Aono Tsuki sighed as she saw the countryside pass by. She was the only student on the big yellow school bus and found herself wondering just what the next three years were going to be like. She was wearing a green jacket, shirt, and skirt that were all part of a school uniform. She was a sixteen year old with shoulder length black hair, slightly short frame, and modest breasts. She'd been an average student in middle school who had never stood out in anything except for swimming. She'd had plenty of girlfriends and had often been referred to as 'cute.' Somehow or other though she'd never managed to attract the attention of any boy, and was certainly not bold enough to approach one on her own. Her parents had both thought that just as well and had told her she could wait for that sort of thing.
Middle school had gone by without any major incidents. She passed her courses with C's. She went shopping and hung out with friends. She went to swim club after class and went on school field trips with her classmates. She never stood out, she was always comfortably in the middle, she had her place and was accepted.
So far as Tsuki was concerned that was just fine. All she wanted was a nice normal life. She'd just assumed that things would continue like that on into High School and the college and eventually she would meet someone and get married and that would be her life.
When she had failed all three of the High School entrance tests she'd taken it had come as a huge shock. Those tests were not that hard, they were specifically designed to allow most students to pass them. Even a chronic C student like her should have passed all three with ease. Instead, to her own humiliation, it looked like she would have to spend an entire year studying until she could retake them.
Then out of nowhere her father had come home announcing she'd received a scholarship to a private High School called Youkai Academy. It was some place way out in the country that she had never heard of and that she had obviously never applied to. Yet dad a letter congratulating her on earning a full scholarship along with a dozen forms to fill out and instructions on what to bring with her and on how she would be brought to school. Also included had been a small rulebook outlining the school's policies.
They had some very odd rules.
'Students must remain on the campus grounds for the duration of the educational process. Excepting field trips or scholastic excursions overseen by a member or members of the faculty.'
'Parents, friends, and other family members may only visit the campus during the annual Cultural Festival on other designated events or if permission has been granted by the administration.'
'Appearing as a monster at any time is strictly forbidden. All students are expected to maintain the appearance and dress of proper Japanese students even in private.'
"Appearing as a monster? What does that mean?" Tsuki had asked.
"Oh it's probably just their way of saying you're not allowed to dress like a Yankee or a homeless person." Her mother had said. "Private schools are usually very strict about their dress codes."
Her father had nodded his agreement. "I think it's great that you're going to such a place especially since your scholarship includes free room and board."
"But I can't even come home for summer or winter break? I have to stay on school grounds for three whole years? Who does that?"
"You should see this as an opportunity." Her father had said. "This is obviously an elite school and you are very lucky to not only have been accepted but given a scholarship. You should count yourself as blessed."
"Blessed… right," Tsuki muttered as the scenery continued to go past.
She'd asked her father how exactly she'd even gotten into an elite school or earned a scholarship when her grades were completely average and they had never even applied to this place.
Neither of her parents could come up with a real answer to that one. They'd wound up deciding it was probably a mistake; which only meant she was really fortunate and had to take full advantage of it.
When her cousin had heard about this he'd immediately declared the whole situation to be suspicious. For once Tsuki had agreed with him. Everything was just too bizarre for words!
Her parents had been so relieved and so excited. What was she supposed to do? Refuse to go and spend a whole year doing nothing? No matter how strange the circumstance it was still better than wasting a year of her life.
So here she was, riding alone on a school bus being driven out into the middle of nowhere to attend some peculiar private school with its own set of outdated rules.
"Just wonderful," she sighed. All she'd wanted was an ordinary life. Why had things gotten so messed up?
"Did you say something?" The female bus driver asked. She was looking at her using a large overhead mirror.
Tsuki could swear her eyes were glowing.
"Ah, no, sorry bus driver-san."
The driver simply grinned and returned her full attention on the road ahead.
Not too long after they came to a tunnel. Tsuki blinked in surprise as the road appeared to vanish and they were surrounded by flickering glowing lights of green, yellow, purple, and orange. The overall effect was like driving through an aurora borealis.
In less than a minute they were out of the tunnel and outside again. Tsuki blinked at the radical change in scenery. The clear blue sky of just a minute ago was now red. Rather than a green and vibrant countryside with fields and small farms both sides of the road were surrounded by woods that could only be described as gloomy.
Is it normal for the countryside to change this much this suddenly? Tsuki wondered.
It was not long after that the bus came to a stop in front of a bench with a scarecrow beside it.
"Here we are." The bus driver announced as she opened up the door. "Please take care while stepping off the bus."
"Here?" Tsuki looked all around. There was nothing but yellow grass and twisted leafless trees. "Where's the school?"
The bus driver pointed to a path behind the bench. "Just follow the trail, the school is about two miles from here. Oh and be sure not to stray from the path." She flashed Tsuki a morbid grin. "You might get eaten."
Tsuki stared at her fearfully. "Are you being serious? What are there wolves out here?"
The bus driver chuckled. "I think you'll find there are much more dangerous things out here than mere wolves. Welcome to Youkai Academy. Take good care of yourself; it can be a very dangerous place."
The doors closed and the bus pulled away.
Tsuki found herself alone with a single oversized piece of luggage. "Why do I get the feeling I'm not going to have a normal life anymore?"
Sighing she picked up her suitcase with both hand and started down the road.
When she spotted her first group of tombstones she hurried past them as fast as she could. There were even a couple skulls!
After the fourth set she no longer had the energy to run while lugging her huge suitcase.
"What sort of people build a school near so many cemeteries?"
Though she had yet to even get her first glance at the place Tsuki was becoming more and more certain that there had to be something really wrong with Youkai Academy. The woods were dark and unwelcoming and she couldn't shake the feeling that there were eyes watching her. She'd come here expecting to be dropped off in front of a school building with a bus full of other freshmen. Why was she instead left two miles away all alone, in the middle of these creepy woods on some dirt road? Looking up into the red sky only drove home the sense that things were not as they should have been.
This was not normal!
She stopped for a minute to catch her breath. She took out her cell phone just to call her mom and get a temporary helping of the mundane. The screen though stated 'NO SIGNAL.'
"Great, just great, I can't catch a break."
That was when she heard a noise coming from behind her. A fast and steady click, click, click. She turned around just in time to see a boy on a bike burst out of the wood. He was dressed in a school uniform that was the male version of hers and had distinctive bright pink hair.
"Look out!" He shouted.
Tsuki was rooted to the spot and wasn't able to move as he plowed right into her.
The next thing Tsuki knew she was on her back staring up into the red sky.
"Ouch, that hurt." As she sat up she could feel a weight pressing down on her.
The boy who'd just run her over was lying on top of her.
With his head on her breasts.
"Hey! Get off me!" She gave him an angry shove to push him off and jumped to her feet.
The boy groaned and slowly sat up. When he finally noticed her standing there he smiled in embarrassment and nodded his head. "Ah, I'm sorry about that. I suffer from anemia and by the time I spotted you it was too late to dodge. Did I hurt you?"
"I'm fine," Tsuki told him. "What about you?"
"I'm okay." The boy slowly came to his feet. There was a slight tremble to his legs.
Tsuki noticed that he had emerald colored eyes and was seriously cute. Along with the school uniform he had a black leather choker about his neck and a silver rosario with red center piece connected to it by chain.
"I suppose I should introduce myself," he said with an embarrassed grin. "My name is Akashiya Cappuccino."
"Cappuccino? Really? Is that a nickname?"
"No, it's just my first name. Why?"
"Ah, no reason." She extended a hand to him. "My name is Aono Tsuki. I'm pleased to meet you. Even if the circumstances are a little strange."
He shook her hand and took a closer look at her.
"Oh! You have a little cut on your cheek!" Cappuccino took a handkerchief from one of his jacket pockets. "Here let me."
Despite the way he had run into her he seemed nice enough. He dabbed his cloth gently against her face; then stopped and stared.
"Is there something wrong?" Tsuki asked. "Is it a bad cut?"
"Your scent," he whispered. "It's… it's…"
Without any sort of warning his mouth was pressed to her neck and she felt sharp sudden pain.
"Ow! Ow! What are you doing? That hurts!" She tried to push him away but he wouldn't budge. As she was yelling the only sound that came from him was slurping.
At last he let go of her and she jumped back clutching at her throat.
"Wow! That was delicious! So much better than second hand." He was licking his lips and smiling at her.
"Did… did you just bite me? Did you… did you drink my blood?"
"Er, just a little bit."
"Freak! Creep! Pervert!" She yelled at the top of her lungs. She snatched up her suitcase and took off running as fast as her legs would carry her. "Stay away from me!"
"Wait! I can explain!" He called after her. "You see I'm a…"
He stopped as she was out of ear shot and still running.
"Damn it, I wonder if I'll get to see her again."
Picking up his bicycle he set off down the road.