5 The Banquet 1

Alex let out a gasp as his eyes opened in a flurry. Sweat covered his entire body and his hands were shaking. He stared at his trembling hands with bloodshot eyes. He opened and closed them over and over again just to make sure he wasn't still dreaming.

It felt as though he had just awoken from a horrible nightmare, and yet the contents of his dream eluded him. The only thing he could remember was the face of a beautiful girl with multicolored eyes.

There was a knock on his door as a smooth voice called out to him. "Sir, it is time for you to rise. Breakfast will be served thirty minutes later as usual. May I enter?"

Alex took a deep breath to calm his beating heart before replying. "You may enter."

"Thank you, sir."

The door opened and a young man walked in with grace and posture. He had a handsome face that seemed to be almost doll like. His black hair was slicked back and his dark amber eyes scanned the room before settling on Alex.

"Sir, you seem a bit pale. Is there some sort of problem?"

Alex hesitated before shaking his head. "It's nothing Claude, only a bad dream."

"I am relieved, sir. If there is something that does happen to bother you, do not hesitate to inform me. I shall aid you to the best of my ability."

"Thank you, Claude. Now leave the room, I need to get dressed."

Claude have an elegant bow before exiting the room and closing the door softly.

Alex sat there in his bed for a minute or so before finally getting up. He made his way to his drawer before randomly picking out the first outfit he saw. After he put on the outfit, Alex took a quick glance at the mirror and assessed his looks.

His raven black hair was messy and unkempt, with a bit of sweat still glistening in the light. His clothes were crumpled and made him look a bit carefree and laidback. His blood red eyes flickered lazily like red rubies basking in the sun.

He put his head down and sighed before giving himself a slight wake up call before heading out of his room. Outside, Claude was waiting faithfully and raised his head the moment he saw Alex. "Sir, are you ready to leave?"


"One moment, sir."

Claude raised his hands and a torrent of water appeared from the floor and cloaked Alex. Then, a wave of heat replaced it drying him up immediately.

Alex raised an eyebrow at Claude. "Was that really necessary?"

"I only wished to make you more presentable, sir."

"Ah," said Alex with another sigh. "I quite enjoyed my look."

"Was I overstepping my boundaries, sir?"

"It's fine, you had the best of intentions." Alex said while waving it off. "Let's head off to breakfast shall we?"

Alex and Claude made their way through the house, not before passing by the dining room in his house. A quick glance inside revealed four people to be already dining. Alex ignored them and made his way out of the house.

He walked down the road, passing cars, taxis, and busses, until he came by a little cafe. The door opened with a nice jingle and a warm voice called out to them. "Back again today? I'm starting to believe that my food is some sort of drug."

Alex replied with a smile. "As I told you many times before, I enjoy your meals. Otherwise I wouldn't come here everyday."

A girl with hazel brown hair and warm brown eyes poked her head out of the kitchen and gave him a charming smile. Her hair was long and string into a ponytail behind her head. A homely apron decorated the front of her work dress.

"Are you trying to flirt with me? I have a boyfriend you know." She said with a cheeky grin.

Alex shrugged, "tell me when you are open then. I would love to be in the company of a beautiful girl such as yourself."

"Ha, I see your skills with flattery is as charming as ever. Your meal is at the table where you normally sit."

"Thank you."

"Not at all."

Alex made his way towards a table in the corner with Claude following closely by his side. As Alex sat down and started eating the piping hot dish in front of him, he gave Claude an exasperated look.

"Why don't you sit down and eat something Claude? You will bother the other customers."

Claude gave his surroundings a look of disdain before leaning in close to Alex. "Sir, I do believe that the master would be.... disappointed that you are still mingling with these.... lesser beings."

Alex shrugged. "I really could care less about what Father thinks about me. It wouldn't change a thing between us. Do you want to sit down or not? I find the coffee here to be absolutely superb."

"I'd rather not, sir," replied Claude. However, in the end, he decided to sit across from Alex.

"Do we have anything planned for the morning Claude?"

"As a matter of fact, we do, sir," Claude said before taking out a small book. "In about a hour, there will be an banquet that all proper demon folk are required to attend to."

"Does that mean I can skip? I'm not exactly a proper demon am I?"

"The Master has specifically ordered me to make sure his son attends the banquet. He said if everything goes well and smoothly, he will award you with a gift."

Alex scoffed. "Gift? What gift? Probably some sort of bullshit hand me down weapon. What is the banquet about?"

"I do not know, sir. You will have to attend if you wish to learn what it will be about."

"Tch, fine," Alex said while growling. "Let's make our way down to the banquet shall we? How long will it take to arrive there from here?"

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"Ten minutes, sir."

"Is my current attire acceptable?"

"More than acceptable, sir."

Alex wiped his mouth with a napkin before slowly sipping his coffee with a serene smile. "Are you sure that you don't want some coffee? I promise you will not regret it one bit."

"I respectfully decline, sir."

"There are many years in the lifespan of a demon, Claude. You need to learn how to treat yourself. A couple of alcohol and drugs here and there. A few women as well unless, of course, you prefer men. That's perfectly acceptable. Do you prefer men Claude?"

"I do not, sir."

"That's fine too. If you were, I would have to fire you on the spot. No hard feelings?"

"None taken, sir."

"The point is-" said Alex while swirling the coffee around his mug. "-you need to treat yourself more often. Live a little more. Be yourself. Enjoy life for a change."

"Serving you is all the enjoyment I need, sir."

Alex sighed. "Whatever fits you." He was starting to worry that Claude would stay single for an eternity.

Alex took his time with the coffee, enjoying the calm atmosphere of the cafe. He watched the outside world through the window, observing every passing vehicle, bird, and person with lazy eyes.

After finishing his cup, Alex reached into his pocket and took out a couple of coins. He and Claude then got up and made their way to the exit.

"Thank you for coming! See you tomorrow Atticus!"

Alex let out a grin and secretly slid the coins to the girl. The girl started to get flustered and refused them.

"You already paid for the meal, I can't take this-"

Alex placed a a finger on her lip before giving her another wide smile. "Consider it as a generous tip. Go have a nice dinner with your boyfriend after your work shift is over.

"T-thank you so much Atti!"

"Make sure to paint the night in a rosy color, okay? Don't forget to invite me to the wedding."

Alex left the blushing girl in the cafe and stretched his arms out in the sun. Claude watched him with a puzzled look.

"Sir, I do not understand."

"Don't understand what?"

"We're you not trying to get intimate with the girl? What is the point of telling her to get even closer with her current lover? It seems very counterintuitive, sir."

Alex sighed. "It's called kindness Claude, you surely must know what it is."

"Why waste the effort in showing kindness to a lesser being?"

"They really aren't that much different from us Claude," said Alex as the walked up the street. "Humans give birth like demons, feel emotions like demons. Love, hate, and cry like demons. If you let go of your pride for a moment or two, you can realize that we are practically the same."

"That leaves a bad taste in my mouth, sir."

Alex sighed. "Whatever you say. Let's hurry up and go to the banquet. Arriving early is better than being late. My father certainly won't be pleased if I arrive even a second after the scheduled time."

Alex stopped in the middle of the street for a moment, deep in thought. "This could be my chance to socialize with some of the girls from other families."

Claude nodded his head approvingly. "The Master would be delighted if sir was to fall in love with a girl of one of the twelve families."

Alex gave Claude a playful nudge. "You are dim at times you know Claude?"

"What do you mean, sir?"

"We aren't going to talk to girls so I get married. We are talking to girls so you can get married."


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