Disclaimer: I do not own Rosario + Vampire, nor do I make any money from the writing of this story. Just don't copy from this and I won't have to hunt you down!
A/N: Since people are having a hard time reading, let me clear something up; Outer Moka was the one taken down, NOT Inner. Inner Moka was never released since her stay in the hospital regarding the aftermath of the lycan fight. Context, clues, people. They are important.
"Aono-kun? Aaaaooonoooo-kuuuun..." Miss Nekonome purred to the unresponsive boy. A disappointed frown crossed her face before she recovered and picked somebody else to answer her question.
Tsukune's ever-persistent inner demon that constantly urged him to abandon all restraint and viciously suck the life from each and every one of his classmates didn't let up once when he was awake, and today was no exception. The girls were resigned to this husk of their friend, but they would try anything and everything to help him when school was over, rules and regulations be damned. Mizore would even kidnap him if it came down to it.
Not that the rampant rumors of the new transfer were helping. The student populace wouldn't talk about anything else all period, and quite frankly, it was getting on the group's nerves.
"Will this Moburu guy hurry up and get here already?!" Kurumu spat. "If he's so damn classy, he wouldn't be skipping class on his first day!" The other two were nodding their heads in silent agreement, but their faces fell when they turned to Tsukune only to see him staring absently off into space for the umpteenth time. He hadn't even reacted when Moka had breakfast this morning (minus his stomach rumbling loudly, but that was fixed when Mizore gave him some more of her blood), which was definitely unlike him.
A collective sigh escaped them, and they sat back down unceremoniously. This had been going on for too long. They didn't know what to do with themselves without their center (except for Kurumu, she was too new), and his constant depressed aura dragged down everyone else's mood with his. Even throughout lunch, nothing new or exciting happened. No fights, no conspiratorial plot ideas being thrown around, no gossip... nothing. Even music class, their last one of the day, seemed to ascend the school's gothic theme.
Kurumu had had enough when school finally ended and there was no change. There was supposed to be only one emotionally dense person in their group, and Mizore had taken that role first. She stopped him before he could head off ahead of them, and planted her hands on her hips, determined to snap him out of it.
"Just what is your problem, Tsukune?! You've been acting like a zombie for the past two days, and it's totally creeping us out!"
"Well, I don't necessarily mind him this way," Mizore piped in. Kurumu just bopped her on the head and continued her spiel. "This isn't healthy for you, Tsukune! Your friends need you! What if another hotheaded punk tries to make trouble again? What if Moka gets hurt because you won't do anything?"
That got a response. His relaxed eyebrows knit together, his shoulders and back straightened, and the emptiness in his eyes finally vanished, emotion flooding back in for the first time, much to their relief. "I would never, ever allow someone to hurt Moka-chan," he retorted instinctively. Moka's heart fluttered at the automatic response, and Kurumu smiled victoriously. Mizore, in her own way, showed her approval by materializing by his side and leaned into his shoulder. Their Tsukune was back, and Kurumu had done the trick, for the time being at least.
"Would you be so willing to risk so much for one pathetic little girl?" a phantom voice asked, unseen by any of them. Tsukune's anger spiked and the demon's barrage resumed, but his emotion was able to deal with it and face this new affront at the same time. All of them were glancing around, looking for the source of such an arrogant prick, but no one could be found. In the space of a second, a silver streak struck out of the corner of their eyes and drove a booted foot into Tsukune's chest, sending him crashing through tombstones and trees alike. The girls rounded on him, preparing to kill him for hurting their Tsukune, but he just as easily dodged their attacks and dispatched them without so much as a struggle. His main quarry was not his girlfriends, but the boy himself. Being the honorable person he was, he made sure they went down without feeling anything at all.
Tsukune was picking himself up out of a crater surrounded by bits of stone and natural debris, rage visibly rolling off him in waves. No one just goes up to you and kicks you like that, and the perpetrator would pay for such an insult. His eyes searched the area he once occupied for the person who kicked him, but his eyes unwillingly found three unconscious forms lying in the dirt and unceremoniously tossed aside. Tsukune's fury increased one hundred-fold at such an atrocity. This was an outrage! They may cut him to pieces, they may batter his mind, and they may destroy his soul, but they would not under any circumstances injure his loved ones. Unbeknownst to him, youki was visibly broiling in the air around him, deep majestic red and intense enough to burn through the debris littering his self-made crater. Emotion was what brought forth the most powerful energies; the more powerful the energy, the more youki brought forth in response. Technically, if one's emotions had no limits, and one was provoked excessively, one could (given enough time) summon youki of such levels that not even Issa Shuzen would be able to withstand the onslaught of pure energy. Then again, that was what made reality its own glorious item; its endless and excessive boundaries.
"You'll pay for what you did to my friends, monster," he warned, not even looking past his fallen friends. His petrified gaze would allow nothing else. But the most important thing was that he hadn't recognized the voice that had foreshadowed his arrival before he put a foot into Tsukune's chest.
"Oh, I highly doubt that, my friend. Here, you're about as powerful as a newborn baby; struggling, with no idea what to do or how to go about doing it. I. Will. Take. You. Down. No question about it."
Tsukune stiffened, finally realizing that he did in fact know that voice. It was the same one from his dreams.
His eyes finally snapped to the oppressor, taking in the same demonic red eyes, silver hair so much like a vampire's and so unlike it, and the red trench coat followed by the gothic boots. His mounting fury momentarily forgotten, all he could do was stare as the menacing figure formally introduced himself.
"My name is Kobayashi Moburu, and here, today, you will fall. Are you prepared to meet your end, Tsukune Aono?" His Japanese was so cultured that Tsukune instantly knew he was royalty, but he doubted he was truly from Fukushima. His accent was older, as if from a few decades past.
Moburu didn't really give Tsukune much of a chance to respond; he was a man of action, and indecision would be the other man's downfall. A boring way to go, considering how interesting he had been in the dreamworld, but it was inconsequential, seeing as it would all end the same way. Tsukune would die, and he would do so in short order. Appearing close to Tsukune so quick he barely even saw the man move, Moburu put a fist into his gut, followed by an uppercut to the jaw, and finished by a flying roundhouse kick that put him flat on his ass. He wanted to toy with the boy, so he pulled his punches for now.
"Is that all you have in you? I sensed something much greater in you earlier, whelp!" The goading insult was rewarded with a wheezing Tsukune getting to his feet once again. He removed his blazer and was left in the school uniform's pants and plain white t-shirt (uniforms were expensive, so he tried to destroy as little of them as possible), lifting his arms in a classic defensive stance made for intercepting attacks of high speed. When Moburu moved in again, Tsukune's battled instincts took over, allowing him to finally read his opponent's movements and direct them to spots where they would be utterly useless; moving into a jab and letting it hit muscle ready for the impact, dodging another sweeping overhead kick entirely, sidestepping a punch coming in from the side, brushing aside an elbow with a forearm. The two fought ferociously, a serene calm falling over Tsukune, while Moburu finally received the pleasure of having his adversary fight back. Tsukune weaved in and out of the other man's attacks gracefully, not once slipping or giving him enough time to catch him unawares. The man was too quick himself for Tsukune to land any attacks of his own, though; it seemed as if they had reached an impasse. They were equal matches.
Moburu, however was done playing around. With a surge of power, he knocked Tsukune back, stunning him. The boy was indeed powerful, but nowhere near the level he had displayed in the dreamworld. How disappointing. Oh well, it was time to end this. Youki flaring unimpeded around him, forming a dark red flame of power large enough to swallow Tsukune's own aura whole, Moburu walked up to Tsukune, hands at his side. He wouldn't even need defenses to take the other man down when he wasn't holding back. Striking Tsukune's jaw and putting a powerful kick in his chest so quickly not even his combat senses couldn't keep track, he was knocked back down once again. Remembering how Moburu had taken down his friends, he once again got to his feet, only to receive more punishment from the now dispassionate Moburu. Down on the ground, Tsukune could only struggle as the demon stood triumphantly over him, gloating at his own apparent victory. He cocked an arm back, channeling enough youki into the punch to be visible to the naked eye. He drove the powerful strike straight into Tsukune's sternum, breaking ribs and cracking the bone itself in one blow. Blood flew out of his mouth from the recoil of the blow, the pain enormous. But he would have to deal with it if he were to avenge his friends. He put a feeble kick into Moburu's own chest to try and give himself some breathing room and managed to sit up.
Moburu only laughed. "Still able to hit back after choking on your own lungs' blood, eh? Impressive. But not enough to save your miserable life." Eyes hardening, he basically teleported to Tsukune's side once again, driving a sideways kick into his collarbone, cracking it. Tsukune's eyes went wide as more pain made itself known, temporarily blotting out coherent thought. Must... go... on...
And still the tormentor went, slamming strike after strike into Tsukune's pain-riddled body, breaking just about everything he could hit directly. Blackish blood leaked from Tsukune's mouth and nose, and in some places where the blows had been too powerful. Was this really the end? He had only been there for a week, dammit! It wasn't fair to be killed without a morsel of mercy from a man he didn't know! Moburu didn't let up, even after Tsukune's eyes had been closed from the sheer pain alone. All he could feel now was the displacement his body made after being struck repeatedly by Moburu's unrelenting blows.
Even through all the pain, the demon inside thirsting for blood wouldn't let up, tempting him, goading him, hounding him to let go and embrace freedom. And why not? Blood was a vampire's main interest. Even in their wars, the vampires only sought to obtain more blood, even if the trigger was because one had slighted another based on the very same sustenance. And what the demon promised didn't sound too bad, especially when he was getting his life pounded into the very dirt beneath him. Tsukune couldn't even tell if he was breathing properly anymore. The demon promised to fix that, too, if he only let go. Seeing as there wasn't much else he could do, Tsukune finally relented and gave the demon what it wanted; control.
Moka didn't know how she was defeated so easily, but damn did her head hurt when she finally awoke. But the sounds her ears were picking up weren't exactly encouraging. Sitting up and rubbing the back of her head where she was hit, she looked around to see that Kurumu was still on her side and out cold, but Mizore was nowhere to be seen. Curious, she searched further, even calling her name at one point. Giving up, she finally gave her attention to the ruckus going on in the distance. The trail wasn't hard to follow; there was a crater, some blood, and a beaten path going further off the main road. She didn't like what she saw; by its scent, the blood in the crater was Tsukune's.
Mizore had woken up much in the same fashion, although she instantly recalled what had happened and sneaked off into the direction of the obvious punishment that was being doled out. Stealth was her instinctive approach, so she stayed within the bushes to escape notice from anything that might detect her. When she finally came upon the two forms fighting among the trees, she gasped in fear for her Tsukune. She had stumbled upon them just as Moburu stopped toying with the poor boy.
She could only watch as the violent man methodically beat the living hell out of Tsukune, tearing him to pieces with his bloodstained fists and boots alone. She cringed with each new hit that went into his body, but she was too afraid to stop him. If Moburu could take out all three of them before they could even get a chance to react, how was she going to take on this monster by himself? Nevertheless, she prepared multiple ice kunai in her hands in case she found her courage again. But what she didn't expect was how Tsukune simply stopped irradiating his normal aura, beaten down and barely active as it was. It didn't waver, didn't change, didn't erupt, nothing. An aura that went out like a candle could only mean one thing. Is he really dead...? She thought with horror. Tears fell down her porcelain face, unwilling to witness the atrocity this man had done to Tsukune for apparently no reason. Just... killed him, straight out of the blue. She turned away, unable to witness the scene any longer. She didn't catch the new, menacing black aura that was pouring out from under Tsukune's beaten form, though.
Moka finally made it to the clearing in time to see Moburu deliver the final crushing blow into Tsukune's already blackened face, sending more blood flying out of his mouth. Putting a hand to her mouth to cover her gasp, she could only watch in horror as his life essence dropped away. Tears also fell from her eyes, the pain evident in her face. Her eyes quivered, not wanting to think about the implications that absence held. She almost fell to her knees, but she noticed a pitch black aura spilling out from underneath Tsukune's fallen form.
Inner Moka's phantom eyes widened in complete horror inside the rosary when she realized this phenomenon for what it was. This was worse, much worse than her precious Tsukune merely dying. No, dying would be a mercy at this point, for all of them. Kami forgive them for the hell they had unleashed upon the world. She berated herself for not noticing the signs earlier. His abnormal desire for blood, even for an awakened, the emptiness clouding his once cheery and happy demeanor, the inhuman warning growl he had issued the poor student who bumped him on the shoulder... and with the power of her own super-vampire blood, the monster of monsters would be almost unstoppable in its might.
Moburu was finished. The boy had ceased to respond from his unrelenting blows, so he stopped, thinking him dead. His mission was accomplished, then; the blasphemer was dead and no one was any the wiser. A pity that his attire had to get so bloody, but he was used to this sort of thing. A trip to the dry-cleaners when he made his bi-nightly trip to the human world would take care of it. Although he could've swore the boy was much more powerful than he let on. The all-consuming wave of power he had so displayed in such an off-handed manner... it surpassed his in every respect, and yet he showed no indication of a repeat when he proceeded to pound the life out of him. An interesting event, but more arcane things have happened. Moburu dusted off his pants and brushed a few stray locks of hair back behind his ears, and turned to leave. Casting one last glance at the corpse over his shoulder, he made the first step when something stopped him. There was something off with the situation... but he couldn't tell what. Extending his senses to scan the vicinity, he noticed nothing out of the ordinary and continued on. Which meant he didn't have time to evade the ice kunai flying out of the forest and into his face.
An irritated growl escaped his throat as he tossed the thing away. Whoever threw that knew what he had done, and was an ice wielder. His mind quickly pinpointed the movement of a certain someone moving through the underbrush to cover their tracks when they launched the next one (or hide, whichever), and he shook his head, a dark chuckle piercing the air. He quickly darted to the offender's hiding spot, holding her up by the throat. The snow girl? He thought. An interesting choice to avenge her friend, but it made no difference. Those who witnessed his work would have to die, hence his swift attack against the girls. He hated killing girls, but he did what he have to. It was what made him so good at his job. However, the snow girl's intrusion kept him from noticing that Tsukune was in fact not dead, and was getting up slowly, his wounds healing right in front of Mizore's astounded eyes. She quickly averted her gaze lest Moburu follow her eyes, but it made no difference. He was alerted, so she did the only thing she could think of; she froze him solid from the arm up, ice creeping up his neck and slowing him down. Anger dulling his awareness, he threw the snow girl to the ground, intent on finishing her quickly. He stopped, finally noticing the oppressing hostility emanating from behind him. Tsukune had recovered.
Tsukune stood before him, the pitch black aura prominent around his slouching form. His original standard red youki one had been replaced with this solid cyclone of hate and evil, and Moburu didn't know what to think of it. He also noticed the boy's appearance had drastically changed; gone were his slightly reptilian eyes with red-brown irises, along with his normal skin pallor. Most of his skin was black from head to toe, save for his arms, neck, and chest. Those were a bloody red, reminiscent of how much he had lost during the beating. Thick black ropy tattoos wound around the unsealed bite marks on his neck and covered most of his shoulders, while his eyes were surrounded by red variants of his neck tattoos. The eyes themselves were completely red, and appeared to be cracked and riddled with indentations. They appeared to be backlit just like Moburu's, but much more intimidating. His hair, only containing single strands of silver before, was now fully white, and would have been as beautiful as Inner Moka's had it not been adorning such a monstrosity's head. The miraculous thing was that he looked none the worse for wear; his ribs were no longer deformed, his chest moved smoothly and evenly, and he was standing with no difficulty whatsoever. A miracle, save for the demonic side effects. Moburu didn't know exactly what had provoked the change, but the situation was still the same. Tsukune Aono still drew breath, and Moburu's mission was to make that breathing cease forever.
What stopped him was not Mizore, who had retreated to safety shortly after he turned to witness the transformed Tsukune, nor how oppressive the new aura, black as the boy himself was. It was the pure, unimpeded evil radiating out from his eyes. It was as if he were completely devoid of all emotion, let alone any thought. There was only one thing raging in those horrible red eyes, and it was the goal and urge to sate his thirst, albeit much more prominent and stood side by side with a paramount need to destroy everything in its path to get to it. This was a man who knew no concept of mercy, and would scoff at all things lovely and beautiful. That is, if he had the time to while he was ripping such things apart with the claws adorning his hands. With an inhuman roar that shook the trees and induced fear in every living thing for kilometers around, the figure hunched over further, as if preparing to explode. And explode he did. Leathery, bat-like wings sprouted from his back, at least a full meter in length each with the impressive grace of that of the eagle unfurling its wings. A beast straight out of hell stood tall and proud, no sign whatsoever remaining of the boy called Tsukune Aono.
And it wanted revenge, first. Revenge for the one who had nearly killed it before it could give him a taste of his own medicine. And it had the power to make this weakling pay. It would pay in spades, and would scream for mercy before it was done with him. Not that it would give him anything of the sort. It started its routine of torture by giving off a cyclone of energy that would easily rival Inner Moka's, the whirlwind drowning out all noise and setting Moburu on edge. The man slipped into a stance similar to the one Tsukune had used against him earlier, but it would make no difference. The monster was by his side so quick he couldn't even catch the movement it made. Which should have been impossible, considering it was broad daylight and the all-black monster stood out like a sore thumb. And how do you move so quickly with a two meter wingspan? These thoughts were lost as the beast drove an elbow into Moburu's ribs hard enough to break them and send him flying back over the crater and near the path where Moburu had left the girls. The monster slowly ambled out into the opening, pondering how next to deliver some much deserved pain.
Moburu was in trouble. He had been in his fair share of fights before, and none of his adversaries had been strong enough to break bone in one blow. He was pretty sure none of his organs were punctured, which was a good thing, but that would be trivial if he couldn't match this monstrosity's speed and immense strength. He would definitely die if he didn't do something quickly; the thing was, he had no aces up his sleeve. He had come here expecting a simple hand to hand brawl that would end up with him as the victor. It happened, but the trick was he wasn't the victor for more than twenty seconds. With a grunt, he got to his feet once again, holding his side and preparing himself to face the monster again.
Kurumu just woke up in time to see Moburu fly out of the trees in obvious anguish, landing by the path and holding his side as if in great pain. Apparently, Tsukune had given him a good one if he got that much air time. A smile took place on her lips as she got to her feet, ready to cheer him on as he emerged from the foliage. But the thing that emerged was definitely not Tsukune...
The monster was pleased it could already sense fear in the weakling. Fear was a nice addition to the satisfaction of killing and maiming its target before draining the victim dry. It was the salt to its meal, you could say. And this little morsel was giving off plenty of it, filling its head with the heady aroma. It purred, each new sensation fresh to its reborn senses. It was gone before any of the bystanders could catch it, though, as it was too impatient to play with its food for too long. This one would suffer, but it wouldn't take more than five minutes. Then the rest would follow in death shortly.
Materializing in front of the wary Moburu's shaky form once again, it stared at him and cocked its head as it took in the fact that he was trying to fight back. Meaningless and futile, but interesting all the same. When the lopsided punch slowly made its way to the monster's face, it simply moved out of the way and slammed a sharp elbow into his back, sending him to his knees. Following through with a kick on the ass that sent him skidding through the dirt and proceeding to pick him up by the throat, it stared into his defiant eyes with globes devoid of thought or emotion. Its hand squeezed, making him struggle for breath, before violently shoving him into the ground once more. It formed its claws into a five-pronged dagger and shoved it into Moburu's back, twisting it to milk all the pain it could out of the now inferior man. It dug the hand deeper, as if trying to reach organs, as Moburu vainly tried to stave off the tremendously painful attack by crawling away. But it only made it worse. It ripped out a good chunk of flesh and kicked the grunting cur further across the ground. The girls only watched in horror as their best friend acted in such savage malice, their mouths agape and their eyes shocked. Deer in headlights, if you will.
Moburu wasn't done, regardless of the terrible wounds he had received. Blood was copiously pouring from the wound in his back, and his ribs were paining him considerably. But this would not stop him. He would kill this Aono boy, or he would be killed in the process. With a final surge of his considerable youki, he charged at the immobile monster, driving his hand through the air with enough power to elicit visible sparks in an attempt to put an open palmed strike clean through his adversary's heart with enough power to break through the toughest steel in the world.
It merely held up its own palm and stopped the strike in its tracks. The ground violently cracked, tiny bits of rubble erupting behind the monster, creating a crater from the force of an immobile figure taking enough force to cut through a mountain and remaining where it was. Moburu's similarly red eyes simply widened in awestruck surprise that the beast held its place against his second most powerful attack. The implications of such power... it struck him to his core. This was not Tsukune Aono's normal power. It was not even the level of power he witnessed in the dreamworld. No, this was something more... something that shouldn't exist, couldn't exist, but did. Was this the power of... a ghoul?
The girls could only stare at the menacing figure of what used to be Tsukune giving Moburu his own personal little taste of hell, and were thoroughly terrified at what they saw. To stop a strike giving off its own energy in the visible spectrum with one hand... awesome. They couldn't help feel a tiny smidgeon of malicious glee that Moburu was getting his after what he did to Tsukune, but the obvious evil emanating from the monstrosity was too permeating to ignore. Mizore didn't know what to do, Moka could only stand there, powerless, waiting for the inevitable after the ghoul decided to finish off Moburu. Kurumu, however, could only see a tormented Tsukune driven past his limits and was taking it out on Moburu. He deserved it, but this was a little much. She hesitantly started walking toward the two, not wanting to be caught in the path of the two extremely power monsters' wake, but she wanted to get to Tsukune and she was going to do it. Moka noticed her slow advance and called out her name, trying to bring her back from such blatant insanity. Her pleas were ignored, even so when even Mizore reached out to stop her. That... thing... may have the body of Tsukune, but it was not, under any circumstances, him at the core, and it was dangerous. Kurumu was heading on a suicide mission.
"Tsukune?" she called hesitantly. The ghoul had taken Moburu's hand in its fist and was slowing crushing it into bone meal, eliciting a painful shriek from the once-proud monster. Presently, it abandoned that idea and sent an open palm strike of its own into Moburu's chest, giving him wounds nearly identical to the ones he gave Tsukune prior. With the newest injury, one of his lungs were definitely pierced, and almost all his ribs had been broken. Each breath brought more blood to his mouth, the excess running down his chin. If the ghoul's form was grotesque, its handiwork was even more so, and Moburu had never been in more pain in his life. A shame he would be outmatched by a mere boy, but it was just one job he had underestimated. The pain was too much, and he fell to one knee, cursing under his breath and defenseless.
The ghoul saw that its prey was now unable to fight efficiently, and walked its way over to the fallen warrior. Cocking its head again, it contemplated the absurdity of the once powerful man reduced to grovelling in the dirt. Either way, it would feed now. The blood tasted best when it came from a live source, and this one looked especially tasty. Boring its demonic eyes into the weakened man's own and telling him that whatever he tried, if anything, would be futile, it sunk its ridiculously long fangs into Moburu's neck hard enough to spray blood from the openings in its lips. It reveled in the spray of the wonderful fluid dripping down its chin and chest, and drunk eagerly, sating the ever present thirst it possessed ever since its awakening. But when it was no longer hungry and had the appropriate amount, it didn't stop. It meant to drain him dry, for the blood tasted like Venice's finest wine to the monster's burning throat, and it would not stop.
Kurumu was almost directly behind the beast now, appalled it was sucking the man's blood so vigorously, as if it hadn't tasted blood once in its life (which was technically true). Almost instinctively she knew what she needed to do; she needed to love him with her whole heart.
"Tsukune-kun! Tsukune-kun, can you hear me?" One of the monster's wings twitched angrily, and without thinking her own came forth of their own volition. He simply looked too sexy with those huge wings. Attractiveness aside, she resumed trying to get his attention. It wasn't working, whatever she tried. He just kept bleeding the dying man dry. Finally, she approached him from the side, wrapping her arms around his neck in a tender hug. That got his attention. It pushed down the limp form of Moburu and stood to its full height, finally staring down at the petite girl latched onto it. It once again cocked its head at the odd phenomenon, temporarily stunned at the sweet motion. It simply wasn't used to tenderness; all it knew, and all it had received was pain and suffering and blood. But this, this was unexpected. Before her smell could reach the monster's nose, though, she quickly leaned up and kissed it full on the lips.
Tsukune was trapped. When he had finally succumbed to the demon's incessant rambling, he had blacked out and therefore went to the dreamworld once again. But this time, there were so many of the ugly and monstrous black ones that he couldn't see any of his normal soul fragments at all. As soon as he touched the non-existent ground, all of the unknown fragments' heads snapped to his position with an equal look of hate on them. Quickly circling over his head, the monstrous beasts swooped down one at a time, slashing at him repeatedly. It was a good thing they couldn't hurt him here. However, they quickly caught on that they weren't doing anything, so four of them hovered down with immense shackles in their claws. Tsukune knew these would hold him, and he tried to escape the cyclone of monsters, but to his dismay he couldn't get through. The shackles fell on him from behind, ensnaring him in their grasp. They floated back up with him as their cargo, and carried him off to whatever prison they were going to hold him captive in.
He was finally dropped into a white room totally unlike the dreamworld he had come to know. It was small, cubic, and had a mural of an angel painted on one wall and one of a devil on the other. In the median wall was a crucifix, presumably where he would be held. After all, there were no other features in the room, and his shackles looked like they would fit the crucifix like a glove. Lo and behold, one of the demon's fragments materialized beside him and dragged him to the cross, latching him to it. Resigned to his fate as a prisoner of his own mind, Tsukune simply hung his head and did nothing to resist. The devil mural seemed to be moving as if it were a pool of water instead of stone...
Time passed, but Tsukune's situation never changed. Other than some odd voices coming from both murals, there was no difference between then and now. Once, he thought he heard his name called faintly through the mural of the angel, but he disregarded it as a figment of his own imagination. After all, the pain had started; a fragment had appeared and had started stabbing him all over with a trident. Unluckily for him, his wounds were only mental and each time it was torn out, his form was unscathed. This went on for quite some time, with Tsukune enduring it solely because there was no escape and he could do absolutely nothing at all.
Kurumu fell through the reddish sky and fell upon the non-existent ground. Looking around, she saw monsters of various size and ugliness flying around. She ignored them; she was only here for her Tsukune and nothing would stop her. Some of the fragments flew over to her and tried eradicating her, but she quickly fought them off with her claws. Setting her jaw, she took to the sky (or what could be called a sky in this realm) and started searching for clues as to where he was. She saw a contingent of fragments flying off in a flock to some corner of the dimension, so she followed them from a distance. Lo and behold, they disappeared in a ripple, seemingly going through the reality of the dream. She followed, not sure what to expect. When she finally made it through the barrier, she saw a pure white cube floating in space some ways off. That was sure to be where he was, so she ventured further into the realm to get to it.
While Kurumu encountered resistance, it was nothing she couldn't handle, and she made it to the cube in record time. But when she tried to enter, it shocked her with a jolt of electricity.
"Well how the hell am I supposed to get in this thing?! Tsukune?" she said. In response to her voice, one side of the cube rippled like the barrier had, only more subtly.
Tsukune swore he could hear a louder voice coming from the angel mural at this point, and it sounded extremely familiar. In fact, the ghoul fragment paused in its torture to ponder the new event, and went to investigate. It went right through the angel mural and presumably to the outside. Kurumu was waiting for something like this, as the exiting demon revealed how to enter and exit the cube. Apparently she had to go through one of the sides. Dispatching the rogue demon, she flew into the box at breakneck speed.
Imagine Tsukune's surprise as he lays eyes on the petite succubus flying through the mural into his personal torture chamber. Oh, great, he thought. Now they're going to use my own treasures to torture me. He simply hung his head in resignation, waiting for the pain. But none would come. Instead, Kurumu simply ran up to him and hugged him, pulling his face down into her breasts. "Oh, Tsukune! You... and the ghoul... and Moburu... so much blood... you're okay, right?"
He motioned to his restraints and softly told her he had been brought here soon after succumbing to the demon inside. Kurumu, knowing what it was as Moka had told her before going off to her apparent death, told him the true nature of that voice and freed him. Unexpectedly, the devil mural started whispering to him, beckoning him closer with its soft words. The angel one remained silent. Kurumu was still running her mouth about how hard it was to find him in this hellhole and all that while Tsukune wandered closer to the mural of the devil. He peered closer, trying to determine who or what was whispering to him. But as his face was mere centimeters away, the picture of the devil scowled and lunged out at him, trying to capture him in its clutches. Luckily, Tsukune jumped back, more than happy to stay away. Kurumu noticed she was being ignored and promptly dragged him back through the angel mural. She wasn't too happy about being ignored.
They were back in the normal dreamworld, and had defeated most of the ghoul fragments. But the only one left to defeat was the leader, and he was nowhere to be seen. They searched all over and under the realm, but couldn't find him. Tsukune soon got an idea; he would try and get the ghoul to sleep. And so he did; pulling forth all memories of sleep and his previous encounters in the dreamworld (as well as unconsciously releasing the sleep hormone in his body). Soon enough, the ghoul itself landed in the realm not too far away. Now the only thing left was to defeat it and he could get his body back.
The ghoul simply laughed in the face of the duo, genuinely amused to see them trying to retake what it had conquered. Here, it was able to speak and think, the mental embodiment not fully consumed with the need to kill and feed.
"I take it you're trying to reclaim your body, right? Good luck with that. I've been in here ever since your blood awakened, and I know this place in and out like the back of my hand. You can't stop me, and neither can your little friend."
A vein pulsed in Kurumu's forehead while Tsukune just slipped into a battle stance. The ghoul was one hell of a powerful monster, and while it was true he was more powerful in here than he was in the real world, that meant Tsukune was as well. The ghoul kept laughing, not thinking Tsukune a threat, until he finally let loose his massive aura, similar to the one used when he encountered Moburu for the third time. It was not purple anymore, but the normal flowing red, albeit with those same blue tinges on the edge. At the impressive display of power, the ghoul stopped and regarded Tsukune with a curious eye.
"You're really serious, aren't you? Very well, have it your way." And with that, it sped toward Tsukune at a breakneck pace, going for a drive to the face that would knock him down. When Kurumu stepped forward to help, Tsukune put out a hand, telling her that this was his fight and his alone. He readied his own sledgehammer fist and charged toward the ghoul in response. It sure was weird going up against yourself, albeit a darker doppelganger, but the principle was the same. Either way, he had to get his body back. When the energy had flowed in from Moburu's body, he knew that the demon was on a hunt for blood, and would not stop until he had as much as his body could physically carry. And that did not sit right with Tsukune's soul. A monster of such malicious intent must be stopped, regardless of what happened to him. He would destroy this inner demon of his, or he would die trying and become a ghoul forever.
Author's Notes: And there you have it, chapter 7. I kinda lost the drive to write this after the underwhelming response to the last chapter, so here you go. Hopefully you guys enjoyed the twist I brought about. *in announcer voice* Tsukune fallen! A monster awakened! Kurumu intervenes! Can the pure-hearted boy defeat his own demon? Find out next time in...! Chapteeeer 8! Anyway, please, tell me what you guys think. It helps with the little details and with motivation. As always, enjoy yourselves. Addio, my friends.