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[Fanfic] Crimson Moon: The Chronicles of Fate

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kaname08's picture
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Joined: 05/12/2010
Posts: 162

Hi guys...since I started taking part in the RP (which is currently untitled still) and the fact that it's a bit slow, I began to have an idea form based from this RP as well as the back story I had for my OCs, particularly my first two, as well as the history between a few vampire elders and some items. Anyway...I hope you enjoy it and let me know what you think.

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After centuries of fighting, the races of both vampire and lycan had temporarily drawn to a close. The vampires current leaders were in hibernation while the remainders of the once powerful vampire clan who now call themselves “The Remnants” were scattered across the world. The lycans however, have also scattered while trying to find new places to live, while keeping their affliction hidden from human eyes.

Now in the modern world…a young girl, a rouge, a scholar, and a paladin who has no memory of his past are about to cross paths amidst an ancient feud between the two races. Alliances will be formed, family ties severed, and a prophecy will be uncovered.

Disclaimer: I don’t own Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha or any of the characters whatsoever. However, I think NanohaxFate look great together…that’s just my opinion.

On with the fic!
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Prologue:

A young female vampire was currently on the run holding the child that she hoped would one day be able to find a way to help stop the meaningless feud between the race of vampires and lycans. She eventually reached a small village and urgently knocked on one of the doors of a nearby house. An elderly couple answered the door but was shocked and surprised when they saw the woman in front of them. She handed them her child and asked if they would take care of it for her. They looked at each other before looking at the baby before them. She was absolutely beautiful, with skin as white as snow and eyes as blue as the ocean sea. Just as the elderly couple was about to thank the young woman…she was gone.

The young woman who had just given up her child then ran back into the forest before she stopped briefly and looked back at the village. She could now hear the pounding footsteps of her enemies as well as the swift running that was from her own kin. She gave one last long look at the village where her daughter was currently kept and one final thought to part to her daughter whom she’d never see.

“Be safe…and be strong, my beautiful daughter,” she whispered.

A single tear fell from her eye before the snarls and growls of her enemies surrounded her and then…she took her sword from her sheathe as the lycans surrounded her. They were crouched down as they circled, preparing for the kill. She could hear their growls as well as them licking their chops as they tried to anticipate her moves. The young vampire then did the unexpected as her kin came towards their enemy…she took her own life.

Your title choice...
Nice story I'm looking forward to see more df it :)

kaname08's picture
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Posts: 162

Chapter 1

Discovered & First Encounters

The night appeared to be still, however it was anything but peaceful. A slight breeze blew through the forest as a small research team was accompanied by 2 paladin forces. The leader in the research team kept pointing the group in the direction that the signal in his tracker was giving.

“Keep your heads on a swivel people…we don’t know when they’ll probably show up,” said Patrick, the lead captain in the first paladin platoon.

“How much further Dr. Reese?” asked one of the paladin soldiers in the second platoon.

“A couple more meters…we’re getting close,” he replied.

By the time they arrived at the specified site, one of the research team members next to Dr. Reese brushed away some leaves to reveal what appeared to be a stone door. Dr. Reese then took out what resembled a pendant and then placed it into the small opening in the center and turned the circle slowly.

The ground suddenly began to shake as the area they were standing in started to rise. A couple more minutes of shaking occurred before the group then found themselves standing at the entrance of ancient ruins. Cracks were showing on a couple of the stone columns that was holding the entrance. Several statues of what appeared to be ancient royalty were in between a few of the columns entrance.

“Raven 01, are you seeing what we’re seeing?” asked Patrick, to one of the higher ups back at HQ.

“That’s affirmative Knight 01. We’re seeing the exact same thing that you guys are.”

“Talon 01, keep a clear visual contact above the ruins,” said Jason, the lead captain in the second paladin platoon.

“Roger Knight 02, maintaining distance of 5 feet above the ruins,” replied one of the helicopter pilots.

As the two platoons and the research team went in the ruins, they didn’t realize that they would soon be followed by something.

Back on the helicopter, a young man that had brown hair and silver eyes stirred slightly. Kaname usually didn’t say much during his meditative state, yet tonight somehow felt different. He didn’t stir for a few minutes before slowly opening his eyes and saying, “They’re following them.”

“Who is following them?” asked a paladin soldier on Kaname’s left, named Andrew.

“Not who…but what?” clarified Philip, Kaname’s long trusted partner.

“Alright then…what?” asked Andrew.

At that moment, Kaname then opened his eyes and put up his night vision visor and faced Andrew.

“Do you believe that creatures of the night exist soldier?” asked Kaname.

“You mean like…nocturnal…sir?” inquired Andrew.

“I meant…creatures that are not considered normal,” clarified Kaname.

“What do you mean sir?” he asked.

“Vampires…and lycans,” answered Philip.

“T-th-those…are just myth…right?” asked Andrew, his voice slightly quivering.

“Why do you think paladins existed?” asked Philip.

“T-to…vanquish all that is evil in His name,” answered Andrew.

“Why are you here?” asked Kaname.

“T-to serve…humanity,” replied Andrew.

“How would they realize they’re being followed?” asked a soldier next to Philip, named Carlos.

“They won’t…they’re silent…fast hunters. They use the darkness…to their advantage,” answered Kaname.

Back over in the ruins, Dr. Reese and his research team lead the group deeper into the ruins floor by floor, until they reached on particular room that appeared to be a hallway. One of the new paladins was about to cross until he was stopped by Dr. Reese.

“What is it doc?” asked Patrick. “Looks like a regular hallway to me.”

“The designers of this place would set traps to prevent any…raiders or treasure hunters from going any further,” he answered.

“That’s pathetic…there’s no way this place could be…” began another paladin soldier who was also a newbie and stepped on a tile causing a spear to launch out from the walls and impale him on the opposite wall.

“Anyone else…dares to try?” inquired Dr. Reese.

“Alright…so how do we get through this doc?” asked Jason, holding up a flashlight over the doctor’s notebook and looking over his left shoulder to get a better look at the notes.

“According to what I’ve found…it says that there’s a certain sequence of tiles that need to be stepped on in a certain pattern in order to cross the river of spears and fangs,” he explained.

“By fangs…I’m presuming he means spikes,” guessed Patrick.

“That would be correct Captain,” said Dr. Reese.

“Alright…everyone stay on the doctor’s ass and don’t deviate or lose sight. Use your glow sticks and attach them to your belts so that we stick together,” ordered Jason.

Some of the paladin newbies had some trouble following what sounded like a simple order. Either they almost accidentally stepped on the wrong floor tile or lost their balance and risked himself of getting killed or triggering a trap that would kill all of them. After about 20 agonizing minutes of having to navigate through the trap laced hallway, across a rickety bridge where another paladin soldier nearly fell, they eventually reached a door which appeared to have a puzzle within it.

“Oh great…more traps,” said Maxton, a two year paladin veteran.

“No…not a trap…an interesting puzzle,” said Dr. Reese. As he carefully read the weird writings on top of the puzzle, one of the newbies quickly whirled around and began looking around in a panic.

“What…someone afraid of the dark?” joked Jason.

“I thought I heard something sir,” he replied.

“What…like we’re being followed?” asked Maxton. “I doubt that’s possible.”

“So…what does it say doc?” asked Patrick.

“To get to the chamber of the elders, prove that you are one of their allies,” answered the archaeologist.

“By solving the puzzle,” realized Jason.

“I’ve never been one for puzzles,” said Patrick.

“Luckily my colleague Dr. Ross has a knack for this sort of thing,” answered Dr. Reese.

A young woman of about 22 with long black hair and brownish-red eyes and wearing glasses went over to the door with the puzzle.

One of the newbie paladins in the second platoon whistled as he eyed her nice figure. “She’s quite cute. She single doc?” he asked.

Jason elbowed the soldier and rebuked him. “Now is not the right time for such questions,” he growled through his teeth.

The puzzle resembled that of having to put together a picture or symbol by sliding the tiles over and over till it formed the completed image. Dr. Ross had some trouble rearranging some of the tiles as she saw some of the tiles together formed what appeared to be a pendant picture. She constantly had to rotate some of the tiles around numerous times before she finally figured out the pattern and the arrangement. The team then tried to take the time they had to take a short break.

“By the way Dr. Reese…does Dr. Ross know how to solve tile puzzles?” asked Jason, leaning against the wall of the entrance leading to the chamber room.

“Usually when they’re not as worn out, but that doesn’t seem to be the case with this one,” he replied.

“With ruins as old as these…I wouldn’t be surprised considering this has probably been here for centuries,” chimed in Maxton.

The group heard a hiss and then a rumbling sound of the doors before they slowly pulled apart and it revealed a round room with a staircase leading to something on a round platform.

“How long did that take you?” asked Jason.

“5 minutes,” she replied.

“Funny…it felt longer than that,” said Jason.

“Looks like this is it people. Stay sharp…there could be traps around here so watch your step,” said Patrick.

“Raven 01, are you seeing this?” asked Jason on his com link to HQ.

“Roger Knight 02, we’re seeing the exact same thing on our monitors,” he replied.

As the research team made their way up to the chamber, the two platoons split up into separate defensive groups one below and one near the research team.

“Oh great…another puzzle…more complex I presume,” said Patrick, near the research team looking over Dr. Reese’s left shoulder.

“Indeed and…apparently we also need some kind of key,” said Dr. Reese.
“Unfortunately…I’m not sure we have it.”

“Well…we manage to get what we came for…now it’s just a matter of where the key is,” said Patrick.

The puzzle resembled that of having to move certain lined and squared blocks around so that it uncovered what appeared to be a picture.

Unbeknownst to them…someone was watching from the shadows…slowly circling from the top of the room as well as below.

Seconds later, something flew above them in the blink of an eye. One of the new paladin recruits suddenly began to panic.

“What was that?” he asked, clutching his AK47 tightly.

“What was what?” asked another next to him.

“Stay away!”

“Hold your fire, you’ll give away our position!” shouted Patrick, but the panicked paladin wasn’t listening and fired a few rounds into the dark.

A few seconds passed before a sensor indicator went off in one of the paladin’s suits. Jason, the second lead commander in the second platoon took out his sensor navigational device.

“We’ve got contacts…20 meters and closing,” he said.

“How many of them?” asked Patrick.

“It’s hard to say. They’re moving all over the place,” said Jason.

‘It can’t be…’ thought Patrick.

“Um, sir…I think they’re a lot closer than he thinks,” said Maxton.

“What do you…mean?” asked Patrick, as he heard snarls and growls echoing within the room.

One of the soldiers in the second platoon named Rick, noticed something flying above them and threw a flash grenade out into the open.

“Flash grenade!” yelled out one of the paladins in the first platoon.

The rest of the paladins as well as the research team shielded their eyes from the bright blast until they heard what sounded like a screech and a growl about a second in between the two.

“We’ve got company people…defensive formation…protect the research team and the artifact,” said Jason.

Seconds later, guns were blazing in almost every direction as both vampire and werewolf were engaging not only each other but the small band of paladins that were protecting the research team.

“Hurry it up,” yelled one of the soldiers in the first platoon.

“We need 5 more minutes,” said Dr. Reese.

Jason activated his night visor placed over his left eye and began shooting at whatever moved toward or near him and his team whether it’d be vampire or werewolf. He already finished two magazine clips and was about to reload when a nearby werewolf barely struck at his chest before being shot by one of his fellow paladin soldiers.

A paladin near the research team spotted an incoming energy projectile coming towards them and shouted “Look out!”

The blast itself sent the first platoon flying everywhere. Both sides then turned their attention to the now scattered paladins while they also kept fighting each other. One paladin got his head cut off from a vampire’s blade, while another got hounded on by a couple of werewolves.

“We need back up! The enemy has got us scattered,” shouted Jason into his com-link.

Philip then tapped his partner beside him upon hearing the request.

“What is it Philip?” he asked.

“We’ve been summoned Kaname,” answered Philip.

“About time,” he said, strapping his MP7 across his chest and his sword Vanguard on his back, while his partner strapped himself to a harness.

The helicopter pilot then checked the two of them and asked, “You guys good to go?”
Philip gave him the OK sign until Carlos asked Philip, “What about your partner?”

“He doesn’t need one,” he answered.

Carlos then stared at Philip in surprise. “What?! He’s going to jump at THAT height?!”

Before anyone could stop Kaname, he then did a swan dive jump and then curled into a ball halfway for a few seconds before he landed on the ground on one knee bent with his right hand supporting him. Andrew looked over and down at Kaname in disbelief.

“How does he…”

Philip then patted Andrew on his back. “Practice man…years of practice,” he said.

The helicopter pilot then gave the signal for the others to drop. “Okay…let’s go, go, go!”

Philip and the other two paladins then rappel off the helicopter and join Kaname a couple seconds later. Andrew covered Kaname’s right side while Carlos covered his left.

“Alright…Andrew, Carlos…defensive formation; Philip on me…you know the drill,” said Kaname, holstering his MP7.

“Injure, but don’t kill…got it,” said Philip, holstering his Benelli sub-machine gun.

“Why is that sir?” asked Andrew.

“Don’t ask…just follow,” replied Carlos, nudging him.

As the four of them made a circle around the top of the ruins, Philip planted a cemented explosion which had a light indicating timer.

“You think that’s where they are sir?” asked Carlos.

“Only one way to find out…take cover,” said Kaname.

The beeping indicator started to get louder as the four of them managed to find their way to the front side of the entrance of the ruins and use that for cover.

“Fire in the hole,” said Philip. Seconds later, the explosion slightly shook the ruins as the now broken ceiling fragments rained downwards.

Some of the bits of the ceiling that fell hit a few vampires and werewolves either dazing them or killing them. The bigger chunks from the blast definitely took out a few vampires and left a few other werewolves temporarily injured on their hind legs causing some of them to limp, making them easy prey for their ancient rivals.

“Hurry it up there doc…we’re running out of rounds,” yelled Patrick.

“Almost there…a few more seconds,” said Dr. Reese.

“I’m afraid a few more seconds aren’t what we have right now,” said Jason, before he was suddenly taken by surprise from an oncoming werewolf and knocked down.

“Jason!” yelled out Patrick, as he was about to shoot the werewolf that knocked him down before a vampire swooped down and was about to stab Patrick, but not before a series of shots were fired from above as Kaname’s team came down and joined the fight.

Patrick was the first to get on scene, followed by Carlos, and then Andrew.

“Sorry we’re late…we had to blow the roof,” said Philip, shooting a few rounds into some vampires that were flying above them either in the arms or the abdomen.

“It’s about bloody time. We could use the backup…where’s Kaname?” asked Patrick.

A quick shadow suddenly fell through the light of the moon as Kaname made his entrance by doing his usual jump.

“Got held up a bit…ran into some old friends,” said Kaname, taking a few flash grenades out and throwing them in a circle.

“Flash grenades!” called out Philip.

The research team, as well as the remaining paladins quickly closed their eyes as the flash grenades lit up the room temporarily blinding the vampires and werewolves. Kaname then put up his nighttime visor and began to attack. He jumped down from the chamber and unsheathed his sword shooting vampires and injuring werewolves with Vanguard as he went. The remaining paladin soldiers of both platoons managed to fend off the vampires and werewolves slowly but not before what appeared to be a female vampire loomed over them and fired the same attack from before knocking over the remaining paladin soldiers and Commander Patrick and Philip. After several minutes had passed, Kaname then spotted the one causing most of the havoc and was about to attack until a fleeing werewolf caught his attention.

“Hey wait…” he called out, running after it.

“Kaname…we’re supposed to stick together!” shouted Patrick.

“Take care of the researchers…I’ll be back,” he yelled back.

Some of the vampires began to follow Kaname as he chased after the lone werewolf into a series of winding tunnels. Luckily for him, his eyes enabled him to see in the dark.

‘Man…it’s like these tunnels just go on in whatever direction,’ thought Kaname.

The werewolf that was fleeing gave off a blue aura, according to how his eyes saw it.

‘Weird…this one is either scared or apprehensive of something,’ thought Kaname.

He could hear the faint screeches of the oncoming vampires and whirled around to face them. Kaname then let loose a full magazine cartridge from his MP7. The shots hit their targets and caused the oncoming vampires to fall down. Taking his amulet around his neck and placing the jewel within a small opening in the center of his sword, Kaname then chanted a spell which then caused the blade to glow and unleashed an energy blade attack which eventually drove back the vampires that was chasing him.

Once the vampires left, he turned his attention back to the werewolf which was now staggering trying to get away.

“Hey…what are you running for?” asked Kaname, as he slowly went closer.

The werewolf growled at him and tried to scratch him with his claws, yet Kaname took it as a means of it saying to “stay away”.

“Easy now…I’m not going to hurt you. I just want to know why you’re running,” said Kaname.

The creature didn’t look at him for a few seconds before he saw the eyes change slightly from black…to a light blue color. Surprised, Kaname then put down his sword and gun.

“Look…I don’t want to hurt you…I just want to help,” he said.

The growling slowly began to die down as Kaname got close enough and took out a bandage to dress the creature’s wounds.

After a couple of minutes…the werewolf wasn’t as tense as it was before. Kaname then saw the aura change from blue to white…indicating that it calmed down.

“There you go,” he said, as he stepped back a few steps before picking up his weapons and heading back. The werewolf temporarily looked at Kaname before leaving.

“Kaname where the hell are you?! We’re getting pinned down here…and the enemy has almost gotten us overrun,” yelled Commander Patrick from Kaname’s com-link.

“I’ll be right there. Just hold on for a couple of minutes,” he answered.

“You better get your ass down here or there won’t be any more minutes left!” shouted the commander.

As Kaname slowly navigated his way through the tunnels, back over at the chamber room, the casualties started to slowly rise. Only several paladins remained, including Commander Patrick and Jason, Philip, Maxton, and Andrew. Carlos got impaled by a vampire’s blade. The research team managed to solve the puzzle and found the key they were looking for and were currently trying to send the artifact back up to the helicopter that waited for them. The female vampire that launched plasma energy balls kept trying to destroy them. Several vampires kept trying to get near the group, but the platoon was barely holding.

“I don’t think we can withstand another one of that vampire’s attacks while the other ones kept sneaking up on us like that,” said Philip, breathing hard and constantly trying to stall the enemy with his two P30 pistols.

“Talon 01 where the hell are you?!” shouted Patrick.

“We’ve got your position, however we’re also getting ambushed by vampires and are having trouble lowering the rope down to where you guys are,” said the helicopter pilot.

“Is the artifact secured?” asked Andrew.

“Now it is,” said Dr. Reese.

Some of the vampires that were trying to get close to the research team were hindered by the shots fired from the remainder of the paladin platoon.
A few seconds later, Philip saw the rope drop and ordered the research team to climb while he and the others provided cover fire. The female vampire was about to launch another attack to prevent them until a flash grenade suddenly rolled into the chamber room.

“MOVE!” urged Philip to the research team.

“Shield your eyes,” yelled Patrick, as he turned away from the oncoming flash, which blinded the vampires again and threw off the attack of the female vampire that appeared to be the leader of the group, causing it to hit a column where several dead vampires and werewolves laid.

“Who did that?” wondered Maxton, as he fired at some of the dazed vampires.

“Probably Kaname…attack the leader,” said Jason, as he fired several rounds from his

As it turned out, Kaname made it back to the chamber room and noticed some vampires that charged towards him. He then jumped towards one of the oncoming vampires and used its body as a jumping platform to the next one and the next and the one after that until he reached the leader and unsheathing his sword, Vanguard slashed at the female vampire’s back before kicking off from her and landing where Philip and the others were.

“Let’s get a move on,” said Kaname.

Patrick and Kaname provided cover fire as each slowly went up the rope while fending off the attacks of the vampires. The vampire leader was about to launch another attack to thwart the escape but Kaname already took out his sword with the jewel in the middle and began the same chant to cause the blade to glow with energy before unleashing his attack seconds before the female vampire leader had a chance to attack, stunning her and driving back a few of the vampires that kept trying to get at them.

After about 5 minutes passed, they were all above ground but were met with vampires that kept trying to ambush them while the helicopter kept trying to keep them at bay. Kaname looked over to his left and noticed a faint flashing light in the distance.

“Reinforcements are coming in,” said Philip.

Sure enough, another helicopter armed with two gatling guns began pouring it on the vampires causing them to retreat allowing Kaname and the others to get back onto the helicopter.

“Raven 01…the artifact is secured,” said Patrick to HQ.

“Roger Knight 01…good work; return to base.”

“Roger, headquarters…returning now,” said the helicopter pilot.

“Nice way to make an entrance,” said Andrew, patting Philip on the back.

“Yeah…”replied Philip, who wasn’t paying attention to him but looked at his partner with concern written on his face.

Kaname appeared to be off in his own mind after what had happened and his odd encounter with that fleeing werewolf.

‘What is with that one I wonder?’ thought Kaname.

Back at headquarters things were a bit…rough. Kaname stumbled back a bit after Patrick threw a punch at him.

“What the HELL was all that about?! You run off in the middle of a fight and
leave us to take care of most of the vampires and werewolves?!” yelled Patrick.

“With all due respect…captain, if I wasn’t around…you and your team would’ve been dog food or worse,” said Kaname, bluntly.

“If you hadn’t had those skills and been a regular paladin soldier I’d have you booted out in a heartbeat, soldier,” growled Patrick.

“He’s got a point there Commander. Without his skills and talents, you guys wouldn’t last long against them,” said Philip, stepping in.

“Last I recall…this had nothing to do with you,” yelled Patrick.

“You should just be fortunate enough that you got what you came for and made it out alive,” said Kaname. “Thanks to your efforts, that research team can analyze the artifact that was retrieved.”

“Let it go Patrick. Kaname…you’ve been working your butt off a bit too long here. Take a load off, get some R & R. We’ll take it from here,” said Jason.

“In other words…you guys are just trying to find an excuse to get rid of me,” said Kaname.

“That won’t be necessary Mr. Zenryuu,” said a voice. The rest of the guys turned to see a man who appeared to be in his early 40s with a thick beard and mustache.

“Commander Remington…” said Kaname, saluting. The others present in the hangar room followed suit.

“At ease,” he said, walking over to Kaname. “You must be tired after that long fight. The researchers wanted to thank you and the rest of the team for your efforts…you in particular.”

The commander then handed Kaname a small wooden box that had a small lock on it.

“What is it sir?” asked Kaname.

“You’ll find out eventually,” said Remington. “I suggest you follow their advice and take a little break. We’ll notify you when another mission comes up. You’re dismissed soldier.”

Kaname and Philip gave salute as did the others that were present in the room as the commander left.

“What do you think it is?” asked Philip, following Kaname to the parking lot.

“I’ll check on it when I have time. Right now…I need to go visit an old friend,” said Kaname, taking out his keys and pushing a button which set off an alarm and walked over to his red motorcycle with white stripes on the sides.

“You don’t mean over at that old bar…do you?” inquired Philip.

“Yeah…I do,” said Kaname. “Want a drink?”

“Why not?” answered Philip, getting on his motorcycle.

The two made their way through Tokyo’s noisy streets and managed to find a place to park their bikes and headed into the narrow spaces where a few bars were open. Kaname looked around and spotted one with a red rose with a martini cup flashing red lights.

“The Rosy Star…this place again?” asked Philip.

“Hey…I thought you said you wanted a drink,” said Kaname.

Philip sighed and silently followed his partner inside the bar.

Spoiler:
I know my title sounds a bit cliche but I'll try and see if I can come up with a better one...hopefully.

Vera Feelgood's picture
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Posts: 8

Gyaah~ I need to know more! I seem to like this, thanks for writing it.

kaname08's picture
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Posts: 162

Chapter 2

Clue Searching & New Friends

The atmosphere of the bar was pretty mellow and quiet. There were quite a lot of vacant chairs and tables and only several customers. A man who appeared to be in his mid 40s was playing at the piano.

Philip looked at his surroundings and was…least to say, surprised. The place also appeared to be a bit…cramped.

“There are hardly many customers here,” said Philip. “And it’s pretty small.”

“If you’re not used to it and are feeling claustrophobic, you can wait outside with our bikes,” said Kaname, smirking.

“Ha, ha…very funny,” retorted Philip.

“Well, well…if it isn’t Mr. Silencer himself,” said a scruffy voice.

The two of them turned to see a man who appeared to be in his 50s, with a grey beard, and wearing a faded blue vest.

“Good to see you Davis,” said Kaname, taking his usual seat at the front bar.

“What can I get you boys?” asked Davis.

“Just my usual drink Davis,” he said.

“What about for your partner?” asked Davis.

“I’ll have whatever he’s having,” said Philip.

Kaname then leaned closer to Davis and was pretty close to his face when he also added, “I’ll also need that information.”

“Ah…that one I see…how bad is it?” inquired Davis.

“Last mission gave us quite a number of causalities. They knew we were coming for that artifact. One of the vampire elites probably sent one of their leaders and several skirmishes to follow us. However, they lycans were after it as well and we ended up fighting both sides,” explained Kaname, barely even a whisper.

“Yet you managed to prevent that I presume,” guessed Davis.

“Aye,” replied Kaname.

“I’ll go get your drinks and that information you requested,” said Davis, as he left to get their orders.

After he left, Philip then grabbed Kaname by his cloak and slightly glared at him, aggravated.

“Did you seriously have to fill him in on all that has recently happened?” asked Philip.

“He’s one of those few people that I’m able to trust,” answered Kaname.

“How can you be so sure we can actually trust this guy?” he inquired.

“He actually gathers information the old fashioned way,” said Kaname.

“And that would be…how?” asked Philip.

“From the streets…of course,” answered Kaname.

Several minutes had passed since Kaname placed their orders. Philip looked around and saw that the place seemed pretty vibrant for a place that was small and mellow with the walls painted a bright red, several photos of people that have been to this bar were hung on the wall opposite of the bar. He then spotted a person that was wearing a pair of wool brown pants and a gray wool vest over a darkly colored flannel shirt. He also wore a gray, tweed Irish cap and was sitting over in a corner of the bar and he was staring in their direction.

“That fellow over there has done nothing but stare at you since we arrived (1),” said Philip, pointing to the individual in the corner.

Kaname looked carefully at the individual observing him from head to toe with a hint of curiosity before his ears heard incoming footsteps and turned to see his old friend coming back with their orders.

“Here’s your drinks gentlemen,” said Davis, placing it in front of them.

However, Kaname then noticed the small piece of paper that was under his cup and placed it in the inner left pocket of his black vest.

“This is…” inquired Philip.

“Tomato juice…with ground black pepper,” answered Davis.

“This is what you usually drink?” asked Philip to Kaname.

“Hey…I like my vegetables,” answered Kaname.

“I didn’t mean to offend but…I was just…surprised, is all,” said Philip.

“What…you were expecting something alcoholic?” asked Kaname.

“No,” said Philip.

Taking a sip from his cup, Kaname gave a satisfied sigh.

“Davis…you never cease to amaze me. You still maintain that small greenhouse at your place?” asked Kaname.

“Of course…I only get some of my own ingredients from there to help save money in case I need to go gather more from somewhere else,” he answered.

“Fresh as usual…just how I like it,” said Kaname, taking another sip. “You’ve really outdone yourself on this one.”

“I appreciate the praise sir,” said Davis, slightly bowing his head.

“I’m just curious though…that man over in the corner…who is he?” asked Philip, pointing.

“I’m not really sure though. Word is that this man used to be in league with a certain paladin branch till he had an argument with them somehow about something that he…well…cherished but that they saw different. Their prejudice is what caused him to leave that branch. Now he and his…friend, are not only on the run, but also targets that have been notified by all the branches in the world,” explained Davis.

“What particular branches are looking for him?” asked Kaname.

“So far…the European Silver Gauntlet branch has sent a couple of their agents to track them down,” said Davis. “There have been rumors that the American Iron Eagle branch is also on the lookout.”

“Even if it’s a rumor, it’s something that should be overlooked,” said Philip.

“Do they capture those leaking information about this…situation?” asked Kaname.

“So far…I’ve heard very little about that happening. However, I’ll let you know if something comes up,” said Davis.

“How does he usually do that?” asked Philip.

“By messenger bird,” answered Kaname.

“You really ARE old fashioned,” commented Philip.

“Hey…it’s me,” replied Kaname, chuckling.

“Excuse me gentlemen…” called out a voice.

The two of them turned to see that it was the person who was watching them that addressed them.

“He’s been here longer before you two even showed up,” said Davis.

“I see,” said Philip.

“I couldn’t help but overhear your conversation about your confrontation with vampires and lycans from earlier,” said the stranger.

“Judging from the way you’re dressed, I’d say you’re either taking a break or are in disguise and in hiding from something or someone,” assessed Kaname. “I’d say it’s the latter.”

“You’re not wrong,” he said.

“Do you happen to know any archivists around here?” asked Kaname.

“Maybe…” he replied.

“Is that a ‘maybe I don’t know any’ or ‘maybe there are some I do know’?” asked Philip.

“Depends on how you look at it,” said the stranger.

“Look…whoever you are…me and my partner don’t have time to play “20 questions”.
If you don’t know any we’ll just take our leave,” said Philip.

“Someone is sure in a rush today,” said the stranger.

“Calm down Philip…I’m sure the young man has his reasons for secrecy,” said Kaname, placing a hand to stop his companion.

“Thank you,” replied the stranger. “My name is Nicholas Reo. As you have no doubt have guessed…I am on the run…as well as searching for someone.”

“A companion of sorts?” guessed Kaname.

“Well…sort of…yes and no; you see…she’s… well…” began Reo.

“Oh…I’m sorry if I’m intruding on something private,” said Kaname.

“I also happen to know an archivist around these parts…at least from what I hear on the street,” said Reo.

“Ah…the old classic way of gaining information,” said Kaname, sipping his tomato juice drink.

“You seem to know your way around here,” said Philip. “I apologize for my rudeness from earlier.”

“Apology accepted,” said Reo.

“Reo…was it?” inquired Kaname. “I’m Kaname Zenryuu and this is my companion Philip.”

“Pleasure to meet you both,” he said, extending out a hand to which Kaname accepted.

“You said you knew an archivist around here…where exactly?” asked Kaname.

“He’s actually…the only archivist around here. Apparently, he lives in some sort of library that has an underground entrance that is near some church,” said Reo.

“I see. Do you happen to know any underground tunnels around here?” asked Philip.

“I’m afraid I only know one. Unfortunately, I don’t remember where it is,” said Reo. “However…I do remember his name.”

“And that would be…” began Philip.

“Yunno Scrya,” answered Reo.

Kaname then turned to Davis and took out some money and placed it on the table when they had finished their drinks.

“Thanks for the information,” said Philip.

“Do you happen to have a place to stay Reo?” asked Kaname.

“Kaname…if I may ask…” began Philip.

“Look Philip…the guy gave us some information that would be very useful. It only seems fair that we let him stay the night,” he answered.

“To answer your earlier question…I don’t, but I appreciate the offer,” said Reo.

“Then hop on. Our place isn’t exactly too far. Philip…let him ride with you. I’ll keep a lookout for anything out of the ordinary,” ordered Kaname.

“Alright…get on,” said Philip.

Reo sat behind Philip as Kaname went ahead first before he and Philip followed. Kaname then kept looking left & right for a few brief seconds while keeping an eye on the front to make sure there were no surprises as they went to their living quarters.

“So…how far is it?” yelled Reo over the roar of the motorcycle engine.

“It’s pretty close to the Shibuya district,” answered Philip.

Everything seemed to be going OK until Kaname heard a faint, but clear swoosh sound and gave a quick glance up and saw someone wearing a cape that was flying ahead of them.

‘That’s not good,’ thought Kaname.

However…what really surprised him was that upon flying over them something dropped into his lap. Putting the item in his pocket, Kaname increased the throttle as they were about to approach an intersection and made a hard right turn upon reaching it.

The individual that flew past them had already left the scene which really bewildered Kaname. Once near the Shibuya district, they made a quick right into an alleyway. Kaname and Philip then slowed down their bikes till they reached a trash disposal.

“You’re kidding me right…it’s here?” asked Reo.

“Not here…but under it,” corrected Philip.

“Under this area…seriously?” inquired Reo.

“Yes Reo…seriously,” answered Kaname, as he faced the brick wall in front of him and tapped several blocks in a sequenced order with the hilt of his sword. Seconds later, the trash disposal bin beside them moved to the side revealing a hidden staircase.

“Impressive,” said Reo.

Kaname and Philip then guided their bikes down the staircase as Reo followed from behind as the trash disposal bin then moved back into its original spot.
Several light bulbs lit the hallways every 4 to 5 feet. The walls were mostly solid ground that had hardened and looked like clay. Even though it felt slightly damp, the atmosphere for the most part was quite cold. The garage was on the left side as they passed a two way junction that branched off in the middle.

“Quite a complex base you have here,” said Reo.

“We do what we can,” said Kaname, as Philip went to put away their bikes.

Eventually they reached the area to the main living quarters, which had a door that had a strange combination lock. It resembled a few thin circle knobs that had strange writings on it and what appeared to be a picture of the sun. Kaname slowly turned the circle knobs while Reo waited behind him.

“Can you understand the writings on there?” asked Reo.

“For the most part…they resemble Roman numerals,” he answered.

By the time Kaname finished putting the combination in, Philip then came back with a small thick robe and gave it to Reo.

“Thanks,” said Reo, taking the robe.

“No problem…it can get cold here sometimes,” said Philip.

“I’m used to it,” he said.

Kaname then turned over the center circle which then had a picture of the moon and pressed it down. There was a slight rumble as the door opened to reveal what appeared to be a gigantic round room that had a large circumference. It was roughly 80 feet in width and 100 in height. The room had two floors which were connected by a series of stairs. There was a monitor that resembled that of a television on the left, a round table in the center with a long red couch behind it. Two black leather chairs were set in between the couch. A sparring room was on the right side of the room and a series of computer screens and a large keyboard was in the back of the room. On the second floor was a small smithery and in the middle of the room was the armory. On the top left in the second floor was a shelter and on the top right was a spiral staircase.

“Very impressive,” said Reo, slightly taken at the large room.

“This is where we do our own work whenever the Fire Phoenix branch is off doing their own work. They don’t think they’re being monitored however…we keep track of some things that go on there without them noticing,” said Kaname.

“Isn’t that pretty much spying on them?” inquired Reo.

“Recently, Kaname’s been having a suspicion that someone might have tipped off one of the two sides about the artifact. Apparently, there has also been word going on about a mysterious group that has been monitoring the movements and activities of both lycans and vampires,” explained Philip.

“Aren’t paladins supposed to be dealing with them?” asked Reo.

“That may be true however…” began Kaname before stopping abruptly.

“What is it?” asked Philip.

“Something was…entirely different during the assault in the chamber room,” said Kaname.

“How so? They seem to act as they normally do,” said Philip.

“Not from how I saw them. Their…auras were…completely different. Red refers to anger, white for calm, blue for hesitation / fear…but, this time…I saw gray,” said Kaname.

“Gray? What do you suppose that refers to?” wondered Reo.

“Something was totally off about their actions. They were like…newborns…barely out of their starting stages,” said Kaname.

“How exactly can you be sure?” asked Reo.

“His eyes, Reo. They’re unlike a regular human being’s. He’s definitely not human. Now…as to how to ascertain as to what he is…well…it’s going to take quite some time,” answered Philip.

“You said there was something off about them…perhaps they were assessing something,” guessed Reo.

“If they were…it was in a really odd manner,” said Philip.

Kaname then took out of his vest pocket the piece of paper that Davis had placed under his cup when they were over at the bar earlier and unfolded it to reveal a picture. The picture resembled that of a cross and a rose design drawn within the other. What he also spotted was that only one half of the picture had its background colored, while the other remained as it was. Kaname was taken by surprise for a few seconds before slowly pulling back the black glove on his right hand, which revealed the same picture.

‘It can’t be…someone has the same picture as I do?’ thought Kaname. “You said you knew an archivist by the name of Yunno Scrya?”

“Yes…I did,” replied Reo.

“How do I find this church that you speak of?” asked Kaname.

“Look for a grave with a double-shaded flower,” answered Reo.

“That sounds like a riddle,” said Philip.

“More like a grave mark indicator of sorts,” said Kaname. “The actual living quarters are actually above here. Philip…would you mind giving our friend a tour while I go gather some information?”

“Sure thing,” said Philip. “If you’ll please follow me, I’ll show you where you’ll be spending the night.”

As Reo followed Philip, Kaname then went over to the armory room to go switch his weapons from an MP7 to two Beretta 93Rs and placed them in his arsenal belt which sat right next to an SA80. Wrapping the arsenal belt around his waist, there were several pockets that held either additional magazines depending on the gun or guns he brought with him to flash and incendiary grenades. There was also a small knife in the back of the belt that Kaname always carried with him. After prepping up, he then opened up a drawer on the table where the SA80 was set down and picked up a couple of magazines that had different bullets on them.
‘It would suck if I killed a vampire or lycan when my intention is to injure but not kill,’ thought Kaname, as he heaved a deep sigh and placed the magazines into one of the many pockets on his arsenal belt and left the armory and went to the garage to his motorcycle. Placing on his helmet, he then hit a button on the side of his helmet which activated a visual screen that displayed a targeting system, a small map on the top right corner, a small radar, and speedometer on the middle bottom.

“Welcome back sir. How may I be of assistance?” said a computerized voice.

“Good to hear from you again DATS; begin search for a church that has a possible gravestone with a double-shaded flower insignia,” ordered Kaname.

He then opened the throttle on his bike and went out of a tunnel that stretched for miles till he came out of another alleyway that was gated by a brick wall. It took several minutes for his computer to process the data until it quickly narrowed down the results and showed Kaname the highlighted pathway on his visor. Following the directions while passing oncoming cars and trucks, Kaname kept his eyes peeled for anything out of the ordinary.

‘Looks like the night life has begun,’ he thought as he passed by places that were lit by neon lights. The beeping sound coming from his helmet indicated that he was getting close to his destination. Upon arriving on the next stoplight, Kaname, made a hard left on his bike and then came across what appeared to be a distinctively old looking church from the outside but had beautiful glass art in the center of it. There were several small arches below it which had small glass paintings in them as well as several statues that appeared to resemble that of angels.

Dismounting from the bike, Kaname then used a flashlight when he came across a plated sign at the gate and found that according to his computerized visor that he arrived at his destination.

“St. Andrews Church huh…interesting for an archivist to be living around here, unless he’s into ancient history which could be the case,” said Kaname, as he read the sign.

Parking his bike near the gate and placing his helmet on the right handle, Kaname then placed one of his Beretta 93Rs in his left vest pocket while placing his thick cloak over his head. Upon arrival, he spotted a hooded monk waiting at the front door of the church.

“You’re right on time sir. The archivist has been expecting you,” he said, in a slight deep voice.

“Has he now? Well I better not keep him waiting then. Can you please show me the way, friar?” asked Kaname.

The monk then slowly opened the doors as Kaname slowly walked inside the church.
The interior of the church appeared to be well maintained, as Kaname could see the marble floors were quite polished that he could see the lights from the lanterns hanging above the pews. There were several spots where there were statues of saints and other religious figures.

“The pathway is to your right,” said the monk.

Kaname looked to his right which resembled that of a confessional booth, yet upon opening the doors he then spotted what appeared to be several bricks that had a sequence of numbers like his underground base of operations. He spotted the monk next to him and saw him input the code and the hidden door next to the combination lock opened revealing a spiral staircase. Kaname then slowly walked down as the monk lit nearby torches with a match to help guide his way down. The atmosphere itself felt similar to his underground base until he reached the end of the stairs and found what appeared to be a wooden door close to where the stone spiral staircase was.

“He’s through there,” replied the monk.

Kaname gave a quick sigh as he slowly approached the door and was about to thank the monk for guiding him down when he turned back but saw that he was nowhere to be found.

“Hmm…odd,” said Kaname, as he reached the door and gave a couple of knocks. He could hear the sound of falling papers and someone who appeared to be scrambling to pick them up.

“Be right there,” said a voice, faintly.

‘For an archivist he sure seems to have a lot of information that he’s having trouble keeping together,’ thought Kaname.

After waiting for approximately five minutes, the door opened to reveal a young man that had long blonde hair, light green eyes, was wearing glasses, a green vest with faded gold lining at the edges, and a light brown cloak.

“You must be Kaname Zenryuu,” said Yunno.

“You’re not wrong. You must be the archivist I’ve been hearing about,” said Kaname.

“That’s right. I’m Yunno Scrya by the way,” he said. “What kind of information are you looking for?”

“What do you know of vampires and werewolves besides the fact that they exist?” asked Kaname.

“Why would you want to know about them?” asked Yunno.

Kaname then took out the small piece of paper that he was given at the bar and showed it to Yunno.

“Do you recognize that symbol?” asked Kaname.

Yunno looked long and hard at it for a brief moment before shaking his head. “I don’t recognize it and I know very little about it.”

“What do you know about it?” asked Kaname.

“Only that it’s a symbol that belonged to a royal family and that usually if there was another that had the mirror of that image that they’re actually siblings,” answered Yunno.

Kaname was taken by surprise at the sudden revelation and then removed his right glove, surprising Yunno completely. Yunno’s “workplace” looked pretty old and medieval. There were a few bookshelves with books which were caked with dust. Several cobwebs were hanging at the corners of the room and a couple of lanterns were lit which gave the room enough light to read. A couple of study desks were near the lanterns and the chairs seemed sturdy enough to sit on. There were a couple of stacks of other books next to the bookshelves that were also caked with dust.

“I wasn’t sure about the connection but…I also had this as well,” said Kaname, removing the amulet that is around his neck.

“Where did you get that?” asked Yunno, who looked quite surprised.

“I was told from my foster parents that it once belonged to my grandmother,” answered Kaname. “Do you recognize it?”

“I had a book here once that had details of this but, there’s not much that it said about it,” he replied. “I apologize for how my workplace looks.”

“There’s no need…although I must say…you certainly collect a lot of books,” said Kaname.

“I’m an archivist and archaeologist…there’s a reason why I need lots of books to do my research,” said Yunno.

“Point taken,” replied Kaname. “What exactly can you recall that is mentioned about the amulet?”

“Only that what you have in your possession is one of nine fragments and that when put together form some sort of key,” answered Yunno.

“I see,” said Kaname. “Do you mind if I take a look at some of the books?”

“Oh please…help yourself,” offered Yunno.

“Oh…by the way…some stranger dropped this into my lap as I was heading over here,” said Kaname, taking out the small piece of white cloth with the hidden object. As he unfurled the cloth, his eyes went wide like the wheels on his bike. The object in his hands was a small curved piece that felt like metal that had some strange design resembling eyes and fangs in between a wavy line. “I don’t believe it.”

“That’s one of the fragments I was talking about earlier,” said Yunno.

“But who could have possessed it?” wondered Kaname.

Meanwhile, in a dark, damp underground abandoned railway was a pathway that led to a cave. A small figure entered and went down the depths of the cave till it reached a coliseum like room. The figure turned out to be a female vampire who had long blonde hair and red eyes, wore a black cape that had red on the other side and had strapped behind her back a long sword with a yellow crystal in the middle.

Shouting, hissing, and yelps of pain could be heard within the room as the vampire walked closer to the opening and saw her mother rebuking one of the leaders. She had red hair, blue eyes, was wearing black armor, and a black cape. The one running the entire vampire clan had long black hair, and purple eyes, and was wearing a long purple cloak and dark red armor with a red stone gem in the middle of her breastplate.

“I sent you on a simple task to retrieve that artifact and yet you come back with nothing!” she shrieked.

“We didn’t realize that many paladins would be trying to secure the artifact with that research team in the way Precia-sama,” replied the leader.

“You had superiority in numbers Vercossa and you could have easily disposed of them,” shot back Precia.

“Our werewolf enemies had us also occupied. Neither side could get close without being shot at,” answered Vercossa.

The entire clan was chatting and hissing amongst themselves upon hearing their eternal enemy before Precia gave a loud hiss that echoed throughout the cave.

“I grow tired of your lame excuses. Just be fortunate that I’ve decided to not kill you right then and there. Get out of my sight before I change my mind,” said Precia, turning her back on Vercossa.

“Surprisingly mother…there was one individual that was not a paladin among them,” said a voice.

Some of the vampires looked up and saw the blonde female vampire waiting at the top.

“Fate…where have you been?” asked Vercossa.

“I was just out…and about,” she replied simply, as she gracefully leapt off the top and landed at the bottom of the room.

“One that is not a paladin…you say?” asked Precia, curious.

“That’s correct mother. It was evident in his…skills, particularly his eyes,” answered Fate.

“What about them?” asked Vercossa.

“They were unlike a humans; it was silver…like the moon,” explained Fate.

“Perhaps he’s a werewolf,” suggested Vercossa.

“I doubt that a werewolf would be part of a team of paladins,” said Fate. “There was…something, strange about this one.”

“What could be stranger than having eyes like that?” inquired Vercossa.

“SILENCE,” hissed Precia. “What was it about this individual that caught your curiosity?”

“He only seems to injure while the others kill, although there were a few others by his side that followed his methods,” answered Fate. “What’s more…he even spared one of our enemies.”

The entire clan began to chatter amongst themselves before Precia called for silence once more, causing the chatter to die down in an instant.

“Interesting news, Fate,” said Precia. “Vercossa, Fate…I have a new mission for you. Follow this…individual and monitor him. Do NOT harm him…I want to know
what he’s capable of.”

“Of course mother,” said Fate, getting down on one knee.

“As you wish m’lady,” answered Vercossa.

The two of them left the cave at once with several other vampires in tow. As Precia went back to lie in her coffin, a sudden thought occurred to her.

‘It appears that someone is poking their noses into places where they should not. Yet this individual might prove to be quite useful,’ she thought, with an evil smirk on her face before the coffin lid slid closed.

Back over in the archives, Kaname was doing some research of his own alongside Yunno, the archivist. He was currently looking up a book that contained information about a particular group of creatures that he thought wasn’t possible.

“This is interesting. I’ve heard my share of these kinds but never thought they existed,” said Kaname.

“What are you looking at?” asked Yunno.

“There appears to be a group of creatures…or something of that sort that have been targeted by paladins before they knew of the existence of vampires and werewolves. Yet they somehow vanished when the vampires and werewolves made their presence known,” explained Kaname.

“You mean beastmen,” answered Yunno.

“Beastmen?” repeated Kaname.

“There was something about them that I once read about. Some sort of event occurred which caused humans to become part man and part beast. The only thing was…they were more beast than human, yet could stand on two legs,” explained Yunno.

“That’s strange. I’m guessing there are very few that are left,” said Kaname.

“So it would appear.”

“I appreciate your help Yunno. Right now, I’ve got to head back to report my findings,” said Kaname.

“I understand,” said Yunno.

“By the way…you hardly stay in one place I presume,” inquired Kaname.

“You’re right about that. As soon as I’m gone…I take all my stuff with me. Who knows…we might cross paths again,” said Yunno.

“Perhaps,” said Kaname, as he left the room. He heard a slight whoosh of wind and a sudden popping sound before he opened the door again and found it completely empty.

‘I guess he wasn’t kidding after all,’ he thought.

As Kaname mounted his bike and was prepared to leave, he heard someone’s scream pierce the night.

“That’s not good,” he said, as he throttled his motorcycle and activated the visor on his helmet. “DATS…did you confirm that?”

“Affirmative sir; the scream was heard about a mile from where you are currently at, not too far from the Shibuya district,” it replied.

“With the city being that busy and loud at times, not many would have heard it. Even worse, it could be something that they wouldn’t comprehend,” realized Kaname, as he went towards the source of the scream. Unbeknowst to him however, he was being watched by two individuals in the sky.

The path eventually led him to a dark alleyway that was not too far from the busy area. Kaname then took off his helmet and his eyes suddenly glowed silver which enabled him to see in really dark places. The area itself looked like a black and white outline and then he saw two individuals. One emitted a blue aura while another emitted a pink one.

Kaname sighed and shook his head. “Pink…not one of my usual favorites. Obviously someone lusting after a female,” he said, as he pulled out his knife from the back of his belt.

He noticed that the girl’s clothes were slightly ripped apart as she struggled to get away. Just when the individual was about to go further, Kaname then placed his knife near the guy’s throat.

“If you value your life, you will leave this girl alone and get out of here,” growled Kaname.

The individual turned and faced him. Kaname, then noticed the aura changed from pink to red in a second but there was something else as well. He looked into the person’s eyes and saw they were red as well.

‘Shit…a vampire of all things; and it doesn’t seem too long ago either. This one should be no problem,’ thought Kaname.

The vampire then growled at Kaname and said stuff about how he was going to enjoy devouring him. He just smirked and said to him, “You’re welcome to try.”
The vampire charged at him with a s sword in hand ready to strike, but Kaname was too quick and reacted before the vampire could land a strike and slashed at the vampire’s limbs and cut off his right hand with the sword. He yelled in pain and tried to hit Kaname again, but this time Kaname pulled out the Beretta 93R from his left vest pocket and pointed it at the vampire and shot him in the arm where he chopped off the sword. This time, the vampire crumpled and screamed even louder in pain as a sharp, burning sensation ran through his arm as it slowly began to wither away.

Fate observed from a distance with Vercossa and was surprised when she saw the round that was fired from Kaname’s gun.

“How could this individual have a round that can gravely injure vampires?” wondered Vercossa.

“This one appears to be a special case, sensei,” said Fate.

“Leave now…while I’m still able to show mercy; but know this…you dare to harm another individual or even my friends…and I won’t hold back,” said Kaname, turning to assist the scared victim.

He then noticed the girl was not human when he spotted the ears pointing from her head and the tail from her back. She was wearing a white dress that was now slightly torn from the vampire’s assault attempt. She had blue hair and her eyes were the same color.

‘So…this is what he meant by beastmen,’ realized Kaname.

“Um…th-thank you…whoever you are,” she said.

“It’s alright…I’m not going to hurt you. I’m a friend,” said Kaname. “Come on…we should get out of here before you catch a cold.” He then placed his cloak around her as she held onto him as Kaname’s motorcycle sped off and went back to his place where Reo was already situated and Philip was down in the underground section.

Kaname then turned on his visor and attempted to call his partner.

“Philip, are you there?” asked Kaname.

“Just managed to have Reo situated for the night,” answered Philip, looking through on one of the computer monitors.

“I’ve managed to gather some useful information from the archivist and…I think we got another visitor we need to take care of,” said Kaname.

“I can go and make the preparations before you get back here,” offered Philip.

“No, get some warm water, a clean wash cloth, a blanket, and some pillows,” barked Kaname.

“You got it,” said Philip, as he went to get the items.

By the time Kaname got back, the female beastman was already fast asleep on his shoulders. He carefully picked her up and placed her on the couch. Philip came back with the pillows, blanket, and wash cloth.

“Isn’t this…a beastman?” inquired Philip, as he looked on the catgirl’s sleeping form.

“Yes…it is,” replied Kaname, as he placed the blanket over her.

“How did you find her?” asked Philip.

“I heard her scream as she was about to be…raped…by a vampire,” answered Kaname.

“From a vampire? Great scott…that’s unheard of,” said Philip.

“I know. However, what’s important now is that we try and keep these two under our care for the time being. I think Reo himself and this catgirl are the ones that are being targeted,” explained Kaname.

“How are we to explain this to the other branches?” asked Philip.

“Simple…we just tell them that we picked up a couple of victims from attacks on vampires and that they’re currently under our supervision until we can contact the proper authorities,” answered Kaname.

“Do you really think they’ll buy that?” asked Philip.

“We already have enough on our plate as it is. We don’t want them to complicate things any further than it already has,” said Kaname. “Which reminds me…I managed to speak with the archivist Yunno about some of the findings I came across.”

“And…what did he say?” inquired Philip.

“The fragments that I have appear to form some sort of key. He’s not sure as to what it unlocks but that there are nine pieces in total. We only possess two of the nine,” said Kaname.

“Two pieces?” repeated Philip.

“Yes, Philip…two,” confirmed Kaname, as he showed his companion the fragment that was wrapped in a white cloth.

“Did this occur as we were heading back with Reo?” asked Philip.

“So it would appear,” answered Kaname.

“Who do you think gave this to you?” asked Philip.

Kaname was silent for a brief moment before shaking his head and stroking his chin. “I’m not sure…Philip. I’m not sure.”

Spoiler:
(1): I couldn't help but add that small LoTR line from the first one.

Also...it'll probably be a while before I start working on chapter three. Trying my best to describe the lair of the vampires was a bit of a challenge. For those wondering about that insignia I mentioned in this...it is actually an avatar that I worked on myself that I used to have when I was first a member here. I'm glad for those that appear to be enjoying it so far and appreciate the praise.

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Su'ru!!! I can't wait for the next chaptar now, Kana. Ohhh! This is gonna be great, seein' you throw me in with Su'ru in this one. Update soon, I wanna find out what happens. ^,^

Courtesy of my friend Laevantien -- http://raventhesilence.deviantart.com/
Currahee
We stand alone, together

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I second that motion.

Nothing cures insomnia like the realization that it's time to get up. ~Author Unknown

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Chapter 3

On the Hunt

It had been just about five minutes since Reo’s beastman girlfriend Subaru, was brought in by Kaname. Philip was at the monitors checking for anything out of the ordinary, even though it was daytime at the moment while Kaname was over in the sparring room practicing. Reo had been keeping an eye on Subaru ever since she was brought in and noticed that she slowly started to stir a bit.

“Mm…hmm…wh-where…am I?” wondered Subaru, slowly opening her eyes and was surprised to see Reo sitting beside her.

“Good to see you’re awake, love,” said Reo.

“R-Reo!” cried out Subaru with joy as she embraced him.

“I’m glad you’re alright Su’ru,” said Reo, calling her by her pet name.

Philip turned the chair slightly and saw the whole thing and gave a slight chuckle. Kaname had just finished practicing and walked over to where Philip was over at the monitors, wiping the sweat off his face.

“Have you managed to establish contact with headquarters?” asked Kaname.

“So far…no luck; I’ve been waiting for Captain Jason about 10 minutes now…he should have gotten my message about what you’ve discovered,” said Philip.

“And the researchers and Dr. Reese?” inquired Kaname.

“Same result. Either they’ve been put under tight security or some of the guys just hate your guts,” said Philip.

“I could say the feeling’s mutual on them as well since Captain Patrick was being such a damn jerk. You’d think the guy could show at least a little appreciation,” said Kaname.

Seconds later, the computer started making some beeping noises which caught their attention.

“Incoming transmission,” said the computer.

“Patch it through,” said Kaname.

A young female that had light green hair and purple eyes, was wearing glasses, and a paladin soldier uniform greeted them.

“Ms. Suzuki…good to see you again,” said Kaname.

“Likewise Mr. Zenryuu,” she replied.

“We’ve been wondering why Dr. Reese or Captain Jason hasn’t contacted us yet ever since I sent out my message,” explained Philip.

“Oh yes…about that…Dr. Reese and his team has been transferred over to another base. They figured the energy reading from the artifact that was uncovered would attract…unpleasant attention,” she replied.

“I’m guessing it would be the same ones we fought before,” said Kaname.

“If you’re referring to the lycans and vampires…then yes,” she said.

“What is it about that artifact that seems so important to either side?” wondered Philip.

“According to some information I managed to gather by a Mr. Scrya, he explains that it will eventually lead to some crystals that are supposed to pinpoint the location of a certain creature,” explained Ms. Suzuki.

“Whatever it leads to…I’m sure it isn’t good. Put Captain Jason on…I’m sure he’s listening in somehow,” ordered Kaname.

Seconds later, Captain Jason was put on one of the smaller computer monitors and didn’t looked too pleased.

“Whatever reason you guys think I had with having to move the research team…I had nothing to do with it,” said Jason.

“Now why do I get that suspicious feeling that you’re leaving some details out that you don’t want us to hear?” inquired Kaname.

Jason was silent for a moment before heaving a deep sigh. “Alright…it was Patrick.”

“I always had a feeling that guy gives off bad vibes,” said Philip.

“I don’t think that’s how he meant it…partner,” said Kaname. “I’m presuming that Captain Patrick went to the commander to suggest moving the research team somewhere else?”

“Yes…he did suggest it. However…” said Jason.

The hairs on Kaname’s back suddenly went up when Jason stopped explaining for a brief moment.

‘Uh-oh…this isn’t good,’ thought Kaname.

“What happened?” asked Philip.

“The platoon that was accompanying Dr. Reese’s research team were ambushed and the doctor himself was captured by vampires,” finished Jason.

“Any clues as to where and when it happened?” asked Kaname.

“I’m afraid I don’t know,” said Jason.

“That’s terrible,” said Ms. Suzuki.

“Captain…there’s something you might want to know,” said Kaname.

“What would that be?” asked Jason.

“Before I begin…, let me verify…is this a clean channel?” asked Kaname.

Jason looked around for a moment but it was that action alone that caught Kaname’s attention.

“Considering that it’s not…meet me over at the Midori-ya café tonight at 3:00 p.m. and come alone,” said Kaname.

“Very well…I’ll see you there in a bit,” said Jason.

Once he left, Kaname then turned his attention back to Ms. Suzuki.

“Was there any more details that archivist Yunno Scrya mentioned about these crystals?” asked Kaname.

“The only detail that he mentioned about them was that they acted as a type of magical marker,” said Ms. Suzuki.

“A summoning circle,” said Philip.

“What exactly would they be trying to summon?” asked Reo, with Subaru by his side joining in on the conversation.

“Is that a beastman that is with you?” inquired Ms. Suzuki.

“Yes…yes it is Ms. Suzuki,” replied Kaname.

“I’ve heard my share about them but I wasn’t sure if they really existed,” said Ms. Suzuki.

“Well…now you know,” said Philip.

“You’re not supposed to know about this but…they’re currently in hiding,” said Kaname.

“Hiding from what?” asked Ms. Suzuki.

“Now what…but from who?” clarified Philip.

“Alright then…whom?” she asked.

“I’ve received word that it’s from the branches of the Silver Gauntlet in Europe and the Iron Eagle in America,” answered Kaname. “As for the reasons as to why…well…that’s up to them to disclose.”

“Nice to meet you m’am,” replied Subaru.

“Oh my goodness…she’s adorable,” said Ms. Suzuki, smiling lightly.

“If anything new comes up, please don’t hesitate to contact us,” said Kaname.

“Understood…take care you guys,” said Ms. Suzuki.

“You as well,” replied Philip.

Kaname then noticed that the white dress that Subaru wore last night was patched up and looked at his partner who gave a slight nod, indicating that it was him who patched it up when she was brought in.

“Well then…shall we head upstairs for tea?” suggested Philip.

“That sounds like a good idea,” said Kaname.

As the four of them went upstairs, Subaru was taken completely by surprise at the detail of the house interior. There were white marble tiles for the floor that covered the entire first floor, the walls of the living room, and the lounge room which they entered was colored light brown, while the kitchen and dining room were a sky blue color. There were several nature paintings adorned in both the living room and the dining room. Some of them depicted a forest, waterfall, or even a beach. One of the paintings in the dining room had a picture of a tiger lying on the grass. The wall on the staircase was painted a light red color, while the walls on the second floor were the same color as the ones in the kitchen and dining room.

“This is a nice place you guys have,” said Subaru.

“I had some help,” said Kaname.

As Philip went to the kitchen to make tea, Kaname then decided to head out for a bit and told Reo and Subaru that he wouldn’t be long. Kaname then felt a slight chill on the wind as he headed out with his cloak on. He also kept himself armed with a P 39R automatic pistol just in case. By taking a few shortcuts that he remembered when he went to save Subaru, it took Kaname just five minutes to navigate his way through several corners at some stoplights before arriving at his destination. He waited for approximately 10 minutes before his watch then showed the time that he and Captain Jason were to meet. Eventually, Kaname spotted Captain Jason in regular civilian clothing like he was.

“Good to see that you came on time,” said Kaname.

“I came like you asked,” said Jason.

“How can I be sure that you didn’t bring a small team with you?” asked Kaname.

“Do you see that silver Toyota Corolla over in that left corner over there?” asked Jason, pointing to where there was a stoplight.

“Yeah…I see it,” he replied.

“That is how I came in,” said Jason. “Now do you see any black vans around this area?”

“I guess you proved your point, Captain,” said Kaname.

“Now…what was it that you said that I didn’t know about earlier?” asked Jason.

“There have been rumors going about with regards to a certain species that has been targeted by paladins back then but had no associations with vampires or lycans. In short…they’ve been living separately from the two and then they suddenly vanish mysteriously when they made their presence known,” explained Kaname.

“What exactly are we talking about here?” asked Jason.

“Beastmen, captain,” he replied.

Jason was silent for a brief moment before saying “What?”

“You’ve never heard of them before?” inquired Kaname.

“I’ve heard a small amount about them but not much,” said Jason. “What does this have to do with the current situation?”

“Whatever the artifact was that we recovered, both sides seem desperate to get it and tried to prevent one of them from getting the artifact,” explained Kaname.

“So…what really went down at headquarters that you’re so hesitant to tell me Jason?”

Jason was silent once more when the question was thrown at him, yet Kaname’s patience was starting to run thin.

“Look captain…you may have other people fooled with your…trying to follow orders act, but you know as well as I do that whatever reason they’re trying to keep you silent will only make things worse,” said Kaname.

“Need I remind you that you’re just a freelancer that has no memory of his past and that you should try and show more respect to your superiors,” said Jason.
“Do I need to repeat the same thing I told Capt. Patrick to you as well? Did you seriously believe that your two paladin platoons was more than a match for the two races that were trying to get the artifact? Face the facts Jason…the teams were outnumbered and out skilled. A long time has passed since the branches were formed and yet you guys can’t seem to think outside the box. If you guys think the beastmen are no different from vampires or werewolves then you’re sorely mistaken,” retorted Kaname.

“I didn’t say that beastmen are like them,” said Jason.

“Then tell me what went on at headquarters Jason, and don’t say what you told me earlier or I swear I will report you to the commander when I get back,”
threatened Kaname.

Jason was stunned from Kaname’s outburst and saw the fury in his eyes. He struggled to get the words out but found it a bit difficult to do so.

“Capt. Patrick reported that you compromised the mission,” said Jason, after several minutes.

“And what else besides that?” asked Kaname.

“He also knows about the two runaways that you’re keeping,” said Jason.

“Did you tip him off?” asked Kaname.

“I get annoyed by his attitude and can understand his frustration but…no, I didn’t tip him off about your whereabouts,” he replied. Jason then checked his watch and realized that he had to report back to base.

“Now I need to take my leave,” said Jason.

“Very well…but remember what I said before captain. One mess up…and you won’t like what will happen after that,” said Kaname.

After Jason left, Kaname then made his way into Midori-ya café. A bell rang at the top left corner of the door and a young girl with brown hair in ponytails and blue eyes wearing a white apron came out. As soon as he saw her stumble slightly, Kaname let out a slight gasp as soon as he saw her.

‘It can’t be…that’s her?’ wondered Kaname. ‘Those eyes are unmistakable…but why was she running?’

“Welcome to Midori-ya café. How can I help you today?” she asked.

“Just here looking for some pastries. I’m expecting some company over at my place,” explained Kaname.

“Well we have rolls, sticks, crescents, various kinds of breads, muffins, including chocolate covered ones, as well as -”

“Okay, okay…I’ll ponder over the choices and let you know when I’m ready,” said Kaname.

“Take your time,” she said.

As Kaname was taking a look at the various types of breads and pastries that they offered, Nanoha took a long hard look at him and was slightly surprised when she saw his eyes. After several minutes had passed, Nanoha couldn’t help but try to get Kaname’s attention.

“Um…excuse me,” she said.

“Yes?” asked Kaname.

“I couldn’t help but wonder…have I seen you somewhere?” asked Nanoha.

“Perhaps…do I remind you of someone?” asked Kaname.

“Hmm…maybe I might have mistaken you for someone else,” said Nanoha.

“It’s possible,” he said.

After Kaname placed his order, Nanoha then said that it would take about 15-20 minutes to get everything ready.

“In the meantime, would you like some samples or anything to drink?” offered Nanoha.

“Ah yes please…I’ll probably try some milk tea if you have any,” said Kaname.

“Sure…we have a few flavors,” said Nanoha.

“I’ll probably go with whatever’s popular around here,” said Kaname.

As Kaname was waiting for his drink over by one of the booths, he looked from one of the windows and then heaved a slight sigh from the people passing by going about their business.

‘It’s awkward that most people don’t believe in the existence of either races, or how they’ve heard very little of paladins or even know what they are. How much has this world changed…or…more to the point, how little do they understand on what’s going on?’ wondered Kaname.

Several minutes later, the bell rang again and Kaname then turned his attention to the person walking at the door. The person that walked in had long blonde hair in a ponytail and was wearing a black cape with red on the inside. Nanoha caught sight of her and a slight growl erupted from her throat, but just as it quickly came out, it suddenly stopped when she looked into her eyes. The growl that came from Nanoha’s throat caught the attention of some of the customers.

“That was from one of the dogs nearby, go back to your business,” said Kaname.

Seconds later as the commotion began to die down, Fate stared at Nanoha for a brief moment before looking at Kaname and she suddenly grew a bit tense and had her right hand near her sword, Bardiche. Nanoha on the other hand couldn’t tear her eyes away from the blonde.

“Is there a problem miss?” asked Kaname.

“No…no problem,” she replied.

Nanoha eventually regained her composure and then gave the same greeting when Fate walked in and she decided just to go for a cheese Danish and some tea.

As Fate approached Kaname, she noticed that something was slightly different with him.

“If you’re wondering if this spot is taken, you can have it,” said Kaname.

“Here’s your drink,” said Nanoha, bringing Kaname his order.

“Thank you,” he replied.

As Nanoha went back to get the other orders, Fate took a seat behind the booth that Kaname was at.

“I had a feeling that it was you who dropped something…vampire,” said Kaname.

“Excuse me?” she wondered.

“You flew past me as you were heading somewhere and it seems like you dropped something,” clarified Kaname.

“Yes…I did. How did you know?” asked Fate.

“As you flew past somehow it fell on my lap, but then…just as I caught sight of it, it fell from my lap and rolled down to the sewers,” explained Kaname. “Was it important?”

“Very,” she replied.

“Why are you really here?” asked Kaname.

“To see if you know where it went,” answered Fate.

“Why do I get this awkward feeling that it entails so much more?” asked Kaname. “And I just told you what happened to it.”

Fate was silent for a moment before asking, “You’re not by any chance one of us, are you?”

“No…why do you ask?” inquired Kaname.

“I saw the way your eyes were,” answered Fate.

“You were watching…from a distance?” he asked. “No wonder you guys try to keep your presence hidden.”

“Have you ever heard of the story called ‘The Betrayal of the Twin Vampires’?” asked Fate.

“I have…once or twice,” replied Kaname, as Nanoha came back with his order and placed it in front of him.

After giving Nanoha a tip and Kaname was about to take his leave, Fate then mentioned something that really caught his attention.

“You should tread carefully and be wary of who you keep around. They just might turn on you,” said Fate.

“Kaname Zenryuu,” he said, introducing himself briefly.

“Fate…Fate Testarossa,” she replied, doing the same.

Slightly stunned and pondering on what she meant, Kaname took the same route he took earlier to get to the café and by the time he got home, Kaname then spotted the tea already set with Reo and Subaru already enjoying it.

“I was wondering what kept you,” said Philip.

“I wasn’t gone for that long,” replied Kaname, putting down the box of pastries. “Help yourselves.”

“Thanks,” said Reo, taking a muffin.

“These look so good,” said Subaru.

“I went over to the Midori-ya café,” replied Kaname.

“Was there anything out of the ordinary while you were there?” inquired Philip.

“Nothing much except for the fact I found the person that was a werewolf that I came across which was the same one over at the ancient ruins where we uncovered that artifact. At the same time, I just found out that the one who flew past us before when we brought Reo to our underground base was actually a vampire,” explained Kaname.

“Whoa…hopefully nothing bad went down,” said Reo.

“Nothing of the sort happened down there; however, the encounter was a bit…strange to say the least.”

“In what way?” asked Subaru.

“The way they were looking at each other…it’s like one of them was mesmerized by the other,” answered Kaname.

“Perhaps curiosity,” suggested Philip.

“It’s possible,” said Kaname. “She asked about the fragment that happened to be in our possession…however, I tried to tip her off by saying we lost it.”

“Do you think she could trace as to where it was brought?” asked Reo.

Kaname was silent for a moment before giving a slight nod. “Some vampires have certain abilities that their fellow coven members envy. It’s possible that one could trace it here,” he explained.

“So then why bring it if they could possibly trace it?” asked Subaru.

“I said it was possible. I didn’t say that they could,” repeated Kaname. He then turned his attention to Reo.

“So…explain to me why you guys are in hiding/running.”

He looked at Subaru for a brief moment before saying simply, “It’s because of her.”

Kaname and Philip looked at each other and then at Subaru for a brief second before Kaname continued asking.

“The branch that you were a part of…I’m guessing had the same ideals as paladins before,” he inquired.

“Yes…they saw them as nothing more than beasts that were once human but had lost their human form,” explained Reo.

“This sounds like people who were cursed,” added Philip.

“That would be correct,” said Subaru.

“When I went to visit the archivist Yunno Scrya, he said that there was a rare event that occurred that suddenly turned humans into half man and half beast, but were not like werewolves, yet a variety of animals that were bipeds,” said Kaname.

“That’s what they’re generally classified as,” said Philip.

“It was from that information that created the superstition,” said Reo. “I had a feeling that not all of them were how they were perceived; that their means of self-defense was from a response on how they saw them.”

“It’s no different from how people see others. Most only look on the surface instead of what lies beneath,” added Philip.

“So what happened when they found out about you protecting her?” asked Kaname.

Just as Reo was about to explain, Philip then spotted something from the corner of his eye and saw a slight glint which appeared for only a millisecond, but was enough for him to yell…

“GET DOWN!” shouted Philip, as he grabbed Reo, who grabbed Subaru as they hit the floor.

There was a shattering noise as something small hit the window at a very fast rate and Kaname heard a cracking sound from the floor.

“Shit,” cursed Kaname. “Someone doesn’t want them leaking information.”

“But why are they targeting them?” asked Philip.

“I’m not sure, but for now…get them underground while I take care of the assassin,” said Kaname.

“How do you plan on doing that?” asked Reo.

Kaname then went to the nearest painting which was near the front door, which had a lighthouse within the scene and pushed the lighthouse image, revealing a hidden spot where Kaname pulled out a Steyr HS.50 long range rifle.

“I’ll blind the person first before shooting,” answered Kaname, pulling out a long pole with a hook and a mirror.

“I see…hopefully they don’t shoot it before getting blinded,” said Reo.

“That depends on the timing,” answered Kaname. “You guys better get to a safe spot.”

Kaname then kept low so as not to get detected by the sniper and ran quickly to get under the dining table. Setting up the HS.50 long range rifle under the table just a foot away from where he was going to shoot, Kaname then used the pole and mirror and slowly lifted it up. The sniper then spotted something coming up but his eyes was hit by the glare and had to temporarily look away, giving Kaname enough time to dive to his shooting spot load a round and spotted the sniper just about to get back into focus on hitting him when Kaname fired his round first before the sniper, nailing him.

Seconds later, he faintly heard someone say on their com-link, “Man down, man down. Delta team move into position.”

‘Shit,’ cursed Kaname, mentally.

Kaname quickly grabbed a smoke grenade from his belt and yelled at Philip who was down below.

“Philip! We’re going to have company!” he yelled, keeping his right hand on one of his two P39R automatic pistol while his left hand held the smoke grenade. He used his teeth to pull down the shades near him while Philip came up armed with his P30 pistols and pulled down the shades on the other side and ran near the door hinges.

The two looked at each other as they heard voices outside and heard the door creak as it was opened. Philip was a good distance away from the hinges so that he wouldn’t be spotted. Kaname however, had his smoke grenade primed by having his first finger on the release lock trigger. They both heard footsteps coming in as a few of the soldiers came in. Philip got a good look through the space from the opened door and mouthed to Kaname ‘Paladins’. He nodded and then tossed the smoke grenade which caught their attention as one of them shouted “Smoke grenade…move!”

However, their reactions weren’t quick enough as Kaname came from the corner he was hiding and fired his rounds at the incoming paladins before they could react. Two shots hit a paladin in his right arm and his left leg, while another two hit the legs of another paladin. Philip then grabbed another paladin’s right arm upon entry before hitting him with the back of his left fist and doing a sweeping low kick to knock him to the floor before knocking him out with his elbow and Kaname went to the nearest one and picked up his com-link, as he heard the words “Shots fired, shots fired…move in! I repeat…move in and suppress.”

“Call it off,” said Kaname, into the com-link.

“What…who is this?” asked one of the paladins, presumably the leader.

“This is Kaname Zenryuu of the Fire Phoenix branch. What branch are you and why are you here?” asked Kaname.

“Why should we answer to you?” he asked.

“Because if you value the lives of your men…you will call off the attack and state your business or else…I won’t hold back…and bring down your team,” said Kaname. There was a brief moment of silence before the person on the other line replied.

“Martin Sampson of the Silver Gauntlet Branch,” he replied. “We’ve received word about two fugitives that are possibly staying at your place.”

“I’m afraid your mistaken Mr. Sampson. They actually left last night and were headed west from here. They’re probably already over in either China or Russia. Those are pretty big areas and would probably take your men a while to find them,” answered Kaname. “Who tipped you off?”

“It was one of our own higher ups Mr. Zenryuu. The fugitive in question goes by the name of Nicolas Reo,” explained Sampson.

“A rogue paladin I presume,” guessed Kaname.

“That would be correct,” he said.

“I’m afraid I got some bad news sir…there was a scuffle at my place last night and…some vampires got in. I was trying to defend them but…Reo…took my stead and didn’t make it. They probably took his corpse back to their lair somehow,” explained Kaname.

“I see. I appreciate the information Mr. Zenryuu. I apologize for what our team did to your house,” he said.

“No harm done. Likewise with shooting your men…matter of self defense, as I’m sure you understand,” answered Kaname.

“Indeed. Let us know if any new developments come up will you?” inquired Mr. Sampson. “I’ve already sent my contact information to your computer.”

“Of course sir,” answered Kaname.

After the Delta team staggered out of the house, and all was clear, Kaname gave the OK nod for Reo and Subaru to come out.

“That was close. How did you manage to convince them with that lie?” asked Reo.

“I improvise…that’s all,” said Kaname.

“Thanks for saving us there,” said Subaru.

“No problem; although…Kaname is more of a better shot than I am,” said Philip.

“Stop it Philip…you’re giving me too much credit,” he said, slightly turning away.

“He sometimes doesn’t do well with compliments,” whispered Philip to Reo.

“I heard that,” retorted Kaname.

Philip looked up and down at Reo for a brief moment before he spots him sporting nothing more than an M14.

“Think that’ll help you much?” asked Philip.

“I like guns such as these,” he replied.

“Having a primary is one thing…but you won’t be as versatile if you only have one weapon,” said Kaname.

“How can you be sure?” asked Reo.

Kaname then took off his cloak revealing his longsword, Vanguard.

“I’ve seen them use blades. Guns are one thing…but if the enemy can block projectiles, they’d have to be really good, not only with speed, but also deception by utilizing their agility with their skills,” explained Kaname.

“I came across a sword during our sudden ambush when we were sent to retrieve an artifact. It appears they have some sort of small compartment for small disc-like blades that can be launched when the wielder swings their sword forward,” added Philip.

“Philip here is good at support magic, and can conjure up projections so real that the audience thinks it’s real,” explained Kaname.

“There have been times where they have caused slight injury though and have gotten me exhausted,” added Philip.

Reo then repeated what he told Kaname before the attempted assassination.

“The Silver Gauntlet branch actually thinks that the beastmen are in league with either the werewolves or vampires. As I tried defending Subaru, they already labeled me as a traitor. After deciding to leave the branch, they probably decided to put a bounty on our heads,” said Reo.

“That’s ridiculous. They have nothing in common with either of them,” said Philip.

“Except for the fact that they’ve been targeted by the paladins,” added Kaname.

“Why would they put a bounty on their heads?”

“Probably to try and prevent them from leaking any information that might expose the branches for anything that would be considered either blasphemous or out of line; whatever they know is putting them in harm’s way,” answered Philip. “This could get REAL ugly.”

“All the more reason to try and solve this and hopefully convince the Holy Order Council to offer them asylum and protection,” said Kaname.

“Do you think they would listen? Besides…we’re freelancers and not exactly in league with them, despite the fact that we have been aiding them. They would probably think we’re spies,” said Philip.

“Not unless some people in the Phoenix branch has proof that we were there helping them. They would need evidence to support that,” said Kaname.

“If this has to do with trying to prove that there’s corruption within the branches, I’m more than willing to help you guys,” said Reo.

Kaname and Philip looked at each other for a moment before Philip told Kaname,

“Can I have a word with you in private?”

“Of course,” said Kaname. “Excuse us for a moment.”

“Take your time,” said Subaru.

As the two of them went downstairs in the underground portion of the house, Kaname could sense his partner’s sense of doubt and hesitation.

“What are you so worried about?” asked Kaname.

“He may be from the Silver Gauntlet branch, but the fact that we’re helping them in hiding would brand us as traitors as well,” said Philip.

“So what do you suggest we do Philip? Turn a blind eye and hope this whole thing just blow over?” asked Kaname, with a hint of anger in his voice.

“They already know that we have them,” countered Philip.

“Just because he has a beastman as a girlfriend doesn’t mean they’re dangerous,” he shot back.

“Whoever hired that assassin to kill them probably already knows about us as well,” retorted Philip.

“We have bigger things to worry about than just try to worry about our own hides!” yelled Kaname. “There are other forces at work here Philip and you know that. Whatever reason they’re with us…whether good or bad, we should offer them our support. Now if you’re too reluctant to lend a hand then you’re more than welcome to leave.”

He heaved a frustrated sight as Kaname combed through his hear with his left hand just infuriated. Rarely would they argue like this, even so much as yell at each other. After five minutes of agonizing silence, Kaname turned back to his partner.

“I’m sorry. I should have been more accepting,” said Philip. “We’ll need all the help we can get.”

“Indeed,” said Kaname. “Apology accepted.”

“If only I was as open minded as you,” said Philip.

“Sometimes I am. However, I’m not as reluctant to use force or other aggressive means when necessary,” said Kaname. “Remember…injure, but don’t…”

“Kill,” finished Philip. “I know…I know.”

Seconds later, the two of them heard footsteps as Reo and Subaru came downstairs.

“I’m sorry for eavesdropping but…I just wanted to thank you two for your hospitality,” said Reo.

“You’re very welcome,” said Kaname. “I’ll understand if you want to join, however…there are a few conditions that you must be willing to accept. First, do your best to follow orders from me or Philip, even when the situation looks grim without question, and second, if there are any personal reasons as to why you want to join, I advise you to throw those reasons out, because they’ll only get you into more trouble than you ask for. Can you do that?”

“I’ll do my best,” said Subaru.

“Despite the fact that I feel betrayed from how my beliefs were different from the rest of them…I will do what I can,” said Reo.

“Reo…there will always be those kinds of people who don’t have the same beliefs as you and there’s not much you can do to try and change their minds. Just try to accept the fact that there are those who support you, like your girlfriend,” said Philip.

“Well said Philip,” said Kaname.

“So…what exactly did you find from your visit with this archivist?” asked Reo.

Kaname then went over to the computer and placed his book in a small container which somehow scanned his entire notebook and put the information that was in it as scanned pages. It was around the tenth and eleventh pages that the data he got when over at the archives was made visible.

“Whatever I currently have in my possession, the vampires definitely seem to want it. I’m not sure about the reaction of the lycans, but…clearly someone knows something about it,” said Kaname. “According to the notes I gathered, there appears to be a set of crystals known as Blood Fangs. Apparently, these crystals seem to act as a type of detector, and when I mean that, it seems to try and lead the wielder to the next one.”

“Like a compass trying to show where to go,” said Subaru.

“Something like that,” said Kaname.

“And what happens if they’re found?” asked Reo.

“That’s what still baffles me. The fragments that I have, including the final fragment, form something that is called the Silver Eclipse. It’s a key to something. As to what it unlocks is beyond me,” said Kaname.

“The good news is that this underground area is well hidden so it would be a bit difficult to gain access,” said Philip.

“So what do we do now?” asked Subaru.

“For now…we need to try and keep a low profile. Philip here can help teach you swordsmanship if you’re interested. I can help with hand to hand combat,” said Kaname.

“You’ll need a diverse array of skills if you are to face what’s out there,” added Philip.

“Oh…I forgot to mention one other thing,” said Kaname, as he went over to the couch and pushed a button at one of the gold center handles.

The television and table were pulled back and in its place was a shooting range with metal targets.

“Nice,” said Reo.

“We use these to practice every now and then,” explained Philip.

“I’m more used to close range combat,” said Subaru.

“No problem…I can help refine your skills if need be,” said Kaname. “Just be careful with the claws.”

“I’ll try my best to not cause you too much harm,” she said.

Outside, Fate had finished what she ordered over at the Midori-ya Café and went to an alley not too far from where the café was and found her teacher, Vercossa.

“What did you find out?” she asked.

“I came across that person with strange eyes. He apparently lost track of what I dropped and said it could probably be in the sewers,” said Fate.

“That’s not going to do us any good, unless one of them leads back to our lair and we just follow it,” said Vercossa. “What was your impression of him?”

“His name is Kaname. Apparently, he knows of both our existence and our long time enemy,” she replied.

“Anything else?” inquired Vercossa.

Fate was silent for a moment before Vercossa had to call her name again to snap her out of her thought process.

“I’m sorry. You asked if there was anything else I came across?” asked Fate.

“You seemed out of it for a bit. Was it from something you ate or drank? You didn’t give away our existence did you?” asked Vercossa.

“There was…a young girl that was helping in the café,” said Fate.

“What did she look like?” inquired her teacher.

“She was…really young. Brunette, blue eyes. She looked so…innocent, until I heard a growl erupt from her throat,” said Fate.

“She has to be one of them,” realized Vercossa. “We should report this right away.”

“There was something different about this one though,” said Fate.

“What?” wondered Vercossa.

“She seemed…curious,” said Fate.

“About you?” she asked.

“Yes,” replied Fate.

Vercossa tried to hold back a laugh, which didn’t go unnoticed by Fate. “What’s so funny?”

“N-nothing,” she replied, letting out a slight chuckle.

“She was curious. So what? Probably just wanting to know her enemy better,” shot back Fate.

“Don’t tell me you’re interested in that…thing,” said Vercossa, sounding a slight bit surprised.

“Don’t be ridiculous. Let’s just go,” said Fate, getting annoyed as she took to the night sky.

The moon was a quarter and a half full and the sky was clear enough to see the stars. Nanoha then closed the café and was about to head home when she realized that she forgot something and went back to the kitchen and grabbed her bag and a red gem attached to a chain and placed it around her neck. Once she double checked to make sure she hadn’t forgotten anything, Nanoha then locked the door to the café and walked over to her apartment which was several blocks away.

‘Fate…I wonder if she really is one,’ wondered Nanoha, as she turned a corner near a stoplight and walked towards the apartment complex, up the stairs and went to her room. She dropped her bag near the door, got into bed and tried to go to sleep, but found it a bit difficult as the events from today began to replay in her mind. One slight detail continued to replay in her mind as she overheard the slight conversation between Fate and Kaname.

‘I wonder what she was looking for that could be so important,’ thought Nanoha. ‘Maybe if I see her again, I could try and help out.’

Meanwhile, at the underground section of Kaname’s home, Reo was working on refining his shooting skills over at the shooting range while Philip was trying to find any leads on the information they had gathered so far. Subaru was punching away on a sandbag while Kaname decided to head out for a little to clear his head.

As he put on his helmet and turned on his visor, the words that Fate had told him echoed in his head again.

You should tread carefully and be wary of who you keep around. They just might turn on you.’

Fate…Testarossa. Is she friend…or foe?’ thought Kaname, as he opened the throttle and headed out into the night.

A/N: I know I should have done this earlier when I was trying to think of certain guns but, some of the weapons that I mentioned are from the 4th Resident Evil film, Afterlife. Credit goes to director Paul W.S. Anderson as well as the cast and crew of the film.

Spoiler:
I'm glad that you like it Reo and Juno. I'll do my best on the next coming chapters.

Juno's picture
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It seems Nanoha gets presented as a waitress/owner of a Cafe in a lot of fics. ^^'

Can't blame her tho. Isn't an Anti-Material rifle overkill for a Sniper Rifle?

Nothing cures insomnia like the realization that it's time to get up. ~Author Unknown

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Juno wrote:
It seems Nanoha gets presented as a waitress/owner of a Cafe in a lot of fics. ^^'

Can't blame her tho. Isn't an Anti-Material rifle overkill for a Sniper Rifle?

If you're still uncertain, you can take a look at this link Juno:

http://www.imfdb.org/index.php/Resident_Evil:_Afterlife

Juno's picture
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Posts: 658

Point taken.

Nothing cures insomnia like the realization that it's time to get up. ~Author Unknown

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*drools* SubaReo..... Anyways! It's a great story line so far Kana, keep at it and I can't wait to see where it goes, oh and one more thing, I need more SubaReo love! ^,^

Courtesy of my friend Laevantien -- http://raventhesilence.deviantart.com/
Currahee
We stand alone, together

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Chapter 4

Captured

The cool air from the night whipped through Kaname as he sped down the streets of Tokyo on his motorcycle. He had DATS on the moment he left the underground lair and was contacting Philip from his visor.

“Philip…any luck on the location of the ambush?” he asked.

“I’m still working on it,” said Philip, punching in the information.

“Well we’ve gotta work faster. Times ticking and I’m not sure that the good doctor will be able to survive the torture those rogues are doing to him for much longer,” said Kaname, as he increased the throttle.

Barely making it through an incoming stoplight, he made a turn upon passing it and after several minutes of going through a long neighborhood, it led him up to a path leading into the mountains. Seconds later, Philip notified Kaname from his com-link.

“I’ve got the location of the ambush site. As for where you are, I’m detecting a faint signal coming from within a cave right below from where you’re traveling on right now,” said Philip.

“Good job. I’ll let you know once I’ve extracted them. When I do, contact the paladin headquarters and let them know of my location,” said Kaname.

“Roger that,” answered Philip.

The cold, damp atmosphere coming from the cave was more than enough to stir Dr. Reese awake for a bit after being knocked out. However, a sudden splash of cold water was more than enough to jolt him wide awake.

“Finally…he wakes,” said a voice.

Dr. Reese looked around wildly and found that he couldn’t see that well considering he was in a dark place. However, that suddenly changed when several torches were lit and he saw who his captors were. The heat radiating from the torches was enough to make him blink twice. All he saw were hooded figures. It was not until he saw their eyes that it became clear to him.

“Vampires,” he said under his breath. “You’re the ones that attack us in the ruins that other night.”

“Correction, my good doctor…our group wasn’t the ones there that time. We operate in our own way,” said another voice, with a hint of a Russian accent.

“What makes you think you’re so different from the rest?” asked Dr. Reese. “And where’s my team?”

“Oh…right…them. Let’s just say that they’re in a…separate interrogation room,” said another with a British accent, slightly chuckling.

“Get your filthy hands off of me,” yelled out a familiar voice.

“If you even so much as hurt Dr. Ross…”began Dr. Reese.

“What? You’ll do what? If you don’t want her to be humiliated in front of you,
then you’ll tell us where the artifact is,” said a third.

“Come now, Arthur…is that how we’re supposed to ask information?” asked the one with a Russian accent.

“If you have any better ideas I’d love to hear them,” retorted Arthur.

“Watch your tongue! That’s not how you’re supposed to respond to Dimitri,” growled the second vampire.

“I wasn’t asking for your opinion Leo,” shot back Arthur.

“Enough Arthur!” barked Dimitri. “I want both of you out of my sight.”

As the other two left and dropped Dr. Ross near Dimitri, another hooded figure came from the shadows. This one was different. From the form of the vampire, it had long hair and blue eyes. Dr. Reese concluded in his mind that it was female.

“What’s the matter Dimitri dear? They just wanted to have a little…fun,” she said.

“Not now Andrea…I have a prisoner to interrogate. You can have your way with her though,” said Dimitri, pointing to Dr. Ross.

“Hmm…she does look rather lovely. I’ll take my sweet time with her,” said

Andrea, taking her by her right arm and forcefully dragging her.

“What is she planning on doing with her?” demanded Dr. Reese.

“Oh…don’t worry. She won’t do any harm to her…much,” said Dimitri.

“Just let her go and I’ll tell you what you want,” said Dr. Reese.

“Ah…are you that eager to save the damsel? I guess that will depend on what you tell on what I need to know,” said Dimitri.

“Just promise me you’ll let her go,” said Dr. Reese.

“Alright…I’ll let her go, when you tell me where the artifact is,” said Dimitri.

“I told you, I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said.

“Don’t play dumb with me, doctor. Our guys know your team was carrying something very valuable and we need to know where it is,” said Dimitri.

A split second later, Dr. Reese heard Dr. Ross’ scream echoing within the cavern.

“Stop it…please,” she pleaded, her voice starting to crack with sobs.

“You sick bastard,” growled Dr. Reese.

A split second later, a blade was pressed to his neck as Dimitri was staring at him with a hint of anger across his face.

“If you want to prolong her suffering…you will tell me or I’ll have Andrea kill her in front of you,” threatened Dimitri.

“Go to hell,” replied Dr. Reese.

“Have it your way then,” said Dimitri, as he snapped his fingers.

Suddenly, the sound of the engine of a motorcycle could be heard echoing from the cavern. A bright light was coming towards them, and Dimitri had to squint his eyes for a moment before turning his attention to the oncoming vehicle.

The light suddenly went off from the oncoming motorcycle as Dimitri got closer until the headlight went back on again at full power blinding the vampire.

Seconds later, shots could be heard as Dimitri gave an agonizing cry of pain, alerting the other vampires.

Dr. Reese gave a sigh of relief as Kaname came into the scene.

“Your timing couldn’t have been better,” said Dr. Reese.

“I had a feeling that was where the noise was coming from,” said Kaname, taking out his 93R and shooting off the shackles holding Dr. Reese.

“Looks like we’ve got company,” said Dr. Reese.

Andrea suddenly came into view with her sword unsheathed and was about to strike at Kaname, were it not for him to answer her blow with his sword, Vanguard.

Using his full force from his left arm, he pushed Andrea to the side before shooting with his 93R, causing her to turn to ashes. Dr. Ross ran over to Dr. Reese’s side, as Kaname stood behind them, weapons at the ready.

Eventually, they heard the battle cries of Arthur and Leo coming out with their HK 47s as well as a few other vampires. Kaname turned to Dr. Ross and asked,

“Ever used a gun before?”

“Once or twice,” she said.

Kaname then tossed her his second 93R as she stood beside Kaname. The first wave came in so quickly that Kaname dispatched half of them before emptying his first clip and having to reload. Five more came running towards them as Kaname reloaded, yet luckily, Dr. Ross managed to cover him as he did so.

“Not bad…not too bad at all,” said Kaname, as he finished reloading. The second wave came in with Arthur leading as he fired several rounds towards the trio.

Kaname used Vanguard to deflect some of the oncoming shots. Dr. Reese however, wasn’t as lucky as one bullet hit his left shoulder.

“Dr. Reese,” cried out Dr. Ross.

“Get him somewhere safe. I’ll take care of these fools,” commanded Kaname, as he fired a quick burst at Arthur before charging in with Vanguard in his left hand. As he got closer, he switched weapons by tossing them to the opposite hand. He swung at one vampire, severing his head while shooting down three others. Arthur was hit from the quick burst but still kept running towards Kaname, his HK47 still going. Kaname then tilted back and slid on the cavern floor and from the propulsion of the slippery floor, shot at Arthur’s left leg before turning on his stomach and fired at his head, turning him to ash. Just as Leo was about to shoot, Kaname quickly turned and had his P39R pointed straight at his head and fired first. He then turned his attention to the wounded Dimitri trying to get away.

“So what about your so-called ideal of injure not kill?” asked Philip from the com-link.

“Didn’t I tell you? I hate rouges,” said Kaname.

“W-wait…all we wanted was information on the artifact,” said Dimitri.

“Do you really think I would believe dirtbags like you?” asked Kaname, with a hint of hatred in his voice.

“Please…sp-spare me,” he pleaded.

“Trying to get information by forcing the person is one thing…trying to do so by killing them…is an entirely different matter; one that I don’t forget,” said

Kaname, as he shot a round into Dimitri’s head, causing him to disintegrate. He then contacted Philip from his com-link.

“What’s up?” asked Philip.

“The researchers are safe. Go ahead and contact headquarters. I’ll notify them by a signal flare,” said Kaname.

“You got it,” said Philip. “Oh…Kaname…”

“Hm?” he wondered.

“Was that really even necessary?” asked Philip.

“Drop it,” growled Kaname.

As Philip contacted the paladin headquarters, Kaname went back to assess the damage done to Dr. Reese. He was losing quite a bit of blood and was resting on the mountain wall.

“Go into my motorcycle. There should be a small trauma kit under the seat,” said Kaname.

“Alright,” said Dr. Ross, as she went and checked on the motorcycle.

“Keep the pressure on as much as possible,” instructed Kaname.

“That was…some good shooting you did,” said Dr. Reese, until he suddenly winced from the sharp pain on his shoulder as he tried to keep the pressure on.

“You should try and not talk as much,” said Kaname.

Dr. Ross came back with the trauma kit several minutes later and placed it beside Kaname. As he dressed Dr. Reese’s wounds, Kaname then turned to Dr. Ross.

“You alright?” asked Kaname.

“I’m OK. She didn’t go too far,” said Dr. Ross.

“I guess I don’t even have to point out that you’re obviously straight,” he said.

“Actually…I’m not,” she replied.

Kaname stared at her for a brief moment. “No…you’re kidding,” he said.

“No…I’m not. I’m actually bi,” replied Dr. Ross.

He turned away for a second as his brain tried to process the information, while he finished up dressing the wound.

“Whoa,” said Kaname, slightly stunned.

“What about yourself?” asked Dr. Ross.

“Me? Oh…definitely straight,” said Kaname.

“Had any luck with the ladies?” she teased.

“No…I’m still searching. I also don’t mind waiting,” said Kaname. Seconds later, Kaname got a notice from Philip when his com-link started beeping. “Yeah?”

“I’ve already contacted headquarters and they should be heading your way within 5-10 minutes. I’ve also contacted the nearest hospital. They should be arriving at the same time that the rescue team comes in,” explained Philip.

“Good job,” said Kaname. He then turned to Dr. Ross and said, “I’ll keep watch.
When you hear oncoming helicopters…” Kaname then took out his signal flare. “Use this to get their attention.”

“OK,” she replied, taking the signal flare.

As Kaname then took watch near the entrance of the cave, he couldn’t help but turn his head to look at Dr. Ross and her concern for Dr. Reese.

“What happened to the others?” asked Kaname.

“Two members of our research team were killed. The other two somehow managed to escape,” answered Dr. Ross.

“What about the artifact?” asked Kaname.

Dr. Ross was silent for a moment, before she took out of her pocket from her vest something in a leather pouch. As soon as she handed it to Kaname, a sudden headache struck him causing him to stumble backwards slightly and his right hand began to throb.

“Agh…what the…heck?” he wondered, as he held the artifact.

“Are you alright?” asked Dr. Ross.

“Yeah…I’m fine,” replied Kaname, after the headache slowly began to fade.

After waiting for approximately 5 minutes, Kaname heard a faint whirring sound indicating that the rescue team wasn’t too far away.

“That must be them,” she said, and quickly took out the signal flare gun. Kaname then gave her a quick nod and she fired the flare.

“Talon 01 to home base, Talon 01 to home base…we’ve spotted an emergency flare,”
said the helicopter pilot.

“Roger Talon 01. Proceed with extraction.”

“We are good to go captain,” said the second helicopter pilot to Capt. Suzuki.

“Alright…you three form up on me. Once we get down there, set up a perimeter around the survivors,” said Suzuki, pointing to members of her team.

By the time the rescue chopper reached Kaname and the others, the emergency helicopter wasn’t too far from where they were.

Kaname breathed a sigh of relief when he saw Ms. Suzuki coming out of the rescue chopper. The three other members of her team then set up a 5 foot perimeter around Kaname, Dr. Reese, and Dr. Ross.

“I had a feeling he’d contact you,” said Kaname.

“Where’s the research team?” she asked.

“Only Dr. Reese and Dr. Ross were captured. There were two that were killed by vampires and another two that barely escaped,” he explained. “Dr. Reese got shot while I was fending off rogue vampires.”

A couple of nurses carefully set Dr. Reese on the stretcher as they brought him in the helicopter. Dr. Ross tried to follow but she was prevented from doing so.

“Captain…with your permission, I would advise that Dr. Ross be placed in your stead for the time being” suggested Kaname.

“That sounds like a good idea,” she said.

However, just as the rescue team was about to leave…one of the paladins shouted, “We’ve got incoming!”

When Kaname got a closer look and saw two figures as well as a slight hint of red from one of the capes, he immediately knew who they were.

“Hold your fire soldier,” commanded Kaname.

“Stand down,” said Capt. Suzuki.

“Looks like I missed something exciting,” said Fate.

“State your business Fate,” said Kaname.

“You know this girl?” inquired Capt. Suzuki.

“I came across her in a café once,” he answered.

“Very well…I’ll get straight to the point. My mother wants to speak to you…in person,” said Fate.

“And by that I’m presuming that it’s over in your coven,” guessed Kaname.

“You’re pretty smart…for a freelancer,” said Vercossa.

“Don’t do it Kaname. It could be a trick,” said Capt. Suzuki.

“It’s alright. I’m sure their actions speak louder than their intentions,” said Kaname. “Ms. Suzuki…relay this message back to Philip and the others. Tell them I’ve made contact with one of the vampire representatives and have asked for information from their leader and that I won’t be gone long. Can you do that?”

She was a bit hesitant at first until Kaname made his voice firm. “Captain…can I trust you on doing that for me?”

“Alright…I’ll do it,” she said.

“I’ll be back…I promise,” reassured Kaname, going to his motorcycle.

Once Kaname got the throttle started, he then noticed Vercossa and Fate both in the air while he was on the ground. Taking once last look at the rescue helicopter, he turned his attention to the two vampires in the air.

“Think you can keep up?” inquired Fate.

“Lead the way ladies,” said Kaname.

Kaname had to keep going in and out of various trees in the forest several times before he found the road that he went off from to get to Dr. Reese. By the time he was back in the city, Kaname had just split seconds to glance at the two vampires as well as the road ahead that was slowly starting to teem with traffic. Weaving his way through the cars, Kaname had to rely less on DATS and more on his actual senses. By the time he got to a second stoplight, he noticed the two vampires made a left upon reaching it. Once the light was green, Kaname hit the throttle again and made a hard quick turn left and increased the throttle to get more speed. He soon found himself in an old neighborhood and noticed that the vampires made a right at an oncoming T section. By the time Kaname caught up to them he spotted them landing and then walking into an old subway tunnel.

‘So…this is what they meant,’ thought Kaname, as he dismounted.

There were cracks at certain areas of the walls of the tunnel as Kaname followed the two vampires. The tunnel seemed to stretch for miles until Kaname spotted what appeared to be a huge gaping hole 2-3 feet ahead of them. He eventually spotted two male vampires with their swords unsheathed. Upon seeing Kaname, the two were about to block his entry in when Vercossa spoke up.

“It’s OK boys…he’s the guest that Precia-sama wanted to see,” she said.

“Our apologies m’am,” said the first guard.

“Please, go on in,” said the second.

Kaname became a little suspicious at first but then followed behind Fate and Vercossa as the three of them made their way down the staircase. Already there appeared to be a debate going on and the whole coven was in an uproar. He faintly heard someone groaning in pain and it was clear to him someone looked like they were being interrogated.

“Sounds like something important is going on,” guessed Kaname.

“Be quiet and keep moving,” commanded Vercossa, pointing the tip of her sword at Kaname’s back.

By the time Kaname got to the bottom level, he became quite shocked at what his eyes beheld. A young werewolf was being whipped and was chained as well. The person doing the torture was none other than Precia Testarossa.

“Ah…the guest of honor has arrived,” she said, with a hint of satisfaction.

“I brought him back just as you requested mother,” replied Fate.

By the time the werewolf lifted her head and saw Kaname, his eyes quickly changed to silver, which didn’t go unnoticed by anyone in the coven, including the werewolf.

‘She appears to be suffering,’ he thought.

Once he saw her blue eyes, Kaname’s eyes went wide eyed.

“You…it can’t be,” began Kaname.

The whole coven was suddenly hushed when Kaname spoke those words.

“Do you recognize this…thing, human?” asked Precia.

Kaname was silent as his gaze was locked on the werewolf and the expression on her face.

“Answer her, knave!”shouted Vercossa.

Just as she was about to kick Kaname, his instincts kicked in and he quickly unsheathed his sword Vanguard.

“Don’t even think about it,” he growled.

Several other vampires soon had Kaname surrounded before Precia called them off.

“I’m pretty sure I do,” said Kaname.

“From where?” asked Precia.

“Before I do that…” began Kaname. He then turned to Fate. “Do you remember when you walked into a café and saw a young girl who greeted you but then heard a faint growl escape her throat?”

The whole eyes of the coven went straight to Fate who felt the stares peer into her.

“Well…” inquired Kaname. “Look at the creature chained before you.”

As soon as Fate’s eyes met the werewolf…the werewolf suddenly struggled as if trying to get to her.

“Keep her away from that thing,” commanded Vercossa.

“WAIT!” shouted Kaname, as he slowly walked over to the chained lycan and knelt down beside her. His eyes went from brown to silver.

“So it’s true,” whispered one vampire.

‘What are you trying to tell me young one?’ thought Kaname, as he looked into her eyes.

The staring only lasted a few seconds before Kaname stood up.

“Do you recognize this creature?” asked Fate.

“Nanoha…” he whispered.

“What was that?” asked Vercossa.

“She was trying to introduce herself to you…Fate,” said Kaname.

This caught the attention of the whole coven at once as the hissing and shouting began to increase.

“SILENCE!” hissed Precia, and the noise died down in an instant.

“State your business vampire. What is it that you want from me?” asked Kaname, lowering his sword.

“You seem to possess a couple of skills that would prove useful. I’ve heard only a rare few have the ability that you have,” said Precia.

“I can read auras but not interpret them,” said Kaname. “And judging from what I see in you…it’s not good.”

“Hmm…perhaps you need to have a closer observation then,” suggested Precia.

At that point, Kaname gave a slight smirk.

“Don’t try and change the subject. You may think that I can’t sense what you want but I know quite well what it is,” said Kaname.

“And what would that be?” asked Precia, slightly curious.

“Your daughter asked me if I knew the story of the “Betrayal of the Twin Vampires”. Two brothers were trying to hone their skills from their teacher and yet they had different views on things. Both wanted certain powers and that was the bait the teacher needed. You see, those in power don’t want to lose it. As a result…the two brothers eventually got killed and the teacher took their skills,” explained Kaname. “Judging from your aura…you only see this…coven, as expendable, and I know you’re searching for the location of several…crystals.”

“What is this fool babbling about?” shouted one vampire.

“Furthermore…this is the one thing I find odd,” continued Kaname. “Why is it…that Fate’s eyes are red, while the rest…are not?”

This suddenly caught Precia completely off guard as Kaname stared at the leader. Seconds later, Kaname got the most unexpected answer. She was laughing.

“What’s so funny?” asked Kaname.

“That’s a very good assessment freelancer,” she said. “But you’re clearly mistaken.”

“Oh…” wondered Kaname, slightly curious. “Enlighten me.”

“You’re right about the crystals yes…however, I don’t think you know their actual purpose,” said Precia.

“That they’re supposed to lead to the other crystals?” guessed Kaname. “What IS it that you’re trying to bring back by the way?”

“Oh you won’t have to worry about that,” said Precia. “Because you won’t be around to see it; lock him up with this filthy creature!”

Just as several vampires surrounded Kaname and Nanoha, he noticed the way that she was looking at Fate…as if imploring her help. Fate noticed and suddenly became frozen where she stood; the way the blue eyes were showing grief, helplessness, and the one thing that Fate herself knew all too well…longing.
Suddenly…Kaname felt that familiar throbbing pain as something shot through his body and the fragments that he had began form in front of the whole coven. A bright light began to form, causing the rest of the vampires to shriek in annoyance and having to shield their eyes. When the light died down, the fragments formed what appeared to be a half circle frame with the center piece attached to it.

“That’s…” began Vercossa.

However, Kaname still felt that throbbing pain, this time…not in his head…but his right hand. He also realized that something else was coursing through him as well. A power he never thought possible. Just as the vampires were about to grab him, Kaname then took off his right glove revealing the insignia that he was trying to find answers for, causing them to stop dead in their tracks. Precia herself was just as surprised.

“No…not you…that’s not possible,” she said, in shock.

“That’s the symbol of the Royal Crescent Blade family,” said Vercossa. “I thought the last of their line was destroyed years ago.”

Kaname then looked at the vampires standing before him and his eyes went to a combination of blue and red. Sword in hand, he began speaking in a strange language. However, it didn’t go unnoticed by Precia Testarossa. Kaname swung the sword up before pointing the tip downwards and straight into the ground, causing the whole cave to quake.

“What’s going on?!” wondered Vercossa.

He then looked at Fate with a slight smirk of satisfaction on his face. Looking over at the werewolf and then back at Fate, Kaname then spoke as though he was a different person.

“We shall meet again……copy of Precia’s daughter,” he said.

Fate was suddenly stunned and shocked from what Kaname had just told her and almost found herself immobilized.

‘I’m…a copy?’ thought Fate.

Kaname then spoke the strange language once more before a bright light engulfed him and the chained lycan for a brief moment before it died down…and both he and the werewolf were gone.

By the time that Kaname got back to the surface, the pain subsided and he found himself carrying the same young girl that he saw over at Midori-ya café. He gently put her in front of him while he was at the back and started the throttle and rode away from the vampire lair.

Precia herself was just as angry when she came across the lycan snooping in her coven and her expression showed complete rage.

“Find them! Kill them if you must!” commanded Precia. She then looked at Fate, her expression showing complete disgust. “You…you’ve brought this on all of us. Get out of my sight!”

Soon a huge mob of vampires were pouring out of the cave and into the night sky, while Fate was brought away from Precia by Vercossa into her own personal chambers.

As Kaname was heading back, he was breathing slightly heavily and barely managed to muster enough strength to call Philip.

“DATS…you still there?” asked Kaname.

“I’ve been waiting the whole time sir. You seem to be out of sorts. Did something happen?” it asked.

“I’ll explain later. In the meantime, find me a shortcut that leads back to my place and fast. I’ve got a feeling that my ordeal isn’t over yet,” said Kaname, as he tried to get a hold of Philip.

As Kaname followed the directional path that DATS had set up, Philip finally managed to get a hold of Kaname after a couple of minutes, and he wasn’t very pleased.

“Kaname…what the HELL were you thinking?!” scolded Philip. “Going off like that to the vampire’s lair?”

“I’ll explain later,” he answered, his breathing still a bit off.

“Are you OK? You seem out of breath,” asked Reo.

“Who’s that girl you’ve got with you?” asked Subaru.

“I told you I’ll explain later. Right now, I need you guys to get some warm water, a wash cloth, some pillows, and get the couch ready by the time I get back,” commanded Kaname.

“You got it,” said Reo.

“Be careful,” said Subaru.

As Kaname increased the throttle on his motorcycle, he could faintly hear the loud hissing from the oncoming vampires and quickly took a brief look back.

“Oh man…this is DEFINITELY not good,” said Kaname. “DATS…you read?”

“For you sir…always,” it replied.

“Get me Capt. Jason from headquarters immediately,” he commanded.

As he made a quick turn left from an oncoming stoplight, Kaname gave another quick glance at the swarm of vampires.

“DATS…are you getting this?” asked Kaname.

“Recorded as soon as you went away from the lair sir,” replied the computer.

“What’s this about Kaname?” asked Capt. Jason on the upper right screen.

“Sir…I think you need to see this,” said Kaname, as he uploaded the footage that he just recorded.

“Great scott…how did this happen?” wondered Capt. Jason.

“Well…you see sir…” began Kaname, as he explained his whole ordeal from rescuing Dr. Reese, to coming face to face with one of the vampire coven leaders.

“And you just pissed her off like that?!” asked Capt. Jason, surprised.

“Look…I don’t know what came over me, but something weird is going on,” said Kaname. “Scramble all the paladins you can muster and notify the Iron Eagle and Silver Gauntlet branches. This could get REAL ugly.”

“One step ahead of you tiger,” said Capt. Jason. “I’ve already sent the footage you’ve shown me to the higher ups.”

“Just what I’d expect from you, captain; you got your team ready to go?”

“They’ll be here in 10 minutes,” he replied.

Kaname soon heard beeping coming from his visor as DATS notified him of attacks spreading from Hokkaido to Tokyo.

“Damn it…it’s started,” cursed Kaname. “Send whatever teams possible to the affected areas. I’m going to check it out.”

“You got it,” said Capt. Jason.

By the time Kaname got back to his house, Philip was already waiting for him.

“What the hell happened out there? There are reports of attacks happening all over Japan,” said Philip.

“Yeah…I know,” said Kaname. “Take her downstairs and keep an eye on her. I’m going to try and quell as much of this as possible.”

“Not alone you’re not,” said a voice.

Kaname whirled around and saw Reo holstering his M14 while Subaru was wearing what appeared to be specialized gauntlets that had a slight resemblance to the actual paws of a cat.

“Close range combat specialist I see,” said Kaname, looking at Subaru’s gauntlets.

As Philip tended to Nanoha, Kaname did a close observation of Reo and Subaru as well as the gear they were wearing. Subaru was wearing a white vest with light blue stripes at the edges as well as a small blue skirt, a white bandana, and…to Kaname’s slight surprise, knee pads. Reo still had on the same attire he wore when Kaname and Philip first saw him.

Kaname quickly went downstairs and headed to the armory while Philip kept a close watch on Nanoha while checking the monitors on how bad the attacks were getting. Once inside the armory, Kaname then grabbed a couple of shotguns and placed then on straps that were attached to his vest on his back, and headed back upstairs to join Reo and Subaru.

“Philip…can I count on you on keeping an eye on Nanoha and the situation that’s going on outside?” inquired Kaname.

"Do you even have to ask?” joked Philip.

“You guys ready to go?” asked Kaname.

“Definitely…I’ve been itching to get in on some action,” said Reo.

“Wherever Reo goes…I’ll go,” replied Subaru.

“Oh yeah…which reminds me…” began Kaname, as he went into a nearby drawer and fished out some keys before tossing them to Reo.

“What’s this for?” asked Reo.

“Can you drive stick?” inquired Kaname.

“Yeah…why?” he wondered.

“There’s an Audi A4 over in the garage. Besides having all-wheel drive, six-speed manual transmission, and nearly 210 hp, Philip equipped it with a smokescreen, optic camouflage, and target seeking shotguns in the front,” explained Kaname.

“What? You’re kidding,” said Reo.

“Nope…I’m not. I prefer having as little as possible to not overwhelm the performance of the vehicle when it comes to weaponry,” said Kaname. “Try and draw their attention while I take care of the heavily affected areas.”

“Whoa, whoa…wait a second…did you just say heavily affected? Have you gone completely mental?!” exclaimed Reo.

“I like a challenge,” said Kaname simply, with an amused smirk on his face.

“I’ll catch up with you guys later.”

As he went over to his motorcycle and started the throttle, Reo and Subaru headed downstairs to the garage as Philip pointed out where it was underground. He pressed a small button on the controls for the monitors which revealed the garage to be near where the sparring area was and the car that Kaname was talking about. The color on the exterior was a navy blue, with ten spoke wheels, and a black interior.

“Wow…now that’s a cool ride,” said Subaru.

“You can say that again,” said Philip.

“We should get going and lend a hand,” said Reo. “You coming Subaru?”

“You even have to ask?” she joked, as she got into the passenger seat, while Reo took the driver’s seat.

As Reo started the engine, Philip then opened the garage door that led to outside of the neighborhood. The pathway started out curved for a bit before it straightened out to several yards.

“You guys are good to go,” said Philip on the com-link to the car. “I’ll be monitoring the situation from here; best of luck to you guys and good hunting.”

“Thanks Philip,” said Reo. “You ready?”

“Let’s do it,” said Subaru, as Reo started the engine and headed out.

Kaname then heard the engine of the Audi a minute later and rode off towards the Shibuya area and was a bit surprised from what the monitors showed him on the visor of his helmet.

Already several paladin teams were dispatched to the heavily hit areas, including the one he was heading to. What really bothered him was the huge amount of vampires that were amassing there.

“Damn…there’s got to be like thousands of them. This is definitely going to be taking a while,” said Kaname, as he increased the throttle on his motorcycle and prepared himself for the oncoming long drawn-out fight that was to come.

Spoiler:
Man...and I thought describing the details in this one was a bit difficult but the next few are really going to make me utilize my creativity with the descriptive fights and having to bounce from one team to another. Also...I'll eventually have to kill off some characters in this chapter as well as the next, and I'll eventually reveal some bits about my OC as well as a bit of his familial history in chapter 6.

Juno's picture
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I'm sure of one thing tho. It. Will. Be. Bloody. >:D

Nothing cures insomnia like the realization that it's time to get up. ~Author Unknown

Kharn Valnikov's picture
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Great fic im loving it so far, keep it up

Call me Kharn Valnikov, it is who I am.

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Chapter 5: Not everything is as it seems

Kaname could hear the hisses of the angered vampires and the screams of terrified citizens as some tried to get away from the vampire onslaught as well as the shots from the paladins that were trying to take down the vampires that were targeting either them or the citizens from his visor as he approached the Shibuya district. What his eyes beheld however…was different from what he heard. Cars and buildings ruined, smashed, or on fire. People stabbed, beheaded, or…worst case scenario…Turned.

However, that wasn’t the least of his problems. Kaname was barely able to make it out, but several groups of werewolves were also in the fray as well and the paladins couldn’t quite tell if they were interfering or helping. Increasing the throttle on his motorcycle, Kaname then used his right hand to quickly grab one shotgun and load it quickly with two rounds before pointing it at two vampires who spotted him and fired, turning them to ash. He did a quick rolling reload and pointed it at four oncoming vampires and fired, severely wounding them but not until he heard shots being fired from vampires over at the northeastern side.

“Damn…this isn’t good,” he cursed, as he looked for the nearest group of paladins to back them up.

After several seconds of scanning the carnage, he eventually found a nearby paladin platoon situated on the northwestern side and used his visor to contact Philip.

“What is it?” asked Philip.

“How are Reo and Subaru doing?” asked Kaname.

“So far…they managed to draw their attention…if only for a moment,” he replied.

“That’s good…as long as they keep doing that…they just might be able to lead them to some of the other platoons,” said Kaname. “How is she doing?”

“She’s still resting,” replied Philip. “Happy hunting.”

“Thanks,” said Kaname.

Kaname eventually saw one of the paladins in the platoon he was approaching giving orders to the others and put his motorcycle next to the barricade.

“What’s the situation captain?” asked Kaname.

“We’ve been trying to keep them at bay for a while. We’re still waiting for backup,” he replied.

“Kaname Zenryuu…freelancer,” he said, introducing himself.

“Captain James Benett…part of the Iron Eagle branch,” replied the captain. “Capt.
Jason of the Fire Phoenix branch sent our branch the footage that you captured which was nicely done by the way.”

“Much appreciated. I’ll try and draw their fire,” said Kaname.

“How do you plan on doing that?” asked Capt. Benett.

Kaname then drew out his sword Vanguard, and went out of the barricade into the ensuing chaos. Capt. Benett just shook his head in embarrassment.

“He’s asking for a death wish,” he said.

Kaname shot one oncoming werewolf in the stomach and slashed at another lycan at its hind legs with Vanguard. Suddenly, the half finished pendant that Kaname was wearing began to glow with radiating energy catching the attention of the paladins, vampires, and lycans. The all too familiar throbbing from his right hand began to occur once again and the insignia began to form. Kaname started speaking that strange language again and his sword suddenly began glowing with a red energy emanating from the blade. Kaname charged towards the nearest group of vampires and with one swift stroke, he took out the vampires that were in the northeastern part of the Shibuya district from a huge energy blade attack.

One of the vampire leaders spotted Kaname and shouted, “That’s the one…get him!”

Just as a huge group of vampires surrounded Kaname with guns drawn were about to fire, several shots near Kaname drove them back a bit slightly, until some of them started to turn to ash from being shot at. Kaname looked up and saw a paladin helicopter coming down with several soldiers and…to his surprise, Capt. Suzuki.

“Well well…aren’t you a sight for sore eyes,” said Kaname.

“Capt. Jason told us the situation, so we came to help you out,” she answered.

“Appreciate it…although I think the other platoons could use it more than I can,” said Kaname.

“How so?” asked Capt. Suzuki.

“Did you see a red energy wave strike a group of vampires as you guys were approaching this area?” inquired Kaname.

“Yes…I did,” she replied.

“That was me,” replied Kaname.

“That’s crazy…there’s no way that a paladin could do something like that,” said Capt. Suzuki.

“Who says that I’m one of them?” asked Kaname.

“What?” she wondered.

“I’m actually a freelancer. My partner, Philip is also one as well,” answered Kaname. “Listen…to be honest and frank, I don’t even know what’s happening to me.”

Kaname then heard his com-link beeping and activated it. “Zenryuu.”

“Kaname…I think we’ve got a bit of a situation,” said Philip.

“What happened?” asked Kaname.

“You know that girl that you told me to keep an eye on?” inquired Philip.

“Yeah…what happened?” he asked.

“Well…you see…” began Philip. “She went out.”

“YOU LET HER OUT?!” shouted Kaname.

“Well…it wasn’t me but…she…let herself out,” said Philip.

Kaname was stunned for a brief moment before it made sense. “She’s in her lycan form.”

“What?” asked Philip.

“She’s in her werewolf form,” repeated Kaname. “Talon 04 do you read? This is Shadow.”

“Roger Shadow…we read you loud and clear,” said the pilot.

“Contact Talon 02 and tell them to keep an eye out for one particular werewolf. If you see a red gem hanging around her neck…notify me immediately,” instructed Kaname.

“Roger that Shadow…will do,” said the pilot, as he left the battle zone.

As soon as the pilot left the scene, Kaname then turned to Capt. Suzuki. “Think you can handle things here? I’m going to check the situation over on the north end.”

“Of course…just be careful,” said the captain.

“Understood…captain,” said Kaname, giving salute.

Running over to his motorcycle, he could hear the loud screeches from the vampires as they tried to get close to Capt. Suzuki. Kaname gave a quick whirl back and was about to fire when he saw her pull out a Beretta 90Two and fire several rounds at three oncoming vampires. One was about to strike from behind until she unsheathed a sword of her own.

“Heh…looks like I’m not the only one who does that,” said Kaname to himself, as he put on his helmet and started up the throttle heading out of the battle zone and going north. He kept looking back and forth for any vampires that tried to come after him.

Suddenly, he heard what sounded like flapping of wings, looked back, then up and saw several flying four-legged creatures with sharp fangs and claws diving down towards him. Their heads were slightly slimy and their flesh appeared to be a light gray color and their eyes were red, indicating bloodlust.

“Shit…these guys just don’t know when to quit,” he cursed under his breath.

Increasing the throttle, Kaname sped up a little bit before tilting his motorcycle slightly to the right, causing the left side of the body to face parallel to his oncoming attackers. Taking out both of his P30R automated pistols, he pointed them at the flying creatures and shot their wings, downing them. What caught him by surprise however, is how the wings suddenly folded inwards and went back into the creature’s body.

“Well that’s interesting,” said Kaname, as he pointed the pistols at the charging four-legged vampire-like creatures and fired again. Three rounds hit one in the front legs, two hit another in the chest, causing it to crash to the black pavement, which caused another one to trip. He took the opportunity to shoot a couple of rounds on the downed ones before another jumped over the fallen ones and was about to slash at him with its claws when something furry slammed into it smashing it into a brick wall near him. Kaname looked over his shoulder and saw a werewolf decapitating the creature with its sharp claws. He put himself on the defensive when the werewolf turned and faced him. It was when Kaname spotted the red gem around its neck that he knew who it was.

“Nanoha?” inquired Kaname, to which the werewolf nodded.

“Talon 02, Talon 04…do you read me? This is Shadow,” said Kaname, into the com-link.
“We read you Shadow. What’s the situation?” asked the pilot.

“I found the one werewolf wearing a red gem around its neck. Do not engage it, I repeat…do not engage it. Talon 02, I need you to try and locate a black Audi. If you see it use either machine guns or a smokescreen…notify me at once and send the location of it to my computer,” commanded Kaname. “Talon 04, go and back up Capt. James Benett of the Iron Eagle branch back in the Shibuya district.”

“Roger that, Shadow,” said the first helicopter pilot.

“Copy that,” said the second, as it headed over to where Capt. James Benett’s team was.

Suddenly, Kaname heard Nanoha give a loud howl, which caught the attention of both sides. However, the werewolves that were fighting the vampires and paladins heard the call and responded.

Meanwhile, Reo and Subaru were busy fighting off vampires over in the Kyoto region. The Audi car was caked slightly with dust as several paladin soldiers were taking cover with them and backing them up at the same time.

“Reo…did you hear that?” asked Subaru, who gave several jabs to one vampire coming from behind before doing a round house kick to its side and landing a hard punch to its head, fracturing the skull with a sickening crunch.

“Yeah…I wonder who that was,” said one paladin, named Alex as he fired several rounds from his MP7.

“It’s obviously a werewolf,” said a second paladin nearby Reo, named Michael, firing a couple of rounds from his MP5K at three vampires on the far left corner.

“Sir…some of the werewolves are leaving the fight,” said another paladin, this time near Subaru, named Takeshi.

“But why?” wondered Subaru.

“Whose call are they even answering?” asked a third paladin that was in the middle.

“Will you guys just pipe down and engage the enemy already!” commanded Reo, taking out a small group of vampires.

Suddenly, the one named Alex yelled, “We’ve got incoming!”

Seconds later, screams from some of the paladin men could be heard as Reo saw a few of them being lifted up by some thin long tongue. Looking up, he saw what they were…four-legged creatures with wings, sharp fangs at the edge of their mouth and a whip-like tongue. What he found really disturbing was that the face of the creature would split open revealing tendrils with sharp fangs before quickly shutting them on the victim…instantly killing them. The one named Michael tried to shoot them down from where he was standing, but was instantly caught by one of the creatures and killed seconds later. Alex tried to fire at them from a small distance behind the car, but was shot several times by an unsuspecting vampire on the northeastern side.
Reo pointed at one with his M14, before he heard Subaru screaming, as one of the long tongues wrapped around her right ankle and quickly lifted her up.

“Subaru!” shouted Reo, as he pointed his M14 at the flying creature. Just as he was about to shoot, several shots rang out as Reo saw a couple of rounds go to the creature’s head instantly killing them. The one that caught Subaru lost its tongue’s grip causing her to fall on her butt. She quickly moved out of the way of the falling corpse, as the rest of them scattered.

“This is not looking so good,” said Takeshi.

Reo heard an oncoming motorcycle coming in and saw Kaname riding in with his P30R automatic pistols firing at the flying four-legged creatures.

“You guys feel that?” asked Alex.

Reo tried to stay still, but his feet eventually felt the oncoming vibrations and he looked from a corner of an old building and was stunned by what his eyes beheld. Almost hundreds of werewolves were charging down the street with one in particular leading the assault. Several of the werewolves broke into small groups and began climbing to engage the four-legged flying creatures. Reo’s team was surprised when they saw how quickly they dispatched them, from tearing their wings, to biting and tearing off their heads.

“Let’s give them a hand,” shouted Reo, firing at three of them with his M14. Alex and Takeshi formed up behind Reo, creating a triangle formation as they covered each other’s backs. Subaru saw one climbing down and jumped a couple of trash bins before her left hand got caught in its tongue pulling her forward. Just as the tendrils were about to appear, she gave a sharp jab with her right hand and following up with a flip-kick to its chin, before pounding away on its head and then grabbing it firmly. It tried to shake her off but Subaru held on tightly as though it was a wild horse. Eventually, she held on long enough to twist its head before ripping it off.

Just as Kaname was helping out another paladin platoon, something bright shot up into the sky causing him to turn his attention to it for a brief moment and it didn’t take long for him to realize what it was. Suddenly, the vampires that were remaining as well as the four-legged creatures started heading back. He could hear some sighs of relief from some of the platoons, but Kaname just stood there bewildered and confused.

‘I don’t get it. Did they find something important?’ he pondered.

Seconds later, Kaname heard a couple of helicopters coming around with several small platoons and captains shouting orders left and right. He eventually saw Capt. Jason coming over to where he was and gave him salute.

“Good job on the intel Kaname,” said Capt. Jason.

“Thank you sir,” he replied. Quickly looking around, Kaname then brought the captain closer to his ear and asked, “Can I have a quick word with you…in private?”

“Of course,” he replied.

Once the two of them were well outside earshot range, Kaname was leaning against a wall and Capt. Jason asked, “So…what’s up?”

“I need you to be seriously honest with me about something. Did you ever receive word about a couple of fugitives from either the Iron Eagle branch or the Silver Gauntlet branch?” asked Kaname.

The captain was silent for a moment before responding. “Yes…I did,” he said.
“Why…do you know where they are?”

“Sir…if I may…I know this is going to sound awkward but…I think the tables are turning…much quicker than I anticipated,” said Kaname.

“What do you mean?” asked Capt. Jason.

“This is going to get me in hot water but…they’re with me,” answered Kaname.

“Seriously?” he asked.

“Seriously,” replied Kaname.

“Kaname…you know they’ll place charges against you,” said the captain.

“I know…and I’m saying that there’s something more to this than just a couple of fugitives. If they’re so damn bent on bringing these two to justice…they’re being
completely blindsided by an oncoming storm,” said Kaname.

“I think you need to bring this up with them,” said Capt. Jason.

“They’ll say I’ve gone crazy…but I don’t give a s***,” said Kaname.

“Alright…I think there’s some guys that I want you to meet,” said Capt. Jason, leading him back.

However, before the captain did, Kaname swiftly grabbed his left arm and pulled it back and had him bent down, his head near the ground.

“How can I be sure you’re not tricking me and siding with them…huh?” inquired Kaname. “Did one of them put you up to this?”

Suddenly, he could hear Subaru’s screams of ‘Let me go!’ and Reo shouting ‘Leave her alone!’ in the distance. This just fueled Kaname’s anger even further.

“Who tipped you off?” growled Kaname. When he got no response, Kaname pulled even harder on the captain’s arm. “WHO?!”

“Agh…it was…it was…”

Kaname quickly pulled out his P30R automatic pistol and shot a round near where the captain was. “ANSWER ME!”

“It was…Capt. Tyrell of the Iron Eagle branch,” answered Capt. Jason. Kaname then let go of his arm but kept his eyes fixed on him, glaring at him.

“Please Kaname…try to understand…” pleaded Capt. Jason.

“Why? I trusted you for most of the time I was with the Fire Phoenix branch. I trusted you,” said Kaname, feeling his anger rising again.

“I had no other choice,” said the captain.

“I warned you captain of what would happen. I WARNED YOU!” shouted Kaname. He pointed his P30R pistol at the captain.

“Stand down soldier!” shouted a voice.

Kaname turned his head but kept his gun pointed at Capt. Jason.

“That is an order,” said the voice again.

“Who are you?” growled Kaname.

“Don’t you recognize me Kaname?” he asked.

He was silent for a moment before turning his head slowly, his breathing a bit heavy. “Commander Remington?” inquired Kaname.

Sure enough, the old commander stepped towards the two. Kaname eventually lowered his gun and placed it back in his vest.

“You don’t seem surprised to see me,” said the commander.

“Why?” asked Kaname.

“The Council has ordered me to bring you in for questioning,” replied Commander Remington.

“For what?” he asked.

“They want to question your motives,” he said.

“When am I going?” asked Kaname.

“They’re here…and we’re taking you back to base,” said the commander.

“What about the others?” asked Kaname.

“Oh…you mean the rogue and his girlfriend…they’ll be contained, until they receive their sentence,” replied Commander Remington. “Captain Suzuki has been suspended temporarily until this is over. As for your…werewolf friend and her followers are also being detained.”

“I swear if you do ANY harm to them…” began Kaname.

“No harm will come to them I promise you,” said the commander.

“They’re nothing but empty words…sir. How can I be sure that you’ll keep them?” asked Kaname, through his gritted teeth.

“Kaname…I’ve been keeping an eye on you ever since you joined this branch. You’ve been like a son to me. Please…trust me…for once,” said the commander, placing a hand on his shoulder.

“You make one false move…one error…and I SWEAR to you…I will not…hold…back…at….all,” growled Kaname, as he allowed himself to be whisked away aboard the helicopter.
From a distance…a hooded figure watched from the shadows. He chuckled to himself as he watched the helicopters leave. Looking down at his left hand…an insignia began to faintly glow.

“I’ve finally found you…at last,” he said.

Back over at the underground base, Philip mentally cursed at what had just transpired. He tried to track down their location but somehow got blocked.

“Damn it…those arrogant bastards,” growled Philip, as he slammed a fist near the console.

Suddenly, he could hear faint knocking on the front door and immediately had one of his P30 pistols at the ready. Walking slowly near the door, Philip quickly opened it and found two individuals cloaked standing before him. One was slightly smaller and the other was a tad bit taller.

“Who are you?” asked Philip.

“If you want to rescue your friends…you will come with us,” said the first individual, which had a male voice.

“And if I refuse…”

“You won’t see them again. The Holy Order Council has recently gone in the wrong direction thanks to some corruption from within,” explained the second individual, which had a female voice.

“Alright…I’ll go with you. However…I demand an explanation for this,” said Philip, getting his cloak and prepping some smoke grenades and his two P30 pistols secured near his waist. As he followed them outside, he spotted a black Toyota Avalon waiting over on the curb. Once he got near, he saw another hooded figure at the wheel.

“Get in.”

As Philip entered from the back, the other two took the other side. Once seated, the one with a male voice then handed Philip a cup containing some sort of black liquid.

“What’s this?” he asked.

“Drink it and don’t ask any questions,” he shot back.

“Do you want to help your friends?” asked the driver.

Philip was annoyed at first, but then found it better to just go along for now. He took it in one gulp and made a grimacing expression. The stuff tasted horrible, like juices from rotten grapes. Seconds later, Philip felt himself feeling really drowsy.

“Wh-what…are you…guys?” he asked, in a weak voice.

“You will know soon enough,” came the reply. But it was so faint from the drug’s effects that Philip went out like a light.

The one driving the car took off the hood, revealing a young woman with long aquamarine hair with light green eyes. The person sitting next to her had brown hair and purple hair, while the guy that gave Philip the sleeping draft had black hair and blue eyes.

“Do you think it was necessary to do that to him Captain Lindy?” asked the one with brown hair.

“It’s the only way to not show them what we have up our sleeve Amy,” answered the one with black hair.

“That may be true; however…that boy appears to be the key to trying and solving this dilemma. Chrono…I’ll leave you with dealing the infiltration details,” replied Capt. Lindy.

“Understood Captain,” he replied, looking over at Philip’s sleeping form.

‘Hopefully he doesn’t do anything that compromises the mission.’

Over at the headquarters of the Fire Phoenix branch, Reo and Subaru were placed in a different holding cell than Nanoha was. While their holding cell had bars made from energy, Nanoha’s was a metal cage. Subaru looked at her with a sad look yet inside anger started to boil within her. They eventually saw her go from her werewolf form to her human form. She shivered from the coldness of the metal cage as well as the slight temperature drop within the building. She also slightly winced as the cold air made the wounds from the whips she had before sting. Some were still deep while the minor ones healed.

“That’s not just an insult…it’s disrespectful,” said Reo.

“I wouldn’t argue with you on that one,” said a voice.

“Who’s there?” wondered Subaru.

“Nothing but just us old folk,” said another voice.

The two of them looked over on the other holding cell and saw old men dressed in white robes with gold linings at the edge of the robes with a cross on the right side of the robe and a staff on the left side.

“The Holy Order Council members,” realized Reo, to which they nodded.

“How did you end up in here?” wondered Subaru.

Kaname was brought in by Commander Remington and Capt. Jason to the wide interrogation room where the Holy Order Council members were supposed to be seated.

“I have brought him like you requested,” said Commander Remington, bowing his head.
Kaname didn’t look at them but kept his eyes on the marble floor.

A figure robed in red stood up in the middle. Capt. Jason then looked around and noticed that something wasn’t right. Taking a small flashlight from his pocket, he shined them on the seats where the Council was supposed to sit. They were all empty.

“Where are the Council members?” wondered Capt. Jason.

“I had a feeling that you’d show up…Capt. Patrick,” said Kaname, slowly looking up.

“What? It can’t be…” began Commander Remington.

The robed figure then revealed himself, and it was indeed…Capt. Patrick standing before them.

“What is the meaning of this Patrick?” asked Kaname.

“Oh…didn’t Capt. Jason fill you in on the other details?” asked Capt. Patrick.

“What details?” he inquired.

“That’s enough Patrick!” shouted Capt. Jason.

“After you left the base, I did a bit of researching on my own regarding the ancient feud between vampire and lycans and found that some of them had certain…abilities,” he explained. “I decided to pay one of the vampire covens a visit…and…by just a stroke of luck…you arrived.”

“What is he mean?” asked Commander Remington.

“The two fugitives that were on the run…I had them with me. As I went to investigate something I came across after gathering some information I needed regarding my background, I decided to head over to a café to rest my mind a bit. It was there that I came across a vampire who asked about an item she dropped when she flew by me. I told her that I didn’t know where it went but I had a good guess. Later after I tried to rescue Dr. Reese from some rogue vampires, I eventually ran into that same vampire from the café. She and her teacher led me to their coven where I came across a werewolf being tortured and interrogated,” explained Kaname.

“You actually went INSIDE a vampire lair and came out of it unscathed?” asked Capt. Jason, incredulously. “How?”

“Yes…I’m quite curious myself. Tell me…do you really consider yourself to be…human, Kaname?” asked Capt. Patrick.

“No…I don’t. Now get to the point,” answered Kaname.

“Very well. After you left the place, I went inside and dispatched the guards and eventually came across…the leader,” explained the captain.

“Precia Testarossa,” replied Kaname.

“Oh…so you’ve met her have you?” asked the captain.

“Why would an idiot like you try to associate yourself with a vampire when paladins have been targeting them for years?” asked Capt. Jason.

“She actually asked me that very question, Jason. I simply told her that I had intel on something that probably would pique her interest,” answered Capt. Patrick.

“What would that be?” asked Commander Remington.

Capt. Patrick gave a wry smile and said simply, “The Crimson Fangs.”

“Those sound like crystals,” said Kaname.

“Exactly the word I was looking for,” said Capt. Patrick sarcastically.

“What would you know about them?” asked Kaname.

“Only that they contain a great source of power that is utilized for vampires. Precia told me that if I were to join her…she would let me use them on my troops,” he answered.

Kaname couldn’t help but reveal a smirk on his face as the realization dawned on him.

“What’s so funny?” asked Patrick.

The commander and Capt. Jason looked at Kaname in curiosity and confusion as he was laughing his head off.

“You have obviously NO clue as to what the true purpose is,” said Kaname.

“And I suppose that you…do?” asked Patrick, curious.

“They act as markers at certain points that when completed, will form a summoning circle,” answered Kaname.

“What exactly are the vampires trying to summon?” asked Commander Remington.

“More to the point…where are the Council members?” asked Capt. Jason.

“Oh…you mean those old fools. You see…they’ve been…put in storage,” he said.

“What is he talking about?” wondered Capt. Jason.

“He means that they’re locked up in a containment cell,” answered Kaname.

“You’re pretty bright…for a freelancer,” said Capt. Patrick.

“Why are you really here?” inquired Kaname.

“Simple…I want that pendant around your neck,” he replied.

“What pendant is he talking about?” asked Capt. Jason.

Kaname then slowly pulled out the half formed pendant around his neck.
“You don’t even know the significance of it,” said Kaname.

“You mean besides the fact that it acts as a key,” clarified Patrick.

“You’re right that it can act like a key…however…don’t think that I’ll just give it to you that easily,” said Kaname.

“I was expecting that,” said Patrick, as he pulled out a Makarov and was about to fire at Kaname before he was pushed out of the way by Commander Remington who ended up getting hit instead.

“Commander!” cried out Capt. Jason in alarm and anger.

“Traitor,” growled Kaname.

“Funny coming from the guy who associates himself with fugitives,” shot back Patrick.

“There was a certain reason why I hated your arrogant tone…now I remember why,” said Kaname, pulling out his P30R.

“I don’t think so…get them boys,” commanded Patrick. Seconds later, eight vampires stepped out from behind the chairs and had their guns pointed at them.

“Get the other men and the wounded out,” ordered Commander Remington.

“But sir…” began Capt. Jason.

“Don’t question me…just do it,” he said, his breathing slightly heavy.

Captain Jason was a bit hesitant at first before he felt Kaname put a hand on his shoulder.

“We should go,” he said.

Capt. Jason was still not moving for a brief moment and looked at the lying Commander before him.

Kaname was just about to go when the Commander called him.

“Kaname…wait,” he said. The commander then tossed Kaname his key card.

“What’s this?” wondered Kaname.

“That will get you to the holding cells. You and your friends get the others out of
here,” said Commander Remington.

“What about you?” asked Kaname.

“I will try and hold them off to buy you some time,” he replied.

“But you’ll die,” said Capt. Jason.

“Captain…if we are to honor his valiant efforts…we should do as he says,” answered Kaname, as he slowly backed away.

“Go,” shouted the Commander, as he took out a flash grenade from his pocket and tossed it. Capt. Jason and Kaname then ran out of the room when the grenade went off to try and get Reo and the others out. Capt. Jason they heard gunshots faintly and a slight groan of pain and looked back to see the small group of vampires coming after them. He took out his M1911 and began firing at some of the vampires, yet they quickly found cover as soon as the gun was taken out.

“Get to the others…I’ll try and evacuate the others,” said Capt. Jason.

“Best of luck to you,” said Kaname.

“You as well,” replied the captain.

“Oh…sorry about…you know…” began Kaname.

“Likewise,” said Capt. Jason.

As the two of them split up and went to their designated targets, so too did the vampire group. The first four went after Capt. Jason while the other half followed Kaname, their guns blazing.

Back over at the holding cells, Reo and Subaru could faintly hear some guns being fired off.

“What’s going on over there?” asked Paul, one of the Council members.

“Seems like a fight is going on,” answered Reo.

Suddenly, they heard the door to the holding cell opening and saw Kaname enter but he was also engaging a small group of vampires who were firing at him. He then quickly used the controls to lock the door.

“Kaname!” cried out Subaru with joy.

“Hang on…I’ll get you guys out in a sec,” he replied, quickly working at the controls. As soon as he got the code in to unlock the cells, Kaname then tossed Reo one of his P30R pistols as he then pointed it at the locks to the steel cages that contained Nanoha as well as her followers.

“How do we get out of here? That door is the only way out,” said Timaeus, another Council member.

“Not exactly,” answered Kaname. “When I was with them for a while, Capt. Suzuki once handed me a layout of the entire base. There’s a secret passageway from here that leads to a pathway which branches off. One of the two pathways that branch from here leads to the main hall while the other leads to the hangar.”

“Seriously?” asked Subaru.

“We can help,” said Nanoha, coming to join them.

“How? You barely possess any weapons,” said a third Council member.

“They’re lycans…your excellency,” answered Kaname.

“Why would you associate yourself with these…” began Paul.

“Don’t…even…go there,” said Subaru.

“Look…I don’t know how else to explain this but…something else has gone afoot.

Besides the fact that Capt. Patrick has betrayed us and has associated himself with the vampires,” said Kaname. “Reo…Subaru…I need you two to protect the Council members.”

“Why should I have to protect them?” asked Reo.

“If you promise to trust these people…will you drop the charges and let them go?” asked Kaname, facing Paul.

Paul was silent for a few moments, before a sudden explosion caught them by surprise. Luckily…the door itself was thick enough to withstand the blast.

“Alright…we’ll let them go,” said Paul.

“I have your word on this as a member of the Holy Order Council?” asked Kaname.
Paul then raised his right hand as he faced Kaname. “You have my word as a follower of the Lord and a servant of humanity that I will let them go free.”

“Very well,” said Kaname.

Seconds later, another explosion could be heard as the attempt to break the door was unsuccessful.

“Thank you Kaname,” said Subaru.

“We really appreciate it,” said Reo. He then turned to the Council members. “Stay with us and you’ll be safe.”

“We’ll help out as well,” said Nanoha.

“I had a feeling you would,” said Kaname. “You seem to lead pretty well so I suggest that we split up. Have one half of your team support Capt. Jason as he tries to get the other paladins out. Nanoha and the remaining half will cover Reo and Subaru as they get the Holy Order Council members out of here.”

Suddenly, slight static could be heard from within the speakers as someone tried to make contact with them.

“…anyone…me…here...send…aid,” came the transmission.

“Can you try and amplify the signal?” asked Reo.

“It’s coming from near here…probably outside,” said Kaname, as he tried to readjust the signal a bit.

“We better hurry. Those vampires could come in and tear this place apart,” said Subaru.

After a minute, Kaname tried to readjust the signal strength but found it a bit difficult to get it to the correct frequency.

“If anyone can hear me, I’m here to send aid,” said the transmission.

“This is Kaname Zenryuu of the Fire Phoenix branch, codename Shadow. Please identify,” commanded Kaname.

“This is Chrono Harlaown of the Holy Sword special division. We’ve been sent by the Holy Order Council to help you,” he said.

“You timing couldn’t have been better sir. There’s been a betrayal here and a small group of vampires are currently inside and are probably causing some casualties already,” explained Kaname. “Where is your team Chrono?”

“We’re currently outside the hangar trying to fend off a small wave of vampires
converging on here,” he replied.

“I have some people that need extraction. Some of my friends are going to be heading to the hangar. I’ll try and draw their attention while you get the others out,” answered Kaname.

“Understood…be careful and good hunting,” said Chrono.

“Likewise,” he replied.

“Some of my kind needs weapons though in order to help,” said Nanoha.

“Don’t worry…I’ve got you guys covered. On the first basement level, it leads to a small corridor that branch off to the right at the end. Go right from there and it will lead you to the arms room,” explained Kaname.

As Reo and Subaru led the Holy Order Council members out, and some of the werewolves followed them, Nanoha then stood near Kaname as he worked on the controls for the lock on the door. Kaname then was about to hand Nanoha one of his shotguns when he saw her take off the red gem from the chain and it produced a gun of her own. The resemblance of the gun was similar to that of a Smith and Wesson Model 460V revolver, except that the body of the gun was red and the chamber had magic cartridges loaded.

“Nice,” he said.

“Thanks,” she replied.

“Kaname…you better get here quick. Things are starting to get real ugly. Some four-legged creature is trying to tear down the barricade. I’m not sure how much longer it will hold,” called out Capt. Jason via com-link.

“Hang in there captain, I’m on my way,” said Kaname, as he finished inputting the code. Seconds later, Kaname pulled out a flash grenade and turned to Nanoha as he released the holding pin.

“You might want to turn away real quick.” As soon as the doors opened, he tossed the flash grenade and quickly turned away as it went off and blinded the vampires, throwing off their shots as the door opened. As soon as the bright flash faded away, Nanoha and Kaname quickly turned around and began dispatching the small vampire group. Kaname decided to lead as he went past the intelligence room with Nanoha and some of her followers following behind. Whenever a vampire suddenly popped up, Kaname quickly dispatched it with his shotgun and did a quick reload afterwards. After passing the main hall and turning left from an upcoming corner in the corridor leading to the main hall, he found the elevator, Kaname pushed the down button as he waited for the elevator to come down.

Nanoha could hear the angered hissing of vampires coming from behind and whirled around to see the four-legged creature that Capt. Jason was referring to. She pointed her revolver at the creature and fired a few shots, which then formed a quick flash of light before the round suddenly went to an arrow form and struck down its target, disintegrating it completely. Seconds later, the sudden ping indicating the elevator arrived sounded.

Once opened, Nanoha and her team then entered as Kaname then handed her a tracking device so that they would know where he was. After Nanoha and her team had left, Kaname then headed over to where Capt. Jason was and passed the main hall once more and found an emergency exit door.

He opened it and went down a couple flights of stairs until he reached the third basement floor and opened it. From there, Kaname followed the corridor until he could hear the hissing and growling from the vampires that were already at the door. He saw the exact same creatures that he shot down as he headed over to Kyoto.
They eventually turned around and saw Kaname as he fired several rounds from his two P30R pistols at their heads, turning them to ash. He then opened the door where the wounded were being treated and saw Capt. Jason as well as a few of the survivors of the fight that occurred over at Kyoto.

“Nice timing Kaname,” said Capt. Jason.

“Thanks. You should tell them to keep close and head over to the hangar where the fugitives and the Holy Order Council members are probably already waiting. A special branch from the Holy Order has come to lend a hand,” explained Kaname.

“What about you?” asked a paladin named Thomas.

“I’ll cover you guys as you head over to the hangar,” he answered.

As they all made their way back up to the first floor from using the emergency exit and going up a couple flights of stairs, Kaname filled Capt. Jason with the current details as to what occurred.

“I see. So they promised to drop the charges on your friends and let them go if they trusted them to get out of here,” said Capt. Jason.

“That pretty much sums it up there,” said Kaname, as he opened the door to the first floor.

What was waiting for them shocked Capt. Jason and the remaining paladin soldiers. The main hall room was filled with both vampires and those four-legged creatures which suddenly spotted them.

“Oh dear…this is going to get messy,” said Capt. Jason. Three of the four-legged creatures were about to converge on them when shots suddenly rang out as they turned suddenly to ash when they reached them.

Kaname looked at where the gunfire had come from and saw Nanoha and her team return with guns in hand. He also noticed Nanoha sporting a broadsword on her left side.

“Nice timing,” said Kaname.

“Captain, Kaname-kun…get to the hangar. We’ll try and hold them off as long as possible,” said Nanoha.

“Good luck,” said Capt. Jason.

As they raced through the horde while Nanoha and her team provided cover fire, Kaname then took a quick right and Capt. Jason and the others followed suit. Vampire kept jumping out from nowhere as they headed to the hangar which made Kaname and the others have to react quickly in terms of dispatching them. One paladin wasn’t so lucky as he got shot several times, including at the chest from an unseen vampire that popped out from behind a corner. Kaname shot that one down easily. By the time they reached the hangar, several black vehicles, including Kaname’s motorcycle, were there waiting. Kaname eventually spotted Philip who was backing up the others by using illusion projections to help combat the vampires that were attacking them as a distraction. He also spotted a young man with black hair, presumably Chrono, who was also helping out with the escape.

“Seems like everyone has been accounted for…let’s roll,” said Chrono, as he got inside the Toyota Avalon. The Council members, as well as Reo, Subaru, and some members of Nanoha’s team were in three silver Audi Q5s and Kaname was with Nanoha on his motorcycle. As they pulled away, several vampires kept shooting at the vehicles as they tried to get away. Several explosions could be heard as the base where the Fire Phoenix branch was situated at went up in flames.

“That was too close,” said Nanoha.

“We’ll have to find other means of trying to set up a base of operations,” said Kaname.

“You can stay with us for the time being Kaname,” said a voice.

Kaname looked at his visor and saw a young woman with aquamarine hair and light green eyes greeting him.

“I’m Captain Lindy Harlaown and the leader of the Holy Sword special branch,” she said, introducing herself.

“Nice to meet you m’am,” he replied.

As they headed through the streets of Tokyo and through the Shibuya district, they eventually found themselves heading towards the old neighborhoods. The black Toyota Avalon then parked near a driveway which was near an alley and the others eventually followed suit.

Once everyone disembarked, Capt. Lindy Harlaown then introduced Chrono and Amy to Kaname and the others and explained the current situation that has transpired.

“As you may have already known, Capt. Patrick has betrayed the Holy Order and is now joining forces with a vampire coven leader,” said Lindy.

“We’ve been keeping an eye out of any suspicious activity that could cause any complications for quite some time,” added Chrono, as he pushed a flower marking on a lightpost, revealing a hidden passageway near where Reo and Subaru were standing. As they headed downstairs, Kaname then filled Capt. Lindy Harlaown with the details up to the confrontation with Capt. Patrick.

“This is where we would normally operate,” said Chrono, inputting a code into a lock. The door lifted up revealing a huge room that to Kaname…looked a little similar to his own, except for a few things such as a conference room, several garage holdings, and a communications room.

“You guys said that you’re a special branch, like you’re similar to that of the Holy Order Council,” said Philip.

“They commissioned us because of our unique talents and skills,” answered Chrono.

“How can we be sure that you guys are here to help?” asked Kaname.

“Because I was the one that enlisted their aid to help you guys,” said a voice. Kaname, Capt. Jason, Philip, Reo, and Subaru as well as Nanoha turned to the person speaking. The hooded figure then stepped out of the shadows and stood near Chrono.

“Is she an ally or a spy?” wondered Subaru.

The cloaked person finally took off the hood, unveiling a stunningly beautiful young woman with dark red hair and silver eyes. Kaname immediately recognized those eyes and his partner noticed he had the exact same as she did.

“They’re the same…then that means…” began Philip.

“Hello Kaname,” she said.

Kaname stared long and hard and was shocked for a brief second before he uttered the word that surprised them all.

“Mother?”

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Very nice Kana, very nice. I want to point out though, I'd like to keep the chase for my character going by the paladin order. You may have it made so the Council Members drop the charges, but no one said how long, now did they (hint, hint). Anyways, I can't wait to see how this turns out, the vampires seem to be on a city wide attack, and the lycans also seem to be allied with the Paladin Order. Also, your OCs mother seems to be introduced, that is interesting to me, so I can't wait, again, to see where this goes.

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Kharn Valnikov's picture
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also can't wait for the story :)

Call me Kharn Valnikov, it is who I am.

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Posts: 658

*Gasp*

Cliffhanger! :D

Nothing cures insomnia like the realization that it's time to get up. ~Author Unknown

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Ch. 6: Revelations & Reunion

Everyone else, except for Chrono, Amy, and Lindy, stared at Kaname first, and then the young woman in front of them and then back at Kaname. Nobody spoke a word for almost like…a couple of minutes before Kaname broke the silence.

“Is it really you?” asked Kaname.

“Yes…it’s me,” she replied.

A huge tidal wave of emotion suddenly washed over him as he almost felt glued to the spot and was almost at a loss for words. Without a second thought, he rushed up to his mother and embraced her.

“I’m happy for you…partner,” said Philip.

“You’ve grown Kaname,” she said. Looking up for a brief moment, she then saw the small group that gathered near him, their faces mixed with a feeling of confusion and surprise. Kaname then let go of his mother and tried to regain his composure.

“My name is Selendia,” she said, introducing herself. “I was the former Queen of the Crescent Quartet.”

“Queen?” wondered Nanoha.

“The Crescent Quartet?” wondered Philip.

“Those that were part of this family had a certain insignia on their right hand. Siblings would have a mirrored image of a particular insignia on their right hand,” replied a familiar voice.

“I’d recognize that voice easily,” said Kaname.

He turned to his left and then spotted a familiar hooded young man coming out from the shadows. It was the same person with long blonde hair, light green eyes, was wearing glasses, a green vest with faded gold lining at the edges, and a light brown cloak.

“Ah…Yunno Scrya, the archivist that I’ve heard about,” acknowledged Philip.

“That would be me,” he said.

“Capt. Lindy Harlaown, Chrono, and Amy have been taking care of me and Mr. Scrya while waiting on you guys,” explained Selendia.

“We managed to rescue Capt. Suzuki and her group as well. All the ones that were injured during the evacuation are currently being tended to,” added Capt. Lindy Harlaown.

“Those four-legged creatures that we fought back there were quite a hindrance,” said Capt. Jason. “What were those things?”

“They’re called Devourers. As their name suggests, they use their tongues to rope in their victim and then…when their spiked tendrils snap shut, it kills the victim and then devour them,” answered Capt. Lindy.

“That sounds pretty messy,” he said.

“That should be the least of your problems,” said Chrono, turning on several monitors.

What Kaname and the others saw caught them completely by surprise. Rows of capsules filled with people that had tubes attached to their bodies in some sort of preserving liquid.

“Who would do such an inhumane thing?” asked Subaru.

“According to our intelligence…several paladin captains have held a grudge against the Council and have secretly hunted down both sides to try and extract some tissue samples from them in hopes of creating some serum that would apply the abilities from either sides in hopes of creating super soldiers,” explained Lindy.

“So someone has been making secret deals with both sides and they didn’t even know about it,” said Nanoha.

“By using scientists to do this type of whack job,” added Capt. Jason.

“Why would paladin captains have a grudge against the Council? They’re usually the ones that maintain the balance and order within the branches,” reasoned Philip.

“Unless some have an argument on how they have been handling the current situation by lying to the citizens about the oncoming storm,” said Reo, leaning against a wall in the dark.

“Already some of the vampire covens have been in an uproar,” added Kaname.

“How many?” asked Chrono.

“Besides the one I came out of…I’m not sure,” he replied. “However…after the mass city attack from before, they suddenly just went back after someone fired a signal flare ordering a retreat.”

“Capt. Patrick also mentioned something called Crimson Fangs. What are those?” asked Reo.

“Those were considered to be a myth at first…but…it’s something that neither side should get their hands on,” said Selendia.

“What do you know of them mother?” asked Kaname.

“They do contain the essence of dark magic, however…if a vampire or lycan ever got into contact with one of them…it could make them go insane,” she explained.

“What origin are they?” asked Capt. Lindy.

“Demonic,” she replied.

“But…aren’t vampires and lycans not affected by demons?” asked Capt. Jason.

“They’re affected by weapons of their enemies, as for modern paladins, regular bullets don’t always cut it. If it was a bullet specifically designed for them…then it would hurt…a lot. In the case of werewolves…they heal from the regular rounds of guns…but if it had silver in it…it would take even longer to heal. Two or three rounds would be poison to them,” explained Selendia.

“Although…not all can be killed from a few shots and some can be immune to the effects of solar bullets.”

“What are those?” asked Reo.

“They’re bullets that have been specially designed to kill vampires,” explained Chrono.

“But most vampires are usually unaffected by the sun,” argued Nanoha.

“Not if it was from the inside out,” answered Kaname. “They’re weakened from the direct contact of the sun. It drains their energy and the longer a vampire is in direct contact with the sun, they get weaker and weaker.”

“Would UV lights have the same effects?” asked Philip.

“The sun does have UV rays so I don’t see why those type of lights wouldn’t have the same effect,” answered Chrono.

“What kind of vampires would not be harmed by the sun or our weapons?” asked Subaru.

Kaname’s mother was silent for a few moments when her eyes closed. Kaname was also still which didn’t go unnoticed by the others.

“The vampire Elders,” they replied.

“Vampires that have been ruling our kind for centuries, the Elders occasionally rotate as to who will rule the various covens,” explained Selendia.

“Mother…I was wondering about one particular vampire…however…her methods sound so unorthodox…and yet…I’m not sure if she is one,” said Kaname.

“Who are you referring to?” she asked.

“Precia Testarossa,” he replied.

“You mean THAT vampire?” asked Chrono, incredulously.

“You recognize her?” asked Reo.

“She’s been obsessed with trying to find ways to bring back her dead daughter who was killed by a paladin after she attack a human,” explained Capt. Lindy.

Kaname became still once more as his eyes were closed as he leaned against the cold wall of the base. He suddenly felt that familiar sensation with the insignia on his right arm and his eyes went silver.

“Somehow…when I was down there…I felt a strange power come over me. I spoke a different language, and yet they seem to understand it somehow,” said Kaname.

“Also…I noticed that the one named Fate…might just be a mimic of Precia’s deceased daughter, but…something doesn’t add up.”

“What is that?” asked Capt. Jason.

“How did they become vampires in the first place?” asked Kaname.

“Your guess is as good as mine,” said Reo.

“This language that you speak of…how old exactly is it?” asked Nanoha.

“Centuries old, young one,” answered Selendia.

“There’s one thing that’s been bothering me ever since we came here,” said Philip.

“What is it partner?” asked Kaname.

“Why is it that they seem interested in you, Kaname?” he asked.

“I’m not sure,” said Kaname.

“My son…we need to talk in private for a bit,” said Selendia.

“There’s a small study room on the second floor on the right,” offered Chrono.

“Thank you,” replied Kaname, as he followed his mother up.

As they headed up, Kaname noticed a few other things that were different from his own underground base. There was a good-sized medic room where the injured were being treated as well as an interrogation room a few feet beside it. By the time they got to the study room, which also doubled as a war room, both Kaname and his mother were pretty far that the other wouldn’t be able to hear in on the conversation. The study room had a couple of bookshelves which were filled with rows of books from various topics. There was a table in the middle that could be used to study. A couple of old red chairs were right beside the bookshelves as they sat down.

“What exactly was it that you wanted to tell me?” asked Kaname.

“I wanted to apologize for having you adopted but…I thought it would be safer that way,” she said.

“I always knew that at some point I would want to know who my real parents were. Now that I’ve found you, I’m just missing the other half of the puzzle,” said Kaname. “Was there any specific reason why you put me up for adoption?”

“If the various covens knew what you had and what you were worth…they’d be causing one hell of a bloodshed to get their hands on you,” explained Selendia.

“Why exactly am I so particularly important?” wondered Kaname. “How is it that they know of our bloodline anyway?”

“They already know of our existence and they thought the last of our line had died...and you can also read the language of the Fallen,” said Selendia. “However, there’s something else you need to know as well, my son.”

“What is it mother?” asked Kaname.

She was silent for a brief moment before facing him. “You have a brother.”

Kaname was slightly stunned before the reminder that Yunno told him before came back, and quickly took off the glove on his right hand revealing the symbol.

“He has the mirrored image then,” realized Kaname. “Who is he?”

“Before I tell you…let me tell you a little story,” said Selendia. “Centuries ago, there was a feud within the vampire ranks, particularly with a particular royal family. The Elder Arvantus found out that his daughter was fraternizing with one of the common folk.”

“Lycans?” wondered Kaname.

“No…this one was human,” she answered. “Arvantus tried to find his daughter, but she didn’t realize that she ran away into hiding. He then sent a search party after her and place the human in confinement. She gave birth and eventually crossed over into lycan territory and came across a small village that was separate from the forest and found an old couple and asked if they would watch over the child. Once it was taken in, she went back into the forest not realizing that the lycans were closing in as well as the search party. Not wanting to be taken by the lycans or the search party…she did the most unimaginable act a vampire would do.”

“What happened?” asked Kaname.

“She killed herself,” replied Selendia.

“This…human that she fraternized with…who was he?” asked Kaname.

“He was a vampire hunter,” she said.

Kaname’s eyes went wide and became shocked at the information.
“You don’t seem to believe me,” said Selendia.

“I’m just surprised that’s all. What could cause her to fraternize with a hunter of all people?” asked Kaname.

“This one actually was different from most. He recognized that the vampires who didn’t follow the politics of the vampire clan and strayed from their masters would run rampant and hunted them. Either they captured or were killed. Those that found him reported back to the Elders as to what they had witnessed. Arvantus eventually found out about him…after biting her,” explained Selendia.

“What good would that do?” asked Kaname.

“From doing that…the blood would be able to allow the drinker to look into the memories of the other,” answered Selendia.

Kaname was silent for a moment before he mentally put the pieces together and looked at his mother with the same shock and surprise as when he first saw her.

You…you were the one that was adopted by that old couple,” said Kaname, to which she nodded. “What happened to the couple?”

“They died…from old age. I was eventually found by Arvantus who noticed that I looked similar to his deceased daughter,” she said.

“So the one that committed suicide…was my grandmother,” realized Kaname.

“Yes…that was her,” said Selendia. “He then brought me over to Dragomar, his brother, who also ruled over another coven. We eventually married and a couple of years later…I was with child.”

“My other brother,” guessed Kaname.

“The Crimson Council which consists of the various Elders from the covens they control kept stability and order. The Holy Order Council didn’t know of our existence until a low level vampire suddenly went rampant in the human world. I went to confront it until some paladins thought I was one as well after I confronted the rouge vampire, were it not for Dragomar,” she continued. “He eventually explained our reason for being here, but some of the higher ups in the paladin ranks saw us differently. Eventually, they were targeting both vampires and werewolves and put the blame on us were it not for another event that changed how all three of us saw things.”

“Is this when beastmen started appearing?” asked Kaname.

“Yes. We actually got just as interested about these beings and sent out a small group to investigate. Apparantly…they were almost as primitive as the humans were and saw us as a threat the same way humans did. Even though we tried to gain their trust and explained that humans were labeling us the same way, they just drove us away, explaining that they didn’t want our help. Eventually, when the paladins began targeting them, they formed a temporary alliance with us and we managed to drive the paladins back. One of the paladin leaders thought they would have a war on their hands…until we eventually stumbled across something interesting in the beastmen archives. One of the beastmen elders that resembled an old wolf explained the history of how they came into being through a strange event that occurred when they stumbled across glowing crystals in a cave,” explained Selendia.

“This was…when they were first human?” asked Kaname, to which Selendia nodded.

“These…crystals…they weren’t…related to the Crimson Fangs, were they?”

“No…they were not. The way how these were described was that they were vibrant, green, and warm. However…something happened when they brought them back. They began to act a bit strange when the full moon came out and those that were afflicted by a bite from either a vampire or werewolf strangely…became better when those crystals were near them,” continued Selendia.

“So…what happened to these people?” asked Kaname.

“They eventually began to take animal form but…they stood on two legs,” she answered. “Eventually, the Holy Order Council cast them out and eventually formed their own tribes.”

“I’m guessing at some point they were perceived as threats?” inquired Kaname.

“Yes…which is the reason why we eventually formed a temporary alliance with them,” answered Selendia. “The werewolves on the other hand…were more…reliable with them. They understood just as easily as vampires did, only because when the sun rose, they went back to human form. Beastmen however…were stuck as they were.”

“What about the vampires and werewolves…how did they fit into the picture?” asked Kaname.

“There are a few scrolls that the archivist, Yunno Scrya managed to salvage regarding our race…some has been transcribed into book form,” she replied.

“Speaking of which mother…did you get this information when Yunno told you all this?” asked Kaname.

Selendia gave a slight surprised expression which confirmed Kaname’s suspicion.
“I thought so,” he said.

“Hey now…only some of the information was from him,” she shot back.

“So…the other half of it…you actually knew?” wondered Kaname.

“That’s right,” she replied.

Kaname was silent for a moment tapping the bottom of his chin for a few seconds as his mind began to process the information that he was currently given. His thoughts traveled back to when his mother mentioned she was the Queen of the Crimson Quartet.

“Precia Testarossa said something about a royal family called the Crimson Blade…is that another name for the Crimson Quartet?” asked Kaname.

“You catch on pretty quick my son. She’s actually right about that,” said Selendia.

“So…why is it that I was never told about this?” asked Kaname.

“If they knew that you, your brother, and I were the last of the line…then they would use any means necessary to obtain you,” she replied.

“Who’s ‘they’?” inquired Kaname.

Selendia was quiet for a moment before saying, “The agents of the Dark One.”

“Whoa…wait a second…are you saying that they’re after me?!” asked Kaname,
incredulously. His mother gave him a slight nod.

“There’s also a prophecy that has also been recently uncovered about someone that will eventually tip the scales of power by unleashing a torrent of evil upon the world and that only people that control light and dark would be able to fight it,” she added.

“How can you be sure of that?” asked Kaname.

“Because my son…you are one of them,” she replied.

Kaname sank back into the chair and tried to comprehend what his mother had just told him but found it a bit hard to believe.

“There’s got to be some mistake,” he said.

“There’s no mistake,” said Selendia.

“So…why was I told that you were killed when you had me if you were actually alive?” asked Kaname.

“Because…of what I had done years ago,” she answered.

“What you did?” inquired Kaname. “Was it some form of punishment?”

Kaname’s mother turned away for a brief moment before she felt her son put a hand on her right shoulder in a reassuring way. “It’s OK mother. You don’t have to tell me.”

“No…you deserve to know…about your family history,” she said. “You see…what changed for me was when I saw a little beastman who lost its way as I was heading out on patrol one night and a few werewolves were about to attack until I intervened. I managed to drive them off but not until another werewolf snuck up from behind and that’s when I met…your father.”

“I don’t understand,” said Kaname.

“He was…a specialized hunter sent by the Holy Order Council, and his name was Timaeus. After he drove off the werewolf, when he saw that I was protecting the young beastman his point of view changed on how he saw the afflicted,” explained Selendia. “We were eventually drawn to each other time and again. He told me that he understood the reason for me having to do my job and that he only went for those that acted ‘out of line’. In short…he targeted rogues like I did but what really got me curious about him was that he didn’t kill unless he felt he was in danger. There were times when I wanted to know more about how he saw things differently and we sometimes saw each other in secret. Dragomar eventually found out about our relationship and was infuriated that he confronted him one night and warned him that if he ever came near me again, that he would kill him.”

“Did you love him?” asked Kaname.

“Yes…I did,” she said, barely even a whisper.

“You were punished…because of love?” he wondered, to which Selendia nodded.

Kaname was stunned at first from what his mother told him and slightly angered; stunned because of the sting of betrayal, and angered because of the cold heartedness of Dragomar.

“Your father was a great man…and Dragomar granted him one last request before his life was taken,” said Selendia.

“What was his request?” asked Kaname.

“To play a musical piece…one he made himself…from his violin,” she replied. “I tried to stop Dragomar from torturing your father any further…and that was when I was punished. Most of my power was taken away from me as well as my status.”

“I’m sorry,” said Kaname.

“No…I’m the one who should be sorry for leaving you,” said his mother.
“You were trying to protect me…now I should do the same,” said Kaname.

“You don’t have to do it alone,” said a voice.

Kaname turned his head and saw Yunno coming into the study room.

“I’m sorry for intruding but…I only overheard the last part. As a matter of fact, she already told me the story when I found her…in a cave,” said the archivist.

“Seriously?” inquired Kaname, to which he nodded. “Great. So what else has been left out that I wasn’t told about?”

“I was about to tell you about those Crimson Fangs that Capt. Patrick mentioned when he turned traitor,” answered Yunno.

That immediately caught Kaname’s attention.

“Besides the fact that they’re demonic in origin, what other details are missing?” inquired Kaname.

“They can sometimes make non-demons go mad and run amuck,” answered Yunno.

“Wait…does that include…” began Kaname, to which Yunno nodded. “Holy…”

“What is it?” asked Selendia.

“That explains the huge mass attack from earlier,” answered Kaname. “Someone must have obtained one and has been using it to drive them mad.”

“What exactly are you trying to get at, son?” she asked.

“I’m saying that there’s something bigger going on than just Capt. Patrick betraying us. Was there anything else that caused problems for the paladins, vampires, and werewolves that caused conflicts between them?” asked Kaname. “Anything at all?”

“The only thing I can recall from the information I’ve looked up is that the mass attack happened around 6:00 p.m. and that according to an old scroll I found…these Crimson Fangs not only point to where the next one is…but also on a full moon has a strange effect when in range of non-demonic creatures,” explained Yunno.

“Such as losing control and going berserk on a city?” suggested Kaname.

“So it would appear,” he replied.

Meanwhile, back downstairs Reo and Subaru explained their situation to Chrono and Capt. Lindy Harlaown while Amy was working on monitoring for anything suspicious and Philip handle the communications. The Holy Order Council members took refuge in the conference room.

“It seems that you’re almost no different than from Timaeus,” said Chrono.

“Who?” wondered Reo.

“Kaname’s father who was a paladin hunter that captured or took down rouges no matter what kind,” answered Capt. Lindy. “His mother is probably already explaining it to him.”

“But…vampires don’t usually get along with humans…paladins in particular,” said Subaru.

“Their…meeting was…unfortunately…a tragic one,” said Capt. Lindy.

“According to the rules of vampires, even those of noble lineage, mingling with the commoners is forbidden and siding with them is unforgivable. Selendia broke that rule and as a result…she lost her status and powers,” explained Chrono.

“That is tragic,” said Reo.

“She cared about him so much that she was willing to risk her status to save him. Unfortunately, he died after they barely managed to escape,” added Capt. Lindy.

“I’ll understand if you’re trying to explain about my family tree for educational purposes…but there are bigger problems right now,” said Kaname, as he came out of the study room, along with his mother and Yunno.

“Such as…” inquired Reo.

“During the battle, did you notice that the vampires were retreating after seeing a flare go off?” asked Kaname.

“Yeah…so, what are you implying?” asked Capt. Jason.

“The Crimson Fangs…I’m presuming that’s one of the reason why they were retreating,” answered Kaname.

“Capt. Patrick mentioned about them and how he made a foolish deal with Precia,” said Capt. Jason.

“Well…you’ll find that he isn’t the only fool,” said Kaname. “According to the knowledge my mother has shared with me…these crystals are of demonic origin. We’re not sure as to how many there are, but it’s possible that there are seven of them.”

“But if they’re of demonic origin…wouldn’t paladins be able to handle them by destroying them?” suggested Subaru.

“I wish it were that simple…however…non-demonic creatures such as humans would somehow lose their minds and go out of control,” said Kaname.

“When were they first found?” asked Nanoha.

“They appeared to be encased in a container that conceals its power, yet the power can still radiate from within it,” answered Yunno.

“Did you feel an odd presence when you were found over at that vampire coven, Nanoha?” asked Kaname.

“I could faintly sense something…luckily…my device managed to shield me from it, despite the stings from the torture I underwent,” she answered.

“Why were they torturing you?” asked Capt. Jason.

“I think the word you’re looking for is…interrogation, captain,” clarified Kaname.

“I wanted to try and help Fate-chan,” said Nanoha.

Kaname then heard Amy calling him and headed over to the monitors. His eyes went wide when he saw the person that was shown on the screens.

“What is she doing waiting outside?” asked Capt. Jason.

Fate was waiting outside near where the cars were looking around, as though looking for someone.

“More importantly…who is she waiting for?” added Reo.

“I think I know who,” said Kaname, as he was about to head outside.

“Where do you think you’re going?” asked Chrono.

“Where does it look like?” answered Kaname.

“Kaname…she’s a strong vampire that could overpower you,” warned Capt. Lindy.

“She wouldn’t have come here if she didn’t have a reason to…and for the record…” began Kaname, as his eyes turned to silver. “She’s a copy.”

“What?” wondered Subaru.

“I’m going with you,” said Nanoha.

“You can’t …it’s not a good idea,” said Chrono.

“Let her go…besides…she wanted to try and help her…despite the long ancient feud between the two races,” said Kaname, as Nanoha followed behind him.

The cold air from the night wind blew past Fate as she leaned against the lamppost near the cars. She suddenly heard a slight grinding sound as a concrete wall moved over to the side and readied her weapon, Bardiche, which had now taken the form of a scythe.

“Easy Fate…I didn’t come here to hurt you,” said Kaname, coming out.

“Fate-chan…” called out Nanoha behind him.

“Why is she here?” asked Fate, still in a defensive stance, scythe pointed towards him.

Chrono noticed Fate in her defensive stance and was about to head out when Selendia stopped him.

“I’m heading out there,” he said.

“Wait…let’s listen to what she has to say. It could be important,” she replied.

“Did you not notice the way she was staring at you when she was being tortured? I looked at the way she was looking at you and saw your reaction,” answered Kaname.

“We need to talk,” said Fate.

“I’m sure,” said Kaname. “Tell me…how did you get here without having the coven notice?”

“I snuck out,” she answered.

Nanoha was a bit surprised, but the others were not.

“How can I be sure that what you say is true?” asked Kaname.

Kaname watched with intent as he then saw her bend on one knee and looked at him, imploringly.

“Because I need your help,” she replied. “Son of the Crimson Quartet.”

“Did she just say what I think she said?” asked Capt. Jason.

“How could she have known about them?” wondered Subaru.

“Did you really think that humans were the only one who had historical archives?” inquired Philip.

“What are you getting at Philip?” asked Reo.

“Vampires also had their own historical archives, but their information is scattered…leaving only traces regarding certain lineages and history. More than likely, she came across it at some point before coming here,” answered Yunno.

“Alright…I’m willing to lend an ear to what you have to say,” said Kaname.

“What?!” exclaimed Chrono.

“He can’t be serious,” said Reo.

“I’ve seen that look before…and it means that he is serious,” replied Philip.

“Thank you,” said Fate, to which Kaname gave a silent acknowledging nod, as he found the switch which led to the underground base and activated it.

“Easy guys…I know you’re uneasy of me bringing her in there but I implore you…lend an ear to her story.”

“I’m willing to listen,” said Subaru.

“As am I,” added Nanoha.

“Even though she is a vampire…I will listen to what she has to say,” said Philip.

“As will I,” replied Capt. Jason.

Chrono and Capt. Lindy concurred with the others as they then turned to Reo who seemed uncertain at first.

“I didn’t judge Subaru based on her appearance so I don’t see why I should listen,” said Reo.

“That sounds extremely ironic, Reo,” said Philip. “Just because you think vampires aren’t what they seem…should you really judge based on what you presume you know about them like you did with beastmen?”

This caught Reo slightly off guard as he averted his gaze to the ground for a brief moment before facing the others who were waiting for his response.

“Alright…I’ll listen to her story,” said Reo.

Seconds later, they heard footsteps coming down as Kaname led Fate down to the first floor of the underground base.

“It’s nice to meet you all,” she said, bowing.

Selendia noticed Nanoha moving towards Fate who slightly recoiled back, but Kaname placed a reassuring hand on Fate’s shoulder and gave a nod, indicating that she wasn’t a threat.

“You’re Nanoha?” inquired Fate.

“That’s right…Fate-chan,” replied Nanoha.

Fate looked around at her surroundings and then spotted Kaname’s mother. The two looked at each other for a brief moment before Fate walked over to her and paid her respect by kneeling on one knee and taking her right hand.

“It’s an honor to meet you, your Highness,” she said.

“Please Fate…there’s no need for formalities,” said Selendia. “Raise your head so I can get a good look at you.”

“Yes…m’am,” replied Fate.

“Please…call me Selendia,” she answered.

“Of course…Selendia.”

“So…how did you sneak out without the coven noticing?” asked Capt. Jason.

“You know that most sleep during the day and come out by night, right?” inquired Philip.

“Yeah…I know about that,” he replied.

“I left in the early morning while the others were asleep,” she answered.

“Sneaking out in daylight?!...but you would need a really thick cloak to block out the sun’s rays,” said Reo.

“Bright colors reflect the sun’s rays while dark colors absorb it. I’m used to the heat, but I sometimes go into alleyways to cool down,” explained Fate.

“There’s been one question I’ve wanted to ask,” said Chrono.

“Why are her eyes red which usually indicate bloodlust but she’s not showing it?” guessed Selendia.

“You catch on really quick mother,” said Kaname.

“I am a vampire, my son. Of course I know about this,” said Selendia. “Do you know the reason?”

“I heard him say that…she’s a copy of Precia-san’s deceased daughter,” answered Nanoha.

“What exactly did you mean by that?”asked Chrono. “Do you even have any proof?”

“I don’t know how I came to that conclusion, but somehow…this pendant along with this mark has made me act in an odd way,” said Kaname, taking out the half made pendant and taking off his right hand glove revealing the image of the double-shaded flower.

“That pendant that you’re wearing Kaname…was worn by the previous King,” said Fate.

“What?!” exclaimed Capt. Lindy, Chrono, and Amy.

“You’re joking,” said Capt. Jason.

“That’s impossible,” said Reo.

“How’s is that related to the previous King?” wondered Nanoha.

“Because I gave it to him when I left him up for adoption,” said Selendia.

“I was told from my foster parents that it was an heirloom of my grandmother,” said Kaname.

“They were partially right,” said Selendia.

“What do you mean mother?” asked Kaname.

“That belonged to your grandfather, who passed it down to your first father,” explained Selendia.

“Whoa…that’s crazy,” said Capt. Jason.

“No argument there,” said Chrono.

“How did she come across that information?” wondered Nanoha.

“We have our own archive regarding vampire history,” answered Fate.

“No wonder she knew about our lineage,” said Kaname.

“There’s something that’s been pestering at me for quite a while now,” said Chrono.

“What would that be?” asked Reo.

“Do they know the real purpose of the Crimson Fangs?” he inquired.

“More importantly…who set off that flare during the mass attack?” asked Kaname.

“That…was an accident,” said Fate.

Capt. Jason and Kaname looked at each other and then at Fate, with surprise and confusion written on their faces.

“An…accident,” repeated Kaname, to which Fate nodded.

“One of the guards was fooling around during patrol and didn’t realize he had Capt. Patrick’s signal flare in his hand until it set off,” explained Fate.

“Talk about clumsy,” said Capt. Jason.

“You said something about the Crimson Fang’s true purpose…what exactly do you mean by that?” asked Fate.

“I’ll answer this one,” said Yunno, stepping forward. “The Crimson Fangs are of demonic origin. Before our race, as well as the lycans, and beastmen…the paladins before the ones we knew had long been in battle with demons for several centuries. Some humans even fell prey to these demons and acted as their dark agents. At the helm of the massive demonic army was a demon with six faces and arms, as well as six swords. He was known as Ravakesh. His army swept through many cities, but they didn’t know of a small group of paladins that existed that were resilient to his influence.”

“By any chance…would these individuals be the ones that formed the Holy Order Council?” asked Kaname.

“That would be correct, young one,” said a voice.

The rest of them turned to see Paul and the other Council members emerging from the conference room.

“Our forefathers were the ones that went to battle against Ravakesh and sealed away his powers into separate crystals,” explained Paul.

“By any chance Fate…did they managed to find any of them?” asked Chrono.

“I’m not sure. However…I did notice that something felt a little…awkward,” she replied.

“Could you explain what happened?” asked Capt. Lindy.

“When most of the coven was asleep, I could faintly hear something humming…like something was thrumming with power. I eventually found a secret chamber near my mother’s living quarters and followed a spiral staircase down. Halfway down, I felt slightly lightheaded and thought I saw something coming towards me, but when I opened my eyes…it was gone. Eventually…I found a few crystals surrounding a small coffin. When I got closer, I almost felt something was invading my mind. I eventually had to run out of there and out into the night to try and clear my head. That’s how I also snuck out,” explained Fate.

“Those must be them,” said Chrono.

“Mother…you mentioned something about a prophecy. What was it exactly?” asked Kaname.

His mother then pulled out a worn-out leather container which contained a scroll written in a strange language that looked like a series of dots and circles with curved lines connecting some of the circles.

“That’s strange,” said Kaname.

“What is it?” asked Philip.

Kaname was silent for a brief moment before saying, “I can read it.”

“What does it say?” asked Nanoha.

“From the dark depths of the abyss, the servant silently waits…for the Dark One to awaken from his slumber. He will be reborn among them…as the crystals slowly gather. Their power will make countries falter, its people turn on each other, and slowly…slowly…they will creep from the dark abyss and wreak destruction upon the world. Only a person that has control over the light as well as his own darkness will be able to face the Dark One and his minions and return them to the dark depths of the abyss forever.”

“Who would that be referring to?” wondered Capt. Jason.

“I’m not sure,” said Yunno.

“It seems the battle was won…but the war is far from over,” said Philip.

“Then our worst fears have been realized.”

“What do you mean Kaname?” asked Nanoha.

“Someone is trying to break the seal and unleash hell on earth,” answered Kaname.

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Hi guys. I know it's been a while since I've written. Basically I was busy with schoolwork for the most part. Anyway...here's chapter 7 and hope you guys enjoy it.

Chapter 7: The Crimson Fangs

Chrono, Capt. Lindy, as well as Capt. Jason and the Holy Order Council members were looking at Kaname as if he had gone completely mental.

“Wait a second…what seal?” inquired Capt. Jason.

“Who would even be willing to try and do such an act?” wondered Philip.

“More importantly…who was actually sealed away?” added Chrono.

Kaname’s mother was just about to explain when Yunno stepped in.

“It has to do with those that have been exposed to the power emanating from it,” he said.

“What exactly happens to those that have been exposed to it?” asked Capt. Lindy.

“It can sometimes affect the victim’s mind and also get into their deepest fears and make them seem very real,” answered the archivist.

“What else besides that?” asked Kaname.

“If an energy wave from one of them were to hit a human victim, it takes away their life energy and stores it within itself; in the case of a werewolf, it can either cause them to stay stuck in their werewolf form permanently or turn on themselves, and as for vampires…they either go mentally insane or go on a rampage,” explained Yunno.

“Ugh…that’s not a good thing,” said Reo.

“What about beastmen?” asked Philip.

“It’s similar to how it affects humans, but there something else as well,” said Yunno.

“And that would be…”

“It can also cause them to turn to stone,” answered the archivist.

“That’s not good,” said Capt. Jason.

“The good news is that it seems to occur at night, but during the day…their nullified,” said Yunno.

“What happens when they’re all gathered?” asked Chrono.

“I'm still working on the rest of the details but the ritual mentions about a hybrid that is important to the whole process,” answered Yunno.

Chrono and the others eventually looked at Kaname, who seemed to catch on to what the archivist was saying.

“That would mean…” began Nanoha.

“Kaname is the key,” said Reo.

"Not exactly. It could be referring to someone else for all we know," said Capt. Jason.

"But Kaname's father..." began Philip.

"He was human," finished Selendia.

"You were in love with a human?!" inquired Fate, slightly surprised.

"I may not know much of the vampire customs or laws but...how grave of an offense is that?" asked Reo.

"Very grave I'm afraid," said Selendia. "I already explained to my son of the situation. I guess I should explain it to you all as well."

As Selendia began explaining the events that led to her punishment, Kaname decided to step outside to get some air. Fate noticed his troubled expression and decided to follow. Nanoha was too absorbed into the details of Selendia's story to notice.
Once outside, Kaname then climbed the wall near the entrance beside it and sat on the edge, looking up at the stars. He heard footsteps and notice Fate coming out looking around until she spotted him.

"You seem troubled," said Fate.

"No...just bothered that's all," replied Kaname.

"About what?" she wondered.

"The fact that I never knew about my parents or who they were...having to live up a lie that I was considered normal by my foster parents. Now I'm caught in the politics of both humans and vampires which I know have COMPLETELY different views and yet somehow I'm in the middle of a conflict that I'll never get out of," said Kaname, sighing deeply.

"I know what you mean," said Fate.

"How?" inquired Kaname.

"After Precia scolded and berated me because of Nanoha...she felt that I would be the weak link that would bring down the coven," said Fate.

"Nanoha just wanted to try and help you...by being your friend," said Kaname.

"You know that vampires and lycans are enemies," said Fate.

At this Kaname couldn't help but scoff at her statement.

"Your coven only has pieces of a puzzle that is part of a bigger one. Whatever she's told you...she's only told you a portion of it. I'm sure there's more to this than my involvement in this current matter. However...I am curious of one thing."

"What would that be?" asked Fate.

Before Kaname could respond, he was knocked back onto the sidewalk from a blast of red energy. As he got back up, Kaname noticed Fate appeared to be glued to the spot, her weapon at the ready and Kaname saw a familiar face. Captain Patrick, who appeared to be wearing some sort of black armor with red lines running through it. Standing near him were two black figures that seemed to resemble knights with black wings.

"Why am I not surprised?" wondered Kaname, in a sarcastic tone.

"Your new allies sort of gave me a hard time," he said.

"What do you want?" asked Fate.

"Well...since you're that earnest to know, I'll cut straight to the chase," said Patrick, pointing at Kaname. "Him."

"What could you possibly want with me?" asked Kaname.

"Simply put...my Master requires his assistance," said Patrick.

"Your master?" wondered Fate.

"Who?" inquired Kaname.

"Oh...someone who bears the same mark as you do," he replied.

'He must be under the influence of something,' thought Kaname. "And if I refuse?"

"I'm sure you already know the answer to that Kaname," said Patrick.

Seconds later, the door beside them opened and Chrono, as well as Capt. Jason, Reo, Subaru, Nanoha, Philip, and Capt. Lindy joined them.

"What are you doing here traitor?!" asked Jason.

"Still alive I see, Jason. You know the Commander spoke highly of you before I snuffed his life out," said Patrick, smirking.

"Save your breath you monster," shot out Reo.

"You still haven't answered our question," said Fate.

"Leave it, Fate," said Kaname, stepping forward.

"But ---" she began.

"There's no point in trying to resist Kaname. Either you come with me or your comrades get a taste of my newfound power," said Patrick, chuckling evilly.

"What newfound power?" asked Chrono.

Patrick then began glowing red as a huge energy orb began to form above him as Reo and the others prepared for what was about to happen. Fate was about to retaliate when a black energy orb was suddenly heading in her direction.

"Fate-chan!" called out Nanoha, as she tried to help.

"Look out!" shouted Reo.

Suddenly, just as a hooded figure then came and met the oncoming black orb with a quick flash of silver and redirected it back at the attacker, Patrick then launched his attack at the group, only for his attack to get deflected. Kaname then spotted his mother standing between them. Fate looked at the hooded figure and wondered who it was until the hood fell off and Fate just stood glued to the spot, as the flow of long red hair was revealed.

"Vercossa...why?" wondered Fate.

"Are you OK?" she asked.

"Mother?" wondered Kaname.

"Leave these small fry to me, my son. Get the others to safety. You guys were probably being tracked as you were heading here earlier," she instructed.

"Well, well...how lucky am I to meet the former Queen of the Crimson Blade Quartet," said Patrick, slightly amused.

"You will NOT harm my son or his friends," she growled.

"You can't take them on your own mother. Let us help you," pleaded Kaname.

"He's just a puppet being controlled by someone else. Besides...the power emanating from him is only just a fraction of his power. I'll buy you and your friends some time for you guys to get out of here," said Selendia. At that moment, a purple aura began to surround her and with a swish of her cape, it revealed a longsword strapped to her on her left side. Selendia unsheathed her sword and had it pointed at Patrick.

"This won't take long."

Patrick forced himself a laugh. "You seem pretty sure of yourself to think that you'll defeat me."

"All I'm sure of is that you won't be laughing for long," said Selendia, as she charged towards him, sword at the ready. The two black knights then stood in front of Patrick with their weapons at the ready; one holding a mace and the other an axe. The first black knight with a mace struck but Selendia just simply twirled in a graceful fashion and dodged the oncoming attack and struck at its head, causing it to dissolve in a loud hiss of smoke.

Patrick then smirked and looked at Selendia with a hint of amusement in his face.

"Did you really think it would be that simple?" he inquired.

Suddenly, the black knight that Selendia supposedly defeated, began to reform and was about to strike at her, until she quickly reacted and blocked the oncoming attack and gave the knight a swift kick to its stomach, knocking it back a bit. The second black knight wielding an axe then came down and tried to strike at her, but Selendia leapt back a few feet before the blade met her.

"That's not possible," said Selendia.

"Did you really think that just because you were a former member of the Crimson Blade Quartet that you could possibly win?" mocked Patrick.

Selendia couldn't help but smirk as she stared at him with a look of disgust.

"Funny coming from someone that was willing to obtain power at the cost of his own soul," she shot back.

Kaname then turned to Chrono and asked, "Where are the others?"

"They're still down in the base," he replied.

"Reo...you go with Subaru, Chrono, and Capt. Lindy and lead the Council members as well as the others that are wounded to safety," ordered Kaname.

"What about you guys?" wondered Subaru.

"I've got a score to settle with this bastard," he replied.

"Not alone you're not," said Nanoha.

"You go with Fate and protect the others," said Kaname.

"But I want to help," she protested.

"This is a family matter. Your pack needs you," said Kaname, placing a hand on her shoulder.

"If you're going to take the fight to them...I suggest you take these with you," said a voice.

The group turned and saw Paul and the other Holy Order Council members step out and hand Kaname several weapons that looked like they were made from pure silver. Kaname then noticed a couple of engraved guns among the stash and looked at them curiously. The face almost resembled that of a Desert Eagle gun, but the rest of the body of the gun had been engraved with intricate designs.

"The guns are for your partner, Kaname," said Paul.

"I didn't know that you could also create those kind of weapons as well," said Kaname.

"One of our brothers...Jeremiah, created them for such an occasion," he replied.

"Thank you," said Philip, taking one and looking at the detail.

Kaname gave a respectful bow and looked at his partner, and then at the fight currently ensuing.

"Godspeed to you and may He watch over you both," said Paul, making the sign of the Cross.

"Let's go...partner," said Kaname.

"Right behind you," said Philip.

As the two charged forward and went to join in the fight, Patrick whirled around and launched an oncoming attack at them. At that precise moment, both Kaname and Philip then had their weapons at the ready. Suddenly, the weapons began to glow as though it was responding to their master's will and both of them felt a suddenly surge of energy course through them. Kaname charged forward and began to cleave through the attacks while Philip went ahead guns blazing at the two black knights engaged at Selendia. Kaname then took to the air as Patrick went to meet him with his own sword. The impact from both swords sent shockwaves radiating from them that could be felt for almost a mile.

"How typical of you," said Patrick. "You haven't changed a bit."

"Says the traitor that murdered a commanding officer," growled Kaname.

Once they broke off from their blade lock, Patrick charged at Kaname before he could retaliate. However, Kaname already unsheathed Vanguard and struck just under the right arm which caused Patrick to stagger back. For a split second, Kaname's eyes caught a slight hint of red hanging around Patrick's neck, as though it was gleaming red. Patrick unleashed a short volley of energy blades from his sword, to which Kaname answered back with his own set, causing a sudden explosion. Philip managed to divert the two black knight's attention from Selendia to him. When she saw her son engaging Patrick, she was a bit surprised and angered that he disobeyed.

"I thought I told you to go with them," she scolded.

"We're family, mother. We're supposed to help each other out," he reasoned back.
Philip then fired several bursts from his twin guns which temporarily stopped the knights, before taking out a smoke grenade and quickly removing the pin as he tossed it. He then gave a quick hand signal to Kaname to fall back. Selendia was about to pursue the knights before she saw her son and his partner falling back just as the smoke grenade blew. Looking back at Patrick briefly, she heaved a frustrated sigh and followed them.

When the smoke cleared, Patrick gave a frustrated growl as the two black knights joined his side. His right hand gripped the hilt of his sword tightly, but slightly winced from the sting of the wound that was inflicted on him by Kaname's sword.

"You haven't seen the last of me," said Patrick, before taking his leave.

As Nanoha and her pack led the Council members, Reo, and Subaru to a safer area, Fate couldn't help but wonder as to why her mentor protected her...or more importantly as to why she was here. As if sensing her confusion and curiosity, Vercossa turned to Fate and said, "You're probably wondering how I found you and what I'm doing here." She received a slight nod.

"I'll explain the reason once we get to a safer area."

Eventually, after they reached a series of man-made tunnels, they reached a fork in the road and began to wonder which path to take next. Subaru could hear footsteps approaching and notified the others. Fate and her mentor were ready, however, a familiar face popped up through one of the tunnels. Philip and Selendia managed to find their way through thanks to a hidden silver string that Kaname's mother cleverly managed to conceal within the pathway.

"Geez...for a second there we thought you were the enemy," said Reo.

"What happened up there?" asked Chrono.

"We felt that we had enough for one day and decided to track back and Kaname's mother managed to find a manhole which lead to this passageway thanks to a silver string that she placed which would help lead to the hidden base that Chrono, Amy, and Capt. Lindy had. She also has a pretty good memory as to where she's been as well," explained Philip.

"Oh stop it, Philip...you're embarrassing me," said Selendia, who was blushing slightly
from the compliment.

"Did you guys manage to put up a good fight?" asked Reo.

"Long enough to escape," replied Philip.

"Where's Kaname?" wondered Subaru.

"He went back to our place on his motorcycle," answered Philip. "We should probably get going as well."

"We'll let you two lead," said Chrono, pointing to Philip and Selendia.

As the group took the other pathway, Philip eventually noticed that the Council members were getting a bit weary from having to follow so closely together. They only made a few stops along the way, but as the group kept going however, Philip spotted a series of small bits of light that, as he got closer resembled light bulbs and he immediately knew where he was.

"We're getting pretty close to the base," announced Philip.

"You have one as well?" inquired Capt. Lindy.

"Why wasn't I told about this?" wondered Capt. Jason.

"Some things are just best kept unsaid," he replied.

"I think you guys might like it," said Reo.

"You've been to his underground base?" asked Amy.

"For a few days," answered Subaru.

"It's pretty spacious," added Reo.

As Philip slowly navigated and led them through towards the underground base, he took a quick glance at the right and then the left when they reached the fork.

"On that side is the garage where we store our vehicles, including our motorcycles," he explained, pointing to the right.

Subaru looked up for a brief moment, but was actually using her ears to listen as she heard an approaching motorcycle. Seconds later, several fluorescent light bulbs lit up and the garage door opened as Kaname entered with his motorcycle. The rest of the group also noticed another motorcycle along with a black Lamborghini.

"I just realized that the Audi isn't back yet. Who borrowed it?" asked Kaname, as he parked his motorcycle.

"Um...I let Reo and Subaru borrow it," replied Philip.

Kaname facepalmed and groaned in annoyance. "Now where is it?" he asked.

"Actually, after you were brought in, the Audi was brought to the Phoenix branch base, but after the raid, I explained to one of our other members that it belonged to you guys and to keep it safe," answered Capt. Jason.

"I appreciate you safekeeping it for me, captain," said Kaname, taking off his helmet.

As Kaname walked past the group and towards the door with the key coder that had symbols resembling Roman numerals and inputting the code, he didn't notice that some of them were crowding behind him.

There was a loud hiss and a grinding sound as the stone door slowly separated revealing the underground base. As Reo and Subaru entered followed by Nanoha, Fate, Selendia, and the others, Kaname just stood near the entrance as Philip then went straight to the monitor interface.

"What do you think?" asked Kaname.

"It seems pretty basic...but impressive," said Chrono.

"The living quarters are upstairs, but...I wouldn't suggest going up there just yet," said Kaname.

"For what reason?" asked Capt. Lindy.

"There was an attack on Reo and Subaru a few days before," answered Philip, still working on the monitors.

Kaname then went near where the two chairs were and after brushing away some dust near them, found a switch resembling a fleur-de-lis and pushed it. The two chairs, the table near them, and the screen in front of them suddenly moved away and the wall in front suddenly began to open revealing a hidden emergency room filled with equipment that is usually seen in hospitals while the floor where the chairs and table used to be began to open revealing two surgical beds.

Reo and the others were surprised that such things were concealed inside such a small base. Kaname's mother was just as equally surprised.

"We kept this hidden just in case such a situation as the one we're facing now should ever occur," explained Kaname.

"Interesting how you're able to contain a small hospital wing within your base," said Amy.

"Enough to handle certain procedures. In the event that someone was injured, I could have this easily set up for surgical procedures to take place when the nearest hospital is unavailable," explained Kaname.

"Since that time is probably now, we should tend to those that are wounded," said Chrono.

"I'll go head up to the storage above here and get some futons and pillows ready," said Kaname.

"I thought you said that there was an attack that occurred there," said Capt. Jason.

"There was...and Philip and I took care of the situation. Mind you, there are some things that will need some tending to...but not until this current problem has been abated," he answered, as he went up.

Meanwhile, Fate and her mentor went over to a corner near the arms room and continued the conversation that was left alone when they were working their way through the tunnels.

"Alright...spill it. I want to know what's going on," said Fate.

Vercossa gathered her composure before looking at her student with a serious look in her eyes.

"First and foremost I want you to be certain about what I'm about to tell you...that no matter what you hear that it will not leave this place nor will you tell this to anyone else," said Vercossa.

"If this has to do with the fact that I'm a copy of someone that was once dead then I don't have to follow," said Fate.

"This has something to do with that but...it's much worse," said Vercossa.

As Kaname slowly walked through the wreckage from the engagement with the Iron Eagle branch, he eventually walked through the hallway leading to the stairs, his right hand at the hilt of the sword given to him by the Council members. The doors to the storage were at his right and Kaname slowly opened the doors.

Inside were a couple stacks of futons on the far left, small pillows in a vacuum sealed bag in the middle, and blankets, including thermal blankets, on the far right, and below these were several packages of water bottles side by side. Heaving a relieved sigh, Kaname took out a few futons and some of the pillows in the vacuum sealed bags and opened them to pick a few out, and then carried the stack while slowly avoiding any debris on the floor from the skirmish and headed back down.

"What? Why would she consort to demonic powers?" wondered Fate, her voice barely a whisper.

"I learned from one of the other covens that one of the leaders began to doubt Precia's ability to lead and found that she had made a deal with someone years before you were born after her daughter died and that she was attacked by a rouge vampire. After being turned, she eventually found a way to utilize black magic to create a copy of her deceased daughter," explained Vercossa.

"That was..." began Fate.

"Yes...my dear student...you," she finished.

As Kaname came back down, his ears eventually caught on to what Vercossa was talking about with regards to Fate but decided to keep it to himself. Subaru helped Kaname carry some of the futons and pillows and distributed them. Kaname then went over to where Nanoha was, who was standing with Reo near Philip who was busy with the monitors.

"How's your pack holding up?" asked Kaname.

"Most of them are doing alright, although I know we lost a few during the escape before," said Nanoha.

"Must've been hard," he said. "I'm sorry."

"Thank you," she replied.

"You still worried about her?" asked Kaname, looking at Fate.

Nanoha looked at her as she was talking with her mentor.

"Look...I know that both sides don't usually see eye to eye, however...there's something else at work here. If we don't find the answers to some of these mysteries soon and whatever was sealed before does get loose...we could be looking at greater casualties besides the humans. Someone is going to have to take leadership for each side. Right now...I think you're the best one for the werewolves," said Kaname.

"Thank you, Kaname," said Nanoha.

"Philip...can you bring us up to speed?"

"So far I've gotten reports from the remaining members from each branch," said Philip.

"Wait a second...remaining members from the Iron Eagle and Silver Gauntlet branches?" asked Kaname. "What happened?"

"This was the latest transmission that we got from one of the paladin members," said Philip, as he accessed the audio file and began to play it back.

"Anyone receiving...message...backup...sustained...casualties...overrun...require...assistance."

"Can you find out as to when this was transmitted?" asked Kaname.

"It'll take some time," said Philip. "Besides that...there was another report that two Crimson Fangs have been discovered and are in vampire custody."

"What?!" asked Kaname, surprised.

"You're kidding, right?" asked Capt. Jason.

"That's not good," said Chrono.

"No...it definitely isn't," said Selendia.

"Try to find out more about the transmission and contact any members from either the Iron Eagle branch or the Silver Gauntlet branch. Tell them to send search parties and locate the Fangs," ordered Kaname.

"One step ahead of you, partner," said Philip.

Yunno who was looking over several books that he brought with him regarding ancient artifacts and the history of both vampires and paladins was sitting at the stairs near where Vercossa and Fate were conversing and came across something that he didn't expect.

"Kaname...could you come here for a second?" requested Yunno.

Kaname thought about the transmission for a brief moment before heading over to where the archivist was and bent over slightly to see what it was that Yunno came across in one of his books.

"What did you find?" he asked.

"I just came across what appears to be a ruby fragment, tiny but it has some demonic properties that has a strange effect on the victim," answered the archivist.

"Now that you've mentioned it...I think I came across something like that which was hanging around Patrick's neck during the fight," said Kaname.

"It gives the user access to dark magic but as a result, the user is bound by the will of the one that handed him / her the fragment," explained Yunno.

"So in short...they're like slaves?" guessed Kaname, to which Yunno nodded.

"Is there any way to break the connection?"

"It's not so simple by trying to break the fragment," said Yunno. "The connection appears to be from some sort of source similar to that of the fragment around the person."

"Like a larger version of the fragment," said Kaname.

"So it would appear," said the archivist. "However...trying to destroy it isn't what bothers me."

"What is it then?"

"When someone tries to attack it, it literally drains the person of life. The only way to destroy it is with a weapon that opposes the dark energy,"

"A holy weapon?" inquired Kaname.

"Something like that. According to one of the books I brought with me, it mentions that the very first paladin defeated and sealed away the demon Belzangas with two swords. However, Belzangas had one final trick before being sealed away. He used the remaining power he had left and tried to strike at the paladin to prevent him from completing the seal. Instead of hitting the paladin, it hit his second sword. As a result, the ritual was completed, but since the second sword got tainted, the seal became temporary," explained Yunno.

"So...what would you consider the fragment that was around Patrick's neck is called?" he asked.

"The Crimson Fangs are different from Blood Fangs in both power and their uses. While the Crimson Fangs are demonic in power and origin, Blood Fangs are more or less created by the power of vampires. Infusing their own blood into the crystals, their fragments can bind the wielder to be obedient to them and are hard to destroy like the Crimson Fangs," explained Yunno. "My guess is that the fragment you saw was a Blood Fang. Someone appears to be trying to combine the two together to create something even more monstrous."

"Either that or Precia is trying to use desperate measure to bring back her dead daughter," said Kaname.

He was silent for a moment before looking at Fate and Vercossa and then back at the archivist.

"If vampires are only weakened by the rays of the sun...then what exactly kills them?" asked Kaname, his voice barely even a whisper.

"You still haven't figured it out despite having fought them for a while?" asked Yunno, not surprised.

Kaname shook his head.

"Fledglings are easier to kill. Those were the ones that you guys were fighting before. It's when they're past the fledgling stage that it gets a little difficult to kill them. The only way to kill most of them is that by drawing blood from them while being hit from a solar bullet is what destroys them. A majority of the ones that you've been fighting were fledglings. The solar bullets weaken them and makes it difficult for them to heal if they lose blood. The longer the bullet is in them, the harder it is to heal. Eventually, the UV ray effects of the bullet will take over and destroy them completely," explained Yunno.

"Kaname...can I talk to you for a moment...alone?" asked Vercossa, walking over to where the two were conversing.

Kaname looked at Fate's mentor for a brief moment and then gave her an acknowledging nod. As the two of them went upstairs to the living room above the base and sat near the bookshelf which were situated near the entrance to the underground base.

"What was it that you wanted to talk to me about?" he asked.

"There were two things that I wanted to speak to you about. The first deals with Fate's future," said Vercossa.

"Her future?" wondered Kaname.

"I know that you've been giving her asylum for a while," she said.

"There's been talk among the coven members that Precia isn't acting normal and there's been talk of rebellion and conflict amongst the various covens. It's complete chaos," explained Vercossa.

"So...what does this have to do with Fate?" asked Kaname.

"Since she is a copy of Precia's deceased daughter, she was considered to be the one to lead the coven that Precia is in charge of."

"I understand that she's skilled but...I think that's a bit much to put on her," said Kaname.

"I overheard your conversation with the archivist," said Vercossa.

"As did I with your conversation with Fate," he answered.

"How much did you hear?" she asked.

"You first," replied Kaname.

"I heard your question about how we die and what the archivist said was indeed true. However, I'm curious...why do you want to harm the kind that you yourself now realize are a part of?" asked Vercossa.

"I'm just doing what I can to protect those close to me from certain harm," answered Kaname. "Now...to answer your question...I heard about the dark magic that Precia had. Is she more of a vampire or a demon?"

"That's the part I'm not sure about. My guess is that she's under the influence...but I think that's how Fate was created at least. She seemed so desperate to try and get her daughter back that she kept abusing her to try and get her to be more useful," said Vercossa.

"Hasn't she been useful to the coven already?" asked Kaname.

"She has but...after what you did...it suddenly changed her. I'm not sure how but...I just want her to be happy," said Vercossa.

"You seem to be more of a trustworthy person than Precia is. I can see why she sometimes looks up to you," said Kaname.

"This is the second reason why I wanted to talk to you about," she said.

"What?" wondered Kaname.

"Would you be willing to speak in her place?" asked Vercossa.

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I understand if people are busy with work or other things and don't have time to read what I've written. Whenever you guys find time to do so...let me know what you think of it after reading. Just to let the readers know...there's only 4 more chapters left before I begin the second part of it. Hopefully I can get them done and start working on part 2.

Enjoy.

Ch. 8: Reflecting on Past Memories

Kaname just stared at Vercossa for a brief moment as if to say 'You're joking.'

Instead, he asked, "Why me?"

"You already know the answer," she replied.

Kaname looked long and hard at the mentor of Fate for a few moments before heaving a deep sigh.

"I will think about it," he said, after a few minutes. Getting up, he slowly walked back downstairs and spotted Fate sitting near the railings of the stairs. Kaname slowly approached her and saw her look up.

"I overheard what you two were talking about," said Fate.

"I apologize for accidentally intruding in on your conversation earlier. It was a mistake on my part," said Kaname. "Could I talk to you for a moment?"

Fate looked at her mentor for a brief moment, before she gave what appeared to be an acknowledging nod and followed him upstairs to the living room. When Fate saw the damage, she asked, "What happened here?"

"There was an assassination attempt on Reo and Subaru by one of the other paladin branches. Since Philip and myself are nothing more than freelancers, I took the necessary measures to divert the problem and made them see things my way," explained Kaname.

"You went against them, despite the fact you were working for them...why?" asked Fate.

"As you have already guessed about who I really am, I will be straightforward with you," said Kaname.

"You see...Philip and I...when we first met, it was in an alley as he was running from rouge vampires that were trying to get a bite from him. I just happened to be a rookie paladin back then, and we had just finished a night patrol when I heard the sound of combat.

I went over to investigate, but Capt. Patrick who was in charge of the platoon I was in tried to stop me. Of course I was going to be getting an earful from him later as I disobeyed and went to check it out, besides curiosity getting the best of me. As I went closer, I saw what appeared to be projections of a knight with two swords and then I saw Philip standing on a huge trash bin with three rouge vampires trying to get at him.

I walked over to him and said, 'Looks like you could use some help.' I then took off the safety lock from my M16 and sent a few rounds down range at the three vampires. They eventually noticed me and I managed to distract them enough for Philip to take a few swings at them. They dispersed after the rest of Capt. Patrick's platoon found me and Philip. They saw his knight silhouette as it disappeared. Commander Remington was also among them and saw Philip's ability. He decided to talk to both of us after I debriefed him of what had occurred in there and decided to not have me suspended. Ever since then, we've watched each other's backs through thick and thin," explained Kaname.

"However...there was one time when I was unable to stop a fledgling vampire from attack a human. It was the first time I had see the aftermath and the bite marks. I arrived at the scene too late. It was then that something awoke in me and an unexpected headache struck me. I staggered out of the alley where the attack occurred and stumbled near a tree and used it to support me. I spotted a small puddle of water and noticed a few drips of water starting to fall indicating it was going to rain. I looked down and felt something sharp nip my lip and felt the tip of the sharp canine."

"Was that the first time you awakened?" asked Fate.

"Yes. I found it hard to tell the others, especially Philip. Eventually, over time my skills began to develop and one night...I received a package in the mail. The sender was unknown but somehow it managed to find its way to my place. My partner was asleep, so I went to the dining room to open it. Inside was a small arm bracelet," answered Kaname, as he took off the right side of his jacket and lifted up the sleeve to reveal a silver arm bracelet with the same insignia that was on his right hand.

"Sometime as we were doing renovations to the place that I shared with Philip. I accidentally pushed a hidden button which then revealed the underground base that you see here. Once Philip followed me down here, we knew that we had some major renovation plans on our hands. Even though the pay was good, Philip accidentally let the plan slip one day during lunch and it was thanks to Capt. Jason that we got the renovation done," said Kaname, looking at him down below who was conversing with Reo and Subaru.

He noticed Kaname looking at him and gave him a quick wave.

"So what happened after you established this place?" asked Fate.

Kaname chuckled as he remembered the constant interruptions that he got from the other members. "Eventually...word spread like wildfire and it just drove me nuts. I put the blame on Philip and told him that he was going to have to take care of the preparations if need be and he just looked at me as if I was crazy. I told him 'Who was it that let the cat out of the bag too soon?' which caused him to shut up," he replied. This caused Fate to giggle a bit which didn't go unnoticed by her mentor or Nanoha, who was trying to help Philip at the monitors. Nanoha looked up at where Kaname and Fate were sitting and smiled at her.

Vercossa then decided to go and take her leave and when Fate asked where she was going, the only reply that her mentor gave was "Just around."

After a few moments of silence between the two of them...Kaname was the first to break it. "This is usually one that I wouldn't talk about as much but...during the time that the team I was in charge in for excavating an artifact...the one who lead the vampire attack...was your mentor was it not?"

"Yes...it was her. Why do you ask?" wondered Fate.

"I was wondering...were you and your mentor really that close?"

Fate was taken aback by this sudden question and looked away temporarily. Kaname took it as a sign that she didn't want to press on the matter any further. Just as he was about to get up, she said, "She was like the mother I wish I had."

Unknowingly to either of them, Vercossa was actually near them, just at the living room near the stairs. When she heard Fate say that she was like the mother she wish she had, something inside of her was unknowingly let loose. Her eyes began to slightly become damp with tears, her throat felt tight as if she found it difficult to breathe.

"Even though I was brought up by Precia, Vercossa wasn't as harsh as her. Despite her being my mentor, whenever I was berated by Precia, she was the one I would turn to. If I was feeling down or had any doubts, she would sit and listen to what I had to say and console me," she continued.

"Isn't that what mentors do? To try and guide the student towards the right path?" inquired Kaname.

"That's true but...as I continued to grow and develop, she became more than a mentor to me. She was like...a good friend. Someone that I could confide in when I had no one else to support me," said Fate.

Vercossa fought hard to fight back the tears that were threatening to fall and she leaned back on the wall near the bookshelf and sat on the floor.

'What is this? I'm not supposed to be like this. I'm her mentor...I should be strong for her, not crying,' thought Vercossa, berating herself.

"I see," said Kaname.

"Please don't tell her any of this," pleaded Fate.

"Why not?"

"I just...don't want to burden her with any of this."

Kaname knelt down beside her and forced her to look at him with a calm and gentle look on his face.

"Fate...it's OK. You two have known each other for quite a while now. It's understandable to feel that way towards her," he said.

"But...she's my mentor. I'm not supposed to feel this way," said Fate.

Kaname couldn't help but chuckle slightly at her reaction.

"No...that's not what I meant. I'm saying that you're feeling that way towards her like a sister. You two share things with each other because you're comfortable being around her. The way you described Vercossa to me and how she acts like a mother towards you is the same way that I felt about Philip," said Kaname.

"You mean..." began Fate.

Kaname laughed a bit and slightly blushd at what Fate was possibly thinking. "No...I'm not gay. Philip...is like a brother to me. Like I said before...we watch each other's backs. It's because we're that close that we can trust each other. You trust Vercossa because of that relationship that you two share. No one can take that away from you," he said. "However...there's also another reason why she's helped you get to where you are now."

"What reason is that?" asked Fate.

"She's trying to get you to stand on your own two feet, to be independent," said Kaname.

"I already knew that," she replied.

"That's not what I really meant. Listen...there will come a time in which you will have to come to grips with reality. She's not going to always be around to watch you. You should let her know what you're feeling while you still have the opportunity," said Kaname. "The difference between being independent and being strong on your own is knowing what you're willing to let go off."

"I see," said Fate.

"Think about what I said, Fate," said Kaname.

"I will."

As he went down to where Philip was still manning the monitors, Capt. Lindy was standing near the end of the bottom rails.

"I never took you to be like the big brother type, Kaname," she said, as Kaname came down.

"You were eavesdropping? That's an unusual hobby there," he said.

"You seem like the kind of person that...despite knowing his true nature, is able to try and look past what others fail to see," said Capt. Lindy.

"In other words...look into one's heart," guessed Kaname.

"You're a kind person and pretty bright," said the captain.

"I appreciate the compliment," he said, as he headed over to the monitors.

"Anything new?" asked Kaname.

"So far...nothing," he replied. "Something appears to be either jamming our frequency or someone is very clever with covering tracks."

"Keep at it. Let me know if anything comes up," ordered Kaname.

Kaname's mother approached him from behind and tapped him on the shoulder to get his attention.

"There's something I want you to see," said Selendia.

"Are we going somewhere?" he asked.

"Technically...yes...and no," she replied.

"How is it yes...and no?" inquired Kaname.

"There was one ability that I managed to safeguard after my rank was taken but most of my other skills were gone," she replied.

"What skill is that?"

"I have an ability which allows me to teleport a person's mind into someone else's. In short...I'm able to read into someone's memories and see it from their perspective. However...what I'm going to be doing is the exact opposite," explained his mother.

"Interesting," said Kaname.

"That sort of sounds like telepathy," said Capt. Lindy.

"In a way...I guess you could put it like that," said Selendia.

"So...what do I need to do?" asked Kaname.

"Just close your eyes my son, relax,...and let me do the rest," she answered.

Kaname did as he was told as he stood completely still and breathed in a steady manner.
With a quick swish of her cloak, it enveloped both her and Kaname in a second, and he felt a tugging sensation at his shirt. In mere seconds, it felt like he was being sucked into a portal and he and his mother reappeared in what appeared to be a room that had the interior that would most likely be found in a castle. There were silk white draperies covering the windows, small wall-mounted candles that were hanging around the room, among a leather couch, a cherry wood table, and a couple of red chairs…the room was quite spacious. In the middle of the room was a small fireplace and in the middle of the room was a portrait of someone with silver hair and blue eyes and had an intimidating look on his face. His face looked a bit frail, but the look in his eyes looked like it could pierce through a person and look into his/her very soul. Kaname’s eyes scanned the room for a few minutes before turning to his mother.

“Where are we?” asked Kaname.

"We're actually going through a particular memory that I want to share with you," she answered.

"We're...inside your mind?" asked Kaname.

"This was where I was with my first husband," said Selendia.

"This was before you met Dad," guessed Kaname.

"True...this was before I met your father," she replied. "That portrait in the room was the Elder Arvantus."

"Mother...is there something else about our lineage that you're not telling me?" asked Kaname.

"Do you remember that information about the demon that Yunno told you about?" asked Selendia.

"Belzangas? Yes...I remember hearing about how he interrupted the sealing process," answered Kaname.

"Look at the wall several feet to the right of where the portrait is situated," said his mother, pointing to something that appeared to be embedded in the wall.

"What is it?" asked Kaname, walking towards it.

"That is the Ruby Eclipse, my son," replied his mother. "Do you remember the prophecy from before?"

"From the dark depths of the abyss, the servant silently waits…for the Dark One to awaken from his slumber. He will be reborn among them…as the crystals slowly gather. Their power will make countries falter, its people turn on each other, and slowly…slowly…they will creep from the dark abyss and wreak destruction upon the world. Only a person that has control over the light as well as his own darkness will be able to face the Dark One and his minions and return them to the dark depths of the abyss forever," recited Kaname.

"That was only a fragment of the prophecy," said Selendia.

"What?" asked Kaname, stunned.

"The other half is this: 'The cursed sword of destruction and the sword of light cannot coexist as the wielder of one cannot control the other without losing control. Only by finding the sword of the void and placing the three swords in the Triangle of Destiny can the true blade be revealed.'"

"How do you know of this?" asked Kaname.

"Your father left the other half to me," said Selendia.

Seconds later, Kaname heard the door open and saw his mother's first husband, Dragomar coming in, with a furious look on his face that he somehow managed to conceal very well, yet it showed more in his walking manner. Turning around, he saw his mother sitting on a red couch.

"You're back earlier than expected. How did the patrol go?" she asked.

"Those mongrels prolonged their attack on Elder Sargovich. We lost three soldiers," he said.

"They must have had it planned for quite a while," said Selendia.

"However...that isn't what bothers me," said Dragomar.

"Oh...if it is not from the loss of your men, then what is?" she asked.

"Do you know a paladin hunter by the name of Timaeus?" he inquired.

"Yes...so what if I do?" she asked, brushing the question as though it meant nothing.

"I've heard from one of the night patrollers on the street that you've been out and about recently," said Dragomar.

"And from that you think I've been seeing this...hunter?" asked Selendia.

"Do not play dumb with me. I KNOW you went to see this human," growled Dragomar.

"What proof do you have of that, besides the word of a night patroller?" inquired Selendia.

"It seems that you're fond of this...Timaeus," he said.

"So...what if it were true?" asked Selendia, not a hint of fear in her voice.

At that moment, the Ruby Eclipse was unsheathed and already near Selendia's neck. Dragomar looked long and hard at her, his grip tightening on the hilt. Heaving an annoyed sigh and with a quick thrust from his right arm, Dragomar then threw the sword at the wall, leaving a huge crack and dent in the wall.

"Do you think it's OK to do that to the Ruby Eclipse?" asked Selendia.

"If I were to use it on you...it would have meant that I loved you," said Dragomar, turning away from her. "I will not love...I'm not like those...fools."

Kaname then noticed the image of Dragomar go through his body as he continued walking and then he saw Dragomar turn and look at her with a stern face.

"If I ever see you near that human...I will not show mercy," he said.

"However, the only time that he heard about my affair with Timaeus was during one night after we had gone out and I revealed my true feelings for him. We were over at his place and...well..." narrated Selendia, as the memory finished playing.

"You did what?" he inquired.

"We made love," she answered.

Kaname was a bit surprised at first, but then he asked, "What was it like?"

"I know it sounds awkward but...to be honest...I actually was very happy. It was...a precious moment for me," said his mother.

"You really loved him...didn't you?" inquired Kaname, to which he got an acknowledging nod.

Kaname then felt that familiar tugging sensation as he felt himself literally being pulled back and then as if a huge gust blew past, propelled him forward and he found himself in another setting, this time...a cave. Looking around, he then saw his father Timaeus, tied up in chains, Dragomar standing several feet in front of him with a look of fury in his eyes and his mother standing several feet behind him, forced to watch her husband suck away Timaeus' life force.

He then heard her mother say that she truly loves Timaeus and tries to stop Dragomar from hurting him any further. It was that sudden confession and her attempt to stop him that threw Dragomar's anger over the edge. He then unleashed a huge blast of dark energy and used his powers to strip Selendia of her status and take away her powers as punishment. The scene then began to dissolve as Kaname felt himself being sucked away and then the cloak began to fall back. He then heard his mother say to him, "You can open your eyes now."

After slowly opening them and blinking several times, Kaname then saw himself facing his mother and also was breathing a bit heavily.

"Did that...really happen?" asked Kaname.

"Yes...it did. Now you see how heavily the consequences were on me. The other vampire clans eventually caught on and the whole vampire community was in an uproar. Eventually, I was exiled, but not before the paladin community began to try and track the vampires down. My only solace was my first son, your brother whom I raised with the help of my second eldest sister, Seriana. She also knew of my affair with Timaeus and was equally shocked but wasn't as mad compared to the rest of the vampire community," answered Selendia.

"What happened afterwards?" asked Kaname.

"Eventually, a war broke out between vampires and the paladins but none of them realized that their fight would soon escalate and force the vampires to make a temporary alliance with them as well as the paladins with lycans and beastmen," explained his mother.

"Against who?" he asked.

"Demons," she replied. "However...what the paladins weren't expecting was that one of their own had a grudge against the previous Council order and felt that they should be more powerful than their adversaries. It was that lust for power that prompted this paladin to go down the dark path and fully release the seal that kept the leader of the demons at bay along with his forces."

"That must've been difficult," said Kaname.

"It was known as the Eclipse War," explained Selendia.

"The war dragged on because each race kept trying every tactic they could to keep them at bay, but it mostly occurred during the night," said Yunno, who joined the two.

Apparently, Nanoha and the others were sitting down listening to the story, curious and almost as eager to hear the details.

Kaname thought about the other prophecy piece for a brief moment, but the image that was conjured was all a blur.

"Wait a second...you said it was called the Eclipse War. The eclipse had a certain effect on vampires and lycans...what about beastmen?" asked Capt. Jason.

"Excellent question, captain. You were right with the eclipse having an effect on vampires and lycans. The demons kept coming in waves, but it was during a lunar eclipse that we began to lose a great number of our kind. The beastmen and paladins however, managed to stem a few of the waves while we tended to our injured. It was from that moment when we realized that we weren't so different from them, despite a few things," explained Selendia.

"The three races realized that each had their own attributes. Vampires had a few diverse traits besides agility. Lycans had strength and had a heightened sense of smell, as well as sharp claws that could tear through nearly anything. Beastmen were...another thing altogether. Since there were various types...it's almost hard to tell," added Yunno. "Not much data has been collected on them to be honest."

"Instead of going at each other's throats, each tried to contribute to the other and as a result, they forged a third sword. What they didn't realize however was that when all three swords were present at the battlefield, a great quake occurred that opened a huge portal. The three army leaders then used their swords to seal away the demonic army. However...like it was with the sealing of a demon known as Belzangas, the seal wouldn't last for long. For years we've been trying to find a way to either completely seal them away but have had no success," explained Selendia.

Kaname sat down after listening to the tale in contemplation and after several minutes...a revelation revealed itself in the most unlikely manner, which caused him to snap out of his current state of mind. Nanoha noticed his expression go from attentive to what appeared to be sudden surprise in a split second.

"What's wrong, Kaname?" asked Nanoha.

"I can't help but wonder...what if there's more to this than just the swords?" pondered Kaname.

"What do you mean?" asked Philip.

"Mother...do you still have the other half of the prophecy?" asked Kaname.

"Whoa...wait a minute...another part of it? I didn't realize that it was missing," said Yunno.

Selendia reached into her robe and pulled out a small folded piece of paper and after it was unfurled, she then read it out loud. Kaname then realized that what he saw and heard in his mother's memory was no illusion.

"So let me get this straight...these three swords...are actually keys?" asked Capt. Jason.

"Great...instead of giving us any answers, we're getting even more questions," said Reo, annoyed.

"There might be more to this than any of us realize," said Philip, getting up from his seat near the monitors and walked towards Kaname's mother.

"What are you doing?" asked Fate.

"Is it possible to link more than one person to another person's mind?" asked Philip.
"What is he talking about?" asked Chrono.

"It's quite simple really. Our bodies will still be intact...but our minds linked," explained Kaname.

"What do you mean...linked?" asked Capt. Jason.

"When my mother was showing me some of her memories...I was going through them with her. I wasn't unconscious...but my mind was in hers," he answered. "In short...we'll have to form a circle, with Vercossa behind my mother."

Reo and Capt. Jason seemed to be against it at first, before Chrono said, "Alright...let's do it."

As they formed a large circle, Kaname stood next to his mother on one side, and his partner stood on the other side. Nanoha appeared nervous at first, before Fate put a hand on her shoulder and said, "Like Kaname said...we'll still be here. We're just taking a glimpse into someone else's mind. Don't worry...I'll be right next to you."

"Thanks," said Nanoha.

Kaname looked around before giving a quick glance to his mother and gave her a quick nod. The scene around them began to form a familiar surrounding filled with what appeared to be old ruins.

"This is..." began Chrono.

"This was during the time when we received reports about a certain artifact that was deemed of extreme importance that a research team and a couple of paladin platoons were sent to retrieve it. However...we didn't realize later that we would have unexpected company," explained Philip.

As the fight began to play out, Nanoha found it difficult to watch as she saw some of her comrades get killed and wanted to look away. Kaname noticed her expression and said, "I'm sorry for what we did. We were just following orders...although...sometimes one forgets to question those orders."

"I understand," she said, quietly.

Eventually, it got to the scene in which a hooded figure began launching attacks against the platoons. Until the scene suddenly froze to everyone's surprise. The part that froze however, was when it was showing the individual that was firing the attacks.

"I saw a hint of red hair under the hood while I was providing cover fire. This was right before you came back Kaname," explained Philip.

"That explains why your mentor was scolded by Precia," said Kaname, to which Fate nodded.

"Also...do you guys see a slight glint of silver around her neck?" asked Philip, pointing to a small, but visible shining speck.

"It's faint...but I see it," said Chrono.

"Whatever she was wearing...also appeared to be amplifying her attacks. Either that...or that's her ability," guessed Philip.

As the scene dissolved and they found themselves back at the underground base, Nanoha still felt shaken looking at what happened and Fate decided to accompany her as she sat down near the staircase.

"Did you really have to do that to prove a point?" asked Kaname, looking at his partner with a stern look on his face.

"Something's been out of place ever since we got back. I'm not sure what it is, but I've been feeling uneasy for the past few hours," said Philip.

"You should go and take a break. You've been at the monitors for too long," said Kaname.

"Yeah...I guess you're right," said Philip, walking over to the area where the examination table was and pushed the frame around the fleur-de-lis to bring back the chairs, the small television, and the table in the middle.

As Kaname looked over what Philip had found and was trying to piece together the transmission, he had an idea that had never occurred to him that sounded crazy, but it could possibly work. After working on the keyboards for a few seconds, he then found the transmission that was found, and began playing it backwards very slowly. The sound was all garbled and incomprehensible, but when he played it quickly...the message became clear.

"Anyone receiving this message, this is Capt. Sampson of the Iron Eagle division. Please send backup. We've sustained heavy casualties and are being overrun by some unknown enemy and require immediate assistance. Location: 38° N 140° E."

Once the transmission ended, Kaname rapidly entered in the latitude and longitude that were given and he was given the city of Sendai.

"Why would there be an attack near there...unless..." began Kaname.

"They're probably trying to just bait you, just to let you know," said a voice.

He turned around and saw Vercossa standing behind him, her right arm resting on the head of the chair.

"What makes you think that?" asked Kaname.

"All I'm saying is...let someone else take a look," she suggested.

"Are you worried that it might be an ambush?" he wondered. "Why are you acting as if you're worried about my safety? Is there a request that you're asking of me?"

Vercossa was silent for a moment and looked away. 'He's too perceptive,' she thought.
"What is it?" asked Kaname.

"Huh?"

"What's your request?" he clarified.

"Just promise me one thing," said Vercossa.

"If it's within my ability," answered Kaname.

"Should anything happen to me...please, watch over Fate," she said.

"I'll do what I can," he replied.

Meanwhile, Fate sitting close to a slightly distraught Nanoha, was gently rubbing her back and trying her best to comfort her.

"Thanks...Fate-chan," she said.

"For what?" asked Fate.

"For comforting me," answered Nanoha.

The two of them were silent for a brief moment before Fate asked, "Nanoha...I know I shouldn't be asking about this but...how did you become a werewolf?"

Nanoha stared at Fate with a look that said 'She can't be serious'. However, the expression on Fate's face was one of curiosity and Nanoha then decided to explain it to her.

"It actually occurred as I was heading back from school one day. I told my friends that I had something to take care of back at the bakery and went ahead of them. However, by the time I got near the bakery, it was already dark and also a full moon. Just as I was getting near, I heard someone scream. I noticed an alley nearby the bakery so I decided to check it out. It turns out that a lycan was about to attack someone so I took this out," said Nanoha, taking out her revolver that had a red gem near the chamber. "I managed to divert its attention, allowing the victim to get away. However, just as soon as I fired off another shot, it was on top of me and bit me before I fired again to make it leave. The bite wasn't deep, but it hurt."

Nanoha then explained that the next day she felt dizzy and lightheaded so her parents called the school to let them know that she wasn't feeling well. When Fate asked what the school was, Nanoha answered that it was a private one. However, when she got to the part of heading to the doctor to examine the injury...the doctor that was assigned to her actually recognized the symptoms and broke the news to her parents. They thought he was joking, but from the explanation that was given...they knew he was serious.

"So...did your parents leave as a result?" asked Fate.

"No...they just...did some of the work when I wasn't able to. However...when it was a full moon one night, it was the worst I've ever had. The pain was excruciating, and the transformation was difficult at first. I eventually had to head outside and instead of heading out into the streets, I went up rooftops. By the time the transformation was completed, I knew it would be hard for a while to adapt and figure out how to survive. Eventually, they managed to come to grips with reality and managed to accept me, despite my condition.

One day however, I met someone by the name of Alexander, who happened to be a lycan like I was and he explained that he could help control some of the usual symptoms that I was exhibiting. They found it hard for me to have to leave, but he told them it was to help control the beast within me. I was gone for a few months and was introduced to his pack. Some of the male members gave me dirty looks, but I had a feeling that I knew what they were thinking.

Sometimes there were several test bouts in which I had to go against one or two of them to proved that I belonged here. Sometimes Alex would coach me and show me my faults. At one point, I had to go against five of them. The reason however, was that after going on several runs with Alex's pack, it was a test to see if I could handle them myself with no help. The five that I went against were actually newly turned and since I had some experience with close combat, I easily beat them. However, Alex was eventually hunted down by a few paladins and I eventually became the leader."

"Have you ever..." began Fate, her face slightly flushed.

"No...I haven't mated with any of them, if that's what you're wondering," answered Nanoha. "I had to sometimes make my point by really give them a hard time and...one of them I gave a pretty nasty scar on the face as a reminder. There were a few female ones, although one had a grudge on me and I told her if she didn't like the way I was running things that she was free to leave, which she did. The others however, admired me for being how I was."

"Must be difficult...having to run a big pack," said Fate.

"Not as much as having to take care of a huge coven," answered Nanoha.

"You seem to be a nice girl...although I feel sorry for what you had to go through," she replied.

"I've gotten used to it. In fact...I'm more in control of it now than I was before," said Nanoha.

"Did you...ever go back to visit your family?" asked Fate.

"Yes...one day...I did just that. I left out the part of Alexander getting killed, but just put that he got caught with the wrong crowd and left leadership to me. It took a while for them to get used to though," answered Nanoha.

As Kaname left the monitor and headed for the garage, Philip noticed him leaving and asked as he headed out the door to the garage "Where are you heading off to?"

"I've got some errands I need to run. Be back in a bit," he replied.

"You sure you don't need some help?" asked Reo.

"I'll be fine," he replied, as he got on his motorcycle and sped off into the night.

Philip looked on as he heard the noise of the motorcycle engine start to die away and heaved a big sigh.

'I've got a bad feeling about this,' he thought.

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*sighs*. Even though I'm nearing the end of the first part of this fanfic project...it's getting trickier as I go. Although...this is almost nothing compared to the next one in terms of difficulty. Only three more chapters and an epilogue to go. We're almost there people. I know my chapters are pretty lengthy so please bear with its length. Enjoy.

Chapter 9: Deception & Infiltration

As Kaname weaved through the traffic on the way to Sendai, the monitoring program DATS notified him of an incoming message and accessed the message from his helmet visor. A small screen showed Philip sitting at the monitors on the top right corner.

"Why didn't you tell me that you figured out the transmission?" he asked.

"I didn't want you or any of the others to try and look into it," said Kaname.

"And you thought that by sneaking out to investigate it yourself alone would help with that?" asked Philip, with a hint of anger in his voice.

Kaname had to admit...his partner did have a point there.

"Look...should something happen to me, I'll need you to try and take charge in my stead," said Kaname.

"That's ridiculous...I can't fill in such a big role," answered Philip, taken by surprise.

"Of course you can. I have complete faith in your abilities my friend," he answered. Seconds later, as he was weaving through traffic, DATS notified Kaname that he was approaching Sendai. "I've already arrived at my destination. Take care of the others."

After turning off communications, Kaname dismounted from his motorcycle as he walked over to the boating docks. What he didn't know was that Philip already sent Fate as soon as their chat was finished over to the exact coordinates that he was following. Looking around, besides only seeing the lights from the warehouses and on the docks, Kaname kept himself as alert as possible until he heard footsteps approaching. Fate was already in the air scanning the ground for any sign of Kaname's motorcycle.

Kaname had his left hand near the hilt of his sword as soon as he saw a familiar figure with black armor come out of the shadows.

"What are you doing here Patrick? Where's Capt. Sampson?" he asked.

"Oh...you mean the one who sent you that distress call? Let's just say he...was KIA," answered Patrick.

"I don't even have to guess as to who do it obviously," growled Kaname.

"Don't even try to engage me Kaname. You didn't think I'd be here alone...did you?" he asked.

Seconds later, the two knights from before appeared from behind, but what really caught Kaname's attention was a sharp, searing pain on his right hand where the insignia was, followed by a hooded figure standing next to Patrick. Wincing from the burning sensation, Kaname gave a quick glance at the insignia before his mind completed the conclusion for its reaction.

'He's here,' thought Kaname.

Fate began to feel that familiar lightheadedness from being near one of those crystals like the one back in her coven's lair and looking down, found a lone figure surrounded by two knights.

'That's him,' she realized, as she quickly dove down to aid Kaname, only to be met with an incoming projectile launched by Patrick and temporarily stunned.

"Who are you?" asked Kaname.

The hooded figure, however, didn't respond.

"What are you doing here?" inquired Fate, as soon as she found Kaname.

"Trying to find answers," he replied. "You shouldn't be here."

"I'd love to stay and chat but...I'm afraid this is where we part ways," said
Patrick, radiating with dark energy and about to launch a volley of energy spikes at him. What neither of them expected however, was the hooded figure to pull out a familiar looking sword that Kaname seemed to recognize, and impale Patrick, shattering the gem around his neck in the process. The voice however, seemed to echo in Kaname's mind.

"Your services are no longer required," he replied, his voice sounding more like a hiss.

"Why would he do that?" wondered Fate.

Seconds later, Kaname saw him snap his fingers causing the two knights to attack. Reacting quickly, Kaname drew out both Vanguard and the other sword that was handed to him by Paul. As a result, the second sword began to glow with a radiant light, as soon as it made contact with the blades of the two knights.

'That light...it can't be...' thought Fate.

Kaname countered by using his own weight to push them back before knocking away one dark knight causing him to stumble back and striking the other with the second sword. As a result, the other dark knight began to shrivel up and its armor began to crumble.

"Just as I expected from a Crimson Quartet Prince," he said.

The remaining dark knight suddenly snuck up from behind Fate and was about to strike, but what she didn't expect was for Kaname to push her aside and block the incoming attack and strike back.

"Kaname," she called out.

Suddenly, the night sky became covered in clouds and the moon began to turn red, as the hooded figure raised his left hand and fired a huge energy wave at Kaname. He tried his best to block it with both blades, but Vanguard got destroyed while the second sword formed a protective barrier upon impact.

"Get out of here," he shouted. "Go tell the others."

"Forget it. I'm not leaving you behind," answered Fate.

"Don't argue with me...go!" yelled Kaname, as he struggled to buy her time to escape.

Fate was hesitant at first, but just as she was about with Kaname's motorcycle, she heard a loud scream of agony and a huge explosion as she struggled not to look back.
Kaname fell in defeat and was knocked out from the sheer energy of the attack. The hooded figure then removed his hood revealing a man that appeared to be in his thirties with black hair and what appeared to be green eyes with a menacing look on his face.

"The first piece already in my grasp, and now this...the second prince of the Crimson Quartet," he said.

After picking Kaname up and a quick swish of his robe, they both disappeared from the docks. Meanwhile, back at the underground base, Fate managed to return with Kaname's motorcycle and quickly explained the situation to the others.

"Patrick was killed?" asked Reo, a bit surprised.

"I say that he deserved what was coming to him," said Capt. Jason.

"I don't think so," said Philip.

"Why not?" he asked.

"It seems...all too sudden. Yes, he appeared to be a pawn for this mystery person but...what if his death was just a small part of a bigger event that has yet to reveal itself?" inquired Philip.

"What are you saying?" asked Chrono.

"I'm saying...that whoever this person is...seems to know the Crimson Blade royal family...and might be either close to them...or was originally part of them," he answered.

"So what do we do?" asked Nanoha.

"Fate...you go with Nanoha and Yunno and try to dig up any more information about them," said Philip.

"I think I can help you with that," said Selendia, stepping forward.

"You mean...with the telepathic-skill you possess?" inquired Fate.

"Yes...I think by looking back, you might be able to find some clues," she answered.

"Not without my help you're not," said a voice.

They turned to see Vercossa leaning against the stairwell that led down to the base.

"How much did you hear?" asked Capt. Lindy.

"Enough to realize that what Fate just mentioned...might be a big clue in the fact that he seemed to be monitoring us vampires...while keeping an eye out for someone of great use," she replied.

"If this person knows of their existence...I think I have a pretty good clue as to what they're after," said Yunno.

"Capt. Jason...have you heard from Dr. Reese or any of the others?" asked Philip.

"So far...nothing yet," he replied.

"Keep trying," answered Philip. "We need to get as much clues as possible to figure out what the enemy might be planning."

As Kaname slowly came to his senses, his head felt like something was pounding on it constantly. He could hear water dripping, and he felt he was sitting on something hard...like stone. His vision came back to him...slowly. Once regained, Kaname quickly registered that he was captured and that he was in a prison of sorts...but in a cave. There were a few light bulbs lit, and looking around...he presumed that he was alone...but noticed another person...hidden in the shadows, sitting across from him.

"Who's there?" he asked.

"Who are you?" came the reply. Kaname recognized the voice immediately as female.

"Dr. Ross?" he wondered.

"Kaname...is that you?" she asked.

As he got closer, he was shocked to find most of the clothes that she was wearing tattered and torn. Her dress coat literally ripped apart. Kaname immediately came to the conclusion that she was either tortured...or worse.

"What happened to you?" inquired Kaname.

"It was horrible," she answered, her voice quivering.

"It's OK...just explain it to me slowly," he replied.

"I was raped," said Dr. Ross, a sob escaping her.

"Who did this?" asked Kaname.

"It was Patrick," she answered.

"Where's Dr. Reese?" he asked.

"He's dead," she replied.

"I'm so sorry Dr. Ross."

Kaname was stunned at first...but realized that something else was going on, as he felt that familiar burning sensation on his right hand and slightly cried out in pain.

"Are you OK?" she asked.

"I felt this when I was over in Sendai after figuring out a transmission from Capt. Sampson of the Silver Gauntlet division but later learned that Patrick killed him. I was trying to get as much information as possible when he tried to attack me but was suddenly killed by the hooded figure standing next to him," explained Kaname. "That was when I felt it."

He took off the glove on his right hand revealing the insignia of the Crimson Blade.

"What is it?" asked Dr. Ross.

"This insignia belongs to the Crimson Blade...and also...I'm not who you really
think I am," he replied.

"What do you mean?"

Kaname was silent as he gathered his thoughts and had a feeling in the back of his mind that what he was about to say would be considered ridiculous.

"I'm a hybrid," he answered.

"A what?" asked Dr. Ross.

"A hybr--" he repeated, but was cut off by Dr. Ross.

"Yes...I get that, but of what?" she clarified.

"You'd probably think this is crazy," said Kaname.

"Try me," she replied.

"Human...and vampire," answered Kaname.

The expression on Dr. Ross' face was what Kaname expected. Pure surprise and shock.

"Is that even possible?" she asked.

"I would probably be considered an abomination by my own kind...however...my guess is that there's very few covens that might be interested in me because of my abilities and status," answered Kaname. "My mother however...was punished for falling for a human."

"What? How? Unless she's..." began Dr. Ross.

"A vampire," answered Kaname, finishing her thought.

"You mean to tell me...that she did it...with a human?" asked Dr. Ross, to which Kaname nodded.

"Whoa."

"Too much to take in?" asked Kaname.

"Sort of," she answered.

"To make things more complicated...my mother...was the former Queen of the Crimson Blade or Crimson Quartet as they're sometimes called," explained Kaname.

"What happened to her?" asked Dr. Ross.

"Her powers and status were stripped away by her husband," he answered.

"That's terrible," she said.

The two of them grew silent for a moment before Kaname broke the silence.

"I know it's not my place to ask but...does it still hurt?" asked Kaname.

"Huh?"

"Does it still hurt...there?" asked Kaname, trying not to be too specific.

"A little," she replied. "To be honest...this wasn't how I imagined my first time."

"I see."

Quickly looking around, Kaname surveyed his surroundings and found the second sword that was given to him by Paul was still with him and felt a wave of relief. He then realized their first mistake.

"What is it?" asked Dr. Ross.

"My sword is still here," said Kaname, unsheathing it.

"That's..." began Dr. Ross.

"Presumably the Sword of Light," said Kaname, putting the blade back in its sheath.

Seconds later, both of them heard incoming footsteps from the stairway as two guards came down to check on Kaname and Dr. Ross.

"Ah...look who's finally awake," said the first guard.

"Sengark requests to see you both," said the second guard.

"Who?" wondered Dr. Ross.

Suddenly, Kaname felt that familiar burning sensation on his right hand and quickly took off his right glove.

Once the gate was opened and the two were led up, Kaname then was stunned to see what surrounded him. He eventually found himself in what appeared to be a royal courtroom that resembled that of an old castle. There was a person that was sitting on a throne and next to him was the hooded figure that Kaname encountered at Sendai.

'But how?' he wondered.

"How nice to finally meet one of the two princes of the Crimson Blade. My name is
Sengark," said the person that sat atop the throne.

Kaname felt the burning sensation on his right hand get stronger.

"You are probably wondering why that insignia on your hand is burning like mad...yes?" he inquired. "You may already know this but...the Crimson Quartet consists of a Rook, King, Queen, and Bishop...like the chess pieces."

"So what does that make you...Pawn?" taunted Kaname.

"I see that you've already crossed paths with my associate...Typhos," said Sengark, indicating the hooded figure on his left.

"What do you want with us?" asked Dr. Ross

"Since you're so eager to know, we'll cut to the chase. I need your help," he answered.

Kaname raised an eyebrow and looked at Sengark carefully. "You had your associate capture me and also imprisoned Dr. Ross...all to ask for my help? I'm not buying it. Just get to the point of whatever it is you're scheming."

"Do you know what the Crimson Eclipse is?" asked Sengark.

"Supposedly the blade created by vampires and apparently acts as a key as well," he answered.

"Very perceptive boy. However, do you know what it was used for?" asked Sengark.

This time, Kaname had no answer to the question.

"It was used for the sealing of the demons and if anyone attempted to break the seal...it would create havoc on all the races. We've received word that someone is using demonic powers to try and find the Crimson Fangs," explained Typhos.

"What are they exactly?" asked Dr. Ross.

"They're keys...as well as a tracking device," said Sengark.

"You mean to tell me...that these locate stronger demons?" guessed Kaname.

"That would be correct, prince of the Crimson Blade," he replied.

"Why not have your coven look for this person then?" asked Dr. Ross.

"Because...he killed most of them," answered Typhos, pointing at Kaname.

Kaname thought back to the mass attack on the city and wondered for a brief moment.

"Yes...he's starting to get it," said Sengark, looking at Kaname carefully.

"You sent your men to investigate something didn't you," said Kaname.

"Go on," he encouraged.

"Something happened...when they infiltrated another coven's lair."

"Keep going," said Sengark.

"Someone broke a seal, meaning that one of Fangs was already found thereby controlling those that were within its radius...causing them to lose control and go berserk," guessed Kaname.

"What does that mean?" asked Dr. Ross.

"Someone was controlling that coven...thereby causing that massive attack on the city...using demonic powers or...a demon was influencing them," answered Kaname.

"Exactly," said Sengark. "This is why I need your help. I only have a few members left of my coven."

"And if I refuse?" inquired Kaname.

"Do you really want your friend to undergo that same horrific experience again?" he asked.

Kaname looked at Dr. Ross for a brief moment and then at Sengark, before looking at Typhos and noticed his right hand was near something, possibly a weapon.

"I'm still not convinced," answered Kaname.

Sengark sighed and then with a snap of his fingers, his minions surrounded Dr. Ross and restrained her. Hearing her screams of being demanded to be let go was more than enough for Kaname to draw out the sword that was given to him by the Holy Order Council. In a split second, Typhos was near him and drew out a spiked mace and was about to strike when Kaname when he stopped suddenly and noticed that he wasn't there. Turning around, he spotted Kaname already at Sengark's neck with the sword in hand.

"Either let her go and tell me what I want to know or you die right where you are," growled Kaname.

Suddenly, Kaname felt a quick migraine-like sensation hit him as though he was struck from behind and staggered back a bit.

Just as Typhos was about to strike again, Sengark then ordered them to stand down, releasing Dr. Ross as well.

"You still haven't figured out the reason for the burning sensation on your hand yet...have you?" inquired Sengark.

"I'm guessing that you do," said Kaname.

"I only have a theory about it...but it should make some sense if you give it some thought. The reason for the burning sensation is that you've been exposed to demonic powers. It's like a signal telling you that the closer you get to it...the worse the pain will get," he explained.

"How would you know of this?" asked Kaname.

Sengark then took off the glove of his left hand revealing some sort of mark that resembled a tower covered in vines and then lifted up his sleeve to reveal a nasty looking cut on his arm that gave the appearance as though his arm was swelling from some sort of disease.

"You're a member?" he inquired.

"A former acquaintance and guardian of your mother," answered Sengark.

"That cut on your arm...you were in the war?" asked Kaname.

"I was. Originally a captain...now retired," he answered.

'But what is the connection to all of this?' wondered Kaname. He then noticed a slightly strange mark on Sengark's neck that looked like a trident with the top facing down and what appeared to be demonic wings spreading out. Sengark then snapped Kaname out of his curiosity with a question.

"Now...will you help me?" he asked.

Kaname was silent for a moment, but then remembered the warning that Fate had told him while over at the cafe.

'You should tread carefully and be wary of who you keep around. They just might turn on you.'

"I'll think about it," said Kaname, walking over to Dr. Ross. "However..."

Once Kaname turned towards him, a strange multi-colored pattern appeared on his face and glared at Sengark with a look of cold fury in his eyes. "If I even sense that you betrayed my trust...I will not hold back next time."

"How will I know that you have an answer?" asked Sengark.

Kaname took out a flash grenade from his pocket and undid the lock and faced them both.

"Look for a green flare in the sky," he replied, before throwing it down, creating a bright flash of light.

Once the light began to dim...the two of them were gone.

Typhos looked at Sengark for a brief moment and asked, "Was it alright for us to let them leave?"

"Follow them if you must," he replied.

As Typhos left to pursue them, a chuckle escaped from his lips as he thought, 'The old fool doesn't even know the real reason why I'm pursuing them.'

Eventually, Kaname and Dr. Ross managed to make their way out of the castle, only to find themselves in a huge cave.

"Now what?" wondered Dr. Ross.

Kaname's ears heard faintly what sounded like flapping wings, looked around and saw a bat coming towards them.

"Trying to find a way out?" it asked.

"Who are you?" asked Dr. Ross.

"I'm Tyria," replied the bat.

"Do you know your way around here?" asked Kaname.

"Do I know my way around here? I practically used to live here," it answered.

"So...you know the way out of here then," inquired Dr. Ross.

"Definitely," replied the bat.

As the two of them followed the bat through the winding tunnels and approached a fork in the road, Dr. Ross was about to take the path on the right before Tyria stopped her.

"Oh...you don't want to go that way," it said.

"Why is that?" she asked.

"Have you ever visited that spot?" asked Kaname.

"Once," it replied.

"What did you see?" asked Dr. Ross.

"Nothing special really. A huge crystal beneath what appeared to be near a well of sorts," replied the bat.

"I see," said Kaname. 'Something seems a bit off after what happened today.'

After following Tyria for several more minutes...the two eventually found themselves outside near a forest. Kaname then realized that when he left, he had two flare rounds in his pocket as well as a flare gun in his right outside pocket. Taking out one round and the flare gun, he loaded it and looked around for a brief moment and then up at the sky.

"Do you really think that someone is going to see that from here?" asked Dr. Ross.

"Let's hope so," he answered, firing off a red flare.

Meanwhile, over in the skies above, a lone helicopter was surveying the area.

"Talon 06 to base...no sign of anything yet," said the pilot.

"Keep searching. They've got to be around here somewhere."

"At this time of the night there's hardly anything go--wait...Talon 06 to base...red flare spotted," answered the pilot.

As Philip was monitoring the situation, he began to wonder...'Could that really be them?'

"Roger, Talon 06...investigate where the flare came from and then update me as soon
as you can," ordered Philip.

"Roger base...going in to investigate," said the pilot.

Kaname could faintly hear the whirring sound of the incoming helicopter as well as its searchlight.

"They noticed it," said Dr. Ross.

"Yeah," he replied. "Hey...down here!"

As the helicopter searchlight kept scanning the area, it eventually found someone waving his hands to grab their attention.

"Talon 06 to base...I've located two individuals," said the pilot.

Philip breathed a sigh of relief when he saw that Kaname wasn't hurt.

"Guys...they found them," said Philip.

"Thank goodness," said Fate.

"That's a relief," said Capt. Jason.

As Dr. Ross went in first, Kaname looked at the bat Tyria and then went in when he noticed the bat following him.

"Let me guess...you want to come along as well?" asked Kaname.

"Well...if you don't mind that is," he answered.

"I don't," came the reply. Tyria then followed and landed on Kaname's lap, resting.

"Talon 06 to base...we have two souls aboard and are heading back," said the pilot.

"Roger Talon 06...good work," said Philip, over the intercom.

As the helicopter made its way back to the city, Dr. Ross looked at Kaname who seemed deep in contemplation for a brief moment before he noticed that he was being stared at.

"What is it?" he asked.

"I just wanted to say...thanks...for looking after me," she replied.

"Of course Dr. Ross," replied Kaname. "Were you and Dr. Reese...close friends?"

"We actually met back over in Oxford," answered Dr. Ross. "I was originally going to go as a World History major...that is...until I met him."

"You mean...as a teacher?" he inquired.

"Yes. I realized that teaching wasn't my strong point. My older sister, who's a nurse by the way, told me that I was probably looking in the wrong direction. It was until I had a history class that I eventually became fascinated by artifacts from ancient history periods," she explained.

"That was when you changed majors," guessed Kaname.

"Exactly. He used to help me out whenever I had any problems in class," said Dr. Ross. "Dr. Reese wasn't...how to put this...very popular in high school, but he was always being pestered on being asked for help because he was pretty bright."

"I've heard that type of thing once or twice," answered Kaname.

Just then, the pilot that was referred to as Talon 06 turned to the two passengers and told them that they would be landing in a bit.

"Who are you by the way?" asked Kaname.

The pilot then lifted his visor and introduced himself as James Landers of the Iron Eagle branch and the one on his right was Arthur Rutherford.

"Were you the one that fired off the flare?" asked Landers.

"Yeah...that was me," answered Kaname.

"We'll be touching down in a few minutes, so try and secure yourselves the best you can," said Landers.

"Thanks for picking us up," said Dr. Ross.

"You're welcome."

By the time they touched down near the area where the house was, Kaname gave a quick salute to the pilot as he and Dr. Ross disembarked and Kaname led her to the back alley to the entrance that led to the underground base.

"So...you're underground base is...below this house?" asked Dr. Ross.

"Yes...it is," he replied. "I still got some cleaning up to do though."

"Why's that?" asked Dr. Ross.

"Some time ago, there was an attempt on a rouge and a beastwoman that I was giving asylum to and well...things got a little bit ugly. Some of the floors near the living room and the dining room are damaged since I had to use a smoke grenade, and I need to try and get a couple of windows redone," explained Kaname.

"Talk about a huge renovation," she replied.

"You said it."

As soon as they were inside, Kaname led her by the hand and then put in the combination code. While he was doing that Dr. Ross looked at the stone door with curiosity at the markings that were on there. Once the door was opened, Kaname walked through, to suddenly be greeted by a relieved Nanoha, who was suddenly in her lycan form, tail wagging. Dr. Ross was a bit surprised that such a thing was living under here.

"She was quite worried that something had happened to you," said his mother.

"Glad to see you too Nanoha. Now could you please let me up...you're a bit heavy for a lycan," said Kaname.

However, what really caught both of their attentions was where his hands were when Kaname caught her. It was right on her chest. Reacting quickly, Kaname scrambled back near the entrance and stood up, wiping the dust off his clothes.

"I-I'm sorry," he said, slightly blushing.

As soon as Nanoha reverted back to her human form, she pouted a bit at Kaname.

"You pervert," she accused, covering her chest.

"Well...you're the one that suddenly jumped me," he shot back.

"You didn't have to grab at my boobs," retorted Nanoha.

"Geez Kaname...for a straight guy...you're pretty naughty," said Reo.

"I'm not like that," defended Kaname.

"If you think that's naughty...wait till you guys meet my older sister," said Selendia.

"Why's that?" asked Fate.

"She's a nymphomaniac," she answered. "And a lesbian."

"Oh dear," said Reo.

"That's...interesting," said Vercossa.

"Seriously mother?" asked a surprised Kaname.

"I'm not joking, son. Sometimes when I visit...I catch them in the middle of their...act," she replied.

"Oh...I see. Does your sister scold you sometimes when you...walk in?" asked Kaname.

"Sometimes. Although I frequently turn down her 'advances' when she tries to prompt me to join her."

"But then...that would mean..." began Capt. Jason.

"That is exactly what it would mean to humans. It wouldn't technically apply with vampires," said Vercossa.

After hearing a bit about his mother's older sister and her sexual orientation...Kaname decided to keep that information locked up in his mind somewhere in case he had other questions.

Philip was the next to greet him and he had an annoyed and serious look on his face.

"Don't you ever do something like that ever again," said Philip.

"Sorry to worry you," said Kaname, getting a hug from his partner.

"What happened to Dr. Reese?" asked Capt. Jason.

"He's dead...killed by Patrick," she replied.

"However...Patrick was killed by someone else," added Fate.

"What happened to Dr. Ross?" asked Reo.

She was silent for a brief moment before Kaname spoke up and tried his best to soften the blow.

"She was forced upon," he replied.

"That's terrible," said Nanoha.

Dr. Ross then explained their brief encounter with the vampire known as Sengark as well as his associate known as Typhos.

"Um...not to interrupt but...who's the person behind you?" asked Subaru, pointing to the young man that was behind him. He had slightly long light blue hair and purple eyes, was wearing a black dress shirt with red buttons, a brown vest, and black pants.

"He's a shapeshifter," said Selendia.

"How could you tell mother?" asked Kaname.

"I saw the bat the moment you guys came in...even if only for a brief second," she replied.

"How very perceptive for a former member of the Crimson Blade," he said.

"His name's Tyria," answered Kaname, as Tyria gave Selendia a respectful bow.

Looking around, Kaname noticed that Yunno wasn't around.

"Where's Yunno?"

"Oh...he said that he had some errands to do and will be back in a bit," answered
Nanoha.

"More research it seems," guessed Philip.

"Did he say where he was going to be?" asked Kaname.

"He did say he was going to be atop Tokyo Tower," replied Selendia.

"That reminds me...I'm going to go ask him to check up on something. I'll be back in a bit," said Fate, heading out.

"What do you suppose it's going to be on?" asked Capt. Jason.

"Probably the names that you guys brought up Kaname," guessed Reo.

However, Kaname was looking at his mother for a brief moment and the others took a slight notice.

"What is it?" asked Subaru.

"I don't recall someone by the name of Typhos...but Sengark does ring a few bells," said Selendia.

Kaname then recalled Fate's warning to him and he felt somehow...it began to make some sense...if only for a moment.

"What's wrong partner?" asked Philip.

"It's nothing," he replied.

"I'm not buying it partner. That expression on your face tells much," he said.
Kaname was silent for a moment before he told Philip that he was just recalling the scene in which Typhos killed Patrick.

"However...what struck me most was that Sengark didn't ask about Patrick's whereabouts and the like," said Kaname.

"That does seem to be a bit strange...unless they were just using him," said Philip.

"I say that guy got what he deserved," said Reo.

"Vengeance doesn't do much in the current situation we're in," said Kaname. He then began to fill in the others on the details that Sengark told him as well as the mark that was on Sengark's left hand.

"He's also referred to as Rook," answered Selendia. "I'll explain more on the details soon."

"There's one other thing I noticed while I was there," said Kaname.

"What's that?" asked his mother.

"After I had a sudden change before leaving, my aura sensing powers slightly enhanced for some odd reason. There was something off about Sengark as well as Typhos when I was staring at them. Something that resembled dark energy was emanating from Typhos. It's almost as if...Sengark is being...controlled somehow. There was a strange mark on his neck, as well as a nasty cut on his left arm," he explained.

"How is that possible? I thought vampires had more influence than demons," said Capt. Jason.

"They have influence over humans but only to a certain extent. Demons on the other hand...have been around probably more than we have," said Vercossa.

"What kind of change did he feel?" asked Subaru.

"His eyes looked different and his voice changed," said Dr. Ross.

"The exact same thing occurred when he was over at our coven as well," said Vercossa.

"But what does it mean?" wondered Nanoha.

"Demonic influence perhaps," suggested Capt. Jason.

"Is such a thing possible?" asked Reo.

"Demon blood is considered poison to vampires. If that was the case...it would have to have been some sort of mark that was the cause," answered Vercossa.

"Do vampires survive from encounters with demons?" asked Subaru.

"Barely...if the damage inflicted is big enough, it could instantly kill us," she answered. "However...smaller cuts can be annoying and painful and slowly spread. Those kinds of damage take a bit long to heal."

"What was the mark that you saw?" asked Chrono.

"Something that resembled a trident facing downwards as well as what looked like demonic wings protruding out," answered Kaname.

Kaname's mother gave a slight gasp and Vercossa had a look of surprise on her face.

"What is it?" asked Reo.

"He's being controlled," said a voice.

The rest of them turned to see Yunno returning with Fate behind him. The small stack of books that they had with them appeared to be floating in midair.
Subaru noticed and looked at it curiously.

"Um...why are those books floating?" she asked.

"I think I can answer that for you Subaru," said Kaname, looking at Fate.

"Is that just one of your abilities, Fate?" asked Chrono.

"Among other things," she replied.

"That's so neat, Fate-chan," chirped Nanoha.

"What was it that you were looking up?" asked Philip.

"Fate already told me what Kaname and Dr. Ross mentioned when they returned," said Yunno.

"Any leads?" asked Kaname.

"Just a few," he replied.

"Does the name Sengark come up in any of the vampire history?" asked Capt. Lindy.

"As a matter of fact...it does," he said, picking out an old black hardcover book with gold lining at the edges and the spine.

While Yunno was flipping through the pages of the book he selected, Fate then asked him where to place the books. He then directed them to be placed up near the shelter on the top left. Fate had no problem using her ability and neatly stacking them with a snap of her fingers.

"I think I've found it," said Yunno. His right hand was pointing out that Sengark was a member of the Dark Clave Council.

"What is that?" asked Kaname.

"It's where the Chancellors from each representing coven are part of," answered Vercossa.

"You could say that they're like the politicians of the vampire world," added Fate.

"I see," said Kaname.

"There's also another book that mentions about the various seals for some of the demons. A few of them were second in command to some greater demons," added Yunno.

"Hmm...hey...where's that guy that was here before?" asked Subaru.

Kaname quickly looked around and noticed that he was going but his ears heard something going on upstairs and went to investigate. Upon heading up, he spotted Tyria going through the books in the living room.

"Looking for something in particular?" asked Kaname, leaning near the entrance to the underground base.

"Oh Kaname...I didn't notice you there," he said, dropping a couple of books.

"If you needed help with finding information on something...you could have just asked," said Kaname.

"Oh...that's OK. I'm fine," replied Tyria.

"Alright...if you need any help with anything...you'll know where I'll be," he answered, keeping his eyes on Tyria for a brief moment as he was heading back down. 'Something is really off with this guy.'

Unbeknownst to Kaname, Tyria was wearing a red pendant around his neck and from it...Typhos was looking through what appeared to be a spring mirror deep within a cave.

"He hasn't caught on has he?" asked Typhos.

"Not yet...however, he's quite perceptive I'll give him that," he replied.

"Try to keep a low profile and if anyone suspects anything...eliminate them," ordered Typhos. "I've nearly finished with finding the main key to unlocking Belzangas and his minions from his prison."

"I'll do just that," replied Tyria.

As Kaname came back downstairs, his partner Philip was waiting on the other end.

"What was that all about?" he asked.

"I don't know...something seems a bit off ever since Tyria came here," said Kaname.

"You don't suspect he's a spy or something do you?" inquired his partner.

"Either that or he's a thief," guessed Kaname.

"So what now?" asked Philip.

"Let the others get some sleep. We still have a lot of work to do," said Kaname.

"What about you? Oh wait...I forgot...you're a hybrid," said Philip.

"Not to mention vampires tend to sleep during the day," he answered.

Just then...Kaname's ears picked up the faint sound of someone knocking at the door and turned to his partner.

"Keep an eye on them will you?" asked Kaname.

"Sure thing," said Philip.

As he went upstairs and towards the door, Kaname had a hand near his sword as he opened the door. He was then surprised to see another vampire plus Sengark who suddenly appeared worse for the wear. He looked really old and the wound he saw before had suddenly made the arm look like it was seriously swelling badly.

"What happened?" asked Kaname.

"My name is Arcturus. I'm Sengark's personal advisor and his younger brother," he replied.

"Please...come inside," said Kaname, inviting them in.

"Thank you," he replied, carefully carrying his brother inside the house.

"Philip...get the examination table set! We've got a situation here," shouted Kaname.

"On it," he answered.

Seconds later, Kaname and Arcturus were carefully leading Sengark downstairs where the examination table was set along with several blankets and pillows.

"So that's him," said Chrono.

"What happened to him?" wondered Fate.

As Kaname and Arcturus slowly set down Sengark, Arcturus then introduced himself to the others and explained the situation. His older brother was under the influence of a demon and carefully pulled back the collar on the left side to reveal the insignia that Kaname came across.

"That's not good," said Vercossa.

"Whoa...that wound looks really bad," said Capt. Jason, upon seeing the swollen arm.

Kaname was then silent for a few brief moments as he tried to recall what occurred earlier.

"Luckily...I've managed to gather some herbs and other remedies before leaving," said Arcturus.

"What happened to Typhos?" asked Kaname.

"He somehow...disappeared. Said that he had some business to attend to," he replied.

"I happen to have a book that might be able to help with alleviating the pain and reduce the swelling on the arm," said Yunno.

"Can a wound of that magnitude actually be healed?" asked Reo.

"I've also studied a bit on some ancient healing practices so I might be able to help," said Dr. Ross. "With the archivist's help of course."

"I'd be glad to give you a hand," said Yunno.

"Thank you," answered Arcturus. "However...there's something else that you should know as well."

"What would that be?" asked Capt. Lindy.

"Someone has stolen one of the Crimson Fangs as well as someone else from Precia's coven," he answered.

"What?!" exclaimed Vercossa.

"That's impossible," said Fate.

"There's no way a vampire could have done it unless..." began Nanoha.

Philip noticed his partner staring at Sengark for a while and then his head suddenly snapped up.

"What is it?" he asked.

"I think I've finally figured out this whole puzzle," said Kaname.

"What puzzle?" asked Chrono.

"Someone is trying to release one of the demons in order to find the others," he replied.

"But who would do that?" wondered Nanoha.

"I think I have a possible guess as to who. In the meantime...you guys should rest up. We should probably let Dr. Ross have her space," said Kaname.

"Thank you," she replied, as she began working on Sengark.

Even though the others were asleep, he still couldn't get the nagging feeling that something didn't feel right.

'One of them was stolen along with Precia's daughter? What's the connection?' he wondered.

It didn't take long for Dr. Ross to finish treating Sengark's wound. Kaname then noticed that she was cleaning up and putting away some of the instruments as Arcturus walked over to her.

"How is he?" he asked.

"The wound looked pretty bad. It seemed to be spreading really slowly but luckily most of the probable infection was taken care of. I managed to reduce a majority of the swelling, though it'll probably just cause a throbbing pain every now and then. I did the best I could," she answered.

Suddenly, Kaname felt that burning sensation and recalled what Sengark told him earlier when he was captured.

'Again...but from where?' he wondered. 'Wait...it can't be!'

Seconds later, the electricity started acting weird and the lights suddenly went out. A flash of silver sliced through the air and a muffled scream was heard as though someone was struggling to break free. Vercossa and Fate already had their weapons at the ready and tried to engage at whoever was infiltrating the base. Vercossa managed to find the perpetrator and tried to give chase, but was struck by a blast of dark energy, knocking her back. Suddenly, the lights came back on and Sengark was already gone.

"Sensei...are you alright?" asked Fate, rushing to her side.

"Yeah...somehow," she said, clutching her right side.

"Damn it...he's gone," said Chrono.

"What the heck happened?" asked Capt. Jason.

"A short-circuit?" suggested Subaru.

Kaname winced as he gripped his right hand when he felt that familiar burning
sensation course through him.

"What is it?" asked Philip.

"Sengark explained to me that the reason was because I was getting exposed to demonic powers," he answered.

"But how was that possible? He'd have to be close to be exposed wouldn't he?" asked Subaru.

"Not exactly," said Arcturus. "My best guess is that the one near my brother was nonetheless a demonic agent."

"That would mean the other one that was just brought in..." began Nanoha.

"Damn it...I didn't know," said Kaname.

"It's not your fault. You were somehow caught by their influence and they just used you to gain access," said Capt. Lindy.

"You were right Vercossa...it was a trap," said Kaname.

"So what do we do now?" asked Reo.

"It's gone," said Yunno.

"What's gone?" asked Philip.

"The book...regarding the different seals for demons," answered Yunno.

Kaname was finally able to piece together the string of events that had just happened in one sentence. However, before he could get it out, a sudden jolt from underneath them cause the whole place to shake.

Nanoha held onto Fate, as the vampire held her close while Subaru was holding onto the nearby examination table for support and the others were trying to brace themselves as the shaking continued for 5 minutes.

As soon as the shaking stopped and everyone slowly stood up, Capt. Jason was the first to break the silence.

"Is everyone alright?" he shouted, getting nods indicating they were.

"What was that all of a sudden?" asked Subaru.

"What do you think triggered it, partner?" asked Philip.

"The seal...it's about to be unlocked," said Kaname.

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Joined: 05/12/2010
Posts: 162

Hi guys...we're approaching the final stretch of this fanfic. Those that have read and enjoyed it...I'm glad you did. It's been a bit rough as I've written this but this is just the start. Two more parts are going into this fanfic which I'll be working on as soon as this is done. Once this first part is finished...I'll post up a link which has everything from start to finish and a pdf format for those that might want to read it on the go.

Enjoy.

Chapter 10: The Breath Before the Plunge

"Which seal in particular is going to be unlocked?" asked Philip.

"The mark on Sengark...I recognize that one," said Yunno.

"From the book that was stolen?" asked Subaru.

"Yes...it belongs to Belzangas," he replied.

"Where are the Council members?" asked Kaname.

"They requested to be sent back to Europe to discuss the matter with the other paladins as well as the pope himself," answered Capt. Jason. "When you left, they asked that they needed to come up with a plan to prevent similar disasters from happening in their area."

"They also send you their regards, Kaname...as well as a final message," said Capt. Jason.

"What would that be?" he asked.

"Use the Sword of Light to help find a worthy successor to lead the paladins."

"Then it's clear to me that I am not worthy of wielding this sword," said Kaname.

"However...I think I know who's worthy of leading them." He then turned to his partner Philip.

"Me? No...it can't be. I can't lead them," said Philip.

"You did well in my absence and have been a loyal and trustworthy friend.

However...since my status cannot be denied nor my nature...I have realized that there's someone more worthy to take my place to lead the paladins," he answered.

"You really trust him that much, don't you?" asked Nanoha.

"Captain Jason...would you like to do the honors?" asked Kaname, handing him the sword that was given to him by the Holy Order Council.

"Of course," he replied. "Step forward...young Philip."

As he did so, Kaname stood with Reo and the others and watched with a sense of pride and gratitude within him and Capt. Jason unsheathed the sword.

"We live in a world that is filled with turmoil, greed, fear, hatred, confusion, and violence. These dark times make it difficult for humanity to find the right path and are constantly under assailment from dark forces. However, there are those that follow the path to defend the innocent, in the name of truth, honor, and justice. These are the paladins of the Holy Order," said Capt. Jason.

"Rise...Philip. You will no longer be known as a freelance paladin...from now on...you will be leading your own team...as captain."

Kaname and the others applauded Philip, as he took his new position.

"Have we received any updates on the current situation?" asked Philip.

"So far there have been reports of sudden attacks and unexplained phenomenon happening all over the globe," answered Chrono.

"We've been getting reports from the other branches as they try to contain the situation in their area," added Amy.

"Some of the vampire covens around the world have either lost control or have gone rogue," said Arcturus.

"We're going to have to get more information to figure out what it is we're dealing with," said Philip. "Capt. Jason...I want you to go with Arcturus to check up on the situation in America. Kaname...you go with Fate and Vercossa to investigate Precia's coven and find any clues if possible, and have Chrono and Capt. Lindy accompany you. I'll go with Yunno to check on the lycan packs here. Reo and Subaru will check on any beastmen clans and get information there."

"I'll go with Fate as well," said Nanoha.

"Thank you, Nanoha," said Fate.

"She's a lycan though. Why would a lycan try to help convince a vampire to join their archrival?" asked Reo.

"We'll need their support at some point, regardless even if they were once enemies," answered Philip.

"Do you think that any of them would be willing to help?" asked Subaru.

"We won't know until we try," said Capt. Jason. "We'll leave first thing in the morning."

"I'll go and make the preparations," said Kaname, heading upstairs to the house to get something.

"What was he going to get there?" asked Subaru.

"His laptop," said Philip, simply.

"Huh?" she wondered.

Reo then explained to her what that was the best he could so as not to confuse her.

As soon as Kaname made the arrangements on his laptop, he then came back down with the printouts of the information for Capt. Jason and Arcturus and handed it to them and took out a map of cities around Tokyo.

"Where are you guys going to look?" asked Fate, referring to Yunno and Philip.

"There should be several areas in Tokyo where most of the pack has gone. We'll try and rally as many as we can," said the archivist.

"I think checking over at the bars would be best for you guys," said Kaname, looking at Reo and Subaru.

"You think that's a good idea?" asked Reo.

"I'm sure I can find a way to conceal her features that would give her away," he said.

"When you guys have finished with your task, sent up a green flare and we'll pick you guys up," said Philip. "As for you two...it's best to send me an encrypted message so that it doesn't get traced."

"Morse code seems to be best," suggested Capt. Jason.

"Alright...you know what you have to do. You guys should rest up and get ready," said Philip.

"It's almost early morning," said Chrono, checking the clock.

"Fate and I will take turns being the lookout," said Kaname, heading outside.

"Sure...I don't mind," she replied, as she followed.

As the two of them headed outside up on the roof, Kaname noticed Fate looking at the moon for a brief moment upon reaching the roof.

"What is it?" he inquired.

"What do you think is considered worse...not knowing your parents or finding out that your parents aren't really them?" asked Fate.

"I think both of them are bad...however, I think them not remembering you is just as bad in my opinion," answered Kaname. "Why do you ask?"

"It's just...when you told me that I was a copy...I wasn't fully sure if I'd even believe it," said Fate.

"I think there is a way to discern the truth from the lies," said Kaname.

"How?" she inquired.

"If Precia is still around...drink her blood and find the answers you seek," he replied.

"I can't do that," said Fate.

"Do you want to continue to live and not know how you came into being?" asked Kaname.

"Have you ever drank someone's blood before?" she shot back.

"I won't deny my true nature...but I have drank from animals once or twice before," he replied.

"Why not from one of your own?" she inquired.

"I never felt the urge to," said Kaname. "Have you?"

"Sometimes...whenever I'm out on patrols," she replied.

"You know...after having known about your background...I just realized something," said Kaname.

"What's that?" she asked.

"Both you and Nanoha have something in common," he answered.

"Such as..."

"Both of you were shunned for different reasons, yet you yearn to be accepted back.
You both understand what it's like to be an outcast," said Kaname.

"That may be true but...her family shunned her because of her...transformation. I was just a tool," said Fate.

"However...I think she's trying to find a way for her family to accept her back despite what she's gone through. What they need to see is that despite her...condition, there is still a part of her that will always remain Nanoha. I think that there's still a chance for the both of you," answered Kaname.

"You know...I've also just realized something about you that I noticed earlier when we first met," said Fate.

"Which is..." began Kaname.

"You're a hybrid...born with our strengths...and none of our weaknesses, save one," said Fate.

"I think I already know what that weakness is," he replied. "What weakness is it that I don't have?"

"Vampires get weakened when under sunlight and it can be a bother. It saps away our energy, weakening us. You...on the other hand...are able to walk into the sunlight and not be bothered at all. Didn't your mother tell you that?" asked Fate.

"No...she didn't," he answered. "She just...explained to me how I came into being as well as how she met my father."

"It must be nice...knowing where you came from. I still don't know about my own," said Fate.

"Don't worry...I'm sure we'll find the answers," said Kaname, rubbing her back reassuringly.

The two of them looked up at the night sky as a few clouds slowly passed by, revealing scattered stars.

"Kaname...can I ask you something?" inquired Fate.

"Sure," he replied.

"Do you really think that there's any hope for us?" asked Fate.

"You mean...for humans to coexist with other species," guessed Kaname.

"Yeah."

"I know that paladins don't usually see eye to eye despite past history...however...I will tell you this," said Kaname, and he looked at her with a stern look in his eyes. "I will do whatever is in my power to bridge the gap between vampires and paladins."

"Thank you," she replied.

Kaname then heard incoming footsteps as someone was climbing to the roof, turned and saw Nanoha.

"Capt. Lindy wants to speak with you Fate," she said.

"I'll be down in a bit," answered Fate.

"You go on ahead...I think I'll stay here just a bit longer," said Kaname, looking up at the sky.

"Alright...don't be too long," said Fate.

Kaname couldn't help but chuckle a bit. "Now you're starting to sound like my mother."

"Very funny," she shot back, with a hint of humor in her voice, causing Nanoha to chuckle as well.

After the two of them left...Kaname then noticed an array of stars in the sky that when connected together resembled three triangles with a fourth facing the opposite direction of the joined three (1). He first mentally traced the pattern in his mind, and then with the index finger of his right hand.

By the time he came back down, Kaname noticed that most of the others were asleep and saw Fate talking with Capt. Lindy and Chrono while Nanoha was watching from below. He walked over to where Arcturus was, leaning near the monitors.

"I'm sorry about your brother. We'll do what we can to get him back," said Kaname.
He then turned to him and asked, "Do you believe in destiny?"

"I believe...that the choices that a being is given and how he or she deals with the consequences of those actions form into what one would say is "destiny"," answered Kaname. Looking at the vampire that seemed to be getting old really slowly, Kaname's face then formed an expression that said, 'Why are you really here?'

"Listen to me very carefully...the events that will unfold here is going to cause conflict and chaos within the four factions. There needs to be individuals that are willing to take on such a task. You seem to have chosen one already for one faction...that leaves the remaining three," said Arcturus.

"You want me to be one of those individuals," guessed Kaname, to which he received a nod.

Looking over at where Vercossa was standing next to Nanoha waiting for Fate, Kaname walked over and gently tapped the mentor on the shoulder.

No words were exchanged as the two looked at each other. Kaname then led Vercossa to the rooftop to the spot where he and Fate were sitting earlier, as the sun slowly began to rise.

"What did you want to talk to me about?" asked Vercossa.

"I came to give you an answer with what you told me before," he replied.

"Ah yes...that. You've made your decision?" she asked.

"I've decided to take you up on that offer," answered Kaname.

"Oh...what made you decide that?" inquired Vercossa.

"A quick chat with Arcturus," he replied. "Why...does his name ring a bell?"

"The only thing I've heard on him was that he took his brother's place when he went missing once, reason was unknown...until the Dark Clave Council received word that he decided to retire. Arcturus then took his place on the council ever since," she answered.

"I see...was there anything strange that was mentioned regarding his behavior or anything?" inquired Kaname.

"Not that I would know of...you should probably ask Arcturus," said Vercossa.

"All he gave me was a warning," said Kaname.

"Any reason as to why?"

"Not that I would know of," he replied.

"We should probably get going," said Vercossa.

"Agreed," he said.

As the two of them headed back downstairs, Kaname heard the others getting up from their napping hour.

"I'll go upstairs and get some food ready," said Kaname, heading up the staircase.

"I didn't know he could cook," said Nanoha.

"You'd be a bit surprised. He's pretty good," said Philip. "Most of the time."

"I heard that," shouted Kaname, even though it could be faintly heard, causing Fate to chuckle.

"I used to cook for my family back then...now they sometimes visit me whenever they get the chance," said Capt. Jason. "Oh...I've called a couple of my men to bring down the Audi from our base. I've sent them the coordinates."

"Much appreciated captain," said Philip. "You guys can use it to get to the airport."

"Looks like we'll be taking the various cross streets to get back," said Vercossa.

"That fine with you Fate?"

"Of course," she replied.

"Don't you think it'll be a bit weird if people noticed you guys flying?" asked Reo.

"Normal humans won't be able to see them," answered Arcturus. "All they'll be
feeling is a slight gust of wind. We're pretty fast so as not to be spotted."

"Even if we were spotted...all they'd see is that if we were to attack even our own kind...they would see it as us strangling someone possibly," added Vercossa.

As Kaname came back with breakfast ready, his partner and Nanoha came to give him a hand with a few trays.

"Oh...so you can cook," said Fate.

"I think I do a pretty decent job," said Kaname.

"He's just being modest," said Philip, causing Kaname to glare at his partner.

The group sat down to some toast, fresh fruit, buttermilk as well as blueberry pancakes, eggs, and bacon.

"Wow...they weren't kidding when you said you could cook Kaname," said Subaru. "This looks great."

"Slow down Subaru...you'll get your share," said Reo.

"I'll be back and get the coffee," said Kaname.

"I'll help out as well," said Nanoha, following him.

"Same here," said Fate, following behind them.

"Your partner is quite impressive," said Arcturus.

"Yeah...he likes to cook whenever he's in the mood," said Philip.

"There's something I've been curious about for quite a while," said Capt. Jason.

"What's that?" asked Capt. Lindy.

"Do you guys eat human food to maintain a sense of normalcy?" he asked.

At the captain's question, Vercossa and Arcturus couldn't help but laugh out loud.

"There's your answer," said Philip, with a smirk on his face.

As soon as Kaname, Nanoha, and Fate came back with the drinks, the others eventually helped themselves out.

Subaru's eyes lit up at how good the pancakes tasted.

"You should have probably ditched your position and gone to be a chef Kaname because this is delicious," said Subaru, taking another piece of the buttermilk pancake and putting it into her mouth.

"I second that," said Reo.

"Stop it guys...you're making me blush," said Kaname.

"Well...they do have a point Kaname. I'm impressed," said his mother, taking a banana and slowly peeling it off.

Kaname noticed for a brief moment and thought back to Capt. Jason's question. His mother noticed his expression and as if she read his mind said, "Yes...we do eat them to look normal."

"Are you sure you weren't looking at how she was peeling the banana Kaname?" joked Reo.

"Don't try and mix my mind up with such details," groaned Kaname.

"I didn't know you had such a dirty mind Kaname," said Vercossa.

"It's NOT like that," he protested.

Kaname's flustered expression was enough to get the girls giggling and he soon got a reassuring pat from his mother.

"Don't worry dear...my sister is WAY worse than you are," she answered.

"Thanks mother," he replied.

After breakfast, Kaname then went to the armory and grabbed the necessary weapons needed, and went over to the smithery to sharpen his sword and work on other weapons, while Philip, Nanoha, and Fate went to gather the dishes to get them washed.

"He's a hard worker that one," said Arcturus, standing beside Selendia.

"Yes...he is," she replied, looking at her son from below pounding away at the heated metal.

Selendia looked away for a moment and Arcturus noticed her changed expression.

"You miss him don't you?" asked Arcturus. "Despite what you've become."

"Yes," she said softly. "I still feel a bit guilty for his friend's death."

"Argus was a lycan...but one that shared the same ideals as Timaeus," said Arcturus. "I sometimes go past the battlefield and visit his grave to pay respects. I respected that man."

After Philip, Nanoha, and Fate had finished washing the dishes and came back, Kaname then took out a long pair of metal tongs, took out some stone hammers, placed two heated metal strips on an anvil, and began pounding away at the two heated metal strips until they became curved and then put it back in the forge.
After about an hour had passed, Kaname carefully took out the two steel knuckles from the forge, pounded on them a few more times, added small spikes to them, reheated them for a half hour, took them out again and placed them in water to cool them up. After 15 minutes had passed, Kaname then placed the steel knuckles on a white cloth to rest and dry up. Wiping off the sweat from his forehead with a small washcloth, Kaname then headed back down and noticed everyone getting ready to head out. Looking around and finding a yellow-golden cloth, he then wrapped the knuckles and headed down to join the rest of them.

"The sun should be up already," said Arcturus. "We'd best be going soon."

"Send us updates whenever possible," said Capt. Lindy.

"Will do," said Capt. Jason. "We've sent a few black jeeps to bring you to the location of the lair, as well as a black Lamborghini for Philip and Yunno. "

"Much appreciated captain," said Chrono.

"Safe journey...and keep your wits about you," said Reo, giving salute.

"Likewise," said Capt. Jason, placing a hand on Reo's shoulder.

"If you're ever in Romania...do pay me a visit," said Arcturus.

"I will sir," said Kaname. "I'll do my best to get your brother back...I'll let you know by mail."

"Thank you Kaname...I'm sure you will," replied Arcturus, as he gave Kaname a firm handshake.

As the pair left in the Audi waiting outside, Chrono and Capt. Lindy set up 10 paladin soldiers in two separate squadrons.

"Yunno and I will check Toshima," said Philip. "Reo and Subaru will check Nakano...Kaname and the others will check within Shibuya."

"Squad 1 will provide a mile perimeter within the lair, squad 2 goes with us. Objective is to apprehend Precia Testarossa," explained Capt. Lindy. "Any questions?"

She looked around at the group she picked and saw the determined look in their eyes.

"I'll go scout ahead of you guys. You'll be able to spot where I am from a small tracker on my bike. It should show up on the GPS," said Kaname.

"We'll take to the sky and meet you there," said Vercossa.

"Understood," he replied.

"Best of luck to you," said Yunno.

"Likewise," said Kaname.

Kaname then walked over to where Subaru was, near Reo, tapped her on the shoulder and then presented her with the steel knuckles he finished in the forgery.

"Oh wow...these are great. You didn't have to," said Subaru.

"I'm sure you'll be able to put them to good use Subaru," said Kaname.

"Thank you so much," she said, giving Kaname a big hug.

"You're welcome," he replied.

"Try not to get killed," said Philip.

"Ditto," said Kaname, giving his partner an acknowledging nod, putting on his helmet.

As they split off and headed towards their designated spots, Kaname rode off after Capt. Jason and Arcturus had left in the Audi. The small squad of black jeeps followed soon after and then split off at certain intersections.

"How are you guys keeping up?" asked Kaname from his helmet.

"We're keeping a good pace although...could you try and take it easy on the twists and turns? It's making it a bit difficult to get a visual lock on you, even with the GPS," said Chrono.

"Sorry," he replied.

"We've got a good view from up here," said Vercossa.

"Definitely," added Fate.

After passing through various intersections, Kaname stopped for a brief moment and looked up to see Vercossa and Fate still leading them. As he followed their movements from the sky, he eventually found the clue he was looking for...trail marks and what appeared to have been an explosion near the area that led to Precia's coven. As soon as the convoy caught up with Kaname, Fate and Vercossa had already landed.

"These appear to be a few days old at the most," said Vercossa.

"More than likely it was from that mass attack right after I escaped with Nanoha," said Kaname. He then turned to the mentor with a look of curiosity and suspicion. "How much did you know about my family's background?"

"Enough...to see that you somehow saw the bigger picture," she replied.

"Team 1 form up behind team 2," ordered Capt. Lindy.

Kaname then noticed Chrono fishing around his pocket and pulled out what appeared to be a cell phone shaped device. He then opened it up and it revealed a three dimensional outline of the area. Right next to it was a measuring chart of sorts.

"What is that?" asked Nanoha.

"A tracking sensor of sorts," guessed Kaname.

"Good eye Kaname. This device not only gives a representation of the area we're in, but also measures how much demonic energy is within the vicinity," answered Chrono.

"Interesting," said Fate.

As the three descended down into the very area that Fate was able to recall from memory, Kaname felt that familiar burning sensation on his hand and realized that what Sengark had told him was true. However...this one felt more of an irritation than an actual burning sensation, like a sting.

"Is it still bothering you?" asked Fate.

"A little...but not as much," he replied.

Kaname looked over Chrono's shoulder and noticed the detection chart suddenly spiked to the top.

"OK...either I'm seeing things or that thing isn't working right because the reading is literally off the charts," he said.

"You're not seeing things. This place was brimming with demonic energy...or...there's something around here," said Chrono.

"We're here," indicated Vercossa, as she reached the bottom of the underground section.

Looking around, Chrono kept an eye on the three-dimensional representation of the area they were now in while the two squads of paladins kept a tight formation around them. By the time they passed the seat that Precia sat on leading into the back room, Fate then led the group down the area she remembered.

Chrono then gave the hand signal that meant one of the squads followed while the other stayed behind. As they descended, the beeping indication sound made from the device began to increase.

"The readings indicate that the source is around here," said Chrono.

By the time they reached the area that Fate recalled, the rest of them were just shocked. The room had a lot of empty and broken glass containers as well as broken shelves. Small glass fragments were scattered everywhere. At the center of the room was a girl within a tube filled with water.

"That's gotta be..." began Nanoha.

"Precia's deceased daughter," guessed Kaname.

What caught the trio's attention however, was the spot where Precia's dead daughter was as well as an impression of a crystal...that is...until Fate spotted Precia's body near the spot where her encased dead daughter was. Right above the container was the crystal itself, a blood red color. Just as Fate was about to rush to Precia's aid, Kaname stopped her.

"Let me go," she protested.

"Wait...something's different," he said.

As Kaname slowly walked over to where Precia was, he could hear a faint chuckle escape her lips.

"You're too late," she said. "I already gave him what was needed."

"Why did you do it?" asked Kaname.

"Isn't it obvious...I did what I had to in order to try and get my daughter back," said Precia.

"You were the one behind the attack on the city," he guessed.

"I was just following orders," she replied.

"So there was someone else pulling the strings," said Vercossa.

"It's ironic that you didn't realize that you were nothing more than a puppet," said Kaname.

"Even though I was just a pawn...I won't tell you anything else," she said.

"You don't need to...I've figured it out already," he replied.

Kaname then pulled out a small knife and threw it at Precia's dress over at the shoulder. As a result, it revealed the exact same insignia that he saw before...the one representing Belzangas.

"Just as I thought...you were also under his influence," he said.

"So...what do you intend to do? Kill me?" she inquired.

"You're too pathetic to kill," he answered.

"You're just a coward," she shot back.

Kaname then walked back to where Vercossa and Fate were, turned back and said, "You may have raised her and she may look like your deceased daughter...but you were never much of a mother to her."

"You still don't get it do you...prince of the Crimson Quartet," taunted Precia.

"What?" he inquired.

Seconds later, Chrono and the others heard shots being fired as well as the first squad of paladins cry out as they sounded like they were taken out by something.

"That's not good," said Chrono.

"Just what kind of trick are you trying to pull?" asked Nanoha.

"Boy...I knew you guys were pretty good but never this dense," said a familiar voice.

Kaname then felt that familiar burning pain shoot through his right arm as his right hand began burning, causing him to briefly cry out in pain. He took a quick glance and saw a familiar figure standing near Precia.

"You...you were the one who was controlling Sengark," said Kaname. "The demonic agent...Typhos."

"Very good Prince Kaname," he replied, with an evil chuckle. "You catch on pretty well."

"Why are you doing this?" asked Chrono.

"Oh...she hasn't told you?"

"Told us what?" inquired Vercossa.

"I was the one who sent out those men to find this room. I sent out the attack on the city...all to draw you out," answered Typhos.

"You were the one pulling the strings," said Kaname.

"Very good young one, yes. Unfortunately...like she said earlier...you are too late," he snickered.

Fate's eyes suddenly widened as she tried to get him away from Precia.

"Mother...please...stop this," she pleaded, trying to get to her.

"Stay back...you're nothing to me," she spat.

"Mother..." called out Fate, again.

"Soon...we'll be together again...Alicia," said Precia.

"I'm not...her...I'm Fate. Don't you recognize me?" she pleaded.

"If you think that siding with him will bring her back you're sadly mistaken," said Capt. Lindy.

"Shut up! What would you know?!" she growled.

"There's not much use she can be to you Typhos," said Kaname.

"Oh...I wouldn't be so sure about that, prince," he answered. "You see...I was looking for a suitable catalyst in order to help carry out my plan...and then it hit me...what better way to do that than to use someone who's obsessed with trying to bring back someone that he or she will use any means to do so."

"You're insane," spat Kaname.

"Now...be gone," said Typhos.

Just as quick as the human eye can blink, Typhos launched a blast of dark energy at Fate until Kaname noticed Vercossa shielding her and taking the hit instead.

"Sensei!" cried out Fate.

"You bastard!" shouted Chrono.

"Sensei...sensei," called out Fate, tears starting to stream down her face.

"Vercossa...hang on," said Kaname, kneeling by her side.

"-ku...N-Nanoha..." she called out weakly.

"I'm here," she answered.

"P-p...Promise me...that you'll...-ku...watch over...her," she said, wincing from the pain in her chest.

"I...I will," replied Nanoha.

"K-Kaname...t-take this," she said, handing him a four-folded piece of paper and a small wrapped gift. "It should help...with your journey."

"Thank you," he whispered.

"T-Take care...of her," said Vercossa, her eyes looking at Fate.

"Sensei," she whimpered, tears falling from her face.

"D-don't cr-cry...Fate. I was...happy...and proud...to be your mentor. P-ple...please...smile for me," she said, struggling to keep her head up.

Fate tried to muster a smile as she wiped away the tears from her eyes and managed to do so for her mentor.

"Be strong Fate," she said. "I...l-love...you."

"Vercossa-san..." whispered Nanoha.

"Sensei...SENSEI!!!!"

Kaname felt his grief quickly give way to rage and fury as he clenched his fists, ignoring the searing pain from his right hand.

"You will pay for what you've done!" shouted Kaname, glaring at Typhos.

Just as Kaname whipped out his P39R and pointed it at Typhos...the ground beneath them began to shake violently causing Kaname to drop his gun and Fate noticed that Precia wasn't moving from the spot near her dead daughter.

"Mother...I'm sorry," said Fate.

"We've got to get out of here now!" shouted Capt. Lindy.

"Everyone back to the jeeps," ordered Chrono.

"Fate-chan...come on," urged Nanoha, trying to have her follow the others.

As they headed out, Nanoha took a glance around and noticed most of the first squad were either stabbed or beheaded, making her look away quickly. Once near the jeeps, and outside of the lair the shaking just got worse until a beam of red light shot up into the air. Seconds later...two more beams of red light shot up into the air.

"This isn't good," said Chrono.

Nanoha then heard someone trying to contact them via radio. It was garbled and faint and it was coming from one of the nearby jeeps. Since she was also a werewolf, she was able to pick out from the three jeeps they had that it was the third one.

"...one on this...-quency...-ease...respond."

"Kaname...I think someone is trying to make contact," said Nanoha.

As he headed over to where Nanoha was, Chrono was currently trying to help those that were wounded back into the jeeps, while she went to help console Fate, who still appeared to be in a slight state of shock and grief.

"I'm sorry about your mentor," said Nanoha. "However...you should know that she did care about you...more than your mother did."

"Even though she was my teacher...we would be nothing more than that...mentor and student," she replied. "Despite what my mother did...even though she did berate me...I just...wanted her to accept me...to love me."

"Listen to me Fate...you're a strong girl...regardless of whether you're a copy of her deceased daughter or not. If you ever need a shoulder to cry on...I'm here," she answered, gently rubbing her back.

"Thank you...Nanoha. You're such a nice girl," she said, leaning against her chest.

As Kaname kept trying to adjust the frequency...eventually the call became clearer.

"If there's anyone on this frequency...please respond."

"This is Kaname...what's your status?" he inquired.

"Kaname...this is Reo. I've managed to gather what I could. Did you feel the quake?" he asked.

"We did. We tried to apprehend Precia however...it seems that she was unwilling to cooperate," said Kaname. "Any word from Philip or Yunno?"

"Nothing yet...except that he told me that he's over at the Toshima district," he replied.

"Where are you guys?" asked Kaname.

"We're over in the Nakano district," answered Reo.

"Alright...stay where you are and I'll dispatch a team to get you. Remember what Philip said...set off the green flare when you're ready," instructed Kaname.

"Yeah...sure. Be careful," said Reo.

"Likewise," he answered.

As Chrono and Capt. Lindy came over to where Kaname had just finished the communication, Nanoha and Fate took a quick glance at the sky as storm clouds began to form overhead and thunder began booming.

"What was that all about?" asked Chrono.

"That transmission was from Reo. He said he managed to gather as many as he could over in Nakano. My guess is that there was one Fang placed in that area," answered
Kaname.

"Any word from Yunno and Philip?" asked Capt. Lindy.

"None...except that Reo said they were over at Toshima," he replied.

"Those two are not very far from where we are," said Chrono.

"I suggest that we send choppers to send for them," said one of the paladin soldiers.

"Not with the way things are going right now," said Capt. Lindy. "Are the wounded set into the jeeps?"

"Yes m'am," he replied.

"Come on...we should get going," said Nanoha, slowly getting Fate up, who was leaning against her.

"You guys find Yunno and Philip...I'll go after Reo and Subaru," said Kaname, getting on his motorcycle.

"Best of luck to you," said Chrono. "And good hunting."

"Same to you," he replied, gunning the engines.

As Nanoha and Fate went into the jeep, Nanoha stuck her head out of the window and called out to Kaname.

"Kaname...be careful out there," she shouted.

"Yeah...I will," he replied, and then he was off.

As they split off from Shibuya, Kaname then turned on his visor from his helmet and increased the throttle on his motorcycle.

"DATS...you there?" he asked.

"For you sir...always," it replied.

"What's the current status over in Nakano?" asked Kaname.

"The city is in a slight state of panic at what has currently occurred and the shaking is slowly starting to stop," it replied.

"What about the weather conditions?" he inquired.

"The storm doesn't appear to be natural...it could be the means that something is about to be summoned from another world," replied DATS.

"Keep me posted," said Kaname, as he went past several intersections and onto the
freeway.

As he weaved through small bits of traffic, one thought entered his mind.

'Let's just hope I'm not too late.'

(1): I'm sure the description that I gave there might sound familiar to video gamers...particularly those that have played a Nintendo system.

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Posts: 162

Hey guys...for those that are wondering why I'm taking a bit long well...I'm doing an edited version of my fanfic on FF.net. Those that are curious and want to take a look...here's the link: Crimson Moon: Chronicles of Fate Part 1: Unearthed

8/7/2012: Sorry for the long wait in terms of updates for those that are curious about my work. I've been busy lately and have been trying to update to the best of my abilities.