Waking up in complete darkness was an unfamiliar experience for Jason. He couldn't really appreciate it though. He had messed up. He had started this game on ultra-high difficulty with no extra lives, resets, or continues. Groping around his soft surroundings, a realization struck him. His new life started in a coffin. His mother was already dead. There was not even the chance he could lower the difficulty by learning to control his shadows. The thought caused him to cringe. Maybe he shouldn't refer to her death so callously.
Jason, no he was already Gasper now, needed a plan. Vampires were cruel to dhampir. He didn't want to stay here. If he carelessly left however, his life would be as short as the previous 'Gasper'. Somehow another fateful meeting with the devil Rias Gremory seemed unlikely. His options were limited to what he knew. Joining either the devils, the fallen angels, or the youkai.
Familiarizing himself with his new body, Gasper pondered his choices. He had the most to offer the fallen angels and devils, but the youkai were easier to find.
The fallen angel organization Grigori could be contacted through Baraqiel's daughter Akeno. She was somewhere in Japan. Because of Azazel's fetish for sacred gears, Gasper should be able to join them easily. The problem with them was he didn't know where in Japan they were and the Himejima clan. That clan would kill even their own members for consorting with 'evil' races. He shuddered. What chance would a lone vampire like him have. The fallen angels might not be his best option.
The devils, on the other hand, would be the hardest for Gasper to find. His only option seemed to be Cleria Belial in Kuoh town. She might already be dead though. If he found her, he could probably get into contact with Sirzechs. After that, it was only a matter of trading information in exchange for asylum. He might even get evil pieces! This was probably the thing he wanted the most. Access to the easy to use devil magic. It made his mouth water.
The youkai were simultaneously the easiest to find and Gasper's vaguest option. Did they even accept new members? He only knew that they lived in Kyoto, Japan and their leader was a nine tailed fox named Yasaka. That's all. He also had very little to offer them besides information on an uncertain future. Their leader seemed kind, so it was possible they would take him without asking for anything.
Considering his choices, Gasper realized he could always wait in Kuoh Town for Rias and her peerage. He felt his stomach sink. If he did that, he would condemn a lot of people to their fate. Many of Rias's peerage members had futures he could change. Wasn't the point of being reincarnated in a world you knew to use the information you had? His little fists tightened. It wouldn't be safe, but Saber would be disappointed with him if he didn't try. It was the right thing to do after all. He only had eight years until the events starting with the death of Akeno's mother began.
With a goal decided, Gasper formulated his plan. All roads led to Rome. He would have to go to Japan unless he found another way to contact the underworld. Afterwards, he would have to find out where the Himejima clan was. He would then use his information to alter the course of destiny itself! Then all the characters would fall in love with him. Okay, that last step was more of a pipe dream than an actual step. Still, he now had a goal. For the first time in a long time he wanted to do more than live. It was alright to get a little over excited.
Unable to leave his dark prison and with little else to do, Gasper started focusing on the darkness. 'Gasper' was supposed to be good at using shadows, right? Childlike excitement filled him. He had always wanted to do magic. Not knowing where to start, he concentrated on the spot in front of him. Nothing visible happened as he tried to move it. Of course not. He still couldn't see anything. This stupid isekai had gotten his hopes up. Frustrated with the lack of results, he nodded off.
Gasper passed the next few days doing the same thing. Waking in darkness he would wiggle his arms and toes to try an familiarize himself with the feeling. He could already roll over and crawl about his coffin. It was pretty cramped though. On the other side, he seemed to make no progress using his powers.
Starting to grow tired again, Gasper gave one last futile attempt to shift the darkness. It shook! At least, he thought the coffin trembled. Focusing on the spot in front of him he tried to do it again. He was rewarded with another wobble. He laughter, more of a giggle, echoed out. He would be a master magician in no time! Throwing his all into it he made his surroundings shake as much as they could. Amidst his laughter, the bottomless void cracked and light flooded in.
Closing his eyes before the onslaught, Gasper felt huge hands grab him. Still blinking, he was greeted to the sight of a scowling woman. Holding him at arm's length she began to walk somewhere. Was she angry at him for the accidental deaths or because he was a half-blood? He hadn't meant to kill anyone. Even though he had no control of it, guilt washed through him.
Gasper didn't snap back to awareness until he was placed on a table. This was no time for him to brood! It was his first chance to look around his new home. Lying there, he shifted his head to the side. He was eager to get a better view.
With large grey bricks and a steel reinforced wooden door, Gasper's room certainly looked like it was in a castle. The rest of the room he saw was lavishly decorated in red. The bookshelf, couch and even the table he saw looked like they were custom made. Even his black coffin looks like something he would have never been able to afford in his last life.
Rolling over, Gasper propped himself up on wobbly arms to stare at where the lady was. She, dressed in a long-skirted maid uniform, had gone over to a cart to retrieve what looked like a red bottle. Was that blood? He had completely forgotten vampires lived off the stuff. Even though the idea was not appetizing, he decided to sit up and drink it. His blood 'had' tasted good and besides that, he was a growing boy now.
The maid returned and placed the bottle against Gasper's mouth forcefully. This maid. She had nearly knocked him over. Looking up he realized she was trying to look at anything but him. Might as well get this over with. He placed his hands on the bottle, nearly dropping it when the maid had violently recoiled. He had underestimated the fear he caused. Grinning ruefully around the bottle he began to drink. Why was it so bitter? Blood was supposed to taste good. Gritting his non-existent teeth, he forced down the rest. Finally finished, he was quickly placed in the coffin and sealed within. He might be spending the foreseeable future locked up. He would have to figure a way to get out.
Gasper settled into a new rhythm. Every three or four days he would be brought out and fed. Every third session was a 'bath' session. The seven servants which had rotated through all had one of three general demeanors. Fear, indifference or contempt. It was already feeling like home at the orphanage. Well, except the fear part.
Gasper's first bath had brought an uncomfortable reality to the forefront. Even as a baby, his nether regions were both erect and overly sensitive. He wouldn't let himself regret it. He may have to walk around like a victim of Viagra overdose, but he won't be called little ever again. The butler who had helped him find this out was rewarded with claw marks. It was a good thing the others caught on. His unintentionally added claws were already proving useful.
A while later Gasper began teething. It was quite painful, but it had given him the focus he finally needed to break out. With a combination of shaking the coffin's shadow and pushing the lid he had accomplished the feat. The light had never felt so good. Grabbing the side of the coffin with his claws, he hoisted himself out of it. Now free of his resting place he wandered his room. It was odd how much joy this simple freedom brought him. Maybe he had been in there too long.
Sucking on his new teeth, Gasper decide to try something he thought was long overdue. Walking. Crawling up to a wall he braced himself with his hands. He managed to get to his feet. This was easy. Pushing off the wall confidently, he made it only three steps before falling. Okay maybe it wasn't so easy. Each attempt afterwards left him awkwardly waddling just before he got a mouth full of rug. His best tries had him nearly reaching the other end of the room, a whole 57 steps, before tripping on his own feet. He would call that progress. Exhausted and hungry from his bid to walk, he collapsed.
Sitting against the wall, Gasper began practicing with his shadow. Directing the shadow in a familiar way, he made the floor vibrate. It was so much easier to manipulate something he could see. After a little while, he started to change the shape of his shadow. Forming a dog then a cat, the shadow seemed to flow at his command. During one change he had even made a sword shoot up from the floor. A servant had picked that regrettable moment to walk into the room. Taking one look at the deformed weapon the servant bolted. Pointy things seemed to be a no he guessed.
Servant gone, Gasper tried to serve himself and encountered his first real obstacle in this new life. The bottle was out of reach. What horrible room service. The butler could have at least fed him before fleeing for his life. Looking up at the unreachable peak, he decided to turn the insurmountable hurdle into training.
How had he done it? Unsure, Gasper began shaping his shadow again. When he finally did manage to recreate the sword, he paid close attention to the feeling. Oddly, instead of moving it with his thoughts, it felt like using an arm or leg. He must have been doing it wrong this entire time. He had been born a writhing mass of darkness. So, instead of manipulating shadows, he was probably just moving his actual body. That's kind of creepy.
Once Gasper had the shadow out it was easy to mold. Flexing his intangible muscle, he shaped the shadow into a hand. Reaching out, he closed the shadowy hand around the bottle and blinked in surprise. It had a sense of touch as well. While drinking his meal, that revelation filled him with ideas. He didn't feel comfortable trying some of them with the door open.
Gasper's thoughts ground to a halt. The door was left open. Now was his chance to explore. Placing the empty bottle down, he moved with renewed interest to the door. The corridor on the outside was coated in an expensive red carpet. Crawling into the hall filled with expensive looking pictures, he came upon a huge window blocked by drapes. He slid under them and peered out curiously.
Gasper saw a stunning view of the vampire city outside the window. Surrounded by a large circular black wall, it was a mix of modern and archaic. Shops and small houses dotted the newer portions of the city. He might have even been able to afford to live there on his old salary. The older portions, however, were filled with gothic mansions straight out of a fantasy world. He really was in a fantasy world now.
At the heart of the city stood a black castle. It was massive. With a height that easily dwarfed even the biggest of mansion and grounds that took up a fifth the city, it really drove home the feeling of being dominated. Upon the towers that made up the corners of the castle walls, were banners adorned with a bipedal black dragon roaring on a field of blood red. Maybe that's was why Gasper looked like a dragon in balance break.
With his interest sated and a little awed, Gasper left the shelter of the curtains and froze. There standing in front of his door was the servant who had run earlier. He wouldn't have been so surprised if it was only him though. Standing behind the servant, flanked by maids was a man he could only assume was his father. Was he actually in a lot of trouble? Maybe he should take cover and wait for them to leave. Lord Vladi turned and their red eyes met. He didn't think he could hide. Time to show that winning smile he had been painstakingly growing.
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