Silver Cross and Draculea:Volume01 Chapter5
Chapter 5 - Suspicious Kiss
"Why must I bare my skin before others?"
Rushella grumbled, she was bothered by the surrounding gazes.
After finishing the cleanup during lunch, Rushella went to the infirmary.
Today was the physical examination.
Before entering the room, all the students had to wear gym clothes but after arriving at the infirmary, most people had taken them off, only leaving underwear.
Because their bodies were exposed to others during the examination, everyone was concerned and especially chose their underwear with care. The various fabrics covering the girls' bodies were truly a colorful sight.
Although the physical examination's purpose was to measure, height, weight and sitting height, most girls would take the opportunity to take out the measure tapes and record their three sizes.
Gathered into groups, friends measured one another's bust and hips.
"What are they so happy about......?"
"Oh dear, are you really not planning to measure yourself?"
Someone behind her suddenly pulled off Rushella's t-shirt.
Clad in white lace, two fruits came tumbling out.
"Wow, those breasts are really huge. Between us, we have a draw? No... You're slightly ahead!?"
Hands reached out from behind to grope and squeeze boldly. Rushella went red in the face and turned around, yelling angrily:
"These are F-cups infinitely approaching Gs huh... No, they've probably broke through the G barrier. Massive puppies, these things."
Mei smiled at her formidable rival.
She had already removed her own gym clothes and was only in underwear. Completely not embarrassed. Her skimpy punk underwear's design was quite salacious for a first-year high school student.
"Y-You bitch, what are you doing so suddenly!?"
"Doing what? ...I was only wondering if I should help you measure. By the way, your bra is a bit tight. Since Hi-kun accompanied you to buy them, why didn't you get proper measurements before buying?"
"B-Because, I don't quite get it, anyway I just bought some cute ones first..."
"What a waste of a shopping date. Just ask the shop staff to help you measure. Aren't you too ignorant in the ways of the world?"
"You're being noisy! Anyway, I don't need your help!!"
"If you wear ill-fitting bras, the shape will get ruined, you know? If you still want to wear those kinds of clothes with revealing necklines like the dress you wore on your first day, I'd advise you to pay a bit more attention, okay?"
Mei made a fair point. Rushella fell silent, unable to find a rebuttal. Even without memories, she could tell that Mei's experience as a woman was far superior to hers.
"Hi-kun is such a poor dear. To think he would be accompanied by a girl who is this ignorant about staying presentable. Perhaps Hi-kun's own standards of appearance might get dragged down a lot."
The mentioning of Hisui's name caused Rushella to change her expression immediately.
"After all, my three sizes are measured already, I don't mind if I leave straight away... How about you?"
Mei smiled with full composure.
Rushella hesitated for a long while then finally sought help from the enemy.
"...Help me, measure."
"There you go, a nice and obedient kid. Then let's get this over with quickly.
Mei's experienced hands unrolled the measuring tape and measured Rushella's body.
"Just as expected, your bust exceeds the 90cm domain...... Waist is... Wow, even narrower than mine......"
"What's the matter?"
"N-Nothing! Hips...... Seems smaller than mine. I guess I should be glad huh... Hey, is Hi-kun a boobs worshiper or an ass kind of guy? For making babies, I suppose my childbearing hips are sufficient?"
"...No idea. Why do I need to know that guy's tastes......"
"Oh dear, is that so? Then that means you don't know why Hi-kun is absent from school today? Right right... I've also heard that the class rep is absent too. Did you know the reason?"
"......No idea. That guy didn't come home last night."
"Mm~hm... He's not well? Isn't that because you keep sucking his blood every day?"
Rushella looked down and could not speak. After all, she knew very well that losing blood burdened the human body.
"...I don't drink that much in a day. At least he's not in any risk of dying?"
"But it adds up every day, right? Although Hi-kun is always so easygoing, it's actually quite tough for him, right?"
"That guy's lazy to begin with..."
Although Rushella retorted insistently, her tone of voice was much weaker than usual.
Mei did not bother with the argument and cut straight to the chase.
"Oh well whatever. By the way, your three sizes are measured... Next, when we switch with the boys and do the dental and medical examinations, it'd be best if you could examine me... After all, given our identities, it's quite troublesome."
"That's true... My body's structure is different from humans."
"I should be fine with the dental, but the medical on the other hand... If I run into an experienced internist, it could get very risky. You probably have a problem with both, but dental will be the bigger issue. The length of your fangs are sure to draw attention."
"It's much shorter than when sucking blood, but a commotion would still be troublesome. Okay, time to use the mystic eyes to get through this!"
"Could you also hypnotize 'everything normal' for my checkup? As your reward... I'll help you do the dental examination. It'd be a problem if your prided fangs caused an issue, right?"
Mei smiled in a considerate manner.
Rushella did not notice her ulterior motives.
"Hah, looks like you're finally showing respect towards a 'True Ancestor.' Very well, go ahead and feel very honored."
"...Yes yes. By the way, how about I help you with some teeth cleaning? Let those prided teeth shine with radiance?"
Mei smiled tenderly and took out a paper cup filled with a white and sticky liquid. Then she stirred it up with disposable chopsticks.
"Teeth cleaning...? You mean brushing teeth? If it makes the teeth prettier, go ahead."
"...Okay, come, open your mouth."
Rushella opened her mouth wide.
Mei instantly poured the contents of the paper cup inside.
Some of the liquid splashed and even made Rushella's face white.
"(What is this!?)"
"Relax, it's harmless. It'll solidify instantly in your mouth... Then the stains on the teeth will stick to it. Once removed, your teeth will shine brightly. Come, bite down firmly~~"
"Really...? Why does it taste so bitter... And so sticky."
Rushella felt the liquid solidifying slowly in her mouth. It felt similar to that 'chewing gum' she tried recently. Rushella did not like gum already but this sticky feeling in her mouth was even worse.
"Great, it's okay now— Open wide, don't damage the shape when I'm taking it out."
Rushella frowned and spat out the rubbery substance.
Her teeth was clearly imprinted on it. Mei carefully placed it into a plastic bag that resembled those used for handling criminal evidence.
"...Is this done? How are the teeth?"
Rushella wiped her mouth but there was still some dried-up stains of the white liquid on her face. Even her tongue still had traces of the white and opaque liquid. Her noble face was filled with displeasure.
Putting on an act, Mei handed her a tissue and told her the results of the "dental examination."
"Yeah, aha, right... Nice and white, isn't it? No problems. Right, go and rinse your mouth? Then head over to the gym and handle the internist and dentist for me, okay❤"
"...I know. My mouth feels terrible... And this sticky stuff on my face..."
Rushella adjusted her messed up clothes and exited the infirmary to rinse her mouth.
Watching her leave, Mei then looked at the bag in her hand and smiled with satisfaction.
"...So that's how it went, mission accomplished!"
"Thank you for your efforts, Ms. Informer."
During the break after the physical examination, Hisui was talking to Mei.
"That's so rude~ This is work, I repeat, work. I only reported to the police that a vampire had sneaked into the high school here. I should be commended for such behavior, right?"
"Thanks to you, I got dragged into it as well. I ran into so many troublesome things~~"
Hisui found it hard to accept what had happened yesterday. Combined with a lack of sleep, his mood was hitting lows.
"What does it matter? At least it proves that you're completely human, Hi-kun."
"I'm human already, I don't need proof of that. Whether my blood is sucked or not, I'm not affected. But I hope you haven't disclosed about my constitution, have you?"
Hisui was verifying the questions arising during the "examination" and Mei nodded.
"No I didn't. Besides, I still find your constitution quite unbelievable. It's impossible, being bitten by a vampire yet remaining fine."
"My blood becomes less, that's not completely fine... Anyway, thank you for that. If you disclosed it, I'll probably be taken away and dissected. That Eruru girl's style of doing things is completely unlike her name. Who knows what could happen."
Recalling his unfair treatment last night, Hisui face-palmed and shook his head.
Treated like that simply because he was living with a vampire. Had he turned completely into a vampire, that girl would surely have shown no mercy.
"Ah~ That's right, although she's really cute in appearance, she's quite merciless against supernatural creatures, especially vampires."
"...Why on earth is that?"
Hisui recalled his doubts from yesterday and muttered to himself. Although he did not know how outstanding her abilities were, her arrogant attitude and coldness towards vampires were highly unusual. He felt an almost fanatic obsession.
"But she's very into her work and gets results. Since you're worried about the class rep, wouldn't it be best to let her handle things?"
"...Currently, I can't trust those people."
Hisui spoke, very displeased.
Mei's operation today was due to Hisui accepting Eruru's mission the night before.
As the first witness of the incident, Hisui was taken to the police station to record his testimony after he called the police.
"Getting the bad stuff out of the way first, we do consider the vampire who lives with you as the prime suspect. When the victim fainted, she indicated 'Rushella' as the culprit. Didn't you hear her?"
"...I heard it."
Hisui did not feign ignorance. After all, the police already knew about it so there was no point in lying.
"Then I'll be upfront. Looks like you've realized your own stupidity, right? Because you left a vampire alone in this case, you're partly responsible."
"...What do you want me to do?"
"We hope you can assist the investigation. To exterminate that vampire, evidence is needed first. In other words, it needs to be rigorously proven that she did attack the victim."
"You want me to find proof of absence or gather fingerprints?"
"You're half right. What I want you to do is gather teeth marks."
"Like humans, vampire's teeth have minor differences in their shapes. If the bite mark on the victim matches the teeth marks you gathered, then the vampire's guilt is confirmed. We'll prepare the tools for you and Sudou Mei will assist you. Go and gather her teeth marks."
—After explaining that, she had allowed Hisui to return home.
He had gone to school in the afternoon, met up with Mei who was already informed, then things happened as previously narrated.
Next, the teeth marks were to be handed to Eruru then their task was done.
"You look quite unhappy, Hi-kun. Are you that unwilling to suspect Rushella? I found her strange from the start. Insisting on calling herself 'True Ancestor' or whatever... After I told Kishida-san, he laughed, you know? That poker faced man."
"Hmm... Hold on, you also reported about that girl calling herself a 'True Ancestor'?"
"...? I reported it, yeah. Eruru-chan hopes we can provide as much detailed information as possible. But I don't think she really cares about that claim."
Hisui looked at the photos Mei had borrowed as investigation materials.
Mei poked her head over and frowned after looking at the photo.
"Wow... That's the blown up photo of the bite mark on the class rep? What a horrible wound......"
"I've seen many vampire victims before... But this counts as the most serious case. Almost on the verge of turning into a complete vampire. Quite a lot of blood was sucked in one go."
"Is this type very rare?"
"In order to turn a human into a vampire, the person's blood needs to be drained completely. Blood occupies 8% of a person's mass. Because the class rep is more slender than average, her mass probably doesn't even reach 50kg. Calculating from that, her blood is roughly 4L. Drinking this amount in a short amount time is quite a tall task even for a vampire. Vampires usually drain their victim's total blood over several nights, not only due to principles or rules, but also more importantly because drinking it all at once is too hard."
"Perhaps you're right... However, the body produces blood every day, right? If a period of time passes, won't the blood be replenished? Then what?"
"What I mean by 'total blood' is conceptually speaking. As an analogy, it's like the total amount of the 'soul.' Kinda like someone's HP bar in a game. Anyway, it's the accumulated amount of blood that needs to be drained from a human to complete the vampire transformation process. For a human's whose total blood is 4L, it can be done at once or in multiple goes. All it takes is 4L total. The replenishment from metabolism doesn't matter. Blood sucking is actually just a ritual. Compared to the actual blood situation, satisfying conceptual conditions is more important."
Hisui's continuous stream of knowledge was quite convincing. And some of the content was bringing them close to the core of the unknown vampire that Mei did not know.
"This vampire... It's possible that he might be quite thirsty, but in that case, there wouldn't be a single drop of blood left in the class rep. I think it goes beyond the matter of turning into a vampire. She would have been drained to death directly. Besides, if the vampire only sought blood, there should be more victims. In that case, I should have been attacked to. So—"
"For some particular reason, the culprit deliberately sucked a great deal of blood from the class rep. To the point just before turning her into a vampire completely. What exactly is that guy planning...?"
The smell of a conspiracy made Hisui think deeply.
"...The way I see it, judging from your tone of voice, you're just trying to clear Rushella from suspicion?"
"The method of blood sucking doesn't fit her style, that's the truth. Having been bitten by her, I know very well."
"But what about the victim's testimony? Even if the teeth marks are not compared, isn't that evidence enough?"
Hisui spoke blankly. Mei shrugged.
"Oh well whatever, this teeth mark sample, I'll deliver it over. A conclusion should result today."
"That thing... You used that tool that Kariya gave for obtaining teeth marks?"
"Yeah, it's an improved version of what dentists use. A special super fast drying resin. It probably will solidify completely in a little while."
Hisui closed his eyes and thought for a moment, then suggested.
"Ah, let me take it over actually. It's the police station, right?"
"I have something I need to confirm. Before sunset."
"You're thinking of going now!? What about the afternoon lessons?"
"I'm taking today off. The teachers don't even know I came to school... Just make up any old reason."
Saying that Hisui took care to avoid being seen and made his way to the school gates.
"Why are you here?"
Eruru's first sentence was full of annoyance.
Naturally, Hisui was not particularly friendly either.
"I came to deliver what you demanded."
Hisui raised the police evidence labeled plastic bag before her eyes and said. It was already dusk and the setting sun was making long stretched out shadows for them.
"In that case, just wait at the reception in the station. Why did you deliberately run to the benches outside?"
Just as Eruru described, Hisui ran out outdoors as soon as he told reception to inform Eruru.
"I want to feel the breeze outside. Staying in that building makes me uncomfortable."
"No one needs your comments. Hurry and give me that thing."
Eruru reached out and urged Hisui to hand the teeth impressions over.
But Hisui ignored her and standing in the same spot with his back towards the setting sun, he made a demand.
"Of course I'll give you this, but there's a condition."
"What condition? You actually want money? How shameless..."
"Can I visit her?"
"The class rep must have been moved here, right?"
Hisui looked towards the white-walled building next to the police station.
It was one of the few comprehensive hospitals in the area. Built in this location, it was probably quite intimately related to the police.
"...You are quite observant. Whether you are dense or sharp... I really cannot tell sometimes."
"It's obvious with just a little thinking. So, what's your answer? Just a quick visit should be fine, right?"
"...Okay. Follow me."
Hisui followed Eruru and headed towards Seidou Comprehensive Hospital.
Passing through security card checkpoints and retinal scans, the two went underground.
Victims bitten by vampires would inherit the characteristics of vampires and fear light. Reina was probably kept underground to avoid suffering additional damage.
Finally, Hisui and Eruru arrived at the destination. This floor was the same as the facilities above ground, giving a clean, white image. And also because it was underground, there was an even more oppressive feeling from the surrounding walls.
The facility's goal was not treatment but isolation. That's what the environment seemed to make one think.
"We have arrived."
Eruru stopped walking.
The two of them were in a room with various medical equipment, like an intensive care unit. They were hooked up to the sleeping girl in the bed, converting her breathing, metabolism and especially the state of her blood into numerical values.
Perhaps to an ignorant observer, this was just a sickroom. However, seeing the girl tied to the bed with various restraints, this clearly seemed more like a prison.
The girl with the deathly pale face was Reina indeed.
When Hisui approached her, Reina suddenly opened her eyes.
Hisui raised his hand and greeted.
Reina stared at him with hollow eyes and then surveyed her surroundings.
She seemed to be as yet unclear of her situation. Her eyes kept wandering.
Her state was common in vampire victims, a hazy consciousness. She probably woke up multiple times earlier but her memories probably stopped at that night.
"How do you feel?"
Hisui sounded like a doctor. Reina simply answered in a hoarse voice.
"It feels like, so thirsty..."
"Let me buy you some juice, how's that?"
Hisui said this typical patient-visit-dialogue and approached Reina even closer.
Reina was almost close enough to touch his neck.
"What would you like a drink?"
The instant Hisui asked this question, Reina's eyes faintly shone with crimson light.
She spread her parched lips and revealed clean, white, healthy teeth.
Among them, the canines were particularly long.
"What I want to drink, is..."
Only Reina's head was mobile. Hisui did not move.
Eruru snarled angrily and forcefully grabbed Hisui's arm, pulling him away from Reina.
At the same time, the crimson light faded from Reina's eyes as though she was drugged and she went to sleep with peaceful breathing.
"Are you mad!? Did you actually want her to drink your blood!?"
Eruru said coldly. Pointing her gun at Hisui's forehead without hesitation.
Unlike the police's standard issue S&W M3913 or the SIG Sauer P230JP, this gun had an elegant design and was silver all over.
It was covered with decorative patterns of angel's wings and cross motifs. Clearly custom made. The muzzle almost looked as though it fired lasers instead of bullets. As a lethal weapon, its design was quite intricate.
"What's that... Where did you draw it out from!?"
"This is the sacred gun, 'Argentum.' Normally used against vampires but also works on humans. But rather than silver bullets, you probably prefer eating lead."
Seeing Eruru move her finger to the trigger, Hisui raised his arms and surrendered, his face gone pale.
"I only asked if she were thirsty, okay? Even if the class rep drank my blood, what does it matter? As an incomplete vampire, she doesn't have the power to make people vampires through her bite, right?"
As soon as Hisui finished, the gun smacked him on the forehead. Probably intended to handle close combat with vampires as well, the gun's body was built quite sturdy. A smack on the head hurt quite a bit.
"What are you doing!?"
"You deserve it. Have you ever thought about if she turns back to human and recalls herself drinking someone else's blood, how she would feel!?"
"After bitten by a vampire, the issue is not as simple as turning into a vampire. More importantly, human dignity is infringed. Do not act rashly with your half-assed knowledge!!"
Roaring with hatred and anger, Eruru pointed at the sleeping Reina again.
Vampire Characteristic #6: once bitten by a vampire, as the vampirization process progresses, the victim will show loyalty to the master vampire and gradually turn into something like a vampire.
Reina's restraints were not only for protecting her but also to guard against her own dangerousness.
"I brought you here to let you see how pitiful she looks. No matter what theory you would like to advocate, this is a vampire's true nature. They suck blood and harm people. Even a person like you can understand that somewhat, right!?"
Hisui could not refute and looked towards the shelves at the head of the bed.
That was probably where Reina's personal items were kept.
"This... is the class rep's?"
Hisui held a cross shining with noble radiance in his hand. It looked quite high-class and not a simple trinket. He could also feel the holiness emanating from it.
"...Yes. Her whole family is reported to be devout Christians. She also went to a Catholic middle school and attended church on Sundays. The parents are not home due to the church's work. According to records, they can only return after they finish handling their work."
"Clearly such a pious family, but why didn't God protect her?"
"If she had worn the cross on her neck at the time, she might have been spared. But that's how vampire attacks work. Whether pious saints or sinful women, once bitten they all fall and become inhuman monsters. This is the most terrifying disease in the world, treating everyone equal."
Hisui pinched Eruru's cheek hard.
"...What are you doing?"
"This is payback."
"Are you a kid?"
"Lemme ask you a question. To you, what is a vampire?"
"...? Pests that everyone must exterminate. Haven't I said it already?"
"Another question, if it's one of those high-ranking members of the 'Pure'? Or even higher... A 'True Ancestor'?"
"All the same. That simply increases their threat. We will raise the alert and exterminate them more thoroughly. However, I do not believe that kind of thing still exists in this age. Pureblooded members of the 'Pure', at most one or two, 'True Ancestors', all the more impossible."
"I see. I get it. Okay, here you go."
Hisui tossed the teeth impressions to Eruru.
"Thanks. The analysis results will be out very soon. You can go reflect on your own actions."
Hisui did not answer but gazed at his fingers that had just pinched Eruru's cheek.
"You should understand more or less. That vampire by your side is just a bloodsucking monster. Hurry and leave her. No matter what choice you make I will deal with her."
"Thanks. Then could you lead me out? I can't exit alone."
"Still giving trouble even at the end. Fine, let's go."
Following Eruru, Hisui left the building and went on his way home.
After Hisui left, Eruru instantly summoned Kishida and handed the teeth impressions to him.
"The mold has arrived. Analyze it immediately."
"Understood. Once determined, I'll report to you."
"I know. Also, go down there and prepare anti-vampire combat equipment and troops. Capture not needed, just exterminate directly. It finishes tonight."
Kishida inquired of his merciless boss.
"But special consultant, the results are not yet—"
"The analysis was redundant to begin with. The higher-ups... No, this is a more convenient way to shut the mouths of those people who keep crying about coexistence with vampires and researching immortality. The end result does not matter. Anyway, hurry and prepare. I do not want to lose initiative."
The girl delivered a cruel message with an adorable voice.
The loyal right hand man did not say anymore and simply bowed his head and followed orders.
"Understood. Then I will start the analysis and prepare the team."
Kishida left and Eruru sat down at the desk in her office. This was where he had interrogated Hisui last time.
The punctual adjutant will surely finish preparations swiftly.
Eruru suddenly coughed and wheezed. She frantically covered her mouth.
While panting, she searched the drawer by her side and took out a small bottle filled with tablets.
Trembling, she poured out several tablets, placed them in her mouth, chewed them and swallowed.
The coughing persisted a while longer then her body finally calmed down. Eruru breathed out deeply.
Her cute face showed fatigue like a severely ill patient, filled with deep chagrin.
Biting her little lip, Eruru murmured like a curse.
"Destroy... Vampires, leave them all to me. All of them... I will destroy you all."
After "visiting" Reina, Hisui returned home. Rushella was standing at the door.
No matter how you looked at it, she must have waited for him.
The two had not seen each other for a day and felt embarrassed. Silently standing face to face without moving, Rushella finally spoke up first.
"You're back really late. Where did you go...?"
"Hmm~~ There was something to do."
"I don't suppose you went to shack up with that fake woman called Sudou, right!?"
"You're really acting like an old father with strict curfews. It's not like you're Miraluka."
As soon as he said that, Hisui knew he misspoke.
But it was too late, Rushella stepped forward like an arrow and interrogated.
"Who is Miraluka!?"
"Are you a vengeful wife interrogating a husband for affairs? You want to scold her for being a thieving cat?"
"Stop mocking me. Hurry... Tell me. Is that... the woman who raised you?"
Seeing Rushella's sincere gaze, Hisui gave up on arguing. Unhappily scratching his head, he finally nodded.
"...Yeah. I don't know her last name. Her first name was Miraluka."
"That woman... told you lots of stuff?"
"...She only played the role of a mother. But she had long passed the age to be my mother. Basically an old hag. But she gets mad if I say that, insisting 'at least call me Onee-sama.'"
Despite his displeasure, Hisui could not hide the emotions in his voice.
Acting as a mother, age older than a grandma, but looking like an older sister. A vampire like that.
What kind of relationship it was, Hisui himself did not know.
Perhaps family—This would capture their relationship best.
Hence, whenever he referred to her, Hisui used that word.
She is my family.
Seeing the look in Hisui's eyes as he reminisced, Rushella ordered unhappily:
"Hurry... Enter. Then make dinner. I haven't... eaten all this time."
"Yeah yeah... Why are you so particular about food when you don't even need it for nutrition?"
Hisui made a wry look and changed into casual clothing, put on an apron and went to the kitchen.
Tonight's menu was rice, miso soup, roasted fish and pickled vegetables. A pure Japanese style meal.
After cooking, the two had their meal in the living room.
Rushella was not used to chopsticks in the beginning but she had almost mastered them by now.
They started out eating silently but Rushella timidly spoke up.
"You... have something to say, right?"
"Then hurry and say it. I will answer."
Rushella spoke and turned her head to the side.
After pausing a while. Hisui asked the question he could not ask last night:
"Did you... suck the class rep's blood?"
Rushella shook her head but grumbled worriedly at the same time.
"You dunno? ...What do you mean, you dunno?"
"Because I didn't drink any blood yesterday, I was thirsting for it. But... I should have been able to endure it."
"Should? Don't you know your own body well?"
"I don't, know... I don't feel the thirst right now, maybe it's... because I drank the class rep's blood, perhaps..."
"Say, even if that's the case, whether you drank or not, you should remember..."
Halfway through, Hisui suddenly remembered what Rushella tried to express.
Memories—These were quite ambiguous to her in the first place.
She did not even know who she was.
"That night, I heard a girl screaming. My instincts told me someone was attacked by my kind. So I hurried over to the sound—Should be like that. But I'm not too confident..."
"Even if you lost your memory, you should still recall recent events, right?"
"...Yeah, but, I did feel a thirst at the time. At least, that girl collapsed on the ground... The fragrance of blood attracted me. I thought about sucking her blood, if you hadn't appeared then... I probably would have attacked her directly."
"I'm very afraid sometimes."
"Afraid of what...?"
"Afraid of myself when I thirst for fresh blood... Afraid I will turn into another person. If the 'thirst' cannot be stopped, maybe I might attack people on sight without thinking... This feeling is very scary."
The periodic thirst for blood—A basic instinct that no vampire could escape.
The interval between bouts of such thirst varied massively between individuals, but they had a common point—when the thirst for blood hit a max, they lose their rationality and degenerate into mere beasts.
"So... Sometimes I'm afraid. Thinking if I can't suck blood for long periods of time, what might happen. Will I become a different person, become... just a monster who knows nothing except sucking blood, like that Mei said, even worse than a mosquito."
"I've been thinking. Why do I have no memories? Perhaps, maybe... Something happened in the past. Maybe thirsting for fresh blood... I became a beast. Perhaps I turned into another person. Therefore, therefore... The current me, will something happen? Then I'll disappear, I'm always thinking of that..."
So everything was so hazy and disturbing.
Fear of a vampire's basic instinct and the loss of memories—burdened by these two stresses, Rushella frowned in self-mockery and hugged herself tight.
"So... I dunno. Maybe I drank the class rep's blood. Just like before, perhaps... I forgot after I drank it..."
Rushella's voice grew increasingly soft as she curled herself into a ball.
No matter how you looked, her fragile appearance did not look like a member of the race that ruled the night like kings since ancient times.
The fragile heart of puberty was a very frail and weak existence.
No matter what her actual age was, her mental age was the same as her appearance. This girl currently shouldered a heavy darkness on her own.
"That night... I think there was a trace of blood on your lips. But I never could figure out, why was there blood on the short sword as well? If you're sucking the class rep's blood, you don't need to use a weapon, right? Unarmed is enough, plus there's the mystic eyes. Then why?"
"I don't wanna say."
Rushella was reluctant to speak for some reason and turned her head to the side.
"Why? This involves your innocence, you know!?"
Rushella avoided eye contact and remained silent.
Hisui continued to stare at her relentlessly.
Finally, Rushella gave in and spoke gloomily.
"I was... practicing."
"I was practicing sucking blood."
Hisui stared with his eyes wide in surprise. Rushella blushed and said softly.
"It's because you said I sucked blood too clumsily, so... So I went to the butcher's to buy a hunk of meat as similar to human as possible, with relatively more blood..."
"Then you cut the meat into a suitable size and bit... Is that what you mean by practicing sucking blood?"
Rushella nodded with her face bright red.
Hisui clutched his sides, desperately trying to suppress his laughter.
"Hey, no way!? Practicing... Blood sucking practice! What the heck, that's unheard of in vampires! And going to the butcher's shop! Eh, what was it, pork or beef? So that's why you had blood on your lips and sword!?"
"You're being really annoying!! That's why I didn't want to say it..."
Rushella was so embarrassed she was almost about to cry. Her tiny fists hammering Hisui's body.
Hisui laughed even harder, rolling on the floor clutching his stomach.
"Gimme a break... I was stuck thinking about it all day, how silly of me..."
"You're being noisy, hurry and shut up!!"
Rushella's mood was very bad and she pouted unhappily.
Hisui finally managed to stop his laughter and asked again:
"...Why did you want to practice?"
"I said already. Because you said I am clumsy."
Rushella still looked cross and did not want to face Hisui.
"Not drinking blood is out of the question. However... At least it's better if you don't hurt when I'm drinking, right? And I do control how much I drink..."
Hearing Rushella's delicate voice, Hisui scratched his head awkwardly.
"Then... What do you think?"
It was Rushella's turn to ask. She had explained her situation completely.
Then what did Hisui think of her?
"Do you think... I would break my promise with you and suck other people's blood casually?"
Rushella whispered, slowly approaching Hisui's face.
Hisui could not answer immediately. Then he prepared to speak.
Just as Rushella was waiting for his answer. The sound of a car stopping and many people's footsteps were heard at the entrance.
"What now, visitors at this time?"
"...You wait here, don't go out."
Hisui's face was serious. Ordering Rushella to stay in the living room, he walked out by himself.
Exiting the house, he found uniformed police tactical unit lined up in the garden outside.
Dressed in smart-looking heavy protective gear around their necks, clearly they were designed to guard against vampires.
Very likely, all the materials used in their uniforms were made of strong fibers to resist vampire teeth.
Outside the yard, signs of an armored van could be seen. Several searchlights were directed towards Hisui's surroundings, lighting up the night sky as bright as day, leaving nowhere for the target to hide.
"Good evening, Kujou-san." The leader of the troops was Eruru.
Just like the first time they met, Kishida was standing by her side.
"What are you doing? Don't cause trouble for the neighbors, hurry and shut the lights and stay quiet."
"We leave once things are done. Will you hand it over, the pest?"
"...Are the analysis results out?"
"Yes. I have gone through proper procedure before coming here. So there was no need to seek your consent. This is my first and last warning to you, accomplice. Hand her over now."
Eruru's face was solemn and did not tolerate any objections.
On her orders, Hisui would probably be captured by one of the men standing by behind her.
Faced with this critical moment before the imminent crisis, Hisui clenched his fist and thought of countermeasures. The surrounding atmosphere grew tense.
Facing off silently, shrouded in danger—The silence was broken by a rude sound from behind Hisui.
"What's with these people? Hey you, hurry and explain to me!"
Rushella ignored Hisui and openly appeared at the door.
Hisui grumbled but things had already happened.
Captured—No, judging from Eruru's intent, this should be an extermination mission. The members of the tactical unit all entered high alert at the arrival of the "enemy."
"Oh my, this sure saves me a lot of effort."
"What are you planning? Hey, my servant, who's this girl? Why is a little runt acting so superior?"
"Please don't make things any more complicated..."
"Seriously. If you will obediently allow me to stake your heart and chop off your head, at least I will give you a swift end."
Feeling the murderous intent shrouding the entire surroundings, now Rushella understood her situation.
"Mere humans, what you do plan to do to me?"
"Destroy you. What about it?"
"Big words there. But you have no reason. I require blood for survival and you have no compelling reason to destroy me, right?"
"Speaking of reasons, the fact that you are a vampire is reason enough. Besides the evidence is iron-clad. That guy beside you gave us proof."
Rushella looked at Hisui in surprise, but he ignored her and simply stared at Eruru.
"I never thought you would drink the blood of so many young virgins. You're the greediest vampire in recent times in this area."
"You're talking about that whatever class rep...? But no, I didn't do it..."
"You're still denying? How unsightly. Your teeth matches the victim's bite marks completely. Also, this guy helped us to verify that."
"Teeth marks... Mine!? You...!"
Rushella recalled Mei's actions during the physical examination.
That turned out to be for this. And the reason was... Hisui's instructions.
"You suspected me after all...!?"
Rushella bit her lip and spoke, tears already appearing in her eyes.
But Hisui remained unmoved.
"What nonsense are you talking about? If a human had their blood sucked, then it's natural to suspect a vampire. Very well, Kujou-san, hand her over to us. I am duty-bound to deal with this pest."
Eruru, Kishida and the rest of the police approached.
Then Hisui finally reacted.
As though protecting Rushella, he stood before her, blocking the police team members.
"What now? You cannot be thinking of taking that pest's side, are you?"
"Then let me verify the evidence. Speaking of which, why did you guys suspect her in the first place?"
Hisui pointed his index finger at Rushella.
Seeing his serious face, Eruru could not help but sigh.
"...Because she is a vampire. Since victims have appeared, suspecting her is only natural, right?"
"Apart from her, there are other vampires."
"...What about the victim's testimony!?"
"This point exactly is what I find very suspicious. Why do you believe her so readily? Believing someone who has been bitten?"
Eruru shook involuntarily.
Indeed—That was an untrustworthy existence.
Once bitten, a person cannot be trusted.
As for why—
"Once bitten, a person will show loyalty towards the one who bit them—the master. A victim will only repay kindness with treachery towards people trying to protect them. Because of that, you kept the class rep tight up securely. Then you should know right? You can't believe the words of someone who's been bitten. They will usually defend their master. They can't possibly give up their master's identity. If they say it... It's more than likely on the master's orders, to find a scapegoat."
All the policemen began to talk among themselves. They all possessed substantial knowledge on vampires. Hence, they could understand the key point that Hisui raised directly.
Feeling the gaze of her subordinates, Eruru remained calm.
"Indeed, what you say makes sense. However, the loyalty of the bitten varies substantially depending on the person's mental strength and rate of vampirization. And in this incident..."
"Almost on the verge of turning into a full vampire, the victim is a weak high school girl. No matter how you look at it, she can't possibly oppose the master's will. I also went to the hospital to confirm her condition. You should know better than me, right?"
Hisui's argument was even more acute.
Standing behind Eruru, the policemen's chattering became even noisier.
In order to prevent further chaos, Eruru took out the evidence.
"...But the teeth marks match. There has never been two people with completely identical teeth marks. This is just as precise as fingerprinting. There absolutely cannot be a mistake!"
"You are getting annoying! Why are you protecting this pest?"
Hisui asserted with full confidence, instantly suppressing Eruru's intimidating aura.
"Impossible. The teeth marks could not possibly match."
"What rubbish are you spouting..."
"Just as she said... I did suspect her at one point."
Hisui pointed at Rushella behind him and said.
Indeed, he had suspected Rushella from a while ago.
"I also suspected you guys. Members of the Supernatural Investigations Section?"
Seeing Hisui's acute gaze, Eruru could not help but feel intimidated. But she kept true to herself and mocked in reply:
"What nonsense are you saying... We are a proper police organization."
"Proper police organization that easily believes a bitten victim's testimony. Perhaps you guys... Making up a plausible criminal charge, trying to exterminate my freeloader... I felt that you guys had that intent. So in order to test if you guys are trustworthy... I did some slight tampering."
"Tampering...? What on earth did you do...!?"
"Before the teeth marks solidified completely, I adjusted them slightly to change the shape."
Hisui's words left Eruru's entire team standing there speechless.
Vanquishing a vampire who was feeding on human blood—This righteous reason was beginning to show cracks.
"So, it definitely cannot match Rushella's teeth marks exactly."
Eruru's face was emotionless.
The boy she had despised was now standing in her way as a giant threat.
Hisui pressed on his advantage.
"Why would teeth marks that could not match end up being a match for the bite marks on the class rep's neck? Very simple, that. Someone is fabricating evidence to set her up as the culprit."
Eruru clenched her tiny fists.
This decisive accusation caused the atmosphere to tense.
The criminal was not a vampire but a human.
The police team did not voice this but their inquiring gazes sought Eruru's confirmation.
"You believed me...?"
Silent all this time, Rushella asked gratefully.
Hisui scratched his head in embarrassment.
"...I suspected you in the beginning but then I believed you. So... What are we going to do here?"
Hisui answered in a casual tone of voice and glared at Eruru sharply.
Before Eruru could answer, her face gone pale, Hisui continued to pursue the heart of the matter.
"Ultimately, who sucked the class rep's blood? I have a clue. Say, mister, why didn't you report that particular matter!?"
Hisui looked towards—Kishida.
And everyone followed his gaze.
The man under everyone's attention simply muttered quietly.
"What a nuisance of a guy."
The first to notice was Eruru.
The person who had followed her faithfully like a shadow suddenly disappeared.
Then Hisui noticed too.
The man whom he had met several times before suddenly vanished from view.
Clearly faster than the limits of human speed.
This was precisely as fast as a vampire.
His eyes gave off vivid red light and his mouth was filled with pale white and sharp teeth.
Kishida laughed violently and grabbed Hisui's arm, biting his neck!!
Hisui felt a sharp pain from his neck and blood was being sucked away at a frightening rate.
This completely merciless blood sucking reminded Hisui of Reina's tragic state last night.
No mistake, this guy is the true culprit.
"What a clever brat, but this is the end of the line for you. You will help me block these pesky people."
"You bastard, get away from him!!"
Faster than anyone else, Rushella rushed towards Kishida.
But Kishida had expected it and smiled fearlessly, separating himself from Hisui's neck. This blood sucking, done with the intent to harm, ripped out large chunks of skin and flesh from Hisui's neck as the teeth were withdrawn.
Kishida smiled cruelly and threw Hisui towards Rushella.
"Hey, pull yourself together!!"
Rushella tearfully caught Hisui in her arms. All this was going according to Kishida's calculations.
Using this opportunity, he took out a spraying device and sprayed it at Rushella.
Instantly, Rushella's sense of smell was numbed.
This smell was just like the garlic attack she suffered from Hisui that time.
Naturally, this concentrated and intense stench was on completely different level than the little attack last time. Rather than a deterrent, this was a proper weapon for deploying against vampires.
Kishida used a simple gas mask to cover his mouth and nose, remaining unaffected. Looks like he had prepared beforehand to prevent the anti-vampire equipment from affecting himself.
Rushella did not even have the strength to speak. Unable to stand steadily, she collapsed.
Kishida snickered, grabbed the unconscious Rushella and ran away like a puff of smoke.
He easily jumped over the wall. His figure as he raced across the night was indeed that of a bona fide vampire.
"Chase him, hurry!!"
Eruru immediately issued orders. Several people followed Kishida on foot. The rest boarded the armored van and set off.
The vampire and the hunters all departed like a storm, leaving only Hisui and Eruru at the scene.
"Are you okay!?"
Eruru rushed over to Hisui and immediately started first aid. Because she was not carrying a medical kit, she could only use a white handkerchief as gauze, trying to staunch the bleeding.
Seeing the wound, Eruru could not help but frown and divert her gaze.
The wound was very deep.
The carotid artery had suffered severe damage, resulting in horrific bleeding. Part of the skin was completely chewed off. Not dying on the spot was quite fortunate already.
Nevertheless, he stood up.
"That bastard... Sucking away as he pleased... Rushella is much better than him... Glutton, greedy vampire... I'm guessing that's 2L taken? Oh well, it saves me the effort..."
Eruru was so frightened she instantly cried out.
"What are you talking about!? If you move recklessly now...!"
From Eruru's perspective, Hisui's blood loss was enough to be fatal. Everything he said was just trying to act tough. But Hisui showed his neck to her, causing Eruru to stare wide-eyed, dumbfounded.
The repulsive and terrifying teeth marks were already gone.
No, more strictly speaking, the wound still lingered... But it was disappearing before her eyes.
Ripped open by teeth, the wound was still seeping blood, but traces of the vampire's "kiss"—Had already healed.
"Why...!? Could it be, you're a vampire...!? No, that's impossible... Then another kind of supernatural creature... But, during the examination..."
"I am just a human. Except with a constitution that won't turn into a vampire, that's all."
Hisui remarked lightly. Having suffered an attack like Reina's, Hisui was further convinced that Kishida was the culprit.
"You won't turn into a vampire...? Impossible, that kind of thing...!!"
This phenomenon, overturning her world view, caused Eruru to shake her head repeatedly in denial.
Nevertheless, he was a true human. The examination results clearly wrote that. And the one conducting the examination was herself.
In mere minutes, something inside her brain was collapsing from its very roots.
"Look, the situation is a bit beyond expectation. But it turns out you're not the one fabricating..."
"Of course not!! Because I originally thought the culprit was surely..."
"You're saying that despite your hatred, you still follow the rules? So that guy fabricated the analysis results..."
"Looks like... it. I obtained the results from him... So he was framing other vampires for his crimes...? But why..."
Eruru bit her lip and shook her head.
Originally so strong, she was now a deeply troubled girl in Hisui's eyes.
It looked like the guy used to be quite a trusted subordinate of hers.
But in actual fact, he was a vampire who should be destroyed.
And right by her side, yet she did not see through it.
Although her situation was sympathetic, but unfortunately, Hisui currently did not have the time for that.
"That guy... Why did he abduct my freeloader? If he just wanted to escape, grabbing the most powerless human, me, would be the best choice. Wait, why did the class rep frame that girl? Since he doesn't want experts to see through him, hiding skillfully in human society, he shouldn't be drinking the class rep's blood with reckless abandon..."
"I have no idea about that...! How would I know what a vampire thinks!?"
Eruru cried out emotionally then bowed her head.
Her delicate and petite body was trembling, looking very vulnerable and frail.
"While going out on operations with that man, I have seen him under the sun many times. Recalling that, he must have shown me deliberately. Also, he is particularly punctual, that is probably in order to never forget to apply the light blocking agent. A habit of wearing gloves... To avoid skin contact with me."
"Direct contact would allow you to discover his use of the light blocking agent. Looks like he was quite on guard. But the problem is why would he deliberately infiltrate an organization most unfavorable towards vampires?"
Hisui's greatest doubt regarding Kishida was that.
Although he probably thought "the most dangerous place is the safest place" but being part of an anti-monster organization was too high a risk. Also mentally, there should have been quite a lot of stress.
Even so, he still hid his identity and laid low by Eruru's side.
Hisui had a theory regarding the reason for this.
"That guy... He kept one point to himself when he received Sudou's report."
"What happened? Sudou-san's report was passed on to me through him..."
"About my freeloader, what was the first report you received like?"
"Nothing special, very ordinary... Vampire attending high school... That was it."
"I knew it..."
It made sense now, Hisui nodded.
Eruru looked surprised and asked.
"What are you trying to say...? There is something suspicious about this report? At least, the appearance of a vampire girl, going to the same high school as you—These are all rigorous facts, right?"
"Indeed. But the important part was omitted. My freeloader claims to be a 'True Ancestor.'"
"What did you say!?"
Eruru's face changed in alarm.
A True Ancestor-class vampire—someone of that exalted status was in a place like this!?
"Impossible... That vampire, unbelievable, how... Nothing of that sort was in the report...!"
"Right... It didn't appear in the report. That Sudou girl said that she gave that Kishida guy the report. But he hid this fact and did not report to you. This is one of the reasons why I couldn't trust you guys completely. Clearly a True Ancestor-class vampire had appeared yet you take such ordinary measures. And regardless if you believed or not, at least you'd ask me for confirmation."
"Then... Kishida's goal... Was that girl from the very start...!?"
"Most likely. By staying by your side, the chances of running into his own kind became higher. Perhaps while assisting your work, he had been searching for a 'True Ancestor' in secret. Sucking the class rep's blood then framing Rushella. Then using the police to capture her. Then report to you the target was destroyed, allowing him to imprison her elsewhere... However, the most important reason still eludes me."
"Reasons do not matter at all! To think a True Ancestor-class vampire... What an embarrassment, I must instantly contact headquarters to send reinforcements... No, first, the equipment needs to be adjusted...!!"
Eruru ignored Hisui and began to take out her cellphone to operate with racking her brains.
Compared to Kishida, compared to the victim, her first thoughts were destroying the True Ancestor Rushella—In the end, everything in her heart returned to the starting point.
Hisui sighed lightly and asked her in exasperation.
"Hey hey, we already cleared her of the crime, are you still thinking of exterminating her?"
"If she really were a 'True Ancestor' then she must have sucked numerous people's blood to this date. Aren't her crimes obvious!?"
"Do you have a right to talk about others? What about yourself?"
Hisui reached out his left hand towards Eruru. Having wiped the wound on his neck, there was still some blood there that had not dried yet.
Eruru turned her head away from Hisui's arm and covered her mouth. Not only that, she also began to cough, her body trembling slightly.
"You're afraid of blood?"
"O-Of course not... Just some old illness. I-I can treat it instantly..."
Taking out a medicine box with trembling hands, she popped tablets into her mouth.
But Hisui stopped her, scattering the tablets on the ground.
"What are you doing...!?"
"Stop it. Eating that is harmful to your body."
"What nonsense... This is just ordinary medicine..."
"That's right. Just ordinary medicine for suppressing your urge to suck blood."
Eruru's face instantly lost all expression.
She looked at Hisui, her face all pale—As pale as a vampire.
"What are you saying... You are not implying I am a vampire, are you!? Even as a joke, that is going too far!"
"That's true... You were fine standing in the setting sun."
Eruru suddenly recalled what happened earlier.
Earlier in the day, when Hisui came to find her, why he specifically waited outdoors.
That was to confirm. Confirm whether she was affected by sunlight.
"You suspected me...? Suspected me of being a vampire!?"
"Yes. Seeing the way you hated vampires, it reminded me of how like poles of a magnet repelled one another. Although not being afraid of sunlight could be due to applying the light blocking agent, I checked it out as well... But the result was you didn't use it."
Hearing Hisui's words, Eruru could not help but touch her cheek.
Earlier... Hisui had pinched her there.
She originally thought Hisui was childishly seeking revenge, but now she realized the true meaning behind his action.
He was checking out how her skin's texture.
Through texture, he confirmed whether a light blocking agent had been applied.
"You... when did you start suspecting me!?"
"The first time we met. Such a petite physique yet you seemed unnaturally strong. Also, you turned away when I had a nosebleed, right? An anti-vampire expert afraid of blood? I was thinking, perhaps you're not afraid of blood but you liked it too much—Seeing blood, you can't control yourself so you avoid it. Because that guy also did the same evasive action, I also became suspicious. Finally going as far as to open the window for ventilation... Truly suspicious."
To Hisui, visiting Reina was just an excuse.
His true motive was to confirm Eruru's identity.
"...How sly you are. But this all your random guessing, I am not a vampire."
"Right, you're not. Unafraid of light, you even use a gun with a cross imprinted on it."
But he did not relent.
Almost in a merciless tone of voice, he revealed Eruru's true identity.
"You're a dhampir, right?"
Eruru lost all color in her face. With a fearful gaze, she took a step back.
Dhampir—A hybrid offspring between a vampire and a human.
Born in the gap between light and darkness, day and night, inheriting the blood of both races.
And their bodies naturally inherited dual characteristics of humans and vampires.
With sufficient intent, they could masquerade as normal humans virtually flawlessly, but Hisui discovered a tiny flaw in Eruru's behavior.
Eruru hugged herself, trembling nonstop.
It looked like the dangerous signs of drug withdrawal. Hisui gazed at her.
Eruru reached out a trembling hand, trying to get medication from the box but Hisui called out sharply.
"Didn't I say stop?"
Eruru bowed her head and bit her lip.
A dhampir's most taboo characteristic—the desire for human blood just like a vampire.
But unlike vampires, humans did not fall under their control as a result of a bite. Neither did they turn into vampires. However, the desire for fresh blood remained unchanged.
"Like vampires, dhampirs cannot stop their desire for blood. Neither vampires nor dhampirs would die from not drinking blood but their strength would diminish. But when diminished to the very limit, their power would suddenly grow great instead, turning them into an irrational monster that seeks nothing but blood. You should know that already."
"If you are considerate of the people around you, I think you should compromise a bit. Ingesting blood in small amounts would actually be a lot better. If you just keep suppressing it, the final impulse could be terrible. So..."
"So what!? Are you asking me to go suck blood!? Asking me to shamelessly suck blood!?"
Eruru looked up, her eyes filled with tears. She continued to yell hysterically.
"What do you know!? Do you understand the me who desires blood!? Do you understand that if I do not suppress it this way, I would lose my sanity!?"
She screamed at the top of her lungs, almost as though blood would gush out from her throat.
She had suppressed these feelings at the bottom of her heart. This could not be captured simply by "likes repel one another."
"This tragic situation, it is enough for me to shoulder on my own. That is why vampires must be exterminated...!"
That was why she desperately learned about vampires and pursued this career.
Hisui listened to her plead her mission, but wiped his index finger across Eruru's lips.
His fingertip was smeared with his own blood.
The moment the vivid red lipstick was applied on Eruru's lips, a minute amount of blood accidentally entered her mouth and relieved her desire for fresh blood.
"What a nice person you are."
"W-What are you talking about..."
"When my blood was sucked just now, you instantly rushed over, worrying about me. That's no good... I was already ordered by that guy to stop you people. You should have been more vigilant."
"Same with the class rep, right? You believed the victim like a normal person. This is normal, right? I must be the abnormal one."
Eruru wanted to say something. Hisui turned his back to her and clumsily took out his cellphone.
"Hey, it's me. Could you come over? Where are you? The convenient store in Nichoume? Perfect... Then come over... That girl was captured... What, you're busy? Let me tell you, it's all because of you! I'll explain later. Thanks."
Hisui hung up. Then he muttered with his back to Eruru.
"I was raised by a vampire. However, the one who killed my real parents was that vampire as well."
Hisui divulged his origins in response to Eruru's confession.
However, completely unlike Eruru, Hisui spoke indifferently without emotion. His tone of voice was also very uninvolved.
"I can't really remember but apparently my parents wanted to kill me. A collective suicide? My parents wanted to kill me, who didn't know anything at the time, then commit suicide. Then a vampire happened to pass by, killed my parents and saved me and raised me. This sort of situation, what do you think I should do about it? Hate the vampire for killing my parents? Thank her for saving me? As a human, what should I do?"
Eruru did not answer.
This type of question could not be answered.
"Ludicrously, that vampire died to save me in the end. For my sake, turned into ash."
Memories of the past surfaced before Hisui's eyes.
Enduring the scorching from the intense sun in the sky, the vampire who kept performing chest compressions to rescue the boy.
"That person not only saved me but also many humans at the scene, finally dying herself."
"However, the humans who were saved, everyone was cursing at the vampire. Saying monster, you deserve to die, etc. Some people even threw rocks at her. Hey, which side is right in your view?"
Eruru could not answer, she did not want to confront this type of question at all.
However, Hisui continued to question mercilessly.
"What should I do? Because I'm human, should I follow those humans and curse the vampire who raised me? But as a human, shouldn't' I say thanks first? Whether the other person is a vampire or a monster or not... I should first say 'thank you', right?"
Hisui turned to look at Eruru but her face was turned away. No, she was avoiding Hisui's gaze.
"Before that person died, she turned me into this kind of constitution. Otherwise I surely would have died. Hence... Ever since, I won't turn into a vampire even if bitten by one. So... What am I now?"
"Humans turn into vampires once bitten by vampires. Conversely, someone who doesn't turn into a vampire after being bitten would not be human. Then what am I? A supernatural creature? Or neither human nor supernatural, some kind of monster?"
Hisui continued to stared at Eruru as he asked.
Eruru could not answer but did not avoid his gaze, staring at him straight.
"That kind of thing I guess. Whether human or vampire..."
"So... You want to save that vampire? Saving an enemy of mankind...?"
"That girl... Drenched by rain, when she most wanted to suck blood... She didn't. Clearly a vampire."
"For my sake, she even tried to practice her blood sucking technique... Just now also... tried to save me. So what do you say, what should I do?"
This was a so-called calm tone of voice.
But the firm resolved it carried, Eruru could feel it clearly.
"That girl promised me. Before figuring out her origins, she won't suck anyone's blood but mine. I also responded to her promise. Before that... I'll be her servant. So I must go to where my master is."
Saying that, Hisui entered his own home.
Eruru stared at his back, spacing out, then a familiar voice was heard from behind.
"Good evening~ Ah, looks like the mood isn't quite right. There's been a commotion nearby?"
Mei was in her uniform, opening the gate and entering the yard.
"Sudou-san... Why are you here?"
"Hi-kun called me here. Then... Who got caught? Rushella?"
"Do you intend to assist him...? No matter what I instruct, do note that saving her is Kujou Hisui's willful decision, okay? I will not be providing any reward."
"Yes~ Oh well, it can't be helped. Who can refuse a lover?"
Although suddenly called here, Mei did not seem annoyed.
Unable to comprehend, Eruru simply asked in puzzlement.
"Why...? Don't you hate vampires as well?"
"I do dislike them, yes... And for me, she counts as a rival."
"I don't understand. In particular... I don't understand Kujou Hisui. Why is he able to go this far?"
"Right. But, if Rushella really sucked the class rep's blood... He'd probably exterminate her by his own hands."
"This is probably his way of taking responsibility? But in his heart, he believed in Rushella's innocence. That's why he pondered so much and verified so many things... Seeking the truth all along. But he also worried about the class rep at the same time. Human and vampire—clearly taking one side was enough but he wants both and seeks the hardest path. To this date... And probably henceforth as well. If Rushella sucked anyone else's blood, he will exterminate her personally. That's the kind of resolve he has made."
"Who on earth is he...?"
"Just a human. But a human who treats non-human entities equally. After he found out my identity... Nothing changed. Although I'm quite confident in my appearance... But most people would distance themselves after finding out, right? But he didn't. Neither distancing himself nor getting any funny ideas— just continuing as normal."
Mei spoke with a bright expression. She originally treated him as just the target for her baby making mission, but before she knew it, he had become her fated one true love. Meeting this kind of human, even her first ancestor might have avoided resenting being created and lived a happy life instead.
"...I do not understand."
Eruru fell silent. Footsteps were heard from behind at this moment.
Turning back, she found Hisui coming out. The moment she looked at him, Eruru felt a sense of dizziness.
"It's better that you don't look. Even if you're a hybrid, it could still be fatal."
Hisui was carrying on his back something that made Eruru, no, something that made all vampire kin feel shocked.
A giant silver cross.
He had pulled it out from the basement, wrapped its chains around his hand and carried the cross on his back.
"What is that...?"
Careful not to look at the cross behind him that stood at his height, Eruru turned her gaze away and inquired.
"The cross-shaped sacred sword, the 'Tzara Blade.' Just by raising it, ordinary vampires will be immobilized. Its blade is also very sharp. Its only flaw is it's too heavy. Probably 30kg."
"I have researched crosses in my line of work, yours... Clearly a weapon? And the holiness it carries... Very extraordinary."
"A certain savior was crucified on this thing in the past. Thus the cross turned from a symbol of death into a sacred symbol. Reportedly, this is the antique surviving from that time period. Because it's forged from silver then processed, whether as a work of art or a weapon against vampires, it is the highest ranked. If it's not handled carefully, those bigshots at the Vatican might come running to reclaim it."
"How did such an extraordinary item fall into your hands!?"
"I inherited it from my foster parent."
Hisui simply explained in a sentence and turned towards Mei who had rushed over.
"So, could you help me carry this? I'm already out of strength."
"What... You're treating me as mover!?"
"Well, you're strong. Please, my blood was sucked, I'm already seeing stars."
"Fine... Then you must go on a date with me next time, okay? Includes an overnight stay."
"I'm going home by sunset and you bear all the costs, please accept my haggling."
Mei shrugged and reluctantly took the Tzara Blade. Then she lifted it effortlessly with one hand.
Then the two exited the garden, Eruru following them.
"W-Wait, you two. You're going to save that vampire!? You know where she is?"
"You gave Sudou all kinds of tools, right? I saw a tracking device among them so I secretly placed it on that girl's person. Vampire aside, if that clueless lady wandered off, who knows how much trouble she'd cause to others."
To think Hisui was this well-prepared.
He lightly raised his right hand and ran into the night with Mei... But no sooner had they taken two steps, Eruru had already grabbed their collars and dragged them back.
"Say, we're in a hurry you know?"
"I'd like to get things done and go home too, yeah?"
"In this emergency situation, you still want to carry that conspicuous object out in the open, running on your legs like fools? Use your brains a little. I am calling for a car."
At some point, Eruru had recovered her former eloquence.
Probably due to the earlier commotion, her half-framed glasses were almost falling off. Eruru pushed them up with her hands, a flash of inspiration glinting in her eyes.
"Also, let us discuss our plan."
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