Ki-Chan: Demon Hunter Book #2 is still very early in development with a release date not yet set. However, since the holidays can be a stressful time, it was Koriander Bullard's decision to release this sneak peek early to share a little humor with you all. Artwork has not yet been assigned to this segment, so please leave your comments and suggestions at the bottom of this post. Thank you and Happy Holidays!

UPDATE: Re-posted on May 8, 2017. Thank you all for your suggestions, new art coming soon! ♥
Lily Michaels is a responsible, optimistic and hopeful young woman, entering her twenty second year of life. But it’s often that more hopeful side of her that is about to be her downfall.

The closer the team gets to their April orientation, the more excited she gets. For the next few weeks, all anyone can hear about is science and world history out of her. She practices tying her bow on her new uniform every day, taking silly school photos with Kameko in both the winter and warm weather uniforms and playing memory games with Ki-Chan between helping to train the latter in the backyard.

Finally, it’s the first of April. The sun is just starting to peek from underneath the heavy clouds of the prior evening. Birds are starting to chirp softly. A squirrel stretches his little arms out in front of his face as he sits on the limb of a Sakura tree. Dew drops, cold and slick, form on the tops of the budding flowers. A serene image from the top of the hill where the Humanesques live in Chichibu.


So imagine Lily’s frustration, when there’s little time to catch the train and nobody is prepared. In uniform and on high alert, Lily frantically bolts out of her bedroom to find that everyone else is asleep. But she’s forgotten her shoes, prompting her to skid on her socks across the freshly waxed hardwood floor, smacking her face into the door to Ti-Chan’s room at the end of the hall.

Lily: OW FUCK!!
Kameko: Ugh, LIL-Leeeee! What’s with all the screaming?
Lily: Ugh KAMEKO!! Look at the clock!

Kameko wearily stumbles back to her bedroom. There is quiet for a moment. Then suddenly, Lily can hear the quickened stomping of Kameko’s feet across the room.

Lily: YOU ARE AN ADULT!! Don’t you have an alarm clock??
Kameko: DON’T YOU??

Ti-Chan: Mmphr *yaawn* Did someone knock?
Ruey: Ugh, what’s going on?
Kameko: RUEY!! SCHOOL!! LATE!!
Ruey: Hah? Wait WHAT?? WHAT!! What time is it??
Lily: Time for YOU to get an alarm clock, we’re late!!
Techno: Lily, mmmph come back to bed.
Lily: I CAN’T!! We’re going to be late!!
Techno: Wha, wait what time is-
Violet: What are you guys all doing upstairs? Coffee is ready!
Lily: Violet!! You ready?
Violet: Damn straight, where are your shoes, Lil?
Lily: Never mind that shit, where’s Cecil?
Violet: He told me he was going to the bathroom.
Techno: GAH!! Why did you let me sleep this long??
Lily: How long ago was that?
Violet: An hour ago, wasn’t he with you?
Lily: NO!!
Violet: God dammit, CECIL!!

Violet storms up the stairs, pushes Lily aside and kicks open the door to the bathroom between Ruey and Kameko’s room. There, Cecil sits on the toilet in his silk boxers, with a toothbrush in his mouth, hand on the toilet paper, completely asleep.

Violet: DEAR!!
Cecil: *SNORT* Wha whu gowin’ ohnn?
Violet: We are going to be LATE!!

Cecil finishes up in the bathroom, but then Kameko screams again, waking up Marlowe and Silas, who somehow were oblivious to Lily’s commotion.

Kameko: MY MAKEUP EXPIRED!! UGHHH it’s itchy!!
Lily: Kameko! CATCH!!
Kameko: Cold cream?
Lily: Just go natural for today!
Kameko: I cant be seen like this!!
Lily: Didn’t you just buy coral lipstick the other day?
Kameko: OH YEAH!! Where’s my bow?

Ti-Chan: SHIT!! My briefcase isn’t closing!!
Silas: Are we supposed to do the winter or the warm outfits??
Lily: WINTER!! Guys get it together!
Ti-Chan: I forget, is winter the white shirt or the blue-
Marlowe: Does it even really matter?
Marlowe: Okay GEEZ just don’t be a bitch about it.
Lily: The HELL did you call me, BOY?
Cecil: Guys not now!! Where’s Techno?
Techno: I can’t get my tie right!!
Lily: I’m coming!!
Techno: That’s what you said last night.
Cecil: WHAT was that??
Lily: Onīsan!
Techno: What did you think I said?
Cecil: DUDE that’s my SISTER!!
Lily: GUYS cut it out!!
Techno: Lily you forgot to braid that side.
Lily: EEK!! It came out again?
Kameko: AAAA!! GUYS has anybody seen my bow??
Lily: Just wear the blue one!
Kameko: But I hate it, it’s all dark from the wash!
Lily: It matches your uniform!
Kameko: OH!! Okay!
Ruey: Um Kameko? I found your bow.
Kameko: AH!! Ruey where was it?
Ruey: Um.. you don’t wanna wear it now.
Kameko: RUEY! Where was it?
Ruey: Um, remember that game we played last night?
Kameko: Oh…. Oooooh shit….
Ruey: I’ll wash it, just go get dressed!
Violet: Are we out of jam? Who ate the last of the jam I bought??
Violet: We’re OUT of butter.
Silas: Nobody eats dry toast.
Lily: I’ll eat a RHINO if it means getting out on time!!
Techno: Shoes shoes SHOES!! CATCH!!

Lily catches a pair of shoes from Techno. Ruey slides down the banister. Violet quickly flings sandwiches into ten lunchboxes. Kameko uses her super speed to dart down the stairs, putting on her lipstick on the way down. Silas combs his hair towards the kitchen, then grabs a lunchbox. Marlowe puts gel and a comb through his hair as he races through the house, looking for his shoes. Ti-Chan fixes his ponytail, then with a comb and toothbrush in each hand, simultaneously brushes his teeth and grooms his beard before washing up over the sink and then racing downstairs. Everyone lines up for a final inspection.

Lily: Okay, just as we rehearsed, everyone’s in their winter gear, suitcases, lunchboxes, shoes, socks, check, check, Violet what did you do to your skirt?
Violet: Rebels wear their skirts long.
Lily: What era is this? And Kameko, you too?
Kameko: What? Mini skirts are in this season. All I did was hem it a little bit.
Lily: A little?? It’s mid-thigh!!
Marlowe: I’m not complaining.
Ruey: At least her underwear is covered this time.
Kameko: I can always loosen the stitch if it gets cold.
Lily: You’re hopeless, okay let’s g-WAIT!!
Cecil: What is it now?
Lily: Something is missing.
Techno: Hey yeah, now that you mention it.
Ti-Chan: Something doesn’t seem right about this, you guys.
Violet: Does it matter? We’re going to be LATE!
Lily: Just a moment. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine-where’s Ki-Chan?
Violet: Kid? I thought she was with YOU!
Ti-Chan: Me? I was in the bathroom!
Kameko: Wasn’t she in the kitchen making lunch?
Violet: No, that was ME.
Marlowe: I don’t believe this.
Violet: KIIID!!
Ti-Chan: PIXIE where are ya?

Suddenly, everyone hears snoring from upstairs.

Lily:…… Could it be?
Ruey: No way..
Violet: You have GOT to be kidding me.

Violet storms up stairs and kicks in Ki-Chan’s door. Sprawled out on top of the sheets is our heroine, fast asleep.

Violet: ARE YOU SERIOUS?? Kid, get the fuck up!!
Ki-Chan: Zzzzzzz mmm… I like puddin.
Violet: What did you say?
Ki-Chan: Zzzzzzz… chokit…. Puddin...
Violet: Kid… don’t tempt me…
Ki-Chan: Izzat you.. Violet-chan? Mmphr… goway. Shoo.
Violet: ……… Excuse me?
Ki-Chan: M’ not havin’ a nightmare fer a change… goway. Shoo shoo. S’ too early…
Violet: Oh hell no.

Violet marches to the bed, grabs Ki-Chan’s foot, and drags her still sleeping body out of bed and into the bathroom. Ripping open the shower curtain, she sets the water to an icy blast, then tosses the girl’s limp body into the tub. Ki-Chan screams, swallows a mouthful of shower water, and struggles to her feet.

Ki-Chan: DAMMIT VIOLET wha’ th’ hell’s yer problem??
Violet: SHOWER!! CHANGE!! We’re going to be LATE!!

Everyone waits at the end of the staircase for Ki-Chan. She showers quickly, but exits the bathroom a complete mess. Her hair is tangled and she is stumbling around, trying to find her shoes. Kameko, Lily and Violet head up the stairs and grab her.

Lily: You are NOT leaving the house like that.
Ki-Chan: Leggo! LEGGO!! Wha’ time izzit?
Kameko: Time for you to get a brush, back inside!

Lily pulls off Ki-Chan’s school top, then Violet dunks Ki-Chan’s head into the tub, dumping shampoo over her matted locks. She roughly washes Ki-Chan’s hair, then pulls her head back into Kameko, who towels the girl’s head off rigorously. As Ki-Chan is fussing, Lily dumps a leave-in conditioner onto her head.

Violet: Trying to make you look presentable.

Lily rubs the conditioner through her head while Kameko sprays hair oil over the conditioner. Violet brushes it through as Ki-Chan yelps and screams with each tangle being pulled.

Violet: SHIT!! When’s the last time you washed this mess?
Lily: Didn’t you even try to moisturize?
Ki-Chan: Wazzat even mean?? I used shampoo!
Kameko: You’re supposed to moisturize after a hair washing, your hair looks like you’ve been in a fight.
Ki-Chan: I WAS!! Ya trained with m’ yesterday, ‘member??
Kameko: Oh yeah! I remember.
Violet: Dammit, Kid HOLD STILL!!
Ki-Chan: YEEK! Quit scrapin’ m’ head!! Jus’ lemme get m’ cap!
Lily: NO CAPS IN SCHOOL!! This still isn’t looking right.
Kameko: Quick! Hand me the band!

Kameko squeezes a green, blue and white striped headband over Ki-Chan’s large head. Ki-Chan’s eyes widen like a wet cat.

Lily: Your lips are dry. QUICK!! Lip balm!
Kameko: Got it!

They smear cherry lip balm over Ki-Chan’s lips, then motion for her to smack her lips to coat evenly.

Ki-Chan: *MMMPA!* Didja jus’ put FOOD on m’ face?
Kameko: It’s lip balm, DON’T EAT IT!! You’re in COLLEGE now!! Should you really need to be told this?
Ki-Chan: Den whysit taste like food??
Violet: Stop fussing so I can finish this mess!
Lily: Quit licking your lips!! Kameko! Get the earrings!
Kameko: No good, she doesn’t have holes, do you have clip ons?
Lily: JESUS She isn’t pierced??
Ki-Chan: Wazzat pointy thing doin’ by m’ head?
Violet: Kameko, get the peroxide, Lily, stretch her lobes!
Ki-Chan: OW OW OW Whatcha doin’ t’ m’ head??

Violet shoots a brown beam through each of Ki-Chan’s ear lobes, thin like a needle. Ki-Chan starts screaming as Kameko towels off the blood, then scrubs the ears with peroxide. Then, she cleans off a set of quartz studs and pokes them through Ki-Chan’s new earring holes. The quartz has a rainbow hue, picking up the colors of Ki-Chan’s headband nicely, as Violet fits Ki-Chan’s top over her head, roughly. Lily fixes the bow under Ki-Chan’s lapel while Kameko fastens a pair of black Mary-Jane shoes over Ki-Chan’s white stockings. The three help Ki-Chan to her feet while she is still screaming in pain. Lily spins her around to fix the bow on Ki-Chan’s skirt as Kameko pushes Ki-Chan’s briefcase into her right hand, while Violet pulls on her left. The three rush Ki-Chan outside the bathroom and down the stairs.

Ti-Chan: What’s with all the screaming? Pixie are you okay?
Kameko: She’s fine.
Ki-Chan: Like HELL I am!!
Violet: She’ll heal, can we go now?
Kameko: It’s a female thing.
Ti-Chan: WHAT??
Techno: We are fantastically behind, how are we even gonna make it? The school is nearly an hour from here by train!
Kameko: Leave it to me, grab on!

Everyone forms a train, holding the arm of the person in front of them, except for Ki-Chan, who is being pulled by Ti-Chan. Kameko briefly lets go, taking up the cases. She puts them in a little cart with bento boxes, three purses and a few gym bags, then straps the cart onto Ki-Chan.

Kameko: Ki-Chan! Hang tight to that cart for me, kay?
Ki-Chan: Wha’ th’ hell? Why’d ya strap a cart t’ m’-
Kameko: Okay guys, hang tight! TAURUS SPEED!!

Kameko’s body turns a bright, strawberry pink. Suddenly, she bolts out of the door with everyone hanging on for dear life.

She races down the hill then into traffic, picking up speed as she races on foot, darting her eyes around to find the sign.

Kameko: GUYS!! I dunno if you can understand me at this speed, but it looks like we missed the train. We’ll be running along side it today, hang tight!
Marlowe: How can you tell? EVERYTHING IS PINK!!
Ruey: What’s keeping the bags and such inside the cart?
Lily: Centripetal force! Kameko and I practiced this cart trick yesterday after the yard work. As long as she runs at a high speed and it’s curved just right, we should be okay.
Kameko: Yeah, but if I stop, those bags are going to fly out. You guys, be prepared to duck if you can help it.
Lily: Right! The centrifugal force of the bags will going to be strong enough to break an arm.
Kameko: Eh… you’re the strong one, you’ll survive!
Ki-Chan: JUS’ CAUSE M’ AN’ ORPHAN DON’T MEAN M’ DISPOSB’LE!! I wunder ‘f Basheeba was treated dis bad?

Kameko races along with the bullet train to Hannō, matching her speed so she can watch where the train goes. Running along the countryside, she tries to avoid the rabbits along the way. Suddenly, she sees a sign pointing to the school in the distance. Curving her body, she turns, taking everyone back onto the road, through the streets, and then finally, in the distance, the university can be seen on the immediate horizon.

Kameko: GUYS! Hang tight, we’re almost there! I can see somebody in a suit at the gates!!
Ruey: Puddle ahead! WAIT!! NO!! KAMEKO, DON’T!!

Kameko slips on a puddle. Everyone goes spinning and crashing into the metal gate, smashing it into a steel knot with Kameko trapped in the center. Strewn bags and lunch boxes are all about, as Kameko, weary and lightheaded, tries to wave her arms from the steel knot, trying to roll it towards the man in a suit.

Kameko: *PANT PANT* Please… don’t close the gate..

Walking slowly towards the pile of bodies, the man looks curiously at Kameko. Mostly bald with a black ribbon of hair around the middle of his skull, he looks to be a small man in his late 40’s. His features are mostly Japanese, except for his sky blue eyes, the same shade as Kameko’s. He leans down to her level as she struggles to get free.

Man:… My dear child… you do know that school doesn’t start until 8:30, right?
Everyone: HAH??
Man: By my watch, lets see… you’re about an hour and a half too early. Sorry about that. We’re just not ready for you guys yet.

Everyone turns to glare at Lily, who is the first to sit up. Busted locks, papers and flipped bento boxes are randomly scattered. Embarrassed, Lily rubs the back of her head and grins.

Lily: So um… do we still do daylight savings in Japan? I uh.. I may have set my clock forward an hour… um… my bad!
Ki-Chan: S’ gonna b’ yer ASS f’ I can feel m’ legs ever again!!



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