Chapter 2:

Each Other's Secrets


In the middle of the South Pole District, there lies the base of a group called the 'Resistance '. They are a group of Daemons who opposed to the current Satan's ideals and methods of ruling together with Lucifer and Beelzebub, the other two Kings, who agreed to his ideal. Satan wishes to coexist with the Gotts to stop the never-ending war once and for all, but these Daemons hated it for they have lost many things and their loved ones to them. So, they decided to rise to overthrow all of Gehenna's Kings and wipe out all the Gotts with the help of every Daemon in Gehenna. The Resistance may hate the Kings, but they too, have helped protect Gehenna from the shadows.

In a wide hallway of the Resistance's base, Raaz and Eryl were walking side by side. Compared to when they transformed, their appearances changed dramatically when they were not. Raaz’s hair was as gray as silver itself, his eyes were light pink, like a wall ornamented of pink roses with his pupils no longer sharp but still a beautiful blue similar to his also present tear tattoo on his right cheek, he had a pair of normal pointed Daemon ears instead of a bull with his right ear decorated with two round golden earrings just like his bull’s ear, and lastly wore dark red headphones, the color of the fictionally depicted horns of demons in fairytales, around his neck.

While Eryl’s eyes were a shade darker compared to before and his pupils were no longer sharp but instead of red, they were a shade of warm yellow, like lemons in lemonade. He wore a pair of dark indigo colored frame glasses and a forest green beanie with a blue crown pin closely intersecting with his lavender-colored hair. Those whisker marks on both side of his cheeks were not to be seen so his smooth, white skin was clearly seen and instead of cute dog ears, he had a pair of normal pointed Daemon ears that were almost completely covered by his bright lavender colored curly hair.

Raaz was casually reading a book without looking where he was going but somehow managed to reach his destination without fail, while Eryl walked and looked like a child having a tantrum in an adult's body, angrily marching like he owned the place.

Eryl growled, "Unbelievable! We're losing more and more of our troops Despite not even close to executing our plan. Curse these Gotts, why do they always waltz in and accuse us of things we didn’t do? The ones who invaded Elysium all the time are Gehenna's 46 Vermiculus Tantibus Praesidium (Latin for Crimson Nightmare Guards), not us. Worse, they have been invading more and more frequently compared to a few decades ago for some reason. Those bastards are total masochists, I tell you."

Raaz continued to read while replying, "The Gotts probably didn't know that Gehenna has rebels, so they assumed that the first Daemons that they coincidently encounter most of the time are from the military, even though we're not. We just happened to have our base near the Bermuda Triangle Trash Site so it can't be helped that we almost always had to fight them. We still have to protect the Togaes (Latin for Civilians), so we had no choice but to do it ourselves. Besides, the Praesidium's (Latin for Guards) lack of uniform despite being our world's military made our situation worse."

Eryl finally started to calm down but looked dejected, "I know, but still... I hate seeing our comrades dying one after the other. No matter how many times I see it, I'll never get used to it."

"...Me, too."

"By the way, Raaz..."

Raaz started to look irritated and had a vein throb on his forehead as he replied to Eryl, "What?"

"Have you seen Natsu? I haven't seen him all day."

Raaz eye-rolled as he flipped to the next page of his book, "Isn't that obvious? He's having his usual 'secret' meeting with Sirius today."

Eryl looked awkward and started to sweat, "Are they dating or something? Why do they have to do it in secret, anyway?"

Raaz shrugged, "Who knows? It's their life."

A loud blare from the alarm rang as loud as the roaring thunder on a thunderstorm and alerted all members located at every part of the Resistance Base. That sound was never a good sign, especially when during war times. But unfortunately for the pacifists and victims of this story, their countries were at each other's throats for hundreds of millions of years and there was no telltale sign of one side to surrender anytime soon for everything to just end already.

The two captains' faces turned pale as soon as the alarm went off and they immediately dashed through the hallways for them to head-to-head to their Boss's room.

"Are you f*cking kidding me? We just took care of those bastards' invasion a few days ago. How come they just never gave up in going back again and again? It's starting to get annoying, and I'm already infuriated as it is!", Eryl said in rage and as soon as his foot touched the ground in whilst during running, cracks instantly formed on the ground around it.

"Don't let your short temper get to you and let it take it out everything around you. Our base is already broken down enough as it is, and it would be extremely embarrassing and anticlimactic when this building collapses right under our noses. Well, the good news is that I won't be the one who will meet the Boss's rage, you will", Raaz looked behind him for a brief moment to observe the crack that his hot-headed dog friend had caused and faced again in front to focus on running as he explained. He ended what he said with a smirk on his face. While doing that, Eryl's expression changed into fear in a blink if an eye.

At the end of the long hallway, they could finally saw the door that will lead them to their Boss's room. The two captains slammed the door open and immediately asked in unison, "Where did they invaded from this time?"

"Oh. You two were together. Good", the Boss indifferently said as he stood in front of a table with a huge map of Gehenna being laid out while his arms were crossed on his chest and the 4th captain, who was Psalm, stood from across them, looking at the map with a serious expression.

"Well, about the location... This time it's...", Psalm awkwardly replied as he said the location inaudibly. The other two captains who just came in immediately turned pale of what he said, like they just saw a ghost or a monstrous beast that could snap one's neck in a blink of an eye.

Ironically, all these godlike beings could do just that and they were assigned with the souls of all the living creatures on Earth after they lose their lives whether they would be reincarnated, to go to Elysium also known as Heaven to become one of them and feel at ease with their environment, or go to Gehenna also known as Hell to join them as their citizens and experience a 24/7 extreme heat like being cooked alive in a huge oven but the good news is, there were a few times of the year wherein they would occasionally experience snow... more like a blizzard that polar bears, penguins, arctic foxes, owls, wolves, and many more experienced in their regions that would swallow them in one fell swoop.

For those Daemons who were born on one of those random cold times of the year, they would be born without a doubt a completely different Nigrum Sanguinem (Latin for Black Blood) characteristics, no matter how strong their bloodline was. If one Daemon child had a long line of family bloodline having orange fire as their Nigrum Sanguinem, that child's characteristics would either turn into a completely different element like ice, snow or water, the fire would turn into a blue flame or something else.

No Daemon had ever discovered the reason of this mysterious phenomenon, but some researchers theorized that the ashes of their former comrades that was mixed into their atmosphere were fiercely blown by the blizzard towards their country and those who were the most vulnerable, which were the babies, would be affected the most by the cruel weather.

For those infants who miraculously survived it would be born with a really strong Nigrum Sanguinem due to multiple types of Impuritas (Latin for Impurity) were shoved towards their small and frail bodies, which also caused the characteristic changes. Since we were completely sidetracked...

Let us go back to the main story, where in the Resistance's Boss and its three captains immediately marched out and ended their meeting abruptly to lead their soldiers for preparations and headed to the battlefield. In front of the Resistance Base, Psalm stood still as everyone else already went ahead except for Raaz, who noticed him and approached him.

Raaz wondered and asked, "What's wrong? Aren't you coming with us to defend the country?"

Psalm replied, "I was going to look for Natsu since he's basically the Resistance's ace and we need him to ensure our victory."

"Oh. Do you want me to help look for the—" Before Raaz could finish, Psalm interrupted, "No, no. I can handle it on my own. You better go with them since we'll make ourselves vulnerable if we're losing basically all of our leaders on the battlefield when you also leave. Just leave Natsu and Sirius to me and wait for us there."

"If you say so, then. Be careful, alright?", Raaz disappeared out of nowhere to teleport as Psalm nodded as a reply. Psalm then thought to himself, "I know what I said earlier was true, but I predicted that we'll lose a lot of our troops as usual so it' better for me to gather a lot of my healer friends to tend with the ones who will survive afterwards. I trust that black cat's instincts and Sirius's intelligence that they would undoubtedly go to the battlefield without me having to find them."

On a windy mountain cliff, the young lad, who had an aqua-colored hair, eyes were dark gray with his pupils were as bright aqua as his hair and made it stand out more, wore a gray cross necklace on his right ear, and a white mask that was placed on the topmost right part of his head, is Sirius, one of Natsu's friends and a member of the Resistance. He had his spear with the same theme color as himself lying beside him as he was sitting on the ground while facing the Red Boiling Ocean that was beside it.

Natsu walked towards Sirius, "So we're meeting here today, huh? It's a bit farther than before. Is it alright for you to be walking this far?"

Sirius replied with a smile on his face as his hair was blown gently by the wind, "I'm alright now. I've got plenty of rest back at the base. Sorry that I couldn’t help you guys again. I'm a failure as a member."

Natsu sat on the ground beside Sirius, "You don't have to push yourself too much. You have a sickly body so you should better rest more." Natsu stopped for a few moments and started to suddenly look worried, "Sirius... your appearance is aging again. Is it ok for you to remove your mask in public? Anyone might see that you're actually not a pure Daemon."

Sirius replied with confidence, "It's alright. We're basically isolated from everyone else today, so I don't mind removing my mask to take a breather for once in a while. This is inevitable when I'm part human, after all. How about you, Natsu? You can undo your transformation now so you can also take a breather. Nobody is here but us."

"Ok...", Natsu sweat as he hesitantly hid his cat ears and tail then what used to be his pitch-black hair turned into a hair as red as the sunset sky, just like how their sky currently looks like.

Sirius smiled, "I like you more like this. Your red hair is so beautiful, it suits you more."

Natsu blushed but was camouflaged by the sky's color, "How can you say something so embarrassing with a straight face?"

Are platonic relationships always like this...? The mood suddenly changed in an instant that their cheerful mood earlier had disappeared into thin air.

Sirius asked with a serious expression, "It's true, though. I've been meaning to ask you and I apologize in advance if I'll offend you, but why do you hate other Daemons seeing your red hair so badly that you have to always maintain your transformation? Is it that rare to have that kind of hair color enough for other Daemons to discriminate you or hate you for a different reason?"

Natsu explained while reminiscing a few memories from his past, "Well... My red hair always reminds me of my stupid father. I hated him for letting our mother die. I don't want others to talk about it and remind me all the time, so I had to hide it, but since the day you accidentally saw my real hair and kept quiet about it, I was so thankful to that. I didn't mind sharing it to you."

Sirius thought to himself with a melancholic expression, "I'm also thankful to you for being friends with me even after you discovered that I'm not the same as you and even kept it a secret all this time." He then spoke to Natsu, "I'm sorry about your mother." His eyes widen as he started to realize what he heard, "Wait, did you just say, 'our mother'? Does that mean that you have...?"

Natsu smiled as he replied to Sirius, "I didn't mention it until now, but yeah. I have a—" Before he could finish his sentence, the wind suddenly blew and drowned out what he was about to say to Sirius.

Joe Gold
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