(Rewritten) D must hunt the one mark he thought he'd never accept... but the encounter unlocks a chain of events that causes his painful past to resurface, one even he couldn't cope with.
Disclaimer: Do I own D? Hell no. If I did, I'd be rich! RICH I TELL YOU! But I'm not rich. So I must not own him. Wahhh.... D:
The Wayward Child Returns
(Many ages ago...)
The sounds were deafening. So deafening, she could barely hear them over the ringing in her ears. The bombs and blasts and bullets; it seemed no matter how fast she ran, how far behind they became, the noise was relentless. The noblewoman dared not slow down, as if the next danger was trailing on her heels, waiting to destroy her and what she hold dear. Her once elegant dress, tattered and stained from the soot and dirt of the explosion she barely escaped, tore further on the wild brush and branches of the forest as she ran through the trees. She couldn't stop; no matter how pained and weak her legs became, how hard it seemed to push air in and out of her lungs, she could not stop. If she did, even for a moment, they may find her - find /them/. She couldn't let that happen.
After what seemed like an eternity, she finally felt it was safe to pause. Amongst the thick woodland, she was certain none would be able to find her; and when she looked back, she could barely see her crumbling castle home being torn apart by the horrific weapons of war. She sat down against a huge trunk, pressing herself into the shrubs surrounding her, trying to be as still and quiet as possible, though her gasping lungs helped her little. She lifted a hand to brush strings of long, dirty brown hair out of her face and tore off the thin piece of jeweled metal around her head that was her crown. If by chance she were still to be found, she wanted as little evidence as possible to point to her as being royalty. The pale, delicate human skin of her face was sullied with black patches of dirt, mixed with the sweat of exhaustion.
She looked down at the bundle in her arms, the thing she valued even more than her own life, and cradled it closer to her than she felt she ever had before. Looking down at the infant's small face, she smiled, despite all the fears of danger. The baby didn't cry - he rarely did as it was- but she could sense he was afraid by the way his tiny fingers clung to the cloth of her bosom. He looked up at her, pressing his round cheek against her, his pale blue eyes wide as if anticipating the next loud, bright, shattering occurrence; but as he looked up at his mother's face, his expression softened.
"It's alright, my love." The woman whispered as quietly as she could. "I won't let them hurt you. I won't let them touch you. Iswear..."
The baby smiled at the soft sound of her voice, the fear in his eyes covered by a look of pure, unconditional love. She concentrated on his face as he reached up a clumsy, stubby arm. The noise in the background seemed to fade into silence. When he touched her chin, the fear was gone; and for a moment, time stood still. It was just the two of them. No guns, no bombs, no blood; just them and the forest.
"Usa kaia..." A raspy voice muttered behind her.
The woman froze.
The fear was back.
"Ah!" She yelped as a violent arm grabbed the tattered dress of her shoulder and pulled her to her feet, out of the thick brush. She struggled, deathly clutching the child in her arms as the offender spun her around and grasped her by the arms.
"Lookit what I found!" The smug, grin of a red haired vampire laughed inches away from her face. His fangs were all too evident in his contemptuous expression and he stunk of gunpowder and blood.
"Let me go, you filth!" She demanded furiously, and kicked him square in the crotch.
The imperious look of his face quickly changed to that of anger and pain as he lost grip of her and moved to hold himself, hunching over in defeat. "You... bitch...!" He muttered through clenched teeth.
She gave him one last kick to the face, knocking him to the ground, and turned to flee, knowing he wasn't alone. She only got a few feet before another vampire stepped out in front of her. When she stumbled and tried to take off in another direction, there was another... then another... and another. Suddenly she was surrounded by a dozen enemy soldiers. All with the same red hair, the same grunt garb and the same smug look on their faces. They knew damn well who she was... and they weren't about to let her get away.
Her head twisted from side to side, swinging long, stringy locks with every movement, desperately trying to find an opening... but they closed in on her too fast. She was trapped. "No..." She said under her breath, panic setting in. She struggled and screamed as they began to grab her.
"Aku gnaku! Take her to the ship! And see to it she get their unscathed!" Their leader shouted and they began to carry her off.
It wasn't long before they arrived at the coast where alarge fleet ship was docked, the woman kicking and fighting the whole way. Even as she protectively coddled her child to her chest, she managed to kick one of them in the jaw and bite a good, bloody mark in the arm of another, but it wasn't enough to win her freedom.
They entered the boat and brought her down to the dungeon of the ship, where the screams and cries of dozens of other captives being kept in tiny cages echoed throughout the halls. They threw her into one of the empty cages. Three of them entered as well and stood around her, eying her... proud of their capture.
"Well, this is quite a surprise, milady. Had I known you'd be our guest of honor I might have prepared you some crumpets and cheese logs." The middle one, who seemed to be their leader, said with a sarcastic grin. The lot of them laughed piggishly at her dismay.
She pressed her back against the wall and looked up at them with a stern, angry face. Though her fear was at a height it had never been before, she dare not let it be known to these cretins.
"Ahh... no sense of humor?" He snickered.
"Once my husband finds out where I am-"
The bastard let out a bellowing laugh. "That fool? Now any other day I might be a bit shaken by that threat, but today... ho ho... today is a gloriousday for Pyrilis!" He said, raising his arms into the air. "Our army is massive and taking over your precious home as we speak! Even if your... husband/does survive the attack - and I can assure you he /wont/, he'll /never/find you." His grin got wider as he spoke. "For in a few hours, you'll be across the ocean in a land where /no one will ever be able to find you. You'll be sold off like any other human insect. Although with nobility like yours I can be sure to snatch a pretty penny." He leaned in and his eyes narrowed with gloat. "I'm sure there are plenty of vampires in Cyrion who would love to get their hands, and many other things, on your delicate, ripe skin."
She spat at him with disgust in her eyes, watching his grin fade as he pulled out a handkerchief to wipe off the saliva on his cheek. "It is you who are the fool! You don't know what you're getting into. You'll be hunted down like dogs!"
"Oh, I think not..." He said, stepping closer and cocking his head to the side. "What's that bundle you got their? Perhaps something Iwant?"
The woman's grip around the infant tightened her maternal instincts ready to whatever she needed to protect him.
"Take it." The vampire ordered his comrades; and with that, the two vampires at his side dove fore her.
"No!" She cried as one grabbed her arms from the back and pulled them apart, and the other one snatched the bundle out of her hands. "No!! Let him go! Get away!" She screamed, frantically kicking and squirming, but it was to no avail as the vampire held her back.
The mother watched fearfully as the soldier handed the child over to his leader, who smirked at her one more time before moving the blanket out of the way just enough to see what was inside. Suddenly his face contorted with disgust at the sight of the infant.
"This..." He said softly, unpleasant astonishment in his voice. "...abomination..." The vampire shot a look of hatred her way before beginning to pace around with the baby in his arms. "I knew the king of kings was a man of great stupidity... fighting for peace between our two races... having a human for a wife... falling on love with her... but /this/... /this/goes beyond all anyone could have ever expected." He grabbed the baby by the back of the neck and let the blanket around the child fall to the floor. "Take a good look, men!" He said, raising his voice and looking straight at the woman. "The son of the vampire king, heir to the throne of worlds, is a /dhampir/!" The leader shouted, and all his soldiers began wailing and cackling in both amusement and disgust.
Now, without the blanket to cover his small, delicate body, they could clearly see the child's pale white skin, tiny pointed ears - and when the child began to whimper and cry from the pain of the hard grip around his small head and neck - his tiny, sharp fangs barely beginning to emerge from his gums.
Offended and with a desperate need to have her baby back in her arms, the woman raised a leg and licked at the vampire holding her captive, successfully slamming her heel into his knee, causing his leg to bend unnaturally, and breaking his kneecap. The soldier cried out in pain, and when she broke free, another charged after her. She had just barely enough time to reach behind her and grasp a hidden dagger in the back of her dress, and then before he was able to swing his arms around her, drove the blade into the soldier's breast. He stumbled backwards, choking and gasping as he clutched the puncture in his heart; and as blood began to drip from his mouth, he collapsed - dead.
She held the blade behind her, in a defensive stance, ready to do the same to whoever tries again. "Give him back to me." She demanded with fire in her eyes. "Now!"
The vampire leader looked down at his deceased comrade, then looked back to her and smirked. "As you wish... milady." He extended the arm that was holding the sobbing child and let go, letting the infant drop to the ground, causing him to cry out louder than ever before, and shake with the pain and cold.
"What are you doing??" One of the soldiers asked their leader.
"Fear not. There's no reason to keep a mother from her child now. I'm sure she wants to say goodbye before they are both sold away." He began to leave, but stopped at the entrance to look back at her one more time. "You might want to pray for him to whatever god you humans pray to. For once you're separated, a dhampir in Cyrion will suffer aworst fate than you will ever know."
The horde of vampires turned and left her, snickering and snarling as they locked her cell door and passed. Once they were out of her sight, she put away her knife and scrambled for her child, grasping the blanket and hastily covering him with it. Once the crying infant was wrapped up again, she looked down at the hand that she was holding his head with and noticed blood - it was dripping from a cut in the back of the tiny baby's scalp.
Her eyes welled with tears and she held him close. "I'm sorry..." She whispered to him, trying to comfort him through the pain and the screams and cries of other cellmates. "I'm sorry... I'm so sorry..." The mother cradled him in her arms as tears rolled down her cheeks and she let fear set in once again.
Suddenly she heard the sound of clashing and grinding, like a machine turning on. When she looked up, she saw yellowish gas bellowing out of a vent on the ceiling. She looked back down and held her child tightly. There was no way to tell what this gas was, but it was quickly apparent. As the noise around her began to quell, she began to fall sleepy. She tried to resist the effect of the gas, but it was no use. Though she struggled to stay awake, she soon succumbed and everything went black.
When she awoke, a brightness blurred her vision. Still groggy from the airborne drug that had put her to sleep; she blinked several times before lifting her head. As she slowly began to remember why she was there, her eyes darted around in search for her baby, who she found sleeping soundly next to her. She smiled down at him and reached behind his head. Through thin locks of light brown hair and dried blood, she could feel the gash in his head had healed; and for a moment she thanked God that he was half vampire so that he may be spared the pain of a prolonged injury.
She lifted him and herself of the ground and slowly got on her feet. Looking around again she noticed that the bright light she saw outside of her cell was sunlight... and her cell door was wide open. The woman blinked several times again, trying to make sense of the situation. Slowly and cautiously, she approached the door, taking quiet footsteps.
Aside from the hay crunching under her feet, there was only silence. No screams from captives. No voices of menacing vampires; only the gentle song of the birds outside.
As she stepped out of the cell, clutching her sleeping child to her chest, she looked around. All of the cells were open and there wasn't asoul anywhere. She slowly made her way to the exit, where the sun spilled into the chamber, keeping her eyes and ears open for any surprises. As she walked outside, into the warm sun, she saw the new world she was in. It was so very different from the one she had come from. Every tree, every plant, shrub and flower were alien to her. It was so very beautiful, and yet, it was the last place she wanted to be.
She looked back at the ship she had been held captive on. Smoke rose from several areas and the hull was riddled with bullet holes. Apparently, they were attacked as soon as they came ashore. Whether this was agood or bad thing, she didn't know; but whoever attacked didn't take her with them.
"...Where are we...?" She asked quietly, as if half expecting the trees to give her an answer.
"We're in Cyrion." An old, but strong male voice said to her.
She spun around and stumbled back. "Stay away!" She shouted before even seeing this persons face. It was an old man - human. He stood several feet away from her, wearing tattered old jeans and a dirty jacket. His beard was long and white and his eyes were kind.
"Hey!" He yelped in surprise. "I didn't mean to scare you."
Startled, she reached back and pulled out her knife again. "Don't come near me!"
"Hey, it's okay!" He said earnestly, putting his hands up in the air to show he had no weapon. "I just came back to make sure no one got left behind!"
"...Who...?" She started to ask, confusedly, as she looked him over.
"It's okay." He assured her, his voice gentle and sincere. "I was a prisoner, like you. There's a lot of us." The old man pointed behind him to a nearly closed off wall of thick trees. "Behind there is a caravan. It's come to take us all to safety."
She glanced at the trees, then back at him. "How do I know you're not lying?"
"Please, believe me. I'm a Velourish worker. Look." He quickly removed his coat and tossed it to her. "This is my company jacket. Look and you'll see. That logo is the mark of a castle labor worker. You must know this. In the pocket you'll find my worker ID."
Cautiously, clutching her baby in one arm, she kneeled down with the hand that held the knife and used a pair of fingers to find the logo sewed onto the jacket, and then pulled his ID from the pocket.
Sure enough, she found a little piece of plastic with his face and name on it, and the name of the Velourish laborers union. She left his jacket on the ground and slowly began to walk sideways to her right, peering through the trees until she was at an angle where she could see the caravan and several human people standing and sitting nearby.
She looked back at him, now beginning to believe what he's saying was true. "How did we escape?"
"We didn't. The Shasa were waiting for them here. They attacked the vampires and saved us all."
"The Shasa...?" She thought aloud. She knew that name, but only vaguely. She knew for certain, however, that they were no friend of Pyrilis. She wondered back over and picked up his jacket, then walked over to him.
Once she was close enough to hand him back the coat, the looked down, then back up, both shamefully and apologetically. "I'm sorry... Iwas just... I was so..."
He smiled at her and put a gentle hand on her shoulder. "It's alright. We all were." He said understandingly, then looked down at the child in her hands. Suddenly his eyes grew wide. "Oh!"
Her lips parted in distress as she held the baby tighter. "I... please... he's just..."
He looked back up at her and smiled. "Shh, it's alright. I've just never seen a dhampir before. Just a surprise, that's all." He assured her. "Cute little fella, isn't he?"
She smiled back at him, then looked down at the tiny bundle.
"Come, let's get you two to safety."
She nodded as he put a hand on her shoulder and began to lead her to the caravan. "My name is Markus."
"Oh!" She said, attempting to answer, but suddenly realizing it would probably be best not to use their real names; the less people who knew of her royalty, the better. "I'm... Nadia."
"And who's the little guy?"
"Uh... Eko..." She nodded. "His name is Eko."
When the Sky Cries Silence
A Vamprire Hunter D Fanfiction
by Kryslynn Roujhe
Even with enhanced vision, seeing was almost impossible. The fog, blinding darkness, thick forest and rain drops that relentlessly showered upon him like cold, wet needles made it difficult for the hunter to maneuver his cyborg through the brush and ancient, mossy trees. He could see little more than darkness littered with long strings of precipitation as the rain attacked the muddied earth, allowing little warning of the fallen trees and dead trunks that obscured his path. Whenever the horse reared its head in excitement and exertion, beads of rain water danced in the air as they jumped from the stallion's thick, dark mane. D himself was soaked to the core. His hair and clothes hung heavily as cold, wet streams flowed down his body and flung off the end of his cloak. Large drops of rain splattered against his hat, causing loud, beating noises like rain hitting and umbrella. Any water that didn't catch on him or his horse, zipped past them, diving into the mud below.
"D! D!! Are you listening???" His left hand shrieked, trying to get his attention through all the commotion. "Man... I can't believe you took this job!" The symbiote cried worriedly, sputtering against the rain. "If you try to fight him, he'll kill you!"
"No, he won't." D said calmly, slightly straining his voice over the noise of the heavy rain and galloping hoofs.
"Oh, come on. How long's it been? He might not be the same, you know? He might be like... a giant toad or something!"
"I can see the towers. We're almost there." In the distance, three enormous, looming towers sliced through the clouds beyond, darkening the midnight sky with their ominous presence - barely illuminated by the silver light of the moon when it broke through the billowy masses above.
The dhampir felt an unpleasant shutter run down his spine as his pale blue eyes gazed up and the massive structures. The unwanted familiarity of this building made his stomach turn.
D tugged on the reigns as he approached the outer gate. The black steel was riddled with ivy and other plant life. In the rain, you could vaguely make out the sparkling jewels hidden amongst the leaves. Looking up, he eyed his path as the rain grew lighter and the moonlight began to shine brighter through the darkness. In front of him was a very, very long and wide wooden bridge, lined with the same steel with designs that curved and circled their way to the other side.
Beyond, through the fog, he could see the castle. It was massive, more so than any other he has yet to witness in his long life. As he began to make his way over the bridge, he could barely make out the grand artwork that covered every inch of the surface of this ancient building. Dwarfed by the castle itself, giant statues of angels, devils, gargoyles and the like emerged through the corners of the great structure, staring down at the visitor with gleaming eyes of precious gems.
D looked around, trotting slowly across the bridge. He could see only blackness on either side of the enormous crossing. Trailing for miles adjacent to the wall of the castle was a massive chasm that was as wide as the bridge was long. Looking down into it, you could see the thick fog falling for miles, settling on the bottom, like a waterfall of smoke. It left an ominous atmosphere that made this place feel truly ancient.
When he finally came to the front doors, which towered above him like trees, he gazed up and the intricate designs. They were of gold and marble, heavily bejeweled carvings of ancient creatures, with statues that rose from around and above the massive doors. In remarkably good condition for its staggering age, this giant artifact showed its time only through the plants climbing up the castle walls, growing in and out of the scattered cracks.
The hunter came close. "It is I..." He said barely above awhisper, then looked up as if asking for permission. "D."
Almost immediately, D heard the sound of old gears and machinery clanking and grinding together. Moments later, the doors began to slowly part.
D took the invitation and cautiously entered the candle-lit corridor. He soon heard the doors close behind him with a loud creek and rumble. He looked around. Above each wall of the walkway were two balconies that extended the length of the hallway. Filling those balconies were the guardian beasts D had encountered at almost every vampire castle he'd ever been to; but these guardians were different. They were no common barbaroi. These were hand crafted by powerful magics. Conjured to be strong, noble andbeautiful as well; unlike the hired monsters.
The creatures didn't bother him. In fact, they seemed to be/bowing/ to him. Then a pair of them even went out of their way to open the door at the end of the hall to let him in. He passed them slowly, still cautiously looking over his shoulder.
Once the door closed, he dismounted and he looked at what was now in front of him. A large, round fountain in the middle of a huge entry way. The huge glass statue in the middle of the water depicted two lovers - a vampire and a human. Its gentle trickle might have offered comfort for a moment, but D could take pleasure in little at a time like this.
Above the statue was a giant chandelier that hung from adome of colorful stained-glass windows - which shined an array of colored lights about the castle as the moonlight broke through. Along the round wall of the room, an equally huge staircase with bright red carpet spiralled upwards. It's trail followed by a long indent in the wall that held hundreds of candles.
On the bottom floor there were several large doors and awide hallway behind the fountain. He proceeded down the hallway and found himself in an abandoned party hall. It was completely empty. Except for three long, bare tables, there were only paintings of ancient vampire leaders that decorated this room. It was strange seeing it so bare. This was /not/how D remembered this place.
Once he got to the end of the room he found one painting in particular. A painting of the man he was here to hunt. For several moments, he just stared up at the piece of work.
Soon he heard a soft patter of feet wander up behind him. It belonged to a furry, blue creature about as tall as an eight year old child. He had the body and tail of a monkey and the hands, feet, and face of areptile. He seemed shy and intimidated.
"Uhm... May I be of service to you... Master?" The servant asked timidly.
D turned his head only slightly in regard, then after a moment's hesitation, looked back up at the painting and answered. "I am not your master."
The creature opened its mouth to say something more, but the dhampir interrupted him.
"Go. I have need of you not." D commanded, lowering his head now.
"Yes, master..." The creature obeyed, leaving the hunter to ponder.
"You could have gotten him to give you a glass of water or something." The symbiote told him after the servant left the room. "Do you know you're hyperventilating a little? It's seriously very weird."
"Quiet." D demanded.
"Yeah, well, just to let you know - your palm is getting rather sweaty and it's really uncomfortable. I mean, my nose is itching/so/ bad and you won't even offer to scratch it!" Ignoring the little beast, D turned and headed back as its mouth went on. "Look, if you'reseriously thinking of going through with this then lets just get it over with and leave/! Okay?! Oh god, I don't /believe I just said that!!"
The dhampir stopped when he entered the entryway again and looked down at the ground. As his eye studied the swirly pattern of the carpet on the floor, his mind wondered. He realized he knew damn well this vampire wouldn't be in there. He supposed he was just trying to find an excuse to bide his time.
Whatever reason that could have been for, he pushed out of his mind, then started up the spiral staircase. The carpet was silent under his narrow, black boots. His hands occasional plea to head back and the fading trickle of the fountain water were the only sounds as he made his way up the seemingly endless steps.
As he approached the top of the stairs he began to hear something else. It was a piano. A sweet, sad melody echoed through the halls as skilled blue fingers brushed across the keys of the old grand. The song was sad, but it was a song D knew well. When he came to the door, he paused, placing a hand on the cold marble. The great hunter had to gather himself before greeting his prey. He took a deep breath and swallowed hard, waiting for the quivering in his stomach to cease.
With another moment's hesitation, he pushed the heavy door open, finding himself in a big, fancy study. There, in the corner of the room, was the player of the piano, the one D had been waiting to find. Butterflies swarmed around in his stomach at the sight of this person as anxiety set in. He was nervous as hell. For the first time in what seemed like ages, he was nervous - and it made him want to vomit. He shook off his emotions, struggling not to make them apparent to his hunt, and traveled deeper into the musty old study.
He stopped several feet behind the vampire, the creatures depressing melody continuing on as he raised a hand and wrapped his long fingers around the hilt of his sword.
With a shaky breath, he spoke the vampire's name...
To be continued...