D pressed on despite the mutterings coming from his left palm, his horse trotted on through the thick brush. His senses heightened picking up on the essence of a noble. The chattering hand went quiet, “This is turning ugly real fast. Wait, I hear something. Yes, up ahead!” D gave the reins a quick snap and forced his horse into a gallop forwards. D’s keen ears heard the clash of swords and smell of blood ahead, just before they broke into the clearing. It was a sight that was unheard of before D’s eyes. A noble stood in the middle with his sword pointed at Day Guardian who was being attacked by a pack of werewolves. “What the? What witchery is this?” Lefty exclaimed.
Day Guardian was taking on five werewolves, his left arm had been slashed but there he still held a gun firmly shooting the furthest wolf from him in the head. “One down, four to go.” Don muttered, parrying the greyish wolf’s claws away with his sword before kicking the black wolf in the neck sending it back 10 feet. The noble snarled, “Kill him! Rip him to pieces you useless pieces of scrap!” The greyish wolf growled and sank its teeth into Don’s shoulder right just as he stabbed the other wolf in the heart. It took everything in Don not to wince, to give the noble satisfaction that he was in pain. This was all for fun and kicks. This very fact made Don disgusted, that the noble enjoyed inflicting pain on humans for fun. With his loaded pistol he shot the grey wolf in the head and pried it off. That left one, one solitary wolf and its master. “That’s all you got you mangy mutt?” Don jeered, grinning maniacally. The noble gritted his teeth annoyed, “You will die here Day Guardian. I will hear you scream. Get him!” With a mighty howl the wolf charged at Don. Don, shook his head. “Getting others to do your work…how pathetic.” He said to himself as his sword glowed and slashed through the wolf seamlessly. His wounds were slowly healing, but still not fast enough. D noticed the slow regeneration, “Well, that must be quite annoying. That’s a disadvantage we can use against him.” Lefty noted. The noble turned and hissed seeing D standing a few feet away. “The Legendary Hunter D, so that sheriff hired you as well. How perfectly, irritating.” He hissed narrowing his eyes. D dismounted his horse and lunged for the noble, sword pointing at his heart. With a wicked smile the noble pulled his cloak around him and disappeared instantly.
D turned aware that weapons were pointed at his back, Day Guardian’s defense was up. Eyebrows raised under that wide hat of D’s when he saw the hunter’s eyes. Day Guardian’s eyes glowed, but not red like they were supposed to, just a very bright blue. “I don’t want to have to kill you, but stay out of my way D” He threatened, his voice dropping almost to a harsh snarl. Lefty laughed which caused Day Guardian to cock his gun. “Who goes there!?” D tilted his head at Day Guardian curiously, somehow was it possible that he heard Lefty? No, it couldn’t be. Lefty’s interest was perked, “what are you afraid of bogeymen Day Guardian?” Don growled at D, “What are you playing at D? Who’s with you, I thought you worked alone.” D looked straight at Day Guardian, “I don’t have time for your questions.” With that said he got back onto his horse. He had to find the children before Day Guardian. His eyes skimmed over the corpse, it seems they were too late for the woman. That was going to cost them some money.
Something inside Don snapped as he pulled the trigger of his pistol Glory and aimed for D. Instantly he whipped around and his sword sliced the bullet in half. D was not impressed by the sneak attack Don had attempted. Lefty scoffed, “That was a cheap trick. Pretty low of you Day Guardian. Where’s the honour of shooting a man in the back?”
Don rolled his eyes pushing his hat up, “you are anything but honourable. I am doing the world a favour. Justice will be served.” He holstered his gun and walked away, silently cursing in his mind for what he had done. He had allowed the vampire inside him a moment of vengeance. He knew better than to fall victim to indulgence, it would start him into darker paths. Don felt ashamed, he could feel Mika’s worry and his parent’s disappointment. He started into a run, he had to finish this job.
Don ran for a bit before stopping at a large ash tree, he thought he had heard something. Pausing and shutting his eyes, he listened. The wind rustling the leaves and the trees groaning. A horses hooves pounding the ground 30 metres away. Forcing his vampiric hearing to pick up more, he heard a child’s whimper. “Help…anyone. Please.” His eyes flew open, as he turned right instantly he knew he was on the right path when he heard another voice, it was a little girl. “I don’t want to die…” Don’s sword glowed brightly, that wretched noble was near too. Damn him, Don thought bitterly.
As he ran reminisce of an old stone pathway was in front of him. His feet left no sound and effortlessly pushed him towards the children. The trees were thinning out as he advanced further and he stopped at the building that stood before him. Imposing and mockingly, it was a fortress. The walls that surrounded it contorted into a maze. The vampire must have put up those walls for intruders. This will be no easy task, Don thought as he dared to enter the maze.
The horse brayed stopping at the ash tree suddenly, it was a fork in the road. D looked both ways then looked right. Day Guardian went right, D could still smell his blood. “Poor bastard’s still bleeding, I don’t envy that kid.” Lefty added to D’s silent thoughts. They gained on Day Guardian’s trail reaching the fortress. “Well, isn’t this just great? Let’s just waltz right into his trap.” D’s hand sarcastically remarked. D disregarded it and slipped off his horse going into the maze himself.
It was quite disorienting for human hunters if they were to enter. Much of it looked identical to the beginning, but it was created that way. The magic in the maze would easily fool a human. D touched the wall with the hand that Lefty occupied. “hrmm…hey I see the Day Guardian. He’s got his hands full with one hell of a beast. It’s a chimera!” D nodded, so there was creatures in the maze too. A chimera was more than formidable. Sporting three heads and a snake tail it was more than enough to handle.
Lefty chuckled watching Don get slammed by the snake head against the wall. His sword flew under the beast, the lion head grinned at him evilly. Don stood back up, left only with his gun he aimed at the two other heads causing the chimera to buck and rear up from pain. Taking advantage of the gap, Don dived for the opening.
D felt something move on their side of the maze, Lefty shifted his attention too sensing the presence. A small boy rounded the corner and slammed into D. He looked up startled and afraid. “Ah! S-sorry mister…” D kneeled down to the boy’s level. “Where are the others?” He asked him.
Don grasped his sword and rolled onto his back impaling the beast from beneath. The blood streaming down his sword from its stomach wound. Scrambling away as the chimera roared and whined, Don broke away from the battle to run around the corner deeper into the maze. His breathe was ragged as the chimera broke a few of his ribs, that was going to take a long time to heal even though it was still faster than a human’s rate of healing. The sword glowed brighter as he continued further in, he was getting closer. Turning the left corner he saw a staircase leading down. “Great….looks like I’ll be going underground.” He stepped carefully holding his sword in front with his gun aimed over it.
The boy shook realising who the mysterious man was. “I uh…you can lead us out right?” D nodded, “yes, but I need to find the rest of the children first.” Sighing the boy agreed, “Ok. I can take you to the others. You better be serious that you will lead us out of this place because that vampire is trying to eat us. I don’t want to die” Standing up, D reassured the boy, “Your sheriff hired me to save you and the other children. That is what I am going to do.” The boy grinned and turned heel leading the way. “Gutsy Kid” Lefty remarked.
Don pressed his back into the wall as he slipped deeper into the passage. It was dark and damp, torches were on the walls, but of course none were lit. This was all to the vampire’s advantage. A sharp pain seared in Don’s throat causing him to cringe and cough. He was at his limit, all the blood loss had caused his vampire side to thirst for blood. Clutching at his throat he fell to his knees shaking. He could feel his heart palpitating as his fangs grew and the thirst intensified. His eyes glowing red in the darkness. -No… stop it. I can’t! I won’t!- Grabbing his weapons he dropped, he put his gun away and switched his sword over to the left hand. His nails scraped the walls as he forced himself to stand with his right hand. “I…won’t give in to you…never.” He gasped out stepping forward slowly, his breathing still uneven and shaky. He felt a presence to the left of the corridor he was about to pass. Uncertain and blinded by thirst he advanced anyway. There was a door with bars at the end of the hallway, he leaned against it.
He listened for anything on the other side of the door. There was shuffling, and whispers. It took everything in Don to speak in a normal voice, despite the vampire inside was clawing its way out. “Kids is that you?” There was silence, then a girl spoke. “Are you a hunter?” Don sighed, “Yes, it’s me Day Guardian. I’m here to save you all.” There was a cheer of excitement and chatter from behind the door. “It’s locked…can you break it open?” Don’s eyes darkened, he didn’t have much strength. He put both hands against the door pushing as hard as he could. It only groaned and gave slightly. –I’ll try using my weight against it. - Don took a few steps away and rammed his side into the door. That made Don wince and cringe for the wound on his shoulder from the wolf encounters didn’t heal yet. The impact caused the door the shake and warp, but not break yet. It was a hard fact that he did not want to admit. He didn’t have the strength to break the door.
D stepped in front of the boy as they descended into the darkness. “Do you remember how to get though the dark? Where are they?” The boy felt along the wall, “I may not be able to see but I do know they are stuck behind a door that’s locked. I managed to escape from the ropes that bound me, so I was further in.” D watched the boy as he grasped along the wall, then walked around the corner down the hallway. “Somewhere here…guys?” He called out. D pulled the boy back as he saw Day Guardian slumped on the ground. The boy clung to D, “What is it?” He cried out afraid. D, watched as Day Guardian raised his head. His red eyes glowing in the dark. A frightened whine came from the boy, “it’s the vampire…” Lefty narrowed his eyes, “This is not good.”