16:21 Hello again, guys! Like I promised, I present to you the 2nd part of this chapter. Two ''chapters'' in two days; I hope it will content you, hungry readers, because it may take a while until I release the third part. I still didn't write it, but keep hope; I'm alone with my sis and dad for 3 days and my friends all went back home for a few days so I'll be able to write in peace (maybe). Anyway, there's a lot of complicated stuff in this chapter, and there will be in the next and I need to figure it all out before I trip over my own feets (meaning: I mix things up and impossible things happen). It gives me an headache, and that's why I don't feel very motivated to write the next part.
Mmmh, 'bout this chapter, I don't know why but I pictured Dahlia Academy like very big, and it somehow evolved from ''very big school''-size to ''castle''-size. I know, ignore my defective imagination. Just, just imagine it's a very big rich school. Oh, and I'm a sadist writer who enjoys hurting her fav characters, be warned.
Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters, and that's why life sucks. Kidding xD (about the -life suck- thing, of course)
Zero and Kaito were running along the corridors, making sharp turns and skidding on the expensive marble floor of the hallways to keep up with Kaname's rapid and fluid strides. More than once did the hunters think they had actually lost the pureblood lord, who seemed to be following a trail only visible to him, before catching sight of the vampire standing at a crossroad, waiting for them, before starting to run once again.
The school was a gigantesque building; separated into four wings with a great number of classrooms in each one, soundproof music rooms, 2 gymnasiums, an auditorium and numerous other rooms. And of course, most of them where locked at nighttime. It would take forever to explore the whole school, looking for a door probably hidden that would lead to Yuuki. Even if Kaname Kuran's pureblood senses were a great help in the search- even Zero had to reluctantly give him that- they could end up directly over Yuuki's location with still no way down. And yes, Kaname's telekinesis could probably blast the marble to smithereens to get down to her room, but that would bring the whole floor down on her as well.
Sorting out the possibilities of rescue in his head as he ran, the young hunter didn't notice the incoming blond bullet on his right only when it was too late. He tried to warn his partner following closely but only managed to get out of the way before a certain Takuma Ichijo ran into Kaito. Both fell down hard when they collided, Takuma managing to soften his impact with the ground by raising his arms before his face with vampire speed and landing on Kaito's back with a thump.
When he fell, Kaito's hand grabbed in reflex the hem of Zero's coat, halting the sprinting hunter brutally by tripping him forward. He hit the polished stone head first with a loud bang that echoed across the corridor, making the pureblood running ahead halt and look back. The whole incident was sure to be heard by anyone standing in the vicinity, what's with the angry hunter complaining about a bruised back -and ego- and the vampire on top apologizing profusely.
Oww, what the hell?
Zero opened his eyes gingerly, not even remembering having closed them in the first place. The blow had knocked him out but not for long. Still lying down on the cold stone, he felt his face carefully with one hand, finding his forehead sticky with his own blood. The smear of blood on the marble, right under his nose, smelt of copper and didn't start any hunger . Kaito crouched beside him and looked down with a worried look on his face.
''How many fingers?'' he held out his hand before Zero's face, frowning at all the blood running down the blue purple-ish bruise and long bleeding gash on his partner's forehead.
''Uh..wait,'' Wiping out the blood dripping in his eyes with his sleeve, Zero focused his blurry vision on the fingers standing up. ''Three.''
Kaito nodded; glad to see that the young man wouldn't be out of the game so soon. ''Correct. Here, I'll help you up.'' Zero grabbed Kaito's outstretched hand gratefully and stood up with him, swaying a bit on his feet but staying upright.
''Wow,'' the older hunter said, surprised, '' your skull is harder than stone. If it had been me, I think my head would have split open like an overripe watermelon.''
Ignoring the nasty image forming in his head at Kaito's words, the silver haired youth looked down and saw that he had ''head butted'' the ground so hard that the marble was webbed with cracks, along with a small splatter of blood. ''Well, hurray for vampire genetics,'' he thought with bitter sarcasm ''Now I can add that to my list of 'proofs-that-I'm-really-a-freak-of-nature'. '' Of course, he didn't really keep such a list.
When he saw Kaito looking over at him with concern, he told him that he felt okay to continue the mission. '' It bleeds a lot but it's just a cut. I don't have a concussion, I think. Probably just a bad headache tomorrow morning.''
More blood dribbled down his face and he lifted his arm again to wipe it away. It didn't look like it would magically heal. ''For once I wish my cursed abilities would kick in.''
''You can use that to clean it up,'' Takuma Ichijo handed him apologetically a white cotton handkerchief. Seeing Kaito glaring at him, he added '' I'm very sorry for the trouble I caused, Kiryuu-kun. I saw you and your friend and tried to stop but the floor was much more slippery than I first thought.''
He then bowed slightly to Zero and Kaito, gaining no notable reaction from both hunters. Zero was still confused and trying to grasp what had just happened so Takuma's voice didn't register immediately.
Kaito only snorted, not wanting to acknowledge immediately the genuine guilt in the vampire's voice. ''That's why us teachers always tell you over and over not to run in the corridors.''
Takuma hadn't known that the hunter with messy hair was a teacher but concealed his surprise with a smile.
''But you were running too, sensei,'' he pointed out, still smiling.
Sensei chose wisely and decided not to answer back.
Zero looked over Takuma's shoulder and saw long black skid marks marring the shining floor from the hallway where the vampire came out.
''Stupid rich people with their damn fetish of over polished stone floor,'' he cursed in his head.
He took the offered tissue and cleaned the blood away, soiling it, and then making a gesture of handing it back before Takuma stopped him. ''Keep it, I think you'll need it more than me,'' he then looked quizzically at the horizontal cut over the hunter's eyebrow, '' Isn't it supposed to close already?''
''You noticed too, Takuma,'' a smooth voice answered before Zero, who actually had no intention of answering the rhetorical question but now scowled at the newest arrival for butting in. The pureblood had walked silently to stand beside his friend. '' But I think Kiryuu-kun doesn't want us to inquire about his health.''
''Damn right, I don't,'' the hunter added in his head while he put away the dirtied handkerchief in one of his coat's pocket.
''Kaname, I was looking all over the school for you! I'm so glad I found you before Sara-sama did.'' Takuma's voice sounded very relieved, no doubt had the stress eaten at him when he'd first spotted the pureblood's presence.
''I'm glad that you ran into them first.'' Kaname looked pointedly at Zero's wound and Kaito's torn pants and managed a slight smile. ''I don't think I would have managed such a skilled fall.''
Takuma stifled a chuckle. Zero send them both death glares and Kaito tried to salvage his dignity by shrugging it off and ignoring the amused pair.
''I didn't have the occasion to say it, but I'm glad you could attend my wedding,'' he continued, quietly smiling, '' I was surprised that Sara had let you come.''
Takuma was smiling but it didn't reach his eyes. ''Yeah, a very beautiful wedding, Kaname, I'm glad for you both. I'm sorry to say that I can't stand by your side as a friend anymore because of a very spoiled princess,'' he sighed, ''but now you finally have your dear Yuuki-chan.''
''Yes, I'm very glad of that and considering that matter, I would like to question Sara about Yuuki, and if I don't like her answers it might turn…disagreeable for her.'' His tone had turned darker. Zero had ignored their harmless talk and had been focusing on his growing headache until he sensed the mood of the conversation switch. He eyed the pureblood whose aura had turned threatening and paid attention to the rest of the conversation.
'' Actually, when I sensed you enter the academy, I ran to find you because I know where is kept Yuuki-chan. Also, if you follow me, I can take you to Sara-sama's quarters. She's hiding there since the beginning of the level E's attack.''
''Yuuki's safety is my priority, but since I agreed to let Kiryuu-kun manage this operation,'' he looked straight into the hunter's amethyst eyes, '' he'll decide what to do. But I might suggest him to chose wisely if he ever wants to see the sun again.'' Zero frowned at the barely covered menace. Unconsciously, his hand had moved nearer to his holster when Kaname's eyes briefly flashed red in warning.
Takuma clapped in his hands to alleviate the atmosphere. ''Now, now, Kaname. I'm sure Kiryuu-kun will see the sun tomorrow, there's nothing to worry about,'' he said with faked enthusiasm and confidence.
Looking at the blond vampire, Kaito questioned the other two. ''Can we even trust him? Because sorry Takuma Ichijo-kun,'' he addressed the vampire, '' but you are Sara's personal assistant.''
Kaname was the one who answered in Takuma's defense. '' I never questioned Takuma's loyalty because I know where it lies. I trust him if he says that he knows where Yuuki is.'' Takuma genuinely smiled at his old friend, grateful for his trust.
''Then it's decided,'' Zero declared to everyone, '' Me and Kaito will follow Ichijo-senpai's directives and secure the target; Kaname Kuran will follow Ichijo-senpai and deal with Sara Shirabuki in an appropriate manner depending on her intentions.''
The pureblood lord nodded in approval with the association president's decision, satisfied that the stubborn hunter had chosen what he himself would have.
''Then I'm sorry to inform you two that you'll have to turn around and go back to the main hall, '' Takuma told the two hunters. '' The only stairs to the basement are in the school's kitchen, near the cafeteria. Go through the door marked 'employees only' at the back. It will lead you to the hidden basement; Yuuki's room is at the far end of the corridor.''
Irritated for having made all that running for nothing, the two hunters muttered a 'thanks' to Takuma and left quickly the way they came.
The two vampires watched them go silently, until they turned a corner and went out of sight. Takuma waited for the pureblood to pull out of his thoughts. Kaname's shoes clacked on the floor when he turned to face Takuma.
''Well…let's not make Sara wait any longer since she went through all the trouble of setting this up to see me.'' Kaname told the blond vampire who was startled.
''Oh, you realized?'' He then sighed sadly. ''Well, it was no use trying to hide something from you, Kaname. I feel less worried now knowing that Sara-sama didn't manage to fool you.''
'' I think I know enough to make her plans crumble…though I still don't know how she managed it all. If she happens to capture the king, I made sure the queen had protection and wouldn't be left on her own.''
Seeing his friend so concerned with his wife, Takuma decided to give him a little warning, even though he was ordered against it.
''The tablets. That's the key for her plans to become queen.''
They entered a vast room, Victorian-styled furniture and deep pink walls. It was Sara's private tearoom, with comfortable loveseats and a sofa around a low table covered with patisseries and cups. Draperies normally covered the windows but someone had pulled them open to allow the moonlight inside the room already lit by the candlelight.
'' Welcome, Kaname, I was waiting for you.'' Sitting in the sofa, her long wavy hair cascading down her shoulder like a gold river, Sara was sipping a cup of tea. She put the cup down on her plate when she saw the male pureblood enter her room. She was all sweet like honey, a graceful figure clothed in a pure white summer dress with gold threads sewn in the delicate fabric, dropping crystal blue eyes that made her seem gentle and a charming voice.
''I'm sure you know in how much trouble the school is in, I was hoping for your help.'' She joined her hands in a pleading gesture. ''I'm so scared, you know, but I asked my friends to help out the sweet, frail human girls and keep the enemies at bay but I'm afraid they won't hold out long-''
Still standing up in front of Sara, Kaname looked down at her with disdains and stopped her from going on. '' Cut the comedy act, Sara, I'm not playing anymore. I won't forgive you for taking Yuuki away from me.'' His words had the effect of a cold shower on her.
Glaring at Takuma, who had walked to stand to the side of her sofa, she began '' I thought I ordered you not to-'' Her hands gripped the sofa angrily, her nails digging in the cushion.
''He didn't. I just put two and two together.''
Looking back up at Kaname, she calmed down. ''So smart. I was right to choose you to be my king.'' She motioned to the seat in front of her. ''Come on now, take a seat. We have a lot to discuss.'' To Takuma, she added ''Don't interfere. Bring our guest a glass of water, I'm sure he must be thirsty.'' She waved her manicured hand at him in dismissal.
Sending one last glance toward Kaname, feeling useless to stop Sara's plan, Takuma left the room. He couldn't disobey her, even to help his dearest friend.
Kaname walked slowly around the seat and looked outside the window. From where he stood, he couldn't see any of the fighting at the front of the school, but he caught a familiar rapid movement in the nearby trees. The shadow seemed to have leaped from one tree to another and was currently hiding in the darkness. ''She's a very reliable pawn,'' he thought. Now that he had a witness for what would happen in this room, he turned and sat down in the seat designated by the blond pureblood.
''I wonder if you understand that what you did is unforgivable and to make sure that it won't happen again, I'll have to take your life.''
This amused Sara. ''I think it is you who doesn't understand fully yet that I'm the one putting you in check.'' He arched an eyebrow, waiting for her to explain.
''Well, firstly, you had probably guessed that Yuuki is my hostage. I left one of my guard dog with her and if she doesn't hear from me soon, I'm afraid something terrible will happen to your wife. ''
''I'm sure the hunters will be able to take care of your guard dog before it bites her.'' Kaname said, unfazed.
Sara frowned. ''I think you underestimate the strength of my pawn.''
'' I think you underestimate the strength of my knight,'' he replied.
Annoyed with Kaname's insistence that he was the one with the upper hand, she materialized an avatar on her shoulder.
She let the black spider ran along her arm and it rested in her palm, its beady eyes shining like red droplets. '' Well, if I send this little friend to my vampire friends in the auditorium, maybe they'll just stop keeping the level E's at bay and the human girls will die.''
Kaname shook his head. '' …if that's the price for Yuuki's life, I won't hesitate to sacrifice them.''
Sara's smile widened and she made the spider go back in her body. ''I knew you'd say that. Purebloods are natural rulers, they don't hesitate to sacrifice the life of their pawns, unlike your little sister,'' she bended over the table, her gold locks swiping forward, like she wanted to confide something to Kaname, and whispered ''She isn't fit for the real you. She's not a true pureblood queen.'' Kaname didn't react to it, his burgundy eyes still as icy as ever.
She straightened up and continued '' Additionally, I also have an hostage that I'm sure your sister would be very sad to hear was sacrificed because of your decision.''
The door opened and a girl with short, slightly curly brown hair entered, holding a knife to her own throat. Her soft brown eyes were glazed over and she made a few step inside the room before stopping behind Kaname's seat.
I didn't foresee that. That's much more troublesome.
Sara stood up and went to greet the girl. ''Hello, Sayori-chan. Glad that you could make it.'' Yori had no reaction whatsoever when the pureblood snaked her arms around her free arm. ''Oh, that's right, you cannot answer me.''
Turning to Kaname, who was frowning upon the unexpected turn of events, she made the presentations. ''This, here, is a human friend of Yuuki-chan. I encountered her at a vampire soiree a year ago and she had seemed to me like a very precious friend of your sister.''
A dark swirl appeared behind the girls. A tiny pureblood materialized and lifted his haut-de-forme hat in a salute gesture. ''And this is lord Touma, my partner. He's the one controlling this young lady. I doubt that even you can take on two purebloods with such a precious hostage so you'll have to cooperate. It's a trade; you give up control over your body and we'll let the human girls go safely, along with Sayori-chan and Yuuki-chan,'' she finished; satisfied that everything was turning like she had planned. Kaname was finally within her grasp! ''Oh, and you don't have any choice but to do as I say or the hostages die.''
''Hehehe, my mind control can be quite useful. It can apply to humans, hunters and vampires, even if I didn't bite them.'' He then pouted childishly. ''Of course, I cannot control purebloods but Sara will offer me the possibility to try on you. I'd loooove to make you do all these things that you hate like, say, harming your friends.''
Kaname's jaw tightened at the thought of leaving his body at the mercy of the sadistic, nasty little vampire. His eyes shone with anger even though he had known it would turn out that way. He would have to bear with it for the meanwhile, until his dear Yuuki toughened up and acquired the strength to fight those two.
Right then, Takuma opened the door and his blood turned to ice when he saw the child-like pureblood and the girl in Day Class uniform.
''Sara-sama, I never knew you'd take Yuuki-chan's human friend hostage.'' Takuma was outraged and he let her know, for the first time, that she was crossing the line. ''And what is Touma-sama doing here?''
''You would have betrayed me so I never told you my real plan.'' She dismissed Takuma's rage with a wave of her hand. '' Just give that glass to Kaname already. Stop stalling.''
Looking at Kaname in the eyes, Takuma's soft green eyes where glowing with shame and frustration for his own powerlessness. ''Sorry, I didn't know it would go this far.'' Saddened, he passed on the glass of water to his friend. ''I had hoped I could somehow prevent it.''
Takuma could read in Kaname's wine red eyes that he didn't hold it against him but at the moment it didn't make him feel better, maybe even worse. He then stepped aside and stood in a corner.
Sara pulled out two white, elongated pills from the sugar pot on the coffee table. She handed them to Kaname, who took them between his fingers and inspected them carefully.
'' Bl-LXIIs7,''he read on both of them.
''You see, the blood tablets that your Night Class created are a very good invention, but lacked popularity because of its awful taste. So, I kindly asked pharmaceutical companies to work on ameliorating them.'' She pulled out a sheet of paper listing the various components used for making the pills.
''You know what is used to make them. You synthesize human blood taken from various lowly individuals and the flavor is copied any number of time. But it's all very bland, so I authorized them to synthesize my blood. It makes any vampire taking those new ameliorated tablets obey me like I was their master and creates a dependancy. It should also bind your mind enough to allow lord Touma's mind control to take effect, even on a pureblood.''
''And with that, you'll create yourself an army of vampires who'll never betray you and work toward creating your own empire of the night,'' Kaname completed.
Sara laughed again. ''Again, you are wrong. Not only will I be queen of the vampires, but I'll be the one and only queen. Humans will also obey me, and that's why I'll need a king like you.''
She extended her index toward the glass. ''Now take them, I don't have any time to waste. Lord Touma, please be ready to take control of him when he takes the tablets.''
''And if I take them, how can I be sure that you'll free all of your hostages?'' he questioned her.
''Takuma, take that girl back to her school. Touma will release her from the mind control once you drink the synthetic blood'' He did it immediately, hurrying to get Yori back to safety, which meant as far away from Sara and Touma as possible. ''As for the other students, you need not to worry, I'll eventually turn them into my servants so they won't be killed for no reason.''
Sara looked bored and sighed in contempt. ''I don't need her anymore. I'm sure that hunter with silver hair- that's the knight you were talking about, right?- will do his job just fine.''
Kaname had no other choice but to drop the tablets in the glass, watching them dissolve and turn the water into a darker red than normal tablets. He was doing it for Yuuki; he couldn't allow her to be hurt by the loss of her only remaining human friend.
It was all a game of chess between him and Sara. But unlike a real game, the match continued even if the king was down. Or temporarily incapacitated, like he would be. This game ended only when one of the queens was down and Kaname would make sure it would be the white queen.
His lips touched the cold glass and his eyes looked down at the dreadful liquid that he was going to absorb.
Touma moved in front of him, ready for the eye contact that would allow him to control the body of a pureblood. He was barely containing his excitement at the idea of getting a new, powerful toy. Kaname forced down the chemical blood down his throat, totally disgusted at the idea of giving over his mind to someone else, especially to one as twisted as Touma.
Sara hadn't been lying when she said that her tablets tasted better. They were better, in an addicting and poisonous way, like a drug. Immediately, he sensed Sara's blood take effect, clouding his mind with patches of darkness. He would have been able to fight the drug off if only Touma's eyes didn't shine like two jewels, mystifying him with his mind control.
Well, take good care of Yuuki in my stead for a while, Zero Kiryuu, because her next enemy…
The glass slipped from his grasp and shattered on the floor, spilling its scarlet content.
...will be me.
Author's note: Well, that's it for now. I know, sorry if I made it look like Yuuki was rescued in this part, you'll have to wait for part 3, which will be out...I don't know when. I had a lot of explaining to do. Complicated explaining. More complicated explaining in the next chapter. Ugh. I don't wanna. You'll have to understand that at first, it was supposed to be a one-shot about Yuuki's wedding. But now, that whole wedding thing complicates the rest of the story because it's not really related to the plot. So please bear with the ooc-ness of the situation in the next chapter.
Review if you have time, I totally need motivation to write the next chapter. I want to write it as much as I want to take grape-flavored cough syrup. (Last time I did, I was 7 and I puked on the floor) Oh, and that would probably help if YOU told me what is it that you think will happen in next chapter. Maybe it'll give me the idea I need to solve this whole $&$?***! problem.
To Sapphiet: Thanks for reviewing and yeah, Zero's too trigger happy xD But I find that badass anyway. As for Eliza, she has better things to do than going in that hell hole full of vampire, too much trouble going over and treating people. She'll wait till they are only a few feet away from her den in the HA.