Prologue: Deal with the Devil
To some, it was just another ordinary night. The stars were all out with no clouds to be seen, freckling the sky like glistening jewels. The trees were still, grasshoppers chirping in and out for those nocturnal enough to hear them. You could say it was rather peaceful, almost inviting despite the lack of moonlight. However, for Izumo Kamiki, it was an illusion compared to the horror she was currently experiencing. The eight-year-old ran as fast as she could through the dark and dense forest, holding her baby sister tightly within her arms. Her breath was caught in the cold night, gasping heavily with each step she took.
She couldn’t stop, she had to keep going!
Just then, she tripped on a root from one of the trees, yelping sharply. Izumo shielded her sister for the most part, but the infant still wailed from the fall.
“I’m sorry, Tsukumo! Shh, it’s okay,” she quietly whispered, petting her head, “Big sister will keep you safe, I promise.”
Tsukumo whimpered, recognizing her sister’s voice as it soothed her. Izumo scouted the area and picked herself back up, clutching her sister close as she began to run again. The frosty air stung her face, causing her vision to blur. She quickly wiped her eyes with her sleeve, staying determined.
Still, how did it come to this?
Demons have long been a plight since Satan’s rise at power, but she never expected her family to be involved. Izumo could still picture her mother’s demonic face as the nine-tails fully assimilated with her. It fed on her anger and hatred, becoming one with each other to the point of attacking her daughters. She always knew about her demonic lineage, but never to such an extent. Shame washed over Izumo, her mother’s words echoing inside her mind.
‘It was a mistake to give birth to you! If only I didn’t have you!’
For her mother to be so weak because of a man, Izumo never felt so disgusted.
Gehenna’s realm was in an uproar from the recent disturbance of the nine-tails, coal tars appearing in the sky like a swarm. Izumo halted, examining the small demons as she soon began to hear growls in the distance. Ghouls and other matter of fiends began to rise from the shadows, completely taking over the area.
“Oh no…” she whispered with dread.
Without Mike and Uke or the other fox Gods to protect her, Izumo was left defenseless. She had to think fast, searching desperately for somewhere to hide. Luckily, she spotted a small fissure beneath a tree nearby and instantly dashed towards it. She shushed her sister who began to whimper, keeping themselves in the shadow. She could sense the elements becoming unbalance, disrupting the flow of nature around them. The air became starch, nearly suffocating them both.
Just then, Izumo spotted her mother between the roots. Her hair was completely white due to the demon’s influence, her eyes piercing the darkness with a hungry red gaze. The demons surrounded her, feeding off her aura. She growled and swiped them away, giving off an evil grin when they backed away from her. After all, she wasn’t an ordinary demon now. She was a God with full connection to the Life-Taking Stone. An artifact of life and death, one passed down to those descendants of the Inari—they had every right to fear her.
“Izumo…Tsukumo…where are you? I know you’re here…” she said, licking the blood off her lips, “Mommy just wants a hug.”
Izumo gritted her teeth, backing herself into a wall.
‘What do I do?’ she asked, beginning to panic.
As if reading her mind, their mother’s head snapped directly in their direction. Izumo hissed in alarm, expecting the worst.
“There you are!” Tamamo soon shouted, her fangs widening with glee.
She sprinted towards them, her black claws extending out to attack them. Izumo was prepared to scream and meet her demise, but a net was soon thrown over her mother, stopping her in her tracks. She stared in shock by the sudden rescue, taking notice of a group of people in uniforms chanting a spell to contain her. Izumo recognized them right away—the Illuminati. If they were here, there’s no doubt that Satan was involved as well.
Izumo watched in silence as one of the members stuck a needle into her mother’s neck, completely sedating her. Soon, a small fat man appeared, his face reminding her that of a pig.
He had a disturbing grin, his eyes glinting with euphoria. “Very good!” he chimed, “With the Nine-Tails in our possession, Lord Lucifer’s empire will grow. This will surely please Satan himself. Soon, humans would be nothing more than insects ready to be eradicated to the true rulers of this world.”
‘Satan? This is bad!’ Izumo mentally shouted, searching desperately for an escape.
She caught sight of a bush nearby, carefully making her way over. She managed not to make a sound, circling herself around the shrub unnoticed. She looked back, making sure they were still in the clear. Luckily her mother was distracting them from taking any attention. Izumo made sure to create enough distance between them before launching herself into a sprint. She did her best to avoid any demons in her path, clutching Tsukumo close to her.
If she could somehow cross the barrier that was created separating Satan from the humans, she can hopefully plan their next move from there. During the blue night of Satan’s rampage, he managed to control much of the area within Japan. It wasn’t until exorcist rebels and the Vatican had interfered that they stopped his pursuit from going any further. The demons were trapped within the dome, though not excluding some humans as well. Izumo’s home was one of the unlucky ones to be imprisoned within his domain; and without purpose, it would seem. She wasn’t even sure if they would even be safe when crossing the border, but she had to at least try—for Tsukumo’s sake.
Not paying any attention besides her thoughts, Izumo found herself colliding into someone. The person was tall and had a solid frame, knocking her back easily onto the ground. She guarded her sister and stared up at the mysterious figure with complete unease. Judging from their physique, it was a male, a gold-like tail flicking elegantly behind him. What caught Izumo’s fear though were his slitted emerald eyes, piercing down at her through a makeshift mask. There was no doubt in her mind, he was a demon.
She dug her heels into the dirt, wryly pushing herself away from him. Izumo’s eyes trembled fearfully as she sensed nothing but great power within him.
“I see…” He then spoke in a calm voice, “…You’re not just an ordinary girl, are you? You know what I am.”
Izumo gave a nervous gulp, daring not to speak.
“So it’s true, there are humans with demon blood, even if they haven’t awakened them yet. You’re a perfect vision of what I want,” he said, kneeling and wiping away the tears that have long fallen from her face.
He touched her gently, practically soothing her with a strange hypnotizing pheromone. Was he truly a demon? How was one so angelic-looking?
“Ohhh! What have we here?” The pig-looking man from earlier appeared behind her with a pleased smirk, “I wasn’t aware the Kamiki clan had cubs to spare. How fortunate for you to have found them, Lord Lucifer.”
“Lucifer…?” Izumo asked, completely stunned when learning the demon’s identity.
The eldest child of Satan—the King of Light himself.
Izumo scurried away from the man, knowing full well the stories. The demon remained impassive though, lifting himself back up without taking his gaze off the girl.
“What of the kitsune woman?” he asked.
“We’ve captured her, but the woman is already starting to decompose from the nine-tails powers. I’ll be surprised if she survives the assimilation,” he said, snickering evilly.
‘Mother is dying? No, it can’t be!’ Izumo’s mind was reeling.
“But how fortunate of us to find these two,” he soon said, his face twisting into a sickening grin.
“Gedōin, do you think with your experiments you can make use of this girl?” Lucifer asked, causing Izumo to flinch with concern.
The mad doctor continued to smile, squealing like a swine he was. “Lord Lucifer, it would be an honor! I'll be sure to make good use of these girls,” he said, his hands twitching with excitement.
“Don’t you dare touch my sister!” Izumo shouted angrily, her fear completely vanishing.
The group stood silent with Lucifer admiring the girl.
“Such a brilliant display of passion for one’s loved one,” he commented in awe.
Gedōin grew irritated by the girl’s misconduct, gritting his teeth. “Such an untamed fox! Watch your tone in the presence of Lord Lucifer!” He turned to one of the guards nearby, his face nearly red with rage. “Take them away!”
Izumo shook her head, gripping her sister tightly to her as she grabbed a branch nearby. “Stay away!” she yelled, taking a stance despite her trembling legs.
Was this how they were going to die? As lab rats for some demon’s gain? She refused to accept such a fate!
The guards crept up, each with a needle in their hands to sedate her.
“No! Sta—stay back!” she screamed, her voice nearly cracking.
They were nearly upon her before a slow clap could be heard, catching everyone’s attention. A pair of purple gloves appeared from the shadows, a man soon stepping forth with a rather flamboyant demeanor. He was wearing an eccentric white suit with a top hat to match with it, reminding Izumo of a clown or ringmaster. He gave a rather playful grin, practically amused by the scene before him.
“Samael,” Lucifer spoke, recognizing the demon right away, his emotions still unreadable.
The tall man halted in his claps, raising his arms with delight. “Lucifer, I see you’ve been busy as ever! Mind if I interrupt?”
“Never have my words stopped you before,” he said, not seeming too impressed by his brother’s appearance. “What game do you plan to convince me to play this time?” he asked, knowing full he wasn’t just here for a show.
“Why, these two girls, of course!” he chimed with a wink, “I heard about the little massacre in the Inari shrine, tragic really, but I knew I couldn’t miss this opportunity.”
“Opportunity?” Lucifer asked, his eyes showing slight curiosity.
“Oh yes…” he said, lowering his head with a diabolical leer. “One I’m sure will pique your interest.”
Lucifer continued to stare, giving his brother permission to speak.
“I have a proposition for you. One I’m sure you won’t refuse,” he elegantly said with a bow, “And it involves our dear younger brother.”
“Father’s bastard?” he asked, not quite understanding the point.
“Yes, the girl here, she’s close to his age, is she not?” he asked, his brows rising up and down. “Why, I think she fits perfectly with what we can use her for.”
Izumo was soon getting impatient by the confrontation between the two demons.
“Don’t talk about me like I’m not here!” she shouted, glaring fiercely.
Samael raised his hands, mocking her. “Oh my, feisty one aren’t you?” he said, his grin never faltering.
“Don’t worry, we’ll break that soon enough, Lord Lucifer!” Gedōin interjected, clearly annoyed by the girl’s behavior. “She’ll learn to be obedient when we’re through with her!”
“Now, now, there’s no need for that,” Samael calmly spoke, tapping his umbrella on top of the man’s rather large head, “This girl is far too valuable for any of your improper schemes.”
“How so?” Lucifer asked, silently demanding.
“What if we can use her lineage to our advantage?” he said, placing the tip of his hands together. “A gift as you can say for our dear little brother to play with? When they come of age, of course.”
The blonde demon knew instantly what he meant. “Matrimony?”
Despite not knowing what the word meant, Izumo did not like it. It was something horrible.
“Yes, she will be his betrothal. Even father will be pleased by such an outcome, I’m sure,” he said, eyeing the girl. “Just think of the possibilities? A human girl with demonic lineage, she’s not so different from him. They both will be a beacon to our cause in uniting Gehenna and Assiah. All we need to do is make certain…enhancements—something I’m sure your merry band will be happy to oblige.”
“Interesting,” Lucifer said, considering the idea. “Thought of this just now, have you? And how do you intend the outcome of your little plan to play out?”
“Oh, I’m always up for a bit of gambling,” he mused happily, “I have no idea what will come of it, but that’s what makes it all the more intriguing…don’t you agree?”
“Hmph, if that’s the case, what of the runt she’s carrying?” Gedōin asked, clearly not entertained by the deal.
Before Samael could answer, Izumo interrupted him with full desperation. “No, please! Leave Tsukumo out of it! I beg of you!” she pleaded anxiously, losing her tough exterior instantly.
The king of time took notice of this, swishing his cape as he knelt beside her. He extended his hand, offering a form of peace between them.
“My dear girl, what is your name?”
Izumo eyed him with complete distrust but answered anyway. “Izumo,” she said.
“Izumo, is your sister precious to you?” he asked, studying the infant who giggled at his strange features.
“Yes! More than anything!” She hugged her sister close to her, daring not to let her go.
“So, you would do anything to keep her out of harm?” he asked tauntingly.
Izumo gulped nervously and nodded, practically sealing her fate. “Ye—yes…”
“Well, that settles it,” he said, standing up victoriously, “From this day forward, the little one shall be under my protection. As for Izumo here, she will be in dear older brother’s care. Though do be gentle with her, wouldn’t want to break her completely. She’ll have to look presentable when the time comes.”
“Wha—what?” Izumo was left startled by his words.
He squinted his eyes at her. “Unless you don’t want to protect your precious sister?”
She should have known this was a trick. Izumo bowed her head, practically accepting defeat.
“Now then,” he said, snapping his fingers.
A puff of purple smoke popped in front of Izumo, teleporting her sister directly into the purple-haired demon’s hands.
“Tsukumo!” she cried out, launching herself forward to reach her.
However, a strong hand took hold of her arm, keeping her in place. The young girl whipped her head and spotted a woman with dark brown hair and a yellow streak across the side of her face. She wore glasses, her eyes showing no sign of sympathy. Izumo began to sob from the current cruelty she was undergoing. First her mother, and now this? She couldn’t rely on anything or anyone at this point in helping her now. She wailed, and tugged as hard she could, extending her hand to the point of straining it towards her sister.
“Please, stop! Give me back my sister!” She screamed her face in complete distraught.
Tsukumo began to whimper, realizing she wasn’t in her sister’s arm.
Samael lifted his finger and soon began to count in German. “Eins! Zwei! Drei!”
In a swift burst of smoke, Tsukumo had vanished. Izumo stared in shock, gaining back a new force of anger.
“Bastard! What did you do to my sister?” she demanded, causing the woman to grip her harder.
The demon was quite impressed by her language. “Don’t worry, your sister is in good hands. You have my word,” he said smoothly, but needless to say, it did not reassure her.
“You’re lying!” she shouted, glaring hatefully at him.
Izumo began to throw a tantrum, kicking the woman if possible to let go of her. “Get off me!”
“I’m afraid that’s not an option,” the woman commented coldly, reaching for a syringe.
“Stop!” Izumo continued to cry out, doing her best to escape.
The needle met the base of her neck, pricking a vein as the liquid entered her system. Almost in an instant, she became numb, slowly beginning to lose consciousness. Drool escaped the side of her lips, her eyes drooping heavily into slumber.
“Tsuko…mo…” she faintly whispered, slumping back into the woman’s arms.
“Well, that was certainly entertaining,” Samael commented, fixing his collar. He then placed his hands on his hips, directing his attention to his brother. “I’m sure with the nine-tails in your possession you can make use of it with the girl.”
Lucifer nodded, unperturbed by the event. “With the Kamiki girl in our care, she will be undergoing many trials.”
“And what of the mother?” he asked.
Gedōin snickered as he replied, “She’s still alive, but it’s obvious the demon is too much for her. Don’t worry though, we’ll be making great use of her.”
Lucifer brought his attention to his second in command. “Homare, see to it that girl is secured.”
“Understood, my Lord,” she said with a salute, sending a request from a speaker inside her collar.
She picked Izumo up in her arms, a helicopter soon appearing overhead with effortless timing.
Gedōin and his crew followed behind them, allowing the demon kings a moment alone. Lucifer remained distant for the most part, eyeing his brother.
“Is there a timeline I’m not aware of that you’re trying to achieve?” he asked, knowing full well of his brother’s secrets.
“Isn’t there always?” he answered coyly, “Although this script is far beyond what I could dream of.” He began to swing his umbrella around. “Even I don’t know everything,” he said.
“Highly unlikely,” Lucifer muttered, not fully trusting his brother’s motive.
“Just see to it that the girl is properly prepared. She must impress father, after all. Even he doesn’t have all the time in the world,” he said, checking his pocket watch before snapping it shut.
“How long do we have?”
“I give it more than 10 years at best, so do chop-chop. Just because I’m the Demon King of Time, doesn’t mean we have all day,” he chuckled with amusement, turning his back while continuing to swing his parasol.
“And what do you plan to do?” he questioned.
“I’m going to make sure we earn ourselves a proper demon prince. That boy is a bit of a handful, so a girl like this would be sure to discipline him…and I don’t just mean the naughty kind,” he answered with a devilish wink.
“Must you always play the role of jester,” Lucifer commented dryly.
“When it calls for it,” he said with a cunning tone, tipping his hat, “Until next time, brother. I will be checking in. Eins! Zwei! Drei!”
Like magic, he disappeared into thin air without a trace. Lucifer stood quiet, letting out a soft cough into his hand. When he pulled it back, blood could be seen on his glove.
Time was of the essence indeed.
Yuri looked out through the window, her hand mindlessly caressing her son’s hair. Rin was fast asleep, snoring peacefully on top of her lap. She heard about the commotion at the Inari shrine from Shiro, commenting on how Mephisto was currently handling it. It’s all they needed was for Satan to get involved.
Yuri sighed with an overwhelming weight of regret but soon smiled lovingly at her son. Despite him being a happy boy, she knew there was darkness within him as well. He was Satan’s pride, while Yuri, her joy.
And someday, he was meant to claim his father’s throne—and that thought terrified her. She could only hope there would be a worthy soul to be beside him when that time came.