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Rin struggled against the grip, wriggling to the best of his ability, kicking out and biting with his small teeth. Even his tail was lashing about, the tip aflame with a spark of blue that had his captor rearing back a bit in fear, which allowed him to slip out of the hold, his captor cursing. Rin didn't bother turning around to see them, instead, he darted forward and to the side, dodging the hands attempting to grab him. He noticed that there were many more hands than there should be, which only fuelled his desperation to escape.

 

" Hey, young Prince! Now wait for just a second, I just wanted to say hello-" The voice was reedy sounding, deranged and hungering. Rin sobbed in fear, running as fast as his small limbs allowed him.

 

" Go away! Help! Help, there's a strange man!"

 

" My Prince-" The voice was closer, and he was sure that he could smell its breath.

 

Rin let out an ear-piercing screech as he felt a hand clasp on his shoulder, jerking away, his flames bursting briefly to life in response. A 'pop' to the side of him had him scuttling away and running around the nearest corner with a yelp. The sounds of snapping and snarling had him cowering in his hands, shaking violently.

 

The hallway went deathly silent after a few, agonising minutes filled with unearthly noises.

 

" Prince Rin?" He recognised that voice. He couldn't put a name, or a face to it, but he knew it. A womanly figure came around the bend, causing him to back up as she came closer. "Prince Rin, I'm glad to see that you were not harmed by the intruder. Please allow me to escort you back to your rooms, I do not know if there are any more of them roaming about."

 

He opened his mouth, then closed it, nodding hesitantly. It made sense. He didn't to be attacked again. This woman had saved him. The woman gave him a brief upturn of the lips, something that couldn't quite be called a smile before she turned and began to walk.

 

Rin hurried after her, tail swishing slightly, batting at the backs of his legs. He turned to scowl at it, watching at it swayed lazily without care. Huffing, he whipped his head back forward, pouting slightly.

 

The woman to his side stayed quiet, a silent protector for the remainder of the journey. And when he safely made it back to his room, she was gone before he could even mutter a thank you.

 


 

Rin's late afternoon was spent attempting to get through as much of the book as he possibly could, unsure when he'd have to stop for Tea. As it turned out, in Gehenna, they ate five meals a day. Which, he supposed, was to be expected when the day was twice as long.

 

Only two of those meals, however, were served in the dining hall. The other three, and any snacks he wanted, were brought up to his room, where he'd eat them at the table by the window.

 

The sight outside of that window had been a huge shock at first. Pale red skies with dark grey clouds littering it, a vast expanse of ground with no other buildings in sight, swarms of demonic creatures soaring in groups, it was all very frightening to look at. He had shut the curtains immediately, to get away from the nightmarish view.

 

Tea time would be soon, a meal situated between lunch and dinner. The maid that took care of him had informed him that it would be served at 30:00, although that wasn't much help for him. He hoped there wouldn't be any more 'Gehennan delicacies' for him to try, either.

[]

" Yucky! I'm not eating that! It looks gross!" 'That' was a plate of what Rin had first thought of as beans until one had crawled off the side of the plate. He grimaced as he saw the stern look his maid was sending him. He picked up his fork, gulped, and attempted to spear one of the  beans .

 

Attempted.

 

The things dodged his fork and swarmed back once he'd lifted it. Rin frowned and tried again. And again. And again. And  again . Frustrated, he picked up the plate, ready to launch it.

 

" Rin." Satan stood in the doorway, looking menacing. " We don't throw our food, especially not as a Prince. I don't care if it was acceptable behaviour in Assiah, it will not be tolerated here."

 

He gaped, looking at the 'food' still zipping about on his plate, and then at the man who walked closer. " But-"

 

" Put the plate down, you're spilling all the #/!sha everywhere."

 

" The what?" That word sounded oddly half-decipherable; as if the meaning was on the tip of his tongue.

 

" #/rsha. It is healthy food for young demons such as yourself to consume. They promoted healthy horn and scale growth, depending on which you obtain."

 

" I-I want to eat them but..." Here he stopped, feeling himself flush. "  They keep running away ."

 

" What was that?" Satan, his father, stepped further into the room, waving the maid away.

 

" I said, they keep  running away ."

 

" Rin, stop mumbling and speak clearly. You are a Prince, and princes don't mumble."

 

He took a deep breath, looking up at the towering man. " They keep running away. I can't eat them." Rin pouted, face scrunching when the man sat on his bed, laughing.

 

" Ah, young ones are always so sweet at this age." Sat- his father picked up the fork he'd been given and transformed it into a spoon. Whilst he gaped in awe, the man scooped up a spoonful of the '#/rsha', blew on them to make them freeze in place, and placed them in his mouth.

 

The flavour was indescribable, dissimilar to anything Rin had ever tasted before. They didn't wriggle about like the other food had, and were slightly crunchy. He found that he liked them, although they weren't as appetising as normal food.

 

" Do you like it?" Rin nodded whilst still chewing, and his father smiled softly. " Good, I'll have the Cook make some more for dinner." He scooped up another spoonful and waited for him to finish. Unlike his previous dish, Rin ate the majority of it, only turning his head away once he could stomach no more. " And it seems that you'll be needing smaller portions. How odd, when Lucifer was your age, he would have eaten double the amount. Perhaps, it's your status as a half-demon? Hm..."

 

Rin continued to chew, oblivious to the piercing stare aimed at his tail, which still flickered slightly with blue fire.

=


=

[Later that evening]

 

The man who called himself his father, Satan, watched with piercing red eyes as he stumbled, the books clattering to the floor with dull thuds. Rin winced, looking to his new teacher as she tutted.

 

The woman, who looked more beast than human with her scaled body, was taller than any person he'd ever seen before, lurking over him with a fearsome scowl. She hadn't seemed all that enthused to be teaching him, although hadn't denied it due to his father being the one who ordered it.

 

" Again. You will not be stopping until you can balance them for five minutes straight."

 

Rin had yet to even reach the two-minute mark, and darkness had already fallen outside. He'd never get to bed at this rate.

 

" But that's impossible! I'm tired, I want to go to sleep!" He groaned, foregoing picking up the books, and instead sat down with a huff.

 

" Prince Rin, a prince does not whine about their circumstances, start again-" He burst into tears instead, great heaving sobs that had both demons lunging into action.

 

There was a burst of blue to his side, followed by a feminine screech, and even if he'd wanted to see what had happened, he couldn't have. His father deftly swept him up into his arms with a coo, chest vibrating like what Rin could only compare to a cat purring. " Shush, it's alright, my darling, you may sleep whenever you wish. Never allow someone of such status to order you to do anything you do not want. Come now, let's get you to bed, it's been a rather long day."

 

Despite the fact that he had yet to finish reading that book Behemoth had set for him, Rin fell quickly into a deep sleep with his face nuzzled into Satan's neck. The man in question sighed contentedly, running a gentle hand through his son's white hair.

 

Walking through the mostly empty corridors, he listened to the little snuffles and snores Rin made in his sleep, relaxing in a way he hadn't done since he last held the mother of his youngest children in his arms.

 

It had taken a few years, but he had kept his promise to her, made with her dying breath.

 

" Keep them safe. Keep Yukio safe. Keep Rin safe. I-I don't know... what they'll do to him...just... please. He's so little, Rinka-"

 

It would be difficult to keep the younger twin safe, with his inability to withstand Gehenna due to his human body, but he'd try his hardest. Satan looked down at Rin softly, smiling to himself in glee. At least, he had the son he'd always wanted, draped trustingly in his arms and slumbering without care.

 

A demon passed him, and bowed deeply, curiously glancing at his expression and vulnerable son. He couldn't be blamed for his subsequent actions.