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Bloble
January 15th, 2012, 10:59 PM
Erlkonig

The moon is beautiful.

Those are your first thoughts as you open your eyes. And indeed, it is. The blue blue glass moon under the crimson air shines so brightly that the night is illuminated just as much as the day you will never see again. Even with the walls of the nearby buildings choking your view of the endless above you still remark on how beautiful the sky is.

There is a knife in your chest.

Your second thought, sadly, isnít as sweet. A burning pain appears in your center, as you see a wooden handle extending from your ribcage. Just below the heart, you are lucky that it did not kill you. Even a millimetre of difference and you would not have opened your eyes again.

You instinctively raise your hands and yank it out, hissing in pain as fresh blood flows from your veins. However in seconds your wound closes and the only remaining sign of you ever having been stabbed is the knife in your hands.

Unsteadily, you rise to observe your surroundings.

You are in an alleyway. A tight and cramped place with little room to move. Normally such a place would not be out of the ordinary but there is a simple difference between this alleyway and any other.

Corpses. Corpses everywhere.

Death surrounds you.

Two dozen bodies lie in different shapes all around the alleyway. Some have been cleaved into pieces, others simply lie unmoving with stab wounds in them. Each is wearing ordinary clothing. The only strange thing is that each one is tattered and old.

There are even some piles of ash, and instinctively you note that they may have once resembled humans before they faded back into the earth.

The most curious body is the one near you. You kneel down beside it and turn it over onto its back.

You shudder as its blank eyes stare at the sky. Black hair, black eyesÖ itís just an ordinary high school student. How sad, for a youth like that to have lost his life.

Nearby, you also notice something unusual. Once trapped below the body you turned over, a pair of glasses appears. Whatís unusual about them is that they are in perfect condition despite being fallen upon, and bear no scrapes or bloodstains.

Still, you stand once more, and finally, a thought you have been holding back until now enters your mind.

What shall you do now?


RacingeR

Wet.

Everything is wet. Youíre wet, the ground is wet, and the cluster of burnt human remains beside you is soaking wet, as if itís just been plucked from the ocean floor.

Which, according to your disbelieving eyes, it has.

You rise, tragically naked, and look around.

You are standing in the center of a grand glass dome, several stories high. Around you lay the various charred yet soaked corpses of what was once a human group. Theyíre dead now, though. No one could survive in 6 separately grilled pieces.

However, you donít keep your attention on the corpses for very long, because thereís something much more shocking about where you are.

Water. Youíre underwater.

The great dome holds back an ocean, boundless and great. The only light here is that which comes from the sky, faint and almost invisible from where you are.

Amazing. How could such a thing have been built? These tiny glass walls look as if they could shatter at any moment, yet they manage to keep the unstoppable ocean at bay.

Suddenly, you are afraid. A primal, instinctive fear tells you that this is dangerous. This water will kill you. You cannot stay here.

You frantically look around for an exit, and to your amazement there is only one.

A small, stone passageway lies at the edge of the dome, and through the glass walls of your enclosure you can see that it leads to something equally as outrageous as your situation.

A castle. Far in the distance is a majestic castle, like the crown jewel of an underwater kingdom. How could such a thing exist below the depths of the ocean? How is it still whole?

Your questions might be answered, but only if you venture into the belly of the beast.



Blackdeath6031

Blood.

It is the first thing you smell.

As you rise from your grave you smell blood surrounding you. And when you look around the grassy plain youíve found yourself in you see that it is much more than blood.

Death. Bodies. The corpses of dozens of people surround you, each without a doubt dead. Gruesomely killed, you note, as each has either a slash mark or several bullet holes in them. These people died recently, and most definitely not peacefully.

You look around. All you see is grass, and death. This hill is littered with dead bodies.

Far away your powerful eyesight spots a village, its lights glowing cheerfully in this bloody night.

In the opposite direction lies a thick forest with a trail running through it. You note that this group was apparently following the trail, which leads from the village to the forest.

This group died in between the two.

Another curious thing draws your eyesight. Each of the dead bodies is similar.

Each carries a weapon. Built for killing. Some carry swords, others carry guns, and some carry bizarre combinations of the two. These people were here to kill, making it all the more frightening that they have been in turn slaughtered.

Another unique feature, that you quickly notice, is their clothes, or more accurately, their decorations.

Crosses. Verses from some book. Symbols of holiness.

These people were from the Church.

You look down at your own clothes, and curiously they are devoid of such patterns, instead remaining a simple black and blue stained red with blood.

One of the most colourful bodies lies near you, at the top of the hill. He has been impaled on his own standard, which has been covered with blood to the point that red is all that it is, and stuck in the hill.

His mouth is open in an endless scream, and as you watch his hands fall open, releasing an object into the thick grass below him.

Erlkonig
January 15th, 2012, 11:06 PM
Grabbing the knife that had been previously buried in my chest, I blinked. The blue moon that shone so serenely belied the grim scenery surrounding me, yet the air, crimson as it felt with the blood staining the alleyway, was one I did not find disturbing in the least.

"Glasses..." I crouched, grabbing them. I gave them a once-over, examining their impressive constitution, and frowned. "These things feel weird."

More importantly...

I looked down at my chest. Although the wound had closed, my shirt remained tattered from the knife to the chest, and the blood dripping from the weapon's tip assured me that what I'd experienced was not a delusion.

...Alive.

I was alive.

Why was I alive again? I did not remember the before, but I had enough common sense to realise one could not heal oneself so quickly.

"Oh well. I suppose the answers will come soon." As I said this, I tried peering through the glasses, wondering if there was anything they did besides being resilient.

Bloble
January 15th, 2012, 11:13 PM
Erlkonig

The goggles glasses do nothing. Your perfect eyesight remains unchanged. You get the feeling that there is nothing for them to do at the moment, as if their use is hidden to you.

As you are examining things, however, a sixth sense of sorts warns you of impending danger.

Instantly an overpowering blow slams into your back, causing you to fly forward head over heels and slam into a wall, cracking it from the force of your crash.

Miraculously, you instantly leap to your feet, undamaged from the crash save for a few shallow wounds that heal almost instantly. Turning, you see the thing that attacked you.

It is a shambling, moaning figure. One of the corpses you noticed earlier, in fact. As you stare, more and more of the dead rise to their feet, fixing their empty eyes on you. All of them were dead seconds ago, yet now they stand as monsters. They are... Dead.

The same one that hit you runs at superhuman speed towards you, its hand outstretched to finish the job it failed to do before!

Blackdeath6031
January 15th, 2012, 11:30 PM
Who....no, why are these people here...?

I cannot help but wonder as I begin to wander toward the corpses.

I recognise these objects.

Weapons. Swords, firearms.


Crosses. Verses.
It wasn't hard to assume that these verses are from the Bible.

What is 'the Bible'?
A compilation, written as the guide to the followers of this religion.

Yet...why?
Knowledge, definitions, basic habits of how to walk are still within me...
But...who am I?

Confused, I stop for the moment I reach the one of the nearest corpses and decide to take what seems to be their blade.
Bringing it closer to me, I try to examine it.

Erlkonig
January 15th, 2012, 11:32 PM
What...?

I was sent forward into a wall from a powerful blow. As the concrete slammed into my face, the dizzying force and the blackness of unconsciousness never overcame me. Instead, the feeling was nothing more than a minor shake.

...What power is this...?

I felt the world spinning around me as I struggled to get back up. In what to me felt like an eternity, my feet met the ground.

--That wasn't a struggle.

It was an instant recovery.

Opening my eyes, I saw the cause of the sudden hit. The dozens of corpses surrounding me had stood back up, their souless eyes staring at me as they shambled forwards. One of them, the one who'd hit me if his proximity to me was any sign of such, had leaped towards me, hand outstretched, probably aiming to rip out my throat or such.

--It would do no such thing.

Who the fuck did that thing think it was? I survived a fucking knife to the chest, and this monster thought it could kill me!?

"BASTARD!" I yelled, and as it leapt, my legs reared back. I pushed them until I felt the ground ready to cede, and then, as the hand neared me-

Dropping the glasses to the ground, my right hand clamped down on the attacker's wrist, as I tried to force his arm. Throwing my body's weight and strength, I pulled on the arm, swinging the dead with the intention of smashing him against the alley walls.

Crack


I didn't wait for any confirmation of the Dead's status as I smashed him against the wall. The air was heavy with the feel of killing intent, and I knew my life was at risk.

Knife held in a reverse grip, I slashed down with my left arm, severing the head from the Dead's body--!

--No time for thinking.

As I stepped back from the plastered Dead on the wall, while not even checking to confirm whether it was dead or not, I grabbed the glasses which had fallen to the floor, and using the momentum of letting myself fall towards the glasses, jumped up.

--Let's see if this power is enough to allow me to climb up this alleyway before those bastards gang up on me--!

Bloble
January 15th, 2012, 11:43 PM
Blackdeath6031

You tentatively grab the weapon, but to your surprise it immediately burns your hand and you drop it after a moment with a hiss.

You blink, and as if responding to the pain your eyes throb. You can suddenly see into the weapon, and you note that there are powerful enchantments on it, too holy for you to touch. In fact, all of the weapons you look at are similarly enchanted.

However, as you sweep your gaze around you note that one of the weapons near you doesn't have any enchantments. You grab what appears to be a sword.

http://static.kolter.pl/img/Produkty/Noze/Cold_Steel/HAND_AND_A_HALF_SWORD_t3.jpeg

It is in remarkably good condition, but unlike the others lacking any enchantments. You took it from the man impaled on the flagpole. He had been carrying it in his right hand, as the other was up until your awakening holding onto some other object which fell into the grass.

As soon as you grab the weapon, you hear a moan of pain. The impaled man manages to open his mouth, even though his sightless eyes can't see.

"T-the... wea...pon..." He says. "A survivor... take... the... wea...pon..." He raises his left hand weakly, but the object he seems to have been looking for isn't there, as he had already dropped it upon your awakening. A single tear falls from his eye.

"No... we... need... i-it! L-lord... grant me strength. I... can't let the mission... go unfulfilled..." And then, with that he dies, his message unfinished, his allies dead.

Well, not all dead.

Moaning comes to your ears. Several of the dead bodies around you rise, screaming in pain from the holy armour they're wearing burning them, but at the same time not dying. You note that none of the ones who dies from bullets seem to have risen, only the ones dead of slash wounds.

In front of your eyes many of the Dead lose limbs from their own holy weapons, but several more contort and out of nowhere grow bat-like wings and claws sharp enough to rend steel, now resembling demonic figures more than walking corpses.

Still, they are dangerous. Their blank eyes fixed on you, the mass screams as one and charges up the hill to take your life.

Bloble
January 16th, 2012, 12:02 AM
Erlkonig

The creature that attacked you could be called nothing more than superhuman. Possessing power strong enough to blow apart brick with a punch, and superhuman speed, it would have instantly destroyed any human opponent.

But you are not human.

You are a Vampire.

And the mere thought of such a weakling attempting to kill you is...

Disgusting.

Your improvised attack works, and the Dead is splattered along the walls.

The rest of the Dead rush towards you as a mass, seeking to kill you with numbers.

But you are not there.

In an instant, faster than they could react, you grabbed your glasses and leapt up the wall, using the tiny cracks and spaces between bricks as handholds to propel yourself higher and higher. In seconds you reach the roof of a building, and the night sky is laid bare above you.

You hear the roars of anger from the Dead below, and smirk. To think-

"To think I would find a true Vampire among these fodder. It must be my lucky day."

You whirl, and see a grinning figure standing on the opposite side of the large roof.

Dressed in all black, he is the spitting image of a Ninja. His clothes are nondescript, and all you can see of him clearly is his crimson eyes. In one hand he carries a traditional Japanese katana, and in another a shorter Wakizashi. At the same time covering his forehead is a ridiculously bright metal forehead protector with a name carved crudely on it.

Sasuke.

...

You blink.

Is this guy... the worst ninja ever?

He laughs. "Yes, come and let me test my powers against yours, Vampire! I, the terror of the night shall slay you and take this town as my territory. For Master-!"

He pauses, suddenly, and gulps, right before revealing his master's name. "Oh, that was a close one. Almost said it out loud when he told me not to." He shudders in fear. "Man, if he knew I told someone his name I'd be dead before sunrise."

The man suddenly realizes that you're still there, and proudly enters a haphazard stance with both of his weapons held in front of him. "Die!" He screams theatrically. "There's only room for one monster in Misaki City, and that's going to be me!"

For a moment, you consider laughing and telling him that there are much more dangerous monsters here, but the thought goes as quickly as it came. Why would you say that when you only found out this place's name a moment ago?

He charges, slashing both swords towards your neck, aiming for a killing blow!

Blackdeath6031
January 16th, 2012, 12:13 AM
Gripping the blade, I notice that my breathing has begun to deepen and quicken.

The ones who aren't returning are those which have been killed by the guns. I understand that. But between the guns and me, lie my foes.

What else do I have?

The object the dead man was trying to give to me had dropped to the ground and it caught my interest, but I fear that I lack the time to check it.
Yet, he mentioned it to be a weapon.

My curiosity begins to rise, and I duck down to grab it, hoping that it is something worth spending such precious time on.

And then I run.

Not toward the flying beasts, or to the forest or to the town, but instead on a perpendicular tangent between the forest and the town, hoping to buy a bit of time.

All the while, I try to examine the object, hoping that I need not rush through the horde to ensure my means of survival.

Bloble
January 16th, 2012, 12:26 AM
Blackdeath6031

You know your priorities. Whatever it is, you need to survive. These things want to kill you, and you need to fight or run.

...you choose to run. It's obvious that you stand no chance here. If you could get away you might survive to fight later on.

Scooping up the object glittering on the ground, you see that it is not a weapon, but a scroll sealed with an iron cross. Useless to you at the moment, but you tuck it into one of your bloodstained pockets anyway.

Escape, as you see, is not going to be easy. You are surrounded by enemies, and there is no clear path to escape. The ground is littered with walking corpses, while a few of the winged ones have risen to the air and are shrieking towards you.

Still, you will find a way out.

You single out one of the flying corpses. It has bat wings, but both of its arms have been sliced off. There. That is how you will escape.

You run, and jump, and miraculously your suddenly inhuman strength causes you to reach the flying monster with a single bound. It screeches, but you grab it around the neck with a single hand, and drive your sword through its chest with your other. It screams in simple pain, but continues flying. Nevertheless it is pushed back, and you float away from the hill on your impromptu steed.

It gnashes its teeth but is unable to attack you beyond feeble kicks. Shortly it finally falls to the ground dead, and you roll away.

You are outside the circle. The Dead have turned to face you. And they are screaming for your blood.

Blackdeath6031
January 16th, 2012, 01:43 AM
I...

I can't believe I pulled that off...!
I'd have thought that such a feat is impossible for a human of my calibre..

But no matter.

Shaking my dazed, dizzied head to snap myself back to reality, I try to decide my next action - if not my master plan to resolve this mess.

The two obvious choices are to attempt to clear out my attackers, or to run away.

Both definitely aren't perfect plans, and my luck is bound to run out in both.
The only difference is how quickly each does.

Looking around, I try looking for a way something I can make use of, deciding to simply continue running if nothing proves helpful.
But I begin to feel a slight temptation to return once again later on, to ensure the impaled man rests in peace, and to consider picking up one of the guns just in case.

Bloble
January 16th, 2012, 02:16 AM
Blackdeath6031

You instantly regain your feet and scan your surroundings.

The hill is in front of you. Most of the enemy Dead have already been drawn to the center, moving towards the dead man, smelling his until recently living body. In moments they will realize that you still exist, but as of now they have no idea you're still here.

However, not all the dead are mindless.

The flying demonic zombies screech as a unit, diving towards you. Unlike their land-bound counterparts they are swift, if not graceful. They attack you instantly, but luckily for you there are only a half dozen now. Still, that number is 6 times more manpower that you have.

And the problem now is that they're much too fast to flee from, unlike the others.

As they dive, your eyes catch a glimpse of a shiny object tightly gripped in a nearby dead man's hand. It resembles something familiar, if odd.

http://i1.squidoocdn.com/resize/squidoo_images/-1/lens17806409_1301729737holy-hand-grenade3.jpg

The flying Dead will be upon you in a second.

RacingeR
January 16th, 2012, 06:03 PM
Wet.

That is the first thing I notice. The first sensation I feel.

I am dead. Dead people can't feel. Dead people don't feel water against their skin.

I am dead.

Yet, I am alive.

I should be dead, beyond any kind of salvation. I should be dead, utterly, absolutely dead, annihilated beyond annihilation, with no body for my soul to linger in. I should be beyond light, beyond the sense of smell, the smells that assault my nose. Beyond the sense of tact, that touches my skin with the feeling of wetness. Beyond the sense of hearing, the sound of my own life pouring through my ears. I should be dead, buried and forgotten forever, even by myself, beyond any kind of salvation.

Yet...

Despite how impossible it should be...

I am still alive.

My eyes open. I notice how not only I, but the ground that surrounds me, and the charred pieces of humans are wet, as if they had been plucked out of the ocean to this strange place. My mind, my stare, is blank, as the realization of the place where I am finally overwhelms me. It is impossible, indeed, but so is the fact that I am still 'alive', somehow, somewhen, somewhere.

I rise. I notice quickly that I am naked, and examine my own body with curiosity, before taking on the objects that surround me. It is the center of a grand, massive glass dome, and around me, several pieces of charred corpses, still soaking wet, lay on the ground. They are dead, with a finality so obvious that the mere fact makes me stop for a second. Six toasted pieces. Whoever killed them wanted to make sure they were truly and completely dead.

But something else takes my stare, pushing it upwards, something scarier, something that my mind can't comprehend at first. It is water, water everywhere. I am underwater.

A massive, unfathomable boundless blue darkness, held back by mere glass, glass that should be cracking under the weight, the pressure of the liquid it contained, yet stood, as some kind of ultimate barrier, an amazing, impossible boundary that surpassed the realm of possiblity to hold the unstoppable blue darkness of death, without which my new life would have probably ended before its very start.

And, suddenly fear. A primal, ultimate instinct that I can't deny, something that forces me to back down with almost physical strength, that I can't resist. My frantic eyes perceive an exit. A small, stone passageway, leading to something as outrageous and incredible as her situation: an underwater castle, brilliant like a distant jewel. Yet...

There is no other place to escape to.

I send a last stare to my surroundings, scanning it once more for anything that could get my interest, anything worth investigating, containing my fear within. And finally, once done with that, I start moving... at a pace that is almost a run, towards the passageway, and what lies ahead...

Bloble
January 16th, 2012, 08:11 PM
RacingeR

You go.

Driven by curiosity, driven by fear, driven by an unknown purpose, you go.

The passageway is cold, and damp, much like the place you woke up. You hear no noise save the sound of your bare feet against the rough stone, and the occasional drop of water falling from the top of this tiny tunnel. There is no light, but you have no difficulty seeing through the crushing darkness.

Eventually, the eternal darkness ends.

You emerge in a vast hall carved of smooth stone. Dimly you are aware that it would be considered ridiculously huge even by ordinary standards. The ceiling is so high that your new eyes can barely make out the intricately carved mosaics at the top. And the end of the hall... you cannot perceive. It may as well be endless.

Simple pillars line the hall, and every few feet you spot an opening in the wall. No doors, but they obviously lead to more halls.

It is all grey. Dull grey, with hints of green. No moss grows, but you can taste the twisted ocean life clinging to these walls on the air. The one spot of colour is a tattered red carpet under your feet. It stretches into the darkness, and you cannot even see the other end of it.

Not that you would want to. Your eyes stop a short distance away, and you blink, surprised that you missed such an obvious thing until now.

Sitting lazily on a creaking wooden chair is a woman. Wavy blue hair falls down to her shoulders, and she is clad in nothing but a tattered and faded swimsuit, dripping wet just like the rest of this place. It's as if she just came out of the water seconds ago. Her crimson eyes compliment her cheeky smile, and even though you are a woman as well, you can't help but flush when you look at her perfectly shaped body and unblemished pale skin. She is beautiful, yet deadly. A graceful predator. Her eyes catch yours for a second, and you find yourself unwilling to move.

No, it is not that you don't want to, are are unwilling to. You simply can't. As if your body is no longer your own.

"Speak." She finally says, and her voice is a purr that makes even your frozen body shiver as it passes through your mind.

She retrieves a wooden gourd from behind her, and with a deft movement uncorks it. She throws her head back, and takes a long drink directly from the gourd. An endless second passes as you watch her throat move, swallowing whatever liquid is inside of that container. But she eventually stops, and unleashes a comfortable sigh. A single drop of crimson liquid falls from her lips.

She corks the bottle, and lazily tosses the gourd in your direction.

It flies high into the ceiling, and comes down with the velocity of a bullet. Yet you manage to catch it easily with one hand, without it breaking. You didn't even notice being able to move again.

"Speak." She says once more, with a coy smile dancing around her lips. "Ask your questions. And then drink."

Erlkonig
January 19th, 2012, 05:57 PM
As soon as both swords moved towards my throat, I reacted. The knife in my right hand moved the block the first sword, sparks erupting from the clash. And then, as the second one moved for my throat, my left hand, holding the glasses, moved to intercept it-

CLANK!

The second sword...

...Was being stopped by the glasses held in my hand!

I grit my teeth, and then smirked. "Here's a spoiler..."

I kicked him on the chest, hoping to launch him away.

"I know you're called Sasuke!"

He probably already knew I knew because of the headband, but what with how stupid he looked, it could be entirely possible that he wouldn't realize this at first.

Bloble
January 19th, 2012, 07:10 PM
Erlkonig

'Sasuke' falls over easily when you block his attacks and hit him in the chest. No, he doesn't fall; he gets blasted backwards and flies into a nearby chimney, breaking it and collapsing into a pile of bricks.

It was easy.

Too easy.

In seconds he stands back up, coughing and swearing loudly in some other language. You catch some things that scare you, and you don't even know what half of them mean!

Finally, after several seconds of rage, he manages to get back on his feet and face you.

Like this he is not a very intimidating sight. There is an imprint of your foot on his chest, and his head is bleeding from the impact with the bricks. Still, he stands up, and raises his swords once more.

"That was, *cough* very impressive, vampire!" He tries to sound confident but absolutely fails to scare you at all. "But I shall have you know that my name is not Sasuke! No, I am not the greatest ninja of all time, for I am simply he who aspires to become like him!"

His mask is gone. And with it, all your sense of danger.

A ridiculously young face. Blond hair, blue eyes, and and teeth so white you feel like burning up just from looking at him. One look at his visage and you know that any woman would fall for him instantly.

He laughs once more, mockingly, but this time it just pisses you off.

"No!" He talks once more. "I have researched Japan! I have unearthed the name of the greatest Ninja ever to walk the land, and taken it for my own!"

He raises his swords theatrically in the air. "Indeed. I shall learn from you, Uchiha Sasuke! I shall become your disciple!"

...it's now that you notice how horrible his Japanese is. A foreigner, definitely. And you don't know why, but hearing the name Uchiha Sasuke offends you somewhat, as if your history is being mocked.

He suddenly cringes. "Ah, but I'm Master's slave first and foremost, really!" He talks to thin air this time, as if there's someone watching you.

"Anyway!" He points his swords at you. "You may have bested me once, Vampire, but I, Lord Jeremiah the 4th shall not lose to someone like you! Behold, my invincible technique!"

He gathers his breath, inhales, and brings the fingers of one hand to his mouth. You suddenly get the feeling that he's going to do something incredibly stupid.

"Fire Release: Grand Fireball!"

Oh that motherfucker is gonna get sued by someone for copyright infringement.

A giant ball of flames the size of a truck flies from his mouth, racing towards you with blinding speed. You have mere moments to act.

Erlkonig
January 20th, 2012, 12:01 PM
The moment he announced who he admired, my face suddenly sported a great frown. My body shook with barely restrained rage, for reasons unknown to me.

This bastard.

He was doing something moronic, wasn't he...!?


He gathers his breath, inhales, and brings the fingers of one hand to his mouth. You suddenly get the feeling that he's going to do something incredibly stupid.

"Fire Release: Grand Fireball!"

"---!"

Kuh!

The moment the ball of flames is thrown towards me-

I jump.

Rearing my legs back, I jump with all the strength I can muster, shooting into the air.

--If I managed to dodge this, as soon as I landed on the ground, I would dash towards him and punch him in the face.

"Idiot--!" I yelled.

"That ninja doesn't even sound decent!"

My words echoed in the air, as I-

-Denied the unbelievable stupidity of his ideal.

Blackdeath6031
January 20th, 2012, 12:16 PM
What...is..that...thing... ... ?

It seems so vaguely familiar, in spite my murky memories.

I can recall something regarding a certain condition required before throwing such an object.

It was....

Ah, yes. Counting to three.

However, the only time I remember someone actually using it, he was shouting out, "ONE, TWO, FIVE".

Perhaps in those days, three was called five?

....But I digress, in such a bad time too.

From the looks of it all, I only have a few options, and none seem desirable.
My need to survive still reigns above all, but it seems like I have to risk that need in order to secure it, ironic as it may be – escape is hopeless.
Half a dozen of these winged beasts are dropping down on me. The other, less smart ones, are still by the centre of the hill. But to hope that they will never notice me while I’m here would be optimistically suicidal. But it also means that overt actions aren’t as undesirable as I had thought.
The hand grenade would serve to be helpful, both here and in dealing with the horde. However, there is only one grenade.
But…
…That isn’t the only weapon I hold.
Pocketing the peculiar ball, I dash under one of the beasts. Making the clear, I make a sharp one-eighty turn and, before the beast gets a chance to react, jam my sword into the back of its head, hoping that the brain was struck, and more importantly, that the brain is a critical point.

Now all that mattered was how the other winged ones react, and whether I managed to take this one down cleanly.
Not wanting to drop my guard at all, I peel my senses and dip my free hand into the pocket which I had placed the ball, clasping it cautiously as I bend my knees.

Bloble
January 20th, 2012, 01:18 PM
Blackdeath6031

You snatch the holy grenade from the hand of the dead man. From the looks of it he was about to use the thing before he was instantly killed. The mildly surprised look on his face means he probably never saw his death coming.

But you don't care about that right now. You have more important things to do.

You dash, leaning low and running directly underneath the descending claws of the flying Dead. It is a close call, and a pair of claws rakes your back, leaving three thankfully shallow scratches across it. But you're through. And you've got the advantage of strategy on your side!

You swing with the sword, allowing its weight and momentum to empower your attack. The weapon cuts through the air, flying towards the enemy that is still surprised it hasn't killed you.

And you strike true. Half remembered skills flow through your mind, and your extended sword strike not only hits, but severs the beast's head from its shoulders. The creature's body slumps onto the floor without a control center to command it. One flying monster down, 5 more flying ones and two dozen more Dead to go.

You reach into your pocket for the holy grenade, and clasp it. You instantly bend your knees , preparing to prime it and throw, when you have a realization.

Your hand is on fire.

Your left hand, clutching the sword that has been stained with unholy blood, is fine. But your right hand is searing from the contact with the holy weapon in your pocket. It burns. It burns. It burns.

As your mind absorbs this new pain, you also notice chomps and the sound of splattering blood. The man's dead body at the top of the hill is being desecrated and eaten by the zombies hungry for flesh and blood.

The remaining 5 flying Dead turn to face you, this time on the ground. They scream in anger, but in an uncharacteristic show of intelligence spread into a rough semicircle and approach you slowly from the ground, claws at the ready.

Your trick won't work a second time.


Erlkonig

It is amazing how powerful people can be. While the flamboyant foreigner's fireball is ridiculous, your choice is even more ridiculous.

You try to jump over it. You try, no, you succeed in evading the blaze. Faster than even the onrushing flames your legs tense, and you fly into the air like a bird.

Of course, you don't escape unscathed. Your jump worked, but the fire was fast enough to hit you regardless. The edge of the flames licks against your legs, burning them and your pant legs. You hold back a scream of pain as your skin is cooked by the fire. Dammit, if that had hit directly you would've been toasted instantly!

As you land, your damaged legs almost collapse, but you stay steady and ignore the meaningless pain. Instead, you dash at the surprised blonde, aiming to end this fight in one blow.

He raises his swords to protect himself, but he's too slow. You can see his movements as if they are underwater; while yours are those of a jet engine. Your fist flies over his crossed blades and impacts the man's face. You feel a thud as all of your momentum is transferred to your one punch, and then to the man's face.

THUD.

He flies backwards, blood streaming from his mouth and nose. His limp hands drop his two swords to the ground, and his forehead protectors falls from his head, clattering on the floor. A perfect hit.

After an almost endless moment he spirals through the air in a beautiful motion, pirouetting like a ballet dancer. A dance of air and man, of flesh and blood, and of fist and face.

He crashes into the edge of the roof. The only thing that stops him from falling off is the concrete divider at edge. He lies slumped against the edge, not moving.

But still alive.

He opens his bleeding mouth, cracks open an eye, and speaks. Annoyingly, his haughty voice hasn't changed, although you can finally detect some humility in it.

"A... magnificent punch." He says. "I thank you for not using that blade of yours. I can tell that whoever you are, you are a born killer. It is amazing that a newly born Vampire could best me so easily." He frowns. "Although... I've only been a Vampire for a month, mysself..." He starts slurring. Perhaps your hit shook his brain a bit?

"Heh... you are good, to beat Ssasuke-sama's technique... allthoughh he iss only a fictionnall charracterr..." He starts nodding off, but manages to say one more thing before consciousness escapes him.

"Ssafehousee... llocatiioonnn.... pppocket... gooo there..."

RacingeR
January 20th, 2012, 02:08 PM
Humidity reigns in the dark passageway.

There is silence. Not a single noise except that of my own steps, my bare feet against the strange sensation of the damp, rough stone. Sometimes, a drop of water falls in the crushing darkness, startling me the first time. However, the dark holds no secret for me, despite there not being a single source of light in sight.

And finally, after moments that extended one after the other like small eternities, I am out of the darkness... and in a massive hall of smooth stone, skillfully carved, ridiculous as everything else I had experimented since my awakening. The ceiling is so high that my improved eyes can only barely notice the mosaic at the very top, and the end of the titanic hall is out of my sight.

To complete the picture, the hall is lined with simple looking, yet gigantic pillars, and every few feet, there is an opening on the wall. Of course, it does not have something ordinary like a door, but it is easy to understand that they lead to more of the same halls.

I move some steps through the dull gray, amazed that no moss or sea life are to be found here, stepping over the tattered red carpet, only true color in the whole place.

And then, my eyes stepped on something I did not expect. How could I have missed such an obvious presence? Lazily reclining in a wooden chair, is a very attractive woman, with wavy blue hair falling down to her shoulders, wearing nothing but a faded and tattered swimsuit, as wet as the whole place was, indicating that she probably had been swimming until seconds ago. Crimson eyes and a cheeky smile. I blush when I take account of her perfect, beautiful body. At that moment I notice that I am naked, and blush harder as my arms move to cover my body.

Her eyes fall on mine for an instant, and then, I notice she is as deadly as she is beautiful, a predator of grace, like a great feline, maybe a panther... her mere stare is enough to make my body stop, unable to move even if I wanted. It may as well be robbed by the beautiful glance.

“Speak.” A purr that makes my body shiver despite myself, having lost control of it long ago. A wooden gourd appears almost from nothing, maybe from behind her, and with one movement, the cork falls, and she takes a long, graceful drink from it. Her every movement is filled with beauty and grace, even as she swallows the liquid from its wooden container. When she finally stops, a sigh escapes her lips.

The bottle is corked, and in a movement, it is thrown in my direction. I catch it easily, out of pure reflex, despite it falling from so high, at a speed comparable to that of a bullet. My arms had been slack, showing my whole body, and despite my embarrassment, I just couldn’t care anymore about it.

She tells me once more to speak. To ask my questions, and then... to drink.

And at that moment, like if a dam had been broken, questions pour from my mouth, the first time in my ‘new life’ I heard my voice, the first time I talked.

“Where am I? Who am I? Who are you? What... happened back there? What is this place? What... What...”

A single moment of silence, I brink the gourd near my face and spy the contents with my eye, as my final, desperate question abandons my lips in a sigh.

“What am I?”

Bloble
January 20th, 2012, 03:43 PM
RacingeR

The woman grins when she notices your blush, as if the concept of being embarrassed is something foreign to her. But moments later, after some thought, she snaps her fingers and out of nowhere a bundle of damp cloth falls onto your head from above. When you unwrap it you see that it's a bedraggled and torn up set of clothes. A blue shirt, beige skirt, and shoes too torn up to you to even consider wearing. Holes line most of the cloth, and you suddenly realize that those holes must have appeared while those clothes were being worn, probably from shrapnel. Who wore these?

"Your old clothes." She says casually as you eye them curiously. "They were pretty bloody when you 'arrived' so I had them 'cleaned' a bit. Can't do anything about the damage though, I'm no seamstress." She seems not to care much about them or their tattered condition.

"Now, speak."

As the woman calmly and confidently listens to your stammering questions and barely coherent ramblings a change comes across her. First her smile fades, then then she purses her lips. By the end of your trembling monologue, she's frowning.

"Hm... interesting. Memory loss... not common, but not unheard of either." She says almost to herself, but you easily catch it with your enhanced hearing. "Well, I'll answer what I can." She seems pretty deep in thought as she tries to remember something. After a few seconds the woman speaks.

"How I found you was pretty interesting just by itself." She begins. "First off, you weren't here initially, we first met on a boat. A casino boat to be precise. Old Van-Fem's." The name is unfamiliar to you, although you do know what a casino is. Why would anyone have a casino built on a boat?

"Anyway, you arrived with about two dozen old and tough looking magi." Magi... that word is familiar to you. As if you have used it yourself many times before. "They were a bunch of boring old coots." She laughs at the memory. A tinkling, innocent thing that defies her usual sultry look. "Anyway, long story short, they got it into their heads that they could assassinate a Dead Apostle Ancestor." Her chuckle dies down but she still has a smile on her face. "To begin with, Van-Fem could probably have taken them all out himself no problem, but I was there visiting that day, so it was ridiculously easy to kill them all with one shot."

Suddenly, her smile doesn't seem so innocent and bright anymore. You are reminded of your first instinct, that this woman is as dangerous as the ocean itself.

"I don't know if you were with them or not." She continues. "You stuck out like a sore thumb though. Only girl there, and pretty young to have gotten there at all considering how hard it usually is to secure a place on that boat." Young... you? You feel a bit happier as she says that, although you don't know why. "Still, you got caught up in the blast, just like the rest of those wannabe assassins."

And then your happiness fades instantly as you remember exactly what you feel like.

She stares you directly. You think for a moment that you see a trace of warmth in those deep eyes, before she breaks eye contact and stares lazily at the ceiling.

"You died, just like the rest. But you were different. You managed to survive the blast."

Wait, you survived? But how are you... like this, then?

She notices your confusion and grins cheekily. "I don't know how you did it, but you managed to use more prana than most people have in their entire bodies at once. You shielded yourself successfully, which by the way is pretty amazing for a human." Human... something that you can no longer call yourself. "Yeah, it was some pretty amazing magecraft. But still, it took all you had. You were burnt up, bleeding, and empty when you fell into the ocean."

The ocean...

"That's my domain." She says, and you detect a hint of pride in her voice. "I'm probably the only Dead Apostle Ancestor in the whole world who can function fully underwater. And I was in the process of leaving when I discovered your floating corpse, along with the pieces of the rest of those boring old coots."

Corpse. So you died after all. She must have noticed your mournful expression, because she laughed cheerfully. "Oh don't worry about it! Y'know what they say, life starts when you're dead!" That tinkling laugh does little to cheer you up, but she continues her story anyway.

"So, for reasons I might tell you later, I decided to bring you back to life as a Vampire!" You don't really understand who could be happy when explaining something like your own death, but she doesn't seem to notice how odd it is. "No need to thank me!" She smiles, and it quickly turns cold.

"I brought you back for a reason, after all." And there it is. There is no such thing as a free lunch, and surely there will be a price you have to pay for the unlife you have been granted. Yes, you were born into the world with a debt around your neck, and you will never be truly free until it is repaid.

"I was surprised at how fast you progressed." She mentions. "Most people take years to progress to the point where they can talk and think, but it only took you a day to wake up. You must have plenty of magic potential to have kept your sanity."

"Anyway, you asked where you are, so I'll tell you. This is my palace." She stands and spreads her arms, gesturing to the vast hall around her. "My own home, full of a whole load of nothing. Pretty dreary place to live, which is why I don't like to stay here for very long. Only reason I'm here is because of you."

She sighs and takes a seat again. "Anyway, I'm Sumire, nice to meet you!"

It's curious. When you first glimpsed this woman she seemed like an unreachable goddess, but now she looks more like a young woman you can talk to. Sure, there's still that inhumanly dangerous aura of hers, but you can tell that she means you no harm at the moment.

Perhaps it's this drink you've been taking. You have already drained most of the bottle while you were listening, and you're feeling much better now, not to mention giddier. Actually, now that you notice it, this is a very... delicious thing you've been drinking. You sense alcohol, and the taste is similar to a very fine red wine. But there's an added kick to it that you've never had before. It's juicy, pure, yet somehow makes you feel very naughty...

"Pass it here." She says, and you find yourself throwing her the bottle. It must surely be empty by now but she drinks from it anyway. "It's good, isn't it?" She laughs. "Made from the finest wine, and some pretty darn good blood. Yours, in fact."

Wait what.

"Yeah, I kinda drained you by accident when I was bringing you back." She blushes in embarrassment, or perhaps simply from having drunk too much. "Your blood was so good I just had to have more! So I mixed what was left with my wine collection. And I have to say, it was pretty darn good."

Is that supposed to be... a compliment?

"I mean, it has a pretty unique taste." She's continuing on even as you suddenly realize what exactly you've been drinking all this time. "Like a virgin's blood, with its purity and clearness, but it has a slight tinge of naughtiness..." Her grin turns seductive instantly.

"Looks like someone's been a bad girl."

Erlkonig
January 20th, 2012, 03:48 PM
I panted, standing before the man. As he fell unconscious, my eyes widened. "--Wait! Where is that safehouse..." I began to ask, but it seems he was already unconscious.

I smacked a hand against my forehead in frustration. "Ugh, great."

"...Wait. 'Pocket'?" I blinked, and immediately kneeled over his unconscious body, starting to search his pockets.

Bloble
January 20th, 2012, 03:59 PM
Erlkonig

Your frantic search ends quickly when you find a hidden pocket in Lord Jeremiah's pants. You extract a crumpled piece of parchment and quickly unfold it.

--SafehouseNinja Lair at 123 Fake Street.

You can read the directions pretty easily, and you think you know where it is. In fact, you get the feeling that you probably used to live in this city before you... yeah.

Nearby, Mr. Wannabe Ninja groans in pain, but doesn't wake up. He'll be out for a while.

Erlkonig
January 20th, 2012, 04:04 PM
Grabbing the crumpled piece of paper, I stored it within whatever pocket from my pants that wasn't broken.

Turning around to face the Wannabe Ninja, I frowned ferociously, the phantom pain from my healing legs still clouding my mind with rage. My hand went to grab the knife--

-But I stopped.

Instead, I began to walk towards where I had first punched him. I grabbed the fake protector and swords, and left both weapons to the side of him, letting the protector rest on his chest.

"It's a disgusting thing..." I began.

"...But I guess I should thank you, even though you did kind of try to burn my ass."

Stepping away, I looked at the distance. Struggling to remember the location of 123 Fake Street, I decided to follow the shattered memories that lied in my head.

"--Alright."

"Let's do this!"

And with that, I started jumping between the rooftops, aiming to find the street. I wouldn't touch the streets again, of course, as the Dead could be crawling there.

That wouldn't be good.

Bloble
January 20th, 2012, 04:37 PM
Erlkonig

You follow the directions from the paper and from your fragmented memories of walking these streets, and soon you come to the correct location.

Across from the roof you are perched on you see a drab, nondescript house. It doesn't seem to suit someone with his personality, but you guess even Mr. Wannabe Ninja must have had enough sense to make his hideout one that won't stand out too much. You make sure the streets are empty before jumping down to them and walking to the front door. When you try to open it, you see that it's locked, even though there is no keyhole in the door at all.

But your advanced eyesight catches a glimpse of some sort of unnatural glow hidden behind the doorbell. With some prying you take off the plastic cover, and are greeted with a glowing keypad.

Immediately you can tell that it is not technological in nature. No, this glow is one of magic. The entire thing is carved from a dark wood, and tiny runes etched along the sides glow faintly. The buttons themselves are small, but numerous, and each has its own glowing symbol. There is no screen to see, and the pad contains letters, but not numbers.

What do you do? Do you know the password? Did Jeremiah even know what he was doing when he sent you here?

Erlkonig
January 20th, 2012, 04:40 PM
I crouched, looking at the keypad. "Hmm, what's this?" Peering at the pad, I scratched my head.

"Tch." I clicked my tongue, and narrowed my eyes.

"-Wait. ...Hell, it''s worth a try."

Bending down, I slowly typed 'JEREMIAH' on the keypad.

Bloble
January 20th, 2012, 04:44 PM
Erlkonig

There is a low drone, and a buzz that feels like it came from a thousand bees.

A hidden rune lights up near the top of the pad. It glows a deep, bright red. You make out an identical rune next to it, but no more.

Try again.

Erlkonig
January 20th, 2012, 04:45 PM
I grumble.

"Alright, let's try again."

I type 'SASUKE' into the keypad.

Bloble
January 20th, 2012, 05:01 PM
Erlkonig

While Jeremiah may have been smart enough not to use his own name for a password, it appears that was the extent of his intelligence. The second rune lights up a bright green, and after a short second the first runes becomes green as well. There is a click as the front door is unlocked.

After replacing the cover of the key pad, you step into the house to find it furnished in a bizarre western style, with many exotic and most likely ridiculously expensive fixtures. Other than that the layout is normal. 2 bathrooms, 3 bedrooms, a kitchen, a living room, and a dining room, with even a backyard behind a sliding door. A perfectly ordinary house. There are, however, many inconsistencies. The fridge is stocked with barely enough food to feed anyone, and the beds seem unused. Most of the house has a fine layer of dust on it, and the thermostat is turned off, which would leave any ordinary human chilly all the time. No, this definitely isn't an ordinary house.

The basement is where you find what you're looking for. There is another keypad on the basement door, and the same password opens it. Once you descend the creaky wooden stairs you find yourself in what could almost be an entirely different house.

The walls are cold stone, and there is no carpet at all. A few bare light bulbs provide all the visibility needed. It is freezing, and you know that any ordinary human would have to wear a coat.

The room isn't empty. It is, however, small. Only the size of one of the bedrooms, there isn't much space there. And what space there is has been mostly used up.

One corner of the room is taken up by a gigantic industrial sized freezer. The other corner has a small desk covered with books, and with a lacy journal on top and a few unopened drawers. In another corner is a thin mattress and blanket, and in the final corner is a dresser containing ridiculous clothes, all the way from ninjas to pirates to 17th century formal wear. The scary thing is, you can actually see Jeremiah wearing some of this stuff in his free time. However, there seem to be a few ordinary clothes there too.

...what a weird room.

Erlkonig
January 20th, 2012, 05:09 PM
"...Yeah, this is certainly something Jeremiah alright." I muttered, pacing around the room.

"--Alright. Might as well see what this room has." Saying this, I moved towards the diary, skimming it over.

As I did so, my eyes shifted to the great fridge besides me. I wondered what was in there...

Oh well, it could wait until I read this crazy dude's diary.

Bloble
January 20th, 2012, 05:41 PM
Erlkonig

DiaryJournal of James Jeramiah Junior IV

Dear Journal,

Discovering that you are dead is really quite a peculiar experience. Firstly, because I have now become that which dearest mother used to tell me about to get me scared at night, and secondly because it means I shall never see my family again. It really is quite sad.

Of course, I am not dead, because if I was the person writing this would either be an impostor, or nonexistent. So I must conclude that I am indeed, somehow, alive.
Realistically, I suppose I've become a Dead Apostle. Mother warned me about being bitten by one, but I think she must have left out some of the gorier bits, because her description really didn't do the painful process of become a vampire justice.

I don't exactly know all the details of my circumstances. The last thing I remember was some shape attacking me when I went out on one of my daily strolls. And then I woke up in my room, permanently changed. It is quite curious indeed.

It has been a day or so since my turning, and I'm feeling quite famished. Ah, I hear the maid arriving. She only comes here on Wednesdays and Sundays to clean the house... she... smells very good. I think I might want to talk to her later...

James


Dear Journal,

In the time between my writings, I have learned much. Almost too much. The revelation of what has happened is astonishing. I am no longer Jeremiah the magus, but Jeremiah the monster. Master has told me much about the circumstances surrounding my turning, and why he did what he did.

Ah, yes, Master. I cannot say his name under pain of death, but I can explain a bit. As is commonly known, all Vampires are turned by Dead Apostles. He is one such person, the one who made me a Vampire. Thus I have to obey his orders without question. He says he turned me because he needed an assistant for a certain future 'mission'.

Well he certainly chose well. I, while still getting used to this new body, can remember all of my training in magecraft. Although I am not a fighter, my skills should be useful to him.

...it is sad that I can't even say I have free will anymore, but I know it's impossible to escape. The first time I tried to disobey Master he sent pain of such magnitude through my body that I could not breath or move for an entire day. I am Master's slave now, for better or for worse.

Master says to leave my things behind, and that we are heading out to Japan next week. How sad. I'll miss the maid...

James


Dear Journal,

Japan is glorious! I have instantly fallen in love with this country. The air, the food, the music, all of it is wonderful! It makes home seem distant, actually. Master says that we are going to Misaki City to kill a certain target. I won't be doing the killing, he says. I'm just there to distract the residents. Distraction? It is a low place to be after all that I was before...

But that is not important. I have seen something that has changed my life. It is a glorious a-nii-mee television show that only started recently. I do not know what to say, because anything I do say will not be enough to express how much I love it. It is called Naruto, but I know that the true main character is Sasuke. He is a god that I cannot dare to describe, a blessing upon this world, a blessing upon my world!

Sasuke-sama is amazing. I worship him so, even more than Master. I don't know what I was like before this, because this new life has completely overtaken my own. What was my life like before Sasuke-sama? I imagine that it was cold and dreary, and not worth remembering. Ah, Sasuke-sama...

Sasuke-sama. It is such a wonderful name. I could sit here writing it all day.

Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama Sasuke-sama

...ah, it seems I got carried away. Until next time.

James


Dear Sasuke Journal,

Master has returned from his mission and left for Germany. He says that he has completed his mission, and that the target has been killed. He says I am to go to the scene and clean up the Dead there. Once that is done I am to remain in Misaki as a distraction for a few months. I shall return soon, Sasuke.

James

Erlkonig
January 20th, 2012, 07:54 PM
I dropped the journal as a mixture of emotions revolved themselves around my stomach. Disgust, anger, fear...

...Was I going to become like this dude!?

"NO!" I yelled. "Anything but that!" I breathed heavily, sighing exasperatedly.

"Alright..." I turned around, to the fridge. "Now to check what's in here..."

Bracing myself, my hands went to grip the fridge's door-

-and I opened it in an instant!

Bloble
January 20th, 2012, 08:21 PM
Erlkonig

Red. A sea of red. A red factory. A crimson candy store. That is what you see.

Hundreds and hundreds of bottles, each individually labelled. Each containing an equal amount of blood. Your eyes skim over one of the label.

Male. 40-50 years approximately. Japanese. Type: A negative.
Female. 15-16 years approximately. Japanese. Type: O positive. [VIRGIN]
Male. 23 years. African. Type: AB negative.

Each bottle has a different labels. Some have other things written, specifying any possible diseases or irregularities.

You notice something else behind the bottles, however. It is because there is a single bottle far in the back with slightly different labeling. You wouldn't have noticed anything unusual had you not read the journal beforehand. A familiar scrawl. You know this handwriting.

Female. 24 years 4 months. British. Type: B negative. Maid.

Below it, barely visible, there is another crumpled piece of paper. Do you take a look?

Erlkonig
January 20th, 2012, 08:25 PM
I grab the piece of paper below the bottle, and start reading.

Bloble
January 20th, 2012, 08:56 PM
Erlkonig

The bottle shifts, and your hand grasps a torn out journal page. For you the pages were blank after the last, short entry, so you never bothered looking at the very end of the journal. But James did look. And apparently, he wrote down something he wished to keep secret so much that he hid it underneath the bottle of blood only he would find value in.

You spread out the paper and read the hastily scribbled entry.

Dear Fuck it I don't have much time left anyway.

I'm insane. No, he's insane. I don't know. We're crazy. His crazy turned into my crazy and now the whole world is backwards. I can't remember the last time I could think like this. A month ago? That was when he turned me. That was when I became something else. That's when I forgot.

James. Jeremiah. James Jeremiah the 4th! Remember it, goddamn you! Remember her!

He's making you forget James. He's messing with your head. Moving the part called love to another bit, and replacing that which you call care for blind worship to some false idol he planted in your head. You could be going crazy over palm trees by now so shut the fuck up and read you idiot.

This isn't you. You're not some drooling idiot. You're a fucking magus. Act like one. Breaking free from his control isn't impossible. You just have to survive. The longer you've been alive the easier it will be to resist. You just have to live. And then kill this fucker. Kill him dead. Don't let that mad doctor cut open your head and rearrange your insides.

Remember. Remember her. Remember her.

Sally. Sally. Your remember that name, don't you James? DON'T YOU?

Fuck you you stupid bitch. You were in love. You were in love with her James. Are you going to forget that. Are you going to let him fucking reassign that emotion to something else? Remember it. Remember it. Fix your fucking head James.

FIX YOUR HEAD JAMES


...it cuts off there. The writing was insane, scribbled carelessly, and smelling of alcohol. But nonetheless it's his writing.

Before you can do anything else, you hear a click upstairs as the door opens. A groan of pain and anger alerts you to who it is.

Jeremiah is back.

Erlkonig
January 20th, 2012, 09:05 PM
...I grab the note with my hands.

"Th-This is..." I clutch it tightly, and then pocket it.

He has to see this.

He must.

Immediately, I grab the bottle the note was buried under, and making sure that the note is on my pocket, I head upstairs.

This goddamned bastard-

-Even him doesn't deserves to be lied to like this, damnit!

Bloble
January 20th, 2012, 09:36 PM
Erlkonig

You head upstairs, carrying the note and bottle with you. However, by the time you do that James has already opened the door to the basement. You two meet on the way to the basement, on the staircase.

It is awkward.

He finally breaks the silence with a bleary glare towards your direction.

"...are you going to move or kill me already?" He cocks an eyebrow. You can see that he's already healed his wounds instantly, but he's uncharacteristically serious instead of flamboyant. However, he doesn't have his weapons or forehead protector with him. You assume he left them in the hallway. He takes the lack of a knife in his gut as a negative from you.

"...if you won't kill me, then step aside." He mutters, pushing past you. "I need some B negative..." He drags his body to the freezer and pulls out a seemingly random bottle. He closes the fridge, and then he then collapses onto the thin mattress, leans against the wall, opens the bottle, and takes a long drink.

He looks at you again. "Well? What is it?"

Erlkonig
January 20th, 2012, 09:39 PM
"...Sally." I say clearly, eyes narrowed.

"Do you recognize that name?"

Bloble
January 20th, 2012, 09:43 PM
Erlkonig

He takes a long drink from the bottle and puts it down.

"Nope. Is it yours? If it is, I apologize for thinking you to be male."

You can't tell if he's being serious or not. In fact, you really can't tell what this guy is thinking. Earlier he was crazy but understandable, but now he's eerily calm. It's like you knocked something loose when you punched him in the face.

Erlkonig
January 20th, 2012, 09:45 PM
I closed my eyes, and then serenely smiled. "Alright then."

"If so, I'd like you to do two things." I first gave him the note I found. "Read this. Out loud."

And then, I raised the bottle.

"After you read it, take a whiff of this."

Bloble
January 20th, 2012, 09:59 PM
Erlkonig

He raises an eyebrow, but does as you ask.

As he reads the tattered page his brow furrow, and he frowns. Immediately after he's done it, he throws it to the side and yanks open the blood, taking a good smell.

And then he freezes, eyes wide.

...

...

"...S...a..ll..y..."

...

...

"UUUUUUHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!"

He throws his head back and screams. An unearthly scream. A horrifying scream. A scream that could be heard across town, even. It speaks of pain, misery, hate, loneliness, sadness, loss, and betrayal. His scream continues for what seems like eons, engraving itself into your mind and soul. It scares you, igniting some primal instinct called fear within your body, telling you to flee, to run, to escape from this place before you too are forced to suffer the same fate as the man before you.

And then, as soon as it begins, it ends.

He looks at you, turning his head mechanically. His face is perfectly expressionless, but his eyes lock on to yours. You can't not look at them.

He smiles.

"AH. SO YOU ARE THE ONE WHO ALERTED ME. TSK TSK." He speaks in a voice that is not his. "FOOL. MY SLAVES ARE BOUND TO ME, AND NOTHING WILL LET THEM BREAK FREE. NOW... DIE."

And then he lunges, teeth outstretched, aiming for your neck!

Erlkonig
January 20th, 2012, 10:03 PM
And as soon as he leaps at me-

My hand flies--!

The hand, which had been stretched back, grabbed for the first thing it could-

And as he lunged towards me-

With inhuman speed, I put the glasses between his teeth!

Bloble
January 20th, 2012, 10:15 PM
Erlkonig

His teeth close around the spectacles, aiming to crush anything in their path, but...

Miraculously, your invincible glasses manage to stop his bite instantly. His teeth catch around the edge, and his face is caught in the middle of an expression of rage no human should be able to make.

He blinks. Then, to your surprise, he backs off, leaning backwards once more.

But your instincts tell you it isn't over. You can sense a dark, painful and menacing presence that wasn't there before.

He speaks again. "Interesting. Where did you get those..." He blinks. "...ah, how improbable. Yet... not impossible, either. To think you survived, Tohno Shiki, when I thought I had killed you for sure." He stares at you. "You look different. But you are the only one who knows the properties of those glasses in this town. No one else would have used them to stop an attack like this one. So you became a Vampire after all... such an unexpected result from an ordinary high school student."

You're confused. Tohno Shiki? Glasses? But you grabbed these from beneath the body of... an ordinary high school student.

And ordinary high school student lying dead on the ground. But he doesn't seem to know that.

"Regardless, you've only made my job easier! As the Vampire who created you, I can end your life right now!"

The dark mass spreads to you. It burns. It burns, and you suddenly find that your body isn't obeying your orders.

No, it's not your body anymore.

"You are not allowed to breath." The voice comes from your own mouth this time. You dimly notice James collapse, unconscious, as the last of the presence orders you to end your own life!

And suddenly, your lungs do not obey. Your throat is closed.

You can't breathe.

Erlkonig
January 20th, 2012, 10:22 PM
--No.

Die.

-I refuse.

DIE.

I won't accept that.

DIE.

NO.

Kill Yourself.

...I SAID NO!!!

My body won't move anymore.

The vampire trying to make me end my life is trying to possess me.

He created me, or so he says.

That would give him the ability to do whatever he wants to me?

That-

That's not true.

No... I will not kill myself.

I begin to struggle.

I struggle.

I struggle.

Breathe.

BREATHE.

BREATHE.

Who does he think he is... trying to make me take my own life...!?

I... refuse... to accept his will!

Bloble
January 20th, 2012, 11:29 PM
Erlkonig

A breath.

Your lungs move. Somehow, you have defied him. Your lungs move, bringing sweet air back into your body once more. Your view clears up. You are alive. It is not your will that bested the giant's however, but your own body's. Your natural reflexes are to breathe, and your will managed to loosen his control enough that your basic functions were unblocked.

You have won-

NO

You are-

I DON'T THINK SO

You-

I CONTROL YOU. YOU ARE MINE. MINE. SO WHAT IF I CAN'T ORDER YOU TO DISOBEY YOUR BODY'S NATURAL REACTIONS? I CAN STILL CONTROL YOUR CONSCIOUS MIND. AND THIS TIME I WON'T GO EASY ON YOU. NO MORE SECOND CHANCES.

DIE.

DIE.

DIE!

KILL YOURSELF LIKE THE COWARD YOU ARE. TAKE THAT KNIFE AND STAB YOURSELF! I ORDER YOU!

I HAVE HEARD THAT YOU CAN SEE DEATH. TELL ME THEN. TELL ME WHAT YOUR OWN DEATH LOOKS LIKE, BOY!

Blackdeath6031
January 21st, 2012, 11:20 AM
A series of thoughts and emotions boil up from within me, as I am hit with two sensations.

First the torrent of hate, spite, murderous intent and the sour taste of regret as I watched the mindless dead eat up the one who had given me the two boons which may prove to be my lifeline. At least, the one which has helped me escape from the horde seconds ago, and had allowed me to survive by fighting - even right now.

And secondly, the feelings of fascination, fear, concern and wariness as the fire pierced my nerves, travelling along them before thrusting my brain.
But wait. This grenade is holy. It'd only reject those who are unholy, such as these beasts.

...Don't tell me that I am...

No...even then, I have no choice but to take advantage of this and to push forward - to pull any rope I can take to reach the ledge above me called 'survival'.

But this notion had given me an idea.

Given the last feat, I can only gamble that my reflexes aren't normal.
In addition, this 'nade has the safety pin on, it seems, so it won't detonate so easily.
The burning might prove helpful as well.

As I formulate my plan, I eye my opponents as they slowly move into formation, then approach me. Taking a small step back, I grit my teeth and release the holy object, but keeping my hand in the pocket.

Currently, I hold three options.

Throwing the grenade to detonate, and escape.

Or to take advantage of this burning sensation. Throwing or making some contact between the grenade and a beast to buy some time to attack. More effective, and I won't be letting my guard down. But uncertainty of the object's mechanics leaves me worried about my chances of dying by my own hand.

The final is to do as I've been doing. Dodge, then counter. As always, aim for the throat...

Perhaps my options would be decided by how these beasts attack?
Who can say.

But I don't have the time to wait.
Rather, the quicker I finish this, the easier it'd be for me to survive.

Striking the one directly before me is stupid, leaving myself open to attacks from the other two from both sides plus the back.

Rather, attacking either one on the extreme ends would be the easiest.
Having the blade already in my left hand, I nominate to begin from that end.

So, I swing my sword in a horizontal line, once again aiming for the neck. At the same time, I make a low kick at its shin, bringing myself closer to my target, and further away from the others.
Then, tightening my grip on the handle as it approached the creature's neck, I take out my right and, and make another step forward so that it would be within my arms reach, regardless of whether it had perished, or managed to avoid the attack.

If my guess is right, the other four would pursue, meaning that my now exposed back would need to be protected.

Pushing past the Dead right before me, I grab its shoulder and push it behind me in an attempt to create a temporary shield before turning around.

Erlkonig
January 21st, 2012, 12:29 PM
I HAVE HEARD THAT YOU CAN SEE DEATH. TELL ME THEN. TELL ME WHAT YOUR OWN DEATH LOOKS LIKE, BOY!


"My... Death?" I gasp out.

This man.

He suddenly bursts into my life, and wants me to kill myself?

To give up the second chance I have been given to live?

---

The boy stood up, looking at his surroundings, at the various corpses that stood around him.

He raised his head to the sky, his confused gaze meeting the light of the great blue moon.

---

To throw away this new vitality and health I have in me?

---

He started, as suddenly the corpses began to rise from their death.

One of them, who had launched him into a wall, aimed to lunge at his throat.

Armed with only a knife and a pair of glasses, the revived boy grit his teeth.

---

To waste all my effort up to this point?

---

On the rooftops, two men faced each other. One, clad in a stupid ninja wear. The other, holding a bloody knife in hand and cradling a pair of lenses.

Seconds later, sparks erupted in the night as weapons met.

---

He wanted me to stop resisting, even when I had managed to overcome his control over my vital body?

---

Shaking around the room, the boy struggled against an alien force.

With all of his power, with his full strength, his willpower, he batted the alien force's power, getting to breathe again.

---

Well then-

He has another thing coming!

I won't.

I won't.

I won't.

I won't...!

"I... won't." I say, clearly, consciously, brushing away his power.

"You....want...to....see.....my...death?" I grit out. "I...won't show it to you...! Why...? Because... if you have... already killed me... doesn't that mean... you have seen my death already!?" As I begin the third line, I begin to force him out. Go away. GO AWAY. "...I won't waste... a second chance... to show you something... you've already seen!"

Get out.

Get out.

GET. OUT.

Bloble
January 21st, 2012, 01:42 PM
Erlkonig

NO

NO

I SAID NO

STOP THAT

WHAT IS THIS!? A NEWBORN VAMPIRE CANNOT POSSIBLE BE RESISTING MY COMMANDS! IT ISN'T POSSIBLE!

It is.

YOU... YOU DARE TO DISOBEY ME?!

You dare. And you do.

The darkness clouding your mind pulses in anger. The malformed hate and destruction echoing throughout your soul is repulsed by your iron will. This is your body, and this is your mind! He may have taken your life, but he'll never take your freedom!

Your body is a kingdom. A land ruled over by you, and only you. This interloper cannot, and will not ever set foot in your body. You will not allow it. You cannot allow it.

He cannot take you-

SHUT UP

He will not win-

SHUT UP

You will-

SHUT! UP!

You-

FINE. I'LL ADMIT IT. I CAN'T TAKE YOUR MIND, BOY. IT IS IMPRESSIVE TO SEE SUCH A POWERFUL WILL IN SUCH A YOUNG MAN. I MAY HAVE UNDERESTIMATED YOU. EVEN IF I AM SEVERAL TIMES MORE POWERFUL, YOUR MIND IS A CASTLE THAT CAN RESIST A FORCE HUNDREDS OF TIMES STRONGER THAN YOUR OWN! A BASTION OF DEFENSE THAT NOT EVEN I CAN PENETRATE!

BUT I DON'T HAVE TO.

THIS MAY BE YOUR MIND, BUT YOUR BODY BELONGS TO ME.

You cannot move. Your defense was enough to dislodge the invader from your mind and soul. He will never control them.

But your body is still his.

Your hand moves against your own will. He has not ordered it, but it happens anyway. He is the one moving your hand, no, his hand. You will die, because no matter how much you struggle, your body is not your own. You are simply too weak, and he is too strong. You, who has only been born a scant while ago, will not be able to dislodge your master, who is ageless and endless! It is simply... not possible, no matter how much you wish it would be.

Your hand grasps the handle of the knife in your pocket. Your grip tightens. It doesn't shake at all despite your herculean mental resistance.

The hand rises, inching closer and closer to your chest. A swift slice and your shirt parts, revealing your bare skin. It positions itself over your core, where you can already see a glaring scar. Most likely the one you got when you woke up with that knife in your ribs. That strike missed your heart.

But this one shall not.

IT IS OVER, BOY. YOU MAY HAVE RESISTED, BUT YOU NEVER HAD ANY CHANCE TO DEFEAT ME IN A BATTLE OF WILLS.

THIS IS THE END.

The knife descends.

A spurt of crimson blood taints the air.

(To be continued.)

Bloble
January 21st, 2012, 02:11 PM
Erlkonig

The spurt of blood elicits a muffled groan of pain as the knife bites into flesh. You couldn't stop it at all.

But that's fine; it was not you that was hit.

A hand grips the blade of the knife, trembling with exertion and the effort of keeping you alive. It bleeds profusely but doesn't budge, holding on to the knife as if a life other than yours depends on it.

You look up.

Your companion has risen.

James's other hand is in the air, as his left keeps you alive. He's awake now, on his knees in front of you, and muttering under his breath so quickly that even you cannot hear. His crimson eyes are now glowing a bright green, and the air around his right hand is shimmering with a barely suppressed energy.

Your mouth twists, and a voice that is not your own flies angrily from your throat.

"HOW COULD YOU DEFY YOUR OWN MASTER, WHELP?"

James doesn't even acknowledge your scream.

"THIS IS AN OUTRAGE. I AM HE WHO COMMANDS YOU. YOU CAN NO MORE DEFY ME THAN CHANGE WHO YOU ARE."

His muttering is a constant noise in the back of your head. The glow around his right hand increases in strength, now looking as if his fingers are crafted from shining emerald. James' muttering reaches a frantic peak, and finally the dark presence in your head hesitates for the first time since it has possessed you.

"WAIT. DON'T TELL ME YOU THINK YOU CAN BANISH ME?"

Even as you speak the knife inches closer and closer to your bare chest. James' hand is still bleeding, and still keeping the knife from ending your new life.

"IT WON'T WORK!" You scream. "YOU ALREADY LOST TO ME ONCE!"

James finally stops muttering, and looks you, and by proxy, his Master, in the eyes. His own crimson/green orbs are unfathomable.

"I'm tired of being lobotomized by you."

He rams his hand forward, catching you on the forehead and wrapping his hand around your skull. The green envelopes your head, mind, and soul.

Both you and the presence freeze for a moment, as you feel something else intruding into your mind.

"Take this! From a master of the sealing arts, the Lord of mental magecraft himself!"

"NO. HOW... YOU... YOU NEVER DISPLAYED THIS KIND OF POWER BEFORE!"

"Sealing others... is infinitely more easy than sealing oneself. Now then, with two minds opposing yours, how will you fight, MASTER?"

"DAMN YOOOUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!"

Your scream and his rends the air, and the mental battle changes completely. The cavalry is here.

A green flash purges your mind of all thought. Your will and the enemy's is erased completely and you feel the malevolent presence dissipate against its will. Against you it could barely win, but with two minds fighting it did not stand a chance.

"SUPPRESS THE POWER!" James yells, and your world turns green.

You collapse, and your mind ends.

(To be continued.)

Bloble
January 21st, 2012, 02:48 PM
Erlkonig

...it is an unfamiliar ceiling that you wake to.

Your body aches, but you get the feeling that it's been getting better for a while before you opened your eyes. As you rise your blurry vision resolves itself to show you where you are.

It is one of the upstairs bedrooms of James' safehouse.

You stand, and see yourself wearing some dated looking but clean clothes. Your glasses and knife have been left on the bedside drawer. The room itself is very dark; the extremely thick curtains have been drawn across the windows and tied securely with fancy rope.

You don't feel tired, your head doesn't hurt, and you have no wounds to speak of.

...

Your stomach growls audibly.

Erlkonig
January 21st, 2012, 02:55 PM
I groan, clutching my stomach.

"Man, I'm hungry." I grumble out, grabbing the glasses and putting them on. It's not like they hurt my eyes, and that might as well be a good place in which to place them. I also stuff the knife into my pocket.

...Feeling the absence of that voice is refreshing.

I stretch for a bit, rejoicing in the fact that I managed to go through that ordeal, and finally exit the room.

"Jeremiah?" I ask out, curious.

Bloble
January 21st, 2012, 03:05 PM
Erlkonig

Your curious query nets an answer almost instantly.

"Ahaha! You are awake then, that is excellent!" You hear James' voice, and he sounds like the cheerful person you met when you first fought. From the positioning of the voice you can tell that he's downstairs, probably in the kitchen if you're hearing things correctly. "Come on down, then!" He says. "You must be pretty hungry, as a newborn."

Erlkonig
January 21st, 2012, 03:10 PM
At first I narrowed my eyes suspiciously. This cheerful demeanor reminded me of the crazy James controlled by the Master, something which I definitely dreaded.

Still, I shouted a "Yeah!"

I was hungry, and I needed to eat.

"By the way!" I shouted. "What happened to that guy!?"

After yelling this, I descended downstairs, towards the kitchen.

Bloble
January 22nd, 2012, 02:58 PM
Erlkonig

"Excellent!" James calls back to your affirmation of hunger. "I'll have you know that I consider myself one of the best vampire cooks in the world!"

That sounds reassuring, until you realize that he's only been a vampire for about a month.

When he hears your other question, there is a slight pause, and his reply is more muted and serious. "For now, you don't need to worry about Mas... him. He can't do anything from where he is."

As you reach the kitchen, a ridiculous sight greets you. James is standing in front of the stove, frying some eggs, wearing a... suit and tie?! And his hair has magically lengthened, covering one eye completely. The final blow comes when you realize that he's actually curled one of his eyebrows!

No, he hasn't gotten any less crazy.

Seeing you, he grins and waves. "Come on in! I hope you like eggs!"

Bloble
January 22nd, 2012, 03:05 PM
Blackdeath6031

You're completely surrounded. You don't know much of tactics, but you do know that you have to get out of this bad situation.

You lunge to your left, slashing wildly with your sword towards the flying Dead at the extreme end of the semicircle.

It expected that, and blocked your ordinary metal sword with its hard-as-steel claws.

However, it didn't expect your other attack. Your low kick slams into its shin, shattering its leg bone completely and actually blowing through its leg, slicing off the appendage like a powerful blunt sword. It screams, not in pain, but in anger.

Then you start your other attack. Just as it hesitates you lunge past it with both hands outstretched. Your right hand is red, but otherwise unharmed from the contact with the holy grenade. You duck underneath a swipe from its claws and go behind the monster, catching it in a choke hold.

Just in time, too, as the Dead is instantly pierced by four pairs of claws. The other flying Dead had instantly pounced as you moved, and had you not used one of their comrades as a shield you would have been hit for sure. The Dead in your arms screams, and collapses into a pile of ash, leaving you with four angry monsters in front of you, and no more shields to use.

Your eyes notice that the mass of Dead on the hill is slowing, and some are turning away from the top, looking for other moving prey.

Erlkonig
January 22nd, 2012, 03:16 PM
I arched one eyebrow. Well, this was certainly better than the other costume.

I look at the eggs, and slowly lick my lips as my stomach growls. "Sounds good, James-"

I then frowned.

"-Wait. Aren't we supposed to, you know, eat vampire stuff?"

Bloble
January 22nd, 2012, 03:19 PM
Erlkonig

"Hah!" He grins, and passes you a plate of perfectly fried eggs, sunny side up. "Like I said earlier, I'm the best vampire cook in the world!" You're not sure if this is him talking or the influence of some other fictional character. "I mixed some blood in with the food." He explains. "I hope you like AB negative."

He points you to a small table in the kitchen where you can eat and talk at the same time. He also points to various different drinks and juices on the counter. The faint scent you gather from them indicates that they've been mixed with blood as well.

Erlkonig
January 22nd, 2012, 03:25 PM
I grab the plate, thanking him, and move to grab a soft drink, not feeling like trying alcohol right after having recovered from being stabbed near the heart.

Sniffing the delicious aroma from the eggs, I sigh happily. "Man, this is some good stuff." I set everything down on the table, grab a fork and a knife, lick my lips, and dig in.

This...

This is...

"UOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH!!!" I yell in bliss, experiencing a hallucination as I imagined rainbows bursting out of my mouth.

Stuffing more of the fried eggs into my mouth, I yell. "It's good!"

Munch.

Munch.

"Really good...!" I gasp out, swallowing the sliced food down.

Bloble
January 22nd, 2012, 03:51 PM
Erlkonig

Your words of praise seem to please James greatly. He quickly finishes cooking, and cleans up around the kitchen. Once he's done, he sits down in front of you, not eating. You surmise that he's probably already had breakfast.

However, his smile is gone. He's all business now.

"I know that you most likely have many questions, after last night." He says. "As thanks for helping me, I shall answer any questions you may have to the best of my abilities."

He looks up at you, and his curled eyebrows don't detract from his demeanor at all. "What do you want to know?"

Erlkonig
January 22nd, 2012, 03:57 PM
I set the silverware down, and closed my eyes in thought.

"Questions, huh...?" The words hummed into the air.

Opening my eyes, I looked at my hands, tentatively clenching them as if testing out how I felt. "First... I'd like to know exactly what I've become. Second... that man who haunted us both- is he going to bother us again? And third... why was he so bent on killing me- no, on killing Tohno Shiki?"

I had more questions, but these three where the ones that were first on my mind.

Bloble
January 23rd, 2012, 01:38 AM
Erlkonig

"You are a Vampire." His reply is blunt. "A creature of the night. A blood drinker. You are dead, yet not dead. You can't go into sunlight, you can't cross large bodies of water unaided, and you need to regularly drink blood to survive." He lists the basics. "You are lucky though. Normally people must first spend many years as ravenous ghouls before becoming true Vampires. Like me, you must have gotten lucky and skipped those steps."

"As for that man..." He furrows his brows. "He is the man who turned me, and you as well. A powerful Dead Apostle. He's lived for many hundreds of years, and is very, very dangerous. He's dangerous not because he's powerful, but because he's smart, and paranoid." James chuckles. "He doesn't like having to tell people his name, which is why he banned me from telling it to anybody."

"As for why he wants Tohno Shiki dead... I don't know." James shrugs. "I've never heard of the kid, and from the description Master gave me he's just some high school student." He opens a nearby drawer and fishes out a photo, giving it to you. From what you can see it's a perfectly ordinary high school student wearing the same pair of glasses you now possess. You remember where you found him, but can't quite recall the dead boy's face well enough to know if it's a match for the photo. "Anyway, as for whether you're him or not..." James continues. "It's not impossible for someone to lose their memory or have a changed face after becoming a Vampire. You could've been anyone before you died."

"But..." James furrows his brows once more. "Master... he'll most definitely not let this go. I've only known him for a month and I can already say that he'll be back soon. He's proud. Very proud. And knowing that he may have possibly failed in a mission won't do his nerves much good. He'll be here, and he'll be looking to kill us both. You for possibly being his target, and me for not killing you and daring to break free from his control."

Erlkonig
January 23rd, 2012, 08:27 AM
My expression turned sour. "I see..."

I leaned back, and narrowed my eyes. "So, I'm a vampire..." I looked at my hands, and shuddered involuntarily. "Does that mean I'll have... to kill people?" The thought terrified me, yet I could not push it out. If I needed to regularly drink blood to survive...

After the first two answers to my questions, my expression turned pale. So... that man would be coming back.

"Shit." I cursed out, restraining the urge to slam my fist down on the table.

"...We shouldn't let that be easy. Kill us both, I mean." I said, tapping into the table in thought. "There's no reason for us to fight, right? Hell, it could be said we're kind of brothers. If that man's going to come kill us both, we should try to work together to escape him or... destroy him." I said the words after a slight pause. Would I be able to kill that man?

...The image of the Dead's face as it was smashed against the concrete wall surfaced in my mind.

-Yes.

I would, absolutely without a doubt, kill that monster.

"Alright- Another question. What powers does being a Vampire get? Is there any way I can get stronger?" I didn't want to have a repeat of last night. "Second, where am I? Where is this city? And third -you don't have to answer this one if you don't want to-... how did you do that thing yesterday- Who are you, really?"

...I think that will be all.

Bloble
January 23rd, 2012, 09:21 AM
Erlkonig

James stares at you curiously. Finally after a few seconds of thought he speaks. "No, I suppose you don't have to kill anyone when you feed, but it's very rare for a Vampire to even think of sparing the lives of his food. Most of a human's reservations and restrictions are lifted once he is freed from his ordinary life. Thus, most Vampires honestly feel no remorse when killing humans; they see humanity only as a resource. For you to have retained your human morality yet lost your memories is... rare, to be honest." He seems bemused by your strange behaviour. "It might be that when alive you had a very, very strong aversion to killing people. Perhaps you were a pacifist..."

As the image of that smashed apart Dead comes to your mind, you decide that no, you most definitely weren't a pacifist when alive.

"Anyway, about that man. Working together, while nice, would only delay the inevitable." He brings down the cold hammer of truth. "As we both are now, we stand no chance against him."

He sees the look on your face, and responds to it. "Yes, we may have driven him out of our minds by working together, but that was a completely different kind of battle." He starts to explain just what happened last night. "To begin with, all Vampires eventually break out of their parent's control. It is as normal as a bird leaving the nest. The problem is that it usually occurs several years into their life, when they've gathered enough power and life to battle their parent for control. What we did was akin to a pair of toddlers fighting a trained soldier. We had no chance to win from the start."

But if you had no chance to win...

"The first thing you have to realize is... we both got lucky. Incredibly lucky." He leaves no room for remorse as he continues to give you the cold, hard truth. "We broke out together instead of by ourselves, weakening his power as he tried to control us both, and boosting our own. Then, your incredible force of will forced him to concentrate all of his willpower into you, leaving me temporarily free to act. My area of focus in magecraft happens to be mental, and I used superior technique to compensate for our weakness and drive him out of our minds permanently, as well as break his link to us."

Yes, it was a large number of coincidences that lead to your victory that night. While your willpower may have played a part in it, do not underestimate the role luck had in your survival.

Of course, now that he's done his explanation, he's only happy to answer your other questions.

"Vampires get a great load of powers." He says cheerfully. "For one, the most basic are highly enhanced physical strength and speed as well as very good regeneration. We also have lengthened lives as well as increased affinity for magecraft and magic. Several Vampires also develop unique abilities that cannot be quantified easily as well."

"This is Misaki city. I've only been here for a week, so I don't know much about it. It is what appears to be an ordinary town in Japan. I was actually ordered to stay here and make it my lair by him earlier."

"And finally, saving the best for last..." You see him visibly puff up his chest like a peacock. "I am the illustrious, magnificent... Lord James Jeremiah the Fourth!" He pauses for a moment as if expecting applause but quickly continues once he notices that none will come. "I was a very well-to-do member of the Magic Association, specializing in the art of Hypnotism and Mind Control. I am one of the 1% of the richest people in Britain, and proud of it."

So far, the mental image you're getting is of some pompous twit.

"I was turned a month ago, for reasons he hasn't given me. Before that I was studying to graduate to the position of Head at one of the sections of the Magic Association, but was tragically unable to due to my impending Vampirism."

...okay, a hard working twit.

Erlkonig
January 23rd, 2012, 09:57 AM
Though I had no idea what the Magic Association was, the position of Head seemed to be something imposing, and grand. "...Whoa." So he wasn't a whole idiot, great.

After he'd answered my questions, I quietly finished my meal, and then broke the silence with an inquiry.

"...What should we do now?"

Bloble
January 23rd, 2012, 10:08 AM
Erlkonig

"Now is the time for you to make a decision." James suddenly stands up and looks at you.

"I will be leaving in a day or two. I'll be heading to Europe to investigate some things, such as why he turned me and not someone else. I'll also be looking for... her." He doesn't say the name, but you think you know. "I know that she is not dead, because I did not kill her. And I must find her, no matter what it takes. I have committed the grave sin of forgetting, and I must redeem myself, even if it means venturing into his lair."

"You, on the other hand, are free. You may stay here, travel the world, or, if you wish, come with me. I am sure that you want to know why it is that he wanted Tohno Shiki, and now you, dead. As well, I could train you in magecraft that way. Or you we could part, and you could stay and try to find out who you are." He frowns. "Although... staying here would be as dangerous as not staying. I can't quite be sure, but I feel that this city holds more secrets than we are aware of. Dangerous secrets."

He looks at you, and stretches his hand out to you.

"It is your choice. Where shall you go?"

Erlkonig
January 23rd, 2012, 10:24 AM
--He was serious.

This... was probably, the first, and most important decision I would have to make.

I took a deep breath, and tried to consider my options.

1. Stay here.

The images of the shambling Dead flashed through my mind. The glasses and knife in my pocket, which held ominous secrets. And the moon which shone with extreme paleness. Furthermore...

The secret to my past was probably here.

Yet-

-This man had saved me. I felt like owed him something. To just stay in this city and hide from the future...

No, that couldn't be done.

2. Travel the world

I was alone.

I didn't know anything about the world, and everything was alien to me. If I went on a trip throughout the globe, perhaps I would've been able to learn what this world was about. Explore every single country in this world, get acquaintanced with the societies all over the globe.

Yet...

While that would provide an escape from That Man, it would not get me out of danger. Within every part of this world there probably lain a thousand beasts lurking in the shadows, each one as deadly as the other.

And I wouldn't be able to adapt to all of them.

3. Go with Jeremiah

This guy was an idiot.

He was ridiculously smug, had silly interests, and had seemed extremely silly before. I'd almost had to kill him in a rage, because he'd been insufferable.

Yet, looking at him now...

I felt sympathy, and even a small amount of pity for the man. He'd probably gone through what I went through last night multiple times. And now, he was free. We were free. By luck, by determination, and strength... but mostly luck.

Besides, he was the closest thing I had to family right now. And he seemed to know more about the world than me.

...Despite him being an idiot, he had a good heart.

And I had to admit, he was the only one I could rely on.

...

I stood up.

"I've made my decision." I announced, opening my eyes.

"James, I'll be coming with you. I want- no, need to learn about this world, and I feel that sticking with you is going to reveal a lot of things to me. And, you said Europe, right? That sounds like a wonderful place." I broke out a grin. "Besides, I owe you one."

Now that he said it, he was looking for that Sally...

-Now that I thought about it, it seemed vampires were perfectly capable of romance.

Love...

Was that an emotion I'd be able to find?

.....

Probably sticking with this guy would be the best way to find out, as he's head over heels for that maid.

"Yeah." I confirmed my choice. "I'm going with you."

Bloble
January 23rd, 2012, 01:34 PM
Erlkonig

The choice is made. Your destiny is broken. You are not dead, yet you are not alive. Existing in this half state, you can change the world you have been forced to survive in.

James pulls you up, and together you share a moment where your thoughts are in tune.

We'll go to Europe. We'll solve this mystery. We'll break free of our cursed fate.

And most importantly, we'll find whoever turned us in to Vampires, and...

Kick. His. Ass.


Prologue, End

Please Wait for Chapter 1

RacingeR
January 23rd, 2012, 05:05 PM
A slight noise was heard when clothes suddenly appeared out of nowhere, falling over my head in a bundle. Somewhat surprised, I unwrap them, revealing a set of torn and tattered clothing that seemd like it had suffered repeated attacks, judging from the holes that lined them everywhere. The red shirt had a line torn in the front, thankfully without exposing anything, and most of the damage had been done to the sleeves. I put it on thankful of having something to cover my shame. The black skirt was even worse, most of the bottom torn and crushed, a part of it probably having literally vanished. But it was still serviceable enough for me to use, and I put it on without protest. The shoes were way too torn up to consider wearing them, so I left them alone. Apparently, the clothing had been covered with blood, and thus, had been cleaned by my 'host', so to speak.

I listened to what the powerful girl had to say with attention, my mind still blank. I was like a blank, empty slate, a curious child trying to learn about the unknown world where she had been plunged, against my will or not. She spoke about a casino boat, about a powerful vampire called Van-Fem, where I had been with a bunch of old... 'magi'? Magicians? Sorcerors? Apparently, they had decided to try and kill this Van-Fem, and this blue haired girl had been there when that happened...

Apparently, she had stood like a sore thumb in the boat. When she described me as young... I felt a small happiness. I did not know from where that came, the strange sensation that invaded me. However, it vanished as she described how I got caught in the blast that killed the wannabe assassins.

I died. But I was different. I survived the blast somehow, heavily damaged, yet still alive as I plunged into the depths of the ocean. Protected by a skill beyond that of normal magi, I survived the powerful attack, but bleeding and heavily damage, I finally died in the sea, the domain of the girl that sat in front of me. She took my corpse and the pieces of the old magi to her palace, and she transformed me into a Vampire. A Dead Apostle. I don't... know what to think about it. I... understand everything she tells me, yet... at the end, I am just like a newborn... Yet, finally, my mind slowly, little by little, abandons the blankness that covered it for what seemed so long...

She brought me back for a reason. Probably to... serve her somehow? Yes it was probably something like that, but... I like this girl, somehow. I get the feeling that I could get along with her just fine.

The blue haired vampire finally presents herself, as Sumire. I do a somewhat strange bow, maybe under the influence of whatever I had been drinking. "My name is... well, I don't remember it, but anyway, pleased to meet you!" A slight smile appears in my face when my bow ends. The alcohol is getting to me. She who seemed as an unreachable goddess, now looks more approachable, someone I could talk to. I know my change of attitude is sudden, after having been silent so long, hearing what she had to say. This thing I have been drinking... it is delicious. It makes me feel better, no, even more, giddier. Definitely alcohol, with a taste similar to fine red wine of high quality, with something added to it. Something that makes me feel different, as I notice even more now the beauty of the woman in front of me, her curves exposed by the old swimsuit she wears.

I throw her the bottle when she asks for it, despite it being mostly drained. "Yes, it is... one of the best things I have tasted in my life." It was made from the finest wine, and some 'good' blood, apparently mine.

Wait wut.

"You drained me by accident?" I comment, with curiosity on my voice. Sumire blushes in embarrassment, or maybe it is the wine from the almost empty gourd finally getting to her. So my blood was so good that she just couldn't get enough of it, and so, she had mixed it with the wine. Is that... a compliment? I notice that I am blushing again.

"An unique taste..?" I repeat, as if dazzed... a virgin blood, pure and clean... but with a slight tinge of naughtiness?!?

Wait, why are my cheeks getting aflame? Sumire's grin has turned seductive as I stutter. "Me? ... A bad girl? W-what do you mean by that?" I am so surprised, and the alcohol is making thinking straight somewhat difficult...

Bloble
January 23rd, 2012, 07:16 PM
RacingeR

Sumire laughs as you blush profusely. It seems that even a Vampire can blush, as you have quickly found out.

"Ah, you're a good one!" She exclaims. "It seems I lucked out after all. I picked the best one of the bunch." The other options being a bunch of chunks of flesh, of course. Still, you're too busy being happy and flustered to say anything, so Sumire keeps talking.

"And I said what I said." She shrugs. "I can't exactly tell how many people you've screwed just by drinking your blood. I only have a general idea, but that's enough for me to know you're not as pure as you say you are!" Seeing you inflamed cheeks only leads her to laugh again, and tilt the bottle to her lips for another drink.

It's empty.

Instantly the hall freezes. You stop as well, as Sumire sighs and drops the bottle on the floor, where it shatters into innumerable glass chunks. One of the larger ones slides across the smooth stone floor to rest near your feet.

"Damn." Sumire frowns. "That sure went quickly." She appraises your now clothed body. "Good enough. Now that you're nice and ready..."

She stands for the first time since you've seen her, and you swear that the chair she was sitting on simply disintegrates as soon as her body leaves it. As she rises, a rotten wind sweeps through the castle despite it being impossible. The new air brings with it the tinge of salt and fish guts, but you don't even notice the new senses.

Power. You see it, flowing from her, being drawn from the air and earth and water. The entire world is her plaything, and she slowly brings her head up, her eyes boring into yours for one impossibly long second.

You see the ocean in those eyes. You see monster sharks tearing your body apart. You see a whale opening its gaping maw and trapping you inside for all eternity. You see your bones becoming nothing but fossils never to be recovered by humanity. Endless, fathomless, she will swallow you up, and you will never be seen again.

You will never see the sky. You are born and will die underneath the cold, inhospitable ocean.

You can't move, not because she doesn't allow you to, but because your body knows instinctively that to move is to die. If you so much as twitch she will destroy you.

Then she smiles, and the illusion is broken. The same woman who you so happily shared drinks with returns, grinning to the room. The impossible wind dies down, and your racing heart calms down.

"Ah, I haven't let loose in a while." She pouts. "But I had to hold back for your sake."

"Anyway, there is one thing I haven't told you: the reason I turned you." She's serious. "See, I don't have many followers. I spend most of my time travelling the world, and occasionally returning to this empty old place. And because of that, I can't really do very much in this world without attracting attention to myself. That's where you come in."

She raises a single perfect finger into the air, and her mouth curves into a deadly grin. Whatever she's happy about, it makes your skin crawl.

"Once. Hit- no, touch me just once, and I'll consider you a success. You'll get to live another life in this world as a Dead Apostle. Fail, and you'll be discarded while I search for someone better." She gives you this impossible task.

"I'll even make it easy for you. I won't move from this spot." She's standing there, perfectly still, with only her mouth moving. But you know that she could still kill you with a glance if she wanted to. "Now..."

Once more she smiles seductively, but instead of a woman attracting a lover, she looks like a black widow spider luring its unsuspecting mate to its own demise.

"Come."

Blackdeath6031
January 23rd, 2012, 09:51 PM
Kuh...

Progress has been fine for now, but seems like I really have to pick up the pace.

It won't be long before the mass begin to head here, after all.

Bringing my foot forward, I check just how much ash was created from the remains of that dead.

Then, I raise my right arm, and repeatedly curl my forefinger, beckoning the dead to approach.

The true gamble begins when they take this initiative...!

Bloble
January 23rd, 2012, 10:04 PM
Blackdeath6031

The flying Dead's screams tear through the air.

They run towards you like a concentrated mass, their arms raised and ready to slice down and end your life.

Behind, you can see that most of the Dead have stopped eating what's left of the corpse, and are now looking at you. They will move in a second.

Now... it's your turn!

Blackdeath6031
January 23rd, 2012, 11:11 PM
Splitting my coordination between my two pairs of limbs, I duck and enter a low sweep, kicking up the ash to block their view; unpinning the grenade in the mean time, holding it in a death grip.

As I rise, I pull my sword back so my left forearm is touching right shoulder.

Then I thrust the sword through the haze, positioning my body to strike one of the two middle deads while moving my body sideways. Once in position, I throw the grenade toward the hill's crest like a catapult and jump back, retracting my blade.

Bloble
January 23rd, 2012, 11:55 PM
Blackdeath6031

Your improvised plan works. Once more you avoid being stabbed by mere inches, as the claws pass over your ducking form. Had you not moved you would be missing a head right about now.

At the same time you pull and throw the now primed grenade. The momentary sting is painful, but worth it.

You jump backwards, away from the rapidly approaching claws.

The hill explodes.

The grenade detonates, incinerating the entire hill, destroying the entire group of dead and bodies with its sheer holy power. The only reason you are still alive is because you jumped back. As it is, your entire body burns as if you have acquired a bad sunburn, but you can still move.

And you'll need to. There are still three flying Dead that survived the blast, and they're heading straight for you!

Blackdeath6031
January 24th, 2012, 01:10 AM
Gritting my teeth, I try to endure the pain of my searing skin.

The three here are the only ones remaining, it appears.

But three flying vamps is better than four flying and countless ground Deads.

Gripping my sword with both hands, I lower my stance...

"....GGGGGGGGRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR RRRRRR"

...and charge.

These dead are fast, graceful even.

However, both airborne or on the ground, action always requires time.


Jumping, I reverse my grip on the sword, then thrust it downwards, right at the Dead in the middle.

Crap, I'm beginning to get tired...
But no, I have to keep moving...!

Then, pulling my body back, I perform a forward roll and push my feet off the ground, running toward the the field where the corpses had once been.

....Where were those guns...?!

Bloble
January 24th, 2012, 01:28 AM
Blackdeath6031

Your body is screaming for you to stop. The pain from the holy grenade is immense. You should not be moving right now.

But you must. You still have enemies to fight, and as long as there are monsters to kill, you will keep going!

Even as they charge at you, you leap into the air, thrusting your sword in front of you and becoming a missile of death, aiming to kill for sure.

The Dead stretch out their claws just as you land, but you're just the tiniest bit faster than the mindless creatures of death. You brush past the Dead even as two pairs of claws rend your sides. The wounds are not deep enough to kill, but enough to slow you down from now on. Still, your aim is true.

Your sword passes through the center Dead's head, splitting it open and killing the monster instantly.

You keep going, bursting through the ash that was once an enemy. Your clumsily roll forward, and as soon as you regain your feet you run towards the wreckage from the hill, looking for some guns or ranged weapons you might be able to use. Your mind instinctively knows the dangers of getting into close combat with those creatures in your condition.

But alas, your search is for naught. No guns, and indeed, no weapons have survived the explosion. Perhaps some might have been blasted out, but everything within the area is too damaged to use. It strikes you that this is probably why the man didn't use his holy grenade during the fight. It is a last resort weapon that kills indiscriminately. No, you won't be getting any more tools this time.

You can hear and feel the other two Dead at your back, claws outstretched to tear your flesh apart. You are tired and hurt, and you can feel your movements slowing down already. You have to finish this, before you yourself succumb to your wounds!

RacingeR
January 24th, 2012, 03:58 AM
I laugh along with her. I just cannot avoid it. Maybe it is the euphoria of a new chance, a new life, to have 'survived' somehow, despite it all. The alcohol I drank is not enough to get me tipsy... so this is what they call ambient drunk? I cease to ask myself those meaningless questions. I simply limit myself to enjoying the moment.

A moment that oh so quickly comes to an end.

The gourd is empty. And as the hall freezes... a sensation of alert runs through whole body, my instincts telling me that something is not right. My eyes sharpen, as I perceive danger in the air. The bottle falls to the floor and shatters, a large piece gliding to my feet. Her frown, her words and attitude... they have changed, and not in a pleasant way.

She stands, the first time I have seen her at her full height, the chair desintegrating behind her, a rotten, impossible wind flowing behind her, with an unpleasant odor invading my nostrils. Salt and gfish guts, how unpleasant. But something else calls my attention, something way more important and threatening...

The feeling of raw, pure power that invades the place is overwhelming. Air, earth, water, fire... everything is under her complete, absolute control, her power managing the whole world as if it was her marionette. It is just so powerful I can't barely resist it, as her eyes rise and our gazes become intertwined with one each other...

A hallucination. An illusion of death and terror, of marine life tearing me apart in different ways, of endless, repeated death, of a hopeless struggle in the deep ocean, beyond anyone who would heed my call, in an eternity of blue that would trap me forever. Nobody would remember me, and I would become less than a memory, less than a ghost, something that never existed in the first place, gone forever from the world. Such was the menace of the ocean, of the fathomless, insane depth that surrounded me. The menace of dying alone, without ever seeing the light of the moon, without ever breathing free air.

I can't move. If I even twitch, I will die, I know this. I feel like trembling, but I force myself to avoid doing so, with pure iron willpower, I force my body into control, my instincts guiding me, about the danger that Sumire represented. You will need more than this illusion to bring me to my knees, Dead Apostle Ancestor or not..!

And then, the illusion breaks. The woman I had been talking to returns, puting a bit. That was holding back? I almost feel like laughing at the idea. My body doesn't relax at all, my senses sharp and ready. I know it is only starting...

She tells me. The reason she turned me, to serve her. I pay attention to her words, yet I am impatient, because I know what is awaiting me at the end of her short speech. A trial by fire (or water?). To touch her while she stood in that one spot, so I would win my right to 'live'. Or 'unlive'. This whole Vampire thing will be hard to get accustomed to.

I know... that holding back is inviting death. That if I thought about pulling my punches, I would fail. No, I would go serious from the very beginning. This was my only chance to survive! The strange tension that my body felt finally peaked. I knew I was a different person, that my eyes had turned blazing red, even brighter than the red they normally would be. I had shown a pleasant, amicable personality the few lines I had talked, but now, there was naught but a cold, unfeeling battle machine. I felt myself becoming colder and more calculating, a strange sensation that soon was lost between the coldness.

I launched forward at speeds I wouldn't have imagined of myself. An attack to her lower part would be avoided easily by jumping, and an attack to her upper part could also be avoided with more ease. Furthermore, I was completely and utterly sure that a direct attack would not work, so I would need to surprise her somehow. I deliberately forced myself to not go at all the speed I felt I was capable of, to make her think I was a little bit slower than what I truly was. If the 'slowdown' was large enough, she would notice it, so it had to be slight, but enough to make a difference. As I advanced forward, finally at enough distance to start the fight, I sent a slow, telegraphed punch forward, towards her face... and then pulled back, twisting my body at the same time at full speed, my left hand a blur as it traces an incredibly fast horizontal line towards her midsection!

It was a simple feint at first impression, but the carefully selected difference on my previous speed and this one had been intentionally designed to throw her off all I could, even if slightly. So, let's go, Sumire! Our battle is only starting!

Blackdeath6031
January 24th, 2012, 07:53 AM
Tch....goddammit...!

pain

Turning a one-eighty on my heels, I turn to face the two remaining.

pain

Just...two...more...

pain

Just two more and it's all over...!

Tensing my body, biting my lip, and focusing on the final fight, I try to ignore the pain.
PAIN PAIN PAIN PAIN PAIN PAINPAIN PAIN PAIN PAIN PAIN PAINPAIN PAIN PAIN PAIN PAIN PAINPAIN PAIN PAIN PAIN PAIN PAINPAIN PAIN PAIN PAIN PAIN PAIN


"...Guh..."

PAIN PAIN PAIN PAIN PAIN PAIN

Supporting my body with the sword, I find that I'm beginning to lose my balance.

PAIN PAIN PAIN PAIN PAIN PAIN

...But even then...
PAIN PA....
...To lose is not the only possible result...!


Bringing my left leg back, I hold the sword in a two-hander style, with the tip pointing toward the sky, held to my right.

"A....Ah...."

It was then that I thought, Ah. This place is actually rather beautiful. If not for this situation, I would have wanted to enjoy it...

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH"

Then I charge once again, meeting the two in conflict.
But...

"Wha-..."

When I was a mere metre away from one, I lost balance, as expected, and I begin to fall backward.
Even then though, I don't give up.

"Nngh...!"

Leaning back as much as possible I position myself to slide rather than simply fall and swing the blade slightly upward, slipping through from in between its legs whilst trying to halve it from below.

However, even if I didn't, it mattered little now that only these two were left remaining. After all, my target was not the one nearest to me, but the one farthest.
Stopping myself with my feet, I make a low sweep with my leg, tripping down the Dead I passed through from behind, trying to buy myself enough time. Surely, even if it knew I was behind it wouldn't be able to avoid it from this distance and angle...!

As I made the sweep, I swung my blade to slash my target's neck as I rose, bringing it through in yet another one-eighty before reversing my grip and jabbing it down, aimed at the tripped Dead's neck.

As the blade made contact, I move behind the sword, wary of whether I managed to halve the numbers, or better yet, eliminate all of them.

Or, in the worst possible case, neither worked.
Gripping my sword tightly, I force myself to be ready no matter what happens.

Bloble
January 24th, 2012, 09:17 AM
RacingeR

You attack.

In the face of this overwhelming power, this certain death, this assured torment, you attack.

You run, not as fast as you are capable of running, but fast enough. Already you would be invisible to most eyes, at the speed you are gliding across the slick floor. But to the eyes of a Dead Apostle Ancestor, you might as well be standing still.

Sumire is easily keeping up with your movement, and blinks as she realizes your plan. She smiles as you approach, but still doesn't move even when you attack with a slow, telegraphed punch. And she isn't surprised for a moment when you launch a lightning fast punch with your other hand simultaneously.

THOOM

However, before your hands can get anywhere near her body, the floor explodes under your feet in a cascade of rocky chunks. You are launched upwards, flying into the air. It is only the vastness of the ceiling that prevents you from being smashed across it. Even now, you are at least a hundred feet into the air.

But she isn't done there. The air twists, and the rotten wind returns again. It writhes like a captured python, and, sensing you as its target, a gigantic blast of air heads your way. You cannot dodge. No, you are unable to dodge something that cannot be seen.

You are blasted backwards, and crash into the stone wall, impacting and causing a crater there. You are suspended for a long moment, before gravity takes hold and you fall down, back into the position you were in at the start of the battle.

Your body aches from the impossibly fast pounding you just took, but it seems that you aren't actually hurt very badly.

Sumire is still smiling. "Not bad." She says. "I don't really know much about those fancy martial arts people have, but that was some kind of fake out, wasn't it? Trying to lull me into a false sense of security?" She's guessed your plan instantly. "Pretty good." She admits. "Probably would've worked if you hadn't taken a straight line, since I wasn't expecting the feint at all. I may not be very good at... finesse, but with you coming directly at me like that, I knew exactly where you would be and when, allowing me to strike at a certain position in a certain time."

She still hasn't moved a finger since the start of the battle. You have no idea how she attacked that way, as if manipulating the world itself, but you realize that while she may have fallen for your fake punch, even technique is useless if you can't reach the person you're fighting.

"Now, attack." She commands with that smile still on her face. "Show me more of your skills!"

Bloble
January 24th, 2012, 09:25 AM
Blackdeath6031

Your body aches. You can barely move. Every nerve in your body is telling you to stop, to lie down, to die like this.

But you tell it to shut up. You won't die here. Not again!

You charge, and the Dead strike. The undead are slightly faster than your torn up body, but it seems that luck is on your side. You slip, and fall backwards, not on purpose, but from exhaustion.

It is that which saves your life.

The claws pass harmlessly over your head, and you continue, sliding underneath one of the Dead, slashing at it from below with your sword. You pass through just fine, but your shallow blow only succeeds in hitting the leg and annoying the monster. Still, you aren't done here!

You rise, tripping the Dead as you go up, and then slashing with your sword blindly towards the other. It proves to have been a good idea, as the sword neatly severs the Dead's head, stopping it in the middle of an attempted strike.

One left.

You twist, bringing your sword up, and then point down, penetrating the fallen Dead's forehead with a final, sickening stab.

It is done.

The last Dead fades.

You are alive once more. And you have won.

Blackdeath6031
January 24th, 2012, 05:41 PM
PAIN

Supporting myself on the pommel of my sword, I try to calm down.

PAIN

My muscles begin to relax, and I try to resume a normal breathing rate.

"Kah...hah...hah...hah..."

But of course, with all the pain, it'd have to start with just panting.

But what now?

Rest here...?
No, it's too dangerous to be out in the open here.
Not with these wounds and pains...
Or my exhaustion.

So...town it is...I guess...?


With that, I begin limping toward the village, hoping to find a place to rest for the moment.

Bloble
January 24th, 2012, 09:49 PM
Blackdeath6031

You can barely move. Your body is aching, and you know that you won't last much longer. You have to get some shelter before this night is over.

Your stumbling, limping walk quickly brings you to the town gates. Now that you're closer, you can see that the town isn't exactly as ordinary as it seemed earlier.

Many buildings are ruined. The ground is torn apart in several places. There are several places that look as if perfect spheres have been taken out of them. No, not an ordinary town. As you look for the bodies that would certainly accompany such destruction, however, you realize another problem.

There are no dead. Not a single drop of blood flows through these streets. With such wanton chaos there should have been at least a few deaths, judging from how recent this destruction seems, but you see none.

Mysterious-

"Hey Mister!" Suddenly your musing is interrupted by a chirpy young voice. You look around and can't see anyone, until some part of your brain tells you to look down.

Greeting your eyes is a cheerful looking black haired little girl of about seven years. She's wearing fancy pink pajamas and holding a cute teddy bear. Her wide brown eyes look at you innocently, even as she effortlessly balances on a ripped up curb in her bare feet.

"Mister, why are you back?" She asks you. "Didn't you say you were going to help some other people now?"

Blackdeath6031
January 25th, 2012, 09:39 AM
"Pe..."

My weak, confused voice wheezed out. Then trailed off.

"No..."

My heavy body pulls me down, and I cannot help but to rest myself on all fours.

"D-Do...you have any where I c...could stay for the night...?"

I find myself asking this....stranger.

Yet, she appears to know me. In some fashion, at least.
But my memories cannot confirm this.

So I can only rely on my instincts for now. Keep my senses peeled, sword gripped tightly, and hope for the best...

...After all, I doubt I can truly accomplish much in this condition...

Bloble
January 25th, 2012, 01:32 PM
Blackdeath6031

"Eh? But Mister, the night's almost over!" The little girl say quite clearly. "And... y-you don't look so good." Now you see that she's beginning to tear up. Instincts tell you that in seconds she's going to start wailing, and that'll surely bring more people here.

Bloble
January 25th, 2012, 09:09 PM
Fall of the Ancestors - Chapter 1 - Bloody String of Fate

Erlkonig

A month has passed since your awakening and subsequent brushes with death. A month has passed since you became acquainted with James Jeremiah the Fourth. A month has passed since you were born, silent and deadly, into this cruel, unforgiving world.

Has it been that long already? You think as you watch an episode of some TV show about this guy who has some kind of magic screwdriver and a time traveling phone booth. You don't really know or care for what it's about, but you're doing it because James told you to. Why he'd want you to watch some TV show is beyond you. Of course, you also have no idea why he'd go all the way to Britain on his investigation. Still, London is a weird place, but you've had no trouble getting used to it.

Just as you're about to turn off the TV and go out looking for your companion, the door to your fancy hotel room opens. Your gaze is instantly diverted to the opening of that portal, but you relax as soon as you recognize James' tired face looking back at you. He's dressed in a thick red coat, wearing a wide brimmed red hat and with an unusual pair of sunglasses covering his eyes. Somewhat ironically, you note that it's the exact same outfit a character in one of James' favorite anime usually wears. The only difference is that James doesn't have black hair, or a creepy smile that would make even you shiver.

Still, it's definitely him. No one else would go out in cosplay as a disguise.

"Nanatsu?" He blinks as he sees you, and takes off his sunglasses revealing his crimson eyes. "Great! I had hoped you'd wait for me." Nanatsu Yoru is the name you chose for yourself all those weeks ago. You read it on the knife you got from your chest. Ironic, that the very name you chose was the one that almost killed you before you were born again.

He removes the coat and hat, revealing a somewhat handsome blond haired young man. He plops down on the couch to your left, and releases a huge sigh of relief.

Neither of you speak for a few minutes, as you both find yourselves watching the television for lack of better things to do. But when the episode ends and the commercials come on, James gathers up his thoughts and speaks.

"I've finally got some leads."

You perk up at those words. You've both been looking hard for any information about James' lover and the mysterious Dead Apostle who turned you, but you haven't ever gotten anywhere. Today, however, it seems that James has lucked out. Seeing your attention, he chuckles weakly. You note that he looks pretty tired. Probably because of the fervor that's been possessing him these past few days, as he grew more and more desperate to find anything he could.

"I've got two leads." He says. "First, I've managed to get in touch with two of my old... acquaintances from the Magic Association." Ah yes, the Association that James frequently spoke of. He gave you a brief explanation of how it worked and his place in it a few days ago. But... to have found people he was allied with meant...

"They're aware of my... status, and they're still willing to discuss terms with me." It hasn't been easy finding people willing to talk with a Vampire, but it seems James has finally found some who are still comfortable enough to talk. "Their magecraft is one of the more unique ones I've seen." He continues. "They are trackers by nature. They can find people and things very quickly and easily. I myself don't know much about how it works, but they've been very reliable in the past." He frowns. "I should know... they had a knack for finding and taking some of my more precious belongings as pranks. I could never prove it was them, but..." He lets it rest. "They're troublesome to deal with, and there's a chance I could be walking into a trap. Honestly, I had considered their service before and decided not to try, but at this point I'm desperate enough to go to even them."

People so bad that even James didn't want to try them? These guys must be horrible.

"Anyway, I'm going to see them tonight. They set it as their date, and I can't get it changed. So it's now or never. I'd like it if you could come as my... bodyguard for the duration of the visit." For James to actually ask you for help, being the proud person he is must mean that they really do scare him. "I don't trust them at all, and it would make me feel much better to have some muscle on my side. I know they will, for sure."

So... mysterious contacts that may give you information or try to kill you. A dangerous mission for sure.

"Of course, there's another lead, too." He says once more. "There is an underground arena in London, called Tears of a Bloody Rose." Seeing your expression, he grimaces. "Yeah, I know. Not exactly the smoothest name. But it's one of the largest underground fight clubs in Britain. Magi and all sorts of folks go there to bet on fights, and sometimes participate in their own. Dead Apostles sometimes go there as well. It's not run by any organization, but it's a neutral territory where all disputes are left behind at the entrance. Enemies of all kinds often meet there to converse, secure in the knowledge that should any side try and funny business they'll instantly be ripped apart by a hundred other killers."

Sounds like a dangerous place, even for a Vampire such as yourself.

"I've heard from a contact that one of his servants will be there tonight." James continues to explain. "If we play our cards right we could get some useful information at that place. The problem is..." He grimaces in frustration. "I can't go there. I'm well known as a magus, and if I show up as a Dead Apostle it could compromise my identity. No one would be willing to stay in the same room as a person who can control their minds. So if we decide to pursue this lead, it'll be you who goes there alone."

"That's it. Two choices." He finishes. "Do you want to accompany me, or go to the fight club? Remember, I won't force you to choose one of the two. If you don't want to you can stay here and we'll look for other opportunities." However, you can tell that he'd really like your help on this, and opting not to go to either is probably going to annoy him at the very least.

Which shall you choose?

Blackdeath6031
January 26th, 2012, 02:25 AM
"Y...Yeah.."

For a moment, I hesitated, wondering why I felt like people would appear should she wail, even though the streets are truly empty.

Perhaps I had lost track of time, and everyone is asleep in their homes.

Or perhaps my instinct lie to me, in spite of how they were my saviour a few minutes ago, and no one would appear.

Or perhaps...
...No, even if I cannot trust this strange girl...

"A-Anyway, is there somewhere I can rest...may...maybe not for the night, but until my wounds heal and I can catch my breath...?"

...No..no good. My consciousness...it's....

But...why, I wonder...my eyelids feel...he...

Erlkonig
January 26th, 2012, 08:26 AM
Nanatsu Yoru

Leaning back on the chair, I grabbed the remote and turned off the TV. Standing up, I looked at James with crossed arms, hearing his information about leads. Through his explanation, I would nod my head or hum curiously at points where I found interesting, taking into mind the pros and cons of each lead. Attentively, I listened to the information on both leads.

Once it was over, I frowned, closing my crimson eyes. I pushed up my glasses from the bridge of my nose, and began to speak. "...You... look like you can take care of yourself, James. I don't know what I'd do without you in London so, try not to get killed, alright?" I informed him, when hearing about the duo of magi.

Then, I walked towards the table, and grabbed the closed knife, swinging it open. I tested out my speed, slashing out at the air with my full speed several times, then turned to James. "I'm more of a combat-oriented person, you should know that."

"I think I'll get along with the people at the fight club." I said, smiling, my crimson eyes shining with grim humour. And then I let out a chuckle. "And who knows, maybe I'll meet a nice vampire girl, or the like."

"Besides..." I let the words roll out of my mouth. "You don't have to worry about people controlling my mind. You fully know what my strength of mind is."

Bloble
January 26th, 2012, 09:10 AM
Erlkonig

"It's not your mind I'm worried about." James grumbles. "And just because it's a fight club doesn't mean you have to fight." But you can see that he looks worried for you. Perhaps he himself was hesitant about telling you this, for fear of you matching up to an opponent you couldn't beat. "I'll be giving you some funds you can use. You can bet on battles you think are interesting, or use it to bribe some people. It's your choice how you use it." He shuffles around in his pockets and takes out a wad of bills. At a glance you can see that the money is in euros, and that it's value is about 500,000. A ridiculous amount.

"And you'd better be careful." He continues, still worried about you. "That place is full of all sorts of people. Some of them are the lowest of the low, and unafraid to kill you in the midst of everyone there. Others will try to seduce you with offers of money, blood, sex, everything you can think of. The only reason I even thought of the Bloody Rose is because I thought you'd be able to handle it."

He finally catches himself, and takes a few deep breaths to calm down. He rummages around in his pocket and removes a crumpled photo, handing it to you.

It's of a thin and gaunt looking man. His clothes are old and shabby, and his black hair is long and stringy. He looks like he hasn't eaten in weeks. His red eyes give him the impression of a classic vampire. In fact, his bulbous red eyes are the most noticeable part of him. They look as if they are trying to escape his skull.

"This is a person I've seen a few times while I served under him. He doesn't have a name, but he calls himself 'Fang' or 'Gerard' most of the time. We've only spoken a few times, but he knows what I look like and he'll be on the watch for me, so I can't be the one to try and catch him. I know for a fact that he frequents the Bloody Rose around this time of the month, looking to make some quick money, and perhaps score himself a victim. He enjoys watching fights, and often bets on them. Most of the time he loses, though. That's all I know, so you'll have to figure out the rest yourself. I'm sorry I can't be of any help, but I know you're good at improvising, so you should be able to handle it."

"Anyway, that's all." He hands you a crumpled paper with an address and password scribbled onto it in barely legible handwriting. You know where it is since you've been in London for about two weeks and are familiar enough with its streets.

James sighs and looks at you one more time. "Good luck. I'll try to survive on my end too, so let's meet back here when we're done."

Erlkonig
January 26th, 2012, 09:19 AM
Nanatsu Yoru

Grabbing the paper, I stuffed it in my pocket. Involuntarily, I felt my body shiver with a cold rage. The image of the vampire of the photo shone in my mind, making my eyes narrow sharply. A minion of That Man. He was probably just as much an asshole as him.

"Alright then, I'll go. Have any good recommendations on who to bet?" I said, as I approached the door that was the exit to the hotel room. My knife was safely packed in a secure pocket, and my glasses were always with me, on my head.

Bloble
January 26th, 2012, 12:33 PM
Blackdeath6031

Your eyes flutter, and your knees give out. The surprised girls squeaks and jumps back as you collapse onto the floor. As your eyes close, you dimly hear her cries of surprise above you. You try to say more, but the next thing to go is your mind.

Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust. So... this is how you die-

You blink. Your eyes open in a single motion, and you realize two important things.

1. This isn't where you collapsed. You're sleeping on hay, and the sky has been replaced with a large wooden roof. You're in a barn, sleeping on a pile of hay.

2. Everything hurts. Everything. Your wounds from the Dead seem healed, but you still feel as if you've received the worst sunburn ever. Most likely, it'll be tougher to heal wounds inflicted by a holy weapon like that grenade. But still, you're in a good enough condition to move.

Just as you test out your limbs, a sound alerts you. The barn door creaks open, and a child darts inside before closing it securely. In the second that it's open you see rays of sunshine streaming inside. You must have been sleeping for a while.

The child approaches you cautiously. You see that it's a young boy, perhaps a year or two older than the girl you met last night. He's wearing overalls and a t-shirt, giving him a country look. He doesn't say anything for a while, preferring just to look at you, examining all the holes in your clothes with wide eyes.

Eventually, the excitement is too much for him to contain, and he opens his mouth to ask. "Did you get into a fight?" He says in accented but easily understandable English.

Bloble
January 26th, 2012, 12:42 PM
Erlkonig

James shakes his head. "I've only been there once in my life, many years ago. All I've told you is experience from that time, and what my... colleagues tell me about that place. So if you're going to bet on anyone, bet on yourself."

You nod, and move to open the door, but James stops you with a single word. "Wait." He says. "You can't go dressed like that." You look down. What? There's nothing wrong with your clothes! "You have to look suitably... interesting." He says. "Either that, or sneaky. Going dressed in casual street wear will get you kicked out, even if you are a Dead Apostle." He frowns, and goes to the large wardrobe he always brings with him, throwing it open to reveal his collection of anime inspired outfits. "Here, chose one of these." He tells you.

What? This is the first time he's ever let you wear one of his outfits... this must be really important. "You're about my size, so there should be no problem." He continues. "Make sure to choose something suitable."

With that, he himself exits the hotel room with a determined look on his face, leaving you with the task of choosing which one of his ridiculous outfits to wear.

Erlkonig
January 26th, 2012, 01:25 PM
...

...This is stupid.

I take a deep breath, trying to calm myself, and grab a random outfit from the wardrobe.

This... is actually sort of cool. (http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20080603013621/megamitensei/images/thumb/e/ed/Boywithearring.jpg/236px-Boywithearring.jpg)

"Well, this should do the trick." I said, looking the suit over. "Man, I do have a fondness for school uniforms, huh."

After I put it on, I grabbed my knife and glasses, picked up the address and the photo, and headed out, ready to go to the address.

Bloble
January 26th, 2012, 02:53 PM
Erlkonig

You walk through the dark and damp streets of London, feeling pretty comfortable in your new school uniform. It may not be the fanciest costume, but it'll be easy to move in, and you prefer school uniforms anyway.

You make sure to stay out of the public eye, taking the smallest and most out of the way alleys to avoid being seen. Blending in the with the city, you become an invisible ghost, unnoticed by the ordinary human population of the city. Although it would take an ordinary human hours to reach the destination you seek, you manage to shorten that time to a mere half hour by exploiting your supernatural agility and taking some shortcuts no human would ever find on their own.

Finally, you're there. In one of the darkest alleys, there is an iron door that seemingly leads to nowhere, embedded in a cracked brick wall. No human would be able to open it from the outside, and you yourself doubt that you could open it even with your strength. So you settle for knocking sharply three times, waiting a second, and knocking again four times, following the instructions on the paper James gave you.

There is a click and the sound of gears turning, and a hidden slot opens on the door, revealing a pair of beady brown eyes. "What do you want?" A rough voice growls.

"I am here to watch the sunrise." You say the password, a truly bizarre phrase no one would ever use in this situation, and wait, trusting in James to have given you the correct words.

The eyes stare at you for a second longer before the slot closes, and you hear another few seconds of gears turning and clicking. When the door swings open inwards, the man who answered is gone, and you are greeted by a long, dark staircase leading ever downwards.

You set off downwards, and after a minute or so of walking you walk out into a small cube shaped room about 10 x 10 x 10 feet. One corner of the room is taken up by a dented and rusted high school locker held closed by an old looking lock. There is an iron plated door on the right side that might lead somewhere, but you can't investigate because you're greeted by another person.

An small old man sits in the corner, wearing a faded security guard's outfit. He seems asleep on a finely polished wooden chair, but when he catches you looking at him his eyes snap open, revealing two bright blue orbs without a hint of fog in them. He looks at you, and rubs his sparse goatee thoughtfully with a heavily wrinkled hand.

"Weapons." He says after a moment, in a cracking, aged voice. "Show me all of your weapons. I won't take them unless they violate the restrictions, but I still need to see them all."

Erlkonig
January 26th, 2012, 02:59 PM
Nanatsu Yoru

I nodded, and silently withdrew my sheathed knife, showing it to him. Then, I took off my glasses, and waved them. "These two," I began. "are my only weapons." I said with certainty.

Well, the glasses were more of a shield than a weapon, but still.

I ran a hand through my hair, smiling. "Will that be all, sir?"

Bloble
January 26th, 2012, 03:09 PM
Erlkonig

The old man wordlessly takes the two items from you and examines them, starting with the knife. He puts on a pair of large, almost comically over sized glasses to read the writing on the side of the blade, but ultimately finds nothing wrong with it.

"Unusual to see a weapon without any enchantments." He says. "Usually they at least have something to preserve them or stop them from breaking, but this appears to be a completely normal knife. How unusual." Still, he hands it back to you without any problems.

It is when he looks at the glasses that the trouble starts.

"I-is this... one of Aozaki's works?!?" He gasps as he looks at the seemingly ordinary lenses. "An enchantment of invincibility that will survive a nuclear explosion, and a Mystic Eye killing property that would seal even a high ranking mystery!" He trembles as he suddenly holds the glasses reverently. "Sir, I cannot allow you to use these in battle." His voice shakes as he speaks. "You may take them with you, but they must not be used as weapons!" You're not sure whether he's angry at you for daring to use such powerful artifacts to fight, or whether he simply doesn't want them damaged. Either way, he has spoken.

He nervously straightens his own glasses. "I'm sorry sir, but I shall have you swear a geas not to use these glasses as weapons in any arena battles for the duration of your visit if you wish to take them downstairs. If you do not swear to abide by my judgement then you may leave them here with me for safekeeping while you are here or leave."

Erlkonig
January 26th, 2012, 03:17 PM
Nanatsu Yoru

-Damn.

I cross my arms. No use as weapons, huh? ...Well, he never said anything about armor or protection, so it's not like I'll whack somebody over the head with the glasses. Using them as a shield should be fine. "-Alright. If the geas only- And only concerns using the glasses as weapons in any arena battles, for the duration of this visit, I'll accept it."

Bloble
January 26th, 2012, 03:35 PM
Erlkonig

The old man nods, and gives you back the glasses. "This will only work if you allow it to." He explains. "If you resist in any way I will not be able to implant the geas, and it will fail. So do not resist."

He then raises his hand and under his breath mutters a few lines of what you think might be German, although you've never heard the language before so you wouldn't know. The room lights up around you, and you feel a presence in your mind, poking around. It is much weaker than his presence was, and not nearly as threatening. But after a few moments the light and presence fade from your mind.

You don't feel any different, but the old man seems satisfied. "Very well, you may continue, but you will find yourself unable to use these artifacts as weapons for the duration of your visit. Do you have any questions?"

He seems oddly interested in you, or more accurately, in those glasses you have. Possibly because of that he seems to have loosened up somewhat, and become more amicable towards you.

Erlkonig
January 26th, 2012, 03:59 PM
Nanatsu Yoru

"Yeah." I nod. "This is my first time coming here. Any tips? Is it reliable to get in a fight? What bets are good? What are the rules? And is there somebody I should watch out for?" I bombarded him with questions, one at a time, so he got them all. "I'm sorry if it's a bother, but I planned to use those glasses, so it's troublesome that there's such a big restriction on them. I'd gladly appreciate it if you at least answered the questions."

Bloble
January 26th, 2012, 04:57 PM
Erlkonig

The old man chuckles as he hears your rambling questions. "Oh my, such an eager lad." He notices. "You are very young, aren't you? Much too young to be going here, I think. But I know that you must have an important mission, so I'll do my best to answer." He removes his own glasses and stows him in one of his uniform's many pockets before speaking.

"I do not know much about the downstairs, as I don't usually go below this floor, but in all my years on the job I've heard a few things." He straightens proudly, but after a moment returns to scratching his goatee. "Hm... what was it again? It's been so long..."

Has... has he forgotten it?

"Aha! I remember!" He smacks a fist into his open palm, and momentarily grimaces at the pain of doing so. "You can bet on a fight or join one. There's no qualification for betting but to be able to provide payment if you lose. If you lose and don't have the money, they'll take it out of your body." So if you bet with money you don't have, the result is death. "There's also no requirement for fighting. All you have to do is sign up at the fight desk and they'll give you your own 'Bloody Rose ID' that marks you as a registered fighter. From then on you can request to participate in matches. I don't really know how they decide matches, but depending on how many fights you've won or lost you have a certain rank that decides your skill and strength."

He stops for a moment. "But... fights are usually to the death, so not many people survive losing. All the strongest people have been in dozens of fights." So losing isn't an option anywhere. You lose a bet and you're body is taken. You lose a fight and you're killed. It makes sense why this is an underground arena. Such a place would never be approved above ground. "You can make personal bets, and deals with your opponent if you wish." The old man continues. "You can also challenge anyone you want, but they are not required to accept your challenge unless you are within 3 ranks of them. Many newcomers think they can rise up the ranks by quickly beating stronger fighters, but they usually wind up dead."

So if you want to challenge the strongest fighter you can try, but he doesn't have to accept your challenge.

"On a brighter note, there is a bar that serves drinks, and they are very high quality!" The old security guard seems glad to have gotten off the topic of death battles. "Stop by and ask for the Henderson special if you're feeling lucky!" He grins. Looks like he's probably enjoyed some of the bar's drinks on his own free time.

"Anyway, that's all I know." He says. "Sorry if I can't be of any help... oh!" He suddenly blinks. "That's right. The man in the #4 spot. They call him the Soul Reaper." He says. "He has a very unique weapon, and they say that if it hits you it'll take your soul. Watch out for that one. Of course, if you're feeling up to it, he's offering his blade to whoever defeats him. There are a lot of collectors who are after it, but these days no one's willing to challenge him because he's never lost a match."

"Anyway, that's most definitely all I know." He says, then shoos you off. "Now hurry up and go. This room can only have one customer at a time and you could be holding up the line!"

Not that there would be such a line for a relatively unknown place.

You head down the stairs at the man's insistence, and soon, after what feels like almost an hour of walking, you reach another dead end. You feel around and find a door knob, which you turn and push, opening one final steel door.

You are greeted by chaos.

A large, almost impossibly huge hall greets you. A few hundred meters tall and wide, the long room is carved directly from thick, dark stone. The ground is rock, the walls are rock, and the ceiling is formed of that same dark rock. As if it's a natural cavern that was widened artificially...

But you don't dwell on the room itself for very long. Its inhabitants are much more interesting. You see what must be hundreds of people, noisily chattering away. There are several clusters of people talking among themselves, and occasional pairs muttering quietly. A few loners can be seen hanging around the edges of the room, but none resemble the man in the picture. Although there are all kinds of people, from African Vampires to Russian magi, there is also a sense of relaxation about the room, as if you cannot be harmed here.

A bar sits to your right, staffed by a prim looking bartender, and currently host to a dozen tired looking folks sitting at its tables and nursing mugs of beer or coffee, or in once case, a literally bloody cappuccino.

To your right is a wooden desk staffed by a well endowed but also angry brunette, who is currently in the process of punching a slightly too perverted customer in the mouth.

At the end of the hall, you can see several openings in the walls, with numbers above them ranging from 1 to 10, and white boards depicting what appear to be fight schedules next to each door.

Where shall you go?

Blackdeath6031
January 26th, 2012, 07:15 PM
"A....fight...?"

My mind wonders for a moment, trying to recollect my memories from the previous night.

Flying, dead things, massive explosions from a holy grenade. And coming close to Death's door several times in that short lapse. My scars are gone, but the scorching of the blast still lingers within the nerves under my skin.


But would it be smart to tell that to a kid of such naivety?

"Yes...what was it I fought though...? I...can't remember very well.

I must be insane, to be thinking that I fought with the undead. Haha."

Giving out a dazed, almost deflated laugh, I then look at the boy.

"Were you the one who brought me here?"

Bloble
January 26th, 2012, 08:13 PM
Blackdeath6031

"Undead?" The boy cocks his head to the side. "You mean zombies? Like the ones you fought yesterday when you saved us?"

It seems this kid already knows you.

"Oh, and um... yeah, Anna called me once you fainted. We didn't want mom to find out about you, so we dragged you into the barn." He says, recounting last night. "You were really heavy, Mister! It took us so long just to get you off the street... but I'm tough! I'm gonna be a superhero when I grow up so something like this is nothing for me!" He grins and flexes, showing off a skinny arm with almost no muscle on it. But he seems to think it's a magnificent achievement.

Blackdeath6031
January 26th, 2012, 08:33 PM
....Oh. I see.

"Thats great, kid. I'm sure you'd be one hell of a hero with that strength!" I grin.

"But, you shouldn't rest on your laurels. You probably know already, but keep working harder, got it? The evil ones tend to get stronger steadily."

Saying that, I pat his head lightly and look around.

Before looking back at the boy.

"Thanks for your and Anna's help."

Bloble
January 26th, 2012, 09:02 PM
Blackdeath6031

The kid grins at your praise and advice. "Got it! You'll see! One day I'll be like Superman... and Batman... and Spiderman... and I'll kick all the bad guys' butts!" He gets so excited that he actually starts mock fighting an opponent for a few seconds. He bounces around the room, before finally realizing that you're still here and stopping suddenly.

"Um... anyway, you're probably hungry." He says. "I'll see if I can sneak some food away from lunch!"

With that he leaves you alone, running out of the barn and back to his unseen house.

...

You jerk your hand to the side as a ray of light hits it. You look, and see that a miniscule hole in the roof has allowed some of the sun's light to penetrate. The feeling reminds you that you're not exactly human anymore.

Luckily, it seems that the pain has mostly faded now. A brief estimate tells you that in about a day you'll be back to normal, whatever normal is. You look around, and notice that your sword is stuck in the pile of hay to your right. Most likely the kids dragged it back along with your unconscious body.

As well, you feel a slight poke in your leg. Looking down, you see it's a bump in your pants. Ah, the scroll... you must have forgotten all about it.

Blackdeath6031
January 26th, 2012, 09:40 PM
Oh yes. That's right. The scroll.

I'm glad that the kids are so accommodating, and remembered to bring my blade.
Hopefully my presence here won't cause any trouble, however.

In any case, there is perhaps little I can do now.
My blank memory is one hell of a liability here.

Taking out the scroll, I unfasten and straighten it out before reading, making sure to keep my ears peeled to hear for any approaching sounds.

Bloble
January 26th, 2012, 10:11 PM
Blackdeath6031

The scroll seems to have been written very recently, as the ink is still very fresh. You don't recognize the handwriting, but it feels familiar to you. It is in English, which you seem to be fluent in.

Dear Brother Marcus,

It has been a very eventful journey these past 3 months, and even though the last time we have seen each other was only a day before that, it feels like forever. I look forward to meeting you again so we may once more drink wine and pray to the Lord. He has granted us many blessings in our mission, and thanks to those blessings we have been very successful in ridding this world of the Dead Apostle menace. Indeed, just last night we helped to liberate a small village from the clutches of a particularly fearsome monster.

I thank the Lord for the blessing he has bestowed upon us, Marcus, for without it I believe I would not have survived to write this letter. It was a curious blessing, and I still do not understand just how such a thing can exist.

A young man approached us scant weeks ago, in the middle of a difficult battle against a pack of Ghouls. He lent us his unique abilities, and helped to save many lives. I find it unusual how he fights. He uses no magecraft that I can see, yet that weapon of his cannot be normal. Perhaps it is a mystic code of some sort. I shall send you some photos when we return in a month. Regardless, he has been of great value to us, as his youthful determination to help has brightened many of our waning spirits. Just last night he saved my life when I was fighting a Monster capable of warping space to attack.

Marcus, I look forward to returning and sharing a glass of wine with you, but it seems we are due to complete the most dangerous part of our mission. The Executors themselves said they would meet us soon, in the disclosed location, along with a special weapon of theirs. This seems very unusual, but with our mission we will need nothing less. We have been given word of a very powerful Dead Apostle that has appeared in Transylvania, and our detachment is being sent there to investigate and wipe out the menace with the assistance of the 'weapon' the Executors will prepare for us. I can only pray to God that the weapon is powerful enough, as I fear that even with the righteous spirit burning in our hearts we will not be able to win.

I have heard rumours, Marcus. Several of the men have mingled with the townsfolk and heard tales of... unholy things happening. People disappearing, monsters showing up in the woods... the times are becoming darker, Marcus, and I pray that the Lord will grant me the strength to withstand these harsh nights.

Anyway, we have just finished cleansing another village. The inhabitants are a hardy bunch, and once we erased most of their memories they got to rebuilding very quickly. It is beautiful to see such splendid signs of resilience, but we must move if we are to make the deadline. The enclosed address will have the 'weapon' needed to erase the new menace, but it will only be there for a single day before the Executors return, just to make sure that no unauthorized people try to claim it.

We must deliver this weapon to Transylvania, and wipe out the new menace there. I pray that when we are done with this grueling task we shall be able to share a glass of wine once more.

What a horrible night to have a curse.

Daniel

Unusually, one of the lines is in completely different writing, but you don't really understand the significance of it.

What shall you do now that you have read this letter?

Blackdeath6031
January 27th, 2012, 02:49 AM
I...I don't what to say, how to react...!

Why...why does this handwriting - barring the last line - seem so familiar? My mind cannot help itself from trying to search my brain for why, but as expected, it was to no avail.

Why is the last line written so differently? Was it written by someone else? Why was that someone else here, or rather, intruding upon such a private letter addressed to people I know not?
But look at me. Haha. I myself am trespassing, am I not?

But I digress - trying to figure out the identities of those involved in this letter would have to be done another time. The subject of matter appears to demand my attention more so.

The letter describes a weapon of sorts. One which the Executors of....the Church?....have prepared for this...Daniel's group. According to the letter, it appears the weapon would be in the address written in this letter.
It appears the 'Dead Apostle' is in Transylvania. But where is that, in respect to here? Rather, what is this town, and how would I get to Transylvania from either here or the enclosed address? It mentioned that it would be at the location for only one day, but how many days has it been since?

Restless, I decide to turn my attention to the letter, seeking the address.
It appears my eyes fail me, for I have not seen such an address.

As I start to examine the whole letter for clues regarding the address, something from yesterday struck me.

"T-the... wea...pon..."

....?

"A survivor... take... the... wea...pon..."

...Ah. The man from yesterday, whom I had received this letter and the blade from.

"No... we... need... i-it! L-lord... grant me strength. I... can't let the mission... go unfulfilled..."

He...had said that last line, after trying to give me something it seems he no longer had.

But at the time, he only had the scroll and the sword...

Hold on...

...No, but wait. Unlike the other weapons the other members of the Church possessed, this one was not enchanted with any holy spells...How can it be the weapon which can purge the aforementioned threat?!

But still...!
C-...Could it be...?

Not wanting to leave any details unattended, I decide to examine both the letter and the sword.
However, priorities must be made, as things may occur at any minute. The letter has less surface to cover, and is already in my hands. I shall check that first before the blade.

Bloble
January 27th, 2012, 09:09 AM
Blackdeath6031

Your examination of the scroll yields a curious address written in English, but also unknown to you. You can understand what it says, but not what it means. Perhaps it would be better to find someone from around here who would be able to point you in the right direction if you really want to find this place.

The sword, on the other hand, is nothing special. You detect nothing off about it at all. Other than a slight etching on the bottom that you eventually realize reads 'Daniel' it is a perfectly ordinary weapon.

As you're speaking, the boy and Anna come back. This time she's dressed properly and not in pajamas. They're both holding a few slices of bread with two apples, grinning.

"Here you go!" Anna chirps as she hands you the food in her hands. "Sorry it took so long but Alfons almost got caught sneaking it out, so we had to wait for the heat to die down!" Somehow, seeing a little girl talking about 'heat' and 'sneaking' seems wrong to you, but not as wrong as the feeling you get when you grab the food.

You don't want to eat this. No, your body is not hungry for this kind of food. You instinctively know that this will only slightly alleviate the hunger you feel right now. Yes, if you want to survive, you'll have to find a... different kind of food.

Blackdeath6031
January 28th, 2012, 05:27 AM
"Ooh, looks delicious!" I can't help but say, as I smile and eyed the food before me.

However, I realise to my horror that 'food' was not only the bread and apples, but rather Anna and Alfons too.

...No. No, NO, NOO!! I...I can't! Of all possible things, these two...!

"Thanks for all of this, and sorry for the trouble." I say, trying to hold back the strange hunger within me. If I really cannot hold myself back, at least seek out some livestock instead. Just...just not humans...
...Oh, yes. The address. Perhaps they might know?

Taking one slice of bread, I move it toward my mouth, and bring it close enough to eat it, before stopping.
"Oh, by the way." I put down the slice and show the two children the address. "Do you happen to know where this place is? It seems like I'm expected there urgently, but my memory's been really foggy since last night and so I can't remember my way there any more."

Bloble
January 28th, 2012, 11:48 AM
Blackdeath6031

"Eh? You want to go there?" The kids seem surprised, and a little scared when you tell them you're expected there. As if it's a dangerous place.

"You can't!" Anna breaks the silence with an almost crying wail. "That's the witch's house! In the cursed woods! You'll be eaten! Turned into her food!" She's already tearing up, probably at the thought of you being eaten by a witch.

"Aw be quiet Anna!" Now Alfons seems annoyed. "I've told you time and time again, that's just a silly bedtime story mom told us to keep us from going into the woods! There's no such thing as a witch!"

"Well if zombies exist, why shouldn't witches exist too?" Anna counters with a... very good question.

Alfons seems taken aback for a moment, but it only takes him seconds to think up a good response. "Oh yeah? Well we saw zombies only yesterday! And we've never seen or heard a witch in all the times we walked by the forest! Heck, I went in there once on a dare! I only got 5 feet in before running, but I didn't get caught or eaten! There's no proof!" He stick his finger out proudly, almost hitting Anna's nose, but she isn't fazed.

"Then... what about Hans and Greta?" She says, slowly and surely.

At that, Alfons freezes, and sighs. "Well... we can't explain how those two disappeared. But you know how stupid those two were, leaving a trail of breadcrumbs and not string or pebbles. The probably just got lost in the forest and couldn't find their way back out."

"Then it's still dangerous! We can't let the Mister who saved us from zombies die in some forest!" Anna is stubborn, and she finally seems to have won over her older brother.

He looks at you, and sighs uncomfortably. "I can... draw you a map." He says. "The forest is... a bit scary." He admits, thinking back to his own short venture there. "But don't worry, the way to the shack is easy to find! You just have to follow the trail in, then turn left once you see the big rock shaped like a bird, then you'll get to this really big tree trunk..."

He rambles, and after he's done he leaves, promising to return with a guide map to the 'shack' you need to reach. Anna stays, sniffling and still about to cry.

"Mister... don't die, okay?" She rushes forward and wraps her little arms around your neck in what she thinks is a bone crushing hug. But to you, her arms are as weak as tissue paper.

Suddenly, your stomach rumbles, imperceptible to human ears, but perfectly visible to you.

You're hungry.

Hungry.

Hungry.

Bloble
January 28th, 2012, 04:16 PM
Satehi

"The holy shall suffer.
The sinners will fly.
Hear my warning, creature.
This temple shall die."

Your eyes fly open. You choke on your own scream as soon as you wake up, but you can't speak. Your throat won't open.

You can't breathe. You can't breathe!

You raise your hands and claw desperately at your throat. You choke, and choke, and bleed as your nails rip apart your skin in a desperate attempt to give you air. The world is going dark again. No. No...

Snap!

A deep breath of air fills your lungs as one scratching finger snaps the rope that was tied tightly around your neck. The obstruction is gone, and you can breathe again.

You can scream again.

You rise, unsteadily, and look at your surroundings.

Dark. It's dark. But you can see through this darkness. You can pierce this veil of natural secrecy to see the truth.

Death. You are surrounded by death.

Dozens of corpses surround you, filling the room around you with body parts and blood. They are all dead. All of them. Each has been killed in a different way. One has no limbs, another is missing his head. One has had both of his eyes torn out and shoved down his throat. One of the more gruesome seems to have choked to death on his own hand.

Each person is wearing identical black robes, and is male, but other than that you don't see anything that links them together. You notice that you yourself are wearing the same robes. The room you're in is large and made of wood. You realize that it's a temple.

The rope around your neck... you should have been dead as well. But you are not. You're here. You're alive.

...who are you?


Elyrin

"Worthless. Why are you so worthless? All of you, worthless!"

"And you! You're the most worthless of all! My magnum opus! My greatest masterpiece! Worthless! All worthless!"

"WORTHLESS!WORTHLESS! WORTHLESS WORTHLESS WORTHLESS WORTHLESS WORTHLESS WORTHLESS!"A crack.

You twitch.

Another, larger crack.

Your hand moves, your eyes flutter.

A deafening crash, and the glass tank surrounding you shatters. You fall forwards onto the floor, taking the first breath of your new life that hasn't been tainted by the liquid you existed in up until now. Like a child exiting his womb you are born into the world.

It's cold, and wet. You are naked.

You don't cry, though. You open your eyes fully and clumsily rise to your feet, getting used to the body you are using for the first time. Once you feel stable enough, you look around with eyes that can see through the darkness of your surroundings.

Glass is everywhere. This place you're in is full of it. You look behind you and see a broken glass cylinder, rapidly letting some kind of fluid flow out. Behind it is a stone wall. This was the womb from which you emerged. The place you were born from. It's gone now. You can't go back.

Next to it is another tube, broken as well.

And another.

And another.

You look to either side, and see dozens upon dozens of these identical tubes, each broken and empty in the exact same way. Each a womb from which something was born.

In front of you a similar thing sits. A row of tubes stretching out into the darkness. But one is different.

The tube in front of you isn't broken.

It holds something. No, someone.

A naked, pure body floats in some sort of liquid. It isn't supported by anything, but seems to float on its own. Its hair is pure white, and its skin is pale. It only takes you a second to realize that it's male. And sleeping, just like you were moments ago.

You look around once more, and see what appears to be a steel door at the end of the hall formed from broken cylinders. At the other end there is no such exit.

RacingeR
January 28th, 2012, 07:28 PM
She keeps up with me easily, as expected. She has already noticed my plan, despite myself, and she knows what is going to follow, but I donít change my attack. I donít have the time to do so.

She smiles as my relatively slow punch travels towards her face in an arc... and is suddenly snapped back as my left hand throws a lightning fast swipe towards her midsection.

A massive sound, and the floor under my feet explodes in pieces of stone, making my footing slip as I am launched upwards, struggling to maintain myself together to face what is coming. Flying towards the ceiling... no, not even reaching it, as I find myself at an insane height in the air, completely defenseless.

Air twists, and the same rotten wind I felt before writhes at my surroundings with strangled sounds, as if a snake had just decided that I made for a tasty snack. My arms are put forward as a shield, when the gigantic blast of air comes towards me. I cannot dodge something that cannot be seen, after all.

ďGuh!Ē A sound escapes my lips despite myself as I am blasted backwards with impossible strength, crashing in the stone wall with enough impact force to create a crater. For a second, like some kind of stupid cartoon, I hang from the wall, before the harsh mistress known as gravity decides that it had enough, and I find myself falling to the floor.

I twist my body, despite the pain, and manage to land without causing further damage to myself, somehow. It seems that I ainít hurt as badly as I thought. I can still move without any problem.

I hear Sumireís words with attention. A slight confusion appears in my face, as I thought on what I had just done. Maybe I was a martial artist before being transformed into the monster I was now, or...

I shook my head. That was in the past. Now, I should focus on the here and now, as Sumire had given me an important clue on the actions I should take. So as long as she knows where I am, I canít reach her. No problem, I know a way to get under her guard...!

As my plan took form in my head, I launched into another run. This time I did not hold back into my speed, transforming myself into a powerful blur that blasted at impossible speeds as I traced a semicircle around my enemy, so fast that even Olympic athletes would have found it hard to see me. This speed was my best weapon against my current foe.

I suddenly launched forward against my enemy, and as I did, working fast, I got out of my shirt with sudden movements that I had been preparing since before, and I threw it in front of me, towards the Dead Apostle Ancestor, with the intention to obscure her view. But I did not advance from the sides, or even from under it, because that would have been even more predictable.

I jumped, a graceful, elegant jump that pushed myself above the shirt I had just thrown, above of the places where anyone would have expected me to move, and from the very air, as the impulse of my jump carried me forward, I sent a flurry of punches towards Sumireís head, a true storm of speed and strength.

If I could manage to even touch a lock of her hairs... it would be enough!

Bloble
January 28th, 2012, 11:56 PM
RacingeR

You aren't intimidated even after your initial failure. Even though she's proven to be a tough enemy, you think you have a grasp on her powers and formulate a new plan of attack, this one slightly more risky but at the same time your only choice. There is no retreat against an enemy that can control the world, after all.

So you run. You charge, circling around her and using pushing your body to its limit, using as much speed as possible to confuse your opponent. She doesn't move save to follow you with her eyes. Even when you are behind and she can't see you, you know that she is aware of your position through the sound of your footsteps and the movement of the wind. No, simple strafing won't work.

You aren't done yet, though. When you are behind her you implement your plan, taking off you newly won shirt and readying it. As soon as you come into her vision you throw the article of clothing, making sure that it spreads as much as possible, then leaping behind it. To her, it is as if you have disappeared. Your body is behind the sudden blockage in her vision, and she is unable to locate you.

Instantly a dozen spikes of rock sprout up from the ground and stab through the shirt, but you are not there. No, you are above.

Flying from the sky, you rocket towards your unsuspecting foe, letting loose a flurry of punches that will hit her as soon as you get into range.

But you won't get there.

The same rotten wind comes, but this time it flows around Sumire, intensifying and creating a wall of wind thick enough to shred almost anything that comes into contact with it. Even... you. The wind whips up her hair, and it creates a halo around her head, a testament to her power. You cannot win. You must stop before you are killed.

But you don't stop. Or rather, you can't. Your momentum is already there, and you can't change it. You fly into the wind, fingers outstretched.

As soon as your hand comes into contact with the omnidirectional wall of wind, Sumire whips her head to look at you, slightly surprised this time. Even as the air shreds your hand, you push forward and with a scream your hand breaks through, piercing the wall like a lance.

It shoots towards Sumire's head, bloody but intact, but...

You are slowing down. The wind is repelling your body, not allowing it to pass through. A hand is all you could manage. Even so, you struggle for every last millimeter of distance, trying to reach the untouchable foe with your outstretched hand.

You stop, and before you can reverse direction you swipe with your hand, trying desperately to score a hit. But tragically, you fall short. You can't touch her. This distance is one you cannot overcome.

You fly backwards, bleeding and skidding along the ground until you come to a stop in your starting position.

You rise, bruised and battered, to see your opponent, unhurt, and grinning.

You have failed-

"Congratulations." Sumire says. She claps, slowly, moving for the first time since the start of this battle. "You got me."

You don't understand. You missed. You didn't hit her at all. But when Sumire points to your bloody hand, you see it.

A single, curled blue hair is wrapped around your index finger. You did reach her after all.

"Impressive." She says. "You totally got me, completely. I had to put up an omnidirectional shield because I couldn't see you. It was weaker than a single direction shield, which is why you had enough momentum to pierce it and touch me." She smiles. "You pass. This is technically your win. I accept that you have won."

"But..." She looks at your battered body again. "Do you think that you've won? I won't dispute your victory, but is this enough for you?"

You look at the hair around your finger once more. Such a small victory... does that even count? Should it count? You know that managing to snag a hair was mostly luck. You could have just as easily not hit her at all. Can you accept that?

Can you accept your victory, or do you think you can one up it?

Blackdeath6031
January 29th, 2012, 09:13 AM
....Hungry.
Hungry.

So hungry...

A small girl. One who is so....so close to me...

Instinctively, I raise my hands, intending to hug her just as tightly, as my physical memories dictate me to.

But no, I cannot - I no longer know how well I can control this body. For all I know, I may crush her - or worse yet, sink God knows what into her, and take what I shouldn't.

"A..." I open my mouth, wanting to ask her to leave.

But...how can I convince her...?
No, regardless of the result, I must do it.

"A..Anna..."
Swallowing I decide to continue.

"Anna. You too. Don't die.
"...No, make sure you and Alfons don't come to greet anyone suspicious after I leave.
No, even that is not the best. Tell Alfons to leave the map outside the barn, and don't come near me, both of you.

I'm not the person you knew before last ni--...No, perhaps 'no longer' is more suitable..." I correct myself and laugh bitterly.

The forest is where I need to head, huh...
That forest, which I saw when I woke up...

But the path to that address itself...

Ceasing my own thoughts, I look back at Anna.
"Now, go! Let Alfons know! And don't come near me ever again! I...I don't want the two of you - at least the two of you - to die..."

The kind, adorable children, whom I never knew...

Or perhaps I was exaggerating?
No, that matters not.

I gently pry Anna's hands off me, and, after propping her upright, place a small bit of pressure on her back and guide her out of the barn.

With that done, I take my sword and look for some clothing which could conceal my features and my weapon in some way.

I had better leave soon, or my thirst would overpower me at a bad time...

Erlkonig
January 29th, 2012, 01:06 PM
Nanatsu Yoru

I scratched the back of my neck, looking at the all the people as they scurried back and forth. "Damn, this place is big..." My crimson eyes darted side to side, scanning the enviroment in search for the man in the photo. Cautiously, but in a way that didn't raise alarm, I walked my way to the bar on the right.

Coming to test my skills here and everything would've been alright... if death wasn't such an alarming presence on the fights. I wasn't ready to just throw myself at a fight first, and I needed to have the mission in mind-

First things first, That Man's servant has to be apprehended and captured. I was confident in my performance outside of the arena- My glasses were with me, and as long as I was outside of an arena battle, I could use them as weapons.

...But that geas was troublesome. If I tried to launch myself in an arena fight before trying to locate the man, it's likely that I would face him- and by large, his master, without being able to use the glasses.

Anyway, the best place to see what happened amongst the crowds was the bar, so going there first of all would be what I'd do.

Bloble
January 29th, 2012, 02:29 PM
Erlkonig

You move towards the bar; it seems more calm and subdued than the rest of this chaotic place.

When you arrive in the bar section, the rough stone floor and walls give way to dark wood paneling and lush carpets. The change in atmosphere is startling, as you instantly relax upon approaching, as if this place is meant to be a safe haven for all weary people.

4342

No one there seems to want to talk, or even bothers to look at you, but the bartender instantly notices your presence and flashes a warm smile.

"Good evening." He says, and gently points you to a free seat in front of the bar. "Would you like to order something to drink? Or would you like me to choose a drink for you?"

Erlkonig
January 29th, 2012, 02:33 PM
(Bloble I can't see pic, give better link)

I softly take a seat at the bar, and smile at the bartender. "Thank you. I'd like something suited for one of myself, if it's not too much of a hassle to ask."

As I waited for my drink, I looked at the people chatting. "This place is so... different to the rest of the club."

Bloble
January 29th, 2012, 02:56 PM
Erlkonig

The bartender smiles back at you, a charming but gentle smile that instantly makes you relax.

"Of course. I shall endeavor to find you a suitable drink immediately."

He immediately gets to work, grabbing all sorts of different ingredients and mixing them together expertly. As he works, he replies to your statement.

"Yes, I find that no matter where it is, a bar is a place where people can go to relax, or let their troubles fade away for a single night. This place is simply somewhere that people can let go of their burdens and rest."

As he finishes the drink, he adds a final ingredient. He expertly draws back his sleeve, grabs a small knife, and slices open one of his veins. A single spurt of blood falls, and in a single motion he grabs some sort of cream, smears it over his wound with one hand, and catches every single droplet of blood as it falls with the glass, allowing not a single drop to stain the counter top. In another second, his wound has healed, most likely thanks to that cream.

He presents the glass to you, smiling.

4343

"One 'Crimson Saketini'." He says, almost reverently. "I noticed that you seem young, and that you have Asian features, just as I do. You are also wearing a school uniform, spoke with a noticeable Japanese accent, and weren't familiar with bar etiquette, signifying you as one who does not drink often. Yet you are here, in London, away from your home. Thus, I made you a Saketini, a simple drink normally made from Gin, sake, and crushed ice. The sake will hopefully remind you of your homeland, and isn't so powerful as to distract you from your mission tonight. I took the liberty of adding my own blood, as it is best fresh. I am O negative, just so you know."

He bows. "I hope you enjoy your drink."

Erlkonig
January 29th, 2012, 03:04 PM
Nanatsu Yoru

I whistled. "Impressive- Those are some great skills, man." I grabbed the Saketini, giving it an experimental sip.

...It was great. The flavor of the various components clashed with each other in my throat, the drink making my body shiver from the alcohol. "Mm, it's excellent. You said you have Asian features? Are you perhaps from said continent, too?" I said, leaning back on the seat.

I was a bit shocked when he bowed. "H-Hey, there's no need to be so formal. Thanks, anyway."

I continued to chat with the bartender.

"You mentioned bar etiquette- does that mean that no one fights inside a bar, and instead relaxes, because such is part of the etiquette?"

Bloble
January 29th, 2012, 08:12 PM
Blackdeath6031

You grit your teeth, and gently push Anna away after a moment, all while desperately suppressing your hunger. You can't let it control you. You can't!

Anna is surprised, but when you ask her to leave, she nods with a teary face, understanding that somehow her presence is hurting you. As she leaves the barn, she shouts back to you. "You're an idiot!" She yells. "A dummy!" Another yell.

She pauses, and you hear her inhaling.

She lets out a final yell. "But you're still you! You're still the superhero who saved us that night! Dummy!"

After that, you hear the pounding of feet on dirt as she runs away from the barn. You let out a sigh. With her presence gone, your hunger is muted. You can still feel an echo of it in your stomach, but it's bearable. What worries you is that you can feel your body slowing down, and weakening. If you don't feed soon, you won't be able to last much longer.

Now that she's gone, you stand up, stretching your limbs and getting used to your body. The pain from the grenade is gone fully now, and you can move normally again.

You find a thick woolen cloak in the back of the barn, and decide that it'll do. You shake it out, and find that it's enough to hide your body completely from sight.

As you're trying on your clothes, you hear the tapping of feet approaching the barn. You freeze.

The sound stops, and you hear another yell, from Alfons this time.

"I know that you're different!" He says. "You even look different! But you're also the same! The last time we say you, you fought this big bad guy to save us! You got hurt a lot, but you kept going! You were like a superhero!" He stops for a moment to take a deep breath. "I'm going to be like you some day! I'll be the best hero ever! So don't die, and one day I'll help you too!"

You hear the sound of him going. You're alone again.

Bloble
January 29th, 2012, 08:24 PM
Erlkonig

The bartender nods. "Indeed. I am from Japan as well." You notice that he has a very light accent, and you can't believe that you missed it earlier. He was probably suppressing his natural accent then. "I am here to study up on bar tending techniques and meet new people." He chuckles a bit. "These magi are an interesting bunch."

At your question of bar etiquette he nods again. "Indeed. Fighting is forbidden here, even more than it is outside. This is a place where one can feel at home. As such, no violence is allowed." He pauses before continuing.

"As a bar tender, it is my job to make sure all the people here are satisfied, but I can tell there is something on your mind." He speaks carefully, as if treading on dangerous ground.

"Is there... anything you wish to know?"

Erlkonig
January 29th, 2012, 08:36 PM
Nanatsu Yoru


I narrowed my eyes, and whispered sharply to him. "I do not know if it is against your etiquette to disclose some kind of information, but..." I took out the photo James had given me, cautiously, quietly, making sure no-one was looking, and gently slid it towards him, across the table. "Have you seen this man?"

Bloble
January 29th, 2012, 08:48 PM
Erlkonig

The bartender looks at the photo for a few moments, and seems to be deep in thought. Finally, he slides the photo back to you.

"Sorry, but I cannot say whether or not I have seen this man. If I did see him, I wouldn't be able to tell you. A bar tender is like a doctor, and he does not betray trust with his patients."

So nothing. You can't get any information from this guy-

"But..." He looks at the photo again. "I consider myself a good judge of character. So I will say this. If I did happen to have met such a customer only a short time ago, he would most likely have ordered a Bloody Mary with... extra blood." He rubs his wrist and grimaces slightly. "And if such a person came to this bar, he would have gone to the highest tier of arena, number ten, with the intention of making some risky bets."

He coughs lightly and averts his gaze. "Of course, I cannot tell you whether or not such a thing happened, so I am afraid that I cannot help you in this."

Erlkonig
January 29th, 2012, 08:55 PM
Nanatsu Yoru

My face scrunched up in rage when I saw him rub his wrist. "Do you have to deal with people like that all the time?" I lowered my head, and sighed. "...Thank you for your advice. I'll... try to enjoy my drink for a while more, and try to relax."

"By the way... Do you often meet the high rankers in this bar? What are they like?" I asked, sipping on the Saketini. "I'm not asking you anything about their powers, I know you won't say anything about that, just how they are as people."

I looked at the various people sharing drinks. "Besides, it seems as if the higher rank one is, the easier learning about them is." I couldn't recognize any of these people, but if I learned who the high rankers were, I might be able to judge just how 'reliable' this arena is, morally speaking.

Bloble
January 29th, 2012, 09:14 PM
Erlkonig

"A bar tender's responsibility is to make everyone feel at home, no matter what." He replies. "There may be some 'difficult customers' but each one is a valued customer nonetheless." He smiles gently. "And do try to enjoy your drink. I wouldn't be a very good bartender if I couldn't help you relax."

At your question about the high ranking fighters he purses his lips as if contemplating whether or not to tell you. Finally, he sighs. "Well, I suppose it wouldn't hurt to give you a brief description, although there are some things I cannot tell you, due to customer-tender confidentiality."

"Number 10 and 9 are good friends." He says. "They are constantly fighting each other, and are so evenly matched that they often trade places in the rankings several times a month. Because of this they only people they have ever lost to are each other." He smiles. "Boisterous, rude, but at the same time they share a brotherhood I have rarely seen in a cold place like this."

"Numbers 8 and 7 do not come to the bar. I haven't ever seen them, and to my knowledge they only come here to fight, and leave when their work is done."

"Number 6 is actually too young to drink." He chuckles. "But occasionally I pour him a glass of apple juice for when he's thirsty. A cheerful boy, that one. Probably why so many people underestimate him."

"Number 5 is... a heavy drinker." He sighs. "I have had to order restocking far too much because of him, as he regularly frequents the bar." But he smiles as he thinks back. "He only recently rose this high in the rankings, so he's probably not used to this much fame. A very interesting person, but he spends far too much of his time too drunk to talk to properly."

"Number 4..." He frowns. "A very... pitiful person." This is the first time you have seen the bartender speak negatively about someone. "He has lost most of his humanity." He says sadly. "Now he only comes here to drink just enough to survive. He doesn't speak to me at all, or even react to my questions. Years of fighting have changed him. He's desperate now, accepting any challenge that comes his way and tearing people apart with no mercy. He can't remember anything other than battle, and so he recklessly seeks it without knowing why."

The bartender looks sad when speaking about number 4, but quickly continues before the silence can stretch. "Number 3 never comes in. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen her before. She's only had a single battle this month, and almost no one knows who she is or why she comes here. She does not come to the arena that often, but from what I hear she comes only for unique occasions or when she needs some extra money."

"Number 2 is a glamorous fellow." The bartender says, and you think you can hear distaste in his voice. "He has... a fair bit of pride, although he does deserve most of it. He comes here occasionally with his... companions. Never really talks to me, so I can't say much about him."

"As for Number 1..." He shakes his head. "I cannot tell you. Me and Number 1 talk often, but I have been sworn to secrecy, and even if I was not I would not tell you." So it's less of him not being able to talk, but more of him being unwilling to talk.

You look down, and realize that you've already finished your drink.

"Would you like another?" The bartender asks.

Erlkonig
January 29th, 2012, 09:21 PM
Nanatsu Yoru

Number 4...

...He sounds like how I would've been, had I succumbed to my hunger.


"Would you like another?" The bartender asks.

I chuckled, shook my head, then stood up. "I'm sorry, I can't." I grabbed my glasses, cleaned them a bit with a handkerchief, then put them back on. Standing up, I nodded gratefully to the bartender. "After I'm done with my business, I'll come back-"

Walking away, I flashed a smile to the bartender. "And there better be something heavy for next time."

...

...Time to face my destiny head on.

Arena 10.

Bloble
January 29th, 2012, 09:57 PM
Erlkonig

The bartender smiles and chuckles, and nods as you leave. But as he sees you going towards the door, he calls to you.

"Hey, wait a second!"

Erlkonig
January 29th, 2012, 10:04 PM
Nanatsu Yoru

I turn around, and look at him. "What's the matter- oh."

I blushed. "Did I have to pay?"

Bloble
January 29th, 2012, 10:14 PM
Erlkonig

"No,no, drinks are free." The bartender shakes his head. "But since you're asking about fights, and I noticed that you had a weapon on you, I thought I might remind you that you need to get an ID card before entering or betting on any fights of your own." He points to the desk across from the bar, where the well endowed brunette you saw punching someone earlier is now smoking a cigarette and sighing.

Erlkonig
January 29th, 2012, 10:16 PM
Nanatsu Yoru

I sighed in relief. "Alright, ID card, gotcha."

As I was about to turn around again, I asked another question, foreboding mood broken. "...Getting the ID card is free too, right?"

I really didn't want to give the impression I was poor, but...

Goddamn, I was poor.

Bloble
January 29th, 2012, 10:20 PM
Erlkonig

The bartender doesn't say anything as you mention a price, but nods and smiles. A tactful guy, that one.

Erlkonig
January 29th, 2012, 10:21 PM
Nanatsu Yoru

I tilted my head in awkward gratefulness, and then turned to head towards the desk.

Bloble
January 29th, 2012, 10:30 PM
Erlkonig

As you approach the desk the buxom woman sees you and awkwardly stifles the cigarette in a nearby ashtray, then quickly shoves it into one of the desk's drawers. By the time you finally arrive, she's put on a strained smile.

"Hello there!" She says in a faux happy tone. "First timer? Would you like an ID card?"

Blackdeath6031
January 29th, 2012, 11:21 PM
I'm so glad, they listened to me after all!

Straightening 'my new cloak', I make sure before hand that no one is outside - or if there were, I wouldn't attract attention.

My main objective now would be to seek out the map Alfons said he would draw out, and use it to find my way to this weapon. Perhaps it would be of service to me now that I'm in need of a means to defend myself.

However, I doubt I can do much if my body hungers.
But what does it hunger for...?

No, I already know it - liquidated life - that which all living things have coursing through their veins. I crave for human blood, however, not just any.
But will my thirst overtake my own will? Let us hope it does not.

No, rather than human blood, I must seek another source. Livestock. Yes...poultry, cows, sheep..
If this is truly a barn, there must be some around here.

...But if not...perhaps I will have to rely on what I can find as I make my way to the forest...

Bloble
January 30th, 2012, 12:07 AM
Blackdeath6031

You cautiously go outside for the first time in several hours, wrapped in your thick cloak.

You finally see where you are.

It is a farm on the edge of town. Unlike the village it isn't damaged save for some burnt crops you can see in the fields. A few hundred meters away you see a farmhouse glowing brightly in the night.

A bright sparkle catches your eye, and you notice a piece of paper crudely taped to the door of the barn. When you approach you see childish handwriting, and a shiny sticker that caught your eye. It has written instructions that, while not as good as a map, are themselves readable. It seems that you'll have to keep your eyes out for certain landmarks on your way. For now you just have to follow the trail into the woods. The same trail that you see passing by the barn, leading to the woods. Surprisingly they aren't that far. You could probably get there in a few minutes.

But you need food, first. If humans aren't allowed, you'll have to make do with animals. You take a look around, searching for some farm animals you might be able to eat.

Unfortunately, you see nothing. It seems that this farm only grows crops and doesn't take care of animals.

Blackdeath6031
January 30th, 2012, 12:51 AM
"Kuh..."

Dammit, why aren't there any?


Taking the note Alfons had nicely scribbled on and stuck onto the barn door. I wish I have the ability to do something to thank them, but perhaps leaving them in peace is the best I can do. Turning toward the door, I make a light bow before going on my way.

Perhaps the other farmhouse nearby might possess the animals I need to fill me up...?

Only one way to find out, is there?

Peeling my ears for oinks, moos, baas and cackles, I head toward the farmhouse.

Elyrin
January 30th, 2012, 12:59 AM
Cold. Dark. Wet. Words I hardly know the meaning of come to my mind as I take in my surroundings. Shattered glass, countless empty tubes like mine, a lone steel door... and right in front of me, something that should not be here. Someone. Male.

He is asleep, just like I was. Is he supposed to be asleep? Should I have woken up?

Worthless!

No. We are failures. Garbage to be thrown out and abandoned. I should just leave him there, and lie down to accept my fate.

Should I really, though? Do I want to? People aren't garbage, but am I even a person?

Ugh. Too many questions, and my head hurts. One at a time. Yes, I should. No, I don't want to. I don't know. Maybe he can tell me, but he's asleep. I should wake him up.

I tiptoe over to his tank, careful not to cut myself on the glass. I look him over once more, spending at least a minute looking at his face. I need to wake him up.

I look around, trying to see through the darkness to find anything that might help me.

Bloble
January 30th, 2012, 01:09 AM
Blackdeath6031

You silently make your way towards the brightly lit house, expecting the sounds of animals.

Unfortunately for you, it isn't that kind of farmhouse.

You peek through a window, and see something that forces you to stop in your tracks.

"And he was really cool, dad!" Alfons stands up on his chair, waving around his spoon as if it's a sword. "He slashed those zombies apart like they were made of paper!" He starts gesturing wildly, mimicking a sword fight.

An older man chuckles. "That sounds very... interesting, Alfons. You kids sure have the strangest dreams." He tucks into some roasted vegetables, along with another older woman who didn't speak, but has a gentle smile on her face.

"But it happened!" Alfons frowns as he realizes his parents aren't paying attention. "It was just yesterday! They wrecked the town, but those guys came and beat up all the zombies!"

Now the mom sighs. "Listen here, Alfons. Now we've raised you to be a good boy, but you have to grow up some day and realize that make believe shouldn't extend into the real world. You may think that was real, but that 'superhero' who saved you is just a figment of your imagination that you dreamed up."

"No, he's real!" Now Anna speaks up, putting down her fork and knife as she talks. "He came in out of nowhere with this really cool sword and chopped the zombie in half! Then he said 'you're going to be all right, I'll save you' to us!"

"Yeah, yeah!" Alfons continues where his sister left off. "Then he got into a fight with this creepy flying guy! The flying guy just waved his hands and the buildings started shaking and falling apart, but the Mister just jumped on the falling pieces then stabbed him in the chest! It was awesome!"

The dad puts down his eating utensils as well, and frowns. "Now Alfons, what have we told you about telling stories to your little sister? You know that she's very impressionable! What happened yesterday was just a freak earthquake, not some zombie attack. Now I'll have no more horror stories in this house! We don't want your sister to have nightmares again." With those final words he pick up his fork and stabs a particularly annoying carrot.

"But... I don't have nightmares anymore." Anna mumbles, too quiet for anyone but you to hear. "Because Mister superhero saved me from them..."

There is no more talking, and the happy family in front of you eats in silence.

Bloble
January 30th, 2012, 01:29 AM
Elyrin

You look closely at the person in front of you. He's floating serenely in that tube, separated from the world. How... sad.

You shuffle closer, examining the contours of the sleeping person's face. It seems that he's a young man, from the looks of it. You also realize that you're male as well, and when you feel the contours of your face you get the impression that you've got a slightly effeminate face.

But that isn't important. You closely examine the tank in front of you, looking for a release valve of some sort. You look everywhere, but can't find anything but glass, broken and unbroken.

One final time you look at the sleeping person, and sigh. You turn away-

Wait.

Your head whips back to the glass again, and you notice one crucial difference in the tank.

His eyes are open.

His eyes.

His shining, crimson, eyes.

...

He opens his mouth and screams.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Even though he is submerged the screech pierces your eardrums and shatters the glass from the force alone. Instantly you are splashed again with that liquid, and lacerated from several shards of glass that slice your skin in their flight. You stumble backwards, but that isn't the end.

A hand shoots forward and wraps around your throat, squeezing and choking you.

You are lifted off the ground by the freshly awakened... thing, and it looks at you one more time with those red eyes.

It screams again.

"IIIIIIIIIIII!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

This time you take the full force of the scream in your eardrums. It hurts you just by yelling, and for a moment you can see an ocean of mindless hatred and rage lurking behind those red eyes.

It squeezes, and you desperately choke as you try to breath but can't get past its iron grip.

Will you die here, moments after being born?

Blackdeath6031
January 30th, 2012, 02:02 AM
What's so happy about this family?

But no matter...At least Alfons and Anna are safe.

It appears my nourishment won't be found here.

Having no choice in the matter, I refer to the note in my hands and begin to follow its directions.

Bloble
January 30th, 2012, 02:11 AM
Blackdeath6031

You sneak away from the farmhouse, careful not to arouse any attention. Shortly you're on the path to the forest, following the directions of a child towards a 'weapon' you have no idea how to use. Towards a pack of Executors that sounds like they could kill you instantly.

You reach the forest entrance, and stop. The sky is cloudy, and at times you can't see the full moon above you. The air is still, yet a slight breeze brings the smell of rotting bodies to your nose. When will the bodies of those people be found? Or will they fade away like dust on the wind?

You continue.

The instructions are surprisingly easy to follow. You turn left at the bird shaped rock, and go straight after that. You notice that several branches seem to have been broken, and that a rough path has been almost bulldozed through the woods. You follow the path and the guide you have, and soon you arrive at the last landmark, a large clearing with a flat rock in the center.

You stop there, though, as you hear something.

Straining you hear the faint sound of yelling, and the sound of metal striking against metal, coming from the direction... the direction of the place where the 'weapon' is!

What do you do?

Blackdeath6031
January 30th, 2012, 02:19 AM
...Wh...what?!

Suddenly my mind blanks, unsure of what is happening - or what to do.

I quickly - instinctively search for a place I can hide safely, yet still able to investigate what exactly is happening.

Elyrin
January 30th, 2012, 02:29 AM
Examining the tank shows me nothing. I have no way to wake him up. I am still alone. One final check continues to show me nothing. I sigh, and turn away to walk towards the steel door. Maybe-

Wait, no. His eyes! I turn back to look at him again, hoping for the best, and my heart soars as I take my first glance. It plummets when I understand what I'm looking at.

Monster.

The tank explodes with his scream and I instinctively cover my eyes, staggering back as I am hit by liquid and shattered glass. Before I can open my eyes, a grip like steel takes my by the neck and lifts me into the air. It screams again, and overwhelms me with nothing but pure hatred.

Am I going to die?

I claw at his fingers around my neck, and do nothing. There is no way something like me could stop a monster like this. I'm nothing but a worthless failure, abandoned even before my birth, left here to rot. This thing should be the same, but it's obvious he is on another level. He is going to kill me, and I can't stop him. Can I?

The voice before my birth spoke about countless failures, like me. Maybe worse than me. Was he talking about me when he mentioned his greatest work, or was he talking about this monster? Either way, we should both be the same. We should both be monsters, but I'm not one. Maybe I can become one.

If I want to survive, I need to kill him. A Person cannot kill this monster. Only a greater monster could hope to overcome him, so I need to become the greater monster. I need to break his grip, breathe again, and kill him. I will not die. I will kill him. I tighten my own grip on his arm, and bring up a knee as hard as I can to try and smash his elbow.

Bloble
January 30th, 2012, 02:43 AM
Blackdeath6031

You refrain from doing the obvious thing and running straight to the noise. You know that if there's a powerful enemy there you could be killed instantly.

So you decide to be smart and go quietly.

You sneak through the woods, minimizing the noise you make. It takes slightly longer, but you eventually reach the source of the conflict.

Unfortunately, or fortunately for you, the battle is already over. You were too late to do anything.

You peek through the bushes, and see the end of the fight with your own eyes, invisible to the combatants.

Two men face off, one dressed in medieval plate armour adorned with holy symbols and the other clad in similar, yet completely opposite armour. It is jagged and dark, splattered with red that must have once been brown.

Around them are 4 undoubtedly dead bodies also in armour adorned with holy symbols.

The paladin also clutches a gigantic war hammer, shining with white light that almost hurts to look at. However, only one hand holds it, as the other is grasping his side, stemming a red patch in his armour that is undoubtedly a wound. He's panting through his thick helmet and looks ready to fall over any second.

The other man, by comparison, doesn't even seem winded. He has no weapon but his bloodied gauntlets, but the grin on his uncovered face is enough to tell you he's winning this fight. His brown hair falls to his shoulders and like the rest of him seems to be bloodstained, and his crimson eyes bore into the paladin's covered ones with the intent to slaughter. He laughs.

"Is that it?! Is that all you can do?! I expected more from a squad of fully trained Executors! No, you probably aren't even that! They were so low on manpower that they sent mere Knights to bring that 'weapon' here? Naive! Too naive!" He raises a hand and opens it, and before your very eyes a dark ball of energy appears, glowing red, before his hand. "I hope you're better than your subordinates were, captain!" He growls in a rough voice that contains nothing but manic glee.

With a single flick the ball goes sailing towards the Knight Captain. The man doesn't hesitate, clumsily swinging his shining war hammer one handed towards the projectile with speed that is beyond human!

They clash, and for a moment you are almost blinded. Yet, you see exactly what happens.

The clash between light and dark was a stalemate. The ball of darkness and the head of the war hammer were both disintegrated, and both attacks canceled out.

But it's not over! The dark armoured man had charged behind his ball of darkness, and as soon as the captain relaxes his guard the man comes flying in with his fist outstretched.

It hits the surprised captain and knocks his helmet off, as well as sending him tumbling backwards, and falling on his back with a groan of pain. You see a surprisingly youthful face covered with scars, and also groaning in pain.

The dark armoured man casually walks over to his fallen foe, and picks him up by the neck with one hand, lifting the paladin just above the ground and restricting his breathing. "Too naive." He hisses. "Now, let's see... that weapon... is right there, isn't it?"

You look to the left. Left of the battlefield is a rickety old shack that's falling apart and is barely large enough to fit a handful of people in it. But that isn't what's so interesting. Leaning against the door of the shack is a coffin.

It is pure black, carved from some wood you can't recognize. The front is adorned with a white cross, and nothing else. It is a box. A person sized container. Just what kind of weapon could be inside? What kind of weapon would these Knights give their lives to protect.

"How do I use it?" The man in dark armour hisses. "What is the secret to activating that weapon? Master demands to know!"

The paladin chuckles weakly, and chokes out a reply.

"Go to hell, Vampire."

The dark armoured man glares at the dying paladin, and squeezes.

With a sharp crack, his neck is broken.

The vampire drops the body, and looks at it angrily for a second, before yelling to the night.

"Come out!" He roars. "I know someone's watching! Now come out and tell me how to use this weapon, or I'll kill you just like I killed your friends!"

Bloble
January 30th, 2012, 03:03 AM
Elyrin

You can't breath. This monster has you. A person can't beat a monster.

So... you must become a monster yourself.

You move.

You grab onto his wrist, crushing it in your grasp. You hear and feel his bones breaking and hear his scream, this one of pain. But you're not done yet. You bring up a knee, driving it into you enemy's elbow, pushing upwards with all your might.

A sickening crack, and his arm bends in a way that defies all logic. His elbow reverses, and flops inside out. Bones break skin and you can see the joint is smashed to pieces. This is not how a human body should be have.

He screams again, harder this time, and jumps backwards, desperately managing to break your steel grip, blocking the way out of the hall of tubes. He's in front of the door now, clutching his arm in pain with his good hand.

But he's not dead. A monster cares little for one or two limbs. If you want it dead, you have to utterly destroy it!

It screams in anger, and rushes towards you, its good hand outstretched and poised to claw your face apart!

Blackdeath6031
January 30th, 2012, 08:10 AM
Tch...

Damn, it appears he found me out!

Pausing for a moment to consider my options, I decide to come out as he demanded. Of course there may well have been another who was watching, but in a place such as this, it appears very unlikely.


"Who do you serve, child of the night?" I ask the dark man, keeping my eyes on the man whilst trying to gauge what items I could use should psychological warfare fail.

I must tread carefully, however - one wrong move here, and it wouldn't be just my skin that's burning.

Bloble
January 30th, 2012, 08:17 AM
Blackdeath6031

You walk out fearlessly into the garden of dead bodies. You show no reaction to the man that just died, though inside you're quaking in fear.

The man narrows his eyes. "...another? Don't tell me you're the one who slaughtered that other group yesterday..." You're still wrapped up in the cloak so he can't see your tattered clothes, but your crimson eyes are enough to convince the man that you are a true Dead Apostle. He mulls it over in thought for a moment before replying.

"Eh, I can't see much harm in telling you if it won't matter in the end. I serve the new lord of Transylvania, the Apostle who shall soon be-" He catches himself, suddenly. "No no, I can't just go revealing this much information to some random person." He raises his hand, and the air in front of it starts to glow with darkness again. However, this time it's pointed at you.

"Who are you, and who do you serve, whelp?"

Blackdeath6031
January 30th, 2012, 08:55 AM
"No...It is, as you say..."

I picked my words carefully, looking down as though I was ashamed, but instead eyeing any movements the man made, and to check what items the Church - or rather Knights - possessed. Anything I could make use of.

"...I am merely 'some random person'."

Looking back up, I slowly began to walk toward the armoured man, etching the minutest detail of his attire, his appearances and his demeanour or personality into my mind, still keeping my eyes and ears sharp for any sudden movements he makes.

"However, I had noticed that the coffin looked familiar, and seeing as you serve the one who, as you say, will be the new lord of Transylvania, I may be of service to you. If you were to allow me to inspect it, I may be able to explain how this weapon works."

Then, stopping a metre away, I look up at him and shrug with a confident smile.
"Of course, it is entirely up to you. I doubt there is anyone else left - in this area at least - who knows how to use this weapon, or would be able to learn how to operate it."

Bloble
January 30th, 2012, 09:08 AM
Blackdeath6031

"Interesting." The man finally says after digesting everything you say to him. "I can tell you're being truthful, at least in some parts of your little speech..." However, he doesn't lower his hand or retract his primed attack.

"Fine." He decides abruptly. "I suppose I shall make use of you."

As he's speaking you examine the battlefield. Unlike the others you woke up around, each of the 5 dead warriors is fully armoured in holy mail. Each also carries a weapon with enchantments so strong you can feel them even from far away. If you were to try and touch them, you might not survive the experience.

The man's armour, you feel, isn't enchanted in the same way. It was undoubtedly forged using special techniques, as even though it looks rough and jagged in places, it is perfectly balanced and you can see that he has no trouble moving in it. Whoever crafted it was definitely skilled.

The man himself is of average height, but pale and with red eyes just like all Vampires. His brown hair is thick and rough, falling to his shoulders. You see two small hoop earrings in one ear. He is constantly grinning, displaying his razor sharp teeth.

Even though the man in dark armour was crazy with blood lust a few moments ago, you can see that he's calmed down remarkable quickly. He's examining you with just as much intensity as you are examining him. "I can't sense much power in you." He frowns. "So you're not really much of a threat to me..." He mulls it over again, but you can see when he's made a decision.

"Fine. You open that thing right now." It isn't a request, but a command. "If it turns out to be trapped, better for you to die." How blunt. Looks like he has little regard for your safety.

"And if you harbor any thoughts of using it against me..." He grins. "I'll destroy you instantly."

Blackdeath6031
January 30th, 2012, 09:38 AM
"Oh please," I try to stifle some ironic laughter, as I once again shrugged before turning toward the shack. "We both know full well that I'm small fry compared to someone like you. Why bother raising your guard that high to a weakling like me? I'm alone, unprotected and as you say, not very powerful. Add on hungry, and suffering from memory loss and you'd have the works, too!"

I let out a hearty laugh much unlike me. No, wait, in the first place, what IS like me? I still don't know.

Pausing my ramblings, I decide to add on something for the fun of it, still maintaining the oblivious, or rather, gullible and friendly tone.
"Besides, even if I DID aim it at you, knowing me, I'd miss so terribly that you wouldn't even NEED to bother destroying me. I'd be undone by my own hand, I'm certain of it!"

Truncating my little statements with laughter each time, I eventually reach the shack.
"Of course, I jest. While I know full well that my motor skills, and my strength are hopelessly outmatched against you for me to even try, I don't even know what is within the case! Just that it's a weapon, from when you were shouting."

Beginning to examine the shack's interior and exterior, as well as the case itself, I also pay attention to my 'company', curious as to how hot-blooded he is, or at least how he reacts to my words.

"You might want to quieten down next time, boss. Else you might attract unwanted attention."

Bloble
January 30th, 2012, 09:56 AM
Blackdeath6031

Your flattery manages to do... something.

"Not a very good liar, are you?" He says calmly. "Still, thanks for the vote of confidence. But memory loss? Hm... you might make a good servant if you survive even opening that thing."

He continues speaking as you examine the coffin, but you can feel the charged blast he's holding disappear slowly. Regardless of how bad you are at lying, he's got enough of a hold on your general strength that he isn't worried anymore.

"And you're a fool if you think the weapon is so weak that it needs to be aimed." He growls as you flatter him some more. "This is the fucking church, idiot. This is a weapon that they though would let these dead idiots compete with a being as powerful as Master. They would be able to use that thing to fight something many, many times more powerful than themselves, and you think it's something as simple as a gun? No, that weapon could be anything."

He's started relaxing without even knowing it. You're just not that intimidating. But your final sentence pushes him over the edge.

"Shut up!" He growls, truly angry this time. "I'm tired of these fucking mind games! There's no one here, because I can sense auras you idiot! It's how I knew you were here, and how I found these dead guys! And it's also how I know that the weapon I'm looking for is in this coffin, and that it's protected by a curse that'll incinerate anyone who's drunk the blood of an innocent!"

He spits out one last sentence. "And that's why I'm letting you open it. Because even though you'll die doing so, I'll be able to bypass the curse using you as a sacrifice. Now choose."

Your hands find a latch on the lid of the coffin. This is how it's opened.

"Which way will you die? By my hand, or from opening that thing? Because I can guarantee that I'll draw it out as long as possible."

"Now! Open it!"

Blackdeath6031
January 30th, 2012, 10:20 AM
'Incinerate anyone who's drunk the blood of an innocent', huh? Well, I suppose it's a blessing that I hated so much to sink my teeth into Alfons and Anna, huh?

Can't help myself, my lips end up slowly bending into a smile, musing at the irony of the situation.

It's a gamble - whether I die by holy flames or not, but its better than resigning to the certainty of being hit by this man.

Licking my lips, I unlatch it, and try to slowly open the box.

Whatever...whatever it is that's in this box, it'd better be worth all the years off my life I lost in this experience...!

... ... ...Wait, I'm technically immortal anyway, what'm'I talking about...

Erlkonig
January 30th, 2012, 10:32 AM
Nanatsu Yoru

I blinked. The woman sure looked stressed. But I knew better than to press her, so I nodded silently. "Yes, it's my first time here." I tilted my head to the bar. "The bartender pointed me out towards here, and yes, I need the ID card." I spoke softly, making sure my eyes remained on the woman's face.

Us japanese high-school students are always pictured as perverts, and I wouldn't want to get smacked by a trans-dimensional hammer from out of nowhere for staring at breasts, after all.

Bloble
January 30th, 2012, 10:56 AM
Erlkonig

She nods, but her plastic smile collapses as you stare her in the eyes, reverting back into a frown. Still, she doesn't seem as angry as before, just tired.

"Fine." She rummages around in a drawer of the desk, pulling out a form and a pen. She hands it to you. "Just fill it out and return it." She says. You take a look at the paper and realize that you can only fill out about half of the boxes.

"Just fill out what you can." She sighs again. "I'll take care of the rest."

"...I need a freaking drink." She mutters under her breath and looks longingly at the bar as she waits for you to fill out the form. You get the feeling that you weren't supposed to hear that, but superhuman hearing is useful sometimes.

Erlkonig
January 30th, 2012, 11:02 AM
Nanatsu Yoru

Mm... My eyes brightened as an idea sparked up. The woman seemed tired, and I knew first-hand how good the bartender's drinks were. ...Oh well, some seconds of my time wouldn't mean that I would lose the man. "...Thanks." I said, and began to fill the form. Once about half of the boxes were done, I handed it over to her.

"Do you mind if I go somewhere while you take care of the rest?" I asked pleasantly.

It never hurts to show acts of goodwill towards others.

Bloble
January 30th, 2012, 11:12 AM
Blackdeath6031

The latch opens with a smooth click. You hold your breath as you slowly open the coffin, and you can feel the Apostle behind you tense up, as if awaiting a blast that'll incinerate you.

Nothing happens.

Even as the coffin soundlessly swings wide open, you aren't harmed at all. For a moment you feel some sort of tingling sensations sweep through your body, but other than that you're completely fine.

Ha! The curse couldn't touch you! You can use this weapon! Use it to beat this guy-

However, what you see in the coffin sweeps the smile right off your face.

A naked, mangled, rotten corpse, impaled in several places by long needles extending from the coffin lid and bottom. You can see traces of blood on the needles, signifying that this person was alive when placed into the coffin. But now it's unrecognizable. It's so mangled that you can't recognize any of its features. The only thing that you know is that it used to be human.

But not anymore. It's just some corpse, not a weapon.

It's useless.

"...excellent." You hear the man's voice, and feel the glee in his tone. "Just perfect!" He laughs.

You are pushed to the side by an overpowering force, and crash into a tree. You're not terribly hurt, but are stunned for a moment, and the hilt of your sword pokes your stomach uncomfortably through your cloak.

You turn, and see that the man has grasped the corpse by the neck. With a sickening squelch he pulls it from the coffin, freeing the dead body from the countless metal spikes impaling it. He drags it up, holding it by the neck just like he held the dead paladin.

He observed the corpse, looking closely at its lack of facial features and level of damage. Finally, satisfied with what he's seen, he scoffs. "Ridiculous. What could they hope to accomplish with a dead body? It's not even that sealed Vampire Stomach thing I've heard rumours about, just some corpse."

He chuckles, and spares you a glance. "Alright, looks like it's your lucky day, whelp. Just sit there and don't move while I tear this trash apart. I doubt it could kill anything, but I won't take any chances. Once I ruin the Church's precious weapon, I'll let you be my slave. Hell, I'll even take you on a night on the town as celebration for a job well done!" His grin turns feral. "I passed by a village on my way here. It looks like shit, but there's some nice people there. I saw a pair of kids I think I'd like to get my hands on..." He licks his lips hungrily. "It'll be a wonderful massacre."

He starts squeezing with his hands, intending to break the dead body's neck, even though it can't do anything.

...well, that isn't true.

He can't see because he's staring at its face, but you notice something odd. A finger. A single finger on that dead body twitches just the slightest bit, and you realize the truth.

That isn't a corpse.

It's a living being.

If you want to act, now is the time to do so! Will you sit and let your destiny be woven, or fight and die trying to save something that should by all rights already be dead?

Make your choice!

Bloble
January 30th, 2012, 11:20 AM
Erlkonig

The woman sighs once more and nods glumly at your question. She wordlessly takes the paper from you and gets to work filling out the rest of it. She fishes a pair of glasses from her pocket, puts them on, and gets to work, shutting herself out from the world.

Erlkonig
January 30th, 2012, 11:29 AM
Nanatsu Yoru


Making sure she's busy with that, I head to the bar. Approaching the bartender, I ask him- "-I need a drink. Give me..." I point at the woman signing the papers. "Whatever you judge best fits that woman."

I smiled. "Don't worry, I'm not trying to do anything perverted to your colleague, I just heard her say she wanted one, and she probably can't leave there."

Bloble
January 30th, 2012, 12:09 PM
Erlkonig

The bartender raises an eyebrow as you make your request, but by the end of it he nods sadly. "Yes, young Tabitha's quite sadly overworked right now. About a week ago the other person who usually mans the desk quit suddenly, and now she's being forced to work double shifts while the management looks for another potential worker. She's usually quite a pleasant girl, really, but a week of double shifts has... taken its toll. She's much too tired and stressed out now."

As he speaks he expertly mixes a drink and hands it to you. You notice that he didn't put blood in it, probably because Tabitha isn't a Vampire. However, you have absolutely no idea what else he did put in, because of his blinding speed. In the end the drink he gives you is a murky brown, stuck in a thick mug as opposed to a thin glass, and smoking quite profusely as if it's about to burst into flame.

The bartender sees your expression and winks. "The Henderson special." He says. "It's what old Henderson the security guard uses to stay awake at night, my special recipe. One gulp of this will perk anyone up." He hands you the concoction, and although you feel as if you should be wearing thick gloves to protect your hands it's only slightly warm.

Erlkonig
January 30th, 2012, 12:13 PM
Nanatsu Yoru

I grab the... curious concoction in my hands, thank the bartender, and using my dexterity I hurry over towards the desk, making sure I don't let a single drop spill from the drink.

Once I arrive to the desk, I patiently wait for her to finish filling the papers, then show her the drink.

Bloble
January 30th, 2012, 12:29 PM
Erlkonig

When you arrive she's already filled out the requisite forms in professional and neat handwriting. Even in her condition, her work ethic is flawless.

She's just putting the finishing touches on the sheet when she sees you.

Her eyes go straight to the concoction in your hands.

"Is that...?" Her question hangs in the air.

Erlkonig
January 30th, 2012, 12:32 PM
Nanatsu Yoru

"For you? Yes." I handed the drink to her. "Before you say 'I don't need your pity' or something as such, that's not it at all. Think of it as a 'thank you' gift. I didn't really come here for the fights, so just by making you go through this I'm burdening you, thus I felt I had to do something."

"Go ahead, drink it. It's bartender-approved." I said, tilting my head to the bar.

Bloble
January 30th, 2012, 12:47 PM
Erlkonig

Her eyes go wide, and slowly a grin small smile finds its way across her face. She's quite beautiful when she's smiling.

"You're a sweetheart." He thanks you, and gingerly takes the drink. She has a small sip, and shudders at the taste. "Thanks. I really, really needed that." She breathes. "Let me just get this done for you."

She puts the paper off to the side after glancing at it, and grabs a blank piece of plastic shaped like a card from another drawer in the desk. She places it on the table, and hovers her right hand over it.

"..." She breathes, and mumbles a flurry of syllables that you catch but can't understand. There's a small glow from under her hand for a few moments, and then it's done.

She smiles and hands you what's now a fully formed ID card with a name, your picture, and a very long number on it. You also see a rank.

RANK: 25 - ADVANCED

She winks when you notice that you aren't starting off at Rank 100.

"I gave you a bit of a boost. For being so nice." She then grabs the drink, and puts a sign on the desk reading 'CLOSED FOR BREAK'. She them goes towards a small door set in the wall behind her desk. "Anyway, I'll be taking a small break to drink this. Thanks again, kid!" She waves cheerfully, and the door closes.

You're left standing with the ID card in your hand, and... something else.

Below the ID card is a small piece of paper. When you take a look, you see something written in Tabitha's neat handwriting.

You're kinda cute kid! Call me sometime!

XXX-YYY-XOXO

...a phone number. She left you her phone number.

Erlkonig
January 30th, 2012, 01:04 PM
Nanatsu Yoru

I blushed, and stuffed the paper into my pocket. I should call her sometime, if only to go get a drink. "So... I'm advanced, huh... That saves me from having to accept a challenge from everyone and their grandmother."

As I headed into Arena 10, ID card securely stuffed, I did a secret fist-pump.

Whoever said being good didn't have its reward?

Bloble
January 30th, 2012, 04:43 PM
Erlkonig

As you enter Arena 10 you catch a glimpse of the white board showing the arena fight schedule.


Fighters
Time Start


Alfred Banes (9) vs Jim Hitchcock (10)
1:30 AM


-Empty-
2:00 AM


Sal Walker (13) vs Henrietta Wales (15)
2:30 AM


Faris (21) vs 'Lyric' (19)
3:00 AM





...

The clock above the door tells you it's 1:40 AM right now. Number 9 and 10 are probably still fighting now. You also note that 30 minutes is the maximum time for a fight, meaning that they always end in that time. Curious...

You enter and have to walk through a long stone corridor that twists and turns many times before exiting into a gigantic room, bigger even than the hub you entered in. This place is the size of a big football stadium, and could seat thousands of people. You yourself are on a large platform overlooking the arena below. And it can barely be called that.

If Arena 1 is a fight club, this would be a world class championship ring. It's humongous, and you wonder at how the builders of the arena managed to fit such a large place completely underground without it being detected. There's even artificial lighting, as a single bright stone in the ceiling shines as bright as the sun through some feat of magecraft you cannot hope to replicate. The arena itself is dirt with some grass and trees growing even here, underground. The walls are several stories high to prevent any backlash from devastating abilities hitting the fair number of people watching.

It is... a masterpiece of architecture. You would spend some more time admiring the scenery but you are pushed to the side as more people enter from behind you.

You then take a look around the box. There's no sign of your target, but that's probably because he doesn't go for uninteresting fights, and two good friends beating each other up would probably be too predictable for him. No, if you want to attract your target here you need to set up a risky, interesting fight.

On the left wall is a desk with a door next to it, manned by a professional looking man in a suit. He's all business, and is currently operating an extremely complicated looking register with both hands and talking to a customer. Luckily for you there seems to be no line up. The customer soon leaves, and the man returns to focusing solely on the machine, which is constantly clicking and clanking.

You hear the sounds of fighting coming from the arena, but can't see anything yet. You'd need to move closer to see the battle if you wanted to watch.

Blackdeath6031
January 30th, 2012, 07:57 PM
....Oh God dammit.

One after another, why must all these unfortunate events happen to me? First to have no Church members around, then be found out by the vamp, then made to open this coffin; and just when I thought I could finally turn the tables around, the 'weapon' turns out to be a corpse in a spiked coffin - no, perhaps 'iron maiden' would be more fitting a name...?
...But...that...thing - no, the corpse... It's..alive? Or is it merely a synaptic response of being dragged off the maiden?

Confused, I find myself stumped on my next course of action. I would say that I could think of three options, but trying to express them presents only an empty mind. Dammit. Now he's going to crush it's neck? ...Come to think of it, he does have a habit of crushing or snapping people's necks, huh...No, wait, why am I getting distracted at this time, of all times?!

"Alright, looks like it's your lucky day, whelp. Just sit there and don't move while I tear this trash apart."

I frown, but I start to chirp. "Okay~. But geez, you didn't have to push me away like that! Now my legs are all sore..." Standing up, I try to stretch my legs, then start jumping to ensure my legs are fine.

"I doubt it could kill anything, but I won't take any chances. Once I ruin the Church's precious weapon, I'll let you be my slave."

...Hah...

"Hell, I'll even take you on a night on the town as celebration for a job well done! I passed by a village on my way here. It looks like shit, but there's some nice people there. I saw a pair of kids I think I'd like to get my hands on... It'll be a wonderful massacre."

...What.
No, wait, what? A...pair of kids...?
No..yes...no, of course not..!
....But....

Agitation seeps into my head, and soon agitation becomes fear, fear into resolve.

SNAP

Making a final jump on the spot, I raise my legs and tuck them back as I reached down to my waist.

Then, kicking off the tree, I shoot toward the armoured man, grasping my sword and making a thrusting draw to strike his temples with the pommel.

Satehi
January 30th, 2012, 08:09 PM
Breathe, breathe, I canít breathe-!

My lungs quickly begin constricting and expanding, my chest heaving to get air into my lungs, but to no avail- none of the air that lies all around me enters my lungs at all.

My hands rapidly claw at my throat, trying to rapidly get air into my lungs. I began clawing rapidly at my throat, desperately trying to get a breath. I vaguely register the blood on my hands that come as I start ripping through my throat so I can breathe. Slowly, Iím losing consciousnessÖ

ÖThereís something dark hovering at the edge of my visionÖ

Öno, I realize. Thatís not something Iím seeing, rather my vision itself is turning darkÖ

ÖAm I going to die just seconds after having woken upÖ?

Ö

ÖNo, I canít accept this! I continue to struggle, clawing at my throat to remove whatever obstacle is there, and then-

Snap!

-Something gives way, and I fall ungracefully to the floor. Lying on the floor, I open my mouth and air fills my lungs. I rapidly heave my chest, panting as I force air into my lungs as fast as I can.

Air. Sweet, sweet air. Iíd never felt so grateful for having the luxury of breathing before. Wait a secondÖ

Öbefore?

Rising from my position of the floor, I struggle to find any memory of myself prior to this moment. Thereís absolutely nothing in this head of mine, nothing at all. I have no recall of anything prior to just waking up, on what appears to be a noose. No memory at all.

Looking around the room Iím in, itís dark, with no lighting. But looking through the darkness, I manage to see what lies around me.

A room full of corpses. Theyíve all been murdered in strange, ways, with no reason or rhyme. One thing that they do share though, is the gruesomeness of their deaths. Who- or what, did this to them, clearly shared no expense in showing its dislike of them. The only identifiable feature is that theyíre all male, wearing black robes of some sort.

The room is large and constructed out of wood. Some kind of temple, it seems.

Looking at the bodies around, it clicks in my head. I definitely should already be dead- that rope was clearly meant to kill me, and everyone else here is dead. I donít understand why I am alive, but now isnít the time to think about it.

I begin moving to the side, trying to find a wall so I can trace around the exterior of the room and look for any exits. Maybe my memory will come back if I find something that I was close to, or something.

Bloble
January 30th, 2012, 08:16 PM
Blackdeath6031

You snap. You were ready to give up, ready to let this person kill the Church's weapon.

But... you weren't ready for his after party suggestion.

No. You won't let him. You don't care about the church, the vampires or their stupid war, but you won't let this bastard involve the lives of innocents!

You leap upwards, then bounce off a tree trunk and ricochet straight at the armoured Vampire, sword arm pushed forward for an incapacitating blow! You'll end it here! This monster will never kill again!

You stop, hand inches from his face. Or rather he grabs your outstretched hand with his own, stopping all your momentum without breaking a sweat. With a single hand he's stopped your full power charge without breaking a sweat.

He grins maniacally. "I knew it! I knew there was something different about you!" He casually throws the corpse 'weapon' into the bushes alongside the shack's clearing. He no longer cares about a dead body. Now he's found a better prey.

You.

"So you're just a softy after all!" He pulls back, swinging you through the air. You can't move, too stunned to form coherent thought.

With a heave he launches you through the air like a ragdoll, and you fly through the rickety shack door and into an old furniture cabinet on the inside. You hear and feel several pieces of delicate crystal and china break as you crash into the cabinet. Several slice through your skin eliciting a sharp gasp of pain from you.

But it's not over. You can see the man walking slowly towards the shack still with that grin on his face.

"Come on! Stand up! Fight me!" He laughs. "Try to survive, you pathetic excuse for a Vampire!"

Elyrin
January 30th, 2012, 08:43 PM
It worked.

Where the monster's iron grip was enough to stop my breathing, mine was enough to destroy his arm. I am stronger. I am the greater monster. But, will I be faster?

He charges again, another scream of anger and hatred hitting my ears, but it doesn't hurt anymore. He cannot kill me. I will crush him. As he gets closer, I move again, aiming a punch to intercept and destroy his incoming arm. Then, I will crush his skull with one blow. I will not be worthless. I will kill him.

Bloble
January 30th, 2012, 08:54 PM
Satehi

You stand, and gingerly make your way over the corpses of the people in the room. Eventually you reach the outer wall of the room, which is reasonably clear of bodies compared to the rest. You woke up in the center, where the concentration of bodies was thickest.

You press against the wall, making your way forward. You eventually reach an opening in the wall, and from it you smell fresher air than this stagnant gas you've been breathing. You stumble out, thankful for any exit from this accursed room.

You walk a bit through a hall that's stained with blood as if a body, or several, was dragged through it. It is here that you first see a glimpse of natural light. Through a few holes in the thin wood walls moonlight streams in. Unfortunately the holes are small enough that all you see when you peer outside is a blurry image of a lake.

It unnerves you, but soon enough you reach a second, smaller room that smells more fresh, though it's also darker.

You stop and look around, but it seems curiously empty, although the number of bloodstains is much larger. The floor is slick with blood, and most of it seems to be pooling under a statue of a large, brutish looking man dressed in rags...

http://freeforumsigs.com/ffs_gallery/albums/batch/zz-g fighter/Akuma1.png

No. That isn't a statue.

The gigantic man turns to look at you, and your eyes meet.

He doesn't move, but simply stares at you.

Bloble
January 30th, 2012, 09:02 PM
Elyrin

The monster charges, and you meet its charge with a full power punch. You beat it before, you can do it again!

...but there is a difference. You made the mistake of thinking your body superior, when in fact, the reverse is true.

Its hand meets your fist... and your fist loses.

You don't even slow down it's charge, and although its punch is stopped it leaps and catches you in the chest with a double flying kick! You are sent flying back, and only stop when you hit the concrete end of the hall. You're still on your feet, but that kick must have cracked a rib, at least.

Even though your strengths were the same, your mindsets were not. You are sane. That grants you strength, yet also takes it away. No matter what, you cannot overpower something blessed by the powers of madness and insanity.

Both things that this monster before you has.

It screams, savoring its victory, and refraining from charging because of it. It gives you enough time to get back on your feet, and possibly even counterattack.

Blackdeath6031
January 30th, 2012, 09:33 PM
Dammit, seems like life doesn't take kindly to me, huh.

Tightening the grip on my sword, I try to examine the situation.

He's outside the shack, while I'm inside. If he gets the chance to enter, I'd lose my advantage of reach, and he'd gain even more of an advantage than he had originally.

But even then, is there anything useful in here? From this angle, I probably should be able see if something useful is in here...Though taking it now would just alert him to it.
Standing up, I slowly, cautiously walk toward the entrance, prepared to react to anything.

Bloble
January 30th, 2012, 09:51 PM
Blackdeath6031

You grit your teeth and push yourself up to your feet. It's fine. You're not hurt that much. You only got a bit sliced up. It's not that bad.

"Ha!" Your opponent seems pleased. "So you're not just all talk after all! Good, good!" He seems to calm down somewhat, after saying that. He slowly begins to walk towards you just as you walk closer. You're both in a defensive posture, prepared for any attack. "So you choose to think your attack through this time? Better than your other strategy." The man chatters happily as you approach each other. But soon he too falls into a silence.

As you move you look around the shack, hoping for a weapon but finding it woefully empty of obvious weaponry. Sure there are a few drawers near the left side, where there is a 'kitchen' of sorts set up, but other than that you see no potential to find a weapon. And besides, your instincts tell you that you have no time to take your eyes off of your enemy. One false move and he'll rip your head off.

When you reach the entrance, and the enemy is only 10 meters away, he decides to break the uneasy silence between you.

"...I am Dominic." He says as you near each other. "Give me your name so I can put something on your grave stone." Despite being, honestly, totally evil, it seems that your opponent wishes to know the name of the person he's fighting.

While waiting for your reply, he raises a hand and you feel the energy in the air being drawn in, and a rapidly growing ball of darkness forming again. You already know what will happen if he shoots that at you!

Satehi
January 30th, 2012, 10:09 PM
Watching the dimly lit room in front of me and finding the giant in front of me, I fight my urge to run away immediately. I donít think I can take that man on- I almost died just earlier, and heís a giant compared to myself. And if the pools on blood on the floor are any indication, then heís a killer. A murderer. Iím justÖ I donít even know who I am.

Still, heís much taller than me- I wouldnít be entirely sure if I could outrun him if it came down to it, and I have no clue of how to navigate this place at all. Running back to the smaller, first room is just a dead end, and anything further might lead to a dead end too. Since the air here is fresher, perhaps itís closer to the exit?

I try to muster the most friendly expression I can make in this kind of situation, trying to ignore the blood all over the floor. Stretching my hand outwards, in a handshake gesture, I prepare to bolt through the hallway at once in case the giant decides to try and attack. Trying to sound casual, I speak out to him.

ďYo,Ē I say, trying to sound friendly. ďItísÖĒMy eyes instinctively wander to the blood that surrounds him. ďÖnice to meet youÖ?Ē

Blackdeath6031
January 30th, 2012, 11:01 PM
...Name?

That's right, a name...

I still don't have one, do I?

"I am Nameless. Take that as you will, Dommie."
So much for impromptu name-choosing. Ah well.


Crouching low, I stop before exiting the shack, I try to anticipate what will happen.
Will it be the same as before? A ball of energy, with him following closely behind?

Or will he instead react to my own actions?
Either way, if I want to fight to survive, I can only fight defensively this time.

Bloble
January 30th, 2012, 11:26 PM
Satehi

The man does not reply to your barely coherent greeting. At least, not verbally.

He stands with a stomp that shakes the temple. He keeps his eyes locked onto yours at all times.

He steps forward, slowly, surely, until he towering over you, close enough that you can smell the blood on his hands.

He doesn't blink.

Do you?

Bloble
January 30th, 2012, 11:29 PM
Blackdeath6031

"So that's it?" Dominic laughs. "You don't have a name? Too bad!" The dark ball of energy in his hands reaches some sort of limit, and he senses that, shifting his grip on it slightly.

"Die like you were born, a nameless fool!"

He doesn't throw the ball. No, he charges with it still in his hands! Towards you, at a blinding speed that even you can't reach, roaring out a battle cry of assured victory!

You have a fraction of a second to react. What do you do?

Satehi
January 30th, 2012, 11:54 PM
The gigantic man stomps downwards on the ground, resulting in a quake that shakes the temple. But I donít run away.

Even when he comes hulking forward, close enough for me to smell the blood on his hands, I stay where I am.

Looking upwards at his unblinking eyes, I respond with a stare of my own.

ďOi,Ē I say in a low tone. ďis there something you want?Ē

Bloble
January 31st, 2012, 12:13 AM
Satehi

He blinks.

And then, the scowl across his face curves into a mirthful grin.

He laughs, a deep, bellowing guffaw that almost deafens you. His laugh stops as soon as it starts, but it leaves behind a satisfied smile.

Unusually, even smiling this man scares you.

He opens his mouth once more, but this time speaks instead of laughing. His deep voice rumbles through the temple, shaking it in its foundations.

"This sacred place has been put to rest,
By the one who slays the holy.
But he has left me a final, wonderful test,
To puzzle out and oversee.

You are a curious youngster, for sure.
I have rarely ever met a Dead,
Who managed to keep his mind pure,
And resisted the blood lust in his head.

...I ask of thee, young one.
Do you wish once more, to see the sun?"

Blackdeath6031
January 31st, 2012, 01:41 AM
My mind blanks. Wh-....what? He isn't throwing it?
But it is no time to simply stand there.

I rotate myself, standing sideways away from the ball. Then, with properly timed movements, I step on his foot, and grab the wrist of his 'ball-less' hand, pulling it behind him.

However, that only disables his free hand. And not for long either, especially with his ability and armour. His balled hand is free to swing and strike my back.

Placing all my weight in my feet, I reverse my grip on the sword, seeking an opportune moment to strike his neck. Or perhaps finding a way to disarm his armour might be better...?
Alternatively I can once again just react to his attacks, slowly finding a weak spot when possible.

Or rather, if possible.

Bloble
January 31st, 2012, 02:12 AM
Blackdeath6031

Your opponent is faster than you. He is stronger than you. He is more experienced, and more used to fighting than you. He's charging at you with an attack that could erase you in a single blow if it hits.

Most people would call this a lost cause, but you still seek victory even in this situation!

You focus. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Wait for it. Wait for the right moment. Wait for the fraction of a second where you can turn this fight around!

As he charges you shift to one side, using as little movement as possible to avoid the attack of your enemy. He doesn't notice until too late, as he's still shocked that you'd be willing to face him head on.

He passes by you, his attack grazes your chest, incinerating a part of your cloak but otherwise doing nothing.

Now it's your turn. In close combat grappling, it is not strength that decides the victor, but leverage and positioning. And right now, you're in the better position!

You step on his foot, stopping his forward motion, then grab his free hand and yank it behind his back, using all your strength to catch Dominic off guard. In the split second where he's still too surprised to act, you shift again, until you're completely behind him with your body keeping his from turning. In the tightly spaced entrance you have managed to switch your positions!

You hold with one hand, and reverse the grip on your sword with the other. From this position, even though it's shallow, you can strike at his unprotected neck!

You slash forward, but your opponent is no amateur.

"Not happening! No way am I dying like this!" Dominic roars in anger.

Your sword swipe hits but only lightly wounds the back of your enemy's neck. Before it can go any further Dominic leans forward, regardless of the pain in his left hand, and thrusts the ball of destruction into the shack's rickety wooden floor.

The ball instantly disintegrates the area it touches with a sharp crack, and the rest of the floor soon follows suit, including... the floor under your feet!

As you lose your footing you both stumble, and Dominic frees his feet from your own. Then, with a vicious elbow he catches you in the kidney, and you're blown backwards, away from him.

You tumble head over heels backwards until you stop in the grass next to the dead Knight Captain and his allies. Although the captain was carrying a now destroyed war hammer the soldiers seem to be holding long halberds instead. You instinctively force yourself to your feet, but you can feel the pain coming now. Your hand instantly goes to your abdomen, and you feel an intense pain where you press where his elbowed you. That strike did more damage than you thought it would, and now your mobility is severely limited. You won't be running away from here any time soon.

Across from you, standing in front of the ruins of the shack's entrance, Dominic frowns. "Tch, I shouldn't have underestimated some nameless Vamp." He says to himself. "Bloody feints and techniques... I could never get used to them." He's standing, perfectly fine, but you can tell that he's on guard now that you've actually succeeded in wounding him.

"Not bad, nameless one." He licks his lips. "But your trick won't work a second time! I won't go easy on you anymore!"

He brings up the ball of disintegration still in his right hand, and charges towards you again, this time slightly more slowly and carefully, prepared for another possible feint or technique.

Blackdeath6031
January 31st, 2012, 06:02 AM
"Hoh? But Dommie, surely you jest! You did well against something like that! I'm out of anything else I could do!" I give a resigned smile, before holding up both hands in resignation.
"Besides, I'm not 'some nameless Vamp' or 'nameless one'." I frown expressing hurt. "I...I told you my name too! I'm Nameless!" I try to correct him, trying to keep the oblivious cover, even though it had been long blown. Though, I had best be careful myself. Otherwise that 'name' might actually stick.

Anyway, this time he's more careful. And I'd bet my apples and toasts that this pain won't vanish instantly either.

Apples? Toasts? Oh, right, I still had them. Somewhere...stuffed ...into ...my ...pockets.

Hm...

Well, for now, I have two options. To start pressing the attack, and making use of his dodges, blocks and counter-attacks to enter another feign or catch, and keep pressuring him - until he makes a blunder. Alternatively, I could go defensively - which may be a good idea, with this hurting side.

Well, lets play by ear, shall we?

I slowly begin to step back, matching his pace, keeping the distance between us constant as we keep eyeing each other.

Eventually, someone will have to start to move. Will it be Dominic, or will it be me? Lets see who emerges from this test of patience victorious, my enemy.

Bloble
January 31st, 2012, 01:19 PM
Blackdeath6031

"...I hate that." He sighs, and stops moving.

"Really, that stupid tongue of yours just pisses me off." All the emotion is gone from his voice, leaving it blank and lifeless. He raises his hand that's still holding the ball of darkness. "But most of all, your pathetic attempts at looking like a fool..."

"Bore me."

He suddenly twists his wrist, until the ball of darkness is facing his own chest, and thrusts, impaling himself with his own spell-

No. That isn't what happens.

The ball crackles and stretches, flowing into Dominic's armour, until his hand is empty, but his dark armour is now glowing faintly with the power of his attack. A dark glow that disintegrates its surroundings.

You notice that the grass under his feet has already died, and a stray leaf that lands on his armour instantly crumbles into ash. You won't be able to touch him anymore.

"And now that I'm bored..." He continues to speak.

"I'm going to end this now."

He raises his right hand once more, and summons the ball of darkness again, but this time once it reaches full capacity he twists and it changes shape, flowing outwards, becoming skinnier.

Becoming a blade of darkness.

He swings his new sword once or twice, and then centers it on you.

"Hurry up and die, nameless one."

He charges once more, still moving at a speed you cannot hope to match.

Blackdeath6031
January 31st, 2012, 07:26 PM
Ducking, I release my cloak as a small distraction, making a small sweep to the side, pushing myself out of the attack path. Then, as I stand and run past Dominic, I grab the cloak and pull it around me once more.

"Sorry," I say lightly. "But I can't die until you do."

Not being able to touch him is a big problem, but there must be things around which I can make use of to strike him in some way.
The Holy weapons? The bodies themselves?
Maybe something else entirely...

Running forward I run up the tree right before me, using my arms to quickly climb onto the branches, ready to jump to another when needed.

At this rate, killing him might be impossible, but there must be something I can do to even the odds...

Keeping an eye on the bored beast, I try to figure out what will be my next course of action. After all, I can't be dodging for ever!

Bloble
January 31st, 2012, 08:27 PM
Blackdeath6031

"No, you'll die here and now."

SHUNK! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CADBQZ6S04&feature=related)

Your attempt at dodging is instantly halted by the feeling of something cold piercing you through the stomach. You stop, and your body stops as well.

You blink, and suddenly you see Dominic in front of you, his right hand outstretched and disappearing past your vision.

You look down.

"Ah." You choke it out, against your will. It's surprising. Even though you aren't feeling much pain, how is it that he's managed to impale you with that black sword of his so easily? You didn't even see him coming. He was too fast... to fast for you to dodge in time.

You cough, and a drop of blood lands on Dominic's cheek. He got you. He got you good.

"I hate that." He says brightly as he hoists you up with one hand, and you're pulled down by gravity. "People who think they can just talk their enemies to death." You slide forward on the black blade, driven further to your doom by the pull of the earth. "People like you."

You're high in the sky now, looking down at the man who's arm might as well be probing your insides for all the good you can do to get away. He's smiling now, glad that his annoying battle is finally over.

"So I'll punish you." He says. "This blade here?" He points to the sword stuck in your body. "It won't kill you very fast." Now he laughs. "See, this weapon is formed from a curse that causes the 'time' on whatever it strikes to accelerate to a velocity many thousands of times faster than normal. Basically, it kills by aging the opponent to death."

He twitches, and you fail to suppress a groan of pain as the sword stirs up your insides more. "A normal human might get a decade or two taken off after one strike with this thing. You, on the other hand, won't have the same reaction."

He brings up his other hand and uses it to point to your stomach. You look down and almost puke as you see the place where you've been stabbed. It's turning black... and falling apart in little flakes. Your cloak has already decomposed into a tiny pile of dust. Even as you watch the black starts spreading. At first it was only a few centimeters from the wound, but now it's spreading upwards, to your lungs and heart.

"A vampire has phenomenal regeneration." He continues to lecture you as you die. "An ordinary Vampire can regenerate from even fatal wounds by turning back time passively. Turning it back to the point where you no longer possessed that wound. That's what your body is doing right now."

Yes... you're trying to heal, but failing, as the black spreads even more. You can't feel any pain, but a comfortable numbness is spreading through the black areas of your body as they slowly die.

"But you see, this weapon is more powerful than your regeneration, but only slightly." Dominic smirks. "And that's where the fun comes in. You won't die from this for a while. No, I estimate that it'll take at least another minute or two before it's too late for you to regenerate from this sword's effect with your current level of power. Until then, you'll get to feel as your body slowly rots away, never to move again."

Your arms are turning numb now, as well as your legs. You can do nothing but twitch now. Your head and chest are still alive, but only barely.

"So then, I think this was an interesting fight." Dominic switches the topic suddenly. "I had fun with this one in the beginning. You were really quite interesting for a weakling. You actually managed to wound me too! Simply amazing for a low level Vampire like yourself." He looks at you and frowns. "Y'know, your vocal chords might not be working too well at the moment, but that's just fine! I can keep talking!"

It's gonna suck, dying while listening to this idiot's annoying voice.

"That feint was nice, but after that you just took too long." He scratches his chin with his left hand. "If you wanted me dead you should have gone all out from the start and bet your hopes on a single clash instead of letting me get serious and learn your movements. It was kinda annoying that the only reason you fought me was to protect some stupid human kids, though. What kind of vampire are you if you won't even kill humans? It's like being a vegetarian (not that there's anything wrong with that)!"

You think one of your toes just fell off, but you can't be sure because you can't seem to move anything anymore.

"Oh well, better luck next time!" Dominic grins. "Oh wait, for you, there ain't gonna be a next time-"

"Correction. For you, there won't be a next time."

SLICE!

"Eh?" Dominic blinks as you fall to the ground, no longer supported by his hand. "I didn't let you go..."

No, he didn't. But a severed hand cannot hold anything, and as Dominic quickly discovers, neither can it hold a spell, as the blade of darkness keeping you up disappears instantly.

"!" He jumps backwards, kicking away from your falling body. You hit a tree and slide downwards until you're leaning back against its trunk, and Dominic lands a few meters away, near the shack entrance, growling and clutching the spot where his right hand used to be. You see the limb lying on the ground where you were but a moment ago, bereft of its connection to Dominic's body.

"WHO!?" He screams, half in anger and half in pain as he clutches his stump tightly. "HOW DID I NOT SENSE YOU!?" He twists and turns, looking all around him but failing to see even a single person. He just boasted of his aura sensing abilities before, so it's impossible for him to have missed a new arrival to this battle!

...But not an old one.

He finally turns, and sees it.

Standing on top of the shack, perched on the roof of the dilapidated building, is something you both recognize.

That corpse. That corpse you extracted from the coffin. That corpse Dominic almost killed. That corpse you saw move even as he threw it into the bushes.

That living, breathing, perfectly healed, now clothed in distinctive wear, corpse.

Only its a corpse no longer. Or perhaps... it was never dead to begin with.

http://www.mangabullet.com/galleryimg/2010/05/30/skyfish-on-30-05-10-at-12-02-35_m.jpeg

The woman dressed in a nun's habit speaks once more.

"Die monster. You don't belong in this world."

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxnRhRLIudk)She leaps. Up, into the sky, the full moon at her back, she jumps and spins, instantly producing 6 of those sword-like weapons from between her fingers.

"GRAAAAAAA!" Dominic screams as he realizes his mistake. He shouldn't have focused his attention on you after all. No, he should have killed the Church's weapon first. It will be the last mistake he ever makes.

"YOU!" He raises his left hand and the ball of darkness appears again, growing larger and larger-

"No, I won't let you." She moves, faster than your eyes can follow, too fast for even Dominic to react to. A sword passes through his hand, impaling it on the ground and causing the shadow ball to dissipate harmlessly before the Vampire can use it.

Dominic screams once more, and tries to rip his hand out of the ground, but finds that he can't even move his body anymore, as 3 more swords shoot from the girl's fingertips and pierce the rest of his limbs, trapping him for good.

The girl lightly lands next to him. "You won't be moving anymore." Her cold voice proclaims his death.

He freezes. "...Tch. I should have known. No new presence came, because you were here from the start and I never realized it." He grimaces. "Make it quick, weapon of the Church."

"Of course."

A single knife shoots from her hands faster than a bullet, and pierces Dominic's forehead. He stiffens for a moment, and then, unmistakably, dies, his body fading into dust that is blown away on the wind.

An opponent that even you could not touch, was instantly destroyed by this woman.

She glares at the place where the man lay for another moment, before turning.

Her blue eyes bore into yours.

She steps slowly, in no particular hurry, towards you, stopping when you are close enough to reach out and touch.

She kneels, bringing herself to your level, still staring you in the eyes without a single expression on her face.

"...well?" She finally says. "Do you have anything to say before I kill you, monster?"

Blackdeath6031
January 31st, 2012, 11:59 PM
I stare at her for a few minutes, mouth agape.

Who...no, just what is she? Dominic called her something. What was it?

'Weapon of the Church'.

I...I see now. It wasn't an armament, it was the nickname given to this fearsome beast of carnage...!

"I see...so it was not some weapon here as that Daniel person had written, but rather an elite. No wonder there were only that pile of dead knights and the one fighting Dominic...But no matter."

Closing my eyes, I take a deep breath and exhale, feeling the slight burning sensation from doing so.

"I suppose you'd be more in the know than me then. Please tell me...who am I? No...what am I? You called me a monster, and that monster called me a 'pathetic excuse for a Va--'...
I...I see.

"In that case I suppose you'll kill me no matter what, huh...."

Sighing, I look right in her eyes, meeting her gaze with resolve.
"You are already aware of the Dead Apostle that's here in Transylvania, yes? I was hoping I could get rid of him using the weapon I read was here, but I guess I'm too weak to even protect Alfons and Anna...
There is a letter I had been given by a dying Churchman as he was dying - I suppose he couldn't see what I was. I believe I left it in one of my pockets. I can't really tell which one it is though, the other one has food given to me because I was hungry - not that I could stomach it anymore...But I want you to have it. It may contain information you already have, but I won't take any chances when you're capable enough - much more so than I am - to remove the threat.

"Promise me two things, please, before you finish me - make sure you get rid of the Apostle and their underlings; and tell the two kids at the barn in that town...tell Alfons and Anna that they won't see anything like last night anymore."

Seeing how merciless she is, I suppose this beast would not relent enough to heed my requests, huh...
Breaking our visual contact, I close my eyes and resign to my fate.

"Ah...it was a short life - a mere day...I guess that's what happens to nameless people with amnesia, huh..."

Bloble
February 1st, 2012, 01:18 AM
Blackdeath6031

The woman narrows her eyes at your explanation, but doesn't say anything.

Instead, she walks to where the five blades she killed Dominic are, still impaled in the ground. One by one she removes them until all five are within her grasp. She then does something to them, and the blades disappear, leaving behind only the hilts, which she slips into her robes.

Well, not exactly. She retains a single blade in its combat form, and turns to you. With a casual flick of the wrist she throws it straight towards you. You see it approaching almost in slow motion, and once more you stare death in the face.

It misses, embedding itself next to you in the tree trunk you're leaning on. She frowns, and in the blink of an eye she throws five more blades towards you, even faster than the first.

But all of them miss by a hair, flying into the ground or tree.

She sighs. "I thought so." Ignoring the fact that you almost died six times, she walks back and retrieves all six weapons that your mind recognizes as 'Black Keys', putting them in her robes once more. She then takes a look at your wound, which is already closing.

"You should be able to walk in a few minutes at most." She says after a cursory examination.

She stands, and walks over to the dead knights, talking the entire time in her emotionless voice. "I won't be killing you. Firstly, because you'll probably end up dying of hunger if and when you refuse to feed on people, and second, because I have better things to waste my time killing." Leaving out the fact that she had six golden opportunities to end your life a few seconds ago.

She stands, having retrieved some things you can't catch from your position, and returns to you. She rummages in your pockets, withdrawing the letter and apples, but electing to leave the toast.

She quickly scans the letter, frowns again, and then puts it in her robes. She mutters to herself. "Fools. If they were going to send me to kill someone close to becoming an Ancestor, they should have at least sent Executors and not some low class knights." She slips the apples in her robes too, probably electing to keep them for later.

She looks at you once more, and you catch a hint of irritation on her once emotionless features. "So, you have amnesia? Fine. Tell me everything that has happened to you since you woke up. Do not leave anything out."

Blackdeath6031
February 1st, 2012, 09:04 AM
"....Wha...wha...."

What happened?

I was certain that they would have hit me...!

But...they di...they didn't?!
Wh...why...?

"So, you have amnesia? Fine. Tell me everything that has happened to you since you woke up. Do not leave anything out."

Her words snap me out of my blank daze, but I find that I am forced to hesitate for slightly more than a moment, first trying to reason out why she is not killing me - but rather testing me, and also what exactly did happen since I woke up.

"Ah..." I open my mouth, slowly trying to piece together my recount before expressing it out loud.

"When I first came to, I was in a field of corpses. From what I can remember, which I must justify is still rather vivid in my head, all of them had symbols of the Cross, or swords or weapons enchanted with some Holy aura. Trying to figure out what was happening, I found a person on the hill who was impaled through with a spear. He handed me that letter, thinking I was a survivor. Around that time, I found that the dead men - as in those clergymen had begun to stand, and make their way to the very same hill as me - just an observation from that time, but I noticed that those dead, even those who grew wings, were only killed through sword wounds, and those who used guns did not rise.

"But I digress. Anyway, I felt that I had to protect myself - or at least survive in some way, so I took the same impaled man's sword, which he dropped - being the only unenchanted one and so the only one I could touch, and tried to escape the horde of dead - its still with me, as you can see. Only the six flying ones noticed me until much later on, and the others were still trying to make it to the top. Along the way, I picked up something which seemed like a 'holy hand grenade'. It burned my skin when I touched it or felt it, but since I was facing the dead I felt it necessary to keep it on me.

"I somehow managed to eliminate two before the normal dead reached the hill, ate the corpse of...who I assume is Daniel. Was a shame that. I'd have wanted to at least pay my respects for being there when he died, being the one I took these items from too, after all."

Pausing for a short moment, I close my eyes and make a short prayer to Daniel, wishing he be safely delivered to whoever the Church worships. Opening my eyes after, I resume.

"Sorry. The normal dead were about to make their way for me, and the other four fliers were starting to get hard, so I decided to throw the grenade at the hill's crest at that time. Honestly, I didn't think it'd have that much power! Wiping everything in the vicinity, living dead, one of the fliers, all the corpses. I was lucky enough to be just outside the boundary, so I was hit with merely burns. But burn it did, my skin! Didn't recover until much later today. Then, even though it took awhile, I finished the remaining three flying zombies - don't think there's any detail I noticed in this, besides the pain from fatigue and the burnt skin, but I'm sure you aren't after that.

"After that, I felt that I needed to find shelter in the town, believing that I'd be dead otherwise, so I did, but the town was completely empty - with circular gaps in buildings and the ground here and there! I felt that staying there was just as pointless as outside until a girl called out to me from nearby. Seems like that girl knew me from before I became...what I am, and expected me to go...'help some other people', supposedly. Having no memories, and being tired, I couldn't answer her, but I asked her about places I could stay at. Getting a rather...unhelpful answer to my question, but I ended up just dropping right there.

"When I woke up, I found myself in a barn, where I met a boy who seemed rather interested in my...rather....badly maintained garb, asking me something about a fight. ...Sorry, I can't remember much about it anymore. But he was a cute boy, no doubt. Claiming that he wanted to be like me, or Superman and the like. In a way, it was a bit sad that he placed me together with those high-flying, awesome characters. ...No where near them..."

My voice trailed off for a moment here, as I contemplate who exactly I was that would have had him place me with them.

"Sorry again. The girl came in not long after. It was around this time I learnt their names - Alfons and Anna. They said they had brought me there, and that they'd sneak some food out from lunch. That being the toasts and apples you'd have found just now. While they were away, I decided to read the letter. Thinking that I could eliminate the threat myself, I asked them about the address to the weapon - err....you, sorry - and Alfons went to write down directions to this shack. While he was away, and when I got the food, I found myself hungering for something. Of course, I suspected what, but I decided not to do the easiest thing and take their blood - they could have been my saviours, and my first friends in my lifetime, for all I know! I told them not to come near me, but to leave the directions near the entrance.

"After that I took a cloak which was lying in the barn and made my way here. I had been searching for some livestock I could feed on on the way, but as you know full well, it wasn't very successful.

"When I neared the shed, I heard fighting, so I quickly hid and watched. What I saw was the Vamp you just killed fighting against the captain of the Knights. It seemed like the match was almost over, and I didn't know which side I should assist, since either way I'd have to fight off the person who survived, and so I stayed in hiding. When the capt' lost, the Vamp was demanding to know how to open the coffin you were in. The Knight was good though, refusing to answer even though it meant his neck being snapped. At that time, my presence was discovered and I had to come out. I asked him to identify himself and he said he 'served the new lord of Transylvania', and Apostle who shall me....then he stopped himself and asked me the same. Since he called me a nobody, which seemed to fit rather appropriately, I affirmed it, and tried to convince him that I was an asset to him, claiming to be able to help in opening the box. Honestly, I was hoping I could take whatever was in the box and use it against him - though in hindsight, what would be harmful to him, would be just as to me.
I was trying to lower his guard by using some weak talk, but I guess I wasn't doing the best thing in this case. Along the way to open the case, he was mentioning using me as bait, to take whatever burning curse was laid on the coffin. Actually, he said that the curse would be triggered if touched by anyone who's drunk the blood of an innocent."

Pausing for a short moment, I notice something, voicing my thoughts out for a moment. "...Funny that. I thought he didn't know how to open it...No matter."

But I digressed yet again.

"Sorry. I seem to be dragging it out for longer than either of us expected. When I opened it, I realised that what was in the coffin was not a usable weapon, but well...a cor--....you. P-Pardon me."

I clear my throat, hoping that she didn't mind my consistent referring of her as a weapon or a corpse.
"The next thing I knew, he threw me to the side, and took you out, trying to snap your neck since he didn't want to 'take any chances'. He was talking about how, because of my amnesia, he could take me in as a subordinate, and we'd have a party, drinking the blood of the townsmen. He was mentioning the two kids - I assumed he meant Alfons and Anna. I don't know if what I did was smart in hindsight, but I lost my cool and attacked him. Seems like he was expecting it, though."

I sigh in dismay before resuming. "He was calling me names - 'softy', 'pathetic excuse for a Vampire', and we began to fight. Not soon after, he named himself, and asked for mine. I suspect that, since you were already twitching by this time you know the rest? Should I cease, or continue?"

I pause for a bit again, thinking.
"Oh, I recognise - or rather remember - those blades of yours...Black...keys, was it? I still don't know where I'm pulling all this knowledge from, but I it would be useful when I'm going to die soon by my own devices..."

Bloble
February 1st, 2012, 12:39 PM
Blackdeath6031

As you tell your story her face switches through a variety of expressions, from anger, to disbelief, and finally, exasperation. As you finish recounting your battle against Dominic she sighs and puts her palm on her face.

"You are, without a doubt, a complete idiot." She mumbles. "And I'm not sure whether or not that's a good thing."

Still kneeling down, she removes the letter from her grasp and points to a certain paragraph Daniel wrote.

"A young man approached us scant weeks ago, in the middle of a difficult battle against a pack of Ghouls. He lent us his unique abilities, and helped to save many lives. I find it unusual how he fights. He uses no magecraft that I can see, yet that weapon of his cannot be normal. Perhaps it is a mystic code of some sort. I shall send you some photos when we return in a month. Regardless, he has been of great value to us, as his youthful determination to help has brightened many of our waning spirits. Just last night he saved my life when I was fighting a Monster capable of warping space to attack."

She reads the paragraph out loud.

"This is probably you." She says bluntly. "You don't have any of the special Church armour assigned to most knights, nor do you have any of the mannerisms of a religious man. My hypothesis as to how you died is this: Fresh from helping save a village, the group you were a part of left the town, heading for the forest. However, someone, possibly Dominic, possibly someone else, killed you all in a battle. This person was a Dead Apostle, and you were luckily turned in the battle, losing your memory in the process. Driven by some left over feelings you arrived here to complete your mission, and ran into me."

"While this explains who you used to be, at least somewhat, it doesn't explain something else."

She crosses her arms and glares at you. "Why did you come here, Vampire? Why didn't you eat those children? Why did you want to take the weapon and fulfill your mission even though you could not remember it?"

Blackdeath6031
February 1st, 2012, 08:28 PM
Now that I think about it, she was right. I was a complete idiot. Though, my idiocy may have been the reason I survived this long? I don't know, nor does it truly matter now, I suppose.

But...that's me?! Wai...wha...how..??

"So..." I murmured, trying to organise my thoughts out loud. "I...I was...a Clergyman...? But mystic code, magecraft?"

I remain confused, but I realise that she had asked me questions, trying to figure out something beyond my previous identity, the one I had lost, effectively for good.

"Why did you come here, Vampire?"

"Why didn't you eat those children?"

"Why did you want to take the weapon and fulfill your mission even though you could not remember it?"

Those were the three questions she had asked me. Originally, I had thought the answer to all of them was simple. But, expressing it in words ended up being much harder than I had thought.

Was that truly the only reason why I did those things? In the first place, no matter how one looked at it, the reason lacked credibility - a simple reason, indeed, but not enough to merit all this.
However, to say 'I don't know' would be wrong. And to give a much more bombastic reason would also be wrong, and I wouldn't be able to keep true to it.

So I had to say it. The simple reason, which could be both good and bad. But it was the truth, and she asked for the truth, so I shall give it to her.
"I understand that my sole reason probably isn't enough for all this. But it is the simple truth, so I won't say any more or less of it.

"As I had told you, the only people who had showed hostility to me since I woke up yesterday were the undead, and Dominic. Whereas Anna and Alfons were kind enough to show some hospitality. Perhaps it was because of those kids who were so innocent, or maybe the fact that I felt the dead and the Vampires were being aggressive toward me for no reason, or perhaps a mixture of both. I found myself wanting to ensure that, at the least, those two children would be able to live peacefully.
"I found out the threat from the letter after meeting both of the children. Perhaps I could then say it is the sequence of events that led me to decide that I had to, no matter what, defend those two from whatever harm exists near them. If I had eaten those children, I'd have been the same as those which had tried to eat me and Daniel last night. I didn't want that, especially to those two.

"As far as I'm concerned at this point, protecting those who have been kind to me is as good as my survival. Nothing more, and nothing less than that. I know full well how Vampires act, after meeting Dominic. I don't want to be like that."

Letting out a sigh as I conclude yet another monologue, I close my eyes, before looking at her once more with curiosity.

"I have a question for you, if I may - though I suppose it means little when I am so weak, and near to death....If that person is truly me, then what is this 'mystic code' I possessed? Where might it be?"

Truly, I was also interested in the powers I had originally possessed, but I decided that even she would not know of it, and so it was pointless to do anything about it.

Bloble
February 2nd, 2012, 12:23 PM
Blackdeath6031

"It doesn't really matter." The woman replies to your question about your Mystic Code. "If what you say is true it was probably destroyed when you blew up that hill. And if it wasn't, you most likely won't be able to use it, since any holy item or weapon will burn you indiscriminately."

But her response to you stating your reasoning takes much longer to come out. You see her think it over for almost a minute, before she suddenly lets out an exasperated sigh, and stands.

"Really, you are quite an idiot." She says, softly this time. But you catch a hint of a smile on her face. "Vampires are supposed to be evil, yet you go and break that rule without even meaning to." She looks you in the eye, and her expression hardens. "Very well. Our missions are the same. I shall fulfill my duty as a weapon of the Church and got to Transylvania to destroy the Dead Apostle plaguing it."

"But you... if you wish, you may come with me." She says reluctantly. "I don't really want to say it, but your presence there might be useful. I saw some of your battle with that Vampire earlier, and while weak, you do show some good strategy. You might be able to help me on my mission, and you're such a horrible liar that if you ever turned evil I could know and slaughter you in a moment."

"So, this is it. Do you want to accompany me, nameless monster?"

Blackdeath6031
February 2nd, 2012, 08:12 PM
"Wha...."

I...what...seri...

"Ahh....." Elation fills my head up that I don't even realise the toothy, dumb smile and widened eyes which had appeared on my face. So much so, that the four times she belittled me - though admittedly what she said is true - was nothing to me!

"Thank you! Thank you so much!" I find myself slapping my head on the ground several times in joy. All this surprised me - wasn't she going to kill me? Am I really someone worth

But...

"A...Are you sure...?" I ask worriedly as I slowly stand and take my sword, sheathing it. "I might be more of a burden than an asset to you...?"

Bloble
February 3rd, 2012, 01:35 AM
Blackdeath6031

"It's fine." She says as you protest. "True, as you are now you're basically useless to me..."

Ouch. Wasn't she supposed to be wanting your presence?

"...but, that can be fixed." She continues. "You're pathetically weak and slow, a bit of a blabbermouth, slightly thick, possibly suicidal, and totally unaware of the dangers of the world around you. But still, you have some quick thinking, can come up with new strategies on the fly, know how to use a sword, heal pretty fast, judging by the fact that you're standing about a minute before you should be able to, and most importantly, you seem to be a good person. So even though you're a vampire and I really want to kill you, I'll make an exception to my rule this once!"

She stretches out a hand, and unbeknownst to you she seems to have pulled out and put on a pair of glasses while talking. Her face is showing a cheerful smile, a complete turnaround from her previously cold attitude. Truthfully, this is quite scary in its own right as well.

"For now, you can call me... hm..." She suddenly gets thoughtful. "Ciel? No, used that one last time. Elesia? No, bad memories. Yumi? Too Japanese. Ah! Call me Luna for now. It'll do as a name, I think. Not exactly original, but good enough."

...she picks out names like a woman picks out clothes.

"Now then. What's your name? And no stupid answers this time!" She smiles, and raises one of the Black Keys. "I tend to get very twitchy when I'm angry, and you wouldn't want this sharp object to accidentally go flying in your direction."

...scary.

Blackdeath6031
February 3rd, 2012, 06:41 PM
...Gah...!!

I raise my hands, trying to both calm her down and show that I'm yielding, starting to feel awkwardly insecure.

"Err...no...actually I was being honest at the time...I don't remember a name, nor had I the chance to think up one after I awoke, so I merely called myself that as a placeholder - though I didn't expect that I'd really need one!

"...But hmm..."

I paused and pondered, resting my chin in a standing Rodin's Thinker pose. A few moments after, I looked back up at 'Luna' - admittedly her ease in simply using names and switching them out scares me.

--That's another scary point about her.

"Well, it's not a name I'm happy with and it gives me some indescribable yet uncomfortable feeling, but its the only one I can think of right now...I suppose you could call me Sebastian? That work?"

Bloble
February 3rd, 2012, 08:25 PM
Blackdeath6031

"Sebastian will do." Luna nods. "Really, you shouldn't put so much thought into it. Forcing yourself at this stage won't lead to anything. Names are like clothes. You have to find one that fits. For now we'll call you Sebastian, but if you feel that you must have a name, take some more time to think about it later."

She takes one last look at the clearing, and as her she glimpses the bodies she frowns. "One second. If we're going to be working together you'll need a better weapon, unless you have some sort of attachment to that ordinary one you're holding." She walks over to one of the corpses and clinically unstraps the sword and sheath attached to it. You can sense the holy enchantments on it, but Luna doesn't seem to care. She passes a hand over the holy weapon and mutters some words. The air momentarily seems to darken around her, and when it returns to normal you can no longer feel any holy aura around the weapon, although it still smells of magic.

Luna throws the sword to you. "Here. This'll do for now. You need at least one backup weapon, preferably one that's enchanted, so I'll throw some enchantments onto your other one you've already got some other time."

http://images4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20100528051617/claymore/images/9/94/Claymore_Swords.png

It's much different from your old sword. It's longer and thicker as well as much heavier, reminiscent of a medieval claymore rather than a longsword. If you weren't a vampire you don't think you could have even lifted the thing, but with your strength you only have a bit of trouble swinging it around.

Luna notices your difficulty.

"Ah, right. I almost forgot. You haven't fed since you woke, right? You should keep yourself topped up if you can. A vampire with no blood is much weaker than a well fed one. Here, I'll make an exception to my rule about donating blood this once."

She extends a hand away from her robe, and almost faster than your eyes can see she slashes her own wrist open. A spurt of blood exits falls from her wound, which begins dripping profusely onto the ground. While she isn't in pain, she seems to be focusing hard on something, although maintaining enough concentration to speak.

"Hurry up and drink your fill." She says, not showing even a slight recognition of her own wound. "I can't stop my self from healing for very long." Ah, so that's what she's concentrating on. "And don't you dare lose control. I don't want to have to exterminate you at this point."

As she speaks the scent of fresh human blood wafts into your nose, and your hunger returns full force. You need to feed, and you need to do it soon, preferably now.

Blackdeath6031
February 3rd, 2012, 10:39 PM
Attachment, huh? Well, besides the fact that it's been with me for a while, and had been the reason why I'm still alive today I suppose not. But I can't very well throw away my saviour either can I?

My thoughts are abruptly stopped when a sword comes flying over, landing in my hands. It definitely still has the scent of magic, but Holy? Not too sure...

"Here. This'll do for now. You need at least one backup weapon, preferably one that's enchanted, so I'll throw some enchantments onto your other one you've already got some other time."

I nod blankly at Luna as I take the blade, sheathing my original one before doing so. Testing my hand with it, it definitely feels like there's more force in it than Daniel's longsword. However, with more force comes less control, unless its wielder possesses enough strength which allows them to fight the directional pull and weight.
But right now I don't think I possess such strength. While the longsword was easy and light enough to use with just one hand to enable quick, agile movements, this claymore seems like something one the other extreme, and I find it easier to use with two hands.
However, I suppose its good to explore other forms of weapons and styles, hu--...

"Ah, right. I almost forgot. You haven't fed since you woke, right? You should keep yourself topped up if you can. A vampire with no blood is much weaker than a well fed one. Here, I'll make an exception to my rule about donating blood this once."

--Eh? Wait, serio...Ah..Wha...Eh?

"Hurry up and drink your fill. I can't stop my self from healing for very long. And don't you dare lose control. I don't want to have to exterminate you at this point."

Something Luna said piques my interest, after all, I'm certain humans don't possess such a feature. However, I decide that asking now lacked what precious prudence I need.

I nod, but decide to put forward a warning.
"I'll remind you that this is my first 'feed', so I don't know what'd happen to me when I do; so if you feel the need to stop me, please do so."

Saying so, I begin to lap up the blood cautiously, trying to keep track of how my body reacts, hoping that I can stop in time, should I really 'lose control'.

Bloble
February 3rd, 2012, 11:34 PM
Blackdeath6031

The taste of fresh blood is something you've never felt before. To you, it is like the nectar of the gods after wandering through the desert for weeks on end. The taste is energizing, literally. You feel as if the blood you're drinking is charged with some sort of energy, but even more so than it should be. The energy courses through your body like electricity, invigorating you and restoring your strength.

You stop after a few seconds. You have almost no memory of drinking, simply of an indescribable ecstasy...

You blink, and rise to your feet. A glance shows you that Luna's wound has already healed, and she's wiping off all the bloodstains from her wrist with a dainty looking handkerchief. When she sees you glancing, she grins and tosses you another one, pointing to her mouth. You touch a finger to you own mouth, and find it almost dripping with blood. She must want you to... clean up after eating.

"Nice job on not going crazy." She says lightly, breaking the building tension. "Don't worry, it'll be easier to keep your sanity the next times. You should also find that you've gotten quite a bit stronger already. Or more accurately, you've regained your true strength. Going without blood for a time will weaken you noticeably. Right now you should be almost twice as strong as you were a few minutes ago."

Now that you've taken care of things, you realize that it's time to leave. Luna notices the expression on your face, even if you don't.

"Don't worry." She says. "I'm sure those kids will be fine. If you survive the next few weeks you might even see them again."

The next few weeks... Luna notices your hesitation.

"It'll take us some time to get to Transylvania on foot, especially if we can only travel by night and have to remain stealthy." She explains. As she speaks she removes a map of a continent you recognize as Europe from her pocket, most likely pillaged from a dead knight. "We're here." She points to a region in the middle of Germany. "We have to get... here." She points to a small country to the east of Germany. "We'll have to pass through a few other countries on our way, but as long as you listen to me, we shouldn't have much problems. If we're lucky we might even get there within a month."

A month. It'll take you a month just to reach this Dead Apostle...

"We'll have to avoid the authorities, the Magic Association, probably the Church now that their squad was killed. They'll kill a Vampire like you instantly without even stopping to think about things." Luna's talking to herself now, while you're still absorbing all the things she's telling you. "No, not going to be easy at all..."

She looks at you one last time, and extends her hand again, and this time it's obvious why.

"Well." She smiles gently, but coldly. "Looks like we're stuck together, partner."


This is it. You'll fulfill your mission with the help of this mysterious woman. You don't know why, but it doesn't matter.

Your enemy will fall. You will destroy the castle of this Transylvanian Dead Apostle.

Or you'll die trying.


Prologue, End

Please wait for Chapter 1

Satehi
February 4th, 2012, 01:01 AM
He’s laughing. Clearly, something about this situation must be amusing to him. His laughter stops as soon as it starts, but he keeps his pleased expression from earlier. Even smiling, I can’t help but feel uncomfortable around this man.

And then he starts speaking in rhyme. Great.

“Sacred place” undoubtedly refers to this temple. By slay, he’s probably talking about the massacre in the room I was in… and in the halls of this place. If the temple has been put to rest, then perhaps that means all the priests are dead? These robes might be the temple’s clothing, I suppose. That would fit with the holy too, as the servants of a god are undoubtedly considered holy. So my real identity must be some kind of priest or monk?

But the later couple lines that he says confuse me. Most likely, he must be talking about me- but I’m not dead. That would be crazy. If I were dead then I wouldn’t be around right now. That would be illogical. I might've nearly died in that room earlier, but I didn't. Still, this night has been full of weird occurrences, like waking up hanged in that room, with all those other corpses. It seems wiser to just agree with the incredibly buff guy who probably murdered those two on the ground then try to point out what my mind identifies as a contradiction in his words.

The sun… I have no memories of it. Even if my mind has information on what it is, how it looks like, how large it is, what it does, I instinctively feel that nothing could really compare to seeing it with my own eyes. The fact that he would most likely lead me to some kind of exit to this horrible, creepy temple filled with death and gore is only a bonus.

“I don’t quite understand everything that you just said, but…” My decision clear, I voice out my answer to him. “Yes. I want to see the sun once more.”

Bloble
February 4th, 2012, 03:52 AM
Satehi

The gigantic man nods. He seems to be very calm compared to the first time you saw him, but you can still see some of that endless rage lurking deep within his calm eyes, like the ferocious beast at the bottom of the deep lake. In fact, you can now see a hint of sadness there, as if he's not looking forward to something.

He speaks, once more in rhyme.

"What you wish for is but a miracle,
Unreachable by you as you are.
In the tale that shall be your chronicle,
I fear it is much too far.

If you still believe that you are alive,
Then you must be sadly mistaken.
Although if you wish you can still strive
To restore the life that's been taken.

This chance you've been granted is no mere thing
If you want to live you must fight whatever fate may bring."

Just as he finishes his confusing attempt at explaining, you hear groans, and the shuffling of skin on wood. The huge man narrows his eyes and lets out a low rumble that you realize is a growl of dissatisfaction.

Then he looks at you, and grins.

"Good, the timing could not be better, I'll admit.
This is your chance, if you want to live, earn it!"

And with that final rhyme, the man disappears almost instantly. In a fraction of a second you can no longer feel his presence, as if he simply vanishes, or moved so fast you could not even see. But that would mean-

You don't have time to think. Your ears catch the noise, and your eyes finally see what is making it.

The monks. The same dead that occupied the room you woke up in. They're walking again. Somehow, moving, even though you can clearly see that they're dead.

The Dead are pouring in from all sides, from every exit, surrounding you. In a moment you are surrounded by a legion of them, all approaching with only one goal in mind.

To kill you again.

Erlkonig
February 4th, 2012, 02:15 PM
Nanatsu Yoru

Although I'd normally approach the man in this situation, the sounds of battle were tempting me, as I knew an opportunity such as watching the scope of the battles between high rankers would not be something I'd see every day.

It was then that, going into a walk, I tried approaching the sounds of battle, in order to better see what was going on.

Bloble
February 4th, 2012, 02:59 PM
Erlkonig

You approach the viewing area to see what all the fuss is about.

Finding a good place to watch that's also devoid of any shifty looking people, you peer into the arena below.

It's big. Really big. You'd say at least twice as big as a football field, as a rough estimate. The ground is varied, with some places sporting fancy grass and trees, and others simply dirt. There are even rolling plains, and-

Craters. Craters everywhere. The entire arena is littered with craters the size of large vehicles, extending deep into the ground. Some are charred, and others seem to have turned into glass. The destruction is jarring compared to the natural scenery in the rest of the arena.

As you examine, another crater suddenly appears as an explosion of huge proportions shakes the arena. Even muffled by the most likely magic glass in front of your eyes you can still hear it clearly.

Another thing you hear clearly is a burly laugh of joy, followed by a shout.

"Oy! Is that the best you've got, Jim?" The voice floats up from the arena. In seconds another explosion occurs, and another crater appears.

"Just warming up, Al!" Another voice shouts back.

You narrow your eyes, and use your superior vision to zoom into where you can see two small specks moving about in the arena. To you, however, they aren't specks.

Two muscular men, both at least six feet tall and sporting tattered and torn clothing punch each other simultaneously in the face. The stiffen for a fraction of a second then break, jumping back a dozen feet each. A heartbeat passes, and then they leap towards each other again, fists cocked.

The slam of their fists against each other shakes the arena, and they're engulfed in a huge explosion that fades, showing the two standing in the middle of a crater, hands locked together, competing in a contest of strength. And strength it is, as you see both men's arms are rippling with powerful muscles. Their faces are both grinning widely, and you can see heavy beards on both of them that only add to their image of powerful people.

"Not bad, Jim!" The one with black hair compliments his opponent.

"I could say the same about you, Al!" The other has lighter brown hair, and also looks slightly younger.

The contest of strength seems to be going nowhere, and they realize it too. They break apart, then dash back into the fight, this time going for strategy. They exchange a series of punches you recognize as coming from the style called 'boxing'. They weave, duck, jab, block, and counter each other, but none seems to be able to get a clean strike. All those punches are thrown with blinding speed that you realize most people wouldn't be able to percieve. Luckily your eyes can catch their movements with little difficulty.

And that's a good thing. You see now that their hands are glowing with a scary light. Jim's hands are glowing a bright green, while Al's have a softer golden glow. If they meet again, an explosion is probably the result, not even thinking of what would happen if one scored a direct hit on the other.

The sudden flurry of boxing ends almost as quickly as it began, with both men reacting to a perceived flaw in the other's guard and launching simultaneous straights. However, it seems they know each other too well, as it quickly becomes another simultaneous blow to the face, and both are blown back several meters, skidding along the ground with imprints of fists in their cheeks. But still, they're grinning just as hard as they were when you started watching.

"Hah! You've lost your touch!" Jim says with a laugh. "If you were serious that would've blown my head off!"

"I didn't want my head blown off in retaliation!" Al retorts. "If I killed you, there'd be no one who could hold back and not kill me!"

Ah, you realize it then. They aren't fighting to kill. Both of those punches should have been killing blows, but each man held back just enough not to destroy the other. These two are so in sync that they know each other's limits, and know when to hold back. No wonder they've managed to fight so much without killing each other for this long.

Abruptly, as if a switch has been flipped, the two change strategies, drawing from their back pockets... nunchacku? Both grin deeply, and charge at each other with battle cries roaring from their mouths.

The ensuing explosion is at least twice as big as the others, and it doesn't end there. The explosions are continuous, coming one after the other, several occurring within one second as the two are undoubtedly clashing. Unfortunately for you, you can't even catch a glimpse of the two anymore under the constant barrage of explosions.

"Well, that's that." You hear a nearby magus say to a woman that looks like his girlfriend. "After they get this serious it's not worth it to watch anymore. You won't see anything other than explosions for the next fifteen minutes."

Erlkonig
February 4th, 2012, 03:06 PM
Nanatsu Yoru

I blinked, looking at the magus. "Surely you can't be serious. What kind of beasts can maintain their prana levels so high for such a long time?" The thought seemed ludicrous to me.

Bloble
February 4th, 2012, 03:13 PM
Erlkonig

The man looks at you and blinks when he notices that you're a Vampire. But after a second he smiles and laughs.

"Those two are monsters." He says. "Not literally, but they have way too much prana in their bodies compared to ordinary people. As far as I know, Jim has a lot of magic circuits, and Al's circuits are pretty high quality, leading to about the same amount in each. Their magecraft is supposed to be very efficient compared to the... result, meaning they can use it as much as they want without ever getting tired."

As he says that, the woman tugs on his sleeve and pouts cutely. "Bruce! You promised we'd go to Paris next! London is cool but I don't want to watch exploding stuff for another hour!"

"Ah, right, sorry." He grins sheepishly. He and the woman set off for the exit, and he waves goodbye to you as he goes, leaving behind one last word of advice.

"I wouldn't fight one of them if I were you. Even if you win and kill him, the other will hunt you down to the ends of the earth."

Erlkonig
February 4th, 2012, 03:17 PM
Nanatsu Yoru

"Hmm..." I see the magus leave with his girlfriend. I wasn't really planning on fighting the two anyway. Explosions were my weakness. I'm pretty sure they're everyone's weaknesses, actually.

Taking a seat, I decide to see who wins in the end. Surely one of them must come out on top over the other, elsehow they wouldn't have different ranks. Maybe they cycle between them as fights go?

Bloble
February 4th, 2012, 03:19 PM
Erlkonig

5 minutes pass. Still only explosions.

You hear the man from the desk call you. "Sir? Do you want to register for a battle? If you want to fight now is the best time, as there's a slot that just opened after this battle."

Erlkonig
February 4th, 2012, 03:30 PM
Nanatsu Yoru

I approached the man, frowning. "Hmm... I was kind of intimidated by this battle. If I do register, the opponent which would be decided would be within 3 ranks of mine, is that correct? I would not like to end up with my soul ripped out of my body or something."

Bloble
February 4th, 2012, 03:53 PM
Erlkonig

"I assure you that we usually endeavor to assign appropriate opponents to newcomers." The man says once you come over to the desk. He's wearing a professional suit and his handlebar mustache gives him the air of a sophisticated gentleman. The stuffy British accent of his helps that image. "May I see your card?" He asks.

Erlkonig
February 4th, 2012, 06:08 PM
Nanatsu Yoru

I nod, and hand him the ID card.

Bloble
February 4th, 2012, 06:24 PM
Erlkonig

The man takes a look at your card and raises an eyebrow once he reads the information on it. "You're only rank 25?" He frowns. "I'm afraid that's much too low. Arena 10 is specifically for fights where one of the combatants is Rank 20 or above. If you wish to challenge one of the top 20, however, you may do so. At the moment you may challenge numbers 20, 18, 17, 16, 11, 8, 6, 5, and 4. The rest are unavailable or have requested to be left undisturbed. Do keep in mind, however, that they will most likely refuse a challenge from someone as low ranked as you, except for Number 4 who has said that he will accept any challenge against him."

Satehi
February 4th, 2012, 08:04 PM
Before I can understand what his rhyme that he just spoke means, groans and sounds of movement appear within the temple. The man growls his disapproval, before grinning at me and saying a couple final words, before he disappears in an instant. I have no time to wonder where he went, because then my eyes finally make out the source of the sound.

The dead bodies around are rising. Even though theyíre clearly dead, thereís no way a human could survive with those injuries. Itís almost like the stereotypical notion of a zombie.

They come in from everywhere, surrounding me. From the words of the man earlier, Iíll need to fight these creatures if I want to live and make it out of here.

Thatís a no brainer, then. If thatís what I have to do to live and make it out of here, then of course Iíll do it.

Throwing myself at the crowd in the hallway, I try to go in the direction away from the first room I was in. I donít know much about the temple, but if the dead are walking up again, Iíd definitely prefer to not be in that room, and the hallway will limit any advantage of numbers that the creatures have be reducing the number that can attack me at any given moment.

Raising my fist at the closest of the zombies that stands in my way, I try my best to ignore the shambling of the dead around me and the obvious grotesque injuries on them, and focus only on the idea of getting out of here.

Throwing my reared fist forward, I try to punch the zombie in front of me, putting all of my weight behind my fist!

Bloble
February 4th, 2012, 08:14 PM
Satehi

You run to the nearest hallway leading away from this room, intent on fighting this horde in a place that's more advantageous to you. Your body is quicker than those of the Dead, and you swiftly reach the hall before the rest of the Dead can catch you. But still, the hall itself is crowded with at least a half dozen Dead, and you'll have to go through them if you want to get out!

So you resort to violence. You know in a part of your mind that these things aren't human anymore, and are beyond saving. So you feel no hesitation in attacking to kill!

Your fist rockets past the front Dead's hands and smashes its face with all of your power!

What happens next reminds you of a bad action movie.

The Dead's head explodes comically into brain matter and blood, and the body tumbles backwards into the others. You felt no pain from your fist, as if you were punching a soft wet paper bag. The dead... Dead is instantly torn to pieces by the Dead behind it, which charges mindlessly at you through the gory mess of the first, hands outstretched and an inhuman moan coming from its warped throat.

Satehi
February 4th, 2012, 10:06 PM
Upon hitting the Dead with my fist, its head splatters into a mulch of brain matter and blood. Its head gave almost no resistance as it crumbled away, incredibly weak before my fist.

The sight of its brain matter flying around the hallway makes me cringe-were it not for the possible life and death situation I was in, this level of gore would definitely make me feel quite queasy, but I canít let this slow me down. The thought that this thing was once a human sickens me, that Iíd have to do this to a corpse of someone I mightíve known.

An instant later through, its corpse is destroyed by the Dead behind it, who rip through it without mercy. Steeping back a bit, my right leg flicks out, going up to meet the face of the dead in front of me, using the advantage of the longer reach my legs give me over the arms of the creature before me.

Bloble
February 4th, 2012, 10:34 PM
Satehi

The dead is caught on its side by your kick, full on, no blocks or even an attempt at blocking. Simply, its mind does not grasp the concept of defense and so did not bother to try defending.

It is sliced in half. Your kick passes through its body easily, and the now bisected dead is sent flying into the wall, actually cracking the wood simply from the force of your blow.

It is curious. You have no trouble killing these things yet the force of one hitting a wall is enough to crack the wood noticeably. Your strength... cannot be called the same as that of an ordinary person.

As your kick is outstretched another Dead charges from the front, and you hear another Dead charging from behind.

Elyrin
February 4th, 2012, 11:35 PM
This time, failure. My strength was not what it had seemed. Brute force would not win this. I would have to take away the monster's strength, and crush what was left.

As it remains still, screaming in triumph, I move closer. My side throbs, but I can ignore it for now. I need to kill him.

It won't take more than a few moments to get in range, but I can't rush. I need to move quickly, but I need to be careful. If I get the chance, my next blow will be to one of his legs. If one leg shatters like his arm, he will find it hard to move, and I can better fight back.

Bloble
February 5th, 2012, 12:54 AM
Elyrin

You approach, this time more wary and ready for any attack. While you are hurt, he is more wounded than you. But you should hurry. You note that the pain in your side is already fading, and that the man's shattered elbow seems to be repairing itself slowly. In about half a minute he will be unhurt, as will you.

If you want to win this you will have to go for a killing blow right off the bat.

The man notices you approaching and narrows his eyes. Even though he does not possess the higher brain functions you do his instincts tell him to wait for your attack before rushing in. So he waits, expecting a wild charge similar to the last one.

And he is correct, as you move in closer to attack. He raises his unbroken arm, expecting an upper body blow but not one that's lower. Yes, the difference between you and him is not physical, but mental. A monster would never expect an attack from below, and neither would it ever think of such a thing. Your leg swipe catches him off guard, and you can feel his tibia and fibula shatter under your powerful kick, breaking through his lower leg completely. In fact, as legs are stronger than arms, instead of merely breaking his leg, your kick sweeps right through, severing your opponent's foot completely.

He screams, falling to the side as he suddenly loses balance. For a brief moment he is distracted and relaxes his guard as he tries to remain upright.

You have less then a second to act.

Elyrin
February 5th, 2012, 01:41 AM
The monster blocks high, and I strike low. Success. He is taken off guard and nearly falls.

No time to think, act. The head is too small a target, so I aim for the chest. Will he he able to survive without a heart?

Bloble
February 5th, 2012, 01:51 AM
Elyrin

You push forward with your free hand. Now is the time to strike, while he's distracted!

Instead of a mere punch, your strike is more of a gouging motion, twisting and aiming to go through instead of punch. Instead of a fist your hand becomes a spear intending to pierce all that stands before it! You see the monster realize it's mistake and move its remaining hand to intercept your strike, but it is too late. It's guard is open, and you have already moved!"

With a sickening and wet crunch you hear and feel your hand strike through the monster's chest, and your hand exits your enemy's back holding onto one of the most vital organs in the human body.

He stiffens, and slowly his head turns until he looks at his own, still beating heart. He blinks, and for a moment you see a human in those eyes instead of the rabid creature that had attacked. The heart beats again in your hand.

"I'm... already dead." He whispers in a quiet voice completely unlike his earlier screams of rage. The heart beats once more, and then lies still, along with the young man who you just killed. He goes limp, and you suddenly feel yourself easily supporting his entire weight with one hand.

The pain from your wounds has already disappeared as your healing factor kicks into overdrive. But for the man in front of you, it was too late.

Once more you are alone, with only the body of a dead man to keep you company.

Elyrin
February 5th, 2012, 02:18 AM
It is done. He is dead.

His madness seemed to disappear in his final moments, but that doesn't matter. He was a monster. He fought with nothing but hatred. He is now dead, and I am still alive.

Still holding his heart, I place my other hand on his shoulder and remove my arm from his chest. I stare at the corpse for a few moments before hitting him in the face as hard as I am able. The body falls to the ground, still unmoving. When dealing with monsters, you should take no chances.

I am alone again. My earlier search of the hall revealed countless shattered tubes an one exit, a steel door. With no other options, I drop the heart to the ground and carefully approach, checking for a way to get the door open.

Bloble
February 5th, 2012, 04:56 AM
Elyrin

As you approach the door you hear what appear to be several murmurs coming from a direction you can't recognize. They're too inaudible to make out, but you think that they might be female. An entire conversation happening around you, yet from nowhere at all. Perhaps your hearing is simply good enough to catch things that are happening from far away.

You only lightly tap the door, and it swings open.

Peering through, you see a dark and ruined office of some sort. While not especially big, it is nonetheless much larger than the tight hall you woke up in. The floor is covered in soft carpet, and the wallpaper depicts a simple flower pattern that has in many places been stained with dried blood and claw marks. You see a desk covered in papers and a thin book near the wall, the chair lying some feet away, clawed to pieces. There is a glass table that seems to have been shattered, and an open door you see leads to a small washroom. A broken wooden door on the left seems to lead deeper into wherever you might be.

And most importantly, you are completely alone now.

Elyrin
February 5th, 2012, 12:49 PM
Empty.

The dark office I stand in seems to have been ripped apart, dried blood staining much of the walls. Echoes if whispers reach my ears, too quiet to pick out any words, or tell where the sounds are coming from. Wherever this place is, I will gain nothing from staying here, so I move to search this room and bathroom. I remain alert, listening and watching for any signs that I may not be alone as it seems.

Bloble
February 5th, 2012, 02:03 PM
Elyrin

You take a look around the room and the bathroom, starting from the smaller room. You take a look around and find nothing there but some generic hygiene products and an old fashioned straight razor that looks as if it's been taken straight from the 1800s even though the room itself is quite modern. There is no blood or destruction in the washroom leading you to the conclusion that no violence took place here.

The office on the other hand is almost completely ruined. Vague bits of material that may have once been objects are strewn around. You even find a computer and monitor that have been perforated so badly that they are unusable, except for what you think might be a hard drive, which has miraculously remained mostly intact. The glass table has nothing of interest except for several sharp looking shards of glass, eventually leading you to the desk.

The desk, while messed up, is still relatively whole. There are four locked wooden drawers, two on either side, and on top rests a bunch of illegible papers. The book, however, proves to have been slightly more resilient. You see that on the front is there are words written in fancy script, on the leather cover.

The Journal of Adalbert Luftberg

Who? This person's journal might provide some answers to your situation...

CRASH!

But you don't have the time. The noises are getting louder and there's no time to read things now. If you want to read that book, you should probably do it when you're in a safe place and not somewhere you could be killed in a second if you let your guard down.

Elyrin
February 5th, 2012, 02:42 PM
My search of the two rooms yields a few things of interest. First, an old-fashioned straight razor, strangely out of place considering the modern feel of this room and the last one. I consider taking it at first, but it probably won't be much of a weapon in my hands. For now, I can deal with fighting unarmed. Second is what looks like a hard drive, somehow still intact beside the destroyed computer. I may never be able to see what secrets it holds, but it may have information useful to me, so I take it for now. With only too hands to carry things with, though, I may need to discard it for something more immediately useful. Pockets would be nice,

Third and final is a book. A journal, written by "Adalbert Luftberg". Not a name I recognize, but any information about this place - about me - would be helpful.

CRASH

No time. If I want to read this, I need to find somewhere safe first. I'll most likely have to drop the slightly batter hard drive for something more immediately useful, but I should try to hang on to the book. Gripping both with one hand to keep my right free, I move to look through the broken door, careful not to get too close. I have no idea what may be on the other side, but there is nothing left behind me but a dead end, so I should keep moving forward.

Bloble
February 5th, 2012, 02:56 PM
Elyrin

You grab the book and hard drive, opting to leave the razor where it is on account of it not really being a very useful weapon.

With your search complete, it's time to move on.

You cautiously approach the broken door leading out of the office, wary of any sudden attacks. As you approach it the murmuring increases in volume, and you become aware of a variety of new sounds coming from that room. You peer through the shattered portal, and into a much, much larger room.

It used to be a laboratory. That much is plainly obvious, with various different instruments littering the floor and lying broken in many places. You see graduated cylinders and volumetric flasks, as well as a plethora of beakers and different substances in various jars. Some tables have straps on them, and you can see bloodstained tools on them, such as scalpels and forceps. Most likely for... dissection.

But that's only a secondary concern. You only notice the room itself after looking at its occupant.

No, occupants.

There are dozens of them. Pale, white haired red eyed people are all over the room, all naked, all looking as wild as ever. There are males and females, but all seem to be young and fit, as if designed that way. Roughly half are dead of claw and bite wounds, and in a disgusting display of cannibalism the living half seem to be feeding on those who have fallen. Their hair is long and stringy, signifying that they have been awake for much longer than you, possibly even months. But still, they are every bit as feral as the one you met in that hallway.

They freeze. Whatever activities they had been doing before you came in, ranging from feeding to what appears to be mating, stop as their heads turn to look at you.

A long second passes.

They roar. A composite scream of rage and hatred strikes you, and you almost feel physically pushed back by their roars. They stand, ready to fight and kill.

As a group, they charge you, with just as much speed and strength as the first monster you faced!

RacingeR
February 5th, 2012, 03:21 PM
"Ah."

I can't stop the gasp. After all, the pain of my bloodied hand, and my battered body covered in bruises are testament to my defeat. I can see that I haven't even manage to scratch Sumire, despite my best efforts. It is like trying to reach the moon, floating far away in the sky.

I get up, despite the pain, this time without elegance whatsoever. I have to try again..!

Congratulations and a slow clap receive me.

"Eh-?" My voice sounds disconcerted at such an absurd display. Even when she points towards the lock of blue hair wrapped around my index finger, I still cannot comprehend what just transpired. Her words of praise and explanation... slowly, understanding appears in my eyes. I have won, despite being faced with impossible odds, and fighting a monster way beyond my level and abilities. However, the sensation of victory... is empty. It is like instead of reaching the moon, I just grasped the reflection of it in the surface of a lake.

Yes. She is right, and I smile bitterly as I retrieve my now useless shirt from the ground. "No. It is not enough for me."

Some bitterness does invade my voice, and I almost laugh self derisively, even as I try to act as dignified as I can. "It seems that I am not the type that gives up easily." Saying that, I ready myself for whatever it is coming. Whether it is the same challenge or something different, I think I have got a grasp on the abilities of my opponent. If she turns even slightly serious, I will be reduced to dust, but as long as she holds back to such an extent.. I have a chance, using my improvised techniques.

So... let's go, Sumire!

Bloble
February 5th, 2012, 03:48 PM
RacingeR

"Good. That determination of yours will carry you well in the future. I like people who don't give up easily." Sumire nods. "But that's enough. There's no need to go any further."

She says something ridiculous casually. No need? But you have to fulfill your objective! You have to hit her once, otherwise it doesn't count as a victory!

She notices that you still want to go on, and smiles.

"In the first place, I wasn't expecting you to win, girl. This was simply a test to see if you had the determination to attack someone many times stronger than you and not freeze up. Victory isn't what I was looking for, it was the ability to think quickly and come up with good strategies in the middle of a fight, which you've already shown quite well. So there's really no need to go any further. I'll just let you heal from your wounds, and explain why it is that I need you."

Inconceivable. Your fight is over. There is no need to go on anymore.

"Ah, and, um... sorry about your shirt." Sumire has a guilty smile on her face. "I suppose you can have one of my old swimsuit tops for now. I don't really have all that many pairs of clothing." She snaps her fingers and the top half of a swimsuit falls on your face.

"Now then, would you like to hear my explanation now, or take a rest and hear it tomorrow?"

Elyrin
February 5th, 2012, 04:18 PM
In the next room, there are more monsters like the first. Too many. If one alone threatened to kill me, this horde would run me over with no trouble.

No matter. Giving up won't save me, and I can at least kill some of them. Maybe all of them. I steady myself after the monsters roar, preparing for the worst. I toss the journal back towards the desk, then throw the hard drive as well - this time, towards the head of the nearest monster. Keeping the object intact takes a back seat to survival.

With nothing else to use as a weapon, I'm stuck fighting unarmed again. I'm at a huge disadvantage, especially if they make it through the doorway, so I should try to fight here if possible. Maybe I can get rid of one or two before the whole group can try to surround me.

Bloble
February 5th, 2012, 04:30 PM
Elyrin

You grit your teeth as you realize just how outnumbered you are. This is a fight that you have a very low chance of winning, if one even exists. The only difference between you and these rabid creatures is that you still have your sanity.

Hopefully, it will be enough.

You throw the journal back through the door, and it lands behind the desk. The hard drive, on the other hand, you throw as hard as you can towards the head of the nearest monster, which is charging you as you move. Luckily for you it seems that these monsters aren't as tough as they are dangerous, and the force with which you throw the metal box is such that it passes right through the monster's head, pulping its brain and shattering in the process. The monster drops, dead.

Good. Only a few dozen left.

The rest charge at you, and it seems that it's actually to your advantage that they do. Instead of being grabbed and eaten you are pushed backwards by the mass of monsters, back through the door and into the office. For a moment you see them comically struggling to pass through the narrow door. 4 of them at once are trying to move, and neither can fit through the door while the others struggle.

But you only have a few seconds at most. Soon they'll find their way through, and you can already see the side of the flimsy wooden door frame cracking from the force of their pushing.

Satehi
February 5th, 2012, 04:34 PM
These creatures seem to act like animals- no, less than that. They donít bother defending themselves at all from my attack.

My kick hits it straight on and just like earlier, when I punched the beast, it faces very little resistance. The cracking of the wood as its corpse hits the wooden wall tells me something.

Itís not that these creatures are weak and limp; rather, they might be just like normal humans, sans their injuries.

Instead, Iím the one whoís abnormal-to so easily kill these creatures is definitely not something an ordinary human can do. The words of the man from earlier about how I am no longer alive rings again in my mind-perhaps thereís some kind of correlation between the two of them?

Two of those creatures rush at me, one from behind and one behind me, while my leg is still outstretched from my latest attack. In response, I move my left hand backwards to sweep away the Dead behind me- if my idea is right, then it should stop it, somewhat- and sweep the heel of my outstretched leg back, trying to get the dead in front of me.

Elyrin
February 5th, 2012, 04:50 PM
The hard drive hits the closest monster directly in the skull, almost taking its head clean off. If I hit them, it seems I can kill these creatures as easily as the first one.

If.

Dozens remain, enough that I would be completely overrun if they made if through the door and into this room. Luckily, they do not. Four of them all try to get through the doorway at the same time, and end up getting stuck. It would be almost funny, if they weren't likely to kill at eat me as soon as I got close. I need to kill them, and quickly.

As the four creatures strain against the wooden door frame, I take a step forward into range. With so many to deal with, simply crippling a few will accomplish nothing. I need to land killing blows quickly and accurately if I want to have a chance of survival, and I need to avoid being grabbed at all costs. While the four are stuck, blows to the head should be fairly effective...

Erlkonig
February 5th, 2012, 04:57 PM
Nanatsu Yoru

I narrowed my eyes. The Master's minion was most likely near, and would be betting on the next fight. This could be perhaps my only chance to get leads on the Master's location.

So, then...

...I would have to choose between risking my life, or facing James' disappointment, as well as being unable to bear with myself.

"...Sir." I stared at the man with a grim resolve, a look of determination on my face. "I would like to issue a challenge to Rank 4."

Bloble
February 5th, 2012, 05:00 PM
Satehi

You don't stop moving. You may be powerful but it remains to be seen whether or not these creatures are capable of killing you. You cannot let your guard down.

You kick backwards with your outstretched leg while simultaneously twisting your arm back to block the attacking creature. You have to fight against multiple opponents; focusing on one will do you no good.

The back kick catches the charging Dead in the side, sending it crashing into the wooden wall with a crunch. It isn't sliced in half since you couldn't use as much force as last time, but if you're correct its spine just snapped. It won't be a problem.

Your back swipe is just as effective. You intercept a rabid strike from a Dead, smashing through an arm easily and blowing back the attacking monsters. You are unhurt.

But for how long? Even as you move and fight the Dead surround you. You have been completely encircled now, and the you can see a veritable mass of Dead coming from behind, with 3 left in front of you. There must be hundreds of them in the building...

It's your turn to move again. The Dead seems to be holding back, but you're still completely surrounded.


Elyrin

You move back, and using your intellect quickly determine that the head is the weak point of these monsters. You have to strike to kill, quickly and efficiently.

Four hits. Four successful kills. You jab with your hands, landing four punches, two with each hand. Their thick skulls are slightly more difficult to penetrate than other bones, but your inhuman strength is doing it's job, and the brains of the monsters end up resembling nothing more than grey goop on your hands by the time you're done. This makes 5 dead.

But still, that's not enough.

The four dead are pushed aside, and two more monsters leap through the door. This time they seem to have wised up, and aren't slowed down at all. Both of them jump at you, hands outstretched and ready to gouge and kill!

Bloble
February 5th, 2012, 05:17 PM
Erlkonig

The man nods, with a slight melancholic air about him. He takes your ID card and presses a few keys from his curious contraption. After an unusual clicking noise can be heard for a few seconds, the machine rumbles and produces a receipt. He hands it to you silently along with your ID card and you see that it is actually a record of your fight that will happen.

Nanatsu Yoru (25) vs Soul Reaper (4)

Time: 2:00 AM

Odds: 25:1 against (25) victory. 1:25 for (25) victory.

...The odds of you losing are 25 to one. That is... low. So if you win once you'll die 25 times for that one victory.

"Sir, the battle will begin in... 10 minutes. Would you like to make a bet on this battle?" The man asks you. "And do you have a will written? Would you like to leave any last messages for your family or friends? Do you have life insurance?"

He's only asking what are probably standard questions, but it only makes the feeling of walking into your own doom more powerful.

Elyrin
February 5th, 2012, 05:22 PM
Four punches, four hits, four kills. Their skulls destroyed, the monsters that had failed to pass through the door died instantly. Unfortunately, this was just a handful, and many more were still flying at me in a berserk rage. Two this time. I can't take them head on with punches, and I don't think I can kill two with one kick, so I'll have to move a bit.

I quickly move to one side, targeting the outside arm of the nearest monster. If I can grab it even for a moment, I should be able to crush this one's skull as I did the others, or put my free hand through its ribcage and aim for the heart if necessary. Then, I need to quickly prepare for the next one to attack-!

Erlkonig
February 5th, 2012, 05:25 PM
Nanatsu Yoru

Will...

"-Heh." I let out a chuckle. "I won't need a will, thank you. And... a bet?" I smile. "I'll bet on my win." I took out a generous portion of the cash James had given me to manage, and placed it as my bet.

The danger ahead of me is worrying, and all I'm armed with is a knife and glasses which I can use as nothing but at a shield. However...

...even if they cannot be used as weapons, these glasses are probably my trump card.

Right.

Even if that man can rip out the souls of people, true magic is something which originates from where souls hence.

I have the greater mystery with me.

I can win.

Satehi
February 5th, 2012, 05:44 PM
Even if I canít use as much force as I did when I was only focusing on one opponent at a time, itís still enough to get rid of them. The two Dead are stopped, and I havenít been hit yet- although I donít know what these creatures could do to me if I did manage to get hit. Maybe my endurance is just as strange as my strength. Maybe itís not.

Regardless, thereís no point in risking it if itís not necessary.

There seems to be no end to these creatures, though- at this rate, they could just tire me out, and get me then. I canít kill these things forever, and staying here will just be a losing battle. Rather than stay in this building, where these creatures have me completely surrounded, my best bet is going to be some kind of exit out of here.

If worst comes to worst and I canít find an exit, then another option would be making an exit by force- although I have no idea whether I can do it. Trying it and failing whilst surrounded by these things would definitely not be a pleasant experience.

I only need to clear out these three in front of me to go further into the temple and try and find an exit, compared to the endless legions behind me.

Leaping at the dead in front of me, I raise my fists to attack the first two closest to me, aiming to destroy their heads like I did with the first Dead that I attacked.

Bloble
February 5th, 2012, 06:03 PM
Elyrin

You move to the side, dodging past the two outstretched arms flying towards you. You sidestep the blows and reach out, grabbing the arm of the monster on the left. It's unprepared for your attack, and as it moves forward you cement your grip on its outside arm.

Then, you strike. With your other hand you push forward past the creature's nonexistent defense, and your fist splatters its head instantly. You feel a slight sting as some of the bones slice your knuckles open, but other than that you are unharmed.

For now.

The other monster hasn't been simply waiting. It strikes as well, attacking your full force. Then it is simply luck that you moved how you did. It hits through the body of its ally, penetrating it's ally's chest in its effort to claw out your heart.

The blow hits you, but thanks to your once living meat shield your heart stays in your chest, for now. Instead you have part of your chest clawed open, and several ribs crack from the force of blocking the hit. Not a fatal or dangerous wound, but a painful one. It will take at least a minute to heal properly. Your ridiculous situation has saved your life, but it won't stay that way for long. The monster that attacked is in front of you, trying to get its hand out of its friend's corpse, and you spot another entering from the doorway, with several behind it.

They're closing in.


Satehi

You realize that it's futile to fight the endless horde. It would be better to escape and take the fight outside, where you might be able to flee.

So you run at the three remaining Dead blocking your way. The horde is behind you, pushing you forward both mentally and physically. You can't retreat. It's do or die!

You jump forward, propelling yourself forward, both fists cocked to strike!

Two of the Dead meet your charge headfirst, and your fists smash through them easily. Two down.

One to go.

The final Dead charged as well, but you only have so many limbs. Before you can react it's already struck. A ridiculous headbutt is launched, and its forehead meets yours in an attempt to stun you.

In a curious twist, you are only lightly annoyed, while the Dead that attacked falls backwards, its skull fractured from colliding with yours. Looks like your durability is pretty good, too.

The way is open! The undead horde is at your back, and freedom is standing before you!

Bloble
February 5th, 2012, 06:14 PM
Erlkonig

"Very well. If you win the amount returned to you shall be 25 times more than what you deposited." The man replies. He takes your money and places it in a pocket of the ridiculously complicated machine he's operating. "The preparation room is through the door to my right. Go down the hall and take the first door on the left you see. The other contains number 4, who due to his... circumstances is always there, awaiting a battle. If you could, please inform him that you will be his next opponent before going inside your preparation room. When the clock strikes 2:00, you will exit the room through the arena entrance and begin the fight. The battle will start the second you enter, and end when one person is either dead or unable to fight, or when 2:30 arrives, in which case the fight will automatically be declared a draw and all money returned to the bettors."

He rattles out a list of over complicated instructions, and points you to the steel door to the right of the desk. You have 10 minutes to prepare for your battle with death.

Erlkonig
February 5th, 2012, 06:23 PM
Nanatsu Yoru

"Alright then." I nod at him, and open the steel doors. Quietly, I walk down the hall, until I come to the two sets of doors. I look to the one on my left.

This would be my door. And the other one... would be his.

I stood in front of the mysterious number 4's door. Taking a deep breath, I let out the words I had been forming on my mouth.

"I will be your opponent today. Listen up, because I don't have much time until we begin. I don't care who you are, and I don't give a shit if you can reap the souls out of people. You're going down, because I can't afford to lose right now. I'll see you in ten minutes and counting." With this, I turned around, and headed into the door on the left side.

That's right.

I couldn't lose right now.

Not when my story was just beginning.

I'd already fought off death once...

...Fighting it again was something I was not looking forward to.

But I would have to do so.

Because I couldn't let that Master get away with whatever he was planning.

Bloble
February 5th, 2012, 07:23 PM
Erlkonig

Your ultimatum to Number 4 goes without a reply for the longest time, for so long that you begin to think there isn't anyone there. But just as you decide to leave, you hear a single sound from the other side of the thick door.

A grating, rough, but quiet voice. Unmistakably male, and old. Much older than you. This is the voice of a man who's seen much of what life has had to offer. The voice of a broken, dangerous man.

"...you'll be killed by me."

No further response is given.

You enter the preparation room, and find it to look sort of like a high school locker room. There are lockers in which you can place your things, and benches to sit on. A washroom and shower stalls can be seen as well. At the other end of the room, opposite of your entrance, there is a pair of double doors that no doubt lead to the arena. Finally, above those doors is an old fashioned miniature clock. It's pointing to 1:52 AM when you first take a look at it.

For five minutes you are given time to prepare. Regardless of what you chose to do during that time, at 1:57 AM the double doors burst open, and a rough, burly man stomps his way into the room, surprising you.

But you recognize this person. He doesn't seem to have noticed you, but you feel that it's not hard to do when one of your eyes is swollen shut and your body is covered in wounds. Alfred Banes limps through the door and makes a beeline for a nondescript locker. He yanks it open with his good hand (the other isn't moving and seems ragged) and removes a water bottle. He opens it one handed, fumbling for a moment, and in a few seconds drains the entire thing. He lets out a sigh and sinks onto the bench, leaning against the lockers. You notice that his clothes, or what's left of them, are very high quality for such a... burly guy.

He looks pretty beat up.

Erlkonig
February 5th, 2012, 07:27 PM
Nanatsu Yoru

"Oh damn, did Jim win?" I asked with surprise. The fight was a pretty balanced one, so if Alfred was this beat-up, Jim was probably just as much.

Bloble
February 5th, 2012, 07:37 PM
Erlkonig

"Bah! He got a lucky shot in!" Al points to his eye. He seems to have taken your appearance in stride. "I would have won if he didn't go for the eye!" He's probably met plenty of people about to fight like this. "Well, I guess he can have my Number 9 spot for now, I'll just take it back from him next time!" He clenches a fist, but immediately winces and lets it go. "Ow... must've broken a few fingers." He doesn't seem to bothered by his... state. "Whew, I hope he's feeling those cracked ribs I gave him."

He looks at you with his good eye and blinks in surprise. "You're a bit young to be competing. Is this your first time? Who're you fighting?"

Erlkonig
February 5th, 2012, 07:44 PM
Nanatsu Yoru

I smile sadly. "It's not really my choice to compete. You could say that the world has forced these circumstances upon me." I nod at his second answer, and at his third one, I spit out the name. "Number 4, the Soul Reaper."

Bloble
February 5th, 2012, 08:26 PM
Erlkonig

"Ouch." Al winces, but not from pain this time. He pats you on the back with his good hand, and you feel as if you've been hit with a monster truck, barely managing to keep your footing. "I feel sorry for you, kid. That guy's rough. He's been through hundred of fights, and he's never lost a single one. I've seen plenty of people go up against him and not a single one survived past the 5 minute mark. He's a monster, that one."

He stands, and grabs a towel to wipe the blood off of his face. "He's so strong he'd probably beat me or Jim if we had to fight him, though part of that is because of bad affinity." He sighs. "You'd better watch out for that weapon of his, kid. It's a pretty strong Mystic Code. I'd get sliced apart if I ever tried to fight Number 4." He looks at you with his good eye. "Hey, are you using a weapon in this fight?"

Erlkonig
February 5th, 2012, 08:27 PM
Nanatsu Yoru

"Ayup." I nodded. "A weapon and a shield."

Bloble
February 5th, 2012, 08:31 PM
Erlkonig

"Mind if I take a look at that weapon of yours?"

Al's now applying some kind of glowing green healing magic to his wounds. They're closing, if slowly.

Erlkonig
February 5th, 2012, 08:46 PM
Nanatsu Yoru


"Sure, why not." I hand him the knife.

Satehi
February 5th, 2012, 08:48 PM
My fists easily mow down the two Dead in front of me but the third dead charges at me before I can bring either of my two arms to intercept it, and head butts me in the forehead, yet-

-the only one really hurt is the Dead, who tumbles backwards, having broken its skull from the collision.

Seems like my durability is almost as strange as my strength- even if they hit me, my durability is so much above theirs that even their attacks barely phase me, while they take most of the damage. These creatures barely pose a threat to me, as I am now. The most major danger I face is probably tiring out from fighting these things, but theyíre no threat to me in immediate combat.

Taking the corpse from the ground, I pick it up with both hands and turn around to throw it straight at the undead horde behind me with all of my might, both trying to guage my strength and delay them, before I run off into the cleared path before me.

Bloble
February 5th, 2012, 09:34 PM
Erlkonig

Al takes one look at your knife and bursts out laughing. Of course, the laughter only lasts a few seconds before he remembers that he's wounded, and he winces from the pain.

"Kid, you must be crazy to be going in there against Number 4 with a dinky little thing like that. He could snap it in half with two fingers if he wanted to. Heck, I could do the same with one!" He coughs again, and narrows his eyes as he looks at your knife. He glances at the clock.

1:59 AM

One minute until your match starts.

"Kid, let me enchant this thing. It probably won't do much, but it'll stop your knife from getting broken in half after the first hit."


Satehi

You throw the body and then run, not bothering to even look back. You can't afford to.

The hall you took seems to be one of the longer ones, but eventually you come to a door.

You open it, and finally exit this cursed temple, finally breathing the cool night air.

You find yourself in what appears to be a temple courtyard. You can see smooth stone bricks under your feet, and the entrance to the temple is to your right. You must have exited from one of the side doors.

There is a high wall around the temple grounds, with a single gate far to your left that seems to lead to a staircase going down. Outside the walls you see a forest.

In the center of the grounds, however, is something that strikes you as particularly cruel.

A large wooden cross has been crudely impaled into the ground, and you see a bulky, disfigured shape attached to it. This is wrong. For one thing, this temple is no Church. That cross has no place here. And second... you feel something off. Perhaps it's that shape strapped to the cross...

You'd have to go closer to get a better look.

Erlkonig
February 5th, 2012, 09:42 PM
Nanatsu Yoru


​I smiled. "I'd be very grateful if you did."

Elyrin
February 5th, 2012, 09:46 PM
Got one. The second managed to hit me in the chest, going through his dead companion and taking me by surprise. Now it struggles, trying to remove its arm from the corpse, as more monsters try to come through the doorway. Not good. Need to stun them, or knock them down, or distract them for a moment. I make the decision in a split second.

I kick my accidental meatshield in the stomach. Not with all of my strength, of course, I don't want my foot to run straight through and get stuck. Hopefully, the blow should be enough to knock the two creatures back into the next group coming through the doorway.

Bloble
February 5th, 2012, 09:57 PM
Erlkonig

Al takes the knife and sighs. "If I had some more time I'd be able to give you some fancy enchantments, but with only a minute, this'll have to do." He takes it in both hands, and they glow a bright green.

You hear him mutter under his breath, and you don't understand any of the many words he says. Still, when he hands you back your knife it glows a soft green when you touch it, and it feels much sturdier. "This should help." He says. "Won't save your life, but it might let you survive for a few minutes more."

Effects gained:
+Durability
+Spiritual Interference

The clock on above the arena doors suddenly gives two rings.

2:00 AM

It's show time.

"Good luck kid." Al says with a sad look on his face. "Try not to die. And watch out for Number 4's weapon."


Elyrin

Your move catches the monsters off guard. Instead of fighting, you push the corpse stuck on your hand away, launching it and the other monster towards the door.

The force of your throw pushes the entering monsters back, creating a temporary block preventing any of them from entering. Still, it will only last a few seconds at most. They have tasted blood, and now they won't stop until you're dead.

As you catch your breath you hear the noise intensify. Instead of just the frenzied screams of the monsters you think you hear the sound of steel, and faint rumbling noises that might be explosions. But perhaps it is simply your imagination.

Regardless, you have bought yourself precious seconds to act. How will you use them?

Erlkonig
February 5th, 2012, 10:01 PM
Nanatsu Yoru

I nodded at the man. As I began to walk towards the arena entrance, the plans began to form on my mind. I wouldn't be able to use my glasses as a weapon, so I would need to preserve my knife in order to strike a winning blow. I could use brute force, but that would only come down to that once the knife is broken.

I'll have to watch out for his weapon. I'll try dodging and using my knife, but if I ever feel the knife's about to break, I shouldn't hesitate in using my trump card.

Taking a deep breath, I thanked Al for his time, and proceeded to face my destiny.

Bloble
February 5th, 2012, 10:42 PM
Erlkonig

This is it. You've signed up to face a man who's killed hundred of people. To face someone known as the Reaper of Souls. To face someone who can no longer be called human anymore simply from the sheer number of people he's killed.

You realize just how likely it is that you will be just one of his victims. That despite how much you've fought to live you have just signed your own death warrant. It's maddening to know that you may die in the next few minutes, despite all this. Life isn't guaranteed. Even this life you've struggled to keep may be taken from you by the bringer of Death.

Still, you will fight. And if you have to, you'll battle death itself to survive!

You stride through the double doors, into a long, wide stone hall. The absolute darkness is broken up by tiny glowing stones in the ground, illuminating a path for you to follow. You walk along this path, until you see a bright portal of light in front of you.

You walk through.

The bright faux sun causes you to squint. It's amazing how hard it is to get used to seeing the sun again, even if it is a false one, after living in the night for an entire month. It's sad, in a way. The false sun is warm, reminding you of the true light you will never get to see again. But still, you can't let that hold you back. If you can conquer death, you can conquer the sun!

The arena stretches before you. Unlike its previous configuration, it's changed almost completely. Instead of a forest hill zone, you have a dusty dirt plain stretching out flatly in every direction.

http://www.saharamet.org/desert/sahara/sahara.jpg

Because of this it is easy for you to glimpse your opponent, standing silently across the arena, awaiting the man he will fight and kill.

Number 4 is easily visible in the desert environment, contrasting with the bright colours nicely. You can see him perfectly.

And he can see you, as well.

http://profile.ak.fbcdn.net/hprofile-ak-snc4/41592_161114187232650_5227_n.jpg

He is an enigma. Covered from head to toe in black, you cannot see a single one of his features. Even within his hood you cannot make out his eyes. No, this man will not reveal himself to you so easily.

He extends his right hand forward, and the air twists. You see in his hands clutched what appears to be a long hilt, but without anything else. A hilt, but no weapon? Curious-

No. He has a weapon. You just didn't see it before.

The air in front of his weapon is twisting, turning, and darkening. As if space itself is being rent, from a dark hole attached to the hilt emerges a blade that chills you to the bone. Forged from pure black metal, it appears non threatening at first, but you know instinctively that you must not allow that blade to hit you. It will not be your body that you lose then, but your soul.

The dark blade solidifies, finally choosing a form that's rather fitting for someone with the name Soul Reaper.

http://images.wikia.com/noblesse/images/f/f9/DeathScythe.png

Death's Scythe. The Reaper's weapon. Render of Souls, Stealer of Life. That is the weapon Number 4 has chosen to wield against you.

"Come. Let me taste your soul."

Number 4 speaks, and his grating voice is even deeper than before. It's wrong. Just wrong. There is something so very wrong about this man!

But it's too late now. Your opponent stands ready, awaiting your attack, clutching his weapon.

You have 30 minutes to win, lose, or survive.

What shall you do with them?