A/N: I now present you with the next chapter! There is a fight and the contents of Yale's letter comes out. The tensions are high and the stakes are higher. Who will win in the battle of vampire and human, good and evil? Read on and see!
Chapter 36: Defiant
"You're an idiot," Hide brought his sword up. It released a wave of energy that belted the taller vampire backwards, cutting into his shoulder. The magic seared into his skin, cutting through the layers of clothes as it made contact. Glaring in pain and anger the brunette spun around as his sword released a string of blades. He then conducted the path of the chain of blades into a circle around himself. They rotated around with the force of his swing.
Hide held out his hand as the blades bounced off of an invisible shield. The blades clattered and clanked as they were reflected by the blonde vampire. "Fool, I know every possible function of the Rigatama. You can't defeat me with my own weapon." It was foolish to think that he would even bring it to a battle between the two of them.
Hide charged at Copernicus, trying to stab him in the chest, but the king turned, causing his his blade to go beneath his arm pit, into the open air. Copernicus watched until Hide was close enough, then punched him square in the face. The blonde slid across the floor and came to a stop where a sword blade was jabbed into the ground inches from the side of his head.
Now, he was staring right into the face of his worst enemy.
"I'll-" Copernicus spoke, but was hit in the side of the face with the hilt of Hide's sword with such force that he rolled to the side and tumbled along the ground. Hide wrestled with him, pinning him beneath him as he stabbed the sword into the ground beside of his head.
Copernicus laid there, the side of his face was ignited with a sharp pain from the hilt contacting his cheek. He stared up, into the uncovered red eye of the evil vampire. "Fool, I told you that you could never dream of defeating me." Hide said with a twisted smile on his face.
The brunette snapped his finger as the extensions of the Rigatama surrounded Hide. The red-eyed vampire turned his head to the side as the sword stabbed into the ground. "I'll avenge Prince Yale and kill you."
"What?" Hide could barely get the words out as Copernicus pulled the blades tight. His enemy stared on in shock and disbelief as the blades began to close in on his form, tightening around him. In a flutter of red petals, the vampire disappeared as his petals launched themselves at the king, lacerating his skin.
Copernicus held his arms up, protecting his face as the petals cut through his clothes and ruptured his skin, causing small slits as blood rose tot he surface. The petals trailed around his body, floating through the air in waves as they regathered on the other side of him, forming the enemy. The Inheritor brought the Rigatama around and felt a jolt. A metallic clank echoed through his senses as his blade clashed with Hide's. The two pushed against each other, trying to over power the other by brute force,
"You've improved. Impressive, that's the tenacity I desire to see of a true king. Perhaps you've somewhat lived up to my expectations." A twisted smile formed on the vampire's lips as he pushed against the vampire's blade.
"Your expectations? You and Hizaki are the only puppets I see." Copernicus shot back as he fought against Hide's strength. For a vampire who looked more elegant than strong, he had a lot of power behind him.
"Tell me, who's strings are we dancing on?" If Copernicus could tell him that, then he would be just in his accusations.
"The strings of ignorance," the royal shot with conviction.
"At least it's an emotion and not an individual. You dance by the strings of a dead man. Your brother's death fuels your desire to kill me." Hide argued his point, pushing his blade even harder.
Their blades ground against each other, sliding down to where the two vampires were nearly nose-to-nose. Copernicus then kicked him in the stomach, causing the red-clad vampire to be knocked off of his feet as his body was propelled backwards. Hide stopped in mid-motion, landing on his feet as he charged forward, trying to cut him across the chest with his sword but his opponent threw up his forearm. However, the move he made to block himself wasn't too smart as his shoulder was cut in the process.
"Losing blood? What a pity." Hide licked his lips as the sly phrase poured from his lips.
"I'm not the only one, and you aren't a psi-vamp, Hide." Copernicus narrowed his eyes. Hide needed blood just as much as he did. Whoever lost the battle would be the one who ran out of blood first.
"Perhaps not but I can always drink your blood." Hide smiled, flashing his fangs at the other vampire. Feasting upon his enemy's blood would be the best type of victory, and he would savor every moment of it.
Copernicus could hardly control the intense anger that washed over him. How dare Hide make such a low blow at him! "I'd never be that low as to let another vampire drink my blood." Who in the hell did Hide think he was?
"You won't have a choice," Hide replied mischievously as he charged in to make another strike.
Millie sat in her room, staring at the blood-stained letter in her hands. The picture was neatly pressed into the letter by her fingers. Her eyes darted from the letter to the picture, back and forth. "Oh Prince Yale..." She said softly as she stared at the picture. "I'm so afraid to let go...so afraid to read this letter...I mean, I've been staring at it all day, wondering what you wrote in here...What you could have possibly had to say. Your face that day..."
The look on his face when he was shot reeled through her memories once more, cutting her heart like the blade of a savage knife. "You look so terrified. You knew you were staring death in the eye...and there was nothing you could do. You always said you were going to die. I should have listened to you. Why? Why didn't I listen to you? Oh Prince Yale!" She sobbed, tears flowed down her cheeks as she sobbed loudly.
Then she felt the warmth of a hand on her shoulder. Glancing over her shoulder, she saw that it was Sir Pendragon. Horatio walked over and sat beside of her.
"Millie, is it?"
"Yes..." the girl looked down at the letter, still conflicted over what to do. "Millie Ashford..."
"You were the Prince's lover?" He thought he had that right, anyway.
"Yes...He couldn't admit that he loved me until he died...I had always told him that I loved him and he always looked so pained when I told him like he wanted to say it." When she thought about it, those moments must have been very painful for him as well. Millie was sure that it made him feel incredibly guilty.
"He did..." Horatio took out a picture from his breast pocket and handed it to her with two fingers. Millie took the photo and gazed at it. It was a picture of herself with the prince. Her eyes widened in shock. "He told me that if I ever saw this girl, to give her this picture. He always looked at it and smiled. We had to hide underground to escape Estella Nu. He talked about you a lot. He adored you." The knight remembered most of their talks when the two were hiding underground. A lot of them were about Millie, and why type of girl she was. How skilled she was as a gunman, how heroic she was when she saved him from Estella Nu and how much he adored everything about her.
"Really?" Millie asked, looking away from the picture.
"He was in bliss when he spoke of you. I've never seen anyone that happy." Horatio smiled bitterly, recalling how happy the prince was when he spoke of her. Hopefully it would give her some kind of solace knowing that he thought so fondly of her.
Memories assaulted his senses as he recalled the very conversation they had regarding the picture he had given Millie.
The two of them sat in an underground room. The musty smell of the air was accompanied by the concrete walls. Inside of the tiny enclosure, they had a couple of cots, two chairs and a table as well as a mini fridge that housed a small amount of food. The two sat in the chairs around the table.
Yale held a photo to his chest and smiled warmly, looking as if he was deep in thought over something. "I can't wait to see her again. My love."
Horatio arched an eyebrow. "You're in love with someone?" That didn't seem like the prince he knew. Yale never really had feelings for many people, so when he did, it really piqued his interest.
Yale held up the photo. Inside of it was Millie with her arms around his neck, and Yale smiling with bandages around his neck and arms. It was taken after the two of them had escaped Estella Nu, and no matter how battered they looked, the two of them still managed to smile. "With her," Yale pointed to the girl. "Her name is Millie Ashford. Isn't she stunning?"
"A human?" That was even more odd to Horatio. He had never known Yale to have such a taste in women.
"Yes, I'd love to make her my donor but, alas, I could not do that for I would be pulling her into this mess I am in. She already helped me escape...and she suffered so much." Yale frowned, sorrow reflecting in his blue eyes.
"Do you love her?" At the very least, his prince showed great interest in her, enough to refer to her as something that was stunning.
"Yes..." Yale turned his head away and closed his eyes, frowning, "but I cannot possibly tell her."
"How long have you known her?" Horatio knew that Yale had the ability to be quite secretive, and this was the first time he had heard of that girl. He must have loved her for a long time from the sound of it.
"A couple of weeks now," the prince responded.
"That's it?" Horatio blinked. Talk about love at first sight. That wasn't as long as he thought it would have been.
Yale turned his head back to the green-haired male. "A lot has happened in that short time."
"You made it sound like you've done a lot." Horatio wondered just how much the two of them had done in such a short time. It was no ordinary feat to capture the vampire's heart.
"We've had sex," the prince admitted.
"What? You had sex with someone you've known for a little more than a week?" Horatio was very surprised by that answer. He thought that maybe the prince was just enamored with the girl, but they actually had gone farther than even he expected they would have went.
Yale smiled warmly. "Yes and it was wonderful. I've never felt such love and passion before. She captivates me. The way that she holds me, touches me and caresses me. Her sweet words and understanding ways are something that I hold dear. I don't mind giving myself to her." Just thinking about the time that they had spent together filled him with joy. Horatio had never seen someone so enamored with another person before. Millie must have been a pretty special girl.
"You love her that much? I've never seen such an amorous look in your eyes before. The way you speak of her...I never knew you could feel that way about anyone, Prince Yale."
"I'd give her my child if I could...and I'd love to make her my princess." Yale's eyes shown with gentility, and in that moment, Horatio could tell just how in love the blonde was with this girl.
Upon hearing these memories explained to her, Millie felt the tears cling to her eyes once more. It was apparent that the prince had feelings that she wasn't aware of the depth of. 'Prince Yale...You really did...think highly of me.' She was touched to know that he felt just as deeply for her as she did for him.
Copernicus jolted backwards. His body was riddled with lacerations and his once detailed and elegant clothing was in shambles. Hide stood a few feet away, his clothing was in a similar condition and his hat laid in tatters on the floor behind him. Copernicus lifted his sword, pointing it at him, and Hide mimicked his gesture.
"Hide," Copernicus said the name coldly.
Hide smirked. "You've had a tough existence. The fact that you are royalty has kept you alive. Everyone knows that in the vampuric world has no need for vampuric children. They are considered useless, which is why Classicals dominate it. Inheritors are beautiful and obsolete. They can't reproduce and they are a burden as children, even if they are one-hundred percent pure. You've even managed to exceed my expectations as a child. Mr. Prodigy, such a serious, mature child you used to be."
Hide recalled Copernicus' childhood days. The boy was about twelve years old when when Hide started to notice that he wasn't like other children.
The child was sitting at the white, cast iron furniture that resided in the rose garden. He sat at the table with a book in his hand, reading through the contents. On the table, there were several empty tea cups, as well as one that was full. Hide walked up and sat in the empty seat, across from the child.
"I hope you don't mind the intrusion, my lord." Hide said simply as the boy placed a book marker into the book he was reading and closed it.
Sitting the book on the table, the young lord revealed himself. He was dressed in a white jacket with a blue cravat, under shirt and blue ruffles around the wrists and white shorts with knee-length socks. His long hair was pulled back with a dark blue ribbon. "I don't mind. I was just studying over a few tactical practices of war."
Hide propped his face up with his hand. "Tactical practices of war?" That was amusing. "Since you study war tactics, have you ever played any chess?"
"Yes, I've played chess with Earl Prizemarter. I think he got tired of losing to me." Copernicus wasn't going to lie, he was quite good at the game.
"He's lost to me as well. Playing with you might just be the opponent I'm looking for." If the boy could defeat Earl Prizemarter, then he truly was a child of genius.
"I live for strategy games, especially those that work the brain in complex ways, like chess. It's a good tactical game but there are several drawbacks to it." Copernicus noted.
"Oh?" Hide arched an eyebrow.
"Actually, there are limited movements of the pieces and," he held up the black king, "there are only two sides, black and white. There is never just two sides in war. There are many, unforseen, independents. It doesn't make the game realistic...Just generic."
"You seem so disappointed by that." Hide remarked, noting the tone of disapproval in the boy's voice.
"It limits my ability to think freely." Copernicus frowned.
"I defeated you in every chess game." Copernicus smirked as the last of the flash backs faded from Hide's memories.
"I suppose you have. Unforseen victory is the best kind, and everything in the future is uncertain." Hide replied as he stared down his opponent. After all, it was the things no one expected that provided the best sneak attacks.
"Yes," Copernicus remarked, "yes it is. The only things that are certain are uncertainty and death." Death would be the thing he could promise the certainty of. It was certain that one of them would die.
Hide charged at the vampire, thrusting his sword at the enemy. He drew back his weapon pulling it back behind his head as he brought it down with great force in one, clean slice.
Millie slowly unfolded the letter, taking a deep breath. This was it. She was going to finally read it. Today was the day that she would swallow her pride and face her fears. The girl really didn't want to relive her memories, and reading the letter, seeing his writing was like reopening all of the wounds she had sewn shut after his death.
"This...this is...so...painful..." Her voice cracked and quivered as she continued to unfold the delicate parchment, straightening the wrinkles and creases out of it. 'Please give me strength,Prince Yale.' Millie silently prayed.
Horatio stood outside of the door with his back turned. He leaned against the wooden surface. The knight figured that he would leave Millie alone to her devices. He tilted his head down, looking at his hand that rested on the doorknob. 'Sorry your highness...I don't know what you told her in that letter, but I have a feeling that it will change everything.'
Millie scanned over the letter, beginning to read the contents within.
When you read this, I will be long gone from your life. You see, I am destined to be killed because of my involvement in this plan. The royal family is being targeted and because of this reason. I regret to inform you that I could never tell you how I felt. I know that you're already involved through Copernicus, but I didn't want to affiliate you with me.
You see, Millie Ashford. I loved you dearly...more than I could ever put into words. You have everything for me. You sacrificed all that was dear to you for me and helped me through such a perilous time in my life. I could never thank you enough for that. I had such wonderful plans for us. I wanted to make you my princess but these dreams are long gone. My heart wrenched with guilt because of my secrecy. I do love you, Millie Ashford...Too bad it could have never been. I was the happiest with you out of any of my lovers. This is not my only confession, however. This letter contains all of the truths I can possibly tell without being affected with the spell.
I now that there are many theories concerning the subject of me. So, I'll clean it up for you. First of all, yes I am the true Prince of Ramada. Like Copernicus, I am an Inheritor Vampire and as such, I cannot have children. I am an infertile being and even if I was with a fertile woman, I could not have children.
Now, for one of my biggest secrets, Yale Axis Greenchapel is not my real name.
"What?" Millie's eyes widened as she continued to read the letter.
My real name is Prince Yale Axis Wittenburg.
"Wittenburg..." The school girl trailed off, lost in deep thought as she thought about where she had heard that name before, and then it hit her. "Wait..." Her face lit up in shock. "Copernicus' last name is Wittenburg...but that means...are they? No, it can't be..."
She continued to read on, desperately looking for an answer to the many questions that flooded her mind.
That's right, I, Prince Yale Axis Wittenburg an like a brother to Copernicus because we are brothers. You see, Copernicus is the king of Ramada.
A whole new wave of shock coursed through her veins as everything started to come together. The letter shook in her hands as she uttered the words of truth that had been hidden from her for so many years. "Copernicus...Copernicus is...Wait!"
She had remembered that Copernicus had told everyone that he couldn't count on anyone anymore and left the group.
What had she just done? Millie let the king go straight to Hide unprotected. She was mortified.
Horror ran through her being, and she felt ill. She couldn't believe the magnitude of the mistake that she hd just made. Her thoughts raced a million miles a minute as her eyes darted all around the room. "Oh my god! He went to Hide alone."
Frantically, she read on, trying to finish the letter.
Please don't tell anyone. I've been covering for him and I entrust you with this information. Please, keep his identity a secret, or things will get bad and and the mission to defeat Hide will crumble.
It was then that the maroon-haired girl knew what to do. She grabbed her gun and placed it into the hip pocket of her blue dress with a look of determination written on her face. "I've got to save him." Tucking the note away, she walked out of her room and down the hall, right past a puzzled Tsubomi.
The tom boy pivoted on her foot, turning to face the girl. "What are you doing, Millie?"
Stopping, the girl turned to her friend. "We have to protect him."
Tsubomi arched an eyebrow. "Are you in your right mind, Millie? I think the sorrow made you crazy." There was no way that they would stand a chance against Hide.
Frowning deeply, Millie huffed and took a hold of the tom boy's high collar on her coat, pulling her close as she leveled her with a stern look. "You're his donor, aren't you? He needs your blood. Why did he tell you to stay here?"
Gritting her teeth and closing one eye, Tsubomi struggled to look her friend in the eyes. "He didn't want me to interfere. He was so angry that he didn't want anyone to go with him. I tried to go with him and he slammed me up against the wall and told me to stay here. I won't disobey his orders." No matter how much she wanted to follow him, no matter how much she felt as if she should have followed him, Tsubomi could not. She made a promise as his donor not to upset him further than what she had already, and she remembered the punishment she had faced as a result. Tsubomi didn't want to go through that again.
Millie wasn't in the mood to hear her excuses. She grabbed Tsubomi's hand, yanking the slender girl off balanced as she drug her along. The tomb oy took large, awkward steps behind her. "Come on! We've got to get to Hide's base."
"You're crazy," Tsubomi protested, pulling back on her arm, trying to get Millie to release her.
"You're the one ho shot yourself and you call me crazy?" Millie shot back, her grip tightened on her friend's hand. Whether Tsubomi liked it or not, she was going to take her with her.
"You act so urgent about this. What made you so determined suddenly?" Was it the letter that Prince Yale wrote? Tsubomi wanted to know what was wrong. The girl was hiding something, but what?
Millie's voice darkened as she stopped in her steps. "Copernicus is very important to everything."
"Of course he is. He's a member of the royal court and I love him." To Tsubomi, Copernicus was the most special person, not just to Ramada but to her.
The school girl blinked, confusion crossing her features. "You don't know...do you?" She actually thought that his donor would have known his secret. Did Copernicus really keep this boy int he dark, too?
"Know what?" Tsubomi only confirmed that Millie was hiding something from her with that question.
"I thought he'd tell you for sure." That was really shocking.
"What are you talking about? Did Copernicus tell you something?" Tsubomi's gaze hardened as she ripped her hand away from her. "You know who he is, don't you?" Yale must have told her Copernicus' true identity in that letter.
"I know because I read Prince Yale's letter..." Millie tore her gaze away from the tomboy, remembering her lover's promise, "but I can't tell you. I was sworn into secrecy by his dying wish."
"I know he was someone of more importance than he said. Why else would he not be able to tell me and I'm his donor." Tsubomi placed a hand to her chest, then balled it into a dist and screwed her eyes shut. "Damn it! I feel like a dumbass. I should have known that everyone would figure it out before me." Even Millie found out his true identity before she did. Her luck couldn't have been any worse.
Hide dodged to the side, barely evading blades as they dug tenaciously into the wall behind him, each blade scarring the level surface. Copernicus brought his long chain of blades around and attempted to close them around his enemy again, but Hide jumped through the the large circle. Copernicus quickly saw the error of his ways and attempted to tighten it, but it was too late. The brunette held out his hand, preparing to utilize his magic skills.
"Randomize," he summoned his attack as the blades from the chain that the Rigatama made shot off in different directions, they flew at Hide, assaulting his body as they cut through his clothes and slashed his shoulders brutally.
Hide grabbed his blade and held it up. The blade glowed a neon green color, then he swung his sword and a whip of green energy flew from the blade. It collided with Copernicus' chest and sent his body flying backwards as the energy dispersed into green leaves. The king caught himself and stumbled backwards, looking up to see a bullet penetrating his shoulder.
Hide's face lit up with pain and shock as a searing feeling radiated through his body. His flesh was torn and mangled as the bullet ripped through his shoulder. He cried out, stunned momentarily by the overwhelming sensation. Copernicus shouted the names Millie and Tsubomi as Hide turned around to see the two meddling girls, a stream of smoke trailed from Millie's gun.
"The other members of the Blue Rose Order might be against you, but we aren't." Millie made her presence known.
Hide clutched his shoulder as the blood welled around his fingers. "Hmpf, the time has not yet come for us to have a proper battle. Farewell," the blonde ran towards the large window and swung his sword, creating another large whip of energy that made contact with the glass, shattering it as he leapt through. Glass rained down with a clatter as it hit the hard floor of the room. A red eye darted back to the group who stood there and watched him descend. "It will be entertaining to watch you squirm in agony as I slowly rip your life apart. It is but as bittersweet as a wilting rose, only leaving the cruel, cutting thorns. As a sadist, I want nothing more than to watch you bleed, to see that pool of crimson taint the floor and to hold your beautiful face, graced with death and kiss your bloodstained lips goodbye. That...will be my true revenge."
...To Be Continued
A/N: With that, I give you another chapter of Shattered Illusions. I hope you all enjoyed! Be sure to review and tell me what you think!