hurt him. I’m not plotting either. Vivi knows what I’m doing, but if you feel bad you can just wait here and give me a lift home after I talk to this guy.”

“Thank you.” Vale sat on the step.

“So cute.” Eliza patted her head and went to Eidolon’s door. She poked at the letters a moment before she knocked.

“Nyaa!” Kaneko jumped into the doorframe and laughed as Eliza jumped back startled. “Kaneko is a master of surprise!”

“Hi Eliza.” Karla peeked around the doorframe. “Sorry. Kaneko is wound up today. Come on in.”

“Isn’t she coming in?” Kaneko looked down the hall as Eliza went inside.

“Vale doesn’t like playing tricks on Vivi.” Eliza smiled. “She wanted to wait outside.”

“Boring.” Kaneko shrugged and skipped across the office as the door closed. “So does Kaneko get to help?”

“I have no idea.” Eliza smiled. “Vivi said Eidolon keeps better track of people than most do.”

“Of demons.” Eidolon nodded. “I don’t see how that is of any use to you.”

“Without getting into weird details of how it came up.” Eliza smirked and leaned on the desk. “Vivi admitted he had a kid with a human a long time ago.”

“That imbecile.” Eidolon laid his face in his hand.

“That’s a fun reaction.” Eliza laughed. “It was some sort of pity thing. Lady wanted a kid so he knocked her up. He was a jerk.”

“I doubt he bothered to raise any such child. Without any effort on his part the child was likely dominated by its human traits and lived oblivious to its origins. As a mortal it would be long dead.” Eidolon looked up at Eliza. “What is your interest in this?”

“Okay. It was a she named Yajna.” Eliza pouted. “And I realize humans don’t live forever. But they do breed. My interest is in the offspring.”

“For what possible purpose?” Eidolon was troubled enough to know another of his kin had fathered a Halfling. Nikolai’s life had been a painful one. Vampirism had spared him mortality but gave him further hardship and forced him to face the horror of his own father. Aurora was a beautiful girl, but he human traits made her work twice as hard to prove herself. She would always feel inadequate regardless of the praises lavished on her. He hoped whatever Vikarr had done, he gave Yajna the mercy of ignorance and left her to a simple human life. “If the girl had children, they to will be gone.”

“But life goes on.” Eliza sat back in one of the chairs. “I want to know if he has any living relatives.”

“You want me to track the dwindling bloodline of a Watcher through long dead descendants over countless centuries…” Eidolon closed his eyes and tapped his fingers restlessly. “To what end?”

“I have a few reasons.” Eliza admitted. “They might not make any sense to you.”

“I’m listening.” Eidolon looked at her. “I’ll have to make sense of some of it before I can agree to any of this.”

“He thinks this is stupid.” Eliza sighed. “But I want to know that I haven’t eaten any of his relatives.”

“I doubt he has any such concern.” Eidolon laughed. “Nor am I willing to pry into the death of dozens of souls. It would be troublesome for me and painful for them.”

“Oh.” Eliza looked away. “I had to give up my family when I was pretty young. I don’t regret it or anything; it was the right thing to do. I just… We have this sort of family thing in Nihil. It makes me think about real family sometimes. I never thought about kids, but knowing that Vivi had one and just walked away from it is weird for me. If he has anyone left, I think he should do something. At least say hello or something. I guess it sounds pretty ridiculous.”

“Kaneko thinks it sounds smart.” Kaneko sniffled.

“I’ll need some of Vikarr’s blood.” Eidolon sighed. “And I make no promise that this will go well. This is not simple magic and it will require spending time in a realm I am not comfortable in.”

“I thought you might need blood.” Eliza pulled a few fancy little vials out of the waist of her skirt and slid them on the desk. “I asked him for some before I left. I’m sorry this is such a huge favor. I can’t offer much, but you are all lifetime VIPs at Sordid and the drinks are on me.”

“Karla, would you go and make some more of this?” Eidolon finished his tea and slid the cup to the edge of the desk as he called on Vikarr.

“Yep.” Karla grabbed the cup and bounced off.

“Amusing gesture.” Eidolon grinned and snatched the vials off the desk as Vikarr arrived and kneeled in front of the desk beside Eliza. He slid the near pointless offering into his inside jacket pocket as he stood and started to walk around the desk. “You know what your bride has asked?”

“I do, Lord Falcon.” Vikarr winked at Eliza before he stood and turned to face Eidolon. “And my gesture was meant to keep her at ease with her request. I would deny her nothing.”

“This will not be pleasant, Vikarr.” Eidolon let his fingers lengthen and his nails sharpen as he spoke.

“I know.” Vikarr chuckled as he moved closer to Eidolon. “I will just take the rest of the day in my estate to recover.”

“Kaneko, restrain Eliza.” Eidolon waited for Kaneko to wrap her arms around Vikarr’s bride before he forced his talons into Vikarr’s neck and pushed him to back to his knees. Vikarr screamed in pain as Eidolon forced blood out of the wounds and weaved it into threads he started to gather on his arms. Eternity aided Eidolon in his work, seeing to it not a single drop went to waste as they pulled life from Vikarr’s veins. She helped gather the delicate threads while Eidolon helped Vikarr call a mist of chaos to sustain himself.

“I didn’t want to hurt him.” Eliza cried as she tried to pull herself out of Kaneko’s arms. “Make him stop.”

“That will be enough.” Eidolon stored the delicate threads away within layers of magic until he needed them and healed the wounds in Vikarr’s throat as he removed his fingers. As he lifted Vikarr and started to carry him to the couch Karla came back through the door with more tea.

“What happened?” Karla looked around panicked.

“Vivi.” Eliza ran to the couch and hugged him the second Kaneko let her go. When he laid his hand on her head she decided he was well enough to scream at and she sat up and smacked him as hard as she could in the chest. “You knew this was going to happen. Why didn’t you just tell me?”

“He is just resting.” Eidolon lifted Karla’s chin and kissed her before he took his tea from her and smiled.

“I have only given myself to the magic Eidolon will use to help answer your questions.” Vikarr smiled at Eliza and brushed away the tears under her eyes. “I wouldn’t have pointed you to him for help if I wasn’t willing to do this.”

“You are so fucking stupid.” Eliza rubbed her face against him as she mumbled. “I wouldn’t have asked if I knew it was going to hurt you. Vale is going to be so mad at me.”

“Go and get her, lovely.” Vikarr pushed himself up on the couch and smiled as Eliza wiped her face and headed for the door.

“I doubt I will find any answer that will alleviate the guilt she feels for that.” Eidolon sipped his tea as his brides stood beside him. “I hope that you will be able to comfort her through the disappointment.”

“I don’t expect a fruitful search.” Vikarr laughed weakly. “I had no other way to answer her question. If there is a truth I can give her, it is hers. There is no guilt for her to carry, it was my decision.”

“You said you meant no harm.” Vale voiced her discontent angrily as she walked ahead of Eliza and kneeled in front of Vikarr near weeping. “My Lord Vikarr, I’m ashamed that I blindly followed one that would put you in pain.”

“That is a terrible thing to say.” Vikarr smiled and laid his hand on Vale’s head as he took Eliza’s hand. “You apologize this instant, Eliza has done no such thing. I’m in no pain. I just need rest after giving my aid to Lord Eidolon.”

“I’m sorry, Lady Eliza.” Vale whimpered.

“Better.” Vikarr squeezed Eliza’s hand as he stood and caressed the side of her face as she looked up at him. He smiled and hoped he could rid her of the sad expression quickly. “Let’s leave Lord Eidolon to his work. I could use a long soak at my estate.”

“Why did you make me leave the room?” Karla pouted once their guests had left.

“I wanted more tea.” Eidolon teased as he slid his arm around her waist. “Don’t pout. You didn’t need to hear the screaming.”

“So what do you have to do now?” Karla pulled the ribbon out of his hair and stuck her tongue out at him. “Can we help?”

“Give it back.” Eidolon held out his hand and laughed as Kaneko ran her fingers through his hair. “I would prefer the two of you just spend some time at my estate while I handle this. The realm of the blessed is home to the souls of mortals that have passed. The magic that upholds it is not comfortable for others.”

“It isn’t dangerous, Eidolon.” Eternity giggled as she took the side of his playful brides. “They are always safest with you.”

“Not particularly dangerous, but it is exhausting.” Eidolon smiled as Kaneko crawled into his lap. “Are you going to be difficult about this?”

“Kaneko will bring Karla right home if it is too much for her.” Kaneko grinned. “We just want to be with you, Master Eidolon. You did say you would make more time for us.”

“Please.” Karla laid the soft black ribbon over Eidolon’s fingers and leaned to kiss his cheek. “I promise I won’t complain.”

“Alright.” Eidolon sighed as he pulled his hair back and tied it into place. “You will need to keep in mind that I do have a purpose there, and that you are not to pester any of the residents or their caretakers.”

“Got it.” Karla hugged him excitedly. “Are they like ghosts?”

Kaneko and Eternity laughed as Eidolon shook his head and stood. He held Karla close and stroked her short hair as she blushed. She was still so naïve and innocent. This favor for Vikarr’s bride would have been a nuisance, but for Karla it was an adventure and Eidolon was suddenly glad he agreed to it.

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