Beta'd by Ou Matsurei
"Silently, lit by the moon's silvery light,
Two shadows are walking side by side.
Instead of becoming one,
They only drift into emptiness."
"Who…?" A hush voice echoed as the darkness flickered with a slit of light. The melody of water resonated from the distance, matching perfectly together with the beautiful song.
"Shaking, swaying like a fluttering butterfly,
Right now, it's like you've been hiding something."
"Who is singing…?" The darkness split open to a blurred scene of white. Something moved within the blended colors. The darkness came back, then parted once more, and the vision cleared slightly. Lips…
"Standing alone against an ever-blowing gale…"
A pair of moving lips could be made out, shaping the words being sang. Then, the colors blended together once more, erasing the picture of the person as the darkness returned.
"Are you really going to fly out with those tattered wings?
Don't do such a pointless thing.
Besides, I'd come after you no matter how far you fly."
"...!" Mint green eyes snapped open with a loud gasp.
Heavy pants echoed through the dim room, mixed together with the sound of the pattering of rain outside. The teen with spring green hair sat up and gazed out the window to see fat droplets of water rolling down the glass.
"That dream again." The boy groaned as he threaded his fingers through his sweat stained hair. "Come to think of it…it was raining too, wasn't it?" He glanced at the sky that was dark despite being daytime. He tried to recall the person who was singing, but failed again. Everything was too blurred for him to make out. Now that his mind had cleared, the image of the dream was slipping from his mind, slowly being forgotten.
Taking a small breath, the teen recalled where the song had broken off and began to sing the continuation.
"Though it's too torturing,
Putting up with time without hearing a voice.
Yesterday, haven't you been up all night,
Waiting for a call from me?"*
A loud rumble came from the green haired teen, causing him to look down in embarrassment as some passing girls in high school uniforms giggled at him. He tugged up his blue scarf a little and shivered at the cool air.
"I can't believe I forgot to stock up on food." The boy groaned as his stomach growled again, almost as though it was agreeing with him. He sighed and leaned his umbrella towards the direction of where the wind was blowing to block the incoming rain. Upon seeing light from the corner of his eyes, Fei turned and realized that he was walking by the window to McDonald. He peered through the glass, looking inside to see young children eating and smiling happily with their parents.
"Mommy, Daddy, hurry up!" Fei turned to see a small boy jumping up and down at the doorway to the fast food restaurant. He was shaking his umbrella in excitement as his parents made their way to him.
"Slow down, honey." The woman said sweetly, but the second the man opened the door, the boy had dashed inside. The pale teen watched as the couple exchanged loving smiles before they walked in after their son.
"Parents and friends…" The greenette mumbled quietly as he recalled the group of girls he had passed by. He turned to continue his path before he was distracted. However, not seeing where he was going, he ended up colliding against something. If not for a hand that had reached out to grab him, he would have surely joined his umbrella in the puddle.
"I'm sorry." He quickly apologized when he realized that he had bumped into a person. "I wasn't watching where I was…" his voice got lost in his throat when he saw that the one he had walked into was another teenager.
The person had snow white hair and was wearing a pair of black goggles over his eyes despite how it was a greyish day without much sunlight. He couldn't help but shivered when he saw his own image being reflected in those lenses. He didn't know why, but he suddenly felt very self-conscious and that made him very uneasy.
It was only when he saw the stranger's lips moving did he realize that the other was speaking. "I-I'm sorry, what did you say?" He asked lamely and immediately felt very stupid for doing so. If the person didn't know he was staring, the green haired teen was sure that he did now.
"I said," the white haired boy smiled kindly, not seeming the least bothered by needing to repeat his words, "that if you don't pick up your umbrella soon, you'll be soaked."
The green haired teen stilled. He blinked up at the other once, then twice before he realized that his umbrella was missing. He looked up, finding himself under shelter of the other boy's black parasol and what's more, he was pressed close against the stranger's chest by the arm around his waist that had prevented him from falling.
"S-sorry!" The greenette quickly pulled himself away from the warm hold. Flushed in embarrassment, he hastily bent down to pick up his umbrella, not seeing the small amount of water that had gathered inside. Just when the white haired teen was about to call out to stop him, he held the umbrella upright. The rain water showered down, causing the pale skinned boy to jump as he felt cold droplets running down his scalp.
"That's why I told you that you'll be soaked." The goggle wearing boy chuckled.
"I-I'm…" By now, the green haired teen's embarrassment had raised to the point where he wanted to hide in a hole and never surface again. Not thinking straight, he blurted out another apology in attempt to cover his awkwardness. When his brain registered what he just said, he felt the desperate urge to look for that hole.
He wondered why he kept apologizing. For some odd reason, he couldn't seem to calm down at all. He was panicking and was completely being overwhelmed by his nervousness. There was something about this boy that agitated him in a way he had never felt before.
"Is 'sorry'the only word you can say?" The teen was now laughing out in amusement.
By reflex, the green haired boy had nearly apologized again, but he caught himself in time and shut his mouth. His mint green eyes drifted around to show his unease. Then finally unable to take it anymore, he ran. He faintly thought he had heard the call of his name, but he didn't care. Right now, the only thing he wanted was to get away, not wanting to embarrass himself any further than he already had.
The white haired teen stood in the same spot he had always been as he watched the boy who had walked into him vanished into the crowds.
"Ah-ah~" A loud sigh echoed through the air.
The teen didn't show any reactions as a boy with chocolate tan skin and pink hair walked out of the alley behind him. His hands were shoved into his pockets, seeming not care at all of the cold droplets soaking his being.
"You scared him away." The pink haired boy laughed with a light growl rumbling from his throat.
"Garsha, why are you here?" The white haired teen asked, though it sounded more like a demand. Any trace of the warmness his voice had previously displayed vanished.
"Looking for you of course." Garsha snorted as he pulled both of his hands behind his head. "Your entire coven is freakin' out looking for you when they discovered how you had vanished. With the location of your exit, none of them can come out without risking exposure to the sunlight, so they asked me."
The tan boy let his Carolina blue eyes drift over to the building that the greenette had vanished behind. "So that was the brat? He doesn't seem to like you much, does he?"
"It's only natural." The white haired boy responded as he gently pulled the dark goggles over his soft white hair. His eyes parted, revealing a pair of beautiful eyes in three shades of colours. The pupils were clear white and his irises were in the dim colour of imperial purple with thick, black rings at the border of the irises.
"After all," those eyes narrowed towards the roof of the hotel on the other side of the street, "I'm only a stranger to him now."
"What?" The man with long grey hair and crimson eyes stared into the screen displaying a face of a bearded soldier.
"Impossible!" The man with greasy blond hair sitting on the opposite side of the circular table exclaimed. "He was dead! There was no way he could survive!"
[B-but it's true, sir! I saw him with my own eyes!] The bearded man on the screen exclaimed before he slapped a hand over his mouth when he realized the volume he had spoken in. He turned to the left, seeming to be checking something off-screen before letting out a slow sigh of relieve.
"Show us." The crimson eyed man ordered.
With a quick nod from the bearded man, the screen shifted around to display image of the two figures in the distance. The camera zoomed in until the image of the pink haired teen was clearly captured, but the other wasn't visible at all due to the umbrella blocking the camera's line of sight.
"That boy!" The rather chubby man with white hair and glasses shouted. "Chairman! That's Garsha Wolfein, the leader of the Tsukigami Clan!"
"The current dominating werewolf clan of Japan?" A brown haired man with sharp facial features yelled as whispers began to travel through the room.
"Zoom in on the other one." The chairman ordered. The screen shifted to the right to display where the umbrella carrying person is—or at least, where he should have been.
"Where did he go?" One of the men asked, but he soon received his response when a blood curling cry echoed through the speaker. A second later, crimson fluid sprayed across the screen. Some of the men turned green, knowing exactly what those crimson fluids were.
They stared in silent, their hearts pounding heavily as the screen began to shift.
What they saw nearly sent all of the elderly men into heart attacks. There, displayed on the screen was a white haired youth that they were all too familiar with. He was grinning at them with his eyes glowing eerily. Something no human should be capable of doing.
[Hello, oji-san tachi*.] The boy greeted in a light and casual tone. [It's been only twelve years and I must say, I could hardly recognize you all. Humans age so quickly, don't you agree?]
"Saryuu Evan!" The man with spectacles wheezed. He looked to be on a dangerous line of hyperventilating.
"Impossi—you died." The blond stressed the word, as though by doing so it would become reality.
[That's what you hope isn't it, oji-san?] Saryuu smiled brightly. [But unfortunately for you, I'm very much alive.]
"What are you planning, Saryuu?" The chairman demanded. "After that battle twelve years ago, Feida vanished from the trace of Japan."
[Feida didn't vanish.] The teen hummed. [We have always been here, you're simply not looking hard enough. That stunts you, El Dorado, had pulled merely put me to sleep for a fair amount of time. I have just woken about half a month ago, and guess what I found?] He sang before his smile morphed into a scowl that sent most of them stumbling back in fear. [I found that you humans stole something important of mine.]
"And I take it that the 'something' you're referring to is Fei Lune?" The chairman narrowed his eyes to match the other's glare. "What do you want with that child?"
[That should be my line.] Saryuu hissed darkly. [What purpose do you have kidnapping him?]
"You're the kidnappers here!" The blond man interrupted, only to be silenced by an even more sinister look from the teenager in the screen.
"Fei Lune is the child of Asurei Lune." The chairman said, not affected by the dark look the teen was wearing. "We are simply bringing him back to where he belongs, and protecting him from–"
[Protect?] The youth laughed as though the leader of the group of ageing men had made a joke, [So your definition of protect was to throw him into an isolated life filled with surveillance? Asurei Lune must be rolling in his grave.]
"How dare you!" The blond tried to argue again, but stopped, this time by the chairman who held up his hand.
"Fei is just a child and a human no less." The chairman's calculating red eyes never left the screen. "What exactly do you want from him, Saryuu?"
[I don't need to explain myself to you inferior humans. Fei will return to me.]
"You won't get Fei."
[Who's going to stop me, oji-san tachi?] Saryuu laughed before the screen became black.
"Please come again." The clerk said as Fei stepped out of the bakery. He rested his umbrella on his shoulder and glanced down at the bag of breads and onigiris that he had just bought.
The green haired boy moaned miserably, still feeling depressed at the way he had made a fool out of himself earlier. He wondered why he had behaved like that. There was something about that boy he had met…something that feel weirdly nostalgic. For one thing, his voice sounded familiar, as though he has always been hearing it from somewhere.
"What am I thinking?" Fei quickly shook the thoughts away and pulled out an anpan* from the bag. Maybe it's just the hunger that's getting to him.
He tore open the wrapping and took a bite into the soft dough. He smiled at the sweetness that filled his mouth. Just as he was about to swallow the food to satisfy his stomach's need, a scream tore through the air. The high-pitched screeches of tires could be heard and the next moment, Fei heard the sound of a sickening impact.
"ISAO-SAN!" The greenette turned to look at what was going on behind him, but immediately regretted it.
"Someone call an ambulance! CALL AN AMBULANCE! PLEASE!" A woman shrieked from beside the fallen body of a blood stained man.
Fei could feel his umbrella slipping out of his numb fingers, but he didn't bother doing anything about it. His breath hitched and his mouth watered at the sight of fresh crimson blood pouring over the ground. The teen swallowed to get rid of the food in his mouth as his eyes were focused on the beautiful red puddle. His teeth itched with a strange sensation and he began to imagine what would happen if he just take a small lick of the fluid that was being wasted on the ground.
It's only a quick lick. It wouldn't hurt anyone.
All he wanted was just a taste…
"…!" The greenette inhaled sharply when a heavy hand suddenly fell onto his shoulder.
"Hey kid, you alright?" A rough voice of a man's asked, but Fei could barely hear him. He trembled at the horrifying thoughts that had just gone through his head. With a scream, he turned around, pushing the hand away from him as he escaped from the scene. He didn't know where he was going, but he knew he had to get away from there.
He pushed pass the people blocking his way, ignoring the protest and the angry yells he received. He ran until he was completely out of breath and hid himself in a dark, quiet alley. His breathes were ragged and his throat dry as though he had swallowed balls of cotton. He was thirsty and needed something to drink, but the image of water was quickly replaced by the red puddle embedded inside his mind. His stomach twisted painfully as he felt his veins burning with a sickening need for the image his mind was conjuring.
Fei practically shoved the rest of his bread into his face before tearing apart the wrappings of the other food he had bought. By the time he finished the last bit of his food; silent tears were rolling down his cheeks. The feeling of that desire was gone, telling him that his body was finally satisfied by the amount of food he had consumed.
He couldn't stand it. After not having felt like this for years, he thought he could be normal again. But all of those ridiculous hopes were banished at the remembrance of those disturbing thoughts he had.
"Why me?" He choked as he hugged his legs. He tried to use his sleeves to dry his tears, but they wouldn't stop.
His stomach was content but for how long would that last? What if something like this occurs again? What if he couldn't stop himself unlike this time?
What would he do then?
"Fei Lune, identity confirmed." A stiff, robotic like voice suddenly cut through his thoughts, causing Fei to jump in surprise. He quickly turned around to find a group of teenage boys standing at the entrance of the alley.
"Huh?" Fei shifted back when the bald one approached him. "Who are you?" He asked in confusion, wondering how the boy seemed to know him when this is definitely the first time they've met.
"Your existence is currently in danger. Please come with us or we will have to resort to using force."
Before Fei could question, he let out a startled cry when the boy suddenly picked him up and threw him over his shoulder.
"W-what are you doing?" He cried as he quickly tried to pull himself away.
"There is no need to panic." A deeper voice grunted. Fei looked up and saw a man in navy coloured suit with a red necktie. He has rather bushy bluish-grey hair that connects with his equally bushy beard. He wore bright orange shades over his eyes, contrasting with the blue colour over his body. "We are here to protect you, Fei Lune."
"Protect me?" Fei asked, "From what? Who are you people?" He began to panic. It couldn't be that these people had seen what happened to him, could they? "Please, just let me go! Put me down!"
"Request denied." Came that monotone voice.
Fei fought against the hold, but the teen was surprisingly strong despite his look and the muscles he seemed to lack. The arm around his waist didn't even budge the slightest bit and his constant movement did nothing to affect the boy's pace.
With a squeal, Fei was suddenly thrown into the air and landed onto a leather seat. He quickly got up, looking around to realize that he was inside a vehicle.
"Hel–!" Before he could call out for help towards the passing people, alerting them of his situation, the door slammed shut, locking the green haired teen inside.
The white haired teen watched from across the street as the black van quickly drove off, speeding by the cars and charging through the red light, earning many heated honks from other drivers.
"Is it alright letting them take away your boy toy like that?" Garsha asked as the car vanished into the distant. He turned to his companion only to be greeted with a frown.
"Watch your tone, Garsha." Saryuu hissed. "Call him that again and I will pluck out your claws one by one."
"Hey, I was just saying." The other quickly put his hands up and took a step back to distance himself from the threatening glare.
"Fei will be fine. They won't lay hand on a human. At most, they will simply convince him to have him join their ranks."
"Isn't that bad?" Garsha asked. "If your princess joins the El Dorado…"
Saryuu snorted, amused that Garsha could even think of such thing. "If they believe that by doing this they can keep Fei away from me, then they're sadly mistaken." He replied in a low voice so only the werewolf's sensitive ears can hear him. He stared at the passing cars for a little longer before he turned and began walking off. "Feida will pay El Dorado back for what they have done twelve years ago. You and Vanfeny know what to do, don't you?"
"We're all prepared." Garsha replied with a wide smirk sliding over his face, revealing his sharp rows of teeth.
"Where are you taking—Ah!" Fei winced as he was roughly dropped into a chair. When he looked up, he stiffened upon realizing how he was in a dim room with many pairs of eyes settling on him.
"Fei Lune." A man with brown hair and piercing crimson eyes spoke sternly, causing Fei to shrink into his seat. He snuck a glance back to see the teenagers who had brought him here lined up behind him, blocking off the path to the only exist in this strange place. "It is my pleasure that we are finally able to meet face to face."
"W-what do you want from me?" The greenette tried his best to sound calm, but failed under the pressure of the eyes of the people who had forcefully brought him here.
"Relax child." The man said, though the strict look displayed over his face never softened. "I am Toudou Heikichi, the chairman of El Dorado, and also registered as your legal guardian."
"My what?" Fei snapped his head up, not expecting this turn of event. "Then…you're the one who provided me with that apartment and money?" He asked, momentarily pushing away his unease of these people.
"That is correct." Heikichi leaned back into his leather chair. "What we are going to tell you may sound outrageous, but you must listen closely."
Fei looked around at the eyes that were on him. When he responded with a slow nod, light lit up from the center of the circular table. The greenette was stunned when he saw an image of a green haired man being displayed—in three dimensions.
"A hologram?" He gapped, unable to believe what he was seeing. He has only seen holograms in movies. He didn't think something like this could exist in real life as he had thought the current technology hasn't gotten to that stage yet. None of the men answered. They just simply watched with apathetic faces as the image changed. This one was displaying the same man, only that he was carrying a small bundle in his arms.
Fei stared with shock displayed in his eyes when he saw the baby that had green hair obviously taken after the man. It didn't take long for him to understand what was going on.
"Yes." The chairman replied. "This man you see is Asurei Lune. He is your father, Fei."
"But…I-I…" The greenette said inarticulately. He tried to calm down and focused his thoughts to form proper words. "I don't have—!"
"Everyone has a father." The blond man snorted with a roll of his eyes. The teenager couldn't help but flinch at the heavy sarcasm the man's voice carried.
"Kei, mind your tone!" The man with glasses gave the blond man a disapproving look before he turned back to Fei. "Asurei Lune had unfortunately passed away shortly after your birth, so it's only natural that you don't have any memories of him. Your father was a great man. In fact, he was one of the founders of El Dorado."
"El Dorado…?" The greenette briefly wondered what that is. He remembered Heikichi mentioning that name when he introduced himself as well.
"Allow me to explain." The teen jumped at the voice that suddenly came from behind him. He looked over his shoulder to see the man with wild glaucous blue hair stepping up. "I am Sakamaki Togurou, the coach of the team Perfect Cascade."
"Perfect Cascade?" Fei looked over to the teenagers that were still standing in the same position and wonder if he was referring to them.
"The Perfect Cascade is a team of androids created by El Dorado to defend mankind from the supernatural."
Togorou looked down at the blank expression on the greenette. Knowing that the teen is most likely thinking of how they have lost their sanity, he turned to the Perfect Cascade.
"Enter Hyper Dive Mode." He ordered.
Fei jumped off his seat in surprise when the teens' faces suddenly broke apart. Their eyes were pulled back and slid to the side to reveal a set of glowing, mechanical eyes.
"As you can see, the Perfect Cascade are not human. They are androids in which the El Dorado has created." The coach of the Perfect Cascade repeated. He smirked knowing he now has the greenette's full attention. He made a small gesture to the androids. At the silent command, they reverted back to their more human forms.
"I know this is hard to take in, but human aren't the only race in this planet." Togurou began, waving his hand for the greenette to retake his seat, which the teen hesitantly did so. "Vampires, werewolves and nearly every mythological creature known to mankind are real. They used to live along side with us long ago, but human simply forgotten over time, leaving their existence in our society's knowledge only as myths."
"The El Dorado is an organization representing the human race to all the other species." Heikichi continued in the explanation. "Each race has their representing leaders and together, we keep the order of the world from falling apart."
"O–...okay…?" Fei responded sluggishly, not sure what else he was supposed to say. He half expected, half hoped for someone to suddenly laugh out loud and tell him that this was all a prank and that he could go home. But of course, that unfortunately did not happen.
Everything these people were telling him was simply outrageous. None of it made any sense but despite knowing that, he found himself unable to doubt their words. There was just something in the back of his mind, like a little voice, telling him that this was all very true.
The sound of a cough interrupted the silence. Fei looked up only to find that the image being projected this time has switched again. The greenette's jaw fell when he saw the smirking face of a white haired boy. He immediately recognized the boy even without those dark goggles hiding his seemingly flawless face. He shivered under those deep purple eyes that seemed to be looking directly into his soul.
Entranced by the picture, Fei never heard the call of his name or noticed the tears trickling down his unblinking eyes.
He knew that face. He was certain that he knew it from somewhere…but where?
The green haired teen gasped when the face of the boy abruptly vanished. He turned to Heikichi, wanting to ask him to pull back the image when he finally felt the coldness on his cheeks. He hesitantly lifted his hand to his face and finally realized that he was crying.
"W-what is this?" Fei sniffed as he quickly used his sleeves to wipe the wetness away. "Why am I…?"
"Perhaps this is enough for now." Heikichi said as he turned to Togurou. With a silent exchange of message, the man with orange shades took the greenette by the arm and pulled him to his feet.
"Wait!" Fei writhed against the tight grip. "That boy just now, who is he?"
His heart beat fastened in panic when he was met with nothing but silence. "This somehow involves me right?" He asked with desperation apparent in his voice. He needed information, anything to find out why he was shedding tears for a complete stranger he had only known for a few minutes. "Please, can someone tell me? That's why I'm here, right?"
"A few months after your birth, your parents were murdered by a coven of vampires." Togurou said as he slowly released the boy. "They were killed by the representatives of the vampire race."
Fei's eyes widened at the information.
"While human had long forsaken the method of ruling countries through the royal families, other species still preserve it due to their destructive power. They needed the most powerful, which they crown as the ruler of the race, to govern their people to ensure that none would dare to misuse their power." Heikichi waved his hand to bring back the holographic screen. This time, it was displaying a picture of many teenagers, all of them wearing what seemed to be uniforms. "The representative of the vampires is a powerful coven call Feida, led by the emperor of vampires himself."
The screen zoomed in until it focused on a particular white haired teen standing at the center of the group.
"Him?" Fei gawked in disbelieve. That boy that had seemed to be his age and had smiled so kindly at him was the ruler of creatures that live off of blood?
"This vampire, Saryuu Evan, was the former emperor of the vampire race. Twelve years ago, he betrayed our treaty and together with his coven, performed a large scale attack on a small town in Alaska."
The greenette's breath stopped when he realized what they were talking about. That news had been a hot topic for years and even known as the worst incident in the history. He remembered it well as he had done a research project on it not that long ago.
On a January twelve years ago, all the people a small town had mysteriously vanished. When the police went to investigate, they found that each house was a mess. The doors and windows were broken down and the furniture torn apart, showing how there had definitely been a struggle inside. But despite having thousands of people missing in a single night, the police couldn't find any evidences or leads the criminals may have left behind. The only thing they knew was that before the attack in the town, there has been a blackout for five hours due to a blizzard. By the time the lights came back, all traces of citizens living there were gone.
No one has ever found out what had exactly happened.
The cased was forced to close three years later for that there were never any leads. Many angry families and friends of the missing people started a riot against the government for their 'lack of trying', as they called it.
"In order to bring down the ruling coven, we, along with other vampire clans that objected to his rules launched a surprise attack on their palace, Ragnarok. That was where we found you, Fei."
"Me?" Fei whispered with wide eyes.
"Ever since the death of your parents, we've been trying to locate you, who went missing. Unfortunately, we never succeeded until the night of the battle. We found you in a storage room, your entire body covered in blood."
"I…" The greenette rubbed his head as he tried to recall something, anything these people were telling him of. "But I don't remember any of it."
"You were only four years old at the time. You either couldn't remember or that you had lost your memory of that time period. When a person goes through a traumatic experience, their mind can erase those painful memories being desperately wished to forget. It's a self-defense system the human body have." The coach of the Perfect Cascade explained as he turned to the screen. The image switched again, but instead of being more of the vampire's pictures, Fei was looking at an image of his younger self.
The small, green haired child was lying in what appears to be a hospital bed with an oxygen mask over his face and an IV dripping clear yellow liquid into his small wrist.
"When we rescued you from there, you were mentally unstable and even entered a stage of depression. You screamed whenever the night came and it took many psychologists just to make you speak again."
"You mean I was a prisoner?" Fei stared at the picture, unable to look away. It felt weird seeing himself going through something that he couldn't even remember. The younger him in the screen seemed really frail, as though a small touch could break him.
No, he wasn't a prisoner. He wasn't sure what led him to believe that, but he just somehow knew.
"That's right." The blond man whom the teen learnt as Kei snorted.
"You're wrong…" Fei countered, though it was too soft for anyone to hear.
"They are nothing but savage monsters that only care to satisfy their thirst!" The blond continued on. "You were most likely kept there as livestock–"
"You're wrong! Saru would never do something like that!" Fei blurted out before he could even think. He stilled when he realized how he had just shouted at his elders, much like the others in the room.
"Saru?" The coach of the Perfect Cascade glanced over to the chairman, then back to the boy. "You called him Saru just now?"
"Eh?" Fei looked around before he realized that the vampire's name wasn't Saru, but Saryuu. "O-oh…I must have mixed up…sorry…" he mumbled. He didn't know why he had just defended Saryuu. He didn't even know that boy—or rather, vampire. From what these people were telling him, the vampire emperor killed his parents. The greenette thought back to the child he had saw in McDonald, and wondered what it would be like if his parents were still alive.
Could he have been that child?
Would he be able to smile like that?
If his parents were alive, would he be able to lead a different life; one filled with the warmth of knowing there was someone precious at his side?
Fei thought back to his accidental meeting with the leader of Feida this morning; the meeting with the one who had taken all those possibilities away from him.
'But,' the greenette closed his eyes. As he expected, he couldn't feel any resentment at all.
There were no possibilities. This is the life he was leading. There are no ifs.
The reason he was lonely was entirely his fault. It wasn't something that can be blamed on not having parents to raise him. As unfair it is to say it, that man with Persian green hair he had seen was only a stranger to him. He was never in his life, that's why Fei couldn't find it in himself to miss something he never had. He was the one who had distant himself from his classmates. He was the one who chose to sit at the back of the classroom and never once step up to interact with other children because of his own fear at how different they were.
He was frightened that if he got too close and made friends, they would one day discover his abnormality and leave him. That's why, rather than experiencing the feeling of being loved then abandoned, he rather chooses to be alone in the first place so he won't have to go through the pain. This was the cowardly path he chose to walk on, just so he could protect himself.
"I want to go rest." He said in an almost inaudible voice, unable to take the strain anymore. There were so many questions flowing into his mind that he didn't know what to think.
With an approving nod from the chairman, Togurou and the Perfect Casade led him out of the large room. He followed the man down the elevator and through many turns. He didn't know how long it has been as he was in a trance-like state, his mind trying to sort everything that had happened. By the time he realized, a pair of automatic doors slid open and Fei found himself staring into a decent sized room. There were no windows in the cream coloured wall. Just a bed, a simple table, two shelves and some books that looked as though it had been placed there to kill time. To the very left, there was a wooden door. Through the open gap, Fei realized that it was the bathroom.
"This will be where you will stay in. The Perfect Cascade will stand guard at the doorway. If you need anything, just ask them." Togurou informed the boy, but just as he was about to head back to the meeting room, the greenette reached out and quickly grabbed the sleeve of his suit.
"Can vampires…" Fei hesitated as the man turned his sharp gaze to him. "Can vampires eat human food?"
"No, they cannot." The man replied so quickly that it made it seem like an obvious answer.
"But vampire use to be human right?" The teen asked as he recalled some vampire stories he had heard of and seen in old films. "Maybe there's a chance that—"
"If you are referring to the myth of how vampires are able to turn human into their kinds, then you're wrong." Togurou cut him off. "Vampire cannot turn human into them. If they could, then the balance between the two species would have been destroyed long ago."
"Eh?" Fei blinked. "Then you're saying that vampires are…naturally born?" The greenette took in this new information, realizing how there are still some differences between reality and the myths.
"Then if that's the case, they have teeth right?" Fei pushed on. It sounded like a fairly stupid question, but the greenette knew it was significant. If vampires are naturally born that way, then those teeth must be there for a reason. It didn't make sense for something to have teeth if there are no uses for it. Snakes are a perfect example of that.
"If they can't eat, then why do they have teeth? Wouldn't fangs alone be significant?"
Togurou stared down at the young boy. He knew that the boy was smart, but to consider so something like this in such a short period of time was something he didn't expect. Then again, it should be given, seeing how this is the son of one of the most brilliant man he had known.
"There have been studies upon that—one began by your father, wondering the very same question. There are many theories. One of it is that the vampire specie is actually an evolved form of the human race. The explanations for their teeth are simply what were left of the little human gene that remains inside them. Another probability would be that the two species are not related. Vampires are simply born with a form similar to human so that it allows them to blend in with their prey and have easier access to food. It's like a flower, blooming in vibrant colours to attract insects."
Fei stared, stunned at how easily Togurou called human 'food' and his indirect way of comparing them as insects. "So there are no chances that they might…?"
"Do you know how the human body works?"
"Yes." The son of Asurei Lune responded with a nod.
"Then you should know that the human body has various ways to break down solid food. The saliva contains a digestive enzyme called salivary amylase that begins the digestion process of dietary starches and fats. A vampire's saliva however, lacks this function. Blood can be the carrier to many fatal diseases. To protect themselves, their saliva contains highly concentrated antibodies that are about twenty times more powerful than what the human saliva holds. Their saliva enables them to fully rid any viruses the human they drink from may have along with the capabilities to instantly heal wounds."
"Why would they need that?" Fei asked.
"Contrary to beliefs, vampires heal slower than humans. The only reason humans believe that they heal fast was due to their saliva that they coat over their injuries. When a certain part of their body enhances, they naturally have to sacrifice something else to maintain the balance in their body. The vampires' bodies are built for their extraordinary agility and flexibility. Due to that, there is rarely anything that can hit them. Since they are hard to hit, their regeneration ability wasn't as needed as their other functions."
"So you mean that the time it takes for them to regenerate regressed in exchange for speed."
"Yes. That's why while quick on their feet, they are also vulnerable. To counter that flaw, their body began to develop a new way of protection. Since their saliva already contains an abnormal amount of power to remove bacteria, altering and gaining the ability to heal injuries is an easy change."
The greenette occasionally nodded to show that he was still paying attention to what the older man was saying.
"Since they only consume liquid, their stomach also lack the digestive juices which contains the body's strong acid to break down solid food. So as you can see, boy, it is impossible for a vampire to consume anything other than fluid."
"You said fluid…" Fei said slowly, "do you mean that they can drink things other than blood?"
"Yes, but only blood can provide them the nutrient their bodies needed. To be specific, they can only live off of human's blood. Animal blood can enable their survival, but it is lacking in many things, causing their body will constantly seek out more food to satisfy their body."
"So it's like trying to make up quantity with quality?" The pale teen asked. "Why? Aren't blood all the same?"
"No blood is the same. Every cell in every creature is different. That's what identifies us as individual and as different species. As I have told you, vampires have the same appearance of human, that means that they're similar down to their cells. Humans and vampires are the only beings in this world with identical arrangements of genes on chromosomes."
Fei's eyes widen as he was quickly catching onto what the man was telling him. "That's why they drink human blood." He whispered. "If they regenerates slow, then that means that the time they produce the components inside the blood stream is also slower than human."
Togurou stared at the green haired teen. For a split second, he had almost mistaken the youth for his old, deceased friend. The boy really shared many similarities with his father, even down to the way he looked when analysing a new discovery.
"The reason they drink blood instead of eating is because blood is the fastest way to carry nutrient throughout their body. They won't need to waste time digesting. The blood of human can just enter directly into their system and become a part of them."
"And with animal blood, they will need to go through a process of altering the blood cells so that it won't be rejected by their body." Togurou continued on for the boy as he shoved his hands into his pockets. "Instead of merging like they can with human cells, their vampire cells will have to first absorb the animal cells where it will break it down, and then reconstruct it into a cell of their own. The process can take just as much energy as they can acquire from animal's blood; therefore animal blood can never sustain their bodies for long."
"Then the myth about a vampire not able to go out during the day…" Fei trailed off as he looked at the man, hoping to get more information on these creatures.
"Is true." The man responded. "Although the stories of vampires have been altered countless times to fit into human imagination, the earliest myths of them are closer to the truths. Vampire's skin is harder than steel, but the components inside their skin which provides them such protection are weak against a certain component that can only be found in sunlight. That is why in early days humans used stakes to kill them, as wood absorbs sunlight to grow, gaining the same element from the sun which the vampire skin are weak against."
"So the story of how they will burn and turn into ashes is also true then?"
"That is only if they are completely exposed to sunlight. They have methods to protect themselves, but that isn't something you need to concern yourself with."
"Wait!" Fei called when the man tried to walk away again. "Please, tell me. I need to know! If they have methods, then that means they can move in sunlight, right?" He asked desperately.
Togurou frowned. He observed the green haired boy's reaction closely, trying to figure out why the teen was asking such question. It certainly wasn't out of curiosity. He could see it in those eyes. It was out of desperation, but of what? To understand his current situation?
"…All beings in this world, aside from humans and shape-shifters are born with a unique energy." The man explained while watching the greenette's face carefully, "that energy is what we call 'aura'. It's the base of their powers that humans deem as supernatural."
"I'm sorry but…what exactly is aura?"
"It's a form of raw energy that the human eyes cannot see. Vampires, much like other creatures, can freely control those energies, such as masking them around their bodies to block out the dangerous substance within the sunlight. However, even if so, their auras are not strong enough to fully cut off the harmful components from touching their skin. Although their skin won't be set aflame, they will suffer severe burns much like ones humans could. In the vampire history, there has only been one powerful enough to completely resist the sunlight."
"You've met him this morning."
Saryuu? Fei thought with rounded eyes. Certainly when he had met Saryuu it was daytime, but it was raining pretty hard so there wasn't much sunlight…
"Any more questions?" Togurou asked, snapping the teen out of his thought.
"No. It's enough. Thank you." The teen bowed a little to show his appreciation. He watched as the man walked off down the hallway, then to the robots standing guard around him. With a deep sigh, he stepped into his new room and the doors automatically closed behind him. Once away from all those eyes, Fei ran to the other side of the room and flung himself onto the twin size bed. Silent tears leaked from his eyes but were quickly soaked up by the pillow he was shoving his face into.
Vampires cannot eat solid food.
Vampires cannot walk into sunlight with only an exception of one.
That means that Fei himself was not a vampire. He didn't know whether to feel relieve or frustrated as the small hope of discovering himself vanished. His throat constricted as he remembered the beautiful pool of red and the sweet coppery scent that filled his nose, mix together with the refreshing scent of rain.
He wasn't human. That much was painfully clear. But if he wasn't a vampire either, then what exactly is he?
And then there's Saryuu. Fei couldn't understand why his heart itches whenever he remembered that face.
The Song – Promise by Okamoto Nobuhiko, voice actor of Saryuu Evan. The song is actually from Kaichou wa maid-sama. I don't watch the anime or read the manga, but I just came across it when searching for songs sang by Saru's voice actor and found that this one fits.
Oji-san tachi – Oji-san means uncle and tachi stands for plural. It means that Saryuu is referring to all the members of the El Dorado as middle-aged men. I know that the English translation they had on the anime is mister, but it just doesn't seem to fit that well.
Onigiri - a Japanese food made from white rice formed into triangular or oval shapes and often wrapped in seaweed.
Anpan - is a Japanese sweet bun filled with red bean paste.
My apology for posting this story so late when I kept telling everyone that it will be coming out soon. Problems kept rising when writing this story, but it's finally started to go smoothly.
With the first chapter done, I hope you've all enjoyed where this new story is heading. As I had stated in my preview for those who has seen it, this will be a multi-chapter story and I can tell you that it's definitely going to be longer than Promised Night.
I also need to give a special thanks to Ou Matsurei who is able to become the beta for this story! I really appreciate her help, especially when I had decided to forget about beta-readers for this story due to some problems on my side. Thank you very much! =D