Ren meets a new, well, what he assumes to be a new vampire. Is he help, or trouble
Jean-Claude got his Phys Ed clothes on, and found both the meals and his water jug filled again. He began to ask himself why it was that she was being such a mother hen, and said, “Lord Jesus, please, help me find a way to repay for the charity,” and proceeded to eat. Because of how he was situated, he did not see Karin emerge from her house and head down the hill. She met up with Kenta, and they went their way. They had not gone but a few blocks when they ran into Jean-Claude on his cell phone. “You said it was coming, right? Well, where is it? I don’t have that much more time. I know we’re talking nearly ten thousand miles here, but it should have been here by now. Look, if they try to visit, it might be trouble,” and he then noticed the couple, and said, “Listen, I can’t talk right now, I have to go. No, just call in a few hours, okay? Bye!”
“Who was that?” said Karin.
“That was our family lawyer,” he answered, “I have money that was supposed to be coming to me. It’s been tied up in legal matters for nearly a year now, but hopefully, it will be on the way soon. Boy, do I need it!’
“How much are you talking, if you don’t mind my asking?” asked Kenta.
“No, I don’t,” said Jean-Claude, “because you would find out soon anyway. It is enough to say that I would be financially set.”
They both stared at his eyes, hidden behind the Ray Ban sunglasses he wore for Phys Ed. “No wonder you can handle yourself alone,” said Karin, “but, I hope this is not too personal: where are your parents.”
He turned his head away, and stared off into the distance for about 20 seconds. He then said very frankly, “They’re dead.”
Karin felt her blood begin to rise due to the unhappy aura that he was projecting. She had to change the subject quickly, but he then said, “It is what happened that made me learn not to be bitter. I mean, I have to take the bad things that happened and make it good. There is an old saying—when life hands you a bunch of lemons, make lemonade.”
Kenta began to see Karin’s distress, and said, “So, it’s an inheritance, I take it?”
“Oh yes,” he answered, “It’s all tied up in investments, and I live off the interest, so I have no need for a job. This is good, because I can then dedicate my time to far more positive endeavors.”
His unhappy aura began to fade a bit, which relieved Karin, and she said, “What kind of endeavors?”
“I want to do work that unites all kinds of people, and educate them against prejudice, so we can unite all kinds of beings,” he said, “That way, no one ever has to face the kinds of things that I, and many others, have seen.”
They made their way along, and bumped right into Victor Sinclair. The couple was happy to see him, but Jean-Claude took a slight defensive step backward. Victor saw him, and said, “Geuten Tag! Wie-Geits?”
“That all depends,” he said in Japanese.
They continued to converse in German, and Jean-Claude began to relax a bit. Then Victor began to point to the two of them, and Jean-Claude began to examine them. Jean-Claude then asked him something, to which he seemed to affirm strongly. “Ah so!” he said, “Jetzt verstehe ich es! Das ist sehr gut! “ and extended his hand to Victor. As they shook, they began to talk further, Victor began to point here and there, and then looked him in the eye, as if to tell him something quite important. Jean-Claude pumped his head up and down, and said, “Wann die ur kommst, wir gehen der gut machen!”
As they said their good-byes, Karin and Kenta were brimming with curiosity. “What was that all about?” asked Karin.
“You know him?” asked Kenta.
Jean-Claude answered the latter, and said, “Actually, yes. Oddly enough, I should have recognized his grandson yesterday. I’m just glad that he got his head screwed on straight. I hope that he did the same for his grandson.”
Karin was beginning to become a bit afraid. Now she did not know Jean-Claude’s intentions, and wondered if she should get Anjou to erase his memory, or something. “What’s the big deal?” asked Kenta.
“Well,” Jean-Claude said, “One thing I know about him is that he was a man that harbored a lot of hate. Some of the things he did were horrendous. Yet, it seems that something has happened to change his ways, and now he is turning those skills to good things. He should be proud of his grandson, though, he is a natural leader.”
This did not completely set Karin at ease, because this boy had a past association with Victor in his former ways, and she wondered if Jean-Claude was as he had been. She would have to tread lightly. However, the whole conversation was not unnoticed. A bat dropped from a tree and returned to the house. Anjou, who had been waiting for her information before she went to bed, had watched and seen the whole thing. Even more so now did she trust him, and she decided to help him all the more. She dispatched a flock of bats to go to the main sorting office and find the package he sought. He would be more than pleased, and it would also give him the chance at proper lodging which would get him off the hill and out of danger.
At Phys Ed, he proved himself to be quite the athlete, and then spent time on the weights after this. Everyone was shocked at how much strength he possessed. He was benching more than three times his own body weight, so he was as strong as he looked. Lunch was called for, and as he ate, he was approached by the captain of the Rugby team. Jean-Claude said that he would love to give it a try, and hoped that he could pick up on the game quickly. The Rugby team met after lunch, and Karin had a chance to watch him in action. However, he had to take off his sunglasses, and it seemed to pain him a bit. She wondered if he was blind, by this, but he seemed to act as if his sight did not bother him. He did rub his eyes from time to time, and put the sunglasses back on whenever he was able. When he played, he was very physical, and hit hard! She remembered what he had said about ice hockey, and wondered what he was like on the ice. She sure felt sorry for anyone that had to suffer a body check from him!
By the end of the day, however, he seemed a bit weak. He was surprised that he would have to act so soon, and figured that it was because of the time zone changes that his metabolism had shifted. Thus, he would have to get used to the change. Kenta saw this as he was leaving, and said to him, “This is odd to say, considering how tan you are, but, you look a bit pale. Are you okay?”
“Oh!” he said, looking a bit surprised, “I’m sorry, it was just too much time without my specs. I can’t wear them in sports like that, so I have to tough it out. It was a bit too long, though. I do better on cloudy days.”
“Oh, okay,” said Kenta, “Are you going to come to Julian’s now?”
“Not today,” said Jean-Claude, “I have some things to tend to, and I will probably be there tomorrow, bright-eyes and bushy-tail.”
“Well, get some rest,” said Kenta, “and I’ll see you tomorrow.”
Jean-Claude let out a sigh of relief. What he said about the eyeglasses was true, but it was not completely the reason why he felt the way he did. He did not want to lie, and did not lie, yet, he knew that it would take time before he could tell him the whole truth. If Karin was what he suspected, Kenta may also know this, and he could be trusted. This, however, would take some time.
When he returned, the sun had just set, and he took a few minutes to clean out the bowls. He then went to his things, and found a large envelope at the door of the tent. He picked it up, and then saw it was addressed to him from his lawyer. Now he began to worry. How did this get here? The only person outside of the post office that knew he was expecting this package was Karin and Kenta, and the only one that knew he was there was Anjou. How did this get here? He felt the pangs, and then realized that he needed to get to work, lest he go into a rage. He would find out later. If things went well, he may be able to catch her that night, and get some answers. He opened up the envelope, and sure enough, there was all the paperwork and what he needed to secure a bank account for the money that would be coming. There was also some cash in there so he could get the ball rolling, and fetch his animals from quarantine. He secured them with his belongings, and proceeded to prepare for that night.
Ren was in the district that Jean-Claude and Anjou had been the night before, with one of his many blood dolls. He had no real love for humans, yet, there was no reason why he could not get his thrills in the process of getting his meals. Considering the stress that he relieved in these women, he figured that he should be treated like he was doing a public service. There was only one human he trusted, and that trust was shaky at best. However, he had to rely on Kenta to protect his sister, not only because she was his sister, not only because she was up in the daytime, and that was her only protection, but now, because she was key to the survival of the vampire species. He also had to suck it up and treat him well, or else it would not take much for him to squeal to the right people, and all would be over for every vampire in Japan. Of course, that would cost Kenta his life, and Kenta knew it, so, out of fear and common sense, the boy kept his mouth shut. Besides, he made a good blood doll for his sister, and even volunteered his neck if it meant keeping things a secret. He figured, “At least he’s good for something.”
He had just come out of the club after looking for a meal, and he had no success. Thus, he went out to an alley to get out his “little black book” and see upon whom he could call. He had wandered down the alley a ways, not paying attention to where he was. His cockiness was renown, but he figured that they were just humans, and if they wanted to do something, they would have Hell to pay for tangling with him, so he let his guard down often. However, this night, it did him no good. He had come to the wall at the end of the alley as he scanned his names, and turned about to walk some more. It was then he saw them. He had been so focused on what he was doing; his normally acute senses did not detect the eight individuals coming from behind. He stood frozen as if he were a deer with his eyes affixed on a set of headlights. They all looked mean, and they all were carrying some kind of weapon: a rod, a knife, a set of nunchucks, and so forth. They said, “Give us your money,” very quietly. This was not good. He still felt he could take them, but he was not sure just how far he would have to go to defend himself. He could not “vamp out” fully, lest he give away too much. They all began to close in on him, and he thought about running, and then remembered the wall behind him. He figured that, now, he had no choice. He was going to get hurt, but he would erase their memories when it was over. He just hoped it did not involve killing anyone. However, just as they began to rush in from the shadows, a large blur landed in front of them. It was moving too fast for them to react. Despite his enhanced vision and hearing, it was hard to track the action. Within seconds, seven of the eight were on the ground with various missing limbs and deep cuts from the healthy piece of steel the stranger carried. Those men had no time to scream. The blur stopped in front of the last man after he had disarmed him, and this was the first look at the one who had struck like lightning. He had on a black, flat brimmed hat, not unlike a preacher from the American Old West would have worn, a black scarf that covered his mouth and nose, a black trench coat, black military pants, and combat boots. In his hand was a saber, but Ren could not make out what kind for the darkness, and because of the fingerless black gloves that the stranger wore covered the hilt. The stranger held the man against the side wall, with glowing eyes, and the stranger was growling. The mugger was too terrified to scream. “You danced to the tune, now its time to pay the piper, scum!” the stranger grumbled, and he pulled down his scarf. Ren could not see the face clearly, but he was shocked when he saw the set of fangs that the stranger had! The mugger began to scream, but it was stifled as the stranger sunk in his fangs. After about a minute, the stranger peeled himself away, and let out a roar. He dropped the man on the ground, and then reached out his hand, and all the muggers began to glow yellow. The stranger growled, “You shall remember none of this, but whenever you try this again, terror and pain is all you will be able to experience!”
The wounds of the men closed, but those that had removed limbs did not have them reattached. Ren knew that, when they came to, they would be driven insane, wondering how their hand or arm was missing and why. When he had finished, he had the scarf back on, and he sheathed his saber after cleaning it off. He then looked at Ren staring back at him, not sure what to do next. Stranger tipped his hat, and disappeared up to the rooftops. Ren quickly left from there, lest they come to, and he be accused of harming the men. He then began to wonder what he had just seen. One thing was for sure, that stranger was a vampire, no question. However, how was it that he was operating there, and his father knew nothing of it? He hoped that Anjou had one of her bats watching out for things, or that he could find her in the city somewhere, and get some answers.
He watched Ren from the rooftops, wondering what his next move should be. The night was young, and he knew there had to be some more crimes that he could bust before he had to wrap it up for the night. That this man was a vampire he knew clearly: he had read Ren’s aura before he left. However, he also knew that he had been seen biting one of the muggers, and so, he wondered if the vampire in charge of this territory was going to be tipped off to his actions? It did not matter if that was so, because, he always operated independently anyway. Besides, he was just as hated by the vampires as he was the humans, and yet, he still wished not to kill either. Yet, he knew that battle with vampires may be upcoming, so he had to be ready. Besides all this, if the renegade vampires that he had been tracking had truly come here, nothing or no one in Japan was safe, thus, in the long run, they would actually owe him. He only hoped that, this time, he would be welcomed instead of shunned, despite the aid he had rendered to others before. He hoped that this time, he could settle down. He was glad that the Sinclairs had changed their ways, and he may be able to recruit their help when the time came. All he had to do was train them in the right way to hunt, and the right things to hunt. His allies in the hunter world were growing, and he was glad to have had a hand in reforming most of them. He would have to stay close to Wiener Sinclair and Maki, and then find out how much Maki knows about Karin and vampires. For now, it was time to hunt.
Meanwhile, back at the house, Anjou, who called it early that night, (she had been fortunate to find a victim early,) had been watching the whole ordeal. Her bats were all over the city, and she was able to keep tabs on all of her family. However, one thing that she knew was that her suspicions about Jean-Claude were correct. His aura gave him away ages ago, yet, she did not want to let on that she knew anything. She already knew that he would not harm her or her family, but because of what he was, she knew that he probably knew nothing, or cared nothing for, checking in with her father when he came into town. It seemed to her that he acted independently anyway, and for good reason. He had to have been the one that had the nightmare, because he looked just like a grown up version of the ten year old boy in the dream. If he was what she thought, there were few places that he could call “safe,” and so, concealing himself was useful. Yet, if he were to gain daddy’s favor, he could be a good guard for Karin and maybe a good match for her as well. She had to admit, she liked Kenta, and knew that he would take good care of her. However, he was only a human, and being so, it could put her sister at constant risk. If there were vampires that still did not understand Karin’s value, there could be trouble, and he was powerless to help her in that regard. Once he got his own place, maybe then she could convince him to meet her father. She knew daddy had a soft spot, and she knew that she could convince her father to meet this person, befriend him, and have him guard the whole family. One thing was this: she never knew a d’amphile could have that much power. He had to have been trained by the best. Certainly, he did not shy away from the blood sucking side of him.
It was about midnight, and he knew he would be dog tired by the next day if he did not get back and rest. He had a whole day of school, and then he had to get his studies done, and do some home hunting on the weekend. All he knew was that his camping days were over for that moment. He hoped that, now, his life could gain some regularity. When he arrived, he heard a voice behind him say, “This explains how you get up here without a guide.”
Because he recognized the voice, he did not react violently. He just turned around and saw Anjou standing there, staring at him. “How much do you know?” he asked her.
“I know who and what you are,” she said, “and my bats have been watching you. You saved my brother tonight, and for that, I am grateful.”
“That was your brother?” he said, very surprised.
“He got himself in it deep tonight,” she answered, “and I hope he learned a lesson about arrogance tonight.”
“You have not exposed me—why?” he asked.
“I don’t want you to have to run,” she answered.
“I don’t want to run anymore myself,” he said, “and I hope that you realize I want to help you.”
“I know,” she said, and she took the bowls and prepared to leave. As she did, he said to her, “One more thing: always value your family. At least you have one. I would hate for you to lose that.”
“I know,” she said again, “and I thank you, however…”
“However, what?” he asked.
“I only wish you could stay,” she said, “I feel so much safer with you here, and even more so now.”
“The only way that would happen is if your father included me in the family,” he said, “What are the odds of that?”
Her answer was merely her gentle, girl-like grin. She then turned about on her heel, and was gone. He sat down, and thought, “To have a family again would be great. Could they get past the hate?”
Ren returned home, looking for his parents, but he could not find them. He figured that they must be out hunting, so he would have to wait to tell them. It was at that point that he heard Anjou in the kitchen, and went to investigate. He saw her preparing two lunches, and asked her, “Trying to help your sister?”
“In a sense,” she said, not even looking up from her work.
He thought for a moment, and then asked, “Have you seen anything out of the usual in the past few days?”
“That depends on what you call ‘usual,’” she reasoned to him.
He had to admit that she had a point. Nothing on any given night could be called routine, especially now that Karin had Kenta around. He just had to be plain. “Look, I don’t think this guy would be any harm but…”
“You want me to be careful from now on, right?” she finished in a question.
There was silence for about a minute, and Anjou paid his staring no mind. He then asked, “How much do you know?”
“Enough to know you got careless tonight,” she said, now looking him dead in the eye, and then return to her preparations.
“What else?” he demanded, now becoming a bit more agitated.
“If it weren’t for him, you could be dead,” she said.
“Highly unlikely,” he said, “but he was a help.”
She let it go, and he stared some more. For some reason, her answers were not satisfying, so he asked, “You do realize that he has broken all protocol, and failed to let father know he was here.”
“I don’t think he would say anything anyway,” she said, “I think he is scared.”
“What’s there to be scared of?” he asked, “You come, or you call, tell him your coming, let him know if you are staying, or passing through, and behave yourself. That’s normal.”
“I don’t think he’s ‘normal,’” she said, “I think he fears that he would not be understood.”
Ren was now starting to get angry, and began to raise his voice a bit, “Just how much do you know?”
She kept her stoic look and continued to prepare the bowls. She then said, “When I feel I can trust you with his identity, you will know all.”
She turned on her heel, and left. Ren wanted to follow her, but realized that trying to get anything out of her would be like trying to get blood out of a turnip, so he let it go. He wondered if this whole thing was an omen of things to come.