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Thread: Satsuki Yumizuka Route [Tsukihime Quest]

  1. #41
    -----I guess I should just run for it.
    After all, there’s no point in doing anything to this guy, so why bother?
    I should just leave him alone; even if he tells someone where this place is, Satsuki and I will be long gone by then.

    Although, I really do want to kill him as fast as possible-----

    No, that’s just Roa talking.
    Even my vampiric thirst is sated right now, so I, as Tohno Shiki, am experiencing no desire whatsoever to kill this man.
    So, I’ll just ignore what Roa’s saying, and be on my way.

    After all, I have to hurry back to Satsuki as soon as possible----

    It looks like the man wants to say something, but can’t.

    We stare at each other for only a moment more, neither of us making a move.
    Then, I suddenly dash off, leaving the man all alone in a stupor.

    ----Well, I’m sure he’s going to have a story to tell, but nobody will believe him, anyway.

    Deciding not to worry about it, I begin running towards the tournament hall.

    Running at full speed, I quickly arrive back at the hall.

    But--- There’s no one there.
    I left them both right here, next to the entrance to the hallway.
    Where could they have gone?
    What happened to them?

    And, most of all---- is Satsuki okay?

    Ignoring the fact that Ciel might still be around, hunting me, I yell Satsuki’s name.
    I was so stupid to leave her alone--- After all I’ve thought, all I’ve done, and all I’ve felt, I still did it.

    I left her all alone, and now, who knows what happened to her----
    I couldn’t keep my promise, again.
    But, most of all, I couldn’t protect Yumizuka Satsuki, the girl whom----

    Surprised, I turn toward the voice and see Satsuki standing there.
    She is still breathing somewhat heavily, and though it isn’t as bad as it was before, she is also bleeding profusely.
    “What took you so long---?”
    “Well, I----”

    Unable to put my thoughts in order, I simply blubber words.
    There’s so much I want to say, but I can’t for the life of me say any of it----

    Satsuki looks over her shoulder with a worried glance.
    “Never mind. Come on; we have to hurry out of here as soon as possible.”
    “Why? Where’s Senpai----?”
    “Come on!!”
    Satsuki yells at me with that imposing tone again.
    “We have to hurry. Just be quiet and follow me!”

    Her voice brooking no opposition, Satsuki runs toward the surface and leads me out onto the street.

    “Where are we going?”
    It seems the sun has just set, and it’s just dark enough where we can go outside comfortably.
    “Quiet. I’ll tell you everything when we get there.”
    Largely ignoring me, and panting heavier and heavier as we run on, Satsuki leads me through the streets.

    It’s still early, so despite the fact that we take mostly back alleys and side streets, people inevitably see us as we run past them.
    They look at us strangely; a battered and bloody young woman, and a man carrying a box of blood packets, running through the streets.

    But, Satsuki ignores them, so I take her cue and do the same.

    “Satsuki-chan… You don’t look well, so we should rest.”
    I truly feel that way.
    She is panting rather heavily now, and the bleeding seems to be getting worse rather than better.
    What she really needs is medical attention---- Though that would carry its own brand of risks.
    I’m worried about her---- She looks like she is in intense pain as she forces her body to continue on, leaving a trail of red droplets in her wake.

    “Shut up, Shiki-kun. Just trust me.”
    That is all the response she graces me with, so I have no choice but to continue worrying and following.
    As soon as we reach our destination, wherever that is, I am going to take a look at her, and do something about this situation.
    But, until then, all I can do is wait and trust in what Satsuki is telling me---

    *pant* *pant* *pant* *pant* *pant*
    I basically feel fine, but Satsuki looks like she is almost ready to collapse.
    I want to say something, but I’m sure she’ll just yell at me again----

    Thankfully, she finally stops.
    I look around, and it seems that we’ve come all the way across town from where we started.
    But, right now, I don’t even care about that---- Instead----

    “Are you alright, Satsuki-chan?”

    It’s kind of foolish even to ask, because I can tell from looking that she is far from alright.
    But, somehow it seems she has an awesome determination, that won’t waver at all----
    “I’m---- alright, Shiki-kun.”
    She pants heavily a few more times.
    “Well---- Not really, but I’m not going to die or anything. For now, we have other things to worry about.”

    She’s right.
    The truth is, there is a slew of other important things on my mind right now.
    So, I guess----

    “No. The most important thing right now is you, Satsuki-chan.”
    Satsuki’s face turns a light shade of crimson.
    “Shiki-kun---- But just, saying that is giving me the strength I need right now.”
    As if to emphasize her point, Satsuki stands up, tall and strong.
    ----She still doesn’t look okay, but she does look a bit better than she did.

    “Now then, Shiki-kun. You’re probably wondering why I brought you all the way out here.”
    “----Yeah, I am.”
    I’m still going to at least keep an eye on her for the time being, but it is true that I would like some answers to my various question. Like----
    “First, tell me what happened to Ciel.”
    I stare Satsuki straight in the face, fully intent on getting my answer.

    But, Satsuki averts her gaze a bit.
    “Well---- You saw how she came back from a fatal wound, as if nothing had even happened to her in the first place. Not only that, but she did it quickly, and came after us again right after.”
    That’s true. I’d been wondering about that, but what does that have to do with this----?
    “So, I did what it took to get her off our trail. Since there is something special about her, she won’t die from it, but it gave us enough time to get away. I figured you wouldn’t like it, and that’s why I sent you away.”
    “You thought I wouldn’t like it----”

    It doesn’t take long to realize what she means by all that.
    So, I guess she must have torn Senpai’s body to shreds-----
    Well, it’s true that she won‘t die, but still----

    But, I don’t even fully understand what I’m thinking.
    “Then, the reason you brought me out here----”
    “----is because we won’t be able to return home any longer. Ciel will be there for us if we do. So, I’m afraid we’re going to have to find a new home. It’s unfortunate, since we’ll never be able to find anything nearly as idyllic as what we had before.”
    “I see….”
    The room that was finally becoming so familiar, I will now have to leave----
    Just thinking about it makes me feel unsettled.

    “So, Shiki-kun, that is why we don’t have time to worry about my injuries right now. Don’t worry; I know my body, and these injuries won’t be fatal at this point, unless I really pushed myself. So, I’m just going to have to bear with it for now, until we find a place to stay.”
    But, I don’t like that.
    We should take care of her wounds first, and then find a place----

    “I know what you’re thinking, Shiki-kun. But, we only have until morning to find a new home, and it isn’t necessarily going to be easy. So, we’re going to need to do that first. Of course, we’re going to stick together; that way, we can keep an eye on each other’s backs, and if I need any help, you’ll be right there for me.”

    Well, I still don’t really like it, but I guess this situation is at least acceptable.
    Examining her body for a moment, I can see that the bleeding has now completely stopped, so I don’t think her wounds will get any worse from here on out.
    And, it’s reassuring that we’ll be searching together, rather than splitting up.

    But, since Ciel-senpai is probably already hunting for us again, there really isn’t much other choice.
    “Alright. We’ll do things your way, Satsuki-chan.”

    Satsuki nods to me in satisfaction.
    “But, before we start, there is one thing I want to ask you, Shiki-kun.”
    “-----? What is it?”

    Satsuki pauses for a moment before continuing.
    “What is--- Roa?”

    I guess she must have heard about Roa from Ciel after I left.
    I was hoping that Satsuki wouldn’t find out about that, so she wouldn’t worry--- But, I guess now I have no choice but to tell her.
    “I don’t know that much about it, but---- From what I understand, Roa is a vampire, that infects a new host every time he dies, and then tries to take them over from the inside. And, it seems that since this morning, that thing has been inside of me----”

    My voice stops at the look of worry present on Satsuki’s face.
    “Are you okay, Shiki-kun?”

    This is exactly why I was hesitant to tell her.
    “Listen, Satsuki-chan. I know that it sounds pretty scary, and there are all sorts of reasons we should be worried about this. But, just like you, I know my body best. And, although I can’t really explain it completely, I can definitely feel that this “Roa” is not something I need to fear. I have no idea how yet, but I know there is a way to deal with him, and I will definitely find it.
    So, you don’t need to worry about me, Satsuki-chan.”

    Still, Satsuki looks at me with doubt on her face.
    But, after a few moments, she slowly nods to me.
    “---I understand, Shiki-kun. For now, I’ll trust you know what you’re doing, but this only gives us another reason why we have to stick together, for now. And, I still don’t feel comfortable about this whole “Roa” situation---- We’ll definitely have to talk about this again later. But, for now, finding a new home before the sun rises comes first. Granted, it‘s still early; around eight, I think, but we don‘t know how long it’ll take.”

    I nod to Satsuki’s words, and she nods back at me.
    The truth is, both of us are intensely worried about the other, but we trust each other enough to concentrate for now on the task at hand.
    “Then, let’s begin.”
    Saying so, Satsuki and I each take a packet of blood from our box, and then leave it in a nearby alley where people are unlikely to come across it.
    Also, if someone does find it, they’ll probably just leave it alone, anyway.
    Besides, it would have been too bulky to warrant taking on our search.
    So, Satsuki leads the way back through the streets, and into the heart of the city once more.

    “But, how should we go about this?”
    As we begin walking, I ask Satsuki that.
    “Well, we basically know what we want, Shiki-kun. We’ll have to find some kind of abandoned building, or other place with no people, and we want it to be as close to a hospital as possible. So, I think we should begin by searching near hospitals, because if we find an appropriate building while searching in that manner, the condition of it being near a hospital will already be satisfied.”

    We decide to follow this plan, and set off through the night in search of the hospitals sprinkled throughout the city, with the full intention of searching the nearby buildings to each and every one.
    Unless we’re lucky and find something right away, it is likely to be a long and tedious process at the least.

    So, we search.
    And search.
    And search.

    After about two hours of searching, but finding nothing, Satsuki stops for a moment.
    “Hmmm--- I think we’re going to have to reconsider our methods. We’ve already eaten up a lot of time wandering around, but we don’t have anything to show for it.”
    It’s unfortunate, but true.
    “So, what should we do, Satsuki-chan?”
    I ask her that, since I don’t really have any ideas myself.
    “Well---- I think we should stop searching around hospitals. We should just concentrate on finding some sort of abandoned building… It isn’t really necessary that it be near a hospital. It would be nice, and make getting a supply of blood that much easier, but if we can’t find anything before morning then it won’t matter anyway.
    So, let’s just concentrate on finding a suitable building for now.”

    I agree, and we wander off again.
    We begin searching through the city in a systematic manner, without any real regard to the location of any other building.
    We just search, trying to find another abandoned building, like another parking garage, or a factory of some sort.

    But, it still isn’t easy.
    There is a lot of ground to cover, and humans typically try to deal with unwanted things after they outlive their usefulness, so I’m not too sure on how many abandoned buildings an average city would actually have.
    But, we have to doggedly search on anyway.
    If we don’t, who knows what may become of us----?

    “Shiki-kun, wait.”
    Suddenly, Satsuki sticks her arm out in front of me, interrupting my thoughts and my stride.
    “What is it?”
    I try to look around Satsuki’s arm, but she turns around and puts a finger to her lips.
    “Shhh. I don’t want them to notice us.”
    She then finally points to whatever the problem is.

    A small group of our classmates is walking down the street towards us.
    They are engaged in talking with each other, and through the light crowd that still pervades despite it being past ten, they haven’t noticed us yet.
    Satsuki motions for us to duck into a nearby alley, and we hide there to wait for the group to pass.

    I wonder what they’re saying?
    If I concentrate, my sharpened sense of hearing is able to pick up the sound of their conversation even from this distance, and it steadily becomes clearer as the group nears our location----

    “-----Speaking of which, I’m a little worried about Tohno-kun, as well. I mean, he’s in the hospital, right? But they won’t even tell us which one…. Do you think he’s doing alright?”
    “Well, his body’s always been weak, what with his anemia and all…. But you know that just as well as I do. But he’s lived with it his whole life, right? And he’s been in the hospital for more than just a few days in the past. So, I don’t think it’s anything to be too worried about. Personally, I’m more worried about Yumizuka-san. She’s been missing for even longer than Tohno’s been hospitalized, right? Besides, we at least know where Tohno is; but we have no idea where Yumizuka-san has run off to. Plus, she’s the last person I would ever see running away from home-----”
    “Well, you’re certainly right about that----”

    As the group passes, I turn to see a sad look spread across Satsuki-chan’s face.
    “What’s wrong, Satsuki-chan?”
    I kindly ask her.
    “Well--- It’s just that I never imagined any of my classmates would actually worry about me. I mean, just the fact that they’re willing to talk about it as more than just an interesting topic of conversation was more than I ever expected----”
    “See? Maybe if you try a little harder, you’ll be able to think of some people as your true friends….”
    “----Yeah. Thanks, Shiki-kun.”

    “Though, they talked about you, too, Shiki-kun---- I wonder why they think you’re in the hospital?”
    I wonder about that, too.

    But, it isn’t really too hard to guess.
    “I suppose that my sister, Akiha, must have lied about me disappearing---- After all, it wouldn’t be good for the Tohno public image for the eldest son of the family to be running away from home. It’s bad enough that I have chronic anemia----”

    I wonder if she’s worried about me?
    I suppose she must be--- And I must be putting Hisui and Kohaku-san through some degree of grief, as well.
    I wonder what they’re all doing right now---
    I really hope they’re okay.
    If only I could see them again….

    Though, I don’t want them to see me like this.

    “Shiki-kun? Are you paying attention?”
    Satsuki looks over at me with a serious expression again.
    It seems that she’s already recovered from her slight bout of sadness, and though her wounds still show predominately on her skin, she no longer looks like she is in the slightest bit of pain.

    “---Yeah, sorry, Satsuki-chan. What did you say?”
    “I said, we shouldn’t waste any more time than we need to. Come on; we still have to find a new home as soon as possible.”
    “---Oh, right. Of course. Well, let’s go.”
    We both exit the alley and walk back out onto the streets.

    “You seemed distracted, Shiki-kun. What were you thinking about?”
    Once we’re back onto the streets, Satsuki asks me that.
    “Oh--- I was just thinking about everyone back home. I hope they’re not too worried about me----”
    But, of course, though I want to believe that, in the end it’s a lie.
    Because, if they didn’t worry about me, that would mean that they didn’t really care for me.

    Besides, doesn’t everyone wish to be worried over in one form or another?
    After all, isn’t that just one type of caring for someone?
    “In any case, I just hope they’re okay.”
    It won’t do me any good to think about this too deeply, so I just stop myself with that thought.

    Satsuki looks at me sympathetically, but keeps her silence as well.

    Thus, we search.
    And search.
    And search.

    Eventually, Satsuki leads us back to the alley where we started from.
    “Ugh, I’m really thirsty. Let’s take a break, Shiki-kun.”
    The truth is, I’ve been getting quite thirsty as well.
    So, we both sit down inside the alley and each take a packet of blood from the box which is still sitting there, untouched.

    “This isn’t working.”
    Satsuki declares this obvious fact with a dissatisfied look on her face.
    “Shiki-kun, I’m afraid there’s something wrong with the way we’ve been going about this.”
    I can’t say that her words are what I want to hear.
    “What is it?”
    “Well--- It’s around midnight right now, right? So, we’ve been searching for over four hours, but haven’t found anything yet. We’ve covered a great deal of ground, and although we’ve naturally been avoiding the area that our last home was in, we haven’t found any other abandoned buildings of any kind.
    So, there probably aren’t very many buildings matching such a description anywhere in the city, right? Do you know what that means, Shiki-kun?”

    It doesn’t take me very long to realize what she’s getting at.
    “Then---- Even if we find a place, that’ll probably be the first place Ciel-senpai will look for us.”
    “Exactly. I don’t want to admit it, but we’re going to have to get a little more creative in our search for a new home. After all, Ciel seemed like a pretty meticulous huntress.”
    I can’t say I really understand what she’s getting at.
    “What do you mean?”

    “Think about it. Back when we were fighting her, she purposely went slower than her body and skills would allow, specifically to lure us into dropping our guard. Normally, with speed like that, you wouldn’t even bother doing something like that, since the immense difference in speed between you and your opponent would mean that victory would be more or less certain.
    But, she did it anyway. She wanted to factor in as many variables as possible, and eliminate any factors which could possibly lead to her defeat. Obviously, it didn’t work anyway, though she did get close. She even kept her incredible regenerative power as a final ace in the hole, just in case.”

    “Alright. So, what does that have to do with what we were talking about?”
    Satsuki takes a drink of blood.
    “My point is this. Before even approaching us, Ciel probably mapped out the entire city, and has already located and taken note of every likely vampire nest she could find. That, coupled with the fact that there probably aren’t that many, means that if we don’t come up with something she doesn’t expect, we’ll probably be fighting her again tomorrow night, if not sooner.
    And, we can’t count on being so lucky the next time we face her.”
    “I guess you’re right----”

    I don’t want to admit it, but Satsuki is completely right.
    In that case, what are the chances that we’ll be able to find a place before the dawn comes?
    We only have around four hours left--- What if we don’t find a place?
    I’m sure that we could at least find a place to hide from the sun, but if we get desperate we may find ourselves somewhere that is neither comfortable nor truly sufficient.

    And, what would we do if we were attacked then?

    “So, what should we do, Satsuki-chan?”
    Satsuki drains the last of her blood and stands up.
    Taking her cue, I do the same.
    “Well, Shiki-kun, for now I think we should just continue our search. At this point, there’s no reason to even think about the location of our new home in regards to a hospital; right now, we just have to focus on finding any place at all, that isn’t too obvious. In the meantime, if you come up with any ideas of what we should be looking for, feel free to share them. And, hopefully, when we’re walking around we’ll come across something that will at least give us some inspiration----”

    I nod seriously to her words as we exit the alley, again leaving the box of blood behind, as it would only hinder us in our search.

    We walk back out into the heart of the city.
    So, we have to find some sort of home that Ciel wouldn’t expect us to use---
    But, if she’s really so meticulous, is there likely to be anyplace where she wouldn’t be able to guess our location---?

    Though, there must be some way to evade her---- All we have to do is find it.
    I have to think of something----

    But, in a way, isn’t the answer obvious?
    “Hey, Satsuki-chan.”
    “Yes, Shiki-kun?”
    “Using your powers to hypnotize people, couldn’t we just set ourselves up basically anywhere, and then hypnotize the people into believing we were never there in the first place?”
    Satsuki shakes her head.
    “It’s not that we couldn’t, but---- We shouldn’t do anything like that except as a last resort.”
    “Why not?”

    Since we have the use of this power, I really think we should use it if necessary, since we should really make use of any and all tools at our disposal---

    “Listen, Shiki-kun. If we have to hypnotize just a couple of people, and only once, then that’s fine. But the more people you hypnotize, and the more often, the riskier it will inevitably be.”
    “Why’s that?”
    Since I don’t really understand this power myself, I don’t really comprehend what she’s saying.
    If she has such an easy time using it, then what’s the problem?

    “The thing is, this power is actually a lot less reliable than you would think. I’ve found that it has varying effects on different people; at least half of the time, and maybe more, I can, at the very least, convince someone to conveniently forget that something happened. And, I believe that in most cases, though I probably couldn’t get someone to do something they would absolutely never do, I could probably get people to follow orders I inserted into their mind through this power. Though, I guess that isn’t too different from regular hypnosis.”

    “But, it doesn’t work as well on some people as it does on most. Think of it like a disease; people have different tolerances to different diseases, right? For example, one person might be highly resistant to the common cold, but have terrible allergies. Another person might be especially susceptible to colds, but have no allergies whatsoever. So, if you think of it that way, I might be able to effectively control one person, and only be able to subtly suggest things to another.”

    “Which brings me to my next important point. Because people have different tolerances, that also inevitably means that some people will be completely immune to the effects. In fact, I’ve already come across one person who was, in fact, immune to my hypnosis. Fortuantely, however, he wasn’t immune to being knocked unconscious-----”

    I can understand all that, so I think I can begin to see where she’s going with this----

    “Thus, going back to the concept of a disease again. If you bring together two or three people, chances are good that they won’t have a specific allergy, right? But, if you bring together one hundred people, then you’re bound to have at least a few in that group that does. For us, it’s the same exact concept. If we only hypnotize a few people, chances are low that they will be immune, or even resistant, to the effects. If we hypnotize nobody, that chance drops to zero.
    However, if we hypnotize a large group, chances are high that someone in that group will be immune. Basically, the more people we hypnotize, the greater risk we will be putting ourselves through. Also, normally it wouldn’t matter, even if someone is immune; but, we don’t know how Ciel gathers her information, and even one person remembering anything at all significant about us could prove fatal.”

    “I see----”
    So, we can’t just rely on Satsuki’s hypnotic eyes too easily.
    Like she said, going just anywhere to hide from the sun should be used only as a last resort, if we completely run out of other options.

    Unfortunately, we’re just going to have to think of something else---
    “Well, as long as you understand, Shiki-kun. For now, let’s just keep looking. At the least, we do have that option if things become desperate, though I’d rather not have to resort to it if we don’t have to.”
    Now that I do understand, I’d rather not have to do that, either.
    After all, I really don’t want to fight Senpai again----
    Though, I would like to know more about her.

    So, Satsuki and I wander through the streets some more.
    At this point, nobody else is roaming the streets, and I start to fell a little uneasy.
    “Hey, Satsuki-chan---- Don’t you think we’ll be easy to find just wandering around on our own? After all, there’s nobody else out at this time of night, so if Ciel is looking for us, all she would have to do would be to look for the only people out and about….”

    “Hmmmm---- Well, that’s certainly true, Shiki-kun. But, I don’t think there’s much we can do about that right now, so it’s a risk we’re just going to have to accept.
    Still, I don’t think it’s likely that Ciel is going to attack us again tonight.”
    “Why not? She didn’t hesitate to attack us again after receiving her first fatal wound----”

    “Actually, Shiki-kun, that’s exactly why I don’t think she’ll attack us again tonight. We know now that we can defeat her, and now she knows it, too. Of course, she was careful enough to account for that in the first fight, which is why she kept her regenerative abilities as that final ace in the hole. We didn’t expect her to able to survive that attack, and she caught us completely by surprise afterwards, because of that.
    But, that was probably her final ace in the hole. She won’t want to take any chances on being defeated again, so she’ll probably take the time to prepare something else that we won’t expect, to increase her chances of victory.
    Still, this is only speculation; maybe she won’t bother, or maybe she already has another trump card up her sleeve. In any case, you’re right; we should be careful, at the least, though I think it would be more risky to stop searching. We already discussed the dangers involved with that.”


    Hopefully, Satsuki is right and Ciel won’t be hunting us anymore tonight.
    Though, I can only imagine how bad it would be if she found us shortly before dawn, if we still hadn’t found a place to stay---
    But, I guess it’s pointless to worry.
    Instead, I should be concentrating on helping find us a new home as soon as possible, so we don’t have to worry about any of those grim situations.

    If only I could come up with some sort of idea----

    But, in the end, I’m unable to come up with anything.
    Which is unfortunate, because the night is wearing on without us coming up with any results….

    Time passes, and Satsuki and I still meet with no success.
    “This is bad, Shiki-kun. We need to come up with something----”
    Satsuki states the obvious with a grim expression on her face.
    “----After all, it’s already about two in the morning. I’d say we only have about two hours left before sunrise. If another hour passes, we should probably just go with our last resort and hypnotize some people into letting us stay with them. The last thing we want to do is be caught outside, right before the sun is going to come up----”
    “I agree. We can’t let something like that happen.”

    So, we need to come up with something.
    For example, we could pay to stay in a hotel----
    But, that would be expensive, not to mention it would provide insufficient protection from the sun, and there’s still the fact that we don’t know how Ciel gathers information.
    The hotel staff might be able to lead her to us----
    So, I think it’s out of the question.

    Then, what if we simply snuck into a house, and hid in the basement or something?
    Rather than hypnotizing the occupants, we could simply not reveal our presence at all----
    But, in that case, it would probably be better just to hypnotize them, anyway.
    After all, if the occupants noticed anything was amiss, or noticed us without us being aware of it, they may feel inclined to call the police.
    That would then bring attention to where we were staying, maybe even in the middle of the day.
    So, that’s out of the question too.

    We could also sneak into an apartment that isn’t being used----
    But, the people living in the apartments around us could possibly hear the noise from us moving around and contact the police, too.
    Naturally, the police would be nothing to worry about themselves----
    But, the attention drawn to the area makes it too risky.
    Also, just like a hotel, an apartment wouldn’t really provide sufficient protection from the sun.
    So, it’s just another option that we can’t make use of----

    But, what other options are there?
    I think long and hard over this, but I can’t come up with anything that seems like it will work.

    And, before I know it, another hour has passed.
    “Well, I guess that’s it, Shiki-kun. We’re out of time. Let’s just go back and get the box of blood, and then run to the nearest house. I don’t like it, but we don’t have the time for anything else. Though, we‘ll at least have to make sure the house has a basement, or it won‘t be useful----”

    I can tell from Satsuki’s tone and expression that she isn’t happy.
    But, who can blame her?
    With this, we can avoid the sun--- But at the same time, we’re forced to take on unnecessary risks.
    And, since neither of us wanted to be vampires in the first place, it all seems so unfair----

    It doesn’t take us long to arrive back at the alley and retrieve our supply of blood.
    Satsuki and I both take some as we run toward the residential district to find a place to stay.

    Soon, we arrive.
    I would estimate we have a little over forty-five minutes before the sun rises----
    But, that should be plenty of time to find what we’re looking for.

    Satsuki and I approach the nearest house, and Satsuki’s hand reaches for the door handle----

    But then, it stops.
    “What are you waiting for, Satsuki-chan?”
    The expression on her face looks like she is torn between the decision she is about to make, but then her visage strengthens in steely resolve.

    “Come with me, Shiki-kun. I just remembered something important.”
    She looks straight up at me.
    “I know we don’t have much time, but just trust me, alright?”

    Honestly, I’m worried.
    It already feels as if I can feel the heat of the sun eating away at my body----
    But, I do trust Satsuki, and that trust hasn’t betrayed me so far.

    “Alright. I’ll follow you.”
    “Thanks, Shiki-kun.”
    Satsuki smiles a little bit, but immediately runs off with me in tow.
    After all, we really don’t have too much time left----
    The weight of our little remaining time presses down on us oppressively, but Satsuki soon reaches her destination, since it is also in the residential district.

    Satsuki smiles widely in triumph.
    “I knew it. Welcome to your new home, Shiki-kun.”
    Satsuki confidently walks up to the door of the house, and opens it.
    Since the house is for sale, and there‘s nobody living in it at the moment, we’re pretty fortunate it isn’t locked----
    Though, I could have just cut the lock if it became necessary.

    We walk inside, and explore the interior of the house.
    The entranceway is lined with several empty closets, and it leads into a tidy living room.
    As a quick test, Satsuki flips the light switch, and the lights come on.
    Luckily for us, it seems our new home comes complete with electricity.

    Also, although I doubt I’ll end up using it, I’m a little excited to see a television in the room.

    Past the living room is a dining room, and past that is a kitchen.
    The kitchen comes complete with all the typical appliances; including a stove, and even a dishwasher; and of course there’s also a refrigerator.
    Satsuki takes the box of blood and stores it inside the still-running fridge.

    “Why do you think they left all this stuff behind, Satsuki-chan?”
    I can’t help but find it odd that, when they are selling the house, they would leave all of their own appliances behind rather than taking them with them.
    “Well---- I guess they must have gotten new stuff, and with all this coming with the house, they can ask for a higher price.”
    “Hmmmm…. Makes sense, I guess. In any case, it’s fortunate for us.”

    Satsuki nods and smiles at me, and we decide to explore the rest of the house.
    In one of the hallways, there are stairs leading down into what is presumably the basement.
    The rest of the house consists of several bedrooms, a washroom, and a bathroom.
    Satsuki smiles widely when she sees the large bath.

    “Um, Shiki-kun…..”
    “---Yeah? What is it?”
    Satsuki fidgets around a little bit in a cute manner before speaking up.
    “This is kind of embarrassing, but you really stink, Shiki-kun. You really need to take a bath.”


    Now that she mentions it, I guess I haven’t taken a bath since I left the mansion.
    I must smell terrible----
    I’m the one that feels embarrassed.

    Or rather, I feel kind of stupid for not realizing it earlier.
    And it makes it even worse that I had to have someone else point it out for me, though there’s nothing I can do about that now.

    “----Yeah. Thanks, Satsuki-chan.”

    In kind of an embarrassed tone, Satsuki laughs a little bit.
    ----Well, I guess it’s okay, as long as Satsuki’s happy.
    “But, we don’t really have time for that right now, because the sun is going to be up soon. So, let’s go back and check out the basement.”
    Nodding with a face that is undoubtedly a little red, I let Satsuki lead the way back to the stairs leading deeper into the house.

    We reach the stairs, and descend.
    What we find is a large, single room taking up most of the basement space.
    There isn’t much down there, but there are a few tables, and cushions to sit on.
    It seems that anything else that was down here, the occupants took with them when they left.

    Besides the large room, there are a few more attached, small rooms.
    But, all of these are only used to house things like the water heater or other appliances which don’t typically need to be looked after, though the laundry room is also down in the basement.

    “Well, Shiki-kun, for now we should probably just set ourselves up down here. If you would, I’d be grateful if you could go get some futons for us from one of the bedrooms upstairs. And, since we won’t be wanting to go up there during the day, I’ll bring the refrigerator down here; so our supply of blood is close at hand, as well.”

    I nod, and we both walk upstairs.
    Then, Satsuki heads for the kitchen, while I head for the bedrooms.
    I gather up two futons, and several blankets and pillows before heading back downstairs.
    By that time, it seems that Satsuki has already set up the refrigerator in the corner of the large basement room, plugging it into one of the outlets scattered around the walls.

    “Hey, Satsuki-chan. What made you think to come here? Did you know there was a house for sale here?”
    Satsuki looks like she is deep in thought for a few moments before answering.

    “Well, I guess I do remember hearing that someone living in this area was moving away. But, when I was about to enter that other home tonight, I just though that with a killer on the loose someone might feel compelled to move away, especially if they hadn’t lived here their whole life---- And that’s when I vaguely remembered hearing about someone moving. And, it only made sense that they would be selling their house, or that it would at the least become empty---- You see, this way is actually very convenient for us. Since they want to sell the house, the electricity is left on---- That way, they can show the house off to potential buyers. And, all we have to do, is hypnotize the few people who will come here into not buying it---- That way, we only have to hypnotize a few people, and we’ll still have a place to stay.”

    “I see----”
    So, it seems that after an entire night of fruitless searching, we finally stumbled on some bit of luck.

    “But, the benefits don’t end there.”
    Satsuki continues.

    “When you think of a vampire’s nest, you think of things like abandoned parking garages, or abandoned factories. You think of deep, dark places where the sun can’t penetrate, and places where normal people wouldn’t venture.
    You don’t think of places like homes, right in the midst of the residential district where people are all the time---- So, we shouldn’t have to worry about Ciel finding us, for a few days at the very least. I’m not saying we shouldn’t be careful, but we should at least be able to rest easy for a while----

    Satsuki then yawns, and stretches in a cute way.

    “Well, I’m tired from all that running around tonight, so if you don’t mind, I’m just going to go to sleep, Shiki-kun. I know we have a lot of other things to talk about, but is it okay if we do it tomorrow?”
    Well, if she’s tired, I guess I see no reason to refuse----
    “Yeah, that’s fine. If you’re tired, you should rest, Satsuki-chan. Don’t worry about me.”

    For some reason, she looks a little unsure of herself as she looks aside from my gaze.
    “----Yeah. Thanks, Shiki-kun.”
    I lay out the futons next to each other, and she lays down in one of them.
    ----The truth is, I feel pretty tired myself, so I should get to sleep as well.
    Right now, there are several different things I want to think about, but tomorrow should be soon enough to take care of those----

    - - - Updated - - -

    8/Sheets of Nostalgia
    8th Day/October 28 (Thur.)

    An image of white.
    A faint splash of red.
    That bright, cheery yellow.
    And that dark, flowing black.
    Soft black, cool blue, and bright amber.

    Soft brown, and deep crimson----
    And bright, unerring blue.

    And the red.
    Endless seas of bright red, followed by a sheet of calm white.
    That, white---- is-----

    My eyes slowly open to pitch black.
    All sense of color is lost in this deep, dark world.
    No matter how much I look around, despite the fact that I can still see, everything appears in monochrome.

    But, at least it’s better than red----

    I feel a little unsettled in this unfamiliar place, and realize just how used I had gotten to the parking garage.
    In a way, it really was my home---- Of course, I wouldn’t want to live like this any longer than necessary…. I really want to return home, to the mansion.
    But, I can’t.
    I couldn’t possibly let Akiha, Hisui, or Kohaku-san see me like this----

    Just the thought of it makes me feel more unsettled than just being in this room.
    It’ll be hard enough to face them after I find a way to become human again----

    I look around the monochrome room.
    Everything seems to be in order, except----

    Satsuki is nowhere to be found.
    But, she’s probably just in the basement’s washroom, so there’s no need to worry.

    As for me, I should probably get up, too.
    After all, despite the fact that it’s still a couple hours before nightfall, I won’t accomplish anything by just lying here.

    And, Satsuki and I still have things to talk about.
    She said she wanted to talk more about Roa, and I just want to make sure she’s okay----
    Plus, there is that other matter at hand----

    From the direction of the washroom, I hear the sound of something falling.
    What could it be---?
    Feeling a little worried, I rush over to check it out.

    “Satsuki-chan? Are you in there?”
    I call out through the washroom door.
    “Ah---- Shiki, kun----”
    I hear Satsuki’s voice, but it somehow sounds weak----
    I need to check on her.

    Luckily, the door isn’t locked.
    “I’m coming in.”
    I wait a moment longer, but don’t hear any objections, so I open the door.

    The floor, seems covered, in red----

    In actuality, there isn’t that much, but it seems like a lot to my confused sensibilities.
    And in the middle of it all, Satsuki lies, unmoving.

    I rush to her side and check her pulse and breathing.
    Both are still evident, though her breathing seems weak.
    It looks like, every time she takes a breath she feels a new jolt of pain----

    I have to help her.
    It looks like her wounds from the previous night have reopened, staining the floor in crimson red.
    Gently picking her up from the pool of her own blood, I carry her into the adjoining room.

    She looks so pale----
    I suppose that yesterday she must have been running on pure willpower alone, trying her best to not make me worry---
    But, her body, which must have been protesting all the while, could only hold out for so long.
    I guess, everything must have caught up with her----

    But, for now, I have to try and do everything I can for her at this moment.
    I don’t really have time to think about too many things too deeply.

    I feel appreciative that the main basement room is so large.
    I take Satsuki to the futon and lay her down again, unmindful of any mess her bleeding might cause.
    I have to inspect her wounds as closely as possible----

    I quickly pull all the blankets we have close to us.
    “…….Sorry, Satsuki-chan. I swear this is purely medical.”
    Saying so to the unresponsive Satsuki, I untie the ribbon on the front of her uniform.
    She seems to be bleeding from all over her body, so in order to properly examine her wounds, I’ll have to remove some of her clothing----

    Blushing a little, I remove her uniform top.
    But, the blush quickly fades from my cheeks as I gaze upon her ravaged form.
    Satsuki’s ragged breathing becomes more pronounced as I see her bared chest heaving painfully up and down, and her bra and undergarments are already soaked in red.
    Violent gashes lie all across her body, streaks of crimson running between them.
    I can see tears around her initial wounds, where the agitation of movement must have caused their increased severity.

    It’s a wonder she’s even alive----
    Her form does appear full, and there is no gauntness yet pulling at her flesh; but she is very pale, as would be expected of one who is so quickly losing so much blood.

    Fortunately, I have an excellent supply of blood right on hand.
    Of course, the only way she will be able to ingest it is by mouth----
    I’ll have to hope that it’s enough.

    I quickly bring the box of blood from the fridge and lift her body off the ground, carefully coaxing her pained throat to drink, being careful not to spill too much into her mouth at once.
    After getting her to drink a bit, I take the blankets and begin applying pressure to her many wounds in an attempt to stop her ever-flowing blood.
    Luckily, it doesn’t seem to be as much as it was initially, but it’s quite naturally still a cause for concern.

    At this rate, bringing the color back to her skin may take our entire supply of blood, but even if I don’t get to drink today or tonight, it will all be worth it if Satsuki is okay.

    Once I see the blood flow finally starting to lessen, I lift her up again and bring another packet to her lips.
    This time, her throat gulps down the blood a little more readily, and her cold form starts to warm, though just slightly.

    I---- should have worried over her more.
    I should have had the foresight to not allow her to push herself.
    But--- what were the alternatives?
    We had to find a place to stay--- But even if we imposed on some strangers using our powers of hypnosis for only one night, to protect Satsuki from this, wouldn’t that have been alright?

    But, it won’t do me any good to think too deeply about this.
    What’s done is done, and for now, I have to concentrate on attending to Satsuki.
    So, I turn my full attention back to Satsuki’s shaking form, continuing to apply pressure to her wounds while also feeding her as much blood as she’ll drink.

    Time passes.
    Satsuki’s condition improves, though slowly.
    Her breathing gradually evens, and the gashes across her body begin to bleed less and less.
    Eventually the flow reduces to just a trickle, but it doesn’t entirely stop.
    I can’t say I’m satisfied with this result, but she is doing much better than when I first found her.

    By this time, over an hour has passed, and I would finally feel satisfied in leaving her alone, albeit only for a short time.

    The sun has just set.
    I still feel uneasy leaving Satsuki to herself, though it would probably be okay if I did.
    I look over to her form, covered by some of the blankets.

    Generally, she appears much improved.
    Some slight color is beginning to return to her skin with the blood she’s been drinking.
    Also, she isn’t as cold as before, though I guess I couldn’t expect her to get too much warmer as a vampire.
    Her wounds are now barely bleeding, and it appears as if she is sleeping relatively peacefully, a strong contrast to her ragged breathing from before.

    But, it doesn’t change the fact that she is still bleeding.
    Plus, she went relatively fine yesterday, but suffers like this now.
    What if I leave, and her condition worsens?

    But, I’ve used up most of our blood, and haven’t had a drop to drink myself.
    Also, I want to secure more blood for her, as well.
    After all, if her condition does worsen again, I’ll need it.
    And I should do all I can to keep her well satiated, so her recovery won’t be hindered.

    But, it really is amazing what Ciel-senpai’s blades can do.
    I know Satsuki’s body is far from weak; before, she was even grappling with, and overpowering, senpai herself.
    But still, the wounds left behind from those blades aren’t pretty.

    For such a quickly thrown weapon, and thrown together with so many others at once, I wouldn’t expect there to be much force behind any single one.
    When Satsuki was hit, however, she flew across the room with the force of the blow.
    And then, Ciel said with such certainty that Satsuki should be dead.
    I can now see that her’s was no idle boast.

    I carefully pull back the blanket again to take another look at the wounds.

    Each cut is only as wide as the blades themselves, though the edges are torn with the aggravation of movement.
    Blood seeps out of each, in a slow but steady trickle.
    The cuts are very deep, and none of them have closed over as yet.
    If Satsuki were a regular human, such wounds would surely kill her; but it seems her vampiric strength is thus far sustaining her in a slightly unsettled state of sleep.
    Her breathing is mostly even, though a small gasp of pain occasionally irritates her otherwise peaceful visage.

    As I lack for anything better, I once again wipe away some of the blood of her wounds with one of the blankets.
    As I do so, I gently pull apart one of the cuts to peer inside it.

    The flesh inside the cut is an ugly shade of red, all slick with fresh blood.
    It appears as if the blood is unable to clot satisfactorily so far; failing just enough so the blood flow doesn’t completely stop.
    If I didn’t know better, I would say that the blood isn’t actually clotting at all, and that it’s more as if the flow of blood has slowed for other reasons----

    I release my hold on her wound and instead search for her pulse.
    Placing my other hand on my chest, I measure her pulse against my own heartbeat.
    Though slower than my own, her’s remains constant, and seems strong.

    I’m puzzled as to what all these signs mean.
    The wounds look like they will take a long time to heal, though Satsuki basically looks alright when the wounds themselves are covered.
    As a vampire, she should be able to recover from these wounds faster than an ordinary human, though these wounds would likely kill a normal human outright.
    But, that might mean that such serious wounds could be viewed as the equivalent to normal wounds for a regular human.

    In that case, why are they still bleeding?
    There must be something more, that I don’t understand yet----
    I might be reassured if Satsuki would wake up, already.
    But, she appears okay, and besides the bleeding, I don’t think she’s in any real danger at the moment.

    In that case, I should go out and get more blood while I have the chance.
    I should be able to handle just that on my own, without Satsuki’s help---

    But I still can’t shake the feeling that something might happen while I’m away, and that she might not be as healthy as her face makes her look.
    I have one final test to see if she’s really okay, though I’m hesitant to use it----

    Of course, the final test to see how well she is, is to take off my glasses----
    If I do that, I should have a good idea of her state of health.
    This is, because---- I will be able to see exactly how close to death she is.
    In theory, one who is close to death will have many “lines”, while a healthy person will have far fewer-----
    I’m, a little afraid to take them off, just in case she is nearing her death-----

    But, if I don’t do it, then what is the point of even having these eyes in the first place?
    This is a chance to use them for something other than killing----
    So, I have to do it.

    I will take off my glasses, and gaze upon the form of her death.
    It’s something I really don’t want to have to do, gazing upon one such as her without the only shield from this sight----
    If I see that she is nearing her predetermined death, what would I do----?
    Seeing something like that, on one I care for so much----

    But, I have to do it, all the same.
    Even if I do see something I fear to see, it may help me in healing Satsuki from it.
    Of course, having barely used this sight before at all, I wouldn’t know how it could help me help her, but I know, in theory, that it is all possible with this sight of mine----
    So, resolutely, I lower my glasses.

    I slowly exhale the breath I had been holding in.
    Testament to Satsuki’s strong will to live, only a small network of “lines” run across her body.
    In that case, I should go now, while she is still strong and healthy, because I don’t know what will happen later.
    Also, the more Ciel searches, the likelier it is that she will find our new home.
    So, I should collect blood while her search is still unlikely to yield results.

    To that end, I again don my glasses, and move towards the stairs.

    But, there is still one more thing to consider.
    If I meet Ciel again, what would I do?
    After all, Satsuki and I were only barely able to beat her together, and that was mostly using Satsuki’s strength, rather than my own.
    If she finds me now, I probably won’t get off with just the kinds of wounds Satsuki has sustained.

    Then, in that case, if I were to borrow----?

    I awaken in a shock.
    I don’t remember sleeping, so I can’t make sense of the fact that I am waking up now.
    All the same, my eyelids slowly flutter open from the deepness of sleep, giving way ever gradually to wakefulness.
    As they do, I attempt to make sense of my strange situation, but am unable to.
    My body feels heavy and leaden, and I am resting on a hard surface far removed from the comfort of a bed or futon.
    I bring my wrist up from the ground to rub the sleepiness from my eyes, but stop short as I feel something drip from my arm onto my face.
    Blinking a few times, I open my palm and gaze up at it.

    Gasping in shock, I quickly sit up and glance all around me.
    My surprise quickly turns to horror and disgust, mingled with self-contempt, as I stare at the scene surrounding me.

    I, have awoken to deep crimson.
    Blood lies around me in a pool, and I have no reason to believe any of it is mine.
    The alleyway I am in is lighted only faintly by the moon, whose position in the sky suggests it is still a few hours before midnight, at least.

    The alley is untidy, even for an alley.
    Small chunks of stone have been tossed around in a haphazard manner, and torn pieces of cloth also lie around, negligently tossed aside.
    Some of these bear the mark of blood upon them, while others are clean except for lying on the ground.
    Rakes of claws, as if a tiger or some other large beast had been here, mark the walls around me.
    And, lying in the corner of the alley, is a girl, whom I don’t know---- and as I am the only one here, I can only think that I am the one who has made her into this blood soaked corpse.
    I gaze upon her feeling a mixture of emotions, among them pity, self-hatred, and horror.
    I gaze upon her, as her chest slowly, painfully, rises and falls----

    Realizing what that means, I quickly run over to her and check to confirm my suspicions.
    It seems, that she is still alive----!!

    But, probably just barely.
    I need to get her help as quickly as possible, or she won’t last long----
    So, I carefully scoop her up into my arms and begin on my way to a hospital.

    As I am exiting the alley, I almost trip on something located just at the mouth.
    Irritated, I look down to see what is impeding me, but my irritation disappears all at once.
    For, lying at my feet, is a new box of blood----
    I guess I must have collected it myself, and then forgotten all about it.
    I can’t say I understand it at all----
    But, for now, I’ll just get this woman help quickly, and then come back here.

    Ignoring the box for now, but keeping mindful of it’s location, I head off towards the hospital.

    After depositing the woman on the nearest hospital’s doorstep and knocking loudly, I return to the alley after making sure that a nurse comes and realizes she is there.
    After seeing the woman will be taken care of, I retrieve the box and head back home.
    It seems a bit abrupt to head back home right away but, what else can I do---?

    In any case, what was that all about----?
    When I was carrying her, it actually seemed as if the woman wasn’t that badly hurt, although she must have lost a lot of blood.
    As long as she gets an immediate blood transfusion, she should be fine---
    My main worry right now is, what if I hurt someone else----?
    Of course, I don’t think I hurt anyone, but Roa did---

    Though, that’s just a form of self justification.
    The truth is, I have to take responsibility for controlling him.

    But, in truth, none of this is really my biggest worry right now at all.
    I can’t afford to just brush it off, or not think about it----
    But, at the same time, I can’t let my mind be too occupied with these thoughts right now.
    Instead, I have to concentrate on helping Satsuki----

    When I reach the house again, I waste no time stepping inside and heading down the stairs, of course taking the box of blood with me.
    Once I make it into the dark basement, I’m a little surprised, but quite glad, to see Satsuki awake.
    “Satsuki-chan! Are you okay?”
    I immediately run over to her, setting the box of blood down nearby.
    “Ah, Shiki-kun.”
    She looks over to me from where she’s sitting up in the futon, with the covers pulled around her, though I can see from her sleeve that she’s put her clothes back on.
    She then looks down at the box of blood.
    “Oh, so that’s where you were.”
    She looks back up again, right into my eyes, and smiles at me.

    “Ah, yeah.”
    She seems really calm, a strong contrast to earlier, and though they don’t seem too bad right now, the fact that they are still bleeding are testament to the severity of her wounds.

    Though, I guess the bleeding might have stopped----?
    “Hey, are you alright now, Satsuki-chan?”
    She makes a face as if she doesn’t understand.
    “What are you talking about, Shiki-kun?”

    She really seems like she doesn’t know what I’m talking about.
    But, I can’t afford to just ignore this, or pretend it never happened.
    I can’t allow Satsuki-chan to push herself too hard again, without me even realizing anything.

    “Satsuki-chan, I found you collapsed in the bathroom earlier. Then, I saw the wounds from Ciel’s blades, and how deep they are. Not to mention that last time I checked, they still hadn’t stopped bleeding---!”

    Satsuki breaks eye contact with me as she hears these words.
    “----I guess that explains why I woke up without my clothes on.”
    I blush a little as she says so, but she doesn’t seem to notice.
    “But yeah, you’re right. I had hoped that collapsing in the bathroom had just been some sort of nightmare, but the truth is, it burns inside of me, and each cut stings and aches horribly.”
    “Why didn’t you tell me----? Yesterday, then. You insisted on pushing yourself, far too hard, yesterday. You should have told me, so I could help you---”

    Satsuki looks me straight in the eye again, only with a resolute expression this time, rather than a smiling visage.
    “What about you, then? You still have Roa inside of you, but you didn’t want to talk about it so I wouldn’t worry, right? It’s the same thing.”
    I stop.
    It, really is the same thing---- isn’t it?
    Images of the alley flash into my mind.

    That’s right.
    Just tonight, I let Roa hurt someone.
    That, is my responsibility----
    “---You’re right. In that case, we should come clean and tell each other everything right here and now, right?”

    Satsuki looks at me, seemingly a little surprised at my apologetic tone.
    “Yeah, I think that would be best. In that case, can you tell me what it’s like having that thing----”
    At this, Satsuki’s face darkens in a displeased scowl,
    “-----inside of you?”

    ----The truth is, I’m still a little hesitant to speak about it.
    But, I think this is for the best.
    We can’t share our problems with anyone else, and we are the only ones who can offer each other the support that we need right now.
    So, we should both be as honest as possible, so we can make it through this, together----
    ----and then, what?

    “----It’s kind of hard to explain. It’s like, there is someone else inside me, and he wants to steal my body away from me---- Though, I would like to say that I can control him just fine.”
    Satsuki’s eyes narrow.
    “You’d like to say? Tell me, Shiki-kun, why can’t you?”
    I’ve already decided to tell Satsuki everything.
    So, there’s no turning back now---

    “I can’t really remember---- let me think for a bit.”
    This isn’t really a lie.
    After all, I don’t remember much of anything until coming back to myself in the alley.
    But, I do vaguely remember the last thought I had before I lost all sense----

    Feeling a light headache, I put a palm on my forehead.
    Satsuki’s voice is a mix of curiosity and concern, as she says my name questioningly.

    “I---- kind of remember.”
    This headache is not enough to distract from my thoughts, so I just ignore it.
    “I thought that if Ciel found me, I wouldn’t be able to fight her--- but, maybe Roa would----”
    Then, with just that, Roa was able to take control of my body?
    Even though I still, strangely, feel as if I can control Roa easily, what does that mean when this suggests he can take control of me just like that?

    This, is becoming a bit scary----
    It’s like, I even have to fear myself----

    Though, why isn’t the girl dead?
    I guess, even in my state of madness I was able to retain at least that much reason----
    But even with that small comfort, there are still many more unanswered questions.
    There seemed to be too much blood lying around to allow a person to live, and what were the claw marks on the walls?
    There’s just too much I don’t understand.
    For now, I can only hope that everything turns out okay----

    Satsuki remains staring at me for several more moments, before finally sighing to herself.
    “I see. You don’t have to tell me any more right now if you don’t want to, Shiki-kun. For now, you should at least put the blood in the refrigerator, so it doesn’t spoil.”
    Her voice brings me back to reality.
    “You’re right. I’ll put it away now.”
    Lifting the box again, I walk over to the fridge.
    Carefully placing it inside, I hesitate for a few moments.
    I’d already decided I would tell Satsuki everything, so I should just tell her what happened with Roa right now, while I have the chance.

    But, why am I hesitating now?
    I just--- don’t want to admit that Roa might have some hold over me----
    What if he only becomes stronger from here on out?
    I guess that’s even more of a reason to tell Satsuki about this, but at the same time, I really don’t want to worry her---

    And, if I can’t trust Satsuki, who can I trust?
    “If you have something to say, Shiki-kun, just say it. But if you don’t want to, that’s fine for now, too.”
    That’s fine--- for now.
    Just like she says, I’ll have to tell her eventually.
    But, if I can control it on my own, then she doesn’t need to know----

    That’s right, she won’t need to worry if I can just handle this myself----

    I turn to face her.
    She is staring at me with a kind, but firm, expression.
    It seems she’s waiting for me to reach a decision.

    1. I don’t want to worry her. (SS8c)
    2. It would be better to tell her everything. (SS8d)

  2. #42
    吸血鬼 Vampire walrus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    2. It would be better to tell her everything. (SS8d)

  3. #43
    闇色の六王権 The Dark Six Grant's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Right behind you.
    Quite a bit. Sadly no time to read it, but nice to see more Tsukihime.

  4. #44
    ----I have to tell her everything.
    If I don’t, I’ll only be putting both of us in that much more danger.
    And, I want to trust Satsuki with everything----
    I want her to be someone who I can share anything and everything with, ranging from any secrets I might have, even to every worry that crosses my mind--- so that we can share everything, and take care of everything, together…..

    Having finally reached a decision, I stare firmly into Satsuki’s eyes.
    “Yes, Shiki-kun?”
    “This is important, so I’ll just tell you straight out. Tonight, while I was out getting the box of blood, Roa-----”
    I hesitate, but only for a moment.
    “----Roa took control of me. I don’t know for how long, but I almost killed a girl, though it seems I somehow held back, and was able to get her to a hospital--- You don’t look surprised, Satsuki-chan.”
    Satsuki is staring at me quite calmly, so I stop and say this.

    “Well, yeah. I could pretty much guess from what you said before, and how you were acting, what happened. Though, I was hoping you would just tell me yourself.”
    “I see---- of course.”
    Satsuki already guessed.
    Sometimes, it seems like she knows everything----
    “But, that does---- scare me, Shiki-kun. I want to know as many specifics as you can manage to remember. We need to control this at all times---- or you might end up hurting someone again. I’m especially worried because you’re going to have to go out on your own again to get more blood----”
    Satsuki looks aside.
    “---After all, I won’t be able to help you with my body like this.”

    Of course, Satsuki is still coping with her injuries. So, I need to handle this as well as I can, and while I’m out I won’t be able to count on Satsuki, or anyone else, for help.
    I’m going to have to handle it alone---- and that’s what scares me.
    These past several days, I’ve relied on Satsuki so much----
    But now, I have to be the strong one, for her sake.
    I want, more than anything else, to be someone that Satsuki can rely on for anything----
    Though, it doesn’t seem likely that I’ll be able to do that with Roa inside of me.

    Satsuki shyly looks back up at me again.
    “Of course, that’s not the main reason I’m worried about this, Shiki-kun----”
    “I’m mainly worried, because I don’t want anything to happen to you, Shiki-kun---- because I love you, and anything that hurts you hurts me, too. Though, it would hurt me more if you hid anything from me---- So please, I don’t want to pressure you to recall something unpleasant, but I need to know everything you can remember.”

    Hearing all this, I blush a little.
    I think it’s amazing that she can confess her love for me so openly----
    Of course, it’s not as if I didn’t know already, though I still feel a little embarrassed to hear it said out loud.
    And, I feel really happy, too-----

    Anyway, my thoughts keep digressing.
    I have to concentrate on what happened.
    “-----Honestly, I don’t remember much. Like I said, I was going out for blood when I though of Ciel, and the fact that I wouldn’t be able to face her at all without your help, since it pretty much took everything we had, and she still seemed to have the upper hand. Then, as more of a passing fancy than a real thought, I wondered if I couldn’t borrow some of Roa’s power---- And the next thing I remember, I was in an alleyway.”

    I pause, as this time, Satsuki does look a bit surprised.
    “Roa took control of you that easily?”
    “------Yeah, I guess so.”
    I don’t like to admit it, but I guess that’s what happened-----

    A frown creases across Satsuki-chan’s beautiful face.
    “You gave me the impression that you could control Roa, and I thought that might be true. But, if that’s all that it took for Roa to take control of you, we have a much bigger problem on our hands than I thought---- but, for now, tell me what you saw in the alleyway.”

    The alleyway-----
    “---When I first came to, the thing I noticed right away was blood---- lots and lots of blood.”
    So much blood, so much red---
    I feel sick recalling it.
    “There were claw marks on the nearby stone walls, and bits of stone and cloth were thrown about the alley---- some were stained with blood, others weren’t. Then, I noticed a girl, who was wounded and had torn clothing, and whom must have been the source of all that blood. At first, I thought she was dead, but soon realized that she was weakly breathing, so I took her to the closest hospital. On my way out of the alley, I noticed a box of blood, so after taking care of---- my victim, I brought it back here.”

    As if it all happened to someone else, I somewhat mechanically recite everything I know.
    Of course, I can’t help but remember that everything was all my doing as I recite it----
    All in all, it makes me feel more than a little sick, but I try to resist the feeling of bile rising in my throat.

    Having finished my story, I look up at Satsuki, who is standing up.
    As she walks over to me, I almost throw up at the sight of red still staining her clothing---- But, why does she have such a serious expression as she reaches toward me?

    “What is it, Satsuki-chan?”
    Instinctively, I take a step back.
    “Stay still, Shiki-kun.”
    She reaches toward me again.

    Stay still----?
    Well, I trust Satsuki, so for now I’ll just do as she says---- Plus, I feel reassured with the cool feel of metal against my fingertips.

    Satsuki hesitates for a moment, but then suddenly lifts up my shirt, baring my stomach.
    I hear a sharp intake of breath, and Satsuki’s face pales considerably.
    “Hmmm? What’s wrong, Satsuki-chan?”
    I can’t see what she’s looking at.
    Is there something on my stomach?
    Instead of replying to my query, Satsuki slowly reaches her other hand forward, and runs it across my belly.

    Feeling a sudden, sharp pain, I react out of pure reflex.
    My hand flashing out of the pocket it was resting in, I place the blade of my knife right on Satsuki’s throat, in a split second.
    Satsuki’s face, of course, reacts with a look of surprise, as she stares first at me, and then at the knife.
    It didn’t seem possible, but her face pales even more----

    But, in any case, what am I doing----?
    I reacted purely on impulse, and threatened Satsuki again----
    Since I have control of myself again, I start lowering my knife.
    “Um, Satsuki-chan, I’m sorry----”

    She doesn’t even seem to hear me.
    Bringing a little composure back into her face, Satsuki suddenly snatched the knife from my hand and holds it back down by my still-exposed stomach.
    What is she looking at----?

    At this point, something between pity and distress mars Satsuki’s features, and I grab the end of my shirt from her so I can see what she’s staring at so intently.

    Now, I can feel the blood draining from my own face.
    My body, is crisscrossed with scars-----
    Many of them look like the claw marks from the alley, but the rest----

    I see Satsuki looking from the blade of my knife, to my wounds----
    I easily realize what she’s comparing so intently.
    Without a doubt, the rest of those wounds were caused by this knife----
    The width, the depth---- everything is indicative of it.
    Then, the claws, too-----
    I must have done all this to myself----

    Satsuki drops the knife, which makes a small clattering sound as it hits the floor.
    All at once, Satsuki throws her arms around me and clings to my body.
    ----My wounds hurt a little, but nothing like the sharp pain from before.
    Absentmindedly, I drop the end of my shirt and put my arms around Satsuki, too.
    We stay like this for several moments.
    I’m still in a state of surprise, so I just hold Satsuki-chan’s body against mine, relishing the feeling of warmth.
    She isn’t crying, though she is nuzzling her face into my chest----
    I guess she just wants to feel my warmth, too.
    So, for now, I should just comfort her as best as I can----

    That small sound brings both of us back to reality.
    It seems that, without even realizing it, I had been squeezing Satsuki’s body a little too tightly.
    I release my hold on her, and she takes a step back, not quite looking me in the eye.
    “…..Thanks, Shiki-kun. I feel better now. So, let’s talk about this.”
    She finally seems to regain the remainder of her former composure, and so looks me straight in the eye again.

    “As you’ve probably realized by now, all the evidence suggests that you wounded yourself. About a third of the wounds are obviously from your knife---”
    Saying so, she picks it up and hands it to me---
    “----and the rest are almost certainly from your own claws.”
    Slowly, I nod my assent.
    “None of the wounds are deep, and will probably completely heal in a day or two, considering you are a vampire---- and even at this point, they probably won’t hinder you at all, though if somebody attacked you there, it could be very bad, and there is also the slight chance that they could reopen if you make too much strenuous movement.”
    So, as I thought, they aren’t serious----
    And this is further proven by the fact that I couldn’t even tell I’d been wounded, until Satsuki touched them.

    “But, Satsuki-chan, how did you know about these wounds?”
    I had no idea, so how could she have even guessed?
    “Well---- you said the alley was covered in blood. You didn’t sound like you were exaggerating, though the shock of the event could have made it seem like more than it really was. Even so, if there was blood splattered across all parts of the alley, that girl probably couldn’t have lived. This led me to believe right away that the blood must have come from someone else---- So, at first I thought you had more victims than just the girl. Now, though I still think it’s possible, it’s actually probably not that likely.”
    “But, why not?”

    “You also mentioned there were pieces of torn cloth around the alley, right?”
    I nod.
    “Well, it’s a little embarrassing to admit, but whenever we’re together I find myself just watching you, a lot.”
    She blushes a bit as she says so, and I feel myself blushing slightly as well.
    But then, Satsuki’s face turns dead serious again.
    “Since I always do so, one of the first things I noticed when you came back, was the fact that your shirt isn’t the same one you left with.”
    Surprised, I look down at my shirt.
    But, it looks exactly the same----

    “I know what you’re thinking, Shiki-kun. But, trust me--- it isn’t the same one. The hue is just a little bit off, and there are a few other indications as well. So, what I think happened is this: when you; no, when Roa grabbed the girl, something else inside of you must have fought back against him. In doing so, you thrashed around, damaging both yourself and your surroundings, tearing your shirt to shreds and leaving marks upon the alleyway walls, while also leaving your own blood in your wake. Then, you reached some sort of stabilization, and, without even realizing it, went out and got a new shirt. As for the box of blood, you could have acquired it at this point, or perhaps before any of this happened. You probably also drank some of the blood, to replace what you lost---- You then went back to the alley and came back to yourself, not remembering a thing. As for the girl, she was probably never seriously hurt in the first place---- the reason you found her with such weak breathing is probably because you left her there in the cold, all alone.”

    I see---- then----
    “Well, normally I would suggest that we just lay low, and try to figure things out--- We should just stay together here, never leaving unless we really need to, and keep an eye on each other---- at least until my wounds are healed.”
    “But, we can’t just sit and do that.”
    Satsuki nods.
    “That’s right. As I’m sure you’ve realized, we have no way of knowing how you got the box of blood, or the shirt. We also don’t know what else you might have done when you weren’t yourself. Hopefully, you at least hypnotized everyone you came across---- but we can’t count on that, and we’ve already discussed that even hypnotizing people carries its own risks. So, we have to assume that Ciel will find us soon. Still, there is almost no chance she will find us tonight, and she probably won’t find us tomorrow either---- but we still have to be careful.”

    So, our situation has gone from bad to worse----
    But, before we continue, there’s something else that’s bothering me.
    “What if I hurt other people while I was out for the shirt and blood? I, might have killed someone-----”
    Satsuki shakes her head.
    “I don’t think so, otherwise you probably would have killed the first girl, too. I think that’s why you thought you could control Roa----- even when you were completely controlled by him, you still somehow fought back against him. In any case, though, we don’t really have the time to think about this all right now.”

    Satsuki moves back and sits down on the futon again, wincing in pain and holding her wounds as she does so.
    “Obviously, we are in no condition to fight Ciel right now, and we’re also in no condition to try and find yet another new place to stay. There are too many risks involved with moving around too much right now, my injuries included. Still, though, there is plenty of tonight left, and it would be unwise to waste it. We’re going to need some sort of help, and we need to acquire it tonight, or tomorrow night at the latest, if it exists. Fortunately, we still have one lead we can try.”

    “And that is----?”

    Satsuki smiles, a little sadly.
    “Before Ciel decided you absolutely had to die, back when you convinced her to give us a chance----”
    “----She told me to investigate my family, right? That isn’t what you’re suggesting I do, is it?”
    “Actually, that’s exactly what you should do, Shiki-kun. She must have had some reason to say that, right?”
    I don’t know. All I know is----
    “There’s never been anything unusual about my family. I mean, sure, they’re rich, and even live in a mansion, but that doesn’t mean there’s anything unusual about them as human beings-----”

    Satsuki sighs.
    “Normally, I would agree with you, Shiki-kun. This time, however, I think I have to change my stance. After all, before you even became a vampire, you had your special eyes, right? Although it’s certainly true that magic circuits are present in everyone, you and I both have more than an average person. Someone like us could be born into an ordinary family, I’m sure---- but I think it’s more likely to be born into a naturally talented family. Of course, this means my family might be talented, too---- But Ciel mentioned yours specifically, not mine. So, I think you should start there. You might be able to find something that can help us---- And make no mistake, we really need any help we can get right now.”

    If I go, that means I might be seeing them all again----
    They’ll surely be frightened at what I’ve become, if they find out.
    And, in any case, they would want to know where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing.
    There’s no way I could explain everything that’s happened to them----
    They would never believe it.

    So, would I have to lie to them----?
    I guess that when I become human again, that would be the most likely choice----

    Though, if what Satsuki suspects is true, the situation may be completely different.
    If my family really is more than just human---- then----
    They may already know about things like vampires.
    If that were true, it could be both good and bad----
    I wonder if they would even accept me, after knowing what I’ve become----?
    It scares me to think that I might be rejected by them----
    After all they’ve done for me, I don’t want that to happen.
    That would be like disregarding all their efforts.
    Though, the fact that I left is like that too-----

    And Akiha.
    I don’t even want to think about it-----
    But, I have to.
    What would Akiha think----?
    More than Kohaku-san or Hisui, I really don’t want Akiha to reject me----

    It’s pretty ironic that I would think that, after abandoning Akiha to live with the Arimas for so many years.
    But, that doesn’t change the fact that she is my important little sister.
    If I ran into her like this----

    But, aren’t I getting ahead of myself here?
    All Ciel said was to investigate my family.
    That doesn’t necessarily mean I will have to actually encounter any of them while I do so----
    I am a creature of the night, after all.
    Sneaking around unseen should fit me perfectly in my current condition.
    Then, I guess I should probably just do it----
    After all, I don’t know what I’m going to find out, so I should at least check it out.
    I’ll have to be extremely careful to not get spotted though----

    “Alright. I guess you’re right, Satsuki-chan---- Just like you said, we shouldn’t waste what time we have. Though, I feel uneasy about leaving you alone----”
    Satsuki smiles a small smile.
    “I’ll be fine. I can last at least that long---- especially since I’ve been slowly, but steadily recovering ever since this morning, at least. You don’t have to worry about me----”

    Satsuki’s expression suddenly turns serious.
    “----Rather, you should be worrying more about yourself. I’m guessing that you’re probably feeling uneasy about investigating your own family, right? After all, you want to believe that they’re ordinary humans after all, and more than anything else, you don’t want them to realize what you’ve become, right?”

    Satsuki broaches the subject I was thinking about, again, as if she can read my mind.
    “----Yeah, you’re right.”
    “Well--- it wasn’t that hard to tell, since I would be thinking the same sorts of things if I were you, Shiki-kun. But, I do have to say something important----”
    “------What is it?”
    Satsuki sighs a sad kind of sigh to herself.
    “----What I need to say is this. I know you don’t want your family to know about everything, and so you probably intend to sneak into the mansion to find out what you can. But, if they do end up being more than human, we---- may end up needing you family’s help. In that case, we’re going to have to tell them everything. Like I said, this place will probably only be safe for so long, so-----”
    “I understand. I’ll be going now.”
    Not speaking another word, I ascend the stairs, and exit the house onto the moonlit streets.

    I understand----?
    Of course, I really do understand----
    Though, I don’t want to.
    The truth is, I just really don’t want to think about it at all.
    So, for now, I’ll just concentrate on acquiring what information I can-----

    I make my way through the streets, and reach the hill leading up to the mansion.
    If I think about it, it has only been five days since I last climbed this hill, and before that, it was eight years----
    But, somehow, the five days feels more like an eternity.
    These past five days have been filled with so many incomprehensible things, that I find it amazing that I am still sane after all of it----
    I guess humans really are quite adaptable, and resilient-----
    Though thinking that just makes me realize all over again, that I’m not even human anymore----

    The climb up to the mansion seems even longer than usual.
    It’s dark, and I feel distracted----
    I find myself losing my footing several times along the way.
    How clumsy, for a vampire to trip over his own feet----
    In so many ways, I have none of the grace expected of a member of the prestigious Tohno family.
    When I think that, and I think of how disappointed Akiha would be to see me now----
    It almost makes me turn back.

    But, I’m doing this for Satsuki, and not just for myself.
    So, I have to keep going.

    After what is probably no more than five or ten minutes, even at my sluggish pace, I reach the mansion gates.
    All in all, they look pretty foreboding out in the dark like this----
    The gate remains shrouded in comforting darkness, and the atmosphere wraps me into something of a nostalgic feeling.
    I wonder, just how far I would go to claim back my old life here----?
    I only lived back in this mansion for three days, but I felt satisfied while I was living here again----
    Even I feel an attachment to this place as my home.
    And a lot of that is because---- of the kind people who accepted me here, even after I abandoned all attachment to this place for eight long years----

    Thinking of them makes my chest hurt a little.
    It isn’t pain from the wound on my chest-----
    It’s more like pangs of guilt from abandoning my family again so soon, even after they invited me back home, where I had no right to return.
    It’s like I spit in the face of their good intentions.
    The comfort of knowing I did it for someone else’s sake can only soften so much of the guilt----
    Probably, all of it will never go away.

    But, thinking about it won’t change anything now.
    I have to hurry, and return to Satsuki.
    Since I abandoned my family for someone else, I at least have to help that person as much as I can----
    Everyone, including me, deserves at least that much.

    The gate, of course, is locked.
    I shouldn’t cut this----
    If I do, Akiha will know someone broke into the mansion.
    That could be problematic in many ways----
    For example, Ciel told me to investigate here, but I don’t need her actually knowing I did so.
    Who knows what kind of trail she might be able to find if she knew?

    Though, I guess it’s also true that she might be keeping an eye on this place for that very same reason---- But it’s too late to turn back now.
    Even if she’s watching me right now, the only thing I can do is keep going forward----
    If she attacks me in the mansion, I’ll immediately escape outside so nothing happens to Akiha and the others----
    I can do that much for them, at least.

    In any case, I need to get inside.
    Now that I’m a vampire, scaling the gate is even easier than it would have been before.
    I quickly climb over and drop into the mansion grounds.
    I then carefully approach the front door.

    At this midnight hour, everyone should be sound asleep.
    I can see no indication of any lights on anywhere in the mansion, so I don’t think I need to worry---
    Plus, my excellent night vision from being a vampire should help me to avoid detection.
    Now, the only problem is the lock on the front door----

    Which, isn’t actually locked.
    This is pretty fortunate for me, since I was convinced I was going to have to cut something, and even if I cut the lock on a servant’s entrance or something, Akiha would be sure to notice.
    I can tell, even from the short time I spent here, that Akiha has become a very meticulous person, with an excellent eye for detail.

    But, who left the door open?
    I suppose it must have been Hisui or Kohaku-san, hoping that I would return, just like this----
    It, may have even been Akiha----
    Though I can’t see Akiha compromising the security of the mansion like that, so I doubt it.

    Either way, it’s lucky for me.
    I carefully open the door, which seems to creak rather loudly tonight for some reason, and look inside.
    Of course, the lobby is completely empty.
    After all, it’s past the time you’re allowed to leave your room in this mansion----
    The rules are strict, but this time, they should actually work in my favor.
    In any case, I have to concentrate on what I came here for.
    In that case----

    1. I should go to the old man’s room. (SS8e)
    2. ----I’ll go to my room. (SS8f)

  5. #45
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    [x]I should go to the old man’s room. (SS8e)

    Lets see what skeletons Papa Tohno has in his closet.

    Also really loving this.
    Last edited by KinKrow; June 24th, 2015 at 12:22 PM.

  6. #46
    吸血鬼 Vampire walrus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    An update!

    1. I should go to the old man’s room. (SS8e) (Obvious choice if one has played Tsukihime at any route).

  7. #47
    Who stole my donuts!? Leo Novum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    I should go to the old man's room.

    By the way, really loving this.
    If I'm an unknown being, then the way I can change is unknown, too…
    So all I have to do… is make them not-unknown.
    - Teddie, Perona 4


    Say what again, I dare you!

  8. #48
    2. ----I’ll go to my room. (SS8f).
    also loving this and glad someone finally decided to right the Satsuki rout.

  9. #49
    Any update?

  10. #50
    Κυρία Ἐλέησον Seika's Avatar
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    Jun 2011
    Perilous Hall
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    Beast's Lair: Useful Notes
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  11. #51
    ---Obviously, I should go to the old man’s room.
    Well, his study, to be precise.
    If I want to learn more about the Tohno family itself, that’ll be the most logical place to look----
    I begin slowly making my way up to the study.

    Tonight, it seems like every step I take elicits a creaking protest from the old boards in the floor----
    Of course, that’s to be expected.
    When the mind is in a high tense situation like I am right now, the body’s senses will naturally be sharpened.
    I shouldn’t have to worry too much about the residents of the house, who are undoubtedly all asleep, noticing the creaking sounds in their states of dulled senses-----

    But, what would I do if somebody did wake up and find me here----?
    I don’t want to think about it.
    I really don’t want to think about it----

    In any case, if that happens, I’ll just have to deal with it when the time comes.
    I should focus on what I came here for.

    Being careful to not make too much noise, but also not trying to waste too much time, I find myself at the study door.
    Luckily, it isn’t locked----
    I open the creaking door, and step inside.

    Of course, the room is in a state of perfect cleanliness.
    There isn’t a speck of dust inside anywhere, and each and every book looks perfectly taken care of, as well.
    Still, it smells dusty----
    I wonder if it isn’t just because of the accumulated sense of history found within this room----?
    Part of me, reaches out towards that history----

    But I ignore it, instead opting to focus on the reason I came here in the first place.
    I need to find out what I can about the Tohno family----
    But, all those bookshelves look rather daunting, and I have no idea how the books are organized.
    Then, should I try the desk----?
    After all, people tend to keep important things at their desks, where they can get at them easily.
    So, even if I don’t find what I’m looking for, I should at least be able to find something----

    I walk over to the desk.
    The desk, too, is neat and tidy.
    Of course----
    I think that, besides myself, everyone who lives in this mansion is a tidy person----
    Sometimes, Hisui seems more like a robot than a human being, and Akiha is the proper daughter of a prestigious household-----

    I wonder what Kohaku-san’s room looks like?
    If anyone here were the least bit messy, it would probably be her.
    Besides me------
    Though it makes me smile a little to imagine Kohaku-san’s room in a state of chaos.
    It’s kind of a bitter smile, though----

    With a little trouble, I tear myself away from my nostalgic thoughts.
    Funny that I think of the people living here so tenderly, even after only living with them for three days after my return----
    But, before my attention wanders too much again, I check the papers and books on the desk.

    They’re all full of boring figures.
    The books appear to be ledgers of some kind, while the papers are either used for calculations, or have information on family business printed on them.
    Just to be sure, I check each of these, but none of the information on the desk appears to be anything out of the ordinary.
    Then, I should check inside the drawers----

    Unfortunately, the main drawer is locked.
    I probably shouldn’t cut this unless I really need to----
    For now, I should look through the other drawers.

    I have to say, there’s a lot of stuff here.
    Most of it appears to be important documents of one kind or another, neatly filed away.
    This would take way too long to go through everything----
    So, for now, I just try to spot anything relevant to my search by skimming through the titles and headers of each document.

    After several more minutes at the least, I discern that every paper is quite likely just about normal business transactions and the like, just like the papers found lying on top of the desk.
    Those probably just haven’t been organized and filed away yet, or are perhaps necessary for something Akiha is working on----
    In any case, I can probably stop wasting my time looking through these, at least for the moment.
    I only have a few hours of nighttime left, after all----
    So, I need to search through as much as I can while I have the chance.
    If I can come back tomorrow, or some other time, I can search in more detail then----

    But, right now, I need to find some sort of clue as to what Senpai was trying to direct me towards----

    Then, should I attempt to quickly search the bookshelves----?
    If I just skim over the titles, I might be able to find something useful to me----
    But, it doesn’t change the fact that I still don’t really know what I’m looking for.
    All I know, is it has something to do with my---- with the Tohno family.

    Still, the sheer amount of books to be found around the room is daunting, to say the least.
    I don’t even know how long it would take to search through every one----
    Maybe I would be better off just cutting the lock on the desk.
    Of course, there’s no guarantee that there’s anything important to be found within that drawer----
    But then again, there’s no guarantee that there’s anything important on the bookshelf, either.

    The more I look at the lock on the desk, the more inviting it appears.
    I can’t say why, but I feel as if the answer I’m looking for is to be found within that drawer----
    Before I can think about it too deeply, I take out my knife, lower my glasses, and cut the lock.
    Of course, I immediately replace my glasses.

    Inside, is a book, and some sort of document----
    Upon closer inspection, I see that it’s the Tohno family tree.
    It looks like the book is the old man’s journal---
    Well, reading the journal will likely take up some time, so I decide to look at the family tree first.

    I scan my eyes quickly across the paper, and find the name Tohno Makihisa.
    Directly below are the names Tohno SHIKI and Tohno AKIHA.
    The time and cause of death are also listed for each member of the family above Makihisa, though the old man’s death hasn’t been edited in yet----
    Maybe I can spot some sort of clue by looking at the earlier members of the Tohno family----
    For example, people with special attributes might live abnormally long lives, right?
    So, I should check how long each family member lived----

    This---- isn’t what I expected.
    The life span of each family member, most notably the heads of the family, are abnormal, to be sure.
    The heads of the family all died at very young ages---
    And not only that, but they all died unusual deaths.
    Suicide, madness, murder----
    This entire document is full of violent deaths.
    Not a single one of them is peaceful----

    No matter how I look at it, it’s more than a little unusual.
    Based on this, Satsuki was probably right----
    There really is something unusual about the Tohno family.
    I’d like to believe that this is all just coincidence, but that hardly seems likely----
    Now, I just need to find out what, exactly, this family’s secret is.

    But, there’s still something else that bothers me.
    The heads of the family all died violent deaths, at young ages----
    Does that mean that---- Akiha’s fate will also be the same?
    I don’t even want to think about the possibility of my only sister dying, much less experiencing something similar to the fates listed here-----
    I want to protect her, if I can.

    But, I won’t be able to do that without knowing what I’m up against.
    Maybe the answer is inside the journal-----

    But, before I open it, something else in the family tree catches my eye.
    The old man adopted another son----?
    How could I have not known about it?
    That name, Nanaya----
    It sounds so familiar, yet so distant.

    But still, I should know this person----
    Ah, I see.
    He died shortly after coming here----
    Even if I did meet him, maybe I just don’t remember since he died so soon.
    So, it’s probably not important.
    Then, the journal----

    Still, for some reason it bothers me.
    Suddenly, something occurs to me, and I pull out my knife again.
    This time, I don’t expose the blade, but instead look at the writing engraved on the hilt.
    Nanatsu-yoru, seven nights---- Couldn’t these characters also be read, Nanaya?
    Then, that means-----

    ----It still doesn’t change the fact that I have no idea at all what that means.
    Is this knife somehow a keepsake, of the dead adopted child----?

    In any case, musing over it won’t get me anywhere.
    It’s just really bothering me for some reason----
    But, for now, I decide to ignore it and concentrate on the old man’s journal.
    Maybe it will have a clue about the adopted son, too.
    I pick it up, and, now knowing what to expect, open it to the first page----

    The old man certainly picked an interesting way to begin his journal.
    The very first line, not only confirms my suspicions, but exceeds them as well----
    Evil resides within the Tohno blood----

    I sigh, in a sort of regret.
    Then, the Tohno family is unusual, just as I feared, but didn’t want to admit.
    And, the old man describes it as something, evil----
    Then, maybe it’s appropriate that I became a vampire----?

    My eyes catch movement, and immediately snap up to the doorway.
    I was foolish.
    I didn’t lock the door, nor did I even bother closing it---
    What a simple, foolish, mistake.
    The situation has just ballooned into the worst possible type.
    If Kohaku-san had seen me, I would have felt uneasy.
    If Hisui saw me, I would have felt regretful----
    But, now----
    I feel more than just uneasy.
    In a way, I even feel scared----

    Akiha stands in the doorway, gazing at me as if she’s feeling intense pity.
    But, I don’t even care about what expression she’s wearing as she gazes at me.
    She saw me----
    And I can tell from her face that she already knows everything, too.
    I didn’t want this----
    More than anything, I didn’t want this!
    My mind rejects this situation completely----

    What should I do?
    My body and mind both tell me to run away, but I also know that it won’t change the fact that she’s already seen me.
    No, running away at this point won’t solve anything.
    Besides, if not for my own sake, for Satsuki’s sake; I need to find out what I came for, and acquire any kind of help I can----

    Then, I should ask Akiha about what I just read in the journal----
    But, I don’t know what to say.
    Nothing I say will change the fact that I abandoned her after she invited me back after eight years---- even though I had no right to return.
    That’s right---- I basically snubbed her kind intentions by running off like I did.
    I don’t even know why I did it----
    But, it’s just what my heart told me to do, so I can’t really say that I regret it that much----

    No, that isn’t quite right.
    I do regret it.
    But, I would have regretted choosing the alternative even more-----
    In that case, maybe I was doomed from the beginning to end up in a situation like this----?

    I can’t find the words to say----
    Actually, I don’t think there really are any right words to say in this situation.
    No matter what I say, I still denied Akiha----
    So, I’m relieved when she speaks first.

    Her face turns from that strange look of pity, to one of quiet anger.
    “Nii-san----- who did this to you-----?”

    ----That’s not an easy question to answer.
    I can tell, that she’s angry.
    I don’t want, that anger to be directed at Satsuki-----
    Akiha just becomes more angry at my silence.
    “Didn’t you hear me, Nii-san!? I’m asking you, who made you into a vampire!”
    She nearly shouts this, and I cringe back slightly.

    It’s not that I’m afraid.
    It’s just---- even though, I already knew that she knew---- hearing her call me a vampire still hurts.
    I though I’d accepted that fact, but it seems like it’s still painful to me, after all----

    But, Akiha is still glaring at me, and I still have to answer her question.

    1. Tell the truth. (SS8g)
    2. Lie about it. (SS8h)

  12. #52
    1. Tell the truth. Just have that include he chose this path. Also what's SS8g and SS8h?
    For those writers looking for new story ideas visit my account: There are dozens of challenges there waiting to be picked up.

  13. #53
    The labels are the paths as listed in the routes chart:

  14. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by SatsukiYumizuka View Post
    The labels are the paths as listed in the routes chart:
    Okay, i really need a manual for that place; i didn't even know it had a rout chart or rout list. I just thought I'd have to go the hard way to get to the latest points.
    For those writers looking for new story ideas visit my account: There are dozens of challenges there waiting to be picked up.

  15. #55
    Sorry think I'm going to stop updating this thread, forum is kinda dead.

  16. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by SatsukiYumizuka View Post
    Sorry think I'm going to stop updating this thread, forum is kinda dead.
    That's fair. I mean even before there's only been like three her four voters.
    Quick question though. Akiha coming into the room is a dead end right?
    For those writers looking for new story ideas visit my account: There are dozens of challenges there waiting to be picked up.

  17. #57
    Lie is a dead end, telling the truth is not.

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