David found himself in a foreign land.
“HELLY! ANSWER ME IF YOU CAN HEAR!” he screamed and frantically looked around. He was unable to see her nor the demon.
“They’re gone,” Lucifer calmly said.
“What? How is that possible? We were seconds…”
“It is possible, the moment the demon pulled through, he most likely used some form of acceleration magic. It’s not that difficult.”
“Then I can too.”
“We don’t even know where they went.”
“Can’t you sense the demon?”
“I could, but the trace is weak and being here, its rather difficult to accurately pinpoint their location. I could do it in my own body, but not like this.”
“Here? Where are we? And what do you mean about your body?” David frantically looked around, hoping to even get a glimpse of where the demon took Helaine.
All he saw was a road surrounded by wilderness… And the three exorcists. The three exorcists were glancing around just like he was. It seemed like they followed him through the portal, but the portal had closed itself behind them.
Noticing his gaze, the European exorcist he had pushed outside Helaine’s home asked him, “Do you know where we are?”
“No,” David replied. At the back of his mind, he heard Lucifer’s chuckle.
The exorcist looked at him for a moment, then seeing he wasn’t going to continue, turned to her fellow exorcists and bowed, “This incident is my fault. It was upon my leadership and judgment that we ended up here. Although we should abide by the Lord’s teachings, there are times that sacrifices should be made. I will do all I can to return us to a familiar place, after that I shall ask for both your’s and our Lord’s forgiveness.”
“There is no need to be overly humble with us, Lux-sama. It was our decision to follow you. Although those old men back at Vatican may feel like its foolish, I agree with the notion of saving everyone,” the Japanese boy glanced down at his hands. “I wish to save everyone with these hands. I share the same feeling as you do. And no matter how little, a life is a life. I do not think this was a wrong decision made by you to try and save this innocent person and the girl grabbed by the demon.”
“I agree, like Guang said. Lux-sama is right. I don’t think any of us could have made a better decision,” the Japanese exorcist girl added.
Hearing this exchange, David started to walk off. He had no interest in the affairs of these exorcists. His priority right now was finding Helaine. Anything else didn’t matter one bit him.
Seeing the young man they had followed through the portal had begun to walk away, Hikari cried out to him, “Hey wait up!”
The young man turned back and gave her a cold stare, “What?”
“Where are you going?” She asked, despite the cold stare, he was still a human, he didn’t seem hostile either.
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“Does it matter? I’m going to save Helaine. She’s the girl that was grabbed by the demon,” he answered naturally.
Hikari was rather surprised by this. Although he seemed to know about exorcists and demons, to challenge a demon all of a sudden was too ridiculous, “You need help don’t you? Since we followed you all the way here, we’ll help you.”
She felt Guang’s hand gripping her shoulders, supporting what she was saying, “Exactly. Like us, you don’t even know where we are right? So at the very least let us help you. We are exorcists, so we would be able to protect you. It is, after all, the teaching of our Lord.”
The young man seemed to think for a bit and muttered to himself. Then decided, “Sure, I’ll gladly accept your offer.”
Hikari smiled. It was nice having someone accepting their help. She looked at Lux, who had stayed silent during this exchange. Lux returned her gaze and smiled weakly. From the looks of it, it seems like her mind was still burdened by the seemingly wrong decision she had made, and was still a little wary of the young man in front of them.
“So shall we do a simple introduction about ourselves first? It’ll help since we’re going to be together for the near future,” Hikari suggested with the intention of helping Lux feel at ease. Although it was Lux that had made the call for them to go through the portal, both Guang and her agreed wholeheartedly on that decision, so it couldn’t be said as her fault alone. “I’m Hikari.”
“I’m Guang,” Guang said, while extending out his hand.
“David,” the young man shook Guang’s hand. Then indicating to Lux, he asked, “And this is..?”
“Lux,” Lux replied.
“Hikari, Guang, and Lux huh? I guess its only naturally that you wouldn’t tell me your real name here. But you could have been more creative you know? Your three names practically have the same meaning,” David laughed.
Hikari puffed up her cheeks, “HEY! That’s mean you know?”
“We weren’t lying about our names. The teachings of our Lord does not permit that. This name was given to us by his Holiness. To become the light of the people and guide their path, it is only fitting if you were to be named as such, was what he had said to us,” Guang explained.
“I see. Then I apologise for my rudeness,” David said.
After discussing with each other and scouting their surroundings, they followed the road towards where the sun seemed to be setting. As the sky darkened, David couldn’t help but wonder where exactly they were. Also, unlike what he expected, the exorcists seemed rather nice and they didn’t seem to have noticed that he was Lucifer’s host.
“This is where humans sometimes call Hell, or the Underworld. This is where I was cast down to all those years ago. I suppose it’s about time I say it. Welcome to my realm David,” Lucifer said out of nowhere, as if reading his thought.
Seeing the exorcists in front come to a halt, he asked, “Why are we stopping? Did something occur in front?”
“It’s getting dark. We should make camp, and that clearing under the tree seems to be a good spot,” the one called Guang replied. “You and Hikari go over there first, Lux-sama and I will scout the surroundings.”
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“Yeah okay,” it seems like the exorcists didn’t fully trust him, hence why they’re leaving him here with one of their own.
David and Hikari walked over to the clearing. She had tried to make conversation with him earlier, but after expressing the wish to be left alone to think for a while, she gave him some personal space.
When they arrived at the clearing, Hikari skilfully began to set up a camp fire to keep them warm. Although it wasn’t too cold right now, the temperature had already dropped from when they arrived in this land. So setting up a camp fire wasn’t the wrong decision to make.
Since he wasn’t too sure on how he could help, David just quietly watched Hikari work. She gathered dry branches around the shade and stacked them in a little conical structure. After surrounding it with large pieces of rocks, she asked him, “David, can you use fire magic?”
David thought deeply before answering. Should he reveal that he was capable of using fire magic? How much would that reveal about him? Although they seemed to barely know anything about him, perhaps it was just an act? Was it possible that this was a test?
Only after considering various possibilities in his head, he answered, “I can try, but I’m not too confident in spell casting.”
“Let the source of all life take shape. Manifest thyself to create warmth! <Fireball>.”
David casted the most basic fire magic spell he could think of, while also controlling the spell so that the Fireball produced would be quite small. He deliberately chanted out the first “incantation” he thought of in his head. It was better to not reveal what he was capable of right now. Despite the exorcists appearing rather friendly, they could suddenly turn hostile.
“A unique chant huh?” Hikari asked.
“Yeah, that chant is the only way I can focus. Using the regular chant doesn’t allow me to focus my mana enough for the spell to work,” David replied. He had expected Hikari to asked him such and prepared an answer when he chanted. It seems like he wasn’t being overly cautious.
Hikari looked around, and seeing that the others weren’t anywhere close for the time being, she asked, “So, who was that girl that the demon grabbed? She seems important to you for you to dive through something like a portal.”
“She’s.. a childhood friend. We’ve known each other since forever,” David replied coldly. He didn’t really want to talk about it right now. It would have been better if she just stayed silent and falls asleep. That way he would have some time to converse with Lucifer about some stuff before the other exorcists return without being suspicious.
“I see. Guang’s more or less my childhood friend. My parents died when I was really young. It was supposedly due to a demon attack. I was taken in by the local church which runs an orphanage. When I turned six, a Cardinal came to our church to preach and for some reason I caught his attention. Then a lot of things happened, and I ended up meeting Guang. He was really nice to me from the start and took care of me. He’s kind of like an oni-chan, which I never had.”
“So I kind of understand how upset you are. You’re worrying about her and I get that. That’s why I’ll try and help you to get her back. So try cheering up and stop being gloomy?”
“Hmm… I suppose I’ll try.”
“That’s good enough for me,” Hikari giggled. She didn’t expect her words to reach the bottom of David’s heart since they had just met, but since they’re going to be stuck together for the near future, she wanted to him to cheer up somewhat.
“Why exactly did you three follow through the portal? It was of no relevance to you, was it not?”
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“We are exorcists, aides of God who helps those in need. Especially when its a supernatural related incident. In your case, the demonic origin of the situation was what caused us to arrive at the scene. But we helped because we wanted to. To become a saviour of the people is what we wish for.”
“Truly naive words you know? The world doesn’t work like that. What we wish for, what we hope to achieve, I don’t think its that simple.”
“But we can still try and strive to work our way towards the goal. If we do, then one day it’ll become reality.”
“I promise you, I’ll do everything in my power to help you save your friend. I’m an exorcist and God must have brought you before us for a reason. I believe that reason is to save you and your friend. So please believe in me!”
Gazing at Hikari who became rather energetic about the situation, David couldn’t help but laugh inside. How was it possible for her to lend him a helping hand? Was it some cruel joke of fate? He was the host of a demon, in fact he was the host of the Devil himself. Exorcists helping him would be the last thing he expected.
“You don’t believe me right?” Hikari asked, sensing David’s doubt. “I’ll prove it to you throughout the next few days that I’ll definitely fulfil my promise!”
She did seem like a nice person. But to David it wasn’t what he was looking for right now. He was looking for a way to save Helaine from the clutches of that vile demon.
Guang and Lux left Hikari alone with the young man called David to scout their surroundings. Well that was only an excuse, the main objective was actually to observe David from afar.
Lux didn’t trust him fully and thought that he had hidden several things. After all, he had stopped her memory altering spell and knocked her off balance at the blink of an eye. Neither of them had realized it until he had ran past them. Then there was also the fact that he seemed to have a weapon, but the next moment they looked, it had disappeared.
This was a good opportunity to see if he would do anything. They were close enough so that they could see what was going on and go to Hikari’s aid if anything happened, but far away enough so that they wouldn’t be easily noticed. They could have left him all alone, but then if he was really innocent, having Hikari there would buy them so time if anything hostile was to approach them in this foreign land.
As they watched, they could see Hikari and David setting up a fire, then chatting away. It didn’t seem like David even attempted to do anything either.
“Lux-sama, should we not return and rest now? That person doesn’t seem that dangerous,” Guang enquired.
“Wait for slightly longer. He doesn’t seem dangerous, but it wouldn’t hurt to be safe. I’m still not very trusting of his intentions as of now. The only thing I can be completely sure of is that he seems to actually care about the girl that was snatched away,” Lux replied with her eyes fixed upon Hikari and David, watching for any minute small movements that he might make.
The two of them continued their observations for twenty odd more minutes, but he didn’t do anything special. All he did was just sit there quietly pondering, occasional making some conversation with Hikari.
Lux raised her eyebrows. She genuinely believed that David would have made some sort of move. She was so sure of it, but yet nothing happened. It seemed like she was at least temporarily proven wrong. Seeing the darkness about to cover the land, she turned to Guang, “Let us return, the perimeters seem safe as well. But make sure that you are vigilant. He is almost definitely hiding something.”
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