Chapter 8:

1.8. Vampire Virus

The Writer's Illustrator is Stuck in Cookie Cult (LN)

[NEWS BREAK: Cases of NtBM have spiked, with 20 new cases reported yesterday and 10 deaths. It is believed that the numbers are not accurate as there may be many unreported cases in the community. Health experts advise people to stay aware and keep away from people who are pale looking. It is also recommended that those who suspect themselves are infected to seek medical attention immediately.]Bookmark here

If we go by the original, Rurita Nightingale, who is supposed to play the role of the villain, is a transfer student for next year. The original story is that Rurita Nightingale becomes enrolled into Saint High alongside the heroine. They were originally from the same school.Bookmark here

And, as the story goes, Rurita always bullies the heroine. Except she doesn’t do that in the story because she regained her memories.Bookmark here

It was somewhere then, accidentally stepping into the baking club, that Rurita got converted into a vampire. Bookmark here

Put it basically, I can expect Rurita to act as the MC the moment she steps foot on school grounds. That said, she’ll most probably realize that the story is different from the one she read. That’s because I’m the external factor at play.Bookmark here

How different you ask? I’ll be removing the vampires in the school. That way, there’d be no chance for her to become a vampire.Bookmark here

Though I’m not sure if I should be altering the story as such, I don’t think it’s a good idea to leave the situation be. I don’t know what Novelle is building up towards. And I’d rather live a peaceful life.Bookmark here

<Cookie Cult> is a weird, clickbaity title for a story. But Novelle didn’t arbitrarily pick the name without reason.Bookmark here

NtBM is a disease with 2 stages, semi-vampirism and total-vampirism, stage one and stage two respectively. At the current progress of the world, they are not aware of the difference between the two.Bookmark here

A semi-vampire needs blood in their system before the 120 day mark, if not, anemia will set it. They need to ingest blood, into their stomach to activate a certain error factor in the nanomachine to activate the hematopoiesis system to keep the host alive. Bookmark here

It’s slightly different from a total-vampirism whereby they need large volumes of blood in the stomach, to stimulate the nanomachines to release the hematopoiesis suppression.Bookmark here

In the beginning, health care personnels made the mistake of performing blood transfusion. It isn’t only a waste of blood, the efficacy is also worse when compared to ingesting blood directly.Bookmark here

The science behind it all is quite complex. I had trouble making sense of it all when Novelle drew up a pathophysiology chart. Whatever that is.Bookmark here

The first infection in Saint High begins with a student in the baking club. That student infects another student out of desperation, as in, drinking blood. The two students then begin slowly infecting other members of the club, until they realize that there was a way to stop the loop of infection.Bookmark here

That was to simply drink blood from each other. A semi-vampire can set off the error factor in the nanomachine by drinking a small amount of blood from another vampire and vice versa. They no longer had a need to infect other people.Bookmark here

Of course, drinking each other’s blood so openly is dangerous. Novelle didn’t miss this detail. Bookmark here

Next year, one of the two stage 2 NtBM victims will die due to infection of the blood, septicemia. The death of the student will then be ruled out as a compilation of NtBM. The emotionally unstable first vampire refused to drink blood from another vampire due to fear. Eventually, she lost to thirst and was how the new victim came to be.Bookmark here

Rurita Nightingale.Bookmark here

Get the picture? No? That’s alright. The details add to the story, but that isn’t what readers are looking for, was what Novelle once said.Bookmark here

Back to the point. Rurita Nightingale awakens with her memories, tries to help the vampire, and gets bitten herself. That begins her story of survival as a member of the baking club. Bookmark here

<Cookie>, is the aspect of baking, <Cult> being the blood sharing rituals and how they are one small clique that can only depend on each other.Bookmark here

Thus, how this universe got the name <Cookie Cult>.Bookmark here

===Bookmark here

“Be careful in school,” Avner’s mother, Narie warned.Bookmark here

“Yes.”Bookmark here

“Will do.”
My mother was driving us today. Father apparently had some issues last night at his office which no adult was willing to enlighten us on. My guess is that it had to do with NtBM, since my mother and father kept talking about it since this morning. She also put extra emphasis on telling us to avoid strangers or people that are pale looking in general.Bookmark here

I’m glad she’s no longer in a bad mood. Makes things convenient.Bookmark here

We were dropped at the gate. Waving her goodbye, we entered the school.Bookmark here

“Are you really not a vampire?” Lia asked again.Bookmark here

“I’m not.”Bookmark here

Hirs fears are justifiable. A stage one vampire can go at least 60 days without biting anyone.Bookmark here

Just a side note, the nanomachine disease only takes place through saliva-blood contact, not through food or air transmission.Bookmark here

A number of notifications popped up in front of me, warning me of the homeworks that I had to submit today. Today is a Friday, go figure.Bookmark here

Avner, I would’ve loved it if you didn’t wipe out all memories regarding your duty as a student before I began sharing you with your body. Bookmark here

Pinching between my eyes, I greeted Lia goodbye and rushed to class to get the work completed.Bookmark here

===Bookmark here

“Avner, here..”Bookmark here

A panel of xe’s working was pushed in front of me.Bookmark here

“Thanks.. no thank you. I can do it myself.”Bookmark here

I pushed it away.Bookmark here

“Huh? Why.. oh. Okay then..”Bookmark here

Pu’er took back hirs workdata and unconsciously pinched hirs ears.Bookmark here

“I appreciate it,” I showed hir a bright smile.Bookmark here

“Yes,” xe reciprocated with a troubled smile of hirs own.Bookmark here

I just recalled from Avner’s memories that he borrows from Pu’er often whenever he forgets to do his homework. Nothing too suspicious about Pu’er taking the initiative to pass hirs homework to Avner. I suppose. Bookmark here

Xe kept behind me and watched as I resolved a few simple algebraic equations.Bookmark here

“Did you always know how to do these?”Bookmark here

“Not particularly. I just know.”Bookmark here

“Did something happen to you?” xe asked worryingly.Bookmark here

“I guess so. And just for your information, it’s not because I was bitten by a vampire alright.”Bookmark here

I got a silent reply. I turned around to look at hir.Bookmark here

“I’m not lying.”Bookmark here

“Everyone thinks you’re acting odd.”Bookmark here

“I know.”Bookmark here

Should I have acted like Avner? To be honest, I don’t know how to act like him even if I wanted to. Having our memories merged, it’s difficult to differentiate between what Avner would do and what Shin would do.Bookmark here

“You’re.. really fine right?”Bookmark here

“I’m fine. I’m really fine, I need to get my homework completed.”Bookmark here

I returned my focus to my work.Bookmark here

I hadn’t realized how my actions affected the others around me. The cardinal symptom of NtBM is a sudden change of behavior in patients. That had totally slipped my mind. Bookmark here

Should I continue to act like how I am? Or should I attempt to act like Avner? It’s a difficult choice. I don’t have enough guts to not complete my homework, nor could I ever sleep in class.Bookmark here

Maybe I should seek a counselor? That way perhaps I could perhaps paint it over as flipping over a new leaf?Bookmark here

Pu’er pulled hirs chair over and sat beside me. A quick glance would tell you that xe’s playing a strategy game. I didn’t log in yesterday.Bookmark here

“You weren’t online yesterday.”Bookmark here

“Exam is coming up, you know?”Bookmark here

“Because of your parents?”Bookmark here

“You know me well,” I broke into a tired laugh.Bookmark here

“My parents are like that as well.”Bookmark here

“Really?” Bookmark here

I turned to hir. Hirs eyes sparkled, I felt my heart rate speed up and my mind swirl. Avner, you seriously have a crush on this woman huh? Not a chance. Shin doesn’t allow it.Bookmark here

“I played it sneakily last night,” xe winked, placing a finger to hirs lips.Bookmark here

“I didn’t even touch it.”Bookmark here

“The date hasn't been refreshed yet, it's not too late to log in.”Bookmark here

I pondered a bit and decided to start up the game. I solved another question while the loading screen was on display.
Pu’er took the window of my account and began helping me claim the login rewards and materials from the farms and mines.Bookmark here

If I were Avner, this would mark the most intimate he had had with Pu’er. Never had Pu’er once come to approach him in this way. Some gazes were pooled here.Bookmark here

Maybe I could use this to my advantage? To have people think that I changed because there was something between the two of us? It’s not like the class isn’t aware.Bookmark here

Even Ares was giving us some space. What a gentleman.Bookmark here

“Thanks Pu’er.”Bookmark here

“No problems.”Bookmark here

She played my account while I drew equations with my fingers.Bookmark here

I managed to complete everything before the first period.Bookmark here

===Bookmark here

Announcement!!:Bookmark here

Hello! I'm sorry to interrupt but I was wondering if you need illustrations? Yes, I have official illustrations for the characters.Bookmark here

Before I ruin your reading experience (and have you realize that the image of the characters you have in mind isn't the same as the images!), could I implore you to spare some of your time to head on over to my website? There you can find illustrations of Avner, Lia, Pu'er, Brunette, Ares, Randell, Innis, etc.Bookmark here here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.