Silver Cross and Draculea:Volume03 Chapter4
Chapter 4 - Nightmare First Thing in the Morning
After Hisui left, he found Rushella much easier than he imagined.
Having left the inn, Rushella was on the main road, walking towards the beach.
However, she was not wearing the yukata she had worn after coming out of the bath. Instead, she had gone somewhere to change into the swimsuit she had worn during the daytime.
By the time Hisui caught up to her, she had already crossed the beach and reached the edge of the waves.
"Dressed like that, are you thinking of swimming? Be careful or you'll just repeat what happened to Kariya. Stop making a fuss."
"...You're so noisy."
"Although it's already night, it's fine if you want to wear your swimsuit... But if you drown, I'm not gonna save you. I'm not a particularly good swimmer either."
As the sound of the waves vaguely filled the air, spontaneously... The two of them started taking a stroll.
"Oh... By the way."
"Uh... I admit I was wrong."
"What did you do wrong?"
"Well... Umm, I'm not too sure either."
This terrible answer made Rushella even more displeased.
"Does this even count as an apology? Didn't that foster parent of yours teach you properly?"
"That's really harsh, you know......"
Hisui noticed it vaguely.
Every time his foster parent was mentioned, his arrogant master would throw a temper tantrum.
Seeing as they were both vampires, especially 'True Ancestors' as well, clearly conversations related to Miraluka might lead somewhere related to Rushella's lost memories—However, she always sulked.
"About what happened during the day."
"About that... sunscreen."
"Thank Senpai if you wanna thank someone. She made it specially for you, busy as she is."
Instantly, Hisui suffered another beating.
Rushella did not use her full strength, but this lukewarm level of force actually expressed her inner displeasure even more clearly.
"Why are you hitting me?"
"You're being noisy so shut up. Besides, I don't care even if I can't sunbathe during the daytime. The way humans worship sunlight, treating the sun's blessings as a supreme existence, that's such a narrow viewpoint. Vampires are unable to live under sunlight, neither do we appreciate how precious the sun may be, but because of that—"
"They understand the beauty of the night, right?"
Rushella turned around.
A simple and ordinary motion. However, Hisui could not help but stop walking.
That beautiful face, illuminated by the lighting known as moonlight; that gorgeous body, clad in flimsy fabric; that clear, snow-white skin—Everything was so perfect and flawless.
Rather than Rushella serving as a foil to the beauty of the night, it would be better to say that night existed for her sake—That was the kind of illusion he felt.
This was the vampire—no, Rushella—under the night sky.
Whether a vampire under the night sky or an exceptionally beautiful vampire, Hisui should have been used to these sights already despite his relatively young life. However, the sight of Rushella at night, from the very first night they met till now—She has always been so breathtaking.
"I never thought that you'd still be so cute."
"What did you just say?"
Rushella asked suspiciously.
Her crimson gaze was not burning with the light of the mystic eyes. Although the mystic eyes had no effect on Hisui, he could see her eyes glimmering from a magical power different from the mystic eyes.
Speaking of a vampire's charm at night, it was a seductive quality that drew mortals into a demonic realm.
Hence, Hisui did not stare directly.
"You came chasing after me, yet you refuse to look me in the eye. What an incomprehensible guy you are. Who knows how your parents taught you."
"How unfortunate, I was raised by a vampire."
"It's not like I hate her."
"I simply hate the fact... that it seems like I'm always one step behind."
"No matter what's being said, what's being done, that woman's name always comes up."
Rushella spoke with chagrin as she started walking again.
Hisui had no words to answer and could only follow behind her.
'That's normal since I've lived with her for so long.' 'I know very clearly you're not her.'—These kinds of explanations were very legitimate and anyone could easily say them. But for some reason, Hisui could not bring himself to voice them.
Hence he only chose to escape this mood.
"...Why did you believe Touko-san?"
"She's probably not lying. Perhaps she's a little obsessive. Maybe she died a wrongful death. But still, you decided to help her. She's just a human. And a dead human at that, yet you've gone out of your way to fulfill her long-cherished wish, why is that?"
"You actually know already, right?"
Rushella answered with a question, not even looking back.
Hisui answered affirmatively through silence while deducing her true intentions.
Indeed, in the classroom at the very beginning, when Rushella had proposed helping Touko, he had already sensed it vaguely.
Why would Rushella specifically go out of her way to help a mere human?
"It's because... I resonated with her. Having no memories is quite painful, yes?"
"I think so too."
Fellow sufferers of the same affliction... Applying such a description would be too simple.
The pain brought about by amnesia that Rushella occasionally expressed was something that Hisui could never comprehend.
On that day, suddenly waking up to a surprise in a strange and unfamiliar world, without any kin by her side, not even knowing her own identity—Touko's situation was actually much better than hers.
"So that's why... You decided to help her?"
"That's not the sole reason, you know? Umm... That vampire who bit her, he offends me."
"Drinking blood is understandable, yes...... But etiquette cannot be ignored, right? Whether taking victims as servants or simply killing them, umm... But to keep them bound even after death, that's unacceptable..."
Rushella sounded as though she were making excuses.
Hisui could also gather a slight hint that she was trying to test the way he felt.
Rushella herself was probably self-aware of this, hence she did not face Hisui when talking to him.
"About Touko-san, I think she can't let go because of her own obsession. Not passing onto the next life is because of that. The wound on her neck is a reminder to herself not to forget... That's my feeling."
"......Even if that's the case, the cause still lies with that member of my kin, right? Being bitten by a vampire is a serious matter."
"To think you'd say that so shamelessly when you keep drinking my blood all the time."
"Y-You're a separate matter, okay!? Drinking your blood doesn't cause you any problems. More importantly, you belong to me!"
Rushella turned around and snarled.
Coincidentally, a wave crashed down by her feet, causing Rushella to lose balance.
Although it was a calm wave that did not rise above the ankles, "living water" was a major threat to vampires, especially seawater which contained salt with its exorcising and purifying properties. Once splattered, seawater caused local paralysis.
Hisui was unable to catch her in time. Rushella fell and landed on her bottom.
Her body was also splashed with seawater.
Her delicate body trembling, Rushella could not help but hug herself tightly.
She felt chilled to the bone and a sense of paralysis spreading throughout her entire body.
As a pure vampire, she was even more sensitive to living water than Eruru.
Even if it was not fatal, in the worst case, it could render her in a temporary state of suspended animation.
"This has happened before, right. The second day we met, you were drenched in heavy rain."
"Y-You're being noisy, shut up......!"
Hisui smiled wryly and covered her with the jacket he had taken when he left the inn.
It should help her stay warm to some extent.
"Here, can you stand up?"
Rushella obediently held Hisui's outstretched hand and left the seawater.
"I-I'm not going to thank you, okay!"
"I'm not expecting it in the first place."
"Y-You are in charge of serving me, showing utmost attentive care is only natural!"
"H-How much longer are you going to hold my hand!?"
Indeed, Hisui had been holding Rushella's hand all this time.
And in a fairly forceful grip.
"Why... are you holding my hand? C-Could it be, that... You want to... hold hands with me?"
Rushella spoke with an expression that was not altogether displeased.
For a vampire, especially at night, shaking Hisui's slender hand off would be a piece of cake.
But she did not do so.
"L-Let me say this to you...... As a reward for your everyday efforts... I'll allow you slightly... Umm... To touch a little. In the future when I attend balls, it's also your responsibility to accompany me as my escort..."
Finding a legitimate reason, Rushella did not release her hand.
Seeing her shy appearance, Hisui spoke up.
But his voice sounded a bit awkward.
"I can touch?"
Immediately, Hisui's empty left hand grabbed Rushella's breast.
Cries of shock were emitted from both Rushella and Hisui's mouths.
"H-How dare you!?"
Before she could stop him... Hisui's left hand was already squeezing Rushella's bulging breast, his five fingers sinking deeply into her supple flesh.
"W-What are you doing!? Th-This behavior......!"
"Because you said I could touch."
That awkward tone of voice again, but unmistakably, it was Hisui's voice.
However, Rushella did not notice these suspicious signs but simply blushed and twisted her body.
"R-Release me now... This......!"
Hisui's left hand moved.
Without causing Rushella any pain, but firm enough to hurt if she tried to escape—Using this amazingly fine-tuned level of force, he held her... Or rather, he was groping her.
"S-Stop it... This kind of thing... Unacceptable...... This......"
The bikini top was already very skimpy. Currently, it could be said that Hisui's hand was touching her skin directly.
Who knew if it was because her unguarded breast was being groped by him, or for some other reason—Rushella was pleading in a sweet tone of voice.
"L-Let go now! This... No......"
Tears appeared in the corners of Rushella's eyes.
But Hisui's attention was directed elsewhere.
He was desperately grabbing his left hand with his right, trying to pull his left hand away from Rushella's breast.
"Y-You... what on earth are you doing? Hurry, let go......!"
"...I'm trying very hard right now......! My hand just moved on its own......!!"
"My mouth didn't listen to me either and said strange things on its own! What the heck is going on...!?"
Indeed... He was not joking. His left hand really did move on its own.
Not some kind of uncontrollable impulse of puberty... But it truly moved on its own.
And his mouth spoke words contrary to his will.
In a state of panic over this body that did not belong to him, Hisui did not have the leisure to enjoy the soft sensations experienced by his left hand.
"Hey hey, this whatever situation is really quite serious!?"
"How would I know!? Hurry and let go! S-Stop it... Don't use your nails to scratch through the fabric!"
Rushella finally reached the limits of her embarrassment and swung her fist at Hisui's face.
Nevertheless, his stubborn left hand continued to grip Rushella's breast firmly, refusing to let go.
"Looks like you're not faking it... What on earth is going on!?"
"As if I would know! Hey, you'd better hurry and help think of a way too! A bit of violence is fine, just get my hand away!"
"Don't give me orders while you're having your way with my breast! But if this continues, it's definitely unforgivable!"
Rushella grabbed Hisui's left hand with both hands.
Given the situation, she intended to use her full strength—Just as she was about to pull, she discovered another hand overlapping Hisui's left hand.
With even whiter skin than Hisui—more accurately, it was translucent, beyond the realm of "white."
The translucent hand and Hisui's hand were overlapping and Rushella recognized it.
Exchanging glances with Hisui, the two figured out the truth.
"What are you doing, Touko-san!?"
Hisui directed his question beside him where Touko was smiling with a mischievous expression.
"Oh dear, I'm caught red-handed now?"
"Did you really think you won't get caught!? What kind of performance are you trying to pull here?"
"This is what's called 'possession.' I tried it and it worked. Although it doesn't work on girls, it seems to be fine with Hisui-kun."
"What... How thoroughly are you going to possess my body!?"
"Hmm... It looks like the limit is controlling the left side of your body and saying a few words. I will practice more and try harder❤"
"Could you not say such dark things with such a cute face!? Why are you doing this!?"
"That's right, I don't care if you control this guy, but why did you make him grope my breast!?"
"Watching you two just makes me so impatient. Two people walking on the beach with no one else... Can't you try harder given this wonderful background? Especially you, Hisui-kun..."
"No no, I only came to bring her back......"
"Look, you're both alive and have bodies, why not have a passionate romance? Once you're dead, it'll be too late, right?"
Her words sounded so convincing no matter what.
As expected of a dead person's speech.
"...Hey, don't change the subject! Could you stop deciding on your own to control someone else's body, okay!?"
"That's right, I'm a vampire, this guy is a human... We are master and servant! Not... Not that kind of... relationship......"
Despite words of refutation, Rushella's voice grew softer and softer, her tone also became hesitant.
Touko crossed her arms and examined the two of them, finally shrugging in exasperation.
"Well, whatever. To be honest, rather than worrying about your relationship, I'd rather taste the bittersweet springtime of youth personally."
"Besides, since I'm haunting Hisui-kun's body anyway, whatever you do, I'll follow you automatically."
"Wah, this is so troublesome!"
"Seriously, not only am I getting stared at all day, even my body gets snatched away......"
Wouldn't it be better to hurry and hold a service to help her pass on—Rushella and Hisui communicated through their eyes. Touko began to smile mischievously again.
"Say... Umm, since I can converse normally with you two, that means that Hisui-kun has regained his freedom, you know? Besides, I can't control him for long periods of time."
Only prompted by her did he realize.
Indeed, since Touko was no longer in Hisui's body, his control should no longer be affected.
Clearly not under influenced by someone else—Yet Hisui's left hand continued to grab Rushella's breast.
Hisui finally regained his senses.
Then preparing himself for the worst, he closed his eyes.
Farewell, cruel world.
"You great big idiot!!"
A completely merciless fist of iron crashed into his face, sending Hisui pitifully falling into the sand.
Although he collapsed, his left hand still maintained its posture in the shape of Rushella's breast.
"How did it feel?"
Touko approached and asked. In a hazy state of mind, Hisui left his last words.
"A perfect combination of volume and softness......"
"I'm glad you enjoyed it❤ Originally, I should use my own body to thank you, but it's a shame that not even my bones remain."
Touko smiled tenderly and made a joke with dark humor. Hisui did not know if he should laugh or cry.
But the next sentence he heard caused all his nerves to tense up.
"Flirting with a vampire, my, what a hobby you have there eh?"
Hisui stood up.
A tall woman was standing with her back to the moonlight.
"Going out with a vampire at night isn't really commendable. You should be a little more vigilant."
"Who is this?"
Not recognizing her, Rushella asked Hisui.
"Kariya's colleague. She's supposed to be an official detective. So...... What business do you have here?"
"I came to warn you. It seems like you're assisting Kariya Eruru, so I'd like to advise you to mind your own business. There was no vampire in the coffin. That's the entire situation, yes?"
"Even so, isn't assistance voluntary?"
"Let me remind you that it's smarter not to go against the nation's interests, okay? If this sort of unofficial investigation goes wrong, your personal safety is not guaranteed. Besides, you probably have no idea, but she is actually—"
"A dhampir. Is there a problem?"
Hisui cut her off.
Rangetsu showed surprise but immediately regained her composure and mocked sarcastically.
"So you actually knew... Yet you can still hang around her all the time. Plus this vampire as well. Are you really human?"
Rangetsu did not know about Hisui's constitution.
Hence, despite mocking him, she was actually worrying for Hisui's safety.
"If you want to investigate me, I welcome you any time. But that will really be a waste of taxpayers' money."
"...What an arrogant brat. Fine, I'll pass. If you were no longer human, Kariya Eruru would surely execute you instantly. However, I never would have expected her to reveal her identity to you... From my observation, she has always hidden it quite well."
"She doesn't trust me that much. I discovered it on my own."
"Oh dear... How unexpected. Looks like you have a few talents of your own. She probably allowed you to accompany her because she appreciates your smarts? And that ghost beside you, you really must have a taste for the supernatural, eh?"
(...She can see her?)
Rangetsu's words clearly indicated that she could see Touko.
After all, as a member of the Supernatural Investigations Section, this level of ability was apparently standard.
"Although I'm not sure why she's possessing you, do you need an exorcism? I have professionals in my team."
"Not necessary. Although the chill troubled me for a while, I'm already used to it now."
"Really...... If you ever part ways with Kariya Eruru, feel free to contact me any time. I wish to talk to you."
Saying that, she threw her name card straight towards Hisui, flying through the dark night.
Her motion was like throwing a poker card, but before it could reach Hisui, Rushella had already thrown her short sword to strike it down onto the sand.
"...What are you doing?"
"If you want to recruit my servant, you'll have to go through me first. How displeasing you are."
Rushella spoke unhappily.
Rangetsu laughed lightly and nimbly leapt off the sand.
Within the blink of an eye, her stern and cold face had already appeared right before Rushella's face.
Despite the unfavorable mobility on a beach's sandy surface, she had closed their distance in by a simple leap.
Rushella reacted reflexively.
Because she instinctively judged this woman as a threat.
She reached straight for the target's heart.
Given the length and sharpness of Rushella's fingers, combined with her speed and sturdiness, penetrating a body of flesh would be a piece of cake.
After laughing derisively, only then did Rangetsu react.
No, more accurately, she only started moving after confirming Rushella's movements.
Her counterattack was a very simple sweeping kick delivered at mid level.
She first withdrew and folded her long and slender leg, then shot it out like a spring.
The exchange only happened within the blink of an eye, resulting in an instant, decisive victory.
The loser—was Rushella.
Her attack missed and she suffered a kick to her abdomen, sending her flying into the air, finally landing in the shallows.
"This is nothing to a vampire, right? No actual harm done. Besides, it's even nighttime as well. Oh right, but isn't the seaside rather troublesome? There's the danger of drowning."
Rangetsu simply spoke indifferently, completely unconcerned with Rushella's safety.
"I hate vampires the most. Naturally, dhampirs are not exempted. If the higher-ups make the decision, I will destroy them any time."
Hisui glared at Rangetsu without saying a word.
His eyes were burning with distinct hostility, a rare occasion. But Rangetsu turned around, unfazed.
"I would advise you not to get any funny ideas. The only reason why this vampire lives is because there are no concrete records of her attacking any human... That's all. No matter what the reason is, once she makes a move, she'll be added to our extermination list. Please pass that onto her."
Saying that, Rangetsu departed leisurely.
Hearing Touko's sad voice, Hisui nodded. Instead of chasing after Rangetsu, rescuing Rushella was more important.
Rangetsu was not lying. A simple blunt attack could not kill a vampire at night.
Instead of causing direct damage, her kick was intended to send Rushella falling into the sea.
What was surprising was her speed that surpassed a vampire at night.
"Are you okay......?"
At Rushella's location, the seawater was at waist-level.
Hisui picked her up in his arms. Rushella was already completely pale, her lips blue, having lost all strength in her body.
After retrieving her short sword that was embedded in the sand, Hisui silently carried Rushella on his back and started returning to the inn.
Touko followed behind him, gazing solemnly at Hisui's back.
For some reason, she did not circle around in front of them.
Touko did not want to see Hisui's face at this time.
"I was thinking of fetching you but this happened? What on earth took place to develop into this situation?"
As soon as Hisui stepped into the inn, Eruru asked him in surprise.
After all, it was only natural to be surprised at the sight of Rushella completely drenched, carried on Hisui's back.
"It's all your colleague's fault. That Rangetsu person."
"I'd like to know too."
After handing Rushella over to Mei and Kirika to take care of her, Hisui told Eruru about everything that happened on the beach just now.
"...I see. Looks like she is tracking down the vampire too."
"Didn't she conclude herself that there was no vampire in the coffin? Why would she come here then?"
"I am guessing it is what the higher-ups wanted. There was definitely no vampire in the coffin but there could be other coffins. Or perhaps there were some other vampire-related clues. Putting aside the truth, someone in the higher-ups with a close relation with her must have decided and sent her here to investigate. Then following the obvious trail, she found us—Probably something like that."
"Competing factions, struggles for power, everyone is secretly vying for domination. When she disparaged you in that underground facility last time, was she taunting the opposing faction?"
"It probably does carry that level of significance. After all, it is true that no vampire was found. There is nothing the opposing faction could say. The ones holding power in the organization basically understand very well."
Looks like that Rangetsu woman's social skills were quite smooth and slick, in a different way from Eruru.
Furthermore, in terms of dealing with vampires, she also possessed the corresponding capability.
Hisui really did not want to make an enemy out of someone like her.
"She looks like she really hates vampires. Are the hardliners intending to catch the vampire first then secretly destroy him?"
"Although it's public knowledge that she hates vampires, her boss is actually a conservative. Perhaps the orders are to prioritize capture over extermination."
"That doesn't sound too conservative actually. Instead of advocating coexistence with vampires... Catching them and conducting research... Is that what it means to be conservative?"
"Indeed. In contrast, the hardliners advocate instant execution of everything harmful to humans, no matter what. As a compromise of these two camps, the current policy prescribes tolerance for vampires that have not attacked humans."
"So... Which side do you belong to?"
Eruru did not answer.
When they first met, surely she would have declared herself in the hardliner camp without hesitation.
Then what about... now?
"Your room is apparently prepared already. I'll take you there, follow me."
Hisui did not press the issue further. He followed her.
"But I feel kind of bad. A single room for me alone? You girls don't have a huge room but you need to squeeze four people there?"
"Genders need to sleep in separate rooms, right? It's not like we can't split the group in half. Obviously this is the only way."
Eruru stopped and opened the door.
Appearing before their eyes was a dimly lit Japanese style room. The floor was entirely filled with blankets.
"This is... Perhaps?"
"The bedding storage."
Eruru stated simply.
The bedding storage—Just as its name implied, it was the store room for keeping blankets and other bedding supplies.
Despite serving various purposes in different inns, they always had a common function as a storeroom for miscellaneous items, and they were not supposed to be rented out for customers to stay in.
"Eh——What kind of joke is this!? Why would they open this for customers!?"
"Originally, I was the only one planning to stay at this inn. Now that our numbers increased all at once, but their rooms are already fully booked, this cannot be helped... So that is the situation."
"You can't be serious... There's no place to lie down here. The room is completely occupied by blankets."
"This cannot be helped. It is the bedding storage."
"Also, the rent does not come cheap. The part I paid for you already, you need to fully reimburse me later."
"Eh, I need to pay for it out of my own pocket!? And so expensive!? Living in the bedding storage!?"
"After all, we're not on an official investigation. Besides, this is originally unavailable for guests. They only allowed you to live in it after I negotiated with them. Expensive is only normal."
"Uh, this... Fine......"
Although Eruru's explanation made sense, Hisui could not accept it entirely.
Clearly, a room's price should be in direct proportion with its quality.
Although he had many more complaints, Hisui could only swallow them, fearful of the risk that Eruru might simply kick him out. In any case, he decided to first make sure he had a place to sleep. Hisui entered the room.
"This is so dark... Where's the light switch?"
"I think it would be better to keep the lights off, yes? There might be spattered bloodstains... Rather, because this room was not meant for people to live in, there might be many filthy stains. What you do not see will not bother you."
"Hey, did you just say spattered bloodstains? You did say that, right!?"
"I said it."
"Eh, now you admit it directly!? I was thinking you might deny it a bit first!?"
"Hurry up and get rid of those fantasies."
"Why are you counseling me... Speaking of which, this room is that type of room you mentioned, isn't it!?"
"Because it is the bedding storage."
"Bedding storage = a room with an unspeakable past, does such an equation exist!? And so expensive too, what the heck is going on!?"
"It is all because no one normally lives in this room. Besides, the inn consented only because I negotiated. Please be understanding."
Eruru's expression looked as though she was listening to a raving madman.
Her adorable face did not show any emotion while she simply spoke severe words in an indifferent tone of voice.
"B-But, isn't it serious with spattered bloodstains...? Shouldn't there be some exorcism charms?"
"Do not worry, they have been ripped off already."
"That's a great cause for worry! Don't go unsealing the charms!!"
"Having exorcism charms in a room where someone is living in would not be very appropriate, right? Are you trying to express your dissatisfaction with my thoughtful service?"
"What are you getting angry for!? This inn has a problem if it's got a bloodstained room in the first place, doesn't it!?"
"Although the inn was not too willing, they finally agreed. Well, in fact, renting this room out in itself was quite a stretch. In the end, I forced the issue by requesting repeatedly that 'This person insists on living here' so the inn finally relented."
"Now even the inn hates me!! Don't go making use of your negotiation skills in this kind of area!!"
"Do not worry. Even though I tried, the exorcism charms are not entirely ripped out. After all, they are perfectly intact on the underside of the tatami."
"Of course I'm worrying!! Doesn't that make it even more terrifying!!"
It looked like things had gone beyond the issue of whether he could sleep or not.
Whether he could leave this room alive in the morning, that would be a serious question.
"Is it really okay...? I really feel like there's a huge problem, okay?"
"You have been possessed already, right? What difference does it make, one more or one less? Isn't there an old saying, 'being haunted by one ghost is as bad as being haunted by two,' right?"
"The difference is huge...... Jeez, whatever, I'm not gonna turn on the light then. I'll just not think about anything and sleep directly!!"
Hisui sighed with complete self-abandon and entered the dark room.
In order to stay oblivious of his surroundings, he casually covered his head with a blanket.
"Then a goodnight to you. Sweet dreams."
"...I won't forget this."
Grumbling from beneath a blanket, Hisui closed his eyes and headed off to the land of dreams.
Who knew if it were a blessing or a curse, but Hisui rapidly fell asleep.
He was probably exhausted from this and that happening.
There were no nightmares. Neither did he wake up in the middle of the night. He slept through the night and morning arrived directly.
Although he had not set an alarm on his cellphone, he still woke up at the usual time.
And just as usual, a warm and soft sensation was pressing on his chest.
A sweet fragrance.
The feeling of his neck bitten.
As well as—Sharp pain.
Opening his eyes, he found Rushella lying on top of him, slurping as she drank blood from his neck.
"......You're even doing this during a trip!!"
"Stop being so noisy, you're making a ruckus early in the morning!!"
Probably recovered after a night's rest, Rushella's expression revealed nothing about the injuries she suffered the night prior.
Just as usual, she was embracing him tightly, having her daily meal.
"Ouch——!! Damn it, you're sucking too much at once!!"
"You're being noisy so shut up! I got kicked by that woman and fell into the sea, right!? So right now, I need to drink to my fill! Just lie still and don't make a fuss!"
"I don't wanna~!!"
"Watch me put you in your place......!!"
A boy and a girl, both dressed in yukatas, were wrestling with each other.
This sort of clothing was very susceptible to getting pulled open.
In actual fact, Hisui's collar was already messed up by Rushella's hand, leaving his chest open wide, almost half naked.
And as a result of Hisui's struggles, Rushella's clothing had become a bit... Disheveled.
Also because this was her first time wearing Japanese style clothing, the sash was not tied securely.
Hence, when Hisui struggled with his arms and legs, he reached for the collar and caused the chest portion of Rushella's yukata to slide off.
A bountiful bosom jumped right in front of his eyes.
Perhaps because they were staying outside overnight, or maybe because she was not wearing Hisui's shirt as usual like at home, it was fortunate that Rushella was wearing a bra properly.
Even so—wrapped in a white and lacy bra, her breasts were drawing Hisui's full and complete attention through their sheer overwhelming volume.
"Not allowed to look——!!"
Her left and right hands alternated to deliver a series of slaps, turning Hisui's head into a rattle drum.
Naturally, Rushella's intense exertion also caused her bosom to wobble and shake from side to side, nonstop.
A man's instincts conferred Hisui with astounding vision despite the high-speed motion of his head. Wobbling intensely in all directions, his eyes captured clear images of the dangling fruit.
"I already said, not allowed to look!!"
"Then cover it up yourself!"
"You're noisy so shut up!!"
In an attempt to hide her exposed bosom, Rushella directly pressed her chest against Hisui's chest.
Yes, it was hidden now, but this caused new problems.
"Hey hey, Rushella-san... Could you stop that? Pressed like this together, it's really... Although there was a bath towel separating us last time... I'm half naked with my chest bare today, even with your bra in between, it's really disastrous......"
"What's so disastrous!? Apart from the blood in your entire body rushing down and concentrating in your lower body!?"
Rushella was able to read the bloodflow of a person she was touching. Hence she retorted after analyzing.
Indeed, all the blood in his body was converging there.
Even if that was not his intention, it was also morning.
And there was even someone pressing her breasts against him.
Oh the woes of a man.
"Umm, sorry... Let's talk about blood drinking and apologies another time. Could you stop locking me down with your legs? With your lovely skin, it's very disastrous for me to be caught in between those smooth, beautiful legs......"
"What kind of nonsense are you babbling about!? Blood drinking must come first!! After I'm done with your blood, cover up your eyes, then I'll fix my clothes and leave!!"
"Can we discuss this sequence a little more...?"
"So noisy, shut up!!"
Thinking about nothing but biting his neck and drinking blood, Rushella pressed her weight down harder to prevent Hisui from escaping.
The two were entangled tightly together, with only a soft bosom in between them.
"Hey, seriously... This is very bad......"
Rushella licked her lips and approached.
Hisui closed his eyes, fallen into despair, focusing his thoughts on trying to get his disobedient lower body to calm down at least.
Just at this moment, a savior suddenly descended.
The blanket covering Hisui and Rushella's lower bodies was actually bulging with something the two had not noticed.
" "Eh—!?" "
Under their surprised gaze, the bulge squirmed like a giant caterpillar—Then Mei popped out.
"Eh—!? When did you get here!?"
"I arrived earlier than this girl here! I was actually planning for a nocturnal assault when the time was ripe, but ended up oversleeping. So now it's dawn❤ That would make it a 'morning assault', right?"
"You and your damn assaults! What are you planning now!?"
"Oh dear, isn't it obvious? Let's. Make. Babies."
Mei smiled seductively and joined in intimate state between the two people.
Rather than a yukata, she was wearing a babydoll nightgown. This translucent underwear naturally held true to its excellent tradition of skimpy and erotic design.
"...So, could you move aside?"
"Who are you asking to move aside!? This guy's mine!!"
On top of Hisui's body, a battle between a vampire and an artificial human was about to start.
But before the battle could officially begin, Mei surprisingly offered a compromise.
"Or how about this, after all, since our goals are different, let's just split things up. You go ahead and suck blood from Hi-kun's neck while I enjoy his lower half properly..."
"I see... That's right, I want to get to fixing up my clothes faster. If we do it together, subduing this guy will be much easier!!"
"How could you two ally together!? Hey, stop it!!"
"No problem, just relax......"
Mei readily took off the outer layer of her babydoll and threw it aside.
Her well-developed figure was displayed before Hisui's eyes.
A massive bust on Rushella's level. Voluptuous thighs and buttocks.
Hisui had clearly seen all this before, but the stimulating nature of her attire was too potent.
In addition, hunting his lower body, Mei was crawling around on all fours... Like a female leopard ready to pounce on her prey.
But that was not all there was to it.
If it were just visual stimulation, Hisui could still manage and suppress.
But Mei had brought out an even more devastating weapon.
Hisui did not know if it was by chance or by design.
Perhaps God's gift or the Devil's sacrifice.
Her voluptuous butt was pointed straight at Hisui's face.
Fine, even so, he could still manage to maintain a shred of sanity. Desperately mustering his final strength, he resolved to turn his face away.
However, perhaps because she was spending a night away from home or because she was always thinking about having babies every moment... On her butt was what one would call victory underwear.
It was a pink thong.
The tiny scrap of fabric, buried in the valley of her posterior, completely failed to cover up the overwhelming presence of those childbearing hips.
Storing a thick layer of fat, that luxuriant butt was smooth and glistening.
Seeing the fatal object swaying before his eyes, Hisui's brain short circuited. It was a miracle that blood did not spurt out from his nose.
He could not endure any longer.
Abandoning a human's dignity and chastity, Hisui closed his eyes.
"...You girls should behave yourselves!!"
A cold voice made Hisui open his eyes.
It was... Kirika.
Indeed, he was not fighting a losing battle in isolation.
Isn't the vice-president here as well?
"Senpai, I'm so glad you're here... Hurry and pull these two away......"
As Hisui relayed a message for help, he instantly realized something was amiss.
Kirika's voice came from within the room, not from the door.
"...Where are you?"
"No, umm...... You see, you don't have a window, so I was thinking it must be quite stuffy in here, and wondered if you would feel thirsty, so I made some herbal tea... Cold tea. But I found you still sleeping... So before I knew it, I was waiting in a corner of the room......"
Kirika shyly raised a cup and explained.
She was dressed in a proper yukata with her hair coiled up behind her head, a great match for her Japanese attire and very feminine.
But what she had done was on the same level as Rushella and Mei's actions.
In other words... She had arrived even earlier than those two.
And was admiring the scene of his sleeping face all this time.
Hiding her presence completely.
Despite harboring no malice, she was even worse.
A so-called innocent stalker.
"No no no, that's terrifying! Then couldn't you have just put down the cup and left!? Just leave a note or something!"
Only upon hearing Hisui's reminder did she realize. Looks like the prim, proper and smart girl was a little slow in this area.
"...That makes sense too. Hey, look at yourselves, you two, what is with that attire!? A-Anyway, hurry and get away from Kujou-kun......!"
"Hey... Senpai, wouldn't you like to join us?"
Mei shook her seductive ass as she spoke.
In a situation like this, recruiting Kirika as an ally would be more convenient.
"J-Join you...... It's not like... I also......"
"Rushella wants blood, I want his lower body, and Hi-kun's face... is still free, you know?"
Kirika gulped after hearing her then looked at Hisui's face.
Her eyes looked a bit dangerous.
"Uh, umm... Senpai?"
"Th-That's right... This kind of thing, shouldn't be too direct...... One should follow a natural sequence..."
"You don't need to go mouth-to-mouth directly. How about the cheeks or the forehead? Senpai, you're a quarter British... This would only count as a greeting, right?"
"Th-That's right. It would be just a morning greeting......"
Kirika convinced herself and took up her position next to Hisui's face.
Then lifting his face in her hands, her lips—
"Hey hey Senpai, this is a bit... Clearly you were the only one I could trust!!"
"D-Don't move...... This is just, umm... A British greeting, just a greeting!"
"Does the British Empire really have this kind of tradition...?"
"Becuase you're struggling, you touched my lips accidentally, it's just an accident...!!"
"You did it on purpose!! Arghhh—I've had enough!!"
Hisui mustered all his might, trying to push the three girls away.
But he was powerless.
In particular—His left half.
A translucent arm was overlapping his left arm.
More accurately... His entire body was overlapping with a translucent body.
"Yes, good morning."
From inside his body, the ghost smiled innocently.
She was happily engaged in his possessed state.
"W-What are you pulling again?"
"Hisui-kun... I died before I got a chance to savor romance. Before I died, I thought I had met a good man, but ended up getting killed by a vampire."
"Yeah, my condolences... We're all doing our best for your sake."
"So what is love, what does it mean to grow up into an adult...? I'd like to experience that. Using your body."
"That's too weird, this is a male body!? Even if you experienced it, it won't be right!? Besides, what sort of love is this, it's clearly lust! Although Rushella's isn't even lust!!"
"I... want to become an adult!"
"Find someone else!!"
Hisui's pleas fell upon deaf ears. Touko continued to occupy his body.
Since his left side was not listening to him, further struggles were hopeless.
The sharp fangs buried deeply in his neck.
The lustful hand reaching between his legs.
The lips approaching his face.
The ghost sneaking in his body.
Farewell, my various precious things.
Before a drop of tear could slide down Hisui's face, a certain person entered through the door, accompanied by a familiar, cold tone of voice.
"You guys are too noisy. What are you doing early in the morning? Breakfast is ready......"
Seeing the scene inside the room, Eruru's face froze.
A group of girls surrounding a half-naked Hisui.
Rushella was also half-naked while pressing her giant bust against him, sucking on his neck.
Mei, dressed in kinky and depraved underwear, was invading his crotch.
Holding his face in her hands, Kirika was bringing her lips closer and closer.
Touko was leaning closely against Hisui's side. The sight was akin to lying in bed with a lover.
This hellish composition of a scene was completely incomprehensible to Eruru, plunging her mind into a crashed state.
However, her mind quickly recovered. Picking up a nearby pillow, she took out her favorite sacred gun "Argentum" from her yukata and aimed the muzzle at Hisui.
"U-Umm... Kariya-san, so you really keep your gun close no matter what you're wearing... That pillow you're holding, is it meant to be a silencer?"
"Hey, w-wait, I'm the victim......!"
Before he could explain himself, Eruru had already pulled the trigger.
With the bullet shot through the pillow, the true story was hidden from the other guests at the inn.
Several minutes later, a female server came over to move some bedding and discovered a zombie-like boy, beaten up beyond recognition. Hence, new anecdotes were born regarding this room with its shady past.
This is not right, I didn't do anything wrong, they forced me and pushed me down... The zombie, or rather, the boy kept muttering incomprehensibly, seeking help from others.
Scared out of her mind by his appearance, the female server rushed out of the room. Reportedly, henceforth, the room was used only as bedding storage and no other guest ever stayed there.
"This is great, this food here! Eating this 'Jap food' once in a while is not bad!"
Rushella essentially followed a western diet, especially with eating bread in the mornings. Currently, she was happily taking large bites and enjoying a purely Japanese style breakfast.
"Hmm, although it's very simple, they pay a lot of attention to the details. The miso soup is also tasty."
Mei was tasting the miso soup in small sips.
The breakfast location was in the reception hall. Apart from Touko, everyone was sitting on cushions in seiza posture, savoring the simple but exquisite breakfast.
"I guess I should make miso soup from time to time. It looks like men tend to like that sort of cooking."
Kirika savored the miso soup carefully.
Because her cooking skills were quite advanced, she spoke with a very serious expression.
"Breakfast has always been a casual affair for me. It has been a while since I last ate so sumptuously."
Eruru was enjoying her food with satisfaction.
On first glance, a harmonious atmosphere seemed to be hanging over the breakfast table.
However, a certain boy was far removed from harmonious atmosphere, sitting on the side solitarily, having his breakfast.
".........I'm never going to stay overnight outside with you crazy girls ever again."
Hisui swore with resolution in his heart and silently ate his rice.
Thanks to his constitution, his internal bleeding had stopped and his wounds were healed. However, the injuries from Eruru's brutal beating still lingered in his heart.
With a stiff face, he prepared to go home, walking towards the bus station nearby with everyone.
The bus was roughly half an hour from arriving, so they all sat on the bench and stared at the sky with nothing to do.
"It ended up fruitless..."
Mei broke the silence, sighing and hanging her head dejectedly.
Although Rushella and Kirika's emotions were not shown on their faces, one could still see some sense of disheartening from returning emptyhanded.
"Sorry, it's my fault for not remembering..."
Touko bowed her head and spoke with an apologetic expression.
Because she was already intangible and fleeting, she looked even more transparent when she said those words.
"No, this is not your fault, Touko-san. However... What's the actual situation, Kariya? You must have found out something behind my back, right? You chose this inn because it was already in business since a long time ago, right?"
Hearing Hisui speak, everyone looked to Eruru.
Eruru shrugged and glared at Hisui sharply.
"You are keen as ever. Yes, apart from the cheap price, I did pick the inn because of the reason you outlined."
"If you told us earlier, then we could have helped by asking around? This sort of thing is easier with more people."
"That's right, Eruru-chan, Senpai and Hi-kun aside, I would've helped you if you asked. It definitely would have helped."
Mei tried to help out, but Eruru did not appreciate the gesture.
"This was not an official investigation to begin with, so I shouldn't get others involved. You guys should just treat it as a chance to stay out overnight and take a breather."
"You may think it's appropriate but it's not fair to Touko-san. Fine, what are your results? Did you get anything?"
"...It's regrettable. I asked if there were any strange guests or weird happenings around the time of Touko-san's death... But it seems like they had no idea. Furthermore, there was a sudden bout of heavy rain lasting a few days back then. The sea was very turbulent so the inn did not have much business."
Touko closed her eyes then and frowned.
With a complicated expression, she seemed to be concentrating and searching for some sort of memory.
"What's the matter? Did you recall something?"
Touko did not answer.
She remained silent, desperately thinking back, thinking back to the instant when she lost her life ten years ago.
No one tried to ask her anything more and simply turned to watch her.
What exactly had she seen or heard?
This was what everyone wanted desperately to know.
Finally, Touko spoke up gravely.
"Heavy rain... That's right, it was raining. That day... The day when I died...... On the boat, facing off against the vampire, it suddenly rained! The sea became turbulent and a storm came, the boat also... Rocked violently. That vampire hid inside the coffin... Probably because of that. Then the boat lost balance and ended up...!"
"Oh I see. A storm huh... An unexpected bout of heavy rain... But to be honest, this point......"
Mei crossed her arms and pondered.
All the others did the same. A moment later, Eruru brought up her viewpoint.
"Indeed, perhaps this point is not a decisive fact, but more or less, it gives us a clear idea of the situation back then. Touko-san herself has no memories of locking the vampire in the coffin and sinking it into the sea. Because she had already died before that. However, the coffin and her remains were found at the bottom of the sea. Most likely after her death, the waves swallowed the boat and swept it down under the sea. With that, even if Touko-san did not do it herself, the boat and the coffin would still sink in the sea."
Hearing her logical analysis, everyone nodded in agreement.
However, these deductions did not clear up the root of the mystery.
"Suddenly swept away by waves... In that case, the vampire should still be in the coffin, but the fact was he was not. Also, the coffin couldn't be opened from inside. If Touko-san's memories are correct, then the coffin suddenly fell into the sea and he didn't get a chance to escape. What actually happened......"
Hisui pondered the puzzling mystery.
Beside him, Rushella spoke as though she was looking at a fool.
"Speaking of that vampire, what a guy who has no idea how to take precautions. Not only did he have a boat but he also sailed out to sea, but he didn't think of enhancing his coffin?"
"By enhancing... You mean adding waterproof features or making float... Those kinds of enhancements?"
Rushella nodded in response to Kirika's question.
As the only "coffin" user present, Rushella seemed to have her own ideas on coffin construction.
"When we vampires sleep, although futons or beds will suffice, in order to obtain truly restful sleep, a 'coffin' is necessary. Especially when tired. Conversely, lacking a coffin would be quite a troubling problem for us. Combined with the loss of a supply of fresh blood, it greatly diminishes our power."
"After all, to vampires, 'coffins' are a device for recovering spiritual powers. Precisely because of that, they would pour in great amounts of time and money into coffin construction to produce a masterpiece to their liking. In order to handle enemies attacking them in their sleep, some even go as far as to install various traps and mechanisms."
Eruru nonchalantly displayed her great knowledge.
For the purpose of exterminating vampires, she had thoroughly understood these areas.
"Indeed, take my coffin for example. Not only can it float on water, but if you close it shut, it can also stop water from entering. As a vampire, one must insist on such basic requirements in our coffins. But to think that vampire would use something without enhancements and even bring it out to sea, how utterly foolish."
Rushella mocked proudly to display her own superiority.
Probably offended by the expression on her face, Mei shot her down.
"Yeah, perhaps your coffin is fine even if it falls into water... But what's the point if you don't enter it before you go into the sea? Clearly you got kicked into the sea by that Oogami person last night, yet here you go boasting."
Struck in a sore spot, Rushella had no choice but to shut up.
"He's a vampire at least. Wouldn't he have special powers? Like... In legends, they can turn to mist or a swarm of bats. Even if someone kicks them, they won't fly like a dead fish and end up in such a pitiful state, right?"
"Y-You're really noisy so shut up! What you say, can't be done!"
"Eh~~ Are you really a 'True Ancestor'?"
"Sob, sob sob......."
Defeated in the verbal battle, Rushella began to cry.
Hisui could not bear the sight and extended a helping hand.
"The special powers of vampires are inherited from their parents, or passed down from master to servant. Although there are standard issue abilities like physical strength and the mystic eyes shared by all vampires, other kinds of special powers must come from the 'True Ancestor' at the root of their lineage. Furthermore, each True Ancestor has their own distinct powers. As for Rushella, well, she's just a 'True Ancestor' without the powers you mentioned."
"Th-That's right! We vampires have different strengths and specialties!"
"Fine. Ah, but that means there's more than one 'True Ancestor,' right? I was thinking, wouldn't all vampires descend ultimately from a single vampire?"
"That hypothesis exists. But if that were the case, all vampires would possess the same powers, although differing in strength, so that doesn't fly. The entity known as the 'True Ancestor' is definitely more than one. Of course, you can probably count them on one hand."
"Well, that's true. If she really were the root ancestor of all the vampires, then wouldn't she be a married woman who have sucked the blood of countless humans, with tons of descendants?"
"W-What nonsense are you spouting...!? I-I have never......"
Rushella grumbled softly, sneaking furtive glances at Hisui.
Obviously, her face was all red.
"Didn't I say it was a hypothesis? Servants aside, I never got the impression you were a vampire who had a husband, went through the motions of baby making, or given birth to a 'pure-blooded' child. It's inconceivable."
"Th-That's right, even without memories, that kind of thing... I never did it!!"
"How would you know? Even a lover would be perfectly normal......"
"N-No, no, never!!"
Rushella refuted loudly then fell silent. She sneaked glances at Hisui again but he was just stretching in a bored manner.
"Okay okay, I get it now. So it's like this, apart from standard abilities, whether those various powers of legend are usable depends on a vampire's lineage... Master or parents, ultimately decided by the 'True Ancestor,' is that right?"
"That's correct. So perhaps there are vampires who can turn into mist or bats......"
As soon as he said this, Hisui fell silent.
A thought flashed across his mind.
An empty coffin.
A sudden storm.
A calm and composed vampire.
Also... Also—Hurry and remember.
Recall everything that had happened till now.
Pick out the unusual.
There must be something, a clue missed.
From the beginning of the incident, search everything—From Touko's encounter, everything that had happened.
"W-What's with you?"
Rushella asked with concern.
At this moment, Hisui met gazes with her.
Then Hisui brought his face close, almost touching each other's lips.
"W-What are you doing!?"
"—I get it now."
Hisui muttered an answer that did not answer her question and stood up.
The bus happened to arrive.
"Let's hurry and get back. Otherwise it might be too late."
"What have you figured out?"
Eruru asked solemnly. Hisui had these special flashes of inspiration from time to time, she knew them better than anyone else.
But Hisui simply shook his head lightly.
"It's all speculation at this stage. I have a theory but no evidence. Perhaps I'm worrying too much, although it'd be best if I'm wrong and there's nothing. But looking at how unlucky I was this morning, I hope the ill fortune doesn't spread over here."
"...What on earth are you trying to say?"
"Let's talk on the bus. Before I explain, hurry and contact the Supernatural Investigations Section, anyone there is fine."
"Contacting them now. But what instructions should I give?"
"Very simple. Quarantine the 'coffin' immediately."
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