THE SHAPE OF THE SOUL



Chapter One

Koryo sighed softly, looking about the flowers and trees around the bridge. This place, underneath a small wisteria tree, was his favorite spot. The bridge between Heaven and Hell; this was the place where meetings between God and Satan, angels and demons, occurred. Angels weren't permitted to enter Hell, and Demons were not allowed to enter Heaven. It really was a beautiful area around the bridge.

Koryo was a strong demon, stronger than most, aside from Satan and his son Kokuyo. But even though Koryo was so strong, he did not use his powers often. Many, including Koryo himself, believed that he should have been born an angel. His appearance was that of a demon but his soul was truly pure.

Koryo astounded many angels and demons alike; even Satan himself was amazed by him. Never had there been a demon such as Koryo; some even went so far as to wonder if he was a full demon, but his extraordinary power seemed evidence enough of that, and could be explained by his relationship to Satan.

This day was the annual meeting between God and Satan and so the bridge was swarming with angels and demons. Koryo could hear the conversations drifting to his peaceful spot but he was still left undisturbed. His odd personality didn't leave him with very many friends of his own kind and his looks kept the angels from becoming his friends. His twin brother, Koryu, and his cousin Kokuyo were usually the only ones to speak to him.

And so it is no surprise, then, that Koryo was shocked out of his wits when someone sat down beside him. The demon looked over, his dark eyes wide. Beside him sat an angel of magnificent stature and beauty. His long blond hair was pulled into a thick braid; his blue eyes were kind and gentle as they gazed at Koryo. "Hello, my name is Ransho," the angel spoke softly.

Koryo's eyes were still a little wide as he struggled to respond. "Hello..." he said meekly. Ransho... that name was familiar, but why? Koryo shook his head slightly, clearing his thoughts. "I'm Koryo," he said quietly.

Ransho smiled brightly. "Hai, many know who you are, but few know you," Ransho said, looking sympathetically at the powerful demon.

Koryo quickly turned his gaze down, biting his lip. "Why are you talking to me?” Koryo asked, not looking at Ransho. It really was rare that someone would talk to him. He had only spoken to an angel once or twice.

"You're all alone," Ransho said simply. "You look sad and..."

"Ransho! What do you think you're doing?!" Ryuki rushed over towards the two. "Why are you talking to him?"

"Because I want to," Ransho answered, amused. He winked at Koryo, who simply looked bewildered. "This is Ryuki, Master Angel of Fire. Ryuki, this is Koryo."

"He's… Why are you talking to a *demon*?" Ryuki fumed. His face was crimson with fury. He looked at Koryo as if he were an annoying bug; distaste radiated from him in waves.

"Ryuki! That is quite enough!" chided Ransho. He stood, looking apologetically at Koryo "I must go, but I hope to speak to you again," Ransho said, giving Ryuki a silencing look.

Koryo smiled slightly. "All right. It was nice meeting you," he murmured shyly, leaning back against the wisteria. He pushed a lock of his shoulder-length black hair behind his elegantly pointed ear.

Ransho nodded, smiling at the demon before leaving with Ryuki, who was still boiling with his misplaced anger. "Ryuki, what is your problem?" Ransho asked when they had moved out of earshot.

"You were talking to a demon, Ransho! You were acting like friends!" Ryuki exclaimed in utter horror. "Why would you talk to him?"

"Ryuki, Koryo is only a demon in appearance. If you would look below the surface you would see that his soul is purer than many angels'," Ransho explained, trying not to become exasperated with the younger Master Angel.

"But Koryou is Koryu's twin; they are cousins of Kokuyo, the son of Satan and heir to the throne of Hell! Satan is Koryo's uncle; how is that Koryo is not a demon?!" Ryuki responded hastily.

"I can't explain it, Ryuki, but he is not evil. He is kind, polite and compassionate. I would suggest you look deeper than his appearance before you cast your judgment," Ransho warned. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to look for Master Touki."

The youngest Master Angel stared after Ransho, his blonde hair moving with the breeze, blue eyes filled with confusion. Ryuki shook his head. A demon was a demon, an angel was an angel, a human was a human; there was no in between. Koryo was a demon; Ransho must be wrong.

~~~

"Koryo!" Koryu called, sauntering over to the wisteria, flopping down on his twin's lap. "Whatcha doing just sitting here?" he asked.

Koryo laughed softly as his brother settled in his lap. "There is nothing else to do."

"You could help me torture Kohaku! It's so fun!" Koryu suggested, a maniac grin covering his face. "We could steal Uncle's book again…"

Koryo shook his head, playfully pushing Koryu off his lap. "I'll just sit here a while longer," he said softly, allowing Koryu to lay his head on his lap. "Where are your minions?" he asked.

"They're following one of the Master Angels around, Ryuki, I think, driving him insane. It's quite humorous." Koryu answered, stretching out, yawning lazily.

"Why do you like annoying and hurting others?" Koryo asked. His long, slender fingers stroked Koryu's black satin hair, exactly the same as his own.

Koryu rolled his eyes, batting at Koryo's hand playfully. "Don't you know, that is what normal demons *do*? I mean, really, you are the third most powerful demon in all of Hell but you let it go to waste! You can be so annoying," Koryu rambled, saying the last part jokingly.

Koryo rested his hand in place on Koryu's head, sighing softly. "I'm sorry I'm not like most demons," he whispered.

"But…I love you anyway," Koryu said offhandedly.

"Don't worry, I love you too, Koryu," Koryo whispered, "Let's go home, now." He pushed his twin off his lap, standing. Arm in arm, the twins hurried off, unaware of the angelic being that had been spying on them.

Chapter Two

Ryuki stared after the demon twins their words ringing in his mind. Koryo was odd, but he was still a demon. He could never be trusted. He didn't take Ransho's advice to look beneath the surface. He was disgusted at the very though of the filth that would be Koryo's demonic soul.

To Ryuki things were simple; there were no grey areas. He could be considered close minded and stubborn and rightfully so. In many respects he was more old-fashioned than many of the elder Angles, including Touki himself.

With a soft sigh the master angel settled beneath one of the Wisteria trees, closing his eyes. For the most part the bridge could be relaxing unless some unfortunate demon stumbled upon him. "Ryuki?" a gentle voice called his name, drawing him out of his musings.

"Hmm..." the master angel of fire glanced up, smiling at the being before him. "Hisui," he greeted, patting the place beside him. He ignored the flutter in his heart; Hisui had turned him down long before.

Hisui settled down beside Ryuki, pushing back a long lock of blonde hair. "I heard about earlier, Ryuki," Hisui started, glancing at his friend's face. He wished Ryuki wasn't so set against all demons; there were so many things he wished to confide in his fiery friend but couldn't due to that very prejudice.

"Don't you lecture me too, Hisui," Ryuki growled, his eyes flashing dangerously.

"Not all demons are terribly evil, Ryuki!" Hisui persisted. "When will you see that? Give Koryo a chance."

"Why would I give a *demon* a chance for anything?" Ryuki asked incredulously.

Hisui stood up visibly upset. "You are so pig-headed, Master Angel Ryuki," Hisui stammered, his eyes hurt. Ryuki would never understand. Hisui walked off, looking for the warm comforting arms of his lover.

Ryuki stared after Hisui in confusion. Never had the other called him by his formal title in private. He just didn't understand, sighing he silently vowed to be cordial to Koryo next time he saw him but he would make no promises for any other demon.

TBC...

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