A/N I don't own Vampire Knight nor do I make any profit from it
Chapter 2 - The First Discovery
Later that night, during dinner, Airi silently nibbled at her food. Tsukasa stood next to her mistress, silently awaiting her orders from her mistress. Her great uncle, Lord Keichi Kurenai, sat at the head of the table and silently gazed at his young niece, who sat opposite him.
"I met Lord Kaname today," Keichi said, his deep voice resonating throughout the room. Airi looked up and cocked her head the side, her silvery curls cascading down over her shoulder, "He informed me of his decision to invite you to become a student of Cross Academy."
"Oh," Airi said, "Well, he told me that he was giving me some time to think about it."
"You will be attending tomorrow and travelling tonight," Keichi said, "I don't see why you need to think about it."
"But I have done well being homeschooled," Airi replied, "I don't see the need to be sent to boarding school."
"You will not argue with me, girl," Keichi said abruptly, "You are going and that is final."
Airi flinched at his cold tone and she averted her gaze to her half eaten food, "You can finally present yourself to your peers and make yourself known. As you know, your existence has been kept secret. Only the select few, such as Kaname Kuran, know that you exist."
"I suppose so," Airi said, "But I'm not used to being in a class room or even wearing a uniform is going to be a struggle."
"You'll get used to it," Keichi said as he dabbed his mouth with a napkin. Airi placed her chopsticks down on the table and fidgeted with the fabric of her dark blue yukata, "What is it, Airi-sama; I see that you are fidgeting."
"Well… you see… I wanted to ask you about my mother and father," Airi said in a small voice. She nearly panicked when she said, "I don't wish to be rude… I just need to know."
"We have had this conversation before," Keichi said with a growl, "Your parents are dead and there is nothing you need to know about them."
"Is that why you lock the family records away from me," Airi asked and Keichi nodded without looking up at her. Airi continued to stare at him, her wide hetrochromic eyes boring holes into him. Eventually, Keichi stood up.
"You will find your Night Class Uniform in your chambers," he said coolly, "Please get ready to leave in an hour."
Airi's mouth gaped as she blinked at her uncle, "Are you serious?"
"Yes, Airi-sama," Keichi said as he walked towards the door, "I certainly am," Keichi walked away. Airi looked up at Tsukasa, who appeared to be as troubled as she was.
"Tsukasa, what am I going to do," Airi asked in a frantic whisper, "This is not what I was planning to do with my time."
"Perhaps you should see this as an opportunity to be able to search for your parentage. After all, Cross Academy was once the Hunter Headquarters until it was relocated. There may even be some old records. You might even be able to search the Senate, madam."
"I know," Airi said with a dejected sigh, "Well, I suppose that I should ready myself for a new experience."
"It will be the making of you, Airi-sama," Tsukasa said with a kind smile. Airi stood up and gazed at her maid.
"Will you be coming with me," she asked with a small, expectant smile, "I don't think that I could function without you."
"I haven't been invited, my lady, and it's by invitation only," Tsukasa said, "Besides, it will make you more self sufficient."
"It's not just that though," Airi said sadly, "You are also my friend and I would miss you terribly."
"Perhaps I can apply but since I am a member of staff, I cannot just leave to attend school," Tsukasa said as she guided the young pureblood to her room. Tsukasa picked up the neatly folded uniform which lay on the table in Airi's room and handed it to her, "Please try it on for size, Airi-sama."
Airi hesitated but nodded slightly and took the crisp white uniform from her loyal maid, "Thank you."
She walked behind a screen and Tsukasa untied her obi sash before stepping away and letting Airi dress by herself. After another few moments, Airi stepped out from behind the screen and she saw Tsukasa's eyebrows rise, "What do you think, Tsukasa?"
"It's very short…" Tsukasa said, "At least you have long black stockings on," Tsukasa took Airi by the hand and guided her in front of the full length mirror. Airi's hand widened when she saw her reflection staring back at her. The short, white and pleated skirt reached to her mid thighs and her black stockings just came above the knee. Her blazer had a very intricate black detail and there was a red silk ribbon which was tied in a bow to complete the look. Under the blazer, she wore a silk black shirt and around her neck was a silver pendant with the Cross Academy emblem hanging from it. The buttons were made of pure silver and were in the shape of roses.
"I like it," Airi said with a small smile, admiring her reflection, "It's something different."
"Well, if you like it, it is all right then," Tsukasa said, "Your boots have been shined and are by the front door."
"I see, Tsukasa, thank you," Airi said before gazing back at her reflection, "I wonder how I will get on with the other students and how they will react to having another pureblood in their midst."
"They will treat you how they treat every other pureblood: with reverence and respect," Tsukasa said with a broad smile, "You might even make friends and allies."
"I suppose so," Airi said as she sighed softly, "Well, have you packed my suitcase?"
"Yes, Airi-sama," Tsukasa said as she unzipped the lid and opened it to reveal all of Airi's essentials, a spare uniform, pyjamas and lots of dresses for her free time, "I haven't packed any of your yukatas but I have packed one formal kimono for special days. The reason I haven't packed your yukatas is because you always need me to help you do your obi. Instead, I have packed you some dresses I bought for you a while ago," she held up a black silk dress with blue rose and lace detail with a hair band of the same design, "It's called a Lolita dress. It's all the latest fashion in the big cities and I think it would go excellently with your beautiful white hair."
"It is a beautiful dress, Tsukasa, thank you," Airi said as she caressed the silky fabric. Tsukasa folded it back up and placed it back in the suitcase. Airi turned to gaze at her room, the traditionally Japanese bedroom with tatami mats, a large futon laid out for her to sleep on and a series of low rise cabinets and a couple of desks (one being her dresser with a mirror) for her to kneel at with a cushion to make her comfortable. There was a sliding door that led out onto a patio and there was an outside bathtub which looked out onto her own Japanese garden. This was all kept private by a tall wall.
"I'm going to miss all of this," Airi said with a sigh, "I going to miss you most of all."
"Don't worry, Airi-sama," Tsukasa said as she fastened the suitcase closed, "You will make so many new friends, you will not think of me."
"I doubt it," Airi said as she turned to the mirror again and admired her reflection, "I can't even mingle with the human guests at the soirees my uncle holds."
"I'm sure that because you classmates are also vampires, you will feel more at ease," Tsukasa said with a smile, "Like you are with me."
"I suppose you're right," Airi said as Tsukasa wrapped a black, hooded, velvet cape around her shoulders and buttoned the one and only gold button at the top. Airi put her hands through the arm holes pulled her hip length hair from out of the cape.
"Well, let's go," Tsukasa said and took hold of Airi's suitcase. Airi looked back at her maid before nodding.
"Can I just have a moment alone? I will join you down there in a few moments," Airi said as she gave her maid a small smile. Tsukasa heaved a heavy sigh before nodding, "Thank you, Tsukasa."
"I will see you down there, Airi-sama," Tsukasa said as she walked away from her mistress's room. Airi gazed around her large bedroom and at the intricately painted birds and butterflies all over the room. As she walked further into the room, she slowly turned around on the spot to take in the memory of her room.
However, as she did so, Airi felt the tatami mat underneath her feet shift a little. Looking down, she moved it again and was sure that it was the mat. She jumped once on it and felt it was hollow, compared to the floor boards. She knelt down and felt around the edges, eventually pulling it away from the floor to reveal a trap door. Airi cocked her head to the side and she blinked with surprise, "A trap door? Here in my room? This is odd."
Airi hesitated as she pulled on the handle. She looked up towards the door to see if anyone was there and then looked down at what lay before her. There was dark tunnel and there was a flight of stone steps leading from the trap door. There was a slight scent of blood and it was a little overwhelming for the young pureblood. Looking back up at the door, she stood up and stepped down into the trap door, hesitating before walking down the steps.
Eventually, she touched down onto the ground and she stared down a long, dark corridor. Looking up at the entrance to the tunnel, she gulped before she made her way down the tunnel. The smell of blood steadily increased as she walked. Placing her hands on the wall as she walked, guiding her steps through the gloomy darkness.
Soon, she felt a small, cool breeze blowing against her face and dim light seemed to break through the seemingly impenetrable darkness. Eventually, the light became brighter as she came upon a room which had bars across in a vertical fashion. The bars were made out of, what appeared to be, anti vampire metal. She peered inside and saw a dusty old room. The floor was covered with rotting tatami mats and the possessions were covered by a thick covering of dust. Blood was splattered on the tatami mats and on the white washed walls. There was a round window with bamboo bars.
Airi noticed that there was a large, gaping hole in the opposite wall inside the prison and rubble and brick dust covered the area.
"Who lived here," Airi whispered. Suddenly, she heard running footsteps behind her.
"Airi-sama," she heard Tsukasa's voice call out to her. Airi blinked and gasped, "Are you down here?"
"Yes, I am, Tsukasa," Airi answered and Tsukasa's lithe figure loomed out of the darkness, "What is this place, Tsukasa?"
"You're not supposed to be down here," Tsukasa said sternly.
"Why not," Airi demanded, "Why was it hidden under one of the tatami mats in my bedroom? Why is everyone keeping secrets from me?"
"This is a secret which is kept for your own good," Tsukasa said as she grabbed Airi's wrist before she could protest. She dragged the confused princess back down the corridor and back up the stairs. As they came back up, Airi tore her wrist from Tsukasa grip and scowled at her.
"Tell me what that was!"
"I cannot," Tsukasa said coldly, kicking the trap door shut and moving the tatami mat over it again, "Besides, I don't know much about. All I know that I someone was kept there a long time ago… a member of the Hiou family was kept there before they escaped. I don't know much more than that," Tsukasa grabbed Airi's hand again and led her towards the front entrance of the manor, "Please put these on, Airi-sama," she said as she handed the shiny, dark brown boots. Airi nodded silently and stepped into the boots, lacing them up with her nimble fingers, "Your uncle is waiting in the car."
"Thank you, Tsukasa," Airi said without looking up at her. Tsukasa wrapped her arms around her suddenly and kissed her cheek.
"Farewell, Airi-sama, and I hope that you have safe journey and a safe year at school," she whispered. Airi returned the embrace and hugged her servant back.
"Good bye," she said as she shed a tear of grief. She tore herself away and walked out through the door. Tsukasa sniffed as she regretted the cold which was left by her petite mistress. She walked towards the door and watched Airi climb into the car with her uncle. She waved and Airi waved back before closing the door.
"Good bye, my sweet princess," Tsukasa said with a tear in her eye.
As Airi sat silently in the car, her uncle stared at her for a long time before speaking, "When you attend the Night Class, you will conduct yourself with the grace and air befitting the princess of the pureblooded Hiou family. Is that understood, Airi-sama?"
"I understand, Uncle," Airi replied, "It is my duty to do so."
"Indeed," Keichi said stiffly. Airi merely stared at the back of the head of the chauffeur driving in front, "You are not there to make friends; you are there to learn. Forget the rubbish that stupid girl Tsukasa fed you. You are there to help Kaname-sama run the Night Class."
"I understand, Uncle," Airi replied without looking at him.
Keichi's hard expression softened slightly grasped his great-niece's hand with his own cold one, making her look up at him, "I hope you get something from this, Airi-sama, it is all for your own good. Eventually, you will truly take over the Hiou family and you will need to be an educated lady so that you can rule effectively."
"Indeed, Uncle," Airi answered with a small smile. Keichi removed his hand and Airi played with the ends of her hair, "I think it will be an auspicious year and I hope that I do not dishonour the Hiou family."
Keichi reached inside his kosode (kimono shirt) and pulled out a small box, "Here, Airi," the lack of honorific was enough to make the young pureblood look up, "This is for you."
Airi frowned and blinked before nodding and taking the box, "What is this?"
"It is a Hiou family heirloom," Keichi said with a proud smile, "It would have been passed to your mother but she died before I could give it to her."
Airi eyed her uncle before opening the box. In the box was silver ring was black diamond carved into a small rose. Speechless, she blinked and then looked up at her uncle, "Why…are you giving this to me?"
"It is yours rightfully, my dear," Keichi said in a fatherly tone. Airi stared at him. Keichi has been a constant figure in her life. You could almost say that he was a father to her. Her large, hetrochromic eyes averted themselves back to gazing at the ring and she removed it from the box. Keichi took it from her and took her hand in his, sliding the ring onto her right ring finger, "Wear it with pride, Airi-sama," he said as he kissed her hand.
"I will," Airi said stiffly.