News: 
Paragraphite

Vampire Hunter D: Nesting Doll Read 10543 times

Verse

  • Posts: 1443
  • blue in nothing
    • View Profile
Vampire Hunter D: Nesting Doll
« on: June 08, 2015, 10:11:35 pm »
At a distance it would appear like a crawling place. Water, of course, veins of the land, but not in an overreaching abundance. Make-shift stores with cloth overhang for protection, as well as stone base quarters, made to stand great tests of the weather. The lifeblood of the creatures here, more prominent in their priorities than what river and brook could provide, was gold, credit, currency. Where it gathered, a kind of sheen would amass, on the polished windows, on the brass details. People with that lifeblood liked to bleed it, so that others would know.

That life had its hand in stirring and flavoring the atmosphere. The scents around the hopeful, trading people shifted in incense, and sometimes a metallic wind for the very successful. People sought to surround themselves with the mineral tinted air even more than that of cooked food. Who wouldn't want coffers so filled their treasure could be felt with every breath? It was this promise that drew the human animal and all its distant relatives and competitors to the market outside of the castle city.

The high stone and its protective walls resounded with the good life generated by the trade center. And yet, lately, there had been a kind of animosity between the stoic towers, built on the backs of humans for the comfort of nobles, and the lively merchants outside. Instinct made the opportune weary of walking in to the city inside those walls, even though it was exactly residence within that had siren-called many to the surrounding market in the first place.

Oleyo knew a little about the phenomenon that kept the lucky at bay. He had spoken to people who had lost family to the white walls and their promise. The guards ontop, plentiful, had their backs to the outside. Their armor suggested the city was doing well. Oleyo was a tall man seated and bent over a large, long glass machine. The cycle encasing his legs and protecting his face from the winds drank light rather than recanted it. The machinery inside, akin to that of machinated horses, the cybernetic animals, did show off strands of purple and green when the combustion worked. Behind the casing that only exposed his back, Oleyo himself was turned into a smeared silhouette.

 

A section overhead folded forward to let him show his face, delicate ash on his lashes around black eyes, so he could speak with the single guard stationed on the outside of the main entrance into the city. The man looked the hunter over without registering him as such. Oleyo tapped his boot against the ground as he waited to be approved. He didn’t have to balance the bike for long before the man nodded. It seemed the guard was taken aback by Oleyo’s vampire pallid and surgical pretty to contradict a sleepy, sympathetic expression. The guard gestured for the inside and Oleyo went, the battery humming to provide quiet momentum.

 

He stopped by a tub of water. The horses already tied by it, several of them with high-end parts, didn’t stir when the machine receded around the newest addition to the increasingly secret city. Oleyo stood from the now gaping machine, and pulled the plate around his right arm with him. It was his main weapon, and the glass shield soon crept up his arm to perch itself on the shoulder, leaving his fingers free. The other shoulder and arm were draped by a giant gray scarf. There seemed to be something underneath with the same bulks as the glass plate. Under the scarf, which trailed after him on the ground when he walked, he wore a white armor, leather, reinforced with bejeweled metal guards here and there. His long green hair, mingling with the gray fabric guarding his neck and back, did not seem to deter or even register with the others in here as he cut through them. His weather bitten attire did not impress despite its quality. People of were used to exotics here. It was a smooth enough introduction of himself, and now, when his intentions should be interpreted as inconspicuous to anyone suspicious enough to watch him, he pulled the scarf to hood his face.


Krystal Itzume

  • Caesar
  • Posts: 2861
  • A Tempest Must Be Just That
    • View Profile
Re: Vampire Hunter D: Nesting Doll
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2015, 04:58:41 am »
The town of Euboea had stood the test of time. When the Nobility lost their footing, Euboea stood tall, a monument of strength in a desolate world. After the nuclear fallout that began in 1999, the humans had nothing to cling to, and they degenerated into savages. Savages that needed to be civilized once again.

The Nobility knew that.

Euboea was crafted by one Noble millennia ago, and that Noble remained in the castle that smelled like the night. New dew, cold air, dampness, and a light floral scent hung around it. There were no windows to the structure that looked to be from a time long before mechanical horses. Red flowers hung on the walls. Red flowers decorated a garden, where also hung fireflies lighting up their backs despite the hour, and a fountain continued to flow with fresh water.

“Hmph.”

It was the only comment to escape Lydia Tepes as she rolled a clear orb over her hands, catching all of these sights through reflections. The orb could not penetrate the castle, for no light was allowed in. It worked only when light could be caught, and trained in the direction she wanted it, bouncing back images.

The silver-haired woman rolled the orb to catch the sights within the town, and soon glinted onto the familiar surface of Oleyo’s bike. ‘In already?’ Lydia had imagined there would be a fuss, that getting in would be difficult, but this seemed not to be the case for Oleyo was not being stopped at all. ‘Interesting.’

Of course, the rumors of this town didn’t speak of an inability to get in. They spoke of an inability to get out.

Lydia stuffed the glass orb into a coat pocket, within and close to her chest, before she rose to her feet and walked to her own bike. Hers did not cover so much, and when she kicked the kickstand and it came to life, it made not a sound. It zipped through the air, and her coat billowed out behind her, snapping against the air with her nearly-translucent hair flicking the air above it.

She pulled the bike into a hard turn right to bring it to a stop right before the guards, feeling that tantalizing pull of gravity as the bike nearly fell to its side from the abruptness. It hadn’t yet. It right itself and she kicked down the kickstand again and walked up to one of the guards. This one had the features of a cat. Lydia had noticed that not one seemed human—but not one also seemed natural.

Lydia Tepes was also not natural. She liked to think she could recognize other Noble experiments with a look, and her lilac eyes took in the way the creature seemed stitched together as it, too, examined her.

Her black duster did not cover her arms, and the skirt she wore wouldn’t have covered her legs if it weren’t for the thigh-high boots. The corset she wore did not cover her abdomen. Every bit of revealed flesh showed black markings that could be seen weaving around her body, and in constant flux with the flow of her blood, swirling and shifting as the blood beneath her skin disturbed them. It was never much, but one could become hypnotized watching those little changes. They did climb up to her face, particularly highlighting her eyes with their black swirls, and pulling at her red lips.

The Noble had been trying to learn if a vampire could cover the flesh to avoid being burned by the sun.

Instead, he’d created the weapon that killed Nobles, as the woman could control her own blood in ways that made other hunters quite envious. She used what vampires needed against them.

And yet, the guard gave her a nod and a gruff, “Go ahead,” completely unconcerned. Lydia almost allowed a trill of a laugh to escape her, but she did not. She gave a smile and went right back to her bike. She brought it to life and drove into the city. It was not difficult to locate a place to park her vehicle, and she abandoned it without a thought to seek Oleyo, moving through the people and looking left and right for a sign of him as she moved further towards the market.

After all, their employer told them to find her missing merchants. Where else would merchants be but a market?

It was the first place to start, and Lydia imagined that Oleyo would head that way, too.

« Last Edit: June 09, 2015, 05:06:11 am by Krystal Itzume »

Verse

  • Posts: 1443
  • blue in nothing
    • View Profile
Re: Vampire Hunter D: Nesting Doll
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2015, 07:49:20 pm »
The walls, for all their impregnability, could not rid the city entirely of wind. He supposed that was a good thing on blistering days. And the wind, a felt but not graspable expression of the world, was not so strong in here, its direction and intention known, but dulled by the ring of white bricks keeping the living market outside from this less so oasis. A very sophisticated way of allowing but not unleashing nature. It was enough to curl one strand or two of his emerald blades of mane over the gray scarf on his back, but not much more. Oleyo looked around, coal in ash frames paying some respect to the architecture. It was built ruthlessly, flawlessly, which meant Nobles had imposed their vision on races under them to achieve it. All races were under the Nobels.

He was so lost into the bitter retelling of the world, and his own role in it, that a passerby bumped into him without him noticing. He frowned at his own lack of attention and it might have translated into anger on his face toward the now sitting person. She, who seemed earnestly angry, was hindered in her outrage by his expression. After all, he seemed to be many times her physical better. Oleyo quickly picked the woman up. She staggered after what he thought to be a perfect lift. Despite her energetic annoyance, she did not have much strength.

“Are you well?” he asked. “I am very sorry. I was just admiring your lovely walls here and…”

Her balled hand collided with his cheek. He had seen the blow traveling, but decided to take it out of courtesy. His green brows raised slightly. This person was weak, even more so than her bout with balance suggested. She corrected her black dress pertly, and pulled at its orange collar. The attire had seen better days, washed diligently, but she wore it with the pride he’d only seen in the righteous, or mistakably righteous.

“I will pray for you, but that does not mean you can touch me.” she declared. He could see the pupils in her brown eyes flare with blindness, her cheeks, already pale, faded before they returned to a better shade of white. She was still recovering from the fall and rise. He tilted his head before he bowed it. She was on her way soon.

 

With implications of the nun fresh in his pondering, he reached what seemed to be the marketplace. The pace here was rhythmic, unlike like the invigorating chaos outside. There was a contentment over the people selling and haggling inside the walls. He acquired a bag of lizard jerky for a small coin and tied the bag to his belt of knives beneath his scarf. While the butcher and curator of meats seemed healthy and pink, his neighbor, sharing the ceiling of the stand with him, did not look very spry. The merchant turned artist carried fatigue below his eyes, and held his head high. Tired looked good on him, as though it was a lifestyle choice. He was selling marble ornaments, and kept a thick catalogue among the samples on his table. The shop behind him was crisp and clean stone, contrary to the butcher’s smeared window and wide, wooden door.

“May I have that knob to look at?” Oleyo asked, and made sure to brush the merchant’s fingers when the merchant obliged. His hand had been cold. The merchant quickly retrieved the round, carved thing and placed it closer to himself when Oleyo was done pretending to scrutinize the object. Valuable, it seemed.

“This is a popular design these days.” The man remarked, crossing his arms. “At least among you shadowy types.” Oleyo pursed his pale lips waiting for the man to elaborate. Had someone else employed the same trick to gauge the man’s health after having seen his state? The knob was well polished and of a rare stone, expensive in bulk, but not remarkable among the other offerings on the table. Had the other “shadowy” would-be buyer also had the same plan as Oleyo? Lydia came to mind, but while she might have the same objective as himself, she couldn’t be described as Shadowy if the merchant did not refer to her marks. Somehow Oleyo doubted this man would have so much fun with his words. Someone else then, hooded?

Krystal Itzume

  • Caesar
  • Posts: 2861
  • A Tempest Must Be Just That
    • View Profile
Re: Vampire Hunter D: Nesting Doll
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2015, 09:31:27 pm »
Lydia Tepes could not help but notice all the guards. In a sea of pretty humans, all the guards seemed to be mutants crafted by loving hands. Lydia kept glancing at them as she walked by, wondering if there were any human guards. She began to wonder if there were any mutants who lived as normally as the humans did.

Of course, as she thought that, she started to notice them in booths selling wares, and a few out and about.
‘Peculiar.’ If Lydia didn’t know better, she’d think this some sort of utopia, a true cosmopolitan metropolis where all people lived happily, side-by-side. ‘Every utopia is a dystopia, and you know where this goes.’

She let her purple eyes catch the castle, before they saw the flickering of a familiar gray scarf go through a doorway. She stepped in, careful to balance on her toes so the heel wouldn’t break the conversation going on before her. Or Oleyo’s focus. He wanted to examine the knob for some reason that Lydia couldn’t comprehend, and it seemed he wasn’t the only one.
“Shadowy types?” Lydia asked as she let her heels crack against the floor.

She closed the distance between herself and Oleyo and would wrap an arm around the one he kept uncovered if he let her, and lean against him. There were a few rules of this world, and one of them was that being a woman sucked. Oleyo became a shield. It was a habit, even though this place did not seem to follow the rules of the Frontier.

Lydia would have been quite surprised to learn nuns were even a thing, here.
“Who else came by?” Lydia asked, wondering if they did truly connect shadowy types with hunters.

“It was a man with a wide brimmed hat, covered his face like his scarf,”
the merchant commented, and got a dreamy look in his eyes as he reflected on the individual who had been by.

Lydia arched a silver eyebrow, but then glanced to Oleyo. In the look she was saying, ‘This place is strange’, and not the strange that came with Nobles. The people here weren’t living in fear at all.


Verse

  • Posts: 1443
  • blue in nothing
    • View Profile
Re: Vampire Hunter D: Nesting Doll
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2015, 06:39:37 pm »
Lydia stepped in with the appropriate question at the appropriate time. His chin tilted her way as his eyes turned to recognize her shape and attire. His arm was at her disposal. This would be information shared. So, this mystery other shadow was a stranger to this place where no one left. Someone with a savvy for discrete research, at least to Oleyo's own level. Someone who was curious about the weakness in people. Oleyo decided to try and gain more from this merchant.

"Hat and scarf? You don't suppose he was sick, do you? I've seen some-- palid looking people around." he said as casually as such a question could be posed. The merchant seemed a little offended, but tried to hide it. Oleyo tensed his arm to communicate to Lydia his small success.

"He was not sick. He looked rather, good acctaully. And the other people you've seen are probably not either. Why, I myself have been struggling with some fatigue." the man said and laughed with some embarrassment. He waved at his neighbor, stringing up some pig legs, but the man in the bloody apron did not notice him. "Hurald here tries, but it seems some of us in Euboea simply do not eat well." He scratched the back of his head apologetically.

In this world, he should be apologetic. Choosing not to eat was not a game a lot of people got to play. Euboea must be doing better than even their white stone suggested, if a merchant like this could be picky with his meals. Oleyo looked around again. There was always the possibility the man was lying. "Well, I'm glad for you. What is your secret then, in this beautiful city, to such a carefree life? Are the taxes high? Do you have a benefactor?"

The man was about to reply half way through Oleyo's question, proudly, but the last suggestion sealed his lips. The hunter noted that it must be that, then. A benefactor. Lydia should have gathered as much.

"Perhaps you should consider buying something?" the seller suggested with some salt instead of giving any more information. Oleyo smiled and made up an excuse about only wanting inspiration for now and left, keeping Lydia's arm. He returned outside with her, if she'd follow. The day was as bright as ever. This caused him to notice the abundance of opportunity for shade around. Some walkways were completely protected by roofs set on pillars. Practical when it rained, he guessed. It made him think of the shadowy other that the merchant had been on about with some fondness in his voice.

"Do you believe we have competition? Fellow hunter, perhaps?" They had been briefed with another professional, as hopeful as them for the second, larger half of their payment.

A gang of men passed with particular interest in Lydia. After feigning the appropriate amount of hard brow and clenched lips at their cat-calls, Oleyo found that despite their dusty clothes, builders, he assumed from the color of the dust and the state of the city, they were all in good health. Scanning the area it was apparent that the sick and weak were far outnumbered by the healthy. Whatever ailed some did not spread to others. He was starting to suspect that this little condition would greatly affect the outcome of their job.

First though, they would probably have to deal with the frisky looking fellow who was not deterred by the scowling of the taller male. Perhaps the daintiness of Oleyo's paper white cheekbones and straight nose did not strike the hopeful, healthy brute as menacing enough when a price like Lydia was on the table. Oleyo tried to hold on to his aura of threat as the male, man no longer, left his exited group to shout for Ms Tepes, but it was hard being stoic in the face of so much primal nonsense. The fact that Oleyo snickered did not help calm the man's ego. If only he'd known why Oleyo was amused.

"You want to try the local lovesport or should I sweep this dirt under the rug for you? Your choice."

He imagined the reply with be either. Lydia would not be here if she could not decimate such dust on her own.

Krystal Itzume

  • Caesar
  • Posts: 2861
  • A Tempest Must Be Just That
    • View Profile
Re: Vampire Hunter D: Nesting Doll
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2015, 07:51:12 pm »
Lydia had not taken notice of the pallid-looking people, but when it was mentioned she wondered if it was why she thought so many here were pretty. She examined the man before her more closely, but saw no fang marks. Of course, if there were, he wouldn’t be standing. He’d be in some bed crying out for his beloved Noble to come and kiss him again.

His words didn’t suggest Noble, either, but that they had the luxury to not eat well. A benefactor was behind it, but Lydia didn’t need to know that. It was bloody obvious by the castle and the guards that someone was taking care of their herd. For some reason, the man didn’t want to say it. He wanted to sell wares now, and so the hunters departed the store, Lydia always clinging to Oleyo.


“I do believe we must,”
Lydia answered Oleyo’s query. Competition wouldn’t surprise her. Their employer had seemed both desperate and rich. “We should have asked for more.” If she had enough to hire other parties and pay that same down payment, more could have been thrown their way, too. “Do you think it is someone we know?” That would be more interesting.

As she asked that, a piercing whistle drew her eye towards the gang of catcallers. It was hard for her to act meek and frightened. Her eyes would never show it, but she let her body language indicate as much, clawing closer to Oleyo as she turned her gaze away and almost into Oleyo’s shoulder in an attempt to hide a smile.
‘Not so much different after all.’

Though men in the Frontier would have already been in their path, and far more than just one. Yet here, it took a moment, an assessment of the rival, before one even broke form.

She contemplated whistling for a guard. They were around, but seemed unconcerned. Oleyo asked her preference, and she took a glance at the man, giving him a once-over. He was more brute than anything, his muscles obvious. No doubt that’s what gave him his confidence, which meant he had to be stirring for a fight.
“Locals always disappoint me. They’re spent too quick.” She untangled her arm from his.

The real problem was that for some reason, whenever she showed up a man, it had the opposite effect compared to Oleyo. When Oleyo proved his mettle, people backed off. When she did it, men took it as a challenge.
“Do remove the dirt,” though one fingernail would break the flesh of her palm, allowing a bubble of blood to rise.

It was a ‘just in case’ the brute was more than a brute. She’d always have Oleyo’s back.


~***~

There was competition that had arrived earlier than the mutant pair, a bold and brash human given gifts in life by his blood. However, he made his fortune more by hunting vampires in the day, as he chose to do now.

His nerve, though, was almost shot.

The blonde man was not used to going unchallenged by the Noble fortresses. Usually there was a lot of work to be done to get into one of their homes, but this time, no weapons had shot off. No doors were locked. Not to mention, there was a queer scent in the home, and within the decorations were white flowers in vases, not the red ones he saw everywhere outside.

He also saw no guards here.

He stepped carefully, quietly, and tried to discern where the Noble’s bedchambers were. The stake he had in hand was held tighter against himself.

He came to double doors and pushed one open, crept in, but was startled by a,
“Welcome.”

He spun around and caught the image of a woman in red, her hair put up nicely, and her golden eyes leveled on him. She was beautiful, in the inhuman way that all nobles and predators were. Her pale skin seemed to glow in the firelight, so much that he didn't even question why a Noble had fire around her in a room full of flammable things, including herself.

He was in some sort of lounge room, surrounded by books and comfortable seats. There were notes and sheets of paper everywhere, and he saw that just in front of him, if he continued straight, he’d find a laboratory.

However, his eyes didn’t stay there in curiosity, but went to the Noble.
“H-how are you awake?” He stammered out. This hadn’t happened before.

She smiled, though it was anything but kind,
“What kind of fool would sleep when there are hunters about?” The doors snapped closed behind the hunter. His back stiffened as he found himself now in the room with the Noble, with no exit near him. “Tell me why you are here.”

“You’re a Noble,”
he dared to attempt bravado, though the way she looked bored and canted her head showed that wasn’t impressing. “You feast upon us, you use us, you should be killed.”

“Noble,” she mocked his reasoning, “but that doesn’t feed you. Who is paying you, dear boy? Why are they paying you?”

He didn’t want to explain himself, not immediately, but he thought he’d try a feint since it was all that was left to him. He walked forward,
“Well, it was a woman outside your fine city,” his empty hand reached into his pocket, “she want—”

He threw small explosives that broke on contact with the floor, shooting small sparks and smoke up near the Noble. He was hoping to catch her red dress on fire, but that didn’t work. She was as quick as any Noble despite her attire, and he didn’t get close enough to finish with the stake. In fact, when he tried, he felt his hand held in mid-strike.

Then, he felt himself lifted up from the ground. The Noble was looking up very disapprovingly.
“If the next words are not the full story, there will be no more words from you.”

The hunter imagined he could barter,
“I’ll tell you, if—” but the Noble was good on her promise. He dropped back to the ground, but her hold on the stake didn’t release. Rather, she pushed the stake through the hunter’s chest with a thought, and watched him tremble and die on her own floor.

Humans bored her. This one wasn’t even worth becoming one of her guards, not that she often made hunters into guards. They were too unpredictable, and might still use those skills against her no matter how she reprogrammed their minds.

The double doors opened as she turned her back to them, and she didn’t need to ask who,
“Do clean up the mess, Marshall,” Sheriff Marshall. It had an amusing ring to her. She walked back down that hall towards her lab, calling back, “Then you can tell me about the hunter you found in town and came to warn me about.”

The mutant with lupine features glanced at the body on the floor, before gaping at the woman’s pale back, nearly completely exposed to the last bone of her spine, then back to the hunter.
“I’m sorry!” He hadn’t expected the hunter to be this brash, to break in after only being there a day. He had expected the hunter to do more research in the town, but it seemed he was a quick one.

Of course, that’s why he got caught by the Sheriff, too. So the black-haired man, scarred across his body, bent to pick up the body to dispose of it.
‘Best to eat it.’ He thought with a lick of his lips, and said, “I’ll be back soon, my lady,” before hefting it up over his shoulder and departing.

Verse

  • Posts: 1443
  • blue in nothing
    • View Profile
Re: Vampire Hunter D: Nesting Doll
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2015, 06:24:32 pm »
Someone they knew. He would want to think so. It made things easier. Oleyo had clucked his tongue at the afterthought of upping their price. He wasn't greedy, not for that kind of wealth, but he enjoyed a good haggle. He leaned in over her when she retreated against his arm. The advancing man did not know what kind of favor they were both trying to exstend to him. Eventually she gave Oleyo his arm back, and left the dirt to him, to finish. The hood that had only shadowed his eyes fell back as he lifted his chin at the oncomming threat, leaving Lydia with a few paces.

The brute had wide shoulders and massive girth. Not at the zenith of his agillity, perhaps, but Oleyo would guess he was at peak strength for a human, at least. A flash of the hunter’s belt, all the narrow sheath of different lengths, would probably make a short bout, but that could lead to vengeance, since there'd be no physical sting. Also, Oleyo liked punishing dirty things. The man did not back down when Oleyo met his gaze. This would be fun, to some degree.

"I just want to talk to her, friend. You should share." he spoke with stubble dusted jaw. Oleyo shrugged and answered

"Thing is, friend, you have a big enough mouth to talk to her, sure, but I think you are lacking in size and vigor in the part you'd like to use when the talking goes the way you want. I am just saving you some disappointment." There was a gasp from his friends and then badly contained laughter from equally hair-lined mouths. In the voices they'd used to call on Lydia's attention, they were now urging their pack member to practice physical dominance on the tall fellow. Apparently his name was Jouen. Jouen did not need the incentive. Jouen ran forward.

Normally Oleyo would have simply stepped aside, perhaps leaving his leg to trip his opponent, but if he did now, Jouen would find himself head first in Lydia, which might not be as objectionable to the brute as it would be to the huntress. To keep that pleasure from the charging man, the alabaster fighter leaned right while reaching out his right hand to meet the oncoming ram. Pale finger’s clutched the fabric of Jouen’s sturdy vest and used the momentum to pull him forward faster than he already traveled, and then swung him around with Oleyo as axel. After about half the lap, Jouen stumbled on his own feet, and it became an easy matter to leave him with the rest of the speed to tumble back the way he’d come. There was no real damage in the toss and he stood up soon, just a bit disoriented but with enough anger to make up for it.

Out of courtesy Oleyo ran to meet him. Jouen, honor on the line, threw a good punch that bruised the air Oleyo’s head had occupied. Even with his legs bent, full of a damaging jump to extend an uppercut, Oleyo did not attack. Instead he used that spring to travel to the side, outside the range of Jouen’s cross. The angry probably builder continued to weave at nothing while Oleyo danced away. In the end, when Jouen was finally showing signs of fatigue, Oleyo gripped Jouen’s fist at the end of his arm’s stretch, and tossed it back far. Jouen brought it back with a vengeance. Having learned Oleyo was far to skilled at bobbing his head by now, Jouen instead directed the blow to the side of the body the scarf concealed.

Oleyo stiffened suddenly, digging his boots in to take the punch. The resulting sound of impact was dull and metallic. Jouen howled and bent over his arm. Oleyo stepped back. It was a cruel thing to do to a builder, but that was also the satisfaction of it. “Just know you got the kinder opponent.” He said without glee and turned to walk back to Lydia as Jouen’s friend came rushing forward.

“You missed out, I think. He seems like a very tender and caring lover.” He said as he smiled at Lydia. The subtle glee did not last for long. Three guards had come to see what the commotion was about. “I am sorry. It was just a quarrel. It is over now.” Oleyo offered with palms lifted in a suggestion of peace rather than submission, even as the point of a saber’s blade was all but lifting his chin.

The guard frowned and looked at the other men, fuzzing over their friend. "You should be more fair when picking fights." the guard said with some judgement. It actually stayed with Oleyo. The sheathing of the blade was dismissal enough. He pulled back his makeshift hood and walked back to Lydia briskly as the crowd and scattered and the builders retreated.

"Well, that was a scene." he mumbled as he walked for a roofed walkway. He had shown some of his cards now. If that had been Lydia's intention, she had won this round. Better not announce that they were hunters, and now it could very well be suspected that he was, while there was very little reason to accuse her of the same thing. "Any suggestions as to where we should go next? I have a little hunch about the church or nunnery. Hospital too, perhaps."

He would follow her lead, now that he'd done more than enough moves for her.

Krystal Itzume

  • Caesar
  • Posts: 2861
  • A Tempest Must Be Just That
    • View Profile
Re: Vampire Hunter D: Nesting Doll
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2015, 01:57:20 am »
Lydia would not let Oleyo get far. After all, one of those brutes could come and try to grab her if she let her shield get too far away. She would not be in his way, of course. She knew enough about how he moved to position herself carefully, for everyone’s sakes.

When Jouen spoke, Lydia put a hand on her hip.
‘Share.’ Her nose wrinkled in disgust at the way he thought. It was a way that too many thought, and in this way she was always grateful for her wonderfully corrupted blood. She was not some poor, unfortunate, frontier woman to be moved about and raped. She was no one’s property, even if she pretended that Oleyo had a hold on her.

Oleyo’s commentary made her laugh aloud, along with some of Jouen’s so-called friends. A few gasped. Lydia caught a few dirty looks directed her way for her uncalled for laughter. Of course, she wasn’t supposed to laugh at such a thing, but she didn’t care. She shot them a cheeky grin, and then darted her eyes right back to Oleyo.

Envy painted many eyes green as they, too, looked back to the center of attention.

Lydia watched the charge, and did not waste her energy to move out of the way. Oleyo made certain she didn’t need to, swinging Jouen around. Another bout of laughter escaped Lydia, and she reached her hands up to hover over her own red lips, a manic grin coming to them. She did enjoy this too much.

Oleyo rushed and Lydia watched as that glee touched her lilac eyes. They followed Oleyo’s movements, which Jouen couldn’t seem to keep up with, though he tried valiantly to do so. It was not until Jouen started slipping and slowing that Oleyo saw fit to end the game. It didn’t quite end the way it would have, if Oleyo had focused. He let Jouen learn from his own mistakes, and Lydia let out another laugh as her partner addressed the brute.

The mob of friends surrounded Jouen and Lydia closed the distance between herself and Oleyo, taking the man’s arm once again.
“He did seem quite tender, didn’t he?” All of his love taps in vain, “I think I am fine missing that. It isn’t what I’m craving today.”

The guards finally decided to get involved then, and Lydia scowled openly at them for not intervening sooner. She felt the movement of Oleyo’s arm and let him go. She offered no such peaceful gesture, but crossed her arms over her chest and dared the guards to challenge Oleyo’s assertion. The guard’s comment was met by,
“Lions don’t choose their challengers.”

Kings were always challenged by their lessers. This hadn’t been Oleyo’s decision.

Oleyo returned to her, and Lydia again reached for his arm, a bit peeved by the guard’s clear inability to guess who started the problem. She blew hair out of her face as Oleyo mumbled, and then brought up plans. Options.
“Nunnery?” Lydia sounded terribly amused at that prospect, “Oh, do entertain me. Let’s go see the nunnery of a town such as this,” how could a nunnery exist? She’d never seen one before in her life! “How do you know there is a nunnery? Did you see a little nun?” The glee had returned to her eyes as she looked up and under Oleyo’s hood to try and see his eyes beneath the shadow.

~***~

Marshall Trenz found his lovely lady back in the room of vials and liquids. False light shone down on the room, and two bodies were resting on two metal slabs. They had once been human, but now one was screaming in agony as scales of purple were starting to build over the flesh.

The other was no longer breathing. His black ears flicked as he tried to listen, but he heard no heartbeat. A machine hooked up showed the flatline, though no buzzing could be heard. Marshall glanced at him, then to Amaranth.

The look on her face, thin lips and a glare, told him it would not be good to ask what had happened with that one. He could guess that the hunter disturbed her at a critical moment in transforming the human into a mutant servant.
“Do you have a purpose for being here, Marshall?” She asked him without looking, her eyes focused on the screaming and writhing human, held down by metallic restraints.

“That hunter was sent by the merchant these two worked for,”
Marshall noted, “I do not think they will be the last ones sent.”

Amaranth flicked her eyes to him, and he said,
“There have been more arrivals than usual over the past two days. I would like to position more guards around the castle instead of at the wall, with your permission.” Amaranth did not have many guards actually at her castle, since they usually distracted her with updates and reports. It was tedious.

“I do not think that is necessary yet,”
Amaranth noted. “If you are concerned, you may withdraw in those two hours before sunset to the castle, while I sleep.” Her golden eyes returned to the monitors attached to the human who’s form was changing before their eyes. A flush of red ran through the green liquid, and then into his veins. He calmed, relaxed, and his now-yellow eyes opened. They stared up, dazed, at the ceiling.

“I will do that, then.” He gave an inclination of his head, and then ventured to ask, “What have you done to this one?”

He didn’t often understood. Amaranth was old, and her methods baffled him, but he knew he was one of her creations. He was old, too, a favorite and loyal mutant, but not half as old as Amaranth herself. He knew he was a product of mostly werewolf genes, but there was more to him than that.
“You’ve heard stories of dragons, haven’t you? Powerful creatures that could spew fire and had armored flesh. They never existed, of course,” she waved one pale hand dismissively before he could ask.

“They exist today. I’ve seen lesser dragons try to invade our farms.”


“Ah, yes,” Amaranth chuckled, “I’d forgotten about those things. Well, they were created by Us,” the royal ‘us’. Marshall never knew if she meant her particular family, or if she meant the Nobility in general. “The problem is they are not as intelligent as the stories told, so I thought perhaps I could make an intelligent one.”

Bones cracked. The body twisted more. The human remained too dazed to cry out.


“A dragon before a castle…not even other Nobles would think to strike at me then. They’d perish before those hot flames. Shame I can't have a moat.” She'd yet to overcome that irksome water weakness, and didn't want to risk a moat. A loyal, fire-breathing pet would have to do.

“Do we have reason to worry?”


Amaranth didn’t answer that, but let her eyelids lower. Marshall knew the answer was a resounding ‘yes’, and that made the Sheriff worry. In the past, Amaranth and he had dealt with other Nobles who thought they could lay claim to all Amaranth had for one reason, and one reason only.

Amaranth always showed them why that was a very, very stupid reason. Not that any lived to learn it.
“I’ll let you know if I see any carriages,” Marshall said.

“Thank you.” 


Verse

  • Posts: 1443
  • blue in nothing
    • View Profile
Re: Vampire Hunter D: Nesting Doll
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2015, 06:16:24 pm »


It had been a fun distraction to hear her battle against laughter while he’d battled Jouen. Both of them had lost in the end, he supposed, considering the forced presence of the guards and her eventual, audible glee. Lydia expressed all the disapproval that he could not. For the better, perhaps. The people fussing over their friend with his broken arm were angry, but some of that heat translated to something more possessive when they looked at Lydia. Better they realized she had a spine, and perhaps the ability to break theirs.

 

She seemed in high enough spirits at their choices, though, their bodies connected by arms again. He smiled, too, when she asked where he’d gotten the assertion of his assumption from. The feisty but weak woman from before flashed before him with all her pious and bias. Lydia was right, of course.  “I have been running in to people all day, it seems.” He explained. “She was also faint, like the merchant just now. Do you believe it’s endemic?” he had some knowledge of poisons and their effect, but he didn’t excel very well in illnesses. Since he didn’t quite know what this might be, this widespread bout of anemia, he had to guess on the latter. His condition gave him some resilience to ailments. His body was toxic to most things, but he’d not felt those toxins stave off anything.

 

The building they searched for and found would rise above them, adjacent to the castle itself. Tall enough to stir vertigo with its highest, pointed roofs. Some of the towers were spears, claustrophobic in girth, while other sections were stout, grand. The white stone seemed newer here. Whatever effort went in to maintaining the white rocks used to build this city, it had been additionally applied in and around its church. The archway had no gates, wooden or otherwise, but simply served to direct people into the garden. It was well grown and ruthlessly maintained. Thin tress with large leafwork on top. Green for the sake of beauty. Such hubris in this age of so little. Oleyo would find himself awed by the beauty in here. The stark fruits looked vain, evil where they perched on bushes and climbed the walls. Lydia would know some of his emotions as they walked, there on the sun blared stone path through the forest that would be garden, by how he shrugged his arm to let hers slide down over it, that he could hold her hand. Perhaps it was the snake in him that was drawn to all this. Or perhaps it was seeing so many deserts, moral and geographical, that made the hunter so engrossed with these kind of riches.

 

“Sacrilegious.” He breathed to his partner as he squeezed her hand, watching the ruby apples of a tree surrounded with flowers the color of Lydia’s own irises. His voice suggested he wanted to make the word a spit of appalment, but the size of the breath revealed he was struck in wonder more than he was disgusted. Around every lush collection of bushes was a polished fountain, white statues with rigid hair stained red by the elements or something more sinister.

 

--

 

Pello was a very sharp, blunt instrument. He often though he deserved Marshall’s post. Perhaps Amaranth had seen something in the green eyes she’d created for him that proved unfit for that level of responsibility. He was greedy, he’d admit. She had told him he was part dragon, once, to pacify him when he’d insisted she raise his standing in her employ. If a mother employs her children. There was a story about a wooden boy and his maker. Did the wooden boy count himself an employee, too? Strangely, she had eluted to the strength of the human body, that it would be enough, when she saw Pello take a blade to his torso without the skin breaking. It was as though he’d been the prelude to something else. Pello wasn’t often so smart that he would think around these orbits. His ego fed him whatever pride he needed at any time, and that was usually enough to sustain him. He didn’t often scheme of wonder over other’s scheme. A behemoth like him didn’t usually have to. Instead he liked beautiful things.

 

That was why he liked the church and its nun and monk vestibules. The prettiness of it all. Its own insistence. He walked the hall of a bridge connecting the main building to one of the book harboring towers. This tower had important scripts, historical and scientific, he was told, and so he could justify this trip often. His leisurely stroll was cut short by a tall man, beautiful cheekbones exposed but little more between the striped scarf and the low hanging hat. It was odd that the beauty could seep at Pello only from that white, almost blue skin. A giant sword stuck its handle up from the strangers back. Pello licked the air with his forked tongue when he saw the sapphire amulet in silver setting hanging from the neck of the man, otherwise clad in shadow. He had some of Amaranth’s air. Ah. Then a man he was not, not completely.

 

“What are you doing here?” Pello demanded, aching to throw weight around. He grabbed his golden sword, heavy to complement his own build. He also drew his dagger, blade broad from his equally golden armor. Only his head, scaled in green, was free. “No one is allowed in the family library!” he shouted.

 

The beautiful shadow let Pello come closer, and raised a hand with a sleeping face. The almost mythical Pello stopped when the face spoke a “no” to its host. The man-but-not-human grabbed for that giant, lithe sword and Pello took that as the final challenge and charged the intruder standing in the mouth of the library.

 

--

 

“Do you know he is a brute?” Amala said when she stepped out from behind a bush adorned with fat, gossamer berries. Her sleeve was buttoned up to the elbow, and a bandage was on the wound she’d opened on her forearm with the crescent pendant she’d placed back on its closed hook on her neckchain. The water in the fountain she’d offered her blood to was still pink, the shade fading fast in the cool liquid. Her lower lip was dark with the iron supplement she took. Oleyo recognized her. She was still as healthy as an unwell person could be, as though she was on her way to getting better. He guessed this was a natural state for her, though, always becoming better, and always becoming worse. He didn’t speak. She had spoken to Lydia, after all. There was a tartness to the nun’s face. Was she joking, somehow, or was there bitterness at the spikes of her lips? “He pushes women to the ground and convinces them of things with his black eyes and helpful hand. Partners of the other temptation, I assume, with a cross on his back, turning my sisters heads to let him look around.”

 

Oleyo looked to Lydia. Partner? Everywhere, there seemed to be someone that had come before them.

“Well?” Amala continued. “Would you two like to enlighten me as to who you are, and perhaps why there have been so many new wanderers in Euboea lately?” It was directed at Lydia, also. Oleyo thought he saw some genuine disapproval of Ms Tepes there, which made the look he’d first encountered, back when he’d bumped into her, seem almost gentle. Her hair billowed out in the same gold as the berries behind her. A very generous apparition that swell provided, contradicting the modest things he’d always thought were key to someone of the church. Her eyes were dark to counter that glow.

Krystal Itzume

  • Caesar
  • Posts: 2861
  • A Tempest Must Be Just That
    • View Profile
Re: Vampire Hunter D: Nesting Doll
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2015, 07:50:07 pm »
“Mmmm,” Lydia let the sound escape her as her thoughts mused over what could be the problem in this town. Lots of pale people should point towards a Noble problem, but none of them were lying in bed crying out for affection. A toxin or an illness seemed more likely. “It must be, though it doesn’t seem to be affecting too many,” her eyes looked around, and back, “None of the guards.” They all looked in peak health.

She turned her attention back to the path before them, and considered what they could be missing. However, those thoughts vanished when they came to the church and all its greenery.

It had been a long time since Lydia had seen such growth, and so beautifully maintained. Though she was not as astounded as Oleyo, she appreciated the spot of beauty.
“My, my,” she spoke to herself, and heard Oleyo’s comment. Another chuckle escaped her at that and she squeezed his hand, as if to tell him to ‘settle down’. She’d hardly noticed when his hand came into hers to start with, and didn’t dwell on it then.

Purple eyes took in the statues, but she stopped when they fell on one marbled image in particular. Something about it was familiar, with the long flowing hair and robed attire. The marble woman seemed to hold a place of significance in the garden, as Lydia noted how many cobblestone paths led to that fountain in particular.
‘Would this be the figure of worship, then?’ There was a tainted appearance to the water.

A woman’s voice took Lydia from her thoughts and she looked to the woman as she emerged from the bushes. A bandage was barely visible, poking out from the sleeve.

The question caught Lydia off guard, as did the explanation.
‘Pushing women?’ She shot Oleyo a look that might be disapproving, but the blonde woman demanded her attention with a snap before words could follow.

She unentwined herself from Oleyo to stand on her own before the interrogator. Her question had changed, so Lydia decided to ignore the statements made about the snake of a man at her side.
“The brute here is Oleyo, and I am Lydia.” First names would be fine, wouldn’t they? Now how much honesty did she stick to.

The penetrating gaze of the woman suggested she knew a lie when she heard one.
“I can’t say I know for sure why others are showing up here, but we’re looking for two people who came this way, Wallace and Gregory,” she told the little nun. She might be saying too much already, but then, perhaps the others who had come by would share a similar story. Confirmation was important, and any details the woman might be willing to share about that competition would be useful.

Lydia didn’t suspect the nun knew either Wallace or Gregory, unless she had shopped a lot in the market and made their acquaintance.


Verse

  • Posts: 1443
  • blue in nothing
    • View Profile
Re: Vampire Hunter D: Nesting Doll
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2015, 01:51:39 pm »
He supposed it would be rather severe if there had been weak guards on duty. Lydia made a good point. It should not be contagious, not if the guards, reliant on their health, did not fret to stand close to others with the pallid affliction. It must be controlled somehow, then. That had come with many implications, but most of them were set in the back of his mind when the foreground was taken over by the garden. He would return to that train of thought later

The woman who had come to interact with them listened to Lydia. Lydia who would not be ruffled. After all, she knew him far better than the nun could hope to. The new woman must be joking, despite her serious demeanor. "Oleyo and Lydia." she said and visibly fixed their names to them. "And I am sister Amala, of the Artemis order." Oleyo could hear her struggle to keep her voice level, for modesty, but there was some pride raising the words. Ah, the easiest sin.


Amala didn't move a muscle on her face when Lydia probed on the subject that essentially was the reason he and she was here, in this alabaster city with its emerald, living wealth surrounding them. He imagined her indifference to the two male names spoke almost as much as any expression would have. They were being lulled into the assumption that no, Sister Amala didn't know anything, which had his instincts point toward the opposite conclusion. He squeezed the other hunter's hand to transfer this sentiment. Amala raised a light brow at this, either on to his suspicion, or offended at something that could be interpreted as intimacy, or both.

"No." Amala said, eyes directed at Lydia. "But a lot of people come here with a lot of names." She reached out to touch Lydia's shoulder, bringing her along, away from Oleyo. Or that seemed to be the plan. He thought of before, when she had been too averse to his touch to let him help her. It must be a matter of some gravity if she sought it out herself.

He would never know the answer. A deafening clap was heard from above. The three looked at the sky. The bridge high above them had cracked. Another thundering burst and the side of the bridge broke, stone and glass. A part from the falling debris, a golden armor, giant, hurled toward the garden. It recast the sun as it spun. Oleyo realized he'd let go of Lydia's hand and commanded the shield on his shoulder down for him to grasp instead. Beyond the armor, in the hole it had fallen from, he could see a shadow with a face. A sword caught the light that bounced off the golden suit in the air. This must be the shadowy stranger the merchant had spoken of, and the head-turner Amala was on about.

"Dhampir." he said, squeezing the handle of his shield just as the armored creature hit the side of a fountain, crushing it to let the water flood the gilded war-suit. "Mutant." he said when the creature stood, revealing his armor to have been scratched and cut in places, and its reptilian head. The Dhampir looked down at the three on the path, and the former adversary, already standing and hissing back at the sky. The pale one above vaulted himself up through the hole to stand on its roof, where he then threw himself out, his large cape catching the wind to let him flutter over the walls and into the city.

"I think he might know a Gregory or a Wallace." Amala said calmly when the Dhampir was out of sight. She let go of Lydia and walked toward the mutant, unafraid. "Perhaps you should pursue." she suggested. Oleyo followed Amala. He didn't know her vows or what she thought she knew about the mutant, but he did not look like someone with a friendly response, even to a sister with a helping hand. He nodded toward Lydia over his shoulder, if she decided to hunt the Dhampir alone.

--

D had an easy time navigating through the air. In fact, he had no trouble landing on his horse, boots on the saddle, before he slid down, mounting it. It was a quiet ordeal. His sword was sheathed and the book he'd wanted was in a pocked in his cape. The cybernetic animal strolled through the street with little worry. A powerful entrance, perhaps, but a quiet one.

"You should have killed him." Left Hand muttered against the reign. D didn't answer. Between the armor and the scales he'd given it a good try. The blow had simply made a hole in the wall, instead.

Krystal Itzume

  • Caesar
  • Posts: 2861
  • A Tempest Must Be Just That
    • View Profile
Re: Vampire Hunter D: Nesting Doll
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2015, 07:09:58 am »
‘Artemis Order?’

What a curious thing to come out of the Sister’s mouth. Lydia had never heard of this Artemis in all her travels, and it didn’t place itself as familiar when she looked at the statue. Oleyo squeezed her hand and she returned her attention to the little nun, noting her expression before the eyebrow raised.
‘So you may know a little.’ The question was how to get it out of her. Perhaps it was only that someone else had come asking, but even so, any information was useful.

When the nun moved to bring Lydia along, Lydia hesitated just a second. The pull was to take her from Oleyo, and they’d not agreed to that. However, before anything could be spoken of, silently or otherwise, a distraction drew all eyes. A figure in gold fell. A shadow remained above.

Oleyo let her hand go, and Lydia stepped away from the nun, already anticipating how this was going to play out. The shadowy one was hers, since even from afar he looked more peaceful—albeit, more powerful. Of course, that was fine by Lydia. Oleyo would deal with the brute, as was his habit and custom.


“Dhampir?” Lydia repeated, looking to Oleyo as he said it with clear interest. “D, then.” If a Noble was here to be hunted, and a dhampir on the case, there was only one name, one man, who would be involved. She took a look to confirm it, as if a look would, but he was falling out of her sight by then. “I’ll see you soon,” she said to Oleyo, for there was little time, and he’d chosen his mark.

Lydia sprinted down the path and towards an archway that would take her out of the beautiful gardens, and away from the church. A figure with a tail ran by her, but she ignored the catty one in her pursuit of another. She could estimate the direction the figure fell, and she was certain she was fast enough to keep up with him. Arrogance told her as much, fights with the Nobility added to her confidence.

What she hadn’t expected was a horse, and she saw the shadow upon one, some yards away, when she rounded the wall to where he would have landed.
‘Not at a gallop yet.’ So would he run if called to? Lydia took a few running steps herself to catch up and close some of the distance.

“Wait!” The only way to know was to find out, and she jogged to catch up, “Wait, D!” Perhaps the use of his name by unfamiliar lips might make him pause.

The blood in her veins demented and disturbed the tattoos quicker, adrenaline high. ‘D’ had been the name constantly on the lips of the one who created her.


“It was His only success, but I’ll show Him. I’ll be better.”


Her creator had spoken with such reverence towards Him.


~***~

The catty one was black of skin with white hair, white ears, white tails—for she had two—white knees and white elbows. Her mischievous orange eyes had seen the fall of debris only after the sound of it twitched her ears. “Mm, what now?” Lady Amaranth liked the church, and so did Aila.

Usually Marshall roamed this area, when Pello didn’t. The two butted heads too often, so Amaranth gave Pello the honor of guarding the church more often than not since it was so dear to her.

It was Pello’s day, if Aila recalled right. No matter who, this required investigation, and so Aila left her post walking the roofs of the market to run full tilt towards the church. She passed by another mutant on her way, though not one of Amaranth’s. Her hair was pretty and long, and Aila was almost tempted to dart back and flick it for fun, but she kept on target long enough to find herself within the garden.

The sights and sounds showed three—a Sister, Pello, and a stranger. Though she was smaller than all of them, her reaction was to bare claws and demand of the stranger,
“Did you do this?” Though one look at the stranger made her think that wasn’t possible. What man with such a pretty scarf would do such a thing? She wondered how tough that fabric was. “Pells?” She’d prefer his answer to a stranger’s, anyway, and her twin tails flicked side to side, indecisive.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2015, 09:33:19 pm by Krystal Itzume »

Verse

  • Posts: 1443
  • blue in nothing
    • View Profile
Re: Vampire Hunter D: Nesting Doll
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2015, 07:51:34 pm »
Oleyo had flashed a look at Lydia when she named the flying shadow. He would have to ask her about it later. They had worked with each other enough times that this division went smoothly. She was gone soon, to do what they agreed she would, and he was left, in turn, to see this situation through. He'd only barely registered the feline form, his attention mainly on the brave or insane Amala, moving closer to the lizard man. Oleyo stayed close to her, shoulders dropped but legs ready and shield still on his arm. She might think she knew this thing, but it did not seem in its best mindset.

He could see Amala was upset with the broken fountain. Her cheeks colored to the best of their ability. The reptilian thing, standing a head taller than Oleyo, narrowed its eyes at her. The kind of animosity nurtured over several meetings, and perhaps arguments, could be felt in the air. She inhaled to scold him, but before she could do so, and he could react in whatever physical way he'd choose, the feline spoke.

The lizard waved his arm at the cat. "Someone like The Lady Amaranth, Aila! Sucker punched me and ran away like a gecko!" he said with an increasingly distorted voice, man and something more primal. Oleyo looked from one mutant to the other. The situation was tense, but most of it seemed directed away from Amala. This would not last. "I'll go after him. Bring him back in confetti." Pello muttered and started for the archway Lydia had used.

As he passed Amala, she caught a plate in his distressed armor, wedged her fingers between it and its neighbor to pull him to a stop. It was mostly out of surprise that the large mutant halted to look down at the woman.

Pello didn't mind the sisters or the brother's much. They didn't disturb him on his duties. This one, however, he'd known to be more audible than the others. While he didn't crave her respect or fear, he sure would have preferred to have them now, that she seemed to think she held some kind of demand over him. "Let go." he warned. "I have to hunt for the damned dhampir."

"You can. Just after you've fixed the fountain. How do you suppose we pay tribute if the way to our goddess is broken?" she asked as she yanked the plate she was holding. Pello did not feel it.

Oleyo had come close now, just behind Amala. This would not work out the way she wanted, pre established relationship or not. His attention was divided between the large lizard hybrid and the cat a few steps away.

--

He had felt a presence follow him. He could hear it in the rhythm of the steps, how they set themselves apart from others here by their urgency. Not hostile, though. He'd kept on riding until she'd spoken his name. The horse stopped, but he did not dismount. D looked over his shoulder, and his eyes lanced through the shade provided by his hat to take in her form. The horse turned to have him facing the woman. The patterns on her changed. A peculiar thing. Magic, or science. It had a familiar composition.

"Who are you?" he asked, lifting his chin to have the hat away from his features, a bit of courtesy in exchange for the information he'd requested.

She recognized him, he saw. It seemed to be deeper than hearing about him. Was she someone he'd met in the past, grown up? It didn't look like vengeance, not so dark, but it didn't look like affection either.

--

Pello didn't take well to Amala's terms. He made this known by swinging his free arm at her, like a man would a fly. Oleyo darted forward quickly, arm bent to receive the blow on his tilted shield, directing the energy over his head to make sure the nun wasn't hurt. The turn of Pello's body had freed him from her hold, and despite her warning before, Oleyo took that opportunity to push her back. She of course stumbled from the force and found herself at what could be considered a safe distance.

"Not in the mood!" Pello yelled as he brought his arm down again, to collide once more on the glass shield. Oleyo slid the plate along the giant limb after he'd stopped it, until the sharp glass edge found a spot of exposed chainmal in Pello's armpit. The reptile hissed, angry at the cut that had been mostly absorbed by the little weave of rings, and used his other hand to slap Oleyo back with devastating force. The sound of the big hand impacting against Oleyo's side was a dull metal clang, suggesting he had his own armor. It wasn't enough to eat all of the impact, though, and Oleyo was thrown in a large arc, back. "Get him!" Pello said.

As Oleyo twisted to brace himself to roll on the ground, he realized that Pello had sent in him a direct trajectory toward the cat. With limited options, he decided to curl up in the air, behind his shield.

Krystal Itzume

  • Caesar
  • Posts: 2861
  • A Tempest Must Be Just That
    • View Profile
Re: Vampire Hunter D: Nesting Doll
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2015, 09:32:21 pm »
There was no question when the man on the horse lifted his chin to take some of the shadows away, that this was D. ‘That’s it. That’s what she looks like.’ Though marble and feminine, Lydia realized immediately why the statue of Artemis had seemed familiar. There was a look to her that was akin to D, which was akin to the Sacred Ancestor. Growing up underneath that portrait, Lydia couldn’t mistake it.

A heat rose to her cheeks that no portrait could inspire, causing the intricate marks on her face to seem to bleed ink over the red, uncertain of how to flow.

The dhampir was as inhumanly and inmutantly handsome as the rumors suggested, and in spite of herself Lydia acknowledged it. It didn’t halt her tongue,
“I’m Lydia Tepes,” she offered the surname to him. It likely went without saying that she was another hunter, but even so she wouldn’t say it.

A hand went to her hip, and the other gestured outwards and back towards the church.
“The little nun said you knew of Gregory and Wallace.” She’d state those intentions instead, “I’m curious if you know them, or if we’re on the same path.”

~***~

Aila’s tails flicked quicker at the mention of another. A dhampir? She had heard of those. They were on the lips of Amaranth now and then, a thing desired but never created in Amaranth’s own womb. Considering how the woman created so many other things, it was a wonder she didn’t venture to birth her own creations, too.

The foolish sister grabbed hold of Pells, and Aila laughed aloud at her demand,
“Do you think he knows a hammer from a nail?” There was mockery in Aila’s question as the giggles continued. She might have said more, but Pello did something stupid. He tried to strike the little nun.

Aila winced. Amaranth would not be happy with this show of violence towards one so weak.
“WHAT ARE YOU DOING?” The cat shrieked at him, but he only shot her an order.

A cat doesn't take orders unless it can be convinced it was it's own idea.

Her ears laid back at it, the tails twitched viciously. He threw the man with the pretty scarf, and the cat instead flung herself towards the ground, rolled into a ball, and rose to her feet between Pello and the woman who had earned his ire. She was all raised hair and bared fangs, but at Pello.
“Marshall will hear of this,” more a threat than Amaranth in the moment, for Marshall had little love of Pello. “Go after your dhampir and maybe he’ll pardon you, Pelly,” she used Pelly when she was angry with him. The names became increasingly feminine or childish when she was upset.

For Amala, she’d let her know that lady Amaranth would know of this fountain issue. No doubt, Amaranth would part with her funds to have it restored quickly, but Pello was not someone who could fix things. He fixed problems, but not of the building sort. He was into destruction.


~***~

Marshall had only just left Amaranth and knew to return two hours before dusk. He was unnerved after the parting, not simply because there was a Noble threat. He was unnerved because as the body of the merchant had continued to shift, and she’d started to cut into it, she had asked him something so simple:


“When was the last time you saw a dragon?”


With his answer that it hadn’t been long, and it hadn’t been far, she had told him to arrange a hunting party for that night. They were going to find some, and they were going to bring them in—alive, if possible.

This new creature that Amaranth wanted to create would be an intelligent dragon, the mind of a human would ensure that. It would be one as enthralled with her as the rest of her guards, bitten once and cherished forever. The thought of going after a dragon had Marshall on edge, though.
‘I don’t know why you want to come.’ The fire alone was enough of a threat to Amaranth that Marshall had tried to protest, but to no avail.

“I must show I can pull my own weight in protecting the people, too. It has been too long since I’ve honed my skill.”

There was no arguing when a red-head decided something, and it seemed bloodlust had caught up with Amaranth. They would be hunting dragons that night,
‘And who should come?’ Pello was the first to come to mind. Marshall wanted to make the party one of brutes, rather than one of speed. Those who could ensure the Lady wasn’t burned to a crisp from this bout of insanity.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2015, 09:46:52 pm by Krystal Itzume »

Verse

  • Posts: 1443
  • blue in nothing
    • View Profile
Re: Vampire Hunter D: Nesting Doll
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2015, 12:56:29 pm »
Oleyo was both impressed and relieved by how swiftly the cat bolted into a ball, rolling away from where he'd land. The restraints on the side of his body, concealed by the ever flowing scarf, were still ringing with the blow Pello had dealt him when he planet his boots on the ground. By the sound of their conversation, if that's what you'd call it, the other mutants did not agree on the next course of action. Again he reached for and retrieved Amala. She was as displeased as ever, but couldn't stop it from happening.

The scales on Pello's muzzle gathered to the middle, a hard snarl showing thin teeth when the cat threatened with Marshall. "Who's afraid of that dog!" he replied, annoyed. Her point was probably not that this would lead to a fight with the werewolf, Pello had made it known he liked that, looked for that, but rather Amaranth's disapproval. The part of his mind that wasn't furiously coldblooded had him make the same waving motion toward Aila that had all but toppled the nun. He did not grace the cat, though.

There was reason somewhere in what she'd said, and eventually the scales unlatched themselves from the middle of his face to go back to their usual formation, a little angrier, perhaps, when he huffed and flicked his tongue out, passing his furry comrade. "If you're not going, then I'll bloody well have to, won't I?" he said, making an excuse to leave this situation and pursuit the one who had thrown him to the ground. "Tell Marshall I'm doing his job if I'm not back when he needs a report." he jabbed at no one present.

The residual anger was let out with a roar into the stranger's face as he passed him and the nun behind him. The breath of that loud, empty threat was enough to blow back the hood still on the stranger's head. Pale, well composed bones. Weren't they all, today? Pello followed the direction he'd seen the dhampir descend, more than happy to push and toss people out of his way.

--

Her marks mingled with a familiar blush. It was nothing he hadn't seen before. The recognition was still there, deeper than fleeting gossip, and that was more unusual. She did not carry herself in a threatening way. Left Hand chewed on the rein before spitting it out so that D could dismount. He came to stand by the woman to listen to her.

"I know of them." he said. "They are missing." There was a price on them. He'd not directly been hired by the uncle of Wallace, but the merchant had been one of the contributers to the first fee of this mission. A handful of people had pooled their money to hire the dhampir. He was to retrieve anyone he could, and collect from individuals accordingly afterward. How could the hunter say no to such desperate, hopeful efforts? "I am looking for them, among others."

Her name stayed in his mind. Left Hand was purring at the implications while D stood there, quietly lamenting what her existence meant. "Tepes." he repeated. "Where are you from?"

--

Oleyo, with his hood off, looked to the feline now that Amala was safe. As the nun scurried to the broken side of the fountain, her shoes stepping on wet stone and drowned grass, he came to the twin tailed mutant. She had been instrumental in sending the lizard away, but Oleyo didn't hope she would be an ally. Still, he preferred not to threaten someone who might have information. The shield crept from its battle perch on his forearm to sit back on his shoulder.

"I don't suppose you know anything of a Wallace and Gregory?" he asked. How would he begin to extract information from a cat? All he could come up with, standing there, was to make his voice slightly aloft, to feign disinterest in whether she'd answer or not.

Krystal Itzume

  • Caesar
  • Posts: 2861
  • A Tempest Must Be Just That
    • View Profile
Re: Vampire Hunter D: Nesting Doll
« Reply #15 on: June 22, 2015, 05:12:52 pm »
Aila had to hold her ground to the last second. One sign of relenting and Pello would take it. He was difficult to work with, because she loved him in the way a younger sister loved a headstrong brother. He was absolutely infuriating at times, and she let out a breath when he started to vanish. Her tails lost their rigidity and her ears relaxed, perked up again.

She laughed to mask her anxiety.
“Oh that boy of mine,” she commented to herself before spinning on heel to face Amala and the stranger with the pretty scarf. He was a sight with his flowing, green hair. She wondered briefly if he was with the light-haired mutant she’d not seen before.

However, her attention was to go to Amala,
“Sis,” she thought it was affectionate. No doubt, others thought it blasphemous, “Which fountain was this? I can tell the Lady and she’ll have it restored, you know.” Amaranth funded the faith quite well, though she’d fix up anything destroyed in her town as soon as possible. She couldn’t be a good ruler if she let senseless destruction remain that way.

Then the pretty man spoke to her and she turned her focus to him. His tone was disinterested, and it caused her to wrinkle her nose as she recalled the two. She’d only committed Gregory to memory.


“Hey there, kitty.”

“Were they those annoying frontiersmen that came in?”


There was a mistake in answering that Aila acknowledged after the words were out, but the men had really annoyed her. One of them had dared to grab hold of one of her tails, and she’d launched claws into his face. After that they’d been keen to leave.
“If they were, they made their way out a bit ago.” That was a lie and she knew it, but the truth wasn’t something she was allowed to tell.

~***~

Lydia had not expected the dhampir to dismount. Had she been of sane mind, she would have taken a step away from him. She was not of sane mind, though, and so she did not back away from him, but took delight in his attention to her words. He, too, was looking for Gregory and Wallace.
‘Others?’ It was almost a word on her tongue, but he repeated her name.

Surname. Then he asked from where she hailed. She lifted a hand and waved dismissively back,
“A town once called Sighisoara in the north,” there was the ring of an accent there, a harshness to the ‘s’ that had not been present when she spoke previously.

It vanished just as quickly. There was a focus that she needed to retain, and Sighisoara was no longer. The Noble in his castle was no longer, so far as Lydia knew, though it hadn’t been by her hand. It had been by those who would show her to Barberoi, by those who would start her life with Oleyo.
“What did you find at that church, D? We have the same goals here, it seems.”

Verse

  • Posts: 1443
  • blue in nothing
    • View Profile
Re: Vampire Hunter D: Nesting Doll
« Reply #16 on: June 22, 2015, 07:03:03 pm »
Amala looked over at the cat as her dress drunk up water from the puddle she was kneeling in, while she examined the sharp edges of broken rock where Pello had landed. "It's not the one in the chapel," that only had water when it wasn't moist enough with sacrifice "but it is still important. Many of the hardest working people prefer the gardens. Say it is the western one, and they'll know." she said as she stood up by pushing the edge of the stone, still intact.

Oleyo thought it looked quaint for the woman to compromise her clothes like that, someone so rigid, for such a good cause. She really believed in her belief, and in her role. The cat had answered him, and he thought he'd somehow deciphered what might and might not work with it. This would not be an easy well of knowledge, though. He tried to note what facial changes she underwent when she lied, nothing ever left this city, after all, but hadn't had the wits to search before the lie was over.

"Thank you." he said and reached inside his scarf to pull out a strip of jerky. Since it was from lizard, it might be in bad taste, but he wanted to endear himself to this mutant, at least enough that she might speak instead of attacking him, next time they saw each other. "Here, for your trouble." he said and moved closer, holding out what he considered to be a treat.

--

Sighisoara in the north. This mutant and her moving palette of colors was more than she said. Left Hand had his suspicions, and would share them later, to be abrasive as usual, but for now the helpful parasite kept quiet. He could discern no cunning in her voice, at least not of the malicious variety, when she asked about what he had found. He remembered a particular blond on a singlewheel cycle that had also wanted his prey. This was different. Lydia was not lashing out at the world in the same way.

"Ancestry of enemies. As always it is hard to determine what is history and what is pressing." he answered, honestly. Someone named Tepes should know what this might imply. "Do you know about your own ancestors?" he asked.

He wasn't about to get an answer when familial anger imposed itself on the scene and the scattered city folk became even more so when the giant, green headed Pello turned the corner to see the two. Even the cybernetic horse was upset by the presence of the other animal. D lifted his eyes slowly from Lydia to see the coming monster.

"Hunter!" Pello bellowed as he continued to stomp up dust on his way to his vengeance. His intention was known when he drew swords again. "I want to take your head back to my mistress." he said. D passed Lydia and pulled his own sword at the still distant threat.

"Tell Amaranth she will have to wait for my head." he tested.

"Tell her yourself, I'll be sure to leave your lips when I bring you!" the lizard confessed without knowing it. D had gotten what he needed, then, and swiftly stepped back and sheathed his sword as he swung a leg up on his horse. He turned the mount just as Pello was getting to swinging. As D started moving away to have the angry creature follow, he tossed a book to Lydia.

"If we have the same goals." he said before kicking the horse in to a speed that the golden clad could follow. Eventually he'd just ditch the follower, when no one else could be hurt by his belligerence. Left Hand would not be happy that he'd given away the historical records in prose to the hunter. D mostly wondered if Pello would pass her without toppling her.

Krystal Itzume

  • Caesar
  • Posts: 2861
  • A Tempest Must Be Just That
    • View Profile
Re: Vampire Hunter D: Nesting Doll
« Reply #17 on: June 22, 2015, 07:24:32 pm »
Aila memorized the words that Amala spoke. They would be important to report. She liked the gardens, too. This mess was wholly unacceptable. The water was getting everywhere. She sincerely hoped Pello put his strength against the one at fault. He was angry enough to destroy whoever did this, certainly.

Then, a treat was offered. Her tails paused a moment in their twitching, and her eyes lit up at the smell of the lizard. She knew what it was, for she snacked on them now and then when she walked the market.

Oh yes, it was in bad tastes, but all cats had a dark sense of humor and a fit of laughter overtook her at the sight of it.

Well, she did like to eat lizards. She liked him all the more for it. Claws still out, she used them to puncture the treat in her attempt to grasp it, as well as give a test bat at the scarf that drew so close. She was so curious about the material and the way it would move against her. Would it have weight? Would it instead be like batting air?

Aila had to know, much as she had to have the treat.
“Well thank you!” She didn’t often get paid by strangers for such petty information.

~***~

It was important to know one’s enemies. Lydia rarely did such research, since she so often relied on the tried-and-true tricks. Sunlight, poison blood, and Oleyo’s taunts had made the duo deadly. Often all three were utilized, if they could catch the Noble during the day. Even so, she understood how it was useful. She had to learn what worked to hunt vampires, after all.

His question caught her off guard.
‘Ancestors?’ It was on the tip of her tongue to say she didn’t have any, but in truth Lydia had no idea if that was the truth. She had no childhood and no adolescence that she remembered. She was created, grown, so far as she knew—although the man who made her had always found something humorous about the surname, too. She imagined it his joke when he named her, indeed, believed he had named her. “I—”

No answer would come. The brute that Oleyo should have dealt with came back around to them. Lydia glanced at her wrist, opened earlier, to see the wound had closed. She moved to place a nail gingerly over the scab. She’d tear it open if she needed to.

It seemed at first, it would not be necessary. D chose to flee rather than fight, and he threw a book to Lydia on the ‘condition’ they were on the same side. She caught it, removing nail from scab, and then folded it under an arm. Lydia did not call to him on the off chance it might allow her to escape the brute without a fight.

Drawing little attention was a strategy that was difficult to employ. She half-hoped the brute would chase the shadow, and she could leisurely stroll on back towards the church. She even made the attempt to walk back to the church, and drew her hand back to her wrist.


‘Just in case.’


The blood came fresh at the pull of the nail against the scab. 

« Last Edit: June 22, 2015, 07:33:22 pm by Krystal Itzume »

Verse

  • Posts: 1443
  • blue in nothing
    • View Profile
Re: Vampire Hunter D: Nesting Doll
« Reply #18 on: June 23, 2015, 09:13:26 pm »
Oleyo kept an eye on her claws when they waved closer to his hand. It never really felt threatening, but he couldn't be careful enough with his last hand. He had the impulse to pull in the dried meat to have the cat come closer, a game he liked to play with any animal, but decided against it. He didn't know what feline traits this mutant retained. Perhaps she'd read it as someone stealing her food. He let go promptly and watched the strip hang in her her natural weapons.

"You're very welcome." he said when he saw her interest in his scarf. It was a durable material, though wear had made it lighter than it had been when he bought it. Tendrils of the fabric waved below his elbow. He saw her claw shred a few more. How familiar. "It's a good weave. Not kevlar, but it's heavy duty, or used to be." he said as he used his now freed hand to hold up a tail of the gray fabric to waved it over her. It could pass as both showing off the material, or entice her to play, all disguised in small talk. If she was transfixed, or just overly interested, he was hoping more information would slip.

"Where are good places to go if you're a frontiersman and haven't made your way out?" he asked, still twirling the fabric above the mutant.

--

D saw the warrior in gold hitch in his stride when he passed the woman. She'd not done anything to offend, but Pello had seen her receive the book. With a quick tug to the side, the horse made a sound, and when the lizard man looked his way, D looked back, pulling his sword to have it drag along the ground as the mount kept moving him forward. Pello couldn't take this, with his anger and pride, and hurried after the horse and its horseman. They did not wait for the dragon to catch up before raising their speed. Eventually the hole in the crowd that the meeting had created started to mend, and no one really cared or looked twice at the woman with the dancing marks.

--

Amala realized soon that there was little she could do to fix the damage herself. She buttoned her sleeve around the bandage and came over to watch the green haired stranger play with Aila. There was a small smile on her face as she crossed her arms, the wet spots on her dress cooling in the considerably beautiful weather. The sister thought of stepping in, give a good schuss at the cat, but decided to see how much silver was on Oleyo's tongue, and how much information it would buy him. Usually her talents to protect the secrets of the city were appreciated by the silent ruler. Amala didn't know why she allowed this much freedom to the rude, crude hunter.

--

Left without the horseman, Pello hissed. He knew these streets, and yet somehow the dhampir had outmaneuvered him. It didn't help that every corner hosted a dark silhouette to confuse. After licking his wounds, and toppling a stand of ornaments, he decided to salvage what he could of the situation, and stomped all the way to Her castle.

He searched for her in her more secluded chambers. Servants were of no help, mentioning only that Marshall was looking for him concerning a hunt. Those servant were sent away with as much sentiment as he'd swatted the gray hood before, that they may tell Marshall themselves where Pello was. He intended to bring a piece of information to her that the wolf did not have. A dhampir with a long sword. She should want to know. Perhaps he'd tell richly of that, and how he fought to hold the dhampir back, and then speak very little of his fall onto the fountain.

Krystal Itzume

  • Caesar
  • Posts: 2861
  • A Tempest Must Be Just That
    • View Profile
Re: Vampire Hunter D: Nesting Doll
« Reply #19 on: June 23, 2015, 10:14:06 pm »
The strands of fabric pulled apart at the touch of her claws, and it caused her grin to widen. She took the meat, stuck on a claw, and promptly put it into her mouth. It was devoured in seconds as he commented on his fabric, and her eyes followed the string that dangled before her.

Was it permission?

Was he showing off?

A tentative hand lifted to bat it, and she’d go by his reaction as she answered, not at all looking at him as her attention remained fully engrossed with the queer fabric before her.
“Probably a bar or a diner near the entrance. Food for the road. Maybe he wanted to rest at an inn near the entrance.” It suggested they were on their way to be close to the entrance and exit of the town, but Aila would never call it an exit. It wasn’t, after all.

There was a gasp from somewhere behind, but Aila didn’t need to look back. She knew the sound of that voice, and would have laughed if she weren’t so interested in the string.

Marshall stood now in the garden, having been directed there by others to find Pello—he was supposed to be on duty here. The lupine now stood, aghast at the destruction and the calm scene before him.


~***~

Pello had considered coming after her, this Lydia saw. However, the dhampir played knight and distracted him with a silent taunt.
‘Well, well.’ Lydia wondered how Oleyo was going to react to this. It wasn’t often that Lydia took interest in anyone but him, after all. To say she liked someone was bound to shock her partner.

Lydia almost reveled in the idea.

However, she needed good reason. She paused before getting back to the church and decided to look at the book in her hand. It was a maroon cover. Love-Lies-Bleeding was the title, and Lydia wondered it if was a novel before she opened it and found, instead, it was a history of one Lady Amaranth Landor.

The name Amaranth was being tossed around, and Pello had said she was the mistress here, so Lydia decided to read on.


‘Curious.’ The early history section did not begin with family, Lydia noticed. It made it clear that Amaranth was Noble, but there was no mention of a tie. In fact, Lydia didn’t know the name Landor at all. It spoke of a place called Greece, long since forgotten to human history. It spoke of her own devotion to an Artemis, but the image in the book was also just like a feminized Sacred Ancestor. ‘No wonder the church has this book, then.’ Amaranth must be a patron of it.

Artemis the huntress liked blood, too. Small wonder.

Lydia couldn’t help but think as she skimmed the pages that something was missing. There was no childhood. There was no growth. There was just Amaranth the woman, the Noble.


‘Noblesse Oblige.’ was written as the title of chapter two, and it spoke of the destruction of 1999 which so many Nobles had survived, and of their ability to rebuild society. It began to outline the city of Euboea. There were maps of it through its history and its expansions. There was talk of the church, and talk of technological advancements made by Amaranth, most of which seemed in the realm of biology and medicine. Everyone knew nobles created many of the mutants, but it seemed Amaranth got to take the honors for making the ‘meat beasts’ what they were today—cattle and not weapons. There was a depiction of them, too, as Lydia kept flipping pages, now idly walking along but not on the path back to the church, head down and eyes in the book.

The third chapter was the downfall of the Nobility, and Lydia paused on the page for a moment. The quote was familiar.


Transient Guests Are We.

‘Did you know the Sacred Ancestor personally?’
Though, Lydia supposed, it wasn’t necessary. If she had, certainly it would be in the book, wouldn’t it? That quote was just his most famous one, a reminder to all vampires that they were temporary and their time would come. All things had their rise and their decline.

When the nobility forgot this and abused their position above humanity, they fell.

This chapter was devoted to explaining how Amaranth avoided that fall. This chapter was her Res Gestae and reason for being. This was why Euboea stood the test of time. There was condemnation in this chapter towards those vampires who forgot their place. Whoever penned this either took from Amaranth's views personally, or knew them well.

Lydia glanced back to see who the author was, but found the name offered no insight, either. Rigel Hesperus was not a name she knew.


~***~

Servants were useful in carrying information. One went to Amaranth in her lab to whisper in her ear that Pello had arrived and was looking for. Amaranth found that curious, so soon after Marshall had left, and sent the servant to fetch Pello and let him know to meet her in the library before the lab.

All the while, her eyes never left the thing before her. It couldn’t quite be called human any longer, nor even humanoid. The changes were what possessed her to need actual dragons. The heart had expanded and eaten the veins around it. The ribs melded into it, creating a casing to hold the heart. The brain had destroyed the head, and Amaranth had to act quickly to ensure it wouldn’t be destroyed by the exposure to the elements. The flesh had become scales, but the rest of it had grown too much for the flesh to contain. Weaving it into a larger body would be the next step.

Threads and glass held this one together now, allowing her to see into it without cutting into it. It continued to breathe, and the heart continued to beat. It was still alive, but Amaranth worried.
‘Naught to be done till night.’

That was the most frustrating thing. She’d not given up attempts to walk in the sun, but none had been successful thus far.

Amaranth washed her hands not in running water, but with antibacterial soap alone. She cleansed them of the scent through a dry cloth and then walked out to her library to meet with Pello and learn what brought him here. 

« Last Edit: June 23, 2015, 10:36:12 pm by Krystal Itzume »

Verse

  • Posts: 1443
  • blue in nothing
    • View Profile
Re: Vampire Hunter D: Nesting Doll
« Reply #20 on: June 24, 2015, 06:31:36 pm »
His game had earned Oleyo another thread to follow. He continued to swirl and move the fabric, now that it had proven effective, ready to extract more information from the feline mutant as she chewed on the meat and was amused by the dancing cloth. Her opposite showed up to cut this session short. A mutant of wolf variety, and with it a less pliable nature. Oleyo's hand stopped as he looked at the new creature, which of course let Aila shred the little piece she'd been batting at but not catching until now.

He looked at the nun, who seemed amused by the entire situation, despite her efforts of concealing it. He took it as a sign not to worry. In the Barberoi werewolves were plentiful. Popular with anyone who had the money for one, and an ideal pack leader for those who had even more. Oleyo would have to assume that this one worked with both the cat and the lizard. "Well," he started. "it seems he made a mess here." to deflect suspicion of himself. He'd not done any of this, of course, but he'd rather this be stated quickly so that the wolf wouldn't prod further.

For what Oleyo knew of this race, though, they had good noses, in ever sense of the expression. Oleyo wasn't one to get nervous over a job, but he'd seen canine partners work as lie detectors and picking up untruths even when the person didn't know they were being untruthful themselves. Between the cat and the dog, he would have a hard time coming out alive out of this, if it came to a battle. Exit strategies were already forming, and even the consideration of using his second, locked away limb.

--

Amala was pleased with Marshall's reaction. This was as much of a scene as he seemed to think. Pello, the hard simpleton, had just walked away. The werewolf cared for the things that its master cared for. The sister came over quickly, feet still wet, and waved the wolf in. "Yes, as you can see, your dragon guard fell from the bridge to the library." she pointed to the hole in the connecting, stone limb above. "And crushed all of that fountain. The drainage is intact, so I guess if we can mend the wall, the people can still sacrifice. But look at the mess."

She didn't raise her voice despite being distraught. No need with this one. He'd do what he felt was right whether she was upset or not. This was true even when she disagreed. Good thing that she didn't today.

--

Pello looked around the library from where he stood. It was a big thing, worthy of being tucked away. A ruse as well as useable well of knowledge. If someone broke in, they could very well assume this was the sanctum and not look further. A way to protect the labs, if need be. He could understand things like these when he saw them, knew them, but he wasn’t one for such finery. He had once bitten through a factory born diamond with his teeth. He did not feel the need for such long deceptions.

He swallowed back the chemicals afforded to him by his construction, designed to ignite. The formula was imperfect, unable to burn until ridden of his saliva. At best, it became a kind of poison if he decided to bite into his enemy. Unfortunately, it had also been known to be an effective disinfectant in small amounts. So mostly he had to be content with this, an industrial broth in his mouth every time he was angry or excited. Good thing that he could not breathe fire today. He didn’t suppose he had so much of Amaranth’s favor that she’d forgive him for turning a section or all of her books into ash because of his state of mind.

Eventually she granted him audience. It was not his place to rush her. What is a mother and employer? His chest straightened in his armor and his feet came closer together. It was more out of habit than respect, it was more comfortable to give her every courtesy he'd been taught. She would of course be curious as to why he’d wanted to see her.

“I got attacked! I was going to the tower of records and there was a dhampir in the opening.” He said without needing her to ask. “Tall and dark, pretty, like you.” He said before thinking better of it. “But not like you. That is to say—it was a dhampir. Blue pendant, striped scarf. He tried to cut me with a long sword but instead threw me out the bridge and down into a fountain.” He huffed. “Those things are so fragile.” A hand came to his armpit, still cut but the blood was coagulating. The green hair flashed before his vertically slit eyes. Sometimes Amaranth advised him against things that were rightfully his, like vengeance. He wouldn't mention this, then. “Aila saw it. It wasn’t my fault. Then he ran like a coward.”

He didn’t omit the parasite on D’s hand willfully. The details presented were simply the ones he thought mattered.

“Didn’t see Wolfie anywhere, either. He should do his job.” He muttered, forgetting completely that the church was his area of responsibility if he in fact was on guard there at the time of an incident.

--

Said dhampir was outside the particular entrance Pello had used to go to his mistress. D quietly took in the structure, looking for weaknesses in its security. The horse knew to stand still. Left Hand was not so cooperative.

“You just showed your hand, no pun, to the competition, D. Do we really need that?” he asked his host. D scanned the windows and the guards on the walls. Not too many, but he’d say they were well placed. “And that Amaranth. Do you think she’d hide behind those walls during the day?” Left Hand continued, receiving as much response as he usually would. “And what are you going to do when she comes out again? Are you just going to stand here and hope you’ll do well without the element of surprise? How’s your sun resistance these days, D? Are you feeling great?” The increasingly frustrated parasite continued.

Eventually D had gotten enough of what he came for, and had the horse take them back into the shadows.

“Good talk.” Left Hand muttered.

Krystal Itzume

  • Caesar
  • Posts: 2861
  • A Tempest Must Be Just That
    • View Profile
Re: Vampire Hunter D: Nesting Doll
« Reply #21 on: June 24, 2015, 08:36:42 pm »
Aila shredded the fabric to her glee, though as Amala moved and Oleyo answered, she knew her fun was over. A pout crossed her dark face, but she turned to Marshall as Amala talked. His golden eyes, the same hue as Amaranth’s own, moved to Aila as Amala talked.

Aila gave a nod to confirm what was said.
“So where is Pello?”

“He went after the dhampir.”
That was it, then, the scent that didn’t belong under the sun. His eyes widened, his ears perked up more. “Eh? What is it?” Aila didn’t see that reaction too much, something with fear. Marshall wasn’t often afraid. He didn’t have reason to be.

“There’s a dhampir in town?”


Aila gave a nod,
“Yeah, I guess.”

Her ignorance didn’t surprise Marshall, but he wanted to curse over it all the same. He kept his tongue in his mouth for a few seconds to rid it of the words. He shook it off and looked to Amala,
“I’ll see this repaired. Aila, you’ll watch this area in Pello’s absence. I’ll go after him.”

Aila clearly didn’t care for the order, and opened her mouth to complain, but thought better when Marshall lifted his chin, daring her to challenge it.
“Fiiiiine,” came the words. Marshall took in a breath to gather the direction of the scents he needed, Pello and the dhampir. “But send Pello back soon, this place is boring.”

Marshall gave no answer to that. He looked to the green-haired one.
“What is your name, and your business here?” For he didn’t know him, and his scent was unfamiliar. Marshall knew better than to think that was a good thing, given what Amaranth hadn’t said, and what was now within the town.

Lydia stepped into the area as that question was being asked, and wondered if she could hide herself to avoid answering it when the wolf turned around. She tucked herself against the shadows, and held the book close against her chest.


~***~

Amaranth didn’t need to prod or pry. Pello was always forthcoming with information. He usually was. She was not surprised with his words, understood his perspective was flawed and biased. Even so, she was surprised to hear he was attacked, and she let it show in the lift of her eyebrows.


‘Dhampir?’

Now that was a word she hadn’t heard in a long time. Her lips parted just a bit, showing white, as she wondered at the presence of one in her city. She had expected Nobility, not this.

There was little point to asking Pello if he had been attacked, or if he had attacked. It was all the same to her child. The comment on the fragility of the fountain caused her eyebrows to lower, to furrow. She’d have to send a servant out to hire someone to fix it immediately. Accursed daylight. She’d do it herself if she could.

Indeed, as Pello mentioned that Aila had seen it, Amaranth walked to the wall and ran a nail over it. A square opened, and she pressed a button to summon such a servant up here, and then walked back to occupy the center of the room.
“Pello, you were on duty at the Church today,” Amaranth reminded. She knew where all of her mutants were, each day.

Marshall had patrol duties that day.
“I see that you did your job in attempting to protect the church and the records, and I am pleased with you. I will see that the destruction caused by this dhampir is repaired,” there were ways to talk to Pello to get what she wanted, “I would like to see this dhampir, though, alive. It is possible that he was confused or ill when you two crossed paths. The sun is not nice to them, either,” and it was day when they crossed paths.

A servant entered the room then, anxious, but Amaranth did not yet give it any attention,
“You do not need to go find him, I would like you to sit so that I may examine your wounds, and then perhaps we can talk about tonight's plans.” She would not demand it of Pello. She was all but certain he’d volunteer.

Verse

  • Posts: 1443
  • blue in nothing
    • View Profile
Re: Vampire Hunter D: Nesting Doll
« Reply #22 on: June 24, 2015, 09:47:10 pm »
He tensed and his secret slithered, wide-eyed in its cage, when the wolf spoke to the cat. At any point they could turn against him. The secret didn't care, wanted to devour, but the mutant-who-would-be-long-lived did. He'd rather not have bite marks and scratches. The cat's response to the wolf let Oleyo know he'd been right about the suspicion that he was a leader in the group. Between the lizard and this feline it could not be a very easy job.

This dhampir was stirring things up in this city. Dhampir hunters were prolific. The look of this one reminded Oleyo of something they'd heard. Someone who ha left marks even with the Barberoi. They treasured good hunters there. D, as he was known, was a legend.

It was a bit of a relief to know the cat would guard this place. She had accepted him. While this could be fickle, it should be better than having a bloodhound sniffing his trails. His hopes to escape with his identity intact from probing were squandered when the wolf asked pressing questions. "I'm Oleyo." he said, and took a discrete breath to think of what to say next. "I am here looking for friends concerning work. But right now I'm thinking of setting up in an inn." The cat would be able to corroborate, if pressed.

He saw Lydia walk in, and also how she retreated into hiding upon seeing the wolf. He would have to help with that, keep the wolf too occupied to listen to his nose. "Had a little run-in with your Lizard mutant. Moody fellow." he started. That conversation would probably not go anywhere. "You wouldn't happen to have any recommendations on where I could stay, do you?"

--

Some of the subtleties of her expressions were lost on him, but not the slight change of shadows on her face when he mentioned the dhampir. He had been curious what she would think about that, and also hoping she would take great offense that this creature had fought him. His ego was hurt when she did not seem hurt, and even more so when she defended the actions of the dhampir.

Eventually, though, with the promise of his mother's care, his heart lightened, his pride swelling as he nodded all too eagerly. She had made him, she knew what would heal him. While he did not agree to the plan to take the intruder alive, he was rarely in a position to argue. "I'll try." and he would, probably.

He then quickly found a robust seat, a fainting couch actually, that was reinforced enough to support his frame. The carpenters had long since learned some of the furniture delivered to the castle should be sturdier stock.

He pulled off the metal sleeve to have it clanking on the floor. His arm, scale covered, was painted in his blood from the inside. The blood glittered. That green haired nuisance had cut him with that strange, glass weapon. He lifted the limb with an annoyed hiss as he touched his wounded armpit with his still gloved hand. The fight flashed before his eyes. The mutant they did not know had defended himself and dealt this cut. Pello didn't care for fairness, especially not with glass dust in his blood, so in his mind it was all the stranger's fault.

"It's not such a bad cut." he said as he traced the edges. It was a serious thing to be able to cut his armor and scales. He would not admit to that. "Tonight's plans?" he asked, when what she said finally caught up to him.

--

"Why are we here?" Left hand asked.

D was on the ground, leaning against the shadowed corner of an already obscured ally. In here, the sun was a memory.

"Staying out of sight." D replied. Left Hand chuckled.

"I see. It has nothing to do with the family on the other side of that vent, does it?" Left Hand asked. D did not need to lift his head to see the cavity he was talking about. They were sacrificing in this house. An affluent family, with their very own drain to offer their blood to the goddess of this city. The iron and copper scent filtered well out the vent. Of course Left Hand had felt it. "Comon. Why don't you pay them a visit? You'll end up saving many here. They should pay you tribute instead." Left Hand continued.

D dropped his head lower, ignoring the magic eater.

Krystal Itzume

  • Caesar
  • Posts: 2861
  • A Tempest Must Be Just That
    • View Profile
Re: Vampire Hunter D: Nesting Doll
« Reply #23 on: June 24, 2015, 10:21:57 pm »
Aila was already starting to stalk off to make it look, for all the world, that she was starting her patrol of the area. No doubt, she’d continue it for a while, before either curling up under the sun or in a room in the sun. Despite all the excitement of the day, this wasn’t normal. Peace was the norm, and peace was what Aila expected.

Marshall didn’t acknowledge her movements. He listened to what the mutant had to say, and growled at the mention that he was attacked. Pello, bane of his existence, Pello. He knew why Pello still drew breath, but days like this, Marshall wasn’t happy with that fact.
“There are places near the entrance. If you’ve more money,” a once over. He wasn’t certain if the man was a man of money or not. He didn’t exude the air of it, “there are places in the hills,” he made a gesture in the direction, towards the castle but off a bit. There would be evident hills, and no doubt, more greenery than most got to see in their lives.

That was for affluent guests, who later became affluent residents.
“I need to go find Pello,” before the trail of the dhampir was lost. He turned on his heel, attention focused on those two scents, and bypassed Lydia entirely.

Lydia didn’t move until the werewolf was out of the area, passed the archway. Then she stepped out from the shadows with a quiet laugh. She held up the book,
“He wanted this and yet he gave it to me,” there was a boast in her tone as she approached Oleyo. She’d let him take a look at the book if he reached for it.

~***~

Pello made his promise, but Amaranth knew it would be better to trust Marshall with this. Pello would certainly try, but there was a decent chance the dhampir would be just alive. That, or Pello would find himself no longer living.

Except for a minor doubt she had, when it came to dhampirs and Marshall. She was certain her wolf was jealous, and rightfully afraid of, dhampirs. She was jealous of them. They had the strengths of vampires, and the advantages of humans. She’d never voice it aloud. Nobles weren’t truly meant to know those advantages, but to Amaranth, they were a warm summer’s dream that tortured her daily, when she had loved Apollo more than she had loved Artemis.


“Dusty,” she addressed the woman in rose by nickname, though her steps were taking her to Pello on the couch, “Go to the church of Artemis and check the fountain. See the damage. Then go find one of the construction workers to repair it, and pay them adequately, please.”

Dusty bowed her head,
“Yes, ma’am,” and off Dusty went, human and lovely, able to go out into the sun. She’d not been bitten, but employed. That money kept her family affluent enough to live better than most.

Then Amaranth knelt before her child and took hold of his arm. There her expression truly softened, and there she looked hurt as she examined the hurt on Pello. While it was, of course, superficial, it was also not. Anything that could get through his scales was worthy of investigation. Though she wanted to meet the dhampir, she felt a fire kindle in her heart as she saw the blood flowing.

She clicked her tongue on the roof of her mouth.
“My dear,” she sighed and shook her head. She knew what to do about it, though. “One moment,” she said as he asked about the plans. She lifted herself from the floor and walked back towards the labs.

It did not take her long to find what she was looking for. The items to heal her children were never hidden—not that anything was. For Pello, there was a syringe to hasten the growth of his unnatural scales on human flesh. There was a pill for his own blood, which never quite clotted to form scabs. The small ones would eventually scar from the heat of his blood, but the larger ones made it more likely that he’d bleed out before that. The needle itself was of diamond to break the skin. Her own strength would be enough to force lesser materials through, but she didn’t want to hurt Pello more than necessary.

Amaranth glided back into the room with the items, the clothes and disinfectants (for him, his own venom worked best), and began to answer,
“My newest has broken the flesh of his body,” she explained as she now took a seat by Pello, and again lifted his arm. She wiped away the mess of blood with the clean cloth, and then began to disinfect the wound itself, now that she could see it. “Marshall mentioned he saw a lesser dragon a week or two ago in the farms. I believe there may be a nest not far from the base of the mountains. Tonight, I would like to go and clear it out, and bring back what we can. The newest needs a better body.” She’d move then to grab the syringe to inject the serum into him, but she was not watching for a painful reaction. "I would like you to accompany me. Your strength will be crucial."

Though her eyes were lowered from his face, she was watching to see if there would be jealousy. She’d gauge it and decide how to respond, for she’d already anticipated Pello wouldn’t be happy with a second dragon. After all, there was no second wolf, nor a second cat--well, unless the lion counted, but the lion rarely counted.


~***~

The scents of Pello and the dhampir diverged before the entrance to the castle. Marshall stood there for several seconds, debating the route.
‘Pello went to Amaranth.’ That meant that likely, anything he needed to say to her would be said. It wouldn’t be the best report, but she would handle it.

He huffed, and then turned from the castle to stalk the dhampir instead. That one was more problematic, if only because he was certain it was a hunter. He was also more than certain that Amaranth would want to see it—risky, more risky than dragons. If Marshall could convince it to leave, that’d be the end of it. He knew he’d be chastised, perhaps even demoted, but it was well worth it.

It was breaking all the rules to let a dhampir leave, alive. It’d be worse to kill the dhampir.

All Nobles were creatures of hope. If he lived, Amaranth would hope. If he died….

Marshall came upon the creature in the Hills area, where green grass swayed amidst golden hues. He found him in an alley near a home, and he lifted his hand in a wave.

He didn’t waste his breath with a greeting, though. He said simply,
“You need to leave, dhampir, before night.”
« Last Edit: June 24, 2015, 10:23:52 pm by Krystal Itzume »

Verse

  • Posts: 1443
  • blue in nothing
    • View Profile
Re: Vampire Hunter D: Nesting Doll
« Reply #24 on: June 25, 2015, 06:15:59 pm »
It seemed the wolf was sufficiently distracted by the mention of the dragon. In lore the two competed for the role of villain. It seemed correct they have friction in this world. It was enough to either hide or trivialize Lydia’s scent and presence. The cat didn’t mind either. The cat didn’t mind a lot of things. He bowed his head for the advice on where to live. Usually, he was not flush with money, and neither would Wallace or Gregory have been. Oleyo waved his only hand at the wolf when he left.

Lydia flashed a book. She seemed happy about it, almost gleeful. The cat and the nun had gone when he came over to meet her. “It should have some significance, then.” He said and let it fall open in his hand. The title and the pages presented told him of its content, even though he couldn’t really gather any details. “History.” He said and held out the book to the side, so she could turn the page for him as they left the church. “This is big.” He said. It was grand, as any noble record worth its salt, and worrisome. The base of the noble’s continued existence was valid. The city itself, the castle, did well in reinforcing what was written.

“How is it that you came across it?” he asked, looking up from the book. “He went through some ordeal to get it, literally fighting off a dragon. And he just handed it to you?” He was curious, it was a real concern. There was a dark corner to his right eye as he looked her over. “Was it Vampire Hunter D?”

--

Pello was not a gentle creature, but he softened infinitely when Amaranth sat with him, and checked his wound. There was a bit of reluctant agreement when she had to leave again, if only to get what would eventually make him better. He had felt proud when her eyes gave away some attraction to his blood. It was validation as good as any, to the made son.

It was a welcome thing, that she lifted his arm and continued to tend to the wound. The crater had made its own attempt at shutting, edges webbed but not enough to draw the gash to a close. In the beginning, again like some spoiled child, he let her hold the arm up all by herself, but eventually he quickened from this dream, and used his own strength to keep it elevated while she worked equal parts magic and science.

A new sibling. She was always making more. Despite their inevitable impact on his life, Pello would usually not be so involved in them until they were thrust into the hierarchy. He had not had a problem with Marshall to begin with. The needle registered in him when she introduced it to his wound. It didn’t smart as much as the glass shield, and wasn’t anywhere as much of a punishment as the blade of the dhampir had been, even though that hadn’t broken through, but rather tossed him, thanks to his natural and worn armor.

“Dragon.” He said with a huff, as though the thought of something being stronger than him was preposterous. “I’ll bring them all home.” He bragged, scales gathering on the center line of his mussel again, showing teeth at the thought. He liked proving himself, both for his attachment to Amaranth, and to show off Marshall. She had padded his ego well, too. “And then I’ll tend to the dhampir problem.” An afterthought finally struck him. “And that green haired mutant too.”

--

Left Hand was going on about how good it would be to have another parasite to speak to, if only D would sacrifice his right hand, as well. D listened as he waited out the day. He didn’t have the luxury of waiting long. Left Hand quieted around the same time D’s eyes turned to the mouth of the alley. He moved off from the wall. A man that was also a wolf. Amaranth was well set, here. Werewolves were always trouble if they weren’t on your side.

“I will.” He said as he looked at the adversary through the slit between the rim of his hat and his scarf. “If your master leaves as well.” Good instincts on wolves. D preferred to tell the truth. He should be mostly invisible to most eyes in here, but this creature would probably be able to see him rather well. D took a few steps closer. His hands were lax by his side, but the right one was ready to flicker to the sword on his back and bring it down vertically, cutting across the space that the wolf now occupied if any movement was made that could be extended to an attack. The ability of werewolves varied, of course. He wondered about the competence of this one. “Or gives back the people that are missing.”

He preferred to use the sword in battle, and the sword preferred the open space behind the wolf. That first slash would have to do well in creating enough distance that he could continue any exchange. D lifted his head to look at the wolf, half of his face still obscured by the stripes of his scarf.

Krystal Itzume

  • Caesar
  • Posts: 2861
  • A Tempest Must Be Just That
    • View Profile
Re: Vampire Hunter D: Nesting Doll
« Reply #25 on: June 25, 2015, 07:10:12 pm »
Lydia turned the pages, mostly pausing on the ones with pictures since the text was always in reference to the images. She imagined Oleyo would glean as much as she had from this text, skimming the text for important words or details. “It is, for a Noble with no family,” Lydia pointed out.

Grand texts usually were grander because they spoke of family accomplishments. These were all Amaranth’s own.

Oleyo inquired on how it was gotten, and Lydia’s grin broadened quite a bit when he shifted his gaze to her, to ask if it was D.
“It was. There’s no mistaking it.” No hunter worth their salt would mistake D. His position in the hunter world was enviable. “He tossed it to me when our conversation was so rudely broken by that scaled mutant,” there was a touch of disappointment, and perhaps, a touch of blame, in her tone. “But he did just hand it off to me, as you say. We're on the same search, too, for Wallace and Gregory. He's looking for others as well.”

~***~

The stitching began with the huff, and Amaranth smiled. Pello’s ego wasn’t too fragile today. That was good. The smile grew at his promise to bring them all, and she might have laughed in joy were it not for new information.


“Green-haired mutant?”
Amaranth inquired, keeping her tone curious rather than suspicious. This one hadn’t been mentioned yet, and no one had come to report on a green-haired mutant. She didn’t ask what he did. Pello would give her that information, now that she’d asked.

Her gaze fell to the wound completely then, though they’d note his posture. Stitching was a business that required focus, for she wanted it to look seamless. She didn’t want anyone to be able to know that this area in particular was tender, and would break easier. Not that anyone would see it under all of Pello’s armor.

Still, she took pride in her work, and this was her work. Pello would look perfect before he left her side.


~***~

There had been a second voice, but as the wolf examined the alley, he didn’t see a second figure. He shook it off for the moment, his focus on the dhampir who said that he would leave, but conditionally.

There was tension in the wolf’s body, and in the dhampirs.
“This town is protected by Amaranth. The wastes outside would eat it alive if she left.” Marshall challenged, wondering if the dhampir would be so cold as to prefer that. “As for any people missing to the outside world, they are no longer here, or else have decided to live here.”

That much Marshall believed to be true, even if he also knew it was a half-truth. The missing people were dead, or no longer the people they had once been. Aila and Pello were prime examples of that. If they remembered who they had once been, it did not matter anymore to them. They took to their new roles in life and their new jobs easily.

He could continue the lie, suggest that they were killed en route to their homes or employers, but that would be too defensive. He could tell the dhampir to search high and low, but that would be taken as a challenge, and the dhampir was already doing that. He could say no one was here against their will, and while that was true, it would likely be proven momentarily false if D tried to watch that new mutant, Oleyo. No doubt Oleyo didn’t intend to stay here forever. Marshall would consider it a blessing if he did. That happened.
“There is no one to give back, dhampir, so there is no reason to stay.”

If he wouldn’t be reasonable about this, Marshall imagined he’d have to resort to unreasonable tactics himself. He knew, unlike Pello, when he was looking at someone who could match him, though. He was not looking forward to that idea, but his muscles were tensed, particularly his legs. He’d spring. That would be the fastest method, after all, and speed was required against anything even a little bit Noble.

« Last Edit: June 25, 2015, 07:13:28 pm by Krystal Itzume »

Verse

  • Posts: 1443
  • blue in nothing
    • View Profile
Re: Vampire Hunter D: Nesting Doll
« Reply #26 on: June 26, 2015, 02:38:15 pm »
Black eyes hardened slightly when he detected the trail of accusation in her voice. He didn't hide his emotions from her, especially when they were about her. He'd not realized that prodding the cat about the mission would have been so dangerous for his partner. Of course it would. The anger lining the frames of his eyes was directed inward. She would know the difference. Every now and then, as they walked, he would hold the book to the side again, so she could continue flip the page for him.

"Competition from D himself." he muttered as he took in the information. "Hopefully we'll fare better than the Markus Brothers." If it sounded as though he thought that one was D's fault, it wasn't so. But the brothers had been on the same mission as the famous dhampir, and failed. It seemed the same tactic they'd employed then could be applied here, though, perhaps with more success. "It could be fruitful. If D's looking for others, then perhaps we could either negotiate for Wallace and Gergory, or he'll do some of the work for us." he blinked as he thought about another way. "Or we could even collaborate." Oleyo looked at Lydia then, closing the book when he really wanted to clench his fist, a little sign of agitation, as he waited for her reaction. She already seemed connected to D.

--

Pello was alright with the needle after the first initial sting. He nodded at her question as he thought back. “Attire not entirely unlike the dhampir, but gray scarf, white armor.” He sneezed at the memory. Compared to the all-black enemy, the mutant had been unoffending, somehow, but still, he was why Pello was now here, being stitched up. “He had a glass shield, chummy with that nun that likes to boss around the other monks and nuns.” Some of the anger was gone from his voice, sensing Amaranth’s concentration, and trying to keep still for her efforts rather than focusing on the anger. “Cut me with his shield of all things.” Which would explain to her the  glass glitter in the blood. “ Think I’ll have him for a light snack, after the dhampir” He cleared his throat. “is captured. And the dragon hunt.” A frown on the reptilian features. “There’s lots I have to do before I get to him. No matter. He’s not important.”

The mutant dragon turned his head slightly to the side, looking at her as she was engrossed in mending him. He wasn’t sentimental about anything but her. His narrow tongue flicked it’s two ends out to taste her air. He didn’t assume that he could touch her with it, so he didn’t. “Don’t worry. I’ll make you proud.” He promised.

--

D listened to the wolf as it spoke. Level-headed leader. He would have preferred a quick-to-anger adolescent. D took another step, controlled. At this distance, if they wanted to, the fight could be one of fisticuffs. A disadvantage for the dhampir’s blade, but not for the handle. He could easily draw the sword and wedge its wooden end into the wolf’s body if need be. No one to give back. It rung truer than the rest. The hat lifted as D fully met the yellow eyes. As always, he would be a wondrous face floating atop a lithe, blackened, armored body.

“I’ve gotten paid already, in part. There is no reason to leave, either.” He said and calmly nodded for the outside, beyond the wolven shoulders, out of this night place during high day. “I’ll go see Amaranth. Perhaps she’s missed someone.” Provocative, but true. He didn’t give the truth if it would hurt his goals, but he didn’t lie when he could help it. If there were people here that the noble had not claimed because they were deemed  not worthy or had yet to cross her path, they could still be saved. If the people paying would hope, then so D had to, until he could prove the opposite. Anything less would be a poorly executed job.

He made to walk past the wolf. A dangerous thing. All  his senses became external as he started moving his legs. Any direct attack should be deflectable with the lift of his sword, and then he could slide back onto the grass with the entire arsenal of his swordsmanship to his disposal. He imagined that if the spry wolf decided to jump, he could just send a traveling vacuum slash after it. Still, all this risk was worth it instead of engaging first. If this guard of the nobel preferred laced conversation over combat, then D would simply do what he had said, and go unbothered to the castle.

Krystal Itzume

  • Caesar
  • Posts: 2861
  • A Tempest Must Be Just That
    • View Profile
Re: Vampire Hunter D: Nesting Doll
« Reply #27 on: June 26, 2015, 03:42:09 pm »
The inward anger was appreciated, and so Lydia felt the appropriate amount of guilt for inspiring it. There was no verbal apology, for it would only be half-sincere, but there was a chiding smile to tell him it was all right.

“We’re not half as stupid as the Markus Brothers,”
Lydia noted, believing it to be true. Stories had come out about them, after their death. They used a bed-ridden relative and were quite unkind to the only female with them. They were good at what they did, but that was their downfall. It was all they knew. Handling a dhampir, or even other hunters, was not their strong point. Others before D had fallen to them. “I wouldn’t be opposed to working with D,” she knew this would come up, knew this was where she’d say, “I rather like him. You might, too.”

Whether or not that was true was to be seen. There was more to say, and she’d not hide it and lie by omission,
“I think he knows more about me, or he believes that he does.” That interested her. If D would be as free with that information as he was the book, which was now on the topic of all that occurred after the fall, then she’d certainly learn what the dhampir thought he knew of ‘Tepes’.

~***~

The sneeze ran up Pello’s body before it exited, and Amaranth held her needle away so the work wouldn’t be messed up. Then she continued, and listened to the talk about this other mutant. It seemed this was the one that truly bothered Pello. Usually, Amaranth had no use for other mutants. Some of them were malleable, and Amaranth did desire to learn more about mutating mutants.

It wasn’t something she ever wanted to do to those that were hers. This green-haired one could have been useful, but she understood already what he was.
“Another hunter,” the words were more for herself. Who was it, she wondered, that had inspired this hunt? No one usually came for those she took.

The stitching finished, and Amaranth calmly opened the top to a balm. She ran her finger over the white balm, and then applied it over the closed wound. It would seal it, and protect it. The thread would dissolve over time, so no second check-in would be necessary to remove it.

Her eyes finally lifted to her dragon’s as he made his promise. She lightly placed a hand on the top of his shoulder as she leaned forward in her action to rise from the couch, pausing close to say,
“I know you will, Pello,” before bringing herself to her full height. “Was this green-haired one alone?” She found it difficult to believe so many would be trying to hunt her alone. She was certain she had a better reputation than that.

Was it their ego, or had her reputation faltered over the years hidden away in Euboea?


~***~

The wolf was better at night, its powers dictated by the moon, yet he was a day guard of Amaranth. A night guard, for most of the night. Sleep occurred in the few hours before morning. Though the wolf knew the dhampir couldn’t be enjoying the day, he had grown up with a Noble who could fling him across a room during the day if she so desired it—it would be stupid to depend on that supposed advantage.

Yet, as the dhampir made his intentions clear, Marshall understood there wasn’t much of a choice. Though the dhampir spoke well, was calm, and was confusingly pretty, Marshall knew where all of that would lead. This man was paid, and that seemed a prime motivator. Marshall felt bad that he hadn’t introduced himself. It never seemed proper to engage an opponent without such a thing, but there was no choice. He had no intention of letting this dhampir meet Amaranth. Not if he could stop it.

He wouldn’t wait to strike the dhampir from behind. He wouldn’t even wait for the dhampir to pass or be at his side. As accustomed as he was to living, if he was to die he was dying with honor. If he was to kill, he was killing with honor. So he lunged forward when the dhampir took a step to the side to pass, claws extending out, a sparkle of gems encrusted—not for looks but for the strength the diamond added, Amaranth had told him.

One set remained near his torso to protect himself, and the other swung at the dhampir’s face.


Verse

  • Posts: 1443
  • blue in nothing
    • View Profile
Re: Vampire Hunter D: Nesting Doll
« Reply #28 on: June 26, 2015, 05:58:54 pm »
He wished he had said the words, apologized to her face. She let him off, knowing his meaning. He supposed that was all she needed. A cowardly act from him, but not so cowardly that he had to rectify it. He took it then, this little kindness and felt content enough. He even smiled at her remark about the Markus brothers. And then he was not so content, when she agreed in a little way to work with D. He knew himself enough to look straight into the book when she admitted to liking him.

It wasn't made better by what she hoped she might get out of meeting D again. Oleyo would have to be coldhearted not to understand that sentiment, though. Every mutant struggled with its origin, or the origin of its parts. Lydia was a mystery to her self. Oleyo found himself wishing D would not have the answers she wanted, but realized that he'd rather see her happy in that sense, than unhappy about another lead, leading to nothing. He'd had the luck of fully knowing his own story, and sometimes felt a kind of alienation when he saw the heartbreak in others, one completely different from his own. He didn't have to warn Lydia about this, she knew answers could often times lead to a knot in your stomach.

"Then we should try to have an exchange next time we meet him." he said and closed the book. He handed her the book back as they kept walking for the castle. "Of course, then we better have something to contribute." he said, watching the growing buildings in front of them. It wasn't hard to get to the castle from its connecting church, after all.

--

Pello realized he should have lead with that. A hunter. That was most important, wasn't it, to Amaranth? He would try to remember to be more to the point, good with the details, like Marshall. That thought was misplaced in Pello's memory very shortly after conception.

The ointment was numbing first, and then warm as it stimulated regrowth. He liked to feel his skin regenerate itself, smaller scales blossoming underneath his flesh to soon take the place of the damaged ones above. He could marvel immensely at his own blessings, Pello. He looked at her before he turned his head to find the sleeve to his armor. "Not alone. I saw a blond with him. Marks in her. It struck me as odd. Mutant too, if I'm to guess." As he picked up the golden arm and slid it on he corrected himself. "A hunter, another hunter." Just like she had said.

He stood and rolled his shoulder carefully to test the stitches. They felt better. Didn't smart as much when it wasn't open, and the ointment delivered enough anesthetics to let him be comfortable, although the heat still made him aware. Probably good. He wouldn't want to tear it by forgetting.

"Would you like me to take her too? She looked tastier than the green haired mutant." He, like any living thing, had an inclination toward the pretty ones. A palled or a tongue, rather. That was to say, he might try to have a bite of her, even if she wasn't directly placed on the menu.

--

D could sense some of the tension and, in the end, the resolve in the wolf. It moved sooner than he'd hoped. Those gems caught some shine even in this darkness. D lifted his sword hand and twisted around, as though he was going to take the claws with the back of his head. The sword, still on his back, caught the slash on its handle and hand guards. With his cape already flailing, D darted out, sliding to that stop, sword drawn after having attempted a shallow cut only to meet with the other hand of the wolf when he'd targeted his chest.

"Loyal." D said. It was both in pity and admiration. To the wolves that were hunters, there was more to it than duty. Something deeper. This one should be even closer to its master.

The dhampir pulled his sword back, the trunk of the blade by his cheek as he dug his heels in. The next moment that came saw the vanishing of D, and then he came to be a couple of feet from the wolf's face, slash already executed. it was wide enough to cut the two houses on either side of the werewolf, and would mean a devastating separation, torso from hip, if the wolf did not take measures.

Krystal Itzume

  • Caesar
  • Posts: 2861
  • A Tempest Must Be Just That
    • View Profile
Re: Vampire Hunter D: Nesting Doll
« Reply #29 on: June 26, 2015, 06:51:58 pm »
Lydia had expected that Oleyo would not be happy with her news. She could chide him about it, tease, imply, but such would likely only be salt in a wound she didn’t fully understand. She understood enough to know that her words would not be well received, and for now, that was all the knowledge she needed.

The book was folded under her arm as she glanced up to the castle,
“Yes, we ought to,” she cast a glance to him, “We might gain something from that cat who was soft on you,” though by direction, it was evident Oleyo had other ideas in mind. Something more direct, perhaps. Lydia wasn’t sure how close Oleyo planned to venture, but her eyes went to the walls. She’d already decided earlier this place was unusually guarded—as in, for someone of Amaranth’s stature, there was less than expected. “There’s a garden here, too. Fireflies were flashing,” she thought to mention, since she had found it strange.

The orb was removed from a pocket then, as she recalled how she’d gained her information. The sun struck it nicely, and she rolled the orb to take in images from other reflective surfaces as they walked.
“No windows, no open doors,” so she still couldn’t get a look in.

~***~

Two hunters, together. That was better, a stroke to the ego. Mutants, even—skilled and long-lived individuals, then. At the question Pello asked, she gave a nod,
“Yes, but do let them cause trouble first,” appearances were important to the townsfolk. She couldn’t have Pello just walk up to someone and execute them, even if they were there to kill Amaranth.

Until that was officially declared, she had to assume they were innocent of harboring such a desire, but Amaranth hadn’t lived this long by waiting for others to strike. No, it was why even now she was planning to deal with a Noble that she knew she could not take in a fair fight, and she would not fight fair.

Marshall was the honorable one. Amaranth was the clever one.
“Rest for tonight, Pello, or at least take it easy. Our venture is more important.” As he had said, even if he felt otherwise.

~***~

The first moves revealed much. Marshall knew the dhampir would be fast, though admittedly, he hadn’t expected this fast. Dhampir were meant to be lesser Nobles, but this seemed just as quick as any Noble. Certainly as quick as Amaranth. He was able to protect himself from harm with the diamond-hard claws, and he just took the force rather than the slash.

Nails broke through the shoes he’d been wearing to scrape into the ground and slow his progress backwards from the dhampir. The word loyal caused his lips to move, something between a sneer and a smile. He heard both the pity and admiration. He accepted both.

Scent was better than sight in this case. D’s scent hit the werewolf a moment after he was out of sight, and the wolf had sense enough to take a step back, and then jump backwards. It was artful, a backflip as the slash came at the space he’d been, too low then to hit the wolf. He dropped back to his feet as the slash was completed, one hand falling to the ground as the force of the landing came, to steady himself.

He didn’t delay, for delaying would allow D more time to think and prepare. There was a cost on his end, too, but the wolf was a creature of instinct and Marshall imagined he could win if he kept D on his toes. His strike wasn’t for the torso, or even anything crucial. He made it low, a bull-rush that seemed to be aimed at the torso. However, Marshall intended to duck near contact, and bring D to the by wrapping one arm around those knees. He’d fall with D, but he’d be on top, if he were successful.