Chapter Three: The Oncoming Storm

     I winced lightly as the sun shone through my curtains, planting a beam right over my face. I rolled over to glance at my clock, and noticed it was 9:30 am. 9:30?! Classes started almost 3 hours ago! I bolted up out of my bed and ran downstairs, my hair obscuring my still blurring vision, and I tumbled down the last few steps.

"Hey, you should be more careful." Asmund helped me up from the floor.

"W-What're you doing here, Asmund? Aren't you supposed to be with my mother at all times?" I asked curiously, brushing the hair out of my eyes.

"She demanded I be the one to look over you. Until this storm passes, that is. Also, the party for today has been rescheduled until tomorrow..." He leaped over the back of the couch, plopping himself down.

     My curiosity grew more and more with each passing silent minute that hung between us. I was in the kitchen grabbing some breakfast when my ears picked up on a distant rumble.

"Hey, Asmund, you hear that?" I wrinkled my nose, walking over to the curtains and looking around.

"Hear what, Mizuki?" He called from the living room, switching on the TV and watching Supernatural.

"Never mind... hey, can I go fix up the yard from yesterday? I feel bad about leaving it like that." I stuffed a couple cookies in my mouth and stood behind the couch.

"Yeah, sure whatever. Just don- DAMMIT HANNAH BACK OFF CASTIEL!" Asmund shot forward in his seat, making derogatory remarks at the show.

     I made my way back upstairs to change, a secret motive buried in my thoughts. I know I heard thunder. I'm just going to go see what it was... no big deal, I'll be back before he knows it. I threw open my wardrobe doors, waltzing inside. I needed something that covered my skin from branches and poison ivy, but I couldn't afford heavy clothing.

     After going between multiple outfit ideas, I tossed on my bed a pair of dark jeans, a Led Zeppelin shirt, and I carried over a pair of maroon combat boots. I took off the tank top I was wearing, and noticed a change in my Lines of Sanzu. The top one seemed a tad bit longer than the others, but I shrugged it off and continued changing. I stared myself down in the mirror, palms flat on the dresser top.

"No big deal, Mizuki. Just a quick peep at what's causing the storm. You'll be back before mom and dad even suspect a thing." I pep talked myself, braiding my hair, allowing it to rest on my right shoulder.

     Asmund was still watching his show, so I hastily thought of a believable lie.

"Hey, Asmund. I'm going to go into town for some groceries and stop by the library. That cool?" I tossed a book bag over my shoulder for emphasis.

"Yeah, just don't stay out too long. I could get in trouble." Asmund turned up the TV, waving me off.

     I exited Gallows Manor, making my way into the warm afternoon. 

*Time Skip*

    You could tell something was coming by how heavy the air was. Granted, I did live in the desert, but it was never this humid or sticky.  I wiped my forehead of sweat as my combat boots lumbered through the sandy terrain. If only I could summon a skateboard like my parents or wings like my mom... I squinted my eyes as the forest came into better view, the thunderous storm clouds looming above the trees.

     I picked up the pace to where I now was surrounded by large bur oak trees and sycamores. My eyes stared up at the sky, the offsetting clouds laying still. I transformed my arm into the claymore blade, and began walking deeper in the forest. My legs brought me forwards as my brain worked in reverse, playing back memories of me playing in this forest as a child. From my mother bringing me here on her skateboard Eoten, to the trivial things like scraping my knee on a rock.

     I snapped back to reality and halted expeditiously when I heard the crunching of leaves nearby. I readied the blade that was my arm, and scanned the area. My eyes fixated on this area of bushes and flowers that were crumpled and dead, but bending inwards. I cautiously walked inside the area, being greeted with a boy not too much older than myself. He was sitting cross-legged on the grass.

"" The boy hoarsely spoke.

"M-My name is Mistress Mizuki, daughter of Death, and I demand to know who you are as well..." I took a few steps closer as the boy stood, swaying.

"Mazoku. Why? Why have you come out here? You're the daughter of Lord Death's son!" The boy now identified as Mazoku spun around, his black hair swaying.

"I w-wanted to see why there were storm clouds that didn't seem to move. I'm not here to hurt you, Mazoku." I put my left hand out in a sign of calmness.

"Then why the hell is your arm a weapon? You're a weapon! Weapons make me anxious..." Mazoku brought his hands to his face, his eyes wide.

     I molded my skin back to its original look and function of my arm. Mazoku lowered his hands, and I walked closer to him. Silence hung in the air as I inspected the boy. His frame reminded me a lot of Apsel, just more built. The black hair of his was choppy, spiking out the sides at awkward angles. His eyes were a flawless shade of hazel, but the beauty was hindered by a feeling of panic.

"Why don't you come back with me to Death City? I'm sure my fath-"

"No! I can never go there!" Mazoku cried, grabbing his head in a fit of anxiety.

     I took his hand in an attempt to calm him. His brow was scrunched and his soul was unstable. This soul...I've never read something like this... I noticed where we were standing, the clouds above us had parted slightly. The sun was visible behind my newfound  friend, and I knew I was going to be in hot water with my parents.

"Listen, Mazoku. There's a cabin southeast of here. It's my old playhouse. I'll see you tomorrow, I have to get back to my parents." I dropped his head and began running, my white hair sticky with sweat.

*Time Skip*

     Panting heavily, I made it to Gallows Manor. I had made an emergency stop to the farmers market so my excuse from earlier would seem believable. I quietly entered my house, shutting the door behind me.

"And where in deaths name have YOU been?!" My mother screamed, pinning me against the door with her magick.

"I-I we-went to the farmers m-market..." I choked, my bag hitting the floor.

"For 3 hours?! Whose to say you weren't other places?!" She continued screaming, but loosened the magick slightly.

"I stopped by the library too. If I'm going to be locked inside my house for unknown reasons, I'm going to need entertainment." My mother undid the magick, and I threw on my bag, annoyed.

     I trotted upstairs, leaving my mother in front of the door. I heard it open, followed by maniacal laughter, signaling my father was home. I changed into some yoga pants and a solid colour shirt, throwing myself down on the bed. Mazoku's face flashed through my head multiple times, and how upset he had been at who I said I was. He knew my father, and was utterly displeased at the fact I was a weapon. My ears pulled me back from my deep thought session as a voice called at me.

"Mizuki! I recommend going to bed early tonight! We've got plans for you tomorrow!" My father called in a sing-song tone.

"Yeah! We'll have lots of fuuunnnn~!" Patty cried back, laughing.

     I went to draw the curtains from my room, when my one golden and one grey eye both widened. The clouds above the forest had diminished some, and weren't as threatening. I smiled, once again thinking of Mazoku. My mind switched to the subject of what my father had just called out to me. What did he mean plans? Why did Patty say we were going to have fun. Then it dawned on me...Something Asmund had said to me this morning. "Oh and uh, the party that was tonight has been rescheduled for tomorrow." 

     Tomorrow wasn't just the anniversary party for the DWMA. No, it was also my birthday.


The End

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