AN-I'm so sorry for another long wait! I've actually been working on this chapter a LOT, it's just that since it's Kaien's 'life story', so to speak, it's taken MUCH longer than I expected…in fact, this isn't even the finished chapter! I had to split it in half since the file size was so big, so please bear with me until I'm able to upload the second half. I relied heavily upon the manga and vampire knight wikia to help me a long with certain aspects of this, as some of Kaien's story seemed a little hazy to me, but I hope I've pieced it together in a coherent way!
I've written this chapter in a way as if Kaien is telling the story to Zero so, although this chapter and the next one will be from Kaien's point of view, Zero will be back soon!
Enjoy, and thank you so so much for being patient with me!
Kaien Cross POV
It's strange how a vampire hunter's mind works isn't it? How even when we aren't necessarily on the job, deep inside of us there is still an unappeasable craving to slay another one of the creatures we hunt. We may have had an extremely successful night's work during which we manage to execute all of the vampires named on the list we were assigned, perhaps even more if we come across them…but still there is a vulgar desire…no…a…a need to happen upon another one that needs to be slaughtered. It is a contemptible and inhuman desire that only another hunter can truly understand….or perhaps…a vampire. I don't think one realizes until after they have emerged from that dark and morbid place in their life how similar vampires and hunters truly are…you can continue to give me that look Zero, but one day I'm sure you will see it too, not only as a hunter, and not as a vampire, but as someone who has fallen in love with the creature you hunt…that what I'm saying is true. It is usually only when we are able to face the Sunlight once more, after surfacing from that desolate place that threatens to drown us and choke out all glimmer of hope, that we are able to soberly look back and say 'Actually…what makes me less of a savage than them? The way I lived…the sins I committed…' You're probably wondering why I'm telling you this, but I feel it is essential to make you carefully consider what I am about to tell you…I want you to listen with a clear mind and an open heart…because you and I…we aren't so different…that doesn't necessarily mean you are destined to follow the same path as I did…but I would like you to listen, and perhaps learn from the things I tell you.
Around the time I met Juri Kuran, I had slipped into a depressive state of mind…that isn't to say I was exactly a cheerful man before this period, but as it was, this was a particularly delicate time in my life…you see, Zero, as I'm sure you're already aware, I was not born as other hunters are. I suppose it is tedious for me to explain this all to you once more, but since you've been locked away for ten years I'm going to tell you anyway! Just in case your mind has become a little hazy…Of course you know that all vampire hunters are born with a certain amount of vampire genetic material within them ever since the time when the first hunters devoured the blood of one of the progenitors…a blessing and a curse it would seem...I am a rare case, as it would seem I was born with a much higher amount of these vampire genes and traits, as a result I have stopped aging completely it would seem, and retain the same appearance I did at the time I turned twenty five or twenty six…I was also exceptionally strong during my years as a hunter, and was somewhat cruelly dubbed 'the vampire without fangs' due to some of my traits…How I ended up this way? Well…I'm not entirely comfortable discussing the…circumstances…which lead to me being the way I am…so I'll simply say that you, of all people Zero, can probably understand better than anyone else what made me this way…as I have mentioned already, you and I are far more similar than you think…than anyone thinks.
Having surpassed the age of two hundred years old, I still retained the youthful appearance of a man in his mid-twenties…as many vampires have done, if I wanted to live life side by side with other humans, I had to disguise my true nature by living the life of an imposter…I had learned to form a life for myself, however before anyone became suspicious due to my lack of aging and supernatural traits, I inevitably had to put an 'end' to the life of the persona I had created for myself before my true nature was unveiled. As it was, around the time I first laid eyes on Juri Kuran, I had very recently just faked my own death, laying my most recent life to rest before moving on to somewhere else to start anew. It may be hard to envisage, such a way of life is not natural or human…however, the ending of each 'life', has the same devastating effect losing one's family and friends may have…as someone who watched my family and childhood friends continue to age and wither before my eyes…I can tell you I understand exactly how acutely the pain that comes with severing your ties with the new family you have made for yourself reminds you of the real family you once lost. I had learned to deal with the loss in a similar way one might deal with the death of a loved one…I allowed myself a period of mourning, in which I was able to come to terms with the emotions and the loss itself before turning to face the future. This may sound like an optimistic way to live for someone who has to deal with such a great amount of sorrow…however I didn't live for the hope the future would bring, the excitement of starting again and being able to sculpt a new persona for myself, perhaps in the process coming to some clearer understanding of myself…no. I simply did it because what else could I do? After over two hundred years of trying to find ways to survive…this had become the least painful…if you can believe that. My soul purpose was simply to keep going, not to find joy or happiness, but simply to see things out to the end…that isn't to say I wanted to die either…I'm afraid I can't exactly explain it to you Zero, but I hope you can see where I'm coming from.
I was currently allowing a researcher to study me, something I had attempted to avoid for two centuries…he did things like take blood samples, and photograph my appearance over a length of time to discover what made me differ from other hunters, what truly made me 'a vampire without fangs'. The man's research did nothing to lift my dreary spirits, and in fact only strengthened my misery, as well as my hatred towards vampires, as I was well aware if it weren't for their blood in my veins I wouldn't be forced to live in such a desolate and undesirable manner. A combination of this and my grief was what had forced me to slip into an exceedingly dark state of mind. A mixed blessing, as although I felt as if I was about to be swallowed by my grief, it also strengthened my resolve to destroy the vampire race, resulting in me throwing myself into my work.
It was late at night, and I was returning back to my temporary dwelling having spent a few hours playing guinea pig to the researcher who had become fascinated with me. I was feeling particularly agitated and felt as if a dark cloud was sweeping over me as I strode through the soundless streets. The glittering stars far above my head seemed to taunt me, as if representing the happiness I would never achieve…the way they flickered down at me made me imagine the mocking eyes of those who knew my true identity and seemed to watch me through the bars of the metaphorical cage I lived in, pitying me, resenting me, judging me as if they truly knew the pain I felt, the pain that seemed to grip my heart in a vice, squeezing ever tighter with every loss, with every blow I took to my soul. Even the sound of my shoe heels slapping against the cobbled stones drenched in rain seemed to me a rhythmical reminder of my monotonous and empty existence.
The air around me seemed heavy, and only grew heavier with each step, until suddenly I froze. A vile scent had attracted my attention. My pulse quickened with anticipation, my eyes narrowing as I breathed in the familiar and intoxicating scent of a vampire. My hand automatically moved to rest on the handle of my sword, carefully concealed from the view of others. Turning on my heel, I swiftly discovered my target not far off, concealed in business attire; a long overcoat swishing around him, and a fashionable hat perched upon his head. I shot a hatful glare at the creature, a feeling of revulsion rising within me at the presence of such a being. Had I fangs to bare in the way a vampire does…I would have exposed them at that precise moment, gritting my teeth I drew my sword from its sheath, raising it before me in clear sight of the vampire before positioning myself ready to do battle. My grip tightened on the handle of my sword as a sickening grin spread across the creature's face, as he stood perfectly still before me, arms by his side simply staring, and making no attempt to ready himself for a fight. Instead, he ran his tongue over his lower lip as if to suggest he was going to enjoy the conflict to come and opened his mouth to speak.
"So, you are the one they talk about…the vampire without fangs. An outcast among humans, vampires and hunters…you have no place to go…so why not surrender yourself to your fate?" The smug expression he wore only spurred me on to lunge towards him, however sensing he was only trying to rile me I attempted to conceal my true fury and allowed my face to freeze in a glower, into a mask to hide the depth of my true emotions. I wasn't notorious as a hunter for my vampire bargaining tactics, and particularly in the volatile mood I was in, I wasn't exactly in the frame of mind to be toyed with. Still, the creature continued to grin at me, making it incredibly difficult for me to keep my cool when I was already so unsettled.
"Why do vampires always insist on prolonging the inevitable?" A rhetorical question I flung at him, my voice thick with irritation as I tightened my grip on my sword handle. The tension surrounding us clung to the air like a noxious gas, filling my lungs with each breath and making my pulse quicken with a kind of hunger only a vampire hunter can experience. The vampire continued to smirk at me, in a way that somehow reminded me of the researcher with whom I had been spending time with this evening…this creature's smug sneer made me recall the look of triumph that had appeared on the researcher's face when I had conceded defeat, and finally told him I would permit him to record data on me. I grimaced at the reminder, the smile he had flashed me when telling me to stand before the camera and allow him to capture an image of my eternal youth. The vampire's smile widened, exposing his elongated fangs protruding obscenely from his upper lip at my words, and he uttered a small snigger before replying.
"Do you hunter's always insist on being so volatile? Things are going to change soon; you should watch your back…" The creature informed me…looking back, I'm not entirely sure what he meant by this…whether he literally meant the hunter society as a whole should be prepared for some sort of change among our two societies…or if it was a literal 'watch your back'. In the years since that night I have mulled his words over, trying to decide which he truly meant…however you will come to understand what I'm trying to explain in a moment. Had I been focussing on what the vampire was actually saying at the time, perhaps I would've been prepared for what was to take place…however, as it was my mind was in such a frenzy of hatred…I was thinking of the creature before me, the cavernous loneliness my future seemed to hold, my resentment towards the researcher and his damned photographs…
"One day I'm going to burn them all." My tone was low, almost acidic as I directed my glare at the creature leering at me from across the alleyway. I suppose my words that night also had a double meaning, as at that moment I intended to direct all of my pain and anger at the vampire before me, I would tear him apart with my sword so that there would be no remnants of his existence left for a single soul to find afterwards…that's what I decided at that moment, and the thought seemed to feed a dark desire within me that was hungering for the kill. My fingers seemed to twitch on the sword's handle, my body suddenly aching for me to plunge my sword through the vampire's heart and end his miserable life right there and then.
"One day? I don't know what you're talking about, but you're not going to kill me!" The vampire announced with a glower almost as fierce as mine. Inwardly I was laughing, of course he didn't know what I meant exactly…he had an idea…I'd given him a hint that I intended to one day destroy every last one of those…what do you call them Zero? 'Beasts in human form'. You look surprised? As I'm sure you're beginning to realize, I didn't always believe in pacifism…you see, the curse put upon me…being a 'vampire without fangs', was the result of the vampire blood that flows through my veins…some naïve part of me believed that if I succeeded in destroying every last vampire that roamed the Earth then the curse put upon me would be lifted…I would be a normal human being the way I always should have been….I suppose in hindsight…I never truly believed it would actually 'cure' me…I think it was more the idea that it would bring me some kind of peace…something to finally silence the self-loathing voices in my head. However, as well as this, part of me was also considering those retched photographs the researcher had taken…I think at the time I was also referring somewhat to these, as I said, my mind was in a haze, all of these thoughts overwhelming me…
"Anyway…you might not know it yet…but there are vampires with proper…firearms!" These words escalated in volume as the creature unexpectedly pulled a gun from the inside of his trench coat, his smirk widening into an almost maniacal mask, his features grotesque and distorted as he aimed the weapon at me, his finger coming down fast on the trigger. Although this had been an unexpected move, I was still able to overwhelm the vampire easily. I lunged toward him, the feeling of anticipation that had been growing inside of me all along reaching a climactic point as I swiftly sliced through his neck with my sword, watching with a fierce expression as his face began to crumble to dust the moment my sword made contact with his flesh. You see, Zero, although firearms were used by humans and hunters at the time it was unusual for a vampire to carry such a weapon, as is often still the case today, the prefer to use traditional weapons…Aristocrats and Purebloods, more often than not, prefer to simply use the powers they were born with in order to attack. While it exposes some of their potential, it also leaves their opponent wondering what more they are capable of, so it has a kind of psychological effect, as well as a physical one, giving them the upper hand. However, as you know, vampires lower than level B, and even some Aristocrats and Purebloods prefer to channel their powers through weapons, such as Takuma with his katana and Yuki with her scythe…in any case, it wasn't something a hunter expected of a vampire, and perhaps a less experienced hunter may have been a little thrown, particularly if he had been sent on his first mission!
"Right then" I muttered as the vampire continued to disintegrate before my eyes, like a sand castle being destroyed easily by the strength of the wind. "One day I'll burn those photos, and wipe out every one of you." I finished as the rest of the creature's form fragmented, collapsing into a heap of ash on the ground. I stared coldly at his remains which blew softly across he cobbled stones beneath me as the wind's gentle hand guided it along the alleyway silently as if the creature had never crossed my path at all. Now, that's where I expected things to end that night. I imagined from there I would find my way back to my apartment and collapse into bed and awaken to another monotonous day not much different to the one which had preceded it. Of course that is not what happened Zero, or else I would not be telling you this story…in fact I probably wouldn't even be sitting here in front of you today…or if I was, I would most certainly still be a hunter, telling you this story with the same closed mind I had back then…
"Do you…mean that?" A woman's voice echoed through the alleyway, reverberating off the stone walls and overwhelming my senses…I'll never forget her voice, the quality it had…because although she had spoken softly, it had hit me as if she had been speaking more loudly than she really had…in any case, I hadn't anticipated there was someone standing behind me…which is what lead me to believe that perhaps the vampire I had just murdered had been warning me about the woman surveying us from afar. I'd turned swiftly to face her, dismayed that my usually acute senses had not picked up the presence of a Pureblood before now, and I mentally scolded myself for allowing my mind to wander. Had this vampire not been the kind hearted woman she was, I may have been killed that night. I wouldn't have been surprised if she had killed me right then and there having seen me murder one of her own kind. However, when I turned to face her she stood not far away from me, a large scythe which standing would probably have towered above her, grasped tightly in her hand. She wore a crimson cloak, and the soft breeze that played with it allowed me to catch a glimpse of the attire she wore underneath. Upon her body she wore a delicate cream colored dress which fell to her knees, a golden band tied beneath her bust, giving the distinct impression of wealth. Her heavy mahogany curls were teased by the wind, and when they settled I was able to see they fell roughly to her waist, although each curl seemed to be a different length. My enhanced sight allowed me to just about picture the feminine face beneath the crimson hood, and I can tell you now Zero….in my entire life it was the most beautiful face I have ever laid eyes on…I have never come across anything lovelier before or since…except perhaps her daughter, who shares an almost identical resemblance to her, although of course I view Yuki in a completely different way than I viewed her mother. In any case, the face I gazed at was not a hateful one…her expression was neutral, though perhaps a little sad at that moment…and she stared at me in a way no vampire had ever gazed at me before. It was entirely possible I had witnessed her at soirees in the past, however never before had I come face to face with her. Her delicate face reminded me of a porcelain doll. Her dark eyes were almost hypnotic, and this was the quality that reminded me of my goal. At that moment I was able to remind myself of my reason for living, and my reason was to kill every vampire that darkened my path with its presence, even the one in front of me.
"Our job will be done once we annihilate you…" I told her bitterly…and instead of fixing her with my characteristic glare instead I smirked. This pureblood in all her beauty had almost made me forget everything…for a mere moment I had experienced a feeling I had not experienced in a long time…it had been a feeling of hope simply at the sight of this woman. However, as I raised my sword I forced these thoughts back into the recesses of my mind, intending to enjoy killing this vampire for almost making me forget my true goal. "This godforsaken curse I have may disappear once you're gone…surely I'm allowed that dream right?" I confessed, the hateful smirk widening on my lips as I faced her. How dare she try to interfere in my affairs, that was what I told myself. In that instant I charged at her in the same way I had charged at the creature I had killed only moments previously…in fact this thought made me realize that this pureblood was probably the master of the level D I had just annihilated…it wasn't uncommon for Purebloods to have their minions do their bidding, and this thought only strengthened my resolve to kill the Pureblood. I disregarded the consequences that came hand in hand with the murder of a Pureblood, for all I felt for their kind was the kind of hatred I'm sure you feel as acutely as I once did Zero.
"You must be the vampire who was controlling him!" I cried, bringing my sword down towards the woman's face. However, unlike the level D before her, the Pureblood's reflexes were much more acute, and she was easily able to bring the handle of her scythe across the path of my sword in a bid to shield herself from my attack. Her defence technique was successful as she held the scythe horizontally before her, pushing against the force of my sword with a strength that was almost equal to my own. I growled at her, pushing against her with all the force I could muster, determined to defeat the Pureblood as easily as I had destroyed her minion. "In that case…" I continued, however, the pureblood interrupted, her calm expression turning to one of irritation….looking back I'm sure it was amusing…as instead of staring at me with hatred or even fear, she stared at me as if I were simply inconveniencing her rather than putting her life in danger.
"Wait a minute! I was told someone was creating trouble in Isaya's territory and…" She declared her tone not unpleasant even now. Still, the sound of the metal of my sword grinding against her scythe only caused my anger to grow, if the feeling inside me before had only been that of a simmering fire, it had now grown to the size of an inferno ready to incinerate everything in its path. However, I should have known even before that point that I didn't have the heart to kill her…even if I was a ruthless soulless being before…the moment my eyes rested upon Juri Kuran something inside me changed…I had confessed my dream of wiping vampires from the face of the Earth….and even if it was a dark and pitiless dream…it wasn't something I easily divulged in the way I had…in a way that almost questioned her as opposed to simply announcing her fate to her…in any case, as I began to overwhelm her…or so I thought…bringing both the scythe's handle and my sword closer and closer towards her face, so that her scythe's handle almost touched her nose, she was becoming more and more aggravated at my refusal to listen to her.
"Hey…will you listen to me?! I'm speaking to you!" She declared in a tone that would have been suitable had she been having a conversation with a friend who had been distracted by leaves falling from a tree outside as the sipped tea…however, for the life threatening situation she had put herself in…it seemed almost laughable…I remember even at the time I couldn't help but smirk at her foolish remark as her pretty features had been distorted slightly as she had frowned up at me, her large eyes filled with a determination now as she struggled against me. Of course I naïvely believed that I had her right where I wanted her, my sword's blade was so close to cutting that pretty face of hers there was no doubt in my mind that I had already won…however, her expression finally darkened as she'd apparently had her fill of being ignored, and in one swift motion she was able to shove me away from her body with a shocking force, only to turn around and utter the words-
"SUPER PUREBLOOD KICK!" delivering a swift kick to my jaw with her heeled foot, and sending my body reeling back through the alleyway. The force with which she'd kicked me caused my sword to slip from my grasp, landing with an audible clatter between two cobbled stones, beside which I landed, my hands flying out in front of me to break my fall. However, even with this attempt, my head still fell against the cool, wet stones, making a loud cracking sound as it collided with the pavement below me. I still remember the pain which swam through my head and jaw, engulfing my entire head in a painful throbbing…my eyesight blurring as I lay there, sprawled out on the ground as if I'd just been knocked down by a bus rather than a petite woman. I may have blacked out for a few moments…I can't remember exactly, however, I remember acutely the sense of disorientation as I had slowly lifted my weary head from the ground, the rain water seemed to cling to my skin, somehow increasing the pain with its presence.
"Phoo…Now I can talk to you!" The woman announced almost cheerfully as if she had simply diverted my attention back to her as opposed to practically knocking me out of my senses. I inaudibly muttered obscenities against the woman at this thought, lamenting on how vain Purebloods were. When I was finally in a sitting position once more, my hand shot to the left side of my mouth where I felt the warm trickle of blood. Her voice sounded far away and muffled, which lead me to believe she had caused some sort of damage to my hearing. My head swam as I turned to face her, almost forcing me into unconsciousness, however, in my desperation to stay awake I used all of my energy to focus on the woman in front of me, as I'm sure a boat relies on a lighthouse during a storm…A coppery taste in my mouth sent a shiver of disgust down my spine, something which as I'm sure you know signals blood. At the time I recall I couldn't help being utterly stunned when I realized she was paying no attention to the sight or scent of the blood that seeped from my injuries. As you know all too well, vampires are instinctively drawn to the aroma of blood…although they do not need to feed on it to survive as a human needs food….when they catch the scent of it the suddenly desire it. Mmm, I suppose you're right to glower at me this time Zerorin…of course even after ten years of captivity I'm sure there is no way you could possibly forget such a sensation. In any case, as soon as I registered the fact she had drawn blood my body was suddenly on high alert. It's one thing for a hunter to be fed on by a normal vampire…but to be bitten by a Pureblood…ah, forgive me. The less I say about that the better, I suppose. Still, although my motivation was to protect myself, as at this time I was still convinced she would try to feed from me, I was also in quite a state due to the injury she had inflicted upon me. My head felt about as heavy as lead, and as if my ears were stuffed with cotton as I desperately attempted to focus my eyes and my mind. I remember how startled I suddenly felt when the cloud that seemed to be obscuring my vision cleared and I realized that the Pureblood in front of me was standing with one hand placed firmly on her hip, while the other was pointed directly at me. Looking back it's such a comical image! A woman of her small size having practically knocked out a hunter with a sword, only to give him a lecture as if he was a naughty child! I will always remember the purposeful expression on her face at that moment when she was about to speak.
" !" Those were her precise words, another element that makes the scene seem even more comical now…I suppose at the time though she may have recognized me…in fact I'm sure she did…she clearly had no idea what my name was…I'm not sure how she could've addressed me otherwise…still…I remember at the time feeling as if I should be offended…it was a little patronizing the way she spoke to me…however the reality was…and it's not the kind of thing a hunter will often admit…but the more I saw of this woman, Pureblood vampire or not, the more fascinated I became. Even as she took a few steps closer, her pin-heeled shoes clacking loudly against the stones below her, I couldn't avert my gaze from this curious Pureblood. Its humorous now, for how was I to know this would be the beginning of her tirade?
"You think you're pretty tough huh?" As she said these words I understood perfectly that under any ordinary circumstances I would have retrieved my sword by now and would be defending myself…however, despite the determined look that caused her scarlet eyes to sparkle, for some reason, and to this day I still struggle to explain it, but for whatever reason I didn't feel threatened by her in the way a vampire hunter should feel threatened by a Pureblood vampire looming over them. I stared almost indifferently at her, perhaps with a raised eyebrow to indicate my sheer confusion…it was so long ago I can't be sure which…still she continued on, and I'm sure during the course of her speech my expression must have become more and more humorous.
"With your talk about wiping us out! Would you stop saying that every vampire is a virus?! Or evil?! I don't want to hear it! You've got to be…stupid!" It was a highly amusing argument really…the way she spoke to me as if she was scolding a child for asking for something expensive or impossible, and throwing a tantrum to get it…I was perplexed as she wagged her finger at me, particularly on the word 'stupid' when I had half expected her to tap my nose with her finger as if scolding a dog. At the time I had considered nipping he hand had she attempted to do so…even so…in my state I'm not sure I could've even brought myself to do that! As she stood before me at this point she retracted her outstretched arm, placing it on her other hip, still wearing the same look of determination. I felt myself frown as she uttered the words hunters are always so stubborn…softly to herself, for it struck me even back then that while she was accusing me of condemning all vampires…she had just mad a sweeping statement about hunters as a whole…even if only as a side comment. She then took a deep breath before puffing out her cheeks as if to pout before saying,
"And how could you attack a cute girl like me?" Now, although I couldn't deny she was a beauty to behold…I found it hard to believe she was referring to herself as a 'girl'. Her body and face struck me as resembling that of a woman in her early or mid-twenties…a woman of that age, while young, is still a woman and not a girl…as well as that being a Pureblood, she was of course much, much older than she appeared anyway. Still, as she said this it suddenly dawned on me where I had heard about this woman before…and I'm sure my expression must have completely changed as it dawned on me that it was Juri Kuran. Understand Zero that even back then the Kuran family were well know, just as they are now…although I had recognized her previously I was shocked at the fact it hadn't occurred to me sooner that she was a Kuran. I can only think my mind had been so clouded with thoughts of self-loathing that I hadn't really registered it until this moment…plus receiving a head injury hadn't helped my memory. With this thought I also recalled what the Pureblood Isaya, with whom I had an interesting relationship at the time, had told me about Juri Kuran. His description of her had held little interest for me at that time…however coming face to face with the Pureblood made me realize what an impression she made, and I think had you met her Zero, even you would be a little thrown…she really was the most remarkable person in the way she touched everyone she met in one way or another…forgive me I deviated from the story again…of course at the time I wouldn't have chosen such a fond way to speak of her…I replied with
"You're far too old to call yourself a girl." Something I believe I said with a look of disgust upon my face. Still, before either I had a chance to note he reaction, and even before she had a chance to retort, I felt warm breath causing the hairs on my nape to stand on end…yet again I had been caught off guard, a prospect which disturbed me considering I was renowned as the best vampire hunter around at that time. Looking back, perhaps it was due to the injury I had sustained moments ago that I had not sensed that another Pureblood was looming ominously behind me…or perhaps it was her intoxicating scent that had overwhelmed my senses…I cannot say for sure. In any case, I felt the blood drain from my face, and I'm sure my expression fell to one of sheer dismay along with it. A heavy feeling weighed my stomach down as if I had swallowed a block of iron. It felt as if a dark cloud had descended down on me from above, settling on me like a cold sheet that clung to me in an almost suffocating manor. I could practically feel the purebloods elongated fangs brushing against the pallid skin of my neck…well, at the time this was how I felt. It seemed to me that I had finally met my demise…it had been a long time coming but I was now injured, unarmed, and cornered by a pair of Purebloods…and not just any Purebloods either but the Kurans, the Pureblood line that had once been at the peak of the vampiric social ladder and lead those 'beasts in human form' as their monarchy. With that in mind you can see why I suddenly felt the devastating pang of defeat rising within my body and threatening to eat away at any hope that still resided within me. I felt the monster behind me open its mouth, as a soft, warm breath of air tickled the erected hairs that covered my neck as if to protect me from what I was certain was my fate. I gritted my teeth; sure they would crack if my jaw were to press down any harder.
"Is my wife troubling you?" Can you believe those were the first words the Pureblood uttered to me?! The creature's deep voice held no hint of fury or resentment, and in fact sounded almost cheerful, sincere even. Had I known what direction the predicament I was in was going to take, I may have allowed my tense muscles to relax, and my frenzied thoughts to dissipate…of course the Pureblood didn't actually devour me then and there, or else I would either be dead or…well of course you understand the other outcomes that are the result of a Pureblood vampire's bite. At that moment I was completely puzzled…nothing could have prepared me for the scene that was to unfold before me in the coming moments. My senses were aware of the Pureblood moving away from me, its scent and presence, although still clearly detectable, lessened ever so slightly as it arose from its crouching position behind me to greet its partner, the beautiful woman standing before me. I noted the unexpected change in Juri's mood at the arrival of her accomplice…the slight look of surprise lingered on her face for less than a moment as her rosy lips spread into a smile. An endearing pink tint pooled her porcelain cheeks at the sight of this man, and she was quick to greet him.
"Haruka!" She called out, the lilt to her voice becoming more noticeable as her voice rose an octave in a way that no only revealed the Pureblood's name to me, but also exposed Juri's feelings for this man. I tore my eyes away from the woman, sickened by her blatant affection for the man, her husband. My stomach seemed to churn a little, and in a bid to expel the sinking feeling that had begun to gnaw at my stomach, I turned my head slowly, despite the throbbing pain that still resonated through my skull, to stare at the creature behind me.
"Juri!" He replied in an equally jubilant fashion as his deep crimson eyes fell upon his wife. My body was startled by a sudden breeze, accompanied by the now familiar and intoxicatingly sweet scent of Juri Kuran, which rippled past me as she skipped jovially towards her spouse. I felt my aching jaw clench once more as her tantalizing scent seemed to somewhat ease the pain my body was in, and I felt physically nauseous as my senses longed to cling to the aroma of crushed roses that surrounded the woman. I felt my brow furrow deeply as the woman flung her arms around the neck of the male Pureblood, Haruka, the force with which she threw herself at him literally knocking him off balance a little, causing them both to emit a short chuckle as the grounded themselves once more.
"Aww, where were you...?" Juri questioned in a soft and feminine cadence as she nuzzled her head against Haruka's neck. My eyes fell upon one of her hands clutching tightly to the man's pale shirt, buttoned neatly as one might expect of a Pureblood. The way she clung to Haruka….at that moment seemed to me like sign….as if I had been at sea during a perilous storm that was about to reach a climax, clinging to the side of the ship, staring at the murky water rolling and crashing around me…considering conceding defeat and throwing myself overboard…the simple and seemingly insignificant sight of Juri's affection for her husband, the sheer need that emanated from her in needs purest form…was to me like the first rays of sunlight permeating the gray and desolate clouds above me…like finally catching the first glimpse of blue sky or green land up ahead…it is to say that for me meeting Juri and Haruka was a turning point. The pain that had plagued me endlessly since I had learned what it meant to be 'a vampire without fangs'….and the stabbing pain I had felt momentarily upon learning that Haruka was Juri's husband…seemed to ease. The bombardment of thoughts in my mind seemed to recede…and in a world that had seemed black and desolate I began to see shades of pink invading my senses…
That, Zero, was love at first sight. I truly believe that in my many years of life, many more than any human would have experienced…for the first time I had personally experienced the phenomenon I had marginalized as mere fantasy, love at first sight. To think that had I lived the lifespan of a human I may never have reached this point that changed my life forever…met this woman who to me was something to behold…that isn't to say that the change I undertook literally happened overnight…in fact that is truly only the beginning of my encounter with the Pureblood deity, Juri Kuran. What's with that puzzled look Zero? Is it that you can't believe a ruthless hunter such as myself could ever undergo such a transformation simply because of one 'chance' encounter? Oh…I see….my apologies…I'd forgotten I once told you this story once before…many years ago when you and your sibling were playing in the snow…Still, I got the impression that back then you were barely even paying attention, so perhaps it was helpful of me to refresh your memory hmm? Especially since this encounter is so vital to the rest of my story…Please bear with me just a little longer okay? Perhaps we should take a short break before continuing on to the next part of my tale? Or would you prefer to continue?