Greetings. I am Moka-girl, the author of this fanfiction. Despite having written a few stories already, I still feel as insecure as a newbie at this. Reviews, especially positive ones, are a huge relief. They prove that my story is worth your eyes and that motivates me to go farther.
Chocolate and Vanilla: Sugar Sugar Rune is a manga I have recently taken an unusual interest in. I am aware that it is mostly viewed by young children, not really teenagers like me that think it is beneath them, and that that is why this series' archives is close to empty...
The good work people like to read has to be written by someone with enough maturity and experience to create something... at the very least, acceptable.
If you want to complain about my story, feel free to do so, as long as it is constructive criticism, which means you'll tell me what to do to improve, instead of just insulting my abilities.
I don't particularly like reviews that consist of, "Please update!" or "It was really good." Explain to me why it was good, tell me what you'd like to happen next, ask questions...
I think I got the point across.
Read & review, please.
Main character: Tsukuyo Chance
Pairing(s): You will decide by vote. Anything goes, you can even ask for pairings that consist of two minor characters. I'm aiming at a Tsukuyo X Pierre/Glacé. Remember, there will not necessarily be only one pairing. Friendships can be asked for, too.
Warnings for this chapter: Possible mention or description of gory things, such as un-dead corpses. But it'll only be at the end, and quite short.
Poems in this chapter: All of them came from T. S. Eliot's book, Selected Poems, which may be regarded as an introduction to his work. Each poem is quite long and has several paragraphs. Every time there is a 'scene-change' (= O~O), a part of the poem will be there. They are in the right order, and when the poem ends and a different one starts, you'll see it because its title appears just before it begins, in between two #s.
Chapter 1: Not the zombies!
# The Burial of the Dead #
April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.
Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee
With a shower of rain; we stopped in the colonnade,
And went on in sunlight, into the Hofgarten,
And drank coffee, and talked for an hour.
Bin gar keine Russin, stamm' aus Litauen, echt deutsh.
And when we were children, staying at the arch-duke's,
My cousin's, he took me out on a sled,
And I was frightened. He said, Marie,
Marie, hold on tight. And down we went.
In the mountains, there you feel free.
I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter.
It was near the middle of the day when Silver and Okan ordered everyone to halt at the top of a crest.
The walk had been silent until then, and it was a relief to have some time to rest.
While everyone found spots to sit on and chat, the old dragon, Okan, brought a few of the most important or knowledgeable members of the travelling group up on an imposing rock that overhung the magnificent view.
The brilliant sun in the cloudless sky gave them some amount of comfort, even if the blazing heat, already unbearable, wouldn't permit them to hope for some wind to come and cool them up.
The view was stunningly beautiful; only the south was masked by the small green valleys. Had they not been there, the group could've seen the famous wastelands behind.
Far up north, behind the hills lost in a morning fog so thick that even the best of eyes couldn't see through, the tips of a long chain of mountains were pointing out.
Straight ahead, which was in the direction of the east, you could make out a great foggy plain that stretched out in width, coming to a stop up north, like a gigantic clearing in the middle of a vast and endless forest. A few milky filaments seemed to be trying to escape the big bowl the hills were stubbornly trying to maintain the mist in.
"Where to?" Okan's simple-worded question, the one everyone had been thinking about, made Tsukuyo stop gazing at the scenery in favour of turning over to the white and black dragon.
"Elmin-sama said that there was nothing but wastelands over by the south. Nothing grows or lives there." she said, twisting one of her long locks of hair around her index, thinking about how greasy it looked. She needed a bath.
Rhaakzi grinned, an invisible light bulb lighting above his head.
"That would be perfect for us, no? At least, nobody would find us there..."
"Tsukuyo-san just told you that nothing grew or lived there! Going in that direction would lead us to starvation!" Lara cut in, face twisted in a mean sneer that was becoming a frequent sight these days. It made her pretty heart-shaped face look so... evil.
Tsukuyo and Silver exchanged a look, grimacing. Ever since the death of her younger sister, all of Lara's sympathy, smiles and kind words had been replaced by the behaviour of a bitter person that couldn't possibly move on. It was incredibly frustrating that she couldn't really be relied on anymore because of that, too.
Having never had a sibling, it was difficult for Tsukuyo to understand the pain Lara was in. But she had had parents, quite some time ago, and could remember as clear as the day when they had died. It wasn't too difficult for her to try empathizing.
"If we don't go south because of the wastelands, nor north and west because that's where we came from, that leaves us with the east as the last solution we have," Okan continued, the map in between his powerful paws. "That means we'll have to pass through the mist you can all see, over there."
"I do not like choices by default," said Silver after a moment. "I don't like having no choice." His gruff voice immediately made Tsukuyo feel safer.
"I don't like being incapable of seeing where we're going." Brunhof added, unhappy. "Is it possible to know what's in there?"
"We can't send anyone out to scout the place; separation would mean the death of us. Besides, we'll see it for ourselves when we get there." Silver answered.
"I just hope the fog is not a part of a plan from the enemy." Tsukuyo sighed, her aquamarine eyes downcast at the mere idea.
"There is something over there..." came suddenly from Lara, her tone making everybody turn to her. "It is not the enemy, well, at least Erzech or his troupes, but there is something within that fog..."
"You mean... you mean... magic? Can you feel it from this far away?" asked Tsukuyo, her eyes brightening in awe. Despite being a witch from a distant and very different dimension, even her abilities didn't go as far as sensing magic several kilometres away.
Her mum had taught her some things about her original world, such as how to see hearts and how to channel magic through a wand. She had only ever been able to try out her mother's wand, but even then it was terribly difficult because the magical stick didn't recognize her as its owner.
She was a half-witch, from her mother, and a half-human, from her father, who originated from this dimension.
Tsukuyo remembered how often her mother would talk about her old world, a look of intense longing in her eyes. But going back was impossible. Or at least until her mother managed to find a way back, Tsukuyo used to believe. But the woman was dead, as was her father. Dwelling on such thoughts was futile.
"Yes, I can." was the curt reply from Lara, who was busy looking off in the distance.
"That's impressive, Lara-sama!" Tsukuyo was practically jumping in excitement at the news.
The woman gave a grunt, turned and left in the direction of a big elm tree, probably to meditate. The young girl's excitement died down immediately, her mood turning to its usual misery and self-hate.
"I-I offended her again, didn't I?" Tsukuyo asked, her voice trembling as her esteem of herself became scarce. She was truly unused to being happy or to feel any positive emotions. So much that her excitement had made her act rashly and stupidly.
Lara's sister had mastered the art of sensing magic to such a degree that she had even had the ability to teach it to Lara. Asking about the woman's skills at pinpointing magic had reminded her of her sister...
The others didn't bother to answer her question, for it was rhetorical; she knew it already.
Her eyes were moistening, but her control over her emotions was incredibly strong. So strong, in fact, that she managed to make herself feel happy and giddy again, making her eyes return to their normal state.
She turned to the others, Okan in particular, and asked in a cheery voice: "Shall we go?"
What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow
Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man,
You cannot say, or guess, for you know only
A heap of broken images, where the sun beats,
And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief,
And the dry stone no sound of water. Only
There is shadow under this red rock,
(Come in under the shadow of this red rock),
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you; I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
Frisch weht der Wind
Der Heimat zy
Mein Irisch Kind
Wo weilest du?
'You gave me hyacinths first a year ago;
'They called me the hyacinth girl.'
—Yet when we came back, late, from the hyacinth garden,
Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not
Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither
Living nor dead, and I knew nothing,
Looking into the heart of light, the silence.
Oed' und leer das Meer.
They set off late afternoon. The pace was brisk, and they tried to keep it up for as long as possible.
When night came, they didn't stop. For Silver, such an arid place gave them a distinct advantage—they could go faster than usual—and it also had a disadvantage: the noise.
The barbaric man had the distinct impression that the absence of lights amplified every sound they made.
The twigs snapping under their feet, the ominous creaking from the old wheels of the cart of the wounded, the echo of the murmurs of the other members of the group even though they had been ordered to stay silent... so much noise...
As they progressed through the obscure forest, Silver began feeling the nature of the place, the texture and the plants, changing.
At first, it was difficult to pick up on, but as they wound on, he began to see it quite clearly.
Near the back of the group, where she was helping the children to keep up the pace, Tsukuyo made the same interior reflection.
She couldn't see much, but since they had attained the bottom of this new valley, before they even started mounting the next one, the young witch had felt something different in the air.
Despite the ground being just as cracked and dry as before, the atmosphere felt... oppressing and wet, sweaty and fresh, hot and... rotten. The air itself was moist!
Tsukuyo couldn't explain the phenomenon. If there was vapour in the air, shouldn't it deposit on the ground that looked like it needed all the water it could get?
The night was of the darkest of blacks, and the torches were not very successful at illuminating the way. They had to primarily rely on their eyesight.
It was around that time that the first screams reached their ears. The screeches were close and resonated in the whole valley in a rather sinister way.
"We've been discovered! On your stomachs, everyone! Prepare your weapons and let the warriors past!"
The message murmured by Silver was repeated in-between the people.
Brunhof gave a sinister smirk that settled unusually well on his features.
"Finally, some action!"
Madame Sosostris, famous clairvoyante,
Had a bad cold, nevertheless
Is known to be the wisest woman in Europe,
With a wicked pack of cards. Here, said she,
Is your card, the drowned Phoenician Sailor,
(Those are pearls that were in his eyes. Look!)
Here is Belladona, the Lady of the Rocks,
The lady of situations.
Here is the man with three staves, and here the Wheel,
And here is the one-eyed merchant, and this card,
Which is blank, is something he carries on his back,
Which I am forbidden to see. I do not find
The Hanged Man. Fear death by water.
I see crowds of people, walking round in a ring.
Thank you. If you see dear Mrs. Equitone,
Tell her I bring the horoscope myself:
One must be so careful these days.
"By the gods, what is happening down there?"
Rhaakzi tried to not let it show, but he was scared. It was the same with all the other members of their travelling group.
The events happening by the bottom of the valley had been lasting for too long and the echoes of what was happening did absolutely not resemble the sounds of a combat.
When the first sounds had met his ears, he had thought the men under Sun's orders would come charging in. But it hadn't happened.
The furious shouting had rapidly escalated into screams to death, and sounds of extensive agony.
"Whatever's happening down there... it's no fight, not even a struggle, but a massacre!" a warrior moaned.
"D'you think it matters? As long as we're alive, it's okay!" answered Brunhof.
"What is Silver-sama's groups doing? Are they still in front of us?"
"No idea," muttered Rhaakzi. "I don't know what's happening and I don't want to know. We're not moving until it stops!"
"Someone as proud as you... you're... scared?"
Brunhof was smirking. Rhaakzi didn't answer.
Under the brown fog of a winter dawn,
A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,
I had not thought death had undone so many.
Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled,
And each man fixed his eyes before his feet.
Flowed up the hill and down King William Street,
To where Saint Mary Woolnoth kept the hours
With a dead sound on the final stroke of nine.
There I saw one I knew, and stopped him crying: 'Stetson!'
'You who were with me in the ships at Mylae!
'That corpse you planted last year in your garden,
'Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year?
'Or has the sudden frost disturbed its bed?
'Oh keep the Dog far hence, that's friend to men,
'Or his nails he'll dig it up again!
'You! hypocrite lecteur!—mon semblable,—mon frère!
Tsukuyo had the impression that the killings were never-ending. Quite early, when she had understood that they weren't attacked, she had disobeyed Silver's orders and had gotten up on her feet to go and comfort the children she was travelling with.
The sounds coming from lower down the valley were making their nerves endure quite an ordeal and the youngest ones were silently crying.
Later—an eternity later—, the screams eventually died out, and some strangulated sounds took their place, just as frightening. When, finally, the silence came, it was so incredibly alluring that it seemed everyone was holding their breath, waiting for noise that did not come.
Another sound was then heard. At such a distance, it was difficult to identify it. The young witch had the distinct impression that it was a familiar noise to her, one she often heard, perhaps even daily.
The wind started up, and this time everyone felt the change in the air. It was a humid and moist breeze that passed through their ranks slowly. Supporting freshness, it also carried a disgusting smell, close to that of silt and decaying flesh.
She bit her lip and brought her hands to her face to hide the silent tears sliding down it as she wept pitifully.
The noise was that of incessant chewing.
It gradually became less frequent, stopping from time to time before starting up again. When it finally stopped, none of the members of the travelling groups dared to move from the spot before the sun came up.
#Whispers of Immortality#
Webster was much possessed by death
And saw the skull beneath the skin;
And breastless creatures under ground
Leaned backward with a lipless grin.
In the early morning, with many precautions, Okan and some others went down to inspect the valley, but didn't find anything except a pond of pinkish cloudy water.
No traces of the enemy, or of some sort of camp... there wasn't any proof that there had been a massacre near the marsh a few hours before.
The explanation must be at the bottom of the water... thought Tsukuyo, shivering at the idea.
By instinct, the group tried to stay as far away from the stinky pond. Only Lara was brave enough to approach it; she was still there now, sitting near it but careful to not come in contact with the water. She gave the impression that she was trying to sound it, with the intense stare she was directing towards it.
"Do you think that we might have been hallucinating?" asked Rhaakzi, who was sitting on a tree stump, sharpening the blade of his weapon.
Nobody answered him, but they all felt that the last events had something to do with the foggy valley, on the other side of the hill that was completely hidden by the mist.
Daffodil bulbs instead of balls
Stared from the sockets of the eyes!
He knew that thought clings round dead limbs
Tightening its lusts and luxuries
Her first impulsion was to ignore Okan and to continue climbing up to the camp: she was still angry that he hadn't let her go with Silver. But something in the dragon's voice forced her to stop and turn.
She could no longer see the small valley cooled by the strange pond, hidden by the trees and the milky mist.
"Tsukuyo-san, come quick!"
This time, the call was more pressing. Alarmed, the young girl ran back down everything she had just escalated. When she came out of the undergrowth, she saw Okan lying on the ground, trying to get back up.
Out of breath, Tsukuyo went over to him, where he was near the pond. Before he could start speaking, she saw that the water was no longer still; it had been disturbed.
"Lara-sama!" she exclaimed. "She fell in the water, didn't she?"
"Yes! And she came out of it a second later, with an air about her..." Okan shook his massive head. "She tried to flee after Silver-san and the others. I tried to hold her back... but she pushed me away."
"You mean she made you fall, YOU?"
Tsukuyo couldn't believe it. The dragon was much too big and heavy for a human to push it away, much less a woman!
"Has Lara-sama seen something in the water?" she continued, looking at the pond in disgust.
"I don't know! Everything was happening so fast! What could she have seen to make her that fast?" He looked traumatized, which was an emotion he didn't often show. "Follow her, Tsukuyo, and catch up with her, fast. Or warn Silver-san and..."
The girl was no longer listening to him. She got up lightening fast, too happy was she that she could finally get some much needed action. She could practically feel the sword sheathed at her hip nudging her in an insistent way. But it was just her mind playing tricks on her.
She was already a good ten meters away when Okan cried out her name: "Tsukuyo!"
"Yes?" she asked without even turning.
"Beware. Beware of Lara-san's reactions... she didn't seem to be in her normal state of mind."
Donne, I suppose, was such another
Who found no substitute for sense,
To seize and clutch and penetrate;
Expert beyond experience,
He knew the anguish of the marrow
The ague of the skeleton;
No contact possible to flesh
Allayed the fever of the bone.
It began to be greatly clear, after at least two hours of running, that Tsukuyo was completely and utterly lost. She had thought that, since she was running when Silver and his group were walking, that she would catch up with them quickly!
Coming to a stop, she began to pant for breath. She was sore and tired from running such a distance, especially since the nature of the terrain had been changing as she advanced.
The earth under her feet was no longer dry and cracked; it was now a muddy wreck she could barely move through. When she had been coming down the other side of the hill, she had had to hold on to the nearby trees to avoid falling.
Even they had started changing. They were taller, and their bark looked sick and rotten. The silt was covering them all as if it had been spattered everywhere!
A smell similar to the one from the pond was very present here. It was exactly like the horrible, foul-smelling breeze that had passed among the ranks of the group of travellers after the massacre they had audibly witnessed.
It was chilly, and her clothes didn't seem to keep her warm enough. She was wearing a dark green, hand-knitted sweater, a pair of trousers that were now covered in mud, and her brown poncho.
Her strawberry blonde hair, normally beautiful, especially with its peach reflections, had lost its usual beauty because she couldn't wash it very often these days.
She had pulled it into a high ponytail and it was now reaching just beneath her hips. The shorter hair that acted as side bangs or simply covered her forehead had been pushed back by numerous hairclips, leaving her face bare so her aquamarine eyes could scan her surroundings for possible enemies.
She breathed in deeply, closing her eyes and trying to get rid of the incoming panic. When she opened them after having exhaled, she felt much better in terms of emotional state but that didn't last long when she realized she hadn't brought her medicine with her.
"My canteen! Oh no, I forgot it in my bag! SHIT!" Tsukuyo swore again and again at the revelation. And she had given her bag to one of the children to carry it while she tied her shoelaces, but had forgotten to ask it back!
Sucette Chance, her mum, had had the same ailment, and she said it was hereditary. She knew how to make the cure by heart, and had taught her daughter. Despite being in a different world, the vegetation was the same, so the medicine was relatively easy to make once the ingredients where found.
The medicine was a foul tasting odour-less brown liquid, and she always kept it in her canteen.
Last time she had forgotten to take her meds, she had fainted in the middle of a battle. Tsukuyo had been extremely lucky that Okan had managed to pick her up and get her to relative safety.
That was why she had a canteen filled with thick liquid that looked a bit like mud with crushed leaves in it. Whenever they saw a plant they knew she would need to make her next batch, they took the time to pluck it and bring it to her.
It made her feel flattered when they did so, and that they even remembered everything she needed!
She drunk a maximum of half a bottle every month or so from her canteen. Her illness was something transmitted through genes, and had been in the family for a long time. It had skipped many generations before 'reactivating' in Sucette, and being passed on to Tsukuyo, who wasn't fortunate enough to have it dormant within her. It was called Curse of the Ravi.
The last time she had drunk some of her medicine was three weeks ago, and she could acutely feel her body demanding sustenance.
"Ugh..." she moaned, rubbing her face,
Tsukuyo knew all the running had aggravated her body's condition without her noticing, and she could feel the world swimming around her, faster and faster, until the back of her head met the ground as she fell down in a dead faint.
Her sword, sheathed at her left hip, followed her down not even a second later, coming into contact with the muddy surface with a wet 'plop'.
Grishkin is nice: her Russian eye
Is underlined for emphasis;
Uncorseted, her friendly bust
Gives promise of pneumatic bliss.
The couched Brazilian jaguar
Compels the scampering marmoset
With subtle effluence of cat;
Grishkin has a maisonette;
The sleek Brazilian jaguar
Does not in its arboreal gloom
Distil so rank a feline smell
As Grishkin in a drawing room.
"Hey, did ya hear that?"
Rhaakzi gave a little surprised jerk. He felt like it was a few seconds ago that Silver had went to inspect a noise the man had said that he had heard. In truth, Rhaakzi had begun half-sleeping, keeping an eye open in case something happened.
"Nah, I didn't hear anything. Jeesh, I can not take this anymore... I want it to be the morning."
"Shh, someone's coming."
"It must be Silver."
"Silver had a torch. He's heavy and walks differently than what we're hearing... Listen carefully."
They shut their mouths and concentrated. Underneath the strong snoring of their companions, they could hear the light sound of someone advancing.
The two men exchanged a look of understanding. Without a word, they ignited their torches, using the campfire they were sitting around to do so.
There, in the circle of light, they saw Tsukuyo, shivering, covered in mud, her sword in hand. Her gaze, normally calm, with a hint of sadness, was no longer recognizable: She must've seen the horrors of hell to look like that!
Her eyes were focused on Rhaakzi and Naagharst, but she didn't look like she could see them.
The two warriors made exclamations of surprise at the same time: the witch had water up to her ankles! The water level had climbed throughout the night without them noticing and was now reaching the base of the settlement of rocks their camp was on.
"Tsukuyo-sama! Quick, climb up here!"
They reached out a hand each towards the young girl, who was likely in shock. Finally, she seemed to come back to reality, but didn't move.
"Silver..." she murmured in a barely audible voice, tears coming down without a sound.
She looked completely defeated, as if the strength, pride and the well-known aloofness she used to possess had been but an illusion, hiding the frightened child underneath its folds.
"He's gone off to inspect something, but don't worry, he'll be back in a few!" said Rhaakzi, beginning to get impatient.
Crouching down on the seaweed that had grown on the edges of the rocks, he tried to get closer to her without accidently slipping on the plants.
"Quickly, the water is rising!"
The man took one step closer to Tsukuyo, his hand still reaching out for her. She took hold of it to slowly for his tastes.
"No... He won't come back! He's dead... I saw..." She shuddered at the horrible memory.
"Tsukuyo, please, don't stay there..."
The warrior pulled her up to him. At that same moment, a decaying arm came out of the silt, gripping the girl's leg tightly. She skidded on the rock and fell backwards, taking Rhaakzi with her.
They fell with a great amount of splatter.
A good ten or so rotten hands broke the surface, taking hold of them, clawing at their clothes.
Naagharst shouted in alarm.
Tsukuyo screamed as she was pulled down, only stopping when her head was beneath the surface because she couldn't inhale the necessary amount of breath to do so.
For the first time, she regretted having such long hair; the moving corpses were using it against her, tugging at it and forcing her to follow.
Her eyes, a mix in-between green and blue, were shut tight in pain.
Tsukuyo Chance was about to die of suffocation, under quite an amount of mud, with zombies dragging her down.
And even the Abstract Entities
Circumambulate her charm;
But our lot crawls between dry ribs
To keep our metaphysics warm.
So... what did you guys think?
I aimed at confusing you with things that do not come from C & V: SSR.
Everything will be explained as the story wounds on.
Now, I want my reviews!
I gave you a long chapter, so I deserve them!
Raw! ~5'000 words!
I did put quite an amount of effort in this, and I hope the next chapter will be of at least 2000, but I'm not sure I'll be able to.
Next chapter, the story will really start! This is just some sort of prologue.
Oh and, remember to vote for any pairings of interest and share your thoughts on whether Tsukuyo is or is not realistic when it comes to character, appearance and strengths and weaknesses. Maybe she was a bit too much when it came to Mary-Sue-ism, but I assure you that it is necessary in the future.
Think you can guess why?