Chapter One: The Death of a Guardian

Disclaimer: I do not own Vampire Princess Miyu.

Senseless Advertisement: Go read my other VPM fanfictions "Miyu: The Vampire Hunter", "Return To Me" and "New Vampire Miyu: To Change The Future".

(-)

The night was peaceful for everything slept except for a gentle breeze that caressed the tall grasses lovingly. The moon rose up to take its seat at the highest point in the sky, and the clouds moved aside in grave reverence.

All was quiet.

Suddenly, the peacefulness was interrupted when a figure, cloaked in shadows, burst through the foliage that surrounded the field and sprinted amongst the grasses towards an amorphous structure in the distance shrouded in fog. The structure began to take shape as the figure came closer and soon resembled a dark red torii, the barrier to the second tier.

The figure looked up at the torii, his white mask glinting in the moonlight for a moment, then he bowed his head as he tried to will himself to move faster for the enemy was close at hand.

Just before he reached the shimmering veil under the torii, which separated the second tier from the first, three black shadows burst forth from the foliage on the other side of the field and rushed towards the structure. The masked figure did not hesitate and transcended through the barrier and continued his flight through the Japanese Shinma Realm. The three figures, one cloaked entirely in green, one in navy blue and another in black, continued to close the distance between themselves and their quarry. Their limbs tirelessly floated across the ground, and they gained more energy from the pure adrenaline rush of the hunt and the lust of wanting to spill more blood onto their hands.

The green figure ran along side the trees until it gained enough speed to run up along their trunks and then silently among their leaves. The black figure's legs slowly sank into the ground as it ran until it had disappeared entirely from sight leaving only the blue figure running by itself but not entirely alone.

The trees soon grew thicker and traveling became difficult for the masked figure as he tried to maneuver himself among the thick branches. His wounds, although not physical, tore apart his conscience and ate at his heart. Half of him had died moments ago and the reason for running from the enemy was a blur of the past. Without a second thought, he stopped himself and turned to face the enemy in one final stand.

The first enemy soon appeared with its navy blue cloak swirling around its body. It reached behind it and unsheathed a rusted saber. It jumped up into the air and came down upon its quarry. The masked figure darted to the side and the enemy landed on the ground and swung its saber in the air. Rusted metal met long red nails and sparks flew as they pulled away from each other.

"You can't escape from us, servant," the attacker hissed. "You'll soon meet the same fate as your mistress." It jumped back and disappeared into the surrounding trees and everything became very still.

In a flash of green and blue, two attackers leapt from the trees and dove down for the masked servant. He did not have enough time to defend himself and stared helplessly at his inevitable fate.

Suddenly but almost as if in slow motion, white strings appeared crisscrossing and weaving together a sharp web of defense over the enemy's quarry. The green attacker was the first to test its weapon, long needle like knives that protruded out of its knuckles, against the webbed barrier. When the needles came in contact with the web the strings detached and wrapped themselves around the attacker slicing its body into pieces. The blue attacker landed on the mangled body of its comrade and jumped to the ground to avoid the same fate.

"You are trespassing in my tier stray shinmas!" an authoritative voice said. They turned to see what looked like a Japanese geisha of a modest height and shoulder length black hair appear before them. "I will not allow this to go on."

"Who the hell are you, wench?" the blue attacker dared to ask her.

"Such a question does not deserve a reply," she replied calmly.

The shinma snickered. "You must be the second guardian Ranka, right? How fortunate. You are much lovelier than the first guardian. It will be such a tragic ending for such a beautiful face." The shinma rushed towards her having forgotten about its earlier target.

"How foolish," Ranka mumbled raising her hand in the air. New strings rained down from her fingertips and spun themselves around the shinma's limbs. It swung its saber wildly in the air cutting the strings and dodging new ones that took their place.

"You're the fool!" It bellowed raising its saber above its head. It tried to bring its weapon down upon the guardian but the blade shattered like glass before it could even graze her porcelain skin. The masked servant appeared beside them and attacked it with nails elongated. The shinma dodged the surprise attack and retreated into the trees.

"Larva," Ranka said. "What has brought you here to the second tier? And where is Miyu?"

Larva removed the mask from his face. "Miyu is," he faltered, "deceased, and now the strays have come for you and the other guardians."

"I see," Ranka said solemnly. "Then we must not waste time. These strays cannot be allowed to reach the higher tiers." Larva nodded and replace the mask on his face to hide the sorrow reflecting in his blood red eyes.

Suddenly, the earth began to tremble beneath their feet. At first it was just a light tremor then it grew in magnitude until Larva feel to his knees, unable to stand, and Ranka had to hover above the ground in order to stay vertical. The ground around them began to billow up into small hills then sink down then billow up again but only closer to them.

Ranka held her hands up in the air and small spheres of white energy glowed from her fingertips. She brought them down so her hands were parallel to the ground and strings spread out over the ground and entered where the hills were forming. The black figure burst up from the ground sending a shower of dirt and rocks upon them and tried to dive back into the ground but could not rid itself of the strings. With one swift movement, Ranka pulled back on the strings and the shinma was wrenched forward and dragged across the ground.

Before Ranka could continue Larva leapt forward with his nails lengthened to finish it off. The shinma stood up and tried to raise its arms up but they were bound to his sides. Larva took a clean shot of the immobile target and impaled it through its chest. He then brought his hand back through as the blood began to pour out. Ranka pulled on the strings and the body was obliterated.

"Just one more," Larva sighed.

"You want me?" the voice of the last shinma asked. "Fine. Then you can have me."

Larva whirled around and so did Ranka but she had no time to dodge as the last shinma ran its newly formed saber through her small frame. Larva ran to her side as the shinma pulled away. It did not get very far as Ranka was still alive enough to attach her strings to it, but she did not have the strength to pull it back and the enemy gathered the strings up in its fist and threw her against a tree. Larva rushed to the strings and slashed through them to keep the enemy from throwing her again.

"Heh! Two down and only three more to go," it chuckled, "but of course there's always you, servant."

Larva gathered Ranka in his arms and turned his back as the saber came down against his shoulder, sending blood spitting into the air. Larva pulled away and ran through the forest with the stray shinma hot on his trail. The foliage was thick but he managed to break through it with anguish blinding his mind and putting a damper over his physical pain. If Ranka died, she would be the second guardian to perish at those shinmas' hands. He had failed once but he promised that he would not fail again. If he could just break through to the third tier then perhaps they, he and Ranka, would have a chance. The forest suddenly grew less dense and Larva could see the first signs of the frozen land of the third tier. Just a little further and they would transcend the barrier of Reiha's realm.

Suddenly, the shinma appeared in front of them and Larva stopped and turned away as it brought its weapon once again against his back. It was the only way he could defend Ranka and he pulled away from the blade before the shinma could take another strike. The shinma was about to attack again when a high-pitch howl broke through the air and the shinma was thrown off its feet by a dog-like creature. Larva stepped back, wary of the newcomer but felt at ease when he heard the familiar voice.

"Ranka! What happened?" Ichiro cried. Larva finally had time to check to see if the second guardian was still alive. She was but barely and the blood was pouring out of her mortal wound. "Larva! What are you doing here? Where's Miyu?" Larva could only stare at Ichiro from behind his stone cold mask and Ichiro's ears flattened against his head. "Is she dead?"

Before any questions could be answered, the shinma reappeared and tackled Ichiro to the ground. Ichiro wrestled with his opponent and managed to pin it down to the ground. Larva took the opportunity and ran from the battle. Ichiro would be able to hold it off or perhaps defeat it, but that was only a chance and Ranka did not have much time. He transcended the barrier to the third tier and ran across the snow-covered fields. Reiha's realm was a permanently frozen one where nothing lived or prospered.

A sudden gust of wind caught his attention and he spared a glance over his shoulder to see the shinma running after him. He feared the worst for Ichiro but then saw a shape in the distance trying to catch up with them and the shinma. How the shinma could outrun Ichiro was beyond him and with no time to contemplate he quickened his pace trying to keep the distance between him and the shinma. But the distance quickly closed between them and the shinma caught up to them with Ichiro still lagging behind. The shinma jumped up into the air and came down upon them.

A whirlwind of snow rotated up from the ground and Larva dove to the side into the snow dunes in order to dodge it. The whirlwind subsided and Larva sat up and saw the shinma frozen in the position it had been in ready to attack. He looked over to where the whirlwind had formed and saw a small girl, clad in a white kimono with short black hair pulled up in pigtails, cradling a small doll. Ichiro finally caught up with them and bow his head in reverence to Reiha as he tried to regain his breath.

"I am gravely offended," Reiha said. "A Western Shinma is running around our realm and carrying a guardian in such a way." She looked down at her doll. "Well, what do you think of this Matsukaze?"

"I find it quite disgraceful," the doll replied. "A servant should never overstep his place. Besides, this problem is probably his doing."

"Now, now Matsukaze," Reiha said. "Let's not start pointing fingers. We must attend to Lady Ranka immediately. Ichiro, please see to it that the second tier is attended too in Lady Ranka's absence, as for you, Larva, please follow me." Reiha turned her back to Larva and they proceeding across the icy landscape towards a house in the distance.

When they reached the house, the rice paper doors slid open allowing them to enter. Reiha went first and Larva followed and the doors closed behind him.

"Set her down right here," Reiha instructed pointing to a woven mat on the floor. Larva set Ranka down on the mat carefully and retired to a corner of the room. Reiha looked at him in disgust but resolved that she had better things to do then degrade a Westerner. "That is all, you may go."

Larva was hesitant and Matsukaze took advantage of it. "There's no need for you to be here anymore so why don't you go and return to your Western kin. I'm sure that they'll just love to have you back."

"Now, now Matsukaze," Reiha said casually not really caring what the doll said to Larva.

"A lot of our troubles are caused by this Westerner," Matsukaze continued to Reiha. "If it hadn't been for him then Ranka wouldn't be in such a condition and Miyu would be alive." It paused. "Of course, it's not like she'd be any better at her job." Larva suppressed his urges to lash out at them both but instead silently left the house and made his way back to the first tier.

(-)

Larva watched as the waves crashed against the shore of the Japanese Shinma realm. This was the first tier, Miyu's realm, but within it was a separate realm a place where Miyu use to take shelter from her duty just for a moment. Her Crimson Realm.

Normally, he was able to transcend the barrier to the crimson realm as he pleased but something was wrong. The Crimson Realm was no longer there. It was as if it had completely disappeared.

"Larva! Please run! We can't beat them. . . . Go now! I don't want to see you die again!"

Larva walked along the shore with his head down mourning. He wanted to be able to cradle her body no matter how torn and batter it was, just one last time. He turned his frustration on an amorphous rock structure and struck it as hard as he could and as many times as he could before his hands became too numb to strike and he slid down to the ground sobbing.

"We'll meet again. Someday. Now please, go now!"

Her words echoed in his head as he relived the moment over and over again in his mind. In his mind, she was still there, and in his mind, she was still dying.

"We will meet again, Miyu," he whispered as he closed his eyes hoping that if and when someone found him he would already have willed himself to die.

Unfortunately, that wasn't going to happen.

To Be Continued. . . . .

BlueDragonGirl1: Remember way back when? Say, August 2004 when "Miyu: The Vampire Hunter" made its debut? Well, when I decided it to put up "Miyu: The Vampire Hunter" the second pick had been this story. Unfortunately, I felt that it wasn't fully developed enough and I pushed it aside for later use. Fast forward about a year and a half later. . . . I came across a small sample that I had made of this first chapter and decided that I could develop the storyline as I went along. So I would appreciate any reviews with criticism since I am more or less winging this story just for the sake of my sanity. (This thing was really taking up space in my head) R&R any thoughts you have!