This ties into my main fic. Just because I wanted to show that I could.

Oh, so you're one of those fans as well. The voice spoke into my head again, through the black satin ribbon neatly clipped to the region around my temple. Fawning over that little vampire and such.

I'm not. I told her. It's just that the shopkeeper had five copies left and gave it away free with the flight diaries because it didn't sell. I turned the book over in my hands again. It had a simple, all-black cover, a rarity for manga which always tried to draw the reader's attention with flashy drawings and colors, instead opting for a single line written purely in red ink that appeared to be blood. Looking at the back, a short teaser was written in blood, with the words "Flandre Scarlet" catching my eye. I flipped it back to the front and read the title. The cover itself had a leathery texture, as if it was an actual bound book.

"The Girl Who Should Never Have Been Met?" I asked myself, reading the title out loud. Although my Japanese reading had been steadily improving thanks to constant context clues, I still wasn't entirely sure of myself. The voice in my head spoke up again with a That's right, and you should be ashamed of yourself for liking her. I responded. Hey, I resent that. It was free. I could almost see her smirk as she said So you like bad free writing now. Pitiful.

I told you I don't! I'm just fascinated as to how people could possibly like that cute little monster! I raged against the voice in my head, which answered back. Doing that only means that you like her~! How cliché~! I immediately fired back a No way in Hell, smashing my fist into the bow on my head just to make the point. Obviously, the voice did not take that lying down, throwing more barbs which I had to counter. Eventually, we made it back to my room. Unloading all the flight diaries onto the floor, I finally was alone with the book. Well, almost alone.

There's no hope for you. She said, melodramatically extending her voice as if I was a hopeless cause. Goodbye, Victor Hunter, for today, by opening that accursed book, you have become a hopeless devotee of the vampire. You have…

I ignored the proselytizing voice and opened the book. Surprisingly, the book was actually in a light novel format, rather than the manga that I was expecting. I felt the familiar feeling of being sucked into a book, the desire to read it in one night before anything else, when even eating and sleeping came second to knowing the truth behind the story.

With these nostalgic thoughts in mind I turned the page.

It's been a month since that day. The day when we first met.

These were melodramatic thoughts, definitely something that would not occur to a normal person with normal experiences.

But ever since that day a month ago, Levant von Rosenkreustillete has not been the same.

Levant has always been the target of jokes, ridicule, and good-natured teasing, not only because of his hobby of searching for images straight from Japanese culture, and not least for his extremely extravagant name. It's something to be expected when the vast majority of your friends have been men.

Levant von Rosenkreustillete chose the nickname of "Pancakes", thanks to his short, chubby appearance, easy-to-tease demeanour, and the fact that it sounded cute, would never have been thought to have such melodramatic and wonderful thoughts. His current occupation as a budding mangaka of cute chibi anime was nothing but a distraction compared to the memories of that day.

The day when the young von Rosenkreustillete felt the attraction that might be love.

Budding writers everywhere seek inspiration from different sources. Some find them in the thoughts of others, purified into the words and drawings of novels and manga, epics and movies, even simple articles and TV shows. But for Levant, it is a completely different kind of inspiration. Put simply, it was the untamed lake behind his home.

There was absolutely no sign of the lake from the front of the house, leading Levant to speculate that it was really in another world, perhaps brought from the era of knights and castles that his family was a part of. The von Rosenkreustilletes were a former noble family, with a large wild ground behind their castle.

It should have been something simple. But in reality, it was an otherworldly sight. It was as if it was ripped out of a fairy tale book, with a lush green forest, replete with pinewood and other hard trees. After a bit of a path was a great lake, untouched by urban development. The clear blue water was shining, the moonlight dancing on the clear and calm surface of the water. Even the air was crisp, clear, and clean, free from the pollution, smoke, and bustle of everyday life. All of these, displayed under the radiance of tonight's full moon, did wonders for his soul.

It did Levant good to go out to the back. The best part was that he could be alone here, as there was no way to know about this lake unless you walked out back. And truly, throughout his entire life, this spot had been his confidante. It had seen him play as a child, when he was barely old enough to run. It had seen him cry as a boy, bullied and teased by his classmates. It had seen him smiling and happy, as he had lived and grown with them. It had seen him intense, as he thought on his future, and where his habits of drawing would take him. And finally, through all this time, it saw him reflective, as he mused on his past, his future, and his life in general. Whether it was girls, how to stop the others from teasing him, or what his art of putting pencil to paper would show off next, this spot had been his confidante and friend. He rounded the final bend, ready to begin the night's artistic musings.

So it was no surprise that he was surprised beyond belief when he saw the girl on the rock he normally sat on. It was a huge surprise to see anyone else at all in his special spot, which was a cliff that extended from the forest, giving a panoramic view of the lake and the forest around it. Two rocks stood at the head of the cliff, both made of white marble. They were short, arranged perfectly like round chairs, and Levant made use of them to draw.

But now, silhouetted in the silver moonlight, was a short girl. The top of her mob cap was white, with the red ribbon that held it in place on her head poking out at regular intervals. Her blonde hair was stylishly messy over the back and sides of her head, the golden strings curling on themselves. Her cute and delicate body, no older than one of a twelve-year old child, was made different only by the addition of wings that were like black iron rods, from which hung crystals of green, red, yellow, and blue. Clad in a red dress and wearing a somber expression, her small yet striking figure stunned Levant, who continued to stare at her from the forest path, as he could do nothing else. Somewhere in the back of his mind, he recognized the girl as Flandre Scarlet, the crazy vampire girl who was supposedly locked in the basement of the Scarlet Devil Mansion. However, bathed in the moonlight, serenely staring up at the sky and the full moon, there was nothing that indicated madness.

In fact she seemed quite sad… and beautiful. With that, Levant sat down. He had found his muse in the forest he had thought was his sanctuary. Taking the little light from the moon, he furiously began to sketch. In order to capture every detail, from the exact curls of her hair to the number of frills on her red dress and mob cap.

I have to get this. He thought. She might disappear and never show herself again, so now's the time!

He was in that state familiar to all artists, that state where all that mattered was the art. There was no need to eat, no need to drink, and only the body needed to breathe as the soul was enraptured in the spirit of art. His eyes drank deep of the beauty of life, at the beauty of the child whose figure was framed by the silver moon. The slight angle at which her mob cap was tilted. Her faraway expression, as she stared up at the moon in longing. Her wings, the crystals dangling and jangling softly in the night breeze. Her small, delicate frame, dressed up in red and frills. All of this, Levant took in, to the exclusion of all else save the light of the moon. His hand flew across the paper, recording every detail.

But he did not need to. Without it being known to him, the image was already engraved in his mind's eye, so much so that he could have drawn the whole image from memory.

But there was something about this moment that compelled him to not just sit idly by, but to draw. And so he drew.

It lasted maybe a minute, maybe an hour, maybe half the night, but after a time the girl sighed and stood up. As she did so, Levant moved unintentionally with his subject, leaning forward and crashing down onto the ground. The noise shattered the peaceful, solemn night like a crack, and the girl immediately turned towards the sound.

"Who's there!?" She squealed, turning around to see Levant. "How long have you been there!?"

"Ah, oh, I'm sorry!" Levant yelled. "But you just looked so beautiful in the moonlight, so I had to draw you…" Picking up his now-blunt pencil and paper, he held them tight as he pulled back. "I'm so sorry!"

"Can I see the picture?" She asked, advancing slowly towards him. Levant nodded, timidly holding out the picture. He had not been able to fully grasp the quality and depth of his picture as he drew it. The girl's eyes drew wide as she saw it.

The moon's bright light had been captured perfectly. The contrast between the dark lines of her well-defined features perfectly matched her outline, although it was punctuated by softer areas of pencil where the moonlight had blurred the line between what was the girl and what was the light. The picture showed off her captivating eyes as they stared up at the moon, perfectly replicating the glow as they longed for something far beyond what could be expressed in words. Her blonde hair, falling into perfect curls at the sides of her head, was also carefully drawn, to the point that it wasn't too hard to imagine that you could see individual strands. Her wings, with their crystals, were clearly shown against the black night, and the crystals were glowing in their different colors, an amazing feat considering that his only tools were the lightness and softness of the black pencil. Lastly, her red dress, its billows, its creases, and its frills, was faithfully recorded as the formal wear that it truly was, the elegantly beautiful clothes of a bygone age, when all things were controlled for the greatest impression. You could almost feel the soft satin fabric when you ran your hand over the paper, revelling in its wonderful feeling.

In short, the drawing was less of a picture made of graphite and paper and more of a slice of life itself. The moment was perfectly preserved in its every detail, and the girl saw this. The artist, however, was oblivious to his own genius. She looked up at him with a piercing glare.

"It's still not finished!" Levant protested, immediately flustered. "There are still so many details and colors that I have to prepare and get from home—" But the girl cut him off, in a soft yet firm voice.

"No, it's perfect." She said, handing him back the sketchpad. "Thank you."

"Why are you thanking me?" The boy asked, dumbstruck.

"Because you reminded me of something… something I've missed for a long time." The girl's faraway expression returned for a moment before she approached the boy again. "Goodbye for tonight." She said. But as she turned to leave Levant called out to her.

"Wait! At least tell me your name!" He yelled, reaching out to her figure, which had kicked off into the air, wings beating to keep her aloft. The girl turned back, and with a smile she let her name through.

"Flandre. Flandre Scarlet."

"Levant von Rosenkreuzstillete!" He yelled at her retreating figure. She smiled and nodded as she left.

"Will I see you again!?" He asked frantically, but received no response. Dejected, he returned down the dark path to his home, sketchpad and pencils clutched in his hands, as if wary of losing that last link to her. He looked at his watch, which read 10:10 PM.

He changed. Whenever his mind was free, it would wander towards that moment and the girl that he had met. Every day, he sharpened his pencils and went out to the place in the back, waiting for the girl to reappear. For the first few days he was hopeful, but he soon realized the futility in his task. And so, on the ninth day, he despaired. He became depressed, despondent, and always down. He meditated in his room, slowly sinking into despondency. His special place was no longer safe, now being associated with the pain of losing the girl, so he retreated into his room. He began to recognize the depression as not simply despondency after having witnessed such a great moment, but also for a very simple and selfish reason.

He wanted to see the girl again. He wanted to see that beautiful girl again. And now that he thought about it, the longing in her eyes reflected a sense of pain.

That was a sense of pain that his honourable and noble heart wanted to heal. So after that, every day, he returned with a new mission.

He wished to meet the girl, to know her, and to take away that pain. And so every day, he returned to the rocks on the cliff. Every night, even as he suffered disappointment, he continued to return to the rocks on the cliff, in the hopes of meeting the girl again.

And so time passed, until the next full moon. Just like all of the other days, he walked up the road to the cliff fully aware that today would be a bust just as always. He rounded the final bend and saw it.

There she was, sitting on the rocks, the same as she had been when they had first met. She was staring up at the sky with her longing eyes.

But this time, Levant did not hesitate. He walked into the clearing that led up to the cliff.

The girl noticed and turned around.

They stared at each other for a second. Suddenly, Levant could see her pain reflected in her eyes. He saw her loneliness, her pain, and the past she so desperately tried to hide. Now, all he could think about was healing those wounds. To take her and to know her, to help her and to heal her.

When he looked back on it, he would say that this was the moment that he had first fallen in love.

The girl smiled and said "So, Levant-san, what shall we do today?"

"I don't know." He said. "Maybe we'll talk?"

"Draw another picture! I want to see how you draw pictures!" She was curious now, wrapped up in her own little world as she demanded this of him. She came closer to him, like a child would. He sat down on the rocks.

"Well, first you start by looking around for something to draw…." He said. The girl nodded to his every word, and this continued through the night. Until, at 10:00 PM, at the same time as always, the little girl bid her farewell and flew off.

"When will I see you again?" He asked.

"I come here every full moon." She replied. "Today was fun~! Come again next month~!"

"Yeah." He said, more to himself than to her. "Of course I will."

I closed the book. It was ten at night, and I shouldn't be up this long at all. I yawned long and loudly, finally putting my hand down on the book and putting it into a shelf.

You liked that, didn't you? THAT DAMNED VOICE AGAIN. You're hopeless, you're going to be a devotee of that little vampire forever.

Shut up. I responded to the voice, striking the ribbon with my palm again. I always got into books when I was on the outside; nothing's changed.

Oh? Then why do you look like you want to read more?

I always do, Yuka-tan. I always do. She stopped. But I could hear the boiling rage behind her voice as she made a measured response.

Do you know the price of disrespect? She asked. The venom in her voice was obvious.

Death? I asked, although I already knew the answer.

WORSE THAN DEATH! MINUS TEN THOUSAND POINTS! The voice yelled, and at that moment I was crushed under a gigantic weight that almost snapped me in half.

"Whyyy meee…" I wheezed out under the weight. I went to sleep right there on the floor after the weight was lifted.

But not before I swore that I would finish that book one day. I would read it until I knew what happened to the Scarlet and Rosenkreuzstillete.

Come to think of it… Rosenkreuzstillete has the German words for "rose" and "cross" in it. I wonder if there's any relation to the Scarlets…

And with those thoughts I went to sleep on the floor, not even bothering to crawl into the futon.