They have been found out, and now, no more secrets, as two worlds must now mesh, or else.
Chiyuki walked home, feeling eyes on her but not really giving a rat’s backside. She came across Jean-Claude and the rest and started walking with them, unaware of her own demise watching her. Karin was the first to spot Chiyuki, and greeted her warmly. (At this point, it was only Karin, Kenta, and Jean-Claude.) Karin then asked, “So, did you take care of that girl?”
“I think she is terrified!” Chiyuki said giggling.
Looking at Chiyuki, Jean-Claude asked Karin, “Have you talked to your dad?”
Karin hedged a bit, and then said, “Well, I told him there was a new vampire that wanted to meet him so he could make approval for her to be here, and to make sure she has a proper place, income: you know, normal things.”
Kenta then asked, “But, did you mention her problem?”
Again, Karin hedged a bit more, and said, “Well, not quite.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” asked Jean-Claude.
“I told him that she wanted to meet somewhat privately, so that way, prying ears won’t get involved,” she said, “I mean, telling dad that there are truly undead like it was not a big deal is not necessarily the best approach. As long as grandmamma stays asleep, we're good for now.”
Chiyuki raised an eyebrow, and said, “Your grandmother is Elda Makka-san?”
Chiyuki then said, smugly, “The only thing to fear is me...I’m older then her, even she would have to respect that.”
“She knows better than to cross me,” said Jean-Claude.
Karin chimed in at that point, and said, “You know, I’m curious, bro. How is it that a Dhampir like you is so powerful? I mean, Yuriya-san is not all that powerful.”
“That’s because she never had what I had to hone her skills,” said Jean-Claude, “For me, it’s a combination of my physical fitness, my ‘darker side,’ righteous indignation towards evil, that being my blood taste, and, I believe divine influence. I am not the only one so powerful. I know of at least one in the states.”
Chiyuki chuckled, and said, smiling slightly, “Power is in the mind. Yes, it is true some are stronger then others, but if you believe you are weak, then you will be weak, but if you believe you are strong then you are so.”
“Thank you for saying that,” he said, “Because belief in one’s self to make it has been the difference between victory and defeat in many situations. Some have lived when they should have died, and granddad told me, before he died, that he knew of guys in POW camps of Vietnam who just rolled over one night in their sleep, and never woke up again, because they just gave up on life. I believe, and it is that belief and my belief in my God and in my dreams, that keeps me going and strong each day. However, I digress. Grandmamma is sleeping right now, and I hope that she is really thinking about what I had told her not too long ago.”
He then told what had happened that day. Chiyuki shrugged, and said, “Whatever, I’m just gonna chill around anyway, till the foolish ones who tried to kill me leave themselves open,” and then she thought about it and covered her mouth, “I'm so stupid! I told them my plans of killing off elders!” she thought to herself, mentally cursing herself. “Kill who?” he asked, “What are you talking about? Is someone still chasing you?”
"Ah...oh well, might as well tell you,” she explained, not really sure of how much she exposed. Now she had to say something. She then said, “I said the Elders, who hate the undead thing I am, killed two close friends of mine, yes?” making sure they remembered.
She then continued, “I promised them I would complete a mission the both of them wanted to do—to teach the Elders we should we respected. Moreover, respect can be earned one of two ways, you scare them, or you get them to trust you. Obviously the second one is not going to work, so we were going to raid them and make them respect us. It backfired. They killed Hiroshi-kun when he slept, and they killed Ai-chan when she was weak and without blood. I hate them for what they did to my closest friends, and the Elders didn’t bother to listen to them. Hiroshi-kun was instantly guilty by association, and Ai-chan, by being one of us; they were trying to kill me. She jumped in the way, telling me to run. I came back to find Ai-chan barely alive. I promised her I would complete our mission at the cost of my life, and she smiled at me, laughed, and then died. So, I will fulfill my promise to them and teach the responsible ones a bit of respect.”
There was silence as they walked for a good fifteen minutes, not noticing that they were making their way up the hill. Jean-Claude did not know what to say. Certain elders had found themselves dead by his hand for what had happened to his own parents. In his own way, his life eerily paralleled her own. He did not necessarily kill the whole council, but he did ferret out those responsible, and set some things straight. Now, she had a vendetta, and knowing his own past, how could he stand in her way. On the other hand, it would shatter everything he was trying to accomplish. After some thought, he finally said, “I tell you what: I need your help, because someone like you can help on the mission that I am on. In the process, you may ‘redeem’ yourself in the eyes of this council, though I don’t think you need ‘redeeming.’ Yet, if Elda is any indication of what the mindset of the Elders are, that would be one tough cookie to crack. Yet, if we defeat these renegades, we may move on to the next step. However, what I may need to do might break every bit of vampire protocol, but it may be my only choice. It certainly will hasten everything I am trying to accomplish. I just hope it is not too soon.”
However, partway up the hill, a large brown streak shot past them and overhead. It made impact a small bat hanging on a branch nearby, and the blur used its size to kill the small bat. When Jean-Claude walked over, he saw that it was Bruce. “That’s not one of Anjou’s bats, nor is it any of the Marker’s. Zut alors ! (A French term of anger.) Now it may be getting worse. Everyone, to the house, now!”
Chiyuki sighed, and said, “My redemption can only happen when I can bring back those who have died for me. This is just to help smooth the load,” not making eye contact with any of them. However, When Jean-Claude spoke in the frantic voice, it brought her to, and she was alert, her earlier mood all but forgotten. Boris, in the meantime, was elated! He may have lost contact with them, but now he knew more than he was seeking. He now knew who the blood cow was, and who had been responsible for the killing of his troops. However, this thing about the undead...he had heard legends, but he never thought them to be real! “This just makes it all the more better!” he exclaimed. He would have to do some research, figure out how to do this himself, and replenish his army. Then he would strike! First, he would lure the council and the elders to the house, and then, after taking the blood and becoming what he sought, he would then kill them all in favor of the new matrix. Once done, he would vamp out the worthy, and enslave the humans, where they belonged to be. The blood cow would be milked until the fount dried up. It may kill her far sooner, but at least they would have what it takes to be gods forever. In the meantime, Jean-Claude scooped up the carcass, and told Kenta, “Remember what I taught you about blood speed? Well, now’s the time! Let’s go!”
Chiyuki took off fast and furious, though she stayed behind Jean-Claude, if she wanted to, she could have gone a lot faster. Once up the hill, Yuriya spotted him coming, but he shoved her inside, and beckoned everyone to enter. Chiyuki looked askance at this, but Jean-Claude practically threw her in. “Kenta, get your mother upstairs and stay with her,” he said, “Don’t take ‘no’ for an answer!”
Kenta was off, and despite her protests, they headed upstairs. He then headed into the main room, and found the whole family home, but worse, Elda was awake! “Nuts!” he uttered, but he knew this was no time for arguments. Henry was frantic, asking, “What’s wrong, son?”
He threw the bat on the table, and said, “Does this belong to any of the elders or the council?”
Henry examined it, smelled it, and said, “This is definitely not one of them. In fact, this is not even native to Japan.”
Jean-Claude thumped the wall, and said, “Zut alors,” again. He then said, “I’ll lay you ten schillings on the pound they know everything!”
“Who?” asked Elda.
“The renegades,” said Jean-Claude, “And if I am not mistaken, the one I am searching for is Boris Zumov. He is a throwback to the communist era, who tried to set up such a system amongst the vampires. Of course, none of them wanted that, and he was thrust out. He went underground, and he has tried to get his greasy claws into every council on earth. Apparently, he is sick of waiting for the vampires to ‘see the light,’ and is now trying to do something about it.”
Elda’s eyes widened, saying, “Let me tell you, you do have a problem!”
“If I am right,” he said, “Then it is more than just the vampires that shall suffer. He will not stop until the whole world is under his thumb.”
Elda was so focused on the problem; she did not even bother to pick up the scent, or even notice the new presence in the room. Jean-Claude took a chance, and said, “However, if he heard enough, it may be worse than we can imagine. Chiyuki, would you care to fill them in?”
After he said this, he took a position behind Elda, and had his hands on the back of her chair, ready to move if she even flinched. “That is Elda-san?” Chiyuki asked, pointing at her unbelievingly, but then said, “Oh yeah, no time for jokes: um...Makka-san, I am Chiyuki Tanaka, and I have recently come to Japan from the Americas after I killed my creator.” she explained.
Elda jumped out of her seat and was charging at Chiyuki, when Chiyuki side stepped her and caught her before her face collided with the floor. “Makka-san” she said smiling, helping her up, “you may be surprised, but I mean no harm to you if you mean no harm to me.”
“Elda, we don't time for this,” said Jean-Claude, (far less cordially,) angry he had not moved fast enough. Elda, looking confused, angry, and worried, all at the same time, said, stammering, “But...but she...this can’t...if this ever got out...” yet, Jean-Claude thundered, “I SAID WE DON’T HAVE TIME!”
Faster than a blink, he was standing before a now terrified Elda, now seeing his full power exposed for the first time. This was a sight Karin was not unfamiliar with, having seen it firsthand from their little “talk” some weeks earlier. He was staring Elda straight in the eye, and said, “WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM? Didn’t anything I said sink in? I don’t care about ‘vampire etiquette’ right now, because we are fighting an enemy that just does not care anyway! I have this HUGE problem with you pure bloods blaming the sins of others on the victims of circumstance! THAT GOES BEYOND ‘NOT FAIR,’ IT’S…JUST…PLAIN…WRONG, AND IT STOPS HERE AND NOW! Now, if you care to fight her, you are not going to like it, because she is far older, and far more powerful than you are! Worse, I will be right by her side, because, if you, (then looking at the rest,) or any vampire tries to do this, you are no better than the scum that killed my parents, or the renegades that I now fight! Furthermore, if we are divided now, we are doomed—ALL OF US!”
He now sounded like a Marine Corps drill instructor, and said, “DO I MAKE MYSELF CLEAR?”
Chiyuki chuckled and started laughing, saying, “You go, Sarge!”
He pointed to her chair, and said, “Sit...down!”
Almost in a state of shock, she walked back to her chair and sat down. Calera then said, “Do you mind telling me what the deal is, Mother Marker?”
Elda now spoke clearly and slowly, making sure that they understood what was going on. She said, “There is a reason why this is not known, because, the less that do, the less likely it can happen.”
“Are you saying that we can turn humans into vampires?” said Henry.
“Yes,” said Elda, “and this is more the reason than any other why we have tried to avoid the mixing of the worlds. This is a forbidden act, and I haven’t heard anything since the ancient times.”
She thought for a moment, and then asked, “How old are you, girl?”
Chiyuki chuckled, and said, “My name means One Thousand, or Chi, so that means most likely, I have been around for roughly a thousand years.”
One could proverbially hear the collective thump of jaws hitting the floor from that statement, with eyes as wide as a Buick hubcap! Elda now realized that, though old herself, Chiyuki being as old as she was must have had possession of enough power to emolliate her within seconds if she so wished. Elda then said, “Then you must be the one of legend that I heard about in my youth. You’re...”
Jean-Claude already knew what she was going to say, and said it with her, “...the one that got away.”
“It seems you and I, Chiyuki, have more in common than I thought!” said Jean-Claude.
“Not once but twice,” she said, sticking two fingers up.
“What I find ironic is our reactions,” he said, “I got my paybacks, and you seek yours. However, Instead of wanting to be separate, or hateful, I want to see all this hate end, and our differences. I don’t know if that is your wish. Yet, with you having been around for a millennium, you have to know that, despite burps here and there, the human race has advance beyond major prejudice and hate.”
“Some even wish themselves to be vampires,” she said chuckling.
“Yeah,” said Jean-Claude, “Had to talk Yukiko out of that one...”
He stopped, thought for a second, “Yukiko...”
He then said to Karin, “Get Yukiko on the horn for me, and then give me the phone. I have a plan!”
Henry looked at him oddly, and said, “What are you planning?”
“To blow the lid off the thing!’ he said, with a smile on his face, “I’m not talking about vamping, I’m talking about recruiting.”
“Jean-Claude, you're certainly not suggesting...,” said Calera, but Jean-Claude chimed in, and said, “Oh yes I am! The Clan shall grow! If we have to make a stand here, we may have no other chance but to rely on the humans, and two particular reformed vampire hunters to get them ready. I'll talk to them.”
Ren had his misgivings, and said, “They cannot be trusted!”
Jean-Claude said, “Do you have any better suggestions?” and Ren then just sat quiet. Chiyuki smiled and waved at Ren, though she wasn’t acting like the adorable airhead she was at school. The lustful side of Ren was interested, but he was not sure if pursuing something at this stage would be good. As she began to flirt with Ren, Jean-Claude was talking to Yukiko, and said, “So, you understand what I am dealing with?”
“Oh yes,” she said, “I know of a bunch of boys that would definitely get involved.”
“You have to get to them before some others do,” he said, “Otherwise, those friends might not be friends much longer. Let me know when you gather them.”
“Will do,” she said, “What do you want me to tell them?”
“Tell them that they are going to get an education in vampires first hand!” he said.
With that, he hung up, called Victor, and explained the plan to him. He then turned to the rest. By this point, however, Chiyuki was nearly in Ren’s lap, and Ren, for the first time, was actually acting shy around a girl's advances. He looked at Jean-Claude, and all he could do was shrug. Jean-Claude then said, “The three of us that go to school will still do so. If they have yet to vamp anyone out, then we are okay. If that has happened, then we are going to have to all remain here for our safety. However, for the night dwellers, well, I hope your back up supply of blood is ready, because you may have to be dipping into it soon.”
“I have to tell the council something,” said Henry, “What do I say?”
“Tell them that the Dhampir said, ‘The time is at hand,’ and, hopefully, they can send help,” said Jean-Claude, “I don't know how imminent an attack may be, but we may want to think about putting Karin somewhere else, considering that she is their main objective.”
While all this was going on, Chiyuki, not as disturbed by the goings on, was trying to either embarrass Ren, or get into his pants, whichever came first. “Ren-san? I heard you are a womanizer...is that true?” she asked.
Ren actually looked hurt by this. “Womanizer!” he said, “I have no attachment to my blood dolls! It's just convenient to put on that guise, because it makes it easier to get prey.”
He was beginning to look uncomfortable, and then said, “Besides, if a guy, you know, can have a little fun in the process...” and his voice trailed off with a shrug. Chiyuki smiled too sweetly, and said, “Uh huh...I see what Jean-san was getting at!”
Ren wanted out of there. He did not know how dad would react, because, if his father thought it good, this could be permanent, and then what would he do? He thought, “How do I get out of this?”
“Yes,” said a quiet voice behind them, “How do you get out of this, big brother?”
“Don’t worry, you father wouldn’t dare, being as it would be an unsuitable match,” she said.
“You’re not suggesting we fool around!” he said, genuinely red faced!
“No, I’m not, unless you are sugesting such a thing?” she said, chuckling at his blush.
“I think I...need...to change my socks...yeah,” and beat a hasty retreat. If he had been Japanese, his nose would have been bleeding! When he left, Chiyuki broke out in rolling on the floor laughing. Anjou put the situation back serious by wrapping her arms around the waist of Jean-Claude, and saying, “You won’t let them win, will you, big brother?”
He snatched her up in a big bear hug, and said, “They’ll have to kill me first, Corn Muffin—they’ll have to kill me first!”
“Hey, I am not a useless log over here, I am going to stop them if I have anything to say about it!” she said, smiling and pointing at herself, and getting her head back in the game.
“Then this is what I have in mind,” said Jean-Claude, “And I am sorry, Henry, because desperate times call for desperate measures. I am going to have Yukiko recruit some of her Goth friends that Chiyuki spoke of, and I am going to meet them tonight with Victor. We are going to give them a crash course in vampire hunting, and use them as an alternate if we are incapacitated, and we cannot act. If you want to help Chiyuki, they could use the leadership. If anything happens to me and I am captured, get Karin out of there first above all, and then, if I am still alive, get me out so I can help you. If not, you know what to do.”
With that, he went upstairs to get into his hunting clothes—the D’amphile was going to work that night.