Author's Note: Here is the long awaited conclusion to the story. I invite any of you interested in reading some of my original work to visit my homepage for a link to my website. I also encourage those of you who have not yet done so to read 'Mistress Winowyl's' stories 'The Bet' and 'Get What You Wanted'. The stories are not direct continuations but can be considered as 'AU continuations' of this story. They branch off from the same tree but with a few differences.
Tsukune was lying in bed with Moka resting her head on his chest. A single hand ran through her matted pink hair. His eyes were looking about his dorm room. In one corner were some suitcases and a couple cardboard boxes that were already taped up. Graduation was now just three days away. All the important final tests and exams had been completed, and passed, last week. For the seniors at Youkai these last days were filled with excitement and a certain sadness. The excitement was for the future and all the possibilities that it held. The sadness came from knowing that in three days a part of their lives would be over. They would leave this place and no longer be students. Friends they'd made over the last three years would be going off in new directions and possibly never be seen again.
Tsukune had these same feelings, but there were much more serious problems troubling him. He had not told Moka or any of his friends the truth about his father and Ria. The right moment had never come; though if he lived another thousand years he didn't think there would ever be a right moment to tell that sort of news. Oh hey Moka, I just thought you'd like to know that my father has been having an affair with your sister Ria and the only way I can get her to end it and not destroy my parents' marriage is if I agree to be hers. So how has your day been?
He let out a long troubled sigh and continued to run his hand through Moka's hair. He'd had two months and still had no idea what to do. Ria and Lord Akashiya would be at the graduation and it would time for him to make a decision. His last encounter with Moka's sister had convinced him he couldn't beat Ria in a fight. Asking for Issa's help with her was out of the question given his attitude towards humans. He had no way to compel Ria to leave his father alone. That meant he would have to choose to either sacrifice his father or Moka.
"What am I supposed to do?" Tsukune whispered.
Though he hadn't meant to his words were loud enough to cause Moka to stir and open her green eyes and look at him sleepily. "Tsukune? You're still awake? Is something wrong?"
"No, sorry for waking you Moka-chan." He placed a light kiss on her lips. "Go back to sleep."
"Are you still worried about finding a university to attend? We've scheduled five college entrance exams, I'm sure we'll get accepted somewhere."
He nodded. "I'm sure we will."
For a moment he recalled how panicked he'd been back when he'd failed all of his High School entrance exams and found himself unable to enroll anywhere. Back then it had seemed like the end of the world to him and to his parents. Under different circumstances he could easily imagine himself being running around worrying about his future and which college he would get into.
Now though it didn't even rank in his top ten worries. He would get into college somewhere and eventually find a job. One way or another he would manage as far as that went.
If I need a job I can always be a Vice President at Fairy Tale.
"Are you upset because your parents can't attend?"
"No, my mom and Kyouko both really wanted to but I managed to convince them that it would be way too much trouble and not really worth it. Kyouko thought it was suspicious and my mom was disappointed but I finally convinced them."
Moka giggled. "Maybe Kyouko will just pop up anyway and you'll just have to charm her again."
Tsukune groaned. "That would be just like her."
"What about your father? Did you have trouble convincing him?"
"No, he's on a business trip in Okinawa and won't be able to attend."
Ever since Tsukune's visit Ria had kept his father busy and travelling all over the country while she remained in Tokyo. So far as he could tell she was keeping her word about leaving him alone until graduation.
Moka could tell he was troubled. "What is it Tsukune? You know you can talk to me about anything."
"What do you suppose will happen once we leave this place?" Tsukune asked quietly. "With Ria and with your father?"
"Is that the reason you're awake?"
"Yeah," he said. It was the truth after all.
"I am sure my sister will try to cause us more problems but we'll find a way to deal with her."
Tsukune couldn't help but smile; she sounded so sure of that. "We didn't do so well before," he reminded her. "We ended up running away to here where she couldn't touch us. After Friday though it's back to the human world with no sanctuary."
"I know, but we'll still be all right."
"How can you believe that Moka? Ria is a ferocious monster and cruel to the bone. Your father is even stronger and he hates humans. How can things work out?"
Moka blinked and shrugged her shoulders. "Well when you put it that way sure it sounds bad."
That did not help his peace of mind. "Is there any other way to put it?"
She smiled confidently. "Tsukune, we've faced all sorts of dangers and we've always managed somehow. Even back when you were just human we always found a way. Think of all the people who have wanted to kill you or fight you and you've managed to beat every one of them! You've even turned some of them into friends."
That was true. Kurumu and Ruby had both tried to kill him once. Yukari, Mizore, Issa and a lot of others had held bad intentions towards him. Now they were friends and he was on pretty good terms even with many of the students who had challenged him to fight. When he really stopped to think about it that really was kind of amazing.
"The problem is I don't imagine I can ever make Ria a friend and I don't think Issa will be too friendly whenever he learns the truth about my family.
"You will find a way though," Moka said confidently. "It's like your special gift Tsukune, the way you can turn enemies into friends. That's something my sister will never be able to do. She could never accept anyone as a real friend. Her pride will never allow it."
"That's true," Tsukune grunted. "To her everyone is just a piece on a board. She has to control and manipulate everyone; she can never admit anyone is her equal."
Moka nodded sleepily. "Yes, that's always been her weakness. She can never bend her pride, not even a little. I am sure she'll regret that one day."
That was when it struck him.
He suddenly sat up in bed. All at once it was clear to him what he needed to do. He saw the path and the way through all of Ria's twisted threats.
He pulled back the sheets and jumped out of bed. He hurriedly began putting on clothes.
"Tsukune what are you doing?"
"I'm sorry Moka, but I need to go somewhere!"
"Now?" She glanced at the clock. "It's three in the morning."
"I know, but there's no time to waste!" Tsukune had a big excited smile on his face. "I just figured out how to defeat Ria!"
"Really Tsukune? How?"
"Simple! I'm going to use my strength against her weakness!"
"Huh? What does that mean?"
"I promise to explain later." He gave the still half asleep Moka a quick kiss then bolted for the door. He finally had a course of action and there was no time to waste.
Tsukune didn't return until the following afternoon and looked very weary.
When Moka and the other girls all asked him where he'd been and what he'd been up to he gave them all a tired smile and promised he would explain it all later.
Graduation day finally arrived.
Buses packed with family and friends came along with a large number of cars and trucks. They parked and the mass of visitors were directed towards the gym where the ceremony would take place. (Mercifully for everyone Kyouko had failed in her efforts to catch a ride here and attend.)
Among all the vehicles coming through the dimensional tunnel was a single horse drawn carriage with four horses black as night. Inside the cab were Lord Issa Akashiya and his daughters Ria and Kahlua. Kokoa being a second year student at the academy would be meeting them there.
"I must say I am surprised you wanted to attend your sister and future brother's graduation Ria." Lord Akashiya said glancing at his eldest daughter. "Until recently I was under the impression you had no wish to celebrate with them."
"The situation has changed," Ria said brightly. For the last few days she had been in excellent spirits and bursting with energy. "I would not miss this graduation for the world."
"Oh?" A silvery eyebrow rose. "There any particular reason for that?"
Ria crossed her hands on her lap and was the very image of the sweet and innocent daughter. "I beg you my lord to be just a bit more patient. I expect to have an important announcement for you in just a little while."
Issa frowned slightly. He knew that Ria loved to play her games but he was normally not involved in them. She knew better than to try and manipulate him. He did not press her to explain as he was sure to have his answers soon enough.
"Oh!" Kahlua said excitedly and pressed her pace to the carriage window. "Tombstones!"
Issa snorted a laugh at his easily distracted daughter and relaxed as they approached Youkai Academy.
On the gym floor lines of folding chairs had been set out with place tags set on them. The graduating seniors were led out in green caps and gowns that matched the color of their uniforms. They were set to walk up to the stage in alphabetical order and receive their diploma. Akashiya Moka and Aono Tsukune were separated by four other students. Tsukune waved to her and she gave a wave back.
He looked behind him and managed to pick out Kurumu, Mizore and Yukari who was standing on her chair and waving both arms frantically to be sure he could spot her. Kurumu eagerly blew him a kiss while Mizore blushed and gave a genteel motion of her hand.
Ruby was up on the stage along with the Chairman and other member of the faculty. On either side of the gym the stands were absolutely packed with friends and family. More than a few of them held up banner and signs proclaiming their pride and joy in a particular graduate. Seeing so many happy faces Tsukune felt a momentary pang and wished, in spite of everything, that his mom and dad and even his cousin could be here. He knew it was impossible and had made sure they would not attend; but he couldn't help wishing they could be here to share this moment with him.
He didn't let the sadness linger. He had Moka and the girls to share this moment with; that was enough. More importantly if his plan worked everyone he cared about would be safe and they would get the chance to be happy. Tsukune looked at the stands trying to pick out where Ria might be. He failed to spot her, but that she was here he did not doubt.
He sat in his fold out chair and tried his best to relax. The course his life would take would be decided today.
After what seemed a long delay the Chairman at last approached the podium and spoke.
"To the 20XX graduating class of Youkai Academy I want to say congratulations. Looking out at you I see the faces of survivors. Survivors not only of tests and classes and the wearying grind that is daily school life here but of other more serious trials. Those of you who have made it here to the end are stronger now than you were when you first arrived. All the difficulties you have endured and suffered through have made you what you are now and have prepared you for whatever hardships await you in the future. As you go out into the world never forget what you have learned here. Not just lessons of math and science but the more important lessons of friendship, trust, and perseverance in the face of hardship. Remember what we have taught you about coexistence and about the need to treat all people with respect and an open hand. Never forget that we are all one people and that despite all our differences what we have in common matters much more."
He paused and looked out over them with his eerie glowing eyes.
"Oh, and one more thing; try your best not to show up drunk at work. They hate that."
The students stared back at him in silence.
"That was a joke."
The only sound was that of crickets.
"Ahem, well let's get started shall we? Aartok Mina."
The first girl in the first row got up and walked up to the podium where she received her diploma and a handshake from the Chairman. One by one the seniors were called up.
Moka quietly thanked the Chairman and hurried back to her seat.
Kurumu yelled 'Yahoo!' at the top of her lungs and jumped around.
Mizore somehow managed to pop up from behind the podium and snag her diploma out of the Chairman's hand before he finished calling her name.
Yukari went up the stage with her witch's hat on instead of her cap and accepted her diploma with as much dignity as she could. Ruby gave her a hug before she left the stage.
When Tsukune had been up there the Chairman had shared a few quiet words with him.
"Tsukune, I want you to know that I had great hopes for you and still do."
"Thank you very much Chairman." As Tsukune walked past the Chairman smiled and had just a few more words.
"Please try not to burn the school down."
Tsukune's head snapped around and he was going to ask what that meant but the Chairman was already calling the next person up.
Before long the last student had received his diploma and the seniors were throwing their caps into the air.
Wow, Tsukune thought. I actually survived and made it to graduation.
With the ceremony over people exited the gym to gather together and celebrate.
All around him students were revealing their true forms and being surrounded and congratulated. Tsukune and the girls made it outside to meet with family.
"Tsukune! Congratulations on your graduation!" Tsukune was having his face buried in a huge pair of heavenly soft breasts. "How about you come to my room tonight and let me caress you with my naked body? I promise to make you happy that you're a man. What do you say darling?"
"MOM!" Kurumu shouted. "Stop that!"
Ageha grinned and continued to try and smother Tsukune with her chest. "What? I'm just giving him a graduation present."
An ice spear sprouted out of her forehead and Ageha went down in a gush of blood.
"Next time get him a gift certificate." Tsurara said dispassionately.
Next to Yukari her mother and father were both congratulating their daughter. Ruby was with them as well.
Moka was standing next to Tsukune hugging him as there was a stir in the nearby crowd.
"What is it?" Moka asked.
"I think your family has come to wish us well." Tsukune said quietly.
Sure enough as the people parted they revealed a small knot of vampire approaching. Lord Akashiya, Ria, Kahlua, and Kokoa were striding toward them. Issa led the way with his daughters remaining one step behind him. As he came up to them he spread open his arms.
"Congratulations on your graduation Moka."
"Thank you father." Moka gladly went up to him to be embraced.
After hugging his daughter for a long moment he faced Tsukune with his arms still open. "Congratulations to you to my son."
"Er, thank you Lord Akashiya." It felt rather awkward but it was a vampire custom so Tsukune embraced his would be father.
"Do I get a hug too brother dear?" Ria asked sweetly and held out her arms.
"No," Tsukune said flatly.
Ria crossed both hands over her heart and pouted as a child might. "Such harsh words brother dear, and all I wanted was to share my warmth with you."
"We've done enough of that I think." Tsukune told her.
"Really?" Ria asked with a tilt of her head and a questioning look in her eye. "Does that mean I'll need to look for warmth somewhere else?"
Before Tsukune could answer Kahlua stepped up to him and held out her arms. "Can I get a hug?"
"Sure." He had no issue embracing Kahlua. Sure she was a little childlike and a lethal assassin, but for this family she was probably the gentlest soul except for Moka.
After hugging him Kahlua ran up to her sister Moka. "Hug?"
Moka happily complied.
Kahlua seemed to enjoy it as she ran up to Yukari asking for a hug and then kept going up to various others like Tsurara and Yukari's parents who weren't even graduates.
Kokoa came up to him and opened up her arms.
Tsukune looked at her suspiciously. "You don't have a dagger up your sleeve or anything do you?"
"Hey! I can be civil if I want to be, even to you. Just don't expect this to become a habit!"
"I understand." He and Kokoa exchanged a very quick hug. She then hurried to give Moka a much longer and more heartfelt embrace.
Kahlua in the meantime had wandered off to start hugging complete strangers.
"Well this has been heartwarming." Ria said in a bright tone. "But now brother dear I think you and I have a little business to discuss."
Tsukune took a deep breath to ready himself. As he did so Moka, Kurumu, Mizore, Yukari, Ruby, and all their family members gathered around him to lend him their support. He hadn't told any of them what he was planning. They simply felt his need and wanted to stand by him.
"I agree with you Ria, it's time for us to settle some things." He then spoke not to Ria but to her father. "Lord Issa, there are some things I need to share with you. I don't think you will find them pleasant but it's time to put all the cards on the table and reach some decisions."
"Very well son," Issa sounded willing at least. "What is it you wish to tell me?"
Tsukune took one more deep breath and spoke. "I was originally human when Moka gave me her blood. More than that I have immediate family who still are human."
Ria's eyes widened in surprise.
Kokoa looked sick.
Everyone else looked surprised to one degree or another. Either at the knowledge Tsukune had once been human or at the possible consequences of telling this to a Vampire Elder.
They were all taken aback, including Ria, when Issa merely shrugged and calmly said. "Yes I know."
"What? You mean Ria already told you?" Tsukune said in obvious shock.
"No, Ria never said a word." The vampire lord sent his eldest daughter a look of obvious disapproval that made her worry. "You really must give me more credit Tsukune. I am the majority shareholder of a multi-national corporation and a being who has lived for more than a thousand years. You don't manage those things by being willfully blind. The moment I accepted you as my son and as a mate for my daughter I of course found out all that I could about you. Including the fact that your relatives are human, that you and Ria were intimate, and that your father has been employed at a high level by Fairy Tale." Issa again cast an eye in Ria's direction. "All of which I learned through my own investigation."
"So you know I was human and that my family still is. Are you… are you going to hurt them?"
Issa shook his head. "You don't know me at all Tsukune. If I were going to make an issue of it I would have already dealt with them. I am not interested in silly games like my daughter is."
"Thank you Lord Issa," knowing his family was at least safe from him was a huge relief to Tsukune.
"Don't be too grateful Tsukune. I am not at all happy about this. Under other circumstances I might have taken some rather severe measures. In the end though I decided to overlook it as a favor to you. I have great hopes for you and humans don't live all that long." Issa gave a slight shrug. "In a few centuries we can forget all about this."
"Wait father," Moka now spoke up. "You mean you've known what Ria was doing and you let it happen? Tsukune when did your father get hired by Fairy Tale?"
"Your sister made him a Vice President shortly after the two of you returned here." Issa answered. "As for what Ria was doing why would I interfere? I'd already declared Tsukune worthy of being my son. What possible reason would I have to keep him from being with Ria as well? I was frankly hoping to have him give her a child."
"But Ria blackmailed Tsukune into being with her! She only did it to hurt me and try to steal Tsukune from me!"
"So?" Issa replied coldly. "You are not a little girl anymore Moka. In this world you take what you want. If someone else takes from you and you are too weak to stop them you have no right to complain. Please stop behaving like a child."
Outer Moka's cheeks darkened in embarrassment. Just a moment ago her father had been hugging her and proud. She sometimes forgot that while her father might love her he still expected her to follow vampire morality and beliefs. Complaining that Ria had forced Tsukune to be with her would not be the problem in her father's eyes. The problem was she had not been strong enough to stop Ria. "Yes father."
"Oh, poor sweet sister." Ria teased. "Did you expect father to save you like always?"
"Quiet Ria." Issa said sharply. "I am not pleased with you at keeping secrets from me. Do you think me just another piece to be moved on your chess board?"
"No my lord! Never!" Ria bowed low to him. "I would have told you the truth I merely delayed so that I could…"
"Play your own game." Issa finished for her. "Yes, I know. Your duty is to tell me everything that I might find of import, not to pick and choose. When we return home we will discuss your punishment."
"Yes my lord." Ria answered meekly.
"Wait, so does this mean my parents are safe?" Tsukune asked.
"From me they are." Issa replied.
"What about from Ria?"
"That is for the two of you to work out Tsukune." Issa replied.
"Lord Akashiya do you know that Ria has been forcing a sexual relationship on my father?"
Moka and the other girls all gasped, Issa though seemed faintly amused. "I don't usually bother keeping track of who my daughter chooses as a lover. From what I know of humans at your father's age I hope he is duly grateful."
"Ria forced my father into it."
"So?" Issa answered in an almost identical tone to the one he'd used with Moka a moment ago. "Ria can do as she pleases. If you object it falls on you to solve the matter. Do not rely on me to fix all your problems my son."
The situation was actually better than Tsukune had expected. He'd been afraid of Lord Akashiay's reaction when he found out the truth. He had never really expected him to rein Ria in. Tsukune was satisfied with knowing Issa would not be a separate threat.
"So, just to be clear, if I am able to deal with Ria you won't interfere with that?"
"Of course not my son."
Tsukune nodded, satisfied, and turned to face Ria.
Despite her impending punishment at her lord father's hands there was still a smirk on her face and an air of satisfaction about her. Clearly she still thought that where he was concerned she had won. Her father knew the truth and would not involve himself. So far as Ria could see that meant she had won.
"Oh me, oh my are you going to try and deal with me now brother dear?"
"That's right." Tsukune said calmly. This was the moment he had been planning for. "Let's have one last battle to decide everything. If you win I will agree to become your mate and never see Moka again."
"Tsukune!" Moka shouted.
He looked back at her calmly. "Please trust in me Moka."
"But how can you…"
"Moka, didn't you say I always found a way?" He gave her a reassuring smile. "Please have faith in me one more time."
Moka looked into his eyes and swallowed all of her objections. "All right Tsukune, I'll believe in you. I love you."
"I love you too Moka-chan."
Ria clapped her hands. "How sweet, but then they say all true love ends in tragedy don't they?"
Tsukune faced her again, calm, certain. "If you win I will become your mate and never see Moka again. If I win I will be with Moka and you will agree to never harm either of us or try and force me to be with you again. Win or lose you swear to never harm any member of my family. Will you agree to this?"
She nodded eagerly. "Certainly brother dear. I admit I am surprised you want to dance with me again after our last little encounter. You certainly do not lack courage. Let me guess, you have spent the last two months feverishly training to learn some new fighting technique that you think will let you defeat me?"
"No," Tsukune replied. "There's a condition to my offer."
"Oh?" Ria sounded interested.
"I know I can't beat you," Tsukune admitted. "But one of my friends can. If you'll let my friend stand in for me I'll agree to accept the outcome whatever it may be."
"You think one of your subordinates can defeat me?" She laughed softly and shook her head. "You disappoint me brother dear."
"I don't have subordinates or tools; I have friends. One of them can beat you. Will you agree to face my friend or are you scared?"
Ria's eyes glanced at the group standing behind him. Moka, Kurumu, a slightly wobbly Ageha, a heavily pregnant Mizore, Tsurara, the pint sized witch, her parents, and Ruby. She turned around and looked at all the monsters in all the little groups that surrounded them.
They were all trash.
There was not a single one of them she could not butcher in less than a minute, and that included Inner Moka. The only ones here who she would acknowledge as stronger would be the Chairman and her father. Kahlua (who was still off giving people hugs) would be a serious threat and would have a fair chance of defeating her.
"Very well brother dear, I accept your terms."
She removed her Rosario and was transformed into her true form. Youkai energy poured from her in waves. All around them conversation came to an abrupt halt and all eyes were turned in their direction.
Ria placed her hands on her hips and calmly waited. "Bring your friend forward and we'll begin."
Tsukune nodded. "Please remember Ria that you brought all of this upon yourself." He placed two fingers to his mouth and whistled.
The ground began to shake.
"It's an earthquake! Desu!"
"Not quite." Tsukune replied.
Near where they stood the ground began to erupt as dirt and stone were tossed high into the air. A massive shape larger than any of the nearby buildings rose up out of the ground and spread out its leathery wings. All the students and visitors screamed and fled as fast as their legs or wings would take them.
"Fafnir?" Issa cried out. It was the first time Tsukune had ever heard fear in his voice.
The massive head snapped about on its long neck and stared down at the vampire elder. Long rows of foot long teeth were exposed. "Hello again Issa. You have no idea how much I've been looking forward to seeing you again. You've gotten fat."
"You made a friend of a dragon?" Issa called not believing it. "How?"
"I did him a favor and asked for nothing in return." Tsukune answered truthfully. "When I went to see him three days ago and told him he might have a chance to fight your daughter and maybe you he was happy to help."
"So Tsukune, do I get to fight him again?"
"No," Tsukune answered. "But you can fight his daughter unless she wants to forfeit."
"That's a pity." His eyes snapped about looking at Ria, Moka, and Kokoa. "So which one is it?"
Yukari, Kurumu, Mizore and the rest all immediately pointed at Ria.
Fafnir focused all of his attention on a suddenly nervous looking Ria.
"You tricked me!" Ria said accusingly.
"How? All I said was that you would fight a friend of mine and he's a friend. Anyway, the strong are allowed to just take what they want right?"
Ria glared up at the huge monster.
"If you want to forfeit now would be the time Ria." Tsukune told her.
"Do as he says Ria," her father said quickly. "Even with my sword I could not defeat him. There is no shame in admitting that you have lost."
She knew she was completely outclassed but her pride would never allow her to admit that Tsukune had just outsmarted her. "Never!"
"I was hoping you'd say that."
In a flash one massive claw rose and then slammed down on Ria's head.
The earth shook and when Fafnir raised his claw again Ria was lying at the bottom of a twenty foot crater. With just that Ria had been totally beaten with a single blow.
"You were amazing!"
"You are so cool! Desu"
"Master! Tie me up!"
The girls rushed to embrace him.
Issa stood there and quietly shook his head. "You truly are the mighty vampire Aono."
With two talons of one claw Fafnir picked up the bloody and unconscious Ria.
"Wait! What are you doing with my daughter?" Issa shouted.
"She is mine now; spoils of battle. You vampires believe in that right? Taking whatever you can? My lair is quite a mess. I think she can be my maid and clean it for me. After that I think she will be a snack."
"I offer you a ransom! Her weight in gold!"
Hissing laughter and a nod of the snake like head. "Agreed, but only after she works for a month cleaning my lair. I think I like the idea of having a proud vampire reduced to a slave, especially your daughter."
Fafnir took his prisoner and disappeared back down into the earth. With that Tsukune was free and he and Moka and his family and friends were safe.
A Few Years Later…
Tsukune was seated at his wedding reception. He and Moka had already been mates for some time but now they had just had a wedding ceremony for his family and other human friends. Moka was surrounded by all her old friends and looked angelic in her white wedding dress.
The time since Youkai had not been perfect and he and Moka had had some problems, but he loved her and was sure they would work everything out.
"Excuse me." A beautiful woman with a magnificent body came up to him.
"We've never met, my name is Shade and I am Kurumu's aunt. Might I have a dance with the groom?"
Smiling he agreed and went with her to the dance floor to have a single harmless dance.