Disclaimer: I do not own R+V and no copyright infringement is intended.
If you did not read the last chapter's Author Notes or the title of this chapter, this is a bad end chapter that explores a what-if scenario. It is not necessary to read for the continuous flow of the story and may have some details that may come in future chapters. If you don't like bad end chapters or possible spoilers, then just skip this chapter.
I found myself at the usual bar with a bill that was steadily growing with every drink I took. Looking at my watch, I couldn't help but feel impatient over why she wasn't here yet. It wasn't like her to be late for a small get together among friends. She was always very punctual when it came to meeting times and appointments.
I couldn't exactly blame her though. This small get together wasn't really a normal reunion or meeting since only she and I showed up anymore. The small band of friends that we had formed together had been drifting apart ever since the moment we had all graduated from high school. It was only natural right? I was always one of the few that had understood the fact that the end of high school would be the start of the decline in friendships; that we would go on with our lives and get careers.
No, that wasn't quite accurate. My friends and I hadn't begun ebbing away from each other after graduation. We all had been drifting apart a bit earlier than that. Even though we had all claimed that we were friends, I could never shake off the feeling that no one felt that they could actually rely on anyone in the group. Without that sense of trust or value in each other, it was really a miracle that we had stuck around for as long as we had. All of my friends had started to go on with their own separate lives during high school and just left the group one by one after we were no longer required to be in each other's company.
The first ones to really leave after the incident were both Koji and Kurumu. I still found it hard to believe that the two had become a couple despite the fact that they always claimed that they couldn't be together, so much for the need to sustain their species.
I was happy that they found out that they loved each other, but I felt sad that they had to go into hiding to avoid Kurumu's family's disdain over their controversial marriage. I only wished I could have done something for them. Even though they had their reasons for leaving, I couldn't help but feel that they could've and should've at least consulting us to help them out. But like I had come to realize before, none of us really felt the other side to be very reliable.
Gin had to leave because he had to take care of his family and take care of the news company that he worked for. It was pretty chaotic for him and his family considering that the company he had initially worked for closed down because it simply couldn't have kept up with the competition. His lack of a high school education didn't exactly win him any favors for jobs that would have been able to sustain his family with comforts and within a reasonable work schedule that would make room for us. He was talented, but not many jobs cared for an uneducated man. It wouldn't have been as bad if his supervisor wasn't caught for making fraudulent stories that ruined the company in the first place.
In the end, the only friend that I had in high school that stuck around was Moka. That fact wasn't really surprising to me. I was her first friend and she had always cherished that fact so very much. I just chuckled as I call recall how often she had drunk my blood. Speaking of which, she seemed to have stopped doing so lately. I guess she had to grow out of that habit eventually. I wasn't complaining. It did relieve me of my frequent fatigue and neck pains.
"Hello there. Don't you think that you have had enough drinks for one night?"
My head slowly drifted to the source of the voice as I was slowly slipping back into reality. There stood a raven-haired woman with blood red eyes with slits comparable to that of a snake's. The only other thing I really noticed was that she had a barely noticeable accent. I contemplated who she was and where I would've met such a woman. The answer, she had no direct relation to me at all.
There were really only two real reasonable situations. One was that she was just a foreigner who took her time to make sure I was okay, which was highly unlikely. No one in their right mind would want to deal with a drunk, especially when said drunk looked so irritated. The second situation was not exactly one I could relish in.
"Did Moka send you to tell me that she couldn't come?" I said miserably and resumed drinking.
"What makes you say that? It makes me wonder why you would assume that I was an acquaintance of this friend you speak of," she said with a hint of displeasure and curiosity in her eyes.
The black-haired woman proceeded to sit across from me despite the obvious disgust she had for me. I may have been drunk, but even I could tell that most of her disgust wasn't coming from my sorry state. If it had been, she wouldn't have bothered talking to me in the first place.
"You can drop the act. I already know that you are a vampire. Also if you are so disgusted by me, you don't have to trouble yourself with me. You already delivered the message," I said quite loudly out of my drunken depression.
I really didn't want to deal with this vampire. If there was one thing I learned ever since getting myself involved in the monster world, it was that a monster will usually only approach a human with an ulterior motive. It was how I met all my friends in high school, all of whom are now absent from my life.
"As much as a pleasure it would be for me to just walk away right now, I have some business with you at the moment," she said with daggers coming from her eyes.
If I were still in high school, I'd have probably been shitting my pants at the moment. However, I've dealt with enough surprises in my life that I really could have cared less about the hostility showing in her eyes. It could also be due to the fact that the alcohol in me just dulled my common sense. It honestly didn't really matter to me at this point. To be perfectly honest, if she decided to destroy me right now, I'd probably save me the pain of having to deal with the fact that all my friends are gone now.
"Shoot. I've got all night," I just mumbled out to her.
"Well to my great delight, my little sister doesn't want to meet up with you anymore…" she said while trailing off to see my reaction.
"I see," I said stoically while taking another drink.
"That was very… lack luster. Aren't you surprised by this at all?" the vampire asked cautiously. She was probably wondering why her one attempt to elicit a response didn't even make me bat so much as an eye. She was clearly a sadist a heart if she was so disappointed after one attempt.
I wasn't surprised by Moka leaving at all. I was also surprisingly calm despite how much I feared this day. But in the end, why wouldn't Moka do the same as the others? I mean Mizore left me behind before everyone else before. Nothing could really surprise me or hurt me too much anymore. In fact, I was more amazed by how long Moka had decided to stick around.
"Well there isn't any real reason why Moka should want to meet up with me anymore. I'm just a drunken salary man that happened to have been nice to her when we first met in high school. There isn't really anything special about me. Besides, all my other friends left me behind already. It was only a matter of time before she would do the same."
"You are one pathetically sad sack of blood, even for your kind. Is that the alcohol or are you always like this," the vampire asked with no hint of disgust, but pity and confusion.
"I don't even know anymore. I've been pretty down for a few years now."
"What exactly happened to you? You're nothing like the person my sister described. I can't even imagine why Moka would stick around you for so long if you really were always like this."
"I'm not even sure why she wanted to be my friend in the first place. How would I know why she decided to humor me by meeting up with me every now and then?" I started to ramble drunkenly on. As I tried to lift the glass for another drink, I felt a very forceful grip on my arm preventing me from getting more inebriated.
"Look here! I'm not asking why my precious sister decided to constantly meet up with you! I can always ask her later! What I wanted to know is why you are such a loser! Even taking into account that this Moka is a big softie that can only see the best in people, even you must have had some value before! Also, don't you dare say she stayed for your blood! Both you and I know that you had to have been someone special for her to not have abandon you until now!"
"I was never someone special. Why are you of all people trying to disprove that? I already know for a fact that you think I'm just dirt. I had always known that. It was just made very clear to me and everyone when she went off and married some other guy!" I mistakenly said. The moment I had said that, the bitter memory how the events unfolded came flooding back.
I needed to wash away the memory. I needed a drink even if it killed me. Hell, I wanted the alcohol or the vampire kill me rather than have myself remember the pain. It was quite unfortunate though. There was still an angry vampire sitting across from me had both my arms pinned down so I couldn't take a drink to get more drunk or piss her off even more.
"Oh ho… So this is about a girl?" she said while giving me a sickening smirk.
"You really like to stick the knife in don't ya," I stated with a glare.
"Solves all of my problems and it is kind of fun to see you lower beings squirm around."
My god she wasn't kidding. How was it possible for this woman to be related to Moka at all? No wonder Moka had been so desperate to find a friend on the outside. If her entire family was like this, why was Moka so nice? Well it really didn't matter given my situation at the moment.
The woman continued to taunt me by asking me, "So, who was the woman that you had fallen so head over heels for to turn you into this? What was she like? How long had you loved her? Why exactly she dumped you?"
I really wanted to hit her for having to make me recall the specifics of what was going on. I just wanted to be left to my misery. I just wanted to drink away my problems, and I didn't want anyone to interfere with those plans. At least when I was drunk and alone, I wouldn't have to feel anything. It would have been fine if it were Moka here because at least she was considerate enough to not bring up the topic. This woman just tried to make my life worse.
I was considering in just staying silent in order to spite her at this point given how much she relished my suffering. I had considered that thought, until I realized that she was beginning to crush my arms with her grip. She was a vampire and could utterly destroy me if she wanted to. Knowing her, I had doubts that she would even hesitate using her strength if given the chance.
"Fine, you win. Her name was Shirayuki Mizore. We had been childhood friends all the way up until high school…"
"And then she asked you to marry her on the day of the graduation. Right?" the woman said with no hint of the glee she had earlier. It was instead replaced by slight irritation.
"Wait a second. How would you know that? Are you hiding something from me?"
I was royally pissed at this point. I was a drunk being forced to remember things he wanted to forget by a sadistic woman. How could I have not been infuriated at this point? I was being forced to remember how the one person I imagined to be by my side for the rest of my life to not only up and leave the day after graduation, but get engaged to another man the day after.
I wasn't in the right state of mind either given how I started to have crazy thoughts that somehow this woman was the source of my problems. There were even moments when I thought she was the reason why Mizore had left me behind. I wanted to shift all the blame onto this vampire for my suffering.
"She was a yuki onna, correct?" she asked with one brow raised.
"If you are wondering, the Shirayuki family was among some of the most prestigious families in the monster world given how they run one of the few businesses that allows for monsters to be themselves in a relaxing environment."
"So are you saying that she was being forced to get married?" I asked with growing impatience.
"Yes, but not for the reason you imagine. I could explain all of the details of monster world politics, but as I can see you are too drunk to really give a damn at this point. So here are the facts, clear and simple. Her race is dying out and her deadline to get married to the guy she loves was until the end of high school."
"Hello? Did you just die from shock?" the vampire said while waving one hand across my eyes to elicit a response.
"Why… Why wouldn't she have told me this before?" I managed to stutter out.
"Well… Ah Miss, I'll have an order prime rib raw please," she flippantly asked a waitress who I had noticed was actually a harpy. I also noticed the vampire had released her grip on my arm and how I could feel my veins bulge from a mixture of anger and impatience.
"Hey! Look here!" I said while slamming the table to get the vampire's attention before continuing, "I want to know why Mizore wouldn't tell me such an important detail! If I had known, I… would… have… I... would... have..."
I would have said yes? There was no way Mizore would have been happy. Hell, I doubt anyone would be happy always having to wonder if the person they loved married them just because they had to.
Mizore truly loved me. I wasn't just a replaceable part of her life. I had just simply not been able to latch onto what I held most precious and ended up hurting the both of us and dragged others down in my slump.
"At least you aren't as dull as you look," the vampire stated while only looking at me from the corner of her eye.
"Do… do you know how she is doing? Is she doing okay? Has she forgotten me? Is she living happily?" I asked hesitantly.
I wanted to know if she was happy. Mizore had tried her best to win my affection, and I was too stupid to see. I wanted to at least know that Mizore wasn't in the same pitiable state that I was in. I may have failed her, but I truly wanted her to be happy. I wasn't able to give my blessings due to my anger at the time, but I was the real scumbag in the situation.
"She's dead and with her, the fine balance between the human and monster world," she said quite stoically.
I could feel my heart turn to dust after hearing what happened to Mizore. How could I have let this happen? Why was Mizore dead? I should have done something to have prevented this.
Wait a second. The girl had just mentioned something about the balance between the two worlds.
"What!? But… Huh!?"
Didn't she just drop a second hard fact down my throat? Why exactly wasn't she concerned at all? I could understand that she didn't really give a damn about others too much, but she had said something about how the fate of two worlds.
"Yeah, turns out a yuki onna can actually die from depression. No one has ever seen that before despite how they almost always have arranged marriages. I don't know whether to applaud you for getting her to be that in love with you or to break your neck for not noticing," she continued without so much as batting an eye.
"No not that, the second thing!"
"Aren't you the cold-hearted man, you don't even care about how your beloved died. That is so human of you."
Of course I cared! Hearing those words coming out of her mouth was one of the most ironic things I have ever heard. As much as I wanted to wallow in self-pity, this was kind of too important to put off. If it was just one world, I wouldn't have given it priority over Mizore.
"Just tell me already," I sighed out.
"Well, I had mentioned how the Shirayuki family was a prestigious one and how they ran one of the few spots where monsters can relax in their true forms. With the next head gone without bearing an heir, calamity ensued as the yuki onna's tried to figure out a solution. During the whole chaos, the business was closed temporarily and there a lot of stress built up in the monster world from losing a place where monsters could let loose."
That was just a tad bit too hard to swallow.
She continued despite how confused I seemed to be, "The best part is that several monsters wanted to hunt down the human who caused all of this."
"Wait, but I'm still here."
"You should really thank my sister for that. You see, we are from a prestigious family ourselves. She managed to convince everyone that no good could come from associating with humans and that we needed to just go into dimension separated from this one."
This just sounded like one bad science fiction at this point. Separate dimensions. Monster global panic. Single events causing global and economic fluctuations. If it weren't for the fact that I was drunk and had known about the existence of monsters for quite some time now, I would have said that this vampire was quite batty. There was still one or two details I had trouble overlooking though.
"One, if it was such a big case, why did you seem to not know about me when we first met. Two, Moka was advocating the separation of the two worlds. Really?"
"One, you were such a sad meat bag that it seemed impossible for you to be the same human in the incident. For crying out loud, Moka lived in the human world for so long and she is always so nice. It would have been reasonable for her to have made more than one human friend. Why would I have assumed that you were the lady-killer in the incident? Two, Moka apparently wanted to say that there was good in humanity by using you as the evidence in order to keep you alive. But apparently you haven't done jack squat for monsters except have one heir die from misery. So she went for her next best option in order to save you," the woman stated as her extremely bloody meal came by.
The rest of the evening she continued her meal while I just sat limply in my seat trying to grasp at what I had just heard. I wanted to claim it was all a lie, but I had no way to really prove anything and I was too miserable to really try to come up with anything.
After finishing her meal, she paid for both her meal and my drinks. She then departed with, "Feel free to wallow in your misery alone."
It wasn't like she needed to tell me. She just did to kick me in the gut. In the end, being useless was all I was good at. As my consciousness began to fade out, I could only think about Mizore and how I should have just accepted her proposal so long ago.
#1: Please favorite and follow if you liked this story. Any and all reviews help. Send questions and I will probably respond to some of them by the next chapter. I do read them and consider editing previous chapters for better flow or explanations.
#2: For those of you who might be thinking how Tsukune's thought kind of jump around a bit at the end, he's drunk. No one can really think too clearly when they are drunk.
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#3: For those of you curious as to which decision led to this ending, this is the scenario written should Tsukune have told the truth to Mizore immediately. There are several reasons that will be elaborated in future chapters as to why all of the things that happened in this chapter occurred. The one thing that can be cleared up is for those wondering why Tsukune was so shocked as to why Mizore left given his preconception that it would happen anyways. This is due to the fact that by choosing to tell the truth, he had accepted the fact that he needed Mizore in his life as stated in the previous chapter.