In Your Memory No Longer
Eona had entered the party late. It was to be expected of her, anytime there was a celebration at the university one would always know the queen would not arrive on time. Who would ridicule her? She is the queen--the heroin of the Great War, slayer of the One-Eyed Reaper, unmatched in her power only to the Goddess of the Moon. Not to mention the university was first and foremost her original home.
Arriving from her current home in San Francisco, California the queen was never accompanied by guard in this time--the remaining members of the disbanded Nightcore taking jobs within the young Eden military as senior leaders. The queen would not have a personal guard, after her son reached adulthood (by the human age of eighteen), having detested placing her own safety in the hands of others--it never sat right with her. Enough people had died for her sake and safety. She took no special precautions when traveling, taking transportation as any other normal individual, never flaunting her status or powers unnecessarily.
Eona had arrived two days before the celebration, aware of the last examination she would undergo when searching for symptoms of anything lingering of her age-old foe. She took her time, walking the streets of the town that changed much since the war’s end a thousand years prior. It grew dramatically with the introduction of the university, but its seclusion in the valley still allowed for the ‘small-town feeling’ to remain. Eona was grateful for that. She enjoyed seeing this town in her dreams, as it had been long ago, walking alongside the shadow of another, catching that feeling of warmth and love with every step and yet there was another feeling something of remorse and pity. What was there to regret though? What had she to regret and towards whom? Where did that feeling of pity come towards a shadow who possessed a light unlike any the sun could produce?
Now Eona walked these same streets awake, knowing that feeling and yet seeming being here alone. She did not feel alone however, though no one walked beside her, she did not feel alone and had not for all these years. As her son grew and left of his own accord, raising his own family and working, though thy had great time apart she never felt alone. Though she slept for a few decades, it was the same, kept in a tomb-like chamber underneath the main-house she kept that feeling of having another beside her. In her slumber she chased those vivid-real dream she never remembered when she woke, wanting to see the face of that person who she wanted to hold dear. it was never enough-one step closer was three steps further from knowing who that person was.
Eona continued to the valley beyond, the break in the earth caused by a battle long over. She wanted to forget this place, the place where she fought against a demon and ended the terror she caused. No matter how hard she tried she could not forget, she could not ignore, she wanted to come back here. This place stood as a reminder, the immortalization of the demon she feared forgetting. She did not understand herself for this--why she would want to remember the name and mask of a woman who caused so much pain and suffering was beyond her and she had long decided that no manner of justification could be valid for those crimes. Still she had doubt. How could such a person like the One-Eyed Reaper exist? What ways and ideology twisted someone into a demon--who were they before they were such a demon and what can be done to avoid a tragedy like that again?
The waterfall that came between the two statues was massive, nearly spanning the length of the valley, a natural phenomena caused by the nearby lake’s overfill reaching the breaking. The statues hard had wear to them, however they provided an accurate likeness to the Reaper’s final appearance--not so much to Eona’s and in that regard she heard the artist was quite the fan of the queen and may have dramatized her a bit. Looking to the statue Eona memorized the mask and face of the Reaper, recalling the colors and textures the woman had when she lived.
‘You were wrong.’ She said aloud, ‘Love doesn’t always become hate--you may have lost what you loved, but that didn’t stop you from loving it.’
The stone’s gaze was indifferent.
‘You may have hated your own life, but you didn’t hate my son’s.’
Standing at the Old Man, pleasantly surprised that it had not changed. She was grateful for these small things that remained the same, but what was in front of it had not been there before. She stood, looking at the stone in its advance age, barley able to make out any indication of what had once been a name. It was strange to be above ground than six feet under, she was certain this was also to be her grave, that she would be laid to rest either beside her brother or beside Emily for the remainder of time.
“I’ve returned...big brother.” She said, her words fully seen in the air.
The grave of Ian Daiz, First-Class Investigator of the former Hunter’s Association. When he was buried here there was nothing, but a wooden cross, tied together with the cloth of her scarf. Akasha had this tombstone placed here after the war’s end, as a marker for her brother, whose body was now under the protection of the Old Man as an honorary member of the Nightraven Family. She never expected to see this grave again, then again she never expected a lot of things to occur. She figured from now on, in this world she was better off not having expectations for a while.
Looking up to the bare tree, She walked to its side, placing her hand on the bark she almost cried at being able to feel its texture. The rough wood, its chill from the winter breeze locked in; tracing her hand along the circumference of the trunk she feel a deviation in the otherwise uniform pattern--her fingers traced the lines, marking an ‘E’, a plus, and a ‘K’. After all this time, the Old Man kept their promise, how kind of him.
Akasha appeared from the visitor’s shadow, asking a question with borderline suspicion, ‘Do you have any regrets?’
The revived shook her head slowly, ‘In my choices? Never. In the results? More than I care to count.’
The younger smiled lightly, turning her gaze to the eldest of vampire. What a journey it has been--The Association; Syndicate; Republic; the majority of the human nations; the entire world. They fought against a corrupted system and won. Though the price paid for that victory remains in debate of being its worth.
‘If I admitted I had regrets in my choice it would make me to be a hypocrite.’ The immortal huffed, ‘I will never doubt my choices, just the results.’
That statement stabbed deep into Akahsa’s heart.
She held her hand to her chest feeling that warmth she had during those times of happiness she experienced in times no longer beyond her memory. She pulled beyond the pain and suffering in her life, despite to grasp those happy memories to be the last in this life; now and forever. It was a difficult task, she knew, and it brought her greater grief to know the pain she experienced was greater than her happiness. She held her shirt tight, understanding that much of this pain was her own doing and this was one of many punishments she wold know.
‘I lied to protect the ones I cared about.” She laughed, “Yet I once condemned the action myself. Does that not make me a hypocrite anyway?’ She continued thinking of her outburst to Emily.
It has been a long endless journey.
However did Akasha live this long, experience this pain and find the means to go on with the fulfilling life she continues to live? How does she hold onto herself after all this time? How can the comfort of ‘Hope’ still exist when treading the darkness of the old world? How does the Goddess of the Moon love life of humans and vampires, when the Death God herself could not even find it to love herself? She was not just a failure of a god, or an immortal, even a human, she was a failure of a decent person. Still...
Looking to the university, ‘Its nice though...to see everything that happened to me, all that I went thru and caused--it mattered. I feel I can take any pain as long as it has meaning.’
‘You are now as you were always meant to be. There is no one for you to save anymore; surviving the world is no longer necessary, now you get to live in it.’ Akasha said creating a portal of shadow, ‘Come. Let us attend the celebration.’
Dante remained quiet throughout the beginning of the celebration. The fact it was also his birthday was irrelevant because he found no real satisfaction in what transpired, celebrating living one-thousand years was not on his top list of things to do. Nonetheless he would not mind it now, now that a sentence has been served he feels peace in seeing the part he played; more of a re-payment when one looks at the cause of his actions.
A celebration of this size has not been within the main house for many centuries. But upon its size its noted that volume of people make for an awfully loud crowd. The theme was one of renewal and light and that those who had fallen had not done so in vain and would remain in the hearts of their decedents the forever. No one truly dies until they are completely forgotten.
“Were you always this nervous with parties?” He asked with a smile, looking at the radiance.
“No, I’m simply not used to this...attire.” She answered, relaxed, when adjusting the collar, “I haven’t been to a ball for a long time and last time I let someone pick out my outfit me she tried to put me in a dress.”
Dante began to laugh, having never heard that story before, however knowing who was the likely offender. It was similar to old times, but now they were both adults, both mature and without obligations and tasks for the evening. Now it was a time to relax and enjoy this peace, a long-desired peace that one had not known for centuries. The Dean was grateful his brother-in-law had a dinner-dress on the side for this exact reason and given the perfect fit this was designed only for her. Of course Jake had prepared this, he had known, somehow, at sometime this was to happen. Or...he had the ‘hope’ of it and it was that hope that had him look towards a brighter future.
The man held a carefully preserved and folded scarf to Kira, presenting it to her as a sword to a commander is presented. The old warrior smiles, taking the scarf as she opened it, feeling the long-forgotten fabric between her finger. She stepped closer to Dante, wrapping the scarf around him loosely causing him confusion.
"It was yoiur birthday gift." She said, squeezing his shoulders, "Keep it."
His friend was dressed in a white tuxedo tailcoat, finished with a dark purple vest and bow-tie. Her hair was the same length as when she perished, just passing her ears, snow white in the color, with the exception of a black patch behind her left ear extending to the center of her neck--there was no care to hide it. The tattoo on her neck had long faded, no longer the prominent solid black it once sported, but now dull and seemingly ‘missing’ some of its inking. The flesh around it held a permanent alteration of pigment, darker than her lighter complexion. Some of these marking were hidden by the coat’s collar however the remaining peaked into view had no attempt to be hidden.
“Last time I went well...I didn’t wake up in my own bed.” She laughed embarrassed, “I wonder what happened to her.”
Dante leaned over the railing, “Are you referring to Angèle?”
Kira became red, “H-how on earth--wait, don’t answer that, I don’t think I want to know.”
She was here Dante explained and if she was so inclined, and he threatened if she was no social, he was more than happy to go get her old friend. Kira waved her arms wildly, denying the teasing Dante the ability to make use of his threat. Kira would go mingle, eventually, but for right now she wanted to watch and see who she could recognize--testing the accuracy of her memory now that she is here. During this time of wonder, Kira peppered Dante with questions, asking of his family, having not seen much of anyone after her seclusion of him.
Elisabeth and Jake have had four children together, so far, but none of them have children of their own thankfully. Dante admits he is not quite ready to be a great-uncle yet. For the elders he does not know how much more grandparent-ness they can take. While he and his wife have three children of their own--two boys and a girl--they are all still very young and are in need of their mother’s attention; explaining her and their absence from tonight’s festivities. Kira felt older with each revealing of people becoming parents, especially of Dante who Kira held as a newborn. Not in the best circumstances of course.
Sammy and her late lover Adam had twins, both girls who were very long-lived humans. The two were inseparable, having been born around the same time as Dante the three of them grew up together and while no one else could tell the difference Dante was the only person alive who could. They had children of their own, families that continued the Amazonian line to this day with over two hundred members who have since returned to their homeland and reestablished the tribe. The twins, having served at the Priestesses after their mother’s passing at two-hundred and seventy-seven, passed away themselves around five-hundred and sixty. Now a-days, the Tribe, existing almost as its own nation, have strong relations with Eden, in addition to being where most of the Personal Security Details of senior members of the government train and come from.
Hearing about the Huntress brought back mixed feelings for Kira. As the two had tried to kill each another in the past, one of them succeeding for a time, it was difficult to not be bitter towards that woman. Kira had known the warrior was pregnant at the time, having been told by Adam--a last request to spare his lover and his unborn children. While Sammy did not know until Kira told her, Adam was sure, and he was correct and it was he being her friend that had the Reaper spare his lover. Thinking about it; regardless if she was pregnant or not, had Adam asked, Kira would have spared her still--she only told the huntress her own condition so she did not needlessly force her hand and cause a deadly slip up. At that state, even Kira could not be sure of her own accuracy. This was a good thing to hear, to know that her actions allowed for many generations to be born for the better. The woman smiled, in relief, that she had the control she had back then.
“Honestly...” Kira started, “I didn’t know what was going to happen after the end--I didn’t plan for myself to be a part of this world and had no expectations...” She tightened her grip on the railing, “All I knew...was that after I fulfilled my wish, I was going to die...no...I wanted to die.”
Dante listened carefully.
“We warriors...when there are no more battlefields left for us to fight on, we lose our purpose in life. That is the reason our salvation, my salvation, lied only in death.” Kira’s age came thru her words, “Besides...after everything I’ve done...I didn’t think I deserved a happy ending.”
Her friend came closer, “Do you still think that?” He asked quietly.
Kira sighed, leaning forward and resting her head on her arms over the rails, “I don’t know. For the longest time all I wanted was your mother to be happy: I wanted her to live with you, with your children and their children and so on. I thought that in order to to that I would have to purge the evil and wickedness from the world, and with that including me, I fully intended on going down with it.” She loosened her intense gaze, “I don’t know anymore. I’ve fulfilled my purpose, my reason to exist and live and yet, rather than disappearing into the dream I find myself in a world I know nothing about, with people, cultures and advancements beyond the understanding of a wayward old salt like me.”
Dante chuckled, gripping Kira’s shoulder, “Then maybe you should stop trying to plan. Grandmother told me you always wanted to be in control and always wanted to be a step ahead of all misfortune, but its impossible to prepare or know everything.”
Dante saw Akasha approach and smiled, widely, saying he would leave the two of them for privacy and go and find his honor student before she and Uncle Chris got into trouble.
Akasha and Kira hugged another for a long time because neither had done so in such a long time it was thought it would never happen again.
’Even I still cannot believe you are here.′ Akasha looked Kira up and down, feeling the warmth and hearing the sound of a stead heartbeat. Its hard for her to believe that body was once a motionless, lifeless, form locked in its ending state.
Kira agreed, ‘Its...an odd sensation, that’s for sure. Now that I’m here, alive, and...whole.’ She smiled defeated, but not broken, ‘I expect you want an explication?’
‘If you are honest for once.’ Akasha said sharply.
Kira laughed guilty, ‘Honest? When was I ever honest in my life?’
Akasha rose a finger, ‘When I gave you a choice: whether or not you wanted to live or to die, knowing that if you did live, you would likely face a very painful end.’
For a moment Kira contemplated the memory Akasha brought up, having though such a thing was a dream long forgotten until now, ‘I though that if I had another chance to fight, to be by her side it would have been enough.’ Kira watched the crowd below, ‘...I was scared.’
She rubbed her hands together, then opened them to see their wear of the years as a human, preserved by being an immortal.
‘I was scared that I wouldn’t have a place to belong, to have people that would love me.’ Kira sighed defeated, ‘I couldn’t stand the idea of being alone.’
’That is a natural fear, no one wants to be alone, why would you think something wrong with that?’ The goddess questioned.
Kira shook her head, ‘I was never upfront or honest about anything--I believed fighting for them was the only way I could get people to love me. I’m arrogant in that sense: I knew I could make a better choice than everyone else, that I could find a way to protect the people I care about because I would do what was necessary; war allows for that. Peace cannot be achieved without war.’
‘Then your taking of Eona’s memories of you was also arrogance.’ Akasha shot out less forcibly than one would think, ‘Something I wish you would have told me you intended to do.’
Kira looked to Akasha memorizing the details of her face fearing she would forget that too, she laughed: ‘Don’t even go there--You did the same thing to me when you caused me to become a Ghoul.’
Akasha cleared her throat, ’I didn’t want you to remember something so...unpleasant. You had enough to deal with and I felt there was no need...′ The Goddess realized her own hypocrisy and chuckled, ‘Fair enough.’
The aged woman returned her gaze to her hands and traced the outlines of fire in her palm, ‘Eona would never accept this me anyway...the real me...’ Kira sighed as a tired old woman, ‘The one she fell in love with was the human servant who blushed if her mistress came to close to her.’
Akasha frowned, placing her hands over Kira’s, keeping them steady as they shook. A tear dropped onto the top, followed by the second and third--Akasha lifted her hand to Kira’s face, cupping her cheek.
Kira said with a pained sadness that stabbed her in the chest, ‘The me who put everything I had into creating a place where she would never fight again...’ She quietly giggled, ‘Is a me whose hands have caused rivers of blood to flow.’
Eona was in love with the human Kira who depended on her, served her all-the-while suppressing her craving of affection from the Pureblood master. A bird trapped in a golden cage.
The two were quiet, not because they had nothing to discuss, but because they were enjoying the other’s company. A server brought out two cups of tea and offered to the both who were alone on this floor.
‘I guess we were both selfish and arrogant in our way of life back then.’ Kira swirled the beverage in the cup as Akasha continued, ‘You are much kinder than you give yourself credit: you made it that she would hate you, you wanted her to stop loving you because it is less painful to kill someone you hate than love.’
Akasha looked into her cup, wearing a guilty expression before speaking, ‘Before the ball, when you were still split apart, I went to her and told her what happened to you. I wanted to know her feelings toward you and to see whether or not they would remain the same at the end. Though even I myself did not fully understand what happened to your memories.’
Akasha knew. She knew Eona only wanted to ‘save’ Kira because there lay the chance that ‘her Kira’ could be brought back: a frail, weak, and human Kira. Secretly, Akasha had hoped that was only her bitterness towards favoring humans over all else proceeding rational thought.
At last the younger immortal answered the tugging question, ‘I took her memories of me because I know how painful it is to kill someone you love.’ She continued, her eyes scanning the crowd for familiar faces, ‘I can live with that burden...I didn’t want her to. Besides...I would rather be forgotten than remembered for something i’m not.’
Akasha felt Kira’s pain as her own, knowing this to be true, that the curse had finally been ended by Kira’s hand, but not without consequence--one she was prepared to take.
‘When I was young...’ Kira started, ‘I hated my people, but I was also glad to be one of them. Secretly, I knew the reason Eona had attraction to me was my frailty as a human--when I became an immortal I was terrified I wasn’t human enough and that she would stop loving me. In the end...it seemd my fears were rightly so.’
‘You have suffered the most out of any of us and yet your will alone allowed for you to change the course of the entire world.’ Akasha ran her finger on the rim of her cup. A small smile came out, ‘Humans are truly remarkable beings, its no wonder Rai favored you above his own people.’
Kira desired to make her flame, to bring life to that passionate heat that both protected and consumed her. In her hands a tiny life grew, pulsing until it became a glowing flame. Unlike before, this flame was not oranges and reds, that which was born out of love; it was not black, the void that called to her, the hatred she felt that consumed her; this fire was blue, that which allowed for the true essence that is Kira to shoine brightly thru, an evolution Akasha was very fond of.
‘What was he like?’ The flame extinguished as she asked.
Akasha’s smile widened, bringing back pleasant memories of the old world.
‘He was...a man I loved with all my heart. He was kind and strong, but despite his great power he was very merciful--he believed anyone could be redeemed and that people were capable of change.’ Akasha felt nostalgia speaking about him to the one who inherited his gift.
‘People could change hm?’ Kira repeated, but then responded in a mumble, ‘That sounds like a nice dream.’
Akasha looked at Kira without turning her head, watching how distant her eyes remained after all this time. She had no such inclination as to seek redemption, but that was just like her--Kira would never go back on what she has done and would never admit she was wrong. The arrogance of vampires is legendary.
Akasha looked to the bright crowd of happy faces and joy below, ‘Look Kira.’ She gestured to them, ‘Humans and vampires alike all together peacefully. They are free from the sins of the old world and its all thanks to you.’
Kira shrugged, ‘That’s a matter of opinion.’ She looked to the people as well, to the radiance that hurt her eyes, ‘I killed so many in the name of love and hate.’ She chuckled, ‘Hatred is more lasting than love and yet it is love that is much deadlier.’
Akasha argued imminently, ‘Yet it is also love that has made you do the impossible, made you out to be the strongest and most legendary of immortals; accomplishing in a few short years, what the rest of us could not in over ten thousand.’
Kira was wide-eyed at her friend’s statement, having never thought of her actions in that manner. Akasha has always had an optimistic outlook on things, its been a good balance compared to the negative one Kira often held. She admits defeat towards continuing the argument, knowing Akasha would undoubtedly win, though it would take more than a single debate to change the immortal’s mind on the weight and consequences of her actions.
A long time passed before either of them spoke, the forlorn, but necessary conversation had left a distaste in both their mouths. Nonetheless there was a huge weight off both their broad shoulders, a thousand years of burden now allowed for the clouds lies and deceit the both were forced to create to be blown away to show the bright and warm sun.
‘I missed this.’ Akasha started, changing the subject to something less depressive.
‘Me too.’ Kira agreed.
Akasha leaned over and tugged on Kira’s attire changing the subject, ‘You look nice by the way.’
Kira huffed, ’Jake had it prepared for me...I’m surprised anyone remembered my sizes.′
Akasha recalled a conversation her and Hei had about Kira’s armor and mask. Particularly around designing a dress for their ball.
‘Come. There are some people who want to see you.’
Kira followed Akasha down below to mingle with the people of this world. Its difficult to handle that many of her childhood friends and members of the main houses’s staff have passed on, but then its been such a long time...and the war they fought was one with so many casualties. Kira felt estranged being in this crowd, being unrecognized, being without a mask to hide behind. She kept close to the goddess’s side, uncomfortable in an unknown situation Kira wanted to keep with the only familiar thing she knew in this world.
Suddenly Kira felt a weight press on her back--Akasha had to hold her arm down, keeping her from an instinct reaction that would be rather violent in nature. When Kira caught the scent of peppermint she hesitated, having no idea what to do, what to say, to her best friend Jake, a man she brutally attacked and injured numerous times. But it was not bitterness, but joy that came from his mouth:
“Auntie Kira! Auntie Kira! Auntie Kira!” Said two youths, a sound the immortal was not expecting.
Kids? Oh right...Jake and Lizzy were engaged...they really tied the knot.
The two elder sons of the two came and picked up their younger bother and sister, freeing Kira in time to face Jake and Lizzy.
"Auntie Kira?” The immortal asked confused.
Lizzy glared at her husband who played the ‘I have no idea what you’re talking about’ card. The sister elbowed her husband who cleared his throat asking his children to give the adults a time to talk. Disappointed that they could not jump on their newly-met aunt again, they asked to play later and were shooed away by the ‘mom-look’ Lizzy gave them. Still in a daze and confusion as to what just occurred she looked to Jake to answer questions:
"Auntie Kira?” She repeated again, “I think that’s the strangest thing I’ve heard yet. Elisabeth...you of all people I would not expect to tell anyone of our...relationship.”
The sister rolled her eyes, “I didn’t even know until after the war so it was news to me too. You’re my only sister, putting aside the past, my children have a right to know about my siblings and our very...odd family tree.”
Akasha, kissed Kira’s head and departed for a moment, saying she would return after she went to fetch her someone.
Jake crossed his arms, “Lets save such heavy topics for another time. Right now I’m curious: now that you’re here...what next?”
Kira shrugged, “Who knows...” She looked around, noticing that people were staring, “But I’d like to know why everyone is staring at me...they don’t know...?”
Her sister answered, “No. Only a handful of people knew and even less are still alive: its your hair.”
“Its a silly superstition: white-haired vampires are an omen of death.” Jake’s look shooed away all the unnecessary attention from the crowd as he explained, “After the One-Eyed Reaper died it came around and then after Chris was born--”
Elisabeth elbowed Jake in the ribs.
“There’s another?” Kira asked with an old-habit malice.
Jake held his hand out to Kira’s chest, “Relax, he’s different--his gift isn’t flame.”
The best friend looked at the elder’s chest, then into her eyes, “How are you feeling anyway? Does it...hurt?”
Elisabeth knew what her husband referred to, but did not comment. The hypertrophic scars on her chest and back, an ugly discoloration and raise of flesh left by the wound inflict by another and her own’s body’s assault of rapid re and degeneration. It was a miracle that she had survived as long as she had in such a state, nonetheless it was not even the wound that had killed her back then.
Kira gripped the clothing above her scars on her chest and smiled contently, “Its more like an ache than pain, but that’s fine it could be worse.”
She huffed loudly, “Anyway, where are these nieces and nephews of mine--?”
The sudden clapping drew the adult’s attention, as the scent of lavender filled the room and in their sights was a woman dressed in a glittering, silver gown, greeting those who approached on ground level. It was difficult to see her, but thru the crowd it was unmistakable--Jake and Elisabeth turned to find Kira gone.
“Jesus, she hasn’t changed.” Jake sighed, his wife pecking him on the cheek as she went to greet her relative and he went to find their Missing in Action.
Kira hid behind a pillar meeting with another who hid, one Raven Seras. They bumped into another, while Kira apologized, Seras was in shock as to who she touched.
“Who--?” She began, but Kira became distracted as Jake appeared.
“You can’t take off like that.” He said, grabbing Kira’s arm and pulling her closer, “Don’t make me push you into the crowd again.”
“I didn’t take off!” Kira growled, pulling her arm free.
Jake grinned, “After all these years, how in the hell are you still so shy?”
“I’m not shy! I just...” Kira became quite, “I don’t want her to see me because I...she doesn’t even remember me.”
“All-the-more-reason to go see her. Whats there to worry about if she won’t remember you?”
Jake noticed the young immortal and apologized, egging Kira and he to move elsewhere, but before they could Akasha had already found them.
‘Kira?’ Akasha caught the unaware’s attention.
The visitor turned around and saw two men in tow behind her dear friend. Akasha took Kira’s hand and pulled her closer.
‘I want you to meet your godson--Athan.’
Had she not explained who this man was Kira could have easily mistaken him for...Hei? She was dumbfounded, but grateful to know she would have some phenomenal news to give his father later. A very military man, he certainly had an ‘leader’ feeling to him regardless if he had his uniform on or not. Not very long did he have a composed expression as his inner Akasha came out when hugging her. Meeting the woman whose stories he grew up with.
‘I have a godson?’ Kira needed a break, all of this information was coming at her too quickly and she was not as young as she used to be. Then a thought came to mind, ‘You knew I would come back.’ She shout out towards Akasha who innocently smiled saying she was not certain, but held out the hope.
The crowd around her grew as Jake’s children popped from behind him, as Athan and his son and wife accompanied Akasha. Others came, former staff of the main house and ex-humans from her days in high school, nobles she attended Night Class with; Angele with her wife; People who knew her as just Kira and as Kira and the One-Eyed Reaper, but none as only the Reaper. For the sake of this world, the One-Eyed Reaper died in her battle against Eona and Alucard Nightraven. It was surreal, to be surrounded by this, to realize just how many people still cared about her after all she had done and all that had happened--to be loved...Kira never thought she would feel that warmth again.
Sir Christopher was less impressed--this was the infamous One-Eyed Reaper? The most powerful immortal to ever live; the first and only human/vampire hybrid; the origin of the White-Haired Demon myth. Oh well. He thought, Demons aren’t born. Kira noticed the other while hair similar to her, Christopher walked up to the elder and landed a punch right into her core; she didn’t flinch and only chuckled.
“S-sorry.” She coughed as the vampire shook his fist loose, “I deserved that.”
Chris huffed, ‘You damn right you do. Our good looks have been put to shame because of that stupid legend.’
The crowd laughed, ‘Good looks huh?’ Jake asked, ‘You sure you didn’t get that from your mother?’
Chris’s mother laughed as Athan cleared his throat as Akasha stood behind Jake and gripped his shoulder. A shiver went down his spine as he chuckled nervously.
‘Then its safe to say you can thank Elisabeth when it comes to your children.’ Jake pouted at the comeback, hiding behind Kira to defend him from his in-law.
‘Grandmother!’ Eona called, the crowd parting as the Red Sea to have her a clear path to the familiar group.
Akasha pulled Kira behind her, not for Eona’s sake, but Kira’s. She did not agree with the choice that was taken, but will always remain the one person who will always understand Kira Nightraven.
‘I had wondered whether we would be seeing you this year.’ She said slightly bowing to the Ancestor, ’I had thought you would be on Mars with Jake.′
Jake waved, standing in front of Kira who engaged her in conversation, Eona was then assaulted by his four children who she fondly picked up with no effort. The youngest son was the first to propose a dance and with the begging of the other three Eona indulged them. The others followed, telling they would talk to Kira later as they went off with their own families to keep the dance floor full. Akahsa and Kira were left beside the pillar, free to talk to one another privately.
‘Everyone is so happy...’ Kira said in disbelief.
Akasha glanced at her, ‘Why do you act surprised? Is this not what you wanted? What you wished for: my wish is to destroy this world in order to protect Eona and create a place where she can be happy.’
‘So Eona could be happy...I wasn’t thinking about anyone else...’ Kira admitted, ‘I guess this is what they call the Domino Effect.’
‘Quite the effect.’ Both agreed.
The goddess looked to the dance floor then to her companion and asked though as the words left her lips she regretted because she knew the answer:
‘Are you alright?’
A tear dropped from Kira’s eye, ‘...I will be...’ That instant Akasha pulled her into a hug.
Kira noticed the tear and wiped it from view. She has no right to regret. No grounds to feel remorse. No authority to make up for anything. She feels the weight of every choice she took, but there will never be a moment that she will accept that responsibility because till the very end she will believe all of it was right. It is only in this moment that she wishes one thing could have been changed: accepting there was only one way.
Every life Kira took; their screams; their pain; as a vampire or a human or both; there was never a single moment Kira did not hate herself more than this world because she allowed the world to tell her who she should be.
‘My advice...do something now that you will not later regret you had not.’ Akasha released Kira, then progressively pushed her into the crowd to be swallowed by, ’This is your second chance and no matter what you may think of yourself, you deserve it, 'This is your second chance and no matter what you may think of yourself, you deserve it.'
In a forward motion she was moved, coming closer and closer to the opening of the dance floor and to Eona. Rather than fight against this current, Kira rode it, eventually pushing herself forward with her own two feet, her hand taken by Athan who helped her the rest of the way. Breaking thru, Kira found herself face to face with Eona who danced joyously with two of Jake’s children. Time slowed as the younger saw the elder, the radiance of the evening and her beauty was a masterpiece perfectly mixed in this scene. Athan knelled down, offering his hands to a daughter and picking her off her feet when spinning around, the second spun Eona around, letting go as she spun into Kira’s arms.
“Why hello.” Eona said positively to this woman who had not said a word to her, but was clearly close to Akasha.
“H-hello.” Kira smiled nervously, “Care for a dance?”
Eona smiled lightly, moving her body closer against Kira’s, “From a woman as beautiful as yourself? How could I say no?”
The Pureblood took the lead, but recognized that she would not hold it for long. Underneath these hands that held her was something powerful and delicate. The adults then took over the dance floor, taking their partners by the hand and waist listening to the quick-paced music the orchestra of the university played. Kira’s confidence in her dance grew, as mid-twirl she alternated their positions, but it was not an action taken lightly as both playfully competed for the role.
“I’m surprised to have never met you before.” Eona began, “You seem to know my son and grandmother very well.”
Kira explained with confidence, “I am an old friend of theirs.”
Not a single word was a lie.
“Are you? Well then...any friend of theirs is a friend of mine.” Eona said with full attention, “You seem very familiar though.”
Kira chuckled amused as she spun Eona, “That could be...alarming.”
Eona was pulled back into her, “Although I wonder why such a rare bird as yourself has not been snatched by another?”
The queen has had no desire to pursue love with others. She has never felt alone and has always known this lingering comfort of having someone beside her. No matter where she went, or how far she was, there was that feeling, a warmth that filled her more satisfaction than any lover would. Often she would dream of a faceless figure living with her, a black mass she met in a pitch black cell, having raised for many years. A mass she laughed with, cried with, teased and tempted, something she felt an unconditional love from. Over and over she would have these dreams, of a life she never lived, by with everyone she had known and yet these dreams never continued beyond when she first met the infamous Reaper.
“I dreamed...about a failure of a god; they truly loved me, even though they didn’t know how. Sometimes I would think: what a stupid god, and yet my desire for them made me know my own foolishness.” Eona stopped trying to take the lead and simply allowed herself to be held and guided.
Yesterday though, that feeling disappeared and she found herself feeling alone for the first time in over a thousand years. She worried as to where that comfort had gone and where she would go to reclaim it and then all by accident she senses that same comfort speaking to her grandmother. Eona could not fathom who this person was yet she knew them, she had known everything abut them and yet could not bring out a single fact about them; not a name or characteristic yet she felt safe in this woman’s arms.
“Have you ever heard the story of how the sun loved the moon so much, it died everyday to let her breathe?” Kira asked as she softly wrapped her arm around the queen’s waist.
Eona nodded, “My father read it to me every night.”
“It was my first bedtime story.” Kira said pleasantly, “Told to me by the woman I fell in love with, who I would give everything for all over again just to see her smile.”
“She sounds like a lucky woman.” Eona felt herself drawn to the woman who held her.
“I’m the lucky one.” Kira corrected, “To have known her.”
“And what about now?” Eona asked earnestly.
“Now?” Kira looked to the crowds of joyous dancers, “I can only hope, that after all this time, she can forgive me and still has a place for me in her heart.”
The song’s end also had their touch end. Though it was neither’s will to separate, with only a single party understanding the connection they shared it would be foolish to hold on without explanation. Kira blushed as Eona looked deeply and commented on the beauty of her eyes, recalling another one similar having those same eyes. There was a key difference between those two however: one had no sense of life in her eyes, she was a hollowed out shell of a life with little passion for anything while this dance partner is full and confident in themselves. Both eyes however, hid an unimaginable pain that no other would feel.
Kira created a distance, continuing to blush as she quickly thanked the queen for the dance and took off. Eona watched, but could not hear, among the crowd, what she and Jake were saying. Jake laughed, as Kira became even redder, likely being teased for her dance with the queen. Eona did not like the void of warmth that was away from her, the radiance that was now in the center of their friend’s. How did they all know her? Why did she not know this woman? Who are you?
“Auntie Kira!” One’ of Jake and Elisabeth’s children yelled eagerly as Kira turned around and lifted the girl into her arms.
Kira? Eona smiled, So that’s your name? She continued to watch,, but somehow grew irritated with each passing minute, why was she not there right now? Eona followed her feet eventually arriving at the group, gone rather quiet as she arrived. The demeanor of energy had not changed, all were bright and happy, happier than Eona had seen anyone in such a long time. This was the same as in her dreams. Kira had adjusted her position to speak to Akasha and Athan, further to the side of the group as they talked of Eden’s success and formation. I know you. Eona forced herself closer, greeting the little one Kira held on her hip as an ice breaker.
“Auntie Eona! Look! She’s awake, she’s awake! Auntie Kira is finally here!” The young immortal expressed joyously.
“Awake?” Eona said smiling when looking to the pale expressions of the other three adults, “And how long has Auntie Kira been asleep?”
Akasha answered, ‘Longer than any of us wanted.’ The goddess answered, taking the little one from Kira.
‘If everything had gone my way I would have slept longer.’ Kira eyed the goddess before looking back to Eona, ‘Thankfully they woke me up before it was too late.’
Kira walked away, folding her hand in her pocket, an action that had Eona freeze in place. She watched this woman walk away, with broad shoulders that have seemingly carried more than any knew. This woman with snow hair, having a patch of raven bleed thru caused Eona to see another in her place--a smaller, similar young woman with long raven hair. This sight was only for a moment as Kira came out of sight and Akasha had touched Eona’s arm to get her attention.
‘Is something the matter?’ She asked concerned.
‘N-no.’ Eona answered shaking her head, ‘She just seems familiar...how is it that I’ve never met her before?’
Akasha bounced the younger one up and down, ‘Why do you believe you have not?’
‘I don’t...I don’t remember her, but it feels like we’ve met before--’
‘Perhaps in a dream?’ Akasha smiled, setting down a granddaughter so she could play with the others, ‘I often dreamed about those I thought I've long forgotten.’
Just as Eona was about to search for that woman, she is called to give her speech as a survivor of the war and one of the founders of this new world. She made way to the hall’s center, climbing to the unused thrown and stopping halfway before turning to face the guests of the university.
“Welcome one and all, to the anniversary of a thousand years of peace and prosperity.” Eona began met with a thunderous clap and cheer, “May these thousands years be followed by ten thousand more. But such is only possible by the continued will and efforts of mortal and immortal alike--no one can survive without the other and neither can live as this without their equals.”
The snow-haired woman kept to the back of the hall having been drawn to the sound of Eona’s voice as she spoke with grace and resolve; the same silk that possessed her as a child. Kira could not help, but know they had been here before, Eona as queen, above all others being the ray of light to guide the lost souls of the world, and Kira, just a shadow, a face among faces taken by the Majesty of this immortal vampire. Yes, this was the same as back then, but could they say they too were the same as back then? Kira felt Akasha’s hand on the small of her back, her words motivating her to change, for once; this was a new life this was a different life and rather than forget, they must push forward and shed the load, the burden of the past.
‘You’ve changed.’ Akasha removed her hand, 'Now, you want to live, but not for her, you want to live with her.'
Eona locked on Kira.
‘She won’t forgive me...’ Kira mumbled, ‘I don’t deserve to be forgiven--’
‘You alone did in less than ten years what untold generations could not in ten thousand. It is not her forgiveness you need, but your own and you have long-since paid for your own sin and that of your elders.’ Akasha saw the look Eona gave, ‘Even now, with no memories of you, she still feels the part of her that calls to you. Remember: you may forget those you love, but you will never forget the bonds carved into your soul.’
Kira chuckled, stifling what would otherwise be an outcry of laughter, ‘People don’t change, we only become more of who we truly are.’
‘If that is your truth then tell me who are you now?’ Akasha looked up to Kira, ‘As this is a world without war, a warrior as yourself has reached the end of their evolution have you not?’
The hybrid smiled, holding her hand to her chest as the warmth built. She looked to Eona, locking gazes with the queen possessing gentle eyes full of the love and happiness once consumed by pain and sorrow.
The queen finished her speech, met with a round of applause and her descent had her greet and speak to all others as equals.
Kira sighed peacefully, ‘Good and bad; selfish and caring; reckless and protective; merciless and humane; weak and strong; I’m all of that, but I’m also just someone who wants to be with woman I love.’
Akasha walked away, ‘You have never doubted your choices, why start now?’
Kira was left by herself, but it did not remain that way for long. Eona made her way, Kira waited, patiently, for her to finish her talks with others until they were at last together. Neither said anything, but as Kira turned to walk away from the hall, Eona instinctively reached, gripping the fabric of the fellow immortal’s tailcoat between her fingers.
“I’m not going anywhere--”
“I know.” Eona interrupted, “But I don’t understand why I know--or how I know you.”
Kira glanced to the crowd and then back to the woman who held her coat. She slipped her fingers between Eona’s, freeing her coat and acting as a guide. Eona and Kira felt the pull to another and silently withdrew from the crowd, one being guided to the balcony outside. Once confidante they were alone Kira released the queen’s hand, though the queen did not desire that and created a small space for her to turn and face Eona.
“Who are you?” Eona asked imminently, fearful of this emotion she had no recollection of origin.
Kira slipped a hand in her pocket, her free hand reached up to her collar and undid the tie around her neck. After it was loosened, she undid the collar and opened enough to have a full view of the fading tattoo on her neck. Eona saw this marking, the scars that surrounded it and somehow a sinking dread also took root.
Eona hated the sight of it.
“A lot of things. Where would you like me to start?” Kira joked, “Who I am? What I am? Where I came from?”
"Why do I know you?" Eona swallowed hard as her eyes locked on the tattoo.
She hesitated as Kira held out her hand, bringing to life a tiny blue flame that changed, taking the form of a ferret.
“Eon?” The queen looked up to Kira in surprise as the name left her mouth with no recognition.
“He was real Eona.” The immortalized human explained, allowing the flame pet to run around the two, "He was as real as you and I and he was my friend, long ago, when I lived in this house with you and everyone else.
Eona stepped back cautiously, “What?”
Kira was quiet.
The thousand-year immortal averted her gaze, a sudden solace took her words hostage as an age-old habit stifled the explanation. The truth is harder to speak than a lie and now as all lies had been laid to rest with the death of the old world all that can be spoken is truth. Kira exhaled slowly and long, taking in the scent of lavender that filled her head, making her borderline euphoric. Though words would not sound, Kira knew of another way to express the truth, a way she once digested, but accepted as but another part of her identity.
The thousand-year immortal stepped back, she lifted her hand to her face hiding the bottom of her face as two majestic blue wings grew and fluttered behind her.
"When I was only human." Kira remembered, "I lived in this house as a servant, but in order to protect me you sent me away and a time after, in order to protect you...I destroyed the old world and sealed away your memories of me."
Eona stood motionless, taking in the view of these wings, seeing this same person stand before her, in the rain with long messy hair, torn clothes, and a kind smile.
The queen stiffened, "One-Eyed Reaper..."
She recalled those dreams, living the same life she had, but with another person she had no memory of and yet knew. The one who created the comforting warmth and yet now that warmth stands in front of her and she feels fear in meeting that which she does not know or understand. There was another, a person whose name, their face, their voice; all mute and now, forcing to create or remember was causing her head to hurt. I know you. She saw those dreams cross, playing out passed a point where she had not seen before.
Eona saw the shadowed person save her from Vale, carrying her in her arms and then stand in the rain as she had the mask of the One-Eyed Reaper around her neck. Pulling off the scarf she wrapped it back around Eona than buried her fangs into the Pureblood. She saw the Reaper fight within Alucard’s forces, she saw her in the study with Wolfgang and then left alone for the two of them to speak. I know you. She looked out to the fires that consumed the woods around the main house as Vale told her someone had gone insane, asking that the insane have their life ended as painlessly as possible. Watching from the fortress Alucard kept her in she watched the news as the Reaper laid Waste to her enemies. She felt a terrible regret for leaving the main house, a shame in not waiting for that person and believing the words of Vale.
She lost all sense of self as she held the scarf in her hands, the scent of Sage and Cherry blossoms soaking its fibers; she cried out for the loss of the one she loved. I know you. Eona watched as the Reaper went after her unborn child, noticing how she held back when the slightest chance of threatening the queen’s life presented itself. Looking at the Reaper’s eyes she saw a pained, hollowed gaze look upon her with no sense of life or value of it; carelessly throwing herself in harms way without the slightest regard for herself. The snow that did not melt when touching the Reaper, her heat had diminished as she held an infant Dante in her arms as his mother helplessly lie at mercy. I will not allow you to suffer my fate little one, I promise. The Reaper said, turning her back to the queen and seemingly killing the boy.
Eona fought the Reaper, coming at her with everything she had, meaning to kill her and yet, the intent was not the same for the Reaper. Eona watched at the Reaper lowered her hand, diminishing her flame at the last moment before it could pierce the queen. Seeing that made Eona hesitate, she moved her own hand, rather than destroying the Reaper’s heart she destroyed the right lung. On the ground as the Reaper spoke her last words, she wore no mask and Eona was able to see her face, the smile she wore as life left her body.
The sight of the immortal's words left her mouth, “I am--”
Kira found herself embedded in the wall, the speed and force of the attack catching her off guard completely with no room to react--someone has been practicing.
Eona glared with reddened eyes.
The immortal’s weight had her peel off the wall, having her slip and fall flat on her butt. The queen growled as she grabbed the tailcoat, “That’s for taking what belongs to me.”
Kira stared blank at Eona, shocked at the attack and un-understanding of its reason. Expecting another attack, Kira shuts her eyes, not wanting her own body to react naturally and finds no pain. Instead she feels a weight on her lap and two arms wrapping around her tightly as a head is pressed into her shoulder. Confused, Kira is motionless.
“And this...” Eona said lifting her own head up, moving Kira’s hair from her face.
Their lips met, passion and heat igniting as wind mixed with blue flame and encased them both.
“Is for coming back.”
Kira wrapped her arms around Eona, allowing the vampire queen to straddle her as she hugged, “You’re late.”
Kira smiled wide tears running down her face, “Like you haven't been.” She kissed Eona again, the two began to laugh as cheers and ooos and awwws came from the doors behind them.
'Welcome back Kira.' Akahsa smiled.
The others swarmed, rushing over Eona and Kira mocking them for at last coming together as they should have, but were far too stubborn until now.
Kira smiled widely, embraced by all she holds dear: "I’m glad to have been born."
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