Chapter Seven: Arachnophobia

     My eyelids fluttered open to the sight of an old wooden ceiling. So we actually made it to the cabin... I thought to myself. I tried sitting up, but the sore feeling radiated from my shoulders, and I fell back down on the bed. I heard the door creak open, and quickly shut my eyes to make it appear I was still out.

"Who'd you say she was exactly, Mazoku?" I recognized Giriko's voice.

"S-She's Lord Death's granddaughter, so the offspring of Death The Kid. She's really nice..." I wanted to smile at Mazoku's soft voice, but refrained.

"Damn...I sort of feel bad for damaging someone so young, even though her father is a major pain in my ass." Giriko spat back.

"You think mother will like her? Her soul looks absolutely divine..." Mazoku cooed, placing a hand on my face.

"Since she's half witch, maybe Arachne will take a liking to her." I heard Giriko leave the room, so I decided to 'wake up'.

     I slowly opened my eyes, allowing them to drink in the filtered sunlight through the window.

"Mistress Mizuki! You're awake!" I felt Mazoku throw himself onto me, trying his best not to hurt my wounds.

"Y-Yeah. What time is it, Mazoku?" I asked, resting a hand on his head.

"It's almost 3, why do you ask?" I glanced over to Apsel, who was resting coolly on the door frame.

"We need to head back, that's why. I have some studying to do." I got out of bed with the help of Mazoku, and Apsel just glared at me from the door.

     I walked in and took a seat at the small kitchen table. Apsel sat next to me, with an arm around my shoulders. He was acting quite odd... We sat at the table for about 10 more minutes while Giriko profusely apologized about the incident that took place just a few hours ago. Apsel lead me outside with a hand around my waist, which made me uncomfortable but I just went with it. We were discussing what to tell my parents when Mazoku came running out the front door.

"Mistress Mizuki! Wait! You'll come back again, won't you?" I felt his hazel eyes bore straight through me.

"Yeah, of course." I smiled, embracing him. 

"It was nice meeting you two. Again, I apologize for the accident with your weapon, Apsel." Giriko shook hands with my meister, and then stepped back.

     I summoned Ryu, and Apsel and I headed off for Death City.

*Time Skip*

     Apsel and I landed just in front of the DWMA. I told him I had some studying to do, and that I'd talk to him later. Walking in to the Academy, I couldn't get over how horrifically quiet the halls were, without their usual inhabitants of people. My heels squeaked ever so often, them being the only sound in the halls. I kept walking until I reached the library, pushing open one of the large doors which caused my cuts to hurt.

     The dim lights illuminated the empty library, which was the perfect setting for reading. I placed my bag down on a table near the librarian's counter, and brought out the book I had found yesterday night. "Legend of the Kishin: The source of all madness?" I wasn't sure why this book had intrigued me so much, but I supposed all questions would soon be answered. I opened the book, letting its old paper scent reach my nose. Sneezing, I flipped to the first chapter. "Chapter One: What is a Kishin?" 

Kishin (鬼神, kishin; Literally meaning "Demon God") are beings created as the final result of consuming an unimaginable amount of pure souls. The process of becoming a kishin seems to revolve around the over-hunting and consumption of pure human souls. Only Demon Weapons, however , can consume souls, requiring meisters to find a way in harnessing the Demon Weapon's capability on their own. Those who undergo this process lose their sanity in their progress.

     "Wow...This is a lot of information to wrap my head around..." I thought aloud to myself, ogling at the pages before me.

Arachnophobia sought to harness the first Kishin's madness, attempting to bring the world to its knees before them and their newfound pawn, Asura. This failed, however, when the Death Weapon Meister Academy's 3 top weapon and meister teams, defeated Asura in combat, ridding the world of pulsating madness. Although madness did still exist, its spreading was greatly reduced at Asura's defeat.

"Arachnophobia? Like... Arachne? Mazoku's mother?" I scratched my head, getting up from my table and walking to the librarian's counter.

"Hmmm, yes? May I help you young lass?" The librarian spoke, pushing his glasses up.

"Give me any book you have regarding the organization Arachnophobia." I stated, resting my arms on the counter.

"Right away, miss. I'll see what I can find." He walked into the dark room behind the counter, disappearing with soft footsteps.

     I tapped my fingers on the counter, admiring the shear silence of the library. I made plans with myself to stop by the farmers market after I was done here so I could make myself something once I'm home. Just as I was done thinking about that, the librarian came walking slowly out of the room.

"I have found one book that matches your description. May I see your ID?" I handed the card over, to which the librarian responded, 

"I'm sorry, Mizuki. This is a book for 4 star meisters and members of Lord Death The Kid's circle. I cannot let you check this book out."

"Flip the card over, sir. I'm sure you'll find the authorization you seek." I brushed my hair aside, staring at him.

     He flipped the back of my ID over, revealing the Death Family Crest. The librarian abundantly apologized, checking me out the book and returning to whatever it is librarian's do alone. I sat back down at my table, pushing aside the Kishin book and opening the one titled, "Arachnophobia, a centuries old menace". This book was dustier than the other one, surprisingly. So I carefully brushed the pages off, and began reading.

Arachnophobia is a massive cult-like organization founded by the brazen heretic witch, Arachne Gorgon. A powerful organization, Arachnophobia aims to be a world leading power with intentions of overthrowing The DWMA.

     My eyes widened and I gasped. To overthrow the DWMA? A-And this woman is supposed to be Mazoku's mother?! Thoughts aside, I continued reading.

At some point during the Grim Times, Arachne founded Arachnophobia with what seemed to be the sole purpose of becoming the "Mother Of All". With its establishment, Arachne began developing Demon Tools, some in which were specialized in brainwashing. Eventually she aligned with Eibon. With the use of her resources & research combined with Eibon's own research & created BREW. However, Arachne sought the Demon Tool herself and betrayed Eibon, rigging the Lost Island to explode and even lured Death in hopes of the explosion killing him. She also stole the Book of Eibon and created the Demon Weapon race, mass producing them. After Arachne's failed attempt to kill Death, they would eventually battle. Gravely injured, Arachne split her soul into small spiders and went into hiding for 8 centuries. It was at this time Mosquito became Head of Arachnophobia and expanded its network while Giriko waited in Loew Village for her return, using his enchanting skills to implant his memories into his children.

     Overwhelmed, I threw both books in my bag and darted out of the library, making my way for the Academy entrance. Stopping just outside the main doors, I noticed the grinning sun was drooling, and it was oddly hot outside. I thanked myself for the decision to wear shorts, and I summoned Ryu, heading off towards the market.

     Even though it was getting hotter outside and later in the day, the market was still bustling with citizens. I waved at some who recognized me from the party a couple nights ago, and began choosing what to buy. The sun continued to beat down, and I finally made the decision to tie my sweaty hair up in a ponytail. I picked out some cucumbers and watermelons, and tried to find the strawberry stand.

"Heya, heya, lady! Howsa 'bout you buy some fresh strawberries? They're farmed fresh from Spain!" The slightly pudgy man called at me from behind his stand, fanning himself.

"Sure!" I smiled, "8 pounds, please." I opened my bag to make sure I still had room.

"Oh boy, someone's got an appetite. Comin' right up, miss!" The man happily obliged to my order, bagging up the strawberries.

     I bought a case of 6 milks, carrying them in hand as I just walked back home to Gallows Manor. All of the windows were shut now, and the curtains lay still. I walked into the kitchen to start organizing my food, when I noticed an eerie silence in the house.

"Mom? Dad? Asmund? Liz, Patty?" I called out, my voice only echoing.

     I shrugged their absences off, figuring they were out doing important parent things. I lifted my hand, twirling my fingers towards the TV. I clicked it on with my magick, and turned it to the radio-TV stations, where Rise Against was currently playing their song, The Black Market. I began setting the cucumbers in Tupperware, along with the strawberries and wrapping the watermelon.

     My mother walked in shortly after I decided to sit down on the couch and watch re-runs of Doctor Who. I heard her coughing, which caused my head to turn around and see why.

"Hey, mom, you alright?" I asked, pausing the TV, which got me a perfect frame of the weeping angels surrounding the T.A.R.D.I.S.

"Y-Yeah, Mizuki. I'm fine. Just a little sick, that's all. Do we have any fruit?" She asked, placing a hand on her round stomach.

"Yeah, in fact I just bought so-"

"GREAT! Where is it?" She interrupted me, bursting into the kitchen.

"The fridge, mom..." I trailed off, switching the TV off and heading upstairs to my room.

     I closed my room door, locking it behind me. I tossed my bag onto my bed, letting it bounce under the weight of the two books inside. I opened my window that was facing the forest, and slung the curtains aside. The sun was setting, the temperature finally declining with it. I climbed on top of the window pane, sitting and allowing my legs to swing against the side of the manor. I smiled gracefully at the cool breeze embracing my ponytail, twisting it ever so lightly at the ends.

     My eyes were drinking in the lovely sunset backdrop, when I felt a pain thrust through my shoulders. My body fell from my third story window, onto the cold cement below. I cringed out loud as my arm was broken awkwardly, my body pinning it below me. I blacked out, leaving nobody any clues as to what had happened.

*Time Skip*

"Awaken, my child. Your time has not yet arrived. Learn to control the black blood, and it will do you nothing but good." 

     I heard a voice whisper to me as my body jolted awake, standing up in an instant. My arm wasn't broken anymore, and all of my cuts had healed. Control the black blood... played over and over in my head. I guess I had some new extracurricular activities on my list now... I walked back inside the manor, playing it off that nothing had just happened.


The End

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