"I'll be back soon; I'm going for a walk." I told my mother in a mute voice as I walked to the front door of our small cottage in the middle of the woods. Shinda, my mother, giggled and nodded her head in reply.
"If anything strange happens, come home immediately." she replied in her normal carefree tone. I nodded my head and stepped through the doorway, walking into the trees after I shut the door. The dimming light of the sun setting behind the trees cast dark shadows around me, sheltering me from the view of the house as soon as I passed the third tree into the forest.
"I'm sorry mother... But going home if anything strange comes around... I'd never be able to leave the house at all." I mumbled softly, striding past a swarm of Coal Tar, allowing them to follow me deeper into the wilderness and call me Young Mistress. They didn't bother me. Not in the least. They only floated around me, never landing on me at all. The Hobgoblins also called me Young Mistress. Their small round bodies were bright colors and had odd patterns around the limbs and face, all over actually. In the winter, the Snowmen would keep me company while the Hobgoblins weren't around.
"Young Mistress... Young Mistress..." the medium sized Hobgoblin I’ve known all my life repeated over and over, hopping around me in circles.
"What is it?" I asked quietly, leaning closer to pick him up. He happily hoped into my arms and nuzzled his large head into my neck.
"You're being followed, yes you are..." he shifted as if uncomfortable and peered up into the trees above me. I followed his gaze and came almost face to face with a demon. His hair was green with an odd spike on the top. His eyes were also green, sparkling with both boredom and amusement. But what caught me the most was his clothes... I suppose even demons have some odd fashion senses, nay?
(Almost like this, but it's Yin with an emotionless expression)
"My own kin sold me out... How interesting." he said in a tired voice, as if he didn't care in the least. I blinked up at him as the goblin in my arms shook in terror.
"Is there something I can help you with?" I asked in the same tone as the demons. He tilted his head, as if he was examining me. The look of amusement in his eyes seemed to grow as he flipped out of the tree, landing on the ground a few feet away from me.
"You are entertaining..." he mumbled, tossing a lollipop into his mouth. I stared at him, watching carefully as he crouched down on the ground and studied me from where he was. I took this time to notice that there was many more Coal Tar around than before. All buzzing around, surrounding me and the demon in a circle like manor. The Hobgoblin in my arms hopped onto my back and started swatting them away. This action caused them demon to laugh.
"Young Mistress, you must run. Yes, run is what you should..." the goblin growled quietly in my ear. I flicked my eyes in his direction and nodded once before turning back to the demon and curtsying.
"If there is nothing you need, I'll be leaving." I said calmly, shifting my weight to my other foot and spinning on my heel in the other direction.
"I am Amaimon, King of Earth. Your uncle." as soon as the words left the demon's mouth; I spun back around to see that he had already disappeared.
"Crazy demon. Come little goblin, you're shaking... Let us continue to the lake. I doubt we will be disturbed any more today." I said in a quiet tone as I continued towards the lake. The goblin kept shifting around on my shoulders, keeping his eyes open for the Demon King, in case he decided to bother me again.
"Young Mistress, you are curious now yes..... Ask me, I am your servant, I must tell you what I know... Yes, I do." the goblin stuttered. I shook my head as I neared the water.
"Don't trouble yourself, Kobold. I don't care right now..." I mumbled softly as I walked out onto the pier and placed my feet into the cold water.
"Kobold, Young Mistress? I do not understand..." the goblin started. I silenced him with a kick of my foot in the water, the sound made him jump to hide behind me.
"You are different from other Hobgoblins. You've been around since I first started seeing demons, and you're the only one that speaks. So, I've given you a name. In German, your name means Goblin. Is that alright, Kobold?" I questioned as I glanced at him over my shoulder. He jumped around in a pleased manor and hopped onto my shoulder, his stumpy arms hugging me around my head.
"A name~! A name~! The Young Mistress gave me a name~!" he shouted happily as he began to jump around once more. I felt the side of my lips twitch slightly, as if trying to smile. But I couldn't. I don't ever want to smile for anyone again. Patting his head, I stood up once more, dusting off the dirt from my dress as I started to walk again, knowing that the goblin, or now Kobold, would follow me.
"Let's go Kobold. I'd like to go to the meadow before heading home." Kobold nodded his head as best he could and hopped over to me, bouncing around me feet as we walked along.
"Mistress... I sense someone looking for you, yes they are..." Kobold growled cautiously. I nodded towards him, signaling for him to leave, in case it was my mother. Seconds later, I was glad that I had sent him away, for standing in front of me was my mother, already in tears.
"Kokoro~~~~! Don't leave me all alone for so long~!" she cried, falling to her knees in front of me and pulling me into a hug. I felt her trembling, something wasn't right.
"Mother, what happened?" I asked in my 'what happened this time' voice. She sat back and sniffled several times before asking,
"What did I tell you about coming home if something weird happened?" she questioned, chopping my head in a stressed way. "I said to come home immediately! Yet you still decide to ignore me and stay out longer! Do you know how petrified I was when I saw Amaimon stalking around the forest?!" I stared at her, hiding my shock as best I could, but I eventually cracked.
"How do you know that demon? You're a human I thought... How could you know him?!" I asked, jumping up and taking a step away from her. Coal Tar and Hobgoblins now surrounded me, as if protecting me. In an instant, Kobold was standing as tally as he could in front of me, growling darkly at my mother. She smiled lightly at my confusion and stood up, and as if a mask was falling off of her, her appearance changed into something more demon-like, though she was even more beautiful now than before.
"I think it's time I did some explaining, Kokoro. I'll tell you whatever you want, but only if you believe me when I say it was for the best." She told me in her motherly tone. I took another step back and Kobold growled furiously at her. She sighed and turned away. "Come on, Kokoro. Everyone hides secrets. Don't you want to know them?" she asked. I glared at her. The smile she was wearing showed that she was amused with the situation and Kobold didn't like that. Although it was obvious that he couldn't hurt her at all.
"How can I trust you?" I questioned, my facade returning to me after the last minute of shock wore off. My mother chuckled softly.
"You've always trusted me before..." she started, though I cut her off.
"That was after I met Amaimon and he told me he was my uncle." I retorted calmly. She sighed and put her head in her left hand.
"He went that far huh? Damn little brat!" she muttered angrily. I glanced down at Kobold and the other Hobgoblins before waving them off and ordering Kobold into my arms. My mother looked up in surprise, looking between me and the smaller demon in my arms.
"Is there a problem?" I asked in a bored tone as I walked slowly up to her. She kept her eyes on the Hobgoblin, shocked into silence.
"Ho-how long have you been able to see them, Kokoro?" she asked after a moment of quiet. Kobold yipped cutely, making me gaze down at him.
"The Young Mistress has been able to see me since she turned 4, Lady Shinda. The unlucky number for any Japanese child." he chortled quietly. She glared at him and set him up on my head silently.
"That's enough out of you Hobgoblin. Amaimon is probably upset that one of his own has chosen the 'Soul Heart' over himself." she scolded coldly. Kobold swatted her hand away and watched as she began to walk away. "Come along, Kokoro. It is unsafe for you out here. The moment we get home, I want for to pack everything you'll need for school and whatever. You'll be going to live somewhere with much more protection. I am not able to protect you from what all is to come now." and with that, Shinda continued to walk off, leaving me to follow after her fast pace.
"I expect to be told everything..." I told her as I caught up with her. She tilted her head towards me and smiled.
"I'll tell you what I want you to know, and what's important. If it's not important, I won't tell you." Kobold and I both hissed softly at her antics and followed after her in silence.
"Don't worry Young Mistress. You'll always have me... Your most loyal servant." Kobold soothed from his spot on my head. To this, I allowed a small tear to slip from my dull purple eyes.
"Thank you, Kobold. You've always been there for me..." after that, more silence. The real talking all started after we entered the cottage. A lot of explanations were in order, and we all knew it.