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At the turn of every century the Goddess returns to the soil to vist herpeople. But because of the darkness in her heart her retuns are not alway pleasant. An organization prdicts this next ill fate and goes after the single weapon that coul spell their destruction in only a few months.
Chapter 1, Marilyn's Cathedral
It was late evening in Minoru and dark storm clouds were rolling in, blocking out the remaining sun. The woods were silent—all the creatures had headed into their homes to evade the storm, but two figures walked quietly towards an old, abandoned building in a clearing; it was an old cathedral. It stood up to four stories and had an elaborate religious design of beautiful stone angels carved on the front, with many statues that represented Christianity. Taking up most of the front was a huge, round stain glass window, the center portraying a priest who was offering his heart to the angels that looked down upon him. Flowers grew at the priest's feet and their vines curled around the border of the window. To the right of the large double doors was a stone that read, “Marilyn” and a separate stone next to it that read “Cathedral.” The first stone seemed to have been replaced or broken many times, because it was cracking and crooked. Behind the cathedral, the sun was setting into the turquoise ocean waters.
“I guess this is the place Ruine was talking about,” said the female figure, her long golden hair blowing in a small gust of wind. She pushed her hair behind her ears, revealing them to be pointed, usually a sign for elves.
“It'd better be. I don't want to be caught in this storm.” The male figure replied. His extremely long black hair had also been caught in the gust of wind, but since it was pulled back it didn't bother him.
The woman walked up to the huge double doors of the cathedral and looked around, her trained blood red eyes scanning the area. “Where's Ruine? He said he'd meet us here.” She said, turning back to her taller companion.
He merely shrugged. “I don't know, he better get here soon though.” His violet eyes turned up to the sky and he held up a hand, checking for raindrops. He scowled, showing small pointed fangs; this vampire hated the rain.
“Well, he's never let us down before, so I guess we can wait on `im.” The blonde leaned against the cold stone wall and fiddled with her black trench coat. It was an old coat that had obviously seen better days. Its black color had only faded a little but the two white leather belts that wrapped around the waist were decaying. On the back in red stitching was a tribal raven that looked as though it had never been touched.
The black haired vampire grumbled and also leaned against the wall. He tightened the one black belt remaining around his plain black trench coat before crossing his arms. “He better get here soon.” As he mumbled this, the clouds completely covered the sky and everything was coated in darkness, causing the lightly tanned skin of the vampires to become more noticeable. The she-vampire looked up as the clouds broke and rain began to fall.
“Aw shit!” the man pulled up the hood on his coat and glared over at his companion. “Let's just go inside!”
“If we go in Ruine might think we're gone and leave!” She replied, also pulling her hood up.
“Screw Ruine!” He said and grabbed a hold of the door handle. He pulled opened one of the large doors slowly, seeing as the doors were very heavy stone. He went inside and removed the hood, shaking his head to rid it of any water.
The she-vampire followed after him and looked around. She turned to close the door and found a piece of paper caught on the other side. She pulled it off and read to herself:
Sakura and Kazuo,
So sorry that I'm not there! Renjiro came in with a call from Zonar. He said he needed to see me immediately so I'm in Morii until tomorrow morning. Get to work on the cathedral, it's our new headquarters!
P.S. I left the note inside because it could have rained.
It was written on a ripped piece of notebook paper, and Ruine had drawn a little miniature version of himself (a long haired, winged vampire) next to his name giving a grin and peace sign.
The she-vampire, now known as Sakura, clenched her teeth as her sharp nails dug holes into the sides of the paper. “Damn it, Ruine!”
“What is it?” Kazuo asked, walking behind her and looking over her shoulder at the paper. He read it quickly and sighed. “Since when does Zonar have anything urgent to say?”
“Apparently now.” Sakura crumpled up the paper and threw it behind her, causing it to bounce off Kazuo's nose. She walked deeper into the cathedral and looked around. The ceiling was high, extending to the top of the second floor where half of the circular window could be seen. Rain beat upon it so hard Sakura wondered if the ancient glass would hold out.
“Look at these walls.” Kazuo pointed out, admiring the beautiful mosaic works that depicted Jesus in many different ways—helping the poor, reviving the dead, and other good deeds. Some of the stone tablets had names of priests that had been in the cathedral or donated carved into them and a few statues sat against the walls of beautiful angels, the disciples, and their symbol—the cross.
“You think that's interesting, look at that.” Sakura pointed to the back of the foyer. A huge stone tablet sat inside an arch, a sun painted upon it. Sitting in front of it was a huge golden crucifix and an old table with a large bible, the pages yellow and brittle.
“I can't believe it survived all these years.” Kazuo said, only glancing at the bible, he was more interested in the figure of Jesus hanging from the cross.
Sakura let out a small laugh. “Look at that portrayal of human nature,” she said with her farm accent, “That just goes to show that humans don't appreciate any help they're given.”
“No wonder their race is dying out now.” Kazuo smirked and turned away from the crucifix to explore a bit more. “Uh, whoa!” He said in amazement as he stumbled backwards. He was off balance as he stared up with large eyes at the ceiling.
Fearing there were demons inside the church, Sakura's head snapped up to see what had startled her friend. Her heart skipped a beat at what she saw. “What… in Ayaka's name….” she breathed.
The ceiling was painted elaborately and although the colors were fading and the stone was cracking, the story was still there. A white priest with blood upon his holy robe was holding a weapon in the shape of a cross. The black cross was being held triumphantly over what looked to be the body of hundreds of black, blood thirsty creatures that had been slaughtered brutally—vampires.
Sakura covered her mouth, still looking upon the dead bodies of her race's ancestors. She finally tore her eyes away after many long moments in silence and looked at Kazuo. He only shook his head and turned away.
The two vampires remained in silence for some time after that. Instead, they busied their minds with mapping out the cathedral. Branching out from the huge foyer were two corridors. One led into what looked to be a very large reading room, with comfortable chairs (that seemed much newer than the church itself) and a fireplace, the walls seemingly made of books. A huge cherry wood table sat in the center of the room with many chairs around it. Another hall branched from this with many rooms along it—most likely bedrooms for the nuns that used to live there. The other corridor that exited the foyer went to the kitchens and to the stairs, where there were classrooms and other such rooms along with rest rooms and a fourth floor attic.
“Why a cathedral?” Kazuo asked quietly, looking warily at the crosses.
“He probably thinks this is a good way to stay hidden from other organizations.” Sakura nearly bumped into a cross and jumped a good three feet. “But we're gonna have to get these crosses out or we'll all be fried!” She said angrily and glared at the particular cross as if it had purposely jumped in her way.
“When is everyone else getting here?” Kazuo rubbed his forehead, using his hand to cover his eyes some. The image above had drained him of some energy.
“Hiroko told me tomorrow at noon. We're supposed to stay here tonight with Ruine and make sure that no one else is already using it, but since he's not here it looks like it'll just be us.” Sakura walked into the reading room and looked around. No wood…. She thought and looked around the room once more. Coming to a conclusion, she grabbed a couple of outdated atlases from the shelves and threw them into the fireplace. Pulling up her sleeve, she held her right hand over the books and concentrated. Her hand started to glow faintly red and a small, exaggerated X-shaped scar over her thumb pulsed many times. Suddenly the books caught on fire. She moved back and smiled at her handiwork. The cold began to edge away quickly being replaced by warmth.
Kazuo came in and flopped into one of the armchairs, pulling up the leg rest and leaning back. “Now what?” he said, seeming to be content.
“Well, I'm going to explore the upstairs. I shouldn't be long.” Sakura headed back into the foyer (keeping her eyes down) and through the other corridor. Going straight ahead would take her to the kitchens, so she turned left and headed past the bathrooms to a flight of stairs at the end of the hall. She looked at them closely first and found them to be stone and very sturdy, so she started up.
It was a tall set of stairs with one landing turning the stairs in the other direction. The next landing was a floor. She looked around to find it to be an office. Old candles and books sat around and a desk sat near the small, round window that viewed the ocean. Everything was coated heavily with dust and the corners were invaded by spiders. Turning, Sakura found another door. She walked over and opened it, uncovering another flight of stairs.
This set of stairs led into what looked like an attic. Sakura looked around, finding no more doors or stairs. Confused, she looked around at the room. It was mostly packed with old cardboard boxes sealed with duct tape. Sitting in the upper left hand corner was a huge object covered by a beige cloth. Curiosity got the best of her and she pulled back the sheet to find an old time piano.
Sakura was a musician of many different kinds, so this find was a joyful one. She sat down on the bench (that wobbled, giving her a start) and ran her fingers over the dusty keys. Gingerly, she pressed the middle C key with her right thumb. A crystal clear sound emitted from the piano. The she-vampire smiled, realizing that the piano was still in tune after all those years. She thought for a moment, and then pressed a few keys to hear the sounds. With a small smile, she began to play a quick tune that sounded mournful. She fiddled around with different tunes and sounds, piecing together different parts of songs she had heard and making up some of her own.
After awhile she looked out the window next to her to see the moon high in the sky. It was full and its light was almost as bright as the sun's, bathing the land in silver. The earth seemed to shine because of the rain from earlier. The storm had left without her noticing.
Sakura made her way back to the first floor reading room and sat down in the armchair opposite of Kazuo's. The vampire looked at her with drooping eyes.
“Find anything?” he asked in a bored tone.
“A piano.” Sakura replied with a small smile, and then added, “Oh, there's no second floor.” She frowned.
“What? Of course there's a second floor!” Kazuo sat up, giving her a strange look. “We could see it from outside.”
“Well, there probably is, but we can't get to it.” She scratched her head, confused.
Kazuo just gave her a confused look mixed with stupidity.
“I found the stairs, they go all the way up to the third floor, and then another flight goes to the attic. They bypass the second floor,” she explained.
“That's really strange.” Kazuo replied, sitting back. “I guess we'll have to tell Ruine.”
“He might already know.” Sakura shrugged and leaned back in her chair, not too concerned about the mystery floor.
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