Silver Cross and Draculea:Volume03 Chapter5
Chapter 5 - Awakened from the Abyss
From her perspective, this job was utterly inane.
The higher-ups had assigned her to supervise the dredging from the bottom of the sea.
Not too long ago, a vampire's coffin was discovered. With one turning up, perhaps there were more.
Furthermore, as soon as a 'threat' was discovered inside, the target must be captured with utmost urgency—That was her mission.
What foolish instructions.
The difficulty of capturing a vampire varied greatly with the target's level. That said, using the Supernatural Investigations Section's equipment, it was not impossible.
For the sake of research, samples were indispensable. Some people insisted on this viewpoint. Naturally, it was understandable.
The problem was that the research in and of itself was a joke.
Human evolution, contributions to medical science, academic pursuit of knowledge—These people's research were not motivated by such noble goals. Rather they simply sought a delusional but as yet unrealized dream sought by people in power across the ages—"immortality and eternal youth."
Of course, even if realized, this result would not benefit mankind but would simply be monopolized by those in power.
Wearing its latest guise as the Supernatural Investigations Section, this organization had survived to this day only because of people in authority who coveted the powers of supernatural creatures, most prominently the vampire.
But in reality, no matter how much research they carried out on vampires, they never obtained the result they hoped for.
"Immortality and eternal youth"—Obtaining it was very simple. Just give up being human.
Living only under the cover of the dark night, burdened by all sorts of weaknesses, feeding on fresh blood.
If one were willing to accept these risks, then a human could easily enter the ranks of the immortal and eternally young at any moment.
However, clinging to their secure lives, those in power did not have the courage or determination to give up on being human.
Not needing to worry about an inevitable death, remaining human, staying rational, not requiring a diet of fresh blood, not even weakened by sunlight or crosses, living forever—This was the sort of ridiculous immortality and eternal youth they dreamed about in delusion.
Naturally, none of these experiments succeeded to this date.
One would not expect them to succeed in the future either.
If one wanted eternal life, just give up on being human. There was no other way. However, human existence was limited in the first place.
Although her direct superior never spoke about it, he probably understood all this in his mind.
Clearly he understood, but for the sake of his career, her boss continued to work towards obtaining immortality and eternal youth for those people in power who controlled the world.
And she too, despite understanding the absurdity of such efforts, in order to rise among the ranks together with her boss, she had no choice but to accept this inane job.
But reality was unfavorable and the mission ended up fruitless.
The second dredging did not bring any special results. Not a single decent object could be found.
Let alone a coffin, not even a trace of a vampire was discovered. In consideration of budget issues, the dredging mission was concluded.
Then all that was left was to return to headquarters and submit a report to the leadership, get things done before noon and go home—That was her original plan.
Driving on the way back, she stopped the car for a can of coffee.
As she reached to operate the vending machine, her cellphone rang.
She had recorded this number just in case of emergencies but the unexpected caller ID was completely unbelievable.
"Oogami-san? I am Kariya."
"The sun has risen from the west. Did you hear something from the brat?"
"Indeed, he is the one looking for you. Not me. I'll let him speak to you."
After pausing for a few seconds another voice came from the other side.
She recognized this voice. It was the annoying boy who was fooling around with the vampire.
"Umm, Oogami-san? Where are you right now? At the Metropolitan Police Department?"
"How rude. I am currently on the road back."
"Hurry and reclaim that coffin. Then don't take your eyes off it. If any situation occurs, dispose of it immediately."
"Huh? What nonsense are you talking about? Is it possible that the coffin would move by itself!? According to the analysis results..."
"I'm not talking about the coffin."
Hisui's firm tone of voice rendered Rangetsu speechless.
This boy—He must know something.
"The vampire is inside."
"...How could that be? The coffin is empty. You saw it too, I also......"
"Do you really believe that......?"
"From the start... You noticed Touko-san already. Before Kariya and I noticed anything, you were already aware. So last time when we met, you were not surprised to see her at all. And you even said that exorcism rubbish. Because you knew from the start that Touko-san was haunting the coffin. So even though it was empty, you still continued to investigate in secret. I'm guessing this is also part of your orders from the higher-ups, or you applied to your superior, right?"
"What a smart little brat... Even if that's true, so what? I've done nothing wrong. The fact is there is no vampire. A mere ghost, what's the uproar about?"
"You fool! You already made a mistake in not communicating with Touko-san. If you don't want to make further mistakes, hurry over to the coffin."
Saying that, the other side hung up.
What an annoying brat.
But his words could not be ignored.
After some hesitation, Rangetsu still rushed over to the evidence storage where the coffin was kept.
"Looks like the coffin holds some kind of secret. What on earth is going on? It is about time for you to explain, right?"
Hisui ended the call before the bus started. Like the trip coming here, they all sat on the back row.
As soon as they took their seats, Eruru impatiently asked about the truth.
Naturally, everyone else was interested.
"I don't have any concrete evidence. The only reason why I yelled at her just now was just in case, to be on the safe side."
"Then if what you are worried about does not happen, then it just boils down to an ordinary high school boy providing bad information without escalating the situation. Thank you for your consideration, but hurry up and tell me."
"...The first thing I found strange in the beginning was the first time I heard Touko-san's voice. Do you still remember what happened?"
Touko nodded lightly.
Hisui wanted to touch the coffin—And she called out to stop him.
At the time, he did not know of Touko's existence and thought it was a hallucination. Thinking back, that was probably the first time the two made contact.
"At the time, why did you say 'Don't'?"
"It was just an empty coffin. Even if I touched it, it should be fine. But you said that. Why?"
"Why... I just said it randomly? Or perhaps... Umm... Maybe there's some kind of reason I've forgotten......"
"I think so too, you probably forgot or it's some kind of ghost intuition. Because you felt that touching it will be dangerous, you warned me. But why is that? It must be because there's something inside... That's right, because your instincts told you that. After noticing this point, I started thinking there must be something strange about that coffin."
"I understand what you are trying to say now. Since Touko-san and the coffin were together for ten years, her words must reflect something about it. But exactly what?"
"The answer is simple. The vampire is still inside."
"Impossible... You saw it too, right? I confirmed it, there was no vampire in the coffin at all..."
"So basically, he exists inside in an invisible form. At least invisible to the naked eye. No, it's probably impossible to tell through scientific means of observation."
"And why is that?"
"Sudou mentioned it just now."
Shifting the topic, Hisui ignored Eruru's surprise and pointed at Mei.
"Eh, me? What did I say?"
"The special powers of vampires."
"Eh, that...? I mentioned it, yeah... Turning into mist or a swarm of bats, that? But this has nothing to do......"
"Mist...? Hold on, could it be!?"
"Looks like you understand. Most likely, the vampire that killed Touko-san can turn into mist. Although this might seem like a very pedestrian ability for a vampire, it's actually quite tricky to handle in practice. For example, no matter how you imprison him—provided there's any kind of gap, he can easily escape."
"I see, so that's why he didn't care when I shut him inside...!?"
The memories of the moment just before her death flashed clearly in Touko's mind.
Why did he allow her to shut him in the coffin so easily—That was because by turning into mist, he could effortlessly escape through tiny gaps in the coffin's lid.
The coffin was not airtight by intentional design to allow freedom of movement in and out.
"No matter how firmly Touko-san closed the lid, it was unfortunately meaningless. Well, you could have followed the traditional method by inserting Eucharists in the gaps to produce a sealing effect, but he'll surely notice during the insertion process. Besides, you didn't prepare any, right?"
"Yeah... This point never crossed my mind in the first place. I'm so useless... It was all for nothing......"
"Not at all. You achieved your mission splendidly."
Hisui asserted in a rare moment with heartfelt emotion.
Indeed, ten years ago, things ended only thanks to her efforts.
"Touko-san closed the vampire inside. Then you breathed your final breath and that guy could have escaped any time. However, something unexpected happened all of a sudden."
"The sudden storm... Right?"
Hisui nodded at Kirika.
Did the heavens respond to Touko's prayers or was it simply by chance—In any case, the boat was capsized by the waves and sank into the sea.
"I guess the storm arrived quite suddenly. With no one manning the boat, it sank very quickly. The one who really got frightened must be that guy in the coffin. After all, hated seawater began to suddenly seep inside, of course he'll be afraid. Then he would have realized... What a disaster, he had been thrown into the sea and was sinking. If he wanted to escape, even if he turned into mist, he would be dispersed once mixed with the seawater. That might not be a problem with ordinary water, but seawater was dangerous to vampires, only second to holy water. Once his body was mixed with seawater, he would lose consciousness and unable to reform ever again—Pretty much the same as 'destroyed.' As long as the seawater was still present, there would be no hope for revival."
"Whether continuing to hide in the coffin or choosing to escape, either choice meant suffering from seawater..."
Kirika and Mei, who had unwittingly provided the hint, nodded in agreement.
The vampire who had recklessly taken on mist form inside the coffin had no means of escape.
"Reforming from mist would not change the situation either. Since his body was submerged in seawater, it was becoming sluggish and his conscious gradually grew hazy. Very soon, he would enter an immobile state of suspended animation. A high-ranking vampire could probably break out of the coffin by force and desperately swim ashore... That's not impossible. But once sunk into the deep sea, there would be no hope. That guy probably understood his situation. Or perhaps, he didn't even have enough strength remaining to release his mist form. Seawater continued to flow in nonstop, mixing with his body. Hence, all he could do was maintain his sense of self and wait for the day he could resurface. Hence, for this goal..."
"He seeped his body into the coffin... Right?"
Eruru found the answer.
If his body in mist form was mixed completely with seawater, that would be equivalent to destruction.
But under the seawater's effects, his consciousness was already hazy and his body no longer responded obediently to his will.
In order to maintain his sense of self, all he could do was seep his mist-like body into the fabric lining the coffin's interior.
"Correct. But doing that would not prevent the state of suspended animation. Without solid form, without consciousness, that guy stayed sunken at the bottom of the sea for long periods of time. Hiding in the coffin. Then Touko-san must have instinctively realized this so she kept guarding the coffin. Because it did not require concentration, she did not stay conscious. After all, her enemy was no different from being dead. Until later... When the coffin was dredged up. Then Touko-san awakened."
"Right... It must be like that, no mistake. Although I still can't fully remember, I know... 'I can't leave that place'... I did think that at the time......!"
"After that, when I wanted to touch the coffin—she subconsciously gave a warning. Because the vampire was still inside. That was obviously quite dangerous. Also... it still is."
"After opening the coffin, if we had exposed it to sunlight, then our job would have been easy. But having taken it underground, it will not be moved out for quite a while. For revival, it would be an ideal environment."
Eruru also considered this point and frowned with unease.
Ever since the coffin was dredged up, quite some time had passed.
The seawater's effects were gone. Turned into mist, the vampire could return to tangible form any moment.
"If the vampire simply returned to solid form, that would not count as a threat yet. For example, it would be like a state of hibernation... He will not be active in the short term."
"But give him some slight stimulus, let him drink even just a drop of blood... Then things are over. Instant revival. Then to satisfy the long-suppressed hunger, an immense appetite...!"
Hisui hoped he was simply worrying too much.
There was no concrete evidence at this point.
Perhaps he and Touko were overthinking things.
Or rather, that would be the best result.
Occupied with their own worries, no one said a word.
Hisui's group hurried on their return trip. Regarding this unsubstantiated truth, they all prayed for it to be false, or at least, even if a tragedy was happening, it would not be too late.
Compared to the evidence in ordinary police cases, the Supernatural Investigations Section's evidence was completely different.
Because usually speaking, they were all dangerous items and required corresponding knowledge and skills in usage and handling.
Foci for black magic, vessels with exorcism charms adhered, cursed objects bringing calamity to people—In actual fact, many items would be better destroyed on the spot.
However, the coffin currently kept in a corner of the vault no longer required concern.
Obviously, this was surely something used by a vampire in the past.
But it was empty inside. In people's eyes, it was not a problem anymore.
Moved to this location, it was waiting to be destroyed.
Considering it would be easier to move for future destruction, it was causally dumped on the floor.
In any case, it was just a piece of antique that would not cause any incident. The earlier incident had already ended.
"Uh, the data... The data...... Got it."
The newly recruited male staff member had forgotten something and stepped into the vault.
Although he had gone through an induction course, his days in this job were still young.
His knowledge about supernatural entities still remained at a textbook level.
In fact, he had no experience in facing off against supernatural entities.
Hence, he was only authorized to enter the safest area of the vault.
Everyone had to start as a rookie somewhere. It was not his fault.
Leaving a document file on a desk was a common thing.
And that desk happened to be right next to the coffin that was awaiting destruction... This was pure coincidence.
There were no particularly special factors.
Only the number of small misfortunes stacked together.
That was all.
Ultimately, perhaps all tragedies came about this way in fact.
The coffin's lid was not shut tight, revealing a bit of a gap.
There was no rule requiring lids to be shut tight. It would have been fine to leave it alone.
Actually, work aside, this staff member was not the type of person who insisted on a meticulousness in his personal life. Normally, he would not care about something so small.
But when he saw what resembled a human face through the gap, the situation became completely different.
He must be seeing things.
After all, he had participated in the opening operation. Not only himself, many people had confirmed with their own eyes at the scene—There was no one inside at all.
Someone played a prank—That could also be ruled out.
Even if someone could deliberately lie down inside a vampire's coffin, none of the staff here had that type of depraved sense of humor.
Perhaps he made a mistake in what he saw.
After looking at it for a while, he reached to touch the lid.
Suddenly he felt a sharp pain across his hand.
Looking down, his finger had a cut. On further examination of the lid's edge, he found blades install in several places. Careless touching could easily get hurt.
He spontaneously recalled knowledge about vampire coffins from his training course.
In order to protect their sleeping chambers, from a very long time ago, vampires started installing all sorts of mechanisms.
Of course, installing them on coffins was very common too.
Accomplishing dual goals of comfort during sleep and defensive ability was not easy, but many vampires still install all sorts of traps on their coffins.
As a recent example from a few years back, there was a coffin whose outer layer was electrified.
As for traditional classics, there would be poisonous needles or sharp blades for harming intruders.
Making minor cuts naturally did not deter enemies. It would not even succeed as a threat.
The true purpose of this kind of situation was to draw enemy blood.
No matter how deep in slumber, so long as fresh blood was flowing beside them, vampires would definitely wake up because of their keen sense of smell.
This was the most trusty alarm clock, capable of waking a vampire from deep slumber, allowing them to prepare countermeasures against stakes, crosses, garlic and other adversaries.
"C-Could it be......!!"
The man covered his wound and kicked the lid in a safe spot to open it completely, peering inside.
Inside was a roughly twenty-year-old blond man, lying there completely naked.
A noble face of European descent, easily reminiscent of the homeland of vampires. That handsome face could definitely be described as belonging to a descendant of nobles.
The pale white skin characteristic of vampires was filled with a sense of beauty. The vaguely visible muscles presented a naturally magnificent body.
The most distinct characteristic was that pair of vivid red lips.
So red that his mouth seemed like a red line drawn with fresh blood.
Furthermore, his mouth was already stained with fresh blood.
The blood shed by the wounded staff just now had turned the originally bright red of the lips even more vivid.
Shrouded in terror, the staff back away step by step.
He already understood the consequences of his unwitting actions.
The young man stirred slightly.
He slowly got up and licked the blood on his lips.
Despite being a man, the licking motion of his tongue carried a mesmerizing sense of beauty that was difficult to express in words.
Even the staff forgot to run away, watching entranced.
But this caused him to forfeit his life.
As he said that, the staff had already realized his fate.
The feeling of sharp fangs penetrating could be felt from his neck.
Blood was mercilessly sucked away, very soon exceeding the fatal limit. Then his life plunged into a cursed abyss.
"Tell me about the situation in this place. First of all, what is the current time? How long have I slept?"
A seductive and noble voice.
Faced with this terrifying enemy, the staff gazed with hollow eyes, telling everything he knew to the man.
"...Hmm, looks like my sleep was not short. That girl really got me a good one. Fine, you are dismissed."
Obeying his master's orders, the staff retreated.
His eyes shone with red light while fangs protruded from between his lips.
He was no longer a police officer and definitely no human.
"Let's satisfy my hunger first."
Eyes flashing with dangerous red light, the awakened vampire began to hunt.
"...What's going on?"
Returned to the Metropolitan Police Department, Rangetsu hurried to the vault and could not help but frown.
The stench of blood lingered in the air—Although she could tell that the amount of bleeding was quite low, given the special location, Rangetsu began to stay on high alert.
Following Hisui's instructions, she carefully approached the coffin—A sense of nervousness surged.
There was a drop of blood on the edge of the lid.
Then—A woman's scream was heard in the distance.
"Could it be......!"
Hesitating for only an instant, Rangetsu quickly made her decision.
Swiftly she took out her cellphone and issued orders.
"The MPD is in danger of a vampire intrusion. Evacuate all ordinary staff immediately. Prepare anti-vampire gear and standby at all entrances. Perform this immediately!!"
"We've arrived... After running for so long, I'm so tired...... Has that Oogami lady called back? What's the current situation?"
"Naturally, not too optimistic. Let us hurry."
At the MPD headquarters, Hisui and Eruru were racing through the building with Rushella and the rest of the girls following closely behind.
The destination was the underground elevator reserved for staff that they had visited a few days earlier.
Along the way, they passed by a strange person.
A European young man with a head of beautiful blond hair. More striking was the fact that he was wearing nothing but a blanket casually wrapped around his body.
Furthermore, the instant they brushed past him, there was a distinct smell.
Unmistakably the smell of blood.
Hisui turned around forcefully.
But the young man was even faster and bolted out the exit.
Touko spoke, trembling.
Her entire body was trembling from fear. She pointed at the back of the guy who had left and said:
"That's him... He killed us......!"
Hisui's group looked at one another after hearing her.
In the end, their worst fears had come true.
The situation had deteriorated to the worst case scenario. The enemy had awakened.
"I'll go. Since we're both vampires, there's no problem, right?"
Rushella was the first to assign distinct roles.
Mei followed closely behind her.
"I'll go too. That's more reassuring, right?"
"...Me too. Kujou-kun and Kariya-san should go check the situation on the police side."
Hisui and Eruru looked at each other and nodded, leaving the vampire to those three.
"...Don't do anything rash, okay!?"
"All of us are more resilient than you. You're the one who should be more careful!!"
Rushella smiled fearlessly and chased after the vampire. Mei and Kirika also sprinted out.
Hisui and Eruru then went in the opposite direction.
Towards underground—the Supernatural Investigations Section's headquarters.
Eruru avoided the elevator and chose to take the steps.
One that was different from the one they had taken last time.
"What's going on?"
"During emergencies, the Supernatural Investigations Section also acts as a quarantine facility for imprisoning supernatural creatures. After all, the national capital's defense system's central hub is located upstairs so troublesome matters must be resolved underground. In crises, the elevators will shut down and the passages blocked. Under these circumstances, only a handful of people including me are authorized to enter from outside."
"I see... So emergency measures are already activated?"
"The indoor warning announcement being broadcast can only be understood by related personnel. This is currently a Level 2 alert, implying there are multiple vampires confirmed in the invasion."
"In other words..."
"A number of people have been bitten already."
Eruru bowed her head sorrowfully.
Hisui did not say anything but continued to hurry on their way.
"The next level down is the headquarters."
A thick defensive wall appeared before them.
After Eruru used her ID card on the reader beside the door, they would arrive at the headquarters—At this moment, they found several collapsed figures by the wall.
"Hey, are you okay!?"
Hisui rushed over.
She was a young female staff.
Judging from her attire, she seemed to be a clerk and definitely ill-equipped to handle a crisis like this one.
"Pull yourself together... Are you hurt?"
Hisui asked as he examined her neck.
On there were—no teeth marks.
Completely turned into a vampire—The teeth marks would disappear from the victim.
"Get away from her now!"
The female staff had begun to move before Eruru's warning.
On her originally gentle face, the two eyes gave off red light as she bared her fangs to bite Hisui.
Bang! A crisp gunshot was heard.
The bullet accurately penetrated the female vampire right in the center of her forehead.
Shooting to kill a vampire required aiming for the brain or the heart, as well as using specially processed silver bullets.
Eruru's shooting was so perfect it could be used as a textbook example of liberating a female vampire from her cursed life with a single bullet.
Her peaceful expression as she leaned against Hisui's body was her only salvation.
However, the vampire's face did not last long and very soon, her entire body turned into ashes, scattering in the air.
At the end of their cursed lives lay complete nothingness—That was a vampire.
Even if they were turned against their will, this iron-clad rule remained unchanged since time immemorial.
"If it's me.. Being bitten doesn't matter."
Hisui said lightly.
Although he knew saying that was useless.
He also knew how Eruru would answer.
"...But if the throat is ripped open by the bite, death might result. Or from excessive blood loss. Let us hurry."
Actually, Hisui knew very well.
Who the most suffering person was.
Definitely the one who was forced to pull the sacred gun's trigger against her colleague.
A person who had turned completely into a vampire was beyond saving. If Eruru simply treated them as enemies of mankind—Then Hisui would not be assisting her.
The two of them silently reached the headquarters' facilities.
At this time, Eruru's cellphone rang.
"Kariya-san? Where are you now?"
"In the building. I already have a grasp of the situation somewhat."
Rangetsu finally made a long-awaited call. Eruru answered with a stiff expression.
"The main combat personnel have gathered in the quarantine block. The detailed situation will be briefed there."
Hanging up, Eruru told Hisui the destination.
"We are going to the place I took you there before. That can be considered the quarantine facility within this quarantine facility. In a certain sense, it is the safest place."
Hisui answered, then he turned around and looked back.
Rushella and the girls... How were they?
Mei was there.
And Kirika as well.
Yet the unease in his heart could not be dispelled.
Rushella, Mei and Kirika dashed madly and reached the streets.
But the man was even faster.
In terms of a pure contest in running speed, Rushella and Mei definitely would not be at any disadvantage. No, considering it was daytime, Mei should have won instead.
But the man in front was extremely impudent, casually grabbing passersby and throwing them unceremoniously towards the girls. Combined with the power of the mystic eyes, he instantly created a barrier.
Rushella originally intended to counter with her own mystic eyes, but abandoned the notion in consideration of the effects on ordinary people.
As a 'True Ancestor,' she could easily use her own power to cancel the effects of a clearly low-ranked vampire's mystic eyes.
However, if she used the mystic eyes to oppose him, the people affected by opposing powers of the mystic eyes would suffer severe mental damage.
Just as she hesitated, they ended up losing the man's trail.
Rushella impatiently kicked the ground but could not change reality.
"Hurry and calm down. Being impatient doesn't help."
"But... We finally found him after so much effort, right? And Touko too... Once we exterminate that bastard...!"
"My, you're really enthusiastic in killing your own kind."
Mei's question was not sarcasm but a simple query.
If she had been harmed, it would be different matter, but the only victim she knew was an insignificant human—and currently dead already.
"Her current state... Cannot 'pass on,' right? That wound... won't disappear."
"That I understand. I sympathize with her too and would like to help her. But... Isn't that guy acting like a typical vampire? If you reject that, it doesn't put you in a great position either."
Rushella fell silent.
Naturally, she understood very well.
As a vampire, everything she was doing was simply hypocrisy.
"It's not really that bad, right? At least... Since she has not drunk anyone's blood but Kujou-kun's, she probably has not experienced a typical vampire's feelings."
Kirika interjected as though trying to make peace.
But her expression was very serious. She did not look like she was doing this in Rushella's defense.
"But perhaps one day, Kujou-kun's blood will no longer satisfy you. Or consider another possibility, if you recover your memories, you may find that you have once drank other people's blood. In that case, perhaps your current relationship with us might no longer be possible to sustain, right?"
Rushella acknowledged the possibility without any avoidance.
Because she also understood this issue very well.
From the moment it was brought up.
"Then very well. So... How should we chase that guy...... I trust we can leave it to you?
Rushella drew her short sword and carved a light wound on her wrist.
Crimson blood dripped onto the ground.
Mei and Kirika covered their noses to avoid smelling the blood's fragrance.
It was a sweet, delicious and seductive aroma.
Sufficient to charm all people, no, it should be all creatures.
That included all vampires. This was a power unique to 'True Ancestors.'
Once the inescapably captivating and sweet blood was smelled, not only cats and dogs but also countless small animals, insects and birds gathered in the surroundings.
Kneeling down to worship the girl who gave off crimson light, they listened to her orders.
"There's a bastard in the area who's a vampire like me. Go and find him. Tell me where he is!!"
Using the mystic eyes known as "Dead Aim," Rushella could dominate all creatures to enter her service.
Using her full demonic powers, she commanded her servants from her position at the summit of the food chain.
The swarm of animals dispersed at her command.
Completely unconcerned about startling passersby, they simply began their respective journeys to fulfill the master's orders.
Favorable news was expected to arrive in short time.
Although this was not Mei's first time watching, she still could not help but marvel at the sight.
This power of a vampire to dominate others really was unparalleled, beyond reach.
"This ability of yours is still so amazing."
"Even if it were more amazing, it's still useless on Hisui no matter how much I focus and stare at him. But then again, if I keep staring at him, somehow he blushes and turns his face away, then he seems to agree to my demands!"
"If you look up to him with pleading eyes, try saying "pretty please, I beg you❤". He'll listen obediently to anything you say if you do that."
"Hmph, you're just a fake, how would you know so well?"
"My score as a woman can instantly defeat yours. Since he can't be your servant and the mystic eyes have no effect, then just switch to a different attack strategy, how's that?"
"I see... Fine, I owe you one!"
To think Rushella would express thanks honestly.
Mei scratched her neck in embarrassment.
"Is that really okay? Offering advice to a rival?"
"...I won't lose. Neither will I lose to you, Senpai."
"...Is that so?"
Kirika sighed profoundly.
The battle between the girls was also persisting currently.
"Hmph... This is looking bad. I never expected to run into someone who could use the power of the mystic eyes to this degree."
In a corner of a large department store, the blond, blue-eyed, young man sighed.
This type of department store in a major urban center normally would not have bugs, but currently, the floors were filled with an abundance of animal and bird cries.
They were most likely looking for him.
His position would surely be exposed in short time.
After all, his original intention was to proactively go on the offensive.
The young man was wearing this type of silk shirt for the first time and smiled with satisfaction.
He had come to this shopping mall in order to find clothes and make himself presentable.
Running his hand through his pretty blond hair that was already carefully styled and fixed with hair gel, he left the men's clothing store.
Although he did not pay, there was already no one capable of stopping him.
Because everyone was dead and drained dry.
The dead bodies strewn around, looking like desiccated corpses, were completely drained to the last drop. This showed how insane the young man's "thirst" was.
Discovering an abnormal situation, the security guards came running over.
Naturally, they could not escape the same fate suffered by the people lying on the ground.
Calling the police was likewise useless.
The main anti-vampire forces of the Supernatural Investigations Section were currently in a severe state of chaos, unable to operate normally.
Wherever the vampire had ravaged, only devastation lay in his wake.
"Basically it's all cleaned up. Don't worry."
Rangetsu told them when Hisui and Eruru arrived at last time's isolated block.
An uncountable amount of ash was scattered all around.
This was proof of Rangetsu and her subordinates' extermination of a large number of vampires.
Undoubtedly, her capabilities were in no way inferior to Eruru's.
"Detailed numbers on victims... No, vampires are not yet available. Probably two or three remaining. They surely cannot escape the headquarters facility and the MPD entrances are already sealed off. Looks like we can clean up internally."
"Even if this counts as mission accomplished... Is that really okay?"
Hisui asked expressionlessly.
He had no intention of holding Rangetsu responsible.
In a certain sense, Hisui's responsibility was greater the moment he started getting clues from Touko.
"I believe... This isn't really the police's scandal but just an unfortunate chance event. But the important criminal from the coffin has escaped. Immediately after waking up, a vampire's thirst is definitely horrifying. He'll definitely drink people's blood without discrimination. Whether announcing the truth to the public or organizing evacuations, shouldn't you guys have other things to do?"
"Not necessary. The Supernatural Investigations Section's work is absolute secret. In a certain sense, it requires even more discretion and secrecy than public safety. Furthermore, how could the nation admit the existence of supernatural entities? We've done everything we are supposed to, don't you worry about that. And that vampire isn't a moron, right? Even if he has a blank period in his knowledge about the world, he should understand how to survive in modern society. He won't be killing indiscriminately."
"Hey hey, is that really what a police should say?"
His tone of voice was casual and laid back as usual.
But Hisui's eyes were filled with rage.
"Indeed, this is the job of the police. Maintaining national security, sustaining the organization itself. Talking about justice at every chance, aren't you annoying? Talking about being an ally of justice or whatever would be even more annoying. Even if hundreds died, as long as thousands are saved, you should count your blessings. Gains do not come without losses."
These were an adult's words.
Personal justice and an organization's justice, this was a principle that adults had to make a decision very early on.
Hence, for Hisui who was not yet an adult, it was completely unacceptable.
"Thank you for your speech. Then I'll be going now?"
"Where are you going? Don't do anything redundant. If you want to do that, at least wait here until everything is resolved."
"I'm just a little brat going outside to play so I won't cause anyone additional trouble. I just hope that my troublesome freeloader doesn't do anything reckless."
"You're troublesome enough. Honestly, letting those two vampires fight would be better. Trash like vampires, the faster they go extinct, the better."
"Oh my, are you getting mad? You really are that vampire's slave, aren't you? if you choose to hinder us for her sake, that would make you a criminal 100%. An enemy of humans."
Hisui repeated that word and glared at Rangetsu sarcastically.
For some reason, his gaze greatly displeased Rangetsu, causing her to click her tongue and ask:
"Did you make a mistake somewhere? Not an enemy of humans... But an enemy of your race."
Rangetsu instantly changed her expression in alarm.
Gnashing her teeth, clenching her fists, her nails were digging into her flesh.
"You didn't think I'd notice? After all, no matter how much training you go through, you can't possibly send a vampire flying with a kick at night through physical strength alone. At least, it's impossible if you're human."
"Let's look at the current situation. Since we're dealing with vampires, you should be on high alert and arming yourself properly. Naturally, protective gear for the neck cannot be omitted and the mobile squads must dress properly for safety. But look at you here, you're still in casual clothing. Since the alert is still up, you can't possibly have changed already. Besides, you're unarmed as well. Without silver bullets or wooden stakes, how do you exterminate vampires?"
"Your fingertips are dyed blood-red. If that's nail polish, the color is too dull. There's also the stench of blood on your hands. You ripped them out with your hands, right... their hearts?"
".........Shut up right now."
"A supernatural creature with physical ability rivaling vampires, ripping out hearts barehanded. And resembling humans. From what I know, there's only one match. Am I right? Miss Werewolf, Oogami-san?"
"I asked you to shut up!!"
Rangetsu kicked the ground hard.
Maximum acceleration. A starting motion that even a world record holder could not possibly manage.
That speed was like a cheetah's, already beyond the realm of humans.
At the same time, Rangetsu's appearance changed.
Fangs protruded from her mouth, similar to vampires yet distinctively different. Her hand also turned into a carnivorous animal's sharp claws.
That was indeed a werewolf's appearance.
Rivaling the vampire and Frankenstein's creature as a representative of supernatural entities, this highest-ranking humanoid beast frequently made appearances in legends and myths all over the world.
The legendary sharp claws of a beast were currently aiming for Hisui's neck.
Before the sharp claws could pierce his neck, Eruru stepped between the two of them.
"Stop it right now!!"
She raised the sacred gun, Argentum.
A gun armed with silver bullets was a sure-kill weapon against werewolves as well.
"Oh dear... You want to protect him? What a rare sight, I was thinking you'd never fall for anyone."
"...Nothing of that sort. Hurry and stop. Perhaps his words are inappropriate, but fighting here will not solve anything. You should know my marksmanship very well, yes? Do you really want to taste the power of a silver bullet personally?"
"That's only if you hit your target, right? I don't think you've ever seen me go all out, have you?"
Although her opponent carried a weapon targeting her weakness, Rangetsu still laughed fearlessly.
Her hostility towards Eruru seemed to be even stronger than against Hisui.
"You've been an eyesore since a long time ago... Dhampir. Neither human nor vampire, yet sucking blood and murdering people. In a certain sense, even lower than a vampire. My race has also been decimated by your kind."
"...Vampires and werewolves are completely incompatible. Whether open war or secret struggles, conflicts vying for supremacy have taken place, too many to count. But unfortunately, I have no interest in that kind of history. Please go ahead if you want to exterminate vampires. However, if you or your race ever harm humans, then I will pull the trigger without hesitation."
Eruru responded coldly.
Just because she did not bother with matters of racial tension, she would not show consideration for Rangetsu simply because they were both non-human. This was Eruru.
"Step aside, Kariya. If she wants a fight, bring it on. I'll take her any time."
Hisui pushed Eruru away and casually stepped forward.
Although his face displayed composure, his physical abilities were naturally below average for a human. There was absolutely no chance of winning.
"You dare look down on me... After all, you just want Kariya-san to help you, right? Despite her cool and merciless exterior, she's actually quite inexperienced. Very inexperienced. So even her subordinates would betray her. In a critical moment, she will surely fire her gun to protect you. You dare speak so arrogantly simply because you know that, right?"
"If that's what you think, why don't you race against a bullet? You should be able to do that as a werewolf, right? Or you can't right now... Obedient dog, fallen so low as to become a police hound?"
Rangetsu's eyes instantly changed color and shone with golden light.
At the same time, her clothes burst open.
Completely naked—One could say that but her chest and abdomen were both covered with dense fur, covering her body like clothes.
Most distinctively below the wrists, her hands had become like a wolf's paws with even longer claws than before.
Pointed ears, a long and blood-red tongue, a beast's eyes—A humanoid wolf, or perhaps a human who had turned into a wolf. Before his eyes was the monster told by legends passed down the generations.
"Turned into a beast..... Indeed, the moon's phase is sufficient...... You're seriously going all out!?"
Howling briefly, Rangetsu rushed at Hisui.
This was precisely speed that could evade bullets.
In the quiet underground space, only Eruru's scream reverberated endlessly.
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