Authors Note: We have finally arrived at the start of the second school year. As can be seen from the opening of this chapter, the school is undergoing some changes. Also this chapter is very short. I am running into a bit of a writers block and while I wanted to write about 5000 to 6000 words, I am not going to be anywhere near that. So I am writing what I am sure of and I will continue to try and work through this block. As you review consider what has been written and possibly throw out a suggestion or two. So while I continue to contemplate and work my way through the block here is a little bit to let you know I am still here and writing the story.

Chapter 18

First Day Jitters

-Youkai Academy Dorms-

The loud droning of the alarm clock slowly filtered into Reiji's brain, as he pried open one eye. What had he and his sister gotten him into, he asked himself, while reaching over to shut up that awful racket. Dropping one foot onto the floor, his mind drifted back to the events of the spring break. It had been such a simple thing really. He just wanted to catch up with about the only friend he had in middle school. And yet that simple thing had pulled him into a world of monsters, and now he was going to spend the next two years living with them. Sighing, Reiji stood up and made his way to the dorm baths to get ready for his first day at school.

Stepping out into the hallway, He noticed how it seemed so normal at first. Oh there were some slip-ups by the other students, but they were minor and easily overlooked. It took him just twenty minutes before he was back in his room, and getting dressed. He wondered what Tsukune must have thought that first day here. Thinking about his old friend, Reiji began to relax and sat down at the small desk in the room. He reached over and opened up a small diary, turning to April the Seventh, 2008, but staring at the page he couldn't think of what to write. A few minutes later, he closed the small book, placing it in his coat pocket and headed out of the dorm and over to the school.

Walking out of the girls dorm, Kyouko waited a little bit before she began to make her way towards the school. While she walked along, she would occasionally look down at the intricate chain on her right wrist and remember just how much she had changed. Taking a couple more steps, Kyouko looked up just as she collided with Reiji, knocking the poor boy down. Blushing, Kyouko, held her hand out for Reiji.

"Reiji are you ready for this?" Kyouko asked as she pulled Reiji to his feet.

Grinning back at Kyouko, Reiji said, "I better be."

The two of them walked on to school, laughing at Reiji's lighthearted joke.

-Youkai Academy School Courtyard-

Mikogami Tenmei, Headmaster of Youkai Gakuen, the youkai academy, walked out of his office, down the halls of the school, and out to the stage setup in the main courtyard. Mikogami glanced upward at the red sky of the great barrier then climbed the steps of the stage. He knew that what he was going to do today was a gamble, but if he was going to see the days when ayashi and humanity coexisted it was gambles like this that he would have to take. As he walked out to the front of the stage, the Headmaster looked out across the sea of this years faces. Clearing his throat he began his announcement: "As I look out across this years faculty and student body, I want to remind everyone of the purpose of this institution. We are here to learn how to coexist. As some of you, but not all, know we have had humans as students," Mikogami paused to let his words sink in before he continued. "I would be remiss if I failed to admit that my first choice failed to live up to my expectations. Thankfully, Aono Tsukune, my second choice has lived up to and beyond my expectations. His stay here was fraught with danger, but he persevered even to the point of accepting with great grace the changes that this place wrought upon him. While he is no longer physically human, he still holds those human emotions that won him so many steadfast friends."

Mikogami again paused before he motioned for Inoue Keiko to stand and take a position a couple of feet to his right, then continued his speech: "This year over the spring break, a group of our students rescued this young human from an attempted rape by a monstrel. She and her brother later joined these young ayashi, as they all together foiled an attack on a shrine in Kyoto." Several gasps and other mumblings could be heard flowing across the assembled students, and even on or two of the faculty. "After listening to a very impassioned human, and wishing to further expand my program in coexistence, I have allowed Inoue Reiji, Keiko's brother, to attend here at our school. Also last year, at our annual festival, Aono Kyouko was able to enter our institution, because a disgruntled employee wished to cause problems for Aono Tsukune, and Akashiya Moka. At the time I chose to have the young girl transformed through the use of ayashi blood and magic. However, at this time, I have decided that unless a human can give me compelling enough reasons I will cease to convert any humans attending this school. I now wish the following to come and stand on the stage to the right of Inoue Keiko. Bloodriver Akasha, Toujou Ruby, Aono Tsukune, Aono Kyouko, Akashiya Moka, Akashiya Kokoa, Kurono Kurumu, Shirayuki Mizore, Sendo Yukari, and Inoue Reiji."

Once all those called were on stage, Mikogami once again continued his speech: "I wish to commend the faculty and students on stage for their brave actions in defense of the humans and the ideals that this institution is founded on. Now that I have a human on staff, and one attending, I wish to make clear that they are to be accepted here, and from this day forward any humans found inside the great barrier without permission are to be detained, and brought unharmed to the offices. I now declare the two thousand eight, two thousand nine school year to have commenced."

It took close to two hours before the courtyard could be cleared. Between the students and the faculty that came by the stage, all those that the Headmaster had brought up on stage were now well known to all the members of the school. Once the students and faculty had dispersed, all the students headed out to their home rooms. Tsukune, Moka, Kurumu,Mizore and Yukari went one direction, Kokoa and Reiji headed off in another, and Kyouko found herself being escorted by the lecherous wolf Ginei in third direction. Ruby and Keiko walked back over to the administration offices, and with the crowds finally down to a few stragglers, Akasha just sat in silence for a few minutes before she also walked off the stage and towards the phys ed room.

-Youkai Academy School Building-

Reiji had wondered why he was in the same homeroom as Kokoa, instead of with the other second years, but he thought it must be a simple error that would be cleared up soon enough. Sitting in the homeroom, his mind wrapped in thought, Reiji was about to find out he was wrong. That he was now considered another first year. Reiji jumped just a bit as a paper was handed to him. Reading, his hopes for a short two years came crashing down. He, Inoue Reiji was hereby informed that he was to attend the school for a full three years, the paper informed him. A smile though appeared on his face as the second page listed three years of science classes. Well at least he would be well prepared when he left school.

Walking off the stage, as the area began to clear, Mizore faded into the shadows, as she watched the others head towards the homeroom. At the last second Mizore saw Moka take Tsukune's hand in hers, as the couple walked into the classroom. Even though she had tried to accept it, Mizore just wasn't ready to watch those two together, at least not today. Stepping out of the hall, and into the fresh air, Mizore paused and cleared her head. Pushing her youkai energy down, Mizore fell back into comfort of all her mother's lessons, and with barely a ripple on the consciousness of the other students, she slipped into the back of the school library from an old unused entrance from the schoolyard.

Mizore welcomed the quiet of the schools library, while she silently moved from one shelf of books to another shelf of dusty old tomes. She wasn't sure what it was she was looking for, hell she wasn't even sure why she was looking, but she moved from one row to the next, taking a few minutes to skim a dusty tome here and a modern book there. Nearly three hours later Mizore was rewarded in her search.

As dusty old tomes go, this one didn't appear to be of much value. Still she felt a sense of anticipation as she opened it to the first page. Vampyre a Topical History, in old and fading text, was written across the top. Mizore occasionally would glance around while she slowly made here way through the rather thick tome. Most of what she read she found to be of little direct use, but interesting nevertheless. Still it wasn't a total loss. Vampires of old it said would often drink from ayashi instead of humans in order to gain new powers. Three families were famous for this, of which Shinso was the most famous. While it is almost unheard of these days, there was one documented case in the last century. As a smile began to form on her lips, Mizore, took down a few small notes, and carefully placed the book back on the shelf, before walking silently back out the back of the library.

Sitting in the homeroom class, Tsukune glanced over at Moka, blushing as he did. Then he looked over at Kurumu, and seeing the pained expression pass momentarily across her face, he felt a wave of sadness pass through him. This was going to be a very long and grueling year at school, he thought to himself. For the next hour he did his best to concentrate on what Nekonome-sensei had to say, but it wasn't easy, seeing as how he was sitting between two of the most beautiful young women on campus. And as the end of the hour approached one last thought managed to intrude upon his consciousness. Where was Mizore, he asked himself?

With the ringing of the bell, Tsukune picked up his books, and waited by the door, for Moka, Kurumu, and Yukari to join him out in the hall. When the two young women, and one even younger girl, joined him in the hall, Tsukune asked the others, "Hey, do any of you know where Mizore ran off to? You don't think she forgot about training with Akasha today, do you?"

The girls looked at each other then at Tsukune. First Moka, then Kurumu and Yukari turned to head outside. Looking over her shoulder, Moka said "Your right. Lets go find her." And with that, Moka and the rest began to head out to find Mizore.

Mizore glided through the school grounds, fully alert to those around her at first, but slowly she began to turn her focus inward as she thought about the book she had read. By the time she reached the first graveyard her focus was so lost that she failed to notice that she was being followed. They probably would have managed to catch her unaware, but one of the four students stepped on a dry branch, the slight cracking of the wood sounded like a whole tree breaking in everyone's ears. Mizore whirled around in time to see that she was almost surrounded by four members of the old public safety committee. The students standing in the black uniforms of the PSC, seeing that they had been spotted lurched forward at the young girl.

Mizore screamed at the top of her lungs as she took off running. Looking over her shoulder she could see that they were nipping at her heals, with looks of anger and hate on their faces. She dodged to the left, then back to the right as she attempted to turn back to the school, but by now they had spread out to cut off her escape back to the safety of the buildings. Running she drew upon her youkai energy, creating two ice puppets to send at the trolls, while she lengthened her stride.

"Oh no you don't," yelled one of the old PSC members, his fist smashing into the ice puppet as he began to transform into troll.

Mizore could hear his uniform ripping as his flesh bulged out through the strained cloth. Making another turn towards the school, she froze a patch of the ground between her and the others, and called deep down upon her reserves for another burst of speed, while ice claws formed on her hands. Taking a few more running steps she threw ice kunai at her attackers, and once again began to run, to run for her life as she saw that all four were now trolls, as they had all transformed.

Tsukune, and the girls exited the school building, only to feel the sudden rise in Youkai out towards the old graveyards. Feeling this the group broke out into a run as they zeroed in on the sudden burst of youkai energy. Moka, while running, pulled her Rosario from its chain, releasing Ura from the prison of the Rosario, while Omote was banished back inside and away from the world. Kurumu jumped up into the air, her sprouting wings catching the air with a powerful down stroke. Tsukune also pulled his Rosario off of its chain, as he channeled his energy into his legs and grabbing Yukari, matched Moka stride for stride. Yukari yelled, at the sudden hoisting of her body into Tsukune's grasp.

Running across the grounds,Moka and Tsukune entered the old graveyard, jumping over and dodging around the numerous headstones. Looking out across the graveyard, they could see that ahead of them were four trolls attempting to encircle Mizore, while trying to not lose their footing on the ice, the young snow maiden kept laying down. Setting Yukari down, Tsukune broke off to the left, while Moka went to the right. Yukari, having regained her equilibrium, pulled her wand out, and proceeded to summon large golden washtubs above the heads of the trolls. Kurumu flying just above the tops of the trees, circled back and pulling her wings in dove down from above.

As he glanced back for a second the troll lunged forward, his lips curved into a scowl on his brutish face. This bitch and all her friends were going to pay, yes they were going to pay, he thought, as his fist slammed into the face of the delicate Yuki-onna. Overhead, Kurumu, her claws extended, slammed into the Troll, drawing two sets of large gashes down the back of the thuggish PSC member. As Kurumu slammed into the troll, he rolled from the force of the impact. Rising up, the troll spun around, his right fist drawn back. Mizore doubled over in pain tried desperately to catch her breath, and Kurumu pulled in her wings, as she began to circle the troll in an attempt to get between the troll and Mizore.

"You think I am going to let trash like you get away with disrespecting us", the Troll roared, and charged at Kurumu. Slamming into Kurumu, he drove her to the ground. "This is for Kuyou(1)," he yelled, slamming his fist into the succubus's gut.

1) Kuyou, the head of the Public Safety Commission or PSC in the two thousand seven, two thousand eight school year, was defeated by Aono Tsukune, when the young human was injected with Akashiya Moka's blood. This was the beginning of the removal of the PSC as a sanctioned organization on the Youkai campus. By the time that Aono Tsukune, Akashiya Moka, and the rest of the Newspaper Club defeated Anti-Thesis, Mikogami, the Headmaster of the school, had decided to disband the group entirely. Thus remnants of the old PSC that are still around hold a bit of a grudge.