Chapter 36

It was supposed to be an all-hunter meeting since Yagari wasn't very fond of vampires. However, Kaname was still an exception because he was the vampires' representative. And aside from that, he refused to be far from Zero even for a moment.

Yoru arrived not too long after and their meeting had then officially started.

"Firstly, I want to apologize to everyone, especially to those who had just gotten back from their own missions." Yagari voiced in formality. He knew that almost everyone was tired and that most of them had just gotten back from different places. "However, this meeting is of dire importance and I want you all to listen."

Everyone nodded without much complaint. They all knew that if Yagari was actually tolerating both Zero and Kaname's presence together in the same room as him without making any of his usual sarcastic remarks, then the situation must be really dire.

Yagari breathed out as he looked at everyone again. "The situation has changed. I got an important Intel from an insider in the Association just a few minutes ago." There was a pause before he continued again. "The hunters have started to move. They are starting to hunt down pureblood vampires one by one all over the country."

Both Zero and Kaname stiffened at that while Kaien's gaze turned really cold. Yoru was also concerned for Ichiru. It was only Yuzuru who didn't get why his master was so affected by everything.

Yagari saw his older student's silent question so he added, "I don't care at all about those purebloods…" His eyes then turned darker as silent rage consumed their depths. "What I do care about was the fact that those filthy higher-ups dared use hunters in order to do their bidding, sacrificing so many lives in order to achieve such a greedy goal."

"Of course..." Kaname nodded in understanding at the true direness of the situation. "Even the kindest pureblood wouldn't let it slide if his territory was suddenly attacked and his life threatened."

Yuzuru also started to bristle in anger in realization. "The annoying fact about that is how most of those hunters most likely don't even know why they are doing the mission in the first place. Everybody knows about the treaty and the fact that purebloods aren't supposed to be harmed unless they have fallen into insanity and can no longer control their power."

Yagari looked thoughtful about that. "They must have pointed some kind of crime in their mission letters, allowing the hunters to think that they were doing the mission for the sake of the people… for the sake of cleansing this world of filth."

Kaname glared at him for that while Zero flinched inwardly.

Kaien's expression was grim when he spoke next. "That kind of tactic will not work."

"Of course, it won't." Yagari scoffed. "It's the main reason why the Association had settled for peace treaties instead of outwardly getting into a war against the vampire race. They are wary of the purebloods."

"Then that must be the reason why they are so willing to do it now." Zero was the one who spoke. "They have received help from the Council. They think that if the nobles are on their side, then that can greatly turn the table in their favor."

"They're all idiots." Yoru spoke for the first time. "I've seen so many purebloods when I was with Ichiru-sama. Most of those purebloods will not fall down even if attacked by so many hunters all at once."

"…But they must have thought about it at some point too." Zero's eyebrows were furrowed as he felt like they were missing something. "They must have also thought about the fact that the nobles can't defy a pureblood's word and command."

"There is no time to ponder about that anymore." Yagari voiced as he looked at them all with such a serious expression. "I want you all to listen and decide for yourselves." He heaved a deep sigh. "I am giving you all my trust and I will say this only once. The anti-President hunters are planning to attack the Association tonight."

Everyone received the word with shock and even Kaien stood up from his seat. "Attacking the Association… head-on..?"

Yagari nodded grimly. "Unfortunately, as much as I want to stay here with everyone, I will also be participating in the upcoming attack. Whether you want to take advantage of it or not is up to you… Whether you want to help or not… only you can decide."

By the end of his statement, the room had turned so eerily quiet that they could almost hear each other's erratically beating hearts.

It was still morning but they felt that there wasn't enough time to decide at all. It felt like they were rushing things. Like they had no choice but to fight if they didn't want to die… They all knew that tonight would probably be a once in a lifetime chance to attack the Association since it was a time when almost all the hunters were mobilized against the purebloods, just like that night when Zero and Ichiru were attacked. But the fact that it was most likely a rushed, last minute decision on the anti-President hunters' side made it really hard for them to decide.

"Moreover… there must be hunters who are out of commission due to the recent failure regarding the Shiryuu twins." Yoru mused aloud. "I also think it's a good opportunity."

"Are you sure it's not a trap?" It was Kaname who asked. He felt that everything seemed so good to be true.

Yagari made it clear to them then. "I want everyone to know that I'm pretty sure it's a trap." They all looked at him with wide eyes. "However, it is a kind of trap which is too good to pass up. The anti-President hunters know that fact very well. We are ready to think of it all as a trap and yet we still decided to initiate an attack anyway."

Kaname looked thoughtful at that. "I need to gather my subordinates and discuss everything with them too."

Yagari nodded at that. "I'm leaving at noon. I want you all to tell me your answer by then."

"There is no need for me to decide too much about it." Yuzuru raised his hand as his eyes looked at his master in determination. "I'll go with you."

"It's a trap." Yagari reiterated seriously.

"I know." Yuzuru's gaze turned deadly at that. "That's why I want to go with you. I don't want to regret anything."

Zero wanted to say he could go too but he knew he needed to talk to Kaname privately first. He needed to know what his lover thought about everything because he didn't want to put the brunette's life in danger too. After all, he and the brunette were most likely one of the purebloods that the Association wanted to erase from the surface of the earth…

"Yagari." Kaien was the one who spoke this time. He looked apologetic as he shook his head. "I want to help too but… I cannot leave the children behind without any protection."

Yagari nodded to that too as he understood. He knew that even if they were to be successful, if it turned out that the school was attacked by Level Es while they were gone, Kaien would most likely forever blame himself for everything. Yagari's eyes then turned to the pureblood lovers in front of him and decided to say what he wanted. "I don't think you two should go as well."

Both Zero and Kaname looked at him in surprise.

"You're probably one of the few… vampires who wish for coexistence." Yagari felt like choking up when he finally voiced his feelings. It was seriously uncomfortable. "It would be disastrous if the last lines of the Kuran and Shiryuu clans were to die tonight." He wanted them to understand that if Kaname dies, the few pureblood vampire families who supported him would most likely stop promoting coexistence too. Not to mention Zero and Ichiru… The first ones to be born with both pure vampire blood and hunter blood at the same time…

Zero was about to argue but he felt the hand on top of his as Kaname spoke. "I will tell you our decision before noon."

Yagari sighed as he relented. "Fine."

Yoru spoke lastly. "I need to ask Ichiru-sama first. Ichiru-sama and I too will give our decision before noon."

Kaien ended the meeting with a statement. "Alright. Let's dismiss this meeting for now while we all get ready for what it is that will come our way."

"There's one more thing." Yagari voiced as everyone was about to exit the room. They all stopped and looked at him again. He looked at Kaname directly and glared, much to everyone's surprise. "I want you to put it in that thick vampire skull of yours. The moment you try to hurt my student is the moment I will hunt you down and kill you."

Kaname gulped at that before he nodded while Zero looked overwhelmed at his master's words. Kaien had started bawling again and the dark-haired hunter was already too annoyed to even look in his direction. He walked past everyone hurriedly since he really needed to smoke very badly. Yuzuru laughed out loud at that. Yagari also said the same thing to Yuuki of all people and it made the female brunette pale tremendously. Nevertheless, he remembered how Yuuki looked at Yagari in determination when she recovered and vigorously nodded. "And if he's the one who tries to hurt me or cheat on me, I will make sure to castrate him… but I will use anesthesia so he still won't feel any pain!"

Yuzuru remembered how Yagari laughed out loud at that while he was the one who paled tremendously.

Kaien, on the other hand, had held both Zero and Kaname's hand in his own as he spoke quietly. "Please always be safe, both of you."

Kaname and Zero looked at one another before they looked at the Chairman. "Of course, Chairman/Kaien-san." Kaien received their answer with a satisfied beam.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Ichiru was obviously in a bad mood and Aido didn't know how to calm the pureblood down. The silver-haired pureblood was sitting on the bed as he ate while Aido once again stood beside the bed and waited patiently for the other teen to finish his meal.

When the pureblood did, Aido hastily put away everything back to the tray and proceeded to exit the room after bowing deeply. He really couldn't take the suffocating air anymore.

"Wait." It took only a single word and Aido immediately stood frozen while carrying the tray. "I'm thirsty." Ichiru's eyes had turned into glowing crimson orbs when he finally voiced his concern.

Aido slowly turned around and blinked at the pureblood in front of him. Was that the reason why he seemed to be in a bad mood..? Wait, did he just say he was thirsty!? There was no other vampire in the room aside from Aido and Ichiru probably wanted to bite him! He panicked a little as he tried to think up of ways to refuse. He had never been bitten by anyone before! He wanted his Kaname-sama to be his first! Or maybe Zero! And definitely not Ichiru!

However, there was no need to. Ichiru wasn't interested in the least. "Do you have any low-ranking vampire here whom I can drink from?"

Aido looked at him in surprise at that. Did he feel the blonde's fear..? He opened his mouth to say something but he sighed in the end before he shook his head. "There are only noble vampires here, Ichiru-sama."

Ichiru closed his eyes at that, his expression strained as he tried his best to control his urge to sink his fangs into the nearest neck in the room. "You may leave." Aido was about to argue again but those crimson orbs opened once more and glared at him. "Hurry up, before I change my mind."

Aido gritted his teeth at that. So he indeed felt Aido's fear… He put down the tray on the table as he approached the bed instead of leaving the room.

"Did you not hear me?" Ichiru growled out the words to make the noble in front of him listen. He could feel Aido's fear so thick in the air and his erratically beating heart. He didn't want Zero to get angry at him in case he lost control and bit the blonde, seeing that his older twin was close to the lesser vampires.

"I heard you!" Aido's voice was a pitch higher than normal and his breath hitched as his knees hit the side of the bed. Even so, he refused to leave. "But… if you need blood, then allow me to give it to you, Ichiru-sama."

Ichiru sighed as he closed his eyes again. There's just no way he could enjoy biting the blonde if Aido's aura was filled with fear. "This is ridiculous. Just leave."

"I refuse!" Aido's whole body was trembling from knowing that he had disobeyed a direct order from a pureblood, not only once but twice. And he had been vocal about it too. He knew he was disobedient even to Kaname, but he had never disobeyed a direct order before. Even he couldn't understand it but he felt that Ichiru really needed to feed and yet he was holding it in. It just felt so lonely and sad somehow… "Please bite me!" He bowed deeply in front of the pureblood.

Ichiru was more than just shocked. He had never encountered a noble who could disobey his command before. He looked at those trembling fists and the blonde himself who was still bowing. He's already so thirsty and this blonde was annoying. "Fine."

Aido looked up at that. He then gulped when he realized what he's about to do. He exhaled a bit of the breath he's holding before he started unbuttoning his shirt. He let it slide on the floor as he blinked at the pureblood. He had no idea how this biting usually happened since he had only seen it on lovers – his friends to be exact. The image made his heart beat in a different way and he immediately tried to remove those images from his mind. He had no idea how it was done between pureblood and followers.

Ichiru wasn't sure about it before but now he was pretty sure. The blonde had never been bitten before. His eyes turned darker involuntarily. "Climb the bed and kneel in front of me."

Aido's eyes widened as he realized that Ichiru had no intention of getting out of bed at all. This could become really awkward. He slowly climbed the bed, not really knowing if he was still doing it right, glancing at the pureblood once in a while to see if Ichiru was pissed off at him yet. His hesitation vanished when he saw how those crimson orbs seemed to be in pain as the pureblood waited for him to settle patiently.

The blonde didn't hesitate anymore as he straddled Ichiru's lap and put both of his hands on Ichiru's side as he arched his neck to one side without any word. Giving Ichiru permission would seem rather bold and arrogant. Purebloods didn't need permission. However, Ichiru seemed to be waiting for something so he had no choice but to voice out, "P-Please… you can drink as much as you want, Ichiru-sama."

That was the only time Ichiru moved, much to the blonde's surprise. He thought Ichiru was the proud and arrogant type of pureblood who had no qualms about the feelings of lower level vampires… So even he had sides Aido wasn't aware of…

The sudden tentative lick on his neck made him blush as he gasped in surprise. It felt so foreign and yet it made him feel strangely turned on… Two pointed incisors slowly sank on his exposed neck and Aido was overwhelmed by the sudden rush of immense pleasure that he wasn't able to suppress the moan from escaping his lips. His whole body shivered in delight as it was pierced by vampire fangs for the first time, his whole cheeks turning bright red as he heard Ichiru's continuous but slow drinking. It sounded so erotic in his ears… He didn't even know when he had circled his arms on the pureblood's neck for leverage but the next thing he knew, Ichiru couldn't pull away anymore even if he wanted to since the blonde was holding him tightly.

"Let go." Ichiru simply voiced as he slightly pushed Aido away, surprised to see the blonde panting and blushing with a prominent bulge on his pants. The other noble vampires he drank from never had that kind of problem. Or rather, they were much better in hiding it.

"I-I'm… sorry…" Aido couldn't even understand why but he dreaded the fact he had become so aroused at the whole situation. "I didn't mean…" He shook his head as he felt mortified at his shamelessness for becoming so aroused, even holding onto Ichiru's neck tightly without his knowledge.

"That's enough." Ichiru sighed. That's why he was asking for a lower vampire instead. "It's the effect of the bite. Don't think too much about it."

Aido looked into those slightly darker amethyst eyes than the ones he was familiar with. Ichiru wore a bored expression as he stared back into blue orbs. So much like how Kain was… If Zero's signature expression was a scowl, Ichiru's was boredom and apathy. It was kind of cute…

Ichiru's eyebrows furrowed when those blue orbs looked a little dazed. He didn't think the effect of biting was that strong. Or rather, he was a little perturbed at the fact that Aido seemed too affected by it. And before he could comprehend the blonde's reaction even more, he was greatly surprised by the sudden lips which covered his own.

To say he was stunned was an understatement. The only other person to ever kiss him full on the lips before was Rido. And the last time it happened was almost a year ago. The kiss was soft and warm and sweet, but… BUT..!

He pushed the blonde away as he glared. "What the hell do you think you're doing, you lowly vampire?!"

Aido's eyes widened when he realized what he had just done. He immediately climbed out of bed and knelt on both knees and bowed deeply on the floor as he apologized. "I'm so sorry, Ichiru-sama! I don't know what came to me! I'm really sorry!"

"Enough!" Ichiru's voice was thick in anger. "Just get out of my sight!"

Aido immediately scampered away in fright, totally forgetting about the tray he was supposed to bring out.

Ichiru glared at the wall in front of him as he wiped his lips with the back of his hand in anger. "Tch. Lowly scum…" His cheeks were painted in the faintest of pink.

On the other hand, Aido immediately went back to his room and closed the door behind him with a loud bang, totally surprising Kain. The redhead arched an eyebrow at his cousin who looked like he was just running away from someone while carrying his shirt.

"What happened to you?" He asked as he smelled the blonde's blood in the air. Not to mention Aido's arousal… "Finally got laid but backed out in the last minute?"

"Shut up!" Aido blushed deeply at those words as he walked towards the bathroom, intending to end his dilemma there.

Kain smirked at that. "I thought it was Zero-sama whom you loved. And seeing that he's not an option anymore, you went for the twin instead?"

"I said shut up!" Aido immediately stopped as he glared at the redhead. "It's not like that." His voice had turned quiet by the end of his statement and Kain knew better than to tease him further. "He's the total opposite of Kiryuu… They're not the same at all! And to think I just…" He then looked mortified when he remembered what happened and how those amethyst eyes darkened in anger at what he did. "I think I'm going to die…" He then entered the bathroom with tearful eyes as he sobbed quietly before he slammed the bathroom door too.

Kain blinked at that. Maybe something serious happened..? He knew his cousin was the one taking care of Ichiru at the moment and that the pureblood was far from how Kaname and Zero treated them all. Maybe Aido did something that pissed off Ichiru to want to kill him for it..? No. If that was the case, the blonde wouldn't have left the room unscathed. Well, there's no use thinking about it since he knew it was almost always Aido's fault whenever someone wanted to kill the blonde anyway.

Back in the room, Ichiru lay down the bed once more just as a soft knock echoed in the room. "Enter."

The door slowly opened to reveal Yoru who immediately bowed down to the younger twin before closing the door behind him. "The meeting has finished, Ichiru-sama." Ichiru waited for the hunter to compose himself enough to say the news. "It's the worst possible scenario."

"What do you mean?" His voice didn't even have a quiver into it.

"I think we're going to war…" Yoru looked at his master's condition and was at least a little glad that the younger twin seemed much better. "…tonight."

Ichiru's eyes narrowed at that. "Explain it to me in details."

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Kaname sat on a sofa inside his office, wearing an expressionless mask. On his hand was a wine glass filled with water turned dark crimson by blood pills. Zero sat beside him, looking a little exhausted but still overall regal. The hunter leaned a little on his lover's side since the exhaustion was already taking its toll on him.

In front of them were the Night Class nobles of Kaname's inner circle. They were all surprised when they were all suddenly called to the brunette's office even though most of them were already asleep. Kain looked bored as always, his hand holding Ruka's. The female vampire looked ready to fall back asleep again but she was trying her best to stay awake since she was in front of both Kaname and Zero. Aido looked forlorn and distracted for some unknown reason. Takuma and Shiki didn't look too sleepy since the two of them must have been doing something else instead of sleeping in their room when Seiren knocked on their door to collect them. Seiren stood behind her master as usual. Even Rima was also a little bit more awake than normal since she could feel the tensed aura of both purebloods in front of them.

"I know it's quite late and everybody is tired from the recent events." Kaname started after he sipped a little from his glass. "However, we called you here for one specific reason – the result of the earlier hunter meeting." His chocolate eyes then turned to Zero, silently urging his lover to continue and tell everyone about the meeting.

Zero gave his lover a weak glare since he seriously never liked speaking like he's the boss of some gang of nobles. In the end, he still nodded since the situation didn't allow for any kind of banter between lovers. "My master gave us a new piece of information earlier." Everyone's attention immediately perked up at that. "I know that most of you do not trust hunters at all, especially those who have already encountered them in a deadly fight." His eyes glanced to the three nobles who were with him in the last mission before he continued. "I assure you, however, that my master is to be trusted and that his information is almost always right."

"What kind… of information..?" Aido was the one who asked, gulping a little at the darkness of both Kaname and Zero's eyes.

Kaname closed his eyes as he finished his drink in one full gulp before he spoke. "The Hunter Association has moved." His eyes were blazing crimson when he opened them again, so dark and so cold. "They have started hunting purebloods all over the country."

The sudden gasps and horrified expressions were to be expected, even the curses towards the hunters' race. However, it still saddened Zero somehow.

Kaname saw this and he immediately glared at everyone to silence them up. They did so almost at once. "This is not a problem of hunters alone. The nobles had goaded them into doing this massacre of both races. By trying to hunt down powerful and almost immortal purebloods, plenty hunters will also be needlessly sacrificed… all for the greed of some hunters and nobles who had formulated this elaborate plan."

"You mean… there's a chance that they might attack the Academy too?" Kain asked as his hold on Ruka's hand tightened. His boredom was replaced with such a fierce expression, ready to kill anyone who would dare try to hurt his lover and his friends.

Zero closed his eyes at that. He really didn't want to admit it but he nodded his assent. "Everyone knows that Kaname is here." He then looked at his lover with a little bit of sadness and at the same time fondness. "Kaname is probably one of the few remaining old and powerful pureblood lines who wish for coexistence between the two races... one of the really remaining powerful purebloods of all time."

Kaname looked a little smug at that despite the situation. Zero gave him another weak glare before the silver-haired teen continued. "Also, they know that Ichiru and I are here." That statement alone made everyone understand.

"They were willing to empty the Association just so they could annihilate you and your brother." Takuma mused aloud. "They won't let this chance go since they know you have so many people you need to protect in this place." Everyone seemed to be in agreement too.

"So… we want you all to listen carefully. Kaname and I had talked about this a little bit earlier." Zero was the one who spoke, surprising even Kaname slightly. His lover was really slowly becoming a true pureblood. "We want you all to come to a unanimous decision."

"About what..?" Shiki voiced for the first time, totally confused at the sudden turn of events.

"If it's about protecting you and Kaname-sama and Ichiru-sama, then there's no need to ask for our decisions." Aido voiced, a little upset that Zero even had the need to ask. "There's no way we won't do it. And even if you tell us not to, we will probably disobey you and still try our best to protect you."

Kaname arched an eyebrow at the blonde. He wanted to make some nasty remark about the fact that Aido's feelings were really starting to surface but he thought there was also something else he's missing. It was in those upset blue eyes and he just couldn't pinpoint it… He realized he just needed to look for it some other time in the future. "Unfortunately, Aido, that's not what we are going to be deciding today."

At the look of confusion and surprise on the nobles' faces, Zero sighed as he figured they should just tell it to everyone bluntly. "We want you all to decide whether you want to go to war tonight or not."

For some seconds, nobody spoke and everyone just stared at Zero like they didn't get what he was trying to say. However, when the severity of those words finally sunk in their brains, everyone's eyes widened as they all started asking questions at the same time. Aido and Ruka actually stood up from their seats to throw some questions in the air and it irked the brunette pureblood a lot.

"Silence." Kaname commanded quietly. Both Aido and Ruka stopped in the middle of their sentences and both immediately sat down on their seats after bowing in apology. The brunette nodded a little in their direction before continuing. "As you all know now, there are two factions of hunters in the Association at the moment – those who are Pro-President and those who are against him."

"And we've already told you that the Pro-President had started hunting down purebloods all over the country since before the break of dawn." Zero added, taking full advantage of the silence. "It only means one thing."

"The Association is undermanned." Takuma finally got it, eyes widening in realization. Everybody looked at him in surprise too. "So… we're going to take advantage of it..?"

"The anti-President hunters are going to take advantage of it." Zero emphasized, wanting them to understand. "They only notified us about it earlier but they have already formulated their plan and are just waiting to execute it tonight."

"You mean…" Shiki's eyebrows furrowed at that. "You want us to help the hunters..?"

"Yes. And no." Kaname was the one who answered this time. "Like I said, we want you to decide. If you don't want to add to the number of those who will attack the Association, then it's fine too."

"Why are we the ones deciding?" Ruka asked, a little surprised that they were being given the chance to refuse. Everybody else was wondering about that too. "If it's Zero-sama's comrades…"

"Ruka." Zero's voice alone made everybody quiet again. "You should know how scary it is to fight against hunters. There is no guarantee that we will survive tonight. Not to mention there's a huge chance that this is all a huge trap set by the Association again." He looked serious when he said those words. "At the very least, we want you to decide on your own since you're the ones who hold your lives in your hands. You're the ones who will fight, not for anyone else's survival but for your own. We are not so arrogant as to make that decision for you."

Kaname let out a small smile at that as he subtly linked his hand with Zero's. "Like I said, no matter what decision you arrive at, it's still a fine decision."

"What about you, Zero-sama?" Ruka asked, feeling dread at the fact that Zero's eyes darkened a bit at her question. Kami… he's going to fight, wasn't he..?

Zero sighed at that just as he tightened his hold on Kaname's hand too. He knew it was pure selfishness on his part. He knew it would most likely put Kaname's life in danger too. But he just… didn't want to have any regret… "I maybe a vampire… but I am a hunter too. And currently, I am also anti-President." The faces in front of him slowly contorted into fear and anguish – fear for his safety… anguish at the fact that he still chose to be with the hunters who had done nothing but betray him.

He then looked at his lover whom he knew was in more pain than anyone else in the room. "Kaname," he really wanted to tell the brunette about it first but he knew there was no more time for that. "I'm sorry. I just… don't want to regret not being able to do anything…" He then clasped their intertwined hand with his other hand as he focused his gaze solely on his lover, not at all bothered by several eyes who were watching them. "I don't want to simply watch while I know that my master and Yuzuru are risking their lives fighting in order to save us. I know most of those anti-President hunters probably hate vampires with passion but–"

"That's enough." Kaname's voice was quiet and soothing as he put a finger on his lover's mouth, causing Zero's cheeks to redden. The brunette let out a soft sad smile since he could feel the intensity of his lover's feelings through their bond. Zero was more scared and shaken than he was letting on… The silver-haired teen was so scared that he's going to lose a part of his family again. And Kaname… wouldn't let that happen.

"Kaname…" Zero spoke through the finger on his mouth, eyes never leaving Kaname's powerful gaze and voice quivering a little at the intensity of feelings in those chocolate orbs – warmth and love and safety and a silent promise.

"There's no need to explain." Kaname's voice was hard and he didn't want to have any argument about it. "I will come with you."

Zero's eyes widened at that just as everyone else's did.

"Kaname…" It was Takuma who spoke next. He blinked as he realized that almost everyone already made their decision too. He sighed as he let out a smile before he cleared his throat, wanting the blissful pureblood lovers in front of them to realize that they were still in the room. When the two purebloods were already distracted enough to look at them, the blonde smiled again. "We will go with you."

Zero's eyes widened at that. He was about to say something but Aido beat him into it. "You said it's fine as long as we can come up with a unanimous decision." He then grinned as everyone else nodded. "We're going to fight with you."

Kaname closed his eyes at that. "I understand." When his eyes opened next, he looked at each and every one of them with a serious gaze, including Zero. "However, I don't think we can go about it in the usual head-on way."

Zero seemed to have gotten the idea as well. "We're vampires. Instead of helping, our mere presences in the place might actually aggravate the Anti-President group and risk all of us having an inside fight."

"How are we going to help then?" Takuma looked worried as he asked the question.

"First, we're going to visit the Council." Kaname voiced. "Zero's twin informed us earlier that they are going to conduct a Council meeting at dusk today. They are planning to tell the other Council members about the secret alliance with the Association since they want to increase their numbers."

"I think a war is also about to break out in the Council tonight." Zero mused aloud.

Kaname couldn't help but agree. "They must have already talked to some of the other Council members and persuaded them in secret to join the alliance. It's now only a matter of time before they persuade or threaten the other members into siding with them. They are also most likely going to discuss how they can give aid to the hunters, however indirectly, in their pureblood extermination missions."

"We're going to fight them?" Aido's eyes widened at that. "All of the nobles in the Council?" Even Ruka and Kain looked shocked. There were probably hundreds of Council members and most of them were from well-known noble families, like Ichijous. Just thinking of how they would fight all of those strong nobles was already enough to send shivers down their spine.

"We don't necessarily need to fight all of them needlessly." Takuma voiced after a while, face contorting in pain at the thought of having to fight his grandfather once and for all. "Kaname-sama and Zero-sama will be with us. I'm pretty sure that just their mere presence is enough to dissuade a lot of Council members into siding with them."

"Takuma…" Shiki looked at the blonde meaningfully and Takuma heaved a deep sigh as he gave his lover a smile.

"I'll be fine." His eyes then turned determined as he looked at both Kaname and Zero. "I believe I've said this before… but if it turns out that my grandfather is involved in this awful mess, I'll be the one to put an end to his existence." His hands on his lap clenched into fists, not wanting any unnecessary emotion to find its way on his feature. Shiki understood and simply put his hand on top of his blonde lover's fists in silent comfort.

Kaname simply nodded at him as he looked at everyone else again. "This matter is decided then." His eyes turned sharp, almost glowing crimson, as his intertwined hand with the hunter tightened. "Our goal is to dissuade all of the other Council members from giving aid to the Hunter Association while ridding the Council of the members who are the root cause of this secret alliance. There will be no forgiveness to those who dare defile the efforts put forth by my parents and Chairman Cross in promoting coexistence just for their own selfish gain."

Zero tugged at their bond in order to comfort his lover, calming down a little when he received a silent but warm reply.

"It's settled then." Aido tried to smile a little in order to ease up the situation.

Zero appreciated his kindness and returned a small smile before looking at everyone again. "Shall we start making plans?"

Ruka chuckled at that. "Really, so hunter-like…" Those words made the hunter scowl and the usual expression somehow eased the tension in the air as everyone laughed at him.

Even Kain remembered the night they attacked Ichiru's mansion. "Zero-sama is all about careful planning, especially when he's hunting."

"Somehow, I'm feeling left out for not being there that night." Rima said, looking forlorn.

"Don't worry." Even Takuma's expression lightened at that. "Nobody will be left out this time."

"We will leave Moon Dorm and Cross Academy in the hands of the other nobles." Kaname voiced seriously. "Everyone in this room will go to the Council. And if we're still needed, we'll then head to the Association and lend them some hand."

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

"Sorry I haven't visited since last night." Zero sat on the chair beside the empty bed.

"It's fine." Ichiru was looking a little sulky as he stood in front of the window, looking out into the bright surrounding outside. "That annoying blonde was tending to my needs anyway."

Zero narrowed his eyes at that. "Did something happen… by any chance?"

Ichiru looked at him so sharply he thought his twin broke his neck in the process. The glare directed at him might as well have been an assent too. "What do you mean? Did that scum–, no, that blonde say anything?"

Zero arched an eyebrow at his brother. He only surmised as much since Aido seemed worried and distracted when he entered the room earlier. To think Ichiru's reaction would be like this… "I will not inquire anymore."

"But?" Ichiru knew there was a catch. There was no way his brother would let it slide so easily.

"But…" Zero smirked. "Aido is my friend so please don't tease him too much. He might be annoying and loud but he's also kind and rather innocent. He's the first vampire I became close to." By the end of his statement, he was expecting his brother to finally understand. Instead, Ichiru was actually glaring.

"Hearing you say those words makes me more irritated at that blonde." Ichiru voiced as he sneered. "Just hearing his name is already enough to make my blood boil."

Zero couldn't help but sigh at that. It seemed Aido did something to annoy his brother again…

"Anyway," Ichiru's expression changed as he finally decided to tell his decision to his twin. "I will lend a hand to the Anti-President Hunters tonight."

Zero's expression changed as well. "Are you sure you'll be fine?"

"Who do you think I am?" The younger twin scoffed. "As if those Anti-President hunters are enough to intimidate me… Even if they don't accept my help, I will still lend a hand since it will also benefit us vampires. And also, Yoru, your master, and your friend will be there. Those Pro-President will not stand a chance against all of us."

Zero nodded solemnly to that. He wanted to just ask his brother to stay put but he knew he also didn't want to be treated like some weakling who couldn't even protect himself. Instead, he gave Ichiru a small smile. "Be careful, Ichiru."

He then told Ichiru about his plans with Kaname and the others.

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.tbc.

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Ren-sama's Note:

This is it for now. Thanks for reading~! ᶺoᶺ