The Red Gryphon Academy is a school for mages and normal people alike. Alice Hawthorne is one of their talented students, but she, as well as those closest to her, know that she also has a hidden power inside her. And to top it off, she is a Rare-Blood, a being with the ability to see and communicate with spirits and sense auras. When the Academy is somehow transported to the dark side of the world called the Netherworld, Alice decides to trust the hidden powers that had once hurt her as a child

The night was black and bleak in the Netherworld, and there was no moon to light the way through the road that went through a lonely, silent, neighborhood of stores and shops that had been shut down. The only source of light were from the street lamps, flickering in the darkness. That wasn't any help for sight.

But it was help enough for blending into shadows.

Alice stood in the darkness, listening hard. There was still something else lurking in the shadows.

Jeez. It just seemed like the demons were coming up everywhere in the Netherworld. And by now, she'd hunted down three. Judging by the aura that floated around her, Alice could tell that there were seven more demons still lurking around.

She raised her left hand; pale blue light surrounded it, showing the color of her aura. Everyone has an aura, and their own color to it. Ever her brother Oswald's pet goat.

The aura on her hand suddenly flashed and disappeared with her hand. No, not disappeared. Just that the aura had turned black and in the darkness, that was hard to see. Alice looked around, ready to chase whatever demon came out into the street with flickering lights.

But who burst out of nowhere, taking her by surprise, was a girl, with long brown hair, a ragged dress with its pattern worn off, running barefoot across the road. Running from something.

And then what she was waiting for appeared. A demon.

"Oh, great," she muttered, and dashed after the demon, following closely right behind its back. That'll take a while for the demon to notice her; demons who were below Level 5 were usually intent on prey than their own danger.

Suddenly, the demon vanished out in front of her. Alice caught her breath and sprang towards the shadow to her left, whispering, "Shadow Dart!" The rite turned her body into nothing and lasted for five seconds, which was enough to put her out of sight from either the demon or the girl.

The girl ran straight into the demon, and fell backwards against the worn road below her.

"Trying to run, little girl?" said the demon. Apart from the rock-like skin it had, it was huge, about two meters in height. Out of his large mouth grew fangs, huge and sharp like knives. One bite would gouge out the girl's entire torso and head, complete with her arms. In his previous life as a human, he must have been a muscular fellow. It was a demon because it was a creature of the Netherworld.

Alice grimaced, as she observed from the darkness.

The girl gritted her teeth.

“Would you like to be spared?” asked the demon. “I'll let you go, as long as you do something for me.”

The girl stared. Alice frowned; that was not going to happen - was it? But if the demon really meant it, then - it's okay?

But the bad part would be what he would want her to do. Because it's usually one that would put the victim's life back into danger.

Don't accept it, just don't, Alice thought.

“S-so what do you want me to do?” the girl asked.

The girl had decided to give it a chance.

The demon looked at the girl, as if thinking, then Alice's sharp ears caught a soft cold laugh. “Fool, did you think I mean it? Your blood and your flesh is enough to satisfy me of anything, little girl!"

The girl turned pale and winced. But what the demon said next startled Alice: "Unfortunately for me, I am under my master's orders: to capture you alive."

Alright, that's it, she thought. She skidded out and stopped in front of the girl before raising her hand and sending a flash of white light that hit the demon in the face, making it stumble backwards.

The demon staggered backwards in surprise, its eyes blinded by the attack.

Alice glanced at the girl, who stared right back at her. Then she spoke in a soft but scared voice, "Wh-what are you?"

Alice decided between answering or not answering. And decided.

“I'm Alice. And a mage.”

“You don't need to give me your name right now,” the girl shot at her. “All I needed to know was what what you are!”

Alice frowned. There she went again giving her name to every random stranger she met. "You're right, I have this habit of dropping my name everywhere, it seems."

By now, the demon had managed to balance himself. He tried to focus on Alice. “You . . . how dare you interfere! This is between me and my dinner.”

“No one fights alone with dinner, just eat it,” said Alice. One of Oswald's quotes when a demon used the word "dinner" for their target human.

That seemed to have enraged the demon, and it hunched over and charged at them.

But it was good, if the demon was enraged; that gave her the ability to see it attack her at its full power, and she could know its limits. Though this demon must be one of those common Level 1 minors: the shadows of the humans who recently died.

Alice grabbed the girl, swung her over her shoulder, and they sprang aside out of the demon's way at the last second and past it to get behind it, barely touching its side as they went. 

"Hey - let me go!" the girl yelled, kicking. "You're not a guy, are you?"

Alice decided not to speak anymore, but she put the girl down and shoved her behind her. Her attention was set on the demon, who managed to brake itself hard, and turned around. Then it screamed.

In the direction of the scream - their direction - the ground began to tear up.

Alice winced; its ability was to use shock waves, to shake the ground and tear it up like an earthquake. Demons had all sorts of added abilities to their bodies right after their human bodies died. This was the only time when it would become confusing to anyone hunting demons.

A loose piece of rock flew and hit the girl in her head.

With a cry, the girl caught her forehead, blood gushing from her wound. That made Alice angry.

“Rite: Wind Sickle!” she yelled. There was a powerful rush of wind similar to the sound wave, and scratches appeared on the ground as the demon screamed from multiple cuts that slashed on its body. Black blood bled from the deep cuts as it collapsed.

It was still alive, though. It struggled, then started to gasp: “Master . . . help us . . . Mas . . . ter . . .”

“Any demon below Level-3 would never be able to withstand just one Rite,” said Alice, turning a cold gaze towards the demon. “You're lucky to be able to do that.” She raised her hand. “Your existence ends here. Vanquish.

The demon gasped, choked, and a white flame erupted from the demon's wounds. The demon collapsed, as the fire engulfed him in a huge flame and died, the fire turning to black ash that flew up towards the sky.

Alice turned to the girl, kneeling beside her to check the wound on the girl's head. “Are you okay?”

The girl stared at the black ash, then gasped. She clung hard to Alice as she started to panic. "I - I can't see . . . I can't see clearly . . . my vision . . . I can't . . ."

She fainted.

The End

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