Silver Cross and Draculea:Volume03 Prologue
"So, just as I suggested previously, in order to prepare for the upcoming summer holidays, I'd like to decide on the club's activities right now. Very well, please offer your suggestions, everyone!"
The club without the school's official recognition—The Supernatural Investigations Club. Today's club activities started officially with the president's declaration.
Gathered in the empty classroom, the club members indulged freely in their own activities as usual.
Example 1—Sudou Mei.
The girl who prioritized beauty was working on her hair, looking for split ends, casually browsing through a fashion magazine.
Example 2—Kariya Eruru.
Typing away on her notebook computer, her characteristic posture remained completely the same as always. The expression hanging on her face seemed especially solemn today.
Then there were examples 3 and 4—Kujou Hisui and the newest club member.
Unlike the other rest, these two were working together with great focus, stapling sheets of printouts together stack after stack.
"With this, we're almost done, right? Senpai."
"Yes. This completes the materials required for the class committee meeting tomorrow."
Tying the stapled materials in a bundle, Seidou High School's student council vice-president—Uno Kirika nodded with satisfaction.
A regular monthly meeting for all class reps and deputy reps was being held tomorrow.
The meeting was chaired by the student council who also prepared the information materials.
This was supposed to be work performed by the student council members under the leadership of the student council president at their base of operations—the student council office. However, lately the work had been carried out in this empty classroom, with Hisui as an assistant even.
"...Hey, what are you all doing!? Especially you, Hisui! Why are you working for that witch!? When the time comes, be careful or you'll be sent to cook poisonous stews with snakes, lizards in cauldrons!?"
"What? You're talking about that type of sticky job? How could that still exist in this day and age? Am I right, Senpai?"
Hisui found Rushella's words completely ludicrous and sought agreement from Kirika. However, the student council vice-president sighed deeply without returning his gaze.
"That kind of physical labor is rather tiring."
Apparently, some things never changed even as times progress.
Perhaps one day she might even move a giant cauldron to the club classroom to hold a Black Mass.
"Witches"—inheritors of rituals passed down from ancient times.
Witches were virtually extinct in modern society. However, one of their few descendants resided in this Seidou High School.
More accurately, that particular person was beside Hisui right now.
Having gone through plenty of misunderstandings and suspicions, even becoming enemies with Hisui's group at one point, Kirika finally became a regular visitor to this "club activities classroom" after the incident a few days ago. And for some reason, she decided to make the spot beside Hisui her permanent seat.
"See, you heard it! After all, legends say that witches borrowed the devil's power, right?"
"No matter how I look at it, Senpai doesn't really fit your descriptions. And out of everyone in this group, Senpai is the closest one to me as a living human."
"Shut up, she must be the way I say she is. Surely she prefers the devil!"
"What the heck, you're talking as if she's some kind of devil worshiper? According to you, what do witches do actually?"
"Well... What do they do huh?"
Rushella suddenly tossed the question over to Eruru.
Reluctantly, Eruru looked up from her computer screen and tore her gaze away from it.
"...Why ask me?"
"Because you are very knowledgeable! So what is the relationship between witches and the devil? They have to make some kind of offering, right!?"
"Typically, they offer both their body and soul... Basically something like that..."
After all, since Kirika was present in person, Eruru spoke softly, slightly apprehensive in tone.
But Rushella refused to back down and continued to pursue the matter.
"I see. I can understand offering the soul, but what does it mean to offer her body? I don't see her body being incapacitated in any way, right?"
"No, that is not what I am referring to, umm..."
"What the heck, explain it to me properly!"
"I-It is... Umm... Between male and female... What is known as..."
Eruru's face went red as she spoke. She even glanced furtively at Kirika.
Listening to the conversation, even Kirika herself was getting embarrassed.
"What is that about? What does the devil have to do with anything between male and female!?"
"This... Like I said, umm... That very precious thing, namely... Chastity..."
"Say it louder!!"
...Rushella urged impatiently. At this moment, Kirika stood up, her face all red.
"Stop it, okay! Those are rumors started by certain churches, right!? My chastity is perfectly intact right here, okay!!"
Only realizing the power of her words after she uttered them, Kirika frantically surveyed the surroundings.
Mei nodded nonstop with great interest.
Eruru was so embarrassed her mind was short circuiting.
Rushella's cluelessness continued to display on her face.
Finally... Hisui was staring out the window, pretending not to hear.
Kirika could not help but feel grateful for the silent gentleness and delicacy offered by the young man who was sitting next to her. Frantically, she tried to dispel the misunderstanding caused by her outburst.
"B-Besides, currently in this world, trying to make contact with a high level spiritual existence like the 'devil' is virtually impossible. At most you might encounter supernatural entities with material bodies, such as vampires. A-Although I never expected I would find them in my school..."
Kirika stared at Rushella and Mei as she explained.
She had already known Rushella's vampire secret. After joining the club, she was informed that Mei too was also a nonhuman supernatural creature.
Despite Mei's appearance which was no different from a normal human, the truth was quite unbelievable... Only when witnessing her supernatural brute strength on occasion or whenever she displayed equal combat power in minor conflicts with Rushella did Hisui get a concrete sense of her existence as a nonhuman.
"Hmph, the way I see it, the biggest monster here is Hisui who never turns into a vampire despite accepting my 'kiss' every morning."
"Like I said, it's my constitution. I have no intention of abandoning my human status."
"Every morning huh..."
Kirika's voice carried a meaningful tone as she gazed up at Hisui.
"...Are we having some kind of misunderstanding here?"
"But you and her... On the neck... Isn't that right?"
"Uh...... Yeah, I guess......"
Definitely, a misunderstanding.
Speaking of which, whenever something happened, Hisui could feel Kirika's gaze.
Reluctant to see her slaving away at the student council's workload alone, Hisui occasionally helped her out like he did with preparing the materials just now. But somehow involuntarily, he discovered Kirika was secretly looking at him as she twiddled with her fingers.
"Hey you people over there, stop talking about useless things! Hurry up and offer your wits to solve the mystery of my origins! And make plans for the coming summer holidays! If not, then at least make a 'travel guide' for me!!"
Even though it was clearly Rushella who started the topic of conversation, she was now trying to force the subject back on track.
Two or three days earlier, she had learned about the existence of "summer holidays" mentioned by the homeroom teacher and started to get all excited.
"...What are you talking about here, vampire? If you wanted to, let alone having summer holidays throughout the entire year, you could even hide in darkness every single day. Just make your own plans, okay? I'm totally busy planning my 'memories of the whole summer❤' with Hi-kun."
"Let me state beforehand. I have no intention of participating."
Hisui rejected Mei's troublemaking with a displeased expression.
If he allowed her to have her way, let alone 'memories of the whole summer,' he would most likely be swept into the 'blissful family plan.'
"My club's mission is to act with sincere devotion as my right hand, to unravel the mystery of my origins, and to raise the quality of my blood-drinking life! Have you all forgotten your duties!?"
"As if anyone would do that. Especially the latter half."
"Hear hear. If you want to do anything, do it yourself."
"I'm not idle. I have work from the student council."
Hisui, Mei and Kirika coldly refused.
Staying silent, Eruru displayed a troubled expression. Pausing her hands from typing on the keyboard, she entered deep thought.
"What useless people... Whatever, as a 'True Ancestor' I am more than capable of handling things. I totally don't need any help from a cheap fake or an inauspicious witch."
"Then do your best on your own."
Mei stated simply and began to operate her cellphone, withdrawing her attention from Rushella's declaration.
"Oh, new messages."
She swiftly read through the new messages and indulged herself in playing with her cellphone.
Eruru also resumed her efforts on the computer with renewed vigor.
These two were completely uninterested in Rushella's suggestion from the start.
Mercilessly cast aside, Rushella was just about to seek Hisui's support... But he was currently engrossed in a conversation with Kirika.
"Oh, so in other words, your master was your grandmother, Senpai?"
"Yes, Grandma taught me everything I know. Grimoires, little tools, gardens, she imparted all her knowledge to me. She was very well prepared and equipped for research."
"Based on the way you call her... Could it be that your grandmother was a foreigner?"
"She was true native of England. Apparently a family of witches that passed the tradition down the generations. Also, I am actually a quarter mixed."
"Ah, figures. I always felt you didn't seem very Japanese with your dignified airs."
"......E-Even if you praise me, it's not like you'll get any favors, okay? I baked some cookies... Would you like some?"
"Here, let me pour you some tea......"
Somehow the two of them ended up having a tea party.
Clearly those two had also cast Rushella completely to the side.
"...Everyone, please don't act like this. Well, it wasn't easy to gather everyone in the same club, so we should... We must have a little bit more 'interaction' right?"
Rushella suggested with a giggle, her tone of voice sounding like she was compromising.
Nevertheless, no one supported her.
All the members ignored her... Or rather, they listened to her suggestion and were focused intently on enjoying their time in the club.
"...This is unacceptable, you people, totally unacceptable!!"
Tears welling up in her eyes, Rushella yelled angrily, and Hisui was just next to her.
But he did not give much of a reaction, merely waving his hand with annoyance before continuing his engaged conversation with Kirika.
"So how's your grandmother recently?
"Her health hasn't been good lately. She had to leave home and recuperate at a facility somewhere."
"I see... I'd like to meet her and talk to her."
"You, talk to me first!!"
Rushella finally exploded.
Bursting into tears, she tugged Hisui's shirt and roared.
Hisui had no choice but to listen to her.
"...So you dragged me out to talk, what's the matter? Can't you give me some peace..."
"You totally look like an elementary student who left a note and ran away from home, only to come running back with a hungry stomach before dinner..."
"So annoying, shut up!"
Rushella began to hammer him with her fists.
She was already much stronger than Hisui. Now that sunset was approaching, her strength was even more frightening.
Seeing Hisui suffering again, Eruru could not help but speak up.
"By the way, an acquaintance gave me several of these free vouchers for the cake buffet at Seidou Hotel. Sweets are not my thing, so if you are interested, please take them."
Presented in Eruru's tiny, opened hand were three vouchers for entry.
Rushella stopped the violence and turned her attention over.
"What is that? And what does 'beauvais' mean?"
"Simply stated, you can eat as much cake as you want. Isn't this buffet the one that's quite popular recently? The desserts at that hotel seem quite high-class, I've been wanting to go actually."
Mei explained as she reached out and took a voucher.
"What do you think, Senpai? I'm sure you should be interested, don't you enjoy making snacks quite a bit? I don't want to go alone by myself."
"That's true... Hmm. A while ago, I did consider checking it out. The pastry chef at that hotel is quite famous."
Kirika also seemed interested and took a voucher from Eruru's hand.
"I can eat as much cake as I want...? To think such a dream-like place existed......? Using an analogy, it'd be like Hisui offering me his neck voluntarily, begging me to drink his blood!!"
"What kind of analogy is that... By the way, are you going? The expiry date on there is Saturday, in other words, tomorrow is the only day left."
Seeing Rushella's longing expression, Hisui gave her a friendly reminder.
"B-But... Is it really okay for me to go? Aren't you always stopping me from eating sweets!?"
"Don't describe me like some kind of mom who restricts intake of junk food. Since it's a buffet, of course you can eat to your heart's content."
"But there's only one voucher remaining......"
"Oh, I'm not really interested. Besides, sweets are not my thing either. Also, isn't this restricted to girls only? Even if I'm allowed, I'll pass on this kind of occasion that's packed with girls."
Hisui shrugged and reassured her worries.
Hearing him say that, Rushella finally stopped her tears and smiled.
"Really... Very well, I'll accept it. I'm sure you'll be quite lonely without me by your side during the weekend. Watch the house like a good boy and don't cry, okay?"
"Do you really think you're in any position to say that?"
Hisui was not completely relieved but since Rushella's spirits were lifted, plus the rare arrival of a completely free Saturday... However, things never went as one hoped.
Because a little later on the way home, Hisui discovered he had received a text message from Eruru.
Even though their eyes had not met much today, the contents of the message made his heart race.
"Please accompany me for a while tomorrow."
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