I do not own Rosario+Vampire; it was created by Akihisa Ikeda. The characters are being borrowed without permission for entertainment purposes only. However, any characters I create are my own. So don't sue me, you won't get much anyhow. I will be using elements from both manga and anime.
Thank you for reading, C&C is welcome.
Thicker than Water
Part Six: Last Haven
By: Anime Otaku
"Everyone get up!"
Tsukune shouted as soon as he entered the living room. He rushed past the waking women and headed into the dining room, clearing a space on the table and placing Moka's mother gently on top of it. He could hear the women unzipping their sleeping bags and complaining about how early it was.
"Ruby! Yukari! What happened to you?"
Moka's worried and panicked voice was the first one he heard, followed by Mizore and Kurumu. He did his best to ignore them and focused on the woman lying before him. She was still alive, her breaths coming out deep and even. He checked her exposed flesh, looking for any kind of wound or mark. As he was unbuttoning her blouse, Moka came in and gasped.
"Mother!" She ran to Tsukune's side. "What happened to her?"
"We don't know," said Yukari. "When we got to her house there were Inquisitors waiting for us. We fought them off but couldn't get your mother to wake up."
Moka looked at her mother and felt panic welling up inside her. "Does she have silver nitrate in her?"
"I'm not sure," said Tsukune. "She's not showing any of the obvious symptoms. They must've injected her with the bare minimum to keep her incapacitated."
Moka took her mother's hand and leaned in close, tears forming in her eyes. "Please hold on, Mother. I can't lose you too."
The pink-haired vampire suddenly blinked and pulled away from her mother, looking at her more closely. She could see her lips slightly moving and heard her mumble out a couple of incoherent phrases.
Sighing in exasperation, she dropped the woman's hand and put her own on her hips. "Oh Mother!"
"What? What is it, Moka?" Tsukune stopped his search to look at the annoyed vampire.
"She's not hurt, Tsukune. She's just asleep."
Everyone present face-faulted. Tsukune was the first to spring to his feet. "Say what? You mean all this time she was asleep?"
Moka put a hand behind her head and laughed sheepishly. "Ah, yeah. I forgot to warn you about that. Mother has a habit of overexerting herself at work and will sometimes go without feeding for days. If a vampire does that they fall into a comatose state. We call it the Sleep of the Dead."
"I can see why," said Ruby. "I carried her the whole way here and she didn't move at all."
"So, how do we wake her up?"
"Oh, that's easy."
Moka rolled up a blouse sleeve and bit into her wrist, drawing blood. She held her wrist to her mother's lips and made sure the blood flowed into her mouth and down her throat. After several seconds of this she removed her wrist and licked it clean, the puncture wounds closing. Nothing happened at first then the woman on the table began to stir slightly. Her tongue came out to lick the dribble of blood that remained on her lips. She pushed herself into a sitting position and stretched, yawning as she did so.
"Good morning, Mother."
The elder Akashiya opened her ocean-blue eyes and turned to Moka, a big smile appearing on her face.
"Moka!" she squealed, jumping off the table and into her daughter's arms. "It's so good to see you again!"
Moka returned the hug, tightening her hold just a little. "You too, Mother. I'm glad you're alright."
"Of course I am, sweetie. Why wouldn't I be?"
Moka was too overcome by emotion to properly explain the situation to her mother. Instead she broke down in her arms. As the elder Akashiya tried to comfort her daughter, Tsukune could only stare in disbelief. They looked exactly the same. If it wasn't for Moka's mother having an almost overwhelming air of power coming off her - one that even surpassed Wilhelmina's - he would've believed them to be twin sisters instead of mother and daughter. It was slightly freaky. He'd never known of a daughter looking exactly like her mother. He idly wondered if it had something to do with being a vampire or if it was just a genetic fluke.
"Oh my, we have guests."
Moka dethatched herself from her mother and wiped her eyes. "Yes. I'm sorry. You already know Yukari, Kurumu, and Mizore."
The three women smiled and waved.
"Oh yes! You wrote to me about them often. I was so happy when you brought them to meet me in person. But I don't recognize these two. Hello, I'm Akasha Akashiya! And you are?"
Ruby stepped forward and bowed. "I'm Ruby Toujou, a witch. It's nice to meet you, Miss Akashiya."
"Please, Ruby, call me Akasha."
The witch smiled and nodded. Now I see where Moka gets it from.
Akasha looked at Tsukune and slightly tilted her head to the side. Her eyes slid up and down his body as if examining him.
"Well this is a surprise. You don't see very many vampires nowadays."
"Ah, actually," Ruby interjected. "Tsukune isn't a vampire. He's a-"
"I'm a ghoul." He cut Ruby off. She looked at him with eyes wide. Blatantly proclaiming yourself to be a ghoul was one of the main things you did not do as a monster. Even Tsukune knew that!
Akasha brought a hand to her mouth in surprise. "Oh my! This truly is amazing. I've never heard of a ghoul that could actually hold a conversation. Usually they just kill and eat."
Tsukune held up an arm and pulled back his sleeve. Wrapped around his forearm was a spirit chain similar to Kokoa's.
"I'm a special case," he explained. "This chain keeps me from turning completely feral but it won't last long. Most of the links are damaged and can barely keep my powers in check. I say I have at least a month before the seal breaks completely."
The other women gasped in horror and he felt Moka grab his arm. He ignored them. There wasn't any time to focus on his own sad fate.
"But that's irrelevant right now," he said loud enough for everyone to hear him. "Right now what I need is your help, Miss Akasha."
"Really? How could I possibly help you?"
"I need you to tell me how to locate someone."
"And who might that be?"
"Drake Shuzen. I need you to tell me how to find Moka and Kokoa's grandfather."
Moka held a sobbing Akasha after Tsukune had explained the situation to her, not leaving out a single detail. The others would probably be angry with him later but it had to be done. Moka couldn't talk about what happened without breaking down into tears and the others would've tried to skirt around the unpleasant details in an attempt to spare the eldest Akashiya any real form of grief.
What they didn't understand was they didn't have time to do that. They were all living on borrowed time as is and if the Inquisitors had been waiting for Ruby and Yukari at Akasha's home then their time was severely shortened.
"Look," Tsukune began, trying hard not to lose his temper. "I'm sorry about your loss and about pressuring you like this but we don't have much time to waste. If Inquisitors were at your house then it's likely they're on their way here now."
Moka shot Tsukune a look of annoyance but he could see that she understood the situation just as well. She softly spoke to her mother, wiping away tears from her face.
"I'm sorry," Akasha said. "I just...never expected my husband to die. He's lived for so long..." She composed herself best she could. "What is it you need?"
"What about him?"
"I need to find him."
"Why? What could Drake possibly have that you need?"
"Information." Tsukune waved his hand to everyone gathered. "The Inquisitors that attacked us had monster's blood flowing through them. A monster I don't recognize. According to Moka, Drake is the second oldest vampire alive in the world. He might know what kind of monster they're using."
Akasha nodded at his logic. "I see. That does make sense but finding him is going to be difficult. Drake hasn't shown his face to the outside world for over a thousand years."
"Then I'll find him and drag him kicking and screaming into the open if I have to."
Akasha looked Tsukune up and down, searching for any kind of weakness in his deceleration. If he really was serious about meeting Drake Shuzen, she had to know if his words were just words or if he actually meant what he said.
"You're a brave soul, Tsukune. Not very many monsters have the courage to seek out Drake Shuzen, much less threaten to force him into a meeting. Alright, I'll take you to him. But it won't be easy. We'll have to-"
"Tsukune!" Yukari's panicked voice interrupted the conversation. "We've got company! Inquisitors! And a whole bunch of them! They just took out my cat familiars!"
"Dammit!" Ruby hissed. "They must've followed me while I was in the air!"
"No time to worry about it now! Ruby! Yukari! Take Miss Akasha downstairs to the basement. Get a teleportation spell ready. Make it big enough to transport all of us a great distance away."
"How far?" Ruby asked as the witch ushered the two towards the stairs.
"Out of the country if possible!"
Ruby knew that trying to argue with him was pointless so she did as she was told and hurried towards the basement door. She hoped that Tsukune knew what he was doing.
Tsukune turned to the four women left. "We've got to buy them some time to complete the spell. Will you help me?"
Kurumu immediately nodded. "Just tell me what to do, Tsukune."
"Ditto," said Mizore.
Tsukune turned to the two vampires. "Moka, could you...?"
"You don't even have to ask, Tsukune." And with that she ripped the cross from her collar. Wilhelmina stood before them in all her regal glory. "These Inquisitors will learn their place," she told them with cool confidence. "Even if it is the last thing they learn."
"Me too!" Kokoa said, removing the spirit chain and transforming. "I'll help too!"
"This isn't a game, Kokoa," Wilhelmina told her sister. "People are going to die and you'll be the one killing them. Can you handle it?"
"Yes, Sister! I can do it!"
"Alright then." Wilhelmina turned to Tsukune. "We're with you. What do you need us to do? You have more experience fighting these Inquisitors. You lead us."
Tsukune nodded, feeling a heavy responsibility suddenly being placed on his shoulders. He tried not to think about it. His friends needed him now and he was going to do his best not to let them down.
"Okay," he said. "Here's what we need to do."
"This is gonna take all our power, Yukari," Ruby told the younger witch. "We need a magic circle powerful enough to take us out of the country."
The two witches hastily began to construct a magical teleportation circle, etching runes into the outer rim. They were nearly complete in their task when a soft voice interrupted them.
"Um, excuse me."
The witches stopped what they were doing and looked at Akasha, confusion and a large amount of urgency. The elder vampire reached into her pocket and withdrew a piece of paper, handing it to Ruby.
"Could you possibly alter your circle to look like this?"
Ruby and Yukari studied the piece of paper and both nodded. "Sure," they said.
"But why?" ask Yukari. "We're almost done with this one."
"This will take us exactly where we need to go. Now, please hurry. I believe the Inquisitors are almost here."
Reminded whey they were there in the first place, Ruby and Yukari quickly altered the circle and idly wondered what Akasha had in mind.
"How long have you had that spirit chain?"
Tsukune looked at Wilhelmina. The two of them were crouched low on the roof of the manor, keeping to the shadows and suppressing their auras to an almost nonexistent level. They watched as the Inquisitors crept closer, noting the black clothing and submachine guns each carried. Tsukune was sure they each had a silver bladed knife and possibly a few flash grenades as well. What worried him was that he didn't see Kevin anywhere.
"Just a few days. I made it out of a few broken and discarded links I found at Witches Knoll. Like I said, they got sloppy in their clean up. I gave all the intact and most powerful ones to Kokoa. She needed them more than I did."
"How did you keep your ghoul nature at bay before now?"
He carelessly shrugged. "Multiple feedings every day from humans and transfusion bags, UV light to the eyes and sheer force of will."
"And you did this for ten years?"
"More or less. It was never easy and I came close to losing myself a couple of times. But I always managed to hold on to my sanity."
"How?" The question was past her lips before she could stop it.
Tsukune was about to tell her but stopped himself. The Inquisitors were close to the house now. It was time for them to act. He stood up and released his power, careful not to break anymore links.
"If we survive this," he told her with a smile, "I'll tell you."
Wilhelmina watched as Tsukune leapt from the roof and landed in the middle of the advancing humans. Gunfire erupted from below and the vampire quickly joined her ghoul partner.
"Your form is impressive," she told Tsukune as she delivered a snap kick that broke an Inquisitor's neck. "Almost as good as mine."
Tsukune blocked a knife thrust to his heart. He grabbed the wrist and thrust upward with his other hand, breaking the arm at the elbow. The human screamed in pain. Tsukune delivered a kick to the chest and heard the ribcage shatter.
"I had ten years to train." He jumped back as a stream of bullets hit the dirt in front of him. "You weren't going to be there to protect me anymore so I had to learn to protect myself."
The two monsters rushed the humans that had shot at Tsukune and made short work of them. The few that were left started to run away towards the woods. Tsukune and Wilhelmina watched them go.
"That was easy," the vampire princess remarked.
"Too easy. Those weren't even human-monsters." Tsukune tapped his foot while thinking. "They were just a distraction."
"A distraction from what?"
An explosion erupted behind them and they turned to see a section of the manor missing.
The two ran back towards the house.
Kurumu was smiling to herself as she observed her work. It had been just as Tsukune predicted. The Inquisitors had distracted everyone with an assault on the front while more tried to sneak in through the back. She and Mizore had taken great pleasure in showing the humans the folly in their underestimating them just because they were female. The succubus wiped some blood from her face.
"That was too easy," said Mizore. The snow woman was standing beside a chunk of ice that had multiple frozen bodies in it. "I expected something harder."
"Who cares if it was easy? Just goes to show how much stronger we are than them."
Mizore's ice claws became hands again. "I don't like it."
"Neither do I," said Tsukune. He and Wilhelmina stepped through the giant hole. "None of these Inquisitors are like the ones we fought at Witch's Knoll. They're just regular humans."
"So what now?" Wilhelmina asked.
"We go downstairs. Ruby and Yukari should be finished by now. Let's get out of here before they have time to regroup."
Kokoa shouted the warning just in time. Everyone present scattered as more Inquisitors burst through the front door and through the roof, the explosion causing it to collapse through the top floor. The last Shuzen had been put on the roof as a lookout for any kind of surprise attack the Inquisitors might try to make. She had seen the group that had been heading towards the back of the house and warned Mizore and Kurumu about them.
While she had been distracted by the two females fighting prowess, she had failed to notice the approaching reinforcements getting closer to the house or the helicopter loaded with more Inquisitors approaching. By the time she did, Tsukune and Wilhelmina had returned to the house and she caught the sight of grenades dropping out of the sky and onto the roof. She dashed inside and shouted her warning as the explosives detonated.
Ten Inquisitors came through the door and ten more fast rope descended through the hole the grenades crated, surrounding the gathered monsters. They all stood with their backs to one another, each watching the moves of the Inquisitors carefully. Tsukune was glad that these were just regular humans and not the human-monsters he faced at Witches Knoll. True, he had dispatched them all easily, but he had the element of surprise on his side. Here he did not. He did a quick count. Twenty Inquisitors and five monsters. Four apiece.
He looked at Wilhelmina and she gave him a slight nod. The others did as well. Without a word or a gesture they all leapt at the group of Inquisitors. Automatic gunfire erupted in all directions as the humans tried to kill their swiftly moving targets. Kurumu and Mizore were quickly dispatching the eight that were aiming for them. Their duel fighting style was a whirlwind of blood and death that left their victims frozen or cut to pieces. Tsukune and Wilhelmina had quickly dispatched and fed on all four of their attackers. They moved to help Kokoa, the most inexperienced fighter out of all of them, and stopped in shock.
Kokoa's eyes had turned blood-red and she was laughing manically as she beat the last of her four Inquisitors to death. Tsukune shivered. It was exactly like him when he had first turned into a ghoul. Finally Kokoa stopped hitting the man when he went limp. Pulling him in close, she sank her fangs into his neck and began to feed. When she had drained him dry, she let him go and threw her head back in rapture, blood rolling down to her chin from the corners of her mouth.
When the last human was dead and the heat of battle had calmed down, Kokoa began to relax. Her eyes returned to their normal state for an unsealed vampire and blinked, staring at the four bodies at her feet.
She turned to her sister and pointed at the dead humans. "Did I do that?"
Wilhelmina could only nod in silence.
"We'll figure that out later," said Tsukune. "Right now let's head to the basement and get the hell out of here."
Tsukune ushered everyone to the lower level of the house and was pleased to see a giant, glowing magical circle in the middle of the floor. Ruby, Yukari and Akasha Akashiya were already standing in the middle of it. The two witches waved to the group.
"Hurry up!" said Ruby. "We can't keep this open much longer!"
They all crowded in next to the three females and Tsukune nodded. "Do it!"
Yukari nodded and together with Ruby they chanted the last incantation of the spell. The circle's glow reached almost blinding levels and in a flash of light and violent winds, the group disappeared.
Kevin watched from a safe distance away as a bright light emitted from the house in front of him and then disappeared in a flash, the house exploding in whatever magical backlash was caused by the spell. His hands balled into fists, his whole frame shaking with silent rage. They were gone, he knew it. They had slipped through his fingers again. He lashed out with a fist and hit a tree trunk, shattering the bark and leaving a fist-sized hole in the trunk.
"Dammit!" He turned to a man standing next to him. "Gather what men are left. We're going in there to find out what happened."
The Inquisitor saluted and went to carry out his orders. Kevin followed after the all clear sign was given. The entire frame of the house was gone, leaving only the foundation and the stairs leading to the basement intact. He carefully descended into the cellar and came to a stop at the edge of the magic circle that was charred black into the floor. He reached into a pocket and pulled out his phone, dialing a number.
"Yes?" the voice on the other end said.
"We lost them."
"You mean you lost them."
Kevin grit his teeth, trying not to let loose with the obscenities he wanted to scream at the voice on the other end.
"I apologize," he managed to get out. "But they didn't get away scot free. They left something behind that could tell us where they went. I'm sending it to you now."
Kevin took a picture with his phone and sent it to his informant. "Make any sense to you?"
He heard a chuckle. "Indeed it does. I know exactly where they are."
The Inquisitor's hand tightened on his phone. "Where?"
"Elysium. Moka's going home."
"Elysium? What the hell is that?"
"The last haven for all monsters. If they're heading there then they must be desperate. I'll have some witches sent to you and reactivate the gate. Follow them, and make sure you finish the job this time."
The line went dead and Kevin resisted the urge to throw his phone across the room and smash it against the wall. He really hated putting up with the informant he had. But his information was always accurate and it had helped him and his Inquisitor brothers kill the king and queen of vampires as well as their children. All but two. But soon, very soon, that problem would be rectified once and for all.
The white light slowly faded from Tsukune's vision and he blink to clear the black spots in front of his eyes. They blinked again, this time in astonishment. The group had been teleported into the middle of a vast garden. A fountain was in its center, crystal clear water flowing from the top and cascading down several levels to create small waterfalls that eventually ended in the pool at the base. Flower of all shapes, sizes and colors adorned the thousands of bushes that littered the ground.
"Tsukune!" Kurumu shouted. "Look up!" She shifted the weight of a barely conscious Yukari and pointed towards the ceiling.
The ghoul and his friends did and all gasped in surprise. Several hundred feet above them was a dome made of some clear material. Beyond it was a vast blue-blackness that let no light in. At first Tsukune thought it was the night sky but when he could find no stars of even the moon, he began to have his doubts. Just then a large, black shape slowly moved across the dome's top and out of sight. It took Tsukune a few seconds to realize that he had just seen a whale.
"We're under water!"
While everyone there was looking up at the dome ceiling in amazement, Akasha seemed only mildly interested. Gently lifting Ruby into her arms, she started walking away from the group, heading for the large castle at one end of the garden. The others stared in awe for a few more moments then hurried to catch up to the elder vampire. They reached a pair of large double doors and Akasha passed Ruby to Tsukune. She placed her hands on the doors and shoved them open, stepping into a foyer that Tsukune was certain he could fit his entire old house in.
The group stopped in the center of the foyer and waited. Akasha looked around for a few seconds then composed herself. She looked up to the top of a grand staircase they were all standing in front of and took a deep breath.
"Drake Shuzen!" she shouted in a commanding voice that sounded just like Wilhelmina's. "Show yourself at once! I command it!"
The hall was silent then the sound echoing footsteps could be heard. A showed from slowly appeared at the top of the staircase and then stepped into the light of the hanging chandelier. He was tall, wearing black Victorian-style clothing and a cape. His black hair was slicked back and his glowing red eyes looked upon the group with a large amount of hostility and annoyance.
"Who dares command me in my own castle to come forth?"
Akasha boldly stepped forward. "I do. As it is my right and my castle you reside in."
Drake scrutinized the vampire for a few seconds then immediately dropped to a knee, bowing his head. "Lady Akasha! You have returned."
The rest of the gathered monsters stared in bewilderment at Drake's actions. Wilhelmina could not understand why her grandfather, one of the most powerful vampires in the world, was kneeling to her mother.
"You insolent fools!" Drake's voice brought everyone's focus back to the ancient vampire. "How dare you not show proper respect? You are in the presence of Akasha Bloodriver, Queen of Vampires and first Hell-King to all monsters!"
All eyes turned to Wilhelmina's mother. She looked away self concisely, hiding her eyes behind her bangs.
Tsukune couldn't stop himself. After everything that had happened the past month, having his revelation dropped in his lap was the last straw. The ghoul lost his cool demeanor and blurted out the first thing that came to his mind.
"What the fuck?"
(End Part Six)
Author's Rant: I return! Sorry for the long wait, I had a ton of stuff to take care of here in the real world. But I am back and I come bearing a new chapter for everyone to enjoy. And enjoy it I hope you all do. So enjoy and I will see you next time.