“Don’t wander too far into the forest, I know that you like it but the deeper you go the thicker the foliage gets. Therefore, going so far would only decrease the likelihood of you coming across sunlight, you can guess what would happen to those who wander in too far, can’t you?” A sweet voice and eyes bluer than anything stared at him, almost like they were trying to figure out what he was thinking.
A shout echoed around the mansion followed by a loud slap and horrified screaming as a boy stood his ground even as his pale skin slowly turned red. Sparkling blue eyes, whether it be the result of the pain that had been inflicted or because of the lighting, stared into duller ones. His fists were clenched at his side, ready to retort something that would undoubtedly destroy his own future and his sister, he clenched his teeth and thought better of it.
“I understand,” the dull eyes kept staring at him as he excused himself and regained his composure, managing a smile that was undeniably fake but no rebukes came. No one dared make a sound as he turned on his heels and marched out of the room with practised composure and then the door closed behind him.
The second it did, he ran. On impulse, he headed for the forest, his only safe space where even those who worked for his father would never dare come and search for him, not that they would unless it was of utmost urgency. Khun Aguero Agnis had come to understand that he was not exactly important to his family for he could not pull his own weight.
He knew that he would be able to pull his own weight soon, a goal that he had set himself and that he would do anything to achieve, no matter the cost, for he wished to change things. Without even realising it, lost in thoughts of whether his sister would follow him or not, she certainly would not, he had stumbled over a branch and sent himself tumbling down the paved road that guaranteed safety if followed.
At that moment, he wished to curse those who had not bothered replacing the rotten fence that was supposed to keep accidents like this from happening and let out a pained cry as something, presumably a branch, stabbed his arm. Without anything to hold onto, he kept tumbling down, hitting rocks, trunks and just about everything he could.
By the time his fall had stopped, his hair was loose and covering his face, and he could barely move. A quick assessment led him to believe that the branch, a quick glance allowed him to confirm his theory, had dislodged itself from his arm, however, he couldn’t move his arm. He groaned as he tried getting up, groaning at the sight of blood and dirt marring his skin and moaned in pain when his hand caught on a rock and made his arm move.
More blood bubbled out of its wound but all in all, he was fine. He could still walk despite the pain in his legs but thankfully nothing had been broken. He knew the forest well, better than anyone but that only extended to the safe part and he had to admit that he was at a loss, unable to figure out where he was. Usually, he would have his bag by his side but he had left it in his room in his rush and was therefore toolless and clueless to where he was.
It was only then, as an orange ray appeared that he came to the startling realisation that he must’ve passed out when he had hit the ground. It would explain the dull throb in his head but what was more important than his wounds at the moment was to get back home. Everyone knew that in the forest there resided a vampire. One that was stronger than any other creature and could easily defeat an army of thousands of guards.
There was no use in panicking for it would only disturb his train of thoughts but even as he thought that he couldn’t stop the way his body shook as he temperature dropped. He came to a startling realisation that he was already at the border, just a few steps further and he would end up in the darker part of the forest where the vampire resided. He stumbled backwards and somehow didn’t trip, narrowly avoiding a tree root.
“Hello?” He called out. There was no use in doing so, he hadn’t even heard any noise that could betray the existence of another but perhaps instinct had mostly played a part in that since nearly a second later golden eyes came into view. There was nothing threatening about them but still, he found himself running towards where he assumed was the right way and ignored the pain from the whip-like branches that he kept running into.
Stories and rumours alike had something to play in his sudden fright and in the end, he regretted it as he finally did fall over, tripping on something. He was sent flying and landed with a frightened squeak and ended up curling up into a ball as the cold started getting to him and the sound of approaching footsteps reached him.
It was all over for him now and he chuckled as the footsteps grew infinitely closer and relaxed, letting himself go limp, accepting the fate that undoubtedly awaited him. Was this his punishment for having a different point of view than those who held power? If it was then he didn’t think he wanted to let himself fall for it but he was so incredibly tired and wasn’t this just an easy solution?
“Are you okay?” Surely he was dying since there was no way that someone would be idiotic enough to walk around in the forest without any shoes on. He didn’t bother answering and whoever it was must have been worried enough because they knelt down and pressed their fingers at his neck, a bit harder than necessary but it didn’t particularly matter.
The newcomer didn’t wait for him and seemed to sigh in relief when he removed his fingers and he grunted as someone lifted him up, not a hard feat since he didn’t exactly weight that much and he wasn’t exactly struggling, and then the mystery person set him down so he could sit against a tree and he finally deemed it safe enough to open his eyes.
“Are you a vampire?” He croaked out. His head was spinning and he really couldn’t see all that well anymore. The orangy tint of the forest had changed into darkness and he could only vaguely make out the shape of another human, or maybe a vampire. Whoever it was didn’t look that tall and his voice had a childish hint to it which led to him to believe that the other might’ve been his age.
“A vampire?” The person took a step forward, revealing the same golden eyes and this close, he looked much more human and Aguero could confirm that he was indeed a child and a boy at that. The boy huffed and shook his head, kneeling down in front of him and blinked at him before smiling and reaching out a hand that he retracted when the light blue-haired male recoiled and ended up opening his hand revealing a little tin can with the label medicinal salve. He did not flinch away this time when the boy came closer to apply it.
“Yeah, have you not heard of the rumours that there is a powerful vampire living in the forest? No, what are you doing in here at this time?” He yelped at the pain as the other boy applied the salve onto his legs. To his surprise, the pain flared up and died down just as quickly and soon he could barely feel the wounds.
“My name is the 25th Bam and I live here. I’ve never heard of your rumour before,” the boy, Bam, answered as he took a look at his arm and frowned. Bam’s sight seemed to be much better than his since he could still assess his wounds despite the fact that he could once more only make out the vague shape of Bam’s body. "How does someone end up with a hole in their arm from falling?" He thought he heard the brown-haired boy ask but he couldn't be sure and shook his head, which turned out to not be the wisest decision he'd ever made.
“I’m bringing you home,” Bam finally decided to say after a moment of silence and picked him up. At first, he didn’t react, maybe it was due to blood loss but most likely it was due to how late it was getting but when he finally did he started squirming in Bam’s arms, protesting that he could walk perfectly fine on his own.
“Put me down. Are you listening to me?” Bam only smiled at him in what might’ve been an attempt to silence him. He was honestly surprised that he could still see Bam despite how dark it was getting but it almost seemed like the other’s eyes were glowing and if they were then maybe it would explain why Khun could see his face better now.
“You look like a fish when you squirm like that,” the boy chuckled as the blue-haired male’s face turned pink and his mouth opened in a rebuke that never quite made it,” Even if I did let you down you would only meet a gruesome fate. There’s not a lot of safe places in the forest at night you know? I don’t think you know where you are either so if you tried to leave by yourself then you might just die.”
It didn’t sound like a threat what with the way Bam sounded so genuine but it didn’t help the chill that went down the Kuhn’s back and he went limp much to Bam’s joy, it seemed if the small thank you meant anything. He kept an eye out in a poor attempt to pull his weight but gave up when he saw that his sight wasn’t going to help the farther they entered the forest.
“You can go to sleep now,” Bam’s voice was lulling and the situation might have been uncomfortable for most but here with Bam, someone he hadn’t even known just moments ago, yet, even so, he felt so relaxed around him, perhaps even more than he ever had at home. The idea might have haunted him if he was in a decent state of mind but at the moment the only thing he could think of was if anyone would even bother looking for him when they would come to a conclusion that he had disappeared somewhere.
“Thank… you,” he finally managed to mumble out as his eyelids shut themselves and he fell asleep. He didn’t see the fond smile on Bam’s face as he moved further into the forest until he reached where he lived and landed with an ‘oomph’ on the pile of rubble that he had built, almost slipping but somehow he managed to keep his balance and climbed down the pile, doing his best to not slip again and once he reached the bottom, he sat down and man and set the new boy he’d brought home in a position that allowed him to hug him.
“I should thank you,” he smiled as he buried his face into the crook of the other boy’s neck. Something he would undoubtedly get scolded or maybe hit for in the morning. After all, when he had tried to do this to Rachel, it had ended up with a slap to his face and a desperate plea from his part for her to not leave him alone. Speaking of slaps, he wanted to know why the other boy’s face had a handprint on it. He would also need to ask for his name but for now, he could enjoy the presence of someone else even if it was only for one night.
Their first meeting was something that neither of them would forget for a long time to come.