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Snippet #2469336

located in Cross Academy, a part of Vampire Knight: The Devil's Dance, one of the many universes on RPG.

Cross Academy



Characters Present

Character Portrait: Asuka Fujiwara Character Portrait: Zenith Rosenkreuz Character Portrait: Sora Tsukino Character Portrait: Anastasia Guillory
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“The self-preservation instinct is one I never really understood. I was fated to die from the moment I was born. Is it not a blessing, to be able to choose how? For me, death was always assumed. Soldiers understand that sometimes, it is their job to die. And yet… I have never wanted to live so much as I do now.”

To say she was surprised to find herself suddenly pinned to the ground by her throat, by her friend, no less, was perhaps an understatement, but Ana did not react as immediately or as violently to the situation as might perhaps have been warranted. The reason for this was simple—she was not afraid. It was perhaps a strange thing, and she knew in the abstract that she should be afraid, because he was stronger than she was, and his posture was threatening, and if he desired, he could kill her with little more than a mere thought. Crushing her windpipe would be of no challenge to him whatsoever, and she knew this for a fact.

So what was left to be afraid of? People feared what they did not understand. Anastasia understood the situation she was now in very well. Her life was in his hands. It was as simple as that. She did not know exactly what he was going to do or say, even though she could read his mind. He had certainly been correct to say that there were dark things moving about in there, but she had known this, too, and so she wasn’t afraid of that, either. Indeed, even as he spoke, she simply met golden eyes with curiously-silvery ones.

His first statement produced from her a smile, of all things, if a melancholy one. “I’m just a human being, Zen. I’ll die wherever I go, whatever I do.” That was simply a fact. Her choices could perhaps delay her death, but in the end, it would come for her no matter where she stood, or where she hid. She had decided a long time ago that she would never hide. Never run. She would face her end, whatever and whenever it was, with courage and as much grace as she could manage. That would be her way of remaining true to herself, to what her father had taught her. As long as she died doing the right thing, the thing that was needed, she would accept it.

It faded into gentle concern when he spoke of the deaths of others being on his hands, though she did not understand how it was so. Did she want her death to be on his hands? No, of course not. But not for the reason one should suppose. Slowly, she moved both of her own arms, so that her fingers wrapped softly around the wrist of the arm that held her down. That was it, though—she did not attempt to leverage him off, she did not struggle. She just held them there—his skin was cool to the touch compared to hers, she noticed in an off-hand sort of way. “No,” she said softly, working up the breath to continue in the same steady, kind tone. It was difficult, given the constriction, but because she did not struggle, she was able to do this. “I do not wish to stain these hands. I wish to cleanse them.” Her eyes were sad as she looked up into his, reading there the things he would not or could not say. Of course, he would probably find such a notion ridiculous. Blood was not the kind of thing that just washed away.

But it could. It really could. Forgiveness was the water that could cleanse anything at all, if one sought it genuinely and with an open heart. She wanted to convince him to try this, to divert his path from the bloodstained dark he walked in. She knew not how it was that those deaths were his fault, but she knew he really believed them to be. She also knew that, if he was giving her this chance, then at least part of him cared enough not to want to repeat that responsibility. That was something she could work with.

She did not belong in his world? Perhaps not. But… the didn’t think he belonged in his world, either. She wanted his world to change, be that because she changed it or he did or simply because he decided to live in another one instead. It didn’t have to be hers. She would understand that—but all the same, she wanted him to live a life that wasn’t tormenting him the way this one did. It was true, the whisper she’d heard before. He was weeping, somewhere deep inside himself, and it hurt her to feel it. She always felt them, the feelings of others, and this one wrenched her soul a little bit. She could never just abandon someone who suffered like that. It wasn’t in her nature. “I forgive you,” she said, her thumb moving in an instinctive circular motion on his wrist. It was something her father might have done, when she was crying, only… well, hers had always been right there for everyone to see. Just like everything else about her.

“You might be right. You might hurt me. And if you do, I forgive you. And as far as I have the right or the ability, I forgive you for everything else, too.” She took that small piece of him, the one that was good enough to try and keep her away from whatever he thought awaited her, and she sheltered it, or attempted to. There were plenty of people in the world who would look at him and condemn him, hate him. She refused to be one of them. Not while that part of him still existed. “I am not a frivolous person. I told you I was going to be your friend, and I meant that. No friend is perfect. People hurt each other, all the time. Sometimes in terrible ways. Sometimes, it’s hard to forgive. But I will do it, as many times as I have to, until you can forgive yourself, too.” She was certain her neck was going to bruise where he held it, but then… she’d forgive him that, too.

Sora’s eyes narrowed. Rosenkreuz was claiming responsibility for what had happened to Kaede? And to Yamazaki? If he’d done it directly, the Tsukino was sure she would have told him, but she hadn’t. If he were giving orders for such things, why be around when it happened? People got others to do their dirty work precisely so they didn’t have to be around when it occurred. But he’d been right there. So it didn’t make sense… unless he thought for some reason that these things were happening because of him in some other sense.

“I think we’re going to have to pay Rosenkreuz a visit in the near future,” he said flatly, pursing his lips. Whatever was going on there, it wasn’t unrelated, he was certain of that much. But whether the famously-reticent man would tell them anything was hard to tell. Maybe they’d have better luck with his chattier, nosy friend, Luke. Though that one was just as good at hiding things, if in a different way. Sora had known assassins like that, the ones that always smiled. He’d not liked a one of them. Then again, he didn’t really like most people.

For now, though, they needed to get Asuka up to speed. Contra Mundi is Latin for against the world. It’s really a pretty fucking arrogant title, but seeing how he’s an utter bastard, I’m not surprised,” he continued, shaking his head faintly and tossing a few dark hairs into his eyes in the process. He didn’t really care, anyway. “He’s the one who had our family killed, though at the time, we did not know.”

“I managed to discover what we do know by attempting to direct my visions around his known associates. And then… for a long while, as soon as I’d learned what I could, I would tell Sora what I knew, and he’d… kill them.” She glanced over at her cousin, as if to confirm that this was okay to say, but he only inclined his head slightly. Asuka knew this about him, and even if she hadn’t, there was nothing he desired to keep from her. She’d accepted the worst parts about him already; everything else was just details. “But, as I mentioned, I can’t see him directly. I suspect he possesses a nullification talent, like Sora’s, so that vampiric abilities of any kind do not work on him. It’s just a theory, but… it’s possible that he had our family killed because he did not like the idea of someone having that same ability.”

“More likely, it’s just because he’s an asshole and my family was somewhat dangerous,” Sora put in. He was uncomfortable with the idea that he might be the reason they had all died, and tried not to think about it. If he had evidence to believe it, he’d deal with it then, but right now, there was no need to be too quick to jump to conclusions. “They weren’t always wise in the way they held their power. It was never the ambition of House Tsukino to rule—we’ve never been anything but shadow-lurkers and the powers behind thrones. But… that’s a threat in itself. The people standing behind you have easiest access to your back, after all.” And his family was known for sticking daggers in such places, when the price was right.

“But Contra Mundi’s intentions and even his or their real name or names are elusive, even to me,” Sachiko finished. “We don’t have a location, or even a real goal, just… a bunch of dead underlings with nothing of use on them. He’s very good at covering his tracks, I’m afraid.”