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Gossamer [Concept Art]

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LoopyPanda

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Chapter 3: The Meeting

"D...Demon?" Vee stuttered as she cowered within the arms of Olivia, her raven hair messily sticking to her face and her two hairpins that once rested on her left side were loosened and Veronica had to take them off.

"Yes..." Damien confirmed apologetically.

Olivia only returned the look with fearful disdain at the demon. 

Damien then looked at Nicor with a serious gaze. "They aren't on the list." He scolded tersely. "You know the Contract's rules damn well."

"So? It'd be fun getting to kill for fun once in a while." Nicor said with an indifferent shrug and chuckle. "Buzzkill."

List? Contract rules? What on earth is he spouting? Olivia thought. Before she could ask, Damien stopped her, helping the two girls up off the damp earth.

"Before anything, we should head in if we don't want to catch pneumonia. And if I explain things out here, anyone is sure to overhear from these trees." Damien said, eyeing Nicor with a glare.

He was right; Olivia recalled how he had always found her in the trees when they were children.

"C-c-can we get to this after I shower?" Veronica's hoarse voice cut in as the four entered the house's kitchen area. She was shivering and her jacket was soaked. The knees of her jeans had grass stains along with slight mud marks. Olivia looked at Damien expectantly.

"S-sure. It's the least I could do." Damien said as Olivia directed the girl upstairs in the house. He felt guilty that he was the main reason Vee was attacked. 

As they both walked, Olivia's mind began to wander.
She had been in this house countless times, enough to know where things mostly were even if she stopped going to it for a few years now. The house seemed empty tonight—was his mother out working? Ever since Damien left, their parents grew more distant. His mother dedicated her time to her job to rather unhealthy levels. It used to feel warm and welcoming to Olivia, but now it just made her feel forlorn.

Ten minutes later, Veronica finished showering off the mud and cold from her skin. The warm water however didn't do much to alleviate the lingering adrenaline pumping through her veins or the panic still in her system. It felt like her heart would break her ribs from how hard it pounded. She was given an old shirt that didn't fit Damien anymore along with a pair of sweat pants he had from the swim team freshman year. He wasn't too short for his height, almost 5' 8". But on a small person like Vee, the pant legs piled up around her ankles.

Vee and Olivia sat across from Damien and Nicor at the coffee table in the living room. The two were given hot tea. Veronica, still shaking a bit, held her mug with some difficulty, refusing to meet Nicor's eyes as he and Damien were sitting across the table. She huddled close to Olivia, as if she would repel the demonic being.

"Okay, Damien so why is he.... Here?" Olivia's voice wavered slightly when her eyes fell on Nicor, who grinned maliciously in return. "Shouldn't he be in Hell or something?" She was hoping this was just a terrible prank, but she knew it was ridiculous to think that.

"It's a long story but I'm sure your mom will be okay if you come home after 9:00." Damien said, glancing at the grandfather clock resting on the left side of the living room. Her mother was always okay with her being at her childhood friend's house no matter how late it would be. And she was trusted enough.

"I'll start basic. Nicor had been exiled from the Underworld not long ago. And he found me to contract him so that he'd have at least a chance of getting back there." Damien said knowing he'd be flooded with questions. "That's why I left for nearly two years—you can't manage this sort of thing by yourself, especially when you're just a teenager."

"Why would forming a contract solve banishment from Hell?" Olivia asked.

Damien looked at Nicor to explain further on the subject. He wasn't as good at explaining the concept as an actual demon himself.

"...I guess I'll explain." Nicor said gruffly. "See, Squirt, just like there are rules on Earth and likely in Heaven, there are rules in the Underworld too. Demons come to the Overworld with the ability to possess, cause chaos, and even kill humans. So long as it's under the radar of the human enforcement of law, we don't really get in much trouble. You can't track a demon. But we cannot consume or take an untainted soul with us back to the Gate of the Underworld."

"Of course, it makes no sense." Olivia input not making direct eye contact with Nicor. Nicor reached across the table and jerked Olivia's chin up to force them to make eye contact with each other. "I've got a name, brat. Nicor."

"And my name isn't Squirt or Brat. It's Olivia." Olivia growled before knocking Nicor's hand away.

He merely smirked in return. "As I was saying, that's why we're depicted in those tomes of yours as 'temptations'. But we've got plenty of other offenses to make. For example, I was charged with treason against the one of the dukes of the Underworld, Astaroth. Plenty of times too. They determined I tallied up enough offenses to be exiled from the Underworld. See, being able to traverse the worlds by summoning the gate is a privilege. As you're escorted out of the Underworld through the river styx, the ferryman hands you the list of humans or rogue demons to kill, possess, or monitor. Usually you kill them. The statuses of what's needed to be done to each human is marked as such. Now along with this very long list is one Gate Key. Exiles can't use it, but their contractors can. The reason is, Contractors are practically a parole officer. They make sure you do what's needed and you don't further get yourself in trouble.
However, illegally breaking the contract results in consequence. It's fairly easy to do. All you need to have done was consume a few souls not on the list or kill your own Contractor, and the portal to the Realm of the Chasm opens to drag you there by chains and spikes. You cannot exit the Chasm for all of eternity. And if you still haven't been found out yet, Contractors and their buddies go after you too. Which is the more common thing that happens, since Hades' officers are flooded with their own work of their own domains." Nicor finished.

Throughout this, Olivia was speechless at what actually existed. There was a chasm? Demons actually could be on Earth at any given time? It made her a bit sick, but it wasn't too surprising on second thoughts.

"Meaning, I could still have drowned both of you and left your souls to whatever Grim Reaper happened to be passing by." Nicor added. "Maybe get away with it, maybe not. They just need to catch you doing it. Or, your Contractor snitches you out like a little bitch." Nicor glanced over at Damien who just rolled his eyes.

"And what about collecting the souls of the ones on the list?" Olivia asked.

"Well, the demon can either consume the souls or leave them to the Reaper to pick up and do their protocol with it. Either way, the name gets checked off the list in the processing." Nicor replied with a shrug.

"Then why did you choose Damien as your Contractor?" Olivia asked again gritting her teeth in anger. He could very well be killed within the hour no matter what was in store for the demon. Why did it have to be him?

"Well, I could have picked anyone, so to speak. Except demons, obviously. We demons don't necessarily get along with Grim Reapers either, so humans would be the best bet. I picked scrawny old Damien because he wouldn't exactly fight me like an exorcist would, nor would he go on a whole Vampire Hunter sort of thing." Nicor replied with a laugh. "Hunting the rogue demons makes the job a lot more fun though."

"I'm not scrawny like you think." Damien said with arms crossed.
 "Sure, sure." Nicor said with a toothy grin.

"Are you a duke or whatever if you could easily handle Damien?" Olivia asked.

"Obviously not. But I am a water demon known to drown wretched fleshies like you. But, I'm pretty up there in the ranks. Well, I was." Nicor smirked. 

Olivia only scowled. "And see, it's raining because I have the ability to make any sort of rainy day. Be it monsoons, hurricanes, even thunderstorms. And most demons aren't scrawny like you." Nicor retorted. "But going that big for storms tuckers me out lately."

"Back on topic..." Damien inserted, "I use the gate key to meet with the higher ups of the Underworld as progress reports on Nicor's soul collecting."

"If they aren't up to house visits, they send in other supernatural peeps to check up on me. Or try to kill me." Nicor said. "Depends on how the Boss feels that day."

"But that's not fair, you're doing as they asked!" Vee input.

Nicor bared his teeth. "I'm from Hell, do you expect it to be fair? Or have you not taken a look at your own systems of power?"

"Hey!" Olivia snapped. "You don't talk to Vee like that."

"Big words coming from someone with a shaking voice, Squirt." Nicor retorted mockingly.

"Oh, shut it." Olivia replied indignantly.

"Would you two stop for five minutes?" Damien cut in again, rubbing at his temples. He knew how argumentative Olivia became sometimes, along with the pressing nature Nicor had.

Nicor simply rolled his eyes. "Whatever." 

"Right right. So when are they gonna ask for a progress report?" Olivia asked. 

"Like I said—if Lord Hades and his lackeys aren't up for appointments, he just has Hermes, the messenger dude, go on and send out a Constellation Spirit to do a little interview." Nicor replied.

"What are they? Like, Cancer and stuff from the stars?" Olivia asked incredulously. If Greek mythology existed, she questioned how religion itself worked.

"Yep. They're powerful too; they've been here since practically the beginning of time." Nicor said. "Zodiacs are pains in the neck sometimes. They can be real self-righteous too from what I've heard."

"And they travel through Light Gates, same as the Gate of the Underworld." Damien added. 

"So, if they're sent in to 'keep you in line,'" Olivia air-quoted, "You're in a bit of a problem?"

"Most likely the case." Nicor said. "Or they just feel like testing you. Zodiacs find Contracted Demons a waste of time."

After that night, one would think the Underworld wouldn't send for them so soon, just as Olivia had thought.

She was horribly wrong.

After school the following Monday, Olivia began walking to the wooded area of campus where she always parked. Vee decided to stay in because she felt sick after the attack Nicor dealt to her.

Just as she reached the car, a lightning of sorts struck the ground in front of Olivia. "Whaaa!!" She shouted as the lightning nearly struck her foot. It cracked a loud snap into her ears, and it made her fall backwards.

"Whoops, sorry about that!" A female's voice rang out from the trees around her. 

"Who's there!?" Olivia shouted cautiously. Whoever had done that obviously wasn't human.

Soon enough, A female dropped down from the trees. 
Upon closer look, she had horns that curled skyward and curled back slightly. They were of a bright golden color, along with her amber colored hair to match. There wasn't a tail to be seen anywhere. Olivia wasn't sure if she was a demon from this tidbit. And her skin was a pale peach, a stark contrast to Nicor's blueish-gray corpse color.

"I should've been more careful... Cancer's gonna be mad if he knew I let a human catch sight of me..."

"Y-you..." Olivia choked out in fear. "Is that one of the Spirits Nicor was talking about?" She accidentally wondered aloud, covering her mouth instantly.

"D-don't be scared, we don't hurt humans without reason. I'm kind of looking for a demon and the human with him." The girl said looking at her yellow nails nervously. Her orange eyes looked at Olivia knowingly. "Ah! Nicor was the demon's name! You must know where his Contractor is, no?" She said, tilting her head to the side in a casual manner and smiling.

To Olivia, she didn't seem friendly at all.

Olivia then took off towards the street Damien lived. If that demon, girl, or whatever, could use lightning, a car's conductivity would fry her alive!

"Heeey, where are you going?" The girl asked, waving a portal behind her closed. "I was only asking a question!" She said floating after Olivia in midair. Isn't that how you ask humans a question? Or did I offend? The girl thought as she pursued the brunette.

Olivia, distracted by looking over her shoulder multiple times to see that she was being pursued by the amber haired girl, had ran into a tree. And hard. Olivia felt warm blood on her upper lip trailing from her nose as she fell backwards, her knees failing to support her. She felt herself hit the damp earth as the corners of her sight began fading out to black while her ears rang. 

"Oh my... This might be a problem..." The amber-haired girl mumbled as she landed on the ground and trotted to the unconscious Olivia.
 

LoopyPanda

Black Jacket
Joined
Sep 3, 2015
Messages
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Location
cyberia cafe
For some reason, it seems I've never uploaded the rewritten chapter four despite having rewritten it long ago. I'll get to that quickly.

Chapter 4: Encounter


Olivia woke up to a blur of different colors. Her head throbbed along with feeling something warm on her lip. She caught glimpses of red, green, brown, and, closer to her, gold. 

Gold...? In the midst of Olivia’s stomach dropping at the sudden familiarity it struck, a voice broke through her hazy mind.
“Are you okay?”

Did that girl follow her? Olivia sat straight up, then clutching the side of her head in regret.
“D-don’t hurt me!” She said, still moving backwards. Soon enough the amber haired girl from before came into clearer view. She didn’t look as old as Olivia initially believed. She looked to be about fifteen or sixteen years old, a bit younger than what Olivia looked like for her age.
“I wasn’t going to… Why would I?” She replied, looking like she was accused of something.

“You threw a lightning bolt at me, how could I not be thinking you’re trying to kill me!?” Olivia retorted, though her voice was a hushed whisper.

The amber haired girl blinked questioningly. “Oh…” She looked at the grass. "Sorry, I forget humans aren't like me. To tell you the truth I don't get to come down often. So I’m usually co-op’ing with another one of my kind, and it’s usually an easy job portion I get assigned. I wish they took me seriously for once, but I guess that’s how they want to go it, I can’t complain.” She said sheepishly. "There I go, going off on a tangent again... anyhoo, I'm looking for your friend and his demon! Can you lead me there? I'm only here to check up on their progress, I promise!"

“Your kind?” Olivia asked. Then she remembered the conversation she, Vee, Damien, & Nicor had had the previous day. “You’re… one of those people sent to check up on exiled demons?” She ventured.

“Ah, I had a feeling you knew something about the demon. Or at least, us, in a sense…” The girl replied. “Anyway, yes, I’m a Constellation Spirit that Hades, or Lucifer as you may know him, sends to Earth to assess the demons he exiled and their progress on the list he assigns them if he's too busy. I’m Capricorn! And you are?”

“O...Olivia.” Olivia answered, sort of uncomfortable with how casual an ethereal force was being with her. Then again, Capricorn looked to be a child, but looks can be deceiving.

I wonder if all Constellation Spirits are like her?... she seems nice enough. Olivia thought, looking at Capricorn’s horns while wiping the blood from her nose with the back of her hand. They indeed looked like that of a goat, but had a bit more of a golden shine to them.
“And I figure you know this demon?” Capricorn said with curious orange eyes. With how she carried herself, one wouldn't be able to tell how old the Spirit was.

Olivia nodded sheepishly. “Y-you aren’t going to hurt his Contractor, right?” The brunette asked. He could have been confronted by now by Capricorn’s partner. Or worse, he could have been ambushed and attacked. Olivia had her reservations that the other Spirits had the same friendly-ish demeanor that Capricorn had.

“Contractors aren’t particularly Hades' focus, so long as the demon’s got one.” The horned girl responded. “Now, could you lead me over there? In fact, you won’t even need to walk!” She said as she held her hand out and from the mist in the air, a thick cloud formed with a few crackles of electricity here and there, but eventually stopped after full formation. "You humans go too slow anyhow, so this will be way faster!"

“A… cloud?” Olivia questioned, being helped to stand by Capricorn.

“Not just any cloud, a storm cloud. They double up as weapons if I need them to. But I don’t use the water to attack. It’s not my best ability as lightning is.” Capricorn replied as she lifted Olivia like a doll, gently lowering her onto the cloud and got on it herself. Carrying Olivia didn’t seem a viable option, the poor girl could pass out.


“Lead the way!” Capricorn said as the cloud began ascending up until it was below the canopy of leaves. It all seemed so magical to Olivia. She remembered when her parents took her to a magic theme park. It felt surreal even though it was right in front of her.
“Do I head to the left?” Capricorn asked as they approached a fork in the trees. “Take left.” Olivia said absently as Capricorn leaned to the left and the cloud moved in such direction. She was mesmerized from the view they had.
After a few minutes, Capricorn could sense their target’s presence and continued on.

>>Time Skip>>


“We’re here!” Capricorn said as she lowered the cloud for the now wide awake Olivia to dismount it. “I hope we can be friends and know each other more, Olivia! Maybe next time?” She asked with a smile as the cloud dissipated and they were now in Damien’s backyard. "I'm kinda lonely since the other Spirits don't hang with me."

“Next time?" A snarky voice belonging to a male interrupted. "As if, Capricorn. You took forever to get here, you know. Shows me how diligent you are on your own."

The owner of the voice stepped in front of them. He had a more olive skin tone than Capricorn. The young man seemed to be seventeen or eighteen, passing for a young adult. His dark crimson eyes certainly showed he had a temper. He also had short & straight black hair that seemed to stick out in feathery tufts.

The young man had a black leather jacket and a red V-neck underneath, along with black pants and boots, his belt holding a sheathed sword of sorts.

"S-sorry, Cancer..." Capricorn's eyes widened a bit as she gazed at something behind him. "What's that you got there?"

“Hm? You mean, this?” Cancer had been dragging along Nicor, who was thrashing about and cursing at the male in some kind of foreign tongue from what Olivia could perceive.

After the grip on his hood ceased to loosen, Nicor shouted, “Let me go you ass— AAAUGH!” A vice like grip of water formed from a nearby puddle and gripped his neck like a pincer, cutting off oxygen.

"Are all you mongrels this annoying?" The man grunted. “It would be less painful if you didn’t struggle.”

Nicor was indeed a water demon, but his gills were located around his ribcage, not around his neck. His trachea was vulnerable to compression. So this is how it feels to be choked... now I kinda feel bad for that four-eyed squirt. Nicor gripped at the water, which seemed impervious to his struggling.

“Cease this squirming." The man said with a scowl. "Or maybe you'd like me to slice off bits of your skin until you pass out?"
Olivia gaped at him. Was this the partner Capricorn was with?

“Wh-who are you!?” Olivia demanded, drawing closer to Capricorn. Despite Nicor having been violent towards her and Vee, she still knew this wasn't something they ought to be doing.

“Cancer…” Capricorn trailed off, sounding somewhat quiet then. "Do you have to be this rough with them?"

“L-let go of him!” Olivia said, though she was afraid of stepping within Cancer’s radius of attack if she got closer. While she was afraid of the demon, she wasn't going to allow him to be injured for no apparent reason. What kind of assessment was Cancer getting out of this?

Cancer scoffed and flung Nicor to the damp ground, the water’s grip releasing his neck and returning to the earth with which it had sat in idly. “Hmph, I was expecting you to at least manipulate the water I used to get me back, but perhaps I expected too much.”
If only my gills were on my neck instead... The water demon thought defiantly, but chose to express his anger with a low weak growl, breathing heavily to get the air back into his lungs.

Nicor then shakily rolled over and onto his hands and knees, wheezing for air.

“That should teach you. Are you done running away now?” Cancer asked mockingly.

“Damien, uh, his Contractor, where is he!?” Olivia urged.

Cancer’s crimson eyes shifted over to Olivia’s brown ones. “Hmm? So, the demon wasn’t lying after all? You’d expect them to be fibbers.” He snorted.

Somehow inside her, she felt a bit better that Cancer hadn’t come in contact with Damien directly. Meaning he was probably at the local pool readying for a match against the rival high school. Somewhere away from him.

“Tch, why would you give a rat’s rear end if he’s here or not!? It’s me they're here for, anyway!” Nicor hissed across the yard as he stood up, wiping his mouth of saliva that managed to trickle out from his resisting. "Stupid humans have no place in this..."

“How cute, you don't want someone to come to your aid so you can save face, is it?” Cancer smirked and chuckled as he placed a hand on the grip of the sheathed weapon at his side.

"Cancer, how come you're being so rough with him?!" Capricorn objected.

"Simple, young one. The progress these two are making simply aren't up to my standards. You'd think they'd scramble to accomplish their list fast as possible to be rid of each other." Cancer explained, his tone less gruff than it was with Nicor. "Of course, I'd let him off with just a warning and that's that, but I get easily annoyed with the ones who have such big mouths. He ran his mouth too much for what's good for him."

"But..."

"What? It's not like it matters." Cancer kicked Nicor's side and knocked him over onto his back. "You lot are either stuck in Hell anyway or you're in a deeper layer of Hell. I don't see the point. Why Hades gives you runts a second chance is beyond me. Frankly, demons deserve to rot and remain in the Underworld. Monsters are just monsters in the end." He mocked.

Nicor growled angrily and firmly gripped Cancer's ankle. "You little shit... thinking you can just tell me what I already know..." He muttered through blood seeping out the corner of his mouth. "You Zodiacs really piss me off...!" Nicor's sclera turned black again, like the other night.
"Hm? You're still awa-- wha!?" Cancer was forced back by Nicor shooting multiple streams of water at him.

"While you were running your mouth, I was busy separating all the water from the muddy soil." Nicor stumbled back up, grinning with mischievous intent.

Olivia and Capricorn hadn't moved the whole time, afraid that the crossfire would be unrelenting.

"So you think you can challenge me?" Cancer had a hand on the hilt of his sword after using one arm to shield his eyes from the rest of the torrent, walking backwards a few feet to gain some distance between them. "Not that I mind. I was looking for an excuse to cut something up today." Cancer grinned. “You must really want to die.”
 

LoopyPanda

Black Jacket
Joined
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Messages
12,021
Location
cyberia cafe
Boo. BU

Chapter 5: Tidal Waves


Capricorn swallowed hard from the sudden turn the situation took, and Olivia was just as tense. 

"....Cover your ears." Capricorn ordered. Olivia complied but gave her a confused look.

Capricorn's expression became serious as she held her hand out towards the sky, levitating upwards. Several bright streaks of light shot out from her hand and dispersed into the clouds, which seemed to immediately turn gray and overcast the town. A loud rumbling began to build up.

She did all that so nobody would intervene. Olivia thought. It was a good idea, considering how easily someone could go out and hear or see the commotion going on. A sudden thunderstorm would be more than enough to drown out any loud voices.

"Come and show me what a demon like you is capable of. I might actually have fun toying with you." Cancer taunted.

Nicor let out a bestial snarl as he lunged into the air, his fist about to connect with Cancer’s cheekbone. But he then felt a sharp sting of pain strike up across his torso. It came too fast for him to really register. The black haired male smoothly moved aside as Nicor kept sailing and lost momentum, hitting the damp earth shoulder blade first.

The water demon clutched at his clothes. Even though the jacket wasn't open, Cancer sliced clean through it and his shirt. His blood started to stain through the ripped edges.

His sword! To think I would forget he had it drawn... Nicor thought, scrunching his nose at the spirit. It didn't explain the burning sensation accompanied with the pain already there. Immediately he took off the jacket to inspect it. The rain that was falling progressively harder wasn't helping matters.

Cancer then flicked his rapier to his side, flecks of blood plopping into the grass. 

“Blind rage will only hinder your ability to avoid danger. That should have been easy for you to dodge.” He said, his expression neutral but his voice dripped with contempt. "You're lucky I didn't just stab you with it. That IS the main purpose of a rapier, y'know."

“Damn you... don't lecture me!” Nicor snarled as he got up, but not without the red stain on his torn shirt spreading slightly. The wound the sword inflicted was a lot deeper than he had realized. Nonetheless, Nicor pulled his right hand back, a sphere of water forming from the water surrounding them. “You’re going to regret that!” Water from the puddles and the raindrops began to accumulate in his hand.

A thumping noise was heard from behind Capricorn. She turned around to see Olivia collapse to the ground. Apparently, the brunette couldn't seem to stomach the sight of blood.

“Olivia!” The amber haired girl cried in alarm, immediately dropping to her knees to look at the fainted girl. 

The rain was starting to come down in heavy drops of water, quickly soaking the group outside.
For a mere few seconds, Nicor’s fierce gaze flicked to where Olivia once stood, drenched in cold water. 
“You shouldn’t have stayed here to wait on me, Squirt.” He muttered. However his tone seemed a bit apprehensive, even a bit guilty he accidentally dragged her into it. But now wasn’t the time to worry about a human.

Nicor’s gaze returned to Cancer as he thrust his arm forward to send the fully formed water sphere flying towards the raven haired boy.

Cancer put his arms up in an attempt to block the sphere, but the water still crashed into him with a pronounced impact stronger than the streams of water from earlier. "...Tch!"

"Don't get too cocky, Crabby. When it rains, it really isn't a good day for anyone who decides to fight me." Nicor smirked, even though a corner of his lip was bleeding since he bit too hard on it from the earlier fall.

Capricorn had taken Olivia into the backyard’s summer gazebo, knowing well things were about to get ugly. While she enjoyed battles, when a powerless friend was with her, she wouldn’t allow them to get caught in the crossfire. Olivia’s hair seemed to take on a nearly black appearance from all the rain beginning to pour. 

Capricorn then turned her gaze back to the battle going on. 
"I guess it was my fault for creating a thunderstorm. I'm sorry, Cancer."

“Whatever. I was expecting a boring fight. Maybe it wasn't a fluke.” Cancer said as he stood up once more, though his voice sounded breathless. 

“To you, anyone who hits you has dumb luck." Nicor retorted snidely as he moved to manipulate the water puddles now beginning to increase in size. A large sphere grew, one much bigger than the first, which could be used to blast water. “While I can’t defend against you so easily, Crab Boy, you don't cover yourself up too well either!" He stated as he lunged at Cancer again with a bigger blob of collected water, aiming to blast it and manipulate it.

“Tch, you aren’t getting a hit like that again!” Cancer replied, swiping his sword horizontally as Nicor closed in.

Both were hit; Nicor suffered an abdominal wound similar to the first, which seemed to feel numb now. 
Cancer was then met with the large sphere of water, but it began to morph into a torrent that hit him like a battering ram of fists.

“Agh!” Cancer choked as he coughed out blood from the pummeling he took. He had dropped the sword to try and fight off the torrent, unable to try and lighten the blows of the water with his own water manipulation.
 Nicor fell back to the ground again, clutching his torso. He hissed in pain, the deep cuts starting to take their toll.

That sword, it’s definitely got something on it that keeps burning into my wounds… The water demon thought with disdain as his cyan eyes locked onto the rapier.

He recalled when Cancer had drawn it before it began raining; it had a wet glint to it even before the rain began to come down on them.

“You wiped it with holy water before you came here, didn't you?!” He growled, baring his fangs.

Cancer chuckled darkly, although his voice was hoarse. “The very thing that stunts your quick healing ability. Took you long enough to notice. You aren't the sharpest, are you?” Soaked to the bone, the Zodiac felt all his energy drained from tanking Nicor's torrent.

“You've got some nerve to talk shit looking like that." The demon retorted.

Cancer felt and looked awfully fatigued from the blasts. He really wasn’t as tough as he made himself out to be, from what Nicor saw.

Capricorn was crouched next to the red eyed boy in an instant, putting her hand over the bruises on his face where part of the torrent battered him.

"Cancer, you're definitely at your limit by now. Call it off! You know we aren't allowed to just kill them because you wanted to." She looked genuinely worried about him.

Cancer was about to object and insist on staying until the job was done, but at this rate, he'd expose him and his partner to further unnecessary attention or end up forced through the light gate once he was fully drained of energy. “…Fine.” He gave in through grit teeth.

Capricorn didn’t want to leave Olivia alone when she awoke so she looked at Cancer. “I’m going to borrow one of your keys.” She said, grabbing for a silver one hooked to his belt. The gold ones were for other realms, useless to her at the moment. 

She held it in front of him. “I’m giving this one to the girl in case she’s ever in a pinch with the other demons that might come across her path. If they’re anything like this one.” Something told her she'd need it if she was directly linked to these two, albeit involuntarily from the looks of it.

“What? Why?” Cancer replied, feeling himself grow faint. He didn't seem to have energy to argue, but seemed mystified by her actions.

"We're supposed to protect the beings of this world, Cancer." Capricorn got up and Nicor watched her stride over to the gazebo where Olivia lay unconscious. 
"Besides. I think she's a promising human. Not sure why, but I can't help but feel like I should grant her this." Grasping the key in both of her hands, Capricorn held it close to her heart, whispering something under her breath. A light glowed from her hands before opening them back up to reveal the key now with a gold tint, a symbol of a goat with a fish's tail imprinted into the base. The key itself glowed a bit more before fading, signaling the completion of the enchantment. She then placed it in Olivia’s hand, closing it gently. “I hope you'll contact me soon.” She said to the unresponsive girl before jogging back. 

Nicor seemed very lost. He thought the spirits didn't care about what didn't directly affect them. His eyes flickered to Olivia. There’s something special about her, I’m certain. Just the concept of social formalities with a human can’t be all to Capricorn. What's so special about her? He thought. Then somehow he was raised into a sitting position. It was Capricorn. 

“I trust you won’t harm this human.” Capricorn stated with a flat tone before plopping him onto his bottom and then walking over to Cancer. She helped him up before opening a portal below them that engulfed them in bright yellow sunlight. The light faded and so did they.

Nicor blinked in surprise several times, then cringing again as another wave of pain washed across his chest. "Weird kid... Ugh." Clutching at his wound, he forced himself to stand despite the immense burning pain resulting. Then walking towards the gazebo in a limp of sorts, he had figured he pulled a muscle.

“C’mon Squirt, wake up.” He muttered crankily as he made his way towards Olivia and gave her a nudge with his free hand.

It seemed she was mostly conscious by then, as she almost immediately opened her eyes. She slowly sat up, blinking several times, then looking at her hand, feeling that she was holding something.

A key? Olivia thought, squinting to look at it closer.

“Capricorn gave you a gate key.” Nicor said, breaking her gaze from it.

“Like the one Damien has?” She said, looking at the demon’s face, trying not to look at his injuries.

“Nah. I’m sure it works differently.” Nicor replied, then gripping his torso with both arms and emitting a strained grunt. He hissed at another burning sensation pulsing around the wound. "Now help me fix this up."

Olivia paled a bit in color. "O-okay..."

“What, you aren't afraid of a little blood are you?" Nicor taunted before wincing. The wound should have already begun the healing process if it weren't for the holy water.

“F-fine, but don't be like that, we need to get you inside!” Olivia insisted, holding back the nausea building up in her stomach. She grabbed his arm and tugged on it. “At least let me help you in!” However, he was much heavier than she could move, and sluggishly dragged him in. "You could lose a few pounds you know... you're heavy."

The remark strained whatever patience Nicor had left, after all the pain and irritation Cancer inflicted on him.
"Whatever! Argh, just hurry it up and make yourself useful, you wench!" He snapped.

SLAP!

Olivia had struck him across the face using her free hand with great force, taking him by surprise.

“Shut your mouth and let me help you, you smurfy little shit." Her expression looked dark and menacing, not tolerating anything from him anymore. "You've got a lot of nerve to say that when I'm dragging your sorry ass back inside."

Once they came inside she shoved him into the couch.
“Alright, now we need to get something to stop the bleeding. Try not to bleed on anything.” Olivia muttered coldly, rushing upstairs to look for a first aid kit or at least some cotton balls. This left Nicor in the living room, rubbing his cheek in bewilderment that she had just slapped him a second ago. This caught him off guard; he thought she was afraid of him mostly, but it seemed that her annoyance with him quickly blew the fear out of the water.

"Damn, I wasn't expecting her to be that gutsy..."

Nicor quietly started tearing the rest of his ripped shirt off. “Where’s Damien? He should have gotten home by now.” He muttered, then hearing footsteps descending the staircase.

“I found some cotton balls and peroxide so it won’t get infected.” Olivia announced as she walked towards the couch but stopped seeing the now bare-chested water demon. 

“Uh…” Olivia paled again before hesitantly soaking the cotton balls to start dabbing at the wound.

Nicor rolled his eyes. “Are you going to treat my wounds or not?” He said with a scowl, looking sulky.

“Oh, uh, yeah.” Olivia replied awkwardly. She sat next to Nicor and continued to soak them. “Um… Just lay back a bit.” She said, keeping her eyes off of his wound.

Why is she sick looking all of a sudden?... Nicor thought, but then he realized he took off his shirt for her to clean the deep cuts the sword made. Seeing the wound must've been making her sick. Guess she didn't have a stomach for it.

She then set the bottle down and began dabbing lightly at his cuts. His jaw tightened at the sting but it passed quickly.

Soon enough, Olivia finished and picked up the bandages & gauze to wrap Nicor’s torso in when Damien entered the home.

“I’m ho—“ Damien stopped when he saw a wounded Nicor and Olivia on the couch. 

“What…. happened?...” Damien said as he dropped his swim team duffel bag and stood before the two. His eyes widened seeing the bloody cotton balls.

“Constellation Spirits decided to pay a visit." Nicor explained. “Capricorn and… Cancer.” His tone became hostile mentioning the red eyed boy, and the slits for pupils he had made this clear.

“You managed to drive them off? Or what?” Damien said, surprised that they’d be here already in such a short time. He had only made an official contract with Nicor nearly two years ago. But they didn’t give a warning, not even a bit more time?

“Yeah. Doesn’t matter really, they came to see if I still had a Contractor and one picked a fight with me for a stupid reason.” Nicor added. "I get that they don't like demons, but testing me so they don't have a reason to already trap me in the Chasm is a bit much."

“Not all of them have a ton of patience for demons, Nicor.” Damien said. “I see you had Olivia take care of your wounds for you.” He gave the water demon a look.

“Look, she wanted to, I wasn’t asking the squirt to.” Nicor replied through gritted teeth, rubbing his cheek. It wasn’t red anymore, but it still stung. 

"Be grateful I still did after what you said. You jerk." Olivia remarked coldly. "Anyway, Capricorn gave me a Gate Key. I’m not sure why though.” She said, taking the key out of her pocket and showing it to Damien. 

Damien’s eyebrows furrowed curiously as his blue eyes studied the key. “It’s more than the sake of trust that she gave it to you. Spirits aren’t so open to do that from what I know.”

"What makes you say that?" Olivia wondered.

"Constellation Spirits try their hardest to interact with humans here as little as possible. It's definitely out of the ordinary. Maybe they offer contracts or something? I don't really know, at any rate." Damien answered.

"You never know what celestial bodies are really thinking."
 

LoopyPanda

Black Jacket
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Messages
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Location
cyberia cafe
This thread serves as a separate thread to dump in character-specific art for Gossamer. Art in the OP will be updated only in the OP. Further arts will be added into the thread separately.​


MAIN CAST​

olivia_by_loopypanda-d9lp94i.png

bluh_by_loopypanda-d7xc5ez.png

Subject to change.

demon_nerd_by_loopypanda-d7ktv3m.png

He doesn't have a full reference picture so this was technically his concept. Likely won't change. And yes that is a meme ass sweater
Hadyn:​
hadyn_ref_new_design_by_loopypanda-d7xbxh4.png

No full body reference available as of yet. Design finalized.
His half-sister Erica is finalized for the most part but needs final adjustments.​
Erica:​
erica_by_loopypanda-d64lub0.png

SIDE CHARACTERS

So far:​
Alba​
Akira​
Benny​
Mike​
Stern​
Will​
Oscar​
Christina​
...​





DEMONS
Cernia​
cernia_reference_sheet_by_loopypanda-d9i23u9.png
Botis​
botis_by_loopypanda-d9i246k.png


confirmed but need fullbody reference/adjustments​
Baaph (?)​
Atlas (no standalone fullbody)​
 

ShineCero

The Strongest
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Interesting thread. Looks like I have another thread to bookmarked :maybe:

Olivia is very good. I really like how you draw her eyes. It makes her extremely cute :pimp:

The other demons are pretty cool! Especially Nicor, but Cernia is the best of the bunch B|

Can't wait to see more!
 

LoopyPanda

Black Jacket
Joined
Sep 3, 2015
Messages
12,021
Location
cyberia cafe
After a million years, is an update! Yayyyy!!! No summary for this chapter because I'm bad at that. Will put one in next time though.

Chapter 6: Loose Ends
In a hall lined with detailed pillars and a reflective ivory floor, warm light poured in from outside at both sides. At the center, hues of orange and gold illustrated a large Sun within a ring that depicted all twelve of the Zodiac symbols. The Sun glowed briefly before Capricorn and Cancer appeared.

“We’re back at the temple…” Capricorn mumbled, looking worriedly at Cancer.

“Just get me to my room befo— ” Cancer was interrupted by a booming voice all around them.

“You have returned? Please give me your report on Nicor and his human Contractor.”

At first, a ghostly figure appeared before the two, but it solidified into the form of a tall dark-skinned woman with flowing white hair that obscured her eyes. She wore a long white dress adorned with thin golden chains draping along the dress’s waistline, accented by pieces of orange agate and opal.

“Libra!” Capricorn and Cancer immediately kneeled before her, the latter ignoring the pain the movement inflicted. “I… I…” Capricorn stuttered.

“Cancer, I expect an answer.” Libra’s voice was firm but polite.

Cancer sighed, looking up at the woman. “Well, the water demon’s not a Rogue by now, we can know that much.”

“Have both the demon and his Contractor been keeping up with their collection assignment?” Libra pressed.

“About that…” Capricorn began, but she was nudged in the ribs by Cancer.

“Contractor wasn’t there. So, I decided to see for myself if the Exile was taking it seriously. Roughed me up enough to prove it. We never found out their progress or anything.”

Capricorn felt guilty, considering that she caused a thunderstorm that boosted Nicor’s abilities and made the overall matchup even worse for Cancer. Yet her mentor was taking the heat all on his own to make up for their mistake, on top of nursing his wounded pride from the fight.

“… I suppose I will send Gemini to finish your assignment, since you have failed to bring me all of the information I requested of you. Perhaps she will be more competent and won’t needlessly distract herself by engaging in a fight with a demon. Very well then, you may go.” Libra said in a flat tone before turning away and fading from their sight.

“She’s going to mouth my ear off later for this.” Cancer muttered as Capricorn guided him through the halls of the temple. It seemed quiet, meaning the others were likely still out. “Whatever. It’s not our fault she didn’t predict that the human wouldn’t be there by the time we’d reach the Exile.”

“Sorry…” Capricorn murmured.

“I’m… sorry too.” Cancer said. “It was a waste of time.”

“...”

He covered his eyes with his hands after being laid down to rest on a cushioned platform of sorts immersed in a small pond of water. Once he laid down to touch the water, it rippled and he felt all the tension in his body lighten. Cancer tilted his head to the side to feel the water brush his cheeks gently, closing his eyes to relax.

“...Do you have any idea of the consequences that could come from giving that human girl the ability to have you at her beck and call? What were you thinking?...” He was too exhausted to lecture her however, but his anger was thinly veiled through his fading pain.

“It’s... complicated.”

“Great explanation. Libra will find out eventually anyway, whether you tell me or not. Be prepared for when she does…” The boy dozed off immediately after ending that statement. Capricorn watched him sleep forlornly before leaving his room quietly, accompanied only by her jumbled thoughts.

.           .           .          .

“I think it’s time for me to get home…” Olivia said, glancing over at the clock in Damien’s living room-- it read 7:30 P.M. and the sun had long set. She let Damien try and take care of the injury she sustained by running face-first into the tree trunk from earlier that day. Luckily, her nose wasn't broken, but it looked red even after Damien made her hold a bag of frozen vegetables to her face to get the swelling to go down. It would probably bruise the next day.

“Mom’s going to want to know where I've been.” Once she stood up, however, she froze in place before making a frown. “She’s gonna kill me since I forgot to even text her.” Inadvertently, she left her car close to school. Much farther away than Damien’s house.

“I never saw your car on my way home.” Damien said. “... How’d you get to my house first?”

“Was it Goat Girl that took you here?” Nicor asked. “It's not like those freaks ever rode in a car before.”

Olivia nodded and poked her fingers together. “I completely forgot I left it back by the school… hopefully nothing happened to it.”

“I could just drive you there? It's too dark to walk back anyway,” Damien offered.

“I vote we drive too. No way am I gonna be sighted. As fun as it was, I’m not in the mood for something like that again,” Nicor muttered under his breath.

“Yeah. I didn't park it in a very obvious place either so we’d probably have to use our phones.”

.       .       .        .

The drive there was quiet until Nicor broke the silence shortly after departing.

“I don’t get what's so special about you to one of those cloud dwelling freaks,” he said. “Acting like she never saw a human before. You’re all pretty boring."

“You ask like I'm supposed to know why! I don’t even know. She just found me first ‘cause she didn't catch up to you by then.” Olivia was annoyed herself by the weight of the questions she had on her mind regarding the Zodiac Spirits, Capricorn, the key, why she even got it. There was no way to really get an answer either.

“This again, Nicor?” Damien rolled his eyes as he drove. “If you, a demon with the knowledge of the Underworld and the great war between Hades and Zeus from thousands of years ago, don't know why, how would Olivia? I only know things that you tell me!”

“It isn't like it’s ever been necessary for you to know, because the fact is that the great war had nothing to do with humans in the first place.” Nicor rested his chin on his hand that was propped up by leaning his elbow against the car window. “Now I just want to get my part of the deal done before the other Zodiacs show up! I was lucky that the best of them all weren’t sent after us.”

“You mean there’s more than just those two!?” Olivia blurted out in shock.

“One for each star sign.” Nicor said bluntly. “I would rather not see any of them. Why can't Hades just check up on me with his lackeys instead!? That brute can't ever be bothered to check up on his own. He can’t be that busy guiding souls to their new resting place all day.”

Olivia didn't want to speak anymore to the demon, so she resolutely stared out the car window as they drove. “... Hey Damien, how come your mom wasn't at the house at all today?”

“Out on a business trip for the week.” Came his matter-of-fact reply.

“Does she know?”

“...” Damien knew what she had meant by that, and felt a pit in his stomach form at the mere implication that he was keeping his current predicament a secret.

“Nah. She'd probably flip her lid if she knew her kid was stuck with a demon like me!” Nicor laughed heartily to break the silence. “I already have to keep an eye on your little friend now that she caught me, so I'd prefer to avoid his mother at all costs. Lucky for me, she isn't here too often. She doesn't know I eat all the food instead of her son. She’s convinced he's hitting another growth spurt or something, so I guess it's normal for you runts to eat a cabinet’s worth of food in a couple days.”

Olivia didn't look at either of them. “I guess I can understand. You never told me the last couple years, so why did I think you'd have told your mother?”

“It’s not like I didn't want to tell someone about this frankly chaotic thing going on in my life, Olivia. It’s just that-”

“You wouldn't want her to get hurt, so it'd be best if she never knew. I know.” Her tone was curt, and had a hint of pain in it. She knew why he couldn't tell anyone what he was forced into, but why was she feeling so hurt by it? It didn't make sense to Olivia herself.

“I… yeah. The same goes for you and everyone else I know here.” Damien drove and kept his eyes hidden from the rearview mirror. “It’s hard coming back and knowing hardly anyone now. That's what I get for distancing myself from Seattle entirely, I guess. But I wasn’t careful enough coming back here.”

“We got careless is all.” Nicor picked at his teeth absentmindedly. “Sorry about your friend, but sometimes it can't be helped. You're both lucky Damien recognized you, otherwise I don't think he'd give a damn if I strangled you or no--”

“We’re here.” Damien cut in with a sharp tone. His hands gripped the steering wheel so hard his knuckles turned white. Olivia swallowed nervously from the sudden tension.

They each got out of the car as the sky began to light up with lightning. A quiet rumble rolled over the school’s parking lot. “Let’s hurry so nobody sees us.” Damien said, softer in tone as he walked with Olivia. Nicor chose to stay in the car.

“... I'm sorry, Olivia,” He said after a few moments.

“... For what?”

“Everything. For not telling you anything, for leaving all our friends suddenly, for Veronica. I deserve it if she decides to hate me for the rest of her life. Since she almost actually died. Just… try not to let her rat me out or anything. I'm just sorry in general," he said.

“...” Usually, Olivia would brush aside any grievance with an ‘it’s okay,’ but this time, she had no instinct to do so. No amount of apologies would undo the wall he put up between them for the sake of protecting his friends; she was the only real friend he still had after coming back. “I'll be sure she won't tell a soul.” That was all she could muster for a reply.

They reached her car and she unlocked it without any problems, although the rain started up by the time they got to it.

“... I'm sorry you got hurt today because of me too," Damien apologized again.

“It’s my fault for being nosy in the first place.”

“I understand if you don't want to associate with me anymore because of all this.”

“But then everything would go back to how it was the last couple of years.” Olivia bowed her head as the rain began to increase. Droplets of water dripped off her hair and fell on the seat since she didn't get in her car-- she held the door to the driver’s seat open still as she gazed towards the muddy ground. “I don't want to go back to being lonely again right after you came back.”

“You have Veronica though.”

“Just her. Everyone else is just a classmate. Things... changed while you were gone, Damien."

Damien watched her stand there without speaking for a while before she looked up at him through her wet hair that stuck to her face. “I should go. See you in class tomorrow.” without waiting for a response, she got in and maneuvered her car out and back onto the road, driving off for home.

Damien stood in the dark staring off in the direction she drove in as the thunder rumbled around. He heard a loud rustling noise from the trees above before something landed behind him with a loud thud.

“She left already?” Nicor popped the bones in his neck.

“Yeah. I don't have her number so hopefully she gets home safely…”

“Don’t worry your pretty head over it. I'm sure that after today, she might not be so alone anymore.” The water demon flicked his wrist around as the rain drops around them moved out of their way and landed in the grass around them with a cascading pattern.

Damien’s heartbeat picked up suddenly as he looked over at him, almost speechless at what he said. 

“What… do you mean?”

“We’ll see, blondie. Now let's get your weak ass out of this rain. You’ll catch a cold. Can't have my partner in crime getting sick.” He roughly gave the teenager a pat on the shoulder before leading them back to his car. “You see, everything had already been decided the second she laid eyes on me.” Nicor said in a low voice.

.          .         .        .

Olivia had driven home after that and arrived to her own house a little past eight o’clock. Once she parked inside the garage and came in through that door, she stopped in her place after reaching the den.

“About time you got home, young lady!” Her mother stood up from the couch that sat close to the door, putting her hands on her hips and looking at Olivia with a stern expression on her face. “Where have you been? Surely not at Vee’s, since I called her and she told me she hadn't a clue where you were after school! Do you know how worried I was? And what happened to your face!?”

“You didn't try texting me first?” Olivia asked once the bombardment of questions was over.

“Of course I did, but for some reason the thunderstorm from earlier today zapped one of the cell towers. It wouldn't go through to your phone when I tried calling you, so I guess you were near the one that got fried. That's why I called Vee right after.”

Olivia completely forgot that Capricorn had fired her own thunderbolts into the sky to produce such a strong thunderstorm. Hers was probably much stronger in voltage than typical lightning given she was some kind of mystical being, so the fact it messed up some towers and telephone lines logically shouldn't have come as a surprise in hindsight. It explained why her phone didn't ring at all following that, knowing her overprotective mother.

“I wasn’t alone or anything. I went to a friend-- er, Damien’s house,” Olivia explained. “He just came back to Seattle, so I wanted to, um, hang out with him now that he finally moved back. We tried to climb a tree, but I fell and hit my nose on the trunk on the way down.” Her mother stood over her to check over the injuries Damien already tended to, which looked rather well-done for being first aid.

“Damien? The same one who went to school with you back in middle school? Oh my goodness, I thought he moved away for good! Wonder what brought him back here?...” The woman wondered aloud as she moved her light brown hair over her shoulder.

Your guess is as good as mine in retrospect… Olivia thought to herself cynically. “Yeah… we just spent the day hanging out after school.” She placed a hand on her stomach, which let out a loud growl. “I'm hungry though… hopefully you didn't wait to start dinner.”
“I did. So it's pasta night.”

After dinner, Olivia dropped her backpack by her desk as she was too drained from the day’s events to even think about studying or doing homework. She could just get up and finish it early the next morning before she headed for school. It was late already, so she decided to send Veronica a quick text that she made it home and who she was with. Not waiting for a reply, she left her phone on her nightstand as she got ready to sleep. Before she finally lay on her bed, her eyes fell on something out of place that sat before her.

“... a dolly?” What sat on her sheets was a doll that seemed to be made solely of fabric. It had long black yarn on its head for hair with black buttons sewn on for eyes. The doll also had what looked to be a hand sewn dress. “Is that a present from Mom or something? It looks kind of cute…” She had a few plushies here and there left over from her childhood, but she wasn't exactly a collector. Maybe her mother found it and thought it looked nice like those porcelain dolls found at the antique stores?

Olivia just hummed quietly before taking the doll and placing it on the windowsill across the room from her bed. Even if the dolly was cute, she wasn't going to sleep with it in the same bed.

Not picked up by her ears, however, was a faint giggle that came from the doll itself, muffled by the sound of rain and thunder against the window.
 
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