The academy is a large place.
A large palace.
The palace is a large place!—I sobbed at my own thoughts thinking, take my brain away from me.
I wandered inside the campus to find a good hiding spot but everywhere I go there are monsters crowding in them.
There's secret garden filled with vines that had this violet flowers. It has the most aromatic scent that I had ever smelled. The place where it grows happened to be the practice ground for witches. They turned their heads towards me as I entered the place. Their eyes glared at me when I interrupted their brewing of frog tongues. Some even put a prank curse on me. I would take a guess and say it's a worm-attracting curse, which could be fun, if I didn't have a fear of worms.
After that, I stumbled upon a graveyard that was a dormitory for ghouls. Good thing they were sleeping inside those regal coffins. The worms in their dorms made it less relieving.
I came across much crowded areas after that.
It's true, I could have blend myself into the crowd but I can't.
One because the crowd hates me--- I cannot stress that enough, people! And two, because when Hana said find a good hiding spot. It meant, away from the crowds. Even if I am not a manananggal yet, I know the myth about it. The myth says that there is only one way to kill a manananggal. So, they only have one Achilles' heels and it's a big one.
When I said that the lower-half of the torn body--- Yes, torn body. It's not even a clean cut! You can see your small intestine dangling from the upper half. Whatever left of your internal organs will be in your lower half. The direct translation of Manananggal means "To Separate". Meaning, once it separates, it's lower body will be at it's weakest. If ever someone finds it and destroys the body. The manananggal cannot return to it's normal form and when the sun rise and she's not whole again? She will turn into ashes. So, a manananggal is like a vampire but more likely to eat a whole baby and not just drink blood.
The main point of my whole info dump is that hiding and transforming inside a crowd will be the stupidest thing a manananggal can ever do.
It took me a while to find a good place to hide. Which is a good thing because it's been 15 minutes since the allotted time given to me expired. Now, I still have 45 minutes to endure before lunch time comes.
I took a path that had the least amount of students. I found it strange, seeing as the path is the most beautiful scene that I have ever seen in this academy. It's a stoned path surrounded by thick mossy grass, underneath thick canopies of trees. I tried to find out where it leads until I reached the end of the trail right in front of the woods. I wasn't planning on entering but I heard footsteps behind me. Thinking that it was Hana, I hid myself behind the largest tree that I could find. I waited for the footsteps to vanish. While I wait, I have found myself lost, wandering around the back woods of the Academy.
I can count that as hiding right? Because I'm so good at hiding I don't even know where I am.
"Where did I even came from?" I asked myself, figuring a way out of the forest. The sky was starting to fade into the darkness and I don't want to spend the night here.
The sky began turning a gorgeous hue of orange. Streaks of pink crosses the line between the blue sky to the fading orange ones. But I couldn't see it pass the thick canopy of the trees. It was a sight to behold, even as the last sunshine made its way into the forest. But as the light faded, I soon realize the situation I am in.
All alone in a strange dark forest inside an academy filled with monster. Will I be fine? Ha! Fat chance.
"Damn it!" I screamed and stopped on my tracks.
I can't even hear anything except for animal sounds. I don't know what animal can make low growls so I did my best to make as little noise as possible. I am not stupid to scream at an unknown growl for help.
What would I be expecting anyways?
Totoro standing beside me and a cat bus sassing me into getting in? Huh? No way! Not ever!
I've met a lot of monster to sustain me for life.
A loud noise surprised me. I snapped my head towards the sound. It was approaching me. Loud howls came from, what I can assume as, a wolf? I don't know! It could be a small dog, lost in the forest like me--- Oh, who am I kidding?
It sounded like a predator... I mean, what prey would howl and give away its hiding place?!
I panicked and didn't know what to do. My eyes keep on searching for any place to hide. My heart beating so hard that my mind can't process anything other than, I'm gonna DIE!
In amidst my frantic self, I saw a large black figure standing on it's fours. It scanned it surroundings from above of a small cliff not far from where I stood. Its huge golden eyes blended against the stars of the night but I could not mistake it for anything else. The moon shone bright against the beast, it's black fur shimmered in the night. Like a spotlight highlighting the maker of my demise.
I made a visible gulp and I forced myself to take a step back. But it was stupid as a twig snapped as I stepped backward making a sound.
A growl escaped the beast in response. It's neck snapped to where I am which made him growl even more.
"Fuck," I muttered and began to run away.
I heard it follow me, the beast, and it was fast. Faster than me. I couldn't outrun it even if I willed myself.
So, I did what I can do the most. I veered right then left then right again, almost slipping at every turn. I am determined to loose it.
"What a wonderful scent of blood." A male voice spoke as it yanked my hand backwards.
I screamed and tried to free myself. "Let me go!"
I didn't even try to look at who said it to me. It said blood. I got everything I need to conclude that he's a vampire. Everything's a 'duh' if you find yourself in a school made for monsters.
Like, if I ever see a flying head with its organ dangling from it, I'd be like: Sure, why not.
"Feisty." The voice said impressed and tightened his grip on me. "But, listen. I am very hungry right now and that sweet scenting blood of yours isn't helping. And since you trespassed this school perimeters, as well as my source of food, will you allow me to suck you?"
Finally being able to look at him. His shadow was cascading against me for he stood right in front of the full moon. He stood taller than me, a given since I am only 5'4" and everyone around me is either 5'6" or above.
He had sleek red hair combed back. It accentuated his prominent cheekbones. His big red eyes that held me in my place and a sharp jawline that can kill me if it wanted.
If he sucked my blood with that jaw, I wouldn't be so surprised.
"I-i didn't mean it like that!" His eyes widen. His red eyes vanishing into tantalizing blue ones. "I'm not, I'm not trying to hit on you or anything. I'm a vampire and your blood sweet. I'm starving as well. So can I? You know, suck you?" He babbled.
What— Wait a minute, he thought I thought he meant... that kind of... suck? I wasn't even thinking of it until now!
"Let me go!" I screamed at him and kept on tugging my own hands. "Please, let me go." I pleaded. I don't like to beg and it is not a very nice feeling but neither is fear--- I had no choice but to beg.
I didn't nor did I care about what he said in the first place. I only want him to let me go because he wanna make cranberry juice out of me. And, I will not die tonight!
"I am so sorry about this but," he frowned, "I can't stop now that I have you."
Isn't he the most polite blood-sucker ever--- if only mosquitoes are like that. His eyes are becoming red once more and soon I started seeing fangs growing from his canine teeth. I squirmed and fought to stop him.
"Stop!" I screamed at pushed him by the chest away but his face was inching my neck and I was beginning to get tired of fighting.
This is it... I'm dying.
Warm breathe hovered over my neck as I closed my eyes shut. Expecting the pain when he finally sinks his teeth unto my neck. Then a sudden swift breeze passed by in front of me.
The lack of skin contact was the one that made me open my eyes to see a huge wolf—Correction, The huge wolf. The one I saw earlier who was chasing me. He tackled the polite vampire.
"Maverick!" I heard the vampire call the wolf.
Though in shock, my brain made a good decision of saying asta la vista! and made a run for it as the two monster fight. A perfect opportunity for me to run and I took it!
I am so proud of myself for doing that. But, I can't celebrate yet. I need to... what do I need to do? The vampire got my scent! He could track me down after he finishes the wolf--- But, he might be full by the time he finished the wolf. But, in the event of the vampire still pursuing me, I need to know what to do. I can't ran in random directions and hope for the best, I have to find a way out of this forest.
"Luwalhati!" Someone screamed after me.
Nope! Not gonna look back!
If you hear someone call your name out in the middle of the woods, would you turn your heard to search for the voice? Only if your stupid! Keep running.
I sped up even though my feet feels like rubber band right now. My breathe coming short but I can't stop.
"Miss Luwalhati!" The voice started to near me but I drained too much energy to process it as danger.
I am so focused on heading back to safety that I didn't realized two people following me. One of them snatched me by the waist, pulling me up into the air.
"Let me go!" I flailed against the strength of whoever is carrying me.
When he started walking back, I saw the vampire that was trying to suck me earlier right behind the man carrying me.
"You have no idea how much trouble you've caused." A guy named Maverick, I assuming that's his name, scolded me once he settled me down on a tree stomp.
He had a tan complexion and dark brown eyes. His hair has wavy curls, some falling down his forehead. It had a bit of a volume. He was very muscular, unlike Dracula beside him who was lean.
I have come to learn that he was the wolf I saw earlier and he's not wearing anything except for some loose trousers.
"You know her?" The vampire asked.
"Yeah, a new student. An heiress of one of the headmistresses and is creating a big mess on her first day." Maverick spoke, giving all my details in one go.
"What mess? I got lost! Then this guy asked me if he could suck me---"
"Are you kidding?!" Maverick cut me off before glaring the vampire. "Have some respect, Kai!"
The guy called Kai rolled his eyes. "Should I laugh at that?"
Maverick ignored him and looked at me. "The headmistress of the magic department is going nuts because of you."
"The who?" Me and Kai asked.
"I'm surprised that the both of you don't know," he said referring to me, "But, in all seriousness, Kai. You should start attending the announcements at the auditorium a bit more. You're not the Inferno yet. Vying for that position doesn't mean you're excused on everything."
Kai let out a deep sigh before rolling his eyes. "I don't care so mind your own business. You do you and I do me? Got it, Ryker?" He spoke before he stormed off.
Which was weird because, Kai's mood shifted in an instant. He came from a decent monster to a jerk in one second.
It started to become awkward seeing Kai leave with a dark aura at the mere mention of 'The Inferno'.
"Who are you?" I broke the silence between the two of us.
Because, it had come to my attention that I am alone with someone I have no idea who. I only know his name and he's most basic info which is he's a werewolf.
"Maverick Ryker, captain of the school's strike team." He said offering me a hand.
"Tala Luwalhati." I said but realized he must've been in the auditorium si he already know who I am. "But, I guess you already know."
"Yup." He nodded. "Well then? Headmistress Hana would wants you home by now."
He escorted me back to the Academy in a different route than the one I took earlier.
Hana was standing right in front of my room's detailed door and Maverick didn't leave my side until I reached it. I stared at Hana with a bored expression. We both stood in front of each other not speaking a word.
"Are we gonna talk or are you gonna sass me and we'd end up not talking at all?" She broke the silence.
I crossed my arm, "depends. Are you gonna give me a doting mother attitude and lecture me? Or are we gonna talk like I'm an adult who can understand shit?"
"Doesn't make me any less mature." I retorted.
"Fine. Inside, let's go." Hana sighed in agreement and waited for me to enter before she did.
When I reached inside, I jumped on my bed. Missing its softness and comfort. Hana made a comment about it but I didn't hear over my groan of contentment.
"Strictly speaking, I didn't find you before lunch--- I didn't find you at all." Hana stated making me roll on my back and faced where she was.
Standing on my study table near the large window in my room. It was at the right side of my bed. Thus, I faced my right.
"You're free to skip the whole day tomorrow." There was a grimace on her tone but I rejoiced knowing I could stay inside my room for the whole day. No more enduring the stares of other monsters. "But, you have to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the mess hall during call time."
And my rejoicing got cut short.
"Why?" I asked, disappointed.
"Well you can't stay here for the whole day not eating?"
"I'll eat later than the usual call time then."
"You can't. The canteen is not gonna serve you your food if you miss the call time. Trust me, you don't want to eat the food that they'll serve for the students who are late."
"You don't know that. I can enjoy any food if I'm hungry enough."
"I guess you can settle eating raw meat with the werwolves." Hana said.
I knew she did that to try and discourage me. She succeeded by the way.
I sighed in defeat. "Fine! Breakfast, lunch, dinner at the mess hall on call time."
"Go eat your dinner, I already had it served." She pointed at my study table. "I'll be leaving."
"Finally!" I groaned, watching her made her way out of my room.
But, I could not mistake a slight grin of Hana's face.
"That sounded very mature-like, don't you think?" She cackled at my annoyed face.
"Shut up!" I whined and yeeted a pillow at her.
Fine! So, I wasn't that mature. But, in all honesty, if I didn't say that, Hana would have acted like a doting mother. That doesn't bode well with me because, one she is not my mother, biologically speaking. And two, I will never think of her as mine.