Zero entered a small stone building with Yuki
draped over his shoulder. Kanade and Aido stared after him as they stood in the
doorway, not completely understanding where they were, but Kanade knew it was a
hunter building and she feared to go inside.
"Thanks for the hard work, but um... who are you?" A hooded man said from inside. Zero pulled out his gun and the man instantly knew who he was. "Oh! It's you Mr. Kiriyu! Please come with me. I assume you are in need of a bed?"
The man started to lead him away but Zero stopped and turned back towards the two vampires standing in the doorway. Aido examined the entrance and Kanade tried to look around inside to see if there was anyone else there that might want to hurt her. A gate suddenly fell in front of them and they jumped back in fear.
"What-- What the hell is this!" Aido exclaimed. Kanade could feel his shock and it made her nervous. They stood stiff with wide eyes as Aido's fear poured into Kanade. Zero gave them an annoyed look.
"The reaction of the gate is slow." Zero commented. The hooded man nodded.
"Yes sir, I'll have it adjusted."
The gate started to lift and Kanade tried to push away Aido's shock. She focused on Zero's emotions which calmed her down a bit.
"Sorry, this place is one of the safe houses belonging to the Hunter Association. It's set up so vampires can't come in unless they've been tamed already." Zero said as he waited for the gate to disappear. He walked up to them and picked up Kanade in a way so she was sitting on his arm. She wrapped her arms around his neck and stared at him in surprise. "Or unless they’re carried in someone's arms." Aido stood in the doorway and started to sob.
"I was so shocked! You should have said so sooner!" He exclaimed.
"I'll come and get you later." Zero said as he walked inside with the two girls in his arms.
"No I'll just stand watch outside the door." He sulked. "I'm busy trying to figure out what, ideally, we should do for her."
"Blood tablets. Just giver her a bunch of them when she regains consciousness."
"This way sir, there's no one else tonight so all the rooms are free." The hooded man said as he led the way.
Kanade, still in his arms, stared at Zero as she tried to identify his emotions. They were scattered and hard to pinpoint. She could feel how happy he was to be so close to Kanade yet how sad he felt being around Yuki. He still loved her and she could feel it. His heart was so broken and it just reminded Kanade if hers. He glanced over at her from the corner of his eye and she could feel a little bit of the sadness begin to fade, but it wasn't completely gone.
They were far enough inside that he could have put her down; however, he did not let go. He wanted her as close to him as possible so the void inside him was at least half filled. He wanted to be with Kanade, he wanted to love her fully and for her to feel the same, but he knew that such a thing was only a dream.
Kanade brought her lips up to his ear and took a sharp breath. He slightly trembled at her hot breath and she felt a grin tug at her lips.
"I love you." She whispered. He stopped, but he didn't even glance at her. He just stared at the wall in front of him as he listened to her quiet breaths. She felt her heart flutter as she finally got to say how she felt without the fear of rejection.
He looked over at her and she smiled. He walked inside the small room and the hooded man left. Zero suddenly felt the barely conscious girl start to sit up and lick his neck. Kanade stared at them wide eyed as he set her down and Yuki bared her fangs, ready to sink her teeth into him. Zero watched her cautiously, waiting for her to break that precious rule. Yuki met his eyes and realized what she was doing.
"Ah." She lifted her head up.
"Changed your mind didn't you? Well, you just barely escaped dying."
Yuki put her hand over her mouth and her emotions around Kanade.
"Put me down on the ground." She said as she stared at him.
"If you can stand."
"I can, thank you." He set her down and she took a step back. She looked between Kanade and him and the window behind her cracked. "I'm sorry."
"No." He kept his head down and Kanade tried to ignore his sadness as she watched Yuki slowly draw back to the window that was now shattered.
"I'm very sorry..." She faked a smile. "I'm really sorry for always being such a scatter brain." She jumped out the window and Kanade couldn't help but feel horrible for the both of them.
Zero stared after. She could feel his pain as his urge to drink from Yuki overwhelmed him.
"Zero?" She whispered and as she slowly walked towards him, worried about his well being.
He looked over at her and the next thing she knew she was being pinned to the wall with her legs wrapped around his waist and his lips pressed against hers. Her eyes widened in surprise and her heart began to quicken, her first kiss with Zero was beyond passionate. She went along with it, wanting to fill the hole in his heart along with hers. She hoped that if she gave herself to him his hunger would be fulfilled. With every touch of his lips, with every passionate caress on her soft skin, she felt her face flush, and her parted mouth became dryer with each panting breath. He kissed down her neck and bared his fangs before sinking his teeth into her flesh without warning and drinking her sweet, warm blood in hope to curve his hunger.
Yuki ran off with Aido
screaming after her. She needed to run away. She didn't want to hurt Zero
anymore. She felt absolutely horrible for causing him so much pain
She stopped running to catch her breath and
she came across Kaname's wolf form.
"You... were okay despite the attack. I'm so glad." She said as she panted furiously. "Please brother, I want to go home. It's okay if I'm punished so please." She pleaded to the wolf. He turned into a swarm of bats and surrounded her, transporting her back home.
Aido watched as she disappeared and dreaded the thought of Lord Kaname's disappointed expression as he punished the noble who couldn't even control a small child like girl.
Meanwhile, a soft moan built in Kanade's throat but she held it back as she felt Zero start to pour into her heart and unravel her dark secrets.
Zero found himself standing somewhere else entirely. There was a large apple tree similar to the one Kanade would sit by after classes. Sitting underneath the tree was a young girl playing with a doll. She looked exactly like Kanade as a child, except for one thing that stood out the most to Zero. She looked up at him and smiled. Her blood red eyes glowed.
"Kaname!" She exclaimed, shooting her arms up as she stood. Zero looked behind him and there was a young boy with long brown hair and brown eyes smiling back at the young girl.
Zero looked up the tree and there was Ichiru and himself as toddlers along with another child version of Kanade sitting on one of the large branches. Zero turned to his right and standing a few feet away from him was another version of himself with his hands in his pockets and his gun at his feet.
"I will keep you safe, no matter the cost." The other version of himself said. Zero then turned to his other side to see another version of Kaname, but older.
"I've loved you since the beginning of time..." Kaname said. “My blood will save you from the madness.”
"Zero." A soft voice said in the wind. "Zero." It said again.
"Zero... wait." Kanade groaned as she tried to move out of his grip. She gasped as Zero unclenched his fangs from her skin. He lifted his head to meet her gaze. She felt a bit weak with the loss of blood as she tried to catch her breath. "There is more to me than you know and I would like to warn you beforehand."
"What do you mean? What was that?" He asked.
"There is a reason why I am the pureblood princess, but I do not even come close to ruling. There is a reason why I have feelings for... Kaname…" She trembled at the sound of his name, "…the way I do... I don't know what you saw, but… this is not my first life." His disbelief clouded around her. He set her down so she was now standing, leaning against the wall with him hovering over her.
Kanade opened her mouth, ready to tell him the truth, but was interrupted by Aido shouting from outside.
"Lady Kanade! Kiriyu! Lord Kaname has taken Yuki home!"
"I will explain everything later... tonight?" She asked. He nodded and she walked out with him behind to go meet with the noble.
Zero carried Kanade over the threshold of the front entrance, making her giggle. He just loved the sound of her laugh and when he set her down he couldn't control himself. He pressed his lips against hers and held her firmly against him with one hand on the small of her back and the other tangled in her soft hair. She, of course, kissed back and wrapped her arms around his neck, smiling into the kiss. They were interrupted by Aido running up to them blabbering on about Yuki and Kaname, making the two furious. They pulled apart and glared at him while he paced, too distracted by the situation at hand to notice their furious stares.
"Should I follow the two of them right away, or am I supposed to leave them alone by not following them just yet?" He said as he stroked his chin. Zero walked towards him, his anger showing in his eyes. "You should... you should quickly remove that jacket that got stained with that woman's blood, shouldn't you? It seems to be hard for you, no?"
Kanade then felt her heart drop a bit when she realized that he probably only kissed her and drank from her the way he did before because of the blood, which she hadn't noticed earlier.
Zero smirked and said, "Oh yeah, this will come in handy. I'll take you along with me and wring information out of you."
Kanade and Aido stared at him in confusion.
Meanwhile, Yuki was back in the Kuran castle and she was being punished for leaving without permission. She lied weak on the bed as Kaname drank from her.
“The feeling of powerlessness makes one feel mortifyingly angry at themselves, doesn’t it?” He asked.
“… What do you want me to become?” Yuki asked. Kaname lifted his head as he listened to her. “Why did you go as far as to give me Artemis?”
“All I want is for you to be the way you are, Yuki.” Kaname said as he pushed the stray hairs out of her face and she caught her breath from the amount of blood loss. “I just thought you should realize one thing though… the fact that there are things for which no matter hard someone tries, it always comes down to nothing. I left Artemis with you so that you would realize that.”
“Why… why are speaking like
you are filled with nothing but despair…?” Yuki asked. “it may have taken my
ten years to do it… but I am back, brother. Is it not good enough? Am I…” She
panted furiously as she tried to speak. "Am I... not good enough?" He
said nothing as he bit into her wrist and drained her even more. "Is it...
that you would rather be... with Kanade?" He stiffened when she said her
name. "I see... It really is because I'm no good isn't it... I don't
understand your past with her.... why... won't you tell me?" He lifted his
"Yuki… it's actually because I'm so dreadfully afraid that one day you will throw yourself into a lost cause and sacrifice your life in attempt. I don't want... I don't want to live through that once again." Her eyes widened and she felt her heart drop from the pain in his voice.
She used all of her strength to lift her arm and stroke his cheek. Every time she would ask him about Kanade he would change the subject and when she would call him out on it he would become angry and leave, but she didn't want to make him angry anymore than he already was. She decided to not pester him and to try and make sense of his words.
"Brother, do you think what mother and father gave their lives for was for nothing?" She asked.
"No. That's not it Yuki."
"I am... Not going to die! .... So please... don't sound like you've lost everything."
"That's not it Yuki." He put his hand over hers. "I'm not actually your brother."
Kaname picked her up and began walking throughout the castle.
“Why would you say such a thing…?” Yuki asked. “Ever since we grew up… I feel as though you are always hiding some part of yourself…”
“The world you see is different from the one I see…”
Kaname brought Yuki down the basement of the castle where a small mausoleum stood. In there were two empty coffins. Kaname laid Yuki on top of one of them as she slowly began to regain her energy.
“What is this place?” Yuki asked. “This room… it feels like… it really does have brother’s scent.” She whispered under her breath.
“You are right Yuki.” Kaname said as he stood over her. “I spent forever in slumber in this underground mausoleum. I was inside this coffin… all that time; all that long flow of time… wishing to finally be reduced to dust, but never having that wish granted. I had thought that my long journey had finally ended, but…” Yuki grabbed onto the edge of his shirt. “The look on your face seems to say that… you don’t quite understand.” He leaned over and helped her sit up. “Here… do you want blood?” She slightly nodded. “You have seen bits of it before Yuki… my memories.” She leaned in and sunk her teeth in his neck, his succulent blood running over her tongue. “You saw some of them, even if back then you didn’t now yet what was going on…”
She gripped onto him tightly as she began to feel the memories in his heart pour into her.
"I haven’t done anything! I’m being falsely accused!" Aido screamed
as he banged on the back doors of the truck that was taking the three vampires
to the main Hunter Association building. Kanade sat next to Zero who had his
arms folded as she stared up at him in confusion. "All I did was get on his
bad side! This is abuse of public force! He’s misusing his official authority!”
"If you struggle you'll get the electric shock again, Aido." Zero said. Aido looked back at him in anger before reluctantly sitting down across from them.
"Don't get me wrong. I'm not going to be obedient because I'm scared to get zapped or anything like that you know, I have done absolutely nothing whatsoever that breaks the treaty between our races. I'm assuming we’re going with you as guests, no?"
"Actually we don't really need to suspect you of anything to arrest you." Zero stated.
Kanade's eyes widened in surprise, did her fellow vampires really have no rights? How could that be?
"Are you for real? I'll never tell you anything!" Aido exclaimed.
"That's fine, I'll make you feel like talking."
Kanade was a bit frightened by Zero's words as the true personality of a hunter became apparent to her.
Yuki had fallen through Kaname's memories of over 10,000 years ago. She suddenly found herself surrounded by humans who were turned into vampires.
“Kaname!” Yuki looked back to see a hooded woman on the on the back horse. “Leave these peopled for now!” The women rode over to Yuki’s side and held out her hand to her. “Come, Kaname. We have more pressing matters.”
“No I… I’m not Kaname…” Yuki started. “I’m—“
“What are you saying? Come on!” The women said as she grabbed Yuki’s arm and pulled her onto the back of the horse. “Please get a hold of yourself. I’m counting on you.”
Yuki stared at the women as she was overcome with the sense that she was extremely important to her. Yuki grabbed onto the woman’s wait and held onto her tightly as they rode on. Yuki looked around as she saw a sea of ex-human vampires all throughout the area.
“There’s more and more of them…” Yuki said.
“Yes… It’s a pity for this to be happening right when the humans were finally managing to repopulate a little after all the losses they suffered due to the climate change. As of now, more than half of our race has chosen the ideology of turning the entire human population of the world into members of our race, human by human. No, actually it’s not a matter of turning them into equal member of the same race. They’re turning mankind into their submissive slaves. That’s what it is…” The horse stopped and the woman looked back at Yuki. “The castle they’re making their slaves build for them… has gotten bigger hasn’t it?” The woman waited for her response.
Yuki gave her a confused look, “What?”
The woman suddenly pushed her off the horse, “Don’t you “what” me! You said you would stop them at once, even if you had to fight them for that! So go!” Yuki stood up and watched her as the woman went on. “The only way to stop the multiplication of the ex-humans being turned is to cut the problem down to the root. And then we will simultaneously deal with slaves who lost their leaders… I didn't want to hurt our people when we have only finally now met each other but... Well, it's what she would have wanted don't you think? I realize I'm pushing such a nasty duty on your shoulders... I’m sorry... Kaname. I realize you would much rather be beside her right now…You said that you needed to love someone in particular for you to keep moving forward. That is why I introduced you to her… I thought, perhaps, if she met you she might have given up on the silly idea of refusing blood.., but in the end all I did was cause you more pain. I am sorry…”
Yuki was filled with Kaname's
emotions of caring for this person and worrying for her and absolute despair
when hearing the woman talked about her. She
unconsciously lifted her hand up to the woman as she heard Kaname's voice float
"I'm fine. She is safe and that is all that matters. What about you though? You're looking sort of pale today, are you okay?"
Yuki stroked the beautiful woman's face as she smiled down at her.
"Don't worry... we are all working together and doing our best so... lets do this for her."
'A painful separation, which leaves you with nothing but eternity of self reproach.’ Yuki thought. ‘But also this feeling of not being alone…
Zero held his gun to Aido's back as Kanade trudged behind him with his jacket
wrapped around her shoulders, dragging on the ground since it was so big. They
were walking to the main vampire hunter association building. She felt
uncomfortable as everyone stared at them. She could feel the vampire weapons
around her radiate and the vampire hunters scoff at them with disgust.
"Hey Kiriyu, would you please stop that?” Aido said. “I get that I pissed you off, but there are li-- OW!" Kanade peeked out at the noble from behind Zero to see that the vampire hunter had twisted the gun hard into his back. "It's not like I'm going to try something stupid right here in the very middle of the Hunter Association building, you know. The weapons for killing vampires are all resonating like they are growling around this area! Their auras feel like it in any case… It's unnerving. Wah! Scary, scary!"
"It's because we are above the area with the deep underground furnace containing the 'mother metal' of our weapons." Zero explained. Kanade couldn't shake an eerie presence around her. She felt as if her throat was closing up to appoint where she was unable to breath. The air around her felt as if it weighed a thousand tons on top of her and the emotions radiating from the hunters felt like needles poking into her skin. Kanade fought to stand, trying to hide her panting as she hid behind Zero. "In the far distant past there was once a woman who came to us secretly and told us of a method by which we could gain the power to fight the vampires. That woman was one of the ones at the beginning of the bloodsuckers' race, one of the ones we later came to call ancestors."
As Zero said those words Kanade's head started to pound and a blurry vision of a hooded woman looking down at her with a worried expression flashed before her eyes.
"I don't want to hear the rest of it." Aido said as he looked straight ahead, waiting for Zero to push him forward but instead the hunter went on.
"Humans were powerless to do anything when faced with the vampire army that had been raised, constituted of ex-human vampires. The ancestor woman gave her own blood to some humans. Blood in such a large amount, that there was enough to poison and kill the ones drinking it."
She didn't want to hear anymore either. Kanade knew of the story from her tutor in her past life and she absolutely hated it. She felt a strong sense of sadness when it came to that story as if she was morning for a loved one. She felt her chest tighten and her head pound. She strived for air as she fell to her knees. She grabbed onto the back of Zero's shirt. He glanced back at her and crouched down to her side.
"What's the matter Kanade?" He asked as he held the gun up towards Aido with one hand and held her with the other. She couldn't say anything. She just kept panting as the vision of the woman flashed before her eyes.
The drawing of what she assumed was her ancestor from the beginning of vampires flew out of her bag and hovered in front of her. She stared at in confusion as she wheezed. What kind of memories are there here? She reached out for it and when she grabbed ahold of it she passed out from lack of air.
Yuki was falling through Kaname's memories and when she stopped she found
herself in a dark room with the moon as the only source of light. She was
sitting in a chair on the other side of the room from a blonde woman silently
sitting by the window, staring into the night.
"Umm excuse me?" Yuki said. The woman turned towards her and Yuki gasped when she met her big red eyes. "K-Kanade?"