Holding a parasol, Rushella took a step forward, her eyes filled with hostility.
"Hugging publicly out on the streets, my, you've surely grown up."
It was impossible to tell from Miraluka's tone whether it was praise or exasperation.
Perhaps it was both.
Embarrassed, Hisui looked back and forth between the two vampires.
"Why did you come here...?"
"I was taking a walk nearby then heard a commotion so I came to check it out. Then... I saw you two."
"Surely you can come up with a better excuse? You must have followed me, right? If you used the mystic eyes, it'd be easy as pie."
Ignoring Hisui's accusations, Miraluka took a step forward as well.
Rushella glared at her with displeasure.
"You came at the right time. I've got things I need to make clear to you!"
"This guy is mine!!"
Pointing at Hisui, Rushella announced proudly.
"No no, I'm free and independent."
Hisui calmly refuted but Rushella ignored him.
Finally, she managed to return to her former state.
"So noisy, so shut up! Know that you are my servant and you'll dedicate yourself to me fully from now on!!"
"I can't believe you can say that so shamelessly after causing me so much trouble! Also..."
Hisui could not bring himself to say "also in front of Miraluka" out loud.
Timidly, he looked at Miraluka but she remained unfazed.
She did not seem to mind.
Not only that, she was extending her right hand with a smile.
"W-What are you doing!?"
Unable to understand her intent, Rushella asked warily.
"Since sunlight is such a pain to both of us and standing out here to talk isn't convenient, how about we go home to talk? In any case, let's find a cool and shady spot."
"Well... Sure. But you're surprisingly calm. What, you don't mind Hisui being my servant?"
Rushella asked proudly.
She was completely unaware of the danger.
But Hisui was scared shitless.
The right hand Miraluka extended was the one whose skin had been burnt.
Spreading her fingers, her action looked like she was about to pierce Rushella's left chest.
"Run for it!"
Hearing Hisui's warning, Rushella reflexively retreated.
Miraluka's right hand passed through empty space.
Luckily, her hand only managed to graze the clothing on Rushella's chest. What she ripped out was only fragments of Rushella's brassiere and did not harm any flesh.
Rushella looked down in shock.
With her clothing ripped at the chest, her left breast had popped out.
Before feeling embarrassment, she first experienced fear.
On that pale and voluptuous, supple flesh, a faint scratch mark appeared.
Then the scratch mark slowly thickened, turning into a thin red line.
Had she evaded a beat slower, Rushella's left breast would surely have been struck.
A fist-sized hollow would probably be hollowed out from her chest.
"What's the meaning of this!?"
Faced with Hisui's questioning, Miraluka followed up with an attack to substitute for an answer.
Her attack was identical to just now.
Rushella was covering her chest, unable to fight back at all. Seeing that she was unable to evade or defend against the next strike no matter what, her face displayed fear.
At the last moment, a figure rushed over to block Miraluka.
"What are you doing? Exposing a breast to seduce Hi-kun?"
Mei had hurried over. Stepping up to shield Rushella, she had protected her.
"Hey, my dear mother, although this brat doesn't know her manners, aren't you going a bit too far? Or is this a woman's jealousy?"
Miraluka said emotionlessly, ignoring Hisui.
A battle between a vampire and an artificial human was about to start--However, it was not one against one.
"This ends here."
Eruru appeared standing behind Miraluka.
The sacred gun Argentum was already aimed at Miraluka. If she continued to take action, Eruru would surely fire--That was what her eyes conveyed resolutely.
"While chasing Rushella-san, I noticed that the crowd was thinning out in this area. By the time I reached this place, there were no other people. You used the mystic eyes to drive all bystanders away, what are your intentions?"
Miraluka shrugged at Eruru's question.
Without turning her head back, she answered tirelessly.
"What am I doing? Since this is a matter between vampires, whatever I do is my freedom, yes? So long as it does not involve humans, conflict between monsters should not be interfered with. Isn't that your organization's policy? So what does this have to do with you?"
Poked in a vulnerable spot, Eruru made a displeased expression.
Miraluka was very correct.
It was a conflict between vampires. Just let them kill each other and get killed on their own.
If they ended up with mutual destruction, it would save her the task and also reduce the number of people with tragic experiences like her.
Eruru glanced at Rushella and Hisui then said calmly.
"This is friendship between classmates... You are overthinking things."
"Who do you think I am doing this for? For this imposter... Or for Hisui?"
Eruru frowned unhappily and signaled to Mei with her eyes.
Instantly, bright light erupted from Mei's eyes.
Two scorching beams of light shot at Miraluka's face.
However, Miraluka turned to one side and dodged.
While facing Mei's lasers, it was even more important to stay vigilant of Eruru behind her.
In fact, when Miraluka was taking evasive action, Eruru had pulled the trigger at the same time.
Mei and Eruru had discussed tactics beforehand, deciding on this pincer attack conducted in quick succession.
Miraluka blocked the bullet completely effortlessly. Closing in instantaneously, she blocked Argentum's muzzle.
With that, the gun was neutralized.
Eruru would lose as long as the gun was damaged before she fired her second shot.
Just as everyone present thought Eruru was going to lose, she laughed fearlessly.
"Who says that I only have one gun?"
Only then did Miraluka notice that Eruru was holding another gun in her left hand.
This gun's design was almost identical to Argentum's but slightly smaller with a narrower caliber.
A weapon prepared for emergencies in advance, prioritizing ease of concealment over power.
Eruru never intended to defeat her enemy using Argentum alone.
All was for this occasion.
Eruru pulled the trigger. The second bullet shot out from the gun in her left.
She had never dual wielded before, but this time, her tactic was correct.
The bullet was shot at the left of Miraluka's chest--Then it penetrated her body!
Hisui wanted to run over.
But Miraluka did not collapse.
She staggered then stabilized herself immediately, using karate chops to strike down Eruru's dual guns. Then kicking away the guns that had fallen on the ground, she forced Eruru to withdraw.
Confirming that Eruru had no other backup guns, Miraluka casually walked over to Rushella.
There was a clear bullet hole on the left breast but she did not seem injured.
"Looks like there's no choice but to fight. But why is she unharmed?"
Mei was surprised but had no time to figure it out.
This was not arm wrestling but a battle with their lives on the line. One side was definitely going to lose and die. Mei's face was solemn as though facing a great enemy.
"Get out of the way quickly."
Hisui suddenly rushed over and shoved her aside.
Because it happened so suddenly, Mei was knocked down by the weak and skinny Hisui, falling over completely.
"Hey, what are you doing!?"
Ignoring Mei's protest, Hisui stepped up to take her place.
Hugging tightly Rushella who was standing rooted to the spot, he faced off against Miraluka.
This action caused even Miraluka to get angry.
Knocking Hisui unconsious and pulling him away from Rushella would be very easy, but he was surely going to resist and possibly get hurt.
"Step aside, Hisui."
"...When did you gain the guts to oppose me?"
Miraluka was questioning Hisui as his family, his mother and older sister.
Hearing that, hesitation flashed in Hisui's eyes. But as soon as he looked at Rushella who was still trembling after getting drenched in the rain, he steeled his determination.
"And when did you start getting serious with the young ones? That's even worse than acting childish. I really wanna ask... Who the heck are you? Does she really rub you the wrong way? Because I brought a girl home to live with while you were gone... Do you see her as an eyesore?"
It pained Hisui to say these things.
Hisui knew that Miraluka was not going to react well to this.
In her shoes, he would surely get angry too.
Coming home to find another woman sleeping in her bed.
It might be possible to tolerate as a mother or a sister.
But Miraluka, she was...
Hisui recalled what happened last night in the bedroom.
That supple body, the sensation of her breasts, her crimson lips, none of that could be dispelled from his mind.
"Although it's really embarrassing, I have to say this."
Hisui sounded like he was trying to convince himself as well.
"After you died... I was living in a daze like I had lost my soul."
He came to understand all this after that occasion when he got to have a dialogue with himself.
After conversing with his other self, his doppelganger, only then did he realize.
"I originally planned to pull myself together after entering high school... But nothing really changed, fundamentally. Until I met this girl."
Pointing at Rushella, Hisui smiled wryly.
In the beginning, when Rushella was drenched by rainwater, Hisui had extended a helping hand and taken her in to live in his home... But truly, the one who was saved was actually himself.
"This girl made a ton of trouble, giving me such a hard time. But with my life revolved around her all the time, I didn't have any time to think about unnecessary things. The busy days helped me to get my act together again."
Hisui narrowed his eyes as he finished.
"So what?"--If Miraluka answered like that, Hisui would have nothing to say in return.
After all, Miraluka was already back.
However, Hisui still felt compelled to continue talking.
"So, could you not touch what's precious to me, okay?"
These words stung himself as well.
To be honest, he was afraid to look at Miraluka.
But he still gathered his courage and looked up to face her.
Miraluka was still expressionless.
Without saying a word, she stood there silently.
Her complexion was so pale as always, almost transparent. Even at this moment, there was no shade of red--No emotional turmoil.
She simply took a step forward.
Everyone felt nervous.
Just as a new round of conflict was about to break out, a certain person interrupted, failing to read the mood.
"Okay, that's enough. Should I call the police? Oh right, I am the police."
Rangetsu appeared and flashed her police notebook proudly.
Despite her casual tone, her expression was very grim.
Holding a cellphone in her other hand, she was ready to all for reinforcements any time.
"The mystic eyes' effects will be over soon and people will be here shortly. Let's add a few more police to that. So, what are you going to do?"
This was not bluffing, but the situation was not improving enough to call it a reversal.
Faced against a True Ancestor-class vampire, the Supernatural Investigations Section's notebook was not going to have an effect.
Although Eruru got her revenge, Miraluka was still standing there without any problems.
This was reality.
Amidst the complicate battle of psychology, Miraluka smiled and said:
"Looks like you're greatly loved by the non-humans, although my wish is for you to avoid contact with these monsters as much as possible."
"Who do you think raised me? This is 90% your fault, you know?"
Then she pointed at the left side of Rushella's chest.
"I shall spare your life for now."
Then she turned around and left.
No one chased after her.
Because even if they did, they could not win.
Only Rushella screamed as hard as she could:
"...Why must you take my life?"
"Who exactly am I!?"
Rushella screamed her lungs out but Miraluka did not answer. Without looking back, she issued a declaration of war.
"I definitely won't let you off next time."
Her stern voice sounded pleasing to the ear, its tone filled with the solemn dignity of an ancient vampire.
At the same time, there was undeniable seductive charm to it.
Until the image of her back disappeared into the busy streets, no one said anything.
"...Hurry and drink."
This exchange had already repated dozens of times.
Hisui already expected this answer but he still had to say it.
"Hurry and drink my blood! You're so weak now, you haven't drank blood for a long time, right!?"
Rushella struggled, refusing him.
Watching from the side, Eruru and the rest of the girls were either sighing or making wry looks.
After Miraluka left, Hisui's group had gone to Eruru's home. Kirika also met up with them and found out what happened.
Rangetsu had work and returned to the Supernatural Investigations Section first. Apart from Touko, the entire Supernatural Investigations Club were finally gathered together.
Once everyone settled down, Hisui urged Rushella to hurry and drink his blood. But she acted stubborn and refused no matter what.
"What the heck's with you? You used to drink while pinning me down under you no matter how much I struggled!?"
"Shut up, I'm on 'diet' right now."
"What dieting? It's not like you got fat, your figure still looks..."
Saying that, Hisui checked out Rushella's body, earning himself a punch from her.
"What are you doing!?"
"Stop looking at me with indecent eyes! Oh right, inside the church, you saw my n-naked body..."
"Oh yeah, that did happen. Yes, nothing's changed at all, there's no need to go on a diet."
Then Rushella straddled him and hammered her fists.
Her attack was like it was trying to drive the embarrassing memories out of Hisui's mind, raining punches nonstop. Hisui could not resist at all.
Kirika could not bear watching on the sidelines and ran over to pull Rushlla away. Mei also interrupted impatiently.
"What are you doing here, flirting with each other? Do it somewhere else."
"...It really hurts, okay? Thank you, Senpai."
"Let go, I'm not done with him yet!"
"Come on, show some restraint. Besides... Why aren't you drinking blood?"
This was everyone's shared question that Kirika was raising on their behalf.
Hearing that, Rushella pouted and acted awkward.
"Because... it doesn't look like it feels good, right?"
"Why are you trying to act coy at this point? It hurts, it's scary and there's the smell of blood. None of it is good."
As soon as Hisui finished, Mei and Kirika poked him.
"This time, you're in the wrong, Hi-kun."
"This time, it's your fault, Kujou-kun."
Both girls responded at the same time.
But Hisui was totally clueless.
"I watched a video in a net cafe... A vampire movie..."
"A vampire watching a vampire movie? Come on, those are all fake, 'kay?"
"But... It's not like they're totally wrong... Right? People who get bitten by vampires, it looks like it hurts a lot, those painful expressions on their faces, finally losing their humanity... Vampires are also so ugly... Like monsters..."
Rushella sat there uncomfortably, stammering.
Actually everything she said was true. She had finally gained some objective insight to herself, apparently.
She must have thought over many things in her days away from Hisui.
"Well... They're vampires after all, right? That's the way it is, right? When humans are hungry, don't they look like ravenous demons while they eat?"
His skills in following up on the conversation were terrible. Mei and Kirika poked him again.
"What the heck!? Did I say something wrong!?"
"I can't believe I'm sympathizing with this child. Hi-kun is so bad at delicacy."
"Shouldn't you be reflecting on why she left in the first place?"
Attacked by two heroines, Hisui could only surrender.
But he still could not figure out Rushella's thoughts.
"Aren't you the same!? You used to be so reluctant, but what happened now? After getting sucked for so long, has your 'fetish' finally awakened!?"
"No, not at all. To be honest, it hurts like hell. Your blood drinking technique sucks so badly, you haven't improved even a tiny bit all this time. It's such a pain."
This time, Rushella's full-powered right straight struck Hisui, knocking him out.
Glaring unhappily at the unconscious Hisui, she sat down on the floor with knees drawn to her chest.
Mei and Kirika hastily discussed how to handle things. Observing silently all this time, Eruru finally spoke up.
"Looks like you finally understand that you are a contemptible monster that preys on human blood. Since you have become self-aware, it can be considered a good thing, but nothing has changed fundamentally."
Hearing her speak so bluntly, Mei and Kirika frantically warned with their eyes but Eruru ignored them. She continued:
"According to what that Pure of the Pure said, vampires originated from the act of blood drinking. This behavior probably cannot be changed. Since I, too, have inherited that contemptible blood of monsters, I have no right to look down on you... Since this is all inborn, you do not have to blame yourself totally."
"At least, if you really were a contemptible monster, I believe that Kujou-san would not let you drink his blood. Oh well, I suppose it is possible that he is charmed by your appearance."
Eruru's words were merciless.
Most people probably could not tell if she was trying to comfort or denigrate her.
"You also saw how that Pure of the Pure ended up, right? If you do not drink blood and end up like him, then that would be really making trouble for us. I don't suppose you want to lose rationality, right?"
Deep nervousness appeared on Rushella's face.
She recalled the death of the beast that had lost its sanity.
The thought alone was enough to make her shiver in terror.
She did not want to turn into that.
She did not want to end up in that pitiful state.
She wanted to maintain her sense of self.
However, in order to retain her sense of self, to retain a vampire's rational mind... Drinking blood was necessary.
"No way... Are you starting to want to become human?"
Eruru pointed out coldly.
Rushella did not answer.
No matter how trivial the situation, she used to bring up her title of True Ancestor all the time, taking pride in it and viewing humans as ants.
In the past, she would definitely have denied Eruru's observation.
But now, she did not say anything.
Neither agreeing nor disagreeing.
"If I were human, Hisui wouldn't have such a rough time... This has crossed my mind."
"Of course. Although Kujou-san is a weird case, he is human after all. Hence, the act of blood drinking is definitely accompanied by risk to some extent. Death from blood loss, damage to blood vessels or turning vampire like during the sports festival. All of that are implied when a vampire stays close to a human."
Eruru's words seem to be reminding herself as well.
After all, she had inherited the blood of vampires too.
Saying all this to Rushella also applied partially to herself, apart from the vampirization portion.
"...I know, that's why..."
"That's why you chose to leave. But that does not mean that trouble leaves with you. Suppose both sides of the decision cause trouble no matter what, why don't you follow Kujou-san's wishes?"
"If you are not willing to drink Kujou-san's blood, there are transfusion blood packs in the fridge, you know? The taste is probably worse than muddy water for you, but a slight drink should get you through the current crisis."
Rushella shook her head.
Eruru narrowed her eyes with displeasure. Kirika and Mei also motioned with their chins to tell her to get a blood pack from the kitchen.
But Rushella did not move.
She was not simply making a show of her tsundere willfulness. Instead, it was self-awareness about her body's condition.
"I'm not lying when I say I'm not thirsty, but... It does surprise me too that I haven't reached that extent yet. I used to drink blood every single day, but now, it's unbelievable that I'm currently fine..."
"Considering this blank period, it could be considered a safe zone for now, but no one can tell how long it will last. To prevent the worst case scenario from happening, please manage your bodily condition properly."
"...I know. By the way, you've changed."
Eruru made a face of puzzlement but her eyes betrayed her. Even Mei and Kirika stared at her suggestively.
"Nothing much, I'm starting to think you're an obstacle along my path to have a child with Hi-kun."
"Considering it's Kujou-kun, a dhampir is fine too, how troublesome..."
The two girls nodded with understanding.
"What do you two mean by that? That look on your faces is so annoying! Spit it out clearly if you have something to say!"
"Nope, I've got nothing to say. Right, Senpai?"
"What is there to say by this point? Okay... What are we doing next?"
Hearing Kirika's question, Eruru recovered her usual state and expressed her opinion.
"Why does True Ancestor Miraluka want to take Rushella's life? Although it is just a conflict between vampires, considering that innocents might get caught up, it cannot be ignored. I believe the most important thing right now is to send her to a safe place for quarantine for now."
"If anything happened to either of those two, Hi-kun will be sad. You forgot to mention this."
"You shut up. Rushella-san, will you listen to our arrangements?"
Eruru ignored the mischievous Mei and turned to Rushella."
"...I know. I don't want to cause Hisui trouble."
To think she accepted so simply, how unlike her style in the past.
But the girls seemed to have forgotten a boy.
After Rushella and the girls left, Hisui was still lying knock out on the wooden floor.
At last, someone kicked him in the side of the head. A wave of pain finally woke Hisui up.
"Hey, what are you doing? My head is not a football!"
"Shut up, watch your tone of voice when you are a guest at my house."
Eruru was drying her hair with a towel as she looked down at him.
Seeing her just out of a bath, Hisui realized he had fainted for quite a long time.
Crawling to his feet, he looked around. Only Eruru and himself were here.
"Already taken to a safe place for quarantine. It is better not to say where, just in case."
"If you say so... Okay, I admit you're right."
"So why does your foster mother see her as an enemy? Just because you two were flirting openly? Surely that cannot be everything."
"Don't be so harsh. I-I don't know either. I can't figure out the reason. If anything... Umm, Mei should be her primary target instead. Especially if Miraluka encountered one of those times when Mei pushes me down... After all, it happens all the time."
"I agree. Myself excluded. If it is for this reason, then all the girls around you will be targeted... Perhaps she has already made a move on a number of people."
Hisui wanted to avoid confronting the topic but Eruru brought it up openly.
Precisely because of that, Hisui faced her sincerely with objective analysis.
"I'm still not sure of the reason, but..."
"I think she's getting a bit impatient. If not for that, when Rushella was together with me... She wouldn't have made a move."
"You mean she would avoid fighting Rushella for your sake? My, you do trust her so much."
Although Eruru was highly sarcastic, there was sadness in her words.
Or perhaps jealousy.
"What... should I do?"
"Why ask me? Think over it yourself. In any case, you may sleep here tonight. You cannot go home after all, right? Even if your foster mother is not home."
He had a feeling that Miraluka would definitely be at home if he returned like this. Also, she would open the door in her usual attitude, even dragging him off to bed...
Hence, Hisui was afraid.
He dared not return.
"If the living room sofa works, just bear with it. But if you dare enter my room, even just a millimeter, I will blow your brains out."
"Like hell I'd go in there! Then just let me stay for one night. Since I'm already imposing on you, you don't mind if I ask for one more favor, do you?"
"What is it?"
"I want a medical check."
Hisui's face was serious.
Eruru was very surprised.
Pointing at himself, Hisui said:
"I want a proper check up from the ground up. About my constitution."