Vampire Knight: Fleeting Dreams
By Ayuna Fujisaki & Matsuri Hino
Translated and Adapted by Su Mon Han, April 2014
Excerpt from short story “In a Thousand Years”:
In the subterranean levels of the Academy, there was a certain door that did not open. In front of this door, Takuma Ichijo kept his vigil. Standing in quiet repose with his eyes closed, he looked very much like a knight standing guard over his slumbering king. The chamber lay silent, and within it, nothing stirred but the barest of underground drafts.
Into this still, silent sanctuary came a burst of lively voices, echoing from the stairwell.
“Whoa! I didn’t know there was a place like this inside the Academy!” said one.
“Should we go back?” asked another. “We must’ve taken a wrong turn somewhere.”
Somehow, a group of students had accidentally found their way into this isolated place while attempting to follow their Treasure Hunt clues.
Opening his eyes and letting a kind smile warm his face, Ichijo called out to them.
“Hello, there. Were you looking for something?”
“Oh!” said one of the girls. “S-sorry. We were just looking for the underground storeroom…”
“A storeroom?” Ichijo echoed. “Oh, the one where the old teaching guides are kept?”
“Yes, I think so. Do you know where it is?”
“Let’s see…” Takuma glanced over the map the girls held out to him and pointed out the route they needed to take.
“Thank you so much, and sorry to bother you again!” said another of the girls. “But, sir… I don’t think we’ve seen you before. Are you a new teacher here?”
“Oh, no, no,” said Ichijo quickly. “I’m… well, just someone who is connected to the Academy.”
“Oh, really? Then we’ll have to come back here again some time and thank you properly for your help!”
Despite their earnest, polite request, Ichijo shook his head apologetically.
“I’m afraid you mustn’t come here again,” he said. “There are rumors, you know, that ghosts haunt this place…”
“Eek! You shouldn’t joke about things like—”
Before the girl could finish speaking, Ichijo vanished from before their eyes.
“C-could it be that he was a…”
The girls all blanched instantly.
“L-let’s get out of here!” they cried and fled from the room.
After their footsteps had faded, Ichijo stepped back out from behind the pillar he had hidden behind, chuckling softly to himself.
“I might have scared them a bit too much with that,” he said to himself. “But… they really shouldn’t come near this place.”
Ichijo gazed up at the closed door and thought about “him,” the one who slumbered behind it. The one who had wished for the end of vampirekind for so long, and who had ultimately hurled his own heart into a raging furnace to aid such a future—Ichijo’s best friend.
“Ichijo-sama, why not participate in this Treasure Hunt event?” came a voice near his ear. “It’s a rare opportunity, after all. I will stand guard here in your place.”
When Ichijo turned toward the voice, he found that Seiren had somehow appeared beside him.
“Forgive me, I did not mean to startle you,” she said. “I only thought you should take the chance to breathe some fresh air, sir.”
“How about yourself?” Ichijo asked. “Are you done with whatever it was you were helping Aido with?”
“Yes,” Seiren replied. “There is nothing else he needs me to do today. So, please feel free…”
“I’m fine. This is my role, after all. I’m here because I truly want to be.”
After he’d spoken, Ichijo paused as though to reconsider his answer and pretended to have a change of heart.
“But you know, I suppose you’re right that it wouldn’t be bad to get out of here now and then.”
“Then please leave this to me,” said Seiren.
“All right,” Ichijo agreed. “I’ll step out for a bit, then.”
Smiling cheerfully, Ichijo made himself step away from the door he guarded and make his way out of the underground.
Once in a while, I ought to give her a chance to be alone with Kaname too, he thought.