Hide and Seek


"Yes, Jou-u-sama?" asked Xellos as he appeared next to his mistress, his smile never fading.

"You know that frightening him will NOT make him give in. It may prolong his stay with Gaav..." she turned to him, her eyes narrowing in the slightest.

Xellos chuckled cheerfully, "I was simply toying with him. His self-importance is a slight bit annoying... I wanted to show him who was more in command than he..."

Xellas chuckled, shaking her head, "and what if he reports your presence to his master?"

"He won't..."

"He better not..."

"And what could Gaav do?"

Beast master thought about that one for a moment.

Xellos smirked.

"Your brilliance surpasses any of the other Mazoku I've had the privelage of meeting..." said Xellas, cupping her General/Priest's chin and making him face her, "I see that it wasn't a mistake to transform you before..."

"I take it you'd like me to continue my observation...?" he rose an eyebrow.

Xellas nodded, "he's a strange mixture... be careful. If he unleashes his potential power out, he may become more of a problem than we think..."

Xellos opened one eye, "Consider it done." and with that he disappeared

Gaav ruffled that soft aquamarine hair. He smiled with so much pride. His Mazoku - no, his faithful servant, Valgaav had surpassed even Saygram in combat and magical attacks and offense. Now the trouble was training him for the inevitable battle that would happen one day...

Valgaav smiled faintly, one of his rare smiles. His scars looked like war paint as they criss-crossed his shirtless body. He was obviously tired, but still ready for a fight. He loved battle... almost as much as Gaav did...

Saygram floated up a bit, his severe wounds healing almost instantly.

(That damn boy has only been here three days and he's surpassed me!! Gaav's second-hand man! Where did he come from?!) Saygram thought bitterly as he clasped a bandaged hand over his now-healed wound. He cringed as Gaav patted the young boy on the shoulder, smiling as if they were...family...

"Valgaav!" cried Saygram as he threw his head back, "I challenge you once more - !"

"Saygram, enough...!" said Gaav as he held a hand out to the advancing Mazoku.

Saygram stopped and noticed Val's battle had not been easily won. One of his shoulder's had been sliced almost through, seeping out an eerie color of maroon through the laceration, even if it was healing quickly. He smiled inwardly, noting that he'd been a challenge for the cocky young man... and that he wouldn't win again.

Valgaav glanced callously over to Saygram, feeling his hair stand on end, somewhat.

"Val, come with me..." said Gaav, pulling the young man gently along, away from Saygram.

Val followed, but kept a wary eye behind him as he walked with his master.

"You know, Val..."

Val looked to Gaav, raising his eyebrows.

"I'm very... pleased with your performance today..."

Val felt something inside of him cave in on itself (Just... pleased?! Damn, what do I have to do to prove myself to you...?)

Gaav walked them both to the edge of the canyon they were training in, then stopped, looking over the edge.

"One day... a great battle will ensue... and even I may fall..."

"No, I won't let that happen!" stated Val, standing in front of his master, his back to the long expanse below.

"You will be pre-occupied..." Gaav said, looking down to this boy whom he'd chosen... This Ancient Dragon... and Mazoku... Pledging his life to him. Yes, he would be his prodigy... The one to win this battle... and take his rightful place -

He was so much like a son to Gaav. Despite the hair color differences and the original species... They were so alike on so many levels. He placed his hand along Val's cheek, tracing the scars left by the attacks of the Golden Dragons...

Yes, he would be a powerful Mazoku... enhanced with his Dragon Blood...

"I will not be pre-occupied!!" cried out Val, clenching his fists together, "I'll never betray you, Gaav-sama! You saved my life when no one else would..."

"You will be..." said Gaav, taking Val's hands in his own (And now is time for training...)

Gaav's hands gripped Val's tighter than normal. Val's eyes widened a bit, surprised. He then felt his whole body being lifted by his arms and thrown over the edge of the canyon so quickly, he'd barely seen the attack.

He tried to cast a levitation spell, but that was ineffective. Gaav had cast a Magical barrier over the canyon, in order to make sure Val had to use his wits instead of brawn. He felt the cool evening wind flow past his body as he fell. He turned slowly, seeing Gaav standing there, watching.

Val felt a strange sensation run through his upper body. Both painful and exhilirating at the same time, somewhat like adrenaline pumping through his veins, only an intensified version. His shoulders felt a growing pressure building up behind them...

Gaav smirked.

Long, elegant black feathered wings sprung out of his shoulders. Quickly regaining his ability to fly by instinct, Valgaav extended them to their full length, breaking his fall until he finally floated in mid-air, without the aid of magic. He flapped them once, then took off at lightening speed towards Gaav. His arms extending out for an attack...

Gaav suddenly teleported out.

Val landed and looked quickly around, his Dragon senses now awakened. He didn't sense Gaav or Saygram nearby.

Find us, Val... We'll be ready and waiting...

Valgaav gasped and looked about even more when he heard the voice... from nowhere...

Suddenly, his wings contracted involuntarily. He cried out in pain as his Dragon wounds re-opened, causing blood to ooze from his new-found wings. He collapsed to his knees, not knowing how to make his wings revert back to his normal, human form. One of his wings had been wounded, causing it to fall weakly over to one side. The other was healthy, but badly injured in the center of its arch.

He clenched his teeth tight, as well as his eyes, in an effort to contain the searing pain... the familiar pain... of... dying...

He wouldn't die... Not like this...

Only for Gaav-sama...

He hugged each of his shoulders, trying his best to revert back to his complete human form. He shuddered when the pain subsuded a bit, then came back in throbbing waves that wracked his nerves. (I must be doing something right...) he mused, noticing the pain was leaving just in the slightest...

Feeling the now-welcome darkness beginning to consume him, Val slowly accepted it, and fell to the ground. His wings slowly disappeared, leaving him in his human form... peaceful, but unconscious.

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