Hey guys, most of this chapter is from Mikan's POV . I know the updates have been late but now my exams are over and done with so I can update quicker!Yay! Now go ahead and enjoy. Please listen to Lithium-Evanescence.
Web of Deceit
My house looks oppressed, weighed down by time or perhaps the heavy, bleak emotions its occupants are going through. I stand under the somber gray skies that compliments well the way I feel. The sad air is correct. I think of the time I had first arrived here, the house looking bright and warm even in the gloomy weather but now…. it looks drained of any life. A wave of exhaustion and nervousness fill me at the thought of seeing my aunt again, to hear her screaming and sobbing is the last thing I want to face. A small flower of guilt blossoms in my heart at wanting to avoid the woman who took me in without any hesitation, gave me a place to live, treated me like her own daughter. How dare I think this way? I should go in and be my cheerful self. That's right, enough sadness, pain and sorrow, now it has to end. I will smile, be energetic, and be the happy girl I use to be. And maybe one day I will wake up to be greeted by the kind and loving Yuka. Taking a deep breath I unlock the door and walk in to the hospital scented living room. Uncle Shiki is not home today soYuka is left in care of a nurse. It is deathly quiet in here, so much so that I can hear my own breathing, soft and steady. I walk across the hallway, intending to go towards Yuka's bedroom when I trip over something and fall hard on my face. "Oww…ah. What the hell?" I mumble picking myself up. A bird cage is lying on the ground, Shiki's bird cage. I feel confusion registering on my face. Why is the cage lying here? My uncle had a pretty yellow canary bird which lived with us ever since he had moved in to take care of Yuka. I stared at the dead mound of yellow now, lying pitifully in the cage. Too shocked to gasp I numbly walk on wondering if Yuka in a sea of rage had killed that poor bird. Something like bile rushed up my throat but I swallow it. How could the nurse have gotten so careless? Yuka sometimes in her worst conditions broke and destroyed anything that came in her way and that was when sedation was the inevitable option.
Instead of walking towards Yuka's bedroom I turn and walk towards the kitchen. It is very quiet, Yuka might well be asleep and the nurse must be tired of sitting next to her all day. Deciding to make some hot-chocolate for the nurse and myself I enter the large, fully furnished kitchen. I take in everything; the stainless steel, black paint, plastic floor boards, the curtains, hanging lights and finally my eyes halt on the kitchen wash basin. I ignore the little but stern voice in my head saying "admit it, this pretense to be a good host to the nurse and make her some delicious drink is a petty excuse; you are just shocked that Yuka killed that bird and you don't want to see her." Yes, that's right and so what. I walk towards the basin suddenly feeling the need to wash my hands in warm water. Even before I completely register what lies in front of me a very, strange and inhuman scream escapes me. I back away and scream again. The basin is filled with blood, the drainage closed so it stood stagnant with something like fingers swimming in it. I sag against the counter trying to recover from the shock when I notice something more horrifying. Swaddled in tissues, on the counter, like some grotesque present was a hand, the fingers still intact, the nails once carefully manicured broken and bloody. "No…God please no. please" I whisper as I notice a pretty ring on the dead finger, a beautiful sapphire ring that my aunt always wore. My mouth opens to a scream that dies away in to heavy sobs as I frantically run outside the kitchen, through the passageway, across the living room where I halt abruptly. Yoichi is standing there.
"Mikan…What's wrong? Are you okay?"
"Yoichi…Oh My God...Oh my-"
"Hey...Why are you crying? Did mum do something?"
"We need to get out of here, call the cops, c'mon"
"What are you talking about? Mikan!"
Instead of answering him I take hold of his arm and try to drag him outside the room, towards the exit. I had my mobile; we needed to call the police. The last thing I wanted was for him to see these grotesque scenes. A series of shivers and shudders pass through my body as I senselessly pull Yoichi towards the door that leads us out of this cursed house. But he didn't understand and as he stood still refusing to move, he put a reassuring arm on my shoulder and said something I wasn't attentive enough to catch. Then his eyes narrowed, went wide in surprise or curiosity as he looked at the couch. It looked normal like it always did apart from the cushions which looked uncomfortable like something sat behind them. Walking towards it and ignoring my urgent whisper of "Yoichi No!" he picked up the cushion and backed away with a gasp. A bloody, torn limb with protruding bone lay there; the limb was so twisted that the foot jutted in one direction and the knee in the other. "What...what...what is that?" he managed to ask as if the furniture or Mikan might enlighten him with the answer. Suddenly the living room that had looked so normal when I had walked in reeked of death. The rug just under the table looked uneven and both Yoichi and I noticed the awkwardness of it together. Something lay under there, something far worse than anything I had seen so far. Everything in me screamed to run but it was Yoichi's stricken face and the unevenness under that rug that had me rooted to the ground. He walked toward it, his face tight and pale almost blue as he bent down and hesitated before removing the rug off the face that lay under it. This time I didn't scream, Yoichi didn't gasp; instead we stared stupidly at what looked like Yuka's face. I wasn't surprised or shocked instead found myself staring at her open dead eyes. Her magnolia white skin didn't harbor even a scratch on it; her lips were red and plush. Her brown hair lay around her like silk tassels. Her expression looked serene and peaceful, as if she were listening to some beautiful melody. It was only the bloody neck with the flesh, ligaments and tendons hanging from under it that told otherwise. A distant thought that the murderer might still be inside crossed my mind but somehow I was beyond caring. Suddenly, I wanted to torture this person who had done this to my aunt. Everything happened very slowly from then. Cops arrived, the ambulance raced down, people filled the house. A group of officers discussed something in urgent whispers and moved together towards me like an amoeba about engulf me with sympathy and questions. I managed to mumble some answers, my eyes darting back forth towards my cousin who sat on the ground looking lost. My body felt like lead, my mind barely functioning.
"Mikan, hey, Are you OK?" came a concerned voice. "Mikan"
"Give her some space, Ruka" Narumi said staring at the girl's face that was drained of color.
"We need to get her out of here and Yoichi too"
"Yes, I'll have a word with the cops. You take her outside; I'll bring the boy later"
I felt someone's hand on my shoulders, the gesture a sign that I should walk. I glanced back at Yoichi, but a voice said "Its okay. He'll be out later." The voice sounded familiar, warm and comforting so I obeyed. Outside, surroundings were obscured by a blinding curtain of white. I walked straight ahead, gaze fixed at nothing but the shower of snow that fell endlessly. Suddenly, as though conjured out of thin air, a figure took shape. Big, silvery eyes and silky silver- blonde hair, her slender figure was clothed in a black cape, the hood flapping in the strong winds. I stopped on my tracks.
"What's wrong?" the kindly voice asked.
"Who is she?" I asked pointing at the figure that was slowly vanishing. In a matter of moments, there was no one visible.
"Who Mikan? I don't see anyone"
"She's gone" I replied. Then suddenly, as if a long lost memory had awakened I recognized the voice. "Ruka" I said, devoting my full attention to the boy for the first time.
"Yeah, It's me" he said sheepishly almost. "C'mon I'll take you somewhere safe and warm, okay." There was concern in his voice.
"What about Yoichi?" Just as I asked this, my cousin stood next to the front door staring at me. He moved stiffly, as though walking were a complicated maneuver. As he climbed down the porch stairs he slipped and fell. Ruka was immediately by his side, trying to help him up but he shoved him away and walked on stopping in front of me. I put my hand on his shoulder and then he asked me something; something that changed me from the inside. It was not what he asked but the way he did it.
"Mikan, that's not mom we saw in there, right?" His voice was hoarse and broken.
There was a time, few years ago my family and I had gone on holiday to London with Yuka and Yoichi. I had been seven years old then, and Yoichi was five. We had rented a cottage that was surrounded by woods on both sides. Yoichi and I often played hide and seek in those woods and sometimes explored. It was late one night and we were pretending to find a criminal who had run had slipped over wet mud and fallen in to a pit. It had been fairly deep but I managed to jump inside to examine his knee which he had hurt badly. There was a big gash and blood rushed out. Immediately, I tore a strip from my skirt and wrapped it around his knee. But after that we didn't know how to get out. I tried and tried until my knees were scratched so badly, they bled. "Mikan, I'm scared, I want mommy?" That was understandable, since the darkness had thickened around us then making the silhouettes of trees look like giant monsters surrounding us.
Now, even though he is fifteen his voice possesses the same desperation as then. He looks tormented, his stone gray eyes washed of color. I almost feel it, the giant hole in his heart. He wants me to tell him that whatever we saw back in there was not true. A heavy numbness spreads through me, a sudden unknown weight on my shoulders. When we were stuck in that pit, Yuka had come running after half an hour or so, her face wild and scared. She had picked Yoichi and me out of the pit. She had kissed and hugged Yoichi tight, telling us again and again how glad she was we were okay. But now she is dead. I saw her cut and displayed like some of gory decoration. I can't tell Yoichi the heart-wrenching reality instead I hug him tight; so tight I'm sure he can't breathe and lie. "Its fine, everything is going to be okay."
Suddenly some vaguely familiar tune plays and Ruka looking embarrassed answers his call and then excused himself reluctantly nodding at a blonde haired man who had come to join us.
"Excuse me, Mikan right?" the blonde man asks.
His face was a portrait of sympathy. He looks like he is struggling to stand there while fighting the urge to come and hug us.
"What?" I ask my voice steady and flat as I move away from Yoichi for a moment.
"I'm so sorry you saw what you did. I can understand how shocking-"
"Excuse me" I cut in sharply "but you're Ruka's dad, am I right?"
"…yes, sorry I should have introduced myself. I am Narumi" he sputtered clearly taken aback.
"Are you a cop?"
"Part of the ambulance crew?"
"Then why are you here?" I asked my anger getting the better of me. I remember this man from when Ruka was admitted in the hospital. He had been in that room when no one was allowed in there. He was saying crazy stuff back then. And now, he shouldn't be here.
A hectic spot of red formed on his cheek.
"I am a private detective. There have been two other cases in which murders have been committed in a similar manner. So I came to investigate, see if there is evidence that could help me. But when I realized it was your house I called Ruka. I know you two are friends so…"
Before I could reply a woman came to join us. She was tall, wearing a long black trench coat. She didn't spare a glance towards me or Yoichi instead beckoned Narumi to follow her and began walking away expecting him to obey. An expression of mild surprise registered on his face and he went after her before mumbling an apology.
I stare for a moment and turn to my side hoping to find Yoichi but he is gone.
Narumi followed the woman feeling almost disoriented. It had been almost a decade since he had seen her. She had been inactive for the past ten years. That happened to hunters sometimes. Vampire hunters only aged every few centuries however when you were alive for as long this woman was your body became lethargic, the increased physical abilities you are gifted with slow down. It is as if the body is tired, breaking down from the inside and then suddenly it slips in to period of unconsciousness. Hunters in this state are described to be inactive and there was no telling when they woke up. They were far away from the house now nearing a lamppost where they stopped. There was nothing in sight nearby apart from a car that stood behind the lamppost. She turned to face him then, the full force of her femininity leaving him speechless. He took a deep breath and stared at her lovely face. He hair was still short, her skin still creamy in texture. There was a certain wild beauty about her that seemed to captivate not only his but any man's attention. Heads turned on the street when she walked by, a powerful spell exuding from her that no one could describe. She was still damn sexy, the way she stood her hand placed lightly on the slim hip, a weird hint of punk girl emanating from her.
"Narumi, Stop staring at me, will you?"
"Sorry Kaoru, it's been a long time. Just taking you in…" he said staring right at her laser like gaze.
Amusement seemed to flicker in her eyes "and what do you think?" she asked gesturing with her hands at her body.
"Not bad for an old woman. How old are you now, say two hundred?" he asked playfully.
"Not bad, right on target" she said. He seemed surprised for a moment and then gave an approving nod.
"Its good to have you back"
"It's good to be back. I'm up and ready to kick ass."
Suddenly her expression softened, her voice more reserved "those kids, they are a sorry sight. I heard that girl already lost her family to some bloodsucker bastard."
"Yeah, we're still not still not sure who did that but I have a good guess. We've been going through some serious shit lately" he said lighting a cigarette.
"I tried reading the documents that were in the office, but I got bored. So go on, fill me in"
"There seem to be faults in our info about vampires. You know we have sensors in every county, every state in Canada. These sensors tell us when a vampire is present and we can then go on and hunt them down. But recently in the past few years or so I have had reports from hunters stationed in different parts of the world. They all say the same thing; these sensors fail to pick up the presence of certain vampires."
"The vampires from the 'sange vanatori' coven; they seem to be very popular. I saw the name of the coven on every single document"
"They are only one of the three covens that are not in collaboration with us, and they are the most dangerous. We have very little information on them. I don't have a clue as to who the leader is, never even heard of him."
"So you know absolutely nothing about this coven at all"
"Only the names of three vampires, everyone knows them for the number of humans and hunters they have killed in just a space of a decade."
"I seem to have missed all the fun. So what are the names of these leeches?"
"There's a girl Hotaru, two boys Tsubasa and Natsume. The girl and Tsubasa are partners. Ruka and I have only come across them once but they are not hard to encounter. They mock us you know, killing humans so easily and not even bothering to hide the corpses. They are not afraid of us, not one bit."
Kaoru's expression was hard, anger burning in those intense eyes. "Do you think they have anything to do with what happened today?"
"Truthfully, I don't know. The nurse's neck had fang marks on it, her body smelled of a vampire. But the woman Yuka, her body is butchered and used as decoration pieces for the house. One leg of hers was hanging on the wall like some portrait...Somebody took the time to do this to her. They wanted revenge, Kaoru. And we know vampires only hunt for blood, they don't torture and tear the body up. The nurse has whip marks on her back and her nails have been peeled off"
"You never know. Shiki has had his share of enemies in the past and it is in the high realm of possibility that someone wanted revenge on him and decided to take it out on his wife. Besides, I know werewolves are peaceful creatures but we cannot eliminate the possibility that a werewolf could be involved. They are used to tearing flesh"
"I have never known a werewolf who has harmed a human; they feed only on animals and tend to live in deep forests where human habitat apart from gypsies is scarce. Besides how do you explain a vampire having been in that house? The deaths were at similar times; Yuka and that nurse's."
"Co-operation between vampire and werewolf? It's possible"
Narumi let out a dry laugh. "They would have killed each other before they got anywhere near their prey. Vampires and werewolves despise each other; it's naturally bred in to them"
"Not if they are blood related. You know what they say-blood is thicker than water."
"Never heard of it before but yeah I guess it's possible."
"One other question, that boy, Shiki's son- he is a hunter, isn't he?"
"How do you know?"
"When you have been alive for as long as I have you can sense it. Anyway, I have a lot of work to do with all this info you have given me. I'll see you later and keep me updated on anything new. Chao" She smirked mischievously before she left.
Narumi watched the woman walk away with admiration. She was the best hunter he knew and something told him that sooner rather than later this case would be solved. But it still surprised him how quickly she had guessed Yoichi had hunter blood in him. Vampire hunters came about in three ways; first was the most normal, hunters bred hunters; second was when humans were turned in to hunters and that was never a good idea. Narumi had seen enough of those violent fits and agonizing aches Ruka suffered and personally he wouldn't recommend it. The third was very rare, and only two cases known to him so far, were the offspring between hunters and humans; a half cast. Now half casts could be either completely hunter or completely human. It went both ways. Yoichi was a complete hunter but this had a downside to it. These half cast hunters like other hunters did not have the will power inserted in them. They did not have it in every fiber of their body that no matter what, hunting as a job was first and foremost to vampire hunters and they would bravely die fighting evil.
It was late at night now, almost time to go home but there was one other thing he had to check. They had gotten lucky today with Ruka arriving on the scene before the police did or the vampire marks on that nurse's neck couldn't have been erased. But there was one thing that bothered him, one piece that didn't make sense. He would go try to figure it out while drinking a hot cup of tea in a warm bath. A woman might be nice company in the bath. Stretching his arms he walked back towards Shiki's house where cops were still buzzing like bees oblivious to the fact that someone was watching him.
Yoichi fists were tightened as he stood behind the car. He had heard the whole conversation and if circumstances were different he would be pondering as to whether he had heard the conversation right or if these people were maniacs. But right now he was sure every bit he heard was truth and moreover he now knew who had done this to his mother. He had to find Mikan, tell her everything.