<%@LANGUAGE="VBSCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252"%> Voshtahl Files- Chapter 4

Voshtahl Files- Chapter 4
The Brothers

by Lord Voshtahl

“So you call yourself Gosaku now, do you?” questioned Azriel flippantly as he looked the young demon prince he’d just brought into the library over. The boy had taken no time in pulling books down from the shelf and flipping through them at a maddening pace.

The demon boy simply nodded his head before stating, “Gosaku is my name, why would I call myself anything else?”

Azriel frowned just a little before correcting the boy, “Gosaku is the name you were given as a human, but you are a demon once again. Isn’t ‘Gosaku’ a peasant’s name anyway? Hardly fit for the little brother of a demon prince.”

Gosaku raised his head up from the book to meet his older brother’s gaze briefly before giving a soft smile, “A name is simply a label. It is what lies behind that name that matters.” He then lowered his head back to the book before uttering softly, “And I cannot remember a time when I was called anything else, so why change what is familiar.”

Azriel paused at this thought before crossing his arms over his chest in a rather defensive manner, “I assure you, there are times when a change of name is well in order. Your name is what is people first hear of you, and it is always best to make a first impression.” However, after a moment more of thinking he bowed his head just a bit before admitting, “However, you were only an infant when Grandfather stole you away and turned you into a human. Though I could never imagine why he’d subject you to such a thing.”

Gosaku was silent for a moment before looking up and clapping the book shut. “Because of Demitri Maximoff!” he exclaimed triumphantly.

However, this statement caught his brother quite offguard. He wrinkled his nose before asking, “Try that one again?”

The demon boy hopped to his feet before holding a finger up and waggling it at his much larger brother, “Demitri Maximoff was a vampire that almost defeated Belial, the strongest of us all…” he began the lecture.

Azriel waved a hand dismissively before stating, “This I already know. He tried taking on Belial and lost only to be banished to the human world for his treachery.”

Gosaku took a single bound before landing on top of a bookshelf. From there he leaned down towards his brother and spoke more softly, “But, the more important part of this was that Demitri was a human once, one that lived his life through great strife.”

“Ah,” mouthed Azriel understandingly before taking on a very thoughtful look, “So then grandfather must have assumed that Demitri’s power was derived from the human part of his soul that was tempered with his willpower. By turning you human and putting you in a position such as a peasant in the middle of Japan during a time of great uprising and upheaval he hoped to temper your soul exactly the same.” He then turned his gaze upwards, his eyes narrowing, “But… why you?”

Gosaku brought a finger up to his lips and tapped them for a moment before exclaiming, “Ah! You, Oniisan, had already gotten quite used to being a demon. But if he was going to potentially great a demon of great power, he wanted it to be someone who’s loyalty he could ensure.”
Azriel gave a slow nod as he turned his gaze downwards again. “And he told you all this?” he whispered quizzically.

Gosaku shook his head before hanging his legs over the side of the bookshelf and then pointing towards the book he had held earlier, “It was all in that book. I think many books here are Grandfather’s records.”

Azriel raised a hand up to his mouth before giving a loud, hearty laugh. “Little brother, this library contains perhaps all known knowledge in the universe. We have scribes constantly expanding it with new findings and Grandfather ensured it contained everything he could find to place within it.”

Gosaku gave a big fanged grin at the idea before looking about greedily, “This sounds like my kind of place. I like books, and books that can teach me everything are even better.” However, his expression suddenly changed and became a bit sullen as he glanced towards his brother once again, “But, Oniisan… I do have a question…”

Azriel lowered his hand before folding his arms once again. “Grandfather is dead, he died long ago. That is partially why you’ve been locked up for all this time. Belial locked you in there and refused to open the gate for me, but only a member of his family could open it.”

Gosaku nodded his head a bit before stating, “Well, I did want to know that. But, I wanted to know something else as well.”

Azriel turned his eyes to gaze at the young demon questioningly, “Well, I can imagine you must have many other questions. What is on your mind at the moment?”

Gosaku beamed a rather silly smile as he asked, “Who was that Lilith girl? She was very pretty; I hope I’ll get to see her again soon!”

Azriel frowned at this before hissing back, “Do not wish such a thing.” He turned his back towards his brother as he continued on, “She may look pretty on the outside, but a succubi is the last thing you want to get involved with. She was a necessary means to free you, otherwise I would have seen she never get close enough to dig her hooks into you. They are too painful to remove once they get in deep, you’ll be lucky if you never see her again.”

The bright red glow to the little demon’s eyes seemed to fade a bit at this information, “oh,” he whispered softly before giving a soft nod.

Azriel glanced back over his shoulder before changing the subject, “Incidentally, why is it that you look so young? I realize that your body wouldn’t have aged while the beam transformed you back into a demon and filled you with the energy and knowledge it carried, however Grandfather’s plans were to bring you back upon your twentieth birthday. It seems as though he stole you away at no older than maybe sixteen.”

Gosaku curled his legs up a bit as he thought of this, his frown deepening. He laid his head upon his knees as he answered quietly, “He had to take me back… I tried to drown myself.”
Azriel’s eyes widened with alarm at this statement. He turned back slowly as he asked cautiously, “Tried to drown yourself?.. How did this come about?”

The demon boy spoke in a very distant voice as his mind wandered away, “I was supposed to get married, it was an arranged marriage. However, my human brother was in love with the girl who was to be my bride… So I played a trick and put him in my place for the wedding ceremony. By the time they realized that it was not me, the two had already consummated the marriage.”

Azriel let out a quiet sigh before shaking his head slowly, “Even if you didn’t approach this in a honorable and direct manner, I do not see why giving up your bride for your brother’s true love was an act worth drowning yourself over.”

Gosaku shook his head slowly, his eyes beginning to water over. He spoke even more softly as he stated, “But, I didn’t do it for my human brother…”

Azriel’s eyes widened in surprise once again as he heard this, “Well then,” he asked with a touch of confusion, “Why did you do it?”

The little demon turned his head to the side and stared over the side of the bookshelf with a soft sigh. “I did it,” he answered in a whisper, “Because I was in love with the village shrine maiden.”

Azriel was too stunned at this to speak at first. While he himself was no stranger to forbidden love, it boggled his mind that a demon would be attracted to someone who lived her life to be pure. In comparison, their mutual attraction to Aensland succubi seemed perfectly logical.

But, after a moment he just breathed a gentle sigh and stepped close to the bookshelf. He reached a hand up and rubbed his brother’s back gently. “Don’t feel badly, little brother. That was a long time ago now. And I’ve thought you were dead for so long, I am happy to see I was wrong.” As he lowered his hand he noted, “The minor clan representatives should be arriving in a few hours. It would be a good show to display that we are both in good health and strong. It could help rally the others to our cause.”

Gosaku turned his head back looking curious at this, “Our… cause?” he asked.

Azriel gave a little chuckle before replying, “I’d completely forgotten you didn’t know yet, let me fill you in on what’s happened while you’ve been asleep.”

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