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Fantasy Clear Crimson Mirror | Private

Sub Genres
  1. Romance

Keylyn May

Simply Invisible
Ayumi followed Bi-nasu as she went forward along the path the serpent had taken. She still felt her skin crawling at the fact that they were here, wishing they could leave soon. She just wanted this horrid ordeal to be over. Though as she entered behind B-nasu, her gaze landed on the crimson mirror. It was odd, terrifying, and astonishing all at the same time. The deep crimson color that soon seemed to produce noise on its own was something Ayumi had never seen or heard of before. She listened to the hum, as well as the words of the serpent when she said that the mirror accepted Bi-nasu's claim. Ayumi began to release a soft sigh of relief at the fact that they were believed, yet her heart would soon ache with the coming news.

Ayumi watched as flames soon danced from the mirror as Hikano throw a torch within it that she knew this mirror was going to cost them something. Byakuren still was not mentioned and the serpent seemed to be taking her time. Yet Ayumi could never have guessed the cost that this would cost them once again. At the mention of a sacrifice, and the fact that Bi-nasu knew, Ayumi's skin went pale as ash. Bi-nasu had known and had kept this great part of the fortune to herself. Ayumi was going to have to watch as yet another friend was taken from her. And while this was in order to get Byakuren back, Ayumi still couldn't help the great pang of hurt that came over her. Perhaps that was why BI-nasu had kept it quiet. She didn't want anyone feeling guilty or torn over this ordeal.

Bi-nasu spoke of leaving the fate of the future to her and Byakuren, and Ayumi felt tears come to her eyes. She reached forward as if to grasp hold of Bi-nasu, yet the oni was already well beyond her reach. As much as Ayumi wished to call out, cry out, for Bi-nasu to not do this, she knew the fortune teller had already set her mind to it by the way she walked towards the flames. Yet it was when Bi-nasu mentioned Hanao that Ayumi's tears began to flow freely despite the fact that the serpent was still near. She recalled when she first met Hanao when he was so young, and how he had quickly clung to Bi-nasu much like a mother. Her heart ached at the fact that she would have to tell him that BI-nasu was not going to be coming back; that she had made the ultimate sacrifice in order to bring Byakuren back. Ayumi couldn't form any words as she watched Bi-nasu moved forward, soon being engulfed by the flames before her.

When it was done, and Hikano had said that mirror accepted the sacrifice, Ayumi slowly sank to her knees for the second time that day as her tears fell. She could only stare at the mirror in disbelief, knowing yet not registering that Bi-nasu was actually gone now. "I'll let him know," she finally whispered, as if she was making a solemn vow to her friend that had now given so much for Byakuren.

{{ oh it was killing me to not be able to reply until now!! }}
 

LONELYRAIN

teller of tall tales
(Haha, it's all good c: )

Hikano's gaze shifted over to Ayumi, seeing the human sink to her knees as she had shed tears. This was something that the serpent had seen only once before, in an era lost to time when the first Demon King had walked the lands. He too had to sacrifice a precious soul to gain the overwhelming power, for the mirror demanded blood for blood, soul for power. It was the blood of Hotoruneikan that the mirror had been crafted from, and the great one's blood was one that always thirsted for life, to devour souls. The serpent didn't know why such sorrow was being shown however over the lost one's life, it was the way of the mirror, for with every life there must be a death. It was an exchange, and sacrifice would always be necessary to order to achieve greater power, and this would be no small matter concerning a body whose soul had already left it.

It was now that the serpent had raised her hand from the glowing mirror's side, her hands now closing around Byakuren's body as she lifted it from where it lay upon the golden alter, "Mortal being, you must not be sorrowful over the passing of one life. She gave it gladly, and with it life has a chance to be restored to this pitiful one." The serpent had turned Byakuren's body within her grasp, almost handling him as if he were a doll, "However, his revival is not assured. Be warned, as the mirror will try to bring him from the grasp of death, it will depend on whether his soul wishes to return and is able to handle the power. If not, his soul shall forever be lost and he will drown in the mirror's blood." Without warning, the serpent had dropped Byakuren's body into the mirror, the brilliant red of the mirror glowing an all too blinding red as Byakuren's body was swiftly consumed by the crimson substance of the mirror, disappearing from sight.

...
Kiyo's gaze shifted upward, her expression showing surprise if only for a second before it had disappeared, looking toward Miho whom had nodded in return. A bit of bewilderment had went through Byakuren's heart as the pure white of his surroundings began to become tinged with a bloody red, an ugly roaring beginning to resound in his head. "What is happening?" The question left his lips immediately, though he could barely hear himself over the thunderous roar, a pain flooding through his body as the figure of his mother and Miho faded before his eyes, their faded figures being swallowed up by the crimson that was consuming everything before him. The pain increased, as crimson flowed through into his body, a scream of agony flying free from his lips as soon all he could see was the bloody shade of red, it filled his nose, his mouth, and the roar never ceased resounding in his head. He felt as if his own blood was burning him from the inside out, ripping him from the peaceful embrace that had been death and plunging him into a world that was painted in red.
...
Byakuren's eyes snapped open as he instinctively breathed, only to feel fluid flowing into his mouth, it burned his insides as his body writhed in the midst of the deep crimson, his stiff joints protesting with every movement he made. He immediately closed his mouth as he tried holding his breath, realizing that wherever he was, it was a place filled with fluid, no air would be able to stop the burning in his lungs, and nothing will be able to calm the fire that felt like it was burning in his veins. His head whipped around as his body refused to bend to his command, instead it seemed as if his own limbs were fighting against his control, flailing about wildly as the burning sensation in his body continued to increase to an unbearable amount of agony. The pain then seemed to flow into his heart, a causing the oni to scratch at his chest, his mouth opening despite him willing to keep it closed as more fluid flowed into him, his cry of pain muffled by the pure crimson as the terrible roaring had reached a fever pitch... and then it stopped.

What had seemed like an agony that would not cease instead had so suddenly left him, leaving the oni's body instead filled with strength. It coursed through him, power surging into his stiff limbs as they had relaxed, the wound that had taken his life knitting together, and his mind slowly was regaining a clarity that he had thought had been lost to him forever. Then, came the sensation of desiring to breathe. His lungs cried out for air, having been deprived of oxygen which caused the oni to look up, seeing that there was paler red light filtering in from above. Up. I need to go up. Immediately, Byakuren had begun to swim upward through the deep sea of red, moving as fast as he possibly could as his lungs felt fit to burst, just as his hand grasped the lip of the mirror's edge as he hauled himself immediately through the surface, inhaling immediately as soon as air had greeted him, his body heavily resting against the side of the strange mirror as the blood of the mirror slowly dripped off from Byakuren's form.

The oni in question seemed to have certainly changed, his body where it had once been thin due to the torture he had went through prior to his death was now firm with strong, hardened muscle. His fingernails seemed sharper, and his eyes although they had already been crimson in coloration seemed to take on the brighter red hue of the mirror, even his horns seemed to have grown longer. However, the most important detail was where his corrupted arm had once been... there seemed to be no corruption there, instead the nails on that arm had only a few traces of Osamu's corruption, being black in coloration but there seemed to be no other traces of Osamu's influence upon Byakuren's body, it was as if this had been the healthiest he had appeared in quite a long time. It was only then that Byakuren, once he was able to breathe had looked up slowly, his bright red eyes dull for a few moments as he took in where he was, there was no recognition in his gaze as he finally took a step out of the mirror.. and then another, stopping in his place as he heard an unfamiliar voice echoing in the chamber, "Ah, and so the mirror has indeed chosen well."

Byakuren turned around quickly, his muscles tensing automatically as his lips curled back, a burning beginning to flow in his veins as he faced Hikano, the serpent taking amusement in his sudden aggression, "Such ferocity already? Do you desire a battle so soon? The demon's blood in you has only just awakened, there is no need to be so hasty to bloody your claws," Hikano's gaze shifted back toward Ayumi, "Especially since it seems like there is a mortal whom had assisted bringing you here, Demon King. Surely, you remember her, yes?" The oni paused, straightening up slowly as he turned his head to look upon Ayumi, his stare was blank as he looked upon her features, then slowly step by step he approached her and finally halted before Ayumi, gazing upon her with an emptiness in his eyes that held no recognition. Her scent was familiar, a comforting smell and one that he recognized... but his mind felt foggy.

He closed his eyes tightly, a hand coming to his head as he struggled to think past the haze. He remembered... a smile, a beautiful and tear filled smile directed at him before the darkness swallowed him whole. His heart clenched in his chest as tears had begun to sting at his eyes. Why.. why was he crying? "..A..yu..mi?" The name felt strange on his tongue, his voice attempting to say her name but with much difficulty. There were many emotions stirring within him at speaking her name, but he couldn't remember why, at least not yet. He knelt down before her, reaching out a hand cautiously only to rest it on her cheek. It felt damp with tears, what had made this woman before him cry? The thought made his heart feel pain, and yet.. he could not remember why he should feel such a way.
 

Keylyn May

Simply Invisible
{{ oh he forgot! Ahh...painful heartache!! X( I think I'm getting too attached LOL }}

Ayumi watched as the serpent picked up Byakuren's body as if it was nothing but a toy. Anger began to surge in her chest, though it was quickly replaced by astonishment as she simply dropped Byakuren within the mirror. Ayumi didn't move from where she knelt. She waited, tear-filled eyes locked on the mirror as she waited for something to happen. Of course, the wait felt like forever to her, and her hands soon moved to her chest as her fingers began to twist around each other in nervousness. Why did it seem to be taking so long? Was it suppose to take this long? What if it didn't work and she was expected to make it back to the group alone? Would she even manage to make it back? Could she even get herself to walk out of here alone? All these thoughts danced in her head as time seemed to slowly tick by and she remained as still as ever.

Then a hand appeared, followed by a head, and finally a body. While she was at his back, she recognized that it was Byakuren anywhere. Yet he was different. The skinny, lean oni that she had known was now fit and filled out with muscles that seemed impossible for him to possess before. His corrupted arm, the arm that she knew he fought so hard against and caused him great pain, was gone. She had nearly forgotten what he had looked like without the cursed part of him. She couldn't move. While she could see him, it was hard to believe he was actually here and this wasn't a dream.

Yet when he turned towards her as Hikano spoke of her, she could see two things. His eyes had shifted in color, becoming brighter. However, also within those eyes, she saw nothing that seemed to tell that he knew who she was. Something pierced her heart as he seemed to draw closer to her without seeming to know who she was. Then she saw his own tears begin to fall. She watched as he came down to her level, reaching out to touch her cheek. It was his touch that showed her this wasn't a dream. She could feel his skin against her own once more, the wet tears that now clunch to his fingers as he pressed them to her cheek. She heard her name, hesitant on his voice, but yet it was her name.

Her own tears seemed to come once more as she shifted to bring a hand up to touch the back of his own. She held it there against her cheek, a small, sad smile finally coming to her lips. "Yes," she breathed, "Byakuren, it's me, Ayumi." Her amber eyes looked into his, searching for even the smallest sign of recognition. Surely, after everything they had gone through, he would not forget her now? Of course, she understood that what he had just gone through was simply unheard of by human, yokia, and oni alike. Yet it was almost too painful to think that he had forgotten all about her and then memories they had made together until now.
 

LONELYRAIN

teller of tall tales
(I don't blame you, I feel sad while writing all of this! I've gotten super attached too! XD )

Her touch was gentle as her skin came into contact with his back of his own, and he couldn't help but gently move his thumb along her cheek. It was a familiar action he had done in the past before and felt so very natural, and her voice was so very soft as well. So very familiar, and yet there was still no recognition in his eyes. He gazed upon her as if she were a stranger, the red glow of his eyes becoming slightly dim as he looked aside and back to the serpent behind him, "I.. I don't.." The words seemed difficult for him to manage to speak, but it was clear he didn't remember. His mind refused to yield to him answers, and despite feeling so many tender emotions toward this human before him, he did not understand why. It was as if their journey together, even up till this point had been locked away behind an impenetrable barrier that no matter how much he tried to reach for it, he could not and all that remained were emotions that he could not understand why he felt them.

The serpent's eyes narrowed, her head tilting as she gazed at the confusion in the freshly rebirthed Demon King's eyes. "Hmm... how strange. The rebirth normally would not affect memories. The mirror is supposed to strengthen, not take away." Hikano leaned forward, gazing into the depths of the mirror as she spotted an inky blackness beginning to rise to the surface, it seeped forth from the mirror dripping down from the pure crimson in a thick ooze and staining the pure golden floor. The guardian's nose wrinkled up as she gazed down upon the substance, hissing, "Such disgusting corruption, is this the reason why?" The serpent's hand prodded the black ooze and it sizzled underneath her touch, swiftly disappearing from sight as it disintegrated and disappeared. Due to Osamu's actions, the ritual seemed to have been disrupted. Another block in what should have been an already simple enough affair - aside from Bi-nasu's sacrifice of course, it had been ruined.

The guardian's eyes lifted upward to Ayumi and Byakuren, her eyes narrowing, "The ritual has been tampered with. Unfortunately, even if our rebirthed Demon King is physically sound, his mind may not be." The serpent's gaze shifted to Ayumi, "However, perhaps with time his mind may recover. After all, you had brought to me a being whom had been deceased, I know not what may happen from here onward, but I trust that he will be safe enough in your care." It was clear with how dismissive she was being, the guardian had no clue what was happening, nor was she going to attempt to fix it. She was merely passing on Byakuren to Ayumi, after all her own duty was done.

The words being spoken clearly didn't seem to make sense to Byakuren. However, he did visibly tense at the corruption that had previously been upon his arm being expelled from the mirror, positioning himself between Ayumi and it as if shielding her, only when it had disappeared had the oni relaxed slightly though it seemed even if his memories were indeed gone, the emotions and drive to protect Ayumi was not. The oni hesitantly looked back at Ayumi after a few seconds, though now he finally stood to his feet and grabbed hold of her hand, albeit as gently as possible though confusion had settled within his eyes again. Why was he being so gentle to her? He didn't understand.
 

Keylyn May

Simply Invisible
{{ ah this is painful! }}

Anguish made Ayumi's shoulder slump slightly as she heard Byakuren's in his own words stating he could not recall who she was. Even in regaining him in this world, it seemed she still lost him. He had returned to her and yet he had no memory of her. However, his actions seemed to speak differently as he had stroked her cheek. While he seemed confused by his actions, he did not seem to fight them. Something in you still remembers me, doesn't it? That thought was what she decided she would cling to. This was especially true when Hikano spoke of maybe time healing what has been lost. This was further pushed forward when Byakuren seemed to instinctively position himself between her and the bit of corruption that came from the mirror. Perhaps time would help.

She looked up at Byakuren as he took a hold of her hand. She couldn't give up now after everything. She had just gotten him back from death itself. Gingerly, she rose to her feet and, with her free hand, brushed away what tears lingered on her cheeks. While her hand was still in his, Ayumi gave it a soft squeeze before nodding slightly. "Well, then I guess we will allow time to do it work," she said gently before looking to Hikano. She bowed slightly to the serpent. "Thank you for assisting us," she offered to the guardian, knowing that this serpent could've easily killed her and Bi-nasu before even thinking of looking at Byakuren. Straightening up again, she offered a small smile to him. "Shall we go?"
 

LONELYRAIN

teller of tall tales
(It'll get better... eventually! I am planning for Byakuren to do some cute things for Ayumi while he's suffering from his amnesia just to make it more bearable before I do anymore sad/horrible events c: )

Hikano raised an eyebrow at Ayumi bowing to her, though a smile had crossed her features as the guardian had laughed, "I am merely doing my duty," Her gaze shifted over to the rather bewildered Byakuren, "I can only hope that you both will do yours." With that, the serpent's body began to fade from view, her shape becoming smaller and smaller until she too had faded into the mirror which had now went dark, leaving the chamber in near total darkness aside from the light of a few torches which cast its warm glow on the golden pathway leading out. Byakuren, whom had remained quite silent through the interaction had glanced back to Ayumi as she had gently squeezed his hand. A warm feeling settled in his chest and his facial expression had gentled, nodding his head to her and beginning to lead the way through the darkness.

His steps echoed within the chamber as he slowly reached the first room, although his nose wrinkled up at the scent of death laying heavy in the air, especially due to all the bones being piled upon the golden floor. Carefully he had traversed through the room until he reached the exit, still holding onto Ayumi's hand as his eyes narrowed at the sudden bright light searing his eyes as he gazed out at the sea of sand before him. Now, this place was clearly unfamiliar to him, and he was certain he had never been in such a location before either, which was evident by the confusion that was quick to take hold of him as his eyes landed on the group of riders whom seemed to have waited, perhaps to see if Ayumi and Bi-nasu had died or not.

Fudo's eyes widened as he peered at the two figures beginning to make their way out from the alter, blinking a few times in disbelief at the clearly unidentified oni that he was more than sure had not been with the strange travelers. As Byakuren had neared, the oni had drew his spear as a tingle of fear had shot up his spine. This overwhelming pressure he was feeling was anything but normal, the strength in the other oni's body was far beyond any opponent that he had seen before, and it simply made him wish to cower: but Fudo was no coward. The exile had bared his teeth at Byakuren as the other had stopped, "What kind of trick is this? Is... is this the body you've been carrying with you? What sort of monster is he?!"

Byakuren's eyes narrowed at Fudo, glaring at the spear that he was brandishing. Aggressive? His blood felt hot in his veins as his hand had begun to loosen around Ayumi's, the action alone causing the reptile that Fudo was currently seated on toss its head as a nervous hiss left it, backing away from Byakuren out of instinctive fear. Of course, Fudo had forced his rather nervous mount to settle under control although still holding his spear tightly in his hand, clearly ready to strike Byakuren if the oni had even decided to make a single move.
 

Keylyn May

Simply Invisible
Ayumi followed as Byakuren seemed to lead the way out of the now darkened room and through rooms beyond it. She was silent as she simply allowed her mind to absorb what had happened. She was saddened by the fact that Byakuren didn't seem to remember her, but hope still flickered at the small gestures he made that proved something in him remember her. Perhaps, as Hikano said, time will change that. For now, however, Ayumi set her mind to making sure that Byakuren got back safely. She also was determined to help him with his current state. She wondered what else, or who else, he might have forgotten.

As they emerged from the structure, Ayumi then remembered the riders that had led her and Bi-nasu here. With everything that happened, they had been far from her mind. Now, seeing them still hanging about the entrance, she remembered them. However, Fudo's reaction was one she wished to avoid. She watched as he raised his spear as he had toward Bi-nasu, sucking in a breath at his immediate aggression. She felt Byakuren's hand begin to lessen it's grip upon her own, and she knew she had to settle this tension before blood was indeed spilt. Before, Byakuren had not been one to have aggression shown towards him. While he didn't go out of his way to hurt others, Ayumi wasn't sure what remained of his former self.

Moving slightly, she removed her hand from Byakuren's before resting it on his arm, stepping forward just a bit. "Fudo, please lower the spear before someone gets hurt," she said as she held up her free hand towards him when she saw his reptile mount to act in nervous fear. "This is Byakuren, and yes, he was the body Bi-nasu had been carrying." She looked around at the group that was still gathered, slightly nervous that her words wouldn't get through to them. "Bi-nasu told you we had business with Hikano, did she not?" She motioned to Byakuren. "This was the business we had with the guardian."
 

LONELYRAIN

teller of tall tales
Disbelief crossed Fudo's expression as he listened to Ayumi's words, his eyes traveling back to Byakuren whom was still tense and glaring at him. "So you mean... this is..." His spear lowered and immediately found its place on his back. For centuries, the exiles had protected the guardian who in turn protected the alter of the Demon King. The fact that this body had been revived was enough to make the oni slip from his saddle, landing on the desert sands only to get upon his knees and execute a low bow before Byakuren, the riders behind him also following suit and bowing before Byakuren as Fudo had spoke, "Forgive me for daring to point my spear at you," He raised his head slightly although not looking Byakuren directly in the eyes, "For centuries we have guarded this place, awaiting your return. To finally see the day that once more the Demon King walks among us... it is an honor beyond measure."

Byakuren was a bit taken aback by the sudden bowing, having taking a step back as uncertainty crossed his expression as well as discomfort. In his foggy memory, no one had ever showered him with such reverence and respect as the group of strangers before him, nor had he ever been placed on a pedestal. Even if his memories had been fully intact, this was just off putting entirely, and it felt severely wrong. The oni had opened his mouth to speak, attempting to search for any words that he could possibly say, eventually settling on, "..There is no need to bow. Please, stand." At his words, they had reacted immediately which made the oni feel even more so uncomfortable, although now Fudo had taken the opportunity to speak to both of them, "If you'd allow me, we can take the both of you back to our settlement. This desert is a very unforgiving place to those who are unfamiliar with it." It was a clear attitude change from how he had been before, in fact the oni's crimson eyes were bright as he looked upon both of them, like that of an overeager child.

Byakuren glanced over to Ayumi, then back again as he debated whether or not this would be a good enough idea. I have a feeling he would probably insist if I refuse. The thought rang out clearly in his head, which the oni had released a sigh and nodded his head which made Fudo seem to brighten up even more as the oni had once more climbed atop his mount, waving over another one of his riders to step forward with one of his own before Byakuren shook his head at the action, "There's no need." There was confidence enough in the oni's tone, though it was more due to the fact he certainly didn't trust any of the rather skittish mounts these riders currently were on. The thought of being bucked was not a pleasant one, and besides with his body being filled with such strength, he wanted to tests the limits of it.

Fudo had nodded his head, though now approaching Ayumi, reaching his arm out to once again offer her to ride behind him, though Byakuren was eyeing the two almost immediately he had grabbed onto her hand again and drew her back to himself, much to both his and Fudo's bewilderment as Byakuren could feel a tinge of aggression in his chest. Why am I...? He looked confused for a moment and then had let go of Ayumi, "I.. I'm sorry." His confusion rang out in his tone as well as he stepped away from her, allowing her to continue forward if she'd wish, his gaze now looking down at his hand with a puzzled expression on his face.
 

Keylyn May

Simply Invisible
Ayumi let out a breath that she had been holding, seeing as Fudo seemed to make connections. So, it's true. Byakuren is now the Demon King everyone seems to hold in high revere... It puzzled Ayumi, but for the moment she was simply happy no aggression was brought forth, which meant no injury or bloodshed. To add to it, Ayumi was rather pleased to hear that Fudo was willing to lead them to a settlement that meant more safety than what this desert would offer. She hated the idea of being out in the open like this anyway.

However, as a rider came to help her up, she looked up as she felt Byakuren draw her closer to him. Confusion registered on his gaze clearly and his apology caused a small smile to come to her lips. He really has forgotten... Ayumi watched as Byakuren backed away from her before she reached out and touched the hand he seemed to be staring at. "It's okay," she said softly, trying to ease the confusion that seemed to be flooding him. "You have always been very protective of me," she offered, "You never often trusted others around me."

She looked back at the riders, her gaze shifting between them and Byakuren. "If you'd like, I can answer any questions you might have," she offered him as her amber gaze looked back up at Byakuren once more. "If you're up for it, of course. I don't want to overload you." While she wished to help him, Ayumi didn't want to burden him with so much information at once.
 

LONELYRAIN

teller of tall tales
Her gentle touch was enough to cause Byakuren to look up at her once again, her answer setting to rest some of his confusion, "I.. I see." He was protective of this human, and the desire to protect her fueled such emotions. Nonetheless, the aggression he felt did puzzle him a little bit more, had he been that deeply attached to Ayumi to cause such a strong emotion? And how deep did these emotions go? He couldn't remember much, even as he scratched at the blank in his mind, to no avail it seemed there were no answers there. These emotions, and why he felt them seemed to be lost to him which made him lower his gaze from her amber ones, lost in thought.

His eyes raised to meet her own once more as she offered to answer any questions he may have, which made a sense of relief flood through him. Even if he could not remember, she certainly would be able to fill in the massive blank in his own mind. "Thank you. I fear there is much that I cannot remember," His eyebrows furrowed as he looked aside from her, "..I feel like there is a block in my own mind that I cannot go past. All I can remember is.." He trailed off as he struggled to think, although once more the haze had returned making him put a hand to his head as if in pain for a few seconds, "..I can remember... a mountain, but that is all." At the very least, it seemed like he only vaguely remembered how he had met Ayumi, but it seemed like all the events that followed were lost to the oni. Even the events concerning how he met Ayumi were all a blur, for he could only remember attacking the carriage that had been going through his territory and the rest was foggy. It was frustrating due to the large gap within his own mind, but it seemed like he was at least open to trying to remember.

Byakuren's eyes shifted upward to Fudo whom was still waiting for Ayumi to climb aboard his mount, though a feeling of distrust had settled in the oni's stomach as Fudo had interjected, "Forgive me for interrupting, but we must go quickly. The longer we stay out here in the open, the higher risk of us being discovered." A frown crossed Byakuren's face, but he had stepped away from Ayumi although his gaze had never left her for a single second as Fudo once more was gentle with assisting her to climb up only for the riders to begin riding north. It seemed like the reptilian creatures were swift again on their feet, seemingly leaving Byakuren behind only for the oni to begin to run after them. It didn't take too long for Byakuren to catch up behind the creatures, staying within view as it seemed as if he didn't tire, his body adjusting to the sudden speed with ease. He certainly felt stronger than he had been before, his movements far more fluid and swift, although it certainly was a vast improvement over how he had been before. Even as the trip lengthened into what seemed to be an hour, the oni didn't tire, although sweat had begun to appear upon his body, there was no signs of him being out of breath or even being exhausted from keeping up with the fast pace of the creatures.

Eventually, the rather rough ride would soon come to an end as they had neared what seemed to be the middle of nowhere once again, but Fudo had called out a single strange word in what seemed to be a long lost tongue, and the surrounding area had warped. What had been just empty desert now revealed a makeshift town, built out of tents and surrounding an oasis. There were plenty of these exiled oni whom were wandering about the streets, from elders to children playing upon the desert sands and the reptilian creatures drinking from the oasis itself, the small community seemed healthy and alive. It seemed like the oni living there had taken notice of Fudo and his unusual guests rather quickly since activity within the small town had stopped, with their gazes staring wide eyed and stunned at Byakuren, of which had taken a place near where Fudo and his mount was, though primarily due to Fudo having Ayumi behind him which Byakuren was still sticking closely to her, not desiring to leave her side just yet, especially now as he was being stared at which was making him very uncomfortable once more.
 

Keylyn May

Simply Invisible
Ayumi was glad to see that her offer to answer any questions seemed to resonate well with Byakuren. She listened as he spoke of a block in his mind, and she wondered what that feeling would be like. She tried to imagine losing all memory, practically having a second chance at life, yet she could fathom such a thing. Honestly, the thought scared her a bit. She would forever treasure the memories she had with Byakyren, even if some were not the grandest. To lose all of those...

As he spoke of a mountain, Ayumi realized just how bad his lost memory was. He was unable to even recall how they had met. It was as she had simply never existed in his mind, yet his emotions seemed to remember her all too well. She was trying to figure out the best way to try to explain that subject when Fudo spoke once more, stating that they had to be going. Glancing around Ayumi knew she had better not delay getting to some sort of safety. They were, in fact, in a land raging with war. She allowed Fudo to gently help her upon his mount once again, holding tight to ensure she did not fall of. Yet her gaze continually returned to Byakuren as they're trip began.

To say she was surprised by his transformation would be an understatement. She watched as he seemed to run with tiredless ease, catching up and maintaining pace with the reptiles as if it was a mere easy task. She was truly unsure if the Byakuren before would be able to accomplish such a task, especially in his previous state. Her mind began to wonder if perhaps this was indeed for the better. He was so much more stronger, able to do things now that he had previously been able to simply imagine. He now possessed the strength he had so desperately been seeking, even if he couldn't recall that struggling part of himself.

Ayumi's attention was brought back as she heard the strange tongue Fudo seemes to speak, a town beginning to appear before them. Ayumi watched the town's people as they approached, though much movement and activity had stop once they were close enough. All eyes seemed to be on Byakuren most, though she knew she probably was quiet off as well. She gently shifted to peek out from behind Fudo, her gaze shifting over the oasis that the town surrounded. "This is quite beautiful," she offered him, though she couldn't help the uneasy feeling that crept within her at being some where new once more.
 

LONELYRAIN

teller of tall tales
Fudo had nodded to Ayumi at her comment on the small oasis, "Thank you, though unfortunately this place isn't how it once had been." His words seemed to speak true, as with all the inhabitants currently staring wide-eyed at the two strangers, it was clear that these oni were not in the best shape. The tents seemed ragged, worn down from years of moving from place to place within the desert. Their clothes even seemed ragged, what would be seen as perhaps old garments that had once been fine in their prime now was a shadow of their former selves, and due to the lack of food that could be found in the desert itself, these people were on the leaner side, though the few children that were there seemed to be slightly more well off than the adults, as the food that they could find had been supplied to them before anyone else. Of course, all these oni had black patches of scales upon their skin, and like Fudo their own horns protruded from the sides of their heads were their ears typically would be.

As Fudo proceeded to make way through the sandy pathway that had been formed from the small desert oasis, the gazes of the people seemed almost... hopeful. Their eyes were staring intently at Byakuren though the oni didn't dare to look directly back at them, for the discomfort settling upon him was making him almost nervous. To stare at him with such hope shining in their eyes, it felt like a pressure had been dropped upon him almost immediately, like he was some sort of savior. It seemed like Fudo wasn't ignorant to Byakuren's discomfort as the oni had turned his head to the other, "Please, excuse our behavior. As I said before, all that remain here has been protecting the Demon King's alter for generations. To see all of our efforts pay off, especially after the monsters had come to try and force their way in... well, we are in awe."

Byakuren's eyes narrowed at the mention of monsters, causing the oni to look up at Fudo, "Monsters..?" The other oni had nodded his head, his expression grave as he turned his head, looking toward the other end of the oasis where there seemed to be a gravesite nearby, many mounds having been raised in the sands that each represented a body, "Yes. We have been fighting them for three years now, and each time they come back stronger. Most of our men have already perished, choosing to let themselves die than allow their bodies to come back to fight slaughter us again. Their general..." His hands clenched tightly around the reigns of his mount, his eyes lowering as anger flared to life within them, "Their general is a glutton whom devours any who are unfortunate enough to cross his path. He has been commanding these monsters to constantly attack us, only to drag some of us away in the confusion. It is all the name of his master, he always proclaims. A false Demon King who demands to allow him passage to the alter."

A dull ache settled in Byakuren's mind as the oni had winced, a chill going down his spine. A memory came to him, as clear as any other, as he could remember his father all too well. He could remember the torture the dreaded oni had put him through, the slaughter of countless innocents, the way he had chased a group that he could not remember clearly, and he remembered the way he had died. His father taunting him in his own mind, slaughtering Miho, and forcing him to enjoy every second. And yet, there was a familiar figure through it all... but his mind refused to yield him any answer to who it was. The sudden flood of memories made him feel sick, causing the oni to stop walking which made Fudo stop as well, concern crossing the oni's expression as he looked upon Byakuren's face which now was tense and almost pale. Before Fudo could ask if he was alright, Byakuren had spoken up, "What is this general's name?" The cold edge that settled within the Demon King's tone had caused Fudo's expression to change to confusion, as there was burning hatred now settling within the oni's red eyes, a look that chilled him to the bone.

"H-he calls himself Nori." The answer caused a sensation to rise within Byakuren's chest, though he couldn't tell if he was disappointed. It's not Saburo. Byakuren certainly had a grudge against Saburo, and he was well aware that his father had a chosen few whom acted as both his bodyguards and butchers. He was aware that Izumi was one of them, his brother being forced against his own will. Saburo was another, and now he received another name - Nori. There were two more from what he could vaguely remember, but he had never crossed paths with them yet, but by all means he intended to sooner or later. He felt as if his blood was burning again, but it was no longer a sensation that caused him pain, instead he almost felt like he should welcome the feeling. Yes, this power was his to command, and his blood seemed to be burning, crying out for vengeance.

Byakuren's expression had gradually been restored to a blank slate as he finally had spoken, "I see." A plain, empty response as he had stepped near Fudo, "Is there anywhere we can rest?" He changed the topic immediately, now his red eyes which were calm had turned to Ayumi, now it seemed as if she was his priority for now which Fudo had nodded his head, although the other oni seemed a bit unnerved, slipping off from his mount as Byakuren had reached upward before Fudo could to Ayumi, clearly not allowing the other male to lay his hands on her. Even though he knew that there was clearly no reason for him to act in such a manner, he couldn't stop himself from reacting as an emotion within him desired to only have Ayumi near.
 

Keylyn May

Simply Invisible
Ayumi's sympathy went out to the town as she further observed its inhabitants. Especially when she laid eyes on the children. While they seemed to be in better health than the adults there, she still could see that life was quite hard for them. She had guessed it was due to the wars that were raging on, and Fudo's explanation furthered this thought. She was always saddened by the sight of others in despair and poverty but was even more saddened by children in this state. Her mind went back to when they had found Hanao like this so long ago.

As Byakuren stopped, Ayumi looked back to see that his expression had changed at the mention of monsters and a general. She wondered if he was recalling something, a memory that was locked away but fighting its way back. She wondered how many people he could recall, or if any of the events concerning Osamu and Izumi were still intact. Could he recall Yumi? The thought of her friend being back at the ship made her homesick, but she also feared how to break the news of Byakuren's lost memories to her if he indeed could not remember her either.

When he seemed to relax and looked to her once more, Ayumi smiled softly at his offer to help her down from the serpent mount. She accepted his help and gingerly made her way down, smoothing out her clothing from the ride. "Thank you," she offered Byakuren, looking to the town once more. The thought of having a place to rest, and perhaps clean up a bit, was very appealing. She felt disgusting after the recent events and wondered if she looked as bad as she felt. However, these people had been suffering far more, so she kept her thoughts to herself. She was not about to be selfish at this time, at least on a matter of cleaning up.
 

LONELYRAIN

teller of tall tales
As Byakuren had helped Ayumi down, his eyes turned to Fudo whom was looking upon the two in curiosity almost. Though, it was mostly because even now, the tenderness that Byakuren was showing to Ayumi was odd to Fudo's eyes. Granted, the exiles had abandoned all sense of their prior values since they had been pushed out forcibly by Girou, the Fire nation's Demon Lord long ago. It still went without saying that such tender interactions between an oni and a human were unheard of, especially more so if the two were a mated pair which was even more so bizarre. Regardless, Fudo didn't seem to voice anything on the matter, considering the exiles had been pushed out of the main city with some humans that had previously been under their care, though such humans had been regarded more as pets or slaves; they still had treated the humans with tenderness and compassion. Fudo's gaze had lingered on Ayumi for a few moments more before he looked aside, waving for them to follow. Where had they taken you?

The oni had been searching the expanse of the desert for weeks now searching for a human woman, day and night he would go out on the usual patrols, but not once had he spotted her again. She had vanished under the dark of night during a raid from the dreaded Nori, and he'd not seen a single glimpse of her since, as if she had vanished from existence. So, having the Demon King revived once more, well that was certainly was a blessing. If by chance Byakuren intended to go off and fight the general, perhaps he could find her again... perhaps she was still out there somewhere alive. He prayed that was the case, although he certainly had no romantic attachment to her... she had become an existence that he could not bear to slip from his grasp. Of course, it was the primary reason why he had ordered Ayumi to come near him during their first encounter so that he could look at her closely, to look into her eyes to see if she had been the one he was searching for. But, she was not.

His somber thoughts showed in his expression as he walked across the oasis's grounds, approaching a larger tent that had once been where the humans had taken up space: but considering all of them were gone, abducted as it seemed to be, it was now empty. Fudo had grasped the edge of the tent and gestured to the inside, "Here, forgive me for this not being the grandest of places... but it is all we can offer." The inside of the tent had been cleared out, as the humans that had once been there were gone, so the town had taken to storing their belongings elsewhere to for safe keeping. Inside, there was an empty wooden tub, a scrap of cloth draped across the lip, with a smaller bucket beside it, this being what would be used as a bath. There were quite a few hides on the sandy ground, clearly where the humans once had lain to sleep on. Aside from that, it was an empty living space that did seem quite spacious compared to the other small tents that made up the makeshift town surrounding the oasis.

Byakuren looked about, though he found that there was a feeling of familiarity in his chest. Such a sparse interior made him almost nostalgic, remembering once again the mountain that he had at one time called home. Granted, his memories were still very much foggy, but this clearly wasn't going to bother him much. He gave a nod to Fudo, "Thank you, this is perfectly fine." After all, they could have just left Byakuren and Ayumi to fend for themselves, giving them their own space and privacy was more than enough for him. His answer seemed to make Fudo relieved, the other oni bowing before Byakuren, "I'll leave you two to get comfortable." With that, the other male had left, closing the flap to the tent and leaving Byakuren with Ayumi once again.

Byakuren's eyes shifted down to look at Ayumi, a feeling of unfamiliarity settling within him again as he stepped away from her. Although, he had previously lingered by her side throughout the trip there, it was now that he stepped away - uncertainty in his gaze. After all, even if he felt strong emotions toward her, he couldn't remember her at all, with her being nothing more than a stranger to him that so far shown him nothing but kindness. He had many questions of course, but he wasn't sure where to even start. Maybe it would be best to allow his mind to settle before he allowed himself to ask her question after question. So, the oni had then stepped forward, only to sit upon one of the hides that was on the sandy floor, although his red eyes remained on her, there was curiosity there as he filtered through the many questions within his mind, only to finally speak, "Ayumi..?" Her name once more came from his lips, very hesitantly as he paused before continuing to speak, "Forgive me, but... what were you to me before?" Of course, he had tender emotions toward her, feeling only affection, but he had no clue for the reason why. He was trying to place exactly what she had possibly been, perhaps was it a close friend? But, no these emotions felt stronger than even that and that puzzled him. She was a human after all, the affection he felt for her was strong but his mind hadn't pieced together that perhaps they were indeed mates. Byakuren had his early memories in tact, his upbringing, his childhood, he remembered Yumi and Izumi, he remembered Osamu well enough and his foster mother, Kiyu - he simply couldn't remember Ayumi specifically. Any memory that dealt with her in the picture had been erased, or rather was far too foggy for him to even so much as clearly remember the events.
 

Keylyn May

Simply Invisible
Ayumi followed behind Fudo as he led them to where they would be staying, remaining beside Byakuren as they walked. She took in all she could, especially the tent that they were offered to stay in. It reminded her of previous simple dwellings she had lingered in with their group, though they had of course recently made a ship their home. She watched as Fudo seemed to be relieved that Byakuren stated the dwelling was fine. She guessed that was something they would both have to get used to now that Byakuren was the Demon King.

As Byakuren settled in, Ayumi continued to survey the tent until she heard him speak name. Her name on his voice was something she had already missed, and she breathed lightly at the sound of it now. How she had longed to hear it again when he had passed. Yet his question caused slight heat to rise from her chest to her cheeks, a small smile coming to her lips. "Well..." She moved near to him, settling on a hide also. She twirled her fingers slightly. She knew that she shouldn't be embarrassed by what they were, but it was odd to try to explain to Byakuren himself.

"I am... was your mate," she said softly, her gaze flickering to his to try to read his reaction. Of course, she bet that he remembered such things weren't suppose to be. "Practically everyone was against it, with it being something of taboo, but yet we made it work." Her gaze flicked away again as a soft smile still lingered on her lips at the memories that began to dance before her eyes.

{{ heading to work in case I'm unable to reply quickly }}
 

LONELYRAIN

teller of tall tales
Byakuren's gaze remained upon Ayumi as confusion filtered through him at her reaction to his question. Somehow, he had a feeling that perhaps what they had been before was certainly far more than mere friendship or companionship. Sure enough, her answer confirmed it, but he truly wasn't expecting it. Mates? Just the thought was enough to cause the oni to look at her in disbelief, his eyes growing wide for a few moments as his mind struggled to process what she had just said. However, the soft smile that graced her features told him enough that her words were no mere lies, in fact with her lacking fear around him had proved that point in itself. But... mates? To have broken such an unspoken law just continued to fill the oni with disbelief as he looked away from her, his face showing clear confusion. That went against everything he had been taught, humans were not to taint such precious blood line... but he couldn't deny his emotions that stirred whenever he looked at Ayumi.

"You and I were... I... that means..." His face flooded then with color, the paleness of his skin unable to hide the bright red that his face had become. If they were indeed a mated pair, that meant that he had went through with mating with a human. Had he gone mad? However, it seemed that this was enough to cause a memory to come to mind, although unable to fully remember everything that had occurred, he could remember enough about the carriage ride that he and Ayumi had went on so long ago, though he couldn't remember the reason why they were in a carriage, the memories had caused his face to further ignite with color as his hands came to his face, no longer wishing to remember any more details. He really had done such a thing... he perhaps had indeed lost his mind.

"I-I see." He cleared his throat, unable to now look directly at Ayumi, now beginning to feel utterly embarrassed. Even if his mind now connected together that this human was indeed his lover, it just made the situation a bit more awkward for him. He had forgotten someone that clearly had been so precious to him before he had been revived, and even if his feelings toward her remained, he couldn't picture fully why he had fallen for a human. It didn't make sense in his fractured mind, especially now that there was another individual that was a problem. Yumi, the female oni he could remember clearly still, and the burdensome memories and feelings that he held for her. If he had indeed moved on from her by attaching himself to this human, was his relationship with Yumi repaired? He had a feeling it wasn't.

Not desiring to bring her up as a topic point just yet, Byakuren had struggled to get his blushing under control as he took in a breath and exhaled, his eyebrows furrowing as the situation now fully dawned on him. He had forgotten his mate, even if he still held feelings for her and she seemed to remember everything, surely being forgotten would be painful for her? Guilt settled within his chest as he looked toward her again, hesitantly reaching out a hand and gently resting it upon her own, "I'm sorry." He couldn't suppress the urge to apologize, a thousand apologies wouldn't be enough. Even if his heart did speed up at coming in direct contact with Ayumi, his mind was still as blank as ever as he gazed upon her. He felt confused, but his guilt won out over the utter confusion that had taken over him.
 

Keylyn May

Simply Invisible
There was a piercing feeling in Ayumi's chest at the shock and embarrassment that seemed to display on Byakuren's features. Her smile faded slightly as she glanced away. It would seem that he remembered that indeed it was against this realm to be mated to a human. This answer was clearly something he had not prepared for. Yet, while their beginning had not been the most pleasant, she had had hopes that the answer would stir something lost. But she could see that it hadn't.

She couldn't blame him though. He had been through so much that forgetting her nearly seemed like a small price to pay for having him back. As Byakyren apologized, Ayumi put on another smile, though this one was dull. "Its okay," she said as she drew her knees up to her chest to wrap her arms around them. "Whatever transpired to bring you back has taken much of your memory." She looked over at him, taking in his form before her. "Forgetting me is a price I can deal with if it means having you here again."

Perhaps if she kept telling herself that, she'd come to believe it. However, there was a doubt that echoed in her mind now. What if Byakuren never remembered? What if despite his emotions towards her, he never came fully back to her? Her expression fell at the thought and she quickly glanced away. What if it was too much for him to try to figure out that he simply chose a different path this time? Her heart ached with the doubts that now danced in her thoughts, her hand gripping her dress lightly as she attempted to make them stop. She wanted to say that as long as he was here and happy, she would support Byakuren, but the thought of not getting him back to be by her side was like losing him all over again. While she didn't want to be selfish, Ayumi wasn't sure if she could handle forever being lost to Byakuren.
 

LONELYRAIN

teller of tall tales
Byakuren could sense the pain in her, for her smile was dull. Somehow, he knew that such a smile was not her usual one; far from it. It lacked the light that he felt that would normally be there, and her amber eyes, as beautiful as they were, was indeed void of the light that normally would dance within them when she did genuinely smile. This made the guilt in his heart strengthen as he lowered his gaze, her withdrawing from him as she drew her knees to her chest and her arms wrapped around them. Even if she said that it was okay, that forgetting her was something that she could deal with if he could be alive again... it made him feel hollow. It wasn't alright for him to forget her, and immediately he tried pushing past the block in his mind, to do anything to remember just a little more, but his efforts were fruitless.

Instead, he sat in silence as he too had withdrew his hand back to himself, still not looking directly at Ayumi, only to say quietly, "Do not say that this is okay." His voice almost seemed angry, although such anger was not directed at her, but at himself. Yes, mating to a human was absolutely foolish and he had no clue why he had done such a thing, but he could not deny the feelings still burning bright in his chest for her. If he had become mates with Ayumi, surely it was for a good reason. If his emotions were this strong, he'd be damned if he would allow himself to be content with not remembering her. Even if he was confused, with his memories ripped away from his grasp, he would reclaim them, no matter how long it would take.

The oni then had moved, now settling behind Ayumi as his arms then moved around her, holding her tight to his body. His body, once having been cold with death was now radiating warmth, and even if his scent was still tinged with the smell of death, it was clear enough that life still flowed within him. The strength he exhibited was familiar, but he was being as gentle as ever with her as his head rested in the crook of her neck. Her familiar, sweet smell filled his nose, though such a scent did not stir any memory it was enough to make him know that he had indeed recognize this smell time and time again. He spoke again, his tone strained as he whispered to her, "I want to remember you Ayumi. I want to remember everything, saying that it is fine for me to forget you is... frustrating."

His hands now had moved, grasping hold of her own, his gaze focused on the sight as he murmured, "I still feel emotions, even if memories are evading me." He shifted one of her hands to rest upon his chest, just over his heart where it was beating a quickened, strong beat. It was clear, though his mind had forgotten, his heart still remembered. His expression was serious, although the confusion that had settled there was instead replaced with a serious expression, and yes some frustration. But, it seemed like he was determined to at least try, there was no sign of him giving up. To declare that he wanted to remember her meant that he was not going to allow her to slip easily from his grasp. Byakuren was feeling these emotions for a reason, and now that she had given him an answer that made sense for that reason, he would not allow any excuse for himself. He had always been rather stubborn after all.
 

Keylyn May

Simply Invisible
Ayumi glanced over as she heard Byakuren's voice that seemed almost angry. She remained still as he moved, her amber gaze following him until he ended up behind her. She felt a small blush grace her cheeks as he wrapped his arms around her, bringing her close. She allowed herself to lean into him, to treasure his closeness like she had before. She let out a soft breath as she felt Byakuren lay his head in the crook of her neck, listening as he spoke of how frustrating this was. She watched as he took her hands, cradling them in his own with the gentleness he had always exhibited with her. Yet his body now was filled with so much more strength and a warmth seemed to come off of him.

As he lifted her hand to place it upon his heart, Ayumi stared at where he had placed it. She could feel his heart beneath her hand, beating as fast as her own. She turned to be able to look up at him, her amber gaze hopeful. "I have missed you so much," she admitted in a near whisper as she felt her voice crack. However, she refused to cry now. Her hand softly gripped the fabric of his clothing beneath her hand, her eyes going back to it. "I know you cant remember, but know that losing you before was the worst nightmare I have ever had."
 

LONELYRAIN

teller of tall tales
Byakuren's heart squeezed within his chest, her words stirring a pain deep within him. She had missed him, and he could tell how much his absence had hurt her just by her voice cracking. And yet, the woman he held close to him didn't cry, nor did he want to see her tears. Truly, his bond with her must have been strong for her to be showing such strong emotions, this fact also being that he still felt for her, his emotions proving to him that his attachment to her was not mere passing interest. If his emotions persisted even after reviving, he was even more so determined to remember everything he had lost. It wasn't as if he'd fallen out of love with her, for his heart still was beating fast within his chest as he continued to hold her close.

A nightmare she had described it. Surely, it must have been horrid to see him pass, and he said quietly in response, "I remember... you smiling at me before everything went dark." It was something at least, though he could barely remember what he had said to her, not knowing that he had requested for her to smile one last time before he would pass. He closed his eyes, forcing his mind to remain on the memory before it slipped from his grasp. He could remember her tears clearly, but she had smiled a loving smile at him and told him that she loved him. The words made his heart squeeze tightly within his chest as emotions flared up within him, primarily being the pain that he had felt and the guilt of leaving her behind. Byakuren quickly determined that he never wanted to feel that again, to ever slip from this woman's grasp. Even if he could not remember her, his heart was feeling enough pain to make tears begin to sting at his eyes, but he didn't allow them to fall, not yet.

He cuddled close, unable to bring himself to part from her just yet as his eyes had opened and he looked into her own, a deep sorrow reflecting within his red gaze, "Ayumi, I will never leave you again." The words slipped from his lips, though he didn't quite care if his mind remained empty of any other memory, just remembering the very last fresh one that remained before he'd died was enough to make him respond in such a way. He truly didn't ever want to leave Ayumi behind in such a manner again, not when she still needed him at her side. As long as she was still alive and breathing in this world, never would he part from her, for he didn't want to. His hand had moved to gently rest upon the side of her face, his head drawing close as he placed a gentle kiss upon her cheek. He felt compelled to, whether it was on emotional impulse or not, he did not know. But he wasn't going to fight it, despite his mind telling him how wrong it was.. it didn't matter. If this human was his mate, and he wished to remember everything about her, he would push past the thoughts telling him that such behavior was unnatural.
 

Keylyn May

Simply Invisible
Ayumi blinked up at him as he spoke of her smile she had offered him when he was slipping away. She remembered how hard it had been, how she had forced herself to do it, yet truly it was the right choice if it means being a memory he still possessed. A brighter smile played at her delicate lips as she thought of this, happy to know that she was still somewhere in his shattered memories. She watched as he seemed to be in his mind for a moment as he shut his eyes, and Ayumi wondered if Byakuren was trying to hold to the memory or expand it.

Yet as he looked into her gaze once again, stating that he would never leave her again, Ayumi's own eyes shut as she tried to fight back tears. Her heart fluttered at the words and upon opening her eyes, her gaze was wet with unshed tears though a smile still remained on her lips. As Byakuren raised his hands to her face and leaned in, Ayumi found her eyes shutting again at the feel of his lips on her cheeks. Slowly her own hands raided to rest on the back of his, relishing in the feel of him. She wanted to memorize this feeling, the fear of never feeling it again having harmed her deeply.

Her fingers brushed against the back of Byakuren's hands which seemed so much warmer than before. She blinked up at him once more, nodding softly. "Good," she murmured softly, a small laugh escaping at how such a thing might have sounded. "As hard as it was, I knew I had to smile for you one last time when you asked me too. Now I'm really glad I had."
 

LONELYRAIN

teller of tall tales
Byakuren's hands did not move away, especially when her fingers had brushed against the scarred skin upon the back of his hands. Of course, there were still scars upon his body, remnants from when he had been imprisoned and tortured for three years; though it seemed as if the mirror had healed the hole in his chest where Izumi's blade had pierced him, for there was no scar there. The oni too was relishing her touch, as even if she were akin to a stranger to him, at the same time her touch soothed him but made his heart beat faster all the same. It was a strange and strong sensation, one that he had a feeling that he'd felt before.

He had pulled away long enough so that his lips would not linger far too long upon her cheeks, desiring to look upon her face once more. Her laugh made the oni smile, if only a little as he responded to her words, "I'm glad you had as well, I have a feeling that I've always had enjoyed seeing you smile. I think I just wanted to bring that one last memory with me before I.." He trailed off, not feeling the need to finish the sentence. After all, they both knew he had died, and the thought was enough to make the oni somber. Even if he had done so out of the desire to prevent himself from rampaging like a mindless monster, what had been the cost of his actions? He had lost his memories of Ayumi, and had sent her though the pain of losing him for perhaps forever. She had went through the trouble of reviving him, although he still had no clear idea how, as the oni was trying to make sense of things... it made him wonder, what would have happened if it had failed? What would have happened to her?

The thought made his heart drop, causing Byakuren's face to grow a bit sorrowful, his hands still remaining within her grasp. Seeing the unshed tears in her eyes, to have heard her voice crack was enough to tell him how much agony Ayumi had been in. The oni had turned his head, peering into her amber gaze as if searching them. It was more as if he was trying to force his mind to remember more of her, though his heart certainly stirred at the closeness he had to her, his mind yielded no answers. However, if he could... the Demon King perhaps would have been content to stare into the depths of her gaze forever, for her eyes were lovely. Byakuren soon leaned closer to her, his breath beginning to brush closer to her lips, his own lingering mere inches away from hers. He wanted to remember more, more of her. If his mind could not remember on its own, then so be it. He would have to simply relearn everything, and if by chance he could never remember the old ones, he'd simply have to make new ones.

His red eyes still peered within the depths of her own, finally speaking as his voice was quiet, "Ayumi, can I...?" His hand had moved up to gently touch her cheek, his sharp nails resting lightly upon her skin, treating her with care. But it was odd, Byakuren never felt the need to ask to kiss her before, instead in the past he would simply do so. But, this was different, he had just revived and his mind was not completely whole yet. And more importantly, he was far stronger than he had been before, if he had a tough time keeping his strength in check before, it would be a thousand times more difficult now.
 

Keylyn May

Simply Invisible
Ayumi was glad to see Byakuren smile once again, though the smile didn't last long. His expression seemed to grow somber for a moment, and she wondered what was going on in his mind. Clearly, he was struggling with the loss of his memories and she wished there was more she could do for him. However, all she could offer him was being here and answering any questions he may have. While she wished so much more could be done, she knew she would have to settle with how this was for the time being. Surely things would grow better with the passing of time. Besides, now she was not so worried about him not returning to her. He had spoken the words himself that he would not be leaving her again. That was something she was going to hold to.

As Byakuren began to lean closer to her, Ayumi felt her breathing hitch lightly. His lips were mere inches from her own, and she could feel his breath gently brushing against them. She remained still though a shiver ran up her spine at having him so close once more. Her amber gaze held his crimson as he returned it as she felt his hand once more find her cheek. At his question a small, almost mischievous, smile played at her lips as she bit down on her lower lip lightly. Yet inside her chest, her heart was beating wildly at having him so close once again. She gave a gentle nod to him.

"If that is what you want," she whispered softly. While she wanted him to kiss her, she would not rush this. She had an idea of how muddled his mind was right now, and she didn't want to rush anything and make him feel all the more uncomfortable. However, if he wished to kiss her, then she also wasn't going to stop him. In recent times they had been together before his passing, Byakuren had been very careful about getting close to her due to his corrupt arm. She missed having him close, sharing the bond that they had formed through everything. Perhaps now that could be different.
 

LONELYRAIN

teller of tall tales
Upon getting her permission with her whispering softly to him, Byakuren had hesitated for a few seconds as if some part of him was holding himself back. It wasn't too long ago after all that he had kept a careful distance from her out of the urge to want to protect her from himself, and he wasn't sure about his current strength either. Byakuren was well aware that he was far stronger than before, and a tinge of fear had settled deep within him at that thought. He didn't want to hurt her on accident... but he reasoned in his mind if he'd not hurt her before, then he certainly wasn't going to hurt her now if he remained careful. He already was being as careful as possible with her anyways, and so the oni had leaned his head forward and gently pressed his lips against hers.

There was a surge of familiarity though went through him as his lips had gently pressed against hers, almost hesitantly. He knew this sensation, he could remember doing this plenty of times before to her... but when, he could not remember. But, what his mind failed to remember, his body and heart made up for it. Byakuren's kiss at first remained as gentle as possible, as the oni was trying to keep in mind not to move too fast or suddenly to risk hurting her. His lips were barely putting pressure upon her own, light and soft they were for the first few moments... but then his hand that rested upon her cheek had moved to her hair, his fingers curling within the brunette locks as his kiss became more eager. Ah, this sensation that was running through him was a sweet pleasure, though he was startled at the intensity of it, as if he had been starved from such a sensation. How long had it been since he'd been so close to her? He couldn't even remember that, but he had a feeling it had been so very long.

His free arm had moved her body to turn to him, arm deftly moving her upon his lap as his hand had locked within her hair, his kisses becoming more eager, more excited. Her sweet scent was filling his nose, putting his mind into a pleasurable haze, his heart leaping within his chest as the familiarity of the moment was enough to take his breath away. Longing filled him from head to toe as he had dared for the first time in a long while to deepen the kiss they were sharing, a soft rumble settling within his chest in an ever familiar growl - a clear sign he was getting too wrapped up within the sensations filling him. Byakuren missed this closeness, whether he realized it or not, to be able to freely touch Ayumi without some fear was exhilarating. Only for a moment had his lips had part from hers, only to bring breath back within his lungs and proceed to kiss her once again, his teeth gently catching her bottom lip and softly nibbling.
 

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