Chapter 2:

The Encounter with the shinigami Zem

"Death Note: eternal evil" , a Death Note fanfic series

Takao hears nothing but the wind rustling through the leaves of an old oak tree that stands tall above a low hill just about half a mile from his house. He enjoys going there and meditating in serenity, away from society which he claims to be nothing but full of evil, unbalance, and injustice. He has been going to the hill every night --even if there is rain or snow-- for his meditation ever since he was 17, a year after his parents were murdered. Being the only son and left with no siblings, Takao had to get a part-time job so that he could keep himself well-fed and educated. He's graduated high school and university all on his own. People see him living a tranquil and undisturbed life without anything else to worry, but no one knew how Takao wakes up every morning in shock from nightmares of hearing his parents scream as they got mercilessly slaughtered.

He opened his eyes, and plainly gazed at the full, round moon. A while later, he caught sight of something like a huge bird flapping its wings heavily and flying towards him. He couldn’t see the creature clearly due to the bright moon behind it and was clueless about what kind of bird would be flying around at this time. It was too late to get up and run for life by the time he realized that it was some kind of demon with red eyes as large as half of its face, skin as pale as a sheet of paper, and bones sticking out of its skin all over the body from the inside. Takao's breath got taken away and he couldn’t move a muscle. The 7-feet-tall devil, despite its frightening appearance, kept flying towards him with steady pace while whistling. As it got nearer, it approached to sit atop the oak tree under which Takao was sitting.

Takao, to his own surprise, did not feel much frightened at this scary creature, most likely due to the peace of mind he has gained from years of meditation. He kept still and watched the devil carefully, hoping to sneak away silently as soon as he got the chance.

"Mmm... Oiishi desu ne! Apples from the human world are so dang good! The taste makes me feel it was worth spending hours in the market to loot without causing panic among the shoppers with a floating apple. Living as a self-traveler shinigami in the human world sure is fun unlike the Underworld though.” 
the devil murmured as it continued to chew the stolen apples.

The shinigami did not seem to be aware of Takao who was looking up at it from under the oak tree. As Takao observed attentively and waited for what seemed like hours, the devil kept on eating one apple after another, babbling about the humans he saw today and where to go tomorrow, before suddenly looking down and catching Takao in surprise. Takao, as soon as his bright, blue eyes met with huge red ones of the devil, convinced himself not to dart off but to face directly and deal with whatever the devil wants with him, as he felt slightly positive that this apple-eating devil who knows how to whistle wouldn't be as much hostile as its appearance suggests.

" Yo, youngster, can you see me or are you just gazing at the moon as always?"
the devil gave a cheerful-sounding greeting and waved its hands that had sharp, long claws.

Takao thought at first it'd be better not to give a response but then he was concerned if the devil would get mad at his rude behavior.

"I can see and hear you clearly, devil. Have you come to take my life, or to grant me the superpower I've always been yearning for?"
Takao replied with a calm attitude and clear voice. 

The devil burst out with a loud, terrifying laugh which was strong enough to give a flurry of air across the trees.  Takao felt very anxious, not knowing whether he had mocked or amused the devil.

"HA HA HA HA! What a funny and interesting guy you are! It seems you enjoy fantasizing about the mighty power of devils. Well, fearing of your own life when you see a shinigami isn't peculiar but asking for superpowers just as soon as you encounter a fearsome devil like me?? WA HA HA HA ! You're ridiculously bold, and have a atypical viewpoint on the underworld. I guess I’m lucky to meet an astonishing guy who doesn’t get scared off by me and even ask me for powers. By the way, being called ‘devil’ kinda hurts...haha. Call me Zem."

Tadao's face expressed as if all his hopes he'd clung onto for his whole life had been broken by the shinigami's hysterical and mocking laugh. He replied nothing, but the chatty shinigami continued.

"And listen, boy, I never came to you. I have been hanging out here in this forest for a couple months because this forest has a much nicer view of scenery than the forests from the underworld where there are only giant thorn trees stinking of blood and skull mountains. What’s worse, underworld apples taste like dust, and there’re no stars or moons to gaze at. I’ve noticed that you come meditate under this tree every night but you weren’t able to see me before, just like any other human. You’re different now that you can see me. It's probably because you're going to die soon, or you surpassed the psychological bounds of human nature by training your mind consistently with meditation."

Out of frustration and complication, Takao gave an instant reply.
"Zem, whether I'm dying soon or I surpassed human psychological bounds, I can't even feel a vague amount of terror or thrill. What I wanted as a result of all these 20 years meditating was a power to give true justice to the world and eradicate all inhuman evils. The encounter with you would be meaningless unless you can give me what I need... what this rotting world needs."
He desperately asked the shinigami of what it could do to help him escape his miserable life of being unable to give justice to the world.

Zem gazed at the full moon, falling deep into thoughts for a while until grinning back at Takao and saying,
"I never knew such exhilarating humans do exist! You're somewhat extraordinary since you can see a shinigami and have a mindset particularly different from average humans who don't have time to mind broad stuff like 'justice' or 'the sake of the world'. I see... you are a pathetic human and I am a bored-to-death shinigami. Let's find out together how much we can mess up this world. WA HA HA HA HA HA!!"

The sinister laugh of the shinigami echoed through the forest and a strong wind swirled through the leaves of the oak tree.

Takao’s eyes glistered with hope.
'Has the day finally come? I always knew i was meant to have such power. The god of death is by my side now. With the dominance of our collaboration, no one will ever be able to interfere. I'm going to create a perfectly pristine world with my own hands, without opponents or enemies but the whole world following in my heroic steps.'

Thoughts of justice spread across his mind, and a complacent grin across his face.

Hayashi Naozumi
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