Chapter 0

Fruits of a Rose - Chapter 0

That night when Rena and Jurina were reunited, Akane watched over the whole thing. Using the blood ruby, she was able to use its powers to reawaken Jurina and Rena’s suppressed memories. 

 

After their screams went silent, she jumped down and walked to where they both laid unconscious. She smirked seeing them holding hands, tears stained on their cheeks.

 

“I knew it. I finally found you both.”

She picked them both up, carrying them away from the area.

As she carried them, Jurina’s mind was sent back all the way to her infant years. Clear visions of the day she was born played through her mind.



Mother… Father… Rena… my sister…



She could hear herself crying as the hunters suddenly ambushed them. She saw her father staked by hunters and her sister dragged away.

“Jurina! I’ll come back for you! I swear!”

 

While still injured, her mother carried her out deep into the forest to hide her from the hunters. She covered her baby in a scarlet velvet blanket.

“Don’t worry, Jurina. Rena will find you again. I’m sure she will.”

 

Baby Jurina cried and cried for hours, alone and scared in the darkness of the forest…

 

“Hey, do you hear something?”

“What?”

Two figures in black robes walked to the bush where baby Jurina was. A young woman with boyish hair pushed away the leaves and found the baby vampire crying.

“Aww~ look, it’s a baby! Oh, come ‘ere, come ‘ere,” the girl picked up the baby, cradling it, “Sh sh sh, don’t cry, poor little thing~ What are you doing out here all alone?”

Jurina looked at her with wide eyes, her red irises making her vampire nature apparent to the other woman who had long hair.

“Sae, that’s a vampire!”

“Eh?! Really?”

“No doubt about it. Those eyes…”

 

Chomp!

Sae then yelped as the baby bit her finger, her sharp fangs sinking into her skin.

“Ow, ow, ow! Sayaka, it’s biting me!”

“Shh, you’re gonna scare it!” Sayaka hissed as the baby started crying again due to Sae’s sudden screams. “See what you did?”

“I can’t help it! It hurt,” the boyish girl whined as she her finger.

Sayaka took the baby from her, gently rocking it in her arms.

“There, there. It’s okay,” she whispered, smiling kindly at the baby. Jurina immediately calmed down in Sayaka’s arms, looking up at her. Her tiny hands reached up to the woman.

“Hehe, I think it likes you.”

“Where do you think it’s parents are?”

“I don’t know. Maybe they were killed by hunters. Or worse…”

 

“There isn’t a note or anything stuck to it,” Sayaka spoke, examining the baby. As she was, the blanket wrapped around her fell off. “Uwa!”

“Well, now we can definitely say it’s a girl,” Sae said.

The baby, not caring it was , just looked at the two as they talked.

“Should we keep her?” Sae then asked.

“Huh?!”

“I mean, her parents aren’t here and she’s all alone. Someone needs to take care of her!”

“Sae, do you have any living idea how to take care of a vampire baby?”

The girl just remained silent, looking back at baby Jurina.

Then she asked, “Do you?”

“Uh…. well, no.”

“Come on~ Why can’t we, though? It’ll be like she’s OUR baby!”

 

“‘O-our’..?!” Sayaka blushed a bit.

“Un! Sayaka be the Mama and I’ll be the Papa!”

‘We’re both girls, why are you the Papa?”

“Do you wanna be the Papa?”

“....”

“That’s what I thought. Come to Papa, baby~” Sae then took the baby, lifting her up in the air. She then looked down at the blanket, seeing a necklace had also falling off. “Ooh~ looks like you had some pretty jewelry, too.”

“Sae, that necklace..!” Sayaka pointed out a name engraved onto the jewelry.

“Jurina”

“Jurina-chan, huh?”

“Jurina-chan~” Sae cooed. “You’re such a cute baby~”

Chomp!

“OOOW!!! Sayaka, Jurina’s biting again!”

“Sae, stop yelling!”

Then, Jurina just started crying again…

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

The warlocks eventually took the baby to their house, going through their roster of books of what to feed a vampire infant. All the while, Jurina’s loud cries filled the house as the baby sat on their couch.

“Ah! Look here, Sayaka! It says that vampire babies can consume blood berries in order to control their thirst at a premature age!”

“And it says milk is okay. Maybe we can mix the two together?”

“I’ll go out and look for some blood berries. Try to calm her down while I’m gone.” Sae pecked her cheek quickly before dashing out the door.

Sayaka walked over to the crying baby, pondering what to do.

“Maybe I should entertain her…” she muttered, getting down on one knee. “Hey, Jurina-chan, look, look.”

She created a small flame in her hands, the vampire baby ceasing her crying to stare at it in awe. Sayaka morphed the flame into a person and made it dance like a ballerina.

Jurina giggled watching it, wanting to reach out and touch it.

“Ah, no, no,” Sayaka quickly said, closing up her hands to extinguish the flame. “You can’t touch fire, Jurina-chan. You’ll get burnt.”

Jurina’s eyes started tearing up, opening up Sayaka’s hands to see the flame disappeared.

“Ahhh, don’t cry! Look, look,” Sayaka lit the flame again, this time two in both hands to make two people dancing together. Jurina laughed and clapped her hands. “She’s one smart baby…”

A few minutes of entertaining little Jurina and Sae came back with some blood berries. She quickly mashed them up and mixed them in with the warm milk Sayaka prepared.

“Blood berry milk, huh?”

“I wonder if they could mass produce and sell these around the world?”

“Sae, there aren’t many vampire babies in the world.”

“Still.”

The two then walked over to Jurina, Sae leaning down to feed her the bottle. The little baby gulped up every drop of the berry-milk mix hungrily. After finishing the bottle, the two looked at each other.

“We need to burp her next, right?”

After asking that, Jurina let out a little burp, causing the two to chuckle. The baby then yawned loudly, her expression becoming a sleepy one.

“Looks like she’s ready for a nap.”

“Alright, let’s get ready for nappy~” Sae spoke as she gently laid her down on the couch and blanketed her with the cloth they found her in. “Good night, Jurina-chan.”

Chomp!

“Gyaah! Why~?” Sae winced as Jurina nibbled her again before falling fast asleep. She looked at her girlfriend worriedly. “Hey, Sayaka, if Jurina-chan keeps biting me, at this rate, I’ll turn into a vampire.”

“Don’t be silly. Besides, vampire babies don’t have the venom in their fangs yet to turn humans into vampires.”

“You sure?”

“I read about it. Once their adult fangs grow in, then they’ll be able to. You’ll be fine.”

“Haa, that’s a relief…” she sighed out, both of them looking at the sleeping baby.

“Still, taking care of a baby is rough.”

“More importantly…” Sae then wondered, “How come she never bites you?”

“I guess she likes the taste of your blood.”

“Hey!”

“I’m just kidding,” Sayaka smirked.

After some silence, they looked to the baby again.

“I just thought of this… But what if her family’s still alive? Won’t they be devastated when they find out someone took their baby?”

Sae grew pale. “Do you think they’ll come and kill us?”

“No… But then again, there must be a reason why they left their child out in the woods.”

“Maybe it really was too late for them… Maybe they hoped someone would come and keep her safe.”

“I guess that means,” Sayaka then spoke seriously, Sae glancing over at her.

A smile curved the boyish girl’s lips. “That means?”

“We’ll… have to be her new parents.”

Sae squealed a bit, her cheeks turning pink.

“Me and Sayaka, parents… iyaa~ what a thought!”

Flick!

“Ow.”

“Don’t get carried away.”

“Hehehe, sorry~”

So from that day, the two made it their duty to raise baby Jurina as their own child. It was a struggle, of course. But overtime, it became easier as they found new tricks to caring for the infant vampire.

Aside from a varied diet and the occasional nipping of Sae’s fingers, Jurina was practically the same as a human baby.

Before the two warlocks knew it, Jurina had taken her first steps, said her first words, and maturing more into a full-grown child. By the time she was 3, she was speaking full sentences and running around with boundless energy.

 

Age 5

“Sae Mama~ catch me!”

“Hey, slow down! Jurina-chan!”

Jurina laughed wildly until she came face-to-face with Sayaka. She looked at her with a glare and smirked.

“Aren’t you supposed to be taking a bath?”

“S-Sayaka Mama..!”

“Come ‘ere, you!”

Jurina screamed and giggled as Sayaka picked her up off the ground. The two finally managed to get their wild child in the bathtub, but of course, there was a lot of splashing and bubbly messes afterwards.

 

Age 7

“Wow! Look, Sae Mama! The blood berry tree we planted is growing!” Jurina’s eyes sparkled as she saw the little tree growing, sprouts of leaves visible.

“Just think, soon it’ll be THIS big!” Sae motioned with her hands.

“THIS BIG!!!” Jurina mimicked, falling back onto the grass while laughing.

“Sae, Jurina-chan, lunch is ready~” Sayaka called out.

“Lunch! Yay!”

“Race ya!” Jurina dashed off, Sae following behind. “Hamburg steak!”

“Oi, wait up!”



Age 9

“Jurina-chan, time for bed,” Sayaka called out to the vampire.

“Pick me up, Sayaka Mama.”

“Ehh~? You’re getting too big for me to carry.”

“Please~” Jurina gave her the puppy eyes she was weak to. She knew, whether it was her or Sae, Sayaka couldn’t resist puppy eyes.

“Ahh, alright.” She picked the vampire up, carrying her to her bedroom and tucking her in. Jurina kissed her cheek, smiling.

“Love you, Mama.”

“Love you too…”

After Sayaka left the room, she was approached by Sae.

“Do I get a good night kiss, too?” she asked, puckering her lips. But she saw Sayaka frown. “What’s the matter?”

“...We have to tell her eventually.”

“Eh?”

“That we aren’t her real Mamas… That her real family is...”

“W-we can wait till she’s older,” Sae stuttered, forcing a smile. “I mean, she’s still nine. We can wait… We’ll tell her when she’s 10!”

“Sae,” the older warlock look at her girlfriend. “We can’t wait forever…”

“Sayaka… even if she’s not our daughter, she’s still our child. We raised her and took care of her all these years. It’s going to break her heart if she finds out her real parents are…”

“She has to know eventually.”



Age 10

“Sae Mama, Sayaka Mama, look! The blood berry tree grew its first berries!”

“That’s great!” Sae called out, her and Sayaka watching the girl pick off the fresh berries. Sae glanced over to her girlfriend, “H-hey, Sayaka--”

“We have to tell her…”

“I know,” she whispered. “But… can we wait--”

“Sae, we can’t wait any longer. Jurina-chan!” Sayaka stood up, walking over to her.

“W-wait!”

“What’s wrong, Mama?” Jurina looked up innocently.

“Jurina-chan… I.. I need to tell you something, it’s difficult to confess.”

“S-Sayaka, not yet! We can wait!”

“What? What is it?”

“I… me and Sae…” Sayaka looked down, gripping her fists. “We’re not… your real parents.”

A breeze gently blew in the silence… Sayaka couldn’t face the child.

“...I know that already!”

“Eh?!” The two looked up, surprised.

“You and Sae Mama don’t have fangs like me! You’re not vampires!”

“You… really are a smart child!” Sae rushed to hug her tightly. “Hey, you still love Mama, right? Even if I’m not your real Mama?”

“Of course! Mama is still Mama!”

“Ahh~ thank goodness. I guess you were right. Sorry, Saya--” Both were surprised to see Sayaka in tears. “Sayaka?!”

“Mama?! What’s wrong?!”

Sayaka just bawled, hugging Jurina.

“I love you so much! I love my adopted vampire daughter!”

“Hahaha, I love you, too, Mama!”

“Kiss attack on Sayaka Mama!” Sae then said, both she and her daughter tackling Sayaka and showering her in kisses.



Age 12

“Happy birthday~ Jurina-chan~”

Jurina blew the candles out on the cake, the two applauding.

“Already, you’re 12 years old, it’s amazing!”

“I feel like just yesterday, you were this tiny.”

“And here is your birthday present,” Sayaka handed the girl a book. “This magic encyclopedia can tell you everything about the world.”

“Everything?!”

“Yup. History of the world, science and magic, it’s practically an entire 6 years of school in one book!”

Jurina sat silently, looking at the book. Sayaka and Sae started to worry she wouldn’t like it.

“I wanna go to school!” the vampire then said.

“What?!”

“I want to go to the school Mamas went to! To learn magic!”

“Magic school, huh…” Sae placed her hand on her cheek. “What do you think, Sayaka? Think our little girl is ready for school?”

“If she believes she is. If she does hold potential to use magic, I’d love to see what she chooses to do with it.”

“YAY!!!” Jurina hugged Sayaka tightly. “Thank you, Mama!”

Sae then looked outside.

“Hey… I think it’s a full moon out tonight.”

“A full moon?!” Jurina excitedly ran out the door. “Full moon, full moon!”

Sae was about to go out, when Sayaka stopped her.

“Wait… something’s wrong. The moon is…”

Sae looked closer at it, and she saw it. The moon was blood red in the sky.

They then heard Jurina scream. They ran out after her, finding her collapsed outside just feet away from their house.

“Jurina-chan!” Sayaka knelt down, turning her over. Jurina was crying like crazy and mumbling incoherent things while passed out.

“Jurina-chan, wake up!”

“Jurina-chan!”

In Jurina’s blurry vision, she could see her two Mamas crying as they tried to wake her up. Overhead, she could see the blood moon…

The same red moon that shone over her head the night that she was born.



“Mother…?”

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

Jurina stirred awake, finding herself somewhere unfamiliar. After the dizziness in her mind calmed down, she sat up and looked around.

She was in someone’s apartment building, lying on the couch. She groaned and rubbed her temple, looking around the living room. Not too far from where she was, she saw a bird perched on a lamp, watching her.

“You awake?” Akane asked as she walked in, petting the bird with a smile.

“Y-yeah… w-who are you?”

“Name’s Akane. You can call me Churi, if you want.”

“You’re… a hunter? But you’re a Dhampir. Why would you side with the humans?”

“I have reasons. Those of which I fully wish to explain to you and your sister.”

“My sister?” Jurina furrowed her brows, until she suddenly remembered what happened. The memories from her past resurfacing, she held her head. “Rena..!”

“She’s still sleeping… I think all her memories returning at once was quite difficult for her. She was crying your name and saying ‘I’m sorry’ multiple times.”

“Rena… I have to see her..!”

“I’d give her a minute,” Akane said, holding her shoulder. “Like I said, I need to explain myself.”

“Very well…”

Jurina sat down as Akane went to her fridge and pulled out two chilled bottles of berry tea. She handed her one bottle to drink, she herself opening the other bottle.

 

“Do you remember seeing the red moon during your fight with Rena?”

“Y-yes…” she said, shuddering a bit.

“And how did you feel when you looked at it?”

“I felt… scared. And lonely. I was remembering memories I had suppressed, because they were painful… I made myself forget…”

“That’s the power of the Blood Moon. It draws out the memories locked away deep within you. Feelings, too. Desire, lust, rage, despair. It can drive a person, or vampire, mad.”

Jurina’s eyes widened. “It can affect humans?”

“Not as strongly as it does vampires. To them, it feels more like a subconscious influence. But to anyone with vampire blood, it’s a force that can override our minds if we let it.”

“I… remember, when I was younger. I was exposed to its light, and my caretakers…”

“Caretakers?”

“Two warlocks. They said I was in a blood rage… They had to use their powers to calm me down. But.. I also lost part of my memory. I forgot about my previous family, even though my recollection of them was already scarce.”

“It’s good they were able to calm you down. If not controlled and contained, the power of the Blood Moon can drive anyone insane.”

“Then… how did you..? With me and Rena…”

“I used a Blood Ruby to control the exposure of light upon you two. And it was also able to keep your minds stable… Well, for the most part.”

Jurina gripped her fists.

“She was crying tears of blood. It was awful…” Akane frowned. “She must’ve been forced to suppress her vampire DNA for years.”

“...Let me see her.”

Without saying a word, Akane stood up, guiding the vampire to the bedroom where her sister was sleeping. For the first time in 16 years, she was seeing her older sister. She was the same; same long, ebony hair. Same snow white skin. But now, she was an adult. And she was…

“Beautiful…”

Jurina slowly walked to the side of her bed, kneeling down as she admired her sister’s beauty. She held her cheek, her thumb feeling the dampness from where her tears previously were.

“My sister… she’s so beautiful.”

Unable to control herself, she leaned down and placed a gentle kiss on Rena’s lips.

She then heard a small hum as Rena stirred awake, her eyes fluttering open. She stared at her in a daze, slowly realizing who she was as her memories returned to her.

“Jurina..?” she touched her cheek lightly, her eyes widening. The image of Jurina as a newborn baby mirrored over Jurina’s new teenage face. She wrapped her arms around her neck, crying. “Jurina!”

Jurina hugged back, Rena sobbing on her shoulder. She comforted her sister, rubbing her back.

“I’m so sorry! I missed you so much! My baby sister!”

“Mou, I’m not a baby anymore…” she smiled, breaking the hug. “It’s okay, Rena. It’s not your fault.”

“I can’t believe it’s really you… How long has it been?”

“About 16 years. You missed a lot.”

“Don’t remind me!” Rena punched the younger girl’s chest, the latter wincing.

“Ow!”

“If you two don’t mind,” Akane interrupted their brief reunion, smiling at Rena.

“Akane-san…?”

“You remember everything now, right, Rena?”

“Yes… But how did you--?”

“I looked through a portion of your memories while you slept. Sorry I haven’t told you, but I’m half-vampire.”

“Wh-what?! Ngh...” Rena winced a bit as she slowly laid back down on the bed.

“Try not to push yourself. You might wanna sit down, too, Jurina,” she continued. “I need to continue my reasoning for all this.”

“You mean… you planned this? Our meeting, the Blood Moon? All of it was...”

“From the very beginning, a plot for the three of us to reunite.” The woman then pulled out a photo folded up in one of her drawers. “Take a look.”

She unfolded it and showed the two of them, both staring in shock.

It was… them! All three of them, in a different place and time, who knows where and how long ago.

“Yagami Kureha, Akazaki Shizuku, Hanazono Yuri. Those were our past lives almost 600 years ago.”

“600 years…”

“We were classmates? What school is that?”

“It’s not just any school. Look at the insignia on our uniforms.”

They both soon recognized it. The crescent moon circling a pink camellia…

“Tsubaki,” they both said.

“Almost 600 years ago, much like tonight, a blood red moon caused the vampires housed in former Tokyo to go insane. Tsubaki Academy was no exception.”

“I heard about that school. It was shut down because…”

“Because it was the site of an entire massacre of the student body.”

“That sparked the war that proceeds to this day,” Akane folded up the photo again, placing it in her pocket.

“How do you know all of this?”

“My memories awakened at a young age. I liked to believe it was my destiny given to me. And now, it is all three of our destinies.”

“Destiny?”

“To stop this ongoing war between vampires and humans, and restore peace.”

“No way… that’s impossible!” Rena denied. “Humans and vampires, coexisting..? As we are now?”

“If we remain as we are now, both of our kinds will go extinct! It will be a new Dark Age…”

Jurina gulped, Rena still sitting uneasy.

“Vampires have changed in the last hundred years. Humans have also advanced technology. We are capable of incredible, destructive things… but we can also use what power we have to make it better.”

“There’s no such thing as utopia,” Rena whispered. “That’s what was repeatedly drilled into my brain… But I want to believe there’s another way.”

“Me too. After all, I can’t lose my big sister again…”

“But what do you suggest we do?”

“We find them. The remnants of Tsubaki. No matter human or vampire, if they are reincarnates of the former Tsubaki Academy 48th class from that night.”

“The Blood Moon… could restore their memory?!”

“They could remember who they once were.”

Jurina stood up, “Why stop just there?!”

“Eh?”

“My caretakers were warlocks. I’ve studied and mastered powerful spells. With the Blood Ruby to enhance it, we could cast a memory spell over all of Japan!”

“Jurina, are you crazy?!” Rena’s eyes widened.

Akane just smirked.

“Feisty.”

“Rena… I’ve read and memorized countless years on the history of vampires. But people only know a small fraction of the story. If they were made to remember everything…”

“They’d all go insane! All those years of war and blood… it could cause society to collapse!”

“Or, they could start anew! A new society, a new world! For vampires and humans to coexist, a…”

“Utopia.”

“What do you two say?” Akane held out her hand, offering the others to join in.

Jurina joined her hand in, smiling at Akane. She looked back at her older sister, who was still hesitant.

“This plan is crazy… you’re both crazy,” she whispered, her head lowered.

“I’m your sister.”

“And I’m your superior.”

“It’s crazy. It’s crazy, but…” Rena gripped her fists. However, she eventually stood up, staggering a bit. She held to Jurina for support, and joined her hand in.

“Good. We’re all in,” Akane smiled. “No turning back now.”

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