204 Perfect picture
Knucker was strolling through the grass trying to find the best angles to take his pictures.
He wanted to take a good shot of the scenery since it looked like it would make for an amazing picture, but his job seemed like it was going to be harder than he expected as the scenery continued to change with each passing second.
"This must be every photographer's biggest nightmare... a landscape that won't stand still..." he whispered before raising his head and yelling while burning with passion in his eyes, "but you are foolish if you think this will be enough to stop me!! I'll take the perfect shot, even if it kills me!! I swear on my pride as a photographer!!!"
He was, of course, talking about Mia's constructions. After she became a full demon and began to access her own inner misery, her power skyrocketed to impossible lengths, allowing her to abuse even more of the diamond magic she got from Evlin and was now making a large fortress for herself.
The girl heard Knucker talking to himself and came down to check on him. She was bearing her usual intimidating look of a young lady around the age of twenty with long black hair, except instead of being tied up in twin tails like she normally does, her hair was tied in a single bridal ponytail by a set of vines, her long red robe was replaced by a three-layered red dress with a black cloth wrapped around her waist and a crimson veil above her head.
She was walking around bare-footed with bracelets made of vines with red diamonds attached to it around her legs, neck, and her naked arms. Her skin still bore a chestnut tone but now she had green veins spreading throughout her body.
Her back had four massive wings made of fire that kept changing color from red, to green, to silver, just like her eyes. She approached Knucker and showed him her face under the veil that showed her eyes wide open as if she was about to eat him.
"What are you doing...?" she asked while watching him play with his camera.
"I'm preparing to face my mortal enemy!!" Knucker commented while checking the battery of his device.
"You mortal enemy...?"
"Sigh... You wouldn't get it, kid... Only a photographer can feel the pain of not being able to take the perfect picture..."
Mia just stared at her diamonds that kept moving around the area as if they were alive while they continued to take the shape of a giant construction to properly guard the imprisoned demons.
"Why is someone like you even interested in this kind of thing...?" Mia questioned.
"When you live as long as we have... You start to notice that the more things change, the more they stay the same... So you need to learn to capture the essence of each moment... The identity of each time period..." he commented while taking a picture, "it helps you to differentiate one time from another... and make each one feel unique!"
He then came closer to try a different angle.
"This battle that soon will come... there have been many like those in the past, and there will be many like those in the future... So I make it my mission to try and find the aspect about this one battle in particular that will make it special! That will make it stand out from other battles..."
Mia walked closer to him, "and did you find it?"
"I think so... But it will mostly depend on the end result..."
"The end result..." Mia repeated softly, thinking about the future that Knucker showed her and the reason she finally decided to become a demon after resisting for so long.
"Speaking of... How are you doing? Feeling nervous? Excited? Anxious?" Knucker wondered while trying to read her expression.
Mia just stared at her moving diamonds and began to dream of her final goal, "I feel... calm..."
"Do you, now?"
"Yes... For the first time ever... It feels like I can relax... I used to only have one goal in mind... To search for my own demise... But now you presented me with another alternative... And it feels like no matter what result this takes, I'll still end up getting something out of it..."
"What about your demon body? Still holding on to your human side?"
Mia released a wide smile that reached from ear to ear, "just barely... I spent every second trying to hold myself from just storming into the city and slaughtering every single person I see in front of me... Just thinking about their screams... the blood splattering over the ground and the walls... the confusion on their eyes while they think 'Why me!!?? What did I do to you??'... I can almost taste it..."
"So what are you waiting for? Just go nuts and start partying like there is no tomorrow!"
"Oh... I want to... I so, so want to..." Mia commented while staring at Knucker with her eyes even wider, "but as I said... I still have a lot of memories from my time as a human... Something still keeps holding me down... But not for long!! I can feel it, getting weaker... soon there will be nothing to stop me..."
"I see... I'm sure this will make for a great picture!" Knucker laughed.
Mia raised her arm and created a claw made of red diamonds covered in terminal fire, "you should be careful, Knucker... If you don't watch out, you will be the first one I will go after!!"
"Oh!!! So I can get a first-person shot of your rampage!!?? Now I want you to go crazy even more!!" Knucker commented while getting in front of Mia and readying his camera, "come on!! Do it right now!! Try to kill me while I get a good angle of your feral side!!"
Mia just continued to smile, "soon!!! I promise that in due time, I'll be as feral as you want!!"
"I can't wait!!"
Evlin opened her eyes and found herself back at the white void.
"Ugh... My head... What happened...??"
She was still in the form of a seven-year-old due to still feeling terrified of her recent trauma.
"What the...?" she mumbled as she gazed to her left and spotted North and Drya chained up to the ground and unconscious.
Not only that. she looked further and realized that a huge line of people was formed around her, all of them locked in chains and stuck on the ground.
"What in the world is going on...??" Evlin whispered as she stood up in a panic. She wanted to get out of there but no matter where she looked there were even more people imprisoned like an endless sea of slaves.
"Yay!! You're up!!" a voice yelled behind her before she got pounced on and fell on the white floor.
"Good morning Evlin!!!" Mia shouted in her usual twelve-year-old form while standing on top of the seven-year-old.
"Mi- Mia?? What are you doing!?? What's happening!!!??" Evlin asked while feeling completely lost.
"I was making some preparations for tomorrow! Getting ready for the big day!" Mia replied while getting off from Evlin.
"Tomorrow...? Ah! The fight! The fight is tomorrow??"
"Sure is!! I can't wait!! I'm so happy that I can hardly sleep!!!" Mia mentioned while raising her fists and running in place.
"Happy...??" Evlin retorted. She hadn't seen Mia happy ever since forever, mostly because she assumed she couldn't be happy anymore, "Mia... what happened to you?? You look..."
"Different? Why thank you for noticing!! You see... I followed your advice and finally rejoined with my lost half... So now I can feel all my emotions again!!" Mia explained while making a 'V' sign with her fingers.
"Your emotions?? But... Weren't you avoiding them to avoid becoming a demon...?"
"Yeah... But that ship has sailed..."
"I became a demon!!"
"... ... ... What!!??"
"Yeah!! It hurt a little at first... You know... Coming face-to-face with all the things I did, thinking about all the pain I caused... All the lives I took... It hurt... It hurt a lot...It hurt so much that I wanted to stab myself just so I could stop thinking about these things, hahaha!!" Mia commented while tearing up from her wide-open eyes and still holding a big smile.
"Mia..." Evlin was getting concerned.
"But it's ok! It's all fine! Knucker told me that everything would work out in the end! So even if it hurts a little bit, for now, I just have to keep holding it in until everything is settled..."
"Knucker...?? Mia, who the heck is Knucker...???"
"Oh, he's a dragon that I met that showed me a future where I actually get a happy ending!! Isn't that cool!!??" Mia asked while holding Evlin's hands and jumping up and down.
"A dragon...? Like the ones you ordered to attack my school??"
"Oh, I never ordered them... I tricked them into going after your school by using a stolen egg... I can't control dragons..."
"Yeah... I can only control beings of cursed energy... Things like monsters, demons, spirits, and all... And dragons are their own kind of thing..."
"Dragons aren't monsters...?? Wait! Back up a little! What did this Knucker show you??"
Mia stopped jumping and stared at Evlin, "he showed me a future where you accept me into your family!!"
"Oh..." Evlin whispered.
"So all that talk about how you would take care of me and be my new mother and stay by my side?? Knucker showed me that wasn't just talk!! You really are going to do all that!!" Mia stated while giving Evlin a deep hug, "I can already picture it!!"
"Wait a second..."
Mia tightened her grip on the girl, "So that means I don't have to be afraid of my demon side anymore!!! I don't have to be afraid of having a hollow existence anymore!! I can just do whatever the hell I want and kill whoever the hell I want because now I know everything will be fine even after that!!"
"What!!?? Mia, wait!!"
"Thank you, Evlin!! You saved me!!!!" Mia said before completely vanishing and leaving Evlin alone with all the souls she imprisoned.
"Mia?? Mia!!!??" Evlin shouted before dropping on her knees and holding her head, "what have I done...??"
She spotted Drya in chains on the ground raising her face and laughing at her, "my hero!!"