CHAPTER 11 - NEPHRA
Nephra, now also 16 years old but resembles a 20 year old, has no desire to be one of the most powerful female demons in the world. She is very similar to her mother and just enjoys life, however she'll fight only when necessary and will not hesitate to protect those who are not able to protect themselves. Nephra is also a recognized beauty and somehow she has a fantastic glow about her when she roams about the empire usually always dressed in white. Nephra's shape is very attractive and she looks outstanding in anything she wears. Depending on what her activities and plans are for the day...usually determines if she wears battle gear or some beautiful dress she and her mother made together. On the nights Nephra turns human, she experiences only minor changes as her waist length hair loses it's silver tint and turns completely white. Her big round eyes are shaped like Rin's but the same color of her father's eyes. They change from gold to light brown on human nights, with that the change is almost unnoticable although she also loses her dog ears, fangs and claws.
Unlike Zephra, Nephra became a representative for her father's empire all on her own by taking time often to visit the demon village as well as the human villages of the western land that her father rules over. When Nephra goes to visit the demon village, she is a wonderful site to see and a pleasure to have around, as she asks the demons serving under her father, "Is there anything that the village needs? Is everyone happy and well feed?" She hugs, plays and laughs with the demon children of the empire and brings them special demon fruits that she collects when she visits her grandmother, "The Queen Mother" at her empire. Nephra is always so kind and thoughtful so not only does she visit the demon villages to ensure that they are happy living in her father's empire but she visits the human villages as well bringing with her a huge basket of fruit and flowers that she picked from her families private forest. Nephra and Rin saved seeds from their favorite fruits and buried them in the ground at the family forest, knowing that it would be a wonderful place to grow and eat many delicious human fruits that she now shares with the human village. Though it is a long trip to the human village, Nephra goes there every 30 days with out fail to ensure that the humans are happy and are not being nuisanced by demons or bandits. Sesshomaru is very grateful to his daughter for taking the initiative to do these things for him due to it not being in his nature to concern himself with such things. Sesshomaru does find it important that the demons of his empire be comfortable and happy being under his command. He also wants humans living in the Western lands that he rules to feel safe and free from bandit or demon killings and night raids. Nephra does her job well in making sure that demons and humans are living in her father's land in peace and harmony, she reports all information to her father as he requests.
It is time for Nephra to make her monthly visit to the human village, she prepares Au Un for the trip and she gets her basket of fruit sturdy on the dragon. Nephra has on her battle gear with her sword tucked inside her sash as she leaps atop Au Uns back and they fly out. After several hours, the human village is in view from above but Nephra can see chaos as she speaks to Au Un, "Looks like trouble down there Au Un, we have to hurry." Au Un flies faster as ordered getting Nephra down to the human village. Nephra quickly climbs off Au Un's back; at the same time pulling out her sword and looking around to see what is going on. Two demons that she has never seen before are terrorizing the human village, they are so preoccupied with attacking humans that they do not notice Nephra as she uses her Finger whips skillfully, completely restraining one of the demons while she shouts to the other, "What land do you demons come from?!" The demon who is still loose responds, "We are demons of the East side, under the command of Lord Zeref." Nephra commands, "Well be gone from here, This land belongs to my father Lord Sesshomaru. He does not allow demons of his own empire to terrorize his human villages, he most certainly will not allow demons from some other empire to do so." The demon ignores Nephra's order and attempts to attack her but is unsuccessful in his attempt as Nephra uses her sword to battle him. She swipes and slashes at the demon who is dodging all of her strikes, he continues to strike back at Nephra until finally she uses the water power of her sword, manipulating the water to turn into a liquid blade as it rapidly flies at the demon and slices off a leg. The other demon still tightly tied and entangled in Nephra's whips struggles to get loose as the other demon abandons him to get away from Nephra. Nephra walks up to the demon that is tied up and she slashes at the whips and frees him as she repeats, "Be gone from here, I am sparing your life but do not make me angry." The demon flies off as ordered and Nephra goes to help the couple of humans that have been hurt during the raid. One of the humans tells Nephra, "It was lucky that you chose today for your visit, many of us would have been killed by those demons." Nephra asks, "has this been happening alot lately?" The human responds, "No this was the first time in a very long time." The humans hurt in the attack are being bandaged up while Nephra continues on with her visit going from hut to hut speaking with the families. She comes across one woman that welcomes her in. Nephra asks the woman how her family is getting along, if they are happy and if they are experiencing any difficulties. The woman answers her, " The family is well although we grieve for my grandfather, we brought him here to the village to spend his last days with us, his time with us is short for he is very old and sickly. " Nephra responds, "I am very sorry to hear so. Please I would like to see him and wish upon him a blessing ." The woman guides her into the room where her grandfather rests. He is in poor shape as he lies on a futon mat on the floor covered in sheets. He coughs, holding a cloth to his mouth as he asks Nephra in a weak voice, "You are the one who just saved the village?" Nephra responds, "Yes I did and now I am here to bestow a blessing to you. What is your name?" He answers her, "I am Ungai" Nephra thinks to herself: Ungai, that name sounds familiar. She walks close to the man and kneels down to be closer to his face; he looks at her and says, "A demon are you?...You resemble a demon that I once had a confrontation with. He had silver hair and eyes exactly like yours." Nephra nods her head, "Yes, he is my father...Lord Sesshomaru." The old man remembers, "Yes, Yes...Lord Sesshomaru. I shall never forget that name....Oh he gave my men and I much trouble when we attempted to return a young girl to the human village." Nephra now remembers where she heard that name, her mother told her the story of being saved by Monk Ungai. Ungai continues, "How could such an evil demon have a kind hearted daughter who would visit and protect humans?" Nephra chuckles at his comment, "My father is not evil, where would you get such a foolish notion?" Ungai explains, "He was so powerful, he attacked my men." Nephra replies, "My father could have easily taken your lives in an instant, instead he chose to spare all of you. He only wanted the little girl set free...that same little girl who has now grown up to become queen of his empire, she is also my mother." Nephra dons her beautiful smiles at Ungai as he is shocked to learn, "She is your mother? I see, So you are half human." He coughs and continues speaking, "Why would a powerful demon like that make a human woman queen of his empire." Nephra tells him, " Think about it Master Ungai." He does then he responds, " He loves her, he loved her even then." He coughs harder as he holds the cloth to his mouth. Nephra removes the healing necklace from her neck and takes Ungai's hand as she explains to him, "This should help you feel much better at least for a little while." She uses the pearl necklace to heal Ungai's sickness with in him. He is amazed at how he feels 10 years younger and thanks the beautiful girl who is so kind and sweet. He hates to see her go and asks her to visit again real soon.
Meanwhile, In the Eastern lands...A few of Zeref's demons that were spectators at the tournament Zephra participated in tell their master about what they observed. They tell him all about Zephra being daughter of Sesshomaru and how she is the first female to fight in a demon tournament and win, explaining some of the maneuvers and fighting techniques she used. Zeref sits at his thrown with his most valued servant 'Suzaku' standing beside him as they listen to the details of the tournament. Suzaku is an excellent fighter who himself has fought in tournaments in the Eastern region of Japan and won. He is a tall, strong and handsome full demon who is also very dedicated, loyal servant of Zeref. Zeref instructs Suzaku, "Find this woman and bring her to me, I trust you are strong and skilled enough to handle her?" Suzaku informs Zeref, "Yes, Milord...I will bring her to you as ordered."
The next afternoon, Zephra and Jaken are walking in the woods taking a quick path to get to a restricted side of the demon village where a woman lives that is skilled in potions and spells. Zephra is seeking the woman out because of her extreme knowledge and special ability for sight into the past present and future. The wise old witch will know what area of Japan would be best for Zephra to conquer and rule over. Jaken complains as they walk, " This area is restricted, If Lord Sesshomaru finds out we were over here he'll be absolutely livid!" Zephra responds, "He'll never find out as long as you don't get nervous and blurt it out, Jaken." Jaken responds, "Honestly Zephra...I don't know how you can be so defiant and not fear Lord Sesshomaru's wrath." Zephra smirks a bit as she shakes her head and says, "You know Jaken, I sometimes wonder why my father kept a little goblin like you around him for so long." Jaken replies, "Watch yourself young lady..I'll have you know Lord Sesshomaru keeps me around because I am a trusted and devoted follower...." Jaken rambles on but his voice begins to fade from Zephra's hearing as she notices and focuses her attention on the scent of another demon in the trees. Zephra whips out her sword and slashes the branches of the tree's nearby where she smells the demons scent. The branches fall and catch fire, burning to the ground as one demon yelps in fear of the fire and falling branches while the other demon simply flips out of the trees and lands in front of Zephra. He and Zephra lock eyes for a moment as he asks her, "Are you Zephra?" Zephra does not respond so he continues, "I am Suzaku...I am not here to harm you but my master wishes to see you at his castle." Zephra returns her sword on her person as she responds, "Your master...Really? And who might he be that I should go so willingly?" Suzaku responds, "Lord Zeref, Great Lion demon of the East." Jaken speaks up, "How dare you come into our land and approach the princess with such a ridiculous request!!!" The other demon accompanying Suzaku responds, "Why are we wasting time asking her permission? I see she is only a half demon woman, let's grab her and...." Suzaku, knowing full well of Zephra's capabilities interrupts, "Quiet Toku! Do you have a death wish?! This woman will not hesitate to kill you and she is very capable of it." Zephra asks, "What does your master want with me?" Suzaku explains, "I do not question his orders, I only follow them." Zephra responds after a moment of silence, "Lord Zeref you say? I have no desire to see him." she turns to walk away as Suzaku tells her, "I would prefer not to have to take you by force." Zephra turns back and says, "Do you think you are able?". The demon Toku who is a worthless, fool of a demon that follows Suzaku around from time to time decides he has had enough of a woman demon being so insolent and charges at Zephra. She looks at him running towards her and with a smirk she simply gives him a smack on the forehead at the perfect moment causing her bracelet to emit electrical shock through his body as he screams and jolts. Suzaku sees this, his eyes and mouth widen in surprise as he gasps, quickly using the moment to seize Jaken with suction powers that pull him right into Suzaku's arms causing Zephra to pull her weapon again in order to save him but Suzaku warns her, "Drop your weapon on the ground or I will kill this....." He looks Jaken over as he continues, "Little Frog thing." Jaken struggles, "I am not a frog!!" Zephra has no choice but to do as he says, she is unable to strike with Jaken in her line of fire so she calmly drops the sword to the ground as ordered. Suzaku continues, "Now, I don't really trust you so I am going to have to insist that you get into that cage over there and Toku here will fly you to the castle. Don't worry, he's quite strong, he won't drop you." Zephra looks over to her left and she see's a cage that is big enough for one person, she tells Suzaku, "Let him loose first." Suzaku responds somewhat irritated, "You are not in a position to give the orders." Zephra responds, "If you kill him, you will never get me to step into that cage to fly me to your master's castle and I will surely kill you as well as your follower. However if you let my companion free, I will do as you ask without any struggle. You have my word." Suzaku agrees and decides to let Jaken go free.. Zephra instructs, "Do not worry about me Jaken,Go quickly back to the castle." Suzaku's follower Toku says, "Is it wise to let him go free? He will surely inform Sesshomaru and he will come looking for her." Suzaku informs, "Good that is what Lord Zeref wants." Zephra asks Suzaku to retrieve her weapon and keep it with him if he so chooses but she does not want to leave the precious sword given to her by her father. She steps into the cage as promised giving no struggle but also not afraid while she awaits the opportunity to strike when their backs are turned. Suzaku picks up Zephra's Sword and keeps it close to him as they all fly onward to Zeref's castle. Jaken begins running back to the castle as quickly as his legs can carry him, as he runs back the first one he sees is Nephra finishing up feeding Au Un as the dragon begins to drink from a nearby lake. Jaken yells out, "Nephra, I need your help! It's Zephra...two of Zeref's demons kidnapped her. She is without her weapon and they flew her away locked in a cage..Oh this is horrible!!" Nephra tells him, "Ok Jaken, calm down...we will find Zephra. Now tell me how long ago did this happen and in what direction are they headed?" Jaken responds, "Only moments ago, they are headed Eastward." Nephra informs, "Perfect, It is a long distance to the East, there is still plenty of time for me too catch up with them." Nephra and Jaken climb atop of Au Un's back and heads out...She has her sword and is determined to retrieve her sister from the enemies clutches. They fly at top speed in the Eastern direction trying to catch up to the two demons, looking out for one of them to be holding a cage and after sometime Nephra does spot them. Two demons flying, while one is carrying a cage by its hook at the top with both hands. Nephra does not want to strike at the demon holding the cage in fear of him dropping Zephra so she has Au Un strike at the other demon who is Suzaku, he is caught off gaurd by the strike and looks over at the two headed dragon while changing his postion in flight. Nephra continues to strike blows hoping to anger the two demons, luring them to chase after her but Suzaku tells Toku, "Keep going on to the castle, I will handle this." Suzaku flies after the two headed dragon that carries Nephra and Jaken. Nephra realizes that the demon that carries Zephra is going on ahead so she changes her plan, she must get that demon to release the cage and she will have to break Zephra's fall somehow. Suzaku goes straight for Nephra and she uses mutiple finger whips in which he is skilled enough to use all of them at once.continuing to go straight at her. He strikes at Nephra with his powers throwing a form of sharp glass shards that will kill instantly upon impact but Nephra uses demonic energy to create a huge sheild causing the shards to be useless. quickly unsheathing her sword, she creates a powerful burst of water as strong as a tsunami that causes Suzaku to completely fall back to the ground. Now that she has him out of the way she flies up to the other demon that is holding Zephra and instructs him to set the cage down on the ground but instead out of spite he drops the cage letting it fall from the sky but Nephra is fast using a few fingers to create a thick whip wrapping the cage at the hook while Au Un strikes the demon who released her causing him to be badly wounded also falling down to the ground. The cage is heavy as Nephra uses both hands to hold on while it dangles from the whip and Au Un slowly begins to guide down to th ground eventually landing. Nephra climbs down from Au Un and heads over to the cage to release Zephra when she is almost struck again by Suzaku's power, It barely misses her as she swiftly turns around and strikes him with a long whip barely missing him as he dodged her attack. At the same time they both unsheath swords and run at each other as their blades clash hard over and over again. Jaken runs over to Zephra but is unable to figure out a way to unlock her from the cage as Nephra and Suzaku continue to fight. Nephra is not sure where the other demon fell to but she worries that he may find out where they are fighting and come back to help his comrade causing the fight to be two against one so she decides to end this fight quickly and release her sister by transfering demonic power to her sword, as she does she is able to discharge a thick block of ice that she manipulates to encapsule Suzaku as it hits him being careful to only enclose him from the neck down to avoid suffocating him but making it difficult for him to move. She's then able to walk over to her sister's cage, slashing at the lock on the cage with her sword..freeing Zephra as she chuckles asking, "How did you get yourself into such a mess?" Zephra responds, " Let's just say I have to remember to keep Jaken at the castle from now on." Jaken replies, "Hey..It wasn't my fault!!" Zephra goes to pick up her sword as it is nearby on the ground when Suzaku fell from the sky. Nephra instructs, "Zephra use your sword to leave a small fire for him, He'll freeze to death if I leave him in such a state." Zephra is confused by this, "That's great, he can have a slow and painful death alone here and frozen." Nephra responds, "No Zephra, I didn't come here to take lives. I only wanted you freed and now you are. Please, do as I ask." Suzaku hears the whole conversation and is also confused as Zephra uses her sword and creates a small fire near Suzaku to help thaw him out slowly as she, Nephra and Jaken leave on Au Un back to the castle. Zephra lectures Nephra, "You are way too kind Nephra...he would not have hesitated to kill you or me, why should he live?" Nephra explains, "Don't you remember what mother said before? We don't have to be on their level..Just because he would do something so wicked doesn't mean we have to follow his action. I am against killing unnecessarily." Zephra responds, "Well, He'll be back Nephra. You can bet on that." Nephra smiles to herself a bit, "For some reason, I really don't think we'll have any more trouble out of him."
One week after that incident, Nephra is going about her day as normal and it is almost time for the sun to set over the Western Mountains. Nephra is in the nearby forest alone just about ready to head back to the castle for dinner when she hears steps behind her, the scent is familiar but she doesn't turn around instead she says, "You again?" It is Suzaku standing there as he replies, "Yes, Lord Zeref's servant." Nephra turns to face him and when she does he unsheaths his sword and tells her, "I have come back to finish you off." Nephra is convinced that he will no longer give her trouble as she responds, "No you're not, Why are you really here?" Suzaku sheathes his sword and replaces it back on his person asking, "Something has been on my mind for quite some time, I sought you out for an answer." Nephra instructs him to continue so he does, "Why did you spare my life that day? Why did you not finish me off?" she replies, "I don't know if I can make you understand but to me life is such a precious, wonderful, gift that should not be neglected or taken so easily. I believe we all have some purpose in this world and if you are a good person, with good morals you will come to find your purpose in life. I did not take your life because somehow I know there is good in you and you should live on to do good things, not what you are doing now...obeying Zeref's evil commands." Suzaku tells her, " That is odd, You seem to be nothing like your sister or your father." Nephra asks him, "Was that all you wanted or was there something more?" He tells her, "I suppose that was all I wanted from you." Nephra thinks: He came all the way from the Eastern region to ask me that? she speaks, "You have come all this way, I would like to show you one of the most beautiful sites of the Western land before you go, come with me..It's not far at all." Nephra guides Suzaku to a meadow where there is a huge lake, the sun is beginning to set there and they sit together under a cherry blossom tree, while Nephra tells Suzaku about all the tasks she does for her father's empire and how much she enjoys it. They remain looking at the blue sky and orange sun mix together to create a beautiful color of a purplish pink jetting out on all sides of them. The lake glistens and the mountians are seen nearby as the sun tries to hide behind them. Nephra asks him, "Isn't that a wonderful site?" Suzaku is not paying attention to the sunset, he couldn't care less..instead he is looking at Nephra as he says, "Yes, I've never laid eyes on anything so beautiful." Nephra is unaware that he is referring to her and not the sunset. They continue talking and night falls so quickly but the scene is still so pretty to Nephra as the stars are out and the reflection of the full moon can be seen on the lake, she enjoys the beauty of it all. She also thinks it is very romantic there and he is very handsome but she tries to fight the thoughts that are going on in her head reminding herself that this demon is a servant of her father's worst enemy. Nephra and Suzaku talk and enjoy the night sky so long that Nephra has gone way past the time that she should have been home for dinner and she suddenly can hear Zephra's voice calling for her. She tells Suzaku, "Oh that is my sister, she can't see you here with me, she would never understand us being together like this." They both stand up, as Nephra gets ready to walk off Suzaku takes her hand and asks, "Can I see you again,maybe tomorrow?" Nephra reminds him, "But the Eastern lands are so far away, it's such a long trip." He assures her, "It will be fine, I'll stay in the Western region for the night but only if I can see you again at dawn, right here at this spot." Nephra agrees as she hurries back to the castle. When Nephra returns to the castle she is in such high spirits more than usual as the family wonders what has her so happy. After dinner Nepha looks in the mirror in her own room that she no longer shares with Zephra deciding how she wants to wear her hair tomorrow morning. Zephra peaks into her room, sits down and asks, "Okay Nephra, what's going on with you....is there some guy you're smitten with?" Nephra is surprised that Zephra figured it out so quickly as she responds, "Wow Zephra, how did you know?" Zephra thinking about Akuma tells her, "I guess because I have felt that way myself once before... Well, who is he?" Nephra stops fiddling with her hair for a moment and thinks: I can't tell Zephra, she will not understand. Nephra tells her, "I'd rather not say just yet." Zephra is confused, " Hmmm? Nephra we never keep secrets from each other...you don't want to tell me?" Nephra assures Zephra, "I promise you will know all when the time is right, I'm not even sure what is happening between he and I yet."
Nephra does see Suzaku again early the next morning and one day every week forward for months as he now continually flies to the Western region to see her. He brings her beautiful bundles of flowers from his region in the East each time he visits and they talk while walking along the meadow where they first watched the sun set together. During one of his visits, Suzaku tells Nephra that in the Eastern land they have an abundance of gold, he then reaches into a small napsack he carries and pulls out a beautiful golden bracelet and wraps it around Nephra's wrist. Nephra tells him, "It's so beautiful, thank you." He responds, "You are beautiful so you should have beautiful trinkets." He caresses her face as Nephra smiles and blushes. Nephra and Suzaku are becoming very close; spending so much time together she can't help but ask him, "Suzaku, why don't you leave Zeref's empire and serve under my father? I am sure I can get him to give you a very high position especially with your excellent fighting skills. Then we won't have to keep our time together a secret." Suzaku moves Nephra's hair away from her eye as he explains to her, "It's not that easy, I am somewhat indebted to Zeref. My mother and father were both killed, defeated by a powerful demon when I was very young...Zeref in return destroyed that demon and conquered his empire, he took me in even though I was just a child at that time. He raised me and taught me all the fighting skills I know, now I am Zeref's most trusted and worthy servant. I must remain loyal to him, I owe him my life." Nephra tells him, "I understand but I'm so worried that this is going to end badly if the wrong people find out, either on your side or mine." She places her hands on his broad shoulders as she continues, " If my brother ever found out, I fear he may attack you. The very thought of you or he being hurt is too much for me to bear." Suzaku scoffs, "huh, Heroshya...Many times he and I have come dangerously close to battling each other, I suppose this will certainly trigger a response from him." Nephra looks down and he raises her head by lifting her chin telling her, "I will avoid fights with Heroshya." Nephra is so happy that she hugs Suzaku and he embraces her in return.
A few days later, Sesshomaru appoints his children to go to an annual event which is the convention of the empires. The convention is simply a meeting that all four empires of the four regions within Japan meet to settle the affairs of each kingdom and hear out requests from each ruler. Sesshomaru requires all three of his children to attend though Heroshya will speak on his father's behalf. When they arrive in the location, the Northern has one demon appointed to speak on behalf of his master, The Southern region has two demons and The Eastern has two demons servants, Suzaku and Ryo....Suzaku to speak on Zeref's behalf. Heroshya stands forward, while Nephra and Zephra stand behind him listening and taking note of all that is being said. During the meeting of all four main demons talking about the empires, Nephra and Suzaku can not keep their eyes off each other. He looks at Nephra with adoring eyes and she discreetly smiles and blushes. Zephra is taking notice of this although she says nothing and does not react. Heroshya relays Lord Sesshomaru's request to the Eastern and Northern regions, "My Lord requests that your demons stay away from our human villages. If your demons must raid or terrorize humans, let them go after human villages in their own regions." The main demons of those regions take note and move on to the next subject. When it is time for Suzaku to give Zeref's demands to the Western region he speaks, "Heroshya, Lord Zeref requests that Lord Sesshomaru comply to a battle for possession of his land. If he will not battle, then My Lord requests that he submit his demons to fight for the Eastern lands when called upon. Do you concur? " Heroshya speaks, "No we do not, Lord Sesshomaru has no desire to battle your master at this time for his empire. Why does Lord Zeref request help from our servants, Is his kingdom not hefty enough? Does Zeref need assistance fighting his own battles?" Suzaku responds, "Careful who you insult Heroshya, our Master has many enemies and finds that..." Heroshya interrupts, "No doubt Zeref is unpopular however, we see no reason why Lord Sesshomaru should have to concern himself with that. The answer is no." Suzaku angry with Heroshya's snide remarks snaps back, "Is your master to worried that his little empire will fade if he allows them to fight on the Eastern side? Is he too cowardly to battle my master for more power?" Heroshya responds, "No one in the West is afraid of anyone from the East." Suzaku ready to challenge Heroshya to a fight says, "Oh really, Heroshya I will...." He stops as he remembers his promise to Nephra, Looking over at her she is standing nervously and fear shows in her eyes. Suzaku changes his sentence, "I will ...relay your responses to my master." A demon from the Northern sides announces, "Then if all is settled I say we adjourn this meeting, until next year. " All the head demons agree to close out the convention and return to their regions. Ryo complains, "Good, Let's get out of here Suzaku...I'm hungry and we still have that long trip back to the East too, I wish we could have had the meeting in our area this time....I'm so...." Suzaku interrupts him, 'Uggg, Stop your whining Ryo!!" Suzaku glances back at Nephra one last time before flying off with Ryo. Heroshya, Nephra and Zephra are ready to head back also as Heroshya comments, "hmm, that went pretty well. For a minute there...I thought Suzaku was going to challenge me to fight but I guess he got scared and changed his mind, ha." Nephra responds, "Maybe he just realized it's not worth fighting over." Heroshya thinks about it, "Nah, He was scared." Zephra looks at Nephra as she thinks something is defiantly suspicious.
At night in the castle, Zephra goes to Nephra's room once again and sits down asking, "Nephra, are you and Suzaku seeing each other?" Nephra says with surprise in her voice, "What makes you ask that Zephra?" Zephra answers her, "Because I saw the way you two looked at each other but I still wasn't sure until Suzaku stopped himself from declaring a battle with Heroshya. There is only one reason he would do that." Nephra sighs, "Yes we have been seeing each other for a while now." Zephra explains, "You can't trust him Nephra he may just be using you to get information about our father and the empire. " Nephra immediately comes to Suzaku's defense, "He's not, he doesn't care about father's empire." Zephra reminds her, "Perhaps not but Zeref has been after father's empire for years and Suzaku is loyal to Zeref. I know he can not be trusted, He is a two timer if nothing else... just the other day I saw him at the demon tournament that Akuma took me to see in the North. He didn't see me but I saw him, he was there with some other demon girl with red hair and she had her arms around him." Nephra's heart drops as she listens to what Zephra just told her, she knows it is true because Zephra would never lie to her. She tries to hold in her emotion as she finds difficulty in saying, "It's okay Zephra, he and I are not bound to each other. He is free to see other girls." Zephra stands up and tells her, "Don't feel bad Nephra, It's best you know the truth now. He's no good." Zephra walks out of the room leaving Nephra to think about what she has told her. Nephra feels her heart break for the first time.
One week later Nephra is still trying to forget Suzaku as she picks berries to bake a pie hoping to lift her spirits. She hears Suzaku's voice behind her, " You are more beautiful each time I see you." Nephra turns around to face him but says nothing. He walks towards her and continues as he places his hand on her cheek, "I've missed you." Nephra turns away from him again as he asks her, "What's wrong?" Nephra responds, "I don't think we should do this anymore Suzaku. We are on opposite sides, it should stay that way." Suzaku tells Nephra, "This does not sound like you talking. Has Heroshya found out about us? Has he ordered you to stop seeing me?" Nephra had not planned to devulge the information she has about the red haired demon girl but she can no longer contain herself as she asks, "Did you go to the North to view a demon tournament recently?" Suzaku face shows complete shock when he realizes what Nephra is upset about. He tells her, "I know what it must seem like to you but..." Nephra tells him, "Please don't bother to explain, you do not owe me an explaination we should just go our seperate ways from now on." Suzaku tells her, "That's not what I want and neither do you. The girl I was with, she kept asking me to take her to that tournament because she'd never seen one before, she was such a pest...I just took her. I'm not trying to deceive you, believe me when I tell you she means nothing to me." Nephra still heart broken tells him , "Still this is wrong, I don't want to do this any longer." She tries to walk away but Suzaku grabs her by her arm and pulls her close to him asking her, "Nephra....will you marry me?" Nephra is in shock as she can only stare at him...he continues on to tell her, "I will leave Zeref's empire, you leave your father's empire and we will live in a demon village in the North or South. We must leave but you can visit your family here as often as you like." Nephra still can not speak, they begin to move in close to each other intent on kissing when they are suddenly interrupted by the sound of a loud BOOM and destruction of rocks and trees. Suzaku grabs Nephra tighter to protect her as he is confused of what is going on. The both of them look over to see Heroshya standing with his sword in his hand as he yells out with anger in his voice, "Suzaku...If you don't want to lose both your limbs, You would be wise to remove them from around my sister at once!!" Suzaku, no longer able to keep his promise to Nephra now that he is being attacked removes his weapon as he says, "Heroshya...Come at me, I've been waiting for this." Nephra begs Suzaku, "Please don't." Suzaku tells her, "Stand back Nephra" Heroshya and Suzaku begin to fight each other...there swords clash as Nephra can do nothing but stand by watching afraid for both of their safety. Heroshya begins to use his acid claws to attack Suzaku but when Nephra sees this, knowing how deadly the acid claws are she feels immediate panic for Suzaku and goes to Heroshya , pulling his arm, "No stop it Heroshya please!!" Heroshya grunts as he nudges Nephra forcefully with his forearm to keep her out of his way while he fights and also to get her away from the line of fire. Suzaku raises his sword to give a strong swing at Heroshya but it is blocked. Suzaku drops his sword requesting, "Heroshya do not fight me with your father's power, Drop your sword and fight me on your own strength." Heroshya agrees as he also drops his sword, "It will be my pleasure to destroy you with my bare hands!" The two men begin fist fighting as they powerfully crash into trees, punch, kick and throw each other. The sounds are loud and forceful causing much destruction around them. Heroshya uses his laser darts from his eyes to attack but Suzaku is swift in avoiding the lasers as he raises his arm which has a shield on it, causing one of the lasers to ricochets off his shield, then off a stone and it heads directly at Nephra. Heroshya sees this and shouts out, "Nephra!!!" as he thinks it's too late to save her because she is too far away from him and the dart is traveling at super speed but Suzaku is close enough to her and he jumps in front of Nephra taking the laser to the chest but he is lucky when it hits his gold medallion not causing him or her any harm. Suzaku turns around and holds Nephra by her arms as he asks her, "Are you okay? Are you hurt?" She tells him she is fine. Heroshya stands behind the two of them as they holding each other, Suzaku turns around and says, "I don't want to fight you any more, for Nephra's sake." Heroshya agrees and puts his hand out to Suzaku as a peace offering. Suzaku is a bit confused as he says, "What you don't want to kill me anymore?" Heroshya explains, "When I saw you with Nephra, I thought you were just trying to gain her trust, pretending to be interested in her romantically to get access to the empire but when I saw you risk your life for her just then, I realized I was wrong." Suzaku informs, "Good I want you both to know and believe me when I say I have no false intentions. I love Nephra" Nephra tells Suzaku, "When we are married, I'm sure the rest of the family will come to accept you also." Heroshya interjects, "Married? Wait a minute Nephra...no one is getting married to anyone." Nephra ask Heroshya, "But why not?" Heroshya explains, " Spending time together is one thing, marriage is a whole different thing. You barely know each other, The answer is no." Nephra tells Heroshya, "But father is the one I have to get permission from, He is the one who will say yes or no." Heroshya tells her, "Yes, but father appointed me gaurdian over you and Zephra. If you ask him for his blessing he will no doubt ask my opinion before giving his answer and If I advise against it, then he will not give his blessing, and as of now, I will advise against it." Heroshya walks away....Suzaku stares angrily at Heroshya for not allowing Nephra to wed him but she tells Suzaku, "This was brought on to him all so sudden. I will speak with him and get his blessing...We will marry and move to a different region." Suzaku and Nephra both agree to carry on with things as they usually do at their empires until the day comes when they can marry and leave to begin a new life together