Walking along in a sunny beach, Rin felt like taking a vacation. Sadly for him, he isn't here for a break rather, he's here on a mission.
"I don't see anything wrong here at all. Ugh! I should be with the others having fun and yet…" he sighs "I should finish this or Yukio would scold me. Darn it… and I'm supposed to be the oldest!"
He stops when he noticed a boy who seem to be the same age as he is looking around seeming worried. Rin examined the boy: he has dark hair and gray-bluish eyes and is wearing some strange-looking clothes. When the boy saw Rin staring, he slowly backed away.
"Um… please, we didn't want any trouble!" the boy said, putting up both hands in front of him
Confused, Rin asked "What are you talking about? Are you alright? You seem to be troubled."
"Me and Rothe were just walking around here and suddenly, some people tried to attack us! We got separated when we ran away." The boy explained looking worried.
Rin felt something strange about him but shrugged it off. The guy looks like he needed help "Okay… I'm not sure what happened but you're looking for your friend, right? I'll help."
The boy's eyes widened for a moment and smiled "Really? You will?"
"You bet! I'm Rin Okumura, by the way." He extended his hand and the boy took it for a handshake.
"I'm Ecthel! Nice to meet you."
Rothe was tired - she'd been running for a while now and she got separated with her master as well. She thought of hiding behind large boulders but knew she wouldn't be safe for long.
"If only I was still a cat!" she thought.
As she sat there on her hiding place, she noticed a boy with spiky orange hair was looking at her, startled. He then looked in a different direction. She then heard voices.
"Where did she go?"
"We gotta catch her. She'll make us rich!"
She was scared, the boy might tell them of her location. She looked at him pleading "Please don't tell them!"
He seemed to have understood as he walked up to talk to the men and after hearing their story, lied "I think I saw someone like that go that way." He says pointing towards a far-off rocky area.
After a few moments of silence, he spoke "You uh, alright? They're gone…"
"I know, thank you." He was still staring at her weird "Why are you looking at me like that?"
The boy scratched his head "Uh, are those real?" he says pointing at her cat-ears and tail.
"Of course they are! What did you think?"
"No way…" the boy looked more surprised than he did earlier, in disbelief that she was saying the truth.
She wondered why, then she remembered the people running after them. Could it be? It wasn't hard to put two in two together but she still had to ask.
"Is… is having these not normal here?"
The boy nodded
This isn't right. Where are they right now? This isn't where they're supposed to be! That monster from earlier- the battle, the chase- it made them take a wrong way in Heaven's Gate. They're lost.
Sensing her panic, the boy walked closer "Hey, are you okay?"
"Yeah, I'm fine. I'm… Oh my god, we're lost and Ecthel isn't here and…"
"Slow down, who's Ecthel? Who are you? Where did you come from?" the boy started asking
Rothe breathed in and calmed herself down. If she ends up a nervous wreck right now, what would happen to Ecthel? That boy is useless without her.
"I'm Rothe, Ecthel is my master. We're from Asgard and was supposed to go to Ancardia to gather information but it seems we got here instead by mistake!" she explained as calmly as she could but can't help but still feel annoyed by all that's happened.
The boy seemed confused- Asgard, Ancardia, Master?- all of those things are strange and didn't make sense to him.
Rothe got up and dusted off the sand on her clothes "Anyways, I better go. I need to find Ecthel and get out of here."
Before she could leave, the boy held her wrist "Wait! You can't run around like that. You'll freak people out or get chased again!"
Thinking about it, he's right but what choice has she got?
"I'll help you. Let's go to the hotel room I'm staying at." he pointed towards a building in the distance "My parents are out and are sightseeing. Let's just be careful so that no one will notice those things are real."
She was surprised "You're… gonna help me? But why?"
"Er, you need help don't you? I guess I thought I shouldn't just leave you just like that."
Rothe smiled and thanked him. This is better than going alone in a world she barely knows about.
"What's your name by the way?" she asked as she walked alongside him.
"Neku… It's Neku Sakuraba."
"Wait, wait, wait… could you repeat that again? You're a what?" Rin asked in disbelief. Sure he's a demon, son of Satan at that but could this really be possible?
"I'm a Grim Angel from Asgard. I know, I know: 'Where are your wings?' you might ask. Haha" Ecthel sighs "I had to give it up to get my Diviner when I agreed to become a Grim Angel. I miss them sometimes though. I kinda wish I could fly again." Ecthel said in-a-matter-of-fact way, like everything he said is normal.
"You're an Angel?"
"Grim Angel…" Ecthel corrects him "Unlike normal angels, we're kinda like special soldiers. We we're created when the thousand year war against demons happened but I became a Grim Angels years after that was over so I never saw it."
"Okay, I see." Rin says, speechless. He doesn't know if Ecthel is saying the truth but he has been feeling as if there's something different about Ecthel all this time. More importantly, if he is saying the truth, what happens now? He, himself, is a demon and the guy he agreed to help is an angel!
"This is more trouble than I thought."
Rin decided not to say anything just yet. What would Ecthel do if he finds out Rin is actually a demon? Would they have to fight? Rin hoped that they didn't have to- the boy with him seemed to be a nice guy. He would hate to fight him because of something stupid like racial difference. They're getting along now, aren't they? Maybe they could find Rothe before the truth comes out. Maybe.
Neku lent his towel to Rothe who wrapped it around her waist in an attempt to hide her tail. Her ears could be explained considering the popularity of cosplay in their country. "It's one of those fake cat-ears that move" he says when someone asks.
After the three week Reaper's Game, you think he'd have gotten used to seeing strange things but then again, he and the others were invisible to normal people then and didn't need to make up reasons why weird things happen around them.
His parents were still out by the time they got there. He locked the door before rummaging through their things to look for any good disguises. He thought maybe she could wear a hat or something but it's windy near the beach and it might get blown away, they still have to look for Rothe's master after all.
As he opened their bags, Rothe laid on one of the beds and stretched.
"This place is nice. If only we could take a vacation here instead." she sighs as she sits down on the nearby bed "I hope Ecthel is okay."
"Who is this 'Ecthel'? Is he a cat-person like you or something?" Neku asked without looking at her.
"Nope. He's a Grim Angel—"
"Angel?!" Neku turned around and looked at her. That word reminded him of something… of a lot of things. About someone.
"Yeah. He doesn't have wings though. Haha imagine that! An angel who doesn't have wings. I used to have wings, too before that idiot turned me into a human." she said deep in thought as she laid on the bed. She must be thinking about him.
"You aren't human? I mean, you didn't look like that before?"
"I didn't. I used to be a small black-winged cat. I'm Ecthel's familiar, or partner actually. I was given to him to help him out when going on missions." she explained rolling to her side on the bed to look at Neku.
"Missions, huh?" Neku is reminded of those days in the game. Doing missions and running around Shibuya with Shiki, Beat and Rhyme and…
"Joshua" he whispers
"What?" Rothe asked
"Nothing. Never mind. Um… what kind of mission did you have exactly?" he asked changing the subject
"Nothing much. Well, due to one of our leaders apparently doing shady things for many, many years, Ecthel and I have been tasked to investigate everything he's ever done. He's gone now but there were a lot of questions left behind. We're supposed to investigate something about a fallen angel that was exiled due to him."
"Why are you here then?"
Taking one of the pillows on top of the bed, Rothe hugged it and said "We were attacked by demons in Heaven's Gate. They were hard to fight since they could fly and we couldn't. We tried to run away from them but then this huge monster showed up. We fought him and that made the rock we we're standing on shatter and we tried to navigate our way but we ended up here instead."
"I see. We better hurry then." Neku said and continued to search their bags. As he looked in the last bag, he noticed a large plastic inside. He took it out. It seems to have some clothes inside. When he pulled it out, he was surprised but thankful. "Hey, Rothe. You think this will be okay?"
They've been searching for at least an hour now but they still couldn't find her. Ecthel is getting worried and so is Rin for a different reason- he still hasn't found the so-called dangerous monster he was supposed to get rid of and the day might end without him being able to. This might cause trouble if nothing is done.
"Where could she be? I hope she wasn't caught."
Rin stopped and tried to reassure Ecthel that everything's fine "She might just be hiding. Come on, we'll find her."
As they walked, Rin noticed an area a bit far from the beach where trees like coconuts grew. There were a lot of trees and plants and it seemed to be a good hiding place. "Maybe she's in there?" he said as he pointed to the area.
They decided to continue their search there. As they walked deeper, they started hearing a strange rumbling sound. They both felt that there was something wrong.
"What's that?" Ecthel asked
Thinking it might be what he's looking for, Rin wanted to find it but didn't want to drag Ecthel into the fight. He might be a Grim Angel but this has got nothing to do with him.
Before he could make a decision though, a huge dragon-like creature suddenly appeared in front of them and started to attack. They tried to dodge as best they could. The creature doesn't seem to be able to breathe fire but it is quite big and has huge teeth and claws. It's tail is also being swung everywhere hitting trees that nearly falls on them.
Rin took out his sword and blue flames appeared along with his horns and tail. He ran up to the monster to attack but it's skin seemed to be too thick to be able to cut just by slashing. Ecthel stared at him but didn't stand there for too long and took out his Ecthelion and fought as well.
Rin watched as Ecthel charged at the monster while holding a sword which looks like a lightning bolt with a hilt. The cuts his sword makes irritates the monster because of what he guesses is holy magic embedded in the angelic sword. A smirk formed on his face for a moment while thinking "He is saying the truth…".
As they both attacked the monster, they noticed that there's a part on it's chest that seemed to be softer than the other parts of his body. The monster also seems to be protecting this area most. They might have a chance if they attack that area but the monster wasn't giving them an opening. They needed a distraction.
As they evaded the monster's tail being whipped in their direction, someone suddenly charged at the creature covered in flames hitting the monster in the face, blinding it for a moment. As the person got down on the ground, the monster tried to attack blindly. It nearly hit the girl who attacked earlier but she was pulled away to safety by a spiky-haired boy.
The monster continued to scream. As it tried to move around and attacking whatever it felt was close, Rin and Ecthel looked at the direction of the two people who helped them. Smile crept up on Ecthel's face when he saw who the female attacker was. Rin guessed that the girl must be Rothe as the girl smiled back as well.
Before they could have a reunion, they all looked at the monster who was still there. It was dangerous to let that thing live and so they all ran towards each other to talk about what to do.
"Hey, can you two try to get its attention? We need to attack it in its chest." Rin said to the other two who then both nodded.
Neku grabbed on to a rock and threw it at the monster's direction. In his mind, he wished he could still use his pins like he could in the UG but he's alive now and he just has to do what he could. When the monster turned to look in their direction, Rothe jumped up and hit it with flames again. When the monster screamed, Neku grabbed a nearby vine, held on to one end and threw the other end at Rothe who proceeded to wrap it once on the monster's neck while Neku, still holding the other end, ran behind the creature to make the loop tighter even a little. As the monster screamed trying to take the vine off, Rin attacked and cut the monster's arms from its joints and slashing it on the eyes all the while burning it with blue flames.
Seeing the opportunity, Ecthel ran to the monster, jumped and slashed the monster six times and upon the seventh, he exclaimed: "Sacred blade of judgement, become my wings…" with all his might, he slashed the monster one more time hitting it's heart making the creature scream in pain "Disaresta!"
Dark feathers made of light fell around them before dissipating into nothingness.
Neku and Rothe let go and ran. The monster fell on its side, dead. They all stared at it waiting if it'll move again but when they're sure it wouldn't, they walked up to each other and smiled.
Rin looked at Ecthel with amazement "That was awesome! Is that sword what you were calling a…"
"Diviner." Ecthel said "It's called Ecthelion. You did great, too. You're… a demon, aren't you?"
Rin was surprised, suddenly remembering what he looks like at the moment "Oh, uh… yeah."
"A demon, huh?" Rothe said finally getting the attention of both boys
"Rothe! Where were you? I've been looking everywhere for you. I'm glad you're okay and… what are you wearing?" Ecthel asked noticing the goth-lolita outfit Rothe is now wearing "I didn't think you were into frilly clothes."
"It's a disguise. People here aren't too accustomed to seeing demons and such and I look like one with cat-ears and tail." she explains as she pointed out her cat-ears.
"At least now, she can hide her tail and her ears would look like it's a part of the outfit." Neku spoke up
"Oh, Ecthel, this is Neku. He was the one who helped me look for you. He also let me borrow these clothes." Rothe said to Ecthel then turned to Neku "Neku, this is Ecthel, my partner!"
"Nice to meet you! Thanks for helping her." Ecthel and Neku then shook hands
Ecthel then introduced Rin "Rothe, this is Rin. He was helping me look for you. Rin," he then turned to Rin "This is Rothe. My partner."
"Hi! Thanks for taking care of my useless partner." Rothe said earning a dismayed "Hey!" from Ecthel
"Hey! So you're a cat-girl, huh? Cute. Now I know why people were chasing after you." Rin said shaking hands with Rothe
Ecthel then looked at Rin and asked again "Why didn't you tell me you're a demon?"
"I thought you'd hate me if you knew. You're an angel after all. Angels and demons are kind of enemies you know." Rin said with his head down. Everyone seems to think badly of him upon finding out what he really is and he thought maybe Ecthel would too as the other boy is an angel.
"I wouldn't... I mean, we're friends. You're nice enough to help me and we just met. I had friends before who aren't exactly demons but is close to that and they were the nicest people I met and they helped me out, too. I won't hate you." Ecthel said with a smile.
Rin looked at him before giving a heartfelt smile. Neku and Rothe looked at each other for a second and smiled at the other two as well.
Several exorcists came to their location almost an hour after Rin called in to ask for help in disposing the monster. By then, the four had a lot of time to talk to each other and learn a lot of things. They of course, stood at a far distance as the exorcists arrived - they didn't know what would happen to Ecthel and Rothe if their existence is known after all.
Rin and the others turned to look at the boy walking towards them. The tall boy with glasses looks at each of with a mix of confusion and suspicion them and then settled his eyes on Rin.
"Yukio!" Rin exclaimed "Guys, this is my brother Yukio. Younger twin brother." he added.
They have a look of disbelief in their faces - the boy called Yukio is taller than Rin and has a mature aura about him. Rin on the other hand is…
"I'm not joking guys. I'm older."
"Nii-san, who are these people?" Yukio asked, eyeing the other three teenagers behind his brother.
Ecthel stood up and introduced himself "My name is Ecthel." before extending a hand for Yukio to shake.
"He's an angel even if he doesn't have wings by the way." Rin said sporting a playful smile on his face.
"A-angel?" Yukio asked confused and surprised upon hearing the word.
"Grim Angel, actually. Me and my partner Rothe…" he says pointing to Rothe "got here by accident."
"Oh…" Yukio said, not quite understanding what's going on.
"I'm Rothe, nice to meet you!" she said and her cat-ears perked up. Yukio took her hand for a short shake.
"That's her real ears you know. She's a cat-girl!" Rin exclaimed excitedly.
Now Yukio is even more surprised. He drops Rothe's hand abruptly as his eyes looked up at the girl's twitching cat-ears. He didn't know if he'd believe what his brother had said. The others seemed to have noticed his disbelieving expression.
"It's true!" Rothe said in an attempt to convince the tall boy.
"If it helps, I'm human." Neku raised his hand "I'm Neku Sakuraba."
"I see. You seem to be quite calm seeing all this things." Yukio said shaking his hand after everyone else's.
"I've experienced something like this before. It's hard to explain." Neku said rubbing his arm.
For a while, Ecthel and Rothe told Yukio what and why they were there and where they came from. Yukio is suspicious at first until he saw the Ecthelion. He examined it for a bit and felt holy magic running through it which feels like it's getting warmer every second as it's reacting to him who's a demon.
"Normally, I'd have to have you come with us and explain everything to the higher ups but…"
"Yukio!" Rin wanted to protest but Yukio just smiled and raised a hand in front of him as if to stop his bother from saying more.
"I know. You'd be against it and if I didn't listen, you're gonna mess things up and get yourself in trouble. They did help out and all they need to do is get back. But…" Yukio said in a serious tone "Don't tell anyone else here what you all told me. I'll make up something in my report and you all just have to go back where you came from."
"Alright." Ecthel agreed "I guess we'd be leaving then."
"Aww… I hope you can come visit someday or something." Rin said
"Yeah, this place seem like fun. When no one is running after you, of course." Rothe joined in
Yukio told them to go while he talked to the other exorcist. After saying their goodbyes to him, Rin and the others all walked to the place closest to where Heaven's Gate is...
"Why does it look like your brother is the one in charge of this job?" Neku asks looking back at the direction they left in.
"He became an exorcist long before I did so his rank is higher so technically, he is in charge. But someday, I'd be better than him and would surpass him. Hehe" Rin said with conviction.
"Good luck with that." Rothe said with a smile
They stopped at the side of the island where there are a lot of large rocks and a cave in the side of the cliff. Ecthel explained there's a place connected to a huge tree deep inside the cave and it's where they arrived at.
"I guess this is goodbye." Rothe said
"Yep. That sure was fun though. Never thought I'd be teaming up with an angel." Rin said
Ecthel nodded and smiled "Yeah. That was awesome. I hope it happens again someday!"
"What? Get attacked by a monster?" Neku asked with a smirk on his face before they all started chuckling. He hasn't felt that way since the Reaper's Game- teaming up with people he's unlikely to meet and fighting for their lives… and making new friends.
"Haha, yeah!" Ecthel said and laughed
"Well, good luck, Rin. I hope that when we meet again, you're already a professional exorcist." Ecthel said facing Rin
"Uh huh, you bet!" Rin said "Thanks, for saying we're friends. I mean who's heard of an angel and a demon becoming friends?"
"Hehe, thanks for helping us out as well. Thank you Rin and Neku." Rothe says offering the other two a smile.
"No problem." Neku replied
"Yeah, anytime! Thanks for helping me finish my job, too guys! That was awesome." Rin smiled and thanked them back.
They all said their reluctant goodbyes as Rin and Neku watched Ecthel and Rothe leave - they all felt like their time together was too short. The sun has already set signalling them that it's time to leave as well. The two boys walked out of the cave and looked back one last time wishing that they'd meet their new friends again someday.
"Going home?" Rin asks Neku who was walking a few steps behind him.
"I'm actually here on vacation with my parents. We're staying at a hotel right now."
Rin turned to look at Neku "Really? I'd be staying here for a while since I'm supposed to be on vacation, too but Yukio just had to give me a job."
"So you'd be here for a while then?" Neku asks
"Yep! We can hang out while were here. If it's okay that is…" Rin stopped walking and so did Neku
Neku thought about it for a while then nodded "Sure, why not?"
"Have you been watching this whole time?" Yukio looked up and asked Mephisto who has been watching him from behind.
"So you noticed…" the older demon smirked, floating closer to Yukio "You let the angel kid and his familiar leave."
"Why didn't you say anything earlier if you were against it?" Yukio sighed and faced the direction the others went.
"I didn't say that. It's fine, we've got enough trouble with Satan already. We wouldn't want to mess with anyone up there yet. And don't worry about your report- I'll make sure they don't ask anything else." Mephisto said with a grin
"I don't know what you're planning but my brother's already involved in this. I hope you're not going to do anything anyone would regret."
At that moment, Rin came running towards him followed by Neku and glancing behind him, Mephisto isn't there anymore. Neku later went back to where they were staying and Yukio and Rin checked in a hotel nearby.
"Angels, huh?" Neku said while typing a text on his phone.
[Shiki, Remember that dress you and Eri forced me to wear last week? I kinda let a friend borrow it and forgot to get it back. Sorry.] he typed then hit send.
As he looked outside, Neku thinks of Shibuya and his memories of the game… and Joshua who for some reason, keeps popping up into his mind whenever the others talk about angels.