Silver Cross and Draculea:Volume04 Chapter4

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Chapter 4 - Crimson Cohabitation[edit]

Part 1[edit]

Surprisingly, Rushella was a morning person.

To begin with, a nocturnal life was more desirable by vampirical biorhythm, but waking up early was not a bad thing in itself.

Though she was simply timid about staying up late and dozing off later during evening class only to be woken up by Hisui. However, waking up in the morning was a refreshing thing.

To be honest, she usually wakes up earlier than Hisui.

And sneaks into his room.

This aspect was as one would expect of a vampire.

The door to Hisui's room was left open. As even if he locked the door, she would just break it. That's why invading his room doesn't take much effort.

Today, once again she woke up before Hisui's alarm clock rang, and tried to wake Hisui up before the clock rang, or rather suck his blood.

Yesterday, she slept before Hisui came back from shopping, it seems he returned back home properly.

As always, his sleeping face under the blanket was peaceful with zero alertness.

"Fufufu, again with the sloppy face, in reality you want to have your blood sucked by me don't you?"

She licked her own lips while murmuring, and leaned on him carefully to not wake him up.

As the crimson lips approaches the nape like always, Hisui opened his eyes within a click.

"What's this? You woke up. Well its fine, just stay still"

"Who (are you)?"

While rubbing his eyes, Hisui tilted his head.

It might be that he was not able to see the face very well in the dark because of the closed curtains, but only two people live in this house.

"What are you day-dreaming about? Did you forget the face of your own master?"

"...Master? What are ya talkin about?"

"So your still half-asleep? Its me, hurry up and wake up!"

Rushella grabbed the collar of Hisui's T-shirt and shook him up.

Hisui blinked, surprised.

With certainty, he should be awake completely, but he still seemed puzzled.

"Seriously, who are you? A thief? A burglar? You have courage, I'll give you that. Well it was fortunate that you came to my room. If it was Miraluka's room, it wouldn't have ended with just being chopped into minced meat. Get lost, before you suffer from any painful consequences."

"What are you saying? Who are you calling a burglar!? Well, since I am staying in this Miraluka's room, I will punish any daring insolent one right away! ....Wait, That is already my room! As if I care about someone who is already dead!!!"

"What are you going on about? Hey, I will seriously call Miraluka and have her beat you up.... She is an absurdly heavy sleeper. If she ever learns that she was woken up because of you, you will have to suffer tremendously."

"Is something going to happen if you call someone who is not even there? There is a limit to how drowsy you can get!?

"Ehh..... not there? Oh, so that's why you came in.... Man, is she strolling around somewhere again? Or rather, who are you? You... are not a burglar right? Ehh.. Why.. Why am I being embraced by such a magnificent beautiful girl? I can't see this exchange completely."

However, upon hearing Hisui's compliment, Rushella smiled broadly.

"Wha.. What's with you? You're rather honest today"

"Well, its because I haven't seen such a beauty except Miraluka. On top of that, what is this... a na... naked white shirt?[1] What's with those breasts?"

Hisui blushed and stared at Rushella's breasts with sparkling eyes.

Usually Rushella would have slapped him across the face at least once, but upon seeing a new reaction, she smiled satisfyingly.

"Ohh.... Does it interest you?"

She elevated her breasts by clamping her arms. As if to provoke him.

Hisui's face reddened even further, and Rushella was getting immersed in an unspeakable sense of superiority.

"Ehh...... What does this mean? Such a magnificent beauty, in my room..... Ahh, I know, this must be a dream! Hey, hey, even if I am a middle school student, I am letting my lust out too much..... Excellent, do it more!"

"......I knew it, he is still half asleep. Very well, think of this as a dream if you want. Because to you, the time that you spend with me is always like a dream!"

During the out of sync exchange, Rushella nodded as if she was satisfied.

"Dream.....I see, so that's how it is. Well then, such an action... is acceptable too right?"
Draculea V04 - BW06.jpg

Hisui's hands timidly extends towards........ Rushella's chest.

Hisui's hand touched the erected breast with a boing.[2]

Just like that....... He buried his fingers in tender flesh.

"Wha!!!"

Within a moment, Rushella's face was dyed red.

However Hisui didn't notice that, and continued to stare at Rushella's breasts in amazement.

"Ehh, How could I reproduce..... such a realistic sensation? So I was extremely sexually frustrated."

While carefully rubbing Rushella's breasts, Hisui was letting out his feelings from the bottom of his heart.

One thing after another, he didn't let go, and was trying to proceed to the next phase.

"I...Is this...perhaps that, now.... I can do anything I want?"

"......As if! Move your hand already!!!"

Rushella shouted in a loud voice, and forcefully moved Hisui's hands away from her breasts.

Fortunately the hands were moved away immediately, but with that movement the buttons of her shirt popped out. Revealing the tender white skin in its entirety.

Her chest was not covered by anything, because she was not wearing any undergarments.

Hisui stared at the exposed nipple in wonder.

"DON'T LOOKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Rushella hid her breasts not by covering Hisui's eyes, but by embracing him.

However, it had the opposite effect in a sense. With surety the graphic sensation was transmitted to Hisui.

"Ah... This in itself is.... Ehh, what, are you tempting me?"

"Silence, shut up!!! Its fine already, without further ado, I'll leave after sucking your blood!!!"

Rushella opened her mouth widely.

Hisui made an impaired expression upon (seeing) the white sparkling fangs.

"That...Impossible, are you a vampire?"

"What are you saying at this point? Just listen up and be silent."

Lips drew near the nape, and the tip of the fangs bit into the skin.

Hisui made a frightful face, until now a yet to be seen expression.

"He..Hey stop....... What are you trying to do?"

"Silence!!"

Just as it was, Rushella thrust her fangs into the nape of Hisui, while pressing him down with great strength.

Hisui's face distorted.

Rather than yelling like always, he was only expressing the look of disgust and fear.

"Stop..."

His tone was weak, and his resistance too, was but little.

Even while feeling unease, Rushella violently continued to drink more than the usual amount with anger imposed in her deed.

Slurp, she detached her mouth from the nape, and as a finishing touch lightly licked the dripping blood with the tip of her tongue.

"Umm, it was delicious as always. Good grief, that's enough of your drowsiness! Come now, wake up already, and start preparing the meal! I have to eat properly, since I have morning training today!"

Rushella arranged her disordered clothes after triumphantly getting out of the bed.

At last her usual tension returned, but Hisui didn't even try to get up.

Just continued to emptily stare at ceiling with a pale face.

"Just for how long, are you going to sleep? You're a rather recalcitrant fellow. Something of this level shouldn't be anything to you."

She looked at Hisui while sniffing.

At that moment, she noticed the abnormality.

...................................

The wounds on Hisui's neck were not disappearing.

At that soft neck, there were still two marks, gaping wide cavities left there from the fangs.

The complexion didn't return to that face immediately, which was signifying that the amount of blood has not been recovered.

"What does that mean? What the heck happened to you?"

"What..... are you blabbering about? Aren't you the one who sucked it!"

Hisui got up while staggering, and replied in a provocative tone.

On a face that has lost its complexion, strangely only the lips retained the charming crimson.

And the shining fangs sticking out from his lips.

Suddenly increased in length, and of course Rushella knew what it meant.

The one standing before her eyes was an existence, closest to her.

Someone who existed in the gap between vampire and human.

The boy who repelled that curse despite having his blood sucked on many occasions, was now within the fate filled with blood.

Hisui gazed at Rushella who was standing still dumbfounded, with hostility and inquires anew.

"Who the heck are you?"

Part 2[edit]

"What's the meaning of this?"

Mei's shout echoed within the class room that was always empty.

Eruru, Kirika, Touko, Rushella and even Hisui was there but, rather than enjoyably relishing their meal, everyone was bewildered at the strange event.

Especially Hisui, who was looking around anxiously as if he did not understand the situation.

"Was this place called Seidou High School? I wasn't really planing on taking the exams, or rather why am I a high school student? Certainly.... My name was called out by the teacher, so I am properly enrolled. My height has grown too but..... Why? One year has passed no matter where I look, be it the newspaper or television.... Seriously what's going on?"

Explain the situation, he appealed with his eyes, but no one was able to explain it to him.

Hisui was strange.

Hisui was the only one out of it.

For the time being he was dragged by Rushella to school

However it seems, he doesn't remember being enrolled in this school, because he was frequently tilting his head in confusion.

But he was somehow able to make it though the morning class, even though it seemed like he had no idea about the content, he was not even trying to take notes.

Naturally he does not remember anyone, including Rushella. Even when he was greeted, he just tilted his head in confusion and asked (Who are you?)

The abnormality, obvious even by the eyes of an outsider, the scar on the neck hidden by the bandage became the deciding factor, and in the afternoon break, he was brought to the empty classroom.

"He became a vampire, on top of having no memories? Hey, what are you doing?"

Rushella only hung her head down in shame, upon being questioned by Mei.

Although she answered several questions asked by Eruru, she was still just like that from the morning, and had not even engaged in the conversations properly.

"What could be the problem? It would still be understandable if he had only lost his memories, but to have even his constitution change."

Kirika frowned with a serious face.

The neighboring Touko was also in deep thought, while drifting in air.

The instant that he met her, he made a scream upon confirming her form for the first time.

While every one was in deep thought, Eruru who was straightforwardly questioning Hisui and Rushella, spoke.

She drew the girls near and started to theorize, in a way that Hisui would not be able to hear it.

"I think that drug which causes the doppelganger phenomenon is involved here. Since then, I researched various cases and even looked into the manufacturer, the Magic Association, but it seems something like this can happen too."

".....Which means?"

On Kirika's question, Eruru spoke in a grave manner.

"In the doppelganger phenomenon, one is split in two rather than being duplicated, that kind of reference is more appropriate. In other words, last nigh after Kujou-kun.... parted with herRushella and went shopping, he met with an accident. Was it an accidental incident, or a planned attack..... Leaving that aside, one more of him was split and born from his own self."

"In other words, the other Hi-kun took the memories of this past year and,"

"Split, and took his constitution too. In short, the Kujou-kun here is a normal human being with the mind and memories of his third year of middle school. Though right now he is someone on the verge (of becoming a vampire)."

Eruru affirmed the words of Mei, and glared at Rushella.

She was biting her lips, her head still hanging down in regret.

"Eruru-chan quick question"

"What is it, Touko-san? And, asking a question is fine, but please stop slipping through my body."

"Iya, it kinda became a habit. Well.. Is the Hisui-kun here the real one? You know, if it's a doppelganger, it happens often right, in reality the real one and the clone switch places kind of thing! Well, they both might be real but........Ehh, then who's the fake? Huh, huh ehh?"

The ghost who had stepped into the puzzling road of philosophy, started to wander around with a "?" mark across her face.

"That was a very good way to look at this. Certainly, he was split, so that's why both of them can be called real. The line between the real one and the fake is simply within the personalities that appeared, which one is the usual Kujou-san, who we know......... It's just a problem of that degree. However, the only thing that confiscated drug caused was a doppelganger with a half-self.... As expected, there is a difference between the "original" and the "clone". The Kujou-san here is without a doubt the "original" with a complete body, there is no mistake in that."

"....I see. So, How can Hi-kun return to being normal again? Do we just have to find this divided clone?"

Mei inquired with a serious face.

Although everyone was worried about Hisui's well being, but she was specially not looking good.

"That's how it will be. Theoretically, the clone's range of operation should be restricted to original's immediate vicinity, around school grounds level maybe. But it wont go that easily."

Eruru frowned, looking at Hisui who was sitting in a separate place.

Within all kinds of stories related to Doppelganger, there are very few that end without a tragedy.

The other self, the embodiment of the hidden evil side, was generally not a friendly existence to the original self.

"Even if we search, he may be hiding himself intentionally. As you would expect from half-self, he will be quite hard to catch. He may be easier to find for someone like Touko-san."

"I see..... Then, I will try searching too! For what it's worth, should I go out of the school grounds? Kirika-chan, release the seal!"

"I will not. It will take lot of time, and if you make a mistake, it will develop into an even bigger uproar."

Kirika refused firmly.

It was simply cruel for Touko who had continuously brought about troubling rumors recently within the school grounds. Though fundamentally she was a good person.

"However, just losing the confiscated item seems to have developed into a serious matter. As predicted, someone took advantage of the ruckus and snatched it......?"

While Eruru was contemplating, Hisui who was watching until now, had started to approach nervously.

Even though his body was that of a High school freshman, his mind was still that of a third year student of middle school, just as one would expect with memory loss, his behavior was unusually formal.

"Umm......... In the first place, what's my relationship with everyone......? Or rather why am I acquainted with such beauties ......? What, did my popular breakthrough occur before I knew it?"

"You sure are carefree. As I thought, it seems fundamentally, you have not changed. Listen to me carefully, you're now--"

When Eruru sighed and tried to reproach him, Mei barged in and entangled her arm with Hisui's while pressing her breasts (against his arm).

"Oh yeah, by the way I'm the girlfriend, we started going out at the same time of enrollment into the high school."

"Eh, for real!?"

"To add, we have already progressed till B, and even further then........."

"Ehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!?"

Hisui faltered.

It was ill natured , since a part of it was true.

"He..Hey wait a second! Li.. its a lie Kujou-kun........ You're going out with me!"

Kirika entangled her arm with the opposite one from Mei's.

She rebuked Mei, but she did the same thing herself.

"Eh, what, what does it mean..... Two timing?"

"Tha.. that's wrong! Since the other day, you even came to my house! And in my room...."

"Eh, what.... what happened in the room!?"

He demanded, inquired for an answer, but Kirika face just reddened, and did not reply.

The crowd, did not deny, since it was true.

"Just what is happening to my high school life...... I believed, I've been living a pretty normal life without causing any special waves.......?"

"Ah, to tell you the truth, you're going out with me?"

Taking advantage of the situation, Touko joined too.

She hugged him from behind, and wrapped her arms around Hisui's neck, who had both of his arms stolen.

"Ehhiiiiiiiiii!? I, even laid my hands on a dead person......?"

"Ah, that way of speaking hurts my feelings! In love things like the gap of life and death should be fine, shouldn't it. I want to love, even if I am ghost!" [3]

"First of all, please rest in peace."

Eruru cut her off indifferently.

Eruru took her eyes off of Hisui, who had his hands full with two people plus one ghost, and looked at Rushella who did not try to break into the conversation.

In this kind of situation, she would usually charge in and cling to Hisui, while scattering the other women, but she just hung her head in shame.

"The urgent matter here should be Kujou-kun's body...... But I wonder what happened?"

Eruru twisted her lips, after she took a glance at the scar made by fangs on Hisui's neck.

It was being hidden by bandages but still having that detestable scar near itself, did not fit well with her.

"As I anticipated, should we take the most effective way of dealing with this?"

In an instant, Eruru got close to Rushella and thrust the muzzle of the sacred argentum gun to Rushella's forehead.
Draculea V04 - BW07.jpg

A speedy technique that could not be captured by the eyes...... It should have been that, but it was not like with Rushella's reflexes she couldn't have dodged that.

But, she just bit her lips, and did not try to move.

Even if she was a vampire, if a silver bullet was shot at point black range and blew her brains out, she would certainly perish.

"Just ........!"

Wait, Kirika tried to continue, but kept her silence after she took a look at Eruru.

The Eruru now was filled with murderous intent, that is she wouldn't allow anyone's to object.

"Even if Kujou-san's doppelganger was found, and managed to successfully fuse with him......... There is no guarantee that body will return to how it was before, since it was abnormal until now. A constitution that could easily absolutely nullify vampirization, perhaps I had gotten overly familiar with that kind of thing, which was even more vague than an illusion."

".................."

Rushella did not move, merely made a small clenched fist, and was just firmly clenching it tightly.

"I had warned you, the reason your actions weren't restricted was just because there have not been any victims, but now we have a victim here, who had his blood sucked by you and put his leg into the destiny of the cursed tribe. Have you made up your resolve?"

Eruru put her little finger onto the trigger.

And, if she put just a little more strength into it, Rushella's brains would blow inside out.

Even if it was afternoon, nonetheless, if it was a vampire, he/she would probably be able to dodge a bullet in its initial velocity.

However, Eruru would move taking all that into consideration.

Rushella already lost the moment she had gun point pinned to her forehead.

And nobody tried to stop it.

Just as Eruru had mentioned, the most effective remedy for Hisui's body now, which was put in an unprecedented state, was the method which had been passed down since ancient times, the only and absolute method, which was to destroy the vampire that sucked the (victim's) blood.

"Stop it"

Hisui moved.

After he forcefully freed himself from Mei and the others, he grabbed the barrel of argentum.

"What are you trying to do? Even if you have forgotten about this past year, you surely have not forgotten the knowledge regarding vampires too, have you? Then you should comprehend, just what kind of situation you have been put into?"

Eruru coldly stated.

In a certain sense, she was the one who was most disturbed by the current situation.

"Well, it's just as you said, but it's not like I want stop being human. It's only, shouldn't that be the last resort? We start from finding this clone of mine. If that does not work......"

"If that does not work?"

"I will think about it at that time"

Hisui optimistically answered while looking at Rushella who still had her head hung low.

Eruru shrugged, and lowered the gun.

".....As I thought, you have not changed. Well it's fine, for a short while continue on with that body, and face your own foolishness."

".... No"

Rushella finally raised her voice.

Clenching her fist, she stated with a compelling tone.

"As I thought.... This is some kind of mistake!! Even until now, wasn't he just fine the whole time!! Even when he was sucked by other vampires, he was completely fine.....Even my mystic eyes didn't work at all. As if that kind of guy would become my blood relative with utter ease!!!"

Those words, they could be taken as trust.

Mei, Kirika, and Touko looked at each other with an inexpressible expression.

Since Hisui clearly became a vampire, Rushella's words could easily be put off as a bluff.

However, Rushella had an grim expression, and like her, she won't let out the words to deny the trust (they had) in Hisui.

Only her, Eruru alone spoke with coolness.

"Then, try to test him. Did he really sink into becoming your slave or not?"

"What do......you want me to do?"

"A very simple thing. Please command him. A command that he will absolutely not follow normally. He who is your servant now, after becoming a vampire by having his blood sucked. He should obey your orders. Of course, with his willpower and extent of his progress as a vampire, resistances is possible to certain degree, but he should not be able to oppose if we include your, a {Shinso} mystic eyes. So how about testing it out."

Eruru conveyed with a provocative tone.

Rushella'a stiffened face eventually changes, and with it her tone returns to the normal arrogant one.

"Have it your way. If he was a man that will become a slave that easily, then I won't face anymore trouble too. Hey Hisui, come here. Kneel beneath me, and lick my feet!"

Rushella conveyed pridefully while she sat on the desk and crossed her long legs.

She lit the crimson light in her pupil. Even though she said it in a completely commanding tone, but from the start she didn't believe Hisui would just obey.

It will just end with "Who would do that" comeback. Yes, Rushella did not doubt that.

Excluding Eruru, other girls were hoping for that too.

Even so..

Hisui easily kneeled with hollow pupils.

He indubitably looked up at Rushella who sitting in a high place, as if he was looking at his master. With his tongue he started to move towards those legs...

"St... Stop it!!"

Rushella restrained him, and clattered her legs. With that vigorous momentum, Hisui's was kicked, and he unsightly fell backwards.

"It hurts........... Huh, what was I doing?"

Hisui, after regaining his sanity, blinked in surprise while caressing the area around his nose.

He noticed Rushella hugging herself while trembling continuously, but did not understand the reason entirely. Same with Mei, and the others who were looking at him with speechless faces.

"With this its all clear. The present Kujou-kun is a victim of a complete vampire. I will take him into my custody."

Just like that, Eruru took Hisui by his hand, and lead him outside the classroom.

For an instant, Rushella extended her hand, but gave up immediately, and lowered her hand powerlessly.

"Hey Eruru-chan, where are you going!?"

"For now I will take him to my home. It will become troublesome even if I explain the situation to the Supernatural Investigations Section, having said that, it just won't do if I just neglect this. Either way, as he is now, he won't be able to keep up with high school classes, and for me it wasn't necessary in the first place. I am leaving early, well then."

Eruru dragged Hisui just like that towards the staff room after answering Mei's question indifferently.

Strongly even though she had small stature, Hisui was not able to oppose.

"Or rather, who are you? I thought others, well excluding Ghost-san, that everyone were high school students, but why is a middle school student? Or perhaps for worse even elementary school student geboh"

Before he could say it, Hisui was hit with a powerful body-blow, and was dragged along while he had cuff coming out from his mouth.

The remaining three excluding Rushella, looked at each other, started to plan what to do from here on.

"What do we do?"

Upon Kirika's inquiry, Mei murmured while looking at Rushella.

"For the time being..... I will take over."

Part 3[edit]

"...Why are you here?"

That night, two people sat opposite each other at the dining table.

Rushella and Mei.

Hisui and Eruru had left. After school, Mei and Rushella returned to Hisui's home together.

Along the way, the two girls remained silent. After getting there, Mei had gone to the kitchen to prepare dinner. Currently, beef steak, cooked vegetables, salad and consomme soup were on the table.

Of course, the food had portions for two.

"Hi-kun's not here so it's not like I want to be here. I am here to keep you under surveillance. You have to understand your current position. Now that you've sucked someone's blood and made him turn into a vampire, using human terms, you are a criminal. I have to watch you so that you don't go to jail or get into more trouble. Hurry up and thank me."

"Like anyone would..."

Rushella turned her face to the side, sulking.

Mei started to eat without saying anything.

"Hurry and eat, don't waste the food I made, okay? My cooking skills were meant to perform in front of Hi-kun, but I never expected you to enjoy them first."

"It's not like I asked you."

Despite not backing down verbally, Rushella still started to eat.

But as soon as she put a piece of meat in her mouth, she frowned.

"...This is overcooked. The meat has no juice left!"

"Shut up. I eat it how I like it."

"The salad's nothing special either. Hisui's is better."

"And whose fault is it that you can't eat that tasty cooking right now?"

Struck in a sore spot, Rushella shut up.

Mei pressed the advantage.

"...Say, you didn't notice anything unusual about Hi-kun when sucking his blood?"

"...Shut up."

"Why exactly do you stay with him, have you never thought about that? Hi-kun's constitution doesn't mean that he will be immune to vampirization forever, right? Even if this time it turns out fine, perhaps one day it will come to an end. This time is okay, he is still turning, but if you didn't notice soon enough, he could have turned completely into a vampire with no chance to go back. Ah, perhaps that might be better for you... Isn't that your goal all along?"

Mei stared at Rushella and asked.

Indeed, she used to keep mentioning this catchphrase.

"I'll make you mine!"

And right now, Hisui was officially Rushella's possession.

If Rushella wanted, they could share senses even when separated far away.

She could even call him using thoughts.

But Rushella did not do that.

Rather than unable, she chose not to do it.

"I don't want..."

"Don't want what?"

"I don't want things to be like now... I don't want this kind of Hisui..."

Rushella whispered in loneliness.

Seeing her act quite far from her usual conceit, Mei did not press further.

"Pay more attention before drinking blood. I guess Hi-kun really should live in my house after all?"

"That guy is in the middle of vampirization, you know? You, umm... want to make babies with a human, right? Right now... No, even back then, he's not an ordinary human no matter how you look at it. Even so... You're still willing?"

Rushella went on a counter offensive.

Mei was also struck in a sore spot and pouted unhappily.

"Well... That's true. Although he keeps calling himself nothing more than a high schooler, that's clearly impossible."

"...In that case."

"However... In my heart, that doesn't really matter although I'm quite surprised too. But... Isn't this true love? Without reason, following no rules, going against logic... This feeling of wanting his babies❤ in spite of everything?"

"...Hmph."

Rushella scoffed unhappily, scowled and continued to eat her food.

Meat was supposed to be her favorite and the taste did not seem bad. Even greatly displeased, she still shoved food into her mouth.

"Hey, I've got a lame question."

"What?"

"Since vampires have no concept of starvation from lack of food, you don't really need to eat, right? Why are you wolfing things down?"

"The body wants..."

"Yeah, I've heard a theory before, like so-called phantom limbs hurting. When a human turns into a vampire, the brain retains the feeling of 'hunger' from its time as a human, so the body wants it even if it doesn't need food... But you're a True Ancestor, right? That feeling shouldn't exist in the first place?"

"...W-What's wrong with this? Besides, that parent of Hisui's also eats and Hisui says she's very particular about food!"

"Well, since she's lived for so long, surely she tasted human food before and it became a kind of habit? But... what about you? How long have you lived? Or, how old are you?"

"No idea... If I did, it wouldn't be so tough for me."

Rushella's memory of the past was still a total blank.

She had appetite.

And was picky.

But speaking of flavors she missed, her past favorites--she could not recall any.

If anything--She liked everything Hisui made.

"What a girl who's hard to serve."

"You're noisy, shut up! Stop talking about this unimportant stuff... How's Hisui?"

Rushella was more concerned about this most important issue.

The originally sort of harmonious dining table atmosphere instantly grew much heavier.

"You should know better yourself, right? Curing vampirization means destroying you... Or finding Hi-kun's doppelganger to merge them. Is there a third solution?"

"But what if finding that guy's doppelganger doesn't recover it...?"

"Then Eruru-chan doesn't need to take the trouble. I'll personally put a stake through your heart when the time comes. Don't worry."

Mei boldly claimed the last piece of meat with her fork.

The flying meat juices seemed to predict a battle between them as the worst outcome.

"Just you try."

"I won't show mercy."

Sparks flew from their gazes as smiles emerged from the corners of their lips.

Vampire and artificial human, formidable contenders for the throne of the strongest monster--Who shall be the victor, one day it will be decided.

"Say... Umm, Hisui's doppelganger, that guy..."

"If you want to search, you need permission from Eruru-chan first. But Hisui's over with her, so it's better to leave things to them. Do you have any ideas on where Hi-kun frequents? For the last year would be best."

"I only met him in April, you know? I don't know anything about before that... He usually just goes to school and comes home, shopping as well..."

"To accommodate your lifestyle, his circle of activity has shrunk all at once. Oh well, let's try searching this house first. The basement is very spacious, right? He could be hidden there."

"...Maybe. But there's the Tzara Blade down there, I don't really want to go..."

"Then I'll go. You search some other place."

"Don't order me around!"

Despite retorting, Rushella still followed the suggestion and began searching the house seriously.

Mei went to the basement to look for the other Hisui... Naturally, the search turned up nothing.

"That sword... Where did it go?"

A room resembling a study in layout, a vast library, storeroom, wine racks, searching the basement thoroughly, she did not see the cross-shaped sacred sword, the Tzara Blade that Hisui took out occasionally.

A careful examination of the floor showed signs of where the Tzara Blade was originally embedded but it was empty now.

That sword could not be found anywhere.

"Taken away... Who did it? It must be Hi-kun, right...?"

The answer could not be known, Mei's only choice was to leave the basement.

It was late at night, so she headed over to Hisui's room.

Although he was not around, since she was already at his house, of course sleeping in his room was the right thing to do.

"To welcome Hi-kun's return any time, I have to mark his bed with my fragrance❤"

...Making up this sort of reason, Mei put on the highly revealing babydoll she had worn before and jumped on Hisui's bed.

But greeting her was not the sensation of the mattress springs but a soft yet elastic body and bosom.

Yes, Rushella.

Rushella still kept her habit of wearing Hisui's uniform shirt and had taken the bed first, giving off steady breathing noises.

"...Why are you here!?"

Mei grabbed her collar and shook Rushella forcefully.

Woken up, Rushella rubbed her eyes in annoyed anger.

"So noisy, shut up!! Where I sleep is my freedom!"

"Go sleep in your own room! Or perhaps you're seeking his warmth in his bed since he's not home!? Why do I find this situation so familiar!?"

"So noisy, once you're here, I can't smell that guy's scent anymore! Scram!"

"I'm the one who wants to blame you! Hand over Hi-kun's pillow right now!!"

"Like anyone would give it to you!"

Rushella buried her face into the pillow and began to rub it as though showing off.

Then shoving the pillow in her bosom, she swore to defend it to the point of death.

"A battle of superiority here after all...? Hi-kun's bed is mine!!"

"Shut up, it's mine!!"

The battle for the title of the strongest monster began for this super stupid reason.

Finally, striking each other simultaneously, the two girls rolled off the bed onto the floor, falling asleep on the cold wooden floor. That happened an hour after the battle started.


"...I feel a chill down my spine, like some disaster is going on behind my back in my domain."

Hisui grumbled while lying on the sofa.

Despite sleeping on high class stuff, it was someone else's home after all and it felt unfamiliar.

Unfamiliar ceiling, furniture, air, even that unfamiliar stranger--She was taking a bath.

After skipping afternoon lessons, Hisui was first taken to Seidou Hospital.

Then going through vampire tests, there was a detailed examination of his vampirization rate. He heard that he had received this kind of testing before, but he had no memory of it.

Due to Rushella sucking too much blood at once, compared to one instance of blood feeding, the vampirization was quite severe. Reportedly, his blood loss had reached 60% of full vampirization.

"So that means I'm closer to the vampire side now, huh."

Hisui touched his lengthened fangs and sighed.

These series of questions left him scratching his head.

Along the way, he had asked that Eruru girl about the situation.

To be honest, a lot of it was totally incomprehensible and difficult to believe.

But she did not look like she was lying and the one year blank in his memories was real.

Whether newspapers or television, everything proved the passage of time. Only he was out of touch with the times.

It looked like what those girls said about another him was true.

But just the fact of his constitution was incomprehensible.

Despite his unusual upbringing, a constitution immune to vampirization was unheard of.

No wait.

Miraluka seemed to have mentioned it.

The key to unraveling the link between humans and vampires.

One of the theories exhibiting the possibility of coexistence.

"No good, I still can't recall it... I remember her talking about something after drinking too much red wine..."

The foster parent who had raised him, more than a thousand years old, occasionally murmured incomprehensible things filled with philosophical flavor.

That itself was fine, but the worst thing was that every time she got totally drunk, she ended up hugging him.

Despite such a slender body, those breasts pressing against him were unreasonably massive... Plus the ear-biting attacks, it was too stimulating for a boy in puberty.

Rumor had it that getting blood sucked by a vampire was accompanied by arousal and pleasure, that could very well be true.

Although getting his blood sucked this morning was super painful.

Really painful like dying.

Apart from that... Truly so beautiful.

Those lips touching his neck, the tongue licking every drop of his blood, all was beautiful to the point of suffocation.

However, when that girl found out he was turning into a vampire, her face went pale as though she saw the end of the world.

Why?

Clearly she was a vampire.

"I really don't get it..."

Hisui muttered blankly, stood up and checked out his surroundings.

After the hospital examination, Eruru took him to her house.

It looked quite a classy high rise apartment and she lived alone.

Just as he was hesitating at the door, wonder if it was appropriate to enter, a kick to the shin sent him inside.

"Am I always treated like this?"

It seemed like he was particularly popular with girls since high school, this unsettled Hisui.

Speaking of which, how did he get to know this person?

With such questions, Hisui looked at the spacious living room.

Earlier, she said feel free to drink anything from the fridge.

He wanted to just grab something to quench his thirst but when Hisui saw the other fridge, he could not help feeling curious.

The other fridge was only half the size of a personal fridge and looked like those simple ones in hotels.

Living alone, a single fridge was more than enough. However, Hisui did not find this fridge out of place.

Because it was the same in his home.

There was the normal fridge for his and Miraluka's food.

Beside it was another small fridge.

That was exclusive to Miraluka, he had never opened it before.

Rather, Miraluka forbade him from opening it.

If this fridge here was the same, contained inside was--


"Are you thirsty?"


Just as his hand touched the handle, Eruru appeared in the living room after her bath.

She was still using the bath towel to dry off the beads of water dripping from her hair.

Eruru was dressed in cute pajamas of pure white, decorated with abundant frills like her casual clothing. For some reason, her tone of voice was so cold.

"This fridge does not have anything for you to drink. Please open the adjacent one. There should be mineral water and milk."

"Isn't this one more suited to the way I am now?"

Hisui pointed at the small fridge.

Eruru turned her face away, basically saying yes.

With that, Hisui was certain of the fridge's contents.

"Inside this fridge... It's blood, right? Blood packs."

"..."

"Because my parent did that before. She has meals normally as well but the main staple sustaining her life is this. But she never allowed me to see her drinking blood and forbade me from opening that fridge. Actually I don't really mind. What's so strange about vampires drinking blood. But you..."

"I am a dhampir."

Eruru confessed without looking at Hisui's eyes.

For Hisui in his amnesia, this was her first time revealing her identity.

But Hisui did not seem to panic.

"I see... That's why you understand vampires so much."

"This has nothing to do with parents. It is the result of my own learning. Also, it is totally your fault that I keep blood packs for backup...."

"Huh?"

"Y-You were the one who told me to stop taking those drugs for suppressing the urge to drink blood, that is why I...!"

Unbelievably, Eruru actually lost composure and started to explain.

Naturally, the current Hisui did not remember what he had said.

He simply scratched his head and imagined what he felt at the time.

"...I said something like that huh. But yeah, dhampirs are like vampires, there's a limit to endurance, so drinking in moderation is better..."

"I know that! Otherwise, sanity cannot be maintained. Truly tragic. Say... Are you actually thirsting for blood?"

Eruru leaned over and asked, clearly without displeasure, apparently worried about Hisui's body for real.

Dhampirs inherited dual traits from vampires and humans. In this sense, they were quite similar to victims of vampires.

Just as a dhampir craved blood, vampire victims also thirsted for fresh blood as though trying to refill the blood that had been sucked away from them.

"No... Not really. I can still bear it. On the other hand, I'm a bit thirsty."

"...Very well. Tell me if you cannot bear it. I will send you to the hospital for a transfusion.

"..."

In principle, blood should be taken orally as a vampire's food, transfusion had little meaning in this sense.

But for a victim in the process of vampirization, it was still possible to suppress the urge to suck blood as a method for replenishing lost blood, hence it was an effective type of treatment.

Even if losing rationality from severe vampirization, transfusions could produce an alleviating effect to some degree to maintain sanity.

"But... Isn't drinking blood less of a hassle?"

"You want to choose such a horrifying solution?"

"Who knows."

Hisui took out a bottle of mineral water from the normal fridge and sat on the sofa.

Drinking a bit of water, he spoke slowly.

"When I was small, I fell over in front of my parent. My knee was scraped and it bled."

"..."

"There was a lot of blood and it was very painful. I ran to her, crying. Then.. She licked her lips."

"Very normal. A vampire after all."

For a vampire, blood was the desire prioritized above all thought.

Even with a young child holding the injury and crying, as long as there was blood, in the first instant, their eyes would ignore all else.

Instinctively, she wanted to suck blood.

No vampire could escape this fate.

"...Right, as a vampire it's perfectly natural. But when she noticed me looking at her, her face went pale all at once. She held her breath and turned her gaze away from the wound, bandage it frantically. It was my first time seeing her in a panic."

"What are you trying to say?"

"Nothing much... Her look that time was very similar to Rushella's expression. When Rushella sucked my blood and discovered I was turning into a vampire."

"Since she regrets it, why not avoid sucking blood in the first place? If self-control does not work... Then she should not live with humans."

"Maybe. But Miraluka also never did anything to me... I really don't mind. Although I didn't mind in my heart... I never told her. Of course, I never mentioned that incident after the fact."

Hisui recalled his parent back then.

After his wound was bandaged, he still could not speak out.

Towards the vampire side his parent displayed--He must have felt fear back then.

Then afterwards, all along... all along, he failed to tell her.

Then what about himself during that blank period?

Himself for the past year?

Did he say it out?

"Say... Where's my parent, do you know?"

"..."

Eruru was unable to answer.

She tried to be an expressionless listener throughout the entire process but no matter how she feigned calmness, her wavering face could not be controlled.

"I looked at the house before going to school today. Her room feels like it's changed, but there's no note. She used to leave notes for me when leaving the house and there's no record in my cellphone either. The calls and text messages are all from you girls. What exactly... happened to her?"

Hisui stared straight at Eruru. She was at a loss for words.

To be honest, the current Hisui was in an unstable state. Eruru was very hesitant on revealing the bad news to him.

But Hisui was surely going to find out the truth on his own soon.

Redundant fake kindness might hurt him even more.

"I heard she passed away. You told me."

"...I see."

Unexpectedly, Hisui's answer was very calm.

He neither broke down crying nor was angry, simply accepting the truth indifferently.

"Are you not curious? Her death and the whole story... Although I know very little. Or do you remember vaguely?"

"No, no impression at all. I also feel that I'm supposed to be very depressed... I didn't expect to be this calm. What happened over the past year?"

"I only met you in April. If anything huge happened, there was only your meeting a vampire."

"...How unlucky am I exactly?"

Hisui smiled in self-mockery, lying back on the sofa.

Eruru did not ask about his past anymore and switched to more practical issues.

"To avoid speeding up the vampirization, please do not make contact with Rushella-san. If she visits you, do not let her in."

"...What if she breaks the door down?"

"I will shoot."

"Okay, I won't see her."

"On our side, we will also track down your doppelganger. Please do not... take action alone. Right now, you are totally an ordinary human."

"I know."

Hisui muttered and closed his eyes.

Probably due to the sun's rays, he felt no strength in his limbs.

Combined with the symptoms of vampirization--his anemic body was also causing him suffering.

Sighing, Hisui drifted off to sleep.

Eruru covered him with a blanket but Hisui was unaware, having fallen in to deep slumber.


"...Is that okay?"

Reina was standing in a dark alley that looked like a gangster hangout.

More accurately, it was the other Reina--Her doppelganger.

The girl's main body had returned home already, most likely gone to bed.

But the other her was still in school uniform, loitering in the streets at an hour that would surely elicit questioning from the police.

Also, she was meeting someone in an alley downtown.

No, whether the other person was human was still unknown.

While wandering the streets, a tall, dark shadow called to her.

Then she was given the drug that gave rise to her birth.

There was only one command received--Make Kujou Hisui smell the drug.

Only that.

The girl only agreed because she wanted to know Hisui's true nature hidden in his heart. She wanted to know how much she meant to the boy who hung around Rushella all day, occasionally showing sighs of sorrow.

Of course, supposing his doppelganger was born, it might not be a good thing for her necessarily.

Relying on uncertain phenomenon only meant obtaining uncertain results. No one could guarantee this could help her.

If it were her other self, if it were her who was always considerate of others, surely she would not choose this path.

--Hence, I shall be the one to take this path.

"You are really seeking your own destruction. As expected, your main body is still more human."

"Are you praising me?"

Reina answered briefly to the seductive voice.

Her voice sounded more like a boss lady from a night establishment pulling customers from the streets rather than the usual honors student.

"You will eventually disappear. But if you do not return to the main body, that body cannot escape the fate of weakening. That is how doppelgangers work. If the other self gains too well-defined an ego, then both will disappear. But if you return to the main body, you will be sunk into the depths of consciousness again. That highly self-disciplined true self will not allow you to see the light of day again."

"...What do you want me to do?"

The other person did not answer.

That person shrugged in an exaggerated manner, looking like it did not matter.

Taking the small bottle from Reina's hand, she had no intention of issuing other missions.

"You are free. Do as you wish. Do something the other you cannot do."

"...Who are you? Why do you... Kujou-kun...?"

"I want to understand him more. Also, I want to test that irregular 'True Ancestor.' These are my only two goals."

"...?"

"We will probably never meet again. Act according to your wish, that's all."

She lifted her long cape and vanished into the air like a bird spreading its wings.

Reina was left alone under the night sky.

Her translucent body outline would make one wonder if the entire world had abandoned her.

Finally, the girl's figure was swallowed amidst the scenery of the streets at night.

The next day, there were many rumors among students--The serious and hardworking class rep was seen late at night downtown. Of course, the serious person in question had no idea of any of this.

There was another rumor--Under the color of night, a boy was roaming the streets with a cross-shaped white package carried on his back.

He did not do anything special, simply frequenting shops and convenience stores then shaking his head in loneliness.

Only one ramen shopkeeper had seen him before, together with a woman who seemed to be his relative. When he saw the boy standing outside his shop, the shopkeeper made conversation with him.

"Hey, little lad, I think you used to come here frequently..."

"Yeah, I came with my family. The flavor here is not bad and you don't use garlic."

"...Hmm, eh, what happened to the pretty lady?"

Hearing the shopkeeper's question, the boy simply smiled with loneliness.

It was a tearful smiling look, concentrating infinite sorrow.

He turned and left without answering.

As the shopkeeper watched him leave, he heard a pitiful sigh:

"Miraluka..."


Translator's Notes and References[edit]

  1. A concept similar to naked apron in otaku culture.
  2. A sound effect.
  3. 幽霊でも恋がしたい! (Yuurei-demo-koi-ga-shitai !), does it remind anyone of anything?
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