"Arcueid, you know Sensei--I mean, the person who made these glasses?"
"...... I know her. A Sorceress, she is one of only four of her kind. These glasses are truly a masterpiece. Even I can't break them."
Arcueid's face grows even more serious.
I like to think of that part as more of a "What the-? Screw you, give me those back!"
"Geez. You're the one who just said I couldn't stay sane without these glasses. Or do you want me to go crazy?"
"That's not what I meant. I just didn't like how you treasured them so much."
"--Hey, listen, you..."
...... Geez. Somebody, please tell me how a mind like hers works.
"It's true my memories of Sensei are precious to me. But more importantly, I can't live without them. If I were to see the lines 24 hours a day, I think I'd die from the headache before I went mad."
Arcueid sits on the bed and we both stare absent mindedly at the clock.
It's past four in the morning.
About an hour until dawn.
"Just one more hour?"
Nothing out of the ordinary has happened up until now, and Arcueid shows no signs of tension.
We're surrounded by complete tranquility.
Somehow, I'm beginning to believe that tonight might just end like this.
You wish, Shiki.
Wow, Shiki can really be an asshole. He must still be upset about the glasses, or he just gets cranky when tired.
For some reason, Arcueid has been talking to me for six hours straight.
I told her she should sleep if she was feeling weak, but she replied with "It's more fun to talk", so in the end, we ended up facing each other and talking the whole time.
I just don't know what she's thinking.
It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.
To top things off, I'm hungry.
Come to think of it, my last meal was breakfast, so I haven't eaten anything for a whole day.
"Normal food? There's nothing normal or special about---"
...... Ah, wait.
Arcueid is a vampire. I suppose to her, "food" would mean drinking someone's blood.
"---Or is there? I guess being a vampire, you wouldn't usually consume much except blood."
She doesn't look like it, but Arcueid is a vampire.
She says vampires need the blood of humans to survive.
Then---just how many people has she drained blood from and how many people has she killed before?
I sneak a quick glance at her face.
...... I can't imagine.
Even though I know she's a vampire, for some reason, I can't imagine her sucking anyone's blood---
"Are you curious?"
"About how many people I've sucked blood from?"
...... She's completely read my mind.
Arcueid's smile grows even wider, and I don't like it.
"Damn! Then... well, I doubt it's the case, but... in the tens?"
"That's wrong too. Oh, really! Tens, hundreds, thousands... do you really see me as that sort of person? That's so mean, that would make me indiscriminate."
"Am I wrong? Vampires are indiscriminate, aren't they? Even humans get hungry merely by being alive, and when it's a matter of life and death for you, you wouldn't be picky either."
"Yes, that's true, but..."
Afraid of sucking blood?
"You've got to be kidding, right? A vampire that's afraid of sucking blood? Why?"
"...... I suppose I'm a coward. That's why I'm a failure as a vampire."
Arcueid grumbles as she looks up at the night sky from the window.
She stays like that for a long time, continuing to look up at the sky.
Her white back looks vague... hazed over, as if she was merely an illusion.
"...... I see, a failure."
I whisper, and I feel relieved.
...... Somehow, that makes me happy.
Of course, it's only natural to be relieved.
Because now I know the person that's standing before me isn't some kind of vicious, evil being.
For now, if I were to believe what she says, I won't just be killed by her at random.
Way to close the fucking curtains, you two.
I can do no more than stare at its dim figure through the window.
Arcueid turns towards the window too.
"INDEED. I HAVE FINALLY FOUND YOU, PRINCESS OF THE TRUE ANCESTORS."
a force of will flows into the room.
Music: play track 6
With a heavy noise, the room shakes violently.
No, to be more precise,
the entire hotel shook from that impact.
"...... Say something! That wasn't an earthquake, was it?"
---If I had to guess, it felt more like someone had driven a large dump truck into the hotel lobby at full speed. It was that kind of impact.
She... doesn't answer.
If I listen closely, I can hear noises from downstairs.
...... Arcueid's face is grave.
She said she was powerless right now.
That's probably why she's not saying anything.
Only time passes by.
It's been two minutes after the impact, but the hotel is awfully quiet.
Arcueid remains silent and still.
Just biting her lip, as if withstanding something.
I can see a trail of red blood slowly flowing down from her lip.