Voices called out behind him, yelling at each other, and barking orders. He was starting to slow down as his fatigue caught up with him. They had been chasing him for hours and never seemed to tire or slow down. Becoming desperate he sprinted even further ahead using his remaining energy and began trying the doors to the houses surrounding him. He cursed his luck as none of them were unlocked until finally one opened. Rushing in without thought he shut the door, making no noise at all. Letting out a sigh of relief he let himself finally relax. When he looked up though, he was surprised to see a woman staring at him. She had vivid green eyes and long chocolate hair held back in a low ponytail with her bangs framing her face. It appeared she didn't get out much with her pale skin, but she didn't appear to be sickly. The woman wore a forest green t-shirt with black pants and a white lab coat.
She was equally surprised to see a man standing in her living room. He had wavy black hair that was chin length and deep red eyes. She noticed he wore a white formal button up shirt and black suite stained with blood. A knocking on the door broke the silence in the room. Silently she moved towards the door which he allowed not daring to make a movement against her as she reached the door. Outside a man with reddish brown hair tied in a messy ponytail with gray eyes stood. He had a white shirt with a brown vest and pants, along with a crossbow in his hands. "Hello?" she said questioningly.
"Sorry for the disturbance miss," the man outside said giving a hint of his accent. "Didn't mean to disturb you but there appears to be a vampire in the town. Me an' a few other hunters chased him down this way…" The man inside the house winced at the hunter's words then stiffened, waiting for the woman to tell the hunter about him. There was no was no way he could run without being seen and all he could do was stand there with nowhere to escape. He was starting to regret his choice to open up the door to this house. The woman blinked.
"Oh? Well I haven't heard anything…" she told the hunter not completely lying. Besides the door opening she had not heard a sound from the vampire.
"Well if you do be sure to tell us," the hunter said.
"Of course," she replied nodding her head. As soon as the hunter left she shut the door and turned to the man who was staring at her in shock. "Hello," she started. "And welcome to Eisei Clinic and Boarding. My name is Ai and I run and own this establishment," she said bowing. The man still stared at her in shock and a bit of confusion. Seeing this Ai smiled comfortingly and told him, "I take any patient or resident no matter what or who they are. I also will rent out any available space to those who can't find anything else." He looked at her slightly distrusting. For a while he just stared at her.
"Hmm…you did get rid of that hunter…" he mumbled more to himself than her. "Would you show me a room?" He finally inquired.
"Yes, just follow me," Ai replied. Leading him to the flight of stairs Ai went up, with him behind her still wary. They had to go across another living room on the second floor to reach the next flight of stairs to go up to the third floor. Once they reached the third floor Ai smiled at him as they stood in yet another living room. "This floor is reserved for nonhuman beings only. Most of the rooms are filled already but last I checked Shin had room to spare. If you don't mind sharing that is." Looking down the hallway he saw at least four doors on each side and a kitchen and dining room at the end of the hall.
"I don't mind sharing a room," he told her. Ai smiled and led him to the second door on the left. Knocking on the door Ai announced, "Shin! It's me!"
"Ai!" a male voice called out enthusiastically. The door was thrown open and a boy who looked slightly younger than Ai with messy brown hair and bright red eyes. He wore black dress clothes and a red vest. Shin proceeded to hug her tightly. "Are you done with your nightly rounds?" he inquired loosening his grip to where his arms barely held her but were still around her.
"I just finished a few moments ago," Ai replied smiling.
"Yay!" Shin cheered hugging her again. Looking over her shoulder Shin noticed a man standing there. "Who is he?" Shin asked holding Ai protectively. He didn't like how the man had blood on his clothes. The man seemed to scream danger even to him.
"My name is Kosuke," the man replied politely.
"I was wondering if you would be willing to share a room with him," Ai explained.
"Well if you want me to I have no problem sharing…" Shin told her deciding to ignore the stains he saw on Kosuke's shirt.
"He only arrived a few minutes ago and it was a sudden decision so you'll have to show him around later and help him find some clothes," Ai explained to him.
"Okay!" Shin exclaimed. "So can you hang with us tonight or do you have to get up early?" Ai looked at the clock on the wall and tilted her head to the side.
"I can stay up here for about an hour but I do need to leave then so I can get up slightly early," Ai replied. Shin's face brightened up and he proceeded to drag her away enthusiastically, leaving Kosuke behind to stare after them. Stopping Shin for a second Ai said, "Kosuke you can come with us if you like. I'm sure the other residents wouldn't mind meeting you." Kosuke paused before nodding his head and following as Shin dragged her away again. At the end of the hall was another set of stairs leading up into the attic.
Walking up the stairs Kosuke was surprised at the variety of different creatures residing there. He saw werewolves, genies, ghosts/spirits, nymphs, sprites, and elves! Ai cleared her throat. "Everyone I would like you to meet a new resident," she announced. The whole room quieted down and turned to see Kosuke who looked slightly uncomfortable. No one seemed to mind his appearance. "This is Kosuke and he will be staying here awhile so treat him fairly." A chorus of 'Yes Miss. Ai' went throughout the room. Ai chuckled a bit at their response.
One of the female nymphs with long wavy blond hair and sky blue eyes stepped forward. She wore a long flowing simple no sleeve dress. "Welcome! I'm Lin and for the most part I take care of the females under Ai's care," she said introducing herself. Kosuke nodded his head in acknowledgment. He was still a little wary of them especially since it was uncommon for a human to look after so many creatures. He was not a very social person either. Ai could tell he wasn't a very talkative person so didn't press him to speak.
"Shin is the one who helps take care of the males. Despite him looking younger than a lot of the males he is older and has been here longer than most of them," Ai told him.
"Come and have fun with us since you only have less than an hour to hang with us," Shin told Ai changing the subject.
"You are always pushing yourself and need time to relax," One of the sprites told her.
"Ni-Su you and everyone else worry too much. I'm fine and I have all of you helping me so I don't push myself," Ai said soothingly. Ni-Su was barely a foot tall with green hair in pigtails and a red outfit that consisted of pants and a dress like top with a white trim. It inwardly amused Kosuke that she was trying to scold Ai but he wouldn't let it show.
"I have to agree with Ni-Su," Lin told her. "You have been pushing yourself…instead of spending an hour with us tonight you should only spend a half an hour or less."
"Aw come on, we hardly see her as is and I'm sure she's okay since she said so. Besides she can always relax on Sunday her day off," Shin whined. Ai chuckled at that.
"How about forty-five minutes then?" she compromised. Lin and Shin looked at each other before nodding in agreement. Kosuke cleared his throat to get their attention.
"I would like to change my clothes and maybe have a bath…" Kosuke said uncomfortably.
"Oh right…follow me," Shin said leading Kosuke out of the attic. They went to a door under the stairs and opened it. "Ai has clothing of all sizes from past guests to patients," Shin explained.
"About that...where do the patients, guests, and residents stay? I can tell she has a lot of room but…" Kosuke inquired.
"Patients are on the first floor, and sometimes but rarely the second which is for human guests, and we live on the third with the attic as our play area," Shin explained. "Each floor has a living room toward the front as you can probably tell four rooms on each side of the hallways, a kitchen in the back, and storage. There are bathrooms connected to the rooms." Kosuke blinked at that.
"Where does Ai stay then?"
"She lives in the basement," Shin replied. Kosuke gave him a questioning look.
"Since there is no room for her on any of the floors or attic she sleeps in the basement. Her bedroom, personal bathroom, and kitchen are down there along with a greenhouse for her medical herbs and a few vegetables and fruits." By the time Shin had finished explaining he had showed Kosuke to the bathroom in their new room. "Anyways if you have any more questions you can come look for me." Kosuke nodded his head. Going into the bathroom Kosuke made sure to lock the door before striping off his clothes. He stared at his clothes which were still covered in blood.
It surprised him that no one commented on that at all. Besides Shin looking at him warily at first no one had really done or said anything about it. Shaking his head he turned on the water and waited for it to heat up before stepping in. Thoughts about how he got there drifted into his head along with whether he should trust them or not. Ai may have helped him with the hunters but that didn't mean she couldn't be planning anything with the other creatures as her helpers. Kosuke couldn't trust them yet but he wasn't going to be overly paranoid. Grabbing the soap he scrubbed until the scent of blood was gone. His skin was pink from the rough scrubbing but he was just glad he didn't smell like blood anymore. Getting dressed in the clothes Shin left he noticed they were similar to the ones he had worn before except instead of a white button up shirt it was crimson.
Shin wasn't outside so Kosuke assumed he went back to the attic to spend as much time with Ai as he could. Kosuke may not have known them long but he could tell that Shin was attached to Ai. In his whole life he had never seen a fellow vampire act so affectionately especially to a human. 'Then again I never really talked or seen many other vampires and avoided most of them' Kosuke thought to himself. Deciding it would be better to find Shin so as to get to know the people he would be staying with he headed to the attic.
Ai was coming down the stairs when he got there. "Hello, do you need anything?" she inquired politely. Kosuke shook his head no. "Okay, but if you need anything don't hesitate to come get me." Again he nodded. "Don't worry too much about them asking you any questions either." Kosuke raised an eyebrow at that. "Unless you plan to stay longer than two days they won't ask any questions. After two days they'll start asking questions since they figure you'll be a more permanent resident." That relieved Kosuke somewhat since he didn't really want to talk about himself. "Goodnight," Ai told him as she headed to the basement. Kosuke nodded in acknowledgement and headed to the stairs.
When he got up there he noticed all of the younger ones were playing capture the flag, with the flags being different colored bandanas. The teams where set up as boys versus girls. Shin was leading the boys against Lin who was in charge of the girls' team. They made it seem like some epic battle was going on as they called out battle cries and used their magic or talents to try to capture the other team's flag. Most of the older creatures watched in amusement as the younger ones got riled. Kosuke also watched and smiled faintly at the sight.
Eventually the girls' team won as one part of the group used a diversion tactic and the other girls split into two groups to capture the flag. Shin and some of the other boys muttered under their breathes, and glared at the girls until Ni-Su who hadn't been part of the game called out to them saying 'breakfast' was done. Kosuke wondered briefly why they'd let such a young girl cook but when he saw the food he didn't blame them. Spreads of eggs of every kind were laid out along with bacon, sausage, and toast. Some of the residents who had been there longer got specific plates made for them. After a few comments on the food they dug into their meals.
Ni-Su was fidgeting throughout the meal as she impatiently waited for everyone to finish. Kosuke picked at his breakfast considering he didn't exactly need food to survive so he noticed her subtle movements. Lin was the one though who asked, "Is something wrong?"
"No," Ni-Su replied. "It's nothing…"
"We've known you for a while. We know when something is wrong," Shin stated. "What's up?"
"I'm just worried about mo-Ai," Ni-Su told him.
"You can call her mom," Lin told her gently. "She did practically raise you." Kosuke raised an eyebrow at that but didn't comment.
"I know that…" Ni-Su said pouting. "It's just I want her permission…and she might not see me as a daughter and well what if she thinks it's weird? And…"
"You're babbling," Shin told her. Ni-Su quieted. "Besides when has Ai thought anything like that was weird? You know she's a very open minded person and well she probably does see you as a daughter herself with the way she treats you." Lin diverted the conversation back to what she'd previously been wondering after Ni-Su went quiet.
"Why are you so worried about Ai?"
"Nothing in particular…it's just she's been working more and as Shin mentioned she hasn't spent as much time with us," Ni-Su explained. Everyone began debating about it as they continued eating until Lin told them to stop it and that they were making Ni-Su worry with their theories. After the meal some of the girls went to do the dishes while a few of the others went to the attic. Some of the older creatures went out since it was a well-known fact nonhumans were nocturnal to avoid humans that might persecute them. The places they went had spells to prevent humans with ill intent to pass through but they didn't have the best housing available so you'd have to find somewhere to live.
Shin walked over to Kosuke. "You've seen most of the place already so I might as well show you all of it," Shin told him.
"What does everyone do during the night?" Kosuke inquired before they started.
"Most of the older ones have jobs in some of the downtown shops. If they don't have jobs then they'll go to the market place to shop or spend it with their significant others. The ones who look most human like the elves will check up on the patients for Ai while she sleeps and to make sure they have around the clock care," Shin replied. It was silent after that except for when Shin talked as he pointed out a few rooms and who they belonged to. Finally they came to a stop on their tour.
"Thank you for showing me around, I think I'm just going to go to our room and rest now," Kosuke said. Shin blinked.
"But it's not even one in the morning yet! That's when lunch is served with dinner at four in the morning. You sure you want to rest?"
"I've been traveling a lot and haven't slept well for the past few days," Kosuke replied.
"If you're sure…"
"I am." Shin shrugged his shoulders and left to go do something. Drifting down the hallway Kosuke made his way to the room he would be sharing with Shin and went to the nearest bed. As soon as he laid down he immediately fell into a dreamless sleep.
I hope you all like this chapter! Next one should be up soon? I won't promise anything… ^^ Please Read and Review!