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Can You Keep a Secret?

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"From the way you're stomping about, I assume you... Didn't see this coming?"

Lana stops and turns to glare at the source of the voice behind her, being met with the demon's smug grin. "You might be able to fool them, but I remember you."

"Yes, you're very clever, bravo," Ghirahim says, rolling his eyes. "What's the plan, then, hm? Shall we air this family drama out in front of the whole court?"

"We're not-"

"I was created by Hylia, the Triumvirate blessed you... Well. The woman you used to be one half of, with everlasting life so you may watch over the threads of fate... We're practically cousins."

Lana huffs and crosses her arms. "Where does you joining Demise fit into this familial metaphor, then?"

"Ran off with my boyfriend, got disowned," Ghirahim says with a shrug. "Anyway, we're off track now. Are you going to tell on me?"

"Of course I am," Lana says. "I have to."

"Do you? Have I actually done anything? Aside from have a better outfit than a majority of the court, but that's not exactly sinister demonic magics, is it?"

"You're lying to them."

"They're all lying to each other. Mortal courtly drama is so... Fascinating. They're so desperate to make their sad, short little lives interesting."

"So, what?" Lana asks. "This is just... A diversion? Entertainment while you wait for the next cycle?"

Ghirahim's grin widens. "Call it that if you like. I prefer... Reconnaissance, though."

"You are planning something!"

“In the sense that my primary purpose is to serve the vessel of the malice, yes. Why so worried, dear cousin? Your lot will win in the end either way. Besides, aren't you bored? It's been nearly a thousand years since the last cycle, what have either of us had to do beside while away the centuries in seclusion? Peace is nice, I suppose, but it is, by definition... Peaceful."

Lana opens her mouth, shuts it so quickly her teeth click against each other, and bites her lip as she winds her fingers together. Ghirahim's tongue darts out and he slinks closer, pacing around her like a wolf around prey.

"You do miss it, don't you?" He murmurs. "Battle. The rush of adrenaline that comes with narrowly avoiding death. You got a taste, when you and Cia became separate, and now you crave it."

"I do not," Lana snaps, even as her voice wavers.

Ghirahim laughs. "Ah, but you do! Don't lie to me, dear cousin, and more importantly, don't lie to yourself. You could have stayed sequestered in your manor and watched the cycles from afar, as you did for so long... But you're here. At the very epicentre of where it will all begin again. The goodness in the Guardian of Time's heart, thirsting for the chaos of war..."

Lana thrusts a hand out and sends a bolt of electricity crackling through the air at the demon, but he vanishes before it can connect and it slams into the wall, leaving a black scorch mark on the stone. Hands settle on her shoulders and she stiffens as Ghirahim leans down to speak in her ear.

"You're clearly feeling stressed, so I'll leave you be for now," he says. "But I think, so long as you don't tell on me, I won't tell on you. Are we agreed?"

"Agreed," Lana growls through clenched teeth, and Ghirahim's laughter lingers after he vanishes in a whirl of diamonds.