Chapter 15: Ruka
"Where is father?" I asked my mother as non-chalantly as I could manage. The dining table felt impossibly more large and impersonal with only the two of us sharing a meal at it.
"He's out late, something with the council I believe. Why?" she asked.
"The council? Why would he be with them?" I asked, a little confused, avoiding her question. My family had always been pro-monarchy, and supported the Kuran faction fully. We recognized that the council was in place to protect the Purebloods, but we didn't really trust them either. It was a little surprising to hear that my father was with the council.
Before my mother could answer, one of our servants came into the dining room and bowed, signaling that he had something to tell us.
"Excuse the interruption, Lady Souen, but there's someone here to see the young Lady Souen," he told my mother, speaking as if I wasn't even in the room.
"Someone here to see her?" she asked, just as a blonde head appeared behind the servant.
"Hello, Lady Souen. I was wondering, may I speak with Ruka?" Hanabusa said politely. I was a little surprised to see him as I hadn't been expecting him. The only time he and Akatsuki ever showed up at my house was on Saturday nights. Lord Kaname would meet with one of them each week to tell them if there were any rogue level E's he needed us to take care of, or sometimes other things he wanted us to do. The boys would then come to my house to update me; though I could never really go along because of my parents' constant supervision, I appreciated that they never stopped inviting me along. However, tonight was not Saturday, and Hanabusa rarely showed up here without Akatsuki.
"I suppose that would be alright…Ruka are you finished with your meal?" my mother asked me.
"Y-yes, please excuse me," I said before motioning for him to follow me upstairs to my room, the only place we could talk in private.
"Sorry to show up like this, but ever since your parents got rid of your house phone there's really no other way to contact you," Hanabusa apologized as we headed up the stairs.
"Yeah, I know," I told him, and I did. My family had had a phone before, but about two years ago they my parents had decided to do away with it. Not that it was uncommon for aristocrat families not to have one; we were a people firmly rooted in tradition and lacking technology because of it. However, it was often inconvenient when Hanabusa, Akatsuki and I needed to get a hold of each other and mail wasn't fast enough.
As we reached the door to my room I opened it and we walked in, sitting down on my bed. We both sat listening for a minute, making sure there was no one nearby who could listen in on our conversation.
"So what's this about?" I asked when I was sure that no one else would be able to hear us.
"I received some mail," he told me.
"That's it? Hanabusa why would you come all the way here to tell me—" I started irritably.
"No, you don't understand. Lord Kaname sent three letters to my house, one for each of us, and he left instructions."
"Letters? What did they say?"
"They're acceptance letters…to a school. A human school," he said quietly, watching me for my reaction.
"A human…school?" I echoed, bewildered. Why would Lord Kaname send us those?
"Yes. The same school that is on the outskirts of the town we hunt level E's in. Cross Academy."
"Cross…why does that sound familiar?" I wondered aloud, trying to figure out where I had heard it before.
"Cross…as in Kaien Cross. The hunter that we sent that boy to years ago. Here, read the letter," he said, handing the envelope to me.
I took it gingerly, opening it and reading it quickly. When I was done, I looked up at Hanabusa in shock.
"So…Lord Kaname wants us to join him at this…human school?" I asked, still confused but becoming more excited at the prospect of seeing Lord Kaname every night in a school setting. I had never attended any schooling outside of the private tutors my parents had hired during the week to teach me.
"Kaien Cross, the former hunter, has decided to start a night class at the school made up of vampires who are aristocrats or higher. Lord Kaname has agreed to attend, and he wants us to enroll as well."
"Could this be…what he spoke of that night at your Ketsueki Yudo? The time that he will need followers?" I asked, putting it together.
"I would imagine so. Like I said, Lord Kaname also sent a note with the letters. The note says that he sent all three letters to me because thought I would be a better choice than Akatsuki to receive them, and because he didn't want the letters intercepted by your family. It also said that you and I will need to persuade Akatsuki to come to the academy. Apparently Lord Kaname isn't so sure he'll come of his own free will. It ends by saying the time has come to decide if we want to follow him," he told me, conveying a lot of information at once.
"Akatsuki…doesn't want to go?" was the first thing my jumbled brain pulled out of what Hanabusa had said.
"Seems that Kaname doesn't think that Akatsuki is…as serious about following him as we are," he told me. "Don't worry, I'm going to him next to try to convince him to come with us."
"Hanabusa...do you think I'll be able to go?" I asked him uncharacteristically. He seemed surprised as well.
"I think…that the reason Lord Kaname didn't want your parents intercepting the letter to your house…was so that you could make your own decision," he told me seriously.
"I wonder…my mother told me right before you showed up that my father was with the council. Could that…?" I asked, leaving the question hanging.
"Your father is seeing the council? That is odd," he mused. "But regardless, I don't think that's important right now. My parents have agreed to let me go to the academy. So are you with me, Ruka?"
I hesitated. I was almost positive that if I were to ask my parents, they would refuse to let me go. However, maybe it was as Hanabusa said, and I needed to make my own choice. If that was the case, I didn't even have to think about what that would be.
"Yes. With or without my parents' consent, I will follow Lord Kaname until the night I die," I said proudly, earning a smile from my cousin.
"I feel the same way," he said, and then his brow furrowed. "Now we just have to convince Akatsuki to follow Lord Kaname."