Demons (鬼 Oni?) are a source of magical powers and play a central role in the series. So far, a majority of them used to be vampires that later turned into demons under certain circumstances. They can be sealed in what the humans call Cursed Gear (鬼呪装備 Kiju Sōbi?) and are used by the Japanese Imperial Demon Army.
A demon's true form is usually that of a vampire (red eyes, fangs, and pointed ears) of any age with some kind of horn(s) on their heads. Upon drinking blood, their horns grow bigger and their fingers and toenails become claw- like.
Those that do not have this appearance is Mahiru-no-Yo (lacking the pointed ears of a vampire despite being one when turned into a demon, as well as having no horn on her head) and Mikaela Hyakuya (having blue eyes instead of red).
According to Noya Hienma, demons appear to be the age they were when they were most full of desire, when they felt that everything was possible.
Although several of them have appeared as children or teens, several others have appeared in adult forms, including Shikama Dōji, Raimeiki, and Gekkōin.
Demons are creatures born from passionate desire, though according to Asuramaru, demons are not supposed to have emotions. This is elaborated on by Raimeiki when she states that demons are unable to remember their previous lives, hence they seek to feed off the greed and desires of humans. Their former lives as vampires could also be a factor since those that become vampires lose their emotions.
However, though Asuramaru still acts like any other demon, he seems to retain some memories from his former life as he tells Yu that he wants to find someone that he can't remember, and was shown much earlier when he saw his sister, Krul Tepes about to be tortured. Asuramaru further reveals when he talks to Yu about memories, that he truly had a sister and his hobby of watching the sky, which is very rare for a demon to remember such things of their past lives as he suffered mental breakdown and fell asleep. Later Asuramaru remembers all his memories, and without suffering any pain.
In Shikama Dōji's case, as the former first progenitor, prior to becoming a demon, he retains all his memory as his previous life as a vampire and the current demon. However in Mahiru-no-yo case she has all her memories intact even after becoming a demon weapon. For unknown reasons, Noya retains all his memories ever since the Dark Ages of Greece. Despite the former being a complete demon without having to suffer any damage in his brain or anything else.
A notable trait of demons is that they are able to recognize each other if their Cursed Gear weapon(s) crossed with another one or if one completely materialized or if possessing the host this is evident when Noya recognized Raimeiki upon crossing swords with each other (however Noya was mistaken about Raimeiki gender being a female). Mahiru-no-Yo who was possessing Guren has shown to communicate with each another as she was able to communicate with Raimeiki. As well as Asuramaru has been able to sense Noya's presence when Guren released him from his Cursed Gear.
Vampire to demon
There seems to be various ways a vampire can turn into a demon. Ones revealed are:
- Time - Krul Tepes and Asuramaru state that all vampires eventually become demons.
- Blood thirst - Krul Tepes informs Mikaela Hyakuya that he will become a senseless, raving demon should he not drink blood, and Ferid Bathory tells Mika the same thing. Asuramaru states that if vampires who are too starved for blood will "die", they vanish from the current world and eventually turn into demons. However, Kureto Hiragi, through an experiment by starving vampires and exposing them to sunlight, complains that most vampires do not become demons, and laments the difficulty of doing it with low-class vampires. This suggests that highly stressful conditions may turn a vampire into a demon, but no explicit explanations or examples have been shown on how this occurs.
- Removing the heart - The third progenitor, Lest Karr, shows that vampires can turn into demons within seconds after having their hearts ripped out from their chests.
Upon the Vampire "dying" as a vampire, they immediately let out an extremely loud,high frequency scream. A literal Death Wail- that can only be heard by fellow Vampires and Demons due to the shriek being too loud for human ears to perceive.
Depending on how powerful the vampire in question is and their potential of power as a demon, a death wail is shown to be powerful enough to stun even high class vampires and demons. As seen during Mikaela Hyakuya's "death" as a vampire and his rebirth as a demon. Where Second, Third, Fifth, Seventh, Thirteenth Progenitors such as Urd Geales, Rigr Stafford, Lest Karr, Ky Luc, Ferid Bathory and Crowley Eusford not only heard the shriek but were actually momentarily stunned by the sound and unable to move for a few seconds. Later Black Demon Level Demons, Noya Hienma, Mahiru-no-Yo and Guren Ichinose were also shown to hear the shriek, with Noya in particular being stunned and rendered unable to defend himself, similar to the progenitors.
Once their transformation has begun, the newly deceased vampire body begins to explode with violent burst of destructive energy as a new demon begins to climb out of their corpse. Its been stated by Asuramaru that once finished being "born", the newly birthed demon would be highly unstable and bloodthirsty and would likely go on a rampage as they begin indulging in their new impulses to indulge in whatever newborn base desire they have.
Human to demon
- Main article: Namanari
After a human comes into contact with the demon, it will attempt to possess the host's body and if successful the demon will begin to merge his or her personality with that of its host's. This forms the being known as a namanari. The original human personality is present but takes on the demon's characteristics, becoming full of dark desires. At first, this merged personality is full of primordial urges, such as lust, destruction, and violence. After that, the desires grow more complex and nuanced, and starts to affect the person's thinking.
Eventually, the infected persons may become a new demon completely.
Considering the fate of Mahiru and Shinoa Hīragi, one may be born with the trait inherited from a demon-possessed parent and gradually become a true demon. In this case, the transformation is enhanced at puberty until the person changes completely. One may also become a demon after contact with a demon, such as in the cases of Yūichirō Hyakuya and (temporarily) Yoichi Saotome. Another method is to infect a person with a demon, such as in the case of Guren Ichinose.
Should the demon overwhelm the person it comes into contact with, that person will begin turning into a namanari.
- Noya Hienma
- Shikama Dōji
- Demon Mika
- Mikaela Hyakuya's Demon
|Note: When a vampire turns into a demon, he or she will traditionally have a new demon name. For example, Ashera Tepes became Asuramaru, Mahiru Hiragi became Mahiru-no-yo, and Sika Madu became Shikama Doji.|
As power source
One of the objectives of the Japanese Imperial Demon Army is to capture noble vampires, force them to morph into demons, and seal them to reside into weapons called Cursed Gear to be used to combat against enemy forces. It would appear that stronger vampires make stronger demons, which make stronger Cursed Gear.
A soldier must first choose which weapon in which he or she prefers the most and step inside the ritual circle. Then the ceremony will start automatically. As soon as he or she lays their hand on the weapon, the human enters a trance. The soldier and demon battle within the person's mind, and the demon will use painful memories against its host. Once the human convinces the demon to give him/her power, the demon makes a contract. Demons feed off of desire, but they are weakened by love.
|“||It's your hearts clashing, not your weapons. If your attack hits him it'll weaken his heart. But if he hits you then he'll intensify your worst trauma. Demons poison the wounds they cause amplifying your desires and making it easier for them to possess you. Basically you have to avoid getting hit while smacking the demon as much as you can until it caves.||”|
–Yu recalls his conversation with Guren about demons. Chapter 104, "The Same Dream", page 8
The human must be careful to have plenty of desire, to be able to reign it in as well, lest the demon take over. The only reason demons form this contracts in the first place is to have an opportunity at stealing their host's body. In return, demons allow their hosts to have their immense power.
A host weak in willpower will be overcome, and a host without balance will likewise lose control. This is most prone to happening during ceremonies or advanced training. A demon who possesses its host turns the host into something called a man-eating demon. This demon controls the human's body and attempts to eliminate nearby humans that may cause it trouble.
After a demon becomes contracted to a human, that demon will continue to attempt possession by engaging the bearer in a battle of nightmares whenever he or she sleeps.
After spending a period of time, typically six months, to acclimate to one's Cursed Gear, the bearer can move on to the next stage of training. If the bearer tries this too early, then the demon has greater odds of taking over. Due to the risk of going berserk, this must be done in a location a safe distance from the city, humans, vampires, or any place important.
First, the bearer activates his/her Cursed Gear to the maximum he/she can currently manage. After doing this, the bearer cuts himself/herself and commands the demon to drink his/her blood. The human enters a trance and collapses. This typically takes around twenty hours, and the human may go berserk at any time. The blood loosens the curse binding the demon. Once the human and demon make a serious connection, the human body jolts and shakes. Next, the demon must explain the rules of the human-made curse and contract that holds it prisoner. The curse loosens more. The human and demon wage a mental battle until one submits to the other.
The looser the curse, the greater the power the human can access, but the deeper the demon can dig into the human's heart and have an opportunity of taking over. One way to regain control is to think of one's loved ones.