The sheriff’s office was not very large. There was some stairs to the left of the sheriff’s desk, and another desk near the front. Don looked around a bit more, kinda resembled a typical sheriff’s building from a bad cowboy movie. The thought of that made Don chuckle to himself, Don strolled up to the sheriff. “Hello Sheriff.”
The sheriff looked up at Don from under his hat, tilted it back and sighed. “ello there Day Guardian. Got ‘ere mighty fast yer did. Glad thou.”
“Yes I did, now shall we get down to business. Most the folk in this town ain’t too happy ‘bout my presence.” Don replied, shifting on his feet.
“Yes, let’s shall.”
“You said there was a kidnapping of a group of children and a young woman. Any bodies yet? Or other kidnappings?”
The sheriff leaned back in his chair propping up his feet. Putting his hat on the desk and sighing uneasy. “None yet, not sure if it’s good or bad yet. Hopin fer the best” Don nodded. “Agreed Sheriff. Best to hope but expect the worse. Do you know the culprit?”
The sheriff shook his head defeated, “No idea….There have been lots of sightings of wolves lately. Them dogs ain’t natural in this area.” Don’s eyes darkened. Wolves were not a good sign. “No, they aren’t. They could be shifters…or werewolves that can camouflage their identities very well.” The sheriff looked Don over then shrugged. “Well, I want them kids back and the woman if yer can. $50,000 is your reward if you succeed. Smirking, Don looked at the sheriff putting his hands on the desk and leaning forward. “What makes you think that they are still alive or in one piece Sheriff? Its werewolves most likely…I’ll tell ya, it’s easier to deal with vampires than those beasts.”
Standing up and matching Don’s fierce gaze the Sheriff challenged him, “Then I will raise the stakes to $70,000 and you better get going Day Guardian. You aren’t the only hunter I hired.”
Don’s eyebrow raised, “Oh? A challenger eh?” Crossing his arms satisfied, Sheriff added. “Yes, the great hunter, D.” Stifling a snarl, Don kept his feelings back. “I see. Well, I will be the one to take the reward. Turning Don headed out the door. –Damn that sheriff, I didn’t need this… D, I will be waiting- Hopping back onto Stella, Don looked around uneasy. People watched him at first but seemed to be distracted by something off in the distance. Don concentrated and narrowed his eyes to see what the hustle was about. The sight made him grit his teeth, fury clutching at his mind. A man in a wide brim hat and a dark cloak rode a black horse towards the town. There was no mistake, it was the vampire hunter D.
Just like Don, he was a dhampir. Stella brayed impatiently, tossing her head about. Tugging at the reins, Don made her turn heel and gallop away. Seeing D made him angry inside, boiling his blood. He hated the thought of being challenged. The man had no regard of morals, no respect for humanity or innocence. He was no better than the rest of the hunters in Don’s eyes. Keeping his eyes focused on the mountain side ahead and forested area, Don urged Stella into a full speed gallop. The further he got away from D, the better. He had a job to do, to rescue the children and the woman. He is the protector of the people, the innocence.
He pulled his scarf over his face, his eyes riddled with careful considerations of what he will encounter in the mountains. Werewolves were not usual suspects of kidnapping children, though women did happen to be a common trend around mating season. Unfortunate souls, the women that get abused by the beasts. Stella trotted near the edge of the forest nickering a bit, Don patted her flank. “Easy girl” Dismounting her he scanned the area for movement of any sorts. The forest was lush and green, but from what Don could see, it was sickly inside. An unnatural essence was among the growth. Don could see the dark aura in the center of the woods. –So…that is where they have hidden their selves, but the children…I hope that they are still drawing breathe.-
The townspeople made way for the hunter D. He made his way to the Sheriff’s office, who was already standing outside. Puffing on his cigar, he watched D closely. “Yer got my message did ya?” D simply nodded at the sheriff and spoke, “$50,000 for returning the children and the woman.” The sheriff crossed his arms and spat, “the stakes been raised. Now, $70,000 and I want them alive hunter. Yer got company too, Day Guardian is already sniffing them out.”
D nodded, but under that hat his eyes narrowed. Competition for the money, and it’s the legendary Day Guardian. D never seen him before, only heard of his tales and feats. He was a physical match to him, at least that is what the common folk thought. -We will see what you are capable of Day Guardian. The hunt is on-
Don walked into the forest cautiously, his hair stood on end as his eyes continued to dart back and forth. Brushes bustled about and trees creaked and groaned. This forest knew magic, dark magic. -Better get this done and over with- With that thought sent out, Don started into a run. Breathing in deeply he caught a scent, the scent of human blood. -The children...- Running north, he came across an opening where he could see a carcass of a human in the middle of the grassy area. It was of a woman. “Damn...they got to her already. But the children, where are they?” He dared to walk out in the opening. Though in his mind Don knew very well that this could be a trap and the wolves could ambush him at any given time. His sword glowed ominously, his hair stood on end from it. Shock riddled his mind and shook his emotions as the sickening realization kicked in. There was a noble nearby and the sun had begun to set.
D forced his horse to gallop across the plains to the forested side. It was clear that the kidnapper would need some type of coverage to hide his victims. With the setting sun, it put them at a disadvantage. “Looks like we got some challenges with this one.” A voice from his left hand droned on. D disregarded the voice, concentrating on the horizon. “Oh, are we not talking still or you getting riled up that the Day Guardian is in your way. That's it isn't it? People look up to him and look down on you, considering you both are Dhampirs. Funny how that is...” The left hand named Lefty added. They reached the edge, D peered at the forest, “He’s in there, and the children.” Lefty scoffed, “Well, he's stupid for entering in that forest. He will never get out alive. Looks like we're too late.”
D urged forward into the forest. “Wait! You can't be serious! D, this forest is cursed. Cursed I tell you! Turn back now, D. Are you listening to me?”