Chapter 12:

The Forgotten Daughter

She Wolf will not find her mate; I curse the Spring that came too quickly. I won't fall in love!

The Hirasawa household is known as a safe haven for many myths. When Koneko Hirasawa created the mansion for her family and those who relied on her she made a deal with the gods above to recreate a shield that would defend them from the myth hunters. Only those granted access by Koneko herself could enter the area.

I had to get special permission to enter it myself. Koneko was a legendary werecat, it was difficult to look at recent history without finding her name. When I stood before her my knees were trembling. I was much younger then, the Anames had taken me to their mansion for the first time. It was amazing, the entrance for it was through two trees that had twisted together but there was enough of a gap it was like a doorway. Beside the mansion, two massive dragons lay coiled. Though asleep they would be ready to spring into action if myth hunters were to try anything. Between those two trees, Koneko Hirasawa had been waiting for me. Bright green eyes bearing down onto me.

When she has given me access I beheld the mansion for the first time. It was in a clearing within the forest, massive beautiful gardens surrounded it. They were filled with the most beautiful mythical and exotic flowers. But the mansion itself was unique, it seemed to be formed out of a tree, or perhaps a massive ancient tree had grown on top of it. Its roots gripping tight to the building, covering it. It was wondrous.

One summer day, a few days after the summer solstice something awful happened at the Hirasawa mansion.

Elvira was thought of as the only pureblood princess but it was not true. There was another that could have taken that title. Lorelei was not born to the King and Queen but she was a vampire and her powers rivalled the purebloods that existed there. Lorelei had been born in the mansion though she was exiled for reasons well hidden.

On this fateful day, Lorelei returned to her birthplace. A hole was ripped open in the roof of the mansion and Lorelei leapt into the room that Koneko was asleep in. With a swing of a bronze blade, she took off the head of the werecat and lept back out of the mansion. One tried to stop her but she was too fast and got away, carrying the head of the werecat with her.

Caelestis was in the vampire lounge at the time. They tried their best to avoid the summer sun and had spent most of the break indoors. At the edges of his consciousness Caelestis knew something was profoundly wrong. He looked to his brother who hadn’t seemed to have noticed anything and to his sister who shared a similar concerned expression on her face.

Caelestis slowly stood up and stepped toward the door, he listened carefully and could hear chaos breaking out further down in the mansion. Suddenly the door burst open.

Ephvangeline stood there, her hair flared out around her and a terrified look in her eyes, “We have to hide!”

“What the fuck is happening right now?” he asked, staring into her crazed cat eyes.

“Koneko was killed,” she barely managed to get out.

Behind them one of the vampire girls, Tsukiko whispered, “I feel sick…”

“I don’t care,” Ephvangeline hissed, “we need to hide.”

Lizette stood up, Kayin following her lead along with the rest of the vampires who had been lounging about. “Where?” Lizette asked.

“Down in the basement!” Ephvangeline shouted, already running down the hall.

“Come on everyone!” Kayin yelled and they followed Ephvangeline.

Caelestis’ expression was dark, he was trying to calculate just what exactly this would mean in terms of his own safety and the safety of the vampires. He wanted to press Ephvangeline for further details but they were just trying to keep up with her.

As they ran down into the basement throwing the doors shut behind them Caelestis noted that they were the last group of people she had taken down there. He glared at her, of course that was the case.

Hikaru, Shizuka’s youngest brother, was in tears he clung to Ephvangeline, “Angel what’s happening… why is this happening?”

“My mother has a lot of enemies…” Ephvangeline said quietly.

Caelestis was frustrated with this whole situation, responsibility weighed down upon him. He grilled Ephvangeline, “Is staying around here even safe anymore? Is being in a large group like this putting us at more of a risk? Koneko was the one keeping us all together and if she isn’t around anymore we need to split up.”

Ephvangeline snapped back, “Where do you plan on going? We’ve got a better chance taking on someone if we’re together. Two werecats and our guardian witches and three purebloods. I like those odds a little better.”

Jun shouted, “Who said anything about fighting? It’s not splitting up to fight, it's to hide!”

Caelestis looked back at Ephvangeline, she seemed to have no idea what she was doing and it could put them all in danger.

Ephvangeline shook her head, “I don’t know what’s going to happen.”

Shizuka was really shaken up, “If anything, I need to not be here, right now.”

Ephvangeline looked at her and said firmly, “Stay.”

“No. I need to go, Ephvangeline.”

“Where are you going to go?”

“Anywhere away from here. I can’t stand it,” Shizuka was on the verge of tears.

Caelestis thought similarly, he couldn’t stand it in there with Shizuka and Ephvangeline, both insufferable. But with no other plan he didn’t have a choice. There was a thump outside and Shizuka, the fool, opened the door, putting them all in danger and ran towards it. Though Caelestis thought it was convenient that she was getting rid of herself by running at full speed towards the sound, he was beyond irritated by her.

Crimson was at the end of the hall and grabbed the foolish girl as she tried to run past. Crimson had similar powers to Ephvangeline but her hair was golden, it grew and grabbed Shizuka. It began to crush her. Shizuka struggled and tried to burn the werecat but the gold would not budge. Soon she was suffocating as the gold covered her mouth and restricted her breathing.

Ephvangeline ran up to the doorway, “Caelestis, Alren, help!”

Caelestis looked at her incredulously, “I’m refusing to help such a fool.”

“Why?” Ephvangeline asked desperately

“I’m not risking anything,” Caelestis said, Ephvangeline shot him a glare before running off with her siblings to the rescue, Caelestis added, “Especially not for her.”

He looked back at the other vampires, they needed him with them. They all looked terrified, except for his brother who marched forth proudly, “Yeah wrong pureblood Angel.”

He walked out of the basement too. Caelestis was about to stop him but Kayin was always the odd one out, he let him help Shizuka. The fight commenced outside of the basement, Caelestis closed the door and summoned his powers to keep it closed shifting the ground around it so hopefully Crimson would not get in.

The tension was so thick in the room.

Everyone remained silent and Caelestis stood with the vampires listening intently for the sounds outside of the room. All he could hear was Ephvangeline and Shizuka shouting at each other. He needed a plan but his mind was blank. He looked back to the vampires. They were scared and Lizette was about to cry clinging to her friend since Kayin had left them. They were trapped and Caelestis knew it. He regretted following Ephvangeline and leading everyone he was responsible for along with him.

The future was so damn uncertain though he knew his mother wanted him to seduce the youngest Hirasawa child as she had immense power. She had brought people who were recently dead back to life but who knows if that would work. It would likely be their only hope but until then all hell would break loose without Koneko there. And an aggressive werecat loose in the mansion. The barriers were fairly worthless if they couldn’t keep her out, Caelestis thought.

Suddenly that very werecat appeared in the room.

“Oh great,” Caelestis muttered and stood ready for something insane.

Crimson stared directly at him, her eyes were furious and crazed. She stood still, her eyes just trained on him and he felt frozen like the smallest movement might set her off.

“Great we’re trapped and we can’t get past her,” Lizette whispered softly somewhere behind him.

Katsu suddenly blasted a hole in the wall with a ball of fire as if to fulfill her request. The debris fell past Crimson and Caelestis and he took this cover to run and climb out of the room, helping the vampires escape as well.

As he helped the last one out he looked around the hallway and found Kayin. He grabbed his brother’s arm and pulled him toward them. All the vampires needed to stick together. Crimson was dealt with down below by her sister and ran back outside. Caelestis took a sigh of relief. That was one problem gone for now at least. But he looked at his brother who had a horrified expression on his face.

Caelestis followed his line of sight to the window.

The barrier that would usually be faintly visible now showed signs of cracks and part of it had just fallen away into nothing.

Elvira squeezed Caelestis hand and he sighed heavily. This was about to get so much worse very quickly. Vampires were the myth hunters favourite target after all.

Elvira whispered to him, “We need to get out of here. Do you know where we can go?”

Caelestis looked at his sister, “Do you think that’s best for us?”

Elvira hissed, “This place is going to be swarming with myth hunters in like two seconds. Without Koneko here… us vampires are in danger aren’t we Kayin.”

Kayin looked at her, “Yeah but we can’t just leave everyone here to fend for themselves.”

Elvira rolled her eyes at Kayin, “Sure we can, it’s either that or being killed because we’re purebloods.”

Caelestis added, “We are a different case to everyone else. We’ll be the sacrificial figureheads of their victory.”

“Exactly,” said Elvira and she leaned in, “we need to make a run for it, is there any werecat we can take with us as a scapegoat?”

Caelestis smirked, he enjoyed his sister’s wicked side, “Have a look around, if you see one, grab her. If there are multiple, take your pick sweetie.”

Elvira darted into the mass of scared teenagers, looking for any one of the Hirasawas. The window Caelestis had witnessed the barrier crumble broke. Glass shattered all over them.

“What the fuck,” Kayin yelled covering his hand with his arms.

Caelestis looked over at him and they both backed away from the window knowing who the myth hunter would target first, and sure enough it was myth hunter grappling hooks that had broken the window, more swung in and latched onto the window frame. They started to zip toward the window.

“Let’s get out of here,” Kayin grabbed Caelestis’ arm.

The first face of a myth hunter appeared in the window.

“They’ve seen us now,” Caelestis looked back around for Elvira.

“Shit,” Kayin’s voice was trembling.

Caelestis spotted Elvira pulling Katsu and Shizuka along with her. Katsu spotted the myth hunter climbing in through the window, “Well you fucking do need my help.”

Katsu balled his hands into fists and thrust them up. The window covered in rock pushing the myth hunter away. He grabbed Shizuka’s hand and ran with her towards the window on the opposite side. Shizuka kicked the glass out of the window and they both jumped out of it. Elvira followed after them.

“Ugh this is crazy,” Kayin muttered before jumping out, Caelestis followed his brother hoping the rest would be less of a target without the purebloods there.

They were outside on the lawn and it was chaos. Fights between myth hunters and the myths that called the mansion home had broken out all over it.

Shizuka yelled, “Is there anywhere to escape to? This is all pointless!”

Katsu led them outside of where the barrier used to be and into the forest so they were out of plain sight, “There just might be.”

Elvira whispered to them, “We’re safer out of that house. All their attention is on it.”

Shizuka whined and Caelestis instantly regretted having her there, “We never did plan a backup safe zone did we, besides the house I mean. In hindsight, we should have built bunkers.”

Katsu watched the fights on the lawn in horror, “Well the gods’ shield has lasted us all our lives…”

Kayin lamented, “It’s fucking done now.”

Caelestis looked around the lawn, he could see some of the adult vampires engaging in fights with the myth hunters. He prayed for their safety but ultimately his presence would draw even more attention.

“Let’s go this way,” Katsu led Shizuka deeper into the forest and the pureblood siblings followed him.

Despite living in the forest all his life Caelestis had never explored it, he was completely lost the moment they lost sight of the mansion. He had a feeling the others did as well. The forest was beautiful but there was no time to take it in. He was on edge knowing there could be myth hunters anywhere.

Shizuka complained, “There’s no escaping is there? I mean, they’ve infiltrated every land and country surely?”

Katsu was still leading the group, “Possibly… but there are places where it’s safe.”

Shizuka asked, “Where?”

“Our classmates come from somewhere, Shizuka. I don’t know there’s got to be somewhere safer,” Katsu responded.

They kept walking further, the forest was quieter as they walked. They could no longer hear the sounds of fighting. There was only birdsong and the wind rustling through the leaves. The purebloods made sure to avoid the patches of sunlight that peaked through the trees although the hot summer sun’s heat still somehow penetrated the canopy.

Elvira was looking around nervously, “I think we got past them…”

“Don’t be so sure,” Said Caelestis, “they wouldn’t let us go so easily.”

Elvira stepped out in front of him, “Then let’s keep moving.”

Suddenly there was some movement in the trees up ahead.

Caelestis grabbed his sister’s hand and yanked her behind him, “Danger,” he hissed.

They all froze keeping their eyes trained on those trees. Expecting the worst, the myth hunters. Caelestis was about to summon some throwing knives when the culprit stepped out. A small brown girl with a mischievous smirk.

“Oh yeah so dangerous,” said Varinia.

And he was delighted to see her.

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