|In the depths of that dark forest, now you...|
Deep in that Dark Forest is the fiftieth chapter of the Vampire Knight manga.
A blank torn piece of Yuki's stationary floats in the wind with the accompanied words "What are you..thinking about right now?..."
A little girl cries while crouched in an alleyway, a briefcase next to her. Zero lands with a loud thud, metres away from her. He dusts himself off and walks toward the little girl. He picks up his bag and thanks her, the little girl stops crying for a moment. He goes to pat her head, tells her the bad man is now gone and not to worry. She begins crying once more and he pulls his hand back. He smiles gently at her and tells her he might be scary, but he won't hurt her. He tells her to come into his arms and he'll take her back to her family.
Zero picks up the little girl and returns her to a woman reporting the incident to a policeman. She tells the officer a nice young man in a Cross Academy uniform went after the men who kidnapped her child, but she doubts he can bring her back and the officer assures her backup is coming. The little girl calls out to her grandmother and runs up to her. Her grandmother is delighted that she escapes, but the child denies it and tells her the mister (Zero) saved her, but Zero is already gone.
It is snowing once more and Zero walks home. He enters his apartment and cautiously checks the wall, he places his bag against the wall and suddenly punches the wall with his left hand and pulls out the Bloody Rose with his right. Unknowing of the other's presence, he finds himself shooting at Kaien Cross. A startled Kaien Cross stands looking through the hole with his hands up, apoligising for letting himself in. Zero's eyes widen in surprise. Kaien sweatdrops and asks Zero to be gentle on this building, as he had it built a long time ago. Zero is silent and eventually says that Kaien has the same aura as that of the vampire sometimes and its hard to discern. Kaien sighs.
Zero asks Kaien what he is doing there, he is surprised to see Kaien out and about as so many people were after him and he'd heard that Kaien was practically locked up, he flops down onto his bed. Kaien says his sentence was postponed in order to see how things turned out because a lot of things changed over the year. He tells Zero that he is glad that Zero still attends highschool and Zero states it because Kaien and Yagari pestered him too much to stay in highschool. Kaien asks him if he can't go back to the dorm. Zero is silent, then says he goes to school by day and hunts vampires by night as the association wishes and for that, he has earned his freedom to stay in there. He confesses to an uncontrollable hunger by night and doesn't know what will happen if he stops spending his nights hunting vampires. He asks Kaien why he cannot kill them as he pleases, as there are not enough to satisfy him this way. Kaien tells him that the list exists just so they do not become a pack of murderers. He knows there were no mission orders that night, so he wonders what Zero was doing that night. Zero admits that he killed two vampires who took a human toddler, he attempted to question them unsuccessfully. Kaien hopes that Zero did not kill them just because he needed to satisfy himself. Zero corrects him and says the two vampires had been on the list for a long time and that he was not going around to make up excuses to satisfy his urges.
Zero gets up and grabs a bottle of pills, Kaien tells him he hasn't seen Zero in a while and is worried far more than he should and thinks his worry must annoy Zero. He watches Zero has he downs over a half dozen pills. Zero crunches on the pills and Kaien asks him since when did he start chugging down so many blood tablets. Zero says he's been doing it since he was able to take them a year ago. Kaien remembers and asks if Zero has calmed down since then. Zero says he seemed to have absorbed enough of Shizuka's blood, from Ichiru and Kaname, to prevent his falling to level E and asks if that was what Kaien meant. He admits he doesn't truly know and that the state of being a vampire is always near that of a Level E vampire anyway, near the edge of madness he believes.
Kaien is satisfied with what Zero is saying and decides he can disclose truly why he is there. Zero is silent for a moment and then asks what its about. Kaien knows Zero was busy, seeing to the uncontrollable vampires after the council was destroyed. Zero says he's been trying to find Kaname for the past year, but that he hides all the time, working from the shadows. To Zero's shock, Kaien admits that Kaname contacted them in order to re-establish the previous agreement they had and that Kaname had been working from the shadows to bring back control and now that the preparations have been done, he wants to meet with the hunters as representative of the vampire race.
Zero looks shocked and then a sudden strong bout of blood lust hits him and he cracks a window with his power. He clutches his face trying to get under control. Eventually he asks Kaien if he's expected to believe Kaname and that its not merely a ruse for war. Kaien responds that he thought Zero might state that he was going to use the opportunity to hunt Kaname down, Zero disagrees as he wants the vampires in control and so long as that happens, he's willing to allow Kaname to live. Kaien says that if Zero truly feels that way, then he comes with a new position and new orders from the Hunter Association.
Flashback to six months ago, Yuki sits crouching in a semi ball in the corner of a room, her head down and hidden. Kaname speaks and Yuki refuses to respond, shaking her head. Kaname asks if her past as a human is making her life difficult. Yuki clutches her head and says nothing. Kaname looks down upon her, he grabs her wrist saying he cannot allow her any more time and they cannot continue, blood passes over her face. Kaname has slit his wrist and Yuki reaches for his wrist, he takes it out of her reach, he tells her she must use her fangs to feed and that she is no longer a child. Yuki shakes her head in disagreement, she reaches again and he allows her his wrist. He wonders why she starves herself so, when she is so hungry for his blood. Yuki says nothing as she drinks, her bracelet merely jingles in response.
Present Yuki sits at her desk thinking and smelling the snow, her pen is poised over a piece of paper, she remembers its going to be a year since that incident. Aido knocks loudly on her open door to get her attention, jolting Yuki. Aido stamps in asking why she is being so lazy and if she was studying, he demands to know what the piece of paper is. Yuki stutters without an answer and shoves Aido away humorously violently. She shoves the piece of paper into a drawer and slams it shut. Yuki pauses, unable to say anything, Aido doesn't care and asks to start the lesson, saying he works hard as her private teacher. He tells her to sit down and open her book, but Yuki doesn't move. Aido tells her he isn't going to say anything to Kaname as he doesn't want him to worry that Yuki is writing letters she cannot send because he's already worried sick about keeping her indoors. He casually asks who she was writing to. Yuki pauses and finally answers Yori. Aido takes a moment to remember who she is and then says he could possibly discreetly deliver the letter on the proviso she gets 75% on her next test, Yuki groans. He reminds her that she is not allowed to say anything about vampires or herself as he's not sure whether her memory was erased or not. Yuki blushes at his generosity. She declines his offer and states she doesn't mind waiting until its safe to send the letter, that she prefers to treasure the place she and Kaname live in.
Kaname enters and notes her use of the word "senpai" attached to his name, he asks when she is simply going to call him "Kaname". Yuki walks over to her brother and expresses happiness that he is home early, he looks upon her and says her name, waiting, she pauses shyly and then reaches up and greets him with a kiss on his cheek saying "welcome home". Aido senior coughs in the background and advises that Kaname and he must leave quickly, Kaname acknowledges him and Aido is embarrassed heavily, Yuki greets Aido's father and then he apologises for not greeting Yuki properly. Yuki tells Kaname to take care as he leaves, as he leaves, he tells Yuki that he will soon have it safe enough for her to be able to leave the house and that a meeting has been arranged with the Hunter Association.
Zero asks what the new orders are. Kaien advises that they want Zero to participate in the meeting and that he will be introduced as the future Hunter Association's president. He asks what Zero thinks.
The last page closes out with the same line as the beginning "What are you....what are you thinking about?"