Chapter 21:

Pt. 3: Demons| Xander(finally arrives)

BTCOA but it's clean and full of wholesome cuddling

Forgetting that they were triggered by my panic, my calm dissolves them. I fall through twenty painful feet of branches, then fall five feet, land gracefully on my ass, slide down the wet grass of a hill, slam into a tree, and get the wind knocked out of me. I cry out in pain. I dust myself off, coughing, and spit out blood. That probably further shortened my lifespan.

I hear the roar of a dragon. Without hesitation, I run into the dark, ominous forest. I close my eyes and focus on my hearing. In the distance, crickets. Nearby, termites munch through a tree. My mouth and skin are devoid of sensation, the air passing through my nose carrying no scent. Then, I hear it. A faint cry of pain. I open my eyes, my senses returning, hearing dulling. I dash toward it as the bushes rustle and Tohru runs toward me. Then, I hear Tohru cry out in pain on the other side of the bush. I duck behind a tree and freeze. A voice with an undertone like a synthesizer echoes through the clearing. “That’s two. Today’s our lucky day! I wonder what the feisty cat’ll taste like roasted with this one.

I gasp. My hands fly to my mouth, eyes wide. My blood freezes. He stops. “I hear something. Take her and put her with the other. Xander, Luthor, you’re with me.

I hear Tohru being dragged in the direction of the cry I heard earlier. “Boss…That’s the one that got away! Heh…Lu-

Twin katanas of transparent blue light ignite in my hands in response to my rage. I run through the bush and try to slice him in half, but the sword breaks where it hits his body, reforming on the other side. I focus my will, then cross the handles of my katanas. They merge into…I laugh. “Of course it had to be the Master Sword from Zelda…’cuz why not?”

He turns to face me. I swing, but it happens again, so I throw it. It smashes , blade first, on his friend's forehead. “You insolent little…

A sword of black fire appears in his hands. “Broadsword…nice.”

My katanas reappear. He slowly advances toward me. Mysterious voice, now would be the perfect time for some help!

Sanctificus demoni, hisses a voice that sounds like demonic memory-Noah.

This better work or you can take your powers back from my corpse.

Sanctificus demoni.

White fire races from the hilts to the tips of the blades. I smile. He swings downward, trying to cleave me in half. I cross my katanas and catch his blade in the crook of the X. He almost breaks through, my arm going numb from the impact. Sweat beads my brow. I’m fit…but I’m not really in the condition to be fighting.

I hear Noah and Lexa in my mind. Just ask for help, jeez!

A little help, please?

Now she asks.

Shut up Noah, or shove your ‘help’ up your ass.

K, jeez!

I feel a surge of strength. In my mind's eye, I see their images superimposed over mine. I kick him in the stomach. He doubles over, and I swing my katana, cutting his head off. His remains burst into flames and disappear. The other one summons a club. I laugh. I duck under his swing and stab my katana into his gut. I dispel one, and he follows his friend home. “I know you’re out there. I’m willing to barter your life for the location of my friends. I’m going to hazard a guess that you wish me no harm. It was Xander, right?”

He steps into the clearing. “Follow me.

I do. “Put that sword out.

“Or what?”

I freeze as I hear a clicking above my head. Shaking in terror, I slowly look up. “Or that.

There’s a massive spider above my head. I roll, dispelling my katana. The spider smashes to the ground. I stand. My katana reforms in my hand, but this time, the blade glows white, no longer wreathed in fire. “The spell you used consumes demonic energies, transforming it into angelic power. Your swords must need to reform for the spell to be infused into the blade. Also, keep in mind, that spell runs off magic energy. When that's gone, it’ll feed on your life force. The demon energies will increase the power of the spell.

The spider leaps. I fall backward, holding my sword straight out. The spider passes through the blade, splitting itself. A sheath appears on my back, and I place the sword in it. I feel the spell go dormant. “What kind of place is this?”

The Demon Woods.


I heard that.

He takes a step toward me.

Don’t even think about trying anything. I will not hesitate to cut you into tiny pieces.

“Let’s go.”

“Question: Why are you helping me?”

Think about it this way: Maybe I’m tired of being the bad guy."

He looks at me. “Why do you look so shocked? All the stereotypes and stigmas demons are associated with?

“Kind of…

He starts walking. I follow. We stumble upon some smoldering coals and nothing else. He looks at me. “They’ve taken them to the main camp. If you want to risk the remainder of your life, go ahead. Give the word, and I’ll take you.

I never mentioned I was dying…

Being a demon, a creature doomed to kill, I can see your life force draining away…but instead of dissipating, it’s concentrating in a human shape in your head, stood over by two other forms. One of them is replacing what is lost, sustaining you.


Hi, Lexa-chan.

I feel her blush. I kinda wish we could separate.

You'll learn how…in the future.

How do you know?

I have the gift of insight. Noah's gifts are now split between me and him. Youyou're the middleground, the fusion of Noah and I. You are the most powerful of us three, as well as the youngest.

But I was here first!

You actually weren't.

Prove it!

Earlier, there was a moment when you lost your memories, right?


Until I was awoken, you were Noah. With my awakening, you ceased to be a name and became your own entity. In that moment, Noah entered our mindscape, leaving the body with no soul. Once there, he shared all his memories up to that moment with me, and gave me half of his power. Then, we decided that this wouldn’t be the end for you. At that moment, we merged. We locked away your powers, sending them to lay dormant. Our strength, our senses, agreeing to allow you to call on them as you please, individually, or, in an emergency like this, at the same time. You must call on them, though, to use them. This is to prevent others from getting hurt, and, well, you know, to be able to maintain a public presence, as well as to protect your sanity from overwhelming sensation.

That explains why I started thinking of him as a separate person. But I don't look like either of you

Ever tried?

My cheeks burn in shame. No…

You can, if you just try!

She pauses for a second. Hurry up, you're running out of time!

“Let’s go...”

He starts running through the forest, barely making any sound. I dash after him, quickly pulling ahead. I stop, waiting for him. How would I hurt someone?

You are more powerful than either of us. When we fused, our powers combined. He and I have different strengths. I have more endurance and magic capacity. When our beings combined, making you, you got our combined power. In addition, you have the strength and speed of your own body. Were we to unlock your full power, you may be overwhelmed by sensation and filled with power.

You’re saying I have no capacity for magic?

Until you learn to master it well enough that we just need to keep you from unconsciously using it.

How come I’m still able to use telepathy and Noah’s equivalent of telekinesis?

They aren’t magic…they’re a natural ability, the former less so than the latter.

I don’t wanna master it!

You will master it just by using it.

No, I’m saying I don’t want free use. I wanna have a semi-normal life.

We’ll try to allow it, but your mind was the one thing we couldn’t limit. We didn’t want to damage your personality. Because intelligence is linked to memory, you don’t know anything we ourselves don’t. However, if Noah were to learn something I don’t know and vice-versa, then you’d be more intelligent than both of us. I can only see his memories prior to your rebirth, and the same goes for him seeing mine. We, however, can see the memories that belong solely to you.

If we ever manage to split, the cover story is you’re my older, twin sister, and that we’re Noah’s long-lost siblings.

The second part won’t fly with his, no, our family…as for the first part, it’s true, though. Me and you are born from his mind and soul, respectively, so we’re technically his kids…but I was thinking we could be his maids…

Images of me and Lexa in Nekopara-style maid cosplay being cuddled flash through our mindsXander catches up and walks past me. I match his pace, a few steps behind. 

Speaking of which, please don’t bring up our creation…I don’t want to think about it…if we were to have his kids, he’d be both father and grandfather.

A single thought makes my blood run cold. No…I can think about how Noah is my father as well as senpai and brother, but I can’t take thinking about this!

Take thinking about what?

B-b-by th-that l-logic, you-

She sees where I’m going with this and distracts me. Shouldn't you be observing your surroundings?

Oh, yeah…

Then I feel something. “Uhnnn…Xander…I need to pee!”

Pee on a tree.

“But you’ll see!”

And what if they get you, and I’m too far away to help? They are masters of stealth. I’d be none the wiser if they caught you.

Xander looks at me. “Uhnnn…please, go! I c-can’t pee in front of people I don’t know!”

I squeeze my eyes shut. My knees slide together, my feet sliding apart. Can’t…hold it!

“If you don’t go I’m gonna pee myself!”

Then pee in the bushes.

“But you’ll hear!”

So what if I hear you?

A little trickles out. “Can I at least go behind the tree? You can sit on this side, but please!”


I dash behind the tree, drop my panties and skirt, kick them away, then lean against the tree. Boo!

I scream. My bladder almost reaches critical mass. I’m straining to hold it in. Xander laughs. “Get away, pervert!”

“You know, I can stop helping at any time!

“I can’t pee if you’re watching me! Wait…”

I slip for a few seconds as I realize that this isn’t Xander. His voice is too deep, and I can sense malicious intent. Pee explodes out of me, running down the tree and soaking my legs.“Kyaaa!”

I feel him behind me. I slip again and slam my elbow into his stomach. He doubles over. I run, grab my clothes, pull on my skirt, and dash through the bushes, stuffing my panties into my bra. Distantly, I hear Xander, the real one, yelling at me to stop. I dive into some bushes, almost eating a tree in the process. I sit up to see I’m in a sheltered clearing inside the bushes, roughly a foot in diameter. The tree forms one of the walls.

I crouch, then lay back, supporting myself by leaning against the tree. I lift up my skirt with one hand and spread myself with two fingers from the other. Digging my feet in, I let go. It explodes out of me, loud as a shower. I’m struggling to stay up. Finally, two minutes later, It stops. The ground in front of me is mud.

A few seconds later, I hear Xander. “You know, a woman should be more discreet and pay more attention if she’s peeing in demon-infested woods...

I freeze and slam my legs shut. It’s coming from directly to the left of me. I look up and slowly turn my head. In a shaky voice, I say “Just how long were you sitting there? Exactly how much of me did you see?”

Since about five seconds before you stood up to take off your skirt, and…all of you.

I’m stunned into silence. His words echo in my head. All of you…

My hand, hidden from view, clenches into a fist. My expression turns to pure rage, and in one deft movement, I turn, slamming my fist into his face. “Pervert!”

I take off, giving him another view of my ass. He fantasizes, which I mentally make a note to slap him for later. Xander puts a hand on my shoulder. I startleThe slap I give him would make any slut proud. He actually stumbles a little. “No thank you, voyeur pervert!

He laughs. “Do you even know what voyeur even means?

“Yes, I do. A voyeurist is someone who gets pleasure from looking at others naked or watching them engage in sexual activity. This includes watching them pee.

Okay, let me tell you something. We demons don’t have the internet. Only the boss does.

“My telepathy isn’t exactly the most reliable ability when startled. By the time I registered that fact, my hand already hit you. The slap was originally for your little fantasy and staring at my ass! Do you perv on all the girls who come through this forest?”

Perving on the girls here is a death sentence. First, you get tied up. Then, the girls all beat you, and you’re brought before the boss. He executes the offenders. The only way to truly kill a demon is with the spell on your swords, or for another demon to do it. Otherwise, they will eventually reincarnate with their memories intact. The people who come here are usually guys with a death wish. The last time I talked to a human girl, I was still alive. I’ve seen several come through these woods, but no matter how much I plead, they were killed. The boss wouldn’t even consider the alternative. Not all girls die, though. Occasionally, the boss will go up to Akihabara and kidnap a girl or two. No one knows where he keeps them…except his elite guard.

“What does he do to them?”

He...aggressively cuddles them.

He looks at me. I laugh. I laugh until I'm rolling on the ground, struggling to breathe. "What's so funny? My boss is the lord of all demons. Even your spell won't kill him."

It's a few minutes before I can speak. I look at him, face streaked with tears. "What's so bad about cuddling?"

"He does...other things, too."

My face turns stoic and I formulate a plan. I know that look. Those who find it never come back. The only way a human, or faerie, is finding it is to be chosen as his next victim. Only one has ever escaped, and just barely. She slaughtered several of the guards, and at least a hundred of us. I found her in the woods, bleeding, unconscious, dying. There were patrols everywhere, looking for her. I hid her, nursed her back to health. When she woke up, I saw her softer side. I told her when the patrols ended, and she gave me a hug and left. She came back, though. Once. You’re the first I’ve ever perved on, though.

“I’m not sure whether to be flattered or pissed.”

Perving on a girl period can get me killed.

“Flattered, then.”

Xander, you are doomed!

Ugh…this guy again?

I’m gonna have some fun with you for that elbow to the stomach, bitch!

Xander looks at me. "You know each other?"

My face burns. "Tried to sneak up on me while I was trying to pee. He's why I ran. My elbow is well acquainted with his stomach.”

Xander turns to the other dude. “I shouted 'BOO!' in her ear. She cried out, slammed her elbow into my stomach, and took off. Speaking of which, what gave me away? You never saw me.

As he speaks, the blushing intensifies and creeps down my neck until I’m blushing hard enough that I’m sure Xander can see it, even in the dark light of the forest. “The voice, and the fact that I’ve never once sensed malicious intent from Xander. Now I’m going to kill you for humiliating me.”

“You, kill me? He starts laughing.

I unsheathe my katanas, the blade of one growing brighter than the other after killing the spider. He stops laughing. “How do you wanna play? Easy, or hard?”


I sheath them, and they merge into a single, long katana. I unsheathe it with one hand and almost drop it until the grip lengthens. I move my hand up to the hilt and add my other hand. "The Masamune*? Nice!"


Masamune vs. masamune.

The Masamune- The sword wielded by Sephiroth. The Masamune is an elongated, slightly curved Nodachi. A Nodachi is a much longer katana. In other words, it's a long-ass sword.

Does Sephiroth's sword have a name?His weapon, the "Masamune", which has been featured in numerous Final Fantasy titles, is an elongated nodachi that he learned to use during his days in SOLDIER. The Masamune is named after the famous Japanese swordsmith Goro Nyudo Masamune, whose blades are considered national treasures in Japan today.-Wikipedia

Also, katana's are apparently not classified as swords.

It's called Masamune. It is a Katana, not a sword. Believe it or not, there's an actual weapon of that name in Japan.-Quora

A regular masamune is a regular length, curved katana. They are priceless Japanese artifacts.

The Honjo Masamune is the ultimate samurai sword. In Japan it's regarded as a national treasure, a thing of beauty shaped by fire and born of water, forged centuries ago by master swordsmith Masamune. Proven in battle for centuries, legend tells of a just blade, discerning and honorable.National Affiliation: Japan



The blade is blindingly bright, illuminating the clearing. He pales. “I’m assuming this is what full power looks like?”

This is a bit too long, though. Maybe a plain old masamune?

Lexa answers. Sure!

Its length halves and its curvature becomes more noticeable. I call upon my full store of strength and speed.

Strength floods my body. Holding the katana so the blade nearly touches the ground to my left, I sprint toward him. As I pass him on his left, I let go of the katana with my left hand, slashing diagonally upward. He falls to the ground in two pieces. Blood the color of ink pools around his body. I sheathe it. “I may actually keep it like this…”

Wouldn’t recommend it. The number of demons in the camp is great.

We start walking and I feel the extra strength leave me. “So…the girls…what are they like?”

Sexy women. All female demons become succubi, except they don’t prey on people at all, and some are lesbians. The true demons, the born demons, will change to look like what you most desire. Even the straightest woman and gayest man will fall head over heels.

“What if I like different things in catgirls, fox girls, and rabbit girls?”

We have four there, so one each, plus a human.

“So what do they think of you?”

They all have several infractions involving lewdness and me.

“Oh…So…you’ve mentioned an alternative, as well as false demons…are they linked?”

He stops. “I am the alternative. A human turned into a demon by the darkest of spells…He’s the only demon in the human world high-ranked enough to know how to do it…or be permitted to.

A single tear rolls down his cheek. I walk over and put my hand on his shoulder. “Xander…I’m so sorry…I had no idea…How’d it happen?”

The life of a demon is a cursed existence. As a child, I got lost and wandered into the woods. I had the misfortune of running into him. He grabbed me by the throat and held me off the ground, against a tree, and drew dark power into his other hand in preparation of ending my life. Tears were streaming down my face. Normally, he’d do it, but my expression must’ve reminded him of something‒he’s not a true demon, either. I’m one of the few who have seen his soft side…and lived to tell the tale. His expression of murderous rage softened, and I saw the human inside him. He loosened his grip to let me speak.

He continues, using a deeper voice to represent his boss. “‘I should end you here…but you remind me of someone…so I will give you a choice. An eternity of servility to me…or lose your life.’ Obviously, I said, ‘Please don’t kill me! I’m too young to die!’

Tears are streaming down his face now, but his voice doesn’t waver. “He jabbed his fingers into my collarbone, and I blacked out. When I came to, I ran from the woods to my front door. I placed my hand on the doorknob. ‘If you go back to your family, misfortune will befall them all by the time you turn twenty-two. If you come with me now, they will be spared from the curse of the demon. It’s your choice. When everyone you know dies, or when you press the four fingers of your right hand to that mark on your collarbone, I will come. Remember this if your life is in danger, but the cost will be giving up the remainder of your freedom.’ I was eleven at the time. I walked into that house. Everyone in my family died by twenty-two. I stopped aging that very moment. Everyone else I loved died by thirty-five. That is the curse of the demon…conditional immortality.

“But I’m conditionally immortal…”

Demon immortality is immortality without a purpose. For false demons, our purpose is to suffer, then cause others to suffer. True demons just sow suffering and destruction. But I…except for one incident, I was always the exception.

I freeze. I go in front and hug him. In a sad voice, I ask, “Xander…just how old are you?”

One hundred and seventy-two.

I squeeze him tight. “Every night, even if I’m awake, having no need for sleep, I hear the screams of my family. My girlfriend was stabbed to death in front of me. I was forced to watch as she was stabbed, not once, not ten times, but ninety-two times. Her body was a mangled mess. I wanted to call him, but my hands were bound. I soon got my revenge. She was the one person I had left…there was nothing left for me. I called him that night. I told him what happened, and my plan. We stabbed him repeatedly, always healing him before he died. In all, one thousand seven hundred and twenty-eight stabs in eleven days. Midnight on day twelve, I beat him with a nine iron, then stabbed him three times, guaranteeing a slow, painful death. We tossed him, still alive, into a dumpster. The body was never found. That was the only time I ever killed or injured someone. I was crippled by the sickness I felt. In doing that, I had become no better than him, the criminal, or him, my boss. Despite everything I’d been through, I advocated to consign others to my fate, to save them from a worse fate: death.

Xander, for people like me…no offense, but to people like me, this is a worse fate than death…But I am so, so sorry…”

“You ask why I help you? Because you remind me of her. You look so similar…

“What was her name?”

Alexa Rosalie Smith, but everyone called her Lexa.

In my mind's eye, I see Lexa perk up. I’m remembering things…it’s fuzzy, but I know one thing for certain: That’s my name!

I gasp. “Xander…I need you to remember, however painful it may be…did she die to protect someone she loved?”

The rest of her family was dead. I was the target, but they took her because we were on a date. She sacrificed herself to protect me. We were polar opposites…she was literally a fallen angel, banished from Akihabara years before. She altered the memories of a family who was unable to have a child, and effectively became their child. Her singing was beautiful, and, once, while watching the sunset, she pointed out Akihabara, which, as a demon, I could now see. She showed me her wings, Alex…wings of light. Being near them made my body erupt in pain. The light of an angel's wings have a special property. The-

My mysterious friend provides some knowledge. “Ability to repel demons, and banish them.”

Correct. Had she not been a fallen, I would’ve died from the light. She saw what was happening, and her wings disappeared. That was the first time we kissed. She apologized profusely. She said she had sensed darkness in me, but thought it was from me being an orphan, which she herself was.

Splitting pain erupts in my skull. I cry out and crumple to my knees, katana and sheath disappearing. I hear Lexa’s voice, clear as day. Alex…I remember.

I see the events described from her point of view. I feel every sensation. When the knife hits, I scream. I scream over and over. Xander sits me in his lap and hugs me. “Alex, what’s wrong?

It’s like I’m in two places. I see myself in the third person, and I see Lexa dying. My vision fades to black.[2:50]

[2:52] When I come to, I feel like a dam has been broken in my mind. “What happened?

It begins to dawn on me. “I, or rather, she, remembered.”

What do you mean…

It dawns on him. “Impossible, I saw her die…

A little more knowledge from my friend cements it. “I know…I felt her die. If you counted, there was one scream for every time she was stabbed. I felt all of it…She’s not dead, she’s here. When a fallen angel dies, their spirit returns to Akihabara to guide and protect those who remain. Typically, they immediately find someone, but Lexa must have not found anyone and slept…until I came along…The catgirl you guys caught, she accidentally called me Lexa…I liked the sound of that name. She unconsciously chose me…because of our similarity, and because, well, Noah always wanted a sister. Noah’s body is the host for Lexa…I was created by the fusion of their souls.”

My friend imparts one last thing. “I really hope this works…”

Wait until you rescue them.

She wants me to wait…I have a feeling it’ll end me.”

We run. I see a fire and full-on sprint. My masamune reforms, in a sheath at my side. “Alex, wait, there’s too many!

I crash through the bushes and stop. The males all run at me, the women hiding. Lexa, now! I need my full potential.

Time slows. My eyesight sharpens. I can smell the dirt beneath me, and taste the omelet from this morning. I hear termites a few hundred yards away. Strength floods me. I hear Choco crying and Tohru trying to calm her, saying I’d come. They’re tied to a tree…on the other side of the men. They rush at me with all manner of weapons, from all sides, but my senses make it impossible to sneak up on me. My speed makes them look like they are in slow-motion. I jump, roll, spin and slice, dash and jab, like a deadly, elaborate dance. “Look, there she is!

A man yells. “She’s an avenger!

Soon, only the women remain. I release my powers.

My power and enhanced senses return to their dormant state. As I walk to Tohru, her eyes widen and she starts struggling against the ropes, fear in her eyes. “Please don’t hurt us! Alex, it's us!

I look down. I’m wreathed in angelic fire. I place my palms together like I’m praying. I release the-

Wait! Use it for me, please. Give me and Xander some time alone.

I bend this angelic power to my will. I call upon it to give Lexa form, so she may have a few minutes to walk this earth once more.

It turns to white mist and flows away from me, changing shape and color, forming Lexa as she appears in my mind. Tohru stops squirming. Lexa walks to Xander. Tohru looks at him, and for a second, it seems she’s remembering something. Must be my imagination.

I cut them loose and sheathe my masamune. They hug me. “How did you learn to fight like that?

I shake my head. “I don’t know…it seems I was governed by instinct…”