AN: All right, it's been awhile, but here it is, chapter nine of Rosario's and Phantasms I hope you enjoy!
Oh, and do tell me if I make any mistakes, particularly for the characters use of honorifics and Japanese titles like 'imouto' I'll confess I don't know if I've got them using the correct ones.
In any case, if someone were to ask me what I enjoyed most about this chapter, I would answer Moka all the way! I'm really proud of the way I portrayed her this time. Oh, and speaking of Moka, her relationship with Kokoa will be slightly different now.
And a spoiler for the next few chapters: She's got a rainbow for wings and likes fake cakes!
In a dark room, far from prying eyes, was a group of people situated around a circular table. Their faces only lightly illuminated from the dim light of the lamp hanging above their heads.
"So . . what have we figured out so far?"
One figure spread a stack of papers around the table. The others looked at them with interest.
"From what we've gathered, it seems the members of our new Committee," he said the word venomously, "are not from the academy."
"There are no records of them from the teachers in regards to tests or health inspections, and when questioned, the students do not recall ever seeing them around the school."
"What exactly does this tell us?"
"It would seem that these people have been hand picked by the headmaster as members for the Committee. It's the only explanation for how eight random transfers would become Committee members."
One of the members growled, and a deep moaning sound was followed by something made of wood breaking. "So what? Does this mean that the headmaster thinks that we should just follow these guys or whatever, just because he chose them?"
"I think so, it's the most obvious explanation . . ."
"Bullshit it is! You can't expect me to take someone like that blue-haired moron seriously do you!?"
Just as he finished his sentence, the sound of cracking ice filled the air, and the previous speaker shouted in surprise.
A flat voice spoke out. "I refuse to let you talk about her like that."
"Jin?! what the hell!?"
Ah, I forgot to mention, it seems Aki-san has . . . well, fallen in love with the blue-haired Committee member . . ."
". . . You're joking right?"
When no one answered him, he screamed in frustration and glared at his friend. "Dude, that's just . . . Seriously man what the hell?"
"Do not worry, I will still preform my duties . . . however, I will avoid harming her . . .
The group was silent. In their minds, they all reconsidered their plans and options. They all wished dearly for the destruction of the Committee, to be free from their yoke, but their new faculty had not committed any grave faults so far in the eyes of the general populace, in fact, from the testimonies of a group of three friends, they were doing their job properly. What's more, due to the fact that they had come here from seemingly nowhere, their record was effectively clean.
It seemed the frequently absent Headmaster was more cunning than many would give him credit for. As it was, all their hands were tied. And to make things worse, one of their most important and key members has fallen for one of them.
Jin Aki was by no means the smartest of the group, in fact he preferred letting others do the thinking, but he was undoubtedly their strongest member - and he was in love with Toki Cirno.
The group collectively groaned. This was going to be difficult.
Moka stared at Koishi, her mouth agape. She stared and stared, earnestly hoping she was joking. Koishi's unchanging smile and Kokoa's serious look crushed that hope quickly.
Tsukune's group shuffled, taking up the spaces at his and Moka's side. They all had a guarded air about them, as if waiting from a preemptive strike from the Committee's side. Even Tsukune was wary for anything that might happen.
Suika grinned at the challenge, while Meiling just look confused.
"B-but why?" asked Tsukune. There must be some sort of mistake . . .
Koishi closed her eyes and put her finger to her lips, assuming a contemplative look. With a shake of her head, she said "I dunno, a whim I guess?"
Moka was more confused than ever.
"A whim?!" cried out Kurumu. That was just insane!
"Well, more of an hunch I guess, or maybe intuition?" she said. "Oh! I know a certain shrine maiden that solves all her problems with just that! Do you think she's rubbed-off on me?"
"T-that . . . !" Moka had no idea what to say anymore. This made no sense at all! So far Koishi had presented herself as a logical and fair person. Why was she asking something like this from her now?
Moka's eyes shot towards Kokoa. The younger vampire had a determined look on her face. This was different from the usual Kokoa, Moka realized. This was not the half-crazed, desperate yet cheerful look she usually had when she went after her, usually with something spiked and heavy. This was something entirely different.
This Kokoa seemed so much more focused - no, more than that, she looked resolved.
"I think it's time you stopped running right?" said Koishi.
Moka's eyes widened slightly. She quickly thought it over and realized what this was; a chance to end all of it. All of Moka's running, all of Kokoa's chasing. A chance for this to finally resolve things between them.
Koishi was right in a sense. Moka had been avoiding her all this time, and no matter what she did, Kokoa always found her. Youkai Academy was probably last and best place for her to continue living a somewhat normal life. Asides from here, she had nowhere else to go.
"So, what do you say?" said Suika, speaking for the first time.
The area was silent. The Committee members waited for an answer patiently, while Tsukune's group looked at the silent Moka with worry.
Finally, she nodded her head. Despite the uncertainty in her eyes, there was determination of her own to match the one in her younger sisters eyes.
"Very good!" a smiling Koishi said with a clap of her hands. "Now that that's decided, if you will follow me . . ."
Koishi gestured towards the side of the Committee building, even as Suika began walking ahead of them. Kokoa stared at Moka one final time before following after the tiny girl.
Tsukune had a worried expression on his face, an expression mirrored by the rest of the group. "Moka-san, are you sure about this . . . ?"
She shook her head in response. "N-not really but . . . I think it's time I stopped avoiding my sister and faced her head-on."
"But you'll be fighting your own sister," said Yukari. The little witches' eyes flitted back-and-forth between Moka and the direction Kokoa walked off to.
"Which is why I'm not sure. I really don't want to fight her," Moka replied. She disliked fighting in the first place, because her outer self was meant to suppress her Inner Vampiric traits, their attitudes were completely different, resulting in the sweet pacifistic girl we see most of the time.
"I'm sensing a 'but' there," said Kurumu.
". . . but Komeiji-san is right, I can't avoid her forever," she said. "I don't want to fight her, but I have every reason to. Especially if it means that she'll stop chasing after me."
Koishi, who had begun walking towards the zone as well. "Hey, you guys! You coming or what?"
Moka nodded. With a reassuring look at Tsukune, she walked off in Koishi's direction. The group stared in wary silence, before following after the pink haired vampire.
Ahead of Tsukune's group, Suika and Koishi walked side by side. The green haired once-satori (because she couldn't be classified as a satori, not anymore anyway), ahead of the pair was Kokoa, who seemed both nervous and excited.
"Ya know, ya could have told me ye were goin' ta to this. It's kinda embarrassin', since I told her ye were goin' to do this properly," said a red faced, and not in the'I'm embarrassed' kind of red, but more of the 'I'm hammered' kind of red, Suika. Koishi closed her eyes and smiled as she 'hmmmmmed~'.
"Well, from my perspective, I think I am doing this properly," she said. "Well, that, and in a way, I see myself in her."
Suika stared at Kokoa, who was still walking ahead of them. "I don't see the resemblance."
Koishi shook her head. "It's her love for her sister. I'm sure you already know Suika-san, about why I'm like this."
As she said that, she patted her third-eye, which had silently wormed itself into reality, and smiled sadly. Suika nodded. Of course she knew. Anyone who knew Satori, hell, anyone who knew Yuugi would know about Koishi, and how she became what she was now. It was a strange story, not uncommon in it's content, but unique in that its character happened to be a Satori. It was a story about a youkai who understood hearts, and ultimately feared herself for it. She sealed her heart, so she wouldn't be hated, but in the end, there was no point. She had lost the ability to feel, let alone care if she was hated or not. Yes, she flitted about with a smile on her face
It took the events in the Underground to start reopening her heart. And it took further years for her start opening up to people again. In fact, until she was brought with by Byakuren, her contact with humans, or perhaps even people in general, was limited to Reimu and Marisa.
But throughout that, the one thing that had stayed was a regret. Koishi closed her heart because she was afraid of ending up hated like her sister, however, she always hated herself for the words she said to her sister the day she closed her third eye.
She was obviously in the wrong, Koishi took the cowards way out, because she was too weak to accept her powers and her very self for what they were. In her self-denial, she'd denied her sister as well. It was at that one moment of self-loathing that she lashed out on her sister.
I hate you!
Koishi closed her eyes, trying to remember why she had been so mad at the first place. Unsurprisingly, she could not.
"Kokoa-san . . . loves her sister, she most definitely does. But, the way Akashiya-san is now clashes so much with the perfect sister that she wants - no - needs would be the better word, that she can't help but hate her. She misses her rightful sister to the point of despising the current Moka," said Koishi. "In a way, she isn't wrong. Based on the profiles I had read on her, the Akashiya-san we see now could be nothing more than a fake, but in the end they are effectively still one person."
Suika sighed. "We're goin' through all this crap just ta help a couple o' sisters make-up?"
"Meh, I've heard worse reasons ta have people beat ta snot outta each other." Suika said with a shrug.
" . . . like boredom?"
The smirk on Suika's face in response drew a laugh from Koishi.
The entire group was in front of the clearing now. Koishi and her friends stood opposite to Tsukune and his harem. Standing separate from their friends in the center of the grassy clearing were the two sisters. Both sported the same look of resolve and the same nervousness lying underneath it.
Koishi spoke up. "Well . . . before we begin . . . um, Aono-san, I think it's high time we let Kokoa talk to her sister, yes?" Moka, the clever girl, understood immediately, or perhaps it would be more accurate to say she'd understood long before they had arrived here. Tsukune however, was confused.
"Her real sister?" he asked.
"She means Inner Moka, Tsukune-kun," explained the her outer persona. "And I agree with her, could you please remove my Rosario?"
Tsukune gulped, unsure if that was the right choice. Still, he'd trusted both Moka's, no matter how terrifying the Inner Moka was, up until this point. He reached out and tugged on the Rosario, which came off easily.
Tsukune expected the surge of power that came after, but it still, and probably always would, awed him. A supernatural wind gathered around the innocent pink haired girl, completely enveloping her in its embrace. Her hair turned silver, and her eyes were now blood red. Her stance and poise was more regal and dignified, exactly as one would expect from a highborn vampire.
Suika whistled. "Hooh? For a neophyte, she's got pretty potent Yoki there." If she had to guess, she'd say it was similar to Remillia's. It wasn't quite there yet, it was till leagues bellow the Scarlet Devils true power, but Suika was sure that even without proper guidance, Moka would reach Remillia's level in no more than two or three centuries. Such was the power the nobility of her bloodline had given her.
The transformation ended quickly, and finally, there stood Inner Moka.
She didn't move at all, her eyes were firmly fixed on her younger sister, who stared back at her. Kokoa had a stunned look on her face, it was the kind reserved for people who'd been wanting something all their life, but never actually thought they would achieve it. Tears threatened to spill from her eyes as she spoke in a choked voice.
"O-Onee-sama . . . !" the happiness in her face made her positively glow, and it was at this moment that Tsukune, Suika, and everyone else who'd doubted Kokoa's true intentions realize that Kokoa really, really, missed her older sister.
Inner Moka smiled serenely, more than Tsukune had ever seen at this point. "Well Kokoa, are you coming or what?"
Moka stood, her side facing Kokoa in a combative stance, and her arm raised and her eyes looking expectant.
Kokoa looked like she wanted to hug her with all her might right then.
Rubbing her eyes, which threatened to tear up at any moment, Kokoa nodded with a smile, her bat familiar changing into her favorite weapon of choice, a spiked club. Gripping it, she cried out to her older sister, "Here I come!"
Moka answered her with a wordless charge of her own.
Kokoa swung the bat sideways, with enough force to smash through several meters of concrete. In response, Moka jumped above it, her leg raised high. The younger vampires eyes widened as the kick came down just as she freed one hand from her weapon to defend herself. It did little good, seeing as the force from the kick still sent her, her bat, and the ground she crashed through, flying. Her arm had also begun to numb from just that one attack.
The orange haired vampire smiled despite the pain on her arm. This was the Onee-sama she remembered!
"Come now Kokoa, is that all the strength you've gained after all these years? Surely you can do better than that?" Moka taunted.
Yup, exactly as she'd remembered alright.
"Of course I can do more than this!"
With a silent command, her bat shifted into a halberd this time. Dragging the large thing, Kokoa once more ran towards Moka with a cry.
Moka dodged the incoming swing with almost bored ease, but was surprised to find both her legs chained, causing her to to trip. "Wha-?"
Looking at Kokoa, with mild surprise, she saw her halberd had remained the same at the top, but at the very bottom, it had shifted into the chain that had bound her. Moka realized immediately what had happened. She'd used the swing of her weapon as a distraction, so she would not notice when the other end transformed into a chain to seal her movements.
"My turn!" cried Kokoa, shifting her halberd into a chained-sickle. She swung at her sister, fully intent on cutting her. Moka, on the ground, placed her hands on the earth and swung her whole body up, using the very chains that bound her to block the incoming attack. Kokoa 'tsked' in annoyance, but yanked the chain hard, jetting her sister feet first towards her.
"Your mine!" she said, cocking a fist back. However, just as she had thrown the punch, Moka's eyes met Kokoa's own, and the younger vampire knew she was in trouble. Curving her body at an almost impossible angle, Moka used her still bound feet to deflect her punch. Once her hands met the ground again, she put all her supernatural strength into a push that sent her hurtling, feet first once more, towards Kokoa's face.
Kokoa barely dodged Moka's attack, while removing the chains that were now being used against her, letting the silver haired vampire fly above her, which she realized was a huge mistake.
Before Kokoa could turn to guard herself, Moka had spun mid-air, using her now free legs to kick the side of Kokoa's face. Funnily enough, despite the seriousness of the situation, all Tsukune could think about was how Inner Moka had not declared her staple 'know your place' even once.
The younger vampire flew far, before landing into a tree with a loud crunch.
"And with that, I think this is over." Koishi announced silently as Moka approached the slumped Kokoa. The fight had lasted no more than three minutes.
Moka stopped just in front of her. "Well, imouto?"
The orange haired vampires eyes were closed, but she smiling. "Yeah, you really are my Onee-sama after all . . ." she said, her eyes still closed.
"That pinked haired idiot is also your Onee-sama."
"Un, I still don't like it though."
Moka laughed. "Good. It's what I expect of you. Still, do not trouble her so much. I am still here after all, and any trouble you make for her will inevitably follow me, understand, my imouto?"
"Yes, Onee-sama," Kokoa responded with a resigned tone. Moka smirked and said, "Don't fret imouto, for now, just put up with it and throw yourself into your training. Heaven knows you'll need it if you don't want to keep losing to me so badly."
"Fine! But you'd better be prepared Onee-sama, because when you come back, I'll beat you then! You'll see!"
Moka smirk grew. "I look forward to it imouto."
And with that, she turned and began walking towards Tsukune, and ultimately, her Rosario.
Moka turned around, her brow raised, right before she had to surpress the urge to yelp as her younger sister hugged her with enough force to cause her to stumble.
"I missed you . . ."
Her face frozen in surprise, the older vampires face melted into a warm smile as she looked at her younger sibling. Tsukune was surprised to see how well it suited the normally cold Inner Moka.
"I missed you as well," she said, patting her head, much to the surprised of those who knew her. "But I can't remain here forever, you know that."
Kokoa dislodged, though she seemed hesitant to do so, and nodded. Moka continued smiling and nodded back in approval.
"Tsukune, if you please, my Rosario."
Jogging over to the two, Tsukune handed over the Rosario to Moka. Though she didn't bother saying thanks, she did nod in an approving way. "Take care of Kokoa, Tsukune, and make sure she doesn't get into too much trouble."
"Sure," he said. Kokoa, though indignant that she was being babied with a protector, especially one as wimpy looking as Tsukune, nonetheless stayed silent.
Moka clicked the Rosario back into place, and with a gust of wind, she was back to her Outer Persona. Taking a deep breath, she walked towards Kokoa.
"I-I hope we can get along, Kokoa-chan!" she said, extending her hand.
Kokoa looked at the hand like she wanted to bite it, before grabbing it while looking away pointedly. "Fine, but I'm still not accepting you are my Onee-sama."
"Ahahaha, well, I suspected as much so . . . how about we be friends instead?"
"Hmph, what a stupid idea," she said. "but . . . I'll agree to it, if only to less inconvenience Onee-sama, got that?"
Moka smiled, glad that she'd found a compromise. "Of course!"
The rest of the group sighed in relief, glad that this conflict was over, and it had come out for the best.
Suika looked at the two and grinned. "So . . . mission accomplished?"
"Mission accomplished," Koishi replied.
The two remained silent for awhile. Curious, Suika's eyes looked towards the forest.
"Am ah right ta think that ya didn' deal with those spies on purpose?"
. . .
"Is it those Anti-Committee guys you warned me about?"
Koishi nodded once more. Suika 'hmmed', her mind in deep thought.
"This fight . . . it was bait as well wasn't it?"
When Koishi simply smiled, Suika had to grin back.