At one time, gods and demons were as one. They were sealed away in the abyss of distant memory. The hearts of human who feared the Dark brought this about. For the present, let us call these beings Shinma.
Now they have awakened from their slumber, and gathered in the Dark. On the night of that gathering, when Shinma and Humans met again, a young girl strayed into their midst. This is her story. Her name is
Himiko looked through the loosely packed party-goes to see the hostess greeting her latest guests. The newcomers where in a group of four. A husband, wife and two kids. Himiko didn't know about the older boy, but she knew the girl was not really a natural child of the parents.
Himiko walked across the large room, ignoring the people she was brushing against. When she arrived near the entrance the hostess, Himiko's long time friend, said to her, "Himiko, I glad your here. I'd like you to meet the Sudoo's. This is Eiko and Yooichi and their foster children Tooru and..." Kako noticed that Himiko was staring strangely at the young girl.
"Miyu," Himiko said. Kako, Eiko and Yooichi where surprised and puzzled. Kako know that Himiko's job involved a lot of traveling but it would have been an incredible coincidence if they had met before.
"We have... a professional relationship," Miyu said. The four Sudoo's walked down the steps and dispersed into the party, leaving only Himiko and Kako.
"'A professional relationship?' What does she mean, 'a professional relationship'?" Kako asked Himiko.
"It's a long story."
Kako knew it was serious, she had rarely got answers like that from her friend, even when dealing her profession.
THE INFATUATION OF A SHINMA
By: Darwin O'Connor
Created by: Narumi Kakinouchi
Kako and Himiko had been together since high school. Despite sometimes spending years without contact they still considered each other best friends. There where times Himiko had been stuck in Southern Japan with little money, so she would find herself on Kako's doorstep needing a place to stay. Kako, having married into a rich family, and because she lead a simpler life, never needed similar help from Himiko but they both knew Kako was always welcome.
Kako and her husband, Kooji, who was well endowed in more then one way, had bought an elegant seaside inn. It was built in the American style during the occupation to house dignitaries. They had just finished renovating it, so they invited all their friends to come and stay the weekend to celebrate the opening.
It was Friday evening and everyone was gathering in the large lobby for the reception. At first there was little mixing between the friends of Kako and the friends of Kooji, but once the catching up was done people where mixing more freely.
The children where in a separate room, away from the wine. Himiko watched Miyu from a distance. There was the usual tension when kids of all ages who didn't know each other where all thrown together. The kids stretched their social skills to the limit trying to stay loyal to both their siblings and their age group. Miyu stood aloof from it all and repeatedly tried escape to the main party with varying degrees of success. Himiko noticed that Tooru was also aloof despite the fact that there where several fifteenish boys he could be with. He also seemed to spend a lot of time looking at, talking to or following Miyu. Himiko would have thought there would be more tension between foster siblings considering how transient their situation would have been.
As the evening wore on Himiko found herself spending less and less time watching Miyu and more time talking with people. This was partly because more people wanted to talk to her, partly because watching Miyu wasn't very interesting. It was when she was talking to someone when she noticed over his shoulder Miyu was talking an adult in the corner. This man, who was unknown to her, had made a ruckus earlier that made it clear he had been into the spirits a bit too much. As she watched him she noticed that a very particular expression suddenly came over his face. He put down his drink and knelt at bit. Miyu stood on her toes so that it looked like she was going to wispier something into his ear, but her mouth seemed too wide open for whispering. Himiko suddenly realized that where was another more tragic possibility.
Himiko yelled out, "Miyu!" and pushed passed to person she was talking to and walked quickly towards Miyu. Miyu and the man stopped what they where doing and looked towards her. As Himiko got close, Miyu started walking towards Himiko so Himiko stopped. Miyu just walked passed her.
When Miyu was right next to Himiko she suddenly felt a painfully tight and cold hand grab her wrist. She looked down at Miyu who had turned to face Himiko, with her numb wrist still in her hand. She said, "Himiko, you have already made your choice, please allow others to do so." Miyu then let go of her wrist and continued walking.
Himiko turned her attention towards Miyu's intended victim. She said to him, "There are better alternatives then what she offered you."
He looked down towards the floor, took another gulp of his drink, quietly and angrily said, "Mmmm," and walked away.
Outside it was dark, but still twilight, so you could see most things as shadows. The moon was out and its reflection glittered off the water. A breeze blew in from the ocean but its tiny force was insignificant compared to the force of the ocean itself trying to draw you in to it.
For most people their natural instinct to live would have been enough to stop themselves from being drawn in. Had this been the only reason not to, the present potential victim would have long ago let herself be taken. Yet, she only allowed to tips of her toes to be become wet when an wave came in.
Tooru stood very close to Miyu. Just behind and to her right. Miyu ignored him. He had stood their, silently, for several minutes before he said, "Hungry?"
"Take me." He shifted his suit jacket off his left shoulder.
Miyu turned around, desperate to relieve her pain, if only for a moment, and slowly brought her mouth up to his neck.
"I wish to be," he stared, but suddenly Miyu stopped her movement towards him. He continued, "your servant."
Miyu suddenly pulled back from Tooru. "You are Shinma!"
"Does it matter? I need to be with you."
Miyu took a step back which put one of her feet into the water. She looked away from him and said, "Leave, or I will destroy you."
Tooru stepped back and bowed. "As you wish, beloved," he said and then disappeared.
Miyu turned and entered the only warmth she knew, Larva's arms.
But, her's was not the only tormented soul there, for Tooru was still watching and scheming.
Himiko reached the top of the small hill that prevented her from seeing the ocean. The sea breeze was now quite a bit stronger then it was before and she had to brush some wayward hair from her eyes so she could identify the dark figure matted against the whitecaps.
Unable to see who it was she walked haltingly down the steep grassy slope towards the ocean, looking down at her feet to insure she didn't trip. Once the terrain was leveler she looked up to see there where in fact two people there. She recognized them instantly as Miyu and Larva. Miyu had started walking towards her, with Larva following behind. Himiko noticed that Miyu was now wearing one of her kimonos instead of the party dress she had on before.
When they met Himiko asked, "Miyu, what would you do if it wasn't me who was sent to look for you. What if it was someone who didn't know about him?" Himiko motioned to Larva.
"They would not have been able to see us?"
"Anyway, you and Tooru are required back at the inn. Where's Tooru?"
"The location of Tooru... does not matter."
Miyu started walking past Himiko, back towards the inn. This time Himiko grabbed Miyu by the shoulder and turned her around to face her. Himiko had assumed that Tooru had been a victim of Miyu. The thought of someone so young suffering a fate worse then death had angered her, "Miyu! You can't keep on doing this!"
"Miyu, your not helping these people whom you give dreams. You may not realize it but for us our pain does not last forever. We can work things through. We don't need the type of solution you provide. Don't fool yourself, Miyu, your not giving immorality, your killing them!"
"Himiko," Miyu said angrily. Himiko took a step back in fear. Had she pushed Miyu too far? Was Miyu going to have Larva kill her? Miyu turned her head away from Himiko and then ran along the path that took her back to the inn.
It was quite some time before Himiko thought it would be safe to return to the inn. The wind had risen to disturbing levels and the most of the stars had been covers by invisible cloud. This, and the high humidity that encompassed her, indicated that a storm was coming.
She turned the corner so she was now in front of the inn. The area was well lit and the building blocked the wind so Himiko felt a lot safer. She trudged up the stairs to the entrance, where she head the many voices of the party that was still going on. She was just about to go in the door when noticed someone sitting on the swing, quietly humming.
Himiko stepped back to see who it was. She recognized him as the man whom she had stopped Miyu from attacking. He looked like he was in a daze. His eyes where blood shot and his head wobbled like it was lose. He had a glass in his hand, and despite that fact that is was entirely empty he still periodically took gulps from it.
Himiko asked him, "Are you all right?"
"Yes," a voice from behind her said, "he is." Himiko turned around to see that it was Tooru. "And he will continue to be, in his eyes, at least, from now on."
"Humans need not worry, for now. The Shinma-Hunter has taken what she needed from them, and now is ready to take what she need from the other side of the world. It is time for the Shinma to tremble at the name, Miyu." While he said this he continued to walk towards Himiko. He had come so close to her she had to take a step back.
"You know about her?"
He suddenly turned away from her and to face the man on the swing, who had taken another swig of nothingness. "He would not have chosen this fate if he was sober." Tooru turned back to Himiko and said, "The trama of Miyu's awakening so overwhelmed her she forgot how it felt to be human. She cannot understand how wrong she is. All that's left of her is vampire. She cannot turn back. She cannot return to being human even when her time resumes. You know the only alternative."
"But..." Tooru did not stop, he walk past her into the inn, closing the door behind him. Himiko looked back at the man on the swing, but he just toasted her and took another sip from his empty life.
It was much later that evening and the children, including Miyu and Tooru, had been directed to settle in to bed. This had prevented Himiko from keeping an eye on them. Instead, Himiko decide she would worry it them while she was packing her stuff into what would be her room for the weekend.
After completing that task she went between the drapes and the window do enjoy what little of the view she could see. Twilight had long since ended and the only light was from the hotel and the moon, which had moved too high for her to see it from the window. The only things she could see were two trees being blown around by the wind of the incoming storm. She could not tell if it was raining yet. The clouds where briefly lit up by the flash of distant lighting. Himiko waited to see if she could hear the thunder but she was interrupted by a light knock at her door.
She turned to the door was already partly open and Kako was peering in, holding some extra sheets in her arms. "Kako!" Himiko turned and went to help her with the sheets. "Please, come in."
Kako put down the sheets on the corner of Himiko's bed. "Boy," Kako said, sounding tired, "I'm going to have to get used to doing this kind of thing." Now completely revived of her burden Kako continued, "So, Himiko, what do you think? About the hotel I mean."
"Well," Himiko hesitated, "it's wonderful."
"Do you really think so. I still can't believe it's all ours. The building so beautiful." Himiko agreed but Kako sensed she was distracted. "Is there something wrong, Himiko? The house isn't haunted, is it?" she said joking at first, but when she saw Himiko's expression she became more serious.
"Miyu isn't human."
"Miyu?" Kako tried to remember who that was. When she remembered Kako started it say, "But she seemed so...," but then realized Miyu did act kind of strange. Kako knew about Himiko profession, but the had never seen any ghosts and wasn't sure if she really believe in them.
"She's a Vampire-Princess."
"A Vampire-Princess? How is that different from a Vampire?"
"It's hard to put it simply. She has none of the weakness that Vampires have, but she's supposed to age, like a human, although she isn't aging now. And that's only a start." Himiko looked away from Kako briefly. "Who was that man who drank a bit too much at the party?"
"Was he still sitting out on the porch?"
"Yea, I saw him a few minutes ago."
"At some time around 8:30 tonight he died."
Kako sounded a bit panicked, "But, I said I just saw him. He was sitting on the swing in the porch. He was alive. I saw him move."
"He'll look alive. In fact he is still alive, but for all intensive purposes he is dead. You see, he is one of Miyu's victims. Tomorrow morning you will still see him there, and Sunday morning, and Monday morning. Every morning you will see him there, but he will not see you. He's his own dream would, perfectly happy. He well remain there forever. He is now immortal."
Kako looked serious for a moment while she thought about what her own dream world would be like. "That don't sound all bad."
"You don't understand. His life is over. His body will live on, but his mind will be trapped in an endless cycle."
"Is there anything we can do?"
"No... Just watch Miyu. If she seems to getting close to anyone interrupt them, and tell me. Also, watch Tooru."
"Yes, Tooru. I don't know about him."
All the people in the inn were asleep, so Tooru was one of a couple who could have waken Himiko up.
She opened her eyes to see Tooru, still in his suit, repeating her name. "What do you want?" she asked, naively. She had not yet thought about some of the more nefarious possibilities.
"Take this," he handed her a large knife, "and use it to destroy Miyu."
"Now?" Himiko said, her mind not yet fully awake.
"Yes, while she sleeps. You may never have another opportunity."
Himiko sat up in the bed and asked, "How do you know it'll work?"
Tooru was already leaving the room. Before he left he said, "You must go now, while you still have a chance."
Himiko got out of bed and went towards her door. She looked at the knife. The blade was about 30cm long and the handle hand elaborate carvings on it, but it was too dark to see any detail. She held the knife close to her body as she went quietly down the hall to Miyu's room. She found to door was unlocked.
Tooru stood alone outside on the hilly plain that was between the Inn and the ocean. The storm had past, but the wind was still strong, and it blew his hair and suit jacket around. He yelled out to the air, "Larva, I challenge you!" Larva appeared immediately. He hovered several meters above the ground, the wind wreaking havoc with his clothes too.
Himiko slipped in to Miyu's room and closed the door behind her. When the latch noisily closed she looked up to see if Miyu had been woken up, but she did not stir.
The window was open a crack and the wind pushed the drapes around. The light from the moon lit up the room well enough. Had Himiko looked out the window she would have seen Tooru and Larva, but she was only concerned with Miyu.
She studied her from the her vantage point just in front of the door. Miyu was sleeping on her back, with her hair undone and spend over her pillow. The single white sheet that covered her almost went up to her neck.
Himiko moved past the foot of the bed, while looking at Miyu, she complemented what to do.
"Shinma, Larva, servant of the Japanese Shinma-Hunter Miyu, I, Shinma Throel challenge you to combat to the death. To the victor goes the sympathy of Miyu."
Larva allowed himself float down to the ground. The Shinma removed his suit jacket, held it open in front of him and readied himself. Larva quickly raised his right arm up so that it was outstretch on his side, created a fire ball in his hand and cast it at Throel. In response Throel jumped avoiding the fire ball and flying over top of Larva dropping his coat on Larva as he passed underneath. As it fell it coat grew and seemed to lose its shape so that when it fell Larva disappeared underneath it.
Himiko had knelt down beside the bed so that she was right next to Miyu's chest. It seemed so right as she moved the knife so it pointed down, directly over Miyu's heart. All she had to do was thrust and it would be over. The knife now in position Himiko allowed herself to looked back to Miyu's face.
Himiko did not see what she expected. It was not the face of the professional Vampire who had killed so many, that she had always seen before. It was the face of a child. A person with the best years of her life to look forward to. Himiko felt a wave of doubt come over her. She felt incredibly hot, and her palms had become covered in perspiration. Despite all her uncertainty she still held the knife tightly over Miyu's heart.
Throel landed and turned to see Larva had just uncovered himself from the black material so he wiped his arm around sending a sliver of light towards Larva before he was prepared for it. Larva dodged it, but Throel send a series of them so quickly Larva was always on the defensive.
After Throel stopped that attack Larva looked behind him towards the hotel and he called out, silently.
Miyu's eyes opened. With out thinking Himiko pushed down. Her initial push got the knife past the breast bone. Once through that the flesh became soft. With the speed at which the blade was going down Himiko could not stop it. She felt the resistance of the knife change as she went through different tissues until it came to a sudden stop as the tip struck her backbone.
Himiko felt she could do nothing but keep pushing down uselessly as she watched a dark liquid saturate the cloth around the knife.
From behind Larva, Throel said, "She's not coming." Larva turn back to face him enemy again. "I have... distracted her."
The ground beneath Throal's feet suddenly dropped several meters and walls of this spontaneous hole fell inward burying him. He did not stay there long before he exploded out of the ground in flew high in the air. He hovered there and said, "You know you cannot defeat me. Miyu has weakened you far too much."
Himiko did know how long it was. Her forehead was wet in places. In others she felt her skin had become slightly tighter, where something had dried. She felt too weak to left her head off Miyu's chest, where it had fallen. Through the hair on the top of her head she felt the knife, still standing tall, using Miyu's whole body as a foundation.
Himiko didn't want to move, to afraid to look up and face the consequences of her actions. The best possible case was that she could stay kneeling by the bed, with her eyes smothered in Miyu's covers until the end of time.
Then, she felt her head being briefly lifted a centimeter or two. Simultaneously she heard the slight sound of air moving. Himiko scarcely allowed herself breath so she knew it was not her.
It happened again. Himiko lifted her head up and noticed that the knife appeared to shiver briefly. It seemed to vibrate like that about every second. Then she looked into Miyu's face. Miyu's eyes where open wide, but they didn't look dead. Miyu took another breath, deeper this time. Himiko looked at Miyu's mouth. She could see her teeth her clenched tight, but her lips made her look happy, almost as if she was enjoying it.
Out the corner of her eye Himiko spotted Miyu's hand moving. Her breath was quite regular now, as Miyu reach towards the knife. She grabbed it by the base of the blade. As she squeezed it the get a grip it cut into her palm causing blood to pour down the edge into the preexisting puddle.
Miyu silently pulled the blade from her chest and moved to place it on the bed between her and Himiko. When she tired to let it go it was still jammed in her palm. Miyu had to use her other had to release it. The sight of that was too much for Himiko and she turned to her side, put her face into the wastepaper basket and threw-up.
The battle continued. Larva was proving too slow for the nimble Throel. He was constantly on the defensive, his clothes had become torn from near misses. After a long barrage Throal stopped attacking and left himself open. Larva quickly generated a fire ball and cast it at him. Throel did not try and dodge it as it travelled towards him with eerie slowness. As it approached him he simply stepped out of its way as he watched it fizzled out beside him.
He looked back towards Larva and said, "You are now too weak to defend yourself. It's over."
Himiko rubbed the mixture of sweat and wet and dry blood off her forehead with her hand. To get rid of the disgusting mixture quickly she rubbed her hand on the side of the bed. This is when she noticed that Miyu was gone. In a panic she looked behind her.
Miyu was there. "I fear, you cannot succeed in killing me, Himiko," she said. Miyu was now in her kimono, with no sign of her injury. "They will not allow me to die until I have completed my task." Himiko didn't move despite the pain that blood which had dripped in her eye was causing.
Miyu turned and opened drapes behind her and said, "Himiko, why did you do this?"
"It was Tooru..." was all Himiko could say before she saw shards of glass from the window flying towards her. She shut her eyes and covered them with her hand as she felt the glass bounce off her body. When it was over she looked back through where the window used to be. The wind blew hard against her face but she could see some figures out on top of the hill between the ocean on the hotel. Realizing who it might be she ran out Miyu's door towards, hopping on one foot part of the way to remove a piece of glass from the her heel.
Throel, ready to begin his attacks again noticed something was coming at him from the hotel. Before he could react Miyu was in front of him, a flame glittering in her outstretched hand. "You're here!?" he blurted out.
"Why have you done this?" Miyu demanded.
"I am ready to become your willing servant," he fell to his knees, "I have proved myself worthy by defeating you previous slave. I shall be at your side because of my success rather because of failure." Tilted his head sideways exposing his neck.
"Larva is more then my servant, Shinma."
"I would be willing to do anything..."
"You have done too much already. Shinma, Throel, return to the Dark!"
"Yes... my love." With that he bowed his head and, in a flash of blue light, returned himself to the Dark.
Miyu turned back to Larva, who is on his knees from his weakened state, and hugged him, but this time their heights where equal.
This story was completed October 9th, 1995.
This is the third in the series, so if you haven't read the first two, please do. They are called Fortune's Fate and Cat-Nip.
I'd like to thank Kommander Kenny (His real name, which I used last time, is Ken Meredith. The time before that I called him Guy Lefleur.) and Laura Ping Chan for their help with this story. The UMJAFC for introducing me to Miyu and the rest of anime-dom. AnimEigo, for doing an excellent sub of an excellent show. O course, Narumi Kakinouchi and Toshihiro Hirano, for creating the most chillingly charming vampire girl on a page or in a video anywhere.
Stay subscribed to this newsgroup for the next episode of Vampire-Princess Miyu where another Shinma-Hunter shows up, and she is ready to teach Miyu about the true powers of a Vampire-Princess.