Silver Cross and Draculea:Volume02 Chapter5
Chapter 5 - This Blood of Mine
Just when everyone else was asleep, a certain girl got up by herself.
With light movements, not making a single sound, she went through the corridor and up the stairs -- towards Hisui's room.
She had only one goal -- baby making.
Sudou Mei was back with a vengeance!
Learning from her mistakes in the bathroom, she was determined to have her way with him this time.
"Hmph, this time I will seduce Hi-kun out of his mind with this victory outfit for sure❤"
Dressed in an appealing pastel colored nightgown, Mei smiled seductively.
In addition to an erotic design which made use of minimal fabric, the sheerness of her lingerie offered fleeting glimpses of what lay beneath.
Sleeping under the same roof on this day, it was a perfect opportunity to realize her long-cherished wish.
Quietly, quietly, she approached Hisui's room and gripped the door handle.
The door was not locked.
Naturally, even if it were locked, an artificial human's arm strength could easily destroy it. But since it would be best not to make unnecessary noise, how fortunate.
Mei tiptoed and slowly pushed open the door to enter the bedroom.
In order not to alarm her target, she did not switch on the lights, instead relying on the naked eye to check out the situation in the room. Although not to a vampire's level, her night vision was still far superior to ordinary humans.
Activating her excellent vision, the artificial human swept her gaze towards the bed -- the bulging blanket.
The target was sleeping on the bed.
Mei cautiously approached the bed side -- and flung away the blanket all at once!
The ravenous wolf pounced and pressed herself against Hisui.
Perhaps too deep in sleep, the defenseless lamb did not wake up.
In that case, he will be conquered in his sleep!
Extending her left hand towards the chest while her right hand -- gradually slid its way towards the region between the legs.
This was currently the time of the day when young males were unable to control the lower half of their body.
No matter how hard they tried to suppress, surely there will be a reaction!
Surely there will be a reaction! ...But in actual fact, the feeling from Mei's right hand was not a scorching rod towering towards the heavens but a soft patch of grassland.
As for the left hand which was expecting the touch of a spectacularly white chest -- it found a massive bulging mountain instead. This seemingly familiar sensation of softness and elasticity was a far cry from a muscular chest.
Something was not right.
Mei applied pressure to her left hand to confirm the situation. She also poked with her right hand just for good measure.
A seductive moan -- or rather, breathing noises from sleep would be more accurate.
This too was a familiar voice.
--It can't be.
Mei focused her gaze to confirm the body lying beneath her. The outline of the one lying in the bed gradually entered the artificial human's view.
A slender figure with a massive voluptuous bust.
As well as long slender legs of great beauty.
Together with bright red lips that surpassed the redness of blood and high-class elegant beauty, the sight was impossible to forget.
Finally, the otherworldly body was clad in a thin shirt.
The one sleeping in the bed was Rushella.
Molested at Mei's hands just now, the sleeping beauty woke up.
Slowly, she opened her eyes.
Having just woken up, her gaze was wandering unsteadily.
Just as Rushella slowly realized who was lying on top of her and where this person's hands were touching -- She screamed.
"Hey, keep it down! It's early morning, be quiet!!"
"Y-You, what on earth are you doing!? Could it be, you want to... me!?"
Rushella pushed Mei away and curled herself into a ball.
This reaction was only natural.
"...Of course not! I came to give Hi-kun a night assault! But why are you sleeping here?!"
"I woke up too early today so I came over intending to get a drink of blood. But that guy isn't in the room! While tossing and turning on the bed, waiting for him to return, I..."
"...You fell asleep yourself. When the lover is absent, you revel in the warmth lingering in his bed... Hey, how much do you really like Hi-kun!?"
"Shut up, that guy is my servant. Liking him is only natural! You are not allowed to prey upon him!"
"Why must I listen to your orders!? Also, where's Hi-kun!?"
"How would I know!?"
The verbal battle between the vampire and Frankenstein's creature began at dawn.
The drums of war were beating in Hisui's room to signal an all-star showdown with great Hollywood potential.
"Besides, what is with the shameless way you are dressed!? Exposing your underwear for others to see, totally shameless!"
"Yeah right, like I'd want to hear that from the girl doing the naked shirt look! You must be doing it on purpose!?"
"I wear this because it's comfortable! You're wearing that because you intend to do something to that guy......? Or to me as well..."
Halfway through, Rushella finally realized what was being done to her.
First her breasts had been fondled, then her most important private part was--
Blushing, she picked up Hisui's pillow and smashed it against Mei's face.
Struck squarely, Mei threw it back angrily.
"You really want a fight...... You lustful vampire!"
"Shut up, lecherous Frankenstein!"
As their dispute escalated, killing intent filled the room.
The battle for domination between the strongest supernatural creatures was finally about to erupt.
The aftershock of the impact shook the entire room, or rather, the entire house shook.
The shaking of the ceiling caused Hisui to wake up.
Since the source of the shaking came from above, it was probably not an earthquake, so what the heck was happening upstairs?
Rubbing his sleepy eyes, he noticed several blankets draped over himself.
Hisui had apparently fallen asleep while he was helping Eruru look up information. The blankets covering him must be her doing.
Eruru was also sleeping on the side.
Using the scattered books on the floor as a pillow, she breathed peacefully.
Her pure and innocent appearance did not seem like it belonged to someone of Hisui's age. None of her usual cold attitude could be seen from her face right now.
Lying on the ground, the maiden was neither the important official from the Metropolitan Police Department nor the one shouldering a cursed fate, but an ordinary girl one could find anywhere.
"...Don't force yourself too much."
Hisui gently covered Eruru with a blanket.
Then he started clearing away the surrounding books.
Just at this moment, frantic footsteps could be heard coming down the stairs.
"Ah, you're here!"
Rushella had arrived. Something must have happened for her shirt had been pulled into a mess and she was panting as if exhausted.
"...What happened? By the way, stop making my shirts dirty..."
"Shut up! It's all your fault, because you were not in your room, I......!!"
Rushella hugged herself, speaking with tearful eyes.
Hisui had no idea what was going on, but it seemed like something serious happened.
Just as Hisui tried to make sense of the situation, another visitor came down to the basement.
"So that's where you went, vampire!? We haven't decided a victor yet!"
...Her face looking similarly exhausted, Mei made her appearance in a sexy nightgown, all covered in sweat.
"Eh, what the heck is going on?"
Hisui tried his best to avoid gazing at Mei as he asked. Pouting tearfully, Rushella made accusations.
"This woman was making moves on me while I was asleep...!"
"Eh, you're interested in that too!?"
"Of course not! Lesbians belong to the domain of female vampires, okay!? Besides, why aren't you in your own room, Hi-kun!? You made my plans all go to waste!"
"That's right, you should be obediently sleeping in your room!!"
"Why are you two in firm agreement over this kind of thing even when you're quarreling?"
Hisui could not help but retort. At his moment, Eruru also woke up, rubbing her eyes.
"...What is going on......"
"Don't bother. Just keep sleeping. Ah, but sleeping here is uncomfortable and you're going to catch a cold. Let's go up."
Hisui suggested helpfully.
Still in a sleepy daze, Eruru nodded and agreed.
"Hmph, you're sure being treated well here."
Rushella mocked unhappily and started looking around the basement.
"Hey... Isn't this a wine cellar!? You never allowed me to come here before, could that be the reason?"
"To be frank, yes, that was a contributing factor. Ah, hey, stop messing with things carelessly!"
Rushella ignored him and invaded the wine cellar in the corner of the basement.
"Hmph... What a classy collection. Primarily red wine, excellent taste, I say!"
Alcoholic drinks had to be red wine -- perhaps stemming from a vampire's instincts, even without her past memories, Rushella still insisted on red wine.
Although the wine cellar was quite small, the temperature and humidity were definitely controlled meticulously. With no lack of well-aged highly prized vintages, this was a very well-stocked private collection indeed.
"Yes, this bottle looks great!"
Seeing one particular bottle of wine that stood out and seemed to be particularly treasured and safeguarded, Rushella plucked it out and left the wine cellar.
"What the heck are you doing?! Ah, that one is......!"
As Rushella exited the wine cellar, Hisui noticed the bottle of red wine in her hand.
"Give it back."
A stern expression on his face, Hisui reached out and grabbed the bottle.
"What's the matter? There's so many there, I'm just taking one!"
"This is no drink for a child."
"I am a vampire, you know? How old do you think I am!?"
"No idea, but your mental age is just a brat's. Even if you won't die from acute alcohol poisoning, you will get drunk. Hurry and give it back."
Both refusing to back down, they began a battle for the bottle.
Before a victor could be decided, the struggle ended unexpectedly. Slipping out of Rushella's hand, the bottle flew through the air.
Before she could catch it, the bottle struck the floor with crisp sound and shattered.
The dark violet liquid splashed across the floorboards, releasing a rich aroma.
Someone with poor alcohol tolerance would probably get tipsy from the mere smell. That was how concentrated and fantastic the wine's fragrance.
A connoisseur of red wine would be able to tell this was definitely a priceless vintage simply from the smell.
Hisui stood rooted to the spot in shock, staring at the wine's demise.
The gloom on his face made Rushella and all the girls fall silent.
Finally, Rushella averted her gaze and broke the silence.
"I-It's your own fault, okay......! Don't blame me, you were the one trying to take it by force..."
Her quiet denial carried an apologetic tone.
Hisui approached the bottle's remains and dipped a finger into the residual wine at the bottom of the bottle. Then he tasted it lightly.
"...So that's what it tastes like?"
Exclaiming, Hisui began to clear the fragments from the floor.
Watching him from behind, Mei stepped forward apologetically. Definitely, she felt partly responsible for the accident.
"...Let me help you?"
"It's fine. No need."
Hisui was not angry. Rather, he was completely emotionless.
This was the worst.
"This bottle of wine... Is it something really precious...?"
Mei asked with trepidation as Hisui continued clearing up and replied.
"This vintage is from the year of my birth. The original plan was for us to open and drink it on my twentieth birthday."
" "......!!" "
Rushella and Mei looked at each other.
Who bought the wine and who planned it for commemorating Hisui's twentieth birthday -- the answer was obvious.
The foster parent who raised Hisui and former master of the wine cellar -- that vampire.
"She told me on my tenth birthday that she was really impatient. A vampire's concept of time sure is really different. In the end, she died first instead."
Continuing with his task, Hisui spoke indifferently.
The mood of the three girls standing behind him grew increasingly somber.
Mei and Eruru glared at Rushella with reproach, causing her to feel awkwardly at wit's end.
"...I'll have to get a cloth to wipe this up later. Ah, are there any glass fragments over there? Did you get hurt?"
Hisui finished picking up the glass and asked Eruru.
It was only natural for him to worry about her because she just woke up. But Rushella responded with displeasure.
"...You don't need to worry about her. Even though inferior to me, her wounds heal quite quickly."
"...Don't say stuff like that. Everyone feels pain all the same."
"Why weren't you in your room? Instead, you ran over to this kind of place to spend time with this woman! If it weren't for you, I wouldn't have suffered what happened in the bedroom, and the wine wouldn't have......!"
Rushella glared hatefully at Hisui and continued.
"So you have a preference for this kind of half-breed? Neither human nor vampire, a half-breed species!?"
As soon as she finished speaking, Hisui expressionlessly poked Rushella in the head.
A light poke, nothing out of the ordinary -- but Hisui's face was full of cold and merciless anger.
"What are you doing!?"
Hisui pointed at Eruru as he commanded Rushella.
Rushella punched Hisui in the chest.
Completely not holding back -- she had used her full strength.
Struck by the impact, Hisui's slender body instantly flew away and smashed into the wall.
Unfortunately, he hit his head.
"Hey what are you doing!?"
"Aren't you going too far!?"
Mei and Eruru's words caused Rushella to return to her senses. Realizing what she had done, she stared at her own fist.
"I-It's all because......!"
Rushella had barely begun to justify herself when Hisui stood up. Apparently his forehead was wounded for blood seeped from a cut, dyeing his pale face red.
His tragic appearance shocked everyone present.
Unsteadily, Hisui walked before Rushella and repeated the same line.
Saying that, he fainted and collapsed on the ground.
Mei and Eruru hurried over to his side.
Rushella, on the other hand, trembled all over as she ran out from the basement.
"Are you okay, Hi-kun!?"
"In any case, the bleeding must be stopped first. Help me."
Carrying Hisui to the ground floor, Eruru performed first aid treatment.
Luckily, the wound was not very deep, and combined with his constitution, the bleeding stopped quickly.
"I'm okay now. Just that I'm seeing double when looking at things."
"This cannot be a concussion, could it!? Please remain still."
Eruru's every sentence expressed concern as she moved Hisui to lie down on the living room sofa.
"...Where's that Rushella? She seems to have ran out directly."
"Why did you have to force her to apologize? I know very well how pure-blooded vampires, let alone true ancestors, view half-vampires. It does not bother me either. After all, I think of her as a contemptible abomination too. But you--"
"I didn't do it for you."
Hisui screeched and stopped her.
He did not do it for Eruru.
"I was simply angry, that's all."
"I was angry at her for saying something like that. Whether human or half-vampire does not matter. But for her to thoughtlessly insult others like this makes me angry."
Hisui's face showed faint sadness.
As one of the people responsible, Mei spoke up to break the somber tone.
"Anyway... I have to apologize to you first. I played a part in causing the wine incident. Sorry."
"That really doesn't matter. I already decided a long time ago if I ever needed money, I'd sell off that collection."
Hisui's words did not carry sarcasm or self-mockery.
But Mei sighed deeply upon hearing them.
"...As I thought. I think I can understand how Rushella feels more or less."
"What? I am completely the victim here."
"I know. Everything is her fault. However, it's not like I can't understand how she feels. When a guy talks to his current girlfriend about his ex, it's only natural for her to be displeased."
"What are you talking about? Very regrettably, I have neither a current girlfriend nor an ex."
Hisui displayed a puzzled expression as Eruru calmly pointed things out.
"In other words -- what was important to you was not the bottle of wine but the promise. The promise you made with the vampire who bought the bottle -- Am I right? So the wine is inconsequential. Even breaking the bottle is fine. The reason lies in the fact that the beautiful woman to share the great wine no longer exists. So the most important thing is--"
"Don't talk like you understand everything. Stop analyzing on your own. Besides, I have no interest in wine."
"Even if that is true, Rushella understands things differently."
"When a current girlfriend finds out you still cherish mementos from the ex, surely pandemonium would result?"
"Like I said, I don't know what you two are getting at!? Don't turn every interpersonal relationship into some sort of equivalent exchange of love!?"
Hisui snapped with great annoyance but Mei and Eruru stared at him with a knowing expression.
"What kind of gaze is that? What do you want me to do?"
"You're not going to do anything? I am simply wondering if you're going to leave her alone like that."
"I too, feel that you cannot leave her alone. In a certain sense, keeping her by your side is the condition for maintaining her freedom."
"...How did it come to this?"
"No no, you're not being forced to do anything, okay? Just think of it this way, if the current girlfriend runs away from home after an argument, the boyfriend is responsible for chasing her and bringing her home. This has nothing to do with who's right or who's wrong."
"Are you really the type who can resist when you hear someone say 'Do not press the button under any circumstances'?"
Act quickly -- that was what Mei and Eruru's gazes urged.
Unable to withstand their wordless pressure, Hisui had no choice by sigh towards the heavens.
".........I'm going out to buy some juice."
" "Take care." "
It's all that guy's fault.
The girl repeated the same line over and over again in her heart, murmuring out loud at times.
But the agitation in her heart only increased instead.
After leaving home, she kept looking back for some reason.
No one came from behind.
This was only natural.
But once again she looked back.
"It's all... That guy's fault..."
She said it out again.
That's right, it's all that guy's fault.
Not only was he bound to the vampire destroyed a long time ago, he was also acting intimate with other women.
But still, what happened just now was also--
Reina called out to her.
Even on a holiday she was still wearing the school uniform. In stark contrast, Rushella was wearing a low-cut formal dress.
"You...... What is with this presence?"
Rushella could feel a terrifying presence from the classmate standing beside her and instinctively retreated to keep a distance.
Looking carefully, she found Reina holding a cross in her hand.
A vampire's greatest weakness.
A fashionable ornament would be harmless but the one held in Reina's hand was different.
This one had been blessed and sanctified, infused with her faith and extremely threatening to a vampire.
"Oh you mean this? Because I just came back from church......"
Reina pointed towards a certain direction.
Feeling the same indescribable presence from that direction, Rushella's expression became serious.
"Shut up, hearing that word makes me uncomfortable! I deliberately changed my route because I wanted to avoid that side..."
"Huh, you're not feeling well somewhere? There's a park over there, let's go over and rest for a bit."
Expressing care and concern, Reina approached.
Cross in hand.
"D-Don't come over! Put that thing away!"
"Eh, what's going on? Is there something wrong with this?"
"Don't come over, put that down!! Don't let me see it!!"
...Faced with this incomprehensible dispute, Reina finally put the cross to settle the affair even though her face showed complete puzzlement.
Drained by this dispute, Rushella's appearance convinced Reina she was unwell so she led Rushella to sit down on a bench in a nearby park.
"Are you okay? I can see you're holding a parasol. Did you get a heat stroke? I bought you a sports drink......"
"Like I said, I'd be fine if you put that thing away faster......"
Despite complaining verbally, Rushella took the sports drink and drank it.
Then she realized this was her first time drinking something like that.
"So humans drink something of this sort? Still, I think it'd be better if tasted sweeter."
"Ah, I guess people want to drink something sweet when they're tired."
"Yes, especially sweet blood."
Reina clearly did not understand.
Vampire and pious virgin, surely this impossible combination could not communicate on the same wavelength.
"Today... Why isn't Kujou-kun together with you? You two... Are living together, right?"
"...Who knows. After all, he's probably making out with that fake or the half-breed."
"......? Speaking of which, he does seem to be on quite good terms with Sudou-san and Kariya-san. They're always chatting together......"
Reina lowered her gaze as she spoke.
Unable to understand what Reina implied, Rushella tactlessly spoke out about a question that had been weighing on her mind for a long time.
"By the way, you seem to be staring at Hisui all the time. What's the matter, you're concerned about him?"
"N-Not really, it's not like I'm concerned... Umm...... You see, last time when I was kidnapped, he was the one who saved me, right? Though I don't remember much of it..."
"Ah, right...... Something like that."
Actually, Reina was bitten by a vampire instead.
Because her memories after being bitten became unclear, Reina herself had virtually forgotten all of what happened.
Hence, Hisui and his companions took advantage of her amnesia to fabricate a story about how she was kidnapped but fortunately, Hisui discovered it by chance and prevented a tragedy -- That was the plausible story they told Reina without mentioning the word "vampire" at all.
Kidnapped and then drugged unconscious, thus explaining the fuzzy memories -- this explanation seemed to have been accepted, so Reina was still none the wiser.
Hisui had also told Rushella about it, hoping she would not reveal the truth recklessly.
"But then... Umm....... I vaguely remember Kujou-kun... Umm...... It's him who saved me, right...? But when I asked him, he refused to tell me anything......"
"He not only saved you but also me as well. But he is supposed to..."
"Eh, were you involved in that incident as well, Rushella-san!?"
"No, umm...... Anyway, that guy belongs to me!!"
Rushella hastily brought out her trump card to dodge Reina's question.
Somehow she felt uncomfortable being in Reina's presence.
"Really... You two's relationship must be so close..."
"Hmph, but lately he's always taking me lightly!"
"Really? I think he's always cared for you deeply......"
"That's hard to say. By the way, when you're staring at that guy, why do you always avert your gaze as soon as he turns around?"
"N-Nothing, this is... Umm......."
"Just gaze if you want to gaze. Say whatever you want to say. What's wrong with that?"
Unprepared to find her maidenly secret exposed, Reina displayed a worried expression.
Oblivious to tact and worldly matters, the vampire fired off direct attacks one after another.
"...I don't really understand either. I've never experienced this before...... I was raised to ignore these kinds of matters to consider later in life......"
"What is that about? Is it the teachings of that particular deity?"
"Yes, my family... Our faith runs deep. When going to church on Sunday, they tell me I must wear my uniform...... There are also various rules on all sorts of things. Even simple fortune telling is forbidden. It's a bit annoying......"
The sheltered young lady had her own troubles.
But it was impossible for Rushella to understand.
"Mere fortune telling doesn't change anything. Only humans would rely on something like that. Are you one of them?"
"Really...? I think it works to a certain extent..."
"If you have something to say, say it; something you want to do, do it. Don't beat around the bush. Whoever I stare at, the target will always do my bidding obediently!"
That's clearly using your "Mystic Eyes," right? ...This was supposed to be Hisui's customary retort.
But the past familiar dialogue did not appear, causing Rushella to look around her, thinking of Hisui.
At this moment, her own words stabbed herself in the heart.
If you have something to say, say it.
Should she say it to him?
"......Things are not always that simple."
Although the two girl's faces did not match, they were in clear agreement on a rather crucial point.
Rushella stood up and said to Reina with an inscrutable expression.
"I'd like to make a request."
"As long as I'm able to help......"
I'm going out to buy some juice -- leaving those words behind, Hisui left the house.
But he did not return for a very long time.
Because -- he still had not found Rushella.
He tried attaching a tracking device to her before, but she threw a tantrum after she found out so he stopped doing that.
And she still did not have a cellphone.
Hisui had no choice but to follow the footsteps of ancient vampire hunters and search for Rushella based on a vampire's tendencies and characteristics.
Rushella had left after changing her clothes, taking no luggage with her. She was virtually penniless.
In most likelihood, she would probably return home by herself eventually. In that event, Mei and Eruru stationed at the house would inform Hisui.
In any case, Hisui decided to check the places where Rushella might have visited.
"......What sort of places are those?"
He had no idea at all.
After all, they always went out together. Now that he had to imagine where she might wander off alone, he had not a single clue.
Her greatest desire -- blood was supplied by his person. Other than that, Hisui could not think of another activity for her to while her time away.
Checking out all the places she had been to -- the way to school, the shopping district -- all of them, Hisui could find no signs of her.
Mei and Eruru's side offered no news either.
"What should I do now......"
The sun was about to set, signaling the arrival of a vampire's time of the day.
Once Rushella became fully active, her area of activity was going to be much wider.
I'd better go home first to plan -- Hisui made his decision and turned around to head home.
Walking along, as he turned a corner, he ran into the person he missed.
" "Ah." "
The two of them exclaimed as they pointed at each other.
Then a moment of silence.
Hisui was the first to speak up.
"...Where did you go?"
"None of your business."
Rushella's words stung.
She looked no different from when she went out, except she was now holding a brown paper bag conspicuously in her arms.
"What is that?"
"I-It's... I'm back from 'shopping'!"
"So you even learned a new word like that......"
"Then what business do you have!? Why are you here!?"
"That's my question instead."
Beneath the streetlamp they stared at each other.
Just as they were both about to speak up simultaneously--
A rich thick sweet aroma filled their surroundings.
So thick that the air was dyed a pink color, this gas seemed to carry poison.
Hisui instinctively sensed danger and frantically surveyed his surroundings.
The street at night was devoid of others.
Except for an outline of a figure in an old fashioned red robe, standing quietly.
In her right hand she held a small knife, shining sharply. On her left hand was a small bottle, the apparent source of the aroma.
"Could it be... You're the 'Witch'?"
"Be careful...... That outfit and fragrance, I remember them!!"
The figure approached the pair slowly.
Hisui and Rushella raised their alert.
Then the "Witch" acted unexpectedly.
Though slower than a vampire, she was still much more agile than Hisui.
As the two watched in alarm, she reached into her robe with her left hand and took out a new bottle.
This bottle was slightly bigger than the previous and just large enough to rest on her palm. It contained a liquid as red as fresh blood.
The "Witch" tossed the bottle towards their feet.
Dodging in time, they were not struck. The bottle simply shattered against the ground.
By the time they noticed the resulting smell, only then did Hisui and Rushella realize the "Witch" intended to produce this smell rather than strike them directly.
Fairy tales told of sun-dried lizards and frogs being cooked in cauldrons to concoct witches' potions -- currently, the poisonous gas before them was recreating a secret potion from witches of legend.
Hisui frowned and frantically covered his mouth and nose.
Despite the overwhelming stench -- there was no greatly debilitating effect.
He should be able to endure it.
But Rushella seemed quite unwell on the other hand.
Pressing her hand against her chest, she sank down on one knee.
"What, this is...... So unpleasant......"
"Hey, are you okay!? Pull yourself together."
"How does it taste...... This magical potion I cooked using blood and a secret recipe? Blame nothing but your keen sense of smell which has intensified the unpleasant stench. Particularly, your reaction towards the blood should be greater."
"This is... A poison targeting vampires?"
"That's right -- Even your race will be rendered immobile for a while after inhalation. This is -- enough!!"
The "Witch" sprang into action.
In order to protect Rushella who was incapacitated, Hisui stepped in front of her.
Rushella's cries were futile.
The "Witch" had her face obscured by the hood, revealing only the tempting smile hanging over the corner of her lips.
She swung the sharp blade.
The blade slashed at Hisui's arm which guarded Rushella's vulnerable state.
Hisui felt sharp pain.
However, the wound was not very deep.
He originally intended to launch a counterattack with his other hand but the person grabbed his fist. Without a doubt, the sensation on his fist felt like that of a female, but there was some kind of ointment giving a slippery feeling.
"You wish to protect her... In that case, you shall be 'cursed' first instead!"
Twisting the blade, she scraped across Hisui's arm, leaving a cruel trail of bloody script.
Hisui could not decipher it at all, but he was sure those were "words" of some language.
"This... What the heck......?"
The wound was shallow -- but Hisui immediately collapsed.
Rushella finally broke free from the potion's restraints and wielded her favorite short sword.
Then she activated her "mystic eyes."
Crimson light penetrated the "Witch," placing her under absolute command.
"Stand there obediently... Watch me take care of you personally!"
But completely unfazed, the "Witch" simply smacked her lips.
"Tsk...... Your servant saved you."
Realizing the situation was not in her favor, the "Witch" melted into the darkness and retreated.
Another reason she retreated was probably because she sensed someone approach.
But this was simply the conclusion of this particular hunt.
"Surely I will destroy you next time. Scram -- Vampires!!"
Completely unwilling to accept the outcome, but Rushella had no choice but to watch the "Witch" escape before her eyes.
Frantically, she hurried over to Hisui's side and picked him up in her arms.
"Pull yourself together. Given your constitution, this minor injury shouldn't be any problem, right!?"
"It's not supposed to... But...... The bleeding is not stopping...... What is going on......"
"Be strong! Your blood belongs completely to me... Don't waste it bleeding like this!!"
Rushella's words were arrogant as ever, but her tone of voice was already sobbing.
"Why, why did you have to protect me!? I'm a vampire, you know!? I am immortal! And it's currently at night even... You great big idiot!"
"Shut up...... Whether vampires or humans, it's irrelevant. This is something... I have to do......"
Hisui was still awake but he was finding it extremely hard to speak.
Something invisible, more terrifying than the wound, was eroding his body.
"Also, shouldn't you... Have something to say instead......? Say it... properly... for me....... You only have to... Do that first......"
Finishing his sentence with great difficulty, Hisui fainted.
"Hey... What is going on? Pull yourself together!!"
Rushella cried hysterically as she shook Hisui's body in her embrace.
But he did not wake up.
The next day -- in a sickroom at Seidou Hospital.
Hisui was transported to this comprehensive hospital closest to the scene. This place was also closely affiliated with the "Supernatural Investigations Section" that Eruru belonged to.
After carrying Hisui home in her arms, Rushella told Eruru and Mei what happened and they immediately called an ambulance for him.
In order to guarantee absolute peace, Hisui was being quarantined in the same room where Reina was once confined.
This implied that he was suffering from no ordinary illness.
In actual fact, Hisui's body only had a shallow scratch -- normally he should heal instantly and be out of the hospital.
However, he still remained unconscious.
Under Eruru's supervision, Hisui had undergone all sorts of tests. On the other hand, Rushella and Mei obtained leave from school and waited quietly beside him for results.
Sitting on the bench outside his room, the two girls' faces were filled with grief.
"The test results came out. The wound is not serious. Given his constitution, it should have healed a long time ago. However, it continues to bleed nonstop. As for the reason -- most likely the knife was poisoned."
Eruru held the patient's chart in one hand as she reported to the two girls. Her face was equally solemn.
"Poison...? What on earth......"
"Based on the analysis of the poison, its primary ingredient is the mandrake. Naturally, it is the most medicinally potent part -- the 'root.' Most likely the missing root from the flower we found at the flowerbed."
Eruru replied to Mei's question in somber tones as she flipped through the charts.
"The mandrake's poison is most effective when ingested orally. Provided the poison was properly prepared, the target, even a vampire, would be immobilized for a period of time. But due to the taste, it is extremely difficult to have a vampire drink it without noticing. Hence it was coated on the knife. Furthermore, this is not purely a 'poison' but should be regarded as a 'curse' medium."
"'Curse'... What does it do?"
Rushella asked quietly.
She was the original intended target of the curse. But Hisui suffered as a result of protecting her.
"Nonstop bleeding. No matter how we try to staunch the wound, the blood continues to flow. This is most likely a curse meant for taking care of vampires. A mere poison cannot defeat a vampire but by making wounds bleed nonstop, a vampire can be weakened continuously. For a vampire, blood is the source of life and the root of one's power. Even though large scale blood loss will not lead to death, a vampire will still be immobilized. Then seizing the opportunity, a death blow can be applied -- this is probably the witch's plan?"
"Since it targets a vampire... What happens when it's used on a human?"
"The result is the same. However, the damage is naturally much higher against a human. More accurately, a human would rapidly bleed to death. The only reason Kujou-san is still alive is thanks to his constitution conferring superior regeneration and blood-making, thereby offering some resistance to the curse."
Because it was Hisui, he could still endure.
But death was simply a matter of time.
"Of course we tried a transfusion, but for some reason, his blood type keeps shifting, making all blood types incompatible. This is likely a kind of curse produced by the poison. In other words, once he bleeds dry there is no hope for recovery. Even right now, the blood loss is slowly draining his life drop by drop. If this continues -- he probably only has one day left to live."
Eruru's words were completely emotionless.
But her face was filled with suffering.
Mei was the same.
Only Rushella turned away expressionlessly and walked towards the elevator.
"What a stupid guy. No self-awareness as a servant."
"Hey, you're really going too far!"
Mei rushed over and held her by the shoulder.
But Rushella did not look back.
Only her shoulders trembled nonstop.
"For him to die and cast aside his duties of taking care of me, it's completely unforgivable! Staying alive to serve me is the greatest prerogative of a servant!"
Sensing Rushella's true feelings, Mei remained silent.
This time, Eruru spoke up and made a suggestion.
"Based on all sorts of information I gathered at Kujou-san's home, there was one point -- the witch who creates a poison definitely possesses the corresponding antidote. The one who curses others always knows how to lift the curse. Finding the witch and bringing her to justice -- is the only way to save Kujou-san now."
"Also -- When using the 'mystic eyes,' you must disrupt the target's concentration first. No matter how much mental strength she had, so long as you take her by surprise, even your power can render her powerless."
Rushella ran into the elevator.
As Mei watched Rushella leave, Eruru cautioned her.
"I hope you can stay by her side to assist her. The enemy must be caught alive, otherwise there would be no point. Now that Kujou-san is unavailable, someone has to act in support for her."
"No problem. I'll rely on you to update me on the situation, Eruru-chan."
"Very well... I will continue researching and see if there are other solutions."
As the three girls pursued their respective goals, they prayed in their hearts for Hisui's safety.
His life at crossroads, Hisui's survival was still currently uncertain.
Translator's Notes and References
- Lesbians... female vampires: a reference to the famous gothic novella Carmilla which features the eponymous female vampire who preys on young women. Predates Bram Stoker's Dracula.
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