Chapter 366: Destiny can be unpredictable sometimes.
Four days later.
"You're pretty calm even though you heard that man went to Japan." An old man's voice echoed in a room that had a Japanese woman sitting in a traditional way while performing maintenance on her long odachi.
"What do you mean, Master?" Mizuki asked with a neutral look.
"It's nothing, I just thought if it were the old Mizuki, she'd be freaking out to go back to Japan right now." The old man spoke as he put his fan on his face.
"...Hmm, you're right." Mizuki didn't refute the old man's words.
"The old Mizuki was very innocent."
"...I wouldn't call you innocent."
"Then I think foolish would be the correct word."
Abe No Seimei visibly sighed:
"You are punishing yourself too much, foolish disciple.... Who would have thought that the Hunters who were renowned for protecting humans were involved in experiments involving their own kind." Mizuki was definitely not stupid, he knew that, the problem was that she was tricked.
And even he, an old man, was fooled by the false 'appearance' of The Inquisition.
Because of that, Abe No Seimei didn't say much about it, after all, he would be being a hypocrite because he didn't notice anything either.
The master and disciple had been together for a long time. They'd been through a lot, and seen the rotten side of humanity, and after completely eradicating Japan's 10 Noble Vampire families, Abe No Seimei suggested to Mizuki to broaden her horizons and go to The Inquisition. After all, they were on the side of humans.
And that suggestion also satisfied Mizuki's goal, the goal of hunting Supernatural Beings who treated humans like their toys.
So if you are going to talk about this incident, it was Abe No Seimei who felt guilty, because he was the one who suggested she go to that place.
"..." Mizuki was silent, and images of a white room where children were being experimented on flashed through her mind.
This was one of the first facilities she'd burned. It all started in Victor's battle with Bruno, hearing the man's words, seeing the way an ordinary human fought.
Doubts began to run through her mind and that of her master, and those doubts would not be satisfied until she discovered the root of the problem, and so she did. She performed an independent investigation, and ended up discovering one of the labs in which General James himself administered.
A laboratory which was later burned to the ground, and everything destroyed by Mizuki herself, even having saved the children from that place, the children were just broken puppets. They didn't have a look of life, and, at the suggestion of Alucard himself who conveniently appeared at the time as if he were watching everything, she took the kids to an orphanage that was in his name.
And from that day forward, the woman and the strange new Count partnered with each other in destroying several of these facilities.
At first, she was suspicious of Victor, after all, the man showed up at a very convenient time, but after interacting with him for a long time, she realized that he was just disgusted by the whole situation, and decided to do something...
Of course, there was a reason for that too. He seemed determined to fuck up General James, a man who lived in hiding.
Something she was particularly happy to do, too.
'No matter what your motives are, by using children in your plans, ordinary children who should be living normal lives, you are evil.' Mizuki knew that humanity was a big gray background in which good and evil were very much a matter of perspective.
But... There are things... There are crimes that no matter how much you try to 'glorify', they would be considered unforgivable crimes.
Using children as lab rats is one such example.
"Even the Pope..."
"That man is not the Pope." Abe No Seimei commented in a very strict tone.
"...." Mizuki looked at her master.
"That man is just a man distorted by his ideals, he doesn't qualify to be a Pope."
"Elimination of all Supernatural Beings, huh."
"...Sounds like something only a tyrannical supremacist would say." Mizuki rolled her eyes.
The purpose of Alexander the Pope of the Inquisition was quite distorted, after all, there was no way to eliminate all Supernatural Beings.
They were born in countless, different ways.
Take ghosts for example. They were beings that only manifested when a spirit had lingering feelings and regrets while they were alive, and couldn't pass through to the other side until they'd resolved these issues.
As long as humanity existed, ghosts would exist... Demons would exist... Yōkai would exist...
After all, they were created as a consequence of human emotions.
Complete elimination was impossible for these beings... and even more impossible for beings like Vampires and Werewolves.
Both races had literal separate worlds as their homes, worlds that contained their realms, society, and way of thinking, and these worlds were largely restricted to outsiders.
Even now, despite being a guest of Alucard, and of Eleanor herself, she could feel people watching her.
A correct attitude, after all, humans like her were known to be their enemies.
"...I can't tell if meeting that man was a blessing for you or a curse."
"...." Mizuki was silent when she heard what her master said.
"I think it was both." Mizuki replied as she went back to sharpening her weapon.
The first time she saw Alucard, he was just an unnamed Vampire, and who had morphed into the Snow Clan's Vampire Count form. At that time, the man was completely out of control, but despite that, he gave her a lot of trouble.
Only a few months passed, and she'd met this man again after losing an arm to Scathach Scarlett, a woman who'd single-handedly invaded the Vatican and caused chaos.
And this man was completely different, as if he had become someone else.
'...Fate is sometimes strange...' The man she thought would become her enemy turned out that they had a rather neutral relationship.
Even now, upon discovering that he was in her homeland, the woman was not worried. The reason for this being that she had enough confidence in the man that he would only punish the culprits for whatever incident that little girl had meddled with.
And just as predicted, she was correct...
Alucard only punished the guilty...
Yes... The culprits...
"Over 50% of Japan's Supernatural Beings are dead... I don't know how I should feel about this."
"...." Abe No Seimei couldn't help but twitch his eyes a little, he himself was surprised when he'd received the information from Siena that she'd received from her sister Ruby.
"Even a Goddess didn't escape…" Mizuki picked up a talisman, and held it in front of her.
"O, Inari, give me your blessing of prosperity so that I may be lucky the next day."
A small golden energy came out of the talisman and flew towards Mizuki, but unlike usual, the energy was so little and almost non-existent.
And that only meant one thing, the Goddess herself was inactive at this point, matching the recent news that Inari was killed.
Mizuki, for the first time, experienced what it was like to not receive the full blessing of the Shinto Gods.
"...It will take thousands of years for her to wake up again." Abe No Seimei deduced.
"Meh, it's not like I used her power that much." Mizuki shrugged.
Despite using their powers, and blessings, the woman herself didn't think much about the Gods. She didn't place them in high value, or low value. For her, they were just tools for her magic to work properly.
"...As I said, foolish disciple, it's best not to rely too much on the blessings the Gods give."
"I know, you've always said that."
"...But it's a very convenient thing."
"When things come too easily, they also go away too easily."
"You had an example of this in your past."
"Don't talk about it."
"..." Abe No Seimei sighed inwardly when he saw the woman's dark face.
Putting aside the past that Mizuki still didn't seem to get over, the old man continued:
"...The point is, now that you're back at your peak again, why not train in the enhancement techniques of my friend/enemy, Ashiya Dōman?"
"The Onmyo?" Mizuki felt quite reluctant.
"There are no good or bad Onmyoujutsu, there is no good or bad magic." Like an old teacher, Abe No Seimei began teaching his disciple.
"Magic is a tool, a tool that helps us understand mysticism... And as a tool, it is the owner who decides the course of his actions."
"The branch of faith you use is just one of many areas of Onmyoujutsu."
"...Ugh, I feel like I'm going back to my teenage years again."
"It's your fault, foolish disciple, you haven't finished your training."
"A training that will take who knows how long!" Mizuki rolled her eyes.
He visibly sighed again:
"Even if you are 3-..."
"..." Mizuki's eyes shone brightly in blood red. It even looked like she had become a Vampire, but all this was just her bloodlust.
"21 Years Old... You're still immature." As an old man, he quickly corrected himself, no matter the world, the age, women would never like to be talked about their age.
"I'm not immature."
"Compared to me, you are."
"That's because you're a bald old man over 500 years old."
"Bald..." Abe No Seimei touched his white hair, and sighed in relief. One of the good things about becoming a spirit was that he regained the hair that he'd lost because of the stress of a certain red-haired woman!
He coughed a little when he saw Mizuki's amused smile, and said:
"If it had been before, I wouldn't have told you to try to learn my friend/rival's skills." He assumed a master's position, and looked at Mizuki.
Specifically, he was looking at her body, not with the face of an old pervert, but with the gaze of a doctor.
"After all, my friend's skills encompass a completely different area of Onmyoujutsu, it would take you dozens of years to master everything just like you have now with my techniques... But... My thoughts changed when you drank that man's blood."
"..." Mizuki's face darkened as she remembered the incident, and soon her face was covered by her long black hair.
'That...that...that Vampire...always doing what he wants.' She was quite annoyed by that incident, but...
A small hint of embarrassment appeared on her cheeks as she remembered the incident.
"...That incident changed you." Abe No Seimei ignored Mizuki's state and continued with his lecture, he decided for himself that he would not interfere in this matter. His disciple may not have had much contact with the opposite sex in a romantic way, but she had been alive for enough time to understand about it.
And she had always lived in the poorest places in the world. She knew the nature of men, and because of that, he would not intrude.
... It definitely wasn't because he felt a slight existential crisis when Alucard casually touched him, and sent him flying.
"The phrase; you are back in your prime, is not false."
"Simply put, by drinking that man's blood, your body was healed, and you were rejuvenated."
"…But my appearance hasn't changed?" Mizuki looked into the mirror.
"I'm not talking about your physical appearance, I'm talking about your body."
"Master, please stop speaking cryptically, summarize everything in two sentences!"
A small invisible vein bulged on the old man's head:
"By drinking Alucard's blood, your body is now in a peak state, your cells have temporarily stopped aging, and became full of vitality."
Abe No Seimei approached Mizuki and pulled a hair from her head.
"Ouch! What are you doing?"
"Look." The old man showed Mizuki the strand of hair he'd plucked, and soon a small flame appeared in his hand, engulfing the entire strand... But... The fire didn't burn the hair.
It was only after a few seconds that hints of burn damage appeared on the strand.
The old man stopped using his powers, and Mizuki saw that the hair the old man plucked was only slightly burned, despite its prolonged exposure to fire.
"...This is...This is impossible." She was completely shocked, and quickly checked every corner of her body, but just like before there were no visible changes, her body was just healed and scar-free, and she felt stronger, but that was it...
"Really? I find this quite fascinating. That man's blood is literally something close to a fountain of youth for humans." Abe No Seimei's eyes sparkled in curiosity as he looked at the strand of hair.
'...Nevertheless, I highly doubt that people could get his blood that easily.' The old man thought without changing his expression. He knew very well who he was dealing with after this incident, after all, if a normal Noble Vampire gave their blood to a human, this kind of thing wouldn't happen.
... At the very least, the blood would kill the human for being too toxic.
'A Progenitor, the second of its race…'
"...." He looked at his disciple who was admiring her beautiful curves in the mirror.
'You really have strange luck, Mizuki.'
"Have you finished admiring yourself in the mirror?"
"...I'm not admiring myself..." Her face darkened a little.
"Yeah yeah. Whatever." He rolled his eyes:
"Are you going to want to train or not?"
Mizuki looked at her master, and thought that compared to Alucard, she was very weak, and that was a bad thing. She didn't want to feel helpless again in front of that man like she did a few days ago...
Although it wasn't a bad feeling because the man comforted her, she still remembered the feelings of despair she felt, she didn't want to feel that weakness again.
"Good. My friend's magic is quite violent, and you need opponents to improve yourself to train, that's one of the reasons it's so hard to train this magic... Fortunately, you have thousands of immortal creatures coming to this place all the time."
"I'll make sure you learn everything." The old man's smile grew a little. It truly was a blessing in disguise that she had come to this place.
"...Don't overdo it too much like before." Her face looked like someone who regretted her decision…
"Don't worry, now that you have a better physique, I will be stricter."
"Ugh... That's not what I was trying to say." She grumbled but didn't say anything more, despite being strict with her training, she felt it was for her own good.
'Fate is a bitch sometimes, but even she can be kind once in a while.' The old man thought.