Natsume stared blankly at the desk in front of him. He was doing that a lot these days, just loosing himself in his own thought. Recently Natsume's mind seemed to be filled with stress and worry. Of course, he didn't let anyone know that, not intentionally anyway.
"Natsume!" a voice called out. Natsume looked up. A young, blonde haired man rushed into Natsume's office. He was kneeling over with his hands on his knees. The man's breath was ragged as if he just ran a very long distance. Natsume narrowed his eyes. Whatever was going on, it didn't look good.
"Natsume!" The boy repeated. "The midnight hunt just got back. We barely made it. We were swarmed near the old church."
"How many?" Natsume inquired.
"About twenty. We managed to kill most of them, but a few got away. Imai is in the hospital right now with a nasty bite on the shoulder," The boy replied, concern dancing across his eyes. Natsume was also worrying. Twenty? Natsume knew that the night was crawling with the monsters. But twenty appearing in the same spot at the same time? It didn't add up.
"Is Imai ok?" Natsume asked.
"She should make a full recovery. But Natsume, that's not all. Just before they swarmed us, Imai and I smelled something strange. We thought it was Vampire blood and Human blood mixed together. Natsume…we think we found a halfblood." Natsume's brow furrowed. This was big news. If a half blood was out there than there was a chance that innocent people would fall victim to its thirst.
"Ruka, how's your condition?" asked Natsume.
"I've got some scratches and I'm a bit out of breath, but on the whole I'm fine," the blonde replied.
"Good, because it looks like we have a bit more hunting to do."
Mikan freaking hated gym class, and it wasn't even the gym part of it that she hated. It was that stupid bitch Wakoko that she hated. Mikan never knew what part of Wakoko thought it necessary to make her life a living hell. But whatever it was, it sure wasn't very nice. It was even worse that gym class was the one class that she shared with Wakoko. Well, at least they didn't have any other classes together.
"Well class, today we are going to play dodge ball. Have fun and don't get hurt," Coach Fukutan instructed. And with that, the teacher walked out of class. He probably went off to grab a soda and the newspaper. He'd be back in twenty minutes or so to tell the class to be a bit more careful. Then he'd probably sit in the corner on his lawn chair and read. Mikan always wondered how the hell he managed to become a teacher.
"Alright! Let's choose teams! I'm team captain!" Wakoko yelled. God the girl was annoying.
"Ok," Wakoko continued, "If you're normally on my team then come over here and if you're not, go over to the loser's side!"
"You do know that's not how team captain works, right?" Anna asked.
"It doesn't matter pink head," Wakoko retorted.
"Whatever drama queen," Anna muttered. Mikan snorted in response and then followed Anna to the other side of the gym. The dodge balls were placed on the half way line and the two teams lined up against their wall.
"One, two, three, GO!" Wakoko yelled. Of course, she and the rest of her team ran toward the balls before she even finished counting. But since it was Wakoko's team, it really didn't matter. The game was going swiftly. Wakoko's team kept pegging the 'losers' off one by one. Mikan managed to stay on though. Dodge ball just happened to be her best sport. Pretty soon Mikan was the only one left on the court.
"Come on Mikan! You can do it!' Some of her teammates cheered from the bench.
"You're doing good Mikan!" Anna yelled.
Mikan was doing good, in fact, she seemed to be doing better than normal. Her reflexes were sharper and her strength seemed to have had a boost. It had been something Mikan had noticed for about a week, or more precisely, since her 16th birthday. Mikan shrugged the thought aside and focused on the game. One of Wakoko's friends aimed for her. Mikan saw the ball coming toward her and quickly dodged out of the way. Mikan grabbed a ball that was rolling toward her foot and threw it at Wakoko with as much force as she could muster. The ball went flying through the air and landed perfectly on the top of Wakoko's head.
"Ow!" She shrieked. A chorus of laughter was heard from Mikan's side of the gym.
"And you, my dear friend, would be out," Mikan laughed.
Mikan's victory was short lived. It turns out that Wakoko's team didn't find it as funny as Mikan did. Mikan was caught off guard when a number of dodge balls came flying at her. She had no time to dodge, and so, she got hit a number of times.
"Good job team!" Wakoko cheered annoyingly. Mikan rolled her eyes.
"Set up the dodge balls and play again," Coach instructed. Oh good, he finally came back.
The class did as he said and walked over to their respective sides.
"Ok!" Wakoko yelled. "One, two, three, G-" Wakoko was cut off when a figure suddenly crashed through a gym window. It was quickly followed by another figure. Shrieks echoed throughout the gym. Some girls ran to the change rooms but Mikan was glued to the spot. The first figure seemed to be a blonde haired boy. When Mikan looked closer, she realised he looked to be around her age. The second figure was much different. It had pale, papery skin that wrapped around its bones. It had sunken eyes and a long, narrow jaw. It had pinned the boy to the ground and opened its mouth to reveal long, pointy fangs. Mikan realised what was in front of her. It was the reason why the curfew was made, why people were terrified to leave their homes after dark. In front of her was a monster. The monster leaned in toward the boy and placed its widespread mouth above the boy's neck. Mikan realised with jolt of horror that it was about to bite the boy.
"No!" Mikan yelled.
The monster's attention switched over to Mikan. Its face turned toward her to reveal dark blue eyes. A moment later a third figure rolled in through the window. Mikan saw a flash of black and red, then a silver blade digging into the monster's back. The monster let out a horrible, ear splitting scream then fell limp. The blonde rolled out of the way just before the monster fell on him. The raven haired extended a hand to which the blonde gladly accepted.
"You ok?" the raven haired asked.
"That's twice today I've nearly been killed," the blonde joked. "But yeah, I'm ok." The two boys looked around the gym. The remaining girls that didn't run were huddled in the corners of the gym. Their faces clearly showed how terrified they were. Coach was still sitting on his lawn chair. His face was so pale he almost looked like a monster himself. Coach had dropped his soda and the liquid was now pooling around his chair.
"Everyone who is in here, please change then follow us to the principal's office," the blonde yelled out. The girls nodded and hurried to the change rooms.
"I'm assuming you're the teacher of this class?" The blonde asked Coach.
"Uh…Yes! I am!" Coach Fukutan replied.
"Go outside and make sure your students stay together. We'll be heading over to the office immediately." The raven haired instructed. Coach didn't even reply. He just ran out of the gym. The two boys then turned their attention back to Mikan. She hadn't moved an inch; she was still dumbstruck.
"You know, distracting that monster was really stupid," the blonde scolded. "That being said, I'd probably be dead right now if you hadn't."
"Ruka," the raven haired boy said impatiently. "She's the one, isn't she?"
The blonde boy, Ruka, narrowed his eyes. "Yes, her scent is strong," Ruka replied. Mikan gasped as Ruka suddenly approached her. He grabbed her wrist and inhaled deeply.
"It's definitely her," Ruka concluded.
It finally dawned on Mikan that she and the two boys were the only people in the room.
"What do you want with me?" Mikan demanded. The raven haired chuckled.
"Just follow us to the office like everyone else," he advised. Mikan nodded and followed the boys out of the gym.
"I would like to know the meaning of this!" Our secretary exclaimed.
The two boys, coach, and the rest of Mikan's gym class had just filed into the office. Several of the other girls from gym class were already there.
"There has been an incident in the gym. We have evacuated everyone that was there at the time. No one was hurt but most of the witnesses are in shock. One of the windows has been smashed. You will need to close the gym until it is repaired. Oh, and don't worry. My agency will cover all expenses toward the damage," the raven haired boy explained.
"An incident? What incident? And who are you? What agency? I need more details!" The secretary yelled. The poor woman was close to hysteria. Mikan didn't blame her. A whole gym class appeared at the office door followed by two armed and bloody boys. The boys however, seemed calm and collected. The raven haired boy approached the front desk and pulled out a silver badge. A pair of fangs was clearly etched into the badge.
"I'm Natsume Hyuuga and this is my colleague Ruka Nogi. We work with the special security squad that hunts monsters," Natsume explained.
"Monsters!" The secretary exclaimed. "But it's broad daylight! They're only supposed to come out at night!"
Mikan noticed Ruka shift his weight from foot to foot. Natsume's jaw was clenched but otherwise remained emotionless. An uneasy feeling settled throughout the room.
"We have been hunting this particular monster since early this morning. It hadn't had the chance to settle down to rest," Natsume explained.
Ruka stepped forward and said, "Ma'am, it would a good idea to let these girls go home for the day. Let them take it easy and rest. Same with the gym coach." Ruka pointed over to Fukutan. The secretary nodded feverishly.
"You heard the boys," she said. "All of you, head home."
"And be careful," Ruka warned.
Mikan wandered over to her locker. She pulled out her binders and text books. Mikan had always been a hard working student. Even though she wasn't that bright, she managed to scrape up some decent grades with her effort. Mikan headed out of the building. As she walked home, the scene from the gym kept replaying in her mind. She couldn't forget the fact that those guys had sniffed her. It was kind of freaky. So she smelled weird, great.
As Mikan walked, she became increasingly aware of someone following her. Mikan glanced around uneasily but came to the conclusion that she was alone. Still, Mikan felt uncomfortable so she picked up her pace. But no matter how fast she went, she still felt like someone was following her. Mikan wasn't sure how she knew, but it felt like she had a radar planted in the back of her head. Soon Mikan was travelling along at full speed. However, her endurance proved to be much weaker than her self-awareness. Mikan could feel fatigue ripple through her body and was forced to slow down. she came to a complete stop and doubled over. Her breathing was sharp and irregular. But no sooner had she stopped than she felt something hard bang against the back of her head. Mikan's world went black.