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A story with my O.C.'s. 

 Introduction 

   "There will never be peace. None. We're the targets. Unknown visitors to this world. We're targets." 

 Chapter 1 :: The City In One House 

"Shut up, cripple!" 

"Hell no, tech nerd!" 

It was a dim, autumn afternoon. The frosty breeze blew relentlessly against the shutters, letting in a remorseless chill. As usual, Kyrus and Kassiden were up to their daily affairs. 

"Guys, guys. Calm down..." Asmodeous quickly walked over and seperated them. 

Kyrus scowled, and pushed his glasses up to adjust them. Kassiden ran a hand through his tousled hair, glaring daggers at the virus. 

"As usual, the two former best friends quarrel fondly." Pup teased, nudging Asmodeous. "I still love the story you told us about Kyrus and Kassiden." 

"Pup, they despise each other." Asmodeous sighed, shaking his head. 

Asmodeous, who had created the two fiery rivals, groaned as he watched them. As for Kyrus and Kassiden--they argued so much that, when they didn't, someone would say: "That's strange." 

"Best friends?" Kassiden snorted, punching Asmodeous in the shoulder, causing him to wince. "Please. I could never be friends with the this biting, contemptible Pseudo trash." 

"Did you forget about that promise you made Kyrus a long time ago?" Icefern intervened. "'Best friends forever', remember?"

"So much for forever." Kyrus sneered, tugging at the high collar of the shirt under his tuxedo jacket. 

"Oh, come on." Trigara hissed, with the very small Radii tightly clutching the hem of her shirt, shivering and hiding behind her. "Kassiden, you have to let off the tough act. We all know there's a soft side inside of you somewhere." 

Radii, who was 4"9 and scrawny, was currently Kyrus and Kassiden's 'apprentice'. Despite the strict regime Radii was never told of when he had first asked, the small boy continued everything, despite almost being killed at least twice by Kassiden in the beginning for being a 'crybaby'. Radii preferred Kyrus's teaching method over the red aura'd antagonist's rough tyranny. 

"Soft." Kassiden repeated, his voice becoming more strained with aggravation. "Soft. You think?!" 

Everyone heard the smack of a book slamming shut. 

It was Lockjaw, the mute Pseudo that somehow managed pull through in terms of communication with everyone. He hadn't in the least changed his attire to fit into the earth life--he had a high-collared, black overcoat with a dark gray half-sleeved shirt underneath, black gloves that get cut off at the second knuckles of his fingers, long black pants, and his shoes looked similarly to a mix of sneakers and dress shoes. He remained relatively unchanged except for the fact that he had received two scratches over his hetero-chromatic eyes.

He dropped the heavy tome of which he was reading earlier onto a oak coffee table, walked over, and had rather forcibly pressed Kassiden against the wall with his side, glaring up at the considerably taller Pseudo. 

Lockjaw was known for his hypnotic gaze, and the relative silence only reinforced this case. At 5"4, he was rather short compared to the 6"5 Kassiden. 

"Well?" Kassiden hissed, stone becoming softer than his irritated glare. 

"Oooh, this is about to get reaal tonight." Nunya commented in awe. 

"Hey, hey." Kyrusiden purred. He had a rusty key laced around his neck. "You wouldn't want to wake up some people here, would you?" He cackled malevolently. 

Lockjaw further pressed Kassiden against the wall, before Kassiden had shoved him off of him, and had his knife whipped out.

"Whoa! Hey!" C.J. shouted, running over. "What the Heck is going on here?!" 

"Kassiden!" Asmodeous yelled out, running over and promptly proceeding to body-slam him. Kassiden started swearing like a fiend, whilst Asmodeous was repeatedly banging Kassiden's head against against the tile, and Kassiden was trying to jab into Asmo's back. 

Kyrus scowled, Radii shivered even more, Trigara just shook her head.

"What the Heck is going on here now?!" Mryminous, a newcomer, had called, poking his head around the corner. He saw Kassiden struggling under his assailant, and he smirked, his wings flapping. "Hey, Kassiden! Try whipping 'im!" 

Kassiden, having heard Mry's suggestion full well, had managed to stiffen his long, bristling tail, and had whipped Asmodeous across the head. 

"CRAP!" Asmo hissed, tumbling back. "Damn you, Kassiden!" 

Mryminous was one of what Kyrus called 'Kassiden's cronies'. He twirled his spiky, dragon-reminiscent tail, then walked off, chuckling. 

"God, that hurt like Hell..." Asmodeous muttered, rubbing the back of his head. Trigara began awkwardly patting his head. 

"That was rather interesting." Uni commented. 

Kyrus glitched briefly, before a pillar of binary briefly engulfed his body, and his traditional virus uniform. Crystals clinked as they rattled together on the hem of his cloak, and the base of the high collar. He scowled, before walking up the stairs to his room. 

Kassiden grunted as he tried standing on his prosthetic legs--one of them starting at the top of the knee, and the other being the entirety--and he had promptly disappeared in swirls of red, and now had his classic attire on as well. It consisted of a black overcoat--the bottom hem brushing the floor due to the sharp black prism crystals hanging down from it--with a very high collar with the base studded with spikes, the hems of the overcoat appearing torn, and he had a dark red long-sleeve, armor-plated shirt underneath, and black pants with swirls of red, the hems black.

Unlike Kyrus, who's uniform was relatively clean and lacking accessories, red leather belt straps that were studded with long, black spikes hung down from Kassiden's belt loops, and a relatively thick belt striped with spikes of red and black was adorned with silver, round studs. He flicked one of his ears, both of them torn, and his boots had red soles and were black over all, except for silver patches on the sides. Again, small belts wove around the silver studded surface. A scar ripping diagonally across his face was even more noticable than before, and he started to walk to his room when the double doors creaked. 

"Hey!" Silver shouted, throwing the hood of his sweater down. "Hey, everyone!" 

"Hi." Gray waved.

"Hello, everyone." M.C. smiled. 

"Hey." Asmodeous murmured, still rubbing the back of his head. 

As everyone said their hellos, Silver tilted his head.

"Asmo, what happened this time?" He asked. 

Kassiden let out an irritable growl, and Silver turned his head to him, narrowing his eyes. He walked over, and Kassiden narrowed his eyes, his pupils slit vertically like a cat.

"Kassiden." Silver murmured, nodding slightly. They were almost nose to nose, Kassiden two inches taller than Silver. 

"Hexxit." Kassiden muttered. 

Kassiden clutched the knife in his hands, which were now adorned with black gloves striped with red, and spiked around the wrist. 

Silver turned to Hunt, who passed Kassiden a wary glare, had nodded to his silver-haired companion, and they headed to the talk room. Kassiden scowled, and headed up the stairs. 

Mry passed Kassiden a helpless look before heading back down to the basement. 

"What are you doing here in this extraordinarily cold afternoon?" Chief asked M.C. 

"We're just visiting you." The avid photographer replied, nonchalant. "Though, I question Silver's relationship with Kassiden." 

"It's unsettling." Uni sighed. "I can't blame them, though. After what happened..." 

"It sucks. Yeah." Gray agreed, shaking his head. "Well, at least there are all of Cas's O.C.s in this one mansion." 

"Yeah..." Chief murmured. The city in one house." 

 Chapter 2 :: "This isn't right." 

Night began falling several hours later. The lurkers of the night began prowling. All of the visitors they had earlier had left. 

Cester. 

Flueed. 

Draque-o. 

There are many that prowl the night. Too many to list and too horrifying to say their names. 

However, even they can fall into the power of sleep. 

Because piercing the night is the glint of metal. 

~Time skip~ 

The next morning, Kassiden had awoken to sunlight streaming into his bedroom like relentless lazers. He squinted, and he let out a groggy, irritated grunt as he picked up his pillow and shoved it into his face, groaning. He was usually the earliest to awaken, but for some reason he had slept at least an hour longer than usual. 

Scowling, he had forced his tired body to move, and he had ended up rolling off of the bed, and he had spat out a swear in the process. He just went limp and lay there, tiredness enveloping his mind once again. 

"KASSIDEN, COME QUICK!" Mryminous had skid down the slick, hard-wood hallway to his room--and slammed into the door in front of him. He had forgotten that the floor was waxed yesterday. "GET OFF THE FLOOR, KASSIDEN!" 

"WHAT. WHAT THE HECK, MRY!" Kassiden shouted, bolting up--and slamming the top of his head onto the bed side table. He swore again, and Mry proceeded to drag Kassiden towards the lobby of the mansion. "God, Mry... Why'd you have to wake me up like that..." 

"It's important!" Mry hissed roughly. Kassiden groaned, and ran a hand through his hair. 

However, when Kassiden was released from Mry's grasp, he saw something was indeed wrong. 

He quickly morphed into his casual attire--the morphing process also giving an additional boost of energy, luckily for him--and he headed over to the lobby on his own.

There definitely was something wrong. 

Quickly sliding down the rail of the third set of stairs, he jumped down and nearly ran into Esyure, the dark figure that matched Lockjaw in mystery. He scowled and flicked his one aura wing, and Kassiden's nose was overwhelmed with the scent of... Pseudo blood? 

   Kassiden's P.O.V.

Pseudo blood? Why pseudo blood? Why? Following that... 

No. It couldn't. It couldn't be. 

The innocently-naïve brat that just wanted something I didn't have. 

The over-insistant primadonna that just wanted the non-existent best for everyone. Even Kyrusiden. 

Radii and Trigara. 

~No one's P.O.V.~ 

"What happened?" 

"Who killed them?" 

"Why them?!" 

Kassiden stepped forward to get a better view, and flinched when he saw the corpses--he cringed. 

Radii was clearly slain by a knife--stomach split open, honey-colored blood pattering the floor (Pseudos had differentiating blood colors depending upon their eye colors) and his throat was slashed, halfway there on almost beheading him, and the yellow blood was splattered against the walls as Radii had been smashed against it, a cave-in clearly prominent on the place where the back of Radii's head had hit the baseboard with appalling force. 

Trigara was slain in a slightly cleaner manner--a slash through the throat. Nonetheless, emerald-green liquid sparkled on the marble tile floor, and as Kassiden looked up higher to get an even better look, their eyes were opened--and glazed in the cloudy envelope of death. 

It was clear to Kassiden that Radii was the stronger of the two, and conflicted feelings mingled in his mind--pride, ripping frustration--and all this time his face was emotionless. 

"Kassi, you alright?" Mry murmured, putting a hand on the red pseudo's broad shoulder, already feeling the angry and usually distant Pseudo shaking with rage. 

"This is preposterous." Kyrus hissed, glitching and warping wildly. "Brutal murder right under our noses! What were the night crawlers doing?" 

"Probably happened while they were sleeping." Essence sighed, slowly folding his wings back. 

"Lockjaw, go get the security camera clips of last night." Kyrus commanded, rather forcefully. Lockjaw quietly leapt up, deftly balancing on the ascending baseboard that framed the door right below the silver security camera. He clicked the slot, and the memory plate slipped out. He grabbed it, jumped down--very careful not to slip on the blood--and handed it to the expertise of technology, Kyrus. 

"Let's see what happened..." Kyrus murmured. 

"Oh, Kyrus, you fool." A voice hissed. It was Kyrusiden, striding out from behind the basement door, the rusty key still laced around his neck. 

"What, you sick lab rat." Kyrus snarled. 

"The security camera was destroyed. Look under it, dimwit." Kyrusiden snapped, pointing. "Stupid slaughter fest wasn't recorded." 

"...That's just great. JUST. GREAT." Kyrus threw the memory plate up, and it had automatically zipped back into its slot--courtesy to Kyrus's viral powers. 

"Who are the embalmers this year?" Mry asked, looking around. "They must surely be around here somewhere. We need to prep Radii and Trigara for burial." 

"...Kassiden, please. Answer me." Mry turned back to his friend, and Kassiden turned his head towards Mryminous, his eyes glowing lightly with red. 

"Shut up, you mangled bat." Kassiden hissed, harshly. "Leave me be. Talk to me never." He turned on his heel, and stomped up the stairs, tail bristling. 

"So much for that..." Mry sighed. "Let's go call the embalmers, before this mess becomes inaccessible to clean-up." 

"If only..." Kyrus murmured, his voice becoming soft. "If only we had full peace, around here..." 

"This isn't right." Draque-o, a 'Night Crawler' of the house, mumbled, his gold eyes glittering with remorse. 

 Chapter 3 :: Targets 

"Kassiden?" Mry murmured, shyly. He knocked on the painted wooden door, again. "Kassiden, please. Talk to me. I'm so worried about you. Let me in." 

"Come on. This isn't funny. Mry's worried about you. Let him in, already." Esyure, who had come to confront Kassiden about his burst of rage, snarled harshly. "God damn, you irascible excuse of a Pseudo. Let the kid in." 

Esyure knocked on the door. Then, drawing his hand back, he waited, hearing muffled footsteps. Abruptly, the blade of a knife came ripping through the pearly wood of the door, sending splinters flying onto the carpet. Esyure, who wasn't even 4 inches from the door, had flinched as his aura wing had lashed forward and blocked the blow, the tip of the knife's blade piercing the glass-like appearance of the wing with a sharp splintering of glassy aura.

"Kassiden, please!" Mry nearly pleaded. 

"I think I know exactly why he's angry." Esyure scowled, folding his arms. "He's in grief." 

Meanwhile, on the other side of the door, Kassiden was standing in front of the split door. He rubbed the temples of his head with his fingers, then he walked over to the vanity that he had reluctantly taken in when they first moved in. Placing his hands on either side of it for stability, he stared at himself in the mirror. 

"So many secrets." Kassiden murmured, staring into his luminous red eyes, which glowed through the shadows dappling his face. His hair fell in waves around his forehead, the corner his right eye barely visible. "So many rumors. Just too many." 

The knocking on his door persisted. He threw another knife, hearing it sink into the soft, springy wood, and splinters cracking viciously from its surface. He turned back to the mirror. 

"There will never be peace." He sighed, his eyes closing halfway. "None. We're the targets. Unknown visitors to this world. We're targets." 

 Chapter 4 :: Betrayal 

"Forget it." Esyure snapped, banging his clenched fist onto the dining table. "Kassiden is going to mope around like a kicked Hell Spawn." 

"It isn't his fault." Kyrus muttered, repeating what he said to Esyure the 5th time. 

"Yeah, it kind of is." Esyure growled, scowling. 

"Why don't you learn some courtesy for a change, you presumptuous one-wing?" Aria snapped, her blue eyes glinting with the message: "I'm sick of your antics." overall. Her Ytere, who Uni had suggested calling Pierre, let out a low, rumbling snarl. 

"Says the girl that ranted for two days straight over losing her dumb cat's toy and finding it under the couch later." Esyure countered. "AND almost slitting Areii's throat for nothing." 

"Esyure. Aria." Cester, a sightless Pseudo, murmured, quietly. 

"What." They both turned to him, their faces scrunched up with anger. 

"Shut up." Cester mumbled, nonchalantly. He waved them away, as if the two quarreling Pseudos were mere pets. "We are here to discuss the murders. Not each other." 

" . . . I guess." Aria muttered. 

"Oh. Also. Do you know who I think is the murderer?" Esyure bolted from his chair, jerking a thumb to his chest, trying to emphasize that he needed everyone's attention. "I think Kassiden is the killer." 

"You're  only saying that because you're mad at him." Kyrus sneered. "You attention-seeking--" 

"Yeah! Kyrus is right!" Puppy, who had come over to visit alongside Gray, Silver, Asmodeous, Icefern, Chief, Uni, Dia, Hawk, and Spy. "Esyure, quit throwing around pointless nonsense please?"

"Fine. Don't listen to me." Esyure slumped back into his chair, scowling. 

"What about Areii-Filious?" Kydus, Kyrus's step-brother, piped up. 

Kydus was found by Aria when she had left to go find food for Pierre. Kydus had been quietly sitting at the base of a gnarled oak, flipping through his album. When Aria had insisted he came home with her, Kydus was especially bewildered at the sight of Kyrus and Kassiden, and had revealed with the contents of his album--which was, in fact, a photo album--that Kyrus was his step-brother. 

"Areii is crazy, but he wouldn't murder two innocent Pseudos." Gray sighed, running a hand through his thick, dark hair. 

"Hey, hey!" Silver hissed, jumping up from his chair, glaring at Esyure. "Kassiden is NOT the murderer!" 

"Whoa, I thought we got off this topic--" Aria began. 

"He definitely is. Why do you think he's just sulking? It's an act." Esyure snorted, flicking his hair with his hand. 

"How do we know you're just trying to keep the blame from yourself?" Silver countered, his voice harsh with criticism. 

"Why you--" Esyure had stood up from his chair, and advanced towards Silver, who was poised for a fight. 

"Hey, now. Who's calling me a ruthless murderer? What a compliment." A voice rang out, sounding prim yet sore. 

Esyure and Silver turned to see Kassiden slowly stepping down the stairs, in his typical 'earth attire' as he called it. Which consisted of a dark, charcoal-gray hoodie with black jeans, and red and white converse sneakers. 

"I did." Esyure hissed, gritting his teeth. 

"Well, I wouldn't murder my own apprentice, thank you. As for Trigara, she's already done enough for me, enough for me to tolerate her. So, thank you please." Kassiden sneered, making Esyure even angrier with his calm, nonchalant facade. 

"OOH, BURN." Nunya shouted out. Kyrusiden gave Nunya a quick high-five. 

"I'll find the evidence that you're the murderer, Kassiden." Esyure snarled, before angrily stomping out of the Talk Room. 

"Kassiden, why--" C.J. began. 

"Enough. This discussion is over." Kassiden growled, walking out of the room. Kyrus followed him, where Silver saw them sit on the couch and look at the floor. Kyrus had his knees brought up to this chest, while he had wrapped his arms around his legs. Kassiden had his right elbow propped against the arm rest of the couch, eyes shut, while his right hand ran through his hair. 

Pup quietly walked over to Asmodeous, who was looking down, twiddling his thumbs. "Are Kyrus and Kassiden okay?" Pup whispered. 

Asmodeous looked up, and shook his head, a sad look etched into his face. 

"Pup, come on." Rinzler called. They had been assigned to clean out Radii's room, while Silver and Asmodeous were assigned Trigara's room. 

Trudging up the spiraling stairs, Pup took one last look back at Kyrus and Kassiden. Kyrus had both hands covering his face, and Kassiden was silently patting him on the back, expression emotionless. 

Was Kyrus crying? Pup asked herself. She hoped he wasn't.

To avoid her own tears flooding her eyes, she quickly ran up the stairs, past Rinzler, and into Radii's room to let the task begin and take her mind off. 

"Pup..." Rinzler murmured, flicking on the light.

"Yes?" Pup looked up. 

"Are you crying?" 

Pup quickly brought a hand to her face, and felt the silvery drops running down her cheeks. She had failed to resist the urge to weep.

She wiped them away.

"Oh. I didn't realize..." 

"It's fine. Let's just get to work." Rinzler sighed, beginning the task by opening the curtains to let in more light, and picking up the books littering the floor. 

Pup turned back to the vanity, and decided to check behind it in case there were any knick-knacks gone astray. Gripping the edge of the medium-sized vanity that posed as a desk and a dresser, she pulled the vanity out away from the wall a few inches. Enough to reach her hand in and feel around the surprisingly dust-free depths behind the dresser. Whilst feeling around, she felt a folded piece of paper come in contact with her fingertips. 

She reached out, and managed to bring the piece of paper out a few inches, and grabbing it. 

"Rinzler. Look what I found." Pup turned back to Rinzler, before unfolding the paper. Rinzler gently set down the giant pile of books he had gathered up onto the carpet. 

Embedded on the paper was a note. It said: 

   Hi, 

   If you're reading this, it's probably a time where I had left this world to fly the stars, race the swirling comets, and run laps around the galaxies! 

   But... In other words, you're probably reading this when I, um, passed. 

   All I want to say is... I want to address you guys. Kyrus. Kassiden. 

   After accepting being tought by you both, I decided to hopefully scrape out a bond out of the three of us. Yes, us. An unlikely trio, don't you think? 

   But... All I want to say is... 

   Thank you. 

   -Radii 

  P.S. - Check the box left with this letter! 

Pup, reading the last part of the letter, quickly dashed over to the dresser and reached behind it, but couldn't feel anything else behind it. 

"Here, let me." Rinzler walked over, and Pup let him reach behind the vanity. 

Rinzler couldn't feel anything at first, but when he stretched his arm out farther, his fingertips brushed a smooth container. He lashed out his arm, and had slid it an inch closer. He continued until he was able to get a full grip onto it, and bring it out. 

It was a small box, at least 5 inches long and 5 inches wide. Tentatively flipping it open, Pup and Rinzler saw two necklaces. One was a very thin, finely-knit chain of silver that had a red ruby in a rim of silver. The other was also tiny silver chains, but had a branch of a turquoise-blue computer circuit dangling off of it. Pup's eyes began dripping with grievous tears, and Rinzler wiped a sleeve across his eyes, trying to avoid weeping. 

As they were standing grievously in the middle of Radii's room, Aria came in the check on them. 

"Hey, did you guys--" She flinched when she saw the extraordinarily sad looks etched into their faces. Her gaze fell onto the box that they were holding. "Oh... Uhm..." 

She quickly walked over to Pup, who was now choked up in quiet sobs, thinking of Radii and the fun times they both had. 

"Pup..." Aria murmured, eyes soft. "Pup. Look at me. Now." 

Puppy, who was sniffing, looked up, wiping her eyes with the back of her hand.

Abruptly, before Pup could ask her what she wanted, Aria threw herself around Puppy, gripping her in a tight, sympathetic hug. Pup, who had the breath knocked out of her, tentatively hugged back, still sniffing. 

"Aria... I--" Pup began. Aria raised a finger over her mouth. 

"No." Aria mumbled. She walked away. 

She turned back around, stopping at the door. "Oh, and also. Take those necklaces to Kyrus and Kassiden. Now." Rinzler nodded. 

"Wait, what if--" 

But Aria had already walked away. 

"Jesus. Is it that late already?" Rinzler looked back at the dimming sunlight in the window, then at the clock hung on the wall--5:45. 

"Yes, unfortunately." 

"GUYS. IT'S TIME TO FREAKING GO. GET OFF YOUR SHIFTS AND COME ON!" 

Asmodeous's loud yelling snapped them out of their conversation. 

"Crap! Hurry!" Rinzler was already out the door and sliding down the stair rail. Pup was trying not to stumble and cave her face in whilst going down the stairs. 

"Kyrus, Kassiden!" Pup called, putting on the merriest voice she could muster that totally did not indicate she was sad as hell. 

"The Heck do you want now?" Kassiden hissed, stone being softer than his glare at Pup. The way it bore into Puppy's confidence was so nerve-wracking that her heart started to pound, the adrenaline suddenly zipping around her body like a cheetah. 

"Uhm..." Puppy stammered. "HEREKAYTHANKSBYE!" She quickly threw the box into Kassiden's direction and bolted. Unfortunately, it had bonked a sleeping Kyrus on the head first before landing into Kassiden's hands. 

"Wh--" Kyrus's eyelids fluttered open, but Kassiden had shoved Kyrus's head into the couch cushion. 

"Shut up and sleep." Kassiden growled. Kyrus reluctantly consented. 

Meanwhile, Esyure was darkly glaring at Kassiden from the shadows of the basement, tail twitching, a scowl etched into his stony expression. 

"Traitor.

 Chapter 5 :: A Dead Man Can't Fight Back 

"I'll be staying here for Night Guard." Asmodeous sighed, voice monotone. "I don't want anybody else to die." 

"It's understandable." Uni commented. "Are you sure about it?" 

"Yes." 

"Wait." Silver piped up, whilst teasing a lock of hair aside from his face. "I'll guard with you." 

"Silver, no." Asmodeous groaned inwardly, tensely running a hand through his hair. 

"Silver, yes." Silver insisted.

"Augh... Fine." Asmodeous hissed. "But watch your back for the meaner ones." 

"Okay."

"Well, anyway. Bye." Asmodeous waved to Gray, who nodded and lead the rest of the group out of the door. Silver said his good-byes with a bit of reluctancy. 

~Awhile ago; Kassiden's P.O.V.~ 

Jesus christ. 

Well, in case you were wondering, Kyrus was not crying. Not even close. He was more peeved than I've seen him ever since the truce with Kyrusiden started. 

Well, actually. It was more of an angry, grievous sadness. Or something. 

Anyway. I had to deal with his mad glitching and I had to knock him upside the head several times to keep him from exploding the entire place. Sucks for me. 

~Time Skip; No one's P.O.V.~ 

The bright sunlight of the afternoon slanted through the dust-ridden windows, the shutters straight, but the paint job was peeling away. 

Kassiden quietly stood outside, his hooded cotton sweater delicately ruffling in the crisp, cool breeze. He was very deep in thought, secretly scrolling through the suspects he had compiled in the back of his mind. 

He eventually pushed those thoughts away, and decided to take in the scenery before him--vibrantly colored leaves clung haphazardly onto the dark, skeletal branches of the surrounding oak and maple trees. Freshly-raked piles of leaves in red, orange, yellow, and brown hues sat neatly on the grass, which was still sparkling with the dew drops of the mid-morning sprinkling. He's never felt so calm, standing on the white painted porch. 

"Kassiden?" 

It was Asmodeous, coming out to check on him. 

"Yes?"

"Just checking on how you're doing." 

"I'm doing fine." 

"Alright." 

Asmodeous softly shut the door, leaving Kassiden alone once again. 

Night began to fall a few hours later. The stars cast their tiny spotlights in the sky, the crescent moon a cats' claw of pure, silvery light. Prowling the halls were Asmodeous and Silver, weapons in hand. They had divided up their parts of the house to guard ahead of time--Asmodeous got the left, Silver was the right, they both guarded the middle, and then they switched roles. 

Occasionally, someone would cross the hallways to retrieve midnight snacks, a glass of water, etc., and the devoted Night Guards consented.

The night transitioned smoothly; Silver and Asmodeous had decided to meet up in the center foyer for a short discussion regarding the murders. 

"So," Asmodeous began. "Who do you think the murderer is?" 

"Lockjaw." Silver said, immediately. "He's the creepiest." 

"You only think that because of his being mute." Asmodeous sneered, chuckling. 

"Hey, are we discussing the murders?" A voice piped up, making Silver almost leap out of his skin. 

"We are." Asmodeous turned to face the hybrid Pseudo, who's vibrant purple eyes glowed through the shadows. "What's your hunch?" 

"Esyure." Kyrusiden purred in a prim, demented tone. "He's been on his toes for quite awhile since the first killings." With that, he let out a low, hearty cackle. 

"Nice to know you're having a good time." Asmodeous snorted. 

The Night Guards dispersed, while Kyrusiden proceeded to stalk their movements and look over what places the guards couldn't access. 

If only they knew of the looming shadows that fell noticably over the house, blocking out the moon and stars. 

~Time Skip~ 

Kassiden's eyes hammered open. It had been almost a week since the first two murders, and his instincts had never prickled so violently on his mind in his life. 

He looked at the time. 7:45 A.M. on the dot. 

Good. 

After he had gotten the morning grogginess out of his system, he stealthily snuck past the closed doors of the halls, and quietly yet quickly made his way down the stair rail. Apprehension tugged at his thoughts, but he whisked those thoughts away. The Night Guards certainly must have made it through the night. 

Flipping open a window, he decided to let some fresh air in to calm his nerves. Inhaling the cool, crisp air, he saw Mry slide down the stair rail. 

"Hey." 

"'Sup." 

He decided to go find the Night Guards, Mry trailing behind him. 

He found them, alright. 

But not the way he wanted to see them. 

Mry eventually flew off in a blur to get the notification out, while Kassiden surveyed the corpses. 

The first he found was Asmo's body. Mutilated, ripped to shreds, deep slashes adorning his skin, former scars now bleeding and fresh. It made Kassiden sick. At least a meter away from the corpse was Asmo's sniper rifle. Judging by how the ammo slot was still open, he was trying to reload and shoot down the marauder, but was eventually killed. 

Kassiden speculated taking the body out to the facility now, but he decided against it. He wasn't an embalming master this year. The bright, candy red blood was splashed haphazardly among the walls, painting them a sickly scarlet. 

He headed over to the West Hall, where he could see Silver leaning dangerously into the wall, a smear of red next covering the usually shiny tile, and a stab wound had taken residence on the right side if his chest, along with a few slash marks. His black and Silver hair was stuck together with scab, tangling around his face. 

Essence was the first of the notified sleepers to swiftly-arrive into the area. Beating his gray wings, he made a stealthy landing a few meters behind Kassiden. 

"It's been a week. This already happens?" Essence sighed, running a hand through his soft white hair. 

"Apparently." Kassiden murmurs, not even feeling grief or sadness. He merely felt the twisting anger and desire of sweet revenge, the need to track down and kill, more than anything in the world. 

Essence had slowly twitched his wings closed, but then whipped them open to serve as a border for the crime scene when everyone else began to gather. Esyure was particularly fuming at the same Pseudo that had forced him awake, Essence. 

"Who was killed, now?!" Esyure hissed, furious and groggy. "I was sleeping!" 

"Our Night Guards were killed, Sleeping Beauty." Kassiden rolled his crimson eyes. Tugging at his rumpled hoodie, he decided to head towards the medic ward. Mry, paranoid with fear, decided to come with him, despite Kassiden's solitary preference. 

"Kassiden, I'm sorry. I really am." Mry apologized hastily. "But I'm afraid you'll get killed in broad daylight." 

"I'll be able to handle them." Kassiden hissed. Despite his tone, Mry could tell that he wasn't sure himself. 

"But--" Mry began, before slipping on what appeared to be a puddle of vibrant purple. Kassiden flinched and quickly bound back, watching his distance. 

"Wait . . . That's . . . " Kassiden nearly gouged his eyes out at what he just saw--Kyrusiden. Dead. 

Kassiden couldn't believe how much blood was splattered everywhere. Even more than both Asmodeous and Silver's corpses found in the hallways. Kassiden speculated that Kyrusiden was trying to reach the medical ward, still slightly injured, and then the murderer had caught him. It was going to take forever to get rid of the evidence before people came. 

"Mry. Get out of the blood puddle and help me." Kassiden commanded, quickly dashing over to Kyrusiden's body and picking it up. The cold blood immediately soaked the sleeves of Kassiden's hoodie, but he didn't care. He just wanted to make sure the land lords didn't find this. Or that the 'neighbors' complained. Or even worse. 

"Kassiden! What happ--" Corsair, a Daylight Guard, had heard Mry's fall and had come to investigate. 

"Kyrusiden was killed!" Mry muffled from his place face-planted on the floor. 

"Are you kidding?" Corsair's jaw dropped. "Kyrusiden's one of the strongest of the known Pseudos! How was he killed?" 

"We'll probably never know." Kassiden sighed, trying not to slip on Kyrusiden's blood. "He's been killed in a particularly gruesome way." 

"Judging by how mutilated he is, it probably took a lot for the murderer to get him." Corsair theorized. 

"No. He definitely bled to death. See the smear marks?" Cester had walked in, and barged into their conversation. 

"He was trying to make it to the medical ward, but he was caught. Mry, do you mind checking other parts of the house for Kyrusiden's blood? It could at least tell us where he was first struck." 

"There's a problem, with that." Corsair sighed. 

"What?" 

"A dead man can't fight back." 

 Chapter 6 :: "Dead To Me." 

~Time skip~ 

"You know, I'm getting sort of sick of this." Pup sighed, rhythmically tapping her fingers on the table. "Who's going to die next?" 

Meanwhile, Kassiden was quietly dozing in a slanting beam of sunlight on the couch. Kyrus was tinkering with Ice's headphones--who accidentally broke them--and Esyure was staring out the window, squinting from the bright light. Pup was anxiously venting her concerns to Lockjaw.

The mute Pseudo, despite looking bored, was listening very attentively, pondering without Pup's noticing. They were waiting for Ice to get back from doing chores. 

"Mind calming down?" Esyure hissed. "It's been clear enough that these murders will go on until ALL of us are dead." 

"Well, Silver's been under hospitalization, and--" Pup protested. 

"So what? He got less cuts than your snake friend. Big deal. They're hoarding a dead corpse." Esyure interrupted. "They're just desperate, aren't they?" 

"Will you shut the Hell up?" Kassiden snapped, eventually getting tired of Esyure's constant negativity. "You're just was useful to the case as a dead bug is to a plant." 

"'Ey, where'd all this arguing come from?" Icefern's voice rang out. Rustling noises briefly punctuated the air before she walked into the living room. 

"Ask mono-wing." Kassiden jerked a thumb towards Esyure, before flinching and staring at something on the upstairs balcony. 

"Wait, wha--WHAT THE HELL?" Ice had said before being ambushed by three jolly Pseudos from above. 

"Oh, great." Kyrus groaned, before going back to fixing Ice's headphones. 

"YES." Pup shouted, before running over to the Pseudos. 

"Hey!" Kyrusiden's Opposite had chirped, walking over and giving Pup a tight hug. "Where have you been?" 

"Around." Pup said, nonchalantly. "How about you?" 

"Me and the others were exploring the mountains! It was sort of cold, though." Kyrus's Opposite explained. 

" . . . No dip, Sherlock." Kyrus muttered darkly, sparking a charge on a wire. 

"You missed quite a bit . . . " Cester murmured, rubbing the side of his face while his elbow rested on the arm rest. 

"Yeah. It sucks." Kassiden sighed, giving a slow blink of seeming misery. 

"Where's Radii? I found a smooth stone and I want to give it to him. Because people say that they're good luck charms!" Kassiden's Opposite chirped, hopping up and down. 

Kassiden smacked a hand over his face, and Kyrus flinched, his eyes flashing. 

"Opposite, I know you're optimistic and eager, but it's hard to put this into words. Radii isn't here." Kassiden said, quietly. 

"Where'd he go? Did he leave with Trigara?" The endearing young Opposite of Kassiden said fretfully. 

"You really want to know where he went?" Esyure snarled, irritated. "He's dead. Along with Trigara." 

"Shut up, Esyure." Kyrusiden's Opposite snapped. "That isn't true. Don't you remember Aria's story about what the humans called heaven? They're probably there." 

"Oh, please. That fairy tale nonsense? Don't believe it." Esyure hissed. 

"Is this true, Kassiden? Are they really dead?" Kassiden's Opposite turned to face her other half. 

"Yeah." Kassiden sighed, setting his head onto his folded arms, which were resting on the arm rest of the large couch. "Along with Asmodeous and Kyrusiden." 

"No! How could they both die? I thought Kyrusiden was the strongest out of all of us? How did he die? How did Asmodeous die?" Kyrusiden's Opposite demanded. 

"Hell if I know!" Kassiden finally yelled, having had enough. "All we know is that there's someone stronger out there, and that he's going to kill all of us when this is through!" 

Kyrusiden's Opposite flinched, and let out a big sigh. 

"Alright. Well, me and the others will be in our rooms. We'll talk later." Kyrus's Opposite muttered. The threesome proceeded to run up the spiraling stair case, Kassiden's Opposite holding several smooth stones in her hands. 

Kyrus managed to connect the wires in the headphones he was fixing, and he heaved a huge sigh. 

"Finally done. Watch over your stupid headphones next time." Kyrus growled, tossing them to Ice. He sat down on the floor, and Kassiden noticed that he was slightly warping. 

"Uh, Kyrus. You're glitching." He commented, quietly. 

"Eh?" Kyrus looked at the back of his hand. "I didn't know. Why?" 

"Heck if I know." Kassiden muttered. He flinched when a thought sped through his head. "Uh, Kyrus . . . " 

"Yes?" 

"You said that if someone screwed up your files, you'd have problems, right?" 

" . . . Yeah." 

"I think someone's trying to delete you." 

Pup, Ice, Esyure, and Kyrus flinched. 

" . . . You're kidding." Kyrus hissed, gritting his teeth. "Of all times. Now is the time somebody tries me." 

"Well, nobody's going to try and screw you over if you guard your own damn files like you're supposed to." Esyure growled. 

~Time Skip~ 

After that, Kassiden had thrown a knife at him and ended up damaging Esyure's aura wing for the day, while Kyrus anxiously paced back and forth through his room, while he vented to Lockjaw about his frustration and concerns. Kassiden lazily lounged on Kyrus's bed alongside the quiet Lockjaw, and Kyrus proceeded to glitch furiously, which was characteristic of him when he became distressed. 

"Kyrus, can you shut up, already?" Kassiden groaned. "All that's needed is a guard for your files. Idiot." 

"Well, who would want to guard the Virus-Type everyone hates?" Kyrus growled. He flopped onto his bed, then sat up on the edge, head slightly tilted downwards in depressed defeat. 

" . . . Are you serious." Puppy, who happened to be walking past the door with a glass of milk in hand, hissed. "Nobody hates you. Quit under-rating yourself. It isn't healthy." 

Kyrus's gaze shifted over the the floor. He let out a heavy sigh, and Lockjaw had gently lay his hand on top of the virus's gloved fingers, causing him to tense at first, until Kyrus looked up at the mute's serious, solid gaze fixed onto him, and he had noticed that his narrowed, dual-toned eyes were flashing with swirling hues of green and red. At first, he didn't know what the other Pseudo was planning to do, until he recalled the exact events happening currently from the past. 

"Lockjaw, don't." Kyrus said, softly. 

The mute Pseudo shook his head slightly, but removed his hand, anyway. Red and green strings of sparks lingered on his fingertips before fizzling away. Kyrus's shoulders relaxed rather noticably, and Puppy, witnessing this, had a devious smile snake across her face before bolting away. Kassiden had noticed this right away. 

 "Lockjaw you cur, I hope you realized what you just implied by that gesture." He hissed, sitting up. 

 Lockjaw only shrugged his shoulders with a bored, uncaring expression on his face, which caused Kassiden to glare at him. 

 "Can we not." Kyrus grumbled, rolling his bright turquoise eyes. "Why do you still care about that? They can't do anything to step it forward and you know it." 

 "Fine." Kassiden said, ending the conversation right there. 

 They eventually left the virus's room. Kassiden was busy warily looking around, swiveling his ears this way and that to pick up anything unusual. He couldn't stand sitting in relative silence and NOT trying to find something to hone in on. Besides, he didn't want to risk more unnecessary deaths. Especially from a murderer that he couldn't identify. 

 His fists clenched. He swore he'd find this killer out. 

 Not even two seconds later, he saw Lockjaw and Kyrus get ram-tackled by-- 

 . . . Of course. 

 Puppy and Nunya had promptly ram-tackled both Pseudos. Nunya had practically death-hugged Kyrus. 

 "Ay." Nunya greeted. 

 "I swear if you try anything just because of a misinterpretation over a simple action I'm going to screw over both of your computers so damn much that it'll blow up your house." Kyrus snarled. Although he's gotten considerably stronger since his first (unfortunate) encounter with Nunya--and was just about as tall as her, now--he was instinctively holding himself back to keep a blackout from occurring. 

 Lockjaw, who was very good at hiding his distress, looked at Puppy, his eyes filled more with curiosity than aggravation. His gaze turned to Kassiden, who was now leaning against the wall, still standing in the hall they had come out of. He looked like he was barely able to keep himself from murdering everyone right there and then. Lockjaw shooks his head at him. 

 "I heard from Puppy that ya'll were holdin' hands." Nunya said, quirking an eyebrow at Kyrus, a big grin on her face. Kyrus let out a loud groan and passed a glare at Lockjaw. 

 This was going to be a long week. 

   ~Time Skip~ 

 The week had went on relatively normally. There were no murders. Regardless, there was tension in the air. Mryminous and Essence had taken up the role as roof patrol, flying above the house to search out anything suspicious. The basement creatures--like Flueed, for instance--lurked during the day more frequently, guarding every nook and cranny that they were able to access. So, in general, everyone was on high alert to prevent any more deaths. 

 Kassiden was especially dedicated to this new objective--he stayed up for days at a time just to keep someone, anyone, on patrol. Despite the gradual toll it took on his health, he didn't care. Esyure had snarkily commented on this: "If he deprives himself of sleep even more, a single poke might make him kill somebody. He's that irritated." 

 Kyrus and Kydus were in charge on securing the digital aspects of the increased guarding. Kydus had even went to the Cybernetic World on his own and guarded Kyrus's files with his life. Kyrus had laid out a lethal firewall to prevent anybody from spying. 

 Everything seemed alright--everyone was intent on keeping away or killing the murderer of 5 people so far. 

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