Chapter Four: Desperate Measures
Disclaimer: I do not own Vampire Princess Miyu or a useless pile of cash to buy the rights with.
Ranka stood under the red torii that connected the human realm to Miyu's first tier. Since the Crimson Realm was inaccessible, she and Ichiro would have to reside in the human realm until she could resurrect Miyu while she kept a close eye on the Shinma realm. Meanwhile, Ichiro's job would be to locate any shinmas causing trouble amongst the humans. There was no need to cause a big commotion and announce to all the shinmas in the area that the second guardian was now in charge. That would surely make for a large disturbance. She would only go after those that were causing a negative impact on the humans. All residing shinmas would be overlooked unless they became likely to assault.
She folded her hands into the sleeves of her kimono to keep them from blowing in the sudden breeze that swept across the land. Reiha would not approve of her plan. She would want her to go after every stray shinma, active or not. But that would not leave her any time to focus on resurrecting Miyu and returning strays to the dark was not her job. Also, the barriers she had placed around her tier were temporary and not the strongest they could have been had she been uninjured. She would have to reinforce them later. She sighed wearily. All of this was going to take time; time of which they did not have much of.
The next breeze that swept through brought a panting Ichiro with it. He stopped before Ranka, made a swift bow, and handed her the small vial Senjui had filled with the lake water that contained Yui's blood. Ranka took it in her hands and lightly touched the curves of the bottle. She frowned and after Ichiro had caught his breath asked. "Why is the blood so pale?"
"It's from the lake," Ichiro replied. The frown lines on Ranka's face deepened. Ichiro gasped. Of course, she didn't know. "Ranka, Yui's dead. They got her too, the same one's that got Miyu. That's all that's left of Yui's blood."
"Ichiro," Ranka said softly. "This will not be enough."
"Wha?! What do you mean it's not enough," Ichiro cried out. "Last time there was barely any of Miyu's blood left but you said you would still be able to resurrect her. And you would have been able to do it without Yui, it just would have taken too much time. Why can't you do it now?"
"It's so diluted," Ranka murmured. "Once I separated the lake water from the blood there may not be enough concentrated blood to do anything."
"Ah, shit," Ichiro muttered. Ranka did not chastise him for his crude language perhaps because she was thinking along the same line. "Isn't there anything that can be done?"
"I may be able to resurrect Yui, but that's strictly a maybe. It would take a long time though."
"Come on, Ranka! Think of something. There has to be another way. Let's go down all of our options!" Ichiro said hurriedly. "Maybe there's something we haven't thought about."
"Miyu has no other relatives. Her mother and father are long gone. Her victims are in the Crimson Realm and we've been sealed out of it. There's no one left except," she trailed off and looked at Ichiro who was staring at her wide-eyed.
"That's it!" he said trying not to become too excited for he knew Ranka would caution him against getting his hopes up.
"It's too risky, Ichiro," Ranka warned. "Her victims are much better candidates because none of their blood exists, only the little bit that Miyu gave them to give them the dream. Yui is a relative. Her blood is identical to Miyu's. This," she shook her head. "Miyu would kill me if anything went wrong."
"But it's the only thing we've got!" Ichiro said. "And we have to resurrect Miyu. We'll have to take our chances!"
"But Larva is everything to Miyu," Ranka pointed out to him. "If he died to resurrect her, it would be a wasted cause. Miyu would just end up dying again. I could never put her through that again."
Ichiro's ears flattened against the side of his head. "How's come it's so risky? How much blood exactly do you need?"
"It'll amount up to almost every concentrated drop of Miyu's blood in his body. I can't have any of his in the mix."
"So, when Miyu comes back, she'll be separated from Larva?"
"For awhile yes, and he will be separated from her. But draining Miyu's blood will be difficult."
"But the Westerners did it before. Remember?" Ichiro pointed out. "You can just copy what they did?"
Ranka gave him a look that politely told him to shut up. "I remember them killing Larva before they did anything. Plus, Ichiro, I am not a Western Shinma. Something like the Dark Exorcism is even out of my league." Ichiro swallowed hard. Ranka was nicely telling him that she was insulted. And this wasn't the time to be insulting her.
"Well," he started off slowly. "What will we have to do to keep Larva alive while you extract the blood?"
Ranka closed her eyes. This was in no way helping her already weakened condition. "If he agrees to this, which I'm sure he will, we'll have to somehow put his separated blood back into his body. He'll be half drained by the time we're finished but his chance of survival will be better."
"Jeez, Ranka. Won't that be kinda hard?" Ichiro asked scratching the back of his head. Even he was having a hard time comprehending this.
"I don't even want to think about it right now," Ranka confessed. "If we want this done now then we should technically request the assistance of Reiha." Ichiro gawked at the idea. "But I doubt she would ever do it," she said quickly.
"Then we'll just have to wait until you get better," Ichiro affirmed. "Until then what should I do?"
"You need to go and find Larva."
"That might not be so easy but I'll try."
Ranka nodded. "Reiha sent him away. The Crimson Realm might even be sealed to him. I have not sensed him since we returned to the lower tiers."
"Um, so, Ranka, where exactly do I start?" Ichiro asked.
A moment of silence fell upon them then Ranka spoke. "Your guess is as good as mine."
Ichiro almost fell over. "That doesn't help at all! Come on Ranka!"
"Ichiro, where is the most logical place for him to go in the event of Miyu's death?"
"I don't know. The place where Miyu died to mourn? You said so yourself that you didn't sense him. Unless. . . . . ." Ichiro physically fell over this time. "Oh shit, Ranka! He couldn't have left for Europe. I mean, seriously, that quickly? It would take me forever to find him there and my English sucks!"
"Don't jump to conclusions, Ichiro," Ranka scolded and he jumped back up onto his feet. "I doubt Larva would do such a thing."
"Then what does that leave us with?"
She sighed heavily, her exhaustion slowly turning to irritation. "There are only two people who would know of his whereabouts, if they have been paying attention to what's been transpiring. He may even have gone to them."
Ichiro shook his head violently. "No way, Ranka! Not them. Anyone but them!"
Ranka frowned. "It's the only lead we may have and they'll be a lot easier to track down."
"But they're freakin' nuts!" Ichiro's voice was shrill. "Somebody's gotta get them on some Prozac or something. Nuh-uh! I am not tracking them down. That's only asking for trouble."
"Ichiro," Ranka said warningly. "Unless you have a better idea?"
"Which I don't, but I'll eventually come up with one."
"Good, then perhaps you'll come up with one while you're tracking them. It'll give you some motivation to find a better idea," she said and her voice held a tone of finality to it. As in, she wasn't going to argue any more. "Try not to attract too much attention to what we're up to while you're gone."
"But Raaaaaanka!" Ichiro whined. "Larva's cousin has a strange obsession for him, and his friend is worse. I think he has some kind of man fetish."
Ranka tried hard to hold back the smile that was pulling at the corners of her lips. "But you've never met them in person, Ichiro. They might not be as bad as you think they are. Maybe you'll even like them." Ichiro's eyes widened in horror. "I'm joking, Ichiro. If all goes well, you might not even have to approach them. All you'll have to do is see if Larva is with them. Then work from there."
"You're not funny, Ranka," Ichiro sobbed.
She clapped her hands sharply. "Go away, Ichiro. You have work to do and I have to prepare for Miyu and Yui's resurrection.
Ichiro shuttered. "Fine. I'll do it for Miyu and Yui." And he turned his back and was gone in a flash.
Sersee lay back on the mountain of purple, velvet pillows that adorned the head of her bed. Her bed was in the shape of a circle, large and spacious enough for two . . .
The sheer, light purple curtains that hung from a circular rail attached to the ceiling were pulled to encompass the circumference of the bed. She had drawn them not for privacy purposes but because they added a certain feeling to her bedroom when they were closed. She gently sipped from a flute glass a reddish-violet wine that was bitter but sweet enough to keep her from puckering her lips.
In all respect, she should have chosen a sweeter wine, one that would have reflect her present mood. She sighed lightly and her breath fogged the glass. She was tremendously happy; exceedingly so. It must have been the first time in over half a century, yes that seemed about right. What would make her even happier would be to return to her fortress in Europe. Not that she was worried the Westerners would notice that she had left . . .
She was a Western Shinma by blood but an outcast by nature. Sealed away in a fortress on the western-most edge of Europe, she had broken the barriers with the powerful sorcery that was, by blood, her natural born power. No parent or teacher was involved. She had, had no guidance in achieving the control she now had. It was familiar to her blood, a blood that had been pumping through the veins of her family for generations upon generations. When the time was right, her blood would tell her to push herself to the next level, the next breaking point and each time she became stronger and stronger. Now she only resided in the fortress, there was no need to alarm the Westerners with the fact that she was no longer a prisoner. She had no interest in taking revenge against the kin that had imprisoned her. She had more important things to do.
Her blood line had been declining for centuries. A birth of incestuous circumstances to strengthen the blood, she was the only one left. Her grandparents had been cast out into the sea and drowned, her father had been mauled by wolves, her mother burned upside down at the stake, and her brothers and sisters exiled from their birth place, scattered to unknown places around the world to be butchered. Her last surviving relative, a reclusive cousin harboring in Russia, had died by his own hand. Sersee frowned at the memory of her cousin telling her that it was no use fighting, that the world was against them and it was time just to fade away into history.
She sipped the wine to calm the flare of anger that was rising in response to the memory. Her cousin had been wrong and she was about to prove it. She hoped he was watching her right now, she hoped they were all watching her!
She finished off the last droplets of wine and the glass disappeared from her hand. She shivered. The room was suddenly cold. Oh well. She would sleep warmly to night. She snuggled down under the downy, velvet comforter and caressed the face of the sleeping figure next to her.
"My sweet," she whispered to him.
Lemures sat in a dark room playing chess against himself when Carlua strolled in, apparently, without reason caring a candle stick, the flame of which illuminated her face brightly. She set it down on the table and a few words were exchanged between them. Suddenly, in the blink of an eye, the flame was out, the chess pieces mysteriously vanished, and Carlua had somehow gotten herself up on the table and way lying on it with her arms propped up on the chessboard staring deeply into Lemures's eyes.
Suddenly, a hall tree fell in the darkness, clattering to the floor, and a hissed string of curses followed. They both looked over seemingly not startled by the unexpected visitor. Ichiro stood frozen against the wall balanced on one leg with arms thrown up into the air. His body was throbbing from having held that position for what seemed like forever. He had tracked them down only to discover that they were staying in a huge castle that they were constructing themselves. To get a better look, he had gone inside but became trapped when Lemures had come in to play chess . . . . over two hours ago.
"Um, er," he stuttered. He was still baffled with how Carlua had managed to get onto the table and why she had decided to throw herself upon it in the first place. "Seems you guys are a little busy. Heh heh. So, I'll, um, I guess I'll be leaving now." And in a flash, he was gone.
"What was that all about?" Carlua commented after a moment of silence hung over them.
Lemures slumped back into his chair, relieved. "Thank god! I thought it was another one of your relatives."
To Be Continued. . . . . .
BlueDragonGirl1: I know I've been saying this in the other updates I've made to my other stories but I'll say it again just in case anybody missed it. This Fall, I'm headed off to college and I've come to notice that many fanfic authors who head off to college kinda don't come back to update their stories. With that said, this summer, I will be updating as much a possible so I can try to get to or get close to the endings of my unfinished fanfics. I will post on my profile what fanfics have been updated and which story I am planning on updating next. Thanks! R&R!!
SIDE NOTE: The end of the chapter was a parody of a scene from the third volume of the manga, "Déjà vu" (chapter 2: The Phantom Castle). Carlua and Lemures will not be making any other appearances in this fanfiction.