Mazoku Within

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Notes:
   
    navy = flashbacks
    blue = Zel's point of view

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The rain pounds down, but no worries. It can't affect me, doesn't lessen my mood, only makes me wet. If I run through it, then pop over to the inn, I can shake the water over everyone and probably get fireballed. Great idea. Pop. I'm in the inn. Behind Zelgadis. I had forgotten my reaction to him. Shaking water over everyone is now farthest from my mind, annoying the silent Zel will be much more amusing. And with a more predictable, pleasant reaction. I sneak up quietly behind him while making sure Amelia, who's always staring at Zel, sees me. She attempts to warn him, but I'm too quick for her. With a flick of my wrist his hood slips off his head. He then attempts to strangle me. His hands around my throat, ah bliss. Pain is sweet to my kind, infinite pleasure. The pain he brings me especially. I know he hates me, though I hope for a different feeling, and hate is good in humans. It brings pain.

"Zel, leggo of Xellos. I said drop him!" That is Lina. A very loud, amusing young female who doesn't trust me. I don't trust me either. She should let Zel try to throttle me, I like it. He drops me, drat. And then stomps on me some, that's fun. Drat again, Lina snags him by the cape, yanks him into his seat, then continues eating. Predictable. I see so many ways to annoy her now. Whoops, deal with that later, Firia is now introducing my head to the wall. I like her. She's violent, loud, bossy, and the last of the Gold Dragons. She hates me too. I killed all her kind, that was fun, hearing their pleas, their screams of pain. Watching them die. Slowly wiping every last one of them off the face of the earth. Perhaps that's why I like her, the things I could do to her, the last of her kind. Pain, sweet distraction, but she would go too quickly, no matter her blood. There is no pleasure in quick death, no satisfaction. Firia backs away from me, fear in her eyes. Was I smiling when she struck, not my usual all knowing smile, but my real one? Did my violet eyes watch her hit me? Did I allow my thoughts to show? I must have, she backs away now, avoiding me. I can smell her fear, and it's intoxicating. I smile more, letting my intentions show for a second, before closing my eyes and giving the world my usual expression.

Zelgadis would be far sweeter than her, males more amusing than females. He hates me almost more than Firia, he's strong, and I know things about him that would be useful. Things like control, things that could bind him to my will. That, however, would be too easy. I want him to come to me willingly. I have no illusions about my desires. I want the chimera. Cool, strong, powerful, dangerous, like a work of art, though he doesn't know it. It would be sweet to break him, sweet to please him. I want both and I can't choose. He glares daggers at me as he drinks his coffee. A smile tugs at my lips, a darker smile, I make my decision. Please him, then break him. Floating in the shadows I watch them. Lina and Gourry eat as if there's no tomorrow. Foolish. There's always a tomorrow, unless I grow tired of this game I play, and kill them all tonight. I frown, a rare expression, my master would not like it if I killed Lina, even though the others are expendable. But Lina would not be near as amusing if her friends were dead.

But the game is still fun, no harm will come to them as long as I watch over them, watch over him. Why does that send a tingle down my spine? Could it be that any control, however secret, of them, and him, is satisfying? Amelia gazes at Zel, love struck, her fingers fiddling with her wristbands. You wanted him to teach you, so you could be close to him, attract him, but your plan failed, little one, I know that, I see it in his eyes. He cares about you as a friend, but no more than that. But you still try. Should I help you? Watching you fail would be amusing. Helping you fail, while seeming to assist would be more so. No. I push that thought out of my mind, that would break your confidence, and that must remain intact, for now.

Firia watches me fearfully, she hasn't forgotten the look I gave her. For the first time in her life, fear of me overrides her hate. Fear is almost as sweet as pain. I like this fear in her, it's new. Her reactions unknown. I look her in the eyes and open my own, my smile fading as I run my tongue over my lips. She gulps and instinctively scoots backward. I continue to hold her gaze as I fade out, only my eyes lingering. This will be fun. I pop into silent existence behind her. She doesn't know I'm here, but she soon will. The fear scent is stronger the closer I am to her. Intoxicating. I reach out and run my fingers gently through her hair, my other hand touching the back of her neck, as I lean over and whisper softly into her ear, "Boo."

She screams, jumps straight into the air, and comes down with a audible thwack. She then proceeds to smash my smiling face into another wall, this time with her mace. Sigh, bliss. I love her temper tantrums, dragon strength adds an extra bonus to the punishment she plans. Little does she know that her outbursts are my encouragement. The only reason I continue to torment her. That is a lie. I have another reason now. She fears me, never before has she feared me, and her fear is delicious. Lina stops her. Should I get some small revenge on the sorceress for ending my fun? Perhaps if it amuses me later I will, but not now. I return to my silent observations as Firia releases her hold on my neck. My gaze shifts to my desire.

Can stone be sweet? I would like to find out. Control. Remember your control. My eyes follow his motions as a smile plays on his lips. Hidden smile, he relished Firia's attempt to kill me. I like the fact that pain inflicted on me brings him pleasure. Could any pain bring him that pleasure and not just my own? You are part demon, I whisper to him silently. Do you react like one? Are you as strong as one? Beautiful stone. Like a sculpture. Fast. Can you outrace a true demon? I doubt it, I would win. And I would enjoy winning. I feel the desire to control him and suppress it, not now, another time.

He looks straight into my eyes suddenly, his own flashing with hate. He looks back down at his coffee as Lina and Gourry finish off the meal that would have fed a village for a year. His gaze held me like a snake holds a bird in it's thrall. Sweet temptation. Control it.

I step out of the shadows and smile at Lina. "Finished Lina-san?"

She nods happily, and wipes her face with a napkin. I lean in close and smile curiously," Where ever do you put it? Certainly not your chest." Now Lina is introducing my head to various hard, sharp objects, while screeching like a banshee. Revenge, pain, and the chance to tease her. Perfect. Amelia drags Lina off me. Drat. The young princess somehow manages to calm Lina down before turning to me and smiling," We got you a room Xellos-san." I no more need a room than I need sleep. But I don't object to one either.

"Where?"

"Under a rock somewhere," Zel interjects coldly, "Where you belong." He gave me an opening. I smile innocently and pretend to miss his point as I answer," You mean ... I'm sleeping with you?" No one else caught my true meaning except him. And he is now throttling me, his eyes burning with hate. And something else. Something I have never seen in his eyes before. Something dark ... and exciting. Something that sends a tingle through me as I open my eyes and smile my real smile. He hisses and suddenly we are nose to nose, his eyes gleaming dangerously. Amelia pulls him away from me, barely holding him back. Annoying child. She tells me where my room is while trying to recreate order. I can barely control my anger as my staff buzzes under my fingers in reaction to my emotions. I fade out of the dining room into my own before I do something I might regret later. Like kill her. You should not have interfered, Amelia. Payment will be forthcoming.

The room is dark, comfortable. I ignore the sounds below me, pushing my desire out of my mind. For now. My staff still thrums under my fingers as I hold it to the moonlight, the pale glow from the moon seeming to catch it on fire. Dark fire. I touch my fingers to the smooth, round globe at the head of the staff, running them down the side. Blood red. Symbol of victory, destruction. Power hums beneath my fingers as I gaze into the red depths, a spark is there. A spark only I can see. I smile into the stone, sweet prize of a creature's death. Dragon death. I did what no Mazoku had ever done, what no Mazoku could do. "I destroyed you," I whisper to the stone, hearing it hum softly in reply. I became my master's high priest and general when your blood was spilled by my hand. I can still taste it. Silver mixed with blood, living metal. Gem dragon. I realize I'm laughing and stop, hearing the soft echoes fade. You were my test, to prove myself to her. She never expected me to succeed, only survive. But I did more. Red stone, like blood. Dark spark, bound to me. I corrupted you. You would have destroyed me with the spell, but I poisoned the source, your power with my own. Last of the gem dragons. Heartstone. I slide my fingers over it's surface, reveling in the feel of it. Cool and warm at once, like your blood.

She looks at me with her eyes, the eyes that are many times my own size. Violet, silver slit eyes. There is no fear in her thoughts, no pain, only resignation. She knows she is dying. You have condemned me, Mazoku. I will not join my kind in the Gathering. Her thoughts touch my own. Stone pillars, sparkling depths, a mountain.

A temple. An image you burned into my mind for all time. One day when I'm bored I'll search for it. I have not been bored. Not in all the years since then, long years, even the dragons barely remember your kind. The stone sings under my fingers.

Have you touched the darkness? Do you hear the shadows whisper back? Their song.

You burned the song into my mind. What reason was there for it? Yes. I hear them. They sing to me when I choose to sleep. Dark dreams, pleasant dreams. I press my lips softly to the stone's smooth side. A stone I cut from your body, the stone that marked you. You had no heart. The blood flowing freely, creating a lake beside your body, soaking me. Silver red blood, cold and hot at once. Strangely satisfying.

Rolling to her side, she crushes a valley into the mountains, her stomach exposed to me, as she readies herself for death. She closes her eyes and does not open them again. I know I am laughing.

The gem was both your heart and the source of your power. It did not die when you did. When I touched it, it beat with my heartbeat, breathed with my breath, burned when I burned. I wanted your power, but I destroyed it with my own. I corrupted the source.

Zelas does not know about the jewel. She only knows that I have killed the gem dragon she sent me to face, and that I have returned with a staff. And now she fears me.

The staff throbs under my lips now, burning. Is your soul trapped in the stone? Is that why you didn't join your kind? I hope so. I'm laughing again and I stop myself. I destroy what I desire, and I desired you.

A soft thwack at the door pulls my attention from my reflections. I consider not answering it just to annoy the thwacker. Silence. A second sound does not follow the first, and after a moment I hear near silent footfalls leaving. Near silent to my ears, completely undetectable to a human's. Only one I know can do that. Zelgadis. For what reason would he have for knocking at my door? Curious. I pop out to the other side of the door. A note is tacked there. Pulling it off, I walk through the wall into the room. Interesting ...

Meet me at the well outside when the moon is at it's zenith. I assume you know when that is.

Z

Oh, I know Zel, I know, I always know. The note burns to ash in my hands. A smile plays on my face as my staff pulses quickly under my fingers in sync with my rapidly beating heart. Why do you want this meeting? I remember the dark burning in his eyes when he tried to throttle me. When he gave me pleasure. Were you tempted? I hope so, but not likely. More likely you will try to kill me. Either way, I'll enjoy our little encounter. I'll be there, but the zenith is still a long way off. "However will I pass the time," I whisper rhetorically to my staff. As I always do. Watching them.

Firia. She sleeps, oddly peaceful. No bad dreams tonight? Such a pity. It would have been pleasant to watch her squirm. I reach out to stroke the hair that falls around her neck. Golden. Like your race. You are not the last. But your kind are so rare that in a way you are. One day, I'll hunt them all down. Kill every one of them so that you are the last. I will wipe away even the memory of them. Then I'll kill you.

There they are. Flying. So easy to strike them down. A mission of pleasure. If the Ancients are dead, then you must join them. I will enjoy this. How to do it? I smile my real smile as I summon the power to me. The staff hums as I pull the dark energies through the stone and concentrate on the flock.

"Fall," I whisper as I release it, sending it towards them. They fall, all of them, twisting and shrieking in the air. Their cries sending shivers of pleasure through me. The sound of their bodies striking the earth is delightful. The stone pulses as I send out the energy again, this time to cause pain. Their screams and pleas mix with my laughter, as each of them squirm helplessly in the grip of an unseen crushing hand. My hand. Their screaming is a pleasure I do not want to lose. Die slowly, pretty golds. Let me hear your screams.

"It was wonderful watching them die, stripping their pretty scales from their bodies, killing them slowly," I whisper softly into her ear, a thrill running down my spine at the thought," And one day you will join them." I will relish that day. I look forward to it. The fact that you fear me will make it all the more pleasant. And then there will be no more gold dragons.

Killing them is infinite pleasure. Their beauty wiped away. Though I would rather it have been more personal. That they had been stronger. The staff throbs darkly under my hands. Red and gold. Blood mixed with the scales I stripped from their bodies. The field is now a bloodbath. I reach down to dip my finger in the thick liquid, though I'm soaked in it. The taste, though pleasant, is not satisfying. A pity. All this blood, wasted. It was too easy to kill them, they went too quickly.

Yes. I will miss your temper though. It is pleasant pastime. I straighten, still watching her. She has become restless, her sleep plagued by unseen demons. I reach over and gently brush her hair away from her face. I hope you are dreaming of me. Pleasant dreams, dragon priestess. Pleasant dreams.

Lina sleeps in the same room. All the females to one room, and all the males to another. Except me. None of you trust me in the same room when you sleep. Wise, but futile. If I truly wanted it, no wall or barrier could keep me away. Like now. If you knew, would you fear me too? No, I don't want that. Not now, at least. You are so much more amusing when you believe you are in control. She shifts in her sleep, and the talismans on her wrists flash softly in the moonlight, a spark burning in them. A spark only I can see. Dragon stone. Same as my staff. They flash suddenly, aware of my presence. Do you know why I would sell these so cheaply, Lina? Can you even begin to guess? The stones are bound to me. As long as you keep them, which I know you will, I can control you. I will control you. But one day, Lina, I will collect their true worth, on the day my master has no more use for you, on the day that I have no more use for you.

Amelia. I have not forgotten your interference earlier. And once I find the best way to repay you, repay you in a way even you will never suspect, I will make you regret it. And I will enjoy doing so. I phase out of their room into Zel and Gourry's. Interesting ...

My desire sleeps. I didn't know you had it in you, Zelgadis. A fascinating twist. You are even more desirable now. Clever vengeance. I smile my real smile as I kneel down next to his bed and watch. A sudden vision with him, some chains, and myself pops into my mind. I smile wider, savoring it, before banishing it from my thoughts. Not yet. When you are mine, yes. When you come to me. Zel sleeps shirtless and I decide to give into the temptation. Reaching out, I carefully slide the cover down to his waist. The moonlight makes his skin glow. The rays hitting the stone and seeming to shatter into sparks. Breathtaking. I resist the urge to climb in with him. Perhaps another time, when he is aware of it, so he can throttle me afterward. I shiver, the thought is pleasant. Luscious stone. I slide my fingers lightly down his chest. The stone is cold, but there is warmth beneath. Like my staff, like her blood. A warmth that increases with my touch. A warmth that seems to blaze as I continue, captivated. He moans softly in pleasure, turning his head to face me, his hand suddenly reaching out and covering mine, holding it to him.

"Xellos ... " he whispers. How ... ? I blink and get nose to nose with him. Are you still dreaming? His eyes are closed, his breathing is still steady, though shallow and slightly ragged. You are. You dream of me? I'm so surprised I phase out. Then back in to stare. He shifts and moves his hand to his head as if hearing something. Opening his eyes he looks absently around the room and sees me watching. And freezes. I smile and wink. What's going through your mind? He growls at me before sitting up and reaching for his shirt. I float there and admire the view as he finishes dressing, grabs me by the neck and drags me through the inn and outside. Hitting me on all the steps on the way down. Ah, bliss. I haven't been dragged down stairs before. The experience is a pleasant novelty. "Can we do that again?" I ask around his grip. Very nice. He should squeeze tighter though. That's even more pleasant.

"Fruitcake."

"Bite me."

"Can you be serious for once? There's something I want you to see," he growls into my ear, while tightening his grip. His grip reaching through the cloth to bruise my neck. The sensation sending tingles of pleasure through me.

"I am." His eyes widen slightly and I see that dark look again. I open my eyes and smile my real smile,"Mazoku like pain."

He smiles darkly and tightens his grip more, as he whispers, "I know." He is gone, his demonic speed carrying him away in the blink of an eye. Leaving me wondering. If you know, why do you still continue to give me pleasure? Interesting question. Part demon. Pain inflicted on me brings you pleasure also, doesn't it? It is hardly an effort to catch up to him, to keep pace with his racing form. Beautiful in motion. You have secrets Zelgadis, and I want to know them all. I will know them. One way or another. This race is enjoyable. A simple thing to reach out and grasp you around the waist and pull you to me. And you would never get free. Push the tempting thought away. What do you want to show me? And why me? Why not the others? More questions, more secrets. I like secrets. We cross a river, bounding across it on the rocks, racing toward the ocean, following the water. I have not run like this for a long time. It is pleasant. Even more so with company.

I can't push the dream from my mind. Even when I run, I can't escape it. Can't escape him. Sweet dream. He's still smiling. He's always smiling. I would love to wipe it off his face. But each attempt only makes him smile more. A real smile. Your mask slips when I hurt you. I can see you enjoy it. That each attempt to hurt brings you pleasure. It brings me pleasure. I push that thought away. Yet another thing I can't escape. Damn you, Rezo! Why?! Why a demon? Now when I hurt or kill it brings sweet little thrills of pleasure. Like a Mazoku. Like him. I shudder as I run. He keeps pace easily with me. He could outrace me if he chose, but he keeps pace, letting me lead. I want ... no I don't. I don't want that! Beautiful. His eyes, his hair, the way he walks ... NO! Now I'm one of them. I can feel it. Each piece of pain. Pleasure. I have to stay away, keep people away ... so I won't hurt them. But I can't hurt him. I can only please him. I want to please him. It shames me to admit it. No matter how much I hate him, I still want him. And it gets worse when I'm near him. That curse. It was never so bad before. I barely noticed it before I met him. Something about being near him makes it more intense. More real, more ... sweet. The closer I am, the more pleasure pain brings. I've met other Mazoku. None are like him. Something about him ... about his power ... is different. I look at him, at that staff he carries, and I see things at the edge of my vision. Odd things. Almost like a spark is burning in the staff, in him. Like they're linked in some way. Pictures of dragons, so many. Silver. Gold. Black. A dark spark. So powerful. Lina's power can't match his, nothing I know of can. Her talismans burn with that same phantom spark. Can't she see it? I see it. Demon blood. They're linked to him. I hear him laugh softly. Does he enjoy this run? Does he enjoy being with me? Do I want him to? Yes. I realize what I really want ... company. I'm tired of being alone. Always alone. Damn you, Rezo! Stone. I can never reach out without knowing they'll reject me. Turn away in fear or horror. But ... he doesn't. You just make a joke of it, always teasing, always taunting. I hate you. Leave me alone! No. Don't leave. Please don't leave me alone. There is no being to hear my silent plea. No force that will ever answer me. Always alone. I want ... something. Something you can never give. Mazoku. You were watching me. I know you watch us. I don't trust you. Not at all. You are dangerous. More dangerous than anything I have ever met. And desirable. So desirable. Is that why I chose you instead of one of the others?

Zelgadis is lost in thought as he runs. What has made you think? I laugh softly, seeing him shudder. Something uncomfortable, something pleasant, something about me? That would be nice. You are running to get away. I can see it in your rigid stance. No matter what it is you want to show me, you want to get away from something. What is it you run from? Do you fear it? Fear is delicious. I would like to see it in you. As we race closer to the sea, an odd feeling passes through me. Very odd. Like I'm seeing us at an different angle, my vision strangely skewed. I look over to my desire. His form seems clearer, more sharp, intense. And he's glowing. A blue glow that flashes from some inner spark. A black spark. Dark energies. I feel the sudden urge to catch him and suppress it. Control the desire. Then it is as gone as quickly as it came. Curious. My staff pulses softly, strangely. What was that?! What did I see? I push the thoughts out of my mind for now. I will investigate them later.

The breeze carries an scent to my senses. Mazoku. Many of them in one place. Somewhere ahead of us. Is this where you're taking me? Weak Mazoku, lowest of minions, but I can't smell who they work for. All minions carry a trace scent, the scent of the one who is their master. Odd. Perhaps ... I reach into the astral plane through my staff, my power amplified. Nothing that marks them, though they are there. Ahead of us. We hit sand, and Zelgadis guides us across it, up one of the ridges that rim the sides of the portless harbor, and stops. Very suddenly. I slam into him and we both go down with a thwack that knocks the wind out of us both. That was actually kind of fun, especially since I'm on top. He feels nice, very nice.

"Get off," he growls, his voice muffled. I consider this and decide, reluctantly, to move. Floating just enough to let him get up and out from under me, before landing again. He brushes himself off, looking disturbed, before turning to look over the ledge. Pointing downward he says, "This is what I wanted to show you."

An army of Mazoku. Like I thought. No markings anywhere to label them. Renegades. Zel's hand on the back of my neck as he jerks me back onto the ledge interrupts my thoughts. I had been floating in the air right past it. His touch is pleasant.

"Careful," he hisses in my ear, drawing me back. I nod absently and settle next to him, leaning out. So what to do? Destroy them, of course. This will be entertaining. Moonlight is beautiful on blood. They should be no problem between us.

"Let's go," I say, getting ready to stand.

"What?" he asks, slightly thrown off.

"This'll be easy. Just a few fireballs, maybe some flare arrows, a little slicing and dicing with the sword. No problem," I say, smiling, "It'll be fun."

"Even if we can, I'd rather not. Too much can go wrong."

"Okay, then I do this the old fashioned way," I answer, smiling darkly. I'll enjoy this. Opening my eyes and smiling my real smile, I begin to draw in the energies. Pooling them in myself and in my staff. How can I kill them instantly, yet still have it be enjoyable? I know. Camping on the beach was not wise, renegades. Prepare to die. Concentrating on the sand beneath their feet, I allow the power to flare a bright red around my form, alerting them to my presence. They look up and fear flits across their faces. Delicious fear. They know me. Know what I can do.

"Flashpoint," I whisper, sending the power surging toward the sand. It melts instantly. With a pull of energy, I yank it out from under them, causing them to fall, before pouring the molten sand back in, cutting off their screams. Delicious screams. So satisfying. The beach is now a flat, perfect plain of solid glass, the army trapped within. I want to admire my handiwork. I phase out and phase in on the glass. Bending down, I run my hand across the glass, admiring the looks on the faces of those beneath it. Perfect. Their looks were captured perfectly. Fear. Such a lovely emotion. I realize I'm laughing and stop.

Zelgadis lands beside me in a leap and looks down at the preserved army. Does he know he just smiled? I watch him bend and touch the glass, tracing a pattern he sees. "You are sick," he whispers softly, still entranced. Their death brought you pleasure, didn't it? Admit it. You like it as much as I do. Part demon. What else would you enjoy? Beautiful stone. I have so many plans for you. That you find pain pleasure will merely make it more interesting. And much more satisfying.

He shivers suddenly and stands, his demonic speed carrying him away. You can't admit to the pleasure, so you'll deny it. I smile faintly. How like you. Then let's play a different game. Catch. Run away, Zelgadis. You can never escape. Glancing back down at the beautiful glass, knowing they are dying slow, horrible, silent deaths. So beautiful, the glass. I smile wider before taking off after Zel.

Catching up to him is as easy as before. Suppressing the desire to catch him is not as easy. Racing towards the dawn is something I have not done with company before. The thrill of killing them has not worn off yet. Such a pleasant feeling. Running with him another. We reach the river when the sun breaks across the horizon, suddenly washing the world in an almost blinding light. Washing him in light. I feel my breath catch in my throat at the way the light dances across him.

"Zelgadis ... " I moan in unconscious admiration. He doesn't hear me. Or if he does, he chooses to ignore it. How like him. I smile and speed up to run beside him.

I hate that bastard! The running doesn't help. The blissful feeling of speed, wind across me, blowing through my hair, outracing it. It's not enough. Not enough to cool the burning that consumes me. Damn him! A flash of purple, and he's running beside me. A glance shows his eternal smile, darker, those flashing eyes, hidden by the hair that whips around in the wind. I suppress a snarl. Why did he have to kill them like that? Doesn't he realize how fascinating it feels? Of course he does, he's Mazoku. That's why he did it in the first place, to get pleasure from their deaths. How I hate him for it, for making me feel this way, making me feel like him. I suppress another snarl. If only there was some way to get back at him!

We stop in the inn-yard in a cloud of dust. I smile and glance at Zel. He's almost too calm ... which means he's either furious or planning something. I wonder which I would prefer. Hmmmmm ... I follow him absently as he walks back toward the inn, not really noticing the fact that he stopped until I smack into him. That wasn't so bad really, he's built like a rock. I smile wider. Whoops, silly me, he is one. He spins suddenly and catches my head in his hands, pulling me down to him, fingers tangling in my hair. What?! He abruptly crushes his lips to mine, bruising, devouring, hungry. To say I'm surprised would be like saying that Lina-chan's never hungry. He feels nice though ... very nice. I push the shock away and just enjoy it. He definitely knows how to kiss. A delicious sweetness that ends too soon as he pulls back, staring into my eyes, searching, a glittering darkness in his gaze ... The moment my lips are free I ask the question of the day.

"Wha -- ?" He smiles at my obvious startlement, his eyes half-closing as he brushes his lips gently across my cheek, stopping at my ear. Mmmmmm ... His voice is the softest of whispers ... "Sore wa himitsu desu."

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