Chaos & Kuryo (novel 3) Chapter 19 Part 2

Chaos POV

There was a hissing noise, and Kuryo’s body began to disintegrate into a fine dust. The god-slayer opened her mouth, gawking and choking. “How-” she seemed to try and collect herself. “See- you’re a god-slayer.”

“Kuryo wasn’t a god,” I bit back. “He was my friend!” And lover. But close person first and foremost. Sex was just none of her business.

She took another deep breath. Then her eyes zeroed in on me. “Work with me. I will help you get what you want.”

“I want to fix things by stopping you!” I snapped. “Not making things worse-”

“You slayed an entire pantheon! We are no different-”

“That was an accident!” I shrieked. “I’m here to fix that!”

She laughed. “You think you can just bring the gods back to life? Like this?” and she turned, slashing her sword upon one of the hanging bodies. It sliced right through the midriff as I choked on my breath. The body writhed limply, but didn’t move. Again, there was no bleeding. The god-slayer turned to me. “See? They’re no better than snakes, or worms. You can cut them into so many pieces and yet they don’t quite die, unless-” she pointed her sword at me. “You kill them. You’re the god slayer here.”

“Me?” I was baffled! “How-”

“You’re Chaos,” she said sharply. “Aren’t you? Child of the Grim Reaper and Life?”

Oh. Ohhh. Oh. Hereditary powers and stuff. I wanted to smack my forehead, I felt so stupid. Right. Me, killing things. Because grim reaper powers. And yet – could I bring things back to life?

“You’re going to help me,” she said, marching over to another body. With a swing she began hacking at it, sending bits flying in all directions.

“Stop!” I yelled.

She turned to face me, arms extended. “I will! If you agree to help me!”

“NO-”

She hacked at another body. I screamed.

“Tell me what you want!” she shouted, slashing at yet another unfortunate body. I ran to her – and was jerked back.

“GO!” shouted a voice in my head as invisible hands wrestled me around and shoved me towards the door.

Kuryo? That was – okay, I can take a hint. I ran for the door, yanking at the thing.

“It won’t let you out,” called over the god slayer. “You’re stuck.”

I spun, plastering my back to the door. She was slowly advancing on me. “Even if you kill me, you can’t get out.”

Fuck this, I thought. I flicked out my swords, ready to chop her to little itty bitty bits- when the door burst open behind me.

RUN! A voice shouted in my head.

I caught a glimpse of pure horror and anger on the godslayers’ face (which was priceless, by the way) before running and bolting for it.

I could almost see a blue crow flying ahead of me as I ran down the halls. I got halfway through there before I realized I wasn’t running in there anymore. I was in a haze of darkness, being pulled away and through the world.

Oh hey, I knew this feeling. Kuryo?

Hey, a voice answered in my head. Just stay still.

Things slipped by, and it felt like I fell unconscious because, in a blip!, I was suddenly awake in a way I hadn’t been for some time. I felt super awake. Aware. Alert. All that, and more.

We were before what looked like the strangest building I’d ever seen. It was part cathedral, part castle, and part modern mansion. It had spired juttign out and crystal-esque windows and a large gate that we were standing before. And yet there were patches missing in the stones, showing through to wooden foundations. Was that even how houses were built? I wasn’t sure – And took a minute to look around.

We were on a bit of lawn, and that was it. The lawn literally dropped off into space. Well that – that was a unique way to set yourself aside from the neighbors?

I looked around. This building, us, we were just suspended in space. I saw, far away, satellites and planets and stars and even a galaxy. Super cool but-

“Welcome to the Academy,” said Kuryo from my side.

I yelled, jumping back. Then I lunged and tried to hug him. I slipped straight through and fell flat on my face in the grass. I tasted plastic. The lawn wasn’t real? Huh.

Scrambling up, I faced Kuryo. “You’re alive! I mean-” I took another look. He was semi transparent, wearing his usual blue sweatshirt and jeans, but he looked far more miserable than usual. “You’re here?” I said hopefully.

“I am here,” he said grimly. “But here is not where I’d want to be.”

I looked to the building. “What is this?”

“The Academy,” he nodded at the shabby building. “This is it.”

“It’s a building?” I was confused, okay? “I thought it was – a person?”

He gave me a look. “It’s an institution. It is both people and a location.”

Pow, that was the sound of part of my brain struggling to keep up with this. Kuryo put a hand on my shoulder. Then another on my other. He looked me squarely in the eyes. “We need to get Charr back. She is still alive, and the other Charrs- they are going to give birth to the Trinity.”

“The Trinity?”

“Yes. So we have to-” He took a deep breath and glanced at the building. “Negotiate.”

“Negotiate?”

He gave me a look that probably said ‘stop just repeating everything I say’. “Yes.”

“I could have taken her. The godslayer. I’m the child of the grim reaper- I can kill things!”

He frowned, as if he’d already known that. “You can’t kill her,” he said slowly. “She’s just like the academy. An institution. If you cut down one limb, another will regrow.”

I blanked. “She was a person. I saw her.”

“But she was part of an institution. I know this. So-”

Something moved. We both turned and watched as an impressive door swung open – and Charr walked out. The un-pregnant Charr. Our Charr, dressed in her usual plain black shirt and black jeans and thick boots.

Kuryo gawked, squeezing my shoulder with one hand. The other slid to hang by his side. “We need to-” and he seemed lost for words.

I drew myself up. “I’ve got this.” I did. I was a god-slayer! I was the Grim Reaper’s child! I-

The gate swung open sideways, sliding out of the way. Charr smirked haughtily in a way that just wasn’t ‘her’. “Welcome, world weaver,” she said nastily. Then, with a tilt of the head at me she added “and god slayer.”

We looked at each other. I guess everyone’s getting the fancy titles, then?

Charr gestured in a wide sweep of the arm. “Come, enter,” she said, and it sounded almost sensual, in a not right kind of way.

I looked to Kuryo, but he was glaring at Charr. Squaring his shoulders, he marched on towards her. I followed, and Charr smirked as we drew to her side. The gate shut with a clang, without me having even seen it shut.

Chaos & Kuryo (Novel 3) Chapter 5 Part 1

Kuryo’s POV

“So?” the silver being that was the Academy was still before me, tentacles wrapped about my waist and elbow propped painfully on my shoulder. I didn’t notice the pain too much though. I was more worried about how well I was getting along with this Academy.

“What are you thinking?” It whined, cocking its head to the side to peer at me.

I grinned half-heartedly. “Can’t you tell?” I wasn’t sure what I was thinking, myself. It was a confused jumble of emotions.

“I want a friend,” announced the Academy petulantly. “I’ve never had one. Will you be my friend?” But there was a flutter in the matter above us. It didn’t just like me, it ‘liked’ me. It had a crush on me.

Uhhhh – that revelation was weird. The Academy? Me? Wha-at?

“Well?” the academy insisted.

I avoided the question by stating the obvious. “You like me.”

A ridiculous blush came over the translucent skin, burning bright red over it. In answer, the Academy jumped off of me and up, crawling up the umbilical chord and swinging away into the darkness.

It was so fast that I just hung there and gaped. “Did I – say something?” I asked out into the darkness as I began to collect my wits. But there was no answer. Wow. Geez. Talk about childish.

“I am not childish!” shrieked down a pitched voice. I cringed, expecting it to throw something. But nothing. Nothing moved, nothing spoke.

“Sorry?” I ventured. But this time there was no answer. So I waited. I waited so long that my thoughts drifted to other things. Then my thoughts drifted, drifted, until I was thinking in the mind of the Academy, watching myself from above. Thinking of how cute I was. How strange and powerful – but caught now! There to play with-

I jolted back into myself, realizing where I had been.

“Oups,” chuckled the voice above me. I looked up, and that pale face was grinning down at me.

“How did I get up there?” I asked. But I knew, if I stopped to think about it. We were merging. Slowly, like molasses in cold water, but eventually the result would be homogenous –

“You just came on up,” said the Academy cheerfully. “Maybe you missed me.”

Was that their version of flirting? An idea struck me – but I refused to actually think it. I let the idea pass away so that it wouldn’t be loud in my mind.

“Am I going to die?” I asked, trying to keep my voice cheerful.

The Academy tilted their head to the side. Long strands of their hair tickled my face. “You’re going to become part of me. We’re going to be the same.”

“Then you’ll be all alone again,” I said, not even sure myself where I was going with this. My thought had been so brief that it wasn’t a wholly formed idea yet.

The face froze, crumbled, then vanished up into the darkness. Through the umbilical chord, I could feel that it was crying. I felt it because part of me was up inside there and crying too. The merging had begun.

I ducked my head and tried to be cheerful. “You know,” I said. “i think you’re cute too.” And with all my nerve, I summoned the feelings I felt for Chaos. They were cute to me. Clumsy, adorable, warm in my heart – I directed those emotions to the being up above me.

The crying stopped. It was probing my feelings. The face reappeared from the darkness, poking down at me. “You like me!” it crowed, holding out a fistful of silver strands at me.

Nausea rose in me. Were those my emotions there? I – okay? I forced down my panic at having my emotions held out before me. My literal heartstrings in someone else’s grip. In the Academy’s grip.

The being swung down, sliding down the chord to flip down so it was again perched on me. The tentacles hugged my stomach just a bit too tightly and the face was just a bit too close to mine – but I pushed the discomfort away, pretending I hadn’t felt it. I loved this being, I told myself, forcing myself to feel that emotion rising up within my chest.

Because the Academy was probing in me, grinning but checking me out from the inside.

“You do like me!” it squealed, bouncing up and down. “You do!”

“Yes,” I said it so truthfully it felt real. “I do.”

We kissed. There really wasn’t much I could do about it. The Academy was hugging me, squishing my head in its tiny little hands. I punched down revulsion and drew up happiness at the blink of an eye, made myself feel warm and loving –

“No one’s ever kissed me before!”

I chuckled, saying the first kind thing that came to mind. “You are very alone.”

The Academy pouted. “She never lets me meet anyone.”

Ah. “Who is she?” and then, the real question “And, who are you?” I kept my mind curious, playful, and warm towards the being before me.

It propped its’ elbows on my shoulders, pouting with its bottom lip out. “She’s the one who goes around and tells me to shut up all the time! She’s – well you saw her. She takes the bodies. She came here to laugh at you.” Tears suddenly welled in the beings’ eyes. “Do you think she’s going to forbid us?” The bottom lip wobbled dangerously.

“Maybe,” I said, feeling my plan tickle the back of my mind. I ignored it, following my instinct instead. “She doesn’t seem very nice.”

A large tear rolled down the Academy’s cheek. They sniffled loudly. “She tells me to shut up.”

I drew up on pity- and instantly saw the smile as my feelings were grasped at from somewhere within me. “You understand me,” the being crowed.

I nodded. “I think I do. There’s two of you?”

“But we’re one,” she moaned, flopping her head to the side. “When she sleeps, we, sort of.” and that was where they left it, word-wise. But in their mind, I felt something. The meshing of two minds, the respite of sleep –

“You’re the subconscious,” I said, realization snapping into place in my mind. “And she’s the conscious.”

“Mmmh, yeah,” she mumbled.

“So she’s logical, and you’re the suppressed emotions,” I said softly, again willing myself to feel pity for this creature. It nodded, teary eyes staring starrily at me. Again, I felt it was collecting – or maybe feasting – off of my feelings. It was drawing such satisfaction from being pitied.

I bit my lower lip. Something hung in the balance but I couldn’t let myself think about it. I just plunged ahead, thoughtless and on instinct so that I was unreadable.

“I feel myself in you,” I blurted. “We’re alike, you know.”

The Subconscious grinned at that. I forged on, licking my lips hesitantly. “I don’t want to die. And I don’t think you want me to die either. You’ll be all alone again!”

“You won’t die, you’ll just,” it left its words trail away.

“Losing who you are is a kind of death,” I whispered.

“But she wants you to be digested. She’ll be much stronger with you, we both will be. The world will crumble and they – they won’t be able to resist us any longer.”

I didn’t wonder who ‘they’ were. I assumed it was the Rebellion. Why they’d be causing the Academy a headache was beyond me. They’d never been that good at much.

“But I love you,” I whispered. I drew a sharp breath, watching the stars burst happily, feeling the joy in the subconscious before me. I echoed that feeling in myself as best I could. “And we haven’t had any time together. It’s not fair.”

The subconscious hung her head, lip wobbling dangerously. I leaned forward to press my cheek against theirs. “Let’s run away together,” I whispered.

“What?” the subconscious gasped. But I didn’t draw back, keeping our faces together. They liked that.

“Not for long,” I said. “Let’s just have a honeymoon. A few months- lets say three. That’s a nice time. We can travel, we can-” I faltered. I felt dismay, hurt, and pain straight through my heart. It was the pain of the being before me. We were so close that we were feeling each other as if we were already one.

I wasn’t sure who was the confused one and who was the sad one anymore. But, somehow, I knew we both wanted out. “Let’s just go,” I pleaded. “We can come back after. We’ll be one then, and we can reintegrate with the Academy then.”

“You promise?” it pleaded, looping its arms around my neck and holding tight. “You’re not trying to manipulate me?”

“I promise,” I whispered. “We’ll be good. We’ll come back.”

The subconscious gulped, then nodded. “Okay,” they whispered tearily. Then, in a fit of giggles they added. “I’ve never traveled before.”

“You’ll be in me,” I murmured. “You’ll be safe.”

“Okay,” it whispered, voice trembling. It was unsure, frail in this new path. “How do we do this?”

“You set me free,” I murmured, looking into those clear blue eyes that seemed white. “Then we run.”

They giggled nervously. “Okay.”

“Okay?” I said.

“Okay!” They nodded. They scrambled up me, up the chord, and into the darkness. With no warning the umbilical chord suddenly snapped loose. I tumbled down, shifting into crow shape instinctively. I floated down, fluttering into the darkness to feel a cool floor tile.

With a graceless thud the subconscious landed beside me on its side. They blinked and rattled themselves, then looked at me with a huge grin. “Let’s go!” It squealed.

And for a second, I hesitated. I could have just flown off and left them. But I didn’t so much think that as I echoed the thought from them.

Their face crushed as they saw my hesitation, feeling the thought take full form in their mind. Had I tricked them?

I shifted back into human form, crouching beside the form. They were really tiny. Fragile. Like a child. I took their shoulder gently, feeling the throbbing pain within them. A wordless pain sat between us.

If it wasn’t for that, the pain of betrayal, I would have left. But I had given my word. So things went differently.

“Climb onto my shoulders,” I said gently. “Let’s go. Together.”