Author Topic: [COMPLETED] Fruits of a Rose - Chapter 0 (170806)  (Read 15681 times)

Offline Haruko

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Re: Fruits of a Rose (Chapter 2)
« Reply #20 on: March 01, 2015, 01:33:28 AM »
I just hope.. tanotomu ~
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Offline saeyu

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Re: Fruits of a Rose (Chapter 2)
« Reply #21 on: March 01, 2015, 02:32:00 PM »
I am so glad you updated! I love vampire stories! From your intro, it seems that Tanochan will have a hard time ahead, and I wonder how things will go for Mako and Naachan here. Please continue to write about all my favourite members lol

Offline ttwm123

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Re: Fruits of a Rose (Chapter 2)
« Reply #22 on: August 02, 2015, 06:04:41 PM »
please update, ruka kikuchi san~
i want to know 'bout tanotomu relationship

Offline ttwm123

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Re: Fruits of a Rose (Chapter 2)
« Reply #23 on: December 11, 2015, 12:09:33 PM »
updaaaateee :angry:

Offline sasshirie

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Re: Fruits of a Rose (Chapter 2)
« Reply #24 on: December 12, 2015, 01:16:07 PM »
you write vampire fics, right? I just found this one but looks interesting! i hope you continue it  XD

Offline ttwm123

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Re: Fruits of a Rose (Chapter 2)
« Reply #25 on: January 20, 2016, 03:25:31 PM »
updaaaaaatttteeee~~~~~
pleaseonegaijebbaltolong :cry:

Offline Ruka Kikuchi

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Re: Fruits of a Rose (Chapter 2)
« Reply #26 on: January 20, 2016, 06:57:09 PM »
Chapter 3

Nana looked up at the moon, humming a tune to herself. She remembered when she was a child, and there was a girl she would always play with. Yes, a human girl. And the two of them were the best of friends. Until the human girl’s parents moved away and she never saw her again.

She remembered how the two of them would go into the woods and always play hide-and-seek, Nana’s favorite game.

“Are you ready~?”

“Not yet~.”

“Are you ready~?”

“Not yet~.”

She was always happy to be with the girl, to hear her laugh and see her smile. She was the only person who brought light into Nana’s gloomy, dull life. But when she was gone, her colorful world became grey again, until she met…

“Hey,” Nana snapped out of her thoughts and turned to see Yuka standing behind her. “You come up here to think about life, too?”

“Eh..?”

She sat down beside the older vampire, setting down two cans of tomato juice.

“Have one.”

Nana was curious, but she took the can and opened it, drinking the red liquid. The texture and taste of it seemed similar to blood, which made it easy for her to digest.

“So, what do you mean by you come up here to think about life?” she asked the younger vampire.

“This is my spot. I just sit up here, look at the stars, thinking about my life...”

“Oh, I see. How long have you been around?”

She frowned. “17 years.”

“17?”

“I… used to be human. Until Tomu turned me into a vampire.”

Nana’s eyes widened. “You were bitten by her?”

“Yup. I’m a bitten.” She then looked and saw her confused face. “You probably don’t know all the common terms nowadays. A ‘bitten’ is the term we use now for humans who were… well, bitten, and turned into vampires.”

“I thought vampire bites killed humans.”

“They do, if it’s strong enough. If you put too much venom in them, or suck their blood dry, they will die. And, there are some who only bite humans and turn them if they’re on the verge of death...” She saw another confused expression. “‘Turn’ means they transform into vampires.”

“No, I understand that… but, you can save humans.”

“Yeah… but there are some cases where they still die. Mostly, it’s because their bodies don’t adapt to the vampire genes in the venom on time.”

“But, isn’t vampire and human interaction forbidden?”

“Duh, why do you think we’re here?” Yuka said before gulping down more tomato juice.

“Ah… I see.”

“Well, I understand that you may not have fully adjusted to modern culture. You’ve been asleep for 1,000 years. What was the world like in your day?”

“In my day?”

“This place used to be a school, right? Did you attend this school?”

“Oh, yes. For a while. There were many people here. It’s been here for such a long time. I’ve probably been in this school since it first opened.”

Yuka stared at the girl in amazement. “Woah~...”

“And what was your school like?” Nana then asked, taking another sip of the red liquid.

“Ugh! It was SO boring. I did like gym and being with my friends during after school, but… other than that, I didn’t like it at all…”

“What did you do with your friends?”

“Hmm… usually after school, we’d just walk around Shibuya or Akihabara. If we had time, we’d go shopping for clothes or go into a purikura booth.”

Nana’s eyebrows furrowed. “Purikura?”

“Oh yeah, you don’t know what that is, do you? Basically, it’s this big booth you go into, like a giant box. And inside is a camera where you take pictures. Then you can decorate those pictures with little drawings or stickers, and put them in notebooks to keep.”

“Humans have accomplished such things?”

“Yeah. What did you do back when you were in school.”

Nana looked down shyly. “I would play with my friend.”

“Just one?”

“I didn’t have a lot of friends growing up. Only one. She would stay by my side until she drew her last breath.”

Yuka nodded. “She must’ve been a good friend.”

“We always played hide-and-seek.”

The younger vampire snickered a bit. “Isn’t that for kids?”

“She really did love it. It was my favorite, too. I would always hide in places it’d be hard for her to find me, give her a challenge every once in a while. She’d spend hours looking for me.”

“Didn’t she ever give up?”

Nana shook her head. “Not once.”

Yuka looked and saw a sad expression in Nana’s eyes. Those two must’ve been really close if they had such a relationship.

“What was her name?” Yuka asked before taking another drink of tomato juice.

“Mako.”

With the older vampire’s answer, the red liquid came spewing out of Yuka’s mouth. The girl gave Nana a look of shock.

“W-what? Does it taste bad?” Nana asked.

Yuka only shook her head.

She then stood up. “I-I think.. I’m done thinking about life for tonight.”

She said her goodbyes to Nana and walked away. She then happened to run into Tomu, who was heading her direction.

“Tomu…” she spoke, making the girl stop in her tracks. “Do you.. do you vampires believe in reincarnation?”

“Haa? Why are you asking?”

“Just.. curious.”

“Well, I personally don’t believe it, but how can we be sure?”

Yuka nodded. “Right…”

------------------------------

Karen was going through her regular training routine. She punched and kicked the heavy punching bag, her grunts and screams of anger echoing the near empty room.

Not too far, Juri and Ryoka happened to be watching the girl.

“How long is she going to stay like this?” Juri asked.

“It can’t be helped. Ever since what happened to Yuka…” Ryoka paused a bit when she heard another violent scream. “It really hurt her.”

“Yeah, but…”

“You’ve seen for yourself how ruthless she can get. She hates vampires.”

“She more than anyone. Yes, I know that.”

“There’s nothing we can do. Just leave her be.”

“But… what if she gets out of control? If her anger consumes her and…”

They heard more screams and decided just to leave the girl alone.

As Karen was trying to catch her breath, her eyes darted a picture on the other side on the room, one that had her and Yuka together.

It was a year ago that incident occurred… when Yuka was captured and became a vampire. Ever since that day, Karen felt like a piece of her had been ripped out, leaving nothing but anger and lonliness.

“Those vampires…” she gripped her fist in anger. “I’ll never forgive them!”


To Be Continued

Offline ttwm123

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Re: Fruits of a Rose (Chapter 3) 150120
« Reply #27 on: January 21, 2016, 12:35:43 AM »
BANZAI!!!

Offline noel nguyen

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Re: Fruits of a Rose (Chapter 3) 150120
« Reply #28 on: January 21, 2016, 04:54:53 AM »
I thought you drop it :'(

Thank you for update new chap :)

Update soon :D

Offline ttwm123

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Re: Fruits of a Rose (Chapter 3) 150120
« Reply #29 on: January 25, 2016, 03:39:25 PM »
please inform us if you want to hiatus or not :-)

Offline Ruka Kikuchi

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Re: Fruits of a Rose (Chapter 3) 150120
« Reply #30 on: January 25, 2016, 03:42:57 PM »
please inform us if you want to hiatus or not :-)

There is quite a bit I'm working with...

If I did go on hiatus, no hard feelings right? >_<

Offline ttwm123

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Re: Fruits of a Rose [Currently on hiatus]
« Reply #31 on: January 26, 2016, 02:33:47 AM »
no hard feeling of course :-)
but inform us :)

Offline Janix123

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Re: Fruits of a Rose [Currently on hiatus]
« Reply #32 on: April 30, 2016, 04:52:04 AM »
Well I'm fine if its currently in hiatus.
But also would be happy if you'll make another update.
Hehehe
Hehehe. I'm a person who can't help but love AKB48 Group. I'm a silent reader please treat me well. I'm the kind of person who gets crazy over my favorite pairings

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Offline michellevu2001

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Re: Fruits of a Rose [Currently on hiatus]
« Reply #33 on: August 05, 2016, 08:28:32 AM »
Can we see NatsuMado? :)

Offline Ruka Kikuchi

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Re: Fruits of a Rose [Currently on hiatus]
« Reply #34 on: August 05, 2016, 02:56:03 PM »
Can we see NatsuMado? :)

Planning for that soon. ;)

Offline Ruka Kikuchi

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Re: Fruits of a Rose [Currently on hiatus]
« Reply #35 on: February 18, 2017, 08:43:22 PM »
Guess what's coming back~



(Trailer by me. ^_^)

Offline kimseoyeonc

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Re: Fruits of a Rose [Returning Spring 2017]
« Reply #36 on: February 21, 2017, 06:07:15 AM »
YESSSSSS!!!!! :sashiko: :sashiko: :sashiko:

I've been waiting for it!! :wigglypanda: :wigglypanda: :wigglypanda:

Please, Please update soon!!! :on gay: :on GJ: :shifty:

Offline Ruka Kikuchi

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Re: Fruits of a Rose [Returning Spring 2017]
« Reply #37 on: February 26, 2017, 07:12:09 PM »
We're back!

==============================================================================

Chapter 4

Natsumi tended to wander due to her Cocoon Period. Mentally, and physically. As her mind would wander and she would lose track of things easily, her feet would move on their own and she would end up getting lost in the woods.

Whenever she got back on her train of thought, she wouldn’t remember how she had gotten where she was. That was another big issue; she was very forgetful in her state. Nonetheless, she continued to wander, as if she was searching for something, but with no idea what.

Then, she heard something that made her empty wandering mind seem to point towards a destination. She could hear music, the symphony of a piano.

Entranced by the melody, her feet began taking her towards the source of the sound. She looked to see doors to a large white building, standing wide open as if welcoming her. Natsumi slowly stepped inside, the sounds of the piano echoing off the walls.

“Where are you…?” she asked as she closed her eyes. Her feet started to move again as she blinding walked ahead.

Meanwhile…

In another room, Moriyasu Madoka was playing piano in an empty music room. Her delicate fingers drawing out each note from the instrument in front of her.

After finishing her song, she let out a sigh before closing the piano. She turned to leave the room, only to see an unknown girl standing in front of her.

“Kya!” She jumped, stepping back a bit to lean against the piano.

“Uwa!” The girl also seemed surprised, as if she were in a daze. “You surprised me.”

“I should be the one saying that. Who are you? What are you doing here?”

“Uhh… what was I doing here..?” Natsumi tried to think. “I heard something and came here. It was… music?”

“Music? You mean, my piano playing?”

“Yes. That’s it! Someone was playing piano,” she smiled at the girl. “So it was you?”

“Erm, yes. I’m Moriyasu Madoka. And you are?”

“Matsuoka Natsumi.”

“Natsumi… do you go here?”

Natsumi thought for a moment before shaking her head.

“Then why are you here?! If someone finds out you’re here, you’ll get in trouble!”

“No, I won’t. No one else is here.”

“Mou!” Madoka took the girl’s hands, dragging her down the hallway. “Come on!”

“Wait, aren’t you going to play another song? I want to hear you play again!”

“Huh?”

“Please! Play the piano again for Natsumi!”

“Fine,” Madoka groaned. “I’ll play for you some other day.”

“Promise?”

“Yeah, sure, I promise,” the girl rushingly said, looking around before dashing towards the exit. “Now go. I have to return to class.”

“OK! Bye, Madoka-chan~”

Natsumi started walking away, humming the melody the girl had played. As she wandered back into the forest, Natsuki and Tomu appeared, approaching her.

“There you are!”

“Natsumi, you HAVE to stop wandering off!” Natsuki said firmly.

“Sorry,” Natsumi apologized before she and the others started walking back to the Sanctum.

---------------------------

“Madoka-chaaaaan!” A loud voice called out to Madoka. She looked and saw one of her kouhai, Marika.

“Marika? Why are you--?”

“I was getting a snack and I thought I heard you talking to someone.”

Madoka stuttered momentarily, “N-no. I wasn’t talking to anyone!”

“Hm~ sure you were!” Marika chuckled. “C’mon, just tell me who it was!”

“Y-you don’t know her. She’s, uh… She doesn’t go here.”

“Eh? Is that so?”

“Yeah. She’s a… A student at a school next door,” she quickly made up an excuse. “It just happens to be nearby, so she wanted to pay a visit.”

“She a friend of yours? Like a pen pal?”

“N-no. She just happened to come and I ran into her. That’s all.”

“Hehe, is that so~?”

“That’s all,” Madoka retaliated with a firm gaze.

“Hai, hai.”

The taller girl pouted. “Whatever. Let’s go before we’re late to class.”

-----------------------------

Once night fell, Mako decided to check on Nana. She entered the room she had been resting in and saw Nana wasn’t in her bed.

“Nana?”

She left the room and started searching the halls of the Sanctum, calling Nana’s name. She then went to the roof and saw Nana dancing by herself. The thousand-year old vampire girl just spun and twirled under the stars, not noticing Mako’s presence.

“Nana,” Mako called out to her, this time making her turn to look at her.

Nana smiled, “Mako.” She walked to her and hugged her. Mako didn’t hug back; she just let her hug her.

“Why are you here?”

“I just love being under the stars…” Nana said with a smile. “I love to dance under the night sky.”

“You should be resting,” Mako said. Nana looked at her, tilting her head. “Come on, I’ll take you to your room.”

Without saying anything, Nana took Mako’s hand and obediently followed her back to her room. Mako looked back at the hand that gently held onto hers. The small, white fingers wrapped around hers were soft and delicate, with a present chill of the undead.

“So, you like the stars?” Mako asked, breaking the silence.

“Yes… I would always look at the stars with my best friend.”

“Hee~ Who is that?”

Nana just looked at her confused. Mako turned back to look at her, meeting her gaze.

“What?”

“It’s you, Mako. Don’t you remember? We used to play together all the time.”

“Eh? What are you talking about..?” Mako was cut off when Nana suddenly knelt down on one knee.

“I never stopped thinking about you, you know.”

“What..?”

“In my sleep, I could go back in time to when we were together. I would relive those days in my mind, the days that were filled with peace. In a world with so much prejudice, you made me unafraid to express my feelings toward you.”

Mako just looked confused as the older vampire caressed the back of her hand with her cheek.

“I really missed you… I never want to leave you ever again.”

“Wait, Nana, I think you’re mistaken,” Mako said, kneeling down to her. “I’ve never met you before.”

“Mako… please, you must remember.”

“I…”

Nana held her face, cupping her cheeks gently. All Mako could feel was the numbing coldness against her skin.

“I will help you recall… To remember what we were… What we are.”

She saw the girl lean closer, opening her mouth to reveal fangs.

“She’s… going to bite me!” Mako panicked, pushing her away. “No!”

Shaken by what happened, Mako ran away, her heart pounding. Nana just sat there on her knees, watching Mako leave.

“Mako… please, you have to remember. We are intertwined.”


To Be Continued

Offline Ruka Kikuchi

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Re: Fruits of a Rose - Chapter 4 (170226)
« Reply #38 on: March 25, 2017, 11:09:30 PM »
=======================================================================

Chapter 5

Mako ran back to her room, closing the door tight as she leaned against it. Nana’s words were racing around inside her head, making her mind buzz.

But what shocked her most was that Nana was going to try and bite her. She was going to steal her Initiative; her will. Was she really willing to commit such a taboo? Just who was Nana?

She then heard a knock on the door, making her jump away.

“Leave me alone!” she said in a raised voice.

“Mako-chan?”

Mako recognized the voice. It was Nao. She opened the door and saw her standing confused.

“Everything okay? You seem tense.”

“Uh, yeah… J-just had a nightmare,” Mako made up an excuse. It was hard for vampires to lie; they could see and hear through everything. She just hoped Nao wouldn’t notice. “I’m still a bit shaken from it.”

“Uh-huh.”

“So, uh, what’s wrong?”

“Natsuki-san wanted us to meet in the main lobby.”

The two made their way down to the lobby, where everyone else was already waiting. Mako didn’t see Nana present, so she sighed out as she felt slightly less tense.

“Everyone, I’m sure you’re wondering why I wanted to talk with you all,” Natsuki started. “Recently, it seems the hunters have been targeting us and we have to be extra cautious. If the situation becomes dire, we might have to change location.”

“Change location?!” Manatsu’s eyes widened.

“Yes. We’ll have to if it gets worse.”

“But where?”

“I’m sure you all know of a certain school that’s used to train vampire hunters.”

“Magnolia Hunters’ Academy…” Nao said. “Do you mean their old school building?”   

“Yes. Since they made the new school, no one uses that old building anymore. They were even planning to tear it down, at first, but the demolition was cancelled and eventually, the humans forgot about it all together.”

“So, if push comes to shove, we’re going to need a new home..?” Natsumi asked.

“Exactly.”

“This place is starting to break down, anyways,” Tomu said. “The walls are chipping and I’m afraid the roof is eventually going to collapse on us.”

“For now, we should take caution. Especially with Nana still recovering.”

Mako stood silent at the mention of Nana, holding her arms. Yuka seemed to notice her becoming tense, glancing over to her. She tapped her shoulders a bit.

“You okay?”

“Ah. Y-yeah…”

“Alright, that’s all,” Natsuki said.

The group broke as everyone returned to whatever they were previously doing. Mako went back to her room, still thinking about what had happened between her and Nana.

She touched her neck, imagining what might of happened if Nana had bitten her. Would it have hurt? Or would she lose all feeling as her Initiative was taken away? Would she even be able to think at all after that, or turn into a hollow husk of her former self?

Such thoughts scared her. She wanted to block them all out, so she ran to her bed, covering her head with a pillow.

“Mou, just what is with that girl?!”

--------------------------

Natsuki found Nana searching through the abandoned cafeteria. She must’ve been looking for food, or maybe she smelled the blood packs that were kept in the kitchen freezer. She walked towards the girl and saw she was knelt down on the floor, looking at something.

Natsuki walked quietly, trying to see what she was looking at. When she looked, she saw a trio of grey rats huddled in front of the vampire as she fed them bread. Seeing the rats, Natsuki held back a shriek.

“Eh?” Nana spoke, looking at one of the rats. “Eating for several?”

Natsuki raised a brow. “Is she… talking to it?”

“Ah, I see. Congratulations on becoming a mom. Here, for the babies,” she handed the rat a bigger portion of bread, which it gobbled up.

Natsuki was… appalled to say the least. There were indeed several vampires capable of talking to animals, so it wasn’t that much of a shock. Just the fact that the animal the millennia-old vampire was talking to was a rat made her stomach churn a bit.

“Poor things…” She then picked up one and started petting it. “You’re only trying to survive… Yet the world is so cruel to you. You’re almost like me.”

“Huh? What is she saying..?”

“Natsuki-nee-chan, don’t you agree?” she then said, making the girl tense up.

“...W-what do you mean?”

“We are only trying to survive in the world. But the humans do not want to reason with us because we’re different from them. They only want our kind dead.”

“Well… that’s true.”

“We’re just like these little ones. They fight to live in such harsh environments, but humans get in their way and kill them. They’re such pitiful beings…”

She then put the rat down and they left through a hole that was dug in the corner of the wall.

“Okay, you need to go wash your hands now,” Natsuki said firmly as she and Nana left the cafeteria.

“Natsuki-nee-chan,” Nana started conversation again. “If we do get a new home, what will happen to this place?”

“Who could say? Perhaps the hunters will destroy everything.”

Nana looked down at the ground sadly, her hand trailing against the wall.

“But this place has so many memories for us…” she muttered.

“Huh? Did you say something?” Natsuki asked.

“I’ll protect this place.”

“What?!” the younger vampire turned around to face the short girl in front of her. “Are you serious?”

“I can’t let this place be destroyed!”

“Nana, do you even hear yourself? The hunters have us outnumbered as we are. All we can do is--”

“You all don’t even realize your true potential,” Nana’s voice boomed. “All you do is run away… You don’t even see that you’re so much stronger than you think.”

Natsuki just stood confused as Nana stormed down the hall away from her.

“True potential..? What is she talking about?”

----------------------------

BANG!

“Argh, so close!” Juri groaned as she had missed the target she was aiming at by just a hair. “One more!”

She cocked her gun before aiming it again, then shot another bullet.

BANG!

“Hit,” a robotic voice spoke, calculating her score. “Accuracy: 80 points!”

“Yosh,” she grinned as she reloaded her gun. Beside her, Karen was staring at her target with a look of death.

She pointed her gun out straight and shot three bullets. They all hit the bullseye perfectly.

"Hit. Accuracy: 100 points!"

“Woah…” Juri blinked at the unwavering girl.

Karen then looked at Ryoka, who was lazily sitting in the back of the room.

“Oi, Oshima!” Karen approached the lazy girl, raising her voice slightly. “Quit lounging around! Get up and do your training.”

“Karen, dude, we’ve been training all day,” Ryoka said. “Give us a break.”

The girl punched the wall angrily, making her jolt up.

“Up! Now!”

Ryoka rolled her eyes, eventually getting up. She loaded her gun before aiming at it. She shot it, hitting the target with the bullet not even reaching as close as the others.

“Hit. Accuracy: 65 points.”

“Oi, are you taking this seriously?!” Karen yelled again.

“Mou, just give her a break, Karen-chan,” Yukari said. “You can’t just blow up like that. Stay calm and--”

BANG!

Karen shot another round at the target, ignoring the girl. Yukari frowned, seeing that she couldn’t reach the girl.

“Hey, think you could take a break?” A voice rose. The girls all turned and saw their boss staring at them.

“S-sorry, sir,” Karen apologized, her face still red from her fit of anger.

“You girls have a guest.”

The four stood as a lone figure walked in. The young woman had a long, black trenchcoat, with a familiar symbol on her chest that made Juri’s eyes widened.

“That crest… That’s..!”

“Yes. Magnolia,” the woman answered.

“You were a Magnolia alumni?” Ryoka asked.

“Top of her class,” the boss said. “She’ll be leading in your next mission, so be sure to follow her.”

“Yes, sir!” The four saluted him as he left.

“Alright, lemme see what you girls got,” the woman said before holding out her hand.

“Ah!” Juri instinctively grabbed it, shaking her hand. “I’ll be happy to work under y--”

She couldn’t finish, however, as she was suddenly flipped, finding herself lying on her back on the floor. She stared at the ceiling as the woman gave her a smirk.

“Rule 1 of a hunter, never let your guard down.”

“F-forgive me!” she quickly apologized, standing back up.

“If you don’t keep an eye out, the vampires can easily blind side you. You must train all your senses.”

“All?” Ryoka raised a brow.

“A close ear, agility, and most importantly…” the woman sniffed the air a bit. “A strong nose.”

Yukari blinked. “N-nose?”

“Where does the nose fit in?”

“Without the eyes or ears, the nose will become your greatest asset. That’s what I’m going to train you girls on.”

“Train.. Our noses?”

“Exactly.” She then pinched Ryoka’s nose, making her flinch slightly. “With a strong nose, even in darkness or the silence, you’ll find your target.”

“If you really think so…”

“I know so. The nose knows, after all.”



To Be Continued

Offline Ruka Kikuchi

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Re: Fruits of a Rose - Chapter 5 (170325)
« Reply #39 on: May 21, 2017, 05:26:38 PM »
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Chapter 6

The hunters began training, the four girls blindfolded and wearing noise cancelling headphones, while walking around the room. With no sense of sight or hearing, the girls were quietly literally blindly (and deaf-ly) trying to find one another.

“That’s it, girls. Just become aware of your surroundings and allow your nose to sense each other.”

Ryoka took in a few deep sniffs from her nose, acting like a dog who just smelled bacon. However, she ended up running face first into a wall.

“Ow!” Ryoka held her nose before yelling loudly, “Nee, is this really necessary?!”

“It is. A hunter must know how to utilize every one of their senses. You don’t realize it, but when you don’t have the other parts of your body to rely on, like your eyes or ears, the sense of smell can be the strongest and most effective of the five.”

“But how?” Yukari asked.

“By stimulating your brain and exercising your nose, it can become stronger, more sensitive, and help you recognize certain scents.”

Karen finally angrily ripped off her blindfold and headphones.

“Takayanagi-san!” she called out the woman. “Don’t you think we should be training in combat?”

“Oh, you’re a feisty one, Iwata.”

“I don’t want to know how to track a vampire by their smell! I wanna know how to rip their head off!”

“Calm down,” she said, jumping down into the training area. “You can’t go purely on offense. If you don’t defend yourself, the enemy will catch you off guard.”

Takayanagi then pulled out a dagger.

“Let’s say, I’m a vampire. You’re out, in the dark… when, all the sudden. Bam!” She suddenly grabbed Karen and held her from behind, holding the dagger to her neck. “Dead. In 3 seconds.”

Karen just scoffed. “Like hell.”

“Oh yeah. What will you do before I slit your throat?”

“First, I’d elbow you in the gut,” Karen demonstrated, hitting her lightly before turning around. “Then, while you’re disoriented, pull my gun out.”

She points her gun, making a “bang” sound.

“Dead. Bullet to the head.”

Takayanagi smirked.

“You know your stuff,” she said, before turning to the others. “Girls! Come here.”

The others couldn’t hear her, so she grabbed them and took their headphones and blindfolds off.

“Takahashi, lemme test you out now,” she said.

“Huh?”

“I’m a vampire, you only have a gun on you. Without you knowing, I sneak up behind you without a sound. What do you do before I snap your neck?”

“Oh, uh… Before you grab me, I try to grab your arms, flip you over, and shoot you in the face?”

“Let’s see you try,” she said before grabbing her from behind.

Juri screamed, grabbing her arms, trying to break her off. But Takayanagi kept a strong grip. The woman then turned Juri around, her nose almost touching hers.

“In the amount of time it took you to try and free yourself from me, you would’ve been sucked dry.”

“I-I’m sorry,” Juri said quietly, her cheeks flushed at the closeness of the woman’s face.

“You need to heighten your senses, that way, your reflexes will kick in sooner. And when that happens…”

As she spoke, she snuck behind Ryoka, raising the dagger. Before she could “stab” her, Ryoka flinched, grabbing the woman’s wrist by instinct, taking the dagger, and pointing it at her chest. Takayanagi smirked.

“Nice~ You’re getting better, Oshima.”

Ryoka smiled, bowing to her. “Thank you!”

The hunter woman then faced the others. “How bout this? I’m going to stake out some activity in the forest tonight. There’ve been sightings of vampires walking around. Would you girls like to accompany me?”

“Seriously?!”

“Sure. It’ll be the best chance for you girls to hone your skill.”

“Thank you, Takayanagi-san!”

“Alright, you girls get ready then,” the woman said as she headed out. “We head out at sundown.”

“Yes, ma’am!”

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Gunshots were heard as outside on the shooting range of the Magnolia school campus, two female students were practicing their shooting. Madoka and Marika were practicing their firing arms, both with earplugs in to protect their ears from the loud noise.

“Ahhh~ my arms are starting to get stiff!” Marika whined as she was growing tired of the long practice. “Nee, Madoka-chan, can we take a break?”

“Oh, alright.”

The two put their guns down, taking out the ear buds before sitting down on the bench.

“Hey, do you wanna do something fun?” Marika then asked, making the girl raise a brow.

“What?”

“Let’s go camping!”

“Camping? Where?”

Marika pointed out at the forest just a few feet away from the school grounds. Madoka’s eyes widened in shock.

“Out there, are you crazy?!” Madoka hissed. “There are vampires out there. And who knows what else!”

“Oh, come on, Madoka. We just need to bring out gear and fight them off. Besides, this school is so boring. We need to go and have a little adventure for spring break!”

“Still…”

“Come on, Madoka… Pleeeeeeeeeease~?” The girl pleaded with big puppy dog eyes. No matter how borderline annoying she was, Madoka couldn’t say no to those eyes.

“Fine… But on one condition! You owe me lunch.”

“Deal!”

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“So, we’re really leaving?” Nana asked Natsuki.

“I’m afraid so. There’s nothing we can do,” Natsuki said. “The vampire hunters are going to raid this location and if we don’t leave now, we’ll be killed.”

“Will they tear this place apart?”

“Probably. They’ll burn it to the ground, most likely.”

As Natsuki was packing up, she started hearing sniffles from the girl. She looked and saw that she was crying. Surprised by her reaction, she walked over to her and tried to comfort her.

“Don’t worry! Our new home is closed off, so they’ll never--”

“But this place had so many memories… For me and her.”

“You and who?”

“Mako…”

Natsuki’s eyes widened. “Mako? How can you and her have..?”

“Natsuki-nee-chan, you weren’t around. But me and Mako were best friends, long ago. She made a promise that she’d come back for me… She saved me from the hunters and hid me. She said she would come back…”

Nana suddenly fell to her knees, her eyes starting to glow red.

“I waited… so long…”

“Nana?”

“I knew… she’d come back… Even after all these years… My Initiative…”

Natsuki’s eyes widened. “Initiative?”

Nana closed her eyes. When she opened them again, they were back to normal.

“I-I’m sorry,” she bowed. “Was I saying weird things?”

“Nana, is your Ini--?”

“Natsuki-san,” Nao spoke as she entered the room, seeming to be worried about something.

“What’s wrong?”

“I think Manatsu-chan’s sick.”

“Where is she?”

“In her room.”

Natsuki left Nana, not noticing her worried glances, as she followed Nao to where Manatsu was. She saw her in her bed, paler than usual with beads of sweat on her forehead.

“She hasn’t eaten at all today…” Nao informed her. “Even if I had told her to, she wouldn’t eat.”

She approached her slowly. “Manatsu… you okay?”

“I don’t feel so good…”

She felt her forehead. “You’ve got a really bad fever. Have you been taking your supplements?”

“Y-Yeah, but…”

“But?”

“They don’t make me feel any better.”

“I see… We’ll need to check on her condition while we’re moving locations. Nao, be sure to bring plenty of medicine and extra blood supplements.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

After they left, Manatsu saw Nana walk in. Due to her fever, Manatsu was in a hazy state and didn’t notice her approaching her bed. Nana touched her forehead slightly, a grim look painting her face.

“Poor thing… you might not be able to recover,” she muttered. “But I can at least suppress your symptoms.”

She bit into her finger, making it bleed, then tapped the girl’s shoulder.

“Hm..?” she looked at her, seeing her bloody finger.

“Drink my blood. It will help.”

Manatsu quietly obeyed and sucked the girl’s finger. After doing so, her eyes gently closed and she fell back onto her pillow.

“Rest well,” Nana said, backing away and leaving the room.


To Be Continued