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Vk la trappola del ghiaccio nero (secondo romanzo)



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  • 1. Vampire Knight The Noir Trap Story by Ayuna Fujisaki Drawings and Creation by Matsuri Hino Translated from Japanese to Chinese (Official Publication). Uploaded in Chinese by LZ Translated from Chinese to English by: Witless Fool Version 2.0This translation was originally provided on http://vampire-knight.livejournal.comVampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 1
  • 2. Disclaimer:The purpose of this translation is to share the stories with the English-speaking audience, who afterso many years, are still waiting for an official release. It’s strictly free – no commercial distributionis allowed. Distribution for general discussion and other fan purposes are allowed, and feel free totranslate this into other languages for the other VK fans out there. But please do not claim this asyour own work – give credit where credit is due. I spent a lot of effort on the translations and wouldbe reluctant to do any future translations if people were to take my hours of hard work and pass itoff as their own.That being said, please remember the novel is the creation of Ayuna Fujisaki and Matsuri Hino. Ifand when the novel is officially released in English (fingers crossed!), please buy it and support theseries!Little Extra Side Notes (Important, Please Read):Things often get lost in translation (that’s how the phrase came into being in the first place). Andeven if it’s the official release of the Chinese version, even the most professional translator cannotretain everything when crossing from one language to another. And when you have a translation ofa translation (done by, well... me, NOT a professional translator) – it’s inevitable that twice theamount of material get lost.(Plus, when characters talk, they rarely ever add who said what. So during a long convo sequence,it’s difficult to figure out who’s actually saying which line.)In addition, Japanese honorifics such as senpai and sama are pretty much lost when this wastranslated into Chinese. I used honorifics according to how the characters interacted in manga (likeKaname-sama or Wild-senpai) but the others, I’m just going with what I think is right... which isprobably wrong.Also, LZ didn’t specify where a chapter started and where one ended, so I’m just putting in breakswhere it felt the most natural.In addition, what may sound poetic and eloquent in one language sounds terribly awkward anddisjointed in another. In an attempt to make this feel like a novella and read smoothly, some artisticlicense has been taken. So don’t take this as a literal translation, though I do remain as close to theliteral translation as I possibly can.So when the official release does come out, do not come back and start flaming me for getting thingswrong. Because at the end of the day, this is just a fan’s attempt to share more bits of the VK worldwith other fans. It may not be perfect. It may be wrong in some spots. But the general gist is there.Think of it as a fan’s impression of what happened in the stories rather than a literal professionaltranslation. So in short, READ, ACCEPT THE FLAWS, ACKNOWLEDGE THE AUTHORS, ACKNOWLEDGE THE TRANSLATORS and ENJOY!Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 2
  • 3. Table of ContentsDisclaimer and Important Notes Page 2Chapter One: The Noir Trap Page 4Chapter Two: For This Beautiful Night – Nadashiko Shindo Page 42Chapter Three: For this Beautiful Night – Kaseumi Kageyama Page 65Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 3
  • 4. Chapter One: The Noir Trap“What are you doing in someone else’s room?” As Zero returned to his own room, he found anintruder standing by his closet. “Chairman Cross.”“Well... It’s like this.” The self-proclaimed father of Zero explained. “I- I was doing my laundry when Ithought I might as well grab Zero’s clothes too.”Zero sighed at this pathetic excuse.“Even if you prepared all my uniforms, I’m still not going.”“Wait, what are you talking about?” Straight-away, Chairman’s eyes became shifty. He had neverbeen good at lying. It was just as well for Zero.“I want to sleep. Please get out.”“Ah well, okay... good night.”Zero slapped the door shut, and then sat down on the bed. It has been almost a year since hegraduated from middle school. Over the course of that year, the Chairman had pulled a lot of crazystunts. For instance, he once came in with a ruler in his hand. He pretended he was going to takeZero’s middle school uniform for a wash but instead, took the opportunity to measure Zero’sclothes.And tonight, while Zero was in the shower, he sneaked in to measure the size of Zero’s clothes so hecan have Zero’s high school uniform made up.I’m not going to go to high school....This time last year, when graduation date was approach, the Chairman would often bring up thetopic of education at the dinner table. Whenever this happened, Zero would either completelyignore him or explicitly tell him “no.”And every time Zero said this, the Chairman would sigh or look at him with sad eyes.Other people have also tried to persuade him, but Zero absolutely refused. For once he attendedhigh school, he would have to run into the vampire gang. Even with the school divided into NightClass and Day class, interactions between the two cohorts were inevitable during the changeovertimes.Even those short periods of time gave Zero a repulsive feeling of being contaminated. He did notwant to breathe the same air as them. Ever since “that woman” bit him, he had been living in a poolof despair.If he was to interact with them, he may end up falling... It was the fear of degeneration that stoppedhim from attending high school.Was that so wrong?Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 4
  • 5. He silently brushed his fingers through her hair. It was silky and smooth with a smooth supple feel toit. The fingers twirled the hair around, let it fall back into place, before repeating the action all overagain.Meanwhile, the girl remained motionless in his arms.“Ah...” Out of the corner of the smiling mouth, a pair of small fangs could be seen.This was what humans did not have. They were white... and small...Fangs...The slender white neck... The scattered silky hair...After he finished playing with her hair, his hands began searching for the arteries. They slowly glidedup the girl’s neck. His lips soon followed, slowly kissing up the path with anticipation. He wouldbrush the girl’s hair aside, inhale the sweet aroma and become intoxicated by it.This was his unique courtship.The eternal kiss.Accepting the courtship of the vampire, the girl’s eyes were void of any expression. Then, anunknown object floated gently into the young girl’s hands.It was a rose... which the vampire dedicated to the girl ...made of coagulated blood.“...?”In the depth of slumber, the young teenager was aware of someone calling out his name and askinghim a question. He buried his face into his pillow, but nevertheless, mustered enough energy for areply.“.... That one... should be fine...”Having understood his semi-coherent reply, his roommate nodded. “Okay.” Having said that, he gotup and left.It was a rest day. Sleeping in like this was an absolute luxury. Normally, the noisy Day Class studentswould be outside. But today, it was all quiet and peaceful – perfect for sleeping. Hanabusa turnedover in his bed and fell back asleep, completely forgetting the conversation he just had.Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 5
  • 6. “Really... why would I want to do such a thing?”As the driver stepped on the emergency brake and stopped the vehicle, Ruka opened the door andgracefully stepped out of the taxi.With pale white skin and a slender slim figure, she was as pretty as a doll. And with long wavy haircascading down her back, she looked like a beautiful graceful lady. She was, after all, one of the mostbeautiful girls of the Night Class – Ruka Souen.But on that particular day, Ruka was in a bad mood.It was during the day time, which for vampires, was way too early to be up and about. Sure, the sunwasn’t their mortal enemy – it won’t kill them. But for vampires, exposure to sunlight wasnevertheless uncomfortable.Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 6
  • 7. Moreover, she was more disgruntled with her partner than anything else.“Ah... But what can we do? This was, after all, Kaname-sama’s order.”Following her out of the taxi, Akatsuki Kain replied in a soothing tone, trying to comfort the sulkingRuka.He had a tall, prominent yet at the same time soft figure, long strands of wind-swept untamed hair,and a lean, tight mouth that gave off an impression filled with wildness.Today, the two of them were not wearing the school uniform of the night class, but their ownnormal clothes.Upon hearing Akatsuki emphasize the words “Kaname-sama” into her ear, a blushing Ruka jerkedher head up and gave the considerably taller Akatsuki a severe glare.“O-of course! Otherwise, I definitely wouldn’t have come out with you! But seriously, why wouldKaname-sama specifically pick us two?”“If the Dorm President made this decision, he must have his reasons.”Ruka had no response to this reasonable reply. Instead, she focused on trying to suppress the angerbuilding within her. Constantly throwing temper tantrums was not the answer.“–the ancient castle, must be it, right?” Ruka pondered out loud.Aktasuki nodded his head in agreement. “Ah, Shiki and Rima must be here.”In front of them stood an ancient castle.The ancient castle was filled with a cold atmosphere. As she took one step inside, Ruka couldn’t helpbut give out a sigh of uneasiness. Having come to such a place, air that one can actually breathecomfortably was suddenly scarce and valuable.“–Shiki’s over there.”Akatsuki found Shiki standing on the grand spiral staircase of the lofting hallway. Ruka also turnedher neck in their direction, her lips curled up into a smile.“Rima’s there as well, sitting on the steps. But... what kind of outfit is that?”The handrails of the spiral staircase were designed to look like vines. Blood red roses were scatteredall over the dark red carpet. Overall, the backdrop created a beautiful atmosphere.Shiki was still in the middle of the shoot. Only a slight flicker in his eyes indicated hisacknowledgement of their arrival.Although Shiki’s big eyes gave off a characteristic rigid appearance, at the same time, they alsoexuded a sense of delicate charm that was as thin as glass. The lack of change in his expression wasone of the reasons he had become such a prized model. It gave him an unshakeable sense ofVampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 7
  • 8. presence. No one else has his ability to create this type of atmosphere – it’s his greatest charm. Hewas... irreplaceable.At the present moment, he was wearing a white dress shirt with tight black pants. The open shirtrevealed a considerable amount of chest, and the tuxedo over it had an asymmetrical hem. On topof it all, he wore a large black cloak.As Shiki spread out his arms as if he was prepared to fly, the cloak immediately flared out aroundhim like wings. A bloody red rose fell gently from the cloak, drifting through the air before settlinginto the hands of Rima, who was sitting on the twisted staircase.Although she naturally held a distinctive charm, Rima’s beauty was highlighted by the make-up thatwas applied to her face. Her crystal white skin reflected the shimmering light emitted by thesurrounding blue and white lights. Her slender and beautiful eyes were clouded with confusion asshe gazed off into the horizon. Her sexy slim lips were coloured bright red. Wearing a retro-styleddress, Rima expressed no response to the rose that fell into her hands.In that moment, they were models, portraying characters on a set. As a young vampire, and thehuman girl that was attracted by his charm. Click. The photographer captured a snapshot of thisunique world.“Heard the subject of this photo shoot is ‘vampire of the ancient castle.’”“Really? Then Rima is acting as the human that got abducted? Pretending to be a vampire... this the type of job that Shiki and Rima are willing to do?” Ruka’s tone was neutral, containingneither sarcasm nor mockery.Upon hearing this, Akatsuki could only shrug his shoulders in reply.“Shiki-kun, please turn slightly towards me! Ah, yes, that’s right! Now try this –” The energeticphotographer kept pressing the shutter. Meanwhile, the two professional models remainedmotionless, moving only when told.“Come to think of it, this is my first time seeing them while they are working.”“Me too.”“Ah, Shiki-kun is really good! That’s just the expression of a vampire: cold, proud and lonely. Just as Iwould expect – no, even better than I expected. And Miss Rima is also very good. It really does looklike a vampire and his beloved noble lady.” The photographer commented loudly as his cameranever stopped taking shots.“But then again, it’s no wonder when you consider Shiki-kun and Miss Rima are professional models.I heard, this time, the two of them specifically asked to work with him.” Next to Akatsuki and Ruka,the staff working behind the scenes started talking among themselves.“It’s because this ancient castle emits a great atmosphere. And with great models such as those two,it’s no wonder the photographer is getting more and more excited with each shot he takes.”Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 8
  • 9. “Vampire of the ancient castle, forever young and beautiful, falling in love with a human girl. Ah, thelove story is so poignant. Just look at those two, they could definitely make a TV series out of this.”“Speaking of vampires, have you heard of the rumour yet?”“Ah, uh, that one?” The female staff member dropped her voice, her tone becoming somewhatmore sombre.Although he was turned away from them and appeared not to be paying any attention, Akatsukishoulders suddenly stiffened. Ruka also slowly blinked her eyes. Those were the only indications oftheir heightened awareness. Though, of course, the eyes of ordinary humans observed none of this.“It’s strange though, isn’t it? Looked like the deaths were caused by severe blood loss.”“And all the targets were beautiful young girls...”“And is it true what they said about all the corpses were drained of blood?”“There were no official police reports?”“The events were so bizarre that they didn’t want to reveal them to the public. I heard the policeand authorities are investigating it in secret.”“It’s really scary...”Dispelling the heavy atmosphere, a female staff member cheerfully mused, “ah, but if it was me, aslong as the vampire looked like Shiki-senpai, I wouldn’t mind getting sucked...”All the other staff laughed it off as they returned to their respective jobs. Having just finished thephoto shoot, Rima and Shiki left the spiral staircase and looked over at Akatsuki and Ruka.“I think it’s their break time, let’s go over.”“Sure.”“Shiki-kun and Rima, you two must be tired.” A short-haired woman wearing glasses quickly strodeacross the hallway towards the pair.Upon seeing their manager, Rima pointed at the magazine spread open on the table and said, “Nexttime, let’s use this photographer.”“Ai, isn’t that Inakaru-sensei? He’s a very well known newcomer. Rima, you have great foresight. Justas well, he’s working for the firm that’s covering the next photo shoot.”Having heard the manager, Shiki also glanced down at the magazine and muttered, “Fine, let’s gowith him.”“Recently, you two have become used to picking photographers by name, and are more willing toaccept magazine interviews. This is so great. You two are finally beginning to become moreprofessional. But before the next photo shoot, we need to get you two hydrated.”As the manager quickly strode away, Akatsuki raised his hand in greeting to the pair.Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 9
  • 10. “Shiki, Rima, must be tiring.”Since Shiki and Rima were already aware of Akatsuki and Ruka’s entrance while they were busyworking, the two showed not a flicker of surprise. After all, they do pay attention to theirsurroundings.“... You two came together.” Shiki grunted.Ruka couldn’t help but purse her lips and blurt out, “it was Kaname-sama’s order. But let’s not talkabout that... Here, take this. Hanabusa recommended these cakes.”Shiki immediately opened the box. But when he saw the luxuriously decorated cakes, he lost allinterest and closed the lids again. “I’d actually prefer a chocolate bar. Rima, want some?”“No.”Ruka easily disposed of the cakes by giving it to one of the staff members.Meanwhile, Akatsuki took out a small box and handed it to Shiki. “I figured you’d say that, so I gotyou guys these.”“Limited edition fragrant coffee flavour... I thought these were sold out.”Shiki happily opened the box and silently offered a pocky stick to Rima. They were the same asalways. No words of communication were necessary.“How was today’s photo shoot?” Akatsuki asked them casually.The photographer was busy adjusting the set. He darted from one spot to another, constantlymaking changes like moving the chair around and ordering the assistants to change the position ofthe lights etc.“Should get some good shots.”Hearing Rima’s reply, Akatsuki shot Ruka a glance.“Do you think that’s him?”“Maybe. But then, after this, there are other photo shoots right?”Although they just got there, Ruka’s body language was already screaming “I want to get out ofhere.” It was bad enough having to mingle with the day class students during the changeovers backat school. But having to be surrounded by so many ordinary people under such circumstances?Ruka’s bad mood just got much worse.... But it’s Kaname-sama’s order.Besides, it wasn’t just her who accepted the task. She was there with Akatsuki.Kaname-sama...Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 10
  • 11. Ruka gently rested her cold fingers against her neck. On the night they moved into the MoonDormitory, Kaname-sama took her blood. Although she had not experienced that lucky event sincethen, just the fact that Kaname-sama specifically chose her for this task made her extremely happy.“Fine, let’s wait till after the start of the next photo shoot before we go back. After all, it can’t bethat easy to encounter the guy.”“Indeed.” Just as Ruka gave that brief response to Akatsuki –Shiki and Rima’s manager came running back, saying in a stern voice, “Really! I told you guys torestrict your intake of sweets. It’s for your own good!”The pocky stick Rima was holding (her third one) froze in mid-air.Akatsuki was just about to walk away, but he couldn’t help but add, “Ah, sorry.”Upon hearing Akatsuki’s apology, the manager’s gaze immediately turned to him. Her eyes widenedand it was as if she suddenly forgot how to blink. With her eyes firmly fixed on Akatsuki, themanager quickly took in all his handsome features.“...uh, that is...”“The chocolate, I was the one who bought it for them.”“Ah, oh, are you a classmate of theirs?”“Uh-huh.” Akatsuki nodded his head.“Ah, so sorry, I thought you were another model.” The manager blushed as she continued to stare atAkatsuki. Her voice even cracked a little.“Uh, manager...” Even Shiki’s helpless sigh failed to reach her ears.“Why don’t you become a model for us? And the girl standing next to you, she’s so beautiful. Are allfriends of Shiki-kun this beautiful?”“That’s right, I’ve been dying to give her a make-over ever since she got here,” the make-up artisthad Ruka planned as his next target.Even the photographer looked up from his work and nodded in agreement. “He has a type ofmasculinity that’s completely different from Shiki-kun. I really want to get his picture as well.”At this moment, a loud voice shouted from the entrance. “I’m so sorry, we got here a little bit earlierthan expected. But can we take some shots here. We’re part of the “castle tours” group, here totake some special edition pictures.”Looked like the next photo shoot has already showed up.“Ah, you must be from the magazine,” the manager said.Dressed in a T-shirt and casual jeans, a young man quickly walked over and handed her a businesscard. “I’m the editor of the magazine.” Having introduced himself, he looked over at Akatsuki andVampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 11
  • 12. Ruka. “We originally intended to use Shiki-kun and Miss Rima for the castle photo shoot. But if it’spossible, I hope they could participate as well.”“But, we just came for a visit...” Akatsuki’s half-spoken sentence was quickly drowned out by thechatter of the surrounding staff members.“A couple of photos won’t hurt –”“Just leave make-up and hair to us, don’t worry about a single thing!”“It would be a great memory for you both –” In a few short moments, the two of them were completely surrounded with no means of escape.Outside the chaos, a comfortable Shiki observed the unfolding mess and whispered quietly. “I wantto see this.”“Shiki, you...”“...”Ruka kept shooting Akatsuki looks that said “are you kidding me?”Akatsuki could only breathe out a helpless sigh. “Did I say too much...”Meanwhile, Rima calmly said to Shiki, who was standing by her side. “An occasional photo shoot isnot that bad. Besides...” Rima looked behind the magazine editor at the photographer. “That guy’sthe next photographer.”Instantly, all four them tensed up. The guy Rima was pointing at was the photographer she selectedout of the magazine, who, according to their manager, was fast becoming a well-knownphotographer.“The chance of him being the guy is quite high.”Akatsuki nodded his head, then muttered to Ruka. “... might as well see this to the end.”“... I said right from the start I didn’t want to do such a thing.”On their way to the school, Ruka couldn’t help but voice out her dissatisfaction. She then sighed, “Ohwell, there’s no way out of it, what’s done is done.”Walking alongside her, Akatsuki tried to comfort Ruka by whispering some quiet words ofreassurance. Unfortunately, the loud commotion around them drowned him out. The screaming fangirls irritated Ruka to no ends. After all, she was of noble birth, she found girls who shamelesslycheer and squeal utterly unbearable. Even under normal circumstances, she found it hard to holdonto her temper. But now, in her extremely agitated state...“Kya, Wild-senpai!”Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 12
  • 13. “Look over here!”“Please, will you stay a model?”“Can you please sign this magazine?”Akatsuki gave them a gentle wave, which unfortunately only caused the girls to scream even louderwith excitement.“He’s so cool!”Seeing the recently-published magazine clutched in the hands of so many students, Ruka sighedagain. The magazine just came out yesterday. “How did the news spread so quickly around thisschool?”Really, so many things irritated her lately.Wordlessly, they walked into the classroom. Outside the window, the sun was setting over thehorizon.“...hahahahaha”The laughter fell on deaf ears. Both Ruka and Akatsuki simply turned their heads away.This guy, let’s beat him up into a pulp.Hidden underneath the table, Ruka’s hands curled up into angry fists.“Oh, this is hilarious... hahahaha...”After a while, just as Ruka was about to reach the end of her patience, Akatsuki suddenly stood up,reached over and patted Hanabusa on the head.“Your laughter has gone too far.” He quietly admonished him.But to Hanabusa, it was just too funny. He couldn’t contain his laughter as he wiped tears of mirthaway from the corners of his eyes. “I thought to myself, why would vampires dress up and pretendto be vampires for a photo shoot? At first, I thought that was ironic, but now, look at the magazine,hahaha, couldn’t resist, oh hahaha”Spread out on the table was the popular youth magazine, on it was a picture of Shiki as a vampireand Rima playing the human girl that captured his heart. But the problem did not lie there. Instead,it was the picture next to it. With her back against the sofa, Ruka wore a bored expression on herface. And Akatsuki rose from behind the sofa, with both arms stretched out across its back, as if hewas about to take Ruka into his arms.Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 13
  • 14. The front of Akatsuki’s shirt was open, revealing the well-defined muscles that lay beneath. Thatalone was enough to make women swoon for the man. His natural hair also provided a sharpcontrast to Shiki, giving Akatsuki a rough and wild image.On the other hand, Ruka was dressed in a glamourous low-cut black dress. She had a rose raisedclose to her lips, as if she was enjoying the fragrance of the beautiful flower.Since they were not models, it was impossible for them to express and act like Shiki and Rima. Theyhad wanted to use this excuse as a way to turn down the modelling invitation. However, thephotographer said, “as long as you guys are in the shots, it’s fine.” So he just put them onto the setand ended up taking this shot.Besides – “It exudes a sexy kind of atmosphere. It’s pretty great, right?” – Shiki commented, withthat “bored” expression on his face, causing Ruka to become even more agitated.This is so bothersome, let’s just get this over and done with...Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 14
  • 15. Although it was the complete opposite of how they felt inside, the end result was exactly as Rimaand Shiki’s manager described it – “a wonderful kind of glamourous and sexy atmosphere.”“Don’t say such strange things.” Ruka glared at Shiki. Really, it was his fault it turned out like this.“Hahahahaha...” Meanwhile, back in the classroom, Hanabusa was still laughing uncontrollably.Concerned about how Ruka felt, Akatsuki said to Hanabusa. “Are you done laughing yet?”“No, no way... hahaha”Ruka reached the last of her patience. She slammed shut the magazine. “If you want to laugh, keeplaughing. At least, don’t expect an apology when I lose my temper!”“Haha, okay, sorry, sorry. But seriously, you have only yourselves to blame. Why did you go to themodelling studio anyway. Besides,” Hanabusa added, snickering, as he picked up the magazine andflipped it open. “I can use this as a joke for a very long time.”Ruka narrowed her eyes as she said, “oh, you don’t know? I did find it strange how you’re not offsulking somewhere.”Her anger faded as she smirked at Hanabusa. This time, the victory was hers. She ran a hand throughher long hair and declared, “We went there on Kaname-sama’s order.”“Hey, what?”The magazine slipped out of Hanabusa’s hands. Akatsuki picked up the magazine and placed it backon the table.“Yeah, that’s right. We tried calling you, but you refused to get out of bed.”“What? When did this happen? How come I don’t remember? Wait, why did you both have to go?”“I thought about buying some cakes for them. Then you recommended that shop. Remember it,now?”“Huh?”“The western cakes that you recommended were enjoyed by all the staff at the modelling studio.”“Huh?”As she didn’t want to reveal the fact that they had no interest in the cakes, Rima suddenlyinterrupted them, “Is it time to start yet?”Hanabusa’s eyes widened. Despite the memories being very fuzzy and vague, he did remember theincident now. But still, it was a rest day... He clenched fists. Although he didn’t know why Kaname-sama had picked Ruka and Akatsuki to go to the modelling studio – “Hey, if I had known, I wouldhave tried a bit harder to get out of bed!”“Even if you did get up that day, I don’t think I would have picked you for the task.” A voice suddenlyspoke up from behind them.Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 15
  • 16. Hanabusa turned around and saw – “Kaname-sama.”As if on cue, everyone in the classroom stood up in unison. Kaname stepped into the room and gavethem a nod, indicating they may sit down again.As a pureblood, Kaname-sama was the leader of the vampire community. And today, like always, heexuded a natural grace and masculinity that reminded everyone of his position.“Kaname-sama, what did Chairman Cross want?”To this, Kaname replied. “It’s about Akatsuki and Ruka going to... ah, right, it’s that.” Walking over towhere they were, Kaname picked up the pamphlet that was next to Hanabusa’s magazine. It wasadvertising the “Castle Tour” special edition. The picture was also of Shiki, Rima, Akatsuki and Rukaall dressed up in vampire costumes with the ancient castle in the background.“I heard the editor of this magazine will be coming to this school, hoping to take some more picturesof Rima and Shiki’s school life here.”“So... what was your answer to them?”“I agreed. Besides, there was no reason to decline their request. Next time, you should try harder toget out of bed, Hanabusa,” Kaname’s lips curled up into a small smile.“Ah... yes.”Great, next time I’ll definitely get up earlier, so I can work hard for Kaname-sama’s sakeToo worked up over his own internal thoughts, Hanabusa did not catch the hidden meaningconcealed underneath Kaname’s words.Then, at noon that weekend, the photography team arrived at the campus of the Night Class.“Wuaaaaaaah.” Hanabusa yawned as he stumbled wearily down the hall as he tried to rub the sleepout of his tired eyes.Akatsuki couldn’t help but crack a small smile. “You’re up.”“Why did it have to be this early? Can’t they do the shoot at night?”“Nah. Apparently, they wanted to take some photos of life in the Moon Dormitory.”The crew was already setting up the filming equipment around the campus. Rima and Shiki were alsodown there, surrounded by the make-up crew while receiving instructions from their manager.“Akatsuki...”Ruka pointed at the man that was currently fiddling with the camera. He was a little bit older thanthem and at first glance, he looked like a gentle person. From his appearance, he could even pass offas a movie star. However, his hair and clothes were very carefully groomed, making him looksomewhat pretentious.Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 16
  • 17. “That guy...” Feeling something was amiss, Hanabusa glanced over at Akatsuki. Though his cousindidn’t speak, his gaze flashed as if in agreement.“He’s currently the hottest photographer around. He came today with Ruka as his next target.”“I told you, there’s no way I’m doing this.” Ruka’s eyebrows scrunched up into a frown. However,despite her reluctance, it was Kaname-sama’s orders so she’ll just have to put up with a couple ofhours of this torture.“Ah that tall young man and the young lady standing next to him. The last time you guys helped upwith the photo shoot, I thought you guys were a perfectly matched couple.” The photographersuddenly popped up in front of them with a beaming smile on his face.Hearing those words, Ruka turned her face away. “It’s not like that, you misunderstood.”Akatsuki’s expression briefly darkened when he heard Ruka’s vehement denial but it soon clearedup. Then, in one casual move, he positioned himself right in front of her.“Ah, you must be Inakaru-sensi.”“That’s right, I’m Inakaru the photographer,” he replied as he patted the camera that was hangingaround his neck. “Please look after me today.” [AN: I believe this is a traditional Japanese greeting]“While our editor has already been granted permission by the school, I’d like to ask you two to helpout. The subject of this photo shoot is “campus life.” If it was just Shiki and Rima, I may not haveenough models.”Basically, he was asking them to be in the photo shoot too.“We were already informed of this. If it’s just for one scene, there should be no problem.”Upon hearing Akatsuki’s reply, Inakaru frowned with bemusement.“So... can’t we shoot a couple more scenes?”“If that’s the case, then there should be more suitable candidates for this job than us.” Akatsukipointed to Hanabusa, who was still yawning.“What? Him... He looks familiar. I feel like I’ve seen him from somewhere before...”“As a boy, he was often on TV as a gifted child.”“Oh wow! This is so great! Excuse me?”“Wait, what?” Suddenly hearing someone call out, Hanabusa immediately turned his head around.“Can you please be a model for this shoot? You can be one of Rima and Shiki’s friends.”“Model? Wait, me?”“You’ve been on TV, right? The prodigious genius, I still remember you.” Inakaru quickly rattled offall the information that Akatsuki just gave him.Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 17
  • 18. “Well...” In a blinding flash, Hanabusa was suddenly transformed. No longer sleepy, he charminglysmiled at the photographer while running a hand through his blonde bangs. “If you insist then I’mhappy to help out.”“I want you to appear like a genius.”“That’s what I’m best at.”With both hands wrapped around her elbows, Ruka watched Hanabusa with a stony gaze. “Seriously,there should be a limit to his ego.”The photo shoot began in the library.The scene was quite simple in its design. Shiki would be seated by the window with a book in hishands. Rima would walk in and stand by his side. As Shiki notices Rima’s presence, he would lift ahand in greeting. They would repeat this over and over again until the photographer was satisfiedwith the pictures.After a dozen or so shots have been taken, Shiki’s head suddenly fell forward onto the table with aloud “thud.”“Aiyaya, Shiki-kun! Please wake up!” The manager, who was observing the shoot from behind thecamera, suddenly cried out.“Hey...” Rima gently shook his shoulder.At this, Shiki slowly raised his head. “Sorry. It was so warm, I guess I just fell asleep.”“Shiki-kun is just so cute!”“This kind of natural behaviour is so great.”“The ‘just woken up’ look is also so cute!”The females upon the crew all cheered.“Go! Hurry up and tidy up his hair.”With those instructions from Inakaru, the hair stylist quickly rushed onto the set. While waiting,Inakaru turned to Akatsuki and the others and asked, “Oh that’s right. I heard this school has a nightclass and a day class. Rima and Shiki works as models during the day because they belong to theNight Class. So where are the Day Class students?”“Since this is the weekend, most of the students are out. The rest are in their dorms, which are a bitfurther away from here.” A captivating voice explained from behind them.“Ah, Ichijo, you are also here?” Hanabusa couldn’t help but frown. Just a couple of moments ago,Hanabusa was wandering around, busy making acquaintances with all the crew members, dazzlingthem with his sunny disposition and charming smiles.Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 18
  • 19. “That’s right. I’m here on behalf of Kaname-sama to take a look at photo shoot.” Ichijo said toHanabusa. Then, he turned to Inakaru the photographer and smiled. “You see, the Night class andthe Day class do not really interact. So to avoid large crowds of day students crowding around here,we decided not to tell the Day Class about this.”He then extended a hand. “Please work hard today, Inakaru-sensei.”Inakaru shook his hand. “Ah, sure sure. Though it’s a great pity...”“I’m sorry, what is?”“I heard the Night Class and Day Class wear different uniforms. I was really hoping to take somepictures of both,” Inakaru explained as he gestured with his camera.“Ah so sorry to have kept you guys waiting!” Having done her job, the hair stylist quickly jumped offthe set.“Ah well, I guess we’ll take a couple of more pictures before moving to the next location.” Inakarureturned back to the shoot and once again, the sound of camera shutters once again rang out in thelibrary.After the shoot in the library finished, the stage was moved to the atrium. Following the theme of“campus life,” Shiki reluctantly sat down on a bench next to the garden and opened up a bento box.Though seriously, for the Night Class, this was not how they normally behave. And according to thedirector, Rima had made this lunch herself.That’s impossible.“Somehow, I’m beginning to feel sorry for Shiki and Rima.” Ruka remarked from her position underthe shade of a tree. She ran a hand through her long silky hair as she observed the photo shoot. Evenif they were professional models, they were still vampires, and exposure to sunlight must be veryuncomfortable.“I guess... I’m afraid the only motivation here is to find the guy.” Akatsuki replied as he looked atHanabusa, who was currently stealing a small slice of apple out of the lunchbox in Rima’s hands andstuffing it cheerfully into his mouth.That expression... is that really what a genius is suppose to look like? Ruka could not help but think.If he really wanted that kind of attention, he might as well become a professional model. After all,his personality would definitely suit the profession. Although Ruka didn’t think much of it, she guessHanabusa’s good looks was something he could play to his advantage. Just a few moments ago, hewas completely surrounded by all the female staff members.Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 19
  • 20. Some of them said, “Hanabusa’s skin is so beautiful, just like that of a girl’s.”Some remarked, “He should be a celebrity, this kind of good looks are wasted on a boy.”But others pointed out, “It’s because the good looks are on a boy that he looks so beautiful.”Whenever he hears such words, Hanabusa feels great. Although on the surface, he puts on a cool airof indifference, but inside, he’s desperately trying not to break out into a beaming smile.“Aidou really should become a celebrity.”“He won’t be able to do that.” Akatsuki commented.But looking at the scene in front of them, there doesn’t appear to be any reason why he won’t beable to become a celebrity. Ruka couldn’t help but tilt her head in puzzlement and ask, “really?”“He’s not good at keeping secrets.”Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 20
  • 21. “Ah... that’s true...” Whether it was because he couldn’t keep his mouth shut or he was simplycareless, but Hanabusa often causes trouble and Akatsuki was always the one who has to deal withthe mess. “It must be very tiring for you...”“Yeah, I guess,” Akatsuki sighed as he shrugged his shoulder in response.Ruka thought – Akatsuki has always been like this, right from the beginning, loving his cousin like alittle brother. Though when one considers their blood status, Aidou is ranked higher. So wheneverHanabusa gets in trouble, Akatsuki’s never failed to take part of the blame in order to saveHanabusa’s reputation. This kind of action reveals a deep love between the pair.Is Aidou not aware of this?Ruka watched on as Hanabusa cheerfully smiled for the camera. He smiled just like he smiled everyday to the Day Class girls during the changeover. For now, she wasn’t sure if he was smiling from theinside or if he was just doing a job.Maybe it was Kaname-sama’s command that’s causing him to work so hard.After all, Kaname-sama did say to him “next time, you’ll have to work harder and get up early,Hanabusa.” Even though he wasn’t here now, his words clearly still had a strong effect on Hanabusa.Although I am in no position to criticize Hanabusa... Since I’m also working hard for Kaname-sama.Even though he wasn’t there, they were still carrying out their tasks like ordered. Just then, thechatter among the staff members reached their ears.“Like I said, I think it happened again yesterday. You know, a death by blood loss?”“Ah, I heard it too. It was that girl in the hair styling department right?”“Yeah, I heard the attack happened after the shoot when she was on her way back home.”“That girl was quite pretty. The target is really another beautiful girl. This is really scary.”“Hey, I don’t think you need to worry about it, then.”“Hey senpai! What do you mean by that!”Even though it was clearly a tragedy, the girls were all relaxed and chattering among themselves.Ruka frowned in disgust. Vampire...Although to an average human, it sounds like a mysterious death by blood loss, to Ruka andAkatsuki, the event held a different meaning. This news was similar to the rumours they heard a fewdays ago at the castle.In the so-called “Show Business,” there are a lot of vampires among the humans. Actors, singers,athletes, political commentators, journalists, producers... the list goes on.But for a vampire to suck blood until the victim dies...Even a Level E vampire wouldn’t be able to walkaround a modelling studio without being noticed.Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 21
  • 22. Ruka’s thoughts were interrupted when the editor of the magazine suddenly appeared in front ofthem and asked. “So you two really have no intention of becoming models?”The young editor smiled as he continued. “Thanks to you guys, last week’s publication was a success.Even though you two are only high school students, there was a burst of captivating charm in thatimage. It’s rare to find such natural talent as you two.”Well, technically, they couldn’t be regarded as high school students. But saying anything would justlead to more trouble, so both Akatsuki and Ruka didn’t bother to correct him.“Well, our grades at school will no doubt be affected...” Akatsuki wanted to use this as an excuse todecline the modelling invitation.“But both Shiki-kun and Miss Rima are able to successfully juggle the two. So it’s not impossible,right?” Though this was delivered in a casual tone, there was an underlying insistence in his voice.“Well, I’ll let you guys think about it for a bit. But for today, I have a small request for you, MissRuka.”“What is it?” Akatsuki was the one who answered. He knew very well Ruka was currently in a reallybad mood.“I would like to interview you a bit later. Miss Ruka is roommates with Miss Rima, am I right? I hope,you would be able to answer some questions about what’s it’s like to be her friend at school.”Having finished his explanation, the editor quickly shoved a business card in Ruka’s hand andreturned to where the other staff members were.“So annoying...” Ruka grumbled.Seeing the name printed on the business card, Ruka remember he was the one who requested thetwo of them to be in the photo shoot with Shiki and Rima back at the castle. And this photo shootabout their campus life was also his idea.“That guy... he seems to be targeting you.”“A private meeting between the two of us, there’s no way I’m doing that.”“I know. I won’t let him do anything.” Let me take care of this. Akatsuki swallowed back thoseunspoken words and turned his gaze back to the photo shoot.The “lunch time” scene seemed to have finished as Hanabusa was walking back towards them.“Hey hey, how do you guys think I went? I was pretty cool, right?”In response to Hanabusa’s question, Akatsuki lifted his head and narrowed his eyes. “Well, it wasn’tthat great.”“Hey! How could you say that!”“Hanabusa, if you are here to play, then you might as well go back to your room.” Ruka scolded him.Meanwhile, shooting was still ongoing.Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 22
  • 23. “So – Shiki-kun, this is a single shot. Miss Touya, you may take a rest and get changed for your shot.Okay, how about you go over there to the lawn.” Following Inakaru’s instructions, Shiki laid down onthe lawn.“Ah, that’s right, pretend you are taking a nap after the lunch you just had.”So tired.... and sleepy... Shiki’s eyes slowly fell shut. Under normal circumstances, he would still be inbed sleeping now. With those thoughts in mind, Shiki gently fell asleep.Ruka and Akatsuki, from their vantage point underneath the tree, could not help but let out a smallchuckle.“Ahaha, look, Shiki really fell asleep!”“Waaah, wait a second, Shiki-kun, don’t actually fall asleep for real! Wake up! Wake up!” Althoughslightly panicked, the photographer continued to take shots.While the photographer finished taking those shots, Rima came back all dressed up and ready.Inakaru turned his attention to Ruka and Akatsuki and waved them over. “Yo, sorry for keepingeveryone waiting, you guys can all come in –”Akatsuki and Ruka nodded to each other, as they got up and stepped over to the lawn. A staffmember suddenly came over and handed a few photos to Rima and a box of chocolate to Shiki.Apparently, the next scene is titled “Happy Memories with Friends.” Rima was instructed to lookthrough the photos and everyone was supposed to chat and smile at each other.Upon hearing the instructions, Ruka, Akatsuki, Shiki and Rima all thought at the same time – noway...Hanabusa was the only one who energetically answered, “Okay, no problem!”“Yuuki, look, look! Zero-kun is also here. Everyone is so happy. Next time, the three of us should gohang out somewhere. Daddy will make us all a nice packed lunch. Hey... why are you two so cold.What did I say? You two are so heartless... Daddy’s so sad!”Ichijo turned around at the sound of the familiar voice. It turned out, it was Chairman Cross walkingover with two children in tow.“Chairman, Yuuki’s also here? Hey, what happened? Yukki, isn’t that a high school uniform?”Facing a cheerful Ichijo, Yuuki couldn’t help but break out into a shy smile.“The uniform just came in. I wanted to see if they fit.”“Ah, that’s right, you’re about to enter high school. It looks good on you, Yuuki.”“Thank you!”Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 23
  • 24. Zero, who was standing by Yuuki’s side, was avoiding Ichijo’s gaze. Wearing civilian clothes and withhis head cocked to one side, he was exuding a dark aura from his body.Zero should have been in senior high school already, but it’s been said he’s been avoiding highschool for a couple of years now. After all, the school facilities were shared between the Day Classand Night Class. The thought of coexisting with vampires... Zero couldn’t stand it. Moreover, hedespised the thought of interacting with the Night Class during the changeover every evening.Zero’s entire family have been massacred by a vampire. His aversion to vampires wasunderstandable. Yuuki could only sigh. Zero... really...Zero’s beliefs were completely different from Yuuki’s. He hates vampires with every fibre of hisbeing. In his mind, there was no such thing as happy coexistence between humans and vampires.Kaname-sama, Zero’s still struggling with this... Seeing the sad expressions on his children’s faces,Chairman sighed. At this rate, he probably won’t go into high school this year either...When Zero first brought up his reluctance to go to high school, Chairman decided to give him a yearoff. On the one hand, Zero needed his space. And on the other hand, if he waited a year, he wouldbe in the same grade as Yuuki.This, to Zero, might even be a salvation. Chairman had hoped that over the course of this year, Yuukiwill be able to slowly soften Zero’s attitude. However, with so much hate inside, it was impossiblefor all of it to easily melt away.But Zero-kun, you can’t remain like this forever...Chairman raised his head and looked up ahead to the future. Should he wait for Zero to change hismind, or should he force him into school?Today, there was a photo shoot happening at the school. Day class students were all out today andthere were very few students in the Night Class. After all, to bring Zero to a crowded situation wouldnot have been a good idea. With that thought in mind, Chairman had brought Zero out today.“Ah, seriously, what should I do...” Chairman whispered as he heaved a sigh.It’s true, what they say. There is no end in sight for the problems that a father must face.After the photo shoot outside, everybody was given a quick break before the shoot moved into theschool.Will Kaname-sama not come?She wanted to show him her new uniform. After all, that was the reason she came today wearing it.“... Are you trying to find that guy?”“Huh?”Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 24
  • 25. Hearing voices coming from the side, Yuuki quickly turned her head. A very unhappy Zero wasstanding behind her.A bit further away from them, a female staff, who judging by the conversation was Shiki and Rima’smanager, was busy talking and exchanging business cards with the Chairman.“... I’m going to go home.” Zero didn’t want to stay here for one more second.Just as he was about to turn around, he was grabbed by Yuuki. “Wait, wait a minute, Zero.”“...?”“Well... shouldn’t we use this opportunity to have a look at this school?”“Why?”“Before I attend, I’d really like to see the layout of this school.”“...” Zero grunted, as if to say “that’s got nothing to do with me.” He then fell silent again.This is really tough... Yuuki sighed.“How about this. You go and wait at the front gate while I have a look around. After I’m done, I’ll goand find you.”“... Fine.”As Zero turned around and walked away, Yuuki looked around again. Kaname-sama, where are you?According to the Chairman, this photo shoot was granted special permission by Kaname-sama.Excited to see what’s going on, Yuuki wandered around the photo shoot area. Just as she was aboutto leave and look for Kaname-sama, someone tapped her on the shoulder.“You are a Day Class student, right? The school uniform is different.”“Ah, that’s right..” Yuuki replied while looking at the young man standing in front of her. “And youare?”He smiled and raised his camera. “Sorry to bother you, I’m the photographer.”“Ah...” So he was the photographer. While Yuuki was busy looking at the Night Class students, shedidn’t pay attention to the crew members.“I was wondering, could you please let me take some pictures? I heard the Day Class students won’tbe here today.”“Well... I’m not really a high school student yet.”“Our magazine is targeted at ordinary girls. So we want to take some shots of general students aswell. Besides, you’re so cute. Won’t you please say yes?”Yuuki wasn’t sure how to respond to this friendly request. “But...”Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 25
  • 26. “Pretty please? Look, to avoid any problems, I’ll go and clear it up with the Chairman now. We’retaking a little break right now, but the shoot is moving up to the roof-top next so would you pleasecome? We’ll be waiting. Bye!”Before Yuuki could reply, the photographer rushed off.Not sure what just happened, it took a while for Yuuki to realize. “Wait... am I going to be on amagazine?”According to the photographer, apparently she was.“Oh dear.” Yuuki quickly ran into the make-up room. “Uh, I need a comb!”She then remembered the small comb in her pocket. She quickly tidied up her messy hair and lookedat herself in the mirror. “What position should I do? Should I just be myself?” Yuuki also practiced acouple of different smiles in front of the mirror, trying to calm down her beating heart.She recalled hearing Chairman’s cheerful comments back on the set.Since Senri Shiki and Rima Touya were both professional models, they were quite famous within theCross Academy. The other three students – Hanabusa Aidou, Akatsuki Kain and Ruka Souen – theywere just as beautiful as the two models.Am I going to be photographed with them?That alone was going to be huge and terrifying.But... But...“If I get on the magazine, then Kaname-sama would be able to see it...” With that thought in mind,Yuuki’s heart started racing once again.Yuuki quickly exited the make-up room and went up to the roof top. It was very quiet...Creak... As she pushed open the door, a breeze of cool air blew in. “Such a nice day.”Soon, she’ll be attending this school. That thought filled Yuuki’s heart with happiness. She’ll finallybe attending the same school as Kaname-sama.Although they won’t be attending the school together, she felt that just by being in the same school,the distance between Kaname-sama and herself would be smaller.Back at their first encounter, she was just a small child. Yuuki wanted to prove to him that now, shewas slowly growing into an adult.“Kaname-sama...”And also –“Zero... He still refused to attend high school. If nothing else works, they should tie him up withropes and drag him there by force. Really, he’s such a bother.” Yuuki sighed. She also really wantedto go to school with Zero...Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 26
  • 27. Though she didn’t know why all these thoughts were running through her. Maybe it was themelancholy colours of the lonely blue sky that triggered such emotions...At that very moment, Akatsuki was walking towards the library. During their short break, Akatsukihad convinced Ruka to ask the editor for the location of the interview.Akatsuki was alone. Although the editor had wanted to interview Ruka, Akatsuki never had anyintention of taking her to him.Pushing open the door, Akatsuki found the editor seated by the window seat, where Shiki was sittingthat morning for the photo shoot.“Ah, how come it’s you?”“... She wasn’t feeling well. I told her to go back and rest.”“Was it because of the photo shoot? Is she still nervous about it?”“I guess so.” Akatsuki calmly lied as he settled his body against the window.“Well, I guess it can’t be helped. With her charisma and beauty, she doesn’t look like an ordinaryhigh school student. I was looking forward to having a nice chat with her. What a pity.” The editorstood up and decided to leave the library. Somehow, he had the urge to say “I’m not interested inboys.”Behind him, Akatsuki spoke out. “Were you planning on... ‘eating’ her?”The editor froze. He glanced over his shoulder at Akatsuki. “Wait, what did you say?”“You’re just an ordinary human. At first, I was going to let you go. However, if you were planning onmaking a move on her, then that’s a different matter entirely.”Even for someone like him, who was of the same kind, Ruka was unattainable. But for an ordinaryhuman being – and one with ill intentions at that – there was no way he was going to let him touchher.“Look, I don’t know what you’re talking about. If Miss Ruka’s not coming back, then I’m going toleave.”In the blink of an eye, Akatsuki moved. One split second later, his large left hand seized the editor bythe chest. The editor was lifted off his feet – his toes could barely touch the floor.“Wa-wait! What are you doing!”“She’s not someone you can mess with.” A flash of extreme wild anger burst forth from the depthsof Akatsuki’s eyes.Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 27
  • 28. Overwhelmed by the situation, the editor couldn’t stop himself from trembling with fear. Heresponded, with a shaky voice, “Uh.. okay, I’ll admit it. I have used an interview as bait, so I can ‘eat’a couple of girls.”“Eat” girls.Akatsuki gazed upon his victim with contempt. Such vulgar behaviour was simply unacceptable.“Look, okay, I won’t go after your girlfriend. I promise... I promise!”Ruka wasn’t Akatsuki’s girlfriend.“From this moment forward, if you ever think of doing this kind of thing again, then it won’t be assimple as just killing you.” Akatsuki watched the editor with a pair of sharp eyes. He flipped over thebusiness card that he held in his hand and threw it into the air. As it momentarily suspended in mid-air, it suddenly caught on fire and in a flash, burnt into ashes.The editor could feel the heat of the fire on his face.“What... What happened?” Wide-eyed, the editor kept repeating himself. “Was... Was that magic?”“...” Akatsuki didn’t respond. He lowered the editor and threw him away. “Get lost.”As he walked down the empty corridor, Akatsuki ran an anxious hand through his hair.Originally, they had thought Ruka would be a good bait to find that guy. But they never thought thatthey would end up picking up such a useless extra slimeball. This entire plan... came up with nothing.After the photo shoot last time, in order to prevent possible incidents from happening, Akatsuki andthe others were extremely vigilant. But as soon as the shoot was over, the editor and the rest of hiscrew all left straight away.Was it because the timing was too close? Or was it because the guy didn’t find something he wantedto “eat?”According to the information gathered from the photo shoot in the castle, the guy always “eats”someone present at the photo shoot or one of the crew members. The victim was always a youngbeautiful girl.Although Ruka being bait made Akatsuki quite uncomfortable...Aside from the crew members, the only target other than Rima would have to be Ruka. And sincethey deliberately proposed to come to the school for a photo shot, it appeared the target would beRuka. However, that guy made no suspicious invitation towards her...At this rate, the most likely victim would be one of the female staff members. There was no one elsefor that guy to target...Ah....Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 28
  • 29. Akatsuki suddenly remembered just before the break, there was another girl at the photo shoot. Shelooked like the daughter of Chairman Cross.I need to tell Kaname-sama right away.The sounds of Akatsuki’s running footsteps echoed down the empty corridor.Zero was currently running around the school buildings. “Yuuki, Yuuki! Where are you?”He got no response, nor could he see any traces of Yuuki. Zero’s anxiety level escalated.At this school, the atmosphere was filled with the presence of the vampires. Zero felt so depressed.The air was disgusting. And also, Yuuki didn’t show up at the front gate like promised. Things didn’tlook so good.Right from the start, I didn’t want to come to such a place...His aversion to vampires has always prevented Zero from stepping foot inside the school grounds.But now – was not the time to worry about such things.“Yuuki!” When he shouted again, something seemed to have swept into his field of vision. “Yuuki?”In the distance, on the rooftop, that familiar black hair was flapping gently in the window. Undernormal circumstances, Zero wouldn’t have cared where Yuuki got up to. It was her choice.But now –“You better not move from there!”Zero summoned all his strengths and jumped up. He didn’t know why, but he had an uneasy feelingabout this.Sweet...That sweet hair... that girl must be very tasty. He could not help but lick his lips with anticipation.Just the thought of the tasty blood flowing beneath her skin brought an involuntary gurgling soundfrom his throat.“How could I resist it...”Smiling a sinister smile, with the flashing eyes of a hunter, was... Inakaru.He licked his lips again. Right from the beginning, the thirst of a vampire could not be stopped. Hewas practically drooling with desire.Sweet... It’s such a sweet taste.Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 29
  • 30. He wanted to eat it up all quickly. To enjoy the freedom of sucking it all up, not leaving a single dropof blood...Or was it better to taste it slowly?It doesn’t matter. Such delicious blood, there was no way he was going to waste a single drop. Hewould drink it all up – right to the last drop – to quench his thirst and gain some strength.“Having said that, women are so easy to be dealt with. Just lure them in with the dream of becominga model and they’ll come right up to your finger-tips.”Gulp... Gulp...Cackling as Inakaru slowly climbed up the stairs. The blood of that popular actress was both freshand vibrant. But the blood of that hair stylist two days ago was also very tasty, even though she hada plain face.“Their blood is so tasty... And this one seems particularly sweet... I really want to drink it all up...”His job as a photographer made finding preys in the entertainment industry so easy.“I want to take a photo of you.” With just one whisper, the prey would walk right up to the frontporch.His prey this time was very special.Unable to keep the laughter inside anymore, Inakaru laughed out loud.Really, when he first came into the school, he was disappointed. He had wanted to find a couple ofprey in the crowd but none of the Day Class students showed up. He couldn’t find a single prey.On this point, he shared some similarities with the “woman-eater” editor. I’m like that guy... but ona completely different level... To compare his noble acts with sex was simply ridiculous.And that guy wanted to go after Ruka. What an idiot – he must be feeling the pain now. Wanting to“eat” that kind of haughty girl – he must have been dreaming.I like the ordinary, honest and cute girls... But when I came to this school, I couldn’t find a singletarget. But just as I was about to give up, that girl popped up. I think her name was Yuuki...Such a good prey... The best prey... If he was to miss this opportunity, he was sure he’d never haveanother opportunity like it again. That girl’s blood must taste better than all the other blood I’vetasted so far. He thought to himself.Therefore, she must be seized. Her blood will be slowly savoured until the very last drop. Maybeshe’ll look more beautiful as her skin turns a pale white. Against a black backdrop, such a white skinwould glisten like a pearl. Taking a picture of her wouldn’t be so bad.Almost there.The hunt was about to start.Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 30
  • 31. Arriving on the rooftop, he found a slender figure standing in front of him.“Who...?”Inakaru the vampire raised his head. He saw the figure had a black coat wrapped around his body,with an angelic face full of youth and a cold, cold smile on his lips.“Who are you?”As the boy smiled at him, Inakaru’s vampire instincts were ringing alarm bells in his head.“I’m the president of the Night Class, Kaname Kuran.” He had a calm voice and a polite manner.So why did he feel fear right down to his core, Inakaru thought in confusion. Even though he wasfacing a young boy, his entire body was trembling with fear. “Who... the hell are you?”Kaname coldly asked, “Did you not understand. I’ve already said my name.”His beautiful voice completely dominated Inakaru’s thoughts. The youth’s name... what was it again?Kuran...Although he didn’t remember the second half, the instincts of a vampire kicked in. Inakaru realizedthe significance of the boy who was standing in front of him. A member of the pureblood series, thesame as the one who turned Inakaru into who he was today.Filled with mysteries, he was the King of the Night World.“You’re a pureblood?” He asked with trembling lips. Suddenly, his throat felt very cold. “Wh-Why areyou here?”Stepping down the stairs, Kaname smiled. “I heard you were abusing girls.”Inakaru’s face instantly turned pale white.Kaname continued to smile as he stepped closer. He was such a powerful beast, not an easy prey.With the sudden loss of his powers, Inakaru felt timid and lost. “Do you really think I would notnotice? The mysterious deaths by blood loss? The culprit – it’s you.”Because of recent events, Akatsuki, Ruka, Shiki and Rima were told to look for the culprit.“I asked them to go to as many photo shoots as possible, so that this matter can be dealt withquickly. That’s why I sent Akatasuki and Ruka to the photo shoot that last time. It’s fortunate youpopped up earlier than I expected. After all these incidents, it’s best to deal with this as soon aspossible.”“Wh-why do you think it’s me?”“Rima and Shiki knew immediately.”Inakaru stared. “You... them... all the Night Class students... you all are...”Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 31
  • 32. Vampires... of Noble Birth. Kaname silently confirmed his suspicions. He then continued. “Becauseyou didn’t show your hand at the last photo shoot, we had to lure you here. Once you enter theschool, you are trapped. Now that you’re in this cage, I can easily get rid of you.”The young man standing in front of him was the mastermind behind the photo shoot.“Damn!”Everything was a trap. They already knew his true colours, they just pretended not to take notice.Even at their first meeting today with Hanabusa and Ichijo. They both had a cold expression hiddenunderneath their warm eyes.“So, you wanted to lure me into the schoolyard and then used the Day Class girl as bait?”“No, Yuuki came here was unplanned. If you dared to compare Yuuki with “bait,” I will not forgiveyou.”Although he looked calm, Inakaru felt the rising anger inside the pureblood. “Yes... it’s my fault.You’re going to save that girl for later. That’s why you’re protecting her... Fine, I won’t go after yourprey... And I promise I won’t in the future either. So let’s just call it a day and –” Inakaru couldn’tfinish the sentence – let me go.Kaname’s glacial gaze froze him all over. “You don’t seem to understand. Never mind, I didn’t intendto let you live anyway.”Inakaru knew the pureblood was angry. But he didn’t know why.“I had no intention of personally dealing with you. But having heard from Ichijo that you weretargeting Yuuki, I changed my mind.”Inakaru couldn’t understand the meanings behind his words. If he wasn’t saving her to eat later, whywas he protecting her? However, one thing was very clear – he was no match against the pureblood.Inakaru’s body trembled in the still air. He was also aware of one other thing. It was difficult todescribe in words, just an instinctive reaction his body formed to the pureblood vampire.He was about to be killed.He won’t be able to drink that sweet blood...He was about to die.Even facing the pureblood vampire, he was not going to go down meekly.“I’m not going to die here!”With nothing to lose, Inakaru changed within the blink of an eye. Eyes wide open, his facetransformed into one of a ferocious beast.He leaped up, towards the top flight of the stairs and charged. Despite his obvious attack, Kanameremained motionless. He only looked at Inakaru without expression.Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 32
  • 33. Was this an opportunity?Inakaru focused all his strength on his fingertips, aimed squarely at the pureblood.“...!”The next moment, his fingertips was indeed touching Kaname’s body. But...“What?”His fingertips started to fall off and crumble away into dust. It was followed by his arm, then hisshoulder. Ashes fell onto the old wooden staircase.“Do not... touch me.” Kaname coldly stared at him.This cold phrase, softly delivered, shook Inakaru right to his core.“Argh!” Inakaru screamed as he rolled down the stairs. Clutching at his shoulder, which wasgradually turning into dust. “My... my hand!”Kaname did not lift a single finger.As he rolled around on the floor with his arm slowly crumbling into ash. Having witnessed thestrength of Kaname, Inakaru came to a horrible realisation. There was no way he could beat this guy.“Please.... I beg you... save me...” Inakaru begged as he lay there on the floor. There was only oneway out of this – to confess, apologize and beg for forgiveness. “It all started with an impulse. Iwould invite girls over and take just a little amount of blood. However, it became more and moredifficult to control my desires and well... you should know, right? That kind of hunger and thirst...and so what if one or two humans die? You purebloods must have drained a lot of humans.Compared to you, what I did was merely a drop in the bucket.”Inakaru tried to justify his actions. After all, weren’t they both in the same boat? A pureblood wasstill a vampire. They were a group of monsters that needed to suck the blood of humans to appeasetheir own hunger.If they were also sucking others blood, then they had no right to judge him. Sure, it sounded nobleand idealistic, but sucking another person’s blood, what’s wrong with that? Besides, turning humansinto vampires was their fault, wasn’t it?In that case, he did nothing wrong. He was merely a victim.“Please, I beg you, give me a break. I haven’t fallen to Level E yet. Even if you are a pureblood, youshould not eliminate me.” Inakaru’s eyes flashed with victory and triumph.This was his ace card.Inakaru knew that those who haven’t fallen to Level E could not be eliminated – not even bypurebloods. Therefore, Kaname could not kill him.Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 33
  • 34. However, Kaname’s expression did not change. Like the frozen ice in the night, the pureblood stoodsilently in place. The wind blowing in from the windows riffled through his hair and the sunlight inthe background only served to make him look even darker.This was the most beautiful picture in the entire world.No amount of filth or darkness could defile or taint him. He was a perfect being.Kaname’s mouths slowly opened. “Have you finished?”“...”A chill raced down his spine. It was as if the Sickle of Death was pressed against his throat. Even if hehasn’t fallen to Level E, he knew he was about to be killed.“Please... please spare me.” Inakaru desperately pleaded. Desperately wanting to live, he crawled upthe stairs, leaving a trail of ashes behind his wake. He managed to climb to Kaname’s shoes.He looked up at Kaname. He couldn’t even speak now. Only whimpers of fear escape from histhroat.“You tried to hurt my most precious treasure... That was your biggest crime.”Kaname turned his attention to Inakaru and a slow smile emerged on his face. In that smile, therewere glimpses of sympathy, affection and full of mystery. It was the most gentle smile he had everseen.“...”At that moment, Inakaru was already about to be killed, but he still thought Kaname’s smile wasbeautiful. Was this the charm of the purebloods?Forgetting the taste of fear, Inakaru stared at Kaname’s face and was completely absorbed. Even hissoul could not escape Kaname’s captivation. As his heart succumbed to his magnetism –Shhhhh, the sound of sand...Inakaru’s body turned completely into ashes...Thud... Thud... came the sound of a camera rolling down the stairs.It was probably Akatsuki.Gazing at the pile of ash on the floor, Kaname-sama said, “I’m probably just like you, holding onto afilthy and stupid idea...”But, because of this –“I cannot forgive you for threatening the most important person to me.”Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 34
  • 35. He had no idea how many times he thought of leaning in and pressing his lips against her neckbefore stabbing it with his canines. However, I cannot do it to her...No matter how enamoured Yuuki was with him, he couldn’t do it.It’s too early...“.........”The sound of footsteps running up the stairs passed by Kaname’s ears. But it wasn’t Akatsuki whoappeared, but a sweaty teenager who was breathing heavily. “Was it you?”He was the young man who was perfect the closest to the young girl of his heart. He hated vampiresand was dealt a cruel blow by fate. He was sad, poor and an all-round eyesore. But, for a certainreason, Kaname had not yet killed Zero.“...!”Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 35
  • 36. Zero looked at the scene and could not help but suck in a cold breath. Ashes – in the shape of ahuman body with a camera by its side.Just then, Zero realized everything.“That photographer...”He instinctively picked up the camera. Ashes fell away onto the floor.“...!”He sucked in another breath and naturally took a step back. With lights streaming in from thewindows, the sunlight enveloped the body of the beautiful and brutal beast that was Kaname.Zero did not care about his looks. He grabbed a handful of ashes and threw them into the air. Ashesswirled and danced, dispersing into the air and glittering in the sunshine.Clack.The sound of Kaname’s footsteps on the staircase brought Zero back down to earth. He stared up athim. “Did you do this?”Kaname merely shrugged, giving no answer.“Why did you kill him?”“Because he threatened my precious Yuuki. I couldn’t forgive him for that.”“What?”“If you are not careful next time, I could be very upset... Vampire hunters have the ability todistinguish between vampires and humans. If you aren’t even helpful, then your place by Yuuki’sside is useless.”He could not be around Yuuki all the time. Therefore, if Yuuki was surrounded by those who couldprotect her, then he could at least rest with ease. This was his biggest reason for keeping Zeroaround.“...”Zero clenched his teeth. He was angry at his own uselessness. And having Kaname coming to therescue.Terrible...His inability to protect Yuuki angered Zero. Embracing his own inferiority, it entwined with remorseand created a bitter feeling in his heart. He wasn’t strong enough...Faced with a completely defeated Zero, Kaname continued talking. “Do you intend to protect Yuukifor the rest of your life?”Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 36
  • 37. “Yeah...”“And yet this year, you don’t intend to enter high school? If that’s the case, how can you protecther? Always running away from your problems, you do not have the necessary qualifications toprotect Yuuki.”Kaname’s calm voice was like a sharp knife that stabbed Zero in the heart.“Uh...” Zero bowed his head and clenched his fists, his nails leaving deep impressions in the palm ofhis hands.Seeing Zero in such a state, Kaname smiled.“Are you not willing? If so, then why don’t you step up here?”“I...” Zero couldn’t continue.Kaname completely lost interest in Zero. He turned around and opened the doors that led to therooftop. For one blinding moment, the orange glow of dusk flooded in, but it soon disappeared.Without even looking back at Zero, Kaname closed the door.Zero could only watch his exit in silence. Yuuki was on the rooftop. Zero knew with absolutecertainty that the present him was not fit enough to meet her up there.The evening light cast a golden light on the rooftop. As the sun slowly disappears over the hill, thewindow began to get a little colder.“So slow...”Leaning against the fence, Yuuki watched the sunset. Her body was shivering with cold. Scared she’llcatch a cold, she wrapped her arms around her body.It was long past the appointed time, yet nobody showed up. The school buildings were quiet, givingher weird vibes. “Was this the wrong location?”Just as she was about to give up, the doors opened.“They’re here!”Yuuki turned around, expecting to see Inakaru and the rest of the photography team. Instead, shefound Kaname-sama.“What? Kaname-sama, why are you here?”Seeing Yuuki’s surprised expression, Kaname couldn’t help but smile. “Yuuki... Inakaru thephotographer won’t be coming...”“Why?”Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 37
  • 38. “I heard he was in a hurry. The rest of the photography team are packing up and ready to leave.”“Oh... ah well, it’s like that then...”Although she accepted the facts, Yuuki couldn’t help but feel disappointed. What a pity. I wantedKaname-sama to see my picture...Kaname-sama stood by her side and leaned against the fence like Yuuki did. Against the setting sun,his face was like a statue – perfect, beautiful and exquisite.Kaname-sama was so beautiful and in Yuuki’s eyes, he was such a gentle person.Although she knew the gap between the two of them was great, she couldn’t help but gaze at himwith longing. Ever since she was rescued by him as a child, he has always been a prince charmingthat popped out of a fairy tale. He would always be the object she yearns after.With him so close, Yuuki’s heart began to race again.The orange sky began to fade into a light purple. As the cold wind blew around them, Yuuki’s nosebegan to itch.“Achoo!”Kaname laughed. “What a cute sneeze. Are you cold?” He gently draped his coat over Yuuki’sshoulders.“Kaname-sama...” His coat was full of his warmth and feelings. It was a very strange feeling. Yuukiwas very happy yet at the same time, strangely shy.Feeling protected and cherished, a warmth began to spread from her stomach. No matter what timeit was, Kaname-sama always looked after Yuuki.Like a little sister. Yuuki couldn’t help but feel a bit saddened by that fact.“Ah, that’s right. See? I put on the high school uniform. What do you think?”Watching Yuuki twirl a full circle, Kaname narrowed his eyes in appreciation. “It suits you very well.”“Really? That’s great!”Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 38
  • 39. Yuuki jumped up and down with happiness. Then she stopped, her face flushed red withembarrassment.“Ah, from now on, I’ll be in senior high and need to be a bit quieter and mature.”Yuuki hastily straightened her slightly ruffled skirt. Kaname watched her every move. “I guess so.”Suddenly, Yuuki looked around to check there was no one else around. Then nervously looked backat Kaname-sama.He asked. “What’s wrong?”“That...”“What is it? Just say it...”“Well...”Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 39
  • 40. “From now on, I’ll be in senior high school and we’ll be sharing the same school facilities. Please lookafter me.”“Ah, that’s right, sharing the same facilities...” Seeing Yuuki bow down in front of him, Kanamereached out to touch her hair. “In the future, I’ll have more opportunities to see Yuuki. It makes mehappy.” He whispered into her ears, causing Yuuki’s cheeks to turn bright red.“Uh, well... If you don’t hurry back, everyone may start looking for you...”“Don’t worry about it... Recently, I haven’t had much time to have a good chat with Yuuki. We canstay awhile, right?”From the crack between the doors, Zero quietly observed the two people outside. Gently, he turnedaround and headed back downstairs. He had wanted to take Yuuki home rightaway but he changedhis mind. It wasn’t that he wanted to encourage the love between the two of them, it was just thathe was keenly aware he wasn’t qualified... not yet.Frowning and full of remorse, Zero ran a hand through his hair.“Are you not willing? If so, then come up to where I’m standing.”What Kaname meant was – if he wanted to protect Yuuki, he must stand in the same position asKaname.“Damn...”Pureblood vampire. He knew Zero could never be on the same level of him. And he then added,“You’re so irritating.”Yuuki was about to enter high school.The Day Class and Night Class shared the school facilities but had their separate living quarters. Theywill no longer be living with Chairman Cross. Thus, in order to protect Yuuki, he must stay by herside.But I shouldn’t even be by her side in the first place...Although the tattoo on his neck helped him avoid falling down Level E, he wasn’t sure how long itwould be before he started craving for blood.If he was to attend high school, breathing the same air as those vampires and interacting with themmore often, he may no longer be himself.That’s why he’s been putting off going to high school.But, from now on...If he can’t stay by Yuuki’s side, he’ll always regret it. This kind of feeling could not be ignored.Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 40
  • 41. Conversely, if he stayed by his side, there was a definite possibility he’ll do something unforgivable...Yuuki...Even now, memories of that night came flooding back. It was just after Chairman Cross had rescuedhim, he couldn’t shake off the feelings swirling inside of him, nor could he break free from theinternal struggle – he was forever cursing vampires and “that woman.” He was disgusted at thefeeling of being bitten by a vampire.Although the wound had healed, it still left a strange feeling. Like a contamination on his skin that hecould not get rid of. Yet whenever he tried to grab his neck and feel where “that woman” touchedhim, a pair of hands always stopped him.She didn’t mind wiping away his blood, with her little hands desperately clenched around his. Such asmall pair of warm hands...I will always hold your hands... Those words of comfort...Despite being comforted by a girl that was smaller than him, he couldn’t let her go. It was becauseshe touched that arrow of sorrow hidden within my heart. This girl, she also knew what real tragedywas.He would never forget the kindness she offered him.I cannot allow her to go to high school alone...Her heart was too kind, and she always believed in others. Like today, falling prey to a vampire...“...”Zero silently stared at his own hands. At that time, Yuuki was willing to hold his hands.He wasn’t strong enough yet. Compared to Kaname, he was a powerless kid.Zero returned back to the school and looked up at the rooftop. The sun had set. The two figures hadlong since disappeared from view.Stand in my position...It was a provocative thought. Even if he didn’t know how he could be useful by Yuuki’s side –I will protect Yuuki...I will not always stand here.Silently standing there in the dark, a strong light began to gather in Zero’s eyes.Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 41
  • 42. Chapter Two: For This Beautiful Night – Nadashiko ShindoThe princess desperately extends out her hand. Inside her glass prison, she only had her eyes on oneperson.The prince also desperately extends out his hand. He ignored the chains that weighed down heavilyaround his ankles, cutting into his bleeding flesh. In his heart, there was only one person.Between the two of there, there was an invisible wall. It was the boundary line between twodifferent worlds, it could not be crossed.Despite knowing this, they still couldn’t help extend their hands out to each other. They would neverbe able to touch one another, but they still desired to. They knew they were powerless, yet theycouldn’t quite erase that small ray of hope inside them. Seeing the foolish lovers like this, themagician couldn’t help but cackle with glee.You know you two can’t touch each other, yet you still extend your hands out to one another. It’spointless!However, with fingers extended to the absolute limit – “click” – the glass started to crack.The magician’s gleeful expression disappeared.“Wait a minute!”Listening to the sound of glass gently breaking, all the princess was thinking was I really want to seehim...“Whaaaaaat?! How can they end it on a cliffhanger... It’s such an interesting story! What’s going tohappen next.... They were so close to finally seeing each other!” The tall slim girl pursed her lips andadjusted her thin-framed glasses. Perhaps it was because her light-coloured hair was always tied upin braids, but the girl had a rather rustic plain look. But hidden behind those glasses were a pair ofshining eyes. Her neck was slender and graceful like that of a swan, making her look very elegant.“Ah... and they look so much alike...”Ignoring the book laid out on the table in front of her, Nadashiko Shindo rested her head on onehand as she sighed dreamily. He was her ideal man – an aloof handsome prince.If only I have a prince like that, then...Actually, a princely figure like that did actually exist in their school.“Look alike... Who are you referring to?”With her mind still immersed in the book, Shindo was startled by the voice by her ear. She jumpedup in fright and slammed her book shut.“Seriously, you scared me half to death!”Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 42
  • 43. The one who spoke out was her classmate as well as her roommate, Mairodori. She leaned over theseat behind her and said. “Well, you were in a daze... Oh, you’re reading that book again? You’vealready read it so many times, you must like it a lot.”Mairodori was quite familiar with the book that was in Shindo’s hands. She hasn’t read it herself, butshe always sees Shindo carrying it around with her.“I haven’t read it that many times! This is the latest in the ‘Black and White’ series. It’s only been onsale for a few days and I’m already looking forward to its sequel.”“Shindo, you must really like reading. How many books are there in this series?”“23.”Mairodori shrugged her shoulders helplessly. “Don’t you ever lose patient reading that manyvolumes? I would be fed up with just collecting that many volumes of books.”“But if it was manga, Mairodori, would you read it?”“Of course. But in a novel, there are just texts. Reading novels take too much effort, I always get aheadache.”“That’s a pity. I really hope you would give it a chance. The story is wonderful. And one of theillustrations is so beautiful.”Seeing Shindo’s cheeks pinken, Mairodori’s interests were piqued.“So what’s the story about?”“Well...” She’s read it so many times that she knew the story like the back of her hand. She launchedinto her explanation. “There’s a princess who is put under a spell. However, she’s not aware of it.And the deadline of the curse is fast approaching, if the curse isn’t broken by her next birthday, theprincess would die and her soul would fall into the hands of an evil magician. One day, when theprincess was out –”Shindo quickly gave Mairodori the basic summary. The princess got kidnapped by the evil magician.But in her moment of crisis, a mysterious prince came to her rescue. He was an extremely powerfuland handsome prince. All the fans of the novel series admired him.However – Shindo didn’t tell her friend that the prince looked very much like Ichijo-senpai from thenight class. That, she hoped, would remain a secret in her heart.“I see... So, that prince resembles Ichijo-senpai?”“EEEEeee? How did you know?”Mairodori smiled mischievously at her friend’s shocked expression. “I knew it!”“Damnit, you tricked me!”Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 43
  • 44. Mairodori had a very strong intuition. Shindo never managed to hide anything from her. Eventhough they were the same age and good friends, Mairodori always acted like an older sister to thetimid law-abiding Shindo.“What’s there to trick? I only need to think back to who you always stare at to know the answer.”Blushing furiously, Shindo stared down at her desk.Ichijo-senpai – Ichijo Takuma.Shindo’s prince has never spoken a word to her. After all, the students of the night class were veryspecial. They rarely have contact with the day class students. And other than breaking the rules,there were no way for the day class students to interact with them.Even so, Shindo felt like she knew him just from looking at him from afar.Ichijo-senpai, with his gentle manner and calm smile, he must have a beautiful soul.Shindo was a student of the day class. The night class and day class shared the school facilities. Thenight class male students were all handsome and were greatly admired by the girls of the day class.But every day, they only had a brief opportunity of seeing them when they let their dorms. Andduring that time, in order to see them, all the day class students were all packed at the gates.Shindo would always be with them, quietly watching Ichijo-senpai. She didn’t scream out like theother guys but despite that, his friend still saw through her.“Valentine’s Day, are you going to give some chocolates to Ichijo-senpai? The day is almost here.”Still blushing, Shindo nodded her head. “... ah....”“Everybody is fiercely determined. After all, giving your chocolates to the one you love has sort ofturned into a competition. And because of the disciplinary committee, we can’t break the rules.”At the school, Mairodori was one of the rare students who weren’t interested in the night classstudents. Because back home, she has a boyfriend. They grew up together. Although due to the longdistance, they weren’t always able to meet up with each other. But they still remained in touch.Whenever Shindo saw the happy expression on her friend’s face, she would felt a little jealous.To be together with the one you love, what does it feel like?To be able to talk to the one you love, what would you say?She didn’t know.Chocolates... if I can put them in his hands... it would be wonderful...He would most definitely accept the chocolates with a beaming smile on his face. Just thinking aboutit, Shindo felt very happy.Nadashiko Shindo has never felt real love before. She was still a simple girl, who yearned for love,read it in novels, fantasized about it...Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 44
  • 45. Flip –Turning back to her book, she turned to her favourite page. Her favourite moment was when theprincess first encountered the prince. Everything started from that point. If the two never met, thenthere would be no story. There would be no excitement, no anxiety, no pounding heart.“Come.”With silky hair, a gentle smile, the prince opened his arms to his princess. With her in his embrace,the prince would only smile at his princess. He would only give his love to his princess.“My... princess.”On the morning of that day, the atmosphere was unusually bright and colourful.“Wuaah...”It was Valentine’s Day. Traditionally, this was the day that you were supposed to give chocolate toyour crush. Shindo clutched her homemade chocolate tightly to her chest as she walked up to thefront gates of the Moon Dormitory. Unfortunately, when she saw the group of girls clustered at thefront, she couldn’t help but take a few hesitant steps backwards.Even though it was still the morning, there were hordes of girls crowded around the entrance.“Oh well, I guess there’s no way getting in...”Shindo sighed with disappointment as she looked sadly down at the small box of chocolates in herhand. In this case, she guessed handing her chocolate to Ichijo-senpai was going to be extremelydifficult. She was about to turn around and leave but was stopped by a familiar voice.“What are you doing, Shindo? Over here, over here!”“Ah, Mairodori?! Wait a second, where are you going?”Mairodori pulled Shindo through the crowd quickly until they arrived at the front gate.“Look, we’re here. Just a little more effort and you’ll be able to get over the wall. Here, climb ontomy back, quick!”“... ah!”Normally, Shindo would have thought climbing over the wall was a rude and unbecoming behaviour.But – now was not the time to worry about such things. If she was reluctant to do this, then shewould never be able to give her chocolates to Ichijo-senpai. Looking at her friend, she nodded withdetermination.“That’s right, we both need to be determined in our campaign of love. Here, can you please passalong my chocolates as well?”Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 45
  • 46. Shindo couldn’t help but wonder out loud, “Mairodori, who are you giving yours to?”“Heh heh, Wild-senpai of course! He’s so awe-inspiring.”“... okay, but if you boyfriend gets mad at you, don’t blame it on me.”“Don’t worry about it. I’m not being unfaithful or anything. These festivals are so rare, if we don’tspend them to our heart’s content, then what would be the point? Okay, are you ready?”Seeing Shindo climbing onto Mairodori ‘s back, the girls around them started to cry out.“Hey, that’s really smart. Here, can you pass along my chocolates as well?”“Ah, that’s right, all I need to do is get over the fence.” Even though she has been discovered, shewas determined to do it.“Good luck, Shindo-san! Just a little bit more – argh!” Mairodori raised her head to shout out anencouragement to Shindo but her sudden movement knocked Shindo backwards. Out of balance,she fell backwards.“Aaaargh...”I’m going to fall...!There was no time to react. Shindo squeezed her eyes shut as she prepared for the inevitablecollision with the ground. She was sure she would be severely injured. However, after a longuncomfortable wait,Huh...?Her whole body was wrapped up by the warmth of another individual.“...”Gingerly cracking her eyes open, she saw a very unhappy face – it was that of Prefect Yuuki’scompanion – Kiryu Zero.So it was Zero who caught her. Even though his eyes were scary, and he was an aloof, stand-offishguy, he still caught her –She still couldn’t believe it. Stammering, she managed to blurt out, “Th-thank you, Kiryu-kun.”He plopped her onto the ground and clutched at his head in anger. Shindo was convinced that shewas going to get berated at by the prefect. After all, she had broken the rules and almost gottenhurt.Zero glared down at her. “I told you before... members of the night class do not step outside theMoon Dormitory during daylight hours... If you absolutely must give them presents, it will have towait until dusk... Come back when the day and night classes change over.”He glared fiercely at all the surrounding girls and said. “If anyone of you pull a stunt like that again,the festival activities may be cancelled.”Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 46
  • 47. All the girls froze in fear.Kiryu Zero is a very scary person indeed.Ah... it’s Kiryu Zero...During their lunch break, Shindo was reading a book when she suddenly glanced up and saw asullen-looking Zero walking along the veranda. Unable to help herself, she continued to look at himuntil he disappeared from view.Even though he was just walking, he still managed to look scary and imposing.But... he protected me...Shindo’s heart began to beat faster.Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 47
  • 48. Determined to take advantage of the fact that it was still Valentine’s day, Shindo grabbed thechocolates that she had made and began to look for Zero. She still needed to formally thank him forsaving her – well, that was probably just an excuse.She hoped to discover the Zero that hid underneath his aloof facade.Those people who call Zero scary were all liars.Because he protected her – he protected Shindo. Truly scary people wouldn’t do that. Underneaththat scary Zero was a Zero who had a kind heart.Once she thought about it, she could no longer sit still. She took her chocolates and started running.Even though she didn’t manage to give her chocolate to Ichijo-senpai, she didn’t want to give thosechocolates to Zero. Because if she did so, it would be rude to both Ichijo-senpai and Zero. Therefore,she went back to the dorm rooms and quickly made some new chocolates.After school, she looked everywhere for Zero. In the end, she found him. But she didn’t know whatto say. Instead, she just stood there, looking at him. Shindo was shocked at the fact that she couldn’tbring herself to take those final steps.The whole interaction ended in a severe tongue-lashing, but surprisingly, she didn’t feel sad. Okay,she felt a little sad, but it wasn’t that bad...Because during their exchange, Zero looked terribly weak. If he was talking to anybody else, hewould still have lashed out at them and demanded they leave him.“Shindo, sorry to keep you waiting – huh? Are you okay? Why are you in a daze again?”“... what? No. It’s nothing...”At noon, everybody was eating in the cafeteria.“To be honest... Shindo, I really didn’t expect you to do such a bold thing.”What she did a couple of days ago on Valentine’s Day was suddenly regarded by all the girls as a“heroic deed.” Although many day class girls frequently break the rule in an attempt to get close tothe night class guys, Shindo was a quiet timid young girl. Everybody was surprised that she wouldpull a stunt like that.“If it wasn’t for Kiryu-kun, you might have even succeeded.”Although Shindo was quite grateful for Kiryu-kun, it seemed her friends didn’t share her opinion.“Come on, it was Valentine’s Day, can’t they loosen the rules just a little bit?”“And that guy is way too strict.”Because Shindo rarely gossiped, most of the time, she wasn’t sure what her friends were talkingabout. Even if they were talking about Zero, she wouldn’t know.“That Kiryu-kun... why is he even in the same grade as us? He’s one year older, isn’t he?”Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 48
  • 49. “Hm... that’s right. I heard he graduated from middle school, but due to illness, he spent one year inthe hospital.”“What? But I heard he spent a year studying abroad.”“Huh? I heard something completely different. I always thought he ran away from home for a year.”The rumours the students heard were all different.“How... why are there so many different explanations?”“I think it’s because nobody has ever asked him.”“Even if we were to ask him, I don’t think he’ll reply.”In other words –Nobody ever conversed with Kiryu-kun.There were so many students in their school. But... was there nobody who knew him?Why...?She was curious, but at the same time, she wanted to forget about it all.After all...Why... why am I looking at Kiryu-kun?Shindo suppressed an inner scream. But no matter what she did, she couldn’t keep her eyes awayfrom a certain boy.I came here to look at Ichijo-senpai!During every change over time, all the day class girls would cluster at the gates of the Moondormitory. While Shindo was with all the other girls, her eyes were trained firmly on Zero.The role of the prefects were to keep the law and order on school grounds and make sure nothingbad happens. Zero was usually late and whenever he does turn up, he usually doesn’t exert toomuch effort. But today, it seemed Yuuki had won. The cheerful petite girl was dragging a visiblyreluctant boy behind her. It was almost humorous to watch.It was like a small dog playing with a reluctant big husky... Cross-san is so cute.Shindo smiled as she watched them. But just then, a familiar figure walked up to the pair.“Oh... Kageyama-kun?”Back in middle school, they were in the same class together. He had inherent leadership abilities,which was why he was always the class president. Now he was in the same class as the two prefects.She always found it strange to see Kageyama standing here with all the day class girls.“Ah, was it because of the work of the prefects? After all, he’s a very responsible person.”Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 49
  • 50. Suddenly, the girls started screaming.“Kyaaa!”“They’re coming, they’re coming!”The ornate front gates of the Moon Dormitory finally opened. As the students walked by them intheir night class uniforms, the day class students were reminded of the fact that the night classstudents were special in every sense of that word.They were different from the day class students, their uniform was pure white. Completelyindifferent to the presence of their audience, they walked gracefully towards the school. Among allthe students, there was a group of them that were even more compelling. And judging by theexcited screams of the students at the front, they have arrived. The prefects used all their efforts toprevent any day class girls from suddenly lunging forward.“Ah, Idol-senpai, look over here!”“Ichijo-senpai!”Nicknamed “Idol-senpai,” Aidou Hanabusa smiled charmingly at the girls, causing them to cheereven harder. Beside him, Ichijo-senpai was also smiling warmly.Ah... At that moment, Shindo realized – Ichijo-senpai wasn’t looking at anybody in particular.Because she was calmer than usual, she discovered the truth. Although Ichijo-senpai was smilingvibrantly, he was never looking at anyone. Shindo couldn’t help but suck in a deep breath. Ichijo-senpai, never said hello to anyone, he never paid anyone special attention, he never met anyone’sgaze. Although this might seem fair, but...Because the smile was so soft... it gave off an impression of coming from someone who was faraway...Someone they would never be able to touch...“Shindo, Shindo?”Hearing her friend calling her name, Shindo shook herself out of her daze. Looking around, sherealized most of the students have already left.“What’s wrong? Everybody is already gone. We should get back too.”“Oh... sorry, I had a lot on my mind.” Shindo managed to smile.She has frequently looked at the night class students during the change over times. But this was thefirst time she came to this realization.“I’ve got a headache...” Shindo sighed helplessly.Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 50
  • 51. Recently, so many things have happened. There were so many changes to her feelings. Her heart feltso restless. She often spent the night staring out the window.“Hey...!”Shindo’s heart lurched and she resisted the urge to lean out the window. From her vantage point,she could see under the tree was Zero.The prefects should be on patrol. Yet Zero was sitting there by the tree. She wasn’t sure if it wasbecause he didn’t feel like it or because he didn’t want to. She couldn’t look away. Without knowingwhy, her heart started beating faster, as if it was about to burst out of her chest, her cheeks felt likethey were burning, and she almost forgot to breathe – she just wanted to keep on watching him.The moonlight shined down upon his face. Slender eyebrows. Sharp, clear eyes. Tightly-pressed lips.It all gave an impression of being headstrong. A gentle breathe ruffled through his light supple hair.His body was lean and toned, with a pair of arms that could easily catch a girl.“What was he thinking about?”Zero remained motionless by the tree trunk, staring off at some distant point.As far as Shindo could tell, Zero was always alone. She never saw him talking with other students.The only exception was the other prefect Yuuki Cross and her good friend, Sayori Wakaba, andoccasionally the class president. But other than that, there weren’t any students who could belabelled as “Zero’s friends.”Isolated – that word suddenly popped into Shindo’s mind.I heard he’s the adopted son of the headmaster... and since Yuuki was the headmaster’s adopteddaughter, was that why they were so close? And whenever he encounters the night class students, hewas able to converse with them normally...I really envy her – Shindo couldn’t help but think.She knew she could never have a relationship with him that was as close as the one that Yuuki hadwith him. Bit she really wanted to talk to Zero.Even if she were to have the courage to say hello to him, she wasn’t sure what she would say next.But, the desire to talk to him, the desire for him to recognize her and remember her as not justanother one of his fellow classmates, that desire still remained. She didn’t know why the desire wasso strong, but she knew she needed to act quickly.Although beautiful was probably an inappropriate word when it comes to describing boys, but theway he leaned against the tree, looking up at the sky, it was ethereally beautiful. It was as if he wasbathed in the moonlight.Just as she was about to gather up the courage to go and talk to him, Mairodori came out of thebathroom.Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 51
  • 52. “What’s the matter, Shindo? Looking out the window like that, did you spot a stray cat orsomething?”“No... nothing like that.”“Oooh, I just remembered, did you know Ichijo-senpai was also a huge manga fan?”“Really?”“Ichijo-senpai has a great personality, he always treats everyone gently.”In the “Black and White” series, the prince did not read manga. Nor did he smile at just anybody. Theonly one he cherished and protected was his beloved princess.Yes.. Ichijo-senpai, he’s not a prince...It was her favourite novel, so it naturally painted what she imagined love would be like. In the book,the prince resembled Ichijo-senpai, which was why she always looked upon him with a sense ofadmiration. But that didn’t make Ichijo-senpai a prince.“Ah, that’s true...”Her heart finally recognized it. I have completely misunderstood what love was...The old her would have been devastated by her dawning realization. But now, she felt good. Therewas a sense of positivity in the air.“Are you okay?”“I’m fine...”“You sure? Oooh, look, my dress for the dance festival has finally arrived!”Mairodori laid her dress out on her bed. Bright colours really suited her complexion. After discussingwith all their friends, she decided on a combination of red and purple.“Wow, such pretty colours! This is definitely you! You would look really mature in it.”“Really? Hahaha, I have to take a picture of this and send it to my boyfriend. I bet his eyes will popwhen he sees the thigh-high slit on the side of this dress!”“Here, let me take the picture for you!”“Oooh, make sure it’s a good shot, okay!” Mairodori let out a small smile, suddenly all shy.Shindo smiled back. “Don’t worry, you can count on me.”“Oh hey, that’s right. Shindo, has your dress arrived yet? Let me see.”“It’s just arrived. Wait a sec, I’ll take it out and show you.”Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 52
  • 53. Shindo glanced out the window again. It seemed Yuuki had discovered where Zero was hiding andwas now forcing him to patrol. Shindo breathed a sigh of relief – but at the same time, she couldn’thelp but feel a little bit disappointed.Leaving the window, Shindo went to her closet and took out her evening gown.“Here it is.”Mairodori beamed when she saw the dress.“Oh, so pretty! It definitely suits you, Shindo!”Shindo had chosen a light green gown. The sleeves were made from a chiffon fabric, giving it a cutecharm mixed with a little bit of maturity.“I’m a little bit surprised.”“Huh?”Mairodori picked up the dress and held it up against Shindo. “You are usually so shy and timid, as ifyou are scared of attracting too much attention.”Shindo usually wore a darker shade of green or yellow. But this pale green was a very bright shade –it gives Shindo a vibrant appearance, which is very much in contrast to her normal looks.“I think this is a very good shade.”“Re-Really?”Shindo felt slightly embarrassed as she looked at her dress. The reason she chose this colour wasbecause...“Ah, one more day!”She wasn’t sure where the voice came from, but all of a sudden, cries erupted from all across theschoolyard.In the blink of an eye, the dance festival was almost here. The atmosphere inside the school waspractically bursting with excitement. With so much anticipation in the air, the students often found ithard to concentrate on their studies.Everybody, especially the girls, were all busy preparing their dresses, practicing for the dance amongother things. Shindo certainly was no exception. After school, she would be in their dorms, trying outthe dresses with her friends, trying out different hairstyles, figuring out what accessories to wear. Itwas busy and stressful, but not at all unpleasant. There was still so much to do and there just neverseemed to be enough time.“Shindo-san, are you going to ask Ichijo-senpai for a dance?” One of the students asked as she read amagazine for make-up advice.Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 53
  • 54. Shindo was currently busy braiding her hair, but when she was asked that question, her fingersfroze. “Uh, well...”“After all, you didn’t manage to give him any chocolates on Valentine’s Day. That means you have towork harder at the ball!”“That’s right. We’ll be cheering you on, Shindo-san!”The ball was a rare opportunity for the students of the day class to mingle with the students of thenight class. All the day class girls wanted to ask their loved one for a dance. And because they knowall the night class male students were gentlemen, they wouldn’t refuse their invitations.“But, I...” She spoke out timidly, but nobody heard her.Shindo clasped her hands tightly to her chest. I want to dance with Kiryu-kun...Although Zero would probably have no interest in the dance festival, but his class was assigned to doall the backstage preparations. Shindo heard that their class performed the worst on the final exams,which was why they were given the thankless task of preparation.In addition to that, the prefects were responsible for the security of the venue. The prefects have towork so hard, it’s difficult to imagine he would voluntarily sign up for such a job. After all, she hasseen him often slacking off. The fact that he was even on the disciplinary committee was a bigsurprise. Perhaps, the Headmaster had forced him to do the job.In any case, Zero would have to show up at the ball.If she asked him for a dance, maybe he would agree to the invitation – even if he didn’t want todance.“...”Shindo looked at herself in the mirror. Instead of her normal uniform, she was wearing her beautifulevening gown with make-up. She wanted him to see the prettied-up her, even if it was just for amoment.She knew deep inside her heart that she would never be a princess, but –Even if he would look at her for just a moment, it would be enough...Please look at me.On the eve of the dance festival, Shindo walked into the ballroom. A few minutes ago, as she waswalking along the corridor in the dorms, she was handed a task by the female dorm president.“Here, can you please hand this over to them? I’ve got a lot of work to do.”Shindo had nothing else to do. Besides, Zero’s class was currently in the ballroom, doing thebackstage preparations, Shindo’s heart skipped a beat.Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 54
  • 55. “Sure, no problem.” Shindo nodded her head and took the heavy bag from the dorm president.The ballroom was filled with chaotic noise as the students rushed to get all the preparations done intime with the class president, Kageyama-kun was yelling out orders.“Seriously! They are prefects and yet they are slacking off.” As he ranted, he continued to hand outinstructions to the other students, as well as doing tasks himself. His mouth and hands wereconstantly busy. “Ah, and our class had the lowest scores, how could it be? No, actually, I shouldhave seen this coming. Ah, almost finished... wait for me, Ruka-san!”Looking at the flustered class president, Shindo couldn’t help but crack a smile. It seemed it was asKageyama-kun said, Zero had slacked off work again. Although it was a pity that she wasn’t able tosee him, but this was consistent with the Zero she knew.“Ah, Shindo-san? Why are you here at such an hour?” One of the girls asked her.“The female dorm president asked me to give you guys these,” Shindo replied as she handed overthe bag.“Oh, thank you so much! We were going to send someone over, but we just got too busy. Thankyou!”“It wasn’t too much trouble. Besides, I should be the one thanking you guys for all your hard work.Good luck with everything!”“Thank you. Be careful on your way back, okay?”As she walked back to the dormitory, she thought she heard a noise. It sounded like it was comingfrom the room next to the ballroom. But that was strange. That room was meant to be empty.“Maybe the organizers were using this room...”After all, for such a large-scaled event, the preparations must be very complicated. Shindo shruggedand was just about to leave when the door was violently opened.“What... Kiryu-kun...!”.....!Shindo instinctively hid behind a column. It was purely a reflex.Was it her intuition telling her that now was not a good time to appear in front of Zero?Zero impatiently stormed past Shindo’s hiding place with one hand covering his mouth.What?Shindo clapped both hands over her mouth to stifle a cry.Zero’s eyes –Blood red...! Wait, that can’t be right? But... gleaming... red...Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 55
  • 56. Normal people don’t have some kind of eyes. They were almost beast-like in their lustre. Throughthe cracks between his fingers, Shindo could see there was a stain around his mouth. It was thesame colour as his eyes, red.In the air, there was a rusty scent. Shindo’s eyes widened as all sorts of confusing and chaoticthoughts swirled in her mind.No... no, I must be mistaken...!She tried desperately to come up with some other explanations, but none of her explanations couldexplain the undeniable fact. She couldn’t deceive herself.That scent, wafting through the air, was the scent of blood.She started trembling.“Why...? Kiryu-kun, why...”It was terrifying.In the blink of an eye, fear crept into her body. Her back was shivering as if it was cold, goose-bumpserupted over her skin. She instinctively knew –“He” was a scary creature.With a chaotic mind, Shindo stood up.“I need to follow him.”Although it was terrifying, and her knees kept on trembling. But when Zero walked past her, shecould see the pained expression on his face – it was one of sadness.“I... must... catch up to him...”Because she could sense that, all of a sudden, “because... I like Kiryu-kun.”“...”Zero’s footsteps led him to the stables. The horses were sensitive creatures, so they could sense thatthere was something unusual in the atmosphere. Ignoring them, Zero went to the last stall. Itsoccupants, upon seeing Zero, gave a whinny in greeting.“Sorry, did I wake up you?”White Lily blew air through her nose in an attempt to comfort Zero. Having been raised up by Zerofrom when she was just a foal, White Lily would often treat him like one would treat a dearly lovedone. Her temperament, which earned her the nickname of “Demon’s Steed” from all the otherstudents, always disappeared when she was around Zero.“Let me lie down, will you?”Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 56
  • 57. Seeing Zero lying there on the hay, White Lily gingerly lowered herself down as well.Generally speaking, lying down with a horse like that was extremely dangerous. Horses were a lotstronger than humans and when frightened, they could panic and start a rampage. The smart horsesknew that they should lie away from the master to avoid bringing them harm. However, therelationship between Zero and White Lily was deep and built on trust. Therefore, the two of themoften laid together side by side.Looking at White Lily caring for him, Zero couldn’t help but smile. “You really are strange.”He looked at White Lily with gleaming red pupils. At times like this, Zero didn’t want to come incontact with anybody else. It didn’t matter who it was, their smell would unsettle him. So Zeroalways came to White Lily, because she wasn’t a human, but she emitted the same warmth.Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 57
  • 58. He settled down onto the soft hay, put his hands underneath his head and took a deep breath,calming himself down.Damnit, he was seen.That girl –Zero has seen her before. She was the girl who almost fell on Valentine’s Day. All her friends call her“Shindo.” He didn’t know why, but recently, he always felt somebody was looking at him. Althoughhe found it annoying, after awhile, he unconsciously got used to it.As long as they only looked from afar and didn’t actually try to interfere with what he was doing,Zero really didn’t care. They didn’t have say hello to each other, so there was no need to drive theother person away. That was how Zero felt.But that girl, she was hiding earlier outside the room. She must have seen his vampire pupils, andthe blood around his mouth. And now, she was standing outside the stable. Zero could sense herfear and hesitation through the air.Zero let out a deep sigh and deliberating turned his back against the human smell coming fromShindo. Next to him, White Lily blew out a gentle breath through her nose.Don’t come near me...That sentence wasn’t just directed at Shindo, it was a harsh cry from Zero’s heart.Sometimes, he had an impulse to stay away from everybody. Not even Yuuki or the Headmasterwere able to come near him. Now was such a time. Especially now, at night time.“Let us do something unforgivable...”“Zero, whatever you want to do is fine.” When confronted by such a gentle Yuuki, Zero found itimpossible to resist.Sometimes, you’re so gentle it was almost cruel...Zero’s mouth trailed into a smile. He closed his eyes and smelt the scent from his shirt sleeves.He felt desire, yet at the same time, he felt disgust.He knew right from the start this wasn’t going to work. He needed to desperately resist thetemptation. But in the end, the vampire instincts took over, greedily sucking at her sweet blood.Zero could feel the powerful allure of the blood thirst. Yuuki’s sweet blood was simply irresistible.Along with that desire came a strong sense of disgust.“....”White Lily nudged Zero with his nose.“Don’t worry, I’m fine...” Zero patted her on the head.Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 58
  • 59. White Lily opened her mouth and started to nibble on his hair.“Look, I’m sorry for worrying you, but that doesn’t mean you can eat my hair.”Ah... what I am going to do?Although she was still confused, Shindo was able to breathe a sigh of relief.The expression on Zero’s face no longer showed any pain and he seemed to have calmed down.Anyone could see how gentle he was with White Lily. Although she still didn’t know what happened,at least everything seemed to have returned to normal. His red eyes – she must have just imaginedthem.“Looks like I better not disturb him.”If Kiryu-kun knew I saw this, then he may become agitated again.Treading lightly, Shindo quietly left the stables.Kiryu-kun.He must have a secret that he couldn’t share with anyone.It must be because of the secret, that he was aloof to everyone around him. Because deep down, hewas a very kind person. She saw how gentle he was with White Lily. Horses are very sensitive to thefeelings of humans. They would never be so friendly to bad people, especially when they weredisturbed in the middle of the night.“I never thought White Lily could be so tame.”It was a shocking surprise.Shindo smiled as she looked up at the sky. It was a starry night. The dark blue night was dotted withcountless sparkling gems. They were like tiny ice fragments. When she was small, she read a fairytale in which a youth was stabbed in the heart with ice. As a result, he became a very cold and icyperson. It was only when the ice slowly melted that his curse was lifted.Maybe... Zero was also stabbed in the heart with ice.Tomorrow, I will definitely have the courage to approach him...She would ask him for a dance, and then during the dance, she would declare her feelings.I need to tell him – I love you.It was such a simple sentence, yet it was infused with a myriad of feelings and thoughts. But evensuch a sentence could not fully express what she felt.But – what other words could she use to express her feelings?Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 59
  • 60. Where did she get this sort of courage? It was almost as if she grew wings and was able to fly freely.She felt like she could achieve anything she set her eyes on.If she got rejected, she could most definitely cry. That was just how it was. And as for what happensafter that, well, she’ll get to it when it comes. Because if she never says anything, then nothingwould ever be able to start. I need to start doing and stop worrying about all that could happen.“If it was Ichijo-senpai, then I would have been satisfied with just looking on from a distance.”The reason, now she knew, was because that wasn’t love. It was very similar to love, but there weresome fundamental differences. Shindo was merely comparing Ichijo-senpai with the prince in thenovel. Looking from afar, it was merely unrequited love.Running back towards the dorms, Shindo’s braids were dancing in the air.“You... you never used to be interested in dancing.”“Really?”Zero and Yuuki were standing not far away from Shindo.Zero was wearing the normal day class uniform. But Yuuki wore a beautiful evening gown, just likethe other girls. She looked really cute. The dress had an elaborate design and was made with qualityfabrics. It was a dress fit for a noble and Yuuki looked absolutely beautiful in it.Every time Yuuki moved, the skirt flared out gracefully – and Zero’s eyes followed her everymoment.Because Shindo paid especially close attention to Zero, she was convinced of that fact that Zero’seyes were only looking at one person.Yes, all the time, Zero was always pining after that one person. There’s no room for anyone else toget close to him.“...”“No way! I’m not going to dance with some guy I don’t know.”Upon hearing that sentence, Shindo turned around and saw Ruka Souen from the night class walkingaway. Her delicate beauty was highlighted by her navy blue gown. She looked like one of thoseperfect antique dolls. Behind her was a devastated day class male student.“Kageyama-kun?”Shindo suddenly remembered what the class president had said the day before. She realized. “Ah, soit was like that... his dance invitation got rejected...”The music started again, and everybody joined in the festivities. Ruka was joined on the dance floorby fellow night class student Akatsuki Kain and together, the two of them twirled into a waltz.Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 60
  • 61. Seemingly unable to help himself, Kageyama-kun’s eyes were still following Ruka’s every move. Hiseyes showed all his feelings.If one’s loved one could not accept one’s feelings, then at least, one hoped to continue gaze at themfrom afar.It was a complex matter indeed.Ichijo-senpai was dancing with a girl. And all Shindo’s friends have found a partner to dance with.Those without a partner could only look upon the one they love with wistful eyes. Those who wereable to danced with the one they love were the lucky ones. The disappointed ones, who could onlylook at the one they love, still harboured an unrequited love.“Ah, Kiryu-kun...”The object of Shindo’s affections was leaning against the wall. With his arms crossed across hischest, he was staring silently across the dance floor at the terrace. There was an air of envysurrounding him. Without looking herself, Shindo knew Yuuki must be out there on the terrace.“Ah... that’s right.”Shindo looked away from Zero and out to the terrace.Out on the terrace, there were two people dancing in the moonlight. It was Yuuki and the dormpresident of the night class – Kaname Kuran. It was like something out of a beautiful dream. Dancingto a music that only the two of them could hear, the couple looked absolutely beautiful together.Zero was watching Yuuki, because in his eyes, there was only Yuuki.But at that moment, Yuuki was focused on Kaname Kuran. Shindo had originally thought Yuuki andZero were together. But now, it didn’t seem to be that way.Because Kaname-senapi’s eyes were so soft and warm when he looks at Yuuki...Shindo was slightly confused. Zero liked Yuuki. But Yuuki seemed to like Kaname-senpai. Shindo wasconcerned. Because this affected Zero, which in turn, meant it affected herself.But –The waltz came to an end.Good, now’s my chance.She held her clenched hands to her chest and slowly let out a breath.With a pounding heart, she slowly walked up towards Zero. She had to suppress the urge to runaway. She hesitated about whether or not to take off her glasses. But in the end, she decided againstit. Without her glasses, she wouldn’t be able to see the expression on Zero’s face. From this momenton, she did not want to miss out on a single moment of her time with Zero.Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 61
  • 62. Walking up to Zero from behind, Shindo blocked out the noise from the ballroom and concentrated.“Kiryu-kun... Uhm... would you dance with me...?”Hearing her trembling voice, Zero slowly turned around. With his eyes on her, Shindo’s heart skippeda beat.Zero had a look of surprise on his face, almost as if to say “why are you asking me?” At such closeproximity, Shindo could see the hidden strength in his eyes. Seeing as he hasn’t walked away yet,Shindo gathered up the courage to continue talking. On Zero’s chest, there was a single rose.Her only fear was – what happened on Valentine’s Day... if Zero had forgotten about it, then whatshould I do?“Because... before, you helped me... so, uh, maybe we could talk?”Please.Please don’t say you’ve forgotten me. I hope you remember who I am.As Shindo secretly prayed, Zero replied. “I’m sorry, but I can’t dance... and I’m busy. Sorry.” Withthat, Zero turned and left.With that one casual sentence, everything ended.Shindo didn’t run away, but slowly left the ballroom. She didn’t want to see her friends. She onlywanted to savour this moment of satisfaction by herself.Zero... He didn’t say “I don’t remember.” Or “Who are you?”Shindo was happy with that.“Ah, I was rejected...”The cool breeze brushed past her burning cheeks. Her shoes weren’t suited to kick the small stonethat lay on the ground in front of her, so she let it be. It was so quiet out here. She could barely hearthe noises from the ballroom.It was enough... I did a good job...Although they weren’t able to dance, but Zero had looked at her. He even listened to what she hadto say. He also replied. The only thing was his answer was not the one she had expected.Zero – he saw her. During that moment, he was looking only at her. He only listened to her voice.That was enough. She couldn’t expect anything more. Zero made sure she knew it with his rejection– “I’m sorry.”He was basically saying, he could not return her feelings.He obviously didn’t need to apologize. If this was Zero’s way of showing her gentleness, then he wasa very clumsy person indeed.“After such a rejection, I feel sort of at ease. Is that strange?” Shindo smiled.Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 62
  • 63. Because this was something her heart had already expected. The first love and the last love sharedmany similarities. And this was Shindo’s first love.A rejection in love was a love lost. Her feelings were not returned.“I already knew that.” Shindo shed a little tear.In Zero’s eyes, there was only Yuuki.Kiryu-kun – does he realize his own feelings?For the both of them, their loved one would never be able to return their feelings, but they couldn’thelp but gaze after them and occupy their minds with thoughts of them – that was what unrequitedlove was about.For Zero, his “princess” must be Yuuki.Shindo looked up to the sky with blurry eyes. Even though she had tears falling down her cheeks, shedidn’t feel disgusted. Just a little sad. There was a tightening in her chest. She felt depressed yet atthe same time, satisfied. Her tears were just like the ones shed in the novel.These were real tears.Music came drifting from the ballroom, provoking imagines of elegant waltzes and dancing lovers.Listening to the music, Shindo slowly began to move her feet, just like she had practiced before. Inher mind, she imagined the prince that she knew one day would come to her. Lifting her dress, shebowed down elegantly, then began to dance.“1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3...”As she danced, the tears continued to fall. It was sad, but she knew the feelings inside her were love.And that was enough.One day, I will meet my prince and we’ll waltz for real.Even though it was a little bit lonely, she felt stronger than she had ever before.I will keep working hard, and one day, I hope to become someone’s “princess.” I can’t just sit by theside and silently dream about it. I need to strive for what I want. Tonight, I will have a cry. But then...Starting from tomorrow, I will smile.With this thought, Shindo knew that next time, she would be courageous enough to walk up to himand say “hello.” She would say to him “let us be friends.” Even though she would never be the onehe loved, as a friend, she would be able to help him out when facing difficult times.She was sure, one day, with enough courage, that moment would come.“Good luck, Kiryu-kun.”It may sound strange, but I will be cheering you on.Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 63
  • 64. Shining under the moonlight, a tear dripped down onto the dance floor.Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 64
  • 65. Chapter Three: For This Beautiful Night – Kaseumi KageyamaThe night before the ball...All the students from both the day class and the night class will be gathered here tomorrow. Becauseof that, some of the day class students were busy preparing the venue for the upcoming dancefestival.“Class president, where should we put this table?”“Put it in Section B.” Class president, Kaseumi Kageyama consulted his thick booklet of preparationinstructions.He already knew the contents of the booklet off by heart. As class president, his most important taskwas to direct everyone to complete the preparations. He would not tolerate any failures.“Class president, what about this?” One of the female students asked as she held up a vast filledwith flowers.With so many students asking her questions, Kageyama had no time to rest.“That, put it on the table over there,” he pointed to a small table located at the corner of the room.“Oh, okay.” Turning around, the girl stumbled and tripped. The sound of shattering glass reachedKageyama’s ears.“Oh dear,” Kageyama sighed.They were already busy as it was. Why were there so many problems popping up? Does someonetake pleasure in their sufferings?“Well, there’s no other way... hey!” Kageyama gestured to another student. “Could you please cleanup this area? You must be careful”If they didn’t clean up all the broken pieces, then students could get injured. And if the student whowas injured was Ruka-san... The worst case scenario flashed through his mind.“Be really careful! Make sure you pick up every piece and wipe down the floor afterwards!” Seeinghim so agitated, the students looked up at him.“Ah, sorry... please do you best.”Directing was a very stressful job. And as time went on, it was easy for things to get out of control.What’s wrong with me... one thing goes wrong and I get all flustered...Kageyama sighed again. He walked out to the balcony to calm down. He stretched and looked up atthe sky. It was a clear night with all the stars shining bright.Tomorrow should be a clear day.But, Kageyama’s mood was darkened. He couldn’t help but secretly complain.Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 65
  • 66. I should be practicing for tomorrow’s dance with all the other guys. But instead...It was all because of that one –Damn you, Yuuki Cross!His grip on the booklet tightened.A few days ago, Kageyama started to feel a bit depressed.“Why is it my class?”Sighing, he slumped his shoulders in defeat, as if he was about to collapse onto the ground at anymoment.As for the reason... well, it’s the notice he just received in the headmaster’s office.“With regards to this year’s ball, your class has been assigned to do all the preparations. Good luckwith it.”The teacher patted him on the shoulder in consolation as he handed Kageyama the documentsdetailing all the preparation steps.“Huh?”The decision for the assignation of the preparations for the annual dance festival was based on theresults for the school final exams. The responsibilities were given to the class with the lowestaverage scores.In other words –“Our class came in last, didn’t we?” Kageyama’s eyes practically fell out of their sockets in shock.Who on earth lowered their score by that much... no, wait, who else but that guy?The classmate’s face emerged in his mind.“It was Cross-kun, wasn’t it? Is it because she failed every single subject?!”“Uh, well... that is to say.... we don’t know who’s responsible. It’s a confidential matter. We can’t tellyou, uh...” The teacher shifted his eyes away, refusing to meet his gaze.“Can you please tell me? I, as the class president, have the right to know.”Facing Kageyama’s murderous eyes, the teacher tried to calm him down, whispering, “now, now,don’t be like this.”“But, of course.” He had a feeling this was going to happen. No, it was more than just a hunch. It wasquite predictable, really.Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 66
  • 67. “In short, things are the way they are. I’ll hand over the responsibilities to you then. The students inyour class work quite well together, I don’t think you’ll have too much problem getting everythingorganized. Now, I’ve got another meeting to go to, so I’ll see you later.” The teacher looked quiteembarrassed. He hurriedly packed up everything and left.What a mess...Kageyama clutched his head in despair.Preparing for the ball – it was a responsibility everybody wanted to avoid. There was so much to do:venue preparation, arrangement of decorations, refreshments, music selection, the clean-upafterwards – not a single task can be skipped.The students responsible for the preparations could only look on with envy at all the people whowere free to dance at the ball. The girls would cry and clench at their handkerchiefs. The boys wouldstare down at the floor with disappointment. Having to perform such a pointless role, without evena chance to get close to one’s loved one – it’s like Cinderella without a ball, forever living in theshadows.This thankless job, it’s no wonder nobody would ever happily take the initiative and do it voluntarily.“How should I tell my classmates?” Kageyama’s heart was as heavy as lead.For this to turn out like this, it’s all because...Even though he had expected this outcome, the extinguishment of the last ray of hope was still quitehard to take. On the way back to the classroom, the anger inside him grew.Quickly walking back into his classroom, he slapped the door open and yelled, “Cross-kun!”But she wasn’t in the classroom.“Cross-san... I think she just went out with Wakaba-san.” Mikimoto Seto, a female classmate sittingnear the door replied.“Oh, thank you.” He immediately rushed back out again.This time, he was going to have a serious talk with her, face-to-face.He soon found his target – Kageyama spotted the shadows of both Yuuki and Sayori.Gotcha!“Cross-kun!” Kageyama yelled out her name as he walked up towards them – the first one to noticehim was Sayori.“Oi, the class president is calling you.”“The class president?” Yuuki quickly turned her head around, only to find herself facing a classpresident who had negative energy practically radiating off his body.Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 67
  • 68. “With regards to the five subjects on the final exams... I just received a report from the teacher...and as expected, our class came in last! But –” Speaking with a trembling voice, it was clear thatKageyama couldn’t suppress his anger. “Cross-kun, I heard you just wrote your name on the testpaper and left the rest of it blank, is that right?”Yuuki jerked in fright.Kageyama jabbed a finger in Yuuki’s direction and said, “it’s because of you that our whole class hasto do the backstage preparation!”No matter what, I’ll make sure that, for the preparation, you will be doing the dirty work!Although he felt a twinge of guilt that the idea in his mind, he suppressed it with the mountain ofanger that was piling up inside of him. He noticed Yuuki had a strange confused look on her face, buthe quickly decided it was most likely due to sleep deprivation from her prefect duties. Therefore, hestood firm by his decision.That’s right, whoever interfered with my perfect war campaign will not be forgiven.Kageyama had a goal that he wanted to achieve. It was called “To dance with Ruka-san at the ballwar campaign.”To put it in simple words, he intended to, at the dance festival, have a perfect dance with his dreamgirl – a certain Miss Ruka Souen.The dance festival was one of the important events in which the Day Class and Night Class cometogether. It was one of the few opportunities in which the students from the two classes were ableto interact without any barriers.It meant... he can finally get close to his dream girl – Ruka-san. Kageyama had been looking forwardto this opportunity for so long...Damnit! You ruined the plan, Yuuki Cross!“If I lose my opportunity to dance with Ruka-san, I will hate you forever!”Don’t say I didn’t warn you!If I knew this was going to happen, I should have threatened her repeatedly before the exam...Kageyama’s expressions gradually darkened.On the test day, Zero took the day off. If only he took the exam, maybe he would have been able topull the average up a bit. But it was too late to think about such things now. Even constantly blamingYuuki wasn’t going to change the fact that they were now stuck with the preparations.“... damn.” Ending his thoughts there, Kageyama ran away from Yuuki.Arriving back at the school, Kageyama suddenly realized he still needed to notify every student in theclass. His heart plummeted, his footsteps slowed.Come on... this is the responsibility of the class president...Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 68
  • 69. Kageyama mentally encouraged himself as he walked back into the classroom. He straightened histie and stood tall – after all, he was the class president, he must be calm under such circumstances.“Oi! Everybody, may I please have a couple of minutes?” Standing in front of the room, Kageyamaspoke in a serious tone. “I regret to say that – our class has been assigned to do all the backstagepreparation for the ball.”Straightaway, the classroom fell silent. Then –“What? How can this be?”“Class president, is there no other solution?”“But we studied really hard this time!”“Damnit!!”Kageyama stood there patiently as his classmates raised their complaints. He reminded himself thathe wasn’t to blame. After all, he scored quite highly on all five subjects. His classmates should alsoblame Yuuki Cross instead.But, even if they were to blame Yuuki Cross, there was no changing the inevitable. The decision wasalready finalized, there was nothing they could do about it.“Let’s just work together to make sure the dance festival run smoothly.” Kageyama managed a smileas he made that request to his classmates.Damnit! In this case, I need to make sure all the backstage preparations are completed perfectly.Then, afterwards, I must dance with Ruka-san!Kageyama cast an eye around the venue and frowned. “There’s still some dust.” He ran a few fingersacross the window frame. They came away covered with dust.He raised the dust-covered fingers up to the guy responsible for cleaning them.“It’s just a little bit – it shouldn’t matter that much...” The guy said in his defence.“No. Absolutely not. You need to clean this area – it’ll only take you another ten minutes or so.Please.”“Uh...”“This is the annual dance festival. If we are to do this, then we need to do this right. We’ll go down inhistory for the record of having the most perfect dance festival.” Having finished his piece,Kageyama ignored the boy’s angry protests and continued on his next task.In order to complete the backstage preparations, Kageyama had prepared a carefully structuredschedule. Each student gets a series of tasks with a time limit on how long it would take them tocomplete the tasks. Titled “the big combat operation,” copies of the schedule were handed out toVampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 69
  • 70. each student. It included detailed instructions on the individual steps of the specific tasks, as well aswhich areas to pay extra attention to. It was both easy to understand and increased theirproductivity. It was a perfect strategy.If he was going to waltz with Ruka-san on the dance floor, he was going to make sure every speck ofdust was gone!In perfectly completing all the backstage preparations, he wanted both the school and Ruka-san toappreciate his capabilities.So far, everything was going smoothly. Whether it was studying or sitting an exam, hard work alwaystranslated into success. As long as they followed the time recommendations set out by Kageyama,they should be able to finish the preparations soon with plenty of time to spare for the students topractice their dance moves – two birds with one stone, really.At the venue, in addition to students from his class, there were also students from second and thirdgrades. They were all in the same boat. Somebody in their class must have dragged the averagedown, earning them the title of the poorer performing class. Thinking of them, Kageyama couldn’thelp but sympathize for them also.“Seriously... where did the two prefects go?”Those two should also have received their task sheets. Looking around, Kageyama spotted Yuuki’sgood friend, Sayori. She was busy with the other girls doing their jobs.Those two – Zero and Yuuki... Especially Yuuki... If I see her, I will not forgive her lightly!Just as he was about to explode with anger, Yuuki walked into the hall. Before he could greet her,one of the girls standing on the ladder accidentally dropped her roll of sticky tape. She called downto Yuuki, “Sorry, could you please get that for me?”Yuuki bent down and picked it up. “Here.”Okay, now’s my chance.Again, before he could greet her, a burst of commotion came from the main entrance. Kageyamaturned around to see Zero standing there.He looked like he was in a great hurry. He was wheezing with exertion, his hair was wet. He probablyran all the way here. With his shoulders heaving up and down, Zero gasped. “... ah.”The girls standing near Zero widened their eyes in surprise. On his school jacket, just below the cheston the right, there was a massive red stain... it looked like blood. All the students noticed it.Dropping everything at hand, they came over to look at Zero.“Is that blood?”“Did you get into a fight again?”Zero ignored everybody as he waded through the crowd.Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 70
  • 71. “Zero!” Worried, Yuuki called out his name.Zero walked up to her and exchanged a few words. They spoke to each other quietly, Kageyamacouldn’t hear anything from where he stood. Finished, Zero opened up one of the doors of theballroom and left.Everybody was left stunned. Yuuki took that opportunity to hurry out, following Zero. Everybodylooked at each other uneasily.What a tempestuous guy... Kageyama couldn’t help but think.Kiryu Zero. In class, he wasn’t a very gregarious guy. In fact, now that he thought it, he realized Zerowas sort of a loner. The only person who was able to get close to him was Cross Yuuki.The boys in their class always looked up to Zero and admired his maverick style. And his unnaturalstrength... Kageyama was afraid and even five of their male classmates wouldn’t be able to take Zeroon. Although nobody dared to say it out loud, many students in school thought he was cool.But for Zero with such a huge blood stain to suddenly appear in front of everyone. What on earthhas happened?“That was scary. Do you know what happened?”The female voices startled Kageyama out of his thoughts.I need to get everyone to calm down...“Ladies and gentlemen, please calm down. With regards to Zero, I’m sure prefect Yuuki would beable to handle it. So please don’t worry and get back to what you were doing.” Kageyama clappedhis hands to get everyone’s attention.Hearing those words, everybody relaxed a little bit.“That’s right... If anything had happened, the prefects would be able to sort it all out.” Although theywere still worried about Zero, everybody were able to return to their jobs.Oh well... at least nothing bad happened... although those two prefects... really... I’m always the onewho has to calm everybody down... they should at least thank me...“Damnit! They escaped again!” Kageyama clutched his head as he collapsed down onto his knees.My plans...“Seriously. They are prefects! But they never do any work!”Kageyama continued to direct the other students. With no other choice, he was forced to do all thejobs that those two were responsible for.“Especially since they were responsible for our class’ poor performance, the fact that they ran awayis totally incredible. Actually, no, I should have seen this coming. Oh no, I need to finish all thesesomehow... you have to wait for me, Ruka-san!”Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 71
  • 72. Then, after awhile...“Everybody, let’s take a quick break.” Kageyama looked at the clock. This sort of work was tiring. Ifthey were to work non-stop, they would be absolutely exhausted by the end.Kageyama distributed drinks to everybody and let them take a break – of course, Kageyama boughtthe drinks at his own expense. Looking around the ballroom, Kageyama was pleased to see thatmost of the preparation has already been completed. Many areas need some fine adjustments butthat was about it. So, tomorrow’s dance festival should run smoothly without a problem.Kageyama sighed with relief as he sat down on the floor. Then he remembered Zero. That dark stain,it looked like blood.What happened?“Did he get hurt while on prefect duties?”As class president, Kageyama was quite worried for his classmate. It was Kageyama’s responsibilityto maintain peace among his classmates. Even if it was just one classmate who was injured, he wasstill worried about him.Now that he thought about it, shouldn’t people like himself be more appropriate for prefect duties?“Why... why are those two prefects?”Prefects have the major responsibility of maintain law and order within the school. In a sense, it waseven harder work than that of a class president. It was such an important position yet they weregiven these positions just because they were the adopted children of the headmaster (at least that’swhat it looks like on the surface).Kiryu Zero was a very intelligent student with a strong academic record. But he was always skippingclass. And when he did attend, he was constantly napping – probably as a result of his night patrols.And he’s also one year older than us... Rumours has it that he went abroad for a year aftergraduating from middle school, which was why we were now in the same class. Maybe his strongacademic performance came from his foreign education.However, even if he was better educated, it still didn’t make sense why he was selected as a prefect.As for Cross Yuuki, that was an even greater mystery. She had lousy grades. Her attitudes in classwere terrible. The fact that she was also a prefect made even less sense.I really don’t get it... Whether it was in terms of accomplishments or professional attitude, I would bethe most appropriate candidate for the job, right?Kageyama hmphed as he thought about it. His mentality of “must be number one” came to theforte.“Class president”Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 72
  • 73. While he was deep in thought, Mikimoto Seto came running to him.“Ah? What happened?”“One of the girls changing the light-bulb got hurt! She accidentally cut her finger.”“What?”Kageyama hurried rushed to the girl. With the break over, everybody returned back to their work,except, of course, for the girl who got hurt.“Excuse me! Excuse me! We need to send her to the infirmary immediately.” He knelt down in frontof the injured girl, pulled out a band-aid he always carried in his pocket and put it on the girl’s cut.Although it didn’t look too serious, if it became infected, then that would be very worrying. He heldher hand above the heart position and helped her up to her feet.“Uh, uh... class president? I’m alright. Just a little scared of blood...” The girl hastily said.However, his sense of responsibility was too strong. “Don’t worry about your tasks. Let me handlethem. Everybody please get back to work.”He walked the girl slowly and unsteadily to the infirmary. After handing her to the school doctor, hehurried back to the ballroom.Huffing heavily with exertion, he realized there was even more hard work ahead. But he quicklyadjusted his breathing and checked on the work progress to ensure that they were not slowingdown.“Well, we’re doing really well, now about the dance –”“Class president, we have another emergency!”Turning around, Kageyama saw it was again Mikimoto.“Some of the boys escaped! If we don’t get them back, we’re going to fall behind?”“How many?”“Three. I think they are still nearby, we should be able to get them back.” “Right, got it. You go back to your job, I’ll go look for them.” As soon as he finished talking, he wasrunning out again.Damnit! I just want to get everything done as soon as possible, then go and attend the dance lesson.Why is there so much trouble tonight?I just want to have a dance with Ruka-san, why is everybody trying to disrupt my plans?First it was the burden of having to do the backstage preparation, then at the ballroom, everythingstarted to go wrong in succession. Was this bad luck or what?Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 73
  • 74. On Valentine’s day, he wasn’t able to give her any chocolates. Overwhelmed by the enthusiasmdisplayed by the Day class girls, he didn’t even get a chance to say hello to Ruka.It was because of this that he was determined to fulfil a wish at the dance festival. But thingsweren’t exactly going according to plan.Ah... Ruka-san...He recalled that night, not so long ago. It was at the “Friendship Evening” where he first caught aglimpse of her.All the girls were screaming “kya, kya!” It was noisy and chaotic. Kageyama had no interest at all inlooking up at the stage. But then, when he glanced up for just a quick look, it was as if all the noise inthe world faded away from his ears. Time seemed to stop. He felt like he was struck by lightning.Of course, Ruka didn’t even know his existence. However, just as she was about to leave the stage,she glanced over at the crowd with a small smile on her face – she was so beautiful.Because he wanted to see her smile again, he had waited outside the Moon Dormitory with the dayclass girls several times during the changeover time... but the Ruka he saw walking into the schoolwas always tight and sullen.Tomorrow, I definitely want to see Ruka-san’s smile again!“Oi! Get out here, you rascals!”Kageyama searched all over the school. He ended up finding them in one of the classrooms.“Hey, finally found you guys!”“Oh-oh.”With that, the boys were forcibly returned back to the ballroom by Kageyama.Ru-Ruka-san... I will work hard for you!Kageyama returned the boys back to their tasks. He looked up and said, “well, just a little more hardeffort.”But –“Class president! There’s another problem!” Mikimoto ran over to him. “The roses for all the guys towear on their chest tomorrow have disappeared!”“You... why are you always bringing me trouble?”“Well, you are a very reliable.” Mikimoto said it as if it was a statement of fact. There was not a traceof remorse on her face.“Oh...” Although Kageyama sighed with frustration, he couldn’t help feel flattered by hercompliment. “Never mind the roses, where’s the person who’s responsible for them?”Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 74
  • 75. “He disappeared after the break.”“I get it. I’ll go look for him.” Kageyama ran out again.In the end, he tracked down the flowers. It turned out the person who was responsible for the rosestook them out to change the water, which was why everybody thought he was gone.Kageyama solved another problem.However, like always, as soon as one problem was solved, another one emerged. Hailed by studentsfrom left, right and centre, he was constantly busy.Even if they chop me up into pieces, it still wouldn’t be enough...Kageyama tried to remain calm. After all, everything he was doing was to ensure a good night withthe one he loved.“Class president, there’s another problem!” Mikimoto’s voice came again.“... again? What is it now?”Standing up slowly, Kageyama started running once again.On the night of the dance festival, Kageyama’s warm plan was going smoothly. The ballroom wasdecorated perfectly. With a deep sense of accomplishment, Kageyama looked around the venuewith pride.Smiling, the girls gathered here were all wearing beautiful gowns that they had prepared days beforefor this special occasion. With straightened backs, the boys all had a rose in their chest pocket.Although there were already some couples dancing on the dance floor, most students were stillstanding around, looking for potential partners. They all seemed ready to reveal their feelings totheir loved ones and want to dance with them.With so many in the same boat as him, Kageyama was quietly reassured.This wasn’t the time to stand idly by and watch those around him make their confessions. But Ruka-san has yet to arrive. So he couldn’t exactly make his move.But the anticipation... it was killing him.For tonight, I have practiced for the dance, there won’t be any problem!With one eye looking over everything, and the other eye on the lookout for Ruka-san, Kageyamaintended to be the first one to extend an invitation to Ruka-san when she arrives to the ballroom.I will definitely not concede Ruka-san to somebody else...Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 75
  • 76. Out of the corner of his wandering eyes, Zero-kun walked in. As a prefect, Zero Kiryu appeared tostill be on guard. He was leaning against the wall, with his eyes carefully watching the entireballroom.Looks like he’s conscientiously performing the duties of the disciplinary committee. Even I have toadmire that.Just then, wearing a beautiful gown, Yuuki Cross walked in and went up to Zero. She plucked therose from her neckband and placed it in his chest pocket. She was wearing a stunning silk gown, witha neckband made out of the same material. Looking completely different from what she was likeduring school, even Kageyama was surprised by her transformation.He guesss the saying “you are what you wear” really does apply to girls...In fact, among the boys, Yuuki only has a “cute” status. But because of her poor academic recordand the fact she constantly dozes off in class, Kageyama doesn’t have a good impression of her.Moving away from Zero, she approached one of the night class boys. His name seems to be AkatsukiKain, but he was more commonly known among the day class as “Wild-senpai.” He was apparentlycousins with Hanabusa Aidou (nicknamed by the day class girls as “Idol-senpai”) but theirpersonalities appeared to be complete opposites. Because Aidou-kun hasn’t showed up yet, a largeproportion of the girls were visibly disappointed.What was Yuuki saying to Kain-kun? They seem to be a strange match. Although he didn’t have agood impression of Yuuki, Kageyama couldn’t help but feel nervous on Yuuki’s behalf.Was... Cross-kun going to ask Kain-kun for a dance? If so, good luck! I’m rooting for you.But, the pair quickly separated.What... So she wasn’t asking him for a dance?Weirdly, for that couple of moments, Kageyama put his own feelings and thoughts aside and wasnervous for someone else.Just then, Ruka walked into his line of sight.Ruka-san!Taking a step forward, he was suddenly anxious again.Even though she was already naturally beautiful, wearing that royal blue gown, she looked soglamorous, reminding him of those perfect antique dolls.She’s so beautiful!Kageyama was practically seeing stars.But just as he was about to approach Ruka, Kain-kun started conversing with her.Oh no, this was bad. Ruka was about to be snatched away by Kain-kun.Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 76
  • 77. But after a couple of moments, Ruka suddenly turned her back to Kain-kun and took a few stepsaway – almost as if she was rejecting him.Excellent, now’s my chance!I’m going to do this!With a trembling heart, Kageyama stepped forward. As the distance between them narrowed, hisheart rate accelerated. He could feel his cheeks grow warm. He could no longer hear the noisecoming from his surroundings. Everything was drowned out by the beating of his heart.There won’t be any problem, I am well prepared! I will not fail!He gathered confidence from the successful completion of the backstage preparations. He hoped itwill lend him strength.In order to dance with Ruka-san, he has worked very very hard.The venue was practically gleaming with light, there was not a single spot of dust anywhere. Thechandeliers, the windows – they were all polished until they shined. Everything was prepared for thismoment.With stiff steps, Kageyama walked forward until he arrived just behind Ruka.Now to put everything into action!“Ruka-san, I’ve worked very hard today to complete all the backstage preparations!”His heartbeat was beating so fast he was afraid it would burst.“May I have this dance?” He extended his right hand and lowered his head.Yes, success! I finally said it!There was a prolonged silence.The silence, to Kageyama, it seemed to have lasted forever.“Do you best! Didn’t Dorm President always say we should make friends with them?” Kain-kun waseven helping him out.But –“No way! I’m not dancing with some guy I don’t know!”Thud!That sentence completely pierced his heart.Passing through his ears was not the answer he was expecting, but some very indifferent words. Andsince it was delivered with Ruka’s wonderful voice, their impact on Kageyama was even greater.Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 77
  • 78. Even after he got some unexpected support from Kain-kun, he was given some cold indifferentwords from Ruka-san.Kageyama’s whole body was suddenly filled with a sense of humiliation and misery.Oooh... Ruka-san.Everything in front of his eyes were suddenly a blur. Ruka-san gave him a cold glance before walkinggracefully away.With his dreams completely shattered, he suddenly felt very dizzy.Perhaps it was because he was exhausted. With the backstage preparation, the dance practice, andsleep deprivation... everything was suddenly welling up.Kageyama staggered away to lean against the nearby wall.I’m not dancing with some guy I don’t know!Those words lingered in his mind.That’s right... To her, I’m just another stranger...She was right, he failed to take that fact into account.He had completely forgotten. After all, he had been class president from primary school, rightthrough to middle school and now first grade of senior school. In addition, his academic score wasthe highest across the grade. There was no student who didn’t know who he was. In fact, he wasquite proud of his reputation.However, his reputation has not spread over to the night class. To them, he was just another dayclass student – male student A perhaps.He wanted to see Ruka smile, yet he only ended up causing her unhappiness.“I really am such an idiot, haha.”Facing his first ever defeat, Kageyama’s composure began to crumble. He was so certain he wasgoing to succeed. He was so sure that as long as he stuck to the plan, no matter what the obstacle,he would be able to overcome it. Then he would be able to –Suddenly, he felt a draft of cold air brush against his cheeks.“Wuah!”He looked up in surprise and spotted Sayori-san standing in front of him. “Thank you for all yourhard work. Wait, what’s wrong? Why are you in such a daze here?”“Ah, well, it was tiring work... Wakaba-san.”“All the students in our class are gathered by the tables. Class president, why don’t you join us andget something to eat?”Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 78
  • 79. He turned around and saw that a lot of his classmates have already set out the banquet tables withtrays of finger foods placed on it. The students spotted Kageyama and they began to gesture himtowards them. He walked up to them. With beaming satisfied smiles on their faces, they began totell him about their hard work.“I did that side of the decoration.” One girl pointed to the decorated window frames.“The chandeliers are practically sparkling. I was the one who rubbed them clean.” Puffing out hischest with pride, one of the boys raised his hand. He was one of the three who ran away during thebreak. “It’s all thanks to the class president and his strict schedule.”“If it wasn’t for the class president, the preparations definitely wouldn’t have ended up going thissmoothly.”“Everyone...” There was a warmth in his chest and his eyes became a little bit teary.“Here, class president!” Mikimoto handed him a glass of orange juice. “To our class president! To usgoing down in school history with a perfect record –”Everybody raised their glass.“Cheers!”Kageyama raised his cups along with theirs. He felt a smile creeping onto his face. In moments likethis, he felt proud to be the class president. “Thank you, everyone, thank you...” Heartfelt gratitudecontinued to swell up inside.“Awwww, class president, your eyes are tearing up.”“What? No, no, these are tears of gratitude from my heart.”“Wuah, class president, that’s deep...”A pleasant mood washed over Kageyama. With everyone’s encouragement and support, he feltmuch better. “Failure” was no longer a word in his heart.Instead, he created some new ambitions.To let Ruka-san know my existence... that’s the first step.With hopes and expectations of the future, he began to look forward to next year’s dance festival.I can do this!He finished his drink. Then, he looked around the venue with a critical eye. The layout was perfect,but he needed to make sure that none of the decorations fell off.So that Ruka-san can have a wonderful evening...If she enjoyed herself tonight, then she would definitely come back next year.As he patrolled around the ballroom, he spotted a fallen rose petal on the ground.Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 79
  • 80. “Oi...”It must have fallen off from one of the roses that the male students were wearing on their chest. IfRuka-san had slipped on it and fallen, that would be bad.Bending down, he picked it up. Just as he was about to stand up –“Oh... sorry.” Some guy accidentally bumped into him.“No, no, it was my fau...” Straightening up, Kageyama looked up and widened his eyes in surprise.The person who bumped him turned out to be Kain-kun.“Hey, aren’t you that guy who...” With a thoughtful expression on his face, Kain-kun tried to recallwhat happened earlier.Kageyama quickly turned his head away in embarrassment. Kain-kun had witnessed his greatmoment of courage as well as his moment of defeat. Kageyama just couldn’t face him right now.“Sorry about what Ruka said earlier...”“No, no, Ruka-san didn’t do anything wrong.” Kageyama quickly replied before dashing away.Why... why am I running away?With shame and remorse swirling inside his mind, Kageyama felt like a mess.Regret...It must be because Kain-kun had come to apologize to him on Ruka-san’s behalf. It was almost as ifhe was acting as her older brother.A guy she didn’t even know... compared to a guy who has always been beside her... the gap wassimply too great.But, back then... he helped me out... I had always thought he was a very cold person, but now, heseems like a nice guy...Out of the male students in the night class, apart from Takuma-kun and Aidou-kun, all the othersgave off a stand-offish impression. As he completed yet another loop around the edge of theballroom, Kageyama thought that as long as they had the courage to speak to the students in thenight class, they should be able to get along quite well. In that case, the relationship between thenight and day classes should be more friendly and easygoing –Yes, even with Ruka-san, it should be the same... If only I have an opportunity to speak with her...Kageyama began searching the crowd for Ruka’s figure. Where is Ruka-san?But... when he finally spotted Ruka, he was absolutely gobsmacked.She was on the dance floor with Kain-kun!Damnit, Kain-kun... you talk about so-called friendship, yet you don’t even bother to dance with theday class girls... Instead, you cosy up to dance with Ruka-san!Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 80
  • 81. Feelings of animosity towards Kain-kun began to brew inside Kageyama.But... Ruka-san looks so beautiful...As his eyes followed her across the dance floor, he couldn’t help but heap praises on her.As much as he didn’t want to, he was forced to admit that the pair of them complemented eachother perfectly.Kain and Ruka, they were picture perfect. Kageyama wasn’t the only one who were looking at them.Like some piece of priceless art, all those who were surrounding the pair couldn’t help but gaze atthem with admiration in their eyes. But the couple paid no attention to the rest of them. Althoughhis face was expressionless, Kain’s warm gaze was fixed firmly on Ruka.So Kain likes Ruka. Does that mean, Ruka also...But, Kageyama then noticed –As they were dancing, Ruka wasn’t looking up at Kain. Instead, her eyes were elsewhere, constantlyscanning the crowd as if she was looking for someone. Then, her searching gaze stopped at a certainlocation and her face stiffened.What....?Kageyama followed her line of sight. Out on the terrace, Yuuki and Kaname were dancing.Those two...There were rumours that Kaname had expressed interest in Yuuki from a very young age. But now,looking at the two of them, it appeared as though those rumours were true.The two of them were dancing alone out on the terrace, creating an intimate atmosphere.Unconsciously, Ruka’s gaze revealed everything.So Ruka-san likes Kaname Kuran.If anyone paid close attention to Ruka, they would have also noticed this fact. The students of thenight class were all unnaturally perfect. Kageyama had always thought that the night class studentswere able to succeed in everything without exerting too much effort. But when it comes to thematter of the heart, it seems the night class and the day class had no difference.Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 81
  • 82. Kageyama then spotted another person watching the couple out on the terrace.Kiryu-kun.Although Zero quickly dropped his gaze, Kageyama knew what he was looking at.So Kiryu-kun likes Cross-kun...?After awhile, the song came to a close, and Kain and Ruka stepped away from one another.Suddenly, out of nowhere it seemed, Aidou-kun walked into the ballroom and exchanged a fewwords with Kain. Then, quietly, the two of them left together.Zero was also looking at the two night class male students. Of course, Kageyama didn’t know why hewas so interested in the two of them. Just then, Zero’s attention was diverted to the girl standing infront of him.Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 82
  • 83. Wearing a pair of glasses, the girl – she looked like Shindo-san from their class. All around them, thegirls started chattering, commenting on how brave Shindo-san was.Shindo-san wasn’t extremely attractive. If Kageyama remembered correctly, during the change overtimes, Shindo-san was always pushed to the back by the other girls.So it was surprising for her to express an interest in Zero. But then, Zero turned around and walkedaway.“Ah, Shindo-san, I think she got rejected.”“Poor thing...” The girls around him started sympathizing with Shindo-san.Yes, it was a pity...It may be so. But, at the same time, he held great admiration for her to have the courage to go upand extend a dance invitation to someone she liked. As Kageyama watched, Shindo-san quietlywalked out of the ballroom.Shindo-san, I sincerely admire your courage...Kageyama returned his gaze back to Ruka.She wasn’t looking at anyone in particular. Leaning against the wall, she looked like she was refusingto participate in the world around her.Seeing her like that, he felt his heart break.Ruka-san...When she smiles, what would it be like?He really wanted to see.But deep down in his heart, he knew he would never be able to make Ruka smile.But, nevertheless, he stilled wanted to see.It didn’t matter if her smile was directed at Kaname Kuran or Akatsuki Kain.Because at the end of the day, as long as the person he loved could find happiness, if she couldsmile... that would be the greatest ending...Kageyama turned his gaze away from Ruka and towards the rest of the students.Fighting the strong urge to cry, he turned his attention elsewhere.Vampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 83
  • 84. Thank you for reading!!!!! Hope you enjoyed it!!!!! XOXO Witless FoolVampire Knight: The Noir Trap Page 84