The Sacred Night, Prologue

I staggered along a deserted road, having no idea where I was going.  I was lightheaded and disoriented, knowing only that it was night and that was good.  The night had never held any special appeal for me before, but for some reason tonight was different.  Tonight was different in a lot of ways.  I was totally lost.  All I could do was stagger about until I found someone who might be able to guide me back to Kyoto if I was not, in fact, there already.  I thought I'd recognize it, having lived close to it for several years, though admittedly I hadn't ventured into the actual city much.  In this state, who knew?  I probably wouldn't recognize my own mother if I saw her right now.

That was a horrible thought to have.  I erased it immediately, berating myself for the disrespect, which was doubly bad since my mother was dead.  I'd been a child when she died and seen many deaths since then, most of which I could remember in amazing detail if I weren't practically comatose from loss of blood.  I just needed to find Kyoto and my shishou and everything would be all right again.  I thought.

I heard footsteps coming up the hill toward me and was glad; maybe these people knew how to get to Kyoto from here.  They took an oddly long time to reach the top, though their footsteps sounded both close and reasonably quick.  Before I saw any faces, however, a flame caught my eye.  It was just a torch they were carrying to be able to see, but I was filled with fear I couldn't comprehend.  I told myself I wasn't afraid of fire, had never been afraid of fire, and should not be afraid of fire, but it did no good.  It wasn't as if it was out of control; it couldn't hurt me.  Well, it couldn't hurt me unless the people carrying it chose to use it as a weapon or dropped it in the relatively dry grass.  It was scary, though, for some unknown reason, just like the strange affinity for the darkness that had manifested itself in me only tonight.

Irrational though I knew the fear was, I couldn't bring myself to approach the people coming toward me, or let them approach me, for that matter.  I fled as quickly as I could and they never knew I had been there.  I took shelter in the shadow of the hill while the fire passed, then moved on.  It didn't seem strange to me that I could see without the fire, though it undoubtedly was.  I could also smell something very, very good, though only vaguely familiar.

I wandered off the road toward the smell, and as it got stronger, I recognized it.  It was a sickening thought, but that smell I'd been so drawn toward was blood.  I was stunned by the appeal of it, but also stunned by how strong the smell was.  There must be practically a lake full judging by the smell.  I was still walking toward it.  I didn't know what was going on, but I felt like I was going to pass out.  Somehow, the blood smell bolstered my strength a bit.  I didn't know I'd reached it until I felt the wetness through my tabi.  Contrary to my prediction, there was only a small puddle next to a raggedly breathing woman who looked to be about twenty-five.

I knew I should try to help her with the best of my meager knowledge, but I was too distracted by the bizarrely fascinating red liquid.  Why did it smell so good and so strong?  I didn't know, but I had the urge to taste it.  I was so hungry... I had no reason to believe this woman's blood would cure my hunger, as I'd never had a taste for the substance before, but I couldn't control myself at this point.  I dipped my finger gingerly in the puddle and licked the droplet off.  My eyes rolled back in my head and I let out a slow groan as I dipped both cupped hands into the puddle to drink.  It was the most pleasurable experience I had ever had, but it was soon to be replaced by an even more amazing taste.

When the puddle was gone, I was far from sated.  I had only begun.  There was a fresh source of more energy-filled liquid lying right next to me.  I could smell it seeping out of her.  She was already looking at me as if she had a bad taste in her mouth, but what could she do?  She was half dead and I easily pushed her flailing arms aside to sink my curiously sharp teeth into her neck.  I didn't even think about how strange it was that they were so sharp all of a sudden.  I thought about the fact that blood tasted better if it was fresh out of a victim.  I drank and drank until there was nothing more to drink, and then discarded the vessel, sighing with contentment.  I was as full as a tick and didn't even notice as I walked strongly and evenly away that the woman no longer looked about twenty-five, but more like eighty-five, and was no longer breathing raggedly.

I walked back to the road, confident that whether or not I found my shishou, nothing would ever be all right again.  I was not far off.


ok, prologue finished.  not to worry, all will be explained in good time, my children, all in good time.  kenshin's age you should be able to guess from the mentions of "shishou."  in the actual chapters, he will be the rurouni person, but there will be allusions to this dark killer past, as i've started here.  kenshin as a vampire, IN CHARACTER!!!!  yesshhh!!!!!