Two young boys round 8 years stood in a grand courtyard decorated with deep blue and violet hues, chatting to their teachers somewhat too casually. One of them with light blue hair glanced around every now and then, but to no avail as a loud laugh interrupted their moment with the teachers.
"Strauss, Morishima!" a little girl of around 6 came running towards the two boys and threw herself at the light blue haired one. He silently groaned inwardly as he tried to get the young blonde hair girl off him, "Aldeheid, you're not supposed to run around. Aren't you supposed to be studying?" he chided her as he set her on the ground. She refused to release his forearms and Strauss sighed as he gave up and allowed her to cling to him. "Studying is boring! Anyway, playing with you and Morishima is better than that. That is, unless you or Bridget agrees to teach me." The little girl said while casting a sly look at him.
"Aldeheid, don't run away from the maid next time! You worried her tremendously, do you know that?" another voice called out across the courtyard, disrupting their conversation again. Strauss and Morishima sighed, it seemed like an afternoon of studying was gone again. Another blonde haired girl around 7 came running across the courtyard, her slippers plit-platting across the whole length of it towards the trio. Strauss was relieved, at least Aldeheid wouldn't stick to him throughout the whole day, he thought as the older girl detached Aldeheid from him. "I want to play with Strauss!" was Aldeheid's next demand as the two boys made to leave them, and Strauss was almost stricken at the thought.
They made their way towards the Great Hall, as their parents had told them that an important guest was coming for lunch. However, they were late and the guest had retired to her rooms, "Who is it, Mother?" Aldeheid pestered her mother until the woman sighed and told them that it was the daughter of the Heizerbergs that had come back from a recent visit to Earth. "Why are they visiting Earth?" Bridget inquired curiously, a visit to Earth was considered strange since they didn't go back there. The Moon was comfortable enough because the Queen Aldeheid made the surface smooth with her Corrosive Moonlight and sacrificed herself at that moment. That was the story, but Strauss, Morishima, herself and Stella always thought different. "The Heizerbergs… I didn't know that they had a daughter." Strauss said suddenly, frowning in concentration; if the Heizerbergs really had one that girl would be his fiancée since the Strauss and Heizerberg families were leading families for the Crown place in the Moonlight Kingdom.
"You haven't heard of her? But you always play with her… Oh! I made a mistake, it's the Hirasakas. I'm sorry; it's so easy to mix them up…" Aldeheid's mother said sheepishly after she caught Strauss's frown and Bridget's sharp gaze. "By Hirasaka, you mean Stella? Stella's back? That's great! Strauss, come and help me find her!" Aldeheid cried, grabbing Strauss's hand and dragging him off. Bridget hurried to catch up with her sister and Morishima shrugged his shoulders before following the leading two. Aldeheid scampered around asking servants for the way to Stella's room until one of them showed her the way there. She was in, luckily for Aldeheid and was studying a large pile of books. Aldeheid squealed and ran towards the girl, throwing herself at her and knocking Stella to the ground. Stella was surprised to see Aldeheid, she managed to get Aldeheid off her and get to her feet with the help of Strauss. Aldeheid started throwing questions at her, "You came back, Stella! When did you return? How is the place, Earth?"
"I returned today, at the first light of dawn. Yes, I came back, Aldeheid. You didn't think that I would stay there forever, did you?" the 8 year-old vampire replied with an amused tone as she answered her little cousin's questions. "It's a nice place, the people there are caring and very… protective." She continued with a tight smile as she stroked Aldeheid's rumpled golden hair. Then she looked up and scrutinized the other vampires standing there, Strauss looked the same with his light blue hair and reddish eyes, Morishima with his black hair and sea green eyes, Bridget with her blonde hair and blue eyes and Aldeheid with her golden hair and blue eyes. Bridget and Aldeheid were sisters, so it was not unusual for them to look alike.
"Where were you going before Aldeheid interrupted you?" she asked casually, knowing Aldeheid's knack of disrupting other people and drawing them to play with her. Strauss said that he was going to study with Morishima, but Aldeheid wanted to come along and Bridget had to follow as she was taking care of her younger sister. "You're not going anywhere, right, Stella? Then follow us to the study!" Aldeheid chirped as she beamed up at the other vampire. She almost objected the little girl but when she saw the pleading expression in the other vampires' eyes, she deliberated. "Well, I've got quite a load to study…" she told them. Strauss's expression escalated to one of disbelief, horror and desperation as Bridget's expression fell. Morishima's was one of a resigned person to his fate. Aldeheid's was almost filled with tears as she tried the puppy dog eyes on Stella, it would never work on her Onee-chan, not that she would know.
"I guess I could come… with exceptions to you, little Aldeheid." Yuki said with a laugh as she poked the said on her little nose. The little girl squealed and pulled away to run behind Bridget. Then Stella straightened up and hefted the pile of books up, "Come on, let's go to the study room." She said, after all, she could take a break from studying, right?
Her eyes widened as they entered the study, it had expanded while she was away… and it had also accommodated a musky, woody smell accompanied by a messy outlook. "What have you been doing to the poor room?" she asked in horror as she saw the vandalized table and toys strewn over the whole place. Strauss and Morishima smiled sheepishly at her and proceeded to put their things down. "Those look heavy, Stella. Why don't you put them down?" Morishima ventured timidly, not sure of how to approach their childhood friend after she left to study on the planet, Earth.
She threw him a smile as she dumped the books onto a clean area on the couch and sat on it, pulling Bridget to seat next to her and Aldeheid onto her lap at the same time. "Tell me what I've missed." She commanded and listened as they told her of their years' performance, she sat there enjoying their tales until Strauss broke through her moment of bliss and asked her about her journey to Earth. The other three fell silent at his question and all of them stared at her, Stella kept her eyes covered with her bangs and after a long pause when Strauss started to regret asking the question, she told them, "I'm not sure how I should answer your question, Rosered. The stay there was pleasant enough and their place is more luxurious than here on the Moon. The man there-- GM Gozen is a friendly man, he's very courteous." She told them even though her tone said otherwise.
The afternoon passed uneventfully and when the younger ones went to change clothes with Morishima following, Strauss and Stella stayed back in the room. "What is it that you need from me?" Strauss questioned, he knew that what Stella said probably wasn't going to be good news. It had always been like that, when she used his full name in front of others, it had meant that she wanted to talk to him about something when she was free --- as soon as possible.
"…I'm not supposed to tell you this… but all the same…" She said to him and his body tensed up. "What do you mean? What has he done? Tell me, Stella, I have the right to know!" he said persistently when she shook her head. "Earth is not a bad place. It's the people there that are intolerable. It's not the wisest plan to go there." Then she changed the subject abruptly, asking him about his studies and where he had studied until, she revealed that she had studied about the area and perimeters, and he scoffed. It was an easy chapter, that one, he thought. But she proved him wrong when she told him she meant the chapter after the chapter of polygons. He blanched visibly and choked out, "You're joking! That's the secondary syllables!" When he questioned her further, he realized that her standard was that of a secondary school student and that he was being left behind. He was still studying algebra—the primary school standard one.
When the younger ones returned, they found Strauss and Stella in a pleasantly fine mood as they were talking about the studies of science and so on. The dinner proceeded smoothly, but when the King, Gottfried Strauss stood up and toasted the project on Earth being successful due to Stella's fine development, Strauss found it unnatural. He pestered his father, wanting more details about what was happening when Gottfried kneeled down and griped his son by the shoulders. "I'm sorry, Rosered. I'm afraid Stella will not be coming back to the Moon again." He told Strauss the despairing news. Even though Strauss didn't belief it, it was true and Stella never returned to them ever again.